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Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK [NOOK Book]

Overview



“By far the most lucid and compelling account . . . of what probably did happen in Dallas—and what almost certainly did not.” —The New York Times Book Review

The Kennedy assassination has reverberated for five decades, with tales of secret plots, multiple killers, and government cabals often overshadowing the event itself. As Gerald Posner writes, “Fifty years after the assassination, the biggest casualty has been the truth.” In this ...
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Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK

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Overview



“By far the most lucid and compelling account . . . of what probably did happen in Dallas—and what almost certainly did not.” —The New York Times Book Review

The Kennedy assassination has reverberated for five decades, with tales of secret plots, multiple killers, and government cabals often overshadowing the event itself. As Gerald Posner writes, “Fifty years after the assassination, the biggest casualty has been the truth.” In this first-ever digital edition of his classic work, updated with a special comment for the fiftieth anniversary, Posner lays to rest all of the convoluted conspiracy theories—concerning the mafia, a second shooter, and the CIA—that have obscured over the decades what really happened in Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963.

Drawing from official sources and dozens of interviews, and filled with powerful historical detail, Case Closed is a vivid and straightforward account that stands as one of the most authoritative books on the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Who really killed President Kennedy? Posner goes beyond the discoveries of the Warren Commission and the House Select Committee on Assassination to reveal the truth behind one of the nation's most enduring mysteries. 2 cassettes.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Posner, a lawyer and investigative reporter ( Mengele ), has set himself a major task here and brought it off with considerable panache. In the face of a multitude of assassination books propounding dozens of theories, all of them critical of the lone-assassin/no-conspiracy case, he has come out square for Oswald as the sole culprit. Posner propounds--and offers good evidence for--just three shots, all from Oswald in the Book Depository, and spends nearly half the book on a closely detailed examination of the life of that unhappy and, he claims, ultimately paranoid young man. He also scrutinizes every minute of the time Jack Ruby spent between the assassination and the moment he shot Oswald in the police garage, and cannot find that Ruby's act was other than an outburst of spur-of-the-moment rage born of unexpected opportunity. Posner does not ride, testy and rough-shod, over objections , as lesser proponents of Warren Commission orthodoxy do. He scrutinizes many of the conspiracy theories and theorists carefully, sometimes even with respect, but inevitably finds them wanting. If someone has changed his or her story later (as many witnesses did), he tends to give more credence to their first impressions, before the conspiracy theories tempted them to doubt themselves. And in many cases--perhaps too many--he finds that people whose stories have been widely relied upon by writers are mistaken about time or place, crazy, delusional or otherwise unreliable. About New Orleans D.A. Jim Garrison, the hero of the movie JFK , he is merciless, laying out an endless trail of his lies and exaggerations. Posner is occasionally critical of the Warren Commission and the later House Select Committee investigations, but makes extensive use of their findings, adding to them much recent expert testimony--and technological enhancements of visual and auditory material--to which they did not have access. While not exculpating the FBI or the Dallas Police for their erratic work and lack of cooperation, he casts no suspicion on them, or upon the CIA (whose statements he seems to accept uncritically), for possible involvement in, or foreknowledge of, the crime; and he does not even try to explain why a motorcade so bereft of elementary security precautions was allowed to proceed. Still, this is a painstaking and remarkably thorough presentation of what has become an utterly unfashionable approach. There are extensive notes on sources, and some innovative and helpful graphic reconstructions of the shooting scene and the shots. First serial to U.S. News and World Report. (Sept.)
Library Journal
The majority of books written on the assassination of John F. Kennedy focus on the various conspiracy theories. This audiobook, based on a critically acclaimed book by a former Wall Street lawyer, uses hard evidence and interviews to show that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone and that none of the conspiracy theories hold any weight. Posner reads his own material, and his voice grates on the listener; however, as the story progresses, the listener has no choice but to forget the narrator and become wrapped up in the unfolding details. This recording should find a home in all public libraries where there is an interest in Kennedy and the assassination.-- Danna C. Bell-Russel, Marymount Univ. Libs., Arlington, Va.
Geoffrey C. Ward
By far the most lucid and compelling account I have ever read of what probably did happen in Dallas—and what almost certainly did not. No serious historian who writes about the assassination in the future will be able to ignore it.
New York Times Book Review
Jeffrey Toobin
Unlike many of the two thousand other books that have been written about the Kennedy assassination, Case Closed is a resolutely sane piece of work. More importantly [it] is utterly convincing in its thesis…fascinating and important…Case closed, indeed.
—(Jeffrey Toobin Chicago Tribune
Keay Davidson
Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK. No accomplices were involved—no Russian spies, no mobsters, no Cuban hitmen. The Warren Commission made mistakes, but its basic thesis—that Oswald acted alone—remains sound…That is Gerald Posner's thesis and he makes it persuasively, so persuasively that his book's title is absolutely justified.
—(Keay Davidson San Francisco Examiner
Christopher Lehmann-Haupt
Persuasive…brilliantly illuminating…more satisfying than any conspiracy theory.
—(Christopher Lehmann—Haupt New York Times
Robert Dallek
Superb…the most convincing explanation of the assassination.
Boston Sunday Globe
Patrick S. Sloyan
[Posner's] landmark book is required reading for anyone interested in the American crime of the century.
New York Newsday
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781480412309
  • Publisher: Open Road Media
  • Publication date: 10/1/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 608
  • Sales rank: 71,193
  • File size: 6 MB

