It’s a controversial idea, but it’s entirely logical. Kennedy-conspiracy used to be a successful literary genre all its own, as autonomous as crime or romance. Now though, the number of books featuring wacky theories about who shot JFK, how and why is dwindling. Figures from the American Publishing Association (APA) show that JFK conspiracy titles are down 45%. That figure damages the publishing industry as a whole and has a knock on effect on the economy.
“Look, don’t get me wrong,” said APA head of publicity Chuck Smythe. “I’m not saying somebody should organise the mysterious and apparently motiveless killing of a member of one of the most glamorous tribes on earth. I’m not saying the brutal and shocking murder of an innocent young person whose sole crime was to be related to JFK would be a good thing. What I am saying is this: Should a possibly sex-related killing of a beautiful, powerful and scantily clad young heir or heiress to the Camelot crown take place, our industry would, tragically, benefit. It would be a shot in the arm for bookselling, as well as a shot in the head for an innocent celebrity. So to speak.
Smythe went on to deride the current crop of JFK conspiracy-lit. “I have seen one new book alleging the President arranged for his own shooting, and another one called “Did Jackie give O?” about the sex life of the first lady. There is even a bizarre British title linking the death of the president with the demise of a chain of London sausage shops, Kennedy’s sausages. There’s a Grassy Knoll Gardening annual for heaven's sake. These titles don’t come anywhere near the great 1960’s books of the genre, with their exploding cigars, their suggestions that Marilyn Monroe had an affair with Fidel Castro and their theory that Jack Kennedy had two penises.”
Smythe continued: “It is a tragic irony that book depositories round the USA are now stacked with unsold low quality conspiracy titles. This industry is in trouble, and a string of motiveless murders of key young family members – or even an apparent suicide – would give it a boost. A new killing and a new conspiracy would undoubtedly lead the Warren Commission to re-convene to see whether this new and brutal slaying in the guest suite of a movie star/high ranking politician is in any way linked with the mystery of the original. The American publishing industry employs scores of thousands of people, feeds the movie industry and turns a profit for many shareholders. It would take a single senseless act of mysterious yet glamorous brutality to safeguard those jobs and bring new reading pleasure to millions. Won’t somebody help?”