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It will be inserted into the record at this point.
UNITED STATES SENATE,
Washington, D.C., July 1, 1968. Pursuant to rule 5 of the Rules of Procedure which was amended by the Committee on Government Operations for its Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations on June 3, 1965, and re-affirmed on January 22, 1968, permission is hereby granted for the Chairman to conduct hearings in open session without a quorum of two members for the purpose of taking testimony in the matter of 0.E.O. funding of criminal gangs in the Chicago area on July 1, 1968.
JOHN L. MCCLELLAX,
Chairman. KARL E. MUNDT,
Ranking Minority Member. The CHAIRMAN. I will only proceed in these instances, under these circumstances, where there appears to be no prospect that the witness would hesitate to cooperate or would have to be subjected to rigid crossexamination on his story.
Since you are a police officer, and giving this testimony freely and voluntarily, we will, under these circumstances, proceed at this time.
You may proceed.
Recently, I have observed the gang structure of both the Blackstone Rangers and Disciples has become more sophisticated and better organized.
They have, for example, a code of silence when one of the gang members is shot. In the past, it was common for the victim to tell the police officer on the scene who shot him. This is no longer the case. The Evans shooting is a case in point. The facts in this case are as follows:
The CHAIRMAN. Is this another shooting ?
Mr. SPELLAR. On January 9, 1968, I and Detective William Corbett had an occasion to be in the vicinity of the Billings Hospital located at 59th Street and Drexel Avenue.
By means of the Chicago police radio, we had heard of a shooting victim, shot at 866 East 63d Street, which was known to us as a training center for the East Side Disciples and which was one of the gang centers financed by OEO in June 1967.
The CHAIRMAN. This is January of this year. This is the shooting that took place at the center, the Disciples' Center?
Mr. SPELLAR. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. It is one of their centers, financed with this OEO money, where this shooting occurred ?
Mr. SPELLAR. Yes.
Mr. SPELLAR. For that reason, we went into the Billings Hospital. We interviewed Joseph Evans as he lay on the emergency room table and at this time, I asked Joseph
Evans what happened to him. Joseph Evans was the president of the Falcon Disciples which frequented the area of 63d and Cottage Grove.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you know if this group, this organization, the Disciples, have a number of splinter organizations or satellite organizations that make up the so-called Disciples group?
Mr. SPELLAR. Yes, sir. This Falcon Disciples was one of the splinter groups that made up the Disciples group as a whole.
The CHAIRMAN. All right. Go ahead.
Mr. SPELLAR. As a matter of fact, we had conversations with Evans in our office prior to the shooting.
Insofar as Joseph Evans refused to give me information regarding his wound, which was a shotgun wound of his left temple of the head, we asked his mother, Bernice, to talk to him in an effort to learn what had happened.
His answers to her in my presence were the same as he had given me; namely, that he had nothing to say.
Leaving the hospital, we went to the training center at 866 East 632 Street where, upon entering, we went into the office of David Barksdale, the leader of the Disciples.
On the floor, we saw a large pool of blood and on the wall near the ceiling, 23 impressions of shotgun pellets, those being the pellets that had missed his head.
The CHAIRMAN. How long was it after the shooting before you walked into this Disciples' headquarters?
Mr. SPELLAR. I would say, sir-we spent approximately an hour to an hour and a half at the hospital. I would say within the confines of a 2-hour period.
The CHAIRMAN. You say you went into the office of David Barksdale. Do the Disciples have their headquarters at this center!
Mr. SPELLAR. This office was the headquarters of a particular training center located at that address.
The CHAIRMAN. Was that Barksdale's office in the training center?
The CHAIRMAN. That is not the main headquarters of the Barksdale
Mr. SPELLAR. No, sir. This was his office within the confines.
Mr. SPELLAR. Yes. He would act more or less as the supervisor of that particular center.
The CHAIRMAN. All right. Go ahead.
I might ask you further, did this pool of blood and everything indicate it was the result of some immediately recent violence ?
Mr. SPELLAR. Yes, sir. The blood had not yet fully congealed. It was
Mr. SPELLAR. The crime laboratory of the Chicago Police Department came upon the scene and photographed the scene as well as processing the entire case at the scene.
The CHAIRMAN. That has been determined definitely?
Mr. SPELLAR. Those were definite shotgun pellet shots. I know that from some 22 years' experience within the department. I have seen it so many times, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Was there anything to indicate that that was freshly done, that damage to the woodwork, that it was freshly done? Mr. SPELLAR. Yes, it was fresh, but the indicationThe CHAIRMAN. How could you tell?
Mr. SPELLAR. The indication was the wall was approximately 15 feet high. The shotgun pellets that had entered the wall and the plaster thrown was approximately 2 feet down from the ceiling.
At the time I observed the shotgun pellets, there was fresh residue of plaster dust both on the molding and also on the floor beneath the area where the shotgun pellets had struck.
The CHAIRMAN. Indicating that the place had not been swept? Mr. SPELLAR. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. Not since the shooting had occurred. Mr. SPELLAR. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. All right. Go ahead. Mr. SPELLAR. We interviewed David Barksdale and Nick Dorenzo, who is also a leader of the Disciples.
The CHAIRMAN. What is Dorenzo's position?
Mr. SPELLAR. Dorenzo was one of the vice presidents of the Disciples.
The CHAIRMAN. All right.
Mr. SPELLAR. A Bernard Woods, 17-year-old youth, and a J. Stephens Carnes surrendered to us a double-barrel, 12-gage sawedoff shotgun. It was alleged at that time that this was the shotgun used in the shooting of Joseph Evans.
Upon examination of the shotgun, William Corbett found that it had rust in the barrel and could not have been the gun used in the shooting.
