The Trial of Bernhard Goetz: Testimony of Myra Friedman

Direct Examination by Gregory Waples:

Friedman: He walked into my apartment [on December 30, 1984] and said, "Can I leave this with you for a few days?" And I let out some kind of yell and said, "What is that?" And he said, "This is not the weapon that was used [in the subway shootings.  He walked towards my bedroom] and I said, "No, not there." There: And I pointed to my hallway walk-in closet. . . . As he walked over to the closet, I said, "Will that explode?" And he said, "There are no bullets in there."  I said, "Do you have a license for that or those?"--I am unclear as to whether there was singular or plural in my own language. I'm not sure; there may have been a reference to a plural. But I said, "Do you have a license?" And he said, "This or these"-once again, I'm not sure as to the plural or singular-"were or was purchased legally." [After Goetz left], I went upstairs to Mr. Goetz's apartment to knock on the door with the intention of asking him to take the package back, [but there was no answer].

Waples: Do you consider yourself a friend of him?

Friedman: No, absolutely not.

Waples: Have you ever considered yourself a friend of the defendant?

Friedman: Absolutely not.

Waples: How do you characterize your acquaintance with him?

Friedman: Mr. Goetz was and is a distant acquaintance. I had nothing to do with him. Nothing.

Cross Examination by Barry Slotnick:

[After Friedman admitted that she had not called the police to identify the subway gunman, Slotnick asked a series of questions.]

Slotnick: Were you aware of the fact that on December 29, 1984, other than Mr. Goetz, you were the only other person that knew who the tall, blond man on the train was?

Waples: Objection. How could she possibly know that?

[Objection overruled.]

Friedman: I wondered if anyone else knew about that but thought that I was the only one that knew.

Slotnick: You were aware, after the phone conversation, that Mr. Goetz had not turned himself in?

Friedman: Yes, I was aware of that.

Slotnick: And you did nothing to alert the authorities who the. person on the subway was?

Friedman: No, I did not.

Slotnick: As a matter of fact, were you--when Mr. Goetz called, did he call you Myra or Miss Friedman?

Friedman: He called me Myra.

Slotnick: And did you call him Mr. Goetz or Bernie?

Friedman:I called him Bernie.

Slotnick: As a matter of fact, during the phone conversation, you not only asked him what happened, but you rendered advice to him: "Bernie, this is what you should do": things of that sort?

Friedman: I most certainly suggested that he turn himself in.

Slotnick: And did you tell Bernie, "I'm not going to tell a soul"? Did you tell him that?

Friedman: sure, yeah.

Slotnick:  And did you also say, "Bernie, when you get in tomorrow, give me a call"?

Friedman: Yeah, something like that.

Slotnick: In other words, did you express to Mr. Goetz sympathy, concern, and care?

Friedman: Of some nature, yes, I did....

Slotnick: Miss Friedman, when you had this phone conversation on December 29, 1984, the first one you taped, you expressed the feeling that Mr. Goetz was innocent of any wrongdoing. Why did you have that impression?

Waples: Your Honor, I object.

Justice Crane: Objection sustained. The jury is to disregard questions that don't have answers.

Waples: This is outrageous.

Justice Crane: Mr. Slotnick, please don't reveal any contents of any conversations between the witness and your client.

Slotnick: Without going into words, did you have an impression as to Mr. Goetz's culpability?

Waples: Your Honor--

Justice Crane: Objection sustained.

Waples: Would Your Honor direct Mr. Slotnick to please cease and desist from this line which you have already ordered him not to pursue?

Justice Crane: Mr. Slotnick, please don't ask any further questions about the communications at all and go on to another subject. I think you have had enough on this line....

Slotnick: Now, between the time he left your apartment and the time he returned, did you happen to call the police and the authorities and say, "The man you are looking for has just been in my apartment"?

Friedman: No, I did not.

Slotnick: And when he left your apartment, it was still Bernie and Myra, was it not?

Friedman: Well, yeah.

Slotnick:  Now, he came back, and when he came back he came back with a package, is that correct?

Friedman: That's correct.

Slotnick: And you let him in?

Friedman:  Yes.

Slotnick:  And it was stilI Bernie and Myra, was it not?

Friedman: I don't remember. I don't remember if he said "Myra" or just "you." I mean, I don't remember. I mean, do you mean did he call me Miss Friedman, the answer is no.

Slotnick: Of course not....You kept [Goetz's guns] in your closet?

Friedman:  Yes.

Slotnick:  And you didn't say, "Oh, no, Bernie, don't put them in my closet"?

Friedman: To be a little less humorous about it, this was a very unexpected visit.

Slotnick: Please answer my question. Did you tell him not to put them in your closet?

Friedman: No, I did not tell him that.

Slotnick: You were and you are and you were then a mature adult?

Friedman: At that moment I was kind of in a state of shock, but I am a mature adult, yes.

Slotnick:"That was the thirtieth, is that correct?

Friedman:  Yes.

Slotnick: Isn't it a matter of fact you kept the package in your closet the entire day?

Friedman: Yeah, uh-huh.

Slotnick: You didn't call police?

Friedman:  No.

Slotnick: And you still, on the thirtieth, maintained this concern, sympathy, as you expressed before, about Mr. Goetz. Is that correct, yes or no?

Waples: Objection.

Justice Crane: Sustained.

Slotnick then discussed with Friedman her second telephone conversation with Goetz, which took place the following day, on December 31, and which she also taped. Here he was clearly trying to establish that she was an accomplice.

Slotnick: Isn't it correct you told him [in a phone conversation on December 31] you were very concerned because you thought you may be committing a crime?

Friedman: Yes, indeed, That I-Yes, I was very frightened.

Slotnick: And did you ever say to him,"Well, can I drop them in the river"?

Friedman: Yes, I said that.

Slotnick: That was a good way of getting rid of them?

Friedman:  Yeah.

Slotnick: By the way, that was your idea, not his?

Friedman: That's correct. It was my remark.

Slotnick: As a matter of fact, at that point really what was going on is that you and your neighbor, Bernie, were somewhat conspiratorial with regard to what was in your closet?

Friedman: I did not feel conspiratorial, Mr. Slotnick. I felt scared.

Slotnick: But the essence of it was you and he were discussing how you would dispose with what was in your closet?

Friedman: I was extremely concerned about being in the position I was put in.

Slotnick: Why didn't you call the police?

Friedman: I did not--contrary to the turmoil that later developed, and got out of hand--I did not want to end up in the headlines.

Slotnick: You did not want to end up in the headlines?

Friedman: No, I did not....