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  • Writer's pictureFred Litwin

Additional Inconsistencies in the Clinton/Jackson Story

There are many inconsistencies in the stories of the witnesses from Clinton and Jackson, Louisiana. Here are just a few:

  1. The Baby and the Bassinette

The barber Lee McGehee said that Oswald was driven to his shop in a battered car with a woman in the front seat and a bassinet in the back. Was this Marina Oswald? Who was driving the car? What on earth happened to the black Cadillac with Clay Shaw and David Ferrie?

2. Oswald the Electrician

Oswald supposedly wanted a job at the hospital as an electrician. The major problem is that he wasn't an electrician. And why on earth would he need to go with Clay Shaw to Jackson looking for a job? Shaw could have picked up the phone in New Orleans and could have easily gotten a job for Oswald.

3. The CORE Meeting

This story did not make the official canon and was not told at the Clay Shaw trial:

Did perhaps Manchester see Michael Lesser coming out of a CORE meeting? Did Manchester, the town Marshal, not get a license plate of the car?

4. John Manchester's Memory

Just count how many times Manchester says, "I don't remember."

Hugh Aynesworth visited Clinton right before the start of the Clay Shaw trial in early 1969. Here is an excerpt, written after the trial, of what he told author James Kirkwood (American Grotesque, pages 222 - 223):

Manchester, you'll recall, testified that he had spent two minutes talking to Clay Shaw that summer in 1963 and Dymond asked him how he could be so sure -- to have only seen a man for two minutes five years before. "I don't forget faces," Manchester snapped. "I may not remember names, but I remember faces. It's my job to." More importantly, perhaps three or four weeks after I'd spent one to two hours with the man discussing the very subject he was concerned with, Manchester did not recognize me when I went up to talk to him following his testimony on the stand. "Newsweek, eh," he said. "Yeh, I met a feller from there not too long ago, and ... " One of the assistant D.A.'s pulled him away -- him, still not recognizing a man with a 12-inch scar on his face whom he had threatened a few days before. Quite a memory has mister [sic] Manchester!

5. Other Sightings in Clinton

Garrison's investigators showed people in Clinton and Jackson about 29 different pictures of people of interest. Not surprisingly, people sometimes picked people who were definitely not there.

Andrew Dunn picked Jack Ruby as the driver of the car and Guy Banister as a rear-seat passenger.

William Dunn, at one point, picked out Thomas Beckham as being in the front seat of the car, and he might have even been driving. William Dunn did testify in the Clay Shaw trial but Clay Shaw's attorneys did not know he had earlier picked out Beckham.

Was Gerry Patrick Hemming in Clinton to register to vote?

Mrs. Kelly picked out a picture of Terry [sic; it was Gerry] Hemming as a man who was standing in line to register to vote. However, she really wasn't quite sure of anything.

6. The 1028 on the Cadillac

Here is another excerpt from Anne Dischler's notebook about the 1028:

Of course, Oswald could not have been in Clinton in October because he went to Mexico City in late September, and then he went to Dallas.

Here is another excerpt from Dischler's notes from May 26, 1967:

The note reads:

J. Manch. ran 28 on Cad --

to his knowledge car reg to Int. Trade

could not say exactly what

chain of source of info was used -- Essie

Watson ran '28 - (radio oper - S.O. -

E. Fl. Ph.) [East Feliciana Parish]

Jim Garrison wrote in On the Trail of the Assassins that a 1028 check was run: (page 138 in the Kindle edition)

The town marshal suspected that the two might have been sent from the federal government to help black people register. He called in the limousine license plates to the state police and had them checked. The car, it turned out, was registered to the International Trade Mart, which Clay Shaw—obviously the tall, distinguished-looking man— happened to manage.

Later in his book, Garrison writes: (page 284 in the Kindle edition)

Manchester pointed to Clay Shaw as the man he had questioned. Shaw gazed back at him impassively. As Sciambra had learned in Clinton, Manchester contacted the state police and confirmed that the limousine was the property of the International Trade Mart in New Orleans.

You can see that in Manchester's statement (see above), he could not remember how he learned that the car was identified with the Trade Mart:

I don't remember exactly how, but I remember finding out some way that the car was from the International Trade Mart in New Orleans. It is possible that I could have checked it out through our Sheriff's office or I may have gone up and talked to the people in the car and got the information from them. It is hard for me to remember exactly how. I do remember mentionin to someone, but I don't know exactly who, that the Cadillac was from the International Trade Mart in New Orleans.

The problem is that the International Trade Mart did not own or lease any cars, let alone a Cadillac, which is why Manchester's memory improved at the trial. He told the court that Clay Shaw told him "he was a representative from the International Trade Mart in New Orleans."

James Alcock also knew there was a problem. His closing argument reiterated that the Cadillac in question belonged to Clay Shaw's friend, Jeff Biddison:

I want to make this abundantly clear at this time -- the State is not wedded to the proposition, the State is not bound by the proposition, and the State is not asking you definitely to believe that that black Cadillac on that day belonged to Jeff Biddison, a long-time friend of the Defendant, but it certainly is a curious coincidence that the Defendant knows Jeff Biddison, has used Jeff Biddison's car, and it was a black Cadillac, 1960 or '61, and, as the witnesses said, a brand new or apparently new automobile, shiny automobile. But the State is not saying necessarily that that was Jeff Biddison's automobile, because the State -- unfortunately no one on that occasion got the license number of that car so we could check it down and tell you positively and stand behind it as to the owner of that automobile.

But there was evidence that a 1028 was run. Unfortunately, there is no evidence that Garrison and his investigators ever called the license bureau in Baton Rouge to see if they had records indicating that a check had been run on the Cadillac.

The Series on the Clinton/Jackson Witnesses

Part One: The witnesses testify at the trial of Clay Shaw.

Part Two: A response to the allegations made by the Clinton/Jackson witnesses.

Part Three: A look at racism and the politics of the early 1960s.

Part Four: Many of the witnesses were either members of the KKK or sympathizers.

Part Five: None of the Clinton/Jackson witnesses came forward in 1963-1964.

Part Six: Just where did the Clinton/Jackson witnesses come from?

Part Seven: Dischler was an investigator for Garrison who was teamed up with Lt. Francis Fruge of the Louisiana State Police.

Part Eight: The evidence that David Ferrie was in Clinton is poor.

Part Nine: Lee McGehee, the barber in Jackson, claimed that the racist newspaper The Councilor wrote about the Clinton/Jackson witnesses in 1966. No one has been able to find the article.

Part Ten: Corrie Collins continually changed his story about what happened in Clinton.

Part Eleven: Reeves Morgan claimed he called the FBI right after the JFK assassination. But did he really?

Part Twelve: Henry Earl Palmer told a ridiculous story about Oswald claiming he was living with a doctor in Jackson.

Part Thirteen: All the physical evidence that could corroborate the Clinton/Jackson witnesses has vanished. I wonder why.

Part Fourteen: Henry Earl Palmer told Andrew Sciambra that Jude John Rarick was there when the black Cadillac visited Clinton. Author Don Carpentered emailed Rarick in 2007 to ask him. His answer is revealing.

Part Fifteen: Corrie Collins told investigator Anne Dischler that Estus Morgan was one of the people who got out of the black Cadillac in Clinton. Winslow Foster might have been the other person. So what exactly happened?

Previous Relevant Blog Posts on the Clinton/Jackson Witnesses

Three case studies on how Garrison was less than inquisitive, including the possible check of the Cadillac in Clinton.

Why didn't Garrison check out whether the Trade Mart in New Orleans had leased a Cadillac?

An interview with Weisberg in which he discusses the Clinton witnesses.

Two of the Clinton witnesses claimed they were intimidated. But were they really?

Some background material on Clinton.

William Dunn initially said that Thomas Beckham was with Shaw and Oswald.

Andrew Dunn said Jack Ruby was in Clinton.

None of Garrison's witnesses, including the witnesses from Clinton/Jackson, came forward in 1963 -1964.


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