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Reporter who witnessed JFK and Oswald deaths says new files will fuel conspiracy theories

Lee Harvey Oswald in police custody in Dallas, following assassination of President John F. Kennedy, on November 22, 1963. (UTA Special Collections/Star-Telegram Collection/TNS)

Hugh Aynesworth, a reporter for The Dallas Morning News, was watching the presidential motorcade downtown when he heard the shots that killed President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963 . Since then, much of his career has been devoted to investigating the events of that day.

Over the years, Aynesworth figures he’s explored dozens, maybe hundreds, of different conspiracy theories about the assassination. His work will continue on Thursday when the government releases the latest batch of files kept classified for 54 years.

One thing’s for certain: The new information won’t put an end to the conspiracy theories, said Aynesworth, who is firmly in the camp that only one shooter, Lee Harvey Oswald, was responsible for Kennedy’s murder.

“What will come out of this is something that should have come out years and years ago,” said Aynesworth, 86, who lives in Dallas.

He expects the files to produce more information about how much the CIA and FBI knew about Oswald before the assassination. In particular, the files could reveal how much the CIA knew about a trip Oswald made to Mexico City a month or so before the assassination.

“There’s been a lot of speculation over the years about Oswald’s trip to Mexico,” said Aynesworth. While there, Oswald met with Cubans and Russians, he said.

The CIA had both the Russian and Cuban embassies bugged, said Aynesworth, author of “November 22, 1963: Witness to History.” “So they knew exactly what he said, who he met with, and they’ve kept this secret,” he said.

The files may raise even more questions than they answer.

“It will never stop the conspiracy crowd,” Aynesworth said. “They want to be somebody and make money. And there’s an awful lot of money involved.

“There are over 200 conspiracy books — that ought to tell you something.”


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