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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. XIII - Page 111« Previous | Next »

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

Mr. Beers.
I got that impression; yes, sir, that he had some amateur nights there.
Mr. Griffin.
During the period of November 22, 23, and 24, were you aware of newspaper people who were operating in the Dallas area on the freelance basis?
Mr. Beers.
You say was I aware that there were some operating on a freelance basis?
Mr. Griffin.
Yes; were you aware of any such people?
Mr. Beers.
Not particularly.
I ran into one photographer who was a local man, who I understand was free-lancing and had received an assignment from Paris Match, a French magazine, and to the best of my knowledge, I don't recall--I am sure there were some here, but I don't recall meeting any that I absolutely knew were on a freelance ,basis.
Mr. Griffin.
What I am interested in finding out is if there is any practice that a freelance person follows in hooking up with a network, or somebody who can pay him, whether he makes a commitment in advance to work, or whether he is just down there for shooting pictures, or trying to gather information and selling it as he gets it?
Are you familiar enough with what the practice generally is for freelance people in a situation, developing news situations such as we had in this period, to be able to state how a freelance photographer or newspapermen would operate?
Mr. Beers.
In instances such as occurred there, as the assassination of the President, there are some photographers in Dallas who operate on a freelance basis, and also some of them, the same people possibly operate on a stringer basis. This is someone who is known in the area by a news agency or a particular magazine or newspaper, and if something occurred in that area, the people by whom he is known, could possibly contact him and tell him to cover this story, either by himself, or until some of their people could arrive on the scene.
I am sure there were some such people operating there. I don't know Just exactly who it might be.
Mr. Griffin.
I will ask you one final question. Has anything come to your attention having to do with either Jack Ruby or with the assassination of President Kennedy, or anything else that you might think would be of importance to the Commission that you think you should make available to us?
I do want to encourage you in this respect because I don't know that I have covered everything that you might have.
Mr. Beers.
I have tried to insert what I thought, what little information or comments I might have to make. I can't recall that I have learned anything additional since this happened that is not common knowledge to everyone.
Mr. Griffin.
I see.
Now, let me also ask you, for the record, whether prior to commencing this deposition you have talked with anybody from the Commission?
I am not talking about the FBI agents, but any staff member of the Commission other than myself?
Mr. Beers.
No; I have had no contact with anyone from the Warren Commission except over the telephone when I was notified and they verified my address so they could mail me a notice to appear here.
I might go back and add, as far as my acquaintance with Jack Ruby is concerned, I met him that particular day, and I have seen him in the halls of the Dallas News in that 18-month period four times probably.
And I think Jack recalled that my first name was Jack, but not until I testified in his change of venue hearing.
I think that he aware that I was Jack Beers.
Mr. Griffin.
Were you a prosecution witness or defense witness?
Mr. Beers.
Mr. Griffin.
I take it that you were called to testify as to the climate in Dallas, whether Jack could get a fair trial in Dallas or not?
Mr. Beers.
More or less; yes, sir.
It was concerned with the change of venue hearing in Judge Brown's court there.
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