A Farewell to Justice
Jim Garrison, JFK’s Assassination, and the Case That Should Have Changed History


5.0 out of 5 stars History of the STATE OF LOUISIANA vs. CLAY L. SHAW trial, July 10, 2014

Alan D. Cranford (Salt Lake City, Utah USA) – See all my reviews
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The assassination of John F. Kennedy can no longer be investigated as a criminal case because “all the usual suspects” have died. Now that assassination has to be researched by historians and archeologists. The Clay Shaw trial is a case in point. Clay Shaw is dead–he was also acquitted of conspiracy committed under Louisiana law. “A Farewell to Justice” tells the story of Jim Garrison’s failed prosecution and the House Select Committee on Assassinations and why they failed.

Despite giving this book five stars (as a history book) there are flaws. One example is calling the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory a “Minnesota Multi-fasic.” I’ve taken this test battery twice–the first test (late 1980’s) may have been the original 1943 edition and my second test in the mid 1990’s seems to have been the 1989 update. It’s just a pencil and paper test with a lot of interpretation by the psychologist administering it.

Did Lee Oswald kill the president? The Warren Commission Report said “yes” and claimed that Oswald acted alone. The HSCA said that JFK probably died as the result of a conspiracy. How many Oswalds were involved? There are countless questions, several movies, hundreds of books and thousands of articles and papers on the subject. Did the JFK assassination spill over to kill his brother Bobby Kennedy, too?

Specific to “A Farewell to Justice” were the Kennedy brothers casualties of a secret war between the Central Intelligence Agency and the Kennedy family?

We may never know.

Saint Joan, October 27, 2005
Reviewer: Eddie Kasica (New York City) – Originally posted on

The United States of America has never truly had its equivalent of Zola’s “J’Accuse!” Until now. While the Dreyfus Affair is a joke compared to the far-reaching PERMANENT effects of the National Security State execution of President John F. Kennedy(don’t think they’re permanent? — pick up the damn newspaper), quite a few books on the crime have been labeled Zolaesque: “Rush to Judgement”, Weisberg’s “Whitewash”, Sylvia Meagher’s “Accessories After the Fact”(a worthy forerunner of “Farewell to Justice” — Meagher and Mellon are sisters of heart, toughness and understanding), Anthony Summers’s “Conspiracy” and, of course, Gerald Posner’s “Case Closed”(just kidding). But they weren’t. Not even close, because they couldn’t be. The cover-up of the crime continued well into the 1990s and — like the film or not — it was Stone’s “JFK” which caused the break in the dam. The wave of the past 10 years, beginning with the publication and media-embrace of the malignant “Case Closed”, has been intensely anti-conspiracy. As all of U.S. society has seemingly moved toward the worship of power for power’s sake, leading to the establishment of the Bush Reich, anti-conspiracy ideology has become its own form of totalitarianism. In the power-saturated universe of Millennial America, seething with plots, anti-plot pronouncements have become as necessary as squeals in a slaughterhouse. But, there has been a counterwave. And it’s now tidal. More fresh evidence regarding 11/22/63 has become available these past years than was available to the Warren Commission, Jim Garrison or the House Assassinations Committee when they were conducting their investigations or cover-ups. We have had to be patient, and now it’s pay-off time. Christopher Lawford on the family, Gareth Porter on JFK and Vietnam, Bradley Ayers and Richard Whalen on Kennedy and Cuba, Gerald McKnight on the Warren Commission, and David Talbot’s coming book on Bobby and the murder(`though the Mellen book may have made that release somewhat compromised).

“Farewell to Justice” is the book we have all been waiting for, since the day the music died. Joan Mellen has always been one of the world’s best film critics, a magnificent biographer(Kay Boyle, Marilyn Monroe & Bobby Knight!), and a great writing teacher. Now she has broken the case. There’s no guessing here. No theoretical chapters on the validity of the Zapruder Film, the DalTex Building vs. a sewer drain opening, no jacket holes or bullet fragments. Just the moment-by-moment narrative of what happened to Jack Kennedy 42 years ago. And, best of all, why. The names are all here: the initiators, the designers, the middle-managers, and the mechanics. Mellen is also overwhelming in her recapturing what was really happening in the early 1960s United States. Not only those who care not about history relive it. As Americans, all of us relive Dallas every day of our lives. Everywhere we look, we can see the ghost of John F. Kennedy – and the shadows of the men and women who killed him. There is only one way to finally let him rest in peace: a cleaning-out from power of all those directly and indirectly responsible for his murder, and all those who have knowingly benefited from it. Germany could only put the ghosts of the Third Reich to rest through a complete de-nazification. The United States must do the same.

There is also sadness in this book too, for those of us who see the Kennedys as true heroes. (And they are.) Mellen has solved many, many mysteries in the book. One of the most startling is her clinching the case as to whether or not Robert Kennedy knew of plots to murder Fidel Castro. As Mellen demonstrates, his involvement went way beyond mere knowledge. By answering this question, she also answers the questions as to why the Kennedy Family has been so forceful in impairing post-Warren investigations of the crime.

