Mary, Ferrie and Gerald Posner
Posner includes the New Orleans' cancer researcher on a "debunking" list of mysterious deaths associated with the JFK assassination, in his lone-nutter's Bible, Case Closed. He writes that Sherman died in 1967 and "had no connection to the case, though she was acquainted with David Ferrie. Marrs says she was 'possibly shot.' According to medical records, she was killed in an accidental fire, and there was no gunshot wound on her body."
Here's what Posner gets right: "there was no gunshot wound on her body."
Here's what Posner gets wrong: everything else.
Even the year of her death: Sherman was killed in 1964, not 1967. To be specific, early the morning of July 21, the day the Warren Commission began taking testimony in New Orleans.
Sherman's murder was the above-the-fold, front page headline of that afternoon's edition of the New Orleans States Item: "Orleans Woman Surgeon Slain By Intruder; Body Set Afire."
From the police Precinct Report on Sherman's death (quoted in Edward Haslam's Mary, Ferrie & the Monkey Virus):
1. Stab wound of the chest, penetrating the heart, hemopericardium and left hemithorax [sic]. 2. Multiple stab wounds of the abdomen, with incid wound of the liver. 3. Multiple stab wounds of the left upper extremity and the right leg. 4. Laceration of Labia Minora. 5. Extreme burns of right side of body with complete destruction of right upper extremity and right side of thorax and abdomen.
And from the Homicide Report:
The body was nude; however, there was clothing which had apparently been placed on top of the body, mostly covering the body from just above the pubic area to the neck. Some of the mentioned clothes had been burned completely, while others had been intact, but scorched.
The Coroner's office noted that "most of the clothes were still neatly folded when placed on top of the body." A pair of white gloves with blood stains were found in the laundry hamper. Sherman's security alarm had been turned off, and she'd told neighbors she was expecting an out-of-town visitor.
In 1993, journalist Don Lee Keith presented the case to four medical examiners. In his article "A Matter of Motives," all four say it was "obviously a case of overkill," and three suggest the fire was an attempt to draw attention to the crime scene. The killing remains unsolved to this day.
Okay, so Sherman was murdered. How does she figure in the Kennedy story? Here's New Orleans' DA Jim Garrison, in his 1967 Playboy interview:
David Ferrie had a rather curious hobby in addition to his study of cartridge trajectories: cancer research. He filled his apartment with white mice - at one point he had almost 2,000, and neighbors complained - wrote a medical treatise on the subject and worked with a number of New Orleans doctors on means of inducing cancer in mice. After the assassination, one of these physicians, Dr Mary Sherman, was found hacked to death with a kitchen knife in her New Orleans apartment. Her murder is listed as unsolved.
Haslam's Mary, Ferrie & the Monkey Virus argues that Sherman was recruited by Tulane University's Dr Alton Ochsner - a passionate anti-communist, known CIA asset and friend of Clay Shaw - to work with Ferrie on a biological weapon to use against Castro's Cuba. He speculates that this could be the covert origin of HIV. Haslam's case doesn't rise much above conjecture, but his question lingers: "Why was a prominent cancer researcher involved in an underground medical laboratory with a violent political extremist?"Now, Sherman's association with Ferrie may have been innocent, and her murder may have been incidental, but a genuine skeptic would not shy from asking Haslam's question, nor try to silence critics of the official story by resorting to deceitful half-truths and outright lies.
The problem with the kind of skeptics who champion the likes of Posner is that they are not skeptics at all. They are debunkers, whose belief system prohibits allowance of anything but lone nuts, dumb luck and coincidence. Conspiracies do not exist, because conspiracies cannot exist. And if a mysterious death appears too mysterious, no problem: "According to medical records, she was killed in an accidental fire."
See? It's as easy as typing.