HIT LIST: An In-Depth Investigation into the Mysterious Deaths of Witnesses to the JFK Assassination
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"All I know is that witnesses with vital evidence in the case are bad insurance risks."
— New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, when asked about all the deaths of witnesses who had been sought for testimony
Richard Belzer and David Wayne are back to set the record straight after Dead Wrong: Straight Facts on the Country's Most Controversial Cover-Ups;
this time they’re going to uncover the truth about the many witness
deaths tied to the JFK assassination. For decades, government pundits
have dismissed these “coincidental” deaths, even regarding them as
“myths” as “urban legends.”Like most people, Richard and David
were initially unsure about what to make of these ‘coincidences’. After
all, events don’t “consult the odds” prior to happening; they simply happen.
Then someone comes along later and figures out what the odds of it
happening were. Some of the deaths seemed purely coincidental; heart
attacks, hunting accidents. Others clearly seemed noteworthy; witnesses
who did seem to know something and did seem to die mysteriously.Hit List
is a fair examination of the evidence of each case, leading to
(necessarily) different conclusions. The findings were absolutely
staggering; as some cases were clearly linked to a “clean-up operation”
after the murder of President Kennedy, while others were the result of
‘other forces’. The impeccable research and writing of Richard Belzer
and David Wayne show that if the government is trying to hide anything,
they’re the duo who will uncover it.
Hardcover, 377 pages
Excerpt from "Important Background Information"
The observation that it was numerically impossible for so many witness deaths to simply be coincidence had dramatic implications: Witnesses who “knew something” were being systematically eliminated. On the other side of the coin, government pundits have, for decades, dismissed the “myth” as an “urban legend” and countered that the math was all wrong
Like most people, we were initially unsure what to make of it all. After all, events don’t “consult the odds” prior to happening; they simply happen. Then someone comes along later and figures out what the odds of it happening were. Some of the deaths seemed purely coincidental; heart attacks, hunting accidents, etc. Others clearly seemed noteworthy witnesses who did seem to know something and did seem to die mysteriously.
When we embarked upon this study, we initially viewed statements such as the one which follows with an appropriate sense of caution.
When Congress established the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) it gave the committee the mandate to investigate any relevant murder or mysterious death, specifically President Kennedy and Martin Luther King.As a result, naturally, they found very little. There was little to no detail in the very vague news coverage of those deaths; in fact, it was almost as though someone had made sure that there was little to find that that those “facts” were intentionally vague. Therefore, it became clear that the many coincidental deaths were never properly investigated.
But there were three murders that weekend in Dallas–the President, police officer J.D. Tippit and Lee Harvey Oswald. During the following years many other witnesses and suspects in the assassination of the president were murdered under strange and unusual circumstances.
Many witnesses died or were brutally murdered during the course of the committee’s investigation, some shortly before they were to testify under oath.
Most of those who died violently had knowledge of Lee Harvey Oswald’s activities or had knowledge of the CIA/Mafia plots to kill Fidel Castro.
As researcher William Kelly aptly notes, the would-be “investigation” was flawed from the start:
Rather than address each of the deaths individually, or conduct a proper investigation into any of the death or murder, hey had the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress compile all newspaper and magazine articles “concerning those deaths,” and evaluate only the known facts.
So, we investigated, case-by-case. We also checked on the math. We examined the facts and re-examined the odds. We learned that more important than the number of witness deaths occurring in the first year after the JFK assassination is the fact that most of the convenient deaths of witnesses occurred at precisely the time of the two major investigations into the assassination: During 1964, for the Warren Commission investigation, and then again in 1977, when witnesses were called for the Congressional investigation by the HSCA.