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Vincent Bugliosi weighs in on JFK assassination


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I didn't get very far into the introduction before I started finding errors in this book.

Be confident folks, this guy doesn't have much. (I would love to see David Wrone or Gerald McKnight debate Bugliosi.)

1. He says Oswald shot Tippit 45 minutes after he shot Kennedy.

Fact: T.F. Bowley called in the shooting of Tippit. He looked at his watch it said 1:10 p.m. His affadavit is in Hearings volume

24, page 202 and is reprinted in Weisberg's Post Mortem, page 493. No wonder the Commission never called him as a witness.

Fact: Time reconstructions by David Belin showed that LHO couldn't even get to the scene until 1:20.

2. Bugliosi says that those who saw Oswald go to work that morning said he was carrying a large bag. A "large bag"?

How do people get this stuff published?

Fact: Randle and Frazier described a package that was no more than 28 inches, but the disassemlbed M-C was 36 inches.

I don't care how large the bag is, it doesn't fit. Neat little writing trick it is to use the phrase "large bag."

Fact: Foreman Dougherty swore that Oswald entered the TSBD empty handed that morning. Really. No kidding.

You can look it up. Volume 6 of the Hearings, p. 376-377. David Wrone cites this in his book The Zapruder Film, but it has noted by other critics as well (particularly Weisberg).

As far as what kind of soda Oswald preferred who cares?! Dougherty was on the fifth floor by the stairwell and Styles and Adams were on the fourth floor IN the stairwell. They all stated that no one came down from the sixth floor. See David Wrones's The Zapruder Film for details, page 170.

I like how he criticizes Howard Roffman. I can't wait to read how he challenges Roffman's superb alibi reconstruction in Presumed Guilty. Roffman takes every piece of official evidence and shows how Oswald cannot have been the sixth floor shooter. Especially revealing is how Baker and Truly described how they first encountered Oswald on the second floor. The only way they could have seen him in the vestible leading to the lunchroom with that door already closed is if Oswald was coming up from the first floor as he said, and not down from the third (the vestible door would still have been open). Read this chapter from Roffman's book.

This book is so easy to knock down. Someone will have to set up a website with all the of the factual errors.

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I'd recommend that interested parties from this board register with Amazon (if they haven't already) and post specific errors and factual mistakes in the review section under Bugliosi's book, along with appropriate 1-star negative ratings (the system won't let us go to zero), with an emphasis on clearly describing the book's errors. Brian's rebuttals above with page numbers listed are excellent examples of the sort of thing that would be useful. The usual no-conspiracy-here-folks idiots appproving Bugliosi's work won't have as much traction if their fawning posts are balanced out by clear-cut pieces describing the work's factual errors and omissions. Once a review is there, it's there forever and can work wonders in informing newcomers and decreasing interest in the book.

As an aside, I checked the recent pre-order sales of this and Talbot's BROTHERS and Talbot's book was outselling Bugliosi's by a massive margin.

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I didn't get very far into the introduction before I started finding errors in this book.

Be confident folks, this guy doesn't have much. (I would love to see David Wrone or Gerald McKnight debate Bugliosi.)

1. He says Oswald shot Tippit 45 minutes after he shot Kennedy.

Fact: T.F. Bowley called in the shooting of Tippit. He looked at his watch it said 1:10 p.m. His affadavit is in Hearings volume

24, page 202 and is reprinted in Weisberg's Post Mortem, page 493. No wonder the Commission never called him as a witness.

Fact: Time reconstructions by David Belin showed that LHO couldn't even get to the scene until 1:20.

2. Bugliosi says that those who saw Oswald go to work that morning said he was carrying a large bag. A "large bag"?

How do people get this stuff published?

Fact: Randle and Frazier described a package that was no more than 28 inches, but the disassemlbed M-C was 36 inches.

I don't care how large the bag is, it doesn't fit. Neat little writing trick it is to use the phrase "large bag."

