BOOK REVIEW:


CASE CLOSED:
LEE HARVEY OSWALD AND THE
ASSASSINATION OF JFK



AUTHOR: GERALD POSNER





----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


"Case Closed" (subtitled "Lee Harvey Oswald And The Assassination Of JFK"), written by Gerald Posner and originally published in 1993, presents a sound and reasonable evaluation of the evidence, the people, and the events surrounding the murder of President Kennedy in November 1963. I have the paperback version of the book (by "Anchor Books"/"Doubleday"), which consists of 601 pages, plus Preface and center Photo section.

Mr. Posner dishes out more than enough reasons to convince any reasonable person reading his book of Lee Oswald's sole guilt in JFK's assassination (and plenty of evidence to believe that Oswald's murderer, Jack Ruby, also acted alone, and on the spur-of-the-moment, when he killed LHO in the basement of the Dallas Police Department two days after JFK's murder).

Posner's style and page construction have me puzzled to a degree, with many very important points being made exclusively via footnotes (rather than a part of the book's main text) -- with some "footnotes" taking up more than half a page. But this is a minor point when weighing the overall content of this excellent volume.

The book contains a few pictures, all located in the center of the publication, with 16 (slick) pages of black-and-white photos focusing on Oswald and various other aspects of the assassination. There are also a few nice-looking and user-friendly "3D style" graphs and charts included in "Case Closed", to give the reader some "visual" perspective as to some portions of the crime (e.g.: a 3-dimensional map of the inside of the Texas School Book Depository Building, from where Oswald fired the three shots which took the life of the President, as well as a map/chart giving us a glance at the inner workings of the "Single-Bullet Theory").

Like Mr. Posner, I firmly believe that Oswald, by himself, was responsible for the murders of JFK and Dallas city policeman J.D. Tippit. And while re-reading "Case Closed" recently, I came across many outstanding hunks of fascinating text, including a good collection of direct quotes from various individuals that were placed into the book by author Posner in his efforts to provide the reader with a complete picture of Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who was charged with killing America's 35th President in Dallas.

I've listed some of what I think are this book's most intriguing passages and quotes below, which give a good general indication as to the type of person Lee Oswald truly was (i.e., a strange, disconnected, secretive, violent, and abusive young man who embraced Communism and hated the American society he was living in).

In other words -- Lee Harvey Oswald was the exact type of individual who might just have had an urge to take his mail-order rifle with him to work one day (a day when the President's motorcade was scheduled to pass right in front of the building he worked in) and fire a few shots at JFK from a secluded sixth-story perch.

The evidence in the John F. Kennedy murder case, in fact, tells the world that Mr. Oswald did that very thing on Friday, November 22, 1963.

-------------------------------------------

"CASE CLOSED"
EXCERPTS:

Lillian Murret (Lee Oswald's aunt; sister of Lee's mother, Marguerite Oswald) said:

  • "She [Marguerite] told me that she had trained Lee to stay in the house, to stay close to home when she wasn't there. .... He just got in the habit of staying alone like that." -- Page 9 of "Case Closed"

----------------

  • "Otis Carlton, a neighbor in Benbrook [Texas], was in the Oswalds' living room one evening when [eight-year-old] Lee , gripping a butcher knife, ran through chasing [his half-brother] John Pic. Lee hurled the knife at Pic, in front of a startled Carlton, but it missed and struck the wall." -- Page 10

----------------

Dr. Renatus Hartogs (a psychiatrist who once evaluated Lee Oswald) said:

  • "[Lee] came to us on a charge of truancy from school, and yet when I examined him, I found him to have definite traits of dangerousness. In other words, this child had a potential for explosive, aggressive, assaultive acting out, which was rather unusual to find in a child who was sent to the Youth House on such a mild charge as truancy from school." -- Page 12

----------------

Julian Evans (who knew Oswald when Lee was a youth) said:

  • "Nobody could figure him [Lee] out. .... He didn't want you to get too close to him. .... I thought he was a psycho; I really did." -- Page 15

----------------

William E. Wulf (a schoolmate of Oswald's) said:

