Zapruder’s grandaughter on the damage of conspiracy theories

Earlier this week an utterly false and unfounded conspiracy theory, spread by right-wing fake news artists, about a Washington pizza parlor caused a deluded man to investigate with a gun and fire a couple of shots before he was subdued. Fortunately no one was hurt.

The incident prompted Alexandra Zapruder, granddaughter of the man who filmed the JFK assassination, to proclaim  There Are No Child Sex Slaves at My Local Pizza Parlor.

Zapruder makes an obvious, and all too necessary point, about the prevalence of stupid conspiracy theories. Her article is marred only by her careless invocation of a couple more uttterly false and unfounded conspiracy theories about her grandfather, none of which I had ever heard of, and none of which are believed by any serious JFK researcher.

Zapruder is the author of 26 Seconds, a memoir of the impact of the film on her grandfather and her family.



  1. It’s not just refuting alternationists, it’s explaining why the z-film was indispudetly at the NPIC – National Photo Interpation Center twice – for the purpose of creating two different briefing boards – one for the head of NPIC to brief the head of the CIA and the other to brief someone else ? Joint Chiefs? – LBJ? RFK? Who ordered these briefing boards created and what did the briefers conclude?

    Rather than compare conspiracy theorists and alternationists with fake child sex slave pizza parlors, it would be more appropriate to chronicle the trail of the original and copies of the z-film in the first few days after the assassination, something that apparently must still be done.

  2. sgt_doom says:

    Alexandra Zapruder’s book was abysmal, but I did learn one interesting factoid: that a James Moore was head of the audio-visual division of the National Archives, in charge of disbursing Zapruder film clips and was in that position when a fire destroyed millions of feet of archived film.

    And he would have assumed that position after another James Moore, who earlier went by the name, James Walton Moore of the CIA (Dallas, 11/22/63) had retired?????

    Hmmmmm . . . .

  3. Charles says:

    Criticism of conspiracy theory and its new elite mutation “fake news” is a useless, politically motivated tool of thought control and censorship to preserve institutional authority over the individual.

    I say this because attacks on fake news prioritizes the cart before the horse.

    CT and FN only flourish as a consequence of governments and elite media repeatedly, factually destroying their own credibility.

    The cure for CT and FN is never totalitarian style repression. The only cure is for institutions to genuinely rededicate themselves to honesty and integrity and demonstrate these qualities over time.

    Since the rise of Trump, this website and its author have become a disappointment to me for betraying the objectivity it purported to espouse.

    • John Rowell says:

      Charles, now is not the time for neutrality or objectivity. Lines are being drawn. From the looks of things, the only way an institution can “genuinely rededicate” itself “to honesty and integrity” is to agree with you. Looks like we’ll be on opposite sides of that line.

  4. Russ Tarby says:

    Alexandra Zapruder’s new book, “Twenty-Six Seconds: A Personal History of the Zapruder Film” demonstrates that Abe’s grand-daughter is a wonderful writer who carefully and thoroughly summarizes the long sometimes confusing story of her grandfather’s famous home movie.
    she knows how to turn a phrase, how to keep her copy interesting and smoothly flowing and how to insert her personal observations and opinions without straying too far from the facts…

    she reports on Abe’s (and his family’s) dealings with the Secret Service, the FBI, the press, and eventual testimony before first the Warren Commission and later at the Clay Shaw trial…
    Alexandra is Henry Zapruder’s daughter, and she offers many personal recollections about her dad’s guardianship of the film,
    the family’s reaction to being hoodwinked by Oliver Stone who used the Z-film in his movie JFK,
    and how the family — represented by attorney Jamie Silverberg — finally sold the original to the National Archives for $16 million…

    in Chapter 13 “A Final Firestorm,” her treatment of the Z-film alterationists is especially impressive. she practically falls all over herself in frustration with researchers who stubbornly refuse to recognize the authenticity of Abe’s film. she’s clearly confounded by their unwillingness to grasp the fact, in spite of plenty of evidence that it was not and could not have been tampered with…

    her synopsis of Kodak expert Rollie Zavada’s work on the film (pages 348-350) seems to accurately describe the scope and import of his analysis without getting bogged down in technical details or in various arguments made in favor of alteration…
    in fact, her simple list of the topics he addressed in his report to the ARRB succinctly makes the case, as she writes, “Zavada’s study provides not only a highly detailed report on every aspect of the Zapruder film and Abe’s camera but also proves the film’s authenticity beyond any doubt.”

    Alexandra takes specific aim at author and former ARRB staffer Doug Horne, and she strongly objects to his suggestion that Abe’s silence was bought by Life magazine’s $150,000, and that he post-dated affidavits from Kodak and Jamieson staffers regarding the film’s development…
    she’s personally insulted by Horne’s theory which impugns her grandfather’s integrity partly via thinly veiled racism regarding Jews and money…

    in building her case against Horne, Alexandra gladly quotes former CIA agent Homer McMahon regarding his own self-admitted “wet brain” senility, and she fairly mocks another spook, Dino Brugioni’s, observation (to Horne) that the film he saw on Nov. 23, 1963 was “not processed in a typical commercial fashion, in a little box or anything like that.”

    here’s a memorable line from Alexandra’s book (page 349), in which she criticizes Doug Horne for basing his alteration theory on doubtful recollections by several former CIA agents, etc:

    “There are so many theories and variations on these theories, each of which slices and dices the evidence in a different way,
    that trying to address them is like playing a diabolical game of whack-a-mole.”

    pretty colorful way to describe her frustration with the alterationists !

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