The Kennedy Killings, Probably, Solved

E. Howard Hunt I hear on his deathbed fingered Lyndon Johnson and Jackie Kennedy, who stood with her husband’s brain and blood all over her dress alongside LBJ as he was sworn in, thought he had killed Jack too and said so in an interview with Arthur Schlesinger Junior not long after the event.

It was hard, then as now, to come to any other conclusion. Lyndon had the most to gain, had suffered a massive heart attack, was already 56 and would die at 64 and was famously ambitious. It was in a town he ran. He hated the Kennedys. There was no other reason why he abdicated vast power as Majority Leader for the muggins job of Veep, only the presidential succession. He had the money to pay for it, and an ally, Hoover, who hated the Kennedys too and relished the phone call he made to Bobby, ‘Mr Attorney-General, your brother has been shot,’ and giving him details. Johnson rang the surgeon working on the still-living Jack to say the killer had been found and no further medical evidence was necessary. He set the terms of the Warren Commission: not ‘Who did it?’ but ‘Why did Oswald do it?’

Brought up on Agatha Christie, we resisted the obvious, but there it was, all along. Why would Lee want Lyndon, a foreign policy ignoramus, as President when Jack, a brilliant negotiating diplomat whom he admired, had saved his hero Khrushchev from nuclear war? Why would he? Why would a father of two shoot anybody, and then go to the pictures? Why? Would Khrushchev have a better time with Johnson? Would Castro? Why?

Oswald had no motive, and Johnson did. Oswald was interrogated for hours, and the notes vanished. Oswald was killed by a Mafioso with cancer. Jackie heard four shots. Johnson refused to make Bobby his Vice President.

And so on. It is curious that motive was never discussed. To protect his job, Hoover may have done it. To protect his Agency, Dulles, or George Herbert Walker Bush. To protect the white racist American South against the ‘nigger lover’, any KKK official or armed redneck.

But Oswald, no. Forty other men in that building were more likely to have fired a shot, one with a Mannlicher Carcano. The fatal shot was from the front, pushing the head back, not forward, as a shot from behind would have done. Jackie was filmed chasing a bit of his brain on the boot, not the bonnet.

Oswald had nothing to do with it. Why would he have done it, and then denied it? No reason.

There is, I think, or I think now, an Alan Jones part of our cortex that makes us want to bend before Authority and to want to believe what we are told, officially, with a firm voice. We were told mothers threw their babies into the sea and we believed it. We were told Saddam had WMD he buried but did not use and we believed it. And we were told LBJ, who wanted Kennedy dead, wanted him alive; and Lee Oswald, who wanted Kennedy alive, killed him. And we believed that too.

And we were told that though Lincoln and Archduke Ferdinand were killed by conspirators, and FDR and Harry Truman and Gerald Ford were shot at by conspirators, all ‘conspiracy theories’ were mad, and only a ‘lone madman’, a Communist lone madman at that, a non-conspiring Communist lone madman, would want Kennedy dead, though crowds of Texas schoolchildren cheered when they heard the news. ‘Conspiracy theory’ became a risible phrase at that point, because Lyndon needed it to.

It is likely Lyndon, Hoover and Bush (still at large) conspired it, and some Mafia people were paid well to do it, and Ruby by some form of coercion made to shoot Oswald. Nine or ten ‘in the know’ were all that were needed to bring it off; and Bobby’s shooting too. Lyndon feared Bobby, as President, would reopen the case. And so he was dealt with also, while Lyndon was yet President, Hoover still running the FBI, and Bush lining up to be head of the still endangered CIA, endangered if Bobby got in.

Motive, ‘Astings, is what we should look for. Always motive.

And, for fifty years, we have not looked for it.

And we have looked the other way.

PS. I read in The Daily Mail online this morning that Lyndon Johnson commanded Richard Nixon to put Jack Ruby on his payroll in 1947, and Nixon did so.

Curiouser and curiouser.

Leave a comment ?


  1. This is a subject that you hold very dearly in your heart Bob, the death of JFK. You were a young man and you obviously saw hope and idealism erased live on television right before your eyes.

    Is it the sense of injustice that maintains your rage that the “guilty” were not caught or the innocence of Oswald that keeps this argument alive?

    Do you think the world would be other than it is if Kennedy had lived, I don’t mean in the sense of the details, but in general would human beings be any different? Would civilization have turned down a different road? The wars may have been different wars, but wars would have been still so pervasive? Would black America be in a better position economically, socially? Would the twin towers still have come down?

    Do you believe that politics can move the world, move the primary motivations of men and women to such a degree? Can politics make people better people?

