The Garrison investigation reflected the strange personality of New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison. This researcher knew Jim Garrison in the mid-1970's. Garrison wanted me to find a publisher for a manuscript he had written on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. When I read the manuscript I found that it was a fictional work that placed the blame for John Kennedy's death on the Mossad - the Israeli Intelligence Service.
Garrison investigated INTERPEN, but he focused on Loran Hall. Garrison finally indicted Clay Shaw, who was not in any way connected to the conspirators. One of Garrison's major witnesses was Edward Suggs.
Edward Suggs (aka Jack Stuart Martin) was born July 1, 1915, in Phoenix, Arizona. Double click here to see a photo of Suggs. [Suggs.JPGEG] Edward Suggs claimed he joined William Pawley's Flying Tigers before World War II. Edward Suggs showed HSCA investigators a letter from General Claire Chennault, written sometime during the early 1960's, in which General Claire Chennault requested that he work for Chiang Kai Shek: "They would use World War II fighters and capture ships going to mainland China and force them to port in Formosa. Edward Suggs stated the plan fell through for lack of finances." [HSCA 1801007810416] On November 6, 1939, Suggs was an applicant for a position with Naval Intelligence, Washington, D.C. On January 18, 1940, he applied for a position with the Santa Monica, California, Police Department. Edward Suggs went into the Army on February 27, 1940, in Fort McArthur, California. On March 26, 1940, Edward Suggs was a civilian again and applied for a job with the Hawthorne, California, Police Department. On February 17, 1944, Suggs applied for a job with the Memphis, Tennessee Police Department. On July 28, 1944, Edward Suggs applied for a job as a Special Officer with the Los Angeles Police Department. Suggs told the HSCA that he "served in WW II in the Air Corps and served years in the Pacific where he did a lot of radio work, including military intelligence work on ships out of Pearl Harbor. He was near Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked. He received an Honorable Discharge and is very anti-Communist."
The first arrest of Edward Suggs took place in on October 24, 1944, in Fort Smith, Arkansas. The charge was "inv. susp." On January 11, 1945, he was arrested for carrying a pistol in Fort Worth, Texas and on December 12, 1946, he was fingerprinted for "Special Police, Los Angeles, California." On December 31, 1947, Edward Suggs was arrested for disturbing the peace in San Diego, California, and on May 17, 1949, Edward Suggs was arrested for "P/c bond" in Dallas, Texas. On May 14, 1952, Edward Suggs was arrested for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution for the crime of murder in Houston, Texas. On May 16, 1952, he was charged with murder in Houston, Texas. The charges were dropped. On January 27, 1953, he was a witness in Houston, Texas. On May 2, 1953, Suggs was picked-up in Los Angeles on a warrant that had been issued because of the murder charge in Texas. He was released when the L.A.P.D. discovered he was no longer wanted in Texas. On March 10, 1954, Edward Suggs was finger printed in Galveston for vagrancy and drunk. The FBI: "Our files also disclose that in January 1957, we received information from a local store in New Orleans that Suggs had become involved in an altercation with a woman he claimed to be his wife in the store and, as a a result, was ejected from the store. Suggs exhibited identification to store authorities and claimed to be an FBI agent. We instituted inquiries in this matter at that time to locate Suggs and determined that he was in a psychiatric ward Charity Hospital New Orleans as a of January 17, 1957. His psychiatrist informed our agents that Suggs was suffering from a character disorder and indicated an interview of Suggs by the Bureau at that time might prolong his hospitalization." Another FBI document reported that Suggs was a patient in a psychiatric ward in 1956 through 1957. [FBI 62-109060-4539] The FBI interviewed Edward Suggs in 1960 about impersonating an FBI agent.
Carl John Stanley was a self-ordained Archbishop of the Metropolitan Eastern Province of the American Orthodox Catholic Church. Carl Stanley issued false Certificates of Ordination, and had a long arrest record. In 1950 the New Orleans office of the Immigration and Naturalization Service tried to deport him. David Ferrie and Edward Suggs were Bishops in Stanley's Church. According to Carl Stanley " (whom the Louisville Police Department believes is a mentally unbalanced con-man) Suggs claimed to have carried out numerous police 'commissions.' Stanley said that he had indicated that it was his job to spy on other policemen; and while in Louisville, Kentucky, he had reportedly worked for Echo Blue, the publication of the Fraternal Order of Police." [CIA 1315-1050]
Suggs spied on Carl Stanley, for the Louisville Department of Education. The FBI reported that Edward Suggs had suggested Carl Stanley was involved in illegal activities including Fraud Against the Government. The FBI ultimately concluded both men were mentally ill. According to Carl Stanley, Edward Suggs said he had worked for the CIA. No documents supported this.
Paul F. Gaynor and Newton S. Miler were concerned about the identity of "Jack S. Martin" identity and they had Marguerite D. Stevens of the Security Research Service of the Office of Security of the CIA make sure he wasn't identical with "James J. Martin," a former CIA Agent who was an alcoholic. [CIA 1315-1050; FBI LS 105-620 2.28.67, 105-82555-2.21.67; Memo Wood/Fensterwald 4.6.70; CIA 1357-506; FBI 62-109081] When M.D. Stevens searched for traces on Edward Stewart Suggs aka Jack S. Martin there were none.
In the early 1960's David Ferrie stated: "I consider Mr. Suggs mentally emotionally unstable. He has been in Charity Hospital with psychiatric bouts of one kind or another. I know him as a a man who is commonly spoken of as a ambivalent. He plays both sides of the street. Most of his conversation is spent telling you how he wants to torpedo somebody..." In November 1963 Edward Suggs was a candidate for public office in Louisiana.
On the evening of November 22, 1963, Edward Suggs entered the office of Guy Banister. He wanted the files of Guy Banister that pertained to OSWALD. Guy Banister pistol-whipped him. Edward Suggs showed signs of a beating when the FBI questioned him. The FBI reported: "During the November 25, 1963, interview, it was evident that Suggs had recently suffered a severe physical beating. He said that W. Guy Banister had 'pistol-whipped' him, that Banister had been drinking, and that he would not press charges."
Edward Suggs told the HSCA: "On the same day of the phone call, November 22, 1963, he was drinking in the Katz and Jammer Bar with Guy Banister and they got into an argument. They went to Banister's office and, in the heat of the argument, Guy Banister said something and Martin replied 'What are you going to do -- kill me like you all did Kennedy?' Banister drew his .357 magnum and beat Martin in the head (which required medical attention, but not serious). When Martin was on the ground, Guy Banister pointed the gun at his head, and he believes Banister would have killed him. One of the secretaries, possibly Delphine Roberts, told Banister not to shoot him. A police report was made and Banister paid all of the medical bills. Martin dropped the charges." [HSCA interview with Suggs 12.5.77 L.J. Delsa]
Delphine Roberts remembered the incident "where Guy Banister hit Edward Suggs with his gun several times in the head. She stated that Edward Suggs came into the office when she was the only person there. Edward Suggs jumped over the rail to the rear section where some files were kept that had come from Banister's house after he and his wife split up. While she was asking Suggs what he was doing Banister walked in. Banister told Suggs that he knew that he stole some files and had them in his coat and demanded that Suggs give the files back. Suggs shouted words to the effect that Banister didn't have any right to accuse him of stealing, and that he (Suggs), was leaving the office. When he attempted to leave, Guy Banister pulled out his gun and hit Edward Suggs several times in the head causing some lacerations. Banister then took Suggs into his private office and Delphine could not hear, or see, all that was going on. Suggs left the business and some time later came back and told Banister he wanted to go home but did not want to take the bus all bloody. He asked Banister for money to catch a cab. Banister gave him the money. This occurred on the day of the assassination but all the people that were in the office had gone around the corner to the bar. She stayed in the office to work."
"After Edward Suggs left, Delphine Roberts and Guy Banister looked up the OSWALD file which was in her desk because the information had not been mounted and indexed. She assumes Edward Suggs was trying to get OSWALD'S file. She remembers that it contained news clippings. Guy Banister advised her that she should not talk to anyone about OSWALD or any anti-Castro activity that she might have heard about such as a gun-running." [HSCA interview with Roberts]
Suggs had heard of OSWALD when OSWALD was active in New Orleans during the summer of 1963. He wanted Banister's file on OSWALD. He did not know of OSWALD'S association with Banister. When Suggs asked Banister for his file on OSWALD, Banister assumed that Suggs knew of the relationship and became angry.
Edward Suggs was unable to obtain documents on OSWALD from Guy Banister. On November 23, 1963, Edward Suggs was visited by bail bondsman Hardy W. Davis. Edward Suggs told Hardy Davis he had seen a photograph of David Ferrie holding a rifle similar to OSWALD'S and that David Ferrie had once discussed a short story plot which involved the shooting of the President of the United States. The FBI: "Hardy Davis advised that they discussed remarks made by Ferrie to the effect that he would like to kill several Deputy Sheriffs and the Superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department, whom Ferrie believed had been persecuting him and caused him to be arrested for homosexual crimes." Edward Suggs told Hardy Davis that a television program had reported that the library card of David Ferrie had been found in the possession of OSWALD on his arrest in Dallas. When Hardy Davis heard this he called G. Wray Gil, an employer of David Ferrie. "While talking to Gil, Hardy Davis advised he heard that Ferrie had received Cuban literature in Gil's office, and Gil confirmed this in conversation to Davis. Davis stated he did not know when the literature was received, or what the nature of the literature was, which was mailed to Gil's office." Edward Suggs said that Hardy Davis remarked he heard David Ferrie had received literature from the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, which had been mailed to the offices of G. Wray. [FBI NO 89-69-341] Edward Suggs later told the FBI: "Suggs does not believe this to be true, as a Ferrie was connected with anti-Castro group that operated in New Orleans before the Bay of Pigs invasion. Suggs states he is acquainted with the leaders of anti-Castro group, and is well aware of Ferrie's connection with them."
G. Wray Gil (born 1901; died October 4, 1972) had employed Edward Suggs as a an investigator. G. Wray Gil was retained over a long period of time by CARLOS MARCELLO. He represented him in 1970 when CARLOS MARCELLO surrendered to Federal authorities to serve a two year term for assaulting a federal agent. He also represented him in deportation proceedings that year. CARLOS and JOSEPH MARCELLO appeared as a a witness for G. Wray Gil in a Civil proceeding in New Orleans. On November 23, 1963, G. Wray Gil received a call from a local television newsman inquiring as a to the whereabouts of David Ferrie and his whereabouts on November 22, 1963. G. Wray Gil said he was with David Ferrie on November 22, 1963, until 12:15 p.m., then had seen him again that night at a victory party for CARLOS MARCELLO. G. Wray Gil related this to the FBI. When the FBI questioned David Ferrie, he explained he was in the New Orleans Federal Court Building on November 22, 1963, for the final day of CARLOS MARCELLO'S deportation trial then left on a trip to Texas. When the FBI questioned G. Wray Gil he denied having received literature from the Fair Play for Cuba Committee.
On November 23, 1963, Edward Suggs called New Orleans Assistant District Attorney Herman Kohlman and said that in 1955 OSWALD and David Ferrie were in the Civil Air Patrol together and both were members of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee in 1963. Edward Suggs told Major Presley J. Trosclair of the New Orleans Police Department the same story. Edward Suggs hoped to advance his career as a a professional informant by supplying the FBI with this information. Edward Suggs, however, told the HSCA that since he had made "the first phone call on November 23, 1963, he had been a branded man. People no longer asked for his help and his business contacts went down to zero." On Monday, November 25, 1963, Edward Suggs went to FBI S.A. Regis Kennedy with the story:
"Edward Suggs, 1311 North Prieur Street, New Orleans, Louisiana, advised that he was listening to a television program on WWL-TV reported the life of LEE HARVEY OSWALD and reporting various interviews with people in New Orleans that were acquainted with OSWALD. Suggs stated that one of the people interviewed whose name he not know, aged early 20's, wearing horned-rim glasses, recalled that OSWALD had been active in the Civil Air Patrol with David Ferrie. Suggs stated that when he heard this he flipped. Suggs advised that in his occupation as a private investigator he had an occasion to develop considerable information about Ferrie and reported it to one Richard E. Roby, Special Agent, Investigative Division, Office of Compliance and Security, Federal Aviation Agency, Washington, D.C. who must have a big file on Ferrie as a they conducted a complete investigation of his activities in New Orleans several years ago. Suggs advised that he called WWL-TV Station and furnished the station with background information about Ferrie, particularly his homosexual tendencies and that the fact he formerly operated the Civil Air Patrol. He also told them that Ferrie was an amateur hypnotist and may have hypnotized OSWALD and planted a post-hypnotic suggestion that he kill the President.
"Suggs stated that he has visited in the home of David Ferrie and he saw a group of photographs of various Civil Air Patrol cadet groups and in this group he is sure he saw several years ago a photograph of LEE OSWALD as a a member of one of the classes. He stated he did not recall the group that OSWALD was in or any other details...
"Suggs advised that he had reported this matter to Major Trosclair of the New Orleans Police Department, Intelligence Division, and he felt that Major Trosclair was not giving the matter sufficient concern so he called Assistant District Attorney Herman Kohlman who was a former newspaper reporter and who was very familiar with the Ferrie case as a he had written various feature stories about Ferrie. Suggs stated that he explained all of his ideas and suspicions to Kohlman.
"Suggs advised that he was really suspicious of Ferrie's activities when he received a report from W. Hardy Davis, a New Orleans Bail Bondsman, who told him that G. Ray Gill, New Orleans attorney and employer of Ferrie had called him to locate Ferrie who lives down the street from him and at the same time had denied to the TV station that Ferrie was an employee of Gill's office. Davis furnished Suggs information that Ferrie had left town for Texas on Friday evening, November 22, 1963, which information he also made available to Mr. Kohlman. Suggs stated that Ferrie is a completely disreputable person, a notorious sex deviate with a brilliant mind being highly trained in mathematics, sciences, several foreign languages including Latin, modern Greek and ancient Greek. Suggs advised that Ferrie had been education in a seminary and subsequently expelled from the Catholic Church and he, Suggs, suspected him of being capable of committing any type of crime. Suggs stated that he felt that Ferrie's possible association with OSWALD should be the subject of close examination as a he personally believed that he could be implicated in the killing of President Kennedy." Marina Oswald was questioned about a "Mr. Farry" after the assassination. [Lardner Wash. Post 4.2.67]
On April 24, 1967, Suggs told the FBI that "in December 1966, Pershing Gervais asked him to come to the Fontainebleau Motel, Room 125 and told him, Suggs, that he had a civil case against David Ferrie and asked Suggs for information against Ferrie." [FBI 62-109060-5159] Suggs told him had seen OSWALD and Banister together. In January 1967 Garrison subpoenaed Suggs to appear before a New Orleans Grand Jury.
Like most professional informants, Edward Suggs was a liar and a mental case. He never mentioned having seen OSWALD when he spoke with the FBI in November 1963. All the told the Bureau was that he believed Edward Voebel was correct and that OSWALD and Ferrie knew one another from the Civil Air Patrol. He embellished his story for Garrison with wild claims of conspiracy. HEMMING told this researcher: "People don't understand that the Ferrie-MARCELLO thing was an entirely different thing." All that Edward Suggs knew was that OSWALD was connected with David Ferrie. The rest of the information he supplied Garrison was false.
"Edward Suggs had seen OSWALD with Ferrie in Guy Banister's office, located at 544 Camp Street. On the day that President Kennedy was assassinated, Suggs saw a rifle (Mannlicher-Carcano) on TV and remembered that he had seen one just like it in David Ferrie's apartment. Suggs called friend who was an Assistant District Attorney, Herman Kohlsman, and told him about seeing OSWALD with Ferrie and about the gun. Suggs feels this was the first call anyone made to the New Orleans District Attorney. As a a result of that call David Ferrie's apartment was raided by Special Investigators of Jim Garrison. Ferrie was later arrested and released." [HSCA 1801007810416] The FBI: "Had Mr. Banister had previous contact with OSWALD before the assassination, he would have immediately contacted us and reported this information."
Edward Suggs telephonically contacted S.A. Regis L. Kennedy on January 27, 1967, and demanded that the FBI stop Jim Garrison from harassing him. Edward Suggs told S.A. Regis Kennedy "the scope of Garrison's investigation is that there was a conspiracy which originated in the room above W. Guy Bannister's (Deceased) office in New Orleans and that there was a second assassin firing at President Kennedy in Dallas, Texas. W. Guy Banister formerly operated a private investigating office in New Orleans and was a retired SAC of the FBI. [Paragraph deleted as of 1995] The above information is being furnished to the Bureau of its information. No investigation is being conducted by the New Orleans Office. [NARA 124-10073-10348; FBI 124-10073-10348]
About the time David Ferrie was found dead in his apartment on February 22, 1967, Suggs reportedly left town. The CIA reported: "Sugg's wife, when interviewed during the period of his disappearance, stated that such a disappearance was not unusual, as a he takes off alone for several months every year. She admitted that he drinks a great deal, but maintained that he is a 'plain, ordinary man who makes model planes for his (9 year old) son and a chapel (a religious chapel in the house) for his wife and hundreds of ecclesiastical heraldry for his friends.' According to Mrs. Martin her husband since the war has been a reporter, public relations man and private investigator. (Several paragraphs deleted)." [CIA 1357-506]
In August 1967 Edward Suggs telephoned the Washington, D.C., offices of Reis R. Kash, Military Police Detective, CI. Edward Suggs wanted the unlisted telephone number of Grady Clifford Durham: "This is to certify that at approximately 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 1, 1967, I was working in my office when I received a telephone call. The caller identified himself as a Mr. John Martin. He stated that he was working for Jim Garrison out of New Orleans. Before this time I had never heard of John Martin and had no knowledge of Jim Garrison other than that obtained through the news media.
"Martin stated that he was in the Washington, D.C. area looking for a former lawyer from New Orleans named Grady Clifford Durham. Martin stated he had to find Durham in furtherance of an investigation he was conducting for Garrison. Martin stated that Durham had been apprehended in Washington, D.C. after absconding with funds belonging to certain of his clients and that Durham had returned to the Washington, D.C. area. Martin stated he has not yet been able to locate Durham, who reportedly was living in Hyattsville, Maryland. He asked that I determine Durham's address or telephone number through records at the telephone company. Martin stated he could not make this check himself as a he did not have any effective contacts in Washington, D.C. He stated that after he found Durham's telephone number was restricted he had called New Orleans asking various friends for contacts in Washington, D.C. HE stated he had been given my name by a New Orleans police officer, whom he named. (This police official has acted as an informant for me in the past. In order to preserve this relation, I decline to identify this official unless it is absolutely essential that I do so.)
"In order to preserve my relation with the informant, I told Martin I would try to get the address or phone number of Durham for him. Martin stated that he could be reached at the following local telephone number 387-4488.
"After completing this conversation, I telephoned my informant in New Orleans and asked him to verify his relation with Martin. He stated that he knew Martin and asked that I give him limited assistance. I told the informant I would make a telephone check, but I would not get too involved with Martin.
"On the afternoon of August 1, 1967, I made a check through the Provost Marshall, Liaison Section, Defense Central Index, Fort Holabird, Maryland, on Grady Durham. I was advised he did not have a criminal record. The researcher advised that Grady Durham was born 1907 and was a cousin to Governor Davis of Louisiana. The researcher conveyed to me that Grady Durham was the Subject of several intelligence files. I told the researcher I did not want to be exposed to any intelligence information and directed that the files be returned to the stacks immediately.
"On the morning of August 2, 1967, I had the telephone files checked and was advised that Durham's unlisted telephone number was 474-0088.
"At about 8:30 a.m. August 2, 1967, I telephoned Martin at the number he had provided. a woman who did not identify herself answered the telephone. I asked for Mr. Martin and after a short while Mr. Martin came to the phone. Martin, who has a deep voice and New Orleans accent, sounded loggy when he first answered the telephone. I thought at first that he had been drinking the night before and I apologized for waking him up."
Edward Suggs stated that he had once shared an office with Grady Durham, and that Grady Durham had drawn up the charter of a Cuba-oriented organization. Edward Suggs claimed Hanes Johnson used him as a source.
In December 1967 Edward Suggs wrote to an "intelligence agency which conducts counterintelligence investigations," probably the Army Counter-Intelligence Corps. This agency sent Sugg's information to the CIA.: "The main body of the letter relates to his charges against one William Hardy Davis. He stated that there is 'one guy involved in this last bribery deal here who was formerly a bail bondsman at that time. I'd sure like to get the dirt on. So would Jim Garrison too.' He stated that Davis goes to Mexico frequently and 'We know he's mixed up with un-American activities during his sojourns outside the country. He's been under charges here on homosexual violations upon occasion, as a well as a other matters. Although he's always been able to make some kind of deal and get off the hook every time...He's been going down on boys for years.'" [CIA MFR 12.19.67]
David F. Lewis was born May 12, 1940, in Houston, Texas; he was the son of a diesel engineer and he had a General Equivalency Diploma from Warren Easton High School in New Orleans. He claimed military service in the United States Navy from May 29, 1958, to July 17, 1958. David F. Lewis worked for Guy Banister in 1958, or 1959, as a an office boy.
In 1961 the FBI interviewed David F. Lewis regarding an allegation of voting irregularities in New Orleans. The FBI: "Files of the New Orleans Office in case entitled 'Unsub, Employee of Registrar of Voters, New Orleans, Louisiana; David Franklin Lewis, Jr. victim.' CR EL in report of S.A. John T. Reynolds dated October 5, 1961, reveal that investigation based on information from Edward Suggs, part time private detective, to the effect that a friend, David Lewis Jr., had attempted to register to vote on two or three occasions and on each Mr. Gallinghouse had either refused to accept Lewis as a registrant or had permitted him to fill out a card and thereafter advised Lewis he had made mistakes and could not be registered." [NARA FBI 124-10073-10361]
In 1966 New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison began his investigation of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy by reviewing all the David Ferrie, Guy Banister, 544 Camp Street documents in the National Archives, that had been dismissed by the FBI. Edward Suggs heard of District Attorney Garrison's investigation, and in an effort to fabricate corroboration for his story contacted David F. Lewis, who worked as a a baggage handler. Lewis told New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison: "I have never previously been interviewed by the FBI or any other agency on this matter. During the months of January 1961 through January 1962, I was employed by Guy Banister and Associates as a a private investigator. In the late summer of 1963 I was reporting to the Louisiana State Employment Office at 601 Camp Street seeking steady employment. Several times I stopped by Guy Banister's office, before going into the office, I stopped by Mancuso's Restaurant which is on the corner of Guy Banister's office. I noticed Sergio Arcacha, CARLOS [LNU - BRINGUIER?], and a fellow who I was introduced to by CARLOS as a LEE HARVEY in the restaurant. When I first seen LEE OSWALD in the restaurant he didn't talk much, but he seemed anxious about getting on his way. OSWALD appeared to be a highly nervous man with boundless energy. CARLOS, Sergio and LEE OSWALD were involved with some business that dealt with Cuba...a few days either before or after Mancuso's, I went into Banister's office. I went in, they shut the door to the inner office as a if highly confidential. In Banister's office was Banister, David Ferrie, Arcacha and a slim, sandy-haired young man. This man could very well have been OSWALD. By the way, Louise Decker happened to be in the office at this time."
Lewis was asked by Louis Ivon:
Q. Approximately how many times have you seen LEE HARVEY, who you later identified as a LEE HARVEY OSWALD?
A. No more than four times, each time in the company of Carlos.
Q. The day that you first met him, were you introduced to him?
David F. Lewis had not seen OSWALD in the company of Guy Banister or David Ferrie in the summer of 1963. David F. Lewis did not tell his story in 1963. The FBI: "Lewis stated he had not furnished this information to the Warren Commission or the FBI and had not been interviewed by the FBI in connection with the investigation of the assassination of President Kennedy." On February 21, 1967, "PCI (Deleted) who has been subject of limited contact, reliability undetermined, advised he observed David Lewis on television in New Orleans commenting on the Kennedy assassination investigation. (Deleted) advised at the time of the Kennedy assassination (Deleted) Lewis (Deleted) 1407 Conti Street, Apartment C, and was a close confident of Lewis at the time. He advised that at no time during the period of Kennedy assassination did Lewis ever indicate he had any knowledge of the Kennedy assassination. At no time did Lewis ever indicate that he was acquainted with any Cuban refugees." [FBI 62-109060-4526]
In 1967 David F. Lewis told the Associated Press that his life was in danger. [NO DA Doc 12.15.66 Lewis Statement; NARA FBI 124-10073-10361] Edward Suggs telephoned David F. Lewis and questioned him about David Ferrie and OSWALD. He recorded this conversation. "Ray Berg, President, Pacesetter Publishing, 107 Camp Street, advised the FBI that Suggs sent him a thirty second excerpt from this tape in the hope of selling it. Berg stated that in a conversation with Suggs, various names have been dropped by Suggs, such as a David Lewis, David Ferrie, Carlos Quiroga, Sergio Arcacha Smith, Guy Banister, a woman named Louise, who is Guy Banister's secretary, and a Dr. Cardona."
The FBI reported: "(Deleted) a private investigator and reliable source of the New Orleans Office, advised on January 27, 1967, that he had been conducting investigation for the Trailways Bus Line regarding thefts from the New Orleans terminal, and was one of the individuals under investigation is David Lewis. [FBI 62-109060-4539] The FBI (1995) withheld information on David F. Lewis. Reports of television broadcasts of David F. Lewis were deleted. [FBI 62-109060-4527; New Orleans Times Picayune 2.67 p4] In 1968 David F. Lewis applied for a job with Avis Rent-a-Car. The interviewer felt that Lewis was either a mental case or on narcotics. David Lewis told the interviewer he was married in April 1962 and presently has four children but their whereabouts are unknown. [NO FBI 89-43-5737; FBI 62-109060-4504 2.20.67 teletype re: Lewis mostly w/h; NARA FBI 124-10249-10027]
David Ferrie knew OSWALD, but he had no knowledge of the conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy. Who would have told him about the plot? OSWALD? OSWALD had no knowledge of the plot. David Ferrie left New Orleans on Friday, November 22, 1963, at 6:00 p.m. by automobile, for Houston, Texas, accompanied by Melvin Coffey and Alvin Rolan Beauboeuff. He did not mention having attended CARLOS MARCELLO'S victory party. The group checked in at the Alamotel in Houston, Texas, early Saturday, November 23, 1963. David Ferrie made several telephone calls from the motel, including one to G. Wray Gil. After speaking with G. Wray Gil, he went to the Winterland Skating Rink, where he made pay telephone calls while Alvin Beauboeuff and Melvin Coffey skated. When he returned to the motel room, David Ferrie called CARLOS MARCELLO'S Town and Country Motel in New Orleans in search of G. Wray Gil.
The number Ferrie dialed, 833-3757, was a switchboard. He could have spoken with G. Wray Gil after G. Ray Gil consulted with CARLOS MARCELLO, who had an office in Town and Country Motel. The FBI transcribed this number as UE-33757, (it was VE-3-3757). [FBI HO 62-2115 JES/1c] In 1969 a Minnesota man pointed this out to the FBI. The FBI claimed this information was "undoubtedly the handwritten notation of the employee of the motel and the error is the type that would occur if handwriting were sloppy. Houston also sent teletype November 28, 1963, to New Orleans containing same information. New Orleans advised Ferrie previously interviewed and stated made phone calls from instant motel, including call to VE-3-3757 which is Town and Country Motel in New Orleans, attempting to locate his attorney, G. Ray Gil. New Orleans also recognized radio station as WDSU since this is a major radio station in the area. There could be no confusion between UE and VE prefixes of telephone number since U and V and both at the number eight position on the telephone dial while New Orleans had a VE exchange and there was no UE exchange. Teletype concerning same date further reflected that there was no typographical error but rather that information reported as recorded is motel records." [Bishop/A. Jones 6.3.69 cc: Sullivan to Branigan] David Ferrie and his boy friends figure-skated at Winterland late Saturday afternoon November 23, 1963, before driving one hour to Galveston, Texas, where they arrived at 9:00 p.m. and checked into the Driftwood Motel in Galveston. Gaeton Fonzi discovered that the check-in and check-out times for the Alamotel Motel and Driftwood Motel conflicted. Alamotel Motel records indicated that David Ferrie and friends checked into the motel early Saturday, November 23, 1963, and did not leave until 8:00 or 9:00 p.m., Sunday, November 24, 1963. Yet the registration records and witnesses at Driftwood Motel in Galveston showed that the three men registered late Saturday, November 23, 1963, and checked out at 10:00 a.m. Sunday, November 24, 1963. The significance of this was unclear.
The Houston Field Office investigated the connection between OSWALD and David Ferrie. The results of this inquiry were discovered in the Dallas FBI Field Office files and was labeled "No Leads." The report was never sent to FBI Headquarters nor shown to the Warren Commission. The source, Captain Cecil Priest, Houston Police Department, was not interviewed. [FBI NO 89-43-879] Cecil Priest died on July 3, 1968. The report: "Urgent. November 26, 1963, 8-11 p.m. vbr. To: SACs Dallas and New Orleans. From SAC, Houston 62-2115 2p. Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, November 22, 1963, Dallas, Texas. Regarding: Alvin Beauboeuff and David W. Ferrie. At 4:15 p.m. November 26, 1963, Instant Chief of Police Willie Burns (NA) Galveston, Texas, advised he had received telephone call from Captain Cecil Priest, Houston Police Department, asking him to check on Alvin Beauboeuff and David W. Ferrie at the Driftwood Motor Hotel, Galveston. Cecil Priest indicated they were friends of OSWALD.
"Willie Burns said he had a detective check and determined that above individuals registered in Room 117 Driftwood Motor Hotel, 3128 Boulevard, Galveston, 11:00 p.m. on November 23, 1963, and checked out at 2:00 p.m. on November 24, 1963. Gave as their address 618 North Pierce, New Orleans, Louisiana. Were driving four door station wagon, make unknown, Louisiana license 784-895. Also in the room with them was Melvin S. Coffey. All were white males. Also in the room was blond white female, name unknown. While at motel placed long distance call to Alexandria, Louisiana, telephone number unknown.
"Houston does not know the significance of above and inquiry at Houston P.D. would compromise source who does not want Houston P.D. to know of his FBI contact. UAC Dallas, New Orleans, attempt to identify above individuals and their possible connection with LEE OSWALD."
This document was obtained as a result of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by Jeremiah Guttman. First Guttman filed an Freedom of Information Act request. The FBI claimed that the release of the document "could reasonably be expected to disclose the identity of a confidential source of information." Jeremiah Guttman appealed the determination of the FBI to the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice refused to release the document. Jeremiah Guttman went to Federal Court in May 1992, where he filed a civil lawsuit captioned Kay v. FBI 92 Civil 2438 USDC/SDNY. Jeremiah Guttman requested USDC Judge J. Korman grant an in camera inspection, followed by a jury trial. Judge J. Korman stated that the Government had withheld information about the John F. Kennedy assassination for far too long, and ordered the FBI to release an unredacted copy. Jeremiah Guttman: "The judge directed the Assistant United States Attorney to have the FBI Director himself, not some subordinate, review the decision and decide whether the material is to be released." A conference call was arranged with FBI Director William Sessions in late 1992. William Sessions, under pressure to resign, was unavailable. Finally, in March 1993, FBI Deputy Director Karp turned over the document to the plaintiff. He based his determination on the 1992 President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act which stated: "All government records concerning the assassination of President Kennedy should carry a presumption of immediate disclosure, and all records should be eventually disclosed to enable the public to become fully informed about the history surrounding the assassination."
In August 1993 Alvin Beauboeuff was contacted by this researcher. He related that he first met David Ferrie in the Civil Air Patrol: "Dave, at that particular time, was accused of a crime against nature with someone I knew. A real scuze-ball named Mike Crouchet. Ferrie asked me to be a character witness against him in court. It never went that far. After Dave lost his job with Eastern Airlines, the judge threw it out. It never went to trial. Dave was bisexual. No other Civil Air Patrol members came forward and said, 'He did it to me too.' I was a teenager back then. If I had any better sense, I would have never got mixed-up in it. My dad died when I was 13. Anytime I had a problem in school I went to Dave's house for some help. He had a blackboard there. He wouldn't quit until you understood what he was trying to teach you. There wasn't anything he didn't know about. He had a lot of radical beliefs. He was involved with the Cuban Revolutionary Front, Arcacha. They talked a lot. I never heard the conversations. Dave had worked in conjunction with Guy Banister when they were working on the CARLOS MARCELLO case. Banister was a private investigator making his living off attorneys."
Alvin Beauboeuff was asked to comment on the previously cited document: "Damn, that never popped up before! Wow! I never knew anything about that. Suggs had put OSWALD and Ferrie together right after the assassination. He told New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison that OSWALD and Dave were great buddies. If OSWALD was in fact hanging around the Camp Street location Suggs would have seen him, or talked to him, or met him, because Suggs was around there himself all the time. That's how you got that tie. I remember the old son-of-a bitch. I think he died in 1966. I don't know if it was a natural death or not." According to Alvin Beauboeuff, the address 618 North Pierce, was that of Melvin Coffey. As for the blonde, white female, name unknown he said, "Whoa, where did she come from? Hello, no man. If I'd had a blonde bitch in there I would have known all about it. I promise you there wasn't no bitch there. Dave and I had a swinging pad before I was married. We had girls goin' in and out of there like crazy. But on that trip there was just the three of us. I placed the call to Alexandria. Dave called and talked to G. Wray Gil, who told him someone had implicated him in this OSWALD thing. Dave was at the telephone at the rink. He was always on the phone with somebody. In 1966 Garrison offered me money and job to testify that I knew Clay Shaw. Perry Russo came out making a bundle. I never did meet Perry Russo and I practically lived in Ferrie's house. The trip to Texas had been planned two weeks in advance. It all rolled out. The trial finished up and we just went. Unless Dave had some unique way of engineering me into going there."
On Sunday, November 24, 1963, David Ferrie, Alvin Beauboeuff and Melvin Coffey drove back to New Orleans. They stopped at a service station with a television, and saw RUBY kill OSWALD. David Ferrie then made several pay phone calls. Layton Martens reported having received a call from David Ferrie at about 3:00 p.m. Layton Martens: "After Suggs had related that Ferrie had stated the President should be killed and had outlined plans to this effect, he talked with G. Wray Gil [who said] there was nothing to worry about." Layton Martens said that when he inquired if the call was local or long distance David Ferrie replied that it was none of his business. During the conversation David Ferrie stated the name of OSWALD "did not ring a bell with him and that he did not know him...Layton Martens said he knows David Ferrie to be a great admirer of President Kennedy."
When Alvin Beauboeuff, Melvin Coffey, and David Ferrie reached New Orleans, David Ferrie dropped off Alvin Beauboeuff and Melvin Coffey near his home, and drove to Hammond, Louisiana, where he stayed with a friend. [FBI 62-109060-4447, 62-109060-4515, #89-69 New Orleans 11.27.63 p219, 62-109060-1294; HSCA V5 p114] When Alvin Beauboeuff returned to David Ferrie's apartment he was arrested, then released after David Ferrie gave himself up.
Edward Suggs started the rumor that OSWALD had David Ferrie's library card in his possession after his arrest in Dallas. Layton Martens told the police the on November 22, 1963, G. Wray Gil visited him and asked to relay a message to David Ferrie that his library card had been found among OSWALD'S effects. When the New Orleans Police arrested David Ferrie on November 26, 1963, he had his library card on his person. [FBI 105-82555-330, 104-82555 3.8.67 TNG, 62-109060-252]
Mrs. Jesse Garner, OSWALD'S former landlady in New Orleans, told the HSCA that David Ferrie visited her home on the night of the assassination and asked about OSWALD'S library card, but she refused to speak with him: "I just opened the door and he came in, and he said, 'I'm David Ferrie.' Well, I thought he was one of the FBI men or newsmen...He just merely said, 'What's all this?' He said they found his library card on OSWALD. When he said that, I knew he had nothing to do like the other guys, the FBI, or anything like that. That's when I get him off my back. I said, 'Get out.' He left right away." [HSCA testimony of Mrs. Jesse Garner] David Ferrie was out of New Orleans when this allegedly occurred.
OSWALD'S neighbor in New Orleans, Alexander Eames, stated: "One time I was down to the main public library in New Orleans. I was going in and out browsing, and I came face to face with OSWALD. After the assassination the local newspaper picked-up this incident. The day after the newspaper came out relating the fact I had seen OSWALD in the library - I wasn't home - but David Ferrie came to my door and he stood out to my wife. He had a cheap wig and painted eyebrows. He said, 'Is your husband home?' She said, 'No, what do you want?' He said, 'I would just like to ask your husband if, when he saw OSWALD in the library, whether he got close enough to see whether he used his own library card or my library card?' I thought that was very interesting because a lot of people deny there was even any connection between Ferrie and OSWALD. If they were exchanging library cards there must have been some connection. I don't recall when this happened..."
Both of these stories about David Ferrie were false. Nothing was found among OSWALD'S possessions that linked him to David Ferrie.
On February 13, 1964, Raymond Comstock of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office "advised the New Orleans Office of the FBI he was assigned to the District Attorney's office shortly after the assassination and was attempting to locate David Ferrie, an alleged associate of LEE HARVEY OSWALD. During an attempt to locate Ferrie, Comstock secured some documents from Ferrie's residence. These were two undated letters addressed to Jack Wasserman signed D.W. Ferrie; one letter appears to be a corrected copy of the other; and undated letter addressed to Jack signed Dave; an undated letter addressed to Jose Juis LaRoca, Guatemala, and the first page of Ferrie's bankbook with the Whitney National Bank of New Orleans. Comstock obtained this material without a warrant and Ferrie was not present...The material that Comstock furnished indicates Ferrie was in Guatemala in October and November 1963 making inquiries on behalf of Jack Wasserman, attorney for CARLOS MARCELLO." David Ferrie told the Secret Service that he made a number of trips to Guatemala on behalf of CARLOS MARCELLO. During his last trip, in early November 1963, he flew Taca Airlines and made one stop in Mexico City. [USSS 620] Ferrie's bankbook showed that large amounts of money had been deposited in David Ferrie's account in October and November 1963. In 1978, during secret testimony before the HSCA, CARLOS MARCELLO acknowledged having given David Ferrie these funds, but claimed that he had paid David Ferrie to investigate the credibility of a government witness in the immigration case that was pending against him. The FBI did not determine the source of the funds deposited, or the purpose for which they were withdrawn, although the Bureau assumed the source was CARLOS MARCELLO. [FBI 62-109060-4521, 5296, 5241, 5295, 5334, 4521; NO 89-1-9-3437] On September 30, 1968, NO T-2 advised that (deleted) and (deleted) of (deleted), Louisiana State Police are suspected by him as being connected with (deleted) as they have been seen on numerous occasions at the Town and Country Restaurant. According to source (deleted) and (deleted) were formerly in business with David Ferrie and owned a piece of United Air Taxi Business in New Orleans. Source stated that he had information that (deleted) car was at one time parked at David Ferrie's residence, and the believe that (deleted), (deleted) and (deleted) were associated together in United Air Taxi. (Deleted)." [FBI NO 92-10976-2]
The FBI questioned David Ferrie on November 25, 1963. "Ferrie stated that he does not know LEE HARVEY OSWALD and to the best of his knowledge OSWALD was never a member of the Civil Air Patrol Squadron in New Orleans during the period he was with that group. Ferrie said that if OSWALD had been a member of the squadron for only a few weeks as had been claimed, he would have been considered a recruit and that Ferrie would not have had any contact with him...Ferrie said that to the best of his knowledge he does not know any individual named LEE HARVEY OSWALD nor has he ever known the individual represented by photograph presented to him as that of LEE HARVEY OSWALD in the Civil Air Patrol, in any business connection or in any social capacity...He stated that on November 9, 1963, and November 16, 1963, he was at Churchill Downs, which is a farm owned by CARLOS MARCELLO, mapping strategy in connection with MARCELLO'S trial." Ferrie told the FBI about his skating trip to Texas and said that he understood that Edward Suggs had accused him of having had an association with OSWALD. He said he first met Suggs in the Fall of 1961 and "since that time Suggs has attempted to insert himself in his (Ferrie's) personal affairs...He stated that Suggs began visiting him at the office of Attorney G. Wray Gil and that Mr. Gil did not want Mr. Suggs hanging around his office. Ferrie claimed that in June 1963 he put Suggs out of Mr. Gil's office in an undiplomatic manner, and that since that time Suggs has bedeviled him in every possible manner...Ferrie stated that from approximately November 1960 until August 1961, he was associated with the Cuban Revolutionary Front in New Orleans. He stated that he had been actively engaged in working for the Cuban Revolutionary Front collecting money, medicine and clothing for the organization, as well as giving talks before various citizen's groups. He stated that at the time he was associated with the Cuban Revolutionary Front the office of the organization was located in the Balter Building, and that Sergio Arcacha Smith was head of this organization in New Orleans. Ferrie stated that he has never known of the Cuban Revolutionary Front maintaining an office at 544 Camp Street, nor does he have any knowledge of Sergio Arcacha Smith maintaining an office at that address during the time he was head of the organization and later he was replaced. Ferrie said that the Cuban Revolutionary Front was definitely an anti-Castro organization, and that all persons connected with the organization were violently anti-Castro. Ferrie said that he has not had any connection with the Cuban Revolutionary Front or any other anti-Castro organization since August 1961...Sergio Arcacha Smith gave up leadership of the organization and was replaced by an individual named Rabel."
The only statement the FBI attempted to verify regarded the airworthiness of Ferrie's private airplane. David Ferrie claimed it had not been airworthy since 1962. When the FBI checked with the Federal Aeronautics Administration, it discovered that the agency considered the plane to be currently airworthy. [FBI 62-109060-from SAC Houston 62-2215 teletype 11.26.63; FBI 62-109060-482,313]
David Ferrie was re-interviewed on November 27, 1963: "Ferrie advised at time of Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba he was very much embarrassed and concerned over the lack of air cover provided, and severely criticized President Kennedy both in public and in private. Ferrie stated that he had never made any statement that President Kennedy should be killed with the intention to do so, and has never at any time outlined any plan or made any statement as to how this could be done or who should do it. Ferrie said he is very outspoken and may have used an offhand or colloquial expression / he ought to be shot / in expressing his feelings concerning Cuban situation." He denied having met OSWALD in the Civil Air Patrol. Interview of David W. Ferrie reflected in report of SA WARREN C. DEBRUEYS, Dallas, December 2, 1963, entitled LEE HARVEY OSWALD.
On December 10, 1963, in an affidavit for S.A. Regis Kennedy, Ferrie wrote: "I have no records or recollection, to my knowledge, to show that LEE HARVEY OSWALD was, or was not, a member of this particular unit of the Civil Air Patrol. To the best of my knowledge and belief I do not know LEE HARVEY OSWALD and have no personal recollection of having met him. If I ever did meet him it was very casual and, to the best of my recollection, I have definitely not seen him in recent years." [FBI NO-44-2064 12.10.63, 62-109060-1294, NO-89-69 p341 11.26.63, 62-1090604-891] Edward S. Suggs reported: "Regis Kennedy used to come around [544 Camp Street] and was friendly with people in Guy Banister's office. Regis also spent a lot of time north of Lake Pontchartrain by the Cuban training camps" On May 17, 1967, S.A. Regis Kennedy appeared before the New Orleans Parish Grand Jury during the "Jim Garrison Investigation." He invoked executive privilege in response to several questions. [FBI 62-109060-5255 5.18.67] Regis Kennedy wrote: "I was asked if I knew W. Guy Banister and I told him yes. He then asked if I ever visited Banister's office and the identity of anyone I observed there. I answered that I had been in Guy Banister's office, and that the only person I could recall observing when I was there was Edward Suggs and two women, whose names I could not recall. I was also asked of my knowledge of the relationship between Banister, Arcacha Smith and OSWALD. I answered that I did not know...I was asked if I knew Dean Andrews and I acknowledged that I did...During the questioning concerning Andrews I was asked by a member of the jury whether I had investigated Dean Andrews and I replied that my contacts with Dean Andrews were set forth in the Warren Commission report." [FBI TO SAC from Regis Kennedy 5.18.67 - 5255] When the HSCA contacted Regis Kennedy he said: "He doubted there was any connection between MARCELLO, Ferrie and Banister et. al. to the assassination," and referred the Committee to DeBRUEYS. A message from the New Orleans FBI Field Office to the Director regarding the testimony of DeBRUEYS and Regis Kennedy is still mostly withheld. [NARA FBI 124-10031-10275; FBI 62-109060 1st. NR 5175 dated 5.8.67]
New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison interviewed David Ferrie's friend, Layton Martens. Layton Martens had been arrested for attempted homicide and had told the FBI he feared Jim Garrison calling him as a witness, because "cross-examination might reveal Cuban Revolutionary Front CIA affiliation in 1961, and dealings with the late Attorney General Robert Kennedy, and subsequent discontinuing of plans for a Cuban second invasion." He believed such testimony would have lent credence to New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison's contention that anti-Castro Cubans were involved in the assassination. In August 1993 Layton Martens stated: "We were getting sometimes as many as 5,000 Cuban refugees a day into the Port of New Orleans. We started as a volunteer Agency between the Cuban office, which was Arcacha Smith, the Mayor's office, and the State of Louisiana, to take care of these people. What we were doing was prioritized by Robert Kennedy under aegis of the President because of specific facts that were being revealed by refugees regarding nuclear weapons in Cuba." Layton Martens claimed that in 1968 United States Attorney General Ramsey Clark suggested that he leave Louisiana, and go to Washington, to avoid testifying on this point. Layton Martens: "Garrison was the most patently evil individual I ever knew. He molested a young boy at the Athletic Club. Jack Anderson ran the story. The kid's uncle was a Monsignor in the Catholic Church. Now that the kid is grown up, he doesn't mind talking about it. I can't prove it, but bribery was involved in the Garrison investigation. He dug up some witnesses. David Ferrie was a good American, he was not a homosexual, he was not some kind of weird fanatic creep. Otherwise he would not have been working under the Attorney General. There were letters about this, but they are missing. His arrests for homosexuality were manufactured. There was a serious recanting, and the charges were dropped. David Ferrie and my mom were very close after her divorce, and the two were talking about marriage. David Ferrie was just your basic, good American, who was doing the right thing. He didn't work for CARLOS MARCELLO. He worked for G. Wray Gil. G. Wray Gil was in a law firm representing many people. Ferrie could have flown CARLOS MARCELLO back to the United States. I wasn't there. I know he found a way to work with the Administration to get CARLOS MARCELLO back into the country. Cause the Attorney General had boo-booed. You can't just kidnap people, even though he was late for a deportation hearing. Understand, everyone wants to write books that say, 'He knew CARLOS MARCELLO, he must have been in with the mafia.' RUBY probably knew CARLOS MARCELLO too. Who cares? I been ignoring all this crap for 30 years." In 1962 Layton Martens explained to the New Orleans FBI that he had been arrested by the New Orleans Police because he was associated with the Cuban Revolutionary Front, some of whom were homosexuals.
In 1978 the mother of Layton Martens, Margarita Martens, was confined at Southern Baptist Hospital, diagnosed as schizophrenic. The HSCA interviewed her: "Subject denies writing a letter concerning an assassination plot and states that she wrote her priest a letter dealing with her father beating her. She met David Ferrie in 1961 and didn't associate with him in 1963. He was her son's leader in the Civil Air Patrol. She never met LEE HARVEY OSWALD. If she wrote a letter about an assassination plot, it was while under the influence of pills and after her son's arrest during the Garrison probe." Layton Martens complained to the HSCA that its investigators woke his mother up from sleep and made accusations about her having been involved in the Kennedy assassination.[HSCA 5.17.78 Martens Int.]
Layton Martens told the FBI that David Ferrie had blackmailed CARLOS MARCELLO into buying a gasoline station for him because "Ferrie had something on him." [FBI 62-109060-251; CIA 1362-1061A; FBI 62-109060-7077 2.26.73; Look Magazine 8.26.69; FBI 62-109060-5815 10.13.67] On January 24, 1964, William David Ferrie supplied the FBI with information on Edward Suggs activity in regard to phony degrees and awards. [FBI 63-4296-33-596]
Dean Adams Andrews (born October 8, 1922; died April 1981), was an attorney for CARLOS MARCELLO. [CIA 1359-503] Dean Andrews attended law school with WARREN DeBRUEYS. New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison could not question S.A. DeBRUEYS about Guy Banister because when the Garrison investigation began in March 1967, the FBI had S.A. DeBRUEYS transferred from New Orleans to Washington, D.C. On May 6, 1977, SAC DeBRUEYS resigned from the FBI after 27 years of service.
Dean Andrews began his association with CARLOS MARCELLO in 1950 or 1951, during the early stages of CARLOS MARCELLO'S deportation case. In 1951 Dean Andrews applied for the position of FBI S.A. but was never employed. In 1954 Dean Andrews found employment with the Immigration and Naturalization Service. While he was in the Immigration and Naturalization Service he became acquainted with FBI S.A. Regis Kennedy. Dean Andrews became an Assistant District Attorney in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. Jefferson Parish was as tightly controlled by the mob as Cicero, Illinois, was at the height of the Capone era. Frank Langridge was District Attorney and the boss of Dean Andrews. The Chief Investigator under Frank Langridge, Joseph "Zip" Chimento, had been convicted of having bribed a witness in 1943 to help two Cosa Nostra mobsters. Before Joseph Chimento worked for Frank Langridge he worked as a collector for CARLOS MARCELLO. While Dean Andrews was an Assistant District Attorney, he continued practicing law and defended employees of JOSEPH, PETER and ANTHONY MARCELLO. [FBI 62-109060-5255; Weisberg OSWALD in New Orleans p140; FBI 62-109060-1522; Epstein Counterplot p26; Brener p57; Life 9.8.67; undated Times-Picayune article in ARA files]
On November 25, 1963, Dean Andrews "who is presently confined to the Hotel Dieu, with pneumonia, telephonically advised SA Regis L. Kennedy that OSWALD had talked to him, date not known, about getting a Dishonorable Discharge changed. Andrews stated that OSWALD was a walk in client, did nothing about it, and doubts that he has any record. Andrews stated OSWALD accompanied by another individual. In a later interview Andrews related to the FBI that he had first met OSWALD in late June 1963, when OSWALD appeared at his office with several companions he believed to be homosexuals. OSWALD requested his assistance in making inquiries concerning his Dishonorable Discharge from the Marine Corps. HEMMING told this researcher: "OSWALD was trying to upgrade his discharge to a General, or a less than honorable, when he was dealing with Dean Andrews. He eventually planned to go back on fucking active duty again. Not just to get his benefits, because he came in 1955 or 1956. Any post-1955 people didn't get the fucking G.I. Bill at that time. The discharge didn't mean shit to him. Nobody gives a fuck what kind of discharge you have when you go around and get a job. Later on, during the Vietnam thing, they tightened up on it. That's the promise that's held out. They'd tell him: 'We can't intervene because it would look like you are being paid off.' They would have told him, 'Here's what you do on your own, get a lawyer, do this.' And they would suggest a lawyer that was in the fucking loop. Dean Andrews had done a couple of discharge upgrade cases for homosexuals who had been put out on a Section Eight. He'd worked on those and it was an easy thing. A matter of paperwork. He'd done it before. He was a parking ticket fixer type. Was he hooked-up with Banister? More than likely. Lawyers always use these sleazy P.I.s." OSWALD left the Marines on a Hardship Discharge and his U.S. Marine Corps discharge card that stated that he had been Honorably Discharged. He could have used this card to obtain employment.[WCE 1413]
Dean Andrews affirmed he talked with OSWALD two or three times but never opened a file on him. In 1964 Sergeant R. M. Davis, U.S. Army, retired, who was employed as a private investigator by Dean Andrews, recounted that in June 1963, Dean Andrews discussed with him the procedure required to amend or correct a Marine Corps Undesirable Discharge. Sergeant R. M. Davis, however, could not locate any record on OSWALD.
Dean Andrews stated that on the evening of November 23, 1963, while he was in the hospital, Clay Bertrand called him and asked if he would be interested in handling OSWALD'S defense, then told him he would call back later. He never did. Andrews told the FBI on November 25, 1963, "that on November 23, 1963, one Clay Bertrand, a French Quarter queer, called Andrews and asked him if he would undertake the defense of OSWALD...The next day, [November 24, 1994] Dean Andrews called New Orleans attorney Sam Monk Zelden to ask him if he would be interested in assisting in OSWALD'S defense. As they were speaking, Sam Monk Zelden received the news that OSWALD was dead."
The FBI interviewed Sam Monk Zelden on November 25, 1963. He confirmed parts of Dean Andrews' story. In a telephone interview, Mrs. Zelden established that her husband passed away on September 19, 1981, after suffering "something similar to a stroke in 1976." Sam Monk Zelden had mentioned the telephone call to her.
Dean Andrews called his secretary, Eva Springer, at 4:00 p.m. on November 23, 1963; he conveyed he "was representing OSWALD in Dallas and was told that Bertrand hired him..." On November 25, 1963, Dean Andrews "called Eva Springer and asked her to locate any records on Clay Bertrand, but has not been able to locate his name - he's unknown to her." [Unmarked FBI index card "No rpt." Clay Bertrand 12.6.63 12.5.63 p36 Springer to Dean Andrews] During his Warren Commission testimony, Dean Andrews claimed soon after he was released from the hospital his office was burglarized.
On November 23, 1963, the MARCELLO family asked Clem Serht to volunteer his services to OSWALD, as free defense counsel. In 1978, a former associate of Clem Serht informed the New Orleans Crime Commission that Clem Sehrt had told him that some party had contacted him soon after the assassination to request that he go to Dallas to represent the accused assassin. The law firm which represented Sam Giancana - McCoy, Ming and Leighton - had attorney Harold McDermitt volunteer to represent OSWALD.
OSWALD stated that he wanted John Abt (born May 1, 1904; died August 10, 1991) for an attorney. The name of John Abt was mentioned by Whittaker Chambers during the Alger Hiss trial. [FBI CG 62-6115 2.20.64] Ruth Paine testified that OSWALD called her from jail to communicate "he wanted to ask me to call Mr. John Abt in New York for him after 6:00 p.m. He gave me a telephone number of a New York office and a New York residence...Then he called back almost immediately. I gather he had made the call to me on the permission to make a different call, and then he got specific permission from the police to make a call to me, and the call was identical...This is speculation, but the content of the second call was almost identical." Ruth Paine was asked by this researcher whether she commented to him about the fact "that he had already just called you about the same subject matter?" Ruth Paine replied, "No." Michael Paine: "He called Ruth and wanted us to get Abt as an attorney and I was offended at that. It was a dumb thing. It illustrates his incompetence to really function in this world." After OSWALD was killed, the home and office telephone numbers of John Abt, and the number for The Worker, were found in his pockets. [WCD 1406]
OSWALD maintained his Communist identity, hoping that someone in the intelligence community would get him out of this predicament and that was why he asked for Abt. Assuming that those government agencies who questioned OSWALD after his arrest on November 22, 1963, told the truth about the interrogation, OSWALD was unwilling to reveal his ties to HEMMING et. al. This might have been a result of his having been involved in illegal acts with HEMMING, dirtied up. Why did OSWALD make the same call twice?
Why Dean Andrews came forward with this story was unclear. The FBI began to interview Dean Andrews on a weekly basis. Each time, his story changed. On December 3, 1963, Dean Andrews assured the FBI that the telephone call was a "dream he had during sedation." Sergeant R. M. Davis thought the call Dean Andrews received at the hospital was "a dream." During Dean Andrews' testimony before the Warren Commission, he returned to his original story. Dean Andrews contacted the United States Secret Service in 1966 and professed to have some new information to indicate OSWALD didn't act alone: "I'm 40% sure I know the identity of the person who was responsible for OSWALD killing the President." The United States Secret Service declined to send an agent to Dean Andrews' home to interview him, and advised him to visit its offices.
When New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison subpoenaed Dean Andrews to testify before a New Orleans Grand Jury in 1967, his testimony changed. He was indicted for perjury. Dean Andrews left his post as a Jefferson Parish Assistant District Attorney. His law practice suffered, and he took a job at a MARCELLO-owned Bourbon Street bar. Dean Andrews was convicted of perjury in August 1967 and he received an 18-month jail term. He appealed the conviction and was released on $2,500 bond. He still maintained he could not identify Clay Bertrand. New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison had his investigators comb the New Orleans French Quarter for Clay Bertrand, but they found nothing. [FBI NO-100-16601 12.5.63; FBI 62-109060-1522, 4648, 5520, 4821, 5112; USSS CO-2-34,030-12.19.66, 2.20.67, 3.30.67] In June 1967, the FBI learned from a confidential source that a homosexual in New Orleans who used the pseudonym Clay Bertrand was Eugene Clair Davis.
FBI traces were highly deleted, but nonetheless revealed that Eugene Clair Davis (born July 8, 1924) worked for CARLOS MARCELLO. One trace disclosed: "Davis had retained an attorney who represented New Orleans hoodlum, CARLOS MARCELLO." [FBI 62-109060-5442; FBI 104060-5455] Eugene Clair Davis owned Wanda's Bar, a homosexual hangout. George Wray Gil Sr. was his attorney "for the transactions on buying Wanda's." Eugene Clair Davis had worked at the Court of Two Sisters. On April 28, 1960, a Potential Criminal Informant file was opened on Eugene Clair Davis by the New Orleans FBI Office and he was designated a criminal informant on October 11, 1966. [FBI 137-7386-3] Eugene Clair Davis furnished extremely valuable information over a period of years. His information led to the arrest of a number of fugitives. The file of the New Orleans FBI Office indicated he was contacted about the Kennedy assassination, but possessed no information. The file did not indicate he used the alias of Clem Betrand. [FBI Memo Branigan to Sullivan 6.22.67] Eugene Clair Davis had eight arrests: "Two City Misdemeanors; Two State Misdemeanors; Four, Felony." In January 1968 Eugene Clair Davis was arrested for obscenity that involved a sixteen year old boy. [FBI 62-109060-6113]
On February 26, 1969, Dean Andrews testified "that the telephone call he received on November 23, 1963, while being confined to the Hotel Dieu Hospital, New Orleans, was from Eugene Davis. He testified that he had known Davis for a number of years and that he had known Davis six months to a year before he was introduced to Davis as Clay Bertrand at the wedding he had previously testified about. He testified he had represented Davis on legal matters since 1951, and knew Davis well enough so that he could recognize Davis' voice on the telephone. He testified he never observed Davis with OSWALD. He testified he never identified anybody as Clay Bertrand, and used the name merely as a cover name for Davis. In regards to the telephone call, Andrews testified that it was he, not Davis, who suggested representing OSWALD. He testified that I suggested I would be famous of I went to Dallas to defend OSWALD. That anybody who defended him would be famous. He testified he had no explanation why he called Attorney Sam Monk Zelden about a trip to Dallas. Andrews testified that in his appearances before the Warren Commission and the Orleans Parish Grand Jury, he was never given a chance to explain, and the reason he did not name Eugene Davis was that he wanted to protect him. In regards to the name Clem Bertrand, he testified that the only time he met anyone using that name was at the wedding previously testified about. He testified that during his appearances before the New Orleans Parish Grand Jury he was forced into making conflicting statements because he was being hemmed in by his previous testimony before the Warren Commission. He testified that when he was being interviewed at the Hotel Dieu Hospital by FBI S.A. Regis Kennedy, he was trying to think of a name to use as a cover name, and finally decided to use the name Clay Bertrand. He testified the only portion of his testimony before the Warren Commission which are true is that part about OSWALD coming to his office to seek legal advice. Andrews was then questioned extensively about his testimony before the Orleans Parish Grand Jury. He testified that whenever he mentioned the name Clay Bertrand to the Grand Jury, he was talking about Eugene Davis. Andrews was then excused as a witness." [FBI 62-109060-6793]
Had CARLOS MARCELLO asked Dean Andrews to defend OSWALD and was Andrews afraid to name him? Was his report to the FBI a compromise with his conscious? NBC reported Eugene Clair Davis was Clay Betrand. Eugene Clair Davis was linked to OSWALD by other dubious witnesses.
During the Garrison investigation, New Orleans landlady and FBI informant, Betty Parent, stated: "You should check into the waiters who worked in the Court of Two Sisters during the Summer of 1963 as she heard that at least one of the waiters had said that OSWALD stayed in one of the upstairs apartments at the Court for a while. She said that PETE MARCELLO had something to do with the Court. Eugene Davis lost his job with the Court because of OSWALD'S visit. Davis was involved in blackmailing queers. His information came from FBI Agent Regis Kennedy." [Regis Kennedy Memo Sciambra / Garrison interview with BP-12.18.67; FBI 62-109060-5240; CIA 4793, 4928]
The FBI: "The Court of Two Sisters on Bourbon Street was operated by Nunzio Pecora, the brother-in-law of Joseph Poretto." [FBI teletype TO SAC NO from DIR Onozio Pecora 2.16.65] Nunzio Pecora and Joseph Poretto ran a restaurant and lounge at the Town and Country Motel during the 1950's. Nunzio Pecora was an ex-convict with an extensive past history in heroin trafficking. From the Town and Country he directed a call-girl ring and in the late 1950's Nunzio Pecora took over operation of CARLOS MARCELLO'S Tropical Tourist Court and Trailer Camp. Nunzio Pecora was one of CARLOS MARCELLO'S three most trusted aides, and law enforcement surveillance reports indicated a particularly close relationship in the early 1960's, with Nunzio Pecora always close at hand at CARLOS MARCELLO'S headquarters at the Town and Country Motel. The FBI reported: "Investigation by the New Orleans office reveals Pecora meets and discusses activities with many prominent New Orleans underworld figures." [FBI 92-8100- 1.15.65 pages deleted]
Betty Parent furnished Jim Garrison's investigators with a description of the waiter, but not his name. Betty Parent repeated gossip that probably originated with Leander D'Avy, a punch drunk alcoholic.
Leander D'Avy (born January 26, 1924) was a retired member of the U.S. Air Force who was employed from 1959 to 1963 as the doorman at the Court of Two Sisters. Leander D'Avy advised the FBI in 1968 that in 1962 he, "First saw individual later identified as OSWALD. OSWALD asked for Clay Bertrand. Sent to Eugene Davis, night manager, Court of Two Sisters. Talked about one hour. OSWALD left the bar. As he was leaving, Davis pointed out OSWALD to the bar maid and told her that he had just come back from the Iron Curtain...Saw OSWALD twice. Second time was about six months before Kennedy was assassinated. OSWALD was in a room at the Court of Two Sisters with four or five others. Eugene Davis was there...Claims CARLOS MARCELLO ran Court of Two Sisters. Told Garrison what he told the FBI. Did not testify." [FBI NO 89-69 1A-139] D'Avy also claimed to have been "backhanded" by JACK RUBY in the parking lot of the Court of Two Sisters.
Leander D'Avy waited five years before he came forward. This was suspicious. In 1977 Leander D'Avy told the HSCA: "Well, in 1960, I retired out of the Air Force, after 20 years. I went to work at the Court of Two Sisters in New Orleans, as a doorman. And in 1962 this young man walks up to me and asks me if there was a Clay Bertrand working there. I told him I don't know any Clay Bertrand. [I asked the] night manager, Eugene Davis in the tavern 'Gene, do we have a Clay Bertrand working here?' And Eugene said 'Send the young man in here, I'll talk to him.' Clay Bertrand, that's probably a code name. Just like that. So I sent him on in, about an hour later the young man walks out, Eugene Davis comes up to the door where I'm standing, talks to one of the waitresses in there, and he says 'See that young man? He's just come from behind the Iron Curtain.' Well, I didn't put no assassination n' that together - it hadn't happened yet.' Two weeks before the assassination I was called one Saturday morning to pick up my check. I walked into the patio and asked where Eugene Davis was, they said he's up there in the store room. So I went up there and it wasn't no storeroom, they had a little apartment up there, had a bed in it, had five men in it. One of them was OSWALD, I recognized him after the assassination. He was laying across the bed. One of them was David Ferrie. When I went up to Jim Garrison's office I knew it was going to get back to CARLOS MARCELLO or one of them, that I'm talking. And my life won't be worth a plug nickel if they find out. Right then and there I moved out of New Orleans, right the next day. I went to Jackson, Mississippi. I have seen pictures of the other two men [with OSWALD, David Ferrie and Davis] in the Enquirer, the tramps, the little one in that picture was the guy that had the whiskers...I could identify [two] tramps. I don't know their names. All I know is I can identify 'em when I see 'em. One - ah, two of the tramps was, I'm pretty sure, CIA - former CIA men, or something. I never heard no talk [the tramps were HUNT and STURGIS]. I'll take a polygraph test on everything I told you, that's just the way it was, the way it is. I believe there was at least two guys who used to belong to the CIA...two CIA men that were members of the Bay of Pigs, along with a bunch of Cubans. I think them Cubans were from the Bay of Pigs invasion." Leander D'Avy tried to sell his story to the tabloid, Midnight. The HSCA asked him if he had received psychiatric care. He said he had not.
In December 1977 Leander D'Avy was interviewed by HSCA investigator L.J. Delsa. This time he said he had inquired of the bookkeeper, Margaret Tannenbaum, if Clay Bertrand worked there, and Eugene Clair Davis overheard him. Leander D'Avy stuck to his tale about having seen the tramps, and stated that Nick Karno owned the Court of Two Sisters. L.J. Delsa reported: "Nick Karno is a MARCELLO associate and is alleged to have his names on businesses in the French Quarter that are actually CARLOS MARCELLO'S. In 1959 a confidential source indicated that Nick Karno was going to South America, and seemed to be helping procure arms for Fidel Castro. Nick Karno is presently fighting trial dates which his attorneys have been successfully putting off since his murder indictment in 1974..."
A distant cousin of Leander D'Avy was contacted: "I thought he had died. He was an individual that had been inflicted by encephalitis as a child and he roamed a lot. He was a merchant seaman in his younger days. It's been 30 years since I've seen him." The brother of Leander D'Avy, Nuby D'Avy, was contacted: "Leander died February 1986 in Jackson, Mississippi. He went in the hospital for a check up and the nurse left him with something, and she went back, and he strangled on himself, and he went into a coma. He told me he might come into some money because he knew something about the Kennedy assassination. And he had heard about it, he had nothing to do...My brother was in Navy. He's got three boys in Mississippi. Charlie, Nuney and Philip. He told me he had information about it, and he was going to talk with the FBI, and he might not live long. Somebody was going to be after him to kill him or something. He said he knew something. That's all he told me. No details."
Leander D'Avy had lied to his brother.
HSCA investigators talked with Eugene Clair Davis several times during October and November 1977. He denied knowing, or ever having seen, OSWALD. Eugene Clair Davis stated that "there were rooms above the Court of Two Sister's Patio, but they were used as storerooms, and Nick Karno had an apartment up there that no one could use except Nick Karno."According to Perry Russo: "Eugene Davis was bludgeoned to death about ten years ago by a trick of his. He was into sadism. They caught the guy, I think. He was tried...it was in the paper in 1977, 1978. Ask a quarter-hound. He owned Wildside, a gay bar. His assailant was ruled insane." [Russo, Perry 741 Navarre Ave NO LA 70124 telephone 504- 488-4439]
New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison indicted Gordon Dwane Novel for complicity in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. In his youth, Gordon Novel belonged to a neo-Nazi group and was arrested and charged with bombing a Metarie, Louisiana, theater that admitted blacks. Later, he sold spy devices in New Orleans. Gordon Novel claimed he worked with the Cuban Revolutionary Front during the Bay of Pigs, as a Director of the CIA proprietary, the Evergreen Advertising Agency, and had created cryptographic messages for the CIA.
This was untrue. The CIA reported: "There is no record of any utilization of Gordon Novel, Sergio Arcacha Smith or Evergreen Advertising Agency. In addition to Office of Security records, WH/CUBA, RID and CI Staff were checked for possible indication of operational involvement. Howard J, Osborn May 1, 1967."
In September 1961 Gordon Novel took part in the burglary of a Schlumberger munitions bunker. He informed the FBI: "Schlumberger Well Service had an arrangement with the CIA wherein it leased a bunker in which ammunition, bomb casings and other materiel would be stored for the CIA. Eventually the materiel would be shipped out of the United States in Schlumberger boxes marked 'Machinery.' The explosives would then be shipped by boat to Cuba where they were going to be used in a diversionary operation during the Bay of Pigs invasion." The CIA verified Gordon Novel's statement: "Novel has claimed to the press that the munitions from the bunker were to be used for a diversionary operation during the Bay of Pigs invasion. Agency officers familiar with the operation at the (deleted), have indicated that such a diversionary operation was based at (deleted), but that operation was canceled before a landing was made." Gordon Novel continued: "After the Bay of Pigs, Schlumberger became upset and wanted out of its CIA contract; three months after the invasion, arrangements were made for the materiel stored in the bunker to be removed by Novel and his group. At the time the material was removed, an individual involved took some of Schlumberger's low grade powder and fuses and other material, and the incident was reported as a burglary." (Gordon Novel had a previous history of assembling bombs). Gordon Novel said the crates of arms were stamped with the word INTERARMCO. [Police Record Jefferson Parish 1953; Memo Ivan/Garrison re: Novel rec. check; Flammonde Kennedy Conspiracy p76; Wardlaw Plot or Politics p113; New Orleans States-Item 4.25.67; HUNT Day p182 CIA 1332-502, 1045] Gordon Novel reported that Andrew Jerome Blackman, David Ferrie, Sergio Arcacha Smith, and Luis Rabel were involved in the burglary. In a telephone interview with this researcher, Luis Rabel denied he met David Ferrie or Guy Banister, but said he knew Sergio Arcacha Smith. Regarding the burglary, "Well, I used to run a dry cleaners, and I had a truck that I used to loan to about 40 or 50 exiles here. Arcacha asked me to loan him the truck to move some furniture. Whether the truck was used to move anything other than furniture is beyond me." Gordon Novel told the press: "It was one of the most patriotic burglaries ever committed...the CIA virtually gave us the key to the bunker...my fellow burglar, Arcacha Smith, and I are still employed by the CIA." [FBI 62-109060-4789, 4707; NYT 4.5.67; New Orleans States-Item 4.25.67]
A company that marketed surveillance equipment reported in 1965 that Gordon Novel had placed an order with it using a fictitious address. Later that year, he appeared at the Lost and Found counter at New Orleans Airport to inquire about some misrouted bugging equipment. Gordon Novel explained to the FBI he had demonstrated the equipment to the State Department. On November 22, 1966, Gordon Novel was made an FBI Potential Criminal Informant. [FBI 62-109060-4707; FBI NO 137-2936] He furnished the FBI information on the Garrison investigation that indicated Jim Garrison was hostile to that agency. J. Edgar Hoover commented: "More & more it becomes evident we should stay as far away as we can from this shyster [New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison]."
At the beginning of Garrison's investigation in 1967, Gordon Novel had offered New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison his services; when he discovered he was to be called as a witness, however, he called the FBI and said he had watched the home of David Ferrie at 5:30 a.m. on the day David Ferrie was found dead, and had seen Jim Garrison leave the house. When Gordon Novel was interrogated by New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison about the munitions bunker operation, he called the New Orleans Domestic Contacts Division of the CIA for advice. He then fled to McLean, Virginia, where he took a lie detector test from retired Army Intelligence Agent and former policeman from the District of Columbia, Lloyd Furr. [CIA 1332, 502, 1045, 1316, 475D, 1345, 1057]
The CIA reported that a Lewis B. Furr was connected with Willis Carto of Liberty Lobby. The brother of Llyod Furr, La Vonne Boden Furr, was the managing editor of American Mercury. [CIA OS 407 890] "Lloyd Furr, a former District of Colombia policeman and now a private detective, is a self-proclaimed polygraph expert and sound device specialist. He has received publicity in the past for planting sound devices for the late Fulton Lewis Jr. in the St. Mary County Vice case in 1953 and in 1958, when he discovered listening devices being used against Bernard Goldfine. In 1964 information was received that a Washington, D.C. firm, REDEX, operated by Furr and Richard L. Bast was attempting to sell electronic equipment to Communist China via an agent in Hong Kong. (Deleted) Richard L. Bast, a Washington, D.C. private detective, gained notoriety in 1965 by turning up a missing witness, previously unlocated by the Department of Justice, in connection with the Bobby Baker case. He is known to operate at least for enterprises 1) Capital Bureau of Investigation, a private detective agency; 2) REDEX VIETNAM, INC. A firm which imports a variety of commodities ranging from liquor to automobiles into South Vietnam, including, of late, U.S. recruited 'go-go' girls for a Saigon nightclub he is planning; 3) REDEX CORP, a firm which sells almost anything to anybody abroad other than South Vietnam and 4) Consolidated Armaments, a firm which sells small arms to foreign governments and private individuals abroad. Bast also produces and distributes both positive audio, and counter audio, devices in the U.S. and overseas. Bast, described as 'unscrupulous and untrustworthy,' is known to have attempted to contract with another private detective for planting a remote controlled bomb in the headquarters of the Haitian Secret Police, and has been reported to have undertaken similar extreme assignment for exile groups from Haiti and the Dominican Republic. (Deleted) provided information that during January 1967 William W. Turner, who identified himself as a free lance writer, visited the offices of the Asia Foundation, requesting information for a magazine article. He stated that he had been asked by Sol Stern of New York to gather information for an article in The New York Times. During his visit, however, it became obvious that Turner was primed to ask questions about the financing of the foundation, rather than its actual purpose or activities. When Turner concluded his interview, he left a calling card with the firm name 'REDEX-PACIFIC.' He explained he had to have new cards printed. Turner, reportedly dismissed from the FBI in 1961, is noted to have authored an article in the November 1966 issue of Ramparts Magazine in which he describes alleged wiretapping, surreptitious entry etc. performed by him while in the FBI. Sol Stern, who he claimed to represent, is assistant managing editor of Ramparts Magazine." [CIA 1332-502/1045]
In January 1963 American Mercury employed General Edwin Walker as its military editor. [CIA SAG J.G. Brown 12.6.74] On June 23, 1976, General Walker, who was 66 years old, was arrested for public lewdness in rest room at a city park. General Walker, 66, had fondled an undercover policeman. [NYT 7.9.76] On March 17, 1977, General Walker was arrested on a similar charge. HEMMING told this researcher: "Because he helped us out I was willing to overlook that. But this Loran Hall shithead, he's got to badmouth the queer business the first time he's in the man's house with STURGIS' buddy, Wally Welch." General Walker, 84, died of a pulmonary ailment on November 2, 1993.
On April 29, 1963, Robert E. Owen, then Chief, WE/3, and now of (deleted), directed a Memorandum to the Chief, Western Hemisphere/6, in which he documented a conversation he had with anti-Duvalier exile Raymond Cassagnol and Richard Bast. Robert E. Owen had been introduced to Richard Bast by his neighbor, Lloyd Furr.
Robert E. Owen stated: "Bast, in spite of certain personal shortcomings from the intelligence standpoint, does represent an established channel to one segment of the Haitian opposition to Duvalier." The CIA claimed Richard Bast was linked with William Turner of Ramparts magazine. In 1967 the Domestic Contacts Division decided against using Richard Bast as a source of information on Asia. In the mid-1970's this researcher spoke with Richard Bast who stated: "Garrison liked to burn hooker's titties with cigarettes." The FBI reported: "On July 27, 1966, (Deleted) advised District Attorney Garrison allegedly had purchased a bar in New Orleans and set up one Jackie Lee as manager. (Deleted) Source also said that Garrison is known to have associated with prostitutes in New Orleans." [FBI NO 62-9-33-617]
In March 1967, after Gordon Novel fled New Orleans, the new tenant in his apartment found a letter written by him under the linoleum. This letter was obtained by The New Orleans States-Item. The note, written in Gordon Novel's handwriting, was seemingly addressed to his CIA contact: "Dear Mr. Weiss: This letter is to inform you that District [sic] Jim Garrison has subpoenaed myself and an associate to testify before this Grand Jury on matters which may be classified Top Secret. Actions of individuals connected with Double Chek Corporation in Miami in first quarter of 1961. Our connection and activity of that period involves individuals presently about to be indicted as conspirators in Mr. Garrison's investigation. We have temporarily avoided one subpoena...we want out of this thing before Thursday, March 1967...I have been questioned extensively by local FBI recently as to whether or not I was involved with Double Chek's parent holding corporation at the time. My reply on five queries was negative...Our attorneys and others are in possession of complete sealed files containing all information concerning matter. In the event of our sudden departure, either accidental or otherwise, they are instructed to simultaneously release same for public scrutiny..."
At first the letter indicated Gordon Novel was afraid of Garrison, then it implied he was afraid of the CIA. Double Chek was a well-known CIA proprietary mentioned in The Invisible Government. The FBI Miami files contained Bulet November 12, 1964, captioned "Obtuse: ESP - R', Bufile 105-126649. This letter points out that the CIA had previously advised Gibralter Steamship Corporation, Vanguard Service Corporation, and the Double Check Corporation had been used by CIA, but operational interest in them was dropped after they were mentioned as CIA covers in the book entitled, 'The Invisible Government.'" The CIA maintained: "The (deleted) Double Check Corporation was not used by the CIA to recruit pilots for operations directed against the Castro Government as previously reported [by CIA liaison]. CIA did not become involved with Double Check Corporation (deleted) until after the Bay of Pigs invasion. After the unsuccessful invasion, CIA made arrangements (deleted) to use Double Check Corporation as a medium for compensating the 'Birmingham widows.'" [FBI 61-109060-5361, 5315]
The files of Guy Banister contained the name Seymour Weiss. Seymour Weiss (born May 15, 1925) began his career in the State Department with the Agency for International Development then directed the combined policy office of Political and Military Affairs of the State Department. He continued in similar capacities until 1967, when he joined the University of Miami, Center for International Studies. His career ended after his Ambassadorship to the Bahamas from 1974 to 1976. Seymour Weiss died on September 25, 1992, at 67.
Another Seymour Weiss was a Director of Standard Fruit in 1963, who was connected with CARLOS MARCELLO and Frank Costello. According to Ed Becker, Standard Fruit, the International Cooperation Administration, and Johnny Rosselli, were involved in the overthrow of Jacobo Arbenz. [Ed Becker and Charles Rappleye, All American Mafioso, Doubleday, NY 1991 p225]
Gordon Novel was arrested in Ohio, where he was held on $10,000 bond pending extradition. Governor James Rhodes refused to sign the extradition papers for Gordon Novel. [Flammonde The Kennedy Conspiracy p100; New Orleans States-Item 4.22.67] In 1970 Gordon Novel was arrested on a charge of illegal interstate transportation of an eavesdropping device, and was subsequently convicted.
In May 1967 Gordon Novel staged an assassination attempt on himself which was reported to Raymond Rocca. [FBI 62-109060-5085, 5309, 5905] In 1968, after a fight with his in-laws, Gordon Novel exhibited CIA credentials to the arresting officers. [FBI 62-109060-6859]
In 1974 Jack Anderson reported that Charles Colson asked Gordon Novel to help him build a giant degaussing gun to erase tapes that incriminated NIXON, stored at a CIA site. Gordon Novel consulted with other experts, but they "mutually decided not to pursue the plan because of its danger to national security tapes and computers near the target area." Gordon Novel claimed association with NIXON and Governor John Connally. [True 4.75; Anderson NY Post 8.15.74] The FBI stated that Gordon Novel was involved with Morningstar Associates, "an organization with supposed connections to the CIA and Department of Defense."
In the Summer of 1976 Gordon Novel and his partner, John Langford, were charged with possession of an incendiary device and aggravated arson. The men were involved an alleged plot to firebomb some property in the New Orleans Central Business District on Mardi Gras day, 1976, after attempts to purchase the property for $70 million had failed. Gordon Novel hired an undercover Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agent who later admitted CIA ties to do the job. Jim Garrison represented Gordon Novel. During that prosecution, and just before it went to trial in state court. Gordon Novel made a civil rights allegation to the FBI against a Drug Enforcement Administration agent in Dallas, alleging that the informant of the Drug Enforcement Administration agent was attempted to set up Gordon Novel by trying to get Gordon Novel to agree to contract for the murder of a witness against him. At his trial Gordon Novel testified the Agency was after him because of international arms dealing. The trial, covered extensively by Spotlight, ended in a hung jury. On October 30, 1976, the judge declared a mistrial.
When Gordon Novel failed to show up for his retrial, and claimed he suffered a heart attack on January 17, 1977, an Atlanta judge immediately had him arrested pending extradition to New Orleans. [New Orleans States-Item 2.25.77; Spotlight 2.14.77] HEMMING told this researcher: "Gordon Novel had White House connections during Iran/Contra. The guy was real. He knew Werbell." STURGIS said in deposition in HUNT v. WEBERMAN that in 1977 he had a telephone conversation with Gordon Novel: "I never met him personally. I have spoke with him on the telephone, but I have never, I don't believe I ever met him personally." Gordon Novel was staying at the home of Mitch Werbell in 1977.
On November 19, 1976, Frank Bartes contacted the New Orleans FBI Office. He said that "Beginning in 1975, Gordon Novel was introduced to Frank Bartes in New Orleans by a mutual acquaintance. Frank Bartes met Gordon Novel at Masson's Restaurant in the Summer of 1975, where Gordon Novel displayed for Frank Bartes an extensive array of all kinds of weapons, including conventional firearms, electronic equipment and even tanks and aircraft." Frank Bartes again met with Gordon Novel in June 1976. During this conversation Gordon Novel told him that Congress was going to re-open the investigation of the Kennedy assassination and Gordon Novel hoped to blame the assassination on Fidel Castro. Frank Bartes told Gordon Novel that he had met Fidel Castro and had been photographed with him. Frank Bartes showed Gordon Novel the photo, after which Gordon Novel inquired if it would be feasible to superimpose OSWALD'S head on to one of the people in the photograph. When Gordon Novel was told that was impossible, he examined the photo, and said that one of the individuals in it resembled Clay Shaw." On December 1, 1976, Gordon Novel called the FBI Office in New Orleans about his civil rights complaint against the Dallas Drug Enforcement Administration agent. "He stated he wanted to 'stir the waters' in order to get effective action. He said one step he had taken in order to force Federal action was his lengthy conversations with [Senator Schweiker], wherein Gordon Novel was promised the opportunity to testify at length before the committee that will reopen the Kennedy investigation. Gordon Novel said that his testimony could discredit Federal agencies, especially the CIA, showing how the CIA had engineered the assassination of the President. Gordon Novel said, 'Are you reading me?'" [FBI 62-109060-7593, 7591X]
Garrison investigated INTERPEN in relation to the Kennedy assassination. He questioned HEMMING. Jim Garrison indicted William David Ferrie, a friend of OSWALD who was involved with the Cuban Revolutionary Front. The Cuban Revolutionary Front led to HUNT. He had indicted Gordon Novel, who tied in with Mitch Werbell. Mitch Werbell led to NIXON. He indicted Dean Andrews, who led to CARLOS MARCELLO. JACK RUBY'S toll records led to CARLOS MARCELLO. His investigation had the potential of solving the puzzle of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison even investigated the tramps. His investigation had to be stopped.
Perry Raymond Russo was dispatched by MARCELLO to sabotage the Garrison investigation. Perry Russo had a credible background. Born May 14, 1941, in New Orleans, the son of a machinist at Champion Piston Rings Service, Russo's mother died in 1963. During the Clay Shaw trial, Perry Russo admitted receiving psychiatric treatment from October 1959 through late 1960, having contacted by telephone, numerous doctors at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, which conversations he described dwelled on 'social and personal things.' [FBI 62-109060-4797] Perry Russo commented to this researcher, "That's not psychiatric treatment. I had Philosophy 101, or 202, to pass and I hadn't been studying - I'd been gerking off. I was looking for some way out. I went to the doctor, and played him, and said I was just really depressed and upset. So he said 'I'll give you a Withdrawal.' So I stayed with the guy for a year. It's not that big a thing." Was Russo being treated for homosexuality?
On March 23, 1967, a confidential source, who had furnished reliable information to the FBI in the past, volunteered the following information: "He said that Perry Russo is a known homosexual who used to frequent the 100 block of Royal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana. He said that Russo used to 'set up chickens,' young homosexuals, to engage in homosexual acts with individuals who are also homosexuals and wanted male acquaintances. He said that approximately five years ago, one such "chicken" engaged in homosexual activities with Dewey Bowman, believed to have worked for the Times-Picayune in New Orleans, Louisiana. He said that as a result of this chicken engaging his homosexual acts with Bowman, he (Perry Russo) was able to blackmail Bowman for an unknown sum of money. He said he was not aware of other activities on the part of Russo, but was sure that Russo had set up many other individuals." [FBI NO 89-69-1827, 1828; NARA 124-10237-10296] In the summer of 1962 Perry Russo managed a Gulf gasoline station. In September 1962 Perry Russo attended Loyola University. He left Loyola in 1965. Russo left home in 1966, and moved to Baton Rouge in September 1966, to take position of salesman for Equitable Life Assurance Society. He was earlier employed in the financial division of General Electric. He claimed that his step brother was head of the engineering Department at Louisiana State University. The FBI received a report from Michael Ogden on March 14, 1967, "to advise that he is acquainted with Perry Russo, having known him in connection with Republican activities in New Orleans and also because he, Ogden, is employed by the Equitable Life Assurance Company in New Orleans. Ogden stated that Perry Russo is a former bellhop, that Russo's mother died early, and that Russo's father threw him out of the house some years ago. Ogden said in his personal opinion, that Russo has no first hand information in the Garrison investigation." [FBI 62-109060-4797] The FBI had no derogatory traces on Russo.
In 1967 Perry Russo, who claimed to have known David Ferrie since 1960, appeared at New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison's office. Perry Russo worked at the Credit Financial Division of the General Electric Company at the time. He recounted to investigators a visit to David Ferrie in September 1963, when he was introduced to "LEON OSWALD" and "Clay Bertrand." Perry Russo alleged David Ferrie, OSWALD, and Clay Bertrand discussed a number of alternative means of assassinating President Kennedy without risk of apprehension.
Why would these men have discussed sensitive matters in front of Perry Russo? New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison sought a witness, so he accepted the fabrication of Perry Russo. Perry Russo conveyed his uncertainty as to whether LEON and LEE OSWALD were the same person. New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison had Doctor Nicholas Chetta inject Perry Russo with sodium Pentothal. New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison questioned Perry Russo after the injection, but Perry Russo was unable to discern whether Leon and LEE OSWALD were the same person. New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison then had Dr. Esmond Fatter hypnotize Perry Russo; during the trance, he said LEON OSWALD and LEE OSWALD were the same. New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison believed Perry Russo because his testimony was elicited with such difficulty, it was unlikely he was lying. Contacted in August 1993, Perry Russo stated to this researcher: "Garrison investigator Vincent Sciambre said, 'I would like you to look at these photographs and identify anyone you know.' We went through 20 or 30 photographs and finally we came to David Ferrie and Clay Shaw and I said, I knew him. His name was Clem Bertram. He didn't write out a memo about the interview. When I met OSWALD he was sitting, cleaning his rifle. He said, 'What the fuck you doin' here?' Ferrie jumped in between us and I said, 'Fuck you man!' Ferrie told OSWALD, 'He's a friend of mine, don't mind him.'"
George Lardner wrote that Perry Russo said David Ferrie had spoken of flying to Cuba after the murder. Perry Russo: "He said, 'I'm a pilot, I can get people out. But you'd have to go to a place where there's no extradition.' He mentioned flying to Mexico and then on to Brazil. I don't know where they got the Cuba thing. They were after Fidel's ass. Ferrie controlled everything, all the time. He was a very conscientious person, aware of what he was doing, and why he doing it, his own mystical motives.
"I first met Ferrie by happenstance back in 1960, 1961 when I had a sand lot basketball team. The parents of Al Landry told me, 'Some fruit, some fuckin' queer, kidnapped my son. His name is David Ferrie.' Their son had told me about Ferrie some months earlier. I said I'd wedge little Al away from Ferrie. Al Landry pops in one night. I says, 'Al, where the fuck you been?' I forgave him. He was going back to school and staying with Ferrie. I went to a Civil Air Patrol meeting and met Ferrie. Then I went to Ferrie's home where he had a medical lab and flight simulator."
Perry Russo claimed he had taken Sandra Moffett to the home of David Ferrie. Sandra Moffett said she was not there in 1963, and had not met David Ferrie until 1965. [CIA 1427-492-V] Perry Russo commented: "I'm not sure at this point because of her adamant position on that, whether or not she was in fact there. It could have not been her. Sandra and I date back for a number of years. The period was turbulent. She was in love with me, I wasn't with her. She was a prostitute and street broad, not very bright."
Perry Russo told New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison Clay Bertrand was Clay Shaw (CIA Office of Security #E 402897-A), a gay, New Orleans, businessman. Perry Russo became the star witness against Clay Shaw. Clay Shaw came from a distinguished New Orleans family. During World War II he was a Major in the United States Army and received the Croix De Guerre of France, and the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star from the United States. Following the war, he returned to New Orleans in 1946, at which time he became the Managing Director of the International Trade Center. The FBI reported: "A check of our files disclosed that we received allegations as early as 1954 that Shaw was a homosexual. (Deleted) advised on (Deleted) 1964, that he had relations of a homosexual nature with Clay Shaw. The informant described Shaw was a brilliant and powerful man, given to sadism and masochism in his homosexual activities." [FBI 62-109060-4608]
Left-wing Italian newspapers connected Clay Shaw to the Centro Mondiale Commerciale, an alleged CIA proprietary expelled from Italy for funneling money to political parties that opposed the Communists. Senator Otis Pike reported that, since its inception in 1947, the CIA had secretly funneled $75 million to anti-Communist Italian political parties. The CIA claimed Clay Shaw was never in Italy and "was never asked to use his relationship with the International Trade Center for clandestine purposes." [CIA 1430-492-Y] CIA documents indicated the CIA file on Clay Shaw "was opened in February 1949, on a request by the Domestic Contacts Division" for "a three way (FBI, PD and MID) name check. When the check was completed, an unknown case officer received a formalized statement of the results." The CIA continued: "Shaw was in contact with the New Orleans CIA seven times in 1949, twice in 1950, five times in 1951, nine times in 1952, once in 1953, twice in 1954, twice in 1955, and twice in 1956. On May 9, 1961, Clay Shaw introduced the then CIA Deputy Director, General Charles Cabell, who gave a speech to the New Orleans Foreign Policy Association. Clay Shaw may have been seen causally or at a latter date..." The CIA skirted the issue of Clay Shaw's "remuneration and his alleged cessation of his CIA relationship," nonetheless, this document suggested many CIA contacts, but did not support New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison's belief that Clay Shaw was a CIA employee. [NYT 1.20.76; Flammonde Kennedy Conspiracy - Shaw; FBI 62-109060-6057 p10 citing Ramparts article; Miami Herald 5.17.76; CIA 1339-1053, 1326-1042, 1234-519] Victor Marchetti reported the CIA voiced serious concern that Clay Shaw's connection to the CIA could be exposed. Richard Helms decided that the Agency's relationship with Clay Shaw remain inviolable. A 201 file was opened on New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison on May 28, 1968. "From (Deleted) Office CI/ R & A Room 2029 Garrison, James 201 No. 834821... Action Desk CI R & A Secondary Office CIOPS/DO. Signature of Requester (deleted)." [NARA 1993.08.02.13:06:54:310060; interview with Victor Marchetti by this researcher in 1974; True 4.75]
When Clay Shaw was brought to trial in early 1969, Perry Russo still put OSWALD, David Ferrie, and Clay Shaw together, but described their meeting as a "bull session" rather than a criminal conspiracy. Perry Russo told this researcher: "Shaw's defense attorney asked, 'What you are sayin' in essence is that these people got together just like so many other conversations you heard in all the racial discord, in all the political upheavals going on in New Orleans in 1963, just like any other bull session? Could you depict it in that way?' I said 'In a certain way it was a bull session.'"
In 1970 Perry Russo was arrested for three counts of burglary. "Russo Charged With Holding Stolen Goods - The District Attorney's office has accepted a charge of possession of stolen property against Perry Raymond Russo, but has refused a charge of simple burglary. Russo was arrested on August 22, 1970 and booked with simple burglary of a residence at 4760 Overton Drive, in which property valued at $8,400 was stolen. The charge against Russo, 5807 Elysian Fields, involves the possession of a stolen safety box key. The key belong to Alvin E. Fontcuberta of the Overton Drive address. Carl E. Moore, 29, also of 5807 Elysian Fields, was booked with burglary, but that charge too was dropped by First Assistant D.A. James Alcock. Moore was charged, however, with possession of a stolen motorcycle valued at $2,000." [New Orleans States Item 9.1.70] Russo commented to this researcher, "Two boys in the basketball team I had at the time were burglars. One night they came over and said, 'Look what we got. We just burglarized this place.' I'm not a crusader. I said, 'This was stolen. Get the fuck out of here. You all fucking crazy? That's junk - you didn't even steal anything good - so they put it back in the bag. There was left, inadvertently, a safety deposit box key with the guys name on it. Engraved. That I didn't notice. And low and behold the police caught 'em, and they fingered me. The police came over and I told them who the third kid was. A policeman picks up the safety deposit box key and sees this guy's name. I'm charged with possession of stolen property. The judge was one of New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison's arch enemies. I was convicted. The conviction was later overturned. It was never re-tried. I been in trouble after this for possession of pills. I've seen heroin once. I've seen crack two or three times. I've seen coke 20 or 30 times. I drive a cab. I've done diet pills for 20 years. No doctors have written amphetamine prescriptions here in two years. Am I an A-Head? I have to go get 30 pills a day to - I weigh 252 pounds. So what the fuck are we talkin' about? Amphetamine addict? It's medical therapy. The government says that amphetamines do not hold any long term effect in keeping weight down. It's not acceptable therapy anymore. I'm poppin' 'em one a day. It's not abuse. I'm not guzzling pills."
On May 1, 1974, Perry Russo was arrested for possession of heroin. His bond was set at $3,500. The New Orleans States Item reported that "police said they questioned three males outside of the Carib Motel, where Russo was staying, about 2:45 a.m. Tuesday. Officers said they noticed the three, including one juvenile, as they were getting out of a cab which Russo was driving. They told detectives that they had been riding in the camp for several hours, and the driver had invited them to his motel room. The officers said Russo, of 214 Canal in Metairie, admitted them to the motel room, where they found three prescription bottles containing capsules of various colors, and two small tinfoil squares. Police booked Russo with possession of heroin, amphetamines and barbiturates and contributing to the delinquency of the juvenile. Russo was released from the Central Lockup after posting $3,500 bond." [New Orleans Times Picayune 5.1.74] Perry Russo explained to this researcher, "I was arrested in a motel room and on my possession - according to the police report - was found desoxins [methamphetamine]. A diet pill. I used to like those, and I had doctor's prescription for it. The police asked me if they could check the room. They found metal foil bags of white powder and one red capsule in the drapes. It was a Mexican Red, Seconal. I said the stuff in the foil could be heroin or crank - bathtub speed. They also charged me with possession of a Dexamil capsule. The heroin was sent to the lab. It was nothing. It might have been there ten years. I produced a doctors prescription, and the D.A.'s office didn't pursue it."
The MARCELLO family was in the drug business. [Orleans Times-Picayune 5.1.74] Perry Russo commented to this researcher, "I had two encounters with the MARCELLO family. The J.C.s, or one of the groups up there, a service organization, asked me if I would talk to their group about the Garrison investigation. It was hot news around Baton Rouge - I was living there at the time. I spoke to one group on Thursday and on a Saturday, 50 or 60 men. The MARCELLOS came to the Saturday meeting. CARLOS MARCELLO had been constantly in the newspapers for punching out an FBI agent. I quickly changed the speech around, the outline of it, to not touch the subject of the mafia. VINCENT, and one of his brothers, or friends, just stood there in the door. It was supposed to be a closed meeting. They must have heard me saying that CARLOS was the logical choice for motivation. Just a general bullshit session. I talked about the mafia in my first speech. I wrote a letter to Dean Andrews, who was CARLOS MARCELLO'S counsel of record, saying that I would never, ever, say it again. I wasn't interested in speculating in that area." Even inconsequential information was deleted from CIA documents concerning Perry Russo. [UPI Disp. N.O. 8.24.70; CIA 1233-518, 1359-503]
Perry Russo was told by this interviewer that it was obvious someone had "put him up to" testifying against Clay Shaw: "Well you have to take it with that particular spin, I can't argue with that. But Garrison didn't put me up to it." He was asked, "Was it somebody who could supply you with drugs?" "That's a good spin, but it doesn't work. There's nothing wrong with what you are saying. That's a speculation, and if you were to write a book, and you would put it in, it would be logical and it would make sense. But in the real world it doesn't. What you are trying to say here, in this bit of the conversation, right now, is that somebody is holding something over on me, and since I have a clean background, in the sense of born in 1941 and the FBI has no tell tale secrets of sorts, and I'm opting for these different careers. Something in there... Somebody's holdin' something over me, and they're now feeding me a way that that code doesn't have any pressure. If it's gay, if its drugs...they got a handle. That handle would be softened if I go along with, or produce, this information."
Layton Martens was listed in the address book of Clay Shaw, and Clay Shaw may have known David Ferrie. The FBI reported: "(Deleted) advised March 5, 1967, that Aura Lee (LNU) Clay Shaw's former Secretary at the International Trade Mart, New Orleans, who is employed by the heart fund at the Ochsner Clinic, stated in front of Doctor Charles B. Moore and others at Ochsner Hospital, after Shaw's press conference where he advised he never met David Ferrie, that she had seen Ferrie go into Shaw's office in the International Trade Mart Building on a number of occasions, and believed Ferrie had privileged entry into Shaw's office." [FBI-62-109060-NR 3.9.67] A confidential source advised the New Orleans FBI on April 24, 1968, that New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison believed: "Dr. Alton Ochsner was involved in the Kennedy assassination conspiracy. According to the source, Garrison bases his belief on the fact that Dr. Ochsner was closely involved with the Cuban element in New Orleans prior to Kennedy's assassination."
During the Garrison investigation, several witnesses from Clinton, Louisiana, put OSWALD, Clay Shaw, and David Ferrie together. None of them told this to the Warren Commission, or to the FBI, in 1964. These witnesses said that in late Summer of 1963, OSWALD appeared at East Louisiana State Mental Hospital in Jackson in search of work as an electrician.
Bobbie Dedon was a nurse's aid who claimed he directed OSWALD to the Personnel Office. Bobbie Dedon admitted he was aware of the Warren Commission, but never paid much attention to it, so he did not come forward with the story in 1964. He never reported seeing OSWALD to the FBI, nor did he speak with any friends about it.
Secretary Maxine Kemp reported speaking with OSWALD at East Louisiana State Mental Hospital. She said he never filled out a job application form. Another secretary at the hospital told of seeing OSWALD as well, but produced no evidence of the visit. Neither of these ladies reported the incident to the FBI in 1963 or 1964.
OSWALD allegedly stopped at the barber shop of Edwin McGehee. Office of Security CIA traces on Edwin McGehee were deleted. [CIA FOIA #41234] Edwin McGehee had a Top Secret Naval clearance as a cryptographer. Edwin McGehee told the HSCA OSWALD was in his shop that day asking about a job, and he referred him to Reeves Morgan. Edwin McGehee testified: "When this took place there was a picture on my wall of Martin Luther King at a Communist Training School, I said, 'This guy is going - we'll probably get into an argument about something. He's probably here for that [voter] registration thing.'" After the assassination, Edwin McGehee spoke with Louisiana State Representative, Reeves Morgan, and Voter Registrar, Henry Earl Palmer, about OSWALD: "I didn't call [the FBI] because Mr. Reeves Morgan told me he had called the FBI, and I thought there was no need of me doing it." The FBI had all of its agents in Baton Rouge sign sworn statements which stated that they never received a call from Reeves Morgan. [FBI NO 89-69-380-8b; Reeves, Morgan 504-634-2239] A document titled "Reports and Memoranda Furnished Justice Department Concerned Deleted and Reeves Morgan" was withheld from research. [2.10.69]
Edwin McGehee, the Voter Registrar of Jackson, Louisiana, was contacted by telephone in May 1993 by this researcher and asked why he had waited until 1967 before he came forward: "He come in my barber shop to get a hair cut, and he wanted a job. He said, 'A barber shop's a good place for information' and he wanted a job at the hospital over there. He kept on talkin.' I said well, this guy seems like he really wants a job, so I told him to become a registered voter. I told him to go see Representative Reeves Morgan. When Reeves and I met after the shootin' at the barber shop I said, 'Reeves, OSWALD been out to your place once, I remember seein' him?' He says 'Yeah he come out there. I got his name in my wallet - OSWALD.' So anyway, I says, 'We need to tell somebody.' He says 'I already called the FBI and they were well aware he was in the area.' Now what more could we do? When you tell the FBI - I mean we law-biding citizens - what else can you do?" Edwin McGehee was asked: "You spoke with Henry Earl Palmer. Did you know he was a Klansman?" Edwin McGehee replied: "I knew him. I got his job. I didn't know he was in the Klan...I can't speak for him...I asked Reeves, I said 'You got to call somebody.' He said 'Call the FBI.' And boy, that was the end, I dropped it." When it was pointed out to Edwin McGehee that the FBI had no record of that call, he stated: "Well it sounds like a cover up to me."
Louisiana State Representative Reeves Morgan told the HSCA: "Well, I was sitting down relaxing in my front room, and he came knocked on the door. I let him in. Well, he came and introduced hisself as OSWALD, and then sat down and told me what he came for, and to get me to use my influence to help him get a job over at the East Louisiana State Hospital as an electrician; he told me he knew there was a vacancy over there. Well, I told him I didn't know there was a vacancy over there...I called the FBI. They are the only ones I ever related it to. It might have been the same day, it might have been the next day, after I recognized the picture and the name. I don't remember who it was I talked to. I believe I looked in the phone book to get their number. I don't remember how I got it. Well, the fellow I talked to thanked me, but said, 'We already knew he had been up in those parts.' He didn't say he knew he had been to my house. Sometimes afterward, several days or so, I received a call from them and they wanted to know what kind of clothes he had on; whoever it was called me from the FBI, said they was calling from the FBI, Federal Investigation, or whatever they said. But it was from the FBI really. I didn't bother about [contacting the Warren Commission]. I figured I went as far as I wanted to go. If they wanted to know anymore, I figured they'd contact me. My testimony [during the Clay Shaw trial] kind of insinuated that I wanted him to register in [Clinton], when I didn't tell him anything about where to register." An FBI document, "Reports and Memoranda Furnished Justice Department Concerning (deleted) and Reeves Morgan," was 90% deleted. The only undeleted paragraph read "Reeves Morgan has been the Subject of previous correspondence between this Bureau and the Department concerning the investigation by District Attorney Jim Garrison into the assassination of President Kennedy. The above was prepared to identify the documents furnished the Department in the event the Department should ask for the identity of these documents." [FBI 2.10.69] Reeves Morgan, 78, had a stroke and was hospitalized in 1993. His grand-daughter, Marguerite Morgan, explained that when Reeves Morgan went to the FBI with his story the Bureau prevailed upon him not to make it public. She added, "My grandfather is an old-style Louisiana politician who worked with Huey Long, a friend of the Long family. He started in St. Helena Parish where he ran a dairy. He was elected to the State Senate in the late 1950's." Marguerite Morgan was sent the FBI documents linking the Clinton witnesses to the Klan. She addressed her dilemma: "My grandfather's not talking about it. It upsets him too much. I really do not know what to think about it, because I kind of asked around a little bit and, how can I put this, enough of what you are saying is true that I don't want to get involved at all. It's my family."
New Orleans FBI files revealed that Reeves Morgan was one of the Subjects of an investigation in August 1963, in the case entitled, 'Joseph Stephen Breitung, et. al; Ester Lee Daniel et. al. - Victims; Cr, Bufile 44-22905, New Orleans file 44-1862. This case involved complaints of numerous victims that their employment was terminated because of voter registration activity. Reeves Morgan, upon interview, denied termination of employment of one of the victims because of voter registration activity."
OSWALD did not reside in the Jackson/Clinton area, and legally, was not supposed to register there. The registrar, Henry Earl Palmer, allegedly apprised him of this. Henry Earl Palmer was a member of the Ku Klux Klan; in 1964, he became an Exalted Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan. CIA Office of Security traces were deleted in a document about Henry Earl Palmer. Henry Earl Palmer testified before the HSCA: "I opened the office about 8:30 a.m. When I went out, there were two white males in line with the blacks...We had a test at the time we were giving them, and they also had to prove they were Parish residents. Corrie Collins [was there]...OSWALD was - the reason I thought he might be a CORE worker was because he was dressed as the CORE did, with a T-shirt, tennis shoes and pants. He was clean: he wasn't dirty like most of the CORE workers. And he came in; I asked him for identification and he showed me - it wasn't a discharge, but a Marine Corps separation paper, and it had the address on it ten something Camp Street, New Orleans. So I asked him where he lived. He told me he lived at the East Louisiana State [Mental] Hospital. And I asked him who he lived with? I think he said 'Dr. Pierson.' I asked him why he wanted to register, and he said he wanted a job at Jackson. I said, 'Well, you don't have to be a registered voter in this parish; you can register in New Orleans and get a job over here. In fact you don't have to be registered at all in order to get a job at Jackson.' He thanked me and left." Henry Earl Palmer knew Edwin McGehee and Reeves Morgan but claimed he did not discuss OSWALD with them. He explained why he failed to contact the FBI: "I had too much trouble with the FBI and the Justice Department with the Voter Registration thing, and I wanted nothing to do with them." Henry Earl Palmer cited another witness to OSWALD'S presence - who was dead - then said he met Guy Banister in the Army: "I saw Guy one time at the Legislature down here - I think it was in 1960." Henry Earl Palmer died in October 1982, at age 78. [CIA FOIA #41235]
John Manchester, the Town Marshall of Clinton, testified that he had seen OSWALD at a "Negro voter registration drive." John Manchester, who related he was on duty there, "to keep out outside agitators," was a Klan member who had made headlines when he arrested a CORE worker on August 28, 1963. During his HSCA testimony he stated: "I often thought about contacting the Warren Commission or somebody on this, but I felt if I did I would just be - I felt like they knew what they were doing and if they didn't feel like this incident in Clinton was important, then I didn't feel it was important...There was a discussion around the whole Parish, that he had been seen in the Parish." CIA Office of Security traces on John Manchester were deleted and part of his HSCA testimony was withheld. [CIA FOIA #41232] New Orleans FBI files revealed: "John Manchester was the Subject of a case in August 1963 entitled, 'Henry Earl Palmer, et. al; Michael Stephen Lesser - Victim; CR; Bufile 44-22889, New Orleans file 44-1852. This case involved the arrest of Lesser, a CORE worker, by Manchester in August 1963, at Clinton, after Manchester had been instructed to do so by Palmer, who was the registrar of Boters, because Lesser would not leave the courthouse. Lesser had been bringing Negroes to register to vote. In February 1964, and again in January 1966, information was received from a source who had furnished reliable information in the past that Manchester was a member of the Klan in the Clinton, Louisiana area." [FBI NO 89-69 p11]
Witness Corrie C. Collins was an African-American mail carrier and chairman of the East Feliciana chapter of CORE who was working "to register as many colored voters" as he could. Corrie Collins said he joined the civil rights movement after Henry Earl Palmer disqualified him as a voter when he "failed a voter registration test." Corrie Collins "Knew [John Manchester] very well, we didn't socialize...I spent most of our association outfoxing him. He was only the Town Marshall - the Sheriff was the boss. I knew him very well, even worked for him when I first came home from Vietnam." Corrie Collins also worked at East Louisiana State Hospital. The Office of Security traces of Corrie Collins were deleted from a CIA document. [CIA FOIA #41321] In September 1963 local officials attempted to have Corie Collins placed under an injunction prohibiting actions of CORE. Newspaper articles revealed that during this time Corrie Collins had been arrested by local authorities at Clinton, on occasions, and during civil rights activity. On January 31, 1968, Corrie Collins told New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison he and Verla Bell had seen OSWALD at the rally. Verla Bell could not identify OSWALD as having been present. The HSCA attempted to locate Corrie Collins. After finding several false addresses, he was located in Highland Park, Michigan, and asked why he had not told the FBI about OSWALD in November 1963: "At first I remembered seeing him, but could not remember where I saw him; besides there wasn't an FBI connection in Clinton, and I saw no reason to say anything to anyone."
CORE worker William E. Dunn told the HSCA that he also had seen OSWALD in Clinton that day, but had not reported it to the FBI or the Warren Commission. William E. Dunn was a friend of Corrie Collins.
William E. Dunn, Corrie Collins, Henry Earl Palmer and John Manchester testified to the HSCA that OSWALD was in Clinton - along with David Ferrie and Clay Shaw. Why did the Klan and CORE agree? During this period, CORE had been infiltrated by many different entities, including the Minutemen. Robert DePugh explained: "If a Negro wants to join the Minutemen, I tell him frankly: 'Well friend, you can be of real value to us due to your racial background. If you will have a very loose connection with us and keep your membership very secret then you can probably successfully join CORE and the information you provide us will be of real service.'" [Turner Ramparts 1.67]
There were eight Clinton witnesses - yet none went to the FBI with the story. At least two of these witnesses were connected to the Klan. If OSWALD was present during a CORE voter registration rally, after November 22, 1963, the Klansmen would have labeled him a Communist agitator behind racial unrest and exploited this association. They would not have waited three years to reveal the presence of "that nigger-lover, LEE HARVEY OSWALD" at a CORE rally. Why didn't the Klansmen witnesses mention it to other Klansmen? In 1963 the FBI targeted the Klan, and had an agent or informant in every Klavern. Why were there no reports generated by FBI agents, or informants, about OSWALD'S appearance at the voting rights rally? Although the HSCA reviewed the FBI reports that linked two Clinton witnesses to the Ku Klux Klan, it concluded: "The Clinton witnesses were credible and significant. While there were points that could be raised to call into question their credibility, it was the judgment of the HSCA that they were telling the truth as they knew it."
The Clinton witnesses testified at the Clay Shaw trial. CARLOS MARCELLO, a racist, was closely connected with the Louisiana Klan. In 1967 Life magazine reported: "CARLOS MARCELLO controls gambling and vice with muscle provided by the Ku Klux Klan." In 1967 Klansman Jack Helm was called before a Grand Jury in East Baton Rouge, Louisiana, that was investigating organized crime. [Times-Pic. 10.12.67] There was no hard evidence, however, that CARLOS MARCELLO bought the testimony of these witnesses.
Perhaps the least credible of all the New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison's witnesses was Vernon Bundy, a black heroin addict, who testified that he saw OSWALD and Clay Shaw together in 1963, while he was injecting himself with heroin. Vernon Bundy was in prison for a parole violation when he made this statement. Vernon Bundy told his fellow cons he was going to give perjured testimony against Clay Shaw to obtain his freedom.
During the Clay Shaw investigation, New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison questioned and subpoenaed William Dalzell. The FBI commented: "It is not known why Dalzell is appearing before the Grand Jury in connection with Garrison's case. We received no information during our assassination investigation that Dalzell was ever acquainted with OSWALD, or involved in any manner with the Kennedy assassination." [FBI 62-109060-5838] On November 3, 1967, William Dalzell testified before a New Orleans Grand Jury. He was represented by Gordon Novel's lawyer, Steven Plotkin.
New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison assembled a case against Clay Shaw complete with secret codes, addresses similar to those in OSWALD'S address book, and jailhouse informers. Clay Shaw denied any CIA-connection and was acquitted. When Shaw was indicted, Edward Suggs told S.A. Regis Kennedy that Clay Shaw was being framed. Clay Shaw was chosen for the role of scapegoat by CARLOS MARCELLO because he was gay. David Ferrie, who New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison connected to Oswald, was also gay. Clay Shaw was connected to the CIA. New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison believed the CIA was involved in the assassination. Clay Shaw died on August 15, 1974,. No autopsy was performed. [FBI 62-109060-6712, 62-109060-6737]
The FBI: "Bureau files reveal James C. Garrison was born November 20, 1921, Iowa. He attended elementary and high school in New Orleans and received his LL.B. degree from Tulane University in 1949. He was admitted to the Louisiana State Bar in June 1949. He served in the U.S. Army from January 1941 to March 1946, both as an enlisted man and officer. He was honorably discharged. He was a former Bureau Agent who entered on duty March 5, 1951, and resigned July 24, 1951, for military purposes. His services were listed as satisfactory. He took office as District Attorney in New Orleans in May 1962, and immediately became involved in a dispute with the New Orleans Police Department over his professed desire to clean up the so-called 'minor vice' in New Orleans. On November 1, 1962, and on November 2, 1962, the New Orleans Times-Picayune carried statements by Garrison charging that the parish-criminal court judges were clogging up the city jails and delaying justice by taking excessive vacation periods. Following such charges, the judges involved instituted a joint defamation suit against him. He was found guilty of such charges on February 6, 1963, and was fined $1,000. He appealed his conviction on November 24, 1964, holding that the element of deliberate malice was lacking in his the statements attributed to Garrison." [FBI 62-109060-4516, 4620] His conviction was reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court.
New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison and CARLOS MARCELLO began to have cordial relations. New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison was not only a friend of SAM MARCELLO, but he accepted gifts from his associates. New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison overlooked the connection of Dean Andrews to CARLOS MARCELLO. The syndicate enjoyed relative immunity in New Orleans during New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison's term; he told a national television audience CARLOS MARCELLO was a respectable businessman. The FBI released numerous documents linking New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison to CARLOS MARCELLO. The FBI reported that "(Deleted) advised on October 21, 1966, he had learned that CARLOS MARCELLO, on at least one occasion in the past, had paid round-trip air transportation for Garrison to Las Vegas, Nevada. Garrison, while in Las Vegas, stays at the Desert Inn Hotel and his bills are paid by that hotel." [Branigan to Sullivan FBI 62-109060-4620 2.23.67] One of CARLOS MARCELLO'S bagmen died of a heart attack in New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison's home. A Weekly Summary from the Criminal Intelligence Program of the Justice Department, New Orleans Division, reported that an associate of CARLOS MARCELLO arranged a line of credit for New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison in a Las Vegas casino. A confidential informant advised the FBI that MARCELLO-associate Frank Occhipinti owned the construction company which built New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison's new home. Frank Occhipinti and his brother, Roy Occhipinti, were listed as major stockholders in the Town and Country Motel when it opened on July 9, 1958. [FBI NO 92/36/(deleted)]. According to the FBI, New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison's new house cost $70,000, in addition to the $25,000 he spent on furniture. Since New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison said he was destitute at the time he took office, the Bureau wondered where the money came from. The FBI collected information on "Garrison's activities with sex deviates...Garrison is involved in a big 'shakedown' racket wherein he and a couple of others are 'shaking down' hundreds of sex deviates in the New Orleans French Quarter. (Deleted) states he also has information indicating that Garrison might himself be a sex deviate, or at least he is a participant in some deviant activities with homosexuals." Many of the teletypes of J. Edgar Hoover regarding Jim Garrison were highly deleted. [FBI 62-109060-4612, 4613, 4501, 4366, 4586, 4620, 5954, 4748; Memo FBI 62-109060 Jones/Wick 2.28.67]
The CIA watched New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison's investigation. Joseph Goodwin was in charge of Project Resistance, the CIA's effort to counter Jim Garrison's charges. [CIA 1332, 502, 1045, 1316, 475D]
The Counter-Intelligence officials at the CIA generated a series of Memoranda about the Garrison investigation. Memorandum No. 2 [CIA 1433-492-AB] dated May 8, 1967, contained enclosures that were CIA traces on the individuals involved in the Garrison investigation. Clay Shaw's Enclosure contained numerous deletions. [CIA 1430-492-Y] Memorandum No. 5 [CIA 1233-518] concerned Clay Shaw and Perry Russo and was dated August 7, 1967. This researcher's copy, declassified in February 1977, contained numerous deletions. Memorandum No. 6, [CIA 1345-1057] dated September 7, 1967, was also highly deleted. On January 12, 1968, the CIA reported in Memorandum No. 8 that out of 30 men named in the Garrison investigation, eight had DDP ties, and eight more had ties to the Domestic Contacts Division: "DDP contacts are the following:
A. Frank Bartes.
B. (Deleted) Garrison is reportedly trying to implicate him in the 'assassination plot.' He has been both a DDP, and a Domestic Contacts Division contact.
C. Leslie Norman Bradley.
D. Sergio Arcacha Smith. Involvement in Garrison's investigation: Sergio Arcacha Smith was identified to one of Garrison's staff as head of a Cuban organization which employed Lawrence Joseph LaBorde and others. LaBorde's son, Michael, also said that his father worked for the CIA. DDP relationship: Sergio Arcacha Smith had been a contact of the Miami Station from December 1960 to the present, although payment ceased on December 1, 1965.
E. Lawrence J. LaBorde. Involvement in Garrison's investigation: On May 11, 1967, Lawrence LaBorde telephoned the Domestic Contacts Office in New Orleans, said that he was an ex-CIA employee, added that he feared Garrison would subpoena him, and requested assistance or advice. Michael LaBorde, the son of Lawrence, has told members of Garrison's staff that his father was associated with (deleted) with GERALD PATRICK HEMMING and one 'Roy' (perhaps LeRoy Collins) in training Cubans as guerilla warfare fighters. (Deleted) has also implicated CIA in this training. On September 27, 1967, Lawrence LaBorde again called the Domestic Contacts Division office in New Orleans. In accordance with instructions from Headquarters, he was told there was nothing to discuss. DDP relationship: Laborde as a DDP contact from February or March 1961, to April 20, 1962. He served as an acting captain of a vessel owned by (deleted) and used by the Miami Station in Cuban operations.
F. (Deleted.) Has been questioned by Garrison's staff. DDP contact from December 21, 1962, to present. Since November 19, 1964, contacts for DDP have been handled by Domestic Contacts Division." This Subject was Hunter Leake's friend. He had allowed his microfilm company to be used a CIA cover. He also owned several oil companies.
G. (2) Involvement in Garrison's investigation: In a taped interview of January 21, 1967, Carlos Quiroga told Garrison that Richard Davis was in charge of a CIA training camp conducted for Cubans from Miami in La Combe, La. in August 1963.
(3) DDP relationship: A POA for (deleted) use was granted the Miami Station on from November 13, 1964 to October 31, 1965. A Provisional Operational Approval for (deleted) use was granted the Miami Station on November 13, 1964. The Miami request had stated that he was to be used as an (deleted). A report of August 10, 1964, stated that he (deleted) into Cuba in June 1964 on behalf of the (deleted) Movement. Whether he was used operationally is not stated in (deleted) 201. He was terminated effective October 31, 1965, for lack of immediate operational use.
H. (1) Prior references: Memo No. 2 May 8, 1967, Enclosure 23 [Emilio Santana]; Memo No. 3, June 3, 1967, Enclosure No. 1; Memo No. 6 September 7, 1967, p6. (Deleted). Was interrogated by Garrison and staff for five days in February 1967. DDP relationship: (Deleted) was recruited by the Miami Station in October 1962. After participating in May 1963 in a single (deleted) he was terminated in October 1963.
The document listed the Domestic Contacts Division contacts: BRINGUIER, William Wayne Dalzell, HEMMING, and Jack N. Rogers. "Jack N. Rogers was a Baton Rouge attorney in touch with Garrison's staff. DCS contact from September to present." (Deleted) was also listed as having had contact with the Domestic Contacts Division: "Said by Garrison to have been the original owner of explosives removed from a bunker at CIA's instigation for use at Bay of Pigs. Current Domestic Contacts Division contact with various (deleted) offices." [CIA Memo 8 1.12.68] A Michael J. LaBorde was located at 6104 Jean, Metairie, Lousiana, telephone 504-733-5088. This telephone number was no good.
In the early 1970's the Justice Department of RICHARD M. NIXON, on the testimony of Internal Revenue Service informant Pershing Gervais, indicted New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison for bribery. Pershing Gervais had been an investigator for New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison. Before the case came to trial, Pershing Gervais showed his disapproval of the treatment he received by the administrators of the Witness Protection Program by recanting his testimony during an interview with journalist Rosemary James. Pershing Gervais testified against New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison in 1973. New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison was acquitted. [United States v. Jim Garrison Criminal Action No.7-542 9.20.73]
BERNARDO DE TORRES went to Cuba in January 1959 to attempt to exfiltrate his father. He stayed in Havana and worked against the Castro regime until November 1959 when he returned to the U.S. After his arrival, he took a course given by the Miami Police Department for private detectives, and obtained a certificate that allowed him to practice as a detective, which he did for the private detective firm of his brother CARLOS DE TORRES. He made trips to Cuba in early 1960, where he discussed shipments of arms to anti-Castro forces. BERNARDO De TORRES was Chief of Intelligence of Brigade 2506. He was captured at the Bay Of Pigs, and returned to America in December 1962. He later became Assistant Secretary for Military Affairs of the Brigade. The CIA: "His brother Carlos was the liaison between the Intelligence Department of the [Brigade] Association and the (deleted), and provided the necessary means to guide Subject in his position. Carlos provided information on all matters of importance to the (deleted). About the time BERNARDO DE TORRES was involved in the Garrison investigation it was said that he liked to boast of his influence and contacts. (Deleted)." [CIA Traces on Sources of Information (deleted) To: (Deleted) Miami From CAS Miami 10.1972] BERNARDO DE TORRES was interviewed by the Miami FBI Office on March 3, 1964, relative to a reported plot by members of the Bay of Pigs Brigade to carry out a raid against Cuba. BERNARDO DE TORRES told the FBI that "although he was a permanent resident of the United States, and considers himself loyal to the United States, he felt compelled to fight against the Castro Government in Cuba, because Cuba was the land of his birth. He said that he did not believe he would be imprisoned for violation of the Neutrality Statutes, for the reason that the United States is also committed to the fight to overthrow Castro and further, the United States was involved in violation of neutrality in its support of the Cuban invasion of April 1961." On May 18, 1966, DE TORRES was briefly contacted by the Miami FBI Field Office concerning the anti-Castro plans of the Association of Veterans of the Bay of Pigs. He was the military leader of the association, and had been working on military plans, which he declined to reveal.
The CIA reported: "BERNARDO DE TORRES, who according to a cleared, willing, police contact is a detective hired by Garrison. Contact feels certain, but cannot prove, both BERNARDO and his brother CHARLES, also detective, were in New Orleans during last year. Again, request Headquarters instructions as a to whether further feelers should be put out, through AMOTS or other Station Cuban assets, to attempt learn more about his activities."
BERNARDO DE TORRES encouraged New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison to spend hundreds of futile hours searching for Cuban exile Manuel Gonzalez, who had arrived in the United States in 1964. On one occasion, the District Attorney sought out and questioned Miguel Torres, a Cuban whose only connection to OSWALD was that he had lived one block away from him in New Orleans. [FBI 62-109060-4564; CIA 1228-513, 1227-512; Miami Herald 2.25.67 p2A] On March 13, 1967, the FBI reported that "MM T-1 an American citizen of Cuban descent, who has not been contacted a sufficient number of times to determine his reliability, claimed as follows: (4 paragraphs deleted) It is noted that BERNARDO DE TORRES has been described in the public press as a Cuban private investigator at Miami who has been assisting District Attorney James Garrison of New Orleans in the latter's investigation of the assassination. (Deleted)." [FBI 3.14.67 Miami Copies Destroyed 3.12.73] In 1972 HEMMING put former Los Angeles Mayor Sam Yorty in touch with CARLOS De TORRES.
BERNARDO De TORRES was called before a Federal Grand Jury in 1976 that was probing the Letelier murder. BERNARDO DE TORRES had attended a meeting with Hector Duran, Bay of Pigs Brigade member Armando Lopez Estrada, the head of DINA (the Chilean secret police) and American Richard Townley, during which the assassination of Orlando Letelier was discussed. [Covert Action July 1978]
Alberto Fowler, a Cuban veteran of the Bay of Pigs who was Director of International Relations for the City of New Orleans, was an investigator for New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison. Alberto Fowler reported to BRINGUIER on the progress of the investigation. [FBI 62-109060-4514; FBI LHM 5.8.67 New Orleans; CIA 1229-514] In January 1967 BRINGUIER contacted the New Orleans Field Office of the CIA. "My Llyod Ray related that the only purpose for this contact was to advise CIA that many Latin Americans are of the opinion that the assassination of President Kennedy was the result of a conspiracy including LEE HARVEY OSWALD and right-wing elements of the USA. BRINGUIER want to advise CIA that the U.S. is losing this phase of its propaganda war in Latin America, and made suggestions to CIA for instituting changes and in the United States Government's propaganda program to counteract the growing aforementioned belief by Latin Americans concerning the assassination of President Kennedy." [NARA FBI 124-10058-10055 2.3.67]
A Response to Green List Request No. 104574 was requested for Rolando Otero Hernandez (born April 18, 1941, 201-285923) on September 21, 1960, by Betty Vetter of Western Hemisphere/4. The request was stamped P.O.A. Expedite. The CIA stated that Rolando Otero was a former SAB Team Leader, recruited February 1964, who was never used on a JM WAVE mission, and was terminated August 26, 1964, for a security violation. He was re-recruited in September 1964 for (deleted) Project in which he served until December 1964.
In the Spring of 1975 Orlando Bosch ordered Rolando Otero to begin a series of actions against the United States. On October 13, 1975, a bomb exploded in a luggage locker at Miami's International Airport. In December, Rolando Otero bombed Miami's Federal Building, Post Office, FBI Field Office, and Police Department. A bomb exploded in luggage locker at New York's LaGuardia Airport. Numerous people lost their lives. The New York City Police Department blamed the bombing on Croatian separatists. Rolando Otero said he was in the Dominican Republic when the LaGuardia bombing occurred.
Bay of Pigs veteran Frank Castro was a witness to Otero's presence in the Dominican Republic. Frank Castro, who lived in the Dominican Republic, was close to Joaquin Balaguer, the President of the Dominican Republic. Frank Castro said that Otero entered the Dominican Republic on January 4, 1976. In 1977 Frank Castro was linked to Pablo Gustavo Castillo, who was charged with a bombing in Miami, and a murder in Mexico. [Miami News 3.17.77] In 1983 Frank Castro was indicted for conspiracy and smuggling marijuana into Beaumont, Texas. The charges were dropped in June 1984. In June 1988 Frank Castro was indicted for Neutrality Act violations for having taken part in a "military expedition and enterprise to be carried on from thence against the territory of Nicaragua." [88-6098 CR USDC SD FL cited by Brewton p304]
Rolando Otero left the Dominican Republic on January 23, 1976, for Chile, where he remained until he was extradited to the United States in May 1976, and charged with the bombing of Miami Airport. U.S. Attorney Robert Rust was in charge of the case. On August 25, 1976, Rolando Otero was acquitted by a Federal jury in Miami, however, on the same day he was scheduled to be released, he was indicted on identical state charges. Maurice Ferrer expressed sympathy for Rolando Otero.
Retried in January 1977, Rolando Otero testified he was the youngest recruit at the Bay of Pigs Brigade training camp, and had been trained by HUNT. Ellis Rubin stated: "HUNT does not know Otero. HUNT never met Otero. He has never trained anyone in the use of explosives. HUNT'S only connection with the Bay of Pigs operation was as a the political liaison officer between the CIA and the Bay of Pigs invaders. He had nothing to do with any military operations or training. This is another misuse of HUNT'S name by those who would take licence because HUNT was involved in the Watergate situation." [Miami Herald 8.24.76] Just before HUNT was released from prison, he testified at the trial of Rolando Otero. HUNT told the jury he had never seen Rolando Otero before in his life.
On December 22, 1976, Joe Crankshaw of the Miami Herald reported: "At least two other persons may have been involved in the December 1975 wave of bombings in Miami for which Rolando Otero is to stand trial in Fort Walton Beach January 10, 1977, according to court records...An informant's testimony that he saw Otero, Ricardo Morales, and two unidentified men in a Little Havana Restaurant, discussing bombings, and later saw Otero outside a washroom at the state attorney's office minutes before a bomb exploded there...Other depositions by Metro detective Danny Benitez reveal that investigators have been talking to an informant who has testified that he saw Otero and three other men in a Little Havana restaurant, discussing the bombings. The informant, identified by other sources as Max Gonzalez, now serving a prison sentence on bad check charges, and who is a former associate of FRANK STURGIS - said he later saw Otero in the 6th floor hallway of the Metro Justice Building minutes before a bomb exploded in a washroom outside the state attorney's office. Gonzalez also said that one of the men in the restaurant was Richardo Morales, expected to be a key witness against Otero...Gonzalez said Otero, Morales and the two other men were discussing bombings, and how much dynamite or plastic explosives would be needed. But Gonzalez's testimony to the police differs slightly from a notarized statement he gave to the Miami Herald last October in that he stated he saw the conversation take place in the Rodeo Restaurant and Lounge, but his depositions and interviews with police have placed the talk in the Rancho Luna Restaurant. Prosecutors Yoss and Adorno said they did not expect to call Gonzalez as a witness in the case."
On December 21, 1976, the Miami News reported: "a confidential informant has told Metro investigators that he saw bombing suspect Rolando Otero near a bathroom in the Dade County State Attorney's Office only 30 minutes before a bomb exploded there on December 4, 1975, a court deposition reveals. A 150 page transcript of two lengthy sessions on December 8, 1976, and December 9, 1976, among Otero, defense attorney William Clay, Assistant State Attorney George Yoss and Metro Organized Crime Bureau Detective Danny Benitez was filed last week with the county clerk's office. The informant's story, if it holds up, could represent new evidence against the 33-year-old suspect, who faces trial on nine bombing charges in state court next month. In the transcript, the detective described meeting the informant on the day after the explosion. He told the detective he had overheard several men discussing politics and bombs in Little Havana's Rancho Luna bar-restaurant. One of them was a pock-marked Latin who argued loudly. A few weeks later the informant said, he twice saw the same man carrying a package on the sixth floor of the Metro Justice Building. It was only 30 minutes before the noon explosion. Subsequently, the detective said in the deposition, the informant identified Otero's photo as a that of the pock-marked man. The informant also later recognized Otero at a chance meeting in the Dade County Jail. In August, Otero was acquitted of setting nine bombs in the Miami area after a long trial in Federal Court. The case presented against Otero was largely circumstantial, but the informant's story puts the suspect close to the bombing scene at a critical moment, and could be crucial at his new trial, set to begin January 10, 1977."
On January 11, 1977, the Miami Herald reported that the judge in Otero's state trial "instructed the state prosecutors to have a perspective witness, Max Gonzalez, brought from Fort Pierce Correctional Center to Fort Walton Beach so that defense lawyer could quiz him about any testimony he might give at Otero's trial."
In February 1971 Maxiam Emilio Gonzales was arrested for Grand Larceny, accused of having stolen $150 from Angel Rosa during a used car deal. In August 1973 Gonzalez was arrested for passing a worthless checks. In April 1974 Gonzalez was arrested for passing a worthless checks. In July 1974 Gonzalez was arrested for passing a worthless check. In June 1975 Gonzalez was arrested for passing a worthless check. Max Gonzalez worked with STURGIS on OPERATION SWORD. Max Gonzalez was an informant for Detective Danny Benitez. STURGIS was an informant for Detective Benitez. Max Gonzalez, who had not come forward during the first trial of Rolando Otero, was in jail as usual, facing eight felony charges for passing worthless checks, when he remembered he had overheard Rolando Otero discussing bombings in a Little Havana restaurant. The man with whom Rolando Otero was discussing the bombing with was Ricardo Morales. What did STURGIS have against Otero? Why did he instruct Gonzalez to make up this story about Otero? In March 1977, after his conviction, Otero hinted he had inside knowledge of the Kennedy assassination he wished to offer in return for a lighter sentence. Was STURGIS aware that Otero was contemplating doing this in January 1977? HEMMING stated that this was a different Max Gonzalez.
Richardo Morales was scheduled to testify that he heard Rolando Otero boast that he planted the bombs that exploded in late 1975, however, Morales never appeared. Other evidence against Rolando Otero included a lift of his thumb print on a remnant from the Miami Airport locker. Otero was only convicted of the Miami Airport bombing.
In March 1977, Rolando Otero was interviewed in prison awaiting sentencing. The FBI reported on the interview:
"On March 1, 1977, (deleted) interviewed at (deleted) where incarcerated waiting sentence following his conviction on state charges relating to bombing incident in Miami, Florida, area. Present during interview with Otero were and (Deleted) . These attorneys were present in Okaloosa County, Florida, this date in connection with several motions filed in Circuit Court, Shalimar, relating to Otero's state conviction. Otero is scheduled to be sentenced on state charge on March 17, 1977, at Shalimar, Florida.
"The presence of these attorneys during interview was at their request.
"Attorneys for Rolando Otero stated prior to the interview that they had no knowledge as to specifics which Otero was to provide FBI relating to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
"During the interview with Otero, who spoke broken English, Otero alleged that he had information regarding the Kennedy assassination. Otero declined to provide any specific information regarding this matter.
"Otero advised that it was his personal opinion that 'CIA, FBI and Secret Service at a high level were involved in the assassination.' When Otero was asked for specifics as a to this opinion, he declined to furnish such information. Throughout interview, Otero alleged that he had information concerning the Kennedy assassination that would 'embarrass FBI.'
"Initially, Otero advised that he would be willing to testify before the HSCA, headed by Mr. Sprague, concerning the 'concrete' information he had on the Kennedy assassination. Rolando Otero's condition for this testimony was for his state conviction on bombing charges to be dismissed by the FBI, or government intervention on his behalf with Florida authorities.
"Otero was informed that the FBI could not enter into such an agreement. During the later part of the interview with Otero he related that if this condition for his information was not met by the end of this week, he would then release information to the media on limited basis concerning the Kennedy assassination, and in turn provide similar, but more detailed, information to HSCA. He also claimed at the same time he would furnish other information relating to Cuban activities in South Florida and South America, which he alleged would be of embarrassment to the FBI.
"After the contradiction in his stated intentions in this matter were discussed with (deleted) it was determined that he initially meant to advise that he would be willing to withhold information he claimed to have concerning the Kennedy assassination, in view of its alleged embarrassment to the Bureau, if the FBI would intervene with state authorities concerning the state charge, resulting in the dismissal of the state charge against him, otherwise he would provide the information he had in his possession to both the media and the HSCA.
"At this point, Otero, with his attorneys present, was specifically and unequivocally advised that the FBI wanted him to furnish any and all information he might have relating to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and other matters to the HSCA, as a was his stated 'desire' and that the FBI would have no part in his withholding such information.
"After this point was made clear to Otero, he advised that in view of this he would be willing to testify before the HSCA without condition concerning information relating to the Kennedy assassination, the specifics of which he declined to furnish the FBI.
"At the conclusion of interview with Otero he and his attorneys were informed that Otero's stated desire to testify before the HSCA would be furnished by FBI to appropriate authorities." [FBI 62-117290-454X19]
A few weeks later Rolando Otero told a Miami reporter: "The killers of Kennedy are alive and living in Miami." The testimony of Rolando Otero to the HSCA was classified, although researcher Dick Russell obtained a copy: "They had a rumor in the Cuban community, like Kennedy was a Communist, he's against us, he's messing up the whole cause. Before the Kennedy assassination they called a meeting of these people, and they said they had to be ready because there was going to be a coup d'etat in the United States." [Russell, Man Who Knew Too Much p538]
Rolando Otero told Gaeton Fonzi that Cuban exile Juan Adames (HEMMING claimed the name was Juan Aldama Abreu) told him that BERNARDO De TORRES had some connection with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Gaeton Fonzi: "From Otero I got the very detailed contention that, when both were in the Broward County jail, Adames said that BERNARDO DE TORRES personally knew OSWALD."
MEMO June 15, 1977
Re: Adames & Otero interviews.
Enclosed are rough notes of my latest interviews with Juan Adames and Rolando Otero. This was my second interview with both men and the first with Adames where I identified myself and my affiliation with the Committee. The additional information developed in both interviews strengthens my opinion that we have a possibly significant new area of investigation which should be given attention.
Here are some of the important points developed in the interview with Adames:
- His experience in the Dominican Republic revolution reveal Mitch Werbell to be an extremely important character in that operation whose connections go up to the highest levels of the military-intelligence community.
- Werbell had very close association with Paul Bethel. I have always thought Bethel to be a key figure. He was press attache in the Havana Embassy and was probably the CIA's liaison-coordinator with anti-Castro groups in Miami. He was one of the first persons Veciana was told to see when he arrived here. Bethel is a very close friend of DAVID PHILLIPS whom, Bethel himself told me, was working covert propaganda in Havana...
- That De TORRES himself does have past experience in assassination involvement.
- That Werbell does have a special relationship with Andrew St. George, and that our assumption about that relationship (see Memo May 22, 1977) may be right.
- Although we get a partial corroboration of what Otero had told us Adames had told him about De TORRES having some connection with the Kennedy assassination, from Adames we don't get the information that De TORRES was involved or that he was on the scene on November 22, 1963. That's specifically why I went back to Otero. From him I again got the very detailed contention that Adames told him, when both were in the Broward County Jail, that De TORRES was involved in the Kennedy assassination and that he personally knew LEE HARVEY OSWALD.
Otero said he would be willing to testify under oath to that. Corroborating to some extent Otero's story is what Otero's girlfriend Kathy told Otero's lawyer, Bob Rosenblatt, a few weeks ago. She said that during the brief period that Adames was out on bond, he came to see her regarding possibly helping Otero. However, without being asked about it, Kathy volunteered that Adames seemed interested in what Otero might have told her about this fellow De TORRES.
Conversely, Adames says nothing to us about meeting Otero in the Broward County jail (though records indicate they were there at the same time) or his visit to Kathy. I didn't want to question him about it specifically because I did not want to reveal to him our lead to him was Otero, and if we ever get them both under oath, that could be a significant point to put some pressure on.
I tend to put more validity to Otero's information since we have made no deals with him and he has nothing to gain, as a far as a I can see now, from feeding us misinformation. There's a possibility as a far as a I can read it now, that Adames may be weighing the value of his information, holding back to see if the situation will develop where he can get the best price or deal for it.
Adames is undoubtedly a con man and there is a risk in using him that he will sell out, but, on the other hand, he could be of immense value in developing the details of De TORRES possible involvement. On that assumption, I told him I would make an effort to expedite his situation to either a work release program or parole. This week he has been transferred to the Broward County Prison, which may be preliminary to placing him on the work release program. I'm checking on that, but I would like him to think, it's so, that we had something to do with it. Adames, as a a risk to society, is minimal or nil. I feel we should make an effort to expedite his situation in order to use him most effectively, or at least do something to make him feel we were instrumental in what is going to happen to him anyway.
I also feel we should perhaps consider at some point a subpoena duces tecum for De TORRES regarding those photo he allegedly has in his bank vault. I think we should combine it with a 24-hour surveillance program when he gets it. [NARA HSCA 180-10092-10141]
Juan Adames, was incarcerated for possession of a forged driver license. Gaeton Fonzi elaborated: "Otero said his source had told him that OSWALD was sent to Russia as a CIA agent. The decision to kill Kennedy was made before OSWALD'S return to the United States. Most of the final planning and coordination took place at meetings held at the Dallas YMCA building. BERNARDO De TORRES posed as a photographer in Dealey Plaza on November 22." Gaeton Fonzi checked with Juan Adames and was told, "I would not put anything past De TORRES since I know that's the kind of business he's involved in. He led me to believe he had some photographs from down there, but I don't know from when. He said they were in a bank vault. The more I think about it, if De TORRES was involved in anyway, Mitch Werbell must have been." [Fonzi, Last Investigation Ch. 28] HEMMING 1994: " Juan Adames worked with Lucian Conein. I did time with Otero. Somebody tried to poison him in the Okalusa County jail. They gave the poison to the wrong guy and almost killed him. Otero can tell you something about Dealey Plaza. De TORRES was military leader of the Brigade in the 1970's. He worked with Anslinger and the Federal Bureau of Narcotics for years. Him and his brother. They worked around Gene Marshall. He is still operational. He had dealt with people like Adames before. De TORRES don't read this stuff. Unless someone in the government brings it to his attention and that ain't Fonzi's fault or your fault. I could give a rat's ass for Adames. His case officer will fry. De TORRES did surveillance of OSWALD in New Orleans and in Texas, Dealey Plaza. He don't sue. If you use De TORRES name, the son-of-a-bitch will kill you. You put that kind of a guy's name on [the Net], the son-of-a-bitch, and you're dead. You wanna be a martyr? This guy is a fucking professional killer. He won't do it personally. He has people that work for him. He'll wack your fucking ass in a heartbeat. I wouldn't bandy his name about. Fonzi didn't use his name, neither did Propper, a former U.S. Attorney. [Propper used the name.] I guess they're all cowardly fucks anyway. Maybe you're the only one with any balls? De TORRES is afraid of me. He think's I'm even more evil than he is. I made him a partner in Parabellum, and got him on Werbell's payroll. That's a long story. It has nothing to do with JFK yet. The HSCA wouldn't give him immunity, so he wouldn't talk."
In March 1977 Rolando Otero was sentenced to 40 years. Released from prison in the late 1980's, he attempted to extort money from his lawyers by threatening to bomb them. State and federal warrants were issued for his arrest. As of 1996 Rolando Otero was a fugitive. HEMMING intimated that the De TORRES brothers might have been individuals who offed many JFK witnesses: "I don't see people on the periphery, people that don't have a direct link. People that couldn't prove shit, they just fill in blanks, what with the nasty FBI running around talking to everyone's dog, putting shit together, who would feel threatened? Not the real shooters. They could give a fuck. But who's out there that feels threatened that may have been running dope, or doing all kinds of crazy shit, who is somebody now. Who is somebody now? Who is somebody in the fucking community now? I know one of them made money in the dope trade and turned that money around and used it against Fidel again. The Contras. And these people live comfortably. Their associates are politically prominent. They could erroneously say, 'This guy could cause us a problem.' There are cold-blooded motherfuckers out there that do this shit for practice. It don't mean nothing to them. I mean these people love their work. Good thing the American people don't know about it.
"It depends on how the job was done. Shooting a guy with a rifle - that's Cuban. Karate chop, Jim Koethe, he's linked to me cause he interviewed me in 1963 when I went through Dallas. [Koethe, a reporter, was killed by a karate chop to the neck in Dallas on September 21, 1964. His murder remained unsolved.] If you're talking about someone who had an apparent heart attack or something, those are the Cuban technicians."
BERNARDO De TORRES fit HEMMING'S description although I have no evidence De TORRES ever committed a crime. The CIA reported: "In conversation Subject stated he is private detective employed by U.S. Government and is sales supervisor for Central and South American of Defense System International. Has suspicious visitors and there are rumors that he and brother involved in illegal activity." [CIA 201-295,213] END OF NODULE.CLICK HERE TO GO ON TO THE NEXT NODULE. CLICK HERE TO COMMENT ON THE NODULE.