He was a loner and an avowed Marxist. He wanted to defect to the Soviet Union. He admired Fidel Castro. He was a former U.S. Marine who was kicked out of the Corps with a less-than-honorable discharge.
This young man also was accused of shooting the president of the United States to death and seriously wounding the governor of Texas on Nov. 22, 1963.
His name was Lee Harvey Oswald.
Frontline, PBS’s acclaimed documentary series produced by public TV station WGBH in Boston, is going to rebroadcast a special examination of Oswald. “Who Was Lee Harvey Oswald?” will air Tuesday night on Panhandle PBS at 9 p.m.
The Frontline rebroadcast is part of PBS’s on-going commemoration of the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas.
Oswald, of course, remains an enigma. He never stood trial for the crime of which he was accused. He was gunned down two days later in the Dallas Police Department basement by nightclub owner Jack Ruby. Thus, the official description of Oswald usually carries the term “the man accused of assassinating” the president.
A blue-ribbon commission headed by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren concluded in 1964 that Oswald acted alone. The panel said there was no “conspiracy” that included others. It said Oswald, this loner and loser, was able to commit the heinous crime by firing three shots from the Texas School Book Depository at the presidential limousine and that he alone fired the shots that killed the president and wounded Gov. John Connally.
That finding has not ended the debate over whether Oswald was the only man responsible for the deed.
Frontline uses state-of-the-art forensic evidence to examine and investigate the crime.
Will this re-airing end the debate over who committed this tragic act? Hardly. It no doubt will help shed some additional light, though, on the facts of this heinous crime.