On the 50th anniversary of JFK’s murder, and the premiere of Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Kennedy tonight on The National Geographic Channel, questions still remain about what happened in Dallas, Texas on November 22nd.
Was it a conspiracy to cover up a Mob hit for Bobby Kennedy’s attack on organized crime…a payback from Castro for The Bay of Pigs…LBJ’s power grab…the Secret Service’s accidental misfire…a Russian Cold War assassination for The Cuban Missile Crisis…or one lone madman?
Most Americans do not think Oswald acted alone. It seems too easy, but could that be the best answer?
To help answer some of those questions, the author of With Malice: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Murder of Officer J.D. Tippit, Dale Myers, has agreed to an exclusive interview for YHM.
1. Who do you think killed JFK, and what convinces you?
Lee Harvey Oswald, alone.
The evidence is overwhelming. The rifle used in the murder was purchased and owned by Oswald. Oswald fled the building immediately after the shooting. He returned to his room, re-armed himself with a revolver he owned, and returned to the street where ninth-tenths of a mile away he murdered Dallas police Officer J.D.
Tippit who had stopped to question him. Oswald fled to the Texas Theater. When arresting officers ordered him to get on his feet, he stood up, said, “It’s all over now,” and pulled the revolver again. He was subdued before he could fire it again. In custody, Oswald repeatedly lied about his ownership of the murder weapon, the false identification cards in his wallet, and that he brought a long package to work that morning.
All of the ballistic and medical evidence proves that all of the shots were fired from behind and originated from Oswald’s rifle to the exclusion of all other weapons. The fact that Oswald left $170 on Marina’s bedroom dresser the morning of the assassination (along with his wedding ring) and had only $13.87 on him when he was arrested shows that Oswald didn’t plan an escape and was probably surprised when he managed to get out of the Depository without being arrested.
All of his actions after leaving the Depository are those of a person who is desperate but who also has done little planning. Finally, Oswald was a sociopath. I doubt seriously that he would have (a) allowed himself to get close enough to anyone to be used unwittingly as a patsy as some have suggested, or (b) allowed anyone to get close enough to him to develop a relationship that would lead to a conspiracy. The closest person in Oswald’s life was his wife Marina, and he was separated from her at the time of the assassination.
2. There’s so much information out there, various theories that all sound so plausible, until you hear the next one. Can you debunk the top 3 conspiracy theories?
Anyone who believes in a vast conspiracy is unlikely to be swayed by anything I could say here.
It has been my experience that conspiracy thinkers embrace a conspiracy in this case for reasons that have nothing to do with the case itself. Most conspiracy thinkers begin with motive – who had the motive to kill Kennedy?
Well, that will simply produce a large list of possibilities that can all sound plausible. But real homicide investigations don’t begin with motive (in fact criminal cases rarely even consider motive when looking for a conviction), they begin with facts. In this case, the facts are overwhelming and conclusive – not just beyond a reasonable doubt, but beyond any and all doubt – that Oswald was the lone gunman.
And so, the question becomes in any conspiracy theory – no matter who you think was behind it (CIA, FBI, KGB, Cubans, LBJ, big oil, the Trilateral Commission, etc.) – what is the connection of XYZ Group to Oswald?
That is where every single conspiracy theory fails. Oswald was a loner – a lone wolf – who wasn’t connected directly to any of the groups who conspiracy theorists claim were behind the assassination. And it was precisely Oswald’s “lone wolf” status that made it impossible to stop him. What are the top three conspiracy theories? Let’s stick with the shooting itself:
(a) Oswald could not have gotten off three shots in the allotted time.
Obviously he could have, and did. First, the shooting occurred over a span of 8.5 seconds. Most people divide that number by three and claim that Oswald could not fire a bolt-action rifle every 2.8 seconds. But, the timing begins with the first shot which means you only divide the 8.5 seconds by the two remaining shots. That means Oswald had 4.25 seconds for each shot.
Second, everyone who travels to Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas (site of the assassination), makes an amazing discovery. Everything – the Depository, Elm Street, the grassy knoll fence – are bunched close together. Wide angle photographs of the plaza tend to make everything look far away. In fact the road is so close to the Depository, Oswald could have tossed a box of books out the window and hit Kennedy. Almost everyone I’ve met that has been to the plaza realizes that it would not have been a very hard shot to make.
And third, there are many conspiracy theorists who claim that Oswald was using an inferior weapon and therefore couldn’t possibly have accomplished the task with his Italian Carcano. The reality, of course, is that even if you gave Oswald’s rifle to a monkey and perched him in the sixth floor window with enough ammunition, he’s going to kill someone.
In fact, I’ve got an identical rifle and have challenged conspiracy theorists to test their theory. I propose to give them a running start and when they get out in front of the rifle at the same distance Oswald was shooting from, I’ll fire a few shots in their direction and see if I can hit them with the so-called “humanitarian rifle.” Not so surprisingly, I’ve had no takers.
(b) The magic bullet was a plant designed to frame Oswald.
The so-called pristine bullet is not “pristine” at all. It is squished as if in a vice, it is bowed slightly – like a banana, and the lead core is protruding from the base like toothpaste. The so-called “zig-zag” path claimed by conspiracy theorists is also a lie foisted on the American public.
