The testimony of John G. Graef was taken at 9:20 a.m., on March 30, 1964, in the office of the U.S. attorney, 301 Post Office Building, Bryan and Ervay Streets, Dallas, Tex., by Mr. Albert E. Jenner, Jr., assistant counsel of the President's Commission. Robert T. Davis, assistant attorney general of Texas, was present.
Mr. JENNER. Would you rise and be sworn, please, Mr. Graef?
Mr. GRAEF. Certainly.
Mr. JENNER. Do you solemnly swear in your testimony to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?
Mr. GRAEF. I do.
Mr. JENNER Mr. Graef, I am Albert E. Jenner, Jr., and I am a member of the legal staff of the Commission appointed to investigate the assassination of President Kennedy, our President, and I think Mr. Rankin of the Commission sent you, or you have received from Mr. Rankin, a letter together with copies of the Senate Joint Resolution 137, creating the Commission, authorizing its creation, and President Johnson's Executive Order 11130, appointing the Commission and fixing its power and also a copy of the procedural regulations adopted by the Commission with respect to the taking of testimony.
Mr. GRAEF. That's correct.
Mr. JENNER. And you appear here voluntarily?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes; I do.
Mr. JENNER. The Commission, as you know from those documents, is appointed to investigate the circumstances surrounding the assassination of President Kennedy, and particularly any facts and circumstances respecting the involvement of Lee Harvey Oswald, and that tragic event, and seeks to gain information from those who had some touch with his life, and we understand you had some connection with him with respect to an early employment, in 1962, by Mr. Oswald, in your company--Jaggars, J-a-g-g-a-r-s [spelling], Chiles, C-h-i-l-e-s [spelling], Stovall, S-t-o-v-a-l-l [spoiling].
Mr. JENNER. Off the record.
(Discussion between Counsel Jenner and the witness, Graef, off the record.)
Mr. JENNER. Our information is that Lee Oswald was an employee of Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall in October 1962; is that correct?
Mr. GRAEF. That's correct.
Mr. JENNER. Now, you lived at 522 Browder, B-r-o-w-d-e-r [spelling]?
Mr. GRAEF. No; that is the address of the firm--Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall.


Mr. JENNER. You reside where?
Mr. GRAEF. At 7304 Turtle Creek.
Mr. JENNER. Here in Dallas?
Mr. GRAEF. That is correct.
Mr. JENNER. And you have been a resident here in Dallas for about how long?
Mr. GRAEF. Approximately 18 years.
Mr. JENNER. And you are a married man and have a family, I assume?
Mr. GRAEF. That's correct.
Mr. JENNER. And how long have you been employed or associated with Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall?
Mr. GRAEF. About 10 or 11 years; perhaps a little longer.
Mr. JENNER. Since your earlier answer that Oswald was employed at one time in October 1962, by this company, do you have knowledge or reasonably direct information as to the circumstances leading up to his employment, and what kind of an employee he was?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes; I do.
Mr. JENNER. Would you, in your own words, just tell us about it?
Mr. GRAEF. Certainly.
Mr. JENNER. Start at the very beginning, as best you can, so I can get the whole story of the matter.
Mr. GRAEF. Fine. About that time it was, I believe, October, I don't have any written information in front of me that I recall----
Mr. JENNER. This is 1962?
Mr. GRAEF. That's correct--I'll have to recall as best I can.
In about October 1962, as director of our photographic department we found ourselves in need of another man, so at this time I called the Texas Employment Commission and spoke to them about sending me someone having as close as possible the abilities that might work out in our photographic department.
Mr. JENNER. Would you tell us what you told her in that connection, as best as you can reconstruct it, giving us her name--it was a her?
Mr. GRAEF. I believe I remember--yes--Louise Latham.
Mr. JENNER. What your normal practice is in that respect?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes.
Mr. JENNER. And, particularly what you did on this occasion?
Mr. GRAEF. Being the director of the photographic department for some time, on numerous occasions it has been necessary for me to call and ask the Texas Employment and other sources for help in the normal turnover of employees that come up in any business.
Mr. JENNER. Could you tell me something about those normal sources, because we may wish to look to them and see if we can find anybody else who had any possible contact with this man?
Mr. GRAEF. Surely. I can't name other employment agencies, but I will say, private employment agencies who occasionally have called us and told us that they had someone they thought had ability along our line, but this hadn't been as successful to us as the Texas Employment Commission. They seem to have a bigger repertoire of personnel needing jobs.
Mr. JENNER. Is that a public agency?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes; it is.
Mr. JENNER. State or local?
Mr. GRAEF. State; it is a State agency.
Mr. JENNER. It is here in Dallas?
Mr. GRAEF. It is here in Dallas.
Mr. JENNER. The office you called?
Mr. GRAEF. The office I called--that's correct.
Mr. JENNER. I assume it has offices in other cities in Texas?
Mr. GRAEF. I believe so; So I called--but to reiterate mainly our best source of employees has been the Texas Employment Commission. They have a larger pool to draw from, so I called--in the course of my dealing with them they have various departments and in the course of dealing with them, I became familiar with one person.
Our particular photographic department is not one that we find experienced personnel readily, and the work we do is, I would say, quite different in various


ways from ordinary photography, as most people know it. I will enlarge on that slightly by saying we do many, many things with letters. For example, we can take a straight line of type and we can curve it or bend it or twist it or put it in a circle, for example, and so, rather than just taking pictures of people as ordinary photographers do, this work which we perform for advertising agencies and artists in this area is a matter of training, learning first to use the equipment we have which takes some time, and then the differences in the material that we use.
For example, the characteristics of photographic paper, the characteristics of chemicals that we use, and it is only after learning and becoming familiar with the equipment and the materials that then you find out whether an employee will produce the work properly, on time, and well, and so, it is usually some time before an employee develops into or either becomes the kind of employee you want.
In other words, after this training period, and you have spent time with him teaching him the equipment and the material, perhaps at this late date, many months by now may have gone by--perhaps he can't--he isn't careful enough in the job--he begins producing, but perhaps we will say he doesn't work as hard as you would like, so quite often we spend a great deal of time teaching someone, only to find out after some months have passed that he isn't a desirable employee, but is just one of those things.
We must, of course, in order to find out if they will do the job, go through the process of teaching him the equipment and about the materials, so I've gone into this because it will help later on in explaining the termination of Lee Oswald with us, but because of these various facts that I have mentioned, I became familiar with one person in particular down at the employment office, the Texas Employment Commission--the agency.
I, of course, had never met this person, but through phone conversations I explained after many times what I needed, the type person I was looking for--perhaps with an artistic background, perhaps with photographic experience somewhere, in the Army or elsewhere, and I told her the various attributes that I thought a person should have in order to make a success of our work.
Mr. JENNER. Would you try to reconstruct this now--just assume you are on the telephone now.
Mr. GRAEF. Okay.
Mr. JENNER. And carry yourself back out there to a year and a half ago?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes; I'll try to do that. So, I called this person repeatedly--after the first call or two--this has gone on now over several years and she knew the type person I was looking for and the type of experience that I was looking for, so I called her, and her name was Louise Latham.
Mr. JENNER. Is she still employed by the Texas Employment Agency, do you know?
Mr. GRAEF. I don't know--I really don't know--a very charming person over the phone.
Mr. JENNER. And, had you put in this call, let's say--how long before she sent, if she did, Lee Harvey Oswald over to see you--when did you start out to seek this employee, is what I am getting at?
Mr. GRAEF. Let me refer to this employee questionnaire.
Mr. JENNER. Does that have an exhibit number on it?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes, No. 427.
Mr. JENNER. Commission Exhibit No. 427.
Mr. GRAEF. Now, it says here he was employed October 12, 1962, so I would say probably 2 weeks prior to that time, roughly about the 1st of October was when I placed the call.
Mr. JENNER. Do yon recall whether anybody other than or in addition to Lee Oswald had been sent you before he came?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes. I don't remember the sequence--whether Lee was first or whether Lee was last. As I recall, there were about two or three--all of them young men, average young men--Lee Oswald was average.
Mr. JENNER. Would you have in your files--what do you call that that is marked "Commission Exhibit 427"?
Mr. GRAEF. I am holding in my hand this same Commission Exhibit No. 427,


