Harold Weisberg on “A Conspiracy of One”


Harold Weisberg, author of several JFK conspiracy books, (the “Whitewash” series) and teenage assassination buff Jim Moore exchanged a series of letters in the 1970s.

In the early 1990s, a now adult Jim Moore, had worked as a consultant on building the 6th floor window exhibit at the sixth floor museum and had changed his position from Conspiracy theorist to Lone Gunman believer. Apparently, looking out THAT notorious window so many times and realizing one COULD get 3 shots off at a car, and running down THOSE stairs and realizing one could get from the 6th floor window to the 4th floor break room in a short amount of time got him to re think his position that Oswald couldn’t do it.

In 1990 Jim Moore published a book called “A Conspiracy of One” that documents his transition from Conspiracy Theorist to Lone Gunman believer.

In the book, Moore describes how he used to believe the work of conspiracy authors like Harold Weisburg.

Below is an incomplete transcript of some letters Harold Weisburg wrote to the Dallas Morning News in 1990 about Moores book.

I got this from PDF’s found on:


There are a LOT of spelling mistakes and mis scanned words in this version. I went in and made some corrections, but theres a lot more to be made.

Mr. David Real
Dallas Morning News
Communications Center
Dallas, TX 75265

Dear David,
In the jumble created by my physical impairments I ‘ ve mislaid your letter but I recall that you wanted my opinion of lore’s book. I’ve read about a quarter of it and my stomach ought not be abused by any more of it on any day. It is not merely that I am a slow reader. I have been annotating it as I go jt. and there is much to annotate!
Were I to describe it as bullshit I’d be praising it because there is a use to which bullshit can be put. It is a thoroughly dishonest ego trip by an arrogant, self- important man who has to have some ulterior purpose. I think more than mere self- promotion. he is also a liar, rather regularly, and with all this book is also silly and stupid. Yet he calls it the one “definitive” book! Without reference to any of the many records disclosed and to his knowledge disclosed in the past 15 years or to those not published by the Commission but available since 1966. beginning then. I checked his footnotes for a different reason, to which I’ll come, and saw not a single reference to a single documaent from either repository. & I think I told you, I have about a third of a million pages and they are available to anyone. Do this also is anything but a scholarly book, bdnides being utterly incompetent.
He employs a trick throughout that some of his ilk, beginning with Charles Roberts, overused, u e refers to all critics but sites a single one of his selection, b/t referring to all, even though all do not agree on what he has cited. Through the first quarter he did not cite any of my books and when I just ^abored thro^uh his corrupt and fabricated reconstruction of the alleged Oswald flight / Vhich in my first book, which he has, I went into at some length and added more later. It not only became clear why -_he also exposed himself and his wild imaginings and his corruption and dishonesty.
, as I was thumbing through the pages of each chapter to checkTSfliotes, which in themselves are a story, 3f noted two snide cracks about me – both plagiarized. That I allegedly believed nothing in the Warren Report other than the footnotes comes from another plagiarist, Professor Wurtz. and tiat I am only a “maryland poultry farmer” comes from that expert cribber and egosit ‘hirk Dane. –
-By the way, when I got disgusted with both non-fiction in wliich the line was pre- ordained and government research of the same kind, I did become a poultry farmer – and officially the best in the country in the only dressed-poultry competition ever held while I farmed and the first there ewer was. I was also the National Barbecue /fing and my wife was the National Chicken booking Champion (l was dryland’s about a^cl’ozen times) and President Eisenhower wrote us how much he enjoyed my wife’s recipes and he raised some of my rare ducks on his farm. We both declined an invitation to appear at the White House and be photographed with liim because we were that much against Nixon, of whom we then knew too much.
If I did not tell you, X was earlier a reporter, syndicated before I was 20, an investigative reporter, a Senate investigator and editor and a wartime intelligence analyst, a trouble-shooter in an agency of them, the OSS. At least my Senate experience is indicated in the introduction of r.iy first book, which he has. and which in his letter that I sent you he indicated he prized, although other interpretations are possible.
I’m tired and I ramble but first I want to explain that this also serves as part of a record for archival purposes, for history. Since the reverses ^o my health I’ve been annotating the new books that I get. I Ain’t bother with Marrs. in confidence, the pub- lisher asked me to skim it and I would not put my name on ;iny manuscript I only skimmed, but I did select a chapter while waiting to see if he wanted me to do more and it was simply terrible.

