Forget the Soviets, the CIA or the Mafia. Of all the extraordinary theories that have swirled around the 1963 assassination of President John F Kennedy, surely the most outrageous — and intriguing — is that he was killed on the orders of his own Vice President, Lyndon Baines Johnson.
As recently as 2003, a Gallup poll found that nearly 20 per cent of Americans believed that ‘LBJ’ had some hand in the assassination of the man he went on to succeed in the White House.
It is an astonishing claim to make of any U.S. President, but all the more startling given the peculiarly tragic circumstances of Kennedy’s murder.
The snapshot of Johnson being sworn in as President hours later on board Air Force One, with a stony-faced Jackie Kennedy by his side, must be one of the most emotive images in U.S. political history.