Sunday, 29 November 2015

Book review: "Prayer Man: The exoneration of Lee Harvey Oswald" by Stan Dane

Just recently, I finished reading my copy of the book Prayer Man: The exoneration of Lee Harvey Oswald authored by researcher Stan Dane. The book is based on the brilliant research by Sean Murphy; who presented compelling evidence that at the time of the assassination, Lee Harvey Oswald was standing on the front steps of the TSBD watching the Presidential motorcade pass by (see here). Had it not been to some personal problems I have been experiencing for quite a while, I would have purchased the book and read it much sooner. As a matter of fact, I won my copy of the book from a raffle ticket draw at the 2015 ROKC conference in Melbourne. My brother (who attended the conference with me) was the person who drew the ticket that won me the book. I guess it was my lucky day.

Throughout the book, Dane guides the reader through Sean Murphy’s research which demonstrates (beyond a reasonable doubt) that Oswald was standing on the front steps of the TSBD at the time of the assassination; and is the figure which Sean Murphy dubbed as “Prayer Man.” If you want to know why Oswald was innocent of shooting President Kennedy, this is the book you MUST read; and as Dane wrote towards the beginning of his book, this is the book he wished Sean Murphy had written. But despite Murphy’s ground breaking research, there will always be those who disagree that Oswald was standing outside the TSBD at the time of the assassination; from those who simply can’t handle the reality that Oswald was not the lone assassin, to those whose egos won’t allow them to admit that Murphy has demonstrated that Oswald was standing on the front steps of the TSBD because they didn’t do so themselves.

One of the most truly absurd claims against Oswald being “Prayer Man” is that “Prayer Man” was a woman. I submit that anyone who honestly believes this to be the case needs to get their eyes and/or head examined by a professional; as “Prayer Man” is clearly a male figure! Others have argued that if Oswald really was “Prayer Man,” he would have shouted out to news reporters every chance he got that he was standing on the front steps of the TSBD building. However, given the utter shock, fear, and humiliation the innocent Oswald would have experienced after being told that he was being charged for the assassination of the President, I think it’s only perfectly reasonable that he would have been at a loss for the right words to say. There is another factor to take into account in this regard. As researcher Greg Parker and (to a lesser extent) I have discussed, there is good reason to believe that Oswald was an undiagnosed sufferer of Asperger’s syndrome (see here). If this was in fact the case, it would most likely have been more difficult for Oswald to find the right words to say (see here for why).

Some researchers have argued that as President Kennedy’s motorcade was passing the TSBD building, Oswald was using a camera to take a photograph(s). Others have argued that Oswald would not have been taking a photograph(s) from the “Prayer Man” position, as it was a poor position to take a photograph(s) from. Although I am not entirely convinced myself that Oswald was taking a photograph(s) as the motorcade passed by, if Oswald was a sufferer of Asperger’s syndrome, it would make sense for him to take a photograph(s) from the “Prayer Man” position; as it was away from the crowd and associated noise. But regardless of what one believes Oswald was doing at the time of the assassination, Sean Murphy’s research stands on solid ground, and Stan Dane is to be commended for writing this book.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Reflections on the 2015 ROKC conference in Melbourne

On November 21 and 22 of this year, the very first conference on the JFK assassination in Australia was held in Melbourne, Victoria, at the Mercure Hotel. The conference was organised by researchers Greg Parker and Frankie Vegas. I had the privilege of attending the conference, and as a Melbournian myself, I was extremely proud of the fact that the conference was held in Melbourne. I was very pleased to have met researchers such as Greg Parker, Vanessa Loney, Colin Crow, Glenn Gilbert, Mick Purdy, and a host of others for the very first time in person. Overall, the conference was terrific; with some very well put together presentations. For example, Phil Hopley discussed the history of the Fair Play for Cuba committee (which I found to be rather enlightening), and Peter Morris discussed the Mannlicher Carcano rifle (which I also found to be quite enlightening).

One of the highlights of the conference was the various items owned by Peter Morris which were put on display. These items included a jacket once owned by Jack Ruby, a piece of the picket fence on top of the infamous “Grassy knoll,” and a brick which was part of the TSBD building. Following the conclusion of the conference on Sunday the 22nd, I took a stroll to what is known as the Treasury Gardens directly across the Mercure Hotel with my brother (who also attended the conference) to take several photographs of a memorial there which was dedicated to President Kennedy. At the time the Mercure Hotel was selected as the venue for the conference, it was not known by either Greg Parker or Frankie Vegas that there was a memorial dedicated to President Kennedy just across the road from there. It was one very interesting coincidence. When time allows, I will upload the photographs I took of the memorial (and the aforementioned items which were put on display) to this blog.

I greatly look forward to a conference being put together in Melbourne for the next anniversary of the assassination, and my appreciation goes out to both Greg Parker and Frankie Vegas for taking the time to put this conference together. My only regret is that the conference did not go for a few more days!