John Barbours World, November 14, 2016
John Barbours World with John Barbour and guests Judyth Vary Baker and then JP Sottile.
Judyth Vary Baker Biography
TEN YEARS OF BATTLE
Ten years ago, I decided to speak out concerning my relationship with Lee Harvey Oswald, who has long been accused of murdering President John F. Kennedy. I remember placing about half the evidence I had on the bed and looking at it, wondering if it was enough, and if I could find witnesses to our relationship. For Oswald and I had a love affair in New Orleans, which was known to some others; I had remained in contact with Lee until a day and a half before Kennedy's assassination. We planned to marry if he was able to escape with his life. To this day, I have never met another man with such courage.
I had written down a highly detailed account for my son, for him to read after I died, but it occurred to me that he might not understand its complexity and importance: Lee Oswald had been demonized in the press, and I had heard many lies about his character and personality, even though I tried hard to remove myself from every possible contact with the past, for I had seen Lee shot to death on television, a indescribable shock. Lee had told me that he was being set up to get trapped and killed, because he had penetrated an assassination ring, in hopes of saving Kennedy, by means of his association with David Ferrie and anti-Kennedy former FBI officer Guy Banister, and others. But he understood that he had no way to extricate himself without endangering me, his wife, and his babies. Besides, he told me that he had become part of an abort team that would try to save Kennedy. He stressed that he would try to act as naturally and normally as possible, despite what he knew, in order to protect us and others who had tried to save the President.
Lee Oswald expected to be shot dead the same day as the President, because he knew too much. He had far closer ties to the mafia than was known to most between 1963 and 1999, when I finally revealed his extensive ties with the Marcello organization in New Orleans. Carlos Marcello was the country's most powerful godfather in 1963, but was scarcely mentioned in official investigations in 1963. From childhood on, Lee yearned to become a double agent/spy against communism, ever since viewing "I led Three Lives" in New York when he was a young teenager. He was NOT an ordinary young man: he became a Marine, was trained in covert activities, conquered the difficult Russian language, and entered Russia as a fake defector while still 19 years old. He returned to the United States at the height of the Cold War almost three years later with a Russian wife and child without difficulty, because he was one of our own. A true hero and patriot - one of the few who had ever entered the USSR as a defector and returned alive to tell the tale. All his later actions, such as passing out pro-Castro literature in New Orleans, were choreographed by the CIA and FBI, so that he could be sent into Cuba against Castro in a later assignment.
Lee became a successful double agent working secretly against Castro for the CIA, with ties to the FBI, even while posing as pro-Castro. He had successfully worked as a spy for the US inside the Soviet Union, and was soon assigned to prepare himself as a spy inside Cuba. But he also had numerous jobs to do for the CIA and FBI here in the United States - and I was aware of many of them, having at times posed as his wife in New Orleans, and for some time had also served to help cover his activities while he and I worked at a small coffee company in New Orleans. I was from Florida and was very anti-Castro, beginning with my close friendship in high school with Tony Lopez-Fresquet. (The son of Castro's first finance minister, he was forced to flee Cuba because his mother was an American.)
I won't discuss my training in cancer research here, but I was qualified to work in an anti-Castro cancer research project that began in 1962 in New Orleans under the auspices of Dr. Alton Ochsner, known for his anti-communist ferocity, and Dr. Mary S. Sherman, along with other doctors, specialists, and trained assistants, including the well-known anti-Castro genius-eccentric, David Ferrie, a friend of Dr. Sherman's. Through a series of events, I was brought inadvertently into the project: I was originally supposed to be involved only peripherally, in Dr. Sherman's bone cancer laboratory. How this occurred is told in detail in several books, as well as on DVD's, and in documentaries. Lee Oswald - an intelligent man--was involved as a courier and lab tech in the project. My recent, but unhappy marriage, the absence of my husband (and his being unavailable to help me during a severe crisis), and Lee Oswald's interventions and help in my times of need (he was equally unhappy in his own marriage) created a camaraderie which developed into a romance. I know Lee loved me with all his heart. And I loved him the same.
