The FBI issues a blank page

Continuing with my short posts on oddball releases, the specimen for today is record number 124-10289-10167, released in 2022, and which is, as the title indicates, a blank page. This note attempts to explain why the FBI issued a content free record. It may seem exotic to you newbies, but I’ve seen at least one other instance of this before. Unfortunately I’ve lost my little post it note that told me where it was.

A look again at Section 10 docs

One of the JFKARC issues I have not spent much time on is the Section 10 and Section 11 documents. There was previously a lot of confusion about these, especially Section 10(a)(1) records (grand jury records) and Section 10(a)(2) records (court sealed records). Like the Section 11 records (income tax returns), these court documents are exempt from release indefinitely. Sometimes these records are held back entirely, aka “withheld”. There are only a handful of such “Section 10” records in the JFKARC. There are, however, many cases where there are bits in the record beside court info, and these extra bits can at some point be released. Such records are thus permanently “released in part”.

Unfortunately, tracking all of these section 10 and 11 records can be difficult. Why? Well, many 10(a)(1) and 10(a)(2) records were labeled incorrectly in the JFK database, i.e. grand jury labeled as court sealed, and vice versa. Even worse, the labels were sometimes omitted from the database completely, so that just skimming through the database will not capture every instance of section 10/11 -hood. Even the 2021 update of the JFK database errs sometimes on these, as is the case in today’s note.

Tony Provenzano makes an appearance

Looking up our blank page in said database, we find that this is an FBI document from the case file of Tony Provenzano. Tony was not only a member of the Genovese family (NJ branch), but also an official in the Teamsters Union to boot, and was believed by some to have an idea or two about what might have happened to ex-Teamsters boss, Jimmy Hoffa.

Our FBI document on Tony P is listed as containing two “serials”, which are individual documents in an FBI case file, and is also listed as consisting of a total of two pages. Poking around the Mary Ferrell Foundation’s vast collection of ARC docs, we find that there is a piece of this record here.

The finding aid attached to this piece dutifully informs us that this is a two page 10(a)2 doc withheld in part. The MFF copy consists of only one page, labeled FBI serial 122-2557-61. The finding aid tells us that there is a second serial in this record, which would be serial 122-2557-62. This, however, is not included in the MFF copy.

Going on now to our blank page, although the 2021 database does not mention it, the blank page in fact is labeled as 10(a)2. From which we may deduce that this is the serial 62, withheld in full, the entire page.

2 cents

Summing up, it took a couple of oddities and omissions added together to produce a content free record, but since oddities and omissions abound in the JFK database and collection, expect to run into this type of record at least one or two more times.