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Forest Sorells

 

SORRELS   Volume VII

 

TESTIMONY OF FORREST V. SORRELS

 

            The testimony of Forrest V. Sorrels was taken at 9:45 a.m. on May 7, 1964, at 200 Maryland Avenue NE., Washington , D.C. by Mr. Samuel A. Stern, assistant counsel of the President's Commission. Mr. David W. Belin, assistant counsel for the President's Commission, and Mr. Fred B. Smith, Deputy General Counsel, U.S. Treasury Department were present.

 

            Mr. STERN. Good morning, Mr. Sorrels.

            Mr. SORRELS. Good morning, sir.

            Mr. STERN. You understand that this is a continuation of your deposition, and that you are still under oath?

 

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            Mr. SORRELS, Yes, sir.

            Mr. STERN. Yesterday you covered with Mr. Hubert the events that transpired from the time of the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald forward1.

            I would like to go back now with you and cover the advance preparations for the President's trip, and come up to the time of the shooting of Oswald.

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.

            Mr. STERN. Would you tell us first something of your experience in Presidential protection work through the course of your career in the Secret Service?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir; the first real assignment that I had in connection with Presidential work was in 1936 at Dallas, Tex. when President Roosevelt came there, and there was a parade downtown, motorcade out to the Cotton Bowl at Fair Park, where he made a talk, and then from there to the Adolphus Hotel for luncheon, and from the Adolphus Hotel to Lee Park, where he unveiled a monument, and then motored to Fort Worth, Tex., where there was a reception committee that met him on the lawn at the Texas Pacific Railroad Station, and then motored to a park in Fort Worth where he made a talk, and then continued on out to his son Elliott's ranch, west of Fort Worth.

            During the time that President Roosevelt was in office, there were a number of times that he came to Fort Worth to visit his son.

            One in particular that I recall was during the Second World War, when it was necessary that his travels be kept secret, and we were able to get him into his son's home and visit the airplane factory where the B-36 was manufactured there at Fort Worth, and get him out of town, and it was some 2 hours after that before any reporter ever found out and called our office inquiring about the President.

            I have been to Washington on inaugurations two times that I can recall, the last one being at the time that President Kennedy was inaugurated.

            I have been assigned on surveys in connection with inaugurations. I have been in Mexico on three different occasions when the President visited there, to Mexico City , Monterey , the last one being at Falcon Dam, when the dam was dedicated by the two Presidents of Mexico and the United States .

            Mr. STERN. That was President Eisenhower?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.

            Mr. STERN. Have you worked on visits by President Kennedy to Texas before this?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir; there were two visits that he made there--one a very short notice one of a matter of a few hours, when he came to Dallas to visit Mr. Rayburn in Baylor Hospital. Then when he came to Bonham, at the time Mr. Rayburn was buried---we had the assignments in connection with that.

            Mr. STERN. These were informal trips, without publicity?

            Mr. SORRELS. There was publicity. For example, the one that he came to the hospital, it wasn't announced until about 10 o'clock in the morning that he would be there.

            He came there, I guess, a little over 2 or 3 hours after that--just a very quick trip, and not much time to make any preparation.

            But, fortunately, everything went real good.

            Mr. STERN. Mr. Sorrels, is there any significant difference that occurs to you in the protective arrangements, including the advance arrangements, for the November trip to Dallas by President Kennedy, and this trip you were telling us about that President Roosevelt made to Dallas, which involved a similar motorcade, in 1936, I believe you said?

            Mr. SORRELS. No, sir.

            Mr. STERN. About the same advance preparation?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.

            Mr. STERN. Protective organization?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.

            Of course in the one that President Roosevelt came there, it was more functions and more places to go, including two cities.

 

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            Mr. STERN. Yes. But----

            Mr. SORRELS. But the actual preparation was along the same lines.

            Mr. STERN. You have been following a procedure and pattern as long as you have been doing this kind of work?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.

            Mr. STERN. It has been pretty much the same procedure?

            Mr. SORRELS. That is correct, sir.

            Mr. STERN. When you know that a President is coming to the area under your jurisdiction, what arrangements do you try to work out with the Police Department?

            Mr. SORRELS. We will have a conference with the Chief of Police and his key personnel, usually when it is determined what the program is going to be.

            In some instances where there has to be a meeting with the advance man from the White House detail, and for the local committee and the plans are not entirely solid, we have found that to bring the police in at that time is a little bit premature, because I have known of instances where we have had such meetings and the orders have been cut, and then they had to be changed, because of some change.

            So, insofar as is possible, the meeting with the police is held at a time when we know pretty much what the program is going to be. And that procedure is followed in every instance.

            In some instances, as I mentioned a moment ago there, when President Kennedy came to the Baylor Hospital, we didn't have very much time--it is something we have to work out very rapidly, and which was done in this instance with the Chief of Police and his key men, and the security was set up on a very, very short notice.

            Mr. STERN. But normally, when you have the time, you like, as I understand it, to try to make your arrangements----

            Mr. SORRELS. Oh, yes; as far in advance as possible, because we realize that it is quite a task for them, because they have got many men involved, and many things that have to be taken into consideration, so that their orders can be properly drawn and the men dispatched to the proper places with a knowledge of what they are supposed to do.

            Mr. STERN. But you do try to have the trip or the motorcade route, if there is to be a motorcade, pretty well worked out before you go to the police?

            Mr. SORRELS. We usually have an idea what we would like to do, and we, of course, confer with the police because they may have in instances knowledge that we don't have about a certain area that it might not be appropriate to use or to go into.

            Mr. STERN. Let's see if we can relate this now to President Kennedy's trip Dallas in November.

            When did you first hear that he was to make this trip, Mr. Sorrels?

            Mr. SORRELS. On November 4, 1963, I received a long distance call from Special Agent in Charge Gerald A. Behn, of the White House Detail, stating that the President would probably visit Dallas about November 21, and that there had been a couple of buildings suggested, one of them being the Trade Mart, which he understood had about 60 entrances to it, and six catwalks over the area where the luncheon would be. And that the second choice that had been suggested then was the Women's Building at the State Fair Grounds. That was another place referred to as a trade center, which is actually Market Hall, which is across the street from the Trade Mart.

            He instructed that I make a survey of these buildings and report back to him the conditions.

            Mr. STERN. What did you do?

            Mr. SORRELS. Accompanied by Special Agent Robert A. Stewart of my office, we went to the Trade Mart and looked the situation over there, and we did find that there were entrances coming into, you might call it, a courtyard where the luncheon was to have been entrances coming into that area. And that there were two suspension bridges or catwalks on the second floor and on the third floor.

            The outside entrances were no particular problem, but it did mean that it would take quite a bit of manpower to cover each one of the entrances that

 

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could come on to the balcony, you might say, that was entirely around on the second and the third floors.

            We then went to the Market Hall, which was ideal insofar as security measures were concerned, in that there were only three outside entrances, and it was a huge ball, 107,000 square feet, with no columns, and you could seat about 20,000 people in there.

            But there was another function going to be there at that time the American Bottling Association was going to have, as I recall, an exhibit there. So that part was out.

            We then went to Fair Park , where we made a survey of the Women's Building. It is a place where they have exhibits during the fair of all kinds of handiwork and things like that.

            That building had about 45,000 square feet in it, and you could scat about 5,000 people in it. Securitywise it wasn't bad at all, because there were two end openings to the building, and there was actually an area where you could drive a car in there. But the building was not satisfactory for that type of function--the President of the United States coming there--because the ceilings were quite low, the air-conditioning equipment and everything was all exposed, there were many steel suspension supports throughout the area.

            I then returned to my office and telephoned to Mr. Behn and informed him of my findings and told him that securitywise the Women's Building appeared to be preferable, but that it wasn't a very nice place to take the President.

            Then----

            Mr. STERN. What did you tell him about the Trade Mart?

            Mr. SORRELS. I told him that there were many entrances there and that it would pose a problem manpowerwise to have the proper security there.

            Mr. STERN. But did you indicate to him that this could be handled?

            Mr. SORRELS. I don't recall whether I specifically said it could be or not. Definitely I was under the impression that if the place was chosen, we would take the necessary precautions and would have it properly manned.

            Mr. STERN. You did not, in any event, tell him that you didn't think the Trade Mart would be a safe place?

            Mr. SORRELS. No, I don't recall I told him it would not be a safe place, no, sir.

            Mr. STERN. When did all this happen, Mr. Sorrels? Was it immediately after November 4?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, it was on November 4.

            Mr. STERN. What was the next event in your advance preparations for the President's trip?

            Mr. SORRELS. On November 13, Special Agent Winston G. Lawson, from the White House detail, and Mr. Jack Puterbaugh, had arrived at Dallas the evening before, and they came to my office, and we then went to the office of Mr. A. W. Cullum, President of the Chamber of Commerce, and we then went to the Trade Mart, and then to the Women's Building at the State Fairgrounds.

            Mr. STERN. Mr. Sorrels, would you look at this Xerox copy of a two-page memorandum which appears to be signed by you, dated November 30, 1963, and carries the identifying number CO-2-34030. Can you identify that for me, please?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir; that is a memorandum which was prepared by me on November 30, 1963.

            Mr. STERN. Did you make this memorandum in the ordinary course of your work, or were you specially instructed to make it?

            Mr. SORRELS. As I recall it, I was instructed to make the report, but it is a procedure we ordinarily follow in making memorandums of such surveys, in confirmation of the phone calls.

            Mr. STERN. Did you make it from notes that you had or from memory?

            Mr. SORRELS. Both, sir.

            Mr. STERN. Did you preserve the notes from which this was made, or destroy them?

            Mr. SORRELS. No, I preserved them. I have them here--regarding the phone call and the notes that I made, regarding the survey at the Trade Mart and Women's Club.

 

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            Mr. STERN. May I see them, please?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.

            Mr. STERN. And this covers what you have just been telling us about in connection with the selection of the luncheon site for the President's visit?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.

            Mr. STERN. Have you reviewed your memorandum of November 30 recently, Mr. Sorrels, in preparation for your testimony here?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.

            Mr. STERN. Is there any respect in which you would like to change anything that is in the memorandum in view of your further consideration of the events described?

            Mr. SORRELS. There is only one point there, about the date that we went by the police station.

            Mr. STERN. Where is that covered in your memorandum?

            Mr. SORRELS. That is in the last paragraph on the first page, where it is stated that on November 15, that we went to the office of the Chief of Police Curry.

            I was under the impression that it was possibly the day before. I could be in error on that.

            Mr. STERN. In any event, it was after Mr. Lawson had arrived, and that was on November 13?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes. I might state here that I had previously received two phone calls from Chief of Police Jesse Curry about the President's trip there. He was, of course, wanting to get the information as soon as possible, so that they could start their preparations. And he actually called me before Mr. Lawson got there, and he called me again after Mr. Lawson had gotten there, before we had gone to see him. And I explained to the chief that, on the first call, there would be someone from the White House detail coming to Dallas , and he requested that I get in touch with him just as soon as he got there.

            On the second call, I told him that the man from the White House detail had arrived, but that we were still working on the plans, that it was not definitely known at that time where the luncheon was going to be, and that just as soon as it was determined where the luncheon was going to be, that we would then get in touch with him.

            And it was at my suggestion to Mr. Lawson that we go by the Police Department on the first time, because I did not want the chief to feel that we were leaving him out in the dark, so to speak. And, for that reason, I suggested that we go by at the time we did--because, actually, we were still in the process of having these meetings to work out the final plans, and so forth.

            Mr. STERN. That is the visit you refer to in this last paragraph on page 1?

            Mr. SORRELS. That is right.

            Mr. STERN. Your memorandum, Mr. Sorrels, gives me enough information on many of the points we are interested in, and I don't think we have to cover those, unless you would like to add something to them.

            I would like to have you tell us about the selection of the motorcade route, what you had to do with that, and what you know of that.

            Mr. SORRELS. After it was determined that there was going to be a motorcade, which was actually after Mr. Lawson got there, we had discussed the ways to get to the Trade Mart, and one of my questions was why don't we bring the President from the Texas Hotel to the Trade Mart by motorcade.

            Mr. STERN. Texas Hotel----

            Mr. SORRELS. In Fort Worth--because I knew we would be able to pick the President up at the Texas Hotel in Fort Worth, and by motor get him to the Trade Mart in a shorter time than it would take him to go from the Texas Hotel to the Air Force Base, and go by plane to Love Field, and from Love Field go to the Trade Mart.

            But that was ruled out because the previous plans were that he was to come by plane. And, of course, it would not have been practical to have brought him by motor from Fort Worth if there was going to be a downtown parade, because it would have meant coming in from the west side of the city, and we would have to go right back to the west side of the city to get to the Trade Mart, which would have meant a complete loop through the downtown section.

 

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            So when it was determined that there was going to be a downtown parade, Mr. Lawson, of course, wanted to know which would be the best route to take him to the Trade Mart from Love Field.

            So Mr. Lawson and I drove what I thought would be the best route and the most direct route to the Trade Mart, bearing in mind that there would be a parade through the downtown section.

            So we drove that route.  And then later on we had the police go with us, and we went over the same route.

            There were some discussions as to one section, whether it would be better to get onto what we have known as the Central Expressway there, and come off of it into Main Street . But that was ruled out because of safety measures, going into the expressway, and it would only be for such a short distance.

            Another thing, too, they wanted as many people as possible to see him, that would not have any opportunity to see him on the Central Expressway.

            So the route that we chose was from Love Field approach to Mockingbird Lane, left on Mockingbird Lane to Lemmon, down Lemmon to Turtle, right on Turtle Creek to Cedar Springs, left on Cedar Springs to Harwood, right from Harwood on Main Street, continue down Main Street to Houston Street, and then make a right-hand turn to Elm Street and then under the underpass to Stemmons Expressway, which was the most direct route from there and the most rapid route to the Trade Mart.

            Mr. STERN. Excuse me--you said right-hand turn to Elm. I think you mean left.

            Mr. SORRELS. A right-hand turn on Houston --I am sorry--and a left-hand turn on Elm.

            Now, Elm is one way going west in the direction which we would have gone, but that street is not the street that they use for parades.

            Main Street is right through the heart of the city. It is the best choice for parades. It gives an opportunity for more people--tall buildings on the side of the street--and it is almost invariably---every parade that is had is on Main Street . The one in 1936, when President Roosevelt was there, was the same route in reverse, so to speak.

            We came up on Houston Street from Union Station, turned right on Main Street, right on Main Street, through the very heart of the town.

            Mr. STERN. And went right past the School Book Depository then on Houston Street ?

            Mr. SORRELS. Just within I block of it, because we were coming, in that instance, from the Union Station, which is south of the Depository, to Main Street, right on Main Street, which is just 1 block from the Depository.

            Mr. STERN I take it, then, that once you were told there was to be a motorcade, and approximately 45 minutes was allotted to the motorcade, this route pretty well mapped itself, apart from the question whether to use the expressway or Harwood Street to get on to Main Street, is that right?

            Mr. SORREL. Yes, sir; that is right.

            Mr. STERN. Why didn't you route the motorcade on Main Street under the triple overpass and on to Stemmons Freeway that way, instead of going to Houston and Elm?

            Mr. SORRELS. Well, because you cannot get to the entrance to Stemmons Expressway on Main Street . The traffic is not routed that way. It is impractical.

            On the other side of the first underpass there is a section built up to prevent cars from cutting in from Main Street to get over to Elm Street there. And if a person would go from--try to go from Main Street over to Stemmons Expressway, they would have to either hurdle this built-up place there, island, you might call it, or an extension of an island----

            Mr. STERN. Do you know what this built-up place is constructed of?

            Mr. SORRELS. It is, I am sure, asphalt, or concrete--probably concrete. You would have to go down on Main Street , pass where you would ordinarily turn off, and then come back against traffic, which would be one way that way, and make a hairpin turn, and come back and get on there. It just is not done.

            Mr. STERN. Could that reverse-S turn which you have described have been done conveniently with a car the size of the Presidential limousine?

            Mr. SORRELS. No, it would not be convenient with an ordinary car, because it

 

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would be a very sharp hairpin turn, and the place that is built there is there specifically to prevent anyone from getting over on the wrong way there.

            Mr. STERN.  When you laid out the motorcade route and drove over it--and I take it you drove over it several times----

            Mr. SORRELS.  Yes, sir.

            Mr. STERN.  Did you consider or discuss with Mr. Lawson the possibility of any danger to the President from the buildings along the route?

            Mr. SORRELS.  Well----

            Mr. STERN.  Did you think about any of the buildings as presenting any particular problem?

            Mr. SORRELS.  All buildings are a problem, as far as we are concerned.  That, insofar as I have been concerned--and I am sure that every member of the Service, especially the Detail--that is always of concern to us.  We always consider it a hazard.  During the time that we were making this survey with the police, I made the remark that if someone wanted to get the President of the United States, he could do it with a high-powered rifle and a telescopic sight from some building or some hillside, because that has always been a concern to us, about the buildings.

            Mr. STERN.  Do you recall any further conversation, any further remarks in that conversation?  Did anybody respond to that remark?  Only if you recall.

            Mr. SORRELS.  I don't recall any particular response.  Probably there was confirmation of that fact, because I think that anyone that has had any experience in security measures would have the same opinion.  I don't recall anyone specifically making any comment like that.

            Mr. STERN.  But there was no suggestion that anything might be done to minimize that risk?

            Mr. SORRELS.  Nothing more than what we always do----try to scan the windows, and if we see something suspicious, take proper action.

            Mr. STERN.  When you went over the parade route with the police officials, did they confirm your view that this was the proper route to use?

            Mr. SORRELS.  Yes, they did.

            Mr. STERN.  And there was no concern expressed by them that some other route might be better for some reason?

            Mr. SORRELS, No, sir; no, sir.

            Mr. STERN.  I would like you now, Mr. Sorrels, to tell us something of the Protective Research activities that took place in preparation for the President's visit to Dallas , that you recall.

            Mr. SORRELS.  At that time, we had no known Protective Research subjects that we were making periodic checks on in that area.  Mr. Lawson informed me that he had checked with PRS, and that was confirmed.

            However, bearing in mind the incidents that had taken place some time before with Mr. Stevenson, I had instructed Special Agent John Joe Howlett, to work with the Special Services Bureau of the Police Department, and I also conferred by phone with the chief of police at Denton, Tex., because some of those individuals who were involved in the Stevenson affair were going to college there.

            Mr. STERN.  What was the Stevenson affair, as far as you knew?

            Mr. SORRELS.  That was an instance where a number of people were at a theatre, as I recall it, theatre building, when Mr. Stevenson came out, and they were there with placards, and one woman is alleged to have hit him over the head with a placard, and another individual spat upon Mr. Stevenson, and also a police officer that took him into custody.  And I did not want any such instance to happen when the President of the United States was there.

            Mr. STERN.  How soon had that happened before the President's visit?

            Mr. SORRELS.  I don't remember.  It was probably some 60 days, maybe, before.

            It was quite some time before.

            But within recent time.  And so Mr. Anderson, chief of police, informed me that he had an informant that was keeping in touch with the situation.  I arranged with the Dallas Police Department for Lieutenant Revill to accompany Special Agent Howlett to Denton , and confer with the police there, and to also get photographs of these individuals.

            When we were conferring with Mr. Felix McKnight, the managing editor of the Dallas Times Herald, I learned that--from him--that they had photographs

 

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taken at the Stevenson incident.  So arrangements were made whereby Special Agent Howlett and the members of the Dallas Police Department, together with the informant in the case, would view those films, so that there could be pointed out to them individuals known to have been in the incident.

            We had duplicate pictures made, and they were furnished to the special agent assigned to the Trade Mart, and were shown to the police officers that were assigned out in that area.

            Mr. STERN.  Did anything else occur in the field of Protective Research?

            Mr. SORRELS. That is all I can recall at the present time.

            Now, we had received, I think, some time before, a report from the FBI of an individual that might be considered a subject that we should check into. On October 30, Special Agent Vince Drain of the FBI reported a person, a member supposedly of the Ku Klux Klan in Denison , Tex , who might be suspected as a person that might try to cause some trouble if and when the President came to that area.

            Lieutenant Revill got a photograph of that individual and he was checked on, and it was determined that he would not be in that area at that time.

            Mr. STERN. Did the FBI report anything else to your office?

            Mr. SORRELS. On the morning of November 21, as I recall it, Special Agent Hosty came to the office early in the morning with a number of handbills which bore a picture of the President of the United States, Mr. Kennedy, with the caption, "Wanted for Treason," with a number of numbered paragraphs supposedly outlining the reason.

            Mr. STERN. Did your office make an investigation of that pamphlet?

            Mr. SORRELS. I had previously received the information early in the morning from the sheriff's office that such handbills had been found on the streets. We contacted the police department, Lieutenant Revill, and they had a number of the handbills, and they were just found on the street. We could not from the police investigation or from our inquiries, find anyone that had seen anyone actually distributing them.

            And we had no other leads on the handbills at that time.

            Mr. STERN. Did the Dallas police give you any information of this nature--I am not referring specifically to the handbills, but to the Protective Research area, in advance of the President's trip?

            Mr. SORRELS. Nothing more than what I believe I have outlined with Lieutenant Revill's department there.

            Mr. STERN. Was there anything else that you recall involving any person or group that might present a danger to the President?

            Mr. SORRELS. There was some individuals from Grand Prairie, Tex., that were mentioned to us by the police department that were known to be the type that might appear with handbills or placards--not handbills, but with placards in the area where the President might appear. And it developed that they did show up with placards at the Trade Mart, and they were taken into custody by the police department.

            Mr. STERN. Did your office also take steps to assure that there would be no interference with free speech and lawful public demonstrations?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, we discussed with the police what action would be taken if people showed up with placards and attempted to interfere. And it was very definitely stated that if they had placards, just the mere fact that they had placards would not cause them to be picked up. But that we did not want them close enough to where the President would come or where he would be that these might be used to cause any harm to the President or the Vice President or members of their families.

            There had recently been passed in Dallas an ordinance making it unlawful for any person to interfere or attempt to interfere with or intimidate another from freely entering premises where a private or public assembly was being held. We obtained copies of that ordinance and studied them to see what action the police would be able to take in the event that any instance arose whereby this ordinance might need to be enforced.

            Mr. STERN. Now, you have told us, Mr. Sorrels, that you had no record of any PRS subject that you were checking on in your office, and that Lawson advised you that he had been told of no subject in your area in his advance check before

 

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he left Washington . Did this surprise you, that there were no individuals who had previously been identified as potential threats to the President in the territory of the Dallas office?

            Mr. SORRELS. No. We had records of some subjects that were in institutions, but they were not out where they would be available.

            Mr. STERN. Had there been in the past, during your tenure in the Dallas office, PRS subjects who were not in institutions?

            Mr. SORRELS. Oh, yes.

            Mr. STERN. But there were none at this particular time?

            Mr. SORRELS. That is right.

            Mr. STERN. When the incident involving Ambassador Stevenson had occurred, did you consider obtaining information on the participants and referring that information to the Protective Research Section in Washington for their files?

            Mr. SORRELS. Not unless the President or the Vice President would come to that area, I had no intention doing that, because there was no actual threat, nor was the President of the United States involved in name or otherwise, insofar as I knew, in connection with the Stevenson affair.

            Mr. STERN. How has the cooperation been with local authorities and local officers of Federal agencies in advising you of any potential danger to the President?

            Mr. SORRELS. We have received reports of phone calls and threats or something like that from time to time. I think that all of the Federal offices that come into any information about a threat concerning the President of the United States have certainly in the past, to my recollection--I don't recall any specific instance---but I do know we have received such reports.

            Mr. STERN. And from the local police authorities?

            Mr. SORRELS. I can't recall any specific instance, but I am sure that in the past there have been instances where such a report has been reported to us.

            Mr. STERN. Have you made known to the local authorities the kind of information in which you would be interested in this area?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes. We have participated in the training schools of the Dallas Police Department, and the Fort Worth Police Department, the auxiliary schools conducted by the sheriff's office and the Dallas Police Department.

            We have participated in schools at Austin , Tex. , given by the Department of Public Safety to investigative officers, to sheriffs-elect, deputy sheriffs and other sheriffs.

            We have participated at Texas A & M College , at College Station , Tex , in their program of police training, where they have students that are members of various police departments, and other law enforcement organizations that attend their classes.

            And in our course of instruction, we have discussed with them the protective measures that are required and taken in connection with the protection of the President of the United States , members of his family, and the Vice President.

            Mr. STERN. How is your liaison with the local police and local offices of Federal agencies?

            Mr. SORRELS. I consider it very, very good.

            Mr. STERN. In all respects?

            Mr. SORRELS. In all respects; yes, sir.

            Mr. STERN. Had you requested any local Federal agency, for example FBI or Internal Revenue, to participate in any way in the actual protection measures for the day of the President's visit?

            Mr. SORRELS. I  had offers from some of the other agencies, offering their services in case there was anything they could assist in.

            The usual reply to that is that we are working with the local officials, police department, sheriff's department, Department of Public Safety, and we feel that we have sufficient manpower to take care of the program as we have in the past, and we have always suggested, in not only this instance but in other instances, that if any member of their department should hear of anything, or see anything unusual, that they felt we should know about, to please get in touch with us immediately, along those lines.

 

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            Mr. STERN. You felt, then, that the local police forces would supply all the outside assistance you needed for this visit?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir; the Dallas Police Department, in my opinion, has some very good leaders, career men who have been there for many years, and due to the fact I have been located in Dallas for many, many years I know these people personally, and I have never yet called upon the Dallas Police Department, the Sheriff's Office, or the Department of Public Safety, for any assistance that we have not gotten and gotten cheerfully and willingly.

            For example, the time that Mr. Kennedy came there to the hospital to see Mr. Rayburn, is a case where I could tell nobody until just a matter of 2 or 3 hours before the President would get there, that he was coming, because the afternoon before, when I heard that he was coming, it was supposed to have been off the record, and there was not supposed to be any publicity about it.

            The next morning I got a call and said it would be announced at 10 o'clock in the morning.

            Well, immediately after that I called Chief Curry and he met me at the hospital with some of his key men, and the arrangements were set up in a matter of minutes, you might say, arrangements for the street to be blocked by the hospital, for sufficient detectives and men to be around the area, in various places in the hospital, and arrangements were made to have the police cars to accompany us from the airport down there.

            I consider that our relationship with the local enforcement agencies, not only in the Dallas area, but throughout Texas , is as good as it can be any place in the country.

            Mr. STERN. On the occasion of President Kennedy's visit, they supplied all the manpower you felt was necessary?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.

            Mr. STERN. Were all the police that had various functions along the motorcade route full-time policemen, Mr. Sorrels?

            Mr. SORRELS. There may have been, and probably was, some auxiliary police which may have been along the route that the parade traveled on. I am not sure about that.

            They do have reserves that they call in. But those reserves, they are not armed--they are in uniform, but they are not armed.

            And my records do not show that there were auxiliary police there. But I do know that they use them on occasion.

            Mr. STERN. Mr. Smith, if you have any questions on this aspect of our interview, please feel free to ask them, because I am going to turn now to the actual events of the day. I believe that the other advance preparations are covered adequately for our purposes in Mr. Sorrel's memorandum, which I am about to introduce.

            Mr. SMITH. I have no questions.

            Mr. STERN. Mr. Sorrels, I am going to mark this copy of your memorandum "Exhibit 4, Deposition of F. V. Sorrels, May 7, 1964."

            Would you initial each page, please?

            (Brief recess.)

            Mr. STERN. Mr. Sorrels, I would like to turn now to the morning of November 22 and get from you an account of what you observed as a passenger in the motorcade and thereafter.

            In what car were you riding in the motorcade?

            Mr. SORREL. I was riding in what we call the lead car, which is the one immediately in front of the President's car.

            Mr. STERN. What was your function in the lead car?

            Mr. SORRELS. To be there with the special agent who had made the survey, and with the Chief of Police, and to observe the people and buildings as we drove along in the motorcade.

            Mr. STERN. One of your responsibilities was to observe the buildings and the windows of the buildings?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.

            Mr. STERN. Looking for what?

            Mr. SORRELS. We always do that.

            Mr. STERN. What would you be looking for?

 

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            Mr. SORRELS. Anything that to us might mean danger.

            For example, if someone had an object that appeared to be a gun, or something like that--that, of course, would attract our attention. Or if someone appeared to have something they were fixing to throw or toss, we definitely would take cognizance of that immediately.

            Mr. STERN. Do you recall remarking on anything you observed in the windows as you drove along Main Street ?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, I do; there was a tremendous crowd on Main Street . The street was full of people. I made the remark "My God, look at the people. They are even hanging out the windows." Because I had observed many people in the windows of the buildings as we were coming along.

            Mr. STERN. Now, as you made the right turn from Main Street onto Houston Street , did you observe anything about the windows of any building in your view?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, I did. Of course the Court House is on the right-hand side, and the windows there appeared to be closed.

            Mr. STERN. To the right-hand side of Houston Street ?

            Mr. SORRELS. Of Houston Street ; yes, sir.

            The Book Depository, as we turned to the right on Houston Street , of course, was right directly in front of us, and just to the left side of the street. I saw that building, saw that there were some windows open, and that there were some people looking from the windows. I remember distinctly there were a couple of colored men that were in windows almost not quite to the center of the building, probably two floors down from the top. There may have been one or two other persons that I may have seen there. I don't recall any specific instance. But I did not see any activity--no one moving around or anything like that.

            Mr. STERN. Do you think you had an opportunity to view all the windows of the building?

            Mr. SORRELS. I did, yes; because it was right in front.

            Mr. STERN. Do you recall seeing anything on the side of the building to your right, any of the windows on that side of the building--the far right side of the  building?

            Mr. SORRELS.  Yes. There was at least one or two windows that were open in that section over there. I do not recall seeing anyone in any of those windows. I do not, of course, remember seeing any object or anything like that in the windows such as a rifle or anything pointing out the windows. There was no activity, no one moving around that I saw at all.

            Mr. STERN. But you believe you could observe all of the windows on the side of the building facing you?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes. In other words, it is just right down at the end of the street.

            Mr. STERN. Now, the car you were riding in was a closed car, was it not?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir; it was a Ford sedan.

            Mr. STERN. And you were in the rear seat?

            Mr. SORRELS. Right rear.

            Mr. STERN. Did the roof of the car obscure your view at all?

            Mr. SORRELS. Oh, yes.

            Mr. STERN. But you were still able to observe the whole building?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes. Of course I was sitting close to--as far over to the right as I could get, and I could look out the window. I could not, of course, look up and see any building straight up, or over to my left I would not have been able to see anything that was any higher than the view of the window on the left.

            Mr. STERN. You didn't have your head actually out of the window?

            Mr. SORRELS. No, sir; I did not. But the glass was down in the window.

            Mr. STERN. As you turned into Houston Street , Mr. Sorrels, can you estimate how far in front of the President's car the lead car was?

            Mr. SORRELS. Oh, probably about 30 feet--fairly close.

            Mr. STERN. As you approached the Book Depository Building along Houston Street , did your ability to see all of the building diminish because of the angle of your vision and, the roof of the car coming in the way?

 

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            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, it would have. The closer you got to it, looking out from the front part of the car, naturally your vision would diminish as you approach.

            But we turned to the left on Main Street , and at that time just glancing by, I could see the side of the building from the window where I was sitting in the car.

            Mr. STERNS. I believe you mean left onto Elm Street .

            Mr. SORRELS. Elm Street--I am sorry.

            Mr. STERN. So that when you turned from Houston left onto Elm, you again had a look at the building?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir; you see, as you make the turn--of course, as we pulled on down Elm Street, after having made the turn, it is actually more than a right angle turn. It bends even more to the left. And you can, of course, glance up like that as you go by. But as you go on by the building, the building is getting away from you, and unless you would turn clear on around and look out to the right, you would not be able to see the building after you got a little distance down Elm Street there.

            Mr. STERN. Did you turn to your right and look at the building again as your car negotiated this turn onto Elm Street ?

            Mr. SORRELS. As the car was making the turn, yes, I was looking at the crowd, and just glancing up at the building as we made the turn.

            Mr. STERN. Do you believe that you saw all of the windows on the building at that time?

            Mr. SORRELS. As we were making the turn, yes, I would say that I saw all the windows in the building--just looked at the windows as we made the turn. But then I was looking at the people along the side of Elm Street , along each side.

            Mr. STERN. Can you estimate, going back to the first turn into Houston Street , how long an opportunity you had to observe the building, in time?

            Mr. SORRELS. On Houston Street ?

            Mr. STERN. Yes. As you turned right off Main onto Houston Street , the building first came into view.

            Mr. SORRELS. That is right.

            Mr. STERN. How long did you see the building before the roof obscured your view?

            Mr. SORRELS. Of course I wasn't looking at it all the time. As we came to the right on Houston Street, of course, the building loomed up in front, and I just looked at it, and looking at the people along the side,cx and as we were making the turn I was just glancing like that and saw the building.

            I saw nothing unusual or any activity at that time. And then after making the turn, I did not look at the building any more, or in that direction, until after the first shot.

