Intriguing Archive Related to Conspiracy Theories Surrounding John F. Kennedy’s Assassination
“I think Mrs. Lincoln, in pointing the finger at LBJ, Hoover, the CIA, mobsters, and anti-Castro Cubans, obviously knows more than most of us.”
“So far as I know there is not a shred of evidence to support Evelyn Lincoln’s ‘conspiracy theory.’”
On October 7, 1994, President John F. Kennedy’s personal secretary Evelyn Lincoln wrote to Richard Duncan, a teacher at Northside Middle School in Roanoke, Virginia, “As far as the assassination is concerned it is my belief that there was a conspiracy because there were those that disliked him and felt the only way to get rid of him was to assassinate him. These five conspirators, in my opinion, were Lyndon B. Johnson, J. Edgar Hoover, the Mafia, the CIA, and the Cubans in Florida.”
[JOHN F. KENNEDY.] Archive of eight letters received by Virginia teacher Richard Duncan in response to queries regarding a 1994 letter from Evelyn Lincoln about John F. Kennedy’s assassination, 1997-1998. 8 pp., most 8.5ʺ x 11ʺ. Also includes photocopy of “Evelyn Lincoln: A Loving Look at My Boss-John F. Kennedy” from Lady’s Circle (October 1964). All in very good condition, housed in protective sleeves.
Items and Excerpts:
Richard Duncan to Robert S. McNamara, January 23, 1997, endorsement by McNamara, January 29, 1997:
“In 1994 my students and I received a letter from Ms. Evelyn Lincoln, President John F. Kennedy’s secretary, which contained some very surprising conclusions about President Kennedy’s assassination. Although I am now retired from this school, I still work with students part-time and the assassination is a topic they are keenly interested in. If possible, would you please look over the copy of Ms. Lincoln’s letter I have enclosed and share with us any insights or comments you may have about it or the facts of the assassination.”
McNamara: “So far as I know there is not a shred of evidence to support Evelyn Lincoln’s ‘conspiracy theory.’”
Robert S. McNamara (1916-2009) was the U.S. Secretary of Defense under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson from 1961 to 1968.
Jim Marrs to Richard Duncan, January 30, 1997, with envelope:
“I think Mrs. Lincoln, in pointing the finger at LBJ, Hoover, the CIA, mobsters, and anti-Castro Cubans, obviously knows more than most of us. The only group she left out was the military. It is obvious that there had to have been accomplices with the military.... Thank you with your concern for truth. I hope the students whom you have helped educate grow into strong Americans who will reclaim their birthright as a truly free people.”
Jim Marrs (1943-2017) was an American newspaper journalist who wrote a series of best-selling books on cover-ups and conspiracies, including his 1989 book Crossfire, presenting a conspiracy theory surrounding the Kennedy assassination. Crossfire served as a source for Oliver Stone’s 1991 film JFK.
Byron White to Richard Duncan, February 3, 1997, on “Supreme Court of the United States” letterhead:
“I do not respond to requests such as yours.”
Byron White (1917-2002) was an attorney and professional football player who served as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1962 to 1993. Before President John F. Kennedy appointed him to the Supreme Court, White served as Deputy Attorney General from 1961 to 1962.
Cyril H. Wecht to Richard Duncan, February 3, 1997:
“I personally believe the CIA, Mafia, and Cubans in the Florida/Louisiana region were involved in the JFK assassination. I believe that Lyndon B. Johnson and J. Edgar Hoover (particularly the latter) played major roles in suppressing the evidence and controlling the investigation. However, I do not believe that Johnson or Hoover were involved in the original murder plot.”
Cyril H. Wecht (b. 1931) is a forensic pathologist in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who holds both a medical degree and a law degree. He critiqued the Warren Commission report in 1965 and has been a prominent exponent of conspiracy theories regarding Kennedy’s assassination.
Gerry Spence to Richard Duncan, February 27, 1997, fax:
“Richard: I think the Russians. The Warren Commission could not come to that conclusion fearing a nuclear holocaust.”
Gerry Spence (b. 1929) is a Wyoming attorney who gained a national reputation in the Karen Silkwood case. In 1986, he defended Lee Harvey Oswald in a mock trial in the United Kingdom sponsored by London Weekend Television.
Archibald Cox to Richard Duncan, October 17, 1997, on “Harvard Law School” letterhead:
“I have no special insight or knowledge of the assassination of President Kennedy. It was a tragic occurrence. I have never paid much attention to the many conspiracy theories because I have considerable confidence in members of the staff that served the Warren Commission. Evelyn Lincoln was devoted to President Kennedy. She served him with care, competence and great devotion. I fear that her loyalty and disappointment unfortunately led to a rather extreme view.”
Archibald Cox (1912-2004) was a lawyer and law professor who served as a labor advisor to Senator John F. Kennedy, as U.S. Solicitor General under President Kennedy, and as a special prosecutor during the Watergate scandal.
Richard Duncan to Earl Ruby, February 24, 1998; endorsement by Earl Ruby.
Ruby: “Evelyn Lincoln is wrong, there was not a conspiracy.”
Earl R. Ruby (1915-2006) was the younger brother of Oswald assassin Jack Ruby.
Jim Lehrer to Richard Duncan, January 31, 1997:
“Thank you for your letter. I hear you on Evelyn Lincoln’s letter.”
Jim Lehrer (1934-2020) was a journalist most well known as anchor of the PBS Newshour and as a moderator for presidential debates. He moderated twelve presidential debates between 1988 and 2012. He began his career in Dallas and covered the Kennedy assassination for the Dallas Times Herald.
Evelyn Norton Lincoln (1909-1995) was born in Nebraska. In 1930, and she married federal worker Harold W. Lincoln, whom she had met at George Washington University. In 1953, she became personal secretary to newly elected Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts. She remained close to Kennedy until his death. In 1965, she published My Twelve Years with John F. Kennedy, and in 1968, she wrote a book, Kennedy and Johnson, that suggested that Kennedy planned to replace Johnson as his running mate in 1964. She implicated Johnson, FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, the CIA, the mafia, and Cuban refugees in a vast conspiracy to assassinate Kennedy. According to the National Archives, Lincoln gave away or sold many Kennedy documents and artifacts with which she had been entrusted.
Richard L. Duncan (1938-2013) was born in Virginia and graduated from Roanoke College in 1960. In 1958, he married Shirley Campbell, and they had three children. Duncan received a master’s degree in education from Hollins University in 1972. He taught in Roanoke County schools for thirty-six years, mostly at Northside Middle School, until his retirement in 1996. In 1988, he was honored as the Social Studies Teacher of the Year for the Commonwealth of Virginia.
From the collection of Ron Hoskins, assassinologist.
This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.
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