I'm leaving New Orleans soon, to do some archaeology in New York. I'll blog again soon, though perhaps not until after the move. Though if I run into any Fortean or otherwise interesting things on the road, I'll post them here.
But here's one last conspiracy story with some bizarre bits, from New Orleans. With corruption comes conspiracy theories, and Louisiana is known for its corruption (and this week, for its family-values senator getting outed for visiting at least one prostitute). The story combines the intrigues surrounding Jim Garrison's infamous New Orleans investigation of the JFK assassination, an unsolved grisly murder thirty years ago in New Orleans, and an an attempt to kill Castro. But it then stretches into territory much further afield with a conspiracy to cover-up a massive medical disaster that, in my opinion, feels almost bolted onto the rest.
The article is from local paper Gambit Weekly. The link is to their current cover story, so after this week you may need to find the story in the archives, which shouldn't be hard.
Official reports about the murder pointed to stab marks on her body that indicated a link to an alternative lifestyle -- and an apartment fire. The problem, Haslam says, is that one of her arms and rib cage had been incinerated, which could not have occurred in an apartment fire that did little damage to the room. He also learned that the degree of damage could only have been caused by extremely intense heat -- even higher than the 3,000 degrees used in cremation. He believes it was caused by a device called a linear particle accelerator. Such a device was being used to radiate monkey viruses to help develop a vaccine for soft-tissue cancers that could result from the contaminated polio vaccine administered to millions of school children in the 1950s and '60s and/or to develop a super cancer-causing virus that could be used to assassinate Fidel Castro. Haslam found evidence that such an accelerator existed at the U.S. Public Health Services (USPHS) hospital in New Orleans in the 1950s. He even found a witness who claims to have worked there.
Here the story takes a wild turn.
Haslam says Sherman actually worked on a monkey virus project at the secret, government-funded USPHS laboratory under the direction of famed New Orleans doctor Alton Ochsner. She worked alongside David Ferrie, one of the main characters in former New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison's ill-fated investigation into the JFK assassination, and Lee Harvey Oswald, named by the Warren Commission as the lone gunman who killed Kennedy. The author believes Sherman's arm and ribcage were incinerated during an accident at the lab and that she later was stabbed in the heart, a wound that actually killed her, then stabbed in other places post-mortem to establish a cover story.
Update: I went to the book signing today and picked up a copy, if nothing else as a guide to one of the more famous spooky chapters in New Orleans history.