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Audiobook Review / Accessories After the Fact by Sylvia Meagher

After re-reading (or listening) to Not in Your Lifetime: The Assassination of JFK by Anthony Summers, I was directed from various sources to Sylvia Meager's forensic examination of the Warren Commission's investigation of the crime. It remains so far one of my favourite JFK books and also one of my favourite investigative books overall, and I've listened to it multiple times now.

Accessories After the Fact takes the reader, or listener, on a deep and unnerving journey into the recorded facts and testimonies immersed within the JFK plot and murder. This was no easy task - the Warren Report is over 800 pages long. Though it might have been shorter had they not tried to invent something that didn't happen.

The important thing about his book is that it was written so close to the report itself. Since its publication, of course a lot more evidence emerged regarding Oswald, the Kennedys, and the situation on the whole - and of course, the second Kennedy assassination. But this isn't actually a hindrance: it gives it more of a purity in a sense, because all this extra research these past decades doesn't make it any less damning based on the evidence available at the time.

Sylvia Meagher goes into everything. I mean EVERYTHING. And it's embarrassing - at least to the Warren Commission. If you've heard the anti-conspiracy crowd go on about any specific detail of this case then this book will destroy their argument, guaranteed. The utter determination of the Warren Commission (though arguably not everyone on that commission) - a commission on a fact-finding mission, not hired to be judge, jury and executioner to Oswald and his character - to actively deter any real and pertinent factual data and physical evidence, badger witnesses, ignore essential testimony, and change the facts to suits its pre-determined guilty-outcome for Oswald is exposed for all it was it this brilliant undermining venture.

I think the thing to take away here is that Meagher, through her analysis and the incorporation of other researchers' work, became Lee Oswald's unofficial defence representative. A man who has now, repeatedly, been shown as exonerated for the accusation of murdering John F. Kennedy through exposed evidence hidden to the public, but also evidence that was present at the time, even before Oswald was taken into custody.

The Warren Commission knew Oswald would never be convicted on the evidence - and, essentially, scathing lack of evidence - that was present at the time, and so they did all in their power, when he too had been murdered and had no voice for his defence, to frame him for it.

JFK's murder is enduring and it is terrifying, because of the scale, and the audacity, of getting rid of the leader of the free world. It's hard not to feel some sympathy to those who knew (and know) the truth to keep quiet, because if you can kill the president, you can kill anyone.


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