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BOOK REVIEW: Fuhrman views JFK's murder as 'a simple act'


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Book Review

http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/ma...ly/15100141.htm

<QUOTE>

Fuhrman views JFK's murder as 'a simple act'

A Simple Act of Murder

November 22, 1963

By Mark Fuhrman

Morrow. 232 pp. $25.95

Reviewed by Thomas Lipscomb

H. L. Mencken cautioned that "for every complex problem, there is a

solution that is simple, neat, and wrong," but that doesn't keep

detective turned talented criminal investigative writer Mark Fuhrman

from seeing the assassination of President John F. Kennedy as "a

simple act of murder." Sometimes, fortunately, in seeking

that "simple solution," some real progress is made in defining how to

go about finding any solution. Mark Fuhrman's book is well worth

reading for its clarity and single-mindedness in taking on the

challenge of a much-muddled subject. It is also the most useful brief

summary to date of how the investigations into the assassination have

proceeded, officially and unofficially, from 1963 to the present.

Mark Fuhrman spent his professional life in the Los Angeles Police

Department, and shared the conclusion of many of his colleagues that

there had to be a conspiracy in the Kennedy assassination. Despite

that, he set himself the task of solving the case in "an effort to

clear away some of the fog... so that we can see it for what it is -

a simple act of murder." He certainly succeeded in creating a brisk

read for armchair investigators.

Fuhrman correctly notes that most of the vast material commenting on

the assassination is peripheral to the evidence and begins at the

wrong end of the investigation by trying to decide on a suspect

first, and then cutting the evidence to fit. Fuhrman reviews the

evidence first. And his understanding of it provides both the

highlights and the failures of his book as he proves to be not above

cutting some of the evidence himself.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the book is Fuhrman's masterly

analysis of Arlen Specter's much-debated "magic bullet" theory.

Specter, as assistant counsel to the Warren Commission, came up with

an ingenious theory as to how one bullet caused extensive wounds to

President Kennedy, then to Texas Gov. John Connally, and then

conveniently rolled out - to be found, almost pristine, on Connally's

stretcher at Dallas' Parkland Hospital. The theory was so improbable

that three members of the commission objected to it. One, Georgia

Sen. Richard Russell, refused to sign the report unless his dissent

was published with it. It has since been the inspiration for dozens

of conspiracy theorists, who jump to wildly differing conclusions.

According to Fuhrman, Specter's difficulty was that the commission

had concluded that the first of the three bullets Oswald fired had

missed. That meant the second bullet had to do double damage since

the commission had also decided that the third bullet was the head

shot that hit only Kennedy.

Fuhrman's solution is simpler and obvious. According to the

commission, three shots were fired; the range of all three shots was

between 50 and 100 yards, the rifle had a four-power telescopic

sight, and the target was moving at less than 8 m.p.h. It was almost

impossible to miss with any shot. Why wasn't it more likely that the

first shot hadn't missed, but had indeed hit Kennedy in the upper

back and that the second shot had hit Connally (hence, the bullet

found on his stretcher)? Fuhrman's theory makes a lot more sense.

There is only one problem. No one has yet succeeded, under similar

conditions, in making those three shots with a comparable bolt-action

Mannlicher-Carcano in the 5.6 seconds allotted by the Zapruder film

timing, much less reload, aim, and fire another shot in the 1.8

seconds Fuhrman allots between the first shot striking Kennedy and

the shot striking Connally. Fuhrman and Specter both have a problem.

The "magic bullet" theory actually originated with a naval officer

nominally in charge of what is generally agreed was the badly botched

autopsy conducted at Bethesda Naval Hospital with 28 people crammed

into the room and the Kennedy family outside determining what would

and would not be allowed. The officer was Cmdr. James J. Humes.

The Kennedy autopsy was Humes' very first forensic autopsy and he was

as full of opinions as he was an amateur in forensic autopsy. Fuhrman

concludes that Specter should have known better than to buy into

Humes' theory, once he took the consistent - and directly

conflicting - testimony of Connally and his wife. But the commission

was under tremendous pressure from Lyndon B. Johnson's White House to

get its report out before the 1964 election, and it was certainly

easier to wind it up by August listening to Humes as if he actually

knew what he was talking about.

