Sept. 12, 2003

Head Shot:
The True Story of JFK's Assassination

An Original Screenplay
by
Josh Becker

[All scenes marked "Stock Shots" are in fact actual footage that does exist, and all lines of dialog within the stock shots are verbatim quotes].

EXT. THE WHITE HOUSE -- NIGHT

We see the White House in Washington, D.C. illuminated and standing out brightly against the black sky.  A NARRATOR's voice speaks in a serious tone.

                                                                 NARRATOR
                                On November 22nd, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was
                                assassinated in Dallas, Texas.  The official, accepted story
                                was and is that Lee Harvey Oswald, known as a poor marksman
                                in the marine corps, was the lone nut gunman who fired three
                                seemingly impossible shots from the sixth floor window
                                of the Texas School Book Depository in the course of seven
                                seconds, a feat which no marksman has ever been able to
                                duplicate.  Two days later, on November 24th, Lee Harvey
                                Oswald was murdered in the Dallas police station by Jack
                                Ruby, and the reason given was that Jack Ruby was so
                                upset by the president's assassination that he couldn't help
                                himself, even though Jack Ruby was directly connected to
                                every major mob boss in the U.S.  There has been so much
                                conflicting speculation since 1963 about what actually occurred,
                                that the assassination of JFK has come to be known as an
                                "enigma within a mystery within a conundrum."  Yet obviously
                                there must be a real, actual story behind all of the mystery.
                                This film flatly refutes the official, accepted versions of the
                                story as entirely illogical, and will instead attempt to the very
                                best of it's ability to show what may very well have actually
                                happened . . .

                                                                                                       FADE IN:



A title appears on the black screen that reads: "There are thousands of ways of getting at a man if it is desired that he should be killed" - Abraham Lincoln, 1865.

EXT. THE CITY OF CHICAGO, 1959 - DAY (STOCK SHOT)

Chicago is a hustling, bustling, very large American city on the go.  Elevated train tracks
crisscross downtown.  A title reads, "May, 1959."

EXT. THE AMBASSADOR EAST HOTEL - DAY

The Ambassador East Hotel is one of, if not the very best hotel in Chicago.  A 1959 Cadillac limousine pulls up in front of the hotel.  A doorman quickly rushes up and opens the limo's back door.  Stepping out of the limo is a 71-year-old man with an erect bearing, a bald head, round horn-rimmed glasses, and air of supreme arrogance.  He is wearing a long dark coat and holding a cane with a large silver knob on the end.  He puts a bowler hat on his large head and secures it down tightly.  A subtitle reads: "JOSEPH P. KENNEDY, former Ambassador to the Court of St. James, father of John Kennedy and Robert Kennedy."  He struts through the front door of the hotel and two of his men also in bowler hats accompany him.

INT. THE PRESIDENTIAL SUITE - DAY

Joe Kennedy and his two men step up to the double-doors marked "Presidential Suite" and one of the men knocks.  A tough-looking mobster opens the door and lets them in.

Sitting on the couch is a round-faced man with a slightly large nose, he's fifty-one years old, bald on top with dark hair around the sides and back, and wears thick black-rimmed glasses.  A subtitle reads: "SAM "MOONEY" GIANCANA, head of the Chicago mob and one of the most powerful underworld leaders in the world."  Sam wears a perpetual scowl, which is why he's known as "the sour-faced Don."  Sam stands up, removes his glasses and shakes Joe's hand.

                                                                 SAM
                                Well, Joe, good to see you.

                                                                 JOE
                                Sam, good to see you.  It's been a long time.

                                                                 SAM
                                Yeah, I used to see you occasionally in Vegas, but you
                                don't come around no more.

                                                                 JOE
                                Rose doesn't like me going off to Vegas and leaving
                                her alone anymore.

                                                                 SAM
                                                           (shrugs)
                                Well, a man's got to do whatever he's got to do to
                                keep his family happy, right?

                                                                 JOE
                                                           (nods)
                                How right you are.

Sam and Joe sit down on over-stuffed easy chairs.  One of Sam's men serves them iced tea.  Sam pulls out a cigar case and offers one to Joe, who declines.  Sam lights a cigar.  They both sip their iced tea waiting for the right moment to continue.  Finally, Joe speaks . . .

