Edwin Anderson Collins
Collins was a member of Interpen (Intercontinental Penetration Force) that was established in 1961 by Gerry P. Hemming. Other members included Loran Hall, Roy Hargraves, William Seymour, Lawrence Howard, Steve Wilson, Howard K. Davis, James Arthur Lewis, Dennis Harber, Dick Whatley, Bill Dempsey, Ramigo Arce, Ronald Augustinovich, Joe Garman, Edmund Kolby, Ralph Schlafter, Manuel Aguilar and Oscar Del Pinto.
This group of experienced soldiers were involved in training members of the anti-Castro groups funded by the Central Intelligence Agency in Florida in the early 1960s. When the government began to crack down on raids from Florida in 1962, Interpen set up a new training camp in New Orleans. The group carried out a series of raids on Cuba in an attempt to undermine the government of Fidel Castro. This involved a plan to create a war by simulating an attack on Guantanamo Naval Base.
On 25th September, 1963, Silvia Odio had a visit from three men who claimed they were from New Orleans. Two of the men, Leopoldo and Angelo, said they were members of the Junta Revolucionaria. The third man, Leon, was introduced as an American sympathizer who was willing to take part in the assassination of Fidel Castro. After she told them that she was unwilling to get involved in any criminal activity, the three men left.
The following day Leopoldo phoned Odio and told her that Leon was a former Marine and that he was an expert marksman. He added that Leon had said “we Cubans, we did not have the guts because we should have assassinated Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs”. It is believed that Bernardo De Torres was Leopoldo and Edwin Collins was Angelo.
Bernardo De Torres and Edwin Collins in 1963
Some researchers believe that a combination of Interpen members and anti-Castro Cubans were involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. This included Collins, James Arthur Lewis, Roy Hargraves, Steve Wilson, Gerry P. Hemming, David Morales, Herminio Diaz Garcia, Tony Cuesta, Eugenio Martinez, Virgilio Gonzalez, Felipe Vidal Santiago and William (Rip) Robertson.
Edwin Anderson Collins died in a boating accident in 1964. It is believed he was murdered by a fellow member of Interpen. However, Gerry P. Hemming claims that he was murdered by "fellow-travelers" linked to Fidel Castro.
(1) Tom Dunkin, letter to Richard Billings (June, 1967)
First contact with No Name Key group was in July or August, 1962, when small group was camping on south shorts of Lake Okeechobee, near Pahokee-Belle Glade.
Among those present were Howard K. Davis, identified as "car leader", Gerald Patrick Hemming, aka "Jerry Patrick", Joe Garman, and Steve Wilson.
Group a bit publicity shy, but in September, at request of WFLA-TV Tampa friend, Don Starr, tried for footage on their activities. Met with Davis and Patrick in Miami on Sat. Sept. 15, finally, around 2 a.m. Sunday Sept. 16, got approval.
Two carloads departed Miami for No Name Key, including Davis, Patrick, Cuban known only as Pino, among others. At the camp on No Name Key, Steve Wilson was in charge. Other Americans there included Ed Collins, Bill Seymour, Canadian Bill Dempsey, one individual identified as Finnish and in doubtful status with Immigration, named Edmund Kolbe, also Roy Hargraves.
Number of men transported by boat from No Name Sunday, Sept 16, for a demonstration which was filmed on Big Pine Key, near No Name, by WFLA-TV sound crew, by myself with film going to WTVT Tampa, plus stills which were used in Miami Herald story on 20 September and in Glades County Democrat 21 September 1962.
Democrat article read by a friend Larry Newman Jr., managing editor of Dayton (Ohio) Daily News, resulting in request for a feature with fresh art, dated 15 October.
Returned to Miami on Saturday 20 October, or possibly Friday. At any rate, after beer-drinking session in bar of Hotel Flagler, at which time Dennis Harber first encountered, accompanied Roy Hargraves to tourist court on Flagler where he was living with female know only as "Betty" whom he later reportedly married.
Arrival at 2 a.m. brought protest from Betty, who rather profanely instructed Hargraves to "get the hell out of here and take your queer friend with you." Later gratifyingly learned she had thought Harber was outside instead of me.
She protested to Hargraves that he was wasting his time with a revolution. He advised her he had too much time invested to quit. We slept in my car outside Patrick's headquarters, Federico's Guest House, 220 NW 8th Ave.
