TESTIMONY OF SETH KANTOR beginning at 15H71...
The testimony of Seth Kantor was taken at 9:15 a.m, on June 2, 1964, at 200 Maryland Avenue NE, Washington, D.C., by Messrs Burt W. Griffin and Leon D. Hubert, Jr., assistant counsel of the President's Commission.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Mr. Kantor, as you know, the Commission has been set up pursuant to an Executive order of President Johnson, and a joint resolution of Congress, which was enacted on November 29 of last year. The Commission has been directed to inquire into and evaluate the evidence with respect to the assassination of President Kennedy and the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald. We have asked you to come here today because, from the interview that you have provided to the FBI it appears that you would have some information which would bear upon the activities of Jack Ruby, and the events that transpired between the time the President was assassinated and the time that Ruby shot Oswald. I believe that you received a letter from us.
Mr. KANTOR. I did.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Can you state for the record when you received the letter?
Mr. KANTOR. I want to make sure. I am not sure whether it was Thursday or Friday morning. The letter was dated May 28. I received it on the 29th.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Under the rules of the Commission, you are entitled to receive a 3-day notice by mail. and I believe that has been complied with.
Mr. KANTOR. There is something in the letter, though, I would like to bring up. It says, "The Commission is authorized to pay you the same fees as are paid to witnesses whose depositions are taken in connection with" --et cetera. I want to waive any fee which would be connected with this.
Mr. GRIFFIN. All right. You are certainly entitled to it. It is minimal, I can assure you. Do you have any other questions that you want to ask before we get started?
Mr. KANTOR. No, none.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Raise your right hand, please.
Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Mr. KANTOR. I do.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Would you state for the record your full name?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes, my first name is Seth, last name is Kantor.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Where do you live?
Mr. KANTOR. I live at 4325 Maple Avenue, BetheRda.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, can you give us your birth date, please?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes. January 9, 1926.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Are you married?
Mr. KANTOR. I am married.
Mr. GRIFFIN. What is your occupation at present?
Mr. KANTOR. I am a newspaper writer. I am employed by Scripps-Howard Newspapers.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Any particular paper, or by the chain itself?
Mr. KANTOR. I am correspondent for Texas papers, and write for all of our papers as well.
Mr. GRIFFIN. How long have you been employed with Scripps-Howard?
Mr. KANTOR. A total of 5 years.
Mr. GRIFFIN. And what was your employment before that?
Mr. KANTOR. I was on the Dallas Times Herald, in Dallas, Tex., intermittently. I was on the Fort Worth Press, which is a Scripps-Howard paper. And then went to the Dallas Times Herald. And then came here.
Mr. GRIFFIN. You have been in Washington for 5 years, is that right?
Mr. KANTOR. No. I have been in Washington for 2 years.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I see. The 5-year period includes some time with the Dallas Times Herald?
Mr. KANTOR. With the Fort Worth Press, and with the Denver Rocky Mountain News, which are both Scripps-Howard papers.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I see. Now, when did you work for the Dallas Times Herald?
Mr. KANTOR. I worked for the Times Herald from September 1960 until May 1962.
Mr. GRIFFIN. What did you do before September 1960?
Mr. KANTOR. I was with the Fort Worth Press.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I take it, then, the 5 years we have covered are the total time you have been in the newspaper business.
Mr. KANTOR. Oh, no. I have been in the newspaper business about 18 years, but in the employ of Scripps-Howard for 5.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I see. Can you just give us a general idea where you have worked in those 18 years?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes. With the Associated Press in Detroit, and on the Lamar, Colo., Daily News, and the Pueblo, Colo., Chieftain, the Denver Rocky Mountain News. And I spent 5 years as a magazine writer for magazines published in New York.
Mr. GRIFFIN. And did you live in Dallas at some time? Is that correct?
Mr. KANTOR. For a 2-year period.
Mr. GRIFFIN. And what was that 2-year period? Can you tell us when it began and when it ended?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes. September 1960 until May 1962.
Mr. GRIFFIN. During those months, did you have occasion to meet Jack Ruby?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Had you met him before September 1960?
Mr. KANTOR. No; I had not.
Mr. GRIFFIN. When did you first meet Mr. Ruby?
Mr. KANTOR. Well, it was within a very few months after I joined the Times Herald. I was a feature writer for the paper. I think by nature of the stories that I wrote, I sort of attracted Jack Ruby. He came up to my desk one day and introduced himself and said that he owned a club or clubs in town, and that he thought he might have some stories for me from time to time, and he did.
Over the next several months, he provided me with maybe as many as half-a-dozen feature stories, on characters in town.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Can you tell us what those stories are?
Mr. KANTOR. One was with an entertainer in his club, a lady who managed to charm snakes while she was stripping. She was also a housewife in the suburbs by day.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Was that story published?
Mr. KANTOR. Oh, yes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Why don't you just go through these 6 stories, if you would, and tell us what they were, and if they were or were not published.
Mr. KANTOR. Well, each was published. I might have some difficulty remembering them at this point.
I remember a limbo dancer who he brought up from the Caribbean and said that he was helping in getting his citizenship. I did a story with the limbo dancer. We got a picture of him at the U.S. Naturalization Service office in Dallas passing under a low bar.
I did a lot of stories. I am really not sure off the top of my head. I wish I could have gotten out some old clips and prepared for this, if I had realized. But they were stories of that nature, anyway.
Mr. GRIFFIN. And your best estimate is that there would have been about half-a-dozen stories that you wrote?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, did any of the stories that you wrote have to do with Jack Ruby himself?
Mr. KANTOR. No. I never wrote about him. I never went into either of his places.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you ever provide any publicity for Jack?
Mr. KANTOR. None, no.
Mr. GRIFFIN. You say you never went into any of his clubs. I take it by that you also did not know him on a .social basis.
Mr. KANTOR. Did not know him on a social basis, no.
Mr. GRIFFIN. When you would see him from time to time, about how long would it be that you would talk with him?
