The Fifth Assassin: Brad Meltzer details his research into presidential assassinations

Today on radio, Glenn invited author Brad Meltzer onto the program to discuss his new book The Fifth Assassin. While the book is fictional, Meltzer did extensive research into the history of assassinations and assassination attempts throughout history and found some startling connections between them. He also spoke with former President George H.W. Bush about what it was like to live knowing that there were people out there who want to see you dead. Listen to the revealing conversation HERE and check out The Fifth Assassin HERE.

Rough transcript of the interview is below: 

GLENN: Brad Meltzer is a good friend of the program. He's a "New York Times" best-selling author. He's the host of the show on The History Channel decoded. He has numerous best-selling books. His new book is called "The Fifth Assassin" and he actually picks up something that I'm really intrigued about and that is and I wish more people knew. The assassins of presidents in the past have a lot in common a lot in common. And his new book is what if they not had a lot in common, what if they were all working towards sort of the same goal. Brad is here to explain, and tell us about his new book.

VOICE: Thank you pal.

GLENN: Tell me the theory of your new book.

VOICE: You hit it on the head. I started with a guy coming to me, and he said Brad, I work at a museum in Washington D.C. that almost nobody knows about, and you've got to see what we have here. I get all these crazy letters from people all the time from people who see the TV program and just tell me what you have. And I have pieces of Abraham Lincoln's skull, and I have the bone of the John Wickes booth and I have actually the bullet that killed Abraham Lincoln. Would you like to see it? And the government has these things. He didn't have artifacts from the Lincoln assassinations. He had the other assassinations as well. And it got me to thinking what do these assassins have in common and that's the topic it's a serial killer is meticulously re-creating all of the assassinations of all of the past presidents from John Wickes booth to Lee Harvey Oswald and wants to be "The Fifth Assassin". That's the plot but the theory is what they do have in common, when you look at the assassins. The Secret Service did a study, if you look at all of the assassins who have killed a President they basically have nothing in common. They basically have every social economic background. They're young and old. If you look at the four that did kill a President it's amazing. None of them did drugs. They weren't big drinkers. All four were surprisingly and outrageously neat and none of them except when they pulled that trigger was identified as a troublemaker. And what's interesting to me three out of the four of them were in their 20s. But beyond that they were all kind -- these are the two things I couldn't shake is one thing they had in common they were all for men with a cause. And we all know the power of that. But when it comes to assassins they can be divided into two categories. Howlers and hunters. And the howlers will send scary notes and there's a bomb threat but the good news is they rarely follow through. They just want attention so howling enough noise is enough for them. It's different with hunters though. Hunters actually research and prepare, and plot and follow that path to a goal. Howlers though, aren't interested in hunting and hunters aren't interested howling. And needless to say from John Wilkes Booth to Lee Harvey Oswald all four assassins were hunters.

GLENN: There's also the one thing they had in common too is a Socialist with the exception of Boothe, a Socialist or Communist agenda.

VOICE: Yes. It's very interesting. You know -- when you look at the background it's amazing. Sometimes -- listen I write these novels I make it up. We know that's half of the fun of it. But I'm researching these things and I'm going wait a minute, at the time when you look at McKinley there was a plot to murder the top seven leaders around the world, and then oh wait this is also true anarchists are also running around when you see not just McKinley's time but Garfield's time, and then you also see it with Lee Harvey Oswald. And wait a minute am I making this plot up for this book or is the plot already there and of course, you know it is amazing when you see those things in common.

GLENN: So George H. W. Bush helped you with this.

VOICE: He did. A couple of years ago HW 41 the dad who just got out of hospital wrote me best fan letters I ever got saying he loved my novels and would I sign a copy for him. And listen you're the President I'll send you a free book. You get a free book out of me.

GLENN: Wait wait wait. Not this President. Some presidents double, triple, quadruple.

VOICE: Yes. I see I cued that up for you. And he's helped me with three books now, and listen I can make whatever I want, and we all know there are a few people that really know what it's like to sit in the White House and know for sure that someone is out there that wants to kill you. I went to Bush, and I said to him what's it's like. And were you scared for those moments. And he said I wasn't really scared. And I kept going back to him, and saying were you scared when this happened? And he's always pretty forthright. He's at the age of 88 years old there's no bravado. He's like Brad I'm drawing a blank. I've been tense. Scared is easy. And it made me think that when you think of a construction worker out on the edge of a girder, you know the fear of heights on the skyscraper is not part of the job. I think that's how it is for many U.S. presidents. Even though that fear is there it's not part of the job. Those details that Bush gave me I put in my book. When you read it you think wait, that seems real. And that's why. Because I like to have that source there.

