XII. Ralph Paul
- During the intensive examination of Jack Ruby's background following the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald, the name of one individual arose more often than any other: Ralph Paul. Paul was consistently recognized as Ruby's associate or business partner, and Paul stated that he was Ruby's closest friend.(2064) Ruby one wrote, "Ralph Paul knows more about me than anyone."(2065)
- It is know that Paul was an immigrant from Russia, having come to New York in 1901 or 1902 with his father. He had been born in Kiev on December 17, 1899. Paul's mother came to the United States in 1907 or 1908. Paul had two brothers and one sister who had always resided in New York.(2066)
- Paul was married in 1920 and fathered two daughters. This marriage ended in a divorce in 1932, (2067) and Paul never remarried (although he was a close companion of Tammi True in the 1960's and allegedly lived with her at times).(2068) His former wife was interviewed by the FBI and described Paul as hard working and a good provider. (2069)
- Paul worked with his father at a fruit market and owned his own market (Ralphs' Fruit Exchange) for 20 years at a site in the bronx. His father died in 1945, and at the end of 1947 Paul moved to the Dallas area. (2070)
- For many years, including 1963, Paul lived in a lower level room in the home of his one-time partner, Bert Bowman. (2071) Paul stated in 1964 that he was living with friends on Copeland Road in Arlington at that time, while waiting for a new house to be built at 1602 Browning Drive.(2072)
Association With Ruby
- Ruby and Paul spoke to each other every day, either by telephone at Paul's commercial enterprise (The bull-Pen Drive-In), or when Paul visited the Carousel, which he did at least every Tuesday and Friday.(2073) On a business level, Ruby was constantly indebted to Paul for loans to operate his nightclubs, and Paul held a half interest in the Carousel until early 1964.(2074)
- Their relationship began in 1948 when Ruby came up and introduced himself to Paul,(2075) who was operating a bar called the Sky Club at the time. Several years later, this friendship took on new dimensions when Paul loaned Ruby and another individual (Martin Gimpel) $2,000, which was supposedly only needed as front money and was to be repaid the next day. (2076) This did not turn out to be the case, and shortly thereafter this loan was increased to $3,700, with Paul accepting a note on the Silver Spur as partial collateral for the indebtedness. (2077) This was the first of a number of loans from Paul to Ruby, loans which were never fully repaid and which eventually may have totaled $15,000.(2078)
- Paul reportedly loaned Ruby $2,500 to start the Vegas Club, again accepting a note on the club. (2079) There was another $2,200 loan to help the Sovereign Club through hard times, which led Paul to force Ruby to change the Sovereign from a private club to a burlesque house, which became the Carousel.(2080) Eva Grant once said that "Paul must have put in a fortune (in the Corousel), but he ain't telling."(2081)
- There is also an indication that Paul loaned Ruby a larger sum of money (allegedly $15,000 to $17,000) to assist Ruby when he was having problems with the Internal Revenue Service.(2082) There is no indication that any of these loans were made for reasons other than friendship.(2083)
- As stated earlier, Ruby was never able to reduce fully his outstanding debt to Paul. Paul told the FBI that Ruby had never repaid any money he loaned Ruby or the Carousel.(2084) Andrew Armstrong, Ruby's assistant at the Carousel, told the committee that Paul was supposed to get the cash (approximately $3,000) which Ruby had on his person and in his car when he was arrested following the Oswald shooting. Since the money was impounded, Armstrong gave Paul the cash that he had been given by Ruby several days earlier (from the club receipts) to pay the Carousel's bill.(2085)
- Ruby did give Paul 500 shares in the carousel or, more specifically, in the S & R Corporation. This corporation was formed poration issued 1,000 shares of stock, so Paul had a half interest in it when he received his 500 shares. (Paul was never able to ascertain who held the remaining 500 shares.)
- After the Oswald shooting, Paul immediately assumed the day-to-day management of the Carousel, since Ruby was incarcerated and Paul wished to protect his "investment."(2087) Paul changed the club's name to the "Big D Copa" (2088) to lessen unfavorable publicity and attention, and attempted to keep it economically viable, but it was a losing battle. Business was very poor, the club lost its beer license, (2089) and Paul stated that he was too old to run two businesses.(2090) After 2 1/2 months, he relinquished management and turned his 500 shares over to Eva grant, without asking for return consideration.(2091)
- The other business Paul was referring to was The Bull-Pen, a drive-in eating establishment located in Arlington, texas.(2092) It was an apparently successful venture(2093) which Paul bought in 1960 with Bert Bowman. In January 1963, Paul bought out Bowman and became the sole owner. (2094)
- Before The Bull-Pen, Paul was involved in a number of less successful commercial endeavors. In 1947, shortly after arriving in the Dallas area from New York, Paul bought the Sky Club with Joe Bonds and Dale Belmont.(2095) Paul got out of the Sky Club 1 year later and opened the Blue Bonnet Hotel, which lasted until 1953. (2096) This was followed by the Miramar Restaurant, with Chris T. Semos as co-owner.(2097) In 1957, Semos bought Paul out, after a dispute concerning Paul's allegedly rude treatment of patrons. (2098) Paul then operated an ice cream parlor with Sam Ruby, but this only lasted 3 or 4 months. (2099) For the next 9 months, Paul helped Jack Ruby at the Vegas Club.(2100) The Bull-Pen came next.
