TESTIMONY OF ASSISTANT CHIEF CHARLES BATCHELOR beginning at 12H1...
The testimony of Assistant Chief Charles Batchelor was taken at 8:30 p.m., on March 23, 1964, in the office of the U.S. attorney, 301 Post Office Building, Bryan and Ervay Streets, Dallas, Tex., by Mr. Burt W. Griffin, assistant counsel of the President's Commission.
Mr. GRIFFIN. My name is Burt Griffin. I am a member of the advisory staff of the general counsel of the President's Commission. Under the provisions of Executive Order 11130, dated November 29, 1963, and the rules of procedure adopted by the Commission in conformance with the Executive order and the joint resolution, I have been authorized to take a sworn deposition from you, Chief Batchelor.
I state to you now that the general nature of the Commission's inquiry is to ascertain, evaluate, and report upon the facts relating to the assassination of President Kennedy and the subsequent violent death of Lee Harvey Oswald. In particular as to you, Chief Batchelor, the nature of the inquiry today is to determine what facts you know about the security surrounding the protection of Lee Harvey Oswald and any other pertinent facts that you may know about the general inquiry having to do with the death of President Kennedy.
Chief Batchelor, you have appeared here today by virtue of a general request made by the general counsel of the staff of the President's Commission. Under the rules adopted by the Commission, you are entitled to a 3-day written notice prior to the taking of this deposition. But the rules adopted by the witness may waive this notice. Do you now waive this notice?
Chief BATCHELOR. Yes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Would you raise your right hand and be sworn?
Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Chief BATCHELOR. I do.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Will you state your name for the record ?
Chief BATCHELOR. Charles Batchelor.
Mr. GRIFFIN. What is your age?
Chief BATCHELOR. Fifty-eight.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Where do you live, Mr. Batchelor ?
Chief BATCHELOR. 1022 Franklin Avenue, Dallas, Tex.
Mr. GRIFFIN. What is your occupation?
Chief BATCHELOR. I am assistant chief of police of the Dallas Police Department.
Mr. GRIFFIN. How long have you been with the Dallas Police Department?
Chief BATCHELOR. Since May 1, 1936.
Mr. GRIFFIN. How long have you been assistant chief ?
Chief BATCHELOR. Since January 20, 1960.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Of course you and I have spoken at some length earlier this afternoon. In that conversation, we discussed your activities from the time that you learned that President Kennedy was shot on November 22 until Saturday
November 23, when you first heard something about the movement of Lee Harvey Oswald from the Dallas City Jail to the Dallas County Jail. I believe you told me that sometime on Saturday night you were confronted by some newspaper reporters with respect to the movement of Lee Harvey Oswald?
Chief BATCHELOR. Yes, sir.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Would you tell us, Chief Batchelor, about what time of the night these reporters approached you ?
Chief BATCHELOR. This must have been somewhere around 7:30 or 8 o'clock at night.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Where were you?
Chief BATCHELOR. I was in the administrative offices of the police department at headquarters.
Mr. GRIFFIN. That is on the third floor? On the third floor of the police and----
Chief BATCHELOR. Yes, sir.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Were you inside your own office ?
Chief BATCHELOR. No; I was out in the outer office of the administrative offices where the secretaries are.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you recall how many reporters confronted you?
Chief BATCHELOR. There were two of them.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you recall who they were?
Chief BATCHELOR. No; I don't recall who they were now It was a rather casual request. They asked, or they said, rather, that they were hungry and hadn't had anything to eat and they wanted to go out to dinner, and they didn't want to miss anything if we were going to move the prisoner. And I told them I had no idea when they were going to move the prisoner.
About that time Chief Curry came up and he told them, he said, "Oh, I think if you fellows are back here by 10 o'clock in the morning you won't miss anything."
So they left with that and went to eat.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Were there any other reporters around at that time?
Chief BATCHELOR. No, sir. Then later, just a very few minutes later, Chief Curry decided, well, he might tell the rest of the people out in the hall so they won't be hanging around, because they were apparently doing nothing, just waiting. So he went out and told them that if they would come back by 10 o'clock in the morning, they were not going to move the prisoner in the meantime.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you talk with Chief Curry after he first spoke to these two newspaper reporters ?
Chief BATCHELOR. You mean with reference to the movement of the prisoner?
Mr. GRIFFIN. Yes.
Chief BATCHELOR. He told me that he didn't know exactly when they would move him, but he thought homicide bureau was about through with questioning him, but he knew that Captain Fritz wanted to question him again in the morning, and that after he had questioned him, why, we would move him.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Where did that conversation take place ?
Chief BATCHELOR. In the administrative offices. One thing I think I omitted. From the time that he told these reporters that if they were to come back by 10 o'clock in the morning, he didn't think they would miss anything, he went in and discussed it with Captain Fritz as to how he was progressing with the interrogation and whether or not he thought he would be through with him in the morning.
Mr. GRIFFIN. You mean this was between the time he----
Chief BATCHELOR. Before he went out and announced it to the rest of the press.
Mr. GRIFFIN. About how much time elapsed, would you say, from the time he talked to the two reporters and the time he made the general announcement ?
Chief BATCHELOR. Oh, I would estimate maybe 30 minutes; no longer.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, in between times, did he talk with you about the movement?
Chief BATCHELOR. No, sir.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Afterwards, did he talk with you about the proposed movement?
Chief BATCHELOR. You mean the mechanics of moving him?
Mr. GRIFFIN. Anything?
Chief BATCHELOR. No, sir.
Mr. GRIFFIN. What was the next thing you learned about the proposed movement of Oswald?
Chief BATCHELOR. I just assumed that we would move him the next morning sometime after 10 o'clock. I didn't know exactly when, and I came down the next morning around 8 o'clock.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you learn anything about the movement between the time Chief Curry made the general announcement to the press and the time that you went home that night ?
Chief BATCHELOR. No, sir.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Was there any conversation around the building?
Chief BATCHELOR. Not to my knowledge.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Was there anybody else present from the police department when you talked with the two newspaper reporters ?
Chief BATCHELOR. There were some secretaries in the office. This was not addressed to me particularly. They might have overheard it. We were in the office, in the outer office nearest Chief Curry's office at this time, and I believe Mrs. Ann Schreiber was holding down that desk.
Mr. GRIFFIN. What time did you leave the police department on Saturday night or Sunday morning?
Chief BATCHELOR. It was, I believe, on Saturday night, or Sunday morning. It was around midnight. It wasn't quite as late as it was the night before when I left.
Mr. GRIFFIN. So would it be your estimate that about 4 hours elapsed between the chief's press conference and the time you left?
Chief BATCHELOR. I would say maybe not quite that long, but that is not too far off.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Chief, maybe this will help you a little bit to refresh your recollection.
Chief BATCHELOR. I want to take that back. It was earlier than that when I left there on Saturday night. It was quite late on Friday night, but it was around 9:30 when I left Saturday night.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Are you referring to this, correcting this estimate? Are you referring to this report dated November 23d?
Chief BATCHELOR. I think the times in this are fairly accurate.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Chief, I want to hand you what has already been marked for identification as Stevenson Exhibit 5053. Can you identify that?
Chief BATCHELOR Yes. This was a report signed by myself, Chief Lumpkin, and Chief Stevenson which was the result of a staff resume made within a few days after Oswald was shot. It was for the purpose of bringing together the facts and times and elements of events in a chronological order as we all remembered them. Some of the times, particularly with reference to the President's arrival, which had to do with meeting with some Secret Service people and other groups, and some of this we were a little bit hazy on at first and we went back and checked some facts.
As an example, we checked the Baker Hotel schedule on a room that was reserved for a meeting that was held, so we could be sure what time this meeting was, and things of that nature.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I see. The members of the police department held a meeting at the Baker Hotel sometime over the weekend?
Chief BATCHELOR. No. The hostess committee of the city which was hosting the President's arrival and arranging for the luncheon, it was kind of a planning committee, and we were asked, or I was asked to one of these meetings with some of the Secret Service people.
So this was a reference point for some of our thinking when this happened that we could relate some other things.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now your report indicates that you left Saturday night at 9:30 p.m. Between the time that Chief Curry made his announcement to the
press and you left at 9:30 p.m., were you confronted by any other newspaper people about the movement of Oswald ?
Chief BATCHELOR. No, sir. As a matter of fact, we left not too long after this because after this announcement was made, the press began to leave themselves. The third floor became fairly quiet and there wasn't anybody up there to speak of and it just died out.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Were you confronted by anybody after the chief made his announcement with respect to Oswald ?
Chief BATCHELOR. No, sir; not that I recall.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you recall how you arrived at the time at 9:30, stated in the report? Was that based on your records?
