THE GIRL ON THE STAIRS

BY BARRY EARNEST

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I really don’t know what it was that made me want to find her. Perhaps I thought she was somehow important in this mess. Perhaps it was because the government tried so hard to convince me otherwise. Maybe I was just bored.

That afternoon began like any other at Kent State University. It was three years before innocent kids would be gunned down there. Three short years before America would suffer still another debilitating blow to its sense of stability. I had just turned 19 and found myself stuffed into an overcrowded Moulton Hall on an overpopulated near-city campus. On this cold day a guy I recognized from one of my classes hurriedly approached. I was minding my own business, content in waiting for the cafeteria doors to open.

Hi. I’m Terry. Why is it you believe the Warren Report? I blinked. Huh?

In class one day when we were asked if anyone had read the Warren Report. You said you had and you felt it was true. I’m wondering what makes you think so.

I recalled a debate on the Kennedy assassination in a U.S. history seminar some weeks earlier. Terry was accurate with his recap.

I guess it’s because all the evidence points to Oswald being the lone assassin. The rifle was his; he was the only one who ran from where the shots were fired; he killed a Dallas police officer—J.D. Tippit I think his name was. Terry nodded. And I’ve read enough testimony that supports those conclusions.

Have you read all of the testimony? he prodded. Before I could answer, he continued. Have you ever heard of the grassy knoll? What about the violent backward motion of Kennedy’s head in the Zapruder film? How about all the witnesses ignored and never called before the Warren Commission? What are you talking about? I asked.

Ah! Never heard of those things, huh? Terry was pleased at making his point, a point which quite frankly eluded me. The government is not telling us the truth about the assassination...

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