  • "His [LHO's] beliefs seemed to be warped but strong. .... He seemed to me a boy that was looking for something to belong to. .... He impressed me as a boy who could get violent over Communism." -- Page 16

----------------

  • "Oswald bristled that Ike [President Dwight Eisenhower] "was exploiting the working people" and that if he had the opportunity, he would like to kill Eisenhower." -- Page 17

----------------

  • "He [Lee] seemed to hit her [Lee's wife Marina] harder and with greater anger than ever before. .... Oswald flew into a rage over Marina's inability to cook a Southern dish, red beans and rice, which he demanded for dinner. The fight ended in their bedroom, with Oswald choking her and threatening [her]" -- Page 101

----------------

  • "Oswald increasingly spent time locked in his small study. There, unknown to Marina, he compiled a blue looseleaf folder, an operations manual for an action he was planning against [Retired General Edwin] Walker. It was filled with photographs of the general's house and a safe place to stash a rifle, as well as maps of a carefully-designed escape route." -- Page 104

----------------

On Pages 105 and 106:

  • "On Sunday afternoon, March 31 [1963], Marina was in the small fenced-in backyard [of the Oswalds' residence on Neely Street in Dallas] hanging up diapers when Lee asked her to take a picture. .... He returned to the apartment and in a few minutes emerged dressed all in black, a revolver tucked into the waist of his pants, a rifle held in one hand, and a camera and some newspapers in the other hand. Marina broke into laughter."

Marina said:

  • "I asked him then why he had dressed himself up like that. .... I thought he had gone crazy, and he said he wanted to send that to a newspaper. .... It was quite embarrassing the way he was dressed."

Marina also told Mr. Posner the following:

  • "I was very nervous that day when I took the pictures. I can't remember how many I took, but I know I took them and that is what is important. It would be easier if I said I never took them, but that is not the truth."

(So much for the "Fake Backyard Photos", huh?)

----------------

  • "Linnie Mae Randle, Buell Frazier's sister, was at her kitchen sink when she glanced out the window at 7:15 Friday morning, November 22. She saw Oswald walk across the street toward her house, carrying a long package parallel to his body." -- Page 223

----------------

  • "The three empty shells [found beneath the sniper's window in the Texas School Book Depository after the assassination]...were fired from Oswald's rifle, to the exclusion of any other gun." -- Page 269

----------------

  • "Ten minutes after the shells were found, Deputy Sheriff Eugene Boone and Deputy Constable Seymour Weitzman were near the northwest corner of the sixth floor when they spotted [Oswald's Mannlicher-Carcano bolt-action] rifle, hidden between boxes." -- Pages 269-270

----------------

Less than an hour after JFK was shot.....

  • "As [Dallas Police Officer J.D.] Tippit reached the front left tire [of his patrol car], Oswald whipped out his revolver and began shooting. Tippit was killed instantly. Oswald then began running back toward Patton Avenue, emptying shells from the revolver along the way." -- Page 272

----------------

  • "After the theater scuffle, in which Oswald unsuccessfully tried to shoot another policeman, he [Oswald] was arrested." -- Page 280

----------------

  • "There is no credible evidence that Oswald knew Guy Banister or had any association with David Ferrie during the critical months preceding the assassination. Marina cannot visualize him working with an accomplice. .... [Quoting Marina Oswald:] "I am not a psychiatrist...but living with a person for a few years you at least have some kind of intuition about what he might do or might not. He was not a trustworthy and open person. So, personally, I seriously doubt that he will confide in someone." -- Pages 147-148*

* NOTES: The above comments made by Marina Oswald (appearing on pages 147 and 148 of "Case Closed") came directly from her HSCA testimony in the late 1970s. Many of the other direct quotes I have mentioned within this review can also be cross-referenced in the official Government records of the JFK murder investigation, mainly via the Warren Commission witness transcripts. All page numbers shown above refer to the paperback edition of "Case Closed", published in 1994 by Anchor Books.

David Von Pein
March 2005
November 2006


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------





------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


AUDIO, VIDEO, AND
RELATED LINKS:






























------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------