Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Book(s) I Read


     I went on a real bender a few years back on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy and dedicated that year to only reading about that historic event. I finished a lot of books that year, but I still have a bunch that I didn't get to. The book on the right, Target JFK was the first book I decided to tackle. I first ran across this author after an interview on T.D. Mischke's radio show. Addabbo offers a completely different story than the lone gunman theory, and also claimed to have seen photographic proof of Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby together in Mexico City weeks before the assassination. It was far fetched to say the least but the author seemed to believe he was telling the truth, so I started looking for the book. It is self published, so I wrote to the author requesting a copy and was quite pleased when he sent me an autographed copy. But having said that, this book was a challenge to read all the way through. I did it though, but it wasn't easy.
     This is the story of Tony Berlotti, a rich and wealthy raconteur who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Berlotti was visiting Mexico City for business and while dining out he was asked to take a photograph of a large group of men. He complied with the strangers wish, and then took another photo with his own camera. He claimed he wanted a photo to document the unique architecture in the restaurant. Little did he know that the men in the picture was Lee Harvey Oswald, Jack Ruby and several of the soon to be JFK assassins. When the killers found out that Berlotti had snapped his own photo they decided to add him to the hit list. Berlotti's wife and daughter were soon after killed in a house fire meant for Berlotti. After this horrific turn of events Berlotti decided to seek his revenge on the men responsible for killing his family and the president and undertakes an adventure that would last decades.
     What follows is a long long long story involving spy craft, high tech gadgets, world wide espionage, cross dressing, bridge games, heart attack after heart attack and murder after murder. With the help of a loyal team of trained killers, engineering geniuses and wealthy benefactors Berlotti manages to take out each man responsible for the death of his family. Addabbo spends all of perhaps ten of his 450 page book to explain how the assassins managed to kill the president. The rest of the book can be summed up as a retelling of this simple formula: the assassins are staked out, a plan to kill them is made, something goes wrong, Berlotti has a heart attack, his team rushes to his side, they all worry but then declare that the mission must continue till they are all dead. This goes on for over 400 pages until they actually do succeed. And believe you me, it is a llllooooooooonnnnnggggg
400 pages.
     I can't really recommend this book to the amateur JFK assassination reader. In fact, I don't know if I'd even recommend it for the hard core reader either. There is a lot of name dropping here, especially with mob bosses, but not a lot of believable information. When you first read about the existence of a photo with Ruby and Oswald in Mexico City, all you want to do is see the photo. But there are no pictures in this book. Addabbo claims that the picture won't be released until all the major players in the book are dead and gone, but that has already happened and still no photo. If I have learned one thing from reading this book, it is that I should learn to play bridge. Apparently quite a bit of spy work goes on at the bridge table.

Gaeton Fonzi
     After reading Target JFK, I felt like I needed to read a real book about the JFK assassination which brought me to Gaeton Fonzi's book The Last Investigation. Most people seem to be familiar with the Warren Commission, but this was not the only investigation the government had into the assassination of JFK. This book details that final investigation, and the role that Fonzi had in it. If you are just setting out on your journey to read more about the conspiracy behind the assassination, I wouldn't start with this book. He assumes that you are aware of the many facts surrounding the events of the assassination, as well as an idea of the various conspiracy theories that exist. But once you have that kind of knowledge under your belt this is a must read.
     Fonzi primarily investigated the Anti-Cuban ties to the assassination. While doing so he uncovers two important facts that help point to the existence of a conspiracy. The first was a witness that could tie a known CIA agent to Oswald long before the assassination took place. This fact was consistently denied by the CIA, for obvious reasons, but many people believe that Oswald was associated with the CIA. The second important fact is the testimony of Sylvia Odio. Odio claims to have been visited by three men claiming to be part of an Anti-Cuban party weeks before the assassination took place in Dallas. She said that one of those men was definitely Lee Harvey Oswald. After Kennedy was assassinated she recognized Oswald from all of the television reporting. What makes her testimony all the more important is that she saw Oswald during the time that he was supposed to be in Mexico City. Fonzi's research into Odio's account, as well as her sister's, proved that she was telling the truth and threw the already sketchy proof the CIA had of Oswald in Mexico City right out the window.
     There is a lot more going on in The Final Investigation, including Fonzi's attempt to find out just how much David Atlee Phillips of the CIA had to do with assassinating Kennedy, and I again suggest that you add it to your JFK conspiracy reading list. I had read a lot about the lone gun shooter, and a little bit about the mafia ties, but this goes into the Anti-Castro and drug trafficking aspects that I'd been lacking.
     If you read any of these, or any other JFK conspiracy books, and you want to talk a little shop don't hesitate to drop me an email at shufflefunction@hotmail.com . All theories are welcome!

Shelley

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