Today, however, Slawson’s silence has ended once and for all. Half a century after the commission issued an 888-page final report that was supposed to convince the American people that the investigation had uncovered the truth about the president’s murder, Slawson has come to believe that the full truth is still not known. Now 83, he says he has been shocked by the recent, belated discovery of how much evidence was withheld from the commission—from him, specifically—by the CIA and other government agencies, and how that rewrites the history of the Kennedy assassination.
Slawson is now wrestling with questions he hoped he would never have to confront: Was the commission’s final report, in fundamental ways, wrong? And might the assassination threat have been thwarted? The commission, he believes, was the victim of a “massive cover-up” by government officials who wanted to hide the fact that, had they simply acted on the evidence in front of them in November 1963, the assassination might have been prevented. “It’s amazing—it’s terrible—to discover all of this 50 years late,” says Slawson, whose health is still good and whose memories of his work on the commission remain sharp.