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Barry Ryder "Barry Ryder" (London)

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Wallace: The Final Verdict (True crime)
Wallace: The Final Verdict (True crime)
by Roger Wilkes
Edition: Paperback

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solved at last? Maybe, but...., 29 Dec. 2009
When this book was published - in 1984 - I was, at first, reluctant to buy it. At first sight it seemed to be another one of 'those' books; the sort that lay claim to 'new evidence' and the solution of an old crime.
Such books are two-a-penny and are, invariably, a complete waste of time.

However, I did 'go for it' some years later and now, I'm glad I did.

The author most definitely gets off on the right foot - as far as I'm concerned - by explaining his dilemma to the reader.

He acknowledges that the 'new information' that he has will point the finger of suspicion toward a dead man. (Although, it must be said, that the individual was questioned about the murder of Julia Wallace soon after it occurred. The police were satisfied at that time (1931) that the man had an alibi.)

The author further acknowledges that his new information is derived, principally, from a man who is now very old and his recollections may be fallible.

Still, with these caveats in place, the story does unfold pretty well.

In addition to Wilkes' main witness, others are found to be still alive, not least a young lady who was 'courting' the suspect and provided his alibi for the crucial time of the murder.

I won't spoil anyone's reading enjoyment by going on.

I will say, however, that the author is always restrained and balanced in his pursuit and his conclusion.

So, is this book really 'The Final Verdict'?

See what you think.

Shall We Ever Know?: Trial of the Hosein Brothers for the Murder of Mrs.McKay
Shall We Ever Know?: Trial of the Hosein Brothers for the Murder of Mrs.McKay
by William Cooper
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ..the abduction and murder of the 'wrong' woman, 29 Dec. 2009
This is a remarkably good book.

The author gives the reader the best seat in the house at The Central Criminal Courts - The Old Bailey - for this sensational murder trial.

Cooper lets the accused men, the legal teams and witnesses speak for themselves as the case unfolds before the jury.

I found this outstanding account rather like sitting next to someone throughout the trial proceedings who is very well versed in the ways of the courtroom . The author very occasionally chips-in with an astute observation or comment, after a telling point has been made or revealed, the subtlety and importance of which may have been missed by the less finely-tuned observer.

Everything is here from the first day of the trial, right up to the verdicts.

For readers of true crime, this book should occupy a place on the bookshelf. I hesitate to say that the book is 'a delight' because, of course, it deals with the abduction and murder of a woman. Nonetheless, it really is a great book to have.

Retired Dallas Police Chief Jesse Curry Reveals His Personal JFK Assassination File: Limited Collectors Edition
Retired Dallas Police Chief Jesse Curry Reveals His Personal JFK Assassination File: Limited Collectors Edition
by Jesse Curry
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ..when the world fell in on the chief.., 28 Dec. 2009
This 1969 publication is about as rare as horse feathers these days.

Should any serious reader of the Kennedy assassination ever see a copy, I would urge them to grab it.

Curry was the Chief of Police in Dallas at the time of the Kennedy, Tippit and Oswald murders. If ever anyone had a bad day at the office, this poor man did. Everything that could go wrong went wrong.

This wonderful book is replete with pictures and documents and really is a must for readers of the assassination.

My only criticism - it could, and should have been much longer.


22 November: The Day Remembered
22 November: The Day Remembered
by "Dallas Morning News"
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars it happeneded, as it was reported and as it was read.., 28 Dec. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a great addition to any 'assassination bookshelf'.

The reader can follow a chronological - minute by minute - walkthrough of the assassination weekend as it was reported by the staff of the Dallas Morning News.

This is the story as it developed and how it was conveyed to the people of Dallas.

For a real sense of immediacy it ranks alongside such other notable contemporaneous works as 'No More Silence' by Larry Sneed, 'JFK: Breaking The News' by Hugh Aynesworth, 'Eyewitness To History' by Howard Brennan, 'JFK Assassination File' by Chief Jesse Curry and 'Four Days In November', which is the New York Times' compilation of news coverage.

In addition to the original 1963 reporting, the reader can also enjoy a good deal of more modern (1983-88) commentary and analysis which has been added to bring things up-to-date in the light of more recent discoveries and developments.

I particularly liked the 'Dallas On Trial' and 'Dallas' Dark Journey' chapters.

There are two in-depth pieces about Oswald and Ruby, too.

If you enjoy history, you'll enjoy this book immensely.

The Kennedy Assassination Tapes
The Kennedy Assassination Tapes
by Lyndon B. Johnson
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ...listening-in on history..., 27 Dec. 2009
Max Holland's outstanding compilation of telephone transcripts provides a wonderful historical perspective and resource as well as a gripping read.

The author has collected all the phone traffic - that was directly related to the assassination - that LBJ generated and received from the moment of his swearing in aboard AF-1 right up until 1967.

The content of these conversations takes the reader to the very heart of the transition of power that - by necessity - had to be immediate, regardless of any perceived feeling of unseemly haste.

The incoming president can be seen to soon grasp the enormity of what has happened, not just to him, but the whole world.

