Conspiracy theorists can now count Robert F. Kennedy Jr. among their ranks after the nephew of U.S. President John F. Kennedy discussed on Friday his belief that the assassination of his uncle was more than the work of a lone gunman.
Kennedy, who is the son of the also-assassinated U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, admitted that questions about JFK's assassination have lingered in the family since Nov. 22, 1963.
RFK Jr. and his sister, Rory Kennedy, spoke with Charlie Rose in front of an audience at the Winspear Opera House in Dallas at the beginning of a year marking the 50th anniversary of JFK's death.
RFK Jr. said his father dismissed the Warren Commission's report, which summarized the investigation of JFK's assassination, as a “shoddy piece of craftsmanship,” according to the Associated Press.
Rose then pressed RFK Jr., asking whether his dad felt “some sense of guilt because he thought there might have been a link between his very aggressive efforts against organized crime” and his brother's death. Mobsters such as Sam Giancana have long been rumored to have been involved in a plot to kill the president.
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“I think that's true. He talked about that. He publicly supported the Warren Commission report, but privately he was dismissive of it,” Kennedy said.
Both Lee Harvey Oswald, JFK's alleged assassin, and Oswald’s killer, Dallas strip-club owner Jack Ruby, had ties to some pretty nefarious Mafia characters who were under pressure from the Kennedys.
RFK Jr. said his father, who was assassinated in 1968 during his campaign for the presidency, pondered the death of JFK for a full year, reading the work of ancient philosophers, religious scholars, Henry David Thoreau, and others while “trying to figure out kind of the existential implications of why a just God would allow injustice to happen of the magnitude he was seeing
RFK Jr.'s and Rory Kennedy’s conversation with Rose was highlighted by stories they told the audience of the simple life around the White House. At one point, RFK Jr. made an appointment with his uncle to discuss pollution, bringing in a salamander to show the president.
“In all of the tragedy and challenge, when you try to make sense of it and understand it, it's very difficult to fully make sense of it,” Rory Kennedy said. “But I do feel that in everything that I've experienced that has been difficult and that has been hard and that has been loss, that I've gained something in it.”