Who Killed Kennedy? Conspiracy Buffs Gather To Trade Theories
DALLAS (AP) _ Who killed JFK?
The question has been around since the president was assassinated on that November afternoon in Dallas nearly 28 years ago. This week, a three-day symposium principally of those who reject the official explanation is being held in a hotel just down the street from the old Texas School Book Depository.
The Assassination Symposium on John F. Kennedy, dubbed ASK, is largely a gathering of conspiracy buffs dedicated to ″solving″ the Nov. 22, 1963, murder.
For the most part, participants reject the Warren Commission conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone, killed the president.
And they insist that Jack Ruby, who murdered Oswald two days later, was a co-conspirator.
The commission said Oswald was the lone assassin who fired three shots into the presidential motorcade from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository.
The goals of ASK, sponsors say, ″are to present and disseminate information about the assassination, and ultimately prompt the United States government to open all files and archives pertaining to the assassination in order to resolve questions that remain unanswered 28 years after the fact.″
Among the panelists and speakers are authors and researchers who for years have advanced often novel theories on the events that occurred that day.
The favorite targets of conspiracy buffs are organized crime and the CIA.
Until his retirement in the late 1980s, Henry Wade, Dallas County’s tough, outspoken district attorney, routinely dismissed many of the Warren Commission critics as crackpots.
Conspiracy fervor was such just 10 years ago that authorities opened Oswald’s grave in Fort Worth so that pathologists could determine who was buried there. A British author, Michael Eddowes, insisted that the coffin contained the body of an impostor, a Russian spy in fact.
But the pathologists said the body was Oswald’s.
That torpedoed one theory, but did little to stem the skepticism of conspiracy buffs.
The symposium formally opens Friday with a keynote address by Dr. Cyril Wecht, who sponsors say is a forensic expert, lawyer and doctor and the first private citizen to study the Kennedy autopsy photographs and X-rays in 1971.
Among the other speakers and panelists are Gary Shaw and Larry Harris, co- directors of the conspiracy-theory JFK Assassination Center in Dallas and co-authors of a Kennedy book, ″Cover-up.″
Other participating authors are Robert Groden, ″High Treason″; David Lifton, ″Best Evidence″; John Davis, ″The Kennedys″ and ″Mafia Kingfish″; George Michael Evica, ″And We Are All Mortals″; Jim Marrs, ″Crossfire″; Jim Moore, ″Conspiracy of One″; and Bob Dorff, ″The Last Judgment″.
Another panelist is Dr. Charles Crenshaw, one of the doctors at Parkland Hospital who treated Kennedy and Oswald. Crenshaw is co-author of a soon-to- be-published book, ″Three Days at Parkland.″
Speakers will explore such topics as ″Oswald: Patsy or Assassin?″ and ″Jack Ruby, His Life and Background.″ They also will discuss the single bullet theory, the medical evidence and the number and direction of the shots fired at the Kennedy motorcade.