Mary Ferrell and Arch Park Kimbrough
JFK researchers owe her a debt
By Mike Cochran Fort Worth Star-Telegram,
''All'' includes the mother of Lee Harvey Oswald and scores of authors and researchers who, not unlike herself, are committed to solving the mystery of the 20th century: ''Who killed JFK?''
It matters little to critics, researchers, and plain old assassination buffs that there may be no mystery at all - that Oswald, acting alone, killed President Kennedy from his sixth-floor sniper's perch in the Texas School Book Depository on Nov. 22, 1963. Such was the conclusion of the Warren Commission and many others, although just as many remain
''In my heart,'' Ferrell said, ''I believe Lee Harvey Oswald was a patsy, that he was used, and that there were other participants in the planning and execution and certainly in the coverup.'' Unlike most of her colleagues, however, Ferrell was quick to add, ''I don't know that.''
Still, when future generations delve into the events of November 1963, the odds are good they will sift through material compiled by this feisty, silver-haired researcher extraordinaire. If she lets them. Ferrell, a former legal secretary who is 77 and in uncertain health, expressed fear that if her assassination research fell into the wrong hands it could be abused and distorted.
''At my death,'' she said of portions of her collection, ''I want them destroyed.''
Ferrell seems a fountain of credibility in a garden of conspiratorial nonsense. One of the original JFK researchers, she is widely recognized as competent, sensible, relentless, honest, and, when necessary, outspoken.
''I simply try to avoid the idiot fringe. It's not easy,'' she said.
Of Jim Garrison, the late conspiracy-obsessed district attorney, she said: ''He was the most charming, interesting man I've ever met. But, poor dear, he let this assassination drive him crazy.''
When Mary Ferrell speaks - not always softly - people tend to listen, and her assassination-related collection is nothing if not voluminous.
Gaeton Fonzi, a former investigator for the House Select Committee on Assassinations, called her the ''guiding star for those who have devoted a part of their lives to pursuing the truth about the Kennedy assassination.''
Gary Mack, curator of the
Floor Museum ,
said, ''All the Kennedy Dealey Plaza
researchers, since the moment it happened until decades in the future, will be totally indebted to Mary Ferrell for compiling a massive database of facts, figures, and information.
''Mary's not really a theorist,'' Mack said. ''She's a compiler. She gathers information and organizes it.''
A respected researcher in his own right, Mack added that in the late 1970s, the House Select Committee contacted Ferrell for copies of certain documents that had been overlooked or misplaced by the National Archives.
''When a congressional investigating committee relies on a private citizen for government documents,'' he said, laughing, ''you know that person knows what she's talking about.''
A diverse group has beaten a path to Ferrell's modest
home. They include Jack Ruby's strippers, a driver for a New Orleans Mafia
kingpin, most of the authors of JFK-related books, scores of researchers, and
the cantankerous Marguerite Oswald. Dallas
Norman Mailer, who wrote ''Oswald's Tale,'' was another who had sought Ferrell's counsel, and she insists he was both likable and great fun.
But, she said with a sigh, ''I have met some of the weirdest people in the world.''
The echoes of gunfire in
had hardly faded that
November day when Ferrell launched her crusade into the murders of Kennedy and
a police officer, J.D. Tippit and, two days later, the slaying of Oswald by
Not an ardent Kennedy admirer, Ferrell was an unlikely candidate for such an endeavor. But the sequence of events didn't make sense to her.
The Tippit shooting, the police identification of Oswald in the darkened Texas Theater, his capture, and his murder by Ruby seemed too coincidental.
''It just couldn't have happened this way,'' she said. ''It just didn't seem plausible. ... I began my quest that afternoon and I just never stopped.''
Ferrell combed the local papers that weekend for the names of witnesses - often misspelled, she observed - and began recording them alphabetically on index cards. She added information as it became available from newspapers and magazines and, years later, books. Once-confidential government documents were declassified, and data from the National Archives were obtained.
''I ended up with over 40,000 3-by-5 index cards,'' she said. ''I built a database before I ever heard the term `database.'''
She still has the typewritten cards, although her files are now computerized. She also has a staggering collection of JFK-related books, magazines, and newspaper articles.
''The same day that I started my database, there was a man over in
what he called his chronology,'' she recalled. ''He put everything in his book,
wrote it down minute by minute, in chronological order.' Highland Park
His name was Arch Kimbrough, whom she met in March 1967.
