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Why did the HSCA decide Kennedy died as result of conspiracy?

Uploaded by richardp on Jul 19, 2000

In 1976, the US Senate ordered a fresh inquiry into the assassination of John F Kennedy, who was murdered in 1963 during a motorcade in Dallas, Texas. People who had been involved in the original Warren Commission investigations were asked to make fresh statements. The FBI and the CIA were persuaded to release more of their documents on Oswald. New lines of inquiry were opened and individuals who had not previously given evidence were persuaded to come forward. Most important of all, pieces of evidence such as photos and sound recordings were subjected to scientific analysis using the most up-to-date methods and equipment. The House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) completed their investigation in 1979 and they finally came to a discrete verdict that Lee Harvey Oswald fired three shots at Kennedy, one of which killed the president. The fourth shot was fired from the grassy knoll. They concluded that John Kennedy was assassinated as a result of a conspiracy. There are many reasons why the HSCA came to this verdict, but firstly it was important that the American people understood why this case was re-opened over a decade later!

The investigation was set up as direct result of the assassinations of two other major political figures; the civil rights leader, Dr Martin Luther King and the Presidents brother Robert Kennedy, in 1968. Naturally this aroused immense suspicion and the American public started questioning why so many key US figures had been assassinated in the space of just four years when previously this type of incident had been rare. At the time there was also an increasing amount of corruption and scandal within the government. This alarmed the public who had completely trusted the government before. The Watergate Scandal in 1974 involving President Nixon had clearly shown that this was not the case anymore. Nixon had abused his authority and power to his advantage. This indicated that even politicians were prone to sleaze and scandal. As a result of this, people also started questioning the behaviour of the government. This is most likely why they were more receptive in accepting that Kennedy was the victim of a conspiracy, later on.

The public also became increasingly interested in the Kennedy assassination as books such as ‘Rush to judgement’ by Mark Lane and ‘Inquest’ by Edward Jay Epstein, started to be written. They immediately became best sellers and played a large role in raising...

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Uploaded by:   richardp

Date:   07/19/2000

Category:   History

Length:   13 pages (3,007 words)

Views:   912

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