Testimony Of Capt. W. B. Frazier

The testimony of Capt. W. B. Frazier was taken at 2 p.m., on March 2.5, 1964, in the office of the U.S. attorney, 301 Post Office Building, Bryan and Ervay Streets, Dallas, Tex., by Mr. Leon D. Hubert, Jr., assistant counsel of the President's Commission.

Mr. HUBERT. This is the deposition of Capt. W. B. Frazier, Dallas Police Department. Captain Frazier, my name is Leon Hubert. I am a member of the advisory staff of the general counsel on the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy.
Captain FRAZIER. Yes.
Mr. HUBERT. Under the provisions of President Johnson's Executive Order No. 11130, dated November 29, 1963, and the Joint Resolution of Congress No. 137, and the rules of procedure adopted by the President's Commission in conformance with the Executive order and the joint resolution, I have been authorized to take a sworn deposition from you, among many officers of the detective bureau Your name has been specifically mentioned as a person from whom I could take a sworn deposition. 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, Captain Frazier, the nature of the inquiry today is to determine what facts you know about the death of Oswald and any other pertinent facts you may know about the general inquiry. Now, Captain,-you have appeared here today by virtue of a letter addressed to Chief Curry by Mr. J. Lee Rankin, who is the general counsel for the President's Commission. Under the rules adopted by the Commission every witness is entitled to a 3-day written notice prior to the taking of his deposition. The rules also provide, however, that if the witness wishes he may waive the 3-day notice in writing. I say to you that you have a right to the 3-day notice, which you have not received, but I ask you if you wish to waive that 3 day.
Captain FRAZIER. No.
Mr. HUBERT. You don't wish--
Captain FRAZIER. Oh, I will waive it.
Mr. HUBERT. You do not wish to persist in your right to have the 3-day notice?
Captain FRAZIER. No.
Mr. HUBERT. Then I'll ask you to stand, sir, and raise your right hand to be sworn. Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Captain FRAZIER. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Will you state your full name, please?
Mr. FRAZIER. William Bennett Frazier.
Mr. HUBERT. Your age?
Mr. FRAZIER. Forty-three.
Mr. HUBERT. Where do you live, sir?
Mr. FRAZIER. 2205 Newcastle, Garland, Tex.
Mr. HUBERT. What is your occupation?
Mr. FRAZIER. Police officer.
Mr. HUBERT. How long have you been on the police department of Dallas?
Mr. FRAZIER. For 17 1/2 years.
Mr. HUBERT. You have the rank of captain?
Mr. FRAZIER. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. What particular function or duties are you assigned to in the department, sir?
Mr. FRAZIER. I am in charge of the radio patrol platoon.
Mr. HUBERT. Who is your immediate superior?
Mr. FRAZIER. Chief N. T. Fisher.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you have the same rank and the same duties during the period November 22 to 24, 1963?
Mr. FRAZIER. I did, yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, I understand that you were on duty on the morning of the 24th of November, is that correct, sir?
Mr. FRAZIER. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. What time did you come on duty? Do you know?
Mr. FRAZIER. At 11 p.m., on the 23d. I think that is what they call the first shift?
Mr. HUBERT. First platoon. First platoon, rather, and that goes until roughly 7 in the morning?
Mr. FRAZIER. Around 7; yes sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Had you been on duty the night before, that is, on first platoon. That would have been---
Mr. FRAZIER. What day would it have been, sir?
Mr. HUBERT. Well, it would have been the 23d.
Mr. FRAZIER. I mean, what day of the week.
Mr. HUBERT. Oh, the day before would, have been Saturday.
Mr. FRAZIER. Yes, sir; I was on duty at the time. That would have been the first platoon. Yes, sir; I was on duty at the time.
Mr. HUBERT. Was your office, in fact, in the building?
Mr. FRAZIER. On the second floor.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you have anything to do at all with the interrogation, or the security of Oswald?
Mr. FRAZIER. No, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, on the 24th of November, about in the middle of the shift there, about 3 or 3:30 or 3:45 that morning, I understand you received a telephone call from an FBI agent, is that correct?
Mr. FRAZIER. Yes, sir; Mr. Newsom, I believe his name is.
Mr. HUBERT. Can you tell me how it came to you? How did the call come to you?
