The assassination of John F. Kennedy, the thirty-fifth President of the United States, took place on Friday, November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas, USA at 12:30 PM Central Standard Time (18:30 UTC). Kennedy was fatally wounded by gunshots while riding in a presidential motorcade within Dealey Plaza. He was the fourth U.S. President to be assassinated, and the eighth to die while in office.
Two official investigations have concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald, an employee of the Texas School Book
Depository in Dealey Plaza, was the assassin, with one government investigation concluding that Oswald acted alone and another suggesting that he acted with at least one other person. The assassination is still the subject of widespread speculation, and has spawned a number of conspiracy theories.
Background to the Texas trip
Kennedy had chosen to visit Dallas on 22 November for three main reasons: to help raise more Democratic Party presidential campaign fund contributions in advance of the November 1964 presidential election; to begin his quest for re-election; and as the Kennedy-Johnson ticket had barely won Texas (and had lost Dallas) in 1960, he sought to mend political fences among several leading Texas Democratic Party members
who appeared to be fighting politically amongst themselves.There were concerns about security because U.N. Ambassador Adlai Stevenson had been jeered, jostled, struck by a protest sign, and spat upon in a visit to Dallas on October 24. To prevent a recurrence, Dallas police had prepared the most stringent security precautions in the city's history.
It was planned that Kennedy would travel from the Love Field airport in a motorcade through downtown Dallas (including Dealey Plaza) to give a speech at the Dallas Trade Mart in suburban Dallas. The car in which he was traveling was a 1961 Lincoln Continental, open-top, modified limousine. Riding with Kennedy in the limousine were: his wife, Jacqueline Kennedy; Texas Governor John B. Connally, Sr, and his wife, Nellie; Secret Service agent and White House Detail Team #3 Assistant in Charge, Roy Kellerman; and Secret Service agent and limousine driver Bill Greer. No presidential car with a bulletproof top was yet in service in 1963 (plans for such a top were presented in October 1963; FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover already had three bulletproofed cars.)
In a November 22 Dallas newspaper there appeared a black-bordered, full-page advertisement paid for by Kennedy critics who were associated with the ultraconservative John Birch Society. Throughout Dallas, and especially along the motorcade route, several groups critical of Kennedy expressed their views and handed out flyers. A smattering of handmade protest signs were held aloft by motorcade viewers, but there were no major disturbances.
The assassination itself
The presidential motorcade traveled nearly its entire route without incident, stopping twice so Kennedy could shake hands with some Catholic nuns, then some school children. Shortly before the limousine turned onto Main Street a male ran towards the limousine, but was thrust to the ground by a Secret Service agent and hustled away. Just before 12:30 PM CST (18:30 UTC), Kennedy slowly approached the Texas School Book Depository head-on, then the limousine slowly turned the 120-degrees directly in front of the depository, now only 65 feet (20 meters) away.
When the limousine had passed the depository Kennedy was shot at for an estimated 6 to 9 seconds. During the shooting the limousine is calculated to have slowed from over 13 mph to only 9 mph. The Warren Commission later concluded that one of the three shots likely missed the motorcade, that the first to hit anyone went through Kennedy and likely also caused all of Connally's injuries, and the last to hit anyone opened a fatal wound in Kennedy's head. Nearly all agree that Kennedy was hit with at least two bullets, and was killed when shot in the head.
There was hardly any reaction in the crowd to the supposed first shot, many later saying they thought they had heard a firecracker or backfire. Only after Governor Connally was injured and had screamed, "No, no, no. They are going to kill us all!" did the gravity of the situation become clear to the Secret Service limousine driver, Bill Greer. During the attack Greer had turned very quickly to look behind him and towards the screaming governor and/or President, then turned forward again. He then turned very quickly again rearward (the limousine brake-lights were filmed illuminating at this point), and, besides Jacqueline Kennedy, driver Greer was the only occupant of the limousine actually facing Kennedy when he suffered the fatal head shot.
