6 – Lack of Conclusive Evidence
We can wrap everything up by saying there simply isn’t enough evidence against Oswald to conclusively state he was the shooter. Indeed, most of the available facts suggest he almost certainly wasn’t JFK’s killer. If Jack Ruby hadn’t murdered Oswald a couple of days after the assassination, the prosecution would have struggled to get a guilty verdict based on the case they could build. Whether Oswald would have been convicted anyway is another matter entirely.
Evidence of his guilt is incredibly flimsy; right from the moment he supposedly brought his rifle into the Depository until right after his arrest following the alleged murder of Tippit. There is even evidence that points to Oswald being a ‘patsy’ as he claimed upon his arrest. His pro-Communist views made him an easy target; add in his life in Russia and pro-Cuban stance, and painting him as anti-American is a simple task. He was a sharpshooter in the Marines (albeit not a very good one) and had a history of violence, so he apparently had the capability to commit murder.
The Warren Commission never bothered to investigate the possibility that the killer was anyone other than Oswald, even in the face of a vast array of evidence. It had reached its verdict before the investigation had ever been launched in what was a shocking dereliction of duty. For instance, Buell Wesley Frazier, the man who drove Oswald to the Depository on the fateful day, is adamant that the package Oswald brought to work (which he claimed were curtain rods) was nowhere near big enough or large enough to hold a rifle even if the stock was disassembled from the barrel. He claimed the Dallas police detectives wanted him to confess to being part of the murder plot despite it being completely false. According to Frazier, the police kept asking him to change his testimony.
Although eyewitnesses at the scene say they heard the gunshots and saw a gunman at the easternmost south-facing window on the sixth floor of the Depository, photographic and medical evidence suggests otherwise. Then there is the Single Bullet Theory which has been more or less dismantled. Again, witnesses say they only heard three shots, but medical and forensic examination revealed that it was virtually impossible for all the injuries sustained by Kennedy, Connally, and Tague to have been caused by only three bullets. Then there is the small matter of Oswald lacking the ability even to hit the President from his supposed position.
While a couple of witnesses claim they saw Oswald on the sixth floor that day, it was over 30 minutes before the shooting. It was almost impossible for him to run down to the second floor where he was seen less than two minutes later from the sixth floor. Also, the two men who saw him at that stage remarked that he seemed calm and not out of breath. Surely, a dash down four flights of stairs would have caused even the fittest person to breathe a little heavier? In a photo, he was mistaken for Billy Lovelady, but there was a second person standing by the doorway which could have been Oswald.
He was also accused of murdering Patrolman J.D. Tippit even though the evidence suggests otherwise. Upon his arrest, Oswald was tested for gun residue, and the results revealed that he did not fire a rifle that day.
Overall, the only way Oswald could have been guilty is if an enormous number of people lied or were mistaken. The three witnesses who said he either didn’t bring a bag or didn’t have a large enough bag to match the one found at the scene of the shooting must have been mistaken. Two witnesses saw him on the second floor just 7 minutes before the shooting. The Commission claims the gunman was on the sixth floor at least 15 minutes before the assassination. Also, another witness says he saw the gunman on the sixth floor at the time Oswald was sighted on the second floor. All lies?
The people who heard shots from the grassy knoll must also have been wrong as were the doctors who said the President’s throat wound was the entry point for the bullet and not the exit. Connally, his wife and the police motorcyclist who claim the President was hit with separate bullets must have been wrong too. Add in the fact that the U.S. Army’s best shooters, along with others from the FBI, were unable to replicate Oswald’s shots despite being better marksmen, and you have more than enough evidence that the wrong man was blamed.
The Warren Commission already concluded that Oswald was the killer before it began its investigation. As a result, it latched onto incomplete or false evidence and ignored anything that contradicted its original conclusion. Therefore, can we really trust its final verdict? Most people say ‘no’ so now, let’s look at alternate theories.
Where Did We Find This Stuff? Some Sources and Further Reading