essential findings of the Commission to determine just which
shot hit Governor Connally, there is very persuasive evidence
from the experts to indicate that the same bullet which pierced
the President's throat also caused Governor Connally's wounds.
However, Governor Connally's testimony and certain other factors
have given rise to some difference of opinion as to this
probability but there is no question in the mind of any member
of the Commission that all the shots which caused the
President's and Governor Connally's wounds were fired from the
sixth floor window of the Texas School Book Depository.
(4) The shots which killed President Kennedy and wounded
Governor Connally were fired by Lee Harvey Oswald.
(5) Oswald killed Dallas Police Patrolman J. D. Tippit
approximately 45 minutes after the assassination.
(6) Within 80 minutes of the assassination and 35 minutes of the
Tippit killing Oswald resisted arrest at the theater by
attempting to shoot another Dallas police officer.
(7) The Commission has found no evidence that either Lee Harvey
Oswald or Jack Ruby was part of any conspiracy, domestic or
foreign, to assassinate President Kennedy.
(8) In its entire investigation the Commission has found no
evidence of conspiracy, subversion, or disloyalty to the US
Government by any Federal, State, or local official.
(9) On the basis of the evidence before the Commission it
concludes that, Oswald acted alone.
Boggs originally agreed that John F. Kennedy and J. D. Tippit
had been killed by Lee Harvey Oswald and that Jack Ruby was not
part of any conspiracy. However, later he began to have doubts
claiming that "Hoover lied his eyes out on Oswald, on Ruby, on
their friends, you name it."
Thomas Hale Boggs disappeared while on a campaign flight from
Anchorage to Juneau, Alaska, on 16th October, 1972. No bodies
were ever found and in 1973 his wife, Lindy Bloggs, was elected
in her husband's place.
The Los Angeles Star, on November 22, 1973, reported that before
his death Boggs claimed he had "startling revelations" on
Watergate and the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
(1) Gerald D. McKnight, Breach of Trust: How the Warren
Commission Failed the Nation and Why (2005)
In May 1964, about the midway point in the Warren Commission's
investigation, Director J. Edgar Hoover appeared before the
commissioners to provide them with his special insights into the
Kennedy assassination and the benefit of his forty years as head
of the nation's most prestigious and revered law enforcement
agency. Hoover was probably America's most renowned and
best-recognized public figure, and the Commission wanted to
trade on his eclat.
Hoover was scheduled to give his testimony when the Commission
was still working under Warren and Rankin's initial time frame
and expected to finish up its work by the end of June. Ford and
Dulles did most of the early questioning. What they wanted from
America's iconic hero was his assurance that the assassination
had been the act of a lone nut. Hoover was quick to oblige,
assuring the commissioners that there was not "a scintilla of
evidence showing any foreign conspiracy or domestic conspiracy
that culminated in the assassination of President Kennedy."
Hoover told the commissioners they could expect to be
second-guessed and violently disagreed with, whatever their
ultimate findings were. He pointed out that the FBI was already
inundated with crank letters and calls from kooks, weirdos,
crazies, and self-anointed psychics, all alleging a monstrous
conspiracy behind Kennedy's violent death. Whether orchestrated
or not, his testimony before the Commission provided the
director an opportunity to launch a preemptive strike against
future dissenters and critics of the Warren Commission and, by
extension, Hoover's FBI, the Commission's investigative arm.
Whatever the merits, if any, of Hoover's profiling of future
Commission dissenters and critics, its first test was a
hands-down failure. The Commission's first dissenter was Senator
Richard Brevard Russell, Jr., one of the most conservative as
well as respected and admired members of the U.S. Senate.
Russell wielded great power in the upper chamber and had earned
the title "dean of the Senate." During 1963-1964, when the
Warren Commission was conducting its business, no U.S.
legislator was at the White House as frequently as the senior
senator from Georgia.
On September 18, 1964, a Friday evening, President Johnson
phoned Russell, his old political mentor and longtime friend, to
find out what was in the Commission's report scheduled for
release within the week. Johnson was surprised that Russell had
suddenly bolted from Washington for a weekend retreat to his
Winder, Georgia, home. Russell was quick to clear up the mystery
as to why he needed to get out of the nation's capital. For the
past nine months the Georgia lawmaker had been trying to balance
his heavy senatorial duties with his responsibilities as a
member of the Warren Commission, a perfect drudgery that Johnson
had imposed upon him despite Russell's strenuous objections. No
longer a young man and suffering from debilitating emphysema,
Russell was simply played out. But it was the Warren
Commission's last piece of business that had prompted his sudden
Friday decision to escape Washington.
