Still on the Case

Conspiracy buffs live in a world of uncertainty, haunted by goat’s heads, a pristine bullet, and bouncing skulls. But the most haunting uncertainty of all is this: who was Lee Harvey Oswald?
Still on the Case
Who can comprehend a mind altered by LSD? Robert Ranftel of Berkely (top) thinks Oswald may have been given drugs while he was in the Marines. Archivist Mary Ferrell added a room to her house to hold her assassination files.
Photographs by Tim Boole

Dealey Plaza. It’s a hot morning in August of this year, and motorists whizzing down Elm Street are witnessing a curious, if not sinister, phenomenon. Three people have gathered around a manhole at the foot of the famous grassy knoll. There’s an attractive young blond woman, a spry, grizzled older fellow in a Coors cap, and a guy in his thirties with a tape recorder. The older guy is bending down and—demonstrating remarkable vigor—pulling the hundred-pound manhole cover out of its recess in the sidewalk.

Then he stops. Waits for a Dallas Police Department squad car to cruise by and disappear into the darkness of the Triple Underpass. At last he has yanked the massive iron seal clear of the opening that leads down to the storm sewer system honeycombing the underside of Dealey Plaza.

Then he does something really strange. He walks out into the middle of Elm Street traffic, heads uphill between two lanes of oncoming cars, and plants himself in the middle of the road about 25 yards upstream.

Okay now, Ron. I’m standing right where the president was when he took the head shot. Now I want you to get down in that manhole,” he yells at the younger guy, who, not to be coy, is me. “Elaine,” he calls out to the woman, “you

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