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Monday, 12 July 2010 21:46

John Hankey, Dark Legacy, aka JFK2 – JFK 2 Updated

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All in all, although the new version is a slight improvement, this is still an inferior film that does not do our cause any good, writes Jim DiEugenio.


As Seamus Coogan noted in his deconstruction of John Hankey's deleterious and delirious quasi-documentary JFK 2, Hankey has since gotten some advice and pro bono work from Hollywood. This resulted in a more professional version of the film. The title of the redo is Dark Legacy.

This time around, at least the presentation is smoother and slicker. Some of the music has been improved. There are more modern graphics and effects, like fades and dissolves. The overall effect is to make the film easier on the eyes. And a little easier on the ear. (At times, Hankey still puts in his old acoustical folk song.)

And someone prevailed upon Hankey to remove three of the worst howlers in the film. First, the immortally camp scenario of George Bush going into J. Edgar Hoover's office with two Cuban thugs and threatening him with a flechette gun is gone. Second, the phony dialogue put in the mouth of Bill Colby about knowing George Bush and Howard Hunt were involved in the assassination in Dallas is also gone. Another egregious error about Kennedy letting the Russians search for Cuban training camps in the USA after the Missile Crisis is removed.

Hankey has also added a new opening that focuses on the attributes of Kennedy's presidency. He notes here the Steel Crisis, his civil rights program, his disarmament pledge, among others.

But, still, even after the technical improvements and the surgery on some of the worst segments of the first version(s), it's surprising how many errors were left intact. In other words, after all those years it was out, Seamus Coogan was the only person who took the time and effort to go after the film with a fine toothcomb. Which, of course, speaks well for CTKA, and poorly for the rest of the research community. Are we the only people doing fact checking? It appears that way. Which, of course, doesn't say much for the so-called JFK research community.

One would think the man would look up the proper spellings of names if one was going to depict those names on the screen. Hankey doesn't, therefore names like Robert Blakey, and George Burkley and Aubrey Rike are spelled wrong. One would also think that the cutting of the film would match up correctly. Well, the two HSCA acoustic experts, Mark Weiss and Ernest Aschkenasy never testified before the Church Committee. And related to this, he depicts Dallas DA Henry Wade as Texas Attorney General Waggoner Carr.

Hankey still includes the whole incredible 13 shot fusillade scenario. Unlike what Hankey intones as narrator, Richard Helms never testified at the trial of Howard Hunt and he never admitted that Marita Lorentz was a spy. (See Mark Lane, Plausible Denial, pgs. 214-225)

With his usual penchant for overstatement, Hankey says that the above trial depicted in the Lane book showed that Hunt was guilty of killing president Kennedy. As Coogan showed, it did not. And Richard Nixon never said to Bob Haldeman that the whole "Bay of Pigs thing" message he sent to Helms meant the Kennedy assassination. This was a deduction later made by Haldeman. Guy Banister's secretary Delphine Roberts never testified to the Warren Commission. And she never told anyone she saw Oswald at the training camp at Lake Pontchartrain. Strangely, Hankey adds in this version that parking lot manager Adrian Alba was Oswald's closest associate in New Orleans. Yet, reportedly, all he did was read some magazines in his office.

I could go on and on. But the point is that although three of the worst faux pas are gone, the great majority of the errors Coogan enumerated are still there. And let me add that concerning his case against George Bush, Hankey now adds the Parrott memorandum. I discussed this at length in my Russ Baker review. Bush at first denied and then could not recall his call about James Parrott to the FBI. My question: If you were an ambitious and successful Texas politician, would you want to admit you had some rightwing nut in your campaign headquarters a few months before JFK was killed? And that this man had threatened Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs? And unlike what Hankey insinuates, Bush was not in Dallas at the time of the shooting; he was in Tyler, Texas campaigning in front of a Kiwanis Club gathering.

All in all, although the new version is a slight improvement, this is still an inferior film that does not do our cause any good.


"The Dark Legacy of John Hankey"

Hankey/DiEugenio Debate Murder Solved

"Onwards and Downwards with John Hankey"

Coogan Reply to Fetzer at Deep Politics Forum


Master Class with John Hankey, Part 1

Master Class with John Hankey, Part 2

Master Class with John Hankey, Part 3

Master Class with John Hankey, Part 4

Last modified on Wednesday, 02 November 2016 23:13
James DiEugenio

One of the most respected researchers and writers on the political assassinations of the 1960s, Jim DiEugenio is the author of two books, Destiny Betrayed (1992/2012) and The JFK Assassination: The Evidence Today (2018), co-author of The Assassinations, and co-edited Probe Magazine (1993-2000).   See "About Us" for a fuller bio.

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