book jim garrison kerry thornley lee harvey oswald photo warren commission

Kerry Thornley and the ‘Fair Play For Cuba’ Handbills

A young Kerry Thornley
in New Orleans.
On August 13, 1962 Kerry Thornley was arrested for “placing advertisements on telephone poles” in the New Orleans French Quarter in violation of a city ordinance, a minor infraction for which he was fined $15. For this egregious offence, the cops hauled his ass off to jail, which seemed rather severe, although I wouldn’t be surprised if it was on account of Kerry shooting off his mouth, as he was often wont to do in his younger years.

Kerry Thornley's arrest report for the advertisements on the
telephone pole caper, August 13, 1962.

In early 1968, Jim Garrison’s investigators questioned the arresting officers in the case, neither of whom could remember the exact message of the advertisement Kerry posted on the telephone poles. This incident led Garrison to theorize that Kerry had distributed Lee Harvey Oswald’s infamous Fair Play for Cuba propaganda—although Big Jim never actually took the time to determine the exact nature of the advertisements, or to identify who had employed Kerry for this job. In his grand jury testimony, Kerry identified specific individuals he had worked with passing out these advertisement flyers—leads Garrison apparently never pursued. Or if he did, nothing came of them.

It should be noted that Kerry’s arrest for this telephone pole caper occurred a year before Oswald was making his Fair Play For Cuba mischief in New Orleans. Never one to let the facts dissuade him, Garrison later informed Gaeton Fonzi (of the House Select Committee on Assassinations) that: “…police records can be changed and there’s the possibility the arrest was in 1963, which would put it four days after Oswald’s arrest for handing out FPFC leaflets.”

Oswald's Fair Play for Cuba flyer.
Whatever the case, Garrison (in On The Trail of the Assassins) seemed to be merely jumping the Thornley shark, as it was actually Harold Weisberg who crafted the tenuous theory that Kerry was the individual who picked up Oswald’s Fair Play For Cuba (FPFC) handbills, information purportedly obtained from interviews Weisberg conducted with Douglas Jones—owner of Jones Printing Company in New Orleans—and Jones’ secretary, Myra Silver.

The first problem with this scenario is that Thornley was in California when Weisberg placed him picking up the FPFC handbills, this according to Kerry’s Warren Commission and Orleans Parish Grand Jury testimonies. This was the same timeline that Garrison also endorsed mainly because it dovetailed with his theory that Kerry—in early May of ’63 while on his way to California—stopped over in Texas to fake those funky photos of Oswald holding his trusty Mannlicher-Carcano and then on his way back to NOLA in late August spent a few days in Mexico City on or around the same time that Oswald or someone pretending to be Oswald visited the Russian and Cuban Embassies.

Myra Silver’s statement, page 00001, to the Feds regarding the individual who picked up the FPFC handbills. Silver identified the pick-up date as May 29, 1963 during the period Kerry Thornley was in California. Silver's statement is among the many articles related to the Garrison Investigation that can be accessed at The notes on the document were written by Jim Garrison, or one of his assistants.
Myra Silver's statement, page 00002, to the Feds regarding the individual who picked up the FPFC handbills. Silver identified the pick-up date as May 29, 1963 during the period Kerry Thornley was in California. Silver's statement is among the many articles related to the Garrison Investigation that can be accessed at The notes on the document were written by Jim Garrison, or one of his assistants.

Douglas Jones—in his FBI statement—describes the individual who ordered and later picked up the FPFC handbills as a “husky type person” which was the polar opposite of Kerry Thornley, who—throughout his life—was a long, skinny bean pole of a guy. (Unless he was wearing a fat guy disguise!)

Douglas Jones' statement to the Feds regarding the FPFC caper. Includes Garrison's notes.

In his unpublished memoir, Mailer’s Tales, Harold Weisberg recalled presenting Douglas Jones and Myra Silver with “about a hundred miscellaneous pictures including several of Oswald.” From these photos, Jones and Silver supposedly selected Kerry Thornley as the individual connected to the FPFC handbills, all part of his recurring role as a purported Oswald double and all around CIA bad guy.

Also in Mailer’s Tale, Weisberg claimed that he had tape recorded his interview with Jones and Silver, and then placed the tape in his files, which was later “…burglarized by a man who had free access to them and who was also working, unknown to me, for David Lifton.” Because of this—Weisberg claimed—it “ended any chance I had of carrying what Jones and Silver told me forward.”

A young and intense David Lifton.
As for the positive identification of Thornley’s photo by Jones and Silver, we must once again rely solely on the word of Harold Weisberg, who admittedly had photos of Kerry Thornley doctored, and who afterwards claimed that his recording of Jones and Silver had been heisted from his files by an unnamed party working under the diabolical direction of dastardly David Lifton!

Read David Lifton’s take on Kerry Thornley and the Garrison Investigation here.

For the whole crazy story check out Caught in the Crossfire: Kerry Thornley, Lee Oswald and the Garrison Investigation.

book brother-in-law jfk jim garrison kerry thornley lee harvey oswald photo warren commission writings

Equal Time For Kerry Thornley

I recently happened upon a post at To Seek A Newer World blog entitled “Vindication for Kerry Thornley” where a fellow named Matthew Scheufele navigates some of the same choppy waters explored in my book Caught in the Crossfire: Kerry Thornley, Lee Oswald and the Garrison Investigation; in specific the famous altered photo caper hatched by Harold Weisberg, in addition to Judyth Vary Baker’s claim (in Me and Lee) of two alleged Thornley-Oswald sightings in May of 1963.

