Our history of presidential assassins thrives with psychotic losers and lone wolves. Even failed attempts expose the pathetic wannabees on the lunatic fringe – none of them were connected to any subversive group or entangled in any Machiavellian plots.
Richard Lawrence, an itinerant house painter, fired two pistols at President Andrew Jackson on January 30, 1835 at the Capitol Building. Both weapons misfired, and he was arrested after Jackson thrashed him with his cane. Lawrence lived out his days in an insane asylum.
Charles Guiteau was a delusional office seeker who shot President James Garfield on July 2, 1881 in Washington after getting snubbed for a diplomatic post. Garfield lingered for 2-1/2 months before dying, and the zany Guiteau went to the gallows with a song on his lips.
Leon Czolgosz, a Polish anarchist and social outcast, shot President William McKinley on September 6, 1901 in Buffalo while shaking his hand in a receiving line. McKinley died 8 days later, and the slow-witted Czolgosz was electrocuted in October.
John Shrank shot former President Theodore Roosevelt at point blank range on October 14, 1912, in Milwaukee while he was campaigning as a third party candidate. The bullet was stopped by the folded speech in Teddy’s pocket. Shrank would later die in a mental hospital.
Giuseppe Zangara unloaded a fusillade at President-elect Franklin Roosevelt on February 15, 1933 at a political rally in Miami, but none of the shots hit FDR. Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak was wounded and died three weeks later, and the fanatical Zangara was quickly executed.
Oscar Collazo and Griselio Torresola, two Puerto Rican nationalists, attempted to kill President Harry Truman on November 1, 1950 while he was staying at the Blair House in DC. In a hail of gunfire, Torresola and a guard were killed, and Truman later commuted Collazo’s death sentence to life.
Lynnette “Squeaky” Fromme and Sara Jane Moore bungled their attempts to kill President Gerald Ford less than three weeks apart in September 1975. Manson disciple Fromme and deranged radical Moore were both released from prison after serving more than 30 years.
William Hinckley wounded President Ronald Reagan and three others in DC on March 30, 1981 in a bizarre attempt to punish actress Jodie Foster. Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity, and was released from a mental hospital in 2016.
None of these villains were ever linked to any cabals or cartels, nor is there evidence of collusion or conspiracy. A probe into their sorry lives quickly confirms that no government agency or radical clique would ever deign to hire them to kill a president.
John Wilkes Booth stands alone at the pinnacle of presidential assassins, and not because he scavenged up a pitiful band of cartoon conspirators. Booth was an alpha male, an ardent southerner obsessed with avenging the recently vanquished Confederate Cause. Considered “the most handsome man in America,” this malevolent, overrated actor possessed the cachet to take down an American King and Secular Saint like Abraham Lincoln.
That leaves Lee Harvey Oswald, the enigma with a gun. Was the former Marine sharpshooter and Communist defector the pawn of some shadowy, powerful faction who instigated a coup d’état by killing President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963?
Or was he merely another wretched stray who secured his place in history by daring to take aim at a head of state?
A Complex Murder?
No crime in history has undergone a more intense and exhausting scrutiny than the killing of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
Every shred of information about that horrifying November day in Dallas has been stirred, shaken and whipped into a lather. All this handling saddled the investigation with distortions, misconceptions, and blatant falsehoods that have stalked this tragedy from the outset.
The scales do not balance. How could Kennedy be toppled by the likes of Oswald? This disparity spawned countless theories and rampant speculation about which of the many groups lining up to assassinate the president actually carried out the hit. Because only a plot of epic intricacy could bring down a sovereign like JFK.
How could a pitiful loser with a $20 rifle be the lone wolf killer?
The killing of Oswald by shifty nightclub owner Jack Ruby merely closed the conspiracy loop. Ruby’s vague mob ties and lax security during Oswald’s transfer became proof positive that the “patsy” was put on the spot to protect whatever alliance killed Kennedy.
As the conspiracy movement mushroomed their conjectures became more outlandish. Even the most minuscule evidentiary inconsistency was overblown as corroboration that the JFK assassination was an elaborate government plot to change history.
Yet this faith is perplexing. Governments are not that clever and people are not that loyal. Someone always talks.
