The Clay Shaw trial testimony of James Hardiman, continued



Q: Now, Mr. Hardiman, didn't you talk with Mr. Biddison about this matter just a short while ago?

A: Mr. Hardiman came out his house, and he asked me, told me he was surprised --

THE COURT: Wait, that is hearsay.

MR. ALCOCK: That is hearsay, Your Honor.

THE COURT: I sustain the objection.

MR. DYMOND: Your Honor, the answer isn't responsive. He had to say yes or no.

MR. ALCOCK: I notice you didn't stop him.

MR. DYMOND: It is not my job to stop him.

THE COURT: You may proceed. You cannot tell us what this gentleman told you. You can say you spoke to him but that is as far as you can go.

THE WITNESS: He spoke to me, I didn't speak to him, he spoke to me.

MR. DYMOND: Is it your testimony you didn't say anything at that time?

Q: What, to him?

A: That is right. I spoke to him and I told him the same thing I am telling you.

Q: Now, isn't it a fact that on that occasion you told Mr. Biddison that there were less than five of these letters?

A: I didn't give nobody no number at no time, I didn't specify no number. I told him there was some and I couldn't specify a number.

Q: You are sure about that?

A: No, I could not specify, because I do not count it.

Q: Now, did you say these envelopes were addressed to Clay Bertrand or Clem Bertrand?

A: Clem, C-L-E-M.

Q: Clem Bertrand?

A: Yes.

Q: And how did the rest of the address read on that?

A: Well, it was addressed to a Mr. Clem Bertrand, 1414 Chartres, New Orleans, Louisiana.

Q: You mean the Post Office had not changed the address on there from 1313 Dauphine?

A: The Post Office changed no address on no letters, all mail is changed by the person -- they sent it addressed; when it is addressed to a route, we deliver it. When I get a change of address or any other carrier get a change of address, he draws a line through that address that it was addressed to and put the other address which he has an order to forward it to.

Q: Now, that is what I want to find out from you, Mr. Hardiman. Had the addresses on these envelopes been changed or had they been originally addressed to 1414 Chartres?

A: All the Clem Bertrand mail came directly addressed, it was never forwarded, it was direct. Whoever sent it, it was direct-addressed 1414 Chartres by the sender.

Q: Oh. In other words, the order which was made out at the post office to have Mr. Shaw's mail sent to the Chartres Street address had nothing to do with this delivery then, is that correct?

A: Not the Bertrand.

Q: I see.

A: Mr. Shaw mail had an order to change is address to 1414 Chartres.

Q: I see. Now, in other words, as I understand your testimony, these letters that you have referred to were originally addressed by the sender to 1414 Chartres Street, is that right?

A: The Bertrand mail?

Q: That is right.

A: -- was sent to 1414 Chartres.

Q: And they were not sent to 1414 Chartres Street as a result of a change-of-address order which had been executed at the Post Office, is that right?

A: No, they hadn't.

Q: Now, I understand you have been on this same route for quite a number of years, Mr. Hardiman. Is that right?

A: That is right.

Q: And you have been delivering mail to 1414 Chartres Street I think you testified ever since that building was constructed there?

A: Not the building constructed, I said when that address became in existence.

Q: Oh, I see.

A: I told that, that address was -- well, anyway the house next door was built, and they had what you call slave quarters --

Q: Slave quarters?

A: -- and the man sold it. As I was told, he sold part of the building, and that is when that address came into existence.

Q: And about how long ago was that, sir?

A: I don't know. I could strike -- say around maybe 10 years -- I don't know if it could be longer.

Q: Now, has Mr. Biddison been living there all that time?

A I think he was the first man to be -- the first one that I have had at that address. Facts, I think he is the one that bought the property.

Q: Now, since that municipal address has come into being there at 1414 Chartres Street, have you had other occasions to deliver other mail there which was addressed to people other than Mr. Jeff Biddison?

A: That is right, I have.

Q: You have. Have you ever delivered any mail there addressed to Mr. James Biddison?

A: James Biddison? Most probably I could have, I wouldn't say for sure, but I mean I am interested in the address and if I see "Biddison," that is good enough, and the address, I deliver it there.

Q: Have you ever delivered any mail there addressed to Mr. Fred Tate?