Mr. KANTOR. Well, to begin with, it would vary. There was a photographer on the paper, for instance, who was doing some outside work for Jack Ruby.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you recall his name?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes. His name is Pete Fisher.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you recall the work that he was doing for him?
Mr. KANTOR. I don't know everything he was doing for him, but I believe he was making some stock publicity shots of the dancers in the club, the downtown club. And I well remember on one of the occasions that Jack was in the office about 7 or 8 o'clock one night to see Pete Fisher, and I was working late. I talked with Jack probably for more than an hour or so.
I don't know how many times I talked to him altogether, or how long each time period was. But they ranged, I guess, from a few minutes to about an hour.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you ever have occasion to meet him outside of your business?
Mr. KANTOR. No; I never did.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, did Mr. Ruby every talk to you about himself, or about his background, or his clubs?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes. This one occasion I mentioned, when he was in the office late in the day, he had a young man with him who, I believe, he said was a nephew. At any rate, it was a relative. And he said that he was trying to help the boy and get him an education, and that he, himself, had not had too much of an education, and he felt that--he was sorry he wound up in the girlie show business. He wished thai he had a more substantial occupation.
And, at that time, I recall he told me about growing up in Chicago, and that things were pretty hard for him. and that he had pulled himself up by the bootstraps and still would prefer to be out of the business he was in.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did Mr. Ruby have any characteristic speech pattern that you recall? Anything unusual about his speech or noticeable?
Mr. KANTOR. I guess he had a very slight lisp, perhaps--not very strong, I would say.
Mr. GRIFFIN. How about his choice of words? Was he a man who was given to talking in grandiose terms or using profanity?
Mr. KANTOR. If he used profanity, it doesn't register with me. He was an effusive person. Obviously when he liked somebody or something, he liked that person or that thing very much. And if he didn't, he portrayed it rather strongly, also. And his facial expressions would change, depending on what he was talking about.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you remember any particular things that he expressed great like or dislike for?
Mr. KANTOR. Well, I remember one time he told me that he had met a movie star--and I honestly don't remember her name, except that she was sort of on the way down--out at Love Field, somewhere around 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning. He was out there. for whatever reason I don't know. And he talked to her for a period of time until her plane was ready. She was just going through. And he had gotten a promise from her to appear at his club. He was just ecstatic about this. He thought this was the greatest thing in the world. He was full of praise for her, because she stopped and talked with him, without knowing him at all.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, you were in Dallas, were you not, at the time that President Kennedy was shot?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes; I was.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Can you tell us where you were at the approximate time that the shots were fired?
Mr. KANTOR. I was in the motorcade. I was in the White House Press Bus No. 2. This was about--I don't know--11 vehicles back, or some such.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, were you in a position where you could hear the shots or see any of the actions?
Mr. KANTOR. I heard the last two shots. I didn't know there were three shots until some time later.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Well, after the shots were fired, what did you do?
Mr. KANTOR. We tried to get off the bus to see what had happened, but we were not allowed to, and the bus went at a high rate of speed out to the Dallas Trade Mart. There we were let out at a side entrance, and we still had no word of anything. We raced up four flights to a press office up there, and still could not find out what happened. So we raced down the four flights again.
One of the reporters--I don't know who--got on the phone and contacted the Dallas police, and talked to Chief Stevenson and discovered that the President had been shot and had been taken to Parkland Hospital.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Let me interrupt you here just a minute. Do you recall the route that you took from the scene of the shooting to the Parkland Hospital?
Mr. KANTOR. We went on to the Stemmons Expressway immediately, and took the expressway to a point immediately adjacent to the trade mart. I don't know what the little road is that goes off of it.
Mr. GRIFFIN. How long would you say that it took you to drive from the scene of the shooting to the trade mart?
Mr. KANTOR. We were traveling at a speed of about 65-70 miles an hour. I guess it would be 4 or 5 minutes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. And about how long did it take from the time you got out of that bus and ran up and down your four flights of stairs until the one press representative was able to make a telephone call?
Mr. KANTOR. I WOUld guess about another 4 or 5 minutes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. All right. Now, after he made the telephone call, what happened--what did you do?
Mr. KANTOR. I shouted to a couple of the other reporters that I was familiar enough with Dallas and would get a taxicab. And someone who was there to attend the function for the President overheard me and volunteered the service of his station wagon. He gave us his name, but I didn't write it down, and don't remember it.
About eight of us got into the station wagon. And outside of the reporters who were in the pool car behind the President, we were the first group of reporters to arrive at the hospital.
This gentleman who drove us there in a station wagon broke an awful lot of traffic rules, and even went against traffic at a couple of points, driving on the
wrong side of the street. He took us across a field, I remember, at one point. We made it there very quickly.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Would this be a matter of 2 or 3 minutes, or 5 minutes?
Mr. KANTOR. I would guess 2 or 3 minutes, because Parkland Hospital, especially if you take shortcuts like that, is very close.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, did this man park and let you out, or did the vehicle just let you out and go on?
Mr. KANTOR. We were waved on to the emergency entrance side of Parkland by a policeman, and the driver let us out of the car, I would guess, 25 yards from the entrance.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I wonder if you would do this. I am going to hand you a pad of paper here and a pencil, and ask you if in a rough fashion you can sketch out where you were in relationship to Parkland Hospital, and draw on there a sufficient enough outline to indicate so that we can talk from here on about the diagram and where you went from time to time.
Mr. KANTOR. Well, now, you don't mean where I was in relationship to Parkland Hospital at the time of the shooting?
Mr. GRIFFIN. No; I mean once we have arrived at the scene now, and the man has let you out about 25 yards from the entrance. Why don't we star with the diagram that shows that area, and would have enough detail i.n it to show the other areas you went to at Parkland Hospital.
Mr. KANTOR. All right. Well, roughly, at least as a start--
Mr. GRIFFIN. Excuse me. Let me mark this. I will put a notation down here. I am going to mark this yellow sheet of legal size paper "Seth Kantor Deposition, June 2, 1964, Exhibit No. 1."
