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Ed Tatro's book signing with The Bug

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A few people that we know were in Harvard Square at the Bugliosi book

signing the other night. Ed Tatro, one of the stars of the History

Channel's "The Men Who Killed Kennedy" chapter #9, The Guilty Men, writes

this synopsis. It is almost as good as being there, according to another


By the way, only the first 6 chapters of Nigel Turner's "The Men Who Killed

Kennedy" is still available on DVD from the History Channel. The

aforementioned #7-#8 and #9 DVD has been removed by a cartel consisting of

the late Jack Valenti, Bill Moyers, with letters from the late President

Ford, Pres. Jimmy Carter and Ladybird Johnson. One of the 50,000 DVD sets

sold before they banned the DVD can be purchased on eBay for about $150.00.

Youtube had segments that could be viewed on line, last time I looked.



On Tuesday, May 22, 2007 Vincent Bugliosi spoke about his new book,

Reclaiming History, at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge Massachusetts.

Approximately 70 patrons were there. A young girl representing the Harvard

Book Store introduced him in a highly complimentary manner and he received a

positive reception from the crowd. I sensed immediately that I was in the

minority. My best friend, Rick Russo, a humble, but confident individual,

who possesses excellent knowledge and insights into the JFK case, filmed

Bugliosi's presentation. Priscilla Johnson MacMillan, the journalist with

CIA links, who interviewed Oswald in Russia and subsequently pegged him in a

published article shortly after 11/22/63 as an obvious loser who must have

killed JFK, sat one row in front of me, but approximately 20 seats away. She

kept turning around to look at me. I expected she recognized me from

somewhere, but couldn't remember who I was. One row behind me, and two rows

directly behind MacMillan sat a couple who clearly recognized me, but I

didn't know who they were at the time. Bugliosi began his speech by

complaining about the podium which possessed wheels. As a result he couldn't

lean on it at all. He also complaiined about the instability of his

microphone stand. He admitted that he complains all the time and employs

sarcasm incessantly. He interjected an anecdote about a hotel room in which

the bathroom light didn't work unless he managed to push a switch near the

front door of his room. He made mention about the difficulty in pronouncing

his name which clearly irritates him since he has brought the issue up at

other speaking engagements. He cited one person who called him, "Mr. Bella

Lugosi." The audienced found his schtick amusing. The rest of the night was

all business, selective preference dripping in condescending ire. Bugliosi

called Reclaiming History, "A book for the ages." He made it clear that

"Modesty is not a vitue" in his self-absorbed mind. He felt it a necessity

to be assertive and confident in overdrive in order to assure all conspiracy

theorists that he is beyond reproach in integrity and fighting spirit, that

they just can't beat his positions on the JFK matter. He admitted that he

wanted to make a lot of money, but that marketability was second in priority

to scholarship. There is no question in my mind that Bugliosi absolutely

loves himself and intentionally projects that image, one that also oozes

with controlled disdain while on stage. He said that he could have

prosecuted Oswald in two-three-four days, but after 44 years of conspiracy

books, the JFk assassination has become "the most complex murder case in

history." It has become a "bottomless pit" and that admission may have been

his one assertion that will not be challenged. Basically, his speech

paraphrased the introduction to his book and the half hour filmed interview

available on his web site. His primary contention is Oswald's sole guilt. He

cited that 53 pieces of evidence confirm that Oswald alone committed the JFK

and Tippit murders and he rattled off five points concerning the matter....

