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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Remembering John F. Kennedy's Assassination 50 Years Ago; Crisis Inside Air Force One; Marina Oswald Porter Remarried Two Years After JKF's Assassination; Oswald's Widow Marina Opened Up To McMillan About Their Marriage; Fascinating Story of the Pink Suit Jackie Wore the Day JFK Was Assassinated; J.D. Tippit Was Shot Four Times By Lee Harvey Oswald
Aired November 22, 2013 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: It rained today in Dallas and it was hard not to imagine for a second how different the world might now be had it rained that Friday in Dallas half a century ago. Instead, the sun was bright enough to electrify the pink dress and the top down and the president exposed. A rainy Friday in Dallas would have passed routinely into history and John F. Kennedy might have served out his term, gone into a second term perhaps and grappled with all the consequential issues of his time. For better or worse we would be living his legacy instead of marking his murder half a century since his murder.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)
COOPER: Tops this morning at Arlington cemetery is John F. Kennedy's eternal flame. The view goes nodes fracking just as they did in 1963. Jean Kennedy Smith laid a wreath laid at the grave site not far from where brothers, Ted and Bobby also lie. She's 85-years-old, the last surviving sibling. Had he also lived this long, John F. Kennedy would be 96-years-old.
In Boston, Massachusetts governor, Deval Patrick, laid a wreath at the statue of the city's favorite son. Remembrances across the city today. In Ireland, as well. In Dealey Plaza in Dallas, a solemn outpouring of affection for a president so many Texans viewed with suspicion back in 1963, but so many others flocked to see.
As the Nel Cannally, governor's wife told the President Kennedy that day, well, Mr. President, you can't say that Dallas doesn't love you. Moments later, shots rang out.
This is how millions of Americans, 50 years ago to the day, experienced the moments that followed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Kennedy has been shot in Dallas, Texas.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In downtown Dallas, President Kennedy was shot today just as his motorcade left downtown Dallas. Mrs. Kennedy jumped up and grabbed Mr. Kennedy. She cried oh, no, the motorcade sped on. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No word at all -- official word from the doctors at Park Land hospital or the White House staff on the extent of the president's wounds.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is no reason to believe the president is dead. There is no word on his condition, neither is there any word on what made the attack.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A television news man said that he looked up just after the shot was fired and saw a rifle being withdrawn from a fifth or sixth floor window of a nearby building.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is no word that at assailant have been captured or sighted, probably because the focus of attention now, understandably, is on the president and not so much on those who committed this act.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was probably 15 to 20 feet away from the president when it happened.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tell us exactly what you saw, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As he was waving back, he was -- the shot rang out and he slumped down in the seat.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm receiving word now. We have received word that two priests who were with the president reported that the president is dead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From Dallas, Texas, the flash apparently official, President Kennedy died at 1:00 p.m. central standard time, 2:00 eastern standard time, some 38 minutes ago.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Former President Hoover issued the following statement. Mr. Hoover says I am shocked and grieved to learn of President Kennedy's assassination. He loved America and has given his life for the country. I join our beloved nation in heart-felt sympathy to Mrs. Kennedy and her children.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The roses Mrs. Kennedy had carried earlier were in the backseat of the automobile in which the president was shot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We reported to you on the arrest of the individual in Dallas. He's being grilled now. He's said to be 24-years-old. A name is given for him by Dallas police as Leo H. Oswald.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lee Oswald who is 25-years-old is accused of murdering first a Dallas policeman. And secondly, they are working very hard at making a case against him for killing the president of the United States.
COOPER: Well, that's how it was reported then, 50 years ago. Those who lived through it, still live it 50 years later. No one forgets where they were when they heard. No one today born before or after Dallas could help and think what it might have been.
We are devoting the hour tonight to Dallas and Kennedy's legacy. Earlier tonight, I spoke about all aspects with it with John King in Dealey Plaza, Rice University and presidential historian Douglas Brinkley, and senior political analyst David Gergen.
David, let me start off with you. You say that in many ways this still represents the assassination of Kennedy, still represents the loss on innocence for America.
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I believe that, Anderson. At the time, we just come out of the Second World War, which was grim, of course. But the 1950s basically were very good years, by prosperous. We were at peace and have a real sense or a transition moving from the oldest president that were elected at that time quite as now to the youngest and a sense of hope. And I think it was such a shock it shattered our sense of hope in the future.