            Mr. STERN. Are you saying that you only glanced at the building then, because you were looking at other things?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes. I looked at the building. I didn't study it intently and look at that and nothing else around there. I looked at the building, didn't see any activity, and looked at the people as we had been doing during the entire motorcade route.

            Mr. STERN. Would this have been a matter of several seconds or longer than that, or can you estimate?

            Mr. SORRELS. I think it would be a matter of seconds, yes.

            Mr. STERN. It is rather a large building, with a number of windows along that side, is it not?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes; it is a good-sized building. I believe it is seven stories high.

            Mr. STERN. And you think you had enough time, though, to see all the windows, or is it a general impression?

            Mr. SORRELS. Just a general impression.

            In other words, I did not specifically study any specific window or anything like that. It is just like you glance out and see the building there, you would see some open windows, and maybe some people in them--that is all. There wasn't any activity or anything like that that I saw.

 

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            Mr. STERN. Now, as you turned left from Houston onto Elm and looked again at the building, did you have as long a look this time as you had before?

            Mr. SORRELS. No; because he was making a left-hand turn, and, of course, getting in front of the building, I just glanced out-- just as we made the turn, just in a general way, you are looking at the crowd and the building, just a glance at it at that time.

            Mr. STERN. And at this point you are traveling directly in front of the building?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.

            Mr. STERN. I imagine it would have been difficult to look up and see the whole building.

            Mr. SORRELS. No; I don't mean to say that after we made the turn I looked up and saw the whole building. But just as we made the turn I looked towards the building and saw people in front, and just glanced up--I would not say that I saw the entire building at all at that time.

            Mr. STERN. And it is your testimony that you saw nothing unusual, that you observed no one there with a weapon?

            Mr. SORRELS. No, sir.

            Mr. STERN. Or any other implement?

            Mr. SORRELS. No, sir.

            Mr. STERN. That several windows were open on the side of the building at different places?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.

            Mr. STERN. And that the only people you observed were at one particular location?

            Mr. SORRELS. I recall distinctly about two floors down seeing two colored men there at the windows. I do not recall seeing--specifically seeing anyone else. There may have been some one other person over there. But I do not recall specifically seeing anyone on the right-hand side of the building, where the window was open. I do not recall that.

            Mr. STERN. And the location of the two Negro men that you observed was in what part of the building?

            Mr. SORRELS. I would say that it was about, oh, maybe a third of the distance from the right to the left, maybe not quite that far.

            Mr. STERN. And about two stories down?

            Mr. SORRELS. From the top; yes, sir.

            Mr. STERN. And when did you observe these Negro men, when you first turned into Houston , or when you turned from Houston onto Elm?

            Mr. SORRELS. I observed them first, when I first looked at the building I saw them, and I don't recall that I actually saw them again after that. When we were making the turn I glanced, and as you say, I would not have been able to see, I don't think all the way to the top of the building, unless I put my head almost out the window.

            But I saw people out in front, and I would not say that I saw the people as I was making the turn or subsequent to that time.

            Mr. STERN. When you looked at the crowd along Houston and Elm, did you notice anything unusual?

            Mr. SORRELS. No, sir; I did not.

            Mr. STERN. You have turned now onto Elm, Mr. Sorrels.

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.

            Mr. STERN. Why don't you tell us now in your own words and in as much detail as you remember exactly what you recall transpired next.

            Mr. SORRELS. The crowd had begun to thin out after we made the turn on Elm Street there. As a matter of explanation, Elm Street goes at a downgrade--in other words, as I said a moment ago, it makes more than a left-hand--oblique left-hand turn. It curves back--I mean it is more of a sharp angle than a right angle. And then it swings down a little curve to go into the underpass.

            There is a sidewalk and terrace that goes up to the right, increasing in height as you approach the underpass from the corner at Elm and Houston Streets.

            We were running late, because the President arrived at Love Field late.

            Mr. Lawson was particularly concerned, as we all are, in keeping the schedule.

            I looked back to see how close the President's car was in making the turn, because we had begun to pick up speed after we made the left-hand turn.

 

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            Then I looked back to the right.

            Mr. STERN. How close was the President's car?

            Mr. SORRELS. At that time we were probably, oh, I would say, several car lengths ahead of it, because we had begun to pick up speed.

            Mr. STERN. You think somewhat further than you estimated before?

            Mr. SORRELS. As we came around Houston , yes, sir; came around on Houston , yes, because we had begun to pick up speed there. And I remember Mr. Lawson turned around and said, "I wish he would come on, because we are late now," or words to that effect.

            And I expressed to him, I said, "Oh, we are not going to be very late."

            And I looked at my watch, and it was just about 12:30.

            And I said, "We are not going to be over 5 minutes late," and the Chief of Police, I believe, spoke up and said, "We are about 5 minutes away now."

            And so they called on the radio to the Trade Mart that we were 5 minutes away.

            And it seemed like almost instantly after that, the first shot was heard.

            Mr. STERN. Now, did you recognize it at the time as a shot?

            Mr. SORRELS. I felt it was, because it was too sharp for a backfire of an automobile. And, to me, it appeared a little bit too loud for a firecracker.

            I just said, "What's that?" And turned around to look up on this terrace part there, because the sound sounded like it came from the back and up in that direction.

            At that time, I did not look back up to the building, because it was way back in the back.

            Within about 3 seconds, there were two more similar reports. And I said, "Let's get out of here" and looked back, all the way back, then, to where the President's car was, and I saw some confusion, movement there, and the car just seemed to lunch forward.

            And, in the meantime, a motorcycle officer had run up on the right-hand side and the chief yelled to him, "Anybody hurt?"

            He said, "Yes."

            He said, "Lead us to the hospital."

            And the chief took his microphone and told them to alert the hospital, and said, "Surround the building." He didn't say what building. He just said, "Surround the building." And by that time we had gotten almost in under the underpass, and the President's car had come up and was almost abreast of us.

            When I saw them get so close, I said, "Let's get out quick," or "Get going fast," or something to that effect. In other words, I didn't want them to pass us, because I knew we were supposed to be in front.

            And that is when they floor-boarded the accelerator on the police car and we got out in front. And someone yelled loudly to go to the nearest hospital.

            Mr. STERN. Let's stop there and go back, and then we will pick up again.

            You testified that you heard three reports?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.

            Mr. STERN. Are you pretty certain about that?

            Mr. SORRELS. Positive.

            Mr. STERN. And no more and no fewer?

            Mr. SORRELS. No, sir.

            Mr. STERN. Can you you tell us anything about the spacing of these reports?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes. There was to me about twice as much time between the first and second shots as there was between the second and third shots.

            Mr. STERN. Can you estimate the overall time from the first shot to the third shot?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes. I have called it out to myself, I have timed it, and I would say it was very, very close to 6 seconds.

            Mr. STERN. It sounds like you can still hear the shots.

            Mr. SORRELS. I will hear them forever--it is something I cannot wipe from my mind ever.

            Mr. STERN. And you had little doubt that this was gunfire at the time?

            Mr. SORRELS. After--as I said before, on the first shot, it was too sharp to be a backfire of an automobile. It just didn't sound like that at all. And then, of course, the other two coming as quickly as they did, and the confusion,

 

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there was no question, because I said, "Get out of here," meaning to move out, because certainly if there is anything going on like that, we don't want to even be stationary or near stationary--it is to get out of the vicinity as quickly as we can from the source of danger. I thought in my mind--my thought was that I should maybe get out to try to help apprehend who it was and so forth. There was no chance for that, because we were moving too fast.

            Mr. STERN. Now, as to the apparent source of these reports, did you feel that all three reports came from the same direction?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes. Definitely so.

            Mr. STERN. And that direction, as nearly as you can place it, was what?

            Mr. SORRELS. To the right and back. That is about the only way I can express it.

            And, as I said, the noise from the shots sounded like they may have come back up on the terrace there. And that is the reason I was looking around like that when the first shot. And I continued to look out until the other two shots. And then I turned on around and looked back to where the President's car was, and that is when I saw some movement there, and the car just seemed to leap forward.

            Mr. STERN. When you looked at the terrace to the right of Elm Street , did you observe any unusual movement?

            Mr. SORRELS. No; I didn't see anything unusual at that time.

            Mr STERN. Were you looking at that terrace when either the second or third shot was fired?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes; I was. And I saw just some movement of some people, but no firearms or anything like that, because we began to move out rather rapidly. And we were quite a ways down the street at that time.

            Mr. STERN. How do you mean movement of people?

            Mr. SORRELS. It seems I recall someone turned around and was going in the other direction, like moving away from the street. And that is all I can recall.

            Mr. STERN. But you didn't observe anything that led you to feel that the shots might have been fired from that terrace there?

            Mr. SORRELS. No, sir.

            Mr. STERN. It sounded to you at first as though it came from there?

            Mr. SORRELS. That is the way it sounded--back into the rear and to the right, back up in that direction. And in the direction, of course, of the building.

            But the reports seemed to be so loud, that it sounded like to me in other words, that was my first thought, somebody up on the terrace, and that is the reason I looked there.

            As we were approaching the overpass there, Mr. Lawson remarked that there was an officer on the overpass there. I saw a police officer standing there with two or three other persons over to his right.

            Mr. STERN. Where is this?

            Mr. SORRELS. On the overpass, on Elm Street , after we leave the corner of Elm and Houston .

            There was no activity there.  They were just standing there.

            And I remarked, as I recall, "A policeman is there," or words to that effect, because Mr. Lawson had been checking, as well as myself, all of the overpasses, to see that the officer was there, because that is one of the specific things that was checked all the way through.

            Mr. STERN. And you observed nothing unusual on the overpass?

            Mr. SORRELS. No, sir.

            Mr. STERN. Were the people on the overpass in a fairly tight group, or spread out over the overpass?

            Mr. SORRELS. As I recall it, the police officer was about the center of the overpass on Elm Street, and then to his right--I mean to my right which would have been his left, there seemed to be, as I recall it, about three other persons up there that appeared to be workmen or dressed like that, and they were to his right.

            They were not right close together, but standing within walking distance.

            Mr. STERN. As far as you can recall, were all the people you saw on the overpass within the sight of the policeman on the overpass?

 

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            Mr. SORRELS. Oh, yes; they were in the same vicinity.

            Mr. STERN. Do you have any reason to believe that any of these shots might have come from the overpass?

            Mr. SORRELS. None whatsoever; no, sir.

            Mr. STERN. And are you certain in your own mind that they did not come from the overpass?

            Mr. SORRELS. Positive.

            Mr. STERN. Do you have any reason to believe that the shots could not have come from the Book Depository Building ?

            Mr. SORRELS. No, sir.

            Mr. STERN. Would shots from the Book Depository Building have been consistent with your hearing of the shots?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes; they would have.

            Mr. STERN. What happened next, Mr. Sorrels?

            Mr. SORRELS. We proceeded to Parkland Hospital just as fast as we could.

            Mr. STERN. Did you go into the hospital?

            Mr. SORRELS. No; I did not go into the hospital.

            Of course the lead car was in front. We went around to the emergency entrance. I jumped out of the car, and I expected to see stretchers there, out waiting, but they were not. And I ran to the entrance door there, and at that time they began to bring stretchers out, and I said, "Hurry up and get those stretchers out," and someone else, probably one of the police officers, also said to hurry up and get the stretchers out.

            There was a lot of confusion around at that time.

            And they did get the stretchers out. And then Mr. Johnson--they brought him into the hospital, he rushed into the hospital. And they took Mr. Connally in, loaded him first, and then the President, and just as quick as they got in there, I immediately went into a police car that was leaving and asked them to take me to the building as fast as they could, and when I said the building I meant the one on the corner there, which was the Book Depository.

            Mr. STERN. Why did you designate the Book Depository?

            Mr. SORRELS. Because I wanted to get there and get something going in establishing who the people were that were in that vicinity. And upon arrival at the Book Store, we pulled up on the side, and I went in the back door.

            Mr. STERN. Just a minute. Had you heard any mention of the Book Depository on police broadcasts as you drove to the hospital?

            Mr. SORRELS. No; I never heard anything.

            Mr. STERN. And, at this point, you were not certain that the shots came from the Book Depository?

            Mr. SORRELS. No; I didn't know at that time.

            Mr. STERN. You just wanted to get to that general area?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir; because I knew that there would be witnesses around there, there would have to be somebody in that vicinity.

            And upon arrival at the Book Depository, I went in the back door.

            There were people moving around.

            I asked, "Where is the manager here?"

            Mr. STERN. Just a minute.

            How much time do you think elapsed from the time the shots were fired until the time you returned to the Book Depository?

            Mr. SORRELS. I don't believe it could have been over about 20 minutes, because we went to the hospital just as fast as we possibly could, and I wasn't there very long.

            And we came back as fast as we could.

            Of course we didn't get back as fast as we went out there, because traffic was moving.

            The other way it was just cleared out to the Trade Mart. We had clear sailing from the time that the shots were fired until we got to the Trade Mart, because that was the route that we were going to go anyway. And that was cleared out.

            But coming back, of course, there was traffic. We did come back under lights and siren, as fast as we could.

            But there was traffic that slowed us up some.

 

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            Mr. STERN.  So you estimate not more than 20 minutes?

            Mr. SORRELS. I don't believe it could have been more than 20 or 25 minutes at the very most.

            Mr. STERN. Then you arrived at the Book Depository Building , and did you see any police officers outside the building?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes; there were officers. I recall seeing officers. I could not say any specific one.

            Now, as I came into the back of the building, there was a colored man standing on the rear platform, a loading platform. And he was just standing there looking off into the distance. I don't think he knew what happened.

            And I said to him, "Did you see anyone run out the back?"

            He said, "No, sir."

            "Did you see anyone leave the back way?"

            "No, sir."

            Mr. STERN. Did you get his name?

            Mr. SORRELS. No, sir; I did not. I did not stop to do that, because I figured he was an employee of the building.

            I went on the inside of the building and asked someone for the manager and they pointed to Mr. Truly.

            I identified myself to Mr. Truly.

            Mr. STERN. Just a minute.

            Did you establish how long that man had been on the loading platform?

            Mr. SORRELS. No, sir; I did not.

            Mr. STERN. There was no policeman stationed at the loading platform when you came up?

            Mr. SORRELS. I did not see one; no, sir.

            Mr. STERN. And you were able to enter the building without identifying yourself?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.

            Mr. STERN. Then you got inside the building and what did you do?

            Mr. SORRELS. I asked for the manager, and I was directed to Mr. Truly. He was standing there.

            I went up and identified myself to him. I said, "I want to get a stenographer, and we would like to have you put down the names and addresses of every employee of the building, in the building."

            And I then walked on out the front door and asked, "Did anyone here see anything?"

            And someone pointed to Mr. Brennan.

            Mr. STERN. What was your purpose in asking for a list of the employees of the building?

            Mr. SORRELS. Because I knew that they would have to be interviewed. I was trying to establish at that time without any delay, who all was in that building or was employed there, because I knew they would have to be talked to later.

            In other words, I was looking for someone that saw something.

            Mr. STERN. You were looking for potential witnesses?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.

            Mr. STERN. And at that time you had no basis for suspecting any employee might be involved one way or the other?

            Mr. SORRELS. No, sir; and I did not know at that time that the shots came from the building.

            When I was--when Mr. Brennan was pointed out to me, I went up and told him who I was and asked him if he saw anything. And he told me what he had seen. And, at that time, that is the first time that I knew definitely that any shots had come from the building.

            Mr. STERN. Now, what precisely did Mr. Brennan tell you?

            Mr. SORRELS. Mr. Brennan said that he was standing across the street, watching the parade, and that he, of course, was looking in the direction where the President was, and he heard a sound which he thought at first was a backfire of an automobile. And that shortly afterwards there was another sound, and that he thought that somebody might be throwing firecrackers out of the building.

 

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            And he glanced up to the building, and that he saw a man at the window on the right-hand side, the second floor from the top.

            And he said, "I could see the man taking deliberate aim and saw him fire the third shot," and said then he just pulled the rifle back in and moved back from the window, just as unconcerned as could be.

            Mr. STERN. How did you happen to talk to Mr. Brennan?

            Mr. SORRELS. I asked--I don't know who, someone there "Is there anyone here that saw anything?" And someone said, "That man over there."

            He was out in front of the building and I went right to him.

            Mr. STERN. Did Mr. Brennan tell you anything else?

            Mr. SORRELS. I asked him whether or not he thought he could identify the person that he saw, and he, of course, gave me a description of him, said that he appeared to be a slender man, he had on what appeared to be a light jacket or shirt or something to that effect, and that he thought he could identify him--said he was slender build. Because I was definitely interested in someone that had seen something that could give us some definite information.

            And I also asked if he had seen anybody else, and he pointed to a young colored boy there, by the name of Euins. And I got him and Mr. Brennan, and I took them over to the sheriff's office where we could get statements from them.

            Mr. STERN. What was the name of that young man?

            Mr. SORRELS. Euins, I believe it is, or pretty close to that.

            Mr. STERN. Did you interview Mr. Euins?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir; I did. And he also said that he had heard the noise there, and that he had looked up and saw the man at the window with the rifle, and I asked him if he could identify the person, and he said, no, he couldn't, he said he couldn't tell whether he was colored or white.

            Mr. STERN. Do you remember anything unusual about the way Mr. Brennan was dressed?

            Mr. SORRELS. He was dressed as a workman, or a laborer, and he had on a hard hat.

            Mr. STERN. Construction hat?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.

            Mr. STERN. Did Mr. Brennan tell you anything else about anything else he had observed at that time?

            Mr. SORRELS. I can't recall any specific thing.

            Mr. STERN. Did he mention seeing any other person or persons in the windows of the Book Depository Building ?

            Mr. SORRELS. I don't recall whether he did or did not.

            Mr. STERN. Did he say anything about observing anyone leave the Book Depository Building hurriedly after the shooting?

            Mr. SORRELS. No, sir.

            Mr. STERN. Did he point out to you precisely the window from which he said he saw the shot fired, the window in which he saw the sniper?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.

            Mr. STERN. Where was that window in relation to the windows at which you saw several Negro men as you drove on Houston Street ?

            Mr. SORRELS. It was one floor above and a little bit to the right, as I recall it.

            Mr. STERN. Can you give us these directions in terms of compass points?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes. That would be on the east side of the building.

            Mr. STERN. So the window that Mr. Brennan pointed out to you was on the extreme east side?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.

            Mr. STERN. And the window or windows at which you had observed several Negro men was more to the west?

            Mr. SORRELS. A little bit more to the west--not very much--but to the west, on the floor below.

            Mr. STERN. Are you certain in your mind about the floor below?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, I am.

            Mr. STERN. Is there any particular reason for that? You said before that you essentially glanced at the building, and didn't have very long to observe it, and you saw these men at the window.

            What makes you certain about placing the men on any particular floor?

 

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            Mr. SORRELS. Well, because I remember that they were not near the top---I can just remember that--it seemed to me like two floors down from the top, as I recall having seen them. And, of course, when I got back to the building down there, there were windows open on the floor below at the place where I recall having seen the colored men.

            Mr. STERN. So it was the open window afterwards that helped you recall?

            Mr. SORRELS. That is right.

            Mr. STERN. And are you certain that those were the same open windows?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, I think they were. I don't have any reason to think otherwise.

            Mr. STERN.  Then you accompanied Brennan and Euins where?

            Mr. SORRELS.  To the sheriff's office, which was right across the street from the Book Depository.

            Mr. STERN. Did you have any further conversation withe them on the way over there?

            Mr. SORRELS. Oh, yes; we discussed--I was talking to him on the way over there about what they saw and observed, and told them we would like to come in there where we could get their statements down in writing.

            Mr. STERN. Did they tell you anything that you have not already told us?

            Mr. SORRELS. Not that I recall.

            The little colored boy mentioned he was there with another colored boy that ran off when this thing happened--at the first shot this boy ran off. He said he stayed there, but the other boy ran off. I didn't make any effort to get touch with him, because he apparently saw nothing.

            Mr. STERN. Then you took them into the sheriff's office?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.

            Mr. STERN. What was going on in the sheriff's office?

            Mr. SORRELS. At that time one of the deputy sheriffs was in the interrogation room taking a statement from some witness there. And I did not want to just stay there and wait too long, so I asked him would he also write up the statements on it--Mr. Brennan and the colored boy. And I then started out in the hall of the sheriff's office there with the idea of going back to see if I could locate other witnesses, when Chief Deputy Sheriff Mr. Allan Sweatt told me there was another witness across the hallway, near Mr. Sweatt's office he is the polygraph operator there, and his office is not in the same area as the sheriff's office but across the hall--that there was an FBI agent taking. a statement over there from a person.

            So I accompanied him over there and hadn't been in there but just a few minutes until Mr. Sweat came and called me out and says "Forrest, there are some people here I think you ought to talk to."

            Mr. STERN. Whose statement was being taken by the FBI?

            Mr. SORRELS. I don't recall. And, at that time----

            Mr. STERN. Do you recall what their statement was--what their testimony was?

            Mr. SORRELS. No, I don't, because I wasn't in there but just a very short time. And this FBI agent was questioning about what they had seen and so forth. I don't recall--it was being taken down at the time.

            So I went out, and they had Mr. and Mrs. Arnold there. And Mr. Arnold, a young man, and his wife, very young, said that they were standing on the side of the street on Houston Street, there by the courthouse building, and that they--this is prior to the time of the arrival of the President there, some 20 to 25 minutes beforehand, he said.

            Mr. STERN. This is the east side?

            Mr. SORRELS. That would be the east side of Houston Street .

            Mr. STERN. Are you certain about the name of this couple? I believe you said Arnold .

            Mr. SORRELS. Well----

            Mr. STERN. Could that have been his first name?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, that could have been his first name.

            Mr. STERN. Can you recall his second name?

            Mr. SORRELS. I would know it if I heard it.

            Mr. STERN. Could it have been Roland?

 

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            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, Roland is right.

            Mr. STERN. What did they tell you?

            Mr. SORRELS. He said that they were standing there waiting for the President to come by, and they were talking about security. And he said that right after that, that he looked up at this building over there, which is the Book Depository, and that there were a couple of windows open towards the west side, and that he saw a man standing in there with what appeared to be a rifle with a telescopic sight.

            Mr. STERN. Towards the west side?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes--two windows towards the west side.

            And that he remarked to his wife, "I guess that is a Secret Service man."

            And I asked her if she saw it, and she said, no, that she had left her glasses home, and she is nearsighted, and she could not see him. And, of course, I asked him the description of the man. I asked him "How could you determine what made you think it had a telescopic sight on it?"

            He said, "Well, it seemed like it was wider on the light background."

            I said, "How was he holding it?"

            He said, port arms--he was standing several feet back away from the window. And I asked him, "Could you identify that man?"

            He said, "No, I could not."

            Mr. STERN. Did Mrs. Roland confirm that he had discussed this with her?

            Mr. SORRELS. She confirmed the conversation, but she said she could not see anything, because she didn't have her glasses.

            Mr. STERN. Did Mr. Roland tell you he had seen anyone else in the windows of the Book Depository Building ?

            Mr. SORRELS. I don't recall that he did. I don't recall that at all. He may have, but I don't recall that.

            Mr. STERN. Did he mention anyone on the sixth floor, and particularly on the extreme east side of the sixth floor?

            Mr. SORRELS. No, I don't recall that he mentioned anyone there.

            Mr. STERN. What was your impression of what he told you?

            Mr. SORRELS. Well, of course, the thing that hit me first thing is why--he was right there by the sheriff's office, if he had just gone in there and said, "Look, I saw a man with a rifle over there."

            I said, "Why didn't you say something to somebody about it?"

            He said, "I just thought he was a Secret Service man."

            And at that time he appeared to be, as far as I was concerned, truthful about the matter.

            Mr. STERN. You didn't have any reason to doubt him?

            Mr. SORRELS. No.

            Mr. STERN. And would the same be true of what Mr. Brennan told you, and Euins?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.

            Mr. STERN. Did you look towards the window that Roland had pointed out from the spot at which he said he was standing, to see whether it was possible to observe from there someone standing several feet back from the window? Did you have occasion to check that?

            Mr. SORRELS. Well, no, not specifically.

            Later on I heard that he had--I believe in his statement that he wrote up down there at the sheriff's office, something about 15 feet back. And I thought to myself, well, I don't think you could see anybody that far back.

            Mr. STERN. But he didn't tell you that?

            Mr. SORRELS. No, he just said he was standing back of the window there, just kind of looking around there. He said after he saw him there, he didn't pay any more attention, because he just thought it was a Secret Service man.

            Mr. STERN. What happened next?

            Mr. SORRELS. There was another witness there that I started talking to--I don't recall the name now, because I told him to go in--somebody that saw a truck down there this is before the parade ever got there that apparently had stalled down there on Elm Street. And I later checked on that, and found out that the car had gone dead, apparently belonged to some construction

 

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company, and that a police officer had come down there, and they had gone to the construction company and gotten somebody to come down and get the car out of the way.

            Apparently it was just a car stalled down there.

            But this lady said she thought she saw somebody that looked like they had a guncase. But then I didn't pursue that any further-- because then I had gotten the information that the rifle had been found in the building and shells and so forth.

            At that time Mr. Harry McCormack, who is a reporter for the Dallas Morning News, and whom I have known for many years, came to me and says, "Forrest, I have something over here you ought to know about."

            I said, "What have you got here?"

            He said, "I have a man over here that got pictures of this whole thing."

            I said, "Let's go see him."

            So we went on to a building at the corner of Elm and Houston, on the east side of Houston, and across the street from the court house building there, up to the office of a Mr. Zapruder, they have a dress manufacturing place there in that building. And he was there with another man connected with the business there, and apparently some magazine representatives there. And Mr Zapruder was real shook up. He said that he didn't know how in the world he had taken these pictures, that he was down there and was taking the thing there, and he says, "My God, I saw the whole thing. I saw the man's brains come out of his head."

            And so I asked Mr. Zapruder would it be possible for us to get a copy of those films.

            He said, yes.

            So then accompanied by Mr. Zapruder, and this other gentleman in the business there with him, whose name I don't recall at the moment, and Mr. McCormack, we went then to the Dallas Morning News Building, which is about three blocks from Mr. Zapruder's building, three or four blocks from there, with the idea of getting those films developed right away.

            There was no one there that would tackle the job. We then went to the television section, WFAA, of the Dallas Morning News, to see if we could get them to handle it there, and they said, no, they would not attempt to do that, but they did assist us by calling Eastman Kodak Co., and they said if we came out there right away, that they would get right on it.

            We got a police car, and went right on out to the Eastman Kodak Co., and while there I met another gentleman who had seen some still pictures, and arranged with him for us to get copies of those.

            Mr. STERN. What was his name---do you recall?

            Mr. SORRELS. He is a salesman for the Ford Co. on West Commerce Street --Mr. Willis.

            And so he said, yes, that he would be glad to furnish me with a copy of the pictures.

            At that time, I made a phone call to my office, because I had not been in contact with them since we had departed from Love Field. I was informed that an FBI agent had called the office and said that Captain Fritz of the Homicide Bureau had been trying to get in touch with me, that he had a suspect in custody.

            Mr. STERN. About what time was that?

            Mr. SORRELS. That would be fairly close to 2 o'clock, I imagine.

            Mr. STERN. About an hour after you had returned----

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes. I would say that it was at least that long--maybe a little bit longer.

            So when I got that information, I told Mr. Zapruder that I would contact him later and get the pictures, because I wanted to get right down to Captain Fritz' office.

            So I left then with the same police car and had them take me to Captain Fritz' office.

            And upon arrival there, there was many officers around there, there was already cameras out in the hall, tripods, and so forth, and all of the city hall down there. And .there was a number of officers in the detective bureau

 

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office there, and Captain Fritz' office, which is an office within the large office, was closed, and the blinds were drawn in his office there.

            I did not knock on the door or anything, because I did not want to interfere with him if he was talking to someone. So I just waited there until Captain Fritz opened the door, and he had a man who I later found out to be Oswald  in custody at the time.

            And I told Captain Fritz, I said, "Captain, I would like to talk to this man when I have an opportunity."

            He said, "You can talk to him right now."

            And he just took him on back around to the side of Captain Fritz' office, and there was a number of other officers there, might have been some FBI agents too, there, because there were numbers of FBI agents around in that vicinity almost all the time from that time on. And some of the detectives there.

            And I started talking to Oswald, started asking him some questions, and he was arrogant and a belligerent attitude about him.

            And he said to me, "I don't know who you fellows are, a bunch of cops."

            And I said, "Well, I will tell you who I am. My name is Sorrels and I am with the United States Secret Service, and here is my commission book."

            I held it out in front of him and he said, "I don't want to look at it."

            And he held his head up and wouldn't look at it at all. And he said, What am I going to be charged with? Why am I being held here? Isn't someone supposed to tell me what my rights are?"

            I said, "Yes, I will tell you what your rights are. Your rights are the same as that of any American citizen. You do not have to make a statement unless you want to. You have the right to get an attorney."

            "Aren't you supposed to get me an attorney?"

            "No, I am not supposed to get you an attorney."

            "Aren't you supposed go get me an attorney?"

            I said, "No, I am not supposed to get you an attorney, because if I got you an attorney, they would say I was probably getting a rakeoff on the fee," or words to that effect, and kind of smiled and tried to break the ice a little bit there.

            I said, "You can have the telephone book and you can call anybody you want to."

            I said, "I just want to ask you some questions. I am in on this investigation. I just want to ask you some questions."

            Mr. STERN. Was there anything further said about an attorney?

            Mr. SORRELS. Not that I recall at that time. I don't recall anything further said about an attorney. I asked him where he worked. He told me worked at this Book Depository. And as I recall it, I asked him what his address was and where he was living, and he explained to me that he was living apart from his wife, and that she was living over in Irving, Tex. I asked him, as I  recall it, what his duties were at this Book Depository, and he said filling orders. I asked him if he had occasion to be on more than one floor, and he said, yes.

    I asked him if he had occasion to be on the sixth floor of the building. He said, yes, because they fill orders from all the floors.

            But he said most of his activity was down on the first floor.

            And I think I asked him whether or not he had ever been in a foreign country and he said that he had traveled in Europe, but more time had been spent in the Soviet Union , as I recall it.

            And then he just said "I don't care to answer any more questions."

            And so the conversation was terminated.

            Mr. STERN. Did he give you his address?

            Mr. SORRELS. As I recall it, he did give me an address. I don't remember what it was offhand.

            Mr. STERN. Then were you finished with your questions, or did he refuse to answer any more?

            Mr. SORRELS. He just said, "I don't care to answer any more questions."

            Mr. STERN. You wanted to ask him other questions?

            Mr. SORRELS. Oh, yes.

            Mr. STERN. And what happened then?

 

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            Mr. SORRELS. He was taken by the officers, as I recall it, and was taken out of that area and I suppose put back in jail.

            Mr. STERN. Did you then talk to Captain Fritz?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes. As I recall it, I asked Captain Fritz whether or not he had gotten anything out of him or not, and Captain Fritz said that he hadn't been able--that he had not made any admissions or anything like that at that time, and that he was going to talk to him again.

            That is all I recall that transpired at that time.

            Of course I contacted the Chief's office, when I got that information as to who he was, and gave that information to them.

            Mr. STERN. This is Chief Rowley?

            Mr. SORRELS. I think I talked to Deputy Chief Paterni.

            Mr. STERN. Of the Secret Service here in Washington ?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.

            Mr. STERN. Did anything else transpire between that time and the Friday night showup?

            Mr. SORRELS. I did not talk to Oswald again, and I was around there. When I contacted Washington , I was informed that Inspector Kelley was being directed to be there, and he would be there later on that evening, that they had caught him out on the road, and he would come there to help out.

            I also got information to Captain Fritz that I had this witness, Brennan, that I had talked to, and that I would like very much for him to get a chance to see Oswald in a lineup. And Captain Fritz said that would be fine.

            So I instructed Special Agent Patterson, I believe it was, after I had located Brennan---had quite a difficult time to locate him, because he wasn't at home. And they finally prevailed upon his wife to try to help me locate him, and she, as I recall it, said that she would see if she could locate him by phone. I called her, I believe, the second time and finally got a phone number and called him and told him we would like for him to come down and arrange for him to meet one of our agents to pick him up at the place there. And when they came down there with him, I got ahold of Captain Fritz and told him that the witness was there, Mr. Brennan.

            He said, "I wish he would have been here a little sooner, we just got through with a lineup. But we will get another fixed up."

            So I took Mr. Brennan, and we went to the assembly room, which is also where they have the lineup, and Mr. Brennan, upon arrival at the police station, said, "I don't know if I can do you any good or not, because I have seen the man that they have under arrest on television," and he said. "I just don't know whether I can identify him positively or not" because he said that the man on television was a bit disheveled and his shirt was open or something like that, and he said "The man I saw was not in that condition."

            So when we got to the assembly room, Mr. Brennan said he would like to get quite a ways back, because he would like to get as close to the distance away from where he saw this man at the time that the shooting took place as he could.

