THE US government has finally declassified thousands of classified documents on the infamous assassination of President John F Kennedy 54 years ago.
Although three of the files have been temporarily withheld at the request of security officials, some 2,891 previously top secret files are now open to public scrutiny.
The Irish-American President’s assassination in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963 has spawned thousands of conspiracy theories in the intervening decades.
Lee Harvey Oswald was charged with the President’s murder but his televised death in police custody, by nightclub owner Jack Ruby, sparked decades of speculation that something even more sinister may have been at play.
It is likely to take journalists and JFK experts weeks, if not months, to comb through the trove of new information in its entirety.
Nonetheless, here are five of the biggest bombshells so far...
1. Russia 'had information' that the Vice President was behind the assassination
The KGB had “data” suggesting Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson was behind the assassination, according to a top secret memo sent to the White House by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.
The 1966 FBI note quoted a spy in Russia who reported that Moscow believed JFK’s killing was right-wing conspiracy lead by Johnson as part of an "ultraright coup”.
The memo says: “They seemed convinced that the assassination was not the deed of one man, but it arose out of a carefully planned campaign in which several people played a part.”
2. Lee Harvey Oswald was heard speaking “broken Russian”
Two months before JFK’s death, chief suspect Lee Harvey Oswald was heard overheard speaking to a KGB spy in “broken Russian”.
One file says: “According to an intercepted phone call in Mexico City, Lee Oswald was at the Soviet Embassy there on 28 September 1963 and spoke with the Consul, Valeriy Vladimirovich Kostikov.
“This was learned when Oswald called the Soviet Embassy on 1 October, identifying himself by name and speaking broken Russian, stating the above and asking the guard who answered the phone whether there was ‘anything new concerning the telegram to Washington’.”
3. A chilling ‘tip-off’ from Britain that very day
Another FBI memo reveals that a senior reporter at the Cambridge News received an anonymous phone call saying: “Call the American Embassy in London for some big news”.
According to MI5, the call was made just 25 minutes before Kennedy was shot dead.
The memo described the Cambridge News reporter as “a sound and loyal person with no security record.”
4. Dallas cop was the 'real shooter’
One previously top secret document suggests that Dallas Police Department officer J D Tippit – who Oswald was also charged with killing that day – was JFK’s real murderer.
The information came from an alleged conversation between an informant and H Theodore Lee, the Principal of Notre Dame University.
The informant was also told that Lee Harvey Oswald met with Officer Tippit just one week before the assassination at a Dallas nightclub – owned by none other than Oswald’s eventual killer, Jack Ruby.
5. The FBI warned about Oswald just a month prior
According to a document dated 25/10/1963 – just less than a month before the assassination – Oswald was placed on the FBI’s radar.
An FBI agent said in the FBI memo: “Will maintain contact with Cuban sources for any indication of additional activity on the part of subject organisation (Fair Play for Cuba Committee) which appears to have become inactive since the departure from New Orleans of Lee Harvey Oswald.”
Ominously, the memo added: “If Oswald has relocated in the Dallas territory it is possible he may inaugurate a FPCC branch in that area.”