Challenge to the Readers . . .
. . .After all the clues had been scattered in front of the readers, the authors of the Ellery Queen mystery novels would issue "a challenge to the reader" to come up with the solution to the crime before the detective gathered all of the suspects together in the drawing room to unveil the murderer.
. . .My challenge to the readers is somewhat different. Now that you've read the book and heard my presentation in its entirely, I'm challenging the readers to show me any factual errors or any twisted reasoning or quotes taken out of context or any misrepresentations which would (once exposed) disprove the theory laid forth in this volume.
. . .As of this time, I am aware of the fifteen following factual errors or misstatements that appeared in previous editions of Final Judgment and which have been corrected. Those previous errors were (for the record):
. . .(1) In the first and second editions, I cited a source which erroneously reported that no Jews died when Israel's Mossad orchestrated the bombing of Goldenberg's Deli in Paris on August 9, 1982. This error was corrected in the third edition, at which time I noted that the error was brought to my attention by a friend (who happens to be Jewish) whose aunt was visiting Paris at the time of the Mossad crime and who escaped being a victim herself. Although the lady's companion (who was Jewish) did go into the deli and died in the bombing, my friend's aunt went elsewhere and thus survived. So that error was corrected, although it had nothing to do with the thesis of Final Judgment or even with the JFK assassination itself.
. . .(2) In the third edition of Final Judgment, I cited former FBI man William Roemer's book, War of the Godfathers, as the source for my statement that longtime Lansky Syndicate figure Morris Dalitz had been shot down in the streets of Las Vegas and was later poisoned to death in his hospital room. In fact, Dalitz did not die in the colorful way Roemer's book described. Dalitz, apparently, died of natural causes.
. . .By way of explanation, it appears that although Roemer has written some "non-fiction" relating to the history of organized crime, his book which contained this (false) description of Dalitz's death also includes some literary license on Roemer's part. According to Roemer, War of the Godfathers was "a work consisting mostly of fact" but that "in those limited portions that are fictionalized, the underlying basis is either fact or an inferential projection thereof."
. . .In any case, recalling that Dalitz had indeed died—and recalling, as I was preparing the third edition of Final Judgment that Roemer's book had provided a graphic description of his demise—I mistakenly relied upon a portion of the book that Roemer would refer to as having been "fictionalized." I apologize for my reliance on Roemer's reputation as an authority on the mob. However, my error (based on Roemer's fantasy) was corrected as of the fourth edition of Final Judgment. I nonetheless hasten to add, however, that this error had nothing to do with the thesis of Final Judgment or with the JFK assassination itself.
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. . .(3) and (4) The third and fourth apparent errors (which I discovered myself) involve the statement (in the first three editions of Final Judgment) that Texas arms dealer Thomas Eli Davis III, an associate of Jack Ruby, was found to have documents containing the name of Lee Harvey Oswald on his person at the time that he (Davis) was taken into custody in Algeria for involvement in smuggling arms to the French OAS.
. . .In fact, according to new research published in 1996 in Oswald Talked by Ray and Mary LaFontaine, it turns out that the reference to "Oswald" in Davis's possession was a letter of introduction to Madrid-based arms dealer Victor Oswald. It also appears that Davis was held in a Moroccan jail, rather than an Algerian jail, as I stated. My source for the incorrect data regarding Davis's travails was Jim Marrs, writing in Crossfire.
. . .The two errors notwithstanding, the fact is that Davis was connected with Jack Ruby and was indeed involved in the Israeli-connected affairs of the French OAS in North Africa. So, again, I will say this: these errors do not disprove the thesis of Final Judgment. And, anyway, it was Jim Marrs' error—not mine.
. . .(5) In the first printing of the fourth edition I accidentally referred to John Foster Dulles as the CIA director fired by JFK. I knew, of course, it was his brother, Allen Dulles, who was the CIA director in question.
. . .(6) In the first printing of the fourth edition I said that John Connally, the former governor of Texas, died in 1995. In fact, he died in 1993.
. . .(7) In both printings of the fourth edition I said that a scandal forced Sen. Gary Hart to withdraw from the race for the 1984 Democratic presidential nomination. In fact, it was the campaign for the 1988 nod.
