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Alternate Perceptions Magazine, March 2017

The Revisions of Vincent Bugliosi and His Evil Reclaiming

by: Steve Erdmann

“…these presentations don’t just distort history. They misrepresent it in ways so serious one can only call them propaganda…That this is also true of Vincent Bugliosi’s book Reclaiming History, is vastly more disturbing. It’s not a film; it’s a book. It is supposed to be a non-fiction presentation. Yet it is so rife, as Jim aptly demonstrates, with errors and distortions that it, too, can only properly be labeled propaganda.” (Reclaiming Parkland, Preface, Lisa Pease, p. x.)
(Reclaiming Parkland: Tom Hanks, Vincent Bugliosi, and the JFK Assassination in the New Hollywood, James Di Eugenio, Skyhorse Publishing, 307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10018, 2013, 452 pages, $26.95.) .



“By tracing the Bugliosi timeline from Manson to JFK, Di Eugenio goes behind the curtain and reveals the seamy underbelly of Hollywood, politics, and murder.
Along the way we see how Hollywood has been compromised by the US intelligence agencies, emerging as a virtual Military/Industrial/Entertainment Complex___perhaps most disturbing revelation in a book filled with many,” said William Davy in the Introduction to Di Eugenio’s book (Davy is author of Let Justice Be Done), “and a message that has probably come to many readers far too late. They did not understand that what they were seeing on both TV and in the theaters was compromised.”

James Di Eugenio has a long association in the research of the assassination of the late President John F. Kennedy, working with many outlets such as Citizens for Truth about the Kennedy Assassination (CTKA), The Mary Ferrell Foundation and fellow investigators such as Lisa Pease, William Davy, and John Newman. It’s because of his lengthy associations in the Kennedy Mystery that he shuns the phony and manipulated platforms talking about the assassination, and even politics in general:

“As Eisenhower dourly predicted, the unwarranted influence of what he called the Military-Industrial-Complex, is very much felt in the city of Hollywood. In fact, it is felt there almost every day,” says Di Eugengio. “And it has not just endangered both liberty and the democratic process, it has already curtailed them. But as Eisenhower further stated, ‘Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing…so that security and liberty may prosper together.’” (p. 334.)

Illustrating the numerous inaccuracies that Bugliosi holds throughout the book, Di Eugenio has a smorgasbord of errors to feast on. Likewise, Di Eugenio exposes the symbiosis of error and conspiracy that Hollywood producers joined in as they wrongly interfered into guiding public opinion. Names such as Gary Goetzman, Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, Playtone, Phil Strub, Chase Brandon, Michael Beckner, Jeff Katzenberg, David Geffen, Giorgio DiCaprio, Earl Katz, and others, shadow the scene in which Bugliosi’s Reclaiming History is certainly included and incorporated.

American Intelligence and the CIA had a long history of manipulating and guiding public opinion. CIA Director Allen Dulles “originated the CIA’s uses of religious groups as cover organizations,” says Di Eugenio. “Dulles began the systemic process of using the media to disguise these lethal actions and keep them from the public. That particular project was called Operation Mockingbird.” (p. 271.)


Di Eugenio begins his somewhat tedious analysis of Bugliosi’s Reclaiming History with the mock trial that Bugliosi participated in with defense attorney Gerry Spencer in 1986, shown on London Weekend Television and also in the Showtime Channel. “The Dallas jury ended up convicting Oswald.”

The production of the trail, says Di Eugenio, had countless flaws, beginning with Oswald’s absence, careening against actual medical evidence, the best exculpatory evidence, and a weak defense from attorney Spence. For example, Bugliosi relied on the enlisted work for the Warren Commission by Cecil Kirk of the Washington City Police Department. Kirk used the testimony of young Rosemary Willis against the movie frames of the Abraham Zapruder film of the Kennedy shooting.

Kirk’s timing is erroneous, as the girl, Rosemary Willis, was running at frame 190, far beyond frame 160, and, as Don Roberdeau pointed out, when the girl gazes back she is looking at the west end of the Depository and then stares at the grassy knoll and the fence. She later testified that she saw a man behind the fence.

