Sunday, November 22, 2009

I Survived the JFK Assassination, and All I Got Was this Lousy Tee Shirt

Believe it or not, some managed to get away.

Jean Hill (1931-2000)--As the parade spectator closest to the Kennedy assassination, Hill obviously saw more than she wanted to. Seconds after the assassination, she instinctively charged the Grassy Knoll, from which she had heard shots. She didn’t make it very far. A police officer took her into custody. She tried to explain that she heard between four to six shots. But anonymous officials insisted she only heard three, and ordered her not to speak to anyone about what she saw.

Hill’s longevity might have resulted from her conflicting statements, which diminished her credibility. While the bulk of her story hasn’t changed since 1963, various details about that day and about her role in it have varied. Some inconsistencies (e.g., she first said she never saw the shooter, but later claimed that she saw the smoke from his gun) we might see as exaggerations, or confusion of the events at the time (exacerbated by hostile questioning immediately after). There are some instances where she clearly colored the story (e.g., she said the President’s fender almost hit her when it was in fact a few feet away, as established by the Zapruder film). But a lot of her inconsistency comes from her Warren Commission testimony, which, she insisted, someone falsified. Others would also claim that someone had fabricated their testimony in presenting it to the Warren Commission. When she later read what she supposedly said, Hill remarked, “I knew there was something crooked as a dog’s hind leg.”


Mary Boshard Moorman (1932- )--Moorman (standing right) accompanied Jean Hill to the motorcade, and stood next to her as shots rang out. She managed to capture the assassination in a Polaroid snapshot taken literally less than a second after the fatal head wound that killed President Kennedy.

Figure 1. Mary Moorman Photo



For those of you too young to remember Polaroid cameras, especially those of 1960s vintage, the pictures they produced were (sigh) kinda crappy. People still bought them, however, for they were the first cameras to instantly develop film. Thus, the quality of Moorman's photo isn’t the greatest. But through computer-enhanced analysis, some have discerned a figure, dressed in a policeman’s uniform (hence the nickname ‘Badgeman‘ by researchers), standing behind the fence at the Grassy Knoll. He seems to have just fired a gun, for his arms are in shooting position and we see what appears to be a muzzle flash.

Figure 2. Mary Moorman Photo (enlarged, cropped and colorized)


Because of the poor quality of the Moorman photograph, and the difficulty inherent in enlarging it, Warren Commission proponents dismiss the image as an optical illusion. Yet, other aspects of the photo seem to pan out.

Figure 3. Excerpt from The Men Who Killed Kennedy



Julia Ann Mercer (1940- ? )--While driving a rental car near the grassy knoll, Mercer spotted a man unloading guns from a stalled pickup truck. Questioned by Dallas Police and the FBI, she picked Jack Ruby out of a photo lineup.

Warren Commission buffs attempt to dismiss this bit of damaging testimony by accusing Mercer of lying. Mercer has insisted that someone has altered her sworn testimony and forged her signature onto documents. So naturally, if earlier or later statements contradict she, like Hill, would not have been responsible for most of the inconsistencies. Otherwise, a number of details corroborate her story, among them the fact that she said from the beginning that she had gotten a good enough look at the man (Ruby) to identify him. Also, the FBI independently confirmed that a pickup truck (US Air Force truck, no less) had stalled when and where Mercer said she spotted it. This means that she would have been in position to see anyone unloading something off of it.

Some have suggested that Mercer actually knew Ruby. If that’s true, one would have to have severe doubts about her credibility. She wouldn’t have had to identify him in a lineup, after all. She would have simply said she saw Jack Ruby. Of course, this story is extremely shaky, relying upon gossip. As it stands, Mercer’s testimony caps off a mountain of evidence that Ruby had been involved in the assassination before it had occurred.


Beverly Oliver (aka The Babushka Lady; 1946- )--As a singer employed by Jack Ruby, she had seen Lee Oswald at the Carousel Club. She declined to go on record with Orleans Parish DA Jim Garrison, but has since talked about her knowledge of Ruby and Oswald’s relationship (see Figure 3).


Juanita Slusher (aka Candy Barr; 1935-2005)--Slusher had just about the worst childhood ever. After she turned nine, her mother died. A neighbor repeatedly raped her until she ran away at age thirteen. Promptly captured by a sex slavery ring, she worked as a prostitute until the age of fourteen, when she married a professional safecracker. The union lasted one year. At the age of fifteen, back into prostitution, she was forced, at gunpoint, to star in the film Smart Aleck, one of the most notorious hardcore loops of its day.

In 1952, she became a dancer for Jack Ruby’s major strip club rival Abe Weinstein, who owned the Colony Club, located next door to the Carousel. Weinstein gave her the stage name Candy Barr due to her fondness for chocolate.

Candy met and befriended Carousel dancer Jada, who often took her to Jack Ruby’s after-hours joint, The Vegas. It’s there were Candy and Jack became friends.

Beginning in 1956, Candy fell into legal problems. Police arrested her for shooting her second husband. They also found nearly an ounce of marijuana in her apartment. She left Texas, and drifted toward LA, where she found a benefactor in mobster Mickey Cohen. After she accepted his wedding proposal, Cohen sent her to Mexico, along with a $500 a month stipend. Stifled by life below the border she returned to Texas to face the pot charge in 1959, and received a fifteen-year sentence.

Candy served less than four years, before officials released her in April 1963. As a term of her parole, she could not go to Dallas, and thus had to live with her parents in Edna, TX. It was during this time that her friendship with Ruby intensified, with him calling her frequently on the telephone, and sometimes making the trip out to visit her. Shortly before the assassination, she casually mentioned that she wanted to breed dogs, so Jack drove down to gift her with a purebred dachshund.

After Oswald’s assassination, investigators suspected that Ruby must have told Candy something about either Lee’s death or Kennedy’s. The following week, the FBI schlepped to Edna to question her. Unlike her friend Jada, Candy simply told investigators that she didn’t know anything.

Candy subsequently lived her life in relative peace (compared to those around her). Gov. John Connolly, one of the victims of the assassination, even pardoned her for the marijuana charges in 1966.


Aquila Clemmons (sometimes spelled ‘Acquila Clemmons’ c. 1918?- ? )--The closest witness to the J.D. Tippit shooting, she identified two men (neither of them Oswald) as the cop’s killers. Never questioned by police or interviewed by the Warren Commission, she was nevertheless visited a couple of days later by an unnamed man who threatened her silence. Oswald’s attorney, Mark Lane, tracked her down and filmed his interview with her.

Figure 4. Aquila Clemmons





Perry Russo (1941-1995)--As an acquaintance of both Clay Shaw and David Ferrie, Russo (left) could tie the two together. Meanwhile Ferrie could (and did) link himself to Lee Oswald. More important, Russo informed Jim Garrison that he overheard Shaw and Ferrie discussing a plan to kill JFK.


Warren Reynolds (1935- ?)--Reynolds witnessed the J.D. Tippit slaying, but could not honestly identify Oswald as the triggerman. A few months later, someone shot him in the head. He recovered.  Unfortunately, he had other pressures, such as an aborted attempt to kidnap his ten-year-old daughter. Not surprisingly, he later identified Oswald as Tippit’s murderer for the Warren Commission.

Antonio Veciana (c. 1925?- )Veciana joined Alpha 66, a Cuban underground working within the United States funded in part by the Central Intelligence Agency, in Havana sometime during 1960. Veciana’s CIA case officer went by the name Maurice Bishop, a pseudonym of either David Atlee Phillips or Jack Esterline.

