TESTIMONY OF CAPT. O. A. JONES beginning at 12H58...

The testimony of Capt. O. A. Jones was taken at 9 a.m., on March 24, 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 Dallas deposition of Capt. O. A. Jones, Forgery Bureau, Dallas Police Department. My name is Leon D. Hubert, Jr. I am a member of the advisory staff of the general counsel of the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy.
Under the Provisions of the Executive Order 11130, dated November 29, 1963, the joint resolution of Congress, No. 137, and the rules of procedure adopted by the Commission in conformance with the Executive order and the Commission, I have been authorized to take the sworn deposition from you, Mr. Jones. I state to you now that the general nature on the Commission's inquiry is to ascertain, evaluate and report upon the facts relating to the assassination of President Kennedy and the subsequent violent death of Lee Harvey Oswald.
In particular as to you Captain Jones, the nature of the inquiry today is to determine what facts you know about the death of Oswald and any other pertinent fact you may know about the general inquiry. Captain Jones, you have appeared here today by virtue of a general request made by the general counsel on the staff of the President's Commission to Chief Curry.
Under the rules adopted by the Commission you are entitled to have a 3-day written notice prior to the taking of this deposition. The rules of the Commission also provide that the witness may waive the notice. Do you waive the 3-day notice now?
Captain JONES. Yes, sir; I do.
Mr. HUBERT. Will you be sworn, please?
Captain JONES. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Raise your right hand. Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God ?
Captain JONES. I do.
Mr. HUBERT. Captain Jones, please state your full name ?
Captain JONES. Orville [spelling] O-r-v-i-l-l-e Aubrey [spelling] A-u-b-r-e-y Jones.
Mr. HUBERT. Your age?
Captain JONES. Forty-nine.
Mr. HUBERT. And your residence?
Captain JONES. 2603 Alco [spelling] A-l-c-o Avenue, Dallas 11, Tex.
Mr. HUBERT. What is your present occupation, Captain Jones?
Captain JONES. Captain in the city police department, Dallas, Tex.
Mr. HUBERT. How long have you held that rank, sir?
Captain JONES. April of 1957.
Mr. HUBERT. What is your particular assignment now ?
Captain JONES. Commanding officer in the forgery bureau.
Mr. HUBERT. You are under Chief Stevenson?
Captain JONES. M.W. Stevenson is my superior officer.


Mr. HUBERT. And your rank and duties were the same during the period of November 22 and 24, 1963 ?
Captain JONES. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, Captain, I show you three documents which I am numbering--I show you three documents upon which I am writing the following in the lower right-hand corner. "Dallas, Texas, March 24, 1964. Exhibit No. 5054, deposition of Capt. O. A. Jones." Beneath which I have signed my name, Leon D. Hubert. The second document which I am endorsing "Dallas, Texas, March 24, 1964, Exhibit No. 5055, deposition of Capt. O. A. Jones," and I am signing my signature below that. That document consisting of three pages, and I am initialing--two other--to revert back for a moment to No. 5054, that has a second page and I am placing my initials on the second page of that document in the lower right-hand corner. Third document, I am writing on the right-hand margin the following: "Dallas, Texas, March 24, 1964. Exhibit 5056. Deposition of Capt. O. A. Jones," and I am signing my name below that. That document containing three pages. I am taking my initials and placing them on the second and third pages. Now, Captain, I think you have read these three documents which I----
Captain JONES. I have; yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, I would like you to place your name below mine on each one of these pages, please, and your initials below mine on the other pages, after which I'm going to ask you some questions concerning these documents.
Captain JONES. All right, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Just below mine and then initial the second and third page below my initials there, Now, Captain, I think you have already stated that you have read these three documents ?
Captain JONES. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Exhibit 5054, 5055, and 5056, and I am going to ask you if, in your opinion, those documents represent the truth, or if you have any kind of amendments, modifications, or additions that you want to make ?
Captain JONES. There are some additions.
Mr. HUBERT. Would you state for the record what amendments or modifications, whatever else you have to about the documents.
Captain JONES. This is off the record. (Discussion off the record.)
Mr. HUBERT. Now, back on the record. Anyhow, with reference directed at 5054, Captain, what have you to say as to that? That being a report of Special Agents James W. Bookhout and Joseph M. Meyers, of an interview of you by those gentlemen on November 25, 1963.
Captain JONES. First, let me say that they make reference they are correct, but they have grouped together under "specific instructions that I received." I received, at two different times, that is not at the same time. At first, when I was sent downstairs Chief Stevenson gave me instructions to go to the Commerce Street ramp, place two patrolmen there to assist an armored car down that ramp to get it backed as far down as possible, down in the basement
Mr. HUBERT. Before you leave that, do you know about what time it was?
Captain JONES. I'd say only about 11 o'clock, and it could have been a little before because of the amount of time required on that, but I didn't look at my watch.
Mr. HUBERT. Thank you.
Captain JONES. Do you want me to go on to the other points ?
Mr. HUBERT. Yes.
Captain JONES. The other part. In one sentence I gave, he has specific instructions about keeping them back, and Chief Batchelor and Chief Stevenson did so later when they came to the basement, and I called the attention that photographers were out in the other part of the jail office now, and there was nothing said upstairs-said about clearing anything except what I said that one thing, except--take taking any detectives remaining on the third floor and placing them where I wanted them, where I felt they would be needed. That goes into it a little more in detail, but by having that in front of me right now. If you could, I can show you the point that he states he instructed me to secure the area for the transport of Lee Harvey Oswald from the Dallas City Jail to