Oswald owned the Carcano; he was the only TSBD employee to flee; he killed

Tippit; he pulled a gun at the theatre where he was arrested; and he lied

about owning a rifle. Bugiosi knows Oswald lied because the backyard photos

show him with the rifle. Bugliosi boasts that "no reasonable person" can

disagree with him. The unyielding arrogance and unmitigated self-assurance

of his declarations were endless--- No credible evidence of conspiracy

exists. Bugliosi admits that motive, means and opportunity abounded for many

organizations to commit the crime, but these basics, espoused constantly by

conspiracy theorists, are just not enough. Motives prove nothing. Besides,

the FBI found no Oswald connections to groups like the Mafia or the CIA, and

no one who is "credible" has ever leaked anything substantiating a

conspiracy. The integrity of the FBI, is obviously unquestioned by Bugliosi

as he made his assertions, and the definition of "credible" certainly is one

that might be interesting to determine if a phalanx of reseachers were

allowed open access to him in a proper forum. Bugliosi states as fact that

Oswald was such a loser that no organization would have trusted him as a

hired killer, and that the Mob or the CIA would have killed him instantly,

if they had employed him. He cited that he has amassed 32 concrete proofs

that no conspiracy existed and those who believe in a conspriacy are either

silly or ignorant of the evidence. The simmering rage and belittling of

"conspiracy buffs" was ever-present. Bugliosi stated that the parade route

was set so late that no conspirators could have been ready in time. To think

otherwise is just "silly." He explained the head snap as a neuro-muscular

reaction, that the Zapruder frames show a 2.3 inch forward head movement

before the eventual snap backward. And anyone who alleges that the Zapruder

film has been altered is a fool. Before answering questions from the

audience, he made it clear that no other weapons were found and no other

bullets were discovered either. I do not claim that the above synopsis

covers everything Bugliosi offered, but it covers most of his overview. The

questions asked by the audience showed little or no knowledge of the

inticate and complex aspects of the case. Most annoying were those who

gushed over him like rock and roll groupies as well as the philosophical

questions as to why the masses would (foolishly) buy into conspiracy

theories. Such discussion never pressed Bugliosi to defend any of his

premises and the Q & A was so short-lived, there was little time to engage

him in any meaningful dialogue. One individual named Tony Marsh, called him

a xxxx at one point and Bugliosi just carried on with his presentation.

Marsh's outburst tended to reinforce the idea that some "conspiracy

theorists" are obsessive and rude in their approach to the case. Audience

members behind Marsh lashed out at him later as book buyers lined up for

Bugliosi's autograph and Marsh angrily shouted back at them. At this point I

walked over to Priscilla Johnson MacMillan and asked her if I could get a

photograph of the two of us together. The gentleman who had sat behind her

offered to take the picture. I thought I might be able to use it if I ever

publish my own book about the complicity of LBJ, his handlers and his

cronies in the Dealey Plaza caper. She asked me who I was, and I told her

that I had testified before President Clinton's Assassination Records Review

Board (ARRB) in Boston in 1995 right after her testimony. I told her I was a

member of those who spoke in Nigel Turner's "The Guilty Men," that I had

corresponded with Oswald's mother, was friendly with Marina Oswald and

Judyth Baker. I concluded by saying that I disagreed with everything Bugiosi

had just said. The man who took the photo was named Paul and he told me that

he had taken my course years ago at Quincy College. His derisive tone was

such that it was evident to me that he was rejecting EVERYTHING I had ever

said in twenty-five hours of class (3,000 slides). I was momentarily stunned

and a little hurt. I told him that my class was twenty years ago and I

added, "Imagine what I know now." He replied, "Unless you can link that

little weasel, Oswald, to LBJ, you don't have a case." His constant smile

was hard and unfriendly. I tried briefly to cite a few issues, (nine

witnesses who observed a bullet hole in the windshield), but he had no

intention of listening. I was just not "there" in his closed mind. As I

walked away, knowing the futility of pursuing any meaningful interaction, I

was thinking to myself that I knew Oswald's best friend, George de

Mohrenschildt, is described in recently declassified military documents as a

"business associate" of Lyndon Baines Johnson, but those Brattle Theatre

folks wouldn't have read them if I had those documents right in my hands. I

decided to have Bugliosi sign my book and get a photo of him too. When I

reached the signing table, I told him, "I've known Gary Mack for thrty-five

years." His eyes lit up and a broad smile beamed. He said, "I'll be seeing

Gary Thursday." Then I told him that I had edited Madeleine Brown's memoirs

and was a primary recruiter for those who participated in "The Guilty Men".

