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LHO's New Orleans Neighbors

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I've met a few good researchers from New Orleans, including John Gooch, a restaurant waiter whose home I visited on occassion, and Lamar Chaovin, a membe of the JFKResearch forum, who sent me these notes he took on his inquiries about town. I'm sure it's a different world since Katrina, and I hope John and Lamar are okay and check in sometime. - BK

NEW ORLEANS NEIGHBORS of Lee Harvey Oswald – Researched by Lamar Chaovin – Edited by Bill Kelly

As a researcher “on the ground in New Orleans,” Lamar has a first hand knowledge of the terrain where Lee Harvey Oswald was born, grew up, spent his formative years, passed through on his way to Russia and returned home for one memorial summer of 1963. At my request, Lamar took some photos of Oswald’s Magazine Street apartment house, and has been doing a title search on the property. In the course of interactions, Lamar mentioned that he already went to the trouble of actually tracking down some of Lee Oswald’s fellow New Orleans neighbors, some of whom, if not an actual acquaintance of Oswald, at least recognized him and knew him from the old ‘Hood.

Some of them did not and do not want to be identified, but shared their information with Lamar, who now shares it with us. Of course, knowing this comes from third hand parties, it is considered hearsay, and while it is not admissible in court, it does give us an expanded idea of what Oswald was doing running around the neighborhood when he wasn’t with Marina, handing out leaflets, participating in a radio debate or visiting Alabama and Wisconsin.

There are 14 Subjects who are either named or named in part, so we’ll give them each a number and keep their names separate, so if someone actually wants to go out and try to verify some of this information later we will be able to put a name to the number, but for now, we have to honor Lamar’s commitment not to reveal their identities.

Lamar notes that he left some out because they were too “far out,” but these were the most believable. Some, I think, would be of interest to John Armstrong, especially the number of different reports of Oswald in New Orleans after he was killed.

Most significant however, are the reports from the street vendors and wharf workers who connect Oswald to ships in port and the Customs Agents, information that dovetails with other investigation reports..

I also believe it is possible, from the information provided, to identify some of the UNKNOWN SUBJECTS who are seen talking with Oswald, ie. – the counterfeiter.

You may not believe some of these characters, straight from the heart of the Big Easy, but you can’t dismiss them all. Thanks to Lemar for making the effort to do this research and sharing it with others.[Typos, bold and underlines are mine BK]


SUB#1 – A guy I met on one of the gambling boats….He had a lot of information on Garrison’s staff and some of his people. He believes that the New Orleans Cubans had nothing to do with the whole thing and that it was the Cubans from Dallas that used Oswald. According to him, Oswald was supposed to live and blame the whole thing on the Cuban people. He believes that Ruby acted alone for the Dallas Police rather than for anybody else. He also believes that Ferrie was sent over there that night to find out what was happening.

SUB#2 – Man who worked at Crescent City Garage in the early 1960s. Said that Oswald would come over and go up to the shooting range that they had in the garage and fire rifles…Oswald was allowed to fire a weapon in that indoor range. It was not public and…not for high powered rifles, but 22s.

SUB#3 – Used to hang around the Havana Bar and run domino games for the Cubans and run their baseball bets. He told me that Guy Bannister went crazy the Sunday after the assassination and nearly burnt down the Havana Bar. The story was that he thought they were behind the whole ting. The Cubans were blaming on the Dallas Cubans…..

……He told me that he also saw Oswald a few times in the Los Marina bar down further on Decatur St. Los Marina was a Latin bar with not just Cubans but all Latins. It was more of a music and dancing place than the Havana. He said he saw Oswald in the Havana bar with the same guy he saw him with in the Los Marina Bar. He said the guy was not a Cuban but he thought he might be from South America. (I know that they had a lot of guys from South American countries hanging out in the Los Marina bar. A couple claimed to be Bull Fighters. That I didn’t know about.) …

…He told me that Oswald and two Cubans would leave the Havana from time to time and go down to the wharfs.

SUB#4 – Worked on the wharfs as a checker. He told me he saw Oswald at the Gov’t Nichols St wharf and the Bienville St wharf and Bienville St. wharf many times with a few Cubans or Latins. They would always go on a ship. He told me that he saw Oswald talking to a few Customs agents [uNKNOWSUB – UNSUB-A-U.S. Custom agents1]

…..He told me he asked a few times about him going no the ships with the Cubans and was told not to worry about it. He was mainly afraid of theft because a checker was responsible for anything that was missing. He never did see them leaving with anything and none of the security people was worried about it so, he didn’t either. He mentioned it to one of the Union leaders and they told him to let it go. Some other guys that worked the wharfs up by St. Andrew St. and Celest St. told him after the assassination that they saw Oswald around the wharfs from time to time…..

…He said that once he saw Oswald with a guy that looked like a guy he saw a picture of in the paper that was identified as some kind of Federal Agent. [uNSUB#B-Federal Agent]…He told me that he noticed that all of the ships Oswald and the Cubans went on had either just arrived or were just leaving.

SUB#5 – This is probably the most truthful of all the guys I talked to. He was a bookkeeper. He did not work for one particular company, but did the books for several small businesses. He would spend a few hours a week at one palace and then another few hours at another, etc. One of his accounts was a small import/export business located on Tchoupitoulas St., around the corner from Reiley Coffee. He would go there a couple of nights a week and spend a couple of hours on the books…One day one of the two owners told him that he was to give him a few hundred in cash and put it in the books as petty cash or something to that effect. He did that and that night, after the place closed, some one by the name of MARVIN came over and collected the money. This occurred a few more times….

…….He [sUB#5] was also a member of the Holy Name Society of his church. On a regular basis, his group would go to a radio station in the Cigali Building at Camp and Canal [streets] and recite the Rosary on the radio. One particular time, right after the money from the import/export business was being given to MARVIN, his group went up there two weeks in a row…and both times saw the same guy, MARVIN, in the radio station to talking to one of the station managers. He says without a doubt that MARVIN was Oswald. He did not know this until after the assassination and his picture came out.

……He [sUB#5] later learned…this company was bringing in ivory from wherever ivory comes from and selling it to some gun and knife makers for use in making ivory handles for knives and guns. They were making a small fortune on this alone and were paying off the Customs Agents who were responsible for checking on the incoming goods from overseas. MARVIN or Oswald was the pick up guy for the Customs Agents…This took place at the time Oswald was at Reiley Coffee…[NOTE: Like I said, he really believes this and I believe that he is not making any of this up, because, of all the ones I talked to, he is the most honest and does not even know most of the other people. He never did move around with the others I talked to. This guy I really believe, so he might be mistaken, but I think he is truthful about this.

SUB#6 – Knew everything and everybody in the Upper Quarter from Esplanade to St. Phillips Street….He even talked with Oswald. He first noticed him around the French Market looking for baskets of fruit or vegetables at bargain prices. Some merchants told him that Oswald was a pain, always wanting to bargain about the price. They did not know what he was trying to get for what price, etc. They asked Pete to see if he could keep Oswald from coming around and trying to bargain in the busy time of the day. He said he made contact with Oswald and asked him if he was buying for a restaurant or a grocery store and that he could arrange for him to get some wholesale prices on the stuff. At first Oswald said okay, but then changed and said he was not buying for a restaurant or a grocery store. So SUB#6 had him followed with the baskets of stuff he bought and found he was bringing them out to the wharf and to ships. SUB#6 just thought he was working some kind of deal with the ships and told the merchants who would up giving him wholesale prices. He said Oswald did this for a few weeks…..

………. He also noticed Oswald hanging around the Old Men’s Mission on Esplanade and Burbon. He never saw him go in, but noticed that he talked to a couple of different people outside [uNSUB-C-Mission Men]. (Shaw lived around the corner, but he never saw him with Shaw). He told me that Oswald also talked to a friend of his…about renting an automobile from the guys business. Said the guy refused. He said Oswald was known to be around a Latin American that was not Cuban and sometimes would go into Lala’s restaurant with him. The restaurant is owned by SUB#6’s cousin…Other relatives were in the seafood business…(who) said…Oswald would sometimes ask about contacts to fishing boats….He talked to some other people after the assassination and none of them….knew that Oswald was Dutz’s [see: DUTZ MURRAT] nephew. He also knew all of the Federal people around and never saw Oswald with any of them.

SUB#7 – Ran a seafood wholesale place. Said Oswald approached him and asked if he had information about fishing boats. He asked Oswald what he wanted to know and was told that he was interested in hiring a couple of large boats for private work….He reported this to his cousin, New Orleans policeman [Known Sub-A]

SUB#8 – Had some nice automobiles and made a nice living bringing people from place to place. He was called on by different people around town to pick somebody up or bring somebody here and there. Said he made a lot of trips out to the Lakfront Airport, Suschan Airport was the real name, the airport that handled all the small private planes…He saw Oswald out there talking to a guy that he knew was connected to Mayor Morrison. [uNSUB-D-MorrisonAssociate] Also saw him a few times in the Walnut Room, which was the bar/restaurant for the airport. Always at night. Two or three times he was sitting in the back room by the windows drinking Coka-cola….

….He also told me that he once saw Jack Ruby at the airport, but not the same time as Oswald…..

…..He also said that he ran across Oswald at the Monteleon Hotel once. The Monteleon is on Royal Street in the Quarter.

SUB#9 – He said he witnessed Oswald on Canal and Royal Street talking with a man [uNSUB-E] he had recognized but did not recall. He had just seen the guy around a few times but did not know anything about him. He said he paid attention to seeing them because the guy [uNSUB-E] was waiving his hands up and down at Oswald as he talked in a loud voice. This was a the newspaper stand right on the street….A week or so later the guy’s [uNSUB#E] picture is on the front page of all the papers and TV as being the operator of a counterfeit ring operating out of an automobile upholstery shop two blocks from police headquarters. He then remember seeing Oswald again by the same newsstand talking to a guy he knew as some type of federal policeman [uNSUB-F-Federal Agent]. After the assassination he recognized the guy as Oswald.

SUB#10 – Ran a small printing shop in Natchez Alley, 99.9% of their business was the race track tout sheets and the football and baseball cards and selection sheets…Real small shop…Said Oswald came into the shop looking to have some folded sheets printed up. He directed him to the larger printing shops across the street and down the alley. Oswald told him he had already been to those and they wanted to charge him too much for the small amount he wanted. They suggested he come try this shop. So he asked him what he needed and was told 500 or so, one page sheets. He asked what he wanted on them and he said Oswald wrote it down on a sheet of paper. He said it was something about a request to the United States to overthrow Castro and the communists. Just the opposite of what he wound up handing out. He [sUB#10] took one look and refused. He didn’t want to get into anything like that. I asked him a couple of times if he was sure and he said he was sure it was something against Castro and communism and not for them….

SUB#11 – Worked at the race track as an agent of the racing commission…Said that Oswald was always back by the barns hanging out at the winning barn and seemed to be the money man in some (type of) attempted bribes…..

SUB#12 – Saw Oswald with two men [uNSUB-G] on the lakefront the Monday after the assassination. Told that Oswald was shot on Sunday, he insisted that he saw him.

SUB#13 – Bellhop at the Lafayette Hotel on St. Charles and Girard St., swears that he saw Oswald a week or so after the assassination. No doubt that it was him because he used to see him walking around Lafayette Square when he worked for Reiley Coffee.

SUB #14 – A former sparring partner and general worker around Curley’s Gym on Poydras and St. Charles Ave., says Oswald came to the bar, which was part of the gym, a few days after the assassination. No doubt about it. He (Oswald) talked to a guy in an overcoat [uNSUB-H]


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Thanks Bill,

Whether or not that research falls in the realm of the credible, it was interesting reading nonetheless. I'll bet Katrina scattered many of those people from the Crescent City, probably never to return.

I've always been fascinated by the stories that have never been told; i.e. the numerous people present in Dealey Plaza that were never identified. I've often fantasized about putting a small ad in the Dallas Morning News, asking for citizens that have knowledge of events to come forward. Perhaps someone like Jim Marrs or John Armstrong has already done that.

There must be hundreds of people still alive, advancing in age, that have important knowledge and were never interviewed by the authorities, media, or researchers.

Who they are, where they are, and what they saw and heard will probably go to the grave with them. Unless they told their children.

Of course it's highly unlikely, but I have often wondered if there is a photograph in someone's attic or closet that would break the case open. Then reality sets in and I realize I was only dreaming.

Thanks again for sharing Lamar Chaovin's findings.


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SUB#12 – Saw Oswald with two men [uNSUB-G] on the lakefront the Monday after the assassination. Told that Oswald was shot on Sunday, he insisted that he saw him.

SUB#13 – Bellhop at the Lafayette Hotel on St. Charles and Girard St., swears that he saw Oswald a week or so after the assassination. No doubt that it was him because he used to see him walking around Lafayette Square when he worked for Reiley Coffee.

SUB #14 – A former sparring partner and general worker around Curley’s Gym on Poydras and St. Charles Ave., says Oswald came to the bar, which was part of the gym, a few days after the assassination. No doubt about it. He (Oswald) talked to a guy in an overcoat [uNSUB-H]

All interesting, but the ones about Oswald after the assassination are VERY interesting....and if one starts to think along the lines of Harvey and Lee.......Hmmmmm..... Just another reminder also (if another were needed) that the official investigations were deficient in the extreme and more Keystone Cops than anything else....if a lot more sinister than that. Thanks for this Bill. Does he have any of this on tape or videotape and what does he plan to do with this information. Someone should follow-up on some of this.....if they haven't.

Hello Mike and Peter,

Glad somebody is getting something out of it.

I don't know what Lamar is up to and like I said, I hope he is doing okay in the post Kartrina Easy.

Will try to make recontact.


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