DONALD PURDY, Staff CounselSelect Committee on Assassinations
Washington, D.C. 20515
LESLIE WEIZELMAN, Research Analyst Select Committee on Assassinations
Washington, D.C. 20515
SWORN TESTIMONY OF ANDREW ARMSTRONG, JR.
P R O C E E D I N G S
(Committee Rules and Resolutions tendered to the witness.)
Whereupon,ANDREW ARMSTRONG, JR. was duly sworn and testified as follows:
EXAMINATION BY MR. PURDY:
Q. Please state your full name for the record.
A. Andrew Armstrong, Jr.
Q. Please state your date and place of birth.
A. March 20, 1937, Pittsburg, Texas.
Q. What is your present address?
A. 13512 Montfort, 1048.
Q That's in Dallas?
Q. How long have you resided at that address?
A. Four years.
Q. Where did you live before that?
A. Pleasant Grove, Dallas.
Q. And how long have you lived in Dallas all together?
A. Since 1948.
Q. What is your current employment?
A. S&D Oyster Company.
Q. And that's in Dallas?
A. That's in Dallas.
Q. How long have you worked there?
A. A year and seven months.
Q. Are you married?
Q. Do you have any children?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. What is your wife's name?
A. Mary Ann Armstrong.
Q. How long have you been married to her?
A. Six years.
Q. Following the assassination the Carousel Club was closed. When was that?
A. February, the first of February.
Q. It was closed in February, 1964?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. What did you do for employment after that?
A. Sold wigs.
Q. You sold wigs in Dallas?
Q. What was the name of the company?
A. I just thought of it the other day. I was telling somebody about it. A friend of mine named Clint Patrick had it. Maybe I will think of it down the line, the name of the company. It was one of those things where you put a bunch of wigs on and you peddle them, you know, peddle wigs up and down the street. The Crown and Glory Wig Company.
Q. It is a matter of public record in the Warren Commission Report the arrest that you had prior to the assassination. I guess the most significant one was in terms of sentence was the three years you served for marijuana; is that right?
A. That's right.
Q. The record indicates that you got out of prison On March 18th, 1961; is that record correct?
A. March 18, 1961? I would have to check my records, but I am pretty sure that is probably pretty close.
Q. Who did you go to work for when you got out of prison?
Q. And what --
A. No, no, no. I went to work first for -- the first job I had was at a little motel up on Harry Hines. I don't remember the name of it, but it should be in the records there somewhere.
Q. What were the circumstances surrounding your arrest for the marijuana?
A. Well, the circumstances were, a friend of mine was dealing, and I was with him.
Q. So they arrested you for dealing or for possession
A. They arrested me for dealing.
Q. And they convicted you of dealing?
A. The guy -- they only picked up one. They only remembered one name, and that was mine, you know. It was just the circumstances where I never could get him to come down and tell them that he was the one and it wasn't me.
Q. Has he subsequently gone to prison for any offenses?
A. Been in there ever since.
Q. What is his name?
A. His name is Leon Adams.
Q. Was he part of a larger operation or was he pretty much a one-man --
A. One man.
Q. Do you know where he was obtaining the drugs?
Q. Did he have a regular supplier?
A. I don't know. He kept grass all of the time, you know.
Q. Was any kind of criminal organization in Dallas in terms of like franchising drug sales or was it disorganized and loose?
Q. You don't think your friend had to pay off anyone to conduct his business?
A. No, I doubt it. He never did have no more than a little dab of it, anyway, you know.
Q. It was not a major operation?
A. The only thing I ever seen really was cigarettes around on the street, you know.
Q. In 1955, you were arrested for burglary. Were you involved with anyone else in that event?
A. Well, that was the case where we was out one night and we came upon a recreation center and it was open.
Q. You came up on what?
A. Recreation center, and the recreation center was open. Apparently somebody else had went in there, so it was -- it was a neighborhood recreation center. We knew the place ver well, so instead of going home we just stopped and baked some cakes and things like that. The guys that was in it, that was in the recreation center, had broke in the school house. I think that's the way it was. Okay. Now, I caught up with them after the schoolhouse, so I got put in for both of them. There wasn't nothing I could tell them, you know, so *we baked cakes, I think, from supplies that was brought over from the schoolhouse.
Q. Had they been involved in previous burglaries or breakins?
A. I don't know. I doubt -- I don't know.
Q. Do you know if they were involved in any such subsequent to that time?
A. I believe so. I don't recall what, but most of them stayed into trouble, you know.
Q. So you believe they were arrested for similar incidents later?
A. I think. I think I am the only one that has stayed out of trouble since, you know, that is, big trouble. In fact, I don't even remember all of thems' names.
Q. Do you remember some of their names?
A. Let's see. I think Jones was with us.
Q. What is his first name?
A. Curlie or something like that. Curlie Jones, and I think that -- who else was it. I don't recall.
Q. In your Warren Commission testimony you indicated that you were considering trying to get a pardon for the marijuana arrest, and I believe it also indicated that you had to get a sponsor who was a member of the police or sheriff's department.
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Do you remember that?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Did you ever obtain such a sponsor?
A. Yes. I obtained him, and I knew you was going to ask me his name, but I can't remember it. He used to be on the corner up there on Akard up in front of the Adolphus Hotel.
Q. Do you remember considering a number of people for a sponsor before you picked one?
A. No. He was the one that told me about it, the policeman. He was the one that told me about it. He said that, you know, he would work on it, go talk to the Judge. He said, "I will sign them," you know. "I will sign the papers for you."
Q. How did you get friendly with him?
A. Just by being on the corner all the time. I would eat there at the drugstore at the Adolphus. He was always there. He and I was On the same corner every day, you know, all day.
Q. Does it refresh your recollection to know that in your Warren Commission testimony you indicated that you were considering a Lieutenant Gilmore and a Sheriff Decker?
A. I could have said I considered them, yes.
Q. Were they, either one, individuals you finally decided upon?
A. I don't recall. I would have to go get those papers. Maybe somebody else signed those papers other than that policeman. I almost called his name then. He used to bring me fish when he went fishing.
