Roy Exum: How Was JFK Killed?

Sunday, November 5, 2017 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

There are three random dates that those of my generation will never scrub from our minds. I’m not talking about our birthdays or Christmas on Dec. 25. Instead, there are three random dates that have defined our lives. The first is Dec. 7 (Pearl Harbor) and the second is 9/11 (when the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda attacked the United States.) The third date is Nov. 22 and every living person can tell you exactly where they were 53 years ago when President John Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.

These three dates are unique in that each is a day of infamy, and, yes, the day JFK was shot I was in the sixth grade of elementary school, at a school desk, second row, third from the back. As school was immediately cancelled, a lot of kids were crying and a pall set over our nation unequaled until Sept. 11, 2001.

About a week ago the National Archives released over 2,800 new documents dealing with the Nov. 22, 1963, shooting in Dallas and, about the same time, a new survey revealed only  33 percent of Americans believe that one man was responsible for the assassination. A majority, 61 percent, think that others were involved in a conspiracy.

I have believed there was an obvious conspiracy ever since I was old enough to join millions who to this day are deeply immersed in Kennedy’s assassination. I think the culprit was Lyndon Johnson, the vice president who became king upon Kennedy’s death. I’m thinking America’s “big business” needed a war and that Johnson was more than happy to oblige.

Johnson created the Warren Commission to study the assassination and I disagreed with their findings, as did many of the Commission’s own members. For instance, the Warren Commission believed the assassin shot only once yet hundreds of witnesses reported three shots. There are more holes in the Warren Commission’s report than imported Swiss cheese.

The one-bullet theory wants us to believe a three-centimeter (1.2?)-long copper-jacketed lead-core 6.5×52mm round from a Mannlicher–Carcano rifle bullet fired from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository passed through President Kennedy’s neck and Governor Connally’s chest and wrist and embedded itself in the Governor’s thigh.

This would mean the projectile penetrated 15 layers of clothing, 7 layers of skin, and approximately 15 inches of tissue, struck a necktie knot, removed 4 inches of rib, and shattered a radius bone. When the bullet was found on a gurney where Texas Governor John Connally had been in the emergency room, the copper jacket was – what? -- completely intact. While the bullet's nose appeared normal, the tail was compressed laterally on one side. Even an amateur hunter can see that is a lie.

In 2013 my favorite author of thrillers, a drama critic in Philadelphia, released a book of “historical fiction entitled “The Third Bullet.” The brilliant Steven Hunter is an expert on snipers and his fictitious hero is a former Marine sniper, Bobby Lee Swagger. Hunter paints as real a scenario of the assassin as I have ever read and “Third Bullet” is easily among of my best dozen books of all time.

With three of every four people believing in a conspiracy in this, 2017, there are hundreds of theories – again read Stephen Hunter’s “Third Bullet” -- but I came across a sensational column in the Chicago Tribune that I could hardly put down. It was written by a self-avowed assassination buff, Randy Blaser, and here is an excerpt because this guy knows what he is talking about after 50 years of relentless study:

* * *


(An Excerpt of a column by Randy Blaser that appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Oct.26, 2017)

Over time, I've become convinced that the essential facts of the assassination have always been known. Oswald acted alone. He fired three shots from the sniper's nest in the school book depository; two of them hit Kennedy and one missed. One bullet hit both Kennedy and Gov. John Connally.

That's it.

But I also became convinced that there was a cover-up in the Kennedy assassination. In fact, there was one person who had a lot to cover up and to hide from the public. That person was the president himself.

What did JFK have to cover up? It turns out an awful lot.

We can start with his health. Kennedy was a very sick man. He didn't want the public knowing about his Addison's disease, or that he took massive medications to get through the day, or that he was a sitting target thanks to the back brace and ace bandages he wore from his thighs to upper torso that kept him propped up in that car.

[NOTE: Addison's disease is a disorder that occurs when your body produces insufficient amounts of certain hormones produced by your adrenal glands. In Addison's disease, your adrenal glands produce too little cortisol and often insufficient levels of aldosterone as well. Also called adrenal insufficiency, Addison's disease occurs in all age groups and affects both sexes. Addison's disease can be life-threatening.]

So naturally the autopsy was covered up.

He had a lot of girlfriends, including one that was a mob mistress. That's a dangerous game when the president has a liaison with a mobster's girlfriend.

Kennedy's FBI wiretapped Martin Luther King, Jr. Can't let that get out.

His attorney general and brother plotted to kill Castro. And guess what? The mob was enlisted to help.

JFK himself had a lot to cover up, a lot to keep secret.

I don't know what the secret documents will truly reveal, but I suspect they will reveal more about the president and the Kennedy administration than about the facts of the assassination. We already know the basic facts. Turns out we always did.

But that other stuff? It was covered up.

* * *

In approximately six months, Donald Trump promises he’ll release another wave of classified JFK material. Maybe one day we’ll reach the point it will be something we can believe.

* * *


I love to read. I hardly ever watch TV because I can remember what I have read but after I watch a TV episode, I cannot recall one things about it.

Let me share how I obtain books at mere fractions of suggested retail price. I am an Amazon Prime member so all shipping is free, plus dozens of other perks. There are free downloads of millions of books but I want one I can hold in my hand, turn back 30 pages to remember a salient point.

So I go to Amazon, open under ‘books’ and type “The Third Bullet.” I can have it downloaded to my Kindle for $8.99. I can buy a new one in paperback for $7.19 or a new hard cover for $10.23.

Forget all the above. Go to hardback and scroll down to “used.” I’ve read previously-read books at the library all of my life so you can order a good condition “The Third Bullet” for about $3.00 with free shipping. Hello?

Millions of used books – one you can hold in your hand – are dying to be added to your library. Talk about “low-hanging fruit” for the best books ever written. And Amazon will actually buy them back from you.

Every child should read one book a week. So should you.

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