Garrison's Warped Case Against Clay Shaw

Who Speaks for Clay Shaw

Who was "Clay Bertrand?"

by Dave Reitzes

Part 2 of 4

When Orleans Parish DA Jim Garrison opened his investigation into Oswald's New Orleans activities, Dean Andrews' testimony became a focal point, though still secondary to prime suspect David Ferrie. In January 1967, Life's Richard Billings asked Garrison if he knew who the mysterious "Clay Bertrand" was. Garrison told him, "His real name is Clay Shaw, but I don't think he's too important." As Ferrie was occupying Garrison's mind, the DA told his staff to "forget Shaw" (Long Island Press, May 15, 1968). Ferrie died on February 22, 1967, under circumstances some consider mysterious. Shaw was under arrest for conspiracy to assassinate the President just a week later.

Clay Shaw was a prominent New Orleans businessman and civic leader; he was a pioneer in the restoration of historic New Orleans sites, and the founder of the city's International Trade Mart. Garrison's memoir, On the Trail of the Assassins, claims that "everyone" in the French Quarter knew Shaw was "Bertrand." Nevertheless, in the two years between Shaw's arrest and trial, Garrison was unable, even with the power of subpoena, to put so much as a single witness on the stand to confirm "Bertrand's" identity.

When Andrews denied that "Bertrand" was Shaw before the Orleans Parish grand jury, Garrison indicted -- and convicted -- Andrews of perjury, which soon led to Andrews' losing his position as Assistant DA of Jefferson Parish and subsequently being disbarred. Andrews told NBC that he'd used the name "Bertrand" to protect a client, whose real name he revealed was Eugene Clair Davis.

Davis denied being "Clay Bertrand" -- he wasn't; there was no "Clay Bertrand" -- but admitted to Assistant DA James Alcock that he had indeed phoned Andrews in the hospital on November 23, 1963 to discuss the sale of an automobile (Tom Bethell diary). Andrews recalled remarking about the fame that would await the lawyer who represented the President's accused assassin. His imagination, fueled by pneumonia and sedatives, did the rest (Dean Andrews' testimony, Shaw trial).

Andrews told NBC that to his knowledge, Davis had never used the name "Clay Bertrand," but that at an event Andrews characterized as a "fag wedding reception," an acquaintance had introduced Davis to him, apparently not realizing the two were already acquainted. Davis was introduced as "Clay Bertrand." He told the Press Club of New Orleans, "Clay Shaw ain't Clay Bertrand. Years ago I was introduced to a fellow at a gay wedding reception. The boy never used the name Clay Bertrand. I was just introduced to him [sic] as Clay Bertrand" (Ibid., 57). Asked why he had "ducked the Warren Commission" as long as possible, Andrews said that he bluntly told the Commission staff, "Look, man, I don't want to talk. [If called to testify] I'm going to tell you a bunch of lies." "Will you tell them under oath?" he'd been asked. "Be my guest," he'd replied (Ibid., 58).

Edward Jay Epstein writes:

When I interviewed Andrews in June 1967, he told me that he had made up the name "'Clay Bertrand' out of solid air" to protect a friend. He explained that on the night after the assassination he received a phone call from the friend, who vaguely knew Oswald as an infrequent customer in the 'gay bar' that he owned in the French Quarter. It was this friend, Andrews said, who had recommended him to Oswald as an attorney who might help him 'fix' his 'undesirable' discharge from the Marine Corps, and now he thought Andrews 'could pick up some publicity' by appearing in Dallas as Oswald's lawyer. When the FBI became interested, Andrews explained, he invented the name 'Clay Bertrand' to divert their attention from the real person who had phoned him. When I asked why he had told a Warren Commission lawyer that he had recently seen Clay Bertrand, he replied, 'Aw, I was just putting the guy on a little'" (Epstein, The Assassination Chronicles, 196 fn.).

Appearing before the grand jury, Andrews was questioned by Assistant DA James Alcock.

