Thursday, April 18, 2013

“Hit List” by Richard Belzer and David Wayne – The Burden of Witness

Hit List by Richard Belzer and David Wayne (Book cover)
In practically every murder case, there is always some witness out there who has heard or seen something, enough to shed light on the mystery. This is especially true when it comes to public and high-profile murders, such as the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

As Richard Belzer and David Wayne explain it in Hit List, the thing which truly doesn’t sit right is the fact that in the next three years, eighteen witnesses to the murder died of some reason or another. As Jim Marrs pointed it out in his own book on the subject, Crossfire, the probability for such a chain of events happening has calculated, and the odds were 1 in 100,000 trillion.

As such, Belzer and Wayne spend the book delving into each of the eighteen cases, examining the facts, trying to connect the dots together and draw conclusions. While it truly does seem that in some of the cases the deaths were a work of nature, in other cases, the facts point to a cover-up operation put in place by the government, perhaps in hopes of covering its tracks. Or at least, such is the conclusion they come to in this book.

When I first started reading I already knew what to expect from the others, having read through their other book, Dead Wrong. For those who aren’t familiar with it, these authors are hardly sensationalistic. On the contrary, they tend to stick to the facts and make interpretations based on them within the limits of logic and reason.

This isn’t really a book where you are going to be presented with new and unprecedented facts... rather, it is an objective re-interpretation of what they could point to. I have to say, it is a very interesting re-interpretation at that, especially seeing as how most people skip over the strange “coincidences” which befell the various witnesses in favor of exploring Kennedy’s life and those who opposed him.

On the whole, I found the book to be a very enjoyable, easy-to-understand, and thought-provoking read on a case that will probably haunt us for a very long time, perhaps a bit like the Ripper murders. The best we can do is look back on what we know, re-analyze that information, and perhaps hope for some new facts to come along; with time, those responsible won’t really be eligible for any administration of justice, and the mystery will be the only thing remaining.

Richard Belzer (August 4, 1944)

Richard Belzer

Personal site

Born at the end of WWII back in 1944, Richard Belzer is a renowned author and comedian who has done his fair share of work for the silver screen, stage and radio. In addition, he even found the time to crank out some peculiar books (to say the least), and they include beloved titles such as UFOs, JFK , and Elvis and I Am Not a Psychic!.

More of the Richard Belzer and David Wayne's book reviews:
UFOs, JFK, and Elvis
Dead Wrong


  1. I completely agree having received and read the book earlier this week. Both authors are fair and unbiased with each individual case. I wish they had included Mr. Abraham Bolden, the former secret service agent under President Kennedy, who was not murdered nor perished, but was subjected to imprisonment and attempted drugging for trying to tell the truth to the "Johnson Commission". I loved both books by these two fine researchers and highly recommend both. Stephen Courts

    1. Hey, thanks for the well-thought comment, glad you appreciated the book. Also the part about Abraham Bolden is quite interesting, at least to me as I can't recall reading about him. I'll definitely look him up though.

  2. Crossfire is not a novel. It's nonfiction.

    1. Thanks for letting me know, things like that can skip past my watchful eye from time to time.