Q. Well, we can come back to it or talk to you at a subsequent time and see if you can recall that.
Q. There was a minor difference of facts in between your Warren Commission testimony and the previous interview you had with our staff concerning the first time you met jack Ruby. A. Uh-huh.
Q. The Warren Commission indicated that you met him in the spring of 1962 when you first went into the Carousel for a job. Was that the first time you met Jack Ruby or had their been a previous contact in the late 1950's? A. Yes. I used to go over to -- with a group that -- we came out of West Dallas, and we used to go over there and sing. We used to take them over there and they would sing and make money by people pitching pennies and quarters to them, you know.
Q. Would you sing near the club or in the club?
A. In the club. In the Vegas Club.
Q. And that was when jack Ruby ran the Vegas Club?
A. That was when Ruby ran the Vegas Club. I knew Jack -- I didn't know him that well.
Q. But you knew who he was and he knew who you were?
A. Yes. NO. NO. He didn't know who I was. I am sorry. When I went up to get a job, he didn't know who I was. I told him that I used to come over there with the Vinos, and he remembered me but I could have been with them, because there was a guy always, with them. I used to pick the money up.
Q. The group was called the Vinos?
Q. Was there any particular reason you hadn't mentioned that incident to the Warren Commission? A. I don't know why I didn't mention it to them. Maybe it was just -- Out Of all of the things that was happening then, you know, man, you know, everybody was shook up.
Q. You mentioned that you had visited the Vegas Club. Did you ever visit the Longhorn Ranch Club?
A. The Longhorn?
Q. At Corinth and Industrial Streets?
A. Yeah. I have been to the Longhorn. Oh, what did I got to the Longhorn for? For some reason a couple of times. Q. Do you remember the part of the club called the plantation? A. Yes. The Old Plantation, sure.
Q. Did you go there for entertainment? A. No. I don't think we ever went there for entertainment. Yes, we did. We sure did. It was in the '50's sometime, but I don't remember.
Q. In other words, you went there just for enjoyment?
A. NO, no. I went there with the group.
Q. With the group?
A. They was singing there. The same group, the Vinos.
Q. Did you know who was running the Longhorn Ranch Club at that time?
A. Not unless it was Pappy.
Q. Pappy who?
A. Pappy Dolson. Pappy is the only one I can think of right now.
Q. Do you remember Jack Ruby operating the Longhorn Ranch Club?
Q. Do you remember Dewey Groom operating the Longhorn Ranch Club?
A. Yeah, I remember Dewey operating it.
Q. Did you know him personally?
Q. You just knew who he was?
A. I just knew who he was.
Q. Did you know of any of his other activities besides that?
Q. Did you ever visit the Colony Club?
Q. Was that with this group?
A. I visited the Colony Club when I worked for Jack.
Q. What caused you to visit the Colony Club then?
A. Well, because I knew the bartender there.
Q. Who was the bartender?
A. Let's see, Danny's brother. Let's see. Danny was the bartender at the Theatre Lounge, and he had a couple of brothers that did the bar at the Colony Club, and I don't remember their names.
Q. Do you remember Danny's last name?
A. No, I don't.
Q. Did you ever work in the Colony Club or the Theatre Lounge?
Q. Did you ever apply for a job there?
Q. Did you know the owners of those clubs?
A. Sure. Barney and Abe.
Q. Did you know them personally?
A. Not personally. I just knew them, you know. They knew my name and I knew theirs. I would visit their boys and they would come down to visit me sometimes, you know, when we didn't have anything to do. Usually we all got down to the clubs fairly early, 10:00 o'clock, you know, to let the beer in and get cleaned up and everything, and then in the afternoon before business started we didn't have anything to do, you know, and I would walk up to the liquor store or go across the street to the drugstore, you know, and we would visit each other, you know.
Q. Was there any strict limitations on blacks going to some of these clubs in the late '50's?
A. Oh, sure.
Q. Were there special sections within the club or were there just certain clubs you couldn't go to?
A. Well, the problem was, you know, you just didn't go, you know.
Q. But you said that you visited Abe's Colony Club and the Theatre Lounge?
A. Yes, but that was all right because I worked in the business. Ididn't go in to drink or have a beer or anything.
Q. You just went in to see people there?
A. Yes. Holler at the band, you know, I knew the girls.
Q. Did you ever visit the Egyptian Lounge?
A. Not then. I have recently.
Q. You didn't in the late '50's or early '60's?
Q. When would you say, approximately, the first time was when you visited the Egyptian Lounge?
A. In the '70's,'72,'73. I met Corkie, and I might have seen Joe a few times before that. I don't remember where.
Q. You are talking about the Campisis?
A. Yes, but I met Corkie when I worked for Arthur's Restaurant on McKinney starting in -- oh, what was it -- '73, so I have been knowing Corkie since '73. Now, I have been asked this before. I might have seen Papa Joe before that, and Joe could have been in the Carousel. I could have seen him at the Vegas Club.
Q. When you say Papa Joe, you are talking about Joe Campisi?
A. I am talking about Corkie's father, because Joe seemed to have remembered me from somewhere, and the only other place he could remember -- I know I didn't meet him at Arthur's, because I don't ever remember him coming in there with Corkie. The only other restaurant I know he had been, so the only other place I could have met him -- as a matter of fact, I just talked to him two or three months ago. My little nephew got out of prison and went to work over there, and I didn't want him to work over there, so I went over there and talked to him about it.
Q. Went over to work at the Egyptian Lounge?
Q. Why didn't you want him to work there?
A. Well, you know, you have got a lot of hooks working there and, you know, I am hip on Joe's, what they say about the Campisis, you know, so I just figured it was the best thing for him not to work over there, you know.
Q. In other words, your nephew had been in trouble, and --
A. Yeah, he was before, and I went by and talked to the parole officer, and she said that she had thought about it after she okayed him to work Over there, so we all got together and decided he should quit. That was just here recently.
