NEW YORK – The shooting of President John F. Kennedy was not a political conspiracy but an almost spontaneous act by a troubled man who wanted attention, the brother of Lee Harvey Oswald (search) says.
Oswald had been depressed, feeling since childhood that he was unwanted, and was looking for a way to grab the spotlight, Robert Oswald (search) said in television interviews.
"There was no conspiracy," Robert Oswald said. "He made those decisions within himself."
The government-appointed Warren Commission (search) also concluded in 1964 that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, firing from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository (search) building where he worked in Dallas as the president's motorcade drove through Dealey Plaza.
"If you go right down the line and look at it, all the facts will point to Lee's involvement. Lee actually committed the crime, period," said Robert Oswald.
As children, the Oswald brothers had been placed in orphanages by their mother after their father died. Lee Harvey was barely 3 when he was sent away the day after Christmas, Robert Oswald said.
"Very early on, he learned that he wasn't wanted," he said.
The killing of Kennedy, Robert Oswald said, was likely an attempt by his brother to get into the spotlight.
"Lee's political demeanor was simply a method of getting attention. He wanted to stand out, no matter what the crowd was. He was going to be different from the crowd," he said. "If everybody had been Marxist, he would have been an American, vice versa. You know, Russian, whatever, he would have been opposite to stand out.
"The reason Lee went after the president is because of opportunity and no other. If he wasn't working where he was working or if the president's car wasn't going by there at that particular time, it wouldn't have happened. It wasn't a master plan or anything. There's no shadowy figures out there. He wanted to be somebody and this opportunity came about coincidentally, nothing planned, nothing organized."
Asked about his brother's denial after his arrest, Robert Oswald, who wrote "Lee: A Portrait of Lee Harvey Oswald" but rarely gives interviews, said his brother "was basically saying `I'm smarter than you. You gotta catch me."'
Robert Oswald also described his last meeting with his brother, in jail the morning after Kennedy's death, a day before Lee Harvey Oswald was shot to death by nightclub owner Jack Ruby.
"I was looking into his eyes, searching for some sign," Robert Oswald said. "And he just looked back at me, and finally he said, 'Brother, you won't find anything there.' And he was absolutely correct. there was no emotion. There was no flicker in the eye."