Jasper Joseph Hug, Grand Jury testimony
August 23, 1967
JASPER JOSEPH HUG, after being duly sworn by the Foreman of the Orleans Parish Grand Jury, was questioned and answered as follows:
Mr. Hug, before we begin any questions, it is my duty to advise all witnesses of a few fundamental things, and one is that you take an oath to tell the truth and nothing but the truth, and the second part that sometimes witnesses forget is the secrecy of the Grand Jury: you are obliged to keep secret the testimony or anything that you learn in here.
Q. The next thing is that any questions that you are asked which answers would incriminate you, which show that you are guilty of a crime or anything like that, you don't have to answer. And the third thing is that the penalty for falsely testifying would be perjury under law. This is a body authorized to take testimony and you are compelled to answer all questions which are not privileged, such as incrimination, attorney-client privilege, or husband-wife privilege, where it exists, and it does not exist in all cases.
I believe you have an attorney, Jim Gelpi, to represent you. Is that correct?
A. He is representing my wife.
Q. Would you, for the record, state your full name and where you live?
A. Jasper Joseph Hug, 4500 Elysian Fields, Apt. 120.
Q. And your profession, sir, is . . .
A. News Editor of Radio.
Q. The lady who just testified was Mrs. Josephine Hug, your wife, is that correct?
Q. To whom you are presently married and with whom you are living?
Q. I want to show you a photograph, two photographs, and ask you to look at both of them. This photograph bears identification number 9729, Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office, and has been previously referred to today. Will you examine the photograph?
Q. And I will show you another photograph; this one is marked number New Orleans, Louisiana Identification 122235; did you have occasion to be on the street in the City of New Orleans with your wife about a month ago and see a man whose physical characteristics are in any way similar to one of these men?
A. Similar to this man.
Q. Now, did your wife point the man out to you?
Q. Could you tell us anything that she said about this man to you?
A. She said that she thought this looked like the man, or was the man who actually came into the office who, she thought, was Dave Ferrie.
Q. Would that be in reference to the man we had talked about before; I believe some of the conversation was in your presence, is that correct?
A. Yes . . . is what correct?
Q. Did we talk to your wife in your presence about the man in Mr. Shaw's office, and about the possibility of him being Dave Ferrie?
A. When you came to our apartment, you mean?
Q. Did I talk to her in your presence at your home?
Q. And we were talking about a particular subject?
Q. Is that the subject she was referring to when she said she saw the man?
A. I don't know -- you mean, do I think she thinks that, yes. I think she thinks that this is the man she saw or was referring to.
Q. That is what I mean by reference to -- does she think it is the man -- when she says, this is the man I saw go into Shaw's office, she is talking about a particular man -- I am sure she saw a lot of men go into the office.
Q. Now, where was this man seen?
A. In the downtown commercial area here, I couldn't say exactly which street.
Q. Did you look at him yourself?
A. He was too far away to really closely examine him; I couldn't tell -- he looked like he had a little more hair than this; he appeared to be well dressed, or well groomed, or better groomed than this.
Q. Did she point him out?
A. Well, yes, she said, "Look, there is the man that came into Shaw's office that I thought was Dave Ferrie."
Q. And you don't remember the street that you were on?
A. No, I don't remember.
Q. Which side of the street was he on, with regard to the side that you were on? Was it the same side or the other side?
A. No, he was on the other side.
Q. About how far away?
A. How far the other side of the street is.
Q. Well, across the street might be, say, eighteen or twenty feet or something like that. But he could be either directly across the street or half a block down -- by how far away [sic] was he directly across the street or was he down the block, and if so, how far down the block?
A. He wasn't directly across the street; he was across the street and it seemed to be away -- whether he was walking towards us or away from us, I don't know.
Q. Can you give us some estimate of the distance away? In either feet or car-lengths or blocks, half-blocks, storefronts?
A. You mean about a quarter of a block away on the other side of the street?
Q. Yes. Would it be a quarter of a block?
A. No, I don't know what it would be -- in that vicinity.
Q. Which would be how many feet, approximately -- more than fifty?
A. It appears to be; I am not that good at mathematics.
Q. I am not trying to pin you down, but I just wanted to give the Jury some general idea.
A. Well, say I am on this side of the street and he was on the other side of the street, and he appears to be an eighth to a quarter of a block ahead, either approaching or walking away; I don't know which way. I couldn't say for sure.
Q. I am going to make an estimate of my own -- an evaluation of distances -- and say that would be an approximation of about 200 feet. Would I be incorrect in saying 200 feet?
A. How far is it across the street to begin with?
Q. What street?
A. I don't know; it's not a two-way street; let's just say, for the sake of trying to determine mathematics, let's say Baronne Street. Or Carondelet, you can use either one of those.
Q. On this Canal Street or the other side?
A. I don't recollect, but if I had to try to use recall, it appears that it was on the Godchaux side of Canal Street, opposed to Maison Blanche side.
Q. You stated that he was far enough away where you couldn't look at him well enough to tell what . . .
A. I can only determine the characteristics, like I can determine that your hair is shorter than mine.
Q. Then you would have to know that it was farther than just across the street?
A. Yes, but I don't know whether he was approaching or going away.
Q. Did you see his face?
A. No, I did not see his face.
Q. Did he appear important to you at the time?
A. No. He didn't. I know a few guys who have that general type of build.
Q. Do you mean that you kind of discredited the statement in your own mind?
A. No, I could not discredit anything she said.
Q. The accuracy of the implication, not the statement. In other words, you say you know a dozen people of that build; you discredit the indentification, the circumstances under which she could have made the identification.