Chief BATCHELOR. That was fresh in my mind when we wrote this report.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, who was left in charge of the police department that night after you left at 9:30?
Chief BATCHELOR We have a night chief who comes on at 5 o'clock in the afternoon and he works until 2 in the morning.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you recall who it was that night ?
Chief BATCHELOR. Well, there is only one. It would have been Chief Jack Tanner.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Who would then replace him at 2 o'clock in the morning?
Chief BATCHELOR. No one. There is a, well, I say no one. There is an inspector also who works around the clock. I don't recall which inspector was on duty that night, but there is an inspector on duty at night around the clock.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I notice--if you want to refer to your report on page 29, the report indicates that, you received a telephone call at your home about 6:30 in the morning from Captain Talbert. Can you tell us what that call was about?
Chief BATCHELOR. Yes, sir. He called and informed me that he had gotten a call, and he didn't tell me at the time where he got it; he said an anonymous call.
Later I learned it came from the FBI, and they in turn had called him. That about a hundred men were going to take the prisoner Oswald and they didn't want to get any policeman hurt. So I told him to send a squad by Chief Curry's house and inform him about it. And at that moment we weren't concerned about him in the jail. We were concerned about him in the transfer.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Why did Talbert call you rather than some other member of the police department?
Chief BATCHELOR. He tried to call Chief Curry and he couldn't get him to answer his phone. I guess he was dog-tired and he couldn't get him up. And I told him to send a squad car by and tell him.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I see. Did you have any discussion with him at that point who had responsibility to make this decision? Did you feel you had the responsibility to give instructions on the basis of having received this report that some men were going to try to go after Oswald? Did you feel you had any responsibility to take any protective action ?
Chief BATCHELOR. At that moment ?
Mr. GRIFFIN. Yes.
Chief BATCHELOR. No. The way it came to me, it was my feeling that this was to happen when we attempted to transfer him, not to come up to the jail and get him.
Mr. GRIFFIN. What did you do after you received that phone call?
Chief BATCHELOR. I got up and dressed to come down to the office.
Mr. GRIFFIN. What time did you arrive down at the office?
Chief BATCHELOR. About 8 o'clock.
Mr. GRIFFIN. What did you do when you got to the office?
Chief BATCHELOR. Chief Stevenson and I got there about the same time. I parked my car in the basement and we walked into the city hall or into the police station, and we noticed a television camera set up in the areaway leading into the garage. I made the comment that they would have to do something about the television camera because it was right in the path where they would bring the prisoner out. There was no one around the camera. It was just sitting there.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I want to hand you here, chief, a diagram of the inside of the basement garage area. Do you have a pencil or anything that you can mark with?
Chief BATCHELOR. Yes. The camera--can I mark here ?
Mr. GRIFFIN. Yes.
Chief BATCHELOR. The camera was sitting right here.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Would you put a "C" there so we know it is a camera.
Chief BATCHELOR. [Complies.]
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, what television station had this camera there?
Chief BATCHELOR. It was KRLD.
Mr. GRIFFIN. What makes you think it was KRLD ?
Chief BATCHELOR. I just seem to recall that in my mind the letters on the side of the camera. I could be wrong. It could have been a WBAP camera.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Was the camera manned ?
Chief BATCHELOR. No, sir.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Were there any other people in the basement area at that time?
Chief BATCHELOR. No, sir.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Who was it that you instructed to move the camera?
Chief BATCHELOR. I didn't instruct anybody at that moment. We merely commented it was going to be moved, but instructed it to be moved later when we came back down.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, what did you do after you passed the camera ?
Chief BATCHELOR. Went up to the office.
Mr. GRIFFIN. How did you go?
Chief BATCHELOR. Went through the basement and into the elevator and went up.
Mr. GRIFFIN. You went up to the third floor ?
Chief BATCHELOR. Yes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. To your office. Do you remember what conversation you had with Chief Stevenson along the way?
Chief BATCHELOR. Well, we were commenting about that camera and that they were going to have to move it, and we were going to have to man that basement. But at the moment, plans hadn't jelled as to when we would move him. Actually, back in our minds, I suppose, was the idea that when the time came, that the sheriffs department would probably move him, because this is customary in moving a prisoner. They normally come down and get the prisoner.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you discuss with Chief Stevenson anywhere along the way upstairs this phone call which you received from Mr. Talbert earlier in the morning?
Chief BATCHELOR. Yes; I think I mentioned that to him.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you remember anything about that conversation?
Chief BATCHELOR. Not anything especially.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you recall whether he knew or Stevenson knew at the time you saw him down in the basement that there had been such a threat?
Chief BATCHELOR. I believe he did. I think someone from one of his bureaus had called him, if I remember right. It was rather common knowledge that a call like that had been received.
Mr. GRIFFIN. As you walked to the elevator in the basement, do you recall whether or not there were any people in the basement?
Chief BATCHELOR. No; I don't remember anybody except those people in the jail office.
Mr. GRIFFIN. The people in the jail office were employees of the jail?
Chief BATCHELOR. They were the jail crew that stay on all night long; yes. Not the all night. These would have been the morning shift just come on.
Mr. GRIFFIN. At what time did that morning shift come on ?
Chief BATCHELOR. At 7 o'clock.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Chief, would. you take this diagram and mark on there the time that you believe you saw that camera?
Chief BATCHELOR. [Marks.]
Mr. GRIFFIN. I am marking this, "Dallas, Tex., Chief Batchelor, March 23, 1964, Deposition Exhibit No. 5000."
As you walked into the building and went up to the third floor, did you see anybody in the garage area or along the ramp or near the record room other than police department employees?
Chief BATCHELOR. No, sir.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, what happened when you got up to the third floor? What did you do?
Chief BATCHELOR. I went to my office. I don't remember exactly what I did. Chief Curry came in very shortly after that, and I went into this office and we started discussing the possibility of moving the prisoner.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now will you try to remember who else was in the office with Chief Curry when you walked in?
Chief BATCHELOR. No one.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did anybody come in after you ?
Chief BATCHELOR. Stevenson came in a little bit later.
Mr. GRIFFIN. How much later, would you say ?
Chief BATCHELOR. Oh, 2 or 3 minutes later, if I remember.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did anybody else come in after that during this conversation?
Chief BATCHELOR. I don't recall that they did. I don't believe there was.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did Chief Lunday come in ?
Chief BATCHELOR. No. Chief Lunday didn't come down until later in the morning, I believe.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did Captain Talbert join you?
Chief BATCHELOR. No.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Was Captain Talbert still on duty when you arrived at the police department?
Chief BATCHELOR. Captain Talbert was on duty that morning. He came on at 7 o'clock.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Talbert came on at 7, but as I understand it, Talbert called you at your home about 6:30. How did that happen ?
Chief BATCHELOR. Well, he is a platoon commander, and a platoon commander comes down early before the rest of the men to get his detail, and he had gotten this information from the night commander. The information came into them before they came on duty, and someone had tried to call Chief Curry. When they came down, they told me about it and I called them and I told them to send a squad by and wake Chief Curry up and tell him.
Mr. GRIFFIN. What platoon was Talbert in charge of?
Chief BATCHELOR. The second platoon that month.
Mr. GRIFFIN. By "platoon," what do you mean?
Chief BATCHELOR. The first platoon is the night platoon that comes on theoretically at midnight. It actually comes on at 11 o'clock the preceding day and it goes to 7 o'clock the next morning.
Mr. GRIFFIN. What area does a platoon man?
Chief BATCHELOR. It mans the city. This is a uniform platoon. We have three substations and they change the same way. The substations are under the platoon commander, and each of the substations has a lieutenant in charge of the substation who accounts to the platoon commander, who is a captain.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Tell me if my understanding is right, that Talbert at this point had operational responsibility for all the men throughout the city?
Chief BATCHELOR. That's right.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Sort of like the executive officer on a ship or something?
Chief BATCHELOR. That's right.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Tell us what your conversation was with Chief Curry up in his office when you first went in ?
Chief BATCHELOR. I asked him, I believe, if he had called Sheriff Decker.
Mr. GRIFFIN. What did he say ?
Chief BATCHELOR. He said, no, he hadn't, but he was fixing to do that. And he did do it. He picked up the phone and called Sheriff Decker.
This was--I got down around 9 o'clock--I mean around 8 o'clock, correction--and it must have been somewhere around 8:30 or 8:45 when he called Decker.
Mr. GRIFFIN. How long did you talk with him before he called Sheriff Decker?
Chief BATCHELOR. Just a few minutes. He called Sheriff Decker, and Decker
said--and I was hearing only one side of the conversation, but I gathered that Decker had told him he thought he was going to move the prisoner. Curry said, "Well, if you want us to, we will." So he said, "I think you've got more manpower than we have. You move him if you will."