When Kennedy's head was struck, it moved slightly forward and down 1 to 2 inches (25 to 50 mm). The cause of what happened next is an issue that has kept people investigating the assassination. As the wound to the right side of his skull opened up, his right shoulder twisted forward and slightly upward, then his torso moved quickly backwards and to his left side, until he bounced off the rear seat vertical cushion and slumped lifelessly leftward towards his wife. Only after Kennedy was mortally wounded did the limousine then speed up to exit Dealey Plaza to proceed to Parkland Memorial Hospital.
Texas Governor John Bowden Connally, Sr., riding in the same limousine in front of the president, was also critically injured but survived. His injuries occurred a split second after Kennedy's first injury (probably as a result of the same bullet, although this is still disputed by some). Doctors later stated that when Mrs. Connally pulled the governor onto her lap, the resulting posture helped close his front chest wound (which was causing air to be sucked directly into a collapsed lung). The action helped save his life.
James Tague, a spectator and witness to the assassination, also received a minor gunshot wound to his right facial cheek while standing 270 feet (82 meters) in front of where Kennedy was hit..
Recordings of the assassination
No radio or television stations broadcast the assassination live, as the area through which the motorcade was traveling was not considered important enough to broadcast. KBOX-AM did recreate the sounds of the shooting for an LP record it released with excerpts of news coverage of that day, but it was not an original recording. Except for the media positioned at the rear of the motorcade, most media crews were waiting, in anticipation for Kennedy's arrival, at the Trade Mart.
However, Kennedy's last seconds of life through Dealey Plaza were recorded on silent 8mm film in the 26.6 seconds before, during, and immediately following the assassination by amateur cameraman Abraham Zapruder, in what became known as the Zapruder Film. The 486 frames of this film have been used in many studies, but the film has not been able to settle disputes concerning whether or not Oswald was the sole assassin.
For several minutes before, during, and after the assassination a Dallas police motorcycleman's radio microphone was stuck in the 'transmit' position and was recorded back at the police radio dispatcher's room on a Dictabelt.
Kennedy declared dead
Staff at Parkland Hospital's Trauma Room 1 who treated Kennedy observed that his condition was "moribund", meaning that he had no chance of survival upon arrival at the hospital. At 1:00 p.m., CST (19:00 UTC), after all heart activity had ceased and after a priest administered the last rites, the president was pronounced dead. "We never had any hope of saving his life", one doctor said. The priest who administered the last rites to Kennedy told The New York Times that the President was already dead by the time the priest arrived at the hospital, and he had to draw back a sheet covering the President's face to administer the sacrament of Extreme Unction. Kennedy's death was officially announced some time later, at 1:38 PM CST (19:38 UTC). Governor Connally, meanwhile, was soon taken to emergency surgery where he underwent two operations that day.
A few minutes after 2:00 PM CST (20:00 UTC), and after a ten to fifteen minute confrontation with cursing and weapons-brandishing Secret Service agents, Kennedy's body was taken from Parkland Hospital and driven to Air Force One. The body was removed before undergoing a forensic examination by the Dallas coroner, which was against Texas state law (the murder was a state crime, and occurred under Texas legal jurisdiction).
Lyndon B. Johnson (who had been riding two cars behind Kennedy in the motorcade through Dallas and was not injured, even after Secret Service agents pushed him to the floor of his limousine) was first in line of succession to become President of the United States upon Kennedy's death. Johnson took the oath of office on board Air Force One before it departed Love Field.
After Air Force One landed at Andrews Air Force Base, just outside Washington DC, Kennedy's body was taken to Bethesda Naval Hospital for an autopsy.
The autopsy was conducted by three military doctors and witnessed by over thirty military men. Two FBI men have since revealed that Kennedy had a large wound on the right side of his head, another wound 5.5 inches below his suit coat collar top just to the right of his spine, and a third wound centered in the front of his throat at the bottom edge of his adam's apple. (The Warren Commission report contains this same information.)