A. No, I thought she was correct in assuming that.
Q. Then that would discount the fact that you know other people of that build, then. In other words, he can be a fairly important person? Is that correct?
A. Did I think that he was important, you mean?
A. No, I did not think he was important.
Q. Did you tell anyone other than your wife of the fact of having seen this man?
Q. Why not?
A. I just didn't feel it was important. I felt that while she was working in the Trade Mart, that she must have seen men of this same build and characteristics.
Q. Do you know how many times we visited your wife in your home and talked to her about the possible identification of this man?
A. The one time you came with Mr. Sciambra to our home.
Q. Do you know how many times she was brought down to the office, our office, to talk about the identification of this man?
A. You brought her down once more and you brought her before the Grand Jury, and brought her down one or two times after that.
Q. About four or five times, is that correct?
A. Something like that, yes.
Q. And you know that she testified before the Grand Jury relative to the possible identification of this subject?
Q. And did you, in fact, personally contact me in my office in Section "F" relative to my interest in locating this man?
A. You caught me in the hall and asked me to come into your office.
Q. You didn't come and contact me?
A. No, sir.
Q. Did you ask me about the matter?
A. No, sir; you asked me about the matter.
Q. Did we discuss the matter?
A. Yes, we did.
Q. And you still didn't feel that it was important to notify us that this was the man on the street?
A. That that was the man on the street?
Q. The man on the street was the man who had gone into Shaw's office, that your wife discussed with us.
A. No, because I felt he was not Dave Ferrie.
Q. Well, wouldn't that be important to tell us that he wasn't Dave Ferrie?
A. Well, Dave Ferrie is dead.
Q. Wouldn't it be important to tell us that this man was alive and Dave Ferrie was dead, and therefore this man could not be Dave Ferrie?
A. I thought she had made this clear to you before, that she had seen this man previously. Since Dave Ferrie had died. She told you that, and I thought she made the statement in front of the Grand Jury.
Q. She had not made that statement to the Grand Jury.
A. That she had seen this man since Ferrie had died.
Q. Positively not. Had she told you that she had seen him since Ferrie had died?
Q. Prior to her appearing before the Grand Jury the last time?
A. No, after she appeared before the Grand Jury, she told me she saw him again, but she said even after Dave Ferrie died she had seen this man on the street.
Q. And that was prior to this time?
A. We are talking about six or eight weeks ago again? Yes.
Q. In other words, you are saying that your wife told you that she had seen the man on the street at least two times after Dave Ferrie died, is that correct?
You spoke of characteristics. Can you give me a description of this man, height, weight?
A. Well, I'll try to use somebody.
Q. How tall was he?
A. I would say about as tall as that gentleman (pointing to Mr. Drell).
Q. Would you say he might have been a homosexual?
Q. Did you notice anything in particular about his face, or could you tell whether he wearing glasses?
A. No, he was not wearing glasses.
Q. How about his hair?
A. A little bit more than you have (to Mr. Drell), and a little bit darker.
Q. You feel reasonably sure this was the LaBiche side of Canal?
A. If I had to trace where I was, I would have to say I was on the uptown side of Canal. But not on Canal.
Was there anything peculiar about the man's gait, the way he walked, or anything?
A. Not that I noticed.
Q. You said he was well dressed. Ivy League suit, or . . .
A. I would say Ivy League -- I don't know if he was considered well dressed, but he appeared to be well groomed, he was not sloppy; well, let's just say the suit was pressed, anyway. And he was wearing a shirt and tie.
Q. You can't recall whether he was approaching you or going away from you?
A. No, no, I can't.
Q. But you can say he was not wearing dark glasses?
A. I can say he was not wearing dark glasses.
Q. You can say his suit appeared to be Ivy League and well pressed, and yet you can't say whether he was coming toward you or away from you?
A. No, because, first of all, there was traffic on the street.
Q. How did you determine he had no glasses if he was walking away from you?
A. I caught a side glimpse of him, that way.
Q. From an angle, at the side?
Q. Did he have a hat on?
A. No, he did not have a hat on.
Q. Did he have an attache case?
A. Now, that could be confusing. I don't know; it appeared he was carrying something, but whether it was an attache case, I don't know.
Q. What color was his hair?
A. I would say it was sort of light brown hair.
Have you been contacted by anyone in regard to this case, either State officials, Parish officials, private detective agencies or Federal officials?
A. Well, a private detective agency called us, but I referred them to our lawyer immediately. And I think our lawyer called you about that.
Q. No, he didn't.
A. Well, we made a conversation to that effect.
Q. Did you give a statement to the private detective?
A. No, I told them I would not speak to anybody.
Q. Do you happen to recall the name of the agency?
A. No. I don't recall; maybe if you want to mention a few, it will stick out . . .
Q. Southern Research?
A. Yes. And I said that my wife could not possibly speak to them and I gave them the name of my lawyer.
Q. Do you recall whether it was in the morning or the afternoon when you saw this man?
A. I would say around noon-time.
Q. Why would you say it was around noon-time?
A. I don't get off until eleven o'clock in the morning for one thing, sometimes after noon.
Q. Had you just gotten off work?
A. I had either just gotten off work or right after lunch, or some circumstances to that effect. It was not early in the morning. Or late at night.
Q. You are not off early in the morning?
A. No, it would have to be after eleven o'clock in the morning, that's for sure.
Q. I have no further questions.
Thank you; that is all.
I certify that the preceding transcripts are true and correct copies of the testimony given, under oath, before the Orleans Parish Grand Jury, on the 23rd day of August, 1967, and reduced to typewriting by me.
[signed] Maureen B. Thiel
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