The JFK assassination, with its slew of theories as to who pulled the trigger, has left many wondering what exactly happened on that fateful day in November. Author James Reston Jr. has one more theory to add to the mix: What if Texas Gov. John Connally was actually the intended target, rather than U.S. President John F. Kennedy? That’s what Reston claims in his new book, “The Accidental Victim.”
According to the New York Daily News, Reston sat down with Matt Lauer on NBC’s “Today” to talk about his theory. The author rejects any notion of a conspiracy involving the CIA, Fidel Castro or the Mafia. And he believes Lee Harvey Oswald killed the president.
“This was a wretched, little, insignificant man,” Reston said. “No foreign government, no criminal organization would hire someone as unreliable and irresponsible as Lee Harvey Oswald. It’s absolutely impossible.”
Reston added: “You have to set aside all the conspiracy theories, which I think are rubbish, and bring it down to Lee Harvey Oswald, the man. What is his emotional makeup? What is driving him? What is his psychological makeup?”
The author noted: “The Warren Commission posits that he was a Marxist. Well, there are millions of Marxists who are not pathological killers. They said he had grandiose notions. You and I have grandiose notions. That doesn’t make us pathological killers.”
According to Reston, the main focus of Oswald’s wrath was Connally, who, when he was secretary of the Navy, rejected a petition from Oswald to reverse his dishonorable discharge from the Marine Corps. Oswald hated Connally after that.
“This is a guy who had a ninth-grade education,” Reston said. “The only thing he had ever done in his life was be in the Marine Corps. Ask any marine about how important three years of service is, and how important is that military discharge.”
What, then, was Oswald’s attitude toward Kennedy? “Oswald admired Kennedy,” Reston said. “There was no psychological driving force for him to kill Kennedy.”
As the New York Daily News reported, Reston, who first proposed his theory in a 1989 biography of Connally, called his new book “unfinished business.”
During the assassination in Dallas, Connally was shot once in the back, while JFK was hit twice: once in the upper back, and once in the head.