Even the term “assassination” imbues the act with lofty motives, conjuring up images of military takeovers, insurgent upheavals, and secret police intrigues. Often ignored are basic human desires to attain notoriety or avenge a grievance.
But what happens if we remove the assassination mystique and investigate the murder of JFK like a homicide case?
Who Was Lee Harvey Oswald?
The Warren Commission was the most thorough murder investigation in history. In ten months, they interviewed 552 witnesses, examined 3100 exhibits, and produced an 888 page report with unequivocal findings. Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing President Kennedy and Jack Ruby acted alone in killing Oswald. There was no conspiracy.
LBJ had insisted the Commission findings be made public before the November 1964 election, and their inquiry was quickly maligned as a “rush to judgement.” Every day Americans were hungering for a more complex plot behind the crime of the century, and this appetite for intrigue would never be satiated.
Who was Lee Harvey Oswald? Born in New Orleans in 1939, Oswald’s father died before he was born and he was raised by a domineering mother. By the age of 10 he had attended six different schools and was a chronic truant showing signs of violent behavior. He dropped out of high school his sophomore year and enlisted in the Marines when he turned 17.
Oswald would become a proficient marksman, but his military career was marred by anti-social behavior, stints in the brig and a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Three days before his 20th birthday, Oswald defected from Finland to the Soviet Union. There he married a Russian woman named Marina in April 1961, returning to the US in May 1962. He announced he was a “Marxist” and became involved with “Fair Play for Cuba” committee in the summer of 1963.
A common theme throughout his short life was his obsession to be noticed. Oswald wanted people to recognize how great he was – apparently no one ever had. Already a social misfit, his superior attitude bereft of accomplishment left those who’d just met him shaking their heads in frustration.
“The mass of men live lives of quiet desperation,” Thoreau famously said, but assassins rarely go quietly. These small, pathetic men pursue their misguided passions to avoid the sting of mediocrity.
So what was Lee Harvey Oswald doing in Dallas on November 22, 1963? And why is he still our prime suspect 57 years later?
Birth of an Assassin
When evaluating the case against Oswald, we must guard against confirmation bias by building the evidence around our suspect, as opposed to cherry-picking convenient facts while ignoring those in contradiction.
Perhaps the most astounding fact in Lee Harvey Oswald’s resume is the one nobody remembers.
On April 10, 1963, Oswald fired a rifle shot at retired Major General Edwin Walker as the right-wing zealot was sitting in his kitchen – the bullet was deflected by a window frame and barely missed Walker’s head. Arriving home breathless and agitated, Oswald told his wife Marina “I shot Walker.”
After Oswald’s arrest on November 22nd, his Walker manifesto was found, including surveillance photos of Walker’s house and detailed plans for his murder. Ballistics evidence on the deformed Walker bullet, though not conclusive, would later indicate a “fair probability” that it was fired from his rifle found after the JFK assassination.
Oswald had purchased that Mannlicher-Carcano in March 1963 by using an alias and having it delivered to a PO Box. Evidence would prove it was his PO Box and the handwriting on the money order was verified to be his.
Even before his attempt on Walker, Lee Oswald was regarded by those who knew him as an extremely disturbed, dysfunctional man. Now he’d shown he was capable of murdering another human being – and he had acquired the mindset of an assassin.
Between the Walker and Kennedy shootings, Oswald meandered between Dallas and New Orleans with the same pattern of failure – getting fired from menial jobs, physically abusing Marina, and rambling about radical politics. After separating from his wife, in October Oswald made abortive attempts to visit the Soviet and Cuban embassies in Mexico but was rebuffed both times.
Whatever clandestine plots the communists might possibly be hatching against JFK, involving a wild card like Oswald was not in their game plan.
Returning to Dallas, on October 15th Oswald began work at the Texas School Book Depository (TSBD) in Downtown Dallas. He got the job through a friend of a friend – Marina was living with their two daughters, one a newborn, in the suburb of Irving with Ruth Paine. It was her neighbor’s son Wesley Frazier who worked at the TSBD and told Oswald’s wife that they were hiring.
For the next five weeks, Oswald lived at his rooming house in Oak Cliff during the week and stayed with Marina and their daughters at the Paine’s house on weekends. He would catch a ride after work on Friday with Frazier and then ride back with him to work on Monday morning. During these weekend visits Oswald often implored Marina to bring their two children and move back in with him, even though his rented room was the size of a large closet.
