The assassination of John F. Kennedy and conspiracy theories — A review of Vincent Bugliosi’s book, Reclaiming History

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Book Review
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Sunday, November 8, 2015

If Gerald Posner’s book, Case Closed — Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK (1993), convinced me that Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK and acted alone, Reclaiming History — The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy by Vincent Bugliosi (2007) removed any possible lingering doubts that I may have had, even subconsciously. Take for instance, the troubling Silvia Odio incident that was not satisfactorily explained in Posner’s book, Bugliosi (photo, left) Attorney Vincent Bugliosianalyzes it carefully, as he did with all contentious “anomalies” in the JFK assassination, and formulates a more plausible alternative scenario than those propounded by conspiracy theorists.

Presumably three men, two Cuban-Americans and Lee Harvey Oswald (or someone who looked like Oswald), visited the Cuban exiled sisters, Sylvia and Annie Odio, at their home in Dallas on or about September 25, 1963, shortly before Oswald traveled to Mexico. Unlike Posner, Bugliosi believed Odio to be a credible witness and assumes the visit took place as she described. The Odio sisters' father was an anti-communist rebel incarcerated in a Cuban prison since 1962 for anti-Castro activities. According to Sylvia Odio, Oswald (or the man who looked like him) was accompanied by two Cubans asking for assistance in anti-Castro activities. In fact, this is one of the incidents in which Bugliosi’s arguments changed my own explanation about what actually happened and interpretation of the incident. I had previously posited that the two Cubans were Castro agents instigating Oswald, who was very anxious to prove his pro-Castro activities in the U.S. to Cuban officials prior to his upcoming visit to the Cuban embassy in Mexico. These activities Oswald might have thought would help him establish his bonafides, obtain a Cuban visa, and be permitted to enter Cuba’s Workers Paradise, which he so much admired and glorified from the time he was in the Marines. I now believe from Bugliosi’s arguments that the two men were most likely anti-Castro, Cuban-Americans who Oswald had once again infiltrated, as agent provocateur, just as he had done in New Orleans. Although the two Cuban-Americans seemed to have mistrusted Oswald, the two activists might have thought they would be able to manipulate Oswald in anti-Castro activities.

Although Bugliosi tends to be needlessly argumentative with Posner on certain incidents and interpretations, the two writers agree on most everything about the JFK assassination, and ultimately reach similar conclusions. I recommend reading my review of Posner’s book, Case Closed — Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK, which is quite detailed. Because of the sheer size and scope of Bugliosi’s book, Posner’s smaller tome would probably be more likely to be read by ordinary Americans.

But Bugliosi goes far beyond Posner in uncovering evidence, supporting the Warren Commission’s findings (which so many conspiracy theorists criticize without having read the volumes containing them!), and specifically rebutting every notable conspiracy theory propounded in the last 40 years. Bugliosi also explains and unravels all troublesome aspects of the assassination that have been cited and used to generate those conspiracy theories. His book thus includes sections such as “Four Days in November” — almost a minute by minute account of the happenings and movements of every major character in the JFK assassination, including Oswald and Ruby from Friday, November 22, to Monday, November 26, 1963 (320 pages). Bugliosi also tackles allegations and explains situations including “the Magic Bullet,” the Single-Bullet theory, Oswald’s ownership, identification, and possession of the rifle found on the sixth floor of the Texas Book Depository (TBD), the sniper’s nest and evidence (e.g., finger prints, 3 bullet casings found there, etc.), Oswald’s famous photo with his Mannlicher-Carcano Italian rifle, the Grassy Knoll, other possible assassins, Jack Ruby, the conspiracies that did not happen, etc.
Reclaiming History by Vincent Bugliosi
Reclaiming History, a monumental tome with over 1500 pages of text, plus Bibliography, Index, and another 1000 pages of Notes contained in a supplementary CD, remains to this day the best researched, most annotated, most scholarly, most analyzed, most comprehensive, and certainly most authoritative book on the JFK assassination, actually superseding Posner’s Case Closed. The book seemed to have made an impact on the American mind, although this observation remains largely unrecognized. But the fact is that after the celebrated movie JFK debuted in 1991, close to 80% of Americans believed there was a conspiracy and cover-up behind the JFK assassination. But by 2013, this number has been reduced to 61%, the lowest percentage since the 1970s. Nevertheless, this percentage remains disturbingly high considering the fact that several investigations have also revealed that Oswald had acted alone and no evidence of any conspiracy was uncovered during that decade — e.g., the Rockefeller Commission and the Church Committee of 1975 and the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA; 1976-1978) — to the present day, and despite the release of all formerly classified material on the assassination.

