As the Content Marketing Manager here at Nina Hale, Inc., part of my job is honing in on solutions based on which terms people type into search engines. Accordingly, since we’re approaching the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy Assassination, I decided to spend my lunch break solving one of the 20th century’s greatest mysteries — who killed JFK? — using Google Adwords’ Keyword Planner.
A bit of background: I’m a 20th century history buff, but I’ve somehow never been super interested in the Kennedy Assassination. (Ask me about Watergate, however, and we can talk for hours.) Because I know conspiracy theories fly around Kennedy’s assassination, I figured I could get in pretty deep by just looking at popular search terms.
I was right:
We have a lot of suspects here. In addition to the more implausible queries listed above — like former President Bush, Jackie Kennedy, and the Illuminati — here’s a breakdown of who Google searchers think killed JFK, on average. These numbers were determined from the average number of queries surrounding the suspect’s name and the related search term “killed Kennedy” or “killed JFK.”
|Suspect Name||Average # of Queries|
|Lee Harvey Oswald||700|
|Alex Mason OR Freemasons||370|
|President George H.W. Bush||210|
The Soviets, however, do not turn up as suspects in others’ search queries, much to my surprise. I guess we can count them out. One of these suspects, Alex Mason, is a fictional character from the Call of Duty: Black Ops video game who encounters the Kennedy assassination. Terms for “Mason Kennedy Assassination” could refer to this character or the American fraternity of the Freemasons; they seem to pop up equally.
(Please, remember that this just is lunchtime research, so even though the methods are professional, they perhaps aren’t as thorough as I’d like. In other words, do not mistake this as a replacement for the Warren Commission report.)
Based on this preliminary research, I think we can conclusively say that there are a lot of suspects in this tragic event — way more than I originally thought there would be. And the high volume of content and search terms around “grassy knoll,” “single bullet theory,” and “Zapruder film” make this a rabbit hole that could consume a curious conspiracy theorist for weeks. However, I definitely have something to feed my historical curiosity — time to look into who Kennedy’s driver was that fateful day in Dallas.