Jump to content
The Education Forum

Thomas Beckham


Joan Mellen
 Share

Recommended Posts

It is clear that the difference between what Beckham testified to under oath to a Grand Jury in 1968 and what he stated recently, not under oath, is like night and day. There are two possible explanations:

One is that Beckham lied in 1968 because of fear, but is now telling the truth.

The other is that Beckham told the truth in 1968 but is lying or exaggerating now.

The same choice applies to why Jack S. Martin, Beckham's friend (and perhaps more) told HSCA that Beckham was a xxxx, a dead end: One possibility is that Martin feared he would implicate him. The other is that Martin was correct, Beckham was a teller of tall tales.

Hi, Steve! I appreciate this question in particular because there has been a great deal of controversy on Thomas Edward Beckham, whose story runs throughout "A Farewell to Justice." In New Orleans on December 7th, I had a long talk with L. J. Delsa, whom you all know as a member of Team #3, the Louisiana team for the House Select Committee on Assassinations, and a long-time homicide detective with the New Orleans police department. L. J. believes firmly in the statements Thomas Edward Beckham made first to him and to Jonathan Blackmer and Robert Buras, and then his further statements to me. Here is a witness who is talking AGAINST INTEREST. Here is a witness who is asking for nothing, who refused to speak to Oliver STone's people, who were offering thousands of dollars to people as consultants. Here is a person who refused to speak to Jim Garrison when, as a judge, Garrison approached him in the 1980s. Some of Delsa's views about Beckham are offered in "A Farewell to Justice." Recently, we discussed the issue again. With his long experience with witnesses, Delsa remains certain that Beckham is an important piece of the puzzle regarding the planning, the origins, of the plan to murder President Kennedy. We are now in the process of approaching new witnesses, people never before questioned, to further this research.

On the other hand, the recent furor about Beckham in my book should excite suspicion. I told Beckham on Sunday about Gus Russo's statement that Beckham was peddling a 300 page manuscript about the assassination in the 1970s. "I couldn't write a three word manuscript," he said to me. As you all know, his formal education ended in the third grade. So disinformation is being spread, smoke to confuse, like the recent book with the absurd thesis that Santos Trafficante, Carlos Marcello and Johnny Rosselli, plotted the assassination of President Kennedy, a book that goes on to defame a very decent man, Alberto Fowler.

Beckham is not a well man today, Steve. He has no need to exaggerate or lie.

Jack Martin was not his friend but his handler. Jack Martin was also his enemy, and a man Beckham feared. When I first approached him, he asked, "is Jack Martin alive." L. J. notes, by the way, the very name "Jack Martin," a name so common (like Joe Jones) that it could refer to anyone....but that gets us into the Jack Martin controversy. I'll just add that there is no question in my mind, or in Delsa's, that Jack Martin was a CIA asset in New Orleans. In fact, Guy Banister told Thomas Edward Beckham as much.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I posted someof this before but it's always good to "hear" it from the source:

Beckham: Right. Okay. I guess the best place to start is a meeting I had in Algiers, Louisiana...that's as soon as you get off the ferry boat. It's in Orlean Parish. This meeting was attended by myself, Sergio Arcacha, G. Wray Gill, a gentleman by the name of Marcello. If I'm not mistaken a picture I've seen of him was Vincent Marcello. Along with me was a gentleman, a little bitty guy, his name was O Lord, let's see, Morello, Charlie Morello, and Sergio Arcacha was there. Roswell Thompson and a lady by the name of Berglass, she was Anna. At this meeting there were Cubans present, other ones. We talked about, I say "we", they talked about the assassination of the President....We also had a meeting at a place called the Town and Country. That's a motel, vaguely as I can remember on the right hand side of the highway going out towards the airport. This meeting was attended by a Marcello, there was G. Wray Gill, and us there at the time. At that particular meeting, the Cuban issue was discussed, the President, his involvement and how, oh, different things, that, how the President refused to give air support, things like this was discussed. Also I delivered a package approximately, I'd say, two weeks to Dallas prior to the assassination of the President, to a Mr. Howard. I went into Mr. G. Wray Gill's office, I was told to go there by Mr. Ferrie, which I knew real well, and in his office shuffled up some documents which were drawings, that of a map, or plots and stuff. There were some pictures, pictures of buildings and cars and was regular pictures but they wasn't glossy. They were put inside of an envelope at which time G. Wray Gill handed me...it was either one hundred or two hundred dollars, and told me that I was to be, I was going to be taken to the airport. I was to deliver this package to a Mr. Howard at the Executive Inn. At this meeting was Roswell, was Jack Martin, David Ferris[sic] and a bunch of...Sergio Arcacha. Also at the meeting was your Mr. Marcello was at the meeting, setting at, they were setting on a couch. I remember the couch....My good friend Clay Shaw was also there.