(The document referred to was marked Seth Kantor Deposition, June 2, 1964, Exhibit No. 1, for identification.)
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, referring to Exhibit No. 1, Mr. Kantor, why don't you go ahead and fill in the details and talk as you think is appropriate.
Mr. KANTOR. All right. We were waved in off of Harry Hines Boulevard, by an officer, which led us on a path on the southern side of the hospital to a point where the emergency entrance is on the western side. We were let out of the station wagon about 25 yards, I would guess, directly opposite the emergency entranceway.
Mr. GRIFFIN. All right. Now, you have marked that--shall we call that point 1 on the diagram. Mark that point 1, where you were let out.
Mr. KANTOR. All right.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, what did you do from there?
Mr. KANTOR. I remember that I was one of the reporters who hollered an assurance to the driver of the car .that he could stay with us. He was worried about what would happen to him and his car. And he wanted, also, to know what was going on. But I left him cold. I ran as fast as I could to the front of the emergency entranceway, where I saw the President's limousine. There I saw a great deposit of blood on the ground next to it, on the right-hand side of the car.
Senator Ralph Yarborough, of Texas, was standing very close by, probably 4 or 5 yards away. And I went up to him and asked him what had happened, and he was reluctant to tell me what he had seen, although subsequently he told me he had seen enough to know that the President was dead, or in a dying condition. But he gave me several comments which would lead me to believe that a horrible thing had happened. And I told him that I absolutely had to get in.
He led me to a police officer standing in front of the emergency door and told the officer that I was with the party, and I produced my White House credentials. And the officer let me in.
I took up search for a telephone. I saw Merriman Smith of United Press International using a phone at a desk in a hallway, and went past him, down a hallway just a very short distance to where I found a phone in a booth.
Mr. GRIFFIN. This was a pay telephone?
Mr. KANTOR. No; to my best recollection it was not. I don't really remember for sure but I don't believe it was.
Mr. GRIFFIN. But the phone was on the first floor of Parkland Hospital?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes; that is right. And I had difficulty reaching Washington.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Let me interrupt you here. Did you have to go through a hospital operator?
Mr. KANTOR. I am just trying to remember. I don't think it was a pay phone, and I think my trouble ,was dialing and getting out. I made several attempts at it, as I recall, and finally got a Dallas long-distance operator, who put me through to Washington. I think .that is where the problem had been--just getting out. And I telephoned what I could to the Scripps-Howard office in Washington--that is, the little bit I had seen, and the comments I had gotten from Senator Yarborough.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, at the time you made this telephone call, what was your impression as to the condition of the President?
Mr. KANTOR. I had no idea, beyond the fact that I had seen the blood and that Senator Yarborough had told me that something very terrible had happened.
While on the phone, I discovered that I was immediately across the hall from a door which led from the emergency area. I saw Mrs. Johnson being led out, I believe, on the arm of a Secret Service man on one side and on the arm of Representative Jack Brooks, of Texas, on the other. And I saw a priest coming out of this area---out of this doorway.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Are you able to describe what was behind that door, other than it was an emergency door?
Mr. KANTOR. I attempted actually to go in before I got on the phone, and the Secret Service man who was stationed there told me I couldn't go in.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you later find out what was in that area?
Mr. KANTOR. Not exactly. A few days later I got a description of what the emergency area was like inside. But I don't know exactly which part of it I was facing at the time I was on the telephone. I was dictating a story in to Jim Lucas of Scripps-Howard, and just describing things as I saw them unfold in the hallway at that point.
Mr. GRIFFIN. About how long did this telephone conversation with Mr. Lucas last?
Mr. KANTOR. Well, counting the time that it took me to get Washington, and my story dictated, I would say about 20 to 25 minutes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. When you make a long-distance telephone call to your home office, do you use a credit card, or is there some other indication used by the telephone company for billing purposes?
Mr. KANTOR. No; I just called direct.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Can you tell us the telephone number that you called in Washington?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes; I called District 7-7750.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Were there other Scripps-Howard representatives at Parkland Hospital at the time you made this call?
Mr. KANTOR. No; I was the only person on the trip for Scripps-Howard.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you ask for any particular person? Was it a station-to-station call?
Mr. KANTOR. It was a station-to-station call, and the switchboard operator gave me a man by the name of Charles Egger, who is managing editor of Scripps-Howard.
Mr. GRIFFIN. After you had completed that telephone call, what did you do?
Mr. KANTOR. I walked into the hall where I saw two Texas Congressmen who were on the trip, Representatives Henry Gonzalez and Albert Thomas, standing together. They were immobile, and they were standing against a wall. I asked them for whatever they could tell me. Henry Gonzalez appeared to be unable to speak. At least he did not speak. And Albert Thomas told me that a brain surgeon had been brought in for the President.
That was the first I knew that the President had been hit in the head. It was at that point, when Malcolm Kilduff, who was in charge of press arrangements for the White House on the trip, came behind me and just touched my back as he passed by, and he said, "Come with me, I have an announcement to make."
Mr. GRIFFIN. Where did you go?
Mr. KANTOR. I followed him out of the emergency door and on to the grass. He was accompanied by Merriman Smith, who was incessantly asking for whatever
news there was without waiting to go where Kilduff was going, and another man with him was--I am sorry, I have forgotten his name
Mr. GRIFFIN. I think it is actually in one of your earlier interviews. We will get to that later.
Mr. KANTOR. All right. At any rate, I was directly behind Kilduff, who was moving rapidly. And we went on to the grass and up a little hill and around the corner of the hospital, moving from west to south.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Back up towards Harry Hines Boulevard?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes; that is right. We went in an entranceway. I am not sure whether it was the main entrance of the hospital or whether there is a door near the main entrance of the hospital.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Yes; would you mark on the diagram there where the main entrance is?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes--No. 2?
Mr. GRIFFIN. Just write "Main Entrance." We will use the numbers for your position.
Mr. KANTOR. All right. I followed Mr. Kilduff up a flight of stairs to the second floor, and down one or two hallways, until we came to the room where he made the announcement that the President had died.
