Book Review: Murder From Within

Murder from within
Fred Newcomb and Perry Adams make a case blaming Vice President Johnson for he assassination of President Kennedy.

 

 

 

The single, one-day event in American history that has spawned more writing than any other is almost certainly the John Kennedy assassination.  This book is another, but interestingly, it was written in 1974, but not published for the general audience until now.  The authors Newcomb and Adams wrote this book length examination of the event, not for profit, but out of their own concerns over the possibility that the conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald acted as a lone assassin was incorrect.  The book was printed at the writers’ expense, and sent to a number of US legislators and law enforcement officials.  Shortly afterward the House Select Committee on Assassinations was convened and the authors were invited to testify.  Thus, the credibility of the authors appears above reproach.

 

Several weeks ago this writer published a review of Jerome Corsi’s 50th anniversary analysis of the Kennedy assassination.  As a result, comparisons between this work and Corsi’s are inevitable.  The contrasts are striking, as are the areas of agreement.  It is possible that the two books might be taken together to provide, in part, a more complete picture of what actually happened in Dallas that fateful day.

 

Murder From Within begins with a forward by the son of Fred Newcomb on the events leading up to the writing of Murder From Within and to its eventual publication.  Unlike Corsi’s work which leaves his conclusions until the end, this work carries the conclusion right on the cover as a subtitle.  There is no question what the authors conclude.

 

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The strengths of this work involve certain inside information that is not generally discussed, such as the fact that the back seat of the presidential limousine could be mechanically raised to increase his visibility to audiences.  And unlike Corsi’s book, which contains zero illustrations, Newcomb and Adams provide numerous photographs and illustrative drawings detailing the locations of buildings, the motorcade route, and the positions of witnesses and photographers.  This is important information, given the fact that many people who may be interested in this event have never been to Dallas and do not know the layout of the crime scene.  This writer had to use the internet to find photos of Dealey Plaza to understand the analysis in the other work he reviewed previously.  Newcomb and Adams provide excellent photos and diagrams for the reader.  They not only rely on the Zapruder film; they reference and provide rarely mentioned photos taken by Associated Press photographer James Altgens that bear on the event.  They pay particular attention to the apparent editing of the Zapruder film as well.  It should be noted that Corsi does not mention James Altgens.

 

The photographs and the film evidence are extremely important to the authors’ analysis of the assassination event.  They believe that the photos and the editing of the Zapruder film provide absolute evidence that events did not happen as history records; that Oswald was not involved in the assassination, other than as a scapegoat.  The analysis of the crime scene and the evidence available there is more detailed than Corsi provides and is related by the authors back to pre-existing events surrounding the decision to go to Texas and the presidential itinerary.

 

This book’s weaknesses lie in the writing style.  It is disjointed and does not use a traditional essay format. This may be daunting or disappointing to the reader who is expecting a narrative approach, step by step, connecting the dots, one by one.  Instead, the dots are placed but the reader needs to do a lot of the connecting.

 

This leads us to the conclusion.  Corsi does not provide a conclusion up front.  In the end he asserts that “big government” killed John Kennedy.  Interestingly, this coincides with Newcomb and Adams’ conclusion that Lyndon Johnson was responsible.  Assuming that Newcomb and Adams are correct, which their evidence leads us to conclude, then Corsi’s conclusion can also be correct in that “big government” would not permit a conclusion that the assassination was an “inside job.”  To do so would cause possibly irreparable damage to government’s reputation, credibility and reliability.  Thus, the Warren Commission could not have done other than to blame a convenient (and conveniently dead) scapegoat.  Big government continues on, unabated and the general public is provided with a story that seems to fit, even if it may not be correct.  On this, both books agree; that the Warren Commission began its proceedings with a predetermined outcome.

 

Another important aspect of Newcomb and Adams’ work is the copious footnoting of their source information, sometimes including explanatory details well beyond the usual form of footnoting.  Some of the details, such as the exact order of the motorcade show the level of research that the authors’ conducted.  Also included in the appendices are copies of relevant documents.  On the whole the positive factors outweigh the negatives and the book is a valuable resource that covers information not generally referenced in the popular media “conspiracy theory” publications.

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Murder From Within may be found at Amazon.com.

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