Edward Jay Epstein’s latest book is a triumph resulting from decades of his superior research and superior brainpower. This book’s so cleanly and persuasively written that a teenager might read it and love it and learn.
The Annals of Unsolved Crimes is a total page-turner. Each chapter unveils new data and ways of looking at a shocking crime without being in any way tacky or lurid. Read it to encounter a masterly mind at work on some of the most fascinating events in recent and past history.
The CIA’s Tragic Missteps and More
I have read and re-read Epstein’s chapter that connects the CIA’s half-assed attempts to kill Fidel Castro to the assassination of President John Kennedy. (Epstein’s thinking in this chapter is based in part on his best-selling book Inquest: The Warren Commission and the Establishment of Truth. Inquest poked important holes in the government-appointed Warren Commission’s multi-volume investigation of the Kennedy assassination.)
Epstein points to many of the CIA’s tragic missteps that alerted Fidel Castro that the agency was trying to kill him. The final straw: the CIA hired a sinister double agent named Cubela who was close to Fidel Castro and ultimately loyal to Cuba .
Cubela must have told Castro that our government was trying to kill the Cuban dictator. To make his connection to the Kennedy assassination even more startling, Cubela asked the CIA for a gun just like the one Lee Harvey Oswald used to assassinate President Kennedy. Indeed Cubela might well have sprung into action had Oswald failed.
Every American should read this chapter to understand how the CIA’s puerile efforts to murder Fidel Castro– including a deadly fountain pen and a diving suit poisoned with tuberculosis–likely led to Castro’s support of crazed Lee Harvey Oswald who shot our president. It’s my belief that Castro is the greatest politician of his time. Under his leadership tiny impoverished Cuba outsmarted its gigantic prosperous neighbor (the USA) time after time.
I am saddened to read the chapter on Epstein’s dissection of the murder of Sam Shepard’s wife on the basis of new DNA evidence. Epstein convinces me of Shepard’s innocence and of his insistence on the existence of a bushy haired intruder.
The chapter on Hoffa’s disappearance clears up a lot for me, and is of special interest, because Victor Rabinowitz, my late friend and beloved source for my last book, was Hoffa’s lawyer for a time.
Intrigue Around Domenique Strauss-Kahn
Epstein’s chapter on the French diplomat Dominique Strauss-Kahn who was unseated from his presidential ambitions by a maid and some celebrating employees at the posh Sofitel hotel in Manhattan is as meticulous as it is unsettling. DSK was already under surveillance by the French secret service, perhaps because he was to have been a serious rival to President Sarkosy. Epstein establishes suspicious time lines based on Sofitel hotel surveillance tapes. Also, DSK’s cell phone disappeared mysteriously in that hotel.The French secret service had already hacked into that phone and had perhaps stolen it to disgrace DSK by establishing his connection to tawdry events.
Each of Epstein’s chapters is more dazzling than any hyped-up tv series, fictional or not.
There’s nothing so entertaining as a great mind at work.