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84 of 101 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A strong argument, but it doesn't "close the case"...
There have been several books published in recent years which argue that the Warren Commission's infamous "lone gunman" theory is correct, and that Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone, did assassinate President John F. Kennedy. However, "Case Closed" by Gerald Posner is easily the best and most reliable of these "anti-conspiracy" books. Posner offers devastating arguments...
Published on December 7, 2003

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22 of 30 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Something so stinky should only be used to wrap fish
To read a good Posner book, one should turn to the back of the book right away and checks for Works Cited and Sources. It will tell you right away whether you're wasting your time.
Welcome to Wasted Time, Inc. Posner is reaching into some pretty thoroughly discredited sources for this book, and I only say that as I have been reading, listening and watching for...
Published on June 13, 1998


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84 of 101 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A strong argument, but it doesn't "close the case"..., December 7, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Case Closed (Paperback)
There have been several books published in recent years which argue that the Warren Commission's infamous "lone gunman" theory is correct, and that Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone, did assassinate President John F. Kennedy. However, "Case Closed" by Gerald Posner is easily the best and most reliable of these "anti-conspiracy" books. Posner offers devastating arguments against many of the "loonier" conspiracy theories - such as that Lyndon Johnson or FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover murdered JFK. He also presents detailed arguments against many of the more "respectable" conspiracy theories, such as that Kennedy was killed by the Mafia or by Anti-Castro zealots who were angry at JFK for "abandoning" them during their CIA-sponsored Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961.

However, I don't believe that Posner has completely "closed the case" on the JFK assassination, and I doubt that anyone will ever solve the case to the complete satisfaction of most people. If you are going to read this book (and I would highly recommend it), then I would also strongly suggest that you read one of the more credible "pro-conspiracy" books for balance, as there are always two sides to every story. In my opinion, the two best "pro-conspiracy" books are Josiah Thompson's "Six Seconds in Dallas", which is respected even by Posner and most defenders of the Warren Commission; and Anthony Summers's "Not In Your Lifetime". This book was originally published in 1980 as "Conspiracy", and it received rave reviews by such prestigious publications as Newsweek, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, and former JFK aides such as Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. praised it. In "Case Closed" Posner made several stinging criticisms of "Conspiracy", so Summers responded by writing a completely revised and updated version in 1998 (with the new title) in which he offered detailed rebuttals to Posner's criticisms, as well as making his own criticisms of Posner's statements. I'm not saying that I fully agree with these "pro-conspiracy" books either - I just believe that if you read them, as well as "Case Closed", then you'll have seen the best and most credible arguments for and against a conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy.

As for my own personal beliefs, some fifteen to twenty years ago I was convinced that there was a conspiracy, but over the years I have come to believe that it is entirely plausible that Oswald could have killed JFK all by himself, and that the "lone gunman" theory is credible. However, I also believe that there are still enough unanswered questions about the assassination that there will always be some legitimate doubt about whether there was another gunman, and that we'll never be able to state with total finality that the murder of JFK is "case closed". Bottom line: Posner's "Case Closed" is a detailed, well-written and persuasive argument for the "lone gunman" theory - but make sure that you get the "other side" of the story and read some credible "pro-conspiracy" books before you make a final decision about whether or not there was a conspiracy to kill John F. Kennedy.
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87 of 111 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good overview of the evidence, but has its faults, March 23, 2000
By A Customer
I've read about 15 books on JFK's assassination, both pro- and anti-conspiracy. I would say that Case Closed presents the most comprehensive overview of all the evidence that implicates Lee Harvey Oswald. However, there really isn't much *new* evidence presented, although that's what the book's editorial reviews say. The real value of _Case Closed_ is that Posner picks from works such as the Warren Commission, HSCA report, the experiments and observations of John Lattimer, etc., and summarizes these into one volume. He supplements those with some interviews he conducted with some of the players (for example, some of the ER doctors who attended to JFK, Jack Ruby's brother, the Soviet official who dealt with Oswald's case, Michael Baden, etc.). On the negative side, Posner does tend to summarily discount witnesses whose stories don't support his lone-assassin thesis, such as Silvia Odio. Also, he writes about several witnesses whose recollections support his theory on what happened to Oswald's first shot, but doesn't mention others whose Warren-Commission testimony would contradict his theory. I rate this book four stars, because it does present some good evidence that conspiracy books never mention and refutes many of the most common conspiracy canards. It's also very well written. I couldn't put it down the first time I read it. If you were going to read only one book on the lone-assassin side, I'd recommend this one. However, there are several other lone-assassin books that treat specific aspects of the JFK assassination better than did Posner. For a look into Oswald's possible motive, _Oswald's Game_ is excellent. A good interpretation of the medical evidence is given in _Kennedy and Lincoln_. _Case Closed_ is great if you just want a broad overview of the evidence against Oswald and have the time to read just one book.
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28 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poor Conspiracy Theorists., March 7, 2013
By 
D. Dudley (Austin, Texas USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Case Closed (Paperback)
Unfortunately our country has been over-run by the popularity of conspiracy theory. We have an innate need to believe that evil people with a will and a way can take down our hero. We've seen it with Mark David Chapman and even John Hinckley almost got away with it. It's always hard to believe a nobody can shatter our paradigm, but it does happen and has happened for all time. Conspiracy allows us to have our doubts, to make the crime more powerful and to give us explanation in our grief or fear. Now those who chose to exploit it, Alex Jones and his poor substitute Glenn Beck, prey on the vulnerable and frightened. I recently re-red this book and not only does it slice to pieces the ridiculous conspiracy theorist out there, it also goes into great detail the climate needed to pull off a conspiracy. I remember picking this up years ago after seeing the Movie JFK. By the time I was done I realized what a giant fraud Oliver Stone is and what a disservice he did to this president and this country.

