A Body + A Rifle + A Head = A Lonely, Sullen, Angry Assassin
I published my novel, Saving JFK, on Amazon Kindle in July of 2011. Stephen King’s blockbuster, 11-22-63 was published in November of 2011. In October, 2011, I issued the following press release which was picked up by a couple of websites:
“The “Other” Novel About Time Travel Back to 11/22/63: Saving JFK by W. Green
Can we excise the cancerous conspiracy cover-up that silently steals our lives and the lives of future generations? Saving JFK tells the story of three young people and one aging “baby boomer” from the year 2028 who ask this question, and then spin back in time to stop the assassination of President Kennedy and resurrect the American Dream.
This is a time-traveling road show filled with nostalgia and nastiness, fact and fantasy, and hope for the future. Older Americans, deep down, may sense the ugly truth of the JFK assassination, but ignore it. Younger people, understandably, may be unaware of the significance of bloody events leading to today’s bizarre and dismal circumstances. Fifty years of official denial and concealment have left Americans with an empty shell of a country constructed on the foundation of a fictional history. The success of the next generation of Americans may hinge on its indignant recognition of past deception and a willingness to take corrective action. The time travelers in Saving JFK are indignant and do take action.
The official history of the year 2028 reads: “November 2, 1963 in Chicago, President John F. Kennedy was brutally murdered by a single assassin”. Over the years, politicians and the media relentlessly pounded the people into accepting the official government story…a lone nut…perfect timing…no conspiracy. The four individuals from the future say “no”. They believe they have the power to change history. Fearlessly, against the laws of nature and man, Emma, Ethan and Zak and the inventor of the TimeTravelle Dr. Currant, escape from the year 2028 to stop the “Crime of the Century” and save JFK.
They struggle to achieve a positive future, but success in the time travel business is not always satisfactory. Destiny has a way of quickly repairing rips in the fabric of time. Emma and Ethan, the Time Travel Twins, and their two companions experience the adventure of their lives. They are given the chance to change history for the better. They leave the monotonous madness of the year 2028—a time of no privacy, no hope, and total government control—and experience the joys and sadness of an earlier, bolder time filled with hope for the future. On the way, they meet Ferrie, Banister, Oswald, Richard Cain, the mysterious Umbrella Man, the Three Tramps and other conspiratorial characters. As they attempt to understand the motives of these iconic figures, the Time Travel Twins and their friends experience life in the early Sixties and their ability to initiate positive change. Their quixotic quest is an exciting, illuminating and noble effort to create a better future.
Saving JFK is based on a real conspiratorial plot to end the life of the President, often called the “JFK Chicago Attempt”. In late October 1963 four assassins entered the city of Chicago intent upon killing JFK. Equipped with sniper rifles, they were ready to shoot him as his motorcade proceeded from O’Hare Airport to Soldier Field. With this scheme in place, JFK would never make it to the annual Army/Air Force football game. Of course there was a “patsy”. Officially, in the world of 2028, the President would be assassinated by a “lone nut” shooting from the roof a of Jackson Boulevard warehouse. Or would he?”
I never was upset that King wrote a similar book. The idea of saving JFK via time travel was not particularly original. In fact, the conjunction of these two books was beneficial for early sales of my book. So for brief moment, the hare and the tortoise waited at the starting line, but then in the next moment the race was over. 11-22-63, the book, has been extremely successful and soon will appear as a television mini-series.
The Kindle version of King’s book ranks at #1,699 while the tortoise plods along at #828,564. King’s book has 8,799 reviews and my book has 8. I have never read the King book and I will not because the only thing I could possibly learn from the book would be how to create a best-seller, or how to write fashionable (and some would say creatively, wonderful) fiction. But I was interested in the reviews. Would readers complain about the regurgitation of the now-disgraced Warren Report? Would they be fired up that a book about the crime of the century was a rehash of the November 29, 1963 LIFE magazine version. Would anyone care about reality? Or would they only be interested in fiction?
Based on Gallup polls (a recent one was taken in 2013), the high point of “lone nut” believers was in 1966 when 36 percent of those Americans polled thought that “one man” was responsible. The 2013 poll showed this had dropped to 30 percent and that 61 percent thought that others were involved…maybe the mob, or the CIA, or LBJ, or mysterious and pissed-off Cubans, etc. So it is fair to say that some of the readers of King’s book might find it difficult to trudge through hundreds of pages to find out in the end that Oswald did it. But, surprisingly, that seems not to be the case. I toured the 1 Star reviews. There are 175. But, my quick scan indicated only a few were upset by the “lone nut” scenario. I did not study the other multi-star reviews. There may be readers who liked the story and who were able to willingly “suspend belief”.
As Roseanne Roseannadanna would say, “Well, Jane, it just goes to show you, it’s always something — if it ain’t one thing, it’s another.”
Two decades ago, another great 20th century writer, Norman Mailer, wrote Oswald’s Tale, which attempted to resolve the befuddlement in the minds of some Warren Commission believers by answering the modern-day koan, “how could such a little man kill such a great man?” Mailer’s answer…here’s 828 pages which explain all the angst of the 24-year-old killer. Or another, Vincent Bugliosi’s 2007 Reclaiming History…1,632 pages which explain everything in minute detail as presented by “one of the finest legal minds of our time”. 2012 brought forth Bill O’Reilly’s book Killing Kennedy which is shorter than some of the other Warren Report redux books, but comes to the same conclusion. This book engendered 7,298 reviews with 317 coming from the 1 Star crowd. A quick review of these reviews seems to indicate more outrage from readers. Possibly, because this was supposed to be a non-fiction book. Apparently these readers would not deny their beliefs for the sake of a good read.
But the question remains, why do these stellar authors, authorities, and analysts write to the 30% potential audience? And then, why are they so successful? Maybe it is because those readers in the 30% Club are in denial. Maybe they can’t stand the sound of one hand clapping. Maybe, the authority voices of these well-known authors comfort them. Maybe having total faith in the powerful and all-seeing government of the United States is like a religion to them. But even that belief has its limits. Remember that in 1979 the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations found conspiracy. Thus an official government study says the “little man killing the big man” theory does not apply.
I am a believer in conspiracies. From my point of view, human-directed big events do not happen by accident, especially the killings of heads of state. As L. Fletcher Prouty says, the only “politically correct” way to eliminate an unwanted leader of a democratic country, quickly and surely, is by removing his Praetorian Guard.
In 1963, once the Secret Service and military stood aside, it was impossible to save JFK. Now more than fifty years later, someone has relentlessly and effectively removed our national guardians of truth. This removal has assassinated reality. From Dan Rather to Lester Holt, the truth has been ignored in favor of the dramatization and promotion of the party line. Truth, over the past five decades, has died a slow, painful death as it stumbled about in desert of media lies and deceptions. The fiction books by Mailer and King only offer confirmation of the news media’s deceitful version of factual contemporary history.
I wrote my book Saving JFK, not to ride the coattails of a tragic event, nor to appease the Mockingbird, but rather to package the truth disguised has a 1960s Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew book. I hoped that it would appeal to the young and to adults who might prefer “a spoonful of sugar to make the medicine go down”. I remain hopeful that people will read it and pass on to friends, relatives, children and grandchildren. The 61% are out there, and so are the 30% still trying to answer the koan.
But the sad fact is that JFK is dead…and so it appears…is America.
W. Green Author of SAVING JFK