Thursday, November 22, 2012

Five Lingering Unsolved Mysteries From the JFK Assassination



It has now been 49 years since President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Since then, thousands of books have been written about what is probably the single biggest unsolved mystery of the 20th century. After nearly half a century, it's becoming increasingly clear that we may never fully understand what happened that day.

I myself have long harbored doubts about the government's own seriously flawed version of what happened in Dealey Plaza. The 1964 Warren Commission Report has rightfully been criticized over the years for the inaccuracies and flawed information it contained.

The vast majority of Kennedy assassination books over the decades have concluded that there was a conspiracy to kill JFK. However, many conspiracy theories themselves have been debunked over the years. In fact, sloppy work by conspiracy writers has, in my view, damaged the quest for truth in the case.

Authors like Gerald Posner, who have worked to debunk conspiracies, have in turn been harshly criticized by the pro-conspiracy community. Posner's book, Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK was once praised as a solid rebuttal to the conspiracy writers. But in recent years, Posner has increasingly come under fire and his reputation has taken a beating (even among those who believe Oswald acted alone).

One problem that plagues works like Posner's book (as well as pro-conspiracy works like Oliver Stone's JFK film) is that the case is simply too vast and complex to be adequately addressed in a single work.

After reading numerous JFK assassination books over the years, both pro and con, I still keep an open mind about the case. I'm not 100 percent convinced, either way, although I do lean toward the theory that Oswald did not act alone.

In any case, there are still unresolved mysteries surrounding the JFK Assassination that haven't been adequately explained to this day. Here are five of them.

1. What happened to Mary Moorman's missing fifth photo in Dealey Plaza? Moorman is known for her famous Polaroid photo that captures the JFK assassination at nearly the precise instant the head shot occurred. What is less well-known, though, is that Moorman took other photos that day. One photo she took moments before the assassination reportedly depicted the sixth-floor window of the Texas School Book Depository. The photo was reportedly turned over to Secret Service agents shortly after the assassination and vanished from sight. It has never been published and it remains missing to this day.

2. Why was Oswald's handwritten note to FBI agent James Hosty destroyed? Oswald wrote a note to Hosty a week or two before the assassination. Within hours of Oswald's death on Nov. 24, 1963, the note was torn up and flushed down the toilet by Hosty. Hosty had claimed his superior, Gordon Shanklin, had ordered him to destroy the note. However, Shanklin denied this. The lingering mystery, though, is exactly what the contents of Oswald's note were and why the note was destroyed in the first place.

3. Whatever happened to the mysterious "Babushka Lady," who was seen in the Zapruder film of the assassination? Zapruder's film depicts a woman wearing a head scarf who in turn is filming the JFK motorcade at the moment of the assassination. Given that the Babushka Lady is very close to the motorcade, her film would offer invaluable evidence if it could be located today. The problem is, shortly after the assassination, the Babushka Lady and her film vanished from history. In 1970, a woman named Beverly Oliver came forward and claimed she was the Babushka Lady and that her film was confiscated by the FBI. But her story has never been confirmed.

4. What happened in the mysterious death of Oswald's friend, George de Mohrenschildt? A noted member of the Russian emigre community in Dallas, De Mohrenschildt became an unlikely friend of Oswald in 1962. He testified at length before the Warren Commission in 1964. In later years, he became increasingly depressed and distraught and believed the CIA was persecuting him. On March 29, 1977, de Mohrenschildt was contacted by an investigator with the House Select Committee on Assassinations, asking for an interview. That same day, de Mohrenschildt was found dead from a gunshot wound. De Mohrenschildt's death has been called a suicide, but its timing does seem mysterious.

5. Did Joseph Milteer have foreknowledge of the assassination? 13 days before the assassination, right-wing extremist Milteer gave tape-recorded comments to a Miami police informant that eerily predicted key details of the JFK assassination. Milteer claimed that a conspiracy to kill Kennedy was in the works and described a scenario in which the president would be shot "from an office building with a high-powered rifle." Milteer also predicted that, in the aftermath of the assassination, the police would arrest a patsy "to throw the public off." Amazingly, the Warren Commission gave very little attention to Milteer's interview. Milteer remains a shadowy and mysterious figure to this day. His 1963 tape-recorded remarks can be heard in the video above.


Franklin Utah said...

The Milteer tape is remarkable and I'm surprised it hasn't gotten more attention. Part of the frustration of the JFK case has always involved missing items. Missing witnesses, missing evidence, missing photos.
But the Milteer tape breaks this rule. Not only do we know that a right-wing extremist predicted key details of the JFK assassination before the event. But we have it all on a tape recording that exists to this day.

Jack Jodell said...

Those are very vital questions which need immediate answers. The Warren Report was clearly faulty and incomplete, and we have definitely been lied to all these years!

Marc McDonald said...

Hi Jack, thanks for stopping by and for your comment.
You know, at one time I was almost convinced by Gerald Posner's "Case Closed" book. But as time as gone on, I now realize that Posner's book was seriously flawed.

Tommy Wilkens said...

George De Mohrenschildt's death left us with many unanswered questions concerning his death on March 29,1977.The cassette tape recording of the shotgun blast in the Nancy Tilton home recorded first the beeping sound of the in-house security system activating when a door opened.Then the tape recorded sounds of footsteps on the hardwood floors.Then moments after the footstep sounds stop the shotgun blast is recorded.Strangely in the death scene photos of De Mohrenschildt he is sitting very much dead in a high backed chair with no shoes on only black socks.And no shoes can be seen near his body or even close by in the photos taken that day by the Palm Beach County Sheriffs Office.And one more very strange occurrence that day of his death.There were five people around the house or in the house when the shot went off and not one of the 5 people present that day heard a sound !!!! Not one of the people heard the 20 gauge shotgun blast!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Mystery #6 Kennedy's brain was exhumed from his skull for investigation and disappeared the next day where is it

Alan said...

Rock solid questions, Marc, thanks for sharing them, two thumbs up.

Marc McDonald said...

Hi Alan,
Thanks for your kind words. I plan on doing another JFK
piece here pretty soon.

Alan said...

Keep them coming, Marc. Have bookmarked your site, so I may check in and stay abreast of any new developments. Enjoy your day.

Anonymous said...

I also wondered about that but they say bobby Kennedy took his brothers brain from the national archives

Marc McDonald said...

Hi Tommy, thanks for stopping by and for your comment. Re: cassette tape recording---I've long been intrigued by that aspect of the case. I wonder if there is anywhere one could hear that tape, or if it was ever released to the public.