    • Kennedy was like FDR a social democrat, and free health care, a passion of Teddy, and racial equality, a passion of Bobby, would have come to America sooner, and Reagan, Nixon and Bush never occurred.

      You must not imagine he was anything other than the man in Thirteen Days.

      That was real. And that was him.

    • What group mourned JFK’s loss the deepest? Answer: Black America. They were devastated.

  2. America? If they exhumed JFK’s body would the skull be there? Probably not.

  3. The Man in the Stream

    The Daily Mail is reliable only in the reporting of celebrity weight fluctuations.

  4. I found last night’s program plausible, but unconvincing. I think Oswald was what he claimed - a patsy - persuaded by whoever to extract retribution for the Bay of Pigs debacle, perhaps. But more likely to create a diversion. And with the sound of the first shots, while everyone was focused on the cavalcade, someone else pulled off the shot that killed him.

    LBJ? Why not? Certainly there was no love lost between the Kennedy brothers and LBJ/Hoover. The Mafia? Why not? They have long memories. Both working together? It’s possible. But not Oswald alone.

  5. I would like to read Howard Donahue and Bonar Menninger’s respective books before I make a judgement on this. However, Colin McLaren’s thesis that Agent George Hickey accidentally killed President Kennedy is plausible. The ballistics evidence (trajectory, hollow point ammunition used in the fatal head shot - as evidenced by bullet fragments in JFKs brain etc)does raise questions. Also, the alleged confiscation of autopsy evidence, like photographs, by secret service agents is interesting, as well as the secret service illegally taking JFKs body from the hospital in Dallas was revealing. Witness testimony of the smell of gunpowder at close proximity to the crime scene, as well as discarded witness testimony of a secret service agent (in all probability Hickey) holding a weapon similar to a rifle of machine gun, and so on and so forth.

    • If you look at the HD version of the Zapruder 8mm film that has been remastered right up to the sprocket holes:

      you will see Kennedy’s bead shot snapping back and recoiling as if the force came from the grassy knoll direction.

      The secret service agent who leaps on the back of the presidents car, helps Jackie to remain in the vehicle, never looks back at the other agents following behind. If a weapon was suddenly discharged from behind him, you would think it natural for him to do that. After all that’s his job to serve and protect the commander and chief.

      The remaining crowd of spectators immediately run up the grassy knoll in search of the gunmen. 80% of them said that’s where the shots came from.

      I’m inclined to believe them.

      • Hickey said the agent that did climb onto JFK’s car, did look back and shook his head twice as if to say the President was dead or wasn’t going to make it.

  6. Testimony of Hickey himself.

    It is also interesting to note that Kenny O’Donnell JFK’s assistant and if the film “Thirteen Days” is to be believed a more loyal friend and employee hard to find was in the same vehicle as Hickey. Do you think he would have remained silent on such a fuck up?

    From the Warrant Report:
    “Presidential follow-up car.-This vehicle, a 1955 Cadillac eight-passenger convertible especially outfitted for the Secret Service, followed closely behind the President’s automobile.111 It carried eight Secret Service agents-two in the front seat, two in the rear, and two on each of the right and left running boards.112 Each agent carried a .38-caliber pistol, and a shotgun and automatic rifle were also available.113 Presidential Assistants David F. Powers and Kenneth O’Donnell sat in the right and left jump seats, respectively.114”

    • allthumbs - that’s an interesting addition. Can’t imagine anyone, even in the alleged ‘buddy’ culture of the Secret Service detail, being able to keep silent on that one.

  7. The relevant part of Hickey’s evidence :

    “After the President and his party entered and were seated in IOOX I entered 679X as I had been instructed to do by Agent Lawson. I was seated in the rear left side seat. The shift leader, Emory Roberts, had instructed me to take control of the AR-I5 rifle whenever I was riding in 679X as an extra man. I did this and had the ammunition clip inserted in the rifle and placed the rifle within easy reach of me.

    The motorcade then left the airport and proceeded along the parade route. Just prior to the shooting the Presidential car turned left at the intersection and started down an incline toward an underpass followed by 679X.

    After a very short distance I heard a loud report which sounded like a firecracker. It appeared to come from the right and rear and seemed to me to be at ground level. I stood up and looked to my right and rear in an attempt to identify it. Nothing caught my attention except people shouting and cheering. A disturbance in 679X caused me to look forward toward the President’s car.

