A. McWillie biographical data
McWillie was born May 4, 1903 in Kansas City, Missouri (p. 4). His current address is 3627 Eastern Avenue, Las Vegas, Nevada (p. 3). He is currently employed as a floorman at the Holiday Inn casino in Las Vegas (p. 4) and has worked at various casions for many years.
McWillie worked at the Blue Bonnet Hotel in Dallas in 1941 and 1942 (p. 8). and then worked at the Top of the Hill Terrace in Arlington, Texas for eight or nine years (p. 7). Then he ran a gambling house in Fort Worth for several years called the Four Duces (p. 6).
Following this he worked at the Tropicana and Capri Hotel in Cuba (p. 6), and spent some time working in Aruba and Curacao (p. 5). In 1961 he began working in Nevada, at the Cal-Neva Lodge (p. 5). and then at the Riverside Hotel. Thunderbird Club, Carousel Club (Las Vegas), Horseshoe Club, arts finally the Holiday Inn casino (pp. 4-5).
B. Relationship with Jack Ruby
McWillie met Ruby in 1951. He would see Ruby occasionally in a late-night restaurant and was told that Ruby ran the Vegas Club. "Finally, one night we got up to go out into the lobby of the hotel and he walked up to me and said, 'Is your name McWillie?' I said, 'Yes.' And he explained who he was and that he was Jewish and that he was having a problem with his night club" (p. 9).
Ruby's problem apparently concerned a curfew and possible discriminatory enforcement by somebody (p. 11). McWillie advised Ruby to speak to an individual named Schepps (p- 9)- Between 1951 and 1958 McWillie could not get rid of Ruby and they became pretty good friends (pp. 9, 23).
The last time McWillie saw Ruby was in 1961 when McWillie was driving from Miami to Las Vegas and he stayed overnight in Dallas (p. 80). While in Las Vegas McWillie received several letters from Ruby which concerned Ruby's Carousel club in Dallas and how nice it was and items of this nature (p. 79).
Early in 1963 McWillie called Ruby and wanted Ruby to go to a gun dealer in Dallas (Ray Brantley) and purchase a handgun and send it to Las Vegas, as McWillie stated that he didn't know where to go in Las Vegas to get a gun (pp. 19-20). McWillie did not recall asking Ruby to send him four guns (to Cuba) in 1959 (pp. 21, 69).
In 1963 Ruby called McWillie to see if he could help out with Ruby's labor and union (AGVA) problems- McWillie suggested contacting William Miller, who was in the entertainment field. Ruby did this and later called McWillie a number of times to express his thanks for McWillie's aid (pp. 17, 71). McWillie had no familiarity with AGVA's operations in Dallas (p. 71).
McWillie several times denied making statements to the FBI in 1963 and 1964 (p. 113) concerning Ruby.
C. McWillie in Cuba
McWillie was in Cuba from the middle of 1958 until January 1, 1961. Johnny Williams contacted McWillie about a possible job at the Tropicana in Cuba (p. 82), so McWillie went to Cuba and met with the Tropicana's owners, Martinez and Pedro Fox (p. 83). He got the job and was later promised a percentage of the club's profits if it was a success but this did not turn out to be the case (p. 85) When the government closed the clubs the Foxes went to Miami (p. 86).
In Cuba McWillie knew Santos Trafficante and Norman Rothman but Just in the sense of casually seeing them (p. 91). He saw Trafficante in prison once but did not talk to him (p. 92). He did see Dino Cellini
in prison, as Cellini was at one time manager at the Tropicana (p. 94) McWillie's reason for visiting the prison at all was to see a younger individual who had been a dealer at the club (p. 95). McWillie also met Jake Lansky in Cuba (p. 96). and he made a number of trips to Miami to deposit money in banks for the Foxes (p. 99) McWillie stated that the Cuban government never bothered him(p. 93). After leaving Cuba he had strong anti-Castro feelings.
D. Ruby in Cuba
McWillie convinced the Foxes that one way to get more business for the Tropicana would be to have Tony Zoppi, a Dallas entertainment columnist, come to Cuba and then give the club a write-up- To do this McWillie invited Zoppi and Ruby (they were also friendly) to Cuba and he called Ruby in the spring of 1959 to inform him of this plan (p. 12). Ruby said that he would get Zoppi to go along with the plan (p. 106), and McWillie eventually sent two airplane tickets to Dallas (pp. 13, 108). Zoppi couldn't make the trip so Ruby came by himself, in August, 1959, which foiled the publicity angle (p. 13). McWillie did not know why Zoppi did not come (p. 111).
McWillie displayed part of a letter written by Zoppi to Hatty Brescia Enterprises in which Zoppi states that any theories concerning the assassination and Ruby and Cuban links are not true (pp. 14-15). Ruby stayed in Cuba for about six days and McWillie believes that he then went back to Dallas (p. 17). McWillie can't remember what he did in Cuba besides annoy him (p. 103). McWillie did introduce Ruby to the Foxes (p. 86), and says that he is not sure if Ruby accompanied him on any prison visits (p. 133). McWillie doesn't recall a one-day Ruby visit to Cuba and says that if this occurred in 1959 then he would know about it. (p. 133).
E. McWillie associates
McWillie says that he knows R.D. Matthews, a Dallas gambler (p. 40). He knew Joseph Civello in Dallas (p. 59), and he knew Jack Todd and saw Todd once or twice in Cuba, but Ruby wasn't in Cuba at those times (p. 61). He knew Sam Yaras, brother of organized crime figure Dave Yaras (pp. 64-65).
McWillie knew George Butler of the Dallas police (p. 74). He knew Meyer Panitz well (p. 100). He knew Mike McLaney and worked for him at one time, in 1975. He also knew Mike's brother Bill McLaney (p. 123).
F. Ruby information
McWillie says that Ruby always had a gun, in order to protect the receipts from his club, and he remembers the sack wherein Ruby kept the gun and money (pp. 20, 70).
There was no gambling activity at the Vegas Club and this club was full of customers all the time (pp. 23, 26). McWillie was never in Ruby's Carousel club. Ruby himself would never gamble on anything and was not involved with gambling in any way (pp. 33, 36, 54). Ruby did not know any of the prominent Dallas gambling figures (pp. 45-46).
Ruby was a frugal individual (p. 36). He was always courteous to Dallas policemen and gave them whiskey as Christmas presents (p. 72). McWillie believes that Ruby had wanted to be a big man around Dallas and that he shot Oswald in order to become a martyr of some sorts (pp. 30, 129-130).
G. Ruby associates
McWillie says that two of Ruby's closest friends were Jake Rifkin, a gambler, and Mark Panitz, although this may be Meyer Panitz (pp. 27-28), whom McWillie later describes as one of Ruby's closest-: friends (p. 101). Panitz is described as a bookmaker. Ruby knew W.C. Kirkwood, but not his son Pat Kirkwood (p. 33). Ruby knew the Campisi brothers in Dallas and thinks that Ruby knew Jack Todd (pp. 59, 62). Ruby knew Gordon McLendon very well (p. 73)
About four months ago Earl Ruby introduced himself to McWillie in Las Vegas and said he was in town working on a documentary about Jack Ruby. McWillie told Earl Ruby that he wasn't interested in talking to him and that his relationship with Jack Ruby had already caused him enough problems (pp. 38-39).
Index of Names for McWillie Deposition
Johnny Avon43, 46
Dominic Bartone 118
Benny Bickers 44, 46
Benny Binion 42, 43, 45, 46, 49.51, 61
Willie Bischorf (aka Lefty Clark)87, 88
Johnny Blaine 134
Fred Browning 7, 44, 45, 46
Dino Cellini94-95, 134
Berle Cheek 43-44, 46
Oscar Cheninder86, 132
Earl Dalton7-8, 42, 51-52, 75
James Henry Dolan71
Paul Dorfman 65
William E. Fletcher131
Martinez, Pedro Fox 83, 85-86, 90, 93, 99, 105, 116-117
Sam Giancana97, 125
Eva Grant 38
Lois Green 61
J. Patrick Hemming122
John Wilson Hudson93
E. Howard Hunt127
H. L. Hunt 57, 74
Paul R. Jones67
Fay Kirkwood32, 35
Pat Kirkwood 32-34
W.C. Kirkwood 32-35, 44
Jake Lansky95, 134
Vincent Lee 71
Mike McLaney 122-123, 125
Robert McKeown68, 118
Carlos, Vincent Marcello39
John Thomas Masen68
Elizabeth Ann Matthews40
Russell D. Matthews40-41
Ivy Miller 7-8, 42-43, 45, 51-52, 75
Misty Lane Miller102
William Miller18, 135
Mark, Meyer Panitz28, 100-102, 135
Tony Pappa 72
Sid Richardson56, 58
Jake Rifkin27-29, 135
Helen Alfonse Roan67
John Roselli96-97, 125
Norman Rothman91, 94
Red Scarborough7, 42-43, 46, 51-52, 75
Julius Schepps9-11, 22, 75
John Eli Stone63
Santos Trafficante91-94, 134
Will Wilson 48
Tony Zoppi12-14, 16, 24, 81, 100, 106-112, 114-115, 119-120
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
SELECT COMMITTEE ON ASSASSINATIONS
DEPOSITION OF LEWIS J. MC WILLIE, a witness produced, sworn, and examined on Tuesday, the 4th day of April, in the year of our Lord 1978, between the hours of 8 o'clock in the forenoon and 6 o'clock in the afternoon of that day, in Room 4-003, Federal Courthouse, 210 Las Vegas Boulevard, before the Select Committee on Assassinations, House of Representatives of the United States of America.
For the Committee:
JAMES WOLF, Deputy Chief Counsel, Select Committee on Assassinations,U.S. House of Representatives,Washington, D.C.
DONALD A. PURDY, Staff Counsel, Select Committee on Assassinations, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
LEWIS J. MC WILLIE of lawful age, being produced, sworn, and examined on the part of the Committee, deposeth and saith:
MR. WOLF: The record should note that the witness has been sworn by Magistrate Ward.
My name is Janes Wolf. My co-counsel today is Donald Purdy and we both have been, pursuant to House Resolution 222 and Committee Rule 4, designated counsel empowered to take statements under oath.
DIRECT EXAMINATION BY MR. WOLF:
Q Will the witness please state his name for the record?
Q. Will the witness please state his name for the record?
A. Lewis J. McWillie.
Q. And, Mr. McWillie, you have been subpoenaed by the House Committee but instead of an appearance inWashington, you requested that this deposition take place in--
A. (Interrupting) Yes, I just had an operation on my eye.
Q. Excuse me, sir.
A. I just had an operation on my eyes. I had a detatched retina in my left eye, right eye, too.
Q.And this deposition is taking place at your request, then, to avoid an appearance in Washington, is that correct?
A.I wanted to be close to my doctors, yes.
Q.Mr. McWillie, you are aware that under our Committee's rules, you have the right to have counsel with you at this deposition.
A.I don't need any counsel. I don't think.
Q.And, Mr. McWillie, you have been given a copy of our Committee Rules and House Resolutions 222. 433 and 760, is that correct?
A.To tell you the truth, I didn't read it. I just knew it was a subpoena.
Q.Well, are you aware of Committee Rule 4. which is about the designated counsel taking your statements under oath? You have been given a copy of the Committee Rules. is that correct?
A. Yes. BY MR. PURDY:
Q. Mr. McWillie, could you please state your present address?
A. 3627 Eastern Avenue.
Q. In Las Vegas?
A. Las Vegas, yes.
Q.What is your date and place of birth?
A.Kansas City, Missouri, 1908.
Q What was the month and day?
Q.What is your present occupation?
A.I'm a floorman in a casino.
Q.What casino is that?
Q.How long have you worked there?
A.I 've worked there a little over a year, about 14 months.
Q.Where did you work before that?
A. I worked before that at the Horseshoe Club.
Q. How long did you work there?
A. I worked there on and off many years, since 67, I believe -
Q. Do you recall where you worked prior to that?
A. I worked at the Carousel Club.
Q. How long did you work there?
A. Let me see, about three years, I guess.
Q. That would be 1964 to 19677
A. I would say so. I'm not sure but I would say that's about the date.
Q. What city was that?
A. Here in Las Vegas.
Q. Where did you work prior to 1964?
A. 1964 I worked at the Riverside Hotel in Reno.
Q. How long did you work there?
A. I worked there the latter part of '61 through '62.
Q. What was your job prior to that?
A. What was my job, where did I work prior to that?
A. I worked at the Thunderbird Hotel. I left there and went to the Thunderbird Hotel.
Q. How long did you work there?
A. I worked there about a year.
Q. Where did you work prior to that?
A. I went to an island named Arruba, the Netherland Antilles. I stayed there maybe a month and then was transferred to Curacao. I stayed there about nine months.
Q. Who transferred you to Curacao?
A. Jay Kosloff. K-o-s-l-o-f-f.
Q. Prior to working in Arruba, where did you work?
A. I went from Arruba to Curacao, last place I worked.
Q. No, I mean prior to Arruba, where did you work?
A. Prior to Arruba I worked at the--wait a minute now. Wait just a minute. I skipped one place I didn't tell you. Before I went to the Riverside, I worked at the Cal Neva Lodge. In '61 I was at the Cal-Neva Lodge.
Q. So you worked--
A. (Interrupting) Then I went to the other places.
Q. Then you went on to Arruba and Curacao?
Q. Prior to working at the Cal-Neva Lodge, where did you work?
A. Prior to that I worked in Cuba.
Q. Did you work in Havanna at that time?
A. Yes. sir.
Q. Did you work at the Tropicana then?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Did you work at any other--
A. (Interrupting) I worked in the Capri Hotel, I don't know how long, it wasn't very long, though.
Q. Where did you work prior to working at the Tropicana and the Capri Hotels?
A. In Dallas.
Q. Where did you work in Dallas?
A. Well, I had a little gambling house, let me see, in Fort Worth.
Q. How long did you run that gambling house?
A. We had it a couple or three years, I guess. I don't exactly remember how long.
Q. What was the name of that gambling house?
A. The Four Duces we called it. Prior to that I worked at the Top of the Hill Terrace in Arlington, Texas.
Q How long did you work there?
A. Oh, I'd say eight years, nine years.
Q. Who did you work for there?
A. Who did I work for? I worked for a man named Fred Browning and I worked for Earl Dalton, Ivy Miller and a fellow named Scarborough-
Q. What kind of work did you do at that club?
A. I was a manager.
Q. You managed the gambling activities?
A. The gambling. yes.
Q. When did you begin the gambling operation at the Four Duces?
A. Doggone if I know. I think it was '51, I'm not sure, not positive.
Q. What kind of gambling went on there?
A. Dice games and 21 game.
Q. Just dice and card games?
Q. Was there any numbers operation working out of there?
A. No, no, it was a little place.
Q. Where did you work prior to the Four Duces?
A. I told you that, at the Top of the Hill Terrace.
Q. Where did you work prior to that?
A. Let me see. I worked in Dallas at a place called the Blue Bonnet Hotel, I believe it was.
Q. Was there a gambling operation there?
Q. What kind of gambling was there?
A. Dice game.
Q. Who did you work for there?
A. I worked for Miller.
Q. Ivy Miller?
A. Ivy Miller and Earl Dalton, the only two I know I was working for.
Q.When did you begin your work at the Blue Bonnet?
A.Let me see. It was so long ago. I'd say '41 or '42, I 'm not sure.
Q.So you worked at the Blue Bonnet from 1941 to '42 until you worked at the Four Duces?
A.I don't think I worked for the Blue Bonnet but about a year. Then I went out to the Top of the Hill.
Q.So you worked in Dallas at the Blue Bonnet, then the Top of the Hill, then the Four Duces?
Q.So the first club that you owned, what was the first club that you owned? Was that the Four Duces?
A.That was the Four Duces, yes.
Q.So the other places you worked for other people, is that right?
A.Other people, yes.
Q.Mr. McWillie, when did you meet Jack Ruby?
A.Jack Ruby, I 've tried to think what year it was. Do you want me to tell you the whole story about Jack Ruby from the beginning to the end?
Q.I think that would be a good idea, yes, sir.
A.I believe it was when I was at the Four Duces and a couple of dealers and myself would stop in an all-night restaurant and get a bite to eat when we come in, maybe 2 o'clock, 1 o'clock, 3 o'clock. I noticed a fellow at the counter with a hat on, which was very unusual to see a fellow with a hat on around Dallas. I asked one of the fellows, I said, "Who is that fellow?" He kept looking at us. He said, "That's a fellow named Jack Ruby that runs a club named the Vegas Club out on Oak Lawn", I believe it was. About three or four nights he was there. Finally, one night we got up to go out into the lobby of the hotel and he walked up to me and said, "Is your name McWillie?" I said, "Yes." And he explained who he was and that he was Jewish and that he was having a problem to with his night club. He talked like a real nice fellow. I said, "Why don't you go see Mr. Schepps, a man named Julius Schepps." He owned a big liquor distributing place there and he used to play with us at the Top of the Hill, a real nice man. MR. WOLF: Could you spell the name Schepps?
