TESTIMONY OF T. M. HANSEN, JR.
The testimony of T. M. Hansen, Jr. was taken at 1 p.m., on July 24, 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. Let me introduce myself again for the record. My name is Burt Griffin.
Mr. HANSEN. G-r-i-f-f-i-n?
Mr. GRIFFIN. That's right. I am a member of the general counsel's the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy.
Mr. HANSEN. Before we begin the actual testimony, it has been our practice to explain to you very briefly what this is all about. Then if you have any questions that you want to ask before we swear you in, why do that too.
The President's Commission was established by virtue of an Executive order of President Johnson, which was issued last year in November, and also of the rules of a joint resolution of Congress.
We have been speifically directed to investigate into and evaluate and report back to President Johnson on all the facts that had to do with the assassination of President Kennedy and the death of Lee Harvey Oswald.
We have asked you to come here today in particular, because after the FBI interviewed you, when they interviewed you, you indicated that you had seen Jack Ruby on, I believe, November 22, and also that you had worked in the section near his club and were generally familiar with him. So for that reason, we have asked you to come here to testify and tell us what you can about Ruby. But also to tell us anything else that you might be able to provide on any of the other matters we are interested in.
Let me also say this. Did we send you a letter asking you to come here?
Mr. HANSEN. Yes; I have it in my pocket.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you receive that letter 3 days ago or longer?
Mr. HANSEN. I have been on a vacation, and it was given to me the 22d by my captain in the traffic division, Captain Thompson. I just come back from a vacation of 20 days, and I believe it was sent while I was on vacation, and they set it up.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Let me see then, under the rules of the Commission, you are entitled to receive this 3 days before we call you to testify. Are you willing to waive that 3 days?
Mr. HANSEN. I am willing to testify. I want to help you any way I can.
Mr. GRIFFIN. We ask this as a formal matter, and nobody has insisted on it. Do you have any particular questions that you want to ask me before we proceed?
Mr. HANSEN. No; I don't have any questions at all. I will try to answer anything you ask me as truthfully as I know how.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Will you please raise your right hand and I will administer the oath to you.
Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you are about to give, will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Mr. HANSEN. I do.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Will you give the court reporter your full name.
Mr. HANSEN. I have an initial. It is T as in Tom, M. Hansen, Jr. Initial T only.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Where do you live, Officer Hansen?
Mr. HANSEN. I have changed addresses since all this occurred. At the present time I live at 1702 West Lovers Lane in Arlington, Tex.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Are you a member of the Dallas police force?
Mr. HANSEN. Yes. sir.
Mr. GRIFFIN. How long have you been with the police department?
Mr. HANSEN. I went on May 30, 1949, I believe.
Mr. GRIFFIN. What division were you assigned in November of 1963?
Mr. HANSEN. When this occurred, I was working in traffic division, in the traffic division about 11 years.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you have any particular assignment that month?
Mr. HANSEN. The day that the President came through?
Mr. GRIFFIN. Yes.
Mr. HANSEN. Oh, yes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Where were you assigned?
Mr. HANSEN. I was assigned to Main and Akard, which is the corner I have been working for 11 years.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Is that near the Carousel Club?
Mr. HANSEN. That is two blocks, approximately, from the Carousel Club. The Carousel Club is on the corner of Commerce and Field, and I was working at the corner of Main and Akard the day that the President came through.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you know Jack Ruby before November 22?
Mr. HANSEN. Oh, yes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. How did you first happen to meet Jack Ruby?
Mr. HANSEN. Well, to the best of my knowledge, approximately in 1950 or 1951, I believe, Jack Ruby ran a beer joint that is what it was, a beer joint down here on South Ervay in the south part of town known as the Silver Spur. At that time when he was running this place, I had been working further south than that over in the colored district, and I was getting moved around. I was a young man, and a new man in the department, and I shifted around, and I went down on squad 41, which the Silver Spur was on that district, and all up and
down this street at that time, that was one of your streets where you got your characters. If they were out, they was on that street.
We worked that pretty heavy, and naturally you worked all the beer joints and these places and dancehalls, and you get a little action up and down there. And I had occasion to go in there and check those places from the 400 block all the way out to Forest Avenue, and it just happened Jack Ruby's place was in there. We checked him just like everybody, and that is when I first come in contact with Jack Ruby. I don't even recall when he bought the place, but that is the first time I ever knew him.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Since then over the years, have you had occasion to see him from time to time?
Mr. HANSEN. Oh, yes; I have seen him pass me on the street and he speaks to me.
Mr. GRIFFIN. And you recognize him?
Mr. HANSEN. Oh, yes; I knew him.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Is there anybody else that you know or have seen around Dallas who resembles Jack Ruby?
Mr. HANSEN. I imagine there is, but--
Mr. GRIFFIN. That you know of.