''I really did like him,'' Ferrell said. ''He told me he was going to devote 20 years to the
assassination, and if it was not solved at the end of 20 years, he was going to quit.''
She and Kimbrough, now dead, became a team of sorts.
''What we did was swap our work. I gave him copies of my index cards and he gave me copies of his chronology,'' she said.
Nov. 22, 1983,
he stopped. He didn't want to hear `assassination' again. And he thought I should
stop, too. I said, `No, I'm not going to stop. I never expected it to be solved
by this time.'''
But now, she ponders whether to preserve her years of work. Often, she said, she included someone in her database and chronologies without documentary proof of the person's possible or purported involvement. ''If I had a reason for believing ... I put it in there.'' It created a paradox.
''There's work in there that will never be duplicated ... valuable work, and I agree it should be saved,'' Ferrell said. ''But maybe next to it is something that should be destroyed.''
She said the solution would be to weed out the extraneous, undocumented, potentially
embarrassing material. But after a run-in with cancer in 1997, her health won't permit such an undertaking. Ultimately, she said, her daughter, Carol Anne Burtchaell, will make the decision.
''Those things that have been published - newspapers, magazines, and books - Carol Anne can give those to anybody she wants,'' Ferrell said, but a leading candidate is a
researcher, Robert Chapman, whom she's worked with for 25 years. Tennessee
As for her ultimate goal, Ferrell admitted that she's not much closer to ''solving'' the crime than she was in November 1963.
''I don't think they'll solve it in my lifetime,'' she said. ''But I want to leave the best possible records for researchers, or schoolchildren, who might want to study the assassination 100 years from now.''
This story ran on page A12 of the Boston Globe on
©Copyright 2000 Globe Newspaper Company.
1989-Arch Park Kimbrough, JFK assassination researcher, dies
Posted by Randy Owen on Fri Dec-29-06 06:54 PM
Posted by Randy Owen on Fri Dec-29-06 06:54 PM
CD1245 DL 100-10461 p. 210 of 394 pages that make up Commission Document 1245 – FBI Gemberling Report of
02 July 1964 re: Oswald Russia/Cuba https://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=11640&relPageId=217
Kimbrough Arch Park
Based on His Study of Public Source Material
Mr. ROBERT B. WARD, Assistant United States Attorney,
Mr. WARD stated that KIMBROUGH furnished him with a hand-drawn map setting forth the close proximity of the residences of
HARVEY OSWALD and JACK RUBY, and the fact that the direction which OSWALD took
from his residence up to the time of his apprehension was in direct line with
the residence of JACK RUBY.
KIMBROUGH further pointed out the coincidence that the residence of General EDWIN A. WALKER, who been fired upon in April, 1963, by an unknown sniper, was only six blocks away from the Vegas Club.
Mr. WARD advised that this map was furnished to him by KIMBROUGH as it appeared to hold some interest at that time and he subsequently furnished this map to Mr. HERBERT J. MILLER, Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division, United States Department of Justice, who was visiting in
following the assassination. Dallas
Mr. WARD advised further that KIMBROUGH visited him on several other occasions with different theories regarding the assassination and a possible conspiracy and, on May 19, 1964, KIMBROUGH again visited WARD’s office and furnished him with a typewritten, five-page list of the names and addresses compiled by KIMBROUGH showing close proximity of residences, both past and present, of many individuals who have been, in one way or another, connected with the assassination investigation.
WARD stated that, upon perusal of this material, he did not place too much stock in KIMBROUGH’s conspiracy theory but, inasmuch as KIMBROUGH had indicated this information might be of value to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, he thought he would advise this Bureau for whatever investigation might be considered pertinent.
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
KIMBROUGH advised he was deeply grieved over the assassination of President JOHN FITZGERALD KENNEDY and has subsequently been very concerned that a Castro –
inspired conspiracy brought about the death of the President by preconceived
plan. KIMBROUGH advised he, therefore, has taken it upon himself to closely
follow all press releases, periodicals, and other news media relating to the
KIMBROUGH pointed out that he observed numerous coincidences from his study of the press releases relating to the assassination and, therefore, on November 24, 1963, the day following the shooting of
HARVEY OSWALD by JACK L. RUBY, he, in company with his family attorney, MINOR
MORGAN, a former Assistant United States Attorney in Dallas, visited the
offices of Assistant United States Attorney ROBERT B. WARD in Dallas to discuss
his theories. He advised he presented a map to Mr. WARD drawn by himself to
scale depicting a straight line from the OSWALD residence at 1026 North
Beckley to the site of the killing of Officer J.D. TIPPI in the
400 block of East 10th Street
and to the residence of JACK RUBY.
