Jerry P. Shinley Archive:Subject: Earlier, Longer Ferrie FBI Interview 11/26/63 [sic]
Earlier, Longer David Ferrie FBI Interview 11/25/63
Date: 5/13/00 3:40 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Warren Commission Document 75 pp 285-297
FBI Interview of David Ferrie 11/26/63 [sic]
by SA ERNEST WALL and SA L. M. SHEARER
at New Orleans
DAVID WILLIAM FERRIE was interviewed at the First District Station, New Orleans Police Department. Ferrie was advised of the identity of the interviewing Agents. At the outset of the interview he was advised he did not have to make a statement, that any statement he did make could be used against him in a court of law and that he had the right to the advice of an attorney.
FERRIE advised he was born March 28, 1918, at Cleveland, Ohio. His parents JAMES HOWARD and BURDETTE C. FERRIE are both deceased. FERRIE said he received a B.A. degree from Baldwin-Wallace College, Berea, Ohio, in 1941. He also received a Ph.D. degree from Phoenix University of Bari, Bari, Italy in 1957. FERRIE stated that his present address is 3330 Louisiana Avenue Parkway, where he has been residing since March, 1962.
FERRIE stated that in 1952 he became a member of the the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) in New Orleans, serving in the capacity of an instructor. He stated that in approximately 1953 he became commandant of the CAP Squadron in New Orleans, continuing in this capacity until he resigned from the CAP in 1955 with the intention of returning to school. FERRIE related that the New Orleans Cadet Squadron of the CAP functioned at Lakefront Airport. He stated that the squadron was usually made up of approximately 75 boys and the attrition rate in the squadron was approximately 20%. FERRIE stated that the squadron met twice a week. He stated that during the period he was Commander of the squadron, JERRY C. PARADIS was the recruit instructor and took all of the squadron recruits through their training. FERRIE said that PARADIS presently has offices at 225 Baronne Building and resides at 5704 Prytania street.
FERRIE stated that during the period 1952-1955 he does not recall taking any recruit class through their training program. After he became Commandant he is certain he did not instruct the recruits. FERRIE stated that he never at any time instructed either the recruits of the regular squadron members in the use of firearms, or afforded them any type of firearms training for the reason he was always able to secure the service of a qualified instructor in this type training. FERRIE related that the cadets in the squadron were instructed in the use of .22 caliber rifles with adjustable rear sights, but these rifles were not equipped with telescopic sights. He stated that the cadets received instruction in the firing of .22 caliber rifles approximately four times each year. In addition, at the annual encampment of the CAP which was held outside of the New Orleans area the cadets were permitted to fire M-1 rifles under the supervision of a qualified instructor.
FERRIE said he has never owned a telescopic sight or a rifle equipped with a telescopic sight, and to the best of his recollection he has never used a weapon equipped with a telescopic sight and would not know how to use one.
FERRIE stated that he does not know LEE HARVEY OSWALD and to the best of his knowledge OSWALD was never a member of the CAP Squadron in New Orleans during the period he was with that group. FERRIE said that if OSWALD was a member of the squadron for only a few weeks, as had been claimed, he would have been considered a recruit and that he (FERRIE) would not have had any contact with him. FERRIE stated that he was succeeded as Commandant of the New Orleans Squadron of the CAP by a man named HINTON.
FERRIE stated that he was again associated with the CAP in New Orleans from 1958 to the end of 1960 or the beginning of 1961, serving in the capacity as instructor and later as executive officer. He said that Major BOB MORRELL was the Commandant. FERRIE stated that his applications with the CAP covering both periods he served with that unit should be on file with the CAP at Ellington Air Force Base, Houston, Texas. FERRIE related that there was a periond during 1958, exact dates not recalled, in which he instructed at the CAP Squadron before he submitted his application.
FERRIE said that to the best of his knowledge he does not know any individual named LEE HARVEY OSWALD nor has he ever known the individual represented by photograph presented to him as that of LEE HARVEY OSWALD in the CAP, in any business connection or in any social capacity. He said he does not recognized the name or the photograph as being anyone he has ever had any contact with at any time.