If my wife were not 7ti and with her own collection of medical probleins I’d dictate my comments on these books. That would male them more available but it isn’t practical for us now. With books that could be expected to have more impact I sat, with my legs yp and facing the typewriter while reading the book off to my right. But that is uncomf oratble , too much so for so silly and stupid a triviality as this flaunting of ignorance and personality failures.
Perhaps unfairly, but I got the impression while checking his few footnotes, none for what in some instances is important to what he is saying, that he doesn’t have the Warren ommission’s 26 volumes. Dr, if he has them, doesn’t use them, do usually cites books that cite them. Where he doesiipt, since he has established himself as a cribber,

  • have no trouble believing that he cited the Commission for what he read in books*
    4s an additonal and as a specific measure of his integrity, meaning the lack of it, on the last page read and annotated, 53, he cites as a “key” to Oswald’s guilt the alleged fact that he was about to buy a Dr. Pepper which he always drank, but got a coke, which he never drank. Some amataur shrinkery! But what is his source on the Dr. Pepper? Only one Jim Bishop. let he wrote me in a letter I foud elsewhere, to which I 11 return in 1975, when he was an arrogant kid, that personally Bishop was not only Hid’ the level as*4 that his book is “junk”. So, what he himself described as junk is his only source on his “key” to Oswald’s guilt. And leading up to this he has an assortment of misrepresentations and pure invesntions. — uwu^nn^pproprititcf Connaly
    I had no recollection of him but I wondered! if he’d gotten any of our books. My wife handles those records and her office is at the opposite end of the house. So, she keeps the files on them and I on my correspondence, after reading at the beginning of his book that handwritten me we checked my files and found a folder on him. I’ll enclose what is in it. if you can take it as a reflection of hi – ‘s character, that snotty— nosed kid addressed a man old enough to be his grandfather by his first name. Well, the letter he refers to is not in that file or in the file in which I put most of the letters that do not indicate there will be further correspondence. We believe it ma y be in my wife’s dead j.iles, W:iich are in the basement. If she checks them and any are there I’ll enclose copies. But at the time of his letters I was already suffering circulatory problems and ‘ difficulty filing so they could be misiiled. v I hud the first of those operations that year.)
    Moore began practicing an adult signature as a kid, as you’ll see. He also tries to palm himself ofif as an expert on rifles and shooting and he is grossly ignorant and makes numerous mistakes, from ©Lympus yet. Along with the mistakes on this material is overt dishonesty. His basic one is ridiculous – that the position of the homes in the alleged sniper s nest is vital to the shooting from there. Monsense. The “ISSST” rif le can be moved for aiming in any direction. Yet he boats about shifting them laterally a f 3 .’action of an inch, as soon as — saw his emphasis on tiiose boxes, which appear to have been his major preoccupation, it was apparent that this was at best a stupid and a bad book and likely an egotrip.
    Inany event, it is probable that when I finish this book I’ll be able to answer just about any question you may have about any page ^/2 flu a-ivyi. pf cjh-iwj *
    For your information, something on which I made only a brief note, nobody in the world has ever been able to duplicate the shooting attributed to Oswald, wliich Moore says was easy. The Commission got “master” or the very best from the NRA and under much better and easier conditions, after that rifle had been overhauled, no one could do it.
    The FBI didn t even try to but one agent could shoot rabidly from the prone position, the best for rifle shooting when 1 was a soldier, and the best performacne of which I know was by a Baltimore area gun expert, working with the White laboratories in a CBS-TV re- construction, Howard Donahue. But he did not duplicate what was attributed to Oswald.
    If I don’t read more by the next outgoing- mail I’ll send this.
    Best wishes, ,

