The Single Best JFK Assassination Conspiracy Theorytags: JFK, JFK assassination, Kennedys
Jon Wiener writes regularly for LARB on history, politics, and books, and thanks Stanley Kutler for reminding him about Winter Kills.
WHO KILLED JFK? Joe Kennedy did it — because the kid had gone liberal on him. It’s my favorite Kennedy assassination conspiracy theory, and it’s presented in a wonderful novel, Winter Kills, by Richard Condon. Condon is best known as the author of The Manchurian Candidate, the presidential assassination conspiracy novel made into an unforgettable movie starring Frank Sinatra as the brainwashed shooter. That book came out in 1959, and when JFK was killed four years later, Condon became the world’s most famous writer of political thrillers.
Winter Kills didn’t come out until 1974, 11 years after that day in Dallas. In the novel, President Tom Kegan is shot from the sixth floor of the TV center warehouse when his motorcade moved through Hunt Plaza in Philadelphia on February 22, 1960. An assassin is quickly apprehended, but the president’s younger brother Nick soon learns that a second sniper confessed on his deathbed, and that a third had been shooting from a grassy knoll. As he digs deeper, he learns about the secret deals his brother had made with the rich and powerful men who really run the country....
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