Q. So he did quit?
A. Yeah. He is working at a car wash now.
Q. The Warren Commission record is a little unclear on exactly the nature of your responsibilities working for Jack Ruby. Apparently they began, as you described, where you began working as a part-time bartender?
Q. How often did you work in the early stages for Jack Ruby, how often each week?
A. I worked regular each week.
Q. So it wasn't just a part-time bartender job?
Q. You started out, when you went in that night you started full time?
A. Maybe they mistook my cleaning up and bartending, too, as being part time.
Q. Oh, I see. You worked for him full time, but some of your job-was bartending and you did other things? A. My job was doing everything there, getting all of the beer and stuff, everything.
Q. Did your responsibilities change over the time you were there or --
A. No. My responsibilities grew.
Q. How long were there, about 18 months?
A. I was there up until the time he -- until, well, January of -- I mean February of '74.
Q. How long did you work for him, then?
A. From '61, from the time I got out of prison, after about three months, I imagine. I don't know how long I had been out. I didn't work at that motel long. I don't recall, but like I say, around three months. After that I was just passing the Carousel one day when I was downtown looking for a job, and I just walked up there.
Q. So you say your responsibilities grew. What extra responsibilities did you get other than bartending and cleaning everything up?
A. Well, my responsibilities grew in putting down the receipts in the books, going to the bank, things like that, and making sure that there was enough girls, there was enough waitresses, going and putting ads in the paper. They just grew. Then, it was just like you would be a manager of a club, you know.
Q. So they grew up until the time of the assassina- tion, and then you were actually in charge after the assassination for awhile?
A. Sure. Sure. There wasn't anybody but me in charge after the assassination.
Q. What dealings did you have or did Jack Ruby have with the American Guild of Variety Artists, the entertainment union the strippers were a member of?
A. Well, he got his strippers through them.
Q. How would that work?
A. Well, they was members of the union, and the union girls got paid more than non-union girls, you know. The union girls were considered to be the best. They was considered -- you know, they traveled all over the country. Some of them had big names. Some of them had billboard names. Well, Jack would call his -- the girls' booking agent, some of the agents, and tell them who he wanted, and they would send them over, you know, they would get together and book the girls in there, you know Q. Would he only book union girls?
A. At one time we did have mostly union girls. He wanted mostly union girls, because that's what Abe and Barney had, and he wanted it like Abe and Barney.
Q. You are talking about the Weinsteins?
Q. Did the union have a rule that if you hire some union you have to hire all union?
A. You had to call the girls amateurs. You couldn't have them as professionals.
Q. Unless they were members of the union?
A. Yeah. It worked that way sometimes. Listen, it's been so long on some of these things that they have slipped my mind as to how these things worked.
Q. Did he have to pay the union a fee for getting -- you said he had to contact them about getting strippers. Did he have to pay the union a fee?
A. Yeah, we had to send the union money for using the girls, or you had to pay half of the girls as long as they worked for you. There was something we had to pay the union for so many girls. If we had four girls, it was so much for each girl that we had to pay the union. Now, I don't recall bow much it was.
Q. So it wasn't just a one-shot deal? When you first hired one you would pay them something else; it would be kind of a regular thing that ever so often you would pay them something and - -
A. Yeah, once a month or whatever it was.
Q. Did you ever have to do any work in contacting the union?
A. I have carried money over there to the union.
Q. Prior to the assassination?
A. I would say yes. Both probably after and -- I don't recall going afterwards, but yeah.'
Q. Did you pay them in cash?
A. Most all of our business was transacted in cash.
Q. The business with the union was in cash also?
A. Yes. That's all we had was cash.
Q. Was there anything that was paid by check?
A. No, sir.
Q. Was the rent paid by cash?
A. Cashier's check. I went to the bank and got it.
Q. In other words, you didn't use a cashier's check for the --
A. If we used a check it was a cashier's check. It would either be a cashier's check or -- well, mostly cashier's check.
Q. But the money you took to this union, you took in cash?
A. I can't remember.
Q. Approximately how much money was involved that you would take on a visit to the union?
A. Oh, a couple of hundred dollars, 175, things like that. The biggest bill I had was the lights, the electric bill. That usually would run seven or eight or five hundred dollars a month. I remember paying all of -- I don't. know whether I paid the rent or not. Yeah, I did pay the rent at times.
Q. When you took the money to the union, did you have to itemize, like did you have to list the number of people or did you just pay them a general amount of money or --
A. Yeah, I just gave it to them. They knew how much they had coming anyway. If we had so many girls, they had so much money coming.
Q. Who was the person you would see over at the union?
A. I have forgotten his name. He used to come down to the club a lot. I don't recall.
Q. Is his name Tom Palmer?
A. Tom Palmer? I couldn't say.
Q. How about Vincent Lee?
A. Call another one.
Q. James Henry Dolan?
Q. But you remember somebody who worked at AGVA, at the union, came to the club a lot?
A. Yeah. They had their offices over where the Greyhound Bus Station is now. I mean Continental Bus Station.
Q. Did they have a big office?
A. No. It was no bigger than the rest of the offices over there. They was all basically the same.
Q. Basically one or two or three people? How many people including secretaries?
A. One secretary to a guy. That's all I remember.
Q. So whoever was the AGVA person was the one who came over occasionally?
Q. What would be his purpose in coming to the club, just-to see how things were going?
A. Yeah, to just come in and have a few beers and holler at the girls.
Q. Would he get special treatment? Would he get free drinks and things?
Q. Would he be on the rate that a number of different categories of people were on, like clerks and policemen or whatever were able to buy beer at a cheaper rate? Would he be on that cheaper rate?
A. No. The beer was 60 cents, if I remember right. The beer was 60 cents, and if anybody went in their pocket, they paid the same thing. Very seldom Jack told me he got somebody's tab. You know, we was open for business. We wasn't open to give away anything. I can recall Jack picking up, buying a round of drinks, but I can't remember who it was for, you know, at times.
