GALLIPOLIS — Today marks the 50th commemoration of the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas, but even with the passage of time, more questions than answers surround the assassination of the country’s 35th president, according to John H. “Jack” Gordon, Ph.D., a well-respected lecturer and expert on the Kennedy assassination.
During a special presentation this past Sunday, Bossard Memorial Library presented Gordon, who has spoken over the past 35 years to students on more than 100 college campuses across the United States. During his lecture, Gordon discussed, in detail, the events of November 22, 1963, and a number of the theories that surround the assassination, including his own belief of what happened that day.
“This goes way back for me, and I can look around the room and the majority of the people here remember November 22, 1963,” Gordon told the crowd. “I’m very, very pleased to be with you here today.”
During the lecture that held the audience in rapt attention for approximately an hour and half on Sunday, Gordon presented a slide show and discussed the motorcade footage of that day, including the famous Zapruder film released 12 years after the assassination, and other relevant newsreel footage and photos related to the event.
In addition, Gordon also discussed the now infamous Warren Commission and its findings, as well as the House Select Committee on Assassinations.
The Warren Commission, officially known as the President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, was established on November 29, 1963, by President Lyndon Johnson to investigation the assassination. In its findings that were released in September 1964, the commission found that Lee Harvey Oswald, alone and unaided, assassinated the president.
The House Select Committee on Assassinations was formed in 1976 to investigate the assassination of Kennedy as well as Martin Luther King, Jr., and, according to Gordon, the committee had a somewhat different take on the assassination of President Kennedy.
“They concluded, I think, reluctantly, that there was an assassination conspiracy with President Kennedy. The chief council really thought the organized crime connection was the key and the acoustical evidence — that was the sound evidence picked up by the Dallas motorcycle policeman,” Gordon said. “They turned over a lot of their work to the justice department. That was 34 years ago and nothing was ever followed up by the justice department. There is just outright disdain [for the justice department] in not following up on probably the most important murder case in the history of our country. …
“The House Select Committee on Assassinations was on the same track as the Warren Commission with three shots only, until they ran into their acoustical sound evidence and found that there was fourth shot fired from the grassy knoll,” Gordon continued. “That ended up being argued and debated and never followed through with.”
Gordon’s own theory on the assassination is that Kennedy was shot a total of three times on November 22, 1963, once in the neck from the front, once in the back at a point five inches below the collar and to the right of the spine, and one fatal blow to the head.
“It’s my firm belief that the president was hit three times, throat, back and head, in that order,” Gordon stated. “There are many who believe, particularly a Dr. Gary Aguilar, a physicist, that the president was hit in the head twice, simultaneously.”
Gordon further discussed the role of the media in the ongoing debate about the assassination of the president and the perpetual myth that Oswald acted as the lone assassin.
“The scariest thing about this, in the 38 years I’ve been researching this, is that the media keeps pushing this myth of the lone assassin, and why? Why can’t they legitimately do research and find that there’s a lot more to it,” Gordon stated while discussing a coup d’etat, or the plan made by a small group to over throw a government. “The most important part of a coup d’etat is not the taking out of the president or the dictator or whoever it is, it’s the aftermath, keeping the noise level down, and the media is critical in that respect. When President Johnson gets that volume from Earl Warren [of the Warren Commission] with the findings and the conclusions, but not the exhibits and the testimony, you can go back on the microfiche of the Washington Post and the New York Times, Boston Globe, all the major newspapers, or, if they still have the taping of Cronkite or Huntley Brinkley, they all endorsed it when it came out. They didn’t take the 18 months for the exhibits and testimony to come out to look at the discrepancies.”
Gordon also discussed the one-bullet theory and the belief of many that only one bullet was used that day to kill Kennedy and to injure Governor John Connally of Texas who was riding in car in front of Kennedy at the time of the shooting.
“If you take a shot through anyone of us five and half inches down from the collar and it comes out the throat, that’s an upward trajectory, not a downward trajectory. You have an entrance wound that becomes and exit wound. You have a bullet that then goes on and hits Governor Connally in the right shoulder, shatters his fifth rib, comes out the right chest, goes down and to the right through his right wrist … all the way up to the head shot and then it’s finally spent in Connally’s thigh,” Gordon said. “It doesn’t add up, it just doesn’t add up, but it’s still endorsed to this day.”
Gordon also explained that he believes that at least six gunshots were fired that day, a fact that can only lead one to the conclusion that the assassination was the work of a conspiracy, with multiple gunmen.
“I think the president was assassinated by a conspiracy. The gun shots came from two different directions. I think there are at least six [gunshots]: his throat, his back, his head, Connally’s shoulder and rib and chest, Connally’s wrist is five, and then the Tague ricochet is six,” Gordon said. “I used to get hung up about the exact location of these people firing from behind and in front. I don’t anymore. I don’t think it matters. If there are gunshots from two different directions, it’s a conspiracy — well thought out and well-planned, with probably radio communication among the gun teams, a visual spotter, and those gunmen who can hit a bulls-eye a hundred times out of a hundred times. Who knows what happened to them. They might have been dead, as so many Hollywood movies used to say when they made reference to the Kennedy assassination, ‘the gunman was dead by sunset.’”
Gordon further discussed Oswald and his role as the scapegoat in relation to the assassination.
“He said he was a patsy when he was being led down the corridor and he asked for legal representation and never got it,” Gordon stated.
The lecturer further discussed his own theory that the friction surrounding Cuba, the Soviet Union and the United States, including the Bay of Pigs incident and the Cuban Missile Crisis, played a large role in the subsequent assassination.
“The conspiracy itself is a triangle to me: organized crime, the CIA and the anti-Castro Cuba, the three corners of the triangle,” Gordon stated. “Everything changes after Kennedy is gone. What we didn’t know, even in the ’80s and the ’90s, was what Kennedy did to open up channels to Castro on the one hand and Khrushchev on the other.”
Gordon further encouraged the audience to make their own conclusions from all of the evidence that exists surrounding the assassination.
“You are obviously here because you all have a lot of interest in this and none of you have to believe my findings,” Gordon said. “I basically have stuck to that triangle now for 30 years.”
Gordon also pointed to a commencement speech given by Kennedy in June 1963 at American University as a possible beginning of the conspiracy that killed the president later that year.
“[That speech was] calling for, not as Neville Chamberlain said, ‘peace in our time’, but ‘peace for all time.’ It was very powerful speech and I think that was when the mechanism was created to kill him,” Gordon stated.
At the conclusion of his presentation, Gordon took a few questions from audience members and subsequently left those in attendance with a word of encouragement for future research on this topic of such historical significance that has puzzled historians and the American public since it occurred 5o years ago.
“The cover up is still well in place, and, I tell you, it’s even tighter now with what we’re seeing come out,” Gordon told the crowd. “I encourage you, whatever your age is, to keep reading.”