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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. VI - Page 320« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of J. Herbert Sawyer)

Mr. Belin.
To go up and look around and come down?
Mr. SAWYER. To look around on the floor. How long it took to go up, it couldn't have been over 3 minutes at the most from the time we left, got up and back down.
Mr. BELIN. Then that would put it around no sooner than 12:37, if you heard the call at 12:34?
Mr. Sawyer.
Yes, sir.
Mr. Belin.
Then you got down and what did you do?

Mr. SAWYER. I asked the Sergeant to doublecheck the security around the building, and then I took two patrolmen and stationed them at the front door and told them, with instructions not to let anybody in or out.
Mr. BELIN. Now up to the time you did this, had anyone else sealed off the building, that you know of?
Mr. SAWYER. When I arrived, the sergeant told me he had the building sealed off. There were officers all around the building. To the best of my recollection, there was no officer actually stationed on the front door, at the front door. There was some on the sidewalk in front of the front door, and also, as far as I know, had no instructions been issued to anyone to let anybody in or out.
Mr. Belin.
So yours would have been the first instructions to stop traffic
from coming in and out of the front door, am I correct in that?
Mr. Sawyer.
That's right.
Mr. Belin.
All right, anybody that would have been seen leaving the building would have been stopped and interrogated by the officers that were there? Even before you instructed them?

Mr. SAWYER. Yes, because they were looking for something or anything, and I know that anybody coming out of the back doors, from what the Sergeant told me, they would have stopped them, too.
Mr. BELIN. What happened at the front door now. There were people standing. out on the area of the steps, were there not?
Mr. Sawyer.
No. There were some people around, yes.
Mr. Belin.
Do you know whether or not any of those would have been stopped?
Mr. Sawyer.
For sure, no; I don't.
Mr. BELIN. Now after you got down and you issued these orders, then what did you
Mr. SAWYER. I set up a command post in front. The various officers were bringing up different witnesses who had seen various things, and I saw that this was quite an involved situation. It was so many of these people that had information, that I knew I didn't have time to take this information down, and by this time several deputy sheriffs were standing there, and one of them, I think he was a supervisor, I had his name at one time, I can't think of it now, was there, and he offered the use of an interrogation room of Sheriff Decker's office, I think he said, for interrogating these people.
Mr. Belin.
That is located down the street a little bit there?
Mr. Sawyer.
Well, it is catty-corner across the street.
Mr. Belin.
All right.

Mr. SAWYER. It is southeast across the street from the Texas School Book Depository, at least from the corner, and so we set up a group of officers and deputy sheriffs who were to take charge of the witnesses and take them over to see that affidavits were taken from them. They were more or less an escort service so the witness wouldn't get away.
And then as our detectives began to show up, I sent them over to the Sheriff's Office to assist in taking these depositions or affidavits.
Mr. BELIN. How many witnesses were there around there during this period of time that you talked to?
Mr. SAWYER. Well, during the entire period of time that I was there, I would venture to say between 25 to 50 different people had come up with information of one kind or another.
Mr. Belin.
Now, on this radio log, Sawyer's Deposition Exhibit A, do you
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