TESTIMONY OF ABRAHAM KLEINMAN
The testimony of Abraham Kleinman was taken at 11:35 a.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. I am Burt Griffin.
Mr. KLEINMAN. I am Abe Kleinman.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I am a member of the general counsel staff of the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy.
It is our normal procedure to explain a little bit about what we are doing here before we ask you to testify.
The Commission was set up pursuant to an Exective order of President Johnson and the joint resolution of Congress, and it has been directed to investigate, evaluate, and report back to President Johnson upon all the facts surrounding the assassination of President Kennedy and the death of Lee Harvey Oswald.
We have asked you to come here today particularly because you were acquainted with Jack Ruby, and we would like to find out what light you can shed upon Jack Ruby and his involvement in the events of November 22, 23, and 24.
Under the rules and regulations of the Commission, I have been designated to take your deposition today. Also, under these rules, the witness is entitled to have a written notice 3 days before he appears to testify. I might ask you if have received such a notice.
Mr. KLEINMAN. Yes; I received that Sunday. I wasn't there but it was signed for in my sister's hand.
Mr. GRIFFIN. When did you actually see it?
Mr. KLEINMAN. The notice here?
Mr. GRIFFIN. Yes.
Mr. KLEINMAN. Sunday.
Mr. GRIFFIN. you have had 3 days?
Mr. KLEINMAN. Yes; I called Monday to find out about it.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Let me ask you first of all, do you have any questions about what is taking place here? And if so, I will try to answer them for you.
Mr. KLEINMAN. Well, I really don't know what, except what I read. That is, that you wanted me to come up here and answer some questions.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Why don't we proceed with the testimony, and if you have any questions, you may ask them.
Mr. KLEINMAN. I wouldn't have any question, because I don't know just what you want or what I could tell you.
Mr. GRIFFIN. We will try to ask you some questions and we will see what answers we can get. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me.
Mr. KLEINMAN. I don't have any, because I don't know very much about it, except I knew Jack Ruby.
Mr. GRIFFIN. All right, let me ask you then if you will 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. KLEINMAN. Sure.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Would you state for the court reporter what your full name is?
Mr. KLEINMAN. Abraham Kleiman.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Would you spell it?
Mr. KLEINMAN. K-l-e-i-n-m-a-n.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Where do you live, Mr. Kleinman?
Mr. KLEINMAN. 1189B Timplemore Drive.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Is that here in Dallas?
Mr. KLEINMAN. That is near White Rock Lake.
Mr. GRIFFIN. When were you born?
Mr. KLEINMAN. December 16, 1902.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you have a trade or profession?
Mr. KLEINMAN. I am a public accountant.
Mr. GRIFFIN. How long have you been a public accountant?
Mr. KLEINMAN. Well, I started practicing after I got out of the service 1943.
Mr. GRIFFIN. How long have you lived in the Dallas area?
Mr. KLEINMAN. I have lived here in Dallas about 58 years.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Pretty close to a native.
Mr. KLEINMAN. Pretty close.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you recall when it was that you first met Jack Ruby?
Mr. KLEINMAN. Well, I really don't recall when or how I met him, but I guess its been maybe 12 or 13 or maybe less, somewhere in there.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did there come a time when you began to do accounting work for him?
Mr. KLEINMAN. Well, I have. I did accounting work for him. He wanted me to work out his corporation returns for the State and the Federal, but I have never been able to complete it for him.
Mr. GRIFFIN. When was it that he asked you to do that?
Mr. KLEINMAN. It was sometime in 1962, the latter part of 1962.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you ever do any work for him before that?
Mr. KLEINMAN. Yes. I checked some records for him with the Internal Revenue. I don't recall when.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you know him on a social basis between the time you first met him?
Mr. KLEINMAN. Not socially. I would know him like you meet anyone and know him, as an acquaintance.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Where would you meet him?
Mr. KLEINMAN. Oh, sometimes I would run into him downtown. And while I was doing work for him, he would come by the office, and I would have to go by his place of business on Commerce Street to the Carousel.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you visit the Carousel Club from time to time?
Mr. KLEINMAN. Well, I had visited there a number of times maybe around the latter part of the month to bring him some reports to sign, or get the social security withheld, or get his tax reports out.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did Jack bring any records to you on a monthly basis?
Mr. KLEINMAN. He was supposed to. He brought quite a few records. There was a lot of records missing that he brought up later. We were trying to accumulate all the records to work up his report.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Were you able to tell from an examination of the records that he did bring you whether or not the Carousel Club was a profitable operation?
