oswald connected to anti-castro group


Oswald in New Orleans, 


Historian Dr. Michael L. Kurtz was a student at Louisiana State

University in 

New Orleans

 during the 1962-63 school year. In 1958,

LSU-NO, now the 

New Orleans

, became one of the first

racially integrated universities in the South. One of the most vocal

opponents of that decision was W. Guy Banister. It is now common

knowledge that Banister recruited LSU-NO students to spy on fellow

students and faculty members, and Banister himself made frequent visits

to the campus to make his feelings known.

One day in May 1963, Michael Kurtz attended an informal meeting in an

unoccupied LSU-NO classroom where Guy Banister debated a number of

students on the issue of integration. Banister was introduced by an LSU

student named George Higganbothan. Kurtz knew of Banister; he'd seen him on campus on perhaps a half-dozen occasions to this and would see him a few times more. Guy Banister brought a young man to the meeting with him;

Banister introduced the young man as Lee Oswald. Banister debated

integration with the students, arguing for a return to full segregation

and criticizing the group for attending an integrated school. While

Banister tangled with the pro-integration collegiates, Oswald seemed to

fade into the background, and -- to the best of Kurtz' recollection --

said nothing. "If he did," Dr. Kurtz says, "I didn't hear him" (Author's 

interview of October 5, 1998).

George Higgenbothan told Kurtz that Oswald and Banister made a second

visit to LSU, however, and the second time it was the alleged leftist

OSWALD who argued passionately against desegregation (Interview with

Michael L. Kurtz, December 2, 1998). Higgenbothan had told the 


Parish DA's office in 1967 that he indeed had known Oswald (Garrison


Kurtz saw Banister and Oswald together once more, when he was working

that summer for the 

New Orleans

 Times-Picayune, located across the street

from the 

544 Camp Street

 and 531 


. One day in July or August, Kurtz walked across the street to Mancuso's, the coffee

shop on the first floor of the 


, to get a cup of coffee.

Guy Banister and Lee Harvey Oswald, just the two of them, were sitting at

a table together. Banister recognized Kurtz and waved, and Kurtz waved

back (Ibid.).

After the assassination, Kurtz informed the FBI of Oswald's connection to

Banister. "They didn't seem too interested," he says. Kurtz wrote a book

about the assassination in 1978, Crime of the Century: The Kennedy

Assassination from a Historian's Perspective, in which he mentioned the

incident in passing. (The book was reissued in 1993 with some new

material; the Oswald-Banister incidents are discussed on pages xxxviii-xl

of the introduction.)

During our interview, Kurtz referenced the network of spies that Banister

riddled the campus with; he pointed out to me that George Higganbothan is

mentioned in Hinckle and Turner's book, which indeed he is: "George

Higganbothan, one of Banister's collegiate undercover agents, recalled

that when he kidded his boss about sharing a building with people

papering the streets with leftist literature, Banister snapped, "Cool it

-- one of them is mine" (Hinckle and Turner, Deadly Secrets, 234-35;

citing several 1967 interviews with George Higganbothan). The House

Select Committee on Assassinations confirmed that Banister investigated

students at LSU for the anti-Catsro Cuban Revolutionary Council, with

whom he shared an office for several years (10 HSCA 127).

Dr. Kurtz contacted the FBI with his knowledge and was brushed off. He

has never used this story for personal or financial gain. In the first

edition of Crime of the Century, the incident is mentioned only in

passing, and the 1993 edition enlarges upon the early description only

slightly, primarily in response to Oliver Stone's JFK, which cast

Banister as one of the assassination conspirators. Dr. Kurtz has no axe

to grind; he believes that Oswald's relationship with Banister is

certainly significant in relation to the dual myth of Oswald as a Marxist

or communist and a loner, but in the 1993 introduction to his book, Kurtz

states, "I myself saw Lee Harvey Oswald and Guy Banister together in New


, but I thought nothing of it at the time [of the assassination],

and I still do not. No one has produced the slightest scintilla of

evidence linking Banister to the assassination" (Kurtz, xiii). Kurtz'

description of his sightings of Oswald and Banister occupies about a half

page of text, and nowhere is there even a trace of hyperbole about it to

be found in the promotional copy; Guy Banister's name does not appear in

the back cover copy, and the LSU-NO event is accidentally omitted from

the index.

Kurtz has conducted a great amount of research on Oswald's summer in 

New Orleans

 and some of his findings will be discussed below.


Who Was Guy Banister?

According to an autobiographical sketch, William Guy Banister was born in

a log cabin in 


, on March 7, 1901. He attended 



New Orleans

. He was recruited as an

investigator by the Monroe Police Department, then became a patrolman on

December 2, 1929. Months later, the 


 Police Superintendent asked

him to take a stenography course, after which he was brought on as

secretary to the Superintendent with sergeant's pay. He soon advanced to

the position of Chief of Detectives. On November 5, 1934, he was sworn in

as a Special Agent for the Justice Department's Division of

Investigation, which soon changed its name to the Federal Bureau of

Investigation. He was sent to 


, then in 1935 was transferred


New York City

. He worked around the northern US on special assignment for about three years, working alongside Special Agent George Starr.

Starr was the FBI's top man in investigating subversives, meaning largely

leftist activity. Starr spoke fluent Russian; his father had been a horse

trainer for the Czar. Starr familiarized Banister with the activity of

the Communist Party, and notes that Starr is credited with developing the

FBI's anti-Communist investigations. Banister writes, "After I was

promoted to SAC [Special Agent in Charge], it was my duty to supervise

the work of Special Agents assigned to such activity. It was also my duty

to develop and supervise those people commonly called informers. To be

more specific, we might say that they were counterspies sent in to report

on the activities of the Party members. That was part of my duty

throughout the nearly 17 years I served as SAC" (FBI #62-103863-13;

Weberman Web site [www.weberman.com]).

In May 1938, Banister was promoted to Special Agent in Charge of a

Division at the FBI's 

New Jersey

 office. In August he was

transferred to 


, where he was promoted to Special Agent in

Charge of the whole office. In October 1941, Banister was transferred to

Oklahoma City for two years, then returned to Butte, where, by his own

account, he remained SAC until September 1952 (Ibid.).


In September 1952, Banister was moved for a short time to 



then to 


 in January 1954. At the end of that year he left the FBI

under somewhat mysterious circumstances and accepted a position in

January 1955 with the New Orleans Police Department. In 

New Orleans


joined Maurice Gatlin's Anti-Communist Committee of the 


. At the

invitation of Mayor DeLesseps Morrison, Banister stepped up to the

position of Assistant Superintendent of the NOPD. Morrison assigned him

to investigate police corruption. The reports of his performance are

mixed, and he was soon demoted, on June 27, 1956. The controversy that

erupted from his corruption probe could be taken as a sign of either

great failure or great success. Three days later Banister got in an

altercation with several police officers at a 

New Orleans

 nightclub, and

he was arrested when he pulled a gun. Banister offered to resign from the

NOPD the following day, but was instead suspended. He picked up his

corruption investigation upon his return, and by August 1956 had hinted

that as many as 150 NOPD officers might be indicted for malfeasance or

taking bribes. On March 1, 1957, Banister was accused of being drunk and

pulling a gun in a French Quarter bar (FBI #61-3176-A; Weberman). He was

again suspended, but appeared as a witness a few days later before a

grand jury investigating graft in the NOPD (Weberman).

In March 1957, Guy Banister testified before the Joint Legislative

Committee on Segregation of the 


 Senate, which was

investigating the alleged influence of Communism upon racial unrest and

the civil rights movement. It was around this time that the First

District Americanism Committee of the American Legion issued a statement

"high in praise of Guy Banister for his work against Communism in New


." Banister delivered an illuminating sermon to the Joint

Legislative Committee:


The great danger from the Communist Party [of 


] lies in [the] fact

that its homeland is outside the borders of the United States . . . If

the Communist Party was not backed by the great empire -- the empire of

Russia -- and it's an empire, in spite of the fact that it is called the

Union of 


 [sic]. We know 


, not only from reading

intelligence and counter-intelligence reports, which I would like to

avoid remembering as much as possible. . . . We know the nature of the

land and the people of the land. . . . She is a nation at war all the

time and for all times. The modern phase of 


, commonly associated

with Peter the Great, really began in the late 15th century. Then there

intervened two and a half centuries of Mongol yoke. From her ancient



 seems to have inherited a state of mind and an institution,

the conviction that they are chosen to inherit the earth, and are hence

always in the right . . . 


 has always exploited to the fullest

every advantage she could secure from espionage and subversion . . .

Espionage is the second oldest governmental activity of man. The first is

law enforcement. You may adopt as a premise the dialectic of any of our

historians as the creation of the proto-social mechanism, but immediately

upon its coming into being, two problems were presented -- the

maintenance of internal order of law enforcement, and the protection from

the outside groups, which is espionage. The oldest military treatise we

have was published about 500 BC by Sun Tzu. [Note: Sun Tzu was the first

writer to detail the arts of intelligence and espionage.] We scream if

espionage is used against us for two reasons. We are not trained to think

in that manner and we have been sold on the idea that it is dirty

business. . . . [T]he use of spies is approved by Jehovah, and I don't

see how we can well object. The woman, Rahab, Joshua's 'cut-out agent' in


, lived in a house on the wall. That portion of the wall did not

fall, when the walls came tumbling down. 


 has made espionage, which

is the war between the wars, into a fine art. Lenin said one day that . .

. every Communist should be a spy. They believe in it. They are guided in

their actions by it. . . . Communists within the Party are expected to

spy on one another, and to report to higher authorities any serious

deviation from the established party line, or any breach of Communist

loyalty to the revolutionary goal. When the Communist Party seizes

control of a nation, it directs its espionage system against all who

oppose Communism. Freedom of the opposition ceases. In this sense it

becomes a police state. Opponents of Communism are tagged with various

labels such as spies, assassins, and wreckers, who must be destroyed. . .

