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Essay/Term paper: The assassination of john f. kennedy

Essay, term paper, research paper:  History

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In January of 1960, a young man by the name of John F. Kennedy was sworn in to uphold the office of President of the United States of America. He was assassinated on November 22, 1963, when he was only 46 years old. There is lots of speculation about the way he died. Here are just a few questions concerning his death. Who or how many people were involved in President John F. Kennedy"s assassination? This is a question that has baffled many people for 33 years.

Some of the main questions are: Was Lee Harvey Oswald the lone assassin? This question may never be answered. Is there a possibility that there could have been another rifleman? What is the minimum time to get three shots off with the Mannlicher Carcano bolt action rifle? Why did Jack Ruby shoot Oswald? Was he trying to protect himself or show loyalty to his President? Did Fidel Castro have President Kennedy assassinated? Were the CIA and FBI involved? What about the "mob"; did they have any logical reason to kill the President? What is the story on the "superbullet"? How can one assassin shoot three shots at a man in a limousine going 11.2 mph under five seconds?

Among the most crucial questions to be considered in determining the identity of the President"s assassin are the number of shots fired in the course of the assassination, the time elapsed between shots, and the location of the site or sites where the shots were fired. A great deal of evidence rides on these questions: the number of wounds, the path of the bullets causing each wound, the position of the rifle believed to have fired the recovered bullet and its fragments, the position and number of empty cartridge cases believed to have been fired, and visual observations by bystanders. In addition, a mass of evidence has been collected from the people that witnessed the shooting. I will try to explain or figure out what went on during the 22 of November in 1963.

There are many theories on the assassination of JFK. The first theory is that Robert Kennedy, the brother of John and also the attorney general at this time dated a known mobsters" girlfriend, and Robert also tried to get one of the biggest court cases in the history of the U.S. put upon the mob. In order to get back at him, they killed his brother. Later, they killed him when he was going to run for President. There is some more evidence that the mob was involved when Jack Ruby killed Lee Oswald. He shot him at close range with a .38 caliber pistol. This is a typical mob killing; close up and with a small caliber pistol. Jack Ruby was a nightclub owner. It is believed that Ruby had connections with the mob. People say that this theory had "mob" written all over it. When the so-called "mob" killed the President, they got him in crossfire. First they formed a triangle, one in the book depository, one behind the picket fence, and one on the monument. This forms a triangle, which supports this theory called trianglism.

The next theory is unlikely to happen. It is the "superbullet" theory. This theory is trying to convince us that one single bullet did all of the damage. This is virtually impossible. The bullet would have to hit President Kennedy in the neck and then hit Connaly through the back, chest, wrist, and thigh, then re-enter Kennedy"s head on top. See what I mean—impossible. Some people believed that this happened. Governor Connaly said that he is certain that the first shot hit Kennedy and him at the same time. This theory is impossible according to the Zapruder film. The film shows a definite delay between the wounding of the two men—a delay too short for the Carcano rifle to be shot twice by one man, and too long to leave the "superbullet" theory with credibility.

Some people think that Fidel Castro had President Kennedy shot. (Posner 122-148) Motive, yes he had motive. In October 1962 Kennedy faced the most serious international crisis of his administration. Aerial photographs proved that Soviet missile bases were being built in Cub. Declaring this buildup a threat to the nations of the Western Hemisphere, Kennedy warned that any attack by Cuba would be regarded as an attack by the Soviets and the United States would retaliate against the Soviet Union. He also imposed quarantine on ships bringing offensive weapons to Cuba. Negotiations were carried on between the President and Khrushchev. By the end of November, the missiles had been shipped back to the Soviet Union, the United States had lifted the quarantine, and the month-long crisis had abated.

