Who Was Lee Harvey Oswald?

November 22, 2011

Twenty-four-year-old ex-Marine Lee Harvey Oswald is shown after his arrest on Nov. 22. (Copyright Bettmann/Corbis /AP Images)

If you’re like me, you read the Warren Commission Report when you were 14, convinced that you and you alone would read between the lines and figure out who really assassinated John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963, in Dallas’ Dealey Plaza.

But let’s hope (for your own sake) that you aren’t like me and that today, on the 48th anniversary of Kennedy’s death, you merely want to do a little educated digging into the man the commission deemed solely responsible for the crime: Lee Harvey Oswald.

The website for a 2003 rebroadcast of FRONTLINE’s 1993 film Who Was Lee Harvey Oswald? is chock full of good reads on the man and myth of Oswald. A sampling:

+ Authors Don DeLillo, Edward J. Epstein and Gerald Posner respond to questions about the elusive character and contested significance of the 24-year-old former Marine.

+ Two chapters from Norman Mailer’s 1996 book Oswald’s Tale: An American Mystery, in which Mailer presents his conclusions on the kind of man Oswald was and the elements of his character that made him capable of killing a president — and, most likely, doing it alone.

+ A detailed chronology of Oswald’s life.

+ Interviews with scholars and people who knew Oswald, including his brother Robert Oswald.

+ A look at how science and technology have answered questions some conspiracy theorists raise about the lone gunman theory.

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