A SIMPLE ACT OF MURDER by Mark Fuhrman

A SIMPLE ACT OF MURDER

11/22/1963

KIRKUS REVIEW

If only Dealey Plaza could talk: a fresh, counterintuitive take on the JFK assassination.

“There are some mysteries in life that can never be solved. But murder is simple. Even this one.” Better known for his role in another inquest, onetime LAPD detective turned true-crime retailer Fuhrman (Death and Justice, 2003) delivers a report on the killing of John F. Kennedy in Dallas 43 years ago. There is some newsworthiness in Fuhrman’s take on the theories surrounding the assassination—and in his perhaps surprising verdict. Fuhrman considers the possibility of a shooter in addition to Lee Harvey Oswald, supposedly placed on the “grassy knoll” alongside the presidential parade route; the forensics, he asserts, do not easily admit the prospect, because the knoll “is a terrible position for a sniper,” and if there were a shooter there, he missed everyone in the line of sight. Fuhrman also examines the career of Oswald, noting that KGB files indicate that no one in Soviet intelligence ever tried to recruit him, but also that he did qualify as a Marine sharpshooter and—very interestingly—admitted to attempting to kill another political figure just before Nov. 22. Fuhrman looks, too, at the “Magic Bullet” theory championed, notably, by Warren Commission investigator Arlen Specter, a theory that involves a maze of improbabilities and much suspension of disbelief and logic. There were indeed conspiracies surrounding the death of the president, promoted, the author says, by Robert Kennedy, J. Edgar Hoover and even the widowed First Lady.

So Oswald did it alone after all. Hmmm. Watch for talk-show debates over this one—maybe involving Oliver Stone, whose 1991 film JFK provides the antithesis of Fuhrman’s book.

Pub Date: April 11th, 2006
ISBN: 0-06-072154-5
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2006




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