- The last personal contact between Ruby and Paul before the Oswald shooting occurred on Thursday night, November 21, 1963, when Paul went to the Carousel, and Ruby and he then went to the Egyptian Lounge for dinner, then back to the Carousel.(2101) On Friday and Saturday, Ruby made a number of telephone calls to Paul, although the exact number is in doubt.
- Paul's Warren Commission and other testimony are somewhat confusing and occasionally contradictory concerning theses calls. The first came shortly after the assassination, when Ruby wanted to know if Paul heard the tragic news.(2102) Several hours later, Ruby called Paul to state that he was closing the Carousel for the weekend and Paul should do the same with The Bull-Pen. Paul declined, saying that he had an eating place rather than a burlesque club.(2103) At approximately 6 p.m., Paul stated that Ruby called to let Paul know he would be attending synagogue services that evening. Paul was not interested in accompanying Ruby.(2104) Paul also mentioned another call at about 8:40 p.m. that evening.(2105)
- On Saturday, November 23, there was an afternoon call (2106) and another in the early evening.(2107) There were several calls Saturday evening, including a controversial call to The Bull-Pen, which was partially overheard by one Bull-Pen employee, Wanda Helmick. She told the FBI that Paul had said he had a date with Tammi True (Nancy Powell), one of the Carousel dancers, that evening.(2108) Then she heard Paul ask Ruby if he was "crazy" or perhaps "have you lost your mind?" (2109) Helmick also recalled something being said about a gun. (2110) She stated Paul spoke of this on Sunday, November 24, and mentioned something about a gun at that time.(2111)
- Obviously, if it were true, this information would be crucial in determining Ruby's intent that weekend. All other Bull-Pen employees on duty that evening were interviewed; none could corroborate Helmick's statements.(2112) When questioned by the Warren Commission, Paul never mentioned a call from Ruby to The Bull-Pen on Saturday night, although he admitted receiving a call on Saturday.(2113) In a November 24, 1963, FBI interview, Paul stated that his last contact with Ruby was a call at 3 p.m. on Saturday.(2114)
- Telephone records, however, indicate a 9-minute call from Ruby to The Bull-Pen at 10:44 p.m. (2115) In a September 1, 1964, FBI interview, Paul admitted the "craze" remark (thereby implicitly admitting a Saturday night call to The Bull-Pen), and explained it by stating that it referred to the closing of Ruby's club rather than to Ruby himself or any plans he may have had. (2116) Paul remained certain that he had never made a statement about Ruby's gun to anybody.(2117)
- Shortly after receiving this call at The Bull-Pen, Paul said he went home, leaving work that he felt ill.(2118) This information was given to Ruby when he again called The Bull-Pen, and Ruby's next call was to Paul's home; Paul said it was at 10 or 10:30 p.m.(2119) Apparently Ruby wanted Paul to go somewhere with him, but Paul refused.(2120) Another call came at approximately 11:30 p.m, with Paul saying that Ruby was at Eva Grant's apartment. By this time, Paul was annoyed, telling Ruby that he was not feeling well and not to call again.(2121) The telephone records differ in some respects from Paul's memory and show a 1-minute call from the Carousel to The Bull-Pen at 11:18 p.m., an identical 2-minute call at 11:36 p.m., and a 1-minute call form the Carousel to Paul's home at 11:47 p.m.(2122)
- On Sunday, November 24, Paul was at The Bull-Pen when he received the news of Oswald's shooting; (2123) it made him visibly upset and shaken.(2124) He called Ruby's apartment, getting no answer,(2125) and then called Tom Howard, an attorney who had represented both men in the past. Howard said that he would see what he could do.(2126) Paul then drove with Hohn Jackson, the manager of The Bull-Pen, and Tammi True, into Dallas, first stopping at the police station, where Paul tried unsuccessfully to see Ruby.(2127) The trio then went to Tom Howard's office nearby and watched television until 3 p.m. (2128)
- Paul, Jackson, and True then returned to Arlington and split up. By this time, Paul was somewhat frightened, having heard that Ruby's roommate, George Senator, had been arrested and that the police and the FBI were looking for him (Paul). He took shelter in a motion picture theater for 90 minutes to avoid the press and the police, (2129) then went to Jackson's home, and then to the home of Jackson's sister.(2130) Finally, Jackson persuaded Paul to allow FBI agents to interview him. Paul stated that he knew nothing about Ruby's plans for the Oswald shooting.(2131)
- Paul continued to take an active role in Ruby's legal defense, attending defense meetings and giving at least one check for the payment of defense investigators,(2132) although Paul denied making any payment for Ruby's defense. (2133) Paul also visited Ruby several times in prison.(2134)
- These visits were probably Paul's only trips ot a prison. There is no evidence that he had a criminal record, nor is there evidence that he had any connections to organized crime, or any political or law enforcement connections.