But this should not be surprising; it could still take years to reverse the misinformation that has been disseminated by hundreds of JFK conspiracy books in the last 40 plus years, not to mention the serious psychical and historical damage that the totally deceptive and fictitious film by Oliver Stone, JFK (1991), has done in deceiving Americans about the concocted “facts” surrounding the assassination. No doubt Stone ran all the way to the bank exploiting the magic of cinema that so powerfully deceived and duped Americans (and the world) in propounding that there was a vast conspiracy involving large sectors of the U.S. government, including the FBI, the CIA, the Military-Industrial Complex, etc., and the supposedly equally behemothic cover-up by the Warren Commission and others, to keep Americans from knowing the “truth” of a conspiracy.

Bugliosi’s magnum opus, Reclaiming History, will in time go a long way to further reverse this inflicted historic damage on the psyche of Americans, the majority of whom still believe there was a conspiracy and that Oswald was just a “patsy.” Read this book. Despite its impressive size and the sheer weight of this very hefty tome, knowledge, logic, and eloquence carries the day in this suspenseful and tantalizing, yet easy to read, forensic book. And unless you are one of those conspiracy theorists who are immune to logic and reason, you will be convinced that Oswald was indeed the assassin, that he acted alone, and that there was no conspiracy. Get this book and read it, and you will also be convinced beyond all doubt! Kudos and 5 stars all around for this tour de force on the JFK assassination!

Written by Dr. Miguel Faria

Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D. is Clinical Professor of Surgery (Neurosurgery, ret.) and Adjunct Professor of Medical History (ret.) Mercer University School of Medicine. He is an Associate Editor in Chief and a World Affairs Editor of Surgical Neurology International (SNI), and an Ex-member of the Injury Research Grant Review Committee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 2002-05; Former Editor-in-Chief of the Medical Sentinel (1996-2002), Editor Emeritus, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS); Author, Vandals at the Gates of Medicine (1995); Medical Warrior: Fighting Corporate Socialized Medicine (1997); and Cuba in Revolution: Escape From a Lost Paradise (2002).

This article may be cited as: Faria MA. The assassination of John F. Kennedy and conspiracy theories — A review of Vincent Bugliosi’s book, Reclaiming History., November 8, 2015. Available from:

Copyright ©2015 Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D.

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Dr. Farias, the hypothesis of a conspiracy is strongly favored against the lone gunman by the factual observation that LHO:
- An ex marine re-defector from the URSS;
- Open pro Castro activist in New Orleans;
- American citizen traveling to Mexico City and booking in at a Castroite nest (Hotel del Comercio);
- Asked at the Cuban Consulate for an in-transit visa in order to go on to the Soviet Union
- Because of that, visited 3 times the Cuban and 2 times the Soviet diplomatic compound, both under heavy photographic surveillance and telephone tapping;

-Could kill a sitting U.S. President in broad daylight without being detected as a security risk after being recorded at least five times talking by phone from and to the Cuban and the Soviet embassies.

It´s a conspiracy fact in itself that the CIA has ever produced neither a photo of Oswald nor a tape of his voice. And don´t worry about the bag. The key issue is that the rifle referred in the WC Report as Oswald´s is not the rifle showed as evidence by the Dallas Police Department.

But where is the evidence?