Good job years later Mr. Posner.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars POSNER DID HIS HOMEWORK, December 31, 2013
By 
Mark Lawson (NORTHERN CALIF united States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Case Closed (Paperback)
The 50th anniversary of this sad event sparked my interest for delving into the "unsolved" JFK case. I read Posner's book as a foundation and starting point to gain insights into the facts as they stand. Posner lays out the picture from the beginning (LHO's troubled childhood) to the fatal day, and everything in between. He covers the various conspiracy theories and shows how many of them do not seem to stand up to the facts. The volume of Posner's extensive sources, footnotes, and references is impressive and well documented. Although I plan to read much more on the subject (facts vs. theories), CASE CLOSED provides, in a well written and interesting manner, a clear understanding and convincing argument of how just one person alone may have been able to pull off the crime of the century - the roots of which were laid down long before that fatal day in Dallas.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Review from Closed the Cover, October 10, 2013
By 
The assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963 has fueled speculation and conspiracy theories for nearly 50 years. In "Case Closed" Gerald Posner reviews and evaluates all of the available evidence, explores the various theories and ultimately reaches what he believes is the only possible conclusion - Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone when he assassinated the President of the United States. While the case is far from being closed, Posner does offer interesting insight and points to ponder. Originally published in 1993, re-released in recognition of the anniversary of the event, much of the evidence and analysis presented within this novel is still relevant today. It is an interesting read and one that I recommend to anyone interested in historical American events and politics.

Unlike many other novels that explore the JFK assassination Posner does not focus solely on proving his own theory. He does present other speculative theories on the event including three of the most popular - a second gunman on the grassy knoll, a mafia hit and a government conspiracy involving the CIA. In each situation he presents data from original documents and primary sources that contradict these theories. He also applies common sense and logic to refute other theories. The argument can be made that it isn't logical to believe that Oswald acted alone but I would disagree. Posner presents a great case for Oswald as a lone gunman although I'm not convinced that it was proven to the degree that all other speculation can be entirely refuted and the case can be considered closed.

Posner, in his novel, also explores the life of Lee Harvey Oswald. He offers insight into his early life and mental state. It is intriguing, in light of current events, to review the information depicting a possible mental illness. Whether he did or did not have a mental illness Oswald did have a challenging upbringing and was considered, from an early age, to be problematic with the potential for aggression.

Oswald's mental state has often been used as an argument to prove that he could have not acted alone. In light of more recent events (the Columbine shooting, the Washington D.C. sniper, the Batman movie massacre, the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting, etc.) it becomes quite clear that Oswald, even with a mental defect, could have planned and executed the assassination on his own. These other events all indicate the high level of planning and execution that people are capable of carrying out, even if they are suffering from a mental disorder.

Posner also considered the bullet trajectory and ballistics in the case. It is fascinating to read and, with so much other evidence available including computer modeling and detailed reports, easy to confirm and validate. Posner does offer the reader very compelling evidence to prove that Oswald was the lone assassin who, in Dallas, TX, shot and killed President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963 in Dealey Plaza. He incorporates official primary sources, dozens of interviews and historical details to present a straightforward account of the events of this infamous day. It's an intriguing read and one that should be read even if only for a new perspective on American history.