In Caught in the Crossfire, I noted the same discrepancy Scheufele points out: that Kerry Thornley was in California during the same time-frame Baker places him in NOLA meeting with Lee Harvey Oswald and banging his wife, Marina, behind Oswald’s back. Baker’s version of events contradict Thornley’s Warren Commission testimony as having arrived in California on May 5th and then returning to New Orleans on September 4th of ‘63. (Baker claims she saw Thornley and Oswald together on May 8th and May 28th of that year.)

In response, Baker supporters will no doubt counter that Thornley fibbed about traveling to California—or about the exact timeframe of where he was and when, etc. Having reviewed hundreds of letters written to and from Thornley during this period—as well as his many JFK assassination related writings—I’ve seen no glaring inconsistencies in any of Kerry’s statements regarding his movements in the summer of ’63. It was based on Kerry’s own timeline (of having traveled through Texas on his way to California and then spending time in Mexico City on his way back to NOLA) that Jim Garrison cobbled together his theory that Kerry staged the famous doctored photo of Oswald (with his trusty Mannlicher Carcano) while passing through Texas and then on his return trip visited Mexico City in around the same time that Oswald (or someone pretending to be Oswald) was making a nuisance of himself at the Cuban and Russian Embassies.

Baker further asserts that Oswald’s “Neighbors testified to the Warren Commission that Thornley was there so often they were unsure as to which one (Lee or Thornley) was really Marina’s husband. Jim Garrison’s investigation confirmed the same point.” (Me and Lee, page 321.)

Baker’s claim that the Warren Commission investigated Thornley’s supposed relationship with Marina Oswald has no factual basis—unless someone can identify the specific Warren Report sections where the testimonies of Oswald’s neighbors presumably appear. Nor did Garrison “confirm” any of these rumors, which from what I’ve been able to piece together first surfaced in a February 22nd, 1968 letter to Garrison from John Schwegmann, Jr., owner of Schwegmann Bros. Super Markets:

An employee of our store, Mrs. Myrtle LaSavia… says that she, her husband, and a number of people who live in that neighborhood saw Thornley at the Oswald residence a number of times—in fact they saw him there so much they did not know which was the husband, Oswald or Thornley…
(From In History’s Shadow: Lee Harvey Oswald, Kerry Thornley & the Garrison Investigation by Joe Biles, pages 60-61.)

In 1977, Garrison resurrected LaSavia’s allegations in a memo to the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA), shown below. In said memo, Garrison states that “an effort will be made to locate these neighbors’ statements…” However, there’s no evidence that Oswald’s neighbors “positively” identified Thornley, aside from the second hand account attributed to Myrtle LaSavia. Garrison never produced any of these neighbor statements (identifying Thornley) for the HSCA—for the simple reason that they probably never existed to begin with.

Page 00001 of a 1977 memo sent from Jim Garrison to Jonathan Blackmer
of the House Select Committee on Assassinations.

Assistant District Attorney Andrew Sciambra paid a visit to a Mr. and Mrs. Tony LaSavia on February 29th, 1968—a week after Garrison received the Schwegmann letter. From this meeting a memo was produced, which is cataloged among Jim Garrison’s Papers (Box 7) in the National Archives. In Farewell to Justice, Joan Mellen—quoting from Sciambra’s Feb. 29th, 1968 memo—states that LaSavia and her husband identified Thornley “…as being the person who used to walk with Marina to the Winn-Dixie food store.”

When Garrison informed the HSCA that ”neighbors of the Oswald’s responded positively to Thornley’s picture”, he seems to be referring exclusively to the claims of Myrtle LaSavia, as well as her husband, Tony, who probably got roped into backing up his wife’s story. However, let’s not confuse a memo for a witness statement; documents of this nature are of subjective value, in my opinion, and in particular the many Garrison Investigation memos related to Kerry Thornley that were rarely, if ever, supported by witness statements. It confuses the matter even more when memos such as these are presented as “evidence.”

Curiously, another woman bearing the last name of LaSavia—Mary Lee LaSavia—was interviewed by Andrew Sciambra during the same time frame as Myrtle LaSavia. It’s unclear if the two LaSavia’s were related—or if Sciambra had simply misidentified Myrtle as Mary Lee, which is my suspicion.

Andrew Sciambra memo to Jim Garrison about David Ferrie, March 1, 1968.

As noted in the memo above (from March 1st, 1963, a day after Sciambra’s meeting with Mr. and Mrs. Tony LaSavia), Mary Lee LaSavia passed on information that Oswald’s former neighbor “MRS. EAMES today said that DAVID FERRIE came to see her in regards to where the OSWALDS were right after OSWALD left Texas…” Later in the memo, Mrs. Eames states “that David Ferrie did come to her house but it was not until after the assassination…”

As hard-core JFK assassination junkies should be well aware, it was right after the assassination that Jack Martin (future Garrison witness) was questioned by the FBI, and at that time leveled a number of charges against David Ferrie, including the allegation that Ferrie’s library card was discovered among Oswald’s posthumous possessions. It appears that Ferrie’s appearance at Mrs. Eames residence was probably to gather information to refute Jack Martin’s claim.

In the same memo, Mrs. Eames states that “she cannot remember seeing anybody with the OSWALDS or go to the OSWALDS home. She said that they were loners and didn’t associate with anybody.” This comment seems to refute Myrtle LaSavia’s assertion that a number of Oswald’s neighbors had seen Marina in the company of Kerry Thornley—or, at least, it appears she was the only neighbor making this claim.

It’s interesting to note that Andrew Sciambra neglected to ask Mrs. Eames about Kerry Thornley, as the timing of this interview was just a week after the emergence of the Schwegmann letter. Or perhaps Sciambra did ask Eames about Kerry Thornley, but neglected to include her answer in his memo.