                                                                 JOE
                                So, you're probably wondering why I dropped by
                                today?
                                                           (Sam shrugs)
                                Well . . . I need to ask a, uh, favor.

Sam puffs his cigar.

                                                                 SAM
                                Yeah?

                                                                 JOE
                                The polls show that Jack is still running a little behind
                                Nixon.

                                                                 SAM
                                                           (nods)
                                Uh-huh.

                                                                 JOE
                                It wouldn't take much at this point to push him up
                                over the top, you know?

                                                                 SAM
                                Uh-huh.



                                                                 JOE
                                So . . . If Jack could count on the Teamster, the AFL-
                                CIO, and Longshoreman vote, not to mention Chicago,
                                and the rest of Illinois, which I know you control, I have
                                no doubt that he'd win.

                                                                 SAM
                                                           (nods)
                                He just might.

                                                                 JOE
                                No, he would.  That's all he needs to push him over
                                the top.

                                                                 SAM
                                Okay, so that's all he needs.  What do I care?

                                                                 JOE
                                                           (seriously)
                                You want a red-baiting, commie-hunter like Nixon
                                in office?  The man's ridiculous.  He was J. Parnell
                                Thomas's puppet, then he was Joe McCarthy's side-
                                kick.  He's a joke.

                                                                 SAM
                                Maybe a commie-hunter is better than a fellah whose
                                little brother won't get off a lot of my friends' backs.
                                If I say Kennedy around most of my friends, they think
                                Bobby and his investigating committees, and they don't
                                like it.  And because he happens to be your son, I'm
                                sorry, Joe, but it rubs off on you and Jack.

                                                                 JOE
                                That's all gonna change.  Once Jack's president Bobby's
                                gonna have bigger and better things to do, I assure you.

                                Sam gives Joe a long hard look.

                                                                 SAM
                                Really?

                                                                 JOE
                                Yeah, really.

                                                                 SAM
                                You're sure of that?

                                                                 JOE
                                Sam, they're my sons.  I'm sure.  Jack wants to kick
                                Castro's behind, then go flying off into space.  He's
                                also very concerned about civil rights.  And that's
                                what his administration will be doing.

                                                                 SAM
                                And they'll stop annoying me and my friends?

                                                                 JOE
                                Yes. That'll stop.

                                                                 SAM
                                I've known you a long time, Joe.  Since back when
                                we were both bootleggers during prohibition.  I bought
                                a lot of Canadian whiskey from you and it was always
                                top-quality, and you always delivered when you said
                                you would.  I respect that.  So I believe what you tell
                                me.

                                                                 JOE
                                Believe it.

                                                                 SAM
                                You ask me for a favor, I'll see what I can do.  There
                                it is.

Joe smiles happily and shakes Sam's hand.

                                                                 JOE
                                If you could also talk to some of your Hollywood friends,
                                too, maybe, like Frankie and Deano, that would also help
                                a lot, too.

                                                                 SAM
                                We'll see what we can do.



                                                                 JOE
                                Excellent.  And when Jack is elected, you watch, it's
                                going to herald a new age in this country.  It'll be better
                                for everybody.

Joe stands to leave and Sam stands with him, as do all of their men.

                                                                 SAM
                                Yeah?  Just so long as it's better for me and my friends,
                                that's enough for me.

Joe leaves. Sam watches him go and puffs on his cigar.

JOHN F. KENNEDY MONTAGE - STOCK FOOTAGE

Frank Sinatra sings "High Hopes" with lyrics written specifically for John Kennedy's campaign.

                                                                 SINATRA
                                Everyone is voting for Jack
                                'Cause he's got what the others lack
                                Everyone wants to back Jack
                                Jack is on the right track

                                'Cause he's got high hopes
                                He's got high hopes
                                1960's the year for his high hopes
                                So come on, vote for Kennedy, vote for Kennedy
                                And we'll come out on top

                                Oops there goes the opposition, ker-
                                Oops there goes the opposition, ker-
                                Oops there goes the opposition, ker-plop

We see Kennedy campaigning, shaking hands, kissing babies.  John and Jackie have terrific smiles and flash them often.  John speaks at a campaign rally . . .

                                                                 JFK
                                We stand today on the edge of a New Frontier; the
                                frontier of the 1960s, a frontier of unknown opportunities
                                and paths, a frontier of unfilled hopes and threats . . .