You know, the nation wept twice with slain presidents, first with Lincoln and then with Kennedy. With Lincoln there was a sense his work have been completed. But with Kennedy, there was this enormous sense his work was just starting. And therefore, it was -- and suddenly, we were faced with a world that was much more grizzly and meaner. It was jungle-like. And of course, that was the dawn of years that came of two-mould when we have numerous assassinations and demonstrations and difficult times in the world. And I think that whole period represented the loss of innocence for the United States. We were more cynical, skeptical, suspicious nation.
COOPER: Doug, for you, the legacy of JFK means what?
DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: I agree. I mean, and a lot of it is well, what could have been. I mean, imagine 58,000 killed in Vietnam, would Kennedy would have gotten us in Vietnam. If you lost somebody there you love, that's a very big question. And also, I think, this idea of putting the word with the Peace Corps, peace, into our lax economy.
Barack Obama today was talking about the Peace Corps. That sort of lives on as his legacy. And finally, I think the space pace for John F. Kennedy is very big. He represented can do-ism and that's where our country so sorely needs right now. He didn't just say we are going to have a space flight program. He said we are going to go to the moon and he gave us a date and we did it. And so, we're looking for an inspirational leader like Kennedy now and we can't find one.
COOPER: And John, you were there obviously, in Dallas today for the memorial services. Is the city spent the last 50 years grappling how to handle their place in the American history. Did you think it turn a page today in some ways?
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It certainly try to turn to page, Anderson. I want to show you, as we have the conversation, this is a replica of the Dallas morning news tomorrow morning, Wednesday morning, the day after the assassination as it was in that day. Saturday, November 23rd, excuse me, not Wednesday. Kennedy is slain on a Dallas street. That on the Dallas Street parked was such stain on the city. It was called the city of hate for some time. There had never been an official commemoration or ceremony here or any of the anniversary.
So, on this 50th anniversary, it was quite a short ceremony, a solemn ceremony, very respectful. The Kennedy family decided not to send anyone here even though they did essentially give the nod for the ceremonies here today.
And what you heard was not retelling out violence that played out right here in Dealey Plaza. Virtually none of that at all. Essentially, it was a tribute to the legacy of President Kennedy, to what you just been talking about, the hopeful, inspirational, aspirational nature of this presidency. And on that grassy null, it is just 40-yard this way over my right shoulder with so many conspiracy theories were talked about. Now, there is a plaque containing part of the speech the president was to give. He was on his way through Dealey Plaza to the Dallas trademark to speak at a luncheon. And part of what he was to say in the speech is now forever scribed here at grassy Dealey plaza. The city hoping, reflecting today, Anderson, helps them turn that chapter. And the theme today in Dallas was the city of love, Dallas love for years, this was called the city of hate.
COOPER: And David, I mean, you also said you talked about JFK's assassination, but also the warren commission, we're kind of opening a new page of skepticism in the United States.
GERGEN: I think that's true, Anderson. It was hastily pulled together and it was very sloppily done. And that led, as well as other things, you know, the Jack Ruby Killing of Lee Harvey Oswald, that was so stunning. How did he get through? And it just encourage people plea. There must have been a fix in there. They were trying to silenced Lee Harvey Oswald before he ever said anything. And there have been conspiracy theories, of course, ever since about whether there were two shooters or not.
Finally, I think after 50 years, there is a general consensus that Lee Harvey Oswald did this alone. Clint Hill, who was Mrs. Kennedy's secret service protector tweeted today, you know, three shots, sixth floor, one gun, one gunman, I was there, case closed.
COOPER: Doug, CNN also released a poll today that showed some 90 percent of Americans approve of the job Kennedy did. I mean, that's a remarkable number.
BRINKLEY: Remarkable. And a lot of young people, people under 50. I thought it may have been people that remembered him. But, it is -- when you teach, like I do at university, all students want to do papers on John F. Kennedy. He is going to always be the young, handsome, gallant president gunned down in his prime and it used television so effectively. And his speeches, were so eloquent, that they are going to kind of live in an eternal way.
Part of it, is he, we forget, he was part of the greatest generation, somebody served in World War II and really believed that we could do things. He had a little bit of FDR in him in the sense of taking risk, but most of the risk he took calculate one's work. He did just right in Berlin and just right in Cuba.
COOPER: And also, I mean, the fact that other haves said, that he will always be young. He's frozen in that age in our collective memory. And so, there are those what ifs and people can who kind of put on to him whatever they want.
