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  • Writer's pictureFred Litwin

Did Reeves Morgan Contact the FBI?

Mr. Sciambra: Did you ever tell this incident to anyone?

Mr. Morgan: Well, yes, discussed it with several people around there, and I even called the FBI and told them.

Mr. Sciambra: When did you call the FBI?

Mr. Morgan: I would say that it was practically the next day after I recognized it, I believe it was the next day.

Mr. Sciambra: After the assassination?

Mr. Morgan: No, the day after I recognized his picture. Maybe it might have been the next day after the assassination before I saw his picture, as well as I remember.

Mr. Sciambra: Did the FBI ever send anybody to talk to you about this?

Mr. Morgan: No, sir, they never did send anybody, because when I called them, when we got through talking I told him I was glad that they already knew he was up there in the vicinity. They already knew it. And he thanked me for my trouble of calling them.

When Morgan testified before the HSCA, he told them that the FBI had also called him:

Mr. Blackmer: And you called the FBI and related to them the story of meeting this individual?

Mr. Morgan: Yes, sir.

Mr. Blackmer: Do you recall what they told you?

Mr. Morgan: Well, the fellow I talked to thanked me but he said "We already know he had been up in those parts." He didn't say he knew he had been to my house. But they knew he had been up there.

Mr. Blackmer: And did you later receive a telephone call from the Federal Bureau of Investigation?

Mr. Morgan: Sometimes afterwards, several days or so, I received a call from them and they wanted to know that kind of clothes he had on; whoever it was called me from the FBI, said they was calling from the FBI. Federal Investigation or whatever - they said. But it was from the FBI really.

Morgan told Andrew Sciambra that it was the Baton Rouge office of the FBI that he had called:

So, is there any evidence that Mr. Morgan contacted the FBI and that they called him back? Well, Andrew Sciambra asked the FBI in 1968:

The FBI wrote that "A review of the files of this bureau and of our New Orleans Office fails to reveal any contact with Mr. Reeves Morgan in connection with the assassination investigation."

The memo notes that "A review of the files of this Bureau and the files of our New Orleans office pertaining to the investigation of Lee Harvey Oswald, failed to uncover any information that Oswald was in the Jackson and Clinton, Louisiana, areas during the late Summer of early Fall of 1963."

Note that because there was no discovery in the Louisiana courts, the prosecution never informed Clay Shaw's attorneys that they asked the FBI whether Morgan contacted them and the FBI said that there was no evidence Morgan ever called them.

Had the FBI really gotten wind that Oswald was in the area, they would have talked to dozens of people. And yet not one person in the area came forward to say they were interviewed by the FBI.

Garrison staffer Tom Bethell wrote about the FBI in his diary. On August 30, 1967 he wrote "Critics of the Warren Report are nearly always not aware of the extensiveness of the FBI's investigation. I was in the [same] position till I went to Dallas, and more especially the National Archives and read through their voluminous reports."

Also, Alcock, Ivon and Sciambra have all attested at different times to the efficiency of the FBI's investigation. It is hard to think of anyone of any relevance who was not interviewed by them within a week or two of the assassination. (In fact, most were interviewed within a few days.) This has been, I am sure, a source of great disappointment to the DA's office, although Garrison himself has never admitted as much. When all the books and articles came out criticizing the Commission, I think many people in the office thought they were exploring virgin territory when they looked into Oswald's background, because these books had tended to over-emphasize the short-comings of the FBI. They gave no indication of how extensive their investigation had been. Far from finding virgin territory, they found that the FBI had been there ahead of them every time -- three years ahead of them. I don't think anyone was expecting this. I know I wasn't; it was clear that many of the people working on the investigation, such as Louis Ivon, acquired a certain sneaking respect for the FBI, as I did too.

I can find no evidence that the HSCA ever looked into whether Reeves Morgan contacted the FBI. His explanation for why the FBI did not investigate further in Clinton/Jackson doesn't make sense. Had the FBI realized Oswald was in the vicinity, there would be many records of interviews. Instead, there is absolutely nothing in the FBI's files.

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.

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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