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Haslam-Baker Dr. Mary's Monkey


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It has come to my attention that Edward Haslam has engaged a reputable New Orleans PR firm and has undertaken a series of personal appearances/book signings to promote "Dr. Mary's Monkey," as well as the book of his star character Judyth Vary Baker and her book "Me and Lee: How I Came to Know, Love and Lose Lee Harvey Oswald." Indeed, Haslam is appearing this morning on WWL-TV in New Orleans. As I have stated before, it is not my intent to come between Haslam-Baker and their book buyers or possible movie deals; Nevertheless, in the search for factual accuracy in the field of JFK research, I wish to offer a dissenting view for any who may be compelled to search the topic online. Hence, this post in a more narrowly-focused forum for serious research.

I have studied the life of one of Haslam-Baker's major characters, David Ferrie, for many years and am in the process of writing a biography of him. I have obtained every document I could find about Ferrie and interviewed many who knew him, and I write from that informed perspective. With his permission, my comments are seconded in whole or in part by Stephen Tyler, a New Orleans filmmaker who produced "He Must Have Something," a look at the Jim Garrison investigation, and who has conducted a great deal of research into the other major character, Dr. Mary Sherman. It is fair to say that my thoughts are also supported by others with special expertise in the New Orleans aspects of this case.

I have read "Mary, Ferrie and the Monkey Virus" and "Dr. Mary's Monkey." While I have no issue with Ed Haslam sharing his thoughts about Ferrie, Sherman, Baker and other matters, I respectfully dissent from the notion that his main thesis is supported by the evidence he presents, or by any available evidence. Specifically, he does not provide credible evidence that Ferrie was acquainted with Dr. Sherman; that Ferrie and Sherman worked on medical research in 1963 or at any other time; that such research occurred in Ferrie's apartment at 3330 Louisiana Avenue Parkway; that such research was part of a covert US government project; or that Judyth Vary Baker was part of such research (beyond Baker's own claims). I have attempted to discuss these matters with Haslam, but he has been unreceptive.

I have read "Me and Lee: How I Came to Know, Love and Lose Lee Harvey Oswald." In addition, I have read Baker's earlier unauthorized book "Lee Harvey Oswald: The True Story of the Accused Assassin of President John F. Kennedy by His Lover," and have read many more writings by Baker. I respectfully dissent from Baker's claims regarding David Ferrie, and see no credible evidence to support them; In fact, it is my opinion that she never even met Ferrie. While I stipulate that she was a science prodigy and worked at the same company as Oswald in 1963, I do not understand, if the Ferrie portions of the book are not accurate, how the Oswald portions could be accurate.

It is virtually impossible to prove a negative, that something did not happen. Notwithstanding, my contacts with people who knew Ferrie suggest to the contrary, that he did not have a relationship with Dr. Sherman or Baker, and that he was not engaged in medical research in that apartment in 1963. Further, Dr. Sherman and Baker appear nowhere in the contemporaneous documentary record of the case. For these reasons, I strongly urge persons interested in the Haslam or Baker theses to seek alternate primary sources to either confirm or deny them. It makes me uncomfortable to observe that, thanks to the internet, such unproven theses are creeping out into our body of knowledge and being accepted uncritically as fact. There are two sides to every story, and there is definitely a dissenting side to this story.

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Haslam this morning on WWL-TV:

http://www.wwltv.com/video?id=118771099&sec=554827

Paulsen asks what proof Haslam has that Baker was LHO's lover:

"Well, because she says so."

I decided to move my post here.

This leaped right out at me:

"Haslam...piles speculation on speculation and then draws firm conclusions..."

This is exactly my problem with Haslam's methodology, with the reasoning he uses in his books. One searches in vain for verifiable evidence to support his conclusions.

Certainly as regards my area of expertise (Ferrie), his books cannot be taken as presenting any verifiable evidence that Ferrie had a secret lab in his apartment or even worked with Dr. Mary Sherman.

