Killing Kennedy 

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Oswald and the Monkey Virus

Philip Coppens


Dr Mary Sherman

Lee Harvey Oswald was not the assassin of President Kennedy. That is the only firm conclusion one can draw from analyzing the Kennedy assassination’s body of evidence. From that material, one can derive preliminary conclusions and suggestions, which often cannot be proven as the authorities were never interested in pursuing these strands of the investigation as they were only interested in tying Oswald to the crime.
The Warren Commission’s focus was too narrow, while other researchers have cast the net too wide. But when we widen the scope of the investigation wide enough, it becomes clear that those involved in the assassination were also involved in other projects that have scarcely seen the light of day, projects which are often highly illegal or secret.
Dozens of deaths have been marked as potentially connected with the Kennedy assassination, often involving eyewitnesses or potential conspirators who died “mysteriously” . Few seem to be more intriguing than that of Mary Sherman. Interestingly, Sherman was murdered and her death is listed as an “unsolved murder” to this very day.
Dr. Mary Sherman was found dead in the early morning of July 21, 1964, eight months after the assassination. Her body had been partially burned, her entire right arm missing, though this detail was sometimes left out of the news reports following her death. Though part of her body was burnt, this was largely the right side only and nothing else in the house was burnt. There was no sign of forced entry in her home – the alarm system was off – suggesting that her murderer was known to her. She was stabbed multiple times, including the heart, which killed her.
Skeptics like Gerard Posner have argued that this “unsolved murder” is of no relevance to the Kennedy assassination, but Edward T. Haslam believes otherwise. A native of New Orleans, Haslam has published “Dr. Mary’s Monkey”, in which he outlines the case that Sherman’s murder may have been a pivotal part of why the Kennedy assassination was never properly investigated, as this might expose Oswald’s role in a nefarious secret experiment that the US government desperately tried to keep away from the general public.
Dr. Mary Sherman was a Tulane medical professor and one of the country’s leading orthopedic surgeons and cancer researchers, who became involved with a secret government experiment to stop a previous government experiment that had gone wrong from reaching apocalyptic proportions. In the 1950s, various experiments were occurring to advance medicine. Test subjects were often mice and monkeys. When polio struck throughout the Western world, medical researchers needed to come up with fast answers. Often, it appears in retrospect, not all side effects of the vaccines that were administered were known and some were far more dangerous than the original disease. It appears that AIDS, but especially the spread of cancer, might have been unknown side effects of these experiments. The likes of Sherman were involved with this advanced research and were amongst the first to realize the dangers, as well as searching for antidotes.

David Ferrie

But first, how does Sherman tie into the Kennedy assassination? A central figure in the Kennedy assassination plot is David Ferrie. After Oswald’s arrest, New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison was asked to look into Ferrie as a potential conspirator with Oswald. He was soon cleared. When Garrison reopened his investigation in 1967, Ferrie became his principal focus and he began to realize that there was far more to this man than initially had met the eye.
On the day of the assassination, Garrison arrested Ferrie as there were stories going round that Ferrie had been the getaway pilot for the assassin. At the time of the assassination, Ferrie was actually in a New Orleans courtroom, with Carlos Marcello, the local Mafia don, who was read a verdict of not guilty on racketeering charges. Garrison arrested Ferrie after he had received a phone call from Jack Martin, who earlier in the afternoon had been pistol-whipped by his employee Guy Banister, with whom Oswald briefly shared an office a few months earlier while he was handing out leaflets about Communist Cuba in the streets of New Orleans. Once arrested, Garrison turned Ferrie over to the FBI, who quickly released him. In 1963, Garrison believed the FBI was conducting a concise investigation – a fantasy he would discard a few years later when he reopened the case in 1966. But in February 1967, only a few days after Garrison had announced his new enquiry, Ferrie was found dead in his apartment, his death ruled natural, which is why the New Orleans DA could never prosecute him.
On his part, Haslam has identified that Ferrie was involved with the same secret medical experiments Sherman was involved with. When Ferrie was questioned as part of the Kennedy assassination investigation, his apartment was found to contain thousands mice, which Haslam was able to trace back as being involved in the Sherman medical research. Indeed, when questioned, Ferrie claimed he was helping to find a cure for cancer. Ferrie was even said to have published a medical treatise on the viral theory of cancer, but it is now known that he did not write it, but did have access to unpublished documents in the subject matter, showing he was on the frontlines of this research.
Garrison agreed that Ferrie was involved in cancer research, as expressed in an interview with “Playboy” in 1967, in which the interviewer also prodded Garrison that several people believed that Jack Ruby, Oswals’s assassin, had died after he had been injected with live cancer cells. Garrison answered with the standard statement, that Ferrie had indeed worked with mice – 2000 at one time – and tried to inject them with cancer and that there might be a link with the death of Dr. Mary Sherman. Garrison straightforwardly stated that Ferrie and Sherman worked together on these experiments. But Garrison also stated there was more than one doctor involved and seemed to indicate one of the other doctors was Dr. Alton Ochsner, someone whom he in 1967 tried to arrest.

