JFK Conspiracy Theory Could Be True

During the half century since President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, you may have heard about a few conspiracy theories.

Decades of
investigations, hearings, documents, records, books and interviews have
failed to satisfy conspiracy theorists with a definitive answer to The
Question: Did Lee Harvey Oswald act alone when he shot the President?

At one time or another,
doubters of the lone gunman theory “have accused 42 groups, 82 assassins
and 214 people of being involved in the assassination,” said author
Vincent Bugliosi.That’s a lot of paranoia.

So, when reporters, producers, or amateur historians are
looking to check out the latest JFK conspiracy theory, they call Dave
Perry. “People think I’m an anti-conspiracy guy,” Perry said recently at
his Dallas-area home.
But there’s one theory that he’s not ruling out. We’ll get to that in a minute.

Kennedy assassination
conspiracy theorists, Perry said, come in all degrees of interest and
levels of obsession. They may believe that the government was behind the
9/11 attacks or that the moon landings were fake. Those folks comprise
the “off the wall” crowd. The others, he says, read the books, watch the
documentaries and come to less extreme conclusions.

Related: Secretary Kerry thinks JFK assassin had help

Ahead of the 50th
anniversary of JFK’s assassination this month, a flood of books about
the tragedy have been re-released, along with the publication of new
books examining various conspiracies. The king of Kennedy conspiracy
films, Oliver Stone’s “JFK,” has also been re-released on disc.

Related: Why Oliver Stone thinks it was a conspiracy

Conspiracy theorists have been gathering to compare notes at special symposiums, like the one last month at Pittsburgh’s Duquesne University.
The event, which included Oliver Stone as a panelist, seemed more like a
revival meeting at a Sunday house of worship than an academic
conference, according to a reporter who was there. “Replace ‘Amen’ for ‘That’s right!’ and it would have basically been a church,” recalled Rebecca Nuttall.

Nuttall said the crowd
ranged from those who believed the government was involved in some kind
of cover-up, to extremists who appeared to think “everything the
government tells you is a lie.”

She said many still blame the media for failing to uncover the truth.

And Perry, a 70-year-old retired former insurance claims adjuster from Massachusetts, has been digging through JFK assassination records since 1976 to address those skeptics.

Doubters ask him to
check out the odd stories that pop up: Somebody claimed to be the Grassy
Knoll shooter. Nope, he wasn’t. Perry says he located and verified the
authenticity of Oswald’s long-lost wedding ring.

“I don’t do the sexy
stuff,” Perry said. “I don’t come out and say, ‘I know who the Grassy
Knoll assassin is!’ I’m the guy that goes into the county records
building and looks up deed records. Most people don’t get too wound up
over that.”

Related: Still paranoid after all these years

Over the years he’s come
to know several people who found themselves embroiled in the
investigation, including ex-Dallas detective Jim Leavelle and Oswald’s
co-worker Buell Frazier.

Perry guesses he spends a
“couple hundred hours” each October and November doing research and
consulting. After all that, you can imagine he’s heard a lot of
theories.
The School Book Depository where Oswald shot Kennedy is now the Sixth Floor Museum,
featuring exhibits surrounding the tragedy. “The conspiracy theories
are still around because people don’t know what to believe,” said museum
curator Gary Mack, who admits he’s “not satisfied with the official
story.”

If Oswald didn’t act
alone, who was behind the shooting in Dallas’s Dealey Plaza on November
22, 1963? Some conspiracy theorists believe “the oil people” may have
organized a hit on the President; others suspect “people who didn’t like
the way Kennedy handled civil rights.”

Perry shared five conspiracy theories he believes rank among the most popular:

1. “LBJ had it done”

Perry has shot this one
down. “It’s based primarily on statements made by Madeleine Brown,” who
Perry described as a “crackpot.” Brown — who died in 2002 — claimed to
have had an affair with Johnson. She also claimed that LBJ had attended
a party with ex-Vice President Richard Nixon, FBI Director J. Edgar
Hoover and others the night before the attack. According to Perry, Brown
said LBJ whispered into her ear, “After tomorrow, those Kennedys will
never embarrass me again. That’s no threat. That’s a promise.”


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“That’s absolutely not
true,” said Perry, who said his research proved LBJ couldn’t have been
at the alleged party that night, debunking Brown’s story.

“A lot of Texans didn’t
like Johnson — they thought he was a crook — so as a result, they
started creating this fiction after the assassination where he wanted
Kennedy out so he could be president,” Perry said. “But we’ve found no
evidence, and we know that all the stuff that Madeleine Brown said was
contrived.”

2. The “military industrial complex” did it

Nope, that doesn’t wash
either, said Perry. “The claim is that Kennedy was going to pull
(American) troops out of Vietnam (and that) the military wanted to pour
more people into Vietnam. That’s technically not correct. He talked
about trying to resolve the situation, but he never made a claim that he
was going to pull out of there.”

3. “The mob” did it

Sorry, said Perry, no
veracity to that. “There’s at least three different groups that they
claim independently did this: There’s the Chicago mob, the Miami mob,
and the New Orleans mob. But it’s all hearsay.”

4. “Oswald acted alone as part of an unknown conspiracy”

It’s possible there were
individuals who helped Oswald, but who weren’t part of any larger group
or perhaps unaware of what he was planning. “Remember John Wilkes Booth
shot Lincoln and four were hung, including the first woman ever to be
hung (by the federal government,) Mary Surratt,” he said.

5. “The CIA did it”

This is the conspiracy
theory that interests Perry the most. “The problem is, of all of them,
this is one I can’t debunk,” he laughs.

“Supposedly Kennedy was
fed up with the shenanigans that the CIA was pulling,” Perry said. “He
found out the CIA was trying to kill (Cuban leader Fidel) Castro, which
is a fact. So the argument is that the CIA felt that Kennedy was going
to disband them. And as a result of that, they were the ones that
ordered the killing of Kennedy.”

Perry points out that a
former head of the CIA, Allen Dulles, was a member of the Warren
Commission, the special Johnson-appointed panel tasked with the official
investigation of the assassination. The commission determined that
Oswald acted alone.

Oswald was a supporter of Soviet-backed Cuba.


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“We know Oswald was in
the Russian embassy in Mexico City,” Perry said. “We even know who he
talked to. But we don’t know what was said. Then a few weeks later, he
shoots Kennedy.”

“It may have been
something that they overheard involving him and the Russians. Or, maybe
the CIA had Oswald on the payroll. He might have been a double agent.”

Is it possible that Russians ordered Oswald to do it?

Not likely, said Perry.
The Russians would never have ordered Oswald to kill Kennedy because of
his well-known links to Russia and his pro-Cuban sympathies. Russia’s
leaders knew they would have been the first suspects if they’d
engineered an assassination by Oswald. It would have been an act of war,
which could have triggered a nuclear attack.

“We need to know what happened in Mexico City,” Perry said.

The answer, he said, may
be contained in still-classified CIA documents. The U.S. National
Archives currently holds a number of unreleased CIA documents related to
the assassination. Those papers are scheduled to be made public in 2017
as part of the 1992 Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act.

“CIA has followed the
provisions of the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act, and the
National Archives has all of the agency’s documents and files on the
Kennedy assassination,” said CIA spokesman Edward Price. “The classified
information contained in the files remains subject to the
declassification provisions of the Act.”

So, either we already
know the truth, Oswald acted alone, or — worst-case scenario — we may
never know the whole truth, prompting one more question surrounding the
killing of JFK: Would America be OK with that?

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