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Before ‘Killing Kennedy’ Bill O’Reilly Investigated ‘Umbrella Man’ for WFSB

o-reillyWith the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination approaching, National Geographic is debuting “Killing Kennedy” based on the book by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard.

But what viewers may not know is that before becoming the iconic face of FOX News and penning the New York Times besteller, O’Reilly was a reporter for Hartford, CT, CBS affiliate WFSB who investigated the possible role played by the “Umbrella Man” in the assassination of our 35th President.

WFSB anchor Dennis House will air the original four-part investigation from November 1979 this Sunday. “Look for Carter-era graphics, including our disco inspired logo,” said House on his blog. “Note the size of the tape cassette recorder Bill carried with him.”

The premise of O’Reilly’s reporting was a fascinating yet somewhat bizarre theory: that JFK was killed by an assassin using an umbrella gun, a man who was dubbed the “umbrella man.” Judging by his line of questioning, I got the sense even O’Reilly seemed a little incredulous at the prospect of the leader of the free world being snuffed out by a gadget-laden umbrella.

In the report, O’Reilly travels to Dallas looking for evidence about the mysterious man with the umbrella. He also talks to a retired FBI agent who was there for JFK’s autopsy. House writes, “Bill’s questioning of this agent is worth watching and foreshadowed a style seen decades later on the “O’Reilly Factor.”

The series airs as part of “Face the State” on WFSB this Sunday at 11:00 a.m.

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