KIMBROUGH advised it appeared to him to be of some significance that OSWALD was headed in the exact direction of JACK RUBY’S residence at the time of his apprehension. KIMBROUGH advised it further appeared to him to be of some significance that the residence of General EDWIN A. WALKER, who was fired upon by a sniper in April, 1963, and the Vegas Club, owned by JACK RUBY, were only six blocks apart. KIMBROUGH advised he furnished this map to Mr. WARD for his perusal and the map was later given by WARD to Mr. HERBERT J. MILLER, Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice, when Mr. MILLER was visiting
at a subsequent date. Dallas
KIMBROUGH advised that, in furtherance of his efforts to follow the newspaper and public accounts of the investigation surrounding the assassination of President KENNEDY, he has clipped all items relating to the assassination from the newspaper in
as well as major papers in Dallas ,
New York , Detroit
and Cleveland . He advised he has
compiled there items into a complete file and has cross-indexed many of these
items to allow him to maintain an accurate record of all individuals
interviewed in connection with the assassination and whose names are on public
record. He stated, as a result of this survey, he has found that many
individuals connected with the case reside in close proximity to associates of New Orleans LEE
HARVEY OSWALD and associates of JACK RUBY, which indicates to him there was
definitely a conspiracy by a Castro Cuban group and that both RUBY and OSWALD
were deeply involved in this conspiracy.
KIMBROUGH advised his sole sources of material for obtaining previous and present addresses of individuals whom he believes to be involved in this conspiracy were the public sources, city directories and telephone directories for 1962, 1963 and 1964.
KIMBROUGH furnished a typewritten, five-page list setting forth results of his checks concerning these individuals and a short explanation behind each individual mentioned therein regarding their relationship to each other. KIMBROUGH pointed out that he has no personal knowledge or facts indicating any conspiracy connection between
HARVEY OSWALD and JACK RUBY as relates to the assassination of the President,
and his theory of a conspiracy stems entirely from public source checks as
The list as furnished by KIMBROUGH reads as follows:
- Jose Antonio Azcue…
- Eusebbio Azcue – Cuban consul to MC..
- Elmer S. Blackmon..dispatcher, Dallas Transit Co.
- Boyce (Buddy B.?) Blackmon.
- B.C. Blackmon…
- Clarence A. Blackmon…
- John W. Blackmon …
- Helen Blackmon …
- Jack E. Dougherty…employee TSBD, 1827 S. Marsalis
- James D. Green 500 S. Marsalis
E. Hatfield (spits? At Adlai Stevenson,
4616 W. Loveers Lane, apt. 206, Signed Steel Strap.
- Mrs. Edna Knight…Ruby friend…104 N. 9th, National Theater Supply, 300 S. Harwood
- L.D. Knight – 309 E. 9th
- Paul M. Knight, Sr. 723 N. Marsalis
- Frankie Blackmon 6363 Bordeau
309 E. 9th St.
- Russell W. McLarry – threatens President 11/20/63 93 Windomere /518 Grifith
B. McLarrry 1409
- Nancy Jane Mooney (alias Betty McDonald) 319 N. Windomere
- Joe R. Molina – Credit Mgr. TSBD, 4306 Brown
E. Murphy 1825
S. Marsalis– Fred Oakley Chrysler, Davis, Oak Cliff
- Eugene Mayaze 411 N. Windomere
G. Norman 311
Appian Way,/ 127 ½ W. Jefferson
1006 Knott Place, Gulf Industries
H. Ramsey, Jr. 518
20 Century Fox Griffith
S. Marsalis/ 223 S. Ewing Perry Rogers 1219 N. Bishop Lawrence
Eugene Ramsey 292_7
Dean Lee 2919
F. R. White 929
- Peggy Wyat 508 S. Marsalis (same building as Jack Ruby)
131 North – Boyce Blackmon, Elmer S. Blackmon
319 North – Nancy Jane Mooney
411 North – Eugene Maayaze
708 North – Mrs. Anne E. Knight
841 North – Nancy Jane Mooney
8?? North - B. C. Blackmon (
929 North – William E. Wimberly
931 North? – R. W. McLarry
KIMBROUGH stated he furnished this information and a copy of the above list to Assistant United States Attorney ROBERT B. WARD in
with a request that this Bureau be contacted and advised of his theories for
whatever value they may serve. Dallas