            And I said, "Well, we will get you clear on to the back and then we can move up forward."

            They did bring Oswald in in a lineup.

            He looked very carefully, and then we rooted him up closer and so forth, and he said, "I cannot positively say."

            I said, "Well, is there anyone there that looks like him?"

            He said, "Well, that second man from the left," who was Oswald--"he looks like him."

            Then he repeated that the man he saw was not disheveled.

            Now, mind you, Oswald had a slight wound over here, and he had a black eye, a bruised eye.

            Mr. STERN. When you say "over here"----

            Mr. SORRELS. Oh, on the left side. He had a mark on his forehead, and his left eye was a bit puffed.

            Mr. STERN. How many other people were in the lineup?

            Mr. SORRELS. As I recall it, there were five. In other words, all told there was five or six--I don't remember. I believe there were five.

 

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            Mr. STERN. Were the others reasonably similar to Oswald in height and physical appearance, and color?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes.

            Mr. STERN. Dress?

            Mr. SORRELS. I noted that to me I thought it was a very fair lineup, because they didn't have anyone that was a lot taller than he was, or anyone a lot shorter. They didn't have any big fat ones or anything like that.

            In other words, to me it was a good lineup.

            Mr. STERN. At that time, did Mr. Brennan say anything else to you that you have not told us, or to anyone else?

            Mr. SORRELS. Not that I recall. He says, "I am sorry, but I can't do it. I was afraid seeing the television might have messed me up. I just can't be positive. I am sorry."

            Mr. STERN. As far as you know, had Mr. Brennan been interviewed by anyone after he gave his statement to the deputy sheriff until the time you had him brought to the police headquarters?

            Mr. SORRELS. No; not to my knowledge.

            Mr. STERN. Was he then interviewed by anyone?

            Mr. SORRELS. I couldn't say.

            Mr. STERN. Did you arrange for him to return to his home?

            Mr. SORRELS. As I recall it, I did. I told him "they will take you back to your home."

            Mr. STERN. Immediately after the lineup?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.

            Mr. STERN. Have you ever spoken to Mr. Brennan again after that day?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes; I have.

            Mr. STERN. When was that?

            Mr. SORRELS. We were assisting the Commission in locating witnesses to come to Washington , to the Commission, and I got in touch with him and arranged for him to go and procured his ticket and delivered his ticket to him.

            Mr. STERN. And when you talked to him then, did he say anything that bears upon our inquiry that he hadn't said before?

            Mr. SORRELS. Not that I recall.

            Mr. STERN. Mr. Sorrels, when you were at the police headquarters, after this interview with Oswald that you have told us about, do you recall talking to any representative of the FBI?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes.

            Mr. STERN. Who was that?

            Mr. SORRELS. Now, let's get that question again, because I talked to them several times down there.

            When was that you said?

            Mr. STERN. After you interviewed Oswald.

            Mr. SORRELS. Oh, yes, yes.

            Mr. STERN. Do you know an FBI agent attached to the Dallas office named James Hosty?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir; I do.

            Mr. STERN. Did you talk to Mr. Hosty that you recall?

            Mr. SORRELS. Not that I recall; no, sir.

            Mr. STERN. Might you have spoken to him, or do you think you would remember that?

            Mr. SORRELS. I think I would remember it.

            Mr. STERN. Do you recall his being there?

            Mr. SORRELS. I think I saw him there.

            Now, whether it was on the 22d or not, but I think during along this period, I saw him there one time.

            But I don't recall talking to Mr. Hosty at all down there.

            Mr. STERN. Did any of the agents attached to your office tell you that they had talked to Hosty? Or that Hosty had told them anything?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes; I think Special Agent Patterson, I believe, said that he had seen Hosty down there, and that Hosty, I believe, had said that he had a file on Oswald.

 

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            Mr. STERN. Do you recall anything else that Agent Patterson told you that Mr. Hosty had told him?

            Mr. SORRELS. No; I cannot recall anything else. Because I had information--had also gotten information from others. In other words, there was general information around the Police Department there that the FBI had a file on this individual.

            Mr. STERN. Any other of your agents tell you that Hosty had said anything  to them about Oswald that you can recall?

            Mr. SORRELS. You mean at that specific date, regarding that specific date?

            Mr. STERN. Either on Friday or on Saturday.

            Mr. SORRELS. No. During the course of this thing, it was my understanding that--I don't remember how the information came to me---that Hosty had been checking on this Oswald, and that they had information or knew that he was in this building. I cannot pinpoint it any way specifically, because the information came several different times to that effect.

            Mr. STERN. Now, you told us something of Oswald's physical appearance when you saw him at the interview.

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.

            Mr. STERN. And at the showup.

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.

            Mr. STERN. Did his appearance change in the course of that time?

            Mr. SORRELS. Not that I recall.

            Mr. STERN. Over that 3-day period, did you see any sign that force or any other form of coercion was used on Oswald by anyone?

            Mr. SORRELS. No, sir.

            Mr. STERN. Did you observe or hear of any intimidation of Oswald or the offer of any benefit to Oswald if he were to confess?

            Mr. SORRELS. No, sir.

            Mr. STERN. Did you participate in or observe any other interrogation of Oswald following your own brief interrogation?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.

            Mr. STERN. When was that?

            Mr. SORRELS. On the following day----

            Mr. STERN. That is Saturday, the 23d?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir; I sat in on part of an interview with him, with Captain Fritz. And then, again, on Sunday the 24th, just before he was shot.

            Mr. STERN. Did the question of counsel come up again--that is, a lawyer for Oswald?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes. During the interview with Captain Fritz, when I was in there, he mentioned the fact that he wanted to get a man by the name of Abt, or some similar name like that. I never had heard of him before. Apt, or some similar name.

            And Captain Fritz said, "Well you can use the phone and you can call him."

            Mr. STERN. When was this?

            Mr. SORRELS. That was Saturday morning. And it is my understanding that Oswald did attempt to reach this man on the phone.

            Mr. STERN. But you didn't observe it?

            Mr. SORRELS. I did not observe that; no.

            Mr. STERN. Did you hear him mention at any time a lawyer from the American Civil Liberties Union ?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes. He said if he could not get this man--I wish I could  remember his name a very short name, Apt or something like that.

            Mr. STERN. A-b-t?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, A-b-t. Yes--if he couldn't get him, he wanted a lawyer supplied by the Civil Liberties Union .

            Mr. STERN. What else occurred at the interview on Saturday that you can remember?

            Mr. SORRELS. He was questioned abut the rifle, because, at that time, as I recall it, it had been determined that the rifle had been purchased from Kleins in Chicago, and shipped to a person using the name of A. Hidell. And he was questioned by Captain Fritz along those lines. And he denied that the rifle was his. He denied knowing or using the name of A. Hidell, or Alek Hidell.

 

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            He was, of course, questioned about his background and he at that time still maintained an arrogant, defiant attitude. The questions were, of course, directed towards getting information. A lot of them he would not answer. And a lot of the answers, of course, were apparent falsehoods.

            And he gave me the impression of lying to Captain Fritz, and deliberately doing so, maybe with an attempt to get Captain Fritz to become angered, because he, Oswald, would flare up in an angry manner from time to time.

            Mr. STERN. But you think that was acting--not genuine?

            Mr. SORRELS. That is the impression I got, that he was just deliberately doing that, possibly to agitate Captain Fritz and maybe get him to become angry, and maybe do or say something that he shouldn't do.

            That is just the impression I gained from him. And the reason--I guess one reason I gained that impression is because on the last interview, on Sunday morning, Oswald seemed to have taken a little bit different attitude. In other words, he was talking a little bit freer--he wasn't giving out any information of any value particularly, but he wasn't flaring up like he did before.

            Mr. STERN. Was that Sunday interview extended beyond any time that you know of that it was scheduled to end?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes; it was, because the papers seemed to have gotten the impression that he was going to be moved at exactly 10 o'clock in the morning, and Captain Fritz was talking to him even after 11 o'clock in the morning--we were still there. And I recall that Chief Curry came around and asked Captain Fritz how long he was going to be, or what was holding it up, or something like that, that they wanted to go ahead and get him moved as quick as they could.

            Mr. STERN. Did he indicate or did you understand that they wanted to move him at 10 o'clock?

            Mr. SORRELS. It was after 10 o'clock then, considerably. As a matter of fact, it was after 11 at that time. Captain Fritz remarked to me afterwards, he said, "Well, as long as it looks like he might talk, I hesitate to quit, or move him out at that time," and he told Chief Curry, "We will be through in a few minutes."

            And shortly after that, Captain Fritz asked if anyone wanted to ask him any questions, and, at that time, the postal inspector had obtained a change of address card which Oswald had apparently filled out in which one of the names shown on that change of address card that was to receive mail at that particular address in New Orleans was named A. Hidell. And I desired to question Oswald about that thing, because he had denied purchasing this rifle under the name of A. Hidell, and he denied knowing anybody by the name of A. Hidell.

            So I showed Oswald this change of address card and said to him, "Now, here is a change of address card that you filed in New Orleans ," and he looked at it.

            He did not deny that he had filed the card, because it was apparently in his handwriting, and his signature. And I said, "Now you say that you have not used the name of A. Hidell, but you show it on this card here as the name of A. Hidell, as a person to receive mail at this address. If you do not know anyone by that name, why would you have that name on that card?"

            He said, "I never used the name of Hidell."

            Mr. STERN. That was the last question he was asked?

            Mr. SORRELS. As far as I know.

            Mr. STERN. And then what happened?

            Mr. SORRELS. He was told that they were going to move him to the county jail, and he requested that he be permitted to get a shirt out of his--the clothes that had been brought in, that belonged to him, because the shirt he was wearing at the time he had been apprehended was taken, apparently for laboratory examination. And so Captain Fritz sent and got his clothes and, as I recall it, he selected a dark colored kind of a sweater type shirt, as I recall it. And then he was taken out, and, at that time, as I recall it, Inspector Kelley and I left and went up to---I say up---down the hall to the executive office area of the police department, and to the office of Deputy Chief Batchelor.

            And we remained in that vicinity. I looked out the window, and saw the people across the street, on Commerce Street , people were waiting there. And I saw an individual that I know by the name of Ruby Goldstein, who is known

 

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as Honest Joe, that has a second-hand tool and pawnshop down on Elm Street , and everyone around there knows him. He was leaning on the car looking over in the direction of the ramp there at the police station. And we were just waiting around there.

            And for a few minutes I was talking to one of the police officers that was on duty up there in that area. And he had made the remark, "talking about open  windows, I see one open across the street over there" at a building across the street.

            I looked over there. I didn't see any activity at the window. And we had walked out into the reception area of the executive office of the Chief of Police there when this same police officer said that he just heard that Oswald had got shot in the stomach in the basement by Jack Rubin, as I understood at that time, R-u-b-i-n--who was supposed to run a night club.

            Inspector Kelley and I then went just as hurriedly as we could to the basement.

            Mr. STERN. As I understand it, Mr. Sorrels, you covered all the relevant information from this point of time on with Mr. Hubert yesterday.

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes. And actually back just a little bit.

            Mr. STERN. Is there anything that has occurred to you since your interview with Mr. Hubert that you would like to add now, to amplify anything you said yesterday to him?

            Mr. SORRELS. We were trying to establish something about the time yesterday morning that this transpired and so forth. And I could not fix any exact time.

            But knowing the fact that Oswald, I believe, is reported to have been shot at 11:21, I believe it is, and the fact that when we got into the basement of the City Hall there at a time when Oswald was still on the floor there, and was being given artificial respiration, as I said yesterday, and I immediately called my headquarters office in Washington and told them about Oswald being shot by Jack Rubin, a night club operator. And they asked me, of course, to get additional information and call them back.

            And from that telephone call, which went through very rapidly, I went back upstairs--didn't tarry there at all. And Oswald was still there when I left and went back upstairs to Captain Fritz' office, because my thought was to talk to this man Jack Rubin as fast as I could.

            Captain Fritz was not there. They said he went to the hospital. I asked  where Ruby was. They said he was up on the fifth floor. I said I would like to talk to him. And I was sent with an officer to the jail elevator, went right on up there. So----

            Mr. STERN. Have you been able to establish the time of your phone call to Deputy Chief----

            Mr. SORRELS. No, I have not been able to establish it. But after thinking the thing over, and the fact that Oswald was still there at the time this call was made, I would say that that phone call was probably made between 11:25 and 11:30, I would say.

            Mr. STERN. Fine.

            Mr. Sorrels had you discussed with any official of the Dallas Police the plans to move Oswald during a scheduled daylight hour, before the move was made?

            Mr. SORRELS. When I heard that he was supposed to be moved at 10 o'clock in the morning, I said to Captain Fritz--and as I recall this conversation--I said to him, "Captain, I wouldn't move that man at an announced time. I would take him out at 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning, when there is nobody around."

            And Captain Fritz said, "Well, the chief has gone along with these people," talking about the press and television people, and said that he wanted to continue going along with them and cooperating with them all he can. And that was all that was said about that.

            I did not make that suggestion, or have a conversation like that with Chief Curry, as I recall, because I did not want to appear that I was trying to tell them how to run their business.

            Mr. STERN. What were conditions like in the third floor corridor of police headquarters from Friday through Sunday?

            Mr. SORRELS. Mr. Stern, you would almost have to be there to see it, to actually realize the conditions. The press and the television people just, as the

 

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expression goes, took over. I would almost every time I went up there, definitely after the 22d, I would have to identify myself to get in past the entrance of the elevator on the third floor, if I was going to the chief's office or the deputy chief's office or Captain Fritz' office. You would have to elbow your way through, and step over tripods and cables and wires, and every time almost that I would come out of Captain Fritz's office, the minute the door opened, they would flash on those bright lights, and I got where I just shadowed my eyes when I walked down there to keep the light from shining in my eyes. They had cables run through one of the deputy chief's office, right through the windows from the street up the side of the building, across the floor, out to the boxes where they could get power--they had wires running out of that, had the wires taped down to keep people from actually falling or stumbling over the wires. And it was just a condition that you can hardly explain. It was just almost indescribable.

            I know at one time when Mr. Jim Underwood of KRLD, that is the Dallas Time Herald Television Station down there, was in Captain Fritz' office with Jack Ruby's sister, and a lady friend of hers, trying to arrange for her to get up to talk to Jack Ruby, that the police officer who was stationed at the door to the detective's office had a terrific time keeping them--I thought they were going to barge on in there. They were yelling like mad--because Mr. Underwood was in there, and one of them was there yelling--"if he has got a right to be in here, we have a right to be in there."

            Just as loud as he could. And Mr. Underwood had to leave Captain Fritz' office and say, "Listen, fellows, I am not going upstairs. I am trying to make arrangements for this woman to see her brother--I am not going upstairs."

            That was just the situation you were booked up against there.

            And, of course, every time you would turn around, they would ask me something, and I would say, "No comment, I don't have any comment to make."

            And I don't think at any time you will see that there is any statement made by the newspapers or television that we said anything because Mr. Kelley, the Inspector, told me "Any information that is given out will have to come from Inspector Peterson in Washington."

            Finally, after they found out I would not say anything, they didn't bother me any more.

            Many times when I would be going into the third floor area there, they would start to stop me, and a lot of the guys that would know me would say, "That is Sorrels of the Secret Service."

            That happened more than once.

            And, of course, I would have to go ahead and identify myself. The officers that were on duty that had seen me before would recognize me and pass me through.

            Mr. STERN. Can you estimate how many press representatives there were in that corridor?

            Mr. SORRELS. I am not too good in estimating anything like that, but there were dozens of them.

            Mr. STERN. Was any effort made to restrict them to a far part of the corridor, or to remove them from the floor entirely that you know of?

            Mr. SORRELS. Not that I know of.

            Mr. STERN. Did you ever learn why this was not done did you ever ask?

            Mr. SORRELS. No, I did not. I just thought to myself--well, if this was being handled in a Federal building, this situation would not exist. That is what I thought.

            But, of course, that is a public building. I thought to myself--well, they are in here, and the chief would have a heck of a time getting them out That is just my own thoughts about the thing, because I do know that the Dallas Police Department, the Dallas Sheriff's Office, they do try to go along with the press and everything like that.

            After this thing happened, Mr. Felix McKnight, who I mentioned before, who is a personal friend of mine, executive editor of the Dallas Times Herald, he said to me, "Forrest, those people should have been out of there, and that includes us."

            Of course the thing was all over then. I would imagine that Chief Curry

 

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or anybody else that would have tried to have gotten them out of there would have really had a tough time and they probably would have really blasted them in the press.

            Mr. STERN. Mr. Sorrels, that covers the ground that I wanted to ask you about.

            Is there anything you would like to add to anything you said this morning with respect to the advance preparations, the actual events in front of Book Depository, your return there, anything that elapsed while you were at the police headquarters from Friday afternoon through Sunday morning or with respect to anything you told Mr. Hubert about yesterday?

            Just take a moment and think about it.

            And if there is anything you would like to amplify or add to what you have said that you think the Commission should know, please tell me.

            Mr. SORRELS. I cannot recall anything right now, Mr. Stern.

            Mr. STERN. I would like you to identify this one page memorandum entitled "Statement of Forrest V. Sorrels, Special Agent in Charge , U.S. Secret Service, Dallas , Tex. November 28, 1963."

            I have marked this "Exhibit 5," deposition of F. V. Sorrels, May 7, 1964.

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir; that is a copy of a statement that I wrote up.

            Mr. STERN. Would you initial that for me, please?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes.

            Mr. STERN. Would you review the statement and see if there is anything you would like to add to it?

            I think you might just tell us what it covers.

            Mr. SORRELS. This is a statement which was written up by me on November 28, 1963, relating the fact that the presidential motorcade----

            Mr. STERN. The statement will be in the record, Mr. Sorrels. I meant just tell us the subject matter of it.

            Mr. SORRELS. Relating to the events that I observed when the presidential motorcade went from Love Field until the time that I left the Parkland Hospital to go to the Texas School Book Depository.

            Mr. STERN. Is there anything you want to add to that statement that you have not already told us--because we have gone into this in much greater detail now.

            Mr. SORRELS. No, not that I can recall, because as you say we went into it in more detail.

            Mr. STERN. Thank you very much, Mr. Sorrels. We appreciate very much your coming to Washington to help us.

            Mr. SORRELS. I want to express my appreciation to you and to the Commission for permitting me to not come on the week of the 19th, due to 'the fact that my little daughter had to go to the hospital. I certainly appreciate your consideration in letting me come at a later date.

            Mr. STERN. We were very happy we could arrange that, and we are glad to know she is well.

            Mr. SORRELS. Thank you, sir.

 

SORRELS    Volume XIII pages 55-83

 

TESTIMONY OF FORREST V. SORRELS

 

            The testimony of Forrest V. Sorrels was taken at 1 p.m., on May 6, 1964, at 200 Maryland Avenue NE., Washington , D.C. , by Messrs. Burt W. Griffin, Leon D. Hubert, Jr., and Samuel A. Stern, assistant counsel of the President's Commission. Fred B. Smith, Deputy General Counsel, U.S. Treasury Department was present.

 

            Mr. HUBERT. Mr. Sorrels, my name is Leon Hubert. I will be taking your deposition this afternoon, and so will Mr. Samuel Stern. We are both members of the advisory staff of the General Counsel of the President's Commission, that is to say Mr. Rankin.

            Under the provisions of Executive Order 11130, dated November 29, 1963, the Joint Resolution of Congress, No. 137, and rules of procedure adopted by the Commission in conformance with that Executive order and that joint resolution, both Mr. Stern and I have been authorized to take a sworn deposition from you, Mr. Sorrels. Of course you will take an oath a little later on. Is it understood between us that this statement of my authority and of Mr. Stern's authority is sufficient to carry for both depositions--in other words, it will be really a continuation of the deposition by Mr. Stern on another area.  Is that understood?

             Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.

            Mr. HUBERT. Is it understood also that the oath you are going to take will be applicable to the testimony elicited from you by me, as well as that elicited from you by Mr. Stern?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.

            Mr. HUBERT. I state to you now that the general nature of the Commission's inquiry is to ascertain, evaluate and report upon the facts relating to the assassination of President Kennedy and the subsequent violent death of Lee Harvey Oswald. In particular as to you, Mr. Sorrels, the nature of the inquiry today is to determine what facts you know about the death of Oswald and other pertinent facts which you may know about the general inquiry.

            Mr. Sorrels, you have appeared today by virtue of a verbal request made by us at the direction of the General Counsel. Under the rules adopted by the Cornmission,

 

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all witnesses are entitled to a 3-day written notice prior to the taking of their deposition. But the rules also provide that a witness may waive this notice. I ask you now if you are willing to waive the 3-day written notice provided for by the rules of the Commission.

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.

            Mr. HUBERT. All right. Then I will ask you to stand and be sworn. Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you are about to give in this matter will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

            Mr. SORRELS. I do.

            Mr. HUBERT. Will you state your full name.

            Mr. SORRELS. Forrest V. Sorrels.

            Mr. HUBERT. How old are you, Mr. Sorrels?

            Mr. SORRELS. Sixty-three.

            Mr. HUBERT. Where do you reside now?

            Mr. SORRELS. 3319 Hanover, Dallas , Tex.

            Mr. HUBERT. What is your occupation?

            Mr. SORRELS. Special agent in charge of the Dallas district of the United States Secret Service.

            Mr. HUBERT. Now, before I go any further, I should like the record to show that Mr. Fred B. Smith----

            Mr. SMITH. Deputy General Counsel , United States Treasury Department.

            Mr. HUBERT. Is present--in what capacity?

            Mr. SMITH. I guess observer on behalf of the Secretary of Treasury.

            Mr. HUBERT. And Mr. Burt Griffin, also a member of the staff of the General Counsel of the President's Commission, is also present.

            Now, Mr. Sorrels, I would like for you to state to us the general background, your history, sort of a biographical sketch, if you will, starting off with your education and on to date.

            Mr. SORRELS. I was born in Red River County , Tex. , on a farm, September 16, 1901; later moved to a little town nearby called Bogata , Tex. I lived there until 1916, when my family moved to El Paso , Tex. I resided there until 1935.

            I went to El Paso High School and after graduation attended Draughon's Business College , taking typing and shorthand and bookkeeping. I then went to work for a small wholesale grocery, worked there for only a short time, and then went to work for a brick company, worked there a very short time, and then obtained employment as a clerk in the office of Bureau of Narcotics, Treasury Department, in El Paso, Texas.

            Mr. HUBERT. What year was that, sir?

            Mr. SORRELS. That was in 1922. I worked there for about a year and went back to the brick company. I was only there a short time when I learned of a clerical position in the office of the United States Secret Service at El Paso . I later was employed in that position on July 6, 1923. That was a two-man office, and I began very shortly after employment there assisting and helping in investigative work.

            In 1926, the special agent in charge was transferred from there, and prior to that time I had been appointed as what was known at that time as an operative, which is comparable to our special agent of today. He transferred from there to Dallas about July of 1926, and I was left as acting agent in charge of that office. In October that "acting" was removed, and I continued there in the capacity of agent in charge until 1935, when I was transferred to Dallas as special agent in charge there. In 1936 I was transferred to New Orleans as acting supervising agent of a newly created setup whereby the States of Texas , Louisiana , and Mississippi were in what was known at that time as the Tenth District.

            In 1938, the headquarters office was moved from New Orleans to Houston . In 1941 it was moved from Houston to Dallas . Subsequent to that time, the organization of the 15 supervising agents was abandoned, and each office reported direct into the headquarters office in Washington, excepting a very few that were known as resident agency officers.

            I have continued in that capacity as special agent in charge of the Dallas district, and am so employed at the present time.

 

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            Mr. HUBERT. So that you have been special agent in charge actually of the Dallas district since 1938.

            Mr. SORRELS. Actually--it was in my territory since 1935, but the office was moved back there in 1941, and I have been there ever since.

            Mr. HUBERT. And you have lived there.

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.

            Mr. HUBERT. What does the Dallas territory now, under your jurisdiction, and control, consist of?

            Mr. SORRELS. Roughly it consists of the northern half of Texas , exclusive of the territory west of the Pecos River . We have in the Dallas district the entire northern judicial district of Texas, the Waco division of the western district of Texas, the Tyler , Jefferson, Texarkana , Parris, and Sherman divisions of the eastern district of Texas.

            Mr. HUBERT. By divisions, you mean divisions in the United States court system?

            Mr. SORRELS. That's right.

            Mr. HUBERT. How many men do you have?

            Mr. SORRELS. At the present time we have six special agents besides myself.

            Mr. HUBERT. They all work out of Dallas ?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir. One special agent actually headquarters, so to speak, in Fort Worth . He remains in that section most of the time.

            Mr. HUBERT. Would you tell us something about your family.

            Mr. SORRELS. I am married.

            Mr. HUBERT. How long have you been married?

            Mr. SORRELS. I have a daughter 16 years of age and a younger daughter 7 years of age. I have 2 children by a former marriage, a son who is a captain in the United States Army and a daughter who is married to an employee of the IBM Company in New York City .

            Mr. HUBERT. How long have you been married to your present wife?

            Mr. SORRELS. Since 1946.

            Mr. HUBERT. Mr. Sorrels, Mr. Stern is going to take a deposition with respect to security measures and other matters, I think, in regard to the President. I am going to depose you with reference to a number of matters concerning principally the security of Oswald after he was arrested and until his death, and your activities with reference to Ruby after he had shot Oswald.

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.

            Mr. HUBERT. Now, getting into the first matter, can you tell us what you observed yourself of the security measures which were in effect and actually operating with reference to Oswald after his arrest.

            Mr. SORRELS. The first time that I saw Oswald was on the afternoon of November 22 as he was coming out of Capt. Will Fritz' office in the Dallas Police Department on the third floor.

            Mr. HUBERT. About what time was that?

            Mr. SORRELS. The exact time I cannot give you, because I had been working at a frantic pace. It was some time probably past the middle of the afternoon. I had previously been informed by my office that Captain Fritz had endeavored to locate me because he had a suspect in custody. And when I arrived there, Captain Fritz was in his office, apparently talking to the suspect, whom I determined to be Lee Harvey Oswald.

            As he was being removed from the office, I told Captain Fritz that I would like to talk to this man when an opportunity was afforded, and he remarked "You can talk to him right now--just go right around the corner there by the side of the office," which I did.

            Oswald was brought around and was seated there. There were a number of other officers present, detectives, I think possibly some FBI agents, and maybe some of my agents had come in in the meantime.

            I started to----

            Mr. HUBERT. Before you go into that, would you tell us about the security measures that you observed with reference to protecting the person of Oswald from the time you first saw him, say up until the time you have reached now.

            Mr. SORRELS. As far as I know, there was no one except authorized officers

 

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in that particular area at that time. I did not see anyone that I recognized to be other than an officer.

            Mr. HUBERT. No news people in the corridor of the third floor?

            Mr. SORRELS. I am talking about inside the office now. In the corridor, that was an entirely different situation because there were cameras set up, tripods, still photographers, photographers with cameras in their hands, and newspapermen in large numbers in the hallways.

            Mr. HUBERT. Well, now, for example, when Captain Fritz afforded you an opportunity to speak to Oswald and indicated that you could do so at a little office around the corner, did that mean that you had to pass Oswald out of Fritz' office, and through this third floor corridor, where all the newsmen were gathered?

            Mr. SORRELS. No, sir.

            Mr. HUBERT. That was still within Fritz' office?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir; in other words, there was an office there, and Captain Fritz had an office built within that office just merely to take him out of the door and right around the corner of his inside office there.

            Mr. HUBERT. Then you did interview Oswald.

            Mr. SORRELS. I talked to him, started asking him questions, and he was belligerent and arrogant in his attitude and he said to me, "I don't know who you fellows are, a bunch of cops."

            Mr. HUBERT. How long did you speak to him

            Mr. SORRELS. Not very long.

            Mr. HUBERT. In point of time.

            Mr. SORRELS. Not over--I don't think over 10 minutes at the most.

            Mr. HUBERT. Do you know what happened to him after that?

            Mr. SORRELS. As far as I know, he was taken back to the jail.

            Mr. HUBERT. Now, taking him back to the jail would involve passing him out of Fritz' office, through the corridor, and to the jail elevator, is that correct?

            Mr. SOERELS. That is correct; yes, sir.

            Mr. HUBERT. Can you tell us what security precautions you observed with reference to his person after he was out of Fritz' office?

            Mr. SORRELS. They of course had him handcuffed when they removed him, and several detectives accompanied him as they left out, in front--someone went ahead. And as I recall it there was at least one on the side, and then some brought up the rear.

            Mr. HUBERT. You did not go up to the jail?

            Mr. SORRELS. No, sir; I did not.

            Mr. HUBERT. Did you observe any system of identification of the people who were on the third floor?

            Mr. SORRELS. As I recall it, when I first went down there I had no particular difficulty getting in, because most of the officers there know me, from my years of being in that city. But subsequent to that time I would have to identify myself many times. This was to uniformed police officers that were on duty. And I would have to show my commission book in order to get into Captain Fritz' office, or else get into the executive offices there, where the chief of police and the deputy chief offices were located.

            Mr. HUBERT. Did you observe any officers posted at the entrances to the area, to the third floor area?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes.

            Mr. HUBERT. Where were they?

            Mr. SORRELS. By the elevator, and then there were uniformed officers at Captain Fritz' door.

            Mr. HUBERT. Did you observe them requiring identification by other persons? I mean you described how they required you to identify yourself. Did you notice whether they did so with other people, and if so, what did they do?

            Mr. SORRELS. I cannot say that I did, because usually when I get through identifying myself, I either went to the executive suite, where the chief's office was, or right direct to Captain Fritz' office. But on a number of occasions, the officers that were on duty there, before I can get my commission book out, some of the newsmen or photographers there that knew me would

 

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say, "He is Sorrels of the Secret Service." I, upon being recognized and identifying myself, would be admitted. Some of the officers on duty there of course after the second or third time they would recognize me, and I would have no difficulty getting in. But I cannot say that I saw anyone else being required to identify themselves, because I did not hang around the places where the officers were.

            Mr. HUBERT. Would you say that the security conditions that you just described were in effect for the entire period of November 22 through November 24--that is, on the third floor?

            Mr. SORRELS. Captain Fritz' office definitely yes--going into his office. I do not recall having to identify myself to get onto the third floor on the 22d when I first got down there. But subsequent to that time, I do recall having to identify myself almost every time I went up there.

            Mr. HUBERT. What was the general condition of the third floor area from point of personnel, equipment, and so forth?

            Mr. SORRELS. I guess you could term it more or less deplorable, because of the fact that they had so many cameras with tripods and cables and wires and photographers and reporters that you would have to step over tripods and wires and almost elbow your way to get in and out of the place. And every time you would come out of it--Captain Fritz' office they would turn on those bright lights, and you would have to shield your eyes almost to keep from being temporarily blinded.

            Mr. HUBERT. Do you mean--that last condition you described took place when anybody came out of Fritz' office, or when they came out with Oswald?

            Mr. SORRELS. No--I would not say just anybody, but many times when I would start out, the minute they would see anyone coming out of the door, they would turn the lights on, I guess to be prepared in case Oswald or anyone else that they wished to photograph would come out.

            Mr. HUBERT. During the period that we are talking about, that is, say, from the arrest of Oswald the first time you saw him until the 24th, I take it that you observed Oswald being moved from Captain Fritz' office to the jail elevator at least quite a number of times.

            Mr. SORRELS. I can only recall two times, I believe. The first time is when he was taken out of Captain Fritz' office on the afternoon of the 22d. Then there were two other occasions I knew of when he was brought back into Captain Fritz' office and when he was taken out. I remember that many times. In other words, about three going out and two coming in I can definitely recall.

            Mr. HUBERT. Well, do you recall that while he was being so moved on any one of those occasions, that he was addressed by the press or questions asked him, or remarks made to him?

            Mr. SORRELS. No, because the time that I saw him he was in Captain Fritz' office or being removed from his office. I never saw him in the hallway that I can recall.

            Mr. HUBERT. Well, I thought you had mentioned a little while ago that on the first occasion you did observe him--after you had interviewed him for about 10 minutes--you did observe him move out of Fritz' office and go to the elevator.

            Mr. SORRELS. I think your question, as I understand it, sir, was that he was removed from Captain Fritz' office to the elevator.  I did not see him taken down the hallway.

            Mr. HUBERT. I see; I did misunderstand you.

            Mr. SORRELS. Sorry.

            Mr. HUBERT. So you do not know really whether or not any news media or any other people asked him questions and made remarks to him while he was going from Fritz' office to the elevator.

            Mr. SORRELS. Not of my personal knowledge; no, sir.

            Mr. HUBERT. Could those news people see into Fritz' office from the hallway?

            Mr. SORRELS. They could see into the outer office, but they could not very well see into his office unless they actually came inside the office within which his office is located. You have got one door that faces on the west side of the office, and then Captain Fritz' there faces north. So that it would be a question of someone might see just a corner portion of his office from the hallway door,

 

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which is glass at the top, but they would not be able to see anyone sitting, for example, where Oswald would have been sitting at the time that I saw him in Captain Fritz' office.

