Customer Review

on September 7, 2012
I have only read the Introduction to this book (via Amazon's handy and much-appreciated "Look Inside" feature, which permits readers to see some of the book's contents free of charge). But reading the Intro only was still enough to spot some major weaknesses in the theories of co-author Richard Belzer, particularly the paper-thin arguments that he uses to buttress this bold claim (which Belzer puts in all capital letters in the book's Introduction):


The main reason, Belzer says, to believe that Lee Harvey Oswald could not have physically murdered JFK is because the reconstructions of the alleged movements of Oswald and the known movements of Dallas policeman Marrion Baker were "rigged" by the Warren Commission, permitting Baker to arrive in the second-floor lunchroom of the Depository at just about the same time as Oswald would have arrived there.

But what Belzer never mentions in his book's brief Introduction is the fact that the man performing the Oswald portion of the reconstruction (Secret Service agent John Howlett) did not run or trot at all in any of the tests. He merely walked at two different speeds (normal and a fast walk) when attempting to duplicate Oswald's movements from the sixth floor to the lunchroom.

Quite obviously, therefore, if Oswald had been moving any faster than Agent Howlett (and he probably was moving faster), it means that Oswald could have easily gotten down to the second-floor lunchroom sooner than Howlett did in the WC re-creations.

Plus, there's the fact that Baker told the WC that it likely took him LONGER on 11/22/63 to do the things that he was re-creating for the Commission in March '64. And Belzer thinks Baker's re-creation test was rigged to intentionally slow him down, and yet Officer Baker said that the re-creations were done too QUICKLY. Go figure.

In addition, Belzer points to Commission Exhibit 3076, which is the statement signed by Officer Baker in September of 1964 with the famous "drinking a Coke" portion of the statement crossed out and initialed by Baker.

Belzer, like almost all other conspiracy theorists, wants to believe that BAKER HIMSELF wrote the words "drinking a Coke" on that document we see in CE3076, when, in fact, it's clear from the handwriting that Baker only initialed and signed that document. He did not write anything else in it.

Somebody else (probably an FBI man) wrote the statement, and then Baker corrected the incorrect things in the document--such as "drinking a Coke". And Baker was quite clear in his WC testimony (as was Roy Truly) that he did not see anything in Lee Oswald's hands when Baker encountered him on 11/22/63.

Yeah, that's some great proof you've got there for Oswald's total innocence, Mr. Belzer -- a set of reconstructions done by Baker and Howlett (as you ignore the important point about Howlett moving at a snail's pace during those tests and also ignore Baker's own WC testimony regarding his tests) and a document which was obviously not even written by Marrion L. Baker at all.

If the authors can be so blatantly wrong about something so incredibly easy to research (the Baker/Howlett/Oswald timelines and reconstructions), and they are wrong, then I hate to think what other myths have been turned into proven "facts" by the co-authors of this book.

If the rest of the book is anything like that weak-sister Intro, then I have a feeling that the title of Mr. Belzer's book would more aptly apply to his own conclusions (when it comes to the JFK case anyway) -- "Dead Wrong".

David Von Pein
August 2012
September 2012
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