TESTIMONY OF WARREN CASTER
The testimony of Warren Caster was taken at 2 p.m., on May 14, 1964, in the office of the U.S. attorney, 301 Post Office Building, Bryan and Ervay Streets, Dallas,. Tex. by Mr. Joseph A. Ball, assistant counsel of the President's
Mr. BALL. Mr. Caster, would you please stand up and take the oath?
Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you are about to give before this Commission will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Mr. CASTER. I do.
Mr. BALL. Will you state your full name, please?
Mr. CASTER. Warren Caster.
Mr. BALL. And where do you live?
Mr. CASTER. 3338 Merrell.
Mr. BALL. What is your business?
Mr. CASTER. Textbook publishing.
Mr. BALL. Are you with some company?
Mr. CASTER. Yes; I am assistant manager for Southwestern Publishing Co. with offices at 411 Elm Street.
Mr. BALL. You have offices in the Texas School Book Depository Building?
Mr. CASTER. Yes.
Mr. BALL. You rent those offices from the Texas School Book Depository?
Mr. CASTER. The offices are furnished in connection with our work with the Depository.
Mr. BALL. Will you tell me something about yourself, where you were born and where you were raised and educated?
Mr. CASTER. Yes; I was born in New Mexico, educated in New Mexico, received my college degrees at New Mexico Highlands University at Las Vegas, N. Mex. I taught school in New Mexico from 1939 until I started to work with Southwestern Publishing Co. in 1952. There was a period of about 2 years that I spent in the U.S. Navy.
Mr. BALL. And have you had your offices since 1952 in the Texas School Book Depository Building?
Mr. CASTER. The offices have been in the Texas School Book Depository Building, but not in this particular building here. We have occupied three places since I have been with the Southwestern Publishing Co.
Mr. BALL. Your office is on which floor?
Mr. CASTER. Second floor.
Mr. BALL. Did you ever bring any guns into the School Book Depository Building?
Mr. CASTER. Yes; I did.
Mr. BALL. When?
Mr. CASTER. I believe it was on Wednesday, November 20, during the noon hour.
Mr. BALL. Whose guns were they?
Mr. CASTER. They were my guns.
Mr. BALL. And what kind of guns were they?
Mr. CASTER. One gun was a Remington, single-shot, .22 rifle, and the other was a .30-06 sporterized Mauser.
Mr. BALL. Who owned them?
Mr. CASTER. I had just purchased them during the noon hour that day.
Mr. BALL. Well, tell us about it---what were the circumstances of the purchase?
Mr. CASTER. Well, I left the Depository during the noon hour and had lunch and, while out for the lunch hour, I stopped by Sanger-Harris sporting goods department to look for a rifle for my son's birthday---I beg your pardon, Christmas present--son's Christmas present, and while I was there I purchased the single-shot .22--single shot--and at the same time was looking at some deer rifles. I had, oh, for several years been thinking about buying a deer rifle and they happened to have one that I liked and I purchased the .30-06 while I was there.
Mr. BALL. And did they box them up?
Mr. CASTER. They were in cartons; yes.
Mr. BALL. And then you went back to work, I guess?
Mr. CASTER. Yes; I picked both rifles up in cartons just like they were, this was during the noon hour, and as I entered the Texas School Book Depository Building on my way up to the buying office, I stopped by Mr. Truly's office, and while I was there we examined the two rifles that I had purchased.
Mr. BALL. Did you take them out of the carton?
Mr. CASTER. Yes; I did.
Mr. BALL. Who was there besides you and Mr. Truly?
Mr. CASTER. Well, I'm not really sure who was there. I think you were there, Bill, and Mr. Shelley was there---and Mr. Roy Truly. The only people that I know about, in any event, were there; there were workers there at the time, but I'm not quite sure how many. I couldn't even tell you their names. I don't know the Texas School Book Depository workers there in the shipping department
Mr. BALL. In that office, though, Truly's office, how many were there?
Mr. CASTER. We weren't in Mr. Truly's immediate office, we were just there over the counter.
Mr. BALL. In the warehouse?
Mr. CASTER. We were there in the hall--just right there over the counter in front of the warehouse; that's right.
Mr. BALL. And did you take the guns out of the carton?
Mr. CASTER. Yes; I did. They were removed from the carton.
Mr. BALL. Did you handle them?
Mr. CASTER. Yes; I did.
Mr. BALL. Did anybody else handle the guns?
Mr. CASTER. Mr. Truly handled them and I'm not sure whether Mr. Shelley had the guns in his hands or not; I'm not positive.
Mr. BALL. How long a time were you there with the guns, and by time, just estimate it.
Mr. CASTER Well, it couldn't have been more than to minutes.
Mr. BALL. What did you do with the guns after that?
Mr. CASTER. I put them back in the carton and carried them up to my office. Mr. BALL. And what did you do with them after that?
Mr. CASTER. I left at the end of the working day, oh, around 4 o'clock and took the guns in the cartons and carried them and put them in my car and carried them home.
Mr. BALL. Did you ever have them back in the Texas School Book Depository Building thereafter?
Mr. CASTER. They have never been back to the Texas School Book Depository Building since then.
Mr. BALL. Where were those guns on November 22, 1963?
Mr. CASTER. The guns were in my home, 3338 Merrell Road.
Mr. BALL. I think that's all. This will be written up and you will be asked to come in and it will be submitted to you for signature and you can correct it if you wish.
Mr. CASTER. That's all right.
Mr. BALL. Any corrections you make, make them in pen and ink and initial it and sign it. I want to thank you very much for giving this testimony.
Mr. CASTER. I thank you very much.