Purdue prof to be featured in documentary on 50th anniversary of JFK assassination

November 11, 2013  

Randy Roberts

Randy Roberts
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A Purdue University historian is part of a new documentary tracing the final 48 hours of Lee Harvey Oswald that will air for the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination.

Randy Roberts, distinguished professor of history, will appear in the History channel's "Lee Harvey Oswald: 48 Hours to Live" on Nov. 22, the date on which President Kennedy was shot in Dallas in 1963 while riding in a presidential motorcade. The program will air at 10 p.m. (Eastern Time).

"This is a minute-by-minute account of Lee Harvey Oswald's trail beginning just moments before he pulled the trigger to when he was shot by Jack Ruby 48 hours later," says Roberts, who filmed the documentary in June in Dallas. "It was a fantastic experience for a historian as we visited the places he had been and were standing in his cell and the interrogation room while filming the interviews."

The film was directed, produced and written by Anthony Giacchino and was produced by Time Travel Unlimited for History. Roberts and Giacchino also collaborated on the 2009 documentary "The Kennedy Assassination: 24 Hours After."

After Oswald shot the president from the Texas School Book Depository, he killed a police officer in the area, visited his rental home and then was arrested by police about two hours later at a movie theater. He was shot and killed 48 hours after the assassination by local nightclub owner Ruby.

Roberts says the approach of breaking down the minutia of Oswald's life and activities after the assassination will help address any conspiracy theories and convince people that he was the sole gunman.

"Lee Harvey Oswald enjoyed the cat-and-mouse game," Roberts says. "If he would have lived, there is no doubt he would have told us more. He had such an enormous ego he would have wanted everyone to know his involvement, but he was shot before he could do so."

Roberts, who focuses on American and sports history, is the author of more than 30 books and has made more than 50 appearances on television documentaries and films in the past 20 years for the History channel, ESPN Classic, HBO, BBC, PBS, E!TV and on the ABC, CBS and NBC networks. He is the author of "Where the Domino Fell: America and Vietnam," "American Experiences: Readings in American History," "A Line in the Sand: The Alamo in Blood and Memory," "John Wayne American," "Rising Tide: Bear Bryant, Joe Namath, and Dixie's Last Quarter," "A Team for America: The Army-Navy Game That Rallied a Nation," "Joe Louis: Hard Times Man," "Jack Dempsey: The Manassa Mauler," "Papa Jack: Jack Johnson and the Era of White Hopes" and "Heavy Justice: The State of Indiana v. Michael G. Tyson." He also was featured in an HBO documentary "Joe Louis: America's Hero ... Betrayed" that aired in 2008.

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723, apatterson@purdue.edu

Source: Randy Roberts, rroberts@purdue.edu

Related websites:

Purdue College of Liberal Arts

Purdue Department of History

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