The alignment is straight and true from the sixth floor window through both Kennedy and Connally. This has been proven in spades. The single bullet theory is the only reasonable theory that explains what happened to the bullet that entered Kennedy’s back and exited his throat. It must have hit the car or someone in it. Because the car showed no damage like the kind that would be caused by a bullet moving at 1,800 feet/sec after exiting Kennedy’s throat, there is only one possibility left – someone in the car must have been hit. In fact, someone was! And it turns out that person – Governor Connally – was seated directly in front of the President.
Conspiracy theorists crank up the rhetoric about a so-called magic pristine bullet that zig-zags through the air in order to sell the idea that the bullet recovered from Connally’s stretcher could only have been planted by some co-conspirator. Doesn’t it make far more sense that the bullet recovered was in fact the one that penetrated Kennedy’s neck and struck Connally? Ballistic experts agree that the recovered bullet is in the exact condition that they would expect it to be given its path through the two men. Only those ignorant of reality continue to believe in “magic” in the Kennedy shooting.
(c) Kennedy’s head snapped backward due to a bullet fired from the grassy knoll.
Any ballistic expert will tell you that (unlike Hollywood movies) an ounce of lead cannot move a human head weighing fifteen pounds and attached to the torso with bone and muscles more than an inch or two.
So going in we already know that the snap to Kennedy’s head cannot be the result of a bullet strike. But more importantly, there is no medical evidence to support a shot from anywhere but behind the President. A shot from the right-front of the limousine (i.e., the grassy knoll) necessitates a bullet track that penetrates the left side of Kennedy’s brain and likely leaves an exit hole on the left side of the skull. Yet, the authenticated X-rays of Kennedy’s head taken at the autopsy prove beyond any and all doubt that there are no bullet fragments located to the left of the mid-line of Kennedy’s skull.
There is no medical evidence of a bullet strike from the grassy knoll, period. The only entry wound in Kennedy’s skull was found in the cowlick area of the rear of the head. That wound had a beveled crater on the inside table of the skull – proof positive that it was an entry wound and not an exit wound.
Finally, my own 3D computer reconstruction shows that Kennedy’s position in the car and the orientation of his head at the moment of the head shot precludes the grassy knoll as the source of a shot? Why? Kennedy was leaning to his left with his head bobbed forward at the time of the fatal shot. That means that Kennedy’s right-front was in reality the left front of the car. Again, all of the evidence shows the fatal shot did not originate from the grassy knoll.
3. What is the deal clincher for you personally, the smoking gun, on what we should believe?
My computer work convinced me that all of the shots were fired from the sixth floor sniper’s nest in the Texas School Book Depository. The ballistic and medical evidence is in complete agreement with those results. Oswald’s murder of Dallas patrolman J.D. Tippit – a second murder within 45 minutes of the first – is equally conclusive. So, when Oswald told reporters, “I didn’t shoot anybody,” he was clearly and blatantly lying, just one of the many things he lied about while in custody.
4. What is the one piece of evidence that gives you some pause…that might make you question your own conclusions?
I can’t think of anything. After 38 years of investigation, I’m convinced beyond any and all doubt of Oswald’s guilt, which is not to say that there were not others who may have encouraged Oswald. Oswald certainly acted on his own and without help in the shootings of Kennedy and Tippit.
However, there is a remote possibility – and there is some scant evidence – that Oswald may have been encouraged by Cuban agents in Mexico City to commit the act. I’m not saying Castro ordered Kennedy’s assassination, rather there is evidence to suggestion that Oswald might have been encouraged by pro-Castro supporters to kill Kennedy in order to prove his worthiness and gain a visa to Cuba. Even if the suggestion is true, I think they would have been surprised that he actually did it.
5. When there are so many books out there about JFK, why did you write your book?
I wrote With Malice: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Murder of Officer J.D. Tippit in order to document a pivotal yet little known aspect of the Kennedy assassination. Tippit is the Dallas cop who stopped Oswald on a Oak Cliff side street for questioning only to be shot and killed.
The Tippit murder, considered the “Rosetta Stone” of the case against Oswald, proves Oswald had a capacity for violence less than an hour after the Kennedy shooting. For nearly fifty years, conspiracy theorists have attempted to exonerate Oswald of Tippit’s death.
My work shows his guilt beyond any doubt. The new, updated edition – the definitive work on the Tippit slaying – documents Tippit’s life and death through exclusive family interviews and photographs.
6. How can we get a copy of your book?
Many thanks to Mr. Myers for taking the time out of his busy schedule to answers some of America’s questions.
Here’s a brief interview on 48 Hours: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50159161n
Here are some of his upcoming appearances:
Monday, Nov.11 8:15 am WHMI 93.5 FM Howell, MI 15 min radio interview via telephone.
Saturday, Nov. 16 9:00 pm CBS-TV “As It Happened: John F. Kennedy, 50 Years” A look at the assassination produced by the “48 Hours” team and hosted by Bob Schieffer.
Thursday, Nov. 21 8:16 am The Bill Martinez Show 15-30 min interview via telephone. With JD Tippit’s nieces, Linda Chaney and Carol Christopher. Coast to coast radio show available in 235 markets across the U.S.; or stream it live via the Internet at http://billmartinezlive.com/.
Thursday, Nov. 21 11:00 pm WJRT-TV Flint, MI ABC affiliate.
Friday, Nov. 22 10:45 am WJR 760 AM Detroit, MI Frank Beckmann Show – 15 min radio interview via telephone.
Friday, Nov. 22 10:00 pm History Channel “Oswald: 48 Hours To Live” Two-hour special.