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  • Writer's pictureFred Litwin

After Shaw's Acquittal - Garrison Wanted New Leads!

Updated: Oct 9, 2021

As you might know, Garrison indicted Clay Shaw for perjury after his acquittal on conspiracy charges. He claimed Shaw lied when he denied knowing David Ferrie and Lee Harvey Oswald. Garrison told his staff to go out and find new leads to help prove his perjury case.

Garrison had strict instructions on the maintenance of this file:

There are many memos of Shaw Leads II. Most of the leads are nothing more than rehashed rumors or stale leads that were of no interest when first reported. Needless to say, none of the leads panned out. Here is one of the first memos:

Regarding Lead I, they interviewed Guzman in May 1969, who said he never worked for Banister. He never saw Oswald at Thompson's cafe, and said he knew nothing about Shaw or Oswald.

I am glad that Al Clark is "allegedly a respectable homosexual." They followed up with Clark who was not certain that he had been introduced to Oswald. Perhaps it had been Gordon Novel.

This is all craziness. 96 people were arrested at the 'fag ball' in 1962. So what on earth does have to do with Clay Shaw? They combed the list of arrestees looking for friends of, or people who lived near, Clay Shaw. This is all pure Garrison propinquity theory - in particular, the "long shot special." By the way, Clay Shaw was not one of the people arrested.

Dr. Martin Palmer was Clay Shaw's physician, and he was also gay. Why that lead is relevant is beyond me. Because of the persecution of Clay Shaw, Palmer moved to Alaska, and he died in 2009.

The James Lawrence lead was important - they were desperate to find someone to rebut Lloyd Cobb's testimony at the Clay Shaw trial that Shaw was extremely busy during the months of July - October 1963 - they were finalizing the financing of the International Trade Mart. Cobb was in contact with Shaw every day - and testified that Shaw only left town once, in that period, to go see his mother in Hammond, Louisiana.

The Beard-Sohr lead is also insane - both subjects are in Angola prison. There is a previous memo from September 1967 that said a Mr. John Smith was playing pinball on Canal Street when Oswald walked into the Penny Arcade. Lead XI refers to David Gentry - a friend of Clay Shaw's who identified Shaw's friends to Garrison.

Lee Harvey Oswald was seen all over the French Quarter in various gay bars. Here he was playing pool on five occasions.

The Mattachine Society was an early gay rights group. Once again, Oswald is seen with homosexuals - this time at a straight coffee house. Garrison did talk with Delphine Roberts - she worked for Guy Banister - but she said nothing about ever seeing Lee Harvey Oswald in Banister's office.


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