Mr. HANSEN. No; not that I could say looked just exactly like him. I am sure that somebody looks like him, but I don't know anybody personally that looks just like Jack Ruby.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Of course, knowing him over the years, were there some incidents in which you came to learn that Jack Ruby had a finger bitten off?
Mr. HANSEN. Yes. I answered the call the night he got in a beef down there with some fellows.
Mr. GRIFFIN. What club was that?
Mr. HANSEN. That was at the Silver Spur, the same one I referred to awhile ago. We answered the call, and there was a pretty good skirmish on the sidewalk in front. I can't think of this fellow's name, its been so long. There would be a record. The boy got a load, and I believe it was this one or this one [pointing to fingers].
Mr. GRIFFIN. Either the second or third finger on his right hand?
Mr. HANSEN. I don't recall just exactly which. I believe it was the left hand, come to think about it. I believe I remember I was shaking that hand, and I know it was hurting. The boy bit his finger and spit it out in the street.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you actually see the boy bite it off?
Mr. HANSEN. No. I got there after he did it.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you see Jack with part of the finger missing?
Mr. HANSEN. Part of it missing, and the other part just hide hanging down. And I run this old boy down the street that was the one that was supposed to bite it off, and I finally caught him. We had a fight and I got him handcuffed. That's been so long ago, I don't recall his name, but I do remember his waving that finger and blood running, and he had a pretty chewed up finger. It was just stumpy.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you ever come to find out what the fight was all about that provoked that?
Mr. HANSEN. Never paid much attention to that. We had stuff like that that went on all the time. It was sort of customary. If it wasn't a finger, it was an ear or something.
Mr. GRIFFIN. After Jack opened up the Carousel Club, how often did you have occasion to visit the Carousel Club?
Mr. HANSEN. Well, I never visited the Carousel Club regular or anything. I have been up there, and I would say during the time he had the Carousel Club up there, to my knowledge, maybe I went up there 9 or 10 or 12 times, I don't know, just if I had somebody come to town I knew, or some boy I had known when I was younger, we would go up there and watch the girls dance and maybe drink a beer, and have a drink or something.
Mr. GRIFFIN. In your acquantance with Ruby, did you have any occasion to notice any kindnesses that he bestowed on people?
Mr. HANSEN. I did. Yes sir; I sure did.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Can you tell us about some of the things you recall him doing?
Mr. HANSEN. I have seen Ruby, oh, I would say, three or four times, maybe five that I can recall, give money to a woman. I mean some woman or destitute woman he would see coming down the street. One time I recall vividly, it hasn't been too long before this happened, maybe 2 or 3 months, I recall we were standing beside the Florsheim Shoe Store, talking, and he stopped and spoke to me, and there was a woman coming down the street, and I believe she had three or four children. Anyway, they were just bang, bang, bang, one right after another one, and looked worse than the wrath of God, and a milk bottle and Ruby said, "That is a shame." And I said, "Yes; it is, Jack."
And he walked across the street over there and stopped her, and I don't know what he said to her, I didn't hear him, but in the meantime, after he stopped her, I walked across over by there and he handed her a bill folded up and I couldn't swear whether it was a 10 or 20. I know it had to be one of the two, because it had a zero, and I could see that on the corner. He handed her that money and he parted her on the back and walked back.
I have seen him several times previous to that give people that are destitute and in need, give money, and I know he is bighearted. I witnessed that, I know that. And I have heard a lot of people say that he helped a lot of people. That is hearsay, but this other, I know for a fact.
This one occasion--I have seen him several other occasions---one time at the bus station he was in the bus station and this woman down there had a whole slew of kids, about the same kind, and a bunch of us passed a hat and got that gal $40 to get her on out to California, and Jack kicked in on that, too.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you see him ever, or did you ever hear of his bestowing particular kindnesses on his employees?
Mr. HANSEN. I have never seen this. Now I have heard that several times employees would have hard luck of one type or another and he would send them money. And he would put a jar or a can up on the bar and people that knew about it, that knew the people, would maybe put in. There is not a doubt in my mind that if they put anything in the jar, that it went where it was supposed to go.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you ever have occasion to talk with Jack or observe him under any circumstances which would indicate how he felt about being sensitive to being a Jewish person?
Mr. HANSEN. Jack was what I would say was a sensitive type of man. He is an emotional man. He is for the underdog always. And since all this happened. I have heard a lot of talk. In fact, he told me one time when he was 7 years old he sold newspapers and he had a fight to stay on the corner everyday. I believe he said in Chicago. He told me that out of his own mouth. I know it was some eastern city. I am not certain about the city. I am sure it was some eastern city. We have discussed politics together. He has brought up--we have had coffee together and he has talked about President Kennedy and about President Roosevelt, and he thought they were both great men in American history.
Mr. GRIFFIN. How did he happen--would he bring this up on his own?
Mr. HANSEN. He would bring it up about what they had done for the poor people and the underprivileged, and he thought very highly of both parties, both Roosevelt and President Kennedy.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you have occasion-to talk with him at any time after the Stevenson episode that took place here in Dallas?