[…]

I was sitting at my desk at my home and Jack Martin I had got hold of and asked him, I found out that Martin was a, I knew that Martin was in the Organization and I thought that Martin was to sell me out, using me as the escapegoat [sic]. And I got mad at Martin and hung up with Martin and that’s when I received my telephone call from Crisman …telling me don’t worry about the [Garrison] investigation, that I was to go to someplace in Iowa that they couldn’t serve me there, and not to worry about it. I said “well, Jack is selling me out.” He said, “Don’t worry about Jack. Jack is himself leading the investigation in another direction, and he’s a, it’s going in the opposite direction…

That Jack was the plant inside of it and would feeding information [sic], only the information he wanted Garrison to know.

[...]

Delsa: Okay. Now, to bring this down and put it on record. In our preliminary discussions before, later in your contact with the Organization, with Crisman, Crisman you found to be at these various Churches.

Beckham: Uhum, uhum.

Delsa: Now, you don't know this for a fact, but you spoke to us prior to this in a discussion, and told us who you believed set this system up in New Orleans. Will you tell us now, who do you think set this system up with the Church?

Beckham: Well, I think Fred Crisman, because the Organization is all over the country. I'd rather not go into it now because there are different connections of people and other things, but I think Fred Crisman is the whole, front of the whole thing because he's not just a, he has too many contacts, too many, you know, he tells me who to contact. As a matter of fact, one time I was, had received a telephone call from a priest, and which you very well know his name, and I pronounce, starts with a "B", y'know. You had a thing in your file. [Ray Broshears]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Joan,

Congradulations on the publication of your new book, I know it is a difficult thing to do.

Thanks for pointing out the significance of Thomas Beckham.

Berckham asked you if Lt. Col. Lawrence Lowry is still alive.

Since Lowry was still alive when you talked with him, maybe that influences Beckham's story?

What did Lowry have to say?

Bill Kelly

bkjfk3@yahoo.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Congradulations on the publication of your new book, I know it is a difficult thing to do.

Thanks for pointing out the significance of Thomas Beckham.

Berckham asked you if Lt. Col. Lawrence Lowry is still alive.

Since Lowry was still alive when you talked with him, maybe that influences Beckham's story?

What did Lowry have to say?

Beckham asked me about Col. Lowry, but I don't believe his discussion was influenced at all by the fact that Col. Lowry is alive, or was. Col. Lowry confirmed Beckham's information about how Fred Crisman took him onto Offut Air Force Base. Colonel Lowry is important as a corroborative witness.

Colonel Lowry talked about how he was primarily interested in Thomas Edward Beckham as a singer, from whose singing he hoped to profit, and from that, of course, we can can draw our own conclusions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Joan.

Your book sounds very interesting. I hope to read it soon.

Do you cover this letter written to Garrison with Beckham in the book? Can you shed any additional light on it?

Kind regards,

Lee Forman

Mr. Garrison:

...

I was told this story by a man who allegedly was a part of the Cuban revolutionary movement in this country. He claims to have been one of those arrested in Miami. Also, he claims to have been under FBI investigation at various times. I was in Omaha Nebraska at the time this was told to me, and at about the same time, so I'm sure you remember, your office was trying to get Perry Ruso's girl friend; Mrs McBlaine or something to that effect, down to New Orleans for questioning. It seems rather strange to me that she would wind up in Omaha since she really had no people there. Also, WHY did the gentleman whom I quote decide to come to Omaha? He had no job there, no relatives, and no real desire to find either. He moved to Omaha in March from Lincoln, Nebraska, where he had spent about two months or less with no visable means of support. He had just previously been in the State of Washington with an associate of his. The following are a few facts that the Omaha man told me, either directly or indirectly.

He told me about the pilot named Ferrie long before your office announced your interest in him. He described the man in great detail and claimed to know him personally. He also predicted his demise.

