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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. XIII - Page 67« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Forrest V. Sorrels)

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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