Saturday, 10 February 2024 14:40

Pipe the Bimbo in Red

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Paul Bleau reviews a new book that focuses on the New Orleans aspects of the Kennedy assassination, particularly on the role of the enigmatic attorney for Clay Shaw, Dean Andrews.

Some time in 2022, I gave an online talk for UK Dealey Plaza about the Garrison Files, which I had just completed reading…all nine thousand pages. During the question period, one audience member asked me…Paul, do you have any idea why someone like Dean Andrews would represent someone like Clay Shaw? like Dean Andrews was chosen to represent Clay Shaw (1:08:33)? I have to admit my answer was quite vague. As the moderator of this talk, Neale Safaty, pointed out: Dean Andrews is very enigmatic.

In their book, the authors ask, for anyone has a minimum of critical thinking abilities: Why would Andrews get a call from Clay Shaw, AKA Clem or Clay Bertrand on the day of JFK’s assassination to represent an already doomed Oswald?

At 44:32 of this same video, the questions of sexual orientation of Oswald and Ruby come up, where you can witness my own confusion about sightings of a scruffy-looking Oswald vs. the neat, clean Oswald.

When Donald Jeffries asked me if I would do a book review of this book, I was at first hesitant—as I had just gone through a year of writing and promoting The JFK Assassination Chokeholds with four colleagues and frankly, I needed a break from JFK. But a book about Dean Andrews, played so enticingly by fellow-Canadian John Candy in JFK, I decided to give it a go. I am happy I did. I now have a better grasp of whom Andrews was, the mystery of the unkempt Oswald, and the scene in New Orleans during the summer of 1963.

Their interview with Andrews’ son represents an important find. Not that we can take what Dean junior says as gold. Like the children of many of the cast of characters associated with the JFK saga, Dean Andrews III and other members of the Andrews family paid a heavy burden that reminds one of the Saint John Hunt story. Dean will be seriously challenged for what he reveals because of whom he became, and not necessarily what he says. You will see that I have reservations with some of his statements. His dad clearly had his safety in mind when he answered Dean’s questions when he was a youngster by being evasive, cryptic, and mysterious. His father’s non-denials in certain instances speak volumes. So, on the weight alone of the Dean Andrews III interviews, well conducted by Law, assassination researchers will have plenty to consider, debate and research further and is reason enough to read this book. Other than the ad-hominems Dean is certain to face, there will be some who may want to unfairly shoot the messengers: Don Jeffries and William Law.

While I do recommend Pipe the Bimbo in Red, I would urge the authors to consider writing a revised version, or maybe even a second edition to clear up loose ends, and synthesize by adding information and plucking out irritants. Some of the weaknesses in this book are self-inflicted through overreach and sloppiness which will distract from the key themes before they are even presented and provide a juicy target for lone nut theorists.

First Impressions

I have to say that I do not know Donald Jeffries, so I felt his request came a little out of the blue. I had a negative impression of the title but must admit that it unmistakably projects the image we all have come to associate with Dean Andrews.

Next, I found out that it was co-authored by William Matson Law, whom I had the pleasure of listening to at last November’s Lancer Conference. Law’s interviews of FBI agents Jim Sibert and Frank O’Neill are landmarks and help obliterate the Warren Commission by underscoring what they witnessed during JFK’s autopsy and reveal bias of the Warren Commission. The authors’ work received an endorsement by Garrison authority William Davy, who wrote a foreword that also goes a long way in proving that Clem Bertrand and Clay Shaw were one and the same.

The preface by Edward Haslam does a fine job in presenting how important the setting of NOLA was for the goings-on in 1963, and just how tightly knit the characters were in this small, big city.

