Testimony Of Eric Rogers

The testimony of Eric Rogers was taken on July 21, 1964, at the Old Civil Courts Building, Royal and Conti Streets, New Orleans, La., by Mr. Wesley J. Liebeler, assistant counsel of the President's Commission.

Eric Rogers, having been first duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows:

Mr. LIEBELER. Mr. Rogers, I am an attorney on the staff of the President's Commission. I think I met you one day.
Mr. ROGERS. I remember you; yes, sir.
Mr. LIEBELER. I wanted to ask you a few questions about Oswald. I am questioning you under authority granted to me by the Commission under Executive Order No. 11130, dated November 29, 1963, and joint resolution of Congress, No. 137.
You are entitled to have an attorney if you want to and you don't have to answer any questions if you feel that they are incriminating.
Mr. ROGERS. Well, I can't answer what I don't know. I will tell yon just what I told them, you see. That's all I saw.
Mr. LIEBELER. Mr. Rogers, am I correct in understanding that you lived at 4907 Magazine Street during the period last summer when--
Mr. ROGERS. I did; a few months.
Mr. LIEBELER. When did you move there?
Mr. ROGERS. It was around in the in July, around July.
Mr. LIEBELER. Was Oswald there?
Mr. ROGERS. He was there for a short period of time.
Mr. LIEBELER. You lived right next door to Oswald?
Mr. ROGERS. My apartment was in the front and my window was fight next--near his apartment.
Mr. LIEBELER. You met Oswald and came to know him? Did you ever meet him?
Mr. ROGERS. No; I never met him. He didn't bid the time to anyone.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did you talk to him or anything?
Mr. ROGERS. No; never did.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did you know what his name was?
Mr. ROGERS. Just by mail coming in the box on the front.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did you ever talk to his wife?
Mr. ROGERS. She spoke Russian. She did bid the time of day, that's all, but he didn't. He wouldn't bid the time to no one.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did they ever have any arguments that you know of?
Mr. ROGERS. Some spats, but in Russian, looked like. You know what I mean?
Mr. LIEBELER. They spoke Russian and you couldn't understand what they were saying?
Mr. ROGERS. Yes, sir.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did you ever see Oswald have any visitors at his apartment?
Mr. ROGERS. He had no one. Had some kind of a dark fellow asked where he lived.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did he appear to be a Cuban?
Mr. ROGERS. Yes; Spanish type of person.
Mr. LIEBELER. Was that in August, do you remember?
Mr. ROGERS. Around that time. I believe it was around that time.
Mr. LIEBELER. Now do you remember anybody else that visited Oswald at his apartment?
Mr. ROGERS. Probably at the time they had this--you know--Fair Play for Cuba, something like that. I think they were radio interviewers, I think. Looked like local people. Didn't look like--heard him saying something about wanting to play on radio. That's all.
Mr. LIEBELER. You don't remember any other ones?
Mr. ROGERS. Not that I know of unless I was at work. I wasn't there all the time.
Mr. LIEBELER. Your wife was in the hospital part of this time, is that correct?
Mr. ROGERS. That's right.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did you work at that time, sir?
Mr. ROGERS. No; I wasn't working at that time. See, Mr. Liebeler, I am on pension, you see. I am only allowed to make so much a year because of the pension, you see.
Mr. LIEBELER. I see. Did you ever see Oswald sitting on the front porch?
Mr. ROGERS. Oh, yes; with books, reading.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did he read a lot?
Mr. ROGERS. Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did you ever see any rifle or firearms of any type in his possession at that time?
Mr. ROGERS. No; I never. We did see one time some the mailman brought a big package in. I wouldn't say what it was, of course. I guess they checked that through the mail.
Mr. LIEBELER. When was that?
Mr. ROGERS. It was in the summer, some time before he left, somewhere around that time.
Mr. LIEBELER. Oswald's apartment had a little porch in the front?
Mr. ROGERS. Screened porch.
Mr. LIEBELER. It had blinds in it, too, that you could let down, did it not?
Mr. ROGERS. Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER. So it would have been possible for him to have sat in that porch and you couldn't see him very well from the street?
Mr. ROGERS. He wouldn't discuss anything on the porch. He would go in the house.
Mr. LIEBELER. Would it have been possible to sit in that porch and drop the blinds so that people couldn't see you?
Mr. ROGERS. It could be possible. I don't know. I never--I seen him sitting down there and go in and out, coming in and out.
Mr. LIEBELER. We talked to you previously out at the apartment, and my recollection is that you told us that some time in September, I believe, that a station wagon came and picked up Mrs. Oswald.
Mr. ROGERS. That was the time he left town.
Mr. LIEBELER. Tell us about that.
Mr. ROGERS. The station wagon was visible. I called my wife. I said, "Well, he must be leaving." They were packing all the things. Probably left the next night or sometime like I told you, the following night after. Had the two things in his hand and goggles on like he was running out of there. I don't know what he was doing.
Mr. LIEBELER. Tell us about those goggles. Were they something like sunglasses? Describe them.
Mr. ROGERS. I don't know. I couldn't say that.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did you see what license plates the station wagon had on it?
Mr. ROGERS. No, Mr. Liebeler, I couldn't tell you on that. Kind of a gray station wagon. He was putting the packing, everything in that himself.
Mr. LIEBELER. Do you know when the station wagon left?
Mr. ROGERS. Well, I told my wife--she said she might have left early in the morning before we got up, with the lady.
Mr. LIEBELER. You think that she might have left with the lady?
