ORCHARD UNSHAKEN BY THE DEFENSE
Richardson Tries Vainly in Cross-Examination to Find Flaws in His Testimony
Repeats Original Story
Haywood's Lawyers Hope to Prove Orchard's Work Really a Blind for Mine Owners.
BOISE, Idaho, June 7.--Harry Orchard's unlovely character was the target for a few more attacks from his own battering ram today and under Richardson's cross-examination it was established that the self-confessed murderer was also a poker player for money; a thief of high-grade ore, who was not particular whether he stole from his mining employees or his murdering mates; a traitor to his partners, turning informer because he was jealous of their selection of another to do an easy trick of train wrecking; a traitor to his new detective employers, giving them the "double-cross" as soon as he found that he could get paid for the more attractive work of murdering and dynamiting, and, in general, a man whose life had been admittedly depraved before he entered upon the profession of murder for pay.
Orchard again brazenly avowed his guilt of the crime of bigamy.
"You married a widow with two children, didn't you? "asked Richardson.
"NO, with three children, "Replied Orchard unshaken by the charge.
The care with which Orchard changed Richardson's two to three was a sample of the exactness with which he answered all questions during the four and half hours he was under examination to-day, It was ding dong, hammer-and-tongs all day, and time after time Richardson picked up the statement he had made and modifying it, sometimes slightly, sometimes to a greater extent, made it the basis of another question. Not once did Orchard permit the change to go unchallenged; sometimes it was, "excuse me, Mr. Richardson, I said this and that so." Sometimes it was, "I beg your pardon, it was this way". Oftener it was just plain "NO, I didn't say that. He was alert and cool all the time, watched his questioner like a hawk, and never subscribed to a statement until it was to a form that suited him.
Orchards Testimony Unshaken
The net result of the entire day's work, therefore, was that his story of murder, was unshaken, and that some of the points he had made on direct examination had been emphasized by the defense . The nearest approach to a successful attack that Richardson succeeded in making was on the treachery to his mates that Orchard had admitted to Hawley. He did not bring out that Orchard had taken money from the railroad detective, C. D. Scott. The explosion and train-wrecking attempt served to bring out clearly the attitude of Orchard at that time regarding the killing of non-union men. He admitted that the car of dynamite, if set off, would kill all the men then in the mine.
"You would just as soon kill a carload of men as a few?" asked Richardson.
"Well, that was the way I felt about it at that time," replied Orchard.
He made it clear before he got away from the subject that they were all non-union men, who had gone to work after the strike began.
Three times during the day the cross-examination touched on a point that is sure to be much debated when the case comes to the closing argument. They were different incidents, but all of the same character. The first was as to Orchard's first meeting with Billy Aikman, who helped him fix the bomb that killed McCormick and Beck. He calmly declared that the very first time he ever saw Aikman he asked him to help in that job, and Aikman agreed. Richardson took the position that such a thing was impossible; that it was unbelievable that any man would agree to go on a murdering expedition with another who came to him as a total stranger and made the proposition within five minutes of their first words together.
He did not argue it then and there with Orchard, and in that fashion, but that was clearly indicated by the questions he asked and the manner of asking them. With Orchard it was always a sufficient answer and a complete explanation of the mystery, that Sherman Parker had sent him to Aikman and had previously told Aikman about him. That, too, will be the contention of the prosecution when it reaches the argument stage. It will be urged that such willingness on Aikman's part, instead of being incredible, demonstrates the understanding for the use of violence that existed among these men, and that all Aikman needed to agree was to have the right man come with the proposition.
The Owney Barnes incident was exactly similar. That was the case of the bombs Orchard says he and Barnes made to be thrown into the Vindicator coal bunkers.
They had never met and neither knew the other, but somewhat freely rendered, the Orchard version of their meeting and the conversation when they planned that murder was something like this: "Hello, Barnes, I'm Orchard. Let's have a bomb party."
"Sure, come up to the house and we'll make a few now and blow up some scabs."
Orchard Meets Pettibone
The third incident of this character was when Orchard met Pettibone for the first time. That was in Denver. Orchard says he was talking with Moyer at the headquarters office, when the Federation President told him about "Pettibone dope", the "fluid," as Orchard calls it, that was invented to be thrown into cars where scabs were riding, and burn them up. Moyer told Orchard to go over to Pettibone's store and get some of it to take back to Cripple Creek. Orchard went, and this is about what happened. He had never seen Pettibone in his life, but Pettibone had heard about his exploits of dynamiting at the Vindicator. Orchard walked into the store and said: "Hello, Pettibone. I'm Orchard."
"Fine," says Pettibone. "Have a few gallons of dope?"
It was not, of course, in just those words, but that is a fair report in substance of the talk as Orchard gives it. And the result was that Orchard went back to Cripple Creek with several gallons of the stuff in his gripsack.
That was probably when he was practicing for his subsequent amusement as a gripsack toter of dynamite. The defense says it is a "damned lie," or words to that effect.
Orchard, however, told of burying the "dope" near his cabin, and when he first confessed, fifteen months ago, the stuff was found and dug up where he had located it. It is now ready for introduction in evidence. All these three conversations which Richard brought out with renewed emphasis to-day will be held by the prosecution to be certain evidence of the fact of conspiracy and of its results.
The answer of the defense is that they are all lies out of whole cloth.
Orchard had his nerve with him all day to-day, but toward the close of the afternoon session he seemed to be weary. His voice was not so strong, and his manner was that of a man physically tired, which was not surprising, considering what he has been through the last three days. But he was alert mentally as ever, and did not fall into a single trap.
--OSCAR KING DAVIS
LINK TO NEXT O. K. DAVIS TRIAL REPORT
LINK TO MAIN HAYWOOD PAGE