My Interview with Al Beauboeuf...
Updated: Oct 9, 2021
On Friday evening, November 22, 1963, David Ferrie drove to Houston with two of his friends, Al Beauboeuf and Mel Coffey. This trip has become the stuff of legends!
Just have a look at page 7 of Garrison's On The Trail of The Assassins, and you'll find skepticism about the trip:
"And the more he talked, the less his story held together. For example, when I asked him the reason for his departure from New Orleans only one hour following the assassination, he responded that he had driven to Houston to go ice skating. When I asked him why he had chosen one of the heaviest thunderstorms in many years as the occasion for his ice skating trip, he had no adequate answer."
Garrison got the timing all wrong. They left New Orleans in the evening (Ferrie said 9 PM, Coffey said 7 PM, and Beauboeuf said 4 PM)..
Al Beauboeuf is still alive, and I reached him in early May 2020. He's a very friendly guy and he answered every question I asked.
He said it was his idea to go ice skating. He was a champion roller skater and had never gone ice skating, and he wanted to give it a try. There were no ice skating rinks in New Orleans, and so the idea of a road trip sounded like fun. He said it was ridiculous for Garrison and others to question why Ferrie would drive through a thunderstorm. He said Ferrie would fly straight through thunderstorms and not around them. He couldn't care less about the weather.
He still has fondness for Ferrie - Beauboeuf says he was a really good guy and that he was well liked.
If you have read my book, On The Trail of Delusion - Jim Garrison: The Great Accuser, you'll know the story of how Garrison's men tried to bribe Beauboeuf. They offered him a job and money if he would fill out the conspiracy story - fortunately, his lawyer was smart enough to tape the conversation. The tape has since disappeared, but the transcript still exists. Beauboeuf says the transcript is accurate, "word for word."
Beauboeuf was a scared little kid back then. Garrison's men followed him around and made sure he couldn't get a job. They would go in and talk to any prospective employer. To take the pressure off, Beauboeuf signed an affidavit saying that he was not bribed. He told me it was the only way to get them to back off, and they did.
Wire photo and caption from 1967
Does the tape still exist? Well, Beauboeuf believes that his lawyer, Hugh Exnicios, has the tape. I tried calling Exnicios but I could never get ahold of him.
By the way, back in 1967 Garrison claimed the tape was altered. Later on. Garrison claimed in his book (see page 162) that the bribery tape did not exist. But we know he is wrong since the New Orleans police department investigated the bribery attempt. In their report, they discussed listening to the tape.
Conspiracy books don't mention this part of the New Orleans police report. In a footnote in James DiEugenio's book, Destiny Betrayed, he writes that "Exnicios told me that Shaw's lawyers absconded with the tape. If this is accurate, then they might have had it altered."
They didn't abscond with the tape. Exnicios tried to sell them the tape (and to others) and they refused.
Joan Mellen claims that "the police discovered that the tape had been altered." One of her sources is the Times-Picayune of June 15, 1967. But the story says no such thing. It only noted that Garrison's men had been cleared of bribing Beauboeuf (the reasoning was that it was normal to pay informants for information). There was nothing in the article about the tape not being accurate.