It was the Cuban Missile Crisis. The Cuban Missile Crisis was when Castro had missiles pointed at the U.S. Kennedy did not like this, so he made Castro disengage them. Of course Castro didn"t like Kennedy after this, so he had him shot. But who did the shooting? True, Oswald was the one that put the lethal shot in the President. Could there have been someone else? I think so. I have good reason for this. There were 3 shots. It is impossible to get 3 well-aimed shots off in less than five seconds, because it has been proven to take 2.5 seconds for one shot. Less than 2.5 seconds elapsed between the first and second, or the second and third shots. This is evidence that there had to be a second gunman. This does not support the theory of the lone gunman and shows that there could be a possible conspiracy.

Where was he shooting from? Acoustic scientists have found in a picture what they think is a head peeking over the picket fence behind the grassy knoll. Ed Hoffman, a deaf mute, saw someone shoot from behind the fence. After the shots were fired, Mr. Hoffman saw the man hand a gun to a person dressed in a railroad uniform. When he went to get the police, one policeman waved his gun at him, and told him to get out of the way, so he left. There is suspicion that this is the so-called second gunman.

The next theory is a theory concerning what the second gunman was shooting at. Could it have been possible for the second gunman to be shooting at Lee Harvey Oswald? It involved Fidel Castro or anyone that plotted to kill the President. Whoever wanted the President dead had Lee Oswald shoot Kennedy. Then after Oswald shot, there was a man behind the picket fence on the grassy knoll. Acoustic scientists found what they think is a mans head looking over the fence from the grassy knoll. They were trying to kill Oswald so he couldn"t talk. This is a likely theory. They never recovered the bullet that was shot from the front of the motorcade, if there is one. There is evidence that a bullet was fired from the front. When the first shot was fired, Kennedy"s head went violently backwards. This means the bullet had to strike him from the front. When you look at the videotape, it appears as if the bullet strikes him form the front. Either the bullet did not hit anything, or it passed through the neck then vanished because it was never recovered. This could mean a possible second gunman.

Some people think that the CIA was involved. They were mad at President Kennedy because he said that he wanted to "scatter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter them into the wind." They had another reason to kill Kennedy. It was called the invasion of the "Bay of Pigs" on April 18, 1961. This is where the CIA tried to overthrow Castro by themselves. They landed on the shore and were defeated. Kennedy had told them that the U.S. would have no part in this invasion. Although he had ships just off the shore, they wouldn"t help. The CIA blamed the defeat on the President for not helping them. Many Americans blamed Kennedy for not helping them. In the spring of 1961, the Bay of Pigs, near Havana, Cuba, was invaded by opponents of Cuba"s Communist premier, Fidel Castro. The rebels were defeated quickly. The invasion had been aided by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Kennedy was criticized by some for having approved the CIA"s support of the invasion. Others blamed him for the operation"s failure. The plan was partially done when President Eisenhower was President. (North 86) They did not do the killing, but I would say that they had something to do with it.

The Zapruder film was shot by a dressmaker named Abraham Zapruder, who was a spectator at Dealy Plaza in Dallas, Texas watching the presidential motorcade that fatal November day. This film was shot with a 8mm movie camera that filmed 18.3 frames per second. Zapruder was located on a concrete platform extending from the grassy knoll. He was with his secretary at the time of the shooting. The Zapruder film implies that the first shot was fired before frame 204. A large oak tree blocked the assassins view between frames 166-210. People think that the President was shot before frame 204 because his wife turned sharply toward him at 204. This cannot be proven for a fact because the camera had no sound. The Zapruder film implies that there is indeed a second gunman, according to the evidence and reaction of Jacqueline Kennedy at frame 204. (Accessories 5)

The Zapruder film wasn"t the only photographed evidence taken during the assassination of the President. There are also pictures taken and eyewitnesses that saw things most people don"t know about. A woman took a picture of what they think is Lee Oswald on the first floor of the book depository watching the motorcade. Police say that they are mistaken. They think it is someone else. They have photographed Jack Ruby at the Dealy Plaza who denies ever being near the place on November 22.