and it's an employee identification questionnaire, of our firm Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall.
Mr. JENNER. Would you have had a card, would it still be retained in your files for the other people you might have interviewed?
Mr. GRAEF. No. No--I wouldn't. Normally, when the Texas Employment Commission sends someone over for an interview, I meet them and we sit down, of course, and discuss their past history, employment history, and the various personal histories of that person. The Texas Employment Commission sends a card over from them, telling who the bearer is and it also has a space on it that says "Was this employee hired?", which you will mail back to them and "Not hired," and the reason why you didn't hire them, and in every case, as I recall, the people whom I did not hire, I would just mark it in the appropriate space and drop it in the mail and it is returned to them.
So, of these two or three young men who came to me after--at this period, about October 1, Lee was one of them and seemed to me to be the most serious and a shade--I'm searching for the right word--when I say "serious" and just a shade more determined, perhaps--he seemed like he had had a slight edge on the other one or two fellows that came there, and I thought--well----
Mr. JENNER. I take it that you personally did the interviewing of all of these?
Mr. GRAEF. That's correct.
Mr. JENNER. Including Lee Harvey Oswald?
Mr. GRAEF. That's correct. I had talked with this Mrs. Louise Latham, it's Mrs.--also--each time she would call. Of course, I would notify her that I could use another employee and perhaps 3 or 4 days would go by until she saw, knowing these various things that I needed--she would call me and say, "I believe I have a young man who looks like a pretty good prospect" and so I would say, "Thank you." And she would send him over.
Mr. JENNER. Have you now recited all of the things you indicated to her in connection with this particular employment or in employment need?
Mr. GRAEF. I----
Mr. JENNER. As to what you were looking for.
Mr. GRAEF. Yes; I believe so.
Mr. JENNER. Right.
Mr. GRAEF. So, Lee came over and I met him in the outer office. He handed me the employment card from the Texas Employment Commission. This, as I remember, just has a name and address and who sent him, and then was he hired or was he not hired.
Mr. JENNER. Do you recall how he looked--how he was attired, for example, on that occasion--that's a pretty big order?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes--my memory fails me a little here, but it seems to me he wore a suit, a dark gray suit, modestly dressed and he was very businesslike and likeable.
Mr. JENNER. You say your recollection doesn't serve you well as to his attire on this particular occasion?
Mr. GRAEF. That's correct.
Mr. JENNER. It could be that he did not have a suit--gray? A collar, or otherwise?
Mr. GRAEF. It could have been, yes, but that's just an impression that hits my mind, but I could very easily be wrong.
Mr. JENNER. Could he have had a white T-shirt and one of these lightweight zipper jackets on?
Mr. GRAEF. No--no, definitely not.
Mr. JENNER. Definitely not?
Mr. GRAEF. No.
Mr. JENNER. You have a definite recollection that he had a suit coat on?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes, his appearance was as most young men would appear in applying for a job---tend to look nice and he made a nice appearance.
Mr. JENNER. All right.
Mr. GRAEF. So, he came in----
Mr. JENNER. Excuse me, did he have a tie?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes.


Mr. JENNER. He did have a tie?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes; I'm pretty certain he had a tie.
Mr. JENNER. He gave you a reasonably fair impression?
Mr. GRAEF. That's correct.
Mr. JENNER. At first blush?
Mr. GRAEF. That's correct--he came in and I met him in the outer office, and we sat down in the outer office.
Mr. JENNER. I take it you had never seen this man before?
Mr. GRAEF. No; that's correct.
Mr. JENNER. Had you ever heard of him before?
Mr. GRAEF. No.
Mr. JENNER. Did anything occur during the course of that interview which triggered any thought in your mind that you might have, or could have heard about him before?
Mr. GRAEF. No.
Mr. JENNER. As an individual?
Mr. GRAEF. No.
Mr. JENNER. He remained throughout a complete stranger except to the extent of your questioning, which elicited some knowledge of him?
Mr. GRAEF. That's right. He was at that time a complete stranger. I had never seen him before or heard of him before.He was just another applicant for a job, is what it amounted to.
Mr. JENNER, All right. Go ahead.
Mr. GRAEF. So, we sat down and he gave me the card and he told me his name was Lee Harvey Oswald, and we went through the normal job interview that we give most young men. I know--I don't, of course, remember--because of the time it has been, the exact extent of our whole conversation, but I do remember various phases of it.
Mr. JENNER. Reconstruct it to the extent that you can and avoid to the extent you can assumption--that something must have happened and finally give us, to the best of your ability, what you do recall, even though you don't recall it on the button, so to speak.
Mr. GRAEF. Well, certain parts of it I remember almost word for word, and then, of course, other, I think less important parts, I have forgotten completely. I do remember that--I believe that Mrs. Latham in the Texas Employment Agency--at the time that she called me, she said that he had recently been discharged from the Marines.
When he came in, I found this--that I was just slightly embarrassed that I had forgotten it, and among the other duties, of course these things will happen, and when he sat down and introduced himself as Lee Harvey Oswald, I asked him where his last position was, and he said, "The Marines," and I recovered slightly, remembering that I had already been told this and, to cover up my embarrassment slightly, I laughed and I said, "Oh, yes."
I said, "Honorably discharged, of course," as a joke, and he said, "Oh, yes," and we went on with other facts of the interview. I remember him--I don't believe he gave me an address. I think he said it was just temporary where he was staying, or something to that effect. I also believe at the time he told me he had a wife and a child or a child coming. I don't remember exactly about that, because I, of course any employer is looking for someone dependable and a family man offers perhaps a little more dependability, needing a position, than a single person.
So, that I think is about--I think I did ask him where--when he mentioned the Marines, where he had served, and I believe he told me Korea, and I didn't go into it any further. I felt reasonably sure because he had come through the Texas Employment Commission--I didn't even think of checking on his honorable discharge--honorable or dishonorable or questionable discharge. I somehow had just assumed being through a State agency, that they perhaps had a much larger file on him, that my going into various details would just be going over--plowing up ground again, So I just figured--I never even thought about checking into his discharge or when he had been discharged. I think he had been discharged sometime prior to this--I don't at the moment remember


