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

(Testimony of Detective B. H. Combest)

Mr. Hubert.
What kind of press cards were honored, and what were dishonored ?
Mr. Combest.
Well, most of the news personnel there had the-- had a press card for that--I don't remember the wording. It was something about--"Presidential press party," or something that they had. Of course, it was recognized; and then any other card that did have their picture on it, and it had to say they were a member of a press, any newspaper. I remember the Oklahoma City newspaper came in, and they were admitted with their press cards.
Mr. Hubert.
Did they have to have their picture on the press cards?
Mr. Combest.
The ones I checked, I remember now I wasn't actually stationed there at the cars. There were two uniformed officers here who were actually doing the checking. Of course, I did check some to expedite travel through that narrow corridor.
Mr. Hubert.
What I'm trying to get at, there were no particular press care issued for this particular occasion?
Mr. Combest.
Not that I recall; no, sir. Not that I know of.
Mr. Hubert.
Do you remember any instances in which you were involved in which you observed in which persons who were not properly--who didn't have a press card, were removed or questioned?
Mr. Combest.
Yes, sir; in my letter there to Chief Curry I recall there was girl that worked at the police information desk, which is in the basement, by the records bureau, had went out into the basement, at least on one occasion to summon officers that were wanted on the telephone. On the next time that. noticed her start to go into there, she was stopped by Sergeant Putnam, as recall it. He advised her that she would not go into the basement if she had messages to officers that were in the basement, and she was not to leave he assignment behind the information desk until the transfer was over. Also, to a civilian employee that worked in the jail booking office proper. He had cam, out into the parking basement, appeared to have a look around to see what was going on. He was told to get back behind the desk in the jail booking office and remain there until after the transfer was over. Also, one other incident I think I have also put in my letter there and regarding a reporter for the Oklahoma City News, I believe his name is Jim Standard. He did not have a press card. He was stopped and questioned, but he did have proper identification to prove that he did work for the Oklahoma City newspaper. He had a hospitalization card made out to a group policy of this newspaper in Oklahoma City. Had some letters and correspondence to him, addressed to him at that location, and after convincing myself and Beaty, he convinced Captain Talbert that he was a legitimate member of the press and he was admitted. Two or 3 days after the incident I was in Oklahoma City and I saw the article he had written showing this incident in Dallas and his picture was also in the Oklahoma City paper, and I remembered him. I recognized him. And he wrote a pretty good article on the security in the basement.
Mr. Hubert.
Did you speak to Ruby after the shooting?
Mr. Combest.
No, sir.
Mr. Hubert.
Did you hear him say anything?
Mr. Combest.
Again, I heard him talking when he came into the jail office proper, where the booking office is located. As I recall it, they laid him or the floor to put the handcuffs on him more securely. He was talking then as they led him past the spot where Oswald was laying, near the elevator, to take him to jail. He was also talking. He was looking in the direction of Oswald and was talking to the officers that were leading him away. I don't recall any specific statement he made.
Mr. Hubert.
Did you hear Oswald say anything?
Mr. Combest.
No, sir. He I didn't hear him say a word hardly, after he had been shot. He was moaning at the time Jimmy Leavelle, Graves, and I laid him down on the floor and removed the handcuffs that he had on him.
Mr. Hubert.
That was in the jail office?
Mr. Combest.
Yes, sir. At the time I asked him and talked to him trying to get him to make a statement to me at the time. Especially, after I realized how serious the wound was. When we first asked him he appeared to comprehend what I was saying.
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