Attempted bribery of Al Beauboeuf
Al Beauboeuf was one of the two men who accompanied Dave Ferrie on his infamous midnight ride from Kenner, Louisiana, to Houston, Texas, the morning of November 23, 1963. On March 9, 1967, at 2:30 pm, Beauboeuf's lawyer, Hugh Exnicios, secretly tape-recorded the following conversation with Garrison investigator Lynn Loisel.
EXNICIOS. I thought you were coming with your partner. What's his name?
EXNICIOS. Ivon. He didn't come out with you?
LOISEL. No. We've got too much to do. Now, let me bring you up to what Al [Beauboeuf] and I were talking about last night. I told him we had liberal expense money and I said the boss is in a position to put him a job, you know, possibly of his choosing, of Al's choosing. Also, that there would be . . . we would make a hero out of him instead of a villain, you understand. Everything would be to your satisfaction. There's no . . . I mean, we can . . . we can change the story around, you know, enough to positively beyond a shadow of a doubt, you know . . . eliminate him, you know, into any type of conspiracy or what have you. The only thing we want is the truth, you know, no . . . no deviations on his part, you know. We want to present the truth. We want the facts and the facts of the assassination. That's what we want. And for this, the release, you know, the thing will be typed up in such a way that Al, you know, will be free and clear.
EXNICIOS. Now, in other words, what you want him to do, he will come up and give you such evidence that you will be able to couch him in terms of being a hero?
LOISEL. That's correct.
EXNICIOS. And you'll also . . . you have an unlimited expense account, you said, and you're willing to help him along?
LOISEL. I would venture to say . . . well, I'm, you know, fairly certain we could put $3,000 on him just like that, you know. . . . I'm sure we would help him financially and I'm sure we . . . real quick we could get him a job. [We're not interested in Ferrie's personal life or] the homosexual thing.
EXNICIOS. . . . Now, about the job, what do you mean by that?
LOISEL. Al said he'd like a job with an airline and I feel the job can be had, you know.
EXNICIOS. Well, now, these are tough things to come by. What makes you feel that you would be in a position . . .
LOISEL. Well, let's say that . . . well, his connections. For instance, he was talking about a small operation such as Space Air Freight. I know with one phone call he could go out to the Space Air Freight and write his own ticket, you know. That's just Space Air Freight. That's not Eastern or something else. But I feel like we have people who are stepping stones to the larger airlines and so forth. They're politically motivated, too, you know, like anything else.
EXNICIOS. Well, now, Lynn, let me ask you this: You're speaking about the District Attorney, Jim Garrison, and his ability to place Al in a responsible pilot's position with an airline?
LOISEL. That's correct, according to Al's own ability. [The first year or two he might have to] stay in a room in the back with the charts, or something, I don't know. [Then] he advances a little further, then he's a co-pilot, then he's a pilot.
EXNICIOS. Now, let me ask you this, Lynn: Is this something that you have thought up yourself or that Garrison . . . He knows about the situation?
LOISEL. That's right.
EXNICIOS. And he's agreed that if we could in some way assist you, that you will be able to give him these three things?
LOISEL. That's correct.
EXNICIOS. Well, now, supposing you tell me . . . I don't want to lead you down any pathway . . .
LOISEL. No, no. Look . . .
EXNICIOS. . . . What do you think that Al has that he could help you with?
LOISEL. We had a man sitting . . . well, first off, I feel . . . Well, we feel that Al is as close to Dave [Ferrie] as anybody could have been. All right. Now, we know this is a rough . . . I'm drawing you a rough sketch. We have a man who has come forth recently [Perry Russo], told us he was sitting in a room with Ferrie, Clay Shaw, two Cubans, and Oswald.
EXNICIOS. Oswald was in it?
LOISEL. Oswald was in it.
EXNICIOS. Where was this meeting, in his home, Ferrie's home?
LOISEL. If I'm not . . . if I'm . . . correct me if I'm wrong. I believe it was.
EXNICIOS. Uh huh, I don't know.
LOISEL. All right. I'm not going to . . . I'm not going to go into . . . you know . . .
EXNICIOS. Yes, I understand. I don't want you to.
LOISEL. But anyhow, the assass . . . Ferrie said, "The best way in which the assassination can be done is to get the man . . . to get the President in cross fire." And went on to discuss that. And then Clay Shaw and Ferrie . . . I believe it was Clay Shaw and Ferrie, or maybe it was Clay Shaw and Oswald, having a little heated argument. Clay Shaw wanted some of his methods used or his thoughts, you know, used, but anyhow, that's what we have in mind, along that line.