exactly when he got out of the Marines or was discharged, but the impression that was left with me and I suppose he told this to Mrs. Latham--was that it had been a very recent thing, because I recall that that's what she told me, and that's what he told me when he came to me---when I asked him.
Mr. JENNER. That it had been very recent?
Mr. GRAEF. Oh, yes; it had been very recent, because when I asked him about his last employment he said, "The Marines," he had just gotten out of the Marines, and then I recovered, you know, and said, "Oh" because Louise Latham had already told me this. At any rate, he seemed the applicant with the best chance of success that had been sent over.
Mr. JENNER. Would you go back a little bit?
Mr. GRAEF. Certainly.
Mr. JENNER. What inquiries did you make of him with respect to your qualifications for this position--his prior experience, if any?
Mr. GRAEF. None--none. I assumed that--now, he was sent over, if I remember right--I was also told by this Mrs. Latham, something about that he had perhaps some photographic experience in the Marines or there was some--there was some quality there that helped. And I believe it was that he had had a little bit of photograph experience in the Marines that might be helpful. In other words, he was a little familiar with the processing of film and so forth and, of course, this would add a little weight to his becoming a successful employee.
Mr. JENNER. I take it from your recital up to this moment that you are primarily interested at this point, having in mind the nature of the business, that this man would embrace ultimately what you were looking more for--let's say--general character, whether he seemed like a man who was going to be in this community a while?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes.
Mr. JENNER. Whether he was sincerely interested in obtaining employment that you expected to rely upon your teaching--I mean your company--under your supervision and direction--the teaching and training of this man for the position which you ultimately would seek to fill.
Mr. GRAEF. Yes; very well put.
Mr. JENNER. And it might even have been that if this man had no photographic experience whatsoever, but seemed--well, let's say clean cut and eager and intelligent, just out of the Marines and seeking to obtain employment and settle down, that that might have been sufficient qualifications for you?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes--if, of course, there was no one with any better promise that came along.
Mr. JENNER. Yes.
Mr. GRAEF. There have been several times when we have needed someone, when they would send two or three people over, and it was necessary for us to pick someone who had practically no experience in this work because you don't find anyone who is experienced in the type work we do. It is a very highly specialized trade.
The best you can hope to find is perhaps, and I'll tell you as I told this Mrs. Latham, the person that stands the best chance of success is perhaps someone who is industrious, willing to work, and not afraid of work, who perhaps has some artistic ability, because the area is opaquing of negatives with brushes and so forth, and possibly has some photographic experience, where they may know about paper and at least there will be some processes that they may have already learned or become familiar with and we won't have to begin from the very beginning.
Mr. JENNER. You are talking about photographic paper?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes.
Mr. JENNER. For example, some young man who has had an abiding interest in amateur photography, in developing his own film----
Mr. GRAEF. That's correct, and so you see he would become familiar with quite a few things in his hobby that he would know about when he came to work for us. We wouldn't have to start from the very beginning and say, "Now, this is film, and this is paper," and the difference between the two and start from the very beginning. So, to explain a little bit about why I didn't make any inquiries, I didn't frankly feel that any were necessary.


The fact that he had--that the employment agency had said--told me--that he had recently been discharged from the Marines, or had gotten out of the Marines, and the fact that he had backed up that statement immediately when he came over and said that he had been recently discharged from the Marines, and I asked him if he had been honorably discharged, more as a joke, and he said "Yes," he had. To me, what background was there to check into? Was I going to go through his commanding officer or his sergeant, for example?
Mr. JENNER. Well, it was a half truth--he had been honorably discharged and then dishonorably discharged.
Mr. GRAEF. I wish I had--but the whole thing, of course, seemed so on the level that I just hoped that he would be a person that could fill the job.
Mr. JENNER. Was this interview in the ordinary course of business?
Mr. GRAEF. Oh, yes.
Mr. JENNER. And having in mind the particular position you desired to train the man for whom you were looking, and having in mind the work--the background of work of the Texas Employment Agency, you made, I take it, the inquiries you would normally make under the circumstances?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes.
Mr. JENNER. There was nothing extraordinary about this?
Mr. GRAEF. No.
Mr. JENNER. Out of the ordinary pattern?
Mr. GRAEF. No--he came in for this interview sometime in the morning, 10:30 or 11:00, and we perhaps talked for 15 minutes. Of course, I took down his name and whatever information I could get on a piece of paper, just for my own record, as I did with the other two or three boys that had come previously or after him, and finally there was no one else, and so then I had to make a decision, and, of course, I think I threw this piece of paper away because they were just personal notes that I had made about the interview, so that I could look back and remind myself who was who. So, I believe, in fact I am very certain that Lee called me back--I told him--at the time I interviewed him, I thought I knew that he had the best chance of the other fellows of doing the job, and usually I call them and would tell them that they are hired, but I think in this case that there was no phone and that when I asked him could I call him and let him know whether he had been hired or whether he had not been hired--he said, "No, there is no phone" where I could call him, and I said, "Well, I'll be making a decision perhaps tomorrow and if you would care to call, I can let you know then."
Mr. JENNER. Didn't that excite any wonder on your part that there was no telephone at which he could be reached?
Mr. GRAEF. No, not really. It's surprising how many of the young men are in transit or moving--in many, many cases the people that have applied for the job--it may just be circumstantial, but the people that have applied for work with me don't have phones. They may have a neighbor somewhere who they might give, but usually that's reluctant because the neighbor doesn't want to be bothered and many, many of them won't have phones, and many, many of them have very temporary addresses. I mean, it may be a room somewhere where they are residing for 2 or 3 or 4 days and they are in the process of finding some other place to live, so this didn't excite any curiosity at all on my part. The fact that he had again said he had been discharged recently from the Marines--it seemed entirely plausible that he was trying to find--he said he had a wife and either a baby--like I say, I don't remember whether the baby was coming or already here I think she was here at that time. I think he said he had a wife and baby. I could easily see how he would be looking or could have been looking for a few weeks for better quarters and would not have a phone and would not have a permanent address. So, this didn't excite any particular curiosity on my part and I was intent, of course, on finding a dependable employee. That was my main concern, so, I at this interview felt that he had the best chance of making a go of this than the other applicants and so I told him, "I'll be deciding definitely in a day or two. Call me back," which he did and I said, "Okay, come on in to work."
Mr. JENNER. So that you were not looking for any special skill. If the gentleman whom you were interviewing had it, that would be a plus factor?


Mr. GRAEF. Correct--correct.
Mr. JENNER. Do you recall inquiring of him the extent, if any, of his skills with respect to photography and his experience in that connection, if any?
Mr. GRAEF. I don't recall; no. I believe I may have because this would be one of the normal things I would do in an interview. I think that he exhibited enough, as I recall--I think he exhibited enough knowledge that there again--about photography, that there was no curiosity raised on my part that he didn't know about it.
I'm almost certain that I generally just asked him one or two things about it and he answered them satisfactorily, or I would have, because that's the usual thing--I asked them about these things--artistic ability, any photographic experience, are you handy with your hands--they work with their hands a good deal, and all these things combined, would combine to make a topnotch man provided he worked.
Mr. JENNER. Yes.
Mr. GRAEF. Provided he was industrious and wanted to do a good job. We'll say he wasn't lazy--at the same time--so the various qualities I'm looking for in our type of work, in our department, are pretty hard to find all of them in one man. So, Lee came to work for us--I don't remember the exact salary; but it was about, oh, somewhere, I think about $1.35 or $1.50 an hour; somewhere in there.
Mr. JENNER. Was that for a 40-hour week?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes.
Mr. JENNER. Looking at Commission Exhibit No. 427 again, would you identify the handwriting and block printing on this Exhibit 427, if you can?
There appears the word "terminated" with the date 4-6-63, which I assume is April 6, 1963?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes.
Mr. JENNER. In whose handwriting is that notation; do you know?
Mr. GRAEF. I don't know; I don't know. Now, this is my handwriting--the date employed---October 12, 1962. I am almost positive that this is Lee's block printing.
Mr. JENNER. That is the name "Lee Harvey Oswald"?
Mr. GRAEF. "Lee Harvey Oswald," and the various data on this card--the social security number and the phone number.
Mr. JENNER. In view of your testimony, I'd like to ask you about that. Now, there is a phone number there--is that LA-1-0692?
Mr. GRAEF. That's correct.
Mr. JENNER. In view of what you said that he responded to your inquiry that he didn't have a phone number, how do you account for how that phone number got into the blocks there?
Mr. GRAEF. Into this box here---at the time that I interviewed him, it was probably--then, I--after this card was written, he may have been employed here at our place, oh, perhaps a week or two before this card was brought in to him to sign.
Mr. JENNER. I see.
Mr. GRAEF. In other words, I think because of the busy way the department runs, sometimes days will elapse before we get around to getting one of these to him and getting his social security number and so forth. In other words, he came to work and some days may have elapsed from the time, for example, that we had the interviews, there may have been some days passed before he actually came to work. Now, at this time, when I took this information down on my notes, my personal notes of the interview, there was no phone number, as I recall.
Mr. JENNER. Yes.
Mr. GRAEF. Now, at the time I didn't notice this at all, but at the time that this was written, of course here the phone number is, so he obviously had a phone number at this time, but he didn't, as I remember, he didn't, because I didn't call him--I don't believe.
Mr. JENNER. Now, do you recognize the handwriting in which that phone number and the social security number are?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes; I am pretty sure that that is Lee's printing.


Mr. JENNER. Then, to the left under the heading "Name in full," and above that is Lee Harvey Oswald, you have testified to that, and the next line is "Present address."
Mr. GRAEF. Yes.
Mr. JENNER. There appears immediately above those printed words "3519 Fairmount," and that is lined out. Do you recognize that handwriting?
Mr. GRAEF. The "3519 Fairmount," I am certain is Lee's also.
Mr. JENNER. And above that is 602 Elsbeth Street?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes; now, I don't recognize that handwriting. Now, this card would ordinarily be kept in the front office; it would not be in my possession, and so for some reason this is probably one of the office personnel who wrote this and crossed that--Lee's writing--out and wrote in this at the top for some reason or other.
Mr. JENNER. Wrote in 602 Elsbeth Street?
Mr. GRAEF. That's correct.
Mr. JENNER. And the next line there appears the word "permanent home address," and above that is P.O. Box 2915.
Mr. GRAEF. Yes.
Mr. JENNER. You don't know that handwriting?
Mr. GRAEF. I don't know that handwriting; I don't recognize that.
Mr. JENNER. You don't recall his having advised you that he had a post office box?
Mr. GRAEF. No--no.
Mr. JENNER. You were about to refer to a figure number, "Number of dependents."
There appears to have been a "2" written in there, and an overlay on top of that is a "3"?
Mr. GRAEF. The "3" is mine. Now, I don't know why--I can almost remember writing that "3" but whether he changed his mind and wanted it put "3"--that sometimes happens with income tax the way it is--that may have happened because he first was going to take two dependents and then decided to change it to a "3"--it was probably about the time that this was brought in. It looks like my "3" but I'm not sure about it. I've looked at it and it looks like a "3" that I might make over it, but I can't recall. I thought I might help a little there but I don't think I can. Whether he wrote down "2" on the number of dependents and then decided--when the card was in my possession, when I was going to turn it into the front office to make it "3", and then I changed it--that may have happened, but I do not recall.
Mr. JENNER. Well, it is obviously either a different handwriting or certainly a different instrument.
Mr. GRAEF. Yes.
Mr. JENNER. That's a different signature.
Mr. GRAEF. I was just comparing the pen I used to--used up here and this may be pencil. No, I believe it is a ballpoint pen.
Mr. JENNER. Now, that card is signed "Lee Harvey Oswald." Do you recall whether the card was signed in your presence?
Mr. GRAEF. No; it may not have been. In other words, generally, we hand this card to an employee and he fills out the whole card and then I would take it and turn it up to the front office, so I could have been back in the department working when he filled the whole thing out and signed it.
Mr. JENNER. Now, is Commission Exhibit 427 part of the books and records of Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall kept in the usual and regular course of business?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes.
Mr. JENNER. And prepared in part by you and the remaining part under your general supervision and direction?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes; I would say. In other words, I turned the card over to the employee and asked him to fill it out with the information it has on the card. He returns it to me and I turn it into the front office.
Mr. JENNER. And this particular card, with respect to Lee Harvey Oswald, to the best of your recollection was made and thereafter maintained among other books, files, and records and documents of Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall as they ordinarily are?


Mr. GRAEF. Yes; they are.
Mr. JENNER. There is nothing unusual, extraordinary or out of line?
Mr. GRAEF. No.
Mr. JENNER. With respect to the manner in which and the circumstances under which Commission Exhibit 427 came into existence and was maintained?
Mr. JENNER. And to the best of your knowledge, information and belief, is this card now in the same condition it was as of the date of termination of employment of Lee Harvey Oswald, except for the pencil notation in the extreme bottom right hand portion of the card on its face and in which appeared in an encirclement, the letter "D" and the figure "11"?
Mr. GRAEF. To the best of my knowledge, it is. I haven't seen the card since I turned it into the office at the time that he was employed, so the handwriting that says, "Terminated," there, and that date I haven't seen--I mean whether the card has been altered or not I don't know, because, of course, I didn't see it at any time after that date.
Mr. JENNER. You mean after the date terminated 4-6-63?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes; after "terminated" was written there. I haven't actually seen the card since the time that he was employed, roughly, since he wrote the card out and handed it to me and I turned it into the front office. To the best of my recollection that's the last time I have seen that.
Mr. JENNER. Now, you do recall that this card, at least to the extent of the name, Lee Harvey Oswald, in block printing and your handwriting of the date October 12, 1962---that was filled out to that extent at least in your presence?
Mr. GRAEF. Mainly, yes. I mean, I may have been in the department and doing some other tasks, but he sat down and filled it out. I gave it to him and he sat down somewhere and filled it out and I may have been moving around somewhere. I didn't actually watch him write it out word for word and line for line. The reason this October 12 is in my handwriting--ordinarily the employee fills that out.
Mr. JENNER. That appears opposite the printed words, "Date Employed"?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes; ordinarily, the employee will go ahead and fill that date in also, but he had forgotten to and this was probably filled out a few days after he was employed.
Mr. JENNER. But that is in your handwriting?
Mr. GRAEF. But that is in my handwriting. I vaguely recall that he had not filled that in and I said something, "I'll save you the trouble," and then I wrote that in.
Mr. JENNER. All right. I offer in evidence as Commission Exhibit No. 427, the employee identification questionnaire of Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall Co. which has now been identified.
How long have you been employed by Jaggars-Chile-Stovall?
Mr. GRAEF. Approximately 11 or 12--I've almost forgotten---it seems it was either 1952 or 1953, I came with them.
Mr. JENNER. Is this an old Dallas firm?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes.
Mr. JENNER. By reputation, how long has it been around here?
Mr. GRAEF. I believe about since 1922.
Mr. JENNER. Does this company do any lithography?
Mr. GRAEF. No.
Mr. JENNER. Tell us in general, apart from your particular interests and work in the company, what in general does the company do?
Mr. GRAEF. We set type. We have an enormous inventory of all kinds of type faces, all designs, for example, scripts--roman letters, sans serif faces--an enormous repertoire of styles from which advertising agencies and artists can choose to make up advertisements for headlines or body copy. This basically is our biggest function. We don't do any printing.
Mr. JENNER. Do you make mats?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes; it's a rather complete service. We can take an advertisement from the very beginning and actually carry it all the way through to the end, to the point where we mail the mats to the newspapers for insertion, but we don't do any printing as such, of any kind.