A photograph of LEE HARVEY OSWALD, New Orleans Police Department Number 112723 taken on August 9, 1963, showing a profile, full face and full length photograph of OSWALD was exhibited to FERRIE. FERRIE upon viewing the photograph stated that the profile view has a very vague familiarity to him but the full face and full length photographs of OSWALD are not familiar to him.
FERRIE informed that since March 1962 he has been employed by Attorney G. Wray Gill in New Orleans as an investigator and law clerk. He said that since the end of August, 1963 and up until November 22, 1963 he has been working on a case involving CARLOS MARCELLO who was charged in Federal Court in connection with a fraudulent birth certificate. FERRIE stated that the trial of MARCELLO began in Federal Court in New Orleans, Louisiana on November 4, 1963 and ended on November 22, 1963 and that he was in New Orleans working with Attorney G. WRAY GILL on the case during this period. He stated that on November 9 and November 16, 1963 he was at Churchill Downs which is a farm owned by CARLOS MARCELLO, mapping strategy in connection with MARCELLO's trial. He informed that on November 11, 1963 he was in New Orleans, during the entire day and did not leave the city.
FERRIE stated that from October 11 to October 18, 1963 he was in Guatemala and again from October 30, 1963 to November 1, 1963 he was in Guatemala in connection with investigation of the MARCELLO case.
FERRIE said that prior to a very recent trip he was last in the state of Texas in August, 1962 at which time he was in Orange, Texas. FERRIE said he had planned during the trial of the MARCELLO case that immediately upon the conclusion of that case he would take a trip for the purpose of relaxing.
He said he left his home at 3330 Louisiana Avenue Parkway, New Orleans, on November 22, 1963, roughly at 6:30 PM in his light blue Comet four-door station wagon which he purchased from the Delta Mercury Company in New Orleans within the past month. He stated that CHARLES GRAHAM a saleman at Delta Mercury Company sold the Comet station wagon to him.
FERRIE related that on leaving his home he drove to the homes of ALVIN BEAUBOUEF and MELVIN COFFEY and picked them up in order that they might accompany him on the trip. He stated that at the time he left his home his did not know where he was going. He said the purpose of the trip was to merely relax and at that time he did not know whether he was going "hunting, drinking or driving." FERRIE stated he did not take any firearms with him when he left his home because he thought he might go out of the state of Louisiana and he did not know what the hunting seasons were in other states and he was also concerned about transporting firearms across the state line.
FERRIE said he had been considering for some time the feasabilty and possibility of opening an ice skating rink in New Orleans. He claimed he made a telephone call, possibly from MELVIN COFFEY's home to CHUCK ROLLAND at th Winterland Skating Rink in Houston, Texas. He advised that this call to ROLLAND was charged to either telephone number [...] or [...]. Ferrie claimed he had no prior acquaitance with ROLLAND but had knowledge of the fact that the Winterland Skating Rink was located in Houston.
FERRIE related that he left MELVIN COFFEY's home between 6:30 and 7:00 PM accompanied by BEAUBOUEF and COFFEY and drove to John Paul's Restaurant, Kenner, Louisiana, where they stopped to eat. He said that at approximately 9:00 PM or shortly after 9:00 PM, November 22, 1963, he, BEAUBOUEF and COFFEY left John Paul's Restaurant to go to Houston, Texas. He informed that the route traveled was through Baton Rouge to Lafayette, Louisiana and through Lake Charles, Louisiana to Houston, Texas. FERRIE claimed they arrived in Houston between 4:30 amd 5:30 AM and went directly to the Alamotel located on South Main Steet, six to ten blocks south of the Shamrock Hilton Hotel, where they checked into Room 19. He stated that the three of them registered on the same card at the motel. After registering they retired for the night.
