University alum Howard Willens is the only living supervisor of the commission that investigated United States President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. In his book History Will Prove Us Right, he asserts that there is no evidence supporting any conspiracy theories that call into question the presidentially-mandated commission’s findings.

Willens addressed theories Tuesday night ranging from the missing bullet to the many photos not released to the public from that day in a talk at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library. Despite nationwide criticism of the Warren Commission —named after Chief Justice Earl Warren — Willens defended that the original commission’s investigation through a perspective he can offer from his own first-hand experiences.

“It was an extraordinary assignment, and I worked with an incredible group of people, but in my experience, eventually you sort of move on,” Willens said.

Launched by President Lyndon B. Johnson on Nov. 29, 1963, the Warren Commission’s report was released in 1964, and included the testimonies of over 552 witnesses, including Jacqueline Kennedy. Despite four further investigations into the commission’s findings, none resulted in any new evidence or were able to dispute its conclusions.

“They had about 150 questions for Jacqueline Kennedy, but I took the liberty of cutting that down to around 40,” he said. “A different set of investigators at a different time might have pressed her more fully.”

The 888-page report also said Lee Harvey Oswald acted independently in the assassination. In his talk, Willens also addressed the question of a possible second shooter. Polls following the commission’s findings said the majority of the public still held the belief that Oswald did not act alone, but Willens continued to dispute this.

“The fact is, when you look at the slides … in fact it shows the president’s head did move forward two inches as the bullet went through his head,” Willens said.

The report came despite a considerable amount of difficulty. The FBI and CIA did not reveal to the commission that they were monitoring Oswald months before the assassination.

Willens also defended the single-bullet theory. The Warren Commission report found that one bullet struck Kennedy and then Texas Governor John Connally.

“He heard a shot, then he turned around, then he was hit. The only real question is, well if the first shot missed and there was no bullet, what happened to the bullet when it came out? I think the majority of the commission knew that the facts supported the single bullet theory,” he said.

According to Willens, only one pathologist still disputes the single bullet theory, though Kennedy’s wound was consistent with one bullet.

The commission was required to make a determination, and though there was initially dispute, everyone on the commission agreed to release a finding of there having been one shooter and one bullet, as directed by Warren.

“I can see why the chief justice valued unanimity,” he said. “What would the public have thought if there was division?”

Following his talk at the Gerald Ford Presidential Library, Willens held a question and answer session.

This was one of many talks Willens has given over the past year discussing his book and his personal experiences during the assassination and subsequent investigations.

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