Ed Haslam will be signing copies of Dr Mary's Monkey this week:

From HollywoodIndustry:

New Orleans, LA (Vocus/PRWEB) March 28, 2011

Edward Haslam, author of Dr. Marys Monkey and co-author of Me & Lee, will return to the area where terrible events were set in motion over 40 years ago: New Orleans. Haslam will be in the city from March 27 to April 1st, where he will be doing book signings and giving lectures.

Dr. Marys Monkey concerns the 1964 murder of a nationally known cancer researcher and sets the stage for a gripping exposé of medical professionals enmeshed in covert government operations over the course of three decades. Following the trail of police records, FBI files, cancer statistics, and medical journals, his research presents evidence of a web of medical secret-keeping that began with the handling of evidence in the JFK assassination and continued apace, sweeping doctors into cover-ups of cancer outbreaks, contaminated polio vaccine, the arrival of the AIDS virus, and biological weapon research using infected monkeys.

This story interlaces with the history of accused John F. Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, his secret lover Judyth Vary Baker and the strange world of underground figures they associated with, including spies, Mafia kingpins, unethical medical researchers and others. Haslam proves that New Orleans was the breeding ground for the plot to kill the President in Me & Lee. Many of the key players are found in both books, with the steamy environs of the Big Easy as the focus.

http://hollywoodindustry.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=1418598

http://www.nola.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2011/03/a_jfk_theorist_a_nobel_scienti.html

Haslam will be making quite a few appearances, including some on local TV and radio stations. If I were in New Orleans, I would ask him some questions about the inconsistencies in his book. Haslam has always declined to answer any questions about his book at the Education Forum.

One of his excuses was that he wanted to wait until Judyth Baker's new book came out.

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What exactly is the origin of the Creation myth here - that Ferrie kept lab mice and bragged of cancer experiments? If it's Garrison's book, I'd like to check it out again and read the original reference.

Where was Garrison's office in the Mary Sherman murder investigation?

Edited by David Andrews
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David i have one answer for you, the reference to ferrie and the mice was made in Garrison's playboy iterview which is on line, later, it was revealed as far as i know, that information was past along to him by one of his investigators and was not true...fwtw...b

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David i have one answer for you, the reference to ferrie and the mice was made in Garrison's playboy iterview which is on line, later, it was revealed as far as i know, that information was past along to him by one of his investigators and was not true...fwtw...b

I am currently re-reading Garrison's book "On the Trail of Assassins" and in the book as he tells the story.....on the day of Ferrie's death, he is PERSONALLY in David's apartment and he says though the mice were recently gone the smell (I assume the cedar shavings) was still very strong throughout the apt. He mentions both the smell and the mice.

Now it could well be told that way for added drama.....(that he was there personally) but that is DEFINITELY what the book says.

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David i have one answer for you, the reference to ferrie and the mice was made in Garrison's playboy iterview which is on line, later, it was revealed as far as i know, that information was past along to him by one of his investigators and was not true...fwtw...b

Yes, thank you - I remember that it was just a sentence or two in that interview, which I've read republished. I'll reread

Thank you also, Richard - I haven't read Garrison since the days of Oliver Stone, though I read the Mellen book when it came out.

Thanks too, Steven, Jack, Michael, Robert, Jim. Good to collect all the knowledge on that here.

Edited by David Andrews
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What exactly is the origin of the Creation myth here - that Ferrie kept lab mice and bragged of cancer experiments? If it's Garrison's book, I'd like to check it out again and read the original reference.

Where was Garrison's office in the Mary Sherman murder investigation?

As I recall, maybe wrongly, Mary Sherman's death was never ruled a murder...maybe even an accident.

Does anyone know? I think it is Haslam who has turned her death into a murder.

Jack

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In Garrison's interview in Playboy, I think he says the Sherman case was unsolved. And he implies that there was a shroud of mystery and secrecy around it.

Haslam shows in his book that this was certainly the case. THe investigation was shut down, the public announcements were turned off, and then the veil of secrecy descended. This is after the first reports in the press called it a murder. This was based on repeated stab wounds.