BRINKLEY: And a lot of color footage. We don't have Eisenhower's farewell with some black and white. You don't see a lot of Ike and Truman in color. But with Kennedy, CNN's have been playing it, there are a lot of color photographs of Camelot.
I think Camelot has come alive on the 50th anniversary. Again, it was big/endurance sworn sent, then it kind of had a womanizing in John F. Kennedy. I think on the 50th, people remembering how much they love him, hence 90 percent of the American people give him a thumbs up.
COOPER: Doug Brinkley, David Gergen, John King, thank you.
Let us know what you think and follow me on twitter, @andersoncooper. Tweet us using hash tag "AC 360."
Ahead tonight, more on the various investigations into the assassination. Why so many people still harbor doubts that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. Cyril Wecht and Gerald Posner join us.
Alter, Air Force One's remarkable role in Dallas saying a new president sworn in after bringing a slain president home.
COOPER: There are many reasons no event has given birth to more conspiracy theories than the Kennedy assassination. First and foremost, it is simply hard to imagine that a loan loser with just a few pounds of pressure on a trigger and some basic marksmanship could single handily erase such a tower and global figure.
Recently, I talked to NBC News' Tom Brokaw, secretary of state Kerry said that he is a skeptic.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM BROKAW, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Where do you coal down to the conspiracy theories?
JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: To this day, I have serious doubts that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone?
KERRY: I certainly have doubt that he was motivated by himself. I mean, I'm not sure if anybody else was involved. I don't go down that road with respect to the grassy null theory and all of that. But I have serious questions about whether they got to the bottom of Lee Harvey Oswald's time and influence from Cuba and Russia. (END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, Secretary Kerry is certainly not alone in that belief. Fifty-one -- sixty-one percent, I should say, of Americans in a recent Gallup poll said they don't believe that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.
In a moment, one of the nation's leading skeptics on the Warren commission official finding, also a leading def defender, first here is Ed Lavandera.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If Hollywood producers could give the Kennedy assassination, the 21st century forensic crime show treatment, it would be solved by a show like CSI in an hour.
But five decades later, conspiracy theories tried.
ROBERT GRODEN, CONSPIRACY THEORIST: I would not want to be considered to be a believer that one person did this alone when that was impossible.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): To this day, Robert Groden preaches conspiracy on the grassy null every weekend. He's dedicated his life to the Kennedy assassination, consulted the House committee on political assassinations in the 1970s, even had small parts in Oliver Stone's film "JFK." He moved to Dallas almost 20 years ago, just so he could keep fighting the Warren commission's conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.
GRODEN: Oswald could never have been convicted. That's why they had to kill him.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): Where do you think the shots came from?
GRODEN: Well, the fatal -- well, shots came from at least four different directions.
MIKE HAAG, FORENSIC SPECIALIST: This is the result of about 12 different locations of actually running the scanner.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): The Kennedy assassination got the CSI treatment by Mike Haag and a team of forensic investigators. They analyzed the assassination with modern forensic tools using this $180,000 scanner. They created a 3D image of Dealey Plaza. And after analyzing medical and police report, re-created the shooting scene as if they were investigating a modern case.
HAAG: The physical evidence really does tell the tale.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): And that tale is what?
HAAG: If you look at the physical evidence, there is nothing else to suggest anything than that Lee Harvey Oswald shot the president of the United States in 1963.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): Haag tracked the path of three fired shots. The first he says likely hit the street and disintegrated. The second shot, the so-called magic bullet, is the most controversial. It struck Kennedy in the back, exited out of his throat, passed through Texas Governor Connally's back, wrist and then lodged in his leg. The bullet was later found in the hospital intact with slightly warped like a kidney bean, he said.
Of course, the conspiracy theorist, this all seems totally improbable.
(on camera): That magic bullet has been a source of controversy for five decades now and you're saying that it could have easily happened?
LAVANDERA (voice-over): To prove the point, Haag's team documented a simulated shooting for the PBS show "Nova."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mike Haag will test fire one round into one of the oldest ballistic test materials.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): The impact is recorded with a high-speed camera.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The bullet penetrated 36 inches, but what condition is it in.
HAAG: The nose of this bullet is un-deformed. It's still perfectly round.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): Haag also says the entrance wound in Kennedy's back is perfectly round but the entrance wound in Connally's back is not, which suggests that bullet tumbled out of Kennedy and into Connally.
HAAG: This is not magic. It actually fits pretty darn well with the physical evidence.