            Mr. HUBERT. In other words, there was a glass door to what might be called the outer office of Captain Fritz' office.

            Mr. SORRELS. That's right.

            Mr. HUBERT. But the inner office, while it had a glass door, it did not face on an area in which the press was located.

            Mr. SORRELS. That's right. It also had Venetian-type blinds on the doors, and the other part of his office was glass from the upper part.

            Mr. HUBERT. While you were up there at any time during the period we are talking about, did you ever observe anyone known to you to be a civilian who was not either a police officer or connected with the news media in some way?

            Mr. SORRELS. No; I do not; well, I will take that back. You are talking about when Oswald was around?

            Mr. HUBERT. Well, yes. But also I want to broaden it to any time.

            Mr. SORRELS. The reason I asked that question is that Jack Ruby's sister was in his office with another lady after Ruby was in custody, and at that time they were in there with Mr. Jim Underwood from radio station KRLD who was trying to make arrangements for Ruby's sister to get up in the jail to see him. But prior to that, I do not know, sir.

            Mr. HUBERT. Now, were you present at a meeting at which the news media were present and Oswald was brought into an assembly room, in which the news media were assembled?

            Mr. SORRELS. I was present when Oswald was brought into what is called the lineup room, which is also the assembly room. They have the lineup section at one end of it. That was on the evening of November 22. At that time it was my request, because a witness who had been interviewed by me, and who had seen the person fire the third shot from the window of the Book Depository Building, I had gotten in touch with him through one of our agents, and he was brought down there for the specific purpose of being able to see Oswald, because when he was first interviewed by me he stated that he thought he could identify him.

            Mr. HUBERT. That was in fact, however, a true lineup for the purpose of identification.

            Mr. SORRELS. I am sorry--I did not understand the question.

            Mr. HUBERT. I said that was a true lineup for the purpose of identification.

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.

            Mr. HUBERT. I was speaking of another meeting where the assembly room usually used for the lineup was used to give the press an opportunity to see Oswald.

            Mr. SORRELS. I was not present. That is the only time I saw Oswald in the lineup.

            Mr. HUBERT. Were you aware at any time on the 22d of the concern expressed by Mr. J. Edgar Hoover in regard to the security of Oswald, and allegedly transmitted to the Dallas people?

            Mr. SORRELS. No, sir.

            Mr. HUBERT. Did you become aware of that later?

            Mr. SORRELS. I do not recall ever having heard anything to that effect.

            Mr. HUBERT. Even now you do not?

            Mr. SORRELS. No, sir.

            Mr. HUBERT. Did you know Jack Ruby at all?

            Mr. SORRELS. Not before this incident took place; no, sir.

            Mr. HUBERT. You did not even know he existed?

            Mr. SORRELS. No, sir. As a matter of fact, when I first heard Oswald had been shot, I understood the name to be Jack Rubin, and in my first report to my headquarters office I gave them the name of Jack Rubin--R-u-b-i-n, an operator of a nightclub. That is the first information I got. I just misunderstood the pronunciation of the last word.

            Mr. HUBERT. I think I have already asked this question in a general way--

 

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that is to say, you have covered the area in a general way. But I think for the record I should make it more specific.

            You have now come to know a man by the name of Jack Ruby, to the extent that you could recognize him, I suppose.

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.

            Mr. HUBERT. Can you tell us whether you saw him in or about the police department building at any time after the President was shot, and until Ruby shot Oswald?

            Mr. SORRELS. I have no recollection of having seen a man whom I know now to be Jack Ruby before I saw him in the Dallas City Jail on the fifth floor.

            Mr. HUBERT. Now, we can pass, I think, for my purposes--and mind you, Mr. Stern might cover some of these areas again, but this is the way this is being handled.

            You did see Oswald, I think, on Sunday morning, November 24?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.

            Mr. HUBERT. Could you tell us where and at what time?

            Mr. SORRELS. That was in the office of Capt. Will Fritz of the homicide division of the Dallas Police Department. It was somewhere around 11 o'clock in the morning, and he was removed from Captain Fritz' office at approximately I guess about 11:15.

            Mr. HUBERT. What was the purpose of your interviewing him that morning?

            Mr. SORRELS. We, of course, were interested in any statement that Oswald might make relating to any phase of the assassination of the President. Particularly, I was interested in trying to obtain an admission from him that he had used the name of A. Hidell as an alias, because information had been developed that he had purchased the rifle which was found on the sixth floor of the Book Depository under the name of A. Hidell.

            There was a change of address card which he had filed in New Orleans, as I recall it, on which it was shown that persons to receive mail at the address given, the name of A. Hidell appeared. And after Captain Fritz got through questioning him on the morning of November 24, he asked if any of the officers present in the room desired to ask him any questions. And I said, "Yes; I would like to ask him a question."

            In the meantime, Chief of Police Jesse Curry had come to Captain Fritz' office, and inquired about the delay in moving him out. And Captain Fritz informed that he was still talking to him.

            Mr. HUBERT. Captain Fritz informed----

            Mr. SORRELS. Informed Chief Curry----

            Mr. HUBERT. That he was or you were?

            Mr. SORRELS. That he was. And a very short time after that is when I had an opportunity to ask Oswald some questions. I showed Oswald the change of address card----

            Mr. HUBERT. Let me ask you this: Was your interrogation of him cut off, as it were, by the transfer?

            Mr. SORRELS. By the transfer?

            Mr. HUBERT. Yes.

            Mr. SORRELS. No.

            Mr. HUBERT. Had you finished with him?

            Mr. SORRELS. I had finished----

            Mr. HUBERT. As to that point?

            Mr. SORRELS. As to that point; yes, sir.

            Mr. HUBERT. As a matter of fact, you would have had access to him, I think, at the county jail, anyhow, would you not?

            Mr. SORRELS. I had certainly planned on having access to him, and I am sure I would have. As a matter of fact, I had in my mind to start talking to him that afternoon.

            Mr. HUBERT. What I wanted to clarify is whether or not your effort to interrogate him was interrupted. But I gather that it was not.

            Mr. SORRELS. No, I would say not. Possibly, had he remained there, I might have attempted to ask him more questions. But he was not giving out much information.

            Mr. HUBERT. Well, now, during the whole time that Oswald was in custody

 

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of the Dallas Police Department, did you find that any obstacles or hindrances were put in your way of examining him?

            Mr. SORRELS. No, sir; except had he been in our own custody, there would have been a chance to have questioned him without others being present, or so many others being present.

            Mr. HUBERT. At the time that you were in Fritz' office, on November 24, did you hear any plans discussed for the transfer of Oswald?

            Mr. SORRELS. No; I did not say that I heard anything about any plans. I do recall that Oswald requested to have some of his clothes brought down there, because his shirt that he had on when he was arrested had been taken from him, I think, for laboratory examination. And Captain Fritz sent and got some of his clothes, and he selected kind of a sweater-type----

            Mr. HUBERT. But you did not hear the officers of the Dallas police force discussing the method of transportation and the security measures that they had planned and put into operation?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes; I did hear a part of it, I recall now. There was some suggestion about transporting him in an armored car. Captain Fritz objected to that because of--one reason that I recall was what effect it might have in his trial, that that might prejudice the prosecution by him being transported in an armored car, which is not of course ordinarily used in the transportation of prisoners in that area.

            Another thing that I recall is that Captain Fritz thought that the armored car would be a bit cumbersome and it would not be able to maneuver as easily as a car. And it was his desire to take him in a police car with escorts.

            Mr. HUBERT. Did you hear anyone suggest that the plan then proposed, and ultimately carried out in part, at least, should be changed so as to bypass the press, as it were?

            Mr. SORRELS. No; I did not. At that time there was no way to bypass them, because they were out in the hall. As I had come to the building, I even noticed cameras down in the basement of the city hall there.

            Mr. SMITH. Could I interrupt just a second, sir. I may be completely wrong about this, but wasn't there something about the time of transporting him?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes. As I understand it, some of the reporters had inquired of Chief Jesse Curry as to whether or not he was going to transport him to the county jail on the night of November 23.

            Now, this is hearsay, that the reporters wanted to be relieved so they could get some sleep if he was not going to be transported that night--they would go home and get some rest.

            Chief Curry himself told me that he had said something to this effect, "Go on home and get your sleep, there won't be anything doing before 10 o'clock tomorrow morning."

            As I recall, I think the newspapers then published the fact that he would be moved at 10 o'clock in the morning, or words to that effect.

            Mr. SMITH. I just wanted to get the full story, because I remembered him having mentioned something about this. I do not know whether it is important.

            Mr. HUBERT. Well, in that connection, had you heard that the FBI had received an anonymous phone call from someone advising that an effort, by a group of men, would be made to kill Oswald?

            Mr. SORRELS. I do not recall that I had heard any such report at that time. I did hear that there had been an anonymous call come into the police department that someone would try to kill him when they removed him, or words to that effect. But that, I believe, was subsequent to the time he was actually shot. I do not recall that morning of having heard anything about that. And I definitely did not hear anything about a group. I remembered something about it later on, but I never heard anything about it at that time.

            Mr. HUBERT. Did you hear of any plans made as to the actual route that would be followed in transporting Oswald?

            Mr. SORRELS. Not before Oswald was shot.

            Mr. HUBERT. Do you know why, from anything you knew then, or have learned since, the cameramen and so forth were all congregated in the basement area?

 

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            Mr. SORRELS. Would you read that question again?

            Mr. HUBERT. What I am trying to get at is this: You testified a moment ago that when you came in you saw all the press people with their cameras and so forth in the basement area.

            Mr. SORRELS. Not all of them. I said I saw some down there.

            Mr. HUBERT. Which would indicate that they either had guessed or had somehow become aware that--that would indicate that they either had guessed or had somehow become aware that that would be a point on the route to be taken at which they could get pictures. And I was wondering if you had heard anything prior to that time about the route, or had you heard that these people had been informed of the route?

            Mr. SORRELS. No; nothing about the route. The basement is used by the police generally. They have a passageway which comes from Main Street down into the basement, and then the exit continues on out to Commerce Street , and the police cars that bring prisoners in use the basement. In other words, they drive the car right down to the basement, and the actual receiving office, the receiving office for the jail is on the basement floor.

            Mr. HUBERT. Do you recall ever having spoken to either Curry or some other member of the police department about the possibility of moving Oswald in a way other than that which was planned?

            Mr. SORRELS. When I heard that they were supposed to take him out at 10 o'clock--that was the announcement and so forth on the radio and in the papers--I remarked to Captain Fritz that if I were he, I would not remove Oswald from the city hall or city jail to the county jail at an announced time; that I would take him out at 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning when there was no one around.

            Mr. HUBERT. Do you know when you told that to Fritz?

            Mr. SORRELS. That was on the Sunday morning, before he was removed.

            Mr. HUBERT. Did you tell that to any other person?

            Mr. SORRELS. No.

            Mr. HUBERT. Was any other person present when you told that to Fritz?

            Mr. SORRELS. No; not that I recall.

            Mr. HUBERT. What caused you to give that advice to Captain Fritz?

            Mr. SORRELS. The importance of the prisoner, to my mind, was such that in order to remove the opportunity for some crackpot or anyone who might feel inclined to try to kill the prisoner, if the removal was made more or less unannounced or in secret, that those opportunities would have been at least lessened to a great degree.

            Captain Fritz said that Chief Curry did not want to--let's reverse that just a bit--that Chief Curry wanted to go along with the press and not try to put anything over on them; or words to that effect.

            Mr. HUBERT. Did you gather from what Fritz told you that the reason why your suggestion was not acceptable was that Fritz at least thought that captain--that Chief Curry did not want to break his word, as it were, to the press?

            Mr. SORRELS. I didn't consider it so much as breaking his word as I would that he did not want to tell them one thing, or in other words, move him out without the press being aware of the fact--let's put it that way. That was my impression.

            Mr. HUBERT. What time was it, about, do you know, that you made that suggestion?

            Mr. SORRELS. That was pretty close to 11:15 in the morning, just a short time before they got ready to move him.

            Mr. HUBERT. You do not know, do you, whether he conveyed your thought to Chief Curry?

            Mr. SORRELS. No; I do not. I doubt that he did, because Chief Curry had left Fritz' office at that time, as I recall it.

            Mr. HUBERT. Do you remember about what time it was when the Oswald move began from Fritz' office?

            Mr. SORRELS. It was shortly after 11:15 in the morning, as I recall it. In other words----

            Mr. HUBERT. Did you go down with the party carrying him down?

            Mr. SORRELS. No, sir; I did not. Inspector Kelley and I went to the office of Chief Batchelor, which is also on the third floor, and on the south side of the

 

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building, on the Commerce Street side, and we were observing the people across the street from the city hall, as apparently they had been moved over there by officers on duty down below. And we just saw several people over there that were apparently waiting for an opportunity to see them take the prisoner out.

            Mr. HUBERT. When you arrived at Chief Batchelor's office, at the point you have just described, to wit, the windows looking out on Commerce Street , do you know whether Oswald had been shot?

            Mr. SORRELS. No; I don't think so, because that was immediately--in other words, when they took Oswald out, I went right on down to the chief's office, that is right on the same floor.  And we were there for a few minutes before we heard that he had been shot.

            Mr. HUBERT. But the Oswald party left Fritz' office before you and Mr. Kelley did?

            Mr. SORRELS. I am rather positive that he was taken out before I left, yes; because I remember about bringing the clothes in there, and Oswald selecting, I think, a sweater or something like that. I actually have no independent recollection of seeing him going through the door or anything like that. He could have been there when we walked out. But it is my impression that he was taken out and shortly thereafter Mr. Kelley and I went to Chief Batchelor's office.

            Mr. HUBERT. Did that involve walking a distance on the same floor of about how many feet?

            Mr. SORRELS. Oh, possibly a 100 feet, 110, something like that. Captain Fritz' office is not at the entirely opposite end of the building, but Chief Batchelor's office is. You go into the executive area there, and you cut over to the left-hand corner, and Chief Batchelor's office is in the corner.

            Mr. HUBERT. How did you first learn that Ruby had shot Oswald?

            Mr. SORRELS. One of the police officers that was on duty in the executive area there told us that Oswald had been shot in the basement--in the stomach, as I recall it.

            Mr. HUBERT. You were still in Batchelor's office at the time you were told that?

            Mr. SORRELS. I think we were right outside the office, in the area there. I do not believe we were actually in his office at that particular time. I think we had stepped outside there. And that I do not think was over, oh, I would say a maximum of possibly 10 minutes, from the time we left Captain Fritz' office to go to Chief Batehelor's office.

            Mr. HUBERT. Prior to the time that this policeman advised you that Oswald had been shot, did you notice any commotion or anything to indicate something wrong going on on Commerce Street ?

            Mr. SORRELS. No, sir.

            Mr. HUBERT. Well, you were standing at the window looking down, as I understand it, on the scene on Commerce Street , waiting actually to see the procession go out. But this officer told you this at the entrance to Batchelor's office?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes. I was not at the window at that time.

            Mr. HUBERT. You had moved away?

            Mr. SORRELS. We had walked away from the window, I think, just killing time, I guess. And we were actually in the outside of Batchelor's office, but in that area there.

            Mr. HUBERT. All right. What did you do?

            Mr. SORRELS. I immediately rushed down to the basement.

            Mr. HUBERT. How did you go--by what route?

            Mr. SORRELS. I grabbed an elevator, as I recall it.

            Mr. HUBERT. Public elevator or the jail elevator?

            Mr. SORRELS. No; a public elevator--and got down to the basement floor, and I headed right into the jailer's office. And at that time Oswald was laying on the floor and someone was giving him artificial respiration.

            Mr. HUBERT. By mechanical means?

            Mr. SORRELS. No; by hand. I recall seeing his stomach was uncovered, his shirt was pulled up like that, and the man apparently was over him giving him artificial respiration by his hands.

            I went to a telephone, which is in the jail office there, up against the wall, and

 

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called my headquarters office and told Deputy Chief Paterni that Oswald had been shot by a man named Jack Rubin--that is how I understood it at that time who operated a nightclub, and that was all the information I had at that time.

            Mr. HUBERT. Now, Mr. Paterni was in Washington ?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes.

            Mr. HUBERT. That was a long-distance call?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.

            Mr. HUBERT. Do you know what time the call was made, did you use a direct line?

            Mr. SORRELS. No; I called it on the security phone, which we use in connection with matters pertaining to the protection of prisoners.  In other words, the Signal Corps----

            (Witness provided telephone number.)

            Mr. HUBERT. And you can use that on any telephone?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes.

            Mr. HURERT. Is that a security matter?

            Mr. SORRELS. I beg your pardon?

            Mr. HUBERT. Is that a security matter, that telephone number?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes--Signal Corps.

            Mr. HUBERT. I think the record should show that the witness stated the number that was called, but that we are not going to have it as a part of the record because it is a security matter.

            You, Mr. Reporter, will delete the number from the transcript.

            What I was trying to get at is have you ascertained at what time that call was made?

            Mr. SORRELS. No; I have not.

            Mr. HUBERT. Would it be possible to do so?

            Mr. SORRELS. I could not answer that question, because I do not know what records are kept.

            Mr. HUBERT. Does it go as a long-distance call?

            Mr. SORRELS. A long-distance call collect; yes.

            Mr. HUBERT. Then the telephone company probably would have a record of it?

            Mr. SORRELS. Possibly so. It is my understanding that at that time they were not actually making any record of calls--they were coming in so fast, the employees of the telephone company told me those calls--they put people through and were not concerned about time.

            Mr. HUBERT. Was this done by direct dialing or through the operator?

            Mr. SORRELS. Through the operator.

            Mr. HUBERT. And it was a collect call?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes.

            Mr. HUBERT. It would have to be charged to the government?

            Mr. SORRELS. If it was recorded; yes, it would be, to that particular phone.

            Mr. HUBERT. I wonder if you would be so kind as to undertake to ascertain for us if there exists a record on that point, because, as you know, we are interested in very narrow areas of time here.

            Mr. SORRELS I would say this--that the time can be established within a matter of a very few minutes, because Oswald was still on the floor and had not been removed to the hospital at the time.

            Mr. HUBERT. That is right.

            But you see, I have estimates of time from other people, and I want to see how it conforms. And therefore, to tie it in, could you give us your estimate of how many minutes or parts of minutes elapsed between the time you made your call, you initiated it, and the time that Oswald actually moved out?

            Mr. SORRELS. That I cannot tell you, because I was not there when he was moved out. I left then that area as soon as I made that call.

            Mr. HUBERT. He was still in the area when you made the call?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.

            The call went through very quickly. And I left that area then and went back to Captain Fritz' office, because I was interested in talking to the man who had shot Oswald as quickly as possible.

 

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            Mr. HUBERT. Now, when you went down there to the jail office and saw Oswald, as you testified, and made the call, was Jack Ruby there?

            Mr. SORRELS. I did not see him.

            Mr. HUBERT. You did not?

            Mr. SORRELS. No, sir.

            Mr. HURERT. To your knowledge, he had already been removed?

            Mr. SORRELS. That is correct; yes, sir.

            Mr. HUBERT. Now, how did you get up to Fritz' office?

            Mr. SORRELS. I went back up the elevator, the regular public elevator, and went to his office and inquired of Captain Fritz, and I was informed that he was not there, that he had gone to the hospital. I then asked him where was Jack Rubin.

            Mr. HUBERT. That is to say, you had been informed at that time that the last name of Jack Ruby was Rubin, R-u-b-i-n?

            Mr. SORRELS. I still--as far as I knew, it was R-u-b-i-n, because that is the way I gave it. I asked him where he was, and they said he was on the fifth floor.  And I said I would like to talk to him. And----

            Mr. HUBERT. Who did you say that to?

            Mr. SORRELS. I do not recall who it was--some of the detectives down there.

            Mr. HUBERT. In Fritz' office?

            Mr. SORRELS. In Captain Fritz' office; yes. And Officer Dean was instructed to take me up to where he was.

            Mr. HUBERT. Who instructed Dean to do that?

            Mr. SORRELS. The same officer I was talking to--I don't remember who it was, but someone apparently----

            Mr. HUBERT. Did you know Dean prior to that time?

            Mr. SORRELS. No; I cannot say that I did. So----

            Mr. HUBERT. Where was Dean?

            Mr. SORRELS. That was in the detective office, Captain Fritz----

            Mr. HUBERT. What was he doing?

            Mr. SORRELS. I don't know what he was doing.

            Mr. HUBERT. In any case, the same officer to whom you made inquiry concerning where Captain Fritz was and where Ruby was, that officer directed Dean, who was in Fritz' office, to take you up?

            Mr. SORRELS. That is right.

            And we walked out then in the hallway to the jail elevator. Now, that is a different one from the one I came to Fritz' office in. And I was taken to the fifth floor, and there I saw Ruby, whom I later found out to be Ruby, standing there with, as I recall it, two uniformed police officers. And I introduced myself to him, showed him my credentials, and told him that I would like to ask him some questions.

            Mr. HUBERT. Now, was this a cell, or what sort of a room was it?

            Mr. SORRELS. It wasn't what you would call a cell, but the elevator--you had to open up a door with bars on it to get into the area there. And----

            Mr. HUBERT. How large a room was that?

            Mr. SORRELS. It wasn't very large, as I recall it.

            Mr. HUBERT. Can you give us something by way of dimensions in feet?

            Mr. SORRELS. I would say in width it was probably about, oh, 6 or 7 feet wide. Now, as to length, I would not be able to say exactly how long it was, because I was not interested in the size of the room or anything at that time, and I paid no attention to it.

            Mr. HUBERT. Were there tables and furniture and chairs in it?

            Mr. SORRELS. No; nothing.

            Mr. HUBERT. Nothing at all?

            Mr. SORRELS. No; nothing. He was standing there. He only had his shorts on. His clothes had been removed.

            Mr. HUBERT. Did Dean go into that room with you?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes.

            Mr. HUBERT. So that there were you and Dean and Ruby in the room?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes.

            Mr. HUBERT. And you mentioned there were two other officers?

            Mr. SORRELS. As I recall it, there were two uniformed police officers there.

 

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            Mr. HUBERT. Do you know who they were?

            Mr. SORRELS. No; I do not.

            Mr. HUBERT. Now, to get it clear--I do not mean if you knew who they were at the time, but do you now know who they were?

            Mr. SORRELS. No; I do not know who they are now.

            Mr. HUBERT. And there were only those two?

            Mr. SORRELS. There were possibly some other officers came in. I do not recall that they were there at the time we got there, but there might have been others came in. As I recall, there was somebody behind me. I wasn't interested in them. I was only interested in talking to this man as quickly as I could.

            Mr. HUBERT. Before we get into the details, can you tell us how long this interview with Ruby lasted?

            Mr. SORRELS. I would say possibly not over 5 to 7 minutes, not very long.

            Mr. HUBERT. What brought it to an end?

            Mr. SORRELS. I had gotten the information that I desired at that time, and was anxious to get it back into Washington, because I had been asked to get as much information as I could quickly, and get it back to them up there, something about his background, who he was and so forth.

            Mr. HUBERT. So that during that interview, which lasted approximately 5 to 7 minutes, your thought is--you know that there was Dean and yourself and Ruby, and you also know that there were two other officers whose names you do not know even now, and you think that there might have been one or more others who came in?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes--in plainclothes. I don't recall any other uniformed officers there.

            Mr. HUBERT. And you do not recall, I suppose, or do not know now the names of any of those other people who might have come in?

            Mr. SORRELS. No; I could not tell you who they were at all.

            Mr. HUBERT. Now, I think you have made a report of that interview, and a later one, and we will offer that in evidence a little later.

            But I would like to ask you now if Ruby made any statement to your knowledge at that time, and that is the first interview you had with him, concerning whether he had been in the assembly room on the night of the 22d when Oswald was brought in so that the press could observe him?

            Mr. SORRELS. Not at that time; no, sir. He did later.

            Mr. HUBERT. Did he at that time, the first interview, indicate anything, or say anything which would indicate what his motive or reason for his act was?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes; and I might say that it was at that time that I found out his name was Ruby in place of Rubin, and he informed me his name had formerly been Rubinstein, and that he had had his name changed in Dallas.

            I asked him--after I identified myself, I told him I would like to ask him some questions.

            He said, "For newspapers or magazines?" I said, "No; for myself."

            He appeared to be considering whether or not he was going to answer my questions, and I told him that I had just come from the third floor, and had been looking out of the window, and that I had seen Honest Joe, who is a Jewish merchant there, who operates a second-hand loan pawn shop, so to speak, specializing in tools, on Elm Street, and who is more or less known in the area because of the fact that he takes advantage of any opportunity to get free advertising. He at that time had an Edsel car, which is somewhat a rarity now, all painted up with "Honest Joe" on there. He wears jackets with "Honest Joe" on the back. He gets writeups in the paper, free advertising about different things he loans money on, like artificial limbs and things like that. And I had noticed Honest Joe across the street when I was looking out of Chief Batchelor's office.

            So I remarked to Jack Ruby, I said, "I just saw Honest Joe across the street over there, and I know a number of Jewish merchants here that you know."

            And Ruby said, "That is good enough for me. What is it you want to know?"

            And I said these two words, "Jack---why?"

            He said, "When this thing happened"--referring to the assassination, that he was in a newspaper office placing an ad for his business. That when he heard

 

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about the assassination, he had canceled his ad and had closed his business, and he had not done any business for 3 days. That he had been grieving about this thing. That on the Friday night he had gone to the synagogue and had heard a eulogy on the President. That his sister had recently been operated on, and that she has been hysterical. That when he saw that Mrs. Kennedy was going to have to appear for the trial, he thought to himself, why should she have to go through this ordeal for this no-good so-and-so.

            Mr. HUBERT. Did he use any words or did he say "no-good so-and-so"?

            Mr. SORRELS. He used the word "son-of-a-bitch," as I recall.

            Mr. HUBERT. All right.

            Mr. S0RRELS. That he had heard about the letter to little Caroline, as I recall he mentioned. That he had been to the Western Union office to send a telegram, and that he guessed he had worked himself into a state of insanity to where he had to do it. And to use his words after that, "I guess I just had to show the world that a Jew has guts."

            I, of course, asked him when he was born. He told me in Chicago , March 25, 1911. That he operated the Carousel Club. And also a Vegas Club.

            I asked him if anyone else was involved in this thing besides him, and he said that there was not.

            I asked him if he knew Oswald before this thing happened, and he said he did not. He said that he had been a labor organizer years ago.

            I asked him if he had ever been convicted of any offense or done any time, and he said no felony, that he had a JP release in 1954---in other words, he had been arrested but released by the JP in 1954.

            I asked him what his father's name was, and he said his name was Joseph Rubenstein.

            I asked him where his father was born, and he said Russia .

            I asked him if his mother was living, and he said no, that she was deceased, and that she was born in Poland . That he was of the Jewish faith.

            I asked him if he had an attorney, and he said he had Stanley Kaufman, a civil attorney, as his attorney. And I recall, I believe that is about--that about terminated the conversation at that time.

            Mr. HUBERT. Did you not ask him why he had the gun with him?

            Mr. SORRELS. Oh, yes; I did.

            I asked him why he had that gun, and he said that he carried a gun because of the fact that he carried large quantities of money from his business, or from the club.

            Mr. HUBERT. Do you recall whether he made any comment to you or in your hearing regarding the way he got into the basement area where he shot Oswald?

            Mr. SORRELS. At that time, I do not. I do not recall asking him how he got in. I made no notes to that effect.

            Mr. HUBERT. Do you remember him saying then anything about that he had intended to shoot Oswald and had formed that intent as early as Friday?

            Mr. SORRELS. No; I did not.

            Mr. HUBERT. He did not comment at all about his intent?

            Mr. SORRELS. No; nothing except his response to my question as to "Jack, why?", and then his relating as I have told you there a moment ago. In other words, after I got----

            Mr. HUBERT. Did he mention anything about he intended to shoot him three times?

            Mr. SORRELS. No; I did not hear that statement.

            Mr. HUBERT. In other words, the only comments that you heard him state which bear upon intent are those you have already made--that is to say, somebody had to do it, and also that he wanted to show the world that a Jew had guts?

            Mr. SORRELS. No; I did not hear him say that somebody had to do it. I heard him say that he guessed he had worked himself into a state of insanity to where he had to do it, felt he had to do it.

            Mr. HUBERT. But he did make the report saying he felt he had to show the world that a Jew had guts?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes; that was very plain.

 

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            Mr. HUBERT. Now, when you left, who left with you?

            Mr. SORRELS. As I recall, I went by myself, because when I got the information about his background, as I related here, and got his correct name and the information that he was operating alone on this thing, that no one else was involved with him, and he did not know Oswald, I then left in order to telephone that information to my headquarters in Washington.

            Mr. HUBERT. Can you state positively, therefore, to us that when you left Dean was in the room?

            Mr. SORRELS. I think he must have been, because, as I recall it, I went down on the elevator by myself with the elevator operator.

            Mr. HUBERT. And Dean was in the room at all times you were talking to him?

            Mr. SORRELS. As far as I know.

            Mr. HUBERT. He did not leave with you?

            Mr. SORRELS. No, sir; he did not.

            Mr. HUBERT. The two other officers who were in uniform I think you said, who were in the room at first, they were there all the time too?

            Mr. SORRELS. As far as I know; yes, sir.

            Mr. HUBERT. They did not leave when you left?

            Mr. SORRELS. No, sir.

            Mr. HUBERT. And if anybody else came in afterwards, they did not leave when you left?

            Mr. SORRELS. Not that I recall.

            As I recall it, I think I went down alone, just the elevator operator and myself. Of course he had my sidearm. I had to get my sidearm from him. If there was anyone else there, I didn't know.

            Mr. HUBERT. You had to get your sidearm----

            Mr. SORRELS. From the elevator operator.

            In other words, you are not permitted to carry a gun inside the jail.

            Mr. HUBERT. You saw him again later that day?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir; I did.

            Mr. HUBERT. Can you tell us what time, under what circumstances, where, who was present, and so forth?

            Mr. SORRELS. I do not remember just exactly the time, but it was some time after that when Jack Ruby was brought to Captain Fritz' office, and Captain Fritz questioned him. I was present at that time and heard Captain Fritz interrogate him and made some notes and wrote them up. And I also at that time asked him a few questions myself, on some points I wanted to clarify.

            Mr. HUBERT. Were you there from the beginning of the interview between Ruby and Fritz, or did you arrive when it was already going on?

            Mr. SORRELS. No; I was there at the beginning, because I heard Captain Fritz tell him of course he did not have to make a statement and so on and so forth, and Ruby said, "Well, I will answer your questions, but some of them I may not want to answer, and I will tell you so."

            Mr. HUBERT. Were you introduced to him?

            Mr. SORRELS. No; I had talked to him up in the jail there.

            Mr. HUBERT. Were you present during the entire interview?

            Mr. SORRELS. As I recall it, I was, on that one interview.

            Mr. HUBERT. Can you tell us who else was present?

            Mr. SORRELS. No; I do not recall who else was there.

            As I recall, there was other officers there in the room with Captain Fritz, but I do not recall who.

            Mr. HUBERT. Now, you say you had made notes as Captain Fritz was interrogating him. Do you have those notes?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes; I have the notes here.

            Mr. HUBERT. Do you have notes also of the first interview?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes. I read some of the stuff awhile ago from those notes.

            Mr. HUBERT. Is there any reason of security or otherwise why we could not get photostats of them for the record?

            Mr. SORRELS. Not that I know of.

            They may not mean much to anyone else, because it is just something jotted down to refresh my memory. They are not in very good order, or anything like that. And I don't know whether it would mean too much to anyone else.

 

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            As far as I know----

            Mr. HUBERT. You have no objections?

            Mr. SORRELS. No.

            Mr. HUBERT. I take it those notes were made contemporaneously with the interviews, as they went on?

            Mr. SORRELS. The ones of Ruby were; yes.

            Now, there is other stuff in here that had nothing to do with that.

            Mr. HUBERT. Well, we are interested of course only in the Ruby ones. But you testified a little while ago, and you seemed to be referring to notes, about what Ruby said, and what happened and so forth in the first interview, and then also in the second interview.

            The notes that you referred to on both occasions were made contemporaneously with the interview. That is, they were not made at a later date?

            Mr. SORRELS. That is correct.

            Now, there is other stuff in this notebook. Like I went up to the identification bureau to check on his record and so forth, and got his detailed description, and his fingerprint classification--that had nothing to do with the interview.

            Mr. GRIFFIN. I think we ought to take that to show what the practice was.

            Mr. HUBERT. If you do not mind, we will have them photostated, and after we get the photostats, we will get them an identification number.

            Suppose you tell us, then, what occurred at the second interview?

            Mr. SORRELS. Continuing with what I started out with a moment ago there, he incidentally, I have noted here on this page where I made these notations "3:15 p.m.," I assume that is possibly the time this interrogation took place. I do have the date, "11-24- 63."

            Mr. HUBERT. The beginning of the notes relating to the interview in Captain Fritz' office?

            Mr. SORRELS. That is right.