Mr. FRAZIER. Mr. Newsom called me and said he had received a threat from some man to the effect that a group of men, I believe he indicated they had 100 or 200, I don't recall the exact number, were going to attempt to kill Oswald that day sometime. That he didn't want the FBI, Dallas Police Department or the sheriff's office injured in any way. That was the reason for the call. So, Mr. Newsom called me and related that story to me.
Mr. HUBERT. Were you in charge of the police department at the time?
Mr. FRAZIER. I was in charge of the patrol section.
Mr. HUBERT. Patrol section?
Mr. FRAZIER. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. What other senior officers were on duty?
Mr. FRAZIER. I guess I was the senior on any division at that morning; yes sir.
Mr. HUBERT. As I understand it, Chief Curry was not there, Chief Batchelor was not there.
Mr. FRAZIER. No, sir..
Mr. HUBERT. Who is your immediate superior?
Mr. FRAZIER. Fisher. He was not there.
Mr. HUBERT. You, in fact, were the ranking officer?
Mr. FRAZIER. On duty at that time; yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Were you aware of that? I mean, are you made aware of that?
Mr. FRAZIER. Oh, yes, sir; yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. How is it done?
Mr. FRAZIER. Well, Just the fact that the officers under--who rank under you are there, and there is nobody of equal rank or higher present in the entire police department, it reverts to you.
Mr. HUBERT. The highest in rank is in charge of the whole operation?
Mr. FRAZIER. It is.
Mr. HUBERT. So, if someone had asked for who was in--if Newsom had asked top man in charge, you were that man, that day?
Mr. FRAZIER. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Had you heard any of that news of that sort from another source?
Mr. FRAZIER. No, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you know a man by the name of Deputy Cox, or Coy in the sheriffs--
Mr. FRAZIER. I talked to that man later on in the morning after Mr. Newsom called me. But I don't know the name, whether it was Coy, or Cox, but he indicated that Sheriff Decker wanted to talk to Chief Curry in regards to moving Oswald, so, I, in turn then attempted to contact Chief Curry by telephone and his line was busy.
Mr. HUBERT. That was about what time?
Mr. FRAZIER. I don't know. 5:45, 6 o'clock, somewhere along there. Then I tried for some 10 or 15 minutes to get his line, and it was busy, so, I asked the operator to check into it. She came back and said the line was out of order, so, I in turn, was preparing to send a squad by the chief's home and tell him of the information and that Decker wanted him to call him and Captain Talbert relieved me around 6 or 6:15. I give him the information and he said he sent a squad later and told the chief about it.
Mr. HUBERT. I think earlier you had called Captain Fritz, hadn't you?
Mr. FRAZIER. Yes, I called Captain Fritz once or twice in an effort to see if they were handling it or if the chief was handling it, or if homicide Captain Fritz was handling it. Since he is the captain in charge of that particular bureau, so, naturally I called him first.
Mr. HUBERT. That was when you got the message from Newsom?
Mr. FRAZIER. A little while later; yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. What did he say about it?
Mr. FRAZIER. He said I should talk to Chief Curry, that he was handling the transfer.
Mr. HUBERT. That Chief Curry
Mr. FRAZIER. Yes, sir; not him.
Mr. HUBERT. Not him? Did he tell you of any plans made for the transfer? Did Captain Fritz tell you of any plans made for the transfer?
Mr. FRAZIER. I don't recall, sir. He may have said--I'm not sure. I heard this later on in the morning, I think, but I'm not sure. He may have said then that he planned to move him around 10 the next day. I don't recall whether he said it or some other officer said it later on in the morning, but I did hear it. Now, I don't say whether Captain Fritz is the one that told me or not. I don't recall the exact conversation there other than the fact that I had asked him if he was handling it and he said, "No." Chief Curry was handling it.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you remember when you spoke to Mr. Newsom from the FBI whether Mr. Newsom told you that the Dallas Sheriff's Office had received a similar call to the one he was relating to you?
Mr. FRAZIER. No; I don't recall that. He possibly--he could have said it, but I do not recall it, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. When the gentlemen from the sheriff's office, either Cox or Coy, called you that was simply about when the transfer was going to take place, is that correct?
Mr. FRAZIER. I assume that is what it was. He indicated to me that Decker wanted to get ahold of Chief Curry and move him as soon as possible.
Mr. HUBERT. Did that man mention to you about the receipt of any threats such as Newsom had told you about?
Mr. FRAZIER. I believe he did.
