Those charged with protecting the President of the United States know that if it comes down to it they must take a bullet to save his life. But what if that bullet comes from the 6th floor of a book depository? And there's no chance to even make the ultimate sacrifice. What then?
The members of President John F. Kennedy's 1963 secret service detail have been answering the question of "what then" for close to half a century. But they've been doing it in solitude, with most of them refusing to talk about the event that signaled the end of innocence for a generation, and to a larger extend an entire nation. Some wouldn't even talk about it with their families. And none talking about what happened that day in public, even to debunk the flood of conspiracy theories that have been spun for decades. But the time for silence ended.
JFK's former secret service agent, Gerald Blaine, wrote The Kennedy Detail,
with journalist Lisa McCubbin, after reuniting with other former agents last year. He will be at Books and Books on January 24, but gave Cultist an exclusive. Read the first part after the jump, and the second tomorrow.
Blaine finally gave voice to the elusive
figures in black suits who have only been known through fleeting images
on the grainy Zapruder film. Although he was not in Dallas at
the time of the assassination--he went to scout a location for another
Kennedy visit--he is familiar with all the details of JFK's detail. He
also conducted extensive interviews with former agents as research for
New Times: You have said that the Warren Commissions findings--including that there was a single gunman--are accurate. Why are you so sure?
Gerald Blaine: I am totally convinced that the Warren Commission was correct in its
findings. It did fail to call two key witnesses who could have
testified to correct the "Magic Bullet" theory. The two were the
follow-up car driver, Special Agent Sam Kinney, and the shift leader
ATSAIC Emory Roberts. Both of these men were approximately 12 feet from
the President, in the front seat of the follow-up car when the three
shots were fired. Each of these agents saw all three bullets hit their
mark. The driver never takes his eye off the presidential limousine
since the cars stayed approximately 5 to 6 feet apart. Even though
these men did not testify, there is so much evidence in the Warren
Report and the supporting volumes of evidence that there is no doubt
there was one lone shooter who fired three bullets from a perfect
vantage point and all three shots found their mark.
Why then is there so much interest in creating or concocting conspiracy theories?
Conspiracy theory has become a "Cottage Industry", yet after 47 years
there is not one solid piece of evidence that a conspiracy existed. Any
good investigator knows that a conspiracy seldom lasts more than 60
days. In reality, except for the attempt on President Harry S. Truman
that failed when two political nationals from Puerto Rico attempted to
storm the Blair House in 1950, every assassination or assassination
attempt against the Office of the President, (as well that of) Martin
Luther King and Robert Kennedy, was committed by lone disturbed
The major reason the "Kennedy Detail" was written is to save history
from these bizarre theories being mistaken as fact, otherwise they would
have been the only testimony of what could have occurred rather than
what did occur. No one would ever trust recorded history again. That
is why the agents who were there decided to speak out and fill in the
Why do those theories sill hold so much appeal even today?
The unfortunate aspect of these theories is that each individual picked
his own enemy to blame, be it the right wing, left wing, Cuba, Russia,
CIA, President (Lyndon) Johnson, FBI, Secret Service, organized crime,
military defense contractors, etc. These were followed up by Hollywood
with Oliver Stone's movie JFK that combined them all in one movie. This
started theories to cascade. The result is that our youth of today do
not trust government, yet this very (month) a lone individual killed six
individuals and seriously wounded a congresswoman. The end result will
be that this individual had the same deficiencies that Lee Harvey
Nobody wanted to believe that one individual assassinated their dear
president. It was the end of the era of innocence and the start of
rebellion and mistrust that has grown progressively since that time.
What is the most misrepresented aspect of the assassination?
Just about every theory I have heard totally misrepresented the facts
and the available evidence. When they started accusing deceased agents
of being part of a conspiracy or of shooting the president either
accidentally or on purpose, it was time to break our silence and present
Read the second part of our exclusive interview, where Blaine discusses life after JFK, tomorrow.
Gerald Blaine will be at Books and Books (265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables)
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at 8 p.m. on January 24. The event is free. Call 305-442-4408 or visit