We see a clip of the John F. Kennedy/Richard Nixon debate moderated by Howard K. Smith, where John Kennedy comes off as witty and charming and Richard Nixon is in a sweat and unsure of himself.  Kennedy has plenty of facts at his fingertips, but Nixon says he'll address the issues later, or in a "white paper."  After one of Kennedy's answers, Nixon becomes angry, saying . . .

                                                                 NIXON
                                I demand a retraction.  You hear me, Senator, I demand
                                a retraction!

We seeing Kennedy just sitting there, grinning broadly.  Nixon goes on to say . . .

                                                                 NIXON
                                Senator, you are weakening our country with your
                                criticisms.

                                                                 KENNEDY
                                I really don't need Mr. Nixon to tell me about what my
                                responsibilities are as a citizen.  I've served this country
                                for fourteen years in Congress and before that in the service.
                                What I downgrade, Mr. Nixon, is the leadership the country's
                                getting, not the country.

The audience loves it.

On November 8, the final election returns for the 1960 election come in: Kennedy wins by the slightest margin ever in American history -- one-tenth of one-percent.  One of the swing states, we are told, is Illinois.

EXT. SAM GIANCANA'S HOUSE/CHICAGO SUBURBS - NIGHT

Sam Giancana has a moderately large house in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park.  About ten cars are parked in front, and four men stroll the grounds.  A title reads, "Sam Giancana's house, Oak Park, Illinios."

INT. SAM GIANCANA'S HOUSE - NIGHT

Sam, a bunch of his men, and some good-looking gals are all dressed up and watching the election returns on a black and white TV.  They drink martinis and smoke cigarettes.  Kennedy wins.  Sam says to the pretty dark-haired girl beside him, JUDY CAMPBELL . . .


                                                                 SAM
                                You see that, Judy?  I guess the Teamster, AFL-CIO,
                                and Longshoreman vote, not to mention the fuckin'
                                Rat Pack, actually mattered.  Shit, I bought him West
                                Virginia.  And Illinois was the swing state.  I elected
                                that son of a bitch!

This gets a big laugh from the crowd.  They all toast their glasses.

                                                                 EVERYONE
                                To President Kennedy!

                                                                 SAM
                                To finally havin' our own man in the white house!
                                It's about fuckin' time.

                                                                 EVERYONE
                                Here, here!

They toast again.  Sam turns and kisses Judy.

                                                                 JUDY
                                I sure would like to meet the new president.

                                                                 SAM
                                You would?  I can arrange it very easily.

                                                                 JUDY
                                                           (grinning)
                                You could?

                                                                 SAM
                                Sure.  Next week when we're in Vegas I'll talk to
                                Sinatra, he'll set it up.

Judy snuggles up against him.

                                                                 JUDY
                                Aw, Mooney, you're too good to me.

                                                                 SAM
                                                           (shrugs)
                                What can I do?  I'm just a generous guy.

KENNEDY INAUGURAL - STOCK FOOTAGE

John F. Kennedy is sworn in as President of the United States.  In his inaugural speech he
says . . .

                                                                 KENNEDY
                                Let the word go forth, from this time and place.  Of
                                those to whom much has been given, much will be
                                required.  We will pay any price, bear any burden, meet
                                any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure
                                the survival and success of liberty.  Ask not what your
                                country can do for you; ask what you can do for your
                                country.

                                                                                                       DISSOLVE:

INT. SAM GIANCANA'S HOUSE/ BASEMENT OFFICE - DAY

Sam Giancana has a paneled office in his basement and is smoking a cigar and watching TV.

TV NEWS: John Chancellor announces . . .

                                                                 JOHN CHANCELLOR
                                President-elect Kennedy announced the appointment
                                today of his younger brother, Robert Kennedy, as Attorney-
                                General of the United States . . .

Sam's eyes go wide and he rears back, choking on his cigar and nearly falling off his chair.

                                                                 SAM
                                What the fuck!?

He picks up the receiver and dials the rotary telephone.

EXT. SHO-BAR CLUB - DAY

The Sho-Bar Club in New Orleans is a swinging nightclub.  We hear the phone ringing.