A: I have.

Q: You are sure about that?

A: (The witness nodded affirmatively.)

Q: When was that, sir?

A: I can't recite exactly the dates.

Q: What year, what month?

A: That is kind of back, but, let's see, I remove his name out of my removal book, so that would be better than two years ago that, I man, I had --

Q: Have you ever delivered any mail to that address, that is 1414 Chartres Street, addressed to a Mr. Cliff Boudreaux?

A: Yes.

Q: Are you sure about that?

A: I have seen that name before.

Q: Not only have you seen that name before but you have delivered mail to 1414 Chartres Street addressed to him, is that correct?

A: Yes.

Q: Could you tell me approximately when that was? I wouldn't expect you to be exact.

A: That haven't been too long ago.

Q: It hasn't been? About how long ago?

A: Let's see. I think I have had -- I know -- whether it be after -- I don't know if I had any since after the 1st of the year or not, but it is not regular, but I do get mail for that name.

Q: For Mr. Cliff Boudreaux at 1414 Chartres Street? Is that right?

A: Yes.

Q: Now, Mr. Hardiman, if I told you I just made that name up, would your testimony be the same?

A: Well, I wouldn't know. How would I know who made up a name and sent something there?

Q: But still you say you delivered Cliff Boudreaux mail to 1414 Chartres Street?

A: Maybe you have made it up, but I have delivered Boudreaux mail there, too. Now, maybe the "Cliff" might not be correct.

Q: How about Mrs. Jeff Evans? Have you ever delivered mail to 1414 Chartres Street addressed to her?

A: I wouldn't say. That could be the one gets the check there, could be his mother.

Q: Now, you remembered the name Clem Bertrand, didn't you?

A: Yes, because that was right in the newspapers. If I had some reason to be thinking about all the other names -- there are quite a few things that people have become involved in things, or thing they have done, and their name come back to me very easy when I see it.

Q: Well, now, what special thing made you remember the name Cliff Boudreaux?

A: Nothing special. I mean I see the name and you refer my memory to it. I mean I wouldn't -- like you said, you could have made it up, maybe you did, but I have delivered mail.

Q: To 1414 Chartres Street to Cliff Boudreaux, right?

(The witness did not respond.)

Q: How about Sherman Shroeder? Have you ever delivered any mail to 1414 Chartres Street addressed to a person by that name?

A: That I can't recall.

Q: I will ask you the same question concerning Lee Begnard.

A: Begnan or Begnard?

Q: Begnard, B-E-G-N-A-R-D.

A: That is another name I can't recall. I have delivered quite a few different names in there, but I can't recall everybody's name. Maybe I haven't. Maybe I didn't handle as many pieces of mail, that is why I don't recall the name.

Q: But you do not recall that name, is that right?

A: I don't recall that name, no.

Q: Have you ever delivered any mail to 1414 Chartres Street addressed to a Mr. Charles Bunker, B-U-N-K-E-R?

A: That is another name I can't recall.

Q: You can't recall that? You can't recall delivering any mail there addressed to him?

A: I have delivered so many, I mean different names in there, quite a few, and I can't recall every name. Maybe I haven't handled that many of them. If I have one or two letters, probably I deliverl them and don't pay no more attention. I have no more so there is nothing to recall.

Q: But are there -- there are some of them that you can remember, is that right?

A: That is right. I can remember, just like a lot of addresses, I can remember a lot of addresses, and a lot of them, I have to refer to my book. I can't remember everything, I am not that good.

Q: But you have been able to remember Clem Bertrand, and you have been able to remember Cliff Boudreaux? Is that right? These two you can remember?

A: Well, there is a Boudreaux. If I am not mistaken, that mail is being delivered -- at least I assume it is still being delivered -- that is an assumption, but I mean --

Q: Have you ever delivered any mail to that address addressed to a Mrs. Jeff Evans?

A: That sounds familiar, that strikes a familiar note, but I couldn't --

Q: I am not hurrying you, Mr. Hardiman. If you want to stop and think --

A: But Evans I can't --

Q: -- you are at liberty to do so.

A: Evans I can't place so well, but there was -- But I can't think of a Miss --

Q: Not Miss, Mrs.

