Nicholson Baker at The Baffler:
The best, saddest, fairest assassination book I’ve read, David Talbot’s Brothers, provides an important beginning clue. Robert Kennedy, who was closer to his brother and knew more about his many enraged detractors than anyone else, told a friend that the Mafia was principally responsible for what happened November 22. In public, for the five years that remained of his life, Bobby Kennedy made no criticisms of the nine-hundred-page Warren Report, which pinned the murder on a solo killer, a “nut” (per Hoover) and “general misanthropic fella” (per Warren Committee member Richard Russell) who had dreams of eternal fame. Attorney general Kennedy said, when reporters asked, that he had no intention of reading the report, but he endorsed it in writing and stood by it. Yet on the very night of the assassination, as Bobby began his descent into a near-catatonic depression, he called one of his organized-crime experts in Chicago and asked him to find out whether the Mafia was involved. And once, when friend and speechwriter Richard Goodwin (who had worked closely with JFK) asked Bobby what he really thought, Bobby replied, “If anyone was involved it was organized crime.”
To Arthur Schlesinger, Bobby was (according to biographer Jack Newfield) even more specific, ascribing the murder to “that guy in New Orleans”—meaning Carlos Marcello, the squat, tough, smart, wealthy mobster and tomato salesman who controlled slot machines, jukebox concessions, narcotics shipments, strip clubs, bookie networks, and other miscellaneous underworldy activities in Louisiana, in Mississippi, and, through his Texas emissary Joe Civello, in Dallas.