(PART 119)


As I wrote in my book, Reclaiming Parkland, Vince [Bugliosi] actually took that BS phony sideshow "trial" in London seriously. When in fact, it and Spence were both a joke. And one of the worst parts of his [Bugliosi's] book is when he tries to convince the reader that it really was just a like a real trial.


When Vince started doing that in his book, I realized it was not an honest effort. No rational person could possibly think that the phony circus sideshow in London was commensurate to an actual trial. Let alone a criminal lawyer. I mean, it was not even good as a TV mock trial. The King mock trial took many more pains to be realistic than that piece of crap did.

The absolutely incredible thing is that Vince took it seriously and he actually thought Spence put on a defense. :)

I mean all you need to do is watch what Spence did with Dr. Petty, who was nothing but a buffoon about the JFK case. He actually once said the JFK autopsy was done well. (Reclaiming Parkland, revised edition, p. 61)

This idiot actually said on the stand that it was not necessary for him to examine the brain since he had the photos and x rays. (ibid, p. 62) And right there, Spence should have moved in for the kill. He should have asked the following questions:

1. Doctor, can you explain to the jury what sectioning the brain at autopsy means, and can you explain to them the techniques used to do that?

2. Doctor, can you explain to the jury why that process is done in a homicide case where the cause of death is gunshot [wound] to the skull?

3. Doctor, can you explain to the jury what the results of that process were in the JFK case?

4. It wasn't done? But wasn't this a gunshot [wound] to the head case? How could you determine entrance and exit and path and direction without it?

5. Did you ask Dr. Humes why it was not done when he was before the HSCA?

6. Why didn't you ask him?

7. Well, can you then explain how you dissect the track of a back wound through the chest?

8. What, you mean that was not done either?

I would have loved to have seen Vince's face as Petty was exposed as a charlatan to the jury. Of course, Spence did not ask these questions, or if he did they were cut out.


Well, Jim, Time Magazine seemed to think that "On Trial: Lee Harvey Oswald" was a pretty decent simulated trial....

"The trial in London took place on July 23, 24, and 25, 1986. After the jury was out deliberating for six hours, they returned, on July 26, with a verdict of guilty, convicting Oswald of the murder of John F Kennedy. Obviously, were it not for my participation in this docu-trial of Oswald, which Time magazine said was "as close to a real trial as the accused killer of John F. Kennedy will probably ever get," this book would never have been written." -- Vincent Bugliosi; Page xxiv of "Reclaiming History"*

* Bugliosi's sources for the Time Magazine information:

“Best of ’86” [Time Magazine; January 5, 1987, p.78] ... see also “What If Oswald Had Stood Trial?” by Richard Zoglin [Time Magazine; December 1, 1986, p.60]

Vince Bugliosi also said this about the docu-trial back in 1986:

"I defy anyone who is familiar with the Kennedy assassination to look at the 18 hours of tape or examine the trial transcript and say that the gut issues of the case were not addressed or were treated cosmetically." -- Vincent Bugliosi; 1986

So not everybody in the world thinks that the 1986 mock trial was a "phony circus sideshow" or a "piece of crap". Time Magazine and Vince Bugliosi didn't think that way. And neither do I....

"Although it wasn't a "real" trial (quite obviously), "On Trial: Lee Harvey Oswald" did a nice job (at least partially) of filling a gap that had long been in need of filling -- and that is: to present the evidence against Lee Oswald in a courtroom setting, complete with the adversarial process of United States law on full display (i.e., the prosecution vs. the defense).

Lee Harvey Oswald, posthumously, had his day in court. Some conspiracy theorists maintain that the 1986 mock trial was nothing but a "sham", a "farce", a "fictional TV drama" with no real facts or truths being brought out in the courtroom.

I, however, would strongly disagree with such assertions regarding "On Trial". While not binding as an actual "Guilty" verdict in the case against Oswald, the fact remains that a lot of REAL evidence, presented by REAL witnesses, came to light in that London courtroom.

And whether Oswald was alive or not to defend himself against this evidence, it is evidence that still exists all the same. And it's evidence that convicted Lee Harvey Oswald of a Presidential assassination in the eyes of twelve Dallas citizens in 1986. And, in my opinion, that's a nice gap in the world of "JFK Assassination Lore" to have filled in."
-- David Von Pein; October 28, 2008

More on Dr. Charles Petty here....
JFK-Archives.blogspot.com/2010/09/Dr. Charles Petty

David Von Pein
February 11, 2017