Testimony Of Warren Allen Reynolds

The testimony of Warren Allen Reynolds was taken at 3:35 p.m., on July 22, 1964, in the office of the U.S. attorney, 301 Post Office Building, Bryan and Ervay Streets, Dallas, Tex., by Mr. Wesley J. Liebeler, assistant counsel of the President's Commission.

Mr. LIEBELER. Would you rise and raise your right hand? 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. LIEBELER. Please sit down. My name is Wesley J. Liebeler. I am an attorney on the staff of the President's Commission to investigate the assassination of President Kennedy. I have been authorized to take your testimony by the Commission pursuant to authority granted to it by President Johnson's Executive Order No. 11130, dated November 29, 1963, and joint resolution of Congress No. 137.
Under the rules of procedure governing the taking of testimony, you are entitled to have an attorney present at this hearing. You are also entitled to 3 days' notice for the hearing, and you are entitled to exercise whatever rights and privileges, as far as not answering questions are concerned, as are afforded to you under the Constitution and laws of the United States. I assume that you do not wish to have an attorney present, since you don't have one here. Most of the witnesses do not have.
Mr.REYNOLDS. That's right.
Mr. LIEBELER. Would you state your full name for the record, please?
Mr.REYNOLDS. Warren Allen Reynolds.
Mr. LIEBELER. What is your address?
Mr.REYNOLDS. 8707 Mosswood.
Mr. LIEBELER. Here in Dallas?
Mr.REYNOLDS. Dallas.
Mr. LIEBELER. When were you born, Mr. Reynolds?
Mr.REYNOLDS. June 22, 1935.
Mr. LIEBELER. Are you employed here in Dallas?
Mr.REYNOLDS. Yes; Reynolds Motor Co.
Mr. LIEBELER. What kind of company is that?
Mr.REYNOLDS. It is a used car lot.
Mr. LIEBELER. It is operated by you and by your brother; is that correct?
Mr.REYNOLDS. It is operated by my brother, and I am an employee there.
Mr. LIEBELER. You are not an owner of the corporation?
Mr.REYNOLDS. No, sir.
Mr. LIEBELER. You are employed by your brother?
Mr. LIEBELER. Would you give us briefly what your educational background is?
Mr.REYNOLDS. High school.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did you graduate from high school here in Dallas?
Mr. LIEBELER. Which school?
Mr.REYNOLDS. Forest Avenue High School.
Mr. LIEBELER. Where is this Reynolds Motor Co. located?
Mr.REYNOLDS. 500 East Jefferson.
Mr. LIEBELER. How far is that from the corner of 10th and Patton?
Mr.REYNOLDS. One block.
Mr. LIEBELER. Were you there at the used-car lot on November 22, 1963?
Mr. LIEBELER. Were you there at about say, after the hour of 12 o'clock noon in the afternoon?
Mr. LIEBELER. Tell us what you saw; will you, please?
Mr.REYNOLDS. OK; our office is up high where I can have a pretty good view of what was going on. I heard the shots and, when I heard the shots, I went out on this front porch which is, like I say, high, and I saw this man coming down the street with the gun in his hand, swinging it just like he was running. He turned the corner of Patton and Jefferson, going west, and put the gun in his pants and took off, walking.
Mr. LIEBELER. How many shots did you hear?
Mr.REYNOLDS. I really have no idea, to be honest with you. I would say four or five or six. I just would have no idea. I heard one, and then I heard a succession of some more, and I didn't see the officer get shot.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did you see this man's face that had the gun in his hand?
Mr.REYNOLDS. Very good.
Mr. LIEBELER. Subsequent to that time, you were questioned by the Dallas Police Department, were you not?
Mr. LIEBELER. The Dallas Police Department never talked to you about the man that you saw going down the street?
Mr.REYNOLDS. Now, they talked to me much later, you mean?
Mr. LIEBELER. OK; let me put it this way: When is the first time that anybody from any law-enforcement agency, and I mean by that, the FBI, Secret Service, Dallas Police Department, Dallas County sheriff's office; you pick it. When is the first time that they ever talked to you?
Mr.REYNOLDS. January 21.
