Wed 20 Oct, 2010 03:32 pm
AOL News Surge Desk (Oct. 20) -- In a striking admission sure to stoke the imaginations of conspiracy theorists everywhere, a former Secret Service agent reveals how he came "chillingly close" to shooting President Lyndon B. Johnson right outside his home just hours after John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
So reads "The Kennedy Detail: JFK's Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence," a new book co-authored by the former agent himself, Gerald "Jerry" Blaine, and writer Lisa McCubbin. In it, the authors vividly recall Nov. 22, 1963, the fateful night of Kennedy's assassination, when Blaine was assigned to watch newly appointed President Johnson's house in Washington, D.C., in case of another attack. The third-person account of the near-miss reads as follows (via The Daily Mail):
The new president of the United States, Lyndon Baines Johnson, had just rounded the corner, and Blaine had the gun pointed directly at the man's chest. In the blackness of the night, Johnson's face went completely white.
A split second later, Blaine would have pulled the trigger ...
Blaine struggled to regain his composure as the reality of what had just happened washed over him. Fourteen hours after losing a president, the nation had come chillingly close to losing another one.
Needless to say, it's a very good thing Blaine managed to quell his jumpy nerves long enough to avoid gunning down Johnson, an event that would have certainly compounded an already historic national tragedy in unfathomable ways.
But the book doesn't linger on that prospect for long, instead returning to the actual assassination (one agent Clint Hill, who jumped into the car to protect first lady Jackie Kennedy, penned the book's foreword) and other key moments of the agent's time under Kennedy. It also dives into the business of quelling rumors of Kennedy's alleged affair with Marilyn Monroe.
A Discovery Channel channel documentary based on the book is also in the works, according to Dallas Arts News. The website also notes that the authors will make a free promotional appearance at the Sixth-Floor Museum in the Dallas School Book Depository (the actual site from which Lee Harvey Oswald shot the president) at 2 p.m. Nov. 20.