ALCOCK. Dean, do you know the real Clay --

ANDREWS. The man, I believe, is Gene Davis, and if you ask him, he'll call me a crocus sack of lies . . .

ALCOCK. What basis do you have [for that belief]?

ANDREWS. Helen Girt [a co-worker of Gene Davis'], back in the '50s, at the fag wedding reception I was telling you all about, introduced me to Davis [sic] as Clay Bertrand.

ALCOCK. . . . Have you talked to this man on the phone recently?

ANDREWS. I have talked to him almost every day. I have known him a long time.

ALCOCK. Your testimony now is that this is the man who sent the clients to your office? Talked to you on behalf of homosexuals?

ANDREWS. This is the man who sent clients to my office; sometimes they were fags, sometimes they weren't.

ALCOCK. Is this the man who called you in the hospital and asked you to represent Lee Harvey Oswald?

ANDREWS. This is the man I believed called me . . . what you all believe is your affair.

A JUROR. In your mind, this is Clay Bertrand? The man who called you down through the years representing homosexuals?

ANDREWS. No, he didn't do it that way. That's the way I said it, put it into the Warren Commission Report -- everybody picks it up from there and goes with it. I never said it other than in the Warren Report. . . .

ASSISTANT DA RICHARD V. BURNES. I asked you if you ever heard from Clay Bertrand after the time you were called about representing Lee Oswald in the assassination, and the answer was, "I ain't seen hide nor hair of him since."

ANDREWS. Not from Clay Bertrand, 'cause I call him Gene Davis. You are right. I told you that, and I ain't since hide nor hair of him nor heard from Clay Bertrand . . . I call him Gene. I was introduced to the man ["Bertrand"] one time (Ibid., 58-59).

"If [Garrison's] case is based on the fact that Clay L. Shaw is Clay Bertrand," he continued, "it's a joke." He added, "I may have said a thousand times one thing, but the one time I say Clay Shaw ain't Clay Bertrand clears me of all the rest. . . . It doesn't make any difference to me if I'm convicted. . . . Clay Shaw is not Clay Bertrand; indict me if you want to" (Ibid., 66-66).

They did, and he was duly convicted of three counts of perjury. Garrison's right-hand man, Assistant DA James Alcock, summed up the state's position when he declared it was "obvious that this man won't tell the world the truth on the matter" (Ibid., 66). Andrews' response was unequivocal: "So I lied. I committed perjury. I don't know what I said. The man is Eugene Davis" (Ibid., 67).

Garrison told New Orleans States-Item reporter David L. Chandler, "Andrews is lying because of his conflicting statements to the Warren Commission and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Why is Andrews lying? Obviously to protect his client. Who are his clients? Homosexuals. Therefore he is lying to protect a prominent homosexual. Who would that be? Clay Bertrand -- Clay Shaw." He added that Shaw had a house in Hammond, Louisiana, which was significant because, he explained, Hammond was the site of a secret military base where Oswald had (allegedly) trained. "Lastly," Garrison concluded, "Clay Shaw speaks Spanish," as did a number of "Clay Bertrand's" clients (Ibid., 61). Lest one think Garrison was joking, it should be noted that the DA cited essentially the same "evidence" of Shaw's dual life as Bertrand (and presumably his involvement in the assassination as well) to Saturday Evening Post reporter James Phelan (see Phelan's Scandals, Scamps & Scalawags).

How had Garrison determined "Clay Bertrand" to be Clay Shaw?

Garrison's memoir, On the Trail of the Assassins, reports that in 1967 his staff "began encountering one person after another in the French Quarter" who confirmed that Shaw was "Clay Bertrand," but "no one would authorize the use of his name or even sign a statement to be kept confidential."

