Subject: FW: "Ghostwriters in the Sky"
Ghostwriting is an honorable profession. There is nothing wrong with it, per se.
In writing Helter Skelter, Vince Bugliosi availed himself of the services of author Kurt Gentry, and the title page on the book reads by Bugliosi "with Kurt Gentry." Those of us who knew Kurt Gentry know that he wrote Helter Skelter. It was an honorable and overt ghosting job--overt in the sense that Kurt's name was on the cover of the book.
Ghosting is done all the time, and it is not necessarily publicized.
Publishers are not running a CIA type operation. They can request--even demand--that the writing contribution be kept secret; alternatively it may be acknowledged right on the cover of the book, as in "by Joe Smith, with Eric Jones."
Let's now turn to "Reclaiming History," which was originally titled "FINAL VERDICT," and was advertised under that title for many years on Amazon.
Bugliosi's grew out of the role he played as "prosecutor" (opposite Spence, as defense attorney) in the London Weekly Television "Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald," which was produced by LWT's Mark Redhead, and broadcast about
1985/86 (on SHOWTIME).
In the late 1980s, in the aftermath of the London Weekly Television "Trial of Oswald", and then its broadcast on SHOWTIME, Bugliosi obtained a contract from W W Norton for a hefty sum, reputed to be close to $1M. I cannot vouch for this number. But its what I was told.
Soon thereafter, Bugliosi made an arrangement with a Los Angeles writer--whether he would be called a ghostwriter or just a "writer" or a "writing subcontractor"--is really besides the point. In many ways, it is a "distinction without a difference," (as the lawyers might say.) The writer was Fred Haines, and for years, Haines worked on the sections of Bugliosi's book pertaining to the life of Oswald. In other words, he was assigned the Oswald biography, the same area that was covered in the Warren Report by Attorneys Jenner and Liebeler. (See Appendix 13 of the WCR, the biographical appendix, or Chapter 7 of the WCR, for the Jenner-Liebeler "chapter").
Haines received regular payments from W W Norton. (Those who save their old Compuserve posts will find Fred Haines on those boards). Those who save check stubs will find payments made by Norton to Fred Haines. The arrangement with Haines --and it went on for many years--was that the book would be "by" Bugliosi, but "with Fred Haines." This was similar to the titling of Helter Skelter, which was "by" Bugliosi, but "with Kurt Gentry."
In other words, similar to the case with Gentry, Haines had a separate contract with the publisher. In his acknowledgements, Bugliosi gives a very generous credit to Fred Haines. He's a fine writer, a good thinker, and a very polite man. Unlike Bugliosi, who engages in personal insults and ridicule, Fred's a gentleman.
In mid-October 1999, Bugliosi turned in a "manuscript" to W W Norton, and I put the words in quotes, because there was a serious problem with it being published in the form it was then in. Its easy to parody the Bulgiosi situation at that point in time: there was "good news" and "bad news". The "good news" was that he turned in 3000 pages, a very outsized manuscript by ordinary publishing standards. The bad news: that was "part 1".
Bugliosi told Norton that this 3000 page manuscript was something that he had worked on it for some ten years. He said that this manuscript was "finished" and could be published on its own, and noted that it could be divided into two books. That was up to the publisher. He said that as far as he was concerned that was just "the first part of it", but that, if Norton wanted to go for Part 2--which involved critiquing in some detail all the different conspiracy theories--why then that would have to be negotiated. In other words, another arrangement would have to be made.
Bugliosi's position was that he had now fulfilled his contract.
A new arrangement then evolved. In the aftermath of this, Bugliosi took a much more direct role in the writing of the book, because, as one insider told me, "Vince has the polemics. He's full of bombast." As the summer of
2001 approached, both Bugliosi and the same hired writer both had contracts with Norton. The hired writer was receiving payments at least through that time.