Mr. LIEBELER. That is the first time they ever talked to you about what you saw on that day?
Mr.REYNOLDS. That's right.
Mr. LIEBELER. So you never in any way identified this man in the police department or any other authority, either in November or in December of 1963; is that correct?
Mr.REYNOLDS. No; I sure didn't.
Mr. LIEBELER. So it can be in no way said that you "fingered" the man who was running down the street, and identified him as the man who was going around and putting the gun in his pocket?
Mr.REYNOLDS. It can be said I didn't talk to the authorities.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did you say anything about it to anybody else?
Mr. LIEBELER. Were you able to identify this man in your own mind?
Mr. LIEBELER. You did identify him as Lee Harvey Oswald in your own mind?
Mr. LIEBELER. You had no question about it?
Mr. LIEBELER. Let me show you some pictures that we have here. I show you a picture that has been marked Garner Exhibit No. 1 and ask you if that is the man that you saw going down the street on the 22d of November as you have already told us.
Mr. LIEBELER. You later identified that man as Lee Harvey Oswald?
Mr.REYNOLDS. In my mind.
Mr. LIEBELER. Your mind, that is what I mean.
Mr. LIEBELER. When you saw his picture in the newspaper and on television? Is that right?
Mr.REYNOLDS. Yes; unless you have somebody that looks an awful lot like him there.
Mr. LIEBELER. I show you an exhibit that has been marked Pizzo Exhibit No. 453-C and ask you if that is the same man, in your opinion?
Mr. LIEBELER. You were in no way, if I understand it correctly then, properly identified as anyone who had told the authorities that this man that was going down the street was the same man as Lee Harvey Oswald, is that correct?
Mr.REYNOLDS. Well, yes and no. When it happened, and after I seen--and you probably know what I did-- after I saw the man on the corner of Patton and Jefferson, I followed him up the street behind the service station and lost him I went back there and looked up and down the alley and didn't see him, and looked through the cars and still didn't see him.
Then the police got there, and they took my name. While they were taking my name, some television camera got me, and I was on television, I am sure nationwide. Then some man that I worked with wanted to be big time, I guess, so he called some radio station and told them what I had done, and they recorded that and ran it over and over and over again over the radio station. And other than that, no.
Mr. LIEBELER. Well, what was it that they said you had done? All you had done was try to follow this man and he got away from you?
Mr.REYNOLDS. And he got away.
Mr. LIEBELER. Then you went back and you looked around for him around the car lot in the area and you weren't able to find him?
Mr.REYNOLDS. I looked through the parking lot for him after. See, when he went behind the service station, I was right across the street, and when he ducked behind, I ran across the street and asked this man which way he went and they told me the man had gone to the back. And I ran back there and looked up and down the alley right then and didn't see him, and I looked under the cars, and I assumed that he was still hiding there.
Mr. LIEBELER. In the parking lot?
Mr.REYNOLDS. Even to this day I assume that he was.
Mr. LIEBELER. Where was this parking lot located now?
Mr.REYNOLDS. It would be at the back of the Texaco station that is on the corner of Crawford and Jefferson where they found his coat.
Mr. LIEBELER. They found his coat in the parking lot?
Mr.REYNOLDS. They found his coat there.
Mr. LIEBELER. So that he had apparently gone through the parking lot?
Mr.REYNOLDS. Oh, yes.
Mr. LIEBELER. And gone down the alley or something back to Jefferson Street?
Mr.REYNOLDS. Yes. When the police got there, and they were all there, I was trying to assure them that he was still there close. This was all a bunch of confusion. They didn't know what was going on. And they got word that he was down at a library which was about 3 blocks down the street on the opposite side of the street.
Mr. LIEBELER. Down Jefferson?
Mr.REYNOLDS. Down Jefferson. And every one of them left to go there. So when they left, well, I did too, and I didn't know this man had shot a policeman. I wouldn't probably be near as brave if I had known that. The next time, I guarantee, I won't be as brave.
Mr. LIEBELER. No; I can't say that I blame you, although we don't know there is any connection. But we would certainly like to find it, if there is.
Mr.REYNOLDS. There is no connection that you can prove now.
