The assassination of Mary Sherman

The assassination of Mary Sherman

This year sixty years ago, the notorious, gruesome murder of Mary Sherman occurred. A crime that is relatively unknown – you probably had never heard of the victim. Sherman was found in a terrible state on July 21, 1964, in her apartment at 3101 St. Charles Avenue, in New Orleans. The tragedy was never solved, but there are researchers who believe they are not far from the truth. According to them, the murder of John F. Kennedy is closely connected. Nonsense from creepy conspiracy theorists? No: even reputable historians take the theory very seriously.

Mary’s career
Mary Stults Sherman was born in Evanston, Illinois, in 1913. She earned a Master of Arts and added a medical degree in 1943 from the University of Chicago. Sherman developed into a prominent orthopedic surgeon and an expert in cancer research. In 1952, she moved to New Orleans, where she became the director of a pathological laboratory at The Ochsner Clinic Medical Foundation, an organization founded by the renowned surgeon Alton Ochsner. Sherman was certainly not idle: she also taught at Tulane Medical School and worked as a surgeon at Charity Hospital in New Orleans. She seemingly had little time for love; she lived alone in her apartment in a residential complex on the beautiful St. Charles Avenue. I visited the location in 2009; see the large photo above this article (more on the JFK-tour I made in New Orleans here).

Mary Sherman’s apartment
On July 21, 1964, her life came to an end. Before sunrise, just after 4 o’clock, Sherman was found dead in apartment J, at the rear of the residential complex. The police report classified the death as a murder, and the autopsy report by Monroe S. Samuels did not mince words. Her right arm and ribcage were completely burned, and the body had been stabbed in the heart, liver, an arm, leg, and abdomen. The wound near the heart was bleeding, but the one near the liver was not; Sherman was apparently already dead when the latter was inflicted. Investigators determined that there must be another crime scene next to the apartment; there were enough clues indicating that Sherman had been brought to the apartment by her assailant(s) after the slaughter. An arm was missing – but the police kept that information to themselves for the time being. You can find six gruesome photos here.

Investigation by Edward Haslam
The murder was never solved and slowly faded into obscurity until 1995. Historian Edward Haslam published “Mary, Ferrie, and the Monkey Virus: The Story of a Secret Medical Laboratory.” In his work, the author claims that Sherman was involved in a secret cancer research project, working on the development of a new, revolutionary vaccine. These activities involved the use of a linear particle accelerator, a massive machine in the Infectious Disease Laboratory, a building at the Public Health Service Hospital in New Orleans. I visited the site in 2009, see the photos on the right. According to Haslam, the project had a second laboratory in another part of the city, led by David Ferrie, a friend of Sherman. This one was located on Louisiana Avenue Parkway. Edward Haslam writes that Sherman would have had a terrible accident while using the linear particle accelerator, explaining why her body was so badly burned. In an attempt to keep the precious laboratory research a secret, Sherman was then stabbed in multiple places on her body and brought to her apartment to make it appear as a robbery gone wrong.

A living witness
In his book, Haslam presents a plausible story filled with relevant evidence. The only thing he lacked was a living witness. A few years after the publication of his book, he practically got one handed to him. A certain Judyth Vary Baker came forward with her story. She claimed to have had a secret relationship with Lee Harvey Oswald – the alleged assassin of President John F. Kennedy. According to her, the two also secretly worked together in Sherman’s secret laboratory. They were both on the payroll of the Reily Coffee Company. That is a fact, along with the truth that Baker, as a young student, was indeed involved in cancer research; and the fact that David Ferrie knew Oswald. Haslam has spoken to Vary Baker several times and asserted that her story is indeed truthful. According to Baker, the Reily Coffee Company was just a cover for their real job in the secret laboratory. And there, they weren’t just working on a new vaccine; they were also developing a virus to silence Castro. The laboratory was allegedly sponsored by the CIA. It is a fact that the CIA was indeed involved in plans to assassinate Castro during that time.

Dr. Mary’s Monkey
“Me & Lee” by Judyth Vary Baker may be ridiculed by many, but her story seamlessly aligns with the theory of renowned historian Edward Haslam. It would validate the theory surrounding the murder of Mary S. Sherman. Impressed by Baker’s new revelations, Haslam released “Dr. Mary’s Monkey” in 2007, an updated version of his first book with extensive information on Mary Sherman’s murder and its potential connection to the president’s assassination six months earlier. Why “Monkey”? Well, the laboratory conducted experiments on monkeys and, in some cases, even on prisoners. The book naturally sits on my bookshelf, and I highly recommend it. You can order it here; a new edition has been released a few years after the first one, featuring new photo material and fresh testimonies.

On the day of Sherman’s terrible murder, the government committee investigating Kennedy’s assassination began its hearings in New Orleans. Was she silenced? Was her misfortune in the laboratory not an accident but a deliberate act? These questions remain unanswered for now.

Read more
More articles on the New Orleans link to the assassination of JFK here.

Perry Vermeulen

Author of two books related to the assassination of JFK, published in The Netherlands in 2008 and 2012. Wrote a lot about this subject; built this website in 2023 to accommodate all those different stories. I will continue to produce new articles on the case.

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