Mr. HUBERT. That was the second threat you had received that morning? In other words, the threat came from two sources, so far as you know. You heard it from the FBI, and this man from the sheriff's office?
Mr. FRAZIER. Indicated--
Mr. HUBERT. Indicated that he had received a threat?
Mr. FRAZIER. I believe he did; yes.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you remember saying to Mr. Newsom that the plan to transfer Oswald to the county jail might be changed in view of the threat that he had conveyed to you?
Mr. FRAZIER. No, sir; no, sir. That wasn't any of my business, that transfer, and I'm sure I didn't relate that to him, because I'd be telling him something that I didn't know about, really, at that time.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you remember telling Mr. Newsom of the FBI, on the occasion that he called you that morning around 2 or 2:30, that Oswald's plans of transfer had been publicized primarily as a form of cooperation with press and news agencies?
Mr. FRAZIER. No, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. You did not make that
Mr. FRAZIER. Huh-uh.
Mr. HUBERT. You did not make that statement?
Mr. FRAZIER. I did not make any such statement.
Mr. HUBERT. Was there any planned-transfer, to your knowledge?
Mr. FRAZIER. All I knew that they was supposed to move the next day, and then perhaps later in the morning I--maybe Captain Fritz told me that they were supposed to move him around 10 a.m., that morning.
Mr. HUBERT. That is as to time, but did you know of any plans prior to going off duty that day as to the method, the route, and the vehicles to be used?
Mr. FRAZIER. No, sir; no, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. What time did you go off duty, sir?
Mr. FRAZIER. It was around 6 or 6:15, or something like that, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. What time did you come back then?
Mr. FRAZIER. If that was--
Mr. HUBERT. Did you leave the department and go home?
Mr. FRAZIER. Yes; I went home and I went to bed. I was asleep when Oswald was shot.
Mr. HUBERT. When did you hear about that?
Mr. FRAZIER. My wife awakened me shortly thereafter. She had seen it on TV. She was watching. the transfer on TV, and she awakened me.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you go down there?
Mr. FRAZIER. No, sir; I called and asked if they needed me. They said, "No, stay where you are. You will have to work tonight." So, I stayed there.
Mr. HUBERT. Fritz has said--did-I understand you to say, that Curry was in charge of all transfers?
Mr. FRAZIER. Was in charge of that transfer.
Mr. HUBERT. Of that particular---of Oswald's transfer?
Mr. HUBERT. Do you know a man by the name of W. J. Harrison, I think they call him "Blackie," a detective?
Mr. FRAZIER. Yes, sir; he is a patrolman temporarily assigned to CID. Yes, sir; I believe he is in the juvenile bureau. I'm not sure, but I think he is.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you ever hear him talk about his experiences on the 24th?
Mr. FRAZIER. No, sir; I haven't seen him. I haven't seen "Blackie" in, I guess, 6 months or so, maybe longer.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you know Patrick Dean?
Mr. FRAZIER. P. T. Dean? Sergeant Dean? I know him; yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Have you spoken to him about his activities on that day?
Mr. FRAZIER. No, sir; he works on another platoon and another captain and I don't come in contact with him very often except just to say hello as we are going off duty or coming on and only one I confer with is the captain in charge of the platoon coming on when I leave.
Mr. HUBERT. The radio patrol is what, actually?
Mr. FRAZIER. It is the regular squad car, two-man squad car that patrols the entire city. We have anywhere from 185 to 205 men on duty at most platoons. However, our day platoon is our lowest. It will run 120, 125.
Mr. HUBERT. These men are cruising areas?
Mr. FRAZIER. Yes, sir; districts.
Mr. HUBERT. And they are controlled by radio communication from your office?
Mr. FRAZIER. No, sir; from the dispatcher's office, which is
Mr. HUBERT. So, if you want to contact any of those people you can do it directly, you do it through a dispatcher?
Mr. FRAZIER. Through the dispatcher; yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. When you--were you on duty when the President was shot?
Mr. FRAZIER. No, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Were you called in?
Mr. FRAZIER. No, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. You just took your regular shift at 11 o'clock that night?
Mr. FRAZIER. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. You had gotten off at 7 o'clock?
Mr. FRAZIER. 6 or 7 that morning; yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. If we would want to find out about the dispatch sent out right after the President's death, or right before, whom would we contact? What would be the name of the officer?
Mr. FRAZIER. Lumpkin, George Lumpkin.
Mr. HUBERT. Lumpkin?
