Book Excerpt: 'A Simple Act of Murder: November 22, 1963' by Mark Fuhrman

On March 6, 1975, Geraldo Rivera showed the Zapruder film on Goodnight America, a late-night talk show. Watching the film, I saw the assassination with my own eyes for the first time, and felt for a moment as I had twelve years before. Something was very wrong. All my instincts told me that someone other than Oswald had done the shooting. Maybe Oswald had been involved somehow, or maybe he was an innocent patsy, set up to take the fall. At this moment I became convinced that the JFK assassination was the work of a conspiracy. I read the Warren Report and found mistakes in its investigation and holes in its arguments. On August 4, 1975, I joined the Los Angeles Police Department and began my law enforcement career. I was twenty-three, incredibly naive, but also very stubborn and opinionated, particularly about two issues -- patriotism and the JFK assassination. My colleagues shared these opinions. They were all patriots, yet they all believed there had been a conspiracy. This paradox of being deeply patriotic and convinced of a conspiracy in the assassination of our President was never resolved, because it was never really challenged. During my twenty years on the force, in countless conversations during stakeouts or over beers after work, I never once heard another cop say he believed Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman. In those dozen years following the JFK assassination, we lived through a long national nightmare. We saw Bobby Kennedy shot down, and Martin Luther King Jr. We experienced political, if not military, failure in Vietnam. First Vice President Spiro Agnew left office in the face of corruption charges, and then President Richard Nixon resigned as a result of the Watergate scandal. This led to an atmosphere of cynicism about our leaders and a corresponding loss of hope. Former Warren Commissioner Gerald Ford had become president. In 1975 he appointed Vice President Nelson Rockefeller to head a commission charged with investigating the domestic activities of the CIA. As part of that investigation, the Rockefeller Commission appointed a medical panel to reexamine the JFK autopsy materials. The Rockefeller Panel confirmed the previous official findings.

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