The Clay Shaw trial testimony of Perry Raymond Russo, continued
AFTER THE RECESS:
MR. DYMOND: Your Honor, I am exhibiting something to the State now before I use it.
MR. ALCOCK: Is there a date on it?
MR. WILLIAM WEGMANN: It is February 24.
BY MR. DYMOND:
Q: Now, Mr. Russo, after you granted the interview to Mr. Bankston of the Baton Rouge States Times, do you remember the names of the other reporters, either radio, television or newspaper, to whom you granted interviews in Baton Rouge?
A: There was Jim Kemp, that was in Baton Rouge.
Q: I see.
BY THE COURT:
Q: What was the name?
A: Kemp, K-e-m-p. This was a fellow from WAFB. I am not sure of his name.
BY MR. DYMOND:
Q: Was that radio or television?
A: That is television, Channel 2, and there was a fellow from Channel 4, Carrick.
A: C-a-r-r-i-c-k -- I am not sure -- I think.
Q: Go ahead. I am sorry.
A: That was about it. I think there may be a couple of others.
Q: So that then would be a total of three in addition to Mr. Bankston. Is that correct?
Q: Would I be correct in saying that in none of these three interviews did you mention a conspiratorial meeting?
Q: Would I be correct in saying that?
Q: I see. Would I be correct in saying that in none of these three interviews that you mentioned the name Oswald?
A: No. Right.
Q: You did not mention it?
Q: Would I be correct in saying that in none of these three interviews did you mention the name Clem or Clay Bertrand?
Q: Now, Mr. Russo, I am going to show you a typewritten transcription of what purports to be a recording of the interview which you granted to Mr. Jim Kemp of Station WAFB in Baton Rouge.
MR. DYMOND: I have marked this exhibit for identification "D-9."
(Whereupon, the document referred to by Counsel was duly marked for identification as "Exhibit D-2.")
BY MR. DYMOND:
Q: (Exhibiting document to witness) Mr. Russo, I will ask that you examine it and tell me whether it appears to you to be a faithful transcription of the interview which you granted Mr. Kemp.
A: You want me to read it all the way?
Q: To yourself, yes.
THE COURT: Read it to yourself.
(There was a brief pause in the proceedings.)
THE WITNESS: I am finished it.
BY MR. DYMOND:
Q: Would you say, Mr. Russo, that that is a faithful copy of the interview?
A: Probably. I mean I can't be exactly sure in the words.
Q: You see nothing in here though that you would quarrel with as having been said by you to Mr. Kemp?
A: No, not that I would quarrel with, no.
Q: I see.
MR. DYMOND: If the Court please, in connection with the testimony of the witness we would like to offer, file, and produce this transcript in evidence, the same having been marked for identification "Exhibit D-8."
THE COURT: Let me show you something, Mr. Dymond. Article 403 states:
"Whenever the credibility of a witness is to be impeached by proof of any statement made by him contradictory to his testimony, he must first be asked whether he has made such statement and his attention must be called to the time, place and circumstance, and to the person to whom said statement was made, in order that the witness may have an opportunity of explaining that which is prima facie contradictory. If the witness does not distinctly admit making such statement, evidence that he did make it is admissible." Here is a statement that more or less comes under the point. The rule of this article as to necessity for laying a foundation . . . whether the contra- dictions are offered to impeach the credibility of the witness or to show his malice to the accused. If the witness admits the contradictory statement, there can be no proof thereof offered though it be to show the falsity of the witness's explanation of why he made such statement."
(The above quotation transcribed without reference to the source.)
MR. DYMOND: If the Court please, I have no quarrel with that.
THE COURT: The witness is here, has admitted making the statement. Under the rule, since he admits it, you can offer no proof of it.
MR. DYMOND: If the Court please, I have no quarrel with that rule of law at all.
THE COURT: If he admits it. If he denies it you can offer proof, but if he admits it you are estopped.
MR. DYMOND: It is just a question of whether I go through this transcript, take each individual question and read it to him and ask whether he made it. I would be happy to do that.
THE COURT: He has already admitted he made that statement. How can you ask the questions?