Their bibliography includes the following:

  • William Davy, Let Justice be Done: New Light on the Jim Garrison Investigation
  • James DiEugenio, Destiny Betrayed: JFK, Cuba, and the Garrison Case
  • Paris Flammonde, The Kennedy Conspiracy: An Uncommisioned Report on the Jim Garrison Investigation
  • Jim Garrison, A Heritage of Stone
  • Jim Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins: My Investigation and Prosecution of the Murder of President Kennedy
  • Edward T. Haslam, Dr. Mary’s Monkey
  • Marrs, Jim, Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy
  • Joan Mellen, A Farewell to Justice: Jim Garrison, JFK’s Assassination, and the Case That Should Have Changed History
  • Jack Roth, Killing Kennedy: Exposing the Plot, the Cover-Up, and the Consequences
  • Richard E. Sprague, The Taking of America 1-2-3

One element not included is the raw data available from the 9000 pages of the Garrison files. This, in my view, reduced their sources of information, though the best of these may have surfaced in the many books they referenced…but certainly not all. Thanks to Paul Abbott from Australia, there is now a master index to help navigate dozens of files. Dean Andrews name is associated numerous times in over twenty different files. I would argue that this is a much richer source than what we can find in any other government investigation.

Overall, the book was certain to rest on a solid foundation if the information was well absorbed.

The Preface, Foreword and Introduction

The preface by Haslam is really useful for describing the NOLA setting and the network that Dean Andrews, Oswald, Clay Shaw and Garrison roamed around in. It is a network that hated the Castro threat because of their business ties to Latin America, that saw Kennedy as Castro’s enabler, one that was well connected to intelligence, the mob and Cuban exiles all working in sync to reclaim their kingdom. New Orleans was the last place for a Fair Play for Cuba Committee chapter to set up shop, unless it was a front. Haslam remembered that on the day of the assassination, very threatening skies were forming west of the city…skies no normal person would drive into for an ice-skating outing, as David Ferrie said he was doing that day.

Davy continues the strong start with more than just a normal plug of what I was about to read. For this author, Shaw and Bertrand being the same person is a fact. Shaw told Officer Aloysius Habighorst that Bertrand was an alias he used, which was transcribed on an arrest form that is now part of the official record. Attempts to explain this away border on the loony, as in another person in the crowded, noisy room when Shaw revealed his secret identity did not hear him say this (in other words he simply did not hear). Davy reinforces this with another salvo:

By the time of my interview with Weisberg (ca. 1997) he had long since turned bitter towards Garrison and his investigation—which made one of his comments to me inexplicable. When I asked him about the shadowy figure of “Clay Bertrand” he confidently stated that “Bertrand was Clay Shaw. No doubt. Monk Zelden confirmed it to me.”

Of course, Shaw was the defendant in Garrison’s case and Zelden was a New Orleans attorney who worked with one of the more colorful characters in Lee Harvey Oswald’s orbit, Dean Andrews. Davy then, in a few surgical paragraphs, sets the stage for the book by explaining how Andrews’ links with both Shaw and Oswald were a catalyst for the Garrison investigation—which led to the municipal court attorney’s demise.

He also adroitly points out the extremely revealing INS information about Oswald that Law and Jeffries rely on and that so few in the research community have utilized. Somewhere around 2017 when this information was pointed out, I remember Davy telling Len Osanic on Black Op Radio words to the effect: The fact that we have a governmental agency affirmation that Oswald could be seen entering the building where Banister had his offices with Ferrie and his gang of nuts represents an official intelligence confirmation about Oswald’s connections and exclaimed that this is game, set and match!

That introduction does a good job setting up the highlight of the book, that is the Dean Andrews III interviews. In the view of the authors, the considerable time spent with Dean was enough to convince them that his unique vista of the case and the access he had to his father’s perspective (which was not without limitations) were grounds for relating his story and shedding light around the enigma that is his dad.

Through their relationship with Dean Junior, the authors even heard briefly from Dean Andrews’ wife, who described her deceased husband as a very unstable individual which caused so much hardship.

Beyond bringing fresh, untapped information, the authors argue that Garrison uncovered the ground-level conspirators alluded to in the movie JFK. While this statement may please some of the Garrison disciples, it is clearly too all-encompassing. The plot was too complex for Garrison to grasp the whole ground-level operation. Gaeton Fonzi and some of his followers would argue that there was plenty of intrigue related to Miami that also qualifies as ground level. Who the ground players were for what happened in Dealey Plaza depends on roles that likely did not emanate entirely from Ferrie and friends…at least this book does not prove this. This does not diminish in any way the importance of what took place in New Orleans in 1963.