J J [James Jesus?] Angleton, all of the points you mention in your post I also considered years ago. First, I entertained what appeared at first glance to be the obvious — that there was a communist conspiracy involving a KGB-Castro connection. Moreover, I found Edward J. Epstein’s book Legend very persuasive and logical given the state of knowledge at the time. He did an excellent job of investigative journalism building the evidence toward this communist connection. I still recommend this book. Nevertheless, after reading more and more on the subject I subsequently considered the Mafia “turned-around” theory that pivoted on the Santos Trafficante-Fidel Castro connection. I discuss this in my review of Gerald Posner’s book (link below), but Posner's book convinced me the reality was simpler and there was no evidence for a conspiracy, even for the alleged mafia connection. Vincent Bugliosi’s book confirmed Posner’s findings and further dissuaded me from my previous conspiratorial musings . In fact, it substantiated what I have read since that time. These two books are frankly intellectually unassailable: there is not and there has never been any substantial evidence for conspiracy and given Oswald’s personality he could have only acted alone.

Take for instance, the 5 points you make in your first paragraph. They are all true and at first glance suggest conspiracy, but all they prove is that Oswald was a committed Marxist, a crackpot that first loved the USSR but then after living there found it unbearable.In Oswald’s interpretation of his own experience, the Soviets practiced authoritarian communism, but not the true egalitarian “Marxism of Karl Marx”; the USSR was only a bit better than capitalism. Even the sympathetic book of Oswald by Norman Mailer, Oswald’s Tale is in spite of itself an eye opener about Oswald’s life in the USSR, his hostility to the world, and his disaffected personality wherever he lived. The Cubans did not want him just as the Russians did not want him. Although he was a failure, he was still an ex-marine with at least a marksman’s rating and plenty of hostility to the US. and the president who represented it, and who was an enemy of the Cuban workers paradise of his revolutionary fantasy.

On your sixth point, yes the FBI absolutely messed up by not listing Oswald as a security risk, which incensed J. Edgar Hoover, and caused the demotion and reprimand of a number of FBI agents who dealt with the case.

The best evidence is that the CIA did take photos and made tapes but were destroyed; and only one book is authoritative on this topic: Our Man in Mexico — Winston Scott and the Hidden History of the CIA by Jefferson Morley and Michael Scott because it contains information from the memoirs of the CIA chief in Mexico at the time. This evidence was actually seized by James Angleton, who stayed too long as Chief of CIA counterintelligence after the disastrous Kim Philby affair (I’m sure you know about this). Finally, the rifle was the same rifle; the allegation is not true.

Inconsistencies, human contradictions, human errors, suppositions, tendentious theories, even when based on the supposed dramatic trio of "having the motive, means, and opportunity," do not add up to conspiracy, except when supported by substantial evidence.

Recommended Reading

Legend — The Secret World of Lee Harvey Oswald by Edward Jay Epstein. 1978. Absolutely absorbing reading!

Oswald's Tale, An American Mystery by Norman Mailer. 1995. I am not a fan of Norman Mailer, but I must admit that this is an outstanding volume with engaging narrative and incredible research. This is probably the best book written on Lee Harvey Oswald's life from the assassin's perspective. This book presents a sharp contrast to Legend by Edward J. Epstein. Obviously, Mailer's book was written and published seventeen years later and more information was available to him, not to mention the fact that he was able to enter Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union, obtain information there, and interview citizens. None of this was available to Mr. Epstein in the 1970s.

Case Closed — Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK by Gerald Posner. 1993. "Case Closed finally succeeds where hundreds of other books and investigations have failed — it resolves the greatest murder mystery of our time, the assassination of JFK.

Our Man in Mexico — Winston Scott and the Hidden History of the CIA by Jefferson Morley. Foreword by Michael Scott. 2008. This is another suspenseful story of an unsung American hero operating quietly and effectively in our own backyard.

Castro's Secrets — The CIA and Cuba's Intelligence Machine by Brian Latell (2012). The author — a professor, scholar, and retired CIA officer, who had been active in foreign intelligence for 35 years — relies extensively on information provided by Cuban defectors and describes the largest and longest lasting double agent operation in the annals of world espionage.

Reclaiming History — The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy by Vincent Bugliosi (2007).

Lee Harvey Oswald —Innocent of all charges!

I’m a retired journalist. I write books on different subjects. I’m originally from Canada now living in Israel.

In March I became aware of a controversy at the Archives of Canada that touched upon Israel and the JFK assassination.