WITNESS: I'd have to say it was S-c-h-e- p-p-s.
BY MR. PURDY:
Q. Do you remember his first name?
BY MR. WOLF:
Q. Also for the record, what year was this that you first met Jack Ruby?
A.I don't know. I think it was around '51, I believe.I would have to say it was around '51, I don't know exactly. I tried to think what year it was.
BY MR. PURDY:
Q. What was the name of the restaurant you say you saw him?
A. It was a place called Webb 's Coffee Shop in the Southland Hotel.
MR. WOLFE: Continue.
A.And then I suggested that he go see him. He was a big Jewish leader in the city. And he did. From then on I cold never get rid of Jack Ruby. Jack Ruby was at my apartment. He was around me all the time. He just appreciated, I guess, what I had done for him. So, finally, I went to Cuba, I think, in '58, I believe.
BY MR. PURDY:
Q. Could we back up just a little bit before we move on to '58. What was the nature of the problem that Jack Ruby was having with his club?
A. They were making him close early or something.
Q. Was this a curfew?
A. They enforced a curfew on him. so he said, I don't know.
Q. Was it your impression that they were enforcing a rule against him that they were not enforcing against other clubs?
A. That 's what he said.
Q. Why did you refer him to Mr. Schepps?
A. He said he was Jewish, therefore, Mr. Schepps was a big leader in the Jewish community, and I didn't know if he could do him any good or not, to tell you the truth. But he evidently did him good. He didn't have no more trouble after that.
Q. Did Mr. Schepps have good connections with the authorities in Dallas that could help Jack Ruby?
A.He was a well-known man and a well-liked man. He was just a fine man, Mr. Schepps was.
Q. What was his occupation?
A.He had a liquor distributing, I think it's Seagrams.
Q.Do you want to proceed with your story about Jack Ruby?
A.If you want me to.
A.So when I go to Cuba in, I believe it was the middle of '58, I'm not positive of what date it was, and I get this job at the Tropicana Hotel, managing the Tropicana Hotel with a promise of a percentage of the place when it got to doing good, which it never did much good on account of the revolution coming up and all that. I stayed there until, I don't know how long I stayed there. I stayed there after Castro got there anyway, '59, maybe in the latter part of '59 or '60. And then I went up--they didn't close it, the government took it. And from there I went up to the Capri and stayed there a very short while. I don't know how long, before the government took it. And from then on I wasn't doing anything until I went to Miami.
Q.Could you continue on your contact with Jack Ruby over those years?
A.When I was in the Tropicana, they were hunting for business, trying to get business, and I suggested that I call Jack Ruby and have him get a hold of Tony Zoppi. Tony Zoppi is a well known columnist like Bishop, Earl Wilson, people like that. That's the kind of a man he was in Dallas and all society people read his column. He wrote me back that they 'd come over on a certain date. So I sent him two tickets, which the place paid for. Then I explained to him we would pay for their room. We figured we would get a lot of publicity from it and people from Dallas would come to Cuba.
Later on, if I remember right. Jack came and said that, what's his name, Tony couldn't make it. That's the cause of all my problems. Here's a letter. Would you care to see this? It's from my brother to me. A fellow had written my brother a letter and put a piece in there where Zoppi had--my brother's letter is kind of a personal letter.
BY MR. WOLF:
Q..Is this the letter you would like us to read?
A. That's from my brother. It explains that he's sending me this piece. It's just a personal letter but in it he states where he 's sending me a--would you like me to come over there?
Q. Yes, if you would, to explain these.
A. This is part of the letter and this is the man that sent my brother the letter. This is really what I wanted you to see (indicating).
Q. This is a copy of a portion of a letter that Tony Zoppi sent to--
A.(Interrupting) That 's the original letter.
Q.This is the original letter?
A.That's the original part. The other part of the letter didn't mean a darn thing to me.
Q. Tony Zoppi sent this to whom?
A. To the man's name you've got there in your right hand.
Q. To Matty Brescia Enterprises?
Q.Mr. McWillie, could we retain these for the record?
A. Could you make a copy of it and give me back that part?
MR. WOLF: For the record, Mr. McWillie has given us part of a letter allegedly sent by Tony Zoppi to a Matty Brescia, B-r-e-s-c-i-a, Enterprises at 4990 Popular, Suite 331, Memphis, Tennessee 38117, and I will read that portion of the letter which Mr. McWillie has given us.It states. "Give my regard to Mcwillie next time you are in touch. Jack Ruby and I were supposed to visit him in Havana but I got side tracked. Jack went on ahead and it has caused Mac a lot of trouble over the years. The quick buck artists are saying Jack went down there to plan the assassination. He couldn't have planned a gas station holdup in those days. All of a sudden, he's a CIA agent, a Mafiadon, et cetera, et cetera, sickening. Keep in touch and God bless. Keep up the good work and I will say another prayer for Buddy."
THE WITNESS: That's his kid that got killed
MR. WOLF: "Sincerely, Tony."Buddy is Tony's son who got killed.
THE WITNESS: They're good friends, both in the same kind of work. This fellow writes for a variety magazine.
MR. WOLF: you're speaking of Marry Brescia?
THE WITNESS: Tony is a published, man at the Riveria Hotel.
BY MR. PURDY:
Q.Who is Buddy?
A. Read it over about Buddy.
MR. WOLF: "Keep up the good work and I will say another prayer for Buddy."
A. Buddy was his son. young son. He was sitting in a window and he fell out of the window and it killed him.
BY MR. WOLF:
Q.Is that Mat Brescia's son?
A. Matty Brescia's son.You can keep that if you want to if you give me a copy of it.
MR. WOLF: Surely, thank you.
BY MR. WOLF:
Q. You've not given us the top of the letter. Do you know approximately what date this was written?
A.. It's on the envelope with the date I received the letter from my brother.
Q. It's stamped Memphis, Tennessee, 18 August 1976.
A. It must have been right around that time. I guess.
Q. To the best of your knowledge, your brother for- warded this to you as soon as your brother had received it?
A. I 'm sure he did, yes.
Q. And how did your brother get the letter from Mr. Brescia?
A. Brescia gave it to him.
Q. And your brother's located in Memphis, Tennessee?
A. Isn't there a yellow piece of paper in there from Brescia, a white piece maybe? I think there's a letter in there from Brescia.
Q. Yes, there's a portion of a letter that says, "Hi, Jim." Is that your brother's name, Jim?
A. Jim, yes.
Q. It says, "Thought you'd want see this letter from Louie's and my friend, Tony Zoppi, former columnist in Dallas, now big executive at the Riveria in Vegas. Show this Louie when you see him. He would like it. Pray for our dear son and us. It was a tragic loss. Jim, Monsignor Clunen, C-l-u-n-e-n, delivered the mass and eulogy. God bless you always. Your friend and Louie's and your family, Matty Brescia."Thank you, Mr. McWillie, we'll make copies and return them back to you.
BY MR. WOLF:
Q. If you could continue, you were talking about inviting Jack and Tony down to visit you at the Tropicana.
A. Tony didn't come and he came. I think he stayed around there about six days. I was at the Tropicana at the time. He was there every night that he was in Havana and after that he went back to Dallas. That's the last time I've seen him in Havana. He never came back to Havana.
Q. And if you would continue your relationship to Jack after you came back.
A. He'd write me letters. Oh. I'll tell you another thing about him. In, I believe it was the early part of 1963, he called me up and he was having some trouble with the AGVA. That's the American Guild of Variety Artists. He said, "Mac, do you know anybody that knows the president of the company?" I explained all of this to the FBI. You can check with them. I don't think I told them about Zoppi. I forgot about it. I didn't tell them. He said, "If you can find somebody that knows the president, I'm having a lot of trouble with my competition." I understand he'd had another place. At that time he had a place up town right next to this other place. I said, "Well, I know a man that might know him", a man named Bill Miller who was an entertainment director at the Hilton Hotels. I called Bill and I said, "Bill. there's a friend of mine that's having trouble with the AGVA." I knew he knew the president because I had heard him speak of it. I ran the place in Reno for him. I said. "Is there anything you could do for him?" I gave him Jack's number. I said, "Call him and see what you can do for him." So another day or two went by and Jack called me. If he called me once, he called me five times thanking me, thanking me, thanking me, like to ran me crazy. Then I got letters from him. Prior to that he got into some of razor blade deal, some kind of razor blade that came out in England, what do they call it, but it was supposed to be terrific razor blade. So he sent me three or four packages in an envelope, just stuff like that. Jack was a kind of a, he wanted to be a big man, do you know what I mean. He was kind of an egotist. That was about it with Jack. He just wanted to be around me for some reason. I don't know why. He just did.
Q. What were the nature of your contacts with Jack Ruby after he left Havana other than that one phone call where he called you for help with the union ?
A. I called him one time, I was working the grave- yard. they call it the graveyard, at the Thunderbird at the time. That's from 2 to 12 in the daytime, I think it was 2 to 12. And there were a bunch of people holding people up around there. If they didn't have any money on them, enough for them. they would beat them up. So I called Ruby and asked Ruby to send me a gun. At that time the kids were just little kids, six and five, seven or six. I never did take the gun out. I just let it go back. My wife was scared the kids would get a hold of it some way and maybe get hurt.
BY MR. PURDY:
Q. When was that that you asked him to send you a gun?
A. Let me see, the gun came, you can check the gun, check the place where he got it from. It must have been around August, I would say. I wouldn't know for sure. though.
Q. August of what year?
A. Let me see, I think I was here, the first time I was here was in '60. I would say the early part of '63 is when he sent it.
Q. Why did you ask Jack Ruby to send you a gun?
A. I didn't know where to buy one here. I didn't even know you could buy a gun in a store. I hadn't been here long enough to know that.
Q. You had been here about two years before you asked him to send you a gun?
A. I had been here a very short time, '63. I think I came here in '63. I think when I went to work at the Thunderbird. I came down from Reno. I think it was the first part of '63. I think, February of '63. This might have happened in March, I believe, I don't know. You can check that out.
Q. What made you think that Jack Ruby could get you a gun?
A. Because I told him to go to this place because I had always bought shotguns to hunt with and rifles to hunt deer with and everything and I knew the man.
Q. Do you know if Jack Ruby had been there before?
A. No, I don't.
Q. Was it Ray Brantley?
A. It was Ray's place.
Q. Do you know whether or not Jack Ruby had a gun prior to that time?
A.Jack always had a gun, he always carried a gun. He didn't carry it. He had it in his car. He would have his receipts every night to go drop it in the bank depository.
Q. Did he have more than one gun in his home?
A. I don't know how many he had. I wouldn't think he had more than one. I never did see more than one.
Q. Do you recall telling the FBI the Jack Ruby had a number of guns in his home?
A. No. I don't. I don't remember. I don't remember the FBI even asking me if he had any guns in his house.
Q. Can you presently recall whether or not Jack Ruby had more than one gun?
A.No, sir, I don't.
Q. Did you ask Jack Ruby to send you four guns in 1959?
A. No. sir. I don't recall anything like that. I've been asked that a lot of times. I don't recall that, no.
Q. Did you ever ask Jack Ruby to obtain a gun for you other than the incident you previously testified to today?
A. The only gun I ever had him get was the one that I told you about just now.
Q. Did you ever ask him to get you other guns?
A. No, I don't recall anything like that
Q. Did you ever discuss with him how to obtain a gun other than that particular incident?
A. I knew how to obtain a gun. At this Ray's place, like I say, I bought a lot of guns, rifles and shotguns.
Q. But you never bought pistols there?
A.Not that I recall.
Q. Did you take any of the guns that you'd bought at Ray's place with you to Cuba?
A. I left them in Dallas. My wife and I separated and she took the guns and everything.
Q. Mr. McWillie, between the time that you asked Julius Schepps to help Jack Ruby or you suggested to Jack Ruby that he go to Mr. Schepps for help--
A. (Interrupting) I suggested that he go and talk to Mr. Schepps.
Q. (Continuing) --what was the nature of your relationship to Jack Ruby after that prior to the Cuba incident? What kind of a relationship did you have?
A. I never could get rid of him- He was around me all the time. I 'd have to insult him to get rid of him Do you know what I mean? He'd come by the apartment and he'd swim and eat dinner at the house a lot of times. I just couldn't get rid of him that's all I can tell you. Not that I wanted to. He was a nice fellow. Whoever thought he would do anything like this, I didn't.
Q. Did you get to be pretty good friends with him?
Q. What kinds of things did you do together?
A. Went out to dinner. I dropped by his club maybe once or twice when he had it out on Oak Lawn. At that time rock and roll had just started.
Q. Which club was that?
A. The Vegas Club.
Q. What kind of operation did he have at the Vegas Club?
A. Let me think. He had a band and he was the emcee and he served, I think he served beer. I don't believe he served whiskey, beer. That's about all there was to it. He had this other club after I left Dallas. I never did even see that place. That was the one up town.
Q. Was that the carousel Club?
A. Yes, I never saw that.
Q. You're never been in the Carousel Club?
A. No, never in my life.
Q. Did any gambling go on at the Vegas Club, to your knowledge?
Q. What can you tell us about Jack Ruby's political views? Did you ever discuss politics with him?
A. No, I never did. When I was around Jack Ruby, I think Eisenhower was president, I believe he was.
Q. That would be the 1950's?
A. When was Truman president, do you remember?
Q. Prior to 1952.
A. Truman was president. And I met Jack right around the first part of the '50's, I'd say the first part of the '50's and Truman was president and Eisenhower was president.
Q. How did he feel about Truman and Eisenhower?
A. I never discussed politics with him.
Q. Do you know how he voted?
A. He wouldn't bet anything. I don't think he ever bet a nickel on anything.
Q. I was asking who he voted for. Do you know who he voted for?
A. I don't know. There would be no way I'd know.
Q. Did you discuss with Jack Ruby any major events in the country that went on in the 50's? Did you discuss the Korean War, for example?
A. Nothing. We never discussed politics.
Q. Did you ever discuss Cuban-American relations?
A. No, I did not.
Q. Did you ever discuss Castro or Batista with Jack Ruby?
A. No, I never discussed any kind of politics with Jack Ruby at all.
Q. Do you ever recall Jack Ruby talking about the Kennedys, how he felt about the Kennedys?
A. Just what I read, I think it was in Tony Zoppi's office right after it happened and he was crying and carrying on, what I read in the paper and you did, too, I'm sure. But I never recall him saying one word about the Kennedys.
Q.You don't recall him expressing a great love for the Kennedys?
A. No. I don't, because Kennedy wasn't president. Eisenhower was president, I'm sure.
Q. What kind of man was Jack Ruby toward people?
A. Like I said, Jack Ruby wanted to be a bigman. He wanted to be the biggest night club operator in Dallas. That is my assumption. Like I said before, he was kind of an egotist and wore a hat all the time, which was very unusual I thought at the time. Nobody else ever wore a hat around Dallas.
Q. Did you find him to be a violent man?
A. No, sir, he sure wasn't. Now, in his club if someone got out of line, that means fighting or something, he would just take them and put them out. I never saw him hurt anybody
Q. You never saw him even strike anyone?
A. No, I never did.
Q. Did you ever know of him beating up anyone?
A. I don't recall ever hearing him beat up anyone.
Q. Did Jack Ruby ever get in any arguments with you or anyone else over any subject?
A. He never got in an argument with me for sure. I can't recall him ever having an argument. He had a lot of friends around Dallas, different people.
Q. Do you remember him getting in any arguments about his union troubles?
Q. Do you remember him getting in any arguments about paying his employees?
Q. Do you remember him getting in any arguments about the strip-tease shows?
A. Like I said, when I was there, he didn't have a strip-tease joint. I don't think it was strip tease. I don 't think he ever had strip tease out at the place.
Q. Please continue-
A. I think all he had was a stage in the middle of the place, a room a little bigger than this one. He had a stage up against one wall and he would come out and do the emcee and everybody would laugh because he didn't know how to talk, you know.
