On the 22nd November 1963, President John F Kennedy was shot and killed in the city of Dallas, Texas USA. As a direct result it is now well established and accepted that US Presidents are protected by elaborate security measures that have come about as a result of historical threat and in particular, that assassination of JFK in 1963.

In the UK our Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers are certainly protected but perhaps not to the same extent. Outside of this, Members of Parliament are not offered extensive personal security. The British MP, Sir David Amess, 68, was murdered by an Islamic insurgent, Ali Harbi Ali, 25, on the 15th October 2021. Sir David was stabbed to death at his constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, UK. Ali received a whole life tariff in April 2022. He is also accused of planning other attacks on other MP’s. Ali Harbi is a UK born British citizen of Somali descent.

The MP Jo Cox was also murdered whilst attending a constitutional surgery in Birstall, West Yorkshire on the 16th June 2016. She was shot and stabbed by a right wing extremist, Thomas Mair, 53, who is serving a whole life prison sentence and will never be released.

Such attacks in the UK are not as frequent as in other parts of the world but nevertheless it is a worrying trend and it questions our security protocols. The difficulty of obtaining firearms in the UK forces perpetrators to use other means. If firearms were more freely available in the UK perhaps we would see and suffer the use of them in more frequent attempts.

If we use the USA as an example and study the history of violent and murderous assaults on US Presidents it reveals interesting trends.

The inauguration of Joseph Biden, the 46th President of the United States took place on the 20th of January 2021 under the umbrella of the greatest internal security deployment ever know at such an occasion in the United States. Despite the complications and threat of the Coronavirus pandemic the security steps were taken as a result of the Republican anarchist assault on Capitol Hill on the 6th January 2021. This resulted in the deaths of four insurrectionists and one police officer. A further four police officers, traumatised by their experiences during this violent assault have since taken their own lives.

American politics has always been blighted with assassinations and attempts. Whilst other countries around the world have lost leaders, heads of state, dictators, and politicians, such practises in the USA have attracted wide interest. Whilst the methods of assassination are many and varied, by far the majority around the world and certainly in the United States have been prosecuted with firearms.

History forewarns us that President Biden is likely to be threatened and attacked during his term in office. Whilst the complex security that looks after him and his family will always study and monitor all potential threats, the past suggests that it will probably be an extreme social outcast with a gun.


On the 22nd of November 1963 President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was shot and killed in Dallas Texas. John Connally, the Governor of Texas was seriously wounded. This assassination formed the foundation of what we know now as the ‘Conspiracy Theory’. The officially sanctioned Warren Commission concluded ten months later that the President was shot and killed by a lone gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald. The divided political atmosphere in the USA at the time; equal rights, racism, the cold war, Vietnam and organised crime began to seep into the minds of ‘free-thinkers’ who began to speculate. Sixty years later, highly respected and award winning authors and film producers have become convincing architects, convincing us that JFK was assassinated as a result of a quasi-official, complex, and highly planned operation. Even now and despite no evidence, 60% of Americans still believe it. Today, 25% of Americans still believe 9/11 was an internal operation.

The assassination of JFK however curiously stands alone amongst this trend of suspicion. His killer was a spurned, self-absorbed outlier who also killed a Dallas police officer, JD Tippet, in his futile and disorganised attempt to escape. Whilst in police custody but before Oswald could be tried, he was shot and killed in bizarre circumstances by Jack Ruby, a night club owner who simply admired JFK and was so distressed by his murder. The Dallas police were very aware of the threat to Oswald, there were a lot of citizens who would have taken any opportunity to murder him. They took precautions in preparation for a jail transfer from the Dallas Police HQ to the City Jail. Ruby, well known to the Dallas Police managed to get into the Police HQ via the basement entrance from where Oswald was going to be taken away from in an armoured vehicle. This location was already full of press staff anyway so Ruby’s presence was of no concern. The stage was now set. With Oswald dead it opened up an opportunity to create and write a made up history that didn’t occur.

