Judyth Vary Baker

Judyth Vary Baker

Judyth Vary was born in South Bend, Indiana on 15th May, 1943. She attended Manatee High School where she developed a keen interest in science. Judyth received national attention for her cancer research while still in high school, including guidance from two Nobel Prize winners in biochemistry. After graduating in 1961 Judyth moved to Buffalo where she worked on a cancer research project. Her research at the Roswell Park Memorial Institute continued through to spring of 1963 at the University of Florida.

In 1963 Judyth married Robert Baker and over the next few years the couple had had five children. Judyth Baker also studied for a degree in anthropology at the University of Houston and a degree in creative writing at the University of Central Florida.

Robert Baker divorced Judyth in 1987. She moved to the Netherlands where she was involved in running a small art gallery. Later she established the Lee Harvey Oswald Museum in Haarlem.

In 1999 Judyth privately revealed her involvement in an anti-Castro conspiracy to individuals outside her family and to CBS Sixty Minutes investigators. In late 2000, newsgroups learned who she was and began speculating on what she had to say. She asserted she had been (at first unwittingly) recruited by Dr. Alton Ochsner and Dr. Mary Sherman into a get-Fidel Castro project that had the backing of the CIA and of the Mafia in New Orleans.

In November, 2003 Judyth Baker appeared in the television programme made by Nigel Turner, The Men Who Killed Kennedy: The Love Affair. According to Judyth she was offered a summer medical internship with Dr. Sherman by Ochsner: she accepted, and came to New Orleans in April, 1963. Judyth met Lee Harvey Oswald and became involved on the clandestine side of the research project. Both had unhappy marriages and were attracted to each other. She and Oswald began working together: they were both hired May 10, 1963, at Reily's Coffee Company, which provided cover jobs for them.

According to Judyth she accidentally learned about the clandestine side of the project before Alton Ochsner, who was out of town, was able to steer her to the legitimate side. She then became a willing participant in the project. At the same time, Oswald and Judyth began to fall in love. Neither had a happy marriage (Judyth was recently married to a man who promptly left her alone in New Orleans, and who in other ways neglected her). Oswald became linked to the project, partly to be close to Judyth.

Judyth Baker also met such well-known persons as Guy Bannister and Jack Ruby, as well as several others, for whom she has provided documentation, who are new in the case, including a former Customs officer from Miami who expedited Oswald's passport on 25th June, 1963. Oswald, who had defected to the Soviet Union and then was able to return without a problem to the United States at the height of the Cold War, obtained his new passport in only 24 hours.

According to Baker, the research into the biological weapon was hidden by using two or more secret mini-labs which were set up when Ochsner's Clinic made a massive move into new facilities in March, 1963. Equipment, animals, etc. were 'misplaced' during the move, the second-largest in the history of New Orleans. The basic project was set up March 23, 1962, using conventional facilities, which then expanded out of the loop for its final phases. Several labs were involved, including a tumor and tissue culture processing mini-lab, at an apartment owned by anti-Castroite Dave Ferrie.

Baker argues that Lee Harvey Oswald learned how to handle the materials safely and keep them alive. He volunteered to courier the materials to Mexico City, where a medical student, doctor or intern was scheduled to take the materials to Cuba. Oswald made frantic efforts to get the materials, which had a short shelf-life, into Cuba himself when his contacts failed to appear. The project, in fact, had been called off because of Hurricane Flora, which devastated Cuba at this time. Oswald was ordered to Dallas: his "desire to go to Cuba" was never mentioned again by him. His transit visa to go to Cuba was approved in mid-October, but by then, Oswald had no more need to go to Cuba: he never used the approved visa, which arrived too late to be of any use in saving the biological materials.

Judyth and Oswald planned to divorce and marry in Mexico after he had done all he could to help thwart the plans of an assassination ring, which he had volunteered to investigate. He believed he would have the help of the CIA to escape after providing information, but instead, due to his Pro-Castro activities in New Orleans, which had been under the handling of Guy Bannister (in order to identify Pro-Castroites in New Orleans), Oswald became the perfect patsy, even though he was on record as having admired John F. Kennedy.