The trials and tribulations we endured to get the product developed, tested, and into Cuba were many and complex. Lee did everything he could to protect me after our efforts failed, especially after I had a falling-out over using one or more 'volunteers' to test the cancer. By then, Lee was already involved, through David Ferrie, in penetrating a JFK assassination ring that existed in New Orleans; he later was lured into its arm in Texas. Believing he could obtain information that might be used to save Kennedy, Lee, fully aware of the dangers, cooperated with the assassination ring's leaders. Concurrently, Lee's attempts in Mexico City to get the cancer product into Cuba to use against Castro were fruitless, because the project was called off. The excuse was the approach of Hurricane Flora and the scattering of Castro's medical teams throughout Cuba: the shelf life of the product was limited and wouldn't survive neglect.
I was warned--after Lee was arrested, pointed out immediately as the 'sole assassin,' and then shot and killed on November 24--to keep quiet and to become a 'vanilla girl'. I was to do no more cancer research, though it had been my great dream, and I had been exceptionally good at it. I would eventually get a B.S. in anthropology and spend much time teaching and counseling. Lee had begged me to have babies and to go on with my life, so I did. I ended up with five children, and waited until the last one left home before looking into the current state of affairs regarding the JFK/RFK/MLK murders. I knew enough about what happened to Lee to suspect that all three murders were agency-arranged. I took out the film "JFK", by Oliver Stone, to watch--a film I could not bear to see when the kids brought it home a few years earlier. They remember my unexplainable walk-out, leaving them alone in the house to watch it--and now, by myself, I saw enough to understand what a mess had been made of the truth. I felt my soul shrink with shame when Stone noted that to remain silent was cowardly!
I had heard that Dr. Sherman and Dave Ferrie had both been murdered. Now I saw more murders of witnesses on that film. Though it had been 38 years since JFK had died, I feared who might still be alive to do harm to me or my loved ones. I had written down the entire truth for my son in a series of letters, but I realized I could not simply publish them. I could be sued by the powerful people still alive, including the Lyndon Johnson, Nixon and Bush dynasty beneficiaries of the assassinations. I remember trembling all over, with pure fear. Still, Oliver Stone's movie had awakened my conscience. What kind of love had I held for Lee, if I didn't try to set the record straight, best I could? I couldn't betray him by continued silence. I just couldn't. But I decided to protect myself. I began writing The Oswald Connection, a mishmash of memories thrown together without regard to my painfully written and highly accurate letters. If any publisher showed interest in this incomplete story, which omitted some key names and activities, I'd then bring out the full 600 pages I'd written and ask for protection from lawsuits.
Satisfied that I had enough evidence to back my testimony, and certain I'd find witnesses that Lee and I had been lovers--some of them had to still be alive!--I sent a fax to "20/20", a TV program that had investigated Benny Hinn and other controversial figures quite well. They felt the story was too big for them, and contacted "60 Minutes", who soon after contacted me. At the same time, I found a European-based literary agent, after a US agent backed out due to fear. This agent took my hastily-written book, interviewed me by phone and email, and edited the book, unfortunately adding details such as 'Cancun' that I would later be criticized about. "It doesn't matter," he told me. "Once it's with a publisher, fix it up as you please." That agent was a go-getter, but he created a fake story about my hiding out in Europe, and other lies, and also tried to get a producer friend of his to film my story for "60 Minutes". The final blow was too much: the agent insisted that "60 Minutes" sign a contract with financial demands in it, and they refused to handle the story. I personally turned down all financial offers.
After I fired the agent, and told "60 Minutes" he was gone, for the next year and a half, Mike Wallace, Don Hewitt, Phil Scheffler and others investigated me, and everything I said and showed them. They sent me to New Orleans, to Washington, to New York, and I was vetted mercilessly. I have much more supporting evidence now, and now have my living witnesses on tape and film as well, but at the time, a third party threatened one of my witnesses (Anna Lewis), and she refused to be re-filmed for "60 Minutes". Another witness worried that I was an imposter (he has since realized that another person was posing as me!). He has since written a book (Dr. Mary's Monkey, by Edward T. Haslam) using me as a primary witness. "60 Minutes" didn't learn about that new book in time nor did they want to use the poor quality original film where Anna Lewis states how she and her husband, and Lee Oswald and I, double-dated together in New Orleans. Her husband was David Lewis, who had worked with Guy Banister, as had Lee.