LAVANDERA (on camera): Then there is the gruesome third shot. Mike Haag says the shot came from the sixth floor window, struck the president's skull then fragmented. Parts of it going across Dealey plaza, striking the curve and (INAUDIBLE) and hitting a third victim, a man by the name of James Tague who suffered a minor face wound.
HAAG: I mean, if you fragment the bullet like that, that is within the realm of possibility for these fragments to deflect and travel at distance to get to Tague.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): But today, James Tague doesn't believe that story. He thinks there was another shooter in Dealey plaza and more than three shots fired.
JAMES TAGUE, ASSASSINATION WITNESS: They were one-dimension shots. So they had to go back and fit a missed shot in there, and that's when they came up with the magic bullet theory. HAAG: That the whole in Kennedy's back --
LAVANDERA (voice-over): Mike Haag says he did not find any physical evidence of a second gunman or clues that show shots were fired from a second location. For Robert Groden and conspiracy theorists who still flock to the grassy null five decades later, this still isn't enough.
GRODEN: People come because they know something is wrong. They want to find out and see for themselves, and they come here and they look around. They see the sixth floor and they see the angle. They know the shots come from the front and say no way, it couldn't have happen that way.
Ed Lavandera, CNN. Dallas.
COOPER: Joining us now is renowned forensic pathologist and medical legal expert and investigation reporter Gerald Posner. His book on the assassination investigations is titled simple "case closed."
So , JFK's the assassination spun dozens of conspiracy theories killed by CIA, the Mafia, even accusations Lyndon Johnson had a hand in the death, 61 percent of Americans still believe it's a conspiracy. I know you say case closed, why do you think it persists 50 years later?
GERALD POSNER, AUTHOR, CASE CLOSED: Well, you know, I think, Anderson, that David Gergen hit some of it before when he talked about Jack Ruby's murder of Oswald, just two days later. You know, Jack Ruby looks like he's from central casting. He looks like a hoodlum and he is running a night club and strip clubs inside of Dallas. It looks like a silencing of the assassin. So we are often running from there.
And then the Warren commission, as David Gergen says, it doesn't do that great of a job. It stumbles on a lot of things and gets the sequence of shots wrong in Dealey plaza. It lied to by the FBI and the CIA who have a cover-up, not of a murder, but of their bureaucratic behinds. And it doesn't really investigate Jack Ruby's connection that well.
And then over the years, you get a whole bunch of canards that come out, things repeated so many times, people believe it. Witnesses have saw something mysterious, the day of Dealey Plaza died afterwards of some cause in car wreaks or heart attacks or fell off a building scaffold, not true.
Nobody in the world, no marksman of range could make those shots, not true. Things like that. Then, of course, Jim Garrison's investigation, the House select committee and the late '70s concludes as likely a conspiracy based on the flawed acoustical tape. And finally, of course, that master filmmaker, a great filmmaker, Oliver Stone, but just a terrible historian, the only thing he gets right in "JFK" is the date on which Kennedy is killed. But it persuade a whole new generation in the public that there is something fishy in the assassination. COOPER: Dr. , what about that? I mean, you have always thought there was a second gunman. You've been very vocal about that for decades. I want to play a clip of you questioning the path of the bullet.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Is it impossible that the bullet would have gone through President Kennedy, gone through governor Connally and not suffered any more damage than is shown in this photograph?
DR. CYRIL WECHT, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: I would hesitate really to say that it's absolutely 100 percent impossible, but it is highly I'm probable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Do you still have the same questions about the bullet, and do you think there was a second shooter still?
WECHT: There is no question. The single bullet theory is totally scientifically absurd. A bullet moving into Kennedy's back and moving upward 11.5 degrees and exiting through the back. Bullets move in straight lines. The Warren commission notwithstanding. The bullet is moving from back to front, from right to left and from up downwards. It comes out of Kennedy's neck and it moves and then in mid air, it comes back about 18 to 20 inches and slams into John Connally's right poster, axel area, that's behind the armpit, goes through his chest, pierces on, destroys five inches of the right fifth rib, exits at a downward angle 27 degrees, below the level of the nipple.
Look at this photo film. John Connally is holding his white hat right here at the chest level of nearly shoulder. The bullet comes, hooks around, goes into the wrist and the shatters the (INAUDIBLE) radius, one of the two long bones from the elbow to the wrist, exits from the front of the wrist and moves at a downward angle of 45 degrees into John Connally's left thigh, works its way of four inches of muscle, fat, fiber, and skin, plus on to the stretcher. That stretcher bullet, commission exhibit 399, the hero of the single bullet theory which Mark claimed an eye, and others dead a long time ago, the magic bullet theory.
