Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Review of REELZ Channel's "JFK: The Smoking Gun"

November is finally here and with it the deluge of television specials that are meant to mark the fiftieth anniversary of perhaps the darkest day in American history: the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy in Dallas, Texas. While the programming to commemorate the event this year is predominately aimed toward presenting the official government conclusion, that a political malcontent named Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing the president, REELZ Channel has opted to go against the grain and endorse the idea that President Kennedy died as a result of more than one shooter and a cover-up was enacted to conceal what really happened on November 22, 1963. However, this is not simply a rehash of popular and well-known conspiracy theories that have existed in the collective pop-culture iconography since the mid-60s. In Reelz Channel’s JFK: The Smoking Gun (which premiered on November 3, 2013), there aren’t any second gunmen lurking on the grassy knoll or shadowy CIA agents leading a private war against the Kennedy Administration. There isn’t even any mention of Mafioso bosses or “back and to the left” arguments.

In what is no doubt a highly unorthodox move, REELZ has endorsed a controversial conspiracy theory which has been kicking around for the past twenty plus years. Based upon the research of ballistics expert Howard Donahue and the 1992 book Mortal Error by Bonar Menninger, JFK: The Smoking Gun postulates that, while Oswald was up in the sixth floor window of the Texas School Book Depository firing his mail ordered Mannlicher Carcano rifle at the presidential limousine with the intent to murder, a startled Secret Service agent wielding an assault rifle in the car directly behind President Kennedy accidentally fired the fatal shot that which took JFK’s life. The program presents its thesis over a two hour running time in which evidence is not only provided to back up Donahue’s theory, that President Kennedy died as a result of “friendly fire,” but to also establish that the Secret Service (and perhaps other “shady” government agencies) covered-up the medical evidence to protect their fellow agent and their organization.

In the first hour of JFK: The Smoking Gun, the audience is introduced to the man responsible for resurrecting the radical theory that President Kennedy was accidentally shot by his own security detail, legendary Australian police detective Colin McLaren. As the narrator of the show tells us, Detective McLaren worked undercover and was responsible for the capture of several high ranking crime bosses in the mafia. His credentials are certainly not lacking but even learned men aren’t always correct. The first section of the program details how McLaren discovered the research of Donahue and Menninger. Howard Donahue, a noted ballistics and firearms expert, first became involved in studying the JFK Assassination when he was asked to take part in a four-part CBS Documentary hosted by Dan Rather entitled “A CBS News Inquiry: The Warren Report”. Hosted by Dan Rather, the program, which began on June 25, 1967, investigated the findings of the Warren Commission. Donahue and a handful of expert marksman were given the task of replicating Oswald’s uncanny ability to not only fire three shots in 5.6 seconds but to also have them strike a moving target. The shooting tests were conducted from a wooden tower elevated 30 feet in the air firing down on a target that ran on a track traveling at 11 MPH. Out of all the marksman, Donahue was the most successful, landing all three shots on the target and in 4.8 seconds on his third attempt. Intrigued by the tests conducted by CBS, he read the Warren Report and began conducting crude experiments in the basement of his home to either prove or disprove the official story. Donahue’s near thirty-year odyssey lead him to a different conclusion than what the Warren Commission had stated occurred on that day in November 1963. His findings were published by author Bonar Menninger in 1992.

We see McLaren visit Dealey Plaza and get an impression of the site of the assassination. One of the most surprising aspects of watching this scene was that there appeared to be little to no one else around. There were no conspiracy theorists selling home-made publications at card tables or tourists rushing out into traffic to get their picture taken on the white X’s which mark the spots where the bullets found their target(s). In fact, there wasn’t even any cars sailing down Elm Street. At one point we do appear to see a train passing in the background over the Triple Underpass and perhaps a lone person or two simply walking down the sidewalk in front of the North Pergola monument. It is perhaps an educated guess that Dealey Plaza was roped off in order to allow the REELZ production company to film this program. McLaren also tours the sniper’s nest at The Sixth Floor Museum apparently while the museum was closed to the general public. This would leave me to believe the museum was in some way, shape, or form connected to the production but to what extent is uncertain. Not that this would be a sign of some nefarious allegiance, as some more paranoid conspiracy types may allege, but that the REELZ network may have pumped some considerable money and influence into getting the documentary completed with a pedigree of validity.