Dr. Alton Ochsner

Ochsner was one of the leading doctors of the 20th century, but also connected with the world of intelligence; together with William Donovan, the head of the Office of Strategic Services after the Second World, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the American Cancer Society in 1949. Ochsner operated on several foreign “friends”, like Tomas Gabriel Duque, the former dictator of Panama and Argentinian president Juan Peron. He was violently anti-communist and set up a number of organizations in New Orleans to promote anti-communism, specifically INCA, of which he was both president and chairman. After leafleting in New Orleans, Oswald had debated Ed Butler, INCA’s Executive Director, on the radio. It is generally assumed that Oswald was paid to leaflet and that he did it as a campaign to make people believe there were communist supporters for Castro in New Orleans.
It was Butler who in 1963 made sure that the world heard part of this radio interview, in which Oswald said he was a Marxist. After the assassination, Butler went to Congressman Hale Boggs’ office and played the recording to him; Boggs then phoned President Johnson, stating he had just heard evidence Oswald was a communist. It was a decisive moment in the Kennedy investigation, for not only did the world now believe Oswald was a communist, Johnson also ordered a cover-up, stating he did not want to see the Warren Commission reach a conclusion that communists were behind the killing of the American president, as this could lead to World War III.
In 1967, Ochsner clearly should have been afraid of his arrest and when this news reached him, he tried to depict Garrison as crazy. He, like Sherman, was one of the most respected experts in medicine in the United States. Why would they become involved with a man like Ferrie? Why, one would think, were her experiments not carried out in the confines of university laboratories? The answer is that much of the work she was carrying out, was deliberately kept outside the realms of university laboratories, as most of it was either sponsored by the intelligence agencies or was trying to fix major errors committed by university laboratories – and some of the errors were created by Ochsner.
In the late 1950s, when polio ravaged through the western world, a vaccine was created. The likes of Elvis Presley were approached to sponsor a massive inoculation campaign across America, to protect the people from polio. But just before the inoculations began, the polio vaccine turned out to be not so safe. The alarm bell was rung by Bernice Eddy. When she injected the polio vaccine in her monkeys, they became paralyzed. When this news reached the media, Ochsner injected his own grandchildren, in a public demonstration that he was absolutely convinced the new vaccine was safe. Alas, within days, children across America fell ill, some even died. Ochsner’s grandson died, while his granddaughter contracted the disease but survived.

Oswald leafletting in the streets of New Orleans

But the story is bigger. This specific polio vaccine may actually have been the cause for the increase in cancer. Eddy asked whether an entire generation of Americans might have been inoculated with cancer-causing monkey viruses. Indeed, after the polio debacle, Sherman began to use radiation in efforts to lessen or kill the monkey virus in the cancer – years ahead of the introduction of radiation therapy for cancer patients.
A key ingredient in the story of Sherman is the linear particle accelerator, a new device that emerged in the late 1950s from the world of physics and which soon made its inroads in the medical labs, where it was used to destroy cancer tissue as well as other applications in viral and genetic research. Sherman was an early experimenter with this new form of treatment and died while she was investigating these new avenues of medicine.
Sherman may not have died because she was involved in the Kennedy assassination, but it appears that her death occurred within the context of secret US government experiments and disasters whose full scope the US government did not want to see become public knowledge. Though it is speculation, maybe her right arm was missing and this part of her body burnt as she had become exposed to a virus or like; burning part of her body would make sure that the disease would die and not spread in the human population. We will, however, never know, as her death was never resolved and maybe part of the reason is that the US government gave specific instructions not to resolve it, as it would uncover the disastrous saga of the polio-cancer vaccine. A saga, which includes some of the key players of the Kennedy assassination.