• By: Tori McNeely

Fred Litwin’s must-read book puts the JFK conspiracies to rest

On November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was struck by two bullets while riding in an open-topped limo through Dealey Plaza in Dallas. That much we know. Yet, for generations people have continued to contribute to the whirlwind of conspiracy theories surrounding JFK's assassination. In his most recent book, I Was A Teenage JFK Conspiracy Freak, author Fred Litwin tells the story of why he turned from believing in the conspiracies to believing there was only one gunman.

In this comprehensive and compelling book, Litwin recounts how he became a JFK conspiracy freak at eighteen years old, and then after much research slowly moved to believe that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin.

Litwin attributes much of the uncertainty surrounding the events to a handful of cover-ups. "All of the covering up perhaps made it look like there was a conspiracy," said Litwin. “The CIA had to cover up, at the time, the fact that they were trying to assassinate Fidel Castro with the help of the mob. The FBI covered up a note that Lee Harvey Oswald had delivered to the Dallas FBI warning them to stop harassing his wife. Then, of course, the US government was lying about Vietnam and all of this contributed to a general mistrust of government."

The book demonstrates how the left and the right have used the JFK assassination to drive home myths about power in America. This includes the ugly story of Oliver Stone’s homophobic film JFK, an exposé of conspiracy nonsense on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, a look at how the Soviets tried to influence American public opinion into believing the CIA was behind the assassination, and the incredible secret why some JFK assassination documents must remain locked up forever.

When asked what prompted him to begin looking into the assassination, Litwin told us, "I watched the Geraldo Rivera show in March of 1975. He showed the Zapruder film for the first time on American television. The Zapruder film was the best film of the assassination, and it shows Kennedy's head move back and to the left after the fatal head shot. But the supposed assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was behind the motorcade. It didn't seem to make sense. Was there a second gunman in the front? That show got me hooked and the next day I went to the Dawson College Library in Montreal to take out books on the assassination. Unfortunately, they only had conspiracy books."

Litwin says he was able to find a fresh perspective on the event through periodical indexes in the library and the annual New York Times’ subject index. It was after he got caught up with the facts that he wrote to the doctors responsible for JFK's autopsy.

"Both of them agreed that the autopsy materials indicated that Kennedy was shot from behind, not from the front, and thus what I thought I had seen in the Zapruder film was wrong," said Litwin.

On November 13, Litwin will launch his book at 7:00pm at the Ottawa Arts Court. Attendees can expect food, a short 20-minute video and a Q&A session with the author. Everyone still concerned with the death of JFK and want to clear up the mystery once and for all must read Litwin's I Was a Teenage JFK Conspiracy Freak.

Tickets to the event can be purchased here. Can’t make the event but want to learn more? Purchase your own copy of Litwin’s book at at Beechwood Books (35 Beechwood Avenue) and Compact Music (785 Bank Street).