Mr. GRIFFIN. About how long did .the announcement take?
Mr. KANTOR. The announcement was very brief. I don't know actually where all the other reporters came from. There were quite a number of reporters in the room already. And as best as I understand it, there were a vast number of reporters who never got into the hospital in the emergency area, and had moved into this second floor room for the announcement.
At any rate, everybody seemed ready for an announcement at the time that Mr. Kilduff got there. And so the announcement itself took a minute.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, at the time the announcement was made, had you talked with other reporters or other people in the area so that you were able to tell whether there was any prevailing attitude or rumors circulating around as to the condition of the President?
Mr. KANTOR. No; I had no opportunity. The only people I talked to were the two Texas Congressmen, as I got off the phone, and that was the only word I had with anyone until the announcement came from Malcolm.
Mr. GRIFFIN. So that you didn't. yourself, even have any firm expectation as to what the announcement of Kilduff would be?
Mr. KANTOR. No; I knew it was a rather grim situation, but I didn't know how grim.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Was a prepared statement handed out?
Mr. KANTOR. No; it was not. He made the statement under trying circumstances. His voice was quivering. He was leaning on a table which is used by a teacher in the classroom, which was being used as an emergency press headquarters. With great difficulty he made the announcement that the President had died at about I o'clock, which would have been a half hour before he was making the announcement.
Mr. GRIFFIN. How do you fix the time of the announcement at 1:30?
Mr. KANTOR. I was following my watch very closely because it was a matter of newspaper deadlines, especially for our Texas papers. The reason I had called Washington was because I felt that I could not begin calling our three papers in Texas individually, and I felt that from Washington the story could be related to all 18 of our papers. And so I was watching the time closely.
Mr. GRIFFIN. And did you report to your Washington office that the time of the announcement had been 1:30?
Mr. KANTOR. I believe I did. And if I didn't, the wire services were doing that at the same time. But Mr. Kilduff said that he would have further announcements to make in--I think he established the time as 10 minutes. And told us to make our phone calls or do what we had to do, and return to this room.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you make a phone call?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes; I went down the hall. There were no phones set up for us, of course. We were going into whatever offices we could find with available phones. I went into an office, a large office, which had three nurses in it, and
asked if I could use one of their phones. And, again, I had trouble getting out.
After trying over and over, I managed to talk to Mr. Egger again and tell him. And by now he was concerned with the Vice President, what was going to happen there, and should the office send another man down to start following Mr. Johnson.
Mr. GRIFFIN. About how long did this telephone conversation last?
Mr. KANTOR. Probably took me 5 minutes to get out, and the conversation was about 5 minutes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. And then did you return to Mr. Kilduff for further announcements?
Mr. KANTOR. I returned to the room, and Mr. Kilduff, to the best of my recollection, was not there.
Mr. GRIFFIN. How long after you made your telephone call was it before you walked outside of Parkland Hospital again?
Mr. KANTOR. Well, upon later recollection I thought that it was about 10 to 15 minutes, because we went back into the makeshift pressroom and--I really am not sure whether Mr. Kilduff was there or not.
But Bill Stinson, who was--who is an aide to Governor John Connally, came in dressed in a doctor's uniform---he had just come from the emergency room, and was mistaken for being a doctor. And I remember Kilduff or someone talking to him before Stinson talked to us to tell us about 'the Governor's condition. I remember Kilduff saying, "1 o'clock, 1 o'clock, 1 o'clock." I didn't know what significance that had. So I guess that Malcolm Kilduff was there when we returned.
Wayne Hawks, of the transportation staff of the White House, interrupted and said that a pool was needed immediately, and about four or five of us, perhaps as many as seven people altogether, followed him and ran down a stairway towards the main entranceway. I didn't know what a pool was needed for, and I was very reluctant to leave the hospital. But when I got outside in the main entrance area, I saw the Texas congressional delegation--
Mr. GRIFFIN. About where was that? Put a number on the diagram, please.
Mr. KANTOR. Yes; the sidewalk curved, somehow, like this, and the cars were stretched along this area.
Mr. GRIFFIN. All right. Let me indicate for the record that you have placed a No. "2" on the diagram, and that you have made a curved line that indicates a walk, and some marks alongside it to represent the automobiles. Go ahead.
Mr. KANTOR. I spoke to Henry Gonzalez, who was holding a brown paper bag in his hand. He told me that it was the effects of Governor Connally. Mr. Gonzalez was still badly shaken.
And I talked to Senator Yarborough again. And he said that the group was going to the airport immediately.
And I knew then that the pool was formed to go out to the airport. However, I still didn't want to leave the hospital, because I know that my office was concerned with what was going to happen to Mr. Johnson.
At the same time, I saw Mr. and Mrs. Johnson closely guarded coming out of the hospital, completely surrounded by men, and put into a car, and they sped away.
I spoke to the mayor of Dallas, Earl Cabell. He was unable to furnish me with any information as to what was going to happen. I turned then and went back up to the second floor.
Now, as I had told the FBI, it was either at this point or it was at a point originally when I went up behind Malcolm Kilduff that I spoke with Jack Ruby.
Mr. GRIFFIN. All right. Now, let me ask you to place on the map approximately where you were the first time that you think you might have seen Jack Ruby--if you would place a No. "3" on the map where you were the first time when you think you might have seen Ruby.
Mr. KANTOR. All right. It was inside the building, but just barely inside. It was just immediately inside the doorway. I am not sure, as I said, whether there was a small door next to the main entrance itself, or whether this occurred just inside the main entrance. But it seems to me it was--
Mr. GRIFFIN. Let me suggest that maybe what you could do is use two
numbers, a 3-A and 3-B, to indicate the two places the first time you think you might have seen Ruby.
Mr. KANTOR. Well, so far as I remember, it would--I mean I am talking about the same place in both instances.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I see. Let me--
Mr. KANTOR. I am just not sure in my memory of the physical makeup of this entranceway.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Let me get this straight, then. The first time you saw Ruby, before you went up to Mr. Kilduff's press conference--
Mr. KANTOR. No, sir; what I am saying is I only saw him once and talked to him that time.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I understand. You are not sure whether you saw him before or after the press conference?
