Dead wrong


Photo of Author Richard Belzer next to the book Dead wrong

Dead wrong: straight facts on the country's most conjtroversial cover-ups by Richard Belzer and David Wayne

This book begins by challenging the idea that “conspiracies” are a figment of a vivid – and possibly unbalanced – mind. Wikipedia defines it as such: “A conspiracy theory is an explanation of an event or situation that invokes a conspiracy by sinister and powerful actors, often political in motivation, when other explanations are more probable.” If you think you will read about how we have been duped into thinking the earth is a sphere, when it is clearly flat, or how NASA faked the moon landing in a film studio, this book is not for you.

A real conspiracy is where two or more people agree to commit and as you may expect, this happens all the time. The authors discuss a group of murders in minute detail, going back to the facts of the crimes to claim that what has been accepted as the truth is far from believable. Some of these cases are high profile, such as JFK, Marilyn Monroe and Martin Luther King Jr. Others are less well known, but the facts in each are bald and chilling. Put aside what you thought you knew and see the ways that significant players, including governments, have silenced witnesses, “disappeared” evidence and generally manipulated the circumstances to obscure the truth.

This is no mere flight of the authors’ fancy. They meticulously detail their sources and where to find supporting information. The official record states that Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated by James Earl Ray in 1968. Ray allegedly confessed to avoid a possible execution and the matter never went to trial. Subsequently, he recanted and spent the rest of his life trying to obtain a trial. In this, he was supported by the King family, who believed was a scapegoat. Few people know that in 1999 (after Ray’s death), a jury in Tennessee reached a verdict that King had been murdered in a conspiracy involving US government agencies. It barely made the news. People had already been convinced by the original story.

This was a fascinating book: a different angle on true crime. Although these are mostly US cases, it raises an ugly question of how often governments and major players are able to feed the media lies to sucker in a gullible public. A scary thought.

Dead wrong is available from the library as a physical book

Book reviewed by Jacqui, one of the library team.

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