The Plot that Killed Kennedy

by Jim Marrs

There's no statute of limitations on murder.
This is still a murder case

Jim Marrs carries his most recent project in an overstuffed black briefcase. It is an endeavor that has taken him nearly 10 years for the JFK assassination expert to compile. He hasn't found a publisher for it, yet, but there might be a reason for that.

Marrs was a sophomore studying journalism at the University of North Texas on the day John F. Kennedy was shot and killed. The assassination itself garnered unprecedented media coverage, and the investigation that followed and the conclusions reached by the Warren Commission revealed major gaffes in the handling of the case and sizable gaps in the logic used to explain them.

It was 1964 and Marrs was soaking in all of it, from the motley crew of suspects and conflicting X-rays and autopsy photos to the eventual "loss" of the presidential brain. That same year, Marrs drove to Dallas to interview Gen. Edwin Walker, formerly one of the myriad of prime suspects in the assassination, who did not believe Oswald acted alone. "He told me the Warren Commission was wrong," Marrs says.

For Marrs, the ensuing years of research, teaching and writing only reinforced what he initially believed to be true about Kennedy's murder, and the media's reluctance to publish the facts as they surfaced is only slightly more galling than the facts themselves. "The basic methods of forensics were violated when Kennedy was autopsied," Marrs says. "Cyril Wecht, who was a former president of the International Association of Pathologists, has said that a wino in any major city in the United States gets a better autopsy than John F. Kennedy did. Newspapers say there's a controversy about the details, but they just won't say what those facts are."

Unlike his colleagues in journalism, Marrs is not shy when it comes to sharing the kind of information that points fingers while naming names. He'll tell you that the lone gunman theory is a crock, and he'll also tell you that Lyndon Johnson and J. Edgar Hoover were instrumental in burying evidence."This is so big, so bad, so dark and so deep, but we've been in denial since 1963," Marrs says. "We were lied to and everything has just gone downhill since then."

Perhaps. Yet that ride into hell has yielded a motherlode of material for Marrs and anyone else who cares to look for it. In 1976, Marrs was asked to teach a class at UT Arlington on the Kennedy assassination, a job he holds to this day. "As a journalist, my biggest problem was never having enough space to tell everything I know about a subject," Marrs says. "And back then, if you said anything other than 'Oswald did it by himself,' people looked at you hard."

In the mid-'80s, Marrs was working in advertising, but the lure of journalism and another opportunity to tell everything he knew was difficult to pass up. "I realized there was this massive amount of information about the Kennedy assassination that was basically just lying around," Marrs says. "The problem was no one had bothered to pull it all together." A short time later, Marrs decided to do just that. The result was a book called Crossfire.

It was published in November 1989, and by the following March, director Oliver Stone called to inquire about purchasing the rights. Marrs' book, along with Jim Garrison's On the Trail of the Assassins, became the basis for Stone's movie, JFK. Crossfire and other books of that nature enjoyed a renewed popularity after the release of the movie. Now Marrs believes we've cycled back into a period where publishers don't want to publish books about the subject. "They keep telling us no one cares about that anymore," Marrs says.

This is where the project in his briefcase comes in. Oswald's Confession is a cartoon book. Closer inspection reveals a smooth mix of fact and fiction storyline, which Marrs calls "faction," and the combined talents of three local and regional illustrators.

In the early '90s, friend and architect Richard Mosley showed Marrs some ideas for a graphic representation of the assassination. Pictures of New Orleans and Dallas in 1963 as well as diagrams of the shooting which posited where the various gunmen were located around Dealey Plaza were among those that sold Marrs. Artists Mack White and Sandy Madison got involved as Marrs began contributing the information needed for storyline and dialogue. With all four scattered around the state, the project lagged, and Marrs credits film reviewer and friend Michael Price for encouraging them to complete the book. The finishing touches, which contribute to the dark tone of the illustrations, were provided by Price as well.

"I'd been encouraging Jim to get that published for years," Price said this week. "I said, 'Give me the damn thing and I'll finish it for you. I really believe in the project."

