Garrison Investigator "Bill Boxley"

Courtesy of Jerry McNally, a key document on Garrison investigator "Bill Boxley."
                                        26 April 1968

[To:]     Director, Domestic Contact Service
ATTN:     Deputy Director, DCS
[From:]   Chief, Houston Office

[Re:]     Bill Wood, Agent for Jim Garrison, Making
           Inquiries in Dallas
1. Paul Rothermel, Security Officer for Hunt Oil Company, advised Jim Moore that he had been visited recently by a Bill Wood who was making investigations in Dallas for New Orleans District Attorney, Jim Garrison. Wood was inquiring about the CIA and its operations. According to Rothermel, Bill Wood used to work for an individual named Clymer Wright, Publisher of the Houston Tribune. Rothermel said Wood went to work for Jim Garrison under the name of Bill Boxley. Rothermel also told Moore that Wood is well known in Houston and that his connections with Garrison are no secret.

2. This is the first that we have heard regarding this matter. I am sure the subject is the same William Clarence Wood, Jr., who visited the Houston Office early in 1967 volunteering his services. At that time Wood said he was Executive Vice President and Editor of the Houston Tribune Publishing Company, a local weekly paper. You may recall that we were impressed with Wood's sincerity. He volunteered that he had worked for the Agency and that his resignation had been readily accepted because he had developed a drinking problem. He also said he had not consumed a drop of alcohol for 9 1/2 years and had held several responsible jobs prior to joining the Houston Tribune. We requested a namecheck clearance which was received 3 Mar 67 followed by an "Eyes Alone" memo containing adverse information. Because of this we dropped Wood as a potential source. We have not heard from him since 7 Mar 67, the last time he volunteered his services. The Clymer Wright mentioned by Rothermel is the present publisher of the Tribune. Although we have no contact with the Tribune, the current Editor of the paper, Harold G. Pyle, is reported to be an exceptionally fine individual. He retired from the Houston Chronicle after many years with that paper and joined the Tribune as Editor.

3. Jim Moore says Rothermel has nothing more to add regarding Wood. If there is need for details regarding Wood's separation from the Tribune we believe it will be possible to obtain the information discretely.

                                   ERNEST A. RISCHE

You can view this memo as a graphic image.

Obviously, nothing here supports Garrison's belief that "Boxley" was a CIA spook sent to undermine his investigation. Clearly, "Boxley" didn't "hack it" as CIA. He must have left the Agency at least 9½ years earlier, and "adverse information" meant they weren't going to accept him in 1967.

Another document, recently declassified, clarifies Wood's status. It's a report on various of Garrison's claims sent as an attachment to letters to Senator Richard Russell (of the Senate Armed Services Committee) and Representative Mendel Rivers (of the House Armed Services Committee). The cover letter, from Richard Helms, is dated 24 July 1968.

The fact that such past experts [people claiming "inside knowledge" of intelligence operations] . . . all were subsequently discredited and impeached . . . has not deterred Garrison from unveiling yet one more reliable operative, William C. Wood, cloaked in a pseudonym (Bill Boxley), purportedly a former CIA employee and Garrison's "liaison with a foreign intelligence agency." In fact, Wood was a CIA employee from December 1950 until January 1953. His resignation was requested because of alcoholism, a condition from which he had not recovered as recently as February 1967.
Thus "Boxley," rather than being a CIA spy in Garrison's office, was an alcoholic who couldn't "hack it" with the Agency, and had had no connection with the Agency for 14 years when he signed on with Garrison.

It seems that "Boxley" was another "CIA agent" who, like Gordon Novel, Richard Case Nagell, and Robert Morrow traded on supposed connections with the Agency, but were in reality just wannabes. Or in Wood's case, a "has been."

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