Meet the Author


Gerald Posner (b. 1954) is a renowned investigative journalist. Born in San Francisco, California, he attended the University of California, Berkeley, and went on to a career in law. Posner earned international acclaim with Case Closed (1993), an exhaustive account of the Kennedy assassination that debunked many conspiracy theories. Case Closed was a finalist for the Pulitzer for history. Posner has written about topics as varied as Nazi Dr. Josef Mengele, 9/11, Ross Perot, and the history of Motown Records. His most recent book is Miami Babylon (2009), a history of glitz, drugs, and organized crime in Miami Beach. He lives in Miami with his wife, author Trisha Posner.  
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Read an Excerpt

1

"Which One Are You?"

President John F. Kennedy had been dead less than an hour. J. D. Tippit, only the third Dallas policeman in a decade to die in the line of duty, was killed shortly after the President. Rumors swept the city. Dealey Plaza, the site of the presidential assassination, was in pandemonium. Dozens of witnesses sent the police scurrying in different directions in futile search of an assassin. While most police mobilized to hunt the President's killer, more than a dozen sped to Dallas's Oak Cliff, a quiet middle-class neighborhood, to search for Tippit's murderer.

At 1:46 P.M., after an abortive raid on a public library, a police dispatcher announced: "Have information a suspect just went in the Texas Theater on West Jefferson." Within minutes, more than six squad cars sealed the theater's front and rear exits. Police armed with shotguns spread into the balcony and the main floor as the lights were turned up. Only a dozen moviegoers were scattered inside the small theater. Officer M. N. McDonald began walking up the left aisle from the rear of the building, searching patrons along the way. Soon, he was near a young man in the third row from the back of the theater. McDonald stopped and ordered him to stand. The man slowly stood up, raised both hands, and then yelled, "Well, it is all over now." In the next instant, he punched McDonald in the face, sending the policeman's cap flying backward. McDonald instinctively lurched forward just as his assailant pulled a pistol from his waist. They tumbled over the seats as other police rushed to subdue the gunman. The gun's hammer clicked as the man pulled thetrigger, but it did not fire.

After the suspect was handcuffed, he shouted, "I am not resisting arrest. Don't hit me anymore." The police pulled him to his feet and marched him out the theater as he yelled, "I know my rights. I want a lawyer." A crowd of nearly two hundred had gathered in front of the building, the rumor circulating that the President's assassin might have been caught. As the police exited, the crowd surged forward, screaming obscenities and crying, "Let us have him. We'll kill him! We want him!" The young man smirked and hollered back, "I protest this police brutality!" Several police formed a wedge and cut through the mob to an unmarked car. The suspect was pushed into the rear seat between two policemen while three officers packed into the front. Its red lights flashing, the car screeched away and headed downtown.

The suspect was calm. Again he declared, "I know my rights," and then asked, "What is this all about?" He was told he was under arrest for killing J. D. Tippit. He didn't look surprised. "Police officer been killed?" he asked. He was silent for a moment, and then he said, "I hear they burn for murder." Officer C. T. Walker, sitting on his right side, tried to control his temper: "You may find out." Again, the suspect smirked. "Well, they say it just takes a second to die," he said.

One of the police asked him his name. He refused to answer. They asked where he lived. Again just silence. Detective Paul Bentley reached over and pulled a wallet from the suspect's left hip pocket. "I don't know why you are treating me like this," he said. "The only thing I have done is carry a pistol into a movie."