On March 4th, 1968—three days after Sciambra met with Mrs. Eames, and a week after his meeting with the LaSavia’s—Garrison staff member Tom Bethell compiled a list of residents in Oswald’s neighborhood, in addition to visitors seen at the Oswald residence, none of whom included Kerry Thornley.

Memo from Tom Bethall to Jim Garrison, March 4, 1968, page 00001.
Memo from Tom Bethall to Jim Garrison, March 4, 1968, page 00002.
Memo from Tom Bethall to Jim Garrison, March 4, 1968, page 00003.

On instructions from Sciambra, investigator Gary Sanders interviewed Miss Rose Cavalier of 918 Upperline, the same street where the LaSavia’s lived. During this interview, Cavalier indicated that, on several occasions, she’d seen Lee and Marina Oswald pass by her residence walking in the direction of the Winn-Dixie Supermarket. However—when presented with a photo of Kerry Thornley—Miss Cavalier apparently had difficulty distinguishing between the two: Oswald and Thornley. Gary Sanders also noted that Miss Cavalier “may have eyesight problems although she told me that she did not wear glasses.”

Memo from Gary Sanders to Louis Ivan about Miss Rose Cavalier, March 4, 1968, page 00001.
Memo from Gary Sanders to Louis Ivan about Miss Rose Cavalier, March 4, 1968, page 00002.

Although Thornley was similar in height and build to Oswald (depending on the source), their facial features were not at all similar—unless of course Sanders was showing Miss Cavalier the infamous touched up photo of Thornley. In this regard, any photo identifications of Kerry Thornley (courtesy of Garrison’s investigation) inevitably leads us down that slippery slope we discussed in our previous posts Fred Newcomb, Harold Weisberg and Photographic Tomfoolery in the Garrison Investigation Part 00001 here and Part 00002 here.

The infamous touched-up photo of Kerry Thornley
taken from the Garrison Investigation suspect files.

Whatever the case, I’ve come across nothing substantive (at least not yet!) to suggest that this Kerry Thornley-Lee and Marina Oswald-love-triangle was ever “confirmed” by Garrison’s investigators, and that these allegations all seem to have originated from the same sole source: Myrtle LaSavia.

However, Kerry and Marina were spotted together on February 8th, 1968 as they passed one another in the courtroom hallway coming and going from their respective grand jury testimonies. Apparently, this “chance encounter” was staged by Garrison to place the two together in the prospect that Marina would react to Kerry’s appearance and suddenly spill the beans about their supposed romantic tryst. According to Tom Bethell’s account, Marina registered no recognition of Kerry, and when questioned by Andrew Sciambra if she knew him (Thornley), Marina responded to the contrary.

February 9, 1968 Times-Picayune article that incorrectly identifies Kerry Wendell Thornley’s middle name as 'Lee,' a rather curious mistake in light of Garrison’s theory
that Kerry was one of notorious Oswald doubles.

In his blogpost, Matthew Scheufele concludes that Baker is a faker, a theme trending of late at JFK assassination research forums where Judyth’s apparently been taking it on the chin (from a rather vocal anti-Baker faction) who insist that Me and Lee is a largely fictional account backed only by a pay stub from when she worked at the Reilly Coffee Company concurrent with the employment of her purported paramour, Lee Oswald.

Whether Baker actually knew (and loved and lost) Oswald is fodder for endless debate in these aforementioned JFK assassination forums dating back over the last decade. If you’re a part of this scene then you probably know exactly what I’m talking about—and if not, you’re probably wondering what all the fuss is about. But say what you will about her, Baker is indeed a polarizing figure within the ranks of current day assassination researchers who appears to attract as many staunch supporters as she does detractors. Jesse Ventura is one such ardent Judyth Baker believer, for whatever that’s worth.

Scheufele closes out his post: “Garrison concluded that Thornley was in California visiting his relatives” at the time of the Judyth Baker sightings—although it’s hard to know what Garrison really believed, or if his many charges against Thornley were simply flavors of the week spoon-fed by the likes of Harold Weisberg and the other Dealey Plaza Irregulars. Although Garrison labeled Thornley a perjurer, he seemed content to endorse Thornley’s summer of ‘63 travel log because it dovetailed with his claims that Kerry was working behind the scenes during this period to incriminate Oswald.

February 21, 1968 Garrison press release, page 00001.
Full PDF here.
But if one is seeking vindication for Kerry Thornley, why stop at Judyth Baker? Baker’s alleged Thornley sightings seem rather tame in comparison to the charges leveled by Jim Garrison in his February 21st, 1968 press release [Adobe PDF here.] that characterized Thornley as a diabolical CIA agent based on the startling revelation that Kerry had a post office box in a federal building where most post offices tend to be located… in federal buildings.

In this somewhat rambling press release (replete with footnotes), Garrison identified Kerry as part of a clandestine cabal engaged in “image creating” that falsely portrayed Oswald as a lone nut commie symp with a happy trigger finger. It could be similarly argued that Garrison played the exact same game by portraying Thornley as a rabid right wing super-spook, the ultimate intent of which was to implicate an innocent man in a convoluted JFK assassination conspiracy.

Granted, Kerry Thornley naturally raises some curious eyebrows—and deservedly so—due to his propinquitous associations to Oswald and Garrison’s rogue gallery of spooks. To this end, I claim no ultimate certitude as to Thornley’s innocence or guilt as a witting or unwitting participant in the JFK assassination.

