The Clay Shaw trial testimony of Rex Kommer



REX KOMMER, a witness for the Defense, after first being duly sworn by the Minute Clerk, was examined and testified as follows:

Q: Mr. Kommer, for the record your full name is Rex L. Kommer, is that correct?

A: That is correct.

Q: What is your occupation?

A: Meteorologist, United States Weather Bureau.

Q: Are you presently employed by them?

A: Yes, sir, I am.

Q: Did you at our request obtain copies of the Climatological Data for the months of September and October 1963?

A: I did.

Q: I show you two documents I have marked D-25 and -26 for identification -- I show you first the document which has been indentified D-25 and I ask you to examine same and I ask you if you are familiar with it?

A: Yes, sir, I am.

Q: And what does that represent, Mr. Kommer?

A: This is the Climatological Data for the State of Louisiana which is published by the Department of Commerce for the date of December, 1963.

The reason we have to refer to this month to get the delayed data that was for the City of Clinton for August which was published in this December issue.

Q: The document that I have shown you contains data for the month of August for Clinton, Louisiana?

A: That is correct.

Q: Would you tell the Court and Gentlemen of the Jury what the average daily high and daily low for the entire month of August in Clinton, Louisiana was in the year 1963.

A: For the year 1963 the average temperature, high temperature, for Clinton, Louisiana was 93.3 degrees and the low was an average minimum temperature of 69.3 degrees.

Q: Now at our request, Mr. Kommer, have you made a calculation as to the average high for the last 15 days in the month of August, '63?

A: Yes, sir, I have. The average high was 92.1.



Q: Now I show you a document previously marked D-26 for identification and ask you whether this contains the information for the month of December '63?

A: Yes, this is the climatological data for the State of Louisiana for September 1963.

Q: Does that cover the station at Clinton, Louisiana?

A: Yes, it does.

Q: What was the average monthly high and monthly low for September?

A: For September the average high was 87.8 degrees and the low -- you want the low too?

Q: Please.

A: 65.3, that is taking the entire 30 days of the month.

Q: Did you make any calculations for the first 15 days of the month of September?

A: The first 15 days of September 1963 the, a 93.1 for the average high maximum temperature.

Q: Is there a weather station at Clinton, Louisiana?

A: We have an observation station there in Clinton.

Q: So those temperatures come from Clinton, Louisiana itself?

A: That is correct.

MR. WEGMANN: That is all the questions I have. In connection with the testimony of the witness I offer, introduce and file in evidence the documents marked D-25 and D-26.

THE COURT: Any objections?


THE COURT: Without objection let it be entered.

MR. ALCOCK: I would like to have the document to examine.

Q: Mr. Kommer, directing your attention to Defense Exhibit-26, you have given us an average temperature -- this would be the month of September or August?

A: This would be September.

Q: You have given us --

A: I gave you the average for the whole month and also the average for the first 15 days.

Q: Would you give us the high and low for the first 15 days for the month of September?

A: The first, the 1st of September the high was 92 and the low 68; the 2nd was 94 high, the low of 70; the 3rd was 94 for a max, and 72 for a minimum; 94 and 72 for the 4th; the 5th, 95 and 71; the 6th, 94 and 70; the 7th was 95 and 69; the 8th 95 and 72; the 95 and 67; the 10th was 96 and 67; the 11th was 95 and 69; the 12th was 93 and 68; the 13th was 91 and 68; the 14th was 86 and 67; and the 15th was 87 and 70 degrees.

Q: Would it be a fair statement to say that generally there is almost a 25 to 30-degree drop in temperature approximately?

A: I think it'd be more like 25 degrees.

Q: A 25-degree drop. Now what time were these recordings made?

A: Well, the maximum and minimum temperatures are -- a reading is taken at 5:00 o'clock in the afternoon and it is off of a Weather Bureau thermometer which measures minimum and maximum temperatures and that would be taken at 5:00 o'clock in the afternoon.

Q: I see. The maximum may have occurred at any time during the day and the minimum at any time during the night.

A: Right.

Q: I see. In other words you can't say when, the time during the day the temperature was at that maximum, is that correct?

A: That is correct.

Q: Mr. Kommer, where did you reside in September, August and September 1963?

A: In Metairie, Louisiana.

Q: Is it a fair statement to say, Mr. Kommer, generally as the afternoon wears on the temperature might drop considerably?

MR. WEGMANN: We object to this as this gentleman has not been qualified as an expert.

THE COURT: I don't think he needs to be an expert to answer the question. I overrule the objection.

THE WITNESS: You're speaking of after sundown?

MR. ALCOCK: Prior to sundown, say about 4:00 o'clock in the afternoon.

THE WITNESS: Many times we have our maximum temperature around 3:00 o'clock and it doesn't start falling until after dark as a rule.

Q: I take it then that you were not in the Clinton area during this time?

A: I was not.

MR. ALCOCK: I have no further questions.

Q: One other question. Mr. Kommer, I refer you to D-25 and ask you to read to the Jury the low and the high temperatures for the last 15 days in August 1963.

A: For August 15, 1963 the maximum temperature at Clinton, Louisiana was 85 degrees, the minimum was 68; the 16th was 87 and 60; the 17th was 91 and 62; the 18th was 92 and 63; the 19th, 91 and 62; the 20th 91 and 68; the 21st, 93 and 67; the 22nd, 93 and 67; the 23rd, 94 and 70; the 24th, 93 and 68; the 25th was 95 and 72; the 26th was 95 and 73; the 27th was 95 and 70; the 28th, 95 and 74; the 29th was 94 and 74; the 30th was 91 and 72; and the 31st was 91 and 70 degrees.

MR. WEGMANN: Thank you, sir, that is all the questions I have.

THE COURT: Do you have any other questions, Mr. Alcock?

Q: In other words, Mr. Kommer, in the latter part of August '63, from the 15th on say, they had at least nine days when the temperature was in the 60's and some as low as 60?

A: That is correct.

MR. WEGMANN: I have no further need of Mr. Kommer.

THE COURT: You are excused from the subpoena, Mr. Kommer.


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