Below is a chart showing the positions of Abraham Zapruder, Lee Harvey Oswald, the original route of the motorcade, and the time frames of the Zapruder film:

There is also another theory. This theory is about a man and what he saw from the overpass. This man claims that he saw someone shoot from the monument on the grassy knoll. Did he see what he thought he saw? He may have heard shooting and looked up and saw something get out from behind the monument. They could have been taking cover.

The Warren Commission is an investigative report on the assassination of John Kennedy. The commission was made up of 7 people. They were Chief Justice Earl Warren, Senators Richard B. Russell of Georgia and John Sherman Cooper of Kentucky, Representatives Hale Boggs of Louisiana, Gerald Ford of Michigan, Allen W. Dulles and John J. McCloy. Lee Rankin was the general counsel. They had a soul purpose, and that was to find out what happened on that tragic day in November. The report was published on September 24, 1964. The commission found that the shots that killed President Kennedy and wounded Governor Connaly were fired by Lee Harvey Oswald. There was no evidence at the time that either Oswald or Jack Ruby were part of any conspiracy, domestic or foreign, to assassinate President Kennedy. No direct or indirect relationship between Oswald and Ruby had been uncovered. On the basis of the evidence before it, the commission concluded that Oswald acted alone. (Scott 47) Despite the findings of the commission, conspiracy theories persisted for decades.

The commission stated that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone shooter. They denied ever hearing or thinking that there could have been a second gunman, even thought there is evidence that there was someone on the grassy knoll behind the picket fence. They looked for an easy way out and ignored some valuable evidence, says Jim Garrison. What about the Zapruders film? Can they just ignore that? There is also proof that there was another shooter because of the rapidness of the shots. Its impossible for one man to shoot 3 shots in under 5 seconds with that type of bolt action rifle that was used. This rifle was a model C2766 Mannlicher Carcano Italian rifle. Sharpshooter set up targets at the range where the President was shot, and they could not shoot stationary targets, let alone moving ones with the same accuracy and speed that Oswald supposedly shot. They said that this model was not a very accurate one. There are also two pictures of Oswald and his Mannlicher Carcano and his pistol. A man named Jim Mars proved that the pictures are fake because of the size of Oswald"s head. In both pictures, Oswald was standing beside his house with these two guns. In the second picture, Oswald is standing farther away from the house than in the first, but his head is still the same size. His head should be bigger in the second picture than it is in the first picture. In the second picture, his head is slightly tilted and a little bit of the shadow from under his nose is gone.

The theory that American people read about is the theory that Lee Oswald shot Kennedy from the Texas School Book Depository. There is valuable information that this theory is true. Many witnesses say that the shot sounded as if it was up above them on the sixth floor of the Book Depository, and that he was shot with the Mannlicher Carcano bolt-action rifle. They are lead to believe that there were only three shots, which could possibly be true. Under any circumstances, it was not as simple as it sounds. All of these books base their evidence on the Warren Commission. Nobody looks beyond the Warren Commission. They take it for the truth, and therefore believe it. For all they know, it could be a cover-up for the CIA.

My opinion is one that I have thought over many times. I think that the CIA was mad at President Kennedy for not helping them out at the Bay of Pigs, so they managed to convince Oswald that they would give him lots of money to kill the President. When they hired Oswald, they had one of their own men on the grassy knoll to shoot Oswald after he shot President Kennedy, then the CIA"s man would kill Kennedy. This supports the theory of why the people heard a shot over the fence at the grassy knoll. Another things that supports my theory is that they never found the third bullet. When the man behind the fence did not do his job, they sent Jack Ruby to finish what they started. They had to quiet Oswald or he was going to talk and tell who was really behind it. Who was really behind it? This is a question that the world will never know the real answer to. This concludes my theory on how President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

Works Cited

Accessories After the Fact. U.S. Government Printing Office, 1964.

North, Mark. Act of Treason. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 1991.

Posner, Gary. Case Closed. New York: Random House, 1993.

Scott, Peter Dale. Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. University of California Press,



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