JFK’s day in Dallas: friendly-fire?


Nearly 50 years after the assassination of JFK, conspiracy theories — and documentaries about them — refuse to die.

The Trib’s Lou Kilzer last year discussed in detail how Secret Service agents were out drinking in the wee hours on Nov. 22, 1963.

The story of the booze-filled evening will be taken further in a TV program this fall … ReelzChannel announced at the Television Critics Association on Sunday.

The theory first popped up in 1977 when Howard Donahue, a World War II veteran and ¬†gun-shop owner, offered his thesis to The Baltimore Sun: After Lee Harvey Oswald fired two shots, a panicked Secret Service agent riding in a car behind Kennedy’s slipped and accidentally fired his A-15 assault rifle. (Ballistic buffs can read a follow-up interview with Donahue here).

Donahue’s theory was first resurrected in Bonar Menninger’s 1992 book, Mortal Error: The Shot That Killed JFK. Menninger was sued by the Secret Service agent in question, George Hickey, who reportedly received some money from the publisher.

But, zombie-like, the theory got a new lease of life when an Australian detective collaborated with Reelz. The show will purportedly say that Hickey had a hangover when he shot Kennedy.

“We don’t suggest that (Hickey) was in any way involved in a conspiracy,” said Colin McLaren, the retired detective.