MR. DYMOND: Your Honor, the Jury has no way of reading what statements he read.
THE COURT: According to the Code, it is right to the question of credibility. He may be caught in a contradiction, but if he admits making it, you cannot offer the transcript.
MR. DYMOND: I will ask him each statement.
THE COURT: You have already given it to him to read.
MR. DYMOND: If the Court please, I did that merely for him to familiarize himself with it. We have to get the information to the Jury.
THE COURT: Let me hear from the State.
MR. ALCOCK: Your Honor, I concede the dilemma Mr. Dymond is in. If Perry Russo has admitted making essentially the statements made in there, the only way Mr. Dymond could get it to the Jury would either be to read it to the Jury or to ask question by question of the witness. I have no objection.
THE COURT: All right. You want to read the statement?
MR. DYMOND: I would like to read it to the Jury.
THE COURT: What is it marked?
MR. DYMOND: Defense No. 8.
THE COURT: You may read it if the State has no objection.
MR. DYMOND: I take it the Court has accepted it in evidence?
THE COURT: Any objection, Mr. Alcock?
MR. ALCOCK: No.
THE COURT: Let it be received.
MR. DYMOND: (Reading) INTERVIEW OF PERRY R. RUSSO by JIM KEMP, taken in Station WAFB, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
BY MR. KEMP:
Q: Mr. Russo, I wonder if you could tell us how did you come to know David Ferrie and how well did you know him?
A: Well, I came to know Dave Ferrie back in New Orleans through a friend of mine who was at that time a member of the Civil Air Patrol, and actually, what transpired was the friend was having difficulty at home, and after talking to his family, the family blamed it on the guy, Dave Ferrie, and they said that he was messing up the boy's mind, he was making him want to leave home, he was going to alienate him away from the family. So I said, 'Well,' I said, 'there was probably nothing they could do,' because I had played ball a long time and had been associated with Al -- that's the boy -- for some time, and what actually happened was that I intervened and got on Al's side and began to talk him away from Dave and finally he told Dave he didn't want to see him, didn't want to have anything to do with him. At that time, Dave made a personal threat against my life.
Q: Dave Ferrie did?
Q: Did you ever hear Ferrie make any threatening remarks about President Kennedy?
A: Well, during the -- '63, that was an extensive period of time that I knew him, in '62 and '63. Ferrie was obsessed more or less with the idea of Kennedy and what he was doing to Cuba or to Castro, and what Dave Ferrie was -- actually, at any instance coming over to the house. For one thing, I lived on Elysian Fields in New Orleans, and he would come over at night, you know, uncalled, anything like that, as was his habit. And we would talk, and generally speaking, I was a Republican. I was against Kennedy in general, you know, for policies. And that was the opening door and he could elaborate on the issue, and quite frequently, and this is especially during the summer, he talked in general terms, not specifically about Kennedy, about how easy it would be to assassinate a president of the United States because of the fact he was in public view so much and unprotected more or less and there was so many people and the availability of exit and the fact that he could drive a plane to get out of the country, and he used to just posingly -- jokingly pose the question that, you know, he and I could do it; you know, just in a joking way, he said it could be done. And that was all of the conversation during the summer.
Q: Did he ever make any more specific threat, like get him?
A: Well, right. Now, in late September or during October, the month right prior to the Kennedy assassination in November, Dave Ferrie had occasion to come over to the house on several instances and I went to his place, and just passing, and he made specific references that, in talking about Kennedy, he said, 'We will get him and it won't be very long.' Now, the last time I can remember him saying that was sometime in October, but he was obsessed with that idea.
Q: Did he ever mention Lee Harvey Oswald's name?
Q: No conversation at all about --
A: No. I had never heard of Oswald until the television of the assassination.
Q: Did Ferrie ever mention that he was involved in any way with any Cuban exile group or with any other Cuban group or with Castro?
