Books

17 November 2015

JFK The Smoking Gun by Colin McLaren, Australia, 2013


When 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.

Colin 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.

JFK 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 heartbreakingly simple.

This 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.