Of all the Wacky Theories on the Kennedy Assassination…

November 14th, 2008
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I have always been somewhat fascinated by the culture that has developed around the Kennedy Assassination.  This is not because I find the assassination to be extremely compelling, other than as a pivotal historic event, but because it’s become the grandaddy of all conspiracy theorist topics.   For forty years the assassination of JFK has had amateurs and professionals pouring over photos and films, interviewing witnesses and creating theories of exactly what happened on that day.  Most of the, of course, don’t involve a lone nut with a desperate desire for notoriety and a mail-order rifle.

I have to say that this is one of the most ridiculous and lame theories I have ever heard.


Apparently the idea is that Kennedy was shot from the front, and the bullet, presumably from the same gun that nearly blew his head off, was capable of barely penetrating the soft tissue of the throat, leaving itself in Kennedy’s trachea, or esophagus.. or something.   At this point Kennedy tries to cough it up.   Why?   Well, because swallowing it would cause lead poisoning?   I don’t know.

According to the theorist he puts his hand to his mouth to catch it while he coughs it up.   Wow.  That really goes to show that Kennedy was a polite and civil man all around.  Because, personally, I know if I was trying to dislodge a bullet from my throat, I’d have no concern for being polite and covering my mouth.   Hell, I’d probably get a loogie right on the back of Governor Connolly’s head.

In reality, Kennedy may be trying to undo his brace.   Kennedy had a bad back and wore a brace to help relieve stress on his spine.  It also kept him seated up and restricted his movement.   He was hit by the first shot shortly before emerging from behind the sign in the Zapruder film and is clearly in distress.   The shot entered through his upper back and narrowly missed his spine, coming out just bellow his adam’s apple.  He may have been trying to undo his brace and/or shirt to cover the wound.   Clearly he was aware he had been hit but the injury did not incapacitate him.

This whole idea is pretty silly, if you ask me.


This entry was posted on Friday, November 14th, 2008 at 1:42 am and is filed under Bad Science, Culture, History, Just LAME. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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9 Responses to “Of all the Wacky Theories on the Kennedy Assassination…”

  1. 1
    G.R.L. Cowan, H2 energy fan 'til ~1996 Says:

    How do they explain the fact that the bullet was inscribed, “Some Like it Hot”? The fact, I say!


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  2. 2
    Jerry in Detroit Says:

    The problem is the loose ends. At the end, I’m willing to concede the Kennedy shooting happened as the Warren Commission concluded. If so, John Kennedy had to have been the most spectacularly unlucky person on the planet. The last issue that troubles me is the Connelly family refused to recover bullet fragments when the former governor passed away and his body was cremated. Spectral analysis would have settled the question. This could be a cover-up but if there is a cover-up, it has been conducted in public view.


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  3. 3
    drbuzz0 Says:

    It could be that the family simply was in grief over their loss and did not want to make a spectacle out of it. If the Connelly family was part of the coverup then you have to consider that the cover-up included a man who was in the car at the time, was badly injured and very nearly killed by the whole thing and was not bothered by this enough to speak up or anything.

    I don’t know that Kennedy was spectacularly unlucky. He was riding in an open convertible that was on a published path, going at very low speed. In hindsight this was a huge risk. The car passed thousands of people and numerous buildings. Anyone could have killed him if they had just been a descent shot and had the audacity to go for it. The only real protection is the fact that in such a situation there’s a very poor chance of getting away with it – you will probably be caught.

    A truely excellent documentary on this can be found here: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7184933155238761777

    I’ll admit I used to be a CT’er on this. Basically my mind changed after I learned more about it. It was not as complicated as it is sometimes made out to be. Also, you need to look at Oswald’s background and his actions. The evidence is compelling.


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  4. 4
    Russ Says:

    If you’re implying the Connelly family was somehow involved in a conspiracy, then you have a truly enormous conspiracy and a strange one, because Connelly had a chunk of flesh blown out of his chest that nearly killed him. I know I would not work to cover the asses of someone who did that to me.

    I can relate to how they might turn the idea down. When my father died, after having cancer, it was not a good time, eventhough it wasn’t really a tragedy for him to go at his age and condition. I appreciated the wake and funeral as an opportunity to remember his life and mark his end, but I really felt like I wanted it to get over with too, because I wanted to move on to getting life back to normal and to taking care of my mother and getting her to get her life back together. I think if someone came to me and wanted to put it off while a pathologist took samples from my father’s body and tried to interrupt the whole process with documentary film crews at the funeral or somehow get involved, I’d just say screw you go away and not bother. What’s the point over a conspiracy theory that will never go away no matter what the result?

    Maybe the simple answer is the family wanted to be left alone and wanted things to rest in peace.


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  5. 5
    Jason Says:

    The best analysis I’ve seen was done by Dale Myers http://www.jfkfiles.com/
    Assuming Oswald was the sole culprit, we are left with a horrible reality that some punk on a whim took out the president all by himself. Surely Kennedy “deserves” a more complex plot against him than that?
    Furthermore the idea that he was trying to cough up a bullet is just lame, there wouldn’t be enough time to react in such a manner. Kennedy’s arm movement looks like a reaction to the shock of pain as well as a general act of self protection.