Bentley looked inside the wallet. He called out the name: "Lee Oswald." There was no reaction. Then he found another identification with the name Alek Hidell. Again no acknowledgment. Bentley said, "I guess we are going to have to wait until we get to the station to find out who he actually is."

Shortly after 2:00 P.M., the squad car pulled into the basement of the city hall. The police told the suspect he could hide his face from the press as they entered the building. He shrugged his shoulders. "Why should I hide my face? I haven't done anything to be ashamed of."

The police ran him into an elevator and took him to a third-floor office. He was put into a small interrogation room, with several men standing guard, as they waited for the chief of homicide, Captain Will Fritz. Suddenly, another homicide detective, Gus Rose, entered the room. He had the suspect's billfold in his hand, and he pushed two plastic cards forward. "One says Lee Harvey Oswald and one says Alek Hidell. Which one are you?"

A smirk again crossed his face. "You figure it out," he said.

For the past thirty years historians, researchers, and government investigators have tried to deal with Oswald's simple challenge. Although the identity of the suspect remained in doubt for only a few more minutes at that Dallas police station, the search has continued for the answer to the broader question of who Lee Harvey Oswald was. Understanding him is the key to finding out what happened in Dallas on November 22, 1963.



Oswald was born on October 18, 1939, into a lower-middle-class family in a downtrodden New Orleans neighborhood. His father, Robert Edward Lee Oswald, died two months before his birth. His mother, Marguerite, was a domineering woman, consumed with self-pity both over the death of her husband and because she had to return to work to support Lee, his brother, Robert, and a halfbrother, John Pic, from the first of her three marriages. Marguerite played an important role in Oswald's development, and conspiracy critics cast her in a positive light. Jim Marrs, author of Crossfire, one of two books upon which the movie JFK was based, downplays Oswald's formative years: "Despite much conjecture, there is little evidence that Lee's childhood was any better or any worse than others." Anthony Summers, in his best-selling Conspiracy, quotes a relative describing Marguerite as "a woman with a lot of character and good morals, and I'm sure that what she was doing for her boys she thought was the best at the time."

The truth is quite different. Robert described his mother as "rather quarrelsome" and "not easy to get along with when she didn't get her own way." According to Robert, Marguerite tried to "dominate" and "control" the entire family, and the boys found it "difficult . . . to put up with her." John Pic developed a "hostility" toward her and felt "no motherly love." Although she wanted to rule her sons' lives, she was unable to cope with them following the death of her husband. High-strung, and failing to keep any job very long,* she committed Robert and John Pic to an orphanage. She wanted also to send Lee but he was too young to be accepted. Instead, she shuffled him between her sister and an assortment of housekeepers and baby-sitters. The temporary arrangement did not work. Marguerite had let a couple move into her home to help care for Lee, but had to fire them when she discovered they had been whipping him to control his "unmanageable" disposition. She admitted it "was difficult with Lee," juggling different jobs and homes (they moved five times before Lee was three). The instability had its effect on Oswald. Years later, in an introductory note to a manuscript, he wrote: "Lee Harvey Oswald was born in Oct 1939 in New Orleans, La. the son of a Insuraen [sic] Salesman whose early death left a far mean streak of indepence [sic] brought on by negleck [sic]."

The day after Christmas 1942, Marguerite finally placed three-year-old Lee into the orphanage, where he joined his two brothers. Nearly one hundred youngsters lived at the Bethlehem Children's Home. The atmosphere was relaxed, and Lee's older brothers watched out for him during his stay there, which was quite uneventful. In early 1944, Marguerite unexpectedly checked her sons out of the Bethlehem Home and moved to Dallas. She relocated there because of her personal interest in a local businessman, Edwin Ekdahl, whom she had met six months earlier in New Orleans. They married in May of the following year. Lee's new stepfather worked for a utility company and extensive travel was part of his job. Robert and John Pic were placed in a military boarding school and Marguerite and Lee traveled with Ekdahl. The business trips and short relocations were so extensive that Lee missed most of his first year of school, but by late October, they settled in Benbrook Texas, a suburb of Fort Worth. Just after his sixth birthday, Lee was admitted to Benbrook Common Elementary.



*She admitted in her Warren Commission testimony to holding more than a dozen jobs and being fired from half of them.



