Over 12,000 CIA Documents About JFK's Assassination Have Been Released

It includes the “personality file” that the CIA maintained on Lee Harvey Oswald before and after Kennedy’s murder.


Tom Hale


Tom Hale

Senior Journalist

Tom is a writer in London with a Master's degree in Journalism whose editorial work covers anything from health and the environment to technology and archaeology.

Senior Journalist

JFK speaking to Congress on May 25, 1961, President Kennedy.
Speaking to Congress on May 25, 1961, President JFK said : "I believe that this Nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to Earth." Image credit: NASA

Thousands of documents about the assassination of President John F Kennedy have just been released by the US National Archives. It includes heaps of previously classified information about the CIA’s giant investigation into one of the biggest moments of post-war America and the man accused of his murder, Lee Harvey Oswald. 

In total, 12,879 documents are available for the public to read, around 97 percent of the total collection on the assassination


JFK was shot from afar while riding in a presidential motorcade through Dallas, Texas,  on November 22, 1963. To investigate the assassination, the new president Lyndon B Johnson issued the Warren Commission, which ultimately concluded that Oswald was responsible for the shooting and he acted alone. It then concluded that Jack Ruby acted alone when he killed Oswald two days after the incident.

While this remains the official narrative, there’s been significant skepticism over the conclusion of the Warren Commission and the event is surrounded by conspiracy theories.

Chief among those is that Oswald was either not responsible for the assassination or that he did not work alone. In 2013, a Gallup post found that the majority of Americans (61 percent) believe more than one person was responsible for JFK’s death.

One of the prevalent theories is that Oswald, a self-declared Marxist, was working on behalf of the KGB, the notorious Soviet Union security agency. 


Within the newly released “personality file” that the CIA maintained on Oswald before and after Kennedy’s murder, there’s reportedly no indication that Oswald had known connections to the KGB. 

Overall, many independent investigators are uncertain whether the release of documents will contain any bombshells that will deeply shake the official narrative, although historians and researchers are hoping the trove contains a few hidden gems. 

Larry Sabato, author of The Kennedy Half Century: The Presidency, Assassination, and Lasting Legacy of John F. Kennedy, told CNN he believes that something fishy went on with the JFK assassination, and it perhaps could have been prevented if the CIA and FBI were doing their job properly. However, he doubts the newly released documents will contain any juicy information that will challenge the official story.

“It’s not going to change the story,” he said. “It’s not. I guarantee you.”


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