The Justice Integrity Project will provide a consumer guide this fall to the many books and events surrounding the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.
The controversies resonate in at least a score of new books affirming or disputing the 1964 Warren Commission Report that assigned blame to Lee Harvey Oswald, age 24, acting alone. A list of the year’s books is below, to be augmented.
New research continues to cascade on the point, and is relevant also to the themes of my own new book, Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney and Their Masters. The president and his late wife, Jacqueline, are shown at right in a file photo via Creative Commons landing in Dallas before the fatal motorcade.
On Oct. 17, I’ll attend the Passing the Torch conference on the topic organized by famed forensic pathologist Cyril H. Wecht at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.
The longtime coroner and medical school professor Wecht, left, author or co-author of 46 books and 575 professional articles on medical and legal topics, is one of the nation’s leading critics of the Warren Commission Report. He has convened other scholars for the multiday conference on the unique occasion of such an important anniversary. I’m attending also similar gatherings in Dallas that begin on Nov. 22.
This week author and University of Virginia professor Larry Sabato illustrated the more conventional view of the tragedy by launching a new book at the Newseum in Washington, DC. Sabato shared the platform with former local police officer James C. Bowles, who managed police communication at the time of the assassination. Bowles and Sabato sought to debunk what they described as a prominent theory regarding voice regarding of multiple shots supposedly captured on a device called the “dictabell.”
“People still can’t believe the murder of a great man could be carried out so simply by an idiot,” Bowles said as Sabato agreed, according to a WJLA-TV news report of the conference. “The House Select Committee (came to) a conclusion that this dictabell recordings prove a conspiracy — they do nothing of the sort,” Sabato said.
Yet a major poll this year by the Associated Press found, Belief in JFK assassination conspiracy still strong.
According to the AP-Roper survey conducted in mid-April, 59 percent of Americans think multiple people were involved in a conspiracy to kill the president, while 24 percent think Oswald acted alone, and 16 percent are unsure. A 2003 Gallup poll found that 75 percent of Americans felt there was a conspiracy. The Oswald-acted-alone results, meanwhile, are the highest since the period three years after the assassination, when 36 percent said one man was responsible for Kennedy’s death.