My motivation for writing Caught in the Crossfire was not so much a case of seeking vindication for Kerry Thornley as to provide equal time to present Thornley’s side of the story; to dig deeper beneath the surface story (The Gospel according to Garrison) and not immediately assume that Thornley was a CIA agent (or one of the notorious Oswald doubles or was staging fake photos or writing incriminating books or bedding down Marina) just because someone entertained “theories” that have been subsequently parroted as “facts.”

book jfk jim garrison kerry thornley lee harvey oswald photo video warren commission

Fred Newcomb, Harold Weisberg, and Photographic Tomfoolery in the Garrison Investigation (Part 00002)

Caught in the Crossfire:
Kerry Thornley,
Lee Oswald and
the Garrison Investigation

Order The Chaos Now!
In the first part of this series, I recounted how Harold Weisberg (working on behalf of Jim Garrison’s investigation) hired a California artist named Fred T. Newcomb to touch-up photos of Kerry Thornley to make him more resemble Lee Harvey Oswald. The apparent intent behind this photographic skullduggery was to bolster Garrison’s contention that Thornley was one of the notorious Oswald doubles.

Fred Newcomb’s May 8, 1968 letter to Harold Weisberg addressing his concerns
about the Kerry Thornley touch-up job. From the Harold Weisberg Archives.

Prior to my research for Caught in the Crossfire: Kerry Thornley, Lee Oswald and the Garrison Investigation (Amazon), I was unfamiliar with Fred Newcomb, but as I recently discovered he was a long-time Warren Report critic and active player in the early days of the JFK assassination research scene. In fact, Newcomb was one of the early investigators to analyze the backyard photos of “Oswald” (holding his trusty Mannlicher Carcano rifle) and produced the first report detailing how those photos had apparently been doctored. (Later, Jim Garrison would even go so far as to suggest that it was Kerry Thornley who staged these photos!) Due to his association with the Garrison Investigation, Newcomb was among the handful of JFK assassination researchers who obtained a copy of the film Farewell America (Amazon).

Although it was never commercially released in the U.S., Farewell America had been passed on to Garrison investigator Jim Rose (aka E. Carl McNabb), who then supplied boot-legged copies to the likes of Fred Newcomb, as mentioned in this letter.

December 5, 1968 Los Angeles Free Press article on Farewell America.

Farewell America included Zapruder film footage that’d been purportedly liberated from Time-Life who owned the rights to the film at the time, as well as possession of the physical copy. Over the years, rumors have circulated that French Intelligence was somehow involved in the heist of the film then later returned it to the Time-Life vaults after making duplicates. French Intelligence, in turn, shared this footage with the producers of Farewell America who incorporated it into their film. On account of this bootlegged version of Farewell America, the Zapruder film had now began (circa 1968) to circulate within the JFK assassination research community.

French Intelligence notwithstanding, a more likely source of the Zapruder footage (featured in Farewell America) was Jim Garrison, who subpoenaed the film from Time-Life in 1967 and received a copy that was several generations removed from the original. Unsatisfied with the low quality of this multi-generational version, Garrison subpoenaed Time-Life again in early 1968 in an attempt to obtain an original copy of the film but was denied this request.

March 15, 1968 newspaper article, Zapruder Film Subpenaed.

At some point, Mark Lane borrowed Garrison’s copy of the Zapruder film and had several copies reproduced at a lab in New Orleans, which he then distributed to his network of cronies across the JFK assassination landscape.

One recipient of Lane’s largesse was Penn Jones, Jr, editor of a small town Texas newspaper called the Midlothian Mirror, whose major claim to fame was a death chart he compiled listing every dead person he could think of who could’ve possibly been associated with the Kennedy assassination. In 1970, Jones arranged the first television broadcast of the Zapruder film on a late night television show that aired in Chicago called Underground News with Chuck Collins.

Meanwhile, a firm called EFX Unlimited was awarded a contract by Time-Life in 1969 to work on a Zapruder film related project, which is where part time JFK assassination sleuth and photo-optics technician Robert Groden enters the story. Groden—as the story goes—was working as a subcontractor for EFX Unlimited during this period and was “granted access” to an unauthorized version of the Zapruder film provided to him by EFX’s owner, Moses Weitzman.

Over the next few years, Groden enhanced this unauthorized (and much higher quality) version of the Z-film, basically slowing down the significant frames and making the footage less shaky and easier to view. In 1973—on the tenth anniversary of the JFK assassination—Groden presented his Zapruder footage at a symposium hosted by Georgetown University, an event attended by comedian activist Dick Gregory who met with Groden afterwards and encouraged him to take the film to a larger audience. This ultimately resulted in the first national airing of the Zapruder film in 1975 on Geraldo Rivera’s Good Night America.

Fred Newcomb, circa 1995.
In 1974, Fred Newcomb—in collaboration with fellow researcher Perry Adams—self-published one hundred copies of their JFK assassination tome, Murder From Within, which they distributed to members of the Senate, Congress, FBI and other law enforcement agencies. Murder From Within presented the theory that JFK’s assassination was an inside job orchestrated by LBJ and executed by Secret Service agents. Newcomb and Perry based their conclusions on an eight year investigation that included over fifty witness interviews as well as their analysis of the Zapruder film.

During the course of their analysis, Newcomb and Perry discovered in a couple of the Zapruder frames—just before and after the fatal headshot—that JFK’s limo driver turns around and appears to be holding a pistol at the exact instant that the President’s head went supernova. Newcomb and Perry were later called to share their findings before the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA).

At first blush, Murder From Within might seem just one in a slew of many “crackpot” JFK assassination books that emerged over the years, mainly due to its controversial assertion that the triggerman of the operation was the aforementioned limo driver, and secret service agent, William Greer. But when one delves into the material presented in the book, it soon becomes evident that the authors went deep into their research and produced a well documented account, which included the theory that JFK’s wounds had been altered during his autopsy, a theme later explored in greater depth in David Lifton’s Best Evidence (Amazon).

