Pleasing no one, proving nothing

Mark Shaw’s Collateral Damage

“JFK’s trusting Marylin with top-secret unidentified flying object (UFO) data” forced RFK to plot her murder, unless, of course, one of the other half-dozen revelations in this book was the actual reason. Or maybe it was the full weight of all the revelations combined? “No one knows for sure,” says Shaw… repeatedly, and then some more. So much for new proof.

What has Mark Shaw achieved with this book? He has upset many and proved nothing.

Looking at some reviews, he has clearly offended many Trump supporters with his jibes at the former POTUS, which must be causing distress for the conspiracy-loving QAnon crowd who would otherwise be giddy on reading of JFK’s fascination with UFOs – not least of all as he and John-John are expected to rise from the dead and land in a UFO in Dallas any minute now. How Shaw failed to make a single reference to Pizzagate is beyond me.

(I fact-checked that, he didn’t.)

Getting back to the book, elder-shaming isn’t something I want to be accused of, so let me put it this way; I would not expect someone who is seventeen years older than I am to talk like my grandfather. So it’s pretty shocking to see Shaw, who is seventeen years my senior, using phrases and slang that my great-grandfather might have used.

Meet author Mark Shaw.

Having just waded through Shaw’s 850-page opus ‘Collateral Damage’ with the marathon subtitle: ‘The Mysterious Deaths of Marilyn Monroe and Dorothy Kilgallen, and the Ties that Bind Them to Robert Kennedy and the JFK Assassination’, I honestly can’t agree that it is, “a breakthrough book that is sure to be relevant for years to come.” Ok, perhaps it is true that Shaw investigated “the connection” between these people, however, that doesn’t guarantee that he has revealed anything new or interesting.

For example, I can say that I baked a cake, but that doesn’t mean that the cake will be delicious.

And so it is with Mr. Shaw’s book.

He reminds us that patriarch Joseph Kennedy made his fortune as a bootlegger and had ambitious plans for his sons, who shared their father’s adulterous behaviours. He also reminds us of the mysterious circumstances surrounding Marylin Monroe’s death and the suspicions that Lee Harvey Oswald was not working alone on the day that JFK was assassinated.

One less famous character, the gossip columnist and game show personality Dorothy Kilgallen, a favourite subject of Shaw’s, is portrayed as a devout Catholic despite her fervent adulterous cougar behaviours. Kilgallen is cast again (as she was in Shaw’s earlier work ‘The Reporter Who Knew Too Much’) as a murder victim whose death never got the investigation it deserved.


Shaw’s hatred towards the adulterous Kennedy men comes through loud and clear, although he eventually gives JFK a pass as Caroline Kennedy shared a few wholesome childhood memories of her father during a recent interview.

Concerning RFK, who Shaw oddly refers to as Bobby on occasion before switching back to Robert and RFK at random, there is no forgiveness. Shaw sees RFK as the person ultimately responsible for the deaths of Monroe, JFK and lastly Kilgallen, in that order.

The evidence presented here, despite repeatedly being described as ‘primary source’, is circumstantial at best, consistently hearsay, and laughable at worst.

Admissible in court? What do you think?

Every small tidbit of ‘evidence’ is then processed through the mind of the late Mrs. Kilgallen with impossible claims that; ‘common sense and logic would dictate’ or this ‘had to have indicated’ to Kilgallen this, that or the other thing which would have led her closer to the truth about who killed JFK.

Conjecture? Yeah. Or in Shaw’s own words (page 802) “All this is speculation.” Bigly!

As my grandfather might well have said, Shaw sounds like he is carrying a torch, no doubt in love with both Kilgallen and Monroe, and perhaps also with JFK as he also manages to eventually fawn over him despite the adultery.

Most of the fawning is aimed at Kilgallen, who “looked radiant in a yellow, green, and orange striped low-cut dress.” Monroe receives almost as much adoration, but perhaps Shaw’s best compliment to the movie star is his attempt to adopt her platinum blonde hairstyle despite his advanced years (ironically displaying hair styling behaviour similar to Donald J. Trump, the former President who Shaw clearly loathes. Ironic, eh?)

The best writing to be found on these pages appears when Shaw generously quotes other authors, with one exception; the extracts from Kilgallan’s gossip columns that embrace the same vapid fanboy or jilted lover prose that Shaw himself favours.

There are several pages in this book devoted to images of police reports, invoices, FBI memos and the like which all have a common characteristic in that much of the text is illegible.

The scariest part of this book must be when in 2020 Shaw decides to stalk New York Police Commissioner Dermot Shea by flying from California to attend a New York Police Activities League luncheon at which Shea was the keynote speaker. New York District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. had already refused to open an investigation into Kilgallan’s death. After the confrontation with Shaw, Shea and his staff similarly declined to initiate any enquiry. Despite that, the obsessed Shaw wrote a letter of protest to Shea’s office and is still trying to get the United States Department of Justice to pursue his allegations that Kilgallen was murdered.

Shaw’s crusade doesn’t stop there though, he’d also like your support to shut down The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza in Dallas, as they refused his offer to donate his books and other material raising questions about JFK’s beliefs about UFOs that could have caused a national security crisis if the public had been informed at the time, or something. I’m not sure, honestly.

Are you curious regarding what piece of evidence Shaw has found that links the deaths of Monroe in 1962 and Kilgallan in 1965? Well, it is a glass. More specifically, “Amazingly enough, a simple glass, one discovered in Kilgallen’s case and the absence of a glass found in Marylin’s case, connect these two amazing women when it comes to cause of death.”

The glass that was there, but not there. Of course! Maybe a UFO took it?

Amazingly indeed (with no overuse of the word ‘amazing’ either, much?)

Clearly, “as common sense dictates,” Shaw leaves no stone unturned. He even purchased a book to confirm that it was, indeed, “seventy-nine pages in length.”

It’s true.

Golly gee whiz.

Sadly, we will never know if the cover of that book was red or some other colour. Shaw keeps that secret for himself.

There are some funny passages in this book, even in the acknowledgements where for unknown reasons Mr. Fred Krause’s name appears twice in the same sentence just prior to Shaw thanking Jon Ford for his excellent “editing prowess” and to Diana Carlyle for “her proofreading expertise.”

Maybe they never saw the Acknowledgements section?

We will never know.

Shaw shared an image proving that Monroe’s bedroom had no door – a detail that was not noted in the police report, for unknown reasons.

Published by Thomas Timlen

Where to begin? Perhaps the web content says it best...

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