The celebrated American author Jim Marrs concluded that 103 people apparently died in mysterious circumstances between 1963 and 1976 as a result of the JFK assassination. Their deaths, according to Marrs were orchestrated to maintain the cover on the CIA, FBI, Mafia operation to kill Kennedy. These witnesses, JFK associates, confidants and investigators apparently meet untimely and uncanny ends because they, ‘knew something’.

Peter Janney, a respected American writer concluded for instance that Mary Pinchot Meyer, a Washington socialite who had an intimate relationship with JFK and had indeed known him since their college days was one of those taken out by a CIA operation, ‘because she knew too much’. She was not, he insists just brutally assaulted and shot dead by a random perpetrator in broad daylight on a canal towpath in Georgetown, Washington in 1964. Her murderer, Ray Crump was caught, arrested and tried but eventually acquitted through lack of evidence. He continued with a life of violent crime. Janney prefers the ‘Oliver Stone Solution’. Oliver Stone produced and directed the 1991 film ‘JFK’, which embraced JFK conspiracy views and theories. The movie was indeed a huge success and very influential.

Peter Janney has much respect for other conspiracy writers like Mark Lane, Jim Marrs, Anthony Summers, and William F. Pepper. The JFK assassination in 1963 helped to manufacture and propel other conspiracy theory plots into the limelight in the following years. The 1969 moon landing and 9/11 being two notable examples. Conspiracy is an industry and worth a lot of money to some who successfully perpetrate and pedal it.

JFK’s brother, Senator Robert Kennedy was shot and killed during a political rally in Los Angeles after winning the California Primary in June 1968. His killer, a 24 year old Palestinian extremist, Sirhan Sirhan was waiting for an opportunity as he hid among the throng of people close to Kennedy. The messy and indiscriminate attack also wounded a number of people close by. Despite the crude nature of this onslaught the Kennedy conspiracy mystic was once again welded into the imagination of millions of Americans. It was hot 1960’s gossip and there are those that still believe Sirhan Sirhan was set up, even brainwashed to perform the act despite the fact he admitted what he did.

This trendy train of thought extended to the assassination of Martin Luther King in Memphis in April 1968. King was shot and killed by another misfit, a convicted criminal, James Earl Ray who was eventually caught. He actually escaped from prison, fled to Canada, and managed to get to Europe. He was caught again at Heathrow Airport in the UK. He was defended by the American lawyer, William F. Pepper who is not only convinced Ray was innocent and set up, but that King was executed by a joint CIA, FBI, Military and Memphis Police operation. Pepper also believes Sirhan Sirhan is innocent and he is currently active in the 9/11 Truth Movement. This is a lawyer….?


Interestingly and without exception, all the assassinated US Presidents prior to JFK were slain by lone insurrectionists with absolutely no association with internal agencies or organisations. Attempts to murder US Presidents since JFK have however failed but the perpetrators are always the same type of lame, lone wolf, witless individuals. Unlike Oswald they survived long enough to be duly processed and identified. Let’s go back in history. Conspiracy advocates don’t like this bit…….


On the 30th of January 1835, a house painter by the name of Richard Lawrence attempted to shoot President Andrew Jackson outside the Capitol Building in Washington. He discharged two single shot percussion pistols at Jackson; the percussion caps fired but probably due to dampness and blocked cone vents the main charges in the weapon failed.

Lawrence admitted he didn’t clear the vents with a priming wire as a precaution. Lawrence was deemed to be insane. He believed he was the 15th Century English regent, King Richard III and he was entitled to payments from the American colonies. He died in a mental institution in 1861.


President Abraham Lincoln was the first US President to be actually assassinated. He was shot in the Ford Theatre in Washington on the 14th of April 1865, less than a month before the end of the American Civil War. His killer was John Wilkes Booth who used a single shot .41 Deringer pistol. This narcissistic stage actor was a Confederate sympathiser who was nothing more than a legend in his own mind. He was witnessed in the act and he wounded an Army officer who tried to apprehend him. Lincoln’s security was poor and rudimentary. Booth’s fellow conspirators all failed to kill their assigned targets, (this was a true conspiracy), and were all quickly caught and later executed. Booth was hunted down by the Union Army and shot dead on the 26th April while hiding in a tobacco barn in Virginia. It is interesting to consider that the operation to find and apprehend these killers was swift and successfull and all before the days of instant communication.