Mr. HANSEN. I believe we did. Now, I am not positive. I believe we did. I don't remember too much about it, but I believe we did, something was said or something about the discourtesy that was shown him.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I started to ask you before about Ruby's sensitivity to being Jewish. Do you recall any incidents or conversations with him about that?
Mr. HANSEN. No. I wouldn't say he was sensitive to it. Now, you asked me that---we used to tell a lot of jokes to one another. I liked to kid around and joke. If I had a good Jewish Joke, I would tell it as quickly to Ruby as anyone or anybody else, and Ruby would laugh at it. If he was sensitive in regard to it, he never let it show. And I would never say anything to anybody that deliberately, with the intention of hurting them due to race or anything.
I have had jokes told on policemen to me, and I figure if a fellow can't laugh at himself, there is something wrong with him. But I have never seen him take
a personal dislike to somebody for saying something about a Jew, telling a Jewish joke, or something like that. I have heard several said in front of him, and I have told him several, and he never took offense to me.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I now direct your attention to the activities of November 22. Did you work in your official capacity as a police officer on November 22?
Mr. HANSEN. The day the President was assassinated; yes, sir.
Mr. GRIFFIN. What time did you report to work that day, if you recall?
Mr. HANSEN. I believe we came in early. I don't recall just how early we came in. I know we made detail early. Of course, everybody come in, and I was in there early. We went to change clothes, and I don't recall just exactly what time we made detail offhand, but we were there early. We were told to go right to our corners and what to do and watch out for the safety of the President.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you recall seeing Jack Ruby at any time on that day?
Mr. HANSEN. I am not positive. When I say I am not positive, I either saw Ruby the morning before the President came in from Love Field down Hatwood to Main---I either saw him the morning that--I was going to the city hall that morning before we went to the corner, or the morning previous to that, I just don't recall which. I have tried---in fact, I talked to an FBI man about it that interviewed me, and told him the same thing I am telling you. I don't remember whether it was the day before or the morning of the parade.
And Jack spoke to me. He was beside the city hall on Hatwood Street, and I started to go down the steps in the basement, and he hollered, "Hi, Hans" and I hollered, "Hi, Jack." It wasn't much of a conversation.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Was he on the same side of the street as the police department, or was he across the street?
Mr. HANSEN. No; he was on the same side.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, as you come to the steps from Harwood Street, you can either walk down or up?
Mr. HANSEN. One of them goes up to what we call the wheel, and the other goes down in the department itself.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Both the up steps and the down steps are converged together at the sidewalk?
Mr. HANSEN. The down steps are narrow, about 10-foot wide, and the steps that go up are about 40 feet.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Along this sidewalk that stretches in front of the up and down steps, where was it that you saw Ruby? Where was he standing?
Mr. HANSEN. Well, I can draw you a little diagram.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Let me give you a sheet of paper and you just draw.
Mr. HANSEN. Maybe that would help. This is the city hall. This is a square building. This here is Main Street right here and this is Harwood Street runs right here.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Why don't you mark Harwood so that we know?
Mr. HANSEN. This is Harwood and this is Main right here. Now, right here in the middle of the block, this is these wide steps that go up right here. They go up this way.
Mr. GRIFFIN. You have marked on there I am going to sort of repeat this for the record so that the person reading can understand what is happening.
Mr. HANSEN. These are the steps right here.
Mr. GRIFFIN. You are indicating on the Main Street side?
Mr. HANSEN. No; on the Harwood Street.
Mr. GRIFFIN. But on the Main Street side of the Harwood entrance? In other words, towards Main Street there is a set of down steps that go down?
Mr. HANSEN. About 10-foot wide. They go down like this, and underneath the steps, and then you go in the doorway. You want to know where I saw Ruby?
Mr. GRIFFIN. That's right.
Mr. HANSEN. When I came across the street and turned to come down this way.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Let me state for the record, you are drawing on this map that you were on Main Street, and you walked across Harwood Street toward the police station.
Mr. HANSEN. I was walking east on Main Street across Harwood on the side-
walk and at that time I turned south on Harwood to go down to the entrance to go down in the basement of the city hall. As I approached the down steps to go down to the basement of the city hall on the Harwood Street side, I got about 8 or 10 feet from the north side of the steps and there is where I saw Jack.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Was anybody standing there with Jack?
Mr. HANSEN. At the time that he spoke to me, there was several people up and down the sidewalk, and I think there was a uniform policeman and maybe two detectives standing along there talking to one another. I couldn't tell you who it was, because I see it every day. I had no reason to make a special occasion to remember it, but I do remember there was somebody else along there.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Was Jack standing talking to them or was Jack separated?
Mr. HANSEN. He wasn't standing talking to them, but he wasn't standing far from them, or he walked up or was approaching there.
Mr. GRIFFIN. What time of day would that have been?
Mr. HANSEN. It was in the morning.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Before you reported to work, or after?
