NEW ULM - The New Ulm Public Library Director shared his lifelong passion - research into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy nearly a half century ago - on Tuesday before dozens of people in a library meeting room.
Larry Hlavsa presented "The Murder of JFK - The Coldest Case Ever," a detailed, eclectic series of film, photos and news clips, that didn't back the Warren Commission's 1964 conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald killed the president, and did so while acting alone on Nov. 22, 1963 in Dallas.
"I don't think Oswald didn't fire shots, but he was a 'patsy,' a fall guy," Hlavsa said at the end of his presentation. "I agree with Robert Kennedy. The mafia and CIA turned Operation Mongoose - an attempt to destabilize Cuba and kill (Fidel) Castro - on its head and killed JFK."
Staff photo by Fritz Busch
New Ulm Public Library Director Larry Hlavsa shares his research on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy Tuesday in the library.
Hlavsa said either James Earl Files, aka James Sutton, an American prisoner at the Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill, Ill., who called himself the "grassy knoll shooter" in the JFK assassination in a 1994 interview, or someone like him was involved in the assassination. "Listen to Files' interview and read about him in books about the assassination and it's conspiracy theories," Hlavsa said.
"There are thousands of bits and pieces of facts about this that are questionable. The Warren Commission wasn't a court and had people who didn't want to be on it. There is so much on You Tube," Hlavsa said. "JFK was president in the depths of the Cold War, from 1961 to 1963. He was well liked but also the subject of lots of hate. Most American presidential assassinations are solved. ... JFK's head violently fell backward and pieces of brain matter flew back, hitting motorcyclists after he was shot, according to the Zapruder film. It doesn't add up. Oswald's shooting position was behind JFK, after he passed by on the road."
Hlavsa said JFK's enemies included the mafia, Fidel Castro, high-ranking military leaders, corporate America, bankers, the CIA and Director Allen Dulles, FBI and Director J. Edgar Hoover, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ), Jimmy Hoffa and the Teamsters Union and others.
"LBJ has an almost maniacal urge to be president," Hlavsa said. "He felt the Kennedys were an obstacle to that. Oswald was interviewed for more than 12 hours after the assassination. No interview notes were ever found."
Hlavsa listed many people involved with the assassination in some way or another who died mysterious deaths within two years of Kennedy's death. The list included newspaper journalist and "What's My Line" TV game show panelist Dorothy Kilgallen, who said she interviewed Jack Rubey who killed Oswald shortly after he was arrested. However, the interview notes were never found. Her cause of death was listed as "apparent alcohol and drug combination overdose."
Other assassination peculiarities included the type of gun used by Oswald changed, according to all law enforcement but a young Dallas County Deputy Sheriff who killed himself not long after the assassination.
Hlavsa showed film footage of JFK's two Secret Service bodyguards who usually hold on to handles while riding on the back of the presidential limousine, acting as human shields. The bodyguards were ordered off the car as it headed toward the grassy knoll in Dallas.
A recording of a JFK speech to the American Newspaper Association was presented.
The text is:
"The word secrecy is repugnant in today's society," Kennedy said. "There is a growing danger today about the need for secrecy and censorship to stifle dissent and cover up mistakes. I'm asking for your help in informing and alerting the American people. Newspapers are the recorder of man's deeds. They're here for man to be what he was meant to be, free and independent."
"Doesn't the speech apply today too?" Hlavsa said.
(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at email@example.com).