Mellen’s passion, brilliance, understanding, writing talent and just-plain-sleuthing-genius has resulted in a book which will change history. The corporate media will no doubt try to burn her at the stake. They will fail. Because there is no answer to this book. Except justice and revenge.

REMARKABLE, January 21, 2006
Reviewer: Zaharoula (Montreal, Canada) – Originally posted on

Thanks to Oliver Stone, enormous amounts of documents pertaining
to J.F.K’s Assassination were unsealed. Clay Shaw was far from a “completely innocent” businessman. CIA documents even state a working relationship between the “Agency” & Clay Shaw from the late 40’s. One example of Clay Shaw’s involvement with Lee Harvey Oswald was Shaw & Ferrie accompanying Oswald to the Mental Hospital to trick him in getting a job there but really to try and get him Institutionalised. The framing of Oswald began months before the Assassination. Another Big discovery that Joan Mellon revealed was Lee Harvey Oswald’s employment with U.S. Customs. Oswald’s involvement with federal agents was enormous. Jim Garrison “WAS” on the right track, that’s why the FBI made enormous attempts to discredit him and the CIA tried to subvert the film JFK.


“One of the most critical and controversial areas in the JFK case relates to New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison’s investigation of Clay Shaw and Lee Harvey Oswald’s pre-assassination activities in Louisiana. Professor Mellen’s excellent scholarly research boldly details these events and sheds glaring light on evidence that the Warren Commission regrettably failed to explore. A FAREWELL TO JUSTICE is a must read for every person who has ever entertained some doubt and question about who killed President Kennedy.”
–Cyril H. Wecht, M.D., J.D., Coroner, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

“There aren’t enough people like Joan Mellen in the world. Like the subject of her book, Joan has toiled away, driven by nothing more than her own passion for the truth, and emerged with the book you hold in your hands — a mammoth work which, I believe, will be the definitive biography of Jim Garrison.”
–Oliver Stone, film director of PLATOON, BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY, NIXON and JFK.

“A Farewell to Justice is a fascinating and provocative book featuring one of the most unusual and compelling figures in the history of American jurisprudence. And though the book is massive and carefully researched and intellectually persuasive, A Farewell to Justice also reads with the engaging particularity and narrative drive of an epic, tragic novel.”
–Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize winner for A Good Scent from A Strange Mountain

“Joan Mellen confronts and with keen analytical insight tackles the thorniest and most personal issues surrounding that most complex and larger-than-life man named Jim Garrison. She ultimately places in accurate perspective the role Garrison’s investigation played in helping America understand the true significance of the assassination of President Kennedy, revealing why it’s not history but a foreshadowing of events that brought us to these dangerous times in which we now live.”
–Gaeton Fonzi, Miami investigator for the House Select Committee on Assassinations, 1977-78, author of The Last Investigation

“For seven years Joan Mellen, with determination and breathtaking courage, investigated and tested the original inquiry of District Attorney Jim Garrison into the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Single-handedly, she has taken that investigation far beyond where Garrison was able to go and has emerged from this terrifying underworld with astonishing revelations…. The writing is taut and dramatic, the book indispensable.”
–Dick Gregory, Civil Rights Activist, co-author of Murder in Memphis: The FBI and the Assassination of Martin Luther King

“Joan Mellen is a rare breed-a biographer who writes with the passion of a truth-seeker, the skill of an artisan, and the attention to detail of a well trained scholar-researcher. She digs deep and she cares. I look forward to reading every book she writes.”
–Richard Layman, author of Shadow Man: The Life of Dashiell Hammett

“The much-maligned Jim Garrison at last receives full vindication from Joan Mellen, whose own renewed investigation into the Kennedy conspiracy brings us ever-closer to the elusive truth of what really happened on November 22, 1963.”
–Dick Russell, author of The Man Who Knew Too Much

“It is commonly accepted that the Warren Commission was completely vindicated with the acquittal of Clay Shaw, whose only crime was drawing the attention of a publicity-seeking, unscrupulous Southern District Attorney, Jim Garrison. Although the document releases have challenged that view in the decades since the trial, Joan Mellen’s new book patiently integrates mountains of once-secret data and remarkable new investigative material into a compelling narrative of appalling misconduct and deceit by both federal officials and members of the mainstream media. The myth of Garrison as vile opportunist and Shaw as hapless victim has been as incontrovertibly demolished as has been the myth that the federal government and powerful media can be trusted when the stakes are high.”

“A Farewell to Justice is a mammoth reconsideration of Jim Garrison’s investigation of the President’s assassination in Dallas. As such, it is a grand guignol of Nawlins’ archetypes-psycho-cops and sicko-spooks, corrupt pols and thugs and crusaders, oh my! A dark and sprawling book, it is packed with investigative leads, deeply researched and very very scary.”
–Jim Hougan, author of Spooks