Curious deaths of Nicholas Chetta, Henry Delaune, Jules Delaune
1964: Delaune's assistant carries out the Mary S. Sherman autopsy
2005, Joan Mellen, 'A Farewell to Justice' (digital) (well sourced book; praised by Oliver Stone): "For the burns on Mary Sherman: See Autopsy Protocol. Orleans Parish Coroner's Office. No. S64-7-288. Date & Time of Death: 7- 21-64 at 5:25 A.M. Signed by Lloyd F. LoCascio, M.D., Assistant Coroner."
May 27, 1968, New Orleans States-Item, 'Services Held For Coroner Nicholas Chetta': "A Requiem Mass will be celebrated Monday at 11 a. m. for Dr. Nicholas J. Chetta, Orleans Parish coroner since 1950, who died of a coronary [heart disease] at 10:20 p. m. ... Active pallbearers are Jules E. [will die soon], Alvin J., Sidney J., Alfred J. and Henry M. Delaune [will be murdered soon] and Angelo Palmisano. Honorary pallbearers are Gov. John J. McKeithen, Mayor Victor H. Schiro, Police Superintendent Joseph I. Giarrusso, Dr. Ignatio Medina Jr., Dr. Lloyd F. LoCascio [signed off on Mary Sherman's autopsy]..."
Chetta autopsies David Ferrie, a CIA asset who recruited Oswald
2005, Joan Mellen, 'A Farewell to Justice' (digital) (generally seems accurate with very good research; praised by Oliver Stone):
Coroner Nicholas Chetta knelt down and sniffed the corpse. "Poison! Poison!" he said. But Chetta ruled finally that Ferrie had died of natural causes, a ruptured blood vessel at the base of the brain, a "beury aneurysm." Chetta's verdict did not match Ferrie's recent symptoms, his difficulty in walking, his lethargy. The autopsy was "slipshod," Ferrie's doctor Martin Palmer contends. It was only partial and they did not even open the brain case, casting the beury aneurysm verdict into doubt. Chetta at once reported to the highly interested FBI that "Suicide Note A" was "not a suicide note."
Empty bottles of the thyroid medication Proloid were at the scene and could have been traceable through the high iodine cntent in the blood had the coroner run that test. Drugs, too, might cause an aneurysm, but samples of Ferrie's blood were not kept. [Jim Garrison assistant] Leonard Gurvich, William's brother, who had also attached himself to the Garrison investigation [as a chief investigator], noted that the inside of Ferrie's mouth was "all burned up as a result of taking some type of acid drug." Dr. Frank Minyard, later coroner of Orleans Parish, also has noted in the report reference to a contusion, perhaps caused by "something traumatically inserted into Ferrie's mouth." ...
Dr. Chetta ruled the time of death was before midnight, only for reporter Lardner to contend that he hadbeen with ferrie until just before four in the morning. Chetta then dutifully altered the time of death: "I can't rule out the possibility he may have died as late as 4 A.M.," Chetta said. It was a "major inconsistency," Garrison noted, "one of the mysteries we don'tunderstand." ...
Young John Wilson thought, "Dave just wouldn't kill himself. He was looking forward to the coming bullshit. He would love all the publicity, and he believed that he was much more intelligent than Jim Garrison. It would be a fun time for Dave." Most of the people who knew Ferrie believed he did not die of natural causes, as Dr. Chetta ruled. Wendall Roache, who had worked with Oswald in Customs, testified before the Chuch Committee to his believe that Ferrie was murdered.
Jack Martin noted that Nicholas Chetta was famous for selling "natural causes" verdicts, "just like a prostitute." So Chetta had ruled in other suspicious deaths, from the wife of sheriff Johnny Grosch to the demise of Corrine Morrison, wife of mayor Chep Morrison. Only that past December, Martin, referring to the death of Ferrie's mother, had remarked to Jim Garrison that there "are a lot of ways of killing a guy without showing in an autopsy." Ferrie is "the key to everything," Martin believed. Benton Wilson was certain the CIA had murdered Dave, and because Wilson knew so much about Ferrie's connection to the assassination [he fled to a small town]...
Twenty-four hours afer Ferrie died, his CIA Miami contact Eladio del Valle was found shoy through the heart. Del Valle's skull had been cut open from ear to ear with a machete. ...
These new examples of Robert Kennedy's attention to Oswald match RFK's concerned telephone call to New Orleans coroner Dr. Nicholas Chetta. RFK himself called to inquire as to the cause of death of David Ferrie, Oswald's closest New Orleans cohort. These many conections between Robert Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald help to clarify the question that had so plagued Jim Garrison: why did Robert Kennedy send [spy/journalist/USG investigator] Walter Sheridan to New Orleans to destroy, discredit, and subvert his investigation? [Note: because Garrison was a fraud] The reality was clear. A lawyer and Office of Naval Intelligence operative Guy Johnson put it, Sheridan "was clearly sent here by the Kennedys to spike Garrison." As for Guy Johnson himself, he enjoyed Top Secret clearance from the Office of Naval Intelligence as of May 1954, the same year in which he was granted Covert Security Clearance for Project QKENCHANT, for which Clay Shaw was also cleared."
Chetta injects key (but bogus) Jim Garrison JFK trial witness with truth serum