the Dallas County Jail--with additional specific instructions from Chief Stevenson or Chief Batchelor or to have detectives under their supervision to question the news media to keep the basement east of the driveway--that came up after we got down in the basement, and it reads maybe as if it was given at another place.
Mr. HUBERT. What you have just read and commented upon is from the first paragraph of a document 5054 ? Right ?
Captain JONES. Yes, sir; right.
Mr. HUBERT. Go ahead now.
Captain JONES. The--in other words, the two instructions given previously before I went to the basement were: One, to arrange to have officers assist the armored truck which they told me was en route, to back into the Commerce Street ramp down into the city hall and as far as possible. Number two; take any remaining detectives from the third floor down to the basement and place them where I thought they might be needed.
Mr. HUBERT. Would you state for the record how you carried out those specific orders?
Captain JONES. Yes, sir; I made a round of all CIB Bureaus, with the exception of homicide and robbery, which was working on the assassination, and got--I can't tell you, two or three or some detectives that were remaining, and we went down the elevator. This is the one I went down with the and I don't know who they were, and don't have any names. Didn't make a detail--but I went up and did see Patrolman Jez and one other patrolman that I don't know his name----
Mr. HUBERT. They were in uniform ?
Captain JONES. They were in uniform. They would remain and assist the armored truck in backing down there. And the detectives that had come with me were standing at the jail office. I had left them at the door of the jail office, and coming back toward the ramp, I came upon Captain Talbert, in charge of the patrol division, and told him that Patrolman Jez and the other officer were up there and what the Chief had said.
Mr. HUBERT. All right. Now, have you any other comments to make about----
Captain JONES. Now, that is all about that.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, I understand that that is document 5054?
Captain JONES. Let me check on this now for sure. That is--yes; that is all right now.
Mr. HUBERT. All right. And Exhibit 5055.
Captain JONES. May I ask you a question ?
Mr. HUBERT. Yes, sir.
Captain JONES. Now then, the instructions about checking that, you want to get to that later that I got--where Chief Batchelor and Chief Stevenson----
Mr. HUBERT. What I want to do is get through these documents.
Captain JONES. All right, sir. Now, our next exhibit. That would be 5055 ?
Mr. HUBERT. Yes. That is the letter addressed on November 26th, to Chief J. E. Curry ?
Captain JONES. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. This is a copy of the original which apparently was signed by you?
Captain JONES. Yes, sir; that's right.
Mr. HUBERT. I think you have read it.
Captain JONES. I have read it, and only one thing on that. That is on page 2, at the top--where I had two different directions running from the jail office door across the ramp running east, and then I turned and went south, and we called that east, too, but it is--only thing the right is running, instead of east, should have read south.
Mr. HUBERT. Where is that, sir?
Captain JONES. All right, sir. I will show you. Up here this word "east," probably should be "south."
Mr. HUBERT. Suppose we change that from "this point running east," and I will encircle it and put the word "south," and putting my own initial below the change, and ask you if you would----
Captain JONES. Running east from the door of the jail office to the rail


on the opposite side, and down a line from this point running south. Yes, sir; that's right.
Mr. HUBERT. So, just initial the change then and the word "east," which we encircled and changed to "south," and Captain Jones and myself are initialling the change.
Captain JONES. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Other than that, do you have any changes that should be made?
Captain JONES. Let that stand.
Mr. HUBERT. Then this document which I have identified as Exhibit 5056, being the report by the FBI, specifically by Agents Edward Mabey and Kenneth Hughes [spelling] H-u-g-h-e-s, of an interview with you, apparently, on December 2, 1963, and ask you if you have any corrections to make as to that?
Captain JONES. Yes, sir; there are one or two changes that I would like to make in that.
Mr. HUBERT. All right.
Captain JONES. Let's see. Can I see it just one moment, sir?
Mr. HUBERT. Sure.
Captain JONES. All right. I would like to make the following changes. At the bottom of page 1, of Exhibit--that is 5056, I believe?
Mr. HUBERT. That's right.
Captain JONES. The last sentence that reads, "Jones assisted in holding back the press line during the process, and gave instructions to all officers near the jail office and the door to allow no one in the area from the jail to the automobile, down the route the prisoner was to take."
Mr. HUBERT. Now, what is your comment?
Captain JONES. The comment is that the sentence should have read, "Jones assisted holding back the press lines through the process of moving the automobile onto the ramp." The rest of the sentence refers back to just prior to that when the instructions had been given to keep those things clear. Immediately following the clearing of the jail office is when I gave those instructions at that time, to hold the people back and get those--I did not have time or the opportunity, and did not turn at that time and tell everybody that we were trying to get the car back up into position.
Mr. HUBERT. Have you any change or comments to make upon the document 5056?
Captain JONES. Yes, sir; on page 2, of this same exhibit.
Mr. HUBERT. Off the record. (Discussion off the record.)
Mr. HUBERT. Now, back on the record.
Captain JONES. Beginning with the first complete paragraph that says, "Jones was walking up the Commerce Street ramp when he heard from behind him, Here he comes, from an unidentified individual," and on that, there is only one change.
Whereas, Jones was walking toward the Commerce Street ramp instead of up it, now.
Mr. HUBERT. In other words, you were not----
Captain JONES. In other words, I was not up on the rise itself. I was walking toward it.
Mr. HUBERT. Heading from what direction?
Captain JONES. From the general area in front of the jail office door, out in the flat area. The ramps come down like [indicating] straighten out. The jail is here [indicating].
Mr. HUBERT. In other words, what you wish to point out is that the Commerce Street ramp takes an upturn about half way up the ramp?
Captain JONES. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. And that you want to indicate that you had not reached the up-rise?
Captain JONES. No, sir; I had not.
Mr. HUBERT. But, you were in the ramp that runs between Main and Commerce, but on the level part?
Captain JONES. On the level part, and walking toward the rise.


