The Clay Shaw trial testimony of Reeves Morgan


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

Q: Please state your name for the record.

A: Reeves Morgan.

Q: Where do you live, Mr. Morgan?

A: Jackson, Louisiana.

Q: And how long have you lived in Jackson, Louisiana?

A: Well, let me correct that, I live outside the town of Jackson. I live in the vicinity of Jackson, we call it Jackson but it isn't actually in the town, I live out in the country about three miles, and I have been around there since 1925.

Q: What is your present occupation, Mr. Morgan?

A: Working in a foundry over there at Clinton making castings for some little bombshells, ammunition.

Q: How long have you been so employed?

A: About a year, close to a year; I imagine maybe two weeks one way or the other.

Q: What was your occupation or position prior to this?

A: Well, let me see. I was working for Crown-Zellerbach as a guard, I believe, preceding this job. No, I wasn't. Let me take that back. I was working for the East Louisiana State Hospital as a guard, and I worked for the Crown-Zellerbach before that.

Q: Have you ever been a member of the Louisiana State Legislature?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: When?

A: From 1952 until 1956, and them from 1960 to '64.

Q: So I take it then in 1963 you were a member of the Louisiana Legislature?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: (Exhibiting photograph to witness) Mr. Morgan, I will show you now a picture that the State has marked "S-1" for purposes of identification, and ask you if you recognize the individual in that picture.

A: Yes, sir.

Q: Do you know who that individual is?

A: This is the fellow that came there and introduced himself to me.

Q: What was his name?

A: Oswald.

Q: You say he came to your home and introduced himself?

MR. DYMOND: Object as a leading question, Your Honor. The witness said nothing about his home.

THE COURT: Do not repeat what he said. Ask it in the form of a question.

Q: Where did you see this individual?

A: He came to my home.

Q: Did he introduce himself?

A: Yes, sir.

THE COURT: Let me caution the witness. Mr. Reeves, do not tell us what he told you. You can testify to what you said to him, not what he said to you. Understand?

THE WITNESS: Does that apply to him introducing himself, too?


THE COURT: That applies to everything. Only testify what you said, not anything he said -- at least at this time.

All right. You may proceed, Mr. Sciambra.

Q: Do you know this individual's name now?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: What is it?

A: Lee Harvey Oswald, but I didn't know anything except Lee Oswald until after the --

Q: When did this individual come to your home?

A: Had it figured out as the latter part of August or either the first part of September, because I made no dates or no memorandums or nothing on it.

Q: Was this in 1963?

A: '63, 1963.

Q: Would you tell the Court the circumstances surrounding Oswald's visit to your home in Jackson, Louisiana.

THE COURT: Now you are going to get into dangerous ground, because it is going to be very hard for this witness to be able to understand my admonition to him.

MR. SCIAMBRA: I will withdraw the question.

THE COURT: All right.

MR. SCIAMBRA: I will withdraw the question, Your Honor, and I will ask the witness:

Q: Tell the Court what you told Lee Harvey Oswald that day that you talked to him in your home.

A: I told him that I could not help him get a job at the hospital ahead of any of my constituents, at the East Louisiana State Hospital, but I was not going to try to prevent him from getting a job, and I told him all the procedure he would have to go to to get in position to get a job, about going and putting in his application and getting set up to take a Civil Service examination, and that you just didn't go over there and get a job and just go to work, you had to go through applications and take a Civil Service examination for a job in the electrical department or something like that. They did have some jobs over there maybe, but I didn't tell him all that, but to get into the electrical department or maintenance you had to have a Civil Service exam, and -- he was from New Orleans -- it wouldn't hurt if he was a registered voter up there, and I told him that I knew a fellow up there once trying to find out what he can from everybody around there, and I told him I knew a fellow up there whose first name was Oswald and I asked him was he any kin to him.

Q: Was he any kin to him?

MR. DYMOND: I object to that question, Your Honor.

THE COURT: I sustain the objection.

Q: I take it then that the conversation that you had with Oswald was pertaining to a job at the East Louisiana State Hospital?

A: That was practically all we discussed.

Q: And approximately how long did you say you talked to Oswald that day?

A: Well, it wasn't too long, I would say maybe 20 minutes or 25, just talked along there. I wasn't wanting him to get the impression I was trying to rush him off or nothing.

Q: Was anybody at home when Oswald was at your house, besides yourself?

A: Yes, sir, my daughter was there.

Q: Anybody else?

A: I don't remember whether my wife was there or not; I do know my daughter was there though, but I never could place whether my wife was there at the time or not.

Q: After the assassination of President Kennedy, did you see a picture of Lee Harvey Oswald on television or in the paper?

A: I saw it in the newspaper first, I believe. As well as I remember, the newspaper picture was the first one I saw.

