Warren Commission Report
The ten-month investigation of the Warren Commission of 1963--1964 concluded that the President was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald acting alone and that Jack Ruby acted alone when he killed Oswald before he could stand trial. These conclusions were initially supported by the American public; however, polls conducted from 1966 to 2004 found that as many as 80 percent of Americans have suspected that there was a plot or cover-up.
Contrary to the Warren Commission, the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) in 1979 concluded that President John F. Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy. The HSCA found both the original FBI investigation and the Warren Commission Report to be seriously flawed. While agreeing with the Commission that Oswald fired all the shots which caused the wounds to Kennedy and Governor Connally, it stated that there were at least four shots fired and that there was a "high probability" that two gunmen fired at the President. No gunmen or groups involved in the conspiracy were identified by the committee, but the CIA, Soviet Union, organized crime and several other groups were said to be not involved, based on available evidence. The assassination is still the subject of widespread debate and has spawned numerous conspiracy theories and alternative scenarios.
Lee Harvey Oswald (October 18, 1939 -- November 24, 1963) was, according to four government investigations, the sniper who killed John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963.
A former U.S. Marine who had briefly (October 1959 -- June 1962) defected to the Soviet Union, Oswald was initially arrested for the shooting murder of police officer J. D. Tippit, on a Dallas street approximately 40 minutes after Kennedy was shot. Suspected in the assassination of Kennedy as well, Oswald denied involvement in either of the killings. Two days later, while being transferred from police headquarters to the county jail, Oswald was shot and killed by nightclub owner Jack Ruby in full view of television cameras broadcasting live.
In 1964, the Warren Commission concluded that Oswald acted alone in assassinating Kennedy, firing three shots, a conclusion also reached by prior investigations carried out by the FBI and Dallas Police Department. However, in 1979, the House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded that Oswald 'probably' did not act alone. The evidence used to base this conclusion has since been widely disputed.
The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, known unofficially as the Warren Commission, was established on November 27, 1963, by Lyndon B. Johnson to investigate the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. Its 888-page final report was presented to President Johnson on September 24, 1964, and made public three days later. It concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the killing of Kennedy and the wounding of Texas Governor John Connally, and that Jack Ruby acted alone in the murder of Oswald. The Commission's findings have since proven controversial and been both challenged and supported by later studies.
The Commission took its unofficial nameâ€”the Warren Commissionâ€”from its chairman, Chief Justice Earl Warren. According to published transcripts of Johnson's presidential phone conversations, some major officials were opposed to forming such a commission and several commission members took part only with extreme reluctance. One of their chief reservations was that a commission would ultimately create more controversy than consensus, and those fears proved valid. The Commission's report was printed at Doubleday book publishing company located in Smithsburg, Maryland.