Breaking news: a JFK assassination book that is short

JFK witness

When taking on the JFK assassination story many authors inflict massive tomes on the reading public. These epic volumes often come with majestic names (“Breach of Faith” and “Reclaiming History”) that explicate complex forensic theories (“Crossfire” and “Best Evidence”) and pronounce definitive judgments (“Case Closed” and “High Treason”) that beget equally confident rejoinders (“Final Disclosure” and “The Last Investigation”).

Some of these books are good and others bad. But they are all B-I-G. Nothing wrong with that. Its a big story. Maybe too big.

Todd C. Elliott, an investigative journalist with The Eunice News in Louisiana, has chosen a humbler JFK topic: a woman who was a known prostitute and drug courier.

Her name was Rose Cherami, and in his mercifully short book (93 pages),  “A Rose by Many Other Names,” Elliott seeks to tell her story.

“Born Melba Christine Marcades, Cherami was picked up by authorities in Eunice some 48 hours before the assassination of John F. Kennedy. It was within these hours she would claim that she had been in the company of men who were on their way to kill the President in Dallas on that fateful Friday.”

I know a little bit about Cherami’s story, one of those willow of wisp tales that haunt the record of JFK’s murder. But I’ve never seen her picture before, so Elliott has shed some new light, at least for me.

John McAdams predictably thinks her story “bogus.” McAdams usefully links to a British author, Chris Mills, who does not. Conspiracy skeptic Dave Reitzes doubts her story here.

I haven’t read Elliott’s book, so I can’t pass judgment on it until I do. But I admit a prejudice in favor of his approach: empirical and modest, focused on clarifying the record, not making grand pronouncements about History.

Has anybody read the book?


See also:

If there was a conspiracy, wouldn’t somebody have talked?” by Larry Hancock (JFK Facts, January 2, 2013)

30 thoughts on “Breaking news: a JFK assassination book that is short”

  1. I find the trolling in the comments here to be disturbing, if not surprising. The HSCA did a good write-up on the Cheramie story and its corroboration. She did predict the assassination; she did have connections to Ruby, and she did have connections to the drug-running underworld. These facts do not establish anything definitive about the assassination, but they do make the “two lone nuts” hypothesis even more untenable.

    1. Exactly who I was the source for the Cheramie story?
      She had absolutely NO connections with Ruby and only mentioned him AFTER seeing a news report of the Oswald shooting.
      Her connections with the drug underworld center around the fact that she was a narcotics addict who underwent narcotic withdrawal during the assassination.
      Ask your self a simple question: how much credibility would you give to a witness who had been declared insane, committed at a later date to a mental hospital, was an addict, gave her claims while undergoing narcotic withdrawal?
      And you could never ask her what she really said, because she had been dead for 2 years when somebody comes forward and ” remembers” that a 3rd party claimed that she made the statements.
      And there is absolutely no documented evidence for the story , despite the fact that she came into contact with at least a dozen other people at the same time and had a hospital written medical chart.

    2. Of course the HSCA transcript on Cheramie doesn’t confirm any of the claims you make. There is no documentation of any contact with Ruby. The interesting thing is that she had repeatedly made claims to law enforcement about drug running and narcotics transactions. The FBI found no evidence to support any of her claims and saw her for what she was- a mentally disturbed individual with no credibility.

  2. Of course the experts on this blog know that this woman was found legally insane a decade before and had been committed to a mental institution in 1961. From a practical standpoint, why would any real assassin bring somebody like that into a plot to kill the President? The book is short because there is nothing to this story, with NO documented evidence that this woman even made the claims that she was supposed to have said. There is absolutely no evidence that she even knew who Ruby was prior to the Oswald shooting being reported. There is zero evidence that this story even existed before 1967.
    This is the kind of thing that really makes evident the desperation that some conspiracy buffs have to believe ANYTHING that might provide something to hang their theories on. It is incredible that people can suspend rational thinking and believe stories like this and then ignore the testimony of ballistics experts, pathologists, chemists and others who have documented evidence for their positions.

    1. I agree with you Photon. It is incredible that people can suspend rational thinking when on a White House tape, recorded in May of 1972, the president confided to two top aides that the Warren Commission pulled off “the greatest hoax that has ever been perpetuated.”

