The Clay Shaw trial testimony of John Manchester, continued



Q: Mr. Manchester, you say that when you were interviewing strange people up there in connection with this voter registration drive, you were not spending any more time than was necessary with them, is that right?

A: That is right, yes, sir.

Q: Could you tell us about how long you spent interviewing the two men in this Cadillac?

A: I didn't say I interviewed two men in the Cadillac, I said I interviewed one man in the Cadillac.

Q: You just talked to the driver? Right?

A: Yes.

Q: For about how long would you say?

A: I would venture to say maybe two minutes.

Q: Two minutes at the outside? Would that be right?

A: Repeat that, sir?

Q: Would you say two minutes at the outside would be correct, in other words, no more than two minutes? Right?

A: I would say no more than two minutes.

Q: Now, the person whom you have said was the driver of that Cadillac, had you ever seen that person before?

A: No, sir, not to my recollection; I had not.

Q: Now, you, of course, say that this Defendant here was the man that you saw in the Cadillac. Right?

A: Yes, sir, I have.

Q: Before coming today, to court today, and exclusive of this incident in Clinton, have you ever seen Mr. Clay Shaw before?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: When?

A: Now let me get -- would you repeat that?

Q: I will make it a little clearer. Not counting the incident that you are talking about in Clinton, had you ever seen Mr. Clay Shaw before you came to court today?

A: Today? Yes, sir.

Q: Yes?

A: Yes, sir, I have.

Q: Where?

A: In this courtroom.

Q: When?

A: Two weeks ago I believe I was down here.

Q: I see. Two weeks ago was the first time, other than this Clinton episode that you have told us about? Is that correct?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: And in what year do you say that this Clinton episode occurred?

A: 1963.

MR. DYMOND: Mr. Alcock, I show you this photograph which I ask be marked "Exhibit D-1" (exhibiting photograph to Counsel).

(Whereupon, the photograph referred to by Counsel was duly marked for identification as "Exhibit D-1.")

Q: (Exhibiting photograph to witness) Mr. Manchester, I am going to show you a photograph which we have marked for identification on the reverse side "D-1," and ask you to examine that photograph and tell me whether that resembles the person whom you saw in the black Cadillac in Clinton in 1963.

A: No, sir, that doesn't resemble.

Q: It doesn't resemble him at all? Is that correct?

A: No, sir, not to me it doesn't.

MR. DYMOND: Please mark this photograph (exhibiting document to Counsel) as "D-2."

(Whereupon, the photograph referred to by Counsel was duly marked for identification as "Exhibit D-2.")

Q: (Exhibiting photograph to witness) Mr. Manchester, I show you another photograph which I have identified by the marking "D-2," and I ask you whether that photograph resembles the man whom you saw in Clinton.

A: Now what are you referring to, resemblance?

Q: Well, whether there is any facial resemblances which you would term noticeable.

A: The only thing that resembles the man that I saw in the Cadillac may be the gray hair at the temples, that is all.

Q: So then it is your testimony, Mr. Manchester, that you saw a man not more than two minutes five years ago, or let us say more than five years ago, and then you saw him in court, and you can positively identify him as the person whom you saw five years ago? Is that correct?

A: Mr. Dymond, I don't forget faces; I might forget names but I don't forget faces.

Q: You say you have an unusual memory for faces?

A: In my line of work I have got to have an unusual (memory) for faces.

Q: Now, you are a law enforcement officer, aren't you?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: I understand you are Town Marshal of Clinton?

A: That is right.

Q: Is that an elective office or an appointive office?

A: No, sir, that is appointive by the Town Council.

Q: Now, you were aware that the preliminary hearing was conducted in this case, were you not, sir?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: -- back in April of 1967?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: When did you first report this testimony of yours to the District Attorney's Office here in New Orleans?

A: I don't remember when I did first talk to the District Attorney's Office.

Q: About how long ago?

A: It has been two years or a year and a half ago I would say.

Q: It was after the preliminary hearing, wasn't it?

A: It was after Mr. Shaw was indicted. I don't know, I don't remember when the preliminary hearing was.

