BOOK REVIEW/OVERVIEW

Author: David S. Lifton

Title: Best Evidence

Length: 907 pp.

Publisher: Penguin

Publication Date: 1980

Notes:

includes photos, illustrations, chronology, bibliography, notes, index.

Comments:

Best Evidence is a monument to tenacious, untiring research and shrewd, unbiased analysis. In this titanic collection of medical evidence in the Kennedy assassination, author and researcher David Lifton presents proof of one of the most significant discoveries to come from the JFK research community: that the President's body was tampered with prior to the Maryland military autopsy.

Lifton, after having conversed extensively with Warren Commission staff member Wesley Liebeler, began to understand the paradigm of the Warren Commission and the reasons for its faulty conclusions. The Commission had not played the part of deciever, rather the part of the decieved. Likewise, autopsy surgeon James J. Humes had only done his best with the faulty evidence with which he was presented. The Commission and staff, mostly trained lawyers, were predisposed to discount conflicting eyewitness testimony regarding the killing in favor of the autopsy report because it seemed obviously "best evidence" (in legal terms). The problem, Lifton shows, was that the autopsy report was based on irrelevant evidence; the body was "irrelevant" (in legal terms) because the chain of evidence had been broken. Furthermore, it had been altered!

Meticulously assembling evidence and synthesizing eyewitness testimony from observers at several points on the body's journey from Dealey Plaza to Bethesda Naval Hospital, Lifton has succeeded in making sense of all the conflicting testimony and in making the conspiracy theory of the assassination more plausible by showing that neither the Warren Commission nor the autopsy doctors were necessarily party to it. Lifton's years of relentless research have resulted in one of the greatest contributions to the solution of the Kennedy killing.