In the early-80s, Newcomb and Perry started shopping around Murder From Within and over the next several years apparently struck deals, at one time or another, with three different publishers all of whom eventually decided against publishing the book because, according to Newcomb, “they were scared.”

In the late 1980s, the Greer-shot-Kennedy theory gained renewed traction when Perry Adams joined forces with researchers David Evans with Lars Hansson and the trio—using Zapruder film footage—produced what Hansson later described as a “rough, preliminary videotape” entitled The Truth Betrayed: Dallas Revisited. In Lars Hansson’s Lear and Loathing in Las Vegas, the videotape was “to serve only as a preliminary research tool to spur potential investors to underwrite a thorough professional investigation into the theory that the driver of the presidential limousine, William Greer, actually turned around and fired the fatal shot at JFK with a handgun… It was never intended at any time to be considered a final statement on the issue, much less to be shown publicly and/or distributed as such.”

During the Dallas Revisited period, Lars Hansson was part of the UFOlogical-conspiratorial scene then erupting out of Las Vegas, Nevada that included such “patriots” as James “Bo” Gritz, John Lear and William “Bill” Cooper, all of whom were often featured on The Billy Goodman Happening radio show in their mission to bust to the New World Order’s chops and expose not only the JFK Assassination Conspiracy, but also reveal the reality of reverse-engineered alien technology being developed at Areas 51, not to mention the shocking existence of a certain secret underground alien base in Dulce, New Mexico where all sorts of sinister doings have supposedly transpired over the last several decades.

John Lear was the son of the Lear Jet inventor, Bill Lear, and so Lars Hansson—figuring Lear had deep family pockets—shared a copy of Dallas Revisited with him in the prospect that he could get Lear to invest in his research. Little did Hansson know, but by this time Lear had fallen out of favor with his father, thus losing access to those deep family pockets.

Meanwhile, Lear was beginning to make a splash in UFOlogy and was responsible for setting up the first televised interview with Area 51 whistle blower Robert Lazar, who allegedly worked on reverse-engineered craft at the facility. Lear was also on the forefront of promoting the Dulce Base story and presenting this material at public lectures for the UFO faithful. After getting his paws on Dallas Revisited, Lear began showing the film at his lectures, little to the knowledge of Lars Hansson, who had never intended the film for public consumption. Lear then shared a copy of Dallas Revisited with Bill Cooper, who not only trotted it out and presented it like his own baby, but also started selling videotape copies.

When Lars Hansson caught wind of these developments, a shit-storm soon started brewing between he and Bill Cooper. According to Hansson:

“Cooper’s supporters told me a couple of months after my visit to his home that Cooper had a copy of the tape and was showing it publicly. At that time, in late October 1989, I confronted him over the phone about his dishonesty regarding his use and sale of the videotape, and have since done so publicly in print, on television, and on the radio. When he chickened out of appearing on the TV program INSIDE REPORT, which was taped in April and aired in May 1990, after learning that I would also be appearing to counter him, the producers deliberately left out half of my statement. I had made it clear on their videotape that at the time I threw the rough video together I believed that there was sufficient supporting evidence to warrant a complete investigation; however, after seeing a much clearer version of the Zapruder film, discussing the issue with a number of other respected researchers, and combing through the evidence at hand more closely, I had decided by November 1988 the theory was no longer tenable…”

Below is a YoutTube vid from the above-mentioned episode of Inside Report, featuring not only Lars Hansson, but also Fred Newcomb, Perry Adams, Robert Groden and Harold Weisberg.

And here is the startling evidence of what is either Roy Kellerman’s hair glare or, as Bill Cooper termed it in the video, William Greer firing an “electrically operated, gas powered assassination pistol built by the CIA” containing a shell fish toxin dart!

As for Murder From Within (Amazon), it was finally published in 2011 by Fred Newcomb’s son, Tyler. In the book’s introduction, Tyler Newcomb makes these comments about the Zapruder film:

“The ‘optical illusion’ on the film of the Driver turning, aiming, firing and turning back to drive at the moment Kennedy’s head explodes is mind shattering. What are the odds such a thing could actually happen at that exact instant on the most important amateur film ever made? The ‘gun’ however upon close frame inspection appears to be part of Roy Kellerman’s hair. But is it? No one can prove it either way because the film was in possession of the Secret Service and if Dad’s theory is correct they were busy altering the film itself creating a new original obliterating their complicity in the killing.”

More on the sordid history of the Zapruder film here.

book brother-in-law daisy eris campbell discordianism eff illuminati interview james shelby downard jfk jim garrison kerry thornley lee harvey oswald monkey business photo play robert anton wilson warren commission writings

C2C, JFK & The Cosmic Trigger Play: A Historia Discordia Triple Whammy

Ewige Blumenkraft: Kerry Thornley. Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.
November 22nd commemorates a lot of things here at Historia Discordia, including the date we first launched this site—on JFK Assassination Day, no less!—an event forever after ingrained in Discordian mythology. And although we would never be so bold as to suggest that Eris had a five fingered hand in orchestrating the Killing of the King, it nonetheless appears that in some way or another our Goddess of Perpetual Chaos was responsible for the torrent of high weirdness that engulfed Kerry Thornley’s life after meeting Lee Harvey Oswald in the Marines, then afterwards encountering a couple of shadowy JFK assassination conspirators in New Orleans. If that wasn’t enough, Jim Garrison claimed that Thornley was a CIA agent who masqueraded as Lee Oswald and also pronged Oswald’s wife, Marina. For more on this mind-blowing caper check out Caught in the Crossfire: Kerry Thornley, Oswald and the Garrison Investigation.