GLENN: In today's world where they're talking about gun control and everything else. Does it make you tense to write a book where you're talking about "The Fifth Assassin". I know that the President isn't the President in the book. You know what people will say.

VOICE: I've been working on this book for two years. Little did I know. For me it's amazing. When I heard about the shooting in aurora your Newton, Connecticut so many of Ussery act what does this world come to. When I looked at it I saw this part of animal that's been part of the American experience. But a quiet 20-year-old sociopath who keeps to themselves and almost delusional in their approach. Their profile has been haunting us for more than a century. We've been here for a century and a half.

GLENN: Tell me what you think. I think that the best fiction writers which I would put that in the category. The best ones that are ones that will tell you the truth what is possible. You're a fiction writer what do you care. You look at all these scenarios. What's feasible. I could tell a book about and people will by buy. What do you think happens next if the President does massive executive orders and starts to remove guns from our society? What do you think happens?

VOICE: What I worry putting aside the guns for a minute. I've spent two years how the Secret Service keeps the President safe. One of the persons said this flat out they do penetration testing. What they do there's people in the government who're hired to break into the Pentagon or doing it since World War II, and now we've taken to a new level. And he broke into the inauguration, and got underneath the President's seat where the President sits where the parade is. Forget about the guns issue right now. Think about how many hunters are out there. If it's that easy that it's happening. To be completely honest with you it scares me how easy it is. If you use history as your guide we have to learn something from these assassinations. It was until until Garfield went down that the Secret Service realized we;ve got to protect him. In the case of JFK every time you're trying to imagine a circle that's getting smaller, and smaller trying to protect him.

GLENN: Brad Meltzer called "The Fifth Assassin". You're in a real treat.

VOICE: I want to mention one thing to you. You and I talked about Camp David a while back. I loved this detail. Camp David is a real life service. Is that people know Camp David from accords and what they are. Camp David is a President's playground. They can go there and play golf, and skeet shoot and what they have there most important thing is no press, and so when Bill Clinton said his allergies prevented him from going there. But when he learned that the press was barred from there his allergies disappeared.

GLENN: I will tell you that with this President his hand in our pocket is preventing him from going to Camp David. It allows him to go to Hawaii.

VOICE: I know. It's a little more expensive than a helicopter ride to Camp David. I love Camp David, and finding out things. There are real secrets on the estates. I know you love the insider stuff. They go from where the Secret Service compound and go underneath. And I won't tell you where it comes out. In those details it's amazing when you think about the security.

GLENN: I would hope you change some of these details.

VOICE: I did change the change of security point.

GLENN: Let's not make this a how to book.

VOICE: I always try to change the security protocols. And the that the and that you people to read your book but not at the cost of our security. We always change the security protocol.

GLENN: Thank you Brad.

William "Bill" Kelly is 95-year-old World War II veteran from Oregon. He lived through the Great Depression.
He served in the South Pacific during World War II. And now he has just fought the coronavirus -- and won.

Bill joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Thursday to share his experience and a hopeful message about why the younger generations can overcome this crisis.

"I want to tell the people, it wasn't pleasant, but on the other hand, you know, if you do what you're supposed to do, and you have some loved ones around you, and do a lot of praying, why, you'll come through okay. We [American's] have been through a lot. We've been through Pearl Harbor. We've been through the Great Depression, and who knows what else. We're tough. We'll get through it. Hang in there," Bill said.

"You know, it's just -- it's in our American blood," he added. "We're that type of people. We take care of each other, and we are not going to break down. We're going to make it through, every time. Every time."

"There are people that don't think we are those people anymore. That it was the greatest generation -- your generation -- that did it, but now we're not the same people. Do you agree with that? Glenn asked.

