The Day Huey Long Was Shot
by David Zinman (with a new afterword), University Press of Mississippi, 361 pages.
On the centenary of Huey Long’s birth this classic 1963 work of reporting has been reissued with a new afterword in which the author sifts through recently discovered evidence from the killing. At the time of the 1991 exhumation of Carl Weiss- the young doctor thought to have shot Long in the State Capitol corridor in 1935—the assailant’s .32-caliber revolver finally turned up in a bank security box with a mysterious spent bullet and some pictures of the Kingfish’s shot-up linen suit. They had all passed into the possession of the original investigator’s daughter.
It would be hard to make dull reading out of Long’s story, and the resuscitation of the case by the 1991 investigation has allowed Zinman to add substantially to his book. The questions at the heart of Zinman’s account are whether Weiss intended to kill Long or merely to confront him and whether Weiss fired or the bodyguards’ hail of bullets killed both men. You can take any side and enjoy this book. If anything, it is better now than when it originally appeared.