Q. That was the Vegas Club?
A. Yes: he had a band and as far as I can recall, I don't believe he had any strip tease. I'm almost positive he didn't.
Q. How successful was the Vegas Club?
A. He said it was doing all right. I wouldn't have any way of knowing. It was full all the time.
Q. Did he ever ask you for money?
Q. Do you remember if he ever got money from any other individuals?
Q. Do you remember that he had any business partners?
A. No, I don't think he did, to tell you the truth. No I'm sure he didn't
Q. Do you remember if he ever got in any financial trouble?
A. What, sir?
Q. In financial trouble.
A. No, sir, I don't think he ever did as long as I knew him, he didn't. At least he never said anything about it.
Q. Did Jack Ruby have problems with his incom taxes?
A. Not that I know of. I didn't know him that well to know all his business, you know, his personal business. He could have had anything and I wouldn't know it.
Q. Did he ever propose any business deals with you?
A. Never, never
Q. Do you know any people who were particularly good friends with Jack Ruby?
A. Well, I know two real good friends of his. One fellow named Jake Rifkin, he's dead. He died a year or so ago. And another one named Mark Panitz, P-a-n-i-t-z. They were two of his close friends.
Q. What did Jake Rifkin do for a living?
A. He was a gambler.
Q. Where did he gamble?
A. Around Memphis, around. let's see if he ever dealt any gambling houses. yes, he has dealt in gambling houses, I don't recall which one, around Memphis years and years ago. many years ago.
Q. How did Jack Ruby get to know him?
A. Through me. They were friends of mine.
Q. Did Jake Rifkin gamble in Dallas?
A. I think he worked around Dallas, I believe dealing around there some.
Q. Do you know who he worked for?
A. He might have come out and worked for me a couple of times up at the Top of the Hill, a few times.
Q. During what period of time did he get to be good friends with Jack Ruby?
A. Did he get to be? I'd say about the same time I did. They were both my good friends.
Q. So that would have been late '40's or early '50's?
A. I'd have to say the early '50's. I'm pretty sure it was early. it could have been the late '40's. but I think it was early '50's.
Q. For how long a period of time was Jake Rifkin and Jack Ruby good friends?
A. Let me see. I'd say six or seven years, eight years maybe.
Q. Why did they stop being good friends?
A. I don't really know. They were still good friends as far as I know. I don't know. Jake left there. Let me see, I think he went to Hot Springs. He used to go to Hot Springs every year.
Q. Do you know--
A. (Interrupting) And he could have worked over there, too, I don't know.
Q. Who were some of the people Jake Rifkin gambled with in Dallas?
A. I really wouldn't know. I wouldn't know, different gamblers. I wouldn't know.
Q. What type of gambling would he have been involved in ?
A. Oh, hell. he'd do anything, shoot dice, bet on horses, baseball games, football games. Herd bet on anything.
Q. Did Jack Ruby have any other friends who were involved in gambling?
A. I can't think of any, no. But these two fellows, they were friends of his.
Q. How did you know they were good friends of his?
A. They would be at my apartment and we would swim and they would be there all the time.
Q. I believe you stated that Jack Ruby thought very highly of you?
A. He did. On account of me doing him so many favors I guess. Like I told you about the union, straightened that out, Bill Miller. And he called me later and said, what kind of people are you having me call, calling me. Well, what the hell, pardon me, I didn't know that Jack Ruby was going to do what he did. There wasn't any way in the world I would know that. I thought he was harmless. And I still think that he did it. I thought he thought it would make him a big man, that's all I can say. And I 've told everybody that. And that's exactly the reason I think he did it. He thought it would make him a martyr or something.
Q. Was Jack Ruby very interested in money for what it could buy for him?
A. I didn't get that, sir.
Q. Was Jack Ruby very interested in money for what it could buy for him?
A. He didn't seem to be, no, he really didn't. When I was around him, he seemed to be perfectly happy with his place.
Q. You're saying he was much more interested in becoming a big man around town?
A. That's what I think, yes. I really think that. in the entertainment field.
Q. Did he see you as a big man in Dallas?
A. I guess he might have thought that.
Q. Why would he have thought that?
A. I don't know why he thought that. He evidently did think that the way he hung around. I always conducted myself in the proper manner.
Q. Who were some of the influential people in Dallas that you had good connections with?
A. That I had good connections with? I didn't have any good connections with any of the big legitimate people. I did know a man named Sidney Fruhman. We used to play gin at his house a lot of Sundays. That was about the extent of my running with the legitimate people, if you know what I mean.
Q. Did you say with illegitimate or with legitimate?
A.Legitimate, with legitimate people, I mean business people.
Q. How do you spell his last name?
A. F-r-u-h-m-a-n. He's dead, too.
Q. What was his occupation?
A. He had a chain of hat stores named Rhelle, Rhelle Hat Stores. I don 't know if they're still in operation. I'm sure they are.
Q. Did Jack Ruby frequent the Top of the Hill Club?
A. No, I think the Top of the Hill Club was closed when I met jack Ruby. I 'm pretty sure, I 'm positive it was, almost positive.
Q. Did any gambling go on at the Top of the Hill Club?
Q. And that was the dice and the cards that you spoke of before?
A. We had a roulette wheel or two and dice games, maybe three, and one twenty-one game.
Q. Did jack Ruby frequent the Cellar Club in Fort Worth?
A. The Steller Club, I never heard of it.
Q. The Cellar Club.
Q. Cellar, C-e-l-l-a-r.
A. I never heard of it.
Q. Did Jack Ruby know Pat or Fay Kirkwood?
A. Yes, that's where I was at in Fort Worth. Don't get them mixed up. One of them is the son and one is the old man. The old man that I was with was rained W.C. Kirkwood. Pat is kind of a hippie type young fellow. He was young then. He's not young now.
Q. Did Jack Ruby know W.C. Kirkwood?
A. Just to say hello to him. He may have been out there maybe once or twice.
Q. What was the name--was it a club that Mr. Kirkwood ran?
A. It was a home. We were sneaking gambling is what we was doing.
Q. Over what time period was there gambling in Mr. Kirkwood' s home ?
A. I'd have to say, I believe from '51 to '53. I'm not sure. While I was there, he had some gambling there before. But when I was there '51 to '53. I 'm not positive but I think so.
Q. And you say you think Jack Ruby may have gone there once or twice?
A. That's all.
Q. Did Jack Ruby gamble there?
A. No, he wouldn't gamble. I told you he wouldn't bet anything, on anything.
Q. Did Jack Ruby know Pat Kirkwood?
A. No, I 'm sure he didn't.
Q. What occupation was Pat Kirkwood in?
A. Last I heard of Pat Kirkwood, he had a hippie, we call it a joint, a hippie joint where they lay on the floor on pads. I never was in it but I heard about it. He grew a beard and long hair and prior to that he had been a race driver but he opened this place and kind of went, I don't know, it was during that hippie period, wasn't around the '50's.
Q. What time period did Pat Kirkwood operate thatplace?
A. Pat Kirkwood, I just don't know. Let me see, I left there in '53. I'd say he must have started around I believe. I 'm not positive, though. I couldn't say for sure.
Q. What was the name of Pat Kirkwood's place?
A. I don't know. I just heard about it.
Q. Where was it located?
A. It was in Fort Worth in the city, I think.
Q. Now, you said Pat was W. C . Kirkwood's son ?
A. His son, that's right.
Q. Do you know where he is now?
A. I have no idea.
Q. When was the last time you had communication with Pat Kirkwood ?
A. I haven't had communication with Pat Kirkwood, I haven't heard from Pat Kirkwood in years, even thought about him. I've seen his father. His father's been out here maybe once or twice. He's half blind.
Q. Where does W.C. Kirkwood live now?
A. I'm sure he still lives at the same place. He's been there many, many years.
Q. Where is that?
A. 2222 Jacksborough Highway.
Q. In what town?
A. Fort Worth.
Q. You were describing the place that Pat Kirkwood ran as having pads on the floor.
A. I just had people telling me about it. I was never in there, don't even knew what street it was on and where it was at. But I heard people laughing about it and talking about it
Q. Basically they were talking about the fact that he had sexual activity going on in his place?
A. No, they were just talking about what a bunch of crummy looking people patronized it, you know. At that time everybody was growing a beard. It was the start of the hippie period.
Q. What were the pads on the floor for?
A. I don't know, to sit on, I guess. I mean that's hearsay to me. I haven't been there so I couldn't tell you for sure. But I'm sure that you could find out very easy.
Q. Did you know a Fay Kirkwood?
A. That was W.C.'s wife, a very nice lady. She had a dancing horse and she'd ride in rodeos every once in a while at that time.
Q. Did she ever run a club?
A. No, she was strictly a rodeo performer.
Q. You stated previously that you didn't know any times when Jack Ruby was in particular financial trouble. Were there any times when he was particularly successful financially?
A. No, I think he just made a certain amount of money. I have no idea what he made but he couldn't have made too much money. He made a comfortable living. It was nothing to brag about.
Q. Would you describe him as a free spender or was he frugal?
A. I 'd have to say he was frugal. He wasn't a free spender.
Q. Are there any incidents you can describe that demonstrate that he was frugal?
A. Like I'd go out to eat with him and he'd never offer to pay a check. That's one way he was frugal. That's the only way I would know he was frugal. I never saw him throwing any money away.
Q. Did you and Jack Ruby ever go out for drinks together and he offered to pay?
Q. Did Jack Ruby drink?
A. I don't Jack Ruby even drank, to tell you the truth. I never did see him take a drink.
Q.you ever travel outside of Dallas with Jack Ruby?
A. No. not that I know of.
Q. Do you know of Jack Ruby traveling outside of Dallas other than the Cuba trip?
A. The only trip I know is right there. The FBI asked me if he had been out here. He's never been out here as far as I know.
Q. During the time that you knew Jack Ruby, did he ever travel to Chicago?
A. I don't recall him ever going to Chicago. I've heard him talk about Chicago. I think he was from Chicago. I'd have to say he was. I don't recall him ever going anywhere.
Q. What do you recall Jack Ruby saying about Chicago?
A. Nothing. That he came up in a poor neighborhood and how rough it was for him. He had a tough young life. That's about it.
Q. Do you recall him talking about his family living in Chicago?
A. I think his family lived in Dallas. His sister out there and he always said she was sick or something. He had a brother. I think he had two brothers. One of them. was a little, I don't know, he said he was sick.
Q. He said who was sick?
A. The brother, the brother and sister both he said were a little sick some way. I don't know.
Q. Was he talking about them being physically
A. He just said they were sick.
Q. Did you ever meet any of Jack Ruby's brothers or sisters?
A. I want to tell you something that happened here about, it's been about four months ago. I don't think I ever saw any one of his family in Dallas. I might have seen his sister.
Q. His sister was Eva Grant.
A. Eva Grant, yes, that's the one I'm talking about. I think I saw her in a restaurant one night with him and I didn't even go, I went to the counter to keep from going around them. He's got a brother named Earl Ruby. He was out here about four months ago and he came by to see me. I was working. He came in the pit. We call it the pit, you know. He said, "Mr. McWillie?" I said, "Yes." He said, "I'm Earl Ruby." Well, I like to fell down.I said, "Earl Ruby?" I said, "What do you want, Earl?" Well, "I just want to say hello to you." I've never seen him in my life before. I said, "What are you doing out here?" He said, "We're going to make a documentary", NBC or one of the others. I said, "Listen, will you do me a favor? Would you just get on out of here and get away from me. I've got enough problems about your brother already uncalled for." I don't know if he got mad or not but he left. He was there about five minutes. That's the first time I had ever laid eyes on him. Didn't he have two brothers?
Q. Yes, he had a brother named Sam. Did you ever meet Sam Ruby?
A. No, I didn't meet him. Have you ever seen any of them? It seemed like he had a little bitty skinny brother. What the hell was his name? But I didn't meet him anyway. I've seen him. But this Earl, I had never laid eyes on him. And when he came into the pit and said, "I'm Earl Ruby", well, I like to fell out. I didn't want to see any Rubys any more.
Q. Did Jack Ruby ever travel to New Orleans?
A. To New Orleans? If he did, he traveled after I left Dallas. I don't ever recall Jack Ruby ever leaving Dallas the whole time I knew him.
Q. Do you know whether or not Jack Ruby knew Carlos or Vincent Marcello?
A. Is that the fellow in New Orleans? I wouldn't think so, no. I wouldn't think he'd know him.
Q. Did you know Carlos or Vincent Marcello?
A. No. sir, I sure don't.
Q. Never met them?
A. Never met them in my life.
Q. Did Jack Ruby know a man named Pete Guarisco?
Q. Pete Guarisco.
A. Not that I know of.
Q. Did you know Pete Guarisco?
A. No, never heard of him.
Q. Did Jack Ruby travel to Shreveport, Louisiana?
A. Not that I know of.
Q. Did Jack Ruby know Elizabeth Anne Matthews?
A. Elizabeth Anne who?
A. Elizabeth Anne, no. I mean I don't know whether he knew them or not. He could have known all of them, I don't know, but I don't think he did.
Q. Do you know R.D. Matthews?
A. Oh, yes.
Q. Did you know his wife, Mrs. Elizabeth Anne Matthews?
A. I met her just I think one time.
Q. Do you recall when you met her?
A. I met her at the Horseshoe, I think.
Q. Was she married to R.D. Matthews at the time?
A. I really wouldn't know. I'm sure this is the lady he's married to now. I don't know. I didn't know R.D. too well. I mean not intimately, do you know what I mean. He worked there a while.
Q. Do you recall when Jack Ruby came from Chicago to Dallas?
A. I have no idea.
Q. Do you know how long after he came to Dallas you met him?
A. No, I don't have any idea. The first time I ever saw him in my life was like I told you sitting there with that hat on, and it just attracted my attention and I kept looking at this fellow.
Q. Does it refresh your memory to know that Jack Ruby came to Dallas around 1947?
A. No, I wouldn't know when he came there because Ididn't know him. hadn't heard of him.
Q. What is your best recollection as to when you met Jack Ruby?
A. I'd say the first part of the '50's because I think I was in Fort Worth. I either went over there in '51 to '53 or '53 to '56. I don't recall the exact dates. I met him while I was at the Four Duces.
Q. Prior to Jack Ruby's arrival in Dallas in 1947, what was the status of gambling in the Dallas area?
A. I don't understand what you mean, the status.
Q. What kinds of gambling was going on in the Dallas area in the time, say, 1945 to 1947?
A. Well, there were a few crap games and a few horse books is all I know of.
Q. Was there any betting on sporting events?
A. Not that I know of. I never bet on them myself. It could have been, I don't know.
Q. Who was involved in this gambling that you described in 1945 to 1947?
A. In Dallas?
Q. In the Dallas area, Dallas-Fort Worth area-
A. I don't really know. I knew a fellow named Scarborough, Red Scarborough. and like I said. Miller and Earl Dalton.
Q. How much numbers activity was there in Dallas?
A. I have no idea about the numbers. At the time I was a dice dealer when I was in Dallas.
Q. Did you know of any numbers activity in Dallas?
A. No, sir, I wouldn't have any way or knowing that because--
Q. (Interrupting) Were you aware of Benny Binion's numbers operation in Dallas prior to 1947?
Q. Did you know Benny Binion at that time?
A. Know him to see him.
Q. You knew him to see him at that time?
A. Just to see him.
Q. Did you know that Ivy Miller and Red Scarborough worked for Benny Binion in a numbers operation?
A. No. I didn't.
Q. What gambling activity did you know that Ivy Miller and Red Scarborough were involved in?
A. They were involved in the Southland Hotel and could have been involved in the place where I worked, Blue Bonnet, and they were involved in the Top of the Hill.
Q. What gambling activity was Benny Binion involved in at that time?
A. I have no idea.
Q. Was Benny Binion involved in any gambling at that time?
A. I don't know. There's no way I'd know.
Q. Did you ever see Benny Binion gamble?
A. Ever see him gamble, no, never did.
Q. Did you know Johnny Avon?
A. Johnny Avon, not well. He had had a gambling place around there before I ever got there. He wasn't in gambling when I was there.
Q. Did you know Berle Cheek?
Q. Berle Cheek.
A. Berle Cheek, yes, I knew him, too. He had been in gambling prior to my going to Dallas.
Q. What kind of gambling was he involved in?
A. I don 't really know but I knew he was a gambler.
Q. Was he involved in gambling while you were there?
A. No. Let me see. wait a minute now. We borrowed some money from Berle Cheek, I think, while I was at the Top of the Hill, I don't know, $10,000 or something.