I said I’ll wade into this and that will give me a short book.

I hadn’t paid any attention to this event since 1963.

I had no intention of looking at the alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald.

It took me one day to suspect that he was innocent of the main charge. A bit longer and it seemed obvious he was innocent of all charges.

Mine are fresh eyes. These are my conclusions.

1. He was framed for the murder of Tippit the cop. Oswald was seen standing at a bus stop one mile away from Tippit at 1:03. An eyewitness saw the shooting at l:06. Others heard the shots at l:06. A civilian got on Tippit’s police radio and announced officer down at 1:07.

Oswald could not run a three-minute mile even if he knew where he was to run.

2. He was framed for shooting at Walker, the retired general. There was a dog near Walker’s home that barked incessantly when a stranger approached. An assailant had first to neutralize the dog. The assailant did that. Oswald didn’t know the neighborhood and he would have awoken the dead if he tried to approach Walker’s home that night. Walker suspected a former employee Duff. Duff boasted to a girl friend that he took the shot.

3. Ninety seconds after shots were fired at the book depository at JFK from the sixth floor cops found Oswald on the second floor. The rifle was well stashed, an act that would have taken at least 90 seconds. Also, were two women on high heels going down the stairs at a slower pace. Oswald would have had to pass them. They can’t put him at the scene of the crime under these circumstances.

4. The CIA sent a letter with information they said came from the Italian government that the Italian rifle found upstairs and which they said belonged to Oswald had a unique serial number. Much later Andreotti, defence minister then, said the information was false and it did not come from his government. The exclusive supplier of these rifles in Montreal said the same serial number was used on multiple rifles. They could have not prove that the weapon found belonged to Oswald and was not a plant to frame him.

5. Oswald worked for the CIA, LA branch. This information was suppressed.

He was on TV in August distributing pamphlets on a New Orleans street for a phoney branch of the Fair Play For Cuba Committee, phoney in the sense it had no members. Around him was a group of CIA agents flown out from LA to act as if they were members.

A letter exists in which the LA operations manager tells a Louisiana CIA operative to make sure the names of his agents do not leak out.

6. Mertz, the Rambo of France, a celebrated killing machine who was a neighbor of the Duke of Windsor in Paris, blew out the brains of JFK. He was nabbed by the Dallas Police on the grassy knoll. They called Washington. Angelton, a high CIA executive, said release him. In 1977 a CIA document surfaced which confirmed that the police had detained Mertz, who was using aliases.

7. Oswald did not try to shoot a cop who arrested him during a scuffle at the theatre. If you follow the hand movements you’ll see it was the cop who tried to shoot Oswald. That’s what trials are for to bring this stuff to light.

From a standing start, knowing nothing, I finished my book in 65 days.

No conspiracy only a Marxist loser with Marine training!

1. Oswald was not framed for the murder of Tippitt. He was seen shooting Tippitt, unloading empty shells from his revolver that were later recovered, and fleeing the scene of the shooting by MULTIPLE individuals, as I have already described, and his route timed and traced graphically in Bugliosi’s book. He was even followed by another individual later into the theater because he was acting so suspicious. Individuals see things and people all the time, but they are not necessarily there, as in the case of Elvis Presley sightings all over the world! Oswald was not at the bus stop a mile away because he was shooting Tippitt!

2. He was not framed for shooting General Walker. The same night of the shooting, he confessed to Marina and was scared he could be caught and very sorry he missed. Oswald was alone. No evidence he had an accomplice in that shooting either. He had been visiting and studying the neighborhood for days and practicing with his rifle, as he told Marina. Oswald was terrified when George de Mohrenschildt, who was a liberal and also detested Gen. Walker, jokingly asked in his last meeting with him, “Lee, how could you have missed the shot!” Oswald and Marina were astounded and had a conversation on how de Mohrenschild could have joked about the incident, suspected it, and perhaps truly knew about it!

3. Oswald had ample time to get to the second floor lunch room to get his coke. His movements and timing have been reenacted by investigators and was accomplished easily. Oswald left the sniper’s nest where three shells with his fingerprints and the rifle were found. The two women in high heels on the same staircase at the same time is bogus information. On the contrary, Oswald was easily timed on the scene of the crime. In fact he was observed there by multiple witnesses as mentioned in another post.