Review by Ashley LaMar
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22 of 30 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Something so stinky should only be used to wrap fish, June 13, 1998
By A Customer
To read a good Posner book, one should turn to the back of the book right away and checks for Works Cited and Sources. It will tell you right away whether you're wasting your time.
Welcome to Wasted Time, Inc. Posner is reaching into some pretty thoroughly discredited sources for this book, and I only say that as I have been reading, listening and watching for several years.
Posner would love to tell the american public that there is no conspiracy, rest easy, your government has it all taken care of. But what about the facts?
Mark Lane, who Posner loves to discredit and ridicule in his book, is the flip side of the coin: Both are attorneys who are careful to say just enough to get their points acroos but without saying that which will get them sued. Selective answers, quotes and memory are the hallmarks of a good lawyer, and any first-year law student will tell you that presentation is everything.
And you'd better believe it.
Oliver Stone's "JFK" cannot be trusted, as it attempts in a comparatively short period of time to bring the viewer up to speed on the assassination, pre- and post- shooting events, global politics, motivations of several parties, present official solutions and alternate theories, and somewhere in there do some entertaining. NO, that's not the way it happened. But the official version doesn't hold water, and Posner knows it. Want to see Posner say, "Look, I know the case isn't closed...?" Keep reading.
A great portion of the american people were awakened by the "JFK" film, and if that is all the film did, then that is enough. People began asking questions, and "Case Closed" was written to put them back to sleep. Don't do it.
Not everyone connected with the assassination can be discredited, and Posner is very careful in his references. There are many books and replies to Posner; just search the Internet and the WWW are hear whay they have to say. Particularly, one of the finest books written in reply to Posner! was "Case Open: The Omissions, Distortions And Flasifications of 'Case Closed'" by Harold Weisberg (he can be found in Frederick, Maryland). Posner went to Harold for information for the book, telling him (harold) some less-truths in the process. Weisberg is the "grandfather" of the research community and up on his facts.
Overall, I think Posner has, at the least, written an entertaining but factually inaccurate book (not unlike some dimestore JFK authors, to be sure). At worst, Posner has misled the american people, and that cannot and must not pass away.
I welcome and encourage your comments.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Case is Closed emphatically., December 12, 2013
By 
James T Cross (Inglewood DC, WA Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Case Closed (Paperback)
I have always been amazed at the conspiracy industry that has arisen since John Kennedy was so wickedly murdered over 50 years ago. Nearly all major conspiracy "theorists" rely on too many fantastical claims that do not stand up to scrutiny in a logical and realistic manner. Gerald Posner clearly disposes of the myriad "conspiracy" theories that abound ad nauseam in print and on the web. He points the way for those seeking greater detail about the events centred around 22 November 1963. This does not mean that people cannot ask serious questions of the procedures involved, and conclusions arising from the assassination and its aftermath. However, the conclusion of the rational man must be that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone and Posner has successfully drawn together all relevant facts.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid scholarship, objective, well-researched, November 21, 1998
By A Customer
Posner explains the public's dismay like this: how could that smirking little man bring down the President of the United States alone? There's no psychological balance in the act. But we often forget that history unfolds just like today. There is no logic to the flow of events. Things happen that cannot be easily explained. We can accept that two army buddies can blow up a building, that an ex-football star could/could not have brutally slashed his wife, but not that a disgruntled ex-Marine with an Marxist obsession could have murdered JFK without a vast conspiracy behind him, or that a struggling Jewish nightclub owner could have been so distraught that he chose to take matters into his own hands, or that government agencies like the FBI and the CIA could have tried to cover-up their mistakes and evade blame, or that eye-witnesses could have changed their version of events to gain noteriety. As a nation we've closed our eyes to the truth for too long. Myth-making has replaced rational understanding of irrational events. Posner skillfully puts these events into perspective and attempts to explain our continuing denial of what really happened. If you want to continue to believe the myths, then don't read this book; but if you want to understand what really happened that day in Dallas, this book is the final word on the subject.
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18 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly polarizing book..., October 21, 2013
You can see the dynamic here in looking at the ratings breakdown, a large majority that recognize the book for what it is, a remarkable 'one stop' source that debunks the popular JFK assassination conspiracies and myths, in favor of the Oswald-as-the-killer scenario, very convincingly. Then in the middle are those that aren't really sure, or have other objections. Then there are the large one-star bunch that have had their fragile worldview threatened because their favorite pet assassination theory has been thoroughly debunked, or worse, ignored or dismissed out of hand because it is simply silly or beggars belief.
Posner postulates that the simplest answers are probably the correct answers, and that the more convoluted the theory, adding conspirators, teams of multiple shooters, foreign governments, helicopter companies, spy agencies or criminal syndicates, lurid autopsy tampering of wounds and the like, with no credible witnesses, evidence, with nothing leaking out after all these years, no one spilling the beans, means it most likely didn't happen that way.
If you want to read a very intriguing fictional account of how a conspiracy might have been done, read The Third Bullet, by Stephen Hunter.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Review of the Kindle Edition, November 23, 2013
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The Kindle edition of Gerald Posner's 1993 book "Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK" came out recently. Those who look for an electronically formatted version of this influential book to make their study of the topic easier should find this Kindle edition helpful. All table-of-content entries, footnotes, and citations are hyperlinked, allowing easier navigation through the book. Footnotes and citations are two-way hyperlinkable: you can go to them and back to the main text (of course, Kindle has a "back" button that does the same thing). A traditional index section is also included, with hyperlinks as well. The image gallery of the print edition is also carried over, although the pictures are slightly blurrier on the Kindle. The Kindle edition contains some pictures not found on the print edition, and vice versa. The Kindle edition has some color photos of Zapruder film frames, but is missing the print edition's shocking photo of Lee Harvey Oswald being shot by Jack Ruby.