Like any conspiracy-minded program, JFK: The Smoking Gun then sets about poking holes in the Warren Report to lay the groundwork to support its thesis. The narrator intones that the official investigation from 1964 was an investigation of omission and that key witnesses were not called to testify or were unjustly ignored. This point is “old hat” having been consistently rehashed since Mark Lane’s Rush to Judgment. We hear McLaren call Oswald’s Carcano “a piece of junk” since it was a World War II surplus rifle and that Oswald wouldn’t have been able to fire that accurately in 5.6 seconds as claimed by the Commission. JFK: The Smoking Gun decides to use this scenario which was only one of two scenarios that the Commission offered to solve the riddle of “what shot happened when”. By focusing on the “5.6 seconds” scenario, this means that the first shot hit both President Kennedy and Governor Connally (The Single Bullet Theory), the second shot missed the car completely, and the third was the kill shot that shattered the president’s head. Today, however, the most widely accepted timeline is 8 seconds to fire three shots not 5.6 seconds. If 8 seconds is the true figure then it gives Oswald ample time to fire on the motorcade and the “5.6 seconds or bust” point rendered inert. It’s also interesting that McLaren touts about the 5.6 second theory as gospel since he remarks later in the program that Oswald may have only fired two shots (the third possibly had been a spent shell ejected from the chamber when Oswald pulled the bolt to ready his weapon) and that the first shot that Oswald fired missed the car. McLaren goes on to explain that this missed shot struck the street and was witnessed by a several observers. This shot may have ricocheted off of the pavement and somehow struck or grazed President Kennedy. In order to support this idea, McLaren brings up the testimony of Secret Service Agent Roy Kellerman who was riding in the front passenger seat of the limousine during the assassination. When interviewed by the Warren Commission, Agent Kellerman remarked that he heard President Kennedy exclaim “My God, I’m hit!” as the car traveled down Elm Street. President Kennedy would have been most likely been unable to speak if, as the Commission concluded, the first shot which struck the president entered his back and exited his throat. What’s interesting about Kellerman’s testimony is that while Kellerman himself was adamant that he heard the president cry out, no other witness in the car recalls President Kennedy saying anything.  About the mechanics of the shooting, McLaren does make interesting points on Oswald in the sniper’s nest. While viewing Oswald’s cardboard box fortress around the window, he remarks on how cramped the area is. This was a point that my wife brought up upon our visit to the Sixth Floor Museum in March of this year. Oswald wasn’t a very large man at all but it does seem difficult to be comfortable in that space even taking his slender body frame into account. Later McLaren suggests that Oswald would have been nervous and unable to be as accurate as claimed by the Warren Commission. Since we are purely in the realm of speculation, perhaps that would lend better to the theory that the first shot missed the car and then Oswald got his act together for the next two bulls-eyes.

What is probably most surprising about a supposed anti-Lone Nut program such as JFK: The Smoking Gun is that it may be the first conspiracy program in television history to endorse “The Single Bullet Theory” as fact. I actually expected noted assassination researcher and Warren Commission supporter Dale Myers to pop-up at some point in the show to give his seal of approval. Much like the award-winning work Myers did for Beyond Conspiracy, the producers of this program present us with a nicely rendered computer-generated model of Dealey Plaza and the actions of the persons in the presidential limousine and even the follow up cars as the shooting unfolds. The audience is shown the trajectory from the sniper’s nest down into the car and how it would have cut (both externally and internally) through both President Kennedy and Governor Connally, exactly as Arlen Specter suggested back in 1964. There are several things to note about this recreation. First, the projectile appears to actually impact President Kennedy in the spine not the shoulder. Perhaps it is just a perspective issue from my vantage point (a television vs. an interactive simulation) but this entry for the “magic bullet” presents a serious problem. At the Bethesda autopsy the night of November 22nd 1963, the pathologists noted no damage to the bony structures within the president’s chest and upper body.  If the animation is correct, then there would have been damage to at least the outer sections of the vertebra. This type of damage was not noted by anyone present at the autopsy (either visually or on the actual autopsy report) or by the subsequent accredited medical panels that investigated the assassination.  The animation continues with the computer simulated trajectory exiting the president’s throat and impacting Texas Governor John Connally near the right armpit. The program then proceeds to validate the Single Bullet Theory by exposing conspiracy theorists as not mentioning that Connally was seated in a jump seat within the car that is not only significantly lower than the president but also in-board of the car door, thus making the trajectory of the SBT possible. While this information may be true in a sense, it’s not entirely accurate. According to the House Select Committee on Assassination (a congressional investigation into not only the slaying of John F. Kennedy but also those of Robert Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) , the jump seat in which Governor Connally rode and was shot in is actually 2.5 inches inboard from the door of the car (HSCA Exhibit II-19). Judging by what the animation reveals, Governor Connally’s jump seat appears to be at least 6 inches inboard from the side of the car (if not more), not 2.5 inches as outlined by the HSCA in 1978. This correct positioning not only makes the trajectory line through Kennedy and Connally in the CGI model appear doubtful but also draws into questions when the SBT could have happened. Unfortunately, JFK: The Smoking Gun doesn’t even name the Zapruder Frames in which the SBT could have occurred, leaving the possibilities wide open and ultimately inconclusive.