President James A. Garfield was shot at a Washington railway station by Charles J. Guiteau on the 2nd of July 1881. Garfield was just four months into his term and had no security surrounding him. He succumbed to his wounds on the 19th of September 1881. Charles Guiteau was an unsuccessful writer and a lawyer. Believing he played a role in Garfield’s success the new administration rejected his applications to serve the US Government in Vienna or Paris. Hugely disappointed he then considered he was divinely inspired to kill Garfield. Described as suffering from grandiose narcissism he was a morbid egotist. He was hanged for his crime five months later. He shook the hand of his executioner.


President William McKinley was shot and fatally wounded on the 6th September 1901 by Leon Czolgosz, a Polish-American unemployed self styed anarchist. Inside the Temple of Music in Buffalo, New York, Czolgosz managed to get into a line up and as the President went to shake his hand, he shot him. McKinley died eight days later. Czolgosz was executed by electric chair. This prompted the formation of the Secret Service with the responsibility to protect subsequent Presidents.


On an occasion during his Presidency between 1901 and 1909 an unknown man in a top hat approached security staff at the White House and informed them he had come for a meeting with President Roosevelt. He was shown into the Red Room. Soon after the President met him he called for his security demanding, “Get this crank out of here”. The stranger was then searched and found to be carrying a handgun.

On the 14th of October 1912, former President, Theodore Roosevelt was running again for Presidential election. Campaigning in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he was shot in the chest by John Schrank, a saloon keeper from New York. He had been stalking Roosevelt for weeks. Roosevelt survived. He was saved by a thick folded document and a metal spectacle case in a breast pocket although the .38 revolver bullet lodged in a chest wall muscle. Schrank was diagnosed as insane and remained in an institution until his death in 1943.


On the 15th February 1933 in Miami, Florida just 17 days before Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Presidential inauguration Giuseppe Zangara an Italian bricklayer, who opposed capitalism stood on a stool amongst a crowd and fired five indiscriminate and badly aimed shots towards Roosevelt. Five people were wounded. The mayor of Chicago, Anton Cermak was killed. Zangara pleaded guilty and was executed by electric chair on the 20th of March 1933.


On the 1st of November 1950 two Puerto Rican pro-independence activists, Oscar Collazo and Griselio Torresola attempted to kill President Harry H. Truman. The President was occupying Blair House in Washington while the White House was undergoing renovations. In this gun attack Torresola wounded a White House Police Officer, Joseph Downs. He then fatally wounded another Police Officer, Leslie Coffelt but not before Coffelt managed to shoot and kill Torresola. The President was unharmed. Oscar Collazo wounded another Police Officer. Truman commuted Collazo’s death sentence to life imprisonment.


On the 1st of March 1972, an unemployed janitor, Arthur Bremer began his ‘Assassins Diary’, declaring he intention to assassinate either President Richard Nixon or Senator George Wallace. This was not for political reasons but a crude desire for infamy. In March and early April 1972, he attended three Wallace political rally’s, but his preferred target was Nixon. On two occasions in April and May he attended functions where Nixon was present.

Despite being armed he found it impossible to get near enough to the President, so he gave up. On the 15th of May 1972 at a rally in Laurel, Maryland Bremer pushed through the crowd and shot Wallace four times in the abdomen and chest, crippling him for the rest of his life. He also wounded a Police Officer, a campaign volunteer, and a Secret Service agent. Bremer served 35 years in prison and was released in November 2007


On the morning of the 5th of September 1975 Lynnette Fromme a 26-year-old follower and ex lover of the murderer Charles Manson went to Capitol Park in Sacramento on the pretence to plead with President Gerald Ford about the plight of California’s redwoods. She knew he was going to be there. She managed to approach Ford and pulled a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol from a concealed leg holster, pointing it at him.