. Communists . . . direct their espionage system against foreign nations

as a part of their effort to overthrow all non-Communist social orders,

so that a world-wide Communist society can be erected . . . Every member

of the Lousiana Communist Party, a component part of the Communist Party,

is a Soviet agent. The Communist Party [of 


] is an agency of the

Soviet government. . . . We are vulnerable to sabotage by the use of

germs. A few highly trained men can knock out a great city like New


. . . . Some queer things have happened over here, and I am sure

no one is positive, but test runs have been made. We are particularly

vulnerable to smuggled atom bombs. . . . They can be triggered, set off

by a radio wave, or in several other manners. I know that it is possible

and comparatively easy to assemble one of them, and 

New Orleans

 is a key

city in the southland. . . . I recall one outbreak of 'hoof and mouth

disease' which occurred in dairy herds of 


. Legally, it was not

possible to establish it was done -- planted there. But an intelligence

officer is never quite satisfied with a legal definition. And I have

talked to many men. You can't be certain. . . . We have the example of

the 'wheat stem rust' which hit 
 wheat in eastern 



western Dakota [sic] . . . In that case I talked to the nation's leading

plant pathologists in the field. We don't know where the spores came from

(Records of the Joint Legislative Committee on Segregation of the


 Senate; Weberman).


Banister's point was that what "germs" and "spores" are to animal and

plant life, integration is to the societal structure of the 


. It was

part of a plot formulated by Stalin and the Communist Party to create

"dissension between the races" (Ibid.).

Banister was back to work at the NOPD on June 1, 1957, where he was

demoted to the Planning Department, refused the position, and was fired.

He made numerous public allegations of corruption in the NOPD, the DA's

office, and the Mayor's office. In 1958 he testified before a Special

Committee of the 


 Legislature studying civil unrest; he

claimed that the Communists had provoked the rioting that followed in the

wake of the desegregation of 

Little Rock

's public schools. Banister's

brother Ross told A. J. Weberman in 1993 that he suspected some of Guy's

difficulties with his superiors stemmed from "sort of secret detective

work" he was doing on his own, and as his problems increased, so did his

drinking. He left his wife Mary and had a series of minor strokes. Upon

leaving the NOPD, he opened up Guy Banister Associates, a private

detective agency that was, in reality, a front for Banister's brand of

counter-intelligence directed at suspected spies, subversives,

Communists, integrationists (see Communists), and assorted leftists. We

have documents showing that in August 1960, the CIA was considering using

Guy Banister Associates as a source of foreign intelligence and as a

"cover mechanism" for unspecified activities (Weberman).

Initially located in the 



St. Charles Avenue

, Banister

opened up part of his office to Sergio Arcacha Smith, the 

New Orleans

delegate of the CIA-sponsored Cuban Revolutionary Council. For a short

time a former NOPD associate of Banister's, Joseph Oster, was involved

with Guy Banister Associates. Oster told A. J. Weberman in 1993, "There

was [sic] phone calls come in [sic] from the CIA Director at that time. I

wanted to say [Allen] Dulles, but that's not it. Yes, I heard the name

[E. Howard] Hunt [CIA liaison officer with the CRC, future 
Bay of Pigs

planner and convicted Watergate conspirator]. You see, all of the files,

even the ones we had, suddenly disappeared . . ." When Banister moved to

 at the corner of Camp and 


 Streets in late

1959, the CRC moved with him. In 1978, Joseph Oster told House Select

Committee investigator L. J. Delsa that he left Banister's office when it

became clear that Banister wasn't interested in the actual private

investigations being run out of the office, which were only a front.

Oster said that Banister's real work revolved around the investigation of

subversives; he recalled the office working closely with the American

Security Council and Fidelafax, a private intelligence firm founded and

operated by ex-government agents. He noted that a good amount of

Banister's funds came in the form of checks from the Remington Rand

Corporation, long ago exposed as a major CIA front operation (HSCA

interview of January 17, 1978; Weberman). Following the first public

exposure of Jim Garrison's interest in Banister (by then deceased) in

relation to his JFK assassination probe, the CIA circulated an internal

memorandum stating that while Banister had been of interest to the CIA in

1960, consideration of his agency as a front mechanism was dropped

shortly thereafter due to unfavorable reports received from the field

(CIA Report of March 8, 1967; CIA #1338-1052).

According to the New Orleans States-Item, Guy Banister was a key man in

supplying arms for the ill-fated "Bay of Pigs" invasion of 


(States-Item, April 25, 1967), an operation coordinated entirely by the

CIA, from whom Banister secretary and mistress Delphine Roberts remembers

Banister receiving a great amount of funds in the early '60s (Summers,


Dr. Philip Melanson writes, "It is now known that the Agency's

operational presence [in 

New Orleans

] in 1963 was extensive. In order to

administer its array of Cuban exile groups and activities, as well as to

monitor international shipping in the 

New Orleans

, the CIA

established a very large domestic station -- one of the key stations in

the country. A distinguished 

New Orleans

 attorney is believed to have

served as station chief in the early 1960s. His name has never been

publicly revealed; neither (to the author's knowledge) has he ever been

questioned by any official investigation" (Melanson, *Spy Saga,* 37).

Although he had officially retired from the FBI, Delphine Roberts says

Banister was still working in some capacity for the Bureau at 531

Lafayette Street

 (Summers, ). This is supported by a 1967 CIA document,

declassified in 1983, which named Banister as an "FBI Contact" (Hurt,

Reasonable Doubt, 290fn.); as well as a statement made by Jerry Milton

Brooks, a former Minuteman and a Banister employee in the '60s. Brooks

told Warren Hinckle and William Turner in 1969 that "Banister collected

information on the left from every imaginable right-wing source" and that

Brooks himself "regularly couriered this data over to the 

New Orleans


office, which incorporated it into its files." Brooks also named Banister

as the Minutemen's 


 coordinator (*Hinckle and Turner,* Deadly

Secrets, 231).


Who Was Delphine Roberts?

Delphine Points Roberts traced her lineage back to Jeb Stuart on her

mother's side, and was a member of the Daughters of the American

Revolution and the Daughters of the Confederacy. She told the House

Select Committee on Assassinations that she "became concerned about our

country when President Roosevelt and his Negro wife, Eleanor, got the 


into the United Nations, which has its charter based on the Communist

Manifesto" (


 #180-10075-10292; Weberman).

She married and divorced twice; Roberts was the name of her second

husband. He was an active and virulent anti-communist and

anti-integrationist, and her demonstrations had been noted in several

nation news media as well as in Pravda. She ran in a 1962 primary for a

New Orleans

 Councilman-at-Large position. Platform statements were

noted at the time by a law enforcement official. Delphine Roberts pledged

to work toward the preservation of the White race as well as the

separation of church and state; she was against such organizations as

CORE, NAACP, Save Our Schools, etc., "which have as their goals the

integration and mongrelization of the races"; she was anti-communist; she

was against the United Nations, "because by association with this

organization, the 


 is giving aid and comfort to the enemy," presumably

communist countries; she was opposed to the utilization of public

building space, rent free, by the League of Women Voters, which she

"considers to be a Communist organization"; she was opposed to the

integration of the New Orleans Police Department and Fire Department; she

was "opposed to the utilization of Federal aid," presumably for

communists, alleged communists, blacks, etc.; she was opposed to "the

integration of public facilities, such as parks, playgrounds, etc." as

well as public transportation and "sanitary facilities"; she was opposed

to fluoridation of water; she was opposed to urban renewal; she pledged

to work for a city ordinance prohibiting "communism or any left-wing

activities from taking place within the city limits of 

New Orleans

"; and

she condemned The Diary of Anne Frank as a "filthy book, which students

should not be permitted to read" (Ibid.).

In 1962, Roberts was a speaker at the first meeting of the Catholic White

Layman's League. Discussing the trials of the anti-integrationist

protester. In April, she and two other women picketed St. Patrick's

Catholic Church one Sunday morning to protest the desegregation of

Catholic schools. In May, she and a number of women as well as five

children picketed outside the home of Archbishop Rummel; she carried a

sign that read, "Caroline Kennedy is segregated -- excommunicate her

father." She and others picketed for segregation outside the St. Rose of


 on September 4. She told the HSCA that she had "joined the

New Orleans

 White Citizens Council and attended some PTA meetings trying

to prove the integration of our schools was a communist plot to destroy

our country." She noted she'd been excommunicated from the Catholic

Church. She had investigated the Black Muslims and other "anti-American"

groups for the 


 Sovereignty Commission. She corresponded with

Senator Eastland of the House Un-American Activities Committee and other

congressmen. She said she had exchanged several personal letters with J.

Edgar Hoover and several of his assistants (Ibid.).

In 1961 or early '62, she, her sister and her mother constructed a booth


Canal Street

 draped with American and Confederate flags, which they

manned for several days, playing patriotic march tunes over a

loudspeaker, denouncing the United Nations, and admonishing citizens to

show more respect for their flag(s). Another party covered their

expenses, but she said she couldn't remember who. The police were called,

presumably by 

Canal Street

 merchants "who are all Jews." No one was

arrested, but the women were requested to set a date that they would

desist. It was on this occasion that she happened to meet W. Guy

Banister, who stopped by to admire her family's patriotic efforts. She

volunteered to join his "private investigation" office when she

discovered that "he was working for what she believed in." She did

secretarial work, and prided herself on her work with Banister's files,

which she stated had one of the "largest and most complete files of

communists and fellow travelers" in the 


 (Ibid.). She also became Guy

Banister's mistress until he died in 1964. Two weeks after the

assassination, Roberts told another Banister secretary, Mary Brengel,

that Oswald had been to the office (Ibid.).

