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Unredacted Episode 1: Interview with Joan Mellen

Welcome to Unredacted, the MFF's interview show featuring authors and experts on the Kennedy assassination and related topics. Our first episode features an interview with Joan Mellen, author of the recently-published A Farewell to Justice: Jim Garrison, JFK's Assassination, and the Case That Should Have Changed History.

Joan is the author of 17 books and began her research for A Farewell to Justice in 1997. The book is a passionate reappraisal of New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison and his pursuit of justice in the Kennedy assassination. Her book charges the CIA with complicity in the murder at high levels. Joan's work, like that of Garrison, is highly controversial.

The hour-long interview covers a range of topics related to her book and the research behind it, Jim Garrison's investigation, and the role of the media and historians in failing to come to grips with the JFK assassination.

Listen to the interview: (63 min)           Read Interview Transcript

Other Interviews and Lectures by Joan Mellen

Joan Mellen's talk at the New York Society for Ethical Culture, 24 Jan 2006. This talk was carried on CSPAN-2 television as well (a DVD is available from

Interview by John W. Whitehead, 8 Mar 2006, on the Rutherford Institute website.

Book Reviews

Review of Joan Mellen's A Farewell to Justice by Mel Ayton, on the History News Network. The review is followed by comments from Dr. Gary Aguilar and others.

A Farewell to History: Hello Mythology by Patricia Lambert, author of False Witness, on John McAdams' web site.

Saint Joan, by Eddie Kasica on (originally posted on

Spartacus Educational has several comments and mini-reviews of Mellen's book.

See also customer reviews on and Barnes & Noble.

Related Essays by Joan Mellen

9/11 and 11/22. In this essay, Joan draws parallels between the 9/11 Commission and the Warren Commission.

On the MFF Site

Starting Points

Garrison Investigation - This Starting Point has links to essays, documents, books, and online resources about the Garrison investigation.

Document Sets

Clay Shaw Trial Transcripts - The MFF Archive includes the set of transcripts from the trial of Clay Shaw, including the testimony of the Clinton witnesses, Perry Russo, Abraham Zapruder, Regis Kennedy, Marina Oswald Porter, Robert Frazier, Ruth Paine, Pierre Finck (see 2nd and 3rd appearances also), James Phelan, Clay Shaw, and Jim Garrison's closing argument. A few transcripts, including that of Charles Speisel, have never been found.

Orleans Parish Grand Jury Transcripts - These transcripts were once ordered destroyed, but were instead kept hidden and delivered to the Assassination Records Review Board in the mid-1990s. Among the many fascinating grand jury appearances are that of Carlos Quiroga, Dean Andrews (see 2nd appearance also), Jim Hicks, Josephine Hug, Kerry Thornley, Marina Oswald Porter, Mark Lane, Miguel Torres, Perry Russo, Ray Marcus, Regis Kennedy, Ruth Paine, Thomas Beckham, William Gurvich (see also 2nd appearance), and Zachary Strate.

Church Committee Boxed Files - See Church Committee and Rockefeller Commission testimony about assassination plots, particularly John Roselli (also 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th appearances), Lawrence Houston, Richard Bissell (also 2nd, 3rd, and 4th appearances), Richard Helms (also 2nd, 3rd, and 4th appearances), Robert Maheu (also 2nd, 3rd, and 4th appearances), and William Harvey.

Russ Holmes Work File - This large collection of CIA documents includes many now-declassified CIA memos relating to the Garrison investigation, as well as other topics relevant to Joan Mellen's book. Search for Garrison, Shaw, or other key words.


Anti-Castro Activists and Organizations and Lee Harvey Oswald in New Orleans - Staff report in Volume X of the HSCA Report.

Garrison and the Kennedy Assassination. This lengthy CIA memorandum of 26 Apr 1967 is one of many memos which reported internally on the state of Garrison's investigation. See these additional numbered memos:

Garrison Group Meeting No. 1 - 20 Sep 1967. The CIA convened a "Garrison group," and this memo records CounterIntelligence analyst Ray Rocca's belief that "Garrison would indeed obtain a conviction of Shaw." See also Garrison Group Meeting No. 2 - 26 Sep 1967.

Memo: Sullivan, J. Monroe, #280 207. This memo of 16 Mar 1967, written two weeks after Shaw's arrest, notes that J. Monroe Sullivan, Executive Director of the San Francisco World Trade Center (and Shaw's "alibi"), was granted a covert security approval under Project QKENCHANT. It also notes Shaw's file number, without explicitly relating it to QKENCHANT. Joan Mellen has uncovered other very recently-declassified documents related to Shaw and QKENCHANT, approval under which apparently conferred the ability to recruit others.

Memo For: Garrison Investigation. This memo, written by CIA General Counsel Lawrence Houston, discusses contacts with the Justice Department and the possibilities and dangers of contacting Clay Shaw's defense team.

Countering Criticism of the Warren Report. This CIA memo went out to certain CIA station chiefs around the world on 4 Jan 1967, during the early days of Garrison's investigation, at a time when books by Mark Lane, Edward Epstein, and others had just been published. The memo directs its recipients to "employ propaganda assets to answer and refute the attacks of the critics," and supplies various talking points and strategies.

About Joan Mellen

Joan Mellen is a professor of English and Creative Writing at Temple University and the author of 17 books. Her latest work is A Farewell to Justice: Jim Garrison, JFK's Assassination, and the Case That Should Have Changed History.

About the Book

A Farewell to Justice
Joan Mellen
Potomac Books, 2005

Book Website

MFF Book Page
Selected Book: A Farewell to Justice Page
A Farewell to Justice on

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