For retired Kodak engineer Roland Zavada, this week is not only the emotional 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy‘s assassination. It also marks the end of his desire to actively talk about his role in authenticating the Zapruder fim.
Zavada’s work has been the focus of criticism in several conspiracy-theory books. Harrison Livingstone’s book, The Hoax of the Century: Decoding the Forgery of the Zapruder Film doubles down on the author’s contention that the footage was altered, edited after the fact to conform to the single gunman theory and hide what really happened.
A 2013 book by James Fetzer, The Great Zapruder Film Hoax, makes similar claims. Both try to discredit Zavada’s work, criticizing the tests he ran as inconclusive or inaccurate, and offering a laundry list of different tests he ought to have performed. Neither author has any expertise in film, but that doesn’t stop them from pointing to factors that they interpret as evidence of foul play.
On this 50th anniversary, besides Lahman’s feature, it’s probably best to read Zavada’s original Zapruder report. The Democrat and Chronicle has got that here.