55 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on June 13, 1998
I have been reading books on the assassination of John Kennedy my entire life. Then I came across this book, "Who's Who in the JFK Assassination", I couldn't beleive it. Never before did I read through a book so fast and when I was done, I had to go back and start over. It's not really meant to read cover-to-cover, though. When I am reading a book on the assassination, and see a name I don't know, I can flip to it in this book and know just who this man is. For anyone who has looked at the assassination, they know you come across hundreds of names and you can't remember them all, thats where this book came in. Let's say I see the name Ruby Henderson; I can look her up in this book and find out she saw TWO men in the 6th floor of the TSBD, one of whom had a rifle, but she thought they were with the secret service. Anyway, I would tell ANY person looking for information on the Kennedy Assassination to get this book anyway they can. What else can I say, Michael Benson did a GREAT job.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2008
Just got through reading this book. What a wealth of info. I am now going to read High Treason, which is referred to many times in the A to Z book. If you don't walk away from this without a doubt that there was a major conspiracy, I don't know what planet you're from. Just when you think you know who did it, there are more and more people introduced to the theory, leaving you consumed by curiosity. What a great book. This books lists alphabetically the people who were involved in the assassination, the Oswald shooting, and the Tippit shooting.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on October 2, 2009
Michael Benson's "Who's Who in the JFK Assassination" is an outstanding reference book for the assassination hobbyist. The book is like a cheaper version of the "Master Index to the JFK Assassination" by Sylvia Meagher and Gary Owens. Benson's book has an alphabetical listing of all the major and minor players in the JFK assassination (like Meagher and Owens' book) but Benson's book has a brief synopsis of who or what these players were to the assassination.
The book weighs in at 532 pages. The first section of the book is a critical apparatus telling the researcher what Benson's abbreviations (used throughout the book) mean. This section also tells the researcher about the source material used to support this work.
The main part of the book is an alphabetical listing of movers and shakers associated in some way with the assassination of President John Kennedy. Because the book is an encyclopedia, it doesn't have to be read sequentially. Indeed, the reader is encouraged to pick through the topics of his choosing and review the data therein. Benson ends each encyclopedia entry with a "See Also" section--a type of keyword tag that give the reader tips on further research. Then the entry has footnotes (in Benson's abbreviated notation) which inform the reader as to where Benson got his information (usually the Warren Report or the HSCA).
I have found it invaluable to have a brief, digestable and alphabetical synopsis of who someone was in the JFK assassination. The notes and the "See Also" sections are the icing on the cake. The author has filed a valuable niche for the assassination hobbyist.
This book makes a good "bathroom reader": the entries are relatively short and the book doesn't have to be read sequentially. If you want an introduction to the JFK assassination, this book can supplement that need. If you are a researcher, this book is quite handy. If you are looking for interesting "bathroom reading", this book can fill that need as well.
I've recommended this book to two people. They looked it over and became so engrossed, they immediately went out and bought their own copies! Benson deserves our kudos. My highest recommendations! *****
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2014
As a participant on a few JFK/Dallas forums sponsored by Amazon, Benson's book is, in one word: *INVALUABLE*.
Aside from the key players surrounding the assassination where 20 pages are devoted to Lee Oswald and 11 1/2 for Ruby, there are an additional 1,400-plus people mentioned with as little as 1 sentence yet saw, heard or even smelled something out of the ordinary relating to 11/22/63. Not to keep you in suspense, some said they smelled gunpowder in the grassy knoll area.
Although Mr. Benson does his best to remain neutral theory-wise, I often get the feeling he sides with a conspiracy as do I and should any rational thinking person, imo.
If I had an opportunity to communicate with Mr. Benson, I'd respectfully suggest that he update the data on a few individuals. On page 16, for example, Danny Arce, a co-worker of Oswald's at the TSBD is barely mentioned other than while standing in front of the TSBD as JFK went by, he said he thought he heard shots come from the railroad tracks (behind the GK). End of story re: Danny Arce.
Ah ha!!... I recently came across the following: **We are on very solid ground now in linking Danny Arce to the anti-Castro combatant at the CIA training camp on No Name Key. That was a CIA operation, and the JFK assassination was a CIA operation, and Danny Arce was at both. We have also found out that Danny Arce only started working at the TSBD about the time Oswald did. So, how does one go from being a clandestine CIA combatant to being an "order filler" at a company that distributes Dick and Jane books for little kids?**
No question we shouldn't run amok with each and every new tid-bit where the evidence may be spotty at the moment. Yet something of this magnitude and implications, if true, should definitely be researched by Benson, even briefly, then decide if the information has sufficient value.