Q. Your warren Commission testimony indicated there was a discount rate of like 40 cents a beer for certain types of people, policemen, some clerks, or something like that. Do you remember that?
A. Well, like bartenders and cocktail waitresses and things like that?
A. If we did, it wasn't that often. We could have had 40 cents. You know, I could have charged somebody less than I did the regular customers, like they would come and sit at the bar or something, if Jack okayed it. I can't remember who all got the rates. It's been too long.
Q. In the fall of 1963, do you remember Jack Ruby or your club having any problems with the union? Do you remember any problems about the amateur night policy that they changed sometime in the fall?
A. It was something like -- I don't recall. I think it was something about the amateurs, but I don't recall what it was about.
Q. How did the amateur nights work that you had?
A. Well, these girls would come in and they would get so much money, whatever it was, $10 or $15 a piece, to get up there and do their little thing Sometimes it was -- the audience thought it was people just coming out of the audience, you know. They didn't go up in a gown. They just went up there in regular street clothes.
Q. The idea was to let them think that it was a girl off the street?
A. Yeah, but a lot Of times we had the same customers, and a lot of the customers knew that they wasn't off the street.
Q. But they kind of liked them going up in their street clothes and taking their street clothes off?
A. Yes. And it was funny, too.
Q. But by the word "amateur," obviously you meant to convey the impression that these were people who just came off the street and decided to take their clothes off?
A. Yes. That was the whole idea. And all the clubs used the same girls. They would leave the Colony Club and come to the Theatre Lounge and leave the Theatre Lounge and come to the Carousel.
Q. So what was the difference between those girls and the union's girls? Were the union strippers just better or --
A. Yeah, they was better, better trained, prettier, more sexier, you know.
Q. Better pay, too?
A. It was strictly art, yeah. Better pay. You now, their job is to get up there and tease somebody. Well, the amateur was funny. It was something for the people to laugh at.
Q. Well, in the teasing by the strippers was there any problem of, you know, the men getting out of hand, the men wanting to take the teasing seriously?
A. No. Very seldom. There might have been a few times. I couldn't recall the exact incident, but there might have been a few times when a guy would try to reach up and grab one of the girls. If he did, Jack would throw his butt out, you know.
Q. Was there any problem with the strippers being engaged in prostitution?
A. There was a few on their own, but Jack didn't know anything about it. If he had, he would probably have killed them. He didn't allow that.
Q. He didn't allow it?
Q. So he didn't allow the strippers to solicit the customers?
A. No. The only thing he wanted them to do was sell the champagne, sell as much champagne as they could, get their fees and get out of there, you know. That was it, you know, and if he knew one of the girls had told some guy to follow her home or go across the street to the hotel, and Jack used to watch. He used to leave early and go watch where the girls were going. They knew where he was, you know. I mean, if any one of those girls got anything to pull the wool over Jack, it wasn't too hard to pull it over Jack's eyes because he was such a nice guy.
Q. So, you knew some of them were --
A. Sure, I knew. Well, heck, they would give me $10 or $12 or put a few bucks in my pocket every now and then, you know, to keep me quiet, and I didn't say anything. You know, I needed it. Jack didn't pay me that much.
Q. Were any of the involved with any of the policemen?
A. No. Well, one girl went with a policeman. Kathy Kay, but that was known to everybody, you know.
Q. What is the policeman's name she went with?
A. Harry or something like that.
Q. Harry Olson?
Q. Did he come in the club a lot?
A. No, he didn't come in a lot, but he waited on her downstairs most of the time to take her home, you know, if he wasn't on duty. I mean, you know, it was a thing where they was going to get married. Kathy was one of the cleanest -- Kathy and Tammy True was probably two of the straightest girls there that I can recall. The rest of the girls did a little nipping every now and then, you know, but those two girls hit that door and got in their car and was gone to their man, you know.
Q. Do you remember Karen Bennett Carlin?
A. I don't recall.
Q. That went by the name of Little Lynn?
A. Little Lynn, yes.
Q. Was she involved in any of that kind of activity?
A. Well, if she was that kind of girl -- Little Lynn wasn't there that long for me to get to know her that well.
Q. Were any of these women or any of the other employees involved in any other-illegal activities?
A. Not as I know of.
Q. Were there any drugs around?
A. No. There wasn't any. I never did smell the smoke of grass or anything. I have seen my share of dope addicts, and I don't think any of them was on dope, you know, heavy stuff. I could have told, I would have known if they had of been.
Q. Did you have any problem with pushers or pimps coming into the club?
A. No pushers. Maybe a few pimps.
Q. But they didn't try to solicit --
A. Oh, no. No. They were probably trying to see what they could pick up, you know.
Q. Did you know Joyce McDonald?
A. Joyce McDonald? I can't say. There was three or four thousand girls that went through that place when I worked there, the little time I did, and I probably couldn't call 15 of thems' names.
Q. Do you remember Jada?
A. Yeah, I remember jada. How can you forget Jada?
Q. Do you know how Jack went about hiring her?
A. Well, all I remember is Jack got a contact out of New Orleans, and he probably -- being in the business he was in, he knew that she was one of the top-billed girls, and at the time he needed him a top-billed girl because the Colony Club and the Theatre Lounge both had top-billed girls, and he was trying to bust through the rank, you know. He was trying to get up there with them, so he got Jada to come in.
Q. So Jack's club wasn't as successful like the Colony Club or the Theatre Lounge?
A. I would say it wasn't. They probably did more than we did, but as far as I am concerned, I don't think Jack should have even been thinking about being in competition with them, because I thought we were doing pretty good ourselves, you know.
Q. But it was something that worried him?
A. It was something that worried him, yeah.
Q. It was something that got him to go to New Orleans to try to hire this Jada?
A. Yeah. He was always worrying about not letting the Weinsteins get away from him, maybe not trying to be bigger than they was, but he sure didn't want to lag behind, you know.
