SHAPIRO: Did Hollywood inspire Lee Harvey Oswald?

Striking parallels between film and fact have emerged

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Considering Oswald’s “sharpshooter” status in the Marine Corps, the speed and accuracy of his shots were not at all improbable, despite what conspiracy theorists say.

Oswald could have taken shelter anywhere after he shot Kennedy. Of all the places he could have gone, Oswald immediately fled to the Texas Theatre — a Dallas movie theater near his apartment. Not coincidentally, it was a theater that had showed “The Manchurian Candidate” only a year before.

It was the perfect place to conclude the fantasy that he had spent a year preparing to perform. When a Dallas police officer quietly approached Oswald in the theater, he opted for a dramatic ending and unnecessarily revealed his guilt by reportedly striking the officer and shouting, “This is it.”

The parallels between “The Manchurian Candidate” and the assassination of President Kennedy are not a mere coincidence. Shortly after the assassination, the movie disappeared from circulation until 1989. Although there have been claims that its removal from circulation was a result of an ongoing intellectual-property dispute, it is no secret that some in Hollywood were concerned that the movie triggered Oswald’s actions.

The evidence about the source of Oswald’s inspiration is significant, and his guilt is beyond a reasonable doubt.

Jeffrey Scott Shapiro is a former Washington, D.C., prosecutor and an investigative journalist.

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