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  • Writer's pictureFred Litwin

What Ever Happened to Estus Morgan and Winslow Foster?

Updated: Dec 11, 2023

Two forgotten names in the Clinton/Jackson stories are Estus (or Estes) Morgan and Winslow Foster, who were supposedly in line to register to vote in late September or early October 1963.

Mr. Sciambra: After your lunch break, when was the last time you left the office?

Mr. Palmer: At approximately 3:30 I went back for coffee.

Mr. Sciambra: Were the two men in the automobile still there?

Mr. Palmer: I noticed them still sitting there.

Mr. Sciambra: And when you returned from coffee after the coffee break, was the automobile --

Mr. Palmer: They were still there?

Mr. Sciambra: Would you tell the Court what happened when you got back in your office after the 3:30 coffee break.

Mr. Palmer: Soon after I got back, the first white man came in the office. I asked him for his identification, and he gave me a driver's license from Livingston Parish. His name was Estes Morgan, and he didn't have enough identification to register because he couldn't prove that he was in the Parish long enough, so I sent him out.

Mr. Sciambra; When did the next white boy come in?

Mr. Palmer: Probably one of two others came between him and then he came. I asked him for his identification, and he pulled out a U.S. Navy ID card.

So, Estus Morgan was in front of Lee Harvey Oswald in the line to register. Palmer makes it appear that there is no association between the two men -- noting that there were one or two others between them.

But a statement from May 1967, appears to lessen their separation:

But this document, written by Andrew Sciambra (undated), claims that "One white man identified as LEE HARVEY OSWALD in company of white man ESTUS MORGAN ..."

Lynn Loisel, Garrison's investigator, has received a report from Lieutenant Fruge of the State Police. Fruge advises that in October 1963 there was a voter registration drive going on in Clinton, La. On a certain day, date coming, a black Cadillac drove to Clinton. There were four men in the car; one was described as tall, grey-haired, well dressed, fitting the description of Clay Shaw. Second man, not so well dressed, but bushy eyebrows, possibly fitting the description of David Ferrie; and two other men, both of whom got out of the car, got in line, and attempted to register to vote. One of these men was described as appearing to be Lee Harvey Oswald. This man, when attempting to register, was refused because he did not have a New Orleans or Louisiana address, though he said he lived with a doctor at the Jackson State Hospital, a mental institution. The other man was identified by name, because he did register as Estes [sic] Morgan. Mr. Morgan, however, was killed in 1966.

What makes this all the more interesting is that Morgan wanted to find a job at the East Louisiana State Hospital. Here is an excerpt from a June 1967, memo by Andrew Sciambra:

Is this a coincidence that supposedly Oswald also wanted to find a job at the hospital?

Perhaps the original story was that Estus Morgan was in line and that he wanted a job at the hospital. Now that he was dead, it was, once again, easy to graft Oswald into the story.

Estus Morgan was also mentioned by Corrie Collins, the leader of CORE in Clinton. He was first interviewed by Anne Dischler on October 3, 1967. Here is an excerpt from her notes: (some of this material is taken from this post on Collins)

Dischler's note reads:

Corrie C. Collins 10/3/67

Working @ V. Feliciana 1963 [Villa Feliciana -- a related facility at the hospital]

Thurs Fri Sat

C. Collins Reg. [registered] 8/16/63

Black car - windows rolled up

large man well dressed driving

remained in car - hat on - tie -

two casually dressed men got

out of car - went up to Reg.'s

office - believe they got in line

Car there at least 10 min - 15 min.

morning - Wed. or Thurs.

one blue jeans poss. [possibly?]; other in white

(Betty Poole) Verla Bell - (Scotlandville - works at diner on campus)

may have been w/Collins day he saw car.

Man you→Collins knew (Morgan) got out of car

(Is Zip Morgan related to Estes?)

Here is how Patricia Lambert interpreted the above note:

Collins told Dischler that a large man with a hat was driving the car, and that two casually dressed men got out of the car and went to the registrar's office. One of the men wore blue jeans and the other was in white. Verla Bell was with Collins. Collins knew one of the men and it was "Morgan."

The only question that Dischler had was whether "Zip" and "Estes" Morgan were the same man.

On the next page of her notes Dischler writes that "this man may not be a Morgan" and then says she should "refer to Henry Earl (Palmer)":

Dischler then went to Palmer, and he actually identified the man in white who was in the car. It was Winslow Foster:

This raises the possibility that the two men who got out of the car were Estus Morgan and Winslow Foster. Note that Corrie Collins did not identify Lee Harvey Oswald as one of the two men getting out of the car.

Andrew Sciambra spoke to Morgan's widow:

So, Morgan did try to register to vote. The memo notes that "her husband never mentioned anything to her about the assassination or the possibility that he knew or even recognized LEE HARVEY OSWALD."

Sciambra also spoke to Morgan's sister:

In the second paragraph, Sciambra writes that "However, he [Morgan] did mention that when he was in the registration line attempting to register he was standing close to a smart aleck white man who he exchanged a few words with. MORGAN told the man that it was useless to try to register because the only ones who could register in Clinton were the black people and the smart aleck white boy told him that this was right because the black people would eventually take over."

The whole story sounds strange. The only ones who could register in Clinton were the black people? Was Estus Morgan perhaps part of the anti-black crowd?

Well, we don't know since no one asked.