On the night of the autopsy, the bullet according to (INAUDIBLE), the naval pathologist who did the autopsy, who had never done a single gunshot wound autopsy in their entire careers, on that evening the bullet was from Kennedy's back. The next morning when they learned from Dr. Perry in Dallas that they had missed a bullet hole in the front of the president's neck, now the bullet went through six inches of soft tissue, saw the starched white collar, got frightened to death and plopped into the front of his clothing. Five and a half, six months later, under the single bullet theory, the bullet have been rejuvenated, revitalized and his now made seven wounds in two men.
COOPER: Gerald, what about that?
POSNER: Yes, Anderson, you know, I like Cyril Wecht a lot. I have respect for Dr. Wecht expect, the diametric, we disagree on this. In 199 2 when I was researching my book, I sat in when he did an autopsy. I saw things that I understand then about the Kennedy case. But I have to tell you, this is like throw back Thursday for that.
What I mean is like I just took a time machine back to 1978. The clock stopped and Doctor Wecht is locked into his view of the so- called magic bullet theory, which is no longer a theory. It has been proven time and time again. And he repeats this. It's dwindling number of conspiracy theorists who still believe the magic bullet didn't happened. There is Oliver Stone, there is Dr. Wecht, there is a handful of people still say, it is not true.
But Science has passed Dr. Wecht back. The science forensics and ballistics, Anderson, has moved ahead. Look, it could have been that they could have disproven the magic bullet, in which case I would know, you would know and everyone else that there was a conspiracy in Dealey plaza. But in fact, we know one thing, you can argue about whether Oswald did it for the Cubans or Russians. I have sent a copy of my book to Secretary Kerry. I hope he will reads it. They weren't involved. But what you can't argue about any longer, if reasonable people, is that that is one bullet did inflict both those sets of wounds, that so-called single bullet happened.
COOPER: And Doctor Wecht, you're also very critical of the Warren commission, the federal investigation. What could you have done different?
WECHT: Well, yes. Let me just comment. And I reciprocate the complementary comments about Gerald Posner. He and I are friendly and I respect him. But a couple of comments, too. The bullet as recovered, Anderson, weighed 158.6 grains and restore by condition. It was 161 grains. John Connally took fragments of that bullet to his grave in his chest, in his wrist, and his thigh. And we were told yet, get all of those fragments together, weighed only 1.5 percent of the original weight of the bullet and then the nose and the cone.
The government did do an experiment many years ago and the bullets that they recovered shooting through the cadavers to simulate Connally's wrist showed that indeed bullets came back with a mushrooming effect.
The conference that we held recently in Pittsburgh, we had one of the two top surgeons at Parkland hospital who took care of President Kennedy, Doctor Robert (INAUDIBLE). Never made the national news. This gentleman speaking lucidly, coherently, calmly but firmly say the quite unequivocally standing 18 inches away from the president's gaping wound for a period of eight to 10 minutes holding a retractor. There was no question in his mind, whatsoever, that bullet had entered in the right front temp real area.
So with all due respect, Gerald, when you say it's old science and so on, that's not really the case. Forensic science does not become old if it is valid.
COOPER: All right.
WECHT: And forensic science is applicable in this case.
COOPER: Doctor Wecht, appreciate it. Gerald Posner as well. We got to leave the discussion there.
COOPER: Coming up next, inside Air Force One, cockpit audio tapes during the crisis, plus Lee Harvey Oswald's widow 50 years later.
COOPER: Welcome back. You think about the early jet age it's hard not to think about the Kennedys. There is a reason for that. They helped usher it in. Before then Air Force One was an old propeller plane. By 1963, it was a gleaming plane. Sadly on that Friday in Dallas, it was far more than just a president's plane as Martin Savidge now reports.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The peaceful transition of power for the mightiest nation on earth took place not in the White House or even in Washington, but on a plane. Windows shades drawn for fear of snipers, the air conditions off to save fuel. The scratchy audio captured on a dictation machine.
Built the year before, President Kennedy's Air Force One was the first presidential jet. Jackie Kennedy hired the designer who came up with its distinctive paint scheme still used today. That day in Dallas, as the first couple set off into the adoring crowd, the crew monitored their progress on the plane's radios. It wasn't long before they knew something was terribly wrong. The president had been shot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have report quoting Mr. Kilduff in Dallas that the president is dead.