xiii. George Senator
- George Senator was born to Abraham and Anna Senator on September 4, 1913, at Gloversville, N.Y. He had two brothers-Jake, living in Gloversville, and Sam, living in Rochester--and three married sisters, Frieda, Pearl, and Lena, all in New York City. His formal education ended with his graduation from grammar school at Gloversville in June 1929. He went to New York City and worked in a hat factory, for Western Union and in the wholesale silk industry, and was unemployed at times.
- Senator developed lung trouble around 1932 and returned to Gloversville for about 1 year, part of which time he worked for his brother Jake, who operated a small restaurant. He returned to New York City and again worked in the sild industry. About 1934, Senator left New York with Ide Heilberum and the Sebring family for Florida. He worked in Miami at various resorts as a kitchen worker. Between 1934 and 1941 he lived and worked in both New York City and Miami.(2135)
- On August 21, 1941, he entered the Army Air Force and was assigned serial number 12,006,042. He served mainly as an aerial armorer with the 5th Bomber Command, 33d Group, in Australia and in the Pacific theater during World War II.(2136) He was honorably discharged from the Army at Fort Dox, J.J., on September 9, 1945, with the rank of sergeant. (2137)
- In January 1946, Senator married Shirley Baren of the Bronx. A son, Robert, was born October 6, 1947. He was divorced in 1956 in Dallas. His former wife later married Milton Wechsler.(2138)
- Senator is described as 5' 7 1/2", 192 lbs, with brown eyes, brown-grey hair, dark complexion, mole on the left cheek, and an appendectomy scar.(2139) Statements by Senator
- Senator was interviewed on several occasions by the FBI and Secret Service regarding his association with Ruby and certain aspects of Ruby's life. He was the first defense witness called at Ruby's habeus corpus and bail hearing on December 23, 1963, and testified as as defense witness at Ruby's trial. On April 21, 1963, Senator testified before the Warren Commission.
- In their interviews of Senator, the FBI and Secret Service focused on the sequence of events from the time Kennedy was assassinated to when Ruby killed Lee Harvey Oswald. The first statements by Senator were vague and disjointed. When asked about this by the Warren Commission, Senator replied that he had been under a great deal of stress and was not thinking clearly.*
- The only ommission by the agencies and the Warren Commission concerns Ruby associates. This area was not addressed at all, except with respect to organized crime associates in Chicago.
- From the various interviews, et cetera, it was learned that Senator had worked from the time he was in his early teens at various factory and restaurant jobs. Among his employers were a silk wholesaler, the Times Square Cafeteria and the Admiral Hotel, all in New York, and the Astor Hotel in Miami.(2140)
- After the war, Senator and his friend, Heilberum, bought a luncheonette, Denise Foods, at 254 West 35th Street, New York City. In 1947, after about a year and a half, they went bankrupt.(2141) He returned to Miami and worked as a lunch counterman for 2 years. He then became a dress salesman for the Rhea Manufacturing Co. of Milwaukee for about 9 months. (2142) For the next 10 years, he sold dresses for Smoler Brothers of Chicago, moving to Dallas for that company about May 1954. He traveled considerably out of Dallas as a clothing salesman until about 1959-60. He then worked at odd jobs and in sales of various lines, including novelties for the Volume Sales Co. of Dallas. He worked for Jack Ruby at the Carousel Club from March through August 1962, and at various other short periods since. In 1964, Senator was a salesman of color postcards for Dexter Press, West Nyack, N.Y.(2143)
- Social Security records indicate that Senator did not report income from July 1958 through December 1961. In 1962, they indicate that he was employed by the Volume Sales Co. and the Merchandise Mart of Dallas.(2144) Senator, in testimony before the Warren Commission, had described his activities during the 1958-61 period as: working again for Rhea Manufacturing, traveling with a friend, George Hamrik, doing odd jobs and cooking, et cetera, for Ronnie Unger and Kenny (last name unknown) While living with them.(2145)
* The chronology of events, as stated in the different interviews, is discussed in detail under the Ruby section of this profile.
