FOUR DEAD IN OHIO:
WAS THERE A CONSPIRACY
AT KENT STATE?
by WILLIAM A. GORDON
During the Kent State trials it was widely assumed that someday a scholar (or scholars) would diligently study the mountains of evidence deliberately preserved for history, sift fact from fiction, and finally answer the questions that dominated the public debate. The most important question was: "Why were four students killed by Ohio National Guardsmen during a campus protest on May 4, 1970?"
To date, only one person has even tried to accomplish this almost herculean feat. That person is William A. Gordon, a 1973 graduate of the university who, as a freelance journalist, covered the aftermath and wrote numerous articles and opinion pieces over a period of 19 years.
Mr. Gordon, who is now a full-time author and publisher, was a quiet yet virtually ubiquitous figure in the aftermath. He reported on events as they actually unfolded, attended the trials, reviewed thousands of pages of official documents, and talked to as many of the key players in the Kent State tragedy as he could.
His research included over 200 new interviews with 170 people, including eyewitnesses to the shootings, Ohio National Guardsmen, high ranking Justice Department and White House officials, attorneys in both the criminal and civil trials, surviving wounded students and the parents of the fatalities, an Ohio governor, and local law enforcement officials.
Mr. Gordon was also the only journalist to review the extensive pretrial depositions taken for the wrongful death and injury trials and the 44-volume, 13,000-page trial transcript. Along with other journalists, he also filed Freedom of Information Act requests which resulted in the release of the FBI's 8,000 page investigative file and other internal Justice Department documents.
On top of that, Mr. Gordon conducted additional research in the archives at Yale; Kent State; the Ohio Historical Society in Columbus, Ohio; and Richard's Nixon presidential papers, which were then housed in Arlington, Virginia.
The result of Mr. Gordon's efforts is Four Dead in Ohio, a book which remains the first and only study to re-examine the various explanations why the four students were killed by Ohio National Guardsmen at Kent State.
Click the first link below to read a summary of Mr. Gordon's major conclusions and the new information he uncovered.