Indianapolis, IN, July 19, 2017 --(PR.com
)-- A presidential ride in a convertible in late November 1963 with a chilling ending forever changed the United States. A new book on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy takes a fresh look at the incident and has earned a Literary Award of Excellence from Dog Ear Publishing as a result.
Robert A. Wagner, author of “The Assassination of JFK: Perspectives Half a Century Later,” said he is “truly humbled” by the award. “I think I achieved my goal: to come across as impartial, committed to the truth, even though I stake out a position. I most hope that a reader will appreciate that I am not trying to just argue a particular viewpoint. In fact, I started my renewed research thinking that the president was assassinated as a result of a conspiracy but ended up believing that a conspiracy was not a reasonable explanation, given the totality of the facts.”
He crafted the book for many reasons. “The JFK assassination will always fascinate,” he said. “We’ll be debating this in another 50 years. I wrote this book because I have something to add that is credible and has not been advanced by any researcher.” In addition, although most other writers generally fall into one of two camps – hard-core conspiracy proponents or hard-core lone gunman proponents – he wanted to introduce “literature that referees a common path between the two positions, as best as possible.”
Analyzing the event and relaying it in easy-to-understand terms led to the award, Wagner believes. “It was my goal to explain this event as simply and as cleanly as possible (given its complexity) so it could be easily understood by someone not deeply versed in the topic.” He also gives credit to Dog Ear managing editor Stephanie Seifert Stringham, “who turned a long, rambling essay into readable content. Without the ownership she took in making this book as best it could be, there is no way it could even be called literary work. No matter how good you are, you have to have an editor. … It was worth every nickel,” he said.
Wagner appreciates the entire Dog Ear staff and their contributions to his book. “I sent the rough manuscript to three companies. (Founding partner) Ray Robinson read it and voluntarily provided me frank and constructive feedback. I was impressed and grateful. I was floored that he read the book.
“Without exception, everybody has been great,” Wagner said. “Adrienne Miller was fabulous. There was a time when I truly thought the project should die. Adrienne proved stronger than I and charted a path forward. She made a big difference. Amber Ortner and Matt Murray have muscled this work across the goal line.”
For “The Assassination of JFK,” Wagner, a longtime forensic investigator, examined the wealth of available information on the assassination. Everything from inaccurate statements Dallas doctors made about the direction of the shots to medical evidence of the botched autopsy at Bethesda Naval Hospital fall under his microscope. In the end, he concludes that it is virtually certain that Lee Harvey Oswald fired the fatal shots and that the likelihood of Oswald being involved in a conspiracy with elements of the CIA, mob, Castro, KGB or others is highly improbable.
Wagner said the public has been intrigued by the assassination for so long because of the government’s conclusion it was a single gunman. “Most people think the president’s assassination was the result of a conspiracy. That, and because there are so many strange circumstances surrounding the event that raises eyebrows for any reasonable person who is asked to believe that the assassination was the work of just one person.”
In his view, however, that is exactly what happened. Once one concludes that Oswald was involved in the assassination, which is abundantly clear, it becomes apparent that it would be extremely unlikely that others would have joined in his highly flawed plan, reasonably calculating that the tracing of Oswald’s associations would result in their apprehension. Conspiracy theorists, he said, make assumptions that involve their suspects acting irrationally, but he assumes just the opposite. In addition, many researchers and historians get distracted by small details and never look at the big picture in context.
“What is most needed in this debate is folks to step back at a higher altitude to understand the broad picture as to explanations to guide reasonable interpretation of the particular circumstances and details,” Wagner said. “As Sherlock Holmes said, ‘Once you have eliminated the impossible, what remains – no matter how improbably – must be the answer.’
“We shouldn’t get caught up in this notion that we need certainty to explain why things happen. Every day, our system of justice properly results in murder convictions based on the weight of circumstantial evidence and in the absence of reasonable doubt,” he said.
The book has been a hobby of his for years. “When I started (the book) I didn’t know if I’d have anything to say – and it turns out I did.”
For additional information, please visit www.JFKAssassinationPerspectives.com
The Assassination of JFK: Perspectives Half a Century Later
Robert A. Wagner
Dog Ear Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-4575-4469-9 384 pages $19.95 US
Available at Ingram, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and fine bookstores everywhere.