The reader should note that this is the same DA who spent three years raging at federal and state government officials whom he alleged were sabotaging his case against Shaw by refusing to extradite witnesses of dubious relevance from California, Texas, Florida, and elsewhere. He tried to issue an arrest warrant for a woman in Nebraska who refused to return to New Orleans for questioning. (The woman, Sandra Moffett, told reporters she had no information relevant to Garrison's case.) Yet right in Orleans Parish he says his team had found "one person after another in the French Quarter" who affirmed that Shaw and "Bertrand" were the same man, and he would have us believe he refused to subpoena a single one of these alleged witnesses to testify.

Garrison writes: ". . . Finally we located a young man named William Morris who had met Shaw at the Masquerade Bar on St. Louis Street in the French Quarter. He had been introduced to Shaw by Gene Davis [emphasis added], who worked at the Court of Two Sisters. Davis had introduced Shaw to Morris as 'Clay Bertrand.'"

No William Morris testified at the Clay Shaw trial, and Morris' name appears nowhere else in Garrison's memoirs; he seems to simply drop off the face of the earth. There is also no mention in Garrison's book of Andrews' allegation regarding Gene Davis as "Bertrand." Davis' name does not seem to have entered the case until introduced by Dean Adams Andrews, Jr. in June 1968. Andrews testified at his perjury hearing on June 28, 1968, that Davis was "Bertrand."

It turns out that Morris was conveniently interviewed on July 12, 1967, by Bill Boxley and William Martin of Garrison's staff. Garrison advocate Bill Davy believes that Morris was not put on the stand because he was "an unsavory character" (Newsgroup post by Jim Hargrove, January 7, 1999). We will soon encounter some of the witnesses that Garrison believed "savory" enough to testify. They may not help dispel the impression that Morris' alleged story is highly suspect.

A February 25, 1967, memorandum from investigator Lou Ivon to Garrison reports that despite Ivon's best efforts, "I'm almost positive from my contacts that they would have known or heard of a Clay Bertrand. The information I received was negative results."

The memo goes on to report about a February 22, 1967, meeting with a contact named "Bubbie" Pettingill, "whom I had earlier contacted about Clay Bertrand. He stated that Dean Andrews admitted to him that Clay Bertrand never existed."

Researcher Jerry Shinley unearthed a long-forgotten item from a New Orleans Times-Picayune August 13, 1967, article on Dean Andrews' perjury trial: a statement from Dean Andrews' investigator Prentiss Davis, who "volunteered the information that Andrews frequently used the name Bertrand to mask the identity of whomever he might be referring to . . ."

And last but not least, Dean Andrews told researcher Harold Weisberg some years later that "Bertrand" had been Clay Shaw after all. "You understand," Weisberg cautions, "Andrews was the biggest liar that ever lived" (Author's interview with Harold Weisberg, December 3, 1998).

Isn't there anyone who could credibly link the name "Clay Bertrand" to Clay Shaw?

Prosecution witness Mrs. Jessie Parker had been working at the Eastern Airlines VIP Room in New Orleans when she said a man signed the guest register as "Clay Bertrand." That man she identified as Clay Shaw. She offered the relevant page from the register, which was signed "Clay Bertrand" at the very bottom. Shaw's lawyers pointed out that the signature appeared to be added after the fact to the very end of the page. At the trial they offered handwriting analyst Charles Appel, Jr., who displayed blow-ups of Shaw's signature and the "Bertrand" signature to the jury. He testified that the signatures had been written by two different people, pointing out numerous features of the handwriting upon which he based his analysis.

The court also heard testimony from Arthur Q. Davis, the person whose name appears on the VIP Room's guest register just prior to that of "Clay Bertrand." He was questioned by defense attorney Irvin Dymond.

DYMOND. (Exhibiting book to witness) Mr. Davis, I show you a book which has been offered in evidence and marked for identification "State-55." Directing your attention to the bottom of the page covering the dates between December 12 and December 14, 1966, I ask you whether your signature appears therein.

DAVIS. . . . The second signature from the bottom of the page is my signature.

DYMOND. And what is the name that appears directly below your signature, Mr. Davis?

DAVIS. Clay Bertrand.