Perhaps the comic book format is giving publishers pause. "The comic book is as valid a storytelling medium as anything else," Price argued. He cited Art Spiegelman's Maus, a comic book retelling of the Holocaust, as one example of how the format can be used to relate serious stories. "It is rare that an artist will use the comic book to tell a serious story, but the potential is there. Sure, comic books have traditionally been used for children's stories and trash, but we don't dismiss filmmaking because Jim Varney made a couple of movies."

So, a comic book it is. "It tells Oswald's story, but it does so in a graphic manner so that you can really get an idea of what it's talking about," Marrs says. "It's really a comprehensive narrative." Oswald's Confession was not intended to replace official documents, but rather to fill in the cracks where vital information was left out. "Everything in here is well documented," Marrs says. "The Warren Commission didn't really lie. Most everything they said was true, but they did fudge on a couple of critical areas. Their biggest sin was omission. There are things they don't tell you."

Marrs says that facts included in the new book are well documented, and that there are only a couple of places in it involving sheer conjecture. "The biggest one involves the notion that Oswald confessed everything to Homicide Captain Will Fritz. There's no record that that happened, but then there's no record period. Though Oswald was held for two days, officials maintain that no notes were taken and nothing was recorded."

Some might castigate Marrs for spending a decade on a project which is based on a "confession" for which there is no record. Others still might question his spending the past 36 years beating that proverbial dead horse of a conspiracy theory by continuing to teach classes and publish books on the subject. Publishers' responses to Oswald's Confession haven't been enthusiastic, although interest has been shown by some well-established websites. None of this bothers Marrs as much as the media's reluctance to dig for and publish the facts. "This isn't history yet," Marrs says.

"There's no statute of limitations on murder. This is still a murder case."


JFK: powerful politics to this day

by Richard Zajac, Staff Writer

The conspiracy theory surr-ounding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy has become widely popularized. JFK, directed and co-written by Oliver Stone, is probably one of the most significant means by which the idea is spread. It was based on the books Crossfire by Jim Marrs and On the Trail of the Assassins by the film’s protagonist Jim Garrison. When the movie was released in 1991, it sparked a public outcry that attacked its accuracy. It chronicles New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison’s (Kevin Costner) in-vestigation into the assassination of the president.

The film opens with the shooting and the immediate reactions of the central characters and the country as a whole. The seeds of the conspiracy theory are planted in Garrison’s head by Senator Long (Walter Matthau) and the investigation begins. The majority of the movie consists of interviews with both witnesses and suspects. A clear picture of what really happened on Nov. 22, 1963 begins to emerge. Meanwhile, Garrison’s devotion to uncovering the truth takes a toll on his family. His wife Liz (Sissy Spacek) eventually becomes overwhelmed amidst the death threats and her now obsessive husband. The story climaxes when Garrison brings a former CIA agent to trial for his role in the assassination.

JFK is an impressive film that demonstrates Stone’s talent. Actual footage is seamlessly integrated into the movie to give it a documentary feel. There are also moments when Stone makes his own shots look like the real thing by switching to a coarse black and white. Additionally, the movie is wonderfully acted. Gary Oldman’s performance as Lee Harvey Oswald is entirely convincing. His accent and mannerisms display the type of accuracy and consistency that could only have been mastered by studying footage of his character. The wife’s highly emotional role runs the risk of being overdone, but Sissy Spacek performs this task with both believability and skill. Kevin Costner, on the other hand, is his usual dry self. He provides little depth to his character, which is very noticeable amidst the talent of other actors. He is not particularly bad, just weak by comparison. Stone parades an army of talented actors across the screen including Tommy Lee Jones, Joe Pesci, Kevin Bacon, and Donald Sutherland. As a whole, the cast is exceptional.

