From what I understand, the only thing that could potentially derail this roll-out is President Trump who has the final say—yea or nay—although there’s no indication he’s considering putting the skids on any of this—assuming of course his handlers in the Kremlin are on board and there’s nothing in the files that could potentially cast Mother Russia in a negative light.
From what I’ve been able to piece together, some of these files concern Lee Oswald’s trip to Mexico City in late September 1963, when Oswald—or an Oswald double, or someone going by the name of Oswald, or maybe a rabbit named Oswald—paid a visit to the Soviet and Cuban consulates there.
Some people are saying there may even be sensitive materials in the files related to Mexico, which is another possible reason to keep a lid on them—to appease the Mexican government—though I doubt Trump would give a rat’s ass about any of this wimpy “sensitivity” stuff. And if there’s indeed some dirt linking Mexico to JFK’s assassination, maybe he could even use it to apply leverage to get Mexico to pay for his wall after all! (Don’t ya love it when a plan comes together?)
In things JFK assassination-related, all roads inevitably lead to Discordianism… and Kerry Thornley. (Maybe.) The gist of Jim Garrison’s conspiratorial claims concerning Thornley were to the effect that he was one of the notorious Oswald doubles, and that he (Kerry) met up with his old Marine Corps pal Oswald in Mexico City—and then later in the French Quarter—all part of some diabolical plot designed to frame Oswald as a commie red.
Among the “evidence” Garrison presented to bolster his theory re: Thornley-meeting-Oswald-in-Mexico included a postcard Kerry sent to a French Quarter poet pal named Phil Boatright. Of course, Kerry never denied traveling to Mexico City in early August ‘63, all of which occurred during the same general time frame he traveled from New Orleans to California and then back again to New Orleans during the summer of that year.
On the way to California, the Greyhound bus carrying Thornley cross country made a piss stop in Texas which led Garrison to conclude that Kerry was the dastardly dude who faked the funky photo of Oswald standing in the courtyard of his Dallas apartment holding the deadly Mannlicher-Carcano rifle in one hand and some dirty commie literature in the other.
This all fed into Garrison’s propinquity theory suggesting that if you’re ever anywhere near anyone in time and space who might have known another someone who might have been involved in something then there was a reasonable reason to believe that you were most likely involved in something that the other people you knew may have also been involved with. Or something like that. (It’s all about connectin’ the dots, dude.)
The most curious document I’ve come across regarding this alleged Oswald-Thornley-Mexico meet-up is one I’ve never actually seen addressed by other researchers—pro or con—which I post below for you to wrap your heads around.
Like a number of Thornley-JFK assassination-related documents, the first time I came across this little ditty I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it: was it a fake or the real McCoy? I bring up the possibility of “fake” mainly because there were a number of documents foisted off on Garrison by independent investigators (otherwise known as Grassy Knoll Irregulars), such as the doctored Thornley photos that Harold Weisberg had his hand in, or a couple of spurious letters connected to Fred Crisman which I’ll discuss in a future installments here at Historia Discordia (if I haven’t bored you to tears already). However—in the case of this Murdock Memo—it seems consistent with similar internal FBI documents I’ve seen, and I’d venture to guess it is indeed authentic, which of course doesn’t speak to its accuracy, although I’m sure there are many who would ceremoniously proclaim at first sight: “Checkmate, Thornley! You’re busted, bub!”
The memo is dated November 25, 1963—three days after you know what—based on a tip from Det. J.C. Murdock of the Grand Prairie, Texas P.D. advising “that one Karry [sic] Thornley… has recently been in Mexico and California with Oswald. Secret Service has been notified.”
In 1959, Oswald and Thornley served together at El Toro Marine Base in California, although without going all Wikipedia on you, I don’t recall Oswald ever returning to California after his Marine Corps stint (and subsequent 23 skidoo to Moscow).
This memo was received by the Dallas FBI and forwarded to J. Edgar Hoover and then on to the New Orleans FBI Field Office and afterwards was evidently reviewed by the Warren Commission, or at least that’s my working assumption based on a collection of documents bundled together in the Harold Weisberg Archives, which appear to be related to Thornley’s Warren Commission testimony.