Then we had discussed this threat that had been received and----
Mr. GRIFFIN. You and----
Chief BATCHELOR. Curry.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did Curry mention the threat to Decker in the telephone conversation?
Chief BATCHELOR. I just don't remember whether he did or not. I would think reasonably that he did, but I don't remember.
Mr. GRIFFIN. When Chief Curry talked with Decker, did he make any mention of what time Oswald would be moved?
Chief BATCHELOR. He didn't set any definite time. He told him that Captain Fritz wanted to question Oswald again that morning, and that when he got through, they would be ready to move him, and he thought this would be sometime after 10 o'clock.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Had Fritz begun to question Oswald when Curry was on the telephone with Decker?
Chief BATCHELOR. I really don't know. Shortly after we made the decision, Curry went back to the office and they were questioning him.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, when Curry and Decker talked on the telephone on this occasion, did Curry say anything about how Oswald would be moved?
Chief BATCHELOR. Well, I think he called him back later and told him how after we had talked, because we hadn't made the decision to use an armored car to move him, armored truck, until after we had determined that he wasn't going to move him and it was going to be our job. Then we decided to discuss the armored car.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did Chief Curry have any discussion with Decker in this first telephone conversation about the route that would be followed in moving Oswald ?
Chief BATCHELOR. I don't think so, because I am sure we didn't know at that moment just exactly what we would do. He went back and talked to Fritz about the advisability of this later, and we discussed it, and Stevenson came up and discussed it, and our plan was to take him down Elm Street originally. We would go out of the basement to Commerce, Commerce to Central Expressway, north on Central to Elm, and then west on Elm to Houston, and then go back east to the jail entrance door of the county jail and come in. This was our original plan.
Mr. GRIFFIN. In this first telephone conversation with Decker was Stevenson present in Curry's office?
Chief BATCHELOR. I don't believe he was. I know he wasn't when we started. He may have walked in there while I was talking to him, but I believe Curry and I was the only ones present.
Mr. GRIFFIN. When Curry finished talking with Decker and he hung up the phone, did he say anything to you?
Chief BATCHELOR. Yes; he said obviously Decker wants us to move him.
Mr. GRIFFIN. What did you say?
Chief BATCHELOR. I said we'd better start making some arrangements then. And he said, "What do you think about getting an armored car, an armored truck ?"
And I said, "I think I know where I can get one."
Mr. GRIFFIN. Where was that?
Chief BATCHELOR .This was from the Armored Motor Car Service.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Where is that located?
Chief BATCHELOR. It is on--what is the name of that street ?
Mr. GRIFFIN. In the downtown area?
Chief BATCHELOR. It just borders on the downtown area. It is off of Ross Avenue.
Mr. GRIFFIN. North or south?
Chief BATCHELOR. It is north of Ross Avenue. I should think of the name of the street. It is an old street here, but I just can't think of it offhand.
Mr. GRIFFIN. What is the name of the armored car company again?
Chief BATCHELOR. Armored Motor Car Service. It is actually a Fort Worth company who services both Dallas and Fort Worth, and they have an office here, too.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Go ahead.
Chief BATCHELOR. After this, I told him that I thought I could get one. I then went to the city directory to see who was in charge here, where I might get ahold of his phone number. And I called the vice president at his home. This was on Sunday morning. It was before he had gone to church. It must have been somewhere around 9 o'clock.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Can you give us the name of the vice president?
Chief BATCHELOR. It was Mr. Fleming. Mr. Fleming was the vice president, and I talked to him at his home, and he told me that he would be glad to furnish us one. As a matter of fact, he had two trucks which we could take our choice. One was a small truck, but would accommodate only one passenger in the back. The other one was what they call an overland truck, and it had seats on either side in the back and would accommodate several people.
And I said, "I don't know whether this will go down to the basement or not." But I asked him how tall it was and he said he didn't know, but he would have it measured and let me know. And I told him that I would find out what the height of the ramp was. We have a low place in the ramp as you go down at the bottom of the ramp, and it is only 7 feet 5 inches tall at that point, so I found out what that height was, and I called him back.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now at the time you first talked with Mr. Fleming, did you indicate to him what time you would need the armored vehicle?
Chief BATCHELOR. Yes; I told him sometime around 10 or a little after. And he said he would get there as quickly as possible. He had to call a crew down to man the truck. And Mr. Hall, who is their Dallas representative here, brought the truck down with another driver driving the small one.
Mr. GRIFFIN. When was the truck brought down?
Chief BATCHELOR. It was brought down--probably it wasn't at 10 o'clock, because they didn't get there that early. It must have been closer to 11 o'clock when they finally got down there with it.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you say anything else to Mr. Fleming during this first telephone conversation? Did you tell him anything about the route?
Chief BATCHELOR. I don't believe that I told him the route we were going to take, no. I know I didn't tell him.
Mr. GRIFFIN. While you were on the telephone with Mr. Fleming, where was Chief Curry, if you know?
Chief BATCHELOR. He was in his office. I called Mr. Fleming from my office. I left his office and went into my office and called him.
Mr. GRIFFIN. How about Chief Stevenson, where was he?
Chief BATCHELOR. He was either in his office or in Chief Curry's office with him. We were all together.
Mr. GRIFFIN. At the time that Curry got off the first telephone call with Decker, was there anything that Stevenson was supposed to do ?
Chief BATCHELOR. Well, he and I both, under Chief Curry's instructions, he said you'd better go downstairs and see what manpower you will need to cover that basement down there. One other thing, Chief Lumpkin had come in and he was the man I asked to find out for me how tall that ramp was down there, what the clearance was.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, did Lumpkin go down there before or after you called Fleming ?
Chief BATCHELOR. I think he went down there. He called somebody down that knew how tall it was, but that was after I talked to Fleming the first time.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Does your office, Chief, maintain any records of outgoing telephone calls?
Chief BATCHELOR. No, sir.
Mr. GRIFFIN. At the time that you were talking to Fleming, between the time that the chief talked with Decker and you talked with Fleming, would there have been any occasion for a dispatcher to make any particular communication to the people in the field as a result of the conversation with Decker?
Chief BATCHELOR. No, sir. As a matter of fact, no body knew this. I mean, except the few people on the staff.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I realize that nobody would have known about the particular contents of the conversation, but what I am getting at is, is there any reason that somebody might have said at this point he knew you were going to have to make a move, you'd better dispatch the men in ? You'd better send out a general call to bring in more men?
Chief BATCHELOR. This would have been handled in a telephone conversation with the dispatcher, yet nobody would know the real reason for it. Talbert did have some men called in. He did have some men called in.
Mr. GRIFFIN. How did Talbert come to make this call in relation to the conversation ?
Chief BATCHELOR. I don't know, unless he was anticipating. Well, I don't know how to say it. It had gotten on the radio and in the newspapers and everywhere else that this was going to be at 10 o'clock, I presume, because there was people all up and down the street, across the street from the city hall on Commerce waiting for this thing to happen.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Were they waiting there when you came in at 8 o'clock?
Chief BATCHELOR. Oh, there wasn't anybody there that early, but they were down there around 10 o'clock.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Can you think of anything that might have happened in the ordinary course of things after Decker and Curry talked, that would have been recorded in the police department?
Chief BATCHELOR. About the movement of the prisoner ?
Mr. GRIFFIN. No. I am particularly referring to the movement of the prisoner, but I am thinking of something that might pinpoint the time in which this conversation with Decker occurred, that Curry might have said at this point, "All right, Stevenson, bring in so many men," and Stevenson would have told the dispatcher to send out a call, and nobody would have known the purpose of the call, but it would fix a time ?
Chief BATCHELOR. Stevenson went back after we determined we were going to have to secure the basement and move the prisoner. He went back to his bureau and had them send some men down there, some detectives.
He didn't have to call them from the field. He had them back there. Talbert sent out and got some men, and I don't know whose direction he did that on, but we went down there to see what manpower we would need. And when we got there, he had them there, and where he got this information, I don't know.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now after you talked with Fleming the first time, what did you do? After you finished that telephone conversation?
Chief BATCHELOR. We went downstairs and that is when we had instructed them--it was Wiggins, I believe, in the jail office, to get that camera out of there. And we instructed them--Curry went down with us, too, and there were two cars sitting across from the jail exit door. They were sitting in these places right here.
Mr. GRIFFIN. You want to take a pen and mark?
Chief BATCHELOR. And we had these cars moved [marking on exhibit].
Mr. GRIFFIN. What time of the morning would you estimate that was?
Chief BATCHELOR. This must have been about 9:30 or 9:15, somewhere along in there.
Mr. GRIFFIN. You want to mark what you think the approximate time was in between the two cars where you marked?
