City Archives
New Orleans Public Library

Orleans Parish (La.) District Attorney's Office
Materials relating to the investigation into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the trial of Clay Shaw, and related matters, 1966-1973
3 boxes
Also available on 6 rolls of 16 mm microfilm, filed under call # VI001 1966-1973

These documents were deposited in the City Archives Collection in 1990 along with the DA's case files for the period 1950-1969.

The records include materials apparently collected by DA Jim Garrison and his staff during their investigation of the Kennedy assassination; photocopies of portions of the court record in the case of Louisiana vs Clay Shaw and other cases related to the investigation; correspondence files; and a file of miscellaneous material. The inventory attached to this description lists individual folder titles within the series.

The correspondence sub-series includes general correspondence of the DA's Office for the period as well as letters dealing specifically with the assassination investigation. Many of the letters that are relevant to the assassination are in the nature of "fan mail" (i.e., letters of congratulation and/or encouragement; requests for Garrison to speak to various groups; and the like). There are letters of more substance: letters to & from reporters & other representatives of the news media (including one from Rosemary James) and letters from people throughout the country offering their own assassination theories and/commenting on Garrison's are two of the larger categories.

Other interesting/significant items or groups of items are:

  • correspondence from mid-1967 concerning complaints lodged with the state bar association against Garrison by attorneys representing witnesses in the Clay Shaw case;
  • copy of a letter from Garrison to Marina [Oswald] Porter [February 20, 1968];
  • telegram [May 30, 1968] from Mrs. Marguerite Oswald;
  • memo from Garrison to Asst. DA James Alcock [December 11, 1967] concerning the David Ferrie autopsy;
  • letter from Garrison to F. Irvin Dymond [May 24, 1967] concerning details of the case;
  • letters to and from such figures/organizations as Melvin Belli and the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation.

A "landmark" letter is the first one in the correspondence sub-series -- Garrison's January 3, 1966 letter to the Government Printing Office in Washington ordering a set of the Warren Commission report for use in the DA's Office. In addition to the general correspondence sub- series there is another group of letters concerning the defense [by the law firm of Deutsch, Kerrigan, and Stiles] of Garrison's co-defendants in the Shaw vs. Garrison, et al. case.

The sub-series of "miscellaneous" materials has been left more or less as it came into the archives. Included are clippings from various publications, some dealing with the Kennedy family, some with occult phenomena, and some seemingly unrelated to the assassination investigation. At least some of these materials appear to have once been kept in a scrapbook.

By no means does this series constitute a complete record of the Garrison case. It does, however, contain numerous interesting and possibly important documents relative to the investigation and subsequent trial.

These documents are available on three rolls of 16mm microfilm, as indicated in the following inventory.


[mf roll #92-82]

Materials relating to the investigation into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy

Articles, pamphlets, etc. relating to the assassination
Beckham, Thomas [NOTE: this file inadvertently omitted from the microfilm copy.]
Fair Play for Cuba Committee [New Orleans Police Dept. file?]
Mancuso, Marlene
Oswald, Julius J.
Photocopies of lists, etc. relating to the Warren Commission report
Russo, et al
Transcript of telephone conversation between Richard Davis and Harold Weisberg, January 24, 27, 1968

Court Papers

State of Louisiana vs Clay L. Shaw
Application for writs
Bill of particulars
Motion for change of venue
Exhibits--news coverage
* March - May, 1967
* June - November, 1967
* December, 1967 - February, 1968
Motion to quash
Motion to suppress
Subpoena duces tecum -- Truth or Consequences, Inc.
David L. Chandler vs Garrison, et al [Federal contempt]
Shaw vs. Garrison, et al

[mf roll #92-83]

State of Louisiana vs Thomas Bethell
State of Louisiana vs Walter Sheridan
State of Louisiana vs Kerry W. Thornley
State of Louisiana vs Richard Townley

Legal Issues [notes and court reports]

Law on conspiracy
Law on Federal Court injunction of pending state court charges
Law on removal

Correspondence files, 1966-1973
Chronological Series

* January - October
* November - December

* January - March
* April - June
* July - September
* October - December

* January - March
* April - June
* July - December

* January - March
* April - June
* July - December

* February - December

* January
* February 1
* February 2 - 25
* March 2 - 18
* March 19 - 31
* April - June
* July - October
* November - December

* January - April
* May - June
* July - August
* September - December

* January - February
* March - April

Deutsch, Kerrigan, & Stiles correspondence

* 1970-1971
* 1972-1973

Miscellaneous unsorted material

[continued on mf roll #92-84]

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