- Senator had no criminal record, although he was arrested once about 1960 or 1961 by the Dallas police for drunkenness; he was held for 4 hours, fined $15, and released.(2146) There were no files on Senator at the Federal agencies, other than those associated with Jack Ruby. There was no indication of Senator being associated with criminals or persons associated with criminal activities. Senator appeared to be a law-abiding citizen with a rather lengthy string of bad luck.
- Senator claimed that he had not met, known, or made friends with any professional gamblers. He did not gamble himself, other than at infrequent at-home poker games or when he was in the service.(2147)
- There was no indication that Senator had any associations with organized crime, either business or social. A committee consultant who reviewed FBI files on telephone recordings of Senator said there was no indication of a relationship between Senator and any criminal element.
- Senator had moved to Dallas about May 15, 1954. He told the FBI he had first met Jack Ruby about 1955. He believed this was a the time Ruby was assisiting in the operation of the Vegas Club. Ruby was only a casual acquaintance until about March or April 1962. He would see him only infrequently when he happened to meet him in the business area of Dallas or at a restaurant or nightclub. On those occasions, he would talk to him for only a short period of time.
- About March or April 1962, Senator was out of work and about out of funds. Ruby invited him to stay at his apartment, which was located on South Marsalis. Senator resided with Ruby for approximately 5 or 6 months. In return for his room and board, Senator cashier or taking tickets at the door. About August or September 1962, Senator began operating the Texas Post Card Co. and moved to the Grandbury Apartments, located on Maple Street. Senator continued to help out at the Carousel Club on weekends and special occasions.(2148)
- This statement to the FBI contradicted a prior statement. During an interview on November 24, 1963, Senator claimed he had not lived with Ruby until November 1, 1963, although he stated that he occasionally was low on funds and would be asked by Ruby to come and stay a day or two until he got back on his feet.(2149) The FBI report of December 20 was consistent with testimony given by Senator during Ruby's trial and the Warren Commission.
- During November 1962, Senator moved into apartment 206, at 223 South Ewing, with Stanton Corbat, a buyer for Thitake's Department store. He told Ruby about the new apartment, and Ruby moved into apartment 207 at the end of November.(2150)
- About August 1963, Corbat got married and left Senator with all the rent to pay. He was unable to handle it by himself. At the invitation of Ruby, he moved into apartment 207 about the first week in November 1963.(2151)
- Senator stated that Ruby was a big-hearted man who helped many people who were down on their luck. He said Ruby was very emotional and that, although he did not appear to be very religious, took his faith very seriously, observing all the Orthodox Jewish holidays, and particularly the memorial services for the dead. Ruby was a clean-living man who did not smoke and rarely drank; he had been concerned that Senator drank too much. Senator said Ruby regarded himself as a Democrat,(2152) with no firm political convictions. He read the daily newspapers without fail, but did not seem to be interested in international affairs. He never discussed the Cuban missile crisis or the President.(2153)
- Ruby liked people and had a strong desire to be liked; while he sometimes talked rough, he actually was gentle. Senator discounted reports that Ruby was a "street brawler" but said he could "handle himself" when necessary in his frequent role as bouncer at his club.(2154) During his testimony before the Warren Commission Senator described Ruby as a "man of temperament" and said he had a tendency to "fly off" the handle, but he would calm down just as quickly. In their arguments, Ruby always had to be right, Senator wrong.
- Senator was witness to one actual fight Ruby had. It occurred in the Burgundy Room of the Adolphus Hotel with a man named Don Saber R. Tabon. (2155) Senator was asked during Ruby's trial whether it was true that Ruby only picked on small men and women who were drunk and beat them up. Senator responded that Ruby had no fear of a person's size.(2156) He contended that Ruby would probably not fight brutally.(2157)
- Senator had heard rumors since "the trouble" that Ruby was a homosexual and believed such ideas cast a reflection on him since he had lived with Ruby. Senator said he could assure anyone that Ruby was not a homosexual and had a normal man's interest in women.(2158)
- During the period of his acquaintance with Ruby, Senator had no indication of Ruby's violating the law in any way, such as handling narcotics, allowing employees to paractice prostitution, or fencing stolen articles. Ruby operated a very strict business and would allow no disturbances. Senator claimed Ruby's place of business was checked very closely by the Dallas police department every night.(2159)
- Ruby always carried at least $2,000 or $3,000 in cash with him to and from his place of business. He had this money in a sack. On each trip he would take a revolver and place it in the bag on top of the money.(2160) When questioned by the Warren Commission about Ruby's banking habits Senator replied that "Ruby's bank was his pockets."(2161)
- Senator advised that during the period he lived next door to and with Ruby, he recalled only one out-of-town trip Ruby made, when he flew to New York City to talk to official of the American Guild of Variety Artists (AGVA). Ruby was having trouble with his competitors over AGVA requirements and did not believe his competitors were following the rules. He said he felt strongly this was hurting his business. Senator believed that on this trip, Ruby took a dog to Candy Barr in Houston, prior to flying on to New York.To the best of Senator's knowledge, Ruby made the trip alone and was gone for 3 or 4 days. (2162)
- Senator had no information to indicate that Ruby had connections with the hoodlum element in Chicago, Ill. Ruby confided to Senator that he grew up in a very tough neighborhood, but Senator saw no evidence of associations between Ruby and Chicago hoodlums. (2163)
- In addition to running his clubs, Ruby became involved in the promotion of a twist board. Prior to November 22, 19633 he would get up about 8 or 9 a.m. each day and visit various department stores in an effort to promote this article.
