John Baniszewski Sr - Father of Defendants - Ex of Defendant

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John Baniszewski Sr - Father of Defendants - Ex of Defendant

Postby admin » October 31st, 2010, 5:46 pm

THE COURT: Defendant Paula Marie Baniszewski may present her evidence.

WITNESS SWORN BY THE COURT.

JOHN BANISZEWSKI , SENIOR , a witness called on behalf of the defendant Paula Marie Baniszewski,
being duly sworn by the court, testified as follow:

DIRECT EXAMINATION,
QUESTIONS BY MR. GEORGE RICE, ATTORNEY FOR DEFENDANT,
PAULA MARIE BANISZEWSKI

Q. Please state your full name to the court.

A. John Baniszewski, Sr.

Q. Where do you live, Mr. Baniszewski?

A. 2011 Main Street, Beech Grove.

Q. Marion County, Indiana?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What is your present occupation?

A. Trouble shooter, R.C.A.

Q. How long have you been so employed?

A. Since October 1962.

Q. How were you employed prior to that time?

A. Police Officer, Beech Grove Police Department.

Q. How long were you so employed?

A. About seven years.

Q. Are you related to any of the defendants seated here in the courtroom?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Give the names of each of them, please.

A. John Baniszewski and Paula Baniszewski.

Q. What relationship do you bear to these two?

A. Son and daughter.

Q. Were you also at one time the husband to the lady seated at the end of the room, Gertrude Baniszewski?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did that marriage terminate?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Tell the court when it terminated?

A. The final hearing was approximately September 17, 1963.

Q. By what means did this marriage terminate?

A. The divorce court.

Q. At that time, was disposition made concerning the care and custody of your children?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Who received care and custody of the children?

A. She did.

Q. Were you given opportunity for visitation with these children?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Would you tell us, please, what days or dates were set down for your visitation rights?

MR. ERBECKER: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q. Subsequent to the divorce, did you ever visit with the children?

A. I don't understand that.

Q. After the divorce, did you go to the residence where the children were then living?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you visit with them?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. How frequently did this happen?

A. Approximately once a week on Sundays for about an hour.

Q. Did these children also come by to visit you in your home?

A. Not for about six months after the divorce.

Q. Have you yourself remarried?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. You live presently at the address you gave us a little earlier?

A. Yes.

Q. With your wife?

A. Yes.

Q. Of what does this household consist, in terms of people who live there?

A. My wife, her son and daughter.

Q. So there is a household of four persons?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. In the course of time did Paula Baniszewski, since the divorce, ever stay with you at your house for any period of time?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. For how long a period of time was this and when?

A. On May 22, 1964, all six kids came to the house. I was not married at that time.

Q. How long did they stay at that time, Mr. Baniszewski?

A. They stayed approximately two months and three of them went back - the three youngest ones went back and the three oldest ones remained with me and a few weeks later, approximately two weeks or three, Stephanie went back and Paula and John remained with me.

Q. How long did they remain with you?

A. Approximately to September 27, 1964 when John was removed back up to her and Paula remained with me.

Q. During that period of time, did either of the children remaining with you afford you any unusual disciplinarian problems?

MR. ERBECKER: We object.

THE COURT: Objection sustained.

Q. During the course of your marriage, Mr. Baniszewski, had you had frequent occasions to be about your own household?

A. Yes.

Q. When did that marriage take place to Mrs. Baniszewski, presently here? What year were you married?

A. When?

Q. To Mrs. Baniszewski, Gertrude Baniszewski?

A. May, 1945.

Q. The marriage endured till the time of the divorce, I believe you stated 1963?

A. No, there was another divorce before that.

Q. You were divorced two times from Mrs. Baniszewski?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. When did the first divorce take place?

A. I don't remember the exact year.

Q. Approximately?

A. It seems like '54 or'55, I believe.

Q. During the period of time that you and Mrs. Gertrude Baniszewski lived together as husband and wife and during the period of time that you went to the home where she lived with these children after your second divorce from her, you had frequent opportunity to observe her attitude, demeanor and conduct toward the children, did you not?

A. An hours time does not give you much time to do everything when you try to talk to six kids.

Q. You were there that space of time?

A. Yes.

Q. During the course of time you were married, you lived on the same premises with her?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. During the course of time, were you able to form an opinion of her manner and demeanor toward the children, her disciplinary standard for them?

A. You mean when we were living together?

Q. Yes.

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Would you describe them briefly to this jury?