»,» szsrtfjrsxs i“ “
r . fjzz ^we^rfis^TS^oT* 1 ^’
£p\i Ms
“ ° f ’ he ° re f ed 1113 own mythology about the stacks of cartons of took. In doli^ this he implores the photographs taken by the police at the tine n f +>, • “ printed in the Wai4n Report to have the’assass^ maing a de^f 1^20^“ Si sspRSsrr£^?isHea^ had not yet been covered the day of the assassination, and on oage 44 he Hctu^Sy wSe Ws”thIrJhowed ? Sr 0d n fl00 t-“ P “ C ° Uld eXamine th ° floor,, there
were marKs that showed them where the assassin has stacked the books a !lJ„!k u„
r pl “ < “ 1 *“ “ “ ^f-moh of tho » S a.^tio„-£j^£,
you imagine that for some six decades no other marks had been made on that floor
“ t “ ^ T1 3 7 nake MarkS that endured on a wooden floor? It simply is ’ not possible o Not reasonable, either. ** ^
After spending a lot of time on these cartons and the alleged moving of then into
IZT r 7 3 aSSaSSin mldpby *&°’™ > being captSed o^tL LSce
photos, he does mention that a new floor was being laid. But he says those moved cartons
bablv 3 ^^^ w W th ® mddle of the floor * Not the middle, although they were pro-
alSou^h hf^ ^T ! rS Wa3 r00D f ° r them * What ^ happen and he does not say, although he should have known because the Commission did report it, is that the crew began to iay the new floor on the western half of the sixth floor. They moved all the boxes from that half, and this and this alone accounts for the stacking of extra boxes near the windows on the eastern half of that floor.
h. wt fit £’“„£“ cf b “ ok,i IB »“ tat , „ Chapter V, Man on the Run”, also turns out to be a diatribe against the critics The evidence he picks and choses what suits his purpose and omits what doesn’t he has give the reader a full account and th£ crltiSses the Sties! he misrepresents the Commission’s evidence and what some of the critic’s wrote. 7 e , 77^7777 7 abOUt JOhhny CalVin Brewer * the Of the shoe store
r the movie house, after saying that Meagher gave him only half a page, without citation
notice “°rn « 7 77^° ° f Ey firSt book) ’ he says “Weisbergt&S only passing ^otxce. I 11 attach that so you can judge for yourself xxti jiwether ih was only
passing notice” or whether any more was required. In a book that addresses pust about all the Commission s basic allegations, and they are many! (.His page 44 )
Although the Commission depended entirely on the FBI lab for its scientific work in its investigation, Moore makes no mention of this as he picks and choses and selects and misrepresents. He says the Officer McDonald heard the snap of the pistol’s (it was a revolver, not a pistol) hammes hitting a cartridge casing,” he omits the FBI Labis deniai that there is any such mark on any of the bullets, one of which should have discharged if it had been struck. ( 6 b)
It is at the top of 67 that he plagiarizes Kurts’ to day I believed only the H e port’s page numbers but he adds what does not exist on government publications that are reprinted, as the (feport was in more copies than the government printed, “and the copyright date”.
He then quotes something I said about the arrest, which happens to be on the same pagl of my first book. He has pretended that Oswald was sitting on a aisle seat, as he wasn’t. What he omits in quotation, only a few words, is one of the reasons the policeman should have
had Oswald movei, because he was between the rows ofl seats. Here he says that when Oswjad raised his arms they held a “fully-loaded revolver” but they didn’t, as he himself Bftid at^.the? bottom of page 65, He reached for it only after the cop slugged him.
°’ what Hoots adds, is “(.apparently Weisberg would rather a second policeman had died rather than involve ‘Oswald in a struggle in wfech he might justifiably bo hurt.” This is based on the fals^representation I cite abotffc, that when Oswlld raised his hands “in surrender he had “the fully-loaded revolver” in one when he didn’t.
‘ lt the bo!h ‘ t :om of page 67 he says that the evidence against Oswald in the Tippit •tilling was overwhelming because the cartridge cases “had been fired in the handgun.”
He then says that “one firearms expert positively identified one of the bullets from ippiVs body as having been fired from Oswald’s pistol.” What he dies not say is tliat here is no chain of possession on the shells, they wereAot mkx marked by any police until that night, when theye were taken from sjdesk drawer in wliich they’s been placed unmarked, hat the manufacture of the <enpty shells does not match the manufacture of the recovered ippit bullets, and that the FBI Lab could not associate any of the fired bullets with the Oswald weapon. (I think 4£ere is no mention of the Mi’s work in tills entire chapter, his is one reason why,;
m f
As X write this I’ve not finished Chapter VI. I&a to page 93. In his opening graf, aside from its factual errors, he says the “critics swarmed like a grojip of hungry vultures upon the hapless Commission and its work.” Hapless indeed! Can you think of any body whose Report got more attention? What AP provided its many users is the C ommi ssion’s own summary of its own Report, the entire first chapter, word-for-word. And most com- mentators supported the “eport. Hungry vultures? Only one book made money, Hark li ne ’s.
Moore has them in the wrong sequence of appearance and he omits Sylvan Fox’s. I was broke and I went into debt to print my first book.
He gets carried away with his own invective (76):”(t)he critics have …been able to make the public believe that almost everyone within the Dallas city limits tliat Friday had a hand in the assassination…”
ifliat he flaunts, among other things, on the next oage, is a basic 1 understanding of our nation and its principles and the responsibilites of writers in our system:/
The real question is how people like Lane, Meagher, Weisberg, Thompson and others could spend their tine examining the s?ime source material the Warren Commission relied upon yet arrive at an opposite conclusion. asidefrom this being the obligations of writers,
including reporters, hasn’t he ever been in a courtroom? What else is done in our legal system. What he says can be interpreted as a dedication to an authoritarian system, what any government says is true because the government says it, whether or not it is true.
IV is largely true of the first books , we did no limit ourselves to what the Commission used. I have some in my first book That it had and did not use, more of this in the following books, as X could find it in the archives, and as he very well knows, 1 published an enormous amouhT tliat the Commission did not have or “rely” on, including what it itself had classified illegally and suppressed.
1L S. describes lane as a liberal. Lane is counsel for the reactionary and racist liberty lobby, ol the Willis Carto who published what he hoped would be the American Mein Kampf which publishes Cartods Spotlight weekly, to which Lane contributes.
As of the time referred to on 80, Hugh Aynesworth was with the Dallas Times Herald. a e was not then a Newsweek staffer. Moore’s reference to Lane’s arrest in Jackson, Miss., “for disturbing the peace” is dirty. He was arrested in those early civil-rights demon- strations, when he was a liberal. On the same jhage he has another error about Lane, saying that the Commission “denied him the spotlight.” Lane appeared before the Commission twice. The second time, at his insistence, it was the only public hearing the v ‘ommission held.
Ho says on 85 that the photos and X-rays of the JFK autopsy were “unavilable” to the Commission. This is a lie, as he knows from my Post Mortem. The Commission declined


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