Ed had to go through a real obstacle course to get the autopsy report. Which is interesting as hell. It was kept under wraps for something like three decades.

The final police report on her death was not composed until ten weeks later. Then there was a supplementary report five days after that.

As per the mice in cages, Nicky Chetta, the coroner's son said his father saw them also. (Halsam, p. 46)

Now please note the difference here between what Chetta and Garrison said they smelled and saw vs what Baker says Ferrie was into.

Joan Mellen's book covers the Mary Sherman death in fairly great detail, it was discussed on the forum here on one of the posts, and the person of interest in her death was named Juan Valdez, Joan took a lot of ribbing about the name [ie Colombian coffee character], which I thought was pretty juvenile.

I tend to agree with Stephen Roy regarding JVB I find it hard to believe she could have been as close to Oswald as she claims to be and there not be one scintilla of documentation in the files that even obliquely references her......

Painting oneself into the JFK Saga is not exactly an unheard of endeavor.....

Ron Lewis is another person who comes to mind who may or may not be the real deal, although I watched a JFK Documentary, hosted by James Earl Jones where, if I recall correctly Marina Oswald seemed to make some comments that she remembered Ron Lewis, from New Orleans but I am relying on my memory of the show, which I have not seen in years.

I know if Roy's project on Ferrie reaches publication, I would definitely be a buyer, Ferrie may not have been "one of history's

most important individuals," but he is someone who knowing the details on helps understand the context of the assassination;

at least as far as sifting the facts from the folklore.

Edited by Robert Howard
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....As per the mice in cages, Nicky Chetta, the coroner's son said his father saw them also. (Haslam, p. 46)

Now please note the difference here between what Chetta and Garrison said they smelled and saw vs what Baker says Ferrie was into.

Nicky Chetta Jr. told Haslam's class that his father found a dozen mice in Ferrie's apartment. It was Ferrie's other landlords

that talked about thousands of mice in cages.

In a later chapter Haslam visits his girlfriend's apartment and and notices a smell like baked bread. In 1992 Haslam comes

to the conclusion that Ferrie's laboratory was not in his apartment, but about a block away, in the same apartment Haslam's

girlfriend rented! A remarkable coincidence, to be sure. This was the same girfriend that accompanied Haslam to the 1972

party where they met the other Judyth Vary Baker. The same girlfriend that Haslam was unable to locate to confirm his story.

Among the other startling revelations that Nicky Chetta Jr. shared with their high school class was that he answered the phone

when Robert Kennedy called his father to discuss the cause of Ferrie's death! Thinking it was a prank, Nicky hung up on him.

Kennedy called back and this time Nicky's father anwered the phone.

To say the least, it's difficult to imagine Robert Kennedy doing this himself, allowing such a sensitive issue to be known

and discussed by a teenager in a Jesuit high school class.

Haslam does not say why he never made an attempt to locate his ex-girlfriend. Nor does he say why he declined to interview

Nicky Chetta Jr. for Dr. Mary's Monkey, preferring instead to rely solely on his memory of that day in the classroom almost

forty years before DMM was published.

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If I recall correctly, Ed did try and find his former girlfriend.

WHen he did, she would not talk to him about it.

Where did you read or hear that? Why did he not mention it in his book?

Incidentally, in DMM Haslam claims that Lou Ivon would be in position to know about a Ferrie/Sherman connection, but

Ivon ignored all of Haslam's attempts to discuss it with him. Haslam eventually gave up. Do you know anything about this?

Edited by Michael Hogan
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What exactly is the origin of the Creation myth here - that Ferrie kept lab mice and bragged of cancer experiments? If it's Garrison's book, I'd like to check it out again and read the original reference.

Where was Garrison's office in the Mary Sherman murder investigation?

My intent in the original post was to provide an easy online source for a dissenting view of the thesis presented in these two books, not to re-argue the evidence. But let me take a quick stab at this.

