Exclusive: Jim Garrison Talks to Jack Martin
Updated: May 27
One of the few known pictures of Jack Martin
Jim Garrison interviewed Jack Martin in his office on December 14, 1966. Here is a recording of that meeting:
The quality of the recording is not good. I have worked months to produce a transcript. Please feel free to email me with improvements -- I realize that my 66-year-old ears might have easily missed something.
Here is the transcript in word format:
Here is the transcript in PDF format:
This was not the first interview that Garrison's office had with Jack Martin. One day earlier, his former chief investigator Pershing Gervais interviewed Martin at the Fontainebleau Hotel.
In that interview Martin made the claim that "Ferrie was in Dallas at least in Fort Worth two days before the assassin [sic] of President Kennedy. I understand he was to fly three people from there to Laredo, Texas, either there or Matamorris, Mexico."
One of the big stories in this interview is that Jack Martin claimed that "Dave Ferrie introduced me to him [Lee Harvey Oswald] in Banister's office. He says he used to be in my CAP squadron when he was a little kid." (29:26)
James DiEugenio, in his book Destiny Betrayed, actually believes Jack Martin: (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 this recording of Jim Garrison and Jack Martin.
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.
Here are some additional comments on the Garrison-Martin meeting.
1. Martin used the n-word a total of 25 times during the meeting. He claimed that David Ferrie had a black bodyguard who went everywhere with him. Martin repeated the claim he made in the meeting with Gervais that Ferrie was in Dallas during the assassination. It's amazing that Martin would make this claim in 1966 - he must have known it was not true. And Garrison must have known as well. And then Martin added an absurd claim: (8:21)
Jack Martin: This n*****, let me tell you. He’s a clean-cut looking man. He’s sharp. … he’s sharp. This guy, hanging out with Ferrie He was driving him around quite often, always in the car with Ferrie. This n***** was in Texas with Ferrie when Ferrie was in Texas, just before, and probably during the assassination. [8:44]
Jim Garrison: All right, let me get that. He was in Texas.
Jack Martin: That’s right. So, I understand. 'Cause he went everywhere with Ferrie, he flew with Ferrie. In his Stinson 40.
Jim Garrison: Now we know that this fellow [Morris] Brownlee went. But he’s not the Negro.
Jack Martin: Anywhere that Ferrie and Brownlee went, this n***** was there too.
Jim Garrison: Hmm.mm.
Jack Martin: Now …
Jim Garrison: There might have been three of them.
Jack Martin: That’s right.
Jim Garrison: How did you know this Negro was there?
Jack Martin: I just know it... He went everywhere with Ferrie. Now this n***** could have been the same n***** that they saw in the Book Depository.
Jim Garrison: In the window.
Jack Martin: That’s right. I’ve often thought of that.
2. Jack Martin knew a great deal about David Ferrie and so he was able to weave true material in with a lot of false stuff. He told Garrison about the FAA investigation of David Ferrie which was true: (11:32)
Jack Martin: Unfortunately, here about the time that he got into trouble, here locally, and it was just before the assassination of Kennedy. There was a guy working the case of Dave Ferrie, he was trying to pull Dave Ferrie’s pilot's license because of his activities.
Jim Garrison: You mean working for Eastern Airlines?
Jack Martin: No, no, no. This guy is better than that.
Jim Garrison: Oh, really?
Jack Martin: This guy was trying to pull his pilot’s license. Yes, sir. This man is in Washington. I remember back in Washington, just before I had a heart attack, I visited this man up there and we had lunch together. We were with a couple of FBI buddies of his. This man is a former Bureau man, he’s a good friend of Aaron Kohn, he knows the people in the Bureau, and now he’s either the chief or the assistant chief of the office of compliance and security of the FAA.
Jim Garrison: What’s his name?
Jack Martin: Richard E., Dick Robey.
Jim Garrison: Washington D.C.
Jack Martin: Richard E. Robey, R-O-E-B-Y, no, R-O-B-E-Y, I think it was. These damn bifocals.
