Read with caution
Reviewed in the United States on 13 January 2019
My two cents, so far:
I have been looking forward to the release of this book because I have been a fan of Lisa Pease's work for many years. However, while just browsing around the book before I read it from start to finish, I have come across two inexplicable errors. She has Jesse Unruh sitting in the back seat of the patrol car with Sirhan when he was transported to Rampart station (pg 23). Among all the LAPD files, FBI files, Grand Jury and trial testimony, and the numerous books and articles written about this event, I have not seen one account which puts Jesse Unruh in the back seat. This is not a trivial error. The details of the transport of Sirhan from the Ambassador Hotel to Rampart station were important enough to warrant the prosecution calling three witnesses at trial to cover it.
She also repeatedly relies upon the statements of alleged witness, Marcus McBroom. It can be easily demonstrated that McBroom is a liar, having made repeated false statements. If McBroom's statements were true, then he would be a very important witness, so it is essential for anyone doing in-depth research on this event to check out McBroom's claims. If one does that, it becomes clear McBroom is not being truthful.
*** EDIT 01/19/19: I will eventually post some thoughts in a comment to this review about the author’s treatment of Marcus McBroom (see comment 36). This is a serious error that raises questions about her investigative process. It incorporates flawed analysis, poor judgment, and at the very least, a biased presentation of the evidence, if not a deliberate attempt to deceive readers. Marcus McBroom is a liar, he is not credible, period. I challenge anyone to make a case to the contrary - it cannot be done. The case Lisa Pease tries to make has internal contradictions which she either ignores or cannot see, and omissions which could only have been deliberate. That being the case, one has to ask where else has she made such errors in this book? *** End of EDIT
*** EDIT 01/16/19: A third error I want to point out is the author has Kennedy’s “unofficial bodyguard” waiting “stage right” as Kennedy finishes speaking to the crowd in the Embassy ballroom. I know of no evidence to support that assertion. All of the trial testimony I have seen and at least two broadcast news cameras have the bodyguard, Bill Barry, stage left. Since Lisa Pease is a writer of screenplays, I must assume she knows the meaning of “stage left” and “stage right” and uses those terms carefully to make it clear to which side of the stage she refers. Since there was a last minute change of plan regarding where Senator Kennedy would go after finishing his speech, and this change led him directly to the assassin (ambush), it is basic investigative practice to ascertain the details of who made the change and why, and where were Kennedy’s security people before and after. Again, in my view this is an important detail. *** End of EDIT
*** EDIT 1/27/19: Unfortunately, the more I read, the more problems I find in this book. Lisa Pease relies heavily on eyewitness interviews and testimony to support her narrative. The eyewitness evidence in this case is difficult to sort out because there is a lot of it and it is rife with problems. In many cases, interrogators did an inadequate job of asking questions needed to clarify important details. There is also considerable contradictory testimony among witnesses, even some who were in the same place at the same time. Many witnesses’ stories changed over time, and there is substantial evidence that witnesses’ accounts were influenced by other witnesses and media reports. I am finding that Lisa Pease has provided misleading representations of some eyewitness accounts by including testimony that fits her agenda and leaving out that which does not. I am going to have to put the details in the comments to this thread otherwise this review is going to get way too long (if it isn’t already). Witnesses, George Green and Booker Griffin, are two more examples of the author's deliberate attempt to deceive her readers. (See comments 37 and 38) *** End of EDIT
How does Lisa Pease research the RFK assassination for decades and make such errors? For me, this creates the problem of no longer being able to trust Lisa. I am now going to have to vet everything in this book that I have not already researched in detail. I was hoping just to sit back and let Lisa do all the work for me. Oh well, not the first, nor will it be the last, time I have found myself in this position.
I have no doubt I will learn something from this book, and clearly Lisa Pease has done some excellent work in the past. But I am disappointed and puzzled to see such fundamental errors from Lisa Pease on this subject. It may be that this subject is just too much for one person to cover in a single volume. I may update/edit this commentary as I read the chapters in order.
First edit to my original post (above):
In the comments to this review, I have been accused of attacking and discrediting both the book and its author. Why? Because I pointed out two errors in the book, one of which the author had to concede after I provided documentation to confirm it. The other error is indefensible and she will have to concede it in time, and in any subsequent editions of her book. I was also accused of having an agenda, and it was suggested I was a rival author hiding behind an alias. All this because I dared to challenge the author. I will respond to all that in the comments thread. For now, I just want to add a couple points.
First, if you have an interest in the RFK assassination, I recommend you read this book because Lisa Pease is without question an important researcher of this event. However, I am cautioning any reader against simply accepting as fact everything she has in the book without scrutiny. My warning should not be controversial, people should employ such an approach generally. In this country, at this time, we can longer be uncritical consumers of information, there is too much at stake. This requires we not only scrutinize information which does not conform with our opinions, but also that which seems to be aligned with our opinions. No author's work should receive blind acceptance from readers. If one does not have time to do independent investigation, then one can at least read multiple authors on a subject in order to get as complete and accurate an understanding as possible.
Second, my "agenda" and purpose for reading and reviewing this book is nothing more than truth and justice. In my opinion, this requires careful and thorough investigation. I make no apology for scrutinizing and challenging this or any other author. I have all the important books on the RFK assassination and I have done considerable independent investigation of primary sources, including documents acquired through FOIA requests. Based on all I have seen, read and examined, I do not believe Sirhan killed RFK. As I make my way through this book, I’m sure I will encounter material I want to investigate myself. So my progress will be slow and deliberative. I hope to be back from time to time to edit or update this review, and will likely be responding to comments in the comment thread.
FYI: In order to make it easier to follow my responses to comments, I have edited all my comments as of 12/30/18 to include the comment to which I responded. However, I have not edited the content of my responses, I have simply pasted in the comment to which I responded. Unfortunately, I accidentally deleted my first comment, in which I replied to the author's first comment. In that comment, I merely pointed out that I never said Jesse Unruh was not in the patrol car. Her error was claiming Unruh jumped into back seat of the patrol with the suspect.
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