The Clay Shaw preliminary hearing testimony of Vernon Bundy, Jr.





Q. Now, Bundy, you say this happened about 9:00 or 9:30 in the morning. Is that right?

A. Yeah, I can't be too sure. I said around that time. I can't be too sure of the time. It was around that time, though.

Q. I see. Now, you say you can't be too sure of that. Would you say it was between 8:00 and 11:00, or what?

A. No, it wasn't as late as 11:00. And I know it was -- maybe 10:00 o'clock [sic], maybe. But I'm not sure. But I know it wasn't as late as after 10:00.

Q. Could it have been as early as 8:00?

A. No.

Q. Now, you say you had two capsules of heroin with you at that time?

A. That's right.

Q. You shot both of them?

A. Right.

Q. How bad of a habit did you have at that time?

A. About three or four caps a day.

Q. Three or four caps a day?

A. That's right.

Q. Was that every day?

A. Most every day.

Q. How much were those caps costing you?

A. $5.00 apiece.

Q. In other words, you were spending between $15.00 and $20.00 a day on heroin, is that right?

A. That's right.

Q. Where were you getting the money to support that kind of habit?

A. Well, I was working, and then I'd make other kind [sic] of little hustles here and there.

Q. I didn't understand that.

A. I said I was working, for the first thing, and after I got off, if I could make a hustle or make something or reach something, if I could steal something, I did that, and also bought heroin with it.

Q. Where were you working then?

A. Ernest Cleaners, Desire and Rocheblave.

Q. What kind of a business is that?

A. That's a cleaning business.

Q. How much a month were you making there?

A. My salary was about $65.00, little more or a little less. During the summer months, it slacked off because I was working piecework.

Q. I see. Now, this was during the summer, wasn't it?

A. That's right.

Q. During the summer, about how much a week were you making?

A. I would say about $60.00 a week; about $60.00 or $65.00. It's never at a -- the summer nor the winter -- a presser's salary is never at a steady level, because one time you're overloaded, and then next week it slacks up almost completely to nothing. You might work, say, three hours a day one week, and the next week you might work eight or nine hours.

Q. Would it be fair for me to suggest that you were making an average of about $300.00 a month?

A. Yeah, a little more or a little less, like I say.

Q. A little more or a little less, but that would be a pretty good idea, would you say?

A. Yeah.

Q. Now, how long have you had this narcotic habit?

A. I started shooting drugs when I was thirteen years old.

Q. When you were thirteen years old?

A. That's right.

Q. And you had been shooting drugs between the time that you were thirteen years old and the summer of 1963, is that right?

A. Yeah, well, that's when I took my first shot, when I was thirteen years old. But sometimes I was what we call chipping. I would use now and then and maybe on weekends, after a while I went every day. It built into a habit.

Q. Now, how old were you in the summer of '63?

A. I believe twenty-five.

Q. Twenty-five?

A. Yeah.

Q. So then you had used narcotics for about twelve years at that time, is that correct?

A. That's right.

Q. Now, when did you become a real confirmed addict, as you say that you were in the summer of 1963?

A. When did I become a real addict, an every day addict?

Q. That's right.

A. Well, it was after I had finished high school and I got a job, that's when I became a real addict. I went through a couple of changes, as any normal person would, had misunderstandings with young ladies and things, and blow up [sic] and things, and I figured that was the easiest way out, and I would go to the drugs.

Q. About how old were you when you became a real addict, would you say?

A. Well, I finished high school when I was twenty-two. So, I was about twenty-three or going on twenty-four when I really became a real addict.

Q. You were a confirmed addict for almost two years before the summer of 1963, is that right?

A. That's right.

Q. Were you married at that time or not?

A. I'm not married.

Q. Did you have anybody to support besides yourself at that time?

A. No, no one.

Q. And you were earning about $300.00 a month, is that right?

A. Yes.

Q. And spending between $15.00 and $20.00 a day on heroin, is that right?

A. That's right.

Q. Now, you have said that you hustled, as you put it, or stole to get the additional money. Could you tell us about how much a day you had to steal to keep up with your habit?

A. Well, every day I didn't have to steal. On occasion, like that was the time they caught me at the cigarette machine [sic] was my first conviction. I didn't steal every day. I stole, like I said, once in a while or when I saw I could make a hustle, and then there was [sic] times when guys would come around and they didn't know where to score from, where to get heroin from, and they would come and ask you, say, "If you cop for me, I'll take you with me."

