The Clay Shaw trial testimony of Rowland Charles Rolland





1426 (30)

Afternoon, February 12, 1969


FEBRUARY 12, 1969

ROWLAND CHARLES ROLLAND, a witness for the State, after first being duly sworn by the Minute Clerk, was examined and testified on his oath as follows:

Q: For the record, would you state your full name, please?

A: Rowland Charles Rolland.

Q: Mr. Rolland, where do you reside?

A: Houston, Texas.

Q: In the month of November 1963 where did you reside?

A: In Houston, Texas.

Q: And in that month what was your occupation or business?

A: I was President of Winterland Ice Skating Rink, Incorporated and also General Manager.

Q: Was that business establishment also located in Houston, Texas?

A: Yes.

Q: Mr. Rolland, do you recall being at that location, that is your place of business, on the day of November 23, 1963?

A: I do.

Q: Do you recall approximately what time of day or night you arrived at that location?

A: Yes, I was there that morning. That afternoon we had from 1:00 to 3:00 -- we give lessons to Girl Scots, which I handled this procedure. I left at approximately 3:25 to 3:30, somewhere in that neighborhood, to go for lunch. Our doors opened and we started selling tickets at 3:00 o'clock in the afternoon for public skating. Skating started at 3:30. I left after seeing that the ice had been resurfaced for this session and went out to eat and was gone approximately 45 minutes I would say.

Q: Would you approximate the time you returned?

A: Somewhere between 4:00 and 4:15.

Q: How long had you been in that business at that time?

A: I have been connected with ice rinks and the ice business since 1946.

Q: Are you a professional skater?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: Now, Mr. Rolland, calling your attention to the time you returned to the ice rink, did you have occasion to meet someone?

A: Yes.

Q: Who was that?

A: A very unusual thing, Mr. Dave Ferrie. The reason this is such a memory to me was because of the way he approached me. He had called the week before or several days before asking about our services. We get many calls from people coming from out of town because ice skating is an unusual thing to many people and they like to try the sport.

Mr. Ferrie made quite a point, actually he made a little bit of a pest of himself at the time.

Q: Mr. Rolland, I am going to show you an exhibit marked for purposes of identification S-10 and ask you if you recognize the person depicted.

A: Yes.

Q: Who is that person?

A: Mr. Dave Ferrie.

Q: Is that the man you are now talking about?

A: Yes, would you like a description of him?

Q: Yes, go ahead.

A: He had red hair, wore a toupee, sort of ruddy complexion.

Q: When was, approximately how long after you returned to the ice rink did you first meet Dave Ferrie?

A: Practically upon walking in I was told several people -- that --

MR. DYMOND: I object to what was told to him.

THE COURT: I sustain the objection.

Q: Did you have a conversation with Ferrie at that time?

A: Yes, I did.

Q: What was that?

A: He came in and made known he was there, his party, himself and two others.

Q: Was he with anyone at the time?

A: He was by himself when he came up but later he brought two others over and introduced them to me but I do not recall their names and frankly he came back and talked to me. I was waiting on people and he made quite a point of the fact he was there --

MR. DYMOND: I object to his conclusion.

THE COURT: You can testify as to how many times he met with you or spoke with you, but you are drawing a conclusion.

Q: Mr. Rolland, after this first encounter or introduction by Ferrie, did you have occasion to talk to him again that same afternoon?

A: Yes.

Q: How many times?

A: Approximately five.

Q: And what was said on these occasions by Ferrie?

A: Unh, nothing except to let me know he was there.

MR. DYMOND: I object to that Your Honor, as the witness is interpreting what [sic] said. If he knows [text missing] him say it but no [text missing].

THE COURT: I sustain the objection.

Q: Mr. Rolland, is there a public telephone in Winterland Ice Rink?

A: Yes, there is.

Q: And approximately where is that located in the ice rink?

A: Near the entrance.

Q: And principally where were you during the time that Dave Ferrie and his companions were in the ice rink?

A: The area in which I worked and handled was around the entrance because that is where the Pro Shop, a Skate Counter, Ticket Window and office and telephone is centrally located in that area, and if you need a diagram of this I will be happy to give it to you.

THE COURT: Are you going to have the gentlemen sketch a diagram?

MR. DYMOND: No objection.

THE COURT: Beg pardon?

MR. DYMOND: No objection.

THE COURT: How would it be convenient, do you wish to leave the witness stand or can you do it there?

THE WITNESS: I can do it anywhere.

THE COURT: Mr. Dymond, you want to step up here?

THE WITNESS: (Complying with request by drawing an illustration.)

Q: Mr. Rolland, would you just explain the diagram to the Court?

A: Yes, this is the entrance to the ice rink, double doors. This is glass. This is the ticket window area with our offices, the Skate Shop, the skating area itself, the Pro Shop with the window in here. This is all open in this area.

Q: Go ahead.

A: Mr. Ferrie, this over here being public telephone, Mr. Ferrie spent the majority of his time in and around this area over here.

Q: Where did you or would you have spent the majority of your time?

A: I was either at this window in the Pro Shop or in the work shop and at one time Mr. Ferrie did ask for me, and I was back sharpening a pair of skates and had to come back to the window.

Q: Where did the two gentlemen or persons that accompanied him to the ice rink spend their time?

A: They spent most of their time skating. They did skate.

Q: To your knowledge did David Ferrie even rent any skates on that occasion?

A: No, he did not buy a ticket of admission for skating purposes.

Q: Did you ever see Dave Ferrie use the public telephone?

A: Yes, I did, a number of times.

Q: Did Dave Ferrie, to your knowledge, ever receive a telephone call at the skating rink?

A: Yes, he did.

Q: Were you in a position to hear any conversation which he might have had?

A: No, I did not.

Q: Can you approximate how many times Ferrie used the public telephone?

A: Approximately three.

Q: Now approximately how long was David Ferrie at the ice rink while you were present?

A: He left at approximately 5:45.

Q: Did you actually see him leave?

A: Yes. Excuse me. He made a point outside once again to --

MR. DYMOND: Object. Just a moment --

A: (Continued) I wouldn't say made a point but he spoke to me outside saying they were leaving and they would be back that evening, he and his two companions.

Q: Did you see him later on that evening?

A: No, he never returned.

Q: Mr. Rolland, did you report these activities of Ferrie to the Federal Bureau of Investigation?

A: Yes, I did. Oh, I guess the men from the FBI spent about one hour and a half with me.

Q: Approximately when was that?

A: It was on a Sunday morning, the following week.

Q: Mr. Rolland, did you have occasion at that time to have a conversation at all with the two persons who accompanied Ferrie to the rink?

A: No, I was introduced to them and that was all. No conversation.

Q: And I think you said Ferrie did not rent any skates?

A: That is correct, he did not skate. He spent most of his time walking around in the lobby, looking in the Pro Shop and watching the skaters. He made a number of trips to the telephone booth and then to his two companions and he was talking to his companions and talking to me on a number of occasions.

MR. ALCOCK: You know my next number?

THE CLERK: Twenty-six.

MR. ALCOCK: No, I didn't introduce twenty-five.

THE CLERK: Twenty-five is going to appear in the transcript.

MR. ALCOCK: It will? Then it will appear as being not filed so now it would be No. 26 then.

Your Honor, in connection with the testimony of this witness the State offers, introduces, and files in evidence, having marked same for purposes of identification as "State-26," a diagram, a sketch of this witness of the ice rink.

MR. DYMOND: No objection.

THE COURT: Let it be received.



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