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FTR #1044 Interview #13 with Jim DiEugenio About “Destiny Betrayed”

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This broadcast was recorded in one, 60-minute segment.

CIA’s Expert on the JFK Assassination Ray Rocca: ” . . . . Garrison would indeed obtain a conviction of Shaw for conspiring to assassinate President Kennedy. . . .”

House Select Committee on Assassinations Assistant Counsel Jonathan Blackmer: “. . . . ‘We have reason to believe Shaw was heavily involved in the Anti-Castro efforts in New Orleans in the 1960s and [was] possibly one of the high level planners or ‘cut out’ to the planners of the assassination.’ . . . .”

Introduction: This is the thirteenth of a planned long series of interviews with Jim DiEugenio about his triumphal analysis of President Kennedy’s assassination and New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison’s heroic investigation of the killing.

(Listeners can order Destiny Betrayed and Jim’s other books, as well as supplementing those volumes with articles about this country’s political assassinations at his website Kennedys and KingJim is also a regular guest and expert commentator on Black Op Radio.)

This broadcast highlights the infiltrators into Jim Garrison’s investigation: how they subverted his inquest, networked with intelligence elements implicated in the assassination, networked with media hatchet men who lambasted Garrison publicly and also Clay Shaw’s defense team.

Discussion begins with a Denver oil man named John King, who made an oblique offer of an appointment to the Federal Bench, an apparent carrot to persuade Garrison to drop his probe into the Kennedy assassination. As a Garrison aide noted, the stick would follow.

A synoptic overview of the infiltrators, what they did and with and for whom:

  1. William Martin, who infiltrated Garrison’s team, apparently on behalf of CIA.
  2. Bernardo DeTorres, a Bay of Pigs veteran and CIA operative with connections to Mitchell Werbell, a silenced weapons expert best known as the inventor of the Ingram Mac 10 and Mac 11 silenced machine pistols. DeTorres was filing reports on Garrison with the CIA’s JM/Wave station in Miami and was apparently in Dealey Plaza on 11/22/1963. CIA operative Eladio Del Valle–David Ferrie’s case officer on some missions–was found dead shortly after Ferrie. Del Valle was found tortured, shot through the heart and with his head split open with a machete. The corpse was a short distance from DeTorres’ apartment. DeTorres was also allegedly involved with the assassination of Orlando Letelier.
  3. William and Louis Gurvich, two “private investigators” who infiltrated Garrison’s office and, among other things, began channeling information about Garrison’s probe to Walter Sheridan, about whom we will have more to say later. William stole Garrison’s investigative file and gave it to Clay Shaw’s defense team. William Gurvich continued to work with Clay Shaw’s defense through 1971 (Shaw was charged with perjury). Gurvich may well have worked for CIA. His work with Shaw is in keeping with a Richard Helms directive summarized in item #6 below.
  4. Bill Boxley worked to steer Garrison’s investigation into dubious areas. When Garrison’s team visited Boxley’s apparent place of residence, it appeared not to have ever been occupied by Boxley. Boxley carried a number of briefcases with him when working with Garrison, growing larger with time. It appeared that he was purloining documents from Garrison’s office. Eventually, he called Garrison, warning that “we” are coming to get you.
  5. Tom Bethell, an Englishman and an assassination expert, met with Sal Panzeca, one of Clay Shaw’s attorneys and gave him a list of Garrison’s witnesses and summaries of what each was expected to say.
  6. Pershing Gervais was recruited to ensnare Garrison in a purported scandal after the Clay Shaw trial, in keeping with Richard Helms’ directive that the CIA take steps to neutralize Garrison and any effect that he might have before, during and after the Clay Shaw trial. He decamped to Canada, to be beyond Garrison’s legal reach, working at a job at General Motors secured for him by The Powers That Be. Later, he admitted his perfidy.
  7. One of the most important infiltrators was Gordon Novel, a veteran CIA officer, brilliant electronics expert and operational associate of many of the people involved in Garrison’s probe. Novel had been involved with the Bay of Pigs and an arms burglary at a Schlumberger facility, some of the loot from which was stored at a racing business owned in part by Novel. Operating at the direction of Allen Dulles, he infiltrated Garrison’s investigation and bugged his office for the Agency. He also networked with the FBI to monitor Garrison’s probe. Novel also used his position inside Garrison’s probe to smear Garrison in public statements to the media. Novel was able to draw on large financial reserves, the source of which is–technically speaking–opaque. At one point, he had five attorneys working on his behalf. That, in and of itself, would have required more money than Novel appeared to have at his disposal. Most significantly, Novel worked in tandem with Walter Sheridan, a veteran intelligence operative who produced an altogether “special” for NBC about the Garrison investigation. We will discuss Sheridan at greater length in our next interview.

The heavy handedness of the pressure placed on those who cooperated with Garrison is illustrated by the experience of Marlene Mancuso, Novel’s estranged wife. Note the coordination of operations between CIA officer Novel and people working with Walter Sheridan, as well as Sheridan himself.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; pp. 239-240.

. . . . Marlene Mancuso was Novel’s estranged wife. She had been talking to Garrison. He had detailed knowledge of Gordon’s Agency activities with people like Ferrie and Sergio Arcacha Smith. Plus she was fully informed about the transfer of arms from the Schlumberger bunker for the Bay of Pigs. In May of 1967, [Rick] Townley found her working as a cashier in the [French] Quarter at a place called Lucky Pierre’s. Townley told her bluntly that Garrison was going down. They wanted her to say, on camera, that the DA had coerced her into giving him testimony about the Schlumberger munitions transfer. When that did not work, a friend of Gordon’s called and warned her about facing federal perjury charges if she did not turn on Garrison. Finally, Sheridan showed up in person. He also said that Garrison was going down the drain, and she was going with him. But if she would talk to him, he would get her a job at NBC. This also failed. So Sheridan started following her around. Once he followed her to church. His excuse was that he wanted to say a prayer inside. One day, both Sheridan and Townley showed up at her front door. They said they were looking for Gordon. The net day, Townley called her and said if she did not get away from Garrison, she could get killed. Mancuso did not turn on Garrison. She signed a statement for the DA revealing the threats and extortion by Townley and Sheridan. . . .


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