Mr. HUBERT. Walking toward the rise. Any other comments concerning that?
Captain JONES. Yes, sir; on page 3----
Mr. HUBERT. 5056?
Captain JONES. 5056.
Mr. HUBERT. What paragraph?
Captain JONES. It will be the last sentence; begins on page 2.
Mr. HUBERT. All right; the last sentence beginning on page 2. Will you read it then?
Captain JONES. "Jones then placed two officers at the swinging door just outside the jail office, and advised them not to let persons leave who had proper identification----
Mr. HUBERT. Latter part of that sentence is at the top of page 3, of that Exhibit 5056, is that right?
Captain JONES. Yes, sir. The correction, sir, that is "Jones then placed two officers at the swinging doors just outside the jail office and advised them to let the reporters and news media who had identification come to the third floor."
Mr. HUBERT. Other than that change, that sentence, you think, is correct?
Captain JONES. That's correct, yes, sir. Now, I have one more.
Mr. HUBERT. All right. What page?
Captain JONES. It is the last paragraph of page 3, first sentence that reads----
Mr. HUBERT. Now, you are talking about Exhibit 5056?
Captain JONES. Yes, sir.
"Due to the fact that Jones was recalled from vacation, he wasn't present at any briefing on the security measures that were to be in effect in the basement on November 24, 1963."
Mr. HUBERT. All right?
Captain JONES. Now, on that, I had been due to go on vacation on Friday. I had continued on through. I don't know why I wasn't in on any briefing or anything. I am going to say that is the reason I wasn't, for I was down there, and that was, I'm sure--I have told the gentlemen these facts and so forth, but that I didn't attend a briefing, that I had planned to go on vacation immediately after the President's speech at the the Trade Mart, and--but I can't say why I wasn't called in on any briefing. I just wasn't in on any of them.
Mr. HUBERT. Just while we are on that subject, is it a fact that you were supposed to go on a leave as soon as the President left Dallas?
Captain JONES. On Friday; yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. On Friday?
Captain JONES. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. In fact, did you go?
Captain JONES. No, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Would you state very briefly for me your activities from the time of the night before the President's visit up until the 24th? Just very briefly.
Captain JONES. All right, sir. I had been assigned previously in the week to have charge of the fourth floor at the Trade Mart where the President's luncheon was to be held. On Thursday night before----
Mr. HUBERT. Wait. Thursday night?
Captain JONES. Thursday night before the luncheon. I was rather wakeful and a little nervous, certainly not anticipating an assassination, but because of some unfortunate incidents in Dallas, there was a desire not to have anything happen that would reflect on the city, and certainly even a humiliating incident such as throwing paper, eggs, or shouting or anything such as that. A little apprehensive about it, and didn't sleep very much. Went out to the Trade Mart on Friday and stationed quite a few officers at all the places on the fourth floor.
I had a listing and a schedule and all that. Remained there until afternoon--that is, after news of the assassination, and until we were told that we could leave. I then returned to the city hall and en route had cleared with the dispatcher that if he didn't have further instructions for the group with me that we would return to the city hall.
I returned, and I immediately made every officer available to Captain Fritz.


I don't know how long that we worked that night for sure, but I do know it was after 2 o'clock when the FBI Agent Vince Drain left the city hall with some--some evidence he was going to take, and that was about 2 o'clock, Saturday morning, the 24th.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you go home----
Captain JONES. Yes, I did go home for possibly 2 to 3 hours and laid down. Didn't rest very much. We came back down Saturday and continued working with Captain Fritz. Making my offices available and my men available to him during the day Saturday until Saturday evening when we filed our--our bureau filed the assault to murder charge on Oswald for the shooting of Governor Connally, which is our bureau that, assault to murder--that handles assault to murder.
Captain Fritz' bureau handles murder, and by this time I--that was filed, I began to help take incoming calls and to assist in any way that I could up there in the administration offices. Stayed up there until at least nearly midnight Saturday night. Went home, got a few hours of troubled sleep that night. Before I left, Chief Stevenson told me that it looked like my cases were all filed, everything was in pretty good shape, I might as well go ahead and take my vacation as I had planned and I told him I couldn't enjoy--a little fishing trip was what I had planned--until it was all over.
Mr. HUBERT. Let me go back a moment. There was a lineup of some kind on the night of Friday, November 22, at which Oswald was brought into the lineup in the assembly room at the police department, at which a number of news media were present.
Captain JONES. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Were you present that night?
Captain JONES. No, sir; I was on the third floor at that time.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you know Jack Ruby?
Captain JONES. I have known him.
Mr. HUBERT. Just state how well and under what circumstances.
Captain JONES. Yes, sir; I will be glad to do that. And I do want to ask---can I say something off the record here?
Mr. HUBERT. Yes. (Discussion off the record.)
Mr. HUBERT. Get back on the record.
During the off-the-record period, Captain Jones simply explained to me that he had omitted something from his comments relative to what?
Captain JONES. Relative to knowing Jack Ruby. I've got to find----
Mr. HUBERT. Relative to what document?
Captain JONES. 5056. Document 5056; that would be the first complete paragraph on page 3, where it states, "Jones states that he did know Ruby and had known him prior to 1952, when he ran the Silver Spur, a nightclub on South Central. He stated that prior to 1952, he was a lieutenant covering this district and did go into the Silver Spur, at the most, six times looking for white subjects."
Mr. HUBERT. Would you state your comments on that?
Captain JONES. The comment is that, "Jones stated that he did know Ruby and had known him prior to 1952, when he ran the Silver Spur, a nightclub on South Ervay." The next sentence should read, "He stated that prior to 1952, he was a detective assigned mostly to colored cases, but that occasionally we were assigned cases involving white suspects, and on a few occasions did go in the Silver Spur during those investigations."
Mr. HUBERT. All right.
Captain JONES. I was asked how many times, and I could not estimate how many times. I said, "Not over six times, probably, altogether."
Mr. HUBERT. Let me put it this way to you. Did you know him well enough so that you would have recognized him had he walked into a room?
Captain JONES. That is a question in my mind that I doubt very much that I would have. I did recognize him in the basement after someone said--before I ever saw who it ever was in custody, that it was Jack Ruby, and when I was told that in advance I did recognize him. Otherwise, it is possible that I might have recognized him had I been given that opportunity but I did not have the opportunity.


