Episode 137: JFK Part Two: Death

This episode of The Sofa King Podcast is Part II of our coverage of John F. Kennedy, in which we look at the details of his assassination and then discuss the multitude of theories floating around about who killed him, how, and why. These theories range from the wild to the mundane, but the one thing everyone agrees on is that he was shot several times on November 22, 1963 while riding in a motorcade through the streets of Dallas. The famous footage known as the Zapruder Film is the clearest (but not the only) recording of his death, and it shows him undoubtedly get shot in the head and sustain a wound nobody could survive.

So, the big question is: Whodunit? The official word from the US government’s Warren Report was that a single gunman—Lee Harvey Oswald—killed JFK by firing three shots from the 6th floor of the Book Depository. According to the report, Oswald was a man with communist leanings. He had lived three years in the Soviet Union, had a Russian wife, and even applied for a visa to move to Cuba shortly before the assassination. Many people think he had attempted other political assassinations, in fact.

Oswald was arrested in a movie theater the day of the assassination and had allegedly killed a police officer named JD Tippit earlier in the day. He was arrested, and two days later, as he was leaving the Dallas jail to head to court, he was shot and killed by Jack Ruby on live television. Oswald claimed he was a patsy before he died; Ruby said from prison that nobody would ever know the depths of what was happening. It’s all very strange.

So, did Oswald kill JFK? That remains a burning question. Many people doubt he could have pulled off the three shots, and doubt that one bullet could have done through JFK’s body at the angle it did and then injure Governor Connaley in the front seat. This “Magic Bullet” makes people think there was more than one shooter, and so do the numerous eye witnesses who claim to have seen other shooters and activity on a grassy knoll in Dealy Plaza.

But there are other strange theories, and we talk about them on the show. Who was the peculiar “Umbrella Man,” and what were the odd pulses of light that came from his umbrella? Did JFK’s driver, agent William Greer, kill the president (either on purpose or by accidentally discharging his weapon)? What about the claims that Carlos Marcello, the mob boss of New Orleans ordered him killed, and why would the mob want him dead?

From the CIA to the KGB, from the mob to Fidel Castro, from his own vice president to people covering up the existence of aliens, many people have been blamed over the years. We even talk about the fact that the actor Woody Harrelson’s father, known mob hitman Charles Harrelson, killed JFK. You don’t want to miss this one. It’s the mother of all conspiracies. Special thanks to Doctor Randal Beeman for helping us sort out the details on this one!

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