The smile faded. I told him that I had read some of the book and I said, "We

will have to agree to disagree." I added that I knew a lot of information

that he didn't. He advised me to read the rest of the book to make sure of

that. I told him I would do so. He smiled again. He wanted to know my name,

and when I said, "Ed Tatro," he admitted knowing it in some vague manner

from his research. I concluded (sarcastically), "I'm one of the kooks." In a

rather gracious moment, he said, "But you're searching for the truth." I

replied, "Yes." I refrained from saying that I knew a lot of it, but I

didn't want to act like him, and it was clear throughout the night that the

book buyers behind me were barely tolerating folks like me. The line of

people behind me was lengthy and I saw no real purpose in confronting him on

any issues of substance. The time, place, and circumstances were just not

conducive to anything productive. While in line, I had briefly offered

advice to Tony Marsh that this was no place for him to get into a shouting

match, that he was not appreciated here by this gathering, and it might be

best to keep his cool. I managed to meet Priscilla again and she said, "Paul

told me you used to teach a course on the assassination. When is your book

coming out?" I wasn't sure I had mentioned my book previously, but it was

clear to me that she and Paul were friends. The question was---Did they

become friends later in life or were they friends when he took my course? I

don't know that answer. I do know an FBI informant named Hollis Mosher,

(identified as such in his obituary), took my course four or five times so

it shouldn't surprise me if a friend of a CIA asset had done so also. Am I

being wisely cautious or am I paranoid? We know that Bugliosi would call the

latter notion, "just silly." I told her that she must be thrilled with this

book, and she said she had not read it yet, but she admitted that she was

glad that Bugliosi had confronted the conspiracy theories. I spoke candidly

by telling her that many researchers had brought forth some outrageous

concepts, but for Bugliosi to lump all assassination critics into one lump

was unfair. Having earned three college degrees, I certainly do not consider

myself insane, irrational or unreasonable. She seemed to accept that

criticism, but stoically so with an accepting shrug. Bugliosi headed in

Priscilla's direction and thanked her profusely for her input. He told her

that he could not have written the book without her help. The gathering was

breaking up and Bugliosi's rather sizable entourage of disciples followed

him out to a waiting auto. Rick Russo and Bugliosi began a rather intense

debate over the nature of JFK's head wounds. Rick cited many witnesses who

had observed a frontal shot, but Bugliosi rejected anything he pointed out.

It's difficult to share any meaningful postions on a street corner, one

inundated by youngsters unwilling to hear any viewpoint contrary to Vince

Bugliosi's. One 20-something said, "No one said any shots came from the

grassy knoll that day" to another Bugliosi supporter. I snapped, "What are

you talking about? Sixty-four witnesses said shots came from the grassy

knoll." He said, "Not that day!" Of course, as this clown was defending his

comment, I could still picture the video of Bill Newman telling a Dallas

television crew (THAT DAY) that the shot had been fired from the grassy

knoll. It was time to leave. I talked to one 28 year old who admitted

knowing virtually nothing, and I advised him to read as many books as he

could. Twenty years ago I had watched Bugiosi debate Mark Lane in Boston.

After the debate ended, I engaged Bugliosi in conversation. A lingering

crowd of twenty or so observers gathered around us. I told him that there

were lots of problems with the evidence and I gave him one example. Since I

was constantly teaching a course at the time, the names were fresh in my

mind. I discussed the chain of transfer for the "magic bullet," CE 399. The

bullet was found by hospital employee, Darrell Tomlinson who gave it to O.