Several photos and x-rays were captured during the autopsy (several of which have disappeared from the official record). The autopsy photos are graphic. If you wish to view them, along with the skull x-rays, and medical drawings prepared by the Assassination Records and Review Board when it took testimonies from the Parkland Hospital medical witnesses, they are available here and here
Reaction to the assassination
The first hour after the shooting, before Kennedy's death was announced, was a time of great confusion. As it took place during the Cold War, some people at first wondered if the shooting were not part of a larger attack upon the USA, and there was concern about Vice-President Johnson's safety. People began to huddle around radios and TV's for the latest bulletins.
The news of Kennedy's death by assassination shocked the world. In cities around the world, people wept openly. People clustered in department stores to catch TV coverage, and others prayed. Motor traffic in some areas came to a halt as the news of Kennedy's death spread literally from car to car. Schools across the USA and Canada dismissed students early. A misguided fury against Texas and Texans was reported from some individuals. All three TV networks cancelled regular programs scheduled for the next three days in order to provide non-stop news coverage of the assassination.
Memorial services for Kennedy were held worldwide. The US Government declared a day of national mourning and sorrow for the day of state funeral, Monday, November 25. Many other countries did the same.
After the autopsy at Bethesda Naval Hospital, Kennedy's body was prepared for burial and then brought back to the White House and placed in the East Room for 24 hours. The Sunday following the assassination, his flag-draped coffin was moved to the Capitol for public viewing. Throughout the day and night, hundreds of thousands lined up to view the guarded casket.
Representatives from over 90 countries, including the Soviet Union, attended the funeral on November 25 (which was his son's third birthday). After the service, the casket was taken by caisson to Arlington National Cemetery for burial.
Lee Harvey Oswald
Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested eighty minutes after the assassination for killing Dallas Police Officer J. D. Tippit. He was charged with murdering Kennedy late that evening. Two days later while in police custody, Oswald was shot and killed by Jack Ruby.
After arresting Oswald and collecting physical evidence at the crime scenes, at 10:30 PM CST 22 November (04:30 UTC 23 November) Dallas Police Chief Jesse Curry was ordered by, in his words, "people in Washington" to send all of the physical evidence found, but not Oswald, to FBI headquarters.
The FBI was the first authority to complete an official investigation. On December 9, 1963, only 17 days after the assassination, the FBI report was issued and given to the Warren Commission while the FBI was still the primary investigating authority for the commission. The FBI stated that only three bullets were fired during the assassination; that the first shot hit President Kennedy, the second shot hit Governor Connally, and the third shot hit Kennedy in the head, killing him. The FBI stated that Lee Harvey Oswald fired all three shots.
The Warren Commission
The first official investigation of the assassination was established by President Lyndon B. Johnson on November 29 1963, a week after the assassination. The commission was headed by Earl Warren, Chief Justice of the United States and became universally (but unofficially) known as the Warren Commission.
In late September 1964, after a 10 month investigation, the Warren Commission Report was published. The Commission reported that it could not find any persuasive evidence of a domestic or foreign conspiracy involving any other person(s), group(s), or country(ies), and that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. The theory that Oswald acted alone is also informally called the Lone Gunman Theory.
The commission also concluded that only three bullets were fired during the assassination, and that Lee Harvey Oswald fired all three bullets from the Texas School Book Depository behind the motorcade. The
commission's determination was that:
• one shot likely missed the motorcade (it could not determine which of the three),
• the first shot to hit anyone struck Kennedy in the upper back, exited near the front of his neck and likely continued on to cause all of Governor Connally's numerous injuries, and
• the last shot to hit anyone struck Kennedy in the head, fatally wounding him.
It noted that three empty shells were found in the sixth floor in the book depository, and a rifle identified as the one used in the shooting was found hidden nearby. Rather than accept that more than two shots caused injuries, the Commission offered as a likely explanation that the same bullet that wounded Kennedy also caused all of Governor Connally's wounds. This single bullet then backed out of Connally's left thigh and was found in nearly pristine condition. This theory has become known as the "Single Bullet Theory" or, the "Magic" Bullet Theory (as it is commonly referred to by its critics and detractors). Some ballistic evidence has suggested that such a bullet trajectory was possible, but this point is a source of much debate.