In February 1967, a private detective volunteering for Garrison named Bill Gurvich (a controversial figure) wrote a memo to Garrison about a visit to Ferrie's home, where Gurvich saw a number of caged white mice, and when Ferrie said he was searching for a cure for cancer. However, this was in 1957 on Vinet Street, 5 years and three homes before Ferrie moved to Louisiana Avenue Parkway in March 1962 (and 6 years before the Haslam thesis, and 10 years before Gurvich's memo to Garrison).

Having spoken with many people who knew Ferrie (and some who spent a great deal of time at the Louisiana Avenue Parkway apartment), I have not been able to find anyone who recalls seeing mice THERE in 1963 or any other time. Some say there were never any at that apartment, to their knowledge. The police and coroner's reports and pictures from the time of Ferrie's death, as well as interviews with some of the officers, show no indication that there were mice there on February 22, 1967. Further, the reports and reminiscences indicate that Garrison was not at Ferrie's apartment in the hours following his death. However, one cannot rule out Garrison going there at some point after the police and coroner left. (One officer said he did not perceive an animal smell, but he did see a dog's food and water dishes. Ferrie had a dog. See, for example, Southern Research report November 1962, surveillance.)

I surmise that Garrison mixed up the 1957 Vinet Street report with the 1967 Louisiana Avenue Parkway situation. How could Garrison have smelled mice which were kept at a different home? And even if they were moved there in 1962, how could he have smelled them 5 years later, and distinguished it from a dog smell?

As for Sherman's murder (and it was clear to investigators that it WAS murder), Garrison's office was in constant touch with the NOPD investigators. Much ground was covered, but there was never a strong enough suspect to consider indictment.

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First: Mike, Ed Haslam told me about his attempts to get in contact with his old girlfriend.

When he did, she would not talk to him about it.

Jim, in your initial comment you qualified it by saying if you recall correctly, he did try to find her. You didn't mention that it was something he told you privately.

I've read Haslam's book repeatedly and I have listened to virtually every interview that's available on the internet and I've never once seen

or heard him mention it. Not only could he have sought his ex-girlfriend, he could have looked for her classmates that attended the party.

Haslam brags about his ability to recall names; it couldn't have been that hard to do his due diligence.

The fact that she would not talk to him about it would seem important enough to include in his book.

In a recent interview, Jim Fetzer asked Haslam if he ever made an attempt to find some of those people (Paraphrased - I have the exact transcript

of that somewhere, but I don't feel like finding it right now). Haslam's response was one sentence and comical. Just as dismissive and brief as the

answer he gave an interviewer who asked him why he believed Judyth Baker. (Posted in this thread by Stephen Roy)

Jim Fetzer called Dr. Mary's Monkey one of the most scholarly (or words to that effect) books written for the general public.

As far as Chetta being credible and on record, do you find it likely that Robert Kennedy personally called the house the day Ferrrie's death

was announced to discuss the cause of death with his father? If Chetta is on record, why didn't Haslam interview him for DMM, or show in the

footnotes where Chetta is on record? He didn't bother and leaves the reader wondering why.

My criticisms of Haslam's research have less to do with what happened with Garrison and more to do with the omissions in Haslam's approach.

Your expertise about New Orleans far exceeds mine, although I have read Destiny Betrayed and virtually all the other books, websites, etc.

that deal with Garrison and Oswald in New Orleans.

Ed Haslam is a member of the EF and has consistently declined to answer questions about his work. He has given different reasons from time to

time but the last time he allowed as that he would wait until Baker's revised story was published. He, of course, has a right not to answer

a single question from anyone but that strategy gives me less respect for his work, not more.

So Jim, since Haslam told you of his attempts to contact his ex-girlfriend, are you at liberty to discuss why he never mentioned doing so in

his book or elsewhere?