    Perhaps 2 or 3 seconds elapsed from the time I looked to the rear and then looked at the President. He was slumped forward and to his left, and was straightening up to an almost erect sitting position as I turned and looked. At the moment he was almost sitting erect I heard two reports which I thought were shots and that appeared to me completely different in sound than the first report and were in such rapid succession that there seemed to be practically no time element between them. It looked to me as if the President was struck in the right upper rear of his head. The first shot of the second two seemed as if it missed because the hair on the right side of his head flew forward and there didn’t seem to be any impact against his head. The last shot seemed to hit his head and cause a noise at the point of impact which made him fall forward and to his left again. - Possibly four or five seconds elapsed from the time of the first report and the last.

    At the end of the last report I reached to the bottom of the car and picked up the AR 15 rifle, cocked and loaded it, and turned to the rear. At this point the cars were passing under the over-pass and as a result we had left the scene of the shooting. I kept the AR 15 rifle ready as we proceeded at a high rate of speed to the hospital.”

    George Hickey’s statement 22/11/1963

  8. You both raise valid points, but I suspend judgement. The automatic weapon that Agent Hickey was photographed with and allegedly fired, if it was/is possible to be forensically tested with bullets fragments recovered from Kennedy’s brain if they still exist, could contribute or discount the Hickey angle?

    I do think McLaren put a plausible ballistics theory forward, developed over 20 years by ballistics expert, Howard Donahue. For those that watched the programme, what did you think of his analysis?

    • I thought the program presented very valid facts. It’s ironic that whilst an obvious conspiracy was underway, a terrible accident from one of Kennedy’s protectors should cause his death.

  9. What do you all make of the secret service agents assigned to protect JFK were out drinking heavily until about 5am of the morning of the 22nd (this is all documented by the way)? They had a 7am start the same day. Given this, how reliable can the statements of Hickey et al be given such an impairment?

    There were several witnesses that saw a man with a rifle (may or may not be Oswald) out the window of the Texas School Book Depository; however, according to McLaren’s doco, no secret service agents spotted any person from the book depository.

  10. How do you account for several witnesses who smelled gunpowder near the motorcade?

    There is much motivation in the secret service covering the accidental killing of the United States President up. The sheer embarrassment of accidentally killing JFK would keep those who know quiet. As I said previously, I reserve judgement until I get more information, so I’m just putting a few things out there to think about…

  11. …and whatever did happen to JFK’s brain? That has not been satisfactorily explained.

  12. Bob - well, given that fifty years has passed, it can’t be satisfactorily explained as to what happened to his brain. When was his brain reported missing and by whom, do you know? There should be a paper trail, but alas, there is not. But to state the obvious, it’s quite odd that we can’t, don’t you think? As you know there is a lot of inconsistencies surrounding the investigation, many from the secret service itself. JFKs brain, according to McLaren et al did provide crucial evidence in terms of ballistics (eg fragments from hollow point ammunition was allegedly found in the brain, as opposed to Oswald’s 6.5 mm Carcano bullets), and given the illegal removal of JFKs body from Dallas by the secret service, as well as missing autopsy photos and reports etc does get one thinking conspiracy, does it not?

    • Yes, it does.

      The problem is to unravel who was conspiring with who, who was an incompetent agent, who was covering up and why. At the end of the day, I think the mess is probably undecipherable 50 years on.

      • I think you are right, DQ. The chaos and incompetence of the immediate aftermath will keep more questions in the air than answers.

        But I have one more ummmmm about the Hickey scenario: a hungover security operative lurches to his feet in a moving car and grabs a rifle, just as the limo accelerates forward. Most people would stagger backwards, losing balance. I would have fallen on my arse, and probably shot a pigeon.

        Yet he retained his balance, and, even though the sound of rifle shots had come from behind, kept his weapon straight ahead and pulled the trigger. And killed JFK. Go figure.

        • My understanding was that Hickey was the one security operative who didn’t get on the turps the night before?

          It was Oswald’s post assassination behaviour that attracted the cops onto himself. He fled the scene on foot as he didn’t have a car, having asked for a lift to work that day carrying a brown package he stated to a workmate were curtain rods. However his workmate who gave him that lift stated that the package was not of sufficient bulk to be a rifle. Was he smuggling the weapon in bit by bit, and then reassembling it?

          Who shot officer Tippet? Hard to believe it was not Oswald, given the evidence. He was caught seeking refuge in the movie theatre without a ticket, not innocently watching a movie.

          More questions than answers. A plot that included Oswald and Ruby and probably others - more than one gunman.

