JFKGet ready for some JFK-era fireworks. This is the year that was.

Back in May of 2012, I wrote a blog post for a Hollywood website known as The Wrap that was headlined, “Lee Harvey Oswald Tried to Prevent JFK Assassination, Manuscript Says,” and the post got dozens of conspiracy-oriented comments, both pro and con. The manuscript in question is now a book—a ”nonfiction novel,” whatever that is—and it has been published as both a POD paperback and an e-book. Is America ready?

As I noted  in my piece, “Lee Harvey Oswald was framed with a surgically-created double, and inspired to try to save JFK by Frank Sinatra in ‘The Manchurian Candidate,’ according to senior U.S. journalist and author Douglas Brode.

Brode’s book is titled “‘Patsy!’ – The Life and Times of Lee Harvey Oswald,” and it’s right on time. Is it right on the money? That’s for readers to decide.


Douglas Brode

In addition to Brode’s novel, some new items from the hours following JFK’s assassination are now on display at the Newseum, a museum in Washington, D.C., devoted to journalism and the First Amendment. The museum is marking
the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination with two new shows and a new documentary.

One exhibit, entitled “Three Shots Were Fired” (see video below), follows the events and news coverage that unfolded after Kennedy was shot in Dallas on November 22, 1963. It will be on view through January 5, 2014.

But back to Brode’s fresh take on all this. According to his non-fiction novel, Oswald was ”innocent” because there was a plastic surgeon who created a double. His recreation of that episode in American history retells the Kennedy assassination from Oswald’s perspective.

Since the assassination of John Kennedy in 1963, three theories have been forwarded as the involvement of Lee Harvey Oswald: That he was a lone assassin, as the Warren Commission claimed; that Oswald was a part of a vast, complex conspiracy to kill the sitting president, as those who reject the Warren report insist; and that Oswald was not involved, either alone or collectively, in what went down that day in Dallas.

“The greatest stumbling block to the latter has to do with hard, cold evidence: Not only was Oswald located on the sixth floor of the book depository that day; he absolutely carried a rifle with telescopic sight and fired it out the window,” Brode told TeleRead in a recent email. “How could it be remotely possible, then, that Oswald was completely innocent as to JFK’s murder?”

Brode presents a detailed argument as to the theory of innocence, taking into account one of Oswald’s final statements—”I’m a Patsy!”—proceeding from there to trace his entire life.

When viewed from a contrarian perspective, Brode’s novel may shed light on who actually wanted Kennedy dead and why. It is a non-fiction novel written in the style of an imaginative work, yet events detailed in the book remain true to fact, Brode told TeleRead.

A playwright, a Hollywood screenwriter, and a film and TV historian, the award-winning journalist collaborated with Carol Kramer Serling on ”Rod Serling and the Twilight Zone”, the only official analysis of that late author’s work and vision. Brode, now in his 60s, has worked nationwide as a TV talk show host, radio commentator and a drama and film critic. This new book promises more fireworks on the JFK story.

Brode maintains that Oswald did not kill Kennedy. In fact, his book argues, Oswald was in Dallas to prevent the killing of the president by taking out the actual assassin. That person, who fired the fatal shots from the grassy knoll, had undergone plastic surgery so as to look exactly like Oswald. And Oswald was driven to save Kennedy by Frank Sinatra’s assassination-thwarting role in “The Manchurian Candidate,” Brode writes.

Far-fetched? To say the least! Just the sort of high-concept that Hollywood filmmakers will be leaping at, particularly as we come up on the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination in 2013—just like
Stephen King’s popular “11/22/63.”

For now, however, it’s a fascinating novel that purports to “get inside the head” of Oswald in the days leading up to both his and Kennedy’s death with a fact-based narrative. Now, I don’t do conspiracy theories, but I am intrigued by this unique take on Oswald taken from an entirely new perspective.