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  • Writer's pictureFred Litwin

Jim Garrison Does it Again - Claims Oswald and Ruby were Homosexuals...

Updated: Oct 11, 2021

In previous blog posts, we have published the QUICK article from April, 1967 purportedly written by Jim Garrison, that alleged a homosexual conspiracy was behind the JFK assassination.

While Garrison disavowed the article, it is quite clear that much of the content had to have originated from his office. And while Garrison moved away from focusing on the homosexual angle, it is clear that homosexuality never strayed far from his mind.

In January 1968. he was interviewed by journalist Jerrold Footlick, who wrote the following:

"The Warren Report states flatly that Oswald and his killer, Jack Ruby, did not know each other. Mr. Garrison states flatly that they not only knew each other, but that they were co-operating homosexuals. (Mr. Garrison makes the point in considerably more vivid language.)"

This article caused some anguish for Garrison. He claimed to have said things that were meant to be off the record. And, so he wrote a letter to Mr. Footlick:

Note the language in Garrison's letter - he doesn't really deny saying that Oswald and Ruby were homosexuals - he objects because he thought he was off the record:

"Furthermore, you have me saying that Ruby and Oswald were "practicing homosexuals" [sic - Footlick said 'co-operating']. I have never made any such statement for publication or for the record. In my judgment the printing of such statements, concerning deceased individuals who cannot defend themselves, in a publication is an injustice. Ruby has brothers and sisters still living. Oswald also has a family left, including his mother and two daughters. Furthermore, without commenting on whether or not it is accurate as to Jack Ruby, such a statement is not accurate as to Lee Oswald, who was a victim of circumstances in more ways than one."

Garrison says the statement is "not accurate" as to Lee Oswald. Is that because he really thought that Oswald was a "switch hitter who could not satisfy his wife" - as he said to James Phelan?

The feigned indignation is obscene. The man who outed Clay Shaw to the public in 1967 never cared one whit about him, or his family and friends. Take a look at the introduction to Jim Garrison's Playboy interview from October 1967:

Garrison spent weeks going over the proofs of the Playboy interview. He never objected to the statement that "'Shaw was none other than Clay Bertrand,' the shadowy queen bee of the New Orleans homosexual underworld..."

There is no doubt that this language comes from Garrison. In the summer of 1977, Garrison was interviewed by the HSCA. Here is the first page of a fifteen-page memo regarding the interview as well as one page on Clay Shaw:

Some conspiracy theorists (James DiEugenio, Destiny Betrayed, page 332) cite this memo as 'proof' that the HSCA concluded that Shaw was a conspirator. Jonathan Blackmer is clearly repeating what Garrison told him, and we know that because this was right at the beginning of his investigation in to what happened in New Orleans. They had yet to go through Garrison's files, and were "still developing a partial witness list for Shaw." The HSCA Final Report did not name Shaw as a conspirator.

In the latter part of February and the early part of March 1967, Jim Garrison believed that a homosexual conspiracy was responsible for the assassination of JFK. He told several journalists and his beliefs ended up in the QUICK article. But even after he decided the CIA was a far better target, he still showed an inordinate interest in homosexuality. And you can see that in a variety of memos from his investigation.

For example, Jim Garrison's strangest lead was the "fag ball." In 1962, 96 gay men were arrested at a party in Jefferson Parish. After the Clay Shaw acquittal, Garrison instructed his investigators to look for new leads, and one of them was to have a fresh look at the "fag ball." Perhaps other gay conspirators were at the party. The complete list of people was cross-checked against Shaw's address book.

The issue of homosexuality was so central to the Garrison investigation that historian Alecia Long has written an entire book on the topic: Cruising for Conspirators: How a New Orleans DA Prosecuted the Kennedy Assassination as a Sex Crime. You can learn more about this very important book here.

“...The Shaw prosecution was not based in fact but was a product of the criminal justice system’s long-standing preoccupation with homosexuality”
“..revealing how a pervasive cultural and institutional homophobia shaped the prosecution of the only person ever tried in the affair”
“ uncovers how cultural notions of gay men as criminal sexual psychopaths came to permeate JFK conspiracy theories.”


While not relevant to the QUICK article, I thought it important to add the following section regarding the Footlick article and a change of venue motion by the Clay Shaw defense team. The motion contains many examples of prejudicial comments by Jim Garrison.

The National Observer article caused a bit of a sensation. In February, 1968 the Shaw defense team filed to change the venue of his trial (see below). They asked for several documents, and they were denied access to Garrison's correspondence on the Footlick article. Here is an excerpt from an article in the New Orleans States-Item of March 1, 1968:

Garrison then issued a statement and released his letter to Footlick:

Here is the Shaw petition for a change of venue:

And, here is a letter from Edward Wegmann to Elmer Gertz about the change of venue hearing:

Tomorrow's Post on the QUICK article

Garrison Does it Again! He feigns indignation to Paul Hoch over his mention of Shaw's homosexuality.

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