Anyone that was born at least nine years before 1963 can remember with precision where they were the day that John F. Kennedy died. My father remembers it as if it were yesterday and in full detail. And I sense that although he tells me what he does remember, there are so many more things about that day that he is unable to express with words. The violent removal of the president and the change of government that ensued left its mark as one of the darkest days in American history. The ghost of John Kennedy continues to haunt us every November when we remember those tragic days in Dallas. In October, 2017, the government is expected to release a significant number of classified documents relating to the assassination, in particular documents related to the Central Intelligence Agency. The news has given researchers hope that one day we may know the full truth about Kennedy’s murder.
The Warren Commission presented an open and shut case. Although he was never convicted in a court of law, Lee Harvey Oswald has been blamed for the murder. Simply put, one assassin and three excellently placed bullets, ended the life of the 35th President of the United States. Furthermore, as Oswald plotted his next move, he allegedly encountered and murdered Dallas Police Officer J.D. Tippitt who took interest in Oswald based on the description of the shooting suspect that was broadcast over police radio. At first glance, all the pieces fit into a nicely designed puzzle. But on closer inspection, there are many strange things that occurred that day that had nothing to do with Lee Harvey Oswald. Tippitt was memorialized as a heroic officer who died in the line of duty as he attempted to apprehend a monster that had just gunned down the president. But is that what really happened? And was Tippitt simply a beat cop with bad luck or did he play a darker and more sinister role in the crime?
Joseph McBride is an independent researcher who has invested more than 30 years of research into this chilling and revealing investigative account into what has been referred to as the crime of the century. On a Youtube podcast, McBride mentioned that Arlen Specter declared that the Tippitt shooting is the Rosetta stone of the assassination. It certainly is but not for the reasons many of us have been lead to believe. The book is not simply a tome of facts in chronological order but reads more like a journal which helps keep the reader engaged throughout the book. McBride does not solely focus on Dealey Plaza and devotes a good portion of the book to Tippitt’s life which puts the crime in a completely different light. In the Commission’s report, very little is mentioned about Tippitt. In fact, until this book, the majority of what we knew about Tippitt came from independent researchers. Their discoveries were good but McBride has taken the research to a whole new level. Discussions with Tippitt’s father, people who knew him, former Dallas Police officers and those who worked at locations he was known to frequent provided valuable insight into the real life of Jefferson Davis Tippitt.
So what exactly is in the book? Well there are no spoilers here but I can say that after you finish the book, you will see through the Commission’s report and understand what was really taking placed in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas that day. Ironically Tippitt becomes just a mysterious as Oswald himself. A World War II veteran, Tippitt as no stranger to combat or gunfire and had been an office for at least 10 years. His sudden murder which by all accounts caught him off guard is examined in detail by McBride. Several witnesses to the murder stated that Tippitt was known in the area and was no stranger to many of the residents. And shockingly, Oswald’s killer, Jack Ruby also lived in the Oak Cliff section as did Oswald himself. And thus, the nucleus of the crime is formed with its principle patsies all destined to fulfill their roles. Officially, the Commission’s position is that there is no evidence the three men knew each other. Many witnesses have come forward to dispute that but in the process have been discredited by subversive means or ignored in other cases. But as McBride digs deeper, we began to see that there was a strange nexus of activity in the area up to and subsequent to the assassination. The mystery that McBride is attempting to solve is the true nature of their relationships and connections. Oswald and Tippitt died within days of each other and Ruby several years later. Whatever secrets they had they took with them to their graves. But I do believe that this book is the closest we have come to seeing the truth.
The book is exhaustively research but McBride does not overburden the reader with footnotes. The writing style is easy to follow and beyond interesting. And through his efforts he has created a masterpiece that puts the assassination in a new perspective. Some believe that we will never know the truth about what really happened that day. But with authors such as McBride, we are getting excitingly close.