She was immediately apprehended and disarmed by a Secret Service agent. The weapon was loaded but there was no round in the chamber. Witnesses stated they heard a click which suggested the hammer was cocked and she pulled the trigger. The weapon magazine was loaded with four rounds in the magazine but there was no round in the chamber suggesting she had failed to operate the slide. She was imprisoned for 34 years and paroled in 2009.

Just 17 days later, on the 22nd of September 1975, Sara Jane Moore, 45, a woman known to the authorities to favour revolutionary politics and tried to assassinate President Ford. This attempt took place outside the St Francis Hotel in San Francisco. The police had confiscated her .44 revolver in an ownership and possession technicality, so she hastily purchased a .38 revolver that very morning from a pawn shop. As Ford appeared just 12 metres distance away, she fired at him from across the street. She missed, having not fired the weapon before to determine the sight/impact adjustment. She went to fire again but was grabbed by a former US Marine, Oliver Sipple. The gun discharged and the bullet ricocheted and hit a taxi driver who was slightly wounded. Moore was sentenced to 32 years in prison and she was paroled in 2007.

On the 27th July 1976 Chester Plummer climbed a White House fence armed with a section of pipe. He was ordered to stop by Secret Service agents but he ignored their demands. Plummer was shot and later died in hospital.


On the 5th of May 1979, Raymond Lee Harvey an unemployed drifter was noticed and seized by Secret Service agents just minutes before President Carter made a speech at the Civic Centre Mall in Los Angeles. Harvey was carrying a blank firing pistol and ammunition. He told police later that he was a part of a four-man team planning to assassinate the President. No charges were brought due to no evidence.


On the 30th March 1981 President Ronald Reagan was returning to his limousine after speaking at the Washington Hilton Hotel. John Hinckley a 20-year-old university drop out and failed song writer came from the waiting crowd anticipating Reagan’s appearance. He fired a volley of shots towards the President and his surrounding aides and security as he climbed into his car. Reagan was seriously wounded as was his Press Secretary, a Police Officer, and a Secret Service agent. Hinckley was apprehended and arrested and claimed he wanted to kill the President to impress the actress, Jodie Foster who he had been stalking. He was deemed mentally ill and confined to an institution. Interestingly it was discovered that Hinckley had come close to shooting President Jimmy Carter during his re-election campaign but apparently lost his nerve. James Brady, Reagan’s Press Secretary was permanently disabled as a result of the shooting and died from his injuries in 2014.

John Hinckley was unconditionally released in 2020 and he has a Utube channel for his music.

On the 3rd March 1984 David Mahonski was seen on the front of the White House south grounds. The security teams knew Mahonski, he had attempted previous incursions and had made threats. On this occasion he pulled a sawn-off shotgun from under his coat and an agent shot and wounded him after which he was disarmed, arrested and treated.


On the 21st of January 1994 Ronald Gene Barbour, a retired military officer plotted to shoot President Bill Clinton whilst he was out jogging, (something he was well known for but always accompanied by Secret Service agents). Barbour returned to Florida from Washington when he discovered Clinton was a on a State visit to Russia. His plot was discovered however, and Barbour was sentenced to five years in jail.

On the 29th of October 1994 Francisco Martin Duran fired 29 rounds from a 7.62 mm assault rifle at Secret Service staff in dark suits on the North Lawn of the White House. He discharged the weapon from a position near the fence. The President was not amongst the men who were fired at but he was inside the complex. Duran was immediately tackled by three tourists. He had a suicide note in his pocket. He was later sentenced to 40 years in prison.

On the 24th May 1995 Leland William Modjeski, dressed in a suit, scaled a White House security fence. He was shot and wounded by security staff and found to be carrying an unloaded .38 revolver. He was later discovered to be suffering from serious psychiatric problems.


On the 8th February 2001 Robert W. Pickett fired shots from a position outside a White House security fence. He was shot in the knee by security staff. Pickett was an accountant who had been fired by the IRS thirteen years before. He was found to be carrying a suicide note.

