5 Things We Learned From The Warren Commission

On September 27, 1964, the Warren Commission issued the final controversial report from its investigation into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Here are 5 things reported by the commission regarding the president’s assassination on that fateful day in Dallas...


Gerald Ford Was Secretly Slipping Information To The FBI While serving as a leading member of the Warren Commission, future President Gerald Ford was also supplying the FBI with information during the Commission’s deliberations. This was discovered after Ford’s death in 2006 when declassified documents showed that Ford, then a U.S. congressman, had approached FBI Assistant Director Cartha DeLoach and offered to confidentially keep the Bureau informed. Among the information he passed along was that several commission members, probably Hale Boggs and Richard Russell, were unconvinced that the shot that killed JFK had come from the School Book Depository in Dallas that fateful day.

The Commission Secretly Interviewed Fidel Castro. Many believed that Fidel Castro might have conspired in Kennedy’s murder, and it turns out that the Cuban dictator personally proclaimed his innocence in a secret interview with the Warren Commission. In the off-the-record interview, Fidel Castro told the interviewer repeatedly he had nothing to do with the assassination of President Kennedy. A journalist reported that William Coleman, a lawyer with the commission, had met Castro off the Cuban coast on a fishing boat to conduct the interview. Although no notes about the meeting were taken, Earl Warren and another investigator were reportedly the only ones who knew of the meeting.


The CIA And The FBI intentionally Misled The Commission Lee Harvey Oswald had been monitored by both the CIA and FBI for months before Kennedy was assassinated, and Oswald had reportedly left one of the FBI agents in Dallas a threatening note. However, the CIA and FBI downplayed their knowledge of him to the Warren Commission. Fearful of catching blame for not preventing the assassination, the FBI later destroyed the note and even removed the agent’s name from a typewritten transcript of Oswald’s address book provided to the Warren Commission. Congressman Hale Boggs would later say that FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover “lied his eyes out” to the Commission’s investigators.

The Commission Concluded That Lee Harvey Oswald Acted Alone It was reported by the Commission that no evidence was found of anyone assisting Lee Harvey Oswald in the plot to kill the president. The report indicated that no evidence existed that Oswald was a foreign agent, and he had not been encouraged or persuaded by a foreign government. However, several government agencies kept files on Oswald that carried questionable activities committed by him, but this information was downplayed to the members of the Warren Commission. Evidence suggests that the CIA had Oswald under surveillance when he made a trip to Mexico in September 1963 and visited the Cuban and Soviet embassies.

The Public Did Not Trust The Report When the Warren Report was first released to the public in September 1964, polls showed that only 56% of Americans agreed with its “lone gunman theory.” But within months, critics began to poke holes in its conclusions, and conspiracy theories cropped up alleging the involvement of everyone from the Mafia to Lyndon Johnson. By 1966, a second poll would show that only 36% of people still had confidence in the report. Today, studies show that around two-thirds of Americans believe there was some form of conspiracy surrounding the assassination.