They Can’t All Be Right

After twenty years these are the assassination theories that still survive.

Washing Machine Theory. Oswald’s reconciliation with Marina on eve of assassination thwarted when they argue about buying a washing machine. Rejected and distraught, he kills the president.

KGB Sleeper Theory. Early Warren Commission critic Edward J. Epstein shifts his ground in Legend: the Secret World of Lee Harvey Oswald. He speculates Oswald fired the shots alone but perhaps with the knowledge, if not the instigation, of the KGB, who sent Oswald back to the U.S. after his defection, as an unwitting, or a “sleeper” agent.

JFK Still Alive Theory. A perennial item of JFK-cult fantasy, favored by publications like the National Enquirer . First attributed to and then denied by Truman Capote a dozen years ago. Usually involves report that JFK is alive but comatose in obscure Swiss Alps clinic, seen only by family members.

Military Intelligence Theory. House Select Committee found “extremely troublesome” the 1973 destruction by Defense Department of its classified file on Oswald. Other intelligence agencies point finger at Oswald’s possible military-intelligence role to disavow their own connections with Oswald.

Times-Picayune Theory. Jean Davison in Oswald’s Game portrays Oswald as a committed Marxist and Castro partisan. Suggests he was in New Orleans when the New Orleans Times-Picayune published an AP interview Castro gave on September 7, 1963, in which the Cuban leader said he knew of U.S. plots against him and warned that those who instigated them would be subject to retribution. Davison believes that Oswald took this as inspiration to kill JFK in retaliation for the attempts to assassinate Fidel.

Mob Hit Theory. New Orleans mob boss Carlos Marcello or Florida boss Santo Trafficante or Jimmy Hoffa or all three together order the hit, perhaps using anti-Castro Cubans recruited for Castro assassination plots by John Roselli and Sam Giancana. The latter two were murdered gangland style shortly before they were scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

CIA Sleeper Theory. Oswald recruited as a young Marine by CIA or Naval Intelligence. Asked to pose as Marxist defector to Soviet Union to infiltrate USSR for us. Later manipulated or made a patsy by “a renegade element in U.S. intelligence” who set him up to take the hit and place the blame on ostensible pro-Russian, pro-Castro figure.

Saigon Revenge Theory. JFK hit came three weeks after murder of President Diem of South Viet Nam as reprisal for Kennedy-sponsored coup. LBJ once suggested wealthy Diem family or pro-Diem intelligence faction might have had revenge motive for JFK hit.

Amlash Turnaround Theory. While JFK is ostensibly putting out feelers toward rapprochement with Fidel in fall of 1963, uncontrolled elements of CIA continue to plot murder of the Cuban leader. Key figure: Rolando Cubela, code-named AMLASH, close associate of Castro. CIA agent in Paris supplied AMLASH with deadly weapons (including a poison fountain pen) on the day Kennedy was shot. Theory is that AMLASH plot leaked to Castro and led to retaliation against JFK.

Frank Sturgis Theory. Frank Sturgis, Howard Hunt’s associate in the Watergate burglary, says he has info that Jack Ruby was part of Castro drug-smuggling plot and orchestrated JFK killing along with Cuban agents on behalf of Fidel.

Japanese Responsibility Theory. Meticulous investigator Jones Harris suggests Oswald was recruited by Japanese secret agents at Atsugi.

Rotten Apples in the Secret Service Theory. David Lifton in Best Evidence suggests that conspirators seized the body of the president and then subjected it to secret surgery to create evidence of trajectory reversal (the impression that shots were fired from behind). Lifton alludes to “certain rotten apples in the Secret Service,” in addition to higher-level figures in government.

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