During the week Oswald, who did not drive, had no access to either personal transportation or a private phone. He took the bus to and from work, and according to his landlady he rarely went out and never received any calls on the rooming house phone. She described him as silent to the point of rudeness, and confirmed that he never had any visitors.
President Kennedy’s trip to Dallas had been announced on September 25th, yet the finalized motorcade route was not publicized until the Dallas Times-Herald afternoon edition on Tuesday November 19th. Oswald, who always read the previous day’s paper in the TSBD lunchroom, would have first seen the exact route on Wednesday at work. He could not have known about it sooner.
Imagine the surprise of this desolate, hostile psychopath, a former marine sharpshooter, when he learned the most powerful man in the world would be riding in an open car on Friday afternoon right beneath the very windows where he would be working…
The Day in Question
Lee Harvey Oswald’s actions in the hours leading up to the assassination are enormously incriminating. Even without the overwhelming physical evidence against him, the circumstantial case is damning.
Breaking his normal routine, Oswald rode with Wesley Frazier on Thursday night to visit Marina instead of Friday night. This was the first time he ever showed up at the Paine home unannounced, and Marina was not happy.
That night, Oswald showed no interest in discussing JFK’s visit to Dallas the next day, out of character for a man immersed in politics and always eager to discuss government officials. He seemed obsessed with convincing Marina to move back in with him so they could “be a family again.” According to Ruth Paine, Oswald pleaded with his wife three separate times to reconsider her refusal.
Before he left for work Friday morning, Oswald did something else entirely out of character. With only $183 to his name, the notorious tightwad left $170, plus his wedding ring, on the dresser for Marina.
He then walked over to Wesley Frazier’s house carrying a long package. Both Frazier and his sister saw Oswald put the package into Frazier’s car – he told Wesley it contained curtain rods for his rented room. Yet his room already had curtain rods, and he had not asked Marina for any. And no curtain rods would be found at the TSBD.
When they arrived at work, for the first time ever Oswald walked ahead of Frazier, carrying his odd shaped package into the TSBD. Also for the first time, that morning Oswald did not bring his lunch and did not read yesterday’s paper in the lunch room.
Around 10AM he nervously asked another employee which way the motorcade would come, even though the route had been publicized. Oswald was last seen on the TSBD 6th floor 20-30 minutes before JFK was shot, and his clipboard with three unfilled orders would be found there.
Minutes before the presidential motorcade arrived in Dealey Plaza, at least four witnesses saw a man fitting Oswald’s description standing in the Depository sixth floor corner window with a rifle. Most assumed this man was a Secret Service Agent.
At 12:30 PM, Howard Brennan looked up after the first shot and saw a man he later identified as Oswald firing the rifle. Another witness on the sidewalk directly below the TSBD window looked up and saw
the rifle extended. And Times-Herald photographer Robert Jackson glanced upward in time to see the rifle drawn in to the six floor window after the final shot.
Three TSBD employees watching the motorcade from the 5th floor corner window heard the three shots from right above them and heard the shells hitting the floor…
Oswald in Flight
With panic and confusion outside after the shooting, Oswald was the only employee who showed no interest in the unfolding events, and did not respond when a secretary breathlessly told him the president had just been shot. A later roll call showed that Oswald was the only employee to leave the TSBD after the assassination, indicating that he was in flight.
After fleeing the TSBD, for the first time ever Oswald took a taxi to his rooming house after leaving a bus stalled in traffic. When the cab driver asked him what all the commotion downtown was, Oswald did not answer him. He asked the driver go past his rooming house and drop him off four blocks away, and he walked back after making sure no one was there looking for him.
He entered his rooming house, ignored a comment from his landlady about the assassination, got his revolver, changed his jacket and pants and began walking toward the area where Dallas Police officer JD Tippit would gunned down 15 minutes later.
Ten witnesses independently of each other would identify Oswald as the man who shot Tippit and/or fled the scene. This murder betrayed the mindset of a desperate man in flight from a terrible act.
A man identified as Oswald ducked into a store alcove to hide from police cars within 15 minutes of the Tippit shooting. And a cashier identified Oswald as the man who slipped into the Texas Theatre without paying.