In Case Closed, author Gerald Posner spends three pages attempting to

discredit Delphine Roberts, first by quoting her views on race and

religion (Posner, 140), then dismissing her story -- given under oath to

the House Select Committee of Assassinations and to journalist Anthony

Summers, among others -- as simply "unreliable" (Ibid., 141). In regard

to Anthony Summers, Posner quotes Roberts as saying, "I didn't tell him

all the truth." The remark, innocuous enough on its face -- she didn't

tell Summers the whole story; big surprise -- happens to lack a source

citation. Ms. Roberts' statement that every Japanese "should have been

wiped off the face of the earth" receives a citation ("Interview with

Delphine Roberts, March 17, 1992"). Her intriguing claim to "being one of

the very few, since the beginning of the world, who has ever read the

sacred scrolls that God himself wrote and gave to the ancient Hebrews for

placing in the Ark of the Covenant" receives a citation ("Ibid."). But "I

didn't tell him all the truth" does not rate even a footnote, as does,

say, Posner's confirmation that Roberts was indeed Guy Banister's

mistress. Then, without furnishing a direct quotation, Posner writes,

"She claims the only reason she told him the story she did was that

Summers, then shooting a television documentary, paid her money" (Ibid.).

He quotes Roberts as saying, "He did give us $500 eventually, and they

did take us to dinner. We did enjoy the dinner" (Ibid.). Again, no

citation. Then, without a direct quotation, he writes, "John Lanne, a

former Banister friend and attorney, acknowledges that Roberts refused to

speak to Summers unless she was paid" (Ibid.).

Perhaps to avoid a costly libel suit by an internationally respected

journalist, the self-described "Wall Street lawyer" includes -- in a

footnote -- a response from Summers: "Anthony Summers told the author

that he had met with Delphine Roberts at John Lanne's office. There,

Lanne, whom Summers 'thought to be fairly mad, certainly odd," pulled a

pistol from his desk, waved it in the air, and told Summers he could not

interview his client, Delphine. Summers drove Delphine home from that

meeting, and during the ride, 'she suddenly, more or less, broke up, put

her hands to her face, and said, "Mr. Summers, look, why should I bottle

this up?"' She then told him the story he wrote in his book. FOLLOWING

THAT DISCUSSION [emphasis added], Summers told Roberts that he wanted to

do an interview for television. He says that 'several days later, at the

urging of her daughter, Delphine, Jr., a big fat lady [Summers' words,

not Posner's], she agreed to do the interview, not for $500, but if I

rightly recall, for $250 to $300.' Summers says, 'Just so you know, the

general tariff I make is that I DO NOT PAY PEOPLE TO DO INTERVIEWS FOR

THE BOOK, EVER [emphasis added], but I do regard television interviews as

a different thing' (Interview with Anthony Summers, May 31, 1993)"

(Posner, 141fn.).

So according to Posner, who cites interviews in *Case Closed* that

several of his subjects say never occurred (two examples being JFK

autopsy pathologist J. Thornton Boswell and key assassination witness

James Tague), Delphine Roberts only talks for money. Yet she told

essentially the same story she told Summers to the 


 *Morning News*

with no payment whatsoever, just as she testified under oath to the same

facts before the House Select Committee on Assassinations, who were also

not in the habit of paying witnesses. In 1982, Roberts affirmed to author

Henry Hurt not only that Summers' published account of her interview was

accurate (Hurt, Reasonable Doubt, 292), but also that her decision to

talk followed "an upsetting confrontation with her own lawyer" (Ibid.),

supporting Summers' recollection which was unpublished until 1993.

Posner brushes aside the supporting testimony of Delphine Roberts, Jr.,

as "equally untenable"* (Posner, 141), but he fails to mention that

virtually every statement of the two Roberts women is corroborated by

either Allen Campbell, Daniel Campbell, David Campbell, Jack Martin,

William George Gaudet, or Dr. Michael L. Kurtz.

*Posner mocks Delphine Roberts, Jr., for saying she met Marguerite Oswald


531 Lafayette Street

, and that "she was lovely." Posner points out,

correctly, that Marguerite Oswald -- as far as we know -- did not step

foot in 

New Orleans

 during 1963 [Posner, 141]. While this one statement

alone hardly annihilates the younger Delphine's credibility, his author

humbly suggests, based on the hundreds of documented factual and

typographical errors in Posner's book, that it may be Mr. Posner who has

the story wrong, as the elder Delphine Roberts says she did meet 


Oswald on one occasion. For hundreds of examples of Posner's errors, see

the Electronic Assassinations Newsletter at:




Banister had files on much more than left wing groups, however. A partial

index of his files received by the 

New Orleans

 DA's office in 1967 --

long after the files themselves has been dispersed -- reveals some of the

files maintained at 

531 Lafayette Street



American Central Intelligence Agency                     Ammunition and Arms

Anti-Soviet Underground                                            B-70 Manned Bomber Force

Civil Rights Program of JFK                                       Dismantling of Ballistic Missile

System                Dismantling of 


                                        Fair Play for

 Committee International Trade Mart 


 Bases Dismantled in

General Assembly of the United Nations 
Latin America
 Missile Bases

Dismantled -- 
* and 



(*It has been widely reported that, during the Cuban Missile Crisis of

1962, President Kennedy agreed to remove anti-Soviet ballistic missiles



 in exchange for Khrushchev's pledge to permanently keep

Soviet missiles out of 




From his 

531 Lafayette Street

 address, Banister published the 


Intelligence Digest, an anti-integrationist periodical which proclaimed

desegregation as a Communist plot -- a view privately espoused by one J.

Edgar Hoover -- and attacked President Kennedy for his "pinko" support of

civil rights (Hinckle and Turner, 231).

"Several times Oswald was seen entering Banister's second floor office.

One of Oswald's co-workers at the Reily Coffee Company saw Oswald and

Banister walking together on 

Camp Street

. One person remembers seeing the

two at a White Citizens' Council meeting. Two people remember Oswald as

one of the participants in a discussion of the racial issue. The

discussion, which took place on the campus of 



New Orleans

, involved Oswald and Banister debating federal integration

policies with a number of students" (Michael L. Kurtz, "Crime of the

Century," 203; Author's interview of October 29, 1998).

"If Oswald was simply a pro-Castro Marxist, as the 



claimed, it is curious that he would have spent so much time in the

company of Guy Banister. Banister's well-known extremist views, as well

as his close association with anti-Castro and anti-Communist elements

hardly make him the ideal companion for Lee Harvey Oswald. Yet, all known

accounts of Oswald and Banister together agree that the two men were

friendly and cordial with each other and expressed similar political and

social viewpoints" (Kurtz, 203).


Is it conceivable that Oswald could have been a right-winger posing as a

left-winger? Contrary to what the 


 Commission and Gerald Posner

would have us believe, a number of Oswald's 

New Orleans


describe him as a right-winger. Yet his public activities - such as his

leafletting events allegedly on behalf of the Fair Play for 


Committee and his appearances on WDSU radio's "Latin Listening Post" --

are uniformly that of a left-winger. Is it possible that Oswald had been

using his left-wing stance as a cover for other activities? That is

precisely what statements from a number of 

New Orleans

 witnesses - such

as Delphine Roberts, Delphine Roberts, Jr. (see Summers), and George

Higgenbothan (Hinckle & Turner, Deadly Secrets, 234-5) suggest.

Do we have any evidence that Oswald was capable of that kind of

deception? Indeed we do.

Oswald's Intourist guide Rimma Shirakova says that Oswald spoke not a

word of Russian upon his arrival in 
 in October 1959 (


Mailer, Oswald's Tale, 43). Retired General Igor Ivanovich Guzman of the

KGB's Counter-intelligence directorate informs us that the KGB bugged

Oswald's residences and placed him under close surveillance to monitor

his conversations to see if he was faking his ignorance of Russian, as

knowledge of Russian would be a tip-off to a probable connection to US

intelligence. The alleged defector was very carefully watched to

determine if he spoke Russian upon his arrival, or if he took to the

language unusually easily later on. The KGB concluded he was not faking

(Ibid., 71). Oswald states in his own "Historic Diary" that he spoke no

Russian upon his arrival, and learned all he later knew by studying "two

self-teaching Russian language books" eight hours a day in his 


hotel room while he awaited news of his citizenship status (Diary entry

of November 17 to December 30).

Yet it is a fact that Lee Harvey Oswald spoke excellent conversational

Russian no later than the summer of 1959, as evidenced by the statements

of Rosaleen Quinn, who had intensively studied Russian with a Berlitz

tutor for two years, and who found Oswald to speak Russian much more

fluently than she did (Epstein, 374-5). Even as far back as February 25,

1959, when Oswald was tested on his Russian by the Marines, he scored

just under fifty percent -- not bad for a supposed beginner, and already

enough to speak at least the handful of phrases the average tourist

memorizes before a trip to a foreign country. But Shirakova's

recollection couldn't be more specific: "He didn't seem to know a single

word in Russian" (Mailer, 43).

Oswald deceived not only every one of his acquaintances in the 



also the KGB agents who were SPECIFICALLY listening in for signs that

he'd spoken Russian prior to his arrival in the 
Soviet Union
. Why? If

Oswald were merely the pro-Communist, pro-Russian young man he claimed to

be, why would he not proudly display his proficiency with Mother Russia's

language at the earliest possible moment? Would he not be anxious to be

accepted by the Soviets -- both his acquaintances and the officials who

would decide whether or not he could remain in the 


? And would he not

suspect that familiarity with their language could potentially facilitate

this acceptance?

Oswald - whether through training or by instinct -- was capable of

sophisticated acts of deception. Just as he played the role of innocent

abroad in the 
Soviet Union
, he spent the late spring and summer of 1963


New Orleans

 playing the role of pro-Castro leafletter for media

consumption - and somehow there seemed always to be a member of the media

on-hand with a camera or tape recorder - while off-stage palling around

with some of 

New Orleans

' most radical right-wing extremists and arguing

their brand of politics with college students at LSU and elsewhere.