Mr. KANTOR. That is right.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, if you saw him the first time, are you uncertain as to whether--as to which door it was that you saw him by?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes; I am uncertain as to which door I went in. And as I went in the door, that is where he was.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, what I am asking you to do, then, is indicate by the Nos. 3-A and 3-B where these two doors might have been that you are uncertain about, having reference to the time you went into the building just before the press conference.
Mr. KANTOR. Well, it was the same door both times. It is just that I am unsure where that door is.
Mr. GRIFFIN. All right.
Mr. KANTOR. But it is in this main entrance area.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I take it
Mr. KANTOR. I would have to just guess, really.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I take it from what you are saying that you feel that the door was not on that portion of the entranceway towards Harry Hines Boulevard, or am I mistaken about that? I want to try to limit this somewhere as to what area you think this might have been in.
Mr. KANTOR. I don't recall going past the main entranceway, going towards Harry Hines Boulevard. It seems to me that it either was right at the main entrance, or a door perhaps adjacent to the main entrance, because it seems like it was a small entranceway.
Mr. GRIFFIN. All right. Now, let me ask you again then--why don't you place a 3-A where this small door before the main entranceway might have been, and a 3-B generally indicating the main entranceway.
Mr. KANTOR. All right.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, is there anything in particular about the doorway that you were in--that you were near at the time you thought you saw Ruby that sticks out in your mind?
Mr. KANTOR. Well, three things. It was not a large doorway keeps sticking in my mind--that is why I have doubts about it being right in the main entrance. Also there were stairs within, a very few steps, 5 to 10 steps, probably, within the doorway there was a stairway going up. And, thirdly, I recall that beside Jack Ruby there were nurses and there were people who looked like interns--at any rate they were doctors, dressed in white.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, do you recall if during the period you were at Parkland Hospital, as you drove into Parkland Hospital and at the time you left, if this entranceway to the hospital by Harry Hines Boulevard was blocked or guarded in any way to prevent the entrance of normal private vehicles?
Mr. KANTOR. It appeared to be that way as we came up. On the other hand, the driver of our vehicle, at our urging, leaned out of his window and hollered "Press." Perhaps he said White House Press. At any rate, the officer immediately in our way backed off and waved us in.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, directing your attention to the main entranceway of the hospital, where would parking facilities be in relationship to that main entranceway for normal people visiting the hospital on regular business?
Mr. KANTOR. Even when I was a newspaperman in Dallas, I always went to the emergency area when I had to go to the hospital, because it was relative to
a story. I am not totally sure about this area. There is a parking area because I can remember buses coming in and out of this area here. But it seems to me it would be set back on the opposite side, and that this would be the throughway.
Mr. GRIFFIN. All right. Now, you have drawn a line perpendicular to Harry Hines Boulevard, paralleling the side of Parkland Hospital that the main entrance is on, and then to--would that be the south of that line?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. You have placed some more hashmarks, and you think there is where the general parking area was.
Mr. KANTOR. Yes; it is very vague to me.
Mr. GRIFFIN. We can check this ourselves. I am trying to get some idea where a man like Ruby would have parked his automobile to get to the place where you think you saw him. Well, now, what happeneed----
Mr. KANTOR. Well, excuse me. I am sorry. If that is what you are getting at. There is a parking area on the west side, also, as best I can remember, because, it seems to me that there were a great number of cars in the area where we were first let out of the station wagon.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I see. Now, would the parking area be in here where I am placing this line?
Mr. KANTOR. I believe so, yes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I will write "Parking" on there. And I will put parking over there, just in front of the main entrance to the hospital.
Mr. KANTOR. Yes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, can you tell us what happened when you saw Ruby--when you encountered Ruby at Parkland Hospital, what the encounter consisted of?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes; I apparently walked right past him, because the first I was aware of Jack Ruby was that as I was walking, I was stopped monentarily by a tug on the back of my jacket. And I turned and saw Jack Ruby standing there. He had his hand extended. I very well remember my first thought. I thought, well, there is Jack Ruby. I had been away from Dallas 18 months and 1 day at that time, but it seemed just perfectly normal to see Jack Ruby standing there, because he was a known goer to events. And I had my mind full of many things.
My next reaction was to just turn and continue on my way. But he did have his hand out. And I took his hand and shook hands with him. He called me by name. And I said hello to him, I said, "Hello, Jack," I guess. And he said, "Isn't this a terrible thing?" I said, "Yes"; but I also knew it was no time for small talk, and I was most anxious to continue on up the stairway, because I was standing right at the base of the stairway.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Were you inside the building or outside?
Mr. KANTOR. I was inside the building, just immediately inside the building.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Were the doors guarded?
Mr. KANTOR. If there was a guard on the door, I don't recall seeing one.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, you do recall, however, that there was a guard at the entrance to the emergency area?
Mr. KANTOR. There was at least one guard, yes--when I first got there.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I see. Go ahead.
Mr. KANTOR. A Dallas policeman. I am not sure how many Secret Service men or other guards there were. But I do remember this one man, because he let me in.
At any rate, Jack Ruby said, "Isn't this a terrible thing," or words to that effect. I agreed with him that it was.
And he said--and he had quite a look of consternation on his face. He looked emotional---which also seemed fitting enough for Jack Ruby.
But he asked me, curiously enough, he said, "Should I close my places for the next 3 nights, do you think?"
And I said, "Yes, I think that is a good idea."
And I excused myself. And he said he understood, and I went on. And that was the sum total of it.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Let me ask you this: At the time you were out at Parkland
Hospital, did you see any other press representatives whom you had remembered from your days in Dallas, who worked in Dallas?
Mr. KANTOR. I didn't see any outside. However, by the time Kilduff made his announcement at 1:30, there were newsmen coming in from all over whom I recognized. And because of this weird situation, unreal situation, I didn't speak to any then.
