A new documentary makes the startling claim that former president John F. Kennedy was shot and killed by a Secret Service agent by accident.
The documentary titled “JFK: The Smoking Gun” claims that George Hickey, a Secret Service agent riding in the car behind Kennedy, accidentally fired his weapon on Nov. 22, 1963.
The new documentary is based on the work of Colin McLaren, a veteran police detective who has undertaken a four-year investigation into the killing of Kennedy.
McLaren’s theories are based on the work of Howard Donahue, who spent two decades probing the assassination and whose work was presented in Bonar Menninger's book “Mortal Error: The Shot That Killed JFK.”
Menninger and McLaren spoke about the film at the Television Critics Association press tour in Los Angeles.
McLaren claimed that Hickey and other Secret Service agents were out partying the night before Kennedy's fatal motorcade drive through Dallas. Based on his painstaking investigation, McLaren said, evidence suggests Hickey was not qualified to use the weapon he was holding the morning of the shooting.
"It was his first time in the follow car, his first time holding the assault weapon he was using," McLaren said, according to the Huffington Post. Producers said the film's theory is that shots rang out, and Hickey grabbed his weapon to return fire. When his car stopped suddenly, Hickey accidentally discharged his weapon — making him the second shooter, the film's investigators and producers alleged.
McLaren said he believes that Hickey's weapon had hollow-point rounds — different from the ammunition for the weapon used by Lee Harvey Oswald, who the Warren Commission declared in 1964 was the lone gunman in the case. Menninger and McLaren said that based on their review of the forensics in the case, they believe that Kennedy was also struck by a hollow-point round. Oswald was himself assassinated before he could stand trial about the killing.
"We're not saying this was intentional," Menninger said, reported the Huffington Post. "This was a tragic accident in the heat of the moment."
Hickey, who died two years ago, said in his witness statement given the day after Kennedy's assassination that after he heard the gunfire, he did rise to his feet and load and cock his weapon, but did not fire it.
McLaren and Menninger also alleged that the government — including Robert F. Kennedy — covered up the involvement of the Secret Service and Hickey. The producers were pressed on how the alleged involvement of the Secret Service could be covered up for 50 years.
"Nobody was going to gain" from having this out there, Menninger said.
"We're not here to blacken the name" of Hickey or any other individual, or the modern-day Secret Service, McLaren said.
Menninger discussed the fact that he was sued by Hickey in the 1990s, but noted that despite a settlement, his publisher never removed his book from the shelves.
The documentary with its stunning claims will be broadcast on the Reelz Channel on Nov. 3.