Fact: Foreman Dougherty swore that Oswald entered the TSBD empty handed that morning. Really. No kidding.

You can look it up. Volume 6 of the Hearings, p. 376-377. David Wrone cites this in his book The Zapruder Film, but it has noted by other critics as well (particularly Weisberg).

As far as what kind of soda Oswald preferred who cares?! Dougherty was on the fifth floor by the stairwell and Styles and Adams were on the fourth floor IN the stairwell. They all stated that no one came down from the sixth floor. See David Wrones's The Zapruder Film for details, page 170.

I like how he criticizes Howard Roffman. I can't wait to read how he challenges Roffman's superb alibi reconstruction in Presumed Guilty. Roffman takes every piece of official evidence and shows how Oswald cannot have been the sixth floor shooter. Especially revealing is how Baker and Truly described how they first encountered Oswald on the second floor. The only way they could have seen him in the vestible leading to the lunchroom with that door already closed is if Oswald was coming up from the first floor as he said, and not down from the third (the vestible door would still have been open). Read this chapter from Roffman's book.

This book is so easy to knock down. Someone will have to set up a website with all the of the factual errors.

This is NOT a matter of ego, but I would like to know how he addresses

issues I have presented over the years...so see what the index lists under

JACK WHITE...

1. the faked backyard photos

2. the multiple MC rifles and faked ballistic evidence

3. the two Oswalds, the two Marguerites

4. the Badgeman figure in Moorman

5. the faked Zapruder film

6. the fact that Zapruder did not shoot the extant film

7. the extensive tampering with other photo evidence

There are more, but failure to "debunk" these issues is failure to address

very basic evidence. Please summarize how he treats such matters.

Also, how does he treat the massive research of John Armstrong? Failure

to debunk Armstrong indicates failure to address very basic evidence of

the CIA false defector program.

Jack

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I'd recommend that interested parties from this board register with Amazon (if they haven't already) and post specific errors and factual mistakes in the review section under Bugliosi's book, along with appropriate 1-star negative ratings (the system won't let us go to zero), with an emphasis on clearly describing the book's errors. Brian's rebuttals above with page numbers listed are excellent examples of the sort of thing that would be useful. The usual no-conspiracy-here-folks idiots appproving Bugliosi's work won't have as much traction if their fawning posts are balanced out by clear-cut pieces describing the work's factual errors and omissions. Once a review is there, it's there forever and can work wonders in informing newcomers and decreasing interest in the book.

As an aside, I checked the recent pre-order sales of this and Talbot's BROTHERS and Talbot's book was outselling Bugliosi's by a massive margin.

Anthony,

I agree that publishing reviews on Amazon for Bugliosi's book is quite a good idea, given that people determine whether or not to buy the book based upon others observations. This is the type of project that needs to be co-ordinated among the research community. As it stands, amazon reviews of JFK books are primarily the domain of David Von Pein. He does a thorough job of praising and bashing those books that fit his paradigm and those that do not.

I will be writing an article for the Dealey Plaza echo in the next few days based on the topic of co-operative research and projects. I will post it here when it is finished. It is about time that we start creating some counter propaganda of our own.

John

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You weren't kidding about Talbot outselling Bugliosi. Brothers is listed as number 159 in the best selling list, whereas Bugliosi's book is at 2,884. No comparison. It would seem that a combination of a change in opinions on the case and sheer length are working against Mr.Bugliosi.

John

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Pat,

Like most of the other celebrated music stars of the '60s, the Beatles were producing lots of socially relevant music at that time, and the white album was probably (imho) their masterpiece. However, there is a big difference between protest songs and advocating murder and/or racial war. My point was that Bugliosi formulated a ridiculous, contrived explanation for the Tate-LaBianca murders which unjustifiably revolved around the lyrics from the white album. I think his absurd theory doesn't speak well for him, and makes his dishonest defense of the indefensible lone-assassin fairy tale a bit more understandable. I don't find Bugliosi the least bit credible.