The Commission also criticized weaknesses in security, which has resulted in greatly increased security whenever the President travels. The supporting documents for the Warren Commission Report are not all due to be released until 2017.
The commission's findings have not gained majority acceptance from the general public in the USA, and many theories exist that conflict with its findings. Currently, there is no single theory with which a large majority of people would agree. However, most polls show that most people do not agree with the Warren Commission's finding that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.
The House Select Committee on Assassinations
An official investigation by the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA), conducted from 1976 to 1979, concluded
that the scientific acoustical evidence established a high probability that two gunmen fired at President John F. Kennedy. Other scientific evidence did not preclude the possibility of two gunmen firing at the President, but it did negate some specific conspiracy allegations.
Their conclusion was that four bullets were fired during the assassination and that President Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy. The HSCA concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald fired the first, second, and fourth bullets, and that (based on the acoustic evidence) there was a high probability that an unnamed second assassin fired the third bullet (but missed) from President Kennedy's right front from a location concealed behind the Grassy Knoll picket fence, 9 feet (approximately 3 meters) to the west of the picket fence east corner (exactly where an image is seen in the Moorman #5 polaroid photo captured at Zf-315 to 316, but not seen seconds later). The HSCA's test firings within Dealey Plaza in 1978 also acoustically matched this same Grassy Knoll fence location 9' to the west of the picket fence east corner where several witnesses claimed to observe gunsmoke.
Summary of other evidence
Shot sequencing and origins
There was a clear consensus among the witnesses as to the number of shots: over 90% thought there were three or fewer shots. More witnesses thought the final two shots were bunched together than thought the shots were evenly spaced, or that the first two were bunched.
Of the witnesses who gave some testimony as to the source of the shots, 35 thought the shots came from the direction of the Grassy Knoll, 56 thought the shots came from the direction of the School Book Depository, eight thought the shots came from an entirely different location (including two who thought the shots came from inside the limo). Only five witnesses thought the shots came from two different locations.
On November 22, and in the months and years following the assassination, many witnesses in Dealey Plaza at the time of the assassination have come forward or have been identified, and have stated their observations about what happened during the crucial seconds of the attack. Many witnesses were known to investigators, but some were never called by the investigators to describe what they observed. Many witnesses who were photographed at the scene (including several photographers and film-makers) are still unknown and have chosen to not come forward and/or have died.
In many respects, the details of the events described by the identified witnesses match, but there are also conflicting details between information described by the witnesses. Some witnesses have also described details that no other witness has yet described. Among the important witness considerations were:
• The reactions to the gunshots of all limousine occupants relative to each other and relative to what each limousine occupant testified they saw, heard, and felt during the assassination.
• How many muzzle blasts a witness remembered hearing.
• The origin of the muzzle blasts a witness remembered hearing.
• The identities of two armed men and at least one other man seen on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository.
• The identities of other potential witnesses, photographers, filmers and/or other located assassins and/or co-conspirators.
Many people dispute the claim that Oswald was an assassin, or the sole assassin. Investigations, scientific testing, and re-creations of the circumstances of Kennedy's death have not, in the American public's view, settled the question of who plotted to kill him. A 2003 ABC TV News poll showed that only 32 percent (plus or minus 3 percent) of Americans who expressed a view believe that Oswald acted alone in the Kennedy assassination http://abcnews.go.com/images/pdf/937a1J
Until 2017, tens of thousands of pages of documents will remain classified and sealed, away from the public's availability and research, including:
• 3+% of all Warren Commission documents
• 21+% of the House Select Committee on Assassinations documents
• An undeterminable percentage of CIA, FBI, Secret Service, National Security Agency, State Department, US Marine Corps, Naval Investigative Service, Defense Investigative Service, and many other US
Additionally, several key pieces of evidence and documentation are known to have been cleaned or destroyed, or are missing from the original chain of evidence (e.g., limousine cleaned out at hospital, Connally's suit dry-cleaned, Oswald's military file destroyed, President Kennedy's brain not accounted for, Connally's Stetson hat and shirt sleeve gold cufflink missing, forensic autopsy photos missing, etc.)
