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Monday, January 23rd, 2023

Baton Rouge, Louisiana


The Kennedy assassination is back in the news as a series of documents have been released involving the investigation that goes back 60 years. President Kennedy was assassinated on November 13, 1963, while riding in his motorcade in Dallas, Texas. The various investigators, including the FBI and the Warren Commission, concluded that there was one shooter, Lee Harvey Oswald. But many naysayers do not agree, and have alleged for years that a conspiracy took place.

Theories concerning who might be behind the assassination are far and wide. Some say the CIA was involved. Others say Castro was trying to get even with Kennedy for invading Cuba as part of the Bay of Pigs. Some even allege that Vice President Lyndon Johnson has something to do with this tragedy. I don’t buy any of this. Are you ready for the Jim Brown theory?

First of all, if you saw the movie JFK with Kevin Costner, Director Oliver Stone is convinced that the plot to kill President Kennedy came right out of New Orleans. In the film, district attorney Jim Garrison is portrayed as being consumed with getting to the bottom of any plot to kill the President. Some allege that Garrison was addicted by the investigation, let his alter ego get the best of him, and did not have the right state of mind to be neutral in any review of the facts.

I knew Big Jim (Garrison was six feet six inches tall), and he always struck me as being fair- minded and a straight shooter. We were both members of the New Orleans Athletic Club, and our gym lockers were side-by-side.  We often talked local politics, and he even mentioned an interest in running for Louisiana governor one day.

Oswald was born and raised in New Orleans, and had been living off and on in the Crescent City for a number of years. Shortly before the Kennedy assassination, he was in New Orleans handing out pamphlets supporting Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.  So following the assassination, my thoughts immediately centered back on New Orleans. I particularly wondered about any mafia tie.

The New Orleans mafia had been the center of a major investigation into organized crime led by the president’s brother, Robert Kennedy.  If anyone had an interest in seeing the president being removed from office, it certainly could have been the local casa nostra.  But nothing came of the New Orleans angle of the assassination, and the Washington investigators settled on the theory that Oswald acted alone.

Could Oswald have been the sole triggerman, but have been influenced, possibly brainwashed, and paid to do the job by New Orleans criminal interests?  I always wondered about this. Then, two years ago, I decided to investigate my theory a little further. But by this time, anyone that was part of Garrison’s investigation, or those tied to any local criminal element had passed away.

I had a relative who was close to a local restaurant owner, and who supposedly had close ties to the group that Robert Kennedy was investigating. I asked my relative to check with the restaurateur to see if he might talk to me off the record about his previous knowledge. Could he enlighten me on any facts about how certain shady individuals in New Orleans might have any knowledge or even have been involved in encouraging Oswald to carry out the assassination? I promised not to write or say anything at all until after the person’s death.

Surprisingly, the individual agreed to meet with me and supposedly tell me everything he knew. What a scoop I might have. I was to go by his home and see him for coffee on a Tuesday morning. I prepared a list of questions, and with great anticipation, look forward to my visit.

Two nights before the meeting, the phone rang. It was my relative.  She told me I would not believe what happened. The fellow I was to meet with had died of a heart attack.

What it bad luck, fate, or something more sinister?  I really had believed that I was on to something big. Could I have possibly been given a key that would unlock a partial explanation of what happened to the president on that morning in Dallas some 60 years ago?

I guess you dear reader, and I will never know.

Peace and Justice

Jim Brown

Jim Brown’s syndicated column appears each week in numerous newspapers throughout the nation and on websites worldwide.  You can read all his past columns and see continuing updates at http://www.jimbrownla.com






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