Don's Blog: Change of Thinking on Clay Shaw Case

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Monday, March 29, 2021

Change of Thinking on Clay Shaw Case

 A few people have written over the last few weeks, and indeed over the years, to ask if I had changed my thinking on the Clay Shaw criminal case over my long years of research.

The answer is Yes, but perhaps not in as dramatic a way as some experience the longer they take a look at it.

 My biography of Shaw, Man of a Million Fragments: The True Story of Clay Shaw, was written in as objective a manner as was humanly possible, both about Shaw's life as a whole, and about his involvement, or lack thereof, in the conspiracy that New Orleans DA Jim Garrison charged him with.

I began actual independent research in 1994, but I had read numerous books about the case. I know the prosecution had failed in court, but I also knew there were gray areas all around, and many unanswered questions. Some of those remain to this day, but the release of many of the records during the 1990s clarified many of those things for the first time (although it required actually going through those voluminous records).

I would some it up by saying that I had a majority view in my mind before beginning research, but also a potent, if smaller, minority view. The years of research moved the needle in the direction of the majority view (I'm using "majority" and "minority" not in terms of a poll of the general public, or even the body of Jim Garrison/Clay Shaw researchers, but as bodies of though in my own thinking.).

The book as a finished product represents the culmination of that evolution, which doesn't really qualify as a sea change (some would say), but rather a years-long clarification.


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