By Trinadad Joe

November, 2013 – 50 years later.

The real story or just a short story and an excerpt from my novel,

Ponytail Gangsters Revenge

A president & his brother killed; 2, 3 or 4 shooters; a hated foreign leader;

 a movie star; a gangster and a union leader who disappeared. Oh my!

Hi, I’m Jake, an ex-cop and current Key West P.I. or Private Investigator. I surprised my buddies, TJ and Captain Tony, with this statement while in the Lower Keys Hospital after I was shot in the stomach by a member of the Ponytail Gang.

“Last year during a lay-over in the Dallas airport a little old man told me some shocking

things about the men who shot John and Robert Kennedy.”


“Like what?” asked TJ.


“He said that Oswald didn’t die!”


Tony asked, “Are you talking about the man that shot President Kennedy, Oswald Oswald?”


“No,” answered TJ, “the man with the same two names was Sirhan Sirhan. He definitely shot Robert Kennedy.”


“Yes, he did, but I am talking about Lee Harvey Oswald, who supposedly shot Jack.”

“Everybody knows Oswald died,” insisted Tony, raising his voice.

I pointed to my stomach. “No, lots of people get shot in the stomach and don’t die. I didn’t!”


“Yeah,” they both nodded.


I leaned forward and told them something I learned in Firearms 101. “Oswald was definitely shot in the stomach or side but he didn’t have to die. Maybe, the bullet had been weakened by removing some of the gunpowder so it won’t do as much damage. It would still work like a regular one and make all the noise, too.”


“I didn’t know that,” said Tony, softly. “Did you, TJ?”




“Plus,” I further explained, “if you stood in front of someone about your height that you wanted to shoot and kill, you would shoot him in the head or chest, wouldn’t you?”


“Yeah,” they both agreed after pretending to shoot.


“Especially, when you knew you might only get to fire one shot.”


“Definitely!” they both nodded.


“Well,” I winked, “so would Jack Ruby.”


“But, he didn’t,” said TJ, objecting.


I sat up before answering. “No, because he only wanted to make it look like he was tryingto kill Oswald.”


“But Jake,” insisted Tony, “he really shot him.”


“He had to,” I replied.


“Why?” asked Tony.


“He had the greatest witnesses – all those cops, news reporters and a worldwide television audience.”


I imagined a light bulb over Tony’s head when he said, “So Jake, you think it was the perfect set-up.”


“Yeah, don’t you?”


“But,” said TJ, acting like Perry Mason or one of the lawyers on ‘Law and Order’, “how about the ambulance workers?”


“Do you think anyone asked them for ID?” I asked.


“No Jake, I guess not,” he muttered.


“Exactly.” They both looked at me as if it was as clear as mud. So, I continued to explain. “Even if they did, anyone can get a false ID and a uniform. So they could easily have been part of the plan. In fact, they would have to be.”


“But,” stated TJ, walking closer to my bed, “all the hospital workers and surgeons couldn’t have been.”


“They didn’t have to be.”


“So then, how did it work?” asked Tony, scratching his head.


“Fellas, they switched bodies in the ambulance and a look-alike took Oswald’s place.”


Now, it was TJ’s turn. “But, he would have been recently shot in the stomach, too.”


I made a gun with my hand and fired. “That’s not very hard to do.”


“And,” added Tony, “they also had to be sure that he died.”


“Of course!”


“Wait a minute,” said TJ, walking around to the other side of the room, “at the hospital, they didn’t find two Oswalds in the ambulance.”


“No one was looking for two. After they took the dead one out on a stretcher, the driver supposedly drove the ambulance away to wherever they clean them. That’s when the real wounded Oswald got away.”


“Jake,” said TJ, shaking my hand, “you’ve convinced me that it’s possible.”


Tony scratched his head some more. “I still have my doubts. For years, we were told a different story.”


“That’s okay. I’m not trying to convert you. This is not a religion. But, maybe Oswald was as smart and slick as the guy in the movie, The Usual Suspects.”


“He did learn to speak Russian fluently and that’s hard. I’ll check out what you told us.”


“Well, I’ll tell you a few more things the little old man told me. While Oswald was recovering, he probably re-played the events of that day and smiled with satisfaction. He soon found out, like we all did, that Kennedy had insisted that the bulletproof bubble-top not be installed on his car. Plus, he instructed the Secret Service men, who didn’t want him to go to Texas, to be behind the car, not alongside, as usual. He wanted to seem more accessible. These two decisions made it much easier for Oswald and the other gunman on the ‘grassy knoll’ to have clearer views of their target.”


“So,” cross-examined Tony, “you go along with the theory about a second shooter on the ‘grassy knoll’?”


“It’s much more than a theory. An eyewitness testified that he had a clear view of two men behind the fence. Then, he saw a puff of smoke or a gun barrel flash. Two experts re-created it for the first time recently and said it was possible.”


“Since an investigation is suppose to examine all of the evidence, it’s very strange that no one ever did that before.”


“Well, many people wanted it to be only Oswald. Somehow, this witness and seventeen others all died within a few years. Some of the deaths were highly improbable. Also, Kennedy had bullet wounds in his back, his throat and his head. Several creditable witnesses, including Texas Governor Connelly swear that they heard three shots close together.”


