After discussing the Kennedy assassination theme for the next issue of Pulp Modern with a few people, I’ve decided to be a bit clearer about what I’m looking for:
So you have your basic genres; crimes, horror, fantasy, western, and you have this profound historical event—the murder of John F. Kennedy. A murder that led to a war that claimed the sanity of three of my uncles (I include this information so people understand why the hell I find the event so damn important). I’ve come to the conclusion that Oswald participated, knowingly, probably go that headshot, but I cannot account for the shot that caused Kennedy to grab his throat from the front. Thus, we have the question that will never be answered.
You don’t have to answer that question. Just look at the cast of characters—Oswald, Ruby, the mob, the CIA, Cuban nationals, profiteers in the military-industrial complex, etc., You can take any of these elements, any angles.
For instance, I started, but never finished, a story in which Oswald accepts the assignment to kill the president in attempts to gain notoriety (research demonstrated that his whole life was a quest for attention). He gets the headshot and walks away thinking he will go down in history, without any question, as the killer. Of course, the hundreds of conspiracies that followed quell that and that was the irony of the story.
Some possible launching points for stories:
There’s no blood on Oswald when he gets shot by Ruby. Was that staged? Is he still alive (hanging out with Jim Morrison?)?
How did Ruby ("really") get cancer in prison?
How about telling the story of one of the other shooters?
I remember taking a psychology course in college where the professor talked about paranoia, how someone might be convinced aliens killed Kennedy, the assumption being that such a theory is evidence of insanity. I then, right there in class, made a chart beginning with Nazi involvement with “gray aliens” that led directly to the assassination of Kennedy.
Here’s the biggest challenge: How can a western be crafted from this event? (Good luck with that one—there is an old spaghetti western, I forget the title, that revolved around a political assassination in the old west that was obviously a metaphor for the Kennedy assassination).