Murder of Sniper Who Assassinated Kennedy 50 Years Ago Tomorrow

Murder

Tomorrow marks the 50 year anniversary of the murder of sniper Lee Harvey Oswald, the man responsible for Killing John. F. Kennedy, former president of the United States.

Oswald was a U.S. Marine who abandoned his country in favor of the Soviet Union. However, several years later he returned to the United States.

He was initially arrested on Dallas Street for the murder of a police officer who was killed after Kennedy was shot, but denied the accusation claiming he had nothing to with his death.

There was much discrepancy about timings and who had seen Oswald when and where. Charles Givens, one of Oswald’s co-workers, made a statement that he last saw Oswald on the sixth floor of the Depository, and that Oswald had asked him to close the elevator gate and send him back up.

Bonnie Ray Williams, another employee at the Depository, was working on the sixth floor at that time and said that he had not seen Oswald or anyone else. Although he claimed he thought he was the only one there, he also said that there had been some boxes in the corner that may have blocked his view and stopped him from being able to see the sniper’s position.

Government investigations concluded that on 22 November, Oswald fired three rifle shots from the corner of the sixth floor that resulted in the murder of Kennedy. The Texas Governor John Connally was also wounded. The 24 November, 50 years ago tomorrow, saw Oswald’s own murder as he was convicted to be the sniper who killed the President.

The investigators reported that after the attack he hid the rifle between boxes and escaped using the stairwell, where he came into contact with a police officer and his supervisor. On identification as an employee, Oswald was let past and the police officer described him as calm and composed.

Contrastingly, his supervisor Truly said that Oswald  appeared “startled” and later pointed out that he had been the only employee missing. It is believed he left the Depository through the entrance before police had sealed it off.

After the murder of Kennedy Oswald got a bus back to his house. The landlady said he was “walking pretty fast” and left minutes later wearing a different jacket.

The Warren Commission concluded that policeman Tippit had approached Oswald because he matched the description of the sniper responsible for the murder. He was shot with four shots and killed. Nine witnesses identified Oswald as the man running away from the vehicle holding a rifle, which was later found in his possession. However, the bullets could not be identified as the same ones that killed Tippit.

Oswald was arrested in the Texas Theater. A shoe store manager had seen him “ducking” into his store and with raised suspicions the police were called. He was sitting near the rear of the theater but police reports differ on what happened next – some said he seemed ready to surrender whilst others said he became violent or fired shots.

As he was escorted out the theater he was screaming that he was a victim of police brutality. It was at the station shortly after his arrest that he was convicted with the murder of Tippit and also the murder of President Kennedy, although he pleaded not guilty.

On Sunday 24 November, as Oswald was being led through Police Headquarters, Dallas nightclub owner shot Oswald in the chest. Millions saw the shooting as there was live broadcasting there to capture his transfer. He died shortly after in the same hospital that had tried to save the President.

Tomorrow is the 50 year mark of the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald, the convicted sniper who assassinated J. F. Kennedy.

By Melissa McDonald

TexasHistory

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