Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #620 Interview with Paris Flammonde about the ‘Masques of New Orleans’

Recorded November 25, 2007
MP3: Side 1 | Side 2

Following on the heels of FTR#619, this program features author and radio producer Paris Flammonde’s account of the New Orleans investigation of President Kennedy’s assassination. Former producer of the seminal late-night radio talk program The Long John Nebel Show, Flammonde’s 1969 book The Kennedy Conspiracy was one of the tomes that helped put Mr. Emory on his life’s path. Utilizing Paris’ theatrical metaphor, this program explores the real life characters behind the masques which the media permitted the New Orleans assassination conspirators to display to the public. Of primary interest are the individuals who revolved around the dual addresses of 531 Lafayette Place and 544 Camp Street. This milieu was a violently anti-communist, racist and fascist milieu inextricably linked with the covert operations against Fidel Castro’s Cuba. Yet the media and judicial establishments of the United States have gone along with the prevailing fiction that Lee Harvey Oswald was a pro-Castro communist sympathize, whose “Fair Play for Cuba” organization operated out of those dual addresses. This masque of “Oswald the Commie” was vital to the cover-up of the Kennedy assassination—it convinced many who knew what had really happened to remain silent lest public outrage and resultant political pressure lead to a Third World War. Here, the truth is “unmasqued.”

Program Highlights Include: A synoptic biography of New Orleans DA Jim Garrison; Paris Flammonde’s account of how he came to be associated with Garrison’s probe; a synoptic biography of apparent Oswald handler Guy Bannister; a synoptic biography of intelligence operative and apparent Oswald handler David Ferrie; a synoptic biography of Clay Shaw, the defendant in Garrison’s trial; review of the fact that the jury in the Shaw trial concluded that there had been a conspiracy but that there wasn’t enough evidence to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that Clay Shaw was guilty.

1. Once again, Mr. Emory visited with Paris Flammonde, author, political investigator and radio producer. In 1969, Paris published The Kennedy Conspiracy [HC edition, Meredith Press], one of the first books Mr. Emory read about the subject of President Kennedy’s assassination and a volume which helped set Mr. Emory upon his life’s path. In this broadcast, we examine what Paris calls “the masques of New Orleans”—the official public persona of many of the players in the New Orleans phase of the JFK assassination conspiracy. The primary focus is on New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison’s investigation into the assassination.

2. Paris began his discussion with an account of how he came to be associated with Jim Garrison and his investigation. Summarizing Garrison’s biography, Paris recounts: Jim’s youth in Ohio; his move to Chicago; his work flying bird dogs for the Army in WWII [these were light, unarmed artillery spotter planes, whose pilots had an 80% fatality rate]; his enrollment in Tulane U.; his brief work for the FBI; his being called to active duty in Korea; his work for the law enforcement establishment of New Orleans; his stylish dress and great physical size; his post-investigation election as a judge in New Orleans; his penchant for chess.

3. Next, Paris detailed the circumstances in which he became involved with Garrison and his inquiry: Paris was in New York City and heard the news of the assassination on a taxicab’s radio; Paris received a call from Eric Norden, author of an early, important article about the assassination; Norden asked Flammonde—“A Coup d’etat, right?”—Paris agreed. A few years later, Norden called and said that he had been commissioned to write an article about Garrison’s investigation of the killing—this resulted in Flammonde being commissioned to write a book about the Garrison investigation. This, in turn, resulted in Flammonde agreeing and flying to New Orleans.

4. Describing the beginnings of Garrison’s investigation, Paris relates how the venerable district attorney came to focus on Guy Bannister’s detective agency and its employee David Ferrie. Ferrie supposedly went on a duck-hunting trip, the circumstances of which hardly stood the test of scrutiny.

5. Among the focal points of Garrison’s inquiry was an organization called the Old Catholic Church, to which David Ferrie belonged. The fact that Paris knew a fair amount about this organization gave him a degree of utility to Garrison. In addition, Paris discussed a fascist intelligence front called Permindex and its Italian subsidiary the Centro Mondiale Commerciale. Clay Shaw—Garrison’s chief defendant after the death of David Ferrie—was a key member of these organizations. (For more about Permindex and the CMC, see “The Guns of November, Part IV.”)

6. Paris relates how Garrison originally thought Oswald to be the shooter; he later concluded that Oswald was a patsy.

7. Next, Paris outlines the dual addresses 531 Lafayette Place, 544 Camp Street. One was the address on Lee Harvey Oswald’s “Fair Play for Cuba Committee” literature—Oswald was its only member. The other was the address of Guy Bannister’s detective agency, which served as an epicenter of the paramilitary covert operations against Fidel Castro. Both addresses were entrances to the same building! Garrison found this to be a little suspicious.

