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A Look Back at Clay Shaw's Trial


Clay Shaw outside the courtroom



Baton Rouge Advocate, February 27, 1994


Some highlights:

  • Dave Snyder, a reporter for the New Orleans States-Item said "In the beginning, like everybody else, I thought he must have some serious witnesses. After a while, I began to thing that this was just a real sham. By the time the trial came about, I was convinced there was no conspiracy and Garrison didn't have a damn thing."

  • Columnist John McMillan, a columnist for newspapers in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, said: "I used to like to tease him [Garrison] a lot. He announced that they had solved the investigation: 'We said, as Virgil did, let the truth be known though the heavens may fall.' McMillan replied, "Virgil who, Mr. Garrison.?"

  • Snyder had this to say about Garrison's witnesses: "What I remember is all of the witnesses were terrible, the DA's witnesses. We marveled that he would have the guts to put people like Spiesel, and Russo on the stand. Then, when Russo said he had been given truth serum and hypnotized, it was just amazing stuff. I was just amazed at the terrible quality of the witnesses. He had a bunch of nuts."

  • Jack Wardlaw, a reporter for the New Orleans States-Item had this to say: "I was distinctly unimpressed with the Warren Report, so I kind of hoped that Garrison did have something. But it just became more and more evident that there wasn't any substance to it. I was in the courtroom when (assistant district attorney) Al Oser said, "The state rests," and I just couldn't believe that they had brought that thing to trial when they had absolutely no evidence."

  • McMillan said Garrison's case was "one of the biggest abuses of judicial power in the history of the country." He concludes "there may have been conspiracy, but I'll tell you one thing: Jim Garrison didn't know a damn thing about it if there was."


New Orleans States-Item, February 17, 1969


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