          • Lots of questions. Oswald’s behaviour was most strange after the assassination. Was he a covert operative for the CIA? Did he get the wind up because he realised how it would look, after being instructed to purchase a rifle and perhaps to have it secreted in the Texas School Book Depository where he worked?

            Did the penny drop at that time, or was he still under instructions that a fake cop would try to stop him, and that he should go to a rendezvous at the Theatre?

            Later, in his interrogation, he struck his questioners as being skilled in counter-interrogation techniques.

            Was he indeed a convenient patsy, one who might blab should he ever stand trial?

            Too many questions are unanswered and now unanswerable, the truth may well be so strange that those asking these questions can easily be called “conspiracy theorists” (ie nutters) and dismissed.

            But whatever else is clear from the ballistics even the version as doctored by the quasi-autopsy show that there had to be more than one shooter.

            Some witnesses stated that the second and third shots came so close together that a bolt-action rifle could never have made the shots.

            It’s a real nightmare to try to untangle.

            • DQ,

              Yeah, that’s about where I leave off too.

              Have a great night tonight guys, look forward to your ‘reports’ tomorrow. Hope our resident bard is in fine voice.

              For what its worth I like Brown Panther in the Cup. No. 5.

              • It can be reported that the resident bard was in fine voice, however his singing suffered through the juxtaposition of Natasha Vickery and her angelic rendition of Scarborough Fair.

                Paul Bertram was outstanding, the examples of words before Shakespeare profound at times, and the company refined. 9.5 out of 10.

                • Indeed Canguro. Everyone seems to be sleeping off their Melbourne Cup hangovers. Natasha was truly delightful, and the rest of the cast were also in fine fettle.

                  As for the rest of you reading, get yourselves along to Parramatta next Tuesday for the encore performance.

            • When you have a moment Doug, check out this link:


              I thought this video was excellent in explaining what really happened.

              • Thank you Frank. I think Bob would find much to agree with here.

                Kroth ties it all together quite well.

                I still remain to be convinced that LBJ was the instigator.

                He would have had to be a truly great actor to simulate his distress over the events of 22 November 1963.

                The other factors in the plot as set out seem likely enough.

                Recommended viewing.

  13. Interesting video, Frank. Thanks.

    Fiorente in the Cup, and I’ve also got a fiver on Seville for a place.

  14. There is an excellent 9 part series called “The Men Who Killed Kennedy” that was made in the late 1980s. It has a lot of information about the cover-up. We found it to be an eye-opener.

    All the episodes are on youtube at

  15. A few years ago (I got 10 November) a grainy video was circulated whicc purported to show the “real” death of JFK, basically it shows the chauffer shooting him at close range with a pistol while shots from elsewhere provided cover. I don’t know how to upload it here, but I’m happy to send it to anyone interested; the real and no doubt innocent chauffer is not I suppose likely to suffer at this stage.

    Presumably a fake, but a fake very well done. Why would anyone go to the trouble of organising such a fake?

    The comments that came with the video were:

    “This is hard to fake and is very chilling……. who was driving?
    This video shows the limousine chauffeur that takes President
    J.F.K. and his wife, November 22nd 1963 in Dallas, Texas, shooting the gun with his left hand.
    This was the video that the CIA did not show to the public view. And did you ask yourself why was Jackie trying to run away towards the
    trunk, away from the front of the car? And why did JFKs skull wound was in the front, when supposedly Oswald shot him from the back??”

    About the brain thing btw, does anyone remember that mock trial of Oswald that was shown on TV years ago? Testimony there was that there was no brain left, it was all spalttered/vapourised by the bullets.

    • Nah - don’t buy it JD. Jackie lived for another thirty years and never said a word about the chauffer turning around and shooting JFK? Got to be one of the wildest theories.

      • Very well done video. If there was video of the actual event this is what I suppose it would look like. Someone went to a lot of trouble.

      • Worth looking at it in light of the Hicks testimony above. Would explain reported smell of gunpowder. I can think of several obvious reasons why Jackie might keep mum such as not wanting a pre-frontal lobotomy. I bring up this film now partly because the latest theory, accidental death by Secret Service, seems to be converging on it.

        Having said that the real problem is again one of motive. If the Secret Service was complicit I would think they could have found easier and less chancy methods, such as spiking his medication and hello Marilyn.

        One way of hiding the truth about the killing would be creating a lot of noise, false leads, and maybe this has been done deliberately, and maybe this video is part of that. Don’t know. It seems remarkably well done for a prankster’s effort.

        Another possibility is that Plan A was that JFK was to be shot from afar, whether warehouse or knoll, but they missed. Hence Plan B.

