Top Ten Reasons Not to Believe in JFK Conspiracies
1. John F. Kennedy was not the first person that Lee Oswald tried to assassinate with his Carcano rifle. He also took aim at anti-Castro general Edwin Walker, but he just missed his target. Walker was a mark for Oswald because the general had an agressive stance toward Castro’s Cuba. In Oswald’s mind, JFK also had an aggressive stance toward Castro.
2. Lee Oswald was a life-long failure who believed deeply enough in Marxism that he defected to Russia (and failed to defect to Cuba). He was a private and obsessive man, who wanted to raise his status and become noticed historically. He was classified as a marksman in the marines, and he scored better on rapid fire than single shot target practice. I can’t imagine a better profile for an assassin.
3. On the day of the assassination, Oswald brought a strange package to work (he said it was curtain rods) that he took from the garage at his wife’s residence. Marina knew the package was a gun because she had seen it in the garage. The gun that was found in the sniper’s nest was traced back to Oswald from receipts from a gun store in Chicago. It had Oswald’s palm prints on it. This was the only gun that was found to be linked to the murder of JFK. The bullets from the gun were the only bullets found to be linked to the murder of JFK.
4. Oswald was the only employee seen on the floor of the book depository building during the window of time needed to assassinate the president. Any eye-witness testimony that puts him in awkward places within the chronology of the assassination fails to prove that he wasn’t in the sniper’s nest at the time the shots were fired. An employee of the book depository witnessed him alone on the fifth floor just before the murder of JFK. An eye-witness saw Oswald in the window make the shots.
5. The autopsy ballistics evidence indicates that the three shots came from above and behind the president. The bullets retrieved from the scene and the shells retrieved from the sniper’s nest were traced back to the Carcano to the exclusion of all other rifles. No other bullets or shells were found.
6. Oswald was the only employee of the book depository who fled the scene of the crime. He was also desperate enough to shoot a police officer in front of several eye-witnesses who identified Oswald as the killer. He had already left his wedding ring and money for Marina because he thought he wouldn’t return alive.
7. Some people think shots came from the grassy knoll in Dealy Plaza, but no assassins were discovered by the many people who climbed the hill to find someone. Several of the witnesses to the events on the grassy knoll were either proven to be liars or genuinely mistaken.
8. Jack Ruby was not a member of the mob, despite popular belief. He was an eccentric night club owner, who was very passionate and emotional. He loved to take care of cops, whom he admired. He took the president’s death unusually hard. He obsessed over the pain that Jackie and the kids would be feeling, and he didn’t want Jackie to go through a long trial. He was in the right place at the right time when he happened to be sending a money order to one of his strippers; there is no way that Ruby could have known Oswald was being moved out of police headquarters two hours late.
9. Conspiracy theorists range from those who say Oswald was an Anti-Castro spy groomed by the CIA to those who think he was tricked into the assassination by the mob. None of these conspiracies can be proven and are just far-fetched guesses based on cherry picked statistical anomalies. And when Oswald’s own documented actions defy the logic of the conspiracy theories, they invent ways around it- like imagining an Oswald imposter.
10. The popularity of the conspiracies themselves have allowed opportunists to use those legends as a way to jump in on history. For instance, Oswald’s supposed mistress appropriates several bad facts from Jim Garrison’s book On The Trail of Assassins and Oliver Stone’s movie JFK. The legends that have arose in the decades after JFK died have inspired a new breed of attention-seekers, many of whom have muddied the events of an already chaotic day.
The ten points I make here are not backed up by the specific evidence that exists. It isn’t my intention to re-write Vincent Bugliosi’s excellent book Reclaiming History or to specifically debunk every conspiracy. I don’t have the time or the desire to go any further than my top ten. Feel free to click on the two previous links to research the fact-based arguments against conspiracy.