According to Judyth, Oswald volunteered to continue to penetrate the ring, even when he realized his life was in danger. Oswald could only speculate on who organized the conspiracy. He was aware that Mafia, Texas oil moguls, and conservative racists put up money to finance an assassination ring that seemed to include a wide variety of planners and participants. He was kept from learning the identities of the leaders, but expressed opinions that Carlos Marcello (godfather of New Orleans and Dallas) and his Mafia friends in Chicago and Miami, along with anti-Castroites and elements of the Secret Service and CIA, were well able to assassinate Kennedy, if those at the highest levels in government cooperated to allow the assassination to take place for their benefit. Oswald told Judyth he would do what he could to try to get the mission aborted, and that he had others who were going to help him to abort the assassination.

After the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald, Judyth Baker claimed she received a phone-call from David Ferrie warning her that she would be killed if she told anyone about her knowledge of these events.

Primary Sources

(1) Publisher's Weekly (May, 1999)

Peter Cox claims the woman, whom he identifies only as Judith, was the lover of Lee Harvey Oswald at a particularly crucial time in his life: in the months leading up the November 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Cox told Publisher's Weekly he is bringing Judith, who has been living in seclusion in northern Europe for many years, to see a selected group of "top American publishers" this week. Her book, which Cox says is a finished manuscript, describes how Judith, a married woman and a Mormon, met and had an affair with Oswald, beginning in April 1963 and only ending with his death following the November 22 assassination.

Cox insists he, too, was skeptical at first, since no hint of her existence had ever emerged, despite the intense scrutiny to which Oswald's every move has been subjected, but Cox was won over by what he calls "an incredible amount of convincing detail and documentary evidence" she offered.

Why has she come forward now? According to Cox: "She wants finally to put the record straight, and feels she no longer has to fear for her life, as she did for many years." A woman mistaken for Judith, Cox said, was murdered in Mexico City 11 years ago, but Judith is unaware of any further JFK-connected murders (of which, according to assassination buffs, there have been about 40 over the years).

"Judith's story will give a very different impression of Oswald from the one we usually get," Peter Cox said. "It's an extraordinary love story that gives him a human face."

(2) Judyth Baker, posting on Manatee High School website (2003)

As you may recall, I was engaged in cancer research, and seemed to drop out of sight. Until now, I could not have mentioned what was going on in my life. Didn't you ever wonder what had happened to me? I, who had won national recognition for my magnesium project, and whose cancer research project gained Honors in the Westinghouse Science Talent Search, plus a trip to Buffalo to work in the nation's oldest cancer laboratories, seemed to vanish.. However, between 1961 and 1963, I was trained to do special cancer research. I became involved in an anti-castro project in New Orleans. I can't even discuss the impact of this project, but suffice that by spring of 1963, I was working for Reily coffee company as a front (my boss was former FBI agent William Monaghan) while actually engaged in clandestine cancer research with 'Dr.' David W. Ferrie (supposedly committed suicide but was probably murdered during the Garrison investigation) and renowned medical specialist Dr. Mary Sherman (brutally murdered July 21, 1964 for her part in the scenario I am about to describe). You may recall that I took Russian (all fees paid) at Manatee (then Jr.) Community College. I spoke crude conversational Russian by 1963, when I was introduced in New Orleans to Lee Harvey Oswald. When I wore my hair and makeup the same as his wife, Marina, - for I was same height, weight, and spoke Russian, Lee Oswald and I could worked together. Lee was involved in an anti-Castro project whose sponsor, Dr. Ochsner, was possibly related to the CIA in fact, one of Ochsner's best friends was 'Wild Bill' Donovan, who founded the CIA and who was, like Ochsner, a President of the American cancer Society. The project included delivery of live biological weapons into Cuba, aimed to kill Castro. Not only was Oswald an innocent man, he was framed in Dallas. He was a patriot who, had he defended himself, would have led to our deaths. We had endured the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, and the threat of communism spreading throughout Central and South America. I have been unable to speak about this for all these years, and indeed went into hiding after the events of Nov. 22-24, 1963. I am writing this to let light fall at last upon what must have seemed my many mysterious activities even in high school - such as meeting with Nobel Prize winners in St. Petersburg, and why I was never to become a doctor or research scientist. My book will come out next year, we believe, dealing with these events, and of my love affair with Lee.

(3) John McAdams, Should We Believe Judyth Baker? (2003)

If Judyth Vary Baker is telling the truth, it will change the way we think about the Kennedy assassination. Judyth offers an account that integrates much that has been written about the assassination into a more or less coherent whole, and puts myriad facts about the assassination in an entirely new light. She has recently been in the Netherlands, getting some attention in the Dutch media, and has opened a museum dedicated to telling her story. Her supporters have promised a book. She may turn into someone important on the JFK assassination scene...