The first document in this six page bundle is an internal FBI memo stating that Special Agent Richard K. Harrison conducted an investigation of the Murdock Memo.
“On November 23, 1963, Detective SIMS, Homicide and Robbery Division, Dallas Police Department, advised he had received information from one J.C. MURDOCK, Grand Prairie, Texas, police officer, that one, LARRY [sic] THORNLEY, white male, age 24, address 1824 Dauphine, New Orleans, Louisiana, was a close friend of OSWALD and served with him in the U.S. Marines at the El Toro, California, Marine Base. MURDOCK alleged and that THORNLEY is presently a waiter in New Orleans and has recently been in Old Mexico and California with Oswald.”
Although Special Agent Anderson lays out some pretty specific info ala Detective Murdock—including the misidentification of Kerry as Larry—there’s no indication that any of these allegations were ever confirmed, or to what extent they were followed up on by the Feds. The phrase “Old Mexico” seems a bit out of left field; “Old Mexico,” in some instances, is used as a colloquial term for the former portion of Mexico now incorporated into Southern California, the same geographic area where Thornley and Oswald served together in the Marines, so it all might have been a matter of conflation: Murdock heard something secondhand and then connected it to some other secondhand info and what we’re left with is another among the many confounding head scratchers you’ll discover in the always entertaining Garrison investigation files.
Also, the dates don’t match up from one memo to the other, whatever that suggests. The original Murdock Memo sent out was supposedly on November 25 whereas Special Agent Anderson stated it was composed on November 23, which is not unusual for raw intelligence—not getting names straight or dates exactly right—although it demonstrates the hurried nature of such memos dashed off in the assassination’s aftermath when the wounds were raw and the facts and fictions flying fast and furious across the newswires, teletype machines, and TV screens.
Following the assassination, the FBI and Secret Service questioned Thornley and he was on their radar for awhile—or at least Thornley suspected they were tailing him around New Orleans—and one would think they’d have look into this Murdock Memo matter and put it to rest.
Whatever the case, the memo appears legit, although I wouldn’t have put it past Harold Weisberg to have had a hand in some sort of fuckery of this type (creating a fake document) given his past involvement in the touched up Thornley photo caper.
Besides Weisberg, there were a handful of other Grassy Knoll Irregulars (as the press referred to them) who were tracking the wicked Thornley scent, among them Mark Lane and his comedic cohort Mort Sahl who took a break from his stand-up career to patriotically dedicated himself to Garrison’s freewheeling funfest. Among Thornley’s voluminous writings, he briefly mentioned encountering Sahl when he went in for questioning one day to Garrison’s office. Sahl—upon the first sight of Thornley—turned a ghostly shade of pale and quickly exited the room like he’d just caught a glimpse of the Grim Reaper himself, convinced—as Sahl apparently was—that Thornley was some sort of evil CIA assassin up to no darn good.
The Lane/Sahl tag team is on exhibit in a January 22, 1968 memo documenting an interview with a Mrs. Fenella Farrington who recalled a September (or October) 1963 visit to the Mexican consulate in New Orleans. While waiting to be attended to, a young man came in, inquiring, “What do you have to do to take firearms or a gun into Mexico?”
After JFK’s assassination—on November 25, 1963—FBI agents informed Mrs. Farrington that the squirrelly guy asking about guns in the Mexican Consulate was none other than Lee Harvey Oswald, JFK’s alleged assassin. In this regard, the Lane/Sahl memo suggests that FBI agents pressured Mrs. Farrington to confirm that this gun enthusiast was indeed our boy Lee.
According to the memo, Lane “showed 17 photographs to MRS. FARRINGTON and she selected just 2, one of KERRY THORNLEY and two of LEE HARVEY OSWALD as possibly showing the person whom she had seen in 1963 at the Consulate. She said THORNLEY’s face on the photo appeared more full than the face of the man she had seen…”
Was this supposed Thornley photo (mentioned above) the same one that Harold Weisberg had doctored (shown to the right) to make Thornley more resemble Oswald?
Just about the time I thought I’d wrapped up this hot mess, another story came across the Internet wires claiming that there may be some Oswald related files missing from the soon to be released (maybe) JFK Assassination Volume 5.
Stay tuned, dear conspiracy comrades, for further developments…