Raymond J. Healey

Raymond J. Healey had a colorful, albeit short-lived, career as a right-wing demagogue during the early 1930s. He gained notoriety for his involvement with extremist organizations such as the Khaki Shirts of America and the Nationalist Socialist Workers’ Party. The Khaki Shirts of America, led by Arthur J. Smith, claimed to have a staggering 6,000,000 recruits and set their sights on marching on Washington. However, their ambitious plans never came to fruition, and Smith eventually secured a job with the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Smith passed away at the age of 41 in May 1939 due to heart disease in Shamokin, Pennsylvania.

Raymond J. Healey’s association with controversy extended beyond his political affiliations. In July 1934, he played a role as a witness in the murder trial of Antonio Fierro. Athos Terzani, a Manhattan taxi driver and leftist agitator, was accused of the crime. Terzani, who was known for his ties to radical circles and close friendship with Norman Thomas, a perennial Socialist presidential candidate, was ultimately acquitted of the charges. During Healey’s testimony, he proudly declared himself a “Hitler,” causing a stir in the courtroom. The New York Times even referred to him as the “Brooklyn ‘Hitler’,” which only fueled his already inflated ego. The trial concluded in December 1934 with Terzani’s acquittal.

The events surrounding Raymond J. Healey continued to attract attention, particularly from the fascist newsletter American Bulletin. In its edition dated July 16, 1935, Healey’s case was extensively covered, further contributing to his notoriety and the public’s curiosity about his actions and affiliations during that time.

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