Chief BATCHELOR. [Indicates time.]
Mr. GRIFFIN. Were there any other cars in the basement area at that time?
Chief BATCHELOR. Yes; there was several other cars. Chief Curry's car was over here, and mine was over here.
Mr. GRIFFIN. That is in the chief's normal parking place?
Chief BATCHELOR. These all are our normal spaces.
Mr. GRIFFIN. You want to mark those in there?
Chief BATCHELOR. [Marks.] Mine is over here, and I don't know whether Chief Fisher was in there or not. I don't remember his.
Mr. GRIFFIN. You want to put the time in between those two also?
Chief BATCHELOR. [Marks time.]
Mr. GRIFFIN. What time they were parked in there, the time that you are talking about right, now that you saw them there. That is the same time that was on the other cars ?
Chief BATCHELOR. They were there all morning. They were parked there and they stayed there up until we moved them.
Mr. GRIFFIN. So they were there at 9:15 to 9:30?
Chief BATCHELOR. [Marks on chart.]
Mr. GRIFFIN. Were there other cars in the basement area?
Chief BATCHELOR. Yes, there were others. I don't recall just exactly. It wasn't full. It was a Sunday, and Chief Stevenson's car was parked over here somewhere, and Chief Lunday's, Lumpkin's car was parked here.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Was there general traffic of police cars in and out of the garage?
Chief BATCHELOR. There would have been. However, on Sunday morning, that time of day there is very little traffic in and out of there. It is one of the quietest times. There were two or three other cars parked in here.
Mr. GRIFFIN. When you went down to the basement at that time, were there news people in the basement?
Chief BATCHELOR. Yes, sir. When we went down in there the next time, there was some cameras setting up here that had just been rolled in. They weren't operative.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Let's focus on this trip that you took downstairs with, was it Stevenson 7
Chief BATCHELOR. Yes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. At 9:15 or 9:30. What is your best estimate of the number of news people that were down there?
Chief BATCHELOR. I don't know. I can tell you a better estimate when we finally went down there.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Was it crowded or sparsely crowded ?
Chief BATCHELOR. It wasn't crowded; no. There wasn't any big congregation. There may be two or three people from--some television people standing around there, trying to get set up, and they had some cables and stuff in there, and the best I remember, we told them they were going to have to move those cables out of there. And we instructed Lieutenant Wiggins to move these two vehicles out.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Those were the two that are on the Main Street side of the entrance into the garage area?
Chief BATCHELOR. Yes, north side. And that we were going to have this for the news media to stand behind the rail.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Right where the two cars were that you wanted to be moved?
Chief BATCHELOR. Yes; and we instructed the television people that they would have to put their cameras on this side of the driveway.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you talk to any newspeople yourself?
Chief BATCHELOR. I didn't myself. I was present there. I don't remember exactly who directed, whether it was Chief Curry or Stevenson or myself, but I mean it was three of us standing there, and we all agreed that this needed to be done, and one of us told them.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now this first trip down to the basement, what did you do besides direct that the two cars on either side of the garage entrance be moved, and that the camera be moved back there?
Chief BATCHELOR. We went over in here, and there were some detectives around in here.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now can you indicate in words what you are referring to on the map?
Chief BATCHELOR. They were along in here. There was a man over here by this elevator.
Mr. GRIFFIN. This is----
Chief BATCHELOR. City hall elevator.
Mr. GRIFFIN. The first place that you referred to was the entrance way in the garage. Were some people congregated there, and was there a man at the No. 1 or No. 2 elevator?
Chief BATCHELOR. Yes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you know who he was?
Chief BATCHELOR. No; I didn't pay any attention to who he was. It was a uniformed man standing over there. I later learned this was a reserve that was over there, but I didn't pay any attention.
Mr. GRIFFIN. The uniformed man was a reserve officer?
Chief BATCHELOR. Yes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Who did you later learn that from?
Chief BATCHELOR. In the course of the investigation later.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I see. Some days after Oswald was shot?
Chief BATCHELOR. Yes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now after going over near the elevator where the uniformed reserve officer was, what did you do next?
Chief BATCHELOR. Well, we went back upstairs. And Stevenson had gone at this time. We went down this first time to see the layout, and there wasn't too many here. We went back upstairs, and Chief Stevenson sent some detectives down, and brought his uniformed men in. I came down the last time, was just before the removal of the prisoner, and in the meantime I had contacted Mr. Fleming about the armored motor car.
Mr. GRIFFIN. You came down three times ?
Chief BATCHELOR. I went up once, and then Stevenson and I came down and looked this thing over, and then down with Curry, and then the last time.
Mr. GRIFFIN. On the first occasion when you were down there, you say you saw this uniformed reserve officer. Did you later learn what his name was?
Chief BATCHELOR. I don't remember it. It is in the report.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Would you mark with an "X" on the map where that reserve officer was standing and the approximate time?
Chief BATCHELOR. (marking). He was standing over here.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Let the record indicate that he has marked it with a circle. This is again somewhere around 9:15 or 9:30?
Chief BATCHELOR. Somewhere along there.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you learn in the course of your investigation his name?
Chief BATCHELOR. I don't recall his name.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Would that appear anywhere in the report, do you think?
Chief BATCHELOR. Not in that report. It would appear in the reports that were made by Captain Jones in the course of investigating who was where. You have a diagram similar to this with everybody marked on it, and he is on one of those.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Had he been stationed there by somebody ?
Chief BATCHELOR. Yes; now I could be mistaken about the exact time I saw him there. That is, whether it was this trip or the trip before. I could be mistaken about it, but I do remember seeing him here when we came down.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Excuse me, do you want to mark the map then what the alternate time might be? You might write whatever time you think it was.
Chief BATCHELOR (marking). He was there before then, but I am talking about when I may have seen him there.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, Chief, after you left the basement area on this first trip, where did you go?
Chief BATCHELOR. We went back upstairs to the office.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did Chief Stevenson go back up with you ?
Chief BATCHELOR. Yes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. When you got back up on the third floor, were there news media personnel on the third floor?
Chief BATCHELOR. There were some up there.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I take it, it was not what you consider a crowded condition.
Chief BATCHELOR. No.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Were there television cameras still there?
Chief BATCHELOR. Yes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. When you arrived at 8 o'clock in the morning, were there TV cameras up there?
Chief BATCHELOR. Yes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Were the TV cameras manned at 8 o'clock in the morning?
Chief BATCHELOR. Yes; the best I remember, they were.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you recall what TV stations had cameras up there at that time?
Chief BATCHELOR. It was KRLD and WFAA, if I remember right. And I could be mistaken about the WFAA. It could have been WBAP.
Mr. GRIFFIN. How do you happen to remember KRLD?
Chief BATCHELOR. They were the first ones in there and they had their truck parked outside. And also, I am pretty sure it was WFAA, because WFAA had a truck parked on the Harwood Street side.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Were you able to tell at 8 o'clock in the morning if they were shooting footage?
Chief BATCHELOR. I couldn't tell. All the time that I remember, they had these little viewers in the back of the thing and you could see through them and see what was going on through them, look through the camera. Whether they were shooting footage, there wasn't anything to shoot that morning. It was pretty quiet.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, the second trip when you came back upstairs after your first trip downstairs, where did you go?
Chief BATCHELOR. After the first trip, I came back up to again get in touch with Mr. Stevenson and tell him.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Fleming?
Chief BATCHELOR. Fleming, I mean, and tell him what the height of that thing was. Then he told me, well, I will just send both trucks down there and you can take the one you want.
Mr. GRIFFIN. This second phone call, was Mr. Fleming at home?
Chief BATCHELOR. Yes, sir.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you know whether Fleming had been contacted by anyone in your office or Decker's office or anybody else prior to your first phone call to him?
Chief BATCHELOR. I would think not. He couldn't, because this was his first knowledge of it.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Could you tell us what else you said to him? What else this conversation involved?
Chief BATCHELOR. I don't recall saying anything other than expressing our appreciation for his help. And he said he would send both of the trucks down. I told him how to bring the trucks. I told him to bring them east on Harwood--I mean on Commerce Street, and that we would back it down the ramp so that we would be leaving the ramp in the right direction when they pulled out.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Up to the time that you had this second conversation with Fleming, had you discussed with anybody the route by which you would take Oswald to the county jail?
Chief BATCHELOR. Nobody but Chief Curry, that I recall, and probably Chief Stevenson. As a matter of fact, this route that they were to take was worked out more between Stevenson and Curry and Fritz than it was with me. My primary job here was to get the truck and get the cars placed, and it was decided that Chief Curry would lead the car down there, followed by a car of detectives, and then the armored car, and then followed by another car of detectives, and then followed by Stevenson and I in a rear car.