Mr. JENNER. Are you a native of Dallas?
Mr. GRAEF. No.
Mr. JENNER. Just tell me in a few words something about yourself?
Mr. GRAEF. Oh, golly--I was born in Chicago, Ill.
Mr. JENNER. So was I.
Mr. GRAEF. I went to Lane Tech.
Mr. JENNER. I went to Lindblom High School, and that's where I practiced law and have done for 30 years.
Mr. GRAEF. Well, I haven't been back there for quite some time. I left there about 1940, after graduating from high school, took commercial art at Lane Tech, and I went down to Tennessee and worked at the Kingsport Press designing book covers and also the Holston ordnance works, and during the very beginning of the war, this was the last--the Second World War--then I was drafted into the service and served as an airborne engineer for 3 years.
Mr. JENNER. In the Army?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes; I spent 2 years overseas and came back to Kingsport, Tenn., and then the wife and I decided to head west, and while I was away, she had written various chambers of commerce around the country and the Dallas Chamber of Commerce did the best job, so we decided to take a short vacation here and see if I could find work, which I did, and which we did and I did, and this was in 1946, so we have been here ever since.
Mr. JENNER. You were each native born Americans?
Mr. GRAEF. That's correct.
And honorably discharged--period.
Mr. JENNER. Now, this man is employed---carry on.
Mr. GRAEF. Yes.
Mr. JENNER. Was he regular in his arrival at work?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes.
Mr. JENNER. Were his work habits in that connection satisfactory?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes. I would say he was very punctual in his arrival to work. He began working under me and I began the process of teaching him how to use our equipment.
Mr. JENNER. All right. Now, he worked directly with you or under you or under your supervision and direction?
Mr. GRAEF. That's correct--that's correct. He was with me a great part of the time. Of course, there are various times when I couldn't be with him, but for the better part of the first 3 or 4 months of his employment--he worked for us approximately 6 months.
Mr. JENNER. Tell us what you taught him and how you attempted to train him and in what, and give me also, when you are doing that, his skills and aptitudes, as you recall them at the beginning?
Mr. GRAEF. Well, as I have explained, the most we hope for in a person is that perhaps any past skills they have will help them in learning our work, but basically our work is so different that there is no experienced help, and everyone who comes into the department is automatically a trainee.
Mr. JENNER. And he fell into that category?
Mr. GRAEF. That's correct. All our cameras are different from the ordinary cameras you find in commercial printing shops or printing establishments.
Mr. JENNER. Are these portable cameras or fixed cameras?
Mr. GRAEF. No, fixed cameras--dark room cameras.
Mr. JENNER. When I used the expression "fixed," I had in my own mind that they would be these large-size cameras, fixed in the sense that they would be adjacent to a wall or a bench or a table.
Mr. GRAEF. Or the floor?
Mr. JENNER. Or the floor.
Mr. GRAEF. Yes.
Mr. JENNER. And be so heavy as not to be portable or so firmly secured as not to be removable?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes; that's right.
Mr. JENNER. Would you indicate their size?
Mr. GRAEF. I would say approximately 8 feet long total length, with 6 or 7 feet of the front of the camera projecting through a wall, which on the outside of


that wall have the exposure lights to light whatever you are going to shoot. Then, the back of the camera sticks through the wall in the darkroom and on the back of the camera, of course, you place your light-sensitive film and make your exposure this way.
Mr. JENNER. And do you use light-sensitive film plates?
Mr. GRAEF. No; ordinary commercial Litho film or Ortho film that are generally available from large companies.
Mr. JENNER. Indicate the size of the frames?
Mr. GRAEF. Approximately 20 by 24 inches. The difference in these cameras-- they are commonly known as modification cameras. As I said previously, you could take a line of type and twist it or curve it or stretch it out of proportion.
As they are different compared with ordinary cameras that are used in most places throughout the country in that they do not have any scales on them.
Ordinarily you measure a piece of copy and you set the cameras on a certain number, and for example, the same size--if you wanted to make the same size shot, you would set your copy board on No. 1, and you would set your film carrier on No. 1, put your film in and make your exposure, and you get a same size shot, but our cameras have no scales and you have to find visually and manually your sizes, everything is flexible on the camera. The boards move----
Mr. JENNER. What boards?
Mr. GRAEF. The copy boards can twist. The film carrier can twist.
Mr. JENNER. When you say "twist" do you mean twist the image?
Mr. GRAEF. On its axis--actually twist on its axis.
Mr. JENNER. You mean "twist" as distinguished from "turn"?
Mr. GRAEF. Well, let me say "turn"--then. Can turn on its axis. The lens camera can be shifted up or down or to the right or left. There are various devices that are supplied with the camera, consisting of prisms through which you can make distortions, various other forms which can be used to make various complicated bends and waves in type or illustrations, or what have you.
Mr. JENNER. Now, the bends or waves--when you say bends or waves in type, you mean you do not bend or twist the copy itself--that is, the thing to be photographed, but by use of prisms and other distortion devices, the image implanted on the film is a twist or distortion of the copy or photograph?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes; except we do both.
Mr. JENNER. You do straight photographing as well as distortion photography?
Mr. GRAEF. Well, many times, we will take the actual copy and twist it. Anything goes to get the final results, whatever has to be done, for example if we want to make a curved shot of a label, a flat two-dimensional label, a printed label, and we wanted to curve that label, we might take an empty tin can and paste that on the tin can and tip the tin can so that the lens looking at it would pickup the curve. We would tilt the can to such a degree that the lens in its position would pickup this curve of the label, and, of course, we would make an exposure, so anything goes in camera modification.
You start with the fundamentals of learning film and paper; the characteristics of them--we have many grades of paper, many contrasts of paper; we have several different varieties of film; the time developing these various papers--all of these have to be learned by an applicant before he can go on to beginning the camera, so it is a progression of a trade that takes time.
Mr. JENNER. Does this include color work?
Mr. GRAEF. No; all black and white.
Mr. JENNER. Oh, all black and white?
Mr. GRAEF. All black and white. We shoot color copy occasionally, but we don't do color work.
Mr. JENNER That is, when, I say color work, I intended two things--first, color film and secondly, colored ultimate product.
Mr. GRAEF. Colored film,. no; we do not develop colored film and we don't shoot colored film. We might, in black and white, make a two-color a set of two-color negatives or something, for example, we might shoot part of a label and furnish a negative that would print the black on something and we might furnish an additional negative that would register with the first, that would print a color. For example, a colored border around the black copy, and we


would furnish these two negatives to a customer and he might print it in two colors, choosing whatever colors he wanted.
Mr. JENNER. Yes; he could use whatever ink he wished to employ on the mat?
Mr. GRAEF. That's correct.
Mr. JENNER. Or, do you sometimes use lead slugs?
Mr. JENNER. Of course, the customer would make a lead slug from the mat and then print it?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes. Or, have a plate made, for example, in offset printing from our negatives--he could burn in plates and which would run two colors. He could burn his black plate and he could burn his red plate, for example.
Mr. JENNER. Well, I got you to digress a little bit from telling us your teaching of Mr. Oswald from his gradual development or undevelopment?
Mr. GRAEF. Of course, Oswald was not the first one that has come into our department, because his wasn't an unusual case. He was just another employee among many whom I have trained during these years--through these years.
Mr. JENNER. Were there others you were training at this time?
Mr. GRAEF. No.
Mr. JENNER. Of substantially like experience?
Mr. GRAEF. No. There were others in various stages of training, but none who was starting from the very beginning, we'll say, so, of course, even though he had had--he said he had had experience in photography, we started from the very beginning because the papers that you ordinarily use in amateur photography are somewhat different from the papers that we use in our work. The film that you would use in amateur photography is different than the film that we use in our work, so we start from the beginning in every case and this was the situation with Lee Oswald.
I began---we'll say for the first 3 or 4 days---he probably followed me around just to see what went on, learned how to make a print on the contact frame the way that our customers require, and became familiar with the routine of the department and little by little he was allowed to do various things to begin his training.
This period is rather indistinct because all this was going on--it isn't a case of being able to devote all of one's time to a training, at the same time that he was being trained, there was other work that had to be produced, so he didn't receive--the full benefit, shall I say, of all of my time. I would say rather, he received just the time that I could allow him, which I always wanted to give him more time but never seemed to find that time, so little by little, as I say, this period is very indistinct, but little by little he learned to handle the various papers and the films and then we began teaching him how to work the modification cameras beginning with straight shooting.
In other words--normal sizing of flax copy and also how to build jobs. Each man is more or less an integrated supply of the work. The normal thing in our department is for a man to pick up a job or jobs, go back and shoot them, develop them, print them, dry them, bring them back up, cut them and bring them back up to the front of the department.
Mr. JENNER. When you say "print them," you mean make prints from the negatives?
Mr. GRAEF. Make prints from the negatives on photographic paper, bring them back up to the front, reorganize them with their proper job tickets, and then take those finished jobs up to the front delivery desk. So, Lee began straight shooting--normal enlargement and reduction of straight copy.
Mr. JENNER. Now, you mean by straight copy--do you distinguish that from the--from distortion photographing?
Mr. GRAEF. Distortion work; yes. Now, the time that it took to bring him up to this point may have been 2 or 3 months, at any rate. It was at this time that we began, or he began to make a few mistakes on sizing. He would take a job back and it might be that his orders were to make it 4 inches wide and when the final print came up it might be" 4 1/4 inches wide or 4 1/8 inches wide and this would have to be done over.


