Reelz Channel’s new JFK documentary claiming that a Secret Service agent shot President Kennedy is based on a 30-year old book which triggered a lawsuit from the agent involved, resulting in a formal apology from the book’s publishers.
In short, this JFK theory, touted by veteran TV reporter Bill Kurtis, has already been discredited and debunked. The program, “JFK: The Smoking Gun,” which airs tonight on the Reelz Channel, suggests falsely that George Hickey Jr., a member of the presidential security detail on November 22, 1963, accidentally shot Kennedy. There is no evidence for this bogus theory: No eye witness testimony or photographic evidence supports the claim despite the fact that the alleged shooting took place in front of hundreds of witnesses and several cameras.
The Reelz Channel program recycles the bogus claims of a book called “Mortal Error: The Shot That Killed JFK,” by Bonar Menninger that was based on the research of man named Howard Donahue. Historically absurd, “Mortal Error” was legally libelous when published in 1992 because Hickey was alive.
Hickey had been a bystander to the president’s murder, nothing more. In retirement he scarcely deserved such allegations. Washington attorney Jim Lesar (who ably represented me in the Morley v. CIA lawsuit), and national security defense attorney Mark Zaid, took up Hickey’s case after “Mortal Error” was published. They sued Donahue, publisher St. Martin’s Press, and Simon and Schuster (which published an audio version of the book), and the case was litigated and settled.
As Mark Zaid told me by email, “Settlements were reached in each case and the publisher apologized.”
“I wish George Hickey, Jr. was still alive,” he added. “I would have filed a lawsuit against this theorist and film company, as well as any media entity that gave his story any play.
Now Hickey is dead and forgotten and the bogus story has resurfaced.
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