Mr. HANSEN. It was before I reported to work. I was in civilian clothes. I hadn't suited out. I didn't have my uniform on. I Would say it was probably between 8:15 and 9:30.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you have a regular time to report for work?
Mr. HANSEN. When I go to work on a regular shift, regular hours, unless we are called in early or late, I have to be in the detail room at 9:45. Now, that means I have to be there ready to listen to the sergeant put out the poop on us and all of us come in anywhere from 8:30 until about 9 o'clock. Nearly all policemen come in like that and go to the locker room and shoot the breeze before we get ready to go out, about what happened the day before. So I would say it was probably between 8:15 and 9:30. That is as near as I can estimate it.
Mr. GRIFFIN. How long did you speak with Jack?
Mr. HANSEN. Oh, I never stopped. I just kept moving. "Hi, Jack, I got to go get ready," something like that. And I said, "See you." It wasn't much of a, like I say, it wasn't what you call a conversation. Just like a running conversation.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Is it possible that it could have been even 2 or 3 days before the President arrived?
Mr. HANSEN. No; I don't think so. I think it was either the day before he arrived or the morning that he did arrive. Now, I can't remember. I would give anything if I could, because I know it would help you folks, and I have thought about it since I talked to this FBI man 10,000 times. I am not going to say definitely what day it was. I can't say it and be fight in here [pointing to self].
Mr. GRIFFIN. When did you first remember that you had seen him shortly before the President arrived?
Mr. HANSEN. I didn't even think anything about it until the FBI man asked me.
Mr. GRIFFIN. How did the FBI man happen to come out and interview you?
Mr. HANSEN. He didn't come out. He come in the city hall and I was there. I don't know whether he was interviewing everybody, and I think I said something about, I am not positive whether it was him or somebody said it. I heard so much going, it is hard to remember. Somebody said something about they had taken pictures and had seen pictures, and I don't know whether somebody took a picture and he had a picture that he saw him, or saw him come down the sidewalk, They may have got it that way. And he asked me if I had seen Ruby, and I sit there and thought about it, and he wanted to know if I had seen Ruby that day or the day before, and I told him I had seen him on the sidewalk.
I believe I said the last time, and I thought back and that is the last time I saw him. I didn't see him or hear anything about it until I was home in Arlington and it come out on the radio. My mother lives up there and I was at her home or in my home, and I walked up to her house and she said, "Have you heard what happened?" And I says, "What happened?" And she said, "A fellow killed Oswald." Then that is when I heard about it. I didn't know anything about it until then. I don't think she even knew that I knew Ruby then, but when she found out I did, she got all shook up and excited.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Is there any particular thing that you did on the day that you saw Ruby which you associate in your mind with the President's arrival, or the day before the President's arrival?
Mr. HANSEN. I have tried so hard to think of something that would make me know definitely which day it was. I have tried everything in the world to think of something that would make me think of something that would make me sure of what day it was, and I swear I can't for the world of me.
I have thought of everything in the world of what I did, and I just had no reason to remember all this. If I had a reason, naturally that stuff would roll right back to you, but when you have no reason to remember, it is kind of hard to remember.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Let me ask you, after the President passed the place that you were stationed on Main Street, what did you do?
Mr. HANSEN. I stayed right there.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you remain on duty the rest of the day?
Mr. HANSEN. I remained there until 6 o'clock, about 10 minutes to 6 that evening.
Mr. GRIFFIN. What did you do that night?
Mr. HANSEN. I guess I went home. I don't even remember. Yes; I went home.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Where were you living at that time?
Mr. HANSEN. At the time the President was shot, I was living at 1107 Mort Terrace, Arlington.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you work on Saturday?
Mr. HANSEN. No; Saturday and Sunday is our regular days off. I have an extra job on Saturday. I think I come to work that following Saturday at my extra job.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Where were you working?
Mr. HANSEN. I believe, if I am not mistaken, I don't always work on Saturday, I worked three or four Saturdays, and then lay off and let another fellow work. I work at H. L. Green's, which was formerly a 5- and 10-cent store. Now it is a dollar and 5-cent store. Kind of slow down stealing, and I believe I worked there that following. Saturday.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you have occasion to--do you know George Senator?
Mr. HANSEN. Yes; I knew George.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you have occasion to see George Senator at any time on November 22 or November 23?
Mr. HANSEN. I know I didn't see him on the 22d. Now, I may have seen him on the 23d. The reason I wouldn't remember this--let me go into this and clear it up with you all.
George sold postcards and novelties of various things to drug stores and places, and he had a little red, I think it was, a Volkswagen, and he replaced these postcards in the Walgreen Store at Main and Akard, and also one in the Adolphus Hotel. He used to come around the corner and we had a parking place where if you loaded or unloaded a truck, could park, but not passenger cars. And George used to pull in and he would service this rack with the postcards. It was very few days that George's truck wasn't in there sometime during the morning peddling his stuff around that end of town, so he may have been there the day before the parade.