Unfortunately, despite calling the Humes autopsy "botched" himself,

Fuhrman goes along with its conclusions, ignoring forensic autopsy

expert Cyril Wecht, radiologist David Mantik, and others who have

offered important reconsiderations of the autopsy X-rays and

photographic evidence - all of it indicating that the autopsy was

part of a government smoke screen concealing just how the shots had

hit Kennedy. Fuhrman seems more inclined, like Gerald Posner of Case

Closed, to find a better basis for the Warren Report than to consider

new evidence. Available now, for example, are photographs collected

from the more than 30 photographers present in Dealey Plaza that

day.Some of these appear to challenge the Zapruder film, which the

commission put forward as the most important evidence.

A Simple Act of Murder is not entirely satisfying, but it is hard to

believe any solution ever will be, especially when one reads a recent

statement by Gary Cornwell, who served as deputy chief counsel for

the House Select Committee on Assassinations that investigated the

Kennedy assassination in the late 1970s. Looking back after all the

years he spent on the case with chief counsel Robert Blakey, Cornwell

concluded that "the honest truth is that we will probably

never 'solve' the case. The case should have been solved in 1963 and

1964, and because the government decided not to look for the real

answers when it had the chance, the opportunity was probably lost

forever."

<END QUOTE>

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Book Review

http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/ma...ly/15100141.htm

<QUOTE>

Fuhrman views JFK's murder as 'a simple act'

A Simple Act of Murder

November 22, 1963

By Mark Fuhrman

Morrow. 232 pp. $25.95

Reviewed by Thomas Lipscomb

H. L. Mencken cautioned that "for every complex problem, there is a

solution that is simple, neat, and wrong," but that doesn't keep

detective turned talented criminal investigative writer Mark Fuhrman

from seeing the assassination of President John F. Kennedy as "a

simple act of murder." Sometimes, fortunately, in seeking

that "simple solution," some real progress is made in defining how to

go about finding any solution. Mark Fuhrman's book is well worth

reading for its clarity and single-mindedness in taking on the

challenge of a much-muddled subject. It is also the most useful brief

summary to date of how the investigations into the assassination have

proceeded, officially and unofficially, from 1963 to the present.

Mark Fuhrman spent his professional life in the Los Angeles Police

Department, and shared the conclusion of many of his colleagues that

there had to be a conspiracy in the Kennedy assassination. Despite

that, he set himself the task of solving the case in "an effort to

clear away some of the fog... so that we can see it for what it is -

a simple act of murder." He certainly succeeded in creating a brisk

read for armchair investigators.

Fuhrman correctly notes that most of the vast material commenting on

the assassination is peripheral to the evidence and begins at the

wrong end of the investigation by trying to decide on a suspect

first, and then cutting the evidence to fit. Fuhrman reviews the

evidence first. And his understanding of it provides both the

highlights and the failures of his book as he proves to be not above

cutting some of the evidence himself.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the book is Fuhrman's masterly

analysis of Arlen Specter's much-debated "magic bullet" theory.

Specter, as assistant counsel to the Warren Commission, came up with

an ingenious theory as to how one bullet caused extensive wounds to

President Kennedy, then to Texas Gov. John Connally, and then

conveniently rolled out - to be found, almost pristine, on Connally's

stretcher at Dallas' Parkland Hospital. The theory was so improbable

that three members of the commission objected to it. One, Georgia

Sen. Richard Russell, refused to sign the report unless his dissent

was published with it. It has since been the inspiration for dozens

of conspiracy theorists, who jump to wildly differing conclusions.

According to Fuhrman, Specter's difficulty was that the commission

had concluded that the first of the three bullets Oswald fired had

missed. That meant the second bullet had to do double damage since

the commission had also decided that the third bullet was the head

shot that hit only Kennedy.

Fuhrman's solution is simpler and obvious. According to the

commission, three shots were fired; the range of all three shots was

between 50 and 100 yards, the rifle had a four-power telescopic

sight, and the target was moving at less than 8 m.p.h. It was almost

impossible to miss with any shot. Why wasn't it more likely that the

first shot hadn't missed, but had indeed hit Kennedy in the upper

back and that the second shot had hit Connally (hence, the bullet

found on his stretcher)? Fuhrman's theory makes a lot more sense.

