In the aftermath of John F. Kennedy's assassination almost 50 years ago, the nation watched as the casket carrying the body of the former president went through the process of a state funeral, eventually ending its journey in Arlington National Cemetery. The casket didn't contain all of JFK, however — his brain was missing. And a new book claims his brother stole it.
Writer James Swanson, in his new book exploring the JFK assassination (because there definitely needed to be another one), believes that JFK's brain was taken by his brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, to hide both JFK's debilitating illnesses as well as his drug use.
The brain, which was removed during the autopsy of the president, was first in the possession of the Secret Service. It was then handed over to the National Archives — that's when RFK struck.
“In October 1966, it was discovered that the brain, the tissue slides and other autopsy materials were missing — and they have never been seen since,” Swanson told the New York Post.
Conspiracy theorists have long claimed the brain was stolen because it would prove that the government's official story of the assassination was inaccurate. Swanson believes that the reason was a lot more Kennedy-esque: Studies on the brain would have looked bad.
“My conclusion is that Robert Kennedy did take his brother’s brain — not to conceal evidence of a conspiracy but perhaps to conceal evidence of the true extent of President Kennedy’s illnesses, or perhaps to conceal evidence of the number of medications that President Kennedy was taking,” Swanson said.
Of course, this could just be a bold claim made to sell a book on an already oversaturated topic. But it's also a heartwarming story of sibling loyalty. May we all be so lucky as to have a brother that would steal their brain to spare them posthumous embarrassment.