Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Jack Kerouac's FBI file redux

My recdent curation project got me thinking about whether Kerouac indeed has an FBI file despite my previous attempts to ascertain that possibility (Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; Part 4). Perhaps I used the wrong name for them to search when I requested that info from the FBI before, or perhaps they searched for "Kerouvac" as indicated in the subject line of their response. I don't recall the names I used, but I know I didn't use Jean Louis Kirouac, which could be how they have him identified. This time I used that spelling as well as provided alternative names: Jack Kerouac and John L. Kerouac.

Between the asterisks is the text of my Freedom of Information Act request sent October 27, 2018 (in case you want boilerplate to do your own search for someone's file):

Federal Bureau of Investigation
Records/Information Dissemination Section
170 Marcel Drive
Winchester, VA 22602-4843

Dear Sir or Madam:

This is a request for records under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.

I request all records concerning a deceased individual named Jean Louis Kirouac,
most famously known as Jack Kerouac but also John L. Kerouac.

This individual was born on March 12, 1922 in Lowell, Massachusetts and died on
October 21, 1969 in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Jean Louis Kirouac was the birth certificate name of famous author Jack Kerouac,
who lived in various places in the country including Lowell, MA, New York City,
Florida, and San Francisco.

As proof of death, I enclose a printout of a Wikipedia article.

Please search both your automated indices and the older general (manual)

Please also search the ELSUR electronic surveillance indices. Please also search
the indices of all Field Offices.

I authorize you to spend up to two hours searching for responsive records, but no more.
This is an individual request for research and study purposes, and I agree that
I will pay up to $30 for fees, if necessary. Please notify me in advance if fees are
expected to exceed that amount. If the file is likely to result in more than 250 pages,
I would appreciate receiving a digital copy of the file on a CD-ROM rather than
in paper form.
If you have any questions, please call me at ###-###-####.


Dr. Richard E. Dale


Below is page one of letter I received yesterday (dated November 13, 2018). Page 2 is irrelevant (it's the closing). The FBI stated, "We were unable to identify any main file records responsive to your request and; therefore, your request is being administratively closed."

Grammar aside, it looks like the FBI is saying that our buddy Jack has no FBI file. I still find that hard to believe, but I've exhausted my efforts in this regard so we'll leave it at that. I know Allen Ginsberg has one: see http://ginsbergblog.blogspot.com/2015/05/allen-ginsbergs-fbi-files.html. What about William S. Burroughs?

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