Mr. ROGERS. Yes. Then he left that night or late afternoon. Went out in a hurry. Left all the lights on.
Mr. LIEBELER. Who was in the station wagon? Was there another lady?
Mr. ROGERS. Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did you see the station wagon leave?
Mr. ROGERS. We didn't see it leave, but it wasn't there when he left. There was nobody else evidently.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did you see Oswald at all after the station wagon left?
Mr. ROGERS. No; I didn't see him until that night. He slipped out of there. He was going out to catch the bus across the street. The bus stop is right across the street from us.
Mr. LIEBELER. You did see Oswald come out of the apartment in the evening?
Mr. ROGERS. Yes. We was sitting on the porch at that time.
Mr. LIEBELER. So it is clear to you that Oswald did not leave with the ladies in the station wagon?
Mr. ROGERS. No; he didn't leave with them in the station wagon. It was the following evening he left on the bus with these two handbags.
Mr. LIEBELER. That was in the evening?
Mr. ROGERS. Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER. He ran across the street and got on the bus?
Mr. ROGERS. That's right.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did he get on the bus at the bus stop?
Mr. ROGERS. Bus stop on the corner right opposite.
Mr. LIEBELER. Toward the center of the city?
Mr. ROGERS. Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did you see the bags that he had in his hand when he went out?
Mr. ROGERS. My wife seen some of them.
Mr. LIEBELER. (handing pictures to witness). Let me show you some pictures and see if these look like it.
Mr. ROGERS. (indicating).This middle one, I know that ain't the type there. That's not the type.
Mr. LIEBELER. (handing picture to witness).I show you a picture of a bag that has been marked as "Commission Exhibit No. 126," and ask you if that looks like the bag.
Mr. ROGERS. That's it. That's it.
Mr. LIEBELER. Does that look like one of the bags?
Mr. ROGERS. That looks to me like it was.
Mr. LIEBELER. (handing picture to witness).Now I show you a picture which we will mark Rogers Exhibit No. 1, showing two views of a bag. Does it look like the one Oswald had?
Mr. ROGERS. You mean--he had two of them.
Mr. LIEBELER. How many did he have?
Mr. ROGERS. He had two of them in my estimation, each one in one hand. They looked like these here to me, to my knowledge. I mean, yes. I don't think it was this type [indicating]. I would say this type [indicating].
Mr. LIEBELER. And you are pointing to No. A-l, which is a picture of Commission Exhibit No. 126 and do you think he had two bags that looked like "Commission Exhibit No. 126." Did he carry both in one hand?
Mr. ROGERS. One in each hand.
Mr. LIEBELER. As far as you can tell, he did not have a bag similar to Rogers Exhibit No. 1?
Mr. ROGERS. No, no. It was kind of daylight. You could see. You know what I mean?
Mr. LIEBELER. What makes you sure that he didn't have one like Rogers Exhibit No. 17 Is it a different size?
Mr. ROGERS. It was--they both look like the same size, and they were well packed. They were well stuffed. I know they wasn't light. I don't know what he had in them.
Mr. LIEBELER. So in your estimation, he had two bags like Exhibit 126?
Mr. ROGERS. If I am not mistaken, they are the two bags that my wife and I identified when they came over to the house, somebody from Oklahoma. He was transferred down here.
Mr. LIEBELER. An FBI agent?
Mr. ROGERS. Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER. They actually brought the bags over?
Mr. ROGERS. They had the pictures like this.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did he show you pictures like these two that I have got here?
Mr. ROGERS. Sure did.
Mr. LIEBELER. They had bags like Exhibit 126?
Mr. ROGERS. Yes. This is the type. That's the green type of looking luggage.
Mr. LIEBELER. You say again that he did not have a bag that looked like Rogers Exhibit No. 1?
Mr. ROGERS. Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER. Now, did Oswald leave as far as you can tell on the same day that the station wagon left, or on the next day?
Mr. ROGERS. Well, they packed that night and, yes; they left on the same day, the following evening.
Mr. LIEBELER. They packed the station wagon on one day and the next day you looked out and the station wagon was gone?
Mr. ROGERS. He left that following evening. I figured he was moving. I don't know. If he was moving, he was supposed to tell the landlord.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did he talk to the landlord about it?
Mr. ROGERS. No; but she knew about it. He didn't talk to her. He didn't talk to nobody. He would give you the money and wouldn't say nothing. He was quiet himself, that's all.
Mr. LIEBELER. (handing picture to witness). I am going to show you a picture that has been marked "Bringuier Exhibit No. 1," and ask you if you recognize anybody in that picture.
Mr. ROGERS. Wait. Let me get my glasses on. I can see better this way. [Examining picture.] No, Mr. Liebeler, I don't think. I don't think. No; I don't think I know any one in there.
Mr. LIEBELER. (handing picture to witness). I show you a picture that has been marked "Garner Exhibit No. 1," and ask you if you recognize any individual that is in that picture.
Mr. ROGERS. Well, maybe he did identify him, but I never saw this man. No. That's when this happened? Mr. Garner did, but I didn't. No, I--if he did come around, I wasn't there. If I did, I would tell you, you know.
Mr. LIEBELER. (handing picture to witness). I show you a picture that has been marked "Pizzo Exhibit No. 453-A," and ask you if you recognize that man.
Mr. ROGERS. No. I seen plenty people, but I don't know him either. If I did, I would tell you.
Mr. LIEBELER. All right. Thank you very much, Mr. Rogers.
Mr. ROGERS. Under oath, I tell you just exactly what I tell you, the same thing. As far as the boy is concerned, you know, he never spoke to anybody. Go in and out, eat and clean. Didn't nobody knew his business.
Mr. LIEBELER. He kept pretty much to himself?