        1. Considering the source of this statement, this is a pretty good opinion since this person (POTUS) was one of the initial sponsors of Operation 40.

      1. Nixon didn’t say that. After Bremer shot George Wallace in 1972, Nixon wanted liberals to be blamed. QUOTE from the CNN website transcript:

        RICHARD NIXON, FMR. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Why don’t we play the game a bit smarter for a change. They pinned the assassination of Kennedy on the right wing, the Birchers. It was done by a Communist and it was the greatest hoax that has ever been perpetuated. And I respectfully suggest, can’t we pin this on one of theirs?

          1. LMB,
            I’m not defending Nixon, just pointing out that, no matter how many times it’s repeated, Nixon didn’t call the Warren Commission “the greatest hoax that has ever been perpetrated.”

    2. I doubt many people “hang their main hopes” on this woman’s story as reported by others. If you want to talk about desperation to believe, look at the flimsy and shoddy Lone Nut theory of folks like John McAdams. He ignores eyewitness testimony, including that of Parkland physicians, who were first trained professionals in gunshot wounds to see the President, and virtually EVERY eyewitness on the scene of the shooting who saw or heard shots from the front of the motorcade, and he (McAdams and presumably “Photon”) ignore the photo of the second Oswald in Mexico City, among other major discrepancies in the data, to BEND the facts like Arlen Spector did in order to force them to conform to the lone gunman promoted by the Warren Commission (a political body motivated to hush up dissent and questions and get LBJ elected). I find Photon’s line of reasoning to be irrational and based on belief rather than free thinking, critical thought based on a clear examination of the facts, however they may fall.
      David Mantik does a great job of exposing the deliberate DISTORTION of facts in the JFK assassination here:

      1. Virtually every eye witness on the scene of the shooting saw or heard shots from the motorcade? Well you really jumped the shark on that one. A couple of months ago I posted Warren Commission transcripts of what several witnesses testified to under oath – even after people falsely claimed that they had said shots came from the front.
        First, exactly who saw a shot being fired from the front? How do you see a bullet going 1500 mph? To this day there is no credible evidence that anybody was seen shooting any weapon except from the sixth floor of the TSBD.
        Since you obviously are not an M.D. and can’t comment on ER physicians recognition of bullet wounds with anything approaching any expertise, perhaps you can explain that even if there was a second Oswald in Mexico City exactly what would that have to do with the events of Nov. 22? Most of the eyewitness testimony actually supports shots being fired from the TSBD- as every network reported within 30 min. Of the assassination. Every one! Are they all in a conspiracy to obstruct justice? Or maybe, just maybe your claim of every eyewitness thinking that the shots came from the front is simply not true. Why did a cop go into the TSBD looking for a shooter? Or are you claiming that nobody saw pigeons flying off of the TSBD simultaneously with the shots? Why did Robert MacNeil go into the TSBD and not to the Grassy Knoll?

        1. Are YOU a physician, Paul? Because I didn’t see an M.D. in your Facebook title. So how do you know? I’m going by what Parkland doctors said to the AARB, when they saw the skull x-rays that didn’t match what they remembered in Dallas. You must be smoking something if you think that most of the eyewitnesses in Dealey supported shots coming from the TSBD and not from the fence area in front of the motorcade. You can look up the eyewitness record at Mary Ferrell’s excellent site if you don’t believe me. Note when you do look this up (unless you are truly intellectually lazy) that there are 52 witnesses who went on record as saying they thought shots came from the KNOLL and 48 from the DEPOSITORY. Others could not tell or were not even asked. Here’s the link to the data base:

          As for the ‘two Oswalds’ — which you seem to troll off as not being significant in the case — CIA had photographic (and originally sound record) of another man posing as Oswald prior to the assassination, in Mexico City. You don’t think that’s significant to there being a conspiracy? Are you kidding me?? Please, elaborate for us all why this is of no significance!

          1. I said that the doctors from Parkland who, shown the x-rays of JFK’s skull by ARRB said that the x-ray bullet damage didn’t jibe with what they remembered the President’s head wounds to have been. The x-rays looked inconsistent with their vivid memory of the back of Kennedy’s head being blown out. You miss quoted me, Perry Mason.