INT. SHO-BAR PRIVATE DINING ROOM - DAY


Sitting in the private dining room of the club is a tough-looking, sixty-year-old man with thinning white hair, a big, round face, a large forehead, and wincing eyes.  A subtitle reads: "CARLOS 'SAL' MARCELLO, head of the Louisiana and Texas mobs."  Marcello is surrounded by four of his men.  One of them hands Sal the phone.  Sal has a very slight Italian accent beneath his mobster vernacular.

                                                                 SAL
                                Mooney, how ya doin'?

                                                                 SAM
                                Sal, you didn't hear yet?  Jack Kennedy just appointed
                                his brother Bobby as Attorney-General.

Sal Marcello is horrified.

                                                                 SAL
                                What?  What??  What the fuck is that prick up to?

                                                                 SAM
                                I don't know, Sal.  I just this second heard, so I called
                                you.

                                                                 SAL
                                Fuck!  Ya know, I never trusted that motherfucker,
                                Joe Kennedy.  He was always a snotty Boston asshole.

                                                                 SAM
                                Yeah, but I did trust him.  So it's me he fucked.

                                                                 SAL
                                No, it's all of us, you watch.  Fuck!

ROBERT F. KENNEDY SENATE HEARINGS - STOCK FOOTAGE

Robert Kennedy begins his senate hearings into organized crime and labor.  He calls before the committee: JAMES HOFFA, head of the Teamster's union, as well as Carlos Marcello, head of the New Orleans and Texas mob.

BAY OF PIGS - STOCK FOOTAGE

We see black and white footage of Cuban rebels invading Cuba, American planes flying overhead, and American warships in Cuban waters.



                                                                 NARRATOR
                                The American-backed "Bay of Pigs" invasion of Cuba
                                and it's attempt to overthrow and assassinate Fidel Castro
                                fails miserably.  John Kennedy accepts some blame for the
                                fiasco, then promptly fires Allen Dulles, director of the
                                CIA since 1953, as well as CIA co-director, Richard Bissell,
                                who are replaced by John A. McCone and Richard Helms.

INT. SAM GIANCANA'S HOUSE - DAY

Sam sits in the living room with JIMMY HOFFA, a square-faced, serious man with a crew cut, and Sal Marcello.  They all smoke cigars and have drinks before them.  Sal asks . . .

                                                                 SAL
                                Did we or did we not all help Joe Kennedy get his
                                son elected?
                                                           (Sam and Jimmy both nod)
                                So, what the hell is going on?  What's with Bobby
                                Kennedy?  Why is he gunning for Jimmy and me?
                                Doesn't he understand what he's doing?

                                                                 SAM
                                I think he understands, but I don't think he gives a
                                shit. I think those cocksuckers think they're above
                                us.  That giving their word to some stupid wop
                                gangsters don't mean shit.

                                                                 HOFFA
                                So how do we get them to give a shit?

                                                                 SAM
                                                           (shrugs)
                                I guess I need to have a little talk with Joe.  Remind
                                him of how his sons got to where they are.

                                                                 SAL
                                That would be a terrific idea, Sam.  'Cause once that
                                little asshole brings me and Jimmy down, he's comin'
                                after you next, you know that.

Sam nods, he knows.



                                                                 SAM
                                I know.  I already got feds comin' out my ass wherever
                                I go.  He's already comin' for me.

                                                                 SAL
                                You see?

                                                                 SAM
                                Yeah, I see.

EXT. THE PLAZA HOTEL, NYC - DAY

A Cadillac limo pulls up in front of the Plaza Hotel in New York City.  Sam Giancana and two of his men get out and enter the hotel.

INT. PRESIDENTIAL SUITE - DAY

There is a knock at the door of the vast presidential suite which is answered by a liveried butler.  Sam and his men are shown inside and the butler takes their hats and coats.  The butler then shows Sam into the master bedroom.

Joe Kennedy is sitting in an easy chair surrounded by newspapers.  He stands up and shakes Joe's hand.

                                                                 JOE
                                Sam.  Come on in.

                                                                 SAM
                                Thanks.  How ya doin'?

                                                                 JOE
                                Couldn't be better.  So, what can I do for you, Sam?

                                                                 SAM
                                Well, you can call your son, Bobby, off, that's what
                                you can do.

                                                                 JOE
                                                           (surprised)
                                What do you mean?