Mr. HUBERT. Did you see him, that is to say, Jack Ruby, in your rounds of the basement any time, from the shooting of the President until the shooting of Oswald? Captain JONES. To recognize him as such, I did not see him to recognize him then. And after seeing him at the time of the arrest, I did not recall having seen him even as a face in the crowd prior to that.
Mr. HUBERT. Would you say that now with the consideration after having been told that it was Jack Ruby and recognizing him, you still don't remember having seen----
Captain JONES. I did not see that particular man in there, and not having recognized him, I don't recall seeing that face, at any time. This is with the full knowledge that since this matter I have found that one of my own men filed a simple assault case on him about a year ago, but I wasn't aware of that.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you know of any plans that had been made at that time for the transportation of Oswald, prior to leaving to go home on Saturday night, the 23d of November?
Captain JONES. That is one of the questions that I am going to have to say that things have come up that during my investigation that I headed following the shooting of Oswald, by Ruby--that I headed a team of several lieutenants, and one detective investigating the security in the basement--and I have some knowledge as a result of that investigation, that no one came to me and told me about the possible transfer, or--possible transfer, or any plans for a transfer prior to me going home Saturday night.
Mr. HUBERT. Were you aware that the plan was not to transfer Oswald until at least 10 o'clock on Sunday morning?
Captain JONES. It seems to me as if possibly there was something about that in my mind, but I can't tell you where I got it, but there was some talk around there. I don't know whether the time was 10 o'clock, or 9 o'clock, and since that time I have talked to people that said, "I don't know," but it does seem to me that I was under the impression that when I got up Sunday morning that if I got down there before 9 o'clock, he possibly would not have been transferred by that time, but so help me, I cannot think--I cannot say how that I knew that.
Mr. HUBERT. Let me put it to you another way. Were you given any specific duty to perform or anything relative to the transfer whenever that would take place?
Captain JONES. You mean prior to that 11 o'clock, when I was sent to the basement?
Mr. HUBERT. Yes; prior to Saturday night.
Captain JONES. No, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Prior to leaving on Saturday night
Captain JONES. In fact, I was told that if I wanted to go on my fishing trip, I could go.
Mr. HUBERT. So, then you got back at what time?
Captain JONES. I would say somewhere roughly around 9 o'clock, couldn't have been much after that.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you do anything between 9 and, say, 10 o'clock?
Captain JONES. Yes, sir; I sure did.
Mr. HUBERT. Tell us what you did.
Captain JONES. I was answering the telephone, and I can't recall specific things. It was just things that come up that needed doing right then. Getting calls----
Mr. HUBERT. Let me ask you the same question I asked about the other period. Were you given any specific duties to do, or specific functions as to supervising concerning the transfer of Oswald during this period of 9 to, say, 11 o'clock, or roughly 11 o'clock, on the 24th?
Captain JONES. No, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Were you simply answering the phone?
Captain JONES. I came in and started answering the phone, and started doing whatever appeared necessary for me to do.
Mr. HUBERT. What then happened next?
Captain JONES. Well, that went on for almost 2 hours or somewhere near


that and then at approximately 11 o'clock is when Chief Stevenson came to me, and I don't know whether he came in from one of the offices. I was in the big lobby out front of the chief's office, but I came to the double doors where the secretaries have their desks, and he came to me and told me to go down to the basement of the city hall, go up the Commerce Street ramp and place two officers there to assist an armored truck that was en route to be used in the transfer of Oswald. Have those two officers there assist that truck in backing down into the basement as far as possible. "I don't know whether it will go all the way or not," also to take any available detectives on the third floor to the basement and place them where I thought they might be needed.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you follow those instructions?
Captain JONES. I did.
Mr. HUBERT. Can you tell us in what way you did so ?
Captain JONES. All right, sir. I went to the automobile theft bureau, juvenile bureau, my own forgery bureau and--burglary and theft bureau, and got any detectives available to have them report to me at the jail office, and it seems to me, as I say, as if two or three detectives went with me. I couldn't tell you how many it was in the elevator going down with me, but--nor who they were, but I do know that when we got to the jail office I then asked them to remain in one place and I went out the door on the ramp, or on the driveway and up the ramp to Commerce Street, called Patrolman Jez and another officer, uniformed policeman, then. Relayed Chief Stevenson's instructions not to leave there that the truck was en route.
In coming back down the ramp I encountered Captain Talbert, who is in charge of the patrol division, and because Chief Stevenson had sent me down there to do that, I informed him of the instructions I had so that he wouldn't inadvertently move them, and then I returned to the officers in the basement--jail office, and just standing outside there. And from here on in--many times--I can tell you most of the things that happened, I am sure I may be a little unsure of the time, or sequence of things, for there in a matter of a few minutes quite a lot of things were done, but I returned into there and told the officers to remain there, that----
Mr. HUBERT. When you say that you returned----
Captain JONES. To the jail office on the basement floor. Now, who they were, I don't know. I am sure some of it is mentioned in the individual officers' reports that we have, of the ones that were there that I was talking to and told them as far as I knew the armored car was going, that was going to transfer him, that was backed up, it was backed up there and we would see the prisoner was safely escorted over to that. Meantime, someone, I couldn't tell.
Mr. HUBERT. Just 1 minute. Before that, had you been told by Chief Stevenson when he instructed you to go down to the Commerce Street ramp and make arrangements for the handling of the armored truck----
Captain JONES. Yes.
Mr. HUBERT. Had you been told what route would be followed by the armored truck, or whatever vehicle?
Captain JONES. I had not been told that. I had heard some discussion. We have a large map of downtown, city of Dallas, that sits inside of the chief's office where the secretaries sit outside there, and one of the chiefs, I don't recall which one it was, was over there talking to someone else about a proposed route. I don't know what it was. I was not told.
Mr. HUBERT. About what time was that?
Captain JONES. Oh, just prior to my going to the basement.
Mr. HUBERT. In other words, just prior to 11 o'clock ?
Captain JONES. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. They were discussing what route to take?
Captain JONES. Discussing route, and I don't know what arrangements was made.
Mr. HUBERT. Let's go back into the basement where you left off at the end of the last sequence of questions. What time, roughly, would it have been when you had completed the duty of informing the police who were at the top of the Commerce Street entrance, and after you had informed Captain Talbert, and after you had gotten these three men----


