Oct 18, 2017 I Brett Tingley

Mystery and Anxiety Ahead of Release of JFK Assassination Files

Halloween is coming early this year: the National Archives is scheduled to release thousands of files related to the investigation of the JFK assassination on October 26. The release will either dig up the dusty ghosts of one of the spookiest and most mysterious moments in American history to (hopefully) expose the shadowy underbelly of one of the world’s biggest conspiracies or, more likely, see a massive pile of mundane bureaucratic records unceremoniously dumped on a public server to bore us all to death with its soul-crushing banality.

jfk files
Expect a lot of this stuff.


The documents were created by the CIA, FBI and the Justice Department during their investigations in the years following the assassination. The National Archives and others in the federal government are worried the release could cause “pandemonium” as news outlets and curious individuals around the world rush to download the documents, sift through them for useful information, and then come to grips with whatever potential bombshells they might contain. Still, many U.S. politicians believe that disclosure is in the best interests of the public even if they cause uproar. In his push to see these documents released, Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa says that the American people deserve to know the truth:

The assassination of President Kennedy occurred at a pivotal time for our nation, and, nearly 54 years later, we are still learning the details of how our government responded and what it may have known beforehand. Americans deserve a full picture of what happened that fateful day in November 1963.

One of the big worries ahead of the release is that the White House could decide at the last minute to keep them locked away. Of course, this would do nothing but fan the flames of conspiracy theories which argue there are entities within the U.S. federal government who know much more about the JFK assassination than the public and want to keep it that way.

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It's likely we'll never know what exactly went down in Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963.

No matter who you believe is ultimately responsible for assassinating John F. Kennedy, one thing can’t be argued: both the explanations for the assassination itself and the ensuing investigation are full of holes and mysteries that are still unresolved today. Will this soon-to-be released trove of files help shed light on this mystery once and for all? Knowing our federal government, it’s doubtful. I expect the release to be nothing but a lot of departmental and managerial paperwork covered in redacted names and dates, but I could be wrong. Climate change has surely reached Hell by now, and who knows how many flying pigs gene manipulation has already created?

Brett Tingley

Brett Tingley is a writer and musician living in the ancient Appalachian mountains.

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