It shouldn’t surprise us, therefore, when testimony gets “sanitized:” elements that lack credibility and raise suspicion get dropped. Beverly Oliver, for example, for years told of photographing the assassination with a Yashica Super-8 Zoom movie camera. But she had to backtrack when researchers showed that no such camera existed in 1963.
Judyth Vary Baker has told her yarn to pretty much everyone who would listen – including Nigel Turner who recently included her account in his series The Men Who Killed Kennedy. But she also gave her story to her high school classmates on the alumni web page of Manatee High School in Florida.
But the most recent version – which unfortunately has been removed from the Manatee page due to space constraints – differed a bit from the version that was first posted. Luckily, the web site achive.org archives old web pages, so it it possible to compare the version of her story she first posted with the most recent one. The following is the version of the “Judyth story” first posted on the alumni web page and archived by archive.org on January 3, 2003. However, the portions that have since been excised by Judyth in the most recent version are highlighted in pink.
Judyth Vary BakerSo what has changed? One or two of the changes are quite innocuous. Where Judyth first wrote that her daughter planned to be a chemistry teacher, she later reported that the daughter planned to be a professional artist. No big deal. Kids change their plans. And she also corrected the claim that she was in Dallas to say that she was in the Netherlands – where she had indeed moved.
As you may recall, I was engaged in cancer research, and seemed to drop out of sight. Until now, I could not have mentioned what was going on in my life. The military paramilitary and intelligence communities had interest in me, and I became involved in a dual life: outwardly a student, clandestinely, continuing in sophisticated research – in service to my country as an asset to the CIA. Didn’t you ever wonder why I, who had won national recognition for my magnesium project, and whose cancer research project gained me Honors in the Westinghouse Science Talent Search, plus a trip to Buffalo to work in the nation’s oldest cancer laboratories, did NOT get the science award on graduation night? Larry Jerome got it. I got the art award instead! Even then, efforts had begun to pull me out of the spotlight. After my initial training I had been sponsored by Senator Smathers and others, in anti-Castro factions, including Dr. Harold Diehl and Dr. Alton Ochsner. Between 1961 and 1963, I was trained to do special cancer research. I can’t even discuss the impact of this project, but suffice that by spring of 1963, I was in New Orleans, ostensibly working for Reily coffee company (my boss former FBI agent William Monaghan) but I was actually engaged in clandestine cancer research with ‘Dr.’ David W. Ferrie (supposedly committed suicide but was probably murdered during the Garrison investigation) and renowned medical specialist Dr. Mary Sherman (brutally murdered July 21, 1964 for her part in the scenario I am about to describe). You may recall that I took Russian (all fees paid) at Manatee (then Jr.) Community College. I spoke crude conversational Russian by 1963, when I was introduced in New Orleans to Lee Harvey Oswald. I was almost a dead ringer for Marina Oswald when I wore my hair and makeup the same – was same height, weight, and spoke Russian. Lee Oswald and I worked together for the CIA in an anti-Castro project which included delivery of live biological weapons into Cuba, one of them aimed to kill Castro. Not only was Oswald an innocent man, he was framed in Dallas. He was a patriot who, had he defended himself, would have led our deaths. We had endured the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, and the threat of communism spreading throughout Central and South America. I have been unable to speak about this for all these years, and indeed went into hiding after the events of Nov. 22-24, 1963. I am writing this to let light fall at last upon what must have seemed my many mysterious activities even in high school – such as meeting with Nobel Prize winners in St. Petersburg, and why I was never to become a doctor or research scientist. Within weeks or days of the reunion this matter will come to light before the public. My book (will be called “JUDYTH AND LEE”) will deal with these events, and of my love affair with Lee. (Name Deleted*) and can verify my history. I suggest you order his book from Amazon.com. We expect movie and television productions, etc. I am sorry I cannot attend the reunion, and felt an explanation was in order. If any attendees remember my science research project, etc., please give them my email address. I think now you know why the email address is so named. Rec’d an AA degree in 1965 from U of FL Gainesville. I rec’d a B.S. degree in anthropology from U of Houston. Rec’d M.A. from University of central Florida in Creative Writing/Linguisitics. ABD University of Louisiana. Had five children: Susan – M.A. Creighton U.: she has three children. Josiah has six degrees. Professor at U. of Central FL, economics. World traveled, was present in Berlin year of Fall of Berlin Wall. Recent trips to Russia, Europe, spent year in Japan Has two children. James; graduated valedictorian (rank #1), SE H.S. 1991. Won Gold Feather Award. Has B.S. & M.A. from Vanderbilt U. Computer guru. Has one child. John: graduated valedictorian SE High school 1992 (rank #0, a ‘higher’ rank