Veciana told House Select Committee on Assassinations investigator Gaeton Fonzi that Bishop had a connection to Lee Oswald, and agreed to tell this story to Congress. Before he could do that, a passing motorist pumped four bullets into his car. Wounded in the attempt, Veciana survived, but changed his story for the HSCA, claiming that Castro alone was behind the JFK assassination.

Marina Nikolayevna Prusakova Oswald Porter (1941- )--Oswald’s widow initially refused to believe that Lee had anything to do with the deaths of John Kennedy and J.D. Tippit. After months of questioning by the FBI, and possibly under the fear of deportation, Marina reversed her earlier opinion, stating that she now believed in her late-husband’s guilt. But over the years, she has come back to her original opinion, stating that she has now had time to re-evaluate evidence. Moreover, she now has the maturity to discern the investigators’ lies for what they were, namely an attempt to coerce her agreement. For decades she was sometimes silent, sometimes cryptic in relating her thoughts on the case, thus giving a number of authors the opportunity to put words into her mouth. Recently, however, she has taken a very public and unequivocal stand on the matter. She, and her daughter June Oswald, would like to see the case re-opened

Figure 5. Marina states her opinion on the JFK assassination.

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More Death by JFK Assassination, Pt. II

Salvatore Giancana (aka Momo, Sam; 1908-1975)

Who the hell is he? Chicago-based Mafia kingpin

What could he say? Sam Giancana apparently had ties to JFK through the President’s friend, Frank Sinatra, and through a mistress they presumably shared, Judith Campbell Exner. Giancana also had purported underworld ties to patriarch Joseph Kennedy. When John and Robert vigorously attacked organized crime in the Jimmy Hoffa prosecution and the Joseph Valachi hearings, Giancana reportedly felt that the Kennedy brothers had double-crossed him.

As two of a number of mobsters connected to the Central Intelligence Agency and FBI (through Howard Hughes’s right-hand man, Robert Maheu), Giancana and mobster Johnny Roselli served as middlemen in contracting a hit on Fidel Castro. Some speculate that he might have played a similar role in the hit on JFK. Had Giancana lived just one more year, he could have told the House Select Committee on Assassinations about the Maheu link between CIA, FBI and the Mafia, and could have implicated all three groups in the murder of President Kennedy.

How did he die? Shot in the back of the head while cooking up some Italian sausages at his home in suburban Chicago. Then-DCI William Colby denied having anything to do with Giancana’s murder, as did Sam's fellow mobsters. Various reasons have surfaced with respect to motive. One suggests that the CIA, anticipating the creation of a Senate or House Investigation into assassinations, might have simply dispatched him because he knew too much.


John Roselli (aka Handsome Johnny; 1905-1976)

Who the hell is he? Mafia Don based in Chicago, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. A friend and benefactor of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.

What could he say? Roselli already said quite a bit in 1975, when testifying in front of the Church Committee. He had already gone on record about the Maheu-CIA-Mafia nexus. But in 1976, he seemed prepared to go deeper when (willingly) testifying before the House Select Committee on Assassinations. The HSCA recalled him to the witness stand later that year, but he never showed up. He might have possibly linked the CIA to JFK’s assassination through Maheu.

How did he die? An unknown assailant (or assailants) shot him, asphyxiated him, chopped his body into bits, stuffed his remains inside an oil drum, and dumped it into the Dumfounding Bay, just off the coast of Miami, Florida.


Edward Benavides (c.1940-1964)

Who the hell is he? A nice guy.

What could he say? Not a damn thing.

Unfortunately for him, his brother Domingo (left) witnessed J.D. Tippet’s assassination. Eddie and Domingo were not twins, but resembled each other so closely that strangers couldn’t really tell them apart. Domingo initially told investigators that the man who shot Officer Tippet was not Lee Oswald. After Eddie’s death, he changed his story.

How did he die? While enjoying a brew at a local tavern, Edward got shot in the back of his head. Domingo believes that the shooter mistook his brother for him.