                                                                 SAM
                                What do I mean?  You know what I mean.  Dragging
                                Sal Marcello and Jimmy Hoffa in
                                front of senate sub-
                                committees.  Putting 'em on trial.  Feds following me
                                night and day.  That's what I mean.

                                                                 JOE
                                                           (throws his hands in the air)
                                What can I do?

                                                                 SAM
                                You can call him off, that's what you can do.

                                                                 JOE
                                Kids these days.  They just don't listen anymore.

                                                                 SAM
                                Well, you really ought to try to get Bobby to listen
                                to you, particularly on this subject.

                                                                 JOE
                                                           (shrugs)
                                Sorry, Sam, Bobby's the Attorney-General of the
                                United States, my hands are tied.

                                                                 SAM
                                Then untie them.  Get Bobby to lay off Sal and
                                Jimmy.  Really.  Just do it.

                                                                 JOE
                                Are you telling me, Sam?

                                                                 SAM
                                I'm doing my very best not to, Joe, but you're not
                                cooperating.

                                                                 JOE
                                Well, on this subject, I'm sorry, but I can't intervene.

                                                                 SAM
                                You have to intervene.



                                                                 JOE
                                No, I don't.  And I won't.

                                                                 SAM
                                                           (getting angry)
                                Joe.  You came to me for a favor.  I got your son
                                elected, remember?

                                                                 JOE
                                Well . . . It took a lot to get him elected, you were
                                just a part of it.

                                                                 SAM
                                It was the closest presidential race in history.  The
                                votes I brought in got him elected.
                                                           (Joe shrugs)
                                Joe, you owe me.

                                                                 JOE
                                I don't know about that.

                                                                 SAM
                                Don't you?  Well, I'm tellin' ya you do.  You owe
                                me and I'm callin' it in.  Get Bobby to lay off me
                                and my friends.  Do it.  Do it now.

                                                                 JOE
                                Sorry, no can do.

                                                                 SAM
                                                           (eyes blazing)
                                All right, now I'm not askin', I'm tellin'.  Get Bobby
                                to stop, and do it now!

                                                                 JOE
                                Sam, my son is the President of the United States.
                                You don't tell me anything.

                                                                 SAM
                                                           (angry)
                                I don't, huh?  Well, I don't give a fuck who your
                                son is.  I'm tellin' you to make it stop!


                                                                 JOE
                                No.

                                                                 SAM
                                No?  No?  Joe, you fuckin' owe me.

                                                                 JOE
                                No, I don't.  I don't owe you anything.

                                                                 SAM
                                                           (gasps)
                                You must've lost your fuckin' mind, Joe.  Remember
                                who you're talkin' to here.

                                                                 JOE
                                I remember, Sam, and don't swear at me.

                                                                 SAM
                                                           (takes a breath)
                                All right, I'm gonna try this one more time.  Please
                                ask your son Bobby to stop picking on my friends.

                                                                 JOE
                                No.

Sam jumps to his feet and points his finger in Joe's face.

                                                                 SAM
                                                           (goes berserk)
                                You fuckin' cocksucker!  If you don't do what I'm
                                tellin' you, I'm gonna make you sorry you ever had
                                kids!  I'm gonna make you sorry you was ever born!

                                                                 JOE
                                Don't threaten me.  Nobody talks to me that way!

                                                                 SAM
                                                           (points)
                                Listen, you Boston blue blood fuck!  You ask for a
                                favor, I give it to you, then you turn on me like this?
                                Who the fuck do you think you are?

Joe Kennedy stands and pokes himself in the chest.

                                                                 JOE
                                                           (righteously)
                                I am the father of the President of the United States!
                                And you'd better watch yourself, my old friend,
                                because after Jack serves his eight years, Bobby will
                                be president, and that's eight more years.  And that's
                                just the beginning.  This is the start of a new dynasty!
                                The Kennedys are going to be just like the Windsors,
                                only bigger, and go on longer.  So now I'm telling you,
                                fuck off!

It's like someone hit Sam in the head with a hammer.  He is completely stunned.

                                                                 SAM
                                                           (amazed)
                                You're telling me to fuck off?

                                                                 JOE
                                Fuck you and fuck off!

                                                                 SAM
                                You say 'fuck you' to me?  Sam Giancana?

                                                                 JOE
                                That's right, fuck you!  And don't come back!

