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JFK assassination theory du jour: Oswald only killed Kennedy on accident while aiming for someone else

Just when you thought that every possible alternate angle on the JFK assassination had been exhausted, here’s a brand new one: Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK on accident. Okay, so if you’re pointing a rifle towards the president, you’re not exactly practicing proper gun safety in the first place, but what if he was not trying to shoot the president at all?

In his memoir A Journey Amongst the Good and the Great, retired Navy lawyer Andy Kerr puts forth a theory based on some letters that were filtered through him from Harvey Oswald to John Connally, then Secretary of the Navy:

One day we got a letter from Lee Harvey Oswald. The name meant nothing to us then. The letter was long and handwritten and was mailed from Russia where Oswald was living with his wife, Marina. It was addressed to “The Honorable John Connally,” who was then the secretary of the navy in the Kennedy administration.

Some secretary sent the letter to Kerr because it had “legal overtones.”

It was essentially a complaint from Oswald about the character of his discharge from the Marine Corps, and a plea to Connally to use his authority as secretary of the navy to change the discharge to one more favorable… When Oswald left the Marine Corps and went to live in Russia, he was given an administrative discharge that was less than commendatory. As I recall, he was discharged as “undesirable.” He thought that characterization unfair. Later events were to prove the epithet to have been exceptionally mild. The letter was an attention getter. You don’t find many Marines defecting to the Soviet Union.

Kerr goes over Oswald’s record to see if he ever did anything spectacularly great to merit clemency. He had not. (Kerr calls him “a lousy Marine.”) Kerr wrote Oswald to say that his complaint was “without merit.” And that, he thought, was that.

But that’s not exactly the way it turned out. On 22 November 1963, while riding beside President Kennedy in a motorcade in Dallas, John Connally, then governor of Texas, was shot through his arm and lung by Lee Harvey Oswald. President Kennedy was shot and killed in the same incident. The history books say it slightly differently—that Connally was wounded during Oswald’s assassination of President Kennedy. The assumption is always that Oswald was shooting at Kennedy and that Connally was hit by accident or as a secondary target of opportunity. Could it not, however, have been the other way around? In spite of all the investigations, including that of the Warren Commission, and the continuing fascination with and theories about the event, no one has yet come up with a credible motive for the shooting of Kennedy by Oswald. Against this, we know for a fact that Oswald once asked Connally for help in what may have been a cri du coeur. He was turned down flat.

What greater motivation does a psychopath need?

The prevailing story is that Connelly was injured when Oswald shot at the president, but what if it was the other way around? What if JFK was killed while Oswald was shooting at Connelly, because he was crazy and pissed off at the Navy? 


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