I wouldn't have any reason to remember that particularly, because I saw the truck so much.
Mr. GRIFFIN. The day after the parade is what I am talking about.
Mr. HANSEN. The day after the parade would be Saturday?
Mr. GRIFFIN. Yes.
Mr. HANSEN. Saturday I am not down on that part of town. When I come up to H. L. Green, it is up on the next corner of Ervay and Main, and I wouldn't have noticed.
Mr. GRIFFIN. You don't remember seeing George on Saturday, George Senator?
Mr. HANSEN. I might have seen him. Now, he comes down there and eats at the Eatwell Restaurant, and also to the Chefette on the side of the Adolphus Building. In fact, I have had coffee with him. Didn't have any reason not to. But whether I saw him that day or not, I am trying to remember whether I did or not--I may have saw him, but I couldn't say for sure. I don't think so.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you know any of Ruby's employees? Let me sort of run down--Tammi True?
Mr. HANSEN. The stripper. Well, I know them when I see them.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you recall seeing Tammi True on Friday or Saturday before the President was shot?
Mr. HANSEN. Not that I recall.
Mr. GRIFFIN. How about Little Lynn?
Mr. HANSEN. I don't think on Friday or Saturday that I saw any of the strippers that I would recognize, or if they may have been out on the streets in civilian clothes, but I just noticed them when they were in their act, and they look a little different when they are out dressed up.
Mr. GRIFFIN. You don't work--you say your day off was Saturday. Did you have occasion to go downtown at all Saturday night?
Mr. HANSEN. I get off--I may have. I may have. Let's see. Saturday night back when the President was assassinated, I believe they had Saturday night fights. They were having them then on Saturday nights.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you recall--are you a fight fan?
Mr. HANSEN. I used to always watch Saturday night fights, and I know a few nights that I watched them from Saturday to Friday, I used to go down to a beer joint and watch the fights on every fight night, and I don't hardly miss a fight if I can help.
That and the Untouchables is about all I look at. If they were having fights on Saturday night, I may have left my job after I got off and went down to the place on Poydras Street. And if they were having the fights--if they haven't, I couldn't tell you what it was.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Let me just ask specifically if you recall seeing Little Lynn on Friday or Saturday?
Mr. HANSEN. No, sir.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you recall seeing Kathy Kay on Friday or Saturday?
Mr. HANSEN. I don't recall seeing any of them; no, sir.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you know Ralph Paul?
Mr. HANSEN. Ralph who?
Mr. GRIFFIN. Paul, Ruby's financial backer. Ralph Paul.
Mr. HANSEN. I am satisfied I have seen him, but I couldn't tell you what he looks like, and I wouldn't recognize him. I have heard of him, but as far as knowing him or ever having coffee or talking to him, not to my knowledge, no, sir.
Mr. GRIFFIN. One other thing I would like to do is, I am going to mark for identification a copy of the FBI interview report that they prepared after talking with you on November---
Mr. HANSEN. Can I read that?
Mr. GRIFFIN. I want to give it to you. I am going to mark it and I will hand it to you and you can read it.
Mr. HANSEN. All right.
Mr. GRIFFIN. It is a four-page report. It is numbered at the bottom pages 31, 32, 33, and 34, and I am going to mark on the top of the first page here, "T. M. Hansen, Jr., Deposition July 24, 1964, Exhibit No. 1."
Take your time and read it and if there are any additions or corrections that you want to make in there, feel free to make them.
Mr. HANSEN. This is a report that this fellow from Wisconsin took from me, this FBI man?
Mr. GRIFFIN. His name is Dallman.
Mr. HANSEN. Yes, he is a nice fellow.
Mr. GRIFFIN. While you are reading that, I will dictate for the record that I am also marking the diagram which Officer Hansen has drawn for us. "T. M. Hansen, Jr., Deposition July 24, 1964, Exhibit No. 2."
Mr. HANSEN. One thing I want to call to your attention. On this second page you asked me about his Jewish background and here he says in this statement, it says he considered Ruby to be a fairly emotional individual and recalled that on one occasion at the Silver Spur Club, Ruby hit a man who made a derogatory remark concerning his ethnic background.
I believe that he has made a little error in here. I told him, this FBI man, that this did not happen at the Silver Spur. I may have said the Silver Spur, but I am wrong.
Just before President Kennedy was assassinated, Ruby was in the Burgundy Room, which is located off the lobby of the Adolphus Hotel and it is a cocktail room, and it is run by an individual, and there was nothing said about his Jewish background. Well, there may have been, too. I don't know, but what some fellow, I don't know who he was--I heard this, and Ruby even told me that he knocked the hell out of him. This guy got up and called him a queer, and Ruby really slaughtered him. I believe he is capable of it, because I have seen him go and he is a little fat boy--
Mr. GRIFFIN. Is that the same night he had his finger bit off?
