William Gurvich's Interview with the HSCA
Updated: May 19
New Orleans States-Item, June 26, 1967
William Gurvich, who served as an investigator for Jim Garrison during the early part of his JFK probe, quit in late June 1967. Here is an article from the New York Times about his resignation:
He said Mr. Garrison has "no case" against Mr. Shaw and that he would support this assertion with "specifics" if he was allowed to appear before the grand jury.
He also said he would welcome an opportunity to appear before a Federal grand jury to give evidence that Mr. Garrison had "violated the civil rights of several people -- including Mr. Shaw."
He declined to elaborate on his charges in tonight's interview except to assert that Mr. Garrison has failed to prove "even basic charges" against Mr. Shaw.
The next day, the New York Times ran another article with more stories from Gurvich:
In a program prepared by the Columbia Broadcasting System, Mr. Gurvich said tonight that he had visited Senator Robert F. Kennedy, New York Democrat, earlier this month "to tell him we could shed no light on the death of his brother and not to be hoping for such."
"After I told him that," Mr. Gurvich added, "he appeared to be rather disgusted to think that someone was exploiting his brother's death and by bringing it up over and over again and by doing what has been done in this [Mr. Garrison's] investigation."
More on Gurvich's meeting with Robert Kennedy here.
Gurvich was interviewed by the HSCA in 1978. Here is a summary of the interview; note that they spelled his name wrong:
SELECT COMMITTEE ON ASSASSINATIONS
NAME: William Gurvitch Date 11/7/78 Time: 8:30-10:30pm
Address Place: Gurvitch home in New Orleans
Gary Cornwell, Bob Buras, and I interviewed Bill Gurvitch
at his home on the night of November 7th.
Gurvitch was asked at the outset to provide a running
account of his work as Garrison's chief investigator during
the early months of the Garrison probe, and to do so in a
roughly chronological fashion.
Gurvitch spoke at great length about the Garrison probe,
and recounted how he (Gurvitch) came to believe that the
case was a fraud, based on the outright fabrications of
evidence, the testimony of demonstrable mental cases, and
highly unethical and in some cases illegal prosecutorial
conduct by Jim Garrison.
Gurvitch stated that he had known Garrison for years prior
to the investigation and that Garrison asked him in the
fall of 1966 to join his staff as an investigator on "a
very important project." Gurvitch agreed to do so and was
soon told by Garrison that it involved a conspiracy to
assassinate President Kennedy. Gurvitch stated that any
investigator in the country would have agreed to work on
the case, and that he thought it was his duty as a citizen
to do anything to shed light on such an important event.
Gurvitch stated that he worked closely with Garrison for
several months before resigning from his staff and
denouncing the investigation in early 1967. Gurvitch stated
that during the weeks of his work for Garrison he had
believed that Garrison did in fact have some credible
information about potential conspirators, including Ferrie,
and Shaw, and others. He stated that Garrison always was
able to give the impression that he had much other
significant material which he would not fully discuss.
Gurvitch stated that he traveled around a great deal
interviewing witnesses and performing other investigative
tasks for Garrison. He stated that within a few weeks he
began to doubt whether they were coming up with anything
really solid or conspiratorial, and began to convey this
impression to Garrison. Gurvitch stated that Garrison would
always just ignore his doubts and tell him that he didn't
know what important information they had.
Interviewer: Mike Ewing
Date Transcribed: 11/26/78 (p. 2)
Gurvitch stated that as more weeks went by he began to see
that Garrison was allegedly a very reckless investigator
and did not really comprehend what constituted real
evidence. He also stated that this was coupled with a
tendency by Garrison to embellish and in some instances
invent "evidence." Gurvitch stated that by then he had
begun to have intense discussions with Garrison in which he
would tell Garrison that they did not have a case; that
they did not have sufficient evidence to even consider a
Gurvitch stated that Garrison had a generally incompetent
staff that was afraid to ever question Garrison or differ
with him. Gurvitch stated that several of Garrison's aides,
particularly his top deputy, James Alcock, privately would
admit that the Garrison case was a "fraud," but wouldn't
tell Garrison that. He stated that they were more concerned
about keeping their jobs with Garrison, and that each of
the key Garrison aides involved in the investigation were
later rewarded with judgeships by Garrison's political
Gurvitch stated that he finally decided he must resign from
the Garrison staff and publicly state his disagreements
with him. He stated that he agonized over this decision at
great length before deciding to do so. He stated that he
believed it was important to hold a press conference to
publicly air his view that Garrison was blind to his own
Gurvitch related how Garrison had him charged with stealing
xerox paper from his office after he resigned, and the
resolution of that charge. Gurvitch stated that Garrison
was very vengeful to anyone whoever disagreed with him on
the case, and would attempt to smear them if he could.
Gurvitch stated that Garrison never had any interest in
investigating Carlos Marcello and the links between
Marcello and such Garrison witnesses as Ferrie and Andrews.
Gurvitch stated that "Garrison would never fool with
Marcello. He was much too heavy for Garrison."
Gurvitch stated that one of the specific things which led
to his firm belief that Garrison was a man with significant
mental difficulties, and a dishonest mentality, was when he
heard Garrison once order two of his aides to arrange for
Walter Sheridan (the former Kennedy aide) to be severely
beaten in New Orleans. Gurvitch stated that Garrison
ordered the beating because Sheridan was in town doing an
expose on Garrison for NBC. Gurvitch stated that he
interceded and stopped Garrison's orders from being
Gurvitch stated that Garrison's office became a gathering
place for various mentally unbalanced people who would come
in to volunteer their services or testimony. He stated that
it was easy for Garrison's staff to find "some nut" to
testify to anything they wanted.
Gurvitch stated that he did not believe Garrison's
"Clinton" witnesses and believed that they were coached
into making up their stories about Oswald and Ferrie by
Garrison's staff, probably Al Sciambra. Gurvitch stated
that he spoke with some of the Clinton witnesses and
doubted their stories very much. Gurvitch also stated that
Garrison was aware of the alleged Clinton information very
early in his investigation, and spoke of it to Gurvitch
within a few weeks after he joined the staff.
Gurvitch also mentioned that he had been the investigator
who had later obtained affidavits indicating that Garrison
had sexually molested a 15 year old boy in the New Orleans
Athletic club in about 1970. Gurvitch stated that his
involvement in this episode came about because he was a
member of the club and heard of the story from the father
of the boy involved. Gurvitch stated that he secured
affidavits from the boy, his father, and the boy's brother,
and tried to get the city authorities to press charges
against Garrison. He stated that the authorities wouldn't
touch the case however, and the boy's father was reluctant
to make the alleged incident public. Gurvitch stated that
the boy and his father and brother stated that Garrison
seemed to be in a drugged state upon emerging from the
sauna room facilities after making the alleged sexual
Gurvitch stated that it is well known in New Orleans that
Garrison has long taken to various pills and drugs and is
not in good health as a result.
Gurvitch related literally dozens of various stories and
anecdotes reflecting what he claimed was Garrison's
reckless investigative acts and unbalanced mental state.
Gurvitch stated that he knows it must sound awfully one
sided, but stated that "that's the way it was. I saw it all
firsthand." Gurvitch stated that it all became like a scene
out of Frankenstein; that Garrison had created a horrible
monster out of the JFK case, and was eventually destroyed
by it himself.
Gurvitch stated that he does not believe that there is a
conspiracy behind the case, and has no thoughts of any real
suspicion in any direction based upon his work on the case.