William Kaiser - Detective Sergeant

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William Kaiser - Detective Sergeant

Postby admin » October 31st, 2010, 7:18 pm

WILLIAM KAISER , a witness called on behalf of the defense, in a Hearing to Suppress Evidence,
held out of the presence of the jury, being duly sworn by the Court, testified as follows:


Q. State your name, sir.

A. William Kaiser.

Q. Police Officer for City of Indianapolis?

A. That is correct.

Q. Detective Sergeant assigned to Homicide?

A. That is correct.

Q. You were such October 26, 1965, were you, Sergeant?

A. That is correct.

Q. At that time did you have occasion to go to 3850 East New York Street, Indianapolis, Indiana?

A. I did, sir.

Q. What time did you arrive there?

A. Approximately 6:55 P.M.

Q. Were you the first police officer on the scene?

A. No, sir, I was not.

Q. Who was the first police officer, if you know, who was there in front of you?

A. There was Officer Melvin Dixon, Lt. Dilk, Sgt. Derrickson, Officer Harmon and several other uniformed officers.

Q. You were in charge of this investigation were you?

A. That is correct, sir.

Q. Now then, who else made an initial investigation other than Police Officer Melvin Dixon and Paul Harmon, who turned their report or findings or information over to you?

A. Identification Bureau and -

THE COURT: Just a minute Mr. Bowman.

MR. BOWMAN: I am going to be right here in the courtroom, Judge. That is as far as I am going.

THE COURT: Let's wait till you get back. Alright.

Q. Did any police officer other - then Identification and Police Officer Melvin Dixon and Harmon give you any information in the course of your investigation here?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Who else?

A. Sgt. Leo Gentry and his partner.

Q. Sgt. Leo Gentry. What is his partner's name?

A. I don't recall. It is a lady, a police woman.

Q. Who else?

A. Sgt. Campbell.

Q. What is his first name?

A. I don't recall, sir.

Q. Campbell.

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Who else?

A. Actually, that is all I recall at this time.

Q. Do you know, of your own knowledge, whether Sgt. Leo Gentry and the policewoman and Sgt. Campbell made their investigation or interrogate anybody prior to your getting on the scene?

A. Not to my knowledge.

Q. Who interrogated anyone there at 3850 East New York Street, Indianapolis, Indiana, prior to your coming there, if you know?

A. The only one I know of is Officer Dixon.

Q. Officer Dixon. How about Harmon?

A. No, when I arrived he was outside, sir, at the door.

Q. Then you received no information or no report from any police officer who arrived there before you did, other than the one you got from Melvin Dixon, Police Officer Dixon, is that right?

A. Only by the dispatcher.

Q. By the dispatcher?

A. Yes.

Q. All he did was announce over the radio of something that was occurring there, that is your sole information from him?

A. No, sir, the message was by telephone.

Q. Telephone?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. When was that message given to you, with reference to conversation you had with Officer Dixon?

A. The message was given to me approximately 6:55 or 6:35.

Q. 6:35, who gave you a message at 6:35?

A. I don't recall, sir.

Q. Was it from headquarters?

A. Yes.

Q. Homicide?

A. No, from the dispatcher.

Q. Is there only one dispatcher on at night?

A. No, sir.

Q. How many are there?

A. Approximately five.

Q. At 6:35 you got a message from the dispatcher and you went out there?

A. That is correct.

Q. What was the message from the dispatcher?

A. Investigate a possible dead girl.

Q. Anything else?

A. That is about all, sir.

Q. About all. Was there anything said about Gertrude Baniszewski?

A. Not to my knowledge.

Q. Was there anything said about the head of the house being there?

A. No, sir.

Q. The message simply was "Investigate a possible homicide at 3850 East New York"?

A. Investigate a dead girl, sir.

Q. Nothing, no mention was made about this woman here, Gertrude Baniszewski, nothing at all?

A. Not that I recall.

Q. Then, pursuant to that, that is what started you out there?

A. That is right.

Q. Then when you got out there did you talk to Sgt. Officer Melvin Dixon?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Have you any way of knowing how long he was there prior to your getting there?

A. No, I do not.

Q. Did he tell you how long he was there before you got there?

A. No, sir.

Q. Where was he, upstairs or down?

A. If I recall, he was downstairs.

Q. He turned over to you the results of his conversation with Gertrude Baniszewski, did he?

A. No, sir, the first thing I did, he took me upstairs and showed me the body.

Q. Then did you have conversation with him?

A. Just general conversation.

Q. About Gertrude Baniszewski?

A. About everyone in general at the house and what happened.

Q. Did he tell you she had given him a note?

A. That is correct.

Q. Did he give you the note?

A. Yes, sir, he did.

Q. Did you make some notes of your own at that time of what transpired?

A. Yes, sir, I did.

Q. Have you got them with you?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Will you refresh your recollection so I can ask you so you can tell us what they were, what transpired - not reading - just look and refresh your recollection.