I overheard numerous telephone conversations (mostly with the man in Washington) in which he asked with great concern whether it was the FBI, the CIA, or who, that had been asking questions about them, and whether it was that they had something on him or on "one of the others."

He claimed to have either known or had met the Mr. Shaw you questioned.

He was originally from New Orleans, and claims to have worked on your staff at one time as an investigator.

He says he saw Oswald in New Orleans. Also a man who "looked like Ruby".

At one time, the Omaha man and the Washington man met in a hotel there and discussed plans to go to New Orleans to see a man called Sergio Arcacha. They went, but could not find him or another man they said was there. Three days later, the local Newspapers Announced that you, too had been looking for Mr. Arcacha for questioning and that he had told you he would talk to you, but not alone.

He described the assassination scene in great detail and told me some facts about it that I had definitely not heard before.

He claims that Oswald was a patsy, a setup, to take the blame for the whole thing. Also that OSWALD WAS A HOMOSEXUAL like Shaw, Ferrie, Tippett (Dallas police officer) and a score of others.

He told me about the motorcycle police officer who claimed to have seen a man with a rifle run from the grassy knowl in front of Kennedy. (incidentally, the Omaha man claims that this is where the fatal shot came from) The police officer mysteriously had a very serious accident right after the incident, and now is a near idiot.

He claimed to have met the late President on a number of occasions, and he talked about him with very little respect.

He claims that he left Louisiana upon the advice of the Governor.

The Omaha man and the Washington man were always in telephone contact with each other, no matter where they were. Once, the Washington man was in Washington DC for some reason or another and they conferred by telephone twice in that one day.

The following is a list of the names for the story above.

1. Sergio Arcacha

2. Lucian Rebel

3. Fred L. Crisman

4. Thomas E. Beckham

5. Martin Grassi

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good to have you on the forum Joan. I have read your book twice now and I think it is the most important book in years. I am inclined to agree with you about Beckham, however there is one point where I am unconvinced--that would be your identification of Jack S. Martin with John J. Martin of the CIA. You refer to a number of documents, some recently released, but do not really quote enough from them to make your case that they were one and the same. Stephen Roy, who has seen most of them, thinks you are probably wrong. Could you post some of these documents, or excerpts from them, or at least elaborate on this point?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He told me about the motorcycle police officer who claimed to have seen a man with a rifle run from the grassy knowl in front of Kennedy. (incidentally, the Omaha man claims that this is where the fatal shot came from) The police officer mysteriously had a very serious accident right after the incident, and now is a near idiot.

Which officer would that be?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He told me about the motorcycle police officer who claimed to have seen a man with a rifle run from the grassy knowl in front of Kennedy. (incidentally, the Omaha man claims that this is where the fatal shot came from) The police officer mysteriously had a very serious accident right after the incident, and now is a near idiot.

Which officer would that be?

Ron,

I was assuming it could have been Weitzman - no idea. The letter was written in 'about 1968.' Seems to rule out Craig, White and a few others.

http://spot.acorn.net/jfkplace/09/fp.back_...ue/arrb_13.html

Document # 180-10077-10208 Is the 25 page statement of Dr. Charles Laburda. Dr. Laburda told Mr. Matthews that Mr. Weitzman was a chronic schizophrenic. He was constantly in fear of his life. Also, he would tell people some things to make them happy and get them to go away. This was the case with Mr. Weitzman's identification of Watergate figures being in Dealey Plaza.

Dr. Laburda stated that Mr. Weitzman was on 800 mg. of Mellaril, which was increased to 1,000 mg. a day. Dr. Laburda stated that that is 200mg. above maximum which is generally used but Mr. Weitzman tolerates it well. Mr. Weitzman was also on 300 mg. of Elavil, an anti-depressant medication, which contributes also to regulating his sleep pattern.

Mr. Weitzman told Dr. Laburda that he believes positively there were two people shooting. That he saw some men crouching behind some bushes. Now he does not know who it was, but after the shooting the man was not there. I asked him at the time that it could have been somebody from the police and he said it could have been but then he said he found a spent cartridge at that time, and it was from a Mauser rifle 7.65 in that area. I suspect that these things are partly elaboration of somewhat what he had heard, what other people said, and speculation that had been advanced in the last ten years, so I could not say that this was the idea that he had at that time, but he told me that he believed from the beginning that there was more than one person shooting.

