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A note to friends and acquaintances about November 22, 1963
Tomorrow is a somber day. It’s not actually a time I like talking about bullet angles and conspiracies or watching once again the Zapruder film. I’m sorry I have to talk so much about Oswald. But so many people still have questions, doubts, and unanswered suspicions. That is not surprising given how many canards are continuously passed around as if they are facts. And efforts by some to cash in on the conspiracy fever that is so prevalent in modern America, further cloud the search for a broad consensus about what really happened at Dealey Plaza.
Twenty years ago, in the wake of the hardcover publication of Case Closed, Trisha and I visited JFK’s grave at Arlington. Hundreds of people, Americans and foreigners, paid their respect. It was incredibly moving.
In the 20 years since, there has been a slow, steady climb in the number of people who believe that a 24-year-old sociopath managed to end Camelot with a single bullet. There are too many instances over the centuries where violence by lone wolves changed the course of history.
At times in 1993, although I got some solid support from journalists, authors and historians, it also felt that by concluding Oswald alone had killed JFK I had staked out a pretty lonely position. But in the intervening decades, I’ve been lucky to also make a lot of friends and acquaintances who have been a great source of encouragement and support. I want to thank all of you, those who have at times even put up with personal abuse or ridicule for sticking by your conclusions. Tomorrow is a day when we can step back, pay tribute to JFK and his legacy, and take some solace in the fact that as 50 years tick by, conspiracy theories about the case are dying steadily, starving to death from a lack of any credible evidence.
For many of us, this is the last major retrospective marking JFK’s death that we will live to see. Let’s make sure we take some time amidst all the talk of the assassination and the tragic events of that day to pay tribute to the man, his life, his family, and all the hope for the future that was extinguished on that terrible Friday.