Mr. GRIFFIN. This planned route of the movement was to go from Commerce to Central Expressway, left to Elm Street, then down Elm Street?
Chief BATCHELOR. To Houston; yes, sir.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now as a result of that decision, were any cars or officers called in from the field?
Chief BATCHELOR. Yes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Who?
Chief BATCHELOR. Talbert called his officers in. He had called and scattered them up. And then there was some discussion about taking it down Main Street, and I am not too sure where I got this information, but anyway, he sent a sergeant and moved those officers over a block to Main Street.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Why was the route changed?
Chief BATCHELOR. Well, I don't know. The route was changed without my knowing it, really. When they decided to take Oswald in an automobile instead of the armored car.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Who participated in that decision?
Chief BATCHELOR. Chief Curry, Chief Stevenson, Captain Fritz, I believe--I was not in there when it was discussed.
Mr. GRIFFIN. After you talked to Fleming the second time what did you do?
Chief BATCHELOR. Then he said he would send them over, and we went down there to get the cars lined up. This must have been, oh, probably 10:45, 10:30 to 10:45. I went downstairs and I saw the basement well covered. We had a man at the top of the ramp on Main Street. We had several men in the basement leading into the garage area just before you get to the jail office, and I went through there, and Stevenson was with me.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Let me interrupt you here, Chief. I think I will pull out another map so that we can mark it. I am going to mark this map, for the purpose of identification, "Dallas, Tex., Chief Batchelor, March 23, 1964, Deposition Exhibit 5001." Now I want you to use this exhibit, Chief, to indicate what you saw on this second trip downstairs, which you indicated would be what time?
Chief BATCHELOR. I came out of the elevator into the basement and saw a number of officers across this area right here. There were several detectives.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Would you mark that with "X's" ?
Chief BATCHELOR. [Marking.] Detective there. We walked through here. We noticed these cameras had been moved out.
Mr. GRIFFIN. You are talking about the passageway past the jail office?
Chief BATCHELOR. Past this jail office here. I noticed that inside the jail office there were three or four photographers inside the jail office.
Mr. GRIFFIN. At that point, you were at the jail office door nearest to the ramp driveway, and you looked in that door and you saw some news people?
Chief BATCHELOR. Yes; photographers.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you recognize any of them?
Chief BATCHELOR. I don't recall them. We went in there and moved them out. We went and instructed the jail supervisor that there was to be no one in that jail office except officers.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Who was the supervisor?
Chief BATCHELOR. Lieutenant Wiggins. And we moved them out and we instructed the reporters, and there were a number of them down there at that time, by no means all of them, that--later there were, but there was a good many--we told them they would have to stand back over here.
Mr. GRIFFIN. That is against the railing?
Chief BATCHELOR. Along the railing. And they had set up two TV cameras behind this railing.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Would you mark with an "S," where the two cameras were set up?
Chief BATCHELOR. [Marking.] Then there was another one right here.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Was that third camera there when you came down at 10:45 ?
Chief BATCHELOR. I don't think so. That was the one sitting over there. These were the two sitting out here.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now the two cameras that you placed there had been originally near the record room?
Chief BATCHELOR. Yes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. When did you see them near the record room ? When you came in in the morning?
Chief BATCHELOR. No. That trip down after we came down.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Would you take Exhibit 5000, and would you mark those two TV cameras that you saw on the first trip?
Chief BATCHELOR. [Marks.]
Mr. GRIFFIN. I believe you said that that time was 9:15?
Chief BATCHELOR. Yes; now they had been moved here.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Behind the railing?
Chief BATCHELOR. Behind the railing, and this was one sitting here. That was dead.
Mr. GRIFFIN. You are marking in the entrance to the garage off the Main Street ramp?
Chief BATCHELOR. Yes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. That camera that you are marking there in the garage ?
Chief BATCHELOR. Not operating.
Mr. GRIFFIN. By that, do you mean that the----
Chief BATCHELOR. It wasn't hooked up.
Mr. GRIFFIN. But the other two cameras which you have marked behind the railing, were they taking shots when you walked down ?
Chief BATCHELOR. No; I don't know that they were at that time. They didn't have any lights on, no floodlights on, and they had been told to keep their floodlights off. They didn't turn them on.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Prior to the time that you came down on the second trip at about 10:45, did you discuss with anybody up on the third floor where you wanted these TV people placed and what you wanted done with the lights?
Chief BATCHELOR. We told the men down here, and we told the reporters down here, just kind of announced to them.
Mr. GRIFFIN. As you walked down ?
Chief BATCHELOR. Yes. Some of them---one of the supervisors came in and said they couldn't get them all along here and wanted to know if it would be all right to put them along here?
Mr. GRIFFIN. You are indicating at the bottom of the Main Street ramp?
Chief BATCHELOR. Main Street entrance ramp.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Between the railing and jail office?
Chief BATCHELOR. And the wall.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Yes. They wanted to put their cameras there?
Chief BATCHELOR. No; it wasn't cameras. They just wanted to stand there.
Mr. GRIFFIN. What did you tell them?
Chief BATCHELOR. Since we couldn't get them in there, he told them if they would stay back, they could stay there. And there were some officers that were stationed along there to hold them back.
Mr. GRIFFIN. But your original hope was that all of the news media people could be in the entrance to the garage?
Chief BATCHELOR. And they were scattered along here, too. Scattered along the entrance into the garage itself and along here, but some of them, there just wasn't room for them, and some got across here.
Mr. GRIFFIN. How long did you remain downstairs on this second trip?
Chief BATCHELOR. I don't think this is the second trip. I think, well, I guess it is. But I came down here, and Stevenson and I looked this thing over.
Mr. GRIFFIN. You are going to have to indicate in words.
Chief BATCHELOR We looked over the basement to see that the security was in order. I noticed an officer at the Main Street ramp. We walked up the Commerce Street ramp and noticed a crowd of people across Commerce Street, and was told by one of the supervisors that they were keeping them across there, and that they allowed no one on the side next to the police station of the city hall except officers. And the only people over here were either reservists or regular officers. They had officers across the street. Chief Lunday told me they had officers down at the courthouse across from the jail entrance. Was keeping that crowd back there.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now as you looked along the sidewalk on the north side of Commerce Street, from the Commerce Street ramp to Pearl--from the Commerce Street ramp to Pearl Expressway--in other words, in the direction of the municipal building, could you see how the police officers were spaced, and how many officers were along the north side of Commerce Street?
Chief BATCHELOR. Well, it is a good ways to Pearl, and the crowd didn't extend anywhere near down to Pearl Street. It was mostly just across from the building up to Harwood Street rather than Pearl. There weren't that many people there. It wasn't like a parade. I guess there were, oh, a couple of hundred people across there, perhaps.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you know whether or not there was a police officer at the corner of Pearl and Commerce?
Chief BATCHELOR. I don't know. I don't remember whether there was or not. I'm sure there must have been one stationed there.
Mr. GRIFFIN. When you walked out on the sidewalk and were talking about this 10:45 trip down to the basement, what did you do?
Chief BATCHELOR. I turned around and walked back in there. They had parked Chief Curry's car out east of the Commerce Street ramp on the street, double parked, parallel to some parked cars that were already there. Then I drove my car out of the basement and parked it west of the Commerce Street ramp exit, and I double parked it also right behind his, the intention being that when this convoy came out, that he would lead off and I would drop in behind Chief Curry with Chief Stevenson.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Would you mark on the map where Chief Curry's car was and where your car was placed on Commerce Street?
Chief BATCHELOR. This confuses me a little here. There is not any offset.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Unfortunately, this black line that confuses you represents a basement wall. It doesn't represent the street.
Chief BATCHELOR. [Marks on map.]
Mr. GRIFFIN. What did you do after you moved your car out on Commerce Street?
Chief BATCHELOR. Shortly after that just within a few minutes these armored cars arrived.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Where were you standing when the armored cars arrived?
Chief BATCHELOR. I was in the basement, but somebody told me down there, shouted that these armored cars had arrived, so I came up again out of the ramp to look at the two cars to see which one we wanted. I looked in the inside of the larger armored car and decided that this one is the one we would have to use because it had room not only for the prisoner, but two guards to be placed in there with him.
And this one--Mr. Hall, I believe is his name--I think it is Mr. Hall that drove the truck up there. And this truck was too large or too tall to drive clear to the foot of the basement ramp. It wouldn't clear this ceiling at that point, so I asked Mr. Hall to back it in, and he started backing it in, and he got the truck inside of the ramp with all of the body inside and the cab on the outside, on the sidewalk. He stopped and suggested that he not go to the bottom of the ramp with it because of its weight. He was afraid that in trying to pull out, he might kill the motor and stall it on the ramp, and suggested that since it blocked the entrance, if we could use it from that point, he would rather it go from that point.