            Mr. HUBERT. It is your testimony now it would be your custom, as I understand it, to put the time at the beginning of the notes.

            Mr. SORRELS. Ordinarily we do. In this other one, I did not put the time.

            Mr. HUBERT. All right.

            Mr. SORRELS. He gave his name as Jack Leon Ruby. He was asked about who his attorneys were, and he said that he was going to get Tom Howard and possibly Fred Brunner, and Stanley Kaufman, a civil attorney, and Jim Arnton.

            In other words, he was going to consider those and C. A. Droby.

            He said that his name was changed in Dallas .

            Now, I might put in here as an explanation that these are in response to questions that Captain Fritz was asking him. That he had this gun for 2 or 3 years. That George Senator was a roommate. That he came in the basement--the word "basement" is not shown here he came in off Main Street , off of the ramp. That he felt that Oswald was a Red, and that he was alone on this assassination. That he saw Oswald in the showup room, or a similar room. That he knew who he was going for. That he did not want to be a martyr. That he had built up--was a buildup of grievance. That he had closed both clubs.

            And I have the notation here "Vegas, Oaklawn, 3508, Carousel, 1312 1/2 Commerce." That he never saw the man before this thing took place, referring to the time that he was down at the police station, or city hall, rather. That he had been in the mail-order business. That he had been a labor organizer. That he was fond of the police department.

            And when Police Officer Slick had been killed--that is all I have in the notes, but he said that he grieved about that.

            That he had been around Saturday night, that people were laughing, no one was in mourning. That he had seen a eulogy on TV. That he saw the President's brother, Bobby, on TV. That he guessed that there was created a moment of insanity. That he read about the letter that someone sent to little Caroline. That he knows the police department is wonderful. That his heart was with the police department. That he had hoped that if ever there was an opportunity--that he had hoped there was an opportunity for him to participate in a police battle, and he could be a part of it, meaning on the side the police.

 

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            That his mother and dad were separated for 25 years. That he owes Uncle Sam a big piece of money. That he has love for the city of Dallas --for the city--he did not say Dallas . That his sister was operated on recently, she was hysterical about the President. That he went to the synagogue Friday night, heard a eulogy. And he had been grieving from that time on. That he went over to where the President was shot.

            He wanted Captain Fritz to not hate him for what he had done. That when he was with the union, that one of his dear friends was killed, he came to the place where it happened. Leon Cook was the man. That Ruby's mother told him to leave. That he was in the union Scrap Iron and Junk Dealers Association. That a man by the name of Jim Martin killed Cook. That Martin was political and had affiliations and got out of it.

            That his roommate sold postcards. That his politics were Democratic, but he voted for the man.

            That Sammy Ruby, a brother, who services washaterias. Another brother, Earl Ruby, in Detroit , who operated a cleaning plant. Another brother, Hyman Rubenstein, in Chicago, a salesman.

            That he had also sold twist boards. That he would not think of committing a felony. That Tom O'Grady, a Catholic, formerly with the police department, had called him, that he had called Sims, who is one of the members of the police department, and wanted to bring sandwiches for them, because he knew they were having a tough time, and that Sims said that it wasn't needed.

            That he tried to locate--anyway, it was some of the TV people to give them to. And that is when he went to the showup room. And that is the first time that he had even seen anyone like that, referring to Oswald.

            That he had seen Henry, meaning Henry Wade, the district attorney, talking to someone. That KLIF, the radio station there, had been good to him. No one else was involved.

            That is my notes--"no one else involved"--meaning there was no one else involved with him, Ruby, in connection with the shooting.

            Mr. HUBERT. Now, was this a sort of monologue on his part, or response to questions?

            Mr. SORRELS. No; as I said a moment ago, that was in response to questions.

            Mr. HUBERT. Now, thus far have you covered only the part of the interview which was conducted by Fritz, or was some of that the result of your questioning?

            Mr. SORRELS. About the only thing that I recall questioning him about was possibly the correct address on the night club.

            Mr. HUBERT. Do you know if anyone asked him how he got in? I think perhaps you have testified to that already.

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, Captain Fritz asked him that.

            Mr. HUBERT. And he said he came in through the ramp, I believe you said.

            Mr. SORRELS. That is right.

            Mr. HUBERT. Did he state at any time during that interview about any intent to kill Oswald, to shoot him three times, and he is glad he was dead?

            Mr. SORRELS. I do not recall that.

            Mr. HUBERT. Now, I am going to show you a document which is actually a photostatic copy, or Xerox copy, of Commission Document 354, consisting of four pages. I am going to mark that document for identification as follows, to wit, "Deposition of Forrest Sorrels, Washington , D.C. , May 6, 1964," and I am signing my name to that, all of which is on the right margin of the first page. I am placing my initials in the lower right-hand corner of the second, third, and fourth pages. I ask you if you can identify this document, or rather, the photostatic copy? Would you state what it is?

            Mr. SORRELS. This is a photocopy of a memorandum report titled "Assassination of President Kennedy," the second line of that caption, "Jack Leon Ruby--slayer of Lee Harvey Oswald, charged with murder of President Kennedy." Submitted by me, Forrest V. Sorrels, on February 3, 1964. And it consists of three full pages and a portion of--about a fifth of the fourth page.

            Mr. HUBERT. I think your signature, or, rather, a photostatic copy of your signature is on the front.

             Mr. SORRELS. That is correct--on the front.

 

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            Mr. HUBERT. That is the report that you submitted to your superiors?

            Mr. SORRELS. In Washington .

            Mr. HUBERT. Which ultimately, of course, they sent.  The report covers the events of November 24, is that right?

            Mr. SORRELS. That is right.

            Mr. HUBERT. Do you know why it was filed on February 3?

            Mr. SORRELS. Why it was written on February 3?  I was instructed by Inspector Kelley to write up a memorandum on the interview that I had with Jack Ruby, shortly after Oswald was shot by Ruby, and also the interview that was had with Captain Fritz and Ruby at which I was present on the same date.

            Mr. HUBERT. When did you receive those instructions?

            Mr. SORRELS. I cannot say exactly when I received them--probably within a day or two, or it could have been longer, because due to the press of other work and things arising out of the assassination, and its duties, the other duties, it was not written as soon as it should have been. And I may have been instructed some time before that to--as quick as I could to get the memorandum prepared.

            Mr. HUBERT. What I mean is that normally you would write such a report as this in any case?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, that is true.

            Mr. HUBERT. And normally it would be written sooner----

            Mr. SORRELS. Sooner, that is right.

            Mr. HUBERT. Than 2 months or so afterwards?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.

            Mr. HUBERT. That is what I am asking--if you can tell us what was the cause of the delay.

            Mr. SORRELS. Well, it is just the fact that we were burdened with all the additional work and things brought about by this assassination and investigation and so forth. I guess you could term it, possibly, negligence on my part for not just taking time off and doing it. That is about the only explanation I can give for that. It was not any willful intent to not write it or anything to that effect.

            Mr. HUBERT. There is no suggestion as to that.

            Mr. SORRELS. I know. But that is just as a matter of explanation.

            Mr. HUBERT. Do you think it was written on that date because Mr. Kelley told you shortly before that date, to wit, February 3, that you should write it, or is it your impression that Mr. Kelley had told you long before it was written to write it?

            Mr. SORRELS. There is a possibility that he may have told me before. I don't recall it specifically. But I do know that Inspector Kelley had instructed me to write up the report.

            Mr. HUBERT. Do you recall having a conversation with Mr. Burt Griffin, the gentleman who is in the office now, concerning what you knew about what Ruby had said in your interviews with him?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes; I do. And that refreshed my memory a bit, because I recall that Inspector Kelley, after I had talked to Mr. Griffin on the telephone--Inspector Kelley told me to get it written up, get it in writing, about the interview, and get it in. I remember that now, since you mention it.

            Mr. HUBERT. So that actually the report was written because Inspector Kelley instructed you to do so, and as you recall it he did so because of the conversation with Mr. Griffin?

            Mr. SORRELS. I would surmise that, because, as I recall it now, either right after I got through talking to Mr. Griffin or shortly thereafter, Mr. Kelley did instruct me to get the interview, as I recall it, in a report, and get it in to him.

            Mr. HUBERT. But normally I think you said this report would have been written anyhow, without any suggestion by Mr. Kelley or anybody else?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes; that is right.

            Mr. HUBERT. And it was your intent to write it, you say, but you didn't get around to it?

            Mr. SORRELS. That is about the best explanation I know to make on it.

            Mr. HUBERT. Now, do you recall a conversation with Chief Curry with respect to what you knew that Ruby had said?

            Perhaps I can identify the conversation a bit more by saying to you that it

 

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had to do with a suggestion by you as to what the witnesses who were members of the police department might be called in the prosecution.

            Mr. SORRELS. Oh, yes; I remember that.

            Mr. HUBERT. Can you tell us, first of all, when it was?

            Mr. SORRELS. As I recall, it was after the trial of Ruby had started, or along about the time it was beginning to start. I contacted Chief Curry and told him----

            Mr. HUBERT. Is this by phone, or was it by personal interview?

            Mr. SORRELS. No; as I recall it was by phone that there were two uniformed police officers that were present when I talked to Ruby on the fifth floor of the city jail on the morning of November 24, and that I had not warned Ruby of his constitutional rights and did not know whether or not the statement that he had made to me would be admissible in a trial in the event that the district attorney wanted to use it.

            But----

            Mr. HUBERT. Had you been at that time consulted by the district attorney with reference to your being a possible witness?

            Mr. SORRELS. I do not recall that I had.

            Now, here is something that will establish that. The district attorney, Henry Wade, came to Washington --I don't know whether it was in connection with talking to the Commission or what--but I saw him out at the airport, and he said to me----

            Mr. HUBERT. What airport?

            Mr. SORRELS. This was before the trial--Love Field, in Dallas .

            He was Coming to Washington . And he said to me, "I want to talk to you when I get back about this case."

            And I said, "All right."

            And I did not hear anything more from Mr. Wade until the trial was actually in progress. He asked me to come to his office, which I did.

            Mr. HUBERT. That is Wade?

            Mr. SORRELS. That is Henry Wade; yes, sir, the State district attorney that prosecuted Ruby for the murder of Oswald.

            And, at that time, I related to him the conversation I had had with Ruby.

            Mr. HUBERT. Did you relate to him in that interview approximately what you have told us today about your interviews with Ruby?

            Mr. SORRELS. Only the one up in the jail--I was talking about that. I didn't go into detail about this one where Captain Fritz was interviewing him. That was only there at the jail.

            Mr. HUBERT. Is there any reason why one was talked about and not the other?

            Mr. SORRELS. No; no particular reason, excepting that I just assumed that Captain Fritz would be the one if there was any testimony as to the second interview--would be the one to testify in that case.

            Mr. HUBERT. Did Wade know that you were present at both?

            Mr. SORRELS. I would not say positive, but it seems to me that it was mentioned that I was present when we talked, but I am not positive on that.

            Mr. HUBERT. Did this interview with Wade occur before or after the telephone conversation with Curry?

            Mr. SORRELS. No; that was afterwards. That was after the trial started.

            Mr. HUBERT. Well, now, which was afterwards?

            Mr. SORRELS. The interview with Mr. Wade.

            Mr. HUBERT. That came after the telephone conversation with Curry?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.

            Mr. HUBERT. Did Mr. Wade consider using you as a witness?

            Mr. SORRELS. He said if he needed me, he would let me know--in other words, would get in touch with me.

            He said, "Now, the defense may subpoena you on this thing."

            And defense attorney--one of them was in on that case--did call me on the telephone. They wanted me to meet with either Tonahill or Belli, or maybe both of them. And I told them I was extremely busy.

            He said, "How about having dinner with us?"

 

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            I said, "No; I don't even have time to eat big dinners, I just grab a sandwich," because I didn't want to have dinner with them.

            They called me a second time, because there had been a delay from the time they thought they were going to call me--they called me the second time and that is when they said something about having dinner with them later, and I said, no; I didn't have time.

            And at that time I told them I didn't think I could do them any good. I said I can tell you in a short time what I could testify to.

            He said, "Over the phone?"

            I said, "Yes."

            So I told them about the interview with Ruby in the jail up in the jailhouse. I did not go into detail about the other, because I did not consider that my interview.

            Mr. HUBERT. You are talking there about the second interview?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes.

            Mr. HUBERT. Did you mention you had been present?

            Mr. SORRELS. I do not recall that I did.

            Mr. HUBERT. Coming back to the Curry matter, what was your motivation in calling Curry?

            Mr. SORELLS. I felt that the testimony or the statements, rather, made by Ruby right after he had shot Oswald would be of benefit to the district attorney in the prosecution of this case, the statements that he made as to the fact that he had worked himself into a state of insanity, also the statement that he guessed he had to show the world that a Jew had guts. And I also recall that during the questioning by Captain Fritz during the interview there that Ruby had made the remark, "Well, I would make a good actor, wouldn't I?" to Captain Fritz. And I felt that possibly I could not testify, because of the fact that I had not warned Ruby of his constitutional rights.

            I thought of that before I talked to him, but the part that I was interested in, that is, determining whether or not anyone else was involved with him, or whether or not he knew Oswald, I didn't consider--I mean I considered that if I warned him of his constitutional rights on that particular angle, that he might not even tell me that, and that is the reason I did not warn him of his constitutional rights, because I felt it was of paramount interest to our Service to determine whether or not others were involved in this thing besides Ruby, and of paramount interest to determine whether or not Oswald and Ruby knew each other, or had any connection.

            Mr. HUBERT. Is it a custom, rule, or regulation of your Service that you must warn a person of his constitutional rights before you can question him?

            Mr. SORRELS. On our investigations; yes, sir.

            Mr. HUBERT. And is that a custom, or is it actually a published regulation?

            Mr. SORRELS. Well, we know that we are going to get in serious trouble in court if we don't do it, because that is always--the question is always asked, especially by a defense attorney, and so forth. And we know that we are supposed to do it. I try to adhere to it as much as I possibly can.

            Mr. HUBERT. What I am trying to determine is whether that is your only personal----

            Mr. SORRELS. Oh, no.

            Mr. HUBERT. Way of doing things, or if it is an established policy of the Service, and if so, how is it established?

            Mr. SORRELS. I think it is possibly a bit of both, because it is always my practice to tell these people that we cannot promise them anything--I am talking about the people we handle for prosecution in our investigations. And that, of course, they don't have to tell us anything if they don't want to. We make that known--because if we do not we know if there is a trial in a case, that that question is going to be asked, and we know that under our laws that a person is supposed to be warned of his constitutional rights before he is questioned.

            Mr. HUBERT. Is that your version of what the law is?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes.

            Mr. HUBERT. Coming back to the policy matter, I don't expect you to be able

 

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to quote it to me now, but you have the impression there is something in writing in some manual of standard operations, instructions, that requires that you warn a person of his constitutional rights?

            Mr. SORRELS. I just cannot answer that question, because I just can't recall if there is a specific instruction of that particular thing or not.

            But I do know that if we do not warn them of their constitutional rights, that we are--we will be in serious trouble in the trial of a case because if the question is asked, "Did you warn this man of his constitutional rights?" we have to tell the truth, and if we say "No, it wasn't," we would be jeopardizing our case.

            Mr. HUBERT. Now, at the time you called Curry, you had not spoken to Wade?

            Mr. SORRELS. Not about the actual interview with Ruby at that time.

            Mr. HUBERT. At the time you talked to Curry, was that before or after you saw Wade at Love Field?

            Mr. SORRELS. I can't say for sure, but I think it was probably afterwards.

            Mr. HUBERT. What I am trying to get at is what motivated your call to him.

            Mr. SORRELS. I probably didn't make myself plain.

            What motivated my call to him was that I figured that if I was called to Mr. Wade's office to explain this thing to him, that the fact that I had not warned Ruby when I approached him to get this information--that I had not warned him of his constitutional rights, that I would not--it would not be good testimony. And my thought is that the two men who were the two uniformed officers there, who were just standing by and had nothing to do with the questions and so forth, who heard what was said, they might be able to testify to that effect.

            Mr. HUBERT. So you wanted to get that information to someone in authority?

            Mr. SORRELS. That is right.

            Mr. HUBERT. And the information was twofold--that you knew there was someone who could testify as to what Ruby had said, because you had heard Ruby say it in the presence of other people?

            Mr. SORRELS. That is right.

            Mr. HUBERT. And, secondly, you were doubtful as to whether your testimony as such would be valuable?

            Mr. SORRELS. That is right.

            Mr. HUBERT. Do you know why you conveyed that information to Curry instead of Wade?

            Mr. SORRELS. Because I did not know the names of the two police officers that were there. Two uniformed men.

            Mr. HUBERT. Well, was it your thought, then, if you advised Curry he would get the names of the men, and then convey it to Wade? I am trying to get what your motivation was.

            Mr. SORRELS. Well, that is all I can recall as to the motivation. In other words, I don't know that I thought that he would convey the information to Wade or not. I just cannot recall whether I had that in mind or not. But I did have in mind that possibly these two fellows, these two uniformed police officers, might be able to testify as to what Ruby said there when I would not be able to do so, because of the fact I had not warned him.

            Mr. HUBERT. And this conversation with Curry was in between the time you saw Wade at Love Field and the time you had the interview with him when he came back from Washington ?

            Mr. SORRELS. As I recall it, it was. I won't be positive about that.

            Mr. HUBERT. Now, you told Wade, I think you said, the same thing, about your doubts as to your qualifications.

            Mr. SORRELS. I believe that I did, if I recall it correctly, because I think when I was talking to Wade in his office, that that was mentioned.

            Mr. HUBERT. Did you make any memo of the conversation you had with Curry?

            Mr. SORRELS. No, sir; I did not.

            Mr. HUBERT. Did you make any memo of the interview you had with Wade?

            Mr. SORRELS. No, sir.

            Mr. HUBERT. What did Curry say to you when you told him this information?

            Mr. SORRELS. As I recall it, I think he said that he could possibly find out. It

 

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seemed to me like I talked to Chief Batchelor about that, also. I am not positive. But, anyway, I figured they would have a way of knowing who it was that was there, and so forth, at that time.

            Mr. HUBERT. Is there anyway you could fix for us more definitely the dates of these three occurrences--your meeting with Wade at Love Field, your telephone conversation with Curry, and your interview with Wade?

            Mr. SORRELS. I think that I can on the one at Love Field, because, as I recall it, Miss Lynda Johnson was en route to Washington, D.C., and I went to Love Field to be there at the time they arrived in the event that they might need a car or something. I can establish that--February 16, 1964.

            Mr. HUBERT. You mean you don't know it now, but you could establish it?

            Mr. SORRELS. No; I could establish it.

            Mr. HUBERT. I wonder if you would undertake to establish that for us.

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes; I would.

            Mr. HUBERT. Now, you think there is no other collateral way to establish the dates of the other matters?

            Mr. SORRELS. I can--I think I can pretty well establish it. I will tell you why. At the time that I was in Wade's office, and during the course of the time that I talked to him, this officer Dean came into Mr. Wade's office and Mr. Wade asked me about if I was present when Ruby said such and such things--I don't recall what it was now--I think about that he had been thinking for 2 or 3 days about killing this fellow, or words to that effect, and I told him I was not. And it was right after that that Dean testified in that case. And I think I can establish about pretty close to what day it was. He either testified that day or the following day, as I recall it.

            Mr. HUBERT. What interval of time would have elapsed between your meeting Wade at the airport and the date of the interview?

            Mr. SORRELS. Oh, I think that would have been probably--it is just hard to estimate the time, but it was before the trial of Ruby had ever even begun. It would just be a guess on my part, but I would say it was probably maybe 2 or 3 weeks, or maybe even more.

            Mr. HUBERT. Well, can you fix for us--put it this way: Can you fix for us whether the Curry conversation was closer to the time you met Wade at Love Field than it was to the time you interviewed Wade, or Wade interviewed you?

            Mr. SORRELS. I just don't believe I can. It seems to me like it was shortly after I had seen Mr. Wade. I may be wrong about that. But I know the thought occurred to me, well, if I am going to be called down on that thing, I don't think they are going to be able to accept my testimony, because of the fact that Ruby wasn't warned. And so it was that time that I thought about maybe getting the names of these other two officers who could possibly remember the conversation, and they were standbys and were not the ones actually in the questioning.

            Mr. HUBERT. Do you remember telling Mr. Griffin here that you would call the Dallas Police Department--I think that was in a telephone conversation he had with you--to find out the names of the people?

            Mr. SORRELS. It seems that I did mention to Mr. Griffin, when he was talking to me on the phone, that there were others present, and that I could possibly find out their names, and it seems to me that Mr. Griffin said something about, "Well, no; don't do that," or "It is not necessary."

            Mr. HUBERT. Well, let me ask you this: Would that have been before you called Curry, or afterwards?

            Mr. SORRELS. Let me see now. I think that would have been before.

            Mr. HUBERT. Well, perhaps it is this. Perhaps it was that when you had a personal conversation with Mr. Griffin in Dallas that you told him that you had made a call to ascertain the names of these people.

            Mr. SORRELS. It could have been.

            Mr. HUBERT. Did you make such a call?

            Mr. SORRELS. Did I?

            Mr. HUBERT. Yes.

            Mr. SORRELS. I made a call. I am not sure it was to Chief Curry. It seems to me I remember talking to Chief Batchelor on that. Now, I may have mentioned

 

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it to Chief Curry, too. But it seems to me like I remember talking to Chief Batchelor.

            Mr. HUBERT. About the existence of some officers?

            Mr. SORRELS. To find out who the uniformed officers were who were there.

            Mr. HUBERT. Well, now, would that conversation with Chief Batchelor be before the Curry conversation or afterwards?

            Mr. SORRELS. I don't recall that I made that conversation to both of them or not. Now, I am just not positive about that. But I do recall having made that call for the specific purpose of getting somebody that was there, those two uniformed officers, that could have heard that conversation, that could have testified in the case down there.

            Mr. HUBERT. Is it possible that that aspect of the matter was part of the call to Curry?

            Mr. SORRELS. I just don't remember--I just don't remember. But I know that I did talk to either Curry or Chief Batchelor, and I am inclined to think it was Chief Batchelor. Now, when you mentioned awhile ago about the call to Curry, I, of course, said "yes" on that, because I was thinking about the call. But since thinking about it, I am not sure that it was Chief Curry that I talked to at all about that particular angle. But I do know that I talked to Chief Batchelor about it. I know that.

            Mr. HUBERT. Well, let's see if we can clarify it. There is no doubt about it that there was one telephone call made to a high police official.

            Mr. SORRELS. That is what I recall.

            Mr. HUBERT. You are definite that one call was made to Batchelor.

            Mr. SORRELS. If my memory serves me right, it seems that I did talk to Batchelor.

            Now, whether I talked to Chief Curry on that particular thing or not, I am not too positive.

            Mr. HUBERT. So that the matter stands that you are not certain that there was the second telephone call with Curry at all?

            Mr. SORRELS. No; I don't----

            Mr. HUBERT. Well, would you have covered with Batchelor the material that we have talked about that you say you did cover with Curry?

            Mr. SORRELS. Now, what material is that?

            Mr. HUBERT. Well, such as that you were doubtful about your ability to testify, and so forth.

            Mr. SORRELS. Not necessarily. In other words, if it was Batchelor that I called, then I would have, I think, have explained it to him. If it had been Curry I called, I would explain it to him--as to why I was wanting these names, or given that information to them.

            Mr. HUBERT. What I am trying to get at, you see, is whether or not there were two calls.

            Mr. SORRELS. I don't recall that there were two calls. I don't.

            Mr. HUBERT. And you are positive you spoke to Batchelor?

            Mr. SORRELS. It seems that I remember talking to Chief Batchelor about it, because it seems that I can remember that he said, "I am sure that we can find out that information," or words to that effect.

            Mr. HUBERT. Well, if there was only one call--that is to say, if you are doubtful about two, and you do remember definitely Batchelor, then the one call would have to be Batchelor, would it not?

            Mr. SORRELS. That is correct; yes.

            Mr. SMITH. I think there is a lack of meeting of the minds here.

            Mr. HUBERT. Would you try to help me out? I would appreciate it.

            Mr. SMITH. Let me see if I can clarify this. Was there definitely a conversation with Curry about whether you would be able to testify because of your failure to warn Ruby of his constitutional rights?

            Mr. SORRELS. I just cannot say positively that there was. I do know that I made a phone call for the specific purpose of informing them of the fact that these two uniformed police officers were there and could have heard the conversation that I had with Ruby, and as my memory serves me it seems that was Chief Batchelor. Now, I may have had conversations with Chief Curry. We have talked about this thing from many, many different angles from time to time.

 

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            Mr. SMITH. Let me ask it a different way.

            Was there one call to obtain the names of the men, uniformed policemen, who were in the room when you interrogated Ruby, and a second call concerning the question of whether you could testify, or were these two subjects covered in one telephone conversation?

            Mr. SORRELS. No; as I recall it, there was only one conversation on it at that time.

            Mr. SMITH. All right. And you don't know, then, for sure, whether it was to Chief Batchelor or to Chief Curry?

            Mr. SORRELS. I would say that, if my memory serves me right, it seems to me like it was Chief Batchelor. There were many, many conversations about this case from many angles. But I know I was concerned when Henry Wade indicated I was going to be called as a witness down there, because I felt that they should know that, and I think as I recall it when he talked to me I told him about those two uniformed officers being there.

            Mr. HUBERT. Well, whoever you talked to, did that person, whether it was Curry or Batchelor, indicate that he was not aware of the information you were giving him?

            Mr. SORRELS. Now, what information?

            Mr. HUBERT. About the statements made by Ruby.  And that you had been present.

            Mr. SORRELS. No; I don't think so.

            Mr. HUBERT. You have already adverted to the telephone call that you had from Mr. Griffin.

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.

            Mr. HUBERT. Did you make the telephone call to Curry or Batchelor as a result of the conversation you had with Mr. Griffin?

            Mr. SORRELS. No.

            Mr. HUBERT. That was independent? You think it was before?

            Mr. SORRELS. No; I don't think it was before, because as I recall it, this conversation with Mr. Griffin was quite some time before.

            Mr. HUBERT. Mr. Sorrels, I call your attention to the fact that on the exhibit which has been identified as Commission Document 354, as to which you have already testified, there is no mention of the names of the officers who were present, and that is dated February 3, 1964. Does that help you to recollect whether you then got interested in who those people were and called Batchelor or Curry, or both?

            Mr. SORRELS. It probably brought it to my mind that there were other people present there, and I think I so informed Mr. Griffin on the telephone. But that is not what prompted me to make the call about the two uniformed officers, because that had no bearing on what I told Mr. Griffin. What he was asking me over the telephone is what I had heard Ruby say. And I told him what I had heard Ruby say. And he had asked me about certain things that I did not recall hearing Ruby say, and I told him so at the time. And when I was in District Attorney Wade's office, the question was asked of me by Mr. Wade as to whether or not certain statements alleged to have been made by Ruby were made to Officer Dean in my presence, and I told him I did not hear anything like that.

            Mr. HUBERT. Well, perhaps another approach would be this: You were interested or became interested sometime in finding out the names of these people. Isn't that a fact?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes; but only for that particular purpose.

            Mr. HUBERT. And you also wanted to convey the information that you were doubtful whether you would qualify, as you put it, as a witness, because you had failed to warn. And that that thought came into your mind after Wade indicated that you might be a witness.

            Mr. SORRELS. That is as I recall it.

            Mr. HUBERT. And that, therefore, you called someone. Now, were those two things in the same conversation?

            Mr. SORRELS. You mean about----

            Mr. HUBERT. The inquiry as to the names, who these people were, and to

 

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convey the information that you were worried about your own qualifications if you should be considered.

            Mr. SORRELS. That is right.

            Mr. HUBERT. You think there were two conversations?

            Mr. SORRELS. No.

            Mr. HUBERT. Just one?

            Mr. SORRELS. As far as I know there would be one. Because that is the only interest I had. As I recall it, I told Mr. Griffin over the telephone that there were others present, and I could possibly find out who they were, and for that purpose that he was trying to bring out on the telephone conversation, and as I recall it he told me, "No; don't do that."

            Mr. HUBERT. Did you find out who the two people were?

            Mr. SORRELS. No; I could not tell you to this day who they are.

            Mr. HUBERT. In other words, whoever you spoke to, Batchelor or Curry, who said they would let you know----

            Mr. SORRELS. No; I don't think it was my purpose in finding out who they were for my own benefit. That wasn't the point at all. It was my thought that they should have information for the district attorney--period.

            Mr. HUBERT. In other words, you were not interested in knowing who they were yourself? You wanted them to know of the fact that there were two officers there?

            Mr. SORRELS. That is right.

            Mr. HUBERT. And that you were worried about your own qualifications?

            Mr. SORRELS. That is right.

            Mr. HUBERT. Can you tell us approximately the lapse of time, if you can remember it, between your conversation with Mr. Griffin and your conversation with either Chief Batchelor or Chief Curry that you have been speaking of?

            Mr. SORRELS. Well, I would say it was quite some time afterwards, because this conversation--I don't remember the date I had it with Mr. Griffin, but it was prior to the writing of this memorandum. And it was quite some time after that that the trial ever started. And when Mr. Wade saw me at the airport and said, "I want to see you and talk to you about this case," the trial, of course, had not started at that time. So it was quite some time afterwards.

            Mr. HUBERT. Well, what did Curry or Batchelor, whoever it was, tell you when you told him of this?

            Mr. SORRELS. As I recall it, they said they could get the information. That is all that I recall that they said.

            Mr. HUBERT. Do you remember when speaking to Wade at the interview whether you adverted to the conversation you had had over the telephone with either Batchelor or Wade, or possibly both?

            Mr. SORRELS. No; I don't recall that that was mentioned.

            Mr. HUBERT. Did you have any other conversation with any officers in the police department? I mean about this aspect that we are talking about now?

            Mr. SORRELS. I saw Captain Fritz at the district attorney's office the day that I was down there and talked to him, and I cannot recall about whether or not there was a conversation with him about who was present at that time or not, because I remember discussing with Captain Fritz at that time that I didn't think my testimony would be much benefit to the prosecution on that, or if it would be admissible because of the fact I had not warned Ruby of his constitutional rights.

            Mr. HUBERT. When was that conversation?

            Mr. SORRELS. That was the same time I was talking to Mr. Wade at his office. This is when the trial of Ruby was actually in progress.

            Mr. HUBERT. Was Fritz in the office?

            Mr. SORRELS. He was in and out of there. He had walked in and walked out. And I may have mentioned to him that--the fact that there was other officers there besides Dean and myself. And I told Mr. Wade in Dean's presence that certain things that Mr. Wade had asked me about, about Ruby saying that he had been--I think somebody had been thinking 3 days about shooting this fellow--that I heard no such statement, that I had left when I got the information I wanted. In other words, when I was questioning Ruby, as I recall it, nobody was asking him any questions except me, and when I got through I left.

 

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            Mr. HUBERT. When did you find out that Dean and Archer had said or were going to say that they heard Ruby say that he had intended to kill him 3 days before?

            Mr. SORRELS. I don't know that Archer said that--I don't remember his name.

            Mr. HUBERT. Dean--when did you learn that?

            Mr. SORRELS. When Mr. Griffin asked me over the telephone if certain statements were made, and I told him, in conversation with him, the statements that Ruby had made to me, and he asked me if certain other statements were made, and I said not to my knowledge, "I don't remember anything like that," and one of them was about whether or not Ruby came down the ramp, and I told him at that time I didn't recall that statement having been made, and I didn't believe that statement was made in my presence.

            Mr. HUBERT. I thought you said in the interview with Wade you told him you did not hear Ruby say that he had formed the intent to kill Oswald on Friday.

            Mr. SORRELS. No, no.

            Mr. HUBERT, I am sorry.

            Mr. SORRELS. No; I didn't hear that. Ruby didn't say that. I told Wade that.

            Mr. HUBERT. You did tell Wade that? Did Wade ask you that?

            Mr. SORRELS. He asked me if certain statements were made, and I told him no, not in my presence.

            Mr. HUBERT. In other words, you had not heard of that even until Wade brought it to your attention?

            Mr. SORRELS. No--not that part. The thing that Mr. Griffin was asking me, I think, as I recall it, was about the ramp.

            Mr. HUBERT. Wade asked you did you hear Ruby say, "I intended to kill him since Friday night," and your answer was "No; I didn't"

            Mr. SORRELS. No; I didn't hear it.

            Mr. HUBERT. Did Mr. Griffin mention in the telephone conversation he had with you statements allegedly made, or knowledge allegedly in the possession of Dean in regard to what Ruby had said?

            Mr. SORRELS. I remember specifically there was a statement about him coming down the ramp. I remember that. And it seems that--I wouldn't be positive about that, but it seemed like there was something else that Dean was supposed to have said in my presence, and I told him no I didn't hear anything like that.

            Mr. HUBERT. I had thought you said that you told Wade that you had not heard Dean say any such thing. But he asked you?

            Mr. SORRELS. He asked me. No--you see, he had talked to Dean beforehand, you see, about this. And I never had talked to Dean. As a matter of fact, I had not seen him.