4. The serial number information and the CIA alleged transaction is also bogus information. The FBI spent crucial time investigating this. The rifle order and serial number were carefully traced, and the rifle identified as Oswald’s. The handwriting on the mail order was also Oswald’s. All of this is discussed in Bugliosi’s book. In fact this whole affair is debunked in one full chapter of a small book length. The rifle has been easily and definitively proved to belong to Oswald. And there is even the definitive picture verified by Marina that proves it.

5. There is no evidence that Oswald had any ties to the CIA, except for the fact the CIA, like the FBI, kept a file on him because of his defection to the USSR, especially as a former U.S. Marine. Both the KGB (Vladimir Semichastny, KGB Chairman, and Oleg Nechiporenko, KGB major in Mexico) and the CIA (CIA Director Allen Dulles) dismiss the thought as preposterous of such an unreliable crackpot like Oswald being recruited by their intelligence services. Chairman Semichastny even credits the CIA with having men of much higher caliber than Oswald. For such assignment, they would definitely have recruited a much reliable individual.

True, Oswald formed his own, unauthorized branch of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC) in New Orleans. He wanted to establish his bonafides to go to Cuba and be a Marxist revolutionary defending the Cuban revolution and the supposed Workers Paradise. The information about the CIA agents flown from LA is bogus. You were right initially: Oswald had no other members in the FPCC, acting or otherwise, even though he did pay two other young men to help him distribute pamphlets in one occasion.

6. There is no evidence whatsoever that any shots were fired from the notorious grassy knoll. Merz did not shoot JFK and he was not grabbed at the grassy knoll. Other notorious international criminals, who have been alleged to have shot JFK, were all investigated, accounted for, and proved not to have been involved despite sensational allegations. Oswald shot JFK and he acted alone. The three shots came from behind the motorcade, from the sixth floor of the Texas Book Depository. Most witnesses concur in this, but JFK’s autopsy, ballistics with trajectory simulation, audio recording analysis (which proved only three shots were fired, not four) —all confirm this without a shadow of a doubt. Bugliosi dedicates several book-length chapters investigating and analysing this point. So does, Gerald Posner in a more concise manner.

7. Oswald did try to shoot the arresting police officer but he was wrestled to the ground by several other policemen. That is when he suffered the bruises seen in later pictures. Oswald admitted to Marina twice that he got the bruises for hitting the officer first and the scuffle at the theater. Unfortunately Oswald was shot before a trial could be held. But actually a large unscripted trial (in absentia) was held in London in 1986 in which most of these issues came up. This was a 21-hour televised Documentary trial held in London with a Dallas jury, held with all the legal and evidentiary rules of an actual trial. Most of the key witnesses amazingly were still around and participated. Vincent Bugliosi was the prosecutor, and the reputed best trial attorney in the U.S., Gerry Spence, was the defense attorney. Oswald was convicted!

So with all due respect to your writing efforts, much of the information in your post came from hear-say sources or deliberate misinformation, typical of what has been propounded by the JFK assassination cottage industry — i.e, allegation after allegation, the pointing out of inconsistencies of daily life, half-baked theories, etc. but no evidence. I recommend you go back and read Posner’s book Case Closed and Bugliosi’s Reclaiming History (begin with URL links above for my reviews), tomes that rely on PRIMARY sources, and official investigations, and released Archives, and revise and add to your book accordingly. Posner spent years and Bugliosi two decades investigating their books. Your sources are unreliable witnesses or flawed secondary or tertiary sources, promoting sensationalist theories providing grist for the conspiracy mill industry.

Don’t you think that if anyone knew something over the past five decades, they would have come forward, including “rogue” CIA elements, with the evidence to claim their glory and fortune, particularly in this age of celebrity worship?

JFK conspiratorial shadows!

I have already addressed specific contradictions and inconsistencies brought up by several readers and even authors. Some of these allegations have been repeated over and over, and my replies not rebutted.