During the next hour or so that I was in the hospital I saw a number of news people from both Dallas and Fort Worth who I at least said hello to, who I know.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you remember if there were any people from the Dallas Morning News that you saw at Parkland Hospital, either reporters or photographers?
Mr. KANTOR. I can tell you who I remember seeing, and I don't think I recall seeing a Dallas Morning News person at all until I got to the police station later that afternoon.
Mr. GRIFFIN. You are going to tell me who you remember seeing from the Dallas papers at Parkland Hospital, or just who you generally remember seeing during those 3 days.
Mr. KANTOR. I can tell you .who I can remember seeing in the makeshift press headquarters from Dallas and Fort Worth.
Mr. GRIFFIN. At Parkland?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. All right. But I take it you don't remember anybody from the Morning News?
Mr. KANTOR. I don't recall anyone from the Dallas Morning News, no, as a matter of fact.
Mr. GRIFFIN. All right. How far is the Morning News Building in Dallas from the Times Herald Building?
Mr. KANTOR. The better part of a mile.
Mr. GRIFFIN. When you saw Ruby, did you notice anybody with him? Did he seem to be with anybody?
Mr. KANTOR. He didn't seem to be with anybody. The only other people I noticed in this area--as I say, it seemed like a small entranceway, and it was just a very few steps to the stairway--were these people who appeared to be hospital attendants.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, do you recall if at the time you were at Parkland Hospital there were television cameras setup outside the main entranceway?
Mr. KANTOR. No. I was told later on that various people around the country who I know saw me on television as I came out to talk to the Congressmen before they went out to Love Field, and I was not aware of any cameras.
Mr. GRIFFIN. But it is your best impression that you were shown on TV?
Mr. KANTOR. Well, I have been told that.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Have you any idea what TV networks you appeared on?
Mr. KANTOR. No, sir; none.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now--
Mr. KANTOR. This happened frequently, incidentally, over the weekend, also, in the police station as well. I don't know--I guess all the networks were involved at one point or another, but I don't know when or where.
Mr. GRIFFIN. In ,the first report that you made of this encounter with Ruby, you reported that you saw him before you went to the press conference.
Mr. KANTOR. That is right.
Mr. GRIFFIN. And now as I understand your testimony, you are not sure whether it was before or after.
Mr. KANTOR. Yes; and the thing that gave me pause was that Jack Ruby had specifically said to me, or asked me my opinion about closing his places for three nights, and it occurred to me later on that no announcement of the President's death had been made. as I was following Kilduff up the stairway, at 1:30, whereas at approximately 2 o'clock it had been made.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Would you try 'to focus on your state of mind at the time that you first wrote your newspaper article about this, and reported that it was before the press conference. What was it at that time that made you think that you saw Ruby before the press conference?
Mr. KANTOR. To be honest, with all the events crowded into that weekend, I don't think that I recalled the significance of my second brief trip out of the hospital to the main entranceway in front of the hospital, and then back in again. It was a very fast trip. And I think it was just a failure on my part to remember the second incident.
Mr. GRIFFIN. All right. As you were going back into the hospital the second time, where were you going?
Mr. KANTOR. I was returning to the makeshift press headquarters in the classroom, on the second floor.
Mr. GRIFFIN. As you were entering that building, did you have any expectation that there was something important going on at that pressroom that you ought to get to right away?
Mr. KANTOR. Well, I didn't know. I knew that I was not going with this pool group, and that my people in Washington were interested in knowing the logistics of the U.S. Government at that moment, where Lyndon Johnson was going and what was going to happen, and were we remaining in Dallas, and John Connally's condition, and everything at once. And this seemed to be the logical place to get whatever information there was, because information was very scanty.
Mr. GRIFFIN. What I want to get at is whether your concern or apprehension about getting into the building was any greater as you went in before the press conference than it was when you returned after the press conference.
Mr. KANTOR. No; I would I say this was a consistent feeling.
Mr. GRIFFIN. So that your reluctance to stop and talk with Ruby when you saw him wouldn't have been any greater at one time than at another?
Mr. KANTOR. Oh, no. I saw really a number of close friends on the second floor of the hospital, newspapermen who I had known intimately, been to their house, and they had been to my house quite often. And we still didn't indulge in anything resembling small talk.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Well, do you have any question in your mind that you did see Ruby out at Parkland Hospital?
Mr. KANTOR. If it was a matter of just seeing him, I would have long ago been full of doubt. But I did talk to the man, and he did stop me, and I just can't have any doubt about that.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now---
Mr. KANTOR. As a matter of fact, I didn't give it much thought, or any thought, perhaps, again, concrete thought at least, until the following night, Saturday night, when things quieted down enough so that I could take a walk in downtown Dallas, somewhere around 10 o'clock in the evening. And I passed by Ruby's place, the Carousel, and saw a sign on the door stating that it was closed. And I recalled this weird conversation I had had with him at the hospital.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now--
Mr. KANTOR. Excuse me because a man named Barney Weinstein, who operates a strip joint a couple of doors away, had his place open.
Mr. GRIFFIN. When did you first think about this again after Saturday?
Mr. KANTOR. Well, I understood later on that Jack Ruby had been in the assembly room in the basement of the Dallas Police Station after midnight on Friday going into Saturday. I didn't see him at that time. I was in that room. It was a very crowded room. But I thought about our conversation on Saturday when I passed by his place. And earlier Saturday evening I thought of Jack Ruby because meat sandwiches, beef sandwiches, I believe they were, had shown up in the pressroom of the Dallas Police Station, and I heard someone remark
that Jack Ruby had brought them in. I didn't see him then, either.
Mr. GRIFFIN. You heard this while you were at the police station?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes; Well, I was going in the room to get a sandwich, and they were gone, they were gone very rapidly. I heard someone either specifically say it to me or I heard someone specifically saying, to someone else that Jack Ruby was the person that brought these in.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Was that Friday afternoon or late Friday evening, or in the middle of Friday?