Since most of the film is comprised of interviews and flashbacks, it does begin to feel repetitive. One gets the impression that nothing is really happening. The film is more enjoyable when watched in two sittings. However, the three hours of inquiries pay off with an incredibly tense and dramatic court scene. Garrison gives a closing argument in which he reviews the day of the assassination in great detail. This final statement manages to recap all of the previously revealed information and arrange it sensibly.

The controversy that surrounded the release of JFK was tremendous. People claimed that the movie was full of falsehoods and that Stone had twisted facts beyond the bounds of artistic license. One of the common criticisms was that the credibility of witnesses was ex-aggerated to make tenuous conclusions seem more grounded. There are still many websites that attack the truthfulness of the film. Whether there is any truth to JFK or not, it is still a compelling movie and one of master filmmaker Oliver Stone’s best.


One of the Best on the Subject

This very readable 600 page book lacks an index, but the Table of Contents list the topics. The "Selected Bibliography" lists many of the books on the JFK Assassination; it does not have David E. Scheim's "Contract on America", Mark North's "Act of Treason", of Fletcher Prouty's book on the JFK Assassination Plot.

On page 273 Nixon says of Watergate "the problem is it tracks back to the Bay of Pigs".... H.R. Haldeman's book said "the Bay of Pigs" was Nixon's code word for the JFK Assassination! Earlier pages tell of Nixon's connection to Murray Chotiner, Allen Dorfman, Charles Rebozo, etc. Pages 276-278 give a short history of Big Oil's influence.

JFK's Executive Order 11,110 called for the issuance of United States Notes by the Treasury, rather than borrowing currency from the Private Banking Cartel ("Federal Reserve System") and paying about $100 million a year in interest (p.275). This would lead to a lower deficit and less in taxes. Jim Marrs' "Rule By Secrecy" tells how the Federal Reserve System was created in 1912.

Page 303 tells about the "Training Under the Mutual Training Program" document. Its plan was to encourage coup d'etat by foreign military controlled by America. The 1960s saw many examples in South America, Burma, South Vietnam, etc. The purpose was to create reserves of cheap labor for use by American corporations after they shut down and dismantled domestic factories, or, captive markets for the products if these corporations.

Pages 340-345 discuss the murder of Officer J.D. Tippit, and the problems in claiming Oswald did it. Officer J.M. Poe stated he put his initials on two cartridge cases found there; they were missing from the inventoried evidence. One of the bullets did not match its case, and none of the bullets could be matched to Oswald's revolver! Page 353 tells of two witnesses present at the Texas Theater who say Oswald was there at 1PM, before Tippit was killed. Page 354 tells of another young man arrested and taken out the rear door.

Pages 363-365 tell about the finding of Commission Exhibit 399, the "magic bullet" that provided a link to Oswald's rifle. The Parkland chief of security said the bullet had a pointed tip, not the round nose of CE 399. Newsman Seth Kantor said Jack Ruby was there at the hospital (p.366).

Pages 373-376 tell of the "alterations" in the President's wounds: the shots from the front witnessed in Dallas became shots from the rear in Bethesda! The Dallas doctors said the right rear portion of the head was missing. The Bethesda doctors said the wound stretched from the upper side of the rear to the right front. Instead of "alterations", could they have used a "body double"?

Dorothy Kilgallen, a syndicated columnist for Hearst, had a private interview with Jack Ruby; she told friends "I'm going to break the real story and have the biggest scoop of the century". But she was soon found dead of an overdose of alcohol and pills (p.424-426). No trace of her notes or writings about Jack Ruby were ever found.

When Jack Ruby was interviewed by the Warren Commission on 6-7-64, he said his life was in danger in Dallas, and he could tell more if he was brought to Washington. Earl Warren refused (p.427). Ruby's secrets died with him; he developed lung cancer in prison.

Pages 435-436 tell of the witnesses's stories about the origins of the shots. Do different sources show unreliability, or shots from different locations?

"All in all, there is not one single piece of physical evidence used against Oswald that cannot be called into question. This evidence must be considered in light of the possibility that much of it could have been planted for the purpose of incriminating Oswald in the assassination" (p.458).

Reviewed by No Name


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