Again, disjointed inconsistencies, contradictions — which are normal incidents in human existence because of the human errors of real life rather than conspiratorial shadows — and statements by proven unreliable witnesses do not amount to a conspiracy!

Yet, I continue to have further replies from readers who still believe there were (or still are existing) conspiracies and cover-ups involving the JFK assassination. These allegations have been made without substantiation by reliable sources. Therefore, for the time being, I would not be accepting for posting unsubstantiated and unconnected allegations. Nevertheless, I will accept coherent theses for the alleged conspiracies — i.e, with plausible motives, naming names of conspirators, shooters, patsies, etc. from beginning to end. These theses must be supported with solid evidence and providing a coherent scenario for the conspirators. Reference sources citing pages should also be included for verification. MAF

Troubling details, I smell conspiracy!

Why did Oswald leave the welding profession (that paid good) & move to Dallas to take a minimum wage job in a book depository a short while before the President's motorcade drove by? Oswald stayed in a rooming house using the name O.H. Lee. Why? Oswald was supposedly a hard case as a welder, but a model employee at the depository. Coincidences?

Oswald tried to hide behind some boxes during the shooting, people only saw a shadowy figure in the window, & Oswald put on a jacket to disguise his appearance. Yet, Officer Tippitt drove straight to Oswald's neighborhood (not his regular beat) & stopped him on the street for questioning in the shooting. Coincidence? Or was Tippitt stopping every male in Dallas in that connection?

Jack Ruby just happened to be armed & in the area the exact moment when Oswald was to be moved. Ruby came through a little known garage entrance & arrived on the scene the moment Oswald was coming down the hall. Coincidences?

Horrible crime but no conspiracy!

Mittymo: Why did Oswald leave the welding profession (that paid good) & move to Dallas to take a minimum wage job in a book depository a short while before the President's motorcade drove by? Oswald stayed in a rooming house using the name O.H. Lee. Why? Oswald was supposedly a hard case as a welder, but a model employee at the depository. Coincidences?

MAF: Oswald hated the job of welding at Reily Company in New Orleans. He hated getting his hands dirty (same as in Russia), using grease to oil the machinery, etc. Oswald was lazy. The job at the Book Depository was easier, taking and handling book orders; Oswald at least loved books. Moreover, he worked and stayed alone with his clipboard, taking and filling orders, not getting dirty, doing hard work oiling machinery as in Reily Coffee Company. He was considered a crackpot at Reily. Oswald used aliases in his fantasy of being a Marxist revolutionary fighting fascism attempting to establish his bonafides for Fidel Castro and to be allowed to travel to Cuba. He also used A. J. Hidell ("Hidel" for Fidel Castro, Marina thought).

Oswald was a big political failure in New Orleans especially after being grilled at a radio show for his Russian exile, which his political opponents, Carlos Bringuier, Edward Butler, etc., used to link him as an agent and the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC) a front for the Russians. Bill Stuckey, the radio talk show host felt sorry for him. Oswald was devastated after his performance and wrote the CPUSA and the FPCC asking for political advise. He felt politically defeated and had had it in New Orleans!

His job at the book Depository was obtained by Ruth Payne and a local neighbor of hers, Lilie Mae Randle. Were Ruth Payne and her neighbor part of a conspiracy too?

Mittymo: Oswald tried to hide behind some boxes during the shooting, people only saw a shadowy figure in the window, & Oswald put on a jacket to disguise his appearance. Yet, Officer Tippitt drove straight to Oswald's neighborhood (not his regular beat) & stopped him on the street for questioning in the shooting. Coincidence? Or was Tippitt stopping every male in Dallas in that connection?

MAF: Actually Oswald was identified by and several people saw the rifle sticking out from the sniper's nest out of the corner of the southeasternmost window of the sixth floor of the Texas Book Depository. Howard Brennan identified him and described him as calm, alone, with no trace of excitement. He was seen by two others, Ronald Fischer and Bob Edwards, clearly. They thought Oswald looked “uncomfortable.” A jacket would not really change his appearance and it was November in Dallas.