TJ joined in. “I saw a program about that recently. They did a very realistic simulation. Several ballistics experts and military sharpshooters concluded that it’s impossible for one man to fire three shots that fast with that type of rifle and hit a moving target, too.”


Tony asked, “What’s so different about that rifle?”


“It’s not an automatic. After you fire, you must eject the cartridge, move another bullet into the chamber, aim and shoot straight then, repeat the process to fire again.”


“Plus,” added Tony, sitting on my bed, “all of this was done within a few seconds”.


“Yep, the bullet that hit Kennedy in his back passed through his body and the seat and hit Governor Connelly, too. It wasn’t a magic bullet. It only had to go in one direction.”


TJ told us, “Later, Kennedy’s head moved in the wrong direction – backwards. That would be more consistent with the entry bullet wound in his throat which had to come from another direction. Maybe, that caused the exit damage to his head.”


“Wow, I thought I knew everything I needed to know about this,” said Tony. “So, maybe, the real reason why Americans can go to Moscow, Berlin and even Vietnam but not Cuba is because the American government thinks that Castro was behind the Kennedy assassination.”


“I won’t be surprised,” said TJ, peeking out the window. “They did try to kill him a few times and there was the ‘Bay of Pigs’ invasion. Plus, Oswald had been in Cuba.”


“I wonder,” I wondered aloud, “if when they exhumed Oswald’s grave in ’81 (Fact), did they find out that it was the wrong body? If so, they kept it a secret.”


“I didn’t know they did that” said Tony, impressed by my knowledge.


“Another mystery – when Hitler’s skull was examined several years ago, they found out that it wasn’t his. It’s a woman’s. Maybe, his wife or??? Remember, the Boys from Brazil?”


I smiled because I was really enjoying this. “Oh yes, the plot thickens. The man in Dallas also told me that Sirhan Sirhan was supposedly the lone shooter of Robert on June 5, 1968 with a .22 caliber gun that could only hold eight bullets but about thirteen shots were fired?” (Fact).


TJ couldn’t resist screaming, “No way!?!”


“Plus, some of the slugs they found in the walls and ceiling were from a .38!” (Fact).


“So,” said TJ, sitting down for a minute, “there’s massive confusion about both killings.”


“Oh yeah! Plus, a mysterious replacement bodyguard showed up to work that night for the first time. He was standing right behind Robert when he was fatally shot in the back of the head from about two inches away.”


“How do they know that?”


“He had powder burns on the back on his neck.”




“And, Sirhan was never behind Robert.”


“So, he couldn’t have done that.”


“No, but he did shoot him twice in the side before he was tackled. Somehow, five people were wounded.”


Tony carried on the cross-examination. “I thought only Robert got shot.”


“Nope,” I declared loudly. “So, how could a lone little gunman, with one regular gun, not an Uzi or automatic, fire all those shots in that little time and wound five people?”


“I don’t know,” he replied shaking his head.


TJ suggested, “Maybe, they were standing in a line.”


“Even so,” I explained, “a .22 caliber bullet can’t pass through four people, not even kids. And remember,” I concluded, “that three men, including Rafer Johnson and big Rosie Greer, a former Olympic decathlon champion and a former NFL football lineman, jumped on Sirhan almost right away. Some said he kept shooting wildly until the gun was empty.”


“Yeah, that’s probably how the other five people got shot.”


“Yep! By the way, the same new bodyguard had a .38 revolver that one witness said she saw smoking, like it was fired. It was in the police report but no one questioned him about it.  I can’t believe that no one ever checked to see if Sirhan and the guard were connected. I would have looked for a connection to Oswald, too. It was less than five years after John was killed.”


Tony is so excited that he can’t sit down. “I want to know why the regular bodyguard wasn’t working on such an important night.”


“Me too,” added TJ. “Also, who made the arrangements? Why he was there? Why this guy? Who knew? And, when did they know?”


Tony asked us, “Do you know how many people have been killed by their bodyguards? A lot! India’s Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was in 1984 and Al Capone’s crime boss, too. Where were Julius Caesar’s bodyguards?”


“You’re right! Also, after Robert was killed, a doorframe with bullet holes that was taken away and X-rayed by the cops and examined by the coroner was thrown away or disappeared.”


“Nonsense!” shouted Tony. “That’s not small like a pencil – it’s a doorframe, damnit!”


“Yep, and the X-rays are missing, too.”


“Is this a Three Stooges movie?”


“Well, one of the head cops said, “We didn’t want to confuse people by having them think that there might have been two shooters.”




Tony summed it up. “How could so many things go wrong with such an important investigation? Were they involved?”


“Who knows. Hey, maybe Oswald was also mad at the John & Robert K. because they may have been involved in Marilyn Monroe’s death on 8/4/62, if it wasn’t a suicide. He was a big fan. Was she planning to reveal that she had an affair with them? Her former lover, a gangster, may have wanted revenge, too. Robert also sent Jimmy Hoffa to jail. Sirhan Sirhan may have been another part of the plan to kill them. So many possibilities.”


“Jake, this sounds like “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not,” declared TJ. Tony nodded.


The nurse came in and announced, “Visiting hours are over. You’ll have to leave now.”


As they waved goodbye and headed out the door, I called out, “Look it up, my friends, and let me know what you decide about the woman in the polka-dot dress!”


What woman!?!” they shouted in unison, hopelessly trying to get back in the room pass the nurse who was blocking the door.



The End? No way!

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