So You Think You Know How JFK Was Assassinated?
I will be the first to tell you, the JFK Assassination has fascinated me for decades. My parent's are of the generation that "remember where they were" on November 22, 1963. My father was aboard the U.S.S. Springfield when they were ordered to take position between Florida and the Coast of Cuba after the assassination just in case there was a link to Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and the death of the President.
There are plenty of theories around the death of our 35th President. Oliver Stone made a movie about what led up to the assassination and the trial that occurred in the aftermath. It was based partially on a book written by the prosecutor who brought the trial forward, Jim Garrison.
The Kennedy Assassination may have more conspiracy theories surrounding it than any other. Some put forth the involvement of Government agencies, others even claim the Vice President himself, Lyndon Johnson, was a silent participant. Soviet Leader Nikita Khrushchev as well as Cuban Dictator Fidel Castro were theorized to have some level of involvement. The Zapruder film, the Grassy Knoll, and the Single Bullet Theory would become hallmarks in all conspiracy discussions.
Another theory about the assassination that has nothing to do with any of those, but one that has been linked with the Kennedy Family: the Mafia.
Joe Kennedy and the Mob
Much has been made in a number of circles regarding the amassing of the Kennedy fortune and Joe's possible ties to organized crime during prohibition. Many of the big mafia brass in New York mentioned connections with the patriarch of the Kennedy Clan but no definitive ties have ever been discovered between Joe Kennedy and the mafia. Kennedy did make money in alcohol as a result of his father's whiskey import business. Kennedy would be named the first Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission and and Ambassador to the UK, not exactly positions that would be attained by a former bootlegger.
Chicago gave Illinois, and in turn the election, to John F Kennedy. Theory holds that Joe Kennedy called in some favors to his "friends" to help his son in Chicago. Mob boss Sam Giancana was rumored to have carried out the deed to stuff ballot boxes in return for JFK leaving the mob alone once elected. Illinois came under the microscope after Nixon lost by just 9,000 votes, leading to speculation that voter fraud had occurred in Chicago.
The Attorney General
Robert F Kennedy was named US Attorney General upon JFK taking the oath of office. RFK was famous for his anti-corruption stance, once going after then teamsters head Jimmy Hoffa during a Senate hearing. Organized Crime was in the sights of the new attorney general. Convictions of those associated with organized crime increased by an estimated 800 percent during his time in the office. RFK's war on the mob and "associates", according to the theory, was the breaking of the supposed promise given to the mob in exchange for the White House.
The Assassination of JFK itself is pretty straightforward, its the before and after that are loaded with conspiracy theories. Lee Harvey Oswald fired three shots from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository Building on November 22nd, 1963. Bullets struck Texas Governor John Connally and President John F Kennedy. Connally survived while the President was pronounced dead 30 minutes after the shooting. Oswald was arrested and detained in Dallas roughly 70 minutes after the shooting.
Oswald would be killed in turn by Dallas area nightclub owner Jack Ruby two days later on November 24th. This is where the mob theory again works its way into the narrative.
Who was Jack Ruby?
Ruby claimed he was distraught over the death of Kennedy and shot Oswald as a result. Ruby had known ties to the underworld and was believed to be involved in drugs, gambling, and prostitution. The theory is that Ruby, originally from Chicago, "shut Oswald up" to prevent him from potentially talking. Oswald famously said " I'm just a patsy", which has helped fuel most all of the conspiracy theories around the assassination. Ruby's "job" was to make sure the truth remained unknown, even if it meant going to prison to preserve it. Ruby dies of cancer in prison in January of 1967.
The Santo Trafficante theory.
Santo Trafficante Jr. was one of the most powerful organized crime figures in America, overseeing enterprises in Tampa, Florida. Trafficante was supposed to have said in 1962, regarding the re-election of JFK, that "he is going to be hit". The mob boss was also supposedly overhead complaining about the Kennedy's going after the mob and their associates. Trafficante's former attorney claimed that, on his deathbed in 1986, Trafficante said RFK was the target in 1963, not JFK.
Not a shred of evidence had been presented to back up any of the conspiracy theories surrounding the Kennedy Assassination. Maybe the theories were created to help a Nation try to explain the death of a president that captured them so...a Nation that wanted to hang on to "Camelot" as long as it could.