Mr. HANSEN. Yes. I don't recall whether it was that same night that I saw him fight before, but when we pulled up, he had two down as big as I, and he gave me--
Mr. GRIFFIN. How about the fight with the four?
Mr. HANSEN. That happened out in front of the Silver Spur, but this is the year before this. This occurred in the Burgundy Room. I didn't witness this. This is hearsay, but I know it happened, because I heard it from too many people.
I don't know whether he called Jack a queer or a Jew queer, but Jack made him a new set of teeth.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I take it you are not sure whether this was in reference to his Jewishness.
Mr. HANSEN. That is what I am trying to get over. I don't know for sure whether Jack told me what he said. I know he said he called him a queer. Jack told me that out of his own mouth. I don't remember whether he said "He called me a Kike queer," or something like that. He might have said that, or maybe said, "Jew queer." I don't recall exactly, but I do remember the queer part of it, and Jack said, "and nobody would talk to me like that."
Mr. GRIFFIN. Jack seemed to be very concerned that people would think that he was a homosexual?
Mr. HANSEN. Yes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Was that your experience with him?
Mr. HANSEN. Just like I told this man, he never come out and asked me direct. He kind of fished around.
I said, "Do you want me to tell you what I think is a homosexual" and he said, "I didn't ask you." And I said, "Well, you are fishing. If you want to know what I think, I don't. I still don't."
And I wouldn't say that about anybody I didn't know. I would have to witness an act or to see it about a man or have somebody I knew who wouldn't lie one bit have to tell me.
And if he was, which I have no reason to believe he was--I know being a policeman I have come in contact with all kinds that play the female role and the male role. I can show you several of those muscle boys, big and stout and tough, what we classify as masculine type.
I have had ahold of several, and they are hard to get in custody. I have no reason to ever say that about Jack. I have heard it said. I have heard it several times said, but a lot of things are repeated that are not so.
Like I say, at night, I worked that district. I would come by there after everybody is out of his joint, and his front door would be open, and he would be icing out his beer. I would walk up to the door and see if the boy was doing anything and would go in, and several times nobody would be in there with me.
He never made any motion that would be wrong, and as long as I knew him, he never said anything to me that would indicate that in any way, or anyone that I have known that knew him.
Mr. GRIFFIN. What was it that indicated to other people that made other people say this about him?
Mr. HANSEN. Well, you asked me why I think somebody said that, is that the question?
Mr. GRIFFIN. Yes.
Mr. HANSEN. Jack talked--as long as he lived, he never got away from the Yankee accent. Nothing personal.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I don't think the Yankees have an accent. It's the Southerners.
Mr. HANSEN. Well, you know what I mean. Jack was kind of a talker and he would be talking to you, and maybe he. would stop and wouldn't say anything for a couple of minutes, and then he would start off and run words, and it was hard to keep up like that. But he talked in a high pitched voice of which a lot of homosexuals also have that tone to their voice.
I think you will agree that you see a lot of people talk like that, but there is indications when you see people talk, and there is no doggone thing--he had that high pitched voice and if he got excited or nervous or something, then that would get worse, that pitch to his voice. He is the kind of fellow if, and of course, policemen are kind of hardhearted--a kid, when I see them hurt, it hurts me, too, but I can pick up a kid and it would hurt, but I wouldn't cry unless it was my kid. But Ruby was the emotional type of man, and I am satisfied, if he had to do it, I am satisfied he would cry over something like that.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Have you ever seen him cry?
Mr. HANSEN. I sure have.
Mr. GRIFFIN. When have you seen him cry?
Mr. HANSEN. I have seen him cry, and fight and cry, and fight and cry after. He would fight and cuss up a storm and cry. He is very emotional.
As long as the chips are down, he had to go, and then kind of break down. That is his reaction. I have seen that.
Mr. GRIFFIN. What would he be crying about?
Mr. HANSEN. Well, I don't know. I never have cried like that. I don't know why he would cry, unless I guess we are all emotional people. Some people control their emotions, and other people can't.
We have all got a breaking point. Some of us go longer than others, and I guess he is that kind that gives way and shows his emotions more than other people.
I can't recall offhand seeing a man that was as good a man as he was physically. But as far as emotional, he would go from one extreme.
Ruby is a little potbellied man. They say he has lost a lot of weight. Jack did calisthenics regularly. It was a religious thing with him. He did so many setups and so many pushups, and he will tell you about it. He did 125 pushups.
And I am satisfied, because when you get hold of him, he was a lot more man than his size would indicate, and I am satisfied he did breathing exercises, and he believed in that.
He used to get on me all the time and say, "You are getting too much belly. You got to get that off."
He had a lot of heart. I mean, that is my personal opinion. He had a lot of heart.
I think the old boy--this is just my personal opinion in knowing him--I think his background and the way he was raised and where he was raised, I don't think he had everything. Everybody was trying to kick him down, and he had to scratch hard for everything he got.