There's also no mention of the fascinating and ultimately sad saga of one Ralph Yates, a refrigerator repairman whose life went terribly downhill after giving a ride to a hitchhiker on Wednesday, 2 days before the assassination. The details of Yates' encounter with an Oswald look-alike can be found by Googling "Ralph Yates".
In a nutshell, however, the hitchhiker had a 4 foot long paper package which he told Yates were *curtain rods*, apparently a popular item that week. Before asking to be dropped off on Houston St. near Elm, among the conversation topics the hitchhiker brought up was whether Yates thought someone could shoot JFK from a tall building with a high powered rifle that had a telescopic sight. He also asked Yates if he had ever been to the Carousal Club?
Upon returning to work, Yates told one of his co-workers of that bizarre chance meeting. When Oswald's photo was in the newspaper 2 days later and LHO was on TV... it gets even better and shows what the FBI did to an innocent family man in order to keep him from testifying to the Warren Commission... and more, unfortunately.
The bottom line is Yates should be mentioned and if author Benson made some of these types of necessary updating I'd buy 2 more of his books (I use the book so often I keep an extra copy in my suitcase for when I travel).
Obviously... THIS BOOK IS A **MUST HAVE**!!!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 30, 2013
Benson, a New York author and magazine editor who mostly wrote books about sports and film, produced an excellent, fairly comprehensive encyclopedia on the JFK assassination. A fully comprehensive encyclopedia would of course be about 2,000 pages long, so this is the best we can expect in book form.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2015
"Who's Who in the JFK Assassination" is yet another in a long line of well-researched and documented reports on this deeply troubling subject. It was actually possible to learn something new from reading. In fact, that is exactly what happens every time this reviewer reads more on the JFK murder.
"Who's Who" is notable in that there is no true narrative. The text is arrayed in a pure research format. Every single person who has any possible connection with the events of November 22, 1963 is listed in straight alphabetical order. Some entries are a mere single sentence, others go on for pages. Each entry is annotated to help the reader do deeper research. This review will not attempt to skewer the Warren Commission, the CIA or the other bad guys. That has been done vey capably before. Instead it will list new unanswered questions or new facts (new to this reviewer) concerning JFK's murder. These are listed here:
>Why did then Vice-President Johnson attempt to move Texas Governor Connally out of the President's limo? What did LBJ know in advance?
>Why did the Dallas office of the FBI wait until the very day (!) of Connally's burial to ask permission to examine his wrist for bullet fragments? An examination might have proven that there was more than one shooter in Dallas that afternoon and destroyed the positively daft "Magic Bullet" theory. For more insight into the "theory" and an inclusive time frame of the President's murder, one should read "Six Seconds in Dallas" by Josiah Thompson.
> This review will list without comment a direct quote from Jesse Curry, Dallas Chief of Police at the time of the murder: "We don't have any proof that Oswald fired that weapon and never did. Nobody yet has been able to place him in that building (the Book Depository) with a gun in his hand"
>Also listed without comment is this quote from John J. McCloy. That gentlemen was a Warren Commission member and former President of the World Bank. He asserted that the WC agenda was "to show that America is not a banana republic where a government can be changed by conspiracy"
"Who's Who" also relates many instances of the botched autopsies of JFK and the myriad of suspicious deaths of men and women with any connections to the murder, however remote.
This reviewer read "Who's Who" sequentially, as in a regular publication. Others, especially those doing research may wish to concentrate on a particular aspect or specific individuals. "Who's Who" grants that flexibility.
Those misguided naysayers who cling to the fantasy that JFK was murdered by a lone gunmen should read "Who's Who". WW does not espouse a certain point but lays out the facts, allowing the reader to decide independently where the responsibilities lie for the terrible events of November 22, 1963. That is its strength.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 30, 2012
This book in the hardcover edition would rate 5 stars. I gave it 4 for the Kindle edition as it is difficult to navigate to specific names. Adding your own bookmarks and highlights will help. Also page turns seem a bit slower than normal for a Kindle ebook.