Sam puts on his hat, turns on his heel, and he and his men leave.

INT. PLAZA HOTEL LOBBY - DAY

Sam and his two men step out of the elevator.  Sam is fuming, goes directly to a phone booth, gets in and slams the door.  His two men stand guard outside.

Sam calls Sal Marcello in New Orleans.

                                                                 SAM
                                                           (into phone)
                                Sal, you know what that piece o' shit, Joe Kennedy,
                                just said to me?  'Fuck you,' that's what he said to
                                me.


                                                                 SAL
                                                           (shocked)
                                He said that?

                                                                 SAM
                                He sure did.

                                                                 SAL
                                He thinks 'cause his kid is president that he's
                                untouchable.

                                                                 SAM
                                It was the fuckin' votes we got him that got him
                                elected, the prick!  Closest fuckin' election in history!
                                Well, no one has ever fucked me like this and gotten
                                away with it.  Never!  And that cheap bootlegger
                                Kennedy ain't gonna be the first!

                                                                 SAL
                                I'm with you, Sam.  Let's do him and his two little
                                ungrateful fuckin' brats!  Fuck them!

                                                                 SAM
                                                           (thinks, grins)
                                No.  Just Jack right now.  I want Joe to eat shit, and
                                he's gotta be alive to taste it and suffer.  Once his son
                                ain't president no more then he'll just have to see what
                                a complete ignorant asshole he is.

                                                                 SAL
                                Y'know, Sam.  It's kind of a coincidence, really, but
                                I was just discussing this very subject with a fellah I
                                know, and he had some very interesting ideas.  I think
                                you and me need to sit down and have a talk with this
                                fellah.

                                                                 SAM
                                And you trust this guy?

                                                                 SAL
                                Yeah, I do.  He's very smart, and he's got some very
                                interesting ideas.  A whole plan, actually.  Maybe you
                                ought to come on down and visit us sometime.

                                                                 SAM
                                How about now?

                                                                 SAL
                                Now's good.

                                                                 SAM
                                I'll be right there.

Sam hangs up the phone and exits the phone booth.  His men follow along.

EXT. THE FRENCH QUARTER, NEW ORLEANS - NIGHT

There's a lot of pedestrian traffic in and out of the many bars and clubs in New Orleans' French Quarter.  On Bourbon St. there is a club called the Sho-Bar with a big neon sign.

INT. SHO-BAR PRIVATE DINING ROOM - NIGHT

Sal Marcello and Sam Giancana, both wearing dark suits and ties, sit at a table having a drink.  Six of their men loiter around the perimeter of the room.  The door opens and in walks a suave, good-looking, white-haired gentleman of 45 named CLAY SHAW in a pristine white suit.  Clay steps right up to Sam and heartily shakes his hand.

                                                                 CLAY
                                A great pleasure, Mr. Giancana.  I've heard quite a
                                bit about you over the years, and nothing impresses
                                me more than powerful men.

                                                                 SAM
                                                           (shrugs humbly)
                                Well, in certain parts of Chicago maybe.  Please, sit
                                down, Mr. Shaw.

Clay unbuttons his white jacket and sits

                                                                 CLAY
                                Since we will be talking about sensitive subjects,
                                might I suggest we keep this strictly between the
                                three of us?

                                                                 SAM
                                                           (nods)
                                Of course.

He gives his two men a glance and they leave.  Sal gives his guys a look and they too leave. 
Sal stands up.

                                                                 SAL
                                Would you like a drink, Clay?

                                                                 CLAY
                                Vodka, neat.  Thank you.

Sal goes and gets Clay a glass and a bottle and brings them back to the table.  He and Sam are drinking scotch, and Sam refills both of their glasses.  They tip their glasses toward one another in a silent toast, then they all drink.

                                                                 CLAY
                                Now, since we're being frank and open, so to speak,
                                let me put my cards on the table right away.  I'm doing
                                this for my very good friend, Carlos Marcello, who
                                asked me a question a few weeks ago, in passing,
                                and I just happened to give it some thought, and I called
                                him back and told him so, and then you called with the
                                very same idea the next day.  That's sort of coincidental,
                                don't you think?

                                                                 SAM
                                                           (nods)
                                Yeah, it is.  So?

                                                                 CLAY
                                So, I was never here, and you and I will never meet
                                again, okay?