MR. NEW: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q. Did you ever have occasion to see Mrs. Gertrude Baniszewski during the period I have referred to use corporal punishment on your daughter Paula Baniszewski?

MR. ERBECKER: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q. During the course of your visits to the household, did you make visits to the household at 3850 East New York?

A. Not into the house. I was up to the front door.

Q. On those occasions, did you have an opportunity to see whether or not your daughter Paula was on those premises?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you have occasion at that time also to see the young girl, Sylvia Likens, on the premises at the same time?

A. I believe I seen her out in front on the sidewalk once or twice.

Q. Did you ever have occasion to see your daughter Paula strike or kick or beat Sylvia Likens any time you were there?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did you ever have occasion to see Mrs. Gertrude Baniszewski beat, strike or kick your daughter Paula?

MR. ERBECKER: We object.

THE COURT: Overruled.

Q. Did you ever?

A. On New York Street, no, sir.

Q. At any time prior to that?

A. Well, -

Q. Yes or no, if you please, Mr. Baniszewski.

A. Yes.

Q. Tell the court what happened?

MR. ERBECKER: I am going to object to that, there is no time and place.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q. On what occasion and where, did you see this done?

A. In front of the place where I was living after the divorce.

Q. When was this, approximately?

A. Approximately September 27, 1964.

Q. What was done, Mr. Baniszewski?

MR. ERBECKER: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q. In the course of the times Paula visited with you during the course of the year 1965, did you ever have occasion to talk with her or she with you concerning the conduct of her mother toward her? Did she ever make any complaints?

MR. ERBECKER: We object, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Objection sustained. It is a leading question.

Q. Did you ever have occasion to talk with your daughter concerning her mother? Was anything said by Paula to you concerning her relations with her mother?

MR. ERBECKER: A yes or no answer.

THE COURT: Yes or no, sir.

Q. Let me rephrase it. Did your daughter ever discuss Mrs. Gertrude Baniszewski with you during the time we have just referred to?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What was the nature of the discussion?

MR. ERBECKER: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q. Did you ever have occasion to see any marks, scars, scratches or bruises on the person of your daughter Paula during the time referred to?

MR. ERBECKER: We object.

THE COURT: Overruled. Yes or no.

A. Yes.

Q. Can you describe what this mark or bruise was?

MR. ERBECKER: We object. It calls for a conclusion.

THE COURT: Overruled for the reason assigned. Sustained for other reasons.

MR. RICE: Witness is offered for cross examination. If the court please, Mr. Bowman would like to share direct examination with me and I have no objection if the court approves.

MR. ERBECKER: We are certainly going to object.

THE COURT: Then we will do it the way we have been doing everything. State of Indiana, any cross?

CROSS EXAMINATION,
QUESTIONS BY MR. LEROY NEW,
DEPUTY PROSECUTOR

Q. Mr. Baniszewski, were you ever in 3850 East New York during the period July 5, 1965 to October 26, 1965?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did you ever speak to Sylvia Likens?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Was that in passing or was it a conversation?

A. Just in passing when she -

MR. ERBECKER: We object.

THE COURT: Rest of the answer will go out.

Q. Do you remember what month it was?

A. I believe it was June 1965.

Q. Was that outside the residence of 3850 East New York?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you ever see Jenny Likens, her sister?

A. No, sir.

Q. Were you ever in the basement of 3850 East New York Street?

A. Not prior to October 26, no, sir.

MR. NEW: That is all.

THE COURT: Defendant Gertrude Baniszewski may cross examine.

MR. ERBECKER: We will reserve the right to cross examine her last, due to the numerical order of the defendants here.

THE COURT: We are starting with Gertrude Baniszewski. If you want to waive it is alright.

MR. ERBECKER: We are not waiving anything. We are respectfully requesting to have cross examination in the usual order.

THE COURT: The usual order is Gertrude Baniszewski.

CROSS EXAMINATION,
QUESTIONS BY MR. WILLIAM ERBECKER, ATTORNEY FOR DEFENDANT,
GERTRUDE BANISZEWSKI

Q. You say you did not go to the basement prior to October 26, 1965?

MR. RICE: We object.

THE COURT: Overruled.

Q. Did you or not say that?

A. No, sir.

Q. You went there afterward?

A. I was called there October 26th.

Q. Who by? Not the conversation. Who called you there?

A. My wife did.

Q. You mean your ex-wife or your present wife?

A. My present wife.

Q. Now, I believe you testified that custody of the children went to Gertrude Baniszewski?

A. Yes.

Q. Did she get the divorce?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And are you arrears in any of the payments?