But not too long afterwards, the writer had to leave the project because of medical problems. So now Bugliosi was on his own, and he cast about for further editorial assistance, because the book was (a) not really complete, in accordance with Bugliosi's grand design of criticizing all the conspiracy theories; and (b) everything was complicated by the release of a huge amount of archival material, after the ARRB shut down on 9/30/98.
Included in that material was significant new data about the medical evidence, and a major amount of work done by the ARRB's Doug Horne. To put it mildly, Bugliosi now had to face the fact that the record was loaded with material, in the medical area, that was supportive of Best Evidence.
(Horne and I used to wonder about this: what was Bugliosi going to do with all this "new evidence"? The answer, it turns out, is simple: included would be his personal attack on Doug Horne, who he calls "insane" about four
times.) But let's not go there--at least, not yet.
This brings us to the next phase, and the next ghostwriter (or subcontractor, or whatever term suits your fancy). Remember: Oswald was done. The story of Oswald, the "killer" (as Bugliosi refers to him) was complete. But that still left a lot of work, and one area was Dealey Plaza.
Another fact was that it was Bugliosi's goal to tackle all the many conspiracy theories. Since he was apparently determined to comment upon, and attempt to knock down, all other conspiracy theories--he had to become knowledgeable about each and every one of them (or hire someone who was).
It is not very complicated to become knowledgeable about each and every conspiracy theory--it just takes a lot of time.
Moreover, the problem is not made easier by the fact that Bugliosi does not use a computer and is not conversant with the Internet. He writes in longhand, and dictates, but does not do email. The most advanced level of technology with which Bugliosi is comfortable is fax.
But let's return to Dealey Plaza.
ENTER GHOST-WRITER #2
Bugliosi (and/or his publisher) hired another writer--this time, one with expertise in the area of the shots, the Single Bullet theory, the medical evidence, and the acoustics.
Again, a formal contract was drawn up. Again, the credit on the book was changed. This time, Bugliosi's book--which was titled "FINAL VERDICT"--would now bear the authorial credit that it was written "BY Vincent Bugliosi", but now "with" the second writer (or, using the vernacular, the second ghostwriter, co-writer, or whatever term one chooses to describe the situation).
Once again, Norton paid money--significant money--and a lot of work in the Dealey Plaza area was done by this second person. In the process, a final arrangement had to be made with the first writer---i.e., he had to be "paid off" so there would be an equitable conclusion to his arrangement.
But then, another complication developed.
WRITER #2 LEAVES
The creative relationship between Bugliosi and Writer #2 proved incompatible, and had to be dissolved. As a result, what can best be described as "a literary divorce" was arranged, and another contract--the "divorce"--had to be executed. That was done successfully, and one provision of the "divorce" was that the party involved could never--ever--mention that he was ever "married."
So now, by this point, Bugliosi was like a man who was married twice (in the literary sense) over a period of some 15 years. Bugliosi had two hired writers--each of which were to share the credit on this book. One wrote much--if not all--of "the Oswald biography" (which is about 260 pages, as published). The other wrote sections on Dealey Plaza, acoustics, etc.--i.e., much of the technical stuff.
Each had a signed contract, in which they would be named, on the title page
of the book. Each arrangement had to be dissolved; first, the arrangement
with Writer #1, when he had to leave the project; second, the arrangement with writer #2, when he came on board, and then again, when he left.
So far, in this narrative, I have mentioned TWO ghostwriters that Bugliosi employed, in connection with writing his manuscript--one with regard to Oswald (Fred Haines) and a second with regard to Dealey Plaza (Writer #2).
If you will look in his acknowledgements, you will see that much of this is practically stated. Not only does Bugliosi give a generous acknowledgement of Haines, he talks of his book in terms of its being "a book of inserts."
This is not insignificant, because when hires a writer to do the original draft, or provides a sketchy outline, and tasks a second party to do the actual writing, then the "inserting" process becomes very important.
"Inserts" represent the modifications, and the place where the author injects himself. Maybe he'll modify a fact, or a paragraph, or maybe he'll dictate a complete re-write into a recorder. It all depends.