- The primary area of questioning of Senator by the FBI, Secret Service, Warren Commission and counsel during Ruby's trial concerned the sequence of events between November 22, 1963 and November 24 1963. Senator was not consistent in his answers. In his first statements, made on November 24, Senator was extremely vague regarding. the events of the 2 previous days. Figure 1, which follows, shows his various statements and discrepancies.
- Figure 1: Chart of statements and their inconsistencies.
xiv. James Robert Todd
- Todd was born on December 10, 1919, in Groesbeck, Tex.(2165) He held a variety of occupations. He worked approximately 2 years at Sue's Used Car Lot in Dallas as a salesman. (2166) During World War II he was employed by North American Aviation. (2167) In 1978, he was president of Todd Oil Co. and J.R. Todd Oil and Investment Co. (2168) He was residing in Dallas, Tex.
- Todd had an extensive arrest record, but nothing since 1954.(2169) He had been arrested and convicted for a variety of offenses including burglary, transporting explosives, and murder.(2170)
- It has been alleged that Todd was a well-known Dallas safecracker (2171) and known thief and associate of Dallas bookmakers.(2172) In his deposition, Todd did admit knowing two Dallas bookmakers, John Eli Stone and Albert Meadows. (2173) He has also been associated with Dallas criminal figures such as Lois Green, Jettie Bass, Nick Cascio and R.D. Matthews. (2174)
- Todd told the committee that deLois Green was a "personal friend" whom he had known since approximately 1939. (2175) When asked about the deLois Green gang, Todd stated that "gang" was not the proper word to describe Green and his associates. (2176) Todd described them as "just a bunch of fellows that were friends."(2177) Later in his deposition, when questioned by his attorney, Todd indicated he was not aware of any association or organization known as the deLois Green gang. (2178)
Association With Organized Crime
- Todd admitted in his deposition to the committee that he was casually acquainted with Sam and Joe Campisi, Joseph Civello and Joe Ianni, alleged organized crime members in Dallas.(2179) He also stated that he only knew the Campisis and the Ianni family through their restaurant businesses. (2180)
Treatment by the Warren Commission
- After the notation "Jack, DA8-2635" was discovered in Jack Ruby's automobile, the FBI conducted a brief interview of Todd. (2181) A few miscellaneous references to Todd have been found in other FBI reports in Jack Ruby's FBI file.
- Todd did not testify before the Warren Commission, and he was not interviewed by its staff.
Relationship With Ruby
- When Todd was interviewed by the FBI, he stated he was first introduced to Ruby in the Vegas Club 10 or 12 years earlier. (2182) He explained that the Vegas Club was next door to the B & B Restaurant which he visited frequently. (2183) Todd stated he had only been in the Vegas Club two or three times and had visited the Carousel Club one or two times. (2184)
- Todd had often seen Ruby in the B and B Restaurant. (2185) Describing his relationship to Ruby as "very limited," Todd stated "he has never had any social connections with Ruby and he has no idea of Ruby's activities, who his associates are, or any of his business dealings."(2186) He could not recall when he had last seen Ruby. (2817) He did admit, however, that the phone number found in Ruby's car, DA 8-2635, was his home telephone number. (2188)
- Two FBI reports also linked Ruby to Todd. An FBI report describing an incident in 1953 when Ruby was in the AGVA offices arguing with Vincent Lee, the AGVA representative, states that Lee said Ruby, Joe Bonds and Todd, "together with other hoodlums and safecrackers," usually "hung around" Sue's Used Car Lot, 3400 Live Oak, Dallas, Tex.(2189) FBI Agent Charles Flynn, after a contact with Ruby on March 11, 1959, listed Todd as an associate of Ruby. (2190)
- When Todd was deposed by the committee, he could not recall being interviewed by the FBI, even after being read the FBI report of the interview. (2191) He stated, "To my knowledge, this is the first time I have ever been asked anything about it .. I don't recall anybody ever asking me about Jack Ruby."(2192) Todd a]so claimed his phone number was not DA 8-2635, but was DA 8--2634.(2193) Later, however, Todd stated he had no idea why his phone number appeared in Jack's car, and he could not recall Ruby ever calling him.(2194)
- When asked when he first met Ruby, Todd stated it was when Ruby operated the Silver Spur. (2195) Todd said that "in all probability" he knew Ruby in 1946 and 1947. (2196)
- Todd was also questioned about Sue's Used Car Lot. He informed the committee that he had been employed as a salesman at the car lot for approximately '2 years. (2197)'He indicated that as far as he knew, Sue's Used Car Lot was nothing more than a used-car lot.(2198) He did not recall seeing Ruby there. (2199)
- When asked to describe his relationship to Ruby, Todd stated:
