JFK Conspiracies include Tampa - WFLA News Channel 8

JFK Conspiracies include Tampa

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One JFK conspiracy theory involves an attempt on Kennedy's life in Tampa during his visit, by a gunman perched at the Hotel Floridan. One JFK conspiracy theory involves an attempt on Kennedy's life in Tampa during his visit, by a gunman perched at the Hotel Floridan.
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

President John F. Kennedy's visit to Tampa is cemented in the minds of many in the Bay Area, not only because it was the first time a sitting president visited the city, but what happened four days later.

"This was the last place he had any kind of really great public presents before Dallas" said Rodney Kite-Powell of the Tampa Bay History Center.

In the five decades since his death, conspiracies about who was behind the killing are all over the map. One of those conspiracy theories involves an attempt on Kennedy's life in Tampa during his visit, by a gunman perched at the Hotel Floridan.

Built in 1926, the 19-story hotel sits at Florida and Cass. 

Related: read more about the 50th anniversary of the John F. Kennedy's assassination

"The Kennedy motorcade was on Franklin and Cass, just a block away. So the line of sight in those kind of things I think, whether they lead someone to that theory, or they heard about it and there's some truth to it," said Kite-Powell.

He says police arrested a man for vagrancy, but it may or may not have had anything to do with a shooter at the hotel.

Imagine Tampa's notorious place in history, had a gunman used the Floridan as his hiding place.

"The assassination would have occurred right here in Tampa on November 18th, instead of  Dallas four days later," said Kite-Powell.

Lending credence to the theory, an organized crime figure who played a role in Tampa history, had something to do with it.

"One of the noted figures in a lot of the conspiracy theories is Santo Trafficonte, who was alleged to be a mob leader here in Tampa," he said.

An exhibit is on display at the Tampa Bay History Center that shows John F. Kennedy's visit to Tampa.

But don't look for conspiracy theories here.

That's left to those who say, "Is it true?"

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