Mr. GRIFFIN. At the point this conversation took place, had you or anyone else to your knowledge told Hall what route would be taken ?
Chief BATCHELOR. No; we told him he would follow a lead car, and pointed out the car that he would follow.
Mr. GRIFFIN. At that point, did you indicate to him how soon it would be before Oswald would be brought down?
Chief BATCHELOR. No, sir; this truck was parked in the ramp, and I thought that this would be a safe place to park it because on one side of the truck next to the west wall of the ramp there was only about 12 inches of space. And between the truck and the east wall, there was only 18 to 24 inches of space. I placed an officer between the west wall and the truck, which totally blocked it. And I placed two officers between the truck and the east wall, and that totally blocked that. Then I believe it was Lieutenant Smart and I got in the truck and searched it. We found a soft drink bottle in the truck, which we took out. I found a loose bolt lying on the floor, which I took out.
There was a device on the back side of the truck which was sort of a gauge and a lever which I didn't understand what it was and I asked Mr. Hall what that was, and he said it was an emergency brake in the event something happened to the driver, that whoever was in the back of the truck could pull that lever and stop the truck. We got these items out of the truck and took them away, left the back doors of the truck open to receive the prisoner, and then I went back down to the foot of the ramp and waited, and in a few minutes shortly after the arrival of the truck, Chief Stevenson came down, and this was, oh, nearly 11:30. It was just a matter of minutes before--and told me of the change of plans, and that they were going to send the truck in convoy down through Elm Street, and that the car carrying----
Mr. GRIFFIN. You mean Main Street?
Chief BATCHELOR. No; Elm Street, and that the truck carrying Oswald and
a car of detectives would drop out of the convoy, out on Main Street and drive down Main Street by themselves. In other words, the truck was to be a decoy, and the lead car and all the other cars would follow it on down Elm Street, while the car carrying the prisoner would go down Main Street.
Mr. GRIFFIN. What security was there going to be?
Chief BATCHELOR. We had moved the officers over from Elm Street to Main Street on the corner. The only security would have been a car carrying detectives, following the car carrying the prisoner and detectives.
Mr. GRIFFIN. How were the officers moved, by a radio dispatcher, or was somebody sent out?
Chief BATCHELOR. A Sergeant was sent out, a three-wheeler. Talbert had it done. I don't recall who did that.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, did you know at this point whether there was an officer
stationed at the corner of Main and Commerce? Main and Pearl Expressway?
Chief BATCHELOR. No; I don't know whether there was or not.
( Short recess had. )
(Discussion off the record. )
Mr. GRIFFIN. Why don't we state this for the record, that we have had a recess and an off-the-record discussion between Mr. Griffin and Chief Batchelor, and so that the record may be clear about where the policemen who were to guard the route which was originally planned for the transfer of Oswald, on the streets of the city of Dallas, I will let Chief Batchelor at this time explain where they were originally to be stationed, and where they were moved to.
Chief BATCHELOR. They were originally stationed along Elm Street, and later were moved to Main Street where the prisoner would actually go.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I believe that before we took the recess that I was asking you if at the time that you were down in the basement and examining the armored car, you were aware that a man was or was not stationed at the corner of Main and Pearl Expressway?
Chief BATCHELOR. I do not know. I was not aware. I hadn't given that any thought at the time. Actually, Main and Expressway would pose no traffic problem of a turning movement, at that point, because Pearl Expressway, which is a one-way street, and the convoy would have been next to the curb, and it would pose no problem at this point, trafficwise.
Mr. GRIFFIN. When Chief Stevenson came downstairs and told you that the route had been changed, where did he tell you that the caravan would turn off Commerce Street?
Chief BATCHELOR. On Central Expressway.
Mr. GRIFFIN. When it turned left on Central Expressway, where would it next turn?
Chief BATCHELOR. The convoy would go to Elm Street, but the prisoner and a car of detectives would turn off at Main.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, did you discuss with him the reasoning behind this decoy?
Chief BATCHELOR. I merely asked him why the change, and he said they decided to change it up in the Homicide Bureau in a discussion with Chief Curry, because if anyone attacked, they would have the prisoner in a car separate from the convoy and the public would not know this, and they thought this would be a wise move.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now you all were aware that the TV cameras were going to be focusing on the car or the vehicle that Oswald was placed in, didn't you? The people in the downtown streets wouldn't be able to see that, but there were also newsmen down there who were broadcasting and they would be able to tell people listening in on the radio what car?
Chief BATCHELOR. You are arguing with me. I had nothing to do with moving the prisoner.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I didn't mean to argue with you, chief.
Chief BATCHELOR. I didn't make the decision and I don't know whether it was wise or not. It is a moot question now.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Well, now, what next happened after you talked with Chief Stevenson about this change in plan?
Chief BATCHELOR. This happened when he told me about it, just moments before they actually brought him down, and he told me they were bringing a
car up on the ramp, two cars up on the ramp, one to carry the prisoner and one to carry the detectives.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Let me go back one bit here. You stated that you came down. This one time you are talking about was an episode where you went through the armored car, and this would have been your third trip downstairs?
Chief BATCHELOR. And my last one.
Mr. GRIFFIN. And your last one. Now the first trip that you came down the stairs was when you saw these reserve officers over by the elevators?
Chief BATCHELOR. Actually, that was the second trip down, I believe.
Mr. GRIFFIN. That would have been about what time?
Chief BATCHELOR. Oh, probably 10 or 10:15, somewhere along in there.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I see. So that the trip that we have been referring to in the past, the 10:45 trip, is really most clearly distinguished by the
Chief BATCHELOR. I may be a little mixed up on my time, but the last trip, the trip we are talking about when we searched the armored car and put that in place, that was fairly close to the movement of the prisoner, and I would say somewhere around 10:45 to 11 o'clock.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now that happened somewhere around 11:20?
Chief BATCHELOR. About 10:45.
Mr. GRIFFIN. But you never went back upstairs, from the time that you moved your automobile up onto Commerce Street and the time that you searched the armored car?
Chief BATCHELOR. No; Chief Stevenson did, but I didn't.
Mr. GRIFFIN. How long would you say you were downstairs from the time that you walked down and moved your car out on the street and Oswald arrived?
Chief BATCHELOR. Possibly 30 minutes or 35.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now after you finished examining the armored car and you talked with Chief Stevenson, did you get a chance to look at the placement of the news personnel, the news media people in the basement?
Chief BATCHELOR. Shortly before he came down, yes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now looking toward the Main Street ramp, how many rows deep, if there was more than. one row at all, were the policemen who were blocking the Main Street ramp?
Chief BATCHELOR. How many rows deep were the policemen?
Mr. GRIFFIN. I'm sorry, the news people, if you understand what I mean?
Chief BATCHELOR. There was about, as I remember it, about two deep along there. Some places there might have been a third man behind, but most about two deep.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Would you come here and mark along the Main Street ramp about how deep these people were ?
Chief BATCHELOR. [Marking.] There weren't many along there because there were cameras there.
Mr. GRIFFIN. How many people would you estimate were in that area there?
Chief BATCHELOR. Oh, there couldn't have been too many in that particular area there. It is only 15 feet wide, maybe 20 or 25 in there, maybe 30.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, just before Oswald was brought down, where were the rest of the news people placed?
Chief BATCHELOR. They were along here.
Mr. GRIFFIN. That is blocking the garage entrance?
Chief BATCHELOR. Yes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. About how many people would you say were in that area ?
Chief BATCHELOR. I don't know. Altogether there must have been, gee, we had around 70 policemen in that basement altogether, and there must have been 60 or 70 reporters and photographers and press people. They were fairly deep cross here. But this is wider and they were two or three deep across there.
Mr. GRIFFIN. You want to mark in there where you have indicated?
Chief BATCHELOR. [Marks chart.]
Mr. GRIFFIN. Would you say that they were deeper across the entrance to the garage than they were blocking the Main Street ramp, or were they about the same?
Chief BATCHELOR. I wasn't paying. too close attention to how deep they were. There was more than one line of them.
Mr. GRIFFIN. There was?
Chief BATCHELOR. Yes; they were two to three deep across here [marking].
Mr. GRIFFIN. Were there police officers in there also?
Chief BATCHELOR. Yes; there was police officers intermingling all along here.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Had you given any instructions to the police officers up to this point as to how they should stand in relationship, where they should be facing?
Chief BATCHELOR. No, sir.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now after talking with Chief Stevenson, what next happened ?
Chief BATCHELOR. Almost immediately the car containing Lieutenant Pierce and I believe Sergeant Maxey pulled out of here, and these people had to step back, and they pulled out, and the detective cars were pulled here in on the ramp and backed into position.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Chief, at this point, just before Oswald was brought down, were there any automobiles in the portion of the garage which would be the north half of the garage, do you recall?