Q. Now, would you translate that for me, please? You have used language there that I don't quite understand.

A. What I mean by this, if a guy walks up to you and tells you, "You know somebody that's selling heroin." And the guy walks up to you and he tells you, "Do you know where I can --" I don't want o use score because you don't know what I mean again. "Do you know where I can --" I'm going to use it in your words, "where I can purchase two or three caps." A junkie would never say that, though -- "where I could purchase three or four caps of heroin." And I would tell him, "Yeah, so and so has some. You want me to get you some?" So, he would say, he would tell me, "Yeah, if you do that for me, I'll take you with me," or something, and maybe he's out of his neighborhood or something, and he's not able, he's not familiar with these guys in the neighborhood, and what he will do, he might go by your house, and you would have what we call the fit, the works you use narcotics with. And he'll come by your house, and both of you, you'll take off. What I mean by taking off, both of you would shoot together.

Q. Now, who would you get narcotics from as a result of that transaction? The peddler or the other addict?

A. The peddler. Sometimes the peddler, he's an addict, too.

Q. In other words, then, the peddlers were paying you for bringing customers to them, is that correct?

A. No. The peddlers wasn't [sic] paying me for bringing customers to them.

Q. Were the peddlers giving you narcotics for bringing customers to them?

A. No.

Q. Didn't you just tell us that you would get the narcotics from the peddler?

A. If I had the guy's money; he wouldn't give it to me without the money.

Q. Did you mean to indicate that you were getting free narcotics at times?

A. Yeah, like the guy would come up and ask me if I could purchase two or three capsules of heroin for him, that he would take me along with him, and both of us would go shoot them together.

Q. So he would share it with you, because of you taking him to a peddler, is that right?

A. Yeah, not knowing out of different sections of town. That's the way it is. If they figure you're an agent or something, they won't sell it to you, and certain guys have names on them out there, they're not able to cop. What I mean by cop, they're not able to purchase heroin from someone, you know, in a different neighborhood or in a different section of town.

Q. Well, when you had this four capsules a day habit, did you try to space these four capsules so that they would last you over the whole day?

A. Yes, I did.

Q. Did you ordinarily take them two at a time or one at a time?

A. For the morning I would always take two to start off with. And after, say, about the middle of the day, it kind of lightens up, you feel yourself wearing off or something. Well, the majority of the time I was at work, and that steam, it blows it out of you pretty quick, and there's the bathroom right there, and you go in and use again. And after knocking off before going home, you would shoot again. That would hold you until the next day. Then by being a presser, what I liked about it, I was able to borrow every day.

Q. You were able to do what?

A. To borrow, to borrow my pay every day.

Q. Oh, I see. Now, actually, when you have had a severe narcotic habit, is it not a fact that the addict tries to keep the effects of the narcotic from wearing off by taking additional narcotics before the effects of the previous one have worn off?

A. Yes.

Q. As a matter of fact, you're extremely uncomfortable if you permit it to wear all the way off, aren't you?

A. If you're strung out enough, if you have that big of a habit.

Q. You had a pretty big habit, didn't you?

A. Four caps?

Q. Yeah.

A. No, I know some with twenty or thirty caps a day. That's not very big.

Q. You wouldn't consider this habit you had very big?

A. Not mine, no, mine was what you might call a yearn or something. In two or three days I could blow it, kick it, in other words. But, say, thirty caps a day, a $150.00 habit a day, I wouldn't be able to kick that in no two or three days. I'm telling you that, and I ain't telling a lie.

Q. So the habit that you had, you could just blow it any time that you wanted to without being uncomfortable. Is that what you're saying?

A. No, I just couldn't blow it like that. I mean, it would take two or three days for the effects of it to get out of my system. I would feel, you know, pretty bad, pretty uneasy, but eventually, say, after the third day, I would start feeling, not normal, listen what I'm saying; I wouldn't feel normal after the third day, but I would sort of catch a hold of myself, my balances would be coming back, I would stop with a yawn -- a yawn is where you gap -- and I would stop -- my eyes would stop running water. My nose would stop running and my head would stop hurting. The joints in my body, the aches in my body, they would lighten up. It wouldn't be as hard as it was. The second day is about your worst day.

Q. I see. Now, that's the type of habit that you had that you are describing, is that right.

A. Sir?

Q. Those symptoms that you are describing relate to the type of habit that you had, is that right?

A. Yeah.

Q. I see. Now, when 00 please understand me, this line of questioning is talking about the type of habit that you had using, say, four capsules a day. What were the symptoms that you suffered at that time if you were not under the influence of narcotics, if you didn't have any?

A. If I didn't have any narcotics at the time? What you mean? When I got sick or something?

Q. Yes. Tell us what happened to you if you didn't have any?

A. Well, if I didn't have it, I would start sneezing, like I said; my nose would be running, and you would have, for one thing, for another thing, you would have, you would have sort of a loose bowels like [sic]. And your head would hurt. Like I said, you would get pains in the joints of your body, your legs up in here, in the arms, shoulders, the neck; it's just -- it hits different people in different places.

