This is a video from The New York Times. It is the interview of Josiah “Tink” Thompson, author of 6 Seconds in Dallas, discussing “The Umbrella Man.” The Umbrella Man was a real-life figure caught on film in Dealey Plaza at the same time as the Kennedy assassination. He held a black umbrella on a clear day, which created suspicion, especially given his proximity to the crime scene. He was not identified until 15 years later, when he came forward voluntarily to tell his story. Until then, investigators only speculated about his possible role as a co-conspirator in the assassination.
The incident is a good launchpad for brainstorming. Watch the video to the 4:00 minute point, then pause it, and see how many explanations you can devise for The Umbrella Man’s presence and actions. Then, play the rest of the video to hear the real story behind the man.
In my next post, I’ll take a closer look at The Umbrella Man, specifically, in the context of identifying bias in the course of analysis.