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  • Writer's pictureFred Litwin

Raymond Broshears Testifies Before the HSCA

Here is a transcript of his testimony:

HSCA - Raymond Broshears May 18 1977
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Raymond Broshears was a fabulist who talked his way into the Garrison investigation. He told a TV talk show that he had channeled Lee Harvey Oswald during a seance. A Garrison staffer heard the show and went to interview Broshears. He had all sorts of stories and he was flown to New Orleans.

He told them he was a roommate of David Ferrie and that he had slept with Kerry Thornley. Among his many stories:

  • Hale Boggs was part of the conspiracy, and Clay Shaw was responsible for keeping Boggs in office.

  • Two men from Garrison's office threatened Ferrie in 1965.

  • Ferrie was working for a group of people who wanted to take over the United States.

  • Ferrie told Broshears that Lyndon Johnson killed JFK.

  • The two assassins were killed in a plane crash in Corpus Christi - they were supposed to have been flown by Ferrie from Houston to South Africa.

  • Broshears said that Ferrie said that Oswald was one of the best lays he ever had.

  • Broshears said he threatened the life of Lyndon Johnson, and he was then detained in a VA psychiatric hospital in New Orleans.

  • Perry Russo stole $2,300 from Clay Shaw.

  • Broshears was threatened by Secret Service agents after appearing on the Bohrman TV show.

  • Three people who worked in the TSBD were part of the cell that Oswald had infiltrated. Tippit was sent to kill Oswald because Oswald had infiltrated the cell for the FBI. Oswald had gone to Russia on work for the FBI.

  • Ferrie met Jack Ruby in New Orleans.

It didn't take them long to realize that Broshears was just making stuff up. He was not called as a witness in the Clay Shaw trial.

Here are some of the wacky things he told the HSCA:

  • He told the HSCA there were three assassins (he told Garrison there were two).

  • Various people wanted to kill David Ferrie.

  • He never met Clay Shaw (but he told Garrison he had).

  • David Ferrie was murdered.

  • Someone shot at him when he was in New Orleans.

  • One of Garrison's assistant DA's killed Ferrie.

You would think that no sane conspiracy theorist would take Mr. Broshears seriously. But you would be wrong. Have a look:

On the Trail of the Assassins, Jim Garrison

(page 154 - 156)

Garrison swallows Broshears' stories, hook, line & sinker. But note he didn't dare use Broshears as a witness.

Another individual we located who had met Clay Shaw through David Ferrie was Raymond Broshears, a long-time friend of Ferrie’s who occasionally drifted into town from Long Beach, California. We caught up with Broshears, a talkative fellow, some time after Ferrie’s death. It was back in 1965, he told us, at Dixie’s Bar, sufficiently off the beaten path and deep enough in the Vieux Carré for Shaw to be comfortable, where Broshears first met Shaw. Later that evening, on one of the few occasions when Shaw publicly had dinner at a restaurant with Ferrie, Shaw went home and changed from his sport clothes into less casual attire, meeting the other two at the restaurant. Broshears described him as dressed in a “beautiful” gray suit.

On another occasion, Broshears was with Ferrie at a sidewalk cafe on Bourbon Street when Shaw was driven up in a large black chauffeured car. Broshears recalled that Ferrie went over and had a brief conversation with Shaw before the latter was driven off.

Broshears saw Ferrie and Shaw together another time on the corner of Dauphine Street and another French Quarter cross-street that Broshears could not remember. Ferrie brought him to the corner and indicated that they were waiting for Shaw to come by. Shaw drove up, again in an imposing black car, and handed Ferrie a large brown envelope. Then, glancing in Broshears’ direction, Shaw informed Ferrie that the F.B.I. was looking for Broshears. After Shaw drove off, Ferrie opened the envelope, which contained cash, and gave Broshears some of the money inside.

Ferrie would never discuss his connection with President Kennedy’s assassination, Broshears said, except when he was intoxicated. When he became sufficiently drunk, however, he went to great pains to emphasize that his role had been marginal. He invariably added that providing a service connected with an assassination did not really constitute participation in the assassination.

Over a period of months Ferrie got to know Broshears better and told him more. According to Broshears, Ferrie had driven to Houston, Texas, on the afternoon of the assassination. His assignment was to wait there until he was joined by two members of the assassination team from Dallas. These two men were scheduled to arrive in a single-engine plane piloted by one of the assassins, a man named Carlos, whom Ferrie knew well. Once out of the Dallas area, a twin-engine plane was regarded as more practical, and that was where Ferrie was to have come in. He had been assigned to pick up the two members of the team after the single-engine plane arrived in Houston, thereupon flying them on to a more distant location.

Ferrie said that he had done everything he was supposed to, including going to the ice-skating rink in Houston and waiting for Carlos, but Carlos failed to show up. Broshears at first thought that Ferrie was making this up.

In time, as Ferrie would get drunk and describe again his waiting for Carlos at the ice-skating rink in Houston, Broshears realized that Ferrie was not making it up. It developed that there had been a last-minute change in the departure plans for these two particular members of the assassination team.

Ferrie never revealed to Broshears who gave him his orders. But he left no doubt that he did not consider Carlos qualified to fly any aircraft with a higher rating than single engine. He described Carlos as a Cuban exile, like the other member of the assassination team who had been assigned to arrive in Houston with him. Ferrie had met them both in New Orleans. They were convinced that President Kennedy had sold them out to the communists.

Or so Broshears stated. I had been leery from the outset of details about the assassination volunteered by individuals. I was more interested in bringing into focus the forces involved. However, I could not ignore the detail about the Cubans Ferrie said he had met in New Orleans. Ferrie, I knew, had been the guerrilla instructor for Guy Banister and his mix of Americans and Cubans at the training camp north of Lake Pontchartrain. And so this contribution of Broshears’s fit the developing picture. I had three separate statements taken from Broshears. There was little variation in detail from one to the next.

