The J. F Kennedy Shooting

High profile criminal cases draw so much reference and emotion that in most instances, the ending provides ground for much speculation about the motive and procedure in which the case was handled. Most cases that qualify for this category are instigated by deep rooted and long-running struggles that are often left unsolved. As a result, the offender gets monstrous focus as the authorities try to dig into his motives and contributing factors as well.

Description of the crime

John F. Kennedy ranks as one the most revered presidents of America. His contribution to what America s today is etched in lives of those who know him and those who heard of him alike. His policies were viewed as futuristic and poised to elevate America to a superpower with global acceptance and support (Kaiser, 2008). His main contribution was the championing of right of Americans as well as of humanity in order to achieve economic and social development. As a result, he was of the view that the world should cooperate instead of fighting among nations since resources were sufficient for all nations to share.

However, by the end of that day in 1963, the president of the US laid dead a morgue from the shooters bullet, or so the many commissions reported. The assassin also met his death from the bullet of a distraught follower of Kennedy, whose reaction is deemed an act of compassion for the fallen hero.

Description of offender D

According to Holloway (2000), Oswald, born in 1939 in Louisiana, was the son of a sales man. After his father’s death, he was put in orphanage together with his stepbrothers. As a child, he drew attention as a violent and clowning individual who was willing to do whatever it takes to get the attention of others. His childhood had highlights of violence with most of his victims requiring medical treatment (Livingstone, 2004). Nature had less of luck for him since by the time he was five, his country was already fronting war to Japan and dropped the deadliest cargo of atomic bombs to the defenseless Japanese. His interest in communism was highlighted owing to his subscription to the teachings of Marxists.

By the time he was eleven, Lee had lived under the care of three fathers because of his mother’s marriage troubles. His first recorded scripts was a postcard to his brothers which depicted how violent and selfish he would turn out to be. The haphazard spelling mistakes and brutish tone were permanent markers of his traits later discovered from his personality. Lee skipped school during his teenage years thus prompting his mother to move together with him to New York.

His inability to associate with people is highlighted by his violent encounters, even with close family and friends. The stay at New York ended after he threatened his brother’s wife. Efforts to receive psychological help were thwarted by removal by his mother to New Orleans where his motivating factor was the coming of age and joining the Marine Corps. The absence of a father and a scared mother who was unable to provide any counseling fuelled Lee’s deviance and he was avoided by friends and foes.

Hosty & Hosty, (1995) posited that by the age of 16, Lee was sufficiently able to lie to get what he wanted. He often lied about his past, religion, likes and dislikes as well as family issues. As a clerk and messenger in New Orleans, he attended numerous armed forces training and seminars in preparation for a career in the service. After dropping out of school in the 10th grade, Oswald joined the marines and failed to match the average score in the aptitude test. His plan to go to Russia was crafted carefully with skillful tenacity and he actually trained himself to speak the language (Livingstone, 2004).

His manipulative stances resurface after the attempted suicide in Russia. Success with women and dating was elusive to Oswald and he appeared to favor the elusive prospects. After his true love rejects him, Lee decides not to renew his citizenship and return to the US. However, before he could eave he wed Marina after a string of falsifications. After his successful return to the US in company of his wife and daughter, Lee settled and was able to access menial jobs to support his family.

In those days, Lee suffered from a less known condition, dyslexia. In addition to not knowing his father, most of his days were spend under the care of a mother with unstable personality. His childhood was dotted wit instances of anger and violence. In his short stay with the marines, he was court martialled twice. He was also capable of hiding details even from the closest of people. The tough life in the US coupled with suspected upper hand forced lee into the life of an assassin.

Situation at the time of the crime

President Kennedy had a day at Dallas as a visit to a town where his support was waning. The city had turned into a playground for organized crime and thus the president chose to ride in a convertible as a way of appearing and reassuring the residents that the government was committed to making the city safer and more secure as asserted by Kaiser (2008). Lee on his side had previously been in contact with pro-communists and was skewed towards violence owing to the violent attack on a police officer. Similarly, he had recently visited Mexico on unexplained grounds. Having sought employment at a school located along the president’s route during the tour, Oswald appeared to have clearly planned the shooting well in advance.


Lee Oswald had gained access to the site of the shooting by offering to work as a janitor in the school building. The police found a snipers nest with boxes arranged on the sixth floor as a means of giving the shooter a good view of the motorcade (Holloway, 2000). The police also discovered a high-powered rifle at the spot, which were probably the contents of the brown paper bag he had carried into the building earlier that day. Having been in the building prior to the shooting, Lee was however unaccounted for and he left the building before the police could secure the area. Fingerprint evidence tied the murder weapon to Lee. Eyewitnesses reported that they had seen a man, who fit Lee’s description, shoot a rifle from the sixth floor.

The officers in the case relied on the past of the suspect to determine whether he had a case to answer. In the past Lee had displayed his hatred for America and what it stood, for especially under president Eisenhower. Similarly, after his return to America from Russia, he had continued with his crusade against capitalism (Hosty & Hosty, 1995). The fact that he had procured employment at the site of the shooting, prior to the visit also painted him in the picture as a suspect. The police, in possession of evidence regarding the murder weapon, his political views, his childhood troubles and presence at the scene were sufficient to convict Oswald. However, the crime he committed was way past his pay grade.

Owing to the above, Lee’s past military training and political inclinations placed him at the top o the suspect’s list. However, the sheer might of the case and the events of the day painted the grim picture of a conspiracy. In the profile of such a high-profile assassin, one needs specific information detailing the whereabouts of the individual the days prior to the incident. Similarly, past acquaintances and recent movements would be telling. The manner in which the crime was committed is also a factor to be included in the profile. In this case, all these actors pointed towards Oswald.


After the shooting, Lee was apprehended by the police and taken into custody for question. However as a posited by Hosty & Hosty (1995), the investigation was marred with numerous irregularities which qualify as a cover-up stunt. With the FBI and CIA baying for a shot at the apprehension of the suspect, none ever came close to obtaining any tangible evidence. The authorities were of the view that a favorable report would calm the nerves of the Americans and the world at large. Lee Oswald was murdered by a lone gunman who claimed that he was distraught that the man who ad killed the president was still breathing.          


Oswald would have wanted the president dead to create a feeling of importance to the world especially the Cubans and the Russians. Their recent dissatisfaction with the policies structured by the US caused a feeling of unease in Oswald’s mind. Having grown up as a frustrated individual, Oswald always wanted to have his way and outshine people even f it constituted doing outrageous things. Having renounced his US citizenship in favor of Russia, he proved that being controversial was what kept him going. He was however realistic when things turned out ugly and had away of getting back to what e had thrown away. As a result, Oswald is an individual who was capable of leaning towards persuasion to take high profile assassinations had he survived longer.

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