WASHINGTON — John Judge, an independent researcher who tirelessly amassed and disseminated evidence supporting alternative explanations – some called them conspiracy theories – for President Kennedy’s assassination, the 9/11 terrorist attacks and other historic events, died April 15 at a nursing facility in Washington. He was 66.

Through years of investigation and activism, Judge developed a devoted following in the community of skeptics who question official or commonly accepted narratives of the past. He co-founded and directed the Coalition on Political Assassinations, an organization whose activities include investigating the deaths in the 1960s of John F. Kennedy, his brother Robert Kennedy, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and black nationalist leader Malcolm X.


He turned his Washington home into a repository of thousands of volumes and documents on political assassinations and other matters, supporting himself over the decades through odd jobs and fundraising work. He was once described as a “professional conspiracist,” but he considered himself an “alternate historian,” according to his website, judgeforyourself.org.

“I tell people you can call me a conspiracy theorist if you call everyone else a coincidence theorist,” Judge quipped to the publication National Journal.

His most noted work involved President Kennedy’s death in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. Like legions of others doubters labeled conspiracy theorists, Judge rejected the Warren Commission’s finding that Lee Harvey Oswald had been the lone gunman.

Judge’s working theory, he told interviewers, was that the assassination had been organized by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “I don’t think this is an insoluble parlor mystery,” he once told the Dallas Morning News. “I don’t think we are just flailing in the dark.”

Judge helped organize in Dallas annual commemorations of Kennedy’s death. He and others gathered on the grassy knoll, the spot where another gunman was stationed, according to some theories,. Those memorials became the subject of controversy last year, when Dallas marked the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s death.

After contentious discussions with event organizers, the Coalition on Political Assassinations agreed to hold its ceremony in a parking lot several blocks away from the usual spot, which was restricted to ticket-holding participants.


In his work regarding more recent history, Judge co-founded the 9/11 Citizens Watch to monitor the operations of the official 9/11 Commission, the independent and bipartisan body created by congressional legislation to prepare a full account of the attacks.

At the time of his death, Judge was working toward the establishment in Washington of the Museum of Hidden History, which would include an archive and library.

“It erodes the rational approach when you talk of conspiracies involving a small cabal in a board room controlling world history,” Judge once said. “But it’s a common human trait to want an explanation for all the unexplained things that are happening – some kind of grand unified theory.”