Captain JONES. To the jail office there?
Mr. HUBERT. What time was it, about?
Captain JONES. Well, it would take a minimum, I would say, of 5 minutes, to come up that. It would vary a little, and possibly more, depending on how fast the elevators came up and so forth.
Mr. HUBERT. What did you do next then?
Captain JONES. Next thing I did--it was brought to my attention--we don't have a chart here so I will have----
Mr. HUBERT. Here; I am going to mark it, "Dallas, Texas, March 24, 1963. Exhibit 5057, deposition of Capt. O. A. Jones." I am signing my name below it and I would like you to sign your name, here.
Captain JONES. All right, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. And then will you use the exhibit as you see fit. Let me say to you that if you do refer to the exhibit please indicate in words where it is rather than pointing to it because it will not make sense later on.
Captain JONES. All right.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, you were saying about the basement----
Captain JONES. When I got off the elevator, came out and left the elevator--all right, now, someone brought it to my attention that photographers and news media were in this part of the jail.
Mr. HUBERT. In the jail?
Captain JONES. Jail office, outside.
Mr. HUBERT. Outside of the desks?
Captain JONES. Outside the booking area, outside of the desk part of the jail office, and newsmen all out in here [indicating].
Mr. HUBERT. When you say "here," you are pointing to the jail area?
Captain JONES. The corridor they have from the driveway from the basement jail office.
Mr. HUBERT. On the east side of the swinging doors ?
Captain JONES. On the east side of the swinging doors; yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Well, what did you do?
Captain JONES. I did not know the instructions given to the other officers down there prior to that. Nothing. So, immediately after seeing them--I saw Chief Batchelor and Chief Stevenson come out the swinging doors into the area, and Batchelor, being the highest ranking officer present, I pointed these people out to him, and----
Mr. HUBERT. That is to say, in the jail office?
Captain JONES. In the jail office--were they supposed to be in there, and wouldn't it be better, if we could get those people out of the jail office, that it would be easier to watch the prisoner, and so, I don't know the exact words, I used, and they walked around and looked around, and then agreed that it would be. So, he and I, and at least one other officer, and I don't know who he was, but at least one more removed everyone out of the outer part of the jail office to just outside the swinging doors coming from the basement of the city hall going east.
Mr. HUBERT. In the direction----
Captain JONES. In the direction of the driveway, and after getting them out there, not knowing the specific instructions that might have been given. I said, "Chief Batchelor, would it be possible to have all this media be placed north of a line from the east corner of the jail office all right. To move all the news media north of a line formed from the corner of the jail office from the corridor to across the ramp leading down from Main Street, to have all reporters north of that line, and that east of a line running off from this point across the driveway going south down to the exit from the basement parking area."
Mr. HUBERT. All right, I am going to mark, as you have indicated on the map, by making a line starting--with the letter "A" on the corner formed by the intersection of the jail corridor and the basement ramp moving east to a point, "B ", which I am marking----
Captain JONES. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Which is the east side of the ramp, and to another point marked "C".