To straighten the record out, I never said that I knew Ruby other than just by if he walked down the street,, I would recognize him or Jack Ruby, if he walked in that door, I would recognize him as Jack Ruby, and that's it., (2200)
- Later, when questioned by his attorney, Todd stated that he was never a guest at Ruby's home or Ruby a guest at his home.(2201) He had no business association, with Ruby and did not knew of any of Ruby's activities otter than that of being a club manager.(2202)
- Todd did have some common associates with Ruby--he admitted knowing James Dolan, R.D. Matthews, and Lewis J.McWillie. (2203)
- SWORN TESTIMONY OF J.R. TODD
xv. Irwin Signey Weiner
- Irwin Signey Weiner was born on March 6, 1916, in Chicago, Ill., the son of Leon Weiner, a bookmaker who was shot to death in a murder-suicide incident in Chicago. Weiner has been described as 5 feet 5 1/2 inches, 160 pounds, stocky with blue eyes and brown hair. In 1970, he was residing in Niles, Ill. He had never served in the military and had no felony record. (2204)
- Weiner's connections to organized crime were a dominant, if not pervasive, element in his life, and they included both direct links to the highest levels of organized crime nationally. and in Chicago, and less definitive relationships with seemingly legitimate activities. In a Washington Post article, he was characterized as follows: "... Irwin Weiser is thought to be the underworld's major financial figure in the Midwest." (2205) Almost all documentation concerning Weiner contains references to known organized cringe members, and a comprehensive list of his associates would include a significant number of the major organized crime figures in the United States. (2206)
Treatment by the Warren Commission
- The only reference to Irwin Weiner by the Warren Commission occurs in the Commission's examination of Jack Ruby's telephone records, which indicated a call from Ruby to Weiner (Chicago number SH 3-6865) on October 26, 1963. (2207) Ruby was never questioned about this call; Weiner was never questioned at all. This omission is consistent with the Commission's overall failure to investigate possible organized crime connections.
- It was difficult, if not impossible, to determine if Irwin Weiner had any legitimate source(s) of income, since many of his business positions were primarily fronts or conduits for illegal activities. A February 1969 newspaper clipping chatracterized Weiner as the mob's foremost front man. (2208) Weiner was ostensibly in the bail bonding and insurance businesses, acting both as a broker for other companies and on his own behalf. (2209)
- While Weiner's social position within organized crime circles was undoubtedly high, his status in the general community was unknown, as was his overall financial position. An indication of Weiner's wealth may be found in a 1963 FBI report, which states that Weiner and his associate, Sol Schwartz, may have received up to $1 million in broker fees for negotiating Teamsters bonds. (2210) Weiner stated that he received several hundred thousand dollars for writing a Teamsters bond in the late 1950's, (2211) following the passage. of the Landrum-Griffin Act. A 1960 newspaper clipping stated that from November 1958 until November 1959, Weiner and two associates wrote over $1 million in bail bonds, while 30 agents working under Weiner wrote another $6 million.
- Weiner necessarily needed political and law enforcement connections, and FBI files indicate several instances of bribery and related pressures by Weiner. A 1972 report notes an alleged payoff to the police in Niles, Ill., for their cooperation. (2213) A 1974 FBI Airtel reports an alleged bribe by Weiner to an assistant U.S. Attorney in Chicago to have organized crime figure Sam Battaglia released from prison. (2214)
- Weiner had a very close relationship with Felix '"Milwaukee Phil" Alderisio, whom Weiner had known since he was 13. (2215) Alderisio was a Midwestern organized crime figure. FBI files note that Weiner beame the "caretaker" of Alderisio's interests after his death in 1971 (2276) and that Weiner had access to some stolen jewelry believed to be in Alderisio's possession at his death. (2217) Weiner stated that he and Alderisio were partners in a food shortening corporation and a real estate business. (2218) The shortening company was closed by a Chicago judge in August 1961, (2219) amid allegations that it was employing illegal force to sell its products. (2220) Weiner and Alderisio had many meetings with other notorious organized crime figures, and Alderisio physically threatened at least one individual onWeiner's behalf. (2221)
- The most lucrative relationship between Weiner and organized crime seemed to be with the Teamsters Union, particularly with James R. Hoffa and Allen Dorfman. They and Weiner are consistently grouped together by. the FBI in their files, with Weiner's background and abilities as an insurance broker and bail bondsman apparently useful in manipulating the Teamsters Union Pension Funds to the advantage of the three as well as many others.
