On just after midnight, on May 4, 1963, a peculiar police raid occurred in New Orleans. I was in it.
Judyth Baker · On just after midnight, on May 4, 1963, a peculiar police raid occurred in New Orleans. I was in it. My brand-new husband married me in Mobile, Alabama on May 2, was with me for one day on May 3rd, then announced that he would be gone for weeks at a time. "I was afraid you wouldn't marry me if I told you," he said. I had kept a secret away from him, too: I'd been invited to begin medical school at Tulane in the Fall, skipping two years of college, all expenses paid. Since Robert wasn't graduating from UF (in Florida) until December, I was afraid he wouldn't marry me if he knew we'd be separated for a whole semester. So we had deceived each other when we got married. I'd be very sorry! We married on May 2 in Mobile, AL. where there was no waiting period. I thought he loved me so much he just couldn't wait the two-day waiting period,but in fact, Robert had to leave on May 3 to work on a quarterboat, out in the Gulf of Mexico! He had no idea when he might return. We had a fight over it and so he left, refusing to tell me where he was even going. I had no chance to tell him that I'd been fired from my temporary job (Robert had kept me up all night in his "manly" pursuits, the long trip to and from Mobile, and my natural ineptness trying to be a waitress!--it all combined to make me a walking disaster early on May 3, and after I spilled coffee on a customer, I was fired!). Robert, sleeping in the car, was eager for more whoopee, while i was exhausted... Then he was gone.... He thought I still had a job and had taken my money... Nine hours later, just after midnight, the police came. The house I was living in was a house of ill repute! And I never guessed! We have located the house, and because now it is a famous house in New Orleans --for different reasons--as I learned yesterday from ownership records, I do not dare publicly release its address. I will do so to researchers who will keep the information private. This house originally had six bedrooms and six bathrooms. From the front, elegant--magnificent. I was so ignorant. Very well-dressed men visited the well-dressed, beautiful women who lived there, and I never caught on! I had lived there less than a week when the midnight raid occurred. I was still wearing a see-through babydoll nightie for our "wedding night" and I realized that the police, going up and down the stairs bringing down women, would sometime look into this little parlor room right by the front door,which, converted into a small bedroom, was MY room! So, in the dark, I changed clothes and packed everything I could! Just as I grabbed my brand-new marriage license, a big, red-faced, overweight cop kicked the sliding doors open and stood there glaring at me as he turned on the overhead light. I was in tears and begged him not to haul me away with the other girls, who were mainly dressed in feathers and handcuffs. (It never got into the papers--by now I had met and become close friends with Lee Oswald, who told me a payoff likely occurred to keep certain names out of the newspaper. Instead, a raid elsewhere on St. Charles Avenue was reported, along with some raids on strip joints.) At any rate, I was told to GET OUT! There I was, at about 1 am, on the street, with two suitcases, a guitar around my neck, a guitar case full of stuff, and a box of books and my oil paints, with a typewriter on top! There were no cell phones back then. The only recourse was to start walking toward Thompson's restaurant, which was open 24 hours. Then I could call somebody in the morning...now, Thompson's is where the anti-Castroites gathered, where Lee Oswald would come, and where Anna Lewis was a waitress. She was married to David Lewis (a partner of Jack Martin, who you can see in the movie "JFK" getting pistol-whipped), who Lee had introduced me to. That summer, Lee and I would end up double dating with David Lewis and his wife, Anna. I became more and more desperate, however, as the dark night had perils for somebody like me, and I was losing all hope of ever reaching the restaurant when I saw some lights on, in the darkness, at a church. This was St. George Episcopal Church, and what I saw was a light on in the rectory, where a very good man, Father Bill Richardson, was working on a funeral sermon. Feeling helpless, frightened, and worn out, I knocked on the door... and he and his wife opened that door and let me in. In Christian charity, they gave me some hot chocolate, a soft, clean couch to sleep on, and the next morning, breakfast. Pastor Bill called Lee, who by then was living with his aunt and uncle Murret. Lee came, and we had lunch at the Richardson's table as well. Father Bill would become famous in New