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Clay Shaw Trial Transcripts
On March 1, 1967, New Orleans businessman Clay Shaw was arrested
for conspiracy in the murder of President John F. Kennedy. The arrest followed
an investigation by the office of New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison,
and the murder of prime suspect David Ferrie. Nearly two years
later, the case went to trial (see the Orleans Parish Grand Jury transcripts for
grand jury testimony during the intervening period).
The trial opened with witnesses from Clinton, Louisiana, who described an event
wherein they witnessed Shaw and Oswald together. There was also testimony on the
question of whether Clay Shaw was Clay Bertrand, an alias for the man Dean Andrews told
the Warren Commission tried to hire him to defend Oswald after the assassination. Ultimately,
the case for a murder conspiracy hung on the testimony of Perry Russo, who described being at a party with
Shaw, Ferrie, and Oswald, in which a murder plot involving triangulation of gunfire was
The trial lasted about three weeks, and went to the jury on the evening of February
28, 1969. In the wee hours of March 1, almost exactly two years after his arrest,
Clay Shaw was acquitted.