It’s probably one of the most enduring and fascinating mysteries of modern day America: who killed JFK? This mystery has spurred countless movies, books, essays, and documentaries, but in all honesty, I highly doubt we are ever going to know for sure. However the question has intrigued me enough that I developed a lifelong interest in the topic. Of course, some theories are absolutely insane and seem only to exist for our collective amusement, and some others are serious, so much so that one can’t help but wonder how so many serious theories exist. One has to wonder at how well the assassination was executed for us never to have had a definitive answer.
The Discovery Channel has two amazing documentaries in store for us, both of which will air on Sunday, November 22, the 46th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
Did the Mob Kill JFK? (which will air at 8PM ET/PT) explores the connections between the Mob and the assassination. More particularly, it explores the links between the Mob, Lee Harvey Oswald, and Jack Ruby. While unable, like so many others, to definitely link the assassination with the Mob, the implication of the possibility of such a connection is chilling, for it would mean that the Mob killed a president of the United States and was never brought to justice for it.
Filled with clips from the JFK days, from the assassination and its aftermath, as well as a great narration (not too fast so as to lose you nor too slow so as to lull you to sleep), this documentary is a great way to wrap up your weekend. Not only that, but it’s followed by a second one: JFK: The Ruby Connection.
This second documentary (which will air on the same day at 9PM ET/PT) sets out to test the theory of the possible connection between Ruby and Oswald. While again not able to answer the question without the shadow of a doubt – after all, secrecy and deception were key players in the organisation and aftermath of the Kennedy assassination – the way the forensics team brings together all the available information (from pictures to movie clips to interviews with the remaining eyewitnesses) is an exercise in discipline and meticulous research worth learning from. The hour-long investigation ends with a conclusion I will refrain from revealing here; but if you do watch these documentaries, I would love to hear what you think of this conclusion!
You might not be a history buff, but don’t worry; enough context is given that even a Canadian who has only general knowledge of the history of the United States (me!) was able to follow without any problems. However I do have to admit that I spent two hours on the Internet after watching these two documentaries, researching the various information that was given to me. And I also have to admit that I went to Amazon and purchased a couple of books about the assassination. So if you don’t have the budget to purchase books, well, you might want to sign up at your local library and hope they are well stocked up on JFK lore. And if not, Wikipedia is a great place to start looking for extra information, as the article on JFK has an incredible number of links you can spend a couple of hours checking out.
As for those of you who are history buffs and think you know everything there is to know about the JFK assassination, don’t shy away from these documentaries. Being something of a scientist myself, I decided that I needed a second opinion that was more informed than my own. My friend is a history buff and one of those people who has pile upon pile of sorted out information about the JFK assassination. He scoffed when I initially invited him to view the screeners and warned me that were he to become even remotely bored, he would leave. Guess what? Not only did he stay until the end, but he shushed me a couple of times! He told me afterward that while he was aware of a lot of the information that the documentaries contain, he found it very interesting how they made the pieces fit together. And, of course, the fact that in JFK: The Ruby Connection, the Discovery Channel team interviews an informant with brand new information helped keep the suspense alive.
So tune in Sunday, November 22 at 8PM (ET/PT) to catch Did the Mob Kill JFK? and at 9PM (ET/PT) to catch JFK: The Ruby Connection and please come back here to share your thoughts!