Discordianism—for good or ill—will be forever linked to this dark day in American history. Like a chaos magician reaching down into his top hat-rabbit hole, the Discordian-JFK Assassination landscape is inhabited by Playboy magazine bunny ears, Ozzie Rabbit (Oswald’s nickname), Echo and the Bunnymen (see JMR Higgs’ KLF: Chaos Magic Music Money), a certain pooka named Harvey (“How are you, Mr. Wilson?”)  as well as Bugs Bunny’s role as a Discordian Society patron saint. I could explain all of these Discordian-Bunny-JFK assassination associations, but that would be like trying to explain a complicated joke disguised as a religion.

Oliver Senton as
Robert Anton Wilson
in the Cosmic Trigger Play.
11/22 is one of those magic, yet chaotic dates on the Discordian Calendar when the Eristic (as well as Aneristic forces!) come together to perform a triple whammy of sorts, and this year is no exception as Daisy Eris Campbell premieres her much anticipated Cosmic Trigger Play on this very day (11/22) in Liverpool, England at the Camp and Furnace, which looks like a very cool venue where I plan to hoist a pint or two and then slip into a Liverpudian accent.

To complete this Erisian Triple Whammy (the first anniversary of the Historia Discordia website coinciding with the premiere of the Cosmic Trigger Play), I’ll be a guest on Coast To Coast AM with weekend host Richard Syrett to discuss Caught in the Crossfire. And to confuse matters even more (Hail Eris!), my C2C interview—although slated for November 22rd—won’t actually air until the 3rd hour of the program, the witching hour, midnight 11/23. Appearing in the 3rd hour of C2C seems apropos in that it relates to the theories of that late great conspiracy sleuth James Shelby Downard who proposed that JFK’s assassination was orchestrated by high level Freemasons to occur along the 33rd degree latitude as a part of a death ritual ceremony known as The Killing of the King with the numbers 3 and 33 repeated throughout.

James Shelby Downard in the early-90s.
Photo by Adam Parfrey.
In Masonry there are the three mystical steps or degrees: The Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason. The third degree of Master Mason pertains to symbolic Death and Resurrection and the ceremonial Killing of the King. To this end, 11/22 (11 + 22=33) signifies (maybe) a Masonic triple whammy, as 33 is the highest degree in Freemasonry. Dealey Plaza—situated near the Trinity River—was the site for the first Masonic temple in Dallas. Kennedy’s ill-fated motorcade was just about to pass through the Triple Underpass when three shots rang out, wounding Kennedy twice and Texas Governor John Connally once.

Photographic comparison of the
Old Man Tramp (on left) and E. Howard Hunt.
The 3rd Degree of Freemasonry tells the legend of three “unworthy craftsman”—Jubela, Jubelo and Jubelum—who murdered Hiram Abiff, the architect of Solomon’s Temple. Similarly, three tramps were arrested in Dealey Plaza, then afterwards released. One of the tramps was later identified as E. Howard Hunt, who Kerry Thornley later came to suspect as being one of his MK-ULTRA handlers.

On the afternoon 11/23, I’ll be speaking at the Find The Others Conferestival, along with other such illuminaries as Robert Temple (author of The Sirius Mystery), Daisy Eris Campbell, John Higgs and Robin Ince.

The number 23—as sumbutnotall of you may be aware—is yet another holy Discordian number (2+3=5) which in turns relates to the Discordian Law of Fives, so I think we should have all our bases covered. And although I might have taken the steam out of my so-called Discordian Triple Whammy by not actually appearing on C2C on 11/22, I will be on Clyde Lewis’ Ground Zero Radio on 11/21, although for me it will actually be 11/22 (at the illustrious hour of 4am!) calling in from my hotel room in Liverpool, which further illustrates the quantum mechanical nature of the universe where I can travel back in time from the future to appear on a radio show in the past!

And, of course, 11/21 also has its place inDiscordianism as 1+1+2+1=5!

book brother-in-law discordianism illuminati jfk jim garrison kerry thornley lee harvey oswald official business warren commission writings

New Book Release in Paperback and Kindle! Caught in the Crossfire: Kerry Thornley, Lee Oswald and the Garrison Investigation by Adam Gorightly

Now Available:
Caught in the Crossfire: Kerry Thornley, Lee Oswald and the Garrison Investigation by
Adam Gorightly.

Order The Chaos Now!

Caught In the Crossfire: Kerry Thornley, Lee Oswald and the Garrison Investigation is now available through both Amazon (Paperback, Kindle) and our publisher Feral House, who has set up a page for the book
which will include occasional excerpts, such as the chapter “A Homosexual Thrill Kill?” (Not that there’s anything fnord with that!)

Feral House also has an article on the book The Kerry Thornley Mindfuck.

Here’s the description of the book:

Kerry Thornley never imagined that after starting a spoof religion in the 1950s dedicated to the worship Eris—the Greek Goddess of Chaos and Discord—that such an irreverent yet light-hearted endeavor would unleash, in the years to come, a torrent of actual chaos into his life and turn his world upside down.

In 1959, Thornley served in the Marines with Lee Harvey Oswald and was actually writing a novel based on Oswald three years before JFK’s assassination. These connections would later cause New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison to suspect that Thornley was one of the notorious Oswald doubles and part of a JFK assassination plot. Initially, Thornley denied these allegations, but later came to believe that he’d been used as an unwitting pawn in a conspiracy that ran far deeper than the JFK assassination and may also have included the RFK and MLK assassinations, as well as the disturbing specter of government sponsored mind control.