Q. I see. As a matter of fact, you would be pretty miserable, wouldn't you?

A. Yeah, you'd be pretty miserable.

Q. Would it make your eyes water?

A. Yeah, your eyes would run water.

Q. Now, these symptoms that you are describing to me are symptoms which you would have suffered if you had not been under the influence of narcotics, that is, if you hadn't had anything. Is that right?

A. That's right.

Q. Now, prior to your going out to the lakefront to shoot these two caps of heroin, when was the last time that you had taken any heroin?

A. Before shooting these two caps?

Q. That's right.

A. The night before.

Q. The night before?

A. Yeah.

Q. Had it worn off yet?

A. It had worn off, but I hadn't gone into, like you say, the symptoms, in other words, what we calls [sic] getting sick. I hadn't got sick yet. I didn't have what I would call the yawn.

Q. And if you hadn't gotten sick yet, that would indicate that you still had narcotics in your body, I mean, you weren't suffering from lack of narcotics, were you?

A. Wasn't suffering? No, but I wasn't what you would -- what I would call in a duck, in a daze, like. My sense of thinking would be off, sort of, and I may have described something that I had not seen. No. I was very aware of what I was doing.

Q. But the narcotics at the time that you were on the lakefront before you shot the two capsules were still affecting you to the point that you were not uncomfortable, is that right?

A. No, not uncomfortable, but I had also been to bed and had, you know, eight or maybe better hours, eight or nine hours, I don't know just how much hours [sic], of sleep.

Q. Now, the day before this morning that you went out to the lakefront, how many capsules of heroin had you shot?

A. That day? I shot two that morning and one -- that was a Sunday morning -- one about, oh, 12:00 or 1:00 o'clock [sic], I'm not too sure of the time. I just can't be too sure when it's so far back. And before, well, not just before going to bed, because an older addict, after he shoots a couple of caps of heroin, he wants to stay up and enjoy it a while. So, I would say about 6:00 o'clock [sic] or 7:00 o'clock [sic] that night, I also shot two more caps.

Q. Didn't shoot any before you left home?

A. No, not before I left home.

Q. You were supporting yourself at that time, weren't you?

A. Yes. I also, may I state, I also has [sic] a great aunt, you know, that helps me out with my habit, too. She -- well, I'm her idol, by being the first child. She just about gives me anything that I want. So, that also helped, you know, to build my habit.

Q. I see. But aside from your earnings, aside from what you[r] aunt gave you, and aside from what you were able to hustle, you at that time were stealing to support your habit, is that right?

A. Well, like I say, I would steal once in a while, yes. Whenever, like I said, I could make a hustle. Yeah, I did it. But I wouldn't go out looking to steal, because if a junkie, if he's loaded or anything, he don't want to steal. He don't [sic] want to do nothing but sit down and relax.

Q. That's when you have narcotics in you, is that right?

A. That's right. A junkie is only dangerous when he's sick. When he's full of narcotics, you can get him to do anything for you, or go anywhere, or do anything at all.

Q. You're kind of in a dream world, aren't you?

A. Well, you could call it that. But your sense of thinking, he's much more aware of himself. He's much more alert. He's more intelligent. If he has been, like I said earlier, if he has not had a bath for a while, after shooting narcotics, he comes to himself and he thinks, "What am I doing? I'm letting myself go to pieces," you know, and he wants to pick up on himself. He wants to take a bath. He wants to shave. He wants to look fresh. This is after he has taken off.

Q. How were you dressed that morning?

A. Dressed that morning? Oh, pretty nice, I guess.

Q. Were you real neat and shaven and clean?

A. I don't know; I can't recall if I was very neat and clean and shaved early that morning.

Q. Now, you had been staying pretty well hopped up regularly up until that time, hadn't you?

A. Yeah.

Q. In accordance with what you have just told me, when a narcotic addict is hopped up, he is very aware of himself, aware of his appearances and so forth.

A. Yeah.

Q. Wouldn't you say, then, that you must have been neat and clean that morning?

A. Well, this is about the badest [sic] shape that I've ever been in. My appearances, whether I'm sick or not, junkies can tell you out on the street, I tries to keep my appearance up as much as possible, whether I'm sick or well.

Q. Now, Bundy, you have said that this took place in the summer of 1963. Can you tell us with any more accuracy than that when this happened?

A. In between June and July.

Q. Now, what do you relate it to that makes you say in between June and July?

A. Well, because it looks like those are my two badest [sic] months. It looks like something always happens to me during that time. I backed up on one of the hotheads. What I mean by one of the hotheads, one of the pressing machines. And I burn [sic] my arm or something, and I gets [sic] a scar or something. I'll turn -- we makes [sic] stretch for khakis and things -- and I might turn the steam on and the bucket is too high and the hot starch will bust upon me or something. But it looked like in between those two months something always happens to be [sic] in either June or July.