Q: Mr. Manchester, if you had reported this to the District Attorney's Office before the preliminary hearing, would you not have considered it peculiar that you were not subpoenaed as a witness for the preliminary hearing?

MR. ALCOCK: Object to his calling for an opinion.

THE COURT: Sustained. His opinion makes no difference.

Q: Is it your testimony now that you cannot tell us whether you told this to the District Attorney before or after the preliminary hearing?

A: That is right, Mr. Dymond, because I don't know when the preliminary hearing was held.

Q: And you can't relate these two incidents in your mind so as to be able to tell us which one came first?

A: That is right, I can't.

Q: Were you aware of the fact that several residents of Clinton said that they had seen Lee Harvey Oswald in Clinton and in Jackson, Louisiana, back in 1963?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: When did you first find out about that?

A: Soon after the Kennedy assassination.

Q: Soon after the Kennedy assassination? Is that right?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: Were you aware of the fact that the Warren Commission was conducting extensive investigation into the assassination of President Kennedy?

A: I knew they was conducting an investigation.

Q: Did you have occasion to report to the Warren Commission that any testimony was available in your area which might be connected with the assassination?

A: No, sir. I figured if they wanted it they could come and get it.

Q: As a law enforcement officer you didn't feel it your duty to make it available to them?

A: I felt it was my duty if they came and asked for it.

Q: It was your duty if they came and asked for it?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: Would you tell us how they were supposed to know about it if you didn't tell them?

MR. ALCOCK: Objection, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Don't argue with the witness.

MR. DYMOND: I am not arguing with him, I asked him a question, Judge.

MR. ALCOCK: He is asking him to determine what was in the mind of the people who in- formed the Warren Commission. That is impossible.

MR. DYMOND: I want to know what is in this witness's mind, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Ask him the question.

MR. DYMOND: Please read it back.

(Whereupon, the pending question was read back by the Reporter.)

THE COURT: I don't see how he can answer the question. He doesn't know whether somebody else could have told them about the Town Marshal, so I don't think the question could be answered.

MR. DYMOND: He could know it if he knew it happened, Judge.

THE COURT: How could he know, Mr. Dymond, if someone else called the FBI, called them and told them what the Town Marshal knew, and you don't know if he called. You are asking a hard question.

MR. DYMOND: He could be there when the call was made. That is very simple.

THE COURT: In other words, Mr. Manchester, you did not volunteer the information, but if they had come to see you, you would have given them the answer? Is that you answer?

THE WITNESS: That is my answer.

Q: Your answer also is that a law enforcement officer you felt no duty to report any- thing to them? Is that right?

A: I answered your questions, Mr. Dymond.

THE COURT: I think you have, too. Would you go to another subject, Mr. Dymond.

Q: Now, could you tell me why you were investigating the various cars in Clinton at this time?

A: Yes, sir, I was trying to keep out any outside agitation, keep it out of this voter registration drive being conducted.

Q: Now, this voter registration drive was actually a drive for the purpose of getting Negroes registered to vote, was it not?

A: That is right, that is what it was for.

Q: Is it not a fact that you were doing everything within your power to keep them from getting registered?

A: No, sir.

MR. ALCOCK: What is this, Your Honor, racial prejudice in this case?

THE COURT: Objection sustained. That is completely irrelevant to the testimony of this witness and has nothing to do with this case. I sustain the objection.

Q: Is it not a fact that you suspected the occupants of that car of being there to cooperate with Negroes in trying to get registered to vote?

A: No, sir, it was not.

Q: It was not?

A: It was not.

Q: Mr. Manchester, you say that the photograph that was showed to you -- I think it was marked for identification "State-1" -- was either a picture of the same car or one similar to it? Is that right?

A: I think I said that it was the car or one very similar to it.

THE COURT: I think that exhibit was "S-2", not "S-1".

MR. DYMOND: "S-2".

That is all.

THE COURT: Do you have further need of this witness?

MR. SCIAMBRA: No, Your Honor.

THE COURT: You are relieved of the subpoena. You may leave.

Call your next witness.

(Witness excused.)


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