            Incidentally, that back of the head blown out — was that something that you admitted to earlier, or am I reading from a Paul May “double”?

    3. I agree that the evidence to support this story is weak, but I disagree with the rest. There is a lot of credible evidence to support the position that President Kennedy was murdered under suspicious conditions and that the full truth has not been revealed.

    4. “There is zero evidence that this story even existed before 1967.”

      FBI arrived in Eunice, LA days after the assassination and seized records related to Cherami from Moosa Hospital and the police station. Odd thing to do if the story had yet to be invented.

      1. Prove it. I suppose your evidence is a strong as that Guinn nonsense that you posted the other day. Or did you get it out of another book written by somebody who makes things up out of whole cloth? My God, she was a documented mental patient. What is so hard about that?

          1. Eric, you didn’t read your source. The HSCA report clearly states that Dr. Weiss, the supposed source for this story wasn’t even asked to interview Cheramie until Nov. 25.
            The report also states that the hospital report said that Cheramie was a 9 year mainlining heroin addict who was in narcotic withdrawl and near-shock at the time of admission. That hospital report also stated that Cheramie “presents episodically psychopathic behavior.” She was released to Lt. Fruge on Nov 27-5 full days after the assassination. Fruge told the committee that he was involved with investigating a drug smuggling operation that Cheramie claim was happening, but the committee could find no evidence in U.S. Customs Dept. records that confirmed in any way Fruge’s claim; nor could they locate any Customs agents that he claimed to work with.
            Finally, the report clearly states that Cheramie made repeated claims to the FBI that the Bureau determined were false on every occasion.
            As far as lies, what do you call an allegation that every eyewitness to the assassination thought that the shots came from the front?
            What do you call a claim that the FBI came to Eunice within days of the assassination to seize records related to Cheramie?

  3. She, along with Eugene Dinkin, remain fascinating characters to me.Last word of Dinkin was during a lawsuit he had filed against the govt. Each of them knew murder was in the works and remain Cassandras of this hideous act.

      1. Just another mental patient who supposedly claimed to have knowledge of a plot to kill JFK. Like at least 200 other people in 1963 who claimed knowledge of plots to kill JFK. Not counting those who came out of the woodwork after Nov. 22 claiming to have known something before the assassination. As this guy was AWOL in Europe in November it is difficult to see how he could be even remotely associated with the shooting.
        The only thing fascinating about the pathetic Cherami is that anybody could believe anything she supposedly said. Who vouches for the guys who claimed to have heard what she said?

      2. Mr. Rush-
        Dinkin was an army cryptographer working in Europe. He had gathered info from his reading of cables that there would be military action against JFK in the Fall of 1963. He went awol, spoke to reporters and diplomats in Switzerland, and was ignored. He returned to base. After JFK was killed, the Army searched him out, eventually placed him under psychiatric care and, last I heard, he had sued the government for his treatment. The Fonzi book and Douglass book discuss him. He was very much – like Cheramie – a Cassandra in the drama.
        You might notice that some “coincidence buffs” – the CBers- (like “photon”) will ridicule or smirk at such info. Add up a few hundred ‘coincidences’ and you have a conspiratorial coup d’etat for all but those who cannot see.

        1. Dinkin was a classic paranoid schizophrenic who claimed that he was being evaluated by ” psychological sets” , a rather standard variation on the thought broadcasting issue common with schizophrenics. He was a PFC in an ordinance unit, so aside from decoding messages I don’t see any Cryptological duties that he was associated with. Even that is without documentation; I have known cryptologists most of my adult life and they don’t work alone; particularly someone who isn’t even an NCO. Writing a letter to RFK in Oct of 1963 clinches the diagnosis, because if he really was a cryptologist there were other ways to communicate with higher authorities.
          The reason that he was at WRAMC for 4 months is simple. He was crazy. And there is nothing that you can show that contradicts that.

          1. And frankly where is this guy? Did he disappear into a cave so the could stop those thought broadcasts? How many psychiatrists has he seen since 1964?
            Yep, a truly outstanding source to confirm those conspiracy theories.

          2. Dinkin didn’t believe he was being evaluated by psych sets, but thought that was means of subliminal communication. The idea he would have used normal army means of announcing to the world evidence of a military plot is laughable

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