After the assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, the Warren Commission determined that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing the president — but many believe that there's more to the story.
In 1967, New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison did an explosive interview with Playboy about what he claimed to have discovered during his independent investigation into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Garrison said, “We discovered, in short, what I had hoped not to find… the existence of a well-organized conspiracy to assassinate John Kennedy, a conspiracy that came to fruition in Dallas on November 22, 1963.”
Though the Warren Commission had found that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing the president, Garrison believed that this official investigative committee had gotten it wrong. He believed that Oswald was innocent and had “never fired a shot.”
Instead, Garrison concluded that anti-Communist and anti-Castro extremists in the CIA were the ones who were truly behind Kennedy’s death. Garrison claimed that these shadowy forces had killed the president to prevent him from easing Cold War tensions with the Soviet Union and Cuba and to ensure that the U.S. went to war in Vietnam.
However, Garrison — whose story was later told in director Oliver Stone’s controversial 1991 film JFK — was largely dismissed as a fame-seeker.
Nevertheless, the doubts he raised about the official story of the Kennedy assassination remain potent to this day. Sixty years later, many still wonder if Oswald really killed Kennedy, and, if he did, whether or not he acted completely alone.
But, if not Oswald, who did kill JFK?
Some of the prime candidates include Garrison’s top suspects, the eccentric pilot David Ferrie and the New Orleans businessman Clay Shaw. The latter remains the only person ever to be brought to trial for the assassination of John F. Kennedy, as Oswald was killed by Jack Ruby on November 24, 1963.
Meanwhile, some theories claim that the JFK assassination was actually the work of the mob, in particular Mafia bosses Carlos Marcello and Santo Trafficante Jr., or that the Soviet Union and Cuba could have had something to do with the president’s death.
Others still have advanced the theory that JFK’s own vice president and eventual successor, Lyndon Baines Johnson, conspired to have Kennedy killed in order to take the White House for himself.
Dig deeper into the haunting mystery of who killed JFK.