The Helter Skelter theory was a cop -out / diversion, read "The Ultimate Evil" by Maury Terry.

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I'd recommend that interested parties from this board register with Amazon (if they haven't already) and post specific errors and factual mistakes in the review section under Bugliosi's book, along with appropriate 1-star negative ratings (the system won't let us go to zero), with an emphasis on clearly describing the book's errors. Brian's rebuttals above with page numbers listed are excellent examples of the sort of thing that would be useful. The usual no-conspiracy-here-folks idiots appproving Bugliosi's work won't have as much traction if their fawning posts are balanced out by clear-cut pieces describing the work's factual errors and omissions. Once a review is there, it's there forever and can work wonders in informing newcomers and decreasing interest in the book.

As an aside, I checked the recent pre-order sales of this and Talbot's BROTHERS and Talbot's book was outselling Bugliosi's by a massive margin.

Great suggestions and info Anthony. I have a zillion books I could review there. Thanks.

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I should direct your attention to Peter Levenda's "Sinister Forces" trilogy, too, and its lengthy treatment of the Manson phenomenon that stands in the starkest of contrast to Bugliosi's whitewash.

This massive work simply cannot be overestimated in terms of its significance to the understanding of the depth and breadth of our shared subject matter.

Charles

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You weren't kidding about Talbot outselling Bugliosi. Brothers is listed as number 159 in the best selling list, whereas Bugliosi's book is at 2,884. No comparison. It would seem that a combination of a change in opinions on the case and sheer length are working against Mr.Bugliosi.

John

Just a question ! I currently have Talbot's book.

But I have been told that I will not receive Bugliosi until May 28. Can there be an accurate comparison between books that are currently in circulation vs. books that are not yet on the shelf? Has Barnes & Noble provided me the wrong ingormation regarding availability of Bugliosi?

Charles Black

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Charles, I'm not sure of the actual availability of Bugliosi but I think that Amazon does take "preorders" and counts those in

purchase / positioning numbers you are seeing....I've been seeing purchase numbers for Bugliosi for at least a week.

-- Larry

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And now for some Friday humor: Rip Van Bugliosi's hometown paper reviews Bugliosi's new book.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.calendarlive.com/books/la-bk-ne...-books-features

BOOK REVIEW

'Reclaiming History' by Vincent Bugliosi

An in-depth look at the many theories about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy

By Jim Newton

May 13, 2007

Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy

Vincent Bugliosi

W.W. Norton: 1,612 pp., $49.95

Vincent BUGLIOSI is an American master of common sense, a punishing advocate and a curmudgeonly refreshing voice of reason.

His targets have been the loopy and the deranged, the deceitful and the violent. And so, a career launched with the prosecution of Charles Manson and honed with a book parsing the defense of O.J. Simpson has, with seeming inevitability, come around to 20th century America's great repository of poor reasoning: the assassination of President Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963.

After reading what may be Bugliosi's crowning work (more than 1,600 pages, not to mention an additional 1,100 pages of notes on an accompanying CD), one thinks: At last, someone has done it, put all the pieces together. "Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy" is important not just because it's correct, though it is. It's significant not just because it is comprehensive — surely, no one will deny that. It is essential, first and foremost, because it is conclusive. From this point forward, no reasonable person can argue that Lee Harvey Oswald was innocent; no sane person can take seriously assertions that Kennedy was killed by the CIA, Fidel Castro, the Mob, the Soviets, the Vietnamese, Texas oilmen or his vice president, Lyndon B. Johnson — all of whom exist as suspects in the vacuous world of conspiracy theorists.

Each may be guilty of crimes, but none had anything to do with Kennedy's assassination. "Reclaiming History" may finally move those accusations beyond civilized debate.

Not everyone who dares to heft Bugliosi's tome will be happy with it. He is not an ingratiating writer; his tone, as always, is prosecutorial. He writes aggressively and sarcastically. There's not a lot of finesse on display. He's a slugger, not a stylist. Think Ruth, not Clemente.

