cover image A Farewell to Justice: Jim Garrison, JFK's Assassination, and the Case That Should Have Changed History

A Farewell to Justice: Jim Garrison, JFK's Assassination, and the Case That Should Have Changed History

Joan Mellen, Author Potomac Books $29.95 (608p) ISBN 978-1-57488-973-4

In her account of Orleans Parish District Attorney Jim Garrison's investigation of and obsession with the JFK assassination, Mellen brings an astonishing amount of information to light, but even those very familiar with the topic will have trouble sorting out the tangles, turns and treachery. Garrison's complexities-an overdriven libido, a willful blind spot regarding the unsavory character of many of his investigators and a desperate relentlessness about the Kennedy investigation that likely led to his death at 70-are objectively portrayed. What is less clear, unfortunately, is the nitty gritty about his investigation. Rather than providing an outline of the events preceding and following Kennedy's assassination as uncovered by Garrison, Mellon slices up her book into topical chapters and confuses an already bewildering case by shifting timelines, authorial voices and locations with seemingly little cause. Even given a straightforward, chronological narrative of Garrison's investigation, the novice reader would have difficulty following the many threads of Garrison's inquiries: witnesses had multiple identities; research uncovered misinformation, disinformation and plain old lies; and some alleged CIA cover-ups may have been a product of Garrison's paranoia. Readers are likely to come away with a qualified admiration of Garrison and a muzzy understanding of how and why Kennedy was killed.