A: Well, now, he never did mention he was in cahoots with any Cuban exile group. He talked in the vein that Castro was getting a bum deal from the papers and the press and the United States and from the United States Government itself by the economic sanctions or what have you, but primarily what he was doing here, and I had reference to the three Spanish-speaking guys that I would say possibly could have been from Cuba, but I am not sure of that, but what he primarily was saying was that -- or what he was doing, in fact, was he had a group of Civil Air Patrol boys and they were eighteen, nineteen, twenty, somewhere around there, and they were practicing jungle warfare. Now, to me, that was, you know -- anybody -- everybody is entitled to their own kick, but he said that they were practicing so later on in their life the individual boys could help complete the liberation of the South American countries and make them freedom loving and democracies and the rest of the terms he used.
Q: Was he the leader of this training group of jungle warfare?
A: He was, right.
Q: Did he ever mention Castro specifically? Did he ever say that he had ever met him?
A: No, he -- the only thing -- reference he had to Castro was the fact that he said that Castro was not as bad as what we pictured him here in the United States and he was a good thing in Cuba, and he had changed the Cuban economy, and although they were in bad years now, that someday they would be in good years because he was a good leader, more or less.
Q: Did you ever talk to any of the associates of Ferrie's other than the fellow that you knew? Did you meet anybody else?
A: He had a roommate on the street parallel with Louisiana Avenue, which I don't know the name of the street, which one it it.
MR. DYMOND: That is a typographical error; it must be it is.
It may be Louisiana Avenue Parkway. I think it is Louisiana Avenue Parkway. But anyway, he had a roommate there. I talked to him on several occasions, but he was just sterile as regards to politics. It seemed to be. He'd talk about everything else. Now, he had three Spanish speaking friends who didn't say anything in English, in front of me, anyway, and they spoke in Spanish. They were dressed in green fatigues, battle fatigues, and one had a beard.
Now, on one instance, he and two of his friends, the Spanish-speaking fellows, came over to the house, and another instance, I went up to his house and dropped in and he had a Spanish-speaking fellow there in battle fatigue.
Q: You mentioned that there was something involving hypnotism with Ferrie, that he had practiced it?
A: Well, Ferrie had shown me that he had received, I think, a doctorate of Psychology, he had received a medical degree that he could practice, and three other degrees, which I don't recall at this moment, and in his house, his first house that I met him in, which was out near the Kenner area or the Metairie area, he had surgery equipment which was kept very clean and things like that, and I had occasion -- that he gave us a demonstration in hypnotism at that time.
Now, later on in talking to Al, Al Landry, Al told me that Ferrie had used hypnotism on the members of the Civil Air Patrol when he was making aggressions -- sexual aggressions on them.
Q: Let me ask you another question. Have you contacted the District Attorney, Jim Garrison? Have you talked with him about this?
A: No. I wrote the District Attorney Garrison a letter which was mailed Thursday. They should have gotten it Friday, and I expected a reply by Monday or Tuesday.
Q: You haven't heard from Garrison yet?
Q: Do you believe in your own mind that he might have had anything to do at all with the assassination in any way?
A: Well, see, that I don't know, and, you know, it would be just speculation.
Q: Dave Ferrie had the ability because of a keen mind and normal ability, say, in the sense of airplane driving. Now, whether or not he would have used that is another thing. Obviously, his level of approach to the United States politics, that he disagreed with Kennedy, and to a real obsessive point of view. Now, what he would have done because of that, I don't know. It's only conjecture that -- what I understand, that what the papers are saying and the news report on television is that Garrison and New Orleans claims that Ferrie was allegedly the pilot that would have driven the conspirator out of the country. Ferrie made the same remark that he could do that. This was during the summer in talking generally about assassinations of presidents and how it could be done. Now, whether he would have done that ultimately, I don't know, or whether he did do anything.
Q: Let me ask you one final question. Why have you never said anything about this before? Didn't it strike you that it might have some connection?
A: Well, when the assassination, of course, caught me by surprise and caught everyone else, I would guess, when it finally was over and the Warren Report -- Warren Commission was set up and they intended to go and examine all of the details and made claims that it was going to do everything extensively, and I left it to the professional. And they were supposed to come out with the verdict. Then they came out with the verdict that Oswald was the only man. So I forgot it. Then Garrison began his probe and subsequently got in the newspapers in New Orleans. And then later on on television everywhere and in that probe, he said that there was a conspiracy and he could prove it. It still didn't ring a bell anywhere along the line. I just -- it was far from me that I would, you know, ever have met a person that would have been a conspirator to kill the President of the United States.