Q. When you say we, you mean you and Fred Browning?
A. Me and Kirkwood at the Four Duces.
Q. You and W.C. Kirkwood?
A. Yes. In two or three days we gave it back to him because we didn't want his money.
Q. Was there any loan sharking activity going on in the Dallas area at that time?
A. Not that I know of.
Q. Did you know Benny Bickers?
A. Yes, very well.
Q. What gambling activity was Mr. Bickers involved in?
A. I don't know. I really don't know what he was involved in.
Q. Did you know that he worked with Benny Binion in a numbers activity in that area?
Q. Did you know Ben Whittaker?
A. Very well.
Q. What kind of gambling activity was Mr. Whittaker involved in?
A. Mr. Whittaker had race horses and all he did, that I knew of, was bet on his own horses, go to the track, a very nice man.
Q. Did he run a gambling operation?
A. Not that I know of. He didn't run one while I was there.
Q. What kind of gambling was Fred Browning involved in?
A. He was involved in the Top of the Hill Terrace.
Q. Was he involved in any other gambling?
A. No. he had the Top of the Hill for years.
Q. Did he ever work with Benny Binion in gambling?
A. Fred Browning?
Q. Fred Browning.
A. Not that I know of.
Q. Did JaCk Ruby know Benny Binion?
Q. Did Jack Ruby know Ivy Miller?
Q. Would Jack Ruby have known of Benny Binion?
A. I don't think so. I wouldn't know why he would have known him.
Q. Did Jack Ruby know Johnny Avon?
Q. Did Jack Ruby know Berle Cheek?
A. No, not that I know of. I have to say not that I know of because I'm positive he didn't.
Q. Did Jack Ruby know Red Scarborough?
Q. Did Jack Ruby know Benny Bickers?
A. I don't think so.
Q. Did Jack Ruby know Ben Whittaker?
Q. Did Jack Ruby know Fred Browning?
A. I think we were closed. I don't believe he did know Fred Browning. We were closed when I met Jack, I'm positive of it.
Q. How organized was gambling in the Dallas area?
A. I really don't know. There's no way I'd know how it was organized.
Q. Was Dallas an open or a closed city?
A. It had a few crap games in it. I don't know if you'd call that open or closed or whatever it was. But it had a few crap games like more cities in the United States at that time.
Q. Did the individual who was running a particular crap game have to get anyone else's permission to do
A. Have to do what, sir?
Q. Get anyone else's permission.
A. I really don't know. I was just working there.
Q. When you ran your gambling places in the Dallas area, did you have to pay any money to anyone?
A. No, sir. we were sneaking as I told you a while ago.
Q. You were what?
A. We were sneaking, what we call sneaking. I don't know how to explain it. We were doing it against the law I guess you'd call it.
Q. Did any of these secret gambling operations have troubles with the police?
A.Yes. they got raided every once in a while. The Rangers would raid them. Hell, the sheriff would raid them a lot of times.
Q. When you say the Rangers, you mean the Texas Rangers?
Q. Did anyone ever have to pay off the police?
A. Not that I know of. I wasn't in a position to know that but I wouldn't think so. I really don't know about that because I wasn't involved in it.
Q. Did anyone have to pay off the prosecuter?
A. I wouldn't think so.
Q. Were you aware of a crackdown on gambling in the Dallas area in 1947 when a new prosecuter came into office?
A. Yes, there was a crackdown, sure was. I don't know if it was the prosecuter.
Q. Would that have been when Steve Guthrie became the sheriff?
A. I really don't recall.
Q. What effect did this crackdown have on gambling? How successful was the crackdown?
A. There just wasn't any more gambling. I thought it was Kefauver that did it. I'm not sure. What time was Kefauver, '58? Was it that late, '58?
MR. WOLF: Early '50's.
MR. PURDY: Kefauver was early '50's.
A. As I understand that was the crackdown in gambling everywhere.
BY MR. PURDY:
Q. But you recall a crackdown in Dallas in 1947 either with the new sheriff or when Will Wilson came in?
A. I remember we got closed up, we got raided around Dallas.
Q. Did this crackdown cause anyone to leave Dallas?
A. I'm sure all the dealers left.
Q. Do you recall people leaving Dallas and going to Las Vegas around 1947?
A. A number of them, yes, a number of people came out here. Most everybody came out here.
Q. Do you remember Benny Binion leaving at that time?
Q. Who else do you remember left at that time?
A. I don't know if it was at that time or not, but I remember Benny Binion left there. Who else left there? Let me see, a fellow named Jess Zilliack.
Q. How do you spell his name?
A. I don't know, Zilliack.
Q. Who else left Dallas and went to Vegas, do you remember?
A. Fred Browning even came out here but he didn't come out here to do business. He brought race horses out here. He had a track out here about that time. There's a lot of people. Everybody came out here over the years because there wasn't any place to gamble but here
Q. After the crackdown on gambling in the Dallas area, could you please describe for us how much gambling went on in the Dallas area between 1947 and, say, 1958 when you last had contact with Jack Ruby in Dallas?
A. Well, they had stag parties. We did have stag parties for a while where they run them in the country clubs. That was the extent of the gambling around Dallas.
Q. What type of gambling went on at these stag parties?
A. Dice games.
Q. How often were they held?
A. Maybe once a month, most every two months.
Q. Did Jack Ruby ever go to any of those stag parties?
Q. Did you ever go to them?
A. Sure, I went to them.
Q. If Jack Ruby had gone to them, would you have known about it?
A. Oh, yes, I would have seen him. If you saw him once, you'd never forget him with the hat on.
Q. If Jack Ruby had gone to the stag parties, would you have seen him there?
A. Yes, I wouldn't have known him, but I would have seen him, I would have remembered him because I do remember faces.
Q. Was there any link between Dallas and Las Vegas in terms of gambling between, say, '47 and 1960?
A. I'd have to say no.
Q. Did you know Harry Urban?
A. Didn't know him intimately I knew him to speak to him.
Q. Did you know he was a partner of Benny Binion?
Q. Was Harry Urban involved in any gambling in the Dallas area?
A. I don't think so.
Q. Were you familiar--go ahead.
A. I forgot what I was going to say.
Q. Which clubs were the stag parties held in?
A. The stag party was held at the, let's see, it was the country club out on. there was one downtown. I can't think of the name. The Main Street Club or something. It was at the corner of Field and Main. We held them there. I mean I ran them a pretty good while, maybe six or seven times. There was a country club out on the, kind of a freeway there. They changed the name of it since then. I don't recall the name of it. Then there was one named the Cipango Club.
Q. Who ran the operation at the Cipango Club?
A. Ivy Miller and Earl Dalton. Scarborough was dead.
Q. During what time period did they run that?
A. Like I said, I don't recall. I think it was the late '40's maybe, I don't know.
Q. Did they run the Cipango Club at all during the '50's?
A. The club is still there, I think, but not gambling.
Q. Did they have any of the stag parties at the Cipango Club during the '50's?
A. That's what they call stag parties but they let their wives come, too. They just called it stag parties.
Q. Did that go on during the '50's?
A. No, it stopped, I'd say, in the late '40's. There wasn't too many out there, maybe five or six.
Q. Who ran the operation in the country club when they had the stag parties?
A. Who ran the gambling? I ran it myself but the same two people I mentioned, Scarborough and Miller.
Q. You had said Dalton and Miller?
A. I meant Dalton and Miller. Scarborough was dead
Q. Did you also run the operation at the Cipango Club with them?
A.Yes, I ran the stags for them.
Q. And did you also run the operation at the club on Main Street with them?
A. Gambling, yes.
Q. Were any of the stag parties held during the 1950's?
A. No, I'd have to say no. I'm not for sure, but have to say no for sure.
Q. What kind of gambling went on at the stag parties?
A. Just dice games.
Q. I believe previously in response to my question about gambling between 1947 and 1958, you said stag parties were held. Are you now changing that and saying that they didn't go on in the '50's?
A. I don't recall, to tell you the truth. It could have gone on in maybe '51. I don 't know for sure. There's no way I can remember. But I told you that I did run them for them. That's all I can tell you. I don 't know what years exactly. The last years I don't know. I just don't know. It could be and it could not be, I just don't know.
Q. Did any gambling go on in Dallas in the 1950's?
Q. Was there any gambling in private homes in the '50's?
A. There could have been, I don 't know about that.
Q. You left for Cuba, you said, in 1958?
Q.So if there was no gambling in the '50's, that means that--
A. (Interrupting) It was in the '50's in Fort Worth. I told you that I was running this place sneaking over in Fort Worth.
Q. Was Jack Ruby involved in any gambling in the 1950's.
A.He was involved in nothing in the way of gambling, no way.
Q.Were you interviewed by the FBI in Las Vegas on November 25, 1963?
A.Yes, sir. I don't know if it was the exact date or not. They like to ran me crazy. I'd be working and they would call me out of the pit to talk to them. I finally asked them, I said. "Please come out to my home and let me talk to you." I was interviewed by them many times. Did you tell the FBI on November 25, 1963, that Jack Ruby had been involved in gambling as a player?
A.No, I did not because he never had been involved in gambling as a player. Like I say, Jack Ruby wouldn't bet 25 cents on anything.
Q. The FBI report dated November 27, 1963, which is a report of your interview with the FBI on November 25, 1963. which was conducted in Las Vegas, Nevada, by special agents Stevens and Salisbury, that report says that you stated, the report says, "He stated he does not know Ruby to have ever been involved in any bookie activity or in any gambling of any nature other than as a player."
A.He never played in his life. I never saw him play.
Q. Does that accurately reflect what you told the FBI on November 25, 1963, that Ruby was involved as a player?
A. No. sir, I didn't tell them that. I did not tell them that. I have never seen Ruby gamble on anything. And, incidentally, when I went to Arruba, the day I left. the FBI went to my mother, went to my sisters, my brothers, and Jack Ruby had happened to be visiting me in my apartment when my mother and sister were visiting me, and they thought he was the finest man in the world and that's what my mother told the FBI. I 'm sure. So I asked Mr. Stevens, I said. "If you don't mind, my sister has been with the Veterans Hospital for many years and she's the head nurse there in the operating room, charge of the operating room", I gave him a number at home, and I said. "If you will call her after 5:30. she'll invite you out to the house and talk to you." Well, they went up there and like to scared her to death. So the day I went to Arruba, Mr. Stevens. I 'm glad to remember that name. he came out to the house and told my wife I had been cleared of any wrong doing and my wife asked him. "Well, what's he been cleared of. he hasn't done anything." "Just known this nut", which it turns out he was. I didn't know he was that nutty.
Q. When was that that your family members met Jack Ruby?
A.I don't know, it was in the '50's. It was in the '50's.I can only recall the year. I'm sure they have a record of it, my mother and my sister both. He had a habit of, if he met anyone. like herd meet you, he'd want to know your name. he'd want to know your address, what your birthday was. and he would send you a birthday card, a Christmas card. I don't know why he did that but that was a habit he had.
Q.when was it that you went to Arruba?
A.Arruba in '64, I believe.
Q Was it just a coincidence that the FBI came to you the day you were leaving for Arruba?
A.It was after I went to Arruba and Mr. Stevens told my wife' that I had been cleared of anything. I don't know what the devil he was talking about.
Q.Do you know any oilmen in Dallas, the Dallas area?
A.A lot of oilmen played at the Top of the Hill, quite a few.
Q.who were some of those oilmen?
A.Hell. I don't recall the names any more. Let Be see. there was a fellow named Cartaway, he was an oilman. Sid Richardson would come out there, he didn't do much playing. I don't think he played at all. Billy Byers, a man named Billy Byers, he played out there. Big oilmen, H. L. Hunt. he played out there.
Q. How often did H. L. Hunt gamble out there?
A. Not very often. He would go upstairs and eat. We gave away the food. And he would take 12 people up there and wouldn't tip the waiter but he would gamble, he did gamble.
Q.Was Jack Ruby ever there when any oilmen were there?
A.No, I never knew Jack Ruby when the Top of the Hill was open. I'm almost positive that I met Jack Ruby after it was closed.
Q.Did you know Harry Hall?
A.I knew a dealer years and years ago by the name of Harry Hall. Hell, he's been dead 30, 40 years.
Q.He also went by the name Harry Sinclair, Jr.
Q. Or Harry Haler, H-a-l-e-r?
.Regarding Mr. Bill Byers. do you recall an incident when a number of people considered robbing him?
A.No. I didn't knew he ever got robbed. He lived in Tyler, Texas. He didn't live in Dallas.
Q.Did Jack Ruby know H. L. Hunt?
A.No, I'm positive he didn't.
Q. Did Jack Ruby know Bill Byers?
A. No, he never knew any of those people that I talking about.
Q. Did Dick Anconi ever come to the Top of the Hill Club?
A. No, I knew Dick Anconi. Dick Anconi was a big Oilman. He died a number of years ago.
Q. Did Jack Ruby know him?
Q. Were you familiar with the Petroleum Club?
A. No, I know where it was but you couldn't go in there unless you were an oilman.
Q. Did Jack Ruby know Sid Richardson?
Q. Did Jack Ruby know Dewey Groom?
Q. Dewey Groom.
A. How do you spell it?
A. I don 't know. I don't know who he knew . I've never heard of him.
Q. You've never heard of Groom?
Q. Do you know Marry Field?
A. Marty who?
Q.Marry Field..He used to work at the Sands a few years ago, also used to work in Cuba. also went by the name of Marty Schwartz when he was a fighter.
A.No, I don't think I knew him.
Q.Did Jack Ruby know Joe Civello?
A.Joe Civello. I don't think he did.
Q.Did you know Joe Civello?
A.I knew him. yes. I didn't know him intimately, but I knew him to speak to him.
Q.What did Joe Civello do for a living?
A.I have no idea. He had a whiskey store, that's where I met him, in a whiskey store.
Q.Did he ever gamble, to your knowledge?
A.Not to my knowledge.
Q.Did he ever go to any of your clubs?
A.No, never did.
Q.Did Jack Ruby know Joe or Sam Campisi?
A.I'm sure he did, yes. They have a restaurant there.
Q. What restaurant did they run?
Q.Were you ever with Jack Ruby when he was with either of the Campisis?
A.I could have eaten out there with Jack Ruby but that was all.
Q.There might have been a time when you all ate together?
A.They would come over and say hello probably or something like that. They were pretty good hosts
QDo you recall having dinner with Jack Ruby and the Campisis in 1954 or '55?
A. I don't recall it but it's possible.
Q. were you ever present with either of the Campisis when Jack Ruby was present when business deals were discussed?
A.No, they would have no business dealings with Jack Ruby.
Q.Do you know whether or not the Campisis ever went to Ruby's club?
A.Everybody went to Ruby's club to see those hippies. I don't know that they did. but I'd have to say they had been.
Q.Were the Campisis ever involved in gambling?
A.Not that I know of.
Q.Did they ever come to your club?
Q.Did you know Johnnie Grizzaffi?
A.No, not that I recall him. I don't recall knowing him. What did he do?
Q.Johnnie Grizzaffi was an associate of Lois Green and Beeny Binion.
Q.Did you know Sidney Siedband?
Q.Sidney Siedband, S-i-e-d-b-a-n-d.
Q.Did you know Jack Todd?
A.Jack Todd, yes, I knew Jack Todd.
Q. What did Jack Todd do?
A.Jack Todd, to tell you the truth, I don't know what Jack Todd did. He was in Cuba, too.
Q.What did Jack Todd do in Cuba?
A.Just came over there visiting.
Q. Did he see you when he was in Cuba?
A. I saw him once or twice, yes.
Q. When was that that he visited Cuba?
A. I don't know. I don 't have any idea.
Q. Would that have been the late
A. It had to be the late '50's.
Q. Was jack Ruby there at the time Jack Todd was there?
A. I don 't think he was. I'm positive he wasn't I can't say for sure but I'm positive he wasn't.
Q. Did Jack Ruby know Jack Todd?
A.I'm sure he did. I 'm not positive he did but I would say he did. Everybody who went to that club knew Jack Ruby.
Q.Was Jack Todd a safe cracker?
A.I don 't really know. I wouldn't have any way of knowing.
Q.Did Jack Todd gamble?
A. I don't recall ever seeing him gamble.
Q. Did he have any business dealings with you?
A. Not any with me. no.
Q. Do you know anyone he had business dealings with?
Q.Are you familiar with Sue's Used Car Lot?
Q. Sue's Used Car Lot.
A.What city is that in?
Q.In the Dallas area?
A.No. never been around a car lot in my life.
Q.Do you know that Jack Ruby and Jack Todd often frequented Sue's Used Car Lot?
A.No, I didn't.
Q.Did Jack Ruby know Izzy Miller?
A.It's possible. They're both jewish, it's possible.
