One of the challenges for anyone interested in the assassination of President Kennedy is simply dealing with the immense amount of material that has gone into print and onto the internet.  The good news is that in terms of actual data – documents, primary evidence, material from official investigations – decades of research and legal pressure have generated a host of material and  a large amount of it is available online.  In addition, a great deal of contextual historical material for the period available. You don’t necessarily find it in JFK assassination discussions but it is contained in independent historical studies of the early Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations –  especially in the growing numbers of very solid biographies and autobiographies of individuals associated with the Kennedy era – individuals commonly discussed in conjunction with the assassination.

In many instances I’ve found that corollary material to be more important – and more factual – than what may be found in postings and books about the assassination itself.  For example, it is common to find claims that Mitch Werbell, one of the larger than life figure of the 60’s  and a person of interest for both official investigations and JFK researchers, was involved in the assassination.  It has become something of an article of faith for many that Werbell provided advanced silencers that were used in the attack in Dallas.

The problem with the belief is that it literally cannot be true, even if on occasion Werbell himself might have made remarks to encourage such an idea. Being an an expert at self promotion, Werbell happily claimed a great number of things which helped make him a figure of mystery, a man of vast connections and a person of great value to anyone wanting to buy advanced weapons or acquire experienced mercenary personnel.  It’s fascinating to read his media interviews.  I recall one recording a trip by Werbell to Washington, traveling with an attractive secretary, a  locked briefcase and verbally pondering in front of the journalist about which military service to visit first, which foreign embassy to contact next and asking his secretary not to let him miss his appointment at the “farm”.  His sales style was admirable in terms of impressing dictators of small foreign countries, not so much for the CIA office of security.

As for myself, he was one of the figures that intrigued me in my early research so I obtained a good amount of his actual CIA file – which led me to that previous remark about the CIA’s view of him. I wrote about him at some length -” The Legendary Mitch Werbell” – in Someone Would Have Talked.  Of course these days you can search and read online much of what I had to dig out of NARA the hard way back then.  It all paints a much more complete picture of Werbell and his career, but most importantly it allows time stamping of exactly when he became involved with silencer technology including when he acquired the patents and started his weapons business.  All of which occurred well after the Kennedy assassination. The key word there being “after”.  Whatever reputation he developed for amazing silencer technology came about after the events in Dallas, not before.  Its all there in the documents and today its also available in articles such as the one at this link:

http://warisboring.com/articles/mitchell-werbell-silenced-the-u-s-armys-m-14s-and-m-16s/

My point in all this is that it pays to read widely and search broadly when you jump into the Kennedy assassination.  Don’t limit yourself to just the JFK books (even mine) and certainly not to the YouTube videos on the assassination – test what is presented to you with other sources.  The first generation JFK researchers referred to themselves as skeptics – skeptical of the official story on the assassination.  Skepticism was a healthy thing then, it remains so today.

 

 

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About Larry Hancock

Larry Hancock is a leading historian-researcher in the JFK assassination. Co-author with Connie Kritzberg of November Patriots and author of the 2003 research analysis publication titled also Someone Would Have Talked. In addition, Hancock has published several document collections addressing the 112th Army Intelligence Group, John Martino, and Richard Case Nagell. In 2000, Hancock received the prestigious Mary Ferrell New Frontier Award for the contribution of new evidence in the Kennedy assassination case. In 2001, he was also awarded the Mary Ferrell Legacy Award for his contributions of documents released under the JFK Act.

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