Thereafter, when Dave Ferrie died, the name, I still doubted if it was the same guy. I just through it was another Dave Ferrie. But when I saw his picture in the paper, then I knew it was the same man and I had just as well say something to someone. And I wrote the District Attorney the next day, and he should have gotten it Friday. Now, I saw the pictures this week.
Q: You haven't talked with any federal agents or anybody from the Warren Commission about this?
A: No, no one has contacted me. Actually, the first time I made a remark about this was today and -- to anyone in public was today, and I don't know --
BY MR. DYMOND:
Q: Now, as I understand your testimony, Mr. Russo, you have no quarrel with the accuracy of that transcript, do you, sir?
A: No, not essentially.
Q: I see.
A: A couple of words, you know, one word makes a difference in a transcript, you read it as "policies," this is "politics," it should have been "politics."
Q: If I read any words which materially changed it, I wish you would call it to my attention.
A: Right off, that would be the only one.
Q: I said "policies" instead --
A: It should be "politics."
Q: I see. Now, after you came to New Orleans, which would be subsequent to your interview with Mr. Sciambra, I don't know that you could call this an interview, but were you not approached in front of the Criminal Courts Building here by John Korbell of Channel 12 and Doug Ramsey of Channel 6 after which approach certain statements were made by you were televised?
A: I am not sure of the two men, but it occurred, yes, it occurred to a lot of people.
Q: This occurred on March 1, 1967?
A: Yes, I was approached by several people, and I don't know exactly their names for sure.
MR. DYMOND: I will show you this document.
BY MR. DYMOND:
Q: Mr. Russo, I show you a document which I have marked for identification "D-9," purporting to be a transcript of an interview with Perry Russo by John Korbell of Channel 12 and Doug Ramsey or Channel 6 conducted in front of the Criminal District Court Building, 2700 Tulane Avenue, New Orleans, on March 1, 1967, and I will ask you to examine that and tell me whether you have any quarrel as to its being a faithful reproduction of the statements made by you on that occasion.
A: (Referring to document) There are a couple of -- do you want me to point them out?
Q: Yes, I wish you would.
A: All right, this is Steve right here in it, Bea.
Q: He is referring to Line 9, Page 1, would you change that now?
A: Yes (marking document). There would also be an explanation of this, but this is -- there would be an explanation on Line 21 to that answer of No, because that obviously was not the answer to the question on Line 20, it was an answer to a previous question.
Q: Do you feel you gave an explanation at that time?
A: Oh, no, I was just walking out of the building.
Q: I will give you an opportunity to make that explanation.
A: That is about it.
Q: That's it?
A: Yes, sir.
MR. DYMOND: If the Court please, I understand there is no objection from the State, and consequently I will offer, file, and produce in evidence the document marked for identification "D-9."
THE COURT: Any objection?
MR. ALCOCK: No objection.
MR. DYMOND: I will ask permission to read it to the Jury.
MR. ALCOCK: No objection.
THE COURT: You may read it.
MR. DYMOND: This is an interview with Perry R. Russo by John Korbell, Channel 12, and Doug Ramsey, Channel 6, conducted in front of the Criminal District Courts Building, 2700 Tulane Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana, on March 1, 1967, an interview of Perry R. Russo, March 1, 1967, outside of the Criminal Courts Building, Tulane Avenue and Broad Street, New Orleans, Louisiana, by John Korbell of WVUE TV, and Doug Ramsey of Channel 12, by Mr. Korbell, "Q What is your connection with David Ferrie?
"A: I just knew him at one time or another, Steve, you got a cab?
"Q: Down here in New Orleans?
"A: Yes, down here, nowhere in Baton Rouge, it was just all down in New Orleans.
"Q: How long have you been down, how long were you down here in New Orleans before you went to Baton Rouge?