A Farewell to Justice, Joan Mellen:

Raymond Broshears is mentioned 13 times in Mellen's book.

(page 82)

David Ferrie would tell his friend, Raymond Broshears, that the Dallas police were informed by their superiors that Jack “was going to kill the bastard and that they would be patriotic to turn the other way.” Broshears already knew Ferrie and Oswald were connected to the CIA, and Jack Martin, keeping a close rein on Beckham, had introduced Beckham to David Ferrie.

(page 101)

Despite his bravado, Ferrie began to deteriorate. He rarely bathed. The rifle in his car was now always loaded. He talked of killing himself. He telephoned the Reverend Raymond Broshears and said he feared that he was going to be killed. Depressed, he confided to Jimmy Johnson that Garrison had picked up his friend Mike (Crouchet), and had questioned him about Ferrie.

(page 122 - 123)

Lee Harvey Oswald and David Ferrie figured prominently in Shaw’s sexual pursuits. The Reverend Raymond Broshears of the Universal Life Church told Jim Garrison that one day Ferrie introduced Shaw to him as “Clara” at Dixie’s Bar of Music. Ferrie had confided that Oswald did not kill President Kennedy. His own assignment had been to fly two of the assassins from “south of Houston on down through Central and South America.” Shaw was close to Kent Courtney, Ferrie had told him, corroborating other witnesses. Shaw knew arms dealer, Richard Lauchli. Ferrie had also introduced Broshears to Kerry Thornley, with whom Broshears had sex. “I had sex with Thornley and I know his slender hips,” Broshears bragged. Back in California, Broshears sent back praise for the professionalism of Louis Ivon: “Mr. Ivon is one of the best cops I’ve ever met,” Broshears wrote, “in the South, that is.”

Destiny Betrayed, James DiEugenio

(page 209)

The above is just one instance of Shaw being associated with Ferrie, a fact Shaw denied at his trial. As Jim Garrison revealed in his book, On the Trail of the Assassins, he had statements from a number of witnesses who had seen the two together. And this is besides the witnesses in Clinton and Jackson. These witnesses included Jules Kimble who took a plane trip with the two men; David Logan who, after being introduced to Shaw by Ferrie, had a homosexual tryst with Shaw; Nicholas and Mathilda Tadin, who saw Ferrie with Shaw at the New Orleans Airport where Ferrie was giving their son flying lessons; and Raymond Broshears who had a drink with Shaw and Ferrie, and later joined them for dinner.

DiEugenio uses Broshears as a witness who saw Shaw and Ferrie together.

Crossfire, Jim Marrs

(page 472)

Raymond Broshears, a longtime friend of Ferrie’s, had seen Ferrie and Shaw together on several occasions. Furthermore, Broshears told Garrison how Ferrie once became intoxicated and detailed how he had driven to Houston the day of Kennedy’s death to meet two members of the assassination team from Dallas. The pair was to have arrived in Houston in an airplane piloted by one of them, a Cuban exile known only as “Carlos.” Ferrie was to have taken Carlos and his fellow assassin out of Houston. Ferrie told Broshears that something had gone wrong. The two men never showed up

The Kennedy Conspiracy, Paris Flammonde

(page 39 - 40)

The most startling posthumous "revelation" regarding David Ferrie came to public attention in mid-August, 1968, when the Rev. Raymond Broshears, who had roomed with the late pilot some three years earlier, stated on a Los Angeles television program:

"David admitted being involved with the assassins. There's no questions about that." Broshears said Ferrie "was in Houston at the time Mr. Garrison has him in Houston, with an airplane waiting." According to the minister the alleged conspirator was supposed to pilot two of the actual assassins on the second stage of an escape flight which would eventually carry them, by way of South America, to South Africa, with which the United States had no extradition treaty (and to which the CIA front operation Permindex moved when it was asked to leave Europe.)

Ferrie, recalls Rev. Broshears, was in readiness at the Houston airport the afternoon of the murder, but the assassins, flying a light plane, panicked and attempted to make it all the way to some point in Mexico non-stop. They crashed off the coast of Corpus Christi, Texas, and perished, according to the minister's recounting of the Ferrie confession. Like Gordon Novel, the minister holds that the purported escape pilot was murdered. "No matter what happens I will never commit suicide," Broshears remembers him saying.

Rev. Broshears, an admitted homosexual, tells of having been subjected to almost constant threats and harassments since his brief relationship with David Ferrie; however, in at least one instance, he somewhat aggravated the situation. In his words, "I said that Mr. Johnson, who was responsible, directly or indirectly, for the assassination of President Kennedy, should be put to death."

(page 366 - 367)

If you want some fantasy, here it is:

Raymond Broshears was the "Judyth" of his time.

Previous Relevant Blog Posts on Raymond Broshears

An audio recording of Broshears on the Bohrman Show.

Bill Turner sent a memo to Stephen Burton saying that he should find and interview Raymond Broshears. Here is Burton's memo.

Broshears revealed the plot to the LA Free Press

Lane and Jaffe pay the good Reverend a visit.

Broshears even identified the three tramps.

Of course, they had to fly Broshears to New Orleans to tell more stories.

Broshears outs a Garrison suspect.

Broshears' newsletter discusses his trip to New Orleans

Hard to believe but the HSCA actually interviewed Broshears.

For some reason, conspiracy theorists believe Broshears is credible.

James DiEugenio believes that Raymond Broshears corroborates the existence of a Leon Oswald.


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