Best Resources on JFK assassination web sites

We know that there is a lot of junk on the web, and a lot of other stuff that's just "OK." Sometimes, however, there is something unusual, peculiarly valuable, or especially informative out there. The following are my picks of material on other JFK assassination sites. This is far from being all that is good and informative, but it's what stands out as special.

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The National Archives in College Park Maryland has a listing of House Select Committee documents online, and able to be searched. An absolutely invaluable resource.
Debbie Conway's JFK Lancer page has Jim Garrison's Playboy Magazine interview. It provides quite a lot of insight about the man. As an interesting exercise, count the number of different shooters he believes were in Dealey Plaza firing at Kennedy.
Real historical research is done from "primary sources" — the original documents, transcripts, testimony and so on that are the earliest and closest reflection of the historical event. People who want to study the Jim Garrison investigation, glamorized by the treatment it received in Oliver Stone's film "JFK" are immensely lucky that researcher Dave Reitzes has an ongoing interest in — indeed, almost an obsession with — the topic. His "Perpetual Pages" web site has an impressive collection of primary sources on Garrison, as well as the trial transcript of the Clay Shaw trial in New Orleans.
There is a huge fascination to listening to and viewing the way the assassination was reported in the media, and David Von Pein has assembled an impressive collection of video and audio resources allowing one to do just that. These are invaluable primary sources, often recording the early uncontaminated testimony of witnesses, but also showing some bizarre and often hilarious journalistic blunders. Before Von Pein's stellar archival effort, these were what librarians call "fugitive sources:" scattered, hard to find, usually in the hands of private collectors, not catalogued nor documented anywhere. Now they are just a mouse click away from anybody who is interested.
Among the many fine resources of the site "JFK-Dallas, November 22, 1963" is a collection of audio and video clips from stations WFAA radio and WFAA-TV (note: free registration may be required). The story, as it unfolded, was gripping drama in 1963, and it remains so today.
The "History Matters" contains a variety of good resources, but the one that really shines is a massive collection of primary source government reports, documents, and testimony. Whether it's a Warren Commission document, or an interview by the ARRB with an autopsy witness, you are likely to find it here.
So many of the arguments and theories about the assassination turn on photographic evidence. A lot of bad theories are the result of misinterpreted photographic evidence, but sometimes photographic evidence nails some critical issues. Robin Unger has put together a splendid collection of images that you will sometimes find useful for serious research, and at other times find simply irrestable for browsing.
This site from former Washington Post reporter Jeff Morley is quite valuable for keeping up with what's going on in the world of JFK conspiracy (and lone assassin) theorizing. A blog, it is regularly updated, and deserves to be regularly visited. Morley leans in a conspiracist direction, but doesn't embrace any particular claims about who killed Kennedy, and he can be critical of half-baked theories.
A lot of JFK assassination authors promise startling new relevations about the assassination, but they virtually always turn out to be thin gruel. This site, run by respected journalist Max Holland, does provide new information about the politics that surrounded and impinged upon the assassination and its aftermath. Any startling relevations here? Not really, since Holland paints a picture of government much like that of sober historians and sophisticated observers. Which is to say, it has the ring of truth.
The place to start your assassination reading is the recommended books page on this site. But suppose you are hooked? Suppose you want to go further? David Von Pein has assembled a rather comprehensive bibliographic resource listing a very large number of books and videos about the assassination. But there is more. Even if you aren't a hard core assassination buff, you may find the listed books on the Kennedy family and the historical era during which Kennedy was president of considerable interest.
It's a delicious irony, and more than a little goofy. The conspiracists are beginning to insist that the Zapruder film — for 25 years held up as proof of a conspiracy — has been tampered with to support the notion that Oswald was the sole assassin. There are, however, a fair number of sensible conspiracy-oriented people who dispute this. Among them is Clint Bradford, who has (1.) an excellent page of commentary and critique and (2.) the Zavada Report online. The Zavada report is the definitive examination of the film done by a top Kodak scientist.
Also among the conspiracists disputing Zapruder film alteration is ideosyncratic independent-minded Somerville, Massachusetts researcher Tony Marsh. Two essays by Marsh debunk this new tampering "research." One deals with the way in which conspiracy researchers have twisted witness testimony in Dealey Plaza to claim that the presidential limo stopped on Elm Street. Another analyzes arcane but important data — the images in the sprocket holes of the Zapruder film — to prove that it could not have been faked.
As you might imagine, Dallas city government has a large collection of source documents relating to the assassination. Putting them all online sounds like a Herculean task, but it has been accomplished by the Office of the City Secretary. The result is a bit of a hodge-podge, and lacks a good search engine, but the temptation to browse through this collection should prove irresistible.
This splendid site, named in honor of highly respected long-time Dallas area researcher Mary Ferrell, contains a broad range of resources. Two particularly appeal to us. First, a collection of assassination photographs which includes newly scanned copies of Warren Commission and House Select Commission photos of much higher quality than any heretofore available. But even more important, there is a database of assassination documents that is a vastly valuable resource. Full access with search capabilities requires a paid membership -- well worth it for any serious researcher.
Some of the best work debunking conspiracy fables has been done by conspiracy-oriented researchers. And why not? If there was a conspiracy, every additional boneheaded piece of "conspiracy evidence" makes it harder to discover. This essay, from the archives of John Kelin's Fair Play web site, debunks the tales of a certain Norman Similas, a photographer who claims to have been in Dealey Plaza when Kennedy was shot.
Mike Russ' site features both the authoritative House Select Committee treatments of the scientific evidence in the case, and a large collection of primary source witness testimony.
The Virtual Visitor is a website devoted to "virtual reality:" the ability to look around in a simulated 3-D world. Featured on the site is a panaromic view of Dealey Plaza, in Apple Quicktime format. A neat use of wiz-bang technology.


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