Conspiracy theory? Shaw eagerly awaits his upcoming trial against Garrison, “since I can prove what a paranoid son of a bitch he really is.”
Well-known business leader in New Orleans during the 1960s. In January 1969, New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison charged Shaw with conspiracy in the murder of President Kennedy. He also charged that Shaw was a secret Central Intelligence Agency operative, a charge Shaw denied, but that was later confirmed as true. Shaw was acquitted of the conspiracy charge, but in interviews following the trial, jurors conceded that Garrison had convinced them that a conspiracy was behind the assassination of President Kennedy. Shaw died on August 14, 1974, and was quickly buried. When the New Orleans coroner, Dr. Frank Minyard, wanted to exhume the body to perform an autopsy, he was assailed by the local press and decided to leave the issue alone. Interesting archive consisting of four TLS, all one page, all signed “Clay,” a note on photocopied newspaper articles, and four greeting cards, each bearing short notes from Shaw and all signed “Clay,” as well. One TLS, dated “Thursday,” on his personal letterhead refers to his upcoming trial and reads, in part, “The DA now says he wants to go to trial in mid February. Well and good. Let’s get on with it, say I. He is, of course, absolutely mad. But I know of no way of ever making this clear except by a trial. And I am rather looking forward to it now since I can prove what a paranoid son of a bitch he really is.” Another TLS, dated Monday, mentions his motion for a change of venue and his trial coming in the fall, “I did, indeed, see Big Jim [Garrison] on the Johnny Carson show. I thought Carson took him thoroughly…He [Garrison] is now well gone in an advanced state of paranoia, and the reasons for his actions are the same reason the tubercular patient spits up blood. Symptom of the disease. Which, while explanatory, is not terribly helpful to me, the victim.” In fine overall condition. R&R COA.