Next, JFK: The Smoking Gun focuses on the shot which struck President Kennedy in the head and ended his life. The program shows us a reenactment of Howard Donahue, in the basement of his home, reviewing one of the Warren Commission’s 26 volumes (presumably the volume containing the testimony of Commander James Humes, lead pathologist for the Kennedy autopsy) and marking the wound locations on a model of a human skull.  He later drills a hole at the back of the skull to represent the entry wound as described by Humes and the large exit at the top right side of the cranium.  The program then presents us with a computer model showing were the bullet entered and exited the president’s head. What is interesting is that Donahue’s research and the computer animation apparently use Humes’s EOP (External Occipital Protuberance) location as the point of entry for the missile. The audience is even shown the medical drawings done for the Warren Commission. The Rydberg Drawings, as they are referred to, show President Kennedy’s head to be in an incorrect position (facing almost completely downward) and do not align with what is seen in the Zapruder Film. In fact, Dr. Humes’s EOP location was found to be incorrect when the Ramsey Clark Panel studied the autopsy photographs and X-Rays of the president in 1968. The Clark Panel concluded that the actual position of the entry wound at the back of the skull was 4 inches superior of what Doctors Humes, J. Thorton Boswell, and Pierre Finck had seen on the night of November 22nd. In fact, the pathologists were later asked to recant their previous conclusion of the EOP entry and endorse the Clark Panel’s “cow-lick” entry point when they were interviewed for the HSCA in the 1970s. The REELZ special doesn’t make any mention of this revised wound and uses the original WC placement of the head entry to suggest that the shot which killed the president did not come from an elevated position such as the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository but from a lower, flatter plane.

One of the most discussed portions of JFK: The Smoking Gun is how the program goes about explaining that the projectile which hit the president in the head was not a full metal jacketed (FMJ) round but a frangible bullet. First, the special explains that the bullet could not have been one of Oswald’s 6.5mm Carcano bullets because Dr. Humes measured the entry wound as being only 6mm in diameter. This is an interesting point which I had not heard discussed before. They even demonstrate with the model skull from earlier by attempting to place an unfired 6.5mm FMJ round through the entry hole at the back of the skull and, naturally, it does not penetrate. However no explanation is given to how a bullet may react when discharged and in flight. Detective McLaren explains that Dr. Humes’s measurement of a large exit (noted as 10 x 17mm in Humes’s notes) and a metallic debris trail visible on the X-Rays is not consistent with a FMJ round which is designed to pass straight through a target without fragmentation. The point of the “magic bullet” being able to pass relatively intact through two grown men and cause seven wounds is brought up to bolster this theory. However, McLaren omits that the nose and tail portions of a 6.5mm full metal jacketed round were later recovered from under the front seat of the presidential limousine; its midsection missing. It is believed that this is the bullet that passed through the president’s head and somehow fragmented, losing its lead core which created the trail seen in the X-Rays. Fragments from this FMJ bullet gone awry may have also created the crack in the limousine’s windshield as well as the damage to the car’s chrome topping. In order to show the difference in FMJ and frangible ammunition, Detective McLaren demonstrates on a rifle range. Using a Mannlicher Carcano much like Oswald’s and a semi-automatic AR-15 (using frangible, hollow-point rounds), shots are fired through, of all things, melons. Unlike 2008’s Discovery Channel special Inside the Target Car, there aren’t any state-of-the-art prosthetic simulations of human heads, instead we are given soft fruit to show how these types of ammunition react when hitting a target. A cantaloupe is not a proper analogue for the bone structure of the cranium as the melon is most comparable to soft tissue. So naturally, the FMJ round fires straight through the melon and the frangible round blows the melon up leaving an enormous hole upon exit. If there is one thing to note about this test, it’s that when the FMJ round was tested, it left an exit that looked remarkably similar in size to its entrance.

