The Clay Shaw trial testimony of Nicholas Tadin





1426 (30)

February 27, 1969



MR. ALCOCK: Call Mr. Nicholas Tadin.

NICHOLAS TADIN, a witness called by and on behalf of the State, having been first duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows:

Q: Mr. Tadin, will you state your full name for the record, please.

A: Nicholas Tadin, T-a-d-i-n.

Q: Mr. Tadin, where do you reside?

A: 4618 Lurline Street.

Q: Is that in the city of New Orleans?

A: City of New Orleans.

Q: And what is your occupation or employment?

A: Business Agent for the Musicians' Union.

Q: And how long have you been so employed?

A: Twelve years.

Q: Does your occupation take you into the French Quarter of the city of New Orleans very much?

A: Yes, sir, three or four nights a week, sometimes five, sometimes maybe six.

Q: Mr. Tadin, do you have any children?

A: Yes, I do.

Q: How many?

A: Two.

Q: Are they boys or girls?

A: Boys.

Q: In the year 1964, were either one of these boys taking flying lessons?

A: Yes, my oldest boy.

Q: And how old was he, approximately, at that time?

A: About 16.

Q: Are either one or both of these boys handicapped in any way?

A: Yes, sir, both of them are deaf.

Q: And from whom was your boy taking flying lessons?

A: David Ferrie.

Q: Did you ever have occasion to see David Ferrie, on more than one occasion?

A: For about two years -- about a year and a half I would say.

Q: Generally where did you see him?

A: At the airport.

Q: Would that be the New Orleans Airport?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: (Exhibiting photograph to witness) I show you a picture which has been marked for purposes of identification as "State No. 3," and I ask you if you recognize the person depicted in that picture?

A: That is David Ferrie.

Q: Is this the man who was giving your son instructions in flying?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: Did you ever have occasion to accompany your son out to the airport while he was taking a lesson?

A: Quite a bit.

Q: Is that the New Orleans Lakefront Airport?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: Is there any reason why you accompanied your son out there on these occasions?

A: Yes, sir. A picture was made of my boy and a young lady that was going to be a nun, and it was put into the CATHOLIC ACTION, and in this CATHOLIC ACTION it was David Ferrie, my son, and this young lady that was going to be a nun. I think the name of this lady was Ignatius at that time, and someone had called me --

Q: Now, you can't say what anyone told you. As a result of this call, what, if anything, did you do?

A: Well, gee, that is pretty rough.

Q: I know it is difficult.

A: When I got the call I became very disturbed, because the man -- I mean because I found out that --

MR. DYMOND: We object to what he found out by the call, if the Court please. That is going in the back door.

THE COURT: I know it is a difficulty, Mr. Dymond.

You can testify you received the call, had a conversation, and then you can tell what you did physically do as a result of that telephone conversation.

THE WITNESS: All right.

A: (Continuing) I had a call and the man told me --

MR. DYMOND: I object to what he told you.

THE WITNESS: All right.

Q: Mr. Tadin, perhaps I can clear this up. You said you became concerned. Is that correct?

A: Yes, I did.

Q: Did you become concerned about any particular individual?

A: Yes, Dave Ferrie.

Q: As a result of this concern, did you have occasion to do anything?

A: Yes, sir, I did. I didn't know how to approach Dave Ferrie about this matter, so we happened to be sitting down in the airport restaurant one day, myself and Noel, and I was a little disturbed, plenty disturbed, so I told Dave, I said, "Dave, you know my son is a young kid here at the airport," and I says, "I don't know anyone out here," which was a lie, I did know Rudolph Spremich.


THE WITNESS: Rudolph Spremich.

A: (Continuing) I also knew Wilson Naremore and one other fellow, not too well. I can't recall his name, but these two definitely I knew. And I said, "Dave, this kid is out here every evening." I says, "I don't know anybody that I could depend on except you. Now, if anybody hurts this kid," I says, "I am going to fracture his jaw," I says, "and if I don't do it with my fist, I will be back here with a two-by-four." Said, "If I don't get it with a two-by-four, I am going to come back here with some friends that are not going to miss."

He said, "Oh, no, nothing is going to happen to your boy. Now," he says, "I am going to see that he is taken care of." Well, the friendship drifted, drifted away real bad, and the boy was crazy about the man. See? I don't think the man did him anything wrong, but he was crazy about this man. He is a deaf boy, and he is the only man that took an interest in the kid, took him up. He was about ready to solo when --

Q: Did you have occasion, Mr. Tadin, to ever be at the New Orleans Airport in the Summer of 1964 along with your wife?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: Did you see David Ferrie on that occasion?

A: I certainly did.

Q: Did you see David Ferrie with anyone on that occasion?

A: Yes, I did.

Q: And who was the person you saw him with?

A: Mr. Clay Shaw.

Q: Do you see Clay Shaw in the courtroom?

A: (Indicating) The gentleman right over here.

Q: (Indicating) Is that this gentleman here?

A: Right.

Q: Had you ever seen Clay Shaw prior to that occasion?

A: Many times around Bourbon Street, riding around in the automobile.

Q: Now, approximately how close did you get to David Ferrie and Clay Shaw on that occasion?

A: You mean at the airport?

Q: Yes, sir.

A: Well, when I parked my car in front of the place, they had the large hangar on this side (indicating) and the AIRCOM was on this side, which they went out of business. It was a little hangar, I mean a little office like, and I parked my car right there and I was going to look for Dave to bring the boy for his lesson. So as I was getting out of the car I noticed that -- not through the hangar door, but there is a little door on the side -- Dave Ferrie came right out and Mr. Shaw was right behind him within about three feet. So I told my wife, "Oh, Christ, look at this." She said, "What is the matter?" I said, "Clay Shaw over here." And then I talked to my wife, you see, and then she got out of the car, and I went over to Dave Ferrie, towards Dave Ferrie, and Mr. Shaw went to his car. He got out of his car and went back into the hangar. So I told Dave, I says, "Dave, what you got, a new student here?" Said, "No, it is a friend of mine, Mr. Clay Shaw. He is in charge of the International Trade Mart." Said, "You know him?" I said, "Yes, I seen him around," and that is it right there.

Q: Mr. Tadin, approximately how many times had you seen Clay Shaw before that occasion?

A: Oh, a few times around the French Quarter, riding around in an automobile.

Q: Did you have any doubt at all it was Clay Shaw at the airport?

A: No, sir, no.

Q: Was your wife with you on this occasion?

A: She was.

MR. ALCOCK: I tender the witness.


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