Mr. KANTOR. I am not sure now. It seems to me that it was Saturday. It seems to me that it was Saturday, late afternoon.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Well, when, after you walked down Commerce Street on Saturday night did you next think about your encounter with Ruby at Parkland Hospital?
Mr. KANTOR. Well, having walked past his place, and having seen that it was closed, I don't know whether I gave it any more thought.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I mean after that, when was the next time you thought about it?
Mr. KANTOR. The next time was just moments after 11:21 a.m., Sunday morning, when I discovered that Jack Ruby had shot Oswald.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, what did you do immediately after Ruby shot Oswald?
Mr. KANTOR. Well, to begin with, I didn't see anything more than a hand and a gun as the shooting occurred. I was very close to where Lee Harvey Oswald was walking. I was intently watching his face and was in hopes I could ask him a question as he approached.
Mr. GRIFFIN. All right. Let me ask you to do this. We have a diagram here of the jail basement. You might take a look at it. I am going to mark on the diagram "Seth Kantor Deposition, June 2, 1964, Exhibit No. 2."
(The document referred to was marked Seth Kantor, Exhibit No. 2, June 2, 1964, for identification.)
Mr. GRIFFIN. I will try to explain the diagram to you.
Mr. KANTOR. I think I am beginning to understand. This is a rampway here and a rampway here, is it not?
Mr. GRIFFIN. You have got the sides right. Here is the Main Street; here is Commerce Street. Now, the ramp is .at this point where it says down ramp--that is the Main Street ramp. And at the base of the Main Street ramp, there are some designations as to footage across the ramp. And then in the portion of the map which is closest to you there is a diagram of the jail office and the hallway that leads from the Harwood Street side of the jail into the ramp area.
Mr. KANTOR. Yes; I see.
Mr. GRIFFIN. And to refresh your recollection, the jail elevator which is shown on the map is the elevator that Oswald was brought out of, and he was led around in front of the dotted lines which are shown in the diagram, and then over to a door which is also shown. Now, why don't you again take a pencil and indicate on the map where you were standing at the time Oswald was shot. Why don't you just cut a "K" there for yourself.
Mr. KANTOR. All right.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, you indicated that you were standing right at what would be the entranceway to the parking area of the garage on the west side of the ramps that lead through the basement.
Mr. KANTOR. That. is right.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, you mention in your statement to the FBI that you saw Detective Combest in the basement. Did you know Combest before--
Mr. KANTOR. No; the first time I talked to him was upstairs outside Chief Curry's office following the shooting.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Can you show us on the diagram here where Combest was standing, to your recollection?
Mr. KANTOR. Right here.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Marked with an X. Now, can you put a mark on the map where Ruby was when you first saw him?
Mr. KANTOR. He was on the floor, having shot Lee Harvey Oswald, in approximately the same place where I designated where Billy Combest was standing.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I see. So when you say all you saw was an arm and a gun, you didn't even notice him before the shooting?
Mr. KANTOR. No; I thought it was an officer who shot Oswald. That was my first reaction.
Mr. GRIFFIN. All right. Now, you indicated in your statement to the FBI that you heard Combest say something. Did you actually hear that, or did Combest tell you that?
Mr. KANTOR. No; I heard the words and did not know who uttered them.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I see. And is it fair to say--well, let me ask you this: The words that you heard, could you tell if they came from one person or more than one
person? Or was the confusion so great and things moving so quickly you couldn't really distinguish?
Mr. KANTOR. It was one man definitely saying, "You son of a bitch."
Mr. GRIFFIN. That is your memory?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, I think you also indicated that you heard somebody yell "Jack". Do you have any recollection of that now? Somebody saying "Jack".
Mr. KANTOR. I am not as positive about that.
Mr. GRIFFIN. All right.
Mr. KANTOR. Upon talking with Combest upstairs, he told me, he told two or three reporters there that that was what was said, and I used that in my story.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, tell us what you saw happen after you saw Ruby down on the floor.
Mr. KANTOR. Well, when the shot was fired, and I was still watching Oswald, and heard him groan, and slump---watched him slump. For no good reason at all, I moved in his direction. A man standing next to me from the Dallas Times Herald, a reporter, moved with me. There was a car located approximately right in front of us as we moved. Then we saw a detective come bounding over the roof of the car and onto the hood and landing here, just in front of this melee.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Where you marked the X on the map?
Mr. KANTOR. That is correct.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Who was that officer?
Mr. KANTOR. I believe it was Detective Captain Jones.
Mr. GRIFFIN. And then what did you see happen?
Mr. KANTOR. I became painfully aware as I moved into this area which was becoming very crowded and there was a lot of shoving and pushing going on--there was a man down on the pavement, and I could not see who it was. I heard one of the detectives, and I believe it was Captain Jones, holier up to a police officer standing here something to the effect that--shoot the first man who tries to move out, or something like that. And I saw this officer swivel around, pointing his revolver down into the ramp. And I became painfully aware that we were all going to get shot and killed in another moment or two, and I tried to back off this way. And the reporter from the Dallas Times Herald, Bob Fenley, knew one of the detectives in this area, as Ruby was being dragged off towards the jail office. The detective was weeping, for one reason or another. And we were being pushed back. However, Fenley crouched down low and moved towards his friend and asked him a question, and came back and said to me very clearly, "The man who shot Oswald is named Jack Ruby." And I was surprised that Bob apparently didn't know Jack Ruby, because I thought everybody on the paper knew Jack.
Mr. GRIFFIN. What did you do at that point?
Mr. KANTOR. I was mightily surprised and could not believe what I had heard for a moment. And then I asked Bob if he knew Jack, and he said no. I felt that--I guess my inclinations were as a newspaperman, and I felt I wanted to get to Ruby as fast as possible and question him. And I tried to get through to the jail office area, but there was no chance. We were held there until Oswald was placed in the ambulance right in front of where we were standing, and taken out. Then we were allowed to proceed up to the third floor, and there we waited for close to 2 hours outside of Curry's office without any word of any sort.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you interview anybody in the 2 hours that you were standing outside of Curry's office?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes; I spoke to Billy Combest.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Anybody else?