MR. RICE: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q. Have you been making the weekly payments or bi-weekly payments as ordered by the court?

MR. RICE: We object.

THE COURT: Objection sustained.

Q. Is it a fact, the Welfare Board had to intervene because of your not paying?

MR. RICE: We object.

THE COURT: Objection sustained.

Q. Now, Mr. Likens - I mean Mr. Baniszewski, is it a fact that you and Gertrude Baniszewski had quarrels and arguments over your insistence she use disciplinary methods on the children?

MR. RICE: We object.

THE COURT: Objection sustained.

Q. Were any of the children ever given to you subsequent to the marriage or divorce, for you to administer disciplinary methods?

MR. RICE: We object.

THE COURT: Objection sustained.

Q. When is the first time you went to 3850 East New York Street?

MR. RICE: We object. It is repetitious.

THE COURT: Objection sustained. It is repetitious. Next question, please.

MR. ERBECKER: I respectfully move the court to reconsider the ruling as far as Gertrude Baniszewski.

THE COURT: Objection sustained. Next question.

MR. ERBECKER: No further questions.

THE COURT: Defendants John Stephan Baniszewski and Coy Hubbard.

CROSS EXAMINATION,
QUESTIONS BY MR. FORREST BOWMAN, ATTORNEY FOR DEFENDANTS,
COY HUBBARD AND JOHN STEPHAN BANISZEWSKI

Q. I think you said the three youngest children went home, went back to their mother?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And the three older ones stayed with you, is that correct?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What are the names of those three older ones?

A. John, Stephanie and Paula.

Q. And how long did they stay with you?

A. Stephanie went back two weeks later, and John and Paula remained with me and I sent them to school.

Q. Was that 1964?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Now, did they stay with you continually after that?

A. Up till about -

Q. Do you have some records with you that would help you recall these dates?

A. Yes, I have.

Q. Would you refer to them?

A. About October 27th.

MR. ERBECKER: I am going to object to him reading them.

A. I am not reading it.

THE COURT: To refresh his memory, counsel said. Objection overruled.

Q. Do you recall, Mr. Baniszewski, when Johnny left and went back to live with his mother in 1964?

A. About October 27.

Q. Did he come back to live with you any time after that?

A. March 3, 1965.

Q. When he came back to live with you March 3, 1965, did you go over to his mother's house and get him and bring him home?

A. He came as a resident to live with me permanently and visited with her.

Q. What time did he get there?

A. Between 8:30 in the evening and 11:00 o'clock at night.

Q. Did he have his clothes with him?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. What was he carrying them in?

A. A cardboard box.

Q. How did he get there? Did you get him and bring him there?

A. No, sir.

MR. ERBECKER: We object.

THE COURT: Overruled.

Q. How did he get there?

A. I really don't know.

Q. Did he walk?

MR. ERBECKER: We object. He said he don't know.

THE COURT: Sustained.

MR. BOWMAN: Your Honor, this is cross examination.

THE COURT: Objection sustained.

Q. How long did he stay with you?

A. Just a few days before school started in September '65.

Q. September of 1965?

A. School starts the first day after Labor Day. He stayed till a few days before that.

Q. That was two or three days?

A. Possibly something like that.

Q. Did you ever have any trouble controlling Johnny?

MR. ERBECKER: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained.

MR. BOWMAN: I'd like to make an Offer to Prove, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, take a five minute recess. By agreement of counsel and with the consent of the State and defendants made in open court, the jury is permitted to separate. Don't read anything that may appear about the case. Don't watch anything that may be broadcast about the case and do not talk to each other and don't let anyone else talk to you about this case or any thing that is connected therewith. Jury and Alternate Jurors are excused till ten till 3:00.

JURY EXCUSED.

THE COURT: Alright, you may be seated. Let's hear the Offer of Proof.

MR. BOWMAN: If the witness were permitted to answer the question, his answer is, "No, he is not hard to control except when he is under his mother's influence" and I would like the jury to hear the answer because that witness got on that witness stand and told that jury that she could not control this boy, and they heard her say it.

THE COURT: Read him the question.

THE REPORTER READ THE LAST QUESTION.

THE COURT: Objection sustained. Now let's take a recess.

RECESS.

THE COURT: Are you ready for the jury?

MR. BOWMAN: Ready.

