The testimony of Michael Hardin was taken at 4:30 p.m., on March 31, 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--Michael?
Mr. HARDIN. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. [Spelling] M-i-c-h-a-e-l? H-a-r-d-e-n?
Mr. HARDIN. -i-n.
Mr. HUBERT. [Spelling] H-a-r-d-i-n?
Mr. HARDIN. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. My name is Leon D. Hubert, I am a member of the advisory staff of the General Counsel of the President's Commission. Under the provisions of the Executive Order No. 11130, dated November 29, 1963, Joint Resolution of Congress 137, and the rules of procedure adopted by the Commission in conformance with that Executive order and the joint resolution, I have been authorized to take a sworn deposition from you, Mr. Hardin, identified in my authority as the proper representative of the O'Neal Funeral Home. I state to you now that the general nature of the Commission's inquiry, to ascertain, evaluate, and report upon the facts relating to the assassination of President Kennedy and subsequent violent death of Harvey Lee Oswald. In particular to you, Mr. Hardin, the nature of our 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 including the ambulance call and the documents relative to that of the O'Neal Funeral Home.
Now, Mr. Hardin, I think you have appeared today by virtue of a general request made by Mr. J. Lee Rankin, who is the General Counsel of the Commission's staff. And that general request--rather it was a particular request to the O'Neal Funeral Home to have its representatives come and have their depositions taken and to produce certain documents relative to the matter under inquiry. Have you received a copy of that letter?
Mr. HARDIN. No, sir; I haven't.
Mr. HUBERT. Well, under the rules adopted by the Commission you would be entitled to a 3-day written notice prior to the taking of this deposition, but the rules also provide that you can waive that 3-day written notice if you so wish. Do you desire to waive it?
Mr. HARDIN. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Then, will you raise your right hand so that I may administer the oath. Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help you God?
Mr. HARDIN. I do.
Mr. HUBERT. Will you state your full name, please?
Mr. HARDIN. Michael Norfleet Hardin.
Mr. HUBERT. And your age?
Mr. HARDIN. Twenty-three.
Mr. HUBERT. Your residence?
Mr. HARDIN. 1311 Exeter.
Mr. HUBERT. Dallas?
Mr. HARDIN. Yes, sir; it is in Dallas.
Mr. HUBERT. And your occupation?
Mr. HARDIN. I drive one of the city contract emergency ambulances.


Mr. HUBERT. Now, on November 24, what was your occupation?
Mr. HARDIN. City ambulance, or contract emergency ambulance driver.
Mr. HUBERT. What connection have you with O'Neal?
Mr. HARDIN. I drive the ambulance for the funeral home. We are under contract to the city for emergency ambulance service.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, you have produced written records which you have in your hand now. Do you, from your own knowledge, know those records to be the official records of the O'Neal Funeral Home?
Mr. HARDIN. Yes; I do.
Mr. HUBERT. Are those records relied upon by the O'Neal Funeral Home in the course of their ordinary normal business transactions?
Mr. HARDIN. Yes.
Mr. HUBERT. Is it a normal administrative matter to make such records as you now hold in your hand, which you are producing?
Mr. HARDIN. Yes, sir; it is.
Mr. HUBERT. Well, now, we'll mark these various documents for identification, as follows, to wit: And I might add that although you have the originals we have compared the originals, have we not, with these photostatic copies, and, of course, they are identical. Therefore, I am not going to take the original from you, or even mark them for identification, but use, for all purposes the photostatic copies that you have supplied and you may keep the originals, or return them where you got them from. But for the purposes of identification, now, let us mark the documents as follows: There is an ambulance call record which I am identifying as follows:
"Dallas, Tex., March 31, 1964. Exhibit No. 5125, deposition of Michael Hardin," and signing my name on it.
Mr. HARDIN. Okay, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. There is another ambulance call record which I am marking as follows: "Dallas, Tex., March 31, 1964. Exhibit 5126. Deposition of Michael Hardin," and signing my name on it. Finally there is a call ticket bearing number 35127, which I am marking, "Dallas, Tex., March 31, 1964. Exhibit 5127, Deposition of Michael Hardin," and signing my name on the bottom of it, and for the purposes of identification and so that the record may show that we are both talking about the same documents I will ask you to sign your name near mine, or below on each one of the three.
