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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. VII - Page 348« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Forrest V. Sorrels)

Mr. Stern.
So you estimate not more than 20 minutes?
Mr. Sorrels.
I don't believe it could have been more than 20 or 25 minutes at the very most.
Mr. Stern.
Then you arrived at the Book Depository Building, and did you see any police officers outside the building?
Mr. Sorrels.
Yes; there were officers. I recall seeing officers. I could not say any specific one.
Now, as I came into the back of the building, there was a colored man standing on the rear platform, a loading platform. And he was just standing there looking off into the distance. I don't think he knew what happened.
And I said to him, "Did you see anyone run out the back?"
He said, "No, sir."
"Did you see anyone leave the back way?"
"No, sir."
Mr. Stern.
Did you get his name?
Mr. Sorrels.
No, sir; I did not. I did not stop to do that, because I figured he was an employee of the building.
I went on the inside of the building and asked someone for the manager and they pointed to Mr. Truly.
I identified myself to Mr. Truly.
Mr. Stern.
Just a minute.
Did you establish how long that man had been on the loading platform?
Mr. Sorrels.
No, sir; I did not.
Mr. Stern.
There was no policeman stationed at the loading platform when you came up?
Mr. Sorrels.
I did not see one; no, sir.
Mr. Stern.
And you were able to enter the building without identifying yourself?
Mr. Sorrels.
Yes, sir.
Mr. Stern.
Then you got inside the building and what did you do?
Mr. Sorrels.
I asked for the manager, and I was directed to Mr. Truly. He was standing there.
I went up and identified myself to him. I said, "I want to get a stenographer, and we would like to have you put down the names and addresses of every employee of the building, in the building."
And I then walked on out the front door and asked, "Did anyone here see anything?"
And someone pointed to Mr. Brennan.
Mr. Stern.
What was your purpose in asking for a list of the employees of the building?
Mr. Sorrels.
Because I knew that they would have to be interviewed. I was trying to establish at that time without any delay, who all was in that building or was employed there, because I knew they would have to be talked to later.
In other words, I was looking for someone that saw something.
Mr. Stern.
You were looking for potential witnesses?
Mr. Sorrels.
Yes, sir.
Mr. Stern.
And at that time you had no basis for suspecting any employee might be involved one way or the other?
Mr. Sorrels.
No, sir; and I did not know at that time that the shots came from the building.
When I was--when Mr. Brennan was pointed out to me, I went up and told him who I was and asked him if he saw anything. And he told me what he had seen. And, at that time, that is the first time that I knew definitely that any shots had come from the building.
Mr. Stern.
Now, what precisely did Mr. Brennan tell you?
Mr. Sorrels.
Mr. Brennan said that he was standing across the street, watching the parade, and that he, of course, was looking in the direction where the President was, and he heard a sound which he thought at first was a backfire of an automobile. And that shortly afterwards there was another sound, and that he thought that somebody might be throwing firecrackers out of the building.
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