Nancy Jane Mooney (aka Betty MacDonald; 1939-1964)

Who the hell is she? Exotic dancer, an employee of Jack Ruby and girlfriend of Darrell Garner.

What could she say? Warren Reynolds, an eyewitness to the J.D. Tippet assassination, refused to identify Lee Oswald as the shooter. Like Edward Benevides, someone shot him in the back of the head. Unlike Benevides, Reynolds survived. Police arrested their prime suspect, Darrell Garner, but let him go when Mooney arrived to provide him with an alibi. She claimed she, Garner and a couple of other friends (Audie Anderson and Helen Woalschlager) drove around all night looking for a rumored murder scene.

Had she lived, Mooney might have rescinded her previous alibi testimony. As a former employee of the Carousel Club, she could also affirm--as did others--that both Tippet and Oswald patronized the establishment.

How did she die? Police arrested Mooney and another woman, Patsy Slope, when, inside a parked car, the two engaged in fisticuffs over the love of some guy. A few hours later, they found Mooney's corpse hanging inside her holding cell. She had apparently used her slacks as a rope.

The FBI’s official investigation into her death based it’s finding of suicide on an affidavit provided by William Goode, a guy claiming to be a friend of Mooney’s. He said she had attempted suicide on a couple of occasions before the fatal night.


Clyde Johnson (1932-1969)

Who the hell is he? Lay minister, and acquaintance of David Ferrie, Clay Shaw, Lee Oswald and Perry Russo.

What could he say? As a self-proclaimed insider, he could have tied together the major players; most importantly he could have tied Clay Shaw to Lee Oswald. Garrison used his testimony before the Grand Jury hearing.

How did he die? Shotgunned in the back by Ralph McMillan, his wife's cousin.

Many researchers erroneously claim that Johnson was murdered the day or week before his scheduled testimony in the Clay Shaw trial--hence the motive for his death. However, Johnson died in late June of 1969, about a month after the conclusion of the Shaw trial.


Janet Mole Adams Washington Conforto (aka Jada; 1936-1980)

Who the hell is she? Exotic dancer and drug smuggler employed at the Carousel Club.

What could she say? Plenty. Hours before the Kennedy assassination, Jack Ruby closed down the Carousel Club for the weekend--unusual, since weekends constitute a bulk of a nightclub’s business. Upon learning of the Carousel’s closing, Conforto tried like hell to get out of Dallas. In her desperation, she accidentally clipped a pedestrian, Charles Burns, at about 10:45am on November 22, 1963. She telephoned a friend who took them both to a doctor’s office, where they received medical attention for minor injuries.

Figure 1. Police accident report.



Conforto didn’t make it to New Orleans. About 100 miles en route, she heard the news of Kennedy’s assassination, returned to Dallas, and flew out to New York sometime over the weekend. Shortly after Ruby’s murder of Oswald, she went on television to debunk the reason Jack gave for the shooting. Ruby said he wanted to spare the family, in particular Jackie, the grief of a public trial. But according to Conforto, Ruby despised the Kennedys.

Figure 2. Conforto interview on ABC




Because of her knowledge of Jack Ruby, Conforto might have had a lot to say about his role in the JFK assassination. She spoke to the FBI in April 1964, but no one saw fit to have her testify before either the Warren Commission, or the House Select Committee on Assassinations (although both investigations mention her). According to friends, she began toying with the idea of writing a book on the assassination as early as 1979, but never got the chance to start.

How did she die? An automobile smashed her into a school bus as she rode her motorcycle. As far as I know, no one was apprehended or charged in her death.

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More Death by JFK Assassination

The kill that keeps on killing.

US Representative Thomas Hale Boggs, Sr. (1914-c. 1972)

Who the hell is he? US Congressman, a friend of Orleans Parish DA Jim Garrison, and the lone dissenting member of the Warren Commission.

What could he say? As a member of the Warren Commission, he knew that its findings contradicted the actual evidence. Moreover, he could speak in great detail about the politics of the Commission, and its need to pin the blame solely on Lee Oswald, despite the fact that they had poor evidence to convict him.

