“JFK: The Smoking Gun,” a two-hour Reelz docudrama based on a book of the same name by veteran police detective Colin McLaren, probes the assassination of President John F. Kennedy with an emphasis on ballistic studies, Warren Commission testimony and eyewitness statements -- and comes up with a pretty stunning declaration as to who the author and filmmakers believe fired the third and fatal shot that killed Kennedy.
Central to McLaren’s review is a 1992 book by Bonar Menninger, “Mortal Error,” which detailed the 25 years of work by Maryland ballistics and firearms expert Howard Donahue, who was obsessed with solving the case. The special combines a mixture of archival photographs and film footage along with dramatic reenactments to illustrate Donahue’s theories.
Donahue’s theory has been out there for more than 20 years, but has gotten relatively little attention. Reelz is obviously hoping renewed interest around the upcoming 50th anniversary of JFK’s death will put conspiracy theories in the spotlight again.
I’ve never been a conspiracy theorist regarding the Kennedy assassination, but I have to say, this docudrama makes a pretty compelling argument that Oswald didn’t fire the fatal shot -- and the theory here as to who did and why makes this horrible moment in American history seem even more tragic.
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“JFK: The Smoking Gun” debuts Sunday at 8 p.m. on Reelz, but there will be many, many repeats throughout November.