The testimony of Clay Shaw, continued

 

 

BY MR. ALCOCK:
Q: Now, Mr. Shaw, do you recall whether or not you had spoken to Mr. Sullivan before this solicitation for this speaking engagement by Mr. Bermudez?

A: I think not.

Q: Then may I take it that rather than Mr. Sullivan directly soliciting you, Mr. Bermudez on your behalf solicited him for a speaking engagement on November 22, 1963?

A: This is six years ago and it is very difficult to recall exactly how the matter came about. My best recollectio is a telephone call from Mr. Sullivan asking if I would speak there.

Q: Did you know that - sorry, go ahead.

A: That is my recollection.

Q: You have identified the signature on this letter?

A: That is correct, it is Mr. Bermudez' signature. It is unique.

Q: Do you have any question as to the authenticity of the letter?

A: No question at all. He may very well have been working along these lines.

Q: Do you recall speaking to Mr. Bermudez and requesting him to line up a speaking engagement for November 22, 1963?

A: I do not recall any such conversation.

Q: To your knowledge, do you recall discussing this letter with Mr. Sullivan?

A: No, I do not recall discussing it.

Q: Now, you went from New Orleans to Los Angeles? Is that correct?

A: That is correct.

Q: Were you travelling with anyone?

A: No, I was travelling alone.

Q: And who, if anyone, did you see in Los Angeles?

A: Several friends. I stayed at the Biltmore. I saw several friends, personal friends. I also met with a group in Los Angeles who were interested in building a new World Trade Center for Los Angeles, and Mr. Fred Vanderhurst is the name - V-a-n-d-e-r-h-u-r-s-t, I believe. Let me be sure. (Referring to file) V-a-n-d-e-r-h-u-r-s-t. The first name is Fred.

Q: Could you tell us the names of other individuals you met with in Los Angeles?

A: There were several associates of Mr. Vanderhurst. It is six years, I don't recall the names.

Q: You don't recall anyone else you met?

A: Oh, personal friends?

Q: Personal friends.

A: Yes, a Mr. Judson O'Donnell, a Mr. Val Dufour, a cousin of mine Faye Hogan, a Mr. Phil Jones. This is what I recall.

Q: Approximately how long did you remain in Los Angeles?

A: From, I would say, November 18 until the evening of November 20.

Q: Then I take it you went to San Francisco from Los Angeles, is that correct?

A: That is correct, I took the overnight train, the Lark, on the evening of the 20th, arriving in San Francisco --

Q: Did any of these people accompany you to San Francisco?

A: They did not, I went alone.

Q: And where did you stay in San Francisco?

A: At the St. Francis Hotel.

Q: And did you contact any personal friends while you were in San Francisco?

A: Yes, I did.

Q: And what were their names?

A: A Mr. Dondson, D-o-n-d-s-o-n, a Mr. Jim Dondson, and a Mr. - these people live or this person lived - a Mr. Charles Walton, who lived in Mill Valley, which is a suburb of San Francisco; a Mr. John Iacometti, I-a-c-o-m-e-t-t-i.

Q: Any others?

A: Those are all I recall at the moment.

Q: Did you actually make a speech at all?

A: In San Francisco?

Q: Yes.

A: No.

Q: Do you know whether or not you made any long distance calls back to New Orleans from San Francisco?

A: I may have. The afternoon of the President's assassination I think I called my office.

Q: Did you call anyone else, to your knowledge?

A: No.

Q: You made only one long distance call?

A: To the best of my recollection I called only my office.

Q: And did you remain in San Francisco --

A: I must correct that: Either that day or the next day I believe I telephoned the man in charge of arrangements in Portland, and my recollection is he said, "We don't know, but come on up anyhow."

Q: I see.

A: Aside from that I don't recall making any telephone, long distance telephone calls.

Q: And when did you actually leave San Francisco?

A: To the best of my knowledge I left on the evening of the 24th, arriving - again overnight arriving in Portland on the morning of the 25th.

Q: You gave a speech on the 26th? Is that correct?

A: Yes. I had been scheduled to give a speech on the 26th to a combination meeting of the Rotary Club and the Columbia Valley World Trade Development Council. Since, however, that was cancelled, I gave the speech only to the Rotary Club on Monday.

Q: And after leaving Portland where did you go?

A: I went over by train to Chicago, arriving there on Thanksgiving Day which would be the 28th.

Q: And did anyone accompany you from Portland to Chicago?

A: No, no one. I stayed with friends in Chicago.

Q: What were their names?

A: Mr. and Mrs. Patrick O'Rourke.

Q: And you arrived back in New Orleans on what date?

A: To the best of my recollection, Tuesday, December 2.

Q: To your knowledge, Mr. Shaw, do you know anyone who knew David Ferrie rather well?

A: To my knowledge, no.

Q: Do you know a man by the name of Layton Martens?

A: Yes.

Q: Did you know that he was a roommate of David Ferrie on November 22, 1963?

A: I have been told that, yes.

Q: Do you know a man by the name of Dante Marachini?

A: No, do not.

Q: Do you know a man by the name of James Lewallen?

A: No.

Q: Did you know that he knew David Ferrie quite well?

A: No, I did not.

Q: To your knowledge, have you ever been to the New Orleans Lake Front Airport?

A: Yes, I have been there.

Q: Would you say you went there frequently?

A: Very, very infrequently.

Q: Do you recall having gone out there at all in the year 1963?

A: To the best of my recollection, no.

Q: Do you recall, to the best of your recollection, when you went out there?

A: No, I do not, but I would say over the past ten years maybe on two or three occasions I have been there.

Q: Do you know a man by the name of Kerry Thornton?

A: No, I do not.

Q: Do you know a man by the name of Jack Sawyer?

A: Yes, I know Jack Sawyer.

Q: Where do you know Mr. Sawyer from?

A: He is a friend of mine. He is with a TV station here, the Director.

Q: How long have you known Mr. Sawyer?

A: Five years possibly, maybe six.

Q: Mr. Shaw, do you know anyone that lives in North Carolina?

A: Yes, several people?

Q: Can you give us their names?

A: Yes. Mrs. May Hobson, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Procter (?), Mr. Williams, Norman Devalle (?), Mrs. John Laos (?). I can give you a further list if you want.

Q: In other words, you know additional people from that area?

A: Yes.

Q: You go to North Carolina quite frequently?

A: I have in the past, yes, sir, not recently.

Q: Mr. Shaw, did you ever own the building 906 Esplanade?

A: Yes, I did.

Q: When did you own that building?

A: Again my memory must serve me, but I bought it in 1949 or '50 and owned it for about three years.

Q: Did you ever own 908 Esplanade?

A: Yes, I have.

Q: And when did you own 908 Esplanade?

A: Again I must work from memory. I would say I bought 908 in about 1958 possibly, and sold it in about '62 or '63, but this is to the best of my memory.

Q: Is it possible that you owned that address in the summer of 1963?

A: No, I did not own either of the buildings, I feel reasonably sure, in the summer of '63. Wait just a moment. I may have. No, I did not. I would have to check my real estate records, but I think not.

Q: Do you recall when the Jury and yourself and the witness Mr. Spiesel went down to the French Quarter, whether or not he went to either of these addresses?

A: Yes, sir, Mr. Spiesel went to 906 Esplanade.

Q: Mr. Spiesel went to 906 Esplanade?

A: Yes.

Q: And you had owned that property at one time? Is that correct?

A: That is right, but I sold it 16 years ago.

Q: Now, where is your property in relation to 906 and 908 Esplanade?

A: In relation to 906, my property fronts on Dauphine Street and is adjacent to the rear of 906 Esplanade.

Q: Does your courtyard abut on the 906 property?

A: Yes.

Q: Does it also abut on the 908 property?

A: No, it does not.

Q: Have you ever lived at either 906 or 908 Esplanade?

A: I lived at 906 Esplanade; I have not lived at 908 Esplanade.

Q: And when was that that you lived at 906?

A: Sometime between 1950 and'52, in that area.

Q: In the summer of 1963 did you know any of the tenants either in 908 or 906 Esplanade?

A: 908 of course I knew, I know Mr. and Mrs. Mouton who owned the building, I may have known several of the tenants there. My recollection is that I did not know any tenants in 906.

Q: Having owned both places of property, are they, to your recollection, very similar from the outside?

A: Yes, as a matter of fact. They were built for sisters naturally originally, and they have a certain similarity from the exterior.

Q: Is the interior entranceway to both apartments similar, to the best of your knowledge?

A: Yes, they both have a small vestibule and a large entrance hall, as I recall it.

Q: Do you know whether or not as a matter of fact both apartments inorder to gain entrance require the party to ring the bell and then the one in the apartment to ring a buzzer to open the door?

A: I can't testify to the present condition. When I owned the building this was the case.

Q: (Exhibiting photograph to witness) I am going to show you an exhibit which I have marked for purposes of identification as "State 74," and I ask you if you recognize the scene depicted in this picture?

A: This would appear to be the - as I recall it from my visit with Mr. Spiesel, this is the hallway at 906.

Q: (Exhibiting photograph to witness) I am going to show you an exhibit which I have marked for purposes of identification as "State-75," and I ask you if you recognize the scene depicted in this picture.

A: Yes, this appears to represent the entrance hall at 908 Esplanade.

THE COURT: What is that?

THE WITNESS: 908 Esplanade.

BY MR. ALCOCK:
Q: (Exhibiting photograph to witness) Now I am going to show you an exhibit which I have marked for purposes of identificaton as "S-76," and ask you if you recognize the scene depicted in that picture?

A: I am not sure, because my visit with Mr. Spiesel was the only one I have made to this hallway in a long time, but this is probably another view of the hallway at 906.

(Whereupon, the documents referred to by Counsel were duly marked for identification as "Exhibit State 74, 75," and "Exhibit State 76.")

BY MR. ALCOCK:
Q: Now, can you tell us more specifically, if you can, when you last owned the property at 908 or had any business dealings with the property at 908?

A: I sold it to Mr. and Mrs. Moae, M-o-a-e, in 1963 or '64.

Q: And if your recollection is correct, you owned that property in the summer of 1963?

A: I may well have. I cannot testify to that without looking up the records.

Q: But you can testify with certitude that your property more or less forms the complex with 906 and 908 Esplanade?

A: No, it forms - it is part - well, to be precise, my property was orginally the carriage house for 906, therefore it abuts 906. It does not touch at any point 908.

Q: I see. Do you recall, Mr. Shaw, when Mr. Spiesel on the witness stand was making a drawing of the interior of the apartment where he alleged that the conversation took place?

A: Yes, I recall that.

Q: You recall that. Do you recall whether or not you had occasion to look at that drawing?

A: Yes, I saw it.

Q: Do you recall making any notations on that drawing, or any corrections or deletions to that drawing?

A: I don't recall it.

Q: Do you recall calling Mr. Dymond over to you while he had that drawing, and discussing the drawing with him?

A: I may well have.

Q: What was the purpose of that?

A: I think it was to look at this and see if I recognized this as resembling any apartment that I had known.

Q: Did it?

A: No, it did not.

Q: Who is Eleanor Barras (?)?

A: Eleanor Barras? I have never met Mrs. Barras. I am told that can I say what I have been told?

Q: No, you can't say what you have been told.

A: I don't know Mrs. Barras, no.

Q: Do you know whether or not, of your own knowledge, she lived in either one of these locations?

A: Not of my own knowledge.

Q: Do you of your own knowledge know where Mr. Dymond might have gotten the name Eleanor Barras?

A: Yes, I gave it to him.

Q: You gave it to him?

A: Yes.

Q: You have never met the person?

A: No.

Q: And you gave him the name?

A: That is correct.

Q: That is when Mr. Spiesel was testifying?

A: That is correct.

Q: Is this before or after you looked at the drawing?

A: I don't recall really.

Q: For what reason did you give him the name?

A: I can scarcely answer that without telling you what I have been told about Mrs. Barras.

THE COURT: I think you are dangerously treading on the lawyer-client privilege, what he tells his attorney. There is no objection made by Mr. Dymond.

MR. DYMOND: Your Honor, we have nothing to hide. On that we don't claim any lawyer- client privilege. I wouldn't want him testifying to hearsay though.

MR. ALCOCK: I think that is what he was referring to, the possibility of hearsay.

THE WITNESS: That is correct.

BY MR. ALCOCK:
Q: Did you recognize, Mr. Shaw, whether or not there had been any structural changes to 906 when you were in there with Mr. Spiesel and the Jury?

A: I really was not in a position to observe that carefully. It was crowded. My own memories of the building go back to 1952, 16 years. I know I sold it. I couldn't really testify with any accuracy as to whether the new owner had made any structural changes.

Q: Do you know whether or not there had been any structural changes made in 908?

A: To the best of my knowledge, not. I know the people who own it and they have never really mentioned to me doing any major structural changes, but I cannot with certainty testify to my own knowledge that there have not been.

Q: How far is Kentwood from Clinton, Louisiana?

A: I do not really know, I would have to guess. I never made the trip, I have only seen it on the maps. I would guess 60 to 100 miles.

Q: Do you know of your own knowledge whether or not Mr. Cobb, Mr. Lloyd Cobb, owns any property in the Clinton area?

A: I know that Mr. Cobb owns a very large farm in St. Francisville, which I believe is quite near Clinton.

Q: Quite what?

A: Quite near Clinton, I believe.

Q: Have you ever been to that farm?

A: Yes, I have.

Q: When did you go to the farm?

A: Oh, during the past ten years I may have been there three times. I might explain that a little further, that Mr. Cobb is a breeder of Black Angus cattle, and once a year he had rather a big party to celebrate a stock sale, and I was generally invited to this part and sometimes went and sometimes did not. I would say maybe three times.

Q: Do you recall whether or not it was necessary for you to go through the Town of Clinton to get to the Cobb's home?

A: My recollection is not, one goes to Baton Rouge, directlup to St. Francisville and turn right, and Mr. Cobb's farm lies just - east I suppose of St. Francisville.

Q: When is the last time that you were at this location?

A: Let's see. It was the year that Mr. Kennedy ran for the Presidency do you remember that? 1960 I believe it was, 1960.

Q: That would have been the last time that you were there?

A: That would be, that would be, to the best of my recollection.

Q: On the occasions that you were at Mr. Cobb's farm, did you see your cousin Yarborough?

A: No, I did not.

Q: To your knowledge, do you know whether your cousin knows Mr. Cobb or not?

A: To my certain knowledge I do not know, but I would certainly presume since neither ever mentioned to me knowing the other, they do not.

Q: Do you recall giving a press conference on March 2, 1967, which would have been the day after your arrest, wherein you referred to Lee Harvey Oswald as "Harvey Lee Oswald?"

A: I recall the press conference, yes.

Q: Do you recall having called Lee Harvey Oswald "Harvey Lee Oswald?"

A: Yes, I think I did make that mistake.

Q: Was there any particular reason why you put the name Harvey first?

A: No, purely a mistake.

Q: Mr. Shaw, do you know any of the persons who testified from Clinton, Louisiana?

A: No, I have never met any of them.

Q: I take it then you don't know of any bitterness between yourself and them?

A: No, I do not.

Q: Now, when you went to Europe in 1966, I believe the summer of 1966, is it your testimony that you did not execute a change of address?

A: To the best of my recollection, I did not. I did execute one on my return.

Q: You did execute one on your return?

A: (The witness nodded affirmatively.)

Q: Will you explain that?

A: Yes. I told a number of correspondents if they wanted to write me in Europe they could write me to Jeff Biddison at 1414 and he would forward the mail. When I returned and moved back to my own house, it seemed simpler to make the change of address from 1414 back rather than write everybody.

Q: You mean you made a change of address from 1414 Chartres back to 1313, when your testimony is you never issued a change of address from 1313 to 1414?

A: Best of my recollection is that I had not.

Q: But you did and do recall making a change of address back from 1414 to 1313, is that correct?

A: That is correct.

Q: And yet you do not recall executing the original change of address?

A: I do not.

Q: Now, where were you standing on the Nashville Street Wharf when the President spoke?

A: Toward the rear of the crowd.

Q: Toward the rear of the crowd?

A: Yes.

Q: Did you hear Perry Russo testify that he saw you standing toward the rear of the crowd?

A: I did.

Q: And with whom were you standing?

A: To my recollection no one.

Q: By yourself?

A: Well, there were people around me. I was not with anyone, in that sense.

Q: Weren't you on the Reception Committee?

A: Correct.

Q: Did you separate from the Reception Committee?

A: The Reception Committee, only about five were invited to go onto the platform, the rest of us were left to fend for ourselves.

Q: I see. Then you did not position yourself next to any of the Reception Committee during the speaking of the President?

A: Not to - I don't recall - not to the best of my recollection.

Q: Do you recall whether or not any man was standing next to you approximately your size?

A: I don't recall.

Q: But you do recall standing toward the rear of the crowd? Is that correct?

A: Three-quarters of the way back perhaps.

Q: Do you recall whether or not you had occasion at that time to look around at any of the spectators in the crowd?

A: I may well have, I was interested in seeing their reactions to the President's speech.

Q: Rather than watching the President speak?

A: I watched the President, too.

Q: I take it then that by that statement that you did observe other people while the President was speaking?

A: Yes, that is correct.

Q: Can you recall what you wore on that day?

A: I wore a business suit and a tie; I cannot tell you the color of either six years later.

 

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