And if Chetta is on record, why didn't Haslam make that clear in his book? He could have put it in the footnotes. Or better yet, he could have

interviewed Chetta. And again, it it would have been simple to find a classmate that was there to corroborate Chetta's account. Haslam could have

interviewed one or more of them and stuck it in his footnotes. Chetta may be on record and credible, as you say, but the reader of DMM has no way

of knowing that. I know I'm being repetitive here, but I am interested in your take.

It just seems odd that Robert Kennedy would leave himself open to a teenager discussing Kennedy's call about such a sensitive issue in front of his

high school class. I'm not saying it didn't happen.

I think your review and critique of Reclaiming History was a brilliant masterpiece, but I believe your review of Dr. Mary's Monkey (Outside of your

comments about Haslam's faith in Baker) gives him too many passes.

I respect your insider's knowledge of people and events in New Orleans, but I personally can't say the same for Ed Haslam's.

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It has come to my attention that Edward Haslam has engaged a reputable New Orleans PR firm and has undertaken a series of personal appearances/book signings to promote "Dr. Mary's Monkey," as well as the book of his star character Judyth Vary Baker and her book "Me and Lee: How I Came to Know, Love and Lose Lee Harvey Oswald." Indeed, Haslam is appearing this morning on WWL-TV in New Orleans. As I have stated before, it is not my intent to come between Haslam-Baker and their book buyers or possible movie deals; Nevertheless, in the search for factual accuracy in the field of JFK research, I wish to offer a dissenting view for any who may be compelled to search the topic online. Hence, this post in a more narrowly-focused forum for serious research.

I have studied the life of one of Haslam-Baker's major characters, David Ferrie, for many years and am in the process of writing a biography of him. I have obtained every document I could find about Ferrie and interviewed many who knew him, and I write from that informed perspective. With his permission, my comments are seconded in whole or in part by Stephen Tyler, a New Orleans filmmaker who produced "He Must Have Something," a look at the Jim Garrison investigation, and who has conducted a great deal of research into the other major character, Dr. Mary Sherman. It is fair to say that my thoughts are also supported by others with special expertise in the New Orleans aspects of this case.

I have read "Mary, Ferrie and the Monkey Virus" and "Dr. Mary's Monkey." While I have no issue with Ed Haslam sharing his thoughts about Ferrie, Sherman, Baker and other matters, I respectfully dissent from the notion that his main thesis is supported by the evidence he presents, or by any available evidence. Specifically, he does not provide credible evidence that Ferrie was acquainted with Dr. Sherman; that Ferrie and Sherman worked on medical research in 1963 or at any other time; that such research occurred in Ferrie's apartment at 3330 Louisiana Avenue Parkway; that such research was part of a covert US government project; or that Judyth Vary Baker was part of such research (beyond Baker's own claims). I have attempted to discuss these matters with Haslam, but he has been unreceptive.

I have read "Me and Lee: How I Came to Know, Love and Lose Lee Harvey Oswald." In addition, I have read Baker's earlier unauthorized book "Lee Harvey Oswald: The True Story of the Accused Assassin of President John F. Kennedy by His Lover," and have read many more writings by Baker. I respectfully dissent from Baker's claims regarding David Ferrie, and see no credible evidence to support them; In fact, it is my opinion that she never even met Ferrie. While I stipulate that she was a science prodigy and worked at the same company as Oswald in 1963, I do not understand, if the Ferrie portions of the book are not accurate, how the Oswald portions could be accurate.

It is virtually impossible to prove a negative, that something did not happen. Notwithstanding, my contacts with people who knew Ferrie suggest to the contrary, that he did not have a relationship with Dr. Sherman or Baker, and that he was not engaged in medical research in that apartment in 1963. Further, Dr. Sherman and Baker appear nowhere in the contemporaneous documentary record of the case. For these reasons, I strongly urge persons interested in the Haslam or Baker theses to seek alternate primary sources to either confirm or deny them. It makes me uncomfortable to observe that, thanks to the internet, such unproven theses are creeping out into our body of knowledge and being accepted uncritically as fact. There are two sides to every story, and there is definitely a dissenting side to this story.

BRAVO! 100 PERCENT!

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