DYMOND. Now, Mr. Davis, do you recall having been at Moisant Airport on December 14, 1966?

DAVIS. Yes . . .

DYMOND. Are you acquainted with this Defendant Clay Shaw?


DYMOND. How long have you known him, sir?

DAVIS. Oh, I would think in excess of ten years.

DYMOND. Did you or did you not see Mr. Shaw in the VIP Room of Eastern Airlines on that date, December 14, 1966?

DAVIS. No, I did not.

On cross-examination, James Alcock asked Davis approximately how long he remained in the VIP Room that day. Davis replied, "Well, that is quite some time ago, but if I had to guess -- I usually get out to the airport a little early and I use that room to make phone calls, there is a private phone -- I would guess anywhere from 20 minutes to a half hour."

"And you don't recall seeing anyone sign the book while you were there, other than yourself? Is that correct?"

Davis confirmed this was correct.

Clay Shaw testified that he was not in the Eastern Airlines VIP Room at this time, did not ever use the Eastern Airlines VIP Room, and had not himself flown with a commercial airline in many years, something the state could not disprove.

The defense raised the question of how exactly Mrs. Parker had become a witness for the prosecution. In On the Trail of the Assassins, Jim Garrison writes, "the lady who had been the hostess at the VIP room for Eastern Airlines called us. She had been on duty when a man . . . signed the register as 'Clay Bertrand'" (p. 99, 1988 paperback ed.). What did Mrs. Parker tell Irvin Dymond at Shaw's trial?

Mrs. PARKER. They contacted me. . . . I was frightened. I didn't know what [they] wanted.

The reason they contacted her was not made clear.

Mrs. Parker testified that she was first contacted during the summer of 1967. In his book, Garrison says Parker was one of the witnesses ready to testify against Shaw before his March 1 arrest (Ibid.). Who is correct? Mrs. Parker testified that she recognized Shaw as "Bertrand" when she saw him on television following his arrest. Like alleged witness William Morris (Ibid.), of whom there seems to be no trace, here is one less witness Garrison had when he arrested Shaw. What did he have then, besides Perry Russo?

Garrison's staff brought Mrs. Parker to court during jury selection for Shaw's trial and asked if she recognized Shaw as "Bertrand."

DYMOND. Is it a fact you refused to identify him that day?

Mrs. PARKER. Yes.

DYMOND. Isn't it a fact when they threatened you with a lie detector test, you then identified him?

Mrs. PARKER. Yes.

("They didn't threaten me," she added, "they asked me.")

The next day the prosecution brought forth one Elizabeth McCarthy, a handwriting analyst with no formal training. She promptly pronounced the "Clay Bertrand" signature to be the handiwork of Clay Shaw, offering vague stylistic criteria which the jury found underwhelming compared to Charles Appel's detailed presentation. Under cross-examination McCarthy hardly bolstered the prosecution's credibility.

DYMOND. Mrs. McCarthy, when were you first retained on this case?

McCARTHY. I believe it was yesterday.

DYMOND. Yesterday?


DYMOND. And when did you arrive here in New Orleans?

McCARTHY. Last night.

DYMOND. And when did you commence your comparative study of these documents?

McCARTHY. Last night. . . . I didn't have the originals, I had photographs at my hotel.

DYMOND. When was the first time that you saw the originals?

McCARTHY. This morning.

DYMOND. Now, did you bring any photographic equipment with you when you came down?

McCARTHY. No. I wouldn't have time to make them. I understood the trial was ending.

As Milton Brener has pointed out: "There was still another expert who examined the guest register, though he was not called to testify. Gilbert Fortier, one of the best-known examiners of questioned documents in this part of the country, had examined the book and known specimens of Shaw's handwriting at Garrison's request. Fortier is the expert most frequently called by the State to give testimony as to handwriting comparisons in cases involving forged or other questioned documents. In addition, he appears in other courts throughout this area undoubtedly more frequently than any other expert in the field. After examining the questioned guest book, Fortier conferred with Garrison. He was not called as a witness" (Milton Brener, The Garrison Case).

