Lurking in the background of a President’s assassination

The first installment of the two-part series appeared last week. You can find the link HERE.

Were an unsolved murder of a doctor, a secret lab, and a cancer-causing virus all linked to Lee Harvey Oswald and a President’s death?

According to some sources, Davi Ferrie did moonlighting jobs as a pilot for the CIA.  He had been developing his own radical views about Communism, trained killers, and he got involved in the anti-Castro Cuban underground.  He supposedly firebombed some targets in Cuba, getting wounded once, and also made runs in to do intelligence work.  After a few years with Eastern, he lost his job there because of the company psychiatrist’s report on him.  In the middle of all this, David Ferrie renewed his acquaintance with Lee Harvey Oswald and tried to help him get some jobs in New Orleans.  Lee had arrived back in NOLA for a spell and the two men socialized with other fringe people.

To get to the point, there is an estimated scenario of what happened on the night of Dr. Mary Sherman’s death in 1964.  It is in no way confirmed, but a possible outcome.  She was working in a lab on a top-secret project.  The project involved using a linear particle accelerator to mutate the bad monkey viruses.  It was the only lab in NOLA that actually had a linear particle accelerator—a huge and powerful machine that can deliver a large beam of radiation.

It is supposed that some saboteur—an enemy of the work in the lab—had messed with the wires to the accelerator, and when Dr. Mary Sherman flipped the huge switch, there was an electrical arc, a fireball, and her arm and part of her torso were destroyed.  But—she was still alive.  Her horrified lab-mates knew this secret could not get out.  They had to figure out a way to cover up their top-secret project.  Though her heart was still beating, Mary was not going to come back from this as a whole person.

Dr. Mary Sherman

They decided to stab her once through the heart to cause death.  They then drove her body back to her apartment in her own car, put her on her bed, covered her with some folded clothing, stabbed her again, and started a small fire on the body.  They faked a burglary.  The identities of all in the lab that night are not known.  It was a group project so no one person would be held responsible.  They knew Dr. Mary would want them to do this, as loyal lab-mates—keep things secret at all costs.  They drove her car away a distance and an unwitting neighbor turned in the smell of smoke to authorities, who then discovered the body.

The autopsy on the doctor was a confusing task to the examiner.  The fire was not great enough to destroy her arm and part of her torso.  Her death had been caused by a stab wound to the heart, and the other stabbings were post-mortem.  The killer(s) had worn gloves and had destroyed all evidence that would implicate anyone.

Earlier, a young girl, Judyth Vary Baker, had arrived in NOLA at the invitation of Dr. Ochsner.  She was also a science whiz-kid looking for a good internship.  In the months before Dr. Mary’s strange death, Judyth had gone to a private dinner at Dr. Mary’s where she was taken into the secret laboratory operations.  David Ferrie was the other guest there.  David and Mary were convinced that biological actions against Castro could prevent WWIII.  That was the rationalization.  David had an apartment he lived in, and a separate apartment that he used solely for a laboratory.  Lee Harvey Oswald and Judyth were part of the larger operation.  Lee was the runner.  He transported Judyth as she took messages, lab samples, and packages back and forth between Dr. Mary and all the side operations and experiments.

David and Judyth did some of their own work with mice and David had over 400 of them in his apartment laboratory.  Even though they were both married, at the time, Lee Harvey Oswald and Judyth were close and had a romantic relationship, according to Judyth.  They had been given cover jobs at a coffee company, arranged by Ferrie, that would allow them some time off to do their tasks for Dr. Mary and the lab.

In the middle of this convoluted tale, Lee went to Dallas for a few days and did not come back.  We know why.  Lee had told Judyth in a final phone call on Wednesday, November 20, 1963 that a David A. Phillips was organizing the plot to kill Kennedy—that he was being used as a pawn.  Shortly after Lee was killed by Ruby, Ferrie contacted Judyth and told her to remain silent for the rest of her life or her own protection.

So, Oswald was killed in 1963, Dr. Mary Sherman died under mysterious circumstances in 1964.  David Ferrie continued strange activities and rumors swirled around him.  He was questioned several times during various investigations.  He was found dead in his disheveled apartment in February of 1967, a few days after one of Garrison’s investigations into JFK mysteries was made public.  Ferrie’s death was listed as natural causes, but there is a question about that, too.  Speculators say probably murder or suicide.

Judyth stayed married to her husband and had eventually had children.  She has written several books, including one about her relationship with Lee Harvey Oswald, Me and Lee.  She was convinced he was a patsy, as he claimed himself, a red-herring used to muddy the waters about what really happened.  She always wanted to see his name cleared.

I will always wonder about the strange New Orleans gumbo, made up of these ingredients:  Brilliant doctors/researchers, Ochsner and Sherman, secret lab projects, a cartoon-ish misfit, David Ferrie, the infamous Lee Harvey Oswald, and a once-young, impressionable, but brilliant girl named Judyth.

There are so many elements to the 350+ page book that you will get vertigo reading about all the characters, intrigue, and myriad side stories.  You must read it to get the greater and fascinating details of this story, Dr. Mary’s Monkey by Edward T. Haslam, whose father, Dr. Edward T. Haslam, MD., was an illustrious doctor himself, Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Tulane, Commander in the U.S Navy,  and knew Dr. Mary Sherman personally and mourned her death.  The book has over 500 positive reviews.  It is filled with photographs, charts, and documents.

No one has tried to have it removed, as far as I know, or challenged it, much.  Whether you believe any of it, or not, you will not be able to put it down.  It is food for thought if nothing else.  Dr. Mary Sherman’s death is still a cold case.

Sara Marie Hogg is the author of Quite Curious, a collection of true stories about the bizarre and unexplained. Please click HERE to find the book on Amazon.

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