Sunday, February 28, 2010

Warren Commission and HSCA

It occurred to me that I hadn't provided anyone who reads this blog (if in fact such a person or persons exist) with a benchmark by which to judge the findings of these independent researchers. There were two major federal investigations into the assassination: there was the Warren Commission in 1964 and the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) in 1978 following the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr.

More after the jump...

In short, the Warren Commission concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman. He fired three shots, the first of which missed the target. The second shot hit President Kennedy in the back and exited through his throat. It then proceeded to hit Governor Connolly in the back, exit through his chest, hit his right wrist, and planted itself in the Governor's left thigh. This is also know as the "Single Bullet Theory." The third shot was the shot to Kennedy's head as shown in Zapruder film frame 313. The investigation was conducted primarily by the FBI. In the links section on the right-hand side, there is a link to many of the Commission's exhibits, included clothing, pictures, and statements made by witnesses.

The HSCA began it's investigation in 1976. Their findings were for the most part very similar to that of the Warren Commission. They, too, found that Oswald delivered the shots that hit the President, and agreed with the single bullet theory, though they determined to took place at a different time than the Warren Commission. However, based on acoustical evidence used during a re-enactment of the assassination, it was determined that there was in fact a second gunman on the grassy knoll who took the third of four total shots. It was determined that this shot missed due to the lack of any evidence of a bullet (this, of course, was investigated 16 years after that actual event.) They concluded that President Kennedy was most likely murdered as a result of a conspiracy, but noted that the Soviet and Cuban governments, organized crime, the FBI and CIA were not involved. 

Most assassination researchers agree that as government agencies, the CIA and FBI did not authorize or conspire to commit the assassination. They have not ruled out that individual members of these organizations had a part to play.

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