The Clay Shaw trial testimony of Edwin Lea McGehee, continued



THE COURT: Now let's get back to the basic question. You have objected to a conversation had by Mr. McGehee with Lee Harvey Oswald at the time it was had in Jackson, Louisiana.

MR. DYMOND: No, not with Lee Harvey Oswald. The conversation was supposed to have been with Reeves Morgan, State Representative.


THE COURT: Ask the question again. Let's find out what the objection is, please. I thought the question was a conversation of the witness with Oswald.

MR. ALCOCK: It was.

MR. DYMOND: Same objection.

THE COURT: Same objection? Oswald is a defendant named in the indictment.

MR. WEGMANN: He is not a defendant named in the indictment.

MR. ALCOCK: He is dead.

MR. DYMOND: He is named as a co-conspirator.

THE COURT: He is named as a defendant in the Bill of --

MR. DYMOND: That does not make any difference.

THE COURT: It certainly does in law; whether he is dead or not, he is still listed as one of the persons who committed the crime.

MR. EDWARD WEGMANN: He is still not a defendant.

THE COURT: Let's not argue, Mr. Wegmann. What was the question?

MR. ALCOCK: The question of Mr. McGehee was whether or not he had a conversation with Lee Harvey Oswald on that occasion, and his response was yes, and I asked him if he knew a gentleman by the name of Reeves Morgan, and he said yes, and I asked him if that name came up in the conversation, and he was about to relate that answer when Mr. Dymond objected. This is not a conversation involving Reeves Morgan, this is between this witness and Lee Harvey Oswald.

THE COURT: Well, I will rule that he can state whether he did have a conversation or not, but he cannot go into the details of the conversation.

MR. ALCOCK: He can say what he said, can't he, not what Oswald said but what he said? That is certainly not hearsay. This witness is subject to cross-examination.

THE COURT: He can state what he said but not tell us what Oswald said.

MR. ALCOCK: Right. I think this is what Mr. Dymond is getting at.

THE COURT: All right. Go ahead.

Q: Go ahead with your answer.

A: I was referring him to Mr. Reeves Morgan, who was State Representative at the time, in regards to getting a job at East Louisiana Hospital.

MR. DYMOND: Object as hearsay and ask that it be stricken.

THE COURT: What is your Objection?

MR. DYMOND: This witness is doing indirectly what Your Honor ruled he cannot do direct- ly, by stating in what connection he referred him to Reeves Morgan. That impliedly --

THE COURT: Just a minute, Mr. Dymond.

MR. DYMOND: That impliedly sets forth what Lee Harvey Oswald asked this man about, and Your Honor has ruled that isn't admissible.

THE COURT: You have agreed he can state what he told him.

MR. DYMOND: What he told Oswald. That is different.

THE COURT: All right. Tell us what you told Oswald.

THE WITNESS: I told him the directions to Reeves Morgan's house, who was State Representative.

THE COURT: That is all you told him, the directions to his house?

THE WITNESS: I told him to see him about getting a job at the East Louisiana State Hospital, that he would help him, or might help him.

THE COURT: All right. You may proceed.

Q: Now, Mr. McGehee, do you know a fellow in Clinton, Louisiana, by the name of Henry Earl Palmer?

A: Right.

Q: Did you know him on that occasion?

A: Yes.

Q: What was his occupation at that time?

A: Registrar of Voters.

Q: Did you mention his name at any time?

A: Yes, I told Oswald that if he was a registered voter it would help him to obtain -- have a better chance of obtaining a job at East Louisiana State Hospital.

Q: Was the name Henry Earl Palmer mentioned?

A: Yes.

MR. DYMOND: I object unless it is specified by whom it was mentioned, Your Honor. Your Honor has already ruled on Oswald mentioning it.

MR. ALCOCK: He has already said he did it.

THE WITNESS: I referred him to him.

THE COURT: You may proceed.

Q: And where at that time was the Board of Registration for that Parish?

A: In Clinton.

Q: Is that Clinton, Louisiana?

A: Right.

Q: Did you have occasion, Mr. McGehee, after giving Oswald a haircut on this occasion, to ever see his picture on television?

A: Yes.

Q: When was that?

A: I was at my mother-in-law's house on the day of the assassination and -- I think it was the day -- and when they arrested Oswald and brought him to the jail -- I think it was the jail -- and that was the first time I saw his picture, and I told my wife, I said --

THE COURT: Don't tell us what you told your wife.

MR. ALCOCK: That is what he said, Your Honor.

THE COURT: All right.

A: (Continuing) I told my wife, I said, "I recognize that man from somewhere."

Q: Now, did you have occasion subsequent to this time when you made that comment to your wife, to have a conversation with Reeves Morgan?

A: Right. That must have been about two weeks later. Mr. Reeves Morgan --

MR. DYMOND: I object, Your Honor. He has answered the question already.

THE COURT: He stated yes. He can tell him.

Q: You did have a conversation with Reeves Morgan?

A: It must have been about two weeks later.

MR. DYMOND: Your Honor, I ask that the witness be instructed to answer questions and not elaborate.

THE COURT: Mr. McGehee, the answer to the question Mr. Alcock put to you, which was did you have a conversation, you can say yes, you don't have to tell us the substance of it, what he told you; you can tell us what you told him.

Q: What did you tell Reeves Morgan during that conversation? Say what you said.

A: I said that the man that I saw on the T.V. was the man that I sent to him.

Q: Is that man the man that you identified in Court as Lee Harvey Oswald?

A: Right.

Q: Up until that time, Mr. McGehee, had you sent anyone else to Reeves Morgan's house?

A: He was the only one.

Q: Mr. McGehee, did you ever, subsequent to the assassination of President Kennedy, mention this incident to the Federal Bureau of Investigation or any other federal agency?

