Historians eagerly await release of classified JFK documents

The last of the classified government documents tied to former President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas are expected to be made public this Thursday.

Under a 1992 law on the files, all records previously withheld either in part or in full are to be released on Oct. 26, 2017. President Donald Trump could have stopped the release but says he won't unless there's a national security or law enforcement issue.

Historians and conspiracy theorists alike are ready to comb through the records.

Retired insurance investigator Dave Perry has been doggedly researching the murder mystery since 1976. His internet site, Dave Perry's JFK Assassination Pages, is a treasure trove of hard evidence with thousands of previously released documents.

Perry and many others suspect what the CIA and FBI have been holding back relate to Lee Harvey Oswald's movement in the three months before the November 1963 assassination.

Government agents were certainly tracking Oswald in New Orleans in September of that year when he was passing out leaflets for an organization called Fair Play for Cuba. They considered the former Marine and one-time defector to Russia dangerous. They even tracked him to Mexico City in late October, where Oswald tried but failed to get a Visa through the Cuban embassy to go back to Russia.

"I would say for 20 years all of us have been saying the key to this whole thing lies in Mexico City,” Perry said.

Perry began his research as a true believer in conspiracy. But over the years, he says the hard evidence has convinced him that Oswald fired the shots that killed President Kennedy. He's yet to find a conspiracy theory that stands up under scrutiny. He believes the secret documents have been suppressed because they will show intelligence agency failures that allowed Oswald to show back up in Dallas shortly before JFK's assassination without anyone alerting the FBI.

“The CIA essentially lost track of Oswald when he left Mexico City,” Perry said. “It's going to turn out to be an embarrassment. The real smoking gun is the CIA dropped the ball."

Perry is anxious to see the documents released on Thursday but expects the government's archives website to be overwhelmed.

"I’m not going to be hanging around that day,” he said. “I'm probably going to wait a week or so before I try to get in there."

The Sixth Floor Museum has a program coming up November 18 entitled "What has the government been hiding? 54 years of secrets and the release of the JFK records." More information on the event can be found here.