Editorial: Fool on the… Grassy Knoll

26 November 2017 Amy Hetherington

Editorial: Fool on the… Grassy Knoll

It’s that special time of year when the panic sets in, at least for me. Christmas always arrives earlier than expected, bringing with it a rush to the end of the year. There are people to see, presents to buy (unsubtle plugs to make: ahem, may I suggest Big Issue calendars or subscriptions!) and magazines to plan.

We’ve already started to look back on 2017. It’s been dubbed a “bumper year” for conspiracy theorists. “Conspiracies…frequently emerge during times of fear and uncertainty,” argue Ken Drinkwater and Neil Dagnall on The ConversationWe’ve had #fakenews, the 40th anniversary of Elvis’ death, Warren Beatty’s Oscar mix-up mystery and a spotting of the Tassie Tiger in South Australia. To top it off, the JFK dossier released by the US government last month has reignited the debate over who really killed Kennedy on 22 November 1963. In this edition, contributing editor Michael Epis looks at one of the many theories – one that ties the assassination to our shores.

Even our cover star Paul McCartney isn’t immune. He’s subject to one of the world’s most enduring and wackiest conspiracy theories: that he’s been replaced by a lookalike named Billy Shears since 1966. Hmmm… We’re quite certain it’s the “real” Paul reflecting on love, Liverpool and the amazing premonition he shared with John Lennon in this edition’s Letter to My Younger Self.

Amy Hetherington, Editor


This editorial first appeared in Edition #550 of The Big Issue (17 November–3 December 2017).