"No," asserted Bill. "And the reason I say that is because I remember when I was a young kid, you know, and people, the older people, said 'all those young kids are soft' ... but when we were attacked at Pearl Harbor -- sneak attack, you know -- it's surprising how those so-called goofy kids turned into mighty fine fighting people. And they're very loyal. I have lots of faith in them ... no, I don't have any problems with this new generation. They'll take care of us. We're Americans."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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Glenn gives the latest coronavirus numbers, updating YOU on everything needed to know as Americans and officials monitor China's new COVID-19 virus:

Daily Stats as of 5:30 AM CT (from John's Hopkins)

  • Total Confirmed Cases Worldwide: 950,638 (up from 872,891 Yesterday)
  • Total Deaths Worldwide: 48,289 (up from 43,271 Yesterday)
  • Total Confirmed Recovered Worldwide: 202,631 (up from 184,588 Yesterday)
  • 5% of Active Cases are considered serious (requiring hospitalization) Steady from 5% Yesterday, but down from 19% high back in February
  • Note that 12% of US Confirmed Cases require Hospitalization, roughly on par with Italy at 12% requiring hospitalization
  • US has 215,344 Confirmed Cases and 5,112 Deaths, up from 188,592 cases and 4,056 deaths yesterday
  • COVID-19 is now the 3rd leading cause of death in the US, behind Heart Disease and Cancer (based on daily fatalities per 1,000 people)
  • The United States of America now leads the world in total confirmed cases, with 115,000 more cases than Italy (although Italy leads the world in Deaths with 13,155 officially dead)
  • US is 25th in Total Confirmed Cases per 1 Million Population, with 651 cases per 1 Million people. Spain has 2,583 Cases per 1 Million people.
  • US is 23rd in Total Confirmed Dead per 1 Million Population, with 15 Dead per 1 Million citizens. Italy has 218 Dead per 1 Million.
  • US has 5,112 Dead vs 8,878 Recovered and 5,075 in Critical Condition
  • The US currently has 201,354 Active Cases of COVID-19, with still less than 1% of the total US population tested.
  • 17% of Americans who have been tested have been diagnosed with COVID-19
COVID-19 Now Killing Victims Who Don't Have COVID-19 https://nypost.com/2020/04/02/coronavirus-nyc-emts-stop-taking-cardiac-arrest-patients-to-hospitals/
  • EMTs in New York have been given a directive not to transport heart-attack victims to hospitals if they cannot be revived at the scene.
  • Prior cardiac arrest victims would have been transported to hospitals for further life-saving procedures, but with hospitals being overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients, heart attack victims are solely in the hands of local EMTs. If EMTs cannot restore a pulse at the scene, victims are to be left there to die.
  • "Artificial ventilation and/or compressions must not be delayed," the memo states, adding that chest "compressions must begin as soon as it is determined the patient does not have a pulse."
  • But the guidelines change if the patient cannot be revived before arriving at a hospital.
  • "In the event a resuscitation is terminated, and the body is in public view, the body can be left in the custody of the NYPD."
China Lied, People Died Trending on Social Media https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-01/china-concealed-extent-of-virus-outbreak-u-s-intelligence-says
  • US Intelligence Services has concluded what the Internet has known since January: The Chinese Communist Party lied about total infected and total deaths due to Coronavirus.
  • Citing a report provided to the White House last week, officials confirmed that US Intelligence concludes 'gross' underreporting of total cases and total deaths, especially from Hubei Province.
  • Many have speculated that numbers coming out of China, Iran, North Korea, Russia and other totalitarian countries have been dramatically underreported, by as much as a factor of 10 according to official British Intelligence reports.
  • The early misrepresentation of data by the CCP may have lead some Western Politicians and epidemiologists to underestimate the seriousness of COVID-19 and delayed response in Italy, Spain, the UK and the US.
  • Though why anybody would have believed anything the Chinese Communist Party had to say remains an open question...
Italy's Death Toll Far Higher Than Reported https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/italys-coronavirus-death-toll-is-far-higher-than-reported/ar-BB122vvc
  • In the town of Coccaglio, an hour's drive east of here, the local nursing home lost over a third of its residents in March. None of the 24 people who died there were tested for the new coronavirus. Nor were the 38 people who died in another nursing home in the nearby town of Lodi.
  • These aren't isolated incidents. Italy's official death toll from the virus stands at 13,155, the most of any country in the world. But that number tells only part of the story because many people who die from the virus don't make it to the hospital and are never tested, therefore they aren't included in official numbers.
  • "They were all sick, they all had flu-like symptoms and difficulty breathing," stated a nurse from one of the nursing homes. "We had no ambulance to get them to Milan."
