A team of experts undertaking a new investigation of the 1935 assassination of Huey Long will exhume the remains of the young doctor thought to have shot the populist senator, a researcher says.
James E. Starrs, forensic scientist at George Washington University in Washington, said the team will travel to Baton Rouge in October to dig up the remains of Dr. Carl Austin Weiss.Long, a former populist governor known as "the Kingfish," was a political giant when he was assassinated at 52. The 29-year-old Weiss died at the scene in the state Capitol after being shot by the senator's bodyguards.
Starrs said investigators never determined "why the unassuming, successful, family-rooted, apolitical Dr. Weiss would have chosen knowingly to throw away his young
life and career."
Conspiracy theories abound. Some suggest Long's bodyguards may have shot Long and killed Weiss to cover it up.
Some say Weiss was enraged after Long allegedly threatened to "tarbrush" two of Weiss' in-laws by suggesting that they had black people in their family tree.
Starrs, along with an anthropologist, pathologist, toxicologist and firearms expert, said he will examine the angles at which at least 60 bullets entered Weiss' body to learn whether Weiss was in a position to have shot Long.
They also plan to analyze tissue samples to see if he suffered from some condition such as a brain tumor or drug addiction.
Weiss' 56-year-old son, Carl Jr., and Baton Rouge's coroner approved Weiss' exhumation.
David Johnston, coordinator of the project, said the work is expected to cost $10,000 to $15,000 and will be paid for by independent sources. The researchers will donate their time, he said.