Chief BATCHELOR. As I recall it, there were one or two vehicles parked back in here, police vehicles.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I see. Were there any police vehicles, and if you don't have any recollection, state that. Do you recall if there were any police vehicles along the railing of the Main Street ramp?
Chief BATCHELOR. I don't recall. If there were, they were back from this entrance. There weren't any in the immediate entrance to the jail door.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you recall if there were any people other than the people manning these TV cameras, behind the railing?
Chief BATCHELOR. I don't recall that. I don't think there were, because these people here went up to just about where the cameras were. This curved a little bit around here. It wasn't just a straight line. It would curve a little bit like this, then, but they were standing away from the front of those cameras, because those cameras were on a tripod at a level on the floor, which was lower than this ramp level.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, as Pierce and Maxey's car went up the ramp, did you watch it go up the ramp?
Chief BATCHELOR. No, sir.
Mr. GRIFFIN. What did you do as it went up the ramp?
Chief BATCHELOR. I don't recall. I was up here. I was more concerned with this truck here and getting this truck out of there when this thing started.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you watch Pierce and Maxey's car go through the line of newsmen?
Chief BATCHELOR. I saw it. I wasn't
Mr. GRIFFIN. Were you paying any attention?
Chief BATCHELOR. Not particularly. I do remember seeing it.
Mr. GRIFFIN. After Pierce and Maxey's car broke through the line of news-men, what do you remember next happening?
Chief BATCHELOR. I remember backing these or pulling up these two detective cars that were to carry Oswald, and one detective pulled up here a little ways, and he had to pull up a little further so this one could get up, and they then backed up. And this one had hardly gotten in place, barely had stopped, when somebody shouted, "Here he comes."
Mr. GRIFFIN. All right, now, are you sure how certain are you that these two detective cars pulled out after Pierce and Maxey ?
Chief BATCHELOR. I don't think Pierce and Maxey could have gotten out with those two detective cars where they were.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Sounds pretty good to me.
Chief BATCHELOR. While they were in place, they couldn't have pulled around here, because they were blocking this entrance here.
Mr. GRIFFIN. All right. Now, who drove those two detective cars?
Chief BATCHELOR. I don't recall. Men out of the Homicide Bureau, but I don't know which ones.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Are they listed in this report, do you recall ?
Chief BATCHELOR. I don't think they are listed in that report. I am pretty sure they are not.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Detective Brown?
Chief BATCHELOR. Where do you see that?
Mr. GRIFFIN. It is on page 32. "Stevenson then proceeded across the driveway to the entrance to the garage where Detective C. W. Brown, driving one car, and Detective Dhority, driving the second car, was preparing to pull the cars behind the armored car." Do you remember Brown or Dhority walking to the cars in the basement?
Chief BATCHELOR. I wasn't directing my attention to them at the moment they did that.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you know or have you heard whether they were sitting in those cars for a long period of time, or a few minutes, or whether they
Chief BATCHELOR. I don't know, but I imagine so. I think they came down for that express purpose, after this plan was changed.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Where were you standing as the rear car--that is, the car closest to the exit from the jail office
Chief BATCHELOR. I was standing over in here.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Would you place an "X" on the map where you were standing?
Chief BATCHELOR. Well, I don't remember exactly where I was standing at the time that they pulled those cars up, but I think I was standing over here, and then moved to this position as they were backing in, because I had been talking to Chief Stevenson just about that time, and we were talking right up in here.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now at the time you heard the shots fired, would you place on this map where these two automobiles were and where you were standing?
Chief BATCHELOR. One car was right here, approximately, and the other car was ahead of it, and I am not drawing this in very good proportion, but this is the order they were in, and I was standing, and this I know in good order, because I was standing about midway of this thing, which was along about the back fender of this car, that I was standing right along here. But these cars were larger than that.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Why don't you cross out that Ford car there and redraw it up where it was?
Chief BATCHELOR. I was standing here, and this one was back here more in this position.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Would you put your name where you have made the circle?
Chief BATCHELOR. (Marks on chart.)
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now do you remember what other officers or people were around you ?
Chief BATCHELOR. No; I don't remember who. There was a whole bunch of people.
Mr. GRIFFIN. What happened when you heard the shot fired? What did you do?
Chief BATCHELOR. Well, actually before the shot was fired, when I was standing along here, and when somebody shouted, "Here he comes." I started to go to that truck, that armored truck and close the doors on it, the back doors so it could take off. And I turned to do that when I heard the shot. I hadn't taken over a step or two over to the door when he was shot.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Then what did you do?
Chief BATCHELOR. I turned around and looked back and came over there. There was a whole group of people had him down. It was a big
Mr. GRIFFIN. Had Ruby down?
Chief BATCHELOR. Had Ruby down. They had pulled Oswald into the jail office, and then pulled Ruby in behind him.
I went into the jail office to look at them, and they had Ruby down on the floor on his back and was trying to handcuff him.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Let's focus on the time when they had Ruby down on the ground out there on the ramp, the ramp area. Where did you stand at that point?
Chief BATCHELOR. I stood off in the crowd I didn't even see what was going on. There was such a crowd.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you hear Ruby say anything at that point?
Chief BATCHELOR. No, sir.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you hear any of the police officers say anything?
Chief BATCHELOR. No, sir; not when I walked right up there to it. But I did hear someone shout, "Jack, don't you so-and-so," but this was before they got him down. I mean, this was almost simultaneous with the shot.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you follow Ruby and Oswald into the jail office then?
Chief BATCHELOR. After a little bit, a minute or two after, I remained in the jail office and asked Lieutenant Wiggins if they had called an ambulance, and he said they had. I walked over and looked at Oswald, and this intern had come in and was giving him some pressure on his lower rib section.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Where did you see Ruby at that time?
Chief BATCHELOR. I saw him on the floor. I couldn't see him too well. There was several men on top. He was still struggling in the jail office, but they had already gotten the gun away from him and they were trying to get him handcuffed and get him down and laying still, but he was fighting them.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you hear him say anything ?
Chief BATCHELOR. No; I don't recall anything he said.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you hear the officers say anything to him?
Chief BATCHELOR. No.
Mr. GRIFFIN. How long did you remain there?
Chief BATCHELOR. Just a few minutes. The ambulance came almost immediately. It was just--I walked out of there before the ambulance came and walked back. Someone shouted right after this happened, and there was a lot of confusion, and someone shouted, "Don't let anybody out."
There were a bunch of reporters that started running like they were frightened. I suppose they were running to telephones, but they tried to run up the Main Street ramp, and I remember very clearly the officer at the top of the ramp pulling his gun and said, "Get back down."
They turned around and walked back down, but most of them escaped through the corridor. Not out the ramp, but went out through the corridor.
Mr. GRIFFIN. This is the corridor that leads from the record room to Commerce Street?
Chief BATCHELOR. Well, yes. They escaped out the corridor off the hallway that leads in front of the jail office into the Records Bureau, and then to Commerce Street.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did they escape out Commerce Street?
Chief BATCHELOR. I don't know where they went from there, whether they went upstairs to use the telephone, or out in the street. But there would have been nobody over there that heard the command not to let them out. This was kind of a spontaneous command.
Mr. GRIFFIN. What percentage of people would you say got out of the basement? News media people got out of the basement that way?
Chief BATCHELOR. I don't know. They scattered pretty quickly. Still a lot hung around after it was over. I would say half, at least, got out that way.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, were you in the jail office when Ruby was taken upstairs in the elevator?
Chief BATCHELOR. Was I in the jail office when he was taken upstairs?
Mr. GRIFFIN. Yes.
Chief BATCHELOR. No, sir.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Whore were you?
Chief BATCHELOR. I went as soon as the ambulance came and got him, I ran up the ramp and told him to get that truck out of there, that it was blocking the entrance to the ramp, and then I left and went upstairs and told Chief Curry what happened. By the time I got up there, somebody called him and he knew what happened.
Mr. GRIFFIN. What did you do next?
Chief BATCHELOR. Lord, I don't remember what I did next. We sat there kind of dumbfounded for a while.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did there come a time during the rest of the day when you talked with Ruby?
Chief BATCHELOR. I never did talk with Ruby.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you recall the rumors, stories that began to come in about how Ruby got down into the basement?
Chief BATCHELOR. In the course of the next day or two we heard lots of rumors that he had a press card. This was the prevailing rumor, that he had a press card, but there wasn't a press card found on him.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I am trying to direct your attention to the events fairly close after the time of, the time Oswald was shot. What did you do in connection with attempting to find out how Ruby got down in that basement?