All documents related to the assassination that have not been destroyed are scheduled, according to the 1992 Assassinations Records Review Board laws, to be released to the public by 2017. Just before the 1964 presidential election, President Johnson ordered the Warren Commission documentations to be sealed against public availability until 2039.
On May 19, 2044, the 50th anniversary of the death of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, if her last child has died, the Kennedy library will release to the public a 500-page transcript of an oral history about John F Kennedy given by Mrs. Kennedy before her death in 1994.
The attempted assassination of General Walker
General Edwin Walker was an anti-communist, segregationist, and member of the John Birch Society. Walker was commanding officer of the 24th Army Division under NATO, but was relieved of this post by JFK in 1961 for distributing right-wing literature to his troops. Walker resigned from the Army and returned to his native Texas. He ran in the six-man Democratic gubernatorial primary in 1962 but lost to John Connally, who went on to win the race. When Walker came to Oswald's attention in February 1963, the general was making front page news by joining forces with an evangelist in an anti-communist tour called "Operation Midnight Ride".
Oswald began to put Walker under surveillance, taking pictures of Walker's home and nearby railroad tracks, perhaps his planned escape route, using the same camera used by Marina to take the famous backyard poses (see below). Oswald mail-ordered a rifle (see below) using his alias Hidell (he had already ordered a pistol in January). He planned the assassination on April 10, ten days after he was fired from Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall. He chose a Wednesday evening because the neighborhood would be relatively crowded because of services in a church adjacent to Walker's home; he would not stand out and could mingle with the crowds if necessary to make his escape. He left a note in Russian for Marina with instructions should he be caught. Walker was sitting at a desk in his dining room when Oswald fired at him from less than a hundred feet (30 m) away. Walker survived only because the bullet struck the wooden frame of the window, deflecting its path, though he was injured in the forearm by fragments.
At the time, authorities had no idea who attempted to kill Walker. Marina saw Oswald burn most of his plans in the bathtub, though she hid the note he left her in a cookbook, intending to bring it to the police should Oswald again attempt to kill Walker or anyone else. Oswald's involvement was unknown until the note and some of the photos were found by the authorities following the assassination of JFK. The bullet was too badly damaged to run conclusive ballistics tests, though neutron activation tests later proved that the bullet was from the same manufacturer as the one that killed Kennedy.
The rifle and Oswald’s marksmanship
In March 1963, Oswald (using the name of his ex-boss in the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, Alek J. Hidell) allegedly purchased a rifle and handgun that were later linked by investigators to the events of November 22, 1963.
6.5x52mm Mannlicher-Carcano M91/38 bolt-action rifle
Serial number C2766
Western Cartridge 160 grain (10.37 g) ammunition
Side-mounted Ordnance Optics 4 x 18 scope
0.38 Special Smith & Wesson Victory revolver 2.25 in (57 mm) barrel
Serial number V510210
Converted from 0.38 S&W, shortened from 5 in (127 mm) barrel
The rifle was kept in the garage of family friends, Michael and Ruth Paine, at whose home Marina Oswald was living at the time. See Warren Commission report describing testimony of Michael R. Paine and his wife, Ruth Paine. http://www.jfkassassination.net/russ/te
During his military career Oswald scored as a "sharpshooter" in December 1956, on two occasions achieving 48 and 49 out of 50 during rapid fire at a 200 yard (183 m) distant target, but failed to attain a marksmanship badge. Skeptics doubt the likelihood of Oswald being able to fire shots so accurately and rapidly with the weapon and from the position he was theorized to use to kill Kennedy moving at 9 to 12 mph (14 to 19 km/h). They argue that expert marksmen could not accomplish Oswald's alleged feat in their first try during the re-enactments by the Warren Commission (1964) and CBS (1967).
