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  • Fred Litwin

Jim Garrison's Ridiculous Letter to the HSCA...

Updated: Apr 17

Here is a letter that Jim Garrison wrote Jonathan Blackmer of the HSCA in July of 1977:




Here is my transcription of Garrison's letter:


"Dear Jonathan:


Enclosed herewith are the random Morgan City and Lafayette materials I mentioned. You will at once perceive an absence of depth of inquiry and a lack of follow-up, with regard to these two statements which I am now marking "A" + "B") but that was because we didn't know what to do with these, except put them on a shelf off to the side, while we headed down the little road we had stumbled across. Perhaps your people will be able to do more with these two random statements than we were able to do.


With regard to Mrs. Villard's references to Ruby, they appear to be true enough inasmuch as she seems to have been acquainted with him for some years. On the other hand, it is of course unlikely that Oswald was in Louisiana on November 14th (unless he took off from the Book Depository that Thursday). It seems more likely that we are [remitted], rather, to the possibility of it being the alternate Oswald, who might usefully have been brought from Dallas along about November 14th for obvious reasons.


The last part of the statement, about the foreign lady in the old car in late September (or early October) may be useful to you. A check of the map reveals that Morgan City is indeed, to my surprise, on the southern route from New Orleans to Dallas (Irving). (It was the same route taken by Dave Ferrrie on November 22nd when he drove to Houston, through the thunderstorm, to get to the payphone at the skating rink - after which he drove down to Galveston where, by that time, Ruby's friend Breck Wall had arrived for the evening). Also, with regard to the foreign lady + the old car, Patterson turns out to be just west of Morgan City.


I have no idea what, if anything, the Lafayette statement (B) means, but I send it along on the possibility that it might tie in somewhere. More than likely, it will simply remain a loose end.


I also enclose the statement of Julia Ann Mercer (c). These were dictated to me by her, written by me on the falsified Bureau and Sheriff's Office statements and signed by her. I cannot emphasize the patent integrity of her as a witness, a highly intelligent ... one sufficiently intelligent to know the danger of her position from what she saw. I probably made a mistake not calling her as witness (to confirm the existence of a conspiracy) at the Shaw trial but I thought we could make it without exposing her.


The full meaning of what Julia Ann Mercer said (+ of its concealment by authorities) will grow upon you, I am sure. For one thing, it puts into the proper perspective the real Jack Ruby (and his anti-Castro activities, as a member of the Mafia branch of the Agency in the late '50's and early '30's). For another, it clarifies how - by the time Sunday came - Ruby had been maneuvered into a posture, from which he could not extricate himself, when he was told to eliminate Oswald. And finally, it provides a lead for one of the men on the grassy knoll who is, as well, an excellent candidate as the man who killed Tippit (with an automatic, needless to say, and not a revolver). You might want to photostat the Mercer statements and cross-file the copies under Laverne Crafard - wherever he is now.


I finally have located my copy of the long-distance calls of David Ferrie for 1963 + am sending them to GT so that he can check out his calls to his city for that period. Since I had it at hand + was already sending you some scattered material, I thought I'd rather send you the Ferrie call - referred to on page 124 of H of S [A Heritage of Stone] - which connects him to Lawrence Meyers, Ruby's friend and advisor during his trying days. I trust someone has been assigned a deeper inquiry of Meyers than was made by the Warren Commission. Quite apparently he is at a lofty level - at least, an active supervisor - of the Chicago-Las Vegas wing of our nether government. I do not think he would have had trouble getting a good table for Breck Wall's show at the Thunderbird. If Trafficante ever gets over his shyness, I'm sure he could fill you in about Meyers.


A key man. Without the assurance that Ruby would dispose of the scapegoat (an assurance assigned to Meyers), then the assassination could not have been attempted. For this scapegoat was no dazed Sirhan or benighted Ray. This scape-goat was a bright, deeply experienced, if low level - intelligence employee whose elimination had to be as complete as the President's. Otherwise, he'd still be talking.


Regards


JG"


In future blog posts I will be examining the Lawrence Meyers phone call, the rumors about Larry Crafard, and the allegations of Julia Ann Mercer. This blog post will just look at Lafayette and Morgan City.


I don't have the actual Lafayette statement that Garrison is referring to, However, I believe he is talking about the two memos below from Meloche and Sciambra about Oswald being in Lafayette.


Here is transcription of a phone call between Louisiana State police officer Francis Fruge, and Frank Meloche, a Garrison investigator.





The homosexual angle clearly interests Garrison greatly. And, if Layton Martens, a friend of David Ferrie's, is part of it, so much the better. Did Garrison have plans to blackmail Martens?


Here is a follow-up memo written by Andrew Sciambra:

Was this all part of the work of a second Oswald? Check out my blog post on the Rollestons.


The first page of the Fruge-Meloche phone call indicates that Garrison was very interested in Oswald being in Lafayette. There were other sightings of Lee Harvey Oswald in the area, and all of this might have been a precursor to the Clinton stories.


Here are a couple of additional memos about Oswald being in the area:

It's interesting that Magee had talked with Ned Touchstone - he was the editor of The Councilor, a racist and antisemitic newspaper based in Shreveport, and she had also talked with John Towers, an attorney from Clinton.


And, of course, Lee Harvey Oswald was then living in Dallas.



Here is the original memo about the deaf person:


Now, here is the statement about Morgan City that Garrison referred to in his letter.


Mrs. Villard also spoke to the FBI:


The FBI was also investigating Peter Guarisco and his cousin for gambling:




Mrs. Villard (then Corinne Burgess) did speak to the FBI in 1963, but she said nothing about Lee Harvey Oswald:

And, they also spoke to Pete Guarisco:

The Oswald sightings around Lafayette/Baton Rouge didn't pan out. But Garrison found the right formula in Clinton.


UPDATE:

Mrs. Villard died in 1989. Here is her obituary.




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