Chief BATCHELOR. I don't know that I did anything specifically to try to find that out. We began to think in terms of an overall investigation into the matter.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did Chief Curry convene any sort of meeting or gather together any of the top officers to discuss this ?
Chief BATCHELOR. He discussed it with Lumpkin and Stevenson and I. I don't recall exactly when this happened, whether it happened just--I am sure it didn't happen just immediately after it happened, because there were obvious things that would take place first, and that would be the investigation, that homicide would carry on, an interrogation of Ruby himself.
We even got some rumors the next day that some of our officers had borrowed money from a bank and Ruby was a cosigner on the note, and we ran a check at every bank in Dallas, but the banks where this--the most probable one was the Republic Bank. We ran a check there by sending the name of everybody that was in that basement over to the bank, and having them check for us and see if they had any notes on these people.
We also checked with, I believe, the Mercantile, and we checked with the Oak Cliff Bank and Trust Co., because Ruby happened to live out in that area.
We didn't know whether he had an account, but none of them found anything to date.
Mr. GRIFFIN. This meeting or a little conference that you referred to that you and Curry and Lumpkin and Stevenson had, about how long after Oswald was shot did this occur?
Chief BATCHELOR. I don't remember whether that was that day or the next day, but it resulted in Chief Curry pulling some men out of the special service division with Captain Jones in charge, and we had about six men on the team besides the captain to investigate every aspect of this, which was in terms of locating all of the people that were assigned down there, locating as many of the press as they knew were down there, and getting statements from all of these people. Then also we discovered this matter of this money order, and we followed that thing out.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you personally talk with Officer Dean at any time on the Sunday that Oswald was shot? After Ruby shot Oswald, did you talk to Dean?
Chief BATCHELOR. Dean said something to me, and I don't remember whether it was Sunday or not I believe it was Sunday afternoon, sometime, or evening, to the effect that he had been up and talked to Ruby with Mr. Sorrels, I believe was present there, and that Ruby told him he came down that ramp. He told him that an officer, that a car came in, and an officer stopped and talked with the fellows in the car, and while he was talking to them, he walked down there.
There is nothing to indicate that the officer did talk to the officers that went out other than maybe to speak to them. I mean, but it appears evident now that while the officer did walk away momentarily a few feet from the entrance is when he got in.
Mr. GRIFFIN. When Dean made this statement to you, did you know that he had spoken to a newspaper reporter also?
Chief BATCHELOR. No, sir.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you know whether this conversation you had with Dean as before or after he spoke to the newspaper people?
Chief BATCHELOR. No, sir; I don't know.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you have an occasion to talk with an officer by the name of Newman that day?
Chief BATCHELOR. No.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you have occasion to talk to Officer Vaughn on that day?
Chief BATCHELOR. No; over on top of the ramp?
Mr. GRIFFIN. Yes.
Chief BATCHELOR. No; as a matter of fact, I never have talked with Vaughn. And I wasn't talking to Dean in the nature of interrogating. He voluntarily told me this.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Was anybody else present when Dean told you that?
Chief BATCHELOR. I don't recall that there was. I don't think there was.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you recall where this conversation occurred?
Chief BATCHELOR. No; it was there in the city hall, but I don't remember exactly where. It was probably up on the third floor.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now I am going to mark for identification, "Dallas, Tex., Chief Batchelor, March 23, 1964, Exhibit 5002."
Can you tell us briefly what that is, Chief?
Chief BATCHELOR. That is a monthly assignment board or bulletin, which has the names of all the members of the police department in it and their assignments for the month of November 1963.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Is that a true and accurate roster of the people who were employed in the department on the day that Ruby shot Oswald ?
Chief BATCHELOR. It would be, with the exception of any few that might have been reassigned, or any few that might have, in the course of the month, been transferred from one division to another, which occurs frequently. But for the most part it is correct.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Or, also a few that had been hired?
Chief BATCHELOR. Or a few that hod been hired during that month. They are not on there; yes, sir.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now you and I have spoken at some length during the last day, not counting the length of time we spent here. Do you recall that in your office this morning we talked some about security measures in the protection of the President?
Chief BATCHELOR. Yes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you have any suggestions that you would make as to how, as a result of your experience, you think the President might be more effectively protected?
Chief BATCHELOR. I don't know how you would correct this exactly. One of the problems that we experienced was the fact that such, of such a short time to do some of the planning that we had. We didn't know until just one afternoon, actually, in terms of Love Field security, actually where the President's plane would be placed.
We didn't know until 2 days before his arrival what the parade route would be. This posed some problem in terms of assignment of personnel and properly instructing personnel as to what their procedures should be.
I think one thing that would be helpful would be for a standard general procedure of things that those responsible for protection of the President could put out to police departments such as certain standard types of coverage that would alway apply.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Can you give us any example from your own experience where this would have been useful on this unfortunate trip?
Chief BATCHELOR. One thing you need in a situation like this is explicit written instructions to officers as to such things as watching the crowd rather than the President. This is a general accepted thing in most police departments. Sometimes you have new personnel that comes in and they need to be told this specifically. We had an instance in which we were asked to guard all of the overpasses, railroad and vehicular, and we instructed the officers verbally that they were to let no unauthorized personnel on these overpasses. But there was no definition of what "authorized personnel" was. And in one case, there were people on an overpass which the President had never reached.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Was this the triple railroad overpass at the base of Elm Street?
Chief BATCHELOR. Yes; they would have just gone under, or would have gone under momentarily had he not been shot.
There were a number of railroad track workers on this overpass, and we had officers up there, but they considered them to be authorized personnel because they worked for the railroad, and they were all lined along there watching for the parade which never did go under them.
Mr. GRIFFIN. How many persons do you remember having been up there?
Chief BATCHELOR. I was not there. I heard about it. I understand there were probably 10 or 12 people up there. But actually, there should be nobody over the immediate route the President goes under. But there are certainly, there seems to me, certain generally accepted procedures that, and certain general types of security that every police department ought to be aware of, that is standard operating procedure, plus whatever specific thing that the various circumstances might want done; some sort of suggested procedure on their part, with it published, that might be helpful to police organizations.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I want to go off the record here a moment. (Discussion off the record. )
Mr. GRIFFIN. Let's go on the record on this. We have been speaking off the record about other suggestions which Chief Batchelor has, and one of the things that he has pointed out is that there is not enough advance notice of what the Presidential route is going to be to enable the police department to satisfactorily handle the administrative problems of selecting people to place them at particular intersections.
Do you want to add any more to that statement that I have made of what you have just told me?
Chief BATCHELOR. No. I realize there is another aspect on this too, on the part of the Secret Service, that they want, that is, that they don't want too much advance notice to the public. This is the reason I am not criticizing. (Further discussion off the record. )
Mr. GRIFFIN. Let me go on the record and ask you a question here. Do you think, Chief, it would have been possible to station people in the middle of the downtown block with the instructions to watch various buildings in a periphery of their vision.
Chief BATCHELOR. Yes. This would be feasible. We did have men in the middle of the downtown, several of them in each block, they were primarily watching the crowd of people rather than the windows.
When you are in an area of skyscrapers and you are standing right at the foot of these skyscrapers, you couldn't see windows too far up more than just a few floors, but we did have men in the middle of the block, but they weren't instructed to watch the windows as much as they were to watch the people.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did these men actually have any specific instructions as to how they were to go about watching the people or the windows?
Chief BATCHELOR. We had experienced detectives down there in the immediate block watching in the crowd and then we had some reservists, too, and we had instructed our people in the course of training that when somebody comes by, that you are supposed to secure, that you are not supposed to watch that person, but supposed to watch the crowd. Whether all of them remember this or not--when you don't get a President here but every number of years, why you don't know. That is the reason I think that in some places where they, have these kind of people frequently, this is probably routine.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you have men stationed in the neighborhood of Elm and Houston and the School Book Depository that were instructed to be watching the crowds ?
Chief BATCHELOR. No, sir; I don't think anyone was stationed below Houston Street. At that point, I don't know whether any crowd along that particular point was even anticipated or not. It was away from the business section and it was not any buildings on either side of the street there, actually.
The School Book Depository faces on Elm Street, which is parallel to the Elm Street ramp that goes under the triple underpass.
It is a couple of hundred feet across from the street to that Building and there wasn't anybody placed down there.
Mr. GRIFFIN. You don't recall that there was a police car stationed either along Elm Street or Houston near that intersection?
Chief BATCHELOR. There was a police car that preceded the two of them, as a matter of fact, that preceded the Presidential convoy. One was a quarter of a mile ahead and one was back of that one.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I am referring to a stationary car at the intersection.
Chief BATCHELOR. No; there wasn't one, that I know of.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Okay, I think that is it.