1963: The One That Got Away

Larysa Merchant, guest writer

All the memories. Memories I tried to get out of my mind, started coming back to me as if no time had passed. My hand on the trigger, my eyes looking through the sites of my rifle. My heart beating a thousand beats per minute. My body on the cold concrete rooftop, waiting for him. Ready to make the biggest decision of my life.
September 23, 1963: It was a normal day like most, the only difference was, I was being followed. They know everything I have done, I thought. They are going to kill me. I tried to lose them by ducking into an alley. Then I felt a hard hit to the head. The next thing I knew I was in an old motel room, my eyes blurry. I did not recognized where I was. When some of my eyesight was re-gained, I noticed two men in suits talking to each other. I could not understand what they were saying. They must have hit me hard, I thought to myself. A man entered the room, looking clean and formal. He could be a lawyer or politician. The man started speaking.
“Do you know who I am,” said the Man.
“No,” I replied.
He then began listing some of my client’s names.
“How did you get that information!” I responded.
“That is private. Only my clients and myself know these names!” I said angrily.
More silence.
After a few moments, which felt like an eternity, he handed me a folder.
“What is this?”.
“I have a job for you”, he said.
Leaning close to me he said, “I want you to kill someone”.
“I am retired. I no longer do that”.
He then offered me two million dollars.
“Do you think that that’s all I am worth,” I said. “Five million and that’s a deal”.
“Three million or I get you arrested,” he counters.
“Three and half million or I will tell the police you were asking me to kill someone”.
“It is a deal,” he replied.
I opened the folder. When I saw the profile, I was surprised.
“If I get caught, I will go to jail. I would be executed”.
The man said, “I have a plan so that does not happen”.
After I left, I started doing research. That is when I realized who the man from the motel room was. I was more shocked by who he was, than by who he wanted me to kill. I have killed many people in my lifetime, but never someone as important as the President of the United States. Stunned, I wondered, why would the Director of the CIA order a hit on the president? I thought about all the reasons why this man would want me to do this, but I could think of none. Maybe the president is not the man the public thinks. I told myself, don’t ask questions or try to know the reasons why. That is what I had to say to myself to not think about it. I blocked it out of my mind. This is a job, and I agreed to it.

October 15, 1963 : Today is the day, the day I am going to kill the President of the United States. The president was holding a gala in Washington D.C to promote his campaign. The gala was the perfect opportunity to get the job done. As I arrived, the first lady and the president greeted everyone. There was a lot of people there. I started to get nervous, and my hands were becoming sweaty. I started walking towards the president, a million thoughts were racing in my mind. I shook his hand and looked into his eyes. I thought, he just smiled and shook his future killers hand.
“Are you okay?” He asked.
“Yes, I guess I am just nervous meeting you,” I said.
I then proceeded to walk away and act normal. He did not even suspect anything was wrong, I thought. I noticed the Director of the CIA was there at the gala. He kept looking at me, but I ignored him. I had to pay attention to the president. I had been watching the president all night. I looked at what he was doing and his habits. He was about to give a speech before the night was over. I knew that was going to be the moment, the moment I was going to kill the President of the United States. All of the sudden the president disappeared. He was gone and I never saw him again.
I contemplated that night. I wondering if I should have done it earlier. Did I fail because I was hesitant to do it in the first place. When will a good opportunity like the gala happen again? The Director of the CIA and I meet again shortly after the gala happened.
“The president is going to be in Dallas on November 22, can you do it then?” He asked.
“Yes” I answered.
Dallas, Texas happened to be my hometown. I went to visit my family the week before the assassination. I thought about my family and how they had no idea what I did for a living. They thought I was a doctor. They would so disappointed if they know, I thought. Growing up, I was raised catholic. I went to Sunday school, every Sunday. When I moved away, I lost my faith because someone I loved was murdered. I blamed God for it all. Why would he let someone innocent be murdered? I made it my life mission that I would try my best to get rid of people like that. That is why I do what I do or at least it was at the beginning. At first I became vigilante to avenge the death of the person I deeply loved. At the beginning I did not do it for money. Somewhere I got lost and stopped doing it for the right reasons. It soon became all about the money.
November 22, 1963 : The day finally came, the day I was going to kill the president. When my family left for the day, I shortly left after them. I got to the location around 11:45 because the president was going to be there at 12:30 (JFKlibrary). I was positive no one was going to come up here and I would get the job done this time. Little did I know those 45 minutes would be the longest 45 minutes of my life. Waiting for him to come down the street I heard cheering in the distance. That’s when I knew he was going to soon be here. I got into position, waiting for him to come down Main Street at Dealey Plaza (O’Reilly). I saw him, he was right where I needed him. I pulled the trigger, not knowing if it hit him. I shot again. Lots of screaming, all I saw was that the president was down. I shot the president. I shot John F. Kennedy, I said to myself. I packed up and left. Later on the news I heard they caught the guy, the guy that shoot the president.

Work Cited

O’Reilly, Bill. Killing Kennedy

Jfklibrary.org. (2018). November 22, 1963: Death of the President – John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum. Web.13 Feb. 2018.


Moore, Lori. “The J.F.K. Files: Decades of Doubts and Conspiracy Theories.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 25 Oct. 2017. NyTimes. Web. 22 January 2018.

JFK assassination, (2014). [TV program] CBS this morning.

The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza. (2018). History of Dealey Plaza – The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza. Web. 13 Feb. 2018.