EXNICIOS. Was Al supposed to have been at that meeting?
LOISEL. No, Al wasn't at the meeting.
EXNICIOS. Well, how is Al supposed to be able to help you with that meeting?
LOISEL. Well, Al is in . . . Al, being as close to Ferrie . . .
LOISEL. . . . has to know the whole thing from beginning to end. He has to know it.
EXNICIOS. I see. And you're convinced from all the evidence that Al could not be as close as he was to Dave without knowing something in some way?
LOISEL. That's right.
EXNICIOS. Now, let me ask you this, Lynn. You don't mind my calling you that, do you, Mr. Loisel?
LOISEL. No, positively not.
EXNICIOS. Let me ask you this: Do you think that . . . that . . . of course, if . . . if my client, Beauboeuf, if he knew about this and didn't tell you, he's committing a crime, he's an accessory after the fact, isn't he?
LOISEL. No, he's not. I tell you how we go about that. Well, Dave Ferrie, bless his poor soul, is gone. Al was scared of Dave. Al has a family, you know. When Al first met Dave, he was a single man. Al has a family now. Al was threatened by Dave, you know, to . . . never to divulge this. Al or his family would be taken care of.
EXNICIOS. I see.
LOISEL. You understand, now that poor Dave is gone Al has voluntarily come forward and told of his knowledge. I mean, there's 99,000 ways we could skin that cat, you know. I mean, it's something, you know . . . that's his patriotic duty. He's . . . now he's placing his family, you know, the safety of his family at the hands . . . at the mercy of the District Attorney's Office because he must clear his conscience and . . . as an upstanding young American.
EXNICIOS. All right, now let me ask you this, Lynn: Supposing Al in his own consciousness does not know anything and you run him through . . . you said something about hypnosis, you would be willing to take him through any truth serum and polygraph and so forth and so on. I read his statement. There's nothing in his statement that indicates Al consciously knows or willingly told anything about the conspiracy of Dave Ferrie's or certainly didn't even know Clay Shaw. Now, how can that be changed?
LOISEL. When was the statement made? . . . [sometime in late 1966] . . . Ferrie was still living, wasn't he?
EXNICIOS. Yeah . . . oh, I see.
LOISEL. He had no choice. He was scared, you know, I mean he . . . married man, father-in-law, you know, wife and kids, and this and that and everything else. He's scared.
EXNICIOS. Well, have you any real . . . let me ask you this: Besides your personal opinion, have you anything really on Al Beauboeuf that he knows anything we might clear up?
LOISEL. Umm, no. Really, the only thing we're doing or have been trying to do is to have Al tell us.
EXNICIOS. Well, he's already been up there the one time. Now, what more do you want now?
LOISEL. We don't believe him. Let's put it that way. [Technically, he might have been an accessory, but] we have no choice, you know. I mean, we are seeking the information.
[Discussion of Garrison's case follows.]
EXNICIOS. Yeah. Lynn, let me ask you this: Supposing we agree to this and it's all drawn down and after you run Al Beauboeuf through the three deals, it comes out he knows nothing about the whole thing, what . . . what then? Will you still give him the money and still give him the position?
LOISEL. No. That's not the deal.
EXNICIOS. What is the deal?
LOISEL. The deal is that Al fills in the missing links.
EXNICIOS. Well, supposing he doesn't know what . . . who are the other assassins?
LOISEL. Well, he can't fill in the missing links if . . . if he doesn't know. And that is what the deal is predicated on.
EXNICIOS. That he knows?
[Both men laugh.]
LOISEL. Oh, yeah.
EXNICIOS. Oh, boy. You better let me get to talk to him some more in order to find out if we can . . . He told me, and I'll be frank with you, that he knows nothing at all about the assassination, same thing he told you and told the DA's Office early in November, and now this is going to have to change his story. If he does, in fact, feel that he knows something about it, perhaps he will then say all right. . . .
When it became known that Exnicios had made this tape-recording, Garrison's office drew up a statement for Beauboeuf to sign, stating that there had been no bribe attempt and that Garrison's staff had never tried to solicit false testimony from him. He signed it, having been assured by Lynn Loisel that if he didn't, certain files on Beauboeuf and certain photographs of Beauboeuf and Ferrie confiscated from Ferrie's apartment following his death would be circulated to the press and elsewhere. To this day, Beauboeuf insists the statement was signed only under duress.
Source: Milton Brener, The Garrison Case
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