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The Third Bullet by Stephen Hunter: a conspiracy book in disguise?

Pat Speer

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I have recently taken to looking through the large retailers in my area, to see what assassination-related materials are pushed as we near the 50th anniversary.

The only assassination-related book I found in my local Walmart was The Third Bullet, a novel by Stephen Hunter.

It turned out it was more than just a novel. In a post-script, Hunter notes that the source materials for his tale were The Warren Report, Case Closed by Gerald Posner, and Reclaiming History by Vincent Bugliosi. These provided him with a timeline. He then built his story around the gaps in that timeline. In other words, everything he wrote was consistent with the evidence as laid out by those claiming Oswald did-it. And yet in his book Oswald doesn't do it. Not all of it, anyway. Pretty clever, IMO.

Hunter does more than make us scratch our heads, however. He also adds to what we know. At the very end of the book, he includes a non-fiction essay on the rifle purportedly used in the assassination. Here, Hunter confirms that he bought a rifle and scope like those removed from the Depository, and found that the scope put on the rifle would have been of little assistance unless it had been properly attached to the rifle, and that this could only be done with the assistance of shims.

And yet no shims were found on the rifle when first examined by the FBI. Hunter concludes “No shims, no shot.”

The problem of the missing shim is something I’ve discussed in the past, and it was gratifying to see it confirmed by someone as independent-minded as Hunter.

Edited by Pat Speer
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