"A: Oh, I lived here all my life, all the way up to '65, and actually --
"Q: By Mr. Ramsey: Do you know Clay Shaw?
"A: Clay Shaw, no, I don't, I don't know Clay Shaw.
"Q: Would they have been questioning you and he at the same time together?
"A: No, not together, no," and by Mr. Korbell . . .
"Q: Has the District Attorney been questioning you himself?
"A: I would ask you that of the District Attorney."
THE WITNESS: I would ask you to ask that, that is another correction, if you will.
MR. DYMOND: I will ask you to ask that of the District Attorney? That for the record, that correction is made on Line 3 of Page 2.
BY MR. DYMOND: Q: Continuing on, "Q: Will you be taking a lie detector test?
"A: I don't know of any provisions for a lie detector test.
"Q: But you will be back tonight or tomorrow?
"A: We have done some tests but it has not been a lie detector test.
"Q: What kind of tests?
"A: Well, that would be their business to tell you about it.
"Q: Was that electronic?
"Q: Is it on printed form?
"Q: Were they cross-examining you, so to speak?
"A: You know you get into a real tedious situation, no, they were just questioning us.
"Q: Have you been shown any pictures?
MR. DYMOND: That is the answer that Mr. Russo said he wanted to explain, and I will give him an opportunity to do so.
BY MR. DYMOND:
Q: It goes on:
"Q: Can you divulge who was involved in the pictures?
"A: No, I cannot tell you who was -- well, obviously you know Ferrie would be one of them, obviously, but, I mean, I am not going to divulge who was in the pictures, no."
Now, Mr. Russo, you asked that I give you an opportunity to explain the answer to this question which appears on this transcript to be just a flat no. The question was "Have you been shown any pictures."
A: Right. I was leaving the Court Building on Broad Street side of walking out, that is actually an answer to the previous question, just a repeat, I think, I was trying to get a cab at that time, and, you know, there were two guys, one on each side, you said they represented two different stations, they were asking questions and so naturally in answer to the previous question, I don't think I heard that question.
Q: By that do you mean this was in answer to this question, "Were they cross-examining you, so to speak"?
A: Right, but I tried to answer that, and which was the answer, right, would you read the answer, please, so I will know what the answer was to that question, were they trying to cross-examine me.
Q: It says, you know you get into a real tedious situation, no, they were just questioning us."
A: And I said "No" again, didn't I?
Q: Then you were --
A: This, I did not hear that question.
Q: Now, getting back to your testimony as to the first time or times that you think that you saw Mr. Shaw, you have testified that you have an idea that you may have seen Mr. Shaw at a Republican Headquarters. Is that correct?
Q: When would that have been?
A: Oh, that would have been '58 or '59, something like that.
Q: Now, the Headquarters to which you refer, where was it located?
A: Well, it was down from the Trade Mart a couple of blocks, could have been on a side street or might have been on Camp, my recollection was it was on the corner, I think on Camp Street, up a couple of blocks from the Trade Mart.
Q: Now, was it your testimony that if this was Mr. Shaw that you saw on that occasion, that he was wearing a hat?
A: At that time, yes.
Q: Now, is it not a fact that in your testimony you are doubtful as to whether this was actually Mr. Shaw that you saw on that occasion?
A: Well, a man just walked in, might have been there 30 seconds or a minute, looked around at a couple of the buttons, a couple of -- maybe bumper stickers or leaflets and walked out.
Q: But you would not say positively that was Mr. Shaw at that time?
A: I would not want to do that, right.
Q: Now, Mr. Russo, getting back to the interview which you granted to Mr. Bankston, the Baton Rouge States Times reporter in Baton Rouge, he quotes you as having told him that Ferrie said to you, "We will get him and it won't be long." When were you telling him that Ferrie had made that statement to you, when did Ferrie say that?
A: I was not very specific about that, we talked about 45 minutes at the States-Times Building, and, no, I was not very specific about that at all, I don't remember.
Q: Do you know now at what particular time you have reference to when you were relating Ferrie's having told that to you?