Holland includes Johnson's calls to his most trusted advisors and allies in Washington, the desperate attempts to reach the cabinet members and also, his genuine and heartfelt exchange with the slain president's mother.

It's all here: the developing situation in Dallas, the worldwide reaction and the genesis of the Warren Commission.

Many 'conspiracy theorists' maintain that LBJ was involved in the Dallas murder - some even suggest that he was the prime-mover. This book soon shows such nonsense for what it was (and still is, unfortunately). The transparency of this material demonstrates that neither Lyndon Johnson, nor the much maligned media, were in any way complicit in the death of John F. Kennedy.

If Johnson were involved - or even had any prior knowledge of the assassination - he should have got an Oscar for his performance that Holland has done so well to chronicle.

Trial of Jack Ruby
Trial of Jack Ruby
by John Kaplan
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars ..the man who killed the man who killed..., 26 Dec. 2009
This review is from: Trial of Jack Ruby (Hardcover)
Kaplan and Waltz write here with authority and some (often much needed) humour.

The reader will be able to 'take the scenic route' through this amazing trial thanks to the combined skills of the two authors.

At times the proceedings seem interminably long and circuitous as Melvin Belli's 'insanity defence' unfolds with endless twists and turns in his valiant attempt to keep his client - not just out of the electric chair, but - out of jail completely.

It's all here: the key people, the legal arguments, all the key witnesses and the behind-the-scenes wrangling between Ruby's family members with his various lawyers.

Belli looms large throughout the proceedings and the clash of styles between him and the prosecution team of Wade and Alexander lurches from the comic to the menacing at times.

Even though Ruby himself never took the stand the reader will get the chance to hear much from and about him that contributes greatly to understanding him and his actions. An understanding that should, forever, dispel any notion that 'Sparky' was 'rubbing out' Oswald on orders from 'the Mob'.

A nice book to have to truly 'round-off' any JFK assassination bookshelf.

False Witness: The Real Story of Jim Garrison's Investigation and Oliver Stone's Film "JFK"
False Witness: The Real Story of Jim Garrison's Investigation and Oliver Stone's Film "JFK"
by Patricia Lambert
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a vital corrective for those who swallowed Stone's 'JFK', 26 Dec. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book will give the reader a close-up view of the New Orleans 'investigation' of Jim Garrison, in much the way that the notable examinations of James Kirkwood's 'American Grotesque, Edward Jay Epsein's 'Counterplot', Milton Brener's 'The Garrison Case' and the excellent 'Plot or Politics' by Rosemary James and Jack Wardlaw do. (James was the reporter who first exposed the level of spending that the DA's office was mounting up in its persecution of Clay Shaw.)

Lambert is scathing in her treatment of Garrison who had become obsessed with 'conspiracy' and had no case at all against an innocent man.

The author's analysis of the people and events is spot on and should be read by anyone who actually cares about justice.

Garrison brought ruin upon Clay Shaw in his manic search to blame someone - other than poor young Lee Oswald - for the assassination.

Lambert will introduce you to all the characters that Garrison threatened, cajoled and bribed in his desperate attempt to bring his ultimate fantasy to life.

Read all of Garrison's pre-trial trumpeting about what he claimed to have had against the accused - then read on as the case and Garrison's witnesses began to unravel before his very eyes.

Like a snowflake the case seemed amazing, intricate and wonderously put together. But, just like a snowflake, it melted away to nothing when the warm light of reason was shone on it.

Shaw was acquitted by the jury in barely fifty-four minutes; Garrison should have gone to prison for fifty-four years.

Lambert does a superb job of examining the 'Clinton sightings' in this book, too. Her discovery and analysis of documents that the DA's office witheld solves, once and for all, the truth and motive behind the allegations that Shaw, Ferrie and Oswald all, supposedly, knew each other.

Superb book.

JFK: Say Goodbye to America
JFK: Say Goodbye to America
by Matthew Smith
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars ..every bit as bad as his other 'JFK' offering, 26 Dec. 2009
As far as 'serious' JFK writing goes, Matthew Smith is simply not at the races.

Professor Matthew Smith's 2001 book, `Say Goodbye To America' comprises thirty-two chapters. For the most part these chapters are the usual conspiracy-buff lunacy, invention and denial of plain facts.
However, two of the chapters herein, seem to have broken new ground, even by extreme conspiracy-buff standards.

Chapter eleven , 'New Light-Old Shadows, contains some of the wackiest tripe ever to make it into print.
Smith tells of being put into contact with a gentleman named Joachim Markus.
Markus tells Smith that he has perfected a method of rendering two-dimensional images into three-dimensional images! Smith squeals with delight as he recounts how an impromptu demonstration of a simple photograph of the front and side of a chapel is miraculously rendered into three dimensions. Incredibly, this demonstration was able to show, "..the other side, the rear, the inside of the building and the roof" (p.67).

This really is amazing. The only thing that I find more amazing is that this astonishing technology - which Smith saw in action more than a decade ago - hasn't been used by the military, law enforcement nor marketed commercially yet.

