TESTIMONY OF WILLIAM S. BIGGIO
The testimony of William S. Biggio was taken at 5 p.m., on April 2, 1964, in the office of the U.S. attorney, 301 Post Office Building, Bryan and Ervay Streets, Dallas, Tex., by Mr. Albert E. Jenner, Jr., assistant counsel of the President's Commission. Robert T. Davis, assistant attorney general of Texas, was present.
Mr. JENNER. Would you stand, please, and take the oath?
Do you solemnly swear in your testimony before this Commission that you will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Mr. BIGGIO. I will.
Mr. JENNER. Would you state your full name, and spell it, please?
Mr. BIGGIO. William S. Biggio, [spelling] B-i-g-g-i-o.
Mr. JENNER. And you are a member of the Dallas City Police Force?
Mr. BIGGIO. That's right.
Mr. JENNER. Are you in any particular division, do you have a particular assignment?
Mr. BIGGIO. I am with the special service bureau, criminal intelligence section.
Mr. JENNER. Now, I am Albert E. Jenner, Jr., one of the members of the legal staff of .the Warren Commission, with which you are familiar, and this item has come to my attention recently through Mr. Davis of the attorney general's office of the Texas staff and while I appreciate the fact that at the moment it is third hand or hearsay, as we lawyers call it, I would just like to have your report on it--which we will seek to run down--as I understand Mr. Davis and the FBI are undertaking the investigation; is that right?
Mr. DAVIS. Yes, sir.
Mr. BIGGIO. I have since talked to them also.
Mr. DAVIS. Since we talked?
Mr. BIGGIO. Yes, sir.
Mr. JENNER. You appreciate the existence of the President's Commission and what the President's Commission is engaged in, in the investigating of the assassination of President Kennedy and many members of your force have been very helpful to us and have been appearing these last 2 weeks by considerable number. Tell us about this whole incident from the beginning--when it first came to your attention, who brought it to your attention and what developed thereafter?
Mr. BIGGIO. There was a friend of mine she is a woman who I know through my wife. She formerly was employed at the same location that my wife is, and she called me at work following Ruby's killing of Oswald. She said that a friend of hers had been into a restaurant in the downtown area and a mechanic had come in and had made mention of the fact that Oswald drove Ruby's ear for approximately a 2-week period that he knew of, that Oswald had brought the ear there for repairs to his garage.
The friend did not know where the garage was, did not know the mechanic's name. The woman who called me didn't want to give her friend's name and get his name involved if she could possibly help it.
Mr. JENNER. Who was it that called you?
Mr. BIGGIO. Is it necessary for me to give that name? I believe with the information that was given me, it will not be necessary.
Mr. JENNER. Has the information been furnished the FBI?
Mr. BIGGIO. No; it has not. I believe with the information we get to further on it will show that her name isn't needed.
Mr. JENNER. All right.
Mr. BIGGIO. I don't object to giving her name except that she asked me not to give it.
Mr. JENNER. All right; she didn't want any publicity, is that it?
Mr. BIGGIO. No; she doesn't want any publicity on it. I don't know why people are so scared of things like this, but if they get into court or before a panel or anything like that--at any rate, her friend doesn't want his name used either, but I talked to my lieutenant about it, Lieutenant Revill, and he suggested that we go ahead and write it up on the grounds that by searching through the material in Ruby's apartment and also through the material that had been taken from his automobile, we could possibly find a garage where a mechanic had done some work on his car. We would be able to contact the mechanic in that way without involving the two people who had called the information in.
When we did get photostatic copies of the material that had been taken out of Ruby's car and his apartment, we found no evidence of any garage work that had been done or any actual mechanical work that had been done on his car recently. So, I called my friend back and asked her again if she could contact the man who had given her the information and see if he would be willing to talk to us about it. She called him back and then she called me and she said she had made an error in saying it was in the downtown area, that the place was out on Lovers Lane, directly across from--I have the address in here--
Mr. JENNER. Is it 5060 W. Lovers Lane?
Mr. BIGGIO. Well; she didn't have the address itself--it was directly across from the Jungle Hut which is in the 5000 block of Lovers Lane.
Mr. JENNER. Lovers Lane is a street name?
Mr. BIGGIO. Yes; Lovers Lane is a street. We sent an officer out there, Detective Hellinghousen, F. A.
Mr. JENNER. Francis A. Hellinghousen [spelling] H-e-l-l-i-n-g-h-o-u-s-e-n?
Mr. BIGGIO. That is correct; yes, sir.
Mr. JENNER. Of the Dallas City Police?
Mr. BIGGIO. Yes, sir. He went to that particular area--there are two cafes across the street there in the 5000 block from the particular location that the lady friend of mine said. One of them was the Cafe Coffee Shop. was the name of it---the Cafe Coffee Shop. It was closed up at that time. Now, this took place approximately 3 weeks after the shooting. It was closed--ordinarily through our bureau we can find out who the owner was of such a place, because we keep the records of everyone through the beer licenses which we have to keep in our particular bureau, but this particular place did not have a beer license. It did not deal in beer.