Officer Tippitt had been assigned to that neighborhood by a superior who happened to be one of his best friends in the Dallas Police. His friend send him there to die? Incidentally, the shooting of Tippitt by Oswald; Oswald removing and discarding shells from his revolver; Oswald fleeing the scene with the gun, etc. were witnessed by several people. Oswald fitted the description of JFK’s assassin, and he was stopped for questioning. If not Tippitt, it would have been another officer on that neighborhood doing his job! Are we to assume Tippitt was involved in a conspiracy in which he would be another self-sacrificing patsy or that could easily go awry? Are we to assume all of these witnesses were part of the conspiracy too?

Mittymo: Jack Ruby just happened to be armed & in the area the exact moment when Oswald was to be moved. Ruby came through a little known garage entrance & arrived on the scene the moment Oswald was coming down the hall. Coincidences?

MAF: Ruby was almost always armed and all his friends and even the police knew it. He carry a large amount of cash all the time from his Carrousel Club earnings the night before. Ruby was very friendly with Dallas police and knew the building well. Oswald’s shooting happened by chance. Ruby just happened to be there at the right place, at the right time, just as he testified. At that very moment, he happened to see the commotion of Oswald being transferred after having gone to Western Union to send wire money to one of his dancers who needed money. He was very distraught at the shooting of JFK his hero. He saw Oswald the day before and did not like his smirk. Avenging JFK by shooting Oswald, Ruby thought he would become the hero and the savior of Dallas!

Coincidences happen and errors occur often in real life; little events are given more attention than they deserve: Here are more coincidences, most of them literally true but of dubious significance:

Abraham Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846.
John F. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946.

Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860.
John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960.

Both were particularly concerned with civil rights.

Both wives lost their children while living in the White House.

Both Presidents were shot in the head and on a Friday.

Lincoln's secretary, Kennedy, warned him not to go to the theatre.
Kennedy's secretary, Lincoln, warned him not to go to Dallas.

Both were assassinated and succeeded by Southerners.

Their vice-presidents and successors were named Johnson.

Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln, was born in 1808.
Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded Kennedy, was born in 1908.

John Wilkes Booth was born in 1839 (or 1838).
Lee Harvey Oswald was born in 1939.

Both assassins were known by their three names.

Both names are comprised of fifteen letters

Booth ran from the theater and was caught in a warehouse.
Oswald ran from a warehouse and was caught in a theater.

Booth and Oswald were assassinated before they could be tried in court.

These coincidences were alluded to by Gerald Posner in his bookCase Closed, listed in more detail by Vincent Bugliosi, and discussed in Wikipedia. After all these years, thousands of people supposedly had been involved either in the assassination or the cover-up — from little people such as Ruth Payne, doctors, forensic pathologists, police detectives to influential people high up in government, like Earl Warren, LBJ, and RFK, not to mention the FBI, the CIA, the military-industrial complex, the KGB, etc., but no evidence has ever surfaced, no one with verifiable information has come forward, etc. Why? Because Oswald acted alone and there was no conspiracy. Ruby was another crackpot, a sentimental one at that. He did not cover up anything. He wanted to be the great hero of Dallas. Coincidences do happen and do not add up to conspiracy. I appreciate your post and please let me know if you read either one of these books and give me some feedback afterwards. I have also listed additional books on JFK, Cuba, and the CIA in the Great Books section:

Yes, Case closed!

A quick fact. Lee Harvey Oswald was driven to work that fateful morning by a coworker who said Lee carried a long slender package. When asked what it was, Lee replied curtain rods, and I think added that they were for his (nonexistent) office. This driver was never contradicted by anyone. Case closed for me. The rest of Vincent Bugliosi's book was icing on the cake. Viva Vince!

The bag was approx. 27" long

The bag was approx. 27" long & the coworker (B.W. Frazier) said it was a cheap, crinkly, thin paper sack like the kind 5 & 10 cent stores used. That's not a very good disguise for a rifle, ammunition, & a scope (which likely weighed 10-12 lbs).

Jack Dougherty (another co-worker) said Oswald didn't have anything in his hands when he arrived at the Book Depository that day.

The rifle Oswald used was not a break-down model, and the barrel & the stock were approx. 36 inches each. So, even if Oswald disassembled it, both the barrel & the stock would be sticking out the so-called bag.

