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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. XIV - Page 110« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Wilbyrn Waldon (Robert) Ii Litchfield)

Testimony of Alice Reaves Nichols

The testimony of Mrs. Alice Reaves Nichols was taken at 2:15 p.m., on April 14, 1964, in the office of the U.S. attorney, 301 Post Office Building, Bryan and Ervay Streets, Dallas, Tex., by Mr. Burt W. Griffin, assistant counsel of the President's Commission.
Mr. Griffin.
Let me state for the record that Mrs. Alice Reaves Nichols is present, and before we began anything, she walked into the room and she asked me if it would be possible to withhold her name from the press. I told her I would check. I have talked with Mr. Hubert of our office, to find out what the policy has been in the past, and he assured me that in the past we have, on the request of witnesses, not released the name to the press. I stated previously that all we have ever released is the name. We have never discussed and will not discuss with the press any testimony. However, we can't give you any assurance that they won't find out you were here. For example, there are newspaper reporters all over this building, and I don't recognize them and perhaps you will, and perhaps they might recognize you or try to find out, if they don't recognize you, who you are. Unfortunately, anything they can learn about what goes on is something that they want to print, so we can't assure you that the name won't go out, but we can assure you it won't get out from anything we do. I am sorry we can't give you any more protection than that.
Mrs. Nichols.
I appreciate that.
Mr. Griffin.
Let me introduce myself. I am Burt Griffin, and I am a special consultant to the General Counsel's staff of the President's Commission investigating the assassination of President Kennedy.
This Commission has been set up under a couple of governmental acts, one of which is an Executive order issued by President Johnson on November 30, 1963, and another one from the joint resolution of Congress. The effect of both of these acts has been to establish a Commission with a staff which has power to subpena witnesses and take testimony and conduct an investigation and prescribe various rules and procedures, and we are operating under these rules of procedure.
I might explain that under the rules of the Commission I have been specifically designated to come here and talk to you and take your deposition. Now the purpose of this deposition is to inquire into all of the facts and evaluate the facts and report back to President Johnson on the facts that have to do with the death of President Kennedy and the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald. In your particular case, Mrs. Nichols, you have known Jack Ruby for many years, and you have been good enough to tell the FBI. at some length what you knew about him. We want now to see if there is any more that can be added by this type of questioning. But we are also interested, I might add, in anything you might know that might have any significance to the whole investigation we are conducting.
Mrs. Nichols.
Yes.
Mr. Griffin.
I believe you got a letter from the Commission asking you to appear?
Mrs. Nichols.
I did. I had a telephone call first.
Mr. Griffin.
From Mr. Sorrels of the Secret Service?
Mrs. Nichols.
No; it wasn't Mr. Sorrels. I believe the man said his name was Howell.
Mr. Griffin.
Mr. Howlett?
Mrs. Nichols.
Yes.
Mr. Griffin.
When did you receive your letter?
Mrs. Nichols.
I received a letter last Friday.
Mr. Griffin.
Now, I might also say, I don't want to scare you by saying this, because we say it to everybody, that you are entitled under the rules of the Commission to appear here with an attorney if you so desire, and it is not unusual that people do that. But I see that you don't have an attorney here, and I take it that you don't desire one.
Mrs. Nichols.
I didn't think it was necessary.
Mr. Griffin.
Most people do feel that way. It is an expense, for one thing.
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