Bolo BoffinBolo Boffin's Journal
In murder mystery novels, yes. In actual prosecutions? Not so much. They help at times. But, no, if the facts on the ground show someone committed the crime and mens rae can be demonstrated without explaining a motive, then motive can be set aside.
Since Oswald can reasonably be expected to know what would happen as he fired his rifle at the President, and since he then fled the scene (demonstrating a consciousness of guilt), mens rae at his trial would have been easily demonstrated. So as far as his guilt, his motive wouldn't need to be shown at trial.
I think the possibility of Oswald being hired or put up to the assassination by a conspiracy is rather low.
Sure, we can speculate on motive. He did it to get people to pay attention to him at last. He did it so people could only ever think of him passionately again (hat tip, "Assassins" . He did it because Kennedy was the human face of the bloodthirsty capitalistic United States, the enemy of Castro and the Marxist revolution. He did it to punish Marina for not coming back to him in the end. He did it because he thought Castro would let him into Cuba. He did it hoping that Kennedy's right wing enemies would get the blame. He did it to finally succeed at something in his sad, pathetic life. He did it to gain a national platform in his trial. He did it because everything in his life had prepared him for that moment.
He did it because he could.
That Oswald did it, easily shown. Why he did it, we'll never know for sure. And evil and good and good/evil people swept in and took advantage of JFK's death - of course they did. They always will when a powerful and influential man dies. But benefit is not evidence of guilt, not even when they are spectacular benefits. Guilt does not rest on knowing a motive.
These items are condensed from Vincent Bugliosi's Reclaiming History.
1. Lee Oswald killed Officer J.D. Tippit.
Witnesses saw him do this. Other witnesses saw him immediately before and after the shooting in a way that only he could have shot Tippit. Witnesses watched him flee the scene. His jacket was discovered on the path he used in flight. Witnesses watched him avoid police sirens and duck into the Texas Theater. When approached there by police, Oswald tried to pull out the same revolver he had just used to kill Tippit in order to kill another police officer. Oswald was the sole owner and possessor of the revolver used to kill J.D. Tippit.
2. Lee Oswald was the sole owner and possessor of the rifle used to assassinate President Kennedy.
The receipt for its purchase was found in his possession. Pictures of him holding the rifle were taken by his wife, some of which he had distributed and written upon. His method of transporting that rifle from its storage place in Irving to the School Book Depository is well attested to by witnesses. That rifle along with three bullet cartridges were recovered on the sixth floor after Oswald fled. There were only three shots fired that day, and a witness on the fifth floor right below the shooter heard all three shots and all three cartridges hit the floor above.
3. Oswalds trip to Irving on Thursday night went completely against his normal routine.
In all other cases, Oswald caught a ride back to Irving on Friday and returned to Dallas on Monday morning. His reason for returning curtain rods was a lie: his furnished room in Dallas already had curtains. He would not speak to Marina about Kennedy, something they would always do. A noted tightwad, Oswald left over one hundred dollars and his wedding ring with Marina. Oswald told his ride, Frazier, that he would not be returning with him on Friday.
4. The so-called magic bullet and other large recovered fragments were all fired from Oswalds rifle.
CE 399, also referred to as the "pristine" or "magic" bullet, and two of the large fragments, CE 567 and CE 569, were large enough to be identified as being fired from Oswald's rifle to the exclusion of all others. This was not on the basis of the faulty CBLA test, but on a comparison to the striations found on them and on a bullet fired from Oswald's rifle. Whatever path CE 399 took to get to that Parkland stretcher, it started its journey from Lee Oswalds Carcano.
5. Oswalds prints were discovered in the snipers nest on the sixth floor and on his rifle, also found hidden on the sixth floor.
His left palm and right index finger prints were found on the box that appears to have been set up to be a gun rest. Both pointed southwest, the direction the motorcade took heading down Elm. His right palm print was found on another box just behind the gunrest carton. The rifle was virtually clean of prints as if it had been wiped off, but Oswald's palm print was found on the underside of the gun barrel in a place where another part of the rifle kept it from being wiped off.
