On Saturday, Oct. 21, President Donald Trump announced that he would release all documents related to the assassination of President John F. Ken- nedy in 1963. He also explained that he will keep files holding names and addresses of people still alive confidential. Up to 3,100 documents that make up tens of thousands of pages provide information relating to Kennedy’s deaths.
Trump had ordered up to 2,800 documents to be unveiled to the National Archives website last Thursday Oct. 26 when Congress decided at the last minute to stagger the final release of the rest of the documents over the next 180 days. This would provide more time for the government agencies to further study any documents that should remain confidential.
In 1992, Congress ordered that all confidential files related to Kennedy’s death should be fully opened to the public in 25 years. Oct. 26, 2017, marked the day for these files to be released to the National Archives.
While several educators and historians believed that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone shooter who killed Kennedy, others speculated a flow of conspiracies such as the Mafia, Cuba or a league of rogue agents that may have caused his death. According to a CBS News poll from 2013, 61 percent of Americans believed that more than one man was responsible for the assassination.
Larry J. Sabato, who is the founder and director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, and his team of researchers had reviewed these files on Thursday night. He explained that the raw documents were simply a mess. Some included handwritten notes from the CIA appearing illegible. Sabato described this as an “unassembled million-piece puzzle.” The important objective involved looking for obscure clues and “shiny objects,” or pieces of information that may not fit together.
Some files that Sabato and his team found revealed that Mexico was a cooperative partner with the U.S. when it attempted to trace Oswald’s deposits. Oswald had deposited $5,000 in a Mexican bank, but when Mexico was searching for the money, they found no transactions from Oswald.
Another document explained that the FBI strictly monitored Mark Lane’s suspicious activities. Lane was the attorney and conspiracy advocate who represented Lee’s mother, Marguerite Oswald. From an FBI source, Lane had a meeting with a Polish journalist in January 1964 while discussing extreme conspiracy theories. One theory explained that J.D. Tippit, who was the Dallas policeman killed by Oswald soon after Oswald shot Kennedy, was the real presidential assassin. Additionally, Jack Ruby had killed Tippit.
One document explained that Oswald probably had company when, in September 1963, he took a mysterious trip to Mexico City by “El Mexicano.” Another document tied into this by stating that “El Mexicano” is believed to be Francisco Rodriguez Tamayo, the captain of Cuban Rebel Army 57 until 1959.
While such documents are as outrageous as the next conspiracy, several teams, along with Sabato, have examined this information based on their current knowledge and questions about the assassination. Using speculation, researchers can deduct irrelevant theories that provide nothing new. Can these files be pieces to the puzzle, or will they lead us down to another complicated conspiracy theory?