Kennedy Assassination: Beyond Conspiracy

"We can start with, for instance, Governor Connally's entrance wound on his back, connect that with the point of exit on the president's throat, and then take that line and project it rearward," said Myers. "What we end up with is a line that goes right back through the sniper's nest window, the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository."

Dozens of witnesses pointed to the School Book Depository, where Oswald had been working as a clerk, after hearing the shots. One witness reported seeing a gun in the sixth floor window.

Who Was Behind Oswald?

After the shooting, Oswald was the only worker missing from the building. Police arrested Oswald in a nearby movie theater and took him to the Dallas police headquarters, where he was questioned by police, the FBI and the Secret Service throughout the weekend.

A 24-year-old loner, Oswald, was finally in the spotlight, which family members say he craved his entire life. He never confessed to killing the president. On Sunday, Nov. 24, while he was being transferred from police headquarters to the county jail, Oswald was fatally shot by a local club owner, Jack Ruby.

Read an interview with Oswald's brother.

On the same day the nation mourned for Kennedy as they watched his body being carried through the streets of Washington, Oswald was buried in Texas. His wife Marina, his mother and brother Robert attended the funeral. And on that same day, Ruby, under heavy guard, was transferred to the county jail.

Even though Ruby claimed he wasn't part of a conspiracy, millions of Americans believed he was. Worried about the anxious mood of the country, President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed a commission to investigate the assassination, and asked U.S. Chief Justice Earl Warren to lead it.

"The Warren Commission was created for two main reasons," said Robert Goldberg. "One was to settle the mood in the United States. But there was a second very key reason, and that was to dispel any rumors of foreign intrigue."

Warren Commission: He Acted Alone

During its 10-month investigation, the commission interviewed 25,000 people and collected 3,000 pieces of evidence. The panel presented an overwhelming case against Oswald.

Firearms tests showed that the bullets that hit the president could only have come from Oswald's rifle. Oswald's palm print was on the rifle stock and his fingerprints were on boxes found in the sniper's position at the book depository.

The Warren Commission found persuasive evidence that Kennedy and Connally had been hit by the same bullet. It also concluded that Oswald acted alone and there was no evidence of a conspiracy.

But when the commission published its report in September 1964, many Americans simply did not believe it. They accused the commission of rushing to judgment and covering up a conspiracy.

Warren Commission lawyer William Coleman defended the report: "I think the best proof is it's 40 years later, and nobody's come up with any statement of anybody else who did it," he told ABCNEWS.

In the 1970s, Americans' distrust of the government was fueled by the Watergate scandal and the Vietnam War. Under this kind of pressure, in 1976, the House of Representatives created a Select Committee on Assassinations to deal with the conspiracy once and for all.

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