JFK asassination: second shooter?


I like to think of myself as not prone to conspiracy theories. After President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on 22 November 1963, I was obsessed with the killing of the 35th President, especially after watching Lee Harvey Oswald being shot by Jack Ruby on live television two days later.

The Warren Commission Report was released in September 1964. It was designed to clarify what happened ten months earlier in Dallas, TX. The report was excerpted in the local Binghamton, NY, newspaper then, and I cut out the articles, taping them into a three-ring binder. It may be somewhere in my attic, even now.

For that 11-year-old, that was definitive. A single assassin, no second shooter. The end.

Except, of course, it wasn’t. The United States House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) was established in 1976 to investigate the assassinations of JFK and Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1963 and 1968, respectively. Concerning the former, the committee determined… that the probable conspiracy did not involve the governments of Cuba or the Soviet Union. The committee also stated that the conspiracy did not involve any organized crime group, anti-Castro group, nor the FBI, CIA, or Secret Service.” But it could have involved mob players, or others, acting without organizational authorization.

Lone gunman?

Oddly, the JFK Library seized on one aspect of the HSCA report. “The committee had found ‘a high probability that two gunmen fired’ at the president. This conclusion resulted from the last-minute ‘discovery’ of a Dallas police radio transmission tape that allegedly provided evidence that four or more shots were fired in Dealey Plaza. After the report appeared in print, acoustic experts analyzed the tape and proved conclusively that it was completely worthless—thus negating the finding in Point 1B.”True enough about the sound, but Point 1C suggests “another gunman,” though it cannot identify who.

Based on  this article in New York magazine’s The Intelligencer, it’s become increasingly apparent that “the CIA lied about Oswald and Cuba.” Early on, it also explains how the Oliver Stone 1991 movie JFK, which naturally, I saw,  was largely dismissed.


Documents are still being released, as recently as 2023. “The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is processing previously withheld… records to comply with President Biden’s Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies on the Temporary Certification Regarding Disclosure of Information in Certain Records Related to the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, requiring disclosure of releasable records by June 30, 2023. NARA worked in concert with agencies to jointly review the remaining redactions in 3,648 documents in compliance with the President’s directive. Between April and June 2023, NARA posted 2,672 documents containing newly released information.” This means roughly a thousand records still have not been revealed.

Paramount + released JFK: What The Doctors Saw on November 14. “Previously unreleased footage unveils an extraordinary reunion involving seven doctors who were present in the Parkland Hospital Emergency Room where [JFK] was rushed after being shot on November 22, 1963. Their testimonies divulge unsettling medical details surrounding the assassination, raising doubt about government investigations that found Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.” It is compelling. Why would these physicians, in concert, lie about the events of six decades ago?

I don’t know THE answer to the story, but the questions have not gone away.

Why I hate flying

Massive confusion

I hate flying. It’s not the part up in the air that bothers me. In fact, that’s generally a pleasant experience.

Here’s the beginning of the trip to France. We get a ride from a friend of ours to the Albany-Rensselaer train station, arriving at 10:30 for an 11:10 train to New York’s Penn Station.

The train leaves on time. I helped a young woman put her – god, that was heavy! – luggage in the overhead area. We used the Wi-Fi to check our email, and I wrote a bit.

We take the Long Island Railroad train to Jamaica, Queens. My daughter and I became experts in traveling the LIRR during her college visits. Buying the ticket at a kiosk is easy.

We’re to take the AirTrain to Terminal 4 at JFK Airport. This is a new experience for me. The one time I flew from Kennedy was as a connection between Albany and Barbados, so I’ve never had to get to that airport by land. It was pretty straightforward.

Alpha, beta, gamma…

When we get to Delta, though, it all falls apart.  Where should we go? We asked five representatives and got as many contradictory answers.

We were in one massive line for a time. Then an airline representative directed some of us down escalator stairs and a five-minute walk to ANOTHER place we could check in.  Good thing we had four hours before our flight.

It turned out we had more time than that. Our flight was delayed, first for one hour, then two, because of a window not sealed properly. Initially, they were going to fix it and repressurize the aircraft. Ultimately, they had to get another plane from a hangar. This is not a complaint, though being told we needed to go to three different ages was exhausting.

Finally, at 9:30 pm Eastern Daylight Time, we took off in one of those widebody vehicles that seat two, then three, then two across. We were in row 47 with lots of folks behind us.

The flight attendants spoke English, French, or both. Delta is affiliated with Air France. I watched two movies and one TV episode and got decent food. Considering it was seven hours, it was all good, although I never went to sleep as my wife did, using a light-blocking mask.

Landing at Charles DeGaulle Airport in  Roissy-en-France was a massive confusion. The line I  thought was to retrieve my luggage was to get my passport stamped. Regardless, it was long and chaotic. Occasionally, some staffers would say that if you have an American or a Canadian passport, you could go to a different line, but this was inconsistent.

Finally, we were sent to a shorter but hardly short line. The electronic scanners were down, and they were checking passports by hand. I got my passport stamped – my first on this document, which I procured in March 2022 – and I retrieved my suitcase at least an hour after getting off the plane.

We took a local train to the Luxembourg station in the Latin Quarter, walked to our first hotel, and dropped off our stuff about 24 hours after we left our house.  FINALLY, the adventure could begin.

November 22 always means one thing to me: JFK

“The records released so far may not confirm or disprove any of the many conspiracy theories surrounding Kennedy’s assassination.”

I’ve mentioned before the fact that JFK assassination records were scheduled to be released by the National Archives by October 26, 2017. Like most people my age, the killing of JFK in 1963 is among the most recalled events in our then-young lives, maybe the first significant event external to ourselves and our families.

When the current regime announced the impending release of the last documents, I was relieved. To have suppressed them, as rumors suggested, would have only energized the conspiracy theorists.

But then they actually decided to hold back some 200 documents, thousands of pages, for another six months to allow the FBI, CIA, et al to make the case that they should remain under lock and key. The regime cited unspecified “national security concerns,” an argument Trevor Timm, executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, said was “amazing… What possible national security interests are still at risk from an event that happened 54 YEARS AGO?”

I can see where there could be some embarrassment. In fact, we’ve already seen that in the material that’s been released. Lee Harvey Oswald was already on the radar of law enforcement. There had been credible threats on the life of JFK. J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI head, was livid about the shooting of Oswald, who was in police custody, by Jack Ruby, as there were credible threats against him.

Pretty much since the Warren Commission Report was excerpted in my local newspaper – I STILL have the black 3-ring binder with the clippings glued to lined school paper – I have wanted to know more. What WAS Oswald doing in Mexico a few months before the shooting?

The Boston Globe noted that the 2,800 records released so far “offer insights into his death that were previously hidden from the public. They help paint a more complete picture of Lee Harvey Oswald and share previously undisclosed details about his background, and they provide color and reaction from the days following Kennedy’s death.

“The records released so far may not confirm or disprove any of the many conspiracy theories surrounding Kennedy’s assassination, but they begin to piece together parts of unknown history and have made some people even more anxious for the remaining documents to be released.” And that includes me.

The JFK Assassination: A Cast of Characters.

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