Tag Archives: Lee Harvey Oswald

THE JFK ASSASSINATION FOR DUMMIES

Here’s the Foreword for my upcoming book, The JFK Assassination For Dummies.

JFKAt 12:30 pm on Friday, November 22, 1963, United States President John F. Kennedy was cold-bloodedly shot in the back by a lone nut with a cheap rifle from a tall building.

This straight-forward crime was solved in a few hours. Yet, five decades later, the facts of JFK’s homicide are doubted by over sixty percent of the American public. There’s no doubt that strands of fate caused Lee Harvey Oswald to squeeze the trigger, however misinformation about what really went down in Dealey Plaza still darkens President Kennedy’s legacy.

JFK Limo 2I was seven when JFK was shot. I was in a one-room school in Manitoba, Canada, and ‘Teacher’ was late returning from lunch. I remember how upset ‘Teacher’ was, telling us that President Kennedy had been assassinated. I didn’t know who JFK was, but figured he must be important as ‘Teacher’ was crying and dismissed us early. When I got home, people were gathering as we were one of few families with a television set. I’ll never forget how distraught the adults were.

Conspiracy Theories were starting by 2 pm. Who was behind it? The Russians? Castro? The CIA? Mafia? A military coup? Maybe even Johnson. Someone said that a Communist had been caught and I was terrified. I was sure the bomb would drop – after all, I’d practised Communist bomb drills under my elementary school desk. Then, on Sunday, I watched Ruby shoot Oswald – live on TV.

JFK WCIn 1973, I did a report on a conspiracy theory book called Rush To Judgement which was a harsh critique of the Warren Report. This ‘Teacher’ challenged me to look deeper as apparently the Warren Report came to a different conclusion. From then, I read everything I could on the JFK case and was fascinated by it. Problem was – all that was available was CT (Conspiracy Theorist), not LN (Lone Nut) stuff. Nowhere could you get this Warren Report, so I jumped on the CT wagon and became a life-long student of the assassination.

In 1978, I joined the Royal Canadian Mounted Police – the RCMP or Mounties. Because I was a curious risk-taker, I worked my way into Emergency Response or SWAT operations and the homicide squad. Also in 1978, the US House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) re-investigated the JFK case and officially concluded that there was a high probability of conspiracy. That re-enforced my CT suspicions, but I was way too busy solving current murders and shooting guns to follow up on JFK. In the back of my mind, though, I kept wondering how such an important investigation like JFK could be so screwed-up and whether the LN finding just might be true.

CE399By 1991, I’d become a recognized firearms expert and had the good fortune to work with an American colleague who’d personally handled JFK exhibits during the HSCA investigation. He gave me a ‘JFK Ballistics 101’ which opened my eyes on the science of the Single Bullet Theory. My CT suspicions changed.

In 2000, I got the Internet and downloaded the Warren Report. After reading the narrative and a good chunk of the Appendices, including witness testimonies, my response was Holy Fuck! They investigated the shit out of this thing! Okay. There’s way more to this than CT bullshit.

About the same time I left the police murder & gun business to become an investigative coroner. That’s an entirely different realm of science and the combination of disciplines solidified my ability to understand and impartially interpret evidence. In other words… cut through bullshit and determine what’s fact and what’s not.

JFK Dealey4So… aside from building my accreditations in firearms, homicides, forensics, and autopsies… I devoted the next decade and a half of free time to understanding the truth about what went down in Dealey. What I’ve found is that the facts are simple, but the root cause and scientific evidence is complex.

And fascinating!

I’ve come full circle in JFK culture – from LN to CT to LN. I’ve now evolved into ‘Teacher’ as I’ve the ability to instruct other students of the JFK Assassination on what truly happened and where to find credible information to understand the facts. Somehow I don’t think the JFK case is ever going to be closed and I don’t want future students to put in the time, and get sucked-in,  like I have.

JFK Snipers nest 5I believe that the JFK Assassination was one of history’s great moments and the facts are what JFK students must seek. Once facts are established, then truth can be known. This book cuts through bullshit and helps you understand what really went down in Dealey Plaza.

I hope you enjoy The JFK Assassination For Dummies.

Garry Rodgers, Vancouver, Canada, March 2015

JFK CONSPIRACY THEORISTS

Why do so many people buy into JFK conspiracy theories?

I have some theories about that.

JFK Ass CartoonRegular 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.

LHOI 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?

Ruby OswaldThis 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.

JFK-Assassination-Jake-GyllenhaalBut 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.

None.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Many who look into the case don’t understand the supporting science and haven’t had it clearly explained.
  3. Some simply want to believe in a conspiracy and no amount of reasoning can change that.

Oswald RifleI 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.

twjfk_11_5What 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.