JFK assassination: Did Oswald act alone?


Fact Box

  • JFK's assassination took place on November 22, 1963, at 12:30 pm. relates that it happened while the president was 'riding in a motorcade in Dallas during a campaign visit. Kennedy's motorcade was turning past the Texas School Book Depository at Dealey Plaza with crowds lining the streets—when shots rang out … Kennedy was pronounced dead at 1 pm.'
  • Alleged JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald was shot and killed by Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby on November 24, 1963, while he was being led through the basement of a Dallas police station. 
  • Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as US president on Air Force One 'two hours and eight minutes after President Kennedy was assassinated.'
  • Britannica relates that over the years, '42 groups, 82 assassins, and 214 individuals have been blamed' for JFK's assassination. 
  • President Kennedy was the fourth US president to be assassinated. Abraham Lincoln was killed in 1865, James Garfield was assassinated in 1881, and William McKinley died in 1901.

Elliot (No)

On October 23rd, 2021, President Biden delayed the scheduled release of the JFK assassination files, claiming he was trying to 'protect against identifiable harm' and that this delay was necessary because it 'outweighed the public interest in immediate disclosure.' This doesn't exactly sound like the action of a government that has nothing to hide. The writing isn't just on the wall--it's plastered in neon paint. Oswald didn't act alone. 

Consider the magic bullet theory. The official story is that Oswald's bullet hit Kennedy in the back and exited through his throat before impacting Senator Connally, who was sitting in the front seat. The bullet then broke Connally's ribs and exited his body before shattering his right wrist bone and finally embedding itself in his left thigh. Obviously, it's much more logical to assume that there were multiple shooters firing from different angles--but this would destroy the accepted theory that Oswald was acting alone. 

Putting aside the fact that multiple witnesses heard multiple shots coming from different locations, consider that Oswald was assassinated before he could even stand trial. It seems rather convenient that he was eliminated before he could share his side of the story. The authorities simply allowed Jack Ruby to walk right up to Oswald and shoot him at point-blank range, which raises further questions.

Notably, JFK's bodyguards were told to stand down moments before the assassination. The parade route was also changed at the last minute, directing Kennedy down a different path that made him a sitting duck for multiple shooters. Perhaps we will never know who killed the president, but one thing is clear: Oswald didn't act alone. 

Amanda (Yes)

While the few dangling threads from JFK's assassination have continued to serve up endless bits of pop-cultural speculation, there simply aren't enough to discount the most likely explanation: Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.

First, one perpetual assumption about Oswald should be dispensed with right off the bat: he was not an untroubled patsy. In reality, Oswald had a long history of violence and alienation, including a court-martial for fighting during his Marine service and a previous assassination attempt on General Edwin Walker--not to mention the murder of Officer J.D. Tippit in the wake of the Kennedy shooting.

Second, arguments in favor of multiple gunmen or a conspiracy often hinge on contradictory evidence, such as witnesses claiming to hear gunshots coming from the direction of the infamous grassy knoll. Not only does this rely on shaky eyewitness testimony from bystanders, but the evidence itself is countered by others who did hear gunshots coming from the Texas School Book Depository building.

Additionally, the sheer magnitude of a successful conspiracy would have had to include those who set up Oswald, doctors at the hospital Kennedy was taken to, several high-level government officials, and possibly even Lyndon Johnson and Jackie Kennedy herself.

Finally, a conspiracy relies heavily on the idea that a lone gunman could not have done as much damage as Oswald did without assistance. But we've tragically seen in subsequent years that a single shooter can do precisely that, from John Hinkley Jr. to the shooting spree in Las Vegas. It doesn't take a massive, secretive plan to bring down a man, even a famous, well-protected one.

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