A: That name is very familiar, but I mean to really tell you yes or no --

Q: Are you able to connect that name at all with 1414 Chartres Street?

A: Where I have put it along on Chartres would be a little bit hard for me to remember, but I have handled mail for that name.

Q: You have?

A: Yes. Whether I could put it on Chartres --

Q: How about Lyda, L-Y-D-A Biddison. Have you ever delivered any mail addressed in that way to 1414 Chartres?

A: Standing in there in the case, you have to push mail in that case pretty fast in the morning, you don't have a chance to be looking at the full names. If I see the address, and like that address is a one-delivery; if I get goodness knows how many names, that goes into one box, nothing about separating. I just put them all into one box. If it was an apartment house with multi-delivery, the I have to be a little more careful to get the names in the box, and it makes me pay more attention to names, but names in that place -- I deliver them at 1414 Chartres, and what Biddison name be on it, I don't pay attention to the first name.

Q: Could you tell me approximately how many blocks long and how many blocks wide your route is, Mr. Hardiman?

A: Well, now, approximately, maybe a 60, but at one time it was 86, approximately 85 blocks.

Q: Now just a minute. I think you have probably made a mistake. You don't mean 85 blocks long?

A: We consider a block as a block, one side, not a square. That is a square, but a block is just one side, like you have Tulane in front of this building, we consider that one block.

Q: In other words, every day you would walk about 60 or 80 blocks, is that right?

A: Yes. When I had -- Before the adjustment came on the route -- see, routes became adjusted according to the volume of mail -- volumes get heavy, have to make up the difference, cutting down some amount of territory we have.

Q: Let's go back to June to September of 1966. Could you tell us about how large your route was at that time?

A: I think I might have had about 70-some blocks in my route.

Q: About 70 some odd blocks?

A: (The witness nodded affirmatively.)

Q: About how many houses were there to the block, on an average, Mr. Hardiman?

A: That is pretty hard, but I can say I had about 800 possible stops and maybe a thousand deliveries.

Q: About 800 possible stops and a thousand deliveries. Now, the difference in those two figures, would that be because there are some houses that have more than one occupant?

A: One has multi deliveries and some has single deliveries.

Q: I see. In other words, you would have roughly a thousand regular addresses on your route, is that right, people to whom mail could be addressed?

A: Yes.

Q: Now, when was the first time that you found out that the name Clem or Clay Bertrand entered into the investigation of the assassination of President Kennedy?

MR. ALCOCK: Object to the form of the question. Mr. Hardiman never said Clay Bertrand, he always said Clem Bertrand.

THE COURT: Would you rephrase your question, Mr. Dymond?

Q: When is the first time that you ever heard or learned the name Clem Bertrand entered into the assassination of President Kennedy?

A: It was in the news. I couldn't give you a date or time because I paid no attention to such things, but when it became in the newspapers and television, that is when the name became -- I mean in my memory, I know I had seen it in newspapers and just refreshed me.

Q: Now, you knew about it when the Warren Commission was conducting its investigation into the assassination, didn't you?

MR. ALCOCK: Object, Your Honor. There was no mention of Clem Bertrand in the Warren Commission's Report.

MR. DYMOND: If the Court please, mention of the name Bertrand, and that is what I am going to ask him.

THE COURT: You can ask if it rings a bell. You can ask the question.

MR. DYMOND: You knew about it when the Warren Commission was conducting its investigation?

A: Honest and truly, I never read any part of the Warren Commission or anything.

Q: You read in the newspapers they were conducting an investigation?

A: Yes, but as far as what names in it, I didn't. I never read the Warren Commission Report), didn't take time to read it.

Q: So then the first time that you ever heard the name Clem Bertrand was when the District Attorney's Office here commenced its investigation? Is that right?

A: That is right.

Q: Now, when did you first talk to a representtative of the District Attorney's Office?

A: I don't know exact dates, but they were --

Q: Just approximately when was it, Mr. Hardiman, about how long ago?

A: Oh, let's see. I don't know. It may have been less than a year ago, not that long. I don't know the dates, but let's say about eight months ago, that would be about it, maybe it would be less or -- I don't know, I am just giving you an estimated time, something of that sort.

