The Paquette Testimony
The first few witnesses in the trial establish that the murder happened and that Lieutenant Manion was the person who did the shooting. The most important of these witnesses is Alphonse Paquette, bartender at the Thunder Bay Inn. In reality, he was Adrian Wentzel, manager of the Lumberjack Tavern.
In the trial transcript the attorneys provide the information for the most part, and the witness merely answers "yes" or "no." This makes for very dull reading, so Voelker has the attorneys ask only the first part of their questions, and the witness provides a more elaborate and detailed answer. Voelker did not use all of Wentzel's testimony, only parts of it, for Paquette's testimony had to fit what has gone before in the novel. Yet it retains the flavor and intent of the actual trial testimony.
The objections and rulings are given almost exactly as they occurred in the Peterson trial. This is necessary because the objections and rulings provide the boundaries or limits on testimony that may be introduced. Voelker used the testimony of some later witnesses almost verbatim, when these limits were in effect, so the early rulings made by Judge Charles O. Arch, the original trial judge, need to be in place in the book.
Note that the drafts in all three of the excerpts have numerous changes, deletions, and additions. Voelker was never satisfied with what he wrote and was always making changes. He would write the first draft in longhand and then revise it. After his secretary had typed it, he would make further revisions, sometimes splicing new material into a supposedly finished chapter. This process would go on until the publisher told him to stop sending changes as they needed to send the manuscript to the printer.
Click on the manuscript buttons to the left to view the the Paquette testimony manuscripts.