QUOTING NOW from page 1514, the second page of Bugliosi's Acknowledgements:
"In addition to transcribing, from my audio dictation, the contents of 72 sixty-minute and 8 ninety minute tapes. . . Rosemary (his secretary) had to decipher and type at least a thousand (maybe many more ) inserts of mine handwritten in pencil on yellow legal paper. Though resulting from much dictation, the book you have read is, much more than dictation, a book of inserts. UNQUOTE
Bugliosi then goes on to explain the role these "inserts" played. He states that the "first drafts" of various sections he wrote, and "which I then dictated, were not overly long. But then they all increased far beyond their original size in the many subsequent drafts."
In writing what I have above, I have by no means put forth all the knowledge I have pertaining to this situation. I have tried to stick to what is relevant--and to rebut the false charge, coming from Bugliosi, that implies that my statements are false. They are not. And so I do not owe Mr.
Bugliosi any apology. In fact, he really owes the public an "up front"
explanation of exactly how this book, with its strengths (and its serious
weaknesses) was created--because this is not some book on an arcane subject, but rather a book on one of the most important events of the 20th century.
If he wrote all of it, then kudos to him. But if, because of these collateral arrangements, other were afforded the opportunity to express themselves on his pages, and under the umbrella of a book bearing his name as sole author, and in particular if those "others" include well known lone nutters, then that should be known, too.
The subject is too important for such game-playing. The issue is
accountability. This is not a book about the weather, or a personal
memoir, where a busy person hires a writer to set down the story of his life (a perfectly legitimate activity), but about the murder of a president.
There is one other thing I'd like to say, and which gives the lie to just what is in this book when it comes to Best Evidence, and Bugliosi.
BUGLIOSI AND BEST EVIDENCE (i.e., Bugliosi on camera)
On the "Reclaiming History" website, Bugliosi can be seen, in a filmed interview, making false and reckless misrepresentation of what is in Best Evidence.
Bulgiosi claims that I said that President Kennedy's body was removed from the coffin in front of Jacqueline Kennedy--and, presumably, others in the Kennedy party who were in the tail compartment of Air Force One. (See the transcript below my typed signature). That is the purest garbage--and Bugliosi shows a complete and reckless disregard for the truth by making such statements, on camera, for world wide distribution.
Yes, I sure did say that the President's body was not in the coffin, when the plane took off from Dallas at 2:47 CST. That statement, which I am positive is true, is based on the military reports of when the body itsself first arrived at Bethesda (6:35 PM) versus when the Dallas coffin arrived.
The body first arrived at 6:35 PM, EST. It was in a shipping casket, inside of which there was the body, in a body bag. That was a good 20 minutes prior to the time the Naval ambulance carrying Jacqueline Kennedy and RFK arrived from Andrews Air Force Base, arrived with the Dallas coffin (6:55 pm,approx). So, if the first arrival is valid (and I have no doubt that it is), there is not the slightest doubt in my mind that the Naval ambulance arrived with an empty coffin. The sequence is confirmed in documents, and even Richard Lipsey, the aide to General Wehle (the CO of Military District of Washington, whose team met AF-1 at Andrews) came to realize--for the first time, when I interviewed him at his home in 1998--that two coffins and two ambulances were involved. To repeat: President Kennedy's arrived, a good 25 minutes before the Dallas coffin, and it was in a body bag, inside a shipping casket.
As to when this "separation" occurred--that is another issue. Because the Naval Ambulance came directly from Andrews, nothing could have happened in Washington D.C. But the Dallas "offload" is an entirely different matter.