But young Oswald was no longer concerned about the frequent moves or his absence from school because he had found a friend in his stepfather. Lee's halfbrother, John Pic, recalled, "I think Lee found in him the father he never had. He had treated him real good and I am sure that Lee felt the same way. I know he did." Soon after the marriage, however, Marguerite and Ekdahl began arguing. "She wanted more money out of him," recalls Pic. "That was the basis of all arguments."* The fights increased steadily in vituperation and intensity. Ekdahl often walked out, staying at a hotel, and in the summer of 1946, Marguerite moved with Lee to Covington, Louisiana. But Ekdahl and Marguerite soon reunited. Lee was ecstatic when his stepfather moved back in, but he hated the fighting and separations. "I think Lee was a lot more sensitive than any of us realized at the time," recalled his brother, Robert.



*Marguerite was always concerned about money. After the assassination, she almost always refused to give an interview or sit for photographs unless paid. Marina, Lee's wife, said, "She has a mania—only money, money, money." Her son John Pic said in 1964 that money was "her god."



The uncertainty in the marriage prevented Lee from ever settling into a single neighborhood and school. In September 1946, he enrolled in a new school, Covington Elementary, but was again in the first grade, because he had not completed the required work at Benbrook. After five months, Marguerite withdrew him from Covington and they moved back to Fort Worth, where Lee enrolled in his third school, the Clayton Public Elementary. He finally finished the first grade, but soon after he was registered for the second grade in the fall, they moved again. A schoolmate at Clayton, Philip Vinson, recalled that while Oswald was not a bully, he was a leader of one of three or four schoolyard gangs. Since he was a year older than his classmates, "they seemed to look up to him because he was so well built and husky . . . he was considered sort of a tough-guy type." Vinson also noted, however, that none of the boys in Oswald's gang ever played with him after school or went to his home. "I never went to his house, and I never knew anybody who did," said Vinson.

In January 1948, Ekdahl moved out permanently, and he started divorce proceedings in March. Soon after, Marguerite moved to a run-down house in a poor Fort Worth, neighborhood, adjoining railroad tracks. Lee was enrolled in another school, the Clark Elementary, his fourth. Unable to afford the tuition at military boarding school for her other two sons, Marguerite moved them in with her and Lee. Robert Oswald and John Pic described the new home as "lower-class" and "prisonlike," and they found Lee even less communicative than when they had previously left the household, often "brooding for hours" at a time. Lee had always been a quiet child. But with the constant moving, he did not easily fit in with his schoolmates and seldom made friends.

In June 1948, the bitter divorce proceedings came to trial. Lee was brought to court to testify, but refused, saying he would not know the truth from a lie. While the divorce dragged along, he stayed home alone with a pet dog, a gift from a neighbor. His brother noticed that he seemed to withdraw further into himself.

That summer, Marguerite and her sons moved once again to Benbrook, Texas. By the autumn they returned to Fort Worth, the thirteenth move since Lee's birth. He was enrolled in the third grade at Arlington Heights Elementary. With her marriage over, Marguerite now gave Lee all her attention, spoiling and protecting him. "She always wanted to let Lee have his way about everything," recalled her sister, Lillian Murret. Afraid he could be hurt in physical activities like sports, she instead encouraged gentler pursuits like tap dancing, but he preferred to stay home by himself or with her. Until he was almost eleven years of age, Lee often slept in the same bed with his mother.

According to Pic, who admittedly resented his mother more than Robert did, Marguerite's attitudes made the home atmosphere depressing. She was jealous of others, resented what they had, and constantly complained about how unfairly life treated her. "She didn't have many friends and usually the new friends she made she didn't keep very long," recalled Pic. "I remember every time we moved she always had fights with the neighbors or something or another." Pic felt so strongly about her that after the assassination he said that if Lee was guilty, then he "was aided with a little extra push from his mother in the living conditions that she presented to him." Even Lee's wife, Marina, later said that "part of the guilt" was with Marguerite, because she did not provide him the correct education, leadership, or guidance.

She did not encourage him to attend school when Lee whined that he did not like it. Instead, his mother told him he was brighter and better than other children, and reinforced his feeling that he learned more at home by reading books than from listening to his teachers. "She told me that she had trained Lee to stay in the house," Marguerite's sister, Lillian, recalled, "to stay close to home when she wasn't there; and even to run home from school and remain in the house or near the house. . . . He just got in the habit of staying alone like that." Oswald's cousin Marilyn Murret said that Marguerite thought it was better for him to stay at home alone than to "get in with other boys and do things they shouldn't do."

