Last week I was debating what book to read next and realized that I had not covered anything on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) in quite some time. To many Americans, his death is in America’s past, and a crime never to be solved. With that being said, his murder is a reminder of how easy it once was to remove a sitting president from the highest office in the land. Kennedy’s death endures as one of America’s darkest moments and the unanswered questions surrounding the events in Dealey Plaza still send chills down the spines of even the most seasoned researchers. Colonel John Hughes-Wilson has taken another look at the crime and lays out his case for what he believes was a coup d’état on November 22, 1963. In the fifty-years since JFK’s death, researchers have been able to compile a staggering amount of revealing evidence throughout independent research and the release of government files under the Freedom of Information Act and the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992. Incredibly, Hughes-Wilson has managed to compress thousands of pages of information into a book that is less than 400 pages. But contained within the pages of this book is an excellent summary of what happened before, during and after Kennedy’s murder.
Some readers may be independent researchers in the crime or simply someone that has never believed the official story put forth by the government. I warn the reader to be prepared for many shocking revelations and the introduction of facts that are simply unbelievable. If you believe that Lee Harvey Oswald (1939-1963) was the lone killer, you may find this book hard to accept. But I do think that the author provides an incredibly strong position to support his believe that Kennedy’s murder was in effect a change in government by powerful sources hidden behind the scenes. One of the book’s most interest parts is how the author sets the stage for Kennedy’s murder. So much focus is often placed on November 22 but it is critical to understand the forces that raged against his administration and their culmination into a deadly web of enemies determined to have the president removed at all costs. Author James Douglass does a great job of covering topic in his book on the murder “JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why it Matters“. The information provided therein if plentiful and highly enlightening. Hughes-Wilson takes a similar approach but streamlines the information to keep the pace moving at a sufficient pace.
Any book on Kennedy’s murder is sure to contain a long list of characters relevant to the story at hand. This book is no different and as one would expect, figures such as Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) and J. Edgar Hoover (1895-1972) are discussed throughout the book. We also learn about the various groups that came to loathe the president such as Cuban exiles, Texas oil barons, Wall Street bankers, the government of Israel and the Italian American Mafia. The connections between the various groups will raise eyebrows and cause mouths to drop open in surprise. But what may truly shock many readers, is their connection to the White House, in particularly Kennedy himself. I warn some that what is also revealed about Kennedy’s private life may change the way they see the former president. But if you have read Seymour Hersh’s “The Dark Side of Camelot“, some of the information may be repetitive. Kennedy is long gone so we will never known what made him do some of the things that he did. The author here does provide clues to his sometimes strange behavior but to a point, even his views are somewhat speculative. Regardless, his assessment of the late president, puts the murder into clear context and also reveals that many great political figures also had a very dark side that the public was not privy to in the age before cell phones and social media.
Hughes-Wilson did an incredible job of staying focused and not straying too far from the main goal of the book. One can easily spend hours on just one part of the murder. Whether it is Oswald’s life or the murder of Dallas Police Officer J.D. Tippitt (1924-1963), the amount of information to cover is exhausting. The author here never lets the reader become overwhelmed with information but wisely keeps things moving along and provides enough information for the reader to continue to piece together the entire puzzle. In short, I found the book to a collection of information covered separately in other books but told in a way that keeps the reader deeply intrigued. And even for myself, the book was thoroughly enjoyable even though I have read at least a dozen books and several articles on the crime.
Someone asked me one day if Kennedy’s murder would ever be solved. Well Jim Marrs once said that we already know who did it, but we just need to look closely at the evidence. I think that we have many of the answers that have long been sought through the hard work of researchers and the deathbed confessions of individuals long suspected of being part of the plot. The real question is whether Americans are ready to accept information that will change the way the see the United States Government and politicians many of them have long admired. It is said that no one who was alive when Kennedy’s murder took place will forget where they were that day. My father has told me the same thing many times and can easily recall that day from start to finish even at the age of 66. For my generation, none of us will forget where we were on September 11th. The future generation will have their own moment in history but what that is remains to be seen. No matter how many generations pass, the murder of John F. Kenney will remain the biggest unsolved mystery in American history. But with books such as this by Col. John Hughes-Wilson, we already have many of the answers needed to eventually find the truth.
For readers that are discovering new territory, I strongly recommend reading the late Jim Marrs’ (1943-2017) “Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy“. It remains one of the best sources for information on the assassination. Having discovered this gem, I also strongly recommend this compendium as well for those who truly want to know what really happened.