A: I know Ferrie said it two or three times, and he said something similar to that at the party, he said it before, in previous discussions, you know, when he would start a 15 or 20 minute speech, about Kennedy, or he said it I think as late as October, but I am not real sure at that time.
Q: Now, you have also testified that you saw Mr. Shaw at the Nashville Street Wharf or Nashville Avenue Wharf upon the occasion of President Kennedy's visit here in New Orleans. Now, with whom did you go to the Nashville Wharf?
A: As I remember, it was a friend of mine from Loyola.
Q: Do you remember his name?
A: I think it was Al Saizan.
Q: Have you spoken with Al Saizan about this incident to determine whether or not it was he who was with you?
A: About the Nashville Wharf?
Q: That is correct.
A: I had an occasion to talk with him once, but I didn't even ask him about that.
Q: Is that since your coming here to New Orleans after meeting with Mr. Sciambra that you spoke with Al Saizan about this?
A: Well, I spoke with him but not about this, but it was since, yes, I would guess it was the summer of '67.
Q: I see. And it is my understanding that you considered it peculiar that Mr. Shaw was not watching the President up there on Nashville Avenue?
A: That is what caught my eye, yes.
Q: Is there any particular reason why you were watching Mr. Shaw rather than watching the President up there?
A: Well, I was behind him about ten feet, 15 feet, maybe, behind him, I went in the back of the shed, and I was standing behind him, and that is the first thing -- he is very impressing physically, that might have been the thing, it was not a point of him not looking at the President all of the time, because then if I knew that all of the time, then I would not have been looking at the President all of the time either, but all of the time that I looked towards him he was not looking at the President.
Q: Did you know that Mr. Shaw was on Mayor Schiro's Committee to great the President at that time?
A: No, I did not.
Q: You did not know?
A: No, sir.
Q: Had you known that, would you have considered it peculiar that he was not looking at the President upon the wharf?
A: Well, I would have considered it peculiar that he was not somewhere up there instead of way back here.
Q: Now, you said that you think Mr. Al Saizan who went up there with you, how did you get up to Nashville Avenue Wharf?
A: I think we drove over as far as we could.
Q: In whose car?
A: I am not sure. I think it was mine.
Q: Was anyone else with you besides Al Saizan?
A: Well, I am not sure it was Al Saizan, but there was only two of us, just a friend of mine and myself.
Q: Now, getting to the account which you have given of the talk that you heard on Louisiana Avenue Parkway, where had you been earlier on that evening?
A: Well, probably up at Tulane or Loyola, I am inclined to believe it was Tulane, we used to go up there and play basketball there, Rosenwald's, sometimes Loyola if we could get in, and it was probably either Tulane or Loyola.
Q: Now, are you able to tell me who was with you that night, who was playing basketball with you?
A: Well, I did the same thing, you know, every week, I did about the same thing, placed basketball a lot, most of the people came to my house, sometimes we had small parties there, I went to political meetings, this Charlton Lyons thing was during '63, and I cannot be sure who was there with me although probably playing basketball, I would think Kenny Carl was playing basketball.
Q: Let me ask you this: Are you conjecturing that you must have been playing basketball that night or do you have specific recollection that you had been up there playing basketball?
A: No, I don't have specific recollection of it, but I was up in that neighborhood up at the University for some reason or another, and the only reason I went up there was for studies, class, education side and also the athletics side.
Q: You were attending the University at that time?
A: In '62 I was attending Loyola.
Q: Now, how about '63?
A: In '63 I was attending Loyola.
Q: All right. So you would have had occasion to be up in that neighborhood for things other than playing basketball?
A: Well, classes, yes, that would be other things.
Q: Is there any particular reason that you say that you were probably playing basketball on this particular occasion?
A: Well, because I just remember having tennis shoes on or being dirty or sweaty or something to that effect, you know, that I was not clean, probably played basketball.
Q: Did you attend many football games here in New Orleans or not?
A: I used to follow Tulane regularly, but after a while I stopped.
Q: Did you used to get dressed up to go to football games or did you just wear casual attire?
A: Casual attire.
Q: Would you sometimes wear tennis shoes to these games?