Even if one considers Baker’s account implausible, one might reconsider if she has actual evidence to support her story. Indeed, she does have “evidence.” For example, she has employment records showing that she did work at the Reily Coffee Company at the same time Lee did. She has a green glass, of the sort that Reily gave to customers as a premium, that she says that Lee stole and gave to her, and which she treasures. How do we know that Lee gave it to her? She says he did.

She has a letter from Senator George Smathers commending her for her prowess in the sciences. She says this shows that people in high places had noticed her and were slating her for a covert mission.

There is at least one witness who confirms part of Judyth’s account. Anna Lewis, the former wife of one David Lewis, confirms Judyth’s claim that she and Lee went on several dates with Anna and David. This might seem like solid corroboration, but David Lewis was in New Orleans during the Garrison investigation, and was telling all kinds of stories - stories which even the Garrison people came to reject – about seeing Lee with Guy Banister, and with David Ferrie.

Anna Lewis’ credibility is further hurt by the fact that researchers working with Judyth promised her a share of the proceeds from a successful book...

She also claims to have at least one handwriting sample from Lee, in the form of inscriptions written in the margins of a book. The inscriptions are, conveniently, written in pencil, which means they cannot be dated as ink inscriptions could be. Are they in Lee’s handwriting? Judyth says they are, but when Judyth’s supporters, known to critics as “Team Judyth,” are asked about the verdict questioned documents experts, they simply claim that “preliminary reports” are favorable.

(4) Judyth Baker, Assassination of JFK Forum (18th April, 2004)

There are persons alive who were aware of my story from the beginning. My sister, Lynda, for example, knew about my love affair with Lee in 1964. My children knew from 1981 that Lee and I 'were friends.' We have statements from members of Marcello's family that they remembered me and Lee. Anna Lewis and her husband David (an investigator who had worked for Guy Banister), and Lee and I double dated. This has been twisted about by those who like to rewrite what I have actually reported. Anna spontaneously spoke of me as Lee's mistress, and went into detail before six witnesses. This poor woman has been threatened and harassed since. I have a Mafia soldier on tape, three times. We knew each other by sight, not as friends, in New Orleans. His name is "Mac" McCullough. I've proven I knew Lee to Gerry Hemming, because I told Gerry some things Lee knew about him that nobody knew. There are others who know. They just don't want to talk. They remain silent...

The bioweapon is not well-described by my detractors. It must be accompanied by radiation and/or chemotherapy to be useful - and those adjunct forces could be manipulated. For example, I have a newspaper article stating Jack Ruby was placed in front of x-rays for forty-five minutes. Do you know what that kind of potential exposure would do to your immune system? It was destruction of the immune system that would allow strengthened cancer cells to survive and reproduce in the victim's body...

I was assigned in Gainesville, Florida, to make certain compounds that help biological materials withstand liquid nitrogen freezing. Yes, I believe the materials we developed are in deep freeze. Jack Ruby was shown that extra x-rays were needed... or radiation... he also knew a large gauge needle was needed to inject cancer cells. It would be a painful, intravenous shot, not intramuscular, which would merely cause necrosis. He was a 'health nut' and experienced painful shots given him, as recounted by Al Maddox (I have additional written statements from Maddox), who was present when Jack Ruby died. Maddox was told by Ruby that he'd been injected with cancer cells. Ruby would have been able to figure that out, as explained above. Maddox said a doctor from Chiacgo (Dr. Sherman was from Chicago) gave the shots, then left Texas after Ruby died. Sam Giancana's book says a scientist 'from Illinois' was involved with the injection/radiation/cancer project to get Castro that Moody described to his brother. While Giancana's book is full of rumors and legends as well as facts, rumor indeed is what he reports coming out of the get-Castro project - and he was right on the money.

(5) Edward T. Haslam, Dr. Mary's Monkey (2007)

For me, writing this book was difficult, stressful and dangerous. What began as an investigation into this single murder morphed into consideration of epidemics which killed millions of people and which cost billions of dollars. It became an investigation into an underground medical laboratory that was accidentally discovered during an investigation into the JFK assassination - a laboratory which secretly irradiated cancer-causing monkey viruses to develop a biological weapon.