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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. I - Page 184« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Mrs. Marguerite Oswald Resumed)

Mr. Doyle.
I know. But start it, and if you get tired at all, you advise the Commission, and I am certain that----
Mrs. Oswald.
I will have something very important to this Commission that I would like to say, that would take up some time.
Mr. Rankin, I spoke with you, I think it was Thursday, December 6th, and I told you that since it was publicly known I was going to appear before the Warren Commission, that I would like to have protection, as you recall. I did not get protection, sir. And so the next morning I called you, approximately 9 o'clock, in the morning and told you that I didn't have protection, and I was very concerned. And this would have been Friday, the second call, and that I was going to the bank, to my safety deposit vault, and get the necessary papers. And I definitely wanted complete surveillance, because the papers were going to be with me in my home, and the public knew I was going to testify, and I wanted that protection.
Now, you said you would get in touch with Mr. Sorrels, sir, and have Mr. Sorrel's call me, which he did approximately an hour after my request to you that I did not have protection. Mr. Sorrels called me and said "'Mrs. Oswald, I understand that you want to go to the bank and get your important papers out of the bank, and you have requested protection."
I said, "Yes. I thought I had protection last night. I woke up 4 o'clock in the morning with all the lights lit, getting papers together and cleaning the house." Because the telephone started to ring consistently.
I would have never done that if I would have known I didn't have protection. I was leaving myself wide open.
So he said, "Well, is your attorney in town?"
I said, "No, he is not."
He said, "May I suggest this, Mrs. Oswald"first, he said, "What do you intend to do with the papers?"
I said, "The papers will stay with me."
He said, "Is your attorney in there?"
I said, "No, sir, he is an out of town attorney."
He said, "May I suggest this. May we get a large brown envelope and put sealing wax on it, and you put the papers in our safety deposit vault."
I said, "No, sir, those papers do not leave my hands. I have had an understanding with Mr. J. Lee Rankin that the papers were going to stay with me, and that I would have complete surveillance while the papers were in my home. Now, Mr. Sorrels, I want that surveillance. I am' very uneasy."
He said, "Mrs. Oswald"--this was approximately 10 o'clock in the morning--"Mrs. Oswald, I will not be able to have anyone there before 1 o'clock."
I said, "That is just fine."
Mr. Mike Howard came out at 1 o'clock. We did some errands. I had to buy some luggage, and a few little things for the trip. Then we had supper. And at 5:30 we picked up the papers, because on Friday in Fort Worth, Tex., the bank opens from 4 to 6- -on Friday evening. So we picked up the papers before 6 o'clock.
Now, I thought I had protection that night. I had protection that night until 12 o'clock. And then I understand that the Fort Worth police were circling the neighborhood.
Now, that is not complete protection.
I am a government witness, with important papers. And Mr. Rankin had--I requested protection-suppose someone had come to the door, or just shot through my home? The police circling three or four blocks away is not complete protection.
So Saturday morning I wanted to go out to breakfast. I kept opening the door and looking through the windows. And I never did see any men circling the neighborhood. There was nobody around. At 10:30 this morning I was still doing that. And by the way, a police car passed by and I hailed him and asked him if he could check in the neighborhood for the Secret Service, if they were circling the neighborhood--because I want to put my garbage out, and I needed to go out, didn't have breakfast. He said he didn't know what the Secret Service looked like, and he offered to come to the back and put the garbage out for me, which this Fort Worth policeman did.
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