than #1, as he also graduated PRIOR to H.S. graduation from MCC with an AA in engineering and had a GPA that was off the chart). Won Golden Herald Award in Mathematics, 1992. Works for a company that does projects for the CIA. Grad. U of Central FL and Penn State with MS in computer engineering. Sarah: graduated 1998, valedictorian of her class at North Central HS, Lafayette area, Louisiana. Married and attends U of LA in Lafayette. Plans to be a chemistry teacher. Just as her siblings did, she attends on full scholarships. I never had to pay a nickel’s tuition or fees for any of these five children. I am very proud of them. I was married 24 years – divorced after I left the Mormon Church, which we had both joined in 1969 (I wanted to clear my conscience of the project and the pain of it all – I had seen Lee get shot on TV, and it almost destroyed me.) I had married Robert Baker just after meeting Lee, and had planned to divorce him after Lee and I fell in love (Lee was not getting along with his wife at all). Lee Oswald had been sent into Russia so that he could then be sent into Cuba. there is much, much more, but he was betrayed. They knew he would not betray any of us, and he was a handy scapegoat. He knew he was going to be set up, but hoped he could do something to save Kennedy. This is the man who is blamed for Kennedy’s death. The cruelty of the way Lee Oswald was treated is unbelievable to me. I had even met Jack Ruby, who had liked Lee. The mafia forced Ruby to murder Lee, or they would have exposed his part in everything, as he had been a longtime FBI informant, and I believe the mob held the life of his sister, Eva, over his head. He knew about the cancer research project. He even thought he had been injected with live cancer cells (he died of sudden lung cancer – which was what our project revolved around originally). Lee was a courageous man – as will come out soon. I really don’t expect you to believe any of this without documentation and proof. Don’t be concerned: I’ve got the proof. Disinformation people sponsored by the CIA may try to muddy up my reputation. They have even claimed on the internet that I never did any cancer research in high school, and many other lies. It doesn’t matter. I have my defenders and I’ve been able to prove everything I’m saying. I did want my class to have this information in case they become aware of the situation, which should occur at any time between early September and November 22, 2001. I’ve lived in Mexico and Norway as well as having traveled extensively. I have spent the past five years teaching college English in Louisiana, while gathering witnesses on tape and film who knew about me and Lee. Now I am living in Dallas, and I’m receiving some harrassment, along with my investigative team. Our wonderful physics/science seminar instructor Col. Phillip Doyle knew some of what was going on. David Tracy, class of 1960, who also was trained in Russian, ran into me a few times in nuclear research facility at UF where I should not have had clearances, but did. By 1963 I could handle radiation experiments on human tissues via a special private permit at UF. Those permits were rescinded early in 1964 as everyone became firghtened about tracking down people like me and finding out how much funding was done through NSF, NIH, NCI, and ACS with CIA behind distribution of funds. You can trust (Name Deleted*) and what he may say about me (if he will talk – it’s up to him. Many people have been too frightened to speak up, even now). Now you know. I send my very best wishes to everyone. Judyth (From e-mail)
* (“My name appears in two sentences on the MH website. Both are in an email supplied by Judyth Vary Baker 61. I write to request that you take both sentences out of her email. It’s a privacy issue on my part.” – from e-mail)
Some of the corrections are a bit embarrassing, such as the claim that her book would soon come out (it didn’t). The something that “should occur at any time between early September and November 22, 2001” apparently is a reference to the release of her book.
Beyond this, there are several deletions that appear to be Judyth sanitizing her story. She drops the claim that she was, even when in high school, a CIA asset. She drops the passage about how Larry Jerome got the science award as the result of some spooky machinations. She drops the claim that her science teacher, Col. Phillip Doyle, was aware of her use by spooky forces. And she drops the reference to classmate David Tracy.
All of these claims would be risky when addressed to an audience who actually remembered, from circa 1961, the people and situations she mentioned. Likewise, the claim to have been a “dead ringer” for Marina Oswald would have been risky. People who didn’t know the young Judyth Vary might look at the carefully selected pair of photos that Judyth shows people and think she did indeed look like Marina – much as E. Howard Hunt and Frank Sturgis look like two of the three tramps in very carefully selected photos. But people who looked at Judyth from multiple angles would be unlikely to buy that.
Judyth’s changes to her account on her high school alumni was page are a microcosm of the way her story changes. Elements get added, but other elements that she senses are not gaining acceptance get dropped. While nothing can help the massive implausibilities at the core of her story, the process makes the account a bit more believable.
Except to people who have watched it evolve.
John Leyden first noticed the changes in the Manatee web page.