Brad Meltzer’s new book, History Decoded: The 10 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time, provides fascinating insight into 10 of the greatest conspiracies of all time. From D.B. Cooper to the fate of John Wilkes Booth to Area 51, Brad investigates the claims behind some of the most notorious conspiracies in American history.
After running through many of the conspiracies in the book – D.B. Cooper, the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, the conspiracy behind the Confederate gold, the White House Cornerstone, the Spear of Destiny, Leonardo da Vinci, and Area 51 – over the last few weeks, on radio this morning, Brad joined Glenn to talk about the ultimate conspiracy theory: The assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
On Wednesday’s Glenn Beck Program, Glenn spoke with Roger Stone, author of The Man who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ, about his theory that then-Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson played a very big role in the killing of President Kennedy. A portion of Stone’s research revolves around Jack Ruby – the man who killed Lee Harvey Oswald – and Glenn asked Brad to explain who Ruby is and what role he played in incident.
“It's one of the great myths. The great myth of Jack Ruby is that he's a nightclub owner with mob connections that you'd think would come from central casting in a Martin Scorsese movie. And the truth is he definitely owns the local nightclub… but the amazing part is… Jack Ruby has no proven mob involvement,” Brad explained. “But Jack Ruby actually, against his lawyer's advice, took a lie-detector test to prove that he wasn't involved with the mob. And you know what? He passed… He says the reason that he gunned down Lee Harvey Oswald is because he loved the Kennedys so much. He didn't want to have to see Jackie Kennedy go on the witness stand and, in front of the country, testify to what happened when her husband's head exploded and splattered his brains all across her pink dress.”
As Brad sees it, the real question Americans should be asking about Ruby is: How did he get past every police officer who as supposedly guarding the most wanted man in America?
“So much of these stories become distraction and they take us away from the questions we should be asking about this… which is… why is [Ruby] in there two times,” Brad asked. “And one of the details that I love most is… he almost misses him. And the only reason why Jack Ruby is there and the timing is perfect is because Lee Harvey Oswald, as he's leaving the interrogation and about to be leaving the jail, says he's cold and he asks for a sweater. And they have to look around for a sweater… If Lee Harvey Oswald doesn't [ask for a sweater], these two guys are never in the same place at the same time. It is a moment in history that would have been entirely different.”
Glenn then asked Brad to explain why there is so much controversy surrounding the Warren Commission and its findings. As Brad explains, it’s not what the Warren Commission released to the public that is in question so much as what they chose to keep classified. Had the American people been allowed to see all the evidence, there is a very good chance no one would still be questioning its findings.
“First of all, when we have a disaster today, good, bad, or otherwise, whenever it happens, one of the things that the country is great at is we tend to have open hearings, right… When the Warren Commission first took over this investigation, it was completely behind closed doors,” Brad said. “And in a sense, that's the disaster of it. Because the moment you do things behind closed doors, people rightfully say, ‘What are you hiding?’ As a result of that, the American people never got to see the testimony that the Warren Commission people saw.”
From eyewitness accounts that confirmed Lee Harvey Oswald was in fact leaning out of the window of the Texas Book Depository to photographs of the autopsy, the American people were not able to see what the Warren Commission saw that lead to its conclusion.
“The Warren commission never let them out. And why? Because the Kennedy family themselves said don't release them. Why? In my mind, and I don't blame them for it, they don't want the last image of John F. Kennedy to be a shot with his head blown off,” Brad said. “But as a result… 87% of Americans thought right after the Warren Commission that there were multiple shooters involved and the Warren Commission was a sham. All that secrecy and complexity was hidden from everyone, and it just made that kind of echo chamber of conspiracy even louder.”