'Assassination Theater' Comes to Chicago - NBC Chicago

'Assassination Theater' Comes to Chicago

A new play opening in Chicago this week claims the Chicago mob was behind the assassination of the president on Nov. 22, 1963

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    'Assassination Theater' Comes to Chicago

    A new play opening in Chicago this week claims the Chicago mob was behind the assassination of the president on Nov. 22, 1963. (Published Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015)

    Who killed President John F. Kennedy?

    A new play opening in Chicago this week claims the Chicago mob was behind the assassination of the president on Nov. 22, 1963.

    “Assassination Theater” begins previews on the Aug. 11 with opening night slated for the Aug. 18 at the Museum for Broadcast Communications in River North.

    Writer and journalist Hillel Levin and former FBI agent Zack Shelton say the evidence leaves little doubt about the assassination of Kennedy in Dallas nearly 52 years ago. When asked who fired the fatal shot, Levin says, “organized crime.”

    “The planning and execution of the assassination was primarily the Chicago mob with help from other mob organizations such as Tampa and New Orleans,” claims Zack Shelton who investigated the Chicago Outfit as an FBI agent.

    Lee Harvey Oswald, named by the government as the lone gunman, was but a pawn, they say, in an intricate outfit scheme.

    The key Chicago players, they claim, included the late mob boss Tony “Big Tuna” Accardo.

    “Without Tony Accardo I don’t believe it would have happened,” says Levin.

    Other key players, they say, included Sam “Momo” Giancana, hit men Charles Nicoletti and Johnny Roselli, and mob associate James Files, a class X felon serving a 30-year sentence for attempted murder, who Shelton says once told him, “If the American people really knew what happened they wouldn’t be able to handle it.”

    It was Files—and not Oswald—who fired the fatal shot, they proclaim in the play based on official documents and their research.

    “The instructions given to Files were don’t shoot unless we miss. And do not harm the First Lady,” Shelton says adding, “he took the shot basically from the grassy knoll that killed the president.”

    A 2013 Gallup poll found 61% of Americans believe there was a conspiracy to kill Kennedy. The shot, the alleged conspiracy and the cover-up are all part of the production.

    “This is like a jigsaw puzzle you know you dump all the pieces out on this table and one piece doesn’t mean anything but,” Shelton said, “all of a sudden you start to see a picture, going oh my god.”

    The motivation Levin argues was money. “Bobby Kennedy waged the most concerted war against organized crime of any attorney general.”

    And the Attorney General’s office was targeting the mobs intention of taking over Las Vegas in the 1960s. “They had fallen on this gold mine in Las Vegas. They could see the potential of it in the early 60’s and he was going to take that away from them.”

    According to Levin and Shelton, on the day of the assassination among those in Dallas were Nicoletti and Roselli.

    In the mid-1970’s they, along with Giancana, were all murdered, gangland style, after being subpoenaed to testify before the House Select Committee on Assassinations. Their murders, Shelton says, were to shut them up.

    The play is for conspiracy believers, says Levin and for skeptics that the Outfit played a roll in killing a president.

    “Don’t take our word for it. Among the things we do,” he says, ”is show you all these documents” so the audience can make its own decision.

    But Sheldon adds, “That there was a conspiracy and that there was a cover-up, because there is no doubt there was.

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