Monday, November 18, 2013

BACKSTORY – SHOOTER


FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2013, IS THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ASSASSINATION OF PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY.
SHOOTER, my latest novel, is FREE NOVEMBER 21ST & 22ND IN HONOR OF THAT TRAGIC EVENT.


These are my loglines:

A PROVOCATIVE insight into several historic events; did they really happen the way it was recorded in history? Who were the actual shooters when Kennedy was assassinated? Who was responsible?

A FICTIONAL PEEK at what may have transpired on November, 22, 1963. Was the Hooker family really involved? This novel suggests that perhaps some other set of circumstances were responsible for the killing of President Kennedy. Three generations of shooters were responsible for changing history.

KENNEDY KILLER --Three generations of professional assassins? Breeding warped and twisted individuals that kill for money? Is it possible? Meet the Hookers—a family steeped in tradition and bloodshed – absolute history changers. Inez Hooker and her half brother, Tom decide to take on the WPG so they can retire and live normal lives. They are constantly haunted by the knowledge that their grandfather fired the fatal shot in Dealy Plaza, November 22, 1963. SHOOTER --A provocative story laced with truths, speculations, and myths.

These three promo-leaders are being used to promote my latest novel, SHOOTER. As you can tell by the inferences, my novel deals in a way with the assassination of President Kennedy.

Writing SHOOTER was the most difficult novel I’ve ever attempted. Not because of the extensive research but because it resurrected my inner rage – the knowing that as a US citizen I was expected to believe and embrace the ‘big lie’! The government of the United States of America treated me and every other citizen like an enemy. It was the beginning of hard times for people of my generation. Our parents were of the World War II and Great Depression era. They understood how the world worked. They knew or suspected our government was not clean. The Kennedy Assassination and the subsequent cover-up proved to our generation how tainted our elected and appointed officials had become. Factor in the war in Vietnam, the horrible racial discrimination that prevailed, and you had the perfect ingredients for civil unrest. Two decades of unrest – demonstrations, riots, police brutality…you name it. The 60’s and 70’s were awash in turmoil. It was us against them -- the citizens against the government. It all started in 1963 -- November 22nd to be exact.

One of my beta readers questioned the incest I have depicted two of my characters experiencing. They wondered why.

The morning I learned Kennedy had been assassinated, I was cutting firewood for my parents. I was totally shocked so I opted to quit the task and check the news. First, though It was necessary to put away the splitting maul, ax, and wedges.  The tool shed was near the back fence of their lot.  I nodded to their neighbor, Lenny. He was a crusty old man; my dad like him – my mom didn’t. I asked him if he’d heard about Kennedy.

Here’s his reply. “Yeah, I jest saw it on the TV news. Cronkite is bawlin’ like a little gurl.”

Lenny paused and I could see tears forming in his eyes behind the thick lenses of his spectacles. “Whoever shot our President is a bunch of dirty, rotten, motherfuckers!” he exclaimed as he turned and walked away.

So, recalling that expletive from long ago, I took that declaration of the ultimate incestuous vulgarity and modified it to show how twisted people can become; how they kill for money.

Below are some of the excerpts from SHOOTER beginning with my opening disclaimer.

A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR This is a novel – a work of fiction. Perhaps I should repeat this in capital letters. THIS IS A NOVEL – A WORK OF FICTION. However, it does contain a bit of actual history concerning the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. I wrote this novel to entertain the readers. I did not write it to open a debate that has been ongoing for almost fifty years!

A PERSONAL ASIDE: I was taught about firearms at a very early age. My family was never opposed to guns; they embraced them and considered them tools — not weapons. We respected their killing ability but never abused their use. As a family of hunters, we knew what the various cartridges and loads and what rifles were best. We owned and used a lot of them over the years. I was sucked in by the mail order company that sold the Italian rifle to Oswald, so my dad and I knew when we saw a photo on TV of the weapon supposedly used to kill Kennedy, it was bogus. My dad's exact words were: “This is a crock of shit being tossed at us! That couldn’t have been the weapon used, and there had to be multiple shooters.”