Howard K. Davis at that time lived at 3350 NW 18th Terrace. He accompanied both trips to No Name Key, and was reported leader of group. (Davis, interestingly, was listed in Associated Press Florida wire story F56MH ( believed to be March 24, 1960, but could have been 1959) as among 29 persons whom the Miami News listed as banned from aircraft rental on Border Patrol orders. Davis, and another American known only as "Art", later identified as Arthur Gerteit, were check pilots for CBS-Rolando Masferrer Haitian invasion "air Force" in November, 1966. Gerteit was later identified in United Press International dispatch from Tifton, Cal, early 1967 (Apr. 11) where Cuban arrested with bombs as he rented an airplane, as "an FBI Decoy")
On second trip to No Name on behalf of Dayton Daily News, Harber accompanied group, which included Cuban known to me only by last name of Pino, who also had been present at first filming session. Pino reportedly head of an exile group called Christian Army of Anti-Communist Liberation (ECLA), and not quotable by name at that time.
Harber was drunk on departure from Miami, and took one pint of whisky with him, which he asked be rationed to him slowly. I performed this task. Pino much amused at Harber, whom he called "el profesor."
Harber at that time was night clerk for the Flagler Hotel, 637 West Flagler, and also taught English (to Cuban exile students) at a language school next door to the hotel.
Harber was described by Patrick at that time as having terminal cancer. At present, according to last report from Patrick, Harber was serving sentenced in Mexico for murder, undocumented to me.
Harber lived in a small apartment behind Flagler Hotel, and shared it with various of the Americans occasionally, including Seymour, Collins, and a Czeck lad known as Karl Novak, who I don't recall seeing on No Name.
(2) Gerry P. Hemming, International Education Forum (27th August, 2005)
Edwin Anderson Collins was murdered by Castro "fellow-travelers" upon their discovery of his identity, and just a few weeks after he was tasked to penetrate their "protest march" from Canada, down the east coast, and on to Havana, and GITMO. Steve Wilson and I identified his body at the Medical Examiner's morgue, and when I questioned an assistant there as to the severe lacerations, cuts and bruises on Eddy's face and scalp - he responded that: "This was most likely due to crabs and other critters munching on the corpse post-mortem!!"
Upon my questioning exactly how a corpse (in salt water) might continue to bleed, acquire bruises, and suffer contusions and edema after only 8 hours + in Biscayne Bay (400 yards off the docks of Dinner Key & City Hall) - police detectives Tony Fontana and Bill Cloy charged into the room demanding to know our purposes.
Eddy Collins was one of our best swimmers, as evidenced when he was blown overboard (sans UDT the same life jacket he is pictured wearing in the No Name Key pix) - along with Dickey Chappelle, Hargraves, and Felipe Vidal on a Cuba run during early 1964.
Wilson and I tracked down the now hiding boat crew a few days later, and with less than Abu-Ghraib measures, thoroughly "interviewed" them.
Their "official" story to the police was that Eddy was drunk and that he had dived overboard to recover a dinghy which had cast adrift that night. Despite witnesses ashore reporting screams beforehand - they had insisted that had he uttered one sound they could have turned the boat around, located and recovered him. (They admitted to the police that they had motored to the dock, and "immediately" called the police??) The live-aboard boaters and shrimpers who already knew Eddy over the years, wondered about the great discrepancies in timing, especially the police report (initial call) showing that this was made some 45 minutes after the boaters heard the screams and turned on their searchlights (evidenced in their official log books). They had asked the "hippies" what was going on only 5 minutes after the screams, and just after the "protestor" boat was being tied to the dock.
Eddy Collins had been recruited by FBI agents (MIA/FO), and John Evans of the "Johns Committee" (Red-Squad) in Tallahassee - to assist in monitoring the "peace marchers". The "Mounties" (R.C.M.P.) had inserted two assets into the group in Canada, and one of these had operated together with one of our guys, who, the year previous, had worked a joint CSS/RCMP/FBI operation involving Nicaraguans, Cubans, and other foreign nationals embarking on a mission to attend training camps inside Cuba.
The day of the JFK assassination, Jim Lewis was [as usual] playing Chess at "Little Joe's" apartment by the Miami River - together with Eddy Collins, "Skinny", Dick Whatley, Bobby Willis, and Bill Dempsey. When Garman started dancing in the street soon after hearing the news from Dallas, Jim chastised him severely (along with Cuban pissed-off neighbors); He reminded him that just four days before; he had been a member of our security detail for JFK at MIA (Monday, 18th Nov.), and that he had been prepared to "take-a-bullet" for the President!!