Southeastern Channel to air 'Who Killed the Kingfish?'
Contact: Rene Abadie
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Southeastern Louisiana University Ford Chair of Regional Studies Samuel Hyde, right, reviews materials with Dr. Donald Pavy prior to their interview in the Louisiana State Capitol on the assassination of Governor Huey P. Long. Looking on is videographer/editor Josh Kapusinski of the Southeastern Channel.
HAMMOND – Never-before released research and information regarding the assassination of Louisiana Governor Huey P. Long will be revealed in the latest episode of the Southeastern Channel’s Florida Parish Chronicles, which will debut at 8 p.m. Saturday (June 12).
“Though Huey Long served as governor of a comparatively small state, his assassination carried profound implications for the entire nation,” said Samuel C. Hyde, Southeastern Louisiana University director of the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies. Hyde, the Ford Chair for Regional Studies, wrote, narrated and hosts the episode.
He said most Americans are simply fascinated by political assassinations.
“And, as with most prominent murders, though scores of conspiracies surround his death, most are simply dismissed by those in authority,” he said.
“Who Killed the Kingfish” will continue airing several nights per week over the next month on the Southeastern Channel, the university’s educational cable access channel. A live webcast can be viewed at www.selu.edu/tv. The episode is underwritten by First Guaranty Bank.
Long was killed in 1935 in the halls of the Louisiana State Capitol. As tour guides point out the bullet holes in the marble walls, they recount the accepted theory that medical doctor Carl Weiss shot Long – then a U.S. senator – as he exited a meeting. Weiss supposedly was angry that Long was trying to remove his father-in-law, Judge Benjamin Pavy, out of office as St. Landry Parish’s 13th Judicial District Judge due to his opposition to Long.
In the episode, evidence is presented in an interview with Pavy’s grandson, physician Donald Pavy, that attempts to debunk some commonly-held beliefs associated with the assassination. Pavy, who spent his lifetime researching the famous killing with eyewitness interviews, material evidence and medical diagrams, has written a new book, “Accident and Deception: The Shooting of Huey Long.”
Utilizing rare film footage and archival photographs, the episode details Long’s rise to power as a hero of the poor and a nemesis of the elite. It also describes his penchant for making enemies and his fear of being assassinated.
“The dramatic story of Huey Long always ends with some degree of speculation or uncertainty regarding his assassination,” said Rick Settoon, general manager of the channel and executive producer of the program. “This riveting and entertaining episode provides fresh insights that strongly challenge the history books and will certainly change views on the assassination.”
Hyde said the program offers an interpretation that may not be so easily dismissed.
“It reveals that the crime of Long’s assassination may have been but the tip of the iceberg to a far more complex crime – one that involved not simply the murder of an innocent man, but conspiracy, bribery, and extortion involving some of the highest ranking figures in the state.
“Though everyone may not agree with the perspective presented, they are certain to be forced to consider if all they have believed about Huey Long and his death are the truth,” Hyde added.
In the episode, Hyde interviews Pavy at the site of Long’s assassination at the Louisiana State Capitol.
The program was edited by Southeastern Channel videographer/editor Josh Kapusinski, and reenactments were shot by channel Operations Manager Steve Zaffuto. Staff members Jamie Bass, Corey Broman-Foulks and Ken Newton assisted in the production.
The award-winning Southeastern Channel can be seen on Charter Cable Channel 18 in Tangipahoa, St. Tammany and Livingston parishes and on Channel 17 in Washington Parish.