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  • Writer's pictureFred Litwin

Did David Ferrie Confess in a Hotel Room?

Updated: Oct 9, 2021

In one of the scenes in Oliver Stone's film JFK, a distraught David Ferrie is put up in a hotel room, and confesses to Garrison investigator Lou Ivon. Here is the scene (page 89-91);

Ferrie: I haven't slept since that shit article came out. Why'd you guys have to get me involved, Lou?
Lou: Did we get you involved? Or did Shaw, Dave?
Ferrie: Cocksucking faggot. He got me by the balls.
Lou: What do you mean?
Ferrie: Photographs, compromising stuff. He'll use them, too. Agency plays for keeps. I knew Oswald. He was in my Civil Air Patrol unit. I taught him everything. He was a wannabe, you know. No one really liked him. Thought he was a snitch. But I treated him good. He talked about his kid. He really wanted her … to grow up with a chance. But, what's this? What's going on? Don't let him in.
Lou: No one's comin' in here.
Ferrie: Black. Give it to me. Black. My neck is killing me. I've had cancer for years. Been working with mice to find a cure.
Lou: Did you work for the CIA?
Ferrie: You sound like it's a remote experience in ancient history. You don't leave the Agency. Once you're in, they got you for life.
Lou: And Shaw?
Ferrie: Shaw's an untouchable. Highest clearance. Shaw, Oswald, the Cubans, all Agency.
Lou: Ruby?
Ferrie: Jack was a pimp. A bagman for the Dallas mob. Ran guns to Castro when he was on our side. Castro was almost with us till we tried to whack him. Everybody keeps flipping sides. It's fun and games.

Conspiracy books echo this scene. Here is Joan Mellen (page 104-105):

Bill Davy has a similar story (page 66):

But, did this really happen?

Jim Garrison wrote about this in his first book, A Heritage of Stone (page 128):

This certainly contradicts the scene in JFK. Here is an article from the Santa Cruz Sentinel from February 23, 1967.

Note the quote in the fifth paragraph in the first column: "Ferrie was on the brink of providing information that could have been important."

And, Lou Ivon in his oral history at the Sixth Floor Museum does not confirm the conspiracy scene. Here are my notes - "put up Ferrie in a hotel for a couple of days; Ferrie was very intelligent; scared for his life; he snuck off from the hotel; mentioned Oswald and pamphlets; rambled on about a lot of things."

And so it is not surprising to see this note about the JFK scene in the official screenplay (page 88):

"At times, however, we had to put words in Ferrie's mouth to write this scene and used our best judgment based on Ferrie's biography."

Bottom line: Ferrie never confessed while at the hotel. The scene is a complete fiction.


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