Q. Did you know Izzy Miller?
Q. What did he do for a living? 63
A. I don't know what he did. He was a crap dealer for awhile.
Q. Did he ever gamble at your club?
Q. Did Jack Ruby know John Eli Stone?
Q. Johnny Eli Stone.
A. Not that I know of.
Q. Do you know him?
A. I wouldn't know. I don't know who he knew. But I wouldn't think so. I never heard of him.
Q. You never heard of Johnny Eli Stone?
A. How do you spell the last name?
A.I know Johnny Stone, .yes, but Jack Ruby would never know Johnny Stone. Johnny Stone, when I knew him, ran a bar up on. called it the Turf Bar.
Q. was there any gambling at the Turf Bar?
A. Not that I ever saw.
Q. Do you know why Jack Ruby moved to Dallas?
A. I have no idea.
Q. Did you and Jack Ruby ever discuss why he came to Dallas?
A. No, never.
Q.You said before that Jack Ruby discussed Chicago with you generally.
A.He said he came up in Chicago and he came up in a poor neighborhood and he would talk about what a rough time he had when he was a kid and that's the extent of his talk about Chicago.
Q.Did he ever discuss anyone he grew up with?
Q.Did he ever discuss any people he still knew in Chicago?
Q.Do you know if Jack Ruby knew Barney Baker?
A.Barney Baker? Barney Baker. no.
Q.Did you know Mr. Baker?
A.No, I did not.
Q Did Jack Ruby know Lenny Patrick?
A.Lenny Patrick, I have no idea. He could have I don't even know who Lenny Patrick was myself.
Q.Did Jack Ruby know Dave yaras?A.I don't know. I don't think so.
Q.Did you know Dave Yaras?
A.I knew who he was.
Q.Had you ever met him?
A.I don't think so. I knew his brother. He had a brother named Sam Yaras. I don't think I ever met Dave. Is his name Dave? Is that the name? I don't think I ever met him. I met his brother. His brother had slot machines. He was a slot machine man, repaired slot machines.
Q. Where did he repair slot machines?
A. Right in his building.
Q. What city was that in?
A. I believe it was Field Street. I 'm not sure. I wouldn't say for sure.
Q. What city was that in?
A. Dallas. In fact, his brother died in Dallas.
Q. Do you remember when Sam Yaras came to Dallas?
A. Who ?
Q. Do you know when Sam yaras came to Dallas?
A. I have no idea.
Q. Do you know if Jack Ruby knew Sam Yaras?
A. No, he didn't know him.
Q. Did Jack Ruby know Paul Dorfman?
A. I have no idea. I don't know who Paul Dorfman is.
Q. Did Jack Ruby know Lawrence Meyers?A. Lawrence who?
A. I don't know. I don't know him.
Q. Did anyone from outside of Dallas consider moving to Dallas to get into gambling operations?
A.I don't know. I really don't know.
Q.Did you ever hear of outside gamblers wanting to come into Dallas?
A.No, it's a possibility that it would happen and I wouldn't know anything about it because it wasn't any of my business.
Q.Was Jack Ruby involved in any prostitution related activities?
Q. Related activities-
Q. Were any of his employees involved in prostitution?
A. Not that I know of, no. I don't know 'about the Carousel, that's a different proposition. I don't know about that. I don't think he would be,
Q. was it common in Dallas for club employees to be involved in prostitution?
A. No, I don't think so. I never heard of it.
Q. Was there much prostitution in Dallas?
A. Not too much, by George, there wasn't too much.
Q. Where was the prostitution that there was?
A. I don't know where it was.
Q. Did it operate out of hotels?
A. It's a possibility they worked out of hotels.
Q.Did you know a woman named Helen Alfonse Roan?
A. Helen Alfonse what?
Q. Roan, R-o-a-n-
A. Not that I recall. no.
Q. Do you know if Jack Ruby had close relations with any of his employees?
A.No. I don't-
Q.Do you know whether or not there was any narcotics activity in the Dallas area?
A. Never heard of it. never.
Q. Did you know Paul Rowland Jones?
A. No. I didn't know of him. I've read about him. It seemed like he got into some trouble in Mexico. It seemed like when I read about him. he got into some kind of trouble in Mexico. I never knew him.
Q. Did Jack Ruby know him?
A. No; I couldn't say for sure but I wouldn't think so.
Q. Did Jack Ruby know James or Bunny Breen, B-r-e-e-n?
A. I never heard of them. See, a lot of these people you're asking me if Jack Ruby knew, he could have known them and I didn't know it. But as far as I know. I didn't (know them myself.)
Q. Was there any illegal gun sales in Dallas when you were there?
A.No. not that I know of.
Q.Was there any transportation of guns to or from other places?
A. Not that I know and I'm positive that there wasn't.
Q.Did you know Robert Ray McKeown?
A.No, I never heard of him either. I read about him in some of those articles about him but I never heard of him.
Q.You didn't know if Jack Ruby knew him?
A.No. If he had, I think he would have told me if he knew of those people you said about. He's that kind of fellow. I never heard of any of these people you're asking most of them.
Q.Did you know of a John Thomas Mason?
A.No, John Thomas Mason.
Q.Did Jack Ruby know of him?
A.I don't believe so. Like I tell you, I don't knowwho he knew. He could have known several of those people I wouldn't know it. you know.
Q. Did you know Joseph Merola. M-e-r-o-l-a?
Q. Did Jack Ruby know him?
A. I don't know.
Q. To your knowledge.
A.I have to keep telling you I don't know who Jack Ruby knew, but I wouldn't think so. Maybe he did, I don't know.
Q. You stated previously that you did not ask Jack Ruby for four guns in 1954?
A. I don't recall that, no. I've been asked several times and I don't recall it.
Q. Does it refresh your recollection to know that Jack Ruby said that you requested four Cobras in 1959?
A.No. it doesn't. The only gun I can remember is a gun he sent out here and I let it go back, didn't take it out of the--
Q.(interrupting) Can you think of any reason you would have wanted guns in 1959?
A.No reason I would have wanted guns in '59. I was in Cuba. I 'd get myself killed if I had guns over there.
Q.You stated previously that, to your knowledge. Jack Ruby only owned one gun?
A.One gun as far as I know. He could have owned two or three but I didn't know about it. There wouldn't be any way I'd know it.
Q.Do you recall being interviewed by the FBI in June of 1964 by special agents McFaul and Stevens in Vegas?
A.I remember being interviewed by the FBI a lot of times. I don't knew the exact dates.
Q.Did you tell the FBI in June of 1964 that Jack Ruby kept a couple of guns at his residence although he was not a gun collector?
A.If I did, I don't recall that. The only gun I ever saw that Jack Ruby had was a gun that he carried in a sack, when he closed up at night, he'd take his gun out of his sack and put it in his pocket and go deposit his money and then put the gun in his glove compartment. That is all I recall.
Q.If you told the FBI in June of 1964 that you had seen a couple of old guns in Jack Ruby is residence, would that have been the truth at that time?
A.That I saw a couple of old guns? It's a possibility that he had two guns. I don't remember, to tell you the truth. But I do remember the gun that he always had on him when he went out to his club.
Q.You mentioned earlier a couple of times when Jack Ruby asked you for help. One was with reference to the curfew problem and one was with reference to AGVA. Did he ever call you for help on any other matter?
A.No, not a thing.
Q.Did you ever ask him for help on anything?
Q.Why did Jack Ruby think to call you long distance to ask about his problems with AGVA?
A.He was just like that. He would call me on most any of his darn problems. He was just like that.
Q.Did he call about any other problems?
A.That's the only problem he had, I guess, was the AGVA and Miller, he got it taken care of that same day, I belive. It must have been a minor thing or something.
Q.Did you have any previous contacts with AGVA that would make him think that you could help him?
A.No, I don't think he would know I had any con-acts. He just called me and asked me if I knew anyone that knew the president of AGVA. It just happened that I didknow Miller and I called Miller to help him.
Q.Were you familiar at all with AGVA in Dallas?
A.Not at all.
Q.While you were there.
Q.Did you know Vincent Lee?
Q.Vincent Lee who worked for AGVA in Dallas.
A.Vincent Lee, no, I didn't.
Q.Did you know James Henry Dolan who worked for AGVA in Dallas?
A.It seems like I met him. Did he work for AGVA? Was that the union he worked for?
Q.He did work for a while.
A.He worked for some union. I didn't know what
union it was. I met him once or twice, I think.
Q.Do you know anything about his activities with the union?
A.Nothing. I didn't evenknow it was AGVA. I knew it was a union.
Q.Did you ever have any dealings with any otherunions?
Q.Do you know Tony Pappa?
Q.Do you know Mike Shore?
Q.What can you tell us about Jack Ruby's relations with the Dallas Police Department?
A.I can just tell you--I've been asked that before. too. He was always, I don't know. I guess he thought it would help his place. He was always courteous to them. At Christmas time I think he would give some of them presents, whiskey or something. That's my idea. I don't know for sure. He was very close with them. A TV announcer there named, I can't think of his name, but one of the TV announcers, he just liked to get everywhere.
Q.Was it Gordon McLendon?
A.I think that 's the name, yes. He knew Gordon very well. I 'd hear him speak of him all the time.
Q.I'm sorry, you would hear Jack Ruby speak of McLendon?
A.Yes; maybe he ran ads with him or something. I don't know. Just like Tony, I think the reason he knew Tony was on account of his ads in the papers and things, I would say.
Q.Did you know Gordon McLendon?
Q.Did Jack Ruby ever talk to you about Gordon McLendon?
A.To tell you the truth, he either introduced Brescia, in that letter I gave you, to Gordon or Brescia introduced him to Gordon McLendon. I'm not sure which way it was. But Brescia used to come to Dallas with a professional basketball team. What's the name of that trick team?
A.It was another one. It was a well-known team. And Brescia was a publicity man for them.
Q.Did Jack Ruby have any friends with the Dallas Police Department?
A.I really don't know. I have no idea. I wasn't that familiar with him to know who his friends were.
Q.Did Jack Ruby ever tell you that he had pull with the Dallas Police Department?
A.No, he didn't.
Q.To your knowledge, did Jack Ruby ever exercise any pull with the Dallas Police Department?
A.Not to my knowledge, no.
Q.Were you familiar with the Dallas Police Association?
A.No. sir. I don't think I knew many policemen in Dallas.
Q.Did you know Lieutenant George Butler who formerly headed the Dallas Police Association?
A.I didn't know him intimately. I knew who he was.
Q.What did you know about Lieutenant Butler?
A.I think he was the head of the vice squad, I believe. I'm not sure.
Q.How did you happen to know him?
A.I don't remember how I met him.
Q.Was he an associate of H. L. Hunt?
A.I wouldn't think so.
Q.Did Jack Ruby know Lieutenant George Butler?
A.Did Jack Ruby know Butler? I wouldn't think so. He could have, I don't know.
Q. Did Jack Ruby ever complain that he had some problems with the police other than that one curfew incident?
A.That's the only time I ever heard of. I think it was about a curfew. I sent him to Schepps. He said he was being harassed because he was Jewish and I said the man for you to go to see is go see Mr. Schepps and explain it to him. Maybe he can straighten it out.
Q.Did members of the Dallas Police Department ever come to Jack Ruby for information?
A.Not that I know of.
Q.Did members of the FBI office in Dallas ever come to Jack Ruby for information?
A.I don't know but I wouldn't think so.
Q.During the time you were in Dallas, did organized crime have any impact on activities in Dallas?
A.Organized crime, no. Like I told you, the people that had the gambling there was Miller and Scarborough and Dalton, as far as I know.
Q.So it was your impression that it was a local operation?
Q.Was there anyone from outside who had an influence on Dallas that you know of?
A.Not that I know of. I would have to say no.
Q.On November 20. 1963. what contact did you have with an agency of the federal government?
Q.On November 20, 1963. did you have any contact with any agency of the government?
A.Maybe it was the FBI questioning me.
Q.That was prior to the assassination.
A.Was that prior?
A.I don't know of any in '63, no.
Q.Do you recall on November 20, 1963, that you applied for the renewal of a work card in Nevada?
Q.Do you remember around that time that you had toget a renewal?
A.'63, let me see, '63, that was when I got into the Thunderbird, yes.
Q.What did you have--
A.I got a sheriff's card.
A.A sheriff's card. You had to get a sheriff's card. I 've got one in my pocket. Do you want to see it? Would you like to see?
A.Everybody that works here has to have one of these.
Q.So the fact that you were applying for the work card was not because you were in any kind of trouble?
A.Of course not.
Q.Did you have a card previously?
A.I had a card. I've got it somewhere. Here is one I had downtown (indicating).
MR. PURDY: Mr. McWillie is showing me a Las Vegas Police Department registration card, A-58376. which is a permanent card. He's listed as a pit boss. His address and signature and the signature of the Chief of Police are listed.
THE WITNESS: That's a sheriff's card. I got that in '63 when I came here.
MR. PURDY. He's also handed me a Clark County Sheriff's Department ID card. No. 63658, which is dated February 15, 1963. His name is listed. He has signed it and it is signed by Sheriff Ralph Lamb, L-a-m-b.
THE WITNESS. And it shows where I worked at the Thunderbird, they scratched it out. This other card was a permanent card. When you work downtown, you have to have one of these (indicating), it was permanent. Now you have to have one of these (indicating).You don't have to have this combined now with the sheriff.
BY MR. PURDY:
Q.So right now all you need is a card from the police department and you don't need a card from the sheriff's office?
A. You have to have a card from the sheriff's office, not this card (indicating).
Q.Not the Las Vegas Police Department card.
A.The sheriff is more or less a police chief.
Q. Since you still have and obviously had or was issued in February of 1963, what reason would you have had in November of 1963 to apply for any other kind of card?
A.1963, maybe that was when I was going to Arruba. I had to go to the police chief, I think, and I had to get a letter from the police chief to get cleared down there because they cleared you through Scotland Yards and the FBI and the local here. That's the only thing I can recall.
Q.Do you recall a Mr. Robert Kellerer, an identification officer with the Reno Sheriff's Office?
A.No. I don't.
A.(Interrupting) I had a card up there, too. I threw it away I think.
Q.On November 20, 1963, would there have been any reason that you would have needed to contact the Reno Sheriff's Office for a renewal of a card or for any other reason?
A.Maybe they contacted them down here. That's robably what happened.
Q.By November 20, 1963, you had already moved from Reno to Las Vegas, is that right?
A.November '63, yes, I came here in '63 at the Thunderbird. Now, it's a possibility that checking me out, they checked with the Reno Police Department. I would have to say that they might do that. They would do that, wouldn't they?
Q.Mr. McWillie, you stated previously that you received a phone call from Jack Ruby sometime in 1963 about his problems with AGVA?
Q.About when in. 1963 was that?
A.It was the early part of 1963, I think. Let me see. '63 now. I went to the Thunderbird in '63. It had to be the early part of '63. Doesn't the FBI have it on its report? I told them about it. I 'm sure they do. It 's hard for me to remember dates.
Q.We understand. I think you're doing very well. Now, that communication had been in the form of telephone calls, right?
A.He must have called me three or four times. The FBI even asked me why he called me.
Q. After that contact with Jack Ruby, what other contact did you have with him prior to the assassination?
A.He would write me letters about his club, the new club he had and how beautiful it was and about the razor. blades, he sent me some razor blades once or twice, Sheffield razor blades I think they called them.
Q.Did you and Jack Ruby ever talk again on the phone prior to the assassination?
A.Prior to the assassination?
A.Just about the AGVA.
Q. Did you see Jack Ruby again after those phone calls about the AGVA and prior to the assassination?
A.No, never saw him again.
Q.When was the last time that you saw Jack Ruby prior to the assassination?
A.The last time I saw Jack Ruby prior to the assassination, I was driving from Miami to Cal-Neva Lodge where I was going to work in June in 1961. I stopped at his house and slept there that night and then drove on.
Q.Did you see Jack Ruby again after the assassination?
A.Never, never seen Jack Ruby after that time I saw him.
Q.Did you and Jack Ruby ever exchange any letters after the assassination?
A. No, sir. I had all I wanted of Jack Ruby. Every time I turned around the FBI was questioning me about him. You know I wouldn't write him. I'm not that silly.
Q.Did you and Jack Ruby ever talk on the phone after the assassination?
Q. Did you and Jack Ruby ever send any messages of any kind to each other after the assassination?
A.No, sir. After the assassination I didn't want to hear his name again.
MR. WOLF: Let the record reflect that we've returned to Mr. McWillie the original letters that he receivedfrom his brother concerning Tony Zoppi and the trip to Cuba.
THE WITNESS: My brother got it from Matty Brescia and Matty Brescia got it from Tony Zoppi.
BY MR. WOLF:
Q.Mr. McWillie, I'd now like to question you concerning the time when you were in Cuba and several individuals you may have met while you were there. You've testified that you moved to Cuba in approximately the middle of 1958, is that correct?