. . .(8) In previous editions in discussing the close relationship between CIA contract agent Guy Banister and self-described "super communist hunter," A. I. Botnick of the New Orleans office of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), I was unaware Botnick had left New Orleans to take a position in the ADL's Atlanta office (before Oswald came to New Orleans) and did not return to the New Orleans ADL office until 1964. One of my critics, Jerry Shinley, brought this to my attention.
. . .This has no bearing on the basic thesis of Final Judgment nor does it detract from my speculation (which is clearly noted as such) that it is possible that Lee Harvey Oswald's activities as an investigator for Banister may have been contract work for Botnick's ADL associates by Banister who joined the ADL in "fact finding" relative to leftist groups such as the Fair Play for Cuba Committee with which Oswald claimed affiliation
. . .(9) In previous editions I stated that former Los Angeles detective Gary Wean met in Dallas with former Senator John Tower (R-Texas). The meeting actually took place in Ruidoso, New Mexico.
. . .(10) In the fourth edition in discussing Clay Shaw's relationship with the CIA, I said that "inasmuch as Shaw later served, without question, as a valued international contact for the CIA, reporting back to the agency on his foreign ventures, it is certain that Shaw's reports would have ultimately ended [up on] the desk of James J. Angleton."
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. . .That much is true. However, I over-stated the matter when I went on to assert that "Shaw, in fact, was one of Angleton's operatives. " While there is no evidence Shaw was "one of Angleton's operatives," per se, it is almost certain Shaw's reports crossed the desk of Angleton or his subordinates' at one time or another. I am pleased to make this clarification, after JFK researcher Clark Wilkins brought this over-statement to my attention.
. . .(11) In the 4th edition I referred to a photograph (widely discussed in JFK research) that purported to show Clay Shaw with David Ferrie. Since then, others determined (to my satisfaction) that the person with Shaw is not Ferrie. There is other evidence, however, the two knew one another. So, again, this error does not impact on the thesis of Final Judgment.
. . .(12) In previous editions, I cited Robert Morrow's false assertion that a Pakistani-American was the "second gun" in the killing of Robert F. Kennedy. The accused gentleman has unquestionably proved his innocence, but this does not disprove Morrow's basic thesis that the Iranian SAVAK (a creation of the CIA and the Mossad) carried out the RFK assassination.
. . .(13) In previous editions, I cited authorities suggesting the CIA contract assassin QJ/WIN may have been Frenchman Michael Mertz. Since that time QJ/WIN has been identified and that has been noted. Yet, this fact, of course, does not impact on the basic thesis of Final Judgment.
. . .(14) In previous editions, including the first printing of this 6th edition, I suggested no one had ever seen the famous Gemstone Files themselves and that people had only seen the "Skeleton Key" to the files. In fact, some people have seen the files. However, this error—again—has nothing whatsoever to do with the thesis of Final Judgment itself.
. . .(15) In the first printing of this 6th edition, in the "odds and ends" item about Jack Ruby, I wrote that the city of Dallas was "hardly an outpost of Jewish culture." Instead, as new material in the second printing of the 6th edition demonstrates, Dallas was, in 1963, a major outpost of Jewish power, a critical point firming up the thesis of Final Judgment and diminishing other theories surrounding the JFK assassination.
. . .So those are the errors (and minor ones at that) appearing in previous editions. Are there more? Have I misquoted any published sources or taken them out of context? Am I guilty of twisted reasoning? Have I misrepresented anyone's opinions or any facts that others have presented? Please tell me. I do want to know.
. . .As noted in the afterword, Washington Jewish Week, in its April 28, 1994 edition, accused me of "quoting out-of-context secondary sources, making unlikely tenuous connections, and asserting untruths over and over as if their repetition will magically impart validity." An Israeli diplomat called my theory "nonsense." Others call it "outrageous" and one woman—Marcia Milchiker—went so far as to say that my theory was "scientifically unprovable" as though I had suggested it was scientifically provable in the first place. That's what the critics are saying.
. . .Thus, my challenge to the readers: Show me where I'm wrong.