Captain JONES. Well, now, actually, that line would extend all the way up here at that time. I meant to keep them back on those two--and in order----
Mr. HUBERT. Am I correct in what your suggestion was that the news media should be kept north of the line marked A and B?
Captain JONES. That's right.
Mr. HUBERT. And east of the line which runs "B to C," the point "C"?
Captain JONES. I didn't spell it out in those details, but that is the general idea, yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. "B" being the top of the Commerce Street ramp?
Captain JONES. For this reason, that we would have only two sides to watch. The rest of it would be more or less brick wall, and he agreed to that. The officers were stationed previously by other people along these lines, so, I went out there with some of these officers and I don't know how many, and we did get those people back.
Mr. HUBERT. You got them back?
Captain JONES. We got them back fairly well at that time.
Mr. HUBERT. Behind the lines?
Captain JONES. Behind these lines. In fact, there at one time it was completely clear.
Mr. HUBERT. That would have been how long before Oswald came down?
Captain JONES. There again, I couldn't say. It was a matter of a few minutes.
Mr. HUBERT. Can you tell me how many people were in the area that I am marking with a pen, "Area A"?
Captain JONES. I cannot tell you.
Mr. HUBERT. Which is to say, the area north of the line "A", which you recently drew?
Captain JONES. Mr. Hubert, that would be truly a guess on my part along with knowledge obtained later and watching these TV films. Unconsciously, I would have to use that, for I don't have any idea on it.
Mr. HUBERT. Were they standing shoulder to shoulder across the ramp?
Captain JONES. It wasn't when we first pushed them back there, it was possibly six or eight people, and possibly a few more than that including officers. I didn't stop to--told the officers, "Get them back," "get them back."
. Mr. HUBERT. Now, I am talking about an area called "B", can you give me any comment as to how many people roughly were in there?
Captain JONES. I couldn't guess. A few minutes later I can tell you there was quite a few people there, but----
Mr. HUBERT. We'll get to there. Suppose we get to that. Now then, at the time Oswald was brought down, can you tell me how many people, roughly, were in Area "A" and Area "B"?
Captain JONES. No, sir; I find myself with figures there that--that I do not know whether they are right or not.
Mr. HUBERT. All right.
Captain JONES. What I would want to say, that I did see several people, and I was up there personally, and I don't know exactly who they were, but I was attempting to push them back at that time. So, we can get to that any minute, but as far as giving you a figure or definite number or something, I couldn't do it with any degree of accuracy.
Mr. HUBERT. All right, sir. Do you know of your own knowledge what procedures were being used for checking people in that whole downstairs or basement area, including the ramp and so forth?
Captain JONES. I know only one instance of--somewhere on the way down there that morning, whether it was up on the third floor or whether--I believe it was off of the elevator, just coming off of the elevator I was asked for an identification.
Mr. HUBERT. You were in civilian clothes ?
Captain JONES. I was in civilian clothes, yes, sir. I was asked, and that is the only time. I did not give the instruction. These officers were placed there prior to that, on the outside lines, and I don't know of my own knowledge.
Mr. HUBERT. Well, then, proceed with the chronological sequence.
Captain JONES. The chronological sequence, after getting these people out of the jail office and out of the corridors and driveway to these two points of which


we were speaking, then I was somewhere just south of this point marked "B" on the driveway when Chief Stevenson approached me and said, "There has been a change in plan. We are going to put two cars on the driveway and use them." Now, sometime in between there, and I can't tell you the exact time I am aware of a blur of a car going out the wrong way. I didn't see who was in it, and I didn't take too much awareness of it. I don't know just when it was.
Mr. HUBERT. When you say, "going the wrong way----"
Captain JONES. I mean it came out of the basement area and headed up toward Main Street which ordinarily is the down ramp and you go out the ramp going up Commerce Street. There was a car out there, and in light of the investigation I know the circumstances now, but at that time I couldn't tell you about that one which did go out. Chief Stevenson said--came to me just before or after the car pulled out and said--said there was a change in plans, "We are going to put two cars in the driveway and transfer him in a car." Almost immediately some cars started up back in this area [indicating].
Mr. HUBERT. When you say "this area," that is the basement?
Captain JONES. All right, the parking area of the basement, east of the driveway, and I am very sure one car that I saw pull up and go up the Commerce Street ramp from a ways, and I think I am aware of a second car pulling up behind. Now, the second car was having a little difficulty backing down into position to where it would--where it should go, so that when I stepped forward and became aware of quite a mass of people, I couldn't tell you how many in this area "B".
Mr. HUBERT. And you were standing in the west side of the area ?
Captain JONES. Yes, sir; the west side of area B, but the east side of the ramp. I was somewhere in there, and I attempted to push the people back, and I'm afraid I may have delayed the driver by pushing these people back, but along about that time someone shouts, "Here he comes."
Mr. HUBERT. Would you just make a little circle as to where approximately you were?
Captain JONES. I think--I think--I think I was somewhere right in this area here [indicating].
Mr. HUBERT. Just put a circle.
Captain JONES. Well, I don't know. That is as close as I can put it.
Mr. HUBERT. You have drawn a circle, and I'm just going to put here, as you said, that it was somewhere around in here, around in the circle that you have drawn and I am marking that "approximate position of Capt. O. A. Jones at the time that Jones heard someone say 'Here he comes,'" is that correct, sir?
Captain JONES. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, actually, there was an automobile, as you say, backing up towards east, right?
Captain JONES. Well----
Mr. HUBERT. But when they begin----
Captain JONES. It would have been backing north attempting to back north.
Mr. HUBERT. Backing north, but with the front of the car facing south?
Captain JONES. Now then; from here is something that was a mystery to me for 2 weeks----
Mr. HUBERT. You didn't answer the question.
Captain JONES. That's true. In the basement area, onto the ramp, heading out towards Commerce, and attempting to back toward north.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, did you say there was something else?
Captain JONES. The police vehicle car is ahead of me a little bit.
Mr. HUBERT. It is what?
Captain JONES. Ahead of me, backing toward it, and I am probably in the way, and when they shout, "Here he comes," and the line up ahead of me--up toward the Commerce Street ramp, and I know of some officers, Chief Stevenson and Chief Batchelor, uniformed men up at the ramp, but I'm not sure about Captain Talbert. I'm sure, I believe he is ahead of me. Quite a few officers, however, someone yells, "Here he comes," there is a big furor, so then as I turned and looked back into this area "B", there are some people in there which--hands out, looking them, completely. I am looking east.


Mr. HUBERT. You are looking away from the----
Captain JONES. From the approximate point.
Mr. HUBERT. But you are also looking away from the point which Oswald exited?
Captain JONES. That's right. In watching the people, I was aware, in fact, in trying to get them out of the way.
Mr. HUBERT. Would it be correct to say that the televisions were to your left?
Captain JONES. I think so. I mean, that is my impression, and I cannot--I couldn't swear. I can give you the impression to the best of my knowledge, but here is one thing that I know. I am in that area, I think the television is to my left. I turned to make sure the people stay out of way. Some of the previous instructions----can I go back?
Mr. HUBERT. Yes.
Captain JONES. Some of the previous instructions that I had given to this officer here [indicating].
Mr. HUBERT. Here ?
Captain JONES. I'm sorry, just outside of the swinging doors leading into the basement of the city hail and just after clearing the jail office of the reporters, just keep the people out of the area. I told both the officers and the newsmen there, "When the prisoner comes down, you will not be allowed in this area. You will not be allowed to step forward to take pictures, or converse with the prisoner."
Mr. HUBERT. You gave that instruction?
Captain. JONES. I gave this instruction to them. I can't say to this officer, or to that officer.
Mr. HUBERT. All right.
Captain JONES. Things had changed. First, I was under the impression that the armored car would back all the way down. I didn't know whether it could get all the way down, may do it at some intermediate point. If it comes all the way down there would be a lane. That was the--that was where I wanted the officer here coming out of the jail office. The door of the vehicle that opens----
Mr. HUBERT. I say, that was your idea?
Captain JONES. It was my idea, if the transporting vehicle backs all the way to the jail door.
Mr. HUBERT. All right.
Captain JONES. If it comes partially down here and has to stop, which would be somewhere around this area here [indicating], the--just past--just at the point where the ramp starts to rise there is a beam, I believe, or low point in the ceiling there, that if it cannot get to that point these officers in the line here can form an L-shaped line around the prisoner, between them and the two sides where the news media had been told to stay and form a buffer in between to walk up there. Then the change going to put two cars up there. There is no reason why that back car can't get all the way back to the jail office. The original plan would be that the line of officers would be from the jail door to the vehicle. Then they say, "Here he comes," and I am off up here, to the point that I indicated on the map. It is too late to get the people out of the way of the car and form the line. I am aware that Oswald is already coming because of the furor, so, I was trying to keep everybody out of the way and keep the way clear and I heard a shot.
Mr. HUBERT. All right.
Captain JONES. And I place that as to why it is my last awareness of---the back car is ahead of, towards Commerce Street. The prisoner is coming from back here [indicating]. The car is backing like this [indicating]. I am looking at----
Mr. HUBERT. You were looking at the automobile?
Captain JONES. At the automobile. They say, "Here he comes." I turned and these people back this way----
Mr. HUBERT. Looking away from the direction?
Captain JONES. Into this basement parking area. I heard a shot, and I


distinctly remember looking over my left shoulder and behind me to the scene of the scuffle.
Mr. HUBERT. What did you see?
Captain JONES. Just mass confusion of people.
Mr. HUBERT. All right; let me ask you this; had you at any time seen Ruby in the basement?
Captain JONES. No, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. At the time of the shooting, did you see him ?
Captain JONES. Not at the moment of the shooting. I was looking out into the basement area parking area.
Mr. HUBERT. After the shooting, did you see him?
Captain JONES. I did; after he was in custody and on his feet and just prior to them taking him into the jail office.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you recognize him then?
Captain JONES. At that time, after having someone say it was Jack Ruby, then I did recognize him as Jack Ruby.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you hear him say anything?
Captain JONES. No, sir; in fact, I wasn't that close to him.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you have anything more to do with Ruby? Did you see him after that?
Captain JONES. Can I continue on the chronological thing there? I don't believe I did see him----
Mr. HUBERT. Go ahead.
Captain JONES. It will be just about that same thing that after I turned and looking back, and also someone running out to the street, out at the extreme edges of the crowd and all, and that is when I hollered, "Block the exits." Or "bar the exits," or "don't let anybody out." Or--I couldn't tell you the words I used. I shouted over my shoulder and took a few running steps and shouting to the officers, for some of them was running down towards the scene that I yelled, "Block the exits, don't let anybody out." The two or three officers stopped. I couldn't tell you who they are, and then I turned and went back down to the scene or near the scene of the shooting, somebody says, it was Jack Ruby. In fact, it was said more than once. I heard the words--and they got the man standing up. I can see his head and I do recognize in my mind that it is Jack Ruby, but--about to get him in the jail office, shouted to that officer that way, whether he heard me or not, I don't know, but this man here Lieutenant Swain [indicating] was having a lot of difficulty. He was standing between point "B" on the driveway and this circle, approximately. Standing near the television cameras, and having difficulty keeping the television men from getting down in the driveway. So I stopped there and I assisted him in keeping those people back for a few minutes until we can get it cleared up. We get that more or less under control. The people are not trying to force their way in there, and I go into the jail office and see Oswald lying on the floor with a bullet hole in the left side, upper rib cage, it appears to me. His shirt has been pulled up. Whether, at that time Ruby was still in the jail office or had started upstairs, he--it seems to me possibly he was getting on the elevator, but I can't say for sure.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you speak to Ruby at that time?
Captain JONES. I did not speak to Ruby.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you see him?
Captain JONES. There--if that was him getting on the elevator, or if he was in there. After that, no, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, did you have anything to do with the clearing of the basement area at an earlier time?
Captain JONES. No, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Were you ever told as to what the original route would be from the police department to the county jail?
Captain JONES. I was never told by some officer coming to me and saying, this is the route. As I said, I heard some of the higher ranking officers talking of a possible route, but I was on a long-distance phone call at a desk nearby.