Q. Was his primary concern financial or was it like status --
A. Status rank.
Q. Well, how was he doing financially in the fall of 1963?
A. Well, we was doing about the same thing. We maybe had -- doing a little better than we had been the past year. Just like know, it's hard to tell how I am doing because I make cash money every day. When you are just dealing in cash and you have got a partner, a silent partner and you have to pass on to him some of that cash it's pretty hard to tell.
Q. Well, was he making his payments; was he paying the rent?
A. Yeah, we was making most of the payments. We was never behind on the rent or anything. We didn't get the lights cut off.
Q. Were you ever behind in the union payments?
A. Not that I can recall. Maybe Jack might have got mad a few times and didn't want to pay them and didn't send it over there on time, but I think he always eventually paid them.
Q. What might he have gotten mad with the union about?
A. You see, when the girls, whenever they would have a squabble with Jack, they would take it up with the union, you understand, and then the union would call up Jack. You know, he got into squabbles with the girls sometimes. Some of the girls tried to pull their G-string back and he didn't want that, you know. He would get on them pretty heavy.
Q. Did he have any problems with Jada in the fall of 1963?
A. Yeah. Jada was one of the ones that pulled the G-string back.
Q. Do you remember the circumstances around the particular occasion when a talent scout might have been in the audience?
A. If it was the same night that Jack and Jada got into it, I don't recall the talent agents being in the audience, but I know eventually we wound up in Judge Richburg's office, in Bill Decker's office with Judge Richburg under a peace bond.
Q. How did that get settled, that dispute between Jada and Jack? It didn't go to a trial or anything, did it?
Q. How did it get settled?
A. I guess it got settled after Jada left town, you know, after she was gone. I don't remember if Jada kept working after that or not. I don't remember whether she finished her contract out or not. I just don't recall.
Q. She had a pretty expensive contract with Jack, didn't she?
Q. Do you remember how much it was?
A. It was over 300, I think. I don't remember how much it was.
Q. Was he hard pressed to meet that payment?
Q. Did he mind paying her that much? Did he think she was worth that much?
A. Listen, if Jack could have gypped her down, he would have. I am pretty sure he probably asked her two or three times or more, you know. If he had thought he could have, you know to take less money he would have gypped her down. He was always teasing the girls that they made too much money. Not teasing, but serious.
Q. Well, was there a time in the fall of 1963 that Jack got particularly upset with the large contrac of Jada because of the financial situation of his club, because the competition was doing so much better than him? Do you remember that?
A. I don't remember him getting -- repeat that again. What reason?
Q. That the club was in financial trouble because the competition was doing a lot better because of their use of amateur nights?
Q. They were drawing a lot more customers in and Jack's business was hurting. Do you remember that in the fall of 1963? A. No. We was using amateurs, too.
Q. But at some point the union put a stop to the use of amateur nights in the fall of 1963. Do you remember Jack being mad because the union made him stop and didn't make the Weinsteins stop?
A. There could have been something like that happened.
Q. What would an explanation be?
A. I couldn't be sure.
Q. What would an explanation be as to why the union would make Jack stop but they wouldn't make the Weinsteins stop?
A. I don't know.
Q. Do you know if there was any special relationship between the Weinsteins and the union? Did he have some inside track?
A. Well, they used more girls than Jack.
Q. So they would make more money for the union?
A. Yeah. You know, there might have been something like that happened but I just can't go back that far. Do you know how long that's been? I'm sorry. I just can't, you know, it just don't come to me that way.
Q. Do you remember who Jack's contact was in New Orleans?
A. No, I don't.
Q. Do you remember a Harold Tannenbaum?
A. No. I know he had a contact, but I don't know who it was.
Q. Was it one that ever came to visit the club?
A. No. Could have. A lot of people came and visited, you know. When you are busy you don't ever get a chance to.
Q. Were there any problems that Jack and the club were encountering in the fall of 1963 that was different from before? Were there any special things that were bothering Jack Ruby or bothering the club?
Q. Were there any particular financial problems of the club then?
A. Not that I know of.
Q. Do you know if he was in debt at all?
A. No more than usual.
Q. Did Jack Ruby ever discuss the possibility of him moving to a new apartment shortly before the assassination?
A. He could have.
Q. Do you remember him talking about the possibility of moving to the Turtle Creek area?
Q. Were there any times prior to the assassination that the club was doing particularly well, whether Jack Ruby seemed to be doing particularly well financially?
A. Well, that's kind of hard to say. We was always doing a little bit better and a little bit better. Dallas was getting more conventions, and as Dallas got more conventions, we did a little better. Fridays and Saturdays was family night, but we depended on the single guys at the convention for Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays. Things were picking up. More people was coming in to Dallas. I would say, yes, I think that Jack was doing better than, I believe he was doing better in '63 than he was in '62. I think he done better in '62 than he did in '61. Beer didn't' go up that much during that period of time. I mean from the wholesaler.
Q. Did you ever meet or did you ever know of Martin Gimble?
A. I don't recall that name.
Q. Did you meet or did you know of Mike Shore, a public relations man from Los Angeles?
Q. Did you know or did you know of Mr. Frank Goldstein?
A. (Shakes head.)
Q. Did you know of Jack being involved with any partners in the Carousel Club?
A. Just his old buddy partner.
Q. Ralph Paul?
Q. You stated in your Warren Commission testimony that Ralph Paul had invested money in the club but that Jack had not invested money in the club, correct, that Jack was the manager and not an owner?
A. If I did that then, that was true.
Q. In other words, you don't have a specific recollection of Jack Ruby ever having invested money in the club himself?
Q. Did you know or do you know of Mr. Joe Slayton?
A. Joe Slayton? He could have been in there. The name sounds familiar, but I don't recall.
Q. Do you know or do you know of Joe Bond?
Q. Did Jack Ruby ever tell you why he moved from Chicago to Dallas?
A. Let's see. If he did, I don't remember now. No, I don't recall whether he told me why. I don't recall.
Q. Did he ever mention any ongoing business he had in Chicago even after he moved to Dallas?
A. No. The Only thing he ever talked about was his prize fighting friends, his boxing friends.
Q. Do you remember any of their names?
A. No, not offhand I don't.
Q. Let me ask you a few names and see if you can recall them. Do you know or do you know of Lennie Patrick?
Q. Dave Yaras ?
Q. Erwin Weiner?
Q. Marty Fields?
Q. Sams Yaras?
Q. Lawrence Meyers?
A. Wait a minute. Marty Fields.
Q. Marty Fields also went by the name of Marty Schwartz. A boxer.
A. Yeah. That is the one he was talking about.
Q. He talked about being involved in the promotion of some of his fights?
A. No. He would just tell stories about it, you know, when he and Marty did this or he and Marty did that. We would sit down and he used to tell stories, you know, when he was in a real good mood about things that happened in Chicago, but I don't recall any of the stories, you know.