A: No, not very likely.
Q: You would not say definitely no, though, is that right?
A: I would not say definitely not.
Q: Do you remember having attended the Tulane-Miami football game in 1963 when George Myra was the quarterback for Miami?
A: I am sure I attended it.
Q: Do you remember having seen George Myra play here?
Q: You say you are sure you attended that one, could you tell us with whom you attended?
A: Well, again, you know, I am not sure of who I was with, I was more a baseball enthusiast and basketball enthusiast more than football, although during that period of a year with football, I would go to the games, I was an avid Tulane follower.
Q: You went to just about all of the local Tulane games, would you not?
Q: And you had no specific recollection --
A: I am sure I went with Peterson, I probably went with Moffett, probably -- some of the friends of mine from Loyola.
Q: By Moffett, do you mean Sandra Moffett?
Q: Niles Peterson?
Q: He is also known as "Lefty"?
A: Lefty, right. I am sure that perhaps Kenny Carter came to a couple of games, Kenny Wink went to games.
Q: Now, Mr. Russo, you have told us about going to this party. Can't you remember where you left from to go to that party?
A: Well, no, not really. I am just inclined to say I was out playing basketball that night but I am not real sure of that. I did essentially about the same thing every week, you know, and which night it was for what, I am not sure.
Q: Do you recall what night of the week this was?
Q: Can you give us a specific date?
Q: Do you know whether it was a weekend night or a night during the week?
A: No, I know school had not started.
Q: School had not started?
A: No, it would not have made much difference as to the weekends versus the week on account of that.
Q: Now, you testified that some people other than yourself actually went into David Ferrie's apartment that night. Is that correct, with you?
A: Well, on the preliminary examinations back in March, at that time I stated I was not exactly sure who I went with, I was sure I was with people. Of course you did ask me to become a little clearer and you were asking me to state the names, but essentially I am not sure who I was with, I am almost sure I was with people.
Q: You can't say who you were with?
A: No, I had the same associates every night, I can remember more of what I did or what instances, for example, on basketball games, if there was a fight or someone scored 35 points in a game, I remember that more than I remember who was with me.
Q: Would you have had a girl with you if you were going up to play basketball?
Q: You would?
Q: Would you say you do not remember who actually went into David Ferrie's house with you. Is that right?
A: No, I would not be willing to state exactly who went.
Q: I am reading to you from your testimony during the preliminary hearing commencing at the top of page 152 of the transcript, "You cannot name one of them, can you," and the answer is "There were friends there, I could tell you who I associated with at the time, I am sure it was one of them. Question, Can you name one of the three or four people who went with you to the Oswald apartment, the party which you testified to, I meant Ferrie's apartment in mid-September of 1963, Answer, Peterson was with me that night, I am sure he came inside, I will not testify for him, but I am sure he came inside. Question, Did he go to the house with you in the same vehicle? Answer, Well, we had two or three cars, we were up playing basketball at that school, there was just a bunch of people, a bunch of guys and girls, we had either finished studying or what, I don't know, what particular reason we were up there at school, I was always up there late at night, every night, and so I just drove back, and I don't think I was in my own car because I don't think I had a car at the time, who stepped in with me I am sure Lefty did."
Could you tell me why at this time you cannot say who went inside the party with you?
A: Well --
Q: Just one moment, please. Whereas at the time of the preliminary hearing you stated that you were sure that Lefty Peterson had gone in with you?
A: Well, if you will check back, you will check back a couple of pages on a couple of pages before that, I am going to paraphrase you here, I am not sure what your question was, after some questions concerning who was there and who was not, I said I would not be willing to say, you say how in the world can you remember how a person was dressed and you can't remem- ber who you were with, and I said well -- and then you kept pushing, now, I had given you those after you pushed, and I am willing to state possibly those people were there, but I am not going to swear to them being there.
Q: But you did say that at the time of the preliminary hearing that you were sure Lefty Peterson was there, you don't quarrel with that?
A: That is an abridgement of my first position there, and I maintain the first position now.