Mr. JENNER. Now, as much a difference as one-eighth of an inch on sizing as against an order for, let's say, exactly 4 inches or for one-eighth of an inch, as the case might be, would make that particular work unusable?
Mr. GRAEF. Correct.
Mr. JENNER. This has to be exactitude?
Mr. GRAEF. Right. This didn't mean that every job was wrong, but little by little as the days passed and we got into--we'll say--into the fourth and fifth month of his employment, more and more he was being relied upon to produce this exact work and there were too many times--it was his mistakes were above normal--he was making too many mistakes. Of course, we helped him as much as we could to do a better job.
Mr. JENNER. Was it your impression along about this area that the errors were ones of lack of skill, or do you have a recollection now of any attributing on your part of those errors to lack of interest, lack of industry, dissatisfaction with the position--would you give me your impression in this connection, please?
Mr. GRAEF. Well, my impression of his mistakes were somehow that he just couldn't manage to avoid them. It wasn't that he lacked industry or didn't try. Whenever he was asked to do a job over, he would do it willingly for me, with no---he would be more perturbed at himself that he had made "an error, so I think he just couldn't--he somehow couldn't manage to handle work that was that exact. It wasn't that he wasn't trying or didn't work hard to do the job, but somehow he just couldn't make it, and now, like I said, it wasn't every job that this happened, but it was too frequent to allow. There were too many times that these things had to be made over and they added to the final reason for dismissing him.
Mr. JENNER. You carry on--I want this in your own words without prompting on my part.
Mr. GRAEF. Sure. Now, this was approximately the fourth month that he began to be given the responsibility for making these jobs, and it began to become evident then that he was making these mistakes. We kept, of course, trying to train him---now, by this time he was working under other people, and many times he was going through the processes of doing these jobs by himself and carrying the whole job through as I have outlined previously.
Mr. JENNER. This work didn't, I take it, require his creating any copies?
Mr. GRAEF. I beg your pardon?
Mr. JENNER. Did you prepare copy--I'm talking about you personally?
Mr. GRAEF. No; very, very seldom.
Mr. JENNER. Do you have a department in which advertising copy is prepared?
Mr. GRAEF. If you mean by that--like pasting up advertisements?
Mr. JENNER. No; I mean preparing them.
Mr. GRAEF. Actually working on layouts and ideas to be used---creative ideas and things like that?
Mr. JENNER. Yes; the body of copy.
Mr. GRAEF. No; we do for our own firm create small ads and so forth.
Mr. JENNER. What I am getting at, he never reached the point which he had to do any creating of copy in the sense that I am talking about, which would then lead you to have some experience with him as to his use of grammar?
Mr. GRAEF. No.
Mr. JENNER. Or his skills along those lines?
Mr. GRAEF. No; now, in the course of his carrying these jobs through and back in the darkroom, I began to hear, vague rumors of friction between him and the other employees. The nature of our business is such that we are under pressure a good deal of the time to meet deadlines.
Mr. JENNER. Time pressures?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes; in the interest of teamwork and getting a job out, we try to tend to overlook things like that.
Mr. JENNER. Things like what?
Mr. GRAEF. Flareups of temper or an ugly word or something like that that someone who may be under particular pressure at the time, and someone says the wrong thing--it might set them off a little bit, so I began to hear rumors of some of these things happening with Lee, but it has happened with other fellows also, but little by little, I mean other fellows who have had these flareups--


I have had them myself--something-will happen that "will just be the straw that broke the camel's back, and you will spout off, you know but this began happening--I began to hear rumors--I began, and of course, sometimes the boss is the last to know, and I began hearing that or began noticing that very few people liked him. He was very difficult to get along with. Other people that worked with him, with whom I had conversations and Lee's name came up or something came up about Lee, they wouldn't speak kindly toward him, to say the very least, and something might have happened between them and Lee that they hadn't mentioned it to anyone--some word that had been said in an unfriendly way, that they just overlooked or passed off, but it didn't leave a good impression with them from then on. Lee was not one to make friends. I never had any words with him at all. He never countered any order that I gave him, he always did what I told him to do the way I told him to do it. It might have been wrong sometimes, but he never was antagonistic.
Mr. JENNER. In other words, he might not have been able to carry out your directions, but he tried to do?
Mr. GRAEF. That's so.
Mr. JENNER. You didn't mean your directions to him might have been wrong?
Mr. GRAEF. No; he was not belligerent to me. Anything that I told him to do, he did, or tried to do to the best of his ability.
Mr. JENNER. But you began having the impression, with the increased intensity, that he was not getting along with employees at his level?
Mr. GRAEF. Right. I was a witness to one of these flareups which I had, up to this time, taken not lightly, but passed it off as one of those things that happen in our department quite frequently, but I was quite close to one of Lee's flareups. I don't know who was responsible--whether it was Lee or one of the other workers, so at the time I couldn't actually reprimand anyone, so I didn't, but tried to pacify and laugh the whole thing off and make some remark that "Well, we are all under pressure. Let's get down and let's get on with the job." Something to that effect.
Then, the two people went their separate ways but it was quite a flareup, a sudden flareup of temper--a quick chip on the shoulder thing that I don't know--I have a hard time understanding people that lose their temper so quickly.
Mr. JENNER. Is that the impression you had of him?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes; at that time--from that time on I did have that impression.
Mr. JENNER. Now, was this more an impression you gained from several incidents rather than one isolated incident?
Mr. GRAEF. No; of course, I have to take into account the evidence of all the other people--some of the things that they said and the way they didn't get along with him and then I saw the way he acted at this particular time, and I had never been particularly close enough to the boy so that I knew his personality. He was strictly a worker who was training and he did the job, or tried to do the job, and so I wasn't very close to his personality at all until this particular incident. It was only when he began--after, we'll say, he got out from under my wing as a trainer and began up to that time--he was following me around and was doing what I told him and there was very little chance for him to be alone with anyone and we didn't have any friction for about the first 2 or 3 months that he was employed, but he then began to be given the responsibility of doing these jobs himself.
Mr. JENNER. Himself and with others?
Mr. GRAEF. And with others.
Mr. JENNER. But not under your very immediate supervision?
Mr. GRAEF. Not under my immediate supervision; no.
Mr. JENNER. Did this call for him, then, to work and cooperate with others?
Mr. GRAEF. Right
Mr. JENNER. And his was really the first time----
Mr. GRAEF. Then, we'll say his personality began to come out. In the moving around the darkroom, the way you have to be congenial, cooperative in turning the light on and off as the various stages of the work progress, you may be developing film and someone may be coming out of one of our room and need the light on and there has to be a certain amount of give and take in these


relationships and it began to become evident--some of the passages--passageways through our darkroom aren't particularly wide and everyone has learned to manage. You can't--you can pass one another, but not without each of you sort of squeezing by a little bit as you go, and it began to be evident that he wasn't congenial or cooperative in working with the rest of the people and moving about the darkroom and so forth.
Let me see, there was an incident about a Russian newspaper deal--I was working at my desk one time and I looked over and it was probably a slack time in our business, and I looked over and Lee was reading a newspaper, and I could see it was from a distance of about 8 to 10 feet, I suppose, something like that, and it was just far enough away that I could see it was not a usual newspaper, and I asked him what he was reading, and he said, "A Russian newspaper." I said, "A what?" And he said, "A Russian newspaper." I said, "Let's see it, and he brought it over and I said something like "What is the action on this?" And he said, "I studied Russian in Korea." This fit in with his previous statement when we employed him about being in Korea, when he was a marine, and he said, "I like to keep up--keep in practice being able to read the Russian language and study it or something to that effect, and I said, "Well, Lee, I wouldn't bring anything like that down here again, because some people might not take kindly to your reading anything like that."
Mr. JENNER. Did you ask him the source of this newspaper?
Mr. GRAEF. No; no.
Mr. JENNER. Whether it was printed in Russia or whether he had subscribed to it?
Mr. GRAEF. It seems to me it was the "Crocodile." Now, it might not have been, but it just seem to me at the time that it was, but, of course, that too didn't, seem particularly odd to me because a great many people in the country are studying that language, these days and the fact that he had been a marine and been in Korea, according to the report, it seemed reasonably plausible that he would have learned that language, or studied it and to me, certainly, of course, I know how people are and that there might be some he might be making trouble for himself by causing suspicion and so forth, by having that newspaper or at least running around with it, flaunting it, we'll say.
Mr. JENNER. When did this occur with respect to his period of employment--this incident?
Mr. GRAEF. I can't really say for sure, but it must have been about the fourth or fifth month that he was there.
Mr. JENNER. Was it a factor in his ultimate discharge?
Mr. GRAEF. Let me say that didn't help. Taken, with the other--his personality, his not being able to do the job the way he should--when I say, "His personality," I mean the friction between the other employees. I didn't--it didn't actually weigh heavily, but it didn't do his case any good, let's put it that way. I didn't fire him specifically because he had the newspaper in his hand.
Mr. JENNER. Now, I put words in your mouth that he was discharged?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes; he was discharged.
Mr. JENNER. Did you discuss this with him?
Mr. GRAEF. I did.
Mr. JENNER. Would you tell us about that, please?
Mr. GRAEF. His record, as all this has brought out was--adding up to where he was not a desirable employee. His relationships with other employees had reached the point where no one that I know of was really friendly or liked him. His work as we progressed into the more intricate details of our production, didn't improve and it began to be evident after all the training that we had given up to this point that now that he was in a position where he should be able to produce jobs, actually he was not able to do so, and after a reasonable----
Mr. JENNER. Was there ever any thought in your mind as to his ability ultimately to be able to do so?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes; I reached the opinion that he would not have--he would never be the kind of an employee that I was looking for, giving him every


chance, you can make a mistake on one job or two jobs, and you always feel like you must--"Let's try it one more time," and this was my thought, because after all, there had been several months passed where we had brought him up to this point and I feel we gave him every chance or tried to give him every chance to make a success, and still he was falling down and making these mistakes--sizing errors-- and camerawork.
When he had to make these things over, he would be mad at himself. He would go back and shoot it again, but it is obvious that he was taking twice as long when these things happened to produce one job because he was having to do the whole thing over again to get it right, that it couldn't be tolerated for much longer.
About this time, I think it was in April, we had a fluctuation in business--it dropped and I thought, "Well, this is the time to let Lee Harvey Oswald--to let him go, so I called him back into the darkroom one day and I said, "Lee, business is"----
Mr. JENNER. When you say this conversation took place in the darkroom, was the room dark?
Mr. GRAEF. There were dim red lights.
Mr. JENNER. Why did you call him back in the darkroom rather than some other place?
Mr. GRAEF. At the time it was the--I didn't want to embarrass the boy.
Mr. JENNER. This was a private talk?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes.
Mr. JENNER. Out of the presence of anyone other than yourself and Oswald?
Mr. GRAEF. Out of the presence of anyone else yes.
Mr. JENNER. And that was one of the reasons for your calling him back there?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes. I don't have a private office. My desk is with the other people in the production of work, and I don't have any private facilities where I can talk to someone, and back in the corner of the darkroom, it is illuminated by red lights.
Mr. JENNER. Are these infrared lights? Is that what you mean?
Mr. GRAEF. No; they are just red neon lights that provide dim illumination, but at this particular spot in the darkroom, I can see when anyone is within 15 or 20 feet of me, and, of course, I could lower my voice and not embarrass him when I released him, so I said, "Lee, come on back, I would like to talk to you." So, we went back, and I said, "Lee, I think this is as good a time as any to cut it short" I said, "Business is pretty slow at this time, but the point is that you haven't been turning the work out like you should. There has been friction with other people," and so on.
Mr. JENNER. What did he say when you said that?
Mr. GRAEF. Nothing. And I said, "This is, I think, the best time to just make a break of it." I believe I gave him a few days, and I said, "Feel free, of course, to make any calls of the Texas Employment Commission where you came from originally," and I told him, "I think you tried to do the work, but I just don't think that you have the qualities for doing the work that we need."
And, there was no outburst on his part. He took this the whole time looking at the floor, I believe, and after I was through, he said, "Well, thank you." And he turned around and walked off.
Mr. JENNER. Have you had occasion in your career to discharge other employees?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes.
Mr. JENNER. And recalling the reaction of other employees, could you tell us your present view or opinion as to your experience comparing your experience with the discharge of Lee Harvey Oswald with the discharge of other employees---was it usual and normal?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes. I think it it was just about the usual. He might have been perhaps a shade more quiet. There were no questions asked about why I thought he wasn't qualified.
Mr. JENNER. Do you think he was aware of it?
Mr. GRAEF. I think he was aware of it; yes.


Mr. JENNER. No outbursts of any kind?
Mr. GRAEF. No.
Mr. JENNER. Anything said about what might happen if he sought references in any future employment?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes; I told him--I volunteered the information. I said, "Lee, if there is another job that you find, I'll be glad to give you a recommendation, a good recommendation," because---I told him, "I think you have tried," and I think he had. It would have been, of course, with reservations--any new employer that had called me for a recommendation, I would have had to say something about his relations with other employees.
Mr. JENNER. And that would have been somewhat negative?
Mr. GRAEF. That's correct; but he did try to become a worker. It wasn't that he wasn't industrious---he was not lazy. He, to the best of his ability, tried but the ability was not there.
Mr. JENNER. Now, I take it then from your recital that his discharge was for the reasons you have given and not because of any past history that you discovered with respect to him?
Mr. GRAEF. No.
Mr. JENNER. And, throughout all of this employment, you had no information with regard to his past history other than you have related to us?
Mr. GRAEF. No.
Mr. JENNER. Does Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall do any highly secret work of any character or highly confidential work?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes, yes; we do some work for, I think, the Army Map Service. We do a certain type of work for the Engineers, I believe, but I couldn't be sure about that.
Mr. JENNER. Is that in your department or under your supervision or direction?
Mr. JENNER. Would he have had any contact with that?
Mr. GRAEF. No.
Mr. JENNER. Did there come to your attention any scuttlebutt among employees as to any past history of his?
Mr. GRAEF. No; I think if it had, I would have in fact--I am very positive I would have investigated that.
Mr. JENNER. Did any of the reports to you, which you have detailed to me, include anything with regard to any political theories or arguments or positions that he took as with respect to other employees?
Mr. GRAEF. No; none. None that came to my attention. There was never any political conversations that I heard about him or between him, or that I heard him talking with the people or anything like that.
Mr. JENNER. I think I have no more questions. I would like to put, however, the general question that I do put in all these depositions. Is there anything that might occur to you that I have not stimulated to ask you but that you think--any incident that occurred or any circumstance that you think might possibly be of help to the Commission in their investigation of this man and of the overall incident we are investigating?
Mr. GRAEF. No; I really don't think so. Of course, the whole thing is just a tragic, unbelievable thing.
Mr. JENNER. Yes.
Mr. GRAEF. That you rub shoulders with someone who did such a thing is just fantastic.
Mr. JENNER. If he did it?
Mr. GRAEF. It's just unbelievable--it's still hard to believe that you were in such close contact with anyone that took part in the events.
Mr. JENNER. Now, is there anything in my off-the-record discussion we have had, and there have been substantially none, that took place during that interlude that I have failed to bring out?
Mr. GRAEF. I might add this--I'll let you repeat that question in a moment.
Mr. JENNER. All right.
Mr. GRAEF. This thought occurred--I was trying to think a moment ago what I was going to do, because there was something that I wanted to make mention


