John McAdams

John McAdams

John C. McAdams was born in Kennedy, Alabama. A former student of Harvard University, McAdams is currently Associate Professor of Marquette University and teaches American Politics, Public Opinion, and Voter Behavior.

McAdams' research interests include Congressional elections, social class and politics, the New Class and the death penalty. Publications include articles in various journals including American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Sociological Quarterly and Law and Contemporary Problems.

He is also an authority on the assassination of John F. Kennedy and is the author of the website, The Kennedy Assassination and the blog Marquette Warrior.

Primary Sources

(1) Review by James H. Fetzer of Thomas Mallon's book, Mrs. Paine's Garage (2002)

Interest in Paine's garage, for example, derives from Oswald having stored his Mannlicher-Carcano, wrapped in a blanket, in that place. But no remnants of having been wrapped in a blanket were ever discovered on the alleged assassination weapon - not the least hairs or fibers - which is very curious, indeed, had the weapon actually been stored there.

The alleged instrument, a cheap, mass-produced World War II Italian carbine, has a muzzle velocity of around 2,000 fps, which means that it is not a high-velocity weapon. Since the President's death certificates (1963), The Warren Report (1964), and even more recent articles in The Journal of the American Medical Association (1992) report that JFK was killed by high velocity bullets, it follows that he was not killed by Oswald's weapon, thereby greatly reducing interest in Mrs. Paine's garage.

Indeed, though it may come as news to the author, many other students of the case, including Harold Weisberg, Whitewash (1965), Peter Model and Robert Groden, JFK: The Case for Conspiracy (1976), and Robert Groden and Harrison Livingstone, High Treason (1989), have also made the same observation. These are not books cited in this study, however, which raises rather serious questions as to why someone whose knowledge of the assassination appears to be so meager would write a book about it.

He does not know that Oswald had a history with American intelligence; that Oswald was being "sheep dipped" in New Orleans; that Oswald was an informant for the FBI; that the "paper bag" story is a fabrication; that Oswald was in the lunch room on the second floor having a coke during the shooting; that Oswald passed a paraffin test; and on and on. A weightly body of evidence substantiates all of these discoveries, but none of them is even mentioned, much less disputed, by the author of this book.

The sources he does cite, moreover, are far from reassuring. His Acknowledgements, for example, lists six persons, including Mrs. Paine and her former husband, Michael, Priscilla Johnson McMillan and John McAdams. McAdams has gained a certain degree of notoriety for his one-sided defense of the "lone nut" hypothesis, which disregards overwhelming contradictory evidence, including proof that the "magic bullet" theory is not only false but anatomically impossible.

(2) Michael T. Griffith, John McAdams (2001)

John McAdams is a university professor who believes strongly that Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone, shot President Kennedy. McAdams doesn't believe a conspiracy of any kind was involved. McAdams believes the Warren Commission (WC) was correct in all its essential conclusions.

In McAdams' opinion, anyone who defends the conspiracy position is a "conspiracy buff." McAdams frequently refers to those who reject the lone-gunman theory as "buffs." McAdams even applies this label to experts who speak about aspects of the assassination that involve their field of expertise. For example, when McAdams learned that a professor of neuroscience at a Canadian university rejected the lone-gunman view that Kennedy's backward head snap was the result of a neuromuscular reaction, he opined that the professor was either a "buff" or had been spoon fed erroneous information by a critic of the lone-gunman theory.

McAdams' attitude toward virtually anyone who disagrees with him about the assassination is somewhat surprising, given the fact that for the last three decades surveys have consistently shown that anywhere from 65-90 percent of the American people believe Kennedy was killed as a result of a conspiracy (with about 5 percent undecided).

McAdams acknowledges that most Americans believe there was a conspiracy, but he suggests this is because most people have been misled by disinformation put out by conspiracy theorists.