Mr. LIEBELER. Let's come to that a little bit at a time.
Mr. LIEBELER. When you were on television, what was shown is that you were talking to the policeman?
Mr.REYNOLDS. They were taking my name. No name was shown, was mentioned.
Mr. LIEBELER. They were just taking down your name?
Mr.REYNOLDS. Just my name.
Mr. LIEBELER. When it was told on ,the radio about your involvement in it was it also made clear that you had not, in fact, directed--let me ask the question this way. Was it ever stated either on the television or the radio that you had directed the police to the Texas Theatre?
Mr.REYNOLDS. Not the direction. In the general direction. but not to the theatre.
Mr. LIEBELER. In fact, you were looking for this man who later turned out to be Oswald, in this parking lot which was some distance from the Texas Theatre at that point?
Mr. LIEBELER. And you never saw Oswald continue on down the street--on down Jefferson or go in the Texas Theatre, and you never told the police that he had gone in that direction, did you?
Mr.REYNOLDS. I told the police he was going in that direction.
Mr. LIEBELER. He was going--you told the police he went into the parking lot, or what did you tell him?
Mr.REYNOLDS. That he was going west. I told them that he was going west, and I had assumed that he just cut through the parking lot and kept going the general direction he was going in.
Mr. LIEBELER. But he hadn't gotten to Jefferson by the time you had seen him?
Mr.REYNOLDS. That's right. He was about almost half a block before he got to Jefferson.
Mr. LIEBELER. But he was heading toward Jefferson?
Mr.REYNOLDS. Yes; he was heading toward Jefferson.
Mr. LIEBELER. You never saw him after he got to Jefferson?
Mr.REYNOLDS. Yes. When he got to Jefferson, that is when I followed him.
Mr. LIEBELER. And he went which way?
Mr.REYNOLDS. Went down Jefferson, and then he went behind the station, and that is when I lost him.
Mr. LIEBELER. He went around behind the station, and there was a parking lot back there, is that right?
Mr.REYNOLDS. That's right.
Mr. LIEBELER. You went back in the parking lot and you were looking for him there, but you never saw him again after he ducked off Jefferson into the parking lot?
Mr.REYNOLDS. Just on television.
Mr. LIEBELER. Then according to the information that I have, on January 23, 1964, you were shot in the head by a bullet from a 22 caliber rifle, is that correct?
Mr.REYNOLDS. Yes; right there [pointing to right temple].
Mr. LIEBELER. On the right side of your head?
Mr.REYNOLDS. Yes; and it went to here [pointing to left ear].
Mr. LIEBELER. Would you tell us the circumstances in which that happened?
Mr.REYNOLDS. I know this man was waiting for 3 1/2 hours in a basement where I work.
Mr. LIEBELER. In a car lot?
Mr.REYNOLDS. In a car lot.
Mr. LIEBELER. At the car lot?
Mr.REYNOLDS. At the car lot, the Johnny Reynolds Co. And when I went down to turn off the lights in, this basement where he had taken the light globe out of the room, I went in there more or less in the dark to turn off the light. It is a switchboard, and when I walked up to it and turned two switches, this man couldn't hardly have been over a foot from me with the rifle, and shot me.
When he shot me, I ran upstairs. I went around to the right about 20 feet and got this towel to, of course, stop the blood, and when I turned around to go call the police, I had assumed all the time that I had been electrocuted for some silly reason, never dreaming I had been shot. But when I saw the man run off, I figured right then I must have been shot, so I ran on in and called the police.
Mr. LIEBELER. When did you see the man run off?
Mr.REYNOLDS. When I ran upstairs and ran around to the right to get this towel, and he came up out of the basement. I saw him and two more people saw him.
Mr. LIEBELER. You then got the towel. Did you call the police?
Mr.REYNOLDS. I was able to call the police. Then I laid down just for a few minutes, and the ambulance got there and carried me to the hospital, and by some miracle, I survived, very much a miracle. The police got the call at 9:19 p.m. in the evening of January 23.
Mr. LIEBELER. Now were you able to identify the individual who ran up out of the basement?
Mr. LIEBELER. Do you have any idea who it was?
