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Lesser-known JFK assassination controversy involving Catholic priest explored in new book

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 20 2013 3:40 p.m. MST

One of the lesser-known controversies surrounding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy has surfaced on the Internet recently, and has even inspired a recently published book.

At the center of this controversy is the Rev. Oscar Huber, who read John F. Kennedy his last rites and was later accused of leaking the news of Kennedy’s death before the White House made an official statement, according to a book released Aug. 7, 2013, “He’s Dead All Right: Father Oscar L. Huber, the Kennedy Assassination and the News Leak Controversy.”

Written by Dr. Patrick Huber, a professor at the Missouri University of Science and Technology and distant cousin of Pastor Huber, the book examines “the so-called news-leak controversy” when a Time magazine correspondent “claimed two priests left the building and one of them leaked the news of Kennedy’s death before the White House could make an official statement,” according to The Rolla Daily News, a newspaper in Rolla, Mo.

“I had heard stories of Father Huber my whole life,” Patrick Huber told The Rolla Daily News. “I was surprised to find that he figured prominently in many official accounts of the assassination."

And a personal recollection by the Rev. Huber of the day Kennedy was shot has surfaced on the Internet this week, according to The Huffington Post.

Huber, who died in 1975, recounted the events of Nov. 22, 1963, in a letter, which, along with other materials, is housed at Baylor University. Huber wrote how he received a call from First Lady Jackie Kennedy to come to the hospital to “administer the personal needs” of Kennedy, The Huffington Post reported.

A YouTube video similarly offers Huber’s account of that day, where he speaks to the Associated Press about what he saw in the emergency room.

One California resident recently recalled his pen-pal relationship with Huber. Rex Davenport, a Huntington Beach native, started writing to Huber because he believed Kennedy’s assassination was a part of a conspiracy, reported CBS Los Angeles.

Though they exchanged letters back and forth, the two never met as Rev. Huber died before Davenport, who was 10 at the time of Kennedy’ assassination, could make it to Missouri, where the pastor was living, CBS reported.

But Davenport has maintain his interest in the Kennedys, according to CBS, as he designs stamps for the Kennedy family that have received national acclaim.

“John Fitzgerald Kennedy represented the best of all of us,” Davenport told CBS. “The best. No one is perfect. But he represented the best of America.”

Email: hscribner@deseretnews.com

Twitter: @hscribner

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