When Lee visited the Murrets during this period, Lillian found "he wouldn't go out and play. He would rather just stay in the house and read or something." She did not think it was healthy for him to be inside all the time, so the Murrets took him out, but immediately noticed "he didn't seem to enjoy himself." "He was obviously very unhappy," his aunt concluded.

Neighbors noticed the odd relationship between the overbearing mother and the introverted youngster. Mrs. W. H. Bell, a neighbor in Benbrook, remembered Lee as a loner who did not like to be disciplined. Myrtle Evans, a good friend of Marguerite, said she "was too close to Lee all the time." Evans said Lee was "a bookworm" even at seven years of age, and that his mother "spoiled him to death." "The way he kept to himself just wasn't normal," Evans recalled.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Author's Note,
Preface,
1. "WHICH ONE ARE YOU?" Oswald's Formative Years,
2. "THE BEST RELIGION IS COMMUNISM" Oswald in the Marines,
3. THE WAR OF THE DEFECTORS Yuriy Nosenko and Oswald's Defection,
4. "THE LESSER OF TWO EVILS" Marina and Lee in Russia,
5. "I'LL NEVER GO BACK TO THAT HELL" Dallas, 1962,
6. "HUNTER OF FASCISTS" The Assassination Attempt on General Walker,
7. "HANDS OFF CUBA" New Orleans, Summer 1963, Part I,
8. "OUR PAPA IS OUT OF HIS MIND" New Orleans, Summer 1963, Part II,
9. "HIS MOOD WAS BAD" Mexico City,
10. "WHEN WILL ALL OUR FOOLISHNESS COME TO AN END?" Dallas, October–November 1963,
11. "I'LL NEVER FORGET IT FOR AS LONG AS I LIVE" Dealey Plaza,
12. "HE LOOKS LIKE A MANIAC" Oswald's Escape,
13. "HE HAD A DEATH LOOK" Parkland and Bethesda,
14. "MY GOD, THEY ARE GOING TO KILL US ALL" The Single Bullet,
15. "I'M A CHARACTER! I'M COLORFUL" Jack Ruby,
16. "I AM JACK RUBY. YOU ALL KNOW ME" The Murder of Oswald,
17. "A RELIGIOUS EVENT" The Warren Commission and the Conspiracy Buffs,
18. "BLACK IS WHITE, AND WHITE IS BLACK" The Jim Garrison Fiasco,
19. "WHAT HAPPENED TO THE TRUTH?" The House Select Committee and Latest Developments,
AFTERWORD,
IMAGE GALLERY,
APPENDIX A. THE BALLISTICS OF ASSASSINATION,
APPENDIX B. THE NON-MYSTERIOUS "MYSTERY DEATHS",
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS,
NOTES,
BIBLIOGRAPHY,
INDEX,

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Customer Reviews

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 30 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2003

