The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

November 23, 2013

After 50 years, theories on JFK’s murder still abound

By Lynn Saternow

- — Has there ever been a bigger question than how many people were actually behind the shooting death of President John F. Kennedy.

On the 50th anniversary of his assassination last week, the conspiracy theories continue to surface. The shooting of one of our most beloved presidents has never been put to rest despite five decades since that fateful day in Dallas that stunned our country.

Thousands of books have been written on the subject and many theories have been offered that Lee Harvey Oswald wasn’t acting alone that fateful day in Texas. From mob bosses to Fidel Castro to the FBI, many people have been considered as being behind the plot.

And many conspiracy theorists claim there was more than one shooter.

However, no one has ever come forward with credible evidence to any theories that have been offered.

Most people who were alive at the time remember where they were when JFK was shot just as they do when the terrorists flew planes into the New York City World Trade Center towers.

I was in high school at Hickory at the time of the shooting and we were all called into the auditorium when the announcement was made that the president had been shot. Some students cried and other were almost in shock.

JFK was one of our most beloved presidents. He was the first Catholic president and strikingly good looking (at least that’s what women tell me).

But ironically, his time in office was not remarkable. The Bay of Pigs invasion was a disaster. His handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis was certainly one of his brightest moments — luckily it ended without a world war.

Even his later reported sexual exploits outside of marriage with people such as Marilyn Monroe were overlooked by the general public and even covered up by the Secret Service. In other conspiracies, her “suicide” was blamed partly on her dalliances with JFK and thought to be murder.

But who knows what would have happened if Kennedy had been allowed to complete his term of office? How would the Vietnam War have gone? Would Lyndon Johnson ever have become president? Would JFK’s brother Robert have later been assassinated?

Would four students have been killed in 1970 at my alma mater Kent State during Vietnam War protests if Kennedy had lived? The questions of course are speculative.

One can only wonder, as Stephen King did in his novel 11/22/63  about a man who goes back to the past to possibly save Kennedy and change the world.

Will someone write a novel “PT-109” and change the fate of history by having Kennedy being killed during the war on that boat, rather than surviving and being a war hero and later president? Maybe they have?

We may never know exactly what all was behind Kennedy’s murder. In which case conspiracy theories will continue on, just as they have for 50 years since that fateful day in Dallas.

We may never know the true story. Then again, maybe we already do!

The Herald’s Lynn Saternow writes this column each Saturday for the Opinion Page. He can be reached at