Q. Did you know or do you know of Paul Dorffman?
Q. Or Allen Dorffman?
Q. Or W. W. Litchfield?
Q. Or David Elatkin?
Q. Or Gus Alex?
Q. Do you remember any times when Jack Ruby returned to Chicago?
A. The only time Jack left when I worked for him, that I can recall, was when he went to New Orleans and when he went to New York.
Q. The time of the New Orleans trip was to hire Jada?
A. I believe so, to go down and see her.
Q. What was the New York trip for?
A. The New York trip was to go see a friend, and it might have been the time when he bought those guns. Was that during the time when the Cuban thing was hot? I don't know whether Jack bought the guns then or he just went up there to visit a good friend of his.
Q. Do you remember the man's name he went to visit a
A. No, I don ' t.
Q. Do you remember him going to New York because of his disputes with the entertainment union?
Q. Do you specifically recall that he didn't mention the reason he was going to New York was to try to clear up the union problems?
A. No. I don't recall him saying that was the reason why he went. He might have went up there to talk to the union, to talk to them, but I don't recall that that was the main reason.
Q. Did Jack Ruby ever mention George Butler to you?
Q. Of the police department?
Q. Did you know George Butler?
A. No. What would he have been, a lieutenant or a sergeant or what?
Q. Yes. Lieutenant Butler. A. Lieutenant Butler. I think I remember a Lieutenant Butler, but I don't remember anything specific about him, you know.
Q. Did Jack Ruby ever mention Santos Trafficante to you?
Q. Do you know him?
Q. Do you know Louis McWillie or did Jack ever mention him?
Q. Do you know or did Jack mention Russell D. Matthew ?
A. No, not that I remember.
Q. Do you know or did Jack mention Sammy Paxton, also known as Salvatore Amarano?
Q. Did Jack Ruby know J.D. Tippett, the police officer slain on:the day of the assassination?
A. No, not as I know of.
Q. Did you know him?
A. No. The officers stopped by there, and if Mr. Tippett ever patrolled downtown and had a reason to stop up there, he might have, but we didn't know those officers by their first names because the same officers didn't always patrol down there at night.
Q. Do you remember any of the officers that patroled in the area of the club?
A. I don't remember them.
Q. Did Jack Ruby have any particular policemen who you could call were his juice or people he could turn to in the police department for help if he needed it?
A. I would imagine if Jack would trust anybody it would be Lieutenant Gilmore because he was so afraid of him.
Q. He would trust him because he was afraid of him?
A. Yeah, you know, because Jack always kept his nose clean in front of him. In other words, Lieutenant Gilmore, his business was vice. Right? Okay. That means if we are not pourin out champagne -- you know, pouring out champagne, that means you are cheating the customer. If we are not pouring out champagne or got prostitutes hanging around, then he has got his nose clean with Lieutenant Gilmore, and he made sure that that didn't go on. That wasn't it. He knew the girls was pouring out the champagne, but they better not let Lieutenant Gilmore catch them.
Q. Was Jack Ruby under any particular pressure besides what you have mentioned from Gilmore? Were there some violations that were going on --
A. No. No. That was the only thing he was worrying about, because he knew Gilmore would slap a lock on that door if he caught anything going on. That man would arrest his mother, you know, and Jack knew it.
Q. How did Alice Alexander know about Lieutenant Gilmore? She mentioned in one of the reports that you had to watch out for Lieutenant Gilmore because he would arrest his mother if he had to. How did she know that?
A. Well, that was just a figure of speech.
Q. Yea, but it is one that she quoted also.
A. Well, we all said that, you know.
Q. How did you know? Did he ever arrest anybody in the Carousel?
A. You know, he -- no, he never arrested anybody in the Carousel, but you would read about it in the paper that Gilmore was going to bust somebody down, you know, before the night was over, Friday and Saturday night.
Q. Did you know any Of the FBI agents that worked in Dallas?
Q. You didn't know any of them?
A. The only FBI agent that I ever met was that guy that took that thing from me, and if I recall, he wasn't -- well, he wasn't very nice, and he ran through it so fast. He ran Over questions, you know. He had me nervous. I remember that. Over in the old post office building where the old courthouse used to be. I never will forget that.
Q. Did Jack Ruby take any guns to New York on that visit you were talking about?
A. Now, that's what I don't know. I don't know if Jack bought those guns, bought a gun up there. Let's see. No. Jack had -- I was just thinking about it. He didn't take any guns.No, he didn't take any guns.
Q. Did he bring any back with him?
A. No, I don't think he -- Jack had that pistol before he went to New York. Now, when he bought the guns -- I remember Jack buying guns. He said he bought these guns. He bought three guns.
Q. Were they Cobras?
A. I don't know what they was. One of them was the one, I imagine, that he shot Oswald with. Now, he bought Eva a gun. He bought his friend one that was in Cuba. I don't know how he got it over there.
Q. Were you working for him at the time he bought the gun to send to the friend in Cuba?
A. That I don't remember. I don't remember. I don't remember if it was right after that, that I started working for him, but I know there was still talk about the Cuban deal.
Q. Did Jack ever mention his trip to Cuba?
A. No. I don't even remember him going to Cuba. I don't think he went to Cuba.
Q. He didn't go to Cuba, at least during the time you were with him?
A. No, at least during the time I remember.
Q. Did he ever mention having gone before you came to work for him?
Q. Did you ever see Jack Ruby with any gun other than the one you mentioned in the Warren Commission Report being in the money bag?
