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SO IT WAS in 1964, just before 12:30 P.M. on a crisp, sunny mid-October day in Washington, D.C., that a beautiful, affluent middle-aged white woman was murdered on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal towpath during her accustomed walk after a morning of painting at her nearby Georgetown art studio. For more than five hours, her identity remained unknown to police—but not, I would discover many years later, to an elite high-level group of operatives within the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). She was eventually officially identified by her brother-in-law, Benjamin C. Bradlee, at the D.C. morgue shortly after 6:00 P.M. Mary Pinchot Meyer had been brutally put to death. Nearly five decades have passed since I sat at my family’s dinner table on the night before Thanksgiving in 1964 where I first learned that my best friend’s mother had been murdered. In the intervening time span of nearly half a century, nothing has the dimmed the memory of what took place that night, nor the seminal childhood event of losing my best friend, Michael, eight years earlier, in 1956. Sometimes tormented, even haunted, I came to realize the necessity of a deeper reckoning—and not just emotionally or psychologically, as my chosen profession dictated, but some final resolution of knowing a more complete, unvarnished piece of the truth, and the direction from which it lay.

‘We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong,’ wrote the author Carlos Castaneda. ‘The amount of work is the same.’ As I meticulously attempted to unveil the facts surrounding Mary Meyer’s murder, I repeatedly took refuge in Castaneda’s words as the aftershocks of this event reverberated throughout my life in unimaginable ways. My journey—a rigorous, thorough research endeavor informed by my education as a Princeton undergraduate and later by my training as a clinical psychologist—began in 1976. It ended exactly thirty years later in shocking fashion.

There was nothing pretty or easy about waking up early one morning in 2006 and finally realizing that my own father—Wistar Janney, a career high-level CIA officer—had been involved in the ‘termination’ of Mary Pinchot Meyer, someone I had grown to love and care about. Yet there is another horror in the death of Mary Meyer, a horror that reaches far beyond the personal. It is the intimate and undeniable connection between her murder and that of her lover, President John F. Kennedy, on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas. After more than twenty years of my own study, I share the belief—based on substantiated evidence and research by a host of dedicated researchers and historians—that President Kennedy was ambushed by elements of his own National Security apparatus in what amounted to a coup d’état. It is clear that a highly compartmentalized, elite segment of the CIA, the U.S. military, the U.S. Secret Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), certain well-known organized crime figures, and finally, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson all colluded to overthrow the elected government of the United States...

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