"One feature of Oswald's five-month sojourn in 

New Orleans

 that has never

been revealed is the fact that he made several trips to 

Baton Rouge


the summer of 1963. According to witnesses, Oswald accompanied a

prominent leader of the White Citizens' Council and of other

segregationist organizations to Baton Rouge six or eight times in July

and August. These witnesses met Oswald, who was introduced to them as

"Leon" Oswald. Oswald's companion, who was a personal friend of two of

these witnesses, stated that he was employing "


" to do construction

work for him. Oswald, however, was not dressed in work clothes; he was

wearing what appeared to be 'dressy clothes.' Furthermore, Oswald and his

companion engaged in discussions which included criticisms of American

foreign policy as being 'soft on Communism' and of 

United States

civil-rights programs. On their last visit to 

Baton Rouge

, the two men

were accompanied by two 'Latins,' neither of whom said anything to them"

(Kurtz; based upon confidential interviews, "Lee Harvey Oswald in New



Acting on a tip from a 

New Orleans

 researcher who requests anonymity,

this author asked Dr. Kurtz if the "prominent leader of the White

Citizens' Council and of other segregationist organizations" that

accompanied Oswald to 

Baton Rouge

 numerous times was Kent Courtney, a

close personal friend and associate of Guy Banister's and publisher of

the ultra right-wing *Independent American.* Dr. Kurtz confirmed that it

was (Interview of December 2, 1998). Courtney once mentioned to an

associate that Oswald had applied for a position with the *Independent

American* (15 H 720-1), something he later denied.

Is Dr. Kurtz a credible source?

Dr. Michael L. Kurtz is a professor of history at the Southeastern



. He is the author of 


: A History,

and Crime of the Century: The Kennedy Assassination from a Historian's

Perspective, as well as a former associate editor for 




 History and a contributor to other scholarly historical

journals. He is a two-time winner of the Williams Prize in 


History, presented by The Historic 

New Orleans

 Collection and the

Louisiana Historical Association, for his 1981 article, "Organized Crime



 History: Myth and Reality," and his 1990 book, Earl K. Long:

The Saga of Uncle Earl and 


, co-authored with Morgan D. Peoples.


The Tulane Connection

On January 6, 1961, Guy Banister drew up the charter for the Friends of



, a fund-raising arm of the CIA-backed Cuban Revolutionary

Front. Vice-President was onetime Oswald employer Gerard Tujague. The

Front was an attempt by the CIA to unify the many dozens of Cuban exile

groups springing up in 

New Orleans

. The Friends of Democratic


 soon merged with the Cuban Revolutionary Front while E. Howard Hunt

-- by his own account in his memoir, *Give Us This Day,* was the Front's

Chief Political Officer.

A CIA document states that the Friends of Democratic 


 folded after

only one month (CIA #1338-1052; Weberman), which would mean that it was

up and running just long enough to send two men named "Joseph Moore" and

"Lee Oswald" to the 
 Ford Dealership to look into buying a number

of trucks for shipment to Cuban rebels. (Lee Harvey Oswald was in the

USSR at that time; see Reitzes, "Constructing the Assassin, Part 2.") In

two documents juxtaposed in A. J. Weberman's Web site, we find the CIA

and FBI pointing fingers at each other of the issue of the late Guy

Banister: The CIA reported that two of Sergio Arcacha Smith's "regular

FBI contacts" were SA Warren de Brueys and "the deceased Guy Banister"

(CIA #1363-501; Banister had OFFICIALLY resigned from the FBI many years

before Arcacha Smith moved from 

New Orleans

); while the FBI

reported that "Banister was also active in the [CIA-affiliated] Cuban

Revolutionary Front" (FBI #62-105198-5; 5 HSCA 129; Weberman). Weberman

notes that a great deal of CIA and FBI documents on Banister are still

heavily censored; an example is the FBI report that reads: "Banister

related that he is a member of the Board of Directors of the Friends of



, which he describes as a charitable organization

chartered under 


 law whose primary purpose is to lend

assistance to Cuban exiles. In response to inquiry, Banister stated that

he [CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED]. Banister stated that he did receive

[CENSORED] from [CENSORED]. His purpose would then be to furnish such

information to [CENSORED]. In addition to the above, Banister remarked

that [CENSORED] is hired by him as a part-time [CENSORED]. He explained

that [CENSORED] is interested in ascertaining the political sympathies of

Cuban and other students attending 


 [emphasis added].

This is of interest to Banister in connection with his interest in the


 organization known as the State Joint Legislative

Committee on Un-American Activities" (Weberman).

Banister -- along with those whose interests he served -- was interested

in infiltrating 
 just as he had 


University. Do we know the name of any one of the individuals recruited

for this effort? Not necessarily; but we may have a clue.

The morning after Harvey Oswald's August 9, 1963, arrest in 

New Orleans

for creating a disturbance with Carlos Bringuier and others, Oswald was

interviewed by Lieutenant Francis L. Martello. Martello reported:


Oswald was asked how many members of the Fair Play for 



were in the 

New Orleans

 Chapter and he stated there were 35. I asked him

to identify the members of the Fair Play for 


 Committee in New


 and he refused to give names of the members or any identifying

data regarding them. Oswald was asked why he refused and he said that

this was a minority group holding unpopular views at this time and it

would not be beneficial to them if he gave their names. Oswald was asked

approximately how many people attended meetings of the 

New Orleans

Chapter of the Fair Play for 


 Committee and he said approximately

five attended the meetings, which were held once a month. He was asked

where and he said at various places in the city. He was asked

specifically at what addresses or locations were the meetings held and he

stated that the meetings were held on 

Pine Street

. He was asked at whose

residence the meetings were held and he refused to give any further

information. It should be noted at this time [that] during prior

investigation conducted, while I was a member of the Intelligence Unit

[of the NOPD], information was developed that Fair Play for 


Committee literature was found in the 1000 block of 

Pine Street

, New

Orleans, which was near the residence of Dr. Leonard Reissman, a

professor at 


 [emphasis added]. This investigation was

conducted by me.

As I remember, Dr. Reissman was reported to be a member of the New

Orleans Council of Peaceful Alternatives, which is a 'ban the bomb' group

recently established in the city and had conducted meetings meetings and

two or three demonstrations in the city. Knowing that Dr. Reissman was

reportedly a member of the 

New Orleans

 Council of Peaceful Alternatives,

I thought there might be a tie between this organization and the Fair

Play for 



When Oswald stated that meetings of the Fair Play for 


 Committee had

been held on 

Pine Street

, the name of Dr. Reissman came to mind. I asked

Oswald if he knew Dr. Reissman or if he held meetings at Dr. Reissman's

house. Oswald did not give me a direct answer to this question, however I

gathered from the expression on his face and what appeared to be an

immediate nervous reaction that there was possibly a connection between

Dr. Reissman and Oswald; this, however, is purely an assumption on my

part and I have nothing on which to base this. I also asked Oswald if he

knew a Dr. Forrest E. La Violette, a professor at 


. I

asked him this question because I remembered that La Violette allegedly

had possession of Fair Play for 


 literature during the year 1962. . .


. . . I asked him again about the members of the Fair Play for 


Committee in 

New Orleans

 and why the information was such a big secret;

that if they had nothing to hide, he would give me the information.

Oswald said one of the members of the Fair Play for 


 Committee in New


 was named "John" and that this individual went to TULANE

UNIVERSITY [emphasis added]. He refused to give any more information

concerning the Fair Play for 


 Committee (10 H 55-56).


Wesley J. Liebeler took Lt. Francis Martello's 





Mr. LIEBELER. . . . [In the report] you indicate that Oswald had told you

that there were about 35 members of the Fair Play for 


 Committee here


New Orleans

. Did you have any reason to question that statement?

Mr. MARTELLO. I didn't believe it was a true statement because of the

fact that there was very little activity, to my knowledge, of the Fair

Play for 
 Committee in the city of 

New Orleans

, and since it was such

a new organization, or which appeared to me to be a new organization in

the city, it didn't seem likely there would be 35 members in the


Mr. LIEBELER. Did you ever become aware of the existence of any other

member of the group in 

New Orleans


Mr. MARTELLO. No, sir.

Mr. LIEBELER. Other than Oswald?

Mr. MARTELLO. No; other than information that had been developed that

there were some possible connections. However, there was no basis in fact

that any other person, to my knowledge, was a member of the Fair Play for


 Committee. This particular man, Oswald, was the first person that I

have come in contact with that I knew for a fact stated he was a member

of the Fair Play for 



Mr. LIEBELER. He is not only the first person you came in contact with

who indicated he was a member of the Fair Play for 


 Committee, but he

is the only one that you ever saw or heard of in the city of 

New Orleans


Is that correct?

Mr. MARTELLO. That is correct.

Mr. LIEBELER. . . . Your report refers to a professor at Tulane

University by the name of Dr. Leonard Reissman. Did the department, to

your knowledge, conduct any investigation of Dr. Reissman in an attempt

to associate him with the Fair Play for 


 Committee or to determine

whether or not he was associated with the Fair Play for 



here in 

New Orleans


Mr. MARTELLO. Not to my knowledge, sir.

Mr. LIEBELER. Do you have any personal knowledge of the background of Dr.

Reissman, other than as set forth in your memorandum?

Mr. MARTELLO. No, sir.

Mr. LIEBELER. Do you know what he teaches at 



Mr. MARTELLO. No, sir; I do not.

Mr. LIEBELER. Further on in your report there is a reference to another

professor at Tulane by the name of La Violette, and you indicate on that

you had some recollection that this professor allegedly had possession of

Fair Play for 


 [Committee] literature in 1962. Do you remember any of

the details of that?

