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Ferrie’s ex-roommate reveals: JFK’s assassins died in that afternoon off the Christi, Texas

New York Free Press, Thursday, 15 August 1968

Ferrie’s ex-roommate reveals: JFK’s assassins died in that afternoon off the Christi, Texas

by Stephen Jaffe

[Special to the New York Free Press]

The first public disclosure of a confession by any of the participants in the conspiracy which led to the Dallas assassination of President Kennedy was revealed in surprising fashion recently on the Stan Bohrman, Tempo, television show in Los Angeles. An ex-roommate of the late David Ferrie appeared on the program as a last minute guest. The roommate, Reverend Raymond Broshears of Long Beach, was asked to replace a guest who had been scheduled to discuss psychic phenomena and predictions of the future.

After introductory comments were made, the program, which is in the format of receiving questions from outside telephone callers, became one of significant historical importance. In response to one of the callers’ questions the Reverend told of his association with the late David Ferrie of New Orleans.

Ferrie was named by District Attorney Jim Garrison of New Orleans as one of the participants in the conspiracy which ended in the murder of President Kennedy. Garrison said of Ferrie, “He was one of history’s most important individuals.”

The caller questioned Reverend Broshears and much to the shock of host Stan Bohrman, Broshears answered the questions frankly. When asked if Ferrie told him of the assassination conspiracy, his former roommate replied, “David admitted being involved with the assassins. There’s no question about that.”

Reverend Broshears, who has tried to escape harassment by “individuals from mysterious sources” ever since his short association with Ferrie in 1965, told of the role which Ferrie had played in the plot. “He was in Houston at the time Mr. Garrison has him in Houston, with an airplane waiting,” reported Broshears. The Reverend said that Ferrie had intended to fly the assassins on the second leg of a getaway trip which was to carry at least two of the gunmen, first to South America and then to South Africa. The location in Africa was chosen as a final destination because that country has no extradition agreement with the United States.

According to the Reverend, Ferrie was waiting in the Houston airport that Friday afternoon, when the two assassins, having just murdered President Kennedy, fled in a light aircraft from a landing strip just outside of Dallas. Instead of going straight to Houston as was arranged, the assassins tried to make their escape all the way to Mexico without stopping. The assassins died in a plane crash that afternoon off the coast of Corpus Christi, Texas.

Broshears said that Ferrie had been a nervous wreck in the days of their acquaintanceship. This was over a year before the public disclosure of the investigation of Jim Garrison and, according to a recent article in Ramparts Magazine by William W. Turner, Garrison hadn’t begun his probe, even secretly, until the later half of 1966. Broshears told of Ferrie’s fears that someone was going to kill him. “No matter what happens I will never commit suicide,” Ferrie had told the Reverend. “He was emphatic about this,” Broshears reiterated.

Broshears said that he knew David Ferrie had been murdered and thus confirmed another portion of Garrison’s analysis of the evidence since his probe began.

More questions in the assassination matter are added by the case of David Ferrie. Aside from his mysterious death, the strange activities of Ferrie on November 22, 1963 had led Garrison to arrest him for questioning when Ferrie returned from his trip to Houston. After the District Attorney’s office questioned Ferrie they referred him to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for further questioning and examination by the Warren Commission. As in most instances the Warren Commission never questioned Ferrie, who, it is evident, might have shed considerable light on the true events of the assassination.

Compounding the federal negligence is the fact that the F.B.I. did question Ferrie and the forty-page transcription of that interview has been committed to the National Archives for the duration of 75 years from the issuance of the Warren Report. Reverend Broshears was asked by the caller if he was ever arrested for threatening the life of President Lyndon Johnson. Most reluctantly he replied that he had been. But he qualified the implication saying that it was for the love of his country that such an incident transpired. He did not actually threaten President Johnson, and he explained that he does not believe in killing. “What then,” Bohrman puzzled, “did you say?”

At the risk of being re-arrested for repeating a statement that had caused Secret Service agents to take the Reverend into custody two years ago, Broshears stated, “I said that Mr. Johnson, the person who was responsible, directly or indirectly, for the assassination of President Kennedy, should be put to death.” With the energy of ten men, and the breath of a parakeet, Bohrman activated his lips to form the words, “We’ll be right back after this word from Arid Extra Dry.”

But the shock which characterizes most of the assassination revelations did not stop there. Broshears’ admissions, however courageous or honest, have meant nothing but total torture and harassment for him ever since the television program. Since the time of his arrest by Federal agents in New Orleans for the incident of his alleged threat on President Johnson (after which he was questioned and released without conviction or sentence) he has had to be in constant touch with Federal offices of the Secret Service and F.B.I. by order of the Federal government. Agents from those organizations have warned him “to keep his mouth shut” or risk being committed to a mental institution.


After the television program Broshears was served by his landlady, Mrs. Norma L. Smith, with a seven-day-limit eviction notice. Phone calls from anonymous sources told him, “How many Presidents did you kill today, Reverend?” And two reporters from the Sunday supplement of the Long Beach Telegram Newspaper, have planned an article for this Sunday’s edition which will reveal that Reverend Broshears is a homosexual. A friend of the Reverend’s on the Long Beach Police Force confided that the article would not be favorable to him at all. Broshears realizes that the price of breaking his silence on the case could certainly bring damaging comments about him and possibly endanger his life. Ironically Broshears never tried to hide the fact that he is a homosexual. He answered, “I am a homosexual but I have never denied it.”

Homosexuality is often used as a source of smear material but that is usually in the case of a person who would be damaged by that public revelation. Broshears’ only fault or sin seems to be his persistent honesty.

Apparently, freedom of speech is something which Broshears has always taken as a cause to defend. When an attack was waged by a Reverend John C. Bonner, of the Long Beach–Lakewood Area, to try and halt the sale of the Los Angeles Free Press, in March of 1968, Broshears replied to the aggressor. In a modest but outspoken newspaper published by Reverend Broshears, called “The Light of Understanding,” Broshears replied to Reverend Banner’s limited acceptance of journalistic freedom. “In The Bible it states that if you raise your children rightly, you need not fear,” he wrote. Where Reverend Banner had requested that the representatives of some 47 area churches “stand up and be counted,” Broshears answered, “Stand up and be counted as what? A person who opposes freedom of the press?” As a result of this small but noble defense Reverend Broshears was expelled from the ministerial alliance of his district.


Another Los Angeles broadcaster, Eliot Mintz of KPFK, invited Reverend Broshears on his show. Responding to the tremendous audience interest in the events surrounding the murder of President Kennedy, Mintz questioned Broshears on his association with Ferrie. After callers quizzed the Reverend there was not enough time allowed to the Reverend to discuss his Night Ministry school which is his occupation in Long Beach. Although the program closed without the discussion of some of the Reverend’s work in the Community Relations field (finding help for “skid row” bums, improving conditions in the ghettos) the oversight of time promised the Reverend shall be corrected by the show's host. Mintz told me, “If Mr. Broshears would like to come on our show to discuss his work, and his Night Ministry school and not to discuss his association with David Ferrie, he has a standing invitation from me to do that.”

It is impossible to estimate the truth or falsehood of the Reverend’s statements about the assassination. It is certain that in his association with Ferrie he had the unique opportunity to learn what Ferrie might have told the New Orleans Grand Jury had he lived. In the case of the assassination of President Kennedy it seems apparent that those with important knowledge, who speak out, risk death. In the current issue of his newspaper Reverend Broshears explains this puzzle in a different way. He says, “the price of silence is ‘death.’”





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