                                                                 SAM
                                                           (shrugs)
                                Yeah, okay.  Whatever you say.

                                                                 CLAY
                                Okay, fine.
                                                           (Clay takes a drink and
                                                           lights a thin little cigar)
                                The key to this plan is not killing the president, which
                                has already been done three times.

Sam and Sal both look at each other in confusion.

                                                                 SAM
                                Three? Who?

                                                                 CLAY
                                Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley.

                                                                 SAM
                                Huh?  I never heard of this Garfield guy before.  Have
                                you, Sal?

                                                                 SAL
                                                           (shrugs)
                                Maybe I have.  I don't know.  Anyway, go on.

                                                                 CLAY
                                The point isn't whether or not you can kill the
                                president, which you most certainly can, the point is
                                getting away with it.  So far, no one has.

                                                                 SAM
                                                           (nods)
                                Really?

                                                                 CLAY
                                Nope.  But, I'm convinced it can be done.

                                                                 SAM
                                Okay, I'm with you.  How?

                                                                 CLAY
                                Pin it on Castro and the CIA, then let them cover it
                                up.  The CIA is very good at that sort of thing.

                                                                 SAM
                                What do you mean exactly?

                                                                 CLAY
                                Fidel has the very best motive for killing Kennedy
                                right now since Kennedy keeps trying to have Fidel
                                killed, and shipping in insurgents to try and take over
                                his country.  And, as you well know, the CIA's hands
                                are just filthy the way they've been going after Castro.


                                                                 SAM
                                You're tellin' me.  The CIA came to Johnny Roselli and
                                me to knock Castro off before the Bay of Pigs invasion.
                                But Castro's a pretty smart cookie and you can't get to
                                the guy.

                                                                 CLAY
                                Whether or not Castro was assassinated, Kennedy
                                totally chickened-out on the Bay of Pigs, called off all
                                the air support, and left those poor Cuban rebels out
                                there with their pants down.  And then he left the CIA
                                holding the bag.  The CIA directors, Allen Dulles and
                                Richard Bissell, both got fired over this, and it was clearly
                                all Kennedy's fault.  Now the CIA hates Kennedy.  And
                                Castro hates Kennedy, too, so there's plenty of people
                                with perfectly good motives to pin this on.  If you choose
                                a fall-guy with both CIA and Castro connections, then
                                you in fact hire the very best hitmen in the world, say
                                out of Marseilles-

                                                                 SAM
                                -That's easy, I'm very well-connected in Marseilles.

                                                                 CLAY
                                Yes, I know.  That's where all the heroin comes
                                from.  Anyway, have the actual shooting done in a
                                public place, create plenty of confusion, then have
                                your patsy standing by and wham, it's all self-propelled
                                from there on out.  You get your pros out of there and
                                let the rest all just happen.  And if you give them one
                                single lone nut shooter, they'll take it, they always do.
                                It was immediately accepted as a lone nut in all three
                                previous cases, Lincoln, Garfield and McKinley, and
                                in all three cases it probably wasn't true.  But at a
                                moment like that, having just lost the president, nobody
                                wants to go looking for God knows how many people
                                who are still at large.  If it's not that one lone nut handed
                                to them on a platter, with a very dirty past, then who the
                                hell is it?  No, they'll take who you give them, then cover
                                the whole thing up themselves because the CIA can't
                                afford to come off looking like it's connected to anyone
                                who has just shot the president.  And everybody else is too
                                afraid of Russia, communism, and Castro.

Sam and Sal look at each other and nod.

                                                                 SAL
                                Did I tell you he had an interesting plan?

                                                                 SAM
                                You did, and it is.  I'm very interested.

                                                                 CLAY
                                                           (points)
                                I'll even go you one further, gentlemen.  President
                                Kennedy just announced plans to take a trip through
                                the south at the end of the year.  I say you do it in a
                                highly corrupt town like Miami or Dallas.  In places
                                like that the cops, the CIA, and the FBI are so corrupt
                                this whole thing will just naturally cover itself up.

Sam and Sal look at each other, both obviously thinking.

                                                                 SAL
                                Dallas is my town.  There's guys there that'll do
                                anything I ask 'em to.  And that includes cops, CIA,
                                and FBI guys.  Clay's right, it's a totally dirty town.
                                And all these guys hang out at Jack Ruby's strip
                                clubs.  And guess what?  Jack owes me a lotta money.

