Gerald Posner's CASE CLOSED

by Stephen E. Lewis

 

 

To date, two of the major booksellers have printed 110 customer reviews of this national bestseller on their web sites, including Mr. Parnell's and mine. The reviews run the gauntlet from outstanding to "you suck". Freedom of speech is alive and well on the net.

 

In the Author's Note at the beginning of the 1994 revision, Mr. Posner states that the reaction of the conspiracy community was negative and often vitriolic. I believe this is an understatement. It is disturbing to think that so-called conspiracy "researchers" could react so viciously about one man's quest for the truth. After all, isn't that exactly what they are trying to achieve?

 

It would be quite simple to write a chapter-by-chapter analysis of this controversial work, but I will leave that chore to people who look at it purely as a book to review. CASE CLOSED was written as an attempt to understand Lee Harvey Oswald's psyche, which, in itself, could very well unravel the mystery of the events that occurred before, during and after the assassination.

 

Instead of allowing personal feelings and opinions to interfere with this investigation, Mr. Posner used documented testimony, recorded interviews with witnesses, and modern scientific advances to explain how and why things happened the way they did. This is not THE X-FILES. The truth was out there and Gerald Posner found most of it. There will always be some shadows that are basically unexplainable (more why than how), but not significant enough to support conspiracy. Unlike the conspiracy books, there is no rumor or innuendo to be found here. Nothing is assumed, and nothing is taken for granted. Common sense and logic override assumption.

 

No one will ever know why Lee Harvey Oswald decided to kill the President of the United States. He is long dead and left nothing on record to make clear his reasoning. On the other hand, CASE CLOSED explains to us the mechanics of the whole assassination phenomenon, using all available credible information and technology. We will most likely never know everything about the assassination. The whole affair appears quite easy to understand when viewed with an open mind and a readiness to accept what occurred at face value.

 

Before I read CASE CLOSED, I was probably one of the most obstinate conspiracy buffs around. I was thoroughly convinced that JFK was the victim of a conspiracy involving everyone in power in our government. I consumed every book, article, movie or whatever that endorsed conspiracy with a fervor that bordered on obsession. I had just written flowery reviews of two recent conspiracy books and the movie JFK and was quite confident that all this new information was proof of evil doing. I then received an e-mail from an individual who suggested that I read "the Posner book" before I get up on the soapbox again. Since he didn't call me a silly goose or try to persuade me to change my mind, I decided to read CASE CLOSED.

 

"Lee Harvey Oswald, driven by his own twisted and impenetrable furies, was the only assassin at Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963. To say otherwise, in light of the overwhelming evidence, is to absolve a man with blood on his hands, and mock the President he killed." [1] These are the last lines of regular text in the book. "TO ABSOLVE A MAN WITH BLOOD ON HIS HANDS." It hit me like a ton of bricks. How many times had I heard and agreed with the concept that Oswald was "a patsy" and an "innocent man"? I immediately read it again. I could not believe that I had been so imprudent all these years. Every single piece of "evidence" that I had so adamantly defended as proof of a conspiracy dissolved right before my eyes. I allowed common sense to sneak into my mind and suddenly I was almost convinced that Oswald had acted alone. Before I decided to eat crow, I read William Manchester's THE DEATH OF A PRESIDENT and the complete and unabridged edition of THE WARREN COMMISSION REPORT. I even purchased the enhanced version of the Zapruder film and studied it over and over again. Last, but not least, I read CASE CLOSED for a third time. It was at this point that I resigned myself to the obvious. I had no recourse. There is simply no evidence to date that there was a conspiracy. I went back to the booksellers, re-wrote my reviews, and ate a lot of crow.

CASE CLOSED destroys the myths surrounding the Kennedy assassination and provides positive proof that there was only one assassin in Dealey Plaza. Anyone interested in this sad, but fascinating piece of American history needs to read this book if for no other reason than to get an honest perspective of the chain of events. This includes conspiracy buffs as well. Mr. Posner's mission was not to change anyone's beliefs or opinions he merely presented the facts as they are known and offered his own conclusions based on his exhaustive research. After 36 years, it is time to declare this case closed.

 



[1] Posner, Gerald. Case Closed. New York: Anchor Books, 1994.

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