That Friday, September 18, Russell forced a special executive
session of the Commission. It was not a placid meeting. In
brief, Russell intended to use this session to explain to his
Commission colleagues why he could not sign a report stating
that the same bullet had struck both President Kennedy and
Governor Connally. Russell was convinced that the missile that
had struck Connally was a separate bullet. Senator Cooper was in
strong agreement with Russell, and Boggs, to a lesser extent,
had his own serious reservations about the single-bullet
explanation. The Commission's findings were already in page
proofs and ready for printing when Russell balked at signing the
report. Commissioners Ford, Dulles, and McCloy were satisfied
that the one-bullet scenario was the most reasonable explanation
because it was essential to the report's single-assassin
conclusion. With the Commission divided almost down the middle,
Chairman Warren insisted on nothing less than a unanimous
report. The stalemate was resolved, superficially at least, when
Commissioner McCloy fashioned some compromise language that
satisfied both camps.'
The tension-ridden Friday-morning executive session had worn
Russell out. He told Johnson that the "damn Commission business
whupped me down." Russell was in such haste to get away that he
had forgotten to pack his toothbrush, extra shirts, and the
medicine he used to ease his respiratory illness. Although
Russell had support from Cooper and Boggs, he was the only one
who actively dug in his heels against Rankin and the staff's
contention that Kennedy and Connally had been hit by the same
nonfatal bullet. Because of Russell's chronic Commission
absenteeism he never fully comprehended that the final report's
no-conspiracy conclusion was inextricably tied to the validity
of what would later be referred to as the "single-bullet"
theory. But he had read most of the testimony and was convinced
that the staff's contention that the same missile had hit
Kennedy and Connally was, at best, "credible" but not
persuasive. "I don't believe it," he frankly told the president.
Johnson's response -whether patronizing or genuine remains
guesswork - was "I don't either." In summing up their
Friday-night exchange, Russell and Johnson agreed that the
question of the Connally bullet did not jeopardize the
credibility of the report. Neither questioned the official
version that Oswald had shot President Kennedy.
(2) Bernard Fensterwald, Assassination of JFK: Coincidence or
"You have got to do everything on earth to establish the facts
one way or the other. And without doing that, why everything
concerned, including every one of us is doing a very grave
disservice. Thus House Majority Leader Hale Boggs delivered an
admonishment of sorts to his Warren Commission colleagues on
January 27, 1964. Along with Senator Richard Russell, and to a
lesser degree, Senator John Sherman Cooper, Congressman Boggs
served as a beacon of skepticism and probity in trying to fend
off the FBI and CIA's efforts to "shade" and indeed manipulate
the findings of the Warren Commission.
Like Russell, Boggs was, very simply, a strong doubter. Several
years after his death in 1972, a colleague of his wife Lindy
(who was elected to fill her late husband's seat in the
Congress) recalled Mrs. Boggs remarking, "Hale felt very, very
torn during his work [on the Commission] ... he wished he had
never been on it and wished he'd never signed it [the Warren
Report]." A former aide to the late House Majority Leader has
recently recalled, "Hale always returned to one thing: Hoover
lied his eyes out to the Commission - on Oswald, on Ruby, on
their friends, the bullets, the gun, you name it... "
Almost from the beginning, Congressman Boggs had been suspicious
over the FBI and CIA's reluctance to provide hard information
when the Commission's probe turned to certain areas, such as
allegations that Oswald may have been an undercover operative of
some sort. When the Commission sought to disprove the growing
suspicion that Oswald had once worked for the FBI, Boggs was
outraged that the only proof of denial that the FBI offered was
a brief statement of disclaimer by J. Edgar Hoover. It was Hale
Boggs who drew an admission from Allen Dulles that the CIA's
record of employing someone like Oswald might be so heavily
coded that the verification of his service would be almost
impossible for outside investigators to establish...
Congressman Boggs had been the Commission's leading proponent
for devoting more investigative resources to probing the
connections of Jack Ruby. With an early recognition that "the
most difficult aspect of this is the Ruby aspect," Boggs had
wanted an increased effort made to investigate the accused