And like I said, he is for the underdog all the way. If he saw somebody that was down, he would reach down in his pocket and help. He is just that kind of man.
Also, I think Jack would like to have amounted to something. He would have liked to have been respected or looked up to. He would like to help his social status.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did he ever say anything to you that indicated that?
Mr. HANSEN. Well, not directly, but in conversation with him, he could tell he would like to get up. He would like to be somebody. He was an ambitious man, and yet he was humble. He was humble.
He knew in his own mind that he didn't have the education to be where he would like to be, but still he wanted to be there. That is the impression I got from knowing him the short period of time I have known him.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I appreciate your telling us all that.
Mr. HANSEN. Well, that is just my personal opinion. That is the picture I got of Jack Ruby.
Mr. GRIFFIN. You have known him since 1949?
Mr. HANSEN. No, I went to work in 1949. I have known him since--I am not going to say positive. I believe he bought that place about 1950 or 1951, to the best of my knowledge. I don't remember.
Mr. GRIFFIN. How many times a year would you have seen him since then?
Mr. HANSEN. Of--gosh, maybe it would be hard to say--maybe I would go 2 or 3 months and may not see him, and maybe I would see him 3 or 4 or 5 times a week coming down the street.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Were their times when you would spend as much as an hour with him?
Mr. HANSEN. I doubt if there would be that much time. I think about, as long as I have spent with Jack would be---I may have sat and had coffee with him 15 minutes.
I think one day he come over to the Florsheim Shoe Store. I had bought some shoes, I had some made, and they were a width and a haft sole, and I telling how good they felt on my feet. And Jack got to looking at them and said, "They look good. I am going to get a pair." And he went in and had, I believe, at that time--I don't know whether they had a manager named Reed there or the man was named Kelly, I forget which was there.
Anyway, Jack went in and they measured him for a pair. He liked the ones I had on. They were dress shoes, and I tried to break then in on the corner.
Mr. GRIFFIN. At the time you visited the Carousel socially, he would come and sit down?
Mr. HANSEN. No. I would say maybe I would go in and stay an hour or 2 hours, but he was always busy. Maybe he would come over to the table and say, "You want anything, Hansen?" And several times I went in there and I would have a setup or something, and he wouldn't let me pay, and tell the girl, "That is on the house." I don't mind telling you that, because I have been a lot of places and people do the same thing.
I never went with the intention--anywhere I go I can pay my own fare, but sometimes people do that. I went down to the restaurant the other night, carried my wife, and we had a nice dinner, and he told me "That was on the house." He wouldn't let me pay for it. But like I say, I go in there and eat, I guess I have been in there six or eight times, and I have always paid. That is the first time it ever happened.
Mr. GRIFFIN. When you went to the Carousel Club, would Jack come over and sit at the table?
Mr. HANSEN. No; he never fraternized with his customers outside of being polite and greeting you and that. I mean, as far as coming over and sitting with you and shooting the breeze, to my knowledge, he didn't do that.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Let me ask you, is there anything else in Exhibit No. 1 that you have been looking at that you feel should be corrected?
Mr. HANSEN. Well, there was something else I saw in here, and it was about this day thing that we was trying to discuss about what day it was, and I see here--
Mr. GRIFFIN. The last page?
Mr. HANSEN. I think it is the third page. I think it is on this one. Ruby was standing on the north side that is what I just told you---of the entrance directly to the side of the stairway which leads to the basement. He said there was four or five individuals. I think awhile ago I told you there were three. I know there were a few. I may be a little bit off. I am trying to get it just about as true as I can remember it--standing at this time. He is not certain whether or not they were police officers.
I believe they were police officers, or there was two of them. I know there was a uniformed man in civilian clothes, and I think they were detectives. I believe they were. He felt that the crowd was apparently gathered at that time in anticipation of the fact that President Kennedy would be driving through the downtown section.
I am not doubting that man's word. That is just what I told him. If that is what I told him, that would indicate to me that it was on that morning.
Mr. GRIFFIN. But did the crowd gather as early as 8:15 for the President's motorcade?
Mr. HANSEN. Well, to my way of thinking, I would say you asked me a direct question. Every parade that I work, I work so many parades downtown, usually any kind of parade, if it is like you start at 10 o'clock, your colored people come, they are the first ones, because they are going to have a front row. Before anybody comes to work, they are down there. Then you got the ones that, the mommas that haven't washed the dishes, and then the poppas, and I am satisfied it was that same way that day. But from this here, to me, that would indicate that that was that same morning.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you have a clear recollection at that time that it was that morning, or were you just surmising?
Mr. HANSEN. I don't, butt I do recall this--I don't have a clear recollection now, but you know, there is a little concrete thing around the city hail up there about this high, and they got some flowers in there, and on a normal day, just any regular run-of-the-day week, I mean a day in the week, you wouldn't find anybody sifting on that thing unless it is men that work for the schools and get their paychecks. I do recall there were four or five people, come to think about it. I remember they were spotted. Maybe a guy sitting here, and there.
