Expert: Oswald Lone Gunman, Despite Conspiracy Theorists
November 18, 2011
Kennedy assassination shouldn’t shoulder entire responsibility as America’s turning
The whodunit lists read like alphabet soup: The CIA, the KGB, the FBI and LBJ. Don’t
forget Fidel Castro and the Mafia. After 48 years, conspiracy theorists haven’t changed
their most wanted lists. However, investigations in the past 10 years point squarely
to Lee Harvey Oswald as the lone gunman, says one Texas Tech expert. And though the
Kennedy assassination does play a part in the changing of America’s trust and belief
in itself, more complex issues bubbled under the surface long before.
Sean Cunningham, assistant professor, Department of History, Texas Tech University
(806) 786-0913, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- More people have shed the conspiracy theories and embraced the lone gunman theory.
- The Lincoln and Kennedy assassinations receive the greatest amount of attention because
of the “drama” factors. Lincoln’s came on the heels of General Lee’s surrender. Kennedy’s
became a public spectacle through the advent of television. The role of the president
was different in the days of Garfield and McKinley.
- Though some claim this event marks the end of American innocence, Vietnam had been
bubbling since the Truman years, and the Civil Rights Movement had begun in the ’50s.
- “Conspiracy theorists have at least seven favorite suspects, some working together,
and countless theories on how the assassination was carried out. If you visit Dealey
Plaza in Dallas, you’ll likely find dozens of self-employed conspiracy ‘tour guides’
who claim to know the ‘real truth’ of what happened. They may try to convince you
that a gunman fired from the gutters or that the limo driver did it. The fact is that
the JFK assassination continues to captivate the imagination and has become a multi-million-dollar-a-year
industry. There’s a great amount of investment in keeping conspiracies alive.”
- “Abraham Lincoln was the first U.S. president to be assassinated, and that happened
days after General Lee’s surrender at Appomatox. The nation hadn’t begun to recover
from the Civil War, and the assassination was a horrifying end to a horrifying struggle.
With Kennedy, the difference is television. The event is television’s first opportunity
to cover an event of this magnitude. The JFK assassination was, therefore, one of
the nation’s first collective experiences.”
- “Following the assassination, Mrs. Kennedy spent a significant amount of energy to
construct a legacy for her husband that mirrored Abraham Lincoln’s. She even used
Lincoln’s funeral as a model. As Lincoln was described as The Great Emancipator, she
worked to portray her husband as a supporter and champion of the less fortunate and
of the early Civil Rights Movement.
- “This event is the baby-boom generation’s 9/11. People point to Nov. 22, 1963, as
a turning point – as the end of American innocence. But so many other things contributed
to the unraveling of American confidence during the ’60s, including Vietnam and civil
rights. It’s a much longer, more complicated story than people realize.”
- “One thing people don’t typically realize is that JFK struggled with a number of physical
ailments. He was often sick, and much of that was related to Addison’s disease. He
was constantly receiving injections of cortisone and other steroid injections, along
with other medications, and he wore a back brace. You can’t understand the bullet
wounds he suffered without understanding that he was wearing a back brace, which propped
him up and made him an easier target.”