Jack Martin, P.I., a private investigator who claimed to have information on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Jack S. Martin was born Edward Stewart Suggs on July 1, 1915, in Phoenix, Arizona. Suggs served in the Army during World War II, and later moved to California, where he unsuccessfully tried to become a police officer in Los Angeles and San Diego.(9)
"Quick-witted and highly observant" private investigator Jack Martin also had a rap sheet stretching back to October 1944, and spanning the US from California to Arkansas to Texas to Louisiana. He was arrested in January 1945 in Fort Worth, Texas, for carrying a pistol; he was fingerprinted in Los Angeles in December 1945; he was arrested in December 1947 for disturbing the peace in San Diego and again in May 1949 in Dallas. He later would be investigated on numerous occasions for allegedly impersonating a doctor, an FBI agent, a CIA employee, a US Army colonel, and an ordained priest. Subsequent to his 1949 arrest, Suggs moved to Texas.(10)
In Houston, Suggs took up a new trade as practitioner of illegal abortions. In 1951, he fled the state when one of his unfortunate patients, one Helen Nichols, died shortly after undergoing an operation at the hands of "Dr. Suggs." A state grand jury indicted Suggs for murder in June of that year.(11)
Suggs was arrested in Los Angeles on May 2, 1953, as a fugitive from Texas, but he managed to get the murder charge dismissed. He would later describe his philosophy of life as, "The strong take from the weak and the smart take from the strong," and he "considers himself one of the smart." He related the details of the "'murder rap' he was involved in" and bragged that he "outsmarts everyone." March 1954, Suggs was fingerprinted in Galveston, Texas, for vagrancy and a drunk-and-disorderly charge.(13) Soon after this, he moved to New Orleans and adopted the name, John Stewart Martin, Sr. He had difficulty holding a job and was largely supported by his wife, Paula. Concerned about his erratic behavior and excessive drinking, Mrs. Martin eventually insisted that her husband enter an alcohol treatment program in the Psychiatric Department of Charity Hospital.(14)
In January 1957, Martin caused a disturbance in a New Orleans store and told store authorities he was an FBI agent. The FBI "instituted inquiries in this matter . . . and determined that he [Martin] was in a psychiatric ward [at] Charity Hospital, New Orleans as of January 17, 1957. His psychiatrist informed our agents that Suggs was suffering from a character disorder . . ."(15)
An 'Informative Note' in Martin's FBI file states, "Several sources have reported Martin is a mental case."(16) The actual diagnosis was "sociopathic personality disorder, antisocial type."(17)
Jim Garrison's onetime chief investigator, Pershing Gervais, describes Martin as "absolutely crazy."(18) According to Gervais, Martin "had a way of breathing up stories and being very positive about things. He would concoct things about someone and then he would talk to that someone" and construct a story "that would kind of jibe" with whatever new information he received. When asked about Martin's reliability, Gervais laughs and said, "He couldn't be reliable if he intended to be."(19)
NODA investigator Lynn Loisel -- who was nothing if not loyal to Jim Garrison -- dismissed Martin as a "sack of roaches."(20)
The FBI again interviewed Martin in 1960 about impersonating an FBI agent.(21) When Martin later informed the FBI that an associate of his, Carl Stanley, "was involved in illegal activities including Fraud Against the Government," the "FBI ultimately concluded both men were mentally ill. According to Carl Stanley, Edward Suggs said he had worked for the CIA."(22)
Secret Service agent Anthony Gerrets interviewed Martin in December 1963, noting that Martin "has the appearance of being an alcoholic."(23) Gerrets's report states flatly, "Martin had admitted to being a heavy drinker . . ." and "has the reputation of furnishing incorrect information to law enforcement officers, attorneys, etc."(24)
Anthony Summers, author of the highly regarded JFK assassination book, Conspiracy (later retitled, Not in Your Lifetime) understatedly calls Jack Martin "an odd character,"(25) and notes "some justifiable doubt" about his credibility.(26)
Esteemed conspiracy researcher Peter Dale Scott goes further. Calling David Ferrie's denials of involvement in the assassination "quite plausible,"(27) Scott writes, "More suspicious than Ferrie, in my view, is . . . Jack Martin, [who] made much of Ferrie's alleged membership in a phony church. However . . . Ferrie had testified that he 'became involved with these religious orders only to assist Martin in [an] investigation into the sale of phony certificates of ordination and consecration.' The Select Committee, after investigating Ferrie extensively, agreed that 'Martin . . . and Ferrie had performed some investigative work on a case involving an illegitimate religious order in Louisville, Ky.'"(28)
Details of this investigation have been confirmed by numerous researchers, including Ferrie expert David Blackburst. (Martin himself became a dealer of fraudulent certificates of ordination at this time.)(29)
Peter Dale Scott continues: "[T]his finding radically discredits Martin's multiple allegations against Ferrie."(30)
It was Jack Martin who started all of the rumors about David Ferrie, including the claims that Ferrie knew Lee Harvey Oswald and had driven to Dallas the night of the assassination as some kind of "getaway pilot."
Martin had once worked with Dave Ferrie and held a grudge against him for various offenses that most likely originated in his imagination, like practically everything else he said.(31) Among other things, he blamed Ferrie for prejudicing Guy Banister against him, when Banister knew Martin very well and was quite capable of distrusting Martin for plenty of reasons of his own.(32)
It is Jack Martin who began the character assassination of Dave Ferrie, which Jim Garrison eagerly picked up and disseminated. It was Jack Martin who later spun tales about Lee Harvey Oswald having been in Guy Banister's office.
Edward Stewart Suggs, a.k.a. Jack S. Martin, summed up his life quite aptly during one of his bouts in an institution. In December 1956, at Mercy Hospital, Martin said, "I ruin everything I get my hands on."(33)
Answered By: UmaCat - 3/13/2006