The testimony of Mrs. Frances Cason was taken at 4:10 p.m., on April 1, 1964, in the office of the U.S. attorney, 301 Post Office Building, Bryan and Ervay Streets, Dallas, Tex, by Mr. Leon D. Hubert, Jr, assistant counsel of the President's Commission.
Mr. HUBERT. This is the deposition of Mrs. Frances Cason [spelling] F-r-a-n-c-e-s?
Mrs. CASON. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Mrs. Cason, my name is Leon Hubert, I am a member of the advisory staff of the General Counsel on the President's Commission. Under the provisions of the Executive Order 11130, dated November 29, 1963, the Joint Resolution of Congress No. 137, and the rules and procedure adopted by the Commission in conformance with the Executive order and joint resolution, I have been authorized to take a sworn deposition from you. Mrs. Cason, I state to you now that the general nature of the Commission's inquiry is to ascertain, evaluate and report upon the facts relating to the assassination of President Kennedy and the subsequent violent death of Lee Harvey Oswald. In particular as to you, Mrs. Cason, the nature of the inquiry today is to determine the facts you know about the death of Oswald and any other pertinent facts you may know about the general inquiry.


In particular, with reference to your duties as a dispatcher of the Dallas Police Department.
Now, Mrs. Cason, you have appeared here today by virtue of an informal request made by the General Counsel of the staff of the President's Commission, and under the rules adopted by the Commission you would normally be entitled to a 3-day written notice prior to the taking of your deposition, but those rules also provide that that 3-day written notice may be waived, and I ask you if you are willing to waive that notice at this time?
Mrs. CASON. Yes, I will.
Mr. HUBERT. All right, stand and raise your right hand, please, Ma'am, so as to be sworn.
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?
Mrs. CASON. I do.
Mr. HUBERT. State your name, please.
Mrs. CASON. Frances Cason.
Mr. HUBERT. Your age?
Mrs. CASON. Age 26.
Mr. HUBERT. Are you married, Mrs. Cason?
Mrs. CASON. Yes, I am.
Mr. HUBERT. Then I suppose we should have your husband's name?
Mrs. CASON. Jimmy D. Cason.
Mr. HUBERT. What was your name prior to the marriage?
Mrs. CASON. Shanz [spelling] S-h-a-n-z.
Mr. HUBERT. Where do you reside?
Mrs. CASON. 2822 Greene [spelling] G-r-e-e-n-e, in Irving, Tex.
Mr. HUBERT. What is your occupation?
Mrs. CASON. Telephone clerk in the telephone dispatcher's office at the Dallas Police Department.
Mr. HUBERT. How long have you been so employed?
Mrs. CASON. Since September 6, 1963. Before that I had a 6 months' leave of absence and was employed for the police department for 2 1/2 years.
Mr. HUBERT. Were you on duty between the hours of 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., on November 24, 1963?
Mrs. CASON. Yes, I was; actually, it is 6:30 to 3:30.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, Mrs. Cason, I have marked for the purposes of identification a document which is to be found in Commission's report 81-A, which is entitled "Investigation of the Operational Security Involving the Transfer of Lee Harvey Oswald on November 24th, 1963." On page 14, thereof, I have also marked Exhibit EE in that document, the following for the purposes of identification, "Dallas, Texas, April 1, 1964. Exhibit 5135, Deposition of Frances Cason and C. E. Hulse." I have signed my name below that and ask you if you have not signed your name, for the purposes of identification, also on this same document?
Mrs. CASON. Yes; I did.
Mr. HUBERT. Will you state in your own words just exactly what part you had to do with this Exhibit 5135, which you now have before you?
Mrs. CASON. You want me to just go ahead?
Mr. HUBERT. Yes.
Mrs. CASON. At approximately 11:20, or 11:21, I received a call from the basement of city hall there from Officer Slack, who works in the jail office.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you know Officer Slack prior to this time?
Mrs. CASON. Yes; I did.
Mr. HUBERT. Had you spoken to him on the telephone before?
Mrs. CASON. Yes; I have.
Mr. HUBERT. Can you state that you are able to recognize his voice?
Mrs. CASON. Yes; I did.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you recognize the voice then speaking to you as being the voice of Officer Slack?
Mrs. CASON. Yes; I did.
Mr. HUBERT. All right; now, go ahead.
Mrs. CASON. In addition, he told me it was Officer Slack when he called. It is not unusual for them to say, "This is Slack in the jail office." So he would


