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  • Writer's pictureFred Litwin

Exclusive: Arthur Strout Calls the D.A.'s Office

"I could have been a contender."

Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront

Arthur Strout could have been another Perry Russo. In March 1967, he contacted Jim Garrison's office with important information on the JFK assassination.

He called Garrison's office in March 1967, offering "explosive" information on the JFK assassination. They bought him a plane ticket to New Orleans, but he never arrived and admitted that he made it all up.

I have posted on YouTube an audio recording of one of Arthur Strout's phone calls to Jim Garrison's office. This tape comes from the material that Harry Connick gave to the National Archives. The actual phone call starts at about 7:30 in the video.

Here is a transcript in Word format:

Download DOCX • 37KB

Here is a transcript in PDF format:

Download PDF • 139KB

Here is an excerpt from the recording: (13:48)

Lynn Loisel: All right. Let me ask you this. How many guns were used in the assassination? Do you know?

Arthur Strout: All together?

Lynn Loisel: Yeah, all together.

Arthur Strout: There was three of them.

Lynn Loisel: There were three guns.

Arthur Strout: I got one of them.

Lynn Loisel: You have one of them?

Arthur Strout: I got one of them.

Lynn Loisel: Is that the one that's pawned?

Arthur Strout: Right.

Lynn Loisel: All right. Let me ask you this. Did Ruby know Oswald?

Arthur Strout: Jack Ruby?

Lynn Loisel: Yeah.

Arthur Strout: Yes.

Lynn Loisel: He knew him.

Arthur Strout: It was me and Ruby and Leon Oswald and Mr. Shaw were all together down in Dallas down at Ruby's nightclub down there when we was down there. That's the first time I ever met him. I didn't have no money. Now, I hate to explain it this way over the phone now because it's not right. Like I told the FBI just now, it ain't right. But it was... How do I say it? I don't know. Queer situation.

Lynn Loisel: Right, that's right.

Arthur Strout: I didn't have no money. I got so much money from Mr. Shaw.

Lynn Loisel: Okay. That's for that. Now let me ask you something. Did Tippit know Oswald? Did Tippit know Jack Ruby? Tippit the policeman?

Arthur Strout: The one that got killed?

Lynn Loisel: Right.

Arthur Strout: Yes. He knew Oswald and Ruby both. He knows Mr. Shaw.

Lynn Loisel: He knows Shaw too?

Arthur Strout: He knew Shaw too.

Throughout the conversation, Strout refers to a Mr. Bertram instead of Bertrand, and David Ferris, instead of Ferrie. Despite this, Loisel still feels he should come to New Orleans to be questioned. He tells Strout that they have bought a plane ticket for him to fly to New Orleans that night.

Along the way, Strout had a change of heart, and he got as far as Baltimore, and then headed back to Boston.

Had he continued on to New Orleans, he could have been a hero in Oliver Stone's JFK.

He could have been a contender.

The second half of the audio recording is a conversation with a woman who appears to be working for a telephone service. The D.A.'s office is trying to get to her reveal information about Clay Shaw's doctor, Martin Palmer.

In response to the Gerald Posner article, "Garrison Guilty: Another Case Closed" in the August 6, 1995 edition of the New York Times, Palmer wrote this letter:

"Martin will be deeply missed by his family and many friends all over the world," his family also wrote. "He is remembered for his distinctive voice, described as 'warm honey dripping off a spoon,' his far-ranging intellect and his incisive wit."

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