Mr. MARTELLO. No, sir; I do not.

Mr. LIEBELER. Was there any investigation conducted of this particular

professor in an attempt to determine whether he was associated with

Oswald in any way?

Mr. MARTELLO. No, sir; there was not.

Mr. LIEBELER. Did Oswald indicate to you in any way that he himself knew

either of these two professors or any other professor at Tulane

University, or had ever had anything to do with them or with other


Mr. MARTELLO. He did not indicate by name, but there was a meeting place


Pine Street

, the 1000 block of 

Pine Street


New Orleans

, where there

were meetings held.

Mr. LIEBELER. This is meetings of the Fair Play for 



Mr. MARTELLO. No, sir. . . . Just meetings by other groups. There was no

indication of any names, but I had asked him if he held his meetings on

Pine Street, and he reflected -- only in gesture that there was some, or

there appeared to be some connection between the two, but it is mere

speculation on my part (10 H 58-60).


If, as Lt. Martello said, Fair Play for 


 Committee literature was

found on the 1000 block of 

Pine Street

, by Dr. Reissman's home, and -- as

we know -- there was no Fair Play for 
 Committee in 

New Orleans

, only

Oswald's fraudulent one-man "chapter," it is a logical conclusion that

this FPCC literature must have come -- directly or indirectly -- from Lee

Harvey Oswald or an associate.

One researcher who noticed the Tulane connection is Peter Dale Scott.

Scott notes that Martello's memorandum entered in the record during his


 Commission deposition -- and which was not written up at the time

of Oswald's August 10th interview with Martello, but rather prepared for



 Commission in the spring of 1964 from Martello's August 10

notes -- differed slightly from the report that Martello dictated to the

Secret Service following the assassination (26 H 763). In this report he

emphasized that FPCC leaflets had been found near Sr. Reissman's home on

the 1000 block of 

Pine Street

, and that Reissman frequently entertained a

Dr. James Dombrowski, noting that both men were "said to be active in the

integration movement." He observed that Reissman and Dombrowski's lawyer

were affiliated with the Quaker-associated liberal group, the 

New Orleans

Council for Peaceful Alternatives (NOCPA). Martello reportedly told the

Secret Service that an FPCC pamphlet "had blown out of Dr. Reissman's

car" (Ibid; Scott, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, 262).


On November 23, 1962, anti-Castro operative and FBI informant Alexander

Rorke had given a lecture at 


. At the end of Rorke's

lecture, he got into a heated argument with a Tulane professor, one

"Robert Reissman" (FBI #97-4623-179; Weberman). The relevant report

states, "On November 26, 1963, [CENSORED] 

New Orleans


(Reissman)] advised that he had engaged in no activity in 

New Orleans


furtherance of the aims of the Fair Play for 


 Committee, with the

possible exception of [CENSORED CENSORED CENSORED]" (Ibid.).

Scott notes that Oswald "also told his aunt [Lillian Murret] that he had

been to the Reissman home, and he told someone else that his FPCC

organization 'was affiliated with 


' (10 H 68)." Scott

also observes that Carlos Bringuier, Oswald's DRE opponent in the street

fracas, had already targeted the NOCPA as pro-Communist and pro-Castro.

After the Kennedy assassination, the 


 Joint Legislative

Committee on Un-American Activities quickly issued a press release

linking Oswald and the FPCC to Dombrowski's organization, the pro-civil

rights, pro-integration Southern Conference Educational Fund. Scott adds

that his personal interviews of Dr. Reissman's widow have convinced him

that Oswald and Reissman had no contact whatsoever; in fact, in the

spring and summer of 1963, Dr. Reissman was on leave from Tulane

University to a research center at 



Mrs. Reissman also said that her husband had no association with James

Dombrowski; it was she herself who infuriated local racists by arranging

an integrated birthday party of seven-year-olds at her daughter's school

(Scott, 263).

Whether Oswald knew Reissman or not -- and whether or not he indicated to

Lt. Martello that he did -- he DID apparently tell his aunt, Lillian

Murret, that he did. She told the Secret Service that Oswald had

"mentioned that he knew, or was acquainted with, Dr. Reissman" (26 H 766;

Scott, 263). Interestingly, she went on to link Oswald and Reissman to

another professed integrationist (and Quaker), Ruth Paine: "It was her

impression that Oswald came into contact with Dr. Reissman through the

Russian woman [sic]. Mrs. Murret stated that one of the two [Oswald or

Ruth Paine; this could not be 


 spoke no English to

Mrs. Murret] told her that Dr. Reissman had a daughter who was studying



 (26 H 766; Scott 263-64). Murret told the Warren Commission,

"He also said that Mrs. Paine knew a Tulane professor. . . . I remember

him saying that [Reissman] had a daughter that was attending the

university in 


, and they either went to his home or they came to

Lee's house" (8 H 147; Scott, 264).


Though Scott doesn't mention it, the Tulane professor Oswald was

referring to was Dr. H. Warner Kloepfer. Kloepfer did not have any known

direct association to Oswald or Ruth Paine, but an entry for him and his

wife, Ruth Kloepfer, was found in Oswald's address book following the

assassination. Mrs. Kloepfer, the clerk of the 

New Orleans


Meeting, had met Oswald in the summer of 1963 when Ruth Paine (a Quaker)

asked the Russian-speaking Mrs. Kloepfer to stop by the Oswalds'

apartment and make sure 


 was all right. The Kloepfers' daughter did

visit the 
Soviet Union
 in 1963. Dr. Warner Kloepfer was being monitored

by the CIA in 1963; a CIA Office of Security memorandum records his

affiliation with 


 and that he was on the mailing list of

the Southern Conference Educational Fund (CIA #646-277; Weberman).

Neither Dr. nor Mrs. Kloepfer were personally acquainted with Ruth Paine.

A former 


 student who did investigative work

for Banister on that campus told Peter Dale Scott that

anti-integrationist activists picketing the Fifth District Federal Court

in 1963 would regularly store their picket signs in Banister's office,

and that he himself had seen Oswald there at the time (Scott, 265). Scott

keeps the former LSU student's name confidential, but based on a footnote

referring the reader to a passage in Anthony Summer's Conspiracy, this

would appear to be one of the 


 brothers, probably Daniel.

Helping Oswald pass out leaflets during the August 9th "demonstration"

was Charles Hall Steele, Jr., who we now know was an FBI informant in

1963. (Who wasn't?) "On December 2, 1963, [Secret Service] SA [Special

Agent] Counts and SAIC [Special Agent in Charge] Rice visited Tulane


New Orleans

, and interviewed Mr. M. E. Lapham, Provost. He

was informed that Oswald reportedly told Charles H. Steele, Jr., that the

Fair Play for 


 Committee circulars which they were passing out had

originated at Tulane University; and that we had been informed that

Oswald told an attorney [Andrews] that he received $25.00 a day to pass

out the literature. Dr. Lapham said that he had not seen any of the

circulars on the campus and knew of no one connected with the Fair Play



 Committee. He was requested to have a record check made for Clay

Bertrand and Alek James Hidell (Secret Service Report of December 4,

1963; 26 H ?).

"On December 3, 1963, Dr. Lapham advised by telephone that a careful

check had been made of all students, faculty members and employees of the

University, and no record was located on Clay Bertrand or Alek James

Hidell, or similar names. He said that he made inquiries of appropriate

officials and none had any information relative to [the] Fair Play for


 Committee. Dr. Lapham was not informed that we had established a

connection between Oswald and Dr. Leonard Reissman, a professor at

Tulane, the latter reportedly being active in the 

New Orleans

 Council for

Peaceful Alternatives, also known as Ban the Bomb. Dr. Leonard Reissman .

. . is of record in the subversive files of the Federal Bureau of


New Orleans

. ASAC Joseph Sylvester, FBI, has requested

that this office not interview Reissman because of their interest in him.

It is understood that the FBI office desires to interview him and that he

has been out of the city recently" (Ibid.).

Charles Steele, Jr., testified to the 


 Commission that Oswald had

indeed told him that the Fair Play for 


 Committee was organized out



 (cite). A Tulane student, Hugh Murray, told the FBI

that a pile of FPCC "Hands Off 


" handbills bearing Oswald's stamped

address had been left in the foyer of the 


 library (CD

75.699; Scott, Deep Politics, 373fn.). When anti-Castro Cubans Carlos

Quiroga (aka FBI Informant NO-5) and Richard Davis stopped by Oswald's

Magazine Street apartment, feigning interest in joining Oswald's FPCC

"chapter," Oswald claimed at one point to be a language student at Tulane

University (FBI #108-82555-50 OO; Scott, Deep Politics, 373fn.). Quiroga

was a former student at 


 who, according to a

CIA memo, had once been considered "a candidate for the Agency Student

Recruitment Program." However, there is no indication that he was ever

employed by the Agency in any capacity." On the contrary, both the CIA

and FBI investigated Quiroga as a possible Castro agent attempting to

infiltrate the anti-Castro Cuban Revolutionary Front (Weberman).

A. J. Weberman notes that Oswald had the telephone numbers UN6-0389 and

UN6-2741 ext. 276 in his address book. An FBI report states, "Mr. Edward

Rogge, Associate Dean, Tulane University, advised that telephone number

University 6-2741 was until December 19, 1963, the telephone number of

Tulane University as well as Newcomb College, a division of Tulane

University. He stated that extension 276 was a temporary number used

during the summer of 1963 for rooms 966, 974, and 976 of Monroe Hall, a

dormitory on the campus of Tulane. On January 21, 1964, Mrs. Nancy

McReynolds, Communications Coordinator at Tulane University, advised her

records show that extension 276 was installed on the ninth floor of

Monroe Hall after it was completed during the summer of 1963, but due to

the fact that air conditioning was not installed on that floor, it [the

floor] was not occupied during the summer. She said she often saw lights

on many other unoccupied floors [in] Monroe Hall in the evening during

the summer of 1963, so she assumed unauthorized persons were using the

extensions on these floors. She said the purpose of this would be to make

long distance calls without interruption and, if possible, without paying

for them. Mrs. McReynolds explained that the building is too large for

one person to watch, and therefore anyone could gain entrance to 


Hall, and could have used extension 276 whether they lived in Monroe Hall

or somewhere else on campus" (FBI NO 100-16601; Weberman). It also would

make an ideal place to place and receive phone calls without leaving a

record of one's identity. Had Oswald placed a call to that number from a

payphone (he himself never owned a phone in 

New Orleans

, nor at any time



), there would be no way of tracing the call to either party.