Q. And that's the reason that you say this was between June and July?

A. That's right.

Q. That something always happens to you between June and July?

A. Yeah.

Q. Do you recall what day of the week this was?

A. Monday morning.

Q. Monday morning?

A. That's right.

Q. You are positive about that?

A. Right. The first day of the week I had planned not to go to work.

Q. Now, would you be able to tell the Court whether this was possibly in the first week of June 1963, or would it have been later than that?

A. I couldn't pinpoint it that close. I know it was in between June and July. Why I do know because one reason [sic] there was a young lady at the time that I was supposed to marry in the same year. And she came down from Los Angeles, California. And we were together. We had been going together since high school. And she went away. She graduated. I graduated down here. And she came back for us to get married, and she found out that I was on drugs, and she didn't want to have anything to do with it. She told me if I ever decided to let the narcotics alone that she would always be there waiting. Eventually she did get married.

Q. What is this young lady's name?

A. Sandra Neal.

Q. Sandra Neal?

A. Neal.

Q. How do you spell that last name?

A. N-E-A-L.

Q. Sandra Neal. Is she a New Orleans girl or not?

A. She was born here in New Orleans. Her family has made -- through the years -- her family has made quite a few trips back and forth from California. They lived there a while, back here a while, back there.

Q. Where is she living now?

A. She's in Los Angeles, California.

Q. Is she still under the name, Sandra Neal?

A. No, she's married. In the colored newspaper, her picture was in the Louisiana Weekly, of her and her bridegroom, in the Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

Q. How long ago was that?

A. That was in '64, she got married.

Q. Now, do you know who she married or not?

A. No, I don't know who she married.

Q. Now, you say that you are able to more or less spot this date by the fact that this young lady, Sandra Neal, graduated from high school and came back here in . . .

A. She graduated up at California.

Q. She graduated in California?

A. Yeah. And then I graduated in '59.


These stenographers are tired, but before we take a recess, I want to ask him a few questions.

Q. Bundy, you know me, don't you?

A. That's right, Judge.

Q. Have you ever seen me before?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Professionally, I mean. Were you ever in my chambers?

A. Right.

Q. About how long ago was that?

A. In May of 1966.

Q. You were charged in my court with some offense, is that right?

A. That's right.

Q. What were you charged with?

A. With breaking into a cigarette machine in the auditorium.

Q. I don't remember if it was theft or if it was burglary of the vending machine.

A. Yeah.

Q. Actually, it was theft from a vending machine, is that right?

A. That's right.


Your Honor, if I may interject myself here, it was for attempted theft back in 1966. It was in chambers, and you and I were present at the time.


Q. All right. When you were charged with offense, didn't you and your attorney go discuss your case with the commander of the narcotic division of the New Orleans Police Department?

A. Yeah.

Q. And prior to that you had no narcotic arrests or convictions, I don't believe, is that right?

A. No, I didn't.

Q. While you were charged with theft, you and your attorney and Mr. Clarence Giarrusso, the commander of the narcotic squad, came to see me, is that right?

A. That's right.

Q. And what did we discuss?

A. Well, for the first thing, we discussed my case, and, like I said, before, you gave me the five years probation. If I violated it, I would do a year in the Parish.

Q. Now, you pled guilty to an offense?

A. That's right.

Q. But the offense was not a narcotic offense, is that right?

A. No, it was not a narcotic offense.

Q. But you told your attorney you were addicted, you would like to take the cure?

A. Take the cure.

Q. And I sentence you to one year in the Parish Prison and put you on a five year probation. Conditioned on what?

A. If I violated my . . .

Q. No, I gave you the suspended sentence, conditioned on you going where?

A. Going to the hospital.

Q. Did Mr. Giarrusso and I make arrangements for you to go to the hospital?

A. You did.

Q. How many conferences did you and Mr. Giarrusso and I have, with reference to your going to the hospital?

A. About three or four.

Q. And at our insistence, your mother went with you to the United States Public Health Service Hospital at Fort Worth, Texas, is that right?

A. Yeah.

Q. How long did you stay there?

A. I stood there five months and a week.

Q. Then they discharged you?

A. Yeah.

Q. Now, from that time, how many times have you seen me?

A. Once.

Q. And you came to see me in my chambers when I had my courtroom downstairs.

A. Right. Down there.

Q. Is that right?

A. That's right.

Q. You saw me once.

A. Once since I'm back from the hospital.

Q. And you came to report to me that you had returned from the hospital, is that right?

A. Yes.

Q. Now, since then, you have never seen me personally, have you?

A. No, I haven't.

Q. All right. We'll take a short recess.


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