Jim Garrison: What’s his title?
Jack Martin: He’s with .. he’s an investigator, Office of Compliance and Security,
Federal Aviation Authority. He flies all over the Country.
Jim Garrison: OK
Jack Martin: Now his telephone number is ST 341 hundred.
Jim Garrison: 341 hundred.
Jack Martin: Extension four five two four. Now he’s got a residence and he’s got a residence home in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Jim Garrison: I know where that is.
Jack Martin: Alright. And he’s got a residence phone.
Jim Garrison: Alright.
Jack Martin: Now, because of the fact that Dick Robey had a personal vendetta, for some reason, against Dave Ferrie. I sent all my files to Dick Robey. I even had notes in there when Dave Ferrie had sat down and showed my wife various formulas and calculus and higher mathematics on how to construct, uh, by using mag lines .. how to construct an atomic bomb.
Here is a letter that Jack Martin wrote to Richard Robey after the assassination. He said he was offering "very important facts" about a Ferrie-Oswald connection. Note this letter was written on November 25, 1963 and there is no mention of Martin seeing Oswald with Ferrie.
3. Garrison continually asks Martin when he saw David Ferrie with Lee Harvey Oswald. Here is the first exchange: (26:46)
Jim Garrison: Let’s try to get to where he’s connected to Oswald. That’s what I’m interested in.
Jack Martin: Well …
Jim Garrison: I mean it’s good to know, but. when did you see him with Oswald?
Jack Martin: Well, at Banister’s one time. Ferrie used to come in Banister’s. Well, this is after I had met …
Jim Garrison: In other words, you saw with Oswald several times.
Jack Martin: Yeah, I had seen him once or twice. Alright. This kid Oswald, at that time, was just another part … he had a lot of them around. Every time you see Ferrie, he had a whole bunch of these kids with him.
Jim Garrison: This was in ‘63?
Jack Martin: ‘62, ‘63 back in there somewhere, I couldn’t pinpoint. That’s when he was in all this troubles. See. Alright.
Jim Garrison: Maybe 63.
Of course, Garrison knew that Oswald was not in New Orleans in 1962 and that it had to be in 1963. Martin is unsure of the details.
4. Garrison asked a second time about supposed Oswald visits to Banister's office: (30:30)
Jim Garrison: Who else was there besides Oswald?
Jack Martin: Oh, Ferrie and a bunch of kids come in.
Jim Garrison: Oswald and Ferrie?
Jack Martin: Ferrie and a bunch of young fellows come in. And Ferrie had one of these officer with xxx on, like they wear in Vietnam, you know. And he had a pair of aviator glasses and mohair sticking down. I thought he was one of the Cubans. In fact, Arcacha was with him with a … the Cuban front.
Jim Garrison: You mean that the anti-Castro type were there.
Jack Martin: Yeah, yeah. That’s a good point.
Jim Garrison: … and how old were they?
Jack Martin: They range anywhere from 17 to 21, maybe, something like that.
Jim Garrison: And where was Oswald?
Jack Martin: Well, he was with his friend, because one of the guys, he says this well, he’s a friend of mine. Well, I was sitting there, and I don’t think anybody was in the office. Miss Roberts, she wasn’t even working there.
Jim Garrison: Roughly, what was ...
Jack Martin: Oswald was in talking to some people, and these guys came in to see Banister.
Jim Garrison: Roughly, how many people with Ferrie?
Jack Martin: I’d say three or four. Including Arcacha and this guy Oswald with Ferrie. And there were a couple of other guys.
Nobody who worked in the Banister office was there to witness Oswald being there with Ferrie, not even Delphine Roberts.
5. David Ferrie was very supportive of integration. Martin said that Ferrie was very pro-Kennedy and that he "worshipped [Kennedy] like God": (39:30)
Jack Martin: Ferrie is an extreme anti-communist and yet again I've heard him say this -- about the riots, the inner blacks, and the racial disturbances, they ought to kill them all! white people … Now this guy was pro, pro pro Kennedy. He worshipped him like God.
