botas ugg baratas para niños Researchers Exhume Doctor’s Grave To Resolve Part of Huey Long Legend
Just after dawn today, men with shovels and a backhoe began digging in the Weiss family plot in Roselawn Cemetery. After almost three hours of careful digging, a rusted steel vault was uncovered, and its dome was lifted to reveal a collapsed cypress coffin.
Inside the coffin were the remains of Dr. Carl Weiss, who has long been believed to be Huey P. Long’s assassin, and, a scholar hopes, the answer to one of Louisiana’s major mysteries.
Dr. Weiss, a respected 29 year old doctor, was shot to death by Long’s bodyguards just after Long was fatally wounded in a Capitol hallway. Dr. Weiss’s body was exhumed today for an autopsy to determine whether any part of the bodyguards’ accounts of that night can be verified.
No autopsy was ever performed on Long or Dr. Weiss. Some historians and Long opponents have asserted that the coroner’s inquest was a whitewash. A Lingering Mystery
Dr. Weiss was never officially named the assassin, but the label has stuck.
“There’s an endless sea of fabulous fictions about this case,” Professor Starrs said today. “I hope that science can put some of them to rest.”
The Weiss family has unwaveringly maintained that Dr. Weiss is innocent, and Dr. Weiss’s son, Carl Jr., was at the cemetery today.
Dr. Weiss’s remains were taken to a laboratory in Lafayette about noon and the autopsy was begun a few hours later. It is expected to be completed on Tuesday.
In addition to looking for bullet holes and bullets, the scientists will analyze tissue and bone marrow samples for toxins, poison and disease in a search for signs of physiological or pathological causes that might have prompted the well regarded Dr. Weiss to behave irrationally.
“There is skin; there is tissue and fragments of tissue and fragments of bone in the chest cavity,” Professor Starrs said after an initial examination. “There’s a good many bullets.”
The editor of a review published by Scientific Sleuthing Inc., a nonprofit corporation devoted to the study of forensic science in law enforcement, Professor Starrs has long been intrigued by the assassination, one of the great political mysteries of the South.
His quest for Dr. Weiss’s .32 caliber pistol and for missing police records of the assassination led him to 84 year old Mabel Guerre Binnings of New Orleans. She is the daughter and heir of Louis Guerre, who was superintendent of the Louisiana Bureau of Criminal Investigation when Long was killed. Evidence Reappears
Both Mrs. Binnings and Dr. Guerre and described in an inventory of his estate. Until the dispute is resolved in court, the gun, bullet and cartridge will remain in the care of the New Orleans Civil Sheriff. A state judge has given the recently discovered files to the state police, and for the moment has barred Professor Starrs from looking at them.
After the reappearance of the gun and documents, the Louisiana State Police began its own investigation of the assassination and has gone to court for permission to fire Dr. Weiss’s gun. A hearing will be held in New Orleans on Oct. 25.
“Legal chaos in action,” Professor Starrs said in an interview on Saturday,
describing the court actions that have kept him from examining the files, the gun and the bullet. “I think that the spent bullet could contain the entire tale.”
Professor Starrs wants to compare the spent bullet to bullets test fired from Dr. Weiss’s gun and to check it for blood and particles that could indicate the direction it took. He said an informer has told him that the files found in Mrs. Binnings’s home include photographs of bullet riddled clothing that could help clarify details of the scene. Witnesses’ Accounts
On the night Long was killed, bodyguards surrounded the Senator as he walked along the marble corridor in the Capitol he had built. Witnesses said a thin young man in a white suit appeared from behind a pillar, shoved a gun against Long’s body and fired once. A rain of gunfire followed. Fatally wounded but alive, Long fled to the basement. The young man, Dr. Weiss, lay dead on the floor, his linen suit a checkerboard of blood.
Long died 30 hours later in a Baton Rouge hospital. It is unclear whether he was shot once or twice. Dr. Weiss’s body had at least 61 bullet holes, the coroner said in 1935.
But witnesses’ accounts are confusing. One of Long’s bodyguards, Murphy Roden, said he struggled with Dr. Weiss and shot him in the throat. An examination of Dr. Weiss’s body could establish or challenge Mr. Roden’s credibility as a witness.
There clearly was a tremendous shoot out that night, Professor Starrs said, “but who shot whom and how many shots were fired by each of the participants only starts the querying ball rolling.”
Why did a well regarded young doctor with a wife and 3 month old son and surgery to perform the next day want to kill Long? Why did he go to the Capitol if not to confront Long? Did the bodyguards overreact to a stranger’s presence? Was there a plot to kill Long and Dr. Weiss an unwitting victim of a cover up that followed?
The theory espoused by Long supporters was “one man, one gun, one bullet” with the bullet entering Long’s abdomen and exiting through the back. According to this account, Dr. Weiss shot Long point blank, Long fled and the bodyguards fired a fusillade of shots at Dr. Weiss. ‘Willing to Be a Martyr’
T. Harry Williams, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Long, “Huey Long” (Alfred A. Knopf, 1969), clearly says that Dr. Weiss killed Long, saying the doctor “was a sincere and idealistic young man who agonized over the evils that he believed Huey Long was inflicting on his class and his state.” Mr. Williams added “He was willing to be a martyr.”
But in his 1986 book, “Requiem for a Kingfish: The Strange and Unexplained Death of Huey Long,” Ed Reed said, “Carl Weiss did not shoot Huey Long.” Mr. Reed, a public relations man in Baton Rouge who watched the exhumation today, said he believed that Mr. Roden, the bodyguard,
reacted to Dr. Weiss’s unexpected movement from behind a pillar by firing at him instantly and that the bullet struck Long instead. He believes that another bodyguard fired a second bullet that also hit Long.