            Mr. SMITH. I might say it was my impression at one time that Mr. Sorrels said or indicated that in his conversation with Mr. Griffin, this question about Ruby having premeditated this for 3 days came out in this conversation with Griffin . At least I got that impression. But do I understand it now to be clarified that that particular point did not come out in your conversation with Griffin ?

            Mr. SORRELS. I don't think on the telephone conversation at that time.

            Mr. SMITH. It came out in your conversation with----

            Mr. SORRELS. With Wade.

            Mr. SMITH. With Wade?

            Mr. SORRELS. That is right. But I think--can this be off the record?

            Mr. HUBERT. I would rather it go on.

            Mr. SORRELS. All right. We will have it on the record. I have had other conversations with Mr. Griffin subsequent to that time, and personally when he was there at Dallas , in which I believe that there was some question about that statement. But as I recall it now, the first conversation over the telephone was specifically about the ramp incident. And I remember him emphasizing that. And I recall if such a statement was said I don't remember it, and I just don't believe it was said in my presence.

            Mr. HUBERT. In regard to the conversation with Mr. Griffin in Dallas , do you recall a conversation which I think I can specifically state would have been on the morning of Wednesday, March 25--that is to say the morning after Dean had been deposed. And let it be noted that Dean was deposed on the night of

 

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March 24. Do you remember a conversation with Mr. Griffin about what Dean had said then, and that you then told Mr. Griffin what your version of it was, and had in fact--he asked you to prepare a memorandum or something for him, so that there would be a record of what he had told him?

            Mr. SORRELS. Along about this same thing?

            Mr. HUBERT. Yes, about this same matter, revolving around Dean and Dean's testimony about what Ruby had said.

            Mr. SORRELS. I remember that there was a conversation. It seems like I do have a recollection. It slipped my mind. But since you mention something about a memo--and you left rather suddenly, Mr. Griffin, as I recall it, right after that.

            Mr. HUBERT. That is on the 27th? The question is--you have not written a memo?

            Mr. SORRELS. No.

            Mr. HUBERT. Was there any reason why?

            Mr. SORRELS. No. As a matter of fact, it just slipped my mind, I guess, because I cannot recall now just exactly what the memo was. But since he mentioned that, it seems I do recall something about something I told him, and he said, "Write me a memo about it."

            Mr. HUBERT. Was Inspector Kelley present during your interrogation of Oswald on Sunday morning for about 15 or 20 minutes, I think you said?

            Mr. SORRELS. I don't believe so. He might have been. But I don't recall that he was there.

            Mr. HUBERT. Now, you have already testified that you and Mr. Kelley went to Mr. Batchelor's office after Oswald left on Sunday morning.

            Mr. SORRELS. It is my recollection that we did go there together.

            Mr. HUBERT. Was anybody else there?

            Mr. SORRELS. If we didn't, I met him up there.

            Mr. HUBERT. Was anybody else there?

            Mr. SORRELS. At the interview?

            Mr. HUBERT. No, when you left, when Oswald left to go down to the basement, you testified that you went with somebody, I think it was Tom Kelley--went into Batchelor's office and looked out to watch the scene.

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes.

            Mr. HUBERT. I think that was Tom Kelley there. Was anyone else there?

            Mr. SORRELS. There was a number of officers around there.

            I don't recall who all was there. I just don't recall who all was there.

            Mr. HUBERT. Do you know how many officers or detectives were in Fritz' office after Ruby had shot Oswald and had been brought up to Fritz' office?

            Mr. SORRELS. No, I don't. There was a number of them around there.

            Mr. HUBERT. Do you have any recollection that Dean was taken to escort you up to Captain Fritz' office?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, I remember Dean went up the elevator with me.

            Mr. HUBERT. Do you remember any comment that Dean made in Wade's office?

            Mr. SORRELS. The only comment that I can remember that he made is when Mr. Wade asked me if certain things were said by Ruby when I was talking to him in the jail on the morning of November 24, when Dean was there, and I told him no, that that statement was not made in my presence, I did not recall any statement like that. And Dean said, "Well, maybe it was after you left." And I said, "Well, if it was--if the statement was made, it would have had to be after I left, because I don't recall any statement like that."

            Mr. HUBERT. Did you ever find out how Wade or Curry or the police found out about what Dean ultimately said?

            Mr. SORRELS. Will you read that question again?

            Mr. HUBERT. I said, did you ever find out how Wade and/or the police found out themselves what Dean ultimately testified to?

            Mr. SORRELS. No, I don't know anything about that--unless it is in the court records down there in his testimony at the trial. Now, whether or not they had talked to him before what his testimony would be, I could not say about that, I don't know.

            Mr. HUBERT. Did Wade or anyone else ever ask you to identify the two uniformed officers?

 

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            Mr. SORRELS. No.

            Mr. HUBERT. Did you ever consult with any of your superior officers in your own service in regard to Wade's request that you testify?

            Mr. SORRELS. I told Inspector Kelley that I might get involved in this thing, and he said, "Well, if you are subpenaed you will just have to testify what you know about it."

            Mr. HUBERT. You didn't make a written report?

            Mr. SORRELS. No, sir; not that I recall.

            Mr. HUBERT. Was FBI Agent Hall present during the Fritz' interview?

            Mr. SORRELS. I couldn't say. I don't think I know Agent Hall if he walked in the door. I don't recall ever having met him.

            Mr. HUBERT. Did you ever hear Ruby say, "You all won't believe this, but I didn't have this planned, and I couldn't have done it better if I had planned it," or something to that effect?

            Mr. SORRELS. No.

            Mr. HUBERT. Now----

            Mr. SORRELS. I don't recall any statement like that.

            Mr. HUBERT. Now, Mr. Stern is going to take over, and I am going to ask him to handle the identification of your notes.

            (Mr. Hubert left. Mr. Stern requested Mr. Griffin to handle the identification of documents.)

            Mr. GRIFFIN. Let me state that for the limited purpose of having Agent Sorrels identify three sets of documents I am going to ask a series of questions of Agent Sorrels.

            Mr. Sorrels, I want to hand you a Xerox copy of a document which is a part of our files, and numbered Commission No. 354, and is your Secret Service serial 1,007, consisting of four pages, which you have previously identified, and Mr. Hubert has marked "Deposition of Forrest Sorrels, Washington, D.C., May 6, 1964," and signed Leon D. Hubert.

            I have added the additional designation "Exhibit 1," on the first page of this four page exhibit. I want you to look at that and tell me if that is in fact the same exhibit you identified previously as I have described it.

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir; it is.

            Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, let me hand you what I have marked for the purpose of identification as deposition of Forrest Sorrels, May 6, 1964, Washington , D.C. This exhibit consists of four different pages which I have numbered consecutively Exhibits 2-A, 2- B, 2-C, and 2-D, and purports to be a Xerox copy of notes that you made of the interview that took place with Jack Ruby in Captain Fritz' office at 3:15 on November 24, 1963.

            Would you examine Exhibits 2-A, 2-B, 2-C, and 2-D and compare them with the pages of your notebook which you have referred to previously in the deposition, and tell us if that is a true and exact copy of all of the notes that you have that pertain to the 3:15 interview with Jack Ruby?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, that is correct.

            Mr. GRIFFIN. Let me hand you what I have marked for the purpose of identification deposition of Forrest Sorrels, May 6, 1964, Washington, D.C., which is a document consisting of three pages, which I have numbered consecutively Exhibit 3-A, Exhibit 3-B, Exhibit 3-C. This exhibit purports to be a Xerox copy of notes that you took at an interview with Jack Ruby in the fifth floor jail cell shortly after Ruby shot Lee Oswald on November 24. I want you to compare these exhibits to pages which you have testified to previously are in your notebook, and tell me if Exhibits 3-A, 3-B, and 3-C are true and exact copies of those pages which appear in your notebook?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, they are. But there is portions that do not pertain to the interview with Ruby in the Dallas City Jail on the morning of November 24, 1963--but certain portions happen to be on the same page as the notes made at that time were made.

            Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, directing your attention to Exhibit 3-A, would you tell us if that portion which pertains to Ruby--the Ruby interview in the jail cell, and appears on that page, follows consecutively from some point on that page?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, from about the center of the page, below a wavy line drawn

 

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across it, continuing on the second page, marked Exhibit 3-B, and the third page marked Exhibit 3-C, down to the lower portion ending with "deceased mother."

            Mr. GRIFFIN. All right. Now, directing your attention to Exhibit 3-A, would you read the first two lines on Exhibit 3-A that consist of the notes taken at your interview with Ruby in the fifth floor jail cell?

            Mr. SORRELS. " Chicago , 3-25-1911, Jack Ruby (Rubenstein), Entertainment, Carousel Club. Had business closed for 3 days."

            Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, let me hand you again Exhibit No. 1, and ask you if that is a true and accurate copy, to sign your name on the first page of that exhibit.

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, it is.

            Mr. GRIFFIN. Would you sign your name, then, on the first page of the exhibit?

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.

            Mr. GRIFFIN. Let me hand you what has been marked as Exhibit 2-A, B and C, and D, and ask you if that is a true and accurate copy to sign your name on the first page of Exhibit 2-A.

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes.

            Mr. GRIFFIN. Let me hand you, Mr. Sorrels, Exhibit 3-A, B, and C, and ask you the same question with respect to that, and ask you to do the same thing.

            Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.

            Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, let the record reflect that I am putting my initials, BWG, on pages 2-A, 2-B, 2-C, and 2-D. Let the record reflect I have done the same thing with pages 3-A, 3-B, and 3-C.

            Mr. STERN. Mr. Smith, are there any questions you would like to ask Mr. Sorrels at this stage of his deposition, to clarify any points on the record?

            Mr. SMITH Yes, just with respect to one point.

            Mr. STERN. Please go ahead.

            Mr. SMITH. Mr. Sorrels, you testified that in your interview with Jack Ruby in the jail, you did not warn him of his constitutional rights.  Was this due to oversight on your part?

             Mr. SORRELS. No, it was not.

            Mr. SMITH. Will you state, then, the reason why you did not do so?

            Mr. SORRELS. My purpose in getting to Jack Ruby and talking to him as quickly as I did was to determine whether or not he was involved with anyone else in connection with the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald, and also to determine whether or not Jack Ruby had any connection or association with Lee Harvey Oswald. I did not warn him of his constitutional rights, because insofar as I was concerned at this particular interview, my conversation with him was not--strike was not--had no bearing insofar as the murder case against Jack Ruby was concerned.

            My purpose was trying to obtain information for my service to determine whether or not there were others involved in this case that would be of concern to the Secret Service in connection with their protective duties of the President of the United States and the Vice President.

            Mr. STERN. Is there anything else, Mr. Smith, you would like to cover?

            Mr. SMITH. No. Thank you.

            Mr. STERN. Mr. Sorrels, you have had a lengthy session here today. If it is convenient for you, I would prefer to carry on that part of it that I am interested in tomorrow morning, rather than to try to finish late today.  Would that be convenient for you?

             Mr. SORRELS. That is satisfactory for me, yes.

            Mr. STERN. Fine. Why don't we suspend now and resume in the morning.

Contact Information  tomnln@cox.net


TESTIMONY OF FORREST V. SORRELS

The testimony of Forrest V. Sorrels was taken at 1 p.m., on May 6, 1964, at 200 Maryland Avenue NE., Washington, D.C., by Messrs. Burt W. Griffin, Leon D. Hubert, Jr., and Samuel A. Stern, assistant counsel of the President's Commission. Fred B. Smith, Deputy General Counsel, U.S. Treasury Department was present.

Mr. HUBERT. Mr. Sorrels, my name is Leon Hubert. I will be taking your deposition this afternoon, and so will Mr. Samuel Stern. We are both members of the advisory staff of the General Counsel of the President's Commission, that is to say Mr. Rankin.
Under the provisions of Executive Order 11130, dated November 29, 1963, the Joint Resolution of Congress, No. 137, and rules of procedure adopted by the Commission in conformance with that Executive order and that joint resolution, both Mr. Stern and I have been authorized to take a sworn deposition from you, Mr. Sorrels. Of course you will take an oath a little later on. Is it understood between us that this statement of my authority and of Mr. Stern's authority is sufficient to carry for both depositions--in other words, it will be really a continuation of the deposition by Mr. Stern on another area. Is that understood?
Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Is it understood also that the oath you are going to take will be applicable to the testimony elicited from you by me, as well as that elicited from you by Mr. Stern?
Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. I state to you now that the general nature of the Commission's inquiry is to ascertain, evaluate and report upon the facts relating to the assassination of President Kennedy and the subsequent violent death of Lee Harvey Oswald. In particular as to you, Mr. Sorrels, the nature of the inquiry today is to determine what facts you know about the death of Oswald and other pertinent facts which you may know about the general inquiry.
Mr. Sorrels, you have appeared today by virtue of a verbal request made by us at the direction of the General Counsel. Under the rules adopted by the Cornmission,

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all witnesses are entitled to a 3-day written notice prior to the taking of their deposition. But the rules also provide that a witness may waive this notice. I ask you now if you are willing to waive the 3-day written notice provided for by the rules of the Commission.
Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. All right. Then I will ask you to stand and be sworn. Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you are about to give in this matter will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Mr. SORRELS. I do.
Mr. HUBERT. Will you state your full name.
Mr. SORRELS. Forrest V. Sorrels.
Mr. HUBERT. How old are you, Mr. Sorrels?
Mr. SORRELS. Sixty-three.
Mr. HUBERT. Where do you reside now?
Mr. SORRELS. 3319 Hanover, Dallas, Tex.
Mr. HUBERT. What is your occupation?
Mr. SORRELS. Special agent in charge of the Dallas district of the United States Secret Service.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, before I go any further, I should like the record to show that Mr. Fred B. Smith----
Mr. SMITH. Deputy General Counsel, United States Treasury Department.
Mr. HUBERT. Is present--in what capacity?
Mr. SMITH. I guess observer on behalf of the Secretary of Treasury.
Mr. HUBERT. And Mr. Burt Griffin, also a member of the staff of the General Counsel of the President's Commission, is also present.
Now, Mr. Sorrels, I would like for you to state to us the general background, your history, sort of a biographical sketch, if you will, starting off with your education and on to date.
Mr. SORRELS. I was born in Red River County, Tex., on a farm, September 16, 1901; later moved to a little town nearby called Bogata, Tex. I lived there until 1916, when my family moved to El Paso, Tex. I resided there until 1935.
I went to El Paso High School and after graduation attended Draughon's Business College, taking typing and shorthand and bookkeeping. I then went to work for a small wholesale grocery, worked there for only a short time, and then went to work for a brick company, worked there a very short time, and then obtained employment as a clerk in the office of Bureau of Narcotics, Treasury Department, in El Paso, Texas.
Mr. HUBERT. What year was that, sir?
Mr. SORRELS. That was in 1922. I worked there for about a year and went back to the brick company. I was only there a short time when I learned of a clerical position in the office of the United States Secret Service at El Paso. I later was employed in that position on July 6, 1923. That was a two-man office, and I began very shortly after employment there assisting and helping in investigative work.
In 1926, the special agent in charge was transferred from there, and prior to that time I had been appointed as what was known at that time as an operative, which is comparable to our special agent of today. He transferred from there to Dallas about July of 1926, and I was left as acting agent in charge of that office. In October that "acting" was removed, and I continued there in the capacity of agent in charge until 1935, when I was transferred to Dallas as special agent in charge there. In 1936 I was transferred to New Orleans as acting supervising agent of a newly created setup whereby the States of Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi were in what was known at that time as the Tenth District.
In 1938, the headquarters office was moved from New Orleans to Houston. In 1941 it was moved from Houston to Dallas. Subsequent to that time, the organization of the 15 supervising agents was abandoned, and each office reported direct into the headquarters office in Washington, excepting a very few that were known as resident agency officers.
I have continued in that capacity as special agent in charge of the Dallas district, and am so employed at the present time.

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Mr. HUBERT. So that you have been special agent in charge actually of the Dallas district since 1938.
Mr. SORRELS. Actually--it was in my territory since 1935, but the office was moved back there in 1941, and I have been there ever since.
Mr. HUBERT. And you have lived there.
Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. What does the Dallas territory now, under your jurisdiction, and control, consist of?
Mr. SORRELS. Roughly it consists of the northern half of Texas, exclusive of the territory west of the Pecos River. We have in the Dallas district the entire northern judicial district of Texas, the Waco division of the western district of Texas, the Tyler, Jefferson, Texarkana, Parris, and Sherman divisions of the eastern district of Texas.
Mr. HUBERT. By divisions, you mean divisions in the United States court system?
Mr. SORRELS. That's right.
Mr. HUBERT. How many men do you have?
Mr. SORRELS. At the present time we have six special agents besides myself.
Mr. HUBERT. They all work out of Dallas?
Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir. One special agent actually headquarters, so to speak, in Fort Worth. He remains in that section most of the time.
Mr. HUBERT. Would you tell us something about your family.
Mr. SORRELS. I am married.
Mr. HUBERT. How long have you been married?
Mr. SORRELS. I have a daughter 16 years of age and a younger daughter 7 years of age. I have 2 children by a former marriage, a son who is a captain in the United States Army and a daughter who is married to an employee of the IBM Company in New York City.
Mr. HUBERT. How long have you been married to your present wife?
Mr. SORRELS. Since 1946.
Mr. HUBERT. Mr. Sorrels, Mr. Stern is going to take a deposition with respect to security measures and other matters, I think, in regard to the President. I am going to depose you with reference to a number of matters concerning principally the security of Oswald after he was arrested and until his death, and your activities with reference to Ruby after he had shot Oswald.
Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, getting into the first matter, can you tell us what you observed yourself of the security measures which were in effect and actually operating with reference to Oswald after his arrest.
Mr. SORRELS. The first time that I saw Oswald was on the afternoon of November 22 as he was coming out of Capt. Will Fritz' office in the Dallas Police Department on the third floor.
Mr. HUBERT. About what time was that?
Mr. SORRELS. The exact time I cannot give you, because I had been working at a frantic pace. It was some time probably past the middle of the afternoon. I had previously been informed by my office that Captain Fritz had endeavored to locate me because he had a suspect in custody. And when I arrived there, Captain Fritz was in his office, apparently talking to the suspect, whom I determined to be Lee Harvey Oswald.
As he was being removed from the office, I told Captain Fritz that I would like to talk to this man when an opportunity was afforded, and he remarked "You can talk to him right now--just go right around the corner there by the side of the office," which I did.
Oswald was brought around and was seated there. There were a number of other officers present, detectives, I think possibly some FBI agents, and maybe some of my agents had come in in the meantime.
I started to----
Mr. HUBERT. Before you go into that, would you tell us about the security measures that you observed with reference to protecting the person of Oswald from the time you first saw him, say up until the time you have reached now.
Mr. SORRELS. As far as I know, there was no one except authorized officers

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in that particular area at that time. I did not see anyone that I recognized to be other than an officer.
Mr. HUBERT. No news people in the corridor of the third floor?
Mr. SORRELS. I am talking about inside the office now. In the corridor, that was an entirely different situation because there were cameras set up, tripods, still photographers, photographers with cameras in their hands, and newspapermen in large numbers in the hallways.
Mr. HUBERT. Well, now, for example, when Captain Fritz afforded you an opportunity to speak to Oswald and indicated that you could do so at a little office around the corner, did that mean that you had to pass Oswald out of Fritz' office, and through this third floor corridor, where all the newsmen were gathered?
Mr. SORRELS. No, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. That was still within Fritz' office?
Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir; in other words, there was an office there, and Captain Fritz had an office built within that office just merely to take him out of the door and right around the corner of his inside office there.
Mr. HUBERT. Then you did interview Oswald.
Mr. SORRELS. I talked to him, started asking him questions, and he was belligerent and arrogant in his attitude and he said to me, "I don't know who you fellows are, a bunch of cops."
Mr. HUBERT. How long did you speak to him
Mr. SORRELS. Not very long.
Mr. HUBERT. In point of time.
Mr. SORRELS. Not over--I don't think over 10 minutes at the most.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you know what happened to him after that?
Mr. SORRELS. As far as I know, he was taken back to the jail.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, taking him back to the jail would involve passing him out of Fritz' office, through the corridor, and to the jail elevator, is that correct?
Mr. SOERELS. That is correct; yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Can you tell us what security precautions you observed with reference to his person after he was out of Fritz' office?
Mr. SORRELS. They of course had him handcuffed when they removed him, and several detectives accompanied him as they left out, in front--someone went ahead. And as I recall it there was at least one on the side, and then some brought up the rear.
Mr. HUBERT. You did not go up to the jail?
Mr. SORRELS. No, sir; I did not.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you observe any system of identification of the people who were on the third floor?
Mr. SORRELS. As I recall it, when I first went down there I had no particular difficulty getting in, because most of the officers there know me, from my years of being in that city. But subsequent to that time I would have to identify myself many times. This was to uniformed police officers that were on duty. And I would have to show my commission book in order to get into Captain Fritz' office, or else get into the executive offices there, where the chief of police and the deputy chief offices were located.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you observe any officers posted at the entrances to the area, to the third floor area?
Mr. SORRELS. Yes.
Mr. HUBERT. Where were they?
Mr. SORRELS. By the elevator, and then there were uniformed officers at Captain Fritz' door.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you observe them requiring identification by other persons? I mean you described how they required you to identify yourself. Did you notice whether they did so with other people, and if so, what did they do?
Mr. SORRELS. I cannot say that I did, because usually when I get through identifying myself, I either went to the executive suite, where the chief's office was, or right direct to Captain Fritz' office. But on a number of occasions, the officers that were on duty there, before I can get my commission book out, some of the newsmen or photographers there that knew me would

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say, "He is Sorrels of the Secret Service." I, upon being recognized and identifying myself, would be admitted. Some of the officers on duty there of course after the second or third time they would recognize me, and I would have no difficulty getting in. But I cannot say that I saw anyone else being required to identify themselves, because I did not hang around the places where the officers were.
Mr. HUBERT. Would you say that the security conditions that you just described were in effect for the entire period of November 22 through November 24--that is, on the third floor?
Mr. SORRELS. Captain Fritz' office definitely yes--going into his office. I do not recall having to identify myself to get onto the third floor on the 22d when I first got down there. But subsequent to that time, I do recall having to identify myself almost every time I went up there.
Mr. HUBERT. What was the general condition of the third floor area from point of personnel, equipment, and so forth?
Mr. SORRELS. I guess you could term it more or less deplorable, because of the fact that they had so many cameras with tripods and cables and wires and photographers and reporters that you would have to step over tripods and wires and almost elbow your way to get in and out of the place. And every time you would come out of it--Captain Fritz' office they would turn on those bright lights, and you would have to shield your eyes almost to keep from being temporarily blinded.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you mean--that last condition you described took place when anybody came out of Fritz' office, or when they came out with Oswald?
Mr. SORRELS. No--I would not say just anybody, but many times when I would start out, the minute they would see anyone coming out of the door, they would turn the lights on, I guess to be prepared in case Oswald or anyone else that they wished to photograph would come out.
Mr. HUBERT. During the period that we are talking about, that is, say, from the arrest of Oswald the first time you saw him until the 24th, I take it that you observed Oswald being moved from Captain Fritz' office to the jail elevator at least quite a number of times.
Mr. SORRELS. I can only recall two times, I believe. The first time is when he was taken out of Captain Fritz' office on the afternoon of the 22d. Then there were two other occasions I knew of when he was brought back into Captain Fritz' office and when he was taken out. I remember that many times. In other words, about three going out and two coming in I can definitely recall.
Mr. HUBERT. Well, do you recall that while he was being so moved on any one of those occasions, that he was addressed by the press or questions asked him, or remarks made to him?
Mr. SORRELS. No, because the time that I saw him he was in Captain Fritz' office or being removed from his office. I never saw him in the hallway that I can recall.
Mr. HUBERT. Well, I thought you had mentioned a little while ago that on the first occasion you did observe him--after you had interviewed him for about 10 minutes--you did observe him move out of Fritz' office and go to the elevator.
Mr. SORRELS. I think your question, as I understand it, sir, was that he was removed from Captain Fritz' office to the elevator. I did not see him taken down the hallway.
Mr. HUBERT. I see; I did misunderstand you.
Mr. SORRELS. Sorry.
Mr. HUBERT. So you do not know really whether or not any news media or any other people asked him questions and made remarks to him while he was going from Fritz' office to the elevator.
Mr. SORRELS. Not of my personal knowledge; no, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Could those news people see into Fritz' office from the hallway?
Mr. SORRELS. They could see into the outer office, but they could not very well see into his office unless they actually came inside the office within which his office is located. You have got one door that faces on the west side of the office, and then Captain Fritz' there faces north. So that it would be a question of someone might see just a corner portion of his office from the hallway door,

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which is glass at the top, but they would not be able to see anyone sitting, for example, where Oswald would have been sitting at the time that I saw him in Captain Fritz' office.
Mr. HUBERT. In other words, there was a glass door to what might be called the outer office of Captain Fritz' office.
Mr. SORRELS. That's right.
Mr. HUBERT. But the inner office, while it had a glass door, it did not face on an area in which the press was located.
Mr. SORRELS. That's right. It also had Venetian-type blinds on the doors, and the other part of his office was glass from the upper part.
Mr. HUBERT. While you were up there at any time during the period we are talking about, did you ever observe anyone known to you to be a civilian who was not either a police officer or connected with the news media in some way?
Mr. SORRELS. No; I do not; well, I will take that back. You are talking about when Oswald was around?
Mr. HUBERT. Well, yes. But also I want to broaden it to any time.
Mr. SORRELS. The reason I asked that question is that Jack Ruby's sister was in his office with another lady after Ruby was in custody, and at that time they were in there with Mr. Jim Underwood from radio station KRLD who was trying to make arrangements for Ruby's sister to get up in the jail to see him. But prior to that, I do not know, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, were you present at a meeting at which the news media were present and Oswald was brought into an assembly room, in which the news media were assembled?
Mr. SORRELS. I was present when Oswald was brought into what is called the lineup room, which is also the assembly room. They have the lineup section at one end of it. That was on the evening of November 22. At that time it was my request, because a witness who had been interviewed by me, and who had seen the person fire the third shot from the window of the Book Depository Building, I had gotten in touch with him through one of our agents, and he was brought down there for the specific purpose of being able to see Oswald, because when he was first interviewed by me he stated that he thought he could identify him.
Mr. HUBERT. That was in fact, however, a true lineup for the purpose of identification.
Mr. SORRELS. I am sorry--I did not understand the question.
Mr. HUBERT. I said that was a true lineup for the purpose of identification.
Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. I was speaking of another meeting where the assembly room usually used for the lineup was used to give the press an opportunity to see Oswald.
Mr. SORRELS. I was not present. That is the only time I saw Oswald in the lineup.
Mr. HUBERT. Were you aware at any time on the 22d of the concern expressed by Mr. J. Edgar Hoover in regard to the security of Oswald, and allegedly transmitted to the Dallas people?
Mr. SORRELS. No, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you become aware of that later?
Mr. SORRELS. I do not recall ever having heard anything to that effect.
Mr. HUBERT. Even now you do not?
Mr. SORRELS. No, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you know Jack Ruby at all?
Mr. SORRELS. Not before this incident took place; no, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. You did not even know he existed?
Mr. SORRELS. No, sir. As a matter of fact, when I first heard Oswald had been shot, I understood the name to be Jack Rubin, and in my first report to my headquarters office I gave them the name of Jack Rubin--R-u-b-i-n, an operator of a nightclub. That is the first information I got. I just misunderstood the pronunciation of the last word.
Mr. HUBERT. I think I have already asked this question in a general way--

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that is to say, you have covered the area in a general way. But I think for the record I should make it more specific.
You have now come to know a man by the name of Jack Ruby, to the extent that you could recognize him, I suppose.
Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Can you tell us whether you saw him in or about the police department building at any time after the President was shot, and until Ruby shot Oswald?
Mr. SORRELS. I have no recollection of having seen a man whom I know now to be Jack Ruby before I saw him in the Dallas City Jail on the fifth floor.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, we can pass, I think, for my purposes--and mind you, Mr. Stern might cover some of these areas again, but this is the way this is being handled.
You did see Oswald, I think, on Sunday morning, November 24?
Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Could you tell us where and at what time?
Mr. SORRELS. That was in the office of Capt. Will Fritz of the homicide division of the Dallas Police Department. It was somewhere around 11 o'clock in the morning, and he was removed from Captain Fritz' office at approximately I guess about 11:15.
Mr. HUBERT. What was the purpose of your interviewing him that morning?
Mr. SORRELS. We, of course, were interested in any statement that Oswald might make relating to any phase of the assassination of the President. Particularly, I was interested in trying to obtain an admission from him that he had used the name of A. Hidell as an alias, because information had been developed that he had purchased the rifle which was found on the sixth floor of the Book Depository under the name of A. Hidell.
There was a change of address card which he had filed in New Orleans, as I recall it, on which it was shown that persons to receive mail at the address given, the name of A. Hidell appeared. And after Captain Fritz got through questioning him on the morning of November 24, he asked if any of the officers present in the room desired to ask him any questions. And I said, "Yes; I would like to ask him a question."
In the meantime, Chief of Police Jesse Curry had come to Captain Fritz' office, and inquired about the delay in moving him out. And Captain Fritz informed that he was still talking to him.
Mr. HUBERT. Captain Fritz informed----
Mr. SORRELS. Informed Chief Curry----
Mr. HUBERT. That he was or you were?
Mr. SORRELS. That he was. And a very short time after that is when I had an opportunity to ask Oswald some questions. I showed Oswald the change of address card----
Mr. HUBERT. Let me ask you this: Was your interrogation of him cut off, as it were, by the transfer?
Mr. SORRELS. By the transfer?
Mr. HUBERT. Yes.
Mr. SORRELS. No.
Mr. HUBERT. Had you finished with him?
Mr. SORRELS. I had finished----
Mr. HUBERT. As to that point?
Mr. SORRELS. As to that point; yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. As a matter of fact, you would have had access to him, I think, at the county jail, anyhow, would you not?
Mr. SORRELS. I had certainly planned on having access to him, and I am sure I would have. As a matter of fact, I had in my mind to start talking to him that afternoon.
Mr. HUBERT. What I wanted to clarify is whether or not your effort to interrogate him was interrupted. But I gather that it was not.
Mr. SORRELS. No, I would say not. Possibly, had he remained there, I might have attempted to ask him more questions. But he was not giving out much information.
Mr. HUBERT. Well, now, during the whole time that Oswald was in custody

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of the Dallas Police Department, did you find that any obstacles or hindrances were put in your way of examining him?
Mr. SORRELS. No, sir; except had he been in our own custody, there would have been a chance to have questioned him without others being present, or so many others being present.
Mr. HUBERT. At the time that you were in Fritz' office, on November 24, did you hear any plans discussed for the transfer of Oswald?
Mr. SORRELS. No; I did not say that I heard anything about any plans. I do recall that Oswald requested to have some of his clothes brought down there, because his shirt that he had on when he was arrested had been taken from him, I think, for laboratory examination. And Captain Fritz sent and got some of his clothes, and he selected kind of a sweater-type----
Mr. HUBERT. But you did not hear the officers of the Dallas police force discussing the method of transportation and the security measures that they had planned and put into operation?
Mr. SORRELS. Yes; I did hear a part of it, I recall now. There was some suggestion about transporting him in an armored car. Captain Fritz objected to that because of--one reason that I recall was what effect it might have in his trial, that that might prejudice the prosecution by him being transported in an armored car, which is not of course ordinarily used in the transportation of prisoners in that area.
Another thing that I recall is that Captain Fritz thought that the armored car would be a bit cumbersome and it would not be able to maneuver as easily as a car. And it was his desire to take him in a police car with escorts.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you hear anyone suggest that the plan then proposed, and ultimately carried out in part, at least, should be changed so as to bypass the press, as it were?
Mr. SORRELS. No; I did not. At that time there was no way to bypass them, because they were out in the hall. As I had come to the building, I even noticed cameras down in the basement of the city hall there.
Mr. SMITH. Could I interrupt just a second, sir. I may be completely wrong about this, but wasn't there something about the time of transporting him?
Mr. SORRELS. Yes. As I understand it, some of the reporters had inquired of Chief Jesse Curry as to whether or not he was going to transport him to the county jail on the night of November 23.
Now, this is hearsay, that the reporters wanted to be relieved so they could get some sleep if he was not going to be transported that night--they would go home and get some rest.
Chief Curry himself told me that he had said something to this effect, "Go on home and get your sleep, there won't be anything doing before 10 o'clock tomorrow morning."
As I recall, I think the newspapers then published the fact that he would be moved at 10 o'clock in the morning, or words to that effect.
Mr. SMITH. I just wanted to get the full story, because I remembered him having mentioned something about this. I do not know whether it is important.
Mr. HUBERT. Well, in that connection, had you heard that the FBI had received an anonymous phone call from someone advising that an effort, by a group of men, would be made to kill Oswald?
Mr. SORRELS. I do not recall that I had heard any such report at that time. I did hear that there had been an anonymous call come into the police department that someone would try to kill him when they removed him, or words to that effect. But that, I believe, was subsequent to the time he was actually shot. I do not recall that morning of having heard anything about that. And I definitely did not hear anything about a group. I remembered something about it later on, but I never heard anything about it at that time.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you hear of any plans made as to the actual route that would be followed in transporting Oswald?
Mr. SORRELS. Not before Oswald was shot.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you know why, from anything you knew then, or have learned since, the cameramen and so forth were all congregated in the basement area?