Logic dictates that it must have occurred, but it certainly was not accomplished in full view of Jacqueline Kennedy. That is absurd. To the contrary, the Kennedy party was drawn to the front of the plane, because of Johnson's false claim, after boarding AF-1 in Dallas (at about 1:40 PM, CST) that RFK told him that he should be sworn in, prior to takeoff. RFK never told that to LBJ, but that is another subject, and I don't choose to debate that here. The simple fact is: I never said any such thing as Mr. Bugliosi represents I did, and if Mr. Bugliosi doesn't know that, he is either reckless, or a complete fool. Bugliosi's filmed statements on this matter constitute an excellent example of what the words "reckless disregard of the truth" are all about. (See excerpt below my typed signature)
Second, Bugliosi's knowledge of the medical area is apparently so slim--either that, or he is utterly incompetent--that he did not know that Paul O'Connor, the Bethesda medical technician who opened the body bag (and this is all in O'Connor's HSCA "Outside Contact Report") also said that the President's body arrived with an empty cranium. Indeed, there are three things that O'Connor said, and they usually have been stated, as a "triplet", by O'Connor:
(1) That the body arrived in a shipping casket
(2) That the body arrived in a body bag
(3) That the cranium was, essentially, empty
Now let me focus on the third allegation--that the body arrived with an empty cranium; i.e., that there already had been work, done on the body, prior to its arrival in the Bethesda morgue.
Putting aside, for the moment, whether that is true, I'd like to address Bugliosi's knowledge on this point--i.e., what Bugliosi knew, and when he knew it--because this is an important distinction. Why? Because it goes to the heart of (a) whether Bugliosi knew (or knows) his subject and (b) just who is the accountable party for what is said in the text, and the serious error that was made, by Bugliosi, in this area.
BUGLIOSI'S FALSE STATEMENTS ABOUT O'CONNOR--and BUGLIOSI's apology
At the trial of Lee Oswald, in London, circa 1985, Bugliosi tried to cross examine O'Connor under the false and mistaken premise that O'Connor had not told anyone on the HSCA about JFK's body arriving with an empty cranium.
Clearly, if someone makes an allegation of such significance, one would hope that it would be made at the earliest possible time, and to the proper authority. Certainly, one should not omit mention of such a thing, and then tell such a "story" to a free-lance writer years later.
In O'Connor's case, his first opportunity to talk about this would have been when first interviewed by reps from the HSCA, on August 25, 1977.
In fact, O'Connor had told the HSCA --in 1977-- exactly what he told me, in our Aug 79 telephone interview, and again on Video, in October 1980---all of which was published in Best Evidence.
But Bugliosi, being a bit of a blowhard, and not being in command of the facts, cross examined O'Connor aggressively, in London (circa, 1985) on the mistaken premise that O'Connor had NOT told anyone any such thing--prior to the time he told it to me. This is amazing, since his 1979 interview with me is spelled out in Chapter 26 of Best Evidence, and I then filmed O'Connor in October 1980, and that interview appears in the Best Evidence Video, which was distributed nationally. I think it is self-evident that O'Connor is perfectly credible. But. . .
For whatever reason, Bugliosi approached O'Connor under the mistaken premise, apparently, that he had told this information to me, but had not mentioned it previously.
This is evident in transcripts of the London Weekly Television program (and even in the Bugliosi chapter on Best Evidence) and it represents a serious Bugliosi error. Why? Because O'Connor had in fact told the HSCA interviewers all about the situation, and indeed, apparently told them what he subsequently told me in August, 1979, in our very first interview.
(Moreover, after being interviewed back in 1977, O'Connor then told the same thing to the local Florida newspaper).
But, when questioned in London by Bugliosi, O'Connor, flummoxed, answered in a manner which was not accurate. In other words, asked by the aggressive Bugliosi WHY he hadn't talked of this before, O'Connor went along with Bugliosi's false premise; and essentially (and erroneously) replied that well, he was under orders not to talk.
> From this, Bugliosi drew the false inference that O'Connor had not in
mentioned any of this before. But Bugliosi was entirely wrong on this point, because O'Connor had in fact told it all to the HSCA interviewers back in 1977.
1993/1994: O'CONNOR'S 1977/78 STATEMENTS RELEASED
When, as a result of the 1992 JFK Records Act, many of the HSCA documents were released in 1993/94, included was the Paul O'Connor interview, dated August 25, 1977, in which said exactly that--that the cranium was, in effect, empty.
