Latest JFK Theories
To study the assassination of John F. Kennedy is to study American history, politics, organized crime, government, and much more. Over time, as additional information becomes available about what really happened in Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963, it is becoming even more confusing to determine whether Oswald acted alone. Based on acoustical evidence (which was later discounted), it was "proven" with 96.3% certainty that four shots were fired at JFK, three from the Texas School Book Depository, and one from an area to the right/front of the President's limo (1). Most agree that the one shot came from the top of the grassy knoll, but there is also strong evidence that the shot actually originated from a curbside sewer at the bottom of the knoll. Either way, if two assassins were involved, then there is no doubt that JFK's death was the result of a conspiracy, and not some lone nut. A later study by Max Holland seems to prove it was possible that Oswald could have been the only shooter, but this still does not prove that he was in fact working alone. Therefore, the unsolved murder mystery of JFK's assassination continues to this day.
As we attempt to assemble the other pieces of this puzzle into some logical conclusions, it appears that the assassination may have been accomplished with resources assembled by the CIA for the purpose of eliminating Castro. The secret plan to kill Castro was approved by JFK, and involved key Mafia members and a small group of Cuban exiles. After knowledge of the operation was obtained by Castro, he may have called upon his Mafia contact(s) to redirect some of those resources against JFK, thereby thwarting the plans for his own demise. John Roselli of the Chicago mob was the point man initially recruited for this project by the CIA. Roselli brought in mob bosses Sam Giancana (Chicago) and Santos Trafficante (Florida) to utilize their knowledge and expertise regarding Castro and Cuba.
The mob bosses had their own reasons for wanting JFK out of office. Back in 1960, Joseph Kennedy enlisted the help of the Chicago Mafia to help JFK win the presidential election, and earlier, used Frank Sinatra as a Mafia liaison to influence the West Virginia primary (2). Prior to and even during the assassination, the Mafia was again being used by JFK in his plot to kill Castro. Despite all of the Mafia's "help", the Attorney General, Robert Kennedy, was prosecuting the Mafia leaders in a public crusade against organized crime. And on a personal note, JFK was even having an affair with Sam Giancana's mistress, Judith Exner (3). Therefore, it was previously believed that the Chicago mobsters may have orchestrated the plan to assassinate President Kennedy. But after further considering the conflicting testimonies and their untimely deaths, it now appears that Castro's contact may have been Santos Trafficante. Trafficante most likely combined forces with his old friend Carlos Marcello from New Orleans, and redirected three Cuban assassins from the CIA operation to accompany Lee Oswald in Dallas. Logistics, weapons, transportation and other necessities were provided by using other familiar characters in this case, such as David Ferrie, who was not provided with full knowledge of the plan.
After knowing the identities and motives of the conspirators, then the next question is why the Government cover-up? If Castro was implicated in JFK's assassination, then World War III would have become a reality. To avert a nuclear war with Russia, part of the solution for the Cuban missile crisis was JFK's secret agreement not to invade Cuba or disrupt Castro's government. The KGB (via Castro) most likely knew that JFK violated that agreement, and would have come to the defense of Cuba if the U.S. initiated an attack in retaliation for JFK's assassination. [If JFK had not been assassinated, would Russia have retaliated against the United States for violating Kennedy's own agreement to not interfere in Cuba? That question raises the possibility of Government involvement in Kennedy's assassination, and at the highest level.]
Therefore, JFK was a martyr. He found himself in a no win situation after secretly agreeing to stay out of Cuba, while facing public criticism for being soft on Cuba prior to the 1964 election. The best solution appeared to be a secret attempt to eliminate Castro using Mafia and Cuban forces, so as not to implicate the United States Government. However, little did he know that the secrecy of the plan would be compromised, resulting in his own demise. The big question is by who? We know that the Mafia was involved, but did they act on their own behalf, or were they redirected by Castro and/or the KGB, or even by our own Government?