Mr. FRAZIER. Yes, sir; he is in charge of all communications and I believe most of that is on tape. They tried to tape most of the conversations.
Mr. HUBERT. They keep the tape?
Mr. FRAZIER. Yes; permanent records, as I understand it.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, I show you a document which I have marked for identification with the following inscription, in my own handwriting, "Dallas, Tex, March 25, 1964, Exhibit 5086, deposition of W. B. Frazier." I have signed the first page, and placed my initials in the lower right hand corner of the second page. I'll ask you if that statement--if you have read that document and whether it is substantially correct?
Mr. FRAZIER. Yes, sir; it is.
Mr. HUBERT. I would ask you, therefore, if you would sign your name under mine and place your initials under mine on the second page?
Mr. FRAZIER. Right here, sir?
Mr. HUBERT. Yes; right there and then sign your name on the front page right under my signature there.
Mr. FRAZIER. Over here?
Mr. HUBERT. Yes.
Mr. FRAZIER. All right, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, I hand you another document which I have marked for-"Dallas, Tex., March 25, 1964, Exhibit 5087, deposition of W. B. Frazier." I have signed my name to the bottom of this document which purports to be a report by Special Agent Melton L. Newsom of the FBI, of a conversation which he had over the telephone with you on November 24, 1963, at about 3:20 a.m., and I'll ask you if that report by Mr. Newsom of that conversation is a correct report of that conversation?
Mr. FRAZIER. No, sir; I don't believe it is.
Mr. HUBERT. Would you indicate what parts are correct and what parts are wrong?
Mr. FRAZIER. Now, you are asking of my own knowledge, is that correct?
Mr. HUBERT. Yes, sir.
Mr. FRAZIER. Now, this first paragraph here, I know nothing of this. Mr. Glassup. He didn't talk to me.
Mr. HUBERT. No; I think the
Mr. FRAZIER. And, he received the call I understand here, and it goes into, "I represent a committee that--it is neither right nor left wing," and so forth. I didn't get all that in the conversation with Newsom, that I recall. Newsom told me that a group of men, I believe he indicated a hundred or two were going to kill Oswald the following day, the day after the night--or, you know, the next day or two. Now, that was essentially what he told me.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you say he didn't tell you that had been received by Glassup?
Mr. FRAZIER. No, sir; he said they received information, or threats.
Mr. HUBERT. Nor did he give you the exact language of the threat, as indicated in that?
Mr. FRAZIER. No, sir; he did not.
Mr. HUBERT. He simply told you that they had received the threat and the sense of the threat was along the lines of the paragraph, first paragraph?
Mr. FRAZIER. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. But, neither mentioned Glassup's name, nor did he speak the exact quoted language which--when he spoke to you?
Mr. FRAZIER. That's right.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, what about the next paragraph, second paragraph?
Mr. FRAZIER. Yes, sir; that is essentially correct. However, I believe he did advise the Dallas sheriff's office had received a similar call. That is essentially correct, that paragraph.
Mr. HUBERT. All right; what about the third paragraph?
Mr. FRAZIER. The third paragraph, I don't recall making that statement.
Mr. HUBERT. What about the fourth paragraph?
Mr. FRAZIER. Because, at that time, I did not know exactly what the plans were to move Oswald, see.
Mr. HUBERT. And what about the last paragraph?
Mr. FRAZIER. No, sir; no, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. You mean to say that you do not recall?
Mr. FRAZIER. No, sir; I do not recall making that statement to Mr. Newsom.
Mr. HUBERT. I would like for you to do this then with reference to that document. Just place the word, next to the last paragraph, "incorrect," and initial it.
Mr. FRAZIER. All right, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Have you initialled it?
Mr. FRAZIER. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. All right; now, with that
Mr. FRAZIER. And the top paragraph.
Mr. HUBERT. Well, the top paragraph
Mr. FRAZIER. I couldn't attest to that either.
Mr. HUBERT. Please explain what your position is on it, and if you would like to sign your. name Just below mine so then we have the matter in hand.
Mr. FRAZIER. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, is there anything else that you would like to state that has not 'been said?
Mr. FRAZIER. No, sir; nothing more to my knowledge.
Mr. HUBERT. Prior to the commencement of this deposition with you, have you been interviewed by any member of the Commission's Staff?
Mr. FRAZIER. No, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. You were not interviewed by me, in fact, before it began?
Mr. HUBERT. Thank you very much.