In August 1993, A. J. Weberman contacted a woman named Vereen Alexander

(mistakenly identified at his web site as "Alexander Vereen") who had

been a Tulane student in 1963. Vereen said, "I told the FBI on the night

of the assassination that I was fairly sure I had seen him [Oswald] at a

university beer party. I do not remember speaking with him. We had one of

the first underground newspapers opposing the Vietnam war. Then I married

a guy who went in the Air Force for three years. We were at a Top Secret

military base. That was why I went to the FBI. The others at the party

were afraid to come forward. I was a friend of Robert Hoffman"

(Weberman). Robert Hoffman was the host of the party where Oswald was

reportedly seen. Hoffman's name was given to the FBI by a friend of his,

Brian Amplost, who happened to see Oswald passing out leaflets in front

of the International Trade Mart (Ibid.).

In addition, a Tulane graduate student, Harold Gordon Alderman, had one

of Oswald's FPCC handbills tacked onto his door at the time of the

assassination. Alderman had been involved with the Fair Play for 


Committee in another city previously, and denied ever having met Oswald

(Epstein, 650fn.).

The last laugh in this issue may belong to Oswald. Hugh Murray, the New

Orleans activist who found FPCC literature at Tulane, reports that

despite all of Oswald's statements, the 

New Orleans

 Council for Peaceful

Alternatives did NOT hold meetings at 


 and Dr. Leonard

Reissman was NOT a member! (Hugh Murray, "

Surveillance State


*The Fourth Decade,* Vol. 1, No. 5). Leave it to the young man Sylvia

Meagher once labeled "the inscrutable Oswald" to pass false information

to the NOPD and FBI about an alleged 

New Orleans



Oswald and David Ferrie

A close associate of Guy Banister's was a 

New Orleans

 pilot, private

investigator, and rabid anti-Castroite named David William Ferrie. As a

teenager Oswald attended several meetings of the Civil Air Patrol at


New Orleans

 with his friend Ed Voebel while David

Ferrie was Squadron Commander. When Ferrie ran into some problems

stemming from accusations of improper behavior with his young charges,

the Captain started up a renegade chapter of the Civil Air Patrol at


 based on a fraudulent charter. Voebel recalled that

Oswald that had attended only two or three meetings in New Orleans, four

at the most, then transferred to another unit that he said was more

convenient for him.


New Orleans

 police officer reported that "Ferrie assumed control at


 at about the same time Oswald joined." Colin Hamer, now

an official of the 

New Orleans

 Public Library, told the House Select

Committee on Assassinations that he attended CAP meetings with Lee Harvey

Oswald and Captain David Ferrie in an Eastern Airlines hangar at Moisant

Airport. In 1993, Hamer told A. J. Weberman, "When I was in the Civil Air

Patrol, they (Ferrie and Oswald) were both in, but I don't remember if

they were in at the same time. I don't remember any relationship, or if

they knew each other or anything like that" (Weberman).

More definite testimony came from Jerry Paradis, now a corporate attorney

and a former 

New Orleans

 Lakefront Civil Air Patrol Unit Recruit

Instructor. Paradis told the HSCA, "I specifically remember Oswald. I can

remember him clearly, and Ferrie was heading the unit then. I'm not

saying they may have been together, I'm saying it's a certainty." One FBI

report states that Oswald attended sixteen meetings at the Lakefront

unit, as well as at least one party at David Ferrie's house.

Oswald bought himself a CAP uniform which he wore for a photograph in

July 1955; while he is wearing a cap in this picture, it appears his hair

may be shorter than the one and only extant photograph showing Oswald and

Ferrie together in the Civil Air Patrol (Groden, The Search for Lee

Harvey Oswald, pp.18-19; this photograph was obtained from an ex-CAP

member by researcher Gus Russo for the first time in 1993). A possibility

of further complexity exists, as the photo of Oswald in uniform is

definitely Lee Oswald, while it is the editor's belief that the group CAP

photograph depicts Ferrie with Harvey Oswald.

When Oswald's friend Ed Voebel was questioned on November 27, 1963, by


New Orleans

 Police, he was asked "if he ever heard of the Eagle

Squadron. Voebel stated that he had not" (22 H 826-27; Harold Weisberg,

Oswald in 

New Orleans

, 58).

"Eagle Squadron?" Weisberg asks. "How exciting. But there is nothing on

it in the testimony" (Weisberg, 59).

The House Select Committee, following the Garrison investigation by a

decade, had to dig a little deeper. The HSCA reports, "Ferrie also

started a group called the 'Falcon Squadron,' composed of Ferrie's

closest CAP associates. A group within this group, the 'Omnipotents,' was

allegedly started to train cadets in what to do in the event of a major

attack on the 

United States

." We also are told that Ferrie "urged several

boys to join the armed forces . . . Many of Ferrie's cadets became

involved in Ferrie's wide spectrum of other activities" (HSCA report on

David Ferrie).

The HSCA did not specify exactly which other "activities" they had in

mind, but we might infer it relates to the report's fourth subsequent

paragraph: "Ferrie also became involved in other activities. In 1959, he

had found an outlet for his political fanaticism in the anti-Castro

movement. By early 1961, Ferrie and a young man whom Ferrie had first met

in the CAP, 


 Martens, were working with Sergio Arcacha Smith, head

of the Cuban Revolutionary Front delegation in New 


. (Ibid.)

"Ferrie soon became Smith's eager partner in counterrevolutionary

activities. He reportedly built two miniature submarines, which he

planned to use for an attack on 


, obtained several rifles

and mortars for the proposed invasion, and was reportedly teaching Cubans

how to fly. Further, several of Ferrie's cadets claimed to have taken

trips to 


 in Ferrie's airplane. (Ibid.)

Ferrie also was close to 

New Orleans

 Mob boss Carlos Marcello. When

Robert Kennedy had Marcello forcibly deported to Marcello's alleged



, in 1961, Border Patrol records show it was David

Ferrie who personally flew Marcello back to the 


 (Summers, p. 308).

Ferrie would do some work for Guy Banister's operation at the Newman

Building, the building whose address Lee Harvey Oswald would designate as

the office of his Fair Play for 


 Committee chapter, and where

numerous witnesses would place Oswald himself during the summer of 1963.

There is no evidence, however, that Oswald was involved in Ferrie's

Falcon Squadron or Omnipotents, or in any extracurricular activities with

Ferrie during the summer of 1955. There is an interesting incident that

may indicate -- although it cannot be confirmed -- that Oswald and Ferrie

had a closer relationship in 1955 than previously believed.

Oswald had just turned sixteen in October 1955 and could not legally

enlist in the Marines as he wished until the age of seventeen. Marguerite

initially refused his requests to sign an affidavit declaring him to be

seventeen, but a somewhat overenthusiastic recruiter came to his aid.

Marguerite told the 


 Commission, "A recruiting officer from the

Marine Reserves in 

New Orleans

, was in my home the next day . . .

with Lee, in uniform" (1 H 197). It seems that "with the influence of

this Marine officer" (1 H 200), Marguerite decided to sign that false

affidavit after all, although the ruse was unsuccessful. It is a shame

the Commission never sought to find this Marine Reserves officer and ask

him why he was so keen on recruiting under-age cadets.

Curiously, Marguerite also had the impression that it was this Marine

Reserves officer who "influenced this boy" to study Communist literature

(1 H 200). Of course, this could be wild conjecture, and the 


Commission didn't inquire about her reason for thinking this. In a rare

interview for the October 17, 1967, Look magazine, with Ferrie made

famous by the Garrison investigation, Lee's brother Robert Oswald said,

"I can't help wondering whether it might have been Ferrie who introduced

Lee to Communist ideas. I realize that I have nothing solid on which to

base such a speculation, except the timing."

The author would offer another bit of speculation: Could this "Marine

Reserves" officer actually have been Captain David Ferrie of the Civil

Air Patrol?

Regardless, Marguerite Oswald adds another interesting bit of

speculation. Marguerite appeared before the 


 Commission to proclaim

Lee Harvey Oswald's innocence in the assassination, and she also charged

-- without having any evidence at her disposal -- that Oswald had been an

agent of the 

United States

 government. Here she speculates about how this

might have come about:


Mrs. OSWALD. I have said that a Marine recruiting officer came to my

home, and that Lee then continued reading Robert's manual by heart, and

started reading communist literature. He is preparing himself to go into

the Marine service -- at age 17 -- this year before he actually joined

the service. I am saying he is already preparing himself.

Mr. RANKIN. To become an agent?

Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, I think with the influence of this recruiting officer.

Mr. RANKIN. You think the recruiting officer inspired him --

Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir, influenced this boy.

Mr. RANKIN. -- to read the communist literature?

Mrs. OSWALD. Yes, sir -- and Robert's Marine book.


Most intriguing is her slightly different statement to the FBI that

"while he was in the Civil Air Patrol, a civilian who was associated with

the Civil Air Patrol induced Oswald to join the 

United States


(CD 480A.3). A civilian associated with the Civil Air Patrol is precisely

what Ferrie was, and this description, if accurate, certainly narrows the

identity of the person down somewhat.

