asked 'Who killed John Fitzgerald Kennedy on the 22nd
November 1963?' most people would instantly reply 'Lee Harvey
Oswald.' There would be some who would refer to a complicated
conspiracy theory involving any one (or perhaps a combination) of the
following: the CIA, Soviet Russia, the Mafia, the Vice President,
Cuba... but, in the main, the answer would be Lee Harvey Oswald.
Yet, according to McLaren,
it is almost certain that Harvey did not kill the president.
He shot him, but he did not fire the bullet that killed him.
McLaren, a retired Australian Detective Sergeant and a Task Force
Team Leader, spent almost five years researching the death of the
president and writing his book. He not only visited the site of the
killing, he also pored over the results of ballistic expert Howard
Donohue's 25-year study into the bullets that were used. As well, he
read the thousands of pages comprising the Warren Report – an
account of the Warren Commission's months' long attempt to uncover
the truth. Sometimes, however, there are people who do not want the
truth uncovered, and this was most obviously the case with the
killing of JFK. Of course, not all people agree with McLaren's findings; however, it is refreshing with a different, highly possible, perspective on a fifty-year-old assassination.
According to McLaren, the
conspiracy was not to kill the president but to conceal who
had actually killed him. The killing itself was a horrible
accident. Should the perpetrator's name have come to light, it was an
accident that could have had devastating consequences for a certain
group of people and, by extension, America herself.
The Smoking Gun is interesting and the facts are presented in a balanced manner – McLaren
is not taking sides, but he is trying to uncover the truth.
The truth, exposed as it is in the pages of McLaren's book, is
is a book that will appeal first and foremost to those people who can
remember where they were the day that JFK died. They are the people
who were caught up in the disbelief and, later, in the host of
conspiracy theories. The book should, however, also have appeal for
the generations since 1963 – generations that have had to rely on
books and films (many based on dubious conspiracy theories) for some
kind of understanding of the death of the 35th President of the United
States. A book well worth reading.