Las Vegas is known for its big fights, but G. Robert Blakey and Gerald Posner were downright cordial when they squared off for a sparring session Thursday morning on Fremont Street.
The two laughed and for the most part complimented each other’s scholarship during an interview outside the Golden Nugget.
Blakey and Posner are leading authorities on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, which marks its 50th anniversary later this month. They were scheduled to be joined Thursday evening by author Patrick Nolan at the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement for a lively discussion on the topic, which remains controversial decades after that grim day in Dallas.
Blakey, a legal scholar known as the father of the federal RICO statute, became inextricably linked to the study of the assassination after serving as chief counsel and staff director of the U.S. House Select Committee on Assassinations from 1977-79
He started the investigative process believing in the validity of the Warren Commission Report, which determined shooter Lee Harvey Oswald was solely responsible for the murder; but he came away convinced a conspiracy involving the mob was the most likely scenario.
Posner is an investigative journalist and best-selling author who rocked the Kennedy conspiracy theory subculture in 1993 when he published his well-researched slap in the face, “Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK.” Posner concluded that, despite a tremendous amount of suspicious activity and no shortage of shady personages surrounding the event, Oswald probably acted alone.
He was almost immediately put on the defensive by academics, authors and amateur investigators who had devoted their lives to proving just the opposite.
With so much evidence and yet seemingly so few uncontested facts, there is plenty of room for both views.
Nolan, author of “CIA Rogues and the Killing of the Kennedys,” was also on the program.
At 78, Blakey finds himself the seniormost figure of the assassination story and remains one of its most credible guides.
“We came to the conclusion there were two shooters in the plaza,” Blakey said outside the Golden Nugget. “The Warren Commission says one. We thought there were four shots fired. The Warren Commission said two for sure, maybe three.
“And the popular myth is that we did it based on acoustical tests only. Not true. It’s based on the witnesses and the acoustical evidence, and we treated the witnesses as corroborated by the acoustics, and the acoustics were corroborated by the witnesses. The acoustics have been trashed since then, thoroughly. I’m unpersuaded. I think they’re still valid, and the reason I think they’re still valid is they fit hand in glove — timing and direction — with all the other evidence. If there are two shooters in the plaza, there’s a conspiracy, and the lone nut (theory) doesn’t hack it anymore.”
FORECLOSURE CLASS: It’s hard to glean much good news from all the bad news surrounding Nevada’s protracted housing foreclosure crisis, but a change in state law in October enabled 281 troubled homeowners to be automatically enrolled in the mediation program. Most of the filings, 191, were in Clark County.
The new statute automatically enrolls into mediation those homeowners who have received a notice of default. The program’s quality assurance manager, Michael Sommermeyer, recommends those seeking more information contact foreclosure.nevadajudiciary.us.
ON THE BOULEVARD: I’m told an investigation of an international casino marketing official quietly continues. It’s hard to believe it will stay off the record a lot longer. … But speaking of keeping awfully quiet, whatever has become of the investigation of longtime Las Vegas limousine company owner Charles Horky, whose outfit has been accused of providing drugs and prostitutes to Strip casino customers? How revealing do you suppose the company’s list of preferred customers is? Who knows, maybe it’s all in an uncrackable code. The FBI’s recorded surveillance, however, was in plain English.
ON THE BOULEVARD II: Jazz man Don Hill is still slamming on the saxophone at age 92. He celebrated his birthday Thursday night with friends.
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