Jim Garrison: Ferrie says they ought to kill what?
Jack Martin: He says they ought to kill all the white people that oppose integration. In other words, he claims to be pro pro pro Kennedy. He worshipped Kennedy, according to him, the way you preach about, worshipped the white god ...At the same time he's vehemently anti-communist. Well, that doesn't fit into the pattern. And I do remember correctly, even prior to his trouble over in Jefferson Parish and New Orleans Parish. Ferrie appeared at the Roosevelt, I believe it was, at one of the large hotels here. And he was involved with the Dowling matter. Do you remember this?
6. Garrison again brings the conversation back to Oswald: (46:37)
Jim Garrison: Let me bring it back to Oswald.
Jack Martin: Because I had some connections with the old group. Because we didn’t know at that time Castro was a Communist.
Jim Garrison: Hmm. Mm. Yeah, it wasn’t clear until later. Let me ask you... about Oswald.
Jack Martin: So naturally, naturally, I was aware of the contact when they moved in. Now, so later over at Banister’s this cat comes in and this is Lee Oswald. He’s a friend of mine. He’s in PCAP.
Jim Garrison: How did Lee Oswald dress?
Jack Martin. I don't know, they were all dressed in sport clothes. I can't --
Jim Garrison: Only one in a kind of uniform. With Ferrie leading that hat, huh?
Jack Martin: Yeah, you know, you know, it was in almost a Castro hat, you know, yeah. yeah.
3rd party: He’s –
Jack Martin: Well anyway.
Jim Garrison: Did the kids have anything else besides the ...
Jack Martin: As I remember, they just had kid sports clothes. Typical high school kids. Sports clothes, fatigues, maybe. I don’t remember.
Jim Garrison: Did it have something to do ...
Jack Martin. Banister was in there talking to some client or somebody and now this gang of hoodlums comes in and I recognized, and I recognized Dave. After I do a double take, he takes his sunglasses on and off, and I see Arcacha and first I figure it’s a bunch of the Cubans and I did a double look and I see these kids... Dave was peculiar looking.
Jim Garrison: Were these kids supposed to have something to do with the Cuban operation?
Jack Martin: Part of it was Dave's friends who happened to be hanging with him. Because he was in trouble with his job.
Jim Garrison: Was Oswald another one of his friends?
Jack Martin: Apparently, yeah, yeah. It was casual. I don’t know who this cat was. It was just casual, you know. It wasn’t – two or three minutes. And then they went in to talk to Banister. What they said I don't know.
Jim Garrison: How long were they with Banister?
Jack Martin: Oh, hell I don't know, I think I went over to Phil’s and had a beer after that. I don’t think I went back, by the time I came back, they were gone. Either that or Mancuso’s or Phil’s next door. I think Joe Newbrough came in about then and Joe and I went next door.
7. Martin then says that Oswald had an office in the Newman building: (48:44)
Jack Martin. On a number of occasions, Oswald had had an office in the old Newman Building. The old CIO building.
Jim Garrison: The thing is – 1963?
Jack Martin: Yeah. About this same time.
Jim Garrison: What would he be doing with an office, of all people?
Jack Martin: Well, I don’t know, he had an office. You know old man, Arthus?
Jim Garrison: Yeah, vaguely. Remind me.
Jack Martin: Jimmy Arthus has got an office up there in the Newman building right now. And Jimmy Arthus is the one to open the door. Some of Lee Harvey Oswald’s packages still laying in there. Hell, the FBI hadn't even picked them up.
Jim Garrison: Did he share a space with Arthus?
Jack Martin: No oh hell no. He said Oswald was a commie. But Dave used to go up and see this Arthus’s office all the time.
Jim Garrison: Was Arthus friendly with Oswald?
Jack Martin: Yeah, he knew him.
Jim Garrison: He thought he was a communist, but he was friendly with him?
Jack Martin: Yeah, he knew him. He talked with him. To get information out of him.