Confronted by police in the theatre, Oswald stood up and yelled “It’s all over now!” – confirming he knew the police were after him. He violently resisted arrest, punching one officer while trying to shoot another. Why would an innocent man act this way?
Oswald refused to give his name to officers after his arrest. Normally an innocent person would cooperate fully, yet Oswald refused a lie detector test when asked, persisting with a clear consciousness of guilt.
Despite his often quoted claim that he was “a patsy,” Oswald’s clenched fist salute in the hallway of the Dallas Police Department that evening showed defiance, satisfaction, and even triumph. This was not the reaction of a frightened man who was innocent.
Most chillingly, after hearing the shots may have been fired from the TSBD, Oswald’s wife checked the Paine’s garage where he kept his rifle and found it was missing.
In her September 1964 Warren Commission testimony, Marina Oswald was not evasive. The wife who knew her husband better than anyone said this: “I have no doubt in my mind that Lee Oswald killed President Kennedy…”
Circumstantial Evidence and Oswald’s Lies
During his seven interrogation sessions from Friday afternoon through Sunday morning, Dallas detectives locked Oswald into many clumsy, absurd lies. His provable deceptions, along with the physical evidence against
him, went far beyond incriminating.
He denied ever owning a rifle, even though he purchased one under the alias A.J. Hidell and had it sent to his PO Box. When arrested, Oswald was carrying a fake ID with Hidell’s name on it, yet he claimed to know nothing about it.
Oswald asserted that Marina and Ruth Paine were lying when they said he kept the rifle wrapped in a blanket in the Paine garage, even though retrieving the rifle was his obvious reason for him going to the Paine house on Thursday night.
When shown the infamous photos of him holding both the rifle and his pistol, Oswald claimed they were doctored fakes, even though Marina admitted taking the pictures and Oswald had signed the back of one of them.
He insisted all he brought with him Friday morning was his lunch bag, disputing Wesley Frazier and his sister, who saw him place the long, peculiar looking package in Frazier’s car Oswald claimed were curtain rods. Neither witness had any reason to lie about it.
He claimed to be eating lunch with a co-worker in the 2nd floor lunchroom of the TSBD at 12:30 PM when the shots were fired. Yet that man declared the only time he saw Oswald that day was on the 6th floor.
Oswald said he left the TSBD because his supervisor told him there would be no more work that day, but Roy Truly swore he’d never said that to him.
A detective once told me that “a bad lie is as good as a confession.” Oswald dug himself into a hole by spewing demonstrable lies and displaying clear consciousness of guilt. Why would an innocent person deny he’d bought a rifle and posed for a photo with it? Why would he deny carrying a long package into work after telling Wesley Frazier it contained curtain rods?
The lies Oswald used to conceal his guilt are precisely what reveal his culpability in the murder of JFK…
The Physical Evidence
The circumstantial evidence against Lee Oswald and the lies he told are devastating. Add the physical evidence against him, and a previously complex assassination is reduced to a simple murder case.
The Mannlicher-Carcano rifle found on the 6th floor of the TSBD is the linchpin of Oswald’s guilt. Experts verified the writing on the money order was his, and the rifle was shipped to his PO Box. Photographs and fingerprints further link him to the weapon, so it is a fact that Oswald owned and possessed this rifle.
Firearms experts from both the Warren Commission and the 1978 House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded that the “pristine bullet” found on the Parkland stretcher and two large bullet fragments from JFK’s head wound were fired from Oswald’s Carcano to the exclusion of all other weapons. These same experts determined the three shell casings found in the TSBD’s 6th floor “sniper’s nest” were fired in and ejected from Oswald’s Carcano to the exclusion of all other weapons.
If that isn’t enough, Oswald’s clipboard was found nearby, and the large paper bag for “curtain rods” he carried into work was found there with Oswald’s fingerprints on it. Plus his left palm print and right index fingerprint were found on a book carton the assassin had apparently used as a gun rest.
Yet there’s more. Ballistics matched one bullet and 4 shells from the Tippit murder as coming from the revolver Oswald had on him when captured – paraffin tests on his hands indicated he’d recently fired a revolver. And the jacket he was wearing when he killed Tippit was found under a car on his route between the Tippit crime scene and the Texas Theatre where Oswald was arrested.