In those tests, the marksmen were attempting to hit the target three times within 4.5 seconds, which was the FBI's technical estimate of the minimum time in which three shots could be aimed and fired with that specific model of rifle. The use of this number has been heavily disputed, with modern analysis of a digitally enhanced Zapruder film suggesting that the first and final shots may have come as much as 8.4 seconds apart.
Even so, many of CBS's 11 volunteer marksmen, who (unlike Oswald) had had no prior experience with a Mannlicher-Carcano, were able to hit the target three times in well under the time allotted.
The assassination of JFK
According to the Warren Commission report on the John F. Kennedy assassination, Oswald shot Kennedy from a window on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository, where he was employed during the Christmas rush, as the President's motorcade passed through Dallas's Dealey Plaza at 12:30 pm on November 22. Texas Governor John Connally was wounded at the same time, along with an assassination witness, James Tague, who was standing some 270 feet (82 m) in front of the presidential limousine. However, critics of this account assert that photographic and filmed evidence indicate that there were at least one or two shooters in an area known as the grassy knoll behind a picket fence atop a small sloping hill in Dealey Plaza, to President Kennedy's right-front. This is because from the 8mm films, it appears that the direction of President Kennedy's body was in a decidedly back and left direction after the shot. However, if the films are viewed frame by frame, it can be seen that there is a sudden, violent forward-motion of the president, inconsistent with anything but a sudden stop of the limo, (which didn't happen) or a rear-ward shot, as from the book depository. Several frames of video after the violent forward motion there is a second, backward motion, consistent (and indeed could only occur from) a rear shot. This oddity is attributed to the spin's characteristics during such an event. A large portion of brain matter was also projected forward, but some protest that this is not evidence of a rear shot by Oswald.
Oswald's flight and the murder of J. D. Tippit
Oswald immediately headed for the back staircase, disposing of the rifle behind some boxes. On the second floor, he encountered Marrion Baker, a policeman who had driven his motorcycle to the door of the Depository and sprinted up the stairs to search for the shooter. With him was Oswald's boss, Roy Truly, who identified Oswald as an employee, so Baker let Oswald pass. Oswald bought a Coke from a vending machine in the second floor lunchroom, crossed the floor to the front staircase, then descended and left the building through the front entrance on Elm Street.
At about 12:40 PM (CST), Oswald boarded a bus by pounding on the door in the middle of the block, but when traffic slowed the bus to a halt, he requested a bus transfer from the driver. He took a cab to a point a few blocks away from his rooming house, then walked there to retrieve his pistol and beige jacket. He lingered at a bus stop across the street then began walking. His ultimate destination is unknown, but before he was stopped, he had walked almost a mile, and was only four blocks away from a 1:40 pm bus which could have connected him with a Greyhound headed south for Mexico.
Patrolman J. D. Tippit had undoubtedly heard the general description of the shooter, based on the statement Howard Brennan, who had seen Oswald in the window of the Depository from across the street, gave to police and was broadcast at 12:45. Tippit spotted Oswald about 1:15 PM (CST) near the corner of Patton Avenue and Tenth Street and pulled up next to him to talk to him through his car window. Tippit then got out of his car and Oswald pulled his .38 and shot him, killing him instantly. Thirteen people either witnessed the shooting or identified Oswald fleeing the scene.
Oswald allegedly emptied his revolver and reloaded, leaving the shells behind. He also left his jacket in the parking lot of a nearby gas station. He ducked into the entrance way of a shoe store on Jefferson Street to avoid some passing police cars, then dashed into the nearby Texas Theater without paying. The shoe store’s manager followed him and alerted the ticket clerk, who phoned police. The police quickly arrived and poured into the theater, which was playing War Is Hell starring Audie Murphy. Officer M.N. McDonald saw Oswald sitting near the back and ordered him to stand. Oswald punched McDonald and drew his gun, but McDonald tackled Oswald before he could fire. Police arrested him and took him away, past a crowd who had gathered outside the theater and shouted for Oswald’s death.
