Death mystery fuels JFK movie, book industry

Death mystery fuels JFK movie, book industry
Former pro wrestler and Governor of Minnesota from 1999 to 2003, Jesse Ventura pauses while speaking about his book "They Killed Our President" October 4, 2013 in Washington, DC. Ventura's book alleges that the 1963 Kennedy assassination was a conspiracy in reaction to his efforts to reduce war. November 22, 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas.

LOS ANGELES - The enduring mystery surrounding John F. Kennedy's assassination has drawn generations of writers, commentators and filmmakers, though some have been more successful than others.

The 50th anniversary of the killing of America's 35th president has inevitably renewed the spotlight on the events in Dallas on November 22, 1963, even if the story has been recounted in innumerable films, TV series and books.

"JFK's life and death have been chronicled in myriad ways, and I would expect this to continue for generations to come," said Shaye Areheart, a publishing expert at New York's Columbia University.

"That he died so young, at the hands of an assassin, before he had a chance to spend more than a thousand days in office, also makes him an infinitely tragic and romantic figure."

His dashing charm, and notorious womanizing, have also fueled a veritable cultural industry built up around him.

But it was the manner of his death - allegedly at the hands of lone gunman Lee Harvey Oswald, shooting him dead as the presidential motorcade sped through a Dallas plaza - which produced the irresistible JFK myth.

"JFK and his untimely demise is probably one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of all-time, which is why the story can never really be put to bed, even 50 years later," said film expert Jeff Bock.

"His life had "all the elements of a compelling Hollywood movie -- high stakes, intrigue, infidelity and lots and lots of good-looking people," Bock, of box office tracker Exhibitor Relations, told AFP.

US director Oliver Stone, whose film "JFK" starring Kevin Costner was a blockbuster hit, said the reason it continues to generate interest "is because it has never been truly solved."

The Warren Commission, the official inquiry into the killing, "is a myth at best," he told AFP.

"As a result people who are intelligent must question it and have repeatedly over 50 years. It has never been solved to a satisfactory degree without admitting the presence of a second gunman in front of Kennedy."

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