New Orleans Police Department Homicide Division Office August 19, 1963 Item # H-9201-63
Statement of one, Esther Walgamotte, WF, 19 years of age, residing 5220 Magazine St. with room mate Bobbie Poland, WF, employed at the Half Moon Bar, located 1125 St. Mary St. Statement relative to the death of Lonzy H. Minshew, WM, 45 years of age, formerly residing 1315 St. Mary St. whose body was found at 6:15 AM August 17, 1963 in the rear of Audubon Park.
After being shown a photograph of a dead man I recall seeing him in the Half Moon Bar where I have been working as a barmaid for the last three weeks, most of the time he was wearing a dirty khaki uniform, sometimes he would stay in the bar and drink a couple of beers and other times he would buy a bottle of wine to take out of the bar with him. I remember that good because one time I shortchanged him he bought a pint of wine and I charged him for a fifth, I walked to the other end of the bar and he called me back and I corrected the mistake. All the time he was by him self, he talked to a few of the wine heads while he was in the place.
On Friday August the 17th, I mean the 16th, at about 5:30 to 6:30 he came in he was by his self, he bought a beer and he asked two or three people down the bar if they wanted a drink and they all refused him, he pulled out a big handful of money, he told a guy that was sitting next to him “Look I can buy you a drink I’ve got plenty of money[“], and the guy said “Look Buddy, put your money away, I’ll buy my own drinks” and the other guy who he later left with, that was sitting on the other side of him, picked his money up from the bar where he had put it and put it in the top pocket of his shirt, right after that the fellow that put his money in his shirt pocket and him left the bar. Then the guy that had told him “I’ll buy my own drinks” said to the customers in general “That guys going to get took for his money”.
The dead man came in later that night, I guess it was about 10:30 because that’ when the place was real packed, I didn’t see him come in, he came to the bar and ordered three beers waited for his change and walked off towards the tables, he came back several more times, each time he ordered three more beers. When the crowd was gone he was gone. I didn’t see him anymore, I don’t know who he was sitting with but I guess he was sitting with somebody at the tables.
Q. Do you remember seeing a tall fellow, about 6’1 or 2″ and a short fellow
A. Yes, they came to the end of the bar at about 12 o’clock or after, the big guy had a cigar stuck in his mouth and had dirty blond hair a fat face, a hat and he had on a tan shirt and khaki pants he ordered two beers, Jax, he pulled money out of his pocket, it looked like he had to hunt pretty good for a dollar bill. I gave him a fifty cent piece back and he dropped it on the floor, he said I don’t want that I want two quarters, and he wanted me to pick the fifty cent piece up but I wouldn’t do it so he reached down and picked it up. I gave him two quarters the little guy said something to him in a low voice and that’s when he said somethi[ng] I don’t know exactly what but it was something like, Yea we got to hurry. The big guy grabbed my hand and said “Goodbye sweetie” and they left with the bottles.
Q. Do You remember anything about the little fellow?
A. No, the only thing I remember about him was that he was short and built good, and both fellows talked like they came from Mississippi, like real hillbillies. The little guy was quiet and the big guy was trying to act rough, he talked real loud, he reminded me of an oilfield worker. Both fellows came in the place from the restaurant.
signature Esther Walgamotte
Statement typed by Sgt. R.J. Blake in the presence of Patn. R.G. Townsend and completed at 3:40 AM August 19, 1963, questions asked by Sgt. Blake.