Those O'Connor interviews (and there were two of them) were all released about 1994. But Bugliosi, now writing about all this some 10 years (or perhaps even 20 years) later, STILL did not know this. He STILL mistakenly believed that O'Connor had NOT told the HSCA what was in Best Evidence--which was based on my August, 1979 telephone interview with O'Connor; and which was repeated, on camera, in October 1980, and is seen on the Best Evidence Video. In my interview with him in August, 1979, O'Connor makes clear that he didn't have to do any work to remove the President's brain, because it was already gone. Further, the so -called tracheotomy incision was also puzzling to O'Connor. As he told me, "You wouldn't do a tracheotomy on a man without a brain."
But back to Bugliosi, and his major error in this area. When it came to writing up his chapter pertaining to Best Evidence, either Bugliosi (or a subcontractor, if another writer was involved) wrote it up incorrectly in his book. Consequently, on the pages of Reclaiming History (See pp.
1068-1069), Bugliosi AGAIN tried to impeach O'Connor with the same old false argument, the implication being that O'Connor made something up for my benefit! To see how this played out, let's return to 1985, and O'Connor's appearance at the Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald.
BUGLIOSI AND PAUL O'CONNOR--CIRCA, 1985
Here is a snippet of Bugliosi's 1985 questioning of O'Connor, as published in Bugliosi's 2007 book:
QUESTION: The problem, Mr. O'Connor, is that on August 25, 1979, over a year after you spoke to the investigators from the House Select Committee on Assassinations, you were contacted by author David Lifton.
Answer: That's correct."
QUESTION: And you told me, and I hold you to it now, that he didn't ask you either, but you volunteered it to him?"
QUESTION: And you're a big part of that book, right?"
Answer: "I have a chapter in it, yes."
The implication, from Bugliosi's 1985 cross examination, which was then written in the text of his chapter about Best Evidence, was that Paul O'Connor had not mentioned any of this, until he "volunteered" it to me.
This now set the stage for a first rate fiasco. Bugliosi's manuscript was turned in and the process of setting it in type was well underway by the time, presumably in early 2007, that Bugliosi learned of his error. I would like to have been a fly on the wall when it all happened, because I can just imagine his chagrin at realizing the major legal error he was about to make:
(Speculating. . ): " OOOPS!. . .Oh my gosh! O'Connor DID mention it to the HSCA after all. And I have only one of the two reports--the second one!
Yikes, what a mistake!" etc.
Indeed, there were TWO reports, and--for whatever reason--Bugliosi was in possession of only one.
So now, the text having already been set in type, Bugliosi was forced to apologize to O'Connor, in a lengthy footnote at the bottom of the page, for having slammed him in the text!
So, turn to page 1069 of Bugliosi's book, and you will find an apology (to O'Connor).
BUGLIOSI'S APOLOGY TO PAUL O'CONNOR
Quoting from page 1069, the footnote at the bottom:
"I am here to report that years later I came into possession of another HSCA document containing an interview of O'Connor conducted by HSCA investigators at an earlier time, August 25, 1977, in which O'Connor DID tell them (emphasis in the original) that there was "nothing left in the [president's] cranium but splattered brain matter" (HSCA Record 180 - 10107-10448].
Then he went on to explain how this bizarre situation had arisen, attempting to cast the blame on Paul O'Connor.
CONTINUING WITH THE BUGLIOSI APOLOGIA:
"O'Connor, in London, had apparently forgotten he had told HSCA investigators this earlier and hence DID NOT CORRECT ME DURING MY CROSS EXAMINATION OF HIM. (my emphasis added--dsl).
Bugliosi then continues: "Though my misleading cross-examination of him in London was unintentional on my part--only being in possession of his 1978 interview--I owe him an apology, which I am herein giving."
But then Bugliosi cannot leave well enough alone, and now he points the finger at O'Connor (!):
Continuing: "But the point also has to be made that he [O'Connor] did not reiterate (as he might be expected to do about such an incredible discovery [no brain] that meant so much to him) his observation when he was interviewed in 1978."
