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Mary's Mosaic: The CIA Conspiracy to Murder John F. Kennedy, Mary Pinchot Meyer, and Their Vision for World Peace Hardcover – April 2, 2012

265 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1616087081 ISBN-10: 1616087080 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews


“Penetrating insight into the still-hidden history of an era . . . a mesmerizing page-turner.
” (Dick Russell, New York Times bestselling author )

Mary’s Mosaic just might have solved a great murder mystery. This is a must-read.
” (Jim Marrs, author of the New York Times bestseller Rule by Secrecy)

About the Author

Peter Janney grew up in Washington D.C. during the 1950s and 1960s. His father was a high-ranking CIA official and close friends with Richard Helms, James Angleton, and Mary’s husband, Cord Meyer. His mother and Mary Meyer were classmates at Vassar College.

Dick Russell is a nationally respected activist, environmentalist, and author of critically acclaimed books, including, with Jesse Ventura, The New York Times bestsellers 63 Documents the Government Doesn't Want You to Read and American Conspiracies. He is also the author of On the Trail of the JFK Assassins and The Man Who Knew Too Much. Russell has been published in many of the nation's top magazines and has been a guest on numerous  national TV and radio programs, including the NBC Nightly News.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing; 1 edition (April 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616087080
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616087081
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 6.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (265 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #382,831 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

275 of 282 people found the following review helpful By Jacob G. Hornberger on April 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In early 1976 the National Enquirer published a story that shocked the elite political class in Washington, D.C. The story disclosed that a woman named Mary Pinchot Meyer, who was a divorced spouse of a high CIA official named Cord Meyer, had been engaged in a two-year sexual affair with President John F. Kennedy. By the time the article was published, JFK had been assassinated, and Mary Pinchot Meyer herself was dead, a victim of a murder that took place in Washington on October 12, 1964.

The murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer is the subject of a fascinating and gripping new book by Peter Janney, who was childhood friends with Mary Meyer's three sons and whose father himself was a high CIA official. Janney's father and mother socialized in the 1950s with the Meyers and other high-level CIA officials.

Janney's book, Mary's Mosaic, is one of those books that you just can't put down once you start reading it. It has everything a reader could ever want in a work of nonfiction -- politics, love, sex, war, intrigue, history, culture, murder, spies, racism, and perhaps the biggest criminal trial in the history of our nation's capital.

Just past noon on the day of the murder, Mary Meyer was on her daily walk on the C&O Canal Trail near the Key Bridge in Washington, D.C. Someone grabbed her and shot a .38-caliber bullet into the left side of her head. Meyer continued struggling despite the almost certainly fatal wound, so the murderer shot her again, this time downward through her right shoulder. The second bullet struck directly into her heart, killing her instantly.

A 21-year-old black man named Raymond Crump Jr., who lived in one of the poorest sections of D.C., was arrested near the site of the crime and charged with the murder.
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320 of 332 people found the following review helpful By Douglas on April 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Written by Douglas P. Horne, author of "Inside the Assassination Records Review Board"

"Mary's Mosaic" is several things at once: an insightful and sensitive biography of both Mary Meyer and her one-time husband, CIA propaganda specialist Cord Meyer; a murder mystery; a trial drama; an expose of secret knowledge and cover-ups inside the Washington D.C. Beltway during the 1950s and 1960s; and of course, a love story about the late-developing relationship between President John F. Kennedy and Mary Pinchot Meyer, whom he had first met at an Ivy League prep school dance when she was only 15 years old. Their paths had crossed briefly once again in the Spring of 1945, at the founding conference for the United Nations in San Francisco. (Mary, her new husband Cord Meyer, and John F. Kennedy all attended the conference as journalists reporting on the events there, at the birth of the United Nations.)

One of the fascinating aspects of this well-researched book is how it traces the evolution and personal development of Mary Pinchot Meyer, Cord Meyer, and John F. Kennedy. As Cord Meyer---a scarred war hero who was once an idealist and a pacifist, and who aggressively lobbied for a united world government following World War II---became a disillusioned cynic and was subverted to the "dark side" by Allen Dulles of the CIA, his all-consuming commitment to the Cold War (and his abandonment of his former idealism) slowly killed his marriage to Mary Pinchot. Mary remained an idealist and an independent thinker, and it was this very independent and unconventional woman whose orbit finally intersected with that of President John F. Kennedy again late in 1961, about two years before his assassination.
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119 of 125 people found the following review helpful By David W. Mantik on April 2, 2012
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If Peter Janney's CIA-father (Wistar) were still alive, we would likely not be reading this book. After all, it provides convincing evidence that Wistar knew that Mary had died even before the police had identified her body, which means that he (Wistar) had foreknowledge of the murder plot. Peter also makes a strong case that Ben Bradlee (of the Washington Post) likewise had advance knowledge, perhaps also tipped off by Wistar.

When one's own father is so deeply committed to a cover-up, it requires enormous courage to disclose the family jewels. But courage is what Peter has--in spades. His relentless pursuit of long-hidden links and evasive witnesses leads to his final denouement--a truly remarkable Cold War murder mystery played out on the shores of the Potomac.

If Peter is correct about Mary's execution and cover-up, then the CIA did not hesitate to throw away the life of an innocent black man, Ray Crump. That recklessness, all by itself, speaks volumes about the Cold War morals of the CIA.

The two highly compartmentalized NPIC episodes with the Zapruder film on successive nights (November 23 and 24, 1963) are profoundly alarming. Short of some degree of film alteration between those two dates, why else was this secret so highly guarded? After all, Dino Brugioni, who was on call that weekend for the NPIC, only learned of the second event after Peter told him about it! Furthermore, Brugioni's recollections are so at odds with the extant film that they also raise overwhelming suspicion of film tampering that same weekend.

With this book, Peter achieves a remarkable triumph--setting the historical stage (with many quotations and facts) for telling his personal story, which is so intertwined in this saga. Although it was a very different era--and that enemy spoke Russian--one can only wonder: With the current War on Terror, how much have the stratagems (and values) changed today?
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