Howard Liebengood, who had had access to HSCA/CIA files, supported me, but there was also difficulty trying to get this story told in just 18 minutes - the longest time segment allowed in the format of the program. In the end, as Don Hewitt told the world on C-Span, "the door was slammed in our faces." Despite promises that filming would proceed--three times--in the end, I got email apologies, and two checks for lost wages (CBS told me they had never done that before for anyone investigated by "60 Minutes").
Meanwhile, one researcher had leaked information to a vicious newsgroup, which over the years issued over 250,000 posts, mostly flaming and attacking. Most of these have since been erased, but the thrust was that I sought money and fame and attention. The opposite is the case: I have turned down all requests for interviews since 2004. Several huge websites variously attack me as a liar or fantasist, while suggesting I should be arrested if I'm telling the truth, all the while ignoring numerous statements from living and dead witnesses that have long proven that Lee and I were lovers, as well as much new evidence and leads that I've given researchers, which has unearthed new information concerning Oswald and the assassination, such as that Oswald worked with Customs agents, and that CIA handler David Atlee Phillips was in Dallas on Nov. 22nd, the day JFK was shot.
Of course, I also hear "So what? He probably lied to her, too!" Ten years after speaking out for the first time, I am a shadow of my former healthy and strong self, plagued with chronic pain and double vision. Why? I've been struck twice by vehicles in Dallas, have been assaulted, have been stalked, threatened and found my teaching jobs vanish, again and again. My phones have been tapped in Europe, I've been followed openly, the brake line on my car was cut, and vandals have repeatedly broken into my homes and destroyed my property. But that's just the start.
I do not want pity, but understanding my situation is important. My reputation has been destroyed on the Internet. While teaching in Hungary, in 2007, I was suddenly told I had to quit: Hungarian agents warned me to leave the country, but not to return to America. The date: Sept. 8--the same day Edward T. Haslam's book, Dr. Mary's Monkey, was reviewed by a popular blogger in Hungary. I ended up fleeing to Scandinavia, where I sought political asylum. It was a delicate political situation--after all, I came from America!--but they did not deport me, as at first I was told was 100% inevitable. After reviewing my case, I received protection under appeal, remaining sheltered in Sweden for over ten months. I finally obtained safe haven in the Middle east and in Europe, through the actions of friends and my children, just before I would have been forced to go back to America. Instead, I am free to go anywhere I choose, and do so, but I am a woman without a country, without a home, unable to see my grandchildren and children, for I do not want bad things to happen to them because of my presence. I am grateful for those who handled my case in Sweden, who despite political difficulties granted me time to find safe haven (actually, two safe havens)! I'm safe now, I feel, thanks to everyone's help. I do hope someday to be able to safely live and travel in my own country.
It has been difficult getting out the truth to the world. Twice, books I attempted to write, with much more information, and with those important names and events added, that I so long feared to mention, have been published without my permission, because both books needed much more work. The present book, Me & Lee, reflects our personal lives and adds new information. Donations allow me to travel between my two residences. I can only stay 89 days at a time at each residence, and it's expensive to move four times a year, but I currently have no choice, if I am to live in safety. After The History Channel aired "The Love Affair", I received many threats and was hospitalized three times from injuries associated with my situation.
In 2003, British film producer Nigel Turner, famed for the once-popular (and now banned) History Channel series, The Men Who Killed Kennedy, which had previously been featured on The History Channel for two decades, offered three final segments to the world about the Kennedy assassination: The Smoking Guns, The Love Affair, and The Guilty Men. "The Love Affair" (in 5 sections on YouTube, JFKMurdersolved.com, Edward Haslam's websites, judythvarybaker.com, etc.) was Turner's only documentary featuring just one witness story--mine.
