Oswald 'was the sole assassin of JFK'

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For 44 years, the assassination of John F Kennedy has been the favourite subject of bar stool commentators, private investigators and, latterly, internet conspiracy theorists.

But a book out this week threatens to torpedo the most popular parlour game of them all by providing the definitive proof that Lee Harvey Oswald killed the 35th president with no help from anyone else.

Vincent Bugliosi, one of America's leading prosecutors, has spent 21 years writing the 1,600 page account, which comes with 954 pages of footnotes on CD-ROM. In 1.5 million words, the man who helped jail the cult killer Charles Manson and wrote a book declaring OJ Simpson guilty, claims to demolish the "childlike reasoning" of conspiracy theories, which variously blame the Mafia, the CIA, the KGB, Lyndon B Johnson, or shadowy figures in the military-industrial complex for the killing.

To make matters worse for the conspiracy buffs, another new book does the same for the 1968 assassination of JFK's brother Robert Kennedy. In The Forgotten Terrorist, author Mel Ayton says the Palestinian gunman, Sirhan Sirhan, was motivated by the same political views as today's suicide bombers.

The more explosive claims, though, come in Mr Bugliosi's Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F Kennedy, which is published this month in America.

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