Even after 40 years, `nothing' to indicate Oswald did not kill JFK all by himself, says noted expertReleased on November 17, 2003
Contact: Dennis Nealon firstname.lastname@example.org
Lee Harvey Oswald murdered President John F. Kennedy all by himself 40 years ago in Dallas's Dealey Plaza, and the passage of time has done nothing to show otherwise, says noted assassination expert Jacob Cohen, an American Studies professor at Brandeis University.
"Notwithstanding the continued skepticism on the part of the majority of those who tell the pollsters that they still harbor doubts, that skepticism, properly understood, is very shallow," said Cohen, one of the leading academic defenders of the single-assassin theory during the `60s and `70s. "Nothing, nothing, has arisen in these 40 years to shake the foundations of the original conclusions of the Warren Commission. I remain convinced of the essential correctness of the original verdict."
Cohen is certainly not alone in that assertion, but the anti-conspiracy contingent has been dwarfed by a pro-conspiracy cottage industry that began growing even as Oswald was first gang tackled by police in a Dallas movie theater. Since Nov. 22, 1963, hundreds of books, articles and films have espoused various and sundry conspiracy theories on the assassination, from a plot by organized crime, to agents of Fidel Castro, to a military-industry connection and so on.
In the 1960s, Cohen debated the single-assassin theory on the Brandeis campus with one of the original conspiracy minded theorists, Mark Lane, author of Rush to Judgment. Cohen says he has never really believed that JFK was hit from any direction other than the Texas Schoolbook Depository.
Cohen is no armchair authority on the subject, but is one of the country's most respected authorities on the events of that fateful fall afternoon in Dallas. He covered the House Assassinations Committee hearings in 1976 as a guest expert for the Public Broadcasting Service. His first article on the assassination, "The Missing Documents," was published in The Nation in 1966. In it he revealed that X-rays and photos of Kennedy taken the night of the murder had not been shown to the Warren Commission.
Cohen's own tour of the assassination scene turned up a broken, hot steam pipe near the infamous grassy knoll that Cohen believes may have discharged smoke that some conspiracy theorists say came from a second assassin's gun. Cohen is footnoted in the pro-conspiracy book, Best Evidence by David Lifton, a cloak-and-dagger opus that Cohen says shows how impossibly complex any allegation of conspiracy must become when it attempts to account for all the evidence.
There is more evidence that the conspiracy cottage industry may be crumbling. On Nov. 20, ABC News has announced that it will air a two-hour special that it says is a result of an exhaustive investigation into the assassination. The network worked with an expert who created a computer-generated reconstruction of the shooting using maps, blueprints, physical measurements, more than 500 photographs, films and autopsy reports.