A: No.

MR. ALCOCK: I will tender the witness.

Q: Mr. McGehee, you say this was in August or September of 1963?

A: Yes, sir, approximately, yes, sir.

Q: Have you searched your memory in an effort to determine whether it was August or whether it was September?

A: Yes.

Q: And I take it you are unable to do so?

A: We discussed it in the barber shop several times.

Q: And I take it that as of now you cannot tell us whether it was August or whether it was September? Is that correct, sir?

A: We had cool nights in the last of August and the early part of September, and at least not past September 15.

Q: I see.

A: It had to be in there, along in that time.

Q: In other words, it could have been as late as September 15?

A: It was more closely, I would say, the last of August and the early part of September.

Q: Well, now, what would make you arrive at that conclusion that you say that you had cool nights up until September 15?

A: Well, we always discuss the weather in the barber shop -- that is about the main topic of conversation -- and we have farmers up in Jackson, quite a number of them, and they are always saying wasn't last night cool and all like that.

Q: I take it that this was on a cool night then that you saw Lee Oswald?

A: Yes, the night was rather cool.

Q: Now, did you not testify that you had cool nights through the 15th of September?

A: Well, the last part of August we had some relatively cool nights, which was unusual for August, and we commented on that several times in the barber shop. If I had to say it, I would say the last of August.

Q: And you say you discussed this with the farmers in the barber shop? Is that right?

A: Yes.

Q: Well, now, is your testimony the testimony of the farmers in the barber shop or your testimony?

A: Both of us.

Q: Oh, I see. In other words, you are testifying here from the knowledge of the farmers in the barber shop and from yours, is that Right?

A: Well, we discussed it, and they said how cool it was and I agreed.

Q: Now let's see if you can be a little more accurate on your description of this automobile that you saw this man get out of.

A: Yes, sir.

Q: Was it a large automobile or a small one?

A: If I had to say what it was, it was a -- it resembled a Kaiser or a Frazer or an Old Nash.

Q: Did it appear to be old enough to have been a Kaiser or a Frazer?

A: Yes, that is what I noticed about it.

Q: I take it then from your description that in general terms you would have to describe this as a rather small automobile, while not a compact? Is that right?

A: Oh, not a compact, right.

Q: But it was a small standard sized automobile?

A: Standard sized, yes, sir.

Q: Now, did you give Oswald a haircut on this occasion? Is that correct?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: Do you remember how he was dressed?

A: He had on a sport shirt and slacks.

Q: Did he have shoes on or not?

A: I am sure he did.

Q: Would you say he was neatly dressed?

A: Very neatly dressed.

Q: Very neatly dressed?

A: Clean shaven.

Q: I see. now, Mr. McGehee, by your voluntarily adding the words "very neatly dressed," would I be correct in assuming that his neatness actually impressed you?

A: Yes. That is the reason I referred him for the job.

Q: I see. In other words, you would say that he was a particularly neat looking individual, is that right?

A: To me, yes.

Q: Yes. And did I understand you correctly in saying that he was clean-shaven at this time?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: Did that likewise impress you?

A: No, not impress me, I just noticed he was clean shaven. You know, when you give a man a haircut, you try to sell him a shave, too.


THE BAILIFF: Order in the Court.

Q: I would guess that a barber would be very likely to remember whether a man was clean shaven, is that correct?

A: That is it.

Q: And that is your distinct recollection, is that right?

A: Yes.

MR. DYMOND: That is all.

REDIRECT EXAMINATION BY MR. ALCOCK:>BR> Q: I have one or two questions just to clarify something Mr. Dymond asked you. These discussions you had with farmers were about the weather, is that correct?

A: With who?

Q: The farmers -- was about the weather?

A: Yes.

Q: These farmers didn't tell you anything about Lee Oswald coming in?

A: No, no.

MR. ALCOCK: No further questions.

Q: One moment, please. While the discussions that you had with the farmers concerned only the weather, it was what these farmers said that prompted you to fix the date of this visit in late August or early September, was it not, sir?

A: Well, not only the farmers at the time. Like I say, in general, you talk to anybody -- the banker -- everybody we talk to, they mentioned the weather and what cool nights we were having in August, which was unusual --

Q: I see.

A: -- and I had my door open, the air-conditioning was off and it was rather cool.

Q: I see. Just one more question, Mr. McGehee: Was there any special reason that you waited five years before saying anything about this to anybody?

A: Nobody approached me.

MR. DYMOND: That is all.

Q: Mr. McGehee, this conversation that you had with Mr. Morgan shortly after the assassination, did this visit come up in that conversation?

A: I didn't hear you, Mr. Alcock.

Q: This conversation that you had with Mr. Morgan shortly after the assassination, did this visit by Oswald come up in that conversation?

MR. DYMOND: One moment, please. Object to that, if the Court please. Unless it is restricted to what this witness said during that conversation and not including what Mr. Morgan said.

THE COURT: I agree with you.

Q: Did you mention anything to Mr. Morgan shortly after the assassination about Lee Oswald being in your shop?

A: Yes, we talked about it.

MR. ALCOCK: No further questions.

THE COURT: You may step down, Mr. McGehee.

(Witness excused.)

THE COURT: Do you have any further need for this witness? I understand he is from out of town.

MR. ALCOCK: We have none.

MR. DYMOND: We have none.

THE COURT: You may leave at this time.

Mr. Alcock, I have been requested by the news media to take a recess between 3:00 and 3:15, and rather than call your next witness and interrupt the direct or the cross, we will take a recess now until ten minutes after 3:00. That is about eight minutes.

Take the Jury upstairs, Gentlemen.

(Whereupon, a recess was taken.)


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