With the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy coming up on Nov. 22, expect to see a series of supposedly "new" theories about what one TV special calls "the world's coldest case."
That program is "JFK: The Smoking Gun," subtitled "Colin McLaren Solves the World's Coldest Case." We'll have to wait until Nov. 3, when the special airs on Reelz, to find out "Why was gunpowder smelled at street level?" and "Why were people who saw a gun ignored?"
A half-century of investigations by law enforcement agencies, commissions, committees, documentaries, authors and amateurs have failed to answer many mysteries -- scheduled to be recapped or reenacted by the likes of Killing Kennedy, Nov. 10 on the National Geographic Channel -- but somehow the case is "solved" by a detective from Australia who'd like to tackle Princess Di's death next?
The newest entry comes today from National Enquirer, in a report that its main source has already called misleading.
"FINALLY! PROOF OF SECOND SHOOTER!", "Gunman #2 NAMED!" and "Chilling NEW EVIDENCE," the weekly's cover proclaims.
"The startling new evidence was uncovered by respected author Anthony Summers," whose update to Not in Your Lifetime, his book on the JFK shooting, suggests that the "second rifleman was Herminio Diaz, a hired killer who worked for the notorious Mafia boss Santo Trafficante Jr. in Cuba," according to the article titled, "THIS MAN KILLED KENNEDY."
He's supposedly the guy who fired from the infamous grassy knoll in Dallas, while Lee Harvey Oswald fired from the Texas Book Depository.
The tale is that Diaz, before he died during an anti-Castro raid in 1966, spilled the beans to a friend, Tony Cuesta, who later told a fellow inmate, Reinaldo Martinez.
Martinez purportedly first revealed his understanding of the conspiracy in 2007 to G. Robert Blakely, who served as counsel to the House Select Committee on Assassinations in the late 1970s.
Blakely tells the Enquirer he's long believed in the second gunman idea, contrary to the 1964 conclusion of the Warren Commission, including assistant counsel Arlen Specter, who championed the "single-bullet theory," before becoming Philadelphia District Attorney and U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania.
"Martinez's story has filled in the last pieces of the puzzle. There were two shooters," Blakely states.
But is this proof?
Actually, not even author Summers believes it is. After an advance copy of the Enquirer article was leaked, and picked by the Daily Mail, Summers objected in his blog, asserting that the Enquirer "misreported some news" from his book "and took it wildly out of context."
"It also quoted me as saying 'Oswald did not act alone,' and that I 'completely believe' the new allegation as to the identity of an alleged Dallas gunman, Herminio Diaz.
"That is not what I said or what I report, in the new, massively revised edition of my book," Summers writes.
He does, however, acknowledge it's an interesting lead in the case: "This is the first, perhaps plausible, claim to identify a previously unknown gunman."
If you'd like to know more about the coming crush of Kennedy coverage, including more than 100 books, "as well as dozens of movies, documentaries, TV specials and iPad apps," check out "JFK 50th draws media tidal wave" at Politico.com.
Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or firstname.lastname@example.org.