I’ve liked Bugliosi since reading Helter Skelter convinced me that Family members were creeping through my house just because they could. Even now, when I remember the pictures of Manson from the trial, the hairs on the back of my neck stand up a tad. There’s something in his eyes.
The JFK book did not produce the same reaction. I made it through the first “book” of the book in which Bugliosi lays out the assassination, including the days leading up to and immediately after. He focuses on eveyrone involved. The Kennedys, Ruby, Oswald, the Dallas PD, Secret Service, doctors, etc. I learned some things I didn’t know – JFK wasn’t the only man Oswald killed that day, for example. And I was left wondering what happened to Sheba? Ruby left his dog in his car when he walked down the parking garage ramp to see the transfer. Bugliosi never goes back to the dog except in a footnote to explain Ruby’s lack of intent to kill Oswald because otherwise he wouldn’t have taken one of his beloved dogs along.
The rest of the book picks apart every conspiracy theory there is. I made it through part of that but at over 1,500 pages and weighing over 5 pounds (not including the CD with footnotes and references), the book creates excuses not to finish it. Besides, Bugliosi made his point: Oswald acted alone. And he (along with Ruby) was a sad, lonely man. It’s a worthwhile read.
In any case, here’s the list of Edgar winners:
BEST NOVEL – Down River by John Hart (St. Martin’s Minotaur)
BEST FIRST NOVEL BY AN AMERICAN AUTHOR – In the Woods by Tana French (Penguin Group – Viking)
BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL – Queenpin by Megan Abbott (Simon & Schuster)
BEST FACT CRIME – Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy by Vincent Bugliosi (W.W. Norton and Company)
BEST CRITICAL/BIOGRAPHICAL – Arthur Conan Doyle: A Life in Letters by Jon Lellenberg, Daniel Stashower and Charles Foley (The Penguin Press)
BEST SHORT STORY – “The Golden Gopher” – Los Angeles Noir by Susan Straight (Akashic Books)
BEST JUVENILE – The Night Tourist by Katherine Marsh (Hyperion Books for Young Readers)
BEST YOUNG ADULT – Rat Life by Tedd Arnold (Penguin – Dial Books for Young Readers)
BEST PLAY – Panic by Joseph Goodrich (International Mystery Writers’ Festival)
BEST TELEVISION EPISODE TELEPLAY – “Pilot” – Burn Notice, Teleplay by Matt Nix (USA Network/Fox Television Studios)
BEST MOTION PICTURE SCREENPLAY – Michael Clayton, Screenplay by Tony Gilroy (Warner Bros. Pictures)
ROBERT L. FISH MEMORIAL AWARD – “The Catch” – Still Waters by Mark Ammons (Level Best Books)