We informed Barksdale of our findings on the sawed-off shotgun and, as a result, he left and returned with a J. C. Higgins 20-gage shotgun as the gun used in the shooting.
Bernard Woods gave us an account of what occurred at the time of the shooting. He told me that he and Joseph Evans had attempted to fix a shotgun.
The CHAIRMAN. Why was the wrong gun turned in? Did you get an explanation of that?
Mr. SPELLAR. A summation of that explanation would be that while I was present at area 2 homicide, which is the homicide headquarters for the area encompassing the Woodlawn district as well as the southeast side of Chicago, I had received a call from a person who identified himself as a Treasury agent and requested that upon recovery of the gun used in the shooting, that we would immediately inform his office, due to the fact that the word at the Billings Hospital and also at the training center was that this was a sawed-off, illegal shotgun, which the Government would have been interested in.
During the time that the sawed-off shotgun was turned over to the third district and my partner, William Corbett, examined it, it was very apparent—and my partner, incidentally, is also an ex-homicide man and has had occasion to examine many weapons—it was very apparent that this gun was not the gun that was used. The CHAIRMAN. It had not been recently shot?
Mr. SPELLAR. No, sir. There was rust flakes and rust hanging within the barrel.
The CHAIRMAN. All right, go ahead.
Mr. SPELLAR. Joseph Evans was holding the shotgun and told him, meaning Bernard Woods, to hit the stock, apparently in an effort to assemble the gun. He told me the weapon discharged, striking Evans in the head.
It should be noted that upon my visit to the scene at the gangtraining center, I saw two .22-caliber bullets and a blank lying on the table outside the office where students allegedly study their school work. Bernard Woods was charged with aggravated batter in this
Mr. Chairman, I would like to expand further on the testimony of Mr. Robert Pierson of our office concerning the deep involvement of the Blackstone Rangers in narcotics.
The CHAIRMAN. You are going now into something else. You have given an example now of two cases within the past year. Are they all of the murder cases or assault cases, attempt to kill cases, that you had in that area?
Mr. SPELLAR. No, sir, it is not. I picked these two cases, Senator, in an effort to explain the shootings and the intimidation that existed in the Woodlawn area.
In the shooting of the 14-year-old boy, the intimidation of two gang members to force this 14-year-old boy to attend gang meetings, and as a result his mother having to send him to Gary, Ind., to get him out of Woodlawn.
The CHAIRMAN. Did she do that after the shooting?
Mr. SPELLAR. He didn't get killed. This was the boy I was citing that was shot in the head at 65th and Woodlawn.
The CHAIRMAN. Why had he come back?
Mr. SPELLAR. He had come back, sir, to visit his mother, who still resided in Chicago. The reason he was at the store, according to his mother, was he was sent there or he went there to buy some ice cream or candy while in the process of visiting his mother.
But he had been living with an uncle.
Mr. SPELLAR. Yes. He had not only been under threat but he had been beaten, according to the mother, Senator.
The CHAIRMAN. How long had he been away before he returned for the visit?
Mr. SPELLAR. I have no direct knowledge on that, sir, I understand that due to the fact that the child didn't in fact want to join any gang and due to the fact that the mother also did not want him to join the
gang, and due to the fact that the beatings had occurred, and the fact that they were bothering him all the time, she sent him to Gary.
I believe, although I am not certain on this, that it was probably within the area of a month from the time that he had left until the time that he had returned and was shot.
The CHAIRMAN. Gary is not very far away, is it? Mr. SPELLAR. It is approximately 12 to 15 miles from the Southeast Side of Chicago.
The CHAIRMAN. He had been away and came back a short time after he left.
Mr. SPELLAR. Yes, sir. And the reason for his going, as I stated before, was for his protection.
The CHAIRMAN. All right, proceed.
Mr. SPELLAR. The murder of James Lee Straughter was brought up during the course of George Rose's testimony. James Lee Straughter was shot to death at the rear of 1402 East 63d Place on the 4th of November 1967, at 6:15 a.m.
In a report in our files is information regarding an Otis Harris, age 24, and Charles Williams, age 26. Mr. Harris and Mr. Williams, according to the report, were lifelong friends of Jimmie Lee Straughter.
Briefly, according to them, Straughter was a narcotics runner making narcotics buys from a peddler known as LaFayette Watts, a bigtime narcotics pusher in Chicago.
Straughter was alleged to have been ordered by Watts to see a man known only as “Old Man T” and tell him to quit selling stuff" around Ranger territory. By reference to "stuff," we know that to be narcotics.
Around the 30th or 31st of October, Straughter caught up to “Old Man T,” beat him and took $750 in addition to his supply of narcotics.
The CHAIRMAN. Straughter beat up "Old Man T”?
The narcotics he turned over to Watts, but did not say anything about the money. Two days later, somewhere around November 1 or 2, according to the report, Watts found out about it and when he got ahold of Straughter, he made Straughter split the money with him.
Also according to the report, Harris and Williams went on to say that from their experience in the narcotics business and seeing the volume of business Watts has, he has to be doing $5,000 per week in business.
When Detective Boeger, who submitted the police report, asked Williams how Watts would react if he found out someone was shorting him on his money, Williams said, "You know what he would do. The same thing he did to the 'stool pigeon' in the car on 62d and Kenwood Avenue when the three men were shot."
The CHAIRMAN. These two men you referred to, Harris and Williams, were they in the car at the time of the shooting ?
Mr. SPELLAR. No, sir, they were not. These were circumstantial witnesses developed by the burglary section and remanded to the homicide section during the course of the Jimmie Lee Straughter investigation.
They were not on the scene.
The CHAIRMAN. They were not the men who were shot at the time Straughter was killed ?
Mr. SPELLAR. No, sir, they were not.