Mr. KANTOR. I spoke to another police officer--I don't recall his name--who had been down there.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you hear any rumors while you were standing outside of Curry's office as to how Ruby had gotten into the basement?
Mr. KANTOR. No; there was no speculation. I do recall some conversation among reporters who had seen him on Friday night at the assembly room, when I had not seen him. And I was surprised to learn that Ruby had been there at all.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you remember the names of the reporters you talked to who saw him in the assembly room Friday night?
Mr. KANTOR. Well, there was one reporter in particular whose name I have in my notes at home. He was a radio reporter from New York City. I am afraid that I just cannot recall his name at this moment.
Mr. GRIFFIN. You have indicated that you do have some notes at home. Have you retained all or substantially all of your notes from the 3 days that you were in Dallas?
Mr. KANTOR. I have kept all my written notes, and then everything was so vivid when I returned that within about 3 weeks or so after I was back I got a tape recorder and talked about 10,000 words into it, which I had not written down, and which I then transcribed by typewriter, and I have those, too.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do your notes reflect your activities at Parkland Hospital?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do they show any times?
Mr. KANTOR. I believe they do.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, do your notes reflect your interview with Billy Combest?
Mr. KANTOR. I believe that my handwritten notes would show that I talked to Jack Combest, after the shooting of Oswald.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Would they show what Combest said?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes; I believe so.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Would they reflect---
Mr. KANTOR. I am not sure about the detail. It may have been just a few words.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I also understand that you interviewed George Senator on November 24, is that right?
Mr. KANTOR. No; I was about to mention that while we were waiting for Chief Curry to come out of his office, a man arrived just outside the third floor elevator with--I am sorry, I am really going blank on names-- with the entertainment columnist for the Dallas Morning News.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Is that Tony Zoppi?
Mr. KANTOR. Tony Zoppi--thank you. That is right. And then the first reaction was sort of one of amusement because Zoppi looked like an entreprenuer of a new event. And I went over. However, there was a large circle of people around George Senator, and I listened to what I could hear, and then moved back to my place which happened to be first in line outside the chief's office, and I didn't want to give that up.
Mr. GRIFFIN. How long did you listen to Senator?
Mr. KANTOR. Perhaps 3 or 4 minutes. But I got there right at the tail end, because a couple of plainclothes officers came out and removed Senator, and insisted that he should not be talking to the press.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you remember anybody else you interviewed on the 24th?
Mr. KANTOR. Zoppi came out with a pool report on Jack Ruby's sister, which a number of reporters listened to and took notes on.
Mr. GRIFFIN. So you were actually interviewing Zoppi at that point?
Mr. KANTOR. That is strictly what it amounted to. I spoke to Captain Will Fritz. I spoke to Captain Glen King. But I might add that from the moment that Oswald was shot, we were really cut off. We were getting no more news--whereas we had gotten from our standpoint marvelous cooperation before we were finding out nothing all of a sudden.
Mr. GRIFFIN. What did you hear Senator say in the few minutes that you did listen to him?
Mr. KANTOR. I heard George Senator say that Jack Ruby had been upset, very much upset, and had gotten up, I believe, rather late Sunday morning and said that he was going to take one of his dogs down to the club. And I heard him say that he had--that Jack Ruby had placed a call to a brother in Detroit. And I remember Senator stressing quite heavily that Ruby had spent the weekend in an upset condition, had cried, had wept quite a bit. I did ask Senator, only because I think I missed the opening parts of the mass interview going on out there in the hall--I asked him how long he had roomed with Ruby, a couple of particulars like that, I think---just basic stuff. What he did for a living.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now--
Mr. KANTOR. I had never heard of him before.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I want to go back a bit. About what time did you arrive in the jail basement on Sunday, the 24th?
Mr. KANTOR. The transferral, as we understood it, was supposed to be made at 10 o'clock. And I got up leisurely and was staying at the White Plaza Hotel across the street, and made no effort to be there promptly at 10 o'clock. The reason I did that is because Scripps-Howard wire to its newspaper operates at night, and a morning event in itself is not too awfully important.
Mr. GRIFFIN. How long were you there before the shooting took place?
Mr. KANTOR. I got there about approximately a quarter to 11. I was checked three times for identification upon getting down to the basement.
Mr. GRIFFIN. When you went down to the basement, did you remain the entire time in that position "K" that you have marked there?
Mr. KANTOR. No.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Where were you when you first went into the basement?
Mr. KANTOR. The regular bank of elevators, that is those going upstairs--
Mr. GRIFFIN. On the Harwood side?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes; are about here, are they not?
Mr. GRIFFIN. Yes; the reporter, of course, can't tell, but just let's refer to them as the Harwood elevators.
Mr. KANTOR. Well, I walked into the building and went up to the third floor first, and then rode the elevator down to the basement--that is the regular elevator. When I stepped out of the elevator, I was stopped almost immediately by an officer, and he would not accept my credentials at all, even though I had a White House card and my old Dallas police card, Texas State Police card. Some detective, I don't know who, came over and looked at my credentials and said that they were okay. And I went into the jail office, and took up a position along the west wall. There is a counter--there was a counter opposite me on which a camera was set up, as I recall, and there were a handful of other reporters in there. And Captain Jones at about 11:15 walked in briskly and said that we all would have to leave.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Then where did you go?
Mr. KANTOR. Fenley and I were together, and I told Fenley to delay leaving as long as possible because it appeared that they were ready to move Oswald, and maybe if we tarried long enough, we could still be in there. But it didn't work. And though we moved slowly--we moved down the line of people who were along here, and took up a position about here.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, why don't you mark a "1" there at your first position.
Mr. KANTOR. All right.
Mr. GRIFFIN. And how long did you remain at position 1?
Mr. KANTOR. We just walked into that position and they pulled out a couple of police cars, one of which was directly behind where I was standing, and, therefore, causing me to move over here, where it was rather crowded, along the post.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Where did those police cars go that they moved out?
Mr. KANTOR. Well, as I recall