8. The discussion then turned to a brief biography of Guy Bannister—like Paris, a Chicago native. Bannister worked as a FBI Special Agent and he was in charge of Chicago office of FBI. Eventually, Bannister (who had also worked for Naval Intelligence) moved to New Orleans and served in the law enforcement community in the Crescent City.

9. Next, Paris synopsizes the background of New Orleans Mafia capo Carlos Marcello—born in North Africa of Sicilian extraction. Eventually, Marcello became New Orleans capo. Attorney General Robert Kennedy went after this powerful capo, having Marcello deported to Guatemala. Marcello’s influence extended to Dallas. After 11/22/1963, the FBI immediately cleared Marcello and labeled him a “tomato salesman.” The House Select Committee on Assassinations implicated Marcello in the assassination, although its conclusion that the Mafia performed the assassination is erroneous. Although organized crime was involved in the killing, it was but one element and by no means the most important.

10. David Ferrie worked as an investigator for Guy Bannister, and also worked for Carlos Marcello. Oswald also had links to Ferrie, dating back to their time together in the Civil Air Patrol. Garrison dispatched Paris and his assistant Lou Ivon were dispatched by Garrison to check out Ferrie’s ghostly, cobweb-ridden apartment. Paris related Ferrie’s background—his Roman Catholic upbringing in Ohio; his father’s work as a police captain; Ferrie’s career as an airline pilot; his entry into, and dishonorable discharge from, the Army Reserve; his firing from his job as a pilot for Eastern Airlines; his role as the head of the Civil Air Patrol in New Orleans—Oswald was part of his unit. Paris relates that Ferrie ran guns for Castro and then turned against him. Ferrie may have associated with Mafia lord Santos Trafficante and anti-Castro Cuban Sergio Arcacha Smith. In addition, Ferrie was a member of the Old Catholic Church (like William Joseph Bryan, believed by many investigators to have been the hypno-programmer for Sirhan Sirhan).

11. An aspect of Garrison’s investigation that is frequently overlooked is the fact that the jury came to the conclusion that there had been a conspiracy, but that they could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Shaw was involved. Colonel Pierre Finck testified under oath that he was ordered by unnamed superior officers not to dissect President Kennedy’s neck wound. This constitutes proof of a conspiracy.

12. Guy Bannister, Oswald and David Ferrie were involved with the various covert operations conducted against the regime of Fidel Castro.

13. Paris notes that the headquarters of this nation’s various intelligence services were all centralized within a small area of New Orleans. Guy Bannister’s office was in the same neighborhood.

14. Clay Shaw was connected to various intelligence services through a variety of contacts. Ted Brandt of N.O. Trade Mart was one of Shaw’s intelligence contacts. He may well have had connections with the French intelligence service as well. In the context of the systematic disinformation about the Kennedy assassination disseminated by the media, it is interesting to contemplate Shaw’s relationship with Sid Goldberg of the North American Newspaper Alliance, an organization with close ties to the CIA. Sid Goldberg was married to Lucianne Goldberg, the Nixon spy in the McGovern campaign in 1972 who achieved imperishable notoriety as the woman who precipitated the Monica Lewinsky disclosures concerning Bill Clinton’s sex life.

15. Among the topics touched on is an enumeration of other books about Garrison’s investigation. Among the volumes recommended by Mr. Emory are: Let Justice Be Done by Bill Davy; Dr. Mary’s Monkey by Ed Haslam; Barry and the Boys by Daniel Hopsicker and Destiny Betrayed by Jim Di Eugenio.

16. The discussion concludes with a perfunctory accounting of the suspicious and [in many cases] violent deaths of various persons who figured in Garrison’s probe. David Ferrie died of an apparent cerebral hemorrhage in the brain, an injury which Paris notes can be inflicted by a high-ranking black belt in karate. Guy Bannister himself died of an apparent heart attack in 1964. One of Bannister’s staff—Hugh Ward—died in the crash of a small plane not too long after the assassination. Still another of Garrison’s investigators—Maurice Brooks Gatlin—was killed in the fall from a hotel window in Panama. Ferrie’s intelligence handler—Eladio Del Valle—was brutally murdered, after being tortured. Del Valle was shot in the heart at point blank range after having his head split open with a machete. (For more about the suspicious deaths of Kennedy assassination witnesses, investigators and participants, see “The Guns of November, Part II.”

17. Paris’ four-volume set can be obtained from

Post Office Box 48
Sciota, PA 18354-0048

Visit the website at: www.assassinationofamerica.com. Paris can be reached at: flammonde@assassinationofamerica.com.

18. Two video productions are being generated by a couple of documentary filmmakers. One is a DVD of a three-lecture series called “The First Refuge of a Scoundrel: The Relationship Between Fascism and Religion.” In addition, there will soon be a documentary about Mr. Emory, titled “The Anti-Fascist.” For more about this project, visit TheAntiFascist.com.


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