Did Dr. Wayne Owens hear Rose Cherami predict the JFK assassination?
The Rose Cherami story is a staple of conspiracy theorists - her supposed foreknowledge of the JFK assassination has become almost a founding myth. And no one is quite sure what she really said back in 1963. You can read more about the Cherami story here.
James DiEugenio in his book Destiny Betrayed claims that Dr. Wayne Owen [sic] was one of the people who heard Rose Cherami talk about the assassination: (page 206)
"The fact that she predicted the assassination in advance spread through the hospital. Dr. Wayne Owen, who had been interning from LSU at the time, later told the Madison Capital Times that he and other interns were told of the plot in advance of the assassination. Owen told the same newspaper that Cheramie [sic] had also revealed the name of one Jack Rubinstein in advance. Owen did not understand the significance of this until he learned that Rubinstein was Jack Ruby's real name. When Owen learned that Ruby was Rubinstein, he grew quite concerned. "We were all assured that something would be done about it by the FBI or someone. Yet we never heard anything."
DiEugenio's source for this paragraph is the Madison Capital Times of February 11, 1968. This is an error since the Capital Times did not publish on Sundays, but the Madison Capital Times issues of February 1 - 3, 1968 did have articles about Dr. Owens. Here is the first article from February 1, 1968:
This is clearly the article DiEugenio was sourcing - it has the quote from Dr. Owens that he references on the second page.
The article also claims:
Ten other students heard the allegation.
Two of the former medical students have been called to testify by Jim Garrison.
On Tuesday, November 19, 1963, the eleven interns came upon a room in which three men had been brought after an automobile accident. One man had a bullet wound and he died. One of the other men said that he knew of "a plot to kill President Kennedy." One of the men in the plot was Jack Rubinstein.
The two men were released from the hospital.
Several interns informed authorities in New Orleans about what happened.
Now. does this sound like the Rose Cherami story? First, there is no Rose Cherami. Second, it was one of the two men who talked about the plot. Third, eleven witnesses who directly heard the allegation about the conspiracy - well, where are those witnesses? Nothing about this report sounds right. How come James DiEugenio doesn't say a word about what is really in this article?
The reporter from the Capital Times called Jim Garrison's office. Here is the memo:
Here is the article from February 2, 1968 of the Madison Capital Times:
The reporter called Andrew Sciambra who claimed the information from Dr. Owens "corroborates information we have already been working on - it fits in exactly."
The Wisconsin State Journal said that Dr. Owen was "shaken by the inaccurate statements of The Capital Times."
Dr. Owen said he heard this from a professor of psychology who "had been treating a woman patient in the hospital." She told him about the plot four days before the assassination.
The Capital Times learned of the story from an anonymous caller.
Here is the article from Wisconsin State Journal from February 2, 1968:
The Wisconsin State Journal says his name is Owens, not Owen.
Owens attended a psychology discussion in New Orleans on the Monday preceding the assassination (November 18, 1963).
The presiding professor of psychology talked about an experience treating a female patient at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
She mentioned "Jack Rubinstein" or "Jack Ruby" and "suggested possible danger to the President."
After the assassination, she said that Ruby was the assassin, not Oswald.
The State Journal called James Alcock in Garrison's office and he said that the woman "was allegedly one of Ruby's strippers."
So, Dr. Owens' story is second-hand, or third-hand, or might it have been fourth-hand - even then, It's not exactly the Rose Cherami story we know and love. The date is wrong - she was brought in on November 20, not November 18, and this is the first report I have seen that she said that Ruby was the assassin. Clearly, something is off about this report.
There was another memo in the Garrison office:
The next day, the last article in the series appeared in the Madison Capital Times:
What's interesting is that Andrew Sciambra "read the Rose Cherami file" to the reporter from The Capital Times. Here is what he says Cherami told Lt. Francis Fruge about Jack Ruby:
"Why, Jack knew Oswald well. They were very good friends. Oswald often visited Jack at the Carousel and I saw them talking to each other often."
Now that is not exactly what was in Lt. Francis Fruge's April 4, 1967 report:
There is nothing in Fruge's report about the assassination. He reports that Oswald and Ruby were "bed partners." Sciambra might have been reading from another report -- a Dr. Weiss supposedly heard Cherami talking about Ruby and Oswald being friends..
Note Fruge's last sentence: "Other statements made by subject, relative to your inquiry, are hear-say, but are available, upon your request."
There was one more memo regarding Dr. Owens:
So, the story originates with Dr. Gonzales. If he really did talk to Cherami, it seems like it was after the assassination, Did he hear it directly from Cherami? Why are there no memos about Dr. Gonzales? In fact, there is not a word that comes directly from Dr. Gonzales.
James DiEugenio misled his readers by only telling a small part of the story. Had he done a modicum of research, he would have realized that Dr. Owens did not corroborate the Cherami story in any way, shape, form, or manner.
More blog posts to come on Rose Cherami. Stay tuned.