Using this experiment as a prelude, JFK: The Smoking Gun then pieces together its central thesis: that Secret Service Agent George Hickey, in the confusion of the shooting, accidentally shot President Kennedy with a frangible round from an AR-15 assault rifle. The program establishes the shooting sequence as this: Oswald fires first but misses the car completely, striking the street and sending a fragment upward which strikes the president causing him to exclaim as SSA Roy Kellerman claimed. Oswald cycles the bolt of his rifle and fires again sending a round through both President Kennedy and Governor Connally. In the confusion, SSA Hickey, riding in the backseat of the secret service follow-up car, grabs an AR-15 assault rifle and attempts to stand up with the weapon. Instead he accidentally discharges the weapon which then impacts into the back of JFK’s head, ultimately killing him. The motorcade then speeds to Parkland Hospital were doctors are unable to resuscitate President Kennedy and he is pronounced dead at 1:00 PM CST. A cover-up then begins to hide this mortal error.

But other than a dubious ballistics test of FMJ vs. frangible rounds, what evidence does REELZ present to us to take the hypothesis out of the fringe realm and forge it into a viable conspiracy theory? Colin McLaren simply tells us that the witnesses do; namely witnesses that the Warren Commission either outright ignored or that the Commission’s council didn’t question correctly. I do have to give McLaren credit for using either the original witness statements taken on the day of the assassination by law enforcement or testimony presented to the Commission in 1964. This somewhat softens the impact that eyewitness testimony is sometimes highly unreliable and that over time the ever-malleable human memory gets foggy or more embellished as the years collect. McLaren relies on the witnesses in Dealey Plaza to establish The Donahue Theory instead of relying primarily on hard science and/or physical evidence which is almost shocking in this day and age of advanced forensics. Horatio Caine, Detective McLaren is not. According to McLaren, his star witness is Senator Ralph Yarbrough, who was riding two cars behind the presidential limousine with Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson. Senator Yarbrough not only claimed to have seen a Secret Service agent stand up with an assault rifle but to have also to have noticed the distinct scent of gunpowder at street level. As a matter of fact, Senator Yarbrough claimed that the odor stayed with the car all the way to Parkland Hospital. The explanation for this phenomena has been explained away by Warren Commission Apologists as simply exhaust from the cars at the front of the motorcade. While this is indeed a possibility, what is also to note is that Senator Yarbrough wasn’t the only person in Dealey Plaza that day to experience the distinct smell of gun smoke. The program also mentions witnesses Patrolman Earle V. Brown and S.M. “Smokey” Holland. What is so intriguing is that both of the aforementioned witnesses were standing on the Triple Underpass in front of the Presidential motorcade. In the words of JFK researcher Pat Speer, “It gets worse.” JFK: The Smoking Gun mentions on that November day the wind was blowing southeast at approximately 15 MPH and the program gladly trumpets this to prove that the source of the gunpowder was not the sniper’s nest in the Texas School Book Depository since that location was not only elevated, but also downwind. However, they neglect to explain how credible witnesses in front of JFK’s limousine experienced the same phenomena as Yarbrough. In fact, the placement of the gunpowder “nose-witnesses” points more toward the fatal shot have originated in front of President Kennedy, if it was indeed a discharged fire arm responsible for the odor.