THE COURT: Before we call in the jury, in reference to your request as to the witness Judy Duke, Mr. Erbecker, the only thing the court will do with reference to that is say you subpoena her Monday morning and get your subpoena issued today. An hour's notice is not enough for the court to do anything with. Give the sheriff ample time to serve it. Alright, bring in the jury.

JURY PRESENT AND SEATED.

THE COURT: Next question, Mr. Bowman.

Q. Mr. Baniszewski, during the time John lived with you in 1965, did you have any trouble controlling him?

MR. ERBECKER: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained. It's the same question.

MR. BOWMAN: We make the same Offer to Prove, Your Honor. I would like to make a record the same as we previously made.

THE COURT: Same ruling. The objection will be sustained as to the form of the question.

Q. Where do you live now, sir?

A. 2011 Main Street.

Q. Who lives with you?

A. My wife and her two children.

Q. Do you have facilities there for another thirteen year old boy?

A. Yes, sir.

MR. BOWMAN: That is all.

THE COURT: Defendant Richard Hobbs may cross examine.

CROSS EXAMINATION,
QUESTIONS BY MR. JAMES NEDEFF, ATTORNEY FOR DEFENDANT,
RICHARD HOBBS

Q. Mr. Baniszewski, how many times did you visit over there at 3850 East New York Street?

A. Inside the house, none.

Q. How many times were you ever there?

A. Several dozen.

Q. Now, your former wife and children lived one time on Bradley Street. Did you ever visit over there?

A. Not in the house.

Q. Let me ask you this. Do you know a Dennis Wright?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. How long have you known him? Just roughly, a year, two years, three years?

A. About three years.

Q. How old was he at that time?

A. Twenty.

Q. He will be twenty-three now?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you know where he is now?

A. No, just what I hear.

Q. What do you hear?

MR. ERBECKER: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q. Did you ever have any conversation with Dennis Wright?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Your last conversation with him - do you recall what month and year that was?

A. The last part of July 1963.

Q. That was your last conversation with him?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Who is Dennis Wright?

MR. ERBECKER: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q. Where did this conversation you had with him in 1965 take place?

MR. ERBECKER: We object.

THE COURT: Did he say '65?

Q. '63, I am sorry.

THE COURT: Objection sustained.

Q. Did you have any conversation with him in 1964?

MR. ERBECKER: We object.

THE COURT: Overruled, yes or no.

A. Yes.

Q. Where was that?

A. At a house on LaSalle and 13th.

Q. Who lived there?

A. My ex-wife.

Q. And who else?

A. Dennis Wright.

Q. How old was he at that time?

A. Twenty-one.

Q. Besides Dennis Wright and your former wife living there on LaSalle, who else lived there?

A. My children.

Q. Now, that conversation - what did you say to him and what did he say to you?

MR. ERBECKER: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained. It would be hearsay.

Q. Did you have any conversation with Dennis Wright in 1965?

A. No, sir.

Q. Do you recall, October '65 taking a German Shepherd dog to 3850 East New York Street?

MR. ERBECKER: We object.

THE COURT: Overruled.

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Do you recall the date in October, 1965?

A. The 23rd of October, 1965.

Q. That was on Saturday?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Do you recall what time of the day or evening that was?

A. Between 8:30 and 9:00 o'clock in the evening.

Q. What kind of dog was this, specifically?

A. A large German Shepherd that was friendly.

Q. On four legs how tall would it stand?

A. Twenty-four inches.

Q. What was the purpose of you taking a dog there?

MR. ERBECKER: We object.

THE COURT: Overruled.

A. Protection.

Q. One last question. You were married to Gertrude Baniszewski two times and divorced twice. Did she divorce you or did you divorce her?

A. She divorced me.

MR. NEDEFF: No other questions.

THE COURT: Any re-direct?

MR. RICE: One, Your Honor.

RE-DIRECT EXAMINATION,
QUESTIONS BY MR. GEORGE RICE, ATTORNEY FOR DEFENDANT,
PAULA MARIE BANISZEWSKI

Q. I will ask you, Mr. Baniszewski, if you can recall an incident which occurred at 3:00 o'clock P.M. on the evening of October 27, 1964, before the house where you then lived, when Mrs. Gertrude Baniszewski appeared with her daughter Paula, at which time an argument ensued and Mrs. Baniszewski struck this girl, Paula, forcibly two times and in spite of your objections said she would strike her any time or any place or way she chose?

MR. ERBECKER: We object and move the court to admonish the jury.

THE COURT: Objection sustained. The jury will ignore that question in arriving at a verdict in this case.

MR. RICE: No further questions.

THE COURT: Any recross?