CHAPTER ONE: Harold Weisberg in New Orleans

Readers in this chapter will understand just how much of a threat Garrison became to the conspirators and they will see an early example of how pro-conspiracy forces can turn bitterly against one another through the Weisberg/Garrison break-up…Something we have witnessed time and time again over the years up to today where the infighting around the legal procedures concerning the breaches of the JFK Act is in full swing, to the delectation of lone nut propagandists.

The authors do not pull any punches when it comes to covering Weisberg whether it is describing his research or his underhanded jabs at Garrison and the movie JFK. They also in this chapter meander into a number of subjects including the organized smear campaign against Garrison by media assets and the infiltration of his office.

There are a lot of nice nuggets here. But one problem began to emerge that permeated throughout the first three chapters: while we are getting a summary of a lot of what has been written about Garrison and New Orleans and even more, the authors are inconsistent with their sources. For example, on page 18 they write: A rough draft of Aynesworth’s May 15, 1967, Newsweek article, “The JFK Conspiracy,” is in the Lyndon B. Johnson Library. There is also a cover letter addressed to LBJ’s press secretary George Christian. Aynesworth wrote, “I am not offering this for comment of any kind, nor a check of the validity of any part…My interest in informing government officials of each step along the way is because of my intimate knowledge of what Jim Garrison is planning…I intend to make a complete report of my knowledge available to the FBI, as I have done in the past.” Interesting weaseling about for certain, but no direct source to prove the existence of this highly incriminating behavior, either by a link or a book source.

Consider this reference: Regis Kennedy (no relation to the president) is among several witnesses connected to the events in Dallas in 1963 who died “before they could be fully questioned,” according to online sources. No careful researcher will take such a statement seriously. There is also this one on page 79: In an interview aired two years after his death in 1990, (Judge) Haggerty would say, “I believe he [Shaw] was lying to the jury. Of course, the jury probably believed him. But I think Shaw put a good con job on the jury.” I found this so important that I had to ask Jim DiEugenio if it really happened, and he confirmed that it did, but an author needs to be more precise than this. In one case the source is the controversial Torbitt document, and the authors seem unaware of the true name of its author: (Lawyer David Copeland). Sometimes the source is Quoting from the Spartacus Educational Forum. There is also a preference by the authors to refer to a book as a source rather than the primary data the book info is based on. I paid a price for this when I used Ultimate Sacrifice as a source about potential patsy Policarpo Lopez. I got panned by some whereas I could have avoided all the flack by quoting directly from the HSCA files on Lopez.

This to me is an irritant because I often cannot refer directly to a source to learn more, and I cannot repeat it as fact until I know that the source is solid. Where this sloppiness came to bite the authors hard can be seen on page 58 where they hover around a Carlos who was seen in the company of Oswald and Sergio Arcacha Smith, a little later they say Garrison attorney Lou Ivon asked witness Dave Lewis if he recognized the name Carlos Corega…In so doing they completely messed up the Carlos Quiroga incident which is well covered in two sources they had referred to elsewhere: Destiny Betrayed and this author’s KennedysandKing articles about the FPCC. Quiroga is known to have met Oswald at his place, bringing a stack of FPCC flyers, being with Oswald at Mancuso’s restaurant in the presence of Arcacha Smith and other usual suspects and revealing that Oswald used the FPCC as a front through a failed polygraph test. Lewis strengthened some of these revelations in his own polygraph test.

Do not get me wrong, dismissing the authors and this book because of improper sourcing would be in my view an error. There is too much good information and new insights to throw away the baby with the bath water. The work put into talking to Dean Andrews III and his mother as well as Ed Voebel’s sisters, niece and son, John Barbour, Garrison investigator Stephen Jaffe, etc. represent important developments.

Chapter 1 showcased another problem with Bimbo that can also be seen in chapters 2 and 3: it lacks structure. The first chapter is supposed to be about Weisberg, but many tangents are taken that bring the reader into whole other subject matters that are interesting yes, but certain to create confusion with information overload. I also think that they should have broken down the chapters into subsections. They have only one subsection in the whole book as far as I can remember which sticks out like a lonely outlier: Kennedy. In a second edition, and I really hope they write one, they will need to break down the information into more chapters with multiple subsections.

