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From the Grassy Knoll to Ted Cruz’s Dad: The Biggest JFK Assassination Conspiracy Theories and How They’ve Been (Mostly) Debunked

On Nov. 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated while riding through the streets of Dallas in an open-topped motorcade. With wife Jackie Kennedy by his side, the 46-year-old president was struck by two bullets — one in the head and one in the neck. Former U.S. Marine Lee Harvey Oswald was charged with the murder, and a presidential commission later found that the gunman had acted alone.

But that conclusion has hardly satisfied the public, with JFK’s assassination fueling conspiracy theories for decades to come.

On Thursday, nearly 54 years later, the government is expected to release thousands of long-blocked and classified documents about JFK’s assassination, in a move that could further inflame existing conspiracy theories — or spawn new ones.

Here are three of the top conspiracy theories about JFK’s murder — so far:

1. The grassy knoll

Some say the trajectory of the bullets that struck JFK didn’t align with Oswald’s position on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository, spurring theories that a second gunman — perhaps on the grassy knoll of Dallas’ Dealey Plaza — participated in the shooting.

That theory was given a boost by none other than the U.S. House of Representatives, which voted in 1976 — in the wake of the Watergate scandal — to establish a Select Committee on Assassinations to reinvestigate JFK’s killing.

The House found no evidence of Soviet, Cuban or CIA involvement in Kennedy’s assassination, but did conclude that there was “probably” a conspiracy involving a second gunman on the “grassy knoll,” The Washington Post reported, while pointing out that the theory has since been discredited multiple times.

In 2008, a team of experts used high-tech tools including 3-D computer simulations, artificial human body surrogates and modern blood splatter analysis to determine that Oswald’s perch is the likely origin point of the bullet that killed Kennedy, NBC News reported.

2. LBJ or the CIA

According to other widespread conspiracy theories, JFK’s assassination was plotted by the CIA and/or then-Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, who was sworn in as president hours after Kennedy was shot.

Some speculate that LBJ plotted Kennedy’s assassination because the vice president feared being dropped from the Democratic ticket in the upcoming 1964 election.

Kennedy’s personal secretary, Evelyn Lincoln, said in her 1968 memoir that Kennedy had in fact planned to replace Johnson as vice president, and that he told Lincoln as much just three days before he was killed.

However, historians and scholars have scoffed at the theory that LBJ orchestrated his boss’s death. Larry Sabato, author of The Kennedy Half-Century, told the Daily Beast the theory has no “hard evidence” and is “ridiculous.”

Others believe the CIA had Kennedy killed because the agency opposed some of the president’s positions on Cuba and Communism, particularly his refusal to offer air support for the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, a CIA mission to overthrow Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro, Business Insider reported.

The new documents are expected to shed light on the CIA’s response to the assassination — and could finally put this conspiracy to rest.

Although this theory has been the hardest to disprove, Mark Fenster, author of Conspiracy Theories: Secrecy and Power in American Culture, told the Daily Beast he’s deeply skeptical of it because “I’m not convinced that the CIA of that era has shown itself as an organization to be exceptionally competent at doing anything but ruining other countries and people’s lives in openly secretive ways. Pulling off a JFK hit and keeping it secret this long would be the mark of an incredibly competent plot.”

3. Ted Cruz’s dad

A theory resurfaced by President Donald Trump on the campaign trail claims that Sen. Ted Cruz’s father, Rafael Cruz, was somehow involved in JFK’s killing and had been spotted with Oswald before the shooting.

Taking aim at his 2016 rival’s father, Trump told Fox News in a telephone interview last year, “His father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald being, you know, shot. I mean the whole thing is ridiculous. What is this? Right? Prior to his being shot. And nobody even brings it up. I mean, they don’t even talk about that — that was reported. And nobody talks about it.”

This theory has also been widely discredited, with pointing out that Trump was citing a National Enquirer articleThe piece quotes a photo expert who said an unidentified man spotted handing out Fidel Castro leaflets with Oswald has “more similarity than dissimilarity” to the elder Cruz.

RELATED VIDEO: Story Behind the Story: Jackie Kennedy and JFK’s Legacy

Speculation over JFK’s assassination is so popular that the majority of Americans have actually bought into the theories. A 2013 Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 62 percent of Americans believe Kennedy’s murder was part of a broader plot.

Meanwhile, Jackie Kennedy’s former Secret Service agent, Clint Hill, told PEOPLE this week that he believes the former first lady would support the release of the long-secret documents in the name of transparency.

“It was my understanding that she wanted all the information released,” he said. “She wanted people to have as much information about what actually happened as possible.”

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Chris Pratt And Jennifer Lawrence Reveal The Most Adventurous Places They’ve Had Sex

People just can’t stop talking about Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence’s sex scene(s) in their new movie “Passengers.”

During a recent interview with the two on Friday, Australian radio show hosts from “KIIS Summer Fling” brought up the scene as a way to ask the actors about their personal sex lives

“What’s the most adventurous place you’ve had sex, either of you?” host Sophie Monk asked. 

“Airplane,” Pratt answered, before throwing in a joke about the logistics of doing such a thing. “I hung from the ceiling by my feet, like a bat.” 

Lawrence insisted that she was much more cautious about doing such a thing, telling the radio show “I don’t really have anything, I like being safe.” 

The 26-year-old added, “That’s what really turns me on, feeling safe.”

In order to deal with the sex scene in the movie ― her first “real” on-screen sex scene ever ― Lawrence revealed that she prepared for it by drinking lots of alcohol

“I got really, really drunk. But then that led to more anxiety when I got home because I was like, ‘What have I done? I don’t know,’” the actress said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter last year.  

She continued, saying, “And he was married. And it was going to be my first time kissing a married man, and guilt is the worst feeling in your stomach. And I knew it was my job, but I couldn’t tell my stomach that.” 

“Passengers” is in theaters everywhere now. 

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Laverne Cox, Lupita Nyong’o And More Talk The Best Style Advice They’ve Ever Received

Each year, Glamour’s Women Of The Year Awards honor a slew of truly inspiring women and their efforts to make the world a better place. This year’s top-notch guest list boasted the likes of Lupita Nyong’o, Laverne Cox and Chelsea Clinton, not to mention our own Editor-In-Chief, Arianna Huffington, alongside Karlie Kloss and Shonda Rhimes (just to name a few).

And while the crowds came out in droves to honor these amazing women and what they are currently working on, we here at HuffPost Style had some questions about what they learned before hitting the red carpet. Namely, the best style or beauty advice they have ever received.

And while we sadly didn’t get a chance to ask presenter Stephen Colbert to share his beauty regimen, we did learn a thing or two about heels, eyebrows and of course, moisturizer. Check out some of our favorite quotes below.

“Dress for your body. Know yourself. Honor your body and celebrate who you are.” –Laverne Cox

“Don’t wear heels you can’t walk in!” –Lupita Nyong’o

“Do not wear high heels! Kitten heels are OK, but never more than kitten. If we have any editor [at the Huffington Post] that is a size 9.5 or 10, they can have all my high heels. I’m going to put them all in the kitchen.” –Arianna Huffington

“My mom always gave me great style and beauty advice. She said to be confident in what you’re wearing, no matter what it is. Just own it.” –Karlie Kloss

“My grandmother forced me not to touch my eyebrows. I have always touched them very little, and I think it worked out!” –Natalia Vodianova

“Always wash your face at night… don’t be lazy! Even on those nights you want to crawl into bed, just crawl into the bathroom, slowly wash your face and then crawl right back into bed.” –Alana Haim

“Always moisturize. Always.” –Este Haim

Style – The Huffington Post
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