As they say, hindsight is always 20/20, and all tragic events in the history of mankind can undoubtedly be subjected to the same kind of list that I have created below, which is an "If Only" list pertaining to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963.

"If Only" just one or two of the things on my list below had actually occurred, then not only would a whole lot of controversy have been avoided in the wake of JFK's murder, but the 35th President very likely would have lived to give his speech at the Dallas Trade Mart on Friday, November the 22nd. If Only....


IF ONLY .... Lee Harvey Oswald had been successful in his suicide attempt in Russia on October 21, 1959.

IF ONLY .... Bonnie Ray Williams had decided to watch the Presidential motorcade from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository, instead of going down to the fifth floor shortly before President Kennedy drove past the building.

IF ONLY .... TSBD Superintendent Roy Truly had not hired Lee Harvey Oswald on October 15, 1963.

IF ONLY .... Roy Truly had assigned Oswald to work at the Houston Street TSBD building, instead of the building at 411 Elm Street in Dealey Plaza.

IF ONLY .... Lee Harvey Oswald's Mannlicher-Carcano rifle had jammed at Z313.

IF ONLY .... Lee Oswald's father had not died shortly before Lee was born. What influence would it have had on Lee's whole life if he had been able to grow up with a father in the house, instead of being raised solely by that really strange mother of his, Marguerite?

IF ONLY .... Marina Oswald had agreed to immediately go back to Dallas to live with her husband when Lee asked her to do so on Thursday, November 21, 1963.

IF ONLY .... Linnie Mae Randle's house had been located further away from Ruth Paine's house in Irving, Texas. If Randle hadn't lived so close to the Paine home, it's very likely that Lee Oswald would never have found out about the job opening at the Texas School Book Depository.

IF ONLY .... it hadn't stopped raining in Dallas on the morning of 11/22/63, shortly prior to JFK's motorcade through the city. If the rain had continued, then the plastic bubbletop roof would have been affixed to the President's 1961 Lincoln Continental limousine as JFK was being driven through the streets of Dallas, which might have deflected the bullets away from the President's body. The roof might have also deterred Oswald from firing any rifle shots at the car in the first place (if Oswald had been of the opinion that the bubbletop roof was bullet-proof, which it wasn't).

IF ONLY .... Arnold Rowland had alerted a policeman about the gunman he saw on the west end of the Book Depository Building at approximately 12:15 PM on 11/22/63.

IF ONLY .... Buell Wesley Frazier had been unable to drive Lee Harvey Oswald to work on the morning of November 22nd. What would Oswald have done then? Would he have carried his rifle package on a bus? (Perhaps.) Or in a taxicab? (I doubt it.)

Or would he have awakened Ruth Paine and asked her to drive him to work, with the 38-inch-long brown paper package in the back of Mrs. Paine's Chevrolet station wagon? (I very much doubt it. It's unlikely he would have wanted to use the "curtain rod" lie in front of Mrs. Paine. Of course, if Ruth asked "What's in the package, Lee?", Lee could have always thought up a quick lie on the spur of the moment, I suppose. He could always tell Ruth that Marina made him an extra-large submarine sandwich for lunch that day.)

IF ONLY .... Lee Oswald's paper bag had ripped open on the way to work. If it had ripped, it might have allowed Wesley Frazier to see what was inside the bag (a rifle), and it might have made Oswald think twice about using that now-exposed weapon as an instrument in a Presidential assassination attempt a few hours later.

IF ONLY .... Police Officer Marrion Baker had detained Lee Harvey Oswald on the second floor of the TSBD. If Baker hadn't turned Oswald loose in the lunchroom, the life of policeman J.D. Tippit would have been spared.

IF ONLY .... Lee Harvey Oswald had been caught in the act of attempting to kill retired General Edwin A. Walker on April 10, 1963.

IF ONLY .... Lee Harvey Oswald had been successful in his attempt to reach Cuba and/or the Soviet Union during his trip to Mexico City in September 1963. If he would had gone to Cuba or Russia in September, would he have returned to Dallas, Texas, in November to shoot President Kennedy?

IF ONLY .... Ruth Paine had not met Lee and Marina Oswald at a party in February of 1963.

IF ONLY .... the Texas Employment Commission had attempted to contact Lee Harvey Oswald just a day or two earlier than they did, to inform Oswald of a job opening at Trans-Texas Airways (a job that would have paid Oswald $310 per month, which is over $100 more per month than his TSBD salary).

Records indicate that the Texas Employment Commission attempted to contact Oswald by telephone on October 15, 1963, which was the exact same day he was hired by Roy Truly at the Book Depository.

Records further indicate that the TEC last attempted to contact Oswald about the Trans-Texas job at 10:30 AM on October 16, 1963, which was the same day Oswald began working at the TSBD. [Also see Warren Report, Page 247.]

IF ONLY .... Bullet CE399 hadn't fallen out of Governor John Connally's left leg. If that bullet had remained in Connally's thigh, instead of falling onto his hospital stretcher, it would have saved millions of words from being written by conspiracy theorists about the bullet having been "planted".

IF ONLY .... Karen Carlin had waited one more hour to call Jack Ruby on November 24, 1963. Such a delay on Carlin's behalf would have meant Ruby would very likely have not been in a position to shoot and kill Lee Harvey Oswald in the basement of Dallas City Hall at 11:21 AM CST on 11/24/63.

IF ONLY .... One more customer had been in front of Jack Ruby at the Western Union office.

IF ONLY .... Lee Harvey Oswald hadn't taken the time to put on that black sweater before being escorted into the basement.

IF ONLY .... Jack Ruby had not owned a revolver.

IF ONLY .... Jacqueline Kennedy had pushed her husband down inside the limousine before the fatal bullet had a chance to hit its mark.

If only.

David Von Pein
August 2010
February 2015