Guest Bob Vernon Posted August 29, 2004 Share Posted August 29, 2004 The Real New Orleans and Judyth Vary Baker A research report by Robert G. Vernon August 28, 2004 The internet newsgroups have been diluted lately with the ramblings for and against a woman called Judyth Vary Baker and her claims that she “knew and loved Lee Harvey Oswald.” She claims to have had prior knowledge of the death of JFK and she was recently featured on a British documentary by Nigel Turner. She says a book is coming out on her. While some of the top JFK researchers and also major US media have denounced the lady as being “delusional”, I believe there is much more to her story than meets the eye. Allow me to explain: When Judyth’s incredible story first surfaced, I’m not sure of the exact date but I believe it was 1999 or earlier, I called Layton Martens, an old friend of mine from New Orleans. Some of the JFK researchers will recall Layton as being involved with David Ferrie back in the 1960s. Layton was also branded as a “homosexual,” which was highly insulting to him and he was ready to sue the people that branded him as such. To my knowledge, Layton was not a homosexual. Layton passed away on March 18, 2000, a few months after I had last spoken to him. I had met his wife once in the 80s at Layton’s French Quarter apartment on Bourbon Street, but I have never seen her or talked to her since. I think he has a brother but I don’t know him. I knew Layton extremely well. He and I worked together on the Louisiana Music Association, the Louisiana Music Commission and on several recording projects he did for the Spirit of New Orleans Brass Band. I mixed one of the brass band albums for him at a tiny little studio in New Orleans in the mid 1980s. Layton was also an accomplished actor and radio personality in New Orleans. He appeared in many movies including Oliver Stone’s “JFK.” I worked with and knew Layton for years before I learned about his friendship with David Ferrie and that he had been interviewed by New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison back in the 60s. In 1993, I began to communicate with him about the JFK assassination and his knowledge of it, if any. Because we were longtime friends (over 25 years), he slowly began to open up to me and he laid out a tremendous amount of knowledge before me from 1993 until he died. Some of the things that I learned from Layton are: Layton was in the Civil Air Patrol and that he was closely associated with David Ferrie until Ferrie’s death in 1967. He and Ferrie were good friends. Ferrie wanted to marry Layton’s mother. He told me about Ferrie “dabbling” with mice and how the guy thought he could find a cure for cancer by mixing drug store bought chemicals together and injecting them into the mice. Layton laughed about this and told me he was amazed that Ferrie even had an interest in cancer for Ferrie had no training or background in science at all. Layton told me that he felt sorry for the mice because all Ferrie was really doing was making them “sick.” When I last spoke to Layton a few months before his death, I asked Layton if he knew a Judyth Vary Baker. He said he did not. I asked Layton if he had ever heard her name before and specifically if Ferrie had ever mentioned her. He thought for a while and told me no. I asked him if it was possible that Ferrie could have known this lady without Layton’s knowledge. He told me that anything was possible but that he doubted it because he and Ferrie were very close and that he (Layton) had known all of Ferrie’s friends, the men and the women. I asked Layton if Ferrie knew or had ever mentioned Lee Harvey Oswald. Layton told me the same thing that he told the producers of Frontline, and that is Ferrie never mentioned Oswald to him. Layton did tell me that he had been shown a picture of Ferrie and Oswald standing in a line at a Civil Air Patrol training event but he was sure they didn’t know each other for Layton felt that if Ferrie had of known Oswald in the 69s, that Layton would have known him, too. I asked Layton if Ferrie was involved with Dr. Oschner for it is common knowledge that Garrison had targeted Oschner with regard to possible involvement in the JFK hit. Layton told me that Ferrie hated Oschner but he was not sure why. He told me it had something to do with Oschner messing up a deal that involved a United Fruit Company or something of that nature. Layton wasn’t clear what had happened. I asked him why he knew Ferrie hated Oschner and Layton gave me a long list of New Orleans people that Ferrie hated and always talked bad about, according to Layton. The list was massive, maybe 10 or 11 names and the only names I can recall were Mayor Morrison, Oschner, and Jake DiMaggio (I knew Jake, too). There were other names he mentioned that I did not recognize and