Mr. HARDIN. All right.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, Mr. Hardin, I hand you the document which has been marked for identification as Exhibit 5125, and ask you to identify that document for the record.
Mr. HARDIN. That is the ambulance call sheet--we--that was the original call sheet from the made from the call itself, or at the time of the call itself.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, whose handwriting appears on that?
Mr. HARDIN. That is our dispatcher, or Hal Priddy, this is his handwriting.
Mr. HUBERT. That is Harold--Hal Priddy. [ Spelling] P-r-i-d-d-y?
Mr. HARDIN. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. He is outside in the hall right now?
Mr. HARDIN. Yes, sir; he is.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you recognize the handwriting?
Mr. HARDIN. I am not too familiar with it, really.
Mr. HUBERT. That is all right. He will identify it.
Mr. HARDIN. Well----
Mr. HUBERT. I show you a document marked previously for identification as 5126, and ask you to identify that document.
Mr. HARDIN. This is a copy of the call sheet taken from the police dispatcher's tape.
Mr. HUBERT. Whose handwriting appears on that sheet?
Mr. HARDIN. This is my handwriting on this one.
Mr. HUBERT. As I see it, that is sort of a reconstruction, or amendment of the first document, 5125, is that correct?
Mr. HARDIN. Yes, sir; it is.
Mr. HUBERT. There is some data missing from 5125, which is supplied on 5126, is that right?


Mr. HARDIN. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. And you supplied that missing information by inserting the times, principally, in your own handwriting, which times you obtained from the police tape relevant to this transaction?
Mr. HARDIN. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. All of that is in your handwriting?
Mr. HARDIN. Yes, sir; it is.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you state now for the record that those times entered on Exhibit 5126, were accurate entries as you gathered them and found out about them from the police log?
Mr. HARDIN. That's right; yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, I show you the document marked 5127, and ask you if you can identify that.
Mr. HARDIN. That is the ambulance--the call ticket that was made on the call.
Mr. HUBERT. Whose handwriting is that document written in?
Mr. HARDIN. That is my handwriting.
Mr. HUBERT. When was it written?
Mr. HARDIN. Written at the time of the call, or right after the call was made.
Mr. HUBERT. And before you answered the call?
Mr. HARDIN. No, sir; after we had already answered the call and cleared.
Mr. HUBERT. In other words, after the person had been brought to the hospital?
Mr. HARDIN. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. You then executed that form. All right. Now, tell us what you know about what happened on November 24, 1963.
Mr. HARDIN. We were en route to the funeral home from veterans hospital, and we were on the Stemmons Freeway, about a quarter of a mile southwest of Industrial Boulevard, and we received a call that--at 11:21 over the police radio on signal 19, which is a shooting in the basement of the city hall.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you have radio equipment in your car?
Mr. HARDIN. Yes, sir; we do. It is police radio equipment. Hooked up directly with the police dispatcher. Just regular police equipment.
Mr. HUBERT. Is it 2-way?
Mr. HARDIN. Yes; 3-way.
Mr. HUBERT. Three-way?
Mr. HARDIN. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. What is the third way?
Mr. HARDIN. We can talk to the squads and they can talk back to us and we can talk to the dispatcher and he can talk, and we can talk to the squad and the dispatcher.
Mr. HUBERT. I see. It is customary for you to have that radio machine open and operating when you are traveling?
Mr. HARDIN. Yes, sir; it is.
Mr. HUBERT. Well, tell us what you heard.
Mr. HARDIN. Well, a call came out on signal 19, in the basement.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you know what signal 19 meant?
Mr. HARDIN. Yes, sir; it means shooting.
Mr. HUBERT. How is it identified as being a shooting in the basement?
Mr. HARDIN. They gave us the call as signal 19, in the basement. Code 3, which means emergency, red lights and sirens, and at the time I heard them dispatch three squads, I believe it was, to the basement on this call, and at that time they dispatched us to the call and----
Mr. HUBERT. Who dispatched you?
Mr. HARDIN. This police dispatcher. They phoned--the dispatcher phoned our office, O'Neal's Funeral Home and he gave our dispatcher the call, and our dispatcher in turn told the police dispatcher we were en route back to the office from the veterans hospital and should be close to that vicinity when the call came out, so, he, in turn gave it to us, used our call number, which is 605, and gave it to us.