6. During interrogations, Oswald lied repeatedly to police.
Oswald lied about owning a rifle, and about owning the Mannlicher-Carcano specifically. Oswald lied about being in the backyard photo where he was holding his rifle. Oswald lied about having seen the picture before (his handwriting was found on a copy of the photo among the personal effects of a friend of his). Oswald lied about living at the place where the picture with the rifle was taken. Oswald lied about telling Wesley Frazier the curtain rod story. Oswald lied about putting a long package into Frazier's car that morning. Oswald told police the only thing he'd brought to work that morning was his lunch. Oswald lied about having lunch on the first floor with two other employees (the only one he named, James Jarman, said that he had eaten with no one). Oswald lied about where he'd bought his revolver.
7. Oswalds verifiable conduct in the month before the assassination precludes any conspiracy.
Oswald was taking driving lessons and had applied for a learners permit. Hed rented a post office box for two months on November 1. Hed joined the local chapter of the ACLU. And during his trip to Irving the night before the assassination, he begged his wife to come back and live with him in Dallas. None of this speaks to his being hired as a hit man. Besides this, Oswald wasnt the kind of person anyone would hire to commit this crime.
8. Oswalds rifle, the one he used to kill Kennedy, was not the kind of rifle any organization would pick to commit this crime.
It was a $19 mail order rifle that only shot FMJ bullets. In contrast, James Earl Ray had a brand-new $700 rifle ($2000 in todays money) that used soft-point bullets that would expand on impact and better assure a death shot its a good reason to suspect an actual conspiracy behind MLKs assassination. In addition, if Oswald had had a silencer on the rifle, the rifle shots may not even have been heard over the crowd noise. This would have helped him escape and thus evade interrogation which could possibly lead police back to the organization conspiring with him. This crime was committed by someone using the only weapon he had available to him.
9. Oswalds job at the Texas School Book Depository precludes conspiracy in several ways.
Oswald had applied to several jobs, with only the TSBD on the eventual route JFK took through Dallas. Being hired at any of them would have meant no attempt would be possible. When Oswald reported for his first day at work, it was only chance that he was not assigned to an open job in another warehouse which also would have been off the route. In early November, Oswald was expecting this temporary job to soon end and applied for another position well off the eventual parade route. Only an extended fall rush and regular employees being used to put down new flooring kept Oswald at the TSBD through November 22.
10. Oswald not bringing his revolver to work on Thursday morning shows this was an impulsive move he did of his own volition.
If this had been a planned job, why would he not have gotten his revolver to the TSBD and secreted it in a place he could retrieve it from after the shooting? Instead, he had to chance that he could make it back to his rented room and get the revolver then. That shows that the decision to make the attempt on Kennedys life was made Thursday, but to get his rifle Oswald had to leave with Frazier that evening. There was no time to prepare for his escape. He had to go to Irving to get his rifle that night or never.
And two bonus arguments for Jack Ruby:
1. If the idea was to silence Oswald so he couldnt give any evidence that might lead back to the conspiracy, why didnt he take the first shot he had Friday evening, when he was in the room with Oswald in possession of his revolver? Instead, he doesnt shoot and lets Oswald be interrogated for two more days. How could he know he would ever get another chance to shoot Oswald?
2. If Ruby shot Oswald to keep him quiet, why did he shoot him in such a way that guaranteed his arrest thereby creating EXACTLY the same problem hed been hired to fix, someone under arrest who could give evidence leading back to the conspiracy?
Lee Oswald was the only shooter in Dealey Plaza that day and no one put him up to it but himself.
If you want more, I've done two threads on this topic back in Creative Speculation. They are more complete summaries of Bugliosi's summary of his argument against Oswald and a conspiracy. The first is Bugliosi: 53 Reasons It Was Lee Harvey Oswald (link) and the second is 32 Reasons and Arguments There Was No Conspiracy Behind Oswald Killing Kennedy (link).
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