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Tim Smith

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Does anybody know anything about Tim Smith?


By KATHIE HEMPEL / Niles Daily Star

Friday, April 13, 2007 9:09 PM EDT

NILES - As a child in second grade, Tim Smith did not understand all the intrigue surrounding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. By 1975 however, as he watched the Geraldo Rivera Goodnight America program looking into the shooting in Dallas, his interest was piqued.

Tuesday, April 17, Smith, of Buchanan, will speak at Saint Mark's Catholic Church Hall in Niles to share the results of years of study on one of the most intriguing events and long-standing mysteries of the 20th century.

"I firmly believe I could go into any courtroom in this country and get Lee Harvey Oswald off. There is enormous evidence and there is no evidence. The problem, the biggest frustration, is that following all roads that led out from Dealey plaza, lead nowhere," Smith said.

Smith believes there are few independent scholars who have examined more evidence of that fateful day than he has. He has collected articles from the national archives and held some of the original documents and photographs. He traveled the country interviewing some of the most prominent people in the investigation.

"I read everything I could get my hands on and went to conferences. I started writing articles and eventually wrote my master's thesis on the subject. I think I have interviewed nearly everyone who was anywhere near that day," he said.

This is the first the long time professor at Southwestern Michigan College has spoken about his extensive research since 2003. At that time he was asked to speak at the 40th Anniversary Symposium at prestigious Duquesne University, in Pittsburgh, Pa.

"Not only was it a tremendous honor but I got to meet people I had been corresponding with for years. It was like a Woodstock," he said.

Asked what his most intriguing interview had been, Smith hesitates. There have been so many.

"I think the most intriguing would have to have been the two or three phone interviews I had with Marina Oswald. Her English was still not that good even after all these years. A friend of mine had paved the way so that the interview could be non-confrontational and she would know it was safe to speak to me. I asked her about the famous picture of her former husband in their backyard with the rifle. About the claims that said it had been doctored. There is no doubt that she took it. She said she took a few," Smith said.

Others interviewed by Smith are known to many from the much-publicized photos of the time: Bill Newman the man perhaps closest to Kennedy when he was shot who covered him with a blanket, Beverly Oliver, who claims to be the babushka lady, and William Greer, who drove the limousine. He has even spoken to the man who handcuffed Oswald the day he was arrested.

"Jack Ruby was mob through and through. He was a runner for Capone and a smuggler," said Smith.

The mystery has never been definitively solved and according to Smith if anyone tells you they know who killed the President they just are not being honest.

"It is the question I always get and the one I cannot answer," he says.

The Knights of Columbus invite all who are interested in hearing Smith's talk to come to Saint Mark's Hall, at 3 19th St. Niles at 7 p.m.

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The DVD of the Symposium at Duquesne University is available for purchase at the Last Hurrah bookshop. Smith spoke just after Stu Wexler, so Stu may have had the chance to meet him.

I have the DVD and have watched Smith's presentation. He came across as sincere and enthusiastic, but, as I remember, he didn't discuss anything beyond what you'll find on this forum.

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