do not recall. I asked Layton if he had ever heard of or known Svare Forsland. My reason for this is that Forsland had told me in the late 1980s that Garrison and Clay Shaw had gotten into an argument and a fist fight over a young boy at the New Orleans Athletic Club in the 1960s and that was why Garrison had indicted Shaw. Layton had no knowledge of this event and, as I do, doubted it ever happened. As Judyth Baker’s story heated up and more and more stuff began to surface on her, I tried to call Layton again and that is when I found out Layton had died. A couple of years later, in the fall of 2002, I had Judyth Baker’s story pushed on me by a former associate, Wim Dankbaar. I told the man I wanted nothing to do with her but he insisted that I look at her story. I reluctantly agreed. After catching her in falsehood after falsehood, and my posts on this are on JFK related newsgroups throughout the world, I refused to allow her taped interview to be used in a program I was producing at the time. But it goes much deeper than that. You see, I’m from Louisiana, born and raised there and there is not much I don’t know about Louisiana and New Orleans particularly from the years 1960 through 1990, the year I moved away. I also know the Mafia in New Orleans. Yes, I met Carlos Marcello and I knew him, not well, but I knew him and talked with him. I also knew his brother Joe and not just from him owning the nightclub by the Lake but because Joe and I were both dating a couple of Playboy bunnies that lived in Fat City (Metairie, La) in the mid 1960s. Mr. Joe and I used to “bump bellies” in the hallway when he was coming and going as was I (no pun intended). We talked over coffee many mornings. I saw him again in later years when he ran Lenfant’s the club by the lake that I mentioned. I also knew and know now Sammy and “Little Vincent” Marcello and I have met and briefly talked with little Carlos and peter Marcello but I do not know them. There are also lesser known “families” in New Orleans and I know many of them too. I won’t name any names for these folks are still alive and kicking. Let me get to the point: No one that I know in the New Orleans “family” community knows of or has ever heard of Judyth Vary Baker. If they had, I would know. I put “the word out.” Nothing came back. A few days ago, I learned that this Baker woman was making claims about somehow being involved in the Edwin Edwards trial down in Baton Rouge back in 2000. I was amazed to find this out for I was not aware of it before. Not only do I know Edwin Edwards personally but I also know every single member of his family. I also know every single one of his lawyers. I called several of them over the past week. Not one of them – repeat NOT ONE - had any knowledge about a Judyth Vary Baker. So what do we have here? A delusional woman? Possibly, I’m not a shrink so I don’t know, but I think there is more to her story. I believe she has perpetrated a hoax for money. Her “evidence” is scant, if any. Nothing in her story is very original and can all be found in books and on the Internet. The people she surrounds herself with, excluding a Howard Platzman and a Martin Shackleford, neither of whom have I met or do I know, are basically profiteers and have made no secret of it. I do think Platzman and Shackleford truly believe the lady but that’s their prerogative. I, too, have been fooled and duped before by people making claims about the JFK hit so I can understand. But what I understand more than anything is that when it comes to people in New Orleans that are “in the know” and that have been “in the know” for 50 years, there is no one that knows or has ever heard of Judyth Vary Baker, even Dr. John Oschner who worked side by side with his father that Judyth claims to have worked for. For you see, Dr. Oschner has nothing to hide, there is no reason for him to lie. It is common knowledge in New Orleans of the roles his Dad and their work have played over the years, in cancer research, in CIA and government related activities, etc. Dr. Oschner told me personally that he had never heard of her. I wish that I had never heard of her either. A note to Judyth Vary Baker: feel free to make any comments you wish regarding this document. Robert G. Vernon has been in the entertainment industry for 51 years. He is a Billboard chart producer of music and a winner of the ACE Award for Fats Domino and Friends, the most watched special in Cinemax history. Vernon was in charge of media and a member of the investigative team that busted Jimmy Swaggart. He is currently producing a program for video called “JFK: HOAXES” and it will be made available to broadcasters in November of 2004. Contact: email@example.com Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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