    Circular logic

    I was very disappointed by Posner¿s Case Closed. I would have welcomed a well argued book supporting the single-gunner theory of the Kennedy assassination. Unfortunately, despite its many favorable reviews and the author¿s claims to greater significance, the book is little more than one more overwritten, chronological condensation of The Warren Commission report. Although it has a long bibliography, the attentive reader (I guess that most of the reviewers were not) cannot help but notice that virtually all of the footnotes cite ¿factual¿ evidence from The Warren Commission report itself. The author, who claims to have a law degree, has a serious problem with circular logic. The many conspiracy theories, which in their totality comprise a rejection of the official explanation of the assassination as presented in The Warren Commission Report, cannot be refuted with evidence taken the very Warren Commission Report they take issue with! Given this basic flaw in the book, the author¿s ridicule of many conspiracy theory advocates as people out to make a quick buck, is really a case of the pot calling the kettle black. His habit of lumping all conspiracy theory proponents together is also quite annoying. The book is full of strange contradictions and omissions, too. He correctly notes that witnesses are notoriously unreliable, casually dismissing virtually all witnesses supporting alternative views of the killing as misguided, mistaken or dishonest, and then proceeds to devote at least half of this book to the testimony of innumerable Warren Commission witnesses. Even though the author has virtually no experience or knowledge of organized crime in the US, he dismisses any possible mafia involvement in the killing, based, once again, on what many would legitimately call questionable FBI testimony. This is especially curious, because this is testimony from agents working under the intense scrutiny of a man who repeatedly and enthusiastically for most of his life denied the existence of organized crime in the United States, J. Edgar Hoover. In what is my favorite quote in the book, Posner shows that the mafia could never have been involved in the assassination, by referring to the WC testimony of a long-time FBI agent. ¿They don¿t ¿ go after judges, they don¿t go after FBI agents or cops¿they will only go after those people when they have stolen money from them and double-crossed them.¿ A more succinct argument for mafia involvement could hardly be made. After all we now know that the mafia heavily funded the Kennedy election campaign, only to become the target of an intense Justice Department crackdown. It is not surprising that the book is full of the very contradictions that gave rise to the alternative theories to the WC Report, since it relies so heavily upon it. Over a third of the book is devoted to an extremely tedious and detailed version of Oswald¿s life, starting with his birth, based entirely on WC materials, too. I think Posner also inadvertently highlighted the glaring weakness and implausibility of the ¿rear-entry¿ theory of the fatal shot, by pointing out how dozens of expert trauma doctors in the Dallas emergency room were too busy attending to the President¿s small throat wound to notice that the right front forehead of a patient (who was lying on his back) was missing. At least, that is the explanation presented in the WC Report and repeated in this book. In fact, we now know that all the doctors described the President as having an enormous exit wound toward the right, rear of his head. Since most of Posner¿s ¿original¿ research is based upon reports in the media, it is only fair to point out that recent media efforts have uncovered important documents in the confidential archives of the Warren Commission that directly refute the Commission¿s version of the doctors¿ testimony and which raise serious doubts about the Commission¿s objectivity and the sustainability of the single-shooter theory.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2013

    Where does the evidence lead? That is the central question in b

    Where does the evidence lead? That is the central question in both the realms of both science and history. We can believe what we want, but it will be either with a factual basis to support it or it will not. Generally, sources that are credible, and are as close to the event as possible have the most weight in determining the factuality of an event. The use of primary sources from the time of the event is also crucial in determining the facts of the matter at hand.


    The book spends its first 40% concentrating on Oswald himself. The picture that emerges is one of a incredibly small man who possesses two of the worst traits possible; arrogance and stupidity. Time and again, Posner provides eyewitness testimony to the fact that Oswald was simply a blithering idiot and/or a complete loon. His mental state one could charitably claim as disturbed, yet he never got any help. He comes to his Marxism by reading and cannot adequately defend himself against competing views except by argument. He goes to Russia, finds life there to be in opposition to the worker's paradise he envisioned, and comes home with his Russian wife and child. Upon returning home, he drifts from job to job and attempts to curry favor with the American Communist Party by being the only member of his local Fair Play for Cuba organization. He is delusional, grandiose, yet paranoid. Above all else, he wants to make a name for himself. In the end, it is that need to be famous which puts him on the sixth floor of the Texas Book Depository on that fateful day. Posner spends much time going through the timeline of the events of that weekend, along the way destroying the various conspiracy theories that have arisen in the last 50 years. Some of the competing theories have at least a kernel of believability to them, but some - such as the switching of JFK's body at Love Field on Air Force One - simply defy logic and common sense. But Posner dissects all of the major alternate theories and goes about eliminating them as possible explanations. The problem with most conspiracies is they can only be kept truly secret is if only one person is left alive who knows the plot. BOTTOM LINE: This is the definitive work on the Kennedy assassination and worth reading whether you believe Oswald did it or not.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 30, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    For People Who Start With the Facts First and Not the Conspiracy

    Gerald Posner just about slams the JFK case shut with this amazing true crime story. Despite the laundry list of people who MIGHT have wanted to kill JFK, Posner, through a combination of biography, forensics and just plain facts, makes a pretty airtight case that Lee Harvey Oswald killed John F. Kennedy and that he acted alone. Far from being a pawn in a larger game, Oswald was a penny-ante loser, a wife beater and a rabid Marxist. Posner interviews former KGB agents who said they considered Oswald too unstable to spy for them, much less assassinate someone. When it comes to the events in Dealey Plaza, Posner's excellent forensic sources answer all of the questions, including the so-called "magic bullet". For those well-read in JFK conspiracy tracts, Posner picks them apart piece by piece with crushing logic. Read this book, and you'll no longer wonder who killed our President.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2006