In the prosecution's closing remarks, Assistant DA James Alcock expressed his doubt that Shaw would sign the name "Clay Bertrand" in his usual handwriting anyway. The jury was not impressed.

Webmaster John McAdams notes the improbability of the notion that Shaw -- if he was "Bertrand" -- would still be using the alias in December 1966 -- two years after it was referenced in the Warren Report.

The prosecution offered a mail carrier, James Hardiman, who claimed to have delivered roughly half a dozen letters to "Clem Bertrand" at the residence of Shaw's friend James Biddison, where Shaw received mail at times. Hardiman said that none of these letters were returned as being wrongly addressed. This allegation is based solely on his memory of the name "Clem Bertrand." Let's see how Hardiman's memory is represented by his testimony at the Clay Shaw trial, as he is cross-examined by attorney Irvin Dymond.

DYMOND. . . . Now, did you say these envelopes were addressed to Clay Bertrand or Clem Bertrand?

HARDIMAN. Clem, C-L-E-M. . . . Mr. Clem Bertrand, 1414 Chartres, New Orleans, Louisiana.

DYMOND. . . . Now . . . have you had other occasions to deliver other mail there which was addressed to people other than Mr. Jeff Biddison?

HARDIMAN. That is right, I have.

DYMOND. . . . Have you ever delivered any mail there addressed to Mr. Fred Tate?


DYMOND. You are sure about that?

HARDIMAN. (The witness nodded affirmatively.)

DYMOND. . . . Have you ever delivered any mail to that address, that is 1414 Chartres Street, addressed to a Mr. Cliff Bordreaux


DYMOND. Are you sure about that?

HARDIMAN. I have seen that name before.

DYMOND. Not only have you seen that name before but you have delivered mail to 1414 Chartres Street addressed to him, is that correct?


DYMOND. Could you tell me approximately when that was? I wouldn't expect you to be exact.

HARDIMAN. That hasn't been too long ago.

DYMOND. It hasn't been? About how long ago?

HARDIMAN. Let's see. . . . I don't know if I had any since after the 1st of the year or not, but it is not regular, but I do get mail for that name.

DYMOND. For Mr. Cliff Boudreaux at 1414 Chartres Street? Is that right?


DYMOND. Now, Mr. Hardiman, if I told you I just made that name up, would your testimony be the same?

HARDIMAN. Well, I wouldn't know. How would I know who made up a name and sent something there?

DYMOND. But still you say you delivered Cliff Boudreaux mail to 1414 Chartres Street?

HARDIMAN. Maybe you have made it up, but I have delivered Boudreaux mail there, too. Now, maybe the "Cliff" might not be correct.

DYMOND. . . . Well, now, what special thing made you remember the name Cliff Bordeaux?

HARDIMAN. Nothing special. I mean I see the name and you refer my memory to it. I mean I wouldn't -- like you said, you could have made it up, maybe you did, but I have delivered mail.

DYMOND. To 1414 Chartres Street to Cliff Boudreaux, right?

(The witness did not respond.)

DYMOND. How about Sherman Shroeder? Have you ever delivered any mail to 1414 Chartres Street addressed to a person by that name?

HARDIMAN. That I can't recall.

DYMOND. I will ask you the same question concerning Lee Begnard.

HARDIMAN. Begnan or Begnard?

DYMOND. Begnard, B-E-G-N-A-R-D.

HARDIMAN. That is another name I can't recall. I have delivered quite a few different names in there, but I can't recall everybody's name. Maybe I haven't. Maybe I didn't handle as many pieces of mail, that is why I don't recall the name.

DYMOND. But you do not recall that name, is that right?

HARDIMAN. I don't recall that name, no.

DYMOND. Have you ever delivered any mail to 1414 Chartres Street addressed to a Mr. Charles Bunker, B-U-N-K-E-R?

