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After 1,612 Pages, the Same Old Conclusion

The New York Times’ Edward Wyatt has a lengthy interview with Vincent Bugliosi, the former LA-based prosecutor whose account of the Manson murders, HELTER SKELTER brought him fame and bestselling fortune. Now Bugliosi’s new and mammoth project is a one-million word reference book on who killed President Kennedy – and his answer, after all that research, all those interviews and all that spilled ink, is that Lee Harvey Oswald was the culprit and acted alone.

Why would such a simple conclusion require so much argument, asks Wyatt? “Because of the unceasing and fanatical obsession of thousands of researchers over the last 43 years, from around the world but mostly in the United States,” Bugliosi said. “Examining under a high-powered microscope every comma, every period, every detail on every conceivable issue, and making hundreds and hundreds of allegations, they have transformed this simple case into its present form.” Bugliosi delved into the assassination files after taking part in a mock trial of Oswald in the UK in 1986, producing the mammoth manuscript (with an extra 1,000 pages of endnotes included in an accompanying CD.)

Bugliosi didn’t intend for the book to be read in one sitting, but for those who do, one conclusion will be inescapable. “It’s my view that it’s impossible for any reasonable, rational person to read this book without being satisfied beyond all reasonable doubt that Oswald killed Kennedy and acted alone,” he said. And though Bugliosi does not believe he will convince all the conspiracy-minded people out there. But as for the 75 percent who believe there was more to it than Oswald, he said, “I think we’re going to knock it down substantially.”

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