Boggs convinced his friend, Orleans Parish DA Jim Garrison, to reopen his investigation of the JFK assassination. Boggs clearly gave him inside information about the Commission, prompting Garrison to falsely attribute his inspiration to reopen the case to the conjecture of another friend, Senator Russell Long.

How did he die? Bogg’s airplane disappeared over Alaska on October 16, 1972. His family got a court to declare him dead in January the following year.


Marilyn Moon Walle (aka Marilyn Moon, Delilah, April Walle, Marilyn Magyar, Miranda; 1939-1966)

Who the hell is she? Exotic dancer; regularly performed at Jack Ruby’s Carousel Club.

What could she say? She and others saw Ruby and Oswald interact a number of times at the Carousel Club. According to friends, she planned on writing a book about the JFK assassination at the time of her death.

How did she die? Shot to death. Authorities arrested, prosecuted and convicted her husband for the slaying, sentencing him to twenty years. The House Select Committee on Assassinations found no causal link between her death and the JFK assassination.


Albert Guy Bogard (1924-1966)

Who the hell is he? Dallas-based car salesman.

What could he say? Bogard told the Warren Commission that he accompanied a man using the name ‘Lee Harvey Oswald’ on a wild test drive on the Stemmons Freeway (I-35).

How did he die? Authorities ruled his death a suicide. According to his parents, Bogard went into a deep funk a couple of months before he died. He borrowed a garden hose from them the night of his passing. He apparently connected it the tailpipe of his car, and used it to pump the exhaust into the window. Bogard died of carbon monoxide poisoning at the gate of a local cemetery. Interestingly, police found numerous newspaper clippings dealing with the JFK assassination stuffed into the trunk of his vehicle.


Deputy Edward Walthers (aka Buddy; 1929-1969)

Who the hell is he? Dallas County Deputy Sheriff on patrol of Dealey Plaza at the time of the assassination. The first official to interview shooting victim, James Tague.

What could he say? Walthers could have talked about his relationship with Jack Ruby, for starters (according to researcher Michael Benson, Jack Ruby had, at the time of his arrest, a permanent free pass to the Carousel made out to Walthers). The deputy could also clarify whether or not he found a bullet embedded into the sidewalk beneath the triple overpass framing Dealey Plaza. He first claimed that he handed a bullet (specifically, a .45) to men whom he believed were FBI or CIA. He later insisted that it wasn’t a bullet, but instead a piece of President Kennedy’s brain. If he did find an actual bullet, that would put another stake in the heart of the Magic Bullet Theory.

How did he die? Walthers was slain during the course of a police shootout. According to fellow cop and JFK assassination witness Roger Craig, Walthers had a reputation as a brown-noser who kept getting promotions despite his incompetence. This has led some to speculate that Walthers died as a result of ‘friendly fire.’


Lt. Cmdr. William Pitzer, USN (1917-1966)

Who the hell is he? A career naval veteran, and witness to the JFK autopsy at Bethesda Naval Hospital, Bethesda, MD.

What could he say? As the naval officer charged with taking photographs of the autopsy, he could immediately tell that those released to the Warren Commission (and subsequently to the public) were either forgeries, or taken by someone else who had tampered with the President’s corpse. According to his family, he had copies of the original motion picture film and stills in his possession at the time of his death.

How did he die? Authorities say that Pitzer committed suicide by shooting himself in the right temple. There are a couple of problems with this explanation, however. First off, the Lt. Cmdr was a left-hander. Secondly, there were no powder burns on his scalp, which means he would have had to have held the gun some distance away from his head--a possible, but extremely awkward way to commit suicide, especially with one’s weak hand.


