It is also a reminder to us all to not make value judgments when weighing evidence, other than true or false, especially when dealing with something as important as and with as much intentional disinformation as President Kennedy's assassination. One cannot call any piece of evidence as being "too good to be true," and consign it to the dustbin of history on that basis alone. For the Isolationists in Washington in early 1917, the Zimmerman Telegram was "too good to be true." And yet, it was true, and the Kaiser discovered he had roused a sleeping colossus, to his eternal regret.
Puppet Masters and Pawns
"The scientific mind does not so much provide the right answers as ask the right questions."
Claude LÃ©vi-Strauss , French anthropologist. The Raw and the Cooked, "Overture," section 1 (1964).
When you kill a popular public figure, in a large public place, in broad daylight, with hundreds of uncontrolled (and uncontrollable) bystanders watching; contingencies must be planned for--sometimes on the run--and executed with extreme expediency and expertise, whether your victim is Gaius Julius Caesar or John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Because if you don't, the corpses of you and your fellow conspirators, as well as your possessions, may be the foundation upon which the public figure's funeral pyre is built.
Caesar's assassination had less planning, but it was executed in a far more private location than Dealey Plaza, by a group of rank amateurs. John Kennedy's assassination had lots of planning, in a very public locale, by a group of professionals and near-professionals. Caesar's assassins all paid for their crimes within five years; Kennedy's have not paid after fifty.
Using Holmes's rule for discovering the truth, let us see what we might be able to deduce.
First, we know that only two empty cartridges and one live round can be confirmed by photographic and inventory evidence as having been found on the Sixth Floor of the Texas School Book Depository (TSBD). A third empty shell casing suddenly made an appearance after the FBI could not intimidate wounded witness James Tague into changing his story. Mr. Tague had been struck in the face by fragments from a concrete curb that was hit by a bullet prior to any bullet striking President Kennedy or Governor Connally. Mr. Tague's wound required that the sniper on the Sixth Floor of the TSBD to have fired three rounds at the President's limousine, not two. A Dallas County Sheriff's Deputy later claimed to have pocketed the errant cartridge case the day of the assassination, but I do not believe that this was what happened; any experience law enforcement officer would know better. I believe that when it was discovered that a third empty cartridge was needed by the conspirators, arrangements were made by J. Edgar Hoover with Dallas County Sheriff and co-conspirator Bill Decker to have a trusted subordinate "remember" pocketing the third empty cartridge. Decker had a vested interest in the "lone nut gunman" theory being accepted: 1) it protected their powerful friends who were in the petroleum business; 2) it permitted him to maintain his iron-fisted control over the poor white, black and Hispanic communities in Dallas Counties; 4) it maintained his position within the Dallas Community as (to use his former subordinate Roger Craig's description) "the High Priest of Dallas County Politics." When They Kill A President (1971)
(A side note here: If I had been Oswald's attorney, and Oswald had somehow survived to be tried, I would have demanded that the third cartridge case and all testimony related to it must be thrown out, as the "chain of custody" of that cartridge had not been maintained according to the rules of evidence. Unless of course, I found solid forensic evidence that it was a fake, and used it to demonstrate that a conspiracy existed to kill JFK, and that part of that conspiracy was to set-up Oswald as the "fall guy" for the crime.)
Covering up for an unforeseen circumstance like the wounding of James Tague at Dealey Plaza, stretched the resources of the conspirators to the breaking point--and beyond. Not far beyond: too many assassination researchers are still dissecting the very much compromised Zapruder film, as well as the photos, drawings, and documents from the President's autopsy, in order to prove multiple shooters, But this does show that the ability to cover-up this crime was huge: more than any local group, or a small band of like-minded individuals could ever hope to accomplish. This would have required resources that--in 1963--only a government, with the Mob, and a coalition of the nation's wealthiest citizens, would have access.
In April 1968, having learned their lessons from Dallas, I believe that (as, I understand, do many in Dr. King's family) many of this same group of plutocratic oligarchs, undertook a conspiracy to murder Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.. No shooting at targets in moving vehicles, no hundreds of uncontrollable spectator/witnesses, one professional sniper ("One shot, one kill."), a stationary target, and a convicted criminal as the "fall guy." Who could ask for anything more? Two months later, correctly assessing that the "lone sniper at a distance scenario" had reached its limit of believability, they switched to an assassin (or more likely assassins) at close range with a pistol to kill President Kennedy's brother Robert.
Killing the American Dream, Part One: Blood on the Streets of Dallas
Several assassination researchers, beginning with Penn Jones, Jr., in the 1970's, claim that a dinner party was held at Clint Murchison, Sr.'s mansion in Dallas the night of November 21, 1963. If it was held (and I for one believe it took place, even though the exact attendees may be in doubt), not one of the male attendees can be described as a "friend" of John F. Kennedy. The following two paragraphs are quoted from pages 207-8 of The JFK Assassination Chronology by Ira David Wood III:
"...Richard Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover reportedly dine with oil baron Clint Murchison in Dallas, Texas. Also attending the party are: H. L. Hunt*, John Curington, George Brown of Brown & Root, former Texas Republican congressman Bruce Alger, and John J. McCloy of Chase Manhattan Bank and the Rockefeller interests. McCloy will be placed on the Warren commission within the week. Clint Murchison owns Holt, Rinehart and Winston--Hoover's publisher. The men attend with their wives and/or escorts. After dinner, the men retire to a private room to talk. [Hoover is in Washington the next day. Richard Nixon will fly into New York.] Madeleine Brown, LBJ's mistress is also there and remembers: "There was a real atmosphere of uneasiness at that party" It is a social gathering, with a private meeting of the men behind the big double doors of the drawing room - as soon as LBJ arrives later in the evening. Women are excluded. As Madeleine Brown is preparing to leave, LBJ reportedly comes out of the private meeting red-faced and tells her, "After tomorrow, that's the last time those goddamned Kennedys will embarrass me again!" (Mac Wallace is also in Dallas today. Brown says that he was also present at the party that night.) Penn Jones is the first to break the story of the Murchison party. Gary Mack maintains that the party never took place.
*According to German journalist Joachim Joesten, during a party held prior to the President's trip to Dallas several witnesses heard Hunt remark that there was "no way left to get those traitors out of our government except by shooting them out," apparently referring to the President and his brother, Robert Kennedy. In a speech in Houston, Texas, given prior to the assassination, Hunt says the Kennedy administration is a "Communist government." Hunt reportedly has ties to U.S. intelligence, especially to the CIA.
According to the list in Wood's Chronology, the people included in the private Murchison gathering were [words in brackets are my amplifications and clarifications.]: