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Jim Garrison

Jim Garrison Interview Playboy magazine, October 1967

A candid conversation with the embattled district attorney of new orleans On February 17, 1967, the New Orleans States-Item broke a story that would electrify the world -- and hurl district attorney Jim Garrison into a bitter fight for his political life. An enterprising reporter, checking vouchers filed with the city by the district attorney's office, discovered that Garrison had spent over $8000 investigating the assassination of President Kennedy. "Has the district attorney discovered valuable additional evidence," the States-Item asked editorially, "or is he merely saving some interesting new information that will gain for him exposure in a national magazine?" Stung, Garrison counter-attacked, confirming that an inquiry into Kennedy's assassination was under way and charging that the States-Item's "irresponsible" revelation "has now created a problem for us in finding witnesses and getting cooperation from other witnesses and in at least one case has endangered the life of a witness."

On February 18, newsmen from all over the world converged on New Orleans to hear Garrison announce at a press conference: "We have been investigating the role of the city of New Orleans in the assassination of President Kennedy, and we have made some Progress -- I think substantial progress.... What's more, there will be arrests." As reporters flashed news of Garrison's statement across the world, a 49-year-old New Orleans pilot, David Ferrie, told newsmen that the district attorney had him "pegged as the getaway pilot in an elaborate plot to kill Kennedy." Ferrie, a bizarre figure who wore a flaming-red wig, false eyebrows and make-up to conceal burns he had suffered years before, denied any involvement in a conspiracy to kill the President. Garrison, he said, was out to frame him. Four days later, Ferrie was found dead in his shabby three-room apartment in New Orleans, ostensibly of natural causes -- though he left behind two suicide notes.  Read MorePart 2.

The Jim Garrison Tapes