New Orleans. The name alone conjures up visions of Mardi Gras, secret Voodoo rituals, blooming Magnolias and old world architecture. Also known as “The Big Easy” and “The Birthplace of Jazz,” New Orleans feels like a European jewel tucked into the murky waters of the Delta. New Orleans has important port city for centuries and was also the birthplace of a very infamous and sadly misunderstood young man named Lee Harvey Oswald.
Mainstream Media has spent the last 53 years trying their best to convince the world that Oswald was a “Lone Nut Assassin.” Using the latest computer graphics and technology, pundits give their predictable battle cry, telling the public once again there was no conspiracy in the assassination of JFK. The gullible public is told to believe that Oswald made three shots from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository in about six seconds – a feat no one has ever replicated. Text books call Oswald “the assassin” and not “The Alleged Assassin.” If there was no conspiracy and nothing to hide, all of the documents held in tight secrecy would have been released decades ago. How tragic it is for us as a society to be continually lied to about milestone events in our nation’s history.
Curious people from all walks of life are still fascinated by this truly unsolved mystery: Who really killed JFK and why? The murder of a president in broad daylight seems so barbaric. Researchers read the latest materials, join forums, and attend conferences, trying desperately to piece together what really occurred on 11/22/63. Each person adds depth and nuances to an emerging mosaic of justice. There are disagreements and contradictory information. However, most people agree on one very important piece of the puzzle. Some would say this is the most important piece: evidence shows that Lee Harvey Oswald did not even shoot a gun that dreadful day in Dallas 53 years ago.
November 22, 1963 is the date forever etched into our collective psyche. Those who lived through it and are still alive will never forget the awful details, remembering exactly what they were doing that afternoon. In the days following the assassination, details emerged painting Oswald as a communist nut who was pro-Castro and dangerous.
Unfortunately, and with a shadow of suspicion, the Dallas police did an awful job taking notes and keeping records of the interrogation. Oswald asked for legal representation several times, but his requests were denied. A mere two days later while in police custody, Oswald himself would be gunned down by a nightclub owner with mob connections named Jack Ruby. The one man who could shed light on this entire case was silenced forever. Talk of conspiracy ignited as the American public watched Oswald’s murder on live television. But our government was set on convincing everyone that Oswald was the assassin. Case closed.
LBJ was now the man in charge. He took the reins and wanted to assure the world that America was not a Banana Republic. He made a few calls and asked seven powerful, if not ruthless men to form a commission to investigate the assassination of JFK. Earl Warren, Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, was in charge. Thus, Johnson’s committee became known as the Warren Commission. J. Edgar Hoover and LBJ had already discussed that the purpose – and only purpose – of this investigation was to find Lee Harvey Oswald guilty of murdering the president. They were not willing to look at any evidence that went against their premise. J. Edgar Hoover, the very corrupt and power hungry FBI Director who was close friends with LBJ, would be able to manipulate or withhold evidence as needed.
Every move that Oswald made in the months leading up to the assassination was deeply scrutinized. But the Warren Commission had their minds made up long before their investigation was made. Oswald had to be guilty and there could be no conspiracy!
In April of 1963, Lee Oswald was living in New Orleans. He left his wife and baby in Dallas and went alone to Louisiana. His family would eventually join him in New Orleans. He was able to find a job at the conservative Reily Coffee even though he was a “Defector from the Soviet Union”. It was not known at this time but the U.S. Government did have a fake defector program that was used for espionage purposes. Most likely this was one of Oswald’s assignments. William B. Reily was a fierce anti-communist and right-wing nut. Yet, Oswald easily secured employment there.
Right around the corner from Reily’s was the office of another very important man named Guy Banister. He was an ex-FBI agent from Chicago who was a private investigator and another right-wing anti-communist. Oswald was seen going into his office many times during the summer of 1963. This led people to wonder if Oswald may have been an FBI informant.
Pro-Castro flyers, which were handed out by Oswald, contained the address of Banister’s office, 544 Camp Street. Several dozen went out before Banister realized his address was on them. He had Lee change the address to Magazine Street. This is how District Attorney Garrison began his paper trail years later. That flier led him to Banister’s office. This solidified Garrison’s belief in a right-wing conspiracy and his belief that government agencies were involved in the assassination of JFK. Guy Banister was just one of many witnesses who died suspiciously in 1964, taking his secrets to the grave.
New Orleans was full of interesting and unusual characters – and still is. Some may refer to it as Bohemian Chic. One of the most fascinating men to ever emerge out of the dark shadows of the JFK assassination story was David Ferrie. He suffered from Alopecia – a disease that causes every hair on the body to fall out, even eye brows. Therefore, David had to wear wigs and he painted on eye brows with grease. This gave him a strange and creepy clown-like appearance. But the man was a brilliant pilot and genius who spoke at least six languages. He was studying to be a Catholic priest, but he was a homosexual and couldn’t control his sexual urges. This caused him much trouble, including legal woes.
Unfortunately, Ferrie died mysteriously right before he was set to testify in the Garrison trial. Ferrie was friends with and a pilot for the mob boss Carlos Marcello. In fact, Ferrie was with Marcello in a court room when the news of the assassination was announced. Marcello, later in life, admitted to calling the “hit” on JFK. He was an extremely powerful mob boss with connections in Dallas, New York, Florida and Chicago. He absolutely hated the Kennedy Brothers.
Garrison, with limited resources and a growing number of dead witnesses, had no choice but to prosecute New Orleans business man Clay Shaw on March 1, 1967. Thus began the long and arduous process. Garrison was fighting forces much stronger than he could handle. The CIA and press painted Garrison as a crazy fool. People didn’t know what to believe.
Garrison knew that Clay Shaw was involved with the intelligence community. Shaw was in charge of the International Trade Mart. It wasn’t known then, but this was a CIA front, along with United Fruit Company. The Shaw trial, which was sabotaged from the start, did not have enough evidence to find Clay Shaw guilty of conspiracy charges. He was released on March 1, 1969 and died of lung cancer in 1974. The Oliver Stone film JFK does an incredible job summarizing the trial of Mr. Shaw.
The House Select Committee on Assassinations in the 1970’s reopened the Kennedy case. Witness testimonies, documents and new information were poured over by attorneys. This new evidence showed that Clay Shaw did indeed know Lee Harvey Oswald. Many documents were stamped “top secret” and not released until the early 1990’s. Clay Shaw, they showed, had lied under oath.
A disturbing pattern was beginning to emerge, as explained by early JFK researcher Penn Jones of Texas. People with any first hand information about the JFK assassination, including witnesses, were dying mysteriously and suspiciously.
One of the most macabre and bizarre murders was that of Dr. Mary Sherman. It took place on July 21, 1964 in New Orleans. Her death is chronicled in the wonderful book Dr. Mary’s Monkey. What makes this date highly suspicious was that the Warren Commission was coming to New Orleans to investigate Lee Oswald and his connections around this date. Dr. Mary Sherman may have been silenced. Ed Haslam, the author of Dr. Mary’s Monkey has a long history with the characters and unusual charm associated with New Orleans. He grew up in the Crescent City and his father, also a doctor, was a colleague of Dr. Sherman. They worked together at Tulane Medical School under the auspices of Dr. Alton Ochsner.
A world famous surgeon and former President of the American Cancer Society, Ochsner had serious ties to the CIA, FBI, Richard Nixon and the intelligence community. His files are available for viewing. Haslam has been writing about this topic since the 1990’s when he released a book entitled Mary, Ferrie and The Monkey Virus. The story sounds like a Sci-Fi nightmare.
According to Haslam, these doctors (David Ferrie referred to himself as Dr. Ferrie) were experimenting on mice and monkeys. They were trying to find a cure for cancer. Then the project took a darker turn and, with CIA/Mob connections, these doctors were actually trying to make a cancer-causing bio-weapon to use on enemies such as Fidel Castro. This would make death look like it was from natural causes. Even Lee Harvey Oswald was involved in this project. He was a technician, a helper and transporter of materials. He had to be silenced at all costs and he was the perfect patsy
Judyth Vary Baker, the author of the book Me and Lee, was also a technician, but she had been an experienced cancer researcher as a teenager in Florida. Haslam and Baker had no prior knowledge of each other. They met when the TV Show 60 Minutes was investigating their stories. They were vetted for 14 months and 60 Minutes spent more time and money than other shows. But in a last minute decision by an executive, 60 Minutes decided not to continue, and they did not air this episode.
Baker’s story helps to humanize Lee Oswald. She fills in the blanks and she tells of her deeply intimate love relationship with Oswald. She survived as a witness, thanks to her good friend David Ferrie, who told her she had to blend in and her name could never be in the paper again. He warned her that the Florida crime bosses would be watching her. Baker’s story, although controversial to some, really gets to the heart of the summer of 1963 in New Orleans, the true players in the JFK assassination, and everything dark about the medical Manhattan Project.
Lee Harvey Oswald died too young. He had recently turned 24. The man will forever be an enigma. If he had lived, there would have been a trial. However, there was absolutely not enough evidence to convict him. It’s easy to blame everything on a dead man. Dig deeper for the truth. The mainstream media prefers to keep the American people in the dark.