Mr. LIEBELER. What kind of fellow did he look like? Did you get a Physical description of him?
Mr.REYNOLDS. No; it was just a blur to me. It was just a blur, but the People that saw him said he was around 5 foot 4, weight around 130 or 140 pounds, and was either Spanish or Cuban or Indian or something like that; not Negro.
Mr. LIEBELER. He was not a Negro, but he was of a foreign extraction or foreign appearing, or dark colored?
Mr.REYNOLDS. Yes; dark colored, the way .they described him. He had a rifle.
Mr. LIEBELER. Do you have any idea as to why somebody might have wanted to take a shot at you, why did they?
Mr.REYNOLDS. I have no proof. I would say it would be fair to think that somebody shot me on account of they thought I knew something or had some connection with Lee Oswald. It was definitely not people that I would know of, and it hadn't been business. I am sure it wasn't in business form.
Mr. LIEBELER. What did you do in the car lot? Are you engaged actually in selling and trading automobiles?
Mr.REYNOLDS. Yes; generally everything.
Mr. LIEBELER. You can't think of any reason why one of your customers wanted to take a shot at you?
Mr. LIEBELER. Is there anybody else around the company that might have been having trouble with anybody else that maybe you got shot by mistake, or something like that? Is that possible?
Mr.REYNOLDS. We ruled that out.
Mr. LIEBELER. You considered that possibility?
Mr.REYNOLDS. I have considered everything.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did the police conduct an investigation of this?
Mr. LIEBELER. Of this shooting?
Mr. LIEBELER. In fact, they came out with a suspect, didn't they?
Mr.REYNOLDS. They came out with one, yes.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did you know that individual before he was picked up in connection with this investigation?
Mr. LIEBELER. How long had you know him?
Mr.REYNOLDS. I had known him for about 6 or 7 years.
Mr. LIEBELER. Was he a friend of yours?
Mr. LIEBELER. How did you come to know him?
Mr.REYNOLDS. Just in business. Our business with him was bad business.
Mr. LIEBELER. In what sense?
Mr.REYNOLDS. Well, he was a troublemaker. But at no time did I think he was the one that shot me.
Mr. LIEBELER. How did you form an opinion on the question of whether this was the man who shot you? In fact, we are talking about a man by the name of Darrell Wayne Garner.
Mr.REYNOLDS. That was just my personal opinion.
Mr. LIEBELER. You weren't able to see the man who shot you to say whether it was Garner or whether it wasn't?
Mr.REYNOLDS. No; that's right.
Mr. LIEBELER. Isn't it a fact that Garner had been in the car lot on January 20, 1964, trying to sell you an automobile, particularly a 1957 Oldsmobile for which he didn't have a title?
Mr.REYNOLDS. Not that I know of.
Mr. LIEBELER. Have you discussed this with your brother?
Mr. LIEBELER. Your brother is Johnny Reynolds?
Mr. LIEBELER. He lives at 622 West Five Mile Parkway, is that correct?
Mr.REYNOLDS. That's right.
Mr. LIEBELER. Would it suprise you to know that on January 23 he apparently told the Dallas Police Department that Garner had been in the carlot on January 20 and tried to trade a 1957 Oldsmobile for which he did not have a title, and became extremely upset when he, Johnny Reynolds, wouldn't purchase the automobile from Garner?
Mr.REYNOLDS. I had to keep in mind that it is possible that that had happened and I just didn't, I mean I have been through an awful lot these 6 months, and it is possible that I have just missed it, but I would say I would be a little bit surprised.
Mr. LIEBELER. What kind of person is Garner?
Mr.REYNOLDS. Well, to describe him as best I can, I heard that his mother had $10 hidden one night and he wanted it and she wouldn't tell him where it was, and he held a knife to her throat threatening to kill her unless she did. He is just a complete troublemaker.
Mr. LIEBELER. Do you know where he lives?
Mr.REYNOLDS. No; I heard he was in Las Vegas. In fact, I parked my car at his father-in-law's. He runs a little parking lot right there down the street, and it so happened I pulled into that parking lot when I came here.