identify himself and ask to speak to Officer Farr, that is J.G. Farr, who is our corporal.
Mr. HUBERT. How do you spell his last name?
Mrs. CASON. [spelling] F-a-r-r. And he was in charge on that Sunday because we did not have a sergeant there, and he had asked to speak to Farr, and I told him Officer Farr was working channel 2, which is a separate channel that we have, and so he told me, he said, "They just shot Oswald," or "Somebody just shot Oswald," and I told him, "Okay." And placed him on hold and told Farr that he had a red light on 531, and I proceeded to call the ambulance service on the hot line.
Mr. HUBERT. Please describe the hot line?
Mrs. CASON. The hot line is a straight line from our dispatcher office to the ambulance company which requires no dialing. You just lift it up and it rings from our office to theirs.
Mr. HUBERT. So, then, immediately upon getting this information from Slack you passed it on to Farr by word of mouth?
Mrs. CASON. I did not tell Officer Farr that Oswald had just been shot. I felt it was more important to get the ambulance and in time they would know soon enough. I told them he had a red light, and I knew Slack would tell him what happened in the basement.
Mr. HUBERT. So then you flipped the button for the hot line at O'Neal Funeral Home?
Mrs. CASON. Yes; I did.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you get it immediately?
Mrs. CASON. Yes.
Mr. HUBERT. What happened then?
Mrs. CASON. It is just a matter of seconds until they answered, and I told them that someone just shot Oswald in the basement, and we needed a white ambulance, code 3, to the basement.
Mr. HUBERT. What does code 3 mean?
Mrs. CASON. Code 3, red lights and sirens, as fast as possible.
Mr. HUBERT. What did the man on the other end say to you?
Mrs. CASON. He told me he would send ambulance 607, from his office, and I told him, "Okay," and hung up the phone.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, who were you speaking to, do you know?
Mrs. CASON. I do not know. Sometimes they will give their names when they answer, and sometimes they do not, and I do not remember if he did or not.
Mr. HUBERT. He told you that 607, ambulance 607, would answer this call?
Mrs. CASON. Yes; he did.
Mr. HUBERT. And answer it under conditions of code 3, that is to say, as fast as possible, red lights and sirens.
Mrs. CASON. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. What happened next?
Mrs. CASON. Apparently I must have told Officer C.E. Hulse, who was on the radio, that Oswald had just been shot, and I had ordered an ambulance, and by then I proceeded to make up the call sheet, which is just routine work that we do in the office on every call that we take.
Mr. HUBERT. All right. Now, you have before you Exhibit 5135, which is the call sheet we are talking about, and I notice written in hand, "605 on air," and it seems to be next to the initials, "F.C." Is that language, to wit, "Ambulance 605 on air," in your handwriting?
Mrs. CASON. Yes; it is.
Mr. HUBERT. Are the initials "F.C." your initials?
Mrs. CASON. Yes; they are.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, can you tell us about when you made up that card?
Mrs. CASON. Immediately after ordering the ambulance I made up the call sheet. I did not have to look up the district or any of the information because I knew it all by memory, and we have a lot of calls to city hall, and normally use 2000 and Main, and I knew, of course, it was district 102, and----
Mr. HUBERT. And the top of the card shows it is district 102?
Mrs. CASON. Yes, sir.


Mr. HUBERT. Now, there is also on that Exhibit 5135, and it appears in blue ink printed by someone in the column entitled, "Ambulance ordered," the following: "C-11:12 a.m., November 24th----"
Mrs. CASON. 11:21, it said----
Mr. HUBERT. "11:21," I beg your pardon Then the column immediately below that, "Time received," "C-11:21 a.m., November 24th." Can you explain that to us, please?
Mrs. CASON. Well, the writing was not on the original call sheet. The original call sheet was stamped in the timeclock. The only reason I can see for it is that in the copying of the call sheet, the printed matter did not show up, and it was necessary to write this in in ink.
Mr. HUBERT. In other words, it is your thought that the original of which 5135 is a photostatic copy, has got the time printed, and that someone just simply wrote it in?
Mrs. CASON. I feel like it was stamped; yes, sir. I am almost positive it was.
Mr. HUBERT. This writing in blue ink that I referred to is not in your handwriting?
Mrs. CASON. No, sir; it is not.
Mr. HUBERT. What would have been the normal procedure for stamping the time in those two columns?
Mrs. CASON. Well, ordinarily, we make up the call sheet before we stamp it in complete form. In other words, we don't do part of it and stamp that and then do part of it again and stamp that time. I, myself, always stamp the the time that the ambulance is ordered regardless of whether it is on the air or whether it is sent from the office itself. Whereas, some other telephone clerks may have left the "Ambulance ordered" place blank for the dispatcher to stamp.
That is, if it was an ambulance on the air call.
Mr. HUBERT. You feel certain, therefore, that you, having prepared the card, did put it into the time clock?
Mrs. CASON. Yes, sir. I feel sure I stamped the card twice as to the time. Once for the ambulance and----
Mr. HUBERT. How long would it take you to prepare the card?
Mrs. CASON. Just a few seconds. It is very routine, and it just takes a matter of a few seconds if you are familiar with it.
Mr. HUBERT. What kind of time clocks are these? I don't mean the make of them, but how do they work? Are they automatic?
Mrs. CAS0N. Yes; they are. They are all electric clocks, and I believe the name of them is Synchron. They show the time on the face of the clock, and you insert the call sheet on the place marked by a red arrow, and when you place the call sheet in, the weight of it causes the clock to stamp the time.
Mr. HUBERT. You do not have to punch anything down?
Mrs. CASON. The weight of the card causes the clock to stamp the time.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, is that clock checked at any time as to accuracy?
Mrs. CASON. I don't know how often they are checked. I do know that sometimes we find a discrepancy as to the time on the clock insofar as sometimes when we dispatch--when we sent a call sheet through and the time received may be--it says, this could have been 11:23 on the time I received the call, and when we dispatched it it would have shown 11:22, then we would know that the clocks were off, because we couldn't--I couldn't receive a call after we had dispatched it.
Mr. HUBERT. But, the dispatcher would be using a different clock from you?
Mrs. CASON. And when we find these errors in these clocks this way, someone in the office usually adjusts them to where they all are stamping the same time. It doesn't happen very often that they get out of time, but sometimes they do.
Mr. HUBERT. They are not all tied into a master clock?
Mrs. CASON. No; not as far as I know. I don't really know how the system works, but I don't believe they are. I believe they are all on individual basis.
Mr. HUBERT. I notice that Exhibit 5135 shows an "M.J."; is that in your handwriting?