Oswald was arrested at the Texas Theater in the Dallas neighborhood of Oak Cliff at about 1:50 pm, first as a suspect in the shooting of Tippit and was then charged with assassinating Kennedy, even though the arraignment hearing on the Kennedy charge was abruptly interrupted and never did get finished, so he was never really officially charged with the assassination of President Kennedy.
While in custody, Oswald denied the shooting, telling reporters "I didn't shoot anyone" and "I'm just a patsy".
On November 24, at 11:21 am CST, after 15 hours of undocumented interrogations, while he was being transferred via car to a nearby jail, Oswald was shot and killed in the basement of the Dallas police jail, in front of live TV cameras, by Jack Ruby a Dallas nightclub owner with friends and acquaintances in the U.S. mafia.
Millions watched the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald on television. It was the first time in TV history that a murder was captured and shown publicly live, but it was shown live on only one network, NBC.
The route that Ruby took to get down into the basement of the Dallas jail has been disputed, although Ruby was very specific about using the entrance ramp (and his access to the jail on other days). This was recorded during the polygraph test Ruby insisted on taking and documented in a Warren report appendix. One witness, a former policeman named Napoleon Daniels, stated that he had seen Ruby use the ramp. The use of a route through the jail building suggests to some that Ruby had received help from authorities inside the building, however, many journalists entered the building without having their credentials checked, and Ruby can be seen on film also inside the building on the previous Friday night, apparently posing as a reporter.
One of the several questions Ruby showed signs of lying about (despite the polygraph operator having turned-down the sensitivity mechanism of the polygraph machine) was when Ruby answered "no" to if he ever knew Oswald. In the preparations to his trial Ruby later stated that he killed Oswald on the spur of the moment to spare Jacqueline Kennedy the stress and embarrassment a trial would cause her, and during the trial his defense team suggested that Ruby’s actions were related to an epileptic event brought on by the photographers camera flashbulbs and movie camera lights. Immediately after his arrest however, Ruby expressed to Dallas policemen that the American people would see him "as a hero" and/or that the murder was proof that "Jews have guts."
Oswald’s grave is in Rose Hill Memorial Burial Park in Fort Worth. The November 25th burial and funeral were paid for by Oswald’s brother Robert. There was no religious service and reporters acted as pallbearers. When his mother died in 1981, she was buried next to Oswald with no headstone. Originally, his headstone read "Lee Harvey Oswald", but this was stolen and replaced with a marker which simply reads "Oswald". Immediately adjacent is a marker which reads "Nick Beef", the stage name of a local comedian who purchased the site and used that fact in his act. Oswald's wife, Marina, married Kenneth Porter in 1965 and her daughters took Porter's last name.
The Warren Commission created by President Lyndon B. Johnson on November 29, 1963 to investigate the assassination, concluded that Oswald did assassinate Kennedy and that he acted alone (also known as the Lone gunman theory). The proceedings of the commission were secret, and 3+% of its files have yet to be released to the public, further fuelling speculation about the assassination. A later investigation by the House Select Committee on Assassinations, during the late 1970s, concluded that President Kennedy "most-likely was assassinated as the result of a conspiracy."
The 1981 exhumation
In October 1981, Oswald was subject to an exhumation undertaken by British writer Michael Eddowes (with Marina Oswald Porter's support). They sought to prove or disprove a thesis developed in a 1975 book, Khrushchev Killed Kennedy (The book was republished in 1976 in Britain as November 22: How They Killed Kennedy and in America a year later as The Oswald File.) The thesis of the trio of books was that when Oswald went to the Soviet Union, he was swapped with a Soviet clone. Eddowes's support for his thesis was a claim that the corpse buried in 1963 in the Shannon Rose Hill Memorial Park cemetery in Fort Worth, Texas did not have a scar that resulted from surgery conducted on Oswald years before. The final results of the exhumation found that the corpse they studied was Oswald's. The finding was based on dental records.