Supposed to be shown for nine years running, until 2013 (the 50th anniversary), the series nailed down the role played by President Lyndon Johnson in helping to assure Kennedy's assassination--with a terrible outcry from two former Presidents, Lady Bird Johnson, Jack Valenti, and others. The documentaries were secretly purchased from The History Channel, and banned. They were seen only five times in America. They were also shown in Europe and Australia. Other documentary attempts were made by Jim Marrs, Wim Dankbaar, and Dutch investigator Peter deVries, who runs a Sixty-Minute style investigative news program--all of these persons spent significant time investigating me and my witnesses and evidence. Finally, Edward Haslam's book, Dr. Mary's Monkey, explains in detail, and quite accurately, just what happened in New Orleans in 1963, and the roles Lee and I played there in our attempt to help kill Fidel Castro and to try to save JFK. But only in the book Me & Lee will you learn of the greatness, patriotism, courage and decency of Lee Harvey Oswald.
Today, several of my children are very unhappy with my having spoken out. I have lost friends; many relatives are also upset with me, though others pray every day for my safety. I have lost health, income, savings, and my reputation in the world as a good, kind, truthful person. For some time, after I endured pain and crippling from an (unrelated) assault--but would I have taken that hazardous teaching job if I had not lost so many other job opportunities?--I was in a wheelchair, and got badly overweight, almost overcome with neck and back pain. I have since lost considerable weight and am now healthy again. Maybe I won't be harmed again and can keep my health. I am so grateful for the donations that have paid my medical bills!
I am treated with respect overseas, but it seems that all my efforts have had little impact in the United States. Even my home town area newspaper wrote a damaging article about me in 2008, using quotes from two former classmates I scarcely knew, plus additional nasty comments from the ever-ready newsgroup. (None of the people quoted there had ever met me.) It broke my heart, for the article also mentioned that I did not attend my mother's funeral--not explaining that I was being protected in the political asylum system in Sweden, due to death threats!--making it seem I didn't care about my beloved mother. She fully supported me in life: she knew I would have come to her side, had it had been possible.
While there have been some defeats, I hope to live to see Lee Harvey Oswald fully exonerated. Every year, on November 24, the date Lee died, we hold THE LEE HARVEY OSWALD MEMORIAL EVENING. We expect it to be held in 12 countries in 2009. Visit judythvarybaker.com or Weebly.com for more information!
My closest friends and allies know what I've been through--depending on when and where they've been. They generally concede that pressure has been put upon me to give up, to shut up. To a great extent, attempts to close my mouth succeeded, because I must keep my locations secret, if I am to have peace. But I will never give up efforts to exonerate Lee Harvey Oswald. Do not go gentle into that dark night of lies. Fight to stop the dying of the light!
When my voice goes silent at last, who then will speak for Lee Oswald? For the truth? Those who killed Kennedy went on to push not one, but two wars, onto the American people. Look to Texas. Look to New Orleans. Some were finally exposed in their lies, deception, and cruelty. Some of them believed torture was okay--they believed it was okay to intercept your emails, to listen to your phone calls. They used fear to control you, and money. It started with Kennedy's murder. Jim Marrs said, "It may be too late for justice, but it is never too late for the truth." Watch the banned documentaries. Copy them. Buy the books. Tell your friends. Teach your children. Never forget!
Judyth Vary Baker: ten years later.
Judyth Vary Baker was once a promising science student who dreamed of finding a cure for cancer, but strayed from a path of mainstream scholarship at the University of Florida to a life of espionage in New Orleans with Lee Harvey Oswald.
In her memoir, Me & Lee – How I came to know, love and lose Lee Harvey Oswald, Judyth offers extensive documentation of how she came to be involved with cancer research at such a young age, the personalities who recruited her to move to New Orleans in 1963, how she was hired there – along with Lee Oswald – by Reily Coffee Co. and fired the same afternoon Lee was arrested for disturbing the peace on Canal Street, and how she became a participant in the development of a biological weapon that Oswald was to smuggle into Cuba to eliminate Fidel Castro.
Judyth shows the evidence and relates – from her first-hand experience – all she knows about the Kennedy assassination, her love affair with Lee Oswald over the summer of '63, her conversations with him as late as two days before JFK's death, his role as a deep-cover intelligence agent who was framed for an assassination he was actually trying to prevent, and how he was silenced by his old friend Jack Ruby.