CHAPTER TWO: A Ground Level Plot

If one wants to get a snapshot of what has been said and written about the central characters operating out of New Orleans, this part of the book throws everything at the reader, plus the kitchen sink. Since my book readings about Garrison go back for a while, it was good to be reminded of the many anomalies that took place in the Crescent City. There is plenty here that I did not know or recall.

This chapter is also inconsistent with sources and tends to wander. I believe it should be retitled. While many interesting links are made around shady people, I would have trouble describing this the ground-level plot based on the information we are given. Objectives, strategies, timelines, roles…there is a lack of clarity around the “said” plot. The chapter is really more about hanky-panky in New Orleans.

CHAPTER THREE: Dean Andrews and His Fluid Recollections

After the strong start to the book, I found the first two chapters to be interesting, but a mixed bag in terms of reliability. The authors make it difficult for the readers to digest the sheer quantity of information thrown at them and to come away with a high level of confidence in what is written. You sometimes feel as if you are on a carousel ride in a figure eight trajectory while in gallop mode.

While some of the sloppiness and meandering continues, Chapter 3, for this reader, was a turning point and was appropriately titled. Dean Andrews is one of the keys to understanding the New Orleans network of shady characters that link Oswald to Clay Shaw. New Orleans was so toxic to the Warren Commission that Andrews was coerced into confabulating (because he was supposedly under sedation) that a call from Shaw AKA Bertrand that he got asking him to represent Oswald while he was sick in the hospital was a figment of his imagination. The FBI also decided not to delve into Oswald’s 544 Camp Street office and the cast of right-wingers and intelligence actors that the office was a fulcrum for…a mistake according to the HSCA.

From Andrews’ own mouth, an open-minded reader should be left with a clear impression that:

  • Andrews represented Oswald a number of times.
  • Clay Shaw backed this relationship as well as Andrews’ representation of members of the gay community.
  • Andrews was a small-time fixer. Better Call Saul comes to mind.
  • The call did occur and was corroborated.
  • Andrews was intimidated and scared out of his wits.
  • He professed Oswald’s innocence.
  • He admitted that the FBI turned the heat on him.
  • Oswald’s representation of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee was a front, and he was paid.
  • He was part of a network that includes Shaw, Oswald, Wray Gill, Ferrie, Marcello and the anti-Castro movement.
  • The contradictory comments he made were for self-preservation.

The authors deserve credit for making this clear to the world.

CHAPTER FOUR: The Dean Andrews III Interviews

This chapter represents the apex of the book. Dean Andrews was 12 when JFK was assassinated. During the Garrison Investigation, he witnessed and lived through a downturn of his father’s fortunes and career and the quasi break-up of his family. The impact on Dean Junior’s health and ambitions were immense. It is a tragic story that seems to be a recurring theme for so many of the family members of those connected the assassination. Perhaps the real perpetrators of JFK’s assassination never went to jail for the crimes, but many paid a personal price with a lot of collateral damage to their close ones.

Those who did seek the truth also risked a lot. The traces they left likely caused trauma for the ones they cared for, but hopefully left them with a sense of pride for fighting the good fight. The cover-up artists live in denial. The more that comes out throughout the years, the less their positions are tenable. Yet they plod on even though they are at the opposite end of the official records. With a great majority of the population and more and more traditional and new media open to the conspiracy scenarios, lone nut advocates are swimming in a much smaller pond and are the ones who come across as Q-ananonish.

What Jeffries and Law do in these interviews is shed light on what a son, who is knowledgeable about the case and who decoded his father the way only a family member can, said, thought, knew, guessed, heard about his father and the case. Dean’s father was very abstract when talking about the saga but revealed so much anyway. Sometimes through non-denials you can figure things out. A son picks up patterns, signals from non-verbal communications and knows when his father is hiding something.

  • The authors deserve kudos for recognizing Dean’s importance, gaining his trust and making a record of what he can relate no matter how troubled he became.
  • I will not tell you what he has to say because you need to read it for yourself and ponder:
  • Dean talks about his dad’s sexuality;
  • What he thinks about Jim Garrison;
  • The Bertrand-Shaw identities;
  • Attempts to harm, intimidate and even kill his dad;
  • The divide in his family;
  • His dad’s links to Shaw, Marcello, Garrison, Oswald, Mork Zelden, David Ferrie;
  • Oliver Stone and the film JFK;
  • Oswald and the FPCC;
  • His dad’s links to intelligence;
  • His father’s personality and biography.

