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  • Writer's pictureFred Litwin

Did David Ferrie Introduce Jack Martin to Lee Harvey Oswald in Banister's office?

Updated: Jan 6, 2023

Sounds like a game of Clue, no?

Jack Martin

James DiEugenio, in his book Destiny Betrayed, writes: (page 389, see also page 112 for the same story)

"In a stolen December 14, 1966, Garrison memorandum, Jack Martin revealed that David Ferrie had introduced him to Oswald in Banister's office. With Ferrie at the time was Sergio Arcacha Smith."

His source? None other than Probe Magazine, Volume 4, No. 4, page 8.

That issue of Probe Magazine indicates that his source is "handwritten notes of one of the earliest interviews Garrison's office had with Jack Martin." DiEugenio found these notes in Edward Wegmann's files, and they are based on a 12/14/1966 interview between Martin and Garrison.

"Garrison in briefly with Gary Schoener from Minneapolis, and Mark Lane. Schoener has been collaborating with Salandria and Katen. Talked to him briefly in my office. In afternoon I read the transcript of a v. interesting interview Garrison had with Jack Martin, on Dec 14, 1966. It lays down much of the subsequent case, as he links Oswald with Ferrie, and also, obscurely, Sergio Arcacha Smith, whom Garrison evidently had not heard of until Martin mentioned him. The interview was tape recorded."

That tape is at the National Archives - I will see if I can make a copy on my next trip to Washington D.C.

However, there are two major problems with Jack Martin's allegation. First, he was insane, and no one took him seriously in New Orleans. Secondly, Sergio Arcacha Smith was not living in New Orleans in 1963.

DiEugenio then cites another Jack Martin interview held a day earlier. Here is that document: (be aware of disgusting racist language)

Some comments on this memo:

  1. Like many Garrison interviews, this was one was recorded. I doubt Martin knew that Gervais was wired. Martin uses some pretty horrible language.

  2. Martin claims that Oswald had an office in the Newman building and that James Arthus "had all of Oswald's paraphernalia." Other Jack Martin claims:

  3. Oswald learned how to order guns from Ferrie.

  4. Ferrie was in Dallas and lied about it. He had his Stinson plane in Dallas.

  5. The police found foreign made guns, "just like the one that killed President Kennedy" when they raided Ferrie's house.

  6. Martin says he met Oswald at Ferrie's house and Morris Brownlee was also there.

  7. A black man, Phillips, associated with Brownlee was in the Texas School Book Depository.

  8. Ferrie was in Dallas two days before the assassination. He was to fly three people to Laredo, TX or Mexico.

  9. Towards the end, he changes the story and says he never saw Brownlee with Oswald when Ferrie was around. Earlier, he said he met Oswald at Ferrie when he was with Brownlee.

DiEugenio doesn't ignore this memo - but he only quotes the part about Oswald having an office at Camp Street. He ignores all the other Martin craziness. DiEugenio never questions Martin's credibility.

Martin's story would always change. Here is his formal statement to the Garrison investigation made a few weeks later.

Now, a different story, and one that Martin did not tell the FBI or the Secret Service back in 1963 - he did not mention Oswald back then.

"Garrison says he has a witness (Martin) who says he saw Oswald and Ferrie in Banister office, 'But he's a liar who hates Ferrie.' . . ."
"Garrison says that when Oswald in New Orleans in 1963 (April to September) he was seen two or three times with Ferrie -- at office of W. Guy Banister, former FBI agent (SAC, Chicago), right wing extremist, later a private eye in New Orleans until he died in June 1964 . . . Information apparently came from Jack Martin, the man who had tipped DA's office that Ferrie had known Oswald, had taught him to fire a rifle and had flown him to Dallas in September-October, 1963 . . . interesting point about Banister-Martin: police report shows Banister pistol whipped martin on day of assassination, reportedly -- by a secretary in office -- in an argument over JFK . . . Charges dropped by Martin, who turns out to be an undependable drunk and a totally unreliable witness . . ."

And, here is an excerpt of a tape recording of a conversation between Hugh Exnicios (Q). lawyer for Al Beauboeuf, and Lynn Loisel (A), a Garrison investigator. Loisel has a pretty low opinion of Martin:

And finally, here is a memo that Aaron Kohn, head of the Metropolitan Crime Commission wrote about Jack Martin:

Jack Martin was interviewed by the HSCA. Here is their conclusion:

Tomorrow: Jack Martin talks to the press with more stories.

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