Mr. LIEBELER. But you haven't seen him around recently? You don't know where he is?
Mr. LIEBELER. In any event, Garner was released from the Dallas Police Department after they conducted an investigation?
Mr. LIEBELER. Into the possibility he might have been involved in the shooting of you?
Mr. LIEBELER. Now, do you have any basis for your belief that the shot at you was somehow connected with the assassination, other than pure speculation or surmise on your part?
Mr. LIEBELER. Do you have any idea as to who it might be other than the fact, as you have previously explained before, it might be that since your were associated in some way with Oswald's apprehension in the Texas Theatre, that somebody wanted to get you for that?

Mr.REYNOLDS. A lot of people thought that I followed him all the way to the Texas Theatre and pointed him out in the theatre. A lot of people, just rumors, thought that, and a lot of people still think it.
Mr. LIEBELER. But in fact, there isn't any fact that you can point to or tell me about that would connect up the assassination in any way with the shooting of you on January 23?
Mr.REYNOLDS. I can't think of anything that could be a fact unless we just found the man.
Mr. LIEBELER. For the purpose of our investigation, I mean if there were any connection between your shooting on January 23 and Oswald's arrest for the assassination, we want to know about it. That is perfectly clear, is it not?
Mr. LIEBELER. I am asking you if you have any facts that would tie it up.
Mr.REYNOLDS. I have no facts. I just have my own beliefs.
Mr. LIEBELER. And you do believe that there is some relation, do you?
Mr. LIEBELER. Do you know Nancy J. Mooney?
Mr. LIEBELER. Have you ever heard of her?
Mr. LIEBELER. What have you heard?
Mr.REYNOLDS. I heard that' she was with Garner the night that I got shot. I heard that she took a lie detector test that helped free him. I heard that a few days later she was caught fighting and they put her in jail, and she hung herself. I heard that she formerly worked for Jack Ruby as a stripper.
Mr. LIEBELER. Do you know who told you that?
Mr.REYNOLDS. I read it in Bob Considine's article.
Mr. LIEBELER. Is that the only source of your information concerning Nancy J. Mooney?
Mr.REYNOLDS. The police told me that she had hung herself and that she was the one that was with Garner. Everybody calls him "Dago."
Mr. LIEBELER. Did the police department tell you that she had worked for Jack Ruby?
Mr. LIEBELER. The only source of information that you have for that is the article that Bob Considine wrote about this whole thing?
Mr.REYNOLDS. That's right.
Mr. LIEBELER. Have you heard anything about Nancy J. Mooney, or do you know anything about her other than that which you read in Bob Considine's newspaper article?
Mr.REYNOLDS. No; I don't. Well, I know one thing, she was 16, and her age, that is just what I have heard.
Mr. LIEBELER. You have heard that?
Mr.REYNOLDS. From the police department.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did you know that she also used the name Betty MacDonald?
Mr.REYNOLDS. No; I didn't know that.
Mr. LIEBELER. My information is also that she is 24, not 16.
Mr.REYNOLDS. Twenty-four?
Mr. LIEBELER. Did you ever hear that she tried to commit suicide prior to the time she hung herself in the Dallas Police Station?
Mr. LIEBELER. Or that she had four children that had been taken away from her because of her conduct?
Mr.REYNOLDS. I see nothing in that whole story that Considine wrote that would really come to me be true. I mean, it is true in one sense, and it is fair story, but I don't see any connection there, let's say.
Mr. LIEBELER. Considine was trying to create an impression that some girl had worked for Jack Ruby and was connected with Garner, and hung herself in the police department?
Mr. LIEBELER. Do you believe there is any connection in that respect?
Mr.REYNOLDS. No; I don't.
Mr. LIEBELER. Have you considered, when you thought about this problem, that there are other people that actually went down to the police station and viewed Oswald in lineups, and have testified in Washington before this Commission, and received international publicity in connection with the identification of Oswald as the murderer of Tippit and that so far at any rate they have not been attacked in any way such as you were?
Mr.REYNOLDS. Yes; I have.
Mr. LIEBELER. Can you suggest to me why you were picked out to be shot for this reason and not these other people?
