Welcome! Please allow me to introduce myself. I’m author L.D.C. Fitzgerald, and I’m delighted to be your guest blogger today. My novel, SAVING JACKIE K, is a thrilling adventure to rescue the First Lady!
The story begins in present day, in a world where fifty years ago Soviet assassins missed President Kennedy, killing his wife Jackie by mistake. The death of Jackie K engenders a chronic devastating war with Russia, the country purportedly responsible for the attack. In 2013, a team of renegades accidentally discovers time travel and decides to return to 1963 to save the First Lady.
I’m often asked about the JFK assassination, and the conspiracy to cover it up. It’s a touchy subject; many people are passionate about their own particular views on who was responsible and what role Lee Harvey Oswald played. But it’s an enormously fun issue to debate!
Half a century ago, President Kennedy was touring five Texas cities, trying to garner support for the 1964 presidential election. On November 22, 1963, JFK landed in Dallas, and boarded an open limousine to embark on a motorcade parade through the city streets.
At 12:30 pm, sniper bullets struck down JFK as he rode through Dealey Plaza in Dallas. Hundreds of horrified spectators heard the staccato gunfire, and witnessed the fatal headshot that spattered his Lincoln convertible with bloody tissue.
Eighty minutes later, Lee Harvey Oswald—an employee of the Texas School Book Depository in Dealey Plaza—was arrested for murdering dedicated Dallas Police Officer J.D. Tippit. While in custody, Oswald was accused of the presidential assassination as well. He had allegedly fired his bolt-action Mannlicher-Carcano rifle at JFK from a window on the sixth floor of the book warehouse.
Despite the charges, Oswald never faced trial. Two days later, burlesque club owner Jack Ruby shot and killed Oswald in the basement of police headquarters, as lawmen prepared to transfer the suspect to the county jail. The violence shocked an already grieving nation, when network television cameras inadvertently broadcast the execution on live television.
Kennedy’s successor, President Lyndon Baines Johnson, appointed Chief Justice Earl Warren to chair a committee tasked with investigating Kennedy’s assassination. After ten months of testimony and hearings, the Warren Commission concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald acted as the lone gunman.
Enter the most contentious controversy of the twentieth century. Was Lee Harvey Oswald a lone nut who assassinated the 35th US president? Or was Kennedy the victim of a conspiracy plot?
Subsequent to the Warren Commission report, official investigations corroborated the their findings, until the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) was formed in 1976. Their report in 1979 confirmed Oswald’s three shots from the Texas School Book Depository, the third of which proved fatal to President Kennedy.
However, the HSCA also stated that “Scientific acoustical evidence establishes a high probability that two gunmen fired at President John F. Kennedy,” and that “Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy.” Despite these conclusions, “The committee was unable to identify the other gunmen or the extent of the conspiracy.”
Five decades after the shocking assassination, most Americans agree that a conspiracy struck down the president, and suspect a massive cover-up of the truth. Why?
Oswald himself said, “I’m just a Patsy!” A man who previously defected to Communist Russia, was he set up by domestic or foreign agencies? The fact that Jack Ruby silenced Oswald two days later fuels this argument. There is speculation as to whether he even owned the rifle. His palm print was discovered, yet later mysteriously disappeared. And, Oswald hotly contended that photos of him with the rifle were doctored.
The number of shots has been disputed. The Warren Commission alleges three shots, two of which hit the president, including the “magic bullet” that went through JFK and landed in Governor Connally. And the fact that amateur video shows Kennedy’s head being blasted back and to the left leads viewers to the conclusion that the fatal shot was fired from the Grassy Knoll.
If a conspiracy struck down the 35th president, who was responsible?
The US was in the height of the Cold War with the USSR, and had recently squared off with Russia over the Cuban Missile Crisis. The Soviet Union had planted nukes on Cuban soil, within range of the US. Kennedy ordered a naval blockade of Cuba which prevented nuclear war. So, the Russians clearly had motive. As did Fidel Castro of Cuba. Not only did Kennedy quarantine Cuba during the crisis, he also authorized a CIA-led attack on Cuba during the Bay of Pigs Invasion, a failed attempt to overthrow Castro.
Domestically, the CIA has been implicated. The Bay of Pigs mission failed in part when Kennedy scaled back air support. JFK fired the CIA director afterward, nonetheless. Kennedy and his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, also sparred with the FBI over their lack of success in defeating the Mafia. And the fact that Robert waged war against the Mob makes them suspect as well.
Scores of other individuals and organizations have been implicated in the conspiracy. However, to date, no one has proposed a widely accepted answer to who conspired to kill Kennedy. Citizens of the world may well be left to wonder for decades to come.
For a thrilling fictional answer to the most notorious conspiracy of the twentieth century, I invite you to read my novel, Saving Jackie K.