When dealing with explosive and always relevant matters such as the Vatican, (as opposed to strictly historical items) are you afraid that you'll be attacked? Physically? Financially? Otherwise?

a year ago

QMatthew McPherson
Alfonso Parker
Delmar Conaway
Adrian Mccormick
Jessie Meyer
Fannie Swanson
Ethan Macoll
Grant Franklin

When working on the book, I don't think about the pushback on the subject I'm writing about. It's all about risk tolerance. For instance, I traveled through South America with neo-Nazis when doing the Mengele book in the 1980s, and then spent months in the Golden Triangle with heroin gangs. Both of those were dicey situations, but my interest in the reporting overcame any worry about the risk. The same was true a few years ago when I visited Afghanistan. I think that any good investigative journalist is driven by the reporting.

That is not to say that I'm not very careful about what I publish. Since I am trained as a lawyer, I understand that some of the powerful and wealthy people about whom I write could easily tie me up with lawsuits. So I am careful to make sure that what I write is well vetted, supported by credible and multiple sources, and is as libel-proof as possible.

And finally, I only sometimes think about my personal safety when I publish a book and get an is occasional flurry of hate mail. Once, after "Case Closed" in 1993, I received a packet of dead fish, another time a rat's tail, and some threats so serious that a police file was opened. It is never fun, nothing I want, but goes with the territory of these books....

Gerald PosnerA
Gerald Posnera year ago

Share via

Gerald Posner

Crowd Interview

Gerald Posner

American investigative journalist and author of twelve books, including Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK.

This is a community-run Crowd Interview. Help get answers by asking, upvoting and sharing!

No one answering yet · Belong here? Let us know