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  • Writer's pictureFred Litwin

Clay Shaw Writes Rod McKuen, Part Two

Clay Shaw's cancer was unfortunately not "happily cured." He died on August 15, 1974.

New Orleans States-Item, August 15, 1974

New Orleans Times-Picayune, August 16, 1974

Here is an obituary from the New Orleans-States-Item:

New Orleans States-Item, August 16, 1974

Even in death, Clay Shaw was not to be spared humiliation. A reporter received a tip that an ambulance had arrived at his house and had brought in a body; perhaps it had been switched with Shaw’s.

New Orleans Times-Picayune, August 18, 1974

The new coroner, Dr. Frank Minyard, went to Shaw’s house and asked to see the body but was refused. “But how can we know for sure the man didn’t commit suicide, wasn’t given a mercy killing or wasn’t murdered?” he asked.

New Orleans States-Item, August 20, 1974

Shaw was cremated and was initially buried in an unmarked grave. Cynthia Wegmann, the daughter of Shaw’s attorney said that “we were not having him abused in death as he was in life.” Minyard called a judge to get the body exhumed but quickly realized it would be a long process. The police conducted an investigation and found nothing mysterious. A month after Shaw’s death, Garrison told reporter Richard Boyle to “look further” and noted the desire of the coroner to have Shaw’s body exhumed.

Even beyond death, the Clay Shaw nightmare would continue. Oliver Stone exhumed the story in JFK.

Previous Relevant Blog Posts

A letter from 1972 about Shaw's victory at the U.S. Supreme Court.

McKuen's tribute was read at Clay Shaw's funeral.

McCombs was a reporter for Life Magazine and he had some important insights about Clay Shaw.

A very good article from Look Magazine.

It's time for Oliver Stone to admit he made a big mistake in making Clay Shaw the villain in his movie JFK.

Clay Shaw had to go back to work because of his legal bills.

Shaw couldn't escape from suspicion.


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