The Clay Shaw trial testimony of Jeff Biddison, continued



Q: Mr. Biddison, does anyone reside with you at that address now?

A: No.

Q: In 1966 did anyone reside with you at that address?

A: For a short period after he returned from Europe, Mr. Shaw stayed at my home until he could get back in his home. This was in September 1966.

Q: Can you recall approximately when Shaw took up residence in your home, or temporary residence in your home?

A: It was about five to ten days before the 21st of September, at which time he was able to get back into his home.

Q: He got back in his home on September 21st?

A: Yes, according to our records, and I believe that is the correct date.

Q: And he resided in your home approximately one week? Would that be a fair estimate?

A: Yes.

Q: At this time who was residing in your home, that is beside yourself and the Defendant?

A: Just myself.

Q: Has anyone else ever resided with you at that location?

A: Yes.

Q: Who was that?

A: Mr. Fred Tate.

Q: When did he reside there?

A: 1964 and 1965 I believe.

Q: Anyone else?

A: Mr. Clifton Gomez.

Q: G-o-m-e-z?

A: Yes.

Q: When did he reside there?

A: Up until about 1961.

Q: From what date?

A: From the time the building was first restored in 1957.

Q: Is he a relative of yours?

A: No, he was a business partner in that restoration.

Q: Has anyone else resided at your address at 1414 Chartres Street?

A: No, but I have had many guests in my home, but no permanent residents.

Q: Going back to the year 1963, how often would you say you saw the Defendant in that year?

A: I saw Mr. Shaw very seldom in 1963 because we had completed the restoration of the Spanish Stables prior to that and Mr. Shaw was fully involved in his promotion, selling bonds to build the International Trade Mart.

Q: I take it you saw very little of him in 1963?

A: 1963, yes.

Q: How about the summer of 1963?

A: Particularly in the summer.

Q: Have you ever lent your Cadillac automobile to the Defendant?

A: Yes, I have.

Q: When was that?

A: In the fall of 1966.

Q: Was that the same black Cadillac that has been described?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you recall if he made any out of town trips in that Cadillac?

A: I believe he drove to the best of my recollection to see his parents in Hammond, Louisiana, on one occasion.

Q: How many times did you lend him your automobile during that period?

A: At the most three times.

Q: Can you recall on what dates those were?

A: No, I cannot.

Q: Is it your testimony, Mr. Biddison, you received to the best of your recollection no mail in the summer of 1966 or the early fall of 1966 at your home for the Defendant?

A: That's my best recollection.

Q: Could that be incorrect?

A: No mail forwarded to Mr. Shaw. There may have been letters addressed directly to him at my home.

Q: That would necessarily have to be someone who would know you were close acquaintances, would it not?

A: That's correct.

Q: Do you know whether or not when the Defendant left on his European trip he executed a change of address?

A: No, I have no recollection of that. It was my understanding Mr. Shaw's mail was forwarded to my office.

Q: Having no recollection, would you dispute --

A: I am still getting mail for Mr. Shaw at my office addressed to him at my office even today.

Q: Even today?

A: Yes.

Q: Mr. Biddison, have you ever executed a change of address form with the Postal Department?

A: Have I?

Q: Yes.

A: Yes.

Q: Are you familiar somewhat with the form used?

A: No, I cannot say that I am.

Q: I am going to show you what has been marked for the purpose of identification as State-27, and ask you first of all if you are familiar with the form depicted in this exhibit?

A: Yes, I have seen such a form.

Q: Have you seen that particular form?

A: No, I have not.

Q: Where have you seen a similar form?

A: I have had them in my office for forwarding clients' mail and mail myself. I believe it is a pink form.

Q: You are familiar with the form, is that correct?

A: Yes.

Q: Having seen this form before and being familiar with it, can you say what this depicts?

A: It depicts the change of address for Mr. Clay L. Shaw canceling a forwarding order to 1414 Chartres and forwarding the mail to 1313 Dauphine Street.

Q: To your knowledge did the Defendant ever execute such a form?

A: To my knowledge, no.

Q: You are testifying then, as you recall it, the Defendant did return to his residence on September 21, 1966, is that correct?

A: To the best of my recollection, yes.

Q: Mr. Biddison, do you know who your postman is?

A: Yes, I do.

Q: Have you had the same postman for some period of time?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you know his name?

A: I do now.

Q: What is his name?

A: James Hardiman.

Q: Approximately how long has he been your postman?

A: As far as I know he has always been my postman at that address.

Q: Have you ever had any difficulty with Mr. Hardiman?

A: Never.

Q: Did you have occasion to ask Mr. Hardiman about his testimony in this case?

A: Yes, I did, when it was published in the newspaper.

Q: Would that be after he testified?

A: No, prior to that.

Q: What was published in the newspaper?

A: Mr. Garrison's opening statement.

Q: Did that name anybody in the opening statement?

A: I beg your pardon?

Q: Did they name Mr. Hardiman in the opening statement?

A: No, they named me and my address in the opening statement.

Q: Did you know about Mr. Hardiman prior to the article being published in the newspaper, about his possible testimony in this case?

A: No.

Q: Do you know of any reason that may be particular to yourself and Mr. Hardiman, why Mr. Hardiman would say something untrue about delivery of mail to your address?