Q: You would say it was less than a year ago, is that right?

A: I am more than sure it is less than a year ago.

Q: In other words, it was long after March of 1967, isn't that right?

A: That is right. May I answer you a little further?

Q: Sure. Go ahead.

A: Well, when this thing first broke into the news, there was some carriers were being called to the District Attorney's Office, and for reasons the Inspectors stopped them and told them if they wanted them, they had to be subpoenaed, so that might have been the difference in the delay of time when some of the other fellows were brought in and the time that I was called, because when I got my subpoena I don't know what date it was.

Q: Now, did you ever come and volunteer your statement to the District Attorney's Office, or were you subpoenaed?

A: I had a subpoena.

Q: Did you ever go and volunteer this information to your superiors in the Post Office Department?

A: Volunteer? I spoke to a lot of people but not superiors in the Post Office, but I spoke to quite a few people.

Q: You didn't go to the Postmaster and tell him about it, did you?

A: Oh, I didn't go to the Postmaster and tell him about it. The only time I spoke with the Postmaster was the day I got my subpoena to come to court, and I just wanted to verify just what I was allowed to say and how much I could say.

THE COURT: Mr. Dymond, just a minute. The Post Office Department can't tell you what to say and what not to say. You are supposed to tell the truth at all times.

THE WITNESS: Yes, but I meant in the lines of things from memory I am allowed to testify, and the things that is records, you all had to subpoena the Post Office for it.

THE COURT: All right. You may proceed.

Q: Now, Mr. Hardiman, let me ask you what special event fixes the particular period of time, that is, between June and September 1966, in your mind as the time during which you delivered these Clem Bertrand letters to 1414 Chartres Street.

A: Well, I mean after I seen the newspapers, well, it just came to me that I have handled those names -- other names that was involved -- I mean I seen it and I know I handled the mail and a few people I spoke to, and someone -- I spoke out of line to, too, because they did notify the District Attorney's Office.

Q: Now --

A: Someone in the street, I had mentioned, I guess, to them of delivering Mr. Clem Bertrand and Mr. Clay Shaw mail to the same address, and they called in to the District Attorney's Office and reported it.

Q: Now, Mr. Hardiman, try to remember back and tell us approximately at what date, at what time you learned that the name Clem Bertrand had something to do with this case.

A: As far as dates, I couldn't give you a date. As I keep telling you, I only paid attention to it when it came in the news media, on television and that, but I didn't pay any attention to dates.

Q: Well, now, if you were so careless about dates, how --

MR. ALCOCK: Object to the question, Your Honor.

THE WITNESS: There is no carelessness about it.

Q: Well, if you don't pay attention to dates, how were you able to pinpoint the time of these deliveries as being between June and September of 1966?

A: We didn't have to worry about pinpointing that, those records were in that change of address. If you have that slip there, you might have seen where a change of address was probably filed for Clay Shaw over to this address that I worked. Then when that order came through to cancel that order, that was the time right there.

Q: Oh, I see. So then your testimony as to when these letters were delivered is not based upon your memory, it is based upon the change-of-address card from the post office, is that right?

A: That is right. That is the only thing I can go by with dates, I couldn't go by memory and tell you that, but when the order was for me to deliver those letters of Mr. Clay Shaw, they was delivered, and Clem Bertrand mail came along at the same period of time. Then when the order came through for the other carrier to cancel his forwarding of his mail to me, the other mail stopped, to.

Q: Well, now, didn't you tell me that the Clem Bertrand letters were addressed directly to 1414 Chartres Street?

A: They were.

Q: -- and had nothing to do with the change-of-address order?

A: That is right, they were direct-addressed, but the mail stopped coming. I had no reason -- I couldn't deliver what I don't get, no more of it came to me, it stopped.

Q: Now, one other question here. Could you tell me approximately the last date on which you delivered a letter addressed to Cliff Boudreaux to 1414 Chartres Street?

A: No, I couldn't say that, give you a date on it, because I --

Q: Has it been within the last six months?

A: If I had mail for Cliff Bordeaux, it would be less than six months.

Q: Less than six months.

MR. DYMOND: That is all.

MR. ALCOCK: No further questions.

(Witness excused.)


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