        No-one seems to want to engage with the Lincoln parallels, do they? They are substantial but can hardly be the result of a deliberate conspiracy, surely. They are more like the meaningful co-incidences that most of us encounter from time to time; but ignore or explain away. And shut up about. I’m not peddling any theory here, just remarking that the world is a strange place and there is stuff about causation we don’t know.

    • I’ve just uploaded it to facebook, my home is

      • That was hysterical! The driver turns around and pops the president. I haven’t seen that version before…

      • As usual when I thank I have news it turns out to be old hat. The driver theory is well known, at least one book has been written about it and so on. Here is a You Tube link to the effect that what looks like a gun is just an optical illusion.

  16. Watched it several times - but found it sort of, not convincing enough.

    Disses Franks video which offers the full confession of a Mafia hit man …

    Someone wasn’t leaving anything to chance: Oswald first go, followed by the grassy knoll assassins, followed by Hickey, and if he missed, the guy driving. One of them might be close to true, but not all.

    • And at the end of the day Jackie pulls a truncheon out from under her skirt and beats his brains out and if that’s not enough the chauffeur presses the secret button that ejects JFK eighty feet into the air without a parachute. It’s getting crazier by the minute.

  17. Before everyone tires completely of the subject, dig back into the mental archive: did anyone see a play called “McBird” back in the sixties? Seem to remember it puts LBJ right at the heart of the matter.

    • It has got a long way to go yet, Glow Worm. The 50th anniversary is not until 22 November!

      If you fancy LBJ was behind it, have a look at the series :“

      (thanks to Charmy, above)

      the 9th part features LBJ as the chief villain.

      I still find it hard to reconcile that view with the man who did so much to establish the just society in the USA, with the legislation and enforcement of desegregation and a sustained attack on racism.

      If Vietnam had not weighed him down he would be regarded as one of their best presidents.

      • LBJ was a bit of a rare animal. I was one of the 200,000 who witnessed him (and Lady Bird) being driven through the streets of Wellington in 1966. My view was from the third floor of the Government Tourist and Publicity Dept Head Office, cnr Lambton Quay, Customhouse Quay, and Willis St, so my view was a good one. He was in NZ to bolster support for the war, little did I realise at the time that I would soon be an active participant.

        He struck a small degree of protest outside Parliament and mentioned this in his speech, he was somewhat indignant, reminding New Zealanders that he was, after all, “The President of the United States.”

        His vist was brief, twenty-four hours in total, then on to Australia?

        One other fact - he served in the US forces - based in New Zealand during WW2.

        Despite the obvious motive factor, I would be surprised if he was behind the assassination. Just a gut feeling.

        In retirement he raised chickens, each one had a name, he was by all accounts, meticulous in this hobby.

        • And another thing, he totally breached his security during his drive through the streets, an easy target for sure. Certainly no post assassination paranoia that one might expect from an alleged ‘hitman’.

          Maybe circumstantial, but something to keep in mind when assembling the profile of a suspected killer.

      • Your link Doug, doesn’t work but I did watch Charmy’s series on the men who killed Kennedy and the final episode on LBJ and his dark past certainly revealed another side to him.

  18. We’ve lived parallel lives, perhaps, CH … shortly after the disgraceful speech by Harold Holt (“…all the way with LBJ…”) I joined a protest near Melbourne University. If you squint at one of the newsreels, you can catch a tiny glimpse of the back of my head. Such is fame.

    The longer films recommended by charmy are earmarked for the weekend.

  19. Interesting Bob, but you have omitted the fact that Oswald shot and killed a pursuing police officer just hours later. Interesting response for an innocent with no motive(or was that Lyndon Johnston’s work as well?)

  20. The rot sets in families and nations when they attempt to shield people from the truth.

    If Kennedy was killed by friendly fire, better it had been dealt with honestly then, rather than leaving this unwashed stain. It only serves as a distraction now.

    Similarly, the trauma of 9/11. I was on nightshift when the towers came down. Saw it in real time from a patient’s t.v.
    Bet the American airforce noticed too. Bet that in the hour or so that they had, they realised two planes were headed for the capital- heading to cause as much trauma as possible- bet it occurred to them that it was their duty to protect Washington at all costs.

    Not one amateur or media shot of a Boeing in D.C. A tourist town. No one wants to admit they shot down their own planes to protect a bunch of pollies or the military establishment. Kill your own so as not to suffer the humiation of damage to the Whitehouse. But it would have been dereliction of duty not to do so.
    And we fret over De Vere and Kennedy’s brain.
    Every generation sleep walks when it suits.

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