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Misleading & condescending

| Friday, Oct. 25, 2013, 8:57 p.m.

Regarding A Page of Books' “What drove Oswald” (Oct. 13 and TribLIVE.com): Anyone who has not reviewed Oswald's life in a complete objective fashion would be easily misled by Peter Savodnik's highly selective historical portrayal. Regrettably, such a predetermined, one-sided retrospective analysis of President Kennedy's alleged sole assassin is exactly what the Warren Commission did. That kind of biased approach in any homicide investigation is improper. In a highly controversial, heavily politicized murder, it can lead to premature and erroneous conclusions.

Savodnik ignores Oswald's documented relationships with rabid anti-Castro right-wing characters like David Ferrie and Guy Banister in New Orleans. He fails to discuss the fact that in Russia, he was given a loan and, in a couple of days, cleared along with his Russian wife to return to the U.S. Then, according to the FBI's official statement to the commission, nobody in that agency bothered to interview him.

Savodnik's Wall Street Journal essay is not honest journalism. It is as specious and misleading as the “magic bullet” theory. It can be added to the quite long list of reasons why three-fourths of Americans continue to reject the commission's conclusion regarding Oswald as a sole assassin.

Michael Smerconish's column “On JFK: Beware the conspiracy theorists” (Oct. 18 and TribLIVE.com) represents a continuing effort by commission supporters to dismiss critics of its absurd work of fiction in a snide, condescending manner. Arlen Specter's “single-bullet theory” is the greatest piece of forensic scientific absurdity ever introduced into a homicide investigation. Perhaps the Trib could host a debate between Smerconish and me.

Cyril H. Wecht

Squirrel Hill

The writer is a former Allegheny County coroner.

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