Lastly, Bobbie Dedon, who worked at the hospital provided a very cryptic comment about Estus Morgan:

In the last paragraph, Sciambra writes that "MRS. DEDON said that we can't say why but somehow she relates OSWALD with ESTES MORGAN whom both she and her husband knew."

Conspiracy theorists only mention Estus Morgan as a person in the line to register to vote. They do not mention that he was one of the people in the Cadillac.

James DiEugenio writes in Destiny Betrayed: (page 90 in the Kindle edition)

Oswald was notable not just because of the car he arrived in, but because, aside from Estes Morgan, he was he only white man to try and register that day.

Bill Davy writes in Let Justice Be Done: (notes to Chapter 11)

There was actually another white man attempting to register that day named Estes Morgan. However, Morgan was a local, and was known to most residents.

And Joan Mellen writes in A Farewell to Justice: (page 219 in the Kindle edition)

A witness named Henry Brown said the thought he saw a hospital employee named Estes Morgan sitting briefly in the back of the car with Oswald. Estes was related to Reeves Morgan. People said they saw two white men in line together, and this was apparently Estes Morgan and Oswald.

Joan Mellen's comment that Estus Morgan was related to Reeves Morgan is important, If true, then it might be further evidence that he was part of the racist crowd.

At least Mellen admits that Estus Morgan might have been sitting in the Cadillac. She provides no footnote regarding Henry Brown -- he was interviewed by Andrew Sciambra in January of 1968 and said nothing about a Cadillac. Here is an excerpt from a January 1968, memo by Andrew Sciambra.

Estus Morgan was not just in line to vote. He was seen getting out of the Cadillac in Clinton. The other passenger in the car might have been Winslow Foster. Patricia Lambert, in her book False Witness, believes that Anne Dischler was taken off the case because she wanted to investigate Foster: (pages 208 - 209)

Shortly before Garrison dismissed Frugé and Dischler, who had conducted an energetic and honest effort, James Alcock told Tom Bethell that “the Clinton angle ‘wasn’t working out.’” Perhaps Garrison jettisoned Frugé and Dischler because they had failed to find the witnesses he needed. But more likely, it was because of their unwitting pursuit of unwanted information about the real occupants of the black car. For while Estus Morgan was conveniently dead, Winslow Foster was alive and still working at the hospital. The next step for Frugé and Dischler was to interview him. By shutting down their investigation, Garrison prevented that interview from ever taking place.

The HSCA could have pushed the Clinton investigation further by asking about Estus Morgan. Corrie Collins was not deposed but submitted a signed affidavit. He said that only one man exited the car -- you can see from Dischler's notes above that he told her that two men exited the car. The HSCA never questioned him on this discrepancy.

To sum up, some aspects of the Clinton story appear to be true. Corrie Collins saw two people get out of a black car to go and register to vote in Clinton. He identified one of the men as Estus Morgan, and Henry Earl Palmer said the other man was Winslow Foster. To make it all fit with the story ultimately told at the Clay Shaw trial, Estus Morgan became just a man in the line to register to vote. Anne Dischler was taken off the case before she could fully investigate Winslow Foster.

Estus Morgan actually died in 1966, not in 1965. Here is his obituary:

The News-Digest (Amite City), September 21, 1966

The Series on the Clinton/Jackson Witnesses

Part One: The witnesses testify at the trial of Clay Shaw.

Part Two: A response to the allegations made by the Clinton/Jackson witnesses.

Part Three: A look at racism and the politics of the early 1960s.

Part Four: Many of the witnesses were either members of the KKK or sympathizers.

Part Five: None of the Clinton/Jackson witnesses came forward in 1963-1964.

Part Six: Just where did the Clinton/Jackson witnesses come from?

Part Seven: Dischler was an investigator for Garrison who was teamed up with Lt. Francis Fruge of the Louisiana State Police.

Part Eight: The evidence that David Ferrie was in Clinton is poor.

Part Nine: Lee McGehee, the barber in Jackson, claimed that the racist newspaper The Councilor wrote about the Clinton/Jackson witnesses in 1966. No one has been able to find the article.

Part Ten: Corrie Collins continually changed his story about what happened in Clinton.

Part Eleven: Reeves Morgan claimed he called the FBI right after the JFK assassination. But did he really?

Part Twelve: Henry Earl Palmer told a ridiculous story about Oswald claiming he was living with a doctor in Jackson.

Part Thirteen: All the physical evidence that could corroborate the Clinton/Jackson witnesses has vanished. I wonder why.

Part Fourteen: Henry Earl Palmer told Andrew Sciambra that Jude John Rarick was there when the black Cadillac visited Clinton. Author Don Carpentered emailed Rarick in 2007 to ask him. His answer is revealing.

Previous Relevant Blog Posts on the Clinton/Jackson Witnesses

Three case studies on how Garrison was less than inquisitive, including the possible check of the Cadillac in Clinton.

Why didn't Garrison check out whether the Trade Mart in New Orleans had leased a Cadillac?

An interview with Weisberg in which he discusses the Clinton witnesses.

Two of the Clinton witnesses claimed they were intimidated. But were they really?

Some background material on Clinton.

William Dunn initially said that Thomas Beckham was with Shaw and Oswald.

Andrew Dunn said Jack Ruby was in Clinton.

None of Garrison's witnesses, including the witnesses from Clinton/Jackson, came forward in 1963 -1964.


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