Unfortunately, it must be admitted that no theory of Marguerite Oswald's

necessarily deserves any more scrutiny than the cursory hearing the


 Commission gave her. She also accused Marina Oswald, Ruth Paine,

two Secret Service agents, an unknown high government official and others

of being a part of a conspiracy that killed Kennedy; most were implicated

in this plot by virtue of the rudeness to which Marguerite felt they had

subjected her in the days following the assassination. And, as far as can

be determined, she never once offered the slightest bit of pertinent or

substantive information in her three long days of tiresome testimony. She

was, as historian Walt Brown has noted, "arguably the 



worst nightmare" (The 


 Omission, 239).

"Oswald and Ferrie . . . frequented the Napoleon House bar, a popular

hangout for college students. There they often debated Kennedy's foreign

policy with the students. Accompanied by two 'Latins,' Ferrie and Oswald

were observed in 

Baton Rouge

, where they openly denounced Kennedy's

foreign and domestic policies" (Kurtz, Crime of the Century, 203; from

confidential interviews).

"Twice they were seen conversing in Mancuso's Restaurant. They were seen

at a segregationist meeting in the late spring of that year. In August

they were seen at a party in the French Quarter. According to two people

who attended the party, Oswald and Ferrie discussed 

United States


policy, especially with regard to 


. Both men expressed strong

disapproval of the failure to overthrow the Castro regime" (Kurtz, "Lee

Harvey Oswald in 
New Orleans
," *


 History,* Vol. 21, No, 1, 16).

"During the summer of 1963, Van Burns [a personal friend and colleague of

Kurtz'] worked at the 
 amusement park in 

New Orleans


One evening, while he attended his booth, Burns saw a friend of his

[whose name remains confidential], accompanied by two men, approach the

booth. The friend introduced him to Lee Harvey Oswald and David Ferrie.

After a few minutes of small talk, Oswald and Ferrie left and strolled

down the boardwalk together. The friend told Burns about Ferrie's having

flown him over the Gulf of Mexico all the way to 


 and told him that

Ferrie had been involved in certain 'missions' to 


" (Kurtz, Crime of

the Century, xxxix-xl).



Oswald and Race

The only person Oswald seems to have seriously discussed the matter of

race with, as far as the record shows, was George De Mohrenschildt. The

Baron writes that Oswald told him "on many occasions," "It hurts me that

blacks do not have the same privileges and rights as white Americans" (De

Mohrenschildt, I Am a Patsy!, 127). "Kennedy's efforts to alleviate and

end segregation were also admired by Lee, who was sincerely and

profoundly committed to a complete integration of blacks [into white

society], and saw it in the future of the 

United States

. 'I am willing to

fight for racial equality and would die fighting if necessary,' he told

me once," and Oswald also believed "fullheartedly" in improving the

educational opportunities for blacks (Ibid., 133). "


 is a racist

society from its very origin," he told De Mohrenschildt. "[from] the

arrival of the pilgrims and elimination of the Indians. [The] United

States is [a] dishonest country because it's based on the spoliation of

its rightful owners. . . . What kind of country this is, if an 


ignorant redneck calls a black professor from 



'nigger!'" (Ibid., 156-57). When the Oswalds attended a party of

primarily Russian emigres (many of whom were in the oil industry) with

the De Mohrenschildts, Oswald was in an ornery mood, and taunted a group

of oil executives about their companies' hiring practices: "I bet you

that your companies do not employ any blacks or Mexicans in any

positions, not [necessarily] executive [positions], but [even] average

positions. . . . Naturally, abroad you act differently; you use natives

of all colors [to show] that American oil companies are so-o-o-o liberal"

(Ibid., 178). At the home of Admiral Henri Bruton*, Oswald again made an

appearance that was less than goodnatured, insulting the military and his

former commanders in particular. "We had a sergeant in the Marines who

was as racist as any German SS trooper," Oswald began, "but then his sex

habits --" De Mohrenschildt cut him off at this point, for better or

worse (Ibid., 193). The last time the two men saw each other, around

Easter 1963, they "spoke of the unfortunate rise of ultra-conservatism in

this country, of [the] racist movement in the South. Lee considered this

the most dangerous phenomenon for all peace-loving people. 'Economic

discrimination is bad, but you can remedy it,' he said, 'but racial

discrimination cannot be remedied because you cannot change the color of

your skin.' Of course, he greatly admired Dr. Martin Luther King and

agreed with his program. I just mention it [in passing] here, but he

frequently talked of Dr. King with real reverence" (Ibid., 198).

When Oswald was arraigned for creating a disturbance with Carlos

Bringuier and friends, Oswald sat on the "colored" side of the courtroom,

a choice Bringuier believed to be quite deliberate.


W. Guy Banister was a member of the Minutemen and John Birch Society, a

former FBI Bureau chief and NOPD officer with contacts in organized

crime, at the House Un-American Activities Committee and the CIA.

Banister employee 


 Gerdes saw Banister meet with George Lincoln

Rockwell, leader of the American Nazi Party, at 531 




 DA's Office Report of January 31, 1967). According to 531

Lafayette employee Jack S. Martin, Banister was a member of the American

Nazi Party, and subscribed to the party's newspaper, The Thunderbolt, as

well as their magazine, *Counterattack!* When George Lincoln Rockwell was

jailed for picketing the Holocaust-themed movie, Exodus, it was Guy

Banister who put up his bail (Sworn statement to 

New Orleans

 DA's Office,

February 20, 1968). Banister and Delphine Roberts were two of the most

virulent white supremacists and anti-communists in strongly conservative

New Orleans in 1963, with spies infiltrating local universities on the

CIA's tab. Banister associate David W. Ferrie was a rabid anti-communist

involved in Banister's gunrunning activities and had connections to New

Orleans mob boss Carlos Marcello, the FBI and the CIA; in his spare time

he used hypnosis to seduce teenage boys, for which he was arrested on

more than occasion, and which cost him his job as an Eastern Airlines

pilot. These are the sort of people with whom the "pro-Castro,"

"pro-communist," civil rights advocate, Lee Harvey Oswald was palling

around with in the summer of 1963 in 

New Orleans

. George Lincoln Rockwell

and American Nazi Party National Secretary Dan Burros each rated an entry

in Lee Harvey Oswald's address book.



 Commission never said a word about it. The FBI and CIA said it

never happened. 

New Orleans

 DA Jim Garrison was the first to uncover it

in 1966. The HSCA in 1979 said it was a distinct possibility. Gerald

Posner, media-anointed expert on the assassination, said in 1993 it never

happened: "There is no credible evidence that Oswald ever had an office


544 Camp Street

 or, much less, that he knew Guy Banister (Posner, Case

Closed, 141). Posner never spoke to Dr. Michael L. Kurtz or Mary Brengel,

neither of whom are mentioned in his book. Posner interviewed Delphine

Roberts and her daughter, and dismisses them as nuts because of their

views on race. He never asks why Roberts -- who, as he himself notes,

still speaks "warmly" of Banister (Posner, 140) -- would tie a "known

communist" like Oswald to her deceased and rabidly anti-communist lover.

Posner also dismisses the Oswald handbills stamped with the address of


544 Camp St

" as a silly attempt by a left-winger to embarrass a

prominent right-winger (Ibid., 141-42). Leave it to poor Oswald to get

the right-winger's address wrong: Banister's street address was 531

Lafayette Street


544 Camp Street

 was the side entrance. And if Oswald's

goal was to embarrass right-wingers, why did he put his own home address

or post office box number on the majority of the pamphlets he handed out?


In 1964, the FBI reported, "Mr. Guy W. [sic] Banister, a former Special

Agent in Charge of this Bureau, never contacted this Bureau after the

assassination to report that he was personally acquainted with Oswald. We

feel certain that had Mr. Banister had previous contact with Oswald

before the assassination [sic], he would have immediately contacted this

Bureau and reported such information" (Weberman). Banister never was

questioned by any official 


 agency about Lee Harvey Oswald.

"The best-known case [of Oswald's contacts with anti-Castro groups under

investigation] is Oswald's initial meeting of August 5, 1963, with the

DRE's Carlos Bringuier, only five days after the FBI had raided the

dynamite cache next to the DRE's secret training camp [at 

Pontchartrain, where several witnesses have placed Guy Banister, David

Ferrie, Richard Davis, Gerry Patrick Hemming, and Lee Harvey Oswald in

1963]. Bringuier, with good reason, took Oswald's offer to him 'to train

Cubans in guerrilla warfare' as proof that he was not a 'loner,' but

someone with knowledge of the DRE's secret links to both the arms cache

and the training camp (Peter Dale Scott, "Deep Politics and the Death of

JFK,* 251).

"Bringuier's argument was indeed an almost unanswerable one. As he

pointed out to the 


 Commission, the presence of the training camp

'was not generally known. . . . I believe that that was the only time

here in 

New Orleans

 that there was something like that' (10 H 43-44;

Scott, Ibid.). Bringuier went on to suggest that Castro might have given

Oswald this privileged information. Back in August, however, Bringuier

had had the opposite reaction: 'I thought he might be an agent from the

FBI or CIA, trying to find out what we might be up to' (*


Post,* November 23, 1963; cf. 10 H 35; Scott, Ibid.). Bringuier's logic

here is of major importance. Oswald had to be working for one side or the

other; he could not have been acting alone" (Scott, Ibid.).

"Not till years later did the rest of us learn how accurate was Oswald's

knowledge. Only in 1976 did the Church Committee reveal, from US

government sources, that 'underworld figures' were (as the FBI had known)

involved in the training camp along with the arms cache (Schweiker-Hart

Report, 12, 79; FBI Airtel 62-109060-4758, 5, 10, 13; Scott, Ibid.). Yet

Oswald talked as if he were investigating this involvement back in 1963.

According to one bystander at the first meeting, Oswald asked Bringuier

'was he connected with the Cosa Nostra' (10 H 77; Scott, Ibid.).