SAVIDGE: In an instant Air Force One transformed into a command center and as far as anyone knew was the only safe place for a possibly still targeted vice president.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have any passengers on board?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Roger, 40 plus.
SAVIDGE: But to the frustration of many, Lyndon Johnson code name Volunteer refused to take off until he took the Oath of Office.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Waiting for a judge to appear for a swearing. That is for a Volunteer, is that right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we are having it here before we take off.
SAVIDGE: Meanwhile determining the president's body should not travel in the baggage compartment, the crew struggled to make space in the plane. The story of Jeff Underwood recalls what had to be done. JEFF UNDERWOOD, HISTORIAN: They pull these four seats out and took a saw and they cut off the head right across here and the line is still there.
SAVIDGE: The president's casket was rushed up the plane's stairs while people pressed into the sweltering space to bear witness.
UNDERWOOD: The photographers crammed up on the little couch right here in the corner and pushed themselves up into the corner.
SAVIDGE: Jackie Kennedy insisted on being present. The photographer careful to frame the shot to not show the blood of her husband on her clothes. Finally, it was time to go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You tell me to in regards one and two are the top people?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Roger, the president is on board. The body is on board and Mrs. Kennedy is on board.
SAVIDGE: With that Air Force One took off signalling its departure and long standing Secret Service code on this terrible day seemed so fitting, angle is airborne. Martin Savidge, CNN.
COOPER: It's incredible to hear those recordings. Coming up, whatever happened to Lee Harvey Oswald's wife? We are going to tell you about the new life that she made for herself.
Later, the fascinating story of Jackie Kennedy's pink suit and where it is now, when we continue.
COOPER: It's hard to imagine what life has been like for Lee Harvey Oswald's widow for the past 50 years. Sabrina Oswald started a new life with a new husband, but understandably, she's been somewhat reclusive as decades have gone by. Brian Todd reports now on what we know about her.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A 72-year-old retiree outside Wal-Mart in Texas. Walking past her, many of us wouldn't recognize that the grandmother with the worried look is one of the last people still alive with a deeply personal family connection to that weekend in Dallas 50 years ago. This is Marina Oswald Porter, the Russian-born widow of John F. Kennedy's assassin, a woman who now simply wants to be left alone.
KEYA MORGAN, FRIEND OF MARINA OSWALD PORTER: After 50 years of being harassed like that and having reporters show up at your home and, you know, anywhere you go and everyone is trying to only speak about one subject and one subject only. TODD: Filmmaker Keya Morgan, a friend of Marina Oswald Porter's says in recent years she's become reclusive. She lives in a house behind these trees outside Dallas. Signs clearly indicating visitors aren't welcome. She married Kenneth Porter two years after Kennedy's assassination and raised the son she had with him along with her two daughters with Lee Harvey Oswald.
PAUL GREGORY, FORMER FRIEND OF MARINA OSWALD PORTER: I understand they have grown up to be quite outstanding citizens, are holding good jobs. So I commend her and her children and her husband for what they have done.
TODD: A friend says in recent years, she turned down a network offer of $3 million for an interview, but decades ago, she did speak out revealing a change of heart about her husband, to TV station KRLD, just two months after the assassination.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you believe that your husband killed President Kennedy?
MARINA OSWALD PORTER, LEE OSWALD'S WIDOW: I don't want to believe, but I have too much thought and thought tell me he shot Kennedy.
TODD: But later she came to believe Oswald was setup as she told NBC News in 1993.
PORTER: Well, he definitely did not fire the shots, according to all the evidence that I have right now.
TODD: Why the about face? Former "Dallas Morning News" reporter, Hugh Aynesworth has known Marina for decades.
HUGH AYNESWORTH, FORMER "DALLAS MORNING NEWS" REPORTER: Manipulation might be a crude way of putting it, but she certainly changed her mind because of some of the conspiracy theories that have been given to her.
TODD: We tried several times to reach Marina Oswald Porter for an interview after going to her home and calling repeatedly, we finally got an answer on the phone and realized what others meant when they said her husband, Kenneth, is polite but fiercely protective. He told me quote, "We're not talking to the media right now, but thank you," and then he hung up. Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: Well, Priscilla Johnson McMillan is one of the few people live who met both President Kennedy and his killer. She was a researcher for JFK when she was in her 20s and later met Oswald while working as a reporter in the Soviet Union. She's the author of a book about the Oswalds called "Marina and Lee, The Tormented Love and Fatal Obsession Behind Lee Harvey Oswald's Assassination of John F. Kennedy."