Mrs. CASON. Yes; it is.
Mr. HUBERT. Well----
Mrs. CASON. These are the initials of Officer M. J. Jackson who was working on the radio with Officer C. E. Hulse at the time the calls were dispatched. The way our radio is set up part of the squads are handled by this officer on one side of the board and part of the squads and the ambulances and APB, which is traffic investigators are handled by the officer on the other side of the radio board, and Mr. Jackson was sitting on the side of the board that would handle a call in the downtown area. That is why I placed his initial on the call sheet, but when it got in there Officer Hulse had already been talking to the ambulance and was dispatching the call rather than Mr. Jackson.
Mr. HUBERT. Have you stated yet whether you conveyed the information about Oswald being shot to Officer Hulse by word of mouth?
Mrs. CASON. No.
Mr. HUBERT. Tell us what happened there?
Mrs. CASON. There is a discrepancy in the number of the ambulance that was on the call sheet and the number of the ambulance that was told to me that would be sent by the ambulance company. I feel that the reason for this is because I called Officer Hulse over the intercom that we have between the telephone clerk's office and the radio dispatcher's office and told him that Oswald had been shot, and I was sending an ambulance, and it is my understanding that ambulance 605 was cleared in the downtown area, and he gave it to ambulance 605, and told me to clear 607 through the office, so, rather than put 607 on the call sheet, I put ambulance 605 on the air, because he was giving the call on the air.
Mr. HUBERT. Well, Officer Hulse got the information that Oswald was shot and that an ambulance was needed from you?
Mrs. CASON. I do not have total recall about the matter, but I feel like Officer Hulse knew Oswald had been shot. This is my only explanation for it. It was busy that day and things were confusing, and I just feel like this is what must have happened. It's not unusual for us to tell them about things like this on the intercom that is placed there for that reason, like if we have an armed robbery they can tell them the location and they can have a squad practically there before we can make up the call sheet, because it takes longer to make up a call sheet if you have to look up the district, and we do not know all of the districts. I happened to know what district this call was in.
Mr. HUBERT. That is why it was easy and quick for you to make up your call sheet, identified as Exhibit 5135?
Mrs. CASON. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, is there anything that we have not covered, to your recollection?
Mrs. CASON. I can't think of anything other than that we did not know the exact time that Oswald was to be transferred and I might clarify the matter as to why Officer Farr was on channel 2. Channel 2 was maintained throughout the whole time that President Kennedy was in town and was used for special services such as the--if we have a whole lot of extra traffic men and solo motorcycles and things of this sort to keep them off of channel 1, they set up channel 2, and put all of those people on that channel 2, and I feel sure that this must have been the case this day, because they must have had all sorts of extra people set up for the transfer from the city hall to the county jail and this is probably why Officer Farr was maintaining channel 2.
Mr. HUBERT. But this call went out on channel 1?
Mrs. CASON. This call went out on channel 1, but other than that, I can't think of anything else I know that might have any bearing on this whatsoever.
Mr. HUBERT. Let me ask you this: We did have an interview, didn't we, immediately before the beginning of this deposition?
Mrs. CASON. Yes.
Mr. HUBERT. Can you think of anything that we discussed in the course of that interview which has not been covered in this deposition?
Mrs. CASON. Only pertaining to the squad dispatched, and I believe Officer Hulse can cover that. Other than that, I can't think of anything.
Mr. HUBERT. All right, now, do you perceive any inconsistencies between the


interview and the facts brought out in the interview and your deposition now being taken?
Mrs. CASON. No; I don't.
Mr. HUBERT. I think that is all, then. Thank you very much.
Mrs. CASON. Thank you.

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