  • In the areas worst hit by the pandemic, Italy is undercounting thousands of deaths caused by the virus, a Wall Street Journal analysis shows, indicating that the pandemic's human toll may end up being much greater, and infections far more widespread, than official data indicate.
  • As stretched and sometimes overwhelmed hospitals fight to save their patients, many other people die unseen and uncounted, including elderly people in out-of-the-way locations.
  • In addition, the health-care crisis can lead to a surge of deaths from other causes that would normally be treatable.
  • "There are many more dead from the virus than are officially declared... People died and they were never tested because time and resources are limited," Eugenio Fossati, deputy mayor of Coccaglio, says of deaths caused by the virus.
More Numbers Hard to Trust as Bodies Left On The Streets in Ecuador https://www.scmp.com/news/world/americas/article/3078077/coronavirus-bodies-are-being-left-streets-ecuador
  • Coronavirus: bodies are being left on the streets in Ecuador.
  • 'They fall in front of hospitals or in back street alleys, or in small villages…no one wants to recover them,' says the mayor of Ecuador's largest city.
  • The army is placing unclaimed bodies in refrigerated cargo containers at the port while authorities pursue plans for a new cemetery.
  • The corpses have been overwhelming Guayaquil, a port city of 2.8 million at the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis in Ecuador.
  • Over the last few days, several were wrapped in plastic and left on the streets. Others have lain unclaimed in hospitals and clinics that have been overwhelmed by infections. The city morgue is full.
  • The majority of the dead are believed to be victims of the virus, but nobody can say for sure how many. There has been little testing.
  • The country has confirmed 2,700 infections and 93 deaths - 60 of them in Guayaquil and its immediate surroundings. But municipal officials there said they have recovered at least 400 bodies in the last 3 days.
  • Mayor Cynthia Viteri, who announced that she has also tested positive for the virus, said the national government should be responsible for collecting the corpses.
  • "They're leaving them in the villages, they are stacked in front of hospitals," she said in a Twitter video message to residents late last week.
  • Many local villages in Ecuador are simply burying the dead in unmarked graves, which will make official counting of COVID-19 victims impossible in the weeks ahead.
50% of Viral Spread Comes from People With No Symptoms https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/01/health/us-coronavirus-updates-wednesday/index.html
  • Researchers in Iceland have confirmed earlier reports from Hong Kong that a significant amount of viral spread is caused by carriers who have no symptoms.
  • In the US, Doctors at the CDC have confirmed asymptomatic spread, but estimate a number of about 25%.
  • If true, then the case for all persons to wear masks, even those who don't have symptoms, becomes much stronger.
  • To prevent further spread, the top infectious disease expert in the US says health officials are reconsidering guidance on face masks.
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci said he would "lean towards" recommending that the general public wear face masks "if we do not have the problem of taking away masks from the health care workers who need them. The public can stay home to avoid infection, but health care workers cannot," he said.
  • "We're not there yet, but I think we're close to coming to some determination," Fauci said.
Ship vs Train... Ship Wins https://abc7.com/usns-mercy-coronavirus-train-crash-derailment/6069395/
  • A Locomotive Engineer in Los Angeles has been charged with 1 Count of "Train Wrecking", a Class A Felony under Federal Law, after purposely derailing his freight train while attempting to sink the US Hospital ship Mercy.
  • Eduardo Moreno, 44, intended to hit the ship, saying he thought it was "suspicious" and did not believe "the ship is what they say it's for.'"
  • Moreno admitted to crashing the train intentionally but said he did not plan it out in advance. It is believed that he acted alone.
  • He allegedly made statements to a CHP officer that included "You only get this chance once. The whole world is watching. I had to. People don't know what's going on here. Now they will."
  • Officials say video from inside the train's cab shows Moreno holding a lighted flare during the incident.
Biggest Issue With COVID-19 in Malaysia: Nagging Wives https://www.npr.org/2020/04/01/825051317/dont-nag-your-husband-during-lock-down-malaysias-government-advises-women
  • Malaysia has the largest number of COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia with more than 2,900 and counting.
  • This week, Malaysia's government also had a serious public relations issue after an ill-conceived plan went online.
  • Malaysia's Ministry for Women, Family and Community Development issued a series of online posters on Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #WomenPreventCOVID19. It advised the nation's women to help with the country's partial lockdown by not nagging their husbands.
  • The ministry also advised women to refrain from being "sarcastic" if they asked for help with household chores.
  • Additionally, the Ministry urged women working from home to dress up and wear makeup.
  • After some negative response on social media, the public service messages have been removed from the Ministry's Facebook page.