A. I went there in '58, yes, right.
Q. Was that your first trip to Cuba?
A. I had been to Cuba, I took my mother and wife and daughter to Cuba in the '40's, just for a trip overnight on a boat. We took a ship over there, the Florida, I think they called it.
Q.Had you been there any other time prior to the middle of 1958?
Q.On your first trip in 1958, how long did you stay in Cuba?
A.I stayed until we broke relations with Cuba in'61, January 1, 1961.
Q.And you testified that when you moved to Cuba, you went to work at the Tropicana Hotel, is that correct?
A. That's right.
Q. And how did you obtain the job at the Tropicana Hotel while you were in Dallas?
A.A fellow called me from Cuba and asked me if I'd be interested in going over there to work and I set up an appointment and went there and talked to them and then went back to Dallas and went back to Cuba in about a week, I believe.
Q. So you did return to Dallas after the first trip to Cuba?
A.I think maybe a week, ten days.
Q.Who was that who called
A.A fellow named Johnny Williams.
Q.How did he get your name?
A.I met him in Dallas. I don't know how I met him but I did meet him and he found out I was in the gambling business and he said, "Maybe I can get you a good job over in Cuba." Sure enough, he called me a week or so after he left Dallas.
Q.Where did Mr. Williams work?
A.Mr. Williams didn't work. I don't know what Mr. Williams did, to tell you the truth.
Q.Where did he live?
A. He lived in Boston.
Q. And where did you first meet Mr. Williams?
A.I met him in Dallas.
Q.He was just visiting at that time?
Q.He was just visiting at that time?
A.He was just visiting Dallas. I don't recall how I met him, but I met him in Dallas.
Q.And who did you see when you first went to Cuba for the interview?
A.I went to see the Foxes. They had a meeting there was Martinez Fox and Oscar Cheninder.
Q.Was Pedro Fox present?
A.Pedro Fox, that's Martinez's brother. There wereseveral Cubans there and an interpreter.
Q. Were the Foxes the owners of the Tropicana?
A. They were the only owners. I was the only American in there.
Q. Do you know Mr. T.W. Richardson?
A. Yes, sir, sure do.
Q. And how do you know Mr. Richardson?
A. How long have I known him?
Q. How long have you known and how do you know Mr. Richardson?
A.I 've known Mr. Richardson since I started ealing dice about 40 some odd years ago, 47 years ago.
Q.You met him in Dallas?
A.No, I met him in Mississippi. I was dealing dicein Mississippi then.
Q. Did Mr. Richardson have any connection with Cuba?
A.I think T.W. had something to do with the managing the Capri.
Q.Did you see him while you were in Cuba?
A.Didn't see him too much. I did see him in Cuba.
Q.Did you see him that first time when you went over to take the job at the Tropicana?
A.No, I didn't see him. He didn't know I was there. T.W. was in the Riverside Hotel and he left. He was the manager of the Riverside Hotel. I took his place when he resigned in 162, I think. But I've known T.W. for years. He's a very nice man.
Q.You stated that you met the Foxes when you first went over to interview for your job with the Tropicana and you also stated that you were promised a percentage of the Tropicana if things were successful.
A.Martinez promised me a percentage if it ever did any business, but it never did any business. That was right at the time of tthe revolution. Do you have what date I went over to work there?
Q. Approximately September of '58.
A.I was going to say August. It must have been September.
Q.Was the Tropicana successful prior to the revolution?
A.It had been successful. It was a very beautiful place, beautiful shows, beautiful gaming room.
Q.Were the Foxes financially well off?
A.Yes, I'm sure they were.
Q. Were they the whole owners of the casino?
A.Were they what?
Q. Were they the whole and sole owners of the casino?
A.Yes, I would say they were. I 'd have to say I'm almost positive.
Q. They had no partners?
Q.Do you know if they ever received financial backing from anybody?
A.They didn't need any financial backing.
Q.Did they ever get any loans from anybody?
A.I wouldn't think so because they had a big business that made nothing but money for years and years. They had the numbers and every other thing.
Q.Do you know, did Jack Ruby know the Foxes?
A.Yes, I introduced him to the Foxes.
Q. When he came to Cuba?
A.When he came there, I introduced him, yes.
Q. Did he have any other dealings with the Foxes? A.He ran around with me. The whole time he was there he was running around me except when he went to bed.
Q.What happened to the Foxes when the government closed the hotel?
A.Well, they eventually all went to Miami.
Q.They did not stay in Cuba?
Q.They did not stay in Cuba?
A.They stayed there for a while but eventually theyleft and went to Miami.
Q. And you took a job at the Capri Hotel, is that correct?
Q. Who did you know at the Capri Hotel to get the Job ?
A. If I remember correctly, I think it was Martinez told me to go up there, that I could get a job up there if go up there. And I went up there and saw some fellow, Angelo, I don't know his last name, but his first name was Angelo.
Q.Could the last mine have been Bruno?
Q.Do you know a Mr. Angelo Bruno?
A.I've known him to see him in Cuba. I've seen him in Cuba. I don't know Mr. Bruno.
Q.You never met Mr. Bruno?
A.No, just to say hello. He knew who I was because in this business I'm a pretty good man in the gambling business. I 've been in it so many years.
Q.Do you know a Mr. Willie Bischoff?
A.Lefty Clark, that was his name. Wasn't his name Lefty Clark? I never did know his right name.
Q.Yes. also known as Lefty Clark.
A.I took his place in the Tropicana. They let him go and I took his place there.
Q.Why was Mr. Bischoff let go, do you know?
A.Well, it had something to do with the Black Jack getting cheated or something, something like that. That's what I heard. I don't know why they let him go.
Q.Did you associate wiith Mr. Bischoff at all after he was let go?
A.No, just to say hello.
Q.Do you know if Jack Ruby knew Mr. Bischoff?
A.No. I'm sure he didn't.
Q.Do you know a Mr. Babe Baron?
A.No, I know who he is. If it's the fellow thinking about, he used to be at the Sands.
Q.Yes. A.I don't know him but I know who he is. He may be dead. Is he living?
Q.He's still alive.
A.I didn't know that. But I know who he is. They call him the General. But I never met him in my life.
Q.Did you know that he was in Cuba?
A.No, I didn't.
Q.Do you know if Jack Ruby knew him at all?
A.If Jack Ruby met him?
A.I wouldn't think so.
Q.Who were the owners of the Capri?
A. I don't know. I don't have any idea. I went in there and took charge of the day shift and I don't know how long I was there to tell you the truth. But it wasn't too long. I went to open up one morning and they stuck machine guns in my stomach and I gave them the keys and turned around and walked off.
Q.Did you ever work at the Riviera Hotel?
Q.Did you have any affiliation with the Riviera?
Q.When you were at the Tropicana, what were your primary duties?
A.To manage the casino.
Q.Were you familiar generally with the prior management of the casino operation?
A.No, not the bookkeeping and all that kind of thing. I was familiar with running, seeing that the games didn't get cheated and the dealers and everything stayed in line.
Q.Were you responsible for hiring individuals to work in the casino?
A.No. they hired all them. There wasn't nothing but Cubans working there when I was there.
Q.Did the casino have to pay a tax to the Cuban government to operate?
A. I really don't know. I wouldn't know.
Q.Did Cuban officials have to be bribed to have a casino operation?
A.I don't know. There wouldn't be any way I'd know that.
Q.Were you familiar with any of the Cuban officialsin the government at that time?
Q.Do you recollect any of their names?
A.No, I could not recollect one name. Ventura, I think he was the chief of police, I believe it was, but I didn't know him. I 'd see him come in there with his bodyguards.
Q.Do you recall any other names of Cuban officials?
Q.Officials who would have responsibility to supervise casinos.
A.Supervise the casinos?
Q.Or involved generally.
A.No. Ventura didn't have nothing to do with the casino. I Just knew him to see him because he was supposed to be a very vicious fellow.
Q.How about any other Cuban officials in the government generally, can you recall any of their names?
A. No, I wouldn't have any reason to know any of them.
Q. Did the casinos make payments to any non-governmentofficials to continue operating, the owners of the casinos?
A. No, I wouldn't think so. It belonged to them.
Q. The Foxes never discussed that with you?
A. I didn't understand.
Q. Did the Foxes ever discuss the general operation of the casino with you?
A.No, in fact, they couldn't even speak English. One could speak English, Pedro.
Q.Do you know a Mr. Norman Rothman?
A.I know him to see him.
Q.Have you ever met Mr. Rothman?
A.It was in Cuba, yes. He'd come in and out of the Tropicana every once in a while. He came up and introduced himself to me and shook hands with me. I'd see him gambling there when I'd go around to different places.
Q.Did you ever have any discussions with Mr. Rothman?
Q.Do you know a Mr. Santo Trafficante?
A.Know him to see him.
Q.Have you ever met Mr. Trafficante?
A.Like I say, he knew who I was and he shook hands with me when he saw me. but that was it. I've been asked that a lot of times. too. But I didn't know Mr. Trafficante intimately, no.
Q. Did anybody introduce you to him or did he introduce himself to you?
A.Maybe Pedro did, I don't know, when he would come in a party or something.
Q. Did you ever meet Mr. Trafficante apart from being in Cuba in the casinos?
A.Not that I remember, no.
Q.You never met Mr. Trafficante in the United States?
A.Not that I recall. Maybe I did, I don't think so.
Q.Are you aware that Mr. Trafficante was imprisoned in Cuba?
A.Yes, there were a bunch of them imprisoned.
Q.Were you in Cuba at that time?
Q.Did you know why Mr. Trafficante was imprisoned?
A.To tell you the truth, I don't. I think theyjust wanted to get them out of there myself.
Q.Did you visit Mr. Trafficante in prison?
A.I didn't visit him. I went out there once or twice to visit a fellow, he was a dealer. He had a young son and a wife and he gambled all his money away. At times we would take up a collection amongst dealers and give money. I went out there once or twice to see him.
Q.Did you see anybody else in prison?
A.I saw everybody out there. Trafficante, I think he was in there.
Q.Did you see Mr. Trafficante?
A.I saw him but I didn't talk to him.
Q.You saw him but you could not talk to him.
A.I didn't know him that intimately.
Q.Do you know of anybody who did visit Mr. Trafficante in prison?
A.No, I don't. I went out there with someone but I don't recall who it was.
Q. Do you know a John Wilson Hudson?
Q. A John Wilson Hudson.
A.No, sir, I don't.
Q.Were you afraid of being imprisoned yourself?
A.They never did bother me for some reason. I don't know why. They never did the whole time I was there.
Q.Do you have any accounting for that?
Q. Do you know any reason why they would not bother you?
Q.Do you know any reason why they would not bother you?
A.I don't know. It could have been the Foxes, I don't know. I don't know why they didn't but they didn't. I never was arrested there. If I'd have stayed there, I'd probably have gotten arrested after we broke relations with them. I left the first day of January 1961, I think it was.
Q.Was Jack Ruby in Cuba visiting you during the time when you went to visit the prison and saw Santo Trafficante there?
A.I don't think so. He could have been but I don't think so. He could have been but I don't really think he was. I don't remember what date Jack was there.
Q.Did you discuss with Jack Ruby the imprisonment of many of the people that were working in Cuba?
A.No, I didn't discuss things like that with him.
Q.What other individuals did you see during your visit to that prison? Do you remember the names of them?
A.I saw Dino, Dino Cellini. He was the manager of the place, too, where I had worked.
Q.Which place was that?
A.Tropicana. Then he was at the Riviera.
Q.And you knew Mr. Cellini?
A.I didn't know him initimately. I knew him to talk to him, how's business and this and that.
Q.Did you ever have any business dealings with Mr. Cellini?
Q.Did Jack Ruby know Mr. Cellini?
A.No, he wouldn't know Dino.
Q.Did Jack Ruby know Mr. Trafficante?
Q.Was Mr. Rothman put in prison?
A.I don't think so. I don't believe he was.
Q. Did you visit Mr. Cellini when he was in prison?
Q.Did you visit Mr. Cellini when he was in prison?
A.I said hello to him because I knew him.
Q.But the primary reason for your going to the prison was--
A.(interrupting) To see this fellow Degeorgio or whatever his name was.
Q.Was there only one prison where all the people were kept?
A.No, they had two prisons. They had one they called principle, was a real bad prison. This one didn't look like a prison. It had a wire fence around it.
Q.What could you do to try and help a friend of yours who was in prison to get out?
A.I wasn't trying to help him get out. I Just wentout there to say hello to him.
Q. Was there anything one could do, even if not yourself, generally?
A.No, I don't think so. I wouldn't know, but I wouldn't think they could get them out.
Q.Could you bribe anybody to get them out of prison?
A.I don't really know about that, I don't know.
Q.Did you know Mr. Meyer Lansky?
A.No. sir, never laid eyes on him in my life. I know his brother, knew his brother.
A. Jake, very fine man.
Q. How did you know Jake?
A. I knew Jake in Cuba.
Q.How did you first meet Jake?
A. I don't recall how I met him. I just don't recall. I did meet him. It might have been through Dino.
Q. Did Jack Ruby know Jake Lansky?
A. No, positive he didn't.
Q.What was the nature of your relationship with Jake Lansky?
A.Just to say hello and that's all.
Q. Did you ever have dinner with him?
Q. What casino did Mr. Lansky operate at?
A. Mr. Lansky was around the Riviera. I don't know if he operated it or what but he was there, Jake Lansky I'm talking about.
Q. Did you know Mr. John Roselli?
A.I didn't know him. I've seen him around town herelike I told the FBI and then Mr. Fenton. I've seen Mr. Roselli around here. Any time I would go in the Sands to see a show. I would see him there.
Q.Did you ever see Mr. Roselli outside of Vegas?
A.Never in my life.
Q.You never saw him in Cuba?
A.I don't think he was in Cuba when I was there.
Q.Did you ever talk to him while he was here in Vegas?
A. I never talked to him while he was there. He's kind of a belligerent fellow. I had no reason to say anything to him.
Q. Do you know a Mr. Sam Giancana?
Q. Have you heard of Mr. Giancana?A.I don't know him.
Q. You never met Mr. Giancana?
Q.Do you know if Mr. Roselli or Mr. Giancana had interests in Cuban casinos?
A.There wouldn't it be any way I'd know that.
Q. Had you heard that before?
A. I never heard of it, no. What attracted me to Mr. Roselli was any time I ever maw him he had on dark glasses, and he was a well dressed fellow and a fellow you would notice in a crowd, you know, especially with the dark glasses on.
Q. You stated that you were the only American working at the Tropicana, all the other employees were Cuban?
Q.Was that characteristic for most of the other casinos?
A.No, the other casinos had mostly Americans on them, especially on the dice games, you know. The dicegames are pretty hard. to deal and understand and learn. So it was mostly American dealers.
Q.When you were hired at the casino, did you have to apply for an employee work card like you're shown us for here in the state of Nevada?
A.No, I had to go to Dallas and get, after Castro got there. I had to go to Dallas and get a letter from the sheriff.
Q. What type of letter?
Q.What type of letter from the sheriff?
A.As to my character, you know, I hadn't been in trouble there.
Q.That was after Castro took over?
A. Yes; and I took it back and gave it to the Foxes.
Q.Prior to Castro taking over in 1958 or '59, 1958, did you have, in September of '58 when you first got your job at the Tropicana, did you have to apply for a work card through the Cuban government?
A.No, I just went in there and talked to them and got the job and went to work.
Q. When did you leave Cuba?
A. January 1, 1961.
Q.You stayed approximately two years, then, after Fidel Castro took over?
A. '59, '60, yes, almost two years.
Q. From 1958 through 1961, did you ever return to the United States for visits?
A. Many times, yes. I used to bring money and deposit it for the Foxes.
Q.And where would that be deposited?
Q.Where would that be deposited?
A.Well, I deposited money in the Pan American Bank and I deposited money in the. I think it was a Miami bank. I don't know.
Q.Were most of your trips to Miami?
Q.Were most of your trips from Cuba to Miami?
A. To the banks, yes.
Q.Did you ever go anywhere else besides Miami when you returned for a visit?
Q.How did you keep in touch with your friends in the United States while you were in Cuba?
A. I didn't keep in touch with them.
Q. Did you write them at all?
A. Very few of them.
Q. Did you phone them at all?
Q. Did you ever make any phone calls while you were in Cuba back to the United States?
A. I don't recall getting any. Maybe Jack Ruby called about Tony Zoppi, maybe, said they were coming or something like that. Otherwise I never got any calls.
Q.Did you ever place any calls from Cuba to people in the United States?
