10 Crazy JFK Conspiracies Ranked - Including One That Might Even Be True

At least 1,000 books have been written about the 1963 assassination of US President John F. Kennedy but conspiracy theorists are still whispering about who pulled the trigger. We’ve analyzed 10 of the wildest theories and one of the bizarre explanations may actually be true.

Smoking Gun, JFK Conspiracy Theories



10. It was an accident

Author Bonar Menninger believes Oswald fired on JFK and a Secret Service agent fired back with a Colt AR-15 high-velocity rifle. As the theory goes, the officer lost his balance when the car suddenly braked and he accidentally discharged his weapon, killing the US president. There were no eyewitnesses or evidence to back up this theory, however. None of the Secret Service agents or presidential aides reported a bullet whizzing past either. But that didn’t stop Menninger from publishing a book outlining his theory.

10 Crazy JFK Conspiracies Ranked - Including One That Might Even Be True

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At least 1,000 books have been written about the 1963 assassination of US President John F. Kennedy but conspiracy theorists are still whispering about who pulled the trigger. We’ve analyzed 10 of the wildest theories and one of the bizarre explanations may actually be true.

Smoking Gun, JFK Conspiracy Theories



10. It was an accident

Author Bonar Menninger believes Oswald fired on JFK and a Secret Service agent fired back with a Colt AR-15 high-velocity rifle. As the theory goes, the officer lost his balance when the car suddenly braked and he accidentally discharged his weapon, killing the US president. There were no eyewitnesses or evidence to back up this theory, however. None of the Secret Service agents or presidential aides reported a bullet whizzing past either. But that didn’t stop Menninger from publishing a book outlining his theory.


9. Umbrella Man did it

Some pin JFK’s murder on a man standing under a black umbrella on November 22, 1963 - by all accounts a sunny day. It must have been a signal, if not the murder weapon, right? The theory is so popular Oliver Stone fingered him in JFK and he appears in Umbrella Academy. Unfortunately Umbrella Man, Louie Steven Witt, said it was a protest at the appeasement policies of Joseph P. Kennedy when he was ambassador to the Court of St. James, and a reference to British PM Neville Chamberlain’s umbrella and appeasement of Hitler and the Nazis... Oh, right. We knew that.


JFK Conspiracy Theories


8. The Coca-Cola conspiracy of one theory

Shooter Lee Harvey Oswald was a Dr. Pepper fan, and we know that as fact because even Oswald’s favorite beverage is part of the intrigue. In Conspiracy Of One (1990), author Jim Moore sets out a theory that Oswald acted alone because after the assassination, Oswald was seen in the Texas School Book Depository drinking Coca-Cola instead of his beloved Dr. Pepper. Moore believes there can only one realistic explanation: Oswald must have shot the president and chose the wrong soft drink from the vending machine because he was nervous.

Woody Harrelson's dad is part of a JFK Conspiracy Theory


7. Woody Harrelson’s dad was supposedly involved

Was Texas-born Charles Harrelson, father of Now You See Me actor Woody Harrelson, really the killer? The Man on the Grassy Knoll claims Harrelson Sr. was one of two gunmen and that he was later arrested dressed as a ‘tramp’ in Dealey Plaza. Dallas police eventually named three other men as the ‘tramps’. In 1968, Harrelson Sr. was convicted of murdering a businessman in a contract hit in South Texas, however.


JFK Conspiracy Theories


6. The ‘Better Call Saul’ theory

In Appointment in Dallas, police officer Hugh McDonald blames the Soviets for contracting ‘Saul’, a rogue CIA agent and assassin, to kill JFK. Apparently McDonald freelanced for the CIA and met ‘Saul’ at the Agency’s HQ. He later tracked down ‘Saul’ to obtain a confession (but not, it appears, an arrest warrant). ‘Saul’ apparently shot JFK from a building across the street from Oswald’s perch in the Texas School Book Depository. If true, did ‘Saul’ conspire with Oswald? Or did two men just happen to assassinate the president at the same time?

JFK Conspiracy Theories

5. The ‘Black Dog Man’ theory

In The Killing of A President, Robert Groden argues that a ‘Black Dog Man’ figure can be seen in a pyracantha bush in frame 413 of the Zapruder film. The problem with that theory is that the House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded that an individual was in front of the bushes, not behind them. Bill Miller argues that the man is actually the groundskeeper Emmett Hudson. No one’s ruled out the black doggie yet, however. 


JFK Conspiracy Theories


4. Oswald’s Mexican trip

Oswald’s visit to Mexico before Kennedy’s death may have been to finalize assassination plans and plot his escape. Oswald visited the Cuban and Russian embassies on his six-day trip. Three of those days may have been spent with pro-Castro groups, seemingly confirmed by journalist Óscar Contreras Lartigue. The Conversation, however, believes the journalist lived far away at the time, however, and wasn’t in a position to know who Oswald was with.

3. The CIA was involved 

When America’s most trusted broadcaster Walter Cronkite announced JFK’s death the world was in shock. Everyone remembered what they were doing at that moment, but what exactly was the CIA doing? Dave Perry, a former insurance claims adjuster, who has been digging through JFK assassination records since 1976, pointed out that the CIA may have had Oswald on the payroll or overheard Oswald plotting with the Soviets at their Russian embassy in Mexico. Does he have any proof though? Nyet.


Illuminati sign - JFK Conspiracy Theories


2. The Illuminati are to blame

As the conspiracy theory goes, JFK delegated presidential power to issue silver certificates to the Treasury, which threatened the power of the Illuminati-controlled Federal Reserve. In fact, Kennedy signed an executive order to do the opposite, intending to phase out silver certificates in favor of Federal Reserve notes, but why ruin a good conspiracy with facts?


JFK Conspiracy Theories


1. Aliens organized the hit

Milton William Cooper, a former US radio personality, author, and gun-rights advocate, spread the news about Project Luna, a secret alien base on the dark side of the Moon. Furthermore, he promoted the conspiracy theory that JFK was assassinated by a ‘gas pressure device’ that aliens supplied to the driver of the presidential limo because JFK was about to expose Washington-alien collusion.


Which one of these theories might be true? You’ll have to sift through the JFK assassination files for yourself, but we can give you a hint: It is likely not Number 1.

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