David Blackburst Archive:Subject: Morrow's "First Hand Knowledge"
Robert Morrow's "First Hand Knowledge"
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Blackburst)
Date: 5/19/04 7:25 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Having done a lot of research on David Ferrie, I often can guage a book's general reliability by its accuracy in dealing with Ferrie. I have recently been re-reading Robert Morrow's "First Hand Knowledge" and I have noted a few anomalies. This is just a quick overview; I will cite chapter and verse in a later essay. Let it be noted that Morrow clearly was involved in certain anti-Castro activities in that era.
The first thing that caught my eye, even before Morrow gets to Ferrie, is his assertion that Robert Aime Maheu worked for William Guy Banister in the Chicago FBI office for a number of years. Wrong. I've seen both men's FBI personnel files: Banister was the Special Agent in Charge of Chicago only from January 4 to December 11, 1954. Maheu, who never served in the Chicago office, left the FBI in 1951. This was an error made in an early assassination book, but Morrow recounts it as though from his own personal knowledge.
Morrow introduces Ferrie on April 16, 1961 in Washington for a meeting with CIA officials. But appears to have been in New Orleans on that date. He purchased fuel at Lakefront Airport. He paid his phone bill and car payment that day with money orders from a local bank. And a friend of his recalls a full day of local activity.
Morrow next has Ferrie flying a plane (on which he was not yet qualified) on a mission to Cuba (involving Eladio del Valle) during which Ferrie was wounded in the shoulder. Again, Ferrie was actually with friends in New Orleans. del Valle was in Miami, giving an interview to a news reporter. The wound was not noticed by the doctor who gave him his routine annual flight physical just a week later, never mentioned to friends, and no trace was evident at the time of his death in 1967.
Later in the book, Morrow has Ferrie involved in an arms deal in New Orleans in early August 1963, on a day when he was in Miami at a hearing.
Three big problems, and I've barely scanned the book. Maybe Morrow has the dates wrong. Maybe there was some chicanery to obfuscate Ferrie's whereabouts. I am inclined to believe that Morrow may have embellished a few events, or worse. Ferrie seems to be an easy target for some who write about this case.
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