of for what it's worth, is that at this point during his employment with us, he was very anxious for overtime work.
Mr. JENNER. Is this the 4- or 5-month period you are talking about now?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes; that's correct, which if I may assume, he needed the money. It was invariably Friday afternoon--and Saturday, of course, is an overtime day to us and quite frequently we run Saturday and Saturday work we do at time and a half, which comes into play and in fact, invariably Friday afternoon he would volunteer and ask if we needed him the next day. Then, unfortunately, of course, as I have mentioned, his work didn't come up to the quality that we needed so it was very, very seldom that we ever brought him in unless we were in a real bad--had an urgent work that absolutely had to go, but he desperately wanted to be called in on Saturday for overtime work.
Mr. JENNER. Did any of his work, or was there any occasion when his ability to operate an automobile arose?
Mr. GRAEF. No; as far as I know, he never had one.
Mr. JENNER. And there was no occasion in his work when he might have been called upon to drive an automobile?
Mr. GRAEF. No.
Mr. JENNER So, you have no impression--I gather--as to whether he could or could not drive an automobile or how well he might do so?
Mr. GRAEF. No. The only impression that I have is that he rode the bus almost everywhere.
I know--I'm pretty sure he did not have a car and he used to ride the bus.
Mr. JENNER. I show you Commission Exhibits 451, 453, 454, 455, and 456, and ask you to examine those and tell me if the man who is depicted in those photographs bears any similarity or likeness to the man you knew as Lee Harvey Oswald? You might spread them out and it would give you a better view.
Mr. GRAEF. Very slight; but to anyone who knew Lee, they would immediately say "No."
Mr. JENNER. Did you ever see him attired in the fashion that the man shown on those photographs is attired?
Mr. GRAEF. No; I don't think I ever did. Now, toward the end of his employment, most of the time he used to wear a white T-shirt to work. I think he might have had a dark jacket over it.
Mr. JENNER. A zipper jacket---lightweight?
Mr. GRAEF. Something perhaps--but it was rather dark, I think, but not like this.
Mr. JENNER. Is there in any discussion we have had possibly off the record which you regard as inconsistent with any testimony you have given here, and if so, what?
Mr. GRAEF. Like what, for example? Now, when you say "inconsistent with any testimony," what do you mean?
Mr. JENNER. Well, for example, that you might have said off the record that you were uncertain as to whether--when you first interviewed him he was, in fact, with a suit coat with a shirt and tie, whereas, when I asked you on the record you were pretty firm about that sort of thing?
Mr. GRAEF. Yes; I am pretty firm. No, no; all of this testimony that I have given you is factual and true.
Mr. JENNER. There is nothing you have said on the record that is inconsistent with anything you have said off the record?
Mr. GRAEF. No--it hasn't been--anything that I have said has been an opinion or formulations--it has just been--it is just strictly as I remember it.
Mr. JENNER. And to your best recollection, I have brought everything that was said off the record that is pertinent here and have got it on the record.
Mr. GRAEF. Yes ; I believe so.
Mr. JENNER. Mr. Davis, do you have any questions?
Mr. DAVIS. No.
Mr. JENNER. Thank you very much, sir.
Mr. GRAEF. Well, you are certainly welcome.
Mr. JENNER. You have a right to read your deposition, if you wish to, or you may waive it. You have that right, and you may waive it if you wish. The reporter will let you know one way or the other.


Mr. GRAEF. What is the machinations of getting a copy?
Mr. JENNER. When Miss Oliver has prepared a copy, you may call in and find out from Mr. Sanders and come down and read it, as you see fit and sign it.
Mr. GRAEF. Yes.
Mr. JENNER. Or, you may waive that. If you wish a copy of your testimony, you may obtain by arrangement with Miss Oliver. She will furnish you one at whatever her usual prices are.
Mr. GRAEF. I think--I don't see any need for it--for signing it. There it is.
Mr. JENNER. Mr. Graef, as these reports reached you from your employees, arousing your attention to the fact that some friction had arisen and was continuing as between him and other employees, what, if anything, did you do to acquaint yourself better with those circumstances and in that connection, tell us whether you talked with others, whether you talked with Lee--in general, just what did you do in that connection?
Mr. GRAEF. The rumors of these flareups, we'll say, I heard about them going back--we'll say, to some 3 months. He was employed with us for a total of 6 months. For about the first 3 months he was in training and it was only after this 3 months period that he began to be in a close association with the other employees, so about this time, we'll say, the friction began between him and the other employees.
Now, several weeks went past--I'm sure when these things came to pass and when I heard about them, and this flareup that I witnessed, and I don't know who was to blame, whether it was Lee or whether it was the other fellow. I happened to be on the other side of the darkroom at the time and the two people were both, as I recall, trying to develop film in the same pan, and one was getting in the way of the other one, and ordinarily there is no--we don't have any trouble about this. All the jobs are rush, and you just make allowances and move over a little bit and both of you get in there together.
This, I think, is what caused this particular thing, but Lee was quick to--he had a chip on his shoulder, and he made--who spoke first, I really don't recall, but somebody said something about, "How about moving over a little bit?" And the other fellow said, "What do you mean, I have been here first," and one thing led to another, but it was over just about as quickly as it began, so this was the first time that this became evident, but as I said, couldn't actually lay it as it being Lee's fault. Now, these rumors come to me quite frequently. In the whole department we may have 18 or 20 people.
Mr. JENNER. How many people work under you?
Mr. GRAEF. Directly under me, the day shift is seven or eight, and we have a few on the night shift also. We work quite close to this other department--which does photographic work also, and we have a sink on our side for camera work and then there is a developing sink back to back, at which this other department develops their work.
Mr. JENNER. What do they do?
Mr. GRAEF. Setting type photographically. So, out of these many people, some of them are more prone to carry tales and others, of course, and you have to weigh the evidence, we'll say, and some of the people that had come to me during this time and just mentioned, or we'll say, scuttlebutt that went around about Lee being hard to get along with, where, in fact, some of the people are hard to get along with themselves, so you just had to more or less try to get along with everyone. We all have to do that and it wasn't until this scene happened that I saw how Lee's temper worked, but the--the overwhelming mass of evidence--everyone it seemed no one liked him.
Mr. JENNER. And he didn't appear to you to seek to cultivate any?
Mr. GRAEF By this time you see, this 6 months had elapsed and at this time work was suffering and he at this time--it was definite that he had no friends. Everyone couldn't be wrong, and so all of this evidence weighed against the decision to keep him on as an employee.


Mr. JENNER. It culminated in his discharge.
Mr. GRAEF. In his dismissal?
Mr. JENNER. All right, I guess that's about it. Thank you.
Mr. GRAEF. Well, I hope I have been of whatever help I have been.
Mr. JENNER. I am sorry to inconvenience you in this matter.
Mr. GRAEF. If I can be of further assistance, please call me and I will be glad to do what I can.
Mr. JENNER. All right, thank you very much.

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