It all began for me one evening back in 1988. Although I was only 12 years old, I remember it very clearly. I’d just come back from a girl guides meeting and was happily skipping through the house as children do when I passed by the living room where the tv was on and in a few seconds was transfixed by what I saw. A jerky home video of a car moving through a crowd lined street, people waving and then – disaster. A man’s head exploding on the screen in front of me. What I didn’t know then was that I had just seen the Zapruder film, and the man whose life was brutally ended was John F. Kennedy. I don’t think I had any real knowledge of who President Kennedy was at that age but I remember being amazed by what I had just seen – who was that? Why were those two men shot? I remember after the Zapruder film ended, the man sitting at the desk in a white room, and these huge question marks coming up on the screen as he asked different questions, every one being prefaced with WHY? WHY….. I found out years later that the programme I had seen was the documentary, The Day the Dream Died, part of the well known UK investigative journalism series, Dispatches.
At the age of 12 I was too young to really understand the JFK assassination and I soon forgot all about it until 4 years later, when the film JFK was released. That was the catalyst that really ignited my interest in the case and I remember going to see the film 3 times at the cinema as I was so blown away by the immensity of what it was suggesting. Little did I know that some years later I would travel to Dallas and meet some of the authors, researchers and witnesses I had read about. Unfortunately at that time, it was quite difficult to research the case from the UK and being only 16, with little money of my own. That all changed when the internet arrived and made everything much easier! I was able to discover the amazing world of documents and archives that I could access in the US without leaving my house! We all take that for granted today as we have become so used to it but it was truly a revolutionary time for anyone doing research.
So..that brings me to the real reason I am writing this column. Two great researchers from the Southern United States – Mr Doug Campbell and Mr Rob Clark. When I started listening to their podcast shows, I was struck by their honest desire to connect with other researchers and try to do something for the good of the wider research community, not just to promote themselves or their point of view. In my opinion, the problem has all too often been that JFK researchers have been anything but a community. That’s why I think this site is such a fantastic idea and I am proud and honoured that I was asked to contribute to it. I think, as the excitement of the 50th anniversary has come and gone, we need to keep the momentum and desire to keep digging alive and the 22nd November research network is a wonderful way to do that by involving such great people as Gayle Nix Jackson, Martin Rigby a fellow Brit, and of course the amazing Len Osanic and Black Op Radio – different researchers, exploring different perspectives.
The important thing is not that we all agree with each other, but that we all have a sincere desire to seek the truth. No one person has all the answers and hopefully by learning from each other and working together we can eventually force the truth out. As Gayle said in her first post (and what a great post it was!), unfortunately, we cannot rely on those in power to tell us the truth – sadly this has been demonstrated on numerous occasions throughout history. I often hear people say in life ‘But I’m nobody, what can I do about it?’ The answer is, you can do a lot. Individuals working together changed history by refusing to sit at the back of the bus anymore. They also helped end Communism in Germany by tearing the Berlin Wall down. As an individual, YOU have great power. You just need to realise it. As the Dalai Lama once said:”‘If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”