A. I can tell you without looking at them.

Q. Alright, what happened?

A. I talked to Mrs. Gertrude Wright at the scene. She told me that -

Q. Just a minute. Did your notes reflect you talked to Officer Melvin Dixon, do your notes reflect that?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did you talk to him first?

A. Generally, to find what took place.

Q. He told you what took place, what he knew?

A. Yes.

Q. In his conversation to you he related in substance or at least part of what Gertrude Baniszewski told him?

A. Just what everyone told him.

Q. What everyone told him, now then, he told you what Gertrude Baniszewski told him in addition to what other people told him?

A. It is possible. I don't recall exactly what were his words.

Q. He gave you some leads what to ask her, didn't he?

A. No, he told me Mrs. Gertrude Wright was the head of the household there and that - then I went over and talked to her and I also talked to Richard Hobbs there at the house.

Q. Now, do you remember testifying before, in another matter concerning this case?

A. That is correct.

Q. At the time you talked to her did you effectively warn her of her constitutional rights to remain absolutely silent?

A. Not at that time.

Q. You did not tell her anything she might say to could be used against her?

A. No, sir, I did not.

Q. How long did you talk to her there at the house?

A. Approximately ten or fifteen minutes.

Q. Ten or fifteen minutes. Then what did you do with her?

A. I asked her if - after I made my investigation at the scene, I asked her if she would come down to the Homicide Office and give me a statement pertaining to the death of Sylvia Likens.

Q. Did she go to Homicide and give you a statement then?

A. Yes, pertaining to the death of Sylvia, as she told it?

Q. It was reduced to writing and she signed it?

A. No, sir.

Q. It was never reduced to writing?

A. Just an oral statement.

Q. Now, when did you take the oral statement?

A. The following day after she appeared in court, Capt. Davenport and myself talked to her.

Q. She did not give you the oral statement the first night?

A. She denied everything.

Q. She denied everything the first night. Now, then did you talk to her from the time of her denial the first night till she went to court the next day?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did Lt. Davenport?

A. No, sir.

Q. Then she went to one of the police courts?

A. That is correct.

Q. Were you there in police court?

A. Yes, sir, I was.

Q. And in front of what judge?

A. Judge Harry Zaklan.

Q. You were present. Was there a hearing?

A. I really don't know, sir.

Q. Was it waived over to Grand Jury?

A. No, sir, it was not.

Q. Was there a hearing?

A. I really don't recall.

Q. Did the court appoint an attorney for her?

A. Not at that time.

Q. Did she have an attorney?

A. She was given permission the previous night to call an attorney.

Q. You gave her permission to call an attorney?

A. Yes.

Q. Did she call one?

A. I believe she did.

Q. Were you present?

A. No, when I took her upstairs to the lockup I informed the turnkey the lady wanted to call her attorney, to give her permission to call one.

Q. Then she did make a call the first might?

A. Yes.

Q. Then you knew she had an attorney?

A. No, after court I questioned her and she stated she did not think the attorney wanted to take the case.

Q. You knew she had sought the advice of counsel?

A. That is right.

Q. At that time, did you effectively warn her of her constitutional rights to remain silent and say nothing?

A. Yes.

Q. You and Lt. Davenport?

A. Yes.

Q. After the police court hearing?

A. Yes.

Q. I will ask if she did not tell you repeatedly she did not want to talk to you or Lt. Davenport unless she had a lawyer and that the lawyer told you he could not come down right away?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did she tell you she talked to an attorney that night before?

A. She said she contacted an attorney by telephone.

Q. Did she tell you she waived the right to counsel, her right to talk to a lawyer, did she tell you that?

A. No, she said - both myself and Capt. Davenport advised her that she did not have to say anything, do anything until she talked to an attorney.

Q. What did you tell her, as best you can remember, each of you?

A. I told her that she did not have to give any statement, do anything, say anything until she could contact any attorney and also Capt. Davenport told her the same thing. At that time she stated she had not done anything wrong, did not need an attorney.

Q. Then when she told you that, you and he continued to question her?

A. That is correct.

Q. And how effective was the words you used to warn her, what specifically did you say with reference to her right to have a lawyer?

A. As I tell everybody else, the same thing.

Q. What?

A. That she does not have to make any kind of statement, do anything till she contacts an attorney.

Q. At that time you were trying to find out what happened?

A. I was still making an investigation, sir.

Q. And at that time it was no longer a general inquiry but you thought she had participated some way in the crime, didn't you?

A. Actually I did not know, sir, because she denied everything.

Q. And other than what she ultimately told you, you never had any other evidence at that time, did you?

A. That she was involved, sir, yes, sir, I did.

Q. You had other evidence she was involved?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Then you knew that attention had been focused on her as a prime suspect, if you had other evidence, didn't you?

