The Nation: The Making of a Lonely Misfit

IN late November 1963, a reclusive 13-year-old boy named Artie Bremer sat transfixed before the TV screen watching the coverage of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Suddenly there on the screen was Jack Ruby busting through a ring of bodyguards to shoot down Lee Harvey Oswald in cold blood. "I remember us watching that on TV together," recalls the boy's father, William Bremer. "Art was impressed with it. Could that have anything to do with what happened?"

Like Ruby, Bremer insinuated himself into the crowd surrounding his victim and, with no chance of...

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