    Be prepared to think

    This book explores the lives of Lee Oswald and Jack Ruby. While conspiracy buffs look at fuzzy pictures of leaves and see gunmen, this book gives amazing, if sometime tedious, detail about the lives of the two crucial players in the 1963 Kennedy assassination. You will learn learn that Oswald was an erratic, unstable loser who sought attention. The KGB, who watched him on wife-hunting trip to Russia, called him 'pathetic.' You will also learn that Ruby was a violent wannabe who tried hard to know the right people- petty gangsters and cops. Any conspiracy would be foolish to rely on these two. You will learn that Lee Oswald certainly fired 3 shots, that he could have easily hit the motorcade, and that it was pure luck that put Jack Ruby was in place and time to shoot Oswald. Reading deeper, you may recognize why conspiracy buffs continue to prattle on: it is hard to accept that two insiginficant people could affect the direction of the country so much. But they did. As an aside, Case Closed also details the dishonesty of Jim Garrison, the seminal conspiracy buff. He did his part in maintaining Louisiana's status as the most corrupt state in the union. If you believe in a conspiracy, don't read this book. As a True Believer your world has no room for the facts you'll read here. If your mind is open, or want to educate yourself in gory detail, then this is a good read.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2003

    Finally an intelligent book about the assassination

    This should be required reading before anyone wanders into the bizarre world of assassination conspiracy books. This book is so beautifully researched and so compelling that its hard to believe people are still buying conspiracy books about a murder than was such a simple and open and shut case. A lot of the material in this book destroys conspiracy theories from other authors, but primarilly it is a book that goes into exquisite detail of Oswald's life and the event , with a fair amount covering Jack Ruby and Jim Garrison, the totally discredited DA who was portrayed in the movie JFK. Once I reached the part about the events in Dealey Plaza, I couldn't put it down. It reminded me of At Dawn We Slept in terms of its thoroughness. Other conspiracy books now look like simple plays for money from the ever gullible public.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2003

    A Convincing, Powerful Case

    Posner starts the story where it belongs: on the warped mind of Lee Harvey Oswald. Remarkably, he devotes over 200 pages to him before moving on to other issues. He also straightens out three major concerns: (1) Oswald had 8 seconds, not 5 (he needed no more than 6), (2) 3 bullets were fired, not 4 (old evidence to the contrary is now refuted); and (3) the 'magic bullet' was in fact a straight line trajectory from Kennedy to Governor Connelley. He also eviscerates Jim Garrison and Oliver Stone along the way -not with hyperbole but with stubborn facts. The truth, in turns out, is as compelling as the fiction -- it simply turns out that the entire story is about a complex loner, Lee Harvey Oswald.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2004

    Same old cover up.

    Any thinking person who has seen the Zapruder film which clearly shows the motion of Kennedy's body being thrown back and to the left into Jackie could ever think that the death shot came from the rear. Apparently Mr Posner does not clearly understand simple physics.

    2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2000

    A Refreshing Burst Of Sanity!

    Thank you Gerald Posner for writing a book that restores some sanity to the discussion about the JFK assassination! After allowing the professional conspiracy authors (none of whom possess any competence in historical scholarship, photographic analysis or forensic science) to have free rein with their duplicitous presentations of conspiracy theories for too long, Posner finally presents the blunt facts that exposes their intellectual and scientific shallowness and shows that Oswald acted alone, case closed. It is a sad comment on the gullibility of the American public that for years they have swallowed the bogus arguments of conspiracy authors, who among other things have resorted to deception and false evidence to present their non-existent tales of conspiracy. Thank you Gerald Posner for cutting through the nonsense and giving us the simple, unvarnished truth!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2013

    This should be required reading ...

    for every history class. As one who holds both a law degree and a master of library and information science, my query to those who believe in any one of umpteen conspiracy theories is always "What is your evidence? What sources are you relying on?"

    Posner's book is fully footnoted and citations and explanations are provided in abundance. Despite the fact that it was published more than 20 years ago, the evidence originally considered by the Warren Commission has not only withstood the test of time, but testing methods not available in the 1960s have confirmed the original findings.

    Unfortunately, because of the Kennedy aura (I'm a big fan of JFK and the entire Kennedy family), people simply do not want to believe that a lone nut with a gun was able to pull off the crime of the century. Yet, this type of crime is practically an everyday occurrence in gun-happy America, and you can bet that if the Secret Service weren't so much more able to do their jobs today, the current president would no doubt have met a similar fate as JFK.

