A few years ago I interviewed Ramparts executive editor Warren Hinckle. Here he is describing the impact this issue of the magazine had on the mainstream discussion of the JFK assassination:
Then I heard about this guy [Penn Jones Jr.]—a little editor down in Texas who had found everybody, all these people who had died [that were] connected to the Warren Commission—and went down to see him and he was the genuine item. He had this stuff, you know. So I told Bill Turner, I said lets just make sure all these motherfuckers are dead. And they were!
It broke a lot of stuff open because Mark Lane had his books out and they weren’t treated in any way seriously—even though they made a lot of sales and got on lists. The New York Times, the networks, nobody would treat this stuff. Crazy people sell books, but that’s the category it was in. And that story, of all these people being dead connected to the Kennedy assassination, got the networks going. Walter Kronkite got into it and he came out, [Chet] Huntley and [David] Brinkley were the big guys at NBC then, and they were out at Ramparts for two days. They all went to Texas, and, all of a sudden, it became a sort of mainstream discussion. Not that it wasn’t a national discussion before, but it broke it open to a much wider conversation, it was almost a conspiracy niche before, it wasn’t taken seriously.
& here’s the article: “The Legacy of Penn Jones, Jr." by David Welsh