Mr. HUBERT. So, you can say to me now that you really did not know the planned route ?
Captain JONES. I was not told, and I do not know for sure what route they were going to take. I was aware of talk and some routing being planned.
Mr. HUBERT. Can you tell us when you first heard that Ruby was supposed to have come down the Main Street ramp?
Captain JONES. I don't remember; I don't understand that question, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Let me put it this way; you have heard since that Ruby claims that he came down the Main Street ramp?
Captain JONES. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you remember when you first heard that ?
Captain JONES. When I first heard that it was probably as a result of me being in charge for the Police Department Committee investigating the operational security about that transfer, and why it broke down, and that heading that committee, I am sure that was passed to me by some of the officers who had talked to him following his arrest.
Mr. HUBERT. In other words, later, on the date of the 24th, or could it have been later than that?
Captain JONES. If I heard it prior to that, or heard rumors, the first official knowledge that I do have would have been even following Thanksgiving Day, for that is the time I was called back from the vacation and called from vacation to head that investigation, and it was subsequent to that that we had our investigation.
Mr. HUBERT. So that if you heard anything about Ruby's version of how he got there, it would have been just passed on to you prior to going on your vacation? That is to say, you would have heard it from someone----
Captain JONES. I would have heard it--or put out on the radio or newspapers or some source like that. I could have read that.
Mr. HUBERT. When did you go on vacation?
Captain JONES. I left here----
Mr. HUBERT. That is Dallas?
Captain JONES. I left Dallas about 7:30 on Thanksgiving morning and got back in town at 8 o'clock that night. Drove to Shreveport, spent 4 or 5 hours with my father and ate lunch and came back. They called for me by the time I got there.
Mr. HUBERT. And you were not on the special committee to investigate security until that time?
Captain JONES. When I returned, went to Chief Stevenson's house that night. He told me what they had in mind. I reported for that the morning following Thanksgiving, Friday morning.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, Captain, is there anything else you want to state concerning the facts, in your deposition this morning?
Captain JONES. I can think of no other at this time, Mr. Hubert. I only wish there was some definite facts I could give you, and wish I could have been more definite in my answers, but I can think of no other right now. We have covered the situation pretty thoroughly.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, have you been interviewed by any member of the Commission, other than myself?
Captain JONES. No, sir; I'm sure I haven't. I mean I would remember that.
Mr. HUBERT. I mean, you have been interviewed by me prior to the commencement of this deposition, isn't that correct?
Captain JONES. We went over the details briefly a while ago; yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. And that was this morning?
Captain JONES. That was this morning; yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, can you tell me whether you observed any inconsistencies between the interview that you had with me this morning and your testimony in this deposition ?
Captain JONES. I am not aware of any, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Have you provided any material information in that interview with me this morning which has not been talked about in the record of this deposition today?

731-228 0---64--vol. XII 6

Captain JONES. I don't know of any, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. I think that is all, sir. Captain, if you have anything else to say----
Captain JONES. I will be happy--if there is anything that I can say that will shed some light on the truth, that's what I want, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Is there anything at all that you haven't said to me, or during the interview, or during any statements that you may have made to anybody which you would like to say now ?
Captain JONES. I can think of none--I got--I told you the facts as I know them. The book that the Commission has, has a copy of--has the conclusions that were reached by our Committee, and those are just opinions based on our investigation of it and certainly we do have opinion on it but I have tried to stay away from my opinion, and--I will answer any questions in the future that you or any member of your Commission wants to know.
Mr. HUBERT. Thank you very much. Let me say that if you should think of anything that has been omitted please feel free to call upon me or any member of the Commission staff to convey that information. Once again I thank you personally and on behalf of the Commission.
Captain JONES. Thank you.
Mr. HUBERT. Just a moment.
( Discussion off the record. )
Mr. HUBERT. Let me say that I am recommencing this deposition about a minute after it finished. You are still under the same oath, of course, that you were before.
Captain JONES. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. I think that you did prepare, or it was prepared under your supervision, a chart, or diagram that showed the basement area, and by the use of circles and identifying code showed the positions of individuals.
Captain JONES. Yes, sir; that was prepared under my direction by an officer and places people who were not available to our office in this city, where they were placed by the statements, or statements of people who were nearby and said they were there. That was to the best of our ability to determine where they were at the time.
Mr. HUBERT As I recall it, that was quite a large chart, wasn't it?
Captain JONES. The original that they made.
Mr. HUBERT. And it showed the positions of people like that by circles in which numbers were----
Captain JONES. Were numbered.
Mr. HUBERT. And I think you used a color as well?
Captain JONES. Color to denote the occupation.
Mr. HUBERT. Whether reserve officers----
Captain JONES. Designated from----
Mr. HUBERT. Newspapermen.
Captain JONES. And those numbers applied to one other, then they applied to the number of the page in the book of the ones they took affidavits from.
Mr. HUBERT. That is to say that these circles with the number in it designating the position of a particular individual, that same number was used to identify his report?
Captain JONES. That's right.
Mr. HUBERT. In your security report?
Captain JONES. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. But note for the record: The report which Captain Jones is referring has been designated as Commission Report No. 81-A. This is a copy of that, isn't it?
Captain JONES. Yes, sir. That is it.
Mr. HUBERT. All right. So, that the chart really is an estimation based upon the persons involved, what they said themselves, and also as to what other people said as to where they were.
Captain JONES. Yes, sir; we were limited as to the miles and distances of contacting some of the witnesses.
Mr. HUBERT. Once again I thank you for appearing.