In other words, according to Bugliosi, it is not only the witness's responsibility to speak up as soon as possible, but then to continue making the same statement, again and again, just in case Mr. Bugliosi, or his minions, don't have all copies of the statement; and then to "correct" Mr.
Bugliosi when the witness is incorrectly cross-examined!
Resuming now with my own commentary:
What apparently happened here is that someone, apparently at the last minute (publishing wise), caught Bugliosi in a very serious error; the text was already set in type and so it was too late to correct the text, and so Bugliosi's apology was inserted at the bottom of the page. But then, as I said, he could not leave well enough alone, and so Bugliosi gracelessly uses the space allotted to him to further insult O'Connor:
QUOTING FROM BUGLIOSI'S APOLOGY: "Even before acquiring the 1977 interview, my overall sense of O'Connor is that is unquestioned error about the president's brain being gone was more the result of confusion than duplicity on his part. His recollection of of what took place on the night of the autopsy is very poor, to say the least."
Of course, in making these inferences, Bugliosi ignores the fact that two FBI agents present, who made notes during the autopsy, wrote in their report that, at the time the body was unwrapped, it was "apparent" that there had been "surgery of the head area, namely, in the top of the skull"--and this was backed up by my 1966 interview with Agent Sibert, who told me that "the report stands," and FBI Director Hoover, himself, who said, in November 1966, that FBI reports record "the oral statements made by the autopsy doctors at the time of autopsy," contrasting that with the "final conclusions" of the examination.
In short, Bugliosi has the audacity to STILL blame O'Connor (in the manner of one who "blames the victim") for not "re-iterating" the "empty cranium"
statement, in a second interview.
On this subject of what Paul O'Connor said and when he said it: I once counted up all the statements--the HSCA interview, and numerous stories in the Florida newspapers, dating back to the time he was interviewed by the HSCA (1977), and then again after my book was published (Jan 1981), in which O'Connor made the statement that the President's body arrived in a body bag, inside a shipping casket, and that there was an empty cranium. I think there were about eight such statements, at least. O'Connor's story never changed. And so the answer is: "Yes, Mr. Bugliosi, O'Connor said that repeatedly. . "--whether you were ignorant of that fact or not!
BUGLIOSI AND THE "POST-MORTEM" APOLOGY
One other matter: normally, apologies are extended to "live" people.
Apparently, Bugliosi was unaware that O'Connor passed away in September 2006, before Bugliosi's final manuscript was turned in. However, if he wishes to fly to Florida and find out where he is buried, and put flowers, and perhaps a note, on his grave, I'm sure that the O'Connor family would appreciate that. No one likes to see their next of kin slammed in a book, by an author who had so little knowledge of the record that he didn't know what the witness said in his very first interview with the Government, and who's apology is threaded through with "blame the victim" terminology.
* * *
In writing the above, I have by no means exhausted my information on the subject of ghostwriting. Nor do I have any real interest in figuring out who wrote the original drafts of each and every chapter, or who may have sent Bugliosi extensive research memoranda from which he dictated various sections (because they do seem to be written in markedly different styles).
But since I know about two ghostwriting situations--with signed contracts and payments in each case--one wonders how many other "subcontractors" there are. No doubt, Bugliosi wrote some (and perhaps a lot) of his own book--certainly, the bombast, ridicule, and insults which are threaded through the book almost as "add ons" to what otherwise appears to be sober writing, are all his. Calling people insane, and unhinged is apparently his style. But I am just sick and tired of Bugliosi misrepresentations about my own work, and the way he tries to present himself publicly as an "expert" in all the different areas of the JFK case. Further, this behavior emanates from a guy that repeatedly red-baits the various critics (see his chapter on History of the Movement, or on Mark Lane) and who compares the research community to microbes ("conspiracy theorists starting to multiply like bacteria"-p. 993) who then receive "oxygen" when documents are released on the FOIA ("Moreover, the passage of the Freedom of Information Act in 1966 guaranteed almost perpetual oxygen to the movement. .[same page].
