JFK's assassination: Winnipeg man said he heard inside info

The assassination of John F. Kennedy 50 years ago had a possible Canadian connection in the form of a Winnipeg man's claim that he overheard inside details of the case.

Insurance salesman Richard Giesbrecht was interviewed by the FBI after he told RCMP about a conversation he allegedly heard months after the 35th president of the United States was fatally shot.

On Nov. 22, 1963, Kennedy was slain by an assassin's bullet on a Dallas street. It was the fourth presidential assassination in U.S. history.

About three months later, Giesbrecht claimed he overheard a suspicious conversation between two men in a lounge at the Winnipeg airport.

According to Giesbrecht, the men were discussing inside details of the assassination. One of them appeared to have been wearing false eyebrows, he added.

"I happened to hear these men discussing names like Oswald," he said in a CBC-TV interview in 1968.

Giesbrecht said he noticed a third man was watching him overhearing the conversation and followed him through the airport.

When asked if he believed "something sinister was going on," he replied, "Yes, these men weren't actors preparing a play."

Giesbrecht told the RCMP, and in turn the FBI dispatched an agent to interview him.

He also told a young Winnipeg newspaper reporter named Don Newman, best known these days as a veteran CBC broadcaster.

"Oh, he was absolutely convinced and he was really scared," said Newman, who detailed what he was told in his new memoir, Welcome to the Broadcast.

"To me, this story was the FBI is investigating the Kennedy assassination a couple of months after it happened, and it's happening way up here in cold Winnipeg."

By the time Giesbrecht died in 1990, his story was never fully proven or discredited.

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