Q: Did you recognize him?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: Where did you recognize him from?

A: From being at my house.

Q: Did you ever tell this incident to anyone?

A: Well, yes, discussed it with several people around there, and I even called the FBI and told them.

Q: When did you call the FBI?

A: I would say that it was practically the next day after I recognized it, I believe it was the next day.

Q: After the assassination?

A: No, the day after I recognized his picture. Maybe it might have been the next day after the assassination before I saw his picture, as well as I remember.

Q: Did the FBI ever send anybody to talk to you about this?

A: No, sir, they never did send anybody, because when I called them, when we got through talking I told him I was glad that they already knew he was up there in the vicinity. They already knew it. And he thanked me for my trouble of calling them.

Q: Did you have a conversation regarding this matter with a Mr. Lea McGehee?

A: Yes, I was over there in the barber shop several times after that, and we was talking about it.

MR. SCIAMBRA: I tender the witness, Your Honor.

Q: Mr. Morgan, you say that this conversation took place either in late August or early September?

A: To the best of my recollection. I took no dates or set no -- I mean I didn't make any notes on the thing.

Q: Do you have any particular event or any particular thing by which you are able to fix this approximate date?

A: Well, in the first place, it was an estimation on my own part, and then in wasn't cold weather and it wasn't hot weather, because when Oswald came to my house that evening I was burning the trash out of my fireplace and it didn't feel too bad. It wasn't cold, it wasn't hot.

Q: All right.

A: It just felt good sitting there by it, and we both sat there and watched it burn.

Q: It was good cool pleasant weather? Is that right?

A: That is right. You wouldn't want it to be any better weather.

Q: Could this, Mr. Morgan, have been as late as mid-September?

A: I don't believe it could have, I don't believe it could have.

Q: You say it possibly could have?

A: I don't believe it could have been.

Q: Well, that is the kind of weather that you would have up there around mid-September, too, isn't it?

A: Well, we could, but I just in my own estimation don't believe it could have been up to the 15th, that late.

Q: The 15th is the latest you say?

A: I say it couldn't have been as late as the 15th, I don't believe, because when it happened it would have seemed closer than that.

Q: Now, Mr. Morgan, you were able to get a good look at the man whom you identified as Lee Harvey Oswald, were you not, sir?

A: Yes, sir, I looked at him about as close as I ever look at anybody that just comes in and I am not trying to pay special attention to his looks.

Q: Would you happen to remember how he was dressed, Mr. Morgan?

A: Well, yes, I remember how he was dressed pretty much.

Q: Would you tell us about that if you can?

A: He had on a dark colored shirt, as well as I remember, and some dark pants. He didn't have on any hat or cap or anything, and --

Q: Mr. Morgan, would you say at this time that he was neatly dressed?

A: Well, I would say he was, about as neat as the ordinary fellow goes around dressed. He wasn't shabby or he didn't have on no lot of neckties or fine clothes or nothing, just --

Q: Was he clean and neat looking?

A: Clean and neat, very well appearing fellow, nice appearance.

Q: Now let me ask you this, Mr. Morgan, did he have a beard at that time?

A: No, sir.

Q: Would you say he was clean-shaven?

A: Well, about like I am now I would say, maybe shaved that morning.

Q: You shaved this morning, didn't you?

A: Yes, sir, and I would figure he had shaved that morning from the way he looked.

Q: He looked to you like he had shaved that morning?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: Mr. Morgan, did you get a look at the automobile in which he arrived?

A: No, sir, sure didn't.

Q: You didn't see it at all?

A: Didn't see it -- period. I didn't go no further than the door to let him in when he knocked, and when he left I didn't go any further than the door.

Q: I see. Now, Mr. Morgan, I understand that the day after you recognized from seeing a T.V. picture --

A: Not a T.V., a newspaper.

Q: Newspaper picture?

A: I believe is what I first saw it on.

Q: When you recognized that this was Lee Harvey Oswald that you had seen, you called the FBI? Is that correct?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: I take it you felt it your duty to do so? Isn't that right, sir?

A: Well, I figured that they should know if there was anything in him being up there that could give them aid in finding out just what happened, and so forth and so on. I felt like the best thing for me to do was call them if anybody else got mixed up in something and had been at my house.

Q: I guess you felt it your duty as a citizen?

A: Yes, well, duty as a citizen as well as duty to myself.

Q: I see.

A: I wouldn't want them coming around later and saying he was at your house, why didn't you let us know something about it.

MR. DYMOND: Thank you, Mr. Morgan. That is all.

MR. SCIAMBRA: No further questions.

THE COURT: Do you have any further need of Mr. Morgan?

MR. DYMOND: No, sir.

THE COURT: All right, Mr. Morgan. You are excused from your subpoena. You may leave to return home if you wish.

(Witness excused.)