As Carol reported earlier, Stephen King showed up at the Majestic last night for a chat with Lee Cullum about his new novel involving the JFK assassination, called 11-22-63. At a press conference before his talk benefiting The Sixth Floor Museum, the best-selling author said assassination-conspiracy theorists are unlikely to be fans of the book, which portrays Lee Harvey Oswald as solely responsible for the president’s murder.
“I have no bone to pick with conspiracy theorists, but they’ll have a bone to pick with me,” King said. Riffing on Deep Throat’s Watergate advice to “Follow the money,” King said Oswald’s guilt is evident when you “follow the gun” that was used to kill Kennedy. Oswald ordered the Italian rifle, King said, picked it up at the Post Office, was photographed with it in his backyard, used it to shoot at Army Gen. Edwin Walker here, took it to the book depository that fateful day, and shot Dallas police officer J.D. Tippitt with it. [See Update below.]
Said King of the skeptics: “It’s difficult to believe that one unimportant man can step forward and change the course of history.” He added later that, in contrast to Dallas’s image as a “hateful place,” he’s met only friendly people here who’ve been eager to help him. While the city was surely scarred by the assassination, King said, “my impression is Dallas has dealt with that issue, and pretty much put it to bed.”
UPDATE: Mea culpa, FrontBurner nation. Thanks to the commenters below, I cleaned out my ears and went back and reviewed a tape of King’s press conference. Sure enough, he mentioned that Oswald hid the rifle in the depository before later shooting Tippit. That part was pretty hard to hear, causing me and a journalist for another outlet to misinterpret and mis-report what was said. My apologies for the screw-up.