There is nothing honorable or nice about the way Bugliosi writes about these issues, or addresses an adversary. To put it mildly, Bugliosi has an "attitude" problem. He is going to solve it all--its as if his mantra is:
"Do not fear, now that Bugliosi is here."
* * *
The JFK assassination is a very complex problem. It can easily take a committee to do the work, especially if one is tackling multiple aspects.
Do not forget that it took the WC about 14 attorneys 1 year to do the job.
So the WCR--whether they got it right or wrong--represents about 14 man years of work. That's how complex the data base is, and that was in 1964, when the Archives accepted "32 four drawer filing cabinets" as the "archive"
of the Warren Commission's records.
The NY Times reporter who interviewed me on the subject noted that Mr.
Bugliosi "is not an immodest man," an understatement if there ever was one.
If, as Mr. Bugliosi says, "this is a book of inserts," then I believe I know very well what that probably means. Substantial amounts of writing were done by third parties, indicative of the two signed contracts mentioned earlier.
As was stated to me by one person who knew of the situation, "Vince adds the bombast." That may mean his having dictated thousands of words, perhaps tens of thousands, of words. It may mean the process went on for years as his book is filled with bombast, personal attacks, and ridicule, but it is not the same as writing all of the book "from the ground up."
Normally, when an author writes a chapter in a non-fiction work, it comes out of his brain, based on his research. Then there is re-writing, and often plenty of it. But it does not start with a draft submitted by a third party, to which the author adds "inserts", or something which is very slim and sketchy, and in which paid writers then flesh out the details, in accordance with some contract--the very existence of which is to be kept secret.
I am sure that Bugliosi did a lot of work on this book. Even with all the help he got, and perhaps driven by all the pent up anger of the lone nutters who contributed (see his Acknowledgements, for details) I have little doubt that he spent a good five years on the project. He was so discouraged, at the end, that he talks of the Kennedy assassination as "a bottomless pit."
("I can tell those who have not seriously studied the assassination of President John F. Kennedy that it is a bottomless pit.. . I found, as others also have, that there is no bottom to the pile in the Kennedy case. It is endless. . [p. 1513]). But to claim that it is all his own writing and, even more important, his own analyses--when the work of third parties played such a serious role, and when there are signed contracts with other writers, (contracts so serious that the book, in two previous incarnations, was to be "by Bugliosi" but "with" another writer)--is to misrepresent what this book is all about.
In my opinion--and I am entitled to that--Bugliosi's book is, in many ways, a glorified anthology, assembled by a man with a huge ego, in large part based on the research and thinking of others (research of course with which Mr. Bugliosi agrees) and then threaded through with his own legal "insights"
but also his own insulting commentary. If Mr. Bugliosi wants to make ad hominem attacks, then perhaps he should try submitting to the nearest Op-Ed page; or distributing pamphlets from a soapbox. If he wants to write about the JFK case, he should stick to the facts. Reclaiming History was written (or perhaps "assembled," is a better word) by someone who wants to take credit for it all, without acknowledging the truth about how the book was written.
That's why I have referred to this book as "Helter Smelter."
* * * EXCERPT OF BUGLIOSI'S FALSE STATEMENT ABOUT BEST EVIDENCE* * *
. . . David Lifton , a meticulous researcher, I am sure he is a nice fellow but he came up with this cockamamie theory well, the Presidentıs body is being flown on Air Force One from Dallas, Texas to the Nationıs Capital. And the casket is in the back of the plane and who is sitting next to the casket
- the whole trip Jacqueline, the Presidentıs wife and close members of JFK staff they are there the whole trip. And according to lifton some conspirators, he doesnıt say who they are, but some conspirators went back there, opened up the casket - I am not making this up, you can't make up stuff like this is too far out - open up the casket, removed Kennedyıs body from the casket without anyone noticing and put the body in a baggage hold.
------ End of Forwarded Message -------