If there were no other evidence against Oswald, the fact that he owned the murder weapon and was in possession of it on November 22nd, 1963 while working by a window overlooking the motorcade route is overwhelming evidence of his guilt…
Jack the Conspirator?
When shady nightclub owner Jack Ruby slipped through police security and gunned down Lee Oswald during a transfer on Sunday morning November 24th, he not only denied a grieving, vengeful nation the chance for a trial, but he also launched a thousand conspiracy theories around the need to silence “the patsy.”
Oswald’s murder on live television at 11:21 AM prompted wild speculation about Ruby’s motive, most centered on his alleged, sketchy mob ties. The idea that one conspirator was eliminated while another was captured didn’t seem to bother a public skeptical that a deplorable has-been like Oswald could really be the lone gunman.
Yet people who knew Jack Ruby said he was distraught, horrified and angry that JFK had been shot in his home city of Dallas. Already possessed of a volcanic temper, from the moment he learned of the assassination Ruby was transformed into a grieving vigilante. He told his friends and employees he wanted to spare Jackie Kennedy the ordeal of returning to Dallas for Oswald’s trial.
Jack Ruby was a notorious gate-crasher and blabbermouth – he craved being where the action was, and couldn’t keep a secret for five minutes. No conspiracy intent on taking down Kennedy would EVER consider hiring a moronic loose-cannon like Ruby to take out Oswald.
A closer look at Ruby’s timeline on that fateful Sunday morning proves conclusively that his murder of Oswald was a stunning example of coincidence – pure chance meeting shifting circumstances. After his capture, Ruby told police: “If I had planned this I couldn’t have had my timing any better. It was one chance in a million!
Consider these events precluding Oswald’s murder – any one of which would have thwarted Ruby from killing the president’s assassin.
- IF the original Oswald transfer time of 10AM is followed, Ruby is still sitting in his apartment in his underwear.
- IF the Dallas Postmaster does not pop in at DPD headquarters to question Oswald, he is transferred at 10AM.
- IF one of his nightclub strippers does not call him that morning to wire her some rent money, Ruby does not go downtown until afternoon.
- IF the Western Union Office is not on the same block as the Dallas City Jail, Ruby would be nowhere near the transfer site.
- IF Ruby is delayed at the Western Union wiring the money, the transfer occurs while he is still in line.
- IF Oswald does not ask to change into his black sweater for the TV cameras, the transfer occurs while Ruby is still in line.
- IF the car to transport Oswald is in the correct position on time, Ruby’s access to shoot Oswald is blocked.
Ruby, who always carried large sums of money along with his gun, took his dog Sheba with him that morning, proving he had no specific plans to murder Oswald. Everyone who knew Ruby swore he would NEVER have brought his adored pet with him if he was planning to be arrested.
Ruby was also photographed within five feet of Oswald Friday night in the crowded hallway outside the Dallas Homicide Squad room. If he was hired to kill Oswald, he would have done it right then, because he could not be certain of getting another opportunity.
From his capture through his trial to his death in 1967, Ruby always insisted he shot Oswald on impulse when he saw the assassin of his beloved president smirking during the perp walk.
Oswald and Ruby are forever linked by the irony of that weekend in Dallas – they were both dismal fiascos who could not stand to be ignored…
There is not enough time and space here to evaluate the massive and disjointed cottage industry of JFK assassination conspiracy theories and Warren Commission cynics.
In the half a century since the crime, they have foisted some ridiculous partnerships and laughable assassins. The Mafia working with the CIA? The FBI in bed with the Russians? Pro and Anti-Castro Cubans in cahoots? J. Edgar Hoover in a dress on the grassy knoll?
Seriously, there is not one shred of evidence that the CIA, Castro, the Mafia, LBJ, or any other group murdered JFK. Any such plan would be reckless, irrational, and unbelievable. Based on when the motorcade route was published, is it even possible a complex conspiracy to murder a president could be hatched within 2-3 days?
But the absence of logic does not deter the fanatics. Virtually all the conspiracy theories begin with one little inconsistency – a vexing loose end, like a gnat on an elephant. Yet all crimes, even the “smoking gun” variety, include nagging little details that can’t be reconciled.
The problem here is that none of them go anywhere – and they do nothing to drain the boatload of evidence drowning Lee Harvey Oswald.