A.Not that I recall. I don't know who it could have been.
Q.You told us about Mr. Meyer Panitz.
Q. Mr. Meyer Panitz, P-a-n-i-t-z..
Q.Did you ever call Mr. Panitz in Miami?
A.It's possible that I did because he's a very close friend of mine.
Q. Could that phone call have been right after Jack Ruby visited you?
A.Oh, no, I think Panitz was in Cuba when Jack Rubywas there. I believe he was in Cuba.
Q.He was a close friend of Jack Ruby, is that correct?
Q. What activities did Mr. Panitz engage in?
A. Years ago, many years ago. he was a book maker.
Q. How many years ago was that?
A. Oh, Christ. I'd say 35, 40 years ago.
Q. After that, what type of activity did he engage in?
A.He could have worked in Cuba, I'm not sure. I think he worked in Cuba.
Q. You knew him in Dallas, is that correct?
A. Yes; Memphis, too.
Q.And did there come a time when he moved to Miami?
A. Did what?
Q.Did Mr. Panitz move to Miami?
A.He was in Dallas, he worked in Dallas. He worked for me at the Top of the Hill, what we call, box watching the crap games, sitting down. Where else did he work? He could have worked around the Top of the Hill. I remember that, and I believe he worked in Cuba. I believe he worked the Capri too in Cuba.
Q.What period of time was that?
A. I don't have any idea. I'm sure he worked there.
Q. Did Jack Ruby see Mr. Panitz while he was in Cuba?
A.I couldn't say for sure.
Q. You assume he would have if Mr. Panitz was there?
A. I'm sure if Panitz was there at the time. yeah. Like I say. I don't know what year he was there.
Q.Is Mr. Panitz alive today?
Q.And you don't recall calling Mr. Panits from Cuba right after Jack Ruby was there?
A.Right after Jack Ruby was there?
Q. Right after Jack Ruby visited you. you don't recall calling Panitz in Miami?
A.I don't recall calling him. It's possible.
Q.Do you know Misty Lane Miner?
Q.How do you know Ms. Miner?
A. I used to go with her for a few months. She was in Cuba too.
Q.When was she in Cuba?
A.I don't know. She wasn't there to see me. She just came over there. we had broken up a couple or three years before. I think she was there around a week. I'm not sure.
Q.Did she see you when she was in Cuba?
A.Yes, I said hello to her.
Q.Did she give you any message from Jack Ruby?
Q.Did Jack Ruby know her?
A. He knew her, sure.
Q.How long did Jack Ruby stay in Cuba when he visited you?
A.To the best of my recollection. I'd say six days maybe. not over a week, I don't think.
Q. Can you remember what activities Mr. Rudy did while he was down there?
A.He was right out there where I worked. Every morning when I got up he was there. When I left the place, he went with me to eat and went to bed.
Q.Were there any special shows during that period of time that Mr. Ruby wanted to see or things to do?
A. The best show down there was at the Capri. Maybe he went there once or twice.
Q.Do you remember anything in particular that Mr Ruby did during that week?
A.I don't remember a darn thing he did but bug me all week.
Q. When was this that Mr. RubY visited you in Cuba?
A. I'd have to say it was in '59
Q.Do you remember the month it was?
A.It might have been august. I don't recall. I believe it was August. I don't know for sure.
Q.How do you pinpoint the date of August?
A. It just seems like to me it was in August. I told Mr. Fenton that, I believe.
Q. Is there anything particular that sticks out in your mind?
A. No, it Just seems like it was the middle of the year. I'd have to say it was right around august, I'd say. I'm not sure. There's no way I could tell you for sure.
Q.was it during hurricane season?
A.No, I don't think so. I think the hurricane season starts in September, I'm not sure.
Q. Did Mr. Ruby, to your knowledge, ever visit Cuba at any other time?
A. Not that I know of. I would say no.
Q. He never discussed any other visits with you?
A. I would say no because I never did see him. there any more. I know if he had been there. I would have seen him.
Q.When he was :in Cuba, did you discuss the Castro situation with Mr. Ruby?
Q.You have no idea how long prior to Castro's taking over he was down there?
A.No, I don't, I really don't. I know that Castro had taken over when he was there, that he had already taken I think he took over New Year's of 1959. I believe.
Q.To clarify the dates of Jack Ruby's visit in Cuba, to the best of your recollection. it was August of 1959 ?
A.That's what I'd say. I don't really know. Look at the FBI report. maybe they know. I'm not trying to be smart but I don't know the date.
Q.I understand that. We're trying to clarify it for the record. In other words, it was definitely after Castro took over?
A.Definitely, yes. It was definitely after Castro took over. That's when they really needed business. That's the reason I called him. They were trying to get Tony to come down there. I couldn't say for sure, but I'd have to say it was around July or August.
Q. So due to the Castro takeover, you needed business, and you suggested to the Foxes--
A.(Interrupting) I suggested this thing to them before that, too. They finally made up their minds after business got so bad, they was doing anything to try to get business because not many people came over there. tourists after Castro got there.
Q. So you suggested to the Foxes that you knew Jack Ruby?
A.I knew Tony Zoppi and I knew a man that could get him to bring him over there.
Q.And when did you first meet Mr. Zoppi?
A.I'd say in the middle '40's, Just to speak to him I didn't know him well. He was a columnist and he'd make night clubs and you'd see him around night clubs and restaurants.
Q.why didn't you, call Mr. Zoppi directly to see if he would come over?
A.Because I didn't know him that well. Jack Ruby did business with him with the paper. He was with theDallas Morning News. In fact, he was with Zoppi. like I told you, when President Kennedy got shot, I believe. believe he was there the next day or the same day. I I'm going by the papers, what the papers said.
Q.How did you first get in touch with Jack Ruby about inviting Tony Zoppi and himself to come down to Cuba?
A.I believe I called him on the phone, I'm not sure. It's possible that I did. I might have written him a letter, I don't know.
Q.And what was Mr. Ruby's reaction?
A.It was all right. He said he could get him to come. He was supposed to come.
Q.What did you do in response to Mr. Ruby's reaction?
A. I Just told him it would help us out at the Tropicana if he could get Tony down there and give us some writeups in his column.
Q.Did you wait until Jack Ruby called you back to get in touch with Tony Zoppi?
A.I don't recall. I know Tony agreed to come down there. I even called him or he called me, I don't know which.
Q.Did you call Tony directly?
A.No. I called Jack. I didn't know Tony well enough to talk to him.
Q.After your first phone call with Jack Ruby, what period of time elapsed until either Jack called you or you called Jack back to--
A.(interrupting) It was a pretty good while.
Q.It was a long time?
A.I would say it was a few months.
Q.So, then, you probably called him sometime in the spring of 1959 and then it would be a few months. would be August until he finally came down?
A. I d have to say that, yeah, then he came by himself. If Tony would have came with him, then all this wouldn't be going on here. It's an unfortunate thing that he didn't come with him. I think I sent him two tickets I 'm not sure. I'm positive I sent him two tickets.Q.You sent Jack Ruby two tickets?
A.Two tickets. one for him and one for Zoppi.
Q.And that was after Jack Ruby told you that Zoppi had agreed to come?
A.That he would come, yeah. I'd have to say that'scorrect.
Q. And the two tickets were being paid for by the hotel?
A.They paid me the money. I bought the tickets.
Q. You bought the tickets?
A.Yeah. I bought the tickets but they gave me the money.
Q.They gave you the money?
A.Oh. sure. It wasn't a hotel, it was a night club. The Tropicana wasn't a hotel.
Q.And they did not expect to be paid back for these two tickets, did they?
A.Oh, no. it was part of their publicity. They spent a lot of money advertising. In fact, they had a sign across the causeway in Miami about a block long for years.
Q.And you prepaid the two tickets and sent them to Jack Ruby, is that correct?
A.I paid for them with money, is that what you mean, prepaid?
Q.Did you also tell Mr. Ruby that or make for Mr. Ruby any accommodations for where they would stay when they got down there?
A.I told them that they would be taken care of incare of any hotel they wanted to. the bill would be taken because that was the agreement I had with the Foxes-
Q.And that was not prepaid in advance. was it?
Q.where did Jack Ruby stay when he got down there?
A.They didn't pay his way when he got there because he didn't bring Zoppi. He stayed at a little hotel there. I was living at the Foxa at the time, F-o-x-a, it was an apartment building. He stayed in a little hotel. I could look out my window and see it down on the corner.
Q. Was his ticket still paid for even though Tony Zoppi didn't come?
A.We went ahead and paid that they did rather. I didn't get it back.
Q.The letter you've given us today from Tony Zoppi, the portion of the letter you gave to us today, do you still have the top of that letter?
A.The whole letter?
A.No, it was a personal letter to this fellow her. That's the only part I had of it.
Q.The letter was addressed to?
A.The letter that Tony sent was sent to Brescia.
Q.Right. And did he give you the entire letter or just the bottom portion?
A.He gave me the entire letter but I tore off the bottom part because that was the only part that concerned me. It was all personal.
Q.And you destroyed the top portion? You no longer have the top portion of the letter?
A.There wasn't anything in there that anyone would be interested in. I Just read the bottom part where he concluded his letter and tore it out.
Q.Do you still have the top part?
Q.Was there any reason you didn't give that letter to Mr. Cline and Mr. Fenton when they came to talk to you?
A.I told them I had it.
Q.Did they ask to see it?
A.They told me if I got subpoenaed to bring it with pretty sure they did. I'm positive I brought it up to them. You see, when they interviewed me, I was at a friend of mine's house, staying overnight, because they were gone out of town and they were scared someone would break in their house and they came over there. In facts I went down and met them.
Q. Do you know why Tony Zoppi couldn't go to Cuba?
Q. Do you know why Tony Zoppi couldn't go to Cuba on that trip?
A. Why he didn't come?
A. No, I don't. I have no idea. I guess he was busy or somethings couldn't make it.
Q. Why did Jack Ruby come?
A. He just wanted to use the free ticket, I guess.
Q. Before Jack Ruby came. did he tell you that Tony Zoppi would not be coming?
A. No, he didn't tell me. I would have told him to stay there then I wouldn't have had all this.
Q. Do you recall being interviewed by the FBI concerning Jack Ruby's visits to Cuba?
A. I recall them interviewing me about Jack Ruby, yes.
Q. Did you tell the FBI about Tony Zoppi?
A. I don't think I did, to tell you the truth. I think about it until I got the darn letter. Then it all
came back to me why he was coming down there.
Q. And this letter is the letter you received in 1976?
A. I received a letter in 1976 from my brother, yes.
Q. So from 1963 to 1976. you. had Just forgotten?
A. I had Just forgot about it. to tell you the truth. I was all shook up about the darn thing happening and it just slipped my mind.
Q. Wasn't really the only reason for Ruby to come visit was to get Tony Zoppi?
A. That's right.
Q. Isn't that the primary reason for him to visit?
A. That's the only reason that he came down there was he was supposed to bring Tony Zoppi and he didn't bring him.
Q. It wasn't to give Jack Ruby a vacation. was it?
A. No. I don't think so. It might have been what I told the FBI because like I say, I was so shook up when I talked to them that first time and I didn't know what to tell them.
Q. In an FBI interview dated June 9, 1964, and the interview being conducted on June 8, 1964, by special agents Stevens and McFaul, let me read you part of what you said about Jack Ruby's visit to Cuba. You stated. "In 1959, date unrecalled, he wrote to Ruby and asked him if he would like to come to Havana for a week. He stated there was no ulterior motive and that he had been a close friend of Ruby's and extended this invitation as one would to a brother. He realized Ruby was working hard with his Dallas night club and felt that Ruby needed a rest. Because the cost' of plane tickets in Havana could be paid for by pasos for approximately one fifth of the cost of the ticket in the United States, he purchased a round-trip ticket for Ruby at his own expense and mailed it to Ruby in Dallas after which Ruby boarded a plane and flew to Havana for a visit." Later in the report, if I may just read another paragraph, it states. "With further regard to the airline ticket purchased by McWillie, he stated that as best he can recall, the peso evaluation of this ticket was about $75 and that he had personally absorbed the cost. He could not be certain whether Ruby repaid him for this ticket after Ruby reached Havana, again explaining that he purchased the ticket at Havana and mailed it to Ruby at one fifth of what it would cost Ruby to buy a comparable ticket in Dallas. He does not recall standing any other expenses for Ruby in connection with the trip and was unable to state whether Ruby had repaid him for the cost of the ticket or not." Now, is that an accurate account of what you told the FBI?
A. I may have told them that but Zoppi was supposed to come with Ruby. It Just slipped my mind about Zoppi, that's all. I 'm sure I sent him two tickets. I paid for them out of my pocket but I got the money from the Foxes.
Q. The agents questioned you in fairly explicit detail, is that not correct?
A. Sir ?
Q. The agents questioned you in fairly explicit detail, is that not correct?
A. They questioned me pretty good, yes.
Q. I mean they specifically asked you whether or not there was an ulterior motive for your sending a ticket to Jack Ruby. Don't you think you would have remembered about Tony Zoppi at that time?
A. I didn't remember until I got that letter. to tell you the truth. I did not remember about it until I got the letter and then it all hit me at one time and I said to self, well, I should have told the FBI that.
Q. There's also an FBI report dated November 27, 1963. the interview being conducted November 25, 1963, by special agents Stavens and Salisbury concerning Ruby's trip to Cuba. Again it says. "McWillie said he had gone to Cuba to work at the Tropicana at Havana, Cuba, and while there--
A. (Interrupting) I didn't understand you.
Q. I'm sorry. the report states. "McWillie said he had gone to Cuba to work at the Tropicana at Havana, Cuba.and while there sometime in 1959, Ruby had been in Cuba for about a one week's vacation and he had seen Ruby there at that time. He said he knew of no interests Ruby might have had in Cuba."
A. He didn't have any interests in Cuba and he did take a vacation when he came by himself. He darn sure did.
Q. And again you did not recall that Tony Zoppi was the primary reason that Jack Ruby--
A. (Interrupting) No, I didn't. To tell you the truth, I didn't until I got that letter and it hit me and I said, my, God. I should have told the FBI that.
Q. Even when questioned about the cost of Ruy's trip?
A. I didn't recall it. Like I say, it was such a terrible thing that happened that I was just shook all up.They came out there the same day, I think.
Q. You are sure, however, that Jack Ruby's trip to Cuba was after Castro took over? Are you sure of that now?
A. I'm positive of it, yeah.
Q. And the reason you can date that is--
A. (Interrupting) I'd have to say, yes, it was after he took over.
Q. And what's the reason you can date that?
A. I wasn't there--do you have it there when I went to Cuba? You said September?
Q. September of 1958.
A. It would have to be after Castro was in.
Q. And the reason you're dating that again is because of the decline in business due to Castro's takeover, is that correct?
A. That's correct. Business declined when Castro got there.
Q. How was business generally when you first moved to the Casino in 1958?
A. How was what?
Q. How was business at the Tropicana?
A. It wasn't any good. It was going down then. There was talk in all the papers about Castro going to arrive there and everything It had declined.
Q. It had declined at that time?
A. Real bad.
Q. Could the Foxes have asked you at that time or you had suggested to the Foxes at that time to get in touch with Tony Zoppi?
A. I had suggested to the Foxes that we might get some business out of Dallas if we would get him to write articles in his column about it.
Q. When was the first time you made that suggestion to the Foxes?
A. I made that, I believe, when I first went there. I believe I did. I'm not positive. Then when it got so bad after Castro got there, I went to them again and they decided to go ahead with it.
Q. When you first made the suggestion to the Foxes, when you first got there in September of '58, did you tell Jack Ruby that, in fact, you had made that suggestion?
A. Did I tell--
Q. (Interrupting) Did you tell Ruby even though nothing had been definite with the Foxes?
Q. You never told Jack Ruby you had made the suggestion until the Foxes O.K.'d the deal?
A. In '58?
Q. Right, in '58.
A. I don't think so. I think it was after Castro got there.
Q. You never told him you had made the suggestion
until the Foxes O.K.'d the deal?
A. No, I didn't call him until after they O.K.'d the deal.
Q. You stated that you asked or you might have asked Jack Ruby to send you a gun in Cuba just because you could get yourself killed down there, a lot of people had guns.
