Since the beginning of this month, the 50th anniversary of this assassination has been given great coverage on television and in print. Probably the most ballyhooed film is the one that is based on Bill O’Reilly’s book, “Killing Kennedy”. That film debuted early this month and is scheduled for a re-run on the National Geographic Channel Friday.
The O’Reilly treatment is a well-balanced account of Kennedy’s last days and the tumultuous existence led by his proclaimed lone assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. There have been many other articles, books, and screen treatments that hint at a conspiracy theory. The most notable of the films was probably Oliver Stone’s, “JFK” in which a very convoluted conspiracy was advanced.
Of all the books I have read on the event the most enlightening was “Scorpio.”
Two years ago, a mini-series ran on television, “The Kennedy’s.” It examined many of the events that led up to that fateful day in Dallas and also explored what happened to the Kennedy’s after the crime.
In that mini-series we learned that Kennedy was a very troubled individual when it came to his personal life. It also stressed the close relationship he had with his brother Bobby, the Attorney General at that time. It is no secret the animosity that existed between Bobby and Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson was almost overshadowed by the contentious relationship between Bobby and J. Edgar Hoover.
Several years ago, I had the opportunity to attend a telecommunications convention in Dallas. One day, when there was a lull in the activity at the convention, I availed myself of a rental car to go to the Dealy Plaza.
I had read that the Texas State Depository had been turned in to a memorial in the late President’s honor. After touring through the museum and watching the films, I went to the sixth floor where Oswald had positioned himself. As I recall, the room was shut off by iron bars, so that you could look through them and see the actual condition of the killing zone.
Looking through the window that Oswald utilized, you could see that the road the president travelled was curvy and descending. Knowing how to shoot at a moving target, it would seem almost impossible that the lightly regarded ex-marine Oswald could have so accurately hit a moving target.
After leaving the depository, I walked over to the famous “grassy knoll” and stood behind a five-foot fence. From this position, with a rifle resting on the fence, I could see that it would be a very easy location to hit a target some 30 yards away.
There have been many theories that the assassination was the result of triangulated fire from the grassy knoll, the building across the street, or the overpass the vehicle was about to go under.
Perhaps we will never know the true story of that horrible event, because most of the files have been sealed and buried and the Warren Commission adamantly stated it was a lone gunman.
Harry Spencer is a long-time northern Nevada resident.