A MAN FEARING FOR HIS LIFE BECAUSE HE TOLD DIST. ATTY. JIM GARRISON NAMES OF?
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Visnews: this shot Feb 23. I am sending it only protectively in case bbc or someone is very anxious for this. Essentially, here is what happened. David Lewis is one of DA Jim Garrison's witnesses - or so Lewis says. We serviced an interview with him on Monday Wednesday, you'll recall David Ferrie, a former pilot died in bed at home. There was immediate talk linking him with the New Orleans "plot". UPI reported early Thursday morning that Lewis had vanished. Consternation. The New Orleans station went out to shoot pictures of Lewis' empty house and discovered - lo and behold - Lewis. They interviewed hime - he said he had some fears for his life - and then Lewis showed up at DA Garrison's office. He had been thought to have said that Ferrie was definitely linked to the Kennedy death - at least UPO indicated as much - but at the DA's office denied it all. I'm enclosing some wire copy. The film simply shows Lewis and has a brief statement from him. Note that Lewis has not vanished and denies that Ferrie had anything to do with the Kennedy death.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: A MAN FEARING FOR HIS LIFE BECAUSE HE TOLD DIST. ATTY. JIM GARRISON NAMES OF PEOPLE IN AN ALLEGED PLOT ON PRESIDENT KENNDY'S LIFE HAD DROPPED OUT OF SIGHT TODAY.
DAVID LEWIS, 26, WAS A PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR WHO CAME IN CONTACT WITH LEE HARVEY OSWALD SEVERAL TIMES DURING OSWALD'S SIX-MONTH 1963 STAY IN NEW ORLEANS.
LEWIS, HIS WIFE AND FOUR CHILDREN, COULD NOT BE FOUND IN THE WAKE OF THE APPARENT SUICIDE WEDNESDAY OF DAVID W. FERRIE, 49, A FORMER AIRLINE PILOT WHO GARRISON PLANNED TO ARREST WITHIN A FEW DAYS.
LEWIS, WHEN GARRISON'S CONTROVERSIAL INVESTIGATION ERUPTED LAST WEEK, WAS EMPLOYED AS A SHIPPING AGENT AT A BUS LINE.
EMPLOYES AT THE BUS STATION SAID THEY DID NOT KNOW THE WHEREABOUT OF LEWIS, A SLIM, DARK-HAIRED MAN, AND ADDED THEY DID NOT KNOW WHEN HE WOULD BE BACK.
THE LEWISES WERE NOT AT THEIR HOME. NEIGHBORS ON EITHER SIDE SAID THEY DID NOT KNOW WHERE THE FAMILY WAS.
AT A NEWS CONFERENCE WEDNESDAY GARRISON SAID HIS STAFF WAS NOT LARGE ENOUGH TO PROVIDE PROTECTION TO THE PRINCIPALS OF THE INVESTIGATION.
LEWIS SAID MONDAY FOR HIS LIFE. HE WAS THE ONE WHO TOLD THE PRESS THAT HE HAD GIVEN GARRISON NAMES OF FOUR OR FIVE PERSONS HE KNEW TO BE LINKED IN WHAT HE FELT WAS A CONSPIRACY TO ASSASSINATE KENNEDY.
LEWIS WOULD NOT BE CLARIFY WHY, OR UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES, HE KNEW OSWALD IN THE WEEKS BEFORE THE DALLAS ASSASSINATION. HE WOULD ONLY SAY HE WAS A PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR THEM.
DISCUSSING THE NEW PLOT INVESTIGATION BY NEW ORLEANS DISTRICT ATTORNEY JIM GARRISON, FERRIE SAID HE WAS CONVINCED IT WOULD TURN OUT TO BE A "WITCH HUNT."
LARDNER WROTE THAT HE MIGHT HAVE BEEN THE LAST PERSON TO SEE FERRIE WHEN HE LEFT AT 4 A.M. AFTER A FOUR-HOUR INTERVIEW.
IN NEW ORLEANS, GARRISON SAID THE DISCREPANCY BETWEEN LARDNER'S ACCOUNT OF THE TIME HE LEFT FERRIE AND THE TIME OF DEATH THE CORONER SET WAS ONE OF THE MAJOR MYSTERIES ABOUT DEATH. THE CORONER THERE SAID FERRIE DIED TUESDAY NIGHT.
FERRIE TOLD LARDNER THAT HE NEVER KNEW OSWALS AND NEVER HAD MET HIM AS FAR AS HE REMEMBERED, ALTHOUGH THERE WERE REPORTS THAT OSWALD HAD SERVED IN FERRIE'S CIVIL AIR PATROL UNIT IN NEW ORLEANS.
FERRIE ALSO SAID THAT HE HAD BEEN SUMMONED BY GARRISON'S MEN LAST NOVEMBER ON ROUGHTLY THE SAME CHARGES HE HAD BEEN PICKED UP ON AT THE TIME OF KENNEDY'S MURDER -- AS A "FUGITIVE FROM TEXAS."
"THERE WASN'T EVEN ANY CHARGE AGAINST ME IN TEXAS TO FLEE FROM," FERRIE TOLD LARDNER.
FERRIE WAS PICKED UP 72 HOURS AFTER KENNEDY'S DEATH AND QUESTIONED ABOUT REPORTS THAT HE MIGHT HAVE BEEN WAITING AT LOVE FIELD IN DALLAS WITH A PLANE TO FLY AWAY.
THE PILOT TOLD LARDNER THAT ON THE DAY OF THE ASSASSINATION HE HAD BEEN SITTING ON A BENCH OUTSIDE THE NEW ORLEANS DISTRICT COURTROOM "SHOOTING THE BULL" A COUPLE OF FEDERAL AGENTS" UNTIL 3:20 P.M. FERRIE EXPLAIN THAT IT WAS AT THE COURTHOUSE BECAUSE AT THE TIME HE WAS WORKING AS A PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR.
NEW ORLEANS, FEB. 23 (AP)- DAVID LEWIS, WHO SAID LAST MONDAY HE FEARED FOR HIS LIFE BECAUSE OF WHAT HE KNEW ABOUT A LOCAL PROBE INTO THE DEATH OF PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY, WAS REPORTED TODAY TO HAVE LEFT TOWN WITH HIS FAMILY FOR A UNDISCLOSED LOCATION.
THE DISCLOSURE CAME AFTER A ROUTINE CHECK FOR LEWIS FOR COMMENT ON THE DEATH OF DAVID FERRIE, A KEY FIGURE IN THE INVESTIGATION DIRECTED BY DISTRICT ATTORNEY JIM GARRISON. FERRIE WAS FOUND DEAD IN HIS APARTMENT YESTERDAY.
LEWIS, A 26-YEAR-OLD BUS STATION BAGGAGE CLERK, FORMERLY WAS A PRIVATE DETECTIVE. IN THAT ROLE HE CLAIMED TO HAVE MET NEW ORLEANS-BORN LEE HARVEY OSWALD, NAMED BY THE WARREN COMMISSION AS THE KENNEDY ASSASSIN.
LEWIS, HIS WIFE AND THEIR FOUR CHILDREN WERE AWAY FROM THEIR HOME LAST NIGHT. NEIGHBOURS SAID THEY HAD NO IDEAL OF THE FAMILY'S WHEREABOUTS.
EMPLOYEES AT THE BUS STATION SAID, WE DON'T KNOW WHERE HE IS AND DON'T KNOW WHEN HE WILL BE BACK--AND THAT'S OFFICIAL.