FERRIE claims that he had left a call at the motel office for 8:30 AM and another call for 10:30 AM but has no recollection of receiving a call from the motel office at either time. FERRIE said he had left the calls so that he could call Attorney G. WRAY GILL in New Orleans to tell him he had left New Orleans and was on a vacation trip. FERRIE stated that he and his companions awakened roughly at noon and after having breakfast he went down Main Street to Sears, Roebuck and Company where he purchased a jacket, a sweater and several other items. After leaving Sears, they drove directly to the Winterland Ice Skating Rink, 2400 Norfolk, which he had learned opened at 3:30 PM and closed at 5:30 PM.
FERRIE said he rented skates and skated at the rink for a while looking the situation over and also taking into consideration the amount of business at the rink. He stated that he introduced himself to CHUCK ROLLAND and spoke with him at length concerning the cost of installation and operation of the rink. FERRIE exhibited a leaflet of the Winterland Ice Skating Rink, 2400 Norfolk, Houston, Texas, which he had in his possession. FERRIE stated that during the time he was talking to CHUCK ROLLAND other employees of ROLLAND were present at the rink. He recalled specifically there was a young boy who was passing out skates and an older man who was on duty at the rink but he does not recall whether he was introduced to these two individuals or not. FERRIE claimed that he remained at the Winterland Skating Rink for a period of approximately two hours and after leaving there he returned to the motel.
After arriving at the motel he placed a telephone call to Attorney G. WRAY GILL but was unable to complete this call. He placed a second call to the Town and Country Motel in an effort to determine whether Attorney Gill was located at the Town and Country Motel. FERRIE further related that ALVIN BEAUBOUEF may have made a telephone call to his home. He said that they later checked out of the Alamotel and went to the Bellaire Skating Rink on Chimney Rock Road in the Belleview section of Houston, arriving there between 7:30 and 8:00 PM. FERRIE stated that he looked the skating rink over and tried to locate the owner but the owner was unavailable. He said that he remained at the Bellaire Skating Rink for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. On leaving the skating rink they drove out Old Spanish Fort Trail and stopped at a restaurant near Telephone Road. They left this restaurant at approximately 9:00 or shortly after 9:00 PM and decided to drive to Galveston, Texas. He said that while enroute to Galveston, Texas, they stopped at the Manned Space Craft Center and looked around for about 20 minutes. They then proceeded to Galveston, Texas, arriving there between 10:30 and 11:30 PM. They immediately checked into Room 117 at the Driftwood Motel, 3128 Seawall Boulevard, Galveston. After checking into the motel they drove around in the vicinity of some old clubs in Galveston, Texas, returning to the motel after midnight and it could have been as late as 1:00 AM.
FERRIE stated that they arose around 8:00 or 8:30 AM on November 24, 1963. After having breakfast they took the ferry across the bay to pick up the road to Port Arthur, Texas that runs along the coast. FERRIE stated the first stop they made after reaching Port Arthur was at the Gulf Service Station on the left hand side of the highway in Port Arthur, Texas where they purchased a new set of spark plugs for the Comet station wagon. He stated that there was a television set in this station and as he walked into the station there was a picture on the television set showing the shooting of LEE OSWALD in the basement of the Dallas City Jail. FERRIE said he presumed he was looking at the original live broadcast of the shooting and that this was in the vicinity of 12:00 Noon on that date. He said the after changing the spark plugs in the station wagon he ran the car up on the rack in order that the attendant could check the transmission and differential. FERRIE estimated that he remained at this service station for approximately 20 to 30 minutes. They then left Port Arthur and drove to Orange, Texas and after crossing the Louisiana state line they stopped at Buster's Bar and Restaurant. He stated that the operator of Buster's Bar and Restaurant is MARION JAMES JOHNSON who is a client of Attorney G. WRAY GILL. He stated that he contacted JOHNSON at the bar and restaurant and talked to JOHNSON for approximately 30 minutes discussing the status of an appeal on a perjury conviction of JOHNSON in connection with an income tax case on Sheriff REID at lake Charles, Lousiana.
