Monday, May 7, 2012
Kennedy assassination is author's life's work
Kennedy assassination is author's life's work By DENNIS TAYLOR Herald Staff Writermontereyherald.com Posted: 05/06/2012 09:14:46 PM PDT May 7, 2012 4:15 AM GMTUpdated: 05/06/2012 09:14:47 PM PDT His life has been a long, strange ride, and an unpleasant one at times — a price that has been paid by serious writers throughout history. Harrison Livingstone, 75, who ranks among the world's most prolific investigative authors on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, has been a serious writer for most of his life. An early work, "David Johnson Passed Through Here," was hailed as a ground-breaking novel about child abuse. Like many of his published books — more than two dozen now — "David Johnson" is at least partially autobiographical. Livingstone described his mother in print as a "violent and hysterical" woman with whom he "never had a two-way conversation." "Terrible things happened when I was a kid," he said, "but a part of you rises above it." His first name is an homage to a branch of his family tree that sprang from William Henry Harrison, the ninth president of the United States. Livingstone's aunt married a billionaire who co-founded the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City. He said he was written out of the will when he opted to live as a writer, rather than commit to the family business. His father was a World War I hero with the Army's Rainbow Division, hauling soldiers, alive and dead, off the battlefield at the river Marne. "I was very proud of my father, even if he died (in 1985) thinking I was a failure," Livingstone said. "I vowed not to fail, no matter what, and I became an obsessed workaholic for the next 24 years." His stepfather was a supervisor in charge of the two FBI agents who observed the autopsy of Kennedy. Livingstone seized on the opportunities stemming from that connection. He has written 3,400 pages about the assassination of Kennedy and what he is certain is a conspiracy to hide the facts about what really happened in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. The truth, said Livingstone, is that four men (none of them Lee Harvey Oswald) fired 13 shots at Kennedy, and some of the fatal bullets struck the president in the front of the head and neck — not the just the back, as the Warren Commission Report said. Livingstone said Kennedy's murder was orchestrated in part by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, partly for the benefit of wealthy Texas oilmen and others who were heavily invested in the war industry and stood to lose billions if the U.S. withdrew from Vietnam. Vice President Lyndon Johnson, a friend to those barons, was a heartbeat away from solving their problem. Consumed by Kennedy Livingstone has written 25 published books, as well as plays, movie scripts, novels and poetry. But Kennedy's assassination has consumed most of his adult life. His obsession with the case has spilled into six published volumes (all available at the Monterey Public Library), three of which made the New York Times bestseller list. "High Treason: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy; What Really Happened" and its sequel sold more copies than any other JFK conspiracy books in history. His 2004 book, "The Hoax of the Century: Decoding the Forgery of the Zapruder Film," lays out evidence that the home movie of the assassination was drastically doctored before it was shown to the press and public. Livingstone believes his findings are being validated today by FBI and Secret Service agents who were on duty in Dallas when Kennedy was killed — men now going public with their information. One of those agents, Clint Hill, famously leaped onto the back of the limousine to protect first lady Jackie Kennedy. Livingstone said Hill's April 6 NBC interview promoting his own memoir, "Mrs. Kennedy and Me," corroborated his findings, providing renewed hope that the truth about the president's murder, and its cover-up, will finally come to light. For Livingstone, it's none too soon. He has stage 4 cancer and said doctors are unable to give him a definitive prognosis about his longevity.