I met him at an amazing Coalition on Political Assassinations conference in 2008 that was held in L.A. for the fortieth anniversary of the RFK assassination. Everybody was there – Dr. Robert Joling and Phil Van Praag, who had just put out their own book on RFK; Shane O’Sullivan, who had done a BBC film and was working on his book Who Killed Bobby? at that time; Ted Charach, whose film The Second Gun was the first to look at the case in any detail; Paul Schrade, who had been shot that night in the Ambassador Hotel, and William Pepper, who had recently taken over as Sirhan Sirhan’s attorney after the death of Larry Teeter. At some point that first night, surveying the packed room we were all in, I heard Jamey Hecht say “Anybody who is anybody in the RFK case is in this room.” And it was true. Even Cynthia McKinney stopped by to say a few words.
In addition to his work as a writer and researcher, Turner also will be remembered for his easygoing disposition. I worked with him in getting his remote presentations at COPA conferences for a number of years, and he was always flexible, polite, and pleasant. (This may not seem like much, but when you work with dozens of remote speakers from all over the world, being easy to work with matters). Feral House publisher Adam Parfrey remarked that when he was working with co-author Jonn Christian on a project, Turner intervened in a helpful way. Steamshovel Press publisher Kenn Thomas said that Turner had been kind to him and had encouraged his investigation into Fred Crisman. And Who Killed Bobby? author Shane O’Sullivan noted Turner’s “gracious” behavior to him at the incredible 2008 L.A. COPA conference, adding that Turner had also later helpfully corresponded with him regarding his work on the RFK case. In a research “community” that often lacks communal values, Turner made himself a lot of friends. John Judge stayed loyal to him always, making a spot for him every year. He was one of the kindest researchers I ever knew, and history will regard him as one of the best.