CARBONDALE— Who killed President John F. Kennedy 50 years ago?
With the Nov. 22 anniversary of the United State’s 35th president’s assassination just days away, that was the question two professors attempted to answer Tuesday night at the Southern Illinois University’s student center auditorium.
John McAdams, associate professor of political science at Marquette University and David Wrone, professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, agued opposite sides of the question.
McAdams started his argument by saying it is obvious who killed Kennedy.
“I think it is perfectly clear Lee Harvey Oswald shot Kennedy,” McAdams said.
McAdams went on to tell the audience how the FBI found the cartridges and Oswald’s 6.5 Carcano rifle on the 6th floor of the Texas school book depository. He said the rifle’s serial number matched that the gun that was shipped from a sporting goods store to a post office box registered to Oswald.
McAdams also said pieces of the bullets found in the former president’s limousine were matched to that very same rifle.
McAdams went on to rebut the theory of the “Grassy Knoll Shooter” and ended his opening statement by saying most other theories have holes.
“Conspiracy theorists just have not found very much evidence to show anything different,” McAdams said. “The evidence shows it was probably Oswald all by himself.”
Wrone argued that Kennedy’s assassination was result of a conspiracy and opened his argument by saying the “Warren Commission Report” has some problems.
“The Warren Report was 912 pages long but only 90 pages had to do with the assassination of JFK,” Wrone said.
Wrone also said the rifle that was supposedly used to kill the former president was never swabbed to see if it had been fired after it was seized by the authorities.
He also mentioned discrepancies by witnesses at the depository on the day of the shooting.
“A witness could not identify Oswald in an initial lineup,” Wrone said. “The same man went home and said Oswald on television, came back and was able to identify Oswald then.”
Wrone said Oswald was identified as guilty from the start by many different sources.
“The FBI from the beginning presumed Oswald did it, and the Warren Commission members presumed he did it,” Wrone said. “Even President (Lyndon B.) Johnson presumed he did when he took office.”
“I will continue to say that Oswald cannot be linked to the murder of JFK,” said Wrone, ending his argument.
The two professors had a chance to respond to each other and then took questions from the crowd.
Gary Metro, editor of The Southern Illinoisan, moderated.