Bugliosi, whose previous books include "The Betrayal of America: How the Supreme Court Undermined the Constitution and Chose Our President" (2001) and "No Island of Sanity: Paula Jones v. Bill Clinton" (1998), begins by re-creating the events of the assassination, describing the investigations into that terrible day and examining the evidence collected by the various police agencies, the FBI, the commission led by Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren and others. Bugliosi is a keen analyst of that material; his dissection of the medical evidence is particularly telling. He establishes that Oswald fired three shots from the window of the Texas School Book Depository. One missed; one hit Kennedy in the upper back, then passed through his body and pierced then-Texas Gov. John B. Connally; the third struck Kennedy in the back of the head, killing him.

No shots — not hits or misses — were fired from the grassy knoll or any other place around Dallas' Dealey Plaza. A single bullet wounded both Kennedy and Connally, traveling in a nearly straight line, only to be deflected when it hit the governor's rib. Those findings, echoed again and again by independent examinations in the decades since the Warren Commission made them, lay the groundwork for the book's emphatic conclusions: Oswald killed Kennedy, and he acted alone.

Bugliosi's presentation of this material is so deft, so strong, that there is little need for him to turn his skills against the conspiracy theorists who argue otherwise. But he does, determined to give each theory the honest, probing review to which most have never been exposed.

It is a sight to behold. When Bugliosi lays into a bad argument, he attacks without mercy. He hammers again and again, challenging flawed logic with heavy fists. Of a historian's much-repeated belief in an impostor Oswald, Bugliosi writes. "Apparently Walt Brown's good mind was taking a rest when he wrote those words." Of the theory that Robert F. Kennedy was involved in a cover-up of his brother's assassination, going so far as to meddle in the disposal of the president's brain, Bugliosi laments: "Is there any end to the silliness?"

That's barely a sampling. Given that there are more than 1,000 conspiracy books on this subject, Bugliosi has his work cut out, but he slogs away. The allegation that the memorable photograph of Oswald holding the rifle that fired the fatal shots was a forgery — a ludicrous proposition undermined by photographic evidence as well as testimony by Oswald's wife, Marina, that she took the picture herself — is brusquely dismissed with evidence of its absurdity. Concluding that section, Bugliosi writes: "I could continue this safari into delirium, but enough."

When he examines documents purporting to supply evidence of CIA involvement in the assassination, Bugliosi snaps again. "Can you imagine that, folks?" he writes. "The CIA has confessed to Kennedy's murder! And in writing!"

The sheer lunacy of many of the theories, along with the intellectually dishonest way in which they have been argued, should long ago have doomed them to marginalia. They have persisted, however, and continue to command much public support. That's true despite the fact that none has ever offered a counter-theory backed by real evidence. There are only the findings of the Warren Commission and critics of that commission, none of whom have overturned those findings.

Indeed, all that conspiracy theorists have shown is that there were plenty of people who might have wanted Kennedy dead. That's a far cry from proving they killed him. Or, as Bugliosi puts it: "The biggest mistake, by far, that well-intentioned lay people make in concluding there was a conspiracy in the Kennedy assassination, and the biggest argument, by far, that conspiracy theorists use in their books to support their position of a conspiracy, is to maintain that such and such a group 'had a motive' to kill Kennedy and, therefore, must have done it."

And what of that idea? "You know," Bugliosi writes mockingly, "if the president of our country is doing something that a particular group (e.g., Wall Street or unions or environmentalists) doesn't like, the group simply kills him. That's what we routinely do in America, right?"

Those who come to Bugliosi's book with sympathy for conspiracy theories may wince at the punishment he inflicts across so many pages. He suffers no fools, and Kennedy's assassination has produced more than its share of foolish speculators; he will make some enemies with this work. It seems fair to say that he's unlikely to care.

Others will quibble with his style — he has an unfortunate habit of shifting back and forth between present and past tense — but the spine of this work is research and argument.