Mr. GRIFFIN. The fact that there were four or five people, that makes you think it was the day of the motorcade?
Mr. HANSEN. Well, a normal day, like I said, Monday through Friday, there wouldn't be anybody sitting on there unless it was a day that the old men come down to get their paychecks.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Would that have been on Thursday?
Mr. HANSEN. It would have been more than four or five, because I can't help but remember because they blocked the whole sidewalk and spit snuff.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Is there anything that makes you think it was the day of the President's motorcade?
Mr. HANSEN. Nothing else that I can remember outside I do remember there was several people sitting on that, which is unusual unless there is something going on.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Would you be willing to say positively that it was the day of the President's motorcade?
Mr. HANSEN. No; I wouldn't just make a flat statement, because I don't feel like I can. I am not that positive. But like I say, an ordinary day, unless there is something going on, ordinarily there wouldn't be anybody sitting on that little stone railing around there.
Mr. GRIFFIN. In your mind, is there just as much chance that it could have been the day of the motorcade or is there just as much chance it could have been the day before the motorcade, as the day of the motorcade.
Mr. HANSEN. No. The fact that there were some people sitting on the rail around there would indicate, it would make me lean toward the day of the parade. But I am not going to make a fiat statement it was the day of the parade. But it would make me kind of think maybe it was that day. That is as good as I can give it to you.
Mr. GRIFFIN. The reason I am asking you questions like that is so we can evaluate whether we should make a flat statement about it or how we should treat it.
Mr. HANSEN. I don't want to make a flat statement, because I can't connect anything in my heart, but it would make me think it was, due to the fact the people were sitting on that thing.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I appreciate that.
Mr. HANSEN. I am trying to help you.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I appreciate your frankness on it. Let me ask you if you are satisfied that this report otherwise is an accurate report of what was said.
Mr. HANSEN. Let me show you. Everything but here. I think I remember telling him this, but I think that he I am not trying to put it off on him, because he isn't here, but I think the FBI man got this Silver Spur Club mixed up with the Burgundy Room, or else I meant the Burgundy and told him the Silver Spur, but this is where it happened. And I am sure if you check through it further, that you can find out that this actually occurred about this remark about this boy calling him a queer and Jack knocking him down.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I think it is clear enough that the record she is typing up here
will show all the corrections that we have talked about here, and that is what we were trying to do, is get that into the record. Let me ask then, if you will, if you are satisfied that other than what you have pointed out as being incorrect, that this is an accurate report of what you told them, I will ask you to sign.
Mr. HANSEN. I think it is pretty accurate. Where do you want me to sign it?
Mr. GRIFFIN. Sign it up where I have marked it, anywhere in a conspicous place.
Mr. HANSEN. Sign this Timothy? Occasionally people call me Tim, but I don't know where he got Timothy. It is plain T-i-m.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Let's cross that out.
Mr. HANSEN. Let me ask you, do the other policemen sign these things?
Mr. GRIFFIN. Yes. If you don't want to, it is simply a formality that we go through, and if you would prefer not to sign---
Mr. HANSEN. Have any of the rest of them preferred not to?
Mr. GRIFFIN. No; there haven't been any that declined to.
Mr. HANSEN. I have no reason not to sign. I will put it that way.
Mr. GRIFFIN. The only reason we are doing is to establish for people later on.
Mr. HANSEN. You want me to sign each page?
Mr. GRIFFIN. If you will, just initial the other sheets. We are simply trying to establish for our own record that the documents that we have been talking about is actually the document that winds up in the record.
Mr. HANSEN. I have helped you as much as I possibly can, and I was figuring you would call me up and were going to ask me about the parade, and all I can tell you is, I saw that the parade got through and he didn't get hurt, and I believe it would have broke my heart if something had happened to him, because I never was so glad. It is just like a man took a hundred pounds off his back. And before he got there, of course, people ran and I was sweating blood, and I was afraid of something, but when he got through there, it was just like somebody took a heavy load off you.
And when I heard about what happened, I couldn't believe it. I couldn't, like everybody else, A man came from the stock exchange and whispered in my ear, and I knew he was either drunk or lying, and I knew he didn't drink. But I realized then, I began to--I guess you have a dull feeling in your mind that you realize the President had been shot.
Then when you put the two together and hear all the sirens, you knew it actually happened. A policeman-- because he's got an instinct about it. The first siren I heard, I said, "Well, that is bad, but I saw one on Akard and a man don't drive that way unless he is going to another officer or something real bad. I had a bad feeling, or actually I didn't think--I thought somebody may have tried something, and it never entered my mind that he actually had been hurt.
Then when that fellow told me, it was awful. I never will forget that day. I never saw people look like that, walking around like a bunch of mummies. It is hard to even talk about it now.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Officer, I appreciate your taking all this time.
Mr. HANSEN. I hope I have helped you, and if I can do anything else for you, let me know.