The Clay Shaw trial testimony of Eugene Davis



As Eugene Davis's testimony in the trial of Clay Shaw was not transcribed by the private firm of Dietrich and Pickett, Inc., the following brief summaries are offered.

Bar and grill operator Eugene Davis took the stand and denied calling Dean Andrews in the hospital shortly after the assassination. [As noted earlier (p. 121 fn.), Eugene Davis admitted to James Alcock in a 1967 telephone call that he had called Andrews while he was in the hospital (Bethell Diary, pp. 1, 10).] He denied being introduced as Clay Bertrand and he denied being Clay Bertrand. On cross by Dymond, Davis acknowledged sending Andrews clients and was forced to admit that the Rendezvous Room had been "predominantly frequented by homosexuals." When Dymond inquired if perhaps Big Jo had made the Clay Bertrand introduction without Davis hearing or being aware of it, Davis replied, "I would say I wouldn't hear a word she said without she asked me for a drink [sic]" (Patricia Lambert, False Witness, p. 155).


Eugene Davis was next called to the stand -- the man whom Dean Andrews claimed Big Joe, the "butch," had introduced to him kiddingly as Clay Bertrand. Davis, a man somewhere in his forties, ran Wanda's Bar and Gene's Grill and once you saw him, that is exactly what you'd say he did. He testified he'd first met Dean Andrews at the Rendezvous Bar on Bourbon Street (the alleged scene of the "fag wedding"). Davis acknowledged that Dean Andrews had done some legal work for him from time to time, but he denied that he'd called Andrews shortly after the assassination or that Big Joe had ever introduced him as Clay Bertrand. Alcock's last question was "Are you Clay Bertrand?" Davis replied he was not. (Actually Dean Andrews had never said Davis was, only that Andrews used that name as a cover-up for the bar manager.)

Irvin Dymond was not friendlily disposed toward Eugene Davis. He appeared to want to make him out a shady character.

DYMOND: Did you send him [Andrews] any business? DAVIS: I imagine I sent him some business. DYMOND: Mr. Davis, this is a criminal trial and I would ask you not to imagine. DAVIS: I would say yes. . . . The lawyer then turned his attention to the Rendezvous Bar. DYMOND: What kind of a bar was it? DAVIS: It was like other bars. DYMOND: Wasn't it a bar that was frequented by homosexuals? DAVIS [shrugging]: All types came. DYMOND: But wasn't it predominantly frequented by homosexuals? Eugene Davis turned, squinted up at the judge and asked if he had to answer the question . . . Judge Haggerty said he did. Davis turned back to Dymond and spoke in a barely audible voice: "It was." The defense lawyer inquired if they had wedding receptions there . . . Davis denied the wedding parties but admitted they had a lot of birthday celebrations. When Dymond got around to Big Joe, he asked Davis if it were possible that Big Joe would have referred to him as Clay Bertrand without Davis's knowing about it or hearing her. Davis replied, "I would say I wouldn't hear a word she said without she asked me for a drink [sic]" (James Kirkwood, American Grotesque, pp. 412-14).


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