Orleans for his accepting all of God's children, as he put it, into his heart. He would help the local homosexual community after a devastating fire, for which he would receive death threats. He was about as close to a saint as a person can get. In 1963, his wife was still alive, his children were still growing up, and his family was intact. Lee made a great impression on him and Mary, his wife. She died that year --we don't know exactly when-- and she was healthy and strong-- of a sudden heart attack. She drove me and Lee to the lovely, small house Lee found for me. Lee rescued me from homelessness on May 4, 1963, and it was the beginning of our much more serious relationship. Many people who knew me and Lee just before and after the Kennedy assassination ended up dead. I have prayed for years that Mary Richardson's untimely death was just a coincidence. Having found the ownership records of the mansion that was raided, I learned something very interesting. The records indicated that a woman, formerly married to a Mr. Holden, had become a widow. Her second marriage also ended in death for husband number two, a Mr. Watts. So this widow "Buys" this mansion in 1950 from a bank. She "buys" it again in 1957. Then comes the Kennedy assassination, and in January, 1964, the same lady buys the house a third time, this time as a "Mrs. Canfield." Her husband is a doctor! Who is really who is not clear, because when she sells it again in 1978, she sells it to a WIDOW, whose husband was also a doctor. The widow's name is "Smiley Louise Smedlel, widow of Lee Roy Murphree, who is also a dead doctor. Only later, when she dies, we learn her name was actually Emile Smedley. When she dies in the 1990's, the house was owned by ordinary people again. Now re-read the above owners... it began remember, with a widow buying the house from the bank after its owner, James Heaslip, died, in 1950. So the same widow bought the house three times, before selling it to another widow... Today the house is owned by such important people that I do not dare give out its address, but I'm going to show you a photo of the interior, where you can see the beautiful door I describe in my book, and also an archway into the parlor. You can see the beautiful staircase and the lovely chandelier that might even be the original that I saw, hanging in the hallway. Ask yourself, why would a widow want a six bedroom-six bathroom big house for herself? In the book, Jack Ruby, learning that the woman, Mrs. Webber, running the house, refused to give me my rent money back, was not happy. Ruby, who I knew then only as "Sparky Rubenstein" said he would "talk" to the woman, in such a menacing tone that I wondered what might happen to her. Nofio Pecora was the person involved with this mansion. So the Mafia was behind the "twice-a-widow" three purchases made by "the same woman" of the mansion. When I showed the records people this unusual series of purchases by the same woman, they were amazed, and started printing out the next records of places I was investigating, for free. Today the mansion has fewer bedrooms and bathrooms, but the 5,000+ square feet will give you an idea of its size, which can fool you, looking just at the front. This was the first time Lee would rescue me from a bad situation in New Orleans. It would not be the last. You can read our story in ME & LEE or get the updated book LEE HARVEY OSWALD AND ME, which, due to new information coming in, has been delayed in getting printed. BUT IT'S COMING! For $75 you can get a signed and numbered volume "first 100 books off the press" by using PayPal and sending to [email protected]. Or $40 for one that is not numbered and registered, but is signed first printing, second edition. Then book has more facts than ever before. photos: Lee, taken that summer for his new passport (the old one was full of stamps such as USSR--not suitable for ID use in America in 1963!).... photo 2: Father Bill Richardson photo 4: me, a photo taken at a booth in Florida prior to going to New Orleans... photo 3: portion if letter: Robert, writing from the quarter-boat, concerned about my teeth, mentioned Mrs. Webber, Susie Hanover (my dear landlady), and Mrs. Richardson in the same letter, as maybe being able to help me... you can see their names here, in this excerpt...photo 5: interior peek at The Mansion, with its lovely glass door, the chandelier, and the staircase, with a peek into the parlor that once had a pair of sliding doors... I love you and care. If you are having a problem with cancer or have questions about COVID, consider writing to [email protected]. Maybe, together, we can address some problems you might be facing, to help you have a better life. ❤ ❤ ❤ love, judyth ❤ ❤ ❤
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