Order The Chaos Now!

book discordianism greg hill illuminati interview jfk jim garrison kerry thornley lee harvey oswald principia discordia robert anton wilson video warren commission writings

Kerry Thornley: 1992 Full Interview with Rev. Wyrdsli at A Cappella Books

Here’s the complete 1992 Kerry Thornley interview conducted by Rev. Wyrdsli, clips from which we’ve been sharing here at Historia Discordia over the last several months.


audio book charles manson discordianism greg hill interview jfk jim garrison kerry thornley lee harvey oswald official business video warren commission

Adam Gorightly interviewed on The Opperman Report

Ed Opperman interviews Adam Gorightly about his lastest book,
Historia Discordia: The Origins of the Discordian Society,
and all kinds of other odd and fun High Weirdness.

Hail Eris!

book brother-in-law discordianism interview jfk jim garrison kerry thornley video warren commission writings

Caught In The Crossfire: Triangulating On Your Brain Soon!

AP photo of Kerry Thornley during the Jim Garrison investigation.
Slated soon for publication from Feral House is my long awaited epic, Caught In The Crossfire: Kerry Thornley, Oswald and the Garrison Investigation, a topic I first broached ten years ago or so in The Prankster and the Conspiracy (Amazon).

Several years after the release of The Prankster, your humble reporter stumbled upon a wealth of new information related to Kerry Thornley and the Jim Garrison case which, in turn, led to an ever-deeper examination of this seemingly never-ending rabbit hole that encompassed such a large and troubling part of Kerry Thornley’s life. (And mine, as well!)

Caught in the Crossfire, Pre-Order from
Amazon Today
You can order an advanced copy of Caught In The Crossfire at Amazon and be the first one on your block to know the complete, mind-blowing story!

On a related note, I share with you now a Historia Discordia Exclusive snipped from Rev. Wyrdsli’s seminal 1992 video interview with Thornley at A Cappella Books, wherein Kerry discusses many of the strange and intimate details that will further emerge, and be expanded upon, in Caught In The Crossfire.

book brother-in-law discordianism greg hill illuminati illuminatus! jfk jim garrison kerry thornley pope cards robert anton wilson robert shea roger lovin warren commission

Roger Lovin: Illuminatus! Group Reading Weeks 18 & 19

Early Discordian Roger Lovin,
photo from his classic book
The Complete Motorcycle Nomad.
Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.
During Saul Goodman’s visit to the Playboy Club in Illuminatus! (Page 173, Week 18)—where he was apparently drugged, abducted and subjected to all sorts of MK-ULTRA-style perversions straight out of A Clockwork Orange—Saul (or Barney Muldoon, or whoever he actually is now) finds himself in a hospital room (Page 189, Week 19) attended to by a doctor who informs him that he’s really Barney and that ‘Saul Goodman’ was actually a dual identity that Barney created to compensate for never being promoted to detective.

The doctor further informs Saul/Barney about certain details of his life, one of which is that his children are named Roger, Kerry and Greg, which is a certain nod to not only the founders of Discordianism—Greg Hill and Kerry Thornley—but also to Roger Lovin, who could be considered the third member of the Holy Trinity of Discordianism that haunted the New Orleans French Quarter during the early 1960s. The Discordian business card below illustrates that Lovin (aka Fang the Unwashed) had a major role in spreading the Discordian Gospel during this period and oversaw the French Quarter Cabal after Thornley and Hill returned to Cali in late 1965.

Discordian Card of Thornley, Lovin, and Hill, 1965. Not a law firm.
Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

In many ways, Illuminatus! authors Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea seemed to be describing what happened to Kerry Thornley in the following passage:

…A few years ago, you started a game with your wife; she thought it was harmless at first and learned to her sorrow that it wasn’t. The game was, that you pretended to be a detective and, late at night, you would tell her about the important cases you were working on. Gradually, you built up to the most important case of all—the solution to all the assassinations in America during the past decade. They were all the work of a group called the Illuminati, who were surviving top level Nazis that had never been captured…
—Illuminatus!, Page 189

This description of Saul/Barney’s apparent mental deterioration certainly relates to Kerry Thornley. During the late-60s, Kerry—in his writings—often parodied what he considered “paranoid” conspiracy theories, including the various Illuminati conspiracies at which he and RAW had such a high time poking fun. But after going through the Garrison meat grinder, Kerry came out on the other end with his head spun, at first thinking Garrison was totally off his rocker for believing that he (Kerry) was part of an insidious CIA funded homosexual thrill-kill plot (or something of that sort.)

However—as time passed—and Kerry began to reflect on his past (while enhancing those reflections with an occasional dose of LSD!), he started toying around with different theories to explain what had gone down with the JFK assassination, and how this related to his association with Oswald and the other disturbing string of synchronicities that occurred during his time in New Orleans—until eventually certain far-flung theories about Nazis and the Illuminati began to make more and more sense to him. And while he didn’t turn into Barney Muldoon per se, Kerry did develop a more paranoically inclined personality, as opposed to younger years when he was prone to be dismissive of “paranoids.”

Kerry’s growing paranoia (starting in the early-70s) was an outgrowth of his belief that he’d discovered the true assassins of JFK—or at least certain individuals that were involved in a plot to kill JFK, namely Gary Kirstein (aka Brother-in-Law) and Roderick “Slim” Brooks, a couple of shadowy characters Kerry met during the New Orleans period. According to a letter from Greg Hill to RAW dated September 1975, Slim Brooks was also an early member of the Discordian Society and was one of The Chosen Five who received the rare 1st edition of The Principia Discordia of which only five copies were produced (in accordance to the Law of Fives!).