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Mr. SORRELS. Would you read that question again?
Mr. HUBERT. What I am trying to get at is this: You testified a moment ago that when you came in you saw all the press people with their cameras and so forth in the basement area.
Mr. SORRELS. Not all of them. I said I saw some down there.
Mr. HUBERT. Which would indicate that they either had guessed or had somehow become aware that--that would indicate that they either had guessed or had somehow become aware that that would be a point on the route to be taken at which they could get pictures. And I was wondering if you had heard anything prior to that time about the route, or had you heard that these people had been informed of the route?
Mr. SORRELS. No; nothing about the route. The basement is used by the police generally. They have a passageway which comes from Main Street down into the basement, and then the exit continues on out to Commerce Street, and the police cars that bring prisoners in use the basement. In other words, they drive the car right down to the basement, and the actual receiving office, the receiving office for the jail is on the basement floor.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you recall ever having spoken to either Curry or some other member of the police department about the possibility of moving Oswald in a way other than that which was planned?
Mr. SORRELS. When I heard that they were supposed to take him out at 10 o'clock--that was the announcement and so forth on the radio and in the papers--I remarked to Captain Fritz that if I were he, I would not remove Oswald from the city hall or city jail to the county jail at an announced time; that I would take him out at 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning when there was no one around.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you know when you told that to Fritz?
Mr. SORRELS. That was on the Sunday morning, before he was removed.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you tell that to any other person?
Mr. SORRELS. No.
Mr. HUBERT. Was any other person present when you told that to Fritz?
Mr. SORRELS. No; not that I recall.
Mr. HUBERT. What caused you to give that advice to Captain Fritz?
Mr. SORRELS. The importance of the prisoner, to my mind, was such that in order to remove the opportunity for some crackpot or anyone who might feel inclined to try to kill the prisoner, if the removal was made more or less unannounced or in secret, that those opportunities would have been at least lessened to a great degree.
Captain Fritz said that Chief Curry did not want to--let's reverse that just a bit--that Chief Curry wanted to go along with the press and not try to put anything over on them; or words to that effect.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you gather from what Fritz told you that the reason why your suggestion was not acceptable was that Fritz at least thought that captain--that Chief Curry did not want to break his word, as it were, to the press?
Mr. SORRELS. I didn't consider it so much as breaking his word as I would that he did not want to tell them one thing, or in other words, move him out without the press being aware of the fact--let's put it that way. That was my impression.
Mr. HUBERT. What time was it, about, do you know, that you made that suggestion?
Mr. SORRELS. That was pretty close to 11:15 in the morning, just a short time before they got ready to move him.
Mr. HUBERT. You do not know, do you, whether he conveyed your thought to Chief Curry?
Mr. SORRELS. No; I do not. I doubt that he did, because Chief Curry had left Fritz' office at that time, as I recall it.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you remember about what time it was when the Oswald move began from Fritz' office?
Mr. SORRELS. It was shortly after 11:15 in the morning, as I recall it. In other words----
Mr. HUBERT. Did you go down with the party carrying him down?
Mr. SORRELS. No, sir; I did not. Inspector Kelley and I went to the office of Chief Batchelor, which is also on the third floor, and on the south side of the

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building, on the Commerce Street side, and we were observing the people across the street from the city hall, as apparently they had been moved over there by officers on duty down below. And we just saw several people over there that were apparently waiting for an opportunity to see them take the prisoner out.
Mr. HUBERT. When you arrived at Chief Batchelor's office, at the point you have just described, to wit, the windows looking out on Commerce Street, do you know whether Oswald had been shot?
Mr. SORRELS. No; I don't think so, because that was immediately--in other words, when they took Oswald out, I went right on down to the chief's office, that is right on the same floor. And we were there for a few minutes before we heard that he had been shot.
Mr. HUBERT. But the Oswald party left Fritz' office before you and Mr. Kelley did?
Mr. SORRELS. I am rather positive that he was taken out before I left, yes; because I remember about bringing the clothes in there, and Oswald selecting, I think, a sweater or something like that. I actually have no independent recollection of seeing him going through the door or anything like that. He could have been there when we walked out. But it is my impression that he was taken out and shortly thereafter Mr. Kelley and I went to Chief Batchelor's office.
Mr. HUBERT. Did that involve walking a distance on the same floor of about how many feet?
Mr. SORRELS. Oh, possibly a 100 feet, 110, something like that. Captain Fritz' office is not at the entirely opposite end of the building, but Chief Batchelor's office is. You go into the executive area there, and you cut over to the left-hand corner, and Chief Batchelor's office is in the corner.
Mr. HUBERT. How did you first learn that Ruby had shot Oswald?
Mr. SORRELS. One of the police officers that was on duty in the executive area there told us that Oswald had been shot in the basement--in the stomach, as I recall it.
Mr. HUBERT. You were still in Batchelor's office at the time you were told that?
Mr. SORRELS. I think we were right outside the office, in the area there. I do not believe we were actually in his office at that particular time. I think we had stepped outside there. And that I do not think was over, oh, I would say a maximum of possibly 10 minutes, from the time we left Captain Fritz' office to go to Chief Batehelor's office.
Mr. HUBERT. Prior to the time that this policeman advised you that Oswald had been shot, did you notice any commotion or anything to indicate something wrong going on on Commerce Street?
Mr. SORRELS. No, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Well, you were standing at the window looking down, as I understand it, on the scene on Commerce Street, waiting actually to see the procession go out. But this officer told you this at the entrance to Batchelor's office?
Mr. SORRELS. Yes. I was not at the window at that time.
Mr. HUBERT. You had moved away?
Mr. SORRELS. We had walked away from the window, I think, just killing time, I guess. And we were actually in the outside of Batchelor's office, but in that area there.
Mr. HUBERT. All right. What did you do?
Mr. SORRELS. I immediately rushed down to the basement.
Mr. HUBERT. How did you go--by what route?
Mr. SORRELS. I grabbed an elevator, as I recall it.
Mr. HUBERT. Public elevator or the jail elevator?
Mr. SORRELS. No; a public elevator--and got down to the basement floor, and I headed right into the jailer's office. And at that time Oswald was laying on the floor and someone was giving him artificial respiration.
Mr. HUBERT. By mechanical means?
Mr. SORRELS. No; by hand. I recall seeing his stomach was uncovered, his shirt was pulled up like that, and the man apparently was over him giving him artificial respiration by his hands.
I went to a telephone, which is in the jail office there, up against the wall, and

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called my headquarters office and told Deputy Chief Paterni that Oswald had been shot by a man named Jack Rubin--that is how I understood it at that time who operated a nightclub, and that was all the information I had at that time.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, Mr. Paterni was in Washington?
Mr. SORRELS. Yes.
Mr. HUBERT. That was a long-distance call?
Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you know what time the call was made, did you use a direct line?
Mr. SORRELS. No; I called it on the security phone, which we use in connection with matters pertaining to the protection of prisoners. In other words, the Signal Corps----
(Witness provided telephone number.)
Mr. HUBERT. And you can use that on any telephone?
Mr. SORRELS. Yes.
Mr. HURERT. Is that a security matter?
Mr. SORRELS. I beg your pardon?
Mr. HUBERT. Is that a security matter, that telephone number?
Mr. SORRELS. Yes--Signal Corps.
Mr. HUBERT. I think the record should show that the witness stated the number that was called, but that we are not going to have it as a part of the record because it is a security matter.
You, Mr. Reporter, will delete the number from the transcript.
What I was trying to get at is have you ascertained at what time that call was made?
Mr. SORRELS. No; I have not.
Mr. HUBERT. Would it be possible to do so?
Mr. SORRELS. I could not answer that question, because I do not know what records are kept.
Mr. HUBERT. Does it go as a long-distance call?
Mr. SORRELS. A long-distance call collect; yes.
Mr. HUBERT. Then the telephone company probably would have a record of it?
Mr. SORRELS. Possibly so. It is my understanding that at that time they were not actually making any record of calls--they were coming in so fast, the employees of the telephone company told me those calls--they put people through and were not concerned about time.
Mr. HUBERT. Was this done by direct dialing or through the operator?
Mr. SORRELS. Through the operator.
Mr. HUBERT. And it was a collect call?
Mr. SORRELS. Yes.
Mr. HUBERT. It would have to be charged to the government?
Mr. SORRELS. If it was recorded; yes, it would be, to that particular phone.
Mr. HUBERT. I wonder if you would be so kind as to undertake to ascertain for us if there exists a record on that point, because, as you know, we are interested in very narrow areas of time here.
Mr. SORRELS I would say this--that the time can be established within a matter of a very few minutes, because Oswald was still on the floor and had not been removed to the hospital at the time.
Mr. HUBERT. That is right.
But you see, I have estimates of time from other people, and I want to see how it conforms. And therefore, to tie it in, could you give us your estimate of how many minutes or parts of minutes elapsed between the time you made your call, you initiated it, and the time that Oswald actually moved out?
Mr. SORRELS. That I cannot tell you, because I was not there when he was moved out. I left then that area as soon as I made that call.
Mr. HUBERT. He was still in the area when you made the call?
Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.
The call went through very quickly. And I left that area then and went back to Captain Fritz' office, because I was interested in talking to the man who had shot Oswald as quickly as possible.

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Mr. HUBERT. Now, when you went down there to the jail office and saw Oswald, as you testified, and made the call, was Jack Ruby there?
Mr. SORRELS. I did not see him.
Mr. HUBERT. You did not?
Mr. SORRELS. No, sir.
Mr. HURERT. To your knowledge, he had already been removed?
Mr. SORRELS. That is correct; yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, how did you get up to Fritz' office?
Mr. SORRELS. I went back up the elevator, the regular public elevator, and went to his office and inquired of Captain Fritz, and I was informed that he was not there, that he had gone to the hospital. I then asked him where was Jack Rubin.
Mr. HUBERT. That is to say, you had been informed at that time that the last name of Jack Ruby was Rubin, R-u-b-i-n?
Mr. SORRELS. I still--as far as I knew, it was R-u-b-i-n, because that is the way I gave it. I asked him where he was, and they said he was on the fifth floor. And I said I would like to talk to him. And----
Mr. HUBERT. Who did you say that to?
Mr. SORRELS. I do not recall who it was--some of the detectives down there.
Mr. HUBERT. In Fritz' office?
Mr. SORRELS. In Captain Fritz' office; yes. And Officer Dean was instructed to take me up to where he was.
Mr. HUBERT. Who instructed Dean to do that?
Mr. SORRELS. The same officer I was talking to--I don't remember who it was, but someone apparently----
Mr. HUBERT. Did you know Dean prior to that time?
Mr. SORRELS. No; I cannot say that I did. So----
Mr. HUBERT. Where was Dean?
Mr. SORRELS. That was in the detective office, Captain Fritz----
Mr. HUBERT. What was he doing?
Mr. SORRELS. I don't know what he was doing.
Mr. HUBERT. In any case, the same officer to whom you made inquiry concerning where Captain Fritz was and where Ruby was, that officer directed Dean, who was in Fritz' office, to take you up?
Mr. SORRELS. That is right.
And we walked out then in the hallway to the jail elevator. Now, that is a different one from the one I came to Fritz' office in. And I was taken to the fifth floor, and there I saw Ruby, whom I later found out to be Ruby, standing there with, as I recall it, two uniformed police officers. And I introduced myself to him, showed him my credentials, and told him that I would like to ask him some questions.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, was this a cell, or what sort of a room was it?
Mr. SORRELS. It wasn't what you would call a cell, but the elevator--you had to open up a door with bars on it to get into the area there. And----
Mr. HUBERT. How large a room was that?
Mr. SORRELS. It wasn't very large, as I recall it.
Mr. HUBERT. Can you give us something by way of dimensions in feet?
Mr. SORRELS. I would say in width it was probably about, oh, 6 or 7 feet wide. Now, as to length, I would not be able to say exactly how long it was, because I was not interested in the size of the room or anything at that time, and I paid no attention to it.
Mr. HUBERT. Were there tables and furniture and chairs in it?
Mr. SORRELS. No; nothing.
Mr. HUBERT. Nothing at all?
Mr. SORRELS. No; nothing. He was standing there. He only had his shorts on. His clothes had been removed.
Mr. HUBERT. Did Dean go into that room with you?
Mr. SORRELS. Yes.
Mr. HUBERT. So that there were you and Dean and Ruby in the room?
Mr. SORRELS. Yes.
Mr. HUBERT. And you mentioned there were two other officers?
Mr. SORRELS. As I recall it, there were two uniformed police officers there.

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Mr. HUBERT. Do you know who they were?
Mr. SORRELS. No; I do not.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, to get it clear--I do not mean if you knew who they were at the time, but do you now know who they were?
Mr. SORRELS. No; I do not know who they are now.
Mr. HUBERT. And there were only those two?
Mr. SORRELS. There were possibly some other officers came in. I do not recall that they were there at the time we got there, but there might have been others came in. As I recall, there was somebody behind me. I wasn't interested in them. I was only interested in talking to this man as quickly as I could.
Mr. HUBERT. Before we get into the details, can you tell us how long this interview with Ruby lasted?
Mr. SORRELS. I would say possibly not over 5 to 7 minutes, not very long.
Mr. HUBERT. What brought it to an end?
Mr. SORRELS. I had gotten the information that I desired at that time, and was anxious to get it back into Washington, because I had been asked to get as much information as I could quickly, and get it back to them up there, something about his background, who he was and so forth.
Mr. HUBERT. So that during that interview, which lasted approximately 5 to 7 minutes, your thought is--you know that there was Dean and yourself and Ruby, and you also know that there were two other officers whose names you do not know even now, and you think that there might have been one or more others who came in?
Mr. SORRELS. Yes--in plainclothes. I don't recall any other uniformed officers there.
Mr. HUBERT. And you do not recall, I suppose, or do not know now the names of any of those other people who might have come in?
Mr. SORRELS. No; I could not tell you who they were at all.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, I think you have made a report of that interview, and a later one, and we will offer that in evidence a little later.
But I would like to ask you now if Ruby made any statement to your knowledge at that time, and that is the first interview you had with him, concerning whether he had been in the assembly room on the night of the 22d when Oswald was brought in so that the press could observe him?
Mr. SORRELS. Not at that time; no, sir. He did later.
Mr. HUBERT. Did he at that time, the first interview, indicate anything, or say anything which would indicate what his motive or reason for his act was?
Mr. SORRELS. Yes; and I might say that it was at that time that I found out his name was Ruby in place of Rubin, and he informed me his name had formerly been Rubinstein, and that he had had his name changed in Dallas.
I asked him--after I identified myself, I told him I would like to ask him some questions.
He said, "For newspapers or magazines?" I said, "No; for myself."
He appeared to be considering whether or not he was going to answer my questions, and I told him that I had just come from the third floor, and had been looking out of the window, and that I had seen Honest Joe, who is a Jewish merchant there, who operates a second-hand loan pawn shop, so to speak, specializing in tools, on Elm Street, and who is more or less known in the area because of the fact that he takes advantage of any opportunity to get free advertising. He at that time had an Edsel car, which is somewhat a rarity now, all painted up with "Honest Joe" on there. He wears jackets with "Honest Joe" on the back. He gets writeups in the paper, free advertising about different things he loans money on, like artificial limbs and things like that. And I had noticed Honest Joe across the street when I was looking out of Chief Batchelor's office.
So I remarked to Jack Ruby, I said, "I just saw Honest Joe across the street over there, and I know a number of Jewish merchants here that you know."
And Ruby said, "That is good enough for me. What is it you want to know?"
And I said these two words, "Jack---why?"
He said, "When this thing happened"--referring to the assassination, that he was in a newspaper office placing an ad for his business. That when he heard

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about the assassination, he had canceled his ad and had closed his business, and he had not done any business for 3 days. That he had been grieving about this thing. That on the Friday night he had gone to the synagogue and had heard a eulogy on the President. That his sister had recently been operated on, and that she has been hysterical. That when he saw that Mrs. Kennedy was going to have to appear for the trial, he thought to himself, why should she have to go through this ordeal for this no-good so-and-so.
Mr. HUBERT. Did he use any words or did he say "no-good so-and-so"?
Mr. SORRELS. He used the word "son-of-a-bitch," as I recall.
Mr. HUBERT. All right.
Mr. S0RRELS. That he had heard about the letter to little Caroline, as I recall he mentioned. That he had been to the Western Union office to send a telegram, and that he guessed he had worked himself into a state of insanity to where he had to do it. And to use his words after that, "I guess I just had to show the world that a Jew has guts."
I, of course, asked him when he was born. He told me in Chicago, March 25, 1911. That he operated the Carousel Club. And also a Vegas Club.
I asked him if anyone else was involved in this thing besides him, and he said that there was not.
I asked him if he knew Oswald before this thing happened, and he said he did not. He said that he had been a labor organizer years ago.
I asked him if he had ever been convicted of any offense or done any time, and he said no felony, that he had a JP release in 1954---in other words, he had been arrested but released by the JP in 1954.
I asked him what his father's name was, and he said his name was Joseph Rubenstein.
I asked him where his father was born, and he said Russia.
I asked him if his mother was living, and he said no, that she was deceased, and that she was born in Poland. That he was of the Jewish faith.
I asked him if he had an attorney, and he said he had Stanley Kaufman, a civil attorney, as his attorney. And I recall, I believe that is about--that about terminated the conversation at that time.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you not ask him why he had the gun with him?
Mr. SORRELS. Oh, yes; I did.
I asked him why he had that gun, and he said that he carried a gun because of the fact that he carried large quantities of money from his business, or from the club.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you recall whether he made any comment to you or in your hearing regarding the way he got into the basement area where he shot Oswald?
Mr. SORRELS. At that time, I do not. I do not recall asking him how he got in. I made no notes to that effect.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you remember him saying then anything about that he had intended to shoot Oswald and had formed that intent as early as Friday?
Mr. SORRELS. No; I did not.
Mr. HUBERT. He did not comment at all about his intent?
Mr. SORRELS. No; nothing except his response to my question as to "Jack, why?", and then his relating as I have told you there a moment ago. In other words, after I got----
Mr. HUBERT. Did he mention anything about he intended to shoot him three times?
Mr. SORRELS. No; I did not hear that statement.
Mr. HUBERT. In other words, the only comments that you heard him state which bear upon intent are those you have already made--that is to say, somebody had to do it, and also that he wanted to show the world that a Jew had guts?
Mr. SORRELS. No; I did not hear him say that somebody had to do it. I heard him say that he guessed he had worked himself into a state of insanity to where he had to do it, felt he had to do it.
Mr. HUBERT. But he did make the report saying he felt he had to show the world that a Jew had guts?
Mr. SORRELS. Yes; that was very plain.

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Mr. HUBERT. Now, when you left, who left with you?
Mr. SORRELS. As I recall, I went by myself, because when I got the information about his background, as I related here, and got his correct name and the information that he was operating alone on this thing, that no one else was involved with him, and he did not know Oswald, I then left in order to telephone that information to my headquarters in Washington.
Mr. HUBERT. Can you state positively, therefore, to us that when you left Dean was in the room?
Mr. SORRELS. I think he must have been, because, as I recall it, I went down on the elevator by myself with the elevator operator.
Mr. HUBERT. And Dean was in the room at all times you were talking to him?
Mr. SORRELS. As far as I know.
Mr. HUBERT. He did not leave with you?
Mr. SORRELS. No, sir; he did not.
Mr. HUBERT. The two other officers who were in uniform I think you said, who were in the room at first, they were there all the time too?
Mr. SORRELS. As far as I know; yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. They did not leave when you left?
Mr. SORRELS. No, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. And if anybody else came in afterwards, they did not leave when you left?
Mr. SORRELS. Not that I recall.
As I recall it, I think I went down alone, just the elevator operator and myself. Of course he had my sidearm. I had to get my sidearm from him. If there was anyone else there, I didn't know.
Mr. HUBERT. You had to get your sidearm----
Mr. SORRELS. From the elevator operator.
In other words, you are not permitted to carry a gun inside the jail.
Mr. HUBERT. You saw him again later that day?
Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir; I did.
Mr. HUBERT. Can you tell us what time, under what circumstances, where, who was present, and so forth?
Mr. SORRELS. I do not remember just exactly the time, but it was some time after that when Jack Ruby was brought to Captain Fritz' office, and Captain Fritz questioned him. I was present at that time and heard Captain Fritz interrogate him and made some notes and wrote them up. And I also at that time asked him a few questions myself, on some points I wanted to clarify.
Mr. HUBERT. Were you there from the beginning of the interview between Ruby and Fritz, or did you arrive when it was already going on?
Mr. SORRELS. No; I was there at the beginning, because I heard Captain Fritz tell him of course he did not have to make a statement and so on and so forth, and Ruby said, "Well, I will answer your questions, but some of them I may not want to answer, and I will tell you so."
Mr. HUBERT. Were you introduced to him?
Mr. SORRELS. No; I had talked to him up in the jail there.
Mr. HUBERT. Were you present during the entire interview?
Mr. SORRELS. As I recall it, I was, on that one interview.
Mr. HUBERT. Can you tell us who else was present?
Mr. SORRELS. No; I do not recall who else was there.
As I recall, there was other officers there in the room with Captain Fritz, but I do not recall who.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, you say you had made notes as Captain Fritz was interrogating him. Do you have those notes?
Mr. SORRELS. Yes; I have the notes here.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you have notes also of the first interview?
Mr. SORRELS. Yes. I read some of the stuff awhile ago from those notes.
Mr. HUBERT. Is there any reason of security or otherwise why we could not get photostats of them for the record?
Mr. SORRELS. Not that I know of.
They may not mean much to anyone else, because it is just something jotted down to refresh my memory. They are not in very good order, or anything like that. And I don't know whether it would mean too much to anyone else.

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As far as I know----
Mr. HUBERT. You have no objections?
Mr. SORRELS. No.
Mr. HUBERT. I take it those notes were made contemporaneously with the interviews, as they went on?
Mr. SORRELS. The ones of Ruby were; yes.
Now, there is other stuff in here that had nothing to do with that.
Mr. HUBERT. Well, we are interested of course only in the Ruby ones. But you testified a little while ago, and you seemed to be referring to notes, about what Ruby said, and what happened and so forth in the first interview, and then also in the second interview.
The notes that you referred to on both occasions were made contemporaneously with the interview. That is, they were not made at a later date?
Mr. SORRELS. That is correct.
Now, there is other stuff in this notebook. Like I went up to the identification bureau to check on his record and so forth, and got his detailed description, and his fingerprint classification--that had nothing to do with the interview.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I think we ought to take that to show what the practice was.
Mr. HUBERT. If you do not mind, we will have them photostated, and after we get the photostats, we will get them an identification number.
Suppose you tell us, then, what occurred at the second interview?
Mr. SORRELS. Continuing with what I started out with a moment ago there, he incidentally, I have noted here on this page where I made these notations "3:15 p.m.," I assume that is possibly the time this interrogation took place. I do have the date, "11-24- 63."
Mr. HUBERT. The beginning of the notes relating to the interview in Captain Fritz' office?
Mr. SORRELS. That is right.
Mr. HUBERT. It is your testimony now it would be your custom, as I understand it, to put the time at the beginning of the notes.
Mr. SORRELS. Ordinarily we do. In this other one, I did not put the time.
Mr. HUBERT. All right.
Mr. SORRELS. He gave his name as Jack Leon Ruby. He was asked about who his attorneys were, and he said that he was going to get Tom Howard and possibly Fred Brunner, and Stanley Kaufman, a civil attorney, and Jim Arnton.
In other words, he was going to consider those and C. A. Droby.
He said that his name was changed in Dallas.
Now, I might put in here as an explanation that these are in response to questions that Captain Fritz was asking him. That he had this gun for 2 or 3 years. That George Senator was a roommate. That he came in the basement--the word "basement" is not shown here he came in off Main Street, off of the ramp. That he felt that Oswald was a Red, and that he was alone on this assassination. That he saw Oswald in the showup room, or a similar room. That he knew who he was going for. That he did not want to be a martyr. That he had built up--was a buildup of grievance. That he had closed both clubs.
And I have the notation here "Vegas, Oaklawn, 3508, Carousel, 1312 1/2 Commerce." That he never saw the man before this thing took place, referring to the time that he was down at the police station, or city hall, rather. That he had been in the mail-order business. That he had been a labor organizer. That he was fond of the police department.
And when Police Officer Slick had been killed--that is all I have in the notes, but he said that he grieved about that.
That he had been around Saturday night, that people were laughing, no one was in mourning. That he had seen a eulogy on TV. That he saw the President's brother, Bobby, on TV. That he guessed that there was created a moment of insanity. That he read about the letter that someone sent to little Caroline. That he knows the police department is wonderful. That his heart was with the police department. That he had hoped that if ever there was an opportunity--that he had hoped there was an opportunity for him to participate in a police battle, and he could be a part of it, meaning on the side the police.

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That his mother and dad were separated for 25 years. That he owes Uncle Sam a big piece of money. That he has love for the city of Dallas--for the city--he did not say Dallas. That his sister was operated on recently, she was hysterical about the President. That he went to the synagogue Friday night, heard a eulogy. And he had been grieving from that time on. That he went over to where the President was shot.
He wanted Captain Fritz to not hate him for what he had done. That when he was with the union, that one of his dear friends was killed, he came to the place where it happened. Leon Cook was the man. That Ruby's mother told him to leave. That he was in the union Scrap Iron and Junk Dealers Association. That a man by the name of Jim Martin killed Cook. That Martin was political and had affiliations and got out of it.
That his roommate sold postcards. That his politics were Democratic, but he voted for the man.
That Sammy Ruby, a brother, who services washaterias. Another brother, Earl Ruby, in Detroit, who operated a cleaning plant. Another brother, Hyman Rubenstein, in Chicago, a salesman.
That he had also sold twist boards. That he would not think of committing a felony. That Tom O'Grady, a Catholic, formerly with the police department, had called him, that he had called Sims, who is one of the members of the police department, and wanted to bring sandwiches for them, because he knew they were having a tough time, and that Sims said that it wasn't needed.
That he tried to locate--anyway, it was some of the TV people to give them to. And that is when he went to the showup room. And that is the first time that he had even seen anyone like that, referring to Oswald.
That he had seen Henry, meaning Henry Wade, the district attorney, talking to someone. That KLIF, the radio station there, had been good to him. No one else was involved.
That is my notes--"no one else involved"--meaning there was no one else involved with him, Ruby, in connection with the shooting.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, was this a sort of monologue on his part, or response to questions?
Mr. SORRELS. No; as I said a moment ago, that was in response to questions.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, thus far have you covered only the part of the interview which was conducted by Fritz, or was some of that the result of your questioning?
Mr. SORRELS. About the only thing that I recall questioning him about was possibly the correct address on the night club.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you know if anyone asked him how he got in? I think perhaps you have testified to that already.
Mr. SORRELS. Yes, Captain Fritz asked him that.
Mr. HUBERT. And he said he came in through the ramp, I believe you said.
Mr. SORRELS. That is right.
Mr. HUBERT. Did he state at any time during that interview about any intent to kill Oswald, to shoot him three times, and he is glad he was dead?
Mr. SORRELS. I do not recall that.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, I am going to show you a document which is actually a photostatic copy, or Xerox copy, of Commission Document 354, consisting of four pages. I am going to mark that document for identification as follows, to wit, "Deposition of Forrest Sorrels, Washington, D.C., May 6, 1964," and I am signing my name to that, all of which is on the right margin of the first page. I am placing my initials in the lower right-hand corner of the second, third, and fourth pages. I ask you if you can identify this document, or rather, the photostatic copy? Would you state what it is?
Mr. SORRELS. This is a photocopy of a memorandum report titled "Assassination of President Kennedy," the second line of that caption, "Jack Leon Ruby--slayer of Lee Harvey Oswald, charged with murder of President Kennedy." Submitted by me, Forrest V. Sorrels, on February 3, 1964. And it consists of three full pages and a portion of--about a fifth of the fourth page.
Mr. HUBERT. I think your signature, or, rather, a photostatic copy of your signature is on the front.
Mr. SORRELS. That is correct--on the front.

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Mr. HUBERT. That is the report that you submitted to your superiors?
Mr. SORRELS. In Washington.
Mr. HUBERT. Which ultimately, of course, they sent. The report covers the events of November 24, is that right?
Mr. SORRELS. That is right.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you know why it was filed on February 3?
Mr. SORRELS. Why it was written on February 3? I was instructed by Inspector Kelley to write up a memorandum on the interview that I had with Jack Ruby, shortly after Oswald was shot by Ruby, and also the interview that was had with Captain Fritz and Ruby at which I was present on the same date.
Mr. HUBERT. When did you receive those instructions?
Mr. SORRELS. I cannot say exactly when I received them--probably within a day or two, or it could have been longer, because due to the press of other work and things arising out of the assassination, and its duties, the other duties, it was not written as soon as it should have been. And I may have been instructed some time before that to--as quick as I could to get the memorandum prepared.
Mr. HUBERT. What I mean is that normally you would write such a report as this in any case?
Mr. SORRELS. Yes, that is true.
Mr. HUBERT. And normally it would be written sooner----
Mr. SORRELS. Sooner, that is right.
Mr. HUBERT. Than 2 months or so afterwards?
Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. That is what I am asking--if you can tell us what was the cause of the delay.
Mr. SORRELS. Well, it is just the fact that we were burdened with all the additional work and things brought about by this assassination and investigation and so forth. I guess you could term it, possibly, negligence on my part for not just taking time off and doing it. That is about the only explanation I can give for that. It was not any willful intent to not write it or anything to that effect.
Mr. HUBERT. There is no suggestion as to that.
Mr. SORRELS. I know. But that is just as a matter of explanation.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you think it was written on that date because Mr. Kelley told you shortly before that date, to wit, February 3, that you should write it, or is it your impression that Mr. Kelley had told you long before it was written to write it?
Mr. SORRELS. There is a possibility that he may have told me before. I don't recall it specifically. But I do know that Inspector Kelley had instructed me to write up the report.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you recall having a conversation with Mr. Burt Griffin, the gentleman who is in the office now, concerning what you knew about what Ruby had said in your interviews with him?
Mr. SORRELS. Yes; I do. And that refreshed my memory a bit, because I recall that Inspector Kelley, after I had talked to Mr. Griffin on the telephone--Inspector Kelley told me to get it written up, get it in writing, about the interview, and get it in. I remember that now, since you mention it.
Mr. HUBERT. So that actually the report was written because Inspector Kelley instructed you to do so, and as you recall it he did so because of the conversation with Mr. Griffin?
Mr. SORRELS. I would surmise that, because, as I recall it now, either right after I got through talking to Mr. Griffin or shortly thereafter, Mr. Kelley did instruct me to get the interview, as I recall it, in a report, and get it in to him.
Mr. HUBERT. But normally I think you said this report would have been written anyhow, without any suggestion by Mr. Kelley or anybody else?
Mr. SORRELS. Yes; that is right.
Mr. HUBERT. And it was your intent to write it, you say, but you didn't get around to it?
Mr. SORRELS. That is about the best explanation I know to make on it.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, do you recall a conversation with Chief Curry with respect to what you knew that Ruby had said?
Perhaps I can identify the conversation a bit more by saying to you that it

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had to do with a suggestion by you as to what the witnesses who were members of the police department might be called in the prosecution.
Mr. SORRELS. Oh, yes; I remember that.
Mr. HUBERT. Can you tell us, first of all, when it was?
Mr. SORRELS. As I recall, it was after the trial of Ruby had started, or along about the time it was beginning to start. I contacted Chief Curry and told him----
Mr. HUBERT. Is this by phone, or was it by personal interview?
Mr. SORRELS. No; as I recall it was by phone that there were two uniformed police officers that were present when I talked to Ruby on the fifth floor of the city jail on the morning of November 24, and that I had not warned Ruby of his constitutional rights and did not know whether or not the statement that he had made to me would be admissible in a trial in the event that the district attorney wanted to use it.
But----
Mr. HUBERT. Had you been at that time consulted by the district attorney with reference to your being a possible witness?
Mr. SORRELS. I do not recall that I had.
Now, here is something that will establish that. The district attorney, Henry Wade, came to Washington--I don't know whether it was in connection with talking to the Commission or what--but I saw him out at the airport, and he said to me----
Mr. HUBERT. What airport?
Mr. SORRELS. This was before the trial--Love Field, in Dallas.
He was Coming to Washington. And he said to me, "I want to talk to you when I get back about this case."
And I said, "All right."
And I did not hear anything more from Mr. Wade until the trial was actually in progress. He asked me to come to his office, which I did.
Mr. HUBERT. That is Wade?
Mr. SORRELS. That is Henry Wade; yes, sir, the State district attorney that prosecuted Ruby for the murder of Oswald.
And, at that time, I related to him the conversation I had had with Ruby.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you relate to him in that interview approximately what you have told us today about your interviews with Ruby?
Mr. SORRELS. Only the one up in the jail--I was talking about that. I didn't go into detail about this one where Captain Fritz was interviewing him. That was only there at the jail.
Mr. HUBERT. Is there any reason why one was talked about and not the other?
Mr. SORRELS. No; no particular reason, excepting that I just assumed that Captain Fritz would be the one if there was any testimony as to the second interview--would be the one to testify in that case.
Mr. HUBERT. Did Wade know that you were present at both?
Mr. SORRELS. I would not say positive, but it seems to me that it was mentioned that I was present when we talked, but I am not positive on that.
Mr. HUBERT. Did this interview with Wade occur before or after the telephone conversation with Curry?
Mr. SORRELS. No; that was afterwards. That was after the trial started.
Mr. HUBERT. Well, now, which was afterwards?
Mr. SORRELS. The interview with Mr. Wade.
Mr. HUBERT. That came after the telephone conversation with Curry?
Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Did Mr. Wade consider using you as a witness?
Mr. SORRELS. He said if he needed me, he would let me know--in other words, would get in touch with me.
He said, "Now, the defense may subpoena you on this thing."
And defense attorney--one of them was in on that case--did call me on the telephone. They wanted me to meet with either Tonahill or Belli, or maybe both of them. And I told them I was extremely busy.
He said, "How about having dinner with us?"