Priscilla Johnson McMillan joins me now from Boston. Thanks very for being with us. So you knew President Kennedy when he was a senator. You also met Lee Harvey Oswald in the then Soviet Union when you were a reporter. What went through your mind when you realized you knew the man that killed the president?
PRISCILLA JOHNSON MCMILLAN, AUTHOR, "MARINA AND LEE": I was stunned. I had thought that he would be stuck in the Soviet Union forever. I had no idea that he had been able to return to the United States.
COOPER: What do you remember about meeting Oswald? What was he like?
MCMILLAN: Well, he was slight of build, rather polite. He had a slight southern accent. We talked a long, long time. He wanted to talk about economics. I wanted to talk to him about himself. There were certain subjects he clearly didn't want to talk about, and he was very, very angry at the American Embassy, which had stalled him when he tried to take an oath renouncing his American citizenship.
COOPER: And you first Marina Oswald, I understand, in 1964. You interviewed her for your book. Was it difficult to get her to open up to you? Was she talkative then?
MCMILLAN: No, after the assassination, I think she was very glad to have someone to talk to, perhaps comforting to talk to a woman. A woman who might be old enough to be an older sister or a mother, and we had a good time together, and -- but I had to -- I had to always work with her late in the day. She liked to start working about 5:00 p.m. She smoked one cigarette after another.
But I would say we had a pretty good time and I would go over certain incidents again and again and again with her to see, which version she had told was true because she had to speak to the FBI, the Secret Service and the Warren Commission.
COOPER: She was said to be estranged at the time of the assassination. Did she describe her marriage to him with you? Was there violence?
MCMILLAN: A great deal. We discussed her marriage a lot, but I would say estranged was a strong word. They were living apart, and the night before the assassination, he did try to get her to come back with him to Dallas. He said if she could come immediately, he would find an apartment the next day, and she wanted to get back together, but around Christmas time when they would have saved up some money.
COOPER: It's fascinating. Priscilla Johnson McMillan, appreciate you being on. Thank you.
MCMILLAN: Thank you.
COOPER: Up next, Jackie Kennedy's iconic pink suit. She refused to change out of it after the shooting even though it was stained with her husband's blood. We'll tell you where the suit is now. Why it won't be seen on public display for many, many decades.
Later, remembering the Dallas police officer who also died on this day, Officer J.D. Tippet killed in the line of duty.
COOPER: There are so many iconic images that stem from that faithful day in Dallas 50 years ago today. One is the image of Jackie Kennedy in that pink suit with the pill box hat. What happened to the suit after November 22nd, 1963 is a fascinating story, maybe one day on display for the public to see, but not any time soon. Randi Kaye explains why.
RANDI KAYE, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRSPONDENT (voice-over): In the words of President John F. Kennedy, she looked smashing in it, which is why the president asked Jackie Kennedy to wear the watermelon pink suit to Dallas on November 22, 1963. It looked like Cocoa Channel, but her suit was actually a knock off made in America. The first lady had worn it at least six times before that fateful day.
Here she is in 1962 awaiting the arrival of the prime minister of Algeria. That's John Jr. in her arms. In Dallas on November 22 at this Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce breakfast, the president even joked about his wife's fashion sense.
PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY: Nobody wonders what Lyndon and I wear.
KAYE: Later that day, President Kennedy would be dead and the first lady's stunning pink suit stained forever with her husband's blood would begin a long and mysterious journey. When aides suggested she change her clothes after the shooting, she refused. Philip Shenon wrote a book about the Kennedy assassination.
PHILIP SHENON, AUTHOR, "A CRUEL AND SHOCKING ACT": Her remark and I think she made it more than once is no, I'm going to leave these clothes on. I want them to see what they have done.
KAYE: Hours later, Mrs. Kennedy continued to wear the suit during the emergency swearing in of Lyndon Johnson as president.
SHENON: That whole scene is obviously just surreal. She arrives in the cabin in Air Force One in these clothes, covered with the president's blood, and expected to stand there and witness the swearing in of her husband's successor.
KAYE: Mrs. Kennedy was still in her suit when she arrived later that evening in Andrew's Air Force Base in Maryland where she received her husband's body, the president's brother at her side in the middle of the night. Once at the White House her personal made put the suit in a bag so Mrs. Kennedy wouldn't have to look at it.