The chapter then goes on to `explain' how this incredible photographic advance was used by the author and Markus to show that all of the official investigations of Kennedy's murder got it wrong.
The `supporting' diagrams are pathetic and pale when compared to the serious work undertaken by Dale Myers in the USA. Smith actually concludes the chapter by writing, "In figures 22-27, details of how our calculations were obtained are shown, There is nothing up our sleeves (p.83).
Professor, there's nothing between your ears!

Chapter twenty-four, the Cuban Pilot' - is a real hoot.
In this one, Smith takes the reader back to Red-Bird airport for a second amazing adventure. (The first was recounted by Smith in `The Second Plot' and featured Oswald and others visiting and enquiring about hiring a plane. Pure bunk, but without bunk, Smith`s books would be much thinner).

This time around we hear the story of `Hank Gordon' (not his real name, we are told).

`Hank' was working at Red-Bird when he fell into conversation with another man who was working on the same DC-3 aircraft. The man idly tells `Hank' that he was born in Cuba - fair enough, many people are. He also flew for Castro's air-force, `Hank' learns.
Then, the day before the assassination, our loquacious Cuban hits `Hank' with a real doozy. "Hank, they are going to kill your president". Whoa! `Hank' can't really believe it. But when motor-mouth elaborates with, "They are not only going to kill the President, they are going to kill Robert Kennedy and any other Kennedy who gets into that position" (p. 164).
Does `Hank' go hot-foot to the police with this alarming boast? No, of course he doesn't.
Around lunchtime on the day of the assassination, the news reaches `Hank' at Red-Bird. The Cuban pilot tells `Hank', "It's all going to happen just like I told you." So now 'Hank' must go to the authorities, right? Wrong! He doesn't do a thing. Nothing! He tells nobody and watches Oswald go down alone. Nice.

So Smith gives us an insider to the assassination plot who can't keep his mouth shut and a good citizen who does nothing prevent the murders of JFK, Tippit and Oswald!

Only a professor of media-studies who is also a dab hand at script-writing could come up with such rubbish.


Plausible Denial: Was the CIA Involved in the JFK Assassination?
Plausible Denial: Was the CIA Involved in the JFK Assassination?
by Mark Lane
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars ...totally unconvincing. This book doesn't come up to proof., 26 Dec. 2009
Does this book 'prove' that the CIA was involved in the assassination of JFK? No, it doesn't - it falls a long way short.

Lane has had a profitable career in pursuit of doubt, innuendo, supposition and selective use of witness testimony.

For the purpose of this brief review it is not necessary to believe that Oswald did or didn't kill JFK. Put quite simply, the author fails to prove any connection/relationship (direct or indirect) between Oswald and the CIA and there is nothing here to implicate the CIA in the assassination..

Lane has Marita Lorenz - or rather her deposition - as his star witness. In typical Lane style he omits huge chunks of her deposition in this book.

Lane knows that Lorenz's deposition is full of utterly ridiculous claims and he has no choice but to wield his `editorial scalpel' in much the way that he did in `Rush To Judgement'.

Mark Lane doesn't tell lies; he just doesn't tell the reader everything; particularly matters that are to the detriment of his argument. This book is not `the whole truth'.

For sure, Hunt ultimately lost the Liberty Lobby case. He was the plaintiff, this 'loss' wasn't a 'guilty verdict' against him. The court simply wouldn't uphold his claim for defamation, that's all. The court never said that he was in Dallas, only Lorenz did and she was lying..

To return to the main fault of this book: it doesn't prove that Oswald was connected to the CIA and it gets nowhere near connecting the CIA to the murder of JFK. It doesn't matter if he was the murderer or a patsy, for the main tenet of this book to hold fast the author has to prove a connection between the CIA and the assassination. He doesn't and the rest is just 'filler'.


*I have partly rewritten the above as the result of comments received. Hopefully my revision will be more easily understood than the original.*
Comment Comments (10) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 18, 2012 3:13 PM BST

JFK: Breaking the News: A Reporter's Eyewitness Account of the Assassination and It's Aftermath
JFK: Breaking the News: A Reporter's Eyewitness Account of the Assassination and It's Aftermath
by Hugh Aynesworth
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent. History as it happened., 25 Dec. 2009
This wonderful book is about as good as it gets from an historical and contemporaneous point of view.

The author was present in Dallas throughout the assassination weekend and this superb book is crammed from cover to cover with his original notes, interviews and published pieces plus much more besides. There are many great photographs, too.

For readers who would like to experience the immediacy and reality of those awful hours, Aynesworth's journalistic skill will do the job far better than any of the far removed (in space and time) ramblings of the conspiracy brigade.

Speaking of 'conspiracy', it is an 'established fact' - apparently - that 'the media' was complicit in the cover-up of JFK's murder. Reading this book will demonstrate conclusively to any reasonable reader that neither the author nor his hundreds of fellow journalists were being, misled, suppressed or coerced in their relentless pursuit of 'the facts'.

Do try to add this book to your 'assassination bookshelf' - it really is priceless.


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