JFK: The Smoking Gun by Colin McLaren

In this fascinating book, retired and highly decorated Australian homicide detective Colin McLaren brings his years of investigative experience to bear on the case that has fascinated generations and spawned any number of elaborate conspiracy theories: the “assassination” of US President John F Kennedy.

Four years of exhaustive research applying a thorough tooth comb to all 27 volumes of the Warren Commission Report, the transcripts of the House Select Committee on Assassinations, and the records of the Assassination Records Review Board, combined with the re-discovery of the pioneering ballistics work of American firearms expert Howard Donohue, convinced McLaren of two things:

1) That Lee Harvey Oswald only fired two of the three shots that were directed at Kennedy on that fateful day on the 22nd November 1963; and

2) that the third and fatal shot was fired, not by any sniper working in concert with, or under cover of, Oswald, but by one of Kennedy’s own secret service detail.

McLaren’s conclusion: that Kennedy was not “assassinated”, nor was he the victim of some elaborate conspiracy: rather, that his death was the result of a tragic accident perpetrated by the very people who were meant to protect him. McLaren further argues that the subsequent cover-up was not pre-planned, but a panicky response to tragedy designed to protect both the reputation of the Secret Service and prevent the US becoming an international laughing-stock at a time when the Cold War was at its height.

McLaren presents a powerfully argued, tightly coherent case which, because of its simplicity and ironic tragedy, has the unmistakable ring of truth. Bears comparison with John Cornwall’s “A Thief In The Night” for the skill with which it explodes ridiculous conspiracy theories and gets to what is most probably the heart of the matter.

(c) Copyright Brendan E Byrne 2018. All rights reserved.