Mr. HUBERT. Called 605 and you knew that was you?
Mr. HARDIN. Yes, sir.


Mr. HUBERT. You also knew what the signal 19 was, and what the other signal you mentioned----
Mr. HARDIN. Code 3.
Mr. HUBERT. You knew what that was?
Mr. HARDIN. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. And I think you have explained all these meanings of signals in the record already?
Mr. HARDIN. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. What did you do then?
Mr. HARDIN. We, as I say, we were on the Freeway about a quarter of a mile--I guess you would call it southwest--of Industrial and we went on the freeway, from there to Ervay Street, north on Ervay to Main, and then east on Main Street to city hall.
Mr. HUBERT. And you came into the city hall, in your ambulance?
Mr. HARDIN. Came off the Main Street entrance to the city hall.
Mr. HUBERT. Describe for the record what you saw and what you did?
Mr. HARDIN. Now remembering coming into the basement, there were police officers standing there guarding the basement to see nobody got out, and let us go into the basement, and when--and boy, the basement was pretty crowded, a bunch of photographers and newsmen down there, and they were moving this van up the Commerce Street side so we could get in--I mean going up the ramp toward Commerce Street side, best I remember, now, and pulled the ambulance up just south of the well, I don't--jail office I guess it would be in there, and stopped the ambulance, and when we got out I started around the back of the ambulance to take the stretcher out, and there was a police officer, I don't remember who he was or anything, but he must have not recognized me, kind of pushed me back into the crowd. I guess he thought I was someone just coming through, so, just a few seconds until he did recognize me and let me on through----
Mr. HUBERT. By the way, was there anyone with you then?
Mr. HARDIN. Yes, sir; my rider attendant, was with me.
Mr. HUBERT. Who was that?
Mr. HARDIN. Harold Wayne Wolfe.
Mr. HUBERT. Go ahead.
Mr. HARDIN. And I went around to the back of the ambulance, and my rider opened the back door and took the stretcher out, and went into the police or jail office, and we saw Oswald lying on the floor there, and several men around him, and we picked him up and put him on the stretcher and put him in the ambulance, and then there were two or three men, I don't remember now, got into the back of the ambulance, I believe.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you know who they were?
Mr. HARDIN. I believe they were police officers and I believe one of them was Leavelle.
Mr. HUBERT. Yes.
Mr. HARDIN. I am not sure. And then there was a doctor riding in the seat in the back, there, and then my assistant was in the front seat.
Mr. HUBERT. How did you know the man was a doctor?
Mr. HARDIN. I have seen him at Parkland Hospital several times and city hall, too, and recognized him as being a doctor.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you know his name?
Mr. HARDIN. Sir?
Mr. HUBERT. Do you know his name?
Mr. HARDIN. No, sir; I don't know his name. He was in here just before us.
Mr. HUBERT. Let the record show that Dr. Fred Bieberdorf was in the hall with the witness, Mr. Hardin, and appeared in this room where this deposition is being taken just before Mr. Hardin came in. All right.
Mr. HARDIN. And we got him in the car, or ambulance, they drove the armored truck on out of the basement on the Commerce Street side, and we went out behind the truck. Of course, the truck was there when we left, and then went east on Commerce to the expressway, and north on the expressway to Elm and then west on Elm to Harwood and north on Harwood to Harry Hines, and north on Hines to Parkland.


Mr. HUBERT. And what happened when you got to Parkland?
Mr. HARDIN. When we got to Parkland we went in the emergency entrance, pulled around there, backed up to the dock. Of course, it was pretty crowded there, too. People had, I guess, saw the thing on television and came out there to see us when we came in with him, and as soon as we got--took him out of the car, took him into the emergency room--we got to the hall of the emergency room itself, and they put him on one of their tables from our carriage, and we cleared from the call, but there was a few minutes before we cleared.
We were waiting in the hall because it was so crowded that we couldn't get through, so we waited in the hall and I imagine it was about an hour, from the time we got the call before the time we cleared. I believe it was an hour and 9 minutes, if I am not mistaken.
Mr. HUBERT. Would it help you if you looked at Exhibit No. 5127, to determine the time of the call?
Mr. HARDIN. Well----
Mr. HUBERT. As far as the time of the clearance of the call?
