Bill O’Reilly vaguely addressed the unanswered questions surrounding his claims to have witnessed the suicide of Lee Harvey Oswald associate George de Mohrenschildt on Monday, urging viewers to read a statement by his former WFAA-TV colleague.
The colleague in question, reporter Bob Sirkin, issued a statement to O’Reilly’s publisher backing up the version of events from his book “Killing Kennedy,” where he claims he was on the doorsteps of de Mohrenschildt’s daughter’s house when he shot himself to death.
“O’Reilly and I split up, its now early afternoon. Bill going to the Manalapan home in which George de Mohrenschildt and his daughter were staying, this is the house where de Mohrenschildt’s body was found,” Sirkin wrote.
Sirkin doubles down, saying those suggesting O’Reilly wasn’t in Florida are way off base.
“Later, after de Mohrenschildt allegedly committed suicide, O’Reilly and I reconnect at the house in Manalapan. That was the story and still is. It remains preposterous for anyone to claim that O’Reilly and I were not in Florida before, during, and following de Mohrenschildt’s death.”
But O’Reilly’s colleague’s account flies in the face of an audio recording CNN aired that shows O’Reilly being informed of de Mohrenschildt’s suicide — while he was in Florida. “I’m coming down there tomorrow, I’m coming to Florida,” O’Reilly is recorded saying after he was told about de Mohrenschildt’s suicide.
O’Reilly, nor his former colleague Sirkin, have addressed or disproven the authenticity of the tape.
On that audio recording, a congressional investigator who was interviewing de Mohrenschildt before his death told O’Reilly he’d committed suicide, with O’Reilly saying he was rushing to Florida the next day.
Another new account came out Monday making O’Reilly’s version of events even more questionable.
Edward Jay Epstein, a journalist who interviewed de Mohrenschildt in Florida, countered O’Reilly’s claims in a Newsweek article titled “O’Reilly’s JFK Reporting Was Impossible. I Know Because I Was There.”
“I was recently bemused to see that Bill O’Reilly, the Fox News host, managed in 2012 to parachute himself back in time to March 29, 1977 so as to make himself a witness to the gunshot that killed George de Mohrenschildt,” he wrote.
Epstein goes on to say that O’Reilly’s version suffers from a “reality deficiency disorder,” claiming he was the only reporter to have interviewed the JFK associate on the last day of his life in 1977. He also says O’Reilly’s version puts himself at the wrong house.
“He writes he was on the steps of the home of de Mohrenschildt’s daughter when he heard the shot. But de Mohrenschildt was not at his daughter’s home (158 Villa Longine in Mexico City); he was at Tilton’s home [C.E. Tilton] in Florida,” he wrote.
Epstein also criticizes O’Reilly’s claim that he heard the gunshot, citing the police report that said no one inside or outside the house heard it since it was partially absorbed by his body, the carpet and the furniture.
“None of these people saw a stranger (or a reporter) arrive at or leave the property, much less standing on the doorstep,” Epstein writes as more evidence against O’Reilly.
O’Reilly claimed to have witnessed de Mohrenschildt in his book, “Killing Kennedy,” as well as on Fox News.
Fox News told TheWrap to contact O’Reilly’s book publisher.