P. Wright, a hospital security guard. Wright gave it to a Secret Service man

named Richard Johnsen, who brought it back aboard Air Force One. Johnsen

turned it over to James Rowley, the chief of the Secret Service and he gave

it to FBI agent Elmer Todd who gave it to Robert Frazier of the FBI who

conducted the ballistic tests upon the bullet. Unlike Todd and Frazier,

Johnson and Rowley admitted that they never marked their initials into the

bullet, a grave error in judgment if Oswald had ever been properly brought

to trial. Any clever defense attorney would have introduced the possibilty

of a bullet switch to frame his client, particularly in a political murder

such as this. Bugliosi dismissed the issue immediately by claiming that

errors like that occur all the time. I countered that they shouldn't happen,

especially in a case concerning the murder of the president of the United

States. It is evident to me that Bugliosi's cavalier approach and powers of

denial concerning the BIG DALLAS LIE have existed for decades. Thus, I

wasn't really surprised when his advanced placement version of Posner's Case

Closed hit the book stores. Now we know, thanks to the excellent research by

Josiah Thompson and Gary Aguilar, (See the History Matters web site), that

FBI agent Bardwell Odum's name was cited on FBI documents in which hospital

employees, Tomlinson and Wright stated with confidence that the bullet they

had handled resembled CE 399. Odum insisted to Thompson and Aguilar that he

never handled the bullet, never showed it to the two witnesses and never

wrote the FBI documents in evidence. Furthermore John Hunt's meticulous

research (see his essays, particulary, "Frazier Speaks,") confirms that CE

399 does not contain the carved initials of FBI agent Elmer Todd. Thus, CE

399 is NOT the same bullet which Todd handed to FBI agent Robert Frazier. I

doubt Bugliosi even knows about Hunt's explosive essays about the

bullet/ballistic anomalies in this case. Twenty years ago, I tried one last

time with the Manson prosecutor. I told him Emory Brown and I had discovered

a sidewalk mark consistent with a bullet scar (and a suspicious history as

well in its background), which coincided with photo blow-ups in my

possession of a human-like figure holding a rifle-like object on the grassy

knoll south, the unfamous knoll. Bugliosi said he wanted me to send him

copies and wrote his name and address on a piece of paper. But the next

night the Boston newspapers quoted Bugliosi as saying, "Kennedy

assassination buffs are like wolves baying at the moon." I never contacted

him. I'm glad I didn't... Suffice it to say, on May 22, 2007, Rick and I

left Cambridge with a general sense of cynism, but with a quiet

understanding, that even if we can't win this mighty quest, that we have

much work to do in an effort to fight the good fight for the principles of

justice and democracy. We must never capitulate despite the odds against our

success. We must not allow Bugliosi's mastery of fallacious arguments to

stand unchallenged. He is a worthy adversary, but his lone nut theory is

more than "silly." It is a classic representation of Orwellian propaganda

and needs to be addressed despite our limited resources and minmal access to

the national media.


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I cannot begin to express how pleased I am to be reading new material from Ed Tatro.

His JFK work is informed -- no, make that empowered -- by a passionate commitment to truth the likes of which I rarely have encountered in the so-called research community. We last spoke in 1995, when he, George Michael Evica, Dick Russell, Priscilla Johnson MacMillan, and others testified before the ARRB in Boston.

Ed is the living definition of "citizen-historian." His accomplishments beg the question: What does Robert Dallek bring to the party that Ed doesn't?

Within the answer may be discovered volumes of hard truth about the value we choose to place on conventional academia.


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If one is an astute observer of the country once referred to as The Great Experiment, a 'pivotal' year would be 1936, of course that was the year a fascist plot to take over the US government failed, mainly as a result of the testimony of Gen Smedley Butler, call that one too controversial for the fragile mindset of most American's, but the lesson academics decades from now, will absorb concerning the great experiment, was that in 1963 there were not enough General Butler's and more than enough powerful interests to pull off the murder of a President.

One of the lesson's of the JFK saga concerns a obscure quote made by Thomas Merton, who stated, [some might say prophesied,] if America prevails against Germany, [in WW2] she will become just like it......

What did he mean? Many people have pondered the question as if it were the equivalent of pondering the intentions of the Pharoah's when the decision was made to build the pyramid's, but in reality the answer is not too difficult to find.....The question in reality is, are you prepared for the answer you will find. Men with "good intentions" have committed some of the worst atrocities ever to have been recorded in history books, but the lesson is lost on most people. While Rome burns, the nation is to busy arguing about a linear concept of the political left and the right, and the relative merits of each

Great minds? argue that the linear concept is absurd, and that the line should be a 360 degree circle, at certain points in the circle, distinctions between the political left & right become irrelevant, why?

Because if you are living under the implementation of a hellish totalitarianism, does it really matter if it is a fascist one or a communist one?

And you may ask yourself

Where does that highway go?

And you may ask yourself

Am I right? ...or am I wrong?

And you may tell yourself

My god!...what have I done?

da da dant danta da,

Same as it ever was,

same as it ever was,

same as it ever was......

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myself insane, irrational or unreasonable. She seemed to accept that

criticism, but stoically so with an accepting shrug. Bugliosi headed in

Priscilla's direction and thanked her profusely for her input. He told her

that he could not have written the book without her help.



Well, I believe that makes it official.

Teamwork with Ms. Priscilla outs Mr. Bug as a CIA mouthpiece IMO.

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Mr. Tatro--

Thanks for that great descirption. It was very well written. I could feel the tension and academic conformity in the room!

I concur, here, here,

many thaks to Ed Tatro for taking the time to attend this event and give us such a fine report.

With the Bug and Talbot on book promotion tours, if they ever cross paths it should be like the OK Corral.


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