On the 10th May 2005 President George W. Bush was on an official visit to Tbilisi, Georgia. Whilst sat on a podium with the Georgian President and their wives, an Armenian radical, Vladamir Arutyunian, threw a grenade towards them. The pin had been withdrawn but the explosive was tightly bound by a handkerchief which held the striker lever in place and the device failed to detonate. Arutyunian escaped but was found at his home on the 20th July 2005. A gun battle ensued and Arutyunian killed an interior ministry agent. He was wounded in the leg and arrested. He was sentenced to life imprisonment with no parole.


On the 11th November 2011, Ramiro Ortega Hernandez from Idaho parked his car on Constitution Avenue, south of the White House in Washington. Unemployed and suffering from delusional paranoia about secret societies this 21-year-old had concluded that Barack Obama was the Anti-Christ. He fired seven rounds from a semi-automatic assault rifle from his car at the White House from a range of 690 metres. He was witnessed by a woman in a taxi. The President and his wife were not in residence although one of their daughter’s was at home. Initially there was some confusion. The Secret Service were stood down after it was decided that the detonations were either vehicles backfiring or a gangland shooting. Hernandez was only caught after he crashed his car. Damage to the second floor balcony area was only discovered four days later. Hernandez was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment.

On the 20th May 2016 Jesse Oliviera aggressively approached a White House security location clearly carrying and brandishing a firearm. Security agents shouted a warning which he ignored. He was shot in the torso. After hospital treatment he was tried and sentenced to eight months in prison. No connection was found to any terrorist organisation.


In June 2016, just months before the inauguration of President Donald Trump, a British national, Michael Sandford with a history of mental illness, attended a Trump rally in Las Vegas, Nevada. Moving closer to the podium he made a grab for a Police Officer’s holstered side arm but failed to acquire it. He was quickly apprehended and arrested. Sandford was deported back to the UK.

In July 2017 Travis Reinking from Illinois entered a restricted area outside the White House and was arrested by Secret Service agents. He told them he wanted to arrange a meeting with President Trump. His arrest led to the confiscation of his firearm permits which included his ownership of assault rifles. These weapons were secured by his father. On the 22nd April 2018 Reinking perpetrated a mass shooting in Nashville Tennessee leaving 4 people dead. His father had illegally returned the weapons back to him. Reinking was diagnosed with severe schizophrenia and was initially hospitalised. He later stood trial and was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.

On the 10th August 2020 President Donald Trump was giving a news briefing in The White House when a security agent led him away from the podium. Police authorities had confronted Myron Berryman outside The White House after he had advanced towards security staff gesturing that he had a gun in his pocket. Shots were fired by the police and Berryman was detained. 

Not so well remembered is the fact that numerous US senators and politicians have been killed and injured by social misfits, anarchists and demented individuals. These politicians are often without the protection provided for Presidents and senior government representatives. Not one of these perpetrators was even remotely associated with internal security organisations like the CIA.


Abroad, the sad sequence of events is much the same, world leaders like Mahatma Gandhi of India and, Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan were slain by disturbed lone wolf individuals. The killing of Olof Palme, Sweden’s Prime Minister on a night time Stockholm street in 1975 whilst walking with his wife home from a cinema became Sweden’s “JFK”. A likely perpetrator, a convicted criminal was arrested and tried but he was released on the grounds of insufficient evidence. Before he died it was alleged by associates that he admitted to the killing but insisted it was mistaken identity. The case remains officially unsolved but lurid conspiracy theories remain.

When the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie were shot and killed on the street corner in Sarajevo featured below in June 1914 their deaths inadvertently sparked the First World War. Their killer was a Bosnian student, 19-year-old, Gavrilo Princip. He was part of a group of young Bosnian dissidents desperate to improve the plight of their annexed country.

Whilst they were supported by an illegal Serbian terrorist organisation embedded within the regular Serbian military their actions were wrongly associated with wider political and international agendas Their mission was local, but the outcome and fallout was global. At his trial Princip even apologised for killing the Duchess who he declared was not a target.