Carol Marin: Who killed JFK and why it still matters

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Who really killed JFK?

Fifty-two years later and most of us don’t believe we know. More important, most of us don’t believe our government, despite a succession of high level investigating commissions, has ever given us the truth. According to a Gallup poll in 2013, 61 percent of those surveyed still reject the Lee Harvey Oswald-lone gunman theory of the assassination of the president.

Combine that with a Pew poll in 2014 that a bare 24 percent expressed strong trust in government at all and you have the backdrop for a provocative new play,“Assassination Theater,”about to open in Chicago on August 18at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago’s River North.

Who killed JFK?

The Chicago Outfit did.

That, answers playwright, author and investigative reporter Hillel Levin, is the incontrovertible truth.

OPINION

While it is hardly a new theory, Levin, along with former FBI agent Zechariah Shelton, provide a compelling case that urges all of us to conduct ourselves like a grand jury and consider some of the evidence they offer from official documents and testimony before making up our minds.

Oswald, named by the government as the shooter, was but a pawn, they say, in an intricate Outfit scheme.

The key Chicago players, they argue, included the late mob boss Tony “Big Tuna” Accardo.

“Without Tony Accardo, I don’t believe it would have happened,” says Levin.

Also part of the plot are Sam “Momo” Giancana and hitmen Charles Nicoletti and Johnny Roselli. And mob associate James Files, a class X felon serving a 30-year sentence for attempted murder, whom Shelton says told him, “If the American people really knew what happened they wouldn’t be able to handle it.”

It was not Oswald but Files, also in Dallas that day, who fired the fatal shot, they contend based on their extensive research.

The shots, the conspiracy and the cover-up are all part of the play that this past week was going through final rehearsals.

The motivation, Levin argues, was money.

Bobby Kennedy waged the most concerted war against organized crime of any attorney general. …targeting the mob’s intention of taking over Las Vegas,” he said.

And Vegas was an Outfit gold mine.

According to Levin and Shelton, on the day of the assassination Nicoletti and Roselli were also in Dallas.

And then, in the mid-1970s they andGiancana were all whacked, gangland style, after being subpoenaed to testify before the House Select Committee on Assassinations.

Their murders, Shelton says, were to shut them up.

On the day Kennedy was killed, November 22, 1963, the U.S. government had grave international fears involving Russia and Cuba.

“There was a legitimate concern that Oswald was a communist agent and news of that would touch off a nuclear war,” said Levin.

Therefore, the lone-gunman theory staved off discussion of any kind of conspiracy, international or otherwise.

“There was no investigation done on a conspiracy, it was shut down the very day he died. That to me is big,” said Shelton.

Levin and Shelton, both experts on organized crime, know sometimes it takes decades for the truth to win out. If ever.

I’m taking an open mind as the curtain rises.

Email: cmarin@suntimes.com

Follow Carol Marin on Twitter:Follow @CarolMarin

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