Vincent Bugliosi, former prosecutor, best-selling author, and prolific skeptic of JFK conspiracy theories, has died.
My dealings with the man were always cordial, though not productive. I read as much of his mammoth Reclaiming History as I could. I came away agreeing with him that there were many implausible JFK conspiracy theories out there–in addition to the also-implausible anti-conspiracy theory that he advocated.
And that was what was problematic about Bugiliosi’s intellectual approach to the JFK story. The idea that you could get at the truth about JFK’s death by refuting every false theory strikes me as very odd. A historian would never write a book about the causes of World War II by trying to refute every interpretation but his or her own. Why would you address the JFK story in such a backhanded way?