‘The Bystander Theory’ offers an indie take on JFK

The cinema of assassination has a new entre.

In The Monitor of Brownsville, Texas, native son Tony Zavaleta, talks about his independently made JFK film that will open in November.

“In ‘The Bystander Theory,’ Liz Jennings, played by Wendy Zavaleta, Tony’s wife, inherits a house and all the possessions in it from a grandfather she never knew. The house is in a small, fictional town called Brockmeyer, which is actually Lockhart — a small town east of San Marcos with more than 12,000 residents.

“But the suspense begins right away, Zavaleta said, as Liz is approached by conspiracy-theorist radio personality Shamus Fuller, who is played by Brad Leland, an actor known for his work in the movie and television show ‘Friday Night Lights.’

“‘He’s a local personality and gets word her grandfather may have been involved in the assassination,’ Zavaleta said.

“And from there, the plot thickens as government ‘spooks’ start making sometimes violent appearances and the overall mood in Brockmeyer becomes dangerous.”

Sounds like Zavaleta is trying to do something more than recycle the official theory of a lone nut.


Other JFK films coming in the next two months include:

“Parkland,” starring Paul Giamatti, Billy Bob Thornton, Marcia Gay Harden and Zac Efron.

“Letter to Jackie,” a documentary about condolence letters sent to the First Lady.

“Blackbird,” a feature film written and directed by David Mamet.

“Killing Kennedy,” a National Geographic docudrama written by JFK fibber Bill O’Reilly.





  1. Hans Trayne says:

    Tony Zavaleta may be onto something that could possibly bring closure to the JFK assassination. The late photo analyst Jack White went to his grave believing each and every JFK ambush visual (photos & amateur plus professional movies)was tampered with by visuals specialist distorting the visual record to conceal the truth from the global public.

    Specialists who work in radio, TV & film production will attest that no master visual or audio is ever worked on without backup copies being made when attempting any form of editing or special effects. To ruin a master equates to nothing to broadcast which equates to loss of viewers & income. The chance of that is never taken.

    Backup copies plus the specialists that performed the work requested of them to modify said visuals hold the key to the truth lockbox Mr. White & others believe.

    Looking back at the people that voluntarily surrendered their visuals to news organizations or authorities believing they were doing the right thing & helping investigators only to have their visual butchered & turned into a visual deception just might have been as bad a horror as the gunfire that robbed President Kennedy of his life. It taunts one to ask ‘what would you do’ if one were the eyewitness that had taken film of the assassination & had any notion an active effort was underway to suppress the truth.

    Mr. White believed all it would take is one original, unaltered film or photo to surface or 1 visual specialist involved in a distortion effort to go public to break the JFK case wide open.

  2. Photon says:

    Then why have Goden, Livingstone,at. el been using the Zapruder film for 30 years to prove a conspiracy?
    Why have they been using the Muchmore film as evidence for a Grassy Knoll shooter?
    If you take this path why not go all the way- No evidence from Nov. 22, 1963 is real, everything is fake.

    • Hans Trayne says:

      That in a nutshell is how Jack White viewed the ambush visuals: unreliable & untrustworthy. Unless we had been there to experience it personally we really don’t know for sure what went down. Certain researchers with a alleged profit motive will defend a particular theory based on the visual record but not all of them can be right; either one of them is right or all are wrong.

      Jack & I both agreed that what’s missing are the humans required to modify visuals. All it would take is for 1 to go public & explain what took place, what was changed & who directed it. The alleged modification work is quite good for 50 year old skills & technology. Where are the people involved?

      Sometimes the visuals can help spot a fraud. Back in 2007 on my last visit to Dealey Plaza there was a rather obnoxious person hanging around Robert Groden’s miniature flea market table claiming he had witnessed the assassination & was visible in one of the James Altgens Houston Street photos. I listened to him spin his tales & quietly walked over to the location he pointed he was at in the photo & took a long, slow look at Elm Street. I could not see any of Elm Street from that vantage point because the street drop is so steep after the intersection. I even stooped down to simulate the height of an adolescent being there. With a motorcade passing by & hundreds of people lining the cubs & sidewalks there was no way what I had just heard was anywhere being close to being true.

      I don’t ridicule anyone who has blind faith in anything. I was brought up in a social environment where blind faith was expected of the media & government institutions. If you or others have blind faith in the JFK ambush visual records that’s fine with me & no, I don’t wear a tin foil hat.

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