It was long-held and universally believed that most—if not all—of those original sacred Five Copies were lost with the passage of time to mankind; that is until your humble author discovered the only surviving copy—Greg Hill’s personal copy—tucked away in the Discordian Archives for all these years and which now has been re-published, at long last, in the companion volume to this website, Historia Discordia: The Origins of the Discordian Society (Amazon). So get your copy now before it disappears again!

Hill and Thornley—as Discordian history instructs—moved to New Orleans in 1961, and at some point became friends with Roger Lovin, who Kerry later remembered as “…a dashing, talented and handsome con artist who was too shallow to settle into any one thing. But for years and years after he read the Principia, under his Discordian name of Fang the Unwashed, he consistently and with unswerving devotion to the task excommunicated every new person any of the rest of us initiated into the Discordian Society.”

On his first sojourn in New Orleans, Greg Hill only lived there a few months before moving back to Southern California, but Kerry lived in NOLA (for the most part) over the next three-and-a-half years before relocating to Arlington, Virginia in late 1964.

Sometime in ’64, Hill moved back to The French Quarter, which led to one of the most intense and productive periods in the early evolution of the Discordian Society—1964 and 1965—as documented in several dozens of letters in the Discordian Archives exchanged between Hill and Thornley.

The Early Discordians become famous for their humorous letters, and one of the funniest I’ve come across is this missive dictated by Roger Lovin (aka Fang The Unwashed) dated December 17, 1964, addressed to Greg Hill (aka Malaclypse The Younger), who appears to have been staying with Bob Newport in Chicago at the time.

Letter: From Roger Levin to Greg Hill, December 17, 1964, Page 00001. Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.
Letter: From Roger Levin to Greg Hill, December 17, 1964, Page 00002. Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

While I’ve shared quite a bit in my books—and on this website—about Hill and Thornley, I’ve been reluctant to tackle Roger Lovin’s Discordian legacy just because it’s a pretty tangled web to attempt to unravel some of the more sordid aspects of his life.

Like Thornley, Lovin became ensnared by the Garrison investigation—although briefly and to a much lesser degree than Thornley. Garrison’s interest in Lovin was partly due to his association with the Discordian Society, which the New Orleans D.A. came to suspect was some sort of CIA front organization that had a hand in orchestrating Kennedy’s assassination. Hail Eris!

Lovin—from the stories I’ve heard—was a man of many talents: a writer, poet, musician—a silver-tongued devil and con man—who operated a French Quarter art gallery during the early-60s. From 1968/69, Lovin published a weekly New Orleans newspaper, The Ungarbled Word, that from time to time ran Discordian recruitment advertisements, in addition to articles by Hill and Thornley, and in particular, an ongoing series by Greg Hill entitled Etcetera Pacifica that gave a monthly run-down of what was happening with the West Coast counterculture scene.

The Ungarbled Word, Revelation of Eris, August 1968. Courtesy of Tim Cridland.
The Ungarbled Word, Zenarchy, August 21, 1968. Courtesy of Tim Cridland.

The Ungarbled Word, Ecetera Pacifica, September 12, 1968. Courtesy of the Tim Cridland.

Lovin later moved out West and worked as the environmental editor for the Los Angeles Free Press from 1969-73, as documented in this article from 1971.

During that same period, Lovin wrote and published pornography, maintaining contact with Greg Hill throughout. I found one letter in the Archives where Lovin offered his services to help Greg publish a mass market edition of Principia Discordia, although nothing ever came of this.

Letter: Roger Lovin to Greg Hill, June 6, 1970. Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

For the most part, though, Lovin was pretty much a Mystery Man to me, and the correspondences between he and Hill over the years—while colorful—were few and far between. When I asked some of the Early Discordians about him, they only vaguely remembered the name. At some point, I came across the following clipping which appeared in a 1979 edition of the Science Fiction fanzine Locus and hinted at certain darker aspects associated with Lovin.

Locus zine: Roger Lovin. Courtesy of the Discordian Archives.

While scouring the web, I came across other information which suggested that Lovin had gone to prison for these activities, although there was conflicting information, which of course can always be expected when the sources are various people posting different accounts to web forums.

Such as in the following link from

At one point in the thread someone claiming to be Lovin’s sister said that the charges against her brother were true, and then posted a photo of herself with Lovin in his later years—after he had been released from prison—and stated that he had died of a heart attack in 1991. The photo indeed looked to be Roger Lovin, however these posts from his alleged sister (which I think legit) were later removed from the thread.

Here’s another related post.

It should be noted that I haven’t seen any of Lovin’s criminal records, and so I can’t definitively confirm any of the charges.

Thanks to Tim Cridland for the scans from The Ungarbled Word.

book discordian timeline discordianism jfk kerry thornley lee harvey oswald warren commission

50 Years Ago: Testimony of Kerry Wendell Thornley

From the final report of the President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, known unofficially as the “Warren Commission”

The Idle Warriors by Kerry W. Thornley, published by IllumiNet Press, 1991
The testimony of Kerry Wendell Thornley was taken at 9:40 a.m., on May 18, 1964, at 200 Maryland Avenue NE., Washington, D.C., by Messrs. John Ely and Albert E. Jenner, Jr., assistant counsel of the President’s Commission.

Mr. Thornley, in the deposition you are about to give, do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?
I do.

You are Kerry Wendell Thornley, spelled K-e-r-r-y W-e-n-d-e-l-l T-h-o-r-n-l-e-y?

That is correct, sir.

Mr. Thornley, where do you reside now?

At 4201 South 31st Street in Arlington, Va.

Did you at one time reside at 1824 Dauphine Street in New Orleans?

Yes, sir.

What is your present occupation?

I am a doorman at the building where I reside, Shirlington House.