Hey! Randy

Scatter Shot

Posted by heyrandy on July 9, 2013

Hit List, Richard Belzer and David Wayne, 2013

Belzer and Wayne proceed upon the thesis that the deaths of so many of those involved in the JFK assassination as witness, no matter how peripheral, is evidence of a conspiracy. The authors point out that the statistical probability of this number of people dying in a group of about 1400 is almost too vast to calculate.

The book is a series of short chapters on many people who have died in a short time after the assassination. Some of the people are directly involved in the assassination, e.g., Lee Harvey Oswald, but many of those included in the book are not even tangentially related to JFK’s death. Francis Gary Powers (of U2 fame), really?

Even if we discount the extraneous inclusions, the book still suffers from a lack of real evidence. Yes, the deaths of people like JFK’s paramour Mary Meyer are unsolved, but this does not mean she was on the verge of blowing off the lid on the conspiracy.

The authors admit that some of the people they profile may have died for other reasons than to keep them quiet about the assassination. It is always difficult to interpret the murders of mob bosses. Jimmy Hoffa hated the Kennedy brothers, but Hoffa’s real enemies were the mob thugs who controlled the union. They wanted to keep Hoffa’s replacement in office.

If all the people mentioned by the authors were actually involved in the killing, just how big was this conspiracy? If the conspiracy was as large as the authors imply, it is amazing that we know so little of it. The old saying applies: it is not a secret when if more than one person know it. The authors believe that there were a lot of people involved.

The book is of little value even to the die-hard conspiracy theorists. I found their treatment of the evidence to be superficial. Many of the chapters end on a very tentative notes. There is little concrete here. The dead deserve better.

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