Mr.REYNOLDS. The ones that I know, I am the only aggressor in the whole bunch. I am the only one that actually did something more than just look. I actually did something.
Mr. LIEBELER. But that is the only distinction you can see between yourself and those other people?
Mr.REYNOLDS. That's right.
Mr. LIEBELER. Have you discussed this question of the possible relationship between your shooting and the assassination, with General Walker?
Mr.REYNOLDS. Yes; I have.
Mr. LIEBELER. What did you say to him and what did he say to you about this matter, if you remember.
Mr.REYNOLDS. Oh, I said to him basically the same thing that I have said to you, and he said it could be and he thinks that it's strange that I was shot. I think anybody would think it strange. But of course, if you have ever talked to him, he wouldn't say yes or no.

Mr. LIEBELER. Does General Walker know of any facts, so far as you know, that would relate your shooting to the assassination?

Mr. Reynolds. No.
Mr. LIEBELER. He has never expressed a firm opinion to you one way or the other as to whether there was in fact, any connection between the two, has he?
Mr.REYNOLDS. Let me just let him answer that when he talks to you.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did you know that he is going to talk to us?
Mr.REYNOLDS. Yes; I do.
Mr. LIEBELER. How do you know that?
Mr.REYNOLDS. I talked to him.
Mr. LIEBELER. Talked to him since we have invited him to come over and talk to us?
Mr. LIEBELER. When is the last time you talked to General Walker?
Mr.REYNOLDS. Around noon today.
Mr. LIEBELER. Talked to him on the telephone? Or in person?
Mr.REYNOLDS. Telephone; yes.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did you discuss with him your appearance before the Commission here?
Mr. LIEBELER. Would you tell us the general subject of your conversation?
Mr.REYNOLDS. I just don't want to answer that, really.
Mr. LIEBELER. Preceding your conversation at noon today, when was the last time you talked to him before that, do you remember, approximately?
Mr.REYNOLDS. About a week ago. Maybe 2 weeks.
Mr. LIEBELER. How many times have you talked to him about this question altogether?
Mr.REYNOLDS. I have no idea; five or six.
Mr. LIEBELER. Now, in fact, General Walker sent a telegram to the Commission suggesting that we take your testimony, did he not?
Mr. LIEBELER. You knew that he did? Did he tell you that?
Mr.REYNOLDS. Yes. May I go off the record?
I think I have asked you all the questions I can think of, Mr. Reynolds, at this point. But I do want to say this to you. If you can think of anything else that you want the Commission to know in connection with this whole thing, I want you to feel free to say what it is right now. Or if you think there are any other facts that relate to this that we haven't brought out.
Mr.REYNOLDS. I don't know of any. I think it should be investigated what happened to me.
Mr. LIEBELER. The Dallas Police Department did conduct an investigation of the attack on you.
Mr.REYNOLDS. But their investigation didn't go too much past Garner. I mean they questioned a lot of people, but not anything of any importance. They have a little old bullet. I believe that is the only clue that they have.
Mr. LIEBELER. If you can't think of anything else that you think we ought to know and I haven't already asked you about, we can terminate the deposition at this point.
Mr.REYNOLDS. I would like to say something that might be important. About 3 weeks after I got out of the hospital, which would be around the 20th of February, my little 10-year-old daughter--somebody tried to pick her up, tried to get her in a car.
Now, again, whether that has any connection or not, I don't know, but it did happen, and it never had happened before nor after. But they even offered her money. She was smart enough to run and get away.
Mr. LIEBELER. Have you seen any other indication that anybody has been following you or that anybody is watching you or anything like that?
Mr.REYNOLDS. Someone unscrewed my light globe one night on the front porch of my house, and someone definitely did it.
Whether it was a jokester or kid, but I have a lamp over the light. They had to take three screws loose to get to my light globe. They took those off unscrewed my light, and that is for sure. Now, that was around the 20th of February, too.
Mr. LIEBELER. That was after you had gotten out of the hospital?
Mr. LIEBELER. Is there anything else that would lead you to think anybody has been looking for you or looking after you?
Mr. LIEBELER. Thank you very much, Mr. Reynolds.