Image: Mary Moorman
Less than a second after the fatal bullet hit President Kennedy
As we pointed out in an earlier article on JFK assassination theories, the thirst for information surrounding US President John F. Kennedy’s 1963 murder is still strong – even now, almost 50 years on. Indeed, whenever interest starts to lag, it seems like a new book, movie or documentary is released to fan the flames of speculation once more.
Given the huge amount of associated detail and long list of individuals who were or may have been involved in the incident (not to mention the graphic autopsy photographs available to see), it’s not surprising that so many people are intrigued by the conspiracy theories. After all, a good conspiracy theory makes an excellent story.
With this in mind, we present 10 incredible JFK conspiracy theories. Some of them are plausible, while others are more far-fetched and absurd – but they’re all equally fascinating.
Image: Cecil William Stoughton
10. The Federal Reserve Bank Theory
President John F. Kennedy signing the Cuba Quarantine, October 23, 1962
On June 4, 1963, President Kennedy signed an order that gave authority to the Secretary of the Treasury to issue silver certificates. The order, known as Executive Order 11110, was intended to serve as an interim measure while the government attempted to reduce the amount of silver being used to mint coins. However, conspiracy theories, like those presented in Jim Marrs’s 1989 book Crossfire: The Plot that Killed Kennedy, claim that this order gave power to the Treasury over the Federal Reserve.
According to the theorists, the Federal Reserve Bank was safeguarded by a shadowy group of international bankers who resented having their power curtailed. Supposedly, therefore, they used their incredible wealth and influence to have Kennedy assassinated.
There are several problems with this theory, the main one of which is that Executive Order 11110 did not, in fact, create any new authority over the Federal Reserve Bank; it merely transferred already existing authority from the President to the Secretary of the Treasury. Also, Kennedy’s plan was to reduce the use of treasury silver and increase printed Federal Reserve Bank notes – effectively giving the Reserve more power. Still, the idea of an international banking cabal pulling the strings – and having a president eliminated – sounds a whole lot more exciting.
Image: Yoichi R. Okamoto
9. The Lyndon B. Johnson Theory
Lyndon B. Johnson and Deputy Director of the CIA Richard Helms
According to certain theorists, at least two US presidents were involved in the assassination – as we’ll soon see. Our first suspect, Lyndon B. Johnson, features in one of the most widely believed conspiracy theories of all. In fact, in 2003, a Gallup poll revealed that 20 percent of Americans thought Johnson had something to do with JFK’s assassination.
Various motives have been suggested for Johnson’s role in the killing, including his desire to become president, his need to cover up scandals, and his involvement with the FBI. It’s said that tycoons paid for the assassination, since they would be better served by Johnson’s policies.
A new twist to the theory is the alleged emergence and (still) pending release of secret recordings made by President Kennedy’s now deceased widow, Jackie Onassis. According to some claims, the tapes reveal that Jackie thought Lyndon B. Johnson was involved as well. Very intriguing indeed.