Here's the full letter - which curiously enough appears to have been filed in the Old Catholic Church records. Can't find it in NARA.

AGENCY INFORMATION

AGENCY : HSCA

RECORD NUMBER : 180-10112-10320

RECORDS SERIES : NUMBERED FILES

AGENCY FILE NUMBER : 0013521

DOCUMENT INFORMATION

ORIGINATOR : HSCA

FROM : [No From]

TO : [No To]

TITLE : [No Title]

DATE : 03/05/1964

PAGES : 1

DOCUMENT TYPE : LIST

SUBJECTS : BECKHAM, THOMAS E.; APOSTOLIC ORTHODOX OLD CATHOLIC

CHURCH; HOLY CHAPEL OF PEACE, NEW ORLEANS, LA

CLASSIFICATION : UNCLASSIFIED

RESTRICTIONS : OPEN IN FULL

CURRENT STATUS : OPEN

DATE OF LAST REVIEW : 06/28/1993

COMMENTS : BOX 236.

AGENCY INFORMATION

AGENCY : HSCA

RECORD NUMBER : 180-10023-10008

RECORDS SERIES : FBI INVESTIGATIVE FILE ON ASSASSINATION OF JOHN

KENNEDY

AGENCY FILE NUMBER : 62-109060-5995

DOCUMENT INFORMATION

ORIGINATOR : FBI

FROM : DE LOACH, C.D.

TO : [No To]

TITLE : [No Title]

DATE : 12/29/1967

PAGES : 8

DOCUMENT TYPE : MEMORANDUM

SUBJECTS : JFK; GARRISON, JAMES C.; HALL, LORAN A.; HOWARD,

LAWRENCE J.; ORTHODOX CATHOLIC CHURCH; BECKHAM, THOMAS

CLASSIFICATION : UNCLASSIFIED

RESTRICTIONS : OPEN IN FULL

CURRENT STATUS : OPEN

DATE OF LAST REVIEW : 06/04/1993

COMMENTS : Via teletype system with informative note attached.

Box 27. Folder Title; Section 148.

In about 1968, New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison received a letter from an anonymous informant who had heard more of this story from one of the participants. The complete letter follows (Old Catholic Church file, Assassinations Archives, Washington DC):

Mr. Garrison:

The following account may be fiction or it may be fact, I dare not commit myself by trying to substantiate it. The story was told to me in bits and pieces over a period of three months by a man, whom, I admit, has very little credibility to his character. The only reason I take the time to relate this to you, is because it is now past the realm of coincidence.

I fully realize the consequences of my actions, and so therefore I am prepared to co-operate with your office to the fullest extent, if you think the information I have warrants it.

Naturally, what I refer to is the Kennedy assassination.

It is hard to know where to begin, because the beginning was years before I had occasion to come upon this information. This is the story, the best I can relate to you:

It seems that back in 1960 and 1961 a group of men in this country began collecting money for a so-called invasion force into Cuba. This "army" was prepared to attack and capture Castro's Cuba in an invasion sponsored by the CIA. This is common knowledge, but what is not so well known, is WHY THE INVASION FAILED! As the information was given to me, a few of the leaders of the anti-Castro force in this country decided to flee the country with a good deal of the funds collected from the sympathizers of the Cuban refugees. These men whom I will name later, were arrested in the Miami airport with the money in their possession. The arresting officers, members of the CIA, confiscated the money; amounting to almost three million dollars. Then, as the story goes, President Kennedy, feeling that he had been duped, and would be left holding the bag, and ... realizing the international consequences of such an invasion, pulled the air support that had been orally committed. This, of course, led to the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion.

Since most of the 1400 or more invasion members were either killed or captured, the Cuban leaders in this country put most of the blame upon President Kennedy himself. I feel that I have evidence, though admittedly hearsay, that can prove this course of events.

I was told this story by a man who allegedly was a part of the Cuban revolutionary movement in this country. He claims to have been one of those arrested in Miami. Also, he claims to have been under FBI investigation at various times. I was in Omaha Nebraska at the time this was told to me, and at about the same time, so I'm sure you remember, your office was trying to get Perry Ruso's girl friend; Mrs McBlaine or something to that effect, down to New Orleans for questioning. It seems rather strange to me that she would wind up in Omaha since she really had no people there. Also, WHY did the gentleman whom I quote decide to come to Omaha? He had no job there, no relatives, and no real desire to find either. He moved to Omaha in March from Lincoln, Nebraska, where he had spent about two months or less with no visable means of support. He had just previously been in the State of Washington with an associate of his. The following are a few facts that the Omaha man told me, either directly or indirectly.