According to another witness, Oswald brought up the subject by saying

that he had 'recently visited something called the Casa Nostra' -- in


, the source of the dynamite and trainees (10 H 84-85; WCD 75.533;

Scott, Ibid.).

How did Oswald know about the exile training camp? Onetime HSCA staff

member Robert Tanenbaum may have given us a better answer than we ever

bargained for.


The Memory Hole

Robert Tanenbaum had been the original Deputy Chief of the House Select

Committee on Assassinations, appointed by the original Chief Counsel,

attorney Richard A, Sprague. Tanenbaum had studied law at the University



 and went on to work for District Attorney Frank

Hogan in 

New York

. While there Tanenbaum served as Bureau Chief of

the Criminal Courts of the Felony Trial Bureau, and Deputy Chief then

Acting Chief of the Homicide Bureau, where he tried several hundred cases

to verdict. When Sprague -- who Tanenbaum had never met -- called him out

of the blue one day in 1976 and offered him the position of Deputy Chief

Counsel leading the Congressional investigations of the assassinations of

John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Tanenbaum didn't know a thing

about these events except what he'd read in the papers. He had only one

question -- he "wanted assurance from the Committee that whatever the

facts were we would be permitted to tell the American people. . . . The

focus was to deal with these cases as homicides." Sprague, a highly

successful and rigorous prosecutor himself, assured him that was the

case; he was mistaken.

Tanenbaum resigned soon after he'd watched Sprague forced out by

interests that clearly feared the result of a thorough and honest

investigation. "I wasn't going to participate any longer when I found out

that the Congress was not going to tell the truth," he told the

Assassination Records Review Board in 1996. "I didn't want to participate

in a historical fraud. . . . My daughter, when I was in 


, was

three years old. She is now a junior at UCLA. And I did not want to look

at her years later and [have her know that I] put my rubber stamp on a

report that I knew was a fraud."

Board member Dr. Kermit Hall asked, ". . . about what other materials

might be where -- You didn't speak to the question of the film that you

were, that deals with anti-Castro Cubans. . . . So I wonder if you could

speak to that particular matter."

". . . As far as where the film is, again, I can only tell you that all

of the material, I assumed was . . ." He laughed bitterly. " . . . in the

same place. . . ."

"And that film had been obtained from the 



Dr. Hall asked.

"That is my best recollection. . . . Investigators and researchers found

it in the 


 Library archives."

"And just for the record, the significance of this film if it were

recovered, would be . . . ?

". . . On the one hand it shows a lot of anti-Castro Cuban players with

CIA contract people in a military setting. There was some speculation,

somewhat unclear, as to the direct identities of some of these people.

And as I stand here now, I am not going to tell you exactly who they

were, but there were some of the major players in this whole case."

The film was an 8 mm "home movie" from the summer of 1963. It vanished

into thin air, while in the HSCA's custody, sometime after Tanenbaum's

departure. Here is Tanenbaum's description of what the film contained,

condensed from his novel based in part on his HSCA experiences,

*Corruption of Blood.* The plot of the novel is fictionalized; the

evidence discussed is not.


". . . The small square screen showed a shadowy landscape, some bushes

and trees, then a road. The film was black-and-white and grainy, or

perhaps the graininess was just an artifact of the ground-glass screen of

the editing machine. In any case, the film seemed to have been shot in

bad light, at dusk perhaps, or in moonlight.

"The camera panned across dark woods that seemed vaguely tropical --

palmettos, Spanish moss, and hanging vines -- past an open field, and

onto the road again. A line of two-and-a-half-ton military trucks

appeared, moving slowly, their headlights cut to thin slits. The trucks

stopped and soldiers leaped out and lined up on the road. They were

dressed in fatigues and soft caps. Most carried rifles, but there were

some with machine guns and mortar components, and . . . one with a folded


"The film now cut jerkily to maneuvers: the soldiers rushed across the

field and flung themselves down, while others provided covering fire. The

film was silent, but you could see the pinpoints of fire from the rifles

and the shimmering gouts of muzzle blast from the machine guns. It cut to

a mortar team firing, dropping the shells in odd silence down the tubes

and shielding their ears from the blasts. . . . they seemed well drilled.

". . . Now the camera was obviously in a vehicle of some kind, an open

vehicle because the camera could pan around 360 degrees. A jeep: the

well-known square hood flashed by and then the backs of the heads of two

men with military caps on. A white road sign loomed up and started to

whip by. . . . The road sign had the shape of 


 and a number."

This is by Lake Pontchartrain, near 

New Orleans

. The jeep ride ended and

the camera cut to a group of five men standing around a jeep, talking, as

troops filed by in the background. There were two unidentified Cubans.

There was a "stocky guy with the round face" -- Antonio Veciana of the

CIA-backed anti-Castro squad, Alpha 66. There was a "tall, ugly guy" --

Guy Banister, head of the Anti-Communist League of the Caribbean,

resident of 

544 Camp Street
New Orleans

. There was a figure wearing

civilian clothes, "a tall man with dark hair, a prominent nose, and

deeply impressed wrinkles under his eyes . . . turning away from the lens

as the shot opened, as if more interested in some background object than

in the conversation the men were having; that, or he had a predisposition

to avoid being the subject of photography. Tanenbaum believes this man

was CIA officer David Atlee Phillips.

"In the treacly movements of slow motion, the camera's view moved to

another group of men standing by a truck. One of the men in the group

turned around and smiled at the camera. It was actually more of a smirk

than a smile, the famous smirk. . . . Lee Harvey Oswald." There were

several unidentified men.

". . . The screen brightened. It was full day. Some men were shooting

pistols at a crude outdoor firing range, firing at man-shaped targets

nailed to trees." Antonio Veciana appeared in civilian clothes now,

"holding an .45 and smiling. The view moved unsteadily at each soundless

explosion. Two men, grinning, held up a well-punctured target. A man in a

black T-shirt and ball cap sat at a table loading bullets into pistol

magazines. He looked up for an instant, frowned, spoke briefly, and

lowered his head again so that the bill of the cap obscured his face. He

resembled Oswald, but Tanenbaum thought it had "to be some time later

than in the first scenes, because his sideburns [had] grown longer. . . .

More shooting, men posing with weapons, then a close-up of a round-faced

man with a fright wig and patently phony, impossibly thick eyebrows. . .

David Ferrie . . . nobody else looked like Ferrie."

The film cut to a shot of the man who looked like Oswald in the ball cap

and black T-shirt. "The shot was taken from the rear and showed him

standing, aiming at a target twenty-five yards downrange and firing off

seven shots rapidly. . . . The camera moved in for a close-up of the head

of the target silhouette. It was shredded and flapping away from its

fiberboard backing. There was more target practice, then another twenty

seconds of paramilitary exercises. Then it ended."

Shortly before his death in 1990, longtime CIA hitman Colonel William

Bishop was asked by Dick Russell, in the presence of veteran researcher

J. Gary Shaw, if he'd ever met Lee Harvey Oswald. Bishop said he had not,

but offhandedly volunteered, "I did look into Oswald's background [in

1963]. I'd never met him, but I'd seen him in a training film in New


 the past summer. He just happened to be in the group out there at

the Pontchartrain camp. Trying to get in with the anti-Cuban exiles"

(Russell, *The Man Who Knew Too Much,* 508).


New Orleans

 resident George Wilcox told historian Michael Kurtz that he

observed "Ferrie, Oswald, and numerous Cubans, all dressed in military

fatigues and carrying automatic rifles, conducting what appeared to be a

'military training maneuver.' This event took place near Bedico Creek, a

swampy inland body of water near 
Lake Pontchartrain
, about fifty miles

north of 

New Orleans

. This occurred in early September 1963, two months

after the final government raid on anti-Castro guerilla camps in the

United States

" (Interview of September 9, 1979; Kurtz, Crime of the

Century, 203, 260 fn.).


On July 31, the Associated Press out of 


, reported

that "FBI agents swooped down on a house in a resort section near here

today and seized more than a ton of dynamite and 20 bomb casings. An

informed source said the explosives were part of a cache to be used in an

attack on 


. But the FBI would only say that the materials were

'seized in connection with an investigation of an effort to carry out a

military operation from the 

United States

 against a country with which


United States

 is at peace.' . . . The FBI declined to identify the

owner of the house or to say if any arrests had been made" (Washington

Post, August 1, 1963; Weisberg, Oswald in 

New Orleans

, 67).

The house belonged to William Julius McLaney. Confiscated were 48 cases

of dynamite, the 20 firing caps, M-1 rifles, grenades, and 55 gallons of

napalm (Associated Press, March 4, 1967; New Orleans States-Item, March

4, 1967; Weisberg, Ibid., 68-69; Hinckle and Turner, Deadly Secrets,

225). William McLaney and his brother Mike had been casino owners in


 until their property was nationalized by Castro. (William McLaney

had also served time in Castro's prison.) The arms cache had been

transported to the 
Lake Pontchartrain
 house by Gerry Patrick Hemming and

future Watergate burglar Frank Sturgis along with members of the DRE.

Both men, particularly Hemming, were instrumental in running the nearby

paramilitary training camp for the CIA-backed Cuban exiles, which was

quietly shut down concurrent with the seizure of the arms cache. Two

arrests were made at that time in connection with the arms cache: Sam

Benton -- mobster Mike McLaney's go-between with the anti-Castro Cubans

-- and Richard Lauchli, co-founder of the Minutemen (Scott, Deep Politics

and the Death of JFK, 88-89, 120; Hinckle and Turner, 224-25). 



also briefly associated in Cuban-related endeavors with the CIA until it

was determined that he "talked too much," and was promptly let loose

(Hinckle and Turner, 182). Mike McLaney was Lewis McWillie's employer in


; McWillie was one of Jack Ruby's best friends (Hinckle and Turner,