Mr. KLEINMAN. Well from the looks of it, it didn't look like it was too profitable, as far as I could tell. Of course, I never did get the final, get to make a final.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you have any indication that he was actually losing money?
Mr. KLEINMAN. Well, at times he said it was losing money.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did the records substantiate that?
Mr. KLEINMAN. Well, that I couldn't say because I didn't have all the records, all of his paid receipts. And over a period of 6 or 8 months, why he would find additional receipts and bring to me.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Receipts meaning?
Mr. KLEINMAN. Paid bills such as for merchandise.
Mr. GRIFFIN. If there were any missing, that would only reduce his profit?
Mr. KLEINMAN. If it were missing, it would increase his profit, because it wouldn't be charged off.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Well, you mean for tax purposes?
Mr. KLEINMAN. Oh, yes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I was thinking of for straight business accounting whether you could tell from the records whether he had a net profit after everything was taken off.
Mr. KLEINMAN. It is hard to say in that business because you would have to take in a certain amount of money. You don't know whether you have a profit or loss until you bring in all of your expenditures, your entertaining help and other help that he might have.
Mr. GRIFFIN. On the basis though of what he did bring in to you, did he show a net profit?
Mr. KLEINMAN. Well, I didn't get that far on it, because there was a lot of information that he had there that I couldn't identify readily, and I had to get him to explain some of the transactions.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you ever have occasion to discuss with Jack his religious beliefs?
Mr. KLEINMAN. Beg your pardon?
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you ever have occasion to discuss with Jack his religious beliefs?
Mr. KLEINMAN. No.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did Jack ever express to you any concern or sensitivity about his position in Dallas as a Jewish person?
Mr. KLEINMAN. No; I have never gone into it. I never discussed anything like that with him. In the. first place, when he came up to see me, the main thing I was interested in was getting his reports that he had to file quarterly, because they were behind originally, and I was trying to get him up to date on it, and it took up so much time, that I couldn't discuss anything with him.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you know where Jack Ruby maintained his bank account?
Mr. KLEINMAN. Well, he had a small bank account. I think it is in the Merchants State Bank. I think that is the name of the bank. I have got it in the office.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Any other, that you recall?
Mr. KLEINMAN. No. There might have been another account, but I don't remember what bank it would be, because the bank accounts he had were very small. I think most of his business was handled out of his pocket.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you know Mr. Ruby's friend, George Senator?
Mr. KLEINMAN. I met him downtown. I met him, if I remember correctly, I first met him in the Statler's Men Shop. I think he was selling. He was a salesman representing, I don't know whether it is men's line or what line of merchandise it is he was representing.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you see him at all on November 22 or 23 or 24?
Mr. KLEINMAN. Who is that?
Mr. GRIFFIN. George Senator.
Mr. KLEINMAN. I don't think so. I don't remember seeing him.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Let me ask you, where were you at the time you learned that President Kennedy had been shot?
Mr. KLEINMAN. Well, I was in this restaurant that burned down here on Commerce Street next to the Picadilly. I don't know whether it is right next to it, or either one door away. Someone came in and said the President had been shot, and I knew that the parade had just passed by. I was on Akard and Main Street. And we thought they were kidding because it was so fast, they would get the news out so quick.
Mr. GRIFFIN. What did you do after you heard that?
Mr. KLEINMAN. Well, I walked up the street there to Sol's Turf Bar and they had it turned on television.
Mr. GRIFFIN. How long did you remain on Friday at Sol's?
Mr. KLEINMAN. Well, I don't remember. I usually go by there every evening. He is one of my clients.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you remember where you were Friday evening?
Mr. KLEINMAN. Well, I don't think I could remember exactly where I was.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now on Saturday, did you have occasion to go to Sol's Turf Bar?
Mr. KLEINMAN. Yes. I usually go there on Saturdays to make up their payroll, and that Saturday, if I am not mistaken, I was at the barber shop until about, oh, maybe 2:30 or a quarter to three. Then when I left there I went over to Sol's to make up the payroll, and Jack Ruby was in there that afternoon.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you see Jack in there when you walked in the door, or was it sometime later?
Mr. KLEINMAN. Well, he was in there when I walked in, and he left within about, oh, just a few minutes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Where was Jack when you first saw him in the bar?
Mr. KLEINMAN. That afternoon?
Mr. GRIFFIN. Yes.
