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Bill Turner

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William Weyand Turner, 88, of San Rafael, CA passed away on Saturday, December 26th after a long struggle with Parkinson's.

He was born April 14, 1927 in Buffalo, NY.

He served in the Navy during WWII and then attended Canisius College in Buffalo, NY where he obtained a Chemistry degree and was their first goalie.

He was drafted by the New York Rangers, but ended up working for the FBI as a Special Agent for 10 years.

He "resigned" after testifying to Congress about problems at the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover.

After leaving the FBI he worked as a journalist investigating the JFK assassination, then as an Investigator for Jim Garrison's inquiry into the JFK assassination.

This led to his becoming an author and authority on both Kennedy assassinations.

He wrote such books as Hoover's FBI, The Fish is Red, and the 10 Second Jailbreak that was made in to the movie "Breakout" with Charles Bronson.

He loved tennis, golf, reading, and spending time with friends and family.

He is survived by his loving wife of 51 years, Margaret, two children Mark and Lori, two sisters Janet and Maggie, 3 grandchildren Austin, Cassidy, and Kolton, and great grandson Michael.

Assisted by Monte's Chapel of the Hills, San Anselmo, CA

Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Jan. 3, 2016


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I was privileged to meet Bill at the 2008 RFK Conference, and have lunch with him. He was the real deal--a former FBI agent who'd seen the light, so to speak. We talked a lot about Bugliosi. I told Bill how Bugliosi had called him a "conspiracy writer" or some such thing in his book, in an effort to minimize his credibility. Bill found this quite insulting, seeing as he and Bugliosi had worked together for years on the RFK case, and how, at least at that time, Bugliosi was as big a conspiracy theorist as himself.

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Bill wrote some books that I think were pretty valuable at the time they appeared. That is, they pushed the envelope.

His book on the RFK case, co-written with Jonn Christian, was a very good effort in that field that opened up a lot of different angles in that case that no one had really seen before.

His book, The Fish is Red, co-written with Warren Hinckle, was also very good on things like the growth and mutation of the anti-Castro community, using a lot of stuff from the Garrison investigation. This was later reissued and updated as Deadly Secrets.

He did other books of interest also, like Rearview Mirror. And some of his essays, like those he did for Ramparts on the Garrison investigation, were valuable.

Bill was a really skilled writer, which is not all that common in this field. I mean, just think of wading through the books of Weisberg and Livingstone. Turner knew how to organize material, how to break it down into major elements, and how to make it come to life. And he could turn a phrase.

From what I understand, he was working on a major book about Cuban/American relations in his latter years.

Edited by James DiEugenio
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Can I ask the moderators:

Why are there three threads on this event?

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My essential memories of Bill Turner and a commemoration of his writing career. Like Paris Flammonde, and many others in the field, the man deserves more than the public notice we have.


RIP Bill

Edited by James DiEugenio
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