HARDIMAN. That is another name I can't recall. . . . you have to push mail in that case pretty fast in the morning, you don't have a chance to be looking at the full names. . . .

DYMOND. . . . Could you tell me approximately the last date on which you delivered a letter addressed to Cliff Boudreaux to 1414 Chartres Street?

HARDIMAN. No, I couldn't say that, give you a date on it, because I --

DYMOND. Has it been within the last six months?

HARDIMAN. If I had mail for Cliff Bordeaux, it would be less than six months.

DYMOND. Less than six months. . . . That is all.

Given this display of Mr. Hardiman's memory, it is unlikely that any mail was delivered to a "Clem Bertrand" (or even a "Clay Bertrand," for that matter) at James Biddison's residence. It is doubtful that any "Clem Bertrand" ever existed outside the imagination of a witness named Perry Raymond Russo, whom we will meet shortly.

Why would Hardiman have come forward with this story, then? Author James Kirkwood points out that he "later learned that Hardiman may have been in touch with the District Attorney's office regarding other matters between the time of the preliminary hearing and this current trial. Hardiman's son, Terry Gerard Hardiman, 20 years old, had been arrested in April of 1968 on a theft charge. As of March 1970, no action on the boy's case appeared to have been taken by the District Attorney's office" (Kirkwood, American Grotesque, 308).

One of the most contentious items of evidence -- at the trial and today -- is the arrest record that Shaw signed the day he was booked. In the space for aliases used, the card reads "Clay Bertrand," which Officer Aloysius Habighorst said Shaw had told him in response to his routine query. Shaw adamantly denied saying this, and in fact insisted under oath that Habighorst had asked him not a single question at the time, and that the card was blank when he signed it. This, he said, he'd been informed he had to do if he wanted to be able to post bail. Shaw also insisted he'd wanted his lawyer present at that time and was bluntly denied this request. When Garrison's team protested that there was no law that a defendant must have counsel present during the booking procedure, the court was unmoved.

James Kirkwood's book American Grotesque has a detailed account of the testimony about Shaw's booking and supposed admission of the use of the "Clay Bertrand" alias.

Judge Haggerty curtly refused to enter the disputed document into evidence. This is cited by Garrison's defenders as an example of the interference the prosecution routinely met with during the investigation and the trial. This view fails to take into account the entire day consumed in taking testimony about the questioned item, including the strikingly pointed questioning of Sgt. Jonas J. Butzman.

DYMOND. Sergeant Butzman, were you a member of the New Orleans Police Department on March 1, 1967?

BUTZMAN. Yes, sir, I was.

DYMOND. Where were you assigned at that time?

BUTZMAN. I was assigned over here by the Central Lockup, sir.

DYMOND. Were you present in the Central Lockup when this Defendant Clay Shaw was delivered to the Central Lockup by Mr. Louis Ivon?

BUTZMAN. Yes, sir, I was.

DYMOND. . . . What were your orders?

BUTZMAN. I was assigned to guard, to watch him.

DYMOND. . . . Now, Sergeant Butzman, did you comply with these orders?

BUTZMAN. Yes, sir, I did.

DYMOND. Approximately how close did you stay to Mr. Shaw during the time that he was in Central Lockup?

BUTZMAN. I stayed about five or ten feet, you know, close around that.

DYMOND. . . . Do you recall having left the B of I [Bureau of Identification] room while he was still in there?

BUTZMAN. No, sir, I don't recall it, no.

DYMOND. . . . Now, during the time that Mr. Shaw was in the B of I room, did you at any time hear him questioned by Officer Habighorst?

BUTZMAN. Yes, sir, I did.

DYMOND. What was the nature of this questioning?

BUTZMAN. I think Officer Habighorst asked him, "Is this the correct spelling of your name?"

DYMOND. . . . Did you ever hear the name Clay Bertrand mentioned?

BUTZMAN. No, sir, I did not.