Mr. KLEINMAN. He was in Sol's.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Whereabouts? In a booth, or at a table, or along the bar?
Mr. KLEINMAN. No; he was standing there talking to two or three people.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you remember who those people were?
Mr. KLEINMAN. Well, I don't recall. One of them was Frank Belocchio. I don't recall who else was in there. There was a group of people in there.
Mr. GRIFFIN. What did you do when you saw Jack?
Mr. KLEINMAN. Well, I didn't do anything. I said hello to him. He was showing them some pictures that he either made or he took off of a signpost somewhere regarding somebody that put them on there. I think the sign was supposed to read, or did read--I didn't take a good look at it--to impeach Warren. And, of course, I hadn't heard anything about it, and I didn't even know where he.got it.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you hear Jack say anything about those pictures?
Mr. KLEINMAN. Well, I don't remember what he said, but he seemed to be upset about the pictures. I don't know what their conversation was before I came in.
Mr. GRIFFIN. What was the conversation after you came in?
Mr. KLEINMAN. Well, I don't think there was anything except, you know, he mentioned about those pictures on the Warren impeachment, and then they were looking at an advertisement out of the News. Someone had a full page advertisement about President Kennedy, I think it was.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did Jack indicate whether or not he knew who Mr. Warren was?
Mr. KLEINMAN. No; he didn't. Well, I imagine he knew that he was a Chief Justice.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Why was he upset about the photograph?
Mr. KLEINMAN. That I don't know.
Mr. GRIFFIN. How long did you stand there?
Mr. KLEINMAN. I beg your pardon?
Mr. GRIFFIN. How long did you stand there at that conversation?
Mr. KLEINMAN. I don't know how long I did stay in there.
Mr. GRIFFIN. How long were you present during the conversation?
Mr. KLEINMAN. I don't think I was there over 2 or 3 minutes, because I went back in the back to try to get the payroll out.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you know Ralph Paul?
Mr. KLEINMAN. Yes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. How long have you known Ralph Paul?
Mr. KLEINMAN. Oh, Just a very short time. Jack introduced me to him up at the club, and, of course, I knew the name from the records that I was working on, but I don't know him very well.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you have occasion to see Ralph Paul at any time the weekend the President was shot?
Mr. KLEINMAN. No, sir.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you have occasion to see any friends or employees of Jack Ruby on that weekend?
Mr. KLEINMAN. No, sir. I believe he closed the place up on Friday.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I am going to mark for the purpose of identification a document which is an interview report prepared by two FBI agents, Lansing P. Logan, and Alton E. Bramblett. I am going to mark this document "Abraham Kleinman, Deposition July 24, 1964, Exhibit No. 1." This report consists of 3 pages that are numbered consecutively, 317, 318, and 319. The report pertains to an interview which Logan and Bramblett had with you on December 7, 1963. I will ask you to look at that and read it and tell me if it is an accurate report of the conversation they had with you on that day.
Mr. KLEINMAN (after reading). No; its got one mistake here. It says certified. I am not certified. I am a registered public accountant. This 59 here, I think I may have said 59, but it is about--I am 61 last December---about 58 years here.
Mr. GRIFFIN. What does that Pertain to? What does the year 1953 refer to?
Mr. KLEINMAN. It don't say. It just says 59 years here in the Dallas area. That is close enough. That is about right.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you have any additions or corrections that you think should be in this?
Mr. KLEINMAN. Well, I don't think I know of any. I don't recall any.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Well, let me ask you then if you will sign your name on the first page and initial the next 2 pages.
Mr. KLEINMAN (signs and initials).
Mr. GRIFFIN. Just any place that is conspicuous. Thank you very much.
Mr. KLEINMAN. I don't recall anything else that I would know. In fact, I have been so darn busy I haven't had time to even read the paper. I have read some of it.
Mr. GRIFFIN. If there is anything that should come to your attention that you think would be valuable to the Commission, I will appreciate your letting us know.
Mr. KLEINMAN. Sometime you hear a lot of different conversations which it doesn't make sense. People form opinions and this and that. It is all foreign to you.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Have you heard any information of anything about how Jack Ruby got into the basement of the Dallas Police Department on November 24?
Mr. KLEINMAN. No; that I didn't. I don't know how he could get in there myself.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you have any information pertaining to anybody who might have given him any assistance or urged him in any way?
Mr. KLEINMAN. No.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Thank you very much. I appreciate your coming here. It was nice to meet you.
Mr. KLEINMAN. Nice meeting you.