JFK Assassination: Was Lee Harvey Oswald The Sole Shooter?

Image source: Pixabay

The assassination of President John F. Kennedy has had countless conspiracy theories swirling around it, but now one of those have been debunked; there was only one shooter, not multiple shooters like some believed. This event was (and is) a massive fixture in American history and is still talked about and remembered to this day, almost 55 years after it happened.

My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. – John F. Kennedy

On November 22, 1963, President John F Kennedy and his wife Jackie Kennedy were in Dallas, Texas on a mission to try to unite conservatives and liberals in the state (times sure haven’t changed). Trying to unite the parties in Texas was not the only goal he had in mind; he was also starting to campaign for his second presidential term.

He was traveling down the streets of Dallas with his wife, Jackie Kennedy, in his presidential motorcade. He was sitting in the backseat of his presidential convertible as they drove through the streets of downtown Dallas. At 12:30 his motorcade drove in front of the Texas School Book Depository. Suddenly, shots rang out as President Kennedy was struck once in the neck, and then once in the head. We have included a short documentary about his assassination, but there may be some graphic images, so viewer discretion is advised.

At 1:00 P.M. President Kennedy was announced dead at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Texas. The shooter was a man named Lee Harvey Oswald who had just started working at the Texas School Book Depository. It is believed that he fired from the 6th floor of the Depository, but was later found and apprehended after a massive manhunt began. Days after the assassination of President Kennedy, Oswald was being transferred to jail where he was murdered by a local business owner.

List of Assassinations and Attempts

Mount Rushmore. Image source: Pixabay

Here is a list of the attempts to assassinate, as well as the “successful”, assassinations. You will notice some have an (x2) or (x3). Those signify how many attempts were made to assassinate a president. We also italicized the president who had attempts made on them before they were ultimately assassinated.

Presidential Assassinations and Attempts
AssassinatedAbraham Lincoln
AssassinatedJames Garfield
AssassinatedWilliam McKinley
AssassinatedJohn F Kennedy
AttemptAndrew Jackson
Attempt (x2)Abraham Lincoln
AttemptWilliam Howard Taft
AttemptTheodore Roosevelt
AttemptHerbert Hoover
Attempt (x2)Franklin Roosevelt
Attempt (x2)Harry Truman
AttemptJohn F Kennedy
Attempt (x2)Richard Nixon
Attempt (x2)Gerald Ford
Attempt (x2)Jimmy Carter
AttemptRonald Reagan
AttemptGeorge H. W. Bush
Attempt (x4)Bill Clinton
Attempt (x2)George W. Bush
Attempt (x3)Barack Obama

1 or 2 Shooters?

A layout of where JFK was killed. You can see the location of the grassy knoll, where Oswald shot from, and where the motorcade was. Also labeled is where the Zapruder film was shot. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

The assassination of JFK was a national tragedy that affected millions of Americans. To this very day, we still discuss it and can feel the impacts of it. Now, the president is not allowed to ride in a convertible vehicle, and secret service has really buckled down on protecting the president and their family. Since President Kennedy’s assassination, the United States has not had another presidential assassination.

This event is also well-known because of all the conspiracy theories that surround his assassination. There are so many theories, from it being an inside job so Lyndon Johnson could become the president, all the way to an idea that there were 2 shooters. We know that Lee Harvey Oswald shot President Kennedy, but conspiracy theorists believe there were two shooters; Oswald and then someone on a “grassy knoll”. This was due to the Warren Commission (whose sole mission was to determine if there was a bigger plot or not) and the U.S. House of Representatives own investigation that said there was a second shooter. Researchers, however, have said that there was only one shooter. So what is the real story?

The answer to that question has been found through a new study. There was only one shooter, Lee Harvey Oswald. This new study traced the bullets and the bullet trajectory to the Depository fired from Oswald’s rifle. This was determined through video recordings of the assassination, as well as the president’s wounds. When the President was shot, his head flew forward, giving investigators the clue that he was shot from behind. This “grassy knoll” area was not behind the motorcade, it was off to the side of it.

Researchers were able to determine trajectories thanks to Abraham Zapruder, a civilian who happened to film the assassination. We have included this video, but viewer discretion is advised since this is very graphic. In the video, you can see the movement of President Kennedy’s head when the bullet struck him. Since his head moves forward it indicates that he was shot from behind, whereas if the second shooter were on the grassy knoll his head would have had sideways movement, based on where that is located.

Other Conspiracy Theories

One of the biggest, and maybe even most important, questions is this; was there a bigger plot or conspiracy surrounding the death of President Kennedy?