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I said, "No; I don't even have time to eat big dinners, I just grab a sandwich," because I didn't want to have dinner with them.
They called me a second time, because there had been a delay from the time they thought they were going to call me--they called me the second time and that is when they said something about having dinner with them later, and I said, no; I didn't have time.
And at that time I told them I didn't think I could do them any good. I said I can tell you in a short time what I could testify to.
He said, "Over the phone?"
I said, "Yes."
So I told them about the interview with Ruby in the jail up in the jailhouse. I did not go into detail about the other, because I did not consider that my interview.
Mr. HUBERT. You are talking there about the second interview?
Mr. SORRELS. Yes.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you mention you had been present?
Mr. SORRELS. I do not recall that I did.
Mr. HUBERT. Coming back to the Curry matter, what was your motivation in calling Curry?
Mr. SORELLS. I felt that the testimony or the statements, rather, made by Ruby right after he had shot Oswald would be of benefit to the district attorney in the prosecution of this case, the statements that he made as to the fact that he had worked himself into a state of insanity, also the statement that he guessed he had to show the world that a Jew had guts. And I also recall that during the questioning by Captain Fritz during the interview there that Ruby had made the remark, "Well, I would make a good actor, wouldn't I?" to Captain Fritz. And I felt that possibly I could not testify, because of the fact that I had not warned Ruby of his constitutional rights.
I thought of that before I talked to him, but the part that I was interested in, that is, determining whether or not anyone else was involved with him, or whether or not he knew Oswald, I didn't consider--I mean I considered that if I warned him of his constitutional rights on that particular angle, that he might not even tell me that, and that is the reason I did not warn him of his constitutional rights, because I felt it was of paramount interest to our Service to determine whether or not others were involved in this thing besides Ruby, and of paramount interest to determine whether or not Oswald and Ruby knew each other, or had any connection.
Mr. HUBERT. Is it a custom, rule, or regulation of your Service that you must warn a person of his constitutional rights before you can question him?
Mr. SORRELS. On our investigations; yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. And is that a custom, or is it actually a published regulation?
Mr. SORRELS. Well, we know that we are going to get in serious trouble in court if we don't do it, because that is always--the question is always asked, especially by a defense attorney, and so forth. And we know that we are supposed to do it. I try to adhere to it as much as I possibly can.
Mr. HUBERT. What I am trying to determine is whether that is your only personal----
Mr. SORRELS. Oh, no.
Mr. HUBERT. Way of doing things, or if it is an established policy of the Service, and if so, how is it established?
Mr. SORRELS. I think it is possibly a bit of both, because it is always my practice to tell these people that we cannot promise them anything--I am talking about the people we handle for prosecution in our investigations. And that, of course, they don't have to tell us anything if they don't want to. We make that known--because if we do not we know if there is a trial in a case, that that question is going to be asked, and we know that under our laws that a person is supposed to be warned of his constitutional rights before he is questioned.
Mr. HUBERT. Is that your version of what the law is?
Mr. SORRELS. Yes.
Mr. HUBERT. Coming back to the policy matter, I don't expect you to be able

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to quote it to me now, but you have the impression there is something in writing in some manual of standard operations, instructions, that requires that you warn a person of his constitutional rights?
Mr. SORRELS. I just cannot answer that question, because I just can't recall if there is a specific instruction of that particular thing or not.
But I do know that if we do not warn them of their constitutional rights, that we are--we will be in serious trouble in the trial of a case because if the question is asked, "Did you warn this man of his constitutional rights?" we have to tell the truth, and if we say "No, it wasn't," we would be jeopardizing our case.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, at the time you called Curry, you had not spoken to Wade?
Mr. SORRELS. Not about the actual interview with Ruby at that time.
Mr. HUBERT. At the time you talked to Curry, was that before or after you saw Wade at Love Field?
Mr. SORRELS. I can't say for sure, but I think it was probably afterwards.
Mr. HUBERT. What I am trying to get at is what motivated your call to him.
Mr. SORRELS. I probably didn't make myself plain.
What motivated my call to him was that I figured that if I was called to Mr. Wade's office to explain this thing to him, that the fact that I had not warned Ruby when I approached him to get this information--that I had not warned him of his constitutional rights, that I would not--it would not be good testimony. And my thought is that the two men who were the two uniformed officers there, who were just standing by and had nothing to do with the questions and so forth, who heard what was said, they might be able to testify to that effect.
Mr. HUBERT. So you wanted to get that information to someone in authority?
Mr. SORRELS. That is right.
Mr. HUBERT. And the information was twofold--that you knew there was someone who could testify as to what Ruby had said, because you had heard Ruby say it in the presence of other people?
Mr. SORRELS. That is right.
Mr. HUBERT. And, secondly, you were doubtful as to whether your testimony as such would be valuable?
Mr. SORRELS. That is right.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you know why you conveyed that information to Curry instead of Wade?
Mr. SORRELS. Because I did not know the names of the two police officers that were there. Two uniformed men.
Mr. HUBERT. Well, was it your thought, then, if you advised Curry he would get the names of the men, and then convey it to Wade? I am trying to get what your motivation was.
Mr. SORRELS. Well, that is all I can recall as to the motivation. In other words, I don't know that I thought that he would convey the information to Wade or not. I just cannot recall whether I had that in mind or not. But I did have in mind that possibly these two fellows, these two uniformed police officers, might be able to testify as to what Ruby said there when I would not be able to do so, because of the fact I had not warned him.
Mr. HUBERT. And this conversation with Curry was in between the time you saw Wade at Love Field and the time you had the interview with him when he came back from Washington?
Mr. SORRELS. As I recall it, it was. I won't be positive about that.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, you told Wade, I think you said, the same thing, about your doubts as to your qualifications.
Mr. SORRELS. I believe that I did, if I recall it correctly, because I think when I was talking to Wade in his office, that that was mentioned.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you make any memo of the conversation you had with Curry?
Mr. SORRELS. No, sir; I did not.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you make any memo of the interview you had with Wade?
Mr. SORRELS. No, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. What did Curry say to you when you told him this information?
Mr. SORRELS. As I recall it, I think he said that he could possibly find out. It

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seemed to me like I talked to Chief Batchelor about that, also. I am not positive. But, anyway, I figured they would have a way of knowing who it was that was there, and so forth, at that time.
Mr. HUBERT. Is there anyway you could fix for us more definitely the dates of these three occurrences--your meeting with Wade at Love Field, your telephone conversation with Curry, and your interview with Wade?
Mr. SORRELS. I think that I can on the one at Love Field, because, as I recall it, Miss Lynda Johnson was en route to Washington, D.C., and I went to Love Field to be there at the time they arrived in the event that they might need a car or something. I can establish that--February 16, 1964.
Mr. HUBERT. You mean you don't know it now, but you could establish it?
Mr. SORRELS. No; I could establish it.
Mr. HUBERT. I wonder if you would undertake to establish that for us.
Mr. SORRELS. Yes; I would.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, you think there is no other collateral way to establish the dates of the other matters?
Mr. SORRELS. I can--I think I can pretty well establish it. I will tell you why. At the time that I was in Wade's office, and during the course of the time that I talked to him, this officer Dean came into Mr. Wade's office and Mr. Wade asked me about if I was present when Ruby said such and such things--I don't recall what it was now--I think about that he had been thinking for 2 or 3 days about killing this fellow, or words to that effect, and I told him I was not. And it was right after that that Dean testified in that case. And I think I can establish about pretty close to what day it was. He either testified that day or the following day, as I recall it.
Mr. HUBERT. What interval of time would have elapsed between your meeting Wade at the airport and the date of the interview?
Mr. SORRELS. Oh, I think that would have been probably--it is just hard to estimate the time, but it was before the trial of Ruby had ever even begun. It would just be a guess on my part, but I would say it was probably maybe 2 or 3 weeks, or maybe even more.
Mr. HUBERT. Well, can you fix for us--put it this way: Can you fix for us whether the Curry conversation was closer to the time you met Wade at Love Field than it was to the time you interviewed Wade, or Wade interviewed you?
Mr. SORRELS. I just don't believe I can. It seems to me like it was shortly after I had seen Mr. Wade. I may be wrong about that. But I know the thought occurred to me, well, if I am going to be called down on that thing, I don't think they are going to be able to accept my testimony, because of the fact that Ruby wasn't warned. And so it was that time that I thought about maybe getting the names of these other two officers who could possibly remember the conversation, and they were standbys and were not the ones actually in the questioning.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you remember telling Mr. Griffin here that you would call the Dallas Police Department--I think that was in a telephone conversation he had with you--to find out the names of the people?
Mr. SORRELS. It seems that I did mention to Mr. Griffin, when he was talking to me on the phone, that there were others present, and that I could possibly find out their names, and it seems to me that Mr. Griffin said something about, "Well, no; don't do that," or "It is not necessary."
Mr. HUBERT. Well, let me ask you this: Would that have been before you called Curry, or afterwards?
Mr. SORRELS. Let me see now. I think that would have been before.
Mr. HUBERT. Well, perhaps it is this. Perhaps it was that when you had a personal conversation with Mr. Griffin in Dallas that you told him that you had made a call to ascertain the names of these people.
Mr. SORRELS. It could have been.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you make such a call?
Mr. SORRELS. Did I?
Mr. HUBERT. Yes.
Mr. SORRELS. I made a call. I am not sure it was to Chief Curry. It seems to me I remember talking to Chief Batchelor on that. Now, I may have mentioned

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it to Chief Curry, too. But it seems to me like I remember talking to Chief Batchelor.
Mr. HUBERT. About the existence of some officers?
Mr. SORRELS. To find out who the uniformed officers were who were there.
Mr. HUBERT. Well, now, would that conversation with Chief Batchelor be before the Curry conversation or afterwards?
Mr. SORRELS. I don't recall that I made that conversation to both of them or not. Now, I am just not positive about that. But I do recall having made that call for the specific purpose of getting somebody that was there, those two uniformed officers, that could have heard that conversation, that could have testified in the case down there.
Mr. HUBERT. Is it possible that that aspect of the matter was part of the call to Curry?
Mr. SORRELS. I just don't remember--I just don't remember. But I know that I did talk to either Curry or Chief Batchelor, and I am inclined to think it was Chief Batchelor. Now, when you mentioned awhile ago about the call to Curry, I, of course, said "yes" on that, because I was thinking about the call. But since thinking about it, I am not sure that it was Chief Curry that I talked to at all about that particular angle. But I do know that I talked to Chief Batchelor about it. I know that.
Mr. HUBERT. Well, let's see if we can clarify it. There is no doubt about it that there was one telephone call made to a high police official.
Mr. SORRELS. That is what I recall.
Mr. HUBERT. You are definite that one call was made to Batchelor.
Mr. SORRELS. If my memory serves me right, it seems that I did talk to Batchelor.
Now, whether I talked to Chief Curry on that particular thing or not, I am not too positive.
Mr. HUBERT. So that the matter stands that you are not certain that there was the second telephone call with Curry at all?
Mr. SORRELS. No; I don't----
Mr. HUBERT. Well, would you have covered with Batchelor the material that we have talked about that you say you did cover with Curry?
Mr. SORRELS. Now, what material is that?
Mr. HUBERT. Well, such as that you were doubtful about your ability to testify, and so forth.
Mr. SORRELS. Not necessarily. In other words, if it was Batchelor that I called, then I would have, I think, have explained it to him. If it had been Curry I called, I would explain it to him--as to why I was wanting these names, or given that information to them.
Mr. HUBERT. What I am trying to get at, you see, is whether or not there were two calls.
Mr. SORRELS. I don't recall that there were two calls. I don't.
Mr. HUBERT. And you are positive you spoke to Batchelor?
Mr. SORRELS. It seems that I remember talking to Chief Batchelor about it, because it seems that I can remember that he said, "I am sure that we can find out that information," or words to that effect.
Mr. HUBERT. Well, if there was only one call--that is to say, if you are doubtful about two, and you do remember definitely Batchelor, then the one call would have to be Batchelor, would it not?
Mr. SORRELS. That is correct; yes.
Mr. SMITH. I think there is a lack of meeting of the minds here.
Mr. HUBERT. Would you try to help me out? I would appreciate it.
Mr. SMITH. Let me see if I can clarify this. Was there definitely a conversation with Curry about whether you would be able to testify because of your failure to warn Ruby of his constitutional rights?
Mr. SORRELS. I just cannot say positively that there was. I do know that I made a phone call for the specific purpose of informing them of the fact that these two uniformed police officers were there and could have heard the conversation that I had with Ruby, and as my memory serves me it seems that was Chief Batchelor. Now, I may have had conversations with Chief Curry. We have talked about this thing from many, many different angles from time to time.

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Mr. SMITH. Let me ask it a different way.
Was there one call to obtain the names of the men, uniformed policemen, who were in the room when you interrogated Ruby, and a second call concerning the question of whether you could testify, or were these two subjects covered in one telephone conversation?
Mr. SORRELS. No; as I recall it, there was only one conversation on it at that time.
Mr. SMITH. All right. And you don't know, then, for sure, whether it was to Chief Batchelor or to Chief Curry?
Mr. SORRELS. I would say that, if my memory serves me right, it seems to me like it was Chief Batchelor. There were many, many conversations about this case from many angles. But I know I was concerned when Henry Wade indicated I was going to be called as a witness down there, because I felt that they should know that, and I think as I recall it when he talked to me I told him about those two uniformed officers being there.
Mr. HUBERT. Well, whoever you talked to, did that person, whether it was Curry or Batchelor, indicate that he was not aware of the information you were giving him?
Mr. SORRELS. Now, what information?
Mr. HUBERT. About the statements made by Ruby. And that you had been present.
Mr. SORRELS. No; I don't think so.
Mr. HUBERT. You have already adverted to the telephone call that you had from Mr. Griffin.
Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you make the telephone call to Curry or Batchelor as a result of the conversation you had with Mr. Griffin?
Mr. SORRELS. No.
Mr. HUBERT. That was independent? You think it was before?
Mr. SORRELS. No; I don't think it was before, because as I recall it, this conversation with Mr. Griffin was quite some time before.
Mr. HUBERT. Mr. Sorrels, I call your attention to the fact that on the exhibit which has been identified as Commission Document 354, as to which you have already testified, there is no mention of the names of the officers who were present, and that is dated February 3, 1964. Does that help you to recollect whether you then got interested in who those people were and called Batchelor or Curry, or both?
Mr. SORRELS. It probably brought it to my mind that there were other people present there, and I think I so informed Mr. Griffin on the telephone. But that is not what prompted me to make the call about the two uniformed officers, because that had no bearing on what I told Mr. Griffin. What he was asking me over the telephone is what I had heard Ruby say. And I told him what I had heard Ruby say. And he had asked me about certain things that I did not recall hearing Ruby say, and I told him so at the time. And when I was in District Attorney Wade's office, the question was asked of me by Mr. Wade as to whether or not certain statements alleged to have been made by Ruby were made to Officer Dean in my presence, and I told him I did not hear anything like that.
Mr. HUBERT. Well, perhaps another approach would be this: You were interested or became interested sometime in finding out the names of these people. Isn't that a fact?
Mr. SORRELS. Yes; but only for that particular purpose.
Mr. HUBERT. And you also wanted to convey the information that you were doubtful whether you would qualify, as you put it, as a witness, because you had failed to warn. And that that thought came into your mind after Wade indicated that you might be a witness.
Mr. SORRELS. That is as I recall it.
Mr. HUBERT. And that, therefore, you called someone. Now, were those two things in the same conversation?
Mr. SORRELS. You mean about----
Mr. HUBERT. The inquiry as to the names, who these people were, and to

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convey the information that you were worried about your own qualifications if you should be considered.
Mr. SORRELS. That is right.
Mr. HUBERT. You think there were two conversations?
Mr. SORRELS. No.
Mr. HUBERT. Just one?
Mr. SORRELS. As far as I know there would be one. Because that is the only interest I had. As I recall it, I told Mr. Griffin over the telephone that there were others present, and I could possibly find out who they were, and for that purpose that he was trying to bring out on the telephone conversation, and as I recall it he told me, "No; don't do that."
Mr. HUBERT. Did you find out who the two people were?
Mr. SORRELS. No; I could not tell you to this day who they are.
Mr. HUBERT. In other words, whoever you spoke to, Batchelor or Curry, who said they would let you know----
Mr. SORRELS. No; I don't think it was my purpose in finding out who they were for my own benefit. That wasn't the point at all. It was my thought that they should have information for the district attorney--period.
Mr. HUBERT. In other words, you were not interested in knowing who they were yourself? You wanted them to know of the fact that there were two officers there?
Mr. SORRELS. That is right.
Mr. HUBERT. And that you were worried about your own qualifications?
Mr. SORRELS. That is right.
Mr. HUBERT. Can you tell us approximately the lapse of time, if you can remember it, between your conversation with Mr. Griffin and your conversation with either Chief Batchelor or Chief Curry that you have been speaking of?
Mr. SORRELS. Well, I would say it was quite some time afterwards, because this conversation--I don't remember the date I had it with Mr. Griffin, but it was prior to the writing of this memorandum. And it was quite some time after that that the trial ever started. And when Mr. Wade saw me at the airport and said, "I want to see you and talk to you about this case," the trial, of course, had not started at that time. So it was quite some time afterwards.
Mr. HUBERT. Well, what did Curry or Batchelor, whoever it was, tell you when you told him of this?
Mr. SORRELS. As I recall it, they said they could get the information. That is all that I recall that they said.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you remember when speaking to Wade at the interview whether you adverted to the conversation you had had over the telephone with either Batchelor or Wade, or possibly both?
Mr. SORRELS. No; I don't recall that that was mentioned.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you have any other conversation with any officers in the police department? I mean about this aspect that we are talking about now?
Mr. SORRELS. I saw Captain Fritz at the district attorney's office the day that I was down there and talked to him, and I cannot recall about whether or not there was a conversation with him about who was present at that time or not, because I remember discussing with Captain Fritz at that time that I didn't think my testimony would be much benefit to the prosecution on that, or if it would be admissible because of the fact I had not warned Ruby of his constitutional rights.
Mr. HUBERT. When was that conversation?
Mr. SORRELS. That was the same time I was talking to Mr. Wade at his office. This is when the trial of Ruby was actually in progress.
Mr. HUBERT. Was Fritz in the office?
Mr. SORRELS. He was in and out of there. He had walked in and walked out. And I may have mentioned to him that--the fact that there was other officers there besides Dean and myself. And I told Mr. Wade in Dean's presence that certain things that Mr. Wade had asked me about, about Ruby saying that he had been--I think somebody had been thinking 3 days about shooting this fellow--that I heard no such statement, that I had left when I got the information I wanted. In other words, when I was questioning Ruby, as I recall it, nobody was asking him any questions except me, and when I got through I left.

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Mr. HUBERT. When did you find out that Dean and Archer had said or were going to say that they heard Ruby say that he had intended to kill him 3 days before?
Mr. SORRELS. I don't know that Archer said that--I don't remember his name.
Mr. HUBERT. Dean--when did you learn that?
Mr. SORRELS. When Mr. Griffin asked me over the telephone if certain statements were made, and I told him, in conversation with him, the statements that Ruby had made to me, and he asked me if certain other statements were made, and I said not to my knowledge, "I don't remember anything like that," and one of them was about whether or not Ruby came down the ramp, and I told him at that time I didn't recall that statement having been made, and I didn't believe that statement was made in my presence.
Mr. HUBERT. I thought you said in the interview with Wade you told him you did not hear Ruby say that he had formed the intent to kill Oswald on Friday.
Mr. SORRELS. No, no.
Mr. HUBERT, I am sorry.
Mr. SORRELS. No; I didn't hear that. Ruby didn't say that. I told Wade that.
Mr. HUBERT. You did tell Wade that? Did Wade ask you that?
Mr. SORRELS. He asked me if certain statements were made, and I told him no, not in my presence.
Mr. HUBERT. In other words, you had not heard of that even until Wade brought it to your attention?
Mr. SORRELS. No--not that part. The thing that Mr. Griffin was asking me, I think, as I recall it, was about the ramp.
Mr. HUBERT. Wade asked you did you hear Ruby say, "I intended to kill him since Friday night," and your answer was "No; I didn't"
Mr. SORRELS. No; I didn't hear it.
Mr. HUBERT. Did Mr. Griffin mention in the telephone conversation he had with you statements allegedly made, or knowledge allegedly in the possession of Dean in regard to what Ruby had said?
Mr. SORRELS. I remember specifically there was a statement about him coming down the ramp. I remember that. And it seems that--I wouldn't be positive about that, but it seemed like there was something else that Dean was supposed to have said in my presence, and I told him no I didn't hear anything like that.
Mr. HUBERT. I had thought you said that you told Wade that you had not heard Dean say any such thing. But he asked you?
Mr. SORRELS. He asked me. No--you see, he had talked to Dean beforehand, you see, about this. And I never had talked to Dean. As a matter of fact, I had not seen him.
Mr. SMITH. I might say it was my impression at one time that Mr. Sorrels said or indicated that in his conversation with Mr. Griffin, this question about Ruby having premeditated this for 3 days came out in this conversation with Griffin. At least I got that impression. But do I understand it now to be clarified that that particular point did not come out in your conversation with Griffin?
Mr. SORRELS. I don't think on the telephone conversation at that time.
Mr. SMITH. It came out in your conversation with----
Mr. SORRELS. With Wade.
Mr. SMITH. With Wade?
Mr. SORRELS. That is right. But I think--can this be off the record?
Mr. HUBERT. I would rather it go on.
Mr. SORRELS. All right. We will have it on the record. I have had other conversations with Mr. Griffin subsequent to that time, and personally when he was there at Dallas, in which I believe that there was some question about that statement. But as I recall it now, the first conversation over the telephone was specifically about the ramp incident. And I remember him emphasizing that. And I recall if such a statement was said I don't remember it, and I just don't believe it was said in my presence.
Mr. HUBERT. In regard to the conversation with Mr. Griffin in Dallas, do you recall a conversation which I think I can specifically state would have been on the morning of Wednesday, March 25--that is to say the morning after Dean had been deposed. And let it be noted that Dean was deposed on the night of

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March 24. Do you remember a conversation with Mr. Griffin about what Dean had said then, and that you then told Mr. Griffin what your version of it was, and had in fact--he asked you to prepare a memorandum or something for him, so that there would be a record of what he had told him?
Mr. SORRELS. Along about this same thing?
Mr. HUBERT. Yes, about this same matter, revolving around Dean and Dean's testimony about what Ruby had said.
Mr. SORRELS. I remember that there was a conversation. It seems like I do have a recollection. It slipped my mind. But since you mention something about a memo--and you left rather suddenly, Mr. Griffin, as I recall it, right after that.
Mr. HUBERT. That is on the 27th? The question is--you have not written a memo?
Mr. SORRELS. No.
Mr. HUBERT. Was there any reason why?
Mr. SORRELS. No. As a matter of fact, it just slipped my mind, I guess, because I cannot recall now just exactly what the memo was. But since he mentioned that, it seems I do recall something about something I told him, and he said, "Write me a memo about it."
Mr. HUBERT. Was Inspector Kelley present during your interrogation of Oswald on Sunday morning for about 15 or 20 minutes, I think you said?
Mr. SORRELS. I don't believe so. He might have been. But I don't recall that he was there.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, you have already testified that you and Mr. Kelley went to Mr. Batchelor's office after Oswald left on Sunday morning.
Mr. SORRELS. It is my recollection that we did go there together.
Mr. HUBERT. Was anybody else there?
Mr. SORRELS. If we didn't, I met him up there.
Mr. HUBERT. Was anybody else there?
Mr. SORRELS. At the interview?
Mr. HUBERT. No, when you left, when Oswald left to go down to the basement, you testified that you went with somebody, I think it was Tom Kelley--went into Batchelor's office and looked out to watch the scene.
Mr. SORRELS. Yes.
Mr. HUBERT. I think that was Tom Kelley there. Was anyone else there?
Mr. SORRELS. There was a number of officers around there.
I don't recall who all was there. I just don't recall who all was there.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you know how many officers or detectives were in Fritz' office after Ruby had shot Oswald and had been brought up to Fritz' office?
Mr. SORRELS. No, I don't. There was a number of them around there.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you have any recollection that Dean was taken to escort you up to Captain Fritz' office?
Mr. SORRELS. Yes, I remember Dean went up the elevator with me.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you remember any comment that Dean made in Wade's office?
Mr. SORRELS. The only comment that I can remember that he made is when Mr. Wade asked me if certain things were said by Ruby when I was talking to him in the jail on the morning of November 24, when Dean was there, and I told him no, that that statement was not made in my presence, I did not recall any statement like that. And Dean said, "Well, maybe it was after you left." And I said, "Well, if it was--if the statement was made, it would have had to be after I left, because I don't recall any statement like that."
Mr. HUBERT. Did you ever find out how Wade or Curry or the police found out about what Dean ultimately said?
Mr. SORRELS. Will you read that question again?
Mr. HUBERT. I said, did you ever find out how Wade and/or the police found out themselves what Dean ultimately testified to?
Mr. SORRELS. No, I don't know anything about that--unless it is in the court records down there in his testimony at the trial. Now, whether or not they had talked to him before what his testimony would be, I could not say about that, I don't know.
Mr. HUBERT. Did Wade or anyone else ever ask you to identify the two uniformed officers?

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Mr. SORRELS. No.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you ever consult with any of your superior officers in your own service in regard to Wade's request that you testify?
Mr. SORRELS. I told Inspector Kelley that I might get involved in this thing, and he said, "Well, if you are subpenaed you will just have to testify what you know about it."
Mr. HUBERT. You didn't make a written report?
Mr. SORRELS. No, sir; not that I recall.
Mr. HUBERT. Was FBI Agent Hall present during the Fritz' interview?
Mr. SORRELS. I couldn't say. I don't think I know Agent Hall if he walked in the door. I don't recall ever having met him.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you ever hear Ruby say, "You all won't believe this, but I didn't have this planned, and I couldn't have done it better if I had planned it," or something to that effect?
Mr. SORRELS. No.
Mr. HUBERT. Now----
Mr. SORRELS. I don't recall any statement like that.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, Mr. Stern is going to take over, and I am going to ask him to handle the identification of your notes.
(Mr. Hubert left. Mr. Stern requested Mr. Griffin to handle the identification of documents.)
Mr. GRIFFIN. Let me state that for the limited purpose of having Agent Sorrels identify three sets of documents I am going to ask a series of questions of Agent Sorrels.
Mr. Sorrels, I want to hand you a Xerox copy of a document which is a part of our files, and numbered Commission No. 354, and is your Secret Service serial 1,007, consisting of four pages, which you have previously identified, and Mr. Hubert has marked "Deposition of Forrest Sorrels, Washington, D.C., May 6, 1964," and signed Leon D. Hubert.
I have added the additional designation "Exhibit 1," on the first page of this four page exhibit. I want you to look at that and tell me if that is in fact the same exhibit you identified previously as I have described it.
Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir; it is.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, let me hand you what I have marked for the purpose of identification as deposition of Forrest Sorrels, May 6, 1964, Washington, D.C. This exhibit consists of four different pages which I have numbered consecutively Exhibits 2-A, 2- B, 2-C, and 2-D, and purports to be a Xerox copy of notes that you made of the interview that took place with Jack Ruby in Captain Fritz' office at 3:15 on November 24, 1963.
Would you examine Exhibits 2-A, 2-B, 2-C, and 2-D and compare them with the pages of your notebook which you have referred to previously in the deposition, and tell us if that is a true and exact copy of all of the notes that you have that pertain to the 3:15 interview with Jack Ruby?
Mr. SORRELS. Yes, that is correct.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Let me hand you what I have marked for the purpose of identification deposition of Forrest Sorrels, May 6, 1964, Washington, D.C., which is a document consisting of three pages, which I have numbered consecutively Exhibit 3-A, Exhibit 3-B, Exhibit 3-C. This exhibit purports to be a Xerox copy of notes that you took at an interview with Jack Ruby in the fifth floor jail cell shortly after Ruby shot Lee Oswald on November 24. I want you to compare these exhibits to pages which you have testified to previously are in your notebook, and tell me if Exhibits 3-A, 3-B, and 3-C are true and exact copies of those pages which appear in your notebook?
Mr. SORRELS. Yes, they are. But there is portions that do not pertain to the interview with Ruby in the Dallas City Jail on the morning of November 24, 1963--but certain portions happen to be on the same page as the notes made at that time were made.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, directing your attention to Exhibit 3-A, would you tell us if that portion which pertains to Ruby--the Ruby interview in the jail cell, and appears on that page, follows consecutively from some point on that page?
Mr. SORRELS. Yes, from about the center of the page, below a wavy line drawn

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across it, continuing on the second page, marked Exhibit 3-B, and the third page marked Exhibit 3-C, down to the lower portion ending with "deceased mother."
Mr. GRIFFIN. All right. Now, directing your attention to Exhibit 3-A, would you read the first two lines on Exhibit 3-A that consist of the notes taken at your interview with Ruby in the fifth floor jail cell?
Mr. SORRELS. "Chicago, 3-25-1911, Jack Ruby (Rubenstein), Entertainment, Carousel Club. Had business closed for 3 days."
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, let me hand you again Exhibit No. 1, and ask you if that is a true and accurate copy, to sign your name on the first page of that exhibit.
Mr. SORRELS. Yes, it is.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Would you sign your name, then, on the first page of the exhibit?
Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Let me hand you what has been marked as Exhibit 2-A, B and C, and D, and ask you if that is a true and accurate copy to sign your name on the first page of Exhibit 2-A.
Mr. SORRELS. Yes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Let me hand you, Mr. Sorrels, Exhibit 3-A, B, and C, and ask you the same question with respect to that, and ask you to do the same thing.
Mr. SORRELS. Yes, sir.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, let the record reflect that I am putting my initials, BWG, on pages 2-A, 2-B, 2-C, and 2-D. Let the record reflect I have done the same thing with pages 3-A, 3-B, and 3-C.
Mr. STERN. Mr. Smith, are there any questions you would like to ask Mr. Sorrels at this stage of his deposition, to clarify any points on the record?
Mr. SMITH Yes, just with respect to one point.
Mr. STERN. Please go ahead.
Mr. SMITH. Mr. Sorrels, you testified that in your interview with Jack Ruby in the jail, you did not warn him of his constitutional rights. Was this due to oversight on your part?
Mr. SORRELS. No, it was not.
Mr. SMITH. Will you state, then, the reason why you did not do so?
Mr. SORRELS. My purpose in getting to Jack Ruby and talking to him as quickly as I did was to determine whether or not he was involved with anyone else in connection with the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald, and also to determine whether or not Jack Ruby had any connection or association with Lee Harvey Oswald. I did not warn him of his constitutional rights, because insofar as I was concerned at this particular interview, my conversation with him was not--strike was not--had no bearing insofar as the murder case against Jack Ruby was concerned.
My purpose was trying to obtain information for my service to determine whether or not there were others involved in this case that would be of concern to the Secret Service in connection with their protective duties of the President of the United States and the Vice President.
Mr. STERN. Is there anything else, Mr. Smith, you would like to cover?
Mr. SMITH. No. Thank you.
Mr. STERN. Mr. Sorrels, you have had a lengthy session here today. If it is convenient for you, I would prefer to carry on that part of it that I am interested in tomorrow morning, rather than to try to finish late today. Would that be convenient for you?
Mr. SORRELS. That is satisfactory for me, yes.
Mr. STERN. Fine. Why don't we suspend now and resume in the morning.

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