MR. DYMOND: I object to that, if the Court please.

THE COURT: I sustain the objection.

Q: Have you always, as far as you know, found Mr. Hardiman to be a truthful person?

MR. DYMOND: We object, Your Honor. This man is not on the stand as a character witness for Hardiman, and even if he were he could only testify as to reputation.

THE COURT: Are you trying to prove his character?

MR. ALCOCK: I am not trying to prove good character, I am trying to determine whether or not there was any prior relationship between this man and Mr. Hardiman, which would influence Mr. Hardiman.

MR. DYMOND: The nature of the question is such as to try to show truthfulness on the part of Mr. Hardiman, and if the State desires to do that I suggest the only way they can properly do so is by witnesses testifying as to his reputation.

THE COURT: I think he has already answered the question, was there any previous difficulty between Mr. Hardiman and the witness. I sustain the objection.

Q: Do you recall how much mail you received at your office for the Defendant during the period he was in Europe?

A: What comes to mind is tons of it. I had a great deal of mail for Mr. Shaw that summer.

Q: Did you open every piece of mail?

A: Every piece of mail.

Q: Personal letters as well as --

A: Personal letters as well as business letters. I have been Mr. Shaw's agent for many years and I have his complete confidence to handle such matters for him.

Q: Have you and the Defendant resided together on any occasion prior to the fall of 1966?

A: Prior to the fall of 1966?

Q: Yes.

A: Yes.

Q: Where and when?

A: 537 Barracks Street in 1947 to 1948 and at 906 Esplanade to 1950.

Q: Did you own 906 Esplanade?

A: Mr. Shaw did.

Q: On any other occasions did you reside with the Defendant?

A: Subsequent to that time?

Q: Yes.

A: No.

Q: Are you from New Orleans originally?

A: No, sir.

Q: Where are you from?

A: Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Q: Are you a close social friend of Mr. Shaw?

A: I am a business and social friend of Mr. Shaw.

Q: Was anyone else residing at 1414 Chartres Street at the time the Defendant was in Europe aside from yourself?

A: No.

Q: Have you got mail, Mr. Biddison, for other individuals at your address at 1414 Chartres Street?

A: Yes.

Q: Who might they be?

A: I received mail at my home address last summer for approximately three months for Mr. C. C. Bunker, who was my houseguest. I have received mail this winter in December and January for Mr. Sherman Schroeder, who was a guest of mine and had mail forwarded to my address while he was away from the city here.

Q: Anyone else?

A: I have received mail at my home for many people over the years.

Q: Let us say from 1963 on.

A: I received all the mail for my invalid mother, Lydia F. Biddison, and I received mail for my deceased father Val Gene Biddison. I receive Social Security checks for my mother, Mrs. Biddison. Other names escape me for the moment. There are others.

Q: The mail you received at your office for the Defendant, had that been forwarded from 1313 or was it mailed directly to your office?

A: I had received mail directly at my office at that time, mail brought to my office for the tenant of Mr. Shaw's home that was not redirected. Both types of mail I received at my office.

Q: Did you actually receive letters that had been forwarded by the Postal Department to 900 Royal Street from 1313?

A: To the best of my recollection that was a business change of address Mr. Shaw used after his retirement, because I got magazines and all sorts of things directed to my office, I even do today.

Q: I am referring to the mail you got during the summer and fall of 1966.

A: I was receiving mail at that time too. Mr. Shaw was a licensed salesman at my office after his retirement.

Q: Did you receive any mail forwarded to you by the Post Office at 900 Royal Street from 1313?

A: No, not by them.

Q: But you received mail sent to your office?

A: I did.

Q: By the people who lived at his house, tons of it?

A: Not tons of it, but I received mail that would come to my office for Mr. Shaw usually in large quantities.

Q: How much mail did you receive from the office at 1313 Dauphine?

A: I would say two or three letters a week perhaps. They brought them in irregularly to us.

Q: Do you still own the black Cadillac?

A: No sir. I was negotiating to sell it in the summer and fall of 1966, and I sold it in the late fall of 1966 to my maintenance man, Mr. Hyatt who still owns the car.

Q: Do you recognize the exhibit displayed to you by Mr. Dymond as being your former automobile?

A: Yes, because of the location it was taken.

Q: That is the way you recognize it, because of the house it was taken in front of?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you ever recall lending any of your houseguests your automobile, the house guests you have named?

A: No.

Q: 1414 Chartres Street became a mailing address in 1957, would that be correct?

A: Yes.

Q: Were you subpoenaed to appear here today, Mr. Biddison?

A: No.

Q: You came of your own volition?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: Because of your friendship with the Defendant?

A: Yes, sir.

MR. ALCOCK: No further questions.

Q: Did you testify Mr. Shaw worked as a salesman for you after his retirement?

A: Yes, sir, he is a licensed salesman in my office and actively engaged in the sale of real estate after his retirement from the International Trade Mart.

Q: Getting back to 1966, when Mr. Shaw was in Europe; you testified you received no letters addressed to Clay Bertrand?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: Did you received any letters addressed to Clem Bertrand?

A: Never.

Q: At any address?

A: Never.

MR. DYMOND: That is all I have.

MR. ALCOCK: No further questions.

THE COURT: You are excused.

(Whereupon, the witness was excused.)


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