About the 22nd Annual Symposium

Three score since the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, what could possibly remain to be learned about his death? Quite a lot, as it turns out.

Even as the U.S. government continues to withhold files scheduled for release in 2017 and the mainstream media persists in disparaging those pursuing an answer to this mystery as “conspiracy theorists,” independent investigators around the world – including scientists, physicians, attorneys, educators and journalists – are advancing lines of research ranging from criminalistic analysis of events in Dealey Plaza to Oswald’s and Ruby’s connections to shortcomings of prior official investigations, and beyond. 

Now, in keeping with a tradition initiated on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the assassination in 2003 and perpetuated on the 50th anniversary in 2013, the Cyril H. Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law, in partnership with Citizens Against Political Assassinations, is pleased to announce its plans to host a three-day, hybrid academic conference to coincide with the case’s 60th anniversary this November 15-17.

The JFK Assassination at 60:  New Frontiers in Scientific, Medical, Legal and Historical Research will convene experts from a variety of fields, along with lay researchers, to help us advance and clarify our collective understanding not only of how JFK died, but why, as well as why it still matters today.

Whether you’re a professional interested in earning continuing education credits, an educator or student of any number of associated disciplines, or simply an armchair sleuth with a fascination in the subject matter, we hope you’ll consider joining us. Revisit our previous JFK conferences.

Register Now

Expanding Horizons For Learning

Program Agenda

Prepare to immerse yourself in captivating presentations, thought-provoking discussions, and the opportunity to connect with experts and fellow enthusiasts alike. The Annual Symposium promises a dynamic and comprehensive experience that paves the way for new perspectives, lasting connections, and the exchange of knowledge that will shape the future.All presentations are scheduled to take place in the Duquesne Union Ballroom, unless otherwise noted.

Wednesday, November 15 

  • 5:30 p.m. Reception
  • 7:00 p.m. Welcome and Introductions: Benjamin E. Wecht, M.A.
  • 7:10 p.m. Opening Remarks: Cyril H. Wecht, M.D., J.D.
  • 7:20 p.m. Keynote Introduction: Ken Gormley, J.D.
  • 7:30 p.m. Keynote Address: 'Why JFK's Camelot Endures – and Why It Still Matters', Barbara Perry, Ph.D.
  • 8:30 p.m. 'Why JFK's Assassination Will Not Go Away', Alec Baldwin
  • 9:00 p.m. Adjourn

Thursday, November 16 - Criminalistics, Forensic Science and Medicine

  • 8:30 a.m. Welcome and Introductions: Benjamin E. Wecht, M.A., Pamela Marshall, Ph.D.
  • 8:45 a.m. 'Converging Lines of Evidence in the Case for Two Headshots', Gary Aguilar, M.D., Josiah Thompson, Ph.D., Doug DeSalles, M.D., Bill Simpich, Esq.
  • 10:00 a.m. 'The Final Witness: A Kennedy Secret Service Breaks His Silence After Sixty Years', Paul Landis (USSS Ret.); James Robenalt, Esq.
  • 10:45 a.m. Break
  • 11:00 a.m. 'Forensic Reactions to an Historical Revelation', P. Landis, C. Wecht, Ken Gormley, J.D.
  • 11:30 a.m. 'Two Brain Exams Following JFK’s Autopsy', Douglas Horne (USN Ret.)
  • Concurrent Session (AR) 'Forensic Modeling of Human Reactions and a JFK Assassination Timeline', Brian Roselle, M.S.
  • 12:30 p.m. Lunch
  • 1:45 p.m. 'Gauging the Authenticity of the General Walker Bullet', Lawrence Schnapf, Esq.
  • Concurrent Session (AR) 'An Audio Forensic Analysis of the JFK Assassination', Donald Maue
  • 2:45 p.m. 'As Easy as 1-2-3-4-5: Understanding the JFK Assassination', David Mantik, MD, PhD        
  • Concurrent Session (613) 'The Oswald Letter: An Analysis of Dyslexia and How It Changes our Understanding of the Assassination', Jerry Kroth, Ph.D.
  • 3:45 p.m. Break
  • 4:00 p.m. 'Unmasking the Rockefeller Committee Medical Panel', Russell Kent
  • 5:00 p.m. Adjournment