The television production was filled with many such inaccuracies. “It seems clear to me that, either by design or by accident,” says Di Eugenio, “the proceedings favored the prosecutor.” Yet, it was from this farce of a trial that Bugliosi built a career writing in Reclaiming History as his extended project of Warren Commission propaganda, his book’s 2,646 pages, and the follow-up movie, Parkland.

‘When the HSCA was starting up, Jim Garrison wrote a letter to Jonathan Blackmer. In it, he warned him that traditional methods of crime detection would not work in this case,” says Di Eugenio. “Therefore he couldn’t really rely on things like fingerprints and handwriting analysis. Garrison had learned the hard way just how thick the cover-up was. It extended to the FBI technical analyst. Bugliosi never learned that lesson.” (p. 316.)

For the true investigator, Di Eugenio’s book was a treasure-trove of fact-finding and reconciliation of poor Bugliosi-logic, gliding from one discrepancy to another, revealing how dark and perverse Bugiosi’s book actually was: the Tippet murder, rifle tests, the CE 399 bullet, the autopsy report, the subsequent mistaken findings of various committees and investigators; all finally opened at length for the reader’s prying eyes. Far beyond the scope of this article/review, I will otherwise present a few of Di Eugenio’s criticisms which typify his counter-arguments.


Bugliosi relied on statements by Jim Garrison’s DA’s office successor, Harry Connick. Yet Connick did his best in “systematically incinerating the court records and investigative files of his predecessor on the Clay Shaw case.” Connick fought the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) and their efforts to secure those files which contained information on Kerry Thornley, Clyde Johnson, Emilio Santana and Bernardo De Torres. “As we will see, Vincent Bugliosi ignores virtually all of it,” says Di Eugenio.

Di Eugenio outlines other “unethical practices” by Connick, in addition to Connick’s efforts to confiscate Garrison’s files, such as reports on the mysterious Fred Lee Crisman.

“…any person interested in doing a genuine evaluation of Garrison would have to conclude that such a thing is not really possible today because of these lost materials,” says Di Eugenio. “I would estimate that what we have today is probably less than half of the records of the actual Garrison inquiry.” (p.149.)

Another mystery and questionable link was the “long paper bag” story that told that Oswald on the 21st of November, 1963 allegedly brought into the Texas School Book Depository the bag that supposedly held the assassin’s rifle. The following are some facts, in typical Di Eugenio style, concerning the fallacy of that “gun sack”:

# Captain Will Fritz questioned Oswald about Wesley Frazier’s story about Oswald carrying “curtain rods in a long paper bag” to work. Fritz said that Oswald maintained that he “carried a lunch bag to work on Friday.” This “curtain rod” story was eventually challenged.

# Several witnesses didn’t recall seeing Oswald carrying a long paper bag. Oswald bought his lunch on the 1st floor of the TSBD.

# No witness saw a transport of curtain rods from or to Ruth Paine’s residence.

# FBI agent James Cadigan failed to find any Cosmoline lubricant inside the sack, and if the gun was disassembled by Oswald and in the sack, oil and grease markings would have been left on the interior and exterior of the paper.

# The disassembled rife would have been in twelve parts, and smaller parts would have been bounced around and made noise, often scratching the stock, which was not evident.

# “Start and stop” traffic on the way to work with Wesley Frazier did not produce any bulges or creases in the bag, as James Cadigan testified.

# Cloth fibers found on the paper could not be linked to the alleged blanket it was wrapped in for almost two months in Ruth Paine’s garage.

The Brown Paper Bag


The reader will be rewarded by the many supple facts that Di Eugenio constructs: all seem to converge on the question___why did Hollywood select such a grandiose piece of Warren Commission propaganda as Bugliosi’s book for a movie?


Di Eugenio outlines a list of Hollywood producers, executives and mongrels that work closely with military intelligence and spy-network. One such person was Phil Strub, says Di Eugenio, who did “force film producers to not just alter their screenplays, but to eliminate entire scenes…can actually eliminate a film from a studio’s production schedule altogether,” curtailing free speech and limiting artistic expression, shaping public opinion, usually catering to the whims of clandestine intelligence (pp. 334-340).