A. One of the suspects, sir.

Q. You knew she was one of the prime suspects, didn't you?

A. At that time, I would not say she was one of the prime - I did not know who actually committed the crime.

Q. I thought you had other evidence linking her with the crime, is that correct?

A. That is correct.

Q. You knew at that time, from your prior investigation out at the house, from your talking with her at police headquarters that night and from being in police court in front of Judge Zaklan that all the others were minors and she was the only adult, you knew that, didn't you?

A. That is correct.

Q. Then you knew that she was the only adult involved in this thing, didn't you?

A. So far.

Q. Up to that time?

A. That is correct.

Q. And you knew then, in your opinion, she was suspected of having been one of the perpetrators in the thing?

A. Actually I was not sure.

Q. You wanted to make sure by interrogating her?

A. I wanted to hear her side of the story.

Q. And you then deny she told you she wanted to get a lawyer?

A. No, the night before she did tell me.

Q. I am talking about the time you and Spurgeon Davenport interrogated her after the hearing in Room 6.

A. That is right.

Q. What time was the hearing in Room 6?

A. 9:00 o'clock.

Q. What time did you and Davenport start taking to her?

A. 9:50.

Q. How long did you continue her interrogation of her before she told you anything?

A. I'd say after we advised her, right after we advised her about an attorney.

Q. How long did it take you to advise her?

A. I'd say approximately three or four minutes, five minutes.

Q. What did she say in five minutes, with reference to her constitutional rights?

A. I - as I told you before, we both advised her she did not need to do anything, say anything, sign any statements until she contacted an attorney.

Q. Did you both say it simultaneous?

A. No.

Q. You - who was first?

A. I.

Q. When you repeated it the second time, did Davenport talk with a drawl or in an ordinary conversational tone?

MR. NEW: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q. How long did it take for Davenport to give her an extended explanation of her rights?

A. I really don't recall.

Q. About the same time it took you?

A. I don't recall.

Q. Was it more than you said?

A. I really don't know.

Q. When you say four or five minutes, what else was said with reference to her constitutional rights?

A. I really don't recall.

Q. Then when your explanation and your admonition of her constitutional rights was as you related, it simply amounted to this, "you don't have to say a word unless you want to" is that what your admonition was?

A. No, sir.

Q. What else did you add?

A. Until she contacted an attorney.

Q. You added that too?

A. That is correct.

Q. That is the sole explanation of her constitutional rights?

A. I don't know, sir.

Q. You were there, were you?

A. Are you asking me?

Q. I am asking you what you and Spurgeon Davenport explained to her were her constitutional rights, that is what we are talking about.

A. I don't know what her constitutional rights are.

Q. How could you explain her constitutional rights if you don't know?

A. I did not explain her constitutional rights. The only thing I advised her was she did not have to say anything till she saw an attorney.

Q. Did Davenport explain her constitutional rights to her?

A. No, sir, he did not.

Q. Neither of you explained this woman's constitutional rights to remain silent, get an attorney, or say nothing, did you?

A. We advised her she did not have to say anything, do anything, sign anything till she contacted an attorney.

Q. Now, Sergeant, you testified in front of the Grand Jury, did you?

A. Yes, sir, I believe I did.

Q. And during the course of your testimony there, you utilized a portion of the statement Melvin Dixon gave you, didn't you?

MR. NEW: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained.

MR. ERBECKER: No further questions.

MR. NEW: No questions.


THE COURT: Next witness. You know you are not to be in the courtroom. There is a separation of witnesses.


THE COURT: Don't tell anybody what you said here.

SGT. KAISER: Alright.

MR. ERBECKER: From the testimony elicited, I find it necessary to get the other three officers. I beg the Court's indulgence to finish this tomorrow morning.

THE COURT: What time shall I tell the jury to come in tomorrow morning? How long is it going to last. There is no sense having them sitting back there waiting.

MR. ERBECKER: If we start at 9:30, I would suggest 10:30.

THE COURT: Now, can we go on with the trial?

MR. ERBECKER: I will do whatever you say, so will Gertrude Baniszewski.

THE COURT: Ready for the jury?

MR. RICE: Could we have a brief recess?


THE COURT: Bring out the defendants, please. Again let me remind those seated at the so-called press tables, those seats have been reserved for the news media. Gentlemen, I can't watch that and watch the court too. We have to have some semblance of order. We just have so much room. Are you ready for the jury?

MR. NEDEFF: Defendant Richard Hobbs is ready.

THE COURT: Is the State ready?

MR. NEW: Yes.

THE COURT: May we proceed without Miss Wessner?

MR. NEW: Yes.

THE COURT: Let the record show evidence heard in part on Gertrude Baniszewski's Motion to Suppress Evidence and on motion of said defendant, hearing on said Motion to Suppress Evidence will be resumed tomorrow morning at 9:00 A.M. - 9:30 A.M. Are there any witnesses in the courtroom other than those permitted to stay? Bring in the jury. Get your first witness ready.


THE COURT: The State may present it's evidence.
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