RE-CROSS EXAMINATION,
QUESTIONS BY MR. LEROY NEW,
DEPUTY PROSECUTOR

Q. Mr. Baniszewski, did I understand you to say you did go to 3850 East New York Street on the 26th?

A. Yes.

Q. What time?

A. It must have been about 8:15.

Q. On your arrival, whom did you find?

A. I found a police officer and five of my children.

Q. Which five?

A. Jimmy, Shirley, Marie, Johnny and Paula.

Q. Did you take the children with you?

A. No, sir.

Q. How long did you stay?

A. I believe around midnight.

Q. Where did the children go to stay that night?

A. The police officers took them away.

Q. All of them?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Now, you stated on October 23, approximately 8:30 to 9:00 P.M. you took a dog to the premises at 3850 East New York Street?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did you go inside?

A. No.

Q. Did you see Jenny Likens?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did you see Sylvia Likens?

A. No, sir.

MR. NEW: That is all.

THE COURT: Any other questions, Gertrude Baniszewski?

MR. ERBECKER: Yes, your Honor.

RE-CROSS EXAMINATION,
QUESTIONS BY MR. WILLIAM ERBECKER, ATTORNEY FOR DEFENDANT,
GERTRUDE BANISZEWSKI

Q. While Paula lived with you in Beech Grove, did she ever run away from your custody and go someplace else to live?

A. No, sir.

MR. RICE: We object.

THE COURT: Objection sustained. The answer will go out. The jury will ignore the answer in arriving at a verdict in this case.

Q. Did Paula ever try to inflict any injury on herself while she was living with you in Beech Grove?

MR. RICE: We object.

THE COURT: Objection sustained.

Q. How long did your son John live with you in Beech Grove, sir?

A. The last time?

Q. Yes, sir.

A. From March 3rd to just a few days before school started in the fall of '65.

Q. Did you have a conversation with Gertrude Baniszewski at one time with reference to your taking you son John to your home?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Is it a fact, she asked you to take John and try to get him to mind and that is the reason you took him?

MR. RICE: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q. What was the conversation between you and Gertrude Baniszewski?

MR. RICE: We object.

THE COURT: Objection sustained. The time and place.

Q. What time and where was this conversation between you and Gertrude Baniszewski, with reference to John, your son, regarding him staying with you?

MR. BOWMAN: I will object to that, Your Honor.

THE COURT: It calls for the time and place.

MR. BOWMAN: I did not understand. I will withdraw the objection.

THE COURT: When was it and where was it?

A. I really can't say. We met outside along the curb.

Q. When?

A. When I went to pick the kids up.

Q. At that time, there, outside the house at the curb, is it a fact Gertrude Baniszewski told you to take Johnny with you because she could not get him to mind? Did she?

MR. RICE: We object.

THE COURT: Objection sustained. The jury will ignore the question in arriving at a verdict in this case.

Q. Do you recall the conversation you had with Gertrude Baniszewski at that time and place with reference to John?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did you and your present wife have trouble with John while he was living with you?

MR. RICE: We object.

THE COURT: Objection sustained. It calls for a conclusion.

Q. Did you ever have occasion to discipline John while he was living with you and your wife?

MR. RICE: We object.

THE COURT: Overruled. Yes or no.

A. Yes, sir, ordinary discipline, yes, sir.

Q. Ordinary discipline. What was the nature of the infraction or violation? What did he do to cause the discipline?

MR. RICE: We object.

MR. BOWMAN: We object.

THE COURT: Objection sustained. The jury will ignore that question in arriving at a verdict in this case.

MR. ERBECKER: Nothing further.

THE COURT: Defendants John Stephan Baniszewski and Coy Hubbard.

MR. BOWMAN: No questions.

THE COURT: Defendant Richard Hobbs?

MR. NEDEFF: Did your former wife, Gertrude Baniszewski, live with Dennis Wright any other place other than on North LaSalle that you spoke of?

MR. ERBECKER: We object, that is not proper.

THE COURT: Objection sustained. The jury will ignore that question in arriving at a verdict in this case.

MR. NEW: The State has nothing.

WITNESS EXCUSED.

MR. RICE: May it please the court, by my record seventeen witnesses were called by the state and some twenty by Mr. Erbecker. Included in the group of thirty-seven would have been all the people we wished to interrogate. I think we have had a full and fair opportunity to interrogate. At this time Paula Marie Baniszewski rests her case.

DEFENDANT PAULA MARIE BANISZEWSKI RESTS.
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