On leaving Buster's Bar and Restaurant they drove to Alexandria, Louisiana, arriving there at approximatley 4:00 PM. FERRIE informed that ALVIN BEAUBOUEF has relatives in Alexandria. FERRIE also said that he had tentatively planned to atend a party in Alexandria and that his plans were tentative because he did not know whether or not he would be needed in New Orleans on November 25, 1963 in connection with the trial of a murder case which was scheduled to begin on that date. He stated that to ascertain whether he would be needed in New Orleans he made several pre-paid long distance calls from a gas station trying to reach Attorney G. WRAY GILL's office, but was unsuccessful. He stated that he then telephonically contacted his home and talked to LAYTON MARTENS who at that time informed him that two WWL-TV representatives had been making inquiries at his home and in the neighborhood and he learned that he was being accused of being implicated in the assassination of President KENNEDY.
FERRIE said that as a result of the information furnished by LAYTON he was very much disturbed over the fact that he was being accused of being implicated in the assassination of the President and that he left Alexandria, Louisiana between 4:00 and 5:00 PM, possibly close to 5:00 PM. He said that he stopped at several service stations along the way to use the telephone in an attempt to reach Attorney G. WRAY GILL. He said that he was finally sucessful in contacting Attorney GILL by telephone and that Attorney GILL informed him that HARDY DAVIS, a former bondsman in New Orleans, had telephonically contacted GILL stating that DAVIS had been contacted by JACK S. MARTIN who claimed he had tied FERRIE in with the killing of President KENNEDY and had tipped of the Orleans Parish District Attorney's office, the FBI, the Secret Service, newspapers and radio stations. MARTIN claimed that FERRIE knew OSWALD, had trained OSWALD and had flown OSWALD to Dallas, Texas. FERRIE said he asked Attorney GILL if he had made any attempt to verify any of this information and if he thought there was any substance to it. FERRIE said he told Attorney GILL what LAYTON MARTENS had told him about the inquiries of the WWL-TV representatives and asked Attorney GILL for his advice. Attorney GILL advised him to continue with his plans and return to New Orleans in keeping with his original plans. FERRIE said that he proceeded directly to New Orleans, stopping at a restaurant on the west side of the highway at Baton Route, Louisiana, which restaurant is located between the Mississppi River Bridge and the Hammond Circle. He stated that this restaurant has several rooms and that one of the dining rooms is for formal attire and one is for infomal attire and that this restaurant specializes in steaks. He said that after eating they drove on to New Orleans, arriving at about 9:30 PM. He stated that he dropped ALVIN BEAUBOUEF in the vicinity of his (FERRIE's) home in order that BEAUBOUEF could check his home to see if anyone was waiting for him. He then drove to MELVIN COFFEY's home and dropped him off. FERRIE said that he then telephonically contacted Attorney GILL for the purpose of trying to get GILL to obtain some more information concerning the accusations made against him. He stated that after talking to Attorney GILL he drove to Hammond, Louisiana, by way of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and upon arriving in Hammond contacted a friend, THOMAS COMPTON at the Holloway-Smith Hall at Southeastern Louisiana College. He stated that COMPTON is doing research at this school. FERRIE claimed that he spent the balance of the night of Holloway-Smith Hall and remained in Hammond until 1:00 or 1:30 PM, November 25, 1963.
He stated that he then drove to New Orleans and went directly to his home where he obtained a clean shirt and then proceeded to the office of Attorney GILL. He stated that from there he went to the District Attorney's office accompanied by Mr. GILL where he surrendered to the District Attorney.
FERRIE said that while in Texas he had talked to waitresses, service station people, clerks, and operators of motels and that during these conversations he had speculated concerning the assassination of the President and had speculated as to whether the police had arrested the right man, whether the press was giving the complete story and had speculated as to the leftist tendencies of LEE OSWALD and his theory of why OSWALD shot President KENNEDY. He said that it was his theory that LEE OSWALD was paranoidal, probably on the psychotic side and that this act was his attempt to redress the imagined wrongs done OSWALD in the service and was accomplished by destroying the very root of the authority he, OSWALD "bucked".
