The JFK assassination is one of the rare events to have fueled popular conspiracy theories on both the left and the right, even a half-century after the Dallas shooting.
Fifty years after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, many Americans remain unconvinced by the official explanation of his killing. The Warren Commission, headed by US Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. But today, 61 percent of respondents to a new Gallup poll still say they believe someone other than Oswald was involved.
The nation is split on who this someone might be. Thirteen percent blame organized crime, according to the just-released Gallup survey. Thirteen percent believe the culprit might be a conspiracy within the federal government.
The belief in a JFK conspiracy has waned in recent years, dropping from a high of 81 percent of Americans in 2000. But given the unanswered questions about his tragic death, such as how Oswald could have fired three bullets in a way consistent with Kennedy’s wounds, it is unlikely the issue will soon be put to rest, writes Gallup’s Art Swift.
“Speculating about who was really responsible for Kennedy’s death will likely remain a topic of fascination for the American public for many years to come,” writes Mr. Swift.
The circumstances of Oswald’s death are surely a main reason conspiracy theories persist. He was shot by Dallas night club owner Jack Ruby two days after the assassination, before being thoroughly questioned by federal agents.
There are also demonstrable holes in the Warren Commission’s case. Its investigation was rushed and some key witnesses weren’t called to testify. While the vast majority of government documents pertaining to the assassination have been released, a large number remain classified and hidden.