It had been closed--we couldn't find out who the owner was, so I sent Officer Hellinghousen and requested him to go by and talk to the woman who had originally given me that information and see if she would be willing to give him the same thing--the man's name. Officer Hellinghousen went by and talked to her and she gave him the man's name and at that particular time the man
was attending a real estate convention which was here and being held here in Dallas and the word was sent to him from the company that he works for, the Bill Hardy Real Estate Co.--word was sent to the man, his name was Chesher [spelling] C-h-e-s-h-e-r--Bill was his first name. I believe it is correct--William R. He lives on Lupton Street.
Mr. JENNER. Is he still alive?
Mr. BIGGIO. No, sir. I tried to contact Hellinghousen today. Mr. Davis had gone up to talk to Captain Gannaway in regard to that report. I had understood that Hellinghousen had written a report from what he had learned from Mr. Chesher and I tried to contact him and could not, after Captain Gannaway had called me, so I went out to the Bill Hardy Real Estate Co. where Chesher works, and I talked to the manager of that company who is Wey, Jr. The location of the real estate company is 6340 E. Mockingbird Lane. Mr. Wey informed us that Bill Chesher died night before last of a heart attack in the hospital here. We then asked him if he had talked to Chesher any about hearing this mechanic talking in the cafe and he said, "No, he had heard some talk of it, though and he knew one man who had talked to him" and he called in another employee of the company, Mr. John P. [spelling] S-c-h-n-i-t-z-i-u-s, who is also an employee of the Bill Hardy Real Estate Co. and he told us that Chesher told him the same thing, that the mechanic had came in and sat by him and it was--that it took place at approximately 10 o'clock at night. He was leaving town--he was going out of town. He stopped there to get coffee and a sandwich and the man came in while he was there and he had given no description of the mechanic other than that he was short and was dressed in work clothes and that the clothes were greasy and that's the information that he had, and I believe the man was telling the truth when he said he was a mechanic and that's as far as we have been able to go.
Mr. JENNER. What is it that the mechanic is alleged to have said?
Mr. BIGGIO. He said that Oswald had been driving Ruby's car for approximately 2 weeks and that he had brought the car into his garage for repairs, but he did not mention the name of the garage or the type of repairs, the type of automobile or anything else.
Now, we, of course just as soon as that came through, there were checks made on the repairs on Ruby's automobile. His automobile was parked regularly, just a short distance up from the Carousel Club at the old Adolphus Hotel parking garage and also mechanical work had been done at that location, and the only other place we can find out where it had been to any type of garage at all was from receipts in his car and they were apparently for gas and oil and such things as that--no mechanical work whatsoever, so we didn't put much stock in the report, since it was third hand to start off with.
Also, we made an error ourselves--Hellinghousen thought when we brought that information back about Chesher that I would write up the report and I thought he was preparing the report, since he was the one who actually contacted the man and no report was made, but I'm sure the report went to the FBI, but there is no name in the original report connecting anybody with it and there was nothing in that that we could check on except the way we thought was through the mechanical repair bills and they would possibly be in the car.
Mr. JENNER. You have told me all the incidents from the beginning to the present time?
Mr. BIGGIO. Yes, sir.
Mr. JENNER. And what you and your fellow officers have done with respect to running this down?
Mr. BIGGIO. Yes, sir. I might add that the gentlemen out at Bill Hardy's Real Estate Co. were very cooperative and they said they would be willing to talk to any one of you. This lady who called me was very worried about being called herself or about Mr. Chesher possibly being called and him not liking it.
Mr. JENNER. Now, the lady who reported it to you, she was not present--it had been a report to her?
Mr. BIGGIO. She was not present. That's the reason I say it was third-hand information. It was written up in the report that way, although I considered her reliable. The information was third-hand and there is no way of actually
telling. We have to evaluate all the information that comes through and that generally is the reason we make followup investigation prior to turning in a report. In this particular case we were to turn in our information right on through and let the FBI do it; but as you can see, the FBI would have nothing to go on.
Mr. JENNER. Well, they have got what you reported and we'll see what they turn up.
Mr. BIGGIO. Well, after Mr. Davis, I believe you called.the FBI this evening, after you called them, they called me then and I gave them the exact date of the report and what other information we found out and they are going to run it on that.
Mr. JENNER. But you have given me now all the information you gave them?
Mr. BIGGIO. Yes, sir; and from my own viewpoint--this is just my personal viewpoint--I don't think there's much to it. I think it's just some man in a place talking. I think Mr. Chesher was telling the truth, but I don't think the man who said he was a mechanic was. There is no way we have been able to verify that.
Mr. JENNER. Well, Officer Biggio, we very much appreciate your coming in and part of our work is running down these rumors.
Mr. BIGGIO. I know--I don't like to turn in a report like that to start off with.
Mr. JENNER. I appreciate it very much and thanks for coming.
Mr. BIGGIO. Does that take care of me not giving out the lady's name again?
Mr. JENNER. Yes; that's perfectly all right. We don't want to probe into that. You have a right to read your deposition here and sign it if you want or you can waive that.
Mr. BIGGIO. I know exactly what I've said and I'm sure she has taken down the right thing. I have said nothing except the events that happened. I'm afraid there is nothing that will be of any help anyway.
Mr. JENNER. Thank you very much.