- The most well known of these endeavors involved it large ($900,000) loan by the Central States, Southeast, and Southwest Areas Pension Fund (2222) to Gaylur Products, Inc., a New Mexico company with several subsidiaries. (2223) It allegedly manufactured children's toys and other plastic products such as pails. Weiner was listed as the president of this company, with Roland deAngeles as vice president. The loan was negotiated by Weiner through Allen Dorrman. Reportedly, this company was fraudulent and merely a "front topermit business and plane trips to South America for Teamsters officials and 'hoodlum elements'."(2224) In February 1974, Weiner was indicted, with six other individuals including DeAngeles and Dorfman, for the fraudulent use of over $1.4 million of Teamsters funds in connection with Gaylur Products, Inc.(2225) The prosecution's seemingly strong case crumbled when its key witness, Daniel Siefert, was brutally murdered on September 27, 1974, just before the trial was scheduled to begin. (2226) Weiner was subsequently acquitted. (2227) The FBI conducted an extensive investigation into Siefert's death. Weiner was considered a prime suspect, but the case was never satis-factorily solved. (2228)
- The Teamsters also used Weiner's talents by involving him and his many corporate entities in the bonding of individual union chapters across the nation. (2229) Weiner's abilities are also evident in the bonding of Teamsters-financed projects such as hotels, motels, and other businesses. (2230) These activities have linked Weiner with projects in many cities, including Miami and Las Vegas. The financing and bonding of the Dallas Cabana was apparently handled by one of Weiner's bonding associates in Chicago, Sol Schwartz. (2231) There is no indication that Weiner has had any direct business links to Dallas.
- Weiner has allegedly also been involved in various other illegal activities in the Chicago area. One example was defrauding the national welfare and medicare systems located in Chicago through the manipulation of funds and pharmacists and the deliberate burning of medicare clinics for sham insurance claims. (2232) Weiner had been linked to the arson of restaurants and nightclubs, resulting in insurance fraud. (2233) A 1969 FBI memorandum refers to Weiner as being in control of concessions in the Park District of Chicago, thereby receiving kickbacks and payoffs. (2234) A 1973 report states that Weiner was handling all the skimmed money from Las Vegas for Chicago's organized crime community. (2235)
- Weiner's organized crime links extended to Cuba and to Santos Trafficante. Weiner admitted knowing Trafficante and meeting him in both Cuba and Florida. (2236) He had spoken to him as recently as 1977. (2237) A 1962 FBI memorandum from Herbert J. Miller, Jr., also reflects this tie:
For example, Weiner has boasted, and those who were in the know in Cuba have confirmed, that for his services to Phil Alderisio-Santos Trafficante, etc., he was given a substantial interest in the Deauville Gambling Casino and the Capri Gambling Casino in Havana. When Weiner last talked about this he was crying about the loss of a vast fortune, occasioned by Castro. (2238)
Weiner denied ever holding any interest in Cuban gambling casinos (2239) or losing any money as a result of Castro's takeover.(2240)
- In April or May 1960, Weiner reportedly made a trip to Havana with Allen Dorfman, Charles Bray, and Stewart Hopps to "set up various agency and company relationships?' Weiner admitted making several trips to Cuba in 1958 or 1959, but stated they were pleasure trips.(2243) When asked about the aforementioned trip, Weiner acknowledged that it was made in relation to an insurance company that these individuals had formed. (2244)
- Weiner had been arrested only a few times for someone as involved as he was in criminal activities.(2245) A charge of automobile accessory theft in 1934 had been dismissed.(2246) A 1972 FBI report notes an arrest in Fort Worth, Tex., in 1936 for "investiga-A 1951 arrest for bookmaking resulted in a sentence of 2 years probation and a $1,250 fine. (2248) In 1964, Weiner was acquitted of a Federal extortion charge.(2249) More recently he was acquitted in the 1974-75 Teamsters fraud case.(2250)
Relationship with Ruby
- The only definite and documented contact between Weiner and Jack Ruby was the 12-minute telephone call from Ruby to Weiner on Saturday, October 26, 1963, at 12:07 p.m.(2251) The Warren Commission inferred that this call was related to Ruby's 1963 labor problems concerning amateur nights at Dallas nightclubs,(2252) although it did not completely investigate the circumstances of the call.