The eyewitness testimony is further mined in an attempt to establish the fatal shot, which entered President Kennedy‘s head as having originated from the Secret Service follow-up car. McLaren presents statements from several witnesses having seen an agent jump up in the car and that this agent had a rifle. When exactly did this happen? What is more reliable than eyewitness testimony to resolve this issue and either prove or disprove the “friendly fire“theory? Well, how about the photographic evidence? On November 22 1963, over thirty photographers (both professional and amateur) were in Dealey Plaza before, during, and immediately after the assassination. One of the most famous images of the Kennedy Assassination is a photograph taken by Associated Press photographer James “Ike” Altgens. This photograph, taken in front of the presidential limousine as the shooting occurred, shows the President through the windshield of the car. He is clutching at his throat while his wife, Jacqueline, attempts to aid him. Altgens #5 corresponds to Zapruder frame 255 which is 31 frames (nearly 2 seconds) after the single bullet allegedly passed through both JFK and Governor Connally. Altgens #5 is also 58 Zapruder frames (little over 3 seconds) before a bullet will fatally strike the president’s skull. Also visible in the Altgens photograph is the follow-up car, “The Queen Mary,” carrying the motorcade’s security detail and trailing closely behind the presidential limousine. Two Secret Service agents visible on the left running board of the follow-up car are already reacting to the shooting in progress; looking directly behind the car toward the Texas School Book Depository. Also visible is an agent in the backseat of the car looking behind him as well in the general direction of the sniper‘s nest. This agent is George Hickey. At this point, Hickey is obviously not standing up in the car and still seated with his attention drawn to where gunfire may have been coming from. JFK: The Smoking Gun argues that Hickey’s senses were dulled (as were several other agents responsible for guarding the motorcade) from spending the previous night out drinking at a local bar and not checking in to rest until the early hours of Friday morning. However, as the Altgens photograph shows us, Agent Hickey is aware that something is happening behind the car and that is not something normal. He appears to have been alert to the situation unfolding. Also, could Hickey have been able to spin around, grab the AR-15 hidden out of sight in the backseat, unlatch the safety, and then by error discharge the weapon all in three seconds? This may have been a possibility if it weren’t for an 8mm color film taken on the south side of Elm Street by Charles Bronson which impeaches this scenario. Bronson’s film, which most notable shows the southeast window of the Texas School Book Depository approximately six minutes before Oswald began shooting, also captured part of the assassination sequence. The Bronson film, along with the Zapruder, Nix, and Muchmore films, captured the moment of the fatal headshot. The Bronson film is somewhat blurry (Mr. Bronson erroneously used wide-angle focus) but close study reveals that no Secret Service agent stood up (and discharged a weapon) in the “Queen Mary” as the president was struck in the head by a fatal bullet. If the Altgens photograph suggested that the theory of Donahue, Menninger, and McLaren was at a minor chance plausible, the Bronson film obliterates it.

According to JFK: The Smoking Gun, the official cover-up didn’t begin with the Warren Commission. The cover-up was initiated within minutes of the President’s death and orchestrated by the Secret Service to protect one of their own and their organization as a whole. The REELZ program actually appropriates the conspiracy theory, held by assassination luminaries such as David S. Lifton and Douglas Horne, that the Secret Service smuggled President Kennedy’s body out of Texas in order to control (and even fabricate) the medical procedures and evidence. Depicted in a dramatic recreation in JFK: The Smoking Gun, Secret Service Agent in Charge Roy Kellerman and members of Kennedy’s security detail argue and eventually scuffle with Dallas County Coroner Earl Rose at Parkland Hospital over the possession of the president’s body. SSAC Kellerman wants to get the body to Washington as soon as possible while Rose argues that Texas law states the body must remain in Dallas to preserve the chain of evidence and that he must perform the autopsy. When Rose stands in the way of the casket, Kellerman flashes a gun under his suit jacket and Rose eventually stands down, allowing the agents to leave with Kennedy’s body. While the scene works in the context of the show, its veracity is downplayed. The actual scene at Parkland was more tense and physical than depicted. The Secret Service literally had a brutal tug-of-war match with Rose and several police officers over the body. Tempers flared verbally and physically. A gun was drawn. This scene is presented in more accurate fashion in the 2013 motion picture Parkland and even Oliver Stone’s 1991 blockbuster JFK. However, I do have to credit JFK: The Smoking Gun for having included the scene, which most viewers were likely unaware of. Whether Kellerman and his fellow agents were merely not sure what actions to take and expedited the president’s body back to their home base to regroup or were willingly obstructing a murder investigation remains a mystery.

Continuing on with the “Secret Service Cover-up” idea, we move onto the autopsy performed the night of November 22 1963, at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland and its myriad issues.  We are shown a reenactment where the medical room is crowded with hospital personnel, FBI Agents, military officers, and Secret Service agents pace around the room with focused intimidation. The autopsy is depicted as being rushed and that the pathologists were ordered not to question or pursue matters further that might draw light to a gunman other than Oswald. JFK: The Smoking Gun mentions Dr. Humes’s discovery of the fine trial of lead fragments throughout the president’s cranium that, in the opinion of proponents of the “Hickey Theory,” a full metal jacketed bullet cannot do. This debris trail is also mentioned in a report written by FBI Agents James Sibert and Francis O’Neill. Later, using the Assassination Record and Review Board testimony of X-Ray technician Jerrol Custer from the mid-1990s, the special suggests that the X-Rays were later retouched to superimpose 6.5mm bullet fragments into President Kennedy’s skull and conceal the truth that President Kennedy was struck by a .223 caliber bullet from an assault rifle. Also brought up in the special is the proverbial question, “what happened to President Kennedy’s brain?” It is suggested that this evidence disappeared, along with sections and tissue slides, from the National Archives for a reason. That reason being that it contained evidence which would lead back to Agent Hickey’s rifle.