In some passages, Bugliosi reveals subtlety and empathy as a writer. Recounting the sad aftermath of the world's farewell to Kennedy, the author describes the president's widow and his brother kneeling at the grave of "our friend" just before midnight. "Rising, Jackie places the spray of lilies on the grave. Together, they turn and walk down into darkness and into lives that would never be the same."

Bugliosi's book isn't for everyone. It is, by his admission, one of "abnormal length." Its organization — a scintillating, minute-by-minute account of the events surrounding the assassination that segues into long chapters examining aspects of the case in fine detail — results in a certain amount of repetition.

But no serious scholar of the president's assassination will ever write again on the subject without citing Bugliosi. And there are more works to come — most promising, a long-awaited look at the Warren Commission from author Max Holland ("The Kennedy Assassination Tapes").

No doubt there also will be more works of confusion and idiocy. Happily, however, from this point forward, all contributors to the field must build on "Reclaiming History."

With this work, Bugliosi has definitively explained the murder that recalibrated modern America. It is a book for the ages. jim.newton@latimes.com

Jim Newton, editor of The Times' editorial pages, is the author of "Justice for All: Earl Warren and the Nation He Made."

If you want other stories on this topic, search the Archives at latimes.com/archives.

Article licensing and reprint options

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Copyright 2007 Los Angeles Times

http://www.calendarlive.com/books/la-bk-ne...-books-features

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Well, it looks like the mainstream media is going to proclaim that Bugliosi has done the impossible: he has written an even greater book than Case Closed. If Posner's book was a nail in CT's coffin, Bugliosi's book has deep-sixed it.

John, when are you closing down this forum?

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Larry

Thanks. That certainly makes sense.

J. Ray

I suppose "that" review will be responsible for a few thousand sales. As someone suggested, we need to barrage those sites which ask for reviews with specific critiques where warranted. I'm getting ahead of myself, but unless most of us belong on another planet, there should be many warranted opportunities.

Ron

I would imagine that the forum will not be destucted by the Bugliosi "carpet bombing", for at least a while.

Seriously looking forward to receipt of my copy !

Charles Black

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And now for some Friday humor: Rip Van Bugliosi's hometown paper reviews Bugliosi's new book.

http://www.calendarlive.com/books/la-bk-ne...-books-features

BOOK REVIEW 'Reclaiming History' by Vincent Bugliosi

An in-depth look at the many theories about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy

By Jim Newton

May 13, 2007

Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy

Vincent Bugliosi W.W. Norton: 1,612 pp., $49.95

Vincent BUGLIOSI is an American master of common sense, a punishing advocate and a curmudgeonly refreshing voice of reason.

.........

But no serious scholar of the president's assassination will ever write again on the subject without citing Bugliosi. And there are more works to come — most promising, a long-awaited look at the Warren Commission from author Max Holland ("The Kennedy Assassination Tapes").

No doubt there also will be more works of confusion and idiocy. Happily, however, from this point forward, all contributors to the field must build on "Reclaiming History."

With this work, Bugliosi has definitively explained the murder that recalibrated modern America. It is a book for the ages. jim.newton@latimes.com

Jim Newton, editor of The Times' editorial pages, is the author of "Justice for All: Earl Warren and the Nation He Made." Copyright 2007 Los Angeles Times

http://www.calendarlive.com/books/la-bk-ne...-books-features

I sent a little note to Jim Newton and he actually replied. I reminded him that some years ago he published an op-ed piece on the Warren Commission by former WC attorney Richard Mosk, and my response was published, much to my surprise.

Also note that the LA Times and Rolling Stone are the only mainstream publications that think E. Howard Hunt's words on the assassination are newsworthy.

Newton said we'll just have to "agree to disagree" on the evidence, and suggested that I read Bugliosi's book.

I agreed if he will publish my review and read David Talbot's Brothers.

Maybe John can get Bugliosi to join the forum and answer some questions and we can give some real meaning to the Debate in JFK Assassination Debate.

BK

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