A. That was it.
Q. Was anything unusual about that gun?
Q. Do you remember whether or not it had a shroud over the hammer?
A. No, I don't.
Q. Do you know whether or not you could even see the hammer of the gun?
A. All I remember about that gun is, I think it had a brown handle on it, but that gun was always in a little sack, a money sack. Okay. Now, we had two money sacks. Jack would put the gun in his money sack most of the time, if he was leaving there at night. If he just left there in the daytime he wouldn't put it in there, like if he was just going over to the bank he wouldn't take it with him. He would leave it there in the money sack in the desk drawer. Now, that day that, that night -- the day, and I have told everybody this. I recall the day that the, that President Kennedy was killed. Jack was crying, and he told me to get everything ready and close up, that he was going to be closed, to call all of the girls and tell them that we was going to be closed that night, the next night, and he would call them back Monday to let them know what was going on. Now, I took some money with me. I don't know whether I told the Warren Commission about this. I had some money with me. Now, I said, "Jack, which one of these sacks do you want the .... I didn't know Jack was going to tell me to take the money. I said, "Which sack do you want me to put the money?" He said, "I don't care. Put it in either one of them." Okay, and I recall, if I am recalling correctly, he said -- when he got ready to go the sack that he picked up had the gun in it, but they was both laying up there on the bar, but he didn't know which one of the sacks the gun was in, but I didn't want the sack with the gun in it anyway. But he didn't know which one of those sacks the gun was in because I was working behind the bar and he was there on the telephone crying talking to his brother. When he got ready to go, he just picked up one of the sacks. Maybe he felt it in there. I don't even think he felt it, because the man was broke up, you know. He was broke up. What we was going to do was split the money up because I was going to pay some bills, you know.
Q. Were you going to go to the bank?
A. I was going to go get some checks. I had receipts and everything. The same thing I was going to do that day, that afternoon, we was going to wait and do it Monday.
Q. So what did he take a bag of money for?
A. Well, he took just the regular receipts from the night before.
Q. You didn't normally take those to the bank?
A. He took the regular. receipts from the night before. It didn't make any difference. You see, the envelope was laying up there with the bills in it. Okay. The only thing that was in the sack-- no. The receipts and all and the bills was in the brown envelope. Okay. There was money and a gun in one sack and there was money and a gun in the other sack, and there was a slip in each sack saying how much money it was. That was it. If you check your record there you might find there was a slip in that sack. Now, if jack had any other papers or anything, you see, he put them in there later. But you had particular bills you were going to pay with some of the money?
A. Yes. I had particular bills I was going to pay.
Q. Were the bills in the sack, or were the bills separate?
A. The bills were separate.
Q. How did you know that you would have enough money in the sack to pay the bills?
A. There was enough money in the sack. There was enough money. I knew that. So what happened was I left my sack down there. I was, you know -- but at first I was going to take it home. I was, you know, all confused. I said, well, I should take the money home with me, because I had carried money home with me before. But when I was getting ready to close up and getting everything ready to go, I decided I was going to leave the money down there. When I heard that Jack shot Oswald, that's when I went down there and got the rest of the money and took care of the dogs, because I didn't want anybody to find that money in there, because I knew that was what Jack would want me to do.
Q. Where was Sheba after Oswald was shot?
A. Now, that's another thing that I don't -- where was Sheba after Oswald was shot? Now, I am told that Sheba was in the car. Now. I remember going and getting Sheba, and I don't remember whether I went to the police station and got Sheba or whether I went to the Carousel and got Sheba, but I remember going and getting Sheba. Now, I could have went to the police station. If I did, I would have to get somebody to carry me, and I don't remember getting anybody to carry me to pick up Sheba, because I didn't have a car.
Q. But you ended up with Sheba?
A. Yes. I ended up with Sheba.
Q. Because we are running short of time, let me ask you a few more questions. Did Jack Ruby ever mention Gordon McLendon to you?
Q. Did you know Gordon McLendon?
A. Yes. Gordon McLendon radio station. He might have mentioned Gordon McLendon at times. Some of the disc jockeys came down there. Russ Knight and some of the other guys came down just to watch the strip shows sometimes. Jack was always trying to corner them to get him a spot, you know, get something free.
Q. Did Jack Ruby ever mention General Walker to you, Edwin Walker?
A. Yeah, he mentioned something about that, you know, putting the signs in the yard over there. He went over there and made some pictures of that sign, I think, not too long before the assassination.
Q. Do you remember him ever knowing General Walker personally?
A. No. Q. Did you ever meet Lawrence Meyers who was a friend of Jack Ruby?
Q. Who came from Chicago on business?
Q. Did Jack ever mention him?
A. I could have met him. I have forgot the name.
Q. A sporting goods salesman who brought Jack Ruby some barbells?
A. Could have.
Q. Did you ever meet Jean Aase, A-a-s-e, or Jean West who was a friend of Lawrence Meyers and met Jack Ruby?
A. Not that I know of.
Q. When you visited Jack Ruby in jail, did you ever ask him why he shot Oswald?
A. No. I don't think I did.
Q. Did you ever ask him prior to the time he died whether he shot Oswald?
A. I didn't see him but one time and that was in jail. My main concern was asking Jack what should I do with the rest of that money that I had.
Q. Did Jack volunteer anything about why he shot Oswald?
Q. Did he mention anything about President Kennedy?
A. No, he didn't. Not that I know of. I think I only had about five minutes with Jack, and I think he said something about, "I got us in a mess," or something like that, you know.
Q. Were you alone with him at the time?
A. There was a policeman standing about five or six feet away.
Q. Were you surprised when he shot Oswald?
A. Yeah, I was surprised.
Q. Did Jack Ruby ever do a violent act that you have seen?
A. I have seen him go into a rage.
Q. Have you ever seen him hit anyone?
A. Yeah, I have seen him grab somebody. Not really just decked them, but I have seen him grab them and throw them out of there.