In regard to JACK S. MARTIN, FERRIE said that he also knew MARTIN had used the names of SUGGS and SCROGGS and that MARTIN lives in the 1900 block of North Prieur on the corner of North Prieur and Esplanade and that the house is located on the southwest corner of that intersection. FERRIE claimed that JACK S. MARTIN was a private detective who he first met in the Fall of 1961. He said that since that time MARTIN has attempted to insert himself into his, FERRIE's personal affairs. He claimed that that the time he first met MARTIN, MARTIN was working for a woman in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, named CATHERINE WILKERSON or WILKINSON or some similar name. He stated that MARTIN was endeavoring to expose various frauds in the Diploma Mills and Ecclesiastical Mills and was particularly interested in CARL J. STANLEY of Louisville, Kentucky who called himself CHRISTOPHER MARIA. He stated that MARTIN was desirous of obtaining some of the phony certificates of ordination and consecration used by STANLEY and to forward them to Washington, D.C. He said that MATIM asked his assistance in this investigation and that he accompanied MARTIN to Louisville, He stated that he received only part of his fee for the investigation conducted with MARTIN. FERRIE said that he was slow in catching on to MARTIN but determined that MARTIN was dealing in phony certificates. He said that he regarded MARTIN as being an unethical and dangerous person. FERRIE claimed that in 1962 MARTIN disappeared from the scene and after several months suddenly re-appeared. He stated that MARTIN began visiting him at the office of Attorney G. WRAY GILL and that Mr. GILL did not want MARTIN hanging around his office. FERRIE claimed that in June of 1963 he put MARTIN out of Mr. GILL's office in an undiplomatic manner and that since that time MARTIN has bedeviled him in every manner possible.
FERRIE said that he had learned that some time after he put MARTIN out of Mr. GILL's office MARTIN was moving around to various parts of the United States contacting first one clergyman and then another who were connected with the old Catholic Church trying to get ordained and gave FERRIE's names as a character reference. He further determined that MARTIN was making long distance telephone calls charging these calls to Attorney GILL's office and the office of GUY BANISTER, Guy Banister Associates. FERRIE further informed that he determined that MARTIN had previously been admitted to the psychiatric ward at Charity Hospital where he was diagnosed as a paranoid. FERRIE said he had also learned hat MARTIN had been a sergeant in the U. S. Army and while in service had been mixed up in obtaining phony decrees in medicine, chiropractic and naturopathy by finding a college that was not in operation but whose charter was not defunct. FERRIE informed that he had also determined that MARTIN had been charged with murder in connection with the illegal practice of medicine in Houston, Texas. However, he believes that this charge was later dismissed.
FERRIE said that he had learned through interviews with other officers that one of the allegations made against him was that when OSWALD was arrested he had his (FERRIE's) library card in OSWALD's possession and that it had been alleged that OSWALD had been using FERRIE's library card to get books at the New Orleans Public Library. FERRIE said that in his personal property located in the Property Room at the First District is his library card which expired March 13, 1963. FERRIE said that he has not made application for a new card since the above card expired and that this card has been in his possession at all times.
FERRIE informed that he has owned a Stinson 150 single engine, blue and white four passenger monoplane, registration number 8293K, since 1948. He stated that this aircraft has not been airworthy since the license expired in April, 1962. FERRIE said that this information can be verified through the FAA Department of Airworthiness Certification in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. FERRIE informed that he had never flown this plane to Cuba and that it has been only as far south as Miami, Florid. He claimed that the plane was flown to Dallas, Texas one time since he purchased it, which was during the year 1949.