What is perhaps most perplexing about JFK: The Smoking Gun’s doubt of the recorded medical evidence is that earlier in the program it used this very evidence to establish its own theory and destroy other theories. It’s almost frustrating that the program calls the Warren Commission an investigation of omission and then proceeds to either ignore certain details from photographic, written, and/or eyewitness accounts to bolster its own theory or to just simply gloss over them in order to achieve its own aims. This contradictory nature manifests itself prominently in the way the documentary deals with the autopsy. The post-mortem examination was a botched opportunity to set the record straight, there is no question of that. But if the testimony of X-Ray technician Jerrol Custer is correct, that he was specifically asked to X-Ray 6.5mm bullet fragments taped to bone tissue for possible compositing on existing x-rays, then the whole medical record should immediately be suspect and the positioning and presence of not only the fragments in the cranium but also of the wounds themselves becomes unreliable. And it’s even worse since the Clark Panel and HSCA shifted both the back and head wounds in their own investigations to support their findings that Oswald acted alone. That’s two government investigations that revised hard evidence. Back to the way JFK: The Smoking Gun handles the evidence, it ignores the autopsy eyewitnesses (remember Detective McLaren said that the eyewitnesses are what builds a case) which stated that the non-fatal gunshot wound to President Kennedy was 5 ¾ inches down his back which draws into question the Single Bullet Theory. In mentioning the Sibert & O’Neill report, the program neglects to state that it was believed during the course of the autopsy that a single bullet had not transited through President Kennedy’s back and exited his throat or that there appeared to be “surgery of the head” upon examination at Bethesda. What’s even more interesting is that these are not the FBI Agents own observations but the dictation of what the pathologists, trained medical professionals, were noting during post-mortem. What does that mean? This can mean a lot of things. And that‘s just the beginning. The medical evidence, which in most other murder cases is bedrock, is a vast hall of mirrors in the most investigated death from the 20th Century. By making the bold statement that the x-rays may have been altered (or even destroyed) to hide the truth that Oswald’s Mannlicher Carcano rifle did not cause the catastrophic injury to the president’s head, then how can this particular documentary base it’s evidence on the presence of a “snow storm” of lead fragments in the cranial cavity? How can the program claim that the entry and exit wounds on the president’s head point to the shot having not originating from the Texas School Book Depository but from a lower trajectory when the measurements of the wounds are based on Dr. Humes’s notes from the same autopsy; notes that he purposely destroyed and rewrote?

For all of the apparent derision that I may seem to harbor toward the documentary, it is only academic. JFK: The Smoking Gun is entertaining and thought provoking, despite the unlikelihood of its central thesis. It’s the kind of program that will appeal to both seasoned assassinologists and novices. The production values were surprisingly efficient and effective for what at first appeared to be a low-budget cable special. Technically, I was impressed by their computer animation of the shooting sequence on Elm Street despite some inconsistencies. The actors and actresses who were cast to play the roles of the active participants in the program did a fine job. Of particular note is the actor cast as S.M. Holland who only need a cowboy hat and suit to complete the look. Ralph Yarbrough’s testimony was delivered almost in a spooky camp-fire tale kind of way, bringing to mind a televised interview of Dallas Police Deputy Roger Craig from the early 1970s. It’s almost refreshing to have a television program willing to step away from either the “Oswald did it alone” or “Grassy Knoll sniper” mentality that permeates that JFK research community. Although I disagree with the conclusions reached by Colin McLaren, I didn’t feel like he is simply trying to sell a book or that he is a delusional conspiracy theorist with a tin-foil cap. Detective McLaren is calm and articulate, and through his own journey through the labyrinth of JFK assassination research has reached his own conclusions. And there’s nothing wrong with that. 

Thurman Lee Storing
November 10th 2013
3:15 PM CST

No comments:

Post a Comment