What if the police showed Frazier the paper bag found at the depository & asked Frazier if Oswald was carrying it? Might that have influenced Frazier's later testimony?

For those that come up with coincidences, only those directly related to the JFK & Oswald murders are relevant. Those related to Lincoln & Kennedy are interesting, but not in any way relevant.

No, the bag was 38" perfect for the dissembled rifle!

Buell Frazier, the neighbor at Irvington and co-worker came to pick up Harvey Lee Oswald that Friday to give him a ride to work at the book Depository in Dallas. When Frazier saw the paper bag that Oswald was carrying, he asked what it was. Oswald said they were curtain rods.

Upon arrival, leaving the car Oswald walked quickly and left Frazier behind (not the usual behavior). He entered the school book depository way ahead of Frazier, and was not his usual self according to co-workers. He did not stop at the domino room to read day-old newspapers as usual.

Both Linnie Mae Randle, Frazier’s sister who, incidentally, helped Oswald get the job at the Depository (part of the conspiracy?), and Frazier initially described the package as being too short to contain Oswald’s rifle. They estimated it by a quick look to be approximately 27 inches long. In fact, the bag was 38 inches long, according to the measurements noted by both Gerald Posner (Case Closed; foot note and pages 224-225) and Vincent Bugliosi (Reclaiming History; foot note and pages 798-799). Moreover, the FBI and the investigators for the Warren Commission measured the bag to be 38 inches and made of the paper and tape material used at the Texas Book Depository. Oswald did not even have to buy cheap material!

Oswald’s Mannlicher-Carcano Italian military rifle actually measured 40 inches when fully assembled. But according to Vincent Bugliosi the bag was securely and conveniently made by Oswald to fit the disassembled rifle. The longest component of the disassembled Carcano rifle was the wooden stock which measured less than 35 inches. The bag was made for a perfect fit for a U.S. marine trained to assembled and dissembled rifles in minutes!

Later, both Randle and Frazier, identified the bag, which was found next to the three spent rifle shells at the sniper’s net at the sixth floor of the Book Depository. Frazier admitted that the package could have been longer than he originally thought because he did not paid that much attention. (Yes, they could have been influenced by the police, but really there was no need; theirs were casual visual estimates.) Jack Dougherty may not have seen the bag because Oswald did not follow his usual routine of stopping by and reading day-old newspapers at the domino room, but entered and disappeared in the Depository. Interestingly, Jack Dougherty did testify that Oswald did not have lunch at the first floor lunchroom; others testified that Oswald was not at the second floor lunchroom either. Oswald was not having lunch with the others as he claimed, but rushed from the sixth floor to the second floor lunchroom to get a coke after the assassination.

True, the coincidental points in history between JFK and Abraham Lincoln are interesting but not relevant. The reason I posted them is to show that strange coincidences and even inconsistencies in daily life do happen and do not necessarily mean conspiracy.

Thanks for doing the heavy lifting!

For me, once two very basic FACTS emerged, I believed irrevocably that the whole conspiracy theory(ies) miasma was the product of thr cottage industry Bugliosi described in so much detail.

The Two Things:

First, the curtain rods. For me, I don't care how long people say the package was. Eyewitnesses can be mistaken about that. But it's impossible for me to believe that Lee's ride to work was mistaken that Oswald carried something long and slender and lied -- so badly -- about what it was. Curtain rods???

Second,regarding the second gunman, the mystery bullet, and the grassy knoll. The bullet Jerry Seinfeld said in one episode "turned in mid-air, mind you." That bullet. The bullet that makes a second gunman on the grassy knoll a MUST. That theory is demolished by the JFK limousine's seat configuration and shows exactly how a single bullet would not need to turn in mid-air to hit both JFK and Connelly, exactly as the Warren Commission described. (Connelly's seat was to his own, and JFK's left, about one foot. The exact measurements and diagram and photo of limo are in Reclaiming History.)

It's all over. Reasonable people cannot disagree once they take the trouble to read - even just the most debunking and relevant parts of -- Bugliosi's book!