Earlier we thought that the mob practically had a free pass to kill JFK, as the secret dealings of the CIA with the Mafia to kill Castro would have made it difficult for the Government to reveal the true facts without discrediting its own intelligence operations. But the sheer extent of the Government's cover-up indicates that even more was at stake. The risk of an all-out war with Russia was inevitable if Castro and/or the KGB were implicated in the assassination. The American public would have demanded it. Thus, in that case, the extreme measures taken to hide these facts from the public would have been justified. This is a far cry from attempting to avoid public embarrassment or trying to protect the identities of a handful of gangsters who botched the Castro job anyway. After all, JFK's death virtually eliminated the threat of Soviet retaliation against the U.S. for the Kennedys' plot to remove Castro using Mafia resources. [Again, could the Government have been involved in the JFK assassination plot to avoid nuclear confrontation with Russia? This would also justify a massive cover-up to prevent chaos and the possible collapse of the Government.]
Mafia involvement in the assassination has been discussed freely over the years by various mobsters, but only a few had actual/complete knowledge. The Godfather, Joe Bonanno (4), even documented his understanding of the events in his autobiography. However, his information was second-hand. Although the Mafia was not involved as an organization, several mobsters were involved as individuals. This is also true of the anti-Castro Cubans, who were not involved a group, but as individuals. According to Bonanno's second-hand version, Sam Giancana and Johnny Roselli (Chicago), Carlos Marcello (New Orleans) and Santos Trafficante, Jr. (Tampa) were all involved in the conspiracy to kill Kennedy. According to Bonanno's understanding of the plan, Giancana ordered the hit on JFK, and shooters were positioned at three locations in Dealey Plaza: on the overpass, in the sewer on Elm Street, and in the Texas School Book Depository. Roselli was the man in the sewer, while Cuban assassins were stationed at the other locations. Lee Oswald was a patsy. It should be noted that after the assassination, John Roselli told the CIA that he suspected Santos Trafficante of compromising the secrecy of the plan to assassinate Castro. Joe Bonanno's aforementioned version of the events most likely came from Santos Trafficante.
There were many other interesting tidbits uncovered while researching this case, some which may not have anything to do with the assassination. However, one piece of information that illustrates the close ties between the Mafia and CIA is worth mentioning. It involves Sam Giancana's love affair with Phyllis McGuire (5) of the famous McGuire Sisters. While working with the CIA on the Castro plot, Giancana suspected that McGuire was also interested in Dan Rowan (who later gained fame with Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In). Therefore, Giancana "ordered" the CIA to place a wire in Rowan's hotel room so he could keep abreast of the situation. However, the plan backfired when a CIA operative was caught installing the device and was arrested by the FBI. It got even more interesting when the Mafia point man Johnny Roselli posted bail for the CIA operative. It makes one wonder who was running the show, the CIA or the Mafia? Anyway, the FBI had no knowledge that well-known gangsters were working with the CIA on a special project relating to Cuba and national security until that incident.
In 1979, the House Select Committee on Assassinations determined that John F. Kennedy's murder was probably the result of a conspiracy, and locked away the records for 50 years. The release date was later changed to 2017, as a result of the JFK Act of 1992. We will revise this page if any new information changes our views, so stay tuned!
...to be continued
(1) Forensic Science Society. Recordings of the Dallas Police Department radio transmissions indicated 7 gunshot sounds during an 11-second interval during the assassination; one was determined not to be a gunshot, another did not match the test pattern, and the other was rejected based upon non-acoustic evidence.
(2) My Father's Daughter: A Memoir . In a 60 Minutes interview about her book, Tina Sinatra revealed that her father was used by Joseph Kennedy to communicate with the Mafia.
(3) My Story . Judith Exner's autobiography.
(4) Bonanno: Godfather's Story [VHS] . Video is based upon the autobiography A Man of Honor: The Autobiography of Joseph Bonanno, head of the New York Mafia. The unedited version of this movie was broadcast on the Showtime cable channel.
(5) Sugartime . The movie about Phyllis McGuire and Sam Giancana touches on the Dan Rowan incident.
Click Here for Previous Theories