Most Consider Federal Government, CIA Top Suspects

Steve Watson
Nov 15, 2013

Despite misleading headlines in some quarters, a clear majority of Americans still believe that president John F. Kennedy was killed as part of a conspiracy involving entities and individuals other than Lee Harvey Oswald.

With the 50 year anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination, next week, Gallup has conducted a poll to determine whether the conspiracy theory still resonates with Americans.

Its findings are concrete, with 61 percent saying they believe JFK was not killed by a lone gunman. Only 30 percent believe that Oswald was the sole assassin, and that The Warren Commission’s findings were accurate.

The latter figure is almost identical to one from a poll conducted one year after the assassination, in November 1963, when just 29 percent said they believed the lone gunman theory.

Trend: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963

As the graph above indicates, a majority of Americans over the past half century have always believed that JFK was killed by other unidentified actors.

The poll also indicates that most Americans who believe the conspiracy theory suggest that the federal government and/or the CIA assassinated Kennedy.

Mafia, U.S. Government, CIA Lead Conspiracy List for JFK Assassination, November 2013 results

In response to an open ended question about who was to blame for the murder, thirteen percent said they believed the government was, while a further 7 percent said the CIA. Other parties mentioned were the FBI, the Secret Service, and the military-industrial complex.

Interestingly, 3 percent said they believed Vice-President Lyndon Johnson was involved – which is a key premise in the feature film, JFK, adapted from researcher Jim Marrs’ book Crossfire.

Thirteen percent also said they believed the mafia or gangsters carried out the assassination, with lesser numbers pointing the finger at groups such as the KKK, Cuban revolutionaries, and communists.

“Thus far, public documents not originally released in or part of the Warren Commission’s report from 1964 have not demonstrated that there was any kind of conspiracy, yet clearly most Americans disagree with the official findings.” Gallup states, adding “Speculating about who was really responsible for Kennedy’s death will likely remain a topic of fascination for the American public for many years to come.”

While a strong majority still believes the conspiracy angle, Gallup notes that the number is at a new low, indicating that a recent spate of mainstream TV “documentaries” upholding the lone gunman theory may have convinced some Americans that the official story is believable.

This has led several outlets to use somewhat misleading headlines such as the one below:

Three-time Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone recently re-stoked debate on the JFK assassination by declaring that the Zapruder film was tampered with.

Appearing on Democracy Now, Stone said that the infamous Zupruder footage, which shows Kennedy being shot in the head from the front, was altered after it was seized by the CIA and the Secret Service.

“It was altered a bit I think – there’s a lot of evidence to that effect,” said Stone, who directed the 1991 blockbuster JFK.


Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’, and He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.

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