Gerald Posner’s Case Closed and Vincent Bugliosi’s Four Days In November are hands down the two best books and are required reading for any serious student of the JFK assassination. These brilliant men methodically demolish the house of cards built by those predisposed to believe Kennedy’s murder was an improbable high level decapitation of our government.
The much slandered Warren Commission actually got it right. Bugliosi deftly shatters the myth of their incompetence: “In its final form, the Commission’s report was amazing in its detail, remarkable in its judicious caution and restraint, yet utterly convincing in its major conclusions. The wonder was not that the Commission took such a long time to complete its report but that it did so much so swiftly.”
Most of the lingering loose ends can be discarded by a simple explanation.
What about “The Magic Bullet”? Governor Connally was not sitting directly in front of Kennedy – he was actually on the limo jump seat, 8 inches inside of Kennedy and 4 inches lower. Given this basic fact, Oswald’s second shot lines up perfectly with the wounds inflicted on both men.
Why did Kennedy’s head snap backwards from the fatal shot? He was wearing his back brace for his Addison’s disease, which kept him upright and restricted his forward movement. The brace did its job. If Kennedy is not wearing it, the 2nd shot puts him on the floor of the limo with a single, possibly survivable wound.
How could Oswald fire three aimed shots in six seconds with a bolt action rifle? Since we know now that his first shot was fired just after the limo turned the corner and was deflected by a light stanchion, he now has ample time to squeeze off the two shots that hit their target. As Bugliosi points out, “Eleven seconds to fire three shots is akin to all the time in the world. There’s no longer any question of how it was so difficult to do and how he pulled it off.”
What about the fatal shot from the “Grassy Knoll”? The Dealey Plaza acoustics account for most of that. Besides, based on the speculative trajectory of such a shot, that bullet would probably have wounded or killed Jackie Kennedy as well.
In short, there is not a scintilla of proof that points to a conspiracy to murder JFK – nor is there any credible evidence that points away from Oswald. This crime is classic Occam’s razor stuff where an explanation should have no more assumptions than are necessary.
Because when you are dealing with a murder case, the simplest explanation is almost always the correct the one…
A Simple Murder Case
People can lie, but behavior never lies. Consider two snippets of Lee Oswald’s behavior on November 22, 1963.
Three minutes after the shots are fired at the president, a secretary at the TSBD tells Oswald about the horrific events that just transpired. Lee is a fanatical political animal, yet he has NO interest in stopping to discuss the fact that the most powerful man on earth has just been shot outside their place of employment. A normal person obviously stops to converse about the sensational and tragic developments going on right outside.
Yet Oswald takes no notice of it and quickly leaves the building. Does that make any sense? Only if he is fleeing the scene of his crime.
When police converge on him in the Texas Theatre, his reaction is to shout “It’s all over now!” and then attempt to shoot yet another policeman. Does an innocent person act that way when approached by the police? Not if he’s just killed the president and a Dallas cop within the last 80 minutes.
Lee Harvey Oswald is no longer an enigma, because he was never really a mystery. Here’s Vincent Bugiliosi getting inside Oswald’s head better than anyone:
“Lee Harvey Oswald not only had a propensity for violence, but also was emotionally and psychologically unhinged; was a bitter, frustrated, and beaten-down loser who felt alienated from society and couldn’t get along with anyone, including his wife; irrationally viewed himself in a historical light, having visions of grandeur and changing the world; was one whose political ideology consumed his daily life, causing him to keep time to his own drummer in a lonely obsession with Marxism and Castro’s Cuba; and hated his country and its representatives to such an extent that he defected to one of the most undesirable places on earth.”
Consider that those who knew Oswald personally were NOT surprised by his arrest and had no problem believing he would kill the president, even before the massive evidence against him was made public. Yet conspiracy theorists and Warren Commission critics, none of whom knew Oswald and are aware of the crushing evidence against him, are still blindly convinced of his innocence.
At its heart this is a simple murder case. Oswald goes to the Paine home on Thursday night to either get his WIFE or his RIFLE. IF Marina agrees to move back with him that night, Oswald does NOT murder Kennedy the next day.
So after suffering the final rejection in his lifetime of failure, Lee Harvey Oswald, a nonentity forever desiring to be SOMEBODY, acts alone by taking his rifle to work and shooting President John F. Kennedy from the window of his sniper’s perch…