Dr. Nicholas Chetta (1918-1968)

Who the hell is he? Coroner, Orleans Parish

What could he say? Dr. Chetta vigorously investigated the death of David Ferrie. When testifying at Clay Shaw’s hearing in 1968, he had not yet determined whether Ferrie’s death resulted from homicide, suicide, or natural causes. It’s possible that he might have made a determination by the time of Shaw’s trial in 1969. Because of witnesses (e.g., Perry Russo) linking Shaw and Ferrie, were Dr. Chetta to rule the latter’s death a homicide, it would not look good for the defense.

How did he die? Heart attack. Citing the work of other researchers, the House Select Committee on Assassinations notes the belief that someone murdered Dr. Chetta, but makes no further comment on the matter.


Clay Shaw (aka Clay Bertrand; 1913-1974?)

Who the hell is he? Businessman, secret agent and defendant.

What could he say? Shaw’s involvement with the JFK assassination began with the disclosure of his alias, Clay Bertrand, to the Warren Commission. Some ’debunkers’ would like to say that Bertrand and Shaw are not the same man, but we have good reason to believe that they were. Perry Russo, an associate of Shaw’s, knew that Bertrand was Shaw, and told DA Jim Garrison so. More important, upon his arrest for the murder of JFK, Shaw told New Orleans Police Department officer Aloysius Habighorst, during routine questioning, that he used the alias Clay Bertrand. Habighorst dutifully typed the datum onto his booking card, which Shaw looked over and signed.

During his 1968 pre-trial hearing, Shaw’s attorneys argued that Habighorst’s testimony and the booking card shouldn’t be admitted into evidence because the defendant’s attorney wasn’t present at the time he gave the information, and only had one foot in the door of the room where Shaw signed his card. Ultimately, the court ruled that Shaw didn’t have adequate knowledge of his right to silence, and thus ruled the information inadmissible.

Shaw told NBC News that he had never been a contract agent for the Central Intelligence Agency. He lied. Former DCI Richard Helms testified before the House Select Committee on Assassinations that Shaw indeed had been a CIA contract agent at the time of the JFK assassination. Moreover, former CIA Assistant to the Executive Officer Victor Marchetti said that CIA went all out to assist Shaw’s defense.

Because of his connection to Oswald (as established by the Warren Commission), and because of eyewitness testimony connecting him to Guy Banister, David Ferrie and other players in the conspiracy, we would have to suspect that Clay Shaw could have said just about anything concerning the JFK assassination.

How did he die? Lung cancer. But according to some, the cancer story served as a ruse to obfuscate his change of identity. Some have claimed that neighbors saw men in black taking a dead body up the outside steps to Shaw’s apartment, apparently in an attempt to substitute the corpse for the former spy.

Such reports are sketchy at best, and hardly proof. And because of his deteriorating condition, observed by friends and family, it seems obvious that Shaw actually died from lung cancer. Whether or not the cancer might have been artificially induced remains a separate question.



For more stuff on the JFK Assassination, click here.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Grounded Walrus: The Making of a Killer Zombie

Examining the possibility that someone might have turned Mark Chapman into a mind-controlled assassin requires looking at the basics of the crime itself. In establishing a prima facie case, prosecutors and police others look at whether the suspect had a motive to commit a crime, the means to commit the crime, and the opportunity to commit the crime.

Since the Manchurian Candidate hypothesis points the finger at the CIA as the real impetus behind John Lennon’s death, we would have to determine whether someone in the US and/or UK governments—or more likely, someone who could manipulate the government—had motive, means and opportunity to program Chapman. But even if one establishes that there were dark, sinister forces that wanted Lennon dead, had the wherewithal to institute a plot against him, and the chance to do so, one would still have to link these aspects to the actual deed. So proponents of the CIA-killed-Lennon viewpoint would not only need to establish motive, means and opportunity, but establish a connection as well.

I won’t go into how tenuous these connections are or not. Otherwise, the motive, means and opportunity become disturbingly clear.

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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The Grounded Walrus: The Manchurian Christian?

