cover image The Man on the Grassy Knoll

The Man on the Grassy Knoll

John R. Craig. Avon Books, $4.5 (280pp) ISBN 978-0-380-77127-1

Investigators for the National Intelligence Service Bureau in Texas, Craig and Rogers say at the outset that their book ``is not easily categorized.'' Much of it, in fact, reads like a true crime story, except that the criminal is never discovered or caught. For the authors, however, there is no doubt that Charles Rogers, a brilliant, reclusive man who was a CIA agent in Houston, brutally killed his elderly parents in 1965, cut up their bodies and stuffed them in a refrigerator before disappearing. It is not until well into the book that the reader realizes that, according to the authors, the motive for the murder was that Rogers's mother had been keeping track of her son's many mysterious phone calls--and that numerous circumstances, including photographs taken of several ``tramps'' arrested at the JFK assassination in Dallas 18 months previously, suggested that Rogers was one of two assassins who fired the fatal shots at President Kennedy from the famous grassy knoll of the title (and was also probably the man impersonating Lee Harvey Oswald in Mexico City). The authors do a workmanlike job with their thesis, but the degree of poetic licence, in terms of reconstructed dialogue and attributed thought, seems excessive here, and sourcing is virtually nonexistent. Assassination buffs, however, will welcome the book for its novelty value and its easy readability. (Nov.)