A. Well, it was awful bad down there. It was scary, little kids carrying machine guns.
Q. Was there much gun running into Cuba?
Q. Was there much gun running into Cuba?
A. I don't know about any gun running. No way I'd know about that.
Q. Where did all the guns come from?
A. Castro brought then with him.
Q. Do you know how Castro got his guns?
A. No, I don't have any idea.
Q. Do you know Mr. Robert McKeown?
A. No sir, I sure don't. You asked me that before.
Q. Do you know Dominick Bartone?
A. No, sir.
Q. Have you ever heard the name before?
A. Dominick Bartone?
A. Never heard of him.
Q. Mr. Edward Browder?
A. Edward who?
A. No, sir.
Q. You never heard that name before?
A. No. McKeown's name I've read in articles about Ruby?
Q. But you never met him personally?
Q. You just read that.
A. I wouldn't know him if I'd see him.
Q. Do you know Mr. Sam Benton?
Q. Benton, B-e-n-t-o-n.
A. No, sir.
Q. We're turning for a moment to Ruby's trip without Tony Zoppi to Cuba.
Q. Mr. Zoppi has written an article on the subject.Are you aware of that fact?
A. No, I'm not.
Q. In Mr. Zoppi's article. he states that the trip was supposed to be in December of 1958, which is prior to Castro's taking over.
A. Maybe I did call him before '59. But I did call him in '59 again. If I did make a call in '58, then I did make a call in '59.
Q. Could you explain that? I'm not sure I understand.
A. It's possible that I did call in '58.
MR. WOLF: Off the record.
(Thereupon, a short discussion was had off the record.)
MR. WOLF: On the record.
BY MR. WOLF:
Q. As we were stating, Mr. Zoppi has told us and written that to the best of his recollection, it was in December of 1958 when he was supposed to come down to make this review and, in fact, one of the reasons he did not go was he had another show in Las Vegas to review. That was the reason he did not go down to Cuba' with Jack Ruby. He states that he intended going down after the review but did not go down to Cuba because Castro took over. And that's how he places the dates of December 1958 because he's certain that since Castro took over January 1, 1959. he then did not go down.
A. Well it's possible that I could have called in '58. But I know I called in '59, too. But it's possible but I'm not sure.
Q. That's what we were asking before. The Foxes did approve Jack Ruby and Tony Zoppi coming down together until 1959?
A. The first time, it might have been '58, the latter part of '58. I 'm not positive on this. It's been so long, it's been 20 years ago, you know. But I did know that I called Jack Ruby in '59 and he told me he would bring Tony Zoppi. He said, "Don't worry, I'll bring him down there." Now it's possible that I did call him in '58, too, I don't recall it.
Q. And Jack Ruby, when he was in Cuba was that before or after Castro took over?
A. Jack Ruby's in Cuba after Castro took over.
Q. And, to the best of your recollection, that was August of 1959?
A. I'd have to may August. I'm not sure, though.
Q. I'm saying though to the best of your recollection,it was August?
A. I don't know.
Q. Subsequent to your returning to the United States, you were involved in an incident at Miami Airport, is that correct?
A. That's right.
Q. And is it fair to characterize you as anti-Castro?
A. I was in an outfit called Fair Play for Cuba. I'm not very proud of it but I was just mad.
Q. It would be fair to characterize your political philosophy as anti-Castro?
A. I wasn't trying to do anything. This fellow was talking about the United States and President Eisenhower and different people and what a bum country it was in America, it's lucky I didn't jump on him there because if I had I would have been in jail but I waited until I got to the States. I called the FBI and I explained it to them. He was a school teacher up in Chicago.
Q. Subsequent to your return to the United States, were you ever approached by any individuals regarding assassinating Fidel Castro?
A. Oh, God, no, of course not.
Q. Did you ever discuss the political situation in Cuba with any individuals?
A. Nobody. It was a very dangerous thing to even talk to Cubans about Castro or anybody else.
Q. Even in the United States?
A. In the United States?
Q. I'm saying subsequent to your return from Cuba,not while you were in Cuba but subsequent.
A. While I was in Cuba?
Q. After you left Cuba and came back to the United States.
A. I would rib Cubans about Castro being a Communist and things like that.
Q. Was that here in the United States?
A. In the United States.
Q. Which Cubans?
A.I don't know, just anyone I'd see, viva Fidel, rib them. That's what they all said when Castro got there.
Q. Jerry Patrick Hemming, H-e-m-m-i-n-g.
Q. You stated you knew Mr. Mike McLaney?
A. Very well.
Q. How did you know Mr. McLaney?
A. I met Mr. McLaney at the, I met him years ago in Miami. He had a restaurant in Miami. I met him one night in there. I was at the races.
Q. Was that before or after--
A. (Interrupting) This was in the early '40's, '46 or '47. He had a restaurant called Liaglan. I don't know how to spell it, a French restaurant. I was introduced to him.
Q. Did you meet Mr. McLancy while you were in Cuba?
A. I met him in Miami first. The next time I saw Mr. McLancy, just introduction, my name, his name, he probably forgot about it. The next time. when I went to Cuba. he had the National Hotel. I used to go over and visit with him. you know like you visit with people.
Q. Did you have dinner with him occasionally?
A. I don't think I ever did have dinner with him, no. I'd just go over and said hello. And then I worked for McLaney in Haiti, too, Porta prince, Haiti. I stayed down there nine months.
Q. What period of time did you work in Haiti?
A. 1975, I believe. I didn't stay but nine months. I got sick down there.
Q. Did you know Mr. McLaney's brother?
A. Oh, yeah, a very good friend of mine, Bill.
Q. How did you know Bill?
A. I met Bill in Cuba.
Q. Is that the first time you had met him?
A. The first time Bill, yeah.
Q. After you left Cuba, did you continue to maintain friendship with him?
A. Oh, sure, We're still friends.
Q. How often would you see him after you left Cuba speak to him?
A. After I left Cuba?
A. I never saw him again until I went to Haiti. No, I worked for him at the Carousel here. They owned the Carousel, McLaneys.
Q. Was that in Nevada, Cal-Neva?
A. No, didn't I tell you about the Carousel Club? gave you a resume of every place I worked.
MR. PURDY: You're talking about the Carousel in Las Vegas?
THE WITNESS: Yes.
BY MR. WOLF:
Q. And they own that club?
A. They own that.
Q. What did Bill McLaney do in Cuba?
A. With his brother, I don't know what he did. Helped with the casino, I guess.
Q. Did they own it jointly?
A. I have no idea how they owned it.
Q. Did you ever discuss political attitudes toward Castro with the McLaneys?
A. Never, had no reason to.
Q. After your return to the United States, did the McLaneys ever discuss their attitude toward Castro?
A. Never, never mentioned Castro to me.
Q. Were you aware that the McLaneys were involved in anti-Castro activities after their return to the United States?
Q. You never heard that before today?
A. Never heard it. I think I read it in a book, too.
Q. But you were not aware of that?
Q. When was the first time that you became aware of John Roselli's or Sam Giancana's efforts to assassinate Fidel Castro?
A. About what?
Q. About John Roselli's or Sam Giancana's efforts to assassinate Fidel Castro.
A. Read it in the papers.
Q. You had never heard of it before that?
Q. Do you know Mr. Frank Sturgis?
Q. Have you ever heard of Mr. Sturgis?
A. I've read books about him.
Q. Mr. Frank Fiorini?
A. No, I read in the books, though, that he was in Castro's army. That's Sturgis, too, isn't
Q. Do you know Mr. Richard Danner?
A. Mr. Danner used to be an FBI man in Dallas.
Q. How did you first meet Mr. Danner?
A. I don't recall. It seems like he was looking for some--I don't recall how I met him but I did meet him one time.
Q. Just one time?
A. That's all. I 've seen him here.
Q. That was in Dallas?
A. One time here is all I've seen him.
Q. Did you ever see Mr. Danner in Cuba?
A. You only saw Mr. Danner one time in Las Vegas?
A. I went in thereto look for a job.
Q. Do you remember where when you say you went in there?
A. The Frontier. He wasworking for Suma, you know, the general manager of the Sands and at that time they didn't need anyone.
Q. You never discussed with Mr. Danner Mr. Roselli or Mr. Giancana, did you?
A. Of course not. I didn't know those people.
Q. Do you know Mr. E. Howard Hunt?
A. The one that was in Watergate?
Q. You never met him?
A. No, sir.
Q. Did anyone ever approach you after your return to the United States about getting involved in a plot to kill Fidel Castro?
A. No, sir.
Q. When the Bay of Pigs invasion occurred, do you remember where you were?
A. I was at my mother's home in Coral Gables, Florida
Q. Had you been living in Florida?
A. I went there from Cuba. I stayed there until June 1st and then went to work in the Cal-Neva Lodge.
Q. It was fairly common knowledge around Miami at that time that a large invasion was about to occur. Were that fact?
A. No. sir, I wasn't.
Q. You were not aware of that fact?
A. I might have heard rumors, but I didn't pay any attention to it because I didn't think it was true. There was a possibility that it was true but I didn't think so.
Q. When Jack Ruby killed Lee Harvey Oswald, where were you at that time?
Q. Where were you when Jack Ruby killed Lee Harvey Oswald?
A. I was working at the Thunderbird Hotel.
Q. And what was your reaction when you heard the news?
A. Where was I when it happened?
Q. When it happened.
A. I was at home. We've got a TV in the kitchen. My wife was up early and I was working nights and she came running in the bedroom and said. "Come in the kitchen. somebody just shot Oswald." And I jokingly said. "Well, I hope I don't know who did it". Just joking. At first they said a man named Siegal, I think they said. Then a few minutes later they said, "We made a terrible mistake. The man's name is Jack Ruby." Well, I like to fell out. I told my wife, I said, "Margaurita, the FBI will probably come here to see me today or tomorrow." And she said, "Why?" I said, "Well, I knew this man in Dallas." And sure enough in about three hours. the kids and I, I forgot what was going on this day, could it have been possible that the funeral of President Kennedy was going on that day? There was some cermony in the rotunda, we were watching it on the TV, the two kinds and myself and my wife. About three hours later there was a knock on the door and my some. he was about six years old, went to the door and said. "Dad. two men want to see you." Well, I didn't want the kids to hear him. I just took them in the kitchen and shut the door and that's where we talked.
Q. Do you know how the FBI got to your house so quickly?
A. No, I don't know. It was a mystery to me. I don't know how they got there that quick. I'd say it was about three or four hours they were there.
Q. Did you call any of your friends or associates right after you had heard that Jack Ruby--
A. (Interrupting) No.
Q. Do you know, to your knowledge, did anybody hire Jack Ruby to kill Lee Harvey Oswald?
A. Do what, sir?
Q. Did anybody hire Jack Ruby to kill Lee Harvey Oswald?
A. Sure not. It's like I've told everybody that has been questioning, I 've been questioned by reporters and everything. I think he did it just to--are you all listening to me? I think he did it Just to make a big man out of himself. He was that type of a person.
BY MR. PURDY:
Q. After the assassination and after the shooting of Oswald, did you discuss Jack Ruby with anyone other than your wife and the FBI agents?
A. I don't know, I don't think so. I didn't want anybody to know I even knew him. to tell you the truth.
Q. Did you discuss Jack Ruby with anyone who already knew that you had known Jack Ruby?
Q. Did you talk to anyone who knew Jack Ruby and who knew that you knew him after this happened?
Q. After the assassination.
A. No, I don't think so.
Q. You haven't talked about Jack Ruby with any mutual acquaintances, then?
A. No; I might have said something about, what do you think about that nut doing what he did or something like that. I didn't want people to know. It was embarrassing to me when I was working for the FBI to come in and take me off to the side. Like I say, I asked them to see me at home and they did.
Q. Did you know Juan Orta?
Q. Juan Orta. O-r-t-a.
A. No. Cuban? I don't recall his name.
Q. Did you know William E. Fletcher of New York City?
A. Yes. I've known him for years.He's from Dallas, an oilman.
Q. How did you know him?
A. I met him around Dallas.
Q. Did he gamble with any of the other oilmen?
A. There were two Fletchers. Is he the oilman you're speaking of? His brother was a gambler.
Q. What was the gambler's first name?
A. I can't think of his first name but there were two brothers and I knew both of them.
Q. The Fletcher brothers.
A. The Fletcher brothers. In fact, one of them is dead.
Q. Did Jack Ruby know either of the Fletchers?
A. Jack Ruby, I wouldn't think so.
Q. Did you know Raymond B. Cortez?
Q. Did you know Henry Savadra, a former employee of the Capri in Cuba?
A. Henry Savaadra, he was a cashier there, I believe.
Q. Jack Ruby see him when he came to Cuba?
A. No, he wouldn't have any reason to see him.
Q. Did you know David Elatkin in Cuba?
Q. Did you know Robert Larkin?
A. Robert Larkin, sure I know him. He's a security guard. He worked for Abe Weinstein. He's a bouncer.
Q. Did he use to manage the Vegas Club or work with Jack Ruby with the Vegas Club?
A. I don't think he did. I don't believe he ever worked for Jack Ruby. I think he worked for Weinstein. He's working as a security guard here in the Fremont Hotel, he was the last I heard of him.
Q. Do you think he knew Jack Ruby?
A. Did he know Jack Ruby? Yes, he knew him.
Q. Did Mr. Larkin ever gamble in Dallas?
A. I never saw him gamble anywhere, no. I don't think he made enough money to gamble. Bob Larkin, that's who you're talking about.
Q. Earlier you mentioned an Oscar Cheninder.
Q. Could you spell that name for us?
A. I couldn't spell it. C-h-e-m-i-n-d-e-r. He's dead, too, though.
Q. I believe you previously stated that when Jack Ruby came to Cuba that that was the first time he he'd gone to Cuba, is that correct?
A. That's what he said. I've never seen him before. He had never been there when I was there.
Q. Did he go to Cuba after that?
A. I wouldn't know. I'd have no way of knowing. I never saw him. when I came through Dallas that time. I don't think he did. The FBI even asked me if held been here. I've never seen him out here.
Q. Do you have personal knowledge as to whether or not Jack Ruby went to Cuba in September of 1959 for one day?
Q. Do you believe you would have known if he had?
A. I would have known it, I believe. I believe he would have called me. Can't they look up the airline tickets and check it out?
Q. Did Jack Ruby visit the prison when he was in Cuba?
A. I really don't know. It's possible he could have but I don't think, if he did, he went with me and I don't recall it but he could have. I don't know for sure.
Q. You said you thought it was possible that someone had gone to the prison with you.
A. It's possible that it might have been Jack Ruby.
Q. Did the person who went to the prison with you speak to anyone that was in the prison?
A. Just to this Degeorge and I spoke to Dino and Jake Lansky.
Q. Did you say hello to Trafficante there?
A. Just said hello. But I talked to Jake because Dino was a friend of mine. I mean not a personal, intimate friend. I used to go down and visit him when he was working. Sometimes he'd drop by and see me.
Q. After you left Cuba, how did you get a Job in Nevada?
A. I got a Job in Nevada through a friend of mine named Johnny Blaine. He was a book maker years ago. He called me and asked me if I wanted to go up to Cal-Neva Lodge. He said I could go up there and lee Sandy Waterman. He used to manage a casino. I went up there. The 15th of June I went up there.
Q. Did Mr. Blaine have anything to do with the Cal-Neva Lodge?
A. No. he didn't. He knew Sandy Waterman from old days or something.
MR. WOLF: Mr. McWillie. that's the conclusion of our questions.of our questions. If you have anything to add that would help the Committee, we would be most appreciative.
THE WITNESS: I don't know what I could tell you because, like I said. all the contact I had with Ruby was about the union thing. I don't even remember when it was, in '63. It must have been the early part of '63. I know that whoever Bill Miller did call and to this day he don't talk to me any more because I had Ruby call him. I had no idea Ruby was like he was.
MR. WOLF: Do you have anyone else you could suggest we should talk to?
THE WITNESS: The only ones I could suggest are those two fellows I named. They were very close with him in Dallas. They were Rifkin and Panitz.
MR. WOLF: They're both dead .
WITNESS: They died a couple of years ago. They were just friends of his. Nobody ever dreamed in the world this man would do anything like this. He was just a harmless fellow. I don't know what to tell you. I can't tell you anything else. I've told the truth, everything I've told you. But I did leave out the thing about Zoppi with the FBI. I'm sorry I did but I just forgot it. I was shook up that I knew this fellow.
MR. WOLF: Mr. McWillie, we very much appreciate your cooperation. This transcript will be typed up and sent to us in Washington. We will then send you a copy of it for you to read. There will be a little statement at the, end for you to sign that it's an accurate and true account. If you want to make changes in the transcript. you should get in touch with me. I'll send you a cover letter with the transcript.
THE WITNESS: I don't have either one of your cards.
MR. WOLF: We'll leave a card with you. If you get in touch with us, we'll send you a statement to sign. If you sign that and return it to us, then we'll send you an official copy of your transcript so you'll have one for your own records.Thank you very much. That will conclude the deposition.