Remembering Jim Marrs 1943-2017
I first became aware of Jim Marrs back in December of 1991 when, during the opening credits of Oliver Stone’s JFK, a title card appeared that said “based on Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy, by Jim Marrs”. The next day I bought a copy. While Mark Lane’s Rush To Judgement was the first book I read about the assassination of JFK, Crossfire was my introduction to the world of the hard, cold facts of serious JFK research. What impressed me most wasn’t just the sheer amount of information contained therein, but the method by which Marrs evaluated the info. Jim always referred to himself as “an old Texas reporter”, and he approached all of his research as a journalist reporting facts and offering the best evaluation of the event based on those facts.
I had a professor in college who was world-renowned in his field. The most important notion I took from his course was that the path to the truth is paved with the stones of being wrong. With Jim, I honestly believe that as a scholar, the only thing Jim liked more than being right was being proven wrong. That’s a critical part of good and honest research, and that’s why his work has such staying power, and was always fresh and relevant.
Another thing I respected about Jim was how he was one of the few researchers who never got caught up in the intra-community squabbles. He would speak to any group, any time. One reason for this is that he was always in search of the truth, and to get caught up in that noise was counter–productive to the goal. He also recognized that there are forces who do not want the public to know the truth, and that the best way to stop a group is to divide them, and he wasn’t going to be part of that.
For me, though, I will remember Jim from the day I spent with him at his home in Wise County, Texas, what he called his “ranchita, cuz it’s not big enough to be a ranch!”
After our interview he took us on a walk around his property with his golden lab, Lady, threw the ball for her, and just talked about life out in the Texas wilds. He took us to an open area on a bluff where you could see for miles around. He talked about how this was reality and how critical it was for everyone, especially those in the research community, to maintain their connection to the land, to each other, and if possible, to their dogs.
Jim was one of a kind. Like so many others in the research community who have passed, we’ll never see the likes of him again. But we should all take Jim’s lead and approach our research, new facts as they’re released and, most of all, each other with the utmost care and respect. And to ignore the noise so that we always stay focused on revealing the truth of our hidden history.
In our interview, Jim wrapped up with a line that’s much quoted but he delivered it with his quintessential north-Texas twang: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free”.