FERRIE stated that from approximately November, 1960 until August, 1961 he was associated with the Cuban Revolutionary Front in New Orleans, Louisiana. He stated that he had been actively engaged in working for the Cuban Revolutionary Front collecting food, money, medicine and clothing for the organization as well as giving talks before various citizen's groups. He states that at the time he was associated with the Cuban Revolutionary Front the office of the organization was located in the Balter Building and that SERGIO ARCACHA SMITH was the head of this organization in New Orleans. FERRIE said that he has never known of the Cuban Revolutionary Front maintaining an office at 544 Camp Street, nor does he have any knowledge of SERGIO ARCACHA SMITH maintaining an office at that address during the time he was head of the organization and later after he was replaced. FERRIE said that the Cuban Revolutionary Front was definitely an anti-Castro organization and that all persons connected with the organization were violently anti-Castro. FERRIE started that he has not had any connection with the CUBAN Revolutionary Front or any other anti-Castro organization since August, 1961. He stated that after disassociating himself with the Cuban Revolutionary Front he continued to have contact with SERGIO ARCACHA SMITH which was purely social in nature. He stated that some months after he ceased his activity with the organization, SERGIO ARCACHA SMITH gave up the leadership of the organization and was replaced by an individual named RABEL. FERRIE related that SERGIO ARCACHA SMITH then went into the advertising business in New Orleans and that he had assisted SMITH in preparing letters in connection with this advertising business. FERRIE said that in 1962 SERGIO ARCACHA SMITH attempted to organize a fund raising committee, the name of which he does not recall, but he does not believe the this organization ever materialized. He stated that SMITH was interested at that time in issuing a commemorative coin depicting the Bay of Pigs Invasion which was to be sold to a coin company. FERRIE related that in connection with this plan SMITH obtained vendor's license from the City of New Orleans. FERRIE said that he does not believe that this plan was ever placed into effect by Smith and it is his belief that SMITH subsequently abandoned this idea.
FERRIE said that he does not have any recollection of any organzation in New Orleans named the Fair Play for Cuba Committee and has never had any connection with any individual representing an organization by that name.
FERRIE recalled the following individuals were connected with the Civil Air Patrol during the period 1954 to 1955:
LEON GUIDRY, Cadet Commander
BOBBY BADELAT, Cadet Executive Officer
TOMMY McKIBBEN, Flight Leader
GEORGE BOESCH, Flight Leader
ROY CLEMMENS (or CLEMMENTS), Rifle Instructor
FERRIE further informed that the following individuals could possibly furnish information concerning his activities and whereabouts:
ALICE GUIDROZ, employee of Attorney G. WRAY GILL;
REGINA FRANCOVICH (phonetic), employee of GILL;
JOHN IRIAN [sic] who is employed by Curtis and Davis, Suite 400, 2475 Canal Street;
JIM LEWALLEN, 1300 Dauphine.
FERRIE exhibited U. S. Passport Number B085860 in the name of DAVID WILLIAM FERRIE issued September 18, 1961. This passport reflected that visa number 1236 was issued by the Consulate General of Guatemala of New Orleans, Louisiana, September 25, 1963. The passport shows that FERRIE entered Guatemala in October 11, 1963 and departed October 18, 1963. The passport further shows that visa number 1406 was issued by Consulate General of Guatemala, New Orleans, Louisiana, October 29, 1963. The passport shows that FERRIE entered Guatemala on October 30, 1963 and departed November 1, 1963.
FERRIE advised that he does not know any individual by the name of JACK RUBY or JACK RUBENSTEIN.
FERRIE stated that he is not implicated in the assassination of President KENNEDY in any manner and is willing to cooperate in any manner to prove that he was not implicated in the killing of the President. He stated that he offered to the District Attorney of Orleans Parish to submit to certain examinations to prove his innocence.
The following physical examination was obtained through interview and observation:
Name: DAVID WILLIAM FERRIE
Date of Birth: March 20, 1918 [sic; says March 28 at top]
Place of Birth: Cleveland, Ohio
Height: 5 feet 11 inches
Weight: 190 pounds
Hair: Bald; wears brownish-red toupee
Scars and Marks: Rectangular scar, outer right wrist
Marital Status: Single
Military Status: Served in Army Reserve, Cleveland, Ohio, dates not recalled
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Subject: Re: Earlier, Longer Ferrie FBI Interview 11/26/63
Date: 6/2/00 3:44 PM Eastern Daylight Time
I looked at the wrong date on the FD-302 when I originally posted this. The interview ocurred on 11/25/1963.
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