Mr. HARDIN. Yes, sir; the call was at 11:21, and cleared at 12:30, and I believe it took 9 minutes from the time we got the call on the air until we were at Parkland with him.
Mr. HUBERT. How did you determine that the call came in at 11:21?
Mr. HARDIN. That is the time that I believe the call came into our office.
Mr. HUBERT. That is what you have on Exhibit 5127?
Mr. HARDIN. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. What I mean by that is that Exhibit 5127 was prepared in your handwriting, but insofar as that time is concerned it was taken off Exhibit 5125, was it not?
Mr. HARDIN. Yes, sir; that's correct.
Mr. HUBERT. There is no mechanism there in the ambulance itself which fixes the time of a call?
Mr. HARDIN. No, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. No timeclock or anything?
Mr. HARDIN. No, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, during all the time you were with Oswald, from the moment you saw him until the moment he was taken over by the hospital, did he say anything at all?
Mr. HARDIN. No, sir; not that I could hear.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you remember the name of the patient that you all had delivered to Veterans Hospital?
Mr. HARDIN. No, sir; I don't.
Mr. HUBERT. Where had you taken him from?
Mr. HARDIN. Let's see, I'm trying to think. I don't--we make so many calls that I--just hard to remember exactly where I had picked him up.
Mr. HUBERT. Man or woman?
Mr. HARDIN. It was a man. He was----
Mr. HUBERT. Do you remember where you picked him up from?
Mr. HARDIN. No, sir; that is what I was trying to think.
Mr. HUBERT. Nor do you remember his name?
Mr. HARDIN. No, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. What was the number of the car you were driving?
Mr. HARDIN. 605.
Mr. HUBERT. You don't normally cruise around, do you?
Mr. HARDIN. No, sir; we don't. As soon as we clear from a call we go right back to our station. From the time we received the call until the time we checked out at the city hall, it was just 2 minutes, according to their tape.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you know what the significance of the code 5, code 6 and so forth is on Exhibit 5126?
Mr. HARDIN. Yes, sir. Code 5 means en route to the scene; code 6 means at the location.
Mr. HUBERT. And there is another code on Exhibit 5126, that means time of departure from the jail?
Mr. HARDIN. En route to the hospital.
Mr. HUBERT. And code 6 on to that would be arrival at the hospital?


Mr. HARDIN. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. And 13 means is cleared, in the sense is that you were dismissed about an hour later?
Mr. HARDIN. It all was a little while before that. I don't believe we cleared at the hospital. I think I came on back to the funeral home from the hospital without clearing, because if I am not mistaken, I believe those phones were all tied up at the hospital and I couldn't get to one of them.
Mr. HUBERT. Anyhow, from the time you got the call over the radio until the the time you got to the hospital, was exactly 10 minutes?
Mr. HARDIN. Let's see. Yes.
Mr. HUBERT. And you got to the jail 3 minutes after you got the call, approximately, right?
Mr. HARDIN. Yes, sir. Well, from the time we got the call until we got to the jail, and--let's see, in 2 minutes, because we actually received the call at 11:21 and the call from the dispatcher to us at 11:22.
Mr. HUBERT. In other words, code 5, on Exhibit 5126, code 5 indicating that 11:22 is the time they put it on the air to you?
Mr. HARDIN. Is the time it was given to us.
Mr. HUBERT. Well, I'll ask you to look at Exhibit 5125, and tell me if you recognize the handwriting on the bottom part of that exhibit by the printed word "oxygen and remarks."
Mr. HARDIN. No, sir; that handwriting, I don't recognize.
Mr. HUBERT. All right. Now, is there anything further you want to add to this?
Mr. HARDIN. No, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. About all you know about it?
Mr. HARDIN. Yes, sir; that's it.
Mr. HUBERT. Have you been interviewed by any member of the Commission other than myself prior to the taking of this deposition?
Mr. HARDIN. No, sir; I haven't.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, during the interview that you had with me immediately prior to the taking of this deposition, was anything brought out material nature which has not been covered in this deposition?
Mr. HARDIN. No, sir; not that I know of, not that I can remember.
Mr. HUBERT. All right. Do you know of any inconsistencies between what you testified here in this deposition and the matter as to which we look about during the interview which proceeded the deposition?
Mr. HARDIN. No, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. All right, thank you very much.

Home .. Alphabetical list of witnesses