You will ponder, debate and hopefully research on your own to build around this new low-hanging fruit in figuring out the enigma of Dean Andrews. These revelations will likely be polarizing due to the fact that they focus on Jim Garrison and New Orleans. But they are very much worth reading.

I would encourage the authors to try and get corroboration. Dean claims the Figaro ran an article about Garrison being arrested for sexual misconduct…where is it? The only sources that I have seen around such allegations come from discredited smear tacticians. Challenge Dean on whom he confided to, who he thinks could corroborate what he has to say. Not much was said about David Ferrie in the interview…Query William Davy and others about what other questions should be asked. We are actually reaching a point where even the offspring will not be available for much longer.

CHAPTER FIVE William Law 1993 Interview with Perry Raymond Russo

I am not certain why this part gets to be labeled a chapter, while the two that follow the aftermath are labeled appendices. They are essentially decades old interviews that they decided to highlight as blasts from the past. I am happy they did, as I believe that what is in them is pertinent and not necessarily well known.

This section underscores many themes we can find elsewhere in the book but recounts them as seen and felt through the important witness—Perry Russo.

One detail that came screaming out at me that would help explain the differences in appearance in Oswald: The unkempt, messy, unshaven Oswald vs. the neat, clean Oswald. Despite the use of impostors, there had to be something more to these seemingly conflicting sightings. Here is what Russo says: “I’m saying that the guy stayed over at this other guy’s house. Well, the wife should know. How the fuck would this dude, Perry Russo, how would he know? Well, he didn’t. And then she admitted that he used to beat the fuck out of her, and then run out on her. And he’d be gone for three or four days. And she’s glad to see him go. And she said in 1969, telling her when we were in court, she said that he always was immaculately clean. Well, he wasn’t when he was away from her. He was dirty and unshaven. Well and understandable, because he didn’t bring his shaving stuff. He didn’t bring his deodorant. He didn’t give a fuck. He was mad at the world. I didn’t get along with him. But I maintain that. I look like the Lone Ranger. No one could believe me. His wife said he slept every night with her. He took care of the kids. He was never dirty. He was always clean and meticulous about his appearance. I’m saying he’s unshaven three days in. Now, that comes out in 1979. He used to beat the fuck out of her, leave for a week. And all of a sudden, it becomes reasonable that Lee Oswald went over to his friend’s house, Dave Ferrie. Not that far from 4905 Magazine Street, where he lived, with her…in Louisiana.”

When you connect the dots between what Russo, Andrews Sr. and Andrews Jr. have to say, we get a better idea of how the whole Andrews, Ferrie, Oswald, Shaw, Marcello, Cuban Exile network is linked as well as the many double lives led by so many of these characters.

CHAPTER SIX Conclusion: The Conspiracy Is Clear

In chapter 6 the authors pick the brain of author and former TV personality John Barbour. Here I discovered what Garrison confided to his good friend off the record. We get to know what Garrison speculated as to the nature of the conspiracy…From what happened in Dealey Plaza to the catalyst behind the decision to remove JFK to how the murder was sanctioned. Garrison also had a contact who described the very weird goings-on during the Oswald interrogation after the murder. The source was there and wished to remain anonymous. This is also very interesting.

Then they come back and touch on a Dean Andrews’ claim that his father’s hospitalization just before the assassination was due to an attempted murder because of what he knew. What is not asked here, is that if this were the case, did this attempt likely involve the very person who called him to represent Oswald? How Clay Shaw even knew where to reach Andrews is a point that is raised.

Here again the title is misleading. While it is clear that there was a conspiracy, and this book adds food for thought around some of the characters, it does not come close to clarifying what the conspiracy was…not even what they call the ground-level conspiracy. New Orleans on its own, if completely decoded, cannot explain even one quarter of the ground-level conspiracy. As Hancock and Boylan show in Tipping Point, so much else was revolving around players in Miami who were the real architects of regime change operations and were way more determining of what happened in Dealey Plaza than Ferrie et al. There is a big difference between getting Oswald to goosestep in a charade vs. participating in an ambush of a president.