DYMOND. Did you ever hear this Defendant questioned concerning any aliases?

BUTZMAN. (The witness shook his head negatively.)

The defense quite rightly barred the arrest record from the evidence. The full day's testimony on the document is available as part of LMP's CD-ROM of the Shaw trial transcript. For information, visit:

This writer certainly finds it odd that Shaw would have so willingly offered this alleged alias to Officer Habighorst when he had always previously denied using it and would continue to deny doing so after he was booked, all through the trial, and until his dying day. This writer also finds it strange that Shaw would so eagerly divulge this most significant alleged alias while failing to mention the pseudonym under which he was a published playwright: "Allen White." The only name listed as an alias on the arrest record was "Clay Bertrand."

Researcher Jerry Shinley has also pointed out that the arrest record lists Shaw's place of birth as New Orleans, though Shaw was actually born in Kentwood, Louisiana, some 75 miles from the Big Easy. Is Shaw likely to have forgotten where he was born? And if that information was filled in by someone besides Shaw, it strongly suggests that the "Clay Bertrand" alias was too.

Is Shaw likely to have divulged the name even if he were "Clay Bertrand?"

Is there any new evidence to help us identify "Clay Bertrand?"

A February 25, 1967 FBI memorandum reports that informant 1309-C received information the previous day that the individual using the name "Clay Bertrand" is actually Clay Shaw. The informant states he called Louis Ivon at the DA's office with this information. The memo reports that Aaron Kohn, managing director of the Metropolitan Crime Commission, said on February 24, 1967, that he had received information that "Clay Bertrand" and Clay Shaw were one and the same. Kohn advised he picked this information up from one of 89 news sources that contacted him on February 24, 1967. Kohn advised that he also received information that there is a man named Clay Bertrand living in Lafayette, Louisiana, a real estate broker that lived in New Orleans about the time of the assassination of President Kennedy. Kohn was unable to supply additional information. It is not clear from this memo whether Kohn was 1309-C's source, or whether both happened to report the information simultaneously (NARA #124-10050-10395). The identity of informant 1309-C remains classified; Kohn is well known to have condemned Garrison's prosecution of Shaw from the start.

The information in the memorandum remains unconfirmed; there is no indication that Garrison's office attempted to induce or subpoena the unnamed informant into testifying at Shaw's trial, and despite the differing accounts of how the DA's office identified "Bertrand" as Shaw, none of the versions refers to Lou Ivon receiving a tip by telephone. Whatever the origin of this report, Lou Ivon wrote a memorandum the very next day informing Garrison he could find no trace of a "Clay Bertrand" in New Orleans.

Shaw later told Penthouse magazine that "if there was anyone in New Orleans who would have difficulty using an alias, it would be me. . . . For about 17 or 18 years I had been managing director of the International Trade Mart here and in that capacity I was in the public eye a great deal. I was on television quite often and my picture had been in the local papers. I attended many civic affairs, luncheons, meetings. In addition, I'm a highly recognizable fellow. I'm rather outsized -- 6 ft 4 inches tall -- and I have a shock of prematurely grey hair that is almost white. In a town of this size, where I had made perhaps 500 speeches and knew literally thousands of people, the idea that I would go around here trying to use an alias is utterly fantastic."

Whether or not Clay Shaw was "Clay Bertrand," and whether or not "Bertrand" even existed as the "lawyer without a briefcase" who referred business to Andrews, the most incriminating act ever ascribed to him by Dean Adams Andrews was a phone call to obtain legal counsel for Lee Harvey Oswald. Thus, the most one might infer about "Bertrand" is an association between "Bertrand" and Oswald, but even this is only hearsay.

Nevertheless, this was the keystone upon which the entire Shaw prosecution was erected: an inferred relationship between a person who may or may not exist -- who IF he exists may or may not be Clay Shaw -- and the accused assassin of JFK, a man there is no firm evidence Clay Shaw ever met.

Next: Clay Shaw: Assassin or Fall Guy?

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