Rebuttal arguments by James Alcock
THE COURT: Mr. Alcock.
MR. ALCOCK: May it please the Court: Gentlemen of the Jury, it is now my function to rebut the arguments of Mr. Dymond, Defense Counsel in this case. I took down many notes during the course of his argument, and I intend to cover these matters just as quickly as I can and still cover them thoroughly enough to familiarize you with the particular elements involved.
We heard an awful lot of the unbelievability of the State's witnesses. We heard an awful lot about the State's witnesses coming forward at the last minute. Did Defense Counsel explain to you in his argument how Perry Raymond Russo could have known that the Defendant was on the Nashville Street wharf when the President of the United States spoke there in 1963 unless he had in fact seen the Defendant on the wharf that day? He didn't mention that one time in his argument, and I don't blame him, because there is no way he could explain it other than the fact that Perry Raymond Russo did see the Defendant on the Nashville Street wharf. Is that corroboration of Perry Russo? Certainly it is.
Did he mention the probability that that mailman, this "old mailman" as he termed it, would have delivered the letters to Clem Bertrand -- another coincidence, gentlemen -- the same name that this man used during the conspiratorial meeting -- to a long-time friend of the Defendant before the Bar? What are the probabilities of this man delivering such letters to such a man? Did he answer that for you? He did not. Is this just another coincidence, a long-time friend of the Defendant, the Defendant's mail going to that house? Did he cover for you the implausible explanation given by the Defendant that he filed a cancellation of change of address but did not file any original change of address? He did not. And again I don't blame him, because he could not explain it to you.
Did he say anything about Charles Spiesel mentioning the fact that the couple that owned the apartment were from North Carolina, and that his Defendant admitted knowing many people in North Carolina? Is this just another coincidence? Did he explain to you how Perry Raymond Russo on the last time he saw Lee Harvey Oswald in the city of New Orleans mentioned that Lee Harvey Oswald said that he was going to Houston, Texas, and his own witness, Ruth Paine, corroborated Perry Raymond Russo when she said the last thing Lee told her when she left the city was that he was going to either Philadelphia or Houston, Texas? Was that explained to you at all in Defense Counsel's argument? I submit it was not. As far as the Defendant's trip to the West Coast, the fact that he knew it before mid-September and certainly could have said it in this meeting in mid-September, that he was going to the West Coast -- is this just another coincidence, that Perry Raymond Russo would know that the Defendant was going to the West Coast of the United States?
Gentlemen, we can only accept these things as coincidences so long, and then they become hard fact and they give us a pattern. And David Ferrie was in the public eye in Houston, Texas. Did he mention the fact that David Ferrie went to the home of Lee Harvey Oswald on Magazine Street in his argument? No.
Did he mention the fact that Mrs. Jessie Parker took a lie detector test on whether or not she had --
MR. DYMOND: Your Honor, I object to that. Counsel well knows that that is not arguable evidence.
MR. ALCOCK: That was in the record, Your Honor.
THE COURT: What was the statement made?
MR. DYMOND: About a woman taking a lie detector test.
MR. ALCOCK: That is in the record, Your Honor. The results may not be, but it si in the record.
THE COURT: The Law Review article, the American Law Review article states that it cannot be made part of the record if it got into the record -- if it didn't get in by testimony, got in by a statement of Counsel.
MR. ALCOCK: Your Honor, I submit to the Court that you allowed me to call Mr. Krubbe, Captain Krubbe, who administered the test.
THE COURT: You didn't use the word "testimony," you used the word "interview." I purposely told them not to use the word "testimony."
MR. ALCOCK: Well, gentlemen, I will leave it to your memory and to your recollection of the testimony. Did Counsel mention the fact that though the trip to Oregon may have been prearranged, there may have been solicitation by the people in Oregon to have the Defendant speak before them? Did he mention the fact that in the letter of Mario Bermudez, that a friend of the Defendant on behalf of the Defendant was soliciting a speaking engagement between the 21st of November, 1963, and the 23rd of November, 1963, and that date just happened to be November 22, 1963, the date on which the President, or the former President, of the United States, was shot down in the streets of Dallas? Answer. He mentioned to you, in passing, the testimony of Clinton, Louisiana, the eye-witness testimony in Clinton, Louisiana, and read a passage from a decision of the United States Supreme Court. I submit that if we had come before this Jury with a wholly circumstantial case, with no eye-witness identification, he would have been up here screaming, where are your witnesses, where are the people who actually saw the Defendant in person in the presence of Lee Harvey Oswald and David Ferrie? This is direct evidence as opposed to circumstantial evidence, and it is stronger evidence, and Counsel knows it is stronger evidence.
What is his answer to the identification under oath of John Manchester? It is 76 and cloudy in Clinton, Louisiana. What is his answer to the identification, positive identification, of Corrie Collins? It is 72 and raining in Clinton, Louisiana. There were two gentlemen that recalled this incident because of the coolness of the weather, and that was the barber who left his door open because it was unseasonably cool, and Reeves Morgan, who was burning some things in his fireplace because it was cool. And you heard their witness testify that the temperature went all the way down to 60 degrees on some occasions. So their answer to you is to disregard this eye-witness testimony because they brought this man in with a temperature chart.
And, gentlemen, there was something that struck me, as Mr. Dymond would say, right between the eyes. He got up and said it was an insult to him personally as an Officer of the Court because the State put Charles Spiesel on the stand, and I explained to you gentlemen that you are entitled to all of the evidence in this case, and the State finds its witnesses where it can. Has Charles Spiesel been convicted of perjury? Has Charles Spiesel been conflicted of getting on a witness stand and lying? He has not. Has their witness, Dean Andrews, been convicted of perjury? Not about any subject but about the subject of Clay Bertrand. And they have the gall to infer that we abused you by bringing Charles Spiesel before you, and they put Dean Andrews on the witness stand.
And then, gentlemen, I could not believe my ears -- and from the murmur in the courtroom I think there were many, many others, who believed as I believed -- Mr. Dymond would have you believe that Dean Andrews rose from the much and mire of lies that he has spun since 1963, and laid bare his soul to this Jury and finally told the truth, and I wrote something down at this time. Mr. Dymond wants you to believe that now he was telling the truth, and I wrote down, "Now telling the truth." Why? This man who admitted he lied before the Warren Commission under oath, "shot the bull" as he put it, but lying nevertheless; admitted he lied twice before the Orleans Parish Grand Jury; and this, gentlemen, is their witness, and when they put a witness on this stand, they vouch for his credibility, his believability and his truthfulness, and they have the gall to assault the State and impugn the State for putting Spiesel on the stand. Was he convicted of perjury? No. Was their witness convicted of perjury? Yes.
MR. DYMOND: Your Honor, we are going to object at this point. Counsel knows very well that the conviction about which he talks is presently on appeal and is not technically a legal conviction until it is final, and I think it is misleading the Jury.
THE COURT: That is correct. It is on appeal as I understand it.
MR. ALCOCK: Well, that is correct, Your Honor, but again, gentlemen, I will leave it to you. A jury composed of men such as yourselves found him guilty of perjury. But I could not believe that Mr. Dymond would think that this man cleansed his soul before this Jury, and now, gentlemen, some five years later has finally decided to tell the truth, this man who is a habitual liar, their witness.
Back to Shaw trial testimony
Search trial database chronologically
Additional resources on the trial of Clay Shaw
Back to JFK menu
Dave Reitzes home page