From Milton Brener, *The Garrison Case* . . .
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Garrison's much heralded reticence in making pretrial statements about Clay
Shaw never extended to Sheridan. Walter Sheridan, claimed Garrison, on many
public occasions, had been sent to New Orleans by Robert Kennedy for the sole
purpose of wrecking his investigation.
Garrison was wrong. Garrison claimed to have solved the assassination and the
National Broadcasting Company had sent Sheridan to cover the preliminary
hearing. The reporter had, indeed, been a close friend of the former Attorney
General and, as a staff member of the Department of Justice, had played a major
role in the massive effort to convict James Hoffa, the Teamster boss, but his
sole mission in the city was that of a reporter for NBC. Immediately following
the preliminary hearing of March 1967, the network ran a one-hour objective
documentary on the proceedings, prepared largely by Sheridan.
However, during the first day's proceedings, he had gone to dinner with
Garrison and several of his key men at a local hotel. Sheridan talks little.
Primarily, he listens. He heard the DA and his lieutenants speaking of the
information that they would get from various witnesses, as soon as the
witnesses could be broken down and persuaded to tell the truth. They spoke of
the vast amounts of proof and corroboration of the DA's theory that was
available from any number of individuals at such time as they could be
persuaded to talk.
None of this sat well with Sheridan. He is a skilled professional investigator
and he takes little for granted. He relies no more than necessary on his own
ability to deduce or draw logical inferences. This he leaves to the
philosophers. He wastes little time expounding; he digs. He runs down every
rumor to the source. Almost immediately upon arrival at any assignment, he will
start using the telephone. He meets with as many people as possible who may
know something of the subject of his inquiry and he listens.
All talk, whether advanced as rumor, conjecture, or fact is checked out. Also,
if names are mentioned, he wants to meet those individuals. Then another round
of talk, names, and appointments, until he reaches the source where he finds
hard information -- or nothing. His conclusions or hypotheses will yield to the
facts. Sheridan is, in short, as an investigator, everything that Garrison is
One conclusion Sheridan did reach, however, rather quickly following dinner
with the DA and his staff. Garrison had not [as he claimed] solved the
assassination of President Kennedy.
Sheridan personally ran down every witness possible that was involved in the
bizarre case. It was Sheridan who interviewed and first heard the stories of
Carlos Bringuier, Carlos Quiroga, Fred Lemanns, the Turkish bath operator [who
claimed Garrison tried to bribe him into testifying falsely against Clay Shaw],
the polygraph operator who first tested Russo and Quiroga [Russo failed], and
the Police Department polygraph operator who later attempted to test Russo
[Russo again failed] -- Lieutenant Edward O' Donnell -- among many others. It
became obvious to Sheridan that Garrison meant to use any means possible of
getting "evidence" of his predetermined "truth."
Sheridan had little interest in the strange workings of Garrison's complex
psychological make-up or in any deep analysis of his psyche. To him, the answer
to the entire episode was simple. The Garrison case was a fraud" (Brener,
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Paris Flammonde reports in *The Kennedy Conspiracy* that when Jim Garrison
charged Walter Sheridan with public bribery, Robert F. Kennedy spoke up on
"I have been fortunate to know and work with Walter Sheridan for many years.
Like all of those who have known him and his work, I have the utmost confidence
in his integrity, both personal and professional.
"This view was shared by President Kennedy himself, with whom Mr. Sheridan was
associated for many years in a relationship of utmost trust and affection."
Flammonde writes, "Sheridan, a former official of the Department of Justice,
was chief investigator for the Senate Rackets Committee was its chief counsel.
He later served under the late Senator when he was the Attorney General of the
United States" (Flammonde, 322).
"Who Speaks for Clay Shaw?"