Why do so many people buy into JFK conspiracy theories?
I have some theories about that.
Regular blog followers know that I’ve been a student of the JFK Assassination for years and that I’ve written a book about it.
It was going to be called Lone Nuts – A No BS Guide to the JFK Assassination and was going to be released in November, 2013, in time for the 50th anniversary of the highest profile, most thoroughly investigated homicide case in history. It’s now before Wiley Publishing to be released as The JFK Assassination For Dummies.
And I’m not afraid to admit it.
I once believed there was a conspiracy to murder President John F. Kennedy.
I mean, virtually all the books said so, right? Didn’t matter that they never said who did it or why, let alone establish one single piece of irrefutable evidence that anyone other than Lee Harvey Oswald was involved.
Like, how could a lone nut with a cheap rifle from a tall building take out the most powerful man on earth? It just didn’t make sense. And the grassy knoll… people heard shots from there. The magic bullet… that had to be planted. The autopsy… what a hack job! The pictures… they had to be altered. And all those witnesses that mysteriously died… no way that was coincidental… I watched Oliver Stone’s JFK movie, too.
Nope, there had to be more to it. Not just a conspiracy to kill him. There had to be a cover-up which meant that the FBI, the Secret Service, and the CIA knew about it. Who were they afraid of? Or worse, in bed with? The Russians? Cubans? The Mafia? Big Oil? The Military-Industrial Alliance? Then there’s Jack Ruby who silenced Oswald in front of millions on live TV?
This thing just seemed to get dirtier the more I read about it. Didn’t matter that the official 26 volume Warren Report concluded that Oswald, a nut acting alone, murdered Kennedy and then was shot dead by Ruby, another nut also acting alone. Case closed. Nothing more to see here folks, they said. Put it to rest.
Well, I formed my opinion by reading one side of the story – that of the conspiracy theorists. It wasn’t convenient to read the other side. It wasn’t until the internet came about, thirty-five years after the fact, that I was able to get my hands on the Warren Report. It’s lengthy – never mind the slog through appendices of witness statements and forensic reports.
But when I finished it, I said “Holy Fuck! They investigated the shit out of this thing!!” I was blown away by the scope of the investigation. It was unbelievably thorough… and that’s coming from someone who was doing homicide investigations for a living at the time.
The thoroughness didn’t stop at the Warren investigation. There’ve been five other US government probes into the JFK case and none have uncovered evidence to credibly contradict the original conclusion of no conspiracy.
Why is there no evidence of a conspiracy? Because non-events leave no evidence. It never happened any other way than two nuts, Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby, acting alone.
So why do 80+ % of people believe in a conspiracy behind the JFK murder? I think there are three distinct reasons.
- The vast majority have never been informed of the facts. I don’t mean they’re ignoramuses. They just have a superficial interest in the case and follow the herd.
- Many who look into the case don’t understand the supporting science and haven’t had it clearly explained.
- Some simply want to believe in a conspiracy and no amount of reasoning can change that.
I don’t blame most people for believing that there was a conspiracy in the JFK case. On one hand, the physical evidence is so straightforward that it’s almost unbelievable. On the other hand, the circumstantial evidence is so complex that it’s almost unbelievable.
So much BS has been written on the JFK case by so many; many whom I suspect don’t believe their own BS.
What I’ve done in The JFK Assassination For Dummies is cut through the BS. I think that over 50 years of bullshit is enough and the record needs to be set straight.
It’s now in the standard Dummies format and written in a simple, easy to follow style that deals with the facts. It looks at the overall circumstances, the scientific evidence, and – most importantly in understanding the president’s murder – what a twisted character Lee Harvey Oswald was.
The real story is not about a conspiracy.
It’s about the strands of fate that brought these men together. Remove any one of over a dozen contributing factors and the JFK Assassination in Dallas would not have occurred.