Q: I'm referring now to the second to last question on the bottom of page 152, "Question, You are sure Lefty was in the car with you," and the answer is "I am sure he stepped up with me, I don't know if he was in another car or not." "Question, Well, give us the names of all of the other people who went there in all of the cars that went with you." "Answer, I don't remember all of the cars that went with me, inside I would say Lefty Peterson was there and Sandra Moffett, and that is all I can say, say definitely, would be willing definitely to say was there."
Now, will you tell us why back at the time of the preliminary hearing you were willing to say definitely that Sandra Moffett went into the party with you and you testify now that you do not know who went in?
A: On Direct, the preliminary hearing as well as Cross on the preliminary hearing you asked me several times who was there and I kept giving you the same answer that I said, I associated with the same people, and probably it could have been either those two or several others that I associated with at that time, but as far as me remembering who was there, I more remember the people that I saw then the people that I was with because I associated with the same people every day.
Q: So you would not be willing to definitely say now that Sandra Moffett and Niles Peterson went into the party with you?
A: I said that only after you had forced me into that position, I said it.
Q: I forced you to say these two people were definitely with you?
A: If you will let me have that for one minute, I will show you the question I was talking about, it is in there somewhere, right here, sir, I could not find it exactly, from about right here, sir.
Q: Did you find the part that you have reference to?
A: Page 150, after the 15th, you say, is the question, and the answer is yes, and then would you call the 20th the latter part of the month, answer it would probably be the middle also, you have testified as to having attended this party at Ferrie's apartment in mid-September of 1963, how did you get up there to the apartment, and the answer, I was -- that I was brought up, by home, one or the other of my friends, one of the other of your friends is the question, and the answer is yes, and you don't remember what friend brought you up there, and the answer -- at that period of time, many people were with me at that time, the question is Russo, you don't -- you did not have very much trouble testifying -- and it goes on, by Mr. Ward, I would like to make an objection, he is assuming a fact, and it is argumentative, and Judge Bagert sustained it, and it goes on can you explain why your memory -- and Mr. Ward says I object, Judge Bagert sustains it, improper question, you are testifying that you don't know who took you there, and the answer is I am testifying I was with a bunch of people, how many people, maybe three others besides myself, and you can't name one of them, can you, and Mr. Ward says I object, he never asked that question before, and Judge Baggart says objection overruled, you cannot name one of them, can you, there were friends there, I can tell you who I associated with at the time, I am sure it was one of them, and that is the position that I took at the preliminary hearing.
Q: And it was because of that line of questioning that you stated that you could definitely say that Sandra Moffett and Lefty Peterson went inside, is that right?
A: Because of that line of questioning that I could definitely say what?
Q: That Sandra Moffett and Niles "Lefty" Peterson went into the party with you.
A: At that time it would be a probable guess that one of those two or both of these two would have been with me, I associated with them as well as quite a few other people.
Q: You don't state a probable guess as a definite fact when you are testifying, do you, sir?
A: You asked me over and over and I gave you an answer over and over and you still want the same question answered, and I am trying.
MR. DYMOND: Do you want me to go on to something else?
THE COURT: It is 5:31. I think this is a good time to stop.
Let everybody have a seat.
Do not discuss your testimony with any other persons, but of course that does not prevent the District Attorney from speaking to you, you are a State witness, but no one else should call you up and ask you about your testimony.
Gentlemen, we are going to adjourn for the evening. I will ask the Sheriffs to step in who are in charge.
Do not discuss the case amongst yourselves or with anyone else until it is finally given to you for your verdict.
Let everybody have a seat.
Take charge of the Jury, Sheriff, and have them here tomorrow morning for 9:00 o'clock.
C E R T I F I C A T E
I, the undersigned, Helen R. Dietrich do hereby certify:
That the above and foregoing (247 pages 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 Charles A Neyrey. Paul W. Williams, and the undersigned, and transcribed under our supervision, on the day and date hereinbefore noted, before the Criminal District Court. 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 10th day of February, 1969, before the Honorable Edward A. Haggerty, Jr., Judge, Section "C". New Orleans, Louisiana, this 10th day of February, 1969.
/S/ Helen R. Dietrich
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