There was a study done by FiveThirtyEight that found that a whopping 61% of Americans that believe there was a bigger conspiracy surrounding the assassination. Along with the second shooter on the grassy knoll, the other theories range from a mob hit to LBJ plotting the conspiracy to become president.

Is it possible the vice-president was behind the murder of the president? After 55 years it is very hard to say, especially since Lyndon Johnson has been dead for 45 years. The government’s investigation also cannot be fully read through and investigated since President Trump refuses to release all the information found in the investigation. Could that be the smoking gun for conspiracy theorists? Maybe, maybe not. A lot of information was recently released (information about both JFK and Martin Luther King Jr.), which you can check out and read here.

Regardless of whether or not you believe the conspiracy theories, this presidential death shook the nation, but lessons were learned from it and new steps have been taken to be safer. Since this happened, there have been attempts on different presidents, but none have been successful. Our methods of investigating deaths have also progressed in the past 50 years, so now investigators can get considerably more information about attempts and deaths.

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8 Comments

  • Dr. Cyril Wecht, of the the Cyril H. Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law at Duquesne University would beg to differ, all state sponsored propagandistic efforts to “debunk” the obvious not withstanding…

  • I don’t know why this article characterizes this as “new evidence”. This has long been known. We have the medical evidence dating back to the autopsy conducted at Bethesda Naval Hospital on the night of the assassination where the three pathologists concluded that the president was hit from “behind and above”. We also have digitally enhanced and stabilized versions of the famous Zapruder film where this forward motion of President Kennedy, at the precise moment of impact, has long been known. So, I see nothing new here. All one has to do is toggle back-and-forth between Z-312 (just prior to impact) and Z-313 (just after impact) and this forward motion is readily seen. It doesn’t take any kind of “scientific study” to see this. Watch for yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0d6LG27hQM

    • In response to David Emerling’s comment on whether this is “new evidence,” I would like to point out that neither the peer-reviewed Heliyon journal paper, nor this Science Trends report by Kate Broome, makes any claim about “new evidence.” What makes the published study “new” is that it provides a systematic quantitative treatment of the relevant dynamics (dynamics being the branch of classical physics that deals with forces and motion) surrounding the fatal shot to President Kennedy’s head as observed in the photographic evidence (i.e., the Zapruder Film). The model calculations show quantitatively that the observed reactions of President Kennedy are the result of a high-speed projectile (with the mass and speed of a Carcano bullet) fired from behind the motorcade (specifically, from the vicinity of the Texas School Book Depository) in *corroboration* of the autopsy and other independent evidence. I firmly believe it was a sorely needed scientific addition to the literature as the *implications* of what is observed in the Zapruder Film has not been fully realized and continues to be in dispute (as evidenced by the first comment above). All of this is carefully explained in the peer-reviewed published paper, which is freely accessible here:
      https://www.heliyon.com/article/e00603/

      As a parting note, I would like to quote Lord Kelvin, the famous physicist and mathematician, who sums up the endeavor of a scientist much better than I can:

      “I can never satisfy myself until I can make a mechanical model of a thing. If I can make a mechanical model, I can understand it. As long as I cannot make a mechanical model all the way through, I cannot understand.”
      — Baron William Thomson Kelvin

  • Of course he was. There isn’t one credible piece of evidence pointing anywhere else but Oswald.

    Conspiracy theories are all based on conjecture and assumptions. No facts.

    • No credible evidence? How about the evidence of Clint Hill who heard “2 shots one on top of the other”. Or that of secret service Kellerman who heard “a flurry of shots enter the vehicle”. You can read their evidence in the Warren Report. No one could have done that with the alleged weapon.

      How about the dictabelt recording that corroborates the above witnesses testimony?

      How about the evidence of the Doctors at Parkland Hospital, all of whom identified exit wounds in the back of JFK’s skull?

    • Oswald would never have been convicted given just the evidence I point out above. And there is much more …

  • Search “Rush to Judgment by Mark Lane” Buy it, it’s cheap used. Read it. While you are waiting for it to arrive watch Mark Lane interview the witnesses who were ignored by the Warren White wash. They are on YouTube.

  • There were actually two attempts on JFK’s life before he died: Nov. 2, 1963 in Chicago and Nov. 18, 1963 in Tampa. There were arrests in both cases including Chicago where a disgruntled marine was set up to be a patsy.

    In Tampa, JFK was going to be shot in a presidential motorcade when his vehicle turned at the Floridian Hotel.

    I don’t think this just happened to be a coincidence

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