- On November 27, 1963, Weiner had refused to explain the call's details to the FBI. (2253) He told the committee that FBI agents had contacted his daughter in order to leave a message for him and had frightened her, thus causing Weiner's recalcitrant attitude when the agents spoke to him. (2254) The FBI made no further attempt to interview Weiner. (2255)
- The Ruby FBI files contain information that Irwin Weiner told an organized crime associate that he knew Jack Ruby but had refused to discuss this matter with the FBI.
- In 1974, a private investigator seeking these details was threatened by Weiner during a telephone conversation. (2257) A subsequent investigator was told in January 1978 that the call was more than that of a stranger who needed help with his nightclub, and that the call had nothing to do with labor problems, the American Guild of Variety Artists, or national security interests. This investigator was also told that Weiner and Ruby had been friends, had been acquainted for some time, and had spoken in person and by telephone on numerous occasions. (2258) During his May 1978 executive session testimony before the committee, Weiner stated that he might have told theseindividuals anything, as he was not under oath(2259) and always lied to re- porters. (2260)
Testimony Before the Committee
- In his committee testimony, Weiner offered the following explanation of the October 26 call:
Jack Ruby called me. Evidently he had a nightclub in Dallas, Tex. He had a striptease night; 1 night a week he had an amateur striptease. Some union that was affiliated with entertainers stopped him. They asked him to stop because the amateur entertainers were not members of the union. He stopped and another competitor of his opened up. He called me and wanted to know if I would write a bond. He was looking to get an injunction. The lawyer told him he got an injunction he would have to put up a bond. He asked me if I would do that and I told him no. Then he told me he was going to file a lawsuit. That was the extent of our conversation. It was just in rela- tion to that. I never heard from him since and I have never heard from him prior to that. (2261)
Weiner stated that this was the extent of their conversation, (2262) although the telephone records list the call as being 12 minutes in length. The committee did not find any other evidence that Ruby was contemplating litigation to resolve the labor problems with his competitors.
- Weiner guessed that Jack Ruby called him because of Weiner's acquaintance with Jack's brother, Earl Ruby.(2263) Earl Ruby told the FBI on November 26, 1963, that he had gone to high school in Chicago with Irwin Weiner, and that he "had no knowledge that Weiner knew his brother Jack, but may have had a speaking acquaintance."(2264) When questioned by the committee, Earl Ruby did not mention that he had advised his brother to call Weiner in 1963.(2265)
- In his committee testimony, Weiner acknowledged going to school with Earl Ruby. and said that he might have met Jack Ruby four or five times in his entire life,(2266) but he was not sure when their last contact had occurred.
- Mike Shore, a Californian involved in the entertainment field (2267) also attended school with Weiner and Earl Ruby,(2268) and he and Weiner had been involved in a number of business transactions. (2269) Jack Ruby also called Shore numerous times in 1963 to seek help with his labor problems,(2270) including calls in the days before and after the October 26 call to Weiner. Weiner stated that Shore never mentioned to him the calls from Ruby.(2271) Shore may have prompted Ruby's call to Weiner, however, by mentioning the latter's name in one of' his 1963 telephone conversations with Ruby. "Ruby asked if he should call Weiner about the trouble he was havingwith AGVA but Shore replied, 'What can he do ?.' Shore did not know if Ruby did call Weiner."(2272) (Earl Ruby worked with Shore following the Oswald shooting to raise defense funds and to secure an attorney.)(2273)
- Since Weiner and Ruby both had associations with organized crime and labor figures, it is possible that they had common associates, although no instances have arisen wherein Ruby and Weiner actually were found to be in contact as a result of any common associates.
- One possible link involves Jack Ruby's association and acquaintance with Paul Dorfman, a key figure in the organization and solidification of the coalition between organized crime members, the Teamsters Union, and Hoffa. In 1940, Dorfman became head of the Waste Material Handlers Union in Chicago; Ruby had briefly served as a union organizer under Dorfman (for approximately 12 months), having held that position before Dorfman took over. Dorfman clearly remembered Ruby when interviewed by the FBI in 1963, although he said that since 1940 he had not seen Ruby except for few chance meetings in the street. (2275) Paul Dorfman died in 1971, leaving his stepson, Allen Dorfman, to control and influence much of the Teamsters' illegal activities in conjunction with Hoffa, thereby closely alining him with Weiner. There is no documentation of any Ruby-Weiner contact through either of the Dorfmans.
- Executive session testimony before the House Select Committee on Assassinations.
G. JACK RUBY CHRONOLOGIES: 1940-64 AND NOVEMBER 22--24, 1963*