Publication date - September 2021
“There are a handful of investigative historians, like author Mel Ayton, who are best known for their unique insights into American history. What is particularly remarkable about Ayton is that he is a British scholar who is widely admired and respected as one of the top experts in the world on the protection of U.S. presidential candidates. His latest work, Protecting the Presidential Candidates: From JFK to Biden, is the third in his wonderfully researched and brilliantly written series of books about this fascinating subject. And it is Ayton’s best and most important work to date.” Dan E. Moldea, author of The Hoffa Wars and The Killing of Robert F. Kennedy
“With Protecting the Presidential Candidates, Mel Ayton takes a deep dive into the intersection between law enforcement and politics. Through meticulous research and compelling, character-driven stories, Ayton shows us that both running for President of the United States, and protecting those who do, are among the riskiest and most unpredictable pursuits in modern American life. An important contribution to the literature of the Secret Service and presidential politics”. John Douglas and Mark Olshaker, Authors of Mindhunter and The Killer’s Shadow,
Protecting the Presidential Candidates is the first book of its kind to examine how presidents and presidential candidates were protected during the presidential election cycles – from John F. Kennedy to Joe Biden. It is also the first book to tell the story of the role of state troopers and private bodyguards in protecting presidential candidates.
In the milieu in which the Secret Service operates, bodyguards have witnessed the terrors of election campaigns when presidential candidates have waded into crowds to shake hands with their supporters, rode in open-top cars, and made sudden but risky changes to their schedules – oblivious to the fact that in every campaign there have been people stalking candidates with ill intent. There were also times when a president or presidential candidate turned to them for companionship. Bodyguards have also witnessed embarrassing moments in a candidate’s campaign and how intrusive they have been at the most delicate of moments. ‘The president’s day is your day,’ one agent said, ‘nobody sees the president the way an agent does’.
Many stories revealed in Protecting the Presidential Candidates have remained largely hidden from the public; some buried in newspaper archives and others in oral histories, presidential libraries or official government documents. The author draws on numerous sources, including FBI files, presidential biographies, vice presidential biographies, civilian bodyguard memoirs, Secret Service agent memoirs, White House staff memoirs and more so that these stories can now be told. The book also allows readers to gain an insight into the personal as well as professional relationships between the candidate and the bodyguards who protected them.
The Assassination of RFK - June 13, 2019
RFK All These Years Later - June 26, 2019 - Hr 2
How Hollywood has been fooled by Robert F. Kennedy assassination conspiracy theorists 31 March 2019
4 June 2018
The Forgotten Terrorist - Sirhan Sirhan and the Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy
The Forgotten Terrorist – Sirhan Sirhan and the Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy - With a new Foreword by Harvard professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz, Second Edition May 2019.
The second edition also features a new afterword containing interviews and new evidence, as well as a new examination of the RFK assassination acoustics evidence by technical analyst Michael O’Dell.
“The 1968 assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy by Sirhan Sirhan may well be one of the most transforming events of the last third of the 20th century....Mel Ayton documents the elements that contributed to Sirhan’s hatred of anyone or anything associated positively with Israel or Jews....” Harvard professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz in the Foreword to The Forgotten Terrorist.
“(Mel Ayton is) one of the few analysts who has fully grasped (the RFK assassination’s) Middle East connection”. Stephen Kinzer, The Guardian
“(Mel Ayton is) doing a fabulous job of setting history right”. David Aaronovitch, The Times
Mel Ayton (is) a writer I’ve found to be a valuable debunker of unwarranted conspiracy theorizing. He reminds us with copious quotations in (his articles) how repeatedly and explicitly Sirhan made clear why he targeted R.F.K.: because Sirhan hated the state of Israel and hated R.F.K.’s support for Israel. Ron Rosenbaum, “I went To See Bobby and Found It Moving, Somehow Inadequate, Observer, 20 November 2006
“Important and extensively documented. . . . The chapter on ‘The Unaffiliated Terrorist’ is especially pertinent to understanding current lone wolf terrorists, as it discusses leading forensic psychology theories to explain Sirhan’s possible mental state and motivations.”—Joshua Sinai, Perspectives on Terrorism
“I am a recognized expert on the 1968 murder of Senator Robert Kennedy. Thus, I say with considerable authority that the exquisite detail contained in Mel Ayton’s well-written, wonderfully researched work makes it must-reading for anyone interested in this case. Step by step, Ayton demolishes the false claims by conspiracy theorists who allege that Sirhan Sirhan was a hypnotically controlled assassin, programmed to kill and programmed to forget about it. Using his encyclopedic knowledge of the assassination investigations, Ayton reveals how the confessed-and-convicted assassin’s defenders managed to persuade a large portion of the American public into believing that a second gunman was responsible for the Senator’s death. Nobody knows more about the issues revolving around the RFK murder case than Mel Ayton. Nobody.”—Dan E. Moldea, author of The Killing of Robert Kennedy: An Investigation of Motive, Means, and Opportunity
Hunting The President (2014)
"The only book of its kind and certainly the best book of its kind...A fascinating and very important book which I heartily recommend.... it's easy to figure out why Mel Ayton's writing has drawn nearly universal praise in the past and for his present volume Hunting The President... Even for people who know American history; even for people who have a special expertise in the history of presidential assassinations; you're going to learn a great deal from (this) new book.........." Michael Medved
In the summer of 2017 the William Morris Agency negotiated the purchase of the film rights to Hunting The President.
PLOTTING TO KILL THE PRESIDENT (2017)
Plotting To Kill The President is a corrective to the numerous history books and biographies which have ignored or overlooked numerous threats American presidents have faced; some serious enough to have placed the chief executive within a hair's breadth of assassination. Many stories within the study have remained largely hidden from the public; some buried in newspaper archives and others in government reports, presidential memoirs, bodyguard memoirs, Secret Service agents' memoirs and presidential libraries.
“Mel Ayton has a well-deserved reputation for doing the near-impossible: writing about controversial history (including conspiracy theories) in a sober but imaginative way, combining reliable accounts with intellectually stimulating arguments. I highly recommend his work.” — Rick Shenkman, Publisher, History News Network
Plotting To Kill The President is an eye-opener into a buried part of presidential history. Would-be assassins have stalked every U.S. president from George Washington forward. Mel Ayton reveals the numerous never-before-told incidents about how a wide array of presidents survived near-fatal assassination attempts -- J. Patrick O’Connor, editor of Crime Magazine and the author of The Chino Hills Murders and the Framing of Kevin Cooper.
“Mel Ayton reveals that attempts to assassinate the president are not the exception but the rule—almost as old as the republic itself. [Plotting to Kill the President] also helps us understand better those infrequent occasions when attempts succeed”. Max Holland, Editor of Washington Decoded and author of Leak: Why Mark Felt Became Deep Throat
Click on the newspaper and magazines logos - left - to read about the newly discovered assassination attempts against American presidents.