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?