From your comments, it occurred to me that when we talk about Mark Chapman as a potential psycho killer, we’re operating under four separate definitions or assumptions.

If you want to be a stickler for language, we cannot regard Chapman as insane. After all, insanity isn’t a psychological concept. It’s a legal one. Forensic psychiatrists can only examine a suspect and evaluate him or her in terms of whether or not they find criteria needed to establish insanity and/or competence. Ultimately, a judge or jury has to make a finding of insanity based on psychiatric evaluations and the legal precedents of the jurisdiction.

Thus, we cannot view Chapman as insane, for that was never put before a judge or jury. We can only address the question of mental competence. When Judge Dennis Edwards ruled Chapman competent, he had  three prosecution and two court expert witnesses to back him up—and that’s in addition to Chapman’s own testimony.

In a psychological sense, we could pose the question of whether or not Chapman suffered schizophrenia (at worst) or psychotic episodes (at least). Here the psychiatrists, not the judge or jury, have the final say. In this case, they split down the middle, depending on whose side they were on. Looking more closely, however, the defense based its diagnosis of schizophrenia in large part on a presumed personal history that was erroneous, exaggerated or taken out of context. Furthermore, the behavior Chapman exhibited during his initial period of incarceration took place outside of independent witnesses. And because of his statements in court, where he denied suffering hallucinations, we don’t really have much evidence of schizophrenia other than the assessment of his defense team. Then too, because of stress, isolation and poor diet, Chapman could have undergone psychotic episodes in jail that wouldn’t have occurred elsewhere.

We can safely say that Chapman suffered from mental illness, specifically depression. He sought medical treatment for it in Hawaii. He reported a suicide attempt. But generally, we don’t describe depressed people as crazy. And while everyone agreed that he suffered from narcissism,* could we really postulate a motive based on this illness alone? Even the defense psychiatrists had to connect these two real maladies to some sort of other problem.

If we cannot securely link insanity, schizophrenia and depression to a motive for the crime, we could still see Chapman as just plain crazy, in a colloquial sense. This is a comforting hypothesis, for it gives us a facile excuse for not considering the frightening probability that a sane, and otherwise decent person, could have done something so violent, so horrible, so vile—especially to such an iconic figure as John Lennon. In days of yore, we might have found similar comfort in attributing motivation to witchcraft, just as some nowadays are quick to blame Satanism.

In the case of Lennon’s murder, mental illness in any form provides a possible, but highly problematic explanation--in and of itself--for the events of that night. Perhaps that’s why others have attempted to find explanations elsewhere. But if one cannot tie the crime’s motive solely to mental illness, one is left with the question of what else could have caused the shooting.**

At first blush, the notion that Chapman might have been a mind-controlled CIA assassin seems ridiculous, the stuff of science fiction. But there are bits of evidence that make this an intriguing hypothesis. Moreover, there are many who have supported this notion over the years, among them our friend Alan over at ciakilledjohnlennon.blogspot.com.

The public might have an easy time dismissing such people as Mae “Queen of Conspiracy Theory” Brussell simply because they have a knee-jerk reaction against speculative journalism. But others aren’t as easy to dismiss. Oftentimes, family members have vehement reactions against conspiracy hypotheses. But in this case, Sean Lennon has publicly stated, in no uncertain terms, his belief that a CIA conspiracy murdered his father. Fenton Bresler, a highly respected British attorney who examined and consulted on cases in the UK and the US, investigated Lennon’s death for eight years, and came to the same conclusion.

Here’s something else: the NYPD detective officially assigned the case believed that the Manchurian Candidate scenario was indeed quite possible.


____________
*Expanding on Dr. Alistair’s initial suggestion, a number of people eventually diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome are often erroneously diagnosed as narcissistic, initially.

** I will explore the Asperger angle a bit further on, in addition to some of the comments made by Charles Gramlich in the previous post. If true, they might have gifted us with some fascinating insights into that night.

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