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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. VII - Page 196« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Walter Eugene Potts)

Mr. Ball.
before the Commission shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Mr. Potts.
I do.
Mr. Ball.
Will you state your name, please?
Mr. Potts.
Walter Eugene Potts.
Mr. Ball.
What business or occupation are you in?
Mr. Potts.
I am a detective with the police department, homicide, Dallas.
Mr. Ball.
How long have you been with the police department in Dallas?
Mr. Potts.
Since October 21, 1947.
Mr. Ball.
And how long have you been with the homicide department?
Mr. Potts.
June 6, 1956.
Mr. Ball.
Can you tell me something about where you were born and where you were educated and what you have done since then?
Mr. Potts.
I was born at Sherman, Tex., April 28, 1922, and I came to Dallas in 1924 and was raised here in Dallas, attended public schools in Dallas, graduated from this Dallas--it's Crozier Tech now, but it was Dallas Technical High School right here on Bryan Street in 1941, and when I graduated I went to work for Southwest Airmotive at Love Field, and I worked for Taycee Badgett Aviation in 1942 and 1943, in Shreveport, La., and I took an aviation cadet mental and physical down there and came back to Dallas to be inducted into the service, and I worked for Lockheed at Love Field before I went in the service, and I went in the service in July 1945. I was discharged in January 1947. I was in the 796th Military Police Battalion in Vienna, Austria, and also the 505th there.
I came back and went to work for the Taylor Publishing Co. just before I went to work for the police department. My mother and father, they still live here out on Brookfield and my sister lives here. I am one of the very few native boys in this police department down here--that's raised right here.
Mr. Ball.
And on November 22, 1963, you had the day off, didn't you?
Mr. Potts.
Yes sir; that was my day off.
Mr. Ball.
And did you hear on the radio the President had been shot?
Mr. Potts.
Well, my wife and I had gone to the cleaners up there at Jim Miller and Military, and I suppose it was around 12:30 or a quarter to 1--around 1 o'clock and we pulled up in front of the cleaners there and Mr. Wright at the barbershop came out to the car and he said, "Have you heard about the President getting shot?"
You know, I thought he was joking and I thought he was kidding and I turned on my car radio and there it was.
We went on back home and I called the office immediately and talked to Detective Baker, he's a lieutenant now, and he said he was calling all the men back and I started to get dressed--get ready, and I told him I would be there as soon as I could, and I got dressed and got there within the hour, which was around 2 or before.
Mr. Ball.
What did you do when you first got there?
Mr. Potts.
When I was walking across the street there, I parked my car over at the Scottish Rite parking lot there and it's the Masonic lot and when I come across the street there at Commerce and Harwood this officer on the corner there said, "Did you hear about Tippit getting killed?" I said, "No; I didn't hear about that." He said, "Yes; I understand he got killed on a disturbance call over in Oak Cliff." That's the first I had heard about Tippit and when I got to the office, I walked in and Baker told me, "We have some people here from the Texas School Book Depository--there are four or five of them back there," and he said, "Would you go back there and take some affidavits from them?" And I said, "Sure," and I went back there and took one from this Arce, and I was in the process of taking one from this Jack Dougherty when I heard some officers coming in the door there, and I heard one of them say, "We've got the man that killed Tippit."
So, they brought him on back in while we were sitting back in the squadroom and I was sitting back there with Dougherty and Arce, and they came by and put him in the side interrogation room back there. As you walk in the door, there is an interrogation room right straight ahead and then you turn right to
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