Image by Jim Cooke

Earlier this week, the National Enquirer published a groundbreaking investigation that would prove fatal to the Ted Cruz campaign: TED CRUZ FATHER LINKED TO JFK ASSASSINATION. But is any of it true? After an exhaustive investigation of our own, Gawker has concluded that, sure, why not!

The trouble really started yesterday when Donald Trump referenced the burgeoning conspiracy theory on Fox News. During an interview, the host brought up Rafael Cruz’s supposed influence over the evangelical community. Trump, a noted lover of both Philippians, countered with his own Christian credentials (read: Jerry Falwell Jr.). And then he said this:

And you know, his father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald being... you know—shot. I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous. What is this? And nobody even brings it up. They don’t even talk about it. And that was reported, and nobody talks about it.

... I mean, what was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death? Before the shooting? It’s horrible.

The National Enquirer may have made the theory huge, but Rafael Cruz’s supposed intermingling with JFK assassin (and CIA pawn) Lee Harvey Oswald has been murmured about on the exciting parts of the internet for some time. And in classic conspiracy style, they’ve been building quite a case.

Exhibit A: Oswald was a Cuba-loving communist.

Fidel Castro never really got over the whole Bay of Pigs fiasco, nor the fact that John F. Kennedy supposedly kept trying to have him killed, and he viewed JFK as his mortal enemy because of it. And according to a made-for-(German-)tv documentary back in 2006, when the KGB discovered Lee Harvey Oswald’s anti-American inclinations, they knew exactly who to send him to. (Castro. They sent him to Castro.)

As a former Cuban agent explained on film, “You ask why we took Oswald? Oswald was a dissident: he hated his country. He possessed certain characteristics. There wasn’t anyone else. You take what you can get. . . Oswald volunteered to kill Kennedy.” In addition to being an incredibly rude thing to say, this also makes sense.

Because Oswald spent about three years living in the Soviet Union, and if he wasn’t before, he was definitely red to the bone by the time he made his way back to he U.S. He was disgruntled, arguably unhinged, and stuck in a capitalist hell—who wouldn’t want to shoot the president under those circumstances?

Exhibit B: Rafael Cruz has lied about his past before.

On the campaign trail, Ted Cruz delighted in regaling audiences with his brave, freedom-fighting father’s tale of escaping from communism into a land of liberty (Canada). Unfortunately for the Cruz clan and also people who want to believe the government’s lies, many of Papa Cruz’s stores don’t quite add up.

For instance, Rafael likes to talk about his experience fighting alongside Cuban revolutionary hero Frank País, who was killed in the battle just hours later. According to The New York Times, though, País actually died seven months later, in a different place, and not in the middle of battle.

What’s more, according to his former friends, teenage Rafael was what’s commonly known as a whiny little bitch. The Times explains that “he was a teenager who wrote on walls and marched in the streets, they said — not a rebel leader running guns or blowing up buildings.

When Rafael actually did find himself in a physical altercation with soldiers, at the age of 18, it wasn’t because he got caught trying to recruit for the revolution like he says. Nor was it because someone in his group of revolutionaries snitched on him, like he says when people point out that the first story doesn’t actually add up. Rafael Cruz did indeed get beat up, as you can see in the mugshot below.

Image: A Time for Truth

But as Mario Martínez, a confirmed member of Rafael’s Cuban cohorts, revealed to The Times, “[Martínez] believed that the cause of his old comrade’s detainment was possession of a revolver — one that Mr. Cruz had never used.”

Exhibit C: Rafael Cruz could have been in New Orleans at the same time as Lee Harvey Oswald.

While we do know that Rafael was definitely living in New Orleans by 1967, there’s no definitive record of his location in 1963—so he may very well have been living in New Orleans just months before JFK’s assassination in November of 1963. He’d graduated from the University of Texas at Austin just two years prior, though, and as the Washington Post points out, New Orleans is just a day’s drive from Austin. Also in 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald had just returned to his hometown.

Exhibit D: The Photos

Original images: Getty

The Fair Play for Cuba Committee was an American grassroots group for sympathizers of the Cuban revolution, with Oswald heading up the New Orleans branch. A branch that supposedly only consisted of two people—Oswald himself and a man named A.J. Hidell. Of course, A.J. Hidell was also probably just Lee Harvey Oswald again.

Which means, when it came time for Oswald to start handing out pamphlets in the summer of 1963, he needed to hire some people to get the word out. According to the Warren Commission report, that meant hiring two men (one of them Cuban, just like Rafael) out of the unemployment line for a bit of afternoon flyer work. One of the young men later provided testimony about his brief working relationship with Oswald, the other was never found.

Exhibit E: Rafael and Oswald ran in similar circles.

Even if they really did first meet in the unemployment line, the two men were likely quick comrades. According to noted anti-semite and gay-Obama-truther Wayne Madsen, the same building in New Orleans that acted as home base for a number of pro-Castro Cuban groups also housed a CIA surrogate.

As we all well know, the CIA orchestrated JFK’s assassination as punishment for seeking a truce with the Soviet Union. In the same way that the CIA and/or the Soviets used Oswald as a pawn in their larger plan, Rafael Cruz could have easily fallen into that same trap.

Exhibit F: Rafael may have been in Dallas the day Kennedy was shot.

According to records from, Rafael did live in Dallas briefly in 1962 before moving to New Orleans. Now, here’s a photo from Dealey Plaza on the day of JFK’s assassination.

Image: Getty

One of the young men looks alarmingly like a certain crazed former presidential candidate’s father.

Is this Rafael Cruz at the scene of the crime? It’s impossible to know for sure but—yes, probably.

Exhibit F: Rafael Cruz moved (fled?) to Canada after Kennedy’s assassination.

There are two possible timelines here.

The first: John F. Kennedy was shot on November 22, 1963. While the exact date of Rafael Cruz’s move to Canada is unknown, he’s believed to have relocated sometime between 1964 and 1965 to go work for an “oil company.” Which—yeah OK, man.

The second: Cruz was actually in New Orleans until 1967, which is when he registered for the draft. Conveniently and according to Madsen, Rafael seems to have waited to register until he turned 28, which was in fact a criminal offense. Rafael then hightailed it to Calgary with his (second) wife and gave birth to an alleged darling baby “human.”

Exhibit G: Rafael Cruz has been tied to the assassination for years.

Back in 2013, this anonymous comment was left on a blog post summarizing Oswald’s Cuban ties:

Yep, checks out.

Exhibit H: Cruz admitted it.

[There was a video here]

At a press conference on Monday, alleged human man Ted Cruz went so far as to blatantly admit that, yes, his father killed JFK. Which is perhaps the first honest thing Ted has in years.

Exhibit I: You can’t tell me it’s not him.

As Jeff Morley so eloquently put it:

...While there is no reason to think that the man in the picture is Rafael Cruz, the theoretical possibility cannot be eliminated, thanks to the government’s failure to thoroughly investigate JFK’s assassination. Once again the malfeasance (or incompetence) of the CIA and FBI has empowered a conspiracy theorist whose speculations serve to obscure, not clarify, the historical record.

Except that there is every reason to believe that Ted Cruz’s father played a hand in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. And thanks to the massive gaps in our institutional knowledge (and barring some groundbreaking discovery), you can’t definitively tell me otherwise.

In which case: For shame, Rafael. For shame.