    Read this book AFTER you've read numerous conspiracy accounts and watched Oliver Stone's movie. You will realize you've been duped by those who are making a huge profit from exploiting those who like to believe in mythology. Case closed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2013

    Very misleading. Ignorant of many of the basics in ballistics an

    Very misleading. Ignorant of many of the basics in ballistics and trajectory. Impossible conclusion given the numerous accounts rendered by eye-witnesses as to where the shots were fired from. This "book" was written to please either the ignorant, or to please the establishment. Don't do as I did, don't waste you valuable time reading this swill. Big mistake. Thank God it was a gift. So glad I didn't pay for it.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 4, 2012

    JFK was assassinated when I was 10 years old.  I thought the War

    JFK was assassinated when I was 10 years old.  I thought the Warren Commission Report was gospel for about 20 years, then I began studying the conspiracy theories, and did so for about another 20 years, having changed my belief that there was indeed a conspiracy.  Then along came "Case Closed" and the enhanced video evidence of the Zapruder film that proved to be beyond any doubt that  both JFK and Connally were struck by one bullet simultaneously.  I'm all done with the conspiracy books.  Case closed!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2003

    Case Closed Indeed...

    A tremendous piece of work. For the question of why the President's head flys backwards, there is a thorough explanation in this book. Just read it, and you won't say the word conspiracy again when discussing the Kennedy Assasination..

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2003

    Must Read for Everyone Interested in JFK

    Gerald Posner did a good job of researching key areas of the murder of JFK. From Garrison and his willingness to recruit people to lie about information to Oswalds' disgust with American life. I was always a firm believer that Oswald was a pawn for the gov. but many of the key points of past conspiracy theories are answered with some honest insight into the events that transpired. Many of the reviews I've read sound like people who did not even read this book. A lot of questions are posed to the conspriacy buffs out there that aren't being answered!!

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2003

    does not close the case

    This book does not look deep enough into the assasination. I have read both sides of the story, and I have to say that i cannot understand how anyone could not see the obvious conspiracy. As horrible as the film is to watch, it is extremely important in clearing any doubts. His head clearly moves back and to the left. Now, there is a large amount of other evidence supporting the conspiracy theory, but in actuality, all you need to know is that his head did not move forward and all questions are answered. I'd love to hear a reasonable explanation for this; I have yet to hear one. Garrison is a remarkable man- he has the courage to come out and state what he believes is true, knowing so many people will oppose him. It makes me sick to know that there are still people leading our country who know exactly what happened that day, but will not come out with it.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2003

    Are you kidding me?

    Lee Harvey Oswald couldn't not have been the lone assassin, not a chance. I can tell that by watching the Zapruder film. It is EXTREMELY evident that the President was shot from the front. Why else would his head jolt backwards? I do not believe, nor will I ever be convinced that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2000

    Open the files

    Ok, everyone is arguing over whether or not there was a conspiracy. I felt this book was good, as everyone should read both sides of the issue. However Mr. Posner, if the case is closed ,as your book reads, then open the files. Open them. Let us all see that 'Oswald did it' and that the government did not participate. Regardless of your theories, Garrison's, or mine, there is one thing for sure. If you have nothing to hide, open the files. Isn't that reasonable? Or is the government not accountable to the people? Who are they to keep information from the public? We elect them, they are not our parents. OPEN THE FILES and let the Heavens fall...

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2000

    FINALLY

    I took a class on the assassination. I went in sure as anything there was a conspiracy. Posner's book changed my mind. Looking at the conspiracy through a historical lens there is absolutely, positively no way there was a conspiracy. Anyone who reads this book and still holds on to a conspiracy viewpoint needs open their mind a little. It was well researched, well documented and well presented. Compare this book with Crossfire by Jim Marrs, or any other pro-conspiracy book. There differences would be clear to a child. Posner systematically disproves almost evey conspiracy theory in unequivical language. Instead of a mish-mash of 'maybes' or 'possiblies' or 'unexplainabities', as Marrs or other pro-conspiracy writers use. This book is a refreshing look at an event that has been blown way out of proportion by people who watch too much X-files. Kudos to Posner.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2013

    Payton

    What

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  • Posted November 21, 2013

    One of the biggest fraudulent accounts ever written regarding th

    One of the biggest fraudulent accounts ever written regarding the JFK assassination.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2005

    Everything About Oswald

    This book is full of information on Lee Oswald's complete life. The book basically summarizes that Oswald was the only person involved in the assassanation of JFK, and the author goes out of his way to shun readers away from all conspiracy theories.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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