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  6. 6
    drbuzz0 Says:

    You’re right, Jason. But there’s something else to consider and that is the reality that although it might seem very disturbing and almost unbelievable that a punk could take out the president and most powerful man in the free world, really, Kennedy was just a flash and blood human sitting in a slow moving convertible in an unobstructed area. For all his towering persona and accomplishments, anyone sitting in a slow moving vehicle under such circumstances is an equally easy target for someone with a gun and a good line of fire.

    The manner of death doesn’t really care what someone’s accomplishments or impact on history are and it doesn’t decide what someone deserves. George S. Patton is a good example. He was the most feared general by the Germans and a very strong leader and brilliant military tactician who lead his troops, often from the front lines, in a number of campaigns in his military career. He died after he was involved in what was otherwise a minor car accident. He was out for leisure, hunting, in the German countryside after the war had been won. The car was struck at no more than 20 mph, causing only minor damage and not injuring anyone else in the car or truck. Patton was apparently leaning forward or somehow otherwise in an unfortunate position at the time and he struck his head in a manner that broke his neck. He was paralyzed and died not long after. Really very anti-climactic and totally unfitting.


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  7. 7
    Q Says:

            Jason said:

    The best analysis I’ve seen was done by Dale Myers http://www.jfkfiles.com/
    Assuming Oswald was the sole culprit, we are left with a horrible reality that some punk on a whim took out the president all by himself. Surely Kennedy “deserves” a more complex plot against him than that?
    Furthermore the idea that he was trying to cough up a bullet is just lame, there wouldn’t be enough time to react in such a manner. Kennedy’s arm movement looks like a reaction to the shock of pain as well as a general act of self protection.

    It does not matter what he deserved, history and reality don’t give you fitting and poetic ends like movies do. Most assassinations are carried out by lone punks. John Lennon: Killed by an unstable loser of an obsessed fan. Ronald Reagan: Very nearly killed by a lone loser punk who had delusions of grandeur.

    All the US Presidents assassinated were killed by nutty loser punks who were looking to stake their place in history and unstable. James Garfield was shot by an obsessive stalker who had failed in practicing law and in other pursuits. William McLinley was killed by poor factory worker who had become obsessed with anarchism in a cult like way and thought that killing the president would cause a revolution.

    The lone exception to the assassins being losers in life is John Wilkes Booth, who was relatively well known in his own right and a successful stage actor. I’d still call him a punk though because he had a huge ego and a delusion that he was going to become a hero and go down in history as the savior of the South and a brave freedom fighter. He was just a self-centered drama queen who shot a man in the back of the head.

    That seems to be the profile of most assassin, fair or not.


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  8. 8
    Jason Says:

            Q said:

    It does not matter what he deserved, history and reality don’t give you fitting and poetic ends like movies do. Most assassinations are carried out by lone punks.

    Q, thank you for a good recap of various assassinations by the many wackos out there. I only use the word “deserved” as a way to describe the desire of the conspiracy theorists — or what drives them to reject Oswald as the sole assassin. The way Kennedy was shot was drastically different than the methods other wackos you mention. It had a striking “professional” quality to it and therefore easily leads to the idea that an organized group was behind it and seems more “fitting” for a man like Kennedy. As drBuzz0 points out with the example of General Patton, an “unfitting” death of such a great man is difficult for people to accept. I actually agree with you that it isn’t a matter of what he “deserved”, but that is the perceptual fallacy that keeps the conspiracy alive and kicking today.

    Personally, I always felt there was more to the Kennedy assassination, but after seeing Dale Myers’ forensic 3D ballistics recreation and reading his methodology to do it, I became convinced that Oswald was the sole shooter. It can still be argued that he was connected to a conspiracy, etc., but given Oswald’s past, it is equally or even more plausible that he acted alone.


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  9. 9
    Q Says:

    There are actually some conspiracy theories about General Paton. Given that the European war was already over and he was just in occupied West Germany it seems that there’s no obvious reason why he’d be killed. These conspiracy is not as wide spread but some are part of it. I’m pretty sure he was just in a very unlucky position and happened to hit his head in a bad manner that caused a broken neck. Cars at the time did not have seat belts and were not designed to position passengers in a safe manner for a crash like they would be later. That’s just the most obvious and simple explanation. People sometimes do die in low speed crashes. It happens.

    How was the Kennedy Assassination much different than the others? I don’t know that I would cause it that professional. Yes, it was different, but it’s not like there’s a huge number of examples to compare it to. Oswald worked in the TSB. He had the perfect perch, just by dumb luck. He was a descent shot, as shown in his military record. He was not that good a shot, but he was good enough to make that one shot. He made three shots. Only one hit. That’s all it took. It wasn’t even that difficult a shot.


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