There are some flaws in the placements of the hyperlinks, however. If a footnote and citation happen to be right next to each other, you will find it difficult, or even impossible, to access their hyperlinks correctly. For instance, if a sentence ends with a citation number 57 and a footnote asterisk (i.e. 57*), you will find it extremely hard to use your finger to tap with pin-point precision what you want. On the iPad, I can only tap one hyperlink but not the other, even if I enlarge the font to an enormous size. On an iPod Touch's much smaller screen, I can only tap the correct item with trial and error. If the item is close to the edge of the screen, I may, of course, trigger a page-turn or the appearance of the menu bars. The most success I have is with the PC or Mac edition of the Kindle software, where the mouse allows pin-point clicking of all items.

Kindle readers that use keypad instead of touch-screen for navigation may also work better, but I don't have one to try. Neither do I have one of those stylus-based tablets like Galaxy Note, which should make it easier to tap on those tiny hyperlinks. Styli are also available for iPad and iPhone/iPod Touch, but most have flat round tips that don't help with pin-point tapping. There are fine-point styli out there, but I don't know one that is good enough to recommend.

Note to all future creators of Kindle books: if you have multiple hyperlinks next to one another, please ensure that BLANK SPACE be added to separate them so we can tap on them correctly on tablets or mobile devices.

"Case Closed" happens to have an enormous amount of footnotes and citations, so this flaw affects my accessing some of the footnotes. My workaround is go to a PC and manually add a pop-up note containing the footnote (by copying and pasting) and place it where you can access it. Then sync all your Kindle devices and apps.

This problem is compounded by the fact that on the Kindle edition, all footnotes are put at the END OF EACH CHAPTER, instead of being put on the same page of the main text as it is usually done for print editions. By dumping all the footnotes at the end of a chapter, all footnotes denoted by asterisk (*), dagger, and double dagger are mixed together, so you have no way to tell which part of the book they correspond to.

On the print edition of "Case Closed", footnotes are put at the bottom of the same page of the main text, as they should be, so there is no confusing asterisk and dagger of one page from those on another page.

I am, of course, aware that on a Kindle book or any electronic book, there is really no "bottom of a page". On an e-book, where a user can change font size and line spacing and even set multi-column display, what appears at the bottom of a page in one instance may appear somewhere else the next. This flexible changing of text position is called "text reflow" in computer lingo. That makes it impossible to designate any given position as "bottom of a page" for you to put footnotes in.

But if all footnotes are dumped at the end of a chapter, they should probably have been denoted in enumerated form, such as (a), (b), (c), etc.

As I mentioned, the Kindle edition includes a traditional index section at the end of the book, with hyperlinks that take you back to the original text. Unfortunately, the index hyperlinks unhelpfully take you to the TOP of a page on the PRINT EDITION. Due to "text reflow" that is the nature of e-book, this may not be the position you desire on the Kindle. For instance, the index of "Lee Bowers" takes me to what is supposed to be the top of Page 253 on the print edition. But the text "Lee Bowers" is actually located much further down on Page 253, which, on the Kindle, may appear on the next page or several pages further. I have seen this problem on a number of Kindle books, which leads me to believe that it is probably unfixable. Most users would instead find Kindle's search function much more useful and convenient in locating text.

Posner is a proponent of the lone-gunman, single-bullet theory. But his book should be required reading for all serious students of the assassination due to thoroughness of Posner's research and the book's excellent presentation of the findings. In 1998, a CBS poll found that only 10% of Americans believed Osward had acted alone. This year, a new poll revealed that the percentage had increased to 24%. I would like to think that Posner's book had something to do with that. Still, the fact remains that a majority of Americans do not believe in the official story of a lone assassin. This will likely stay the same for some time to come as mistrust of our government continues to remain at a high level.

Like all books on JFK's assassination, "Case Closed" cites numerously from the Warren Commission Report. For serious readers, it may help to have an electronic copy of WCR handy as well. My comment section includes the websites where you can download the complete WCR for free. These documents include the main report, plus 26 volumes of witness testimonies and photos of exhibits (in PDF files of good-resolution scans).
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Case Closed
Case Closed by Gerald Posner (Paperback - September 9, 2003)
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