The Afterword by Jack Roth, and the Three Appendices

I have visited Dealey Plaza and Oswald’s “said” flight trajectory, guided by Dallas resident and researcher Matt Douthit and found it to be fascinating. Jack Roth has convinced me to tour New Orleans. His brilliant description in just a few pages culminates with the following statement from a tour guide he met: “…there’s no way anybody could’ve walked these streets, been engaged in this kind of activity, and been involved with people of this caliber in this city and have it not been something more than what it seemed.”

When he goes into the Judy Baker stuff however, I cringe and worry for the authors. I don’t know how many serious writers contaminate their work and tarnish their own reputations on frivolous yarns. Some stories require qualifiers like the not yet substantiated story by…(the Paul Landis revelation comes to mind). Others are sure to polarize those who believe there was a conspiracy and provide a big juicy target for lone-nut advocates: Madeleine Brown, Judith Exner Campbell and Baker clearly fall in this category.

The three appendices are excellently chosen: Dean Andrews’ fascinating Warren Commission testimony; a letter from Fletcher Prouty to Oliver Stone (September 2, 1990) which sheds light on how a coup emanates from the highest levels of power in the U.S. and excerpts from a little exposed speech before a November 18, 2006, JFK Lancer Conference by Anne Dischler who worked with State Trooper Francis Fruge for Jim Garrison.


Just last fall, we had completed our book, The JFK Assassination Chokeholds, after going through through a very strict regime of trying to only include fact-based, primary evidence and carefully backing up each statement we made. All in all, there are close to 800 footnotes, exhibits and direct quotes with sources within the text. Among my other co-authors, there are three attorneys grounded in how to write on a legal basis and one of the world’s premier researchers. Reading Bimbo, I needed to completely change my base of references on how to write a book: questionable sources, lack of focus and fallacious thinking pop up too often to avoid the poison pen of critics. It would have been easy to pan it. But in a sense the authors are really telling a story.

Bimbo offers too much to be ignored and opens the doors to further exploration around the subject of New Orleans which was clearly toxic and threatening to the early, biased investigators with an agenda. They talked to Andrews III, Davy, Barbour, Jaffe and Voebel’s close ones. They revealed important, little-known records that are decades old yet still so very important. Not reading Bimbo is tantamount to not accessing fresh, controversial information from none other than the son of one of the most enigmatic personages in this whole affair. Even if we discount everything else in Bimbo (which one should not do) and even if we do not believe everything Dean Andrews III says, a serious researcher should hear and consider it closely, just like we listened to William Kent’s daughter, E. H. Hunt’s son and David Atlee Phillips’ relatives.

Interviewing Dean junior was a coup!

As for the rest of the book here are my suggestions for a second edition.

  1. Get yourselves an editor, someone like William Davy, who acts as a real devil’s advocate to rethink the chapters, improve the focus, break down the information better, get rid of the frivolous, add crucial data, correct grammar, etc.
  2. Really improve choice of sources and how these are disclosed for every affirmation made.
  3. Add a master chronology of events in New Orleans, a full Dean Andrews bio, a glossary of names and a map with key locations.
  4. Consider showing exhibits from the Dean III scrapbook.
  5. Re-interview Andrews with questions, people like Davy, DiEugenio, Mellen would like to ask and try and get some corroboration from people Dean himself may be able to identify.
  6. Order the Garrison Files from Len Osanic as well as Paul Abbott’s master index and see what you can find there. There are many files on Andrews.
  7. Try and increase the Dean Andrews research and write more about him and cool it on the ground-level plot.

Dean Andrews is to this book what the Big Mac is to McDonald’s…Your cash cow! Milk it!!!

Last modified on Saturday, 10 February 2024 15:29
Paul Bleau

Paul Bleau holds an MBA from McGill University; he owned and ran a leading marketing communications agency for 25 years, and supervised Canada’s first "denormalization" campaign of the tobacco industry.  Since 2006, he has been professor at St. Lawrence College. His break-through study of how history textbooks cover the JFK assassination and how their authors defend themselves, along with a series of follow-up pieces, are published on this site. He has also been a guest on BlackOp Radio.

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