I agreed then, and I agree now — fifty years later. We were all duped by our own inept government, who did a lousy job of covering up that heinous crime.

The following is what Wikipedia says — the official line.

Kennedy was fatally shot by a sniper while traveling with his wife Jacqueline, Texas Governor John Connally, and Connally's wife Nellie, in a presidential motorcade. A ten-month investigation in 1963–64 by the Warren Commission concluded that Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone, and that Jack Ruby also acted alone when he killed Oswald before he could stand trial. Although the Commission's conclusions were initially supported by a majority of the American public,[3] polls conducted between 1966 and 2003 found that as many as 80 percent of Americans have suspected that there was a plot or cover-up.[4][5]

In contrast to the conclusions of the Warren Commission, the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) concluded in 1978 that Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy.[6] The HSCA found the original FBI investigation and the Warren Commission Report to be seriously flawed.

This novel is not meant to dispute the Warren Commission or any other commission reports. My intention, as I mentioned in the beginning paragraph, is to entertain. If you choose to reconsider or doubt as you read the story, then I’ve done my job in crafting this novel. A WORD OF CAUTION. SHOOTER contains some racy scenes. It’s not XXX, but one should be aware from the outset. Also, at the beginning of each chapter, I have included a portion of the witness statements. Most of these were lifted right out of the Warren Commission report. Some were from interviews given to the FBI and to the media. Any excerpts taken from the Warren Commission report or other sources, as well as personal remembrances, were not edited or changed in any way by me or my editing team. If you’ve read some of my Jimmy Hart novels, you will see some familiar characters. However, this novel is in no way part of that MURDER IN PANAMA action-adventure series.

A footnote or afterthoughts of this event appears at the end of the novel. My summary is mostly editorial from my research and personal experiences. I also elaborate on rifles in the Gun section.

In researching the event, I often asked people I knew what they were doing and what they were thinking when they learned of the assassination. One hundred percent could tell me exactly where they were and what they were doing at the time. I’ve compiled a series of stories from these individuals. They are listed in the stern of this vessel of fiction. The section is entitled REMEMBRANCES.

Robert Hatting

One of the critical aspects in Warren Commission Report on the assassination was the rifle supposedly used by Lee Harvey Oswald to shoot Kennedy. Their conclusion was that Oswald worked alone and all the shots were fired from his perch on the 6th floor of the Texas School Book depository. In the novel I included a photo of the Italian rifle they found on the 6th floor. Interestingly, Oswald tested negative for Gunshot residue and the scope on the rifle was poorly mounted and was ‘wiggly loose’ when it was discovered.

Here’s section of the novel titled; GUNS

AUTHOR’S NOTE. In 1963, I ordered a rifle exactly like the one shown above (without the scope). I ordered it by mail — paid $19.95 with a postal money order. The rifle arrived six weeks later (this was in May, 1963). One box of 6.55mm ammo was included (20 rounds). The first thing I did was clean and oil the action and the barrel. My dad and I bore sighted the unit and then took it to the rifle range near our home in Salem, Oregon. My father and I set up a target at 30 yards. We fired alternately and neither of us could hit the 2’ x 2’ square target paper, let alone the circles within the target. Twenty rounds, and we missed with every shot. The range master laughed at us when he saw the weapon. “Lemme guess,” he yelled. “A wop Mauser?”

My dad walked over to the man and handed him the Italian Mauser. The guy took one look at it and handed it back. “Never was and never will be,” he said.

“Never was what?” my dad asked.

“Never was a person that could hit anything with those crappy rifles, and there never will be!” he exclaimed.

A year later, I learned that the range master was the owner of a gun shop and was considered to be a master gunsmith. I purchased a rifle like the one shown below (without the scope) from him and had the barrel shortened so I could use it on horseback. Two years later, Winchester released the ‘carbine 88’ that was akin to the unit I had customized.

Although SHOOTER is a work of fiction, it contains facts concerning the killings of many high profile individuals over the span of three generations.


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