There is only one problem. No one has yet succeeded, under similar

conditions, in making those three shots with a comparable bolt-action

Mannlicher-Carcano in the 5.6 seconds allotted by the Zapruder film

timing, much less reload, aim, and fire another shot in the 1.8

seconds Fuhrman allots between the first shot striking Kennedy and

the shot striking Connally. Fuhrman and Specter both have a problem.

The "magic bullet" theory actually originated with a naval officer

nominally in charge of what is generally agreed was the badly botched

autopsy conducted at Bethesda Naval Hospital with 28 people crammed

into the room and the Kennedy family outside determining what would

and would not be allowed. The officer was Cmdr. James J. Humes.

The Kennedy autopsy was Humes' very first forensic autopsy and he was

as full of opinions as he was an amateur in forensic autopsy. Fuhrman

concludes that Specter should have known better than to buy into

Humes' theory, once he took the consistent - and directly

conflicting - testimony of Connally and his wife. But the commission

was under tremendous pressure from Lyndon B. Johnson's White House to

get its report out before the 1964 election, and it was certainly

easier to wind it up by August listening to Humes as if he actually

knew what he was talking about.

Unfortunately, despite calling the Humes autopsy "botched" himself,

Fuhrman goes along with its conclusions, ignoring forensic autopsy

expert Cyril Wecht, radiologist David Mantik, and others who have

offered important reconsiderations of the autopsy X-rays and

photographic evidence - all of it indicating that the autopsy was

part of a government smoke screen concealing just how the shots had

hit Kennedy. Fuhrman seems more inclined, like Gerald Posner of Case

Closed, to find a better basis for the Warren Report than to consider

new evidence. Available now, for example, are photographs collected

from the more than 30 photographers present in Dealey Plaza that

day.Some of these appear to challenge the Zapruder film, which the

commission put forward as the most important evidence.

A Simple Act of Murder is not entirely satisfying, but it is hard to

believe any solution ever will be, especially when one reads a recent

statement by Gary Cornwell, who served as deputy chief counsel for

the House Select Committee on Assassinations that investigated the

Kennedy assassination in the late 1970s. Looking back after all the

years he spent on the case with chief counsel Robert Blakey, Cornwell

concluded that "the honest truth is that we will probably

never 'solve' the case. The case should have been solved in 1963 and

1964, and because the government decided not to look for the real

answers when it had the chance, the opportunity was probably lost

forever."

<END QUOTE>

"Simple" is an accurate assessment of this book.

Accepting his assessment what went on in Dealey Plaza requires that one completely ignore an incredible amount of CT evidence, which he simply chooses to do.

His bullet trajectory hypotheses are interesting, but they are the only redeeming aspects of the book.

Ironically, he did correctly solve one "Kennedy family murder" - the murder of Martha Moxley by Micheal Skakel.

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This remarkably fair review, in the Philly Inquirer, jumped out a me too. JFK read the Inquirer daily, along with WP, NYT, WSJ and LAT, when it was owned by Walter Annenberg, who hooked up with the mob because of his ownership of the Daily Racing Form. Nixon made him abassador to UK. The Inky was recently purchased from Kight-Ridder by a group of local businessmen.

As for Furman, the guy who personally screwed up the investigation of the OJ crime scene that allows OJ to golf every day, his reporting on the murder of MMox is also open to reasonable doubt, if you read and believe RFKJr.'s take on it.

Furman is a worthless POS, whose opinon and book, whatever he says, is worth less.

BK

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I believe that the reviewer, Mr. Lipscomb, is the Z-film alterationist who spoke at the Willard news conference in Washington a couple of months ago. These written words are far more cogent than his spoken ones that day. Interestingly, this piece ends on a pessimistic note, citing Gary Cornwell. that is at odds with the tone Mr. Lipscomb struck at the Willard.

I could not find any "recent" statements made on the subject by Mr. Cornwell. I did find this interview, which seems to be about 8 years old:http://www.thecelebritycafe.com/interviews/gary_cornwell.html

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