kennedy-rotundaJohn Fitzgerald Kennedy, often known as JFK was the 35th President of the United States. He was born into a political family in 1917 and soon developed similar ambitions of his own. After serving in both the House of Representatives and Senate, JFK took the highest office in the land following the 1960 election.

In 1963, Kennedy became the fourth United States President to be assassinated, in one of the most controversial and often discussed murders of all time. He was shot and killed with two bullets while on a visit to Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963. The shots were fired at the limousine Kennedy was riding in as it headed towards the Texas School Book Depository. Although two bullets hit the President, one of the controversies surrounding the ordeal was whether two or three shots were actually fired. Many people who were nearby claimed to have heard three, while others insist that the assassin only fired twice. Most witnesses agree that three noises were heard at the time of the assassination, but some argue that the first was either a car backfiring, firecracker exploding or other disturbance.

President John F. Kennedy 2Within an hour, a suspect was brought into custody. Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested inside of a theater not far from the scene of the crime. Several witnesses claimed to have seen him shoot and kill a police officer named J. D. Tippit and then run into his hiding place. Following a tip, a large police force entered the theater and arrested Oswald, who put up a fight before allowing the officers to take him out.

Oswald maintained that he was innocent and had been set up for the murder of John F Kennedy. A trial was planned, but before it could even happen Oswald was shot and killed by a man named Jack Ruby. To make up for the fact that the trial could not happen, newly appointed President Lyndon B. Johnson created the Warren Commission to investigate the assassination. After several months, an 888 page document was turned over to Johnson, which declared that Oswald had been the only person responsible for the murder.

The Commission’s findings have been highly disputed over the years. Claims were made that the investigative methods used were not thorough enough to produce a definitive conclusion, and that key pieces of information had been omitted. One long time theory insists that there was a second shooter involved in the assassination. This concept is based upon an audio recording of the event which some believe proves that bullets were fired in more than one area and from the direction Kennedy’s body was flung as the shots hit him. Another popular theory suggests that the assassination was the result of a major conspiracy. Depending on the person explaining this theory, there have been many possible co-conspirators including the CIA, FBI, Fidel Castro, the mafia, KGB and a host of other possibilities. Some even felt that Oswald had been replaced with a body double while on a trip into the Soviet Union, but his body was later exhumed and DNA proof confirmed his identity.

Some people may never be satisfied with any explanation about the murder of JFK. Theories continue, and we may never know exactly what happened.


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