"If you want to stay alive, it's time to go into the catacombs. Promise me you will keep your mouth shut!"
Judyth Vary Baker was only twenty years old when she heard those alarming words. It was the strained voice of David Ferrie.
The date was November 23, 1963, the day after President Kennedy had been fatally shot in Dallas. Her co-worker, friend and lover, Lee Oswald, had been declared the "lone-nut" assassin.
Judyth knew this wasn't true, but what could she do? She was now living in Florida with her new husband, Robert Baker III, having left New Orleans in September of 1963 when Lee moved to Dallas after their summer-long affair.
Then came November 24th. Lee was shot — live on television — right before her eyes. Devastated, depressed and scared, Judyth was told to lay low, to be a "vanilla girl," to trade her silence for her life. She knew things, secret things.
Judyth made a decision. She dropped her childhood dreams of finding a cure for cancer along with her first love: science. Choosing survival, she soon buried herself in her family (raising five kids), her work and art. She resolved that, one day, she would tell her story. She would speak he truth so Lee's children, whom he adored, would know what their father really did and what he really stood for.
As a high school student, Judyth had independently discovered a method of accelerating cancer growth in lab mice, and came to the attention of top-echelon doctors and medical researchers, including renowned surgeon Dr. Alton Ochsner, a past president of the American Cancer Society and founder of the world-famous Ochsner Clinic in New Orleans.
After her sophomore year of college in Florida, Judyth landed a summer job in New Orleans with prominent cancer researcher Dr. Mary Sherman, a physician working with Dr. Ochsner.
Within days of her arrival, a man named Lee Oswald just happened to be standing in line behind her at the post office. This seemingly chance encounter began a relationship which drew her through the looking glass into a maelstrom, changing her life forever.
She soon found that, instead of working to find a cure for cancer, she was actually helping to create a super-cancer virus for the purpose of killing Fidel Castro. But there was an even more sinister side.
Over the next few months Judyth met several infamous figures surrounding Oswald: the fanatical ex-FBI right-wing racist Guy Banister, Mafia Godfather Carlos Marcello, club-owner Jack Ruby, and many others. She also became a friend and workmate of the brilliant but bizarre David Ferrie.
Unlike any other book about the events of that fateful year, "Me & Lee" is a deeply personal memoir relating the author's firsthand experience in New Orleans as lover and confidante of Lee Harvey Oswald.
JP SOTTILE is a freelance journalist, published historian, radio co-host and documentary filmmaker. His credits include a stint on the NewsHour news desk, C-SPAN, and as a newsmagazine producer for ABC affiliate WJLA in Washington. Joseph “JP” Sottile is a two-time Washington Regional Emmy Award Winner. Documentary film credits include: writer, director, producer of The Warning and various production and photography credits on other public interest films. His weekly show, Inside the Headlines w/ The Newsvandal, co-hosted by James Moore, airs every Friday on KRUU-FM in Fairfield, Iowa. He is the Newsvandal.
John Barbour "the godfather of reality TV" created, co-hosted, co-produced, and wrote 'Real People' - the first reality show, which was number one on NBC for three years during the early 1980's.
Barbour moved to the United States in the early sixties. His comedy act, particularly his 1965 album, It's Tough to Be White, dealt in part with civil rights and black-white relations.
Barbour hosted the pilot for The Gong Show in the mid '70s, and was a regular panelist on the 1988 Canadian (US syndicated) version of Liar's Club.
Barbour portrayed game show host Harry Monte in a 1975 episode of Sanford and Son.
John Produced, Wrote, and Hosted 'Ernie Kovacs: TV's Original Genius,'for Showtime that aired later on PBS. At the time it was reviewed as 'the best documentary about a performer!'
He also directed and wrote the 1992 documentary The JFK Assassination: The Jim Garrison Tapes. This film covers the investigation of District Attorney Jim Garrison, who, after the 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy, decided to further investigate the official report given by the Warren Commission. The documentary hypothesizes connections between the assassination and the FBI, the CIA, the Mafia, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam War, and other organizations and foreign affairs issues. The film won an award in 1993 at the San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain.