The Clay Shaw trial testimony of Regis Kennedy
CRIMINAL DISTRICT COURT
PARISH OF ORLEANS
STATE OF LOUISIANA
STATE OF LOUISIANA vs. CLAY L. SHAW
EXCERPT OF THE TESTIMONY TAKEN IN OPEN COURT
February 17, 1969
B E F O R E: THE HONORABLE EDWARD A. HAGGERTY, JR., JUDGE, SECTION "C"
REGIS L. KENNEDY, a witness called by and on behalf of the State, having been first duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows:
DIRECT EXAMINATION BY MR. ALCOCK:
Q: For the record would you please state your full name.
A: Regis L. Kennedy.
Q: And at this time, Mr. Kennedy, by whom are you employed?
A: I am presently retired.
Q: From what job?
A: From the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Q: And how long were you with the Federal Bureau of Investigation?
A: Just under 31 years.
Q: When did you retire?
A: May 1, 1968.
Q: Mr. Kennedy, referring you to the month of November, 1963, were you employed at that time by the Federal Bureau of Investigation?
A: I was.
Q: And were you employed in the city of New Orleans at that time?
A: I was.
Q: Again referring you to that month of November, 1963, and specifically the date of November 22 - November 26, 1963, did you have occasion on that date to interview one Dean A. Andrews, Jr.?
A: I did.
Q: Where did the interview take place?
A: Hotel Dieu.
Q: And who if anyone was present with you at the time?
A: There was another agent with me. I believe his name was Slager (?).
Q: Besides yourself and Agent Slager and Dean Andrews, was there anyone present in the room at the time you interviewed Dean Andrews?
A: At the time of the interview, no.
Q: Can you recall approximately, Mr. Kennedy, what time this interview took place?
A: I would say probably shortly after noon, to the best of my knowledge. It's five years.
Q: Give us an approximation.
A: I'd say shortly after 12:00 noon or maybe a little later. I mean --
Q: I realize it's an approximation. Agent Kennedy, what was your purpose for interviewing him on this day?
A: He called me and --
MR. DYMOND: Now I object to any conversation outside the presence of the Defendant, Your Honor.
THE COURT: The objection is well taken. You can state, Mr. Kennedy, he spoke to you, and what did you do as a result of that conversation.
MR. ALCOCK: Strike the question.
BY MR. ALCOCK:
Q: Prior to this occasion when you interviewed him in Hotel Dieu, had you received any communication from him, telephonic or otherwise, Dean Andrews.
Q: Was it a telephone call?
A: Telephone call.
Q: And do you recall when you received the telephone call?
Q: When was that?
A: Probably an hour or two hours before.
Q: And in response to this telephone call and conversation with Andrews, did you have occasion to interview him?
A: I did.
Q: As a result of this interview, Agent Kennedy, did you have occasion to investigate and attempt to locate a Clay Bertrand?
MR. DYMOND: Object to that, Your Honor, trying to do indirectly what cannot be done directly.
MR. ALCOCK: Your Honor, this is no different than a police officer responding to a call and giving a description or a name.
THE COURT: I think Agent Kennedy, who was an agent at that time, can tell us what he did as a result of the telephone call.
MR. ALCOCK: Not as a result of the telephone call, as a result of the telephone call he interviewed Andrews. I am saying as a result of the interview did he have occasion to attempt to locate Clay Bertrand.
MR. DYMOND: Object. It's a leading question.
THE COURT: Leading. You can ask what did he do.
BY MR. ALCOCK:
Q: What did you do, Agent Kennedy, as a result of the conversation with Dean Andrews?
A: Well, first I reported it to the -- to my superiors at the time, and then subsequently I attempted to locate this individual by the name of Clay Bertrand.
THE COURT: Clay? Clem?
THE WITNESS: Clay.
BY MR. ALCOCK:
Q: Can you give us, Agent Kennedy, what efforts you made in an attempt to locate the Clay Bertrand? What did you personally do; what areas did you cover?
A: Realizing that it has been five years --
Q: I realize that.
A: -- I would say that there were record checks, I made record checks, Police Department, Credit-Bureau, directories, telephone listings, unlisted phone numbers, information, various people that should have been knowledgeable to people that are inhabitants of the French quarter I contacted. I reviewed practically every piece of paper that Dean Andrews had in his office, with the assistance of his -- well, Dean, and I won't say that I saw all of them and I won't say that I actually looked at them. Most of the time Dean was looking at them and putting them by. In other words, I wasn't inquiring into his private law business, but extensive review was made of his files.
Q: Do you know whether or not in your own knowledge, Mr. Kennedy, there were any other agents assisting you or attempting to ascertain the identity of this individual along with yourself?
A: Of my own knowledge?
Q: Yes, of your own knowledge.
Q: Approximately how many agents, of your own knowledge?
A: Frankly, I couldn't tell you or give you a close approximation. I mean I really don't know. Probably. I don't think there was a great many, but I would hesitate to state a number.
Q: Can you tell us at this time, Mr. Kennedy, approximately how many days, if it was days, or hours if it was hours, that you sought the individual named Clay Bertrand as a result of this conversation?
A: You mean -- let's put it this way. The number of hours that I actually worked on this?
A: Oh, this is strictly a guess. I would say not more than -- personally not more than 20 hours of actual work on the --
Q: And do you know of your own knowledge approximately how long these other agents that you have referred to attempted to ascertain the identity of Clay Bertrand, if you know? I realize this is a long time ago.
A: I have no way of even estimating.
Q: Agent Kennedy, was there any geographic location of the city of New Orleans that you concentrated on in your attempts to identify Clay Bertrand?
Q: What area was that?
A: The French Quarter.
Q: Did you personally at any time go down into the French Quarter in your attempt to identify this individual?
Q: Once or more than once?
A: I would say it has got to be more than once. I don't know how many times.
Q: Now, Mr. Kennedy, prior to your interview with Dean Andrews, were you personally engaged in the investigation of the assassination of President Kennedy?
A: Mr. Alcock, I think that that is outside of the purview of the authorization that I have received to testify here.
Q: Would you care to converse with Mr. Connick who is representing the United States Attorney's Office at this time?
A: I think so, yes.
MR. DYMOND: If the Court please, we would like to make it clear now that we waiver any privilege, which might exist in this matter. We have no objection to Mr. Kennedy testifying.
THE COURT: I don't believe there is a privilege between Mr. Kennedy and defense counsel.
MR. DYMOND: If any.
MR. ALCOCK: The privilege is between the witness and the United States Government.
THE COURT: There is a legal point involved. Do you wish to consult with Mr. Connick? Do you want me to take a recess?
MR. CONNICK:I don't think it is necessary, Your Honor. Just one moment.
(Brief pause in the proceedings.)
MR. ALCOCK: Now I would ask the court reporter to read back my question of former Agent Kennedy.
(Whereupon, the question was read back by the reporter as follows: "Question. Now, Mr. Kennedy, prior to your interview with Dean Andrews, were you personally engaged in the investigation of the assassination of President Kennedy?")
THE WITNESS: Your Honor, I have been directed to say that this is outside of the scope of the authority which I have received from the Attorney General, and Mr. Connick will be happy to contact the Attorney General's office for permission to enter this scope, if you so desire.
THE COURT: Mr. Alcock, don't you think -- the kind of questions involved, I think you can rephrase your question to find out when Agent Kennedy found out that the President was shot. I imagine he found out like everybody else, over the radio. I think the time question is involved.
MR. ALCOCK: I agree, Your Honor. I think Agent Kennedy is as well aware of the fact as this Court is that the President was shot on November 22. Now, this interview took place on November 25, three days later. My question was, was he engaged in the investigation of the assassination, obviously between the date of November 22 and the date of November 25. My next question would be whether or not he was engaged in the investigation of the assassination of President Kennedy on the 25th and thereafter, and I assume that he would also claim the executive privilege to that question, and I do not want to argue it in front of the jury because I feel it would be prejudicial to the defendant.
MR. DYMOND: If the Court please, at this time we will ask that Agent Kennedy or Mr. Connick call the Department of Justice and get authority to testify as he sees fit.
MR. ALCOCK: Well, of course Agent Kennedy is my witness, but I would certainly not object to that.
THE COURT: Well, I think we have got a legal point that we must discuss out of the presence of the jury. Sheriff, take the jury upstairs. We will take a recess from the jury but we are going to continue. I would like to hear the argument. I would like to hear it argued out of their presence.
THE COURT: Counsel, what is the legal status of the matter now that they jury has been retired?
MR. ALCOCK: Your Honor, as I appreciate it, my attempt to elicit from this witness whether or not from the 22nd to the 25th he was engaged in the investigation of the assassination of President Kennedy -- and that would also include the 25th and the interview with Dean Andrews, and additionally I would like to know whether after the 25th, during these some 20 hours that he was looking for the individual I named Clay Bertrand, if that was in connection with -- along with the interview, the general investigation into the assassination of President Kennedy. I think that that is completely and highly relevant to this case, and I have no objection at all to Mr. Connick contacting the Attorney General of the United States and finding out whether or not this man can state that.
I might say to the Court, since the jury is not here, Agent Kennedy did testify in another case in this building last summer, and I think he did respond to that question. I do not have the transcript before me, but I am quite sure he did respond to that question or at least a question similarly phrased.
THE COURT: Let's hear Mr. Connick. What is the United States Government's position in this matter?
MR. CONNICK: Your Honor, I am here on behalf of the Attorney General. Mr. Regis Kennedy has been authorized to give his testimony in this case relative to an interview he had with Dean Andrews. Anything beyond the scope of that interview he has not been authorized to testify about. If there are any questions that the State wishes to propound to Mr. Kennedy beyond that, e.g., the one that is causing this discussion, and if there are any others we will be glad to transmit these questions to the Attorney General and attempt to ascertain whether or not Mr. Kennedy can or cannot answer them.
Now, in light of Mr. Alcock's --
THE COURT: Can you do it by telephone or do you have to do it by writing?
MR. CONNICK: No, we will do it be telephone, Your Honor, but in light of Mr. Alcock's statement to the effect that Mr. Kennedy has already testified about this --
MR. ALCOCK: This is my recollection. If Agent Kennedy has a different recollection, I certainly will accede to his recollection.
THE COURT: Referring to the trial of Dean Andrews? Is that what you are referring to?
MR. ALCOCK: Yes, that is the trial I had reference to, yes, sir.
MR. CONNICK: If I could refer to Mr. Kennedy again to ascertain whether he did testify to that --
(Discussion between witness and Counsel off the record.)
MR. CONNICK: Your Honor, Mr. Kennedy is uncertain as to whether or not he has testified to this before, and in light of this he should not be allowed to testify to the question that was asked by Mr. Alcock.
MR. ALCOCK: Your Honor, I could assist the Court if the case had been transcribed, but for some reason -- financial as I understand it -- the reporters of that case had not transcribed that. I might state to the Court that I specifically asked to have Agent Kennedy's testimony transcribed in anticipation of problems of this nature, but I have never received that transcript. Otherwise I would be more than happy to give it to the Court.
THE COURT: Who was the court reporter who took that in Judge Shea's Court?
MR. ALCOCK: It was Hotz or Allied Reporters I think was the firm.
THE COURT: I tell you what. Let's have a conference in my chambers. We will take a five-minute recess. I think I understand the legal problem.
(Whereupon, a recess was taken.)
AFTER THE RECESS:
(Jury in box.)
THE COURT: Gentlemen, are we ready to proceed?
MR. ALCOCK: Yes, Your Honor. I have questions that I have written out, two of them that I would like to address to former Agent Kennedy. These questions have been cleared, as I understand it, with the Attorney General of the United States.
BY MR. ALCOCK:
Q: Mr. Kennedy, prior to your interview with Dean Andrews, were you engaged in the investigation of the assassination of President Kennedy?
A: Yes, I was.
Q: Mr. Kennedy, were you seeking Clay Bertrand in connection with your over all investigation into the assassination of President Kennedy?
A: I was.
MR. ALCOCK: I will pass the witness.
CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR. DYMOND:
Q: Mr. Kennedy, did you ever locate Clay Bertrand?
A: No, sir.
MR. DYMOND: That is all.
MR. ALCOCK: No further questions.
THE COURT: Gentlemen, I have sent for a transcript of Mr. Kennedy's (testimony) at a previous trial. It will be forthcoming. I just wanted to announce it to you. I don't know what you want to do with it.
MR. DYMOND: We don't need it, Judge.
MR. ALCOCK: We have no need of it, Your Honor.
THE COURT: Is there any further need of Agent Kennedy?
MR. ALCOCK: No.
MR. DYMOND: No.
THE COURT: Call your next witness.