Don't let this stop you. The book is excellent.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2014
Awesome and thorough is the best words to describe this fabulous book. As the word gets around, the popularity of this book is going to grow by leaps and bounds. Thank-you Amazon for this once in a lifetime purchase for me. Please continue doing the great work you are for us consumers. Sincerely, Al Wilson
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2012
If you are looking for a Reference book about the JFK Assassination then ladies and gentlemen you just found it, it doesn't get any better than this. This Encyclopedia written by Michael Benson is simply amazing. I am really proud to own this book. You have an interest for this mysterious, fascinating and important case ? Then buy this book folks, you won't regret it. In this Encyclopedia you'll find informations on more than 1400 suspects, victims, witnesses, law enforcement officials and investigators. Learn more about the Assassination witnesses, the witnesses to the murder of officer JD Tippit, the people who were there when Oswald was killed, the Parkland witnesses, the Bethesda witnesses, and so much more. Everyone and everything is there.
In this book you'll find all the information you need about the many suspicious deaths related to the case:
- The "suicide" of William Pitzer, the JFK autopsy photographer who died in 1966.
- The murder of Karyn Kupicinet, a Tv host's daughter who was overheard telling of JFK's death prior to the assassination.
- Betty MacDonald, a former Ruby employee who alibied suspect Warren Reynolds.
- Bill Hunter, a Reporter who was in Ruby's apartment two days after the assassination.
- Jim Koethe, another Reporter who was in Ruby's apartment two days after the assassination.
- Mary Pinchot, JFK's "special" friend whose diary was taken by CIA chief James Angleton after her death.
- Clarence Oliver, an Investigator who worked on the Ruby case.
- Rev. Clyde Johnson, who was scheduled to testify about Clay Shaw's possible involvement. And so many more.
Learn more about the many suspects and theories related to the case. Who committed this crime ? And why ? In this Encyclopedia you'll find every possibilities and it's up to you to reach your own conclusion and to decide which ones of the theories/suspects are the most credible. This is one of the many great things about this book. The author doesn't try to shove a theory down the reader's throat, he simply list all the names and theories and it's up to us to decide which ones are the best. Was the Mafia behind the assassination ? Or maybe the Cubans were involved; or maybe Oswald acted alone, anything is possible. It's up to you to decide. Also you'll find information about every books ever written about this case ( before 1993 ) and the author shares all the tools to help us research every theories/suspects on our own.
Based on years of research, a wealth of sources and a long study of the Warren Commission's twenty-six volumes, this encyclopedic book includes: A-to-Z entries on virtually all the suspects, victims, witnesses, law enforcement officials and investigators; A quick identification of each person followed by biographical facts, testimony, evidence and more; Explorations of the puzzling theories and countless sides of the case; Detailed listings of sources; Extensive cross-referencing of entries, allowing readers to follow their own investigations and construct their own conclusions. The JFK Assassination is one of the greatest mysteries of our time. If you want to research more about the case, the people involved in the case, the many theories, the suspicious deaths, the mysterious characters related to the case then you need to add this wonderful book to your library. You won't regret it. :)
on April 8, 2015
in my government's failure to respect you when asking about [what are State Crimes] where as this work is most strongly recommended for non-electronic, "hard copy record" of historically proven, documented evidence of a criminal takeover of my government back in 1963.
I love my country but I hate & fear the way my government or elements within my government has conducted business because this publication validates what Sylivia Meagher created in a way that eventually, piss poor leadership skills validate a lack of respect for your fellow man. She pointed it out in 1967 where as this Encyclopedia, initially created in 1993 has enhanced that observation.
I feel fortunate I came across this amazing work a couple of years ago by Michael Benson because there's thousands of published works out there and it's overwhelming trying to weed out the BS, compared to what the historical, factual evidence presents. I say BS because I am the living example of one of those Americans who's been at the receiving end of the mushroom dinners regarding what happened to JFK and how that public execution was distorted by officialdom until just the last couple of years.
Specifically, I was born in January 63 where as I come from that generation of Americans abused with specific exposure to mass media's influence/distortion about my society. The proof of this is this Encyclopedia and what this material can reveal to one that's willing to look into the dark history of America. It is time specific and it limited in that it's not on Kindle but that means nothing until the day the power fails. Just one of those must have books for me personally in that your gas mileage might differ in that it does not get the hard work out it deserves but I feel that any material I have not read within the book is presented reasonability as what I've read elsewhere in the Encyclopedia. I recommend this publication to those who require mature and comprehensible information.