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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. XIII - Page 105« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Ira Jefferson "Jack", Jr. Beers)

Mr. Beers.
desk came on, and I was told to report to the Texas School Book Depository Building, that they thought they had the man that shot the President in the corner there.
Mr. Griffin.
Did you go to the Texas School Book Depository?
Mr. Beers.
A few minutes later, I did. It sort of stunned me. I guess I didn't quite realize. I said, "Okay," and I kept standing there working on my prints. And just a couple or 3 minutes, our city editor came back and he said, "Get the hell out and go over to the Depository." And I arrived at the School Book Depository about 5 minutes later.
Mr. Griffin.
What time would you say it was when you got there?
Mr. Beers.
I don't know. It would be shortly after noon sometime. I have lost complete track of time for a good length of time.
Mr. Griffin.
About how long would you say it was after you first heard the President had been shot?
Mr. Beers.
Probably 20 minutes.
Mr. Griffin.
Now, when you got there, did you go into the building?
Mr. Beers.
No, sir; I did not. As I arrived, there was quite a crowd of people gathered around the building, and so some officers brought a disheveled looking man from the building, and I thought this probably was the person, so I ran over and made a picture, and then went over to the building. This time the building was sealed off and no one was allowed to enter.
Mr. Griffin.
How long did you remain there at the School Book Depository?
Mr. Beers.
I remained at the School Book Depository for 2 or 3 minutes, and I heard the report that an officer had been shot in Oak Cliff. I ran back to my car, which was parked on Main Street directly across the street from the county jail building, and notified our office by 2-way radio that there was a report of a shooting, that a police officer had been involved, and asked them if they had any information, or if this would probably be linked to the President's assassination, and they had no information.
I checked the police dispatcher, and the dispatcher didn't have enough information to tell us, so I was told to remain at the Texas School Book Depository, which I did until sometime quite late in the afternoon, at the time the police had finished their investigation there in the building, and then admitted the press to the building, and we were taken to the sixth floor and allowed to photograph the area where the rifle was found, and shown and allowed to photograph the area in and around the window and make pictures from the window where the assassination was supposedly--where the assassin was supposed to have fired shots from.
Mr. Griffin.
Can you give us an estimate of what time that would have been when you were up there taking the pictures on the sixth floor?
Mr. Beers.
This would be strictly a guess, an estimate. It would be sometime around the vicinity of 4 o'clock. It was quite late in the afternoon. Probably later.
Mr. Griffin.
Now in your pictures that you took, were any of the objects that were allegedly found up there on the sixth floor photographed, such as the position of the rifle and the placement of the boxes and other materials in the window from which the assassin is believed to have shot?
Mr. Beers.
Yes. Prior to admitting us to the building, I made pictures of a sack, very long narrow sack type of affair that was brought down from there, and a pop bottle and some pieces of chicken, and I also made a picture of the rifle which I believe it was Lieutenant Carl Day from the Dallas police crime lab brought that. And upon going in the building, I photographed the area. where the rifle was found. I photographed the area around the window from which the assassin was supposedly seated, and I moved into that area and made a picture from the window, supposedly the window from which the bullets were fired, that showed a little corner of the boxes which possibly the rifle rested on. It shows the street down below where the automobile was traveling when the President was killed.
Mr. Griffin.
The photographs that you took up there in the window and on the sixth floor would not at that time have shown the rifle on the sack or the pop bottle or the chicken?
Mr. Beers.
No, sir. That was shown outside the building.
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