MyPillow inventor and CEO Mike Lindell was lambasted by the left and mainstream media after he announced at a White House press briefing on Monday that his company will start making tens of thousands of masks to fight against the spread of coronavirus. Lindell also thanked God for President Donald Trump and encouraged Americans to turn back to God in this time of crisis.

Read the details here.

Whether it was his support for President Trump or strong religious beliefs, no one has lit up the media quite like Mike Lindell. He joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Monday to talk about the president, the 'horrible, crazy media' and how he's not afraid to keep speaking out about his faith.

"I think people are going to quit being brainwashed by this horrible, crazy media -- they know who they are -- and the public is going to see the amazing job that our president is doing," Lindell said. "I've done interview after interview today. I'm taking all the bad ones on -- I think I'm going on 'The View' tomorrow I love it. I want to go right into the hurricane. Finally, I get to speak out for Jesus like I want to."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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News broke that German Finance Minister Thomas Schaefer reportedly committed suicide on Saturday due to the stress from the economic climate during the coronavirus crisis. Unfortunately, this headline may become more common place. Concerns are far beyond those of just hand washing, finding toilet paper and the latest White House briefings. There may be a secondary crisis growing — mental health and suicide.

Messages fill my inbox daily from parents worried about their teens showing signs of risk of suicidal ideation. Spouses concerned about the toil recent layoffs will have on their partners. Elderly family members are also vulnerable.

Last week, news a father of three dying by suicide made me want to scream to the world – "LISTEN!" We are losing too many of our human family. And I am afraid with COVID-19 on the scene, we are going to lose more than ever.

During the past six years — following the suicide of my 40-year-old sister — my mission has been to bring awareness and help prevent suicide. Everyone is exposed to suicide. You either struggle with depression/anxiety, you love someone that struggles, or like me, you have already lost someone to suicide. That is literally everyone on the planet. Bigger numbers than even the virus.

Little known fact. Springtime is a peak season for suicides. Even compared to the holidays.

Little known fact. Springtime is a peak season for suicides. Even compared to the holidays.

So, pile on the constant stream of news, stats about COVID-19 deaths and a lock down on social distancing, even the most emotionally skilled individual may be drowning in vulnerability and at risk.

What can be done?

Social distancing, not isolation

Even though we are standing 6ft apart in the grocery stores, and no longer going to church together, humans need connection to survive.

Free communication apps like Marco Polo are a great way to not hide behind a text. Whether it is on video chat or old fashion letter writing, making connection a priority is crucial for our survival.

Emotional check-in

The new normal seems to be changing by the hour. It is hard to keep up, recalibrating with all the change. Just like the importance of taking temperature to check for virus symptoms, we need to monitor our emotional temp. Try the one word check-in, at dinner time, simply by asking, "How am I feeling today?" It can be a great barometer.

Naming our feelings keep them tamed.

It's Ok to not be Ok

It is crucial to our survival to frame this crisis with a mental health back drop. Suicide, depression and anxiety concerns should be at the top of the STAY HOME and STAY SAFE list. If you find yourself feeling helpless or having thoughts of self-harm, please reach out for additional support. Therapists are using online formats to serve their clients. Call your doctor or one of the many 1-800 numbers.

No one is an extra, disposable member of our human family.

If you are reading this and struggling. Please remember, we will never be better without you. No one is an extra, disposable member of our human family. We will make it thru this COVID-19 crisis stronger and closer than before. No longer will we take hugging our neighbor for granted.

And maybe, just maybe we will someday find the vaccine that stops suicide virus from spreading.

Ganel-Lyn is a public speaker, media personality & author