                                                                 SAM
                                He owes me money, too, that fuck.  And he also owes
                                Johnny Roselli.

                                                                 SAL
                                And Santo Trafficante, too.  Oh boy, Jack's in big
                                trouble.

                                                                 CLAY
                                                           (smiles)
                                You see, it's all falling into place already.  It's a perfect
                                plan.  And you can easily shoot Kennedy in his convertible
                                Lincoln-Continental limousine.  He's got a protective clear
                                plastic bubble that goes over it, but he and Jackie are both
                                so vain they never use it.

Sam looks at Clay seriously, leaning in toward him.

                                                                 SAM
                                So, what do you get outta this?

                                                                 CLAY
                                Well, I thought you knew.  Sal is remunerating me
                                with a large account in the Bahamas, which will
                                keep me happy forever.

                                                                 SAM
                                                           (leans forward)
                                But why else?  You're too smart to do something
                                like this just for money.  You've got to have another
                                reason and I wanna know it.

                                                                 CLAY
                                                           (thinks)
                                Well . . . First of all, I knew two men in the Cuban
                                Brigade that were left defenseless when Kennedy
                                canceled the air support for them, and now they're
                                both dead.  I think it's just disgraceful the way he
                                handled the Bay of Pigs invasion, and due to that I
                                feel he's unworthy of being commander-in-chief or
                                president.  But I'll honestly confess to you that even
                                more than that, well, I just want to have an impact
                                on history, even if no one ever knows that it was me
                                who thought this scheme up.  I want to alter the course
                                of history, and this will be the biggest Goddamn thing
                                that ever hit this country, maybe even the whole world,
                                and it'll all be because I decided to give it a tiny little
                                bit of thought, that's why.

Sam nods, stands, reaches out and shakes Clay's hand.

                                                                 SAM
                                Okay, that makes sense to me.  It was a pleasure
                                meeting you and talking to you, Mr. Shaw.

                                                                 CLAY
                                No, the pleasure was all mine, Mr. Giancana.  Good
                                luck.


Sal shows Clay out.  They hug at the door, then Clay leaves and Sal returns to the table.  They both light cigars and Sal pours each of them a drink.  They toast.

                                                                 SAM & SAL
                                Salúde.

They both sip their drinks plaintively.  Finally . . .

                                                                 SAM
                                Is he a fruit?

                                                                 SAL
                                One of the biggest in the whole quarter.

                                                                 SAM
                                                           (shrugs)
                                He's sharp, and very smart.  Elegant.

                                                                 SAL
                                Yeah, fruits often are.  So?

                                                                 SAM
                                So, 'fuck you' Joe Kennedy says to me.  'My son's
                                the president, so fuck you!'  Nobody says that to me.
                                Sorry.  I just can't let it pass.

                                                                 SAL
                                And you shouldn't.  He betrayed you.  He came to you
                                for a favor, then he spit in your face.  He's the worst
                                kind of asshole there is, an ungrateful asshole.

                                                                 SAM
                                And he said 'fuck you.'  To me.  Sam Giancana.

                                                                 SAL
                                You can't put up with that kind of disrespect, Sam.
                                It's all gettin' way outta hand.  Bobby's tryin' to break
                                my balls, and then he'll come for you next.  Unless
                                we nip it in the bud right now.
                                                           (points at the phone)
                                Call Antoine in Marsielles.

                                                                 SAM
                                I should.

                                                                 SAL
                                You're fuckin'-A right you should.  Call him.  Fuck
                                these Boston blue-blood assholes!  They think their
                                shit don't stink.  Well, let them eat some shit for once
                                instead of us.

Sam thinks for a second, then grins.

                                                                 SAM
                                Y'know what?  We'll just pay Antoine in smack.  This
                                won't even take any cash.  We'll change the course of
                                fuckin' history, and we'll do it with one week's profits
                                and no cash out of our pockets.  Shit, this is too easy.
                                Watch this.

Sam picks up the phone and dials.  Sal looks pleased and waves one of his men over.

                                                                 SAL
                                Get David Ferrie.  Bring him in here.

                                                                 THUG
                                Sure thing, Sal.

The Thug exits.

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