Q. You never saw him beat anyone up?
Q. There have been a lot of accounts of reports of people who worked in the Carousel, and people who knew Jack Ruby, who say it was commonplace that he would beat up people who were drunk or rowdy or whatever.
A. Anybody that was naughty or messing with the girls, I mean Jack would -- I have never seen him actually beat anybody, but I have seen him grab guys and just literally throw them out. You might call that beating up a guy, you know. I am sure if a guy got loose and hit Jack he would fly back on him, you know. One time there was a scuffle out in the hallway. I never did get a chance to see it. Jack said he decked the guy, but I didn't see it.
Q. Did Jack Ruby ever mention Myra Lansky to you?
Q. Do you know Myra Lansky?
Q. Did he ever mention Jake Lansky, or do you know Jake Lansky?
A. No. Now, if -- look here. If we was sitting down here in the summer of '74 and you asked me some of those names I might remember some of them, you know. I have got customers that I have fed at one restaurant and didn't see them for three or four years in another and, you know, their names just pass me by, you know.
Q. Do you remember Candy Barr?
A. I remember she used to work there. Yeah, I remember her.
Q. Do you remember what kind of a relationship Jack Ruby had with her?
A. He didn't have any. He just tried to get her back after she got out of prison.
Q. He tried to get her to perform?
A. He tried to get her to perform for him.
Q. But she never did?
A. He called her a couple of times, carried her a couple of dogs down there, as I recall.
Q. Did Jack have a normal relationship with women?
A. I don't know. I can't say that. I heard a couple of the girls say that Jack was too quick, if you know what I mean, but --
Q. Do you mean sexually?
A. Yeah, but that's all I ever heard, you know. I know he tried to get the girls to go with him, you know.
Q. You got the impression that he made love to some of the girls at the club?
A. Oh, sure.
Q. And they weren't real satisfied with his performance?
A. Yes. That was it.
Q. Did you get the impression as to whether or not they told him they were not satisfied with him?
A. No, but they would sit around and snicker about it, you know.
Q. Did you ever discuss whether or not he might be gay?
Q. Never that allegation?
A. No. Never that allegation. That never even came up in any conversation. The girls really liked Jack. They really did.
Q. In your Warren Commission testimony you said that he fired you all of the time.
Q. It was just his way, when he got mad he would fire you and that would be it and you would come back to work?
A. Yeah. Sometimes I didn't even leave. Sometimes he would leave before I could go get my stuff. I would be back getting my stuff and he would leave, and he knew I wasn't going to leave, you know, the place there after he was gone.
Q. You also mentioned that he had a lot of spats with Eva Grant, his sister. Did you ever see some of that?
A. Yeah. It was verbal on the phone. He would slam the phone down, you know.
Q. Did she ever loan him money or try to help him out financially?
A. She didn't have any money. She was running the Vegas Club.
Q. Who did he turn to for money?
A. You see, Jack, if anybody gave him money, he probably would have got it from Ralph. That's the only place I know of him ever getting any money.
Q. Ralph Paul?
Q. To your knowledge, was there ever any gambling in the Carousel Club?
Q. Was there ever any gambling in any of the downtown clubs?
A. Not that I know of. The only gambling I ever heard of was in the hotel rooms.
Q. In private hotel rooms?
A. If you are talking about big games, yeah.
Q. They had some big games in some of the hotel rooms?
A. Yeah. Some of the guys around town. You know, there was a lot of gambling going on in those days
Q. Was it pretty open or was it kind of a closed city?
A. No. The only way I would know about it would be like some of -- one of the black dudes might be going to serve drinks there and would say, "We have got a game," you know.
Q. Were there any numbers going on at the time?
A. No. I never seen any numbers.
Q. Would you have known of it? You were talking' before that maybe the strippers could pull the wool over Jack's eyes, but you would probably find out about things.
Q. Do you know if there were any policy --
A. No. No policies, no numbers. Policy left Dallas long years ago. I mean, the police had that all covered up. There wasn't any racketeering going on in Dallas. The only thing that was going on here was a little gambling and a little weed smoking. It wasn't even that much heavy stuff in town.
Q. Did Jack ever gamble?
A. Not as I know of.
Q. You have said in one of your interviews with one of Our staff members that he did gamble.
A. (Shakes head.)
Q. Did he ever play dice or cards or whatever for money?
A. No. I mean -- well, Jack and his roommate -- what is his name -- they might have had a few poker games or something, but nothing big. That s not gambling. Just passing the time away.
Q. Do you know of your personal knowledge whether or not Jack Ruby ever had a card game for money in his apartment?
A. I don't know for sure.
Q. Do you think he did?
A. I imagine he did. I would be safe to say that, yeah, they had a few poker games sometimes.
Q. Who would have artended, which of Jack's friends?
A. Probably just the guys in the apartment there. They would lay out around the swimming pool together.
Q. Who else besides Jack and his roommate was it?
A. That's all. That's all I could say, you know.
Q. You don't know who the people in the apartment were?
A. No. I don't know. I just seen them all laying out around the pool together when I went over there at times, you know.
Q. Well, I have seen we have run over a little bit on our time.
A. Yeah, and I am going to have to go.
Q. I wanted to give you the opportunity, if there is anything you want to add or say to put your testimony in context, please feel free to do it now.
A. No. The only thing I want to say is I am sorry that I couldn't remember, recollect more than I can, because I would state very seriously that you probably would have had more information in your warren Report from me if the interview had been conducted the way this one was, you know, but I am sure they didn't have all of the names and didn't have all of the information that they have now on different things, so consequently -- in other words, it seems like the guy that took the interview didn't want to talk to me because I am black, and he just rushed through whatever he was going to ask me, you know.
Q. In the event that we need to ask you some more questions, would you be available if we can work out a mutually convenient time?
MR. PURDY: All right. Thank you very much.
THE WITNESS: You are welcome.
(Whereupon, at 4:10 p.m., the hearing in the above-entitled matter was closed.)