Then, sometime in 1964, the bloodstained suit arrived here, at the National Archives Building in the nation's capitol. It comes in a box along with a handwritten note from Jackie Kennedy's mother on her personal stationary. It read simply Jackie's suit and bag worn November 22nd, 1963.
(on camera): All this time Mrs. Kennedy's pink suit is forbidden from public view and will likely stay that way for a long time. In 2003 after her mother's death, Caroline Kennedy gave the suit to the people of the United States with the understanding that it wouldn't be put on public display for 100 years, until 2103 and even then the family must be consulted before an attempt is made to display the suit, all in effort to avoid sensationalizing that horrible act.
(voice-over): And it's believed only a hand full of people, maybe only as few as two have seen the suit since. Along with the suit and hidden from view, the blue blouse Mrs. Kennedy wore in Dallas, her stockings, blue shoes and blue purse. What they don't have is the first lady's pink pill box hat.
SHENON: The hat is a mystery. The hat goes to the Secret Service initially and the Secret Service turns it over to Mrs. Kennedy's private secretary and then it disappears. It has not been seen since.
KAYE: The archive is making every effort to preserve the suit. It's stored in a windowless vault, in an acid free container where the air is changed every 20 minutes or so and kept at a temperature of 65 to 68 degrees, which is best for the fabric. The suit's story, a perfect ending for a first lady who craved privacy after so much pain. Randi Kaye, CNN, Los Angeles.
COOPER: It's remarkable to know the history of that. Let's get caught up on some other stories we're following. Susan Hendricks has the 360 Bulletin -- Susan.
SUSAN HENDRICKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, Secretary of State John Kerry, his German, French and Chinese counter parts all heading to Geneva tonight. There they will be joining negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program. A State Department spokeswoman saying Mr. Kerry decided to travel in case an agreement is reached and talks just wrapped up for the night.
Virginia State Senator Creigh Deeds is out of the hospital three days after his son stabbed him repeatedly and killed himself. On Twitter, Deeds wrote this, "I'm alive so must live. Some wounds won't heal. Your prayers and your friendship are important to me."
And with one "Hobbit" hit movie under the belt and the second under the trilogy due out next month, Hollywood is now planning a biopic about the author behind the beloved fantasy book. The film will focus on the life of J.R. Tolkin and the influences behind the "Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings." Anderson, back to you.
COOPER: Susan, thanks. Lee Harvey Oswald killed two men in Dallas 50 years ago today. Just ahead, we remember Officer J.D. Tippit killed in the line of duty that day.
COOPER: As we told you at the top of the program, the focus in Dallas was on the slain president, but there was another killing in Dallas on that day, a 39-year-old Dallas police officer named J.D. Tippit, killed by the man who shot John F. Kennedy. Officer Tippit died in the line of duty and became part of history. Tonight, we remember him in our "American Journey."
COOPER (voice-over): As the bells rang out in Dealey Plaza to commemorate John Kennedy, an 85-year-old great grandmother watched and listened and more than anyone in that audience she must have felt a double heartache. The nation lost a president, she had lost a husband.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A Dallas policeman a short while ago was shot and killed while chasing a suspect.
COOPER: Marie Tippit was at home that day. She remembered her husband coming home for a quick lunch before heading back to his patrol car. As she told NBC News it was suddenly a hectic day.
MARIE TIPPIT, J.D. TIPPIT'S WIDOW: They had called him and told him a description of the person that they was looking for.
COOPER: That person was Lee Harvey Oswald. J.D. Tippit drove to the neighborhood in Dallas. He pulled over the intersection of 10th and Paton and stopped a man walking along the street. But as Tippit got out of his patrol car, Lee Harvey Oswald fire three times from a .38- caliber revolver. He shot Tippit a fourth time as the officer lay on the ground. J.D. Tippit died instantly.
TIPPIT: I just couldn't believe it. It was unreal.
COOPER: Marie Tippit was in agony as they buried her husband. She had three children to raise and a pension of $232 a month from the Dallas police. Donations from a grateful public ultimately added to almost $650,000. Today there is a memorial plaque at the corner of 10th and Paton in honor of J.D. Tippit, but it took almost half a century to make it happen. It was dedicated only last year.
She told the "Dallas Morning News" quote, "I'm proud we have it. It will be a good thing for history to remember what happened here."
COOPER: That does it for this edition of 360. Thanks for watching. Tune in one hour from now at 10:00 p.m. Eastern for the CNN's special, "The Assassination of President Kennedy." "PIERS MORGAN LIVE" starts now.