Verdict: COVER UP is a fascinating and thought-provoking look at possible failures of justice and investigation, raising questions and seeking sometimes-troubling answers.
An investigative journalist discusses five cases where he believes the truth has been covered up to protect the guilty.
Damien Comerford is an investigative journalist who believes that members of his profession have been unforgiveably lax at doing their jobs, allowing powerful people to get away with serious crimes – in some cases murder – without being caught at it. He demonstrates this via five case studies that cause him particular concern: the car crash that killed Lady Diana Spencer and Dodi Al-Fayed, the death of Pope John Paul I, the airplane crash that killed Commerce Secretary Ron Brown, the 1985 crash of Arrow Air Flight 1285 carrying servicemen home from Cairo, and the shooting down of the plane carrying Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana. In each case, he evaluates the official verdict and finds it wanting, arguing that evidence has been suppressed and investigations shoddily conducted, leaving the suspicion of a crime deliberately covered up.
Conspiracy buffs will thoroughly enjoy this book, which provides a substantial supply of little details that may not seem like much at times, but which add up to a significantly different version of events than that officially released. All of these cases are relatively well-known, and the author does not appear to provide much new information here that cannot be found elsewhere, but he does do a fine job of summarizing each event and giving a clear overview of the reasons he believes each needs further investigation.
Comerford, a professional journalist who attempts to convince others of his attention to detail with respect to potentially controversial cases, might be more convincing if he were more more careful with his editing. Missing commas, capitalization errors – like “Jean-Claude ‘baby doc’ Duvalier” – and sentence fragments are far too common, along with other errors which may, perhaps unfairly, give the reader an impression of carelessness. For example, when discussing the Ron Brown case, Mr. Comerford repeatedly cites the testimony of Brown’s mistress and business partner, Nolanda Hill. However, he refers to her as “Yolanda” Hill twice when first introduced, on pages 135 and 137, switching to the correct spelling only after that, as if he had realized his error but failed to go back and correct earlier incidences. Some questions are left unanswered, and his evidence is in many cases circumstantial, but that may be expected in a book dealing with cold cases, which seeks to encourage further examination rather than to argue for immediate convictions.
COVER UP is a fascinating and thought-provoking look at possible failures of justice and investigation, raising questions and seeking sometimes-troubling answers.