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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. XIII - Page 74« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Forrest V. Sorrels)

Mr. Sorrels.
I said, "No; I don't even have time to eat big dinners, I just grab a sandwich," because I didn't want to have dinner with them.
They called me a second time, because there had been a delay from the time they thought they were going to call me--they called me the second time and that is when they said something about having dinner with them later, and I said, no; I didn't have time.
And at that time I told them I didn't think I could do them any good. I said I can tell you in a short time what I could testify to.
He said, "Over the phone?"
I said, "Yes."
So I told them about the interview with Ruby in the jail up in the jailhouse. I did not go into detail about the other, because I did not consider that my interview.
Mr. Hubert.
You are talking there about the second interview?
Mr. Sorrels.
Mr. Hubert.
Did you mention you had been present?
Mr. Sorrels.
I do not recall that I did.
Mr. Hubert.
Coming back to the Curry matter, what was your motivation in calling Curry?
Mr. Sorells.
I felt that the testimony or the statements, rather, made by Ruby right after he had shot Oswald would be of benefit to the district attorney in the prosecution of this case, the statements that he made as to the fact that he had worked himself into a state of insanity, also the statement that he guessed he had to show the world that a Jew had guts. And I also recall that during the questioning by Captain Fritz during the interview there that Ruby had made the remark, "Well, I would make a good actor, wouldn't I?" to Captain Fritz. And I felt that possibly I could not testify, because of the fact that I had not warned Ruby of his constitutional rights.
I thought of that before I talked to him, but the part that I was interested in, that is, determining whether or not anyone else was involved with him, or whether or not he knew Oswald, I didn't consider--I mean I considered that if I warned him of his constitutional rights on that particular angle, that he might not even tell me that, and that is the reason I did not warn him of his constitutional rights, because I felt it was of paramount interest to our Service to determine whether or not others were involved in this thing besides Ruby, and of paramount interest to determine whether or not Oswald and Ruby knew each other, or had any connection.
Mr. Hubert.
Is it a custom, rule, or regulation of your Service that you must warn a person of his constitutional rights before you can question him?
Mr. Sorrels.
On our investigations; yes, sir.
Mr. Hubert.
And is that a custom, or is it actually a published regulation?
Mr. Sorrels.
Well, we know that we are going to get in serious trouble in court if we don't do it, because that is always-- the question is always asked, especially by a defense attorney, and so forth. And we know that we are supposed to do it. I try to adhere to it as much as I possibly can.
Mr. Hubert.
What I am trying to determine is whether that is your only personal----
Mr. Sorrels.
Oh, no.
Mr. Hubert.
Way of doing things, or if it is an established policy of the Service, and if so, how is it established?
Mr. Sorrels.
I think it is possibly a bit of both, because it is always my practice to tell these people that we cannot promise them anything---I am talking about the people we handle for prosecution in our investigations. And that, of course, they don't have to tell us anything if. they don't want to. We make that known--because if we do not we know if there is a trial in a case, that that question is going to be asked, and we know that under our laws that a person is supposed to be warned of his constitutional rights before he is questioned.
Mr. Hubert.
Is that your version of what the law is?
Mr. Sorrels.
Mr. Hubert.
Coming back to the policy matter, I don't expect you to be able
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