Friday, November 17 - History, Politics and the Future

  • 8:45 a.m. Welcome and Introductions: Benjamin E. Wecht, M.A., Pamela Marshall, Ph.D.
  • 9:00 a.m. The Assassination of President Kennedy: Understanding the Cold War Context, John Newman, Ph.D.
  • 10:00 a.m. The CIA and JFK: What 30 Years of Reporting Tell Me, Jefferson Morley  

  • Concurrent Session (AR) Carousel Contortionista: Jack Ruby, His Strippers, and their Moving Horses, Mark de Valk, Ph.D., M.A.
  • 11:00 a.m. Break
  • 11:15 a.m. 'New Findings About TSBD Building Owner David Harold Byrd', Daniel Alcorn, Esq.
  • Concurrent Session (AR) Edgar Hoover and Lyndon Johnson and how they Obstructed Justice, R. Andrew Kiel
  • 12:15 p.m. Lunch
  • 12:45 p.m.  'Who Killed JFK?' A Q&A Session, Rob Reiner (by Zoom)
  • 1:30 p.m. 'The Death of JFK and the Rise of the Neocons in U.S. Foreign Policy', James DiEugenio, M.A.
  • Concurrent Session 1 (AR) An Inside Perspective on the Relationship between Lee Oswald and the Paines, Robert Manz, M.A.
  • Concurrent Session 2 (613) Lee Oswald: The Patchwork Kid, Greg R. Parker (Pre-recorded by Zoom)
  • 2:30 p.m. 'Lessons from the Assassination Records Review Board: The Value of Investigative Research with Respect to National Security', David Montague, Ph.D.
  • Concurrent Session (AR) 'Our Method of Teaching the Assassination: Inspiring the Next Generation of Researchers', Ronald Burda, J.D. and Michael Vollbach, MA, MS
  • 3:00 p.m. Break
  • 3:45 p.m. 'Why Our Side is Losing the Media War', David Talbot (by Zoom)
  • 4:45 p.m. 'Closing Remarks', Ellen Gawalt, Ph.D.
  • 5:00 p.m. Adjournment

About This Year's Faculty

The following experts and researchers will contribute to advancing and enhancing our shared knowledge, shedding light not only on the circumstances surrounding JFK's death but also on its significance and relevance in the present day.

Ken Gormley, Duquesne University President and Professor of Law

Gary Aguilar, M.D., Assistant Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology, Stanford University; Independent Researcher

Daniel Alcorn, Esq., Private Attorney, Independent Researcher and President, Assassination Archives and Research Center

Alec Baldwin, Actor, Producer and Independent Researcher

Ronald Burda, J.D., Professor, Oakland Community College (Royal Oak, MI)

Doug DeSalles, M.D., Physician and Independent Researcher

Mark de Valk, Ph.D., M.A., Independent Researcher, Filmmaker and Former Professor of Film Production

James DiEugenio, M.A., Author, JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass and Destiny Betrayed; co-editor, The Assassinations

Douglas Horne (USN Ret.), Former Chief Analyst for Military Records, Assassination Records Review Board; U.S. Navy Officer (Ret.)

Russell Kent, Independent Researcher and Author, JFK Medical Betrayal: Where the Evidence Lies

Andrew Kiel, Secondary Educator and Author, J. Edgar Hoover: The Father of the Cold War

Jerry Kroth, Ph.D., Associate Professor Emeritus, Santa Clara University

Paul Landis (USSS Ret.), Author, The Final Witness: A Kennedy Secret Service Agent Breaks His Silence After Sixty Years

David Mantik, M.D., Ph.D., Radiation Oncologist and Former Physicist; Author, The JFK Assassination Decoded

Robert Manz, M.A., Photographer, Screenwriter and Former Corresponding Associate, Office of Naval Research

Donald Maue, Director, Center for Emerging and Innovative Media and Adjunct Professor of Media, Duquesne University; Documentary Filmmaker and Music Producer