Arthus was the janitor of the building. Martin claims that some of Oswald's packages are still there. Arthus was interviewed by the Secret Service after the assassination but did not identify Oswald. He died in 1967.
8. Garrison tries one more time: (50:21)
Jim Garrison: Um, tell us more about Oswald? You saw him once again, didn’t you?
Jack Martin: Yeah, I was trying to remember. There was a couple ...
Jim Garrison: With Ferrie?
Jack Martin: There was a couple of things, yeah, I was trying to remember. I can’t ...
Jim Garrison: Boy just a sec. yeah, umm.
Jack Martin: I was racking my brain to eventually pin down conversation ... I wasn’t particularly interested.
Jim Garrison: But when you read, and saw on TV where Oswald had killed Kennedy, didn’t it come back to you? The instances that you saw.
Jack Martin: The first time I saw that rifle, my wife looked at it on television and said, “My god, that’s the same rifle that Dave Ferrie has.”
Ferrie had some old World War I rifles.
9. Ferrie might have instructed Oswald how to get a rifle: (52;41)
Jack Martin: Now, without doubt ... my wife and I said I bet you that’s where Lee Harvey Oswald learned to order the rifles. By mail order. Dave Ferrie – it’s the same god-damned rifle. If he didn’t get it from Dave Ferrie, he learned how to get them from Dave Ferrie.
10. And Ferrie's supposed bodyguard had to know Oswald, too: (55:43)
Jack Martin: The minute my wife and I saw those things we snapped. I couldn’t help it, because everything looked the same, you know. Then this n***** mechanic was running around with him … this n***** out there. Now this n***** was with Oswald. He waited in the car all the time; I mean with Ferrie. But he been driving Ferrie around. So, this n***** had to know Oswald, you know why. I understand …
Jim Garrison: In other words, that’s your point about the Negro.
Jack Martin: That’s right.
Jim Garrison: He was kind of a bodyguard that was with him. Now and always, even wherever he went. He had to know.
11, Garrison tries one more time: (57:35)
Jim Garrison: What about Oswald? You might have seen him somewhere else. Did you ever see him at his home or any place like that?
Jack Martin: If I remember correctly, in the street, it might have been in his house. It might have been his house.
Jim Garrison: But you did see some other place one time?
Jack Martin: Yeah. I was thinking yesterday that it was at Ferrie’s house. It may have been, because there was always a gang of young people over there. But I would go over there and talk to Dave strictly about his case and …
Maybe in Ferrie's house?
12. Yet again: (1;01:27)
Jim Garrison: All right. Can you recall anything about the other different occasions when you saw Oswald in any way?
Jack Martin: Well, I know that Oswald had those offices up there where Ferrie kept his papers, that’s around, let’s see, Bill’s address is 544…
Jim Garrison: I mean in connection with Ferrie, like at his home?
Jack Martin: Well, Ferrie used to go up there, back and forth from that office all the time.
Jim Garrison: He’d go to Oswald’s office?
Jack Martin: Yeah, yeah. Hell, yes, he did. That’s it. Ferrie was an anti-communist, yet Oswald and he are tight. See. That’s what I mean.
Jim Garrison: How do you know he was going to Oswald’s office, Jack?
Jack Martin: We he was going up and down the stairs, all the time. After the … they moved out of the building.
Jim Garrison: In other words, you’d bump into him there?
Jack Martin: I was coming around from Banister’s all the time. Going over to ... Mancuso’s to play. I’ve seen him come in and out. I’ve seen his car parked out there on the street. I knew damn well where he was.
Of course, Jack Martin never said anything in 1963 or 1964 about seeing Oswald with Ferrie.
Here is statement that Jack Martin gave Garrison a few weeks later:
In the the conversation with Garrison, Martin never said anything about anyone referring to someone as "Lee." He told Garrison Ferrie was with Sergio Arcacha Smith, not Morris Brownlee. Martin also told Garrison that "Dave Ferrie introduced me to him in Banister's office. He says he used to be in my CAP squadron when he was a little kid." (29:26) That didn't make it into Martin's statement.