November 22nd marks the 50th anniversary of one of the nation’s most historic assassinations - the shooting of President John F. Kennedy. Officially the investigation of the shooting was closed with the publication of the Warren Commission in 1964, though today 80% of Americans disagree with the report’s conclusions, according to Kennedy assassination expert Dr. Cyril Wecht.
To commemorate the anniversary Duquesne University’s Wecht Institute of Forensic and Science Law will be hosting “Passing the Torch: An International Symposium on the 50th Anniversary of the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy” at the university.
The event will gather 30 forensic, scientific, and legal experts, as well as Oscar-winning “JFK” director Oliver Stone to discuss the evidence and controversies surrounding the investigation.
Panels begin Thursday in Duquesne’s Power Center and will last until Saturday.
“This will be the granddaddy of all programs dealing with the JFK assassination,” says Dr. Cyril Wecht, a Forensic Pathologist and Medical Legal Consultant. Dr. Wecht was one of the first Forensic Experts to research the Warren Commission’s report after it’s publication and has hosted several panels discussing the investigation since that time.
Though half a century has passed, he says the JFK assassination is still just as critically important today.
“People who were not born, who were too young of course to appreciate what was going on, they owe it to themselves really as American citizens to know what this was all about,” says Wecht, “it was not a foreign plot it wasn’t the Russians, the Cubans, the Chinese; it was the killing of a president by people here in the United States of America.”
Much of the controversy concerning the assassination stems from the “Single-Bullet Theory.” This aspect of the Warren Commission attributes seven wounds in Kennedy and Governor Connelly to one bullet from one shooter, Lee Harvey Oswald.
“As an American citizen I feel that this is something that needs to be uncovered, it needs to be fully disclosed,” says Wecht.