David Montague, Ph.D., Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Student Success and Professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology, University of Arkansas at Little Rock; Former Senior Investigator, JFK Assassination Records Review Board

John Newman, Ph.D. (USA Ret.), Author, Uncovering Popov’s Mole; Professor, James Madison University; Former Military Intelligence Officer

Greg Parker, Independent Researcher and Author, Lee Harvey Oswald’s Cold War (Vols. 1-2)

Barbara Perry, Ph.D., Gerald L. Bailes Professor and Director of Presidential Studies, University of Virginia; Author

Rob Reiner, Actor and Filmmaker

James Robenalt, Esq., Attorney, Presidential Historian and Author

Brian Roselle, M.S., Independent Researcher and Former Principal Scientist/Engineer, R&D, Procter & Gamble Co.

Lawrence Schnapf, Esq., Private Attorney and Professor, New York Law School

William Simpich, Esq., Private Attorney and Civil Rights Practitioner

David Talbot, Author, The Devil’s Chessboard and Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years

Robert Tanenbaum, Esq., Former Deputy Chief Counsel, House Select Committee on Assassinations; Author, Corruption of Blood

Josiah Thompson, Ph.D., Author, Last Second in Dallas and Six Seconds in Dallas; Former Private Investigator

Michael Vollbach, M.A., M.S., Professor, Oakland Community College (Royal Oak, MI)

Cyril H. Wecht, M.D., J.D., Forensic Pathology Consultant, Independent Researcher and Co-Author, The JFK Assassination Dissected

Continuing Education Opportunities

At the Institute, we are dedicated to enhancing your learning experience by providing a wide range of continuing education opportunities that align with our programming.

As an Accredited Provider of Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education, we are excited to offer you the chance to earn up to 12 hours of Substantive CLE credit through this conference.

Physicians may self-report participation in this activity for AMA PRA Category 2 Credit™ that may be used for Pennsylvania re-licensure and other purposes. Further information may be found at The Physician's Recognition Award and credit system 2017 revision | AMA (ama-assn.org).

Furthermore, we are actively seeking approvals for PA Coroners Education Board: Coroners Education credit.

Please stay updated by checking this space regularly for more information on approved accreditations and the number of credit hours available.

Travel & Accomodations

For those planning to attend the symposium in Pittsburgh, we have arranged exclusive accommodations at two conveniently located hotels near the Duquesne University campus: Cambria Suites and DoubleTree. 

DoubleTree Hotel

Cambria Suites

Find your way around campus by utilizing the interactive campus map below. The symposium is located at the Duquesne Union.

DU Campus Map



Sponsorship Opportunities

To help support its program development and hospitality, the Institute welcomes sponsors for this event at a variety of levels, with corresponding levels benefit. To learn more about these opportunities and how to become a 22nd Annual Symposium Sponsor, please see the sponsorship application form.
  • An opportunity to address guests at the Symposium
  • Access to the pre-reception for up to five (5) of your company representatives
  • Verbal recognition during program remarks
  • Company logo displayed on printed signage and on electronic screens at the event*
  • Company logo with link featured on webpage*
  • Listing in symposium program
  • Access to the pre-reception for up to three (3) of your company representatives
  • Verbal recognition during program remarks
  • Company logo displayed on printed signage and on electronic screens at the event*
  • Company logo with link featured on webpage*
  • Listing in symposium program
  • Access to the pre-reception for one (1) of your company representatives
  • Verbal recognition during program remarks
  • Company logo displayed on printed signage and on electronic screens at the event*
  • Listing in symposium program

Current Sponsors: 

  • School of Science and Engineering, Duquesne University
  • McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts, Duquesne University
  • Assassination Archives and Research Center
  • Company logo displayed on printed signage and on electronic screens at the event*
  • Listing in symposium program

Current Sponsors:

  • Department of History, Duquesne University
  • Listing in symposium program

Questions? Contact Us!

Benjamin Wecht M.A.

Program Administrator

Cyril Wecht Institute

A picture of Ben Wecht