Today Show Features JFK Experts


By W. Tracy Parnell


As part of their “Truth or Conspiracy” week, NBC’s Today show ran a segment on August 9, 2001 that featured notables from the JFK research world.


The program dropped in on the assassination class of Dr. John McAdams at Marquette University. “When you look at the evidence with a real sober skeptical eye, you really don’t find anything solid indicating anybody but Oswald was involved in killing Kennedy,” McAdams, a Warren Commission supporter, stated. However, his students don’t seem to feel the same way and a majority raised their hands when asked for conspiracy advocates.


Three of McAdams’ students were asked to explain why they believe in conspiracy. Ashley Myers said, “So many people claim that they saw — or at least heard something coming from the grassy knoll.” Katie Robbins stated, “I think that the single bullet theory was — is definitely leading to a conspiracy because when they found the bullet it was pristine.” Adds Lenora Peper, “The killing of John F. Kennedy is just a huge thing to pull off. And I don’t think it’s a one-man job.”


Gary Mack, the curator of the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas offered the following assessment, “The Warren Commission was unable to come up with a motive why he (Oswald) would want to kill President Kennedy. My personal studies of this subject over the last 25 years or so show me that there are three major questions. The three M’s if you will. The medical evidence, mysterious events that happened, and the mystery man himself — Lee Harvey Oswald.” There are enough holes out there in this story that people looking at it today, and looking at it 50 years from now will wonder, well what really happened,” Mack concluded.


Appearing in the studio live with Katie Couric was Gerald Posner, author of Case Closed. While he supports the Warren Commission view of a lone gunman, Posner admits they made errors that led to uncertainty about their conclusions. When asked to comment on the latest Zogby poll that shows 68% of Americans believe in conspiracy Posner stated that he was surprised that it wasn’t 90%. He explained that over 2000 books and a major motion picture have stated the conspiracy view in various forms while only a handful of books and articles support the Warren Commission. This is the reason that the American public believes so strongly in conspiracy according to Posner.


When evaluating the current state of the debate, Posner says it all comes down to what evidence you use when trying to prove or disprove conspiracy. Some critics believe that all or nearly all of the photographic evidence in the case has been faked while supporters of the lone gunman theory accept the same evidence. This leads Posner to believe that the controversy surrounding the death of JFK will never be resolved to the satisfaction of all who study it.


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