Another movie and television executive was Chase Brandon who had been a twenty-five year veteran of the Clandestine Services branch and also the CIA’s first chief of their Entertainment Liaison Office in 1996.

“Clearly, Chase Brandon did not want to see any more productions like JFK, Air America, and Three Days of the Condor,” says Di Eugenio.

Di Eugenio’s list of intelligence-festered agents seems endless: They include attorney Bruce Ramer and former CIA officer Milt Bearden, as well as actors and movie producers Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio. The many influences of such indoctrinations can be seen in the revisionism of Bugliosi’s book in its journey into a Playtone movie. Di Eugenio details much such historical revisionism, such as the contributions of Russian commander Georgy Zhukov to the U.S. success of World War II (p. 381).

Movie Producer/Actor Tom Hanks




Out of several historic examples of Hollywood collusion with Intelligence Revisionism, Di Eugenio selected producer/actor Tom Hank’s portrayal of George Crile’s Charlie Wilson’s War, a book that, especially in hindsight, was full of error and inaccuracies. Both the book and Hank’s movie reproduction of it falls short of reality, often following the dictates of the CIA and military Intelligence.

“None of the above mattered to Hanks, Goetzman, and Playtone…the late Charlie Wilson never got Afghanistan right,” says Di Eugenio. “And years after his disastrous misjudgments had been exposed, Hanks repeated--in some ways he worsened--that distortion. As the reader can see Playtone’s heroes (i.e., Charlie Wilson, Joanne Herring, and General Zia) are not what Hanks and Playtone depict them to be…For Hanks to feel he had to tell that story, in that way, reveals all we need to know about his view of America and also what he sees as the function of his history.” (pp. 321, 331.) .

Writer Gokay Hasan Yusuf concurred: “In the introduction to Reclaiming History, Bugliosi gave his readers the pledge that he would not knowingly omit or distort anything about President Kennedy's assassination, and that he would set forth the arguments of the Warren Commission critics the way they would want them set forth, and not the way Bugliosi wanted (ibid). However, as DiEugenio demonstrates throughout his nine chapter long review of Reclaiming History, this was not the case. Not by a long shot. (The nine chapters include one which was excised.) The author concludes the introduction to his book by briefly explaining the purchase of the film rights to Reclaiming History. by the Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman owned production company, Playtone (ibid). As mentioned previously, what the reader will learn by reading this book is that, contrary to what he likes to proclaim, Tom Hanks is not in any way a true historian.” https://kennedysandking.com/john-f-kennedy-reviews/dieugenio-james-reclaiming-parkland.

Charlie Wilson’s War Real-life Photos and Movie Depictions


“And the film actually says that the CIA was backing Massoud. As more than one commentator has said, this is just an outright deception,” says Di Eugenio. “No one who has even read just Crile’s book can say that. The last scene in the film dealing with the actual conflict in Afghanistan is Wilson/Hanks attempting to get money for a school. But we know that, after the Russians left, Wilson was still trying to get money for fighting the remnants of their regime.” (p. 329.)


Di Eugenio lists researcher John Newman as one of the few legitimate historians of the Kennedy saga:

“…Newman wrote Oswald and the CIA…the historian showed us that (CIA Counterintelligence Chief) Angleton should never have been the liaison between the CIA and the Warren Commission, because that allowed him to conceal his own relationship with Oswald.”

Di Eugenio speaks of a bleak and somewhat hopeless reality of true history:

“And the public deserved better. With all the travails, scandals, murders, lawlessness, robbery, and embezzlement that have taken place since, we need a lot better today.”

“Beneath the surface of Reclaiming History lurks a rather disturbing fact: on one of the most controversial issues of the era, the author is siding with four of the most repellant characters in postwar American history. Those four are J. Edgar Hoover, John McCloy, Allen Dulles, and Gerald Ford (FBI Director, Warren Committee Commissioner, CIA Director, and past President…SE)…From vast experience, they knew how to manipulate both people and events.” (Reclaiming Parkland, James Di Eugenio, p. 260.)

Steve Erdmann, St. Louis, Mo., January 2017

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