He told me about the pilot named Ferrie long before your office announced your interest in him. He described the man in great detail and claimed to know him personally. He also predicted his demise.

I overheard numerous telephone conversations (mostly with the man in Washington) in which he asked with great concern whether it was the FBI, the CIA, or who, that had been asking questions about them, and whether it was that they had something on him or on "one of the others."

He claimed to have either known or had met the Mr. Shaw you questioned.

He was originally from New Orleans, and claims to have worked on your staff at one time as an investigator.

He says he saw Oswald in New Orleans. Also a man who "looked like Ruby".

At one time, the Omaha man and the Washington man met in a hotel there and discussed plans to go to New Orleans to see a man called Sergio Arcacha. They went, but could not find him or another man they said was there. Three days later, the local Newspapers Announced that you, too had been looking for Mr. Arcacha for questioning and that he had told you he would talk to you, but not alone.

He described the assassination scene in great detail and told me some facts about it that I had definitely not heard before.

He claims that Oswald was a patsy, a setup, to take the blame for the whole thing. Also that OSWALD WAS A HOMOSEXUAL like Shaw, Ferrie, Tippett (Dallas police officer) and a score of others.

He told me about the motorcycle police officer who claimed to have seen a man with a rifle run from the grassy knowl in front of Kennedy. (incidentally, the Omaha man claims that this is where the fatal shot came from) The police officer mysteriously had a very serious accident right after the incident, and now is a near idiot.

He claimed to have met the late President on a number of occasions, and he talked about him with very little respect.

He claims that he left Louisiana upon the advice of the Governor.

The Omaha man and the Washington man were always in telephone contact with each other, no matter where they were. Once, the Washington man was in Washington DC for some reason or another and they conferred by telephone twice in that one day.

The following is a list of the names for the story above. If you feel that any of them fit into a proper place, or into your current investigation, Please contact me so we can further discuss that.

1. Sergio Arcacha

2. Lucian Rebel

3. Fred L. Crisman

4. Thomas E. Beckham

5. Martin Grassi

Mr Garrison, perhaps this is all hogwash. I really do not know. I can go into moe detail on all of this, and I have the addresses of those mentioned above. I would come to New Orleans myself, but I do not have the necessary finances. Also, I would have to be assured of protection, at least to the best of your ability.

I have arranged to be reached through the Democratic chairman here, Mr Thomas Reagan, 1C1 Woodbridge Way, Mesquite, Texas. His telephone number is: AT 5-4573

If the information I have related to you here is of any consequence, contact Mr. Reagan, and he will contact me.

Good luck in your investigation.

Mr. _______

[unquote]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good to have you on the forum Joan. I have read your book twice now and I think it is the most important book in years. I am inclined to agree with you about Beckham, however there is one point where I am unconvinced--that would be your identification of Jack S. Martin with John J. Martin of the CIA. You refer to a number of documents, some recently released, but do not really quote enough from them to make your case that they were one and the same. Stephen Roy, who has seen most of them, thinks you are probably wrong. Could you post some of these documents, or excerpts from them, or at least elaborate on this point?

I haven't the time to post the documents, but they do reveal Jack of New Orleans phoning the CIA regularly, etc. THat he was CIA, there is scant question. L. J. Delsa and I both agree on that. Everyone Jack spent time with was CIA from Newbrough to Dalzell, not to mention Crisman. Whether he was "that" Jack Martin or another, may be confusing, I know. I will post the documents, but anything requiring me to go to the files won't be possible until February....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 12 years later...
On 12/22/2005 at 2:38 AM, Joan Mellen said:

I haven't the time to post the documents, but they do reveal Jack of New Orleans phoning the CIA regularly, etc. THat he was CIA, there is scant question. L. J. Delsa and I both agree on that. Everyone Jack spent time with was CIA from Newbrough to Dalzell, not to mention Crisman. Whether he was "that" Jack Martin or another, may be confusing, I know. I will post the documents, but anything requiring me to go to the files won't be possible until February....

Were the documents posted in another thread? I cannot locate them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...