My heart sank a little when the Straight’s book section editor handed me Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Kennedy. I made a half-hearted promise to review it, and I will, but my nausea is getting the better of me after a hundred pages of purple melodrama about Kennedy’s mythical sexual appetite.
O’Reilly includes Marilyn Monroe and mob mistress Judith Campbell Exner in his tawdry soap opera, asking with thickly layered cant, “Sex is John Kennedy’s Achilles heel. Why in the world would he do this to Jackie, and what is he doing to the nation in the process?”
It’s cheap nonsense, made all the worse by O’Reilly’s pitch that his own Irish Catholic background made the Kennedy assassination—it happened 49 years ago today—“somewhat personal for me.” If this was true, he wouldn’t have declared Oswald the assassin on page two.
Ironically, before he was gobbling Roger Ailes’ pipe at FOX, O’Reilly demonstrated an apparently sincere interest in the assassination. As a friend of Gaeton Fonzi—one of the investigators with the House Select Committee on Assassinations, and the author of the indispensable book, The Last Investigation—O’Reilly was well acquainted with the Cuban-CIA milieu that facilitated Kennedy’s death.
Check the video below from the early ‘90s in which O’Reilly tracks down Antonio Veciana, head of the CIA-assisted anti-Castro group, Alpha 66. During the HSCA investigation, Veciana revealed to Fonzi that he saw Oswald with CIA officer David Atlee Phillips in Dallas. Not long after that, he took a bullet in the head.