The Clay Shaw trial testimony of Mrs. Maxine Kemp



MRS. MAXINE KEMP, a witness called by and on behalf of the State, having been first duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows:

Q: Please state your name for the record.

A: Mrs. Maxine Kemp.

Q: Mrs. Kemp, where do you live?

A: Clinton.

Q: Clinton, Louisiana?

A: That is right.

Q: And how long have you lived in Clinton?

A: All my life.

Q: And what is your occupation?

A: I am classified as a typist-clerk, I am classified under Civil Service as a Typist-Clerk 3, and I act as a secretary to the Personnel Office at East Louisiana State Hospital.

Q: In other words, you work in the office, personnel office, of East Louisiana State Hospital?

A: That is right.

Q: When did you go to work at the East Louisiana State Hospital?

A: September of 1964.

Q: In connection with your duties at the hospital in September of 1964, I ask you if anything unusual happened to you?

A: I came across an application for employment.

Q: In the personnel files?

A: That is right.

Q: What was the name on this application?

A: Harvey Oswald.

Q: Now, how was the application written, was it first name last or last name first?

A: Last name first.

Q: And then first name after the last name?

A: That is right, then the middle name.

MR. DYMOND: Your Honor, we object to this, first on the ground that this application itself would, if admissible, be the best evidence, but this young lady, as I understand, didn't go to work there until September of '64 and apparently she found an application like this at the hospital when she went there, and she can't sit here now and testify as to the contents of this written application.

THE COURT: Let me find out. Mr. Sciambra, do you have the exhibit itself?

MR. SCIAMBRA: No, Your Honor, but I will clarify this with a few more questions, as to the existence of the application.

THE COURT: If the evidence is available, the best evidence is the document itself.

MR. SCIAMBRA: In a few more questions, Your Honor, that will be brought out.

THE COURT: All right.

Q: So, in other words, the application read "Oswald" --

THE COURT: No, no, wait. The objection is well taken. You cannot pursue it. The best evidence is the document itself.

Q: What did you do with the application after you looked at it?

A: Put it back in the file.

Q: When was the next time you went to look for the application?

A: After the investigation started.

Q: After the Garrison investigation started?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: Was it there?

A: No, sir.

Q: Do you know what happened to the application?

A: No, sir, I do not.

Q: Do you know who took the application?

A: No, sir.

Q: Have you made efforts to find the application?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: Have you been able to find the application?

A: No, sir.

Q: How could you tell me exactly how the name appears on the application?

MR. DYMOND: Now, if Your Honor please --

THE COURT: I will overrule your objection now.

MR. DYMOND: May I make the objection? I didn't state the reason yet. We object to this now, Your Honor, on the ground that this application, if it existed, that testimony concerning this application is hearsay. The best party to testify as to anything concerning this application would be the person who made it out or saw it made out.

THE COURT: Not necessarily.

MR. DYMOND: Well, that is our position, Your Honor, and our objection is based --

THE COURT: Let me ask you a question: Are you officially employed in connection with these records, as typist-clerk and secretary to the Personnel Director?

THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.

THE COURT: These records would have been under your direction?

THE WITNESS: Yes, at all times.

THE COURT: And who would prepare this information?

THE WITNESS: The application?


THE WITNESS: The person seeking employment.

THE COURT: Who was giving them the application to prepare, and whom would he give the application to?

THE WITNESS: He would give it to me or the lady --

THE COURT: Would he have given it to you?


THE COURT: Who else would he have given it to besides you?

THE WITNESS: Well, there are three others that work in the office; he could give it to either one of them.

THE COURT: In the ordinary course of business it would be filed in the filing cabinet together with other records?


THE COURT: Do you particularly remember seeing this card in the file?

THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.

THE COURT: I will permit her to testify to it. I overrule your objection. It is the best evidence available.

MR. DYMOND: To which ruling we object and reserve a bill of exception, making the State's question, our objection, the reasons for the objection, the testimony of this witness, and the entire record, together with our contention that the Court led the witness in connection with questioning on this document, parts of the bill.

THE COURT: Let me make one thing certain. Each time you take a bill you say "the entire record." "The entire record" means up to the time you make your exception, not the entire record?

MR. DYMOND: Right.

THE COURT: I want that understood.

Q: Would you state to the Court exactly how the name appeared on the application.

A: "Oswald, Harvey."

Q: Did you see a middle name?

A: No, sir, I did not.

MR. SCIAMBRA: Tender the witness, Your Honor.

Q: Mrs. Kemp, is it the practice of East Louisiana State Hospital to keep applications for employment on file there, or do they just keep records on file?

A: We keep all applications for one year.

Q: For one year?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: All right.

A: We pull them, well, maybe every three months we go through them.

Q: Every three months when you go through them, what do you do with them?

A: Well, we destroy the ones --

Q: -- that are one year old? Is that correct?

A: If they have not been accepted for employment. If they are accepted for employment, of course, it goes in your personnel file.

MR. DYMOND: That is all, ma'am.

Q: Do any applications happen to stay in the employment files more than a year?

A: Yes, sir, they have.

MR. SCIAMBRA: No further questions.

THE COURT: Do you have any further need of the lady?




I, the undersigned, Helen R. Dietrich, do hereby certify:

That the above and foregoing (49 page of typewritten matter) is a true and correct transcription of the stenographic notes of the proceedings had herein, the same having been taken down by me and transcribed under by supervision, on the day and date hereinbefore noted, in the Criminal District Court for the Parish of Orleans, State of Louisiana, in the matter of State of Louisiana vs. Clay L. Shaw, 198-059 1426 (30) Section "C" on the 7th day of February, 1969, before the Honorable Edward A. Haggerty, Jr., Judge, Section "C", the same being an excerpt of the proceedings as to certain witnesses contained in the index hereof.

New Orleans, Louisiana, this 26th day of May, 1969.
/S/ Helen R. Dietrich


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