Kennedy assassination gets fictional look in ‘Trip in the Dark’

“Trip in the Dark" was written by Tahoe resident Kaaran Thomas.
Courtesy image |

It’s an historical event that never grows old and only gathers more interest over time. On Nov. 22, 1963, 50 years ago this month, John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, was shot to death by a sniper’s bullet in Dallas, Tex. Some refer to it as the crime of the 20th century. Others view it as an occurrence so profound it kicked off a period of unrest and a series of unthinkable events to come.

“Trip in the Dark,” by Kaaran Thomas, gives us a fictional explanation of the aftermath of this atrocity. It presents a conspiracy theory not yet examined. Fictional as it is, the impact stops us in our tracks. Kaaran Thomas, a Lake Tahoe resident, has created a compelling story that provokes deep thought. We feel an urgent need to expose the truth and address unanswered questions. Her theory sheds light on subsequent events, including the pardon of Richard Nixon. Conspiracy theories have sprung up like wildflowers in Texas since that infamous day in 1963. “Trip in the Dark” gives you the opportunity to be the proverbial fly on the wall.

The story is told from the perspective of Tom Nielsen, a bankruptcy attorney who at first is an “unwelcomed intruder in the legal community.” After all, who wants to rub elbows with a bankruptcy attorney? Then the recession of the ‘80s and ‘90s hit and changes abound. Nielsen’s castoff status shifts when Jake McCarty, who plays the part of former Texas Gov. John Connally, takes him under his wing. They become close friends and eventually confidants. Nielsen is likable and relatable but also naïve. He’s one “helluva” poker player, too, which serves him well and contributes to his ascent. Yes, he rises to recognition and attains great success with McCarty in his corner but ultimately is drawn into a tangled web from which he cannot escape.

The character of Jake McCarty is paramount to the storyline, and we get to know him well. He achieves “rock star status” the days and years following the assassination. While riding in the presidential motorcade with Kennedy, he too was shot and injured. His larger than life persona hides the conflict and bitterness he carries. We sneak a peek into his post-assassination life, meet his wife Belle and attend gatherings at Picosa, his sprawling Texas ranch. There he and his famous friends shoot wild game on fast horses, with plenty of drinks waiting to be served at the after party. Poker games often top off the day’s activities. High stakes? No problem. Although McCarty is loved and admired, his status and station in life changes when he’s forced into bankruptcy. Things begin to unravel. Information including “tell all tapes” emerges. The tapes wind up in Nielsen’s possession, where they “coil like vipers” ready to strike. Famous names are bandied about: Gerald Ford, Lyndon Johnson, Suddam Hussein, George Bush, J. Edgar Hoover and Clark Clifford, to name a few. What part did they play? You’ll have to read “A Trip in the Dark” to learn more.

Thomas, a nationally recognized bankruptcy attorney, hits a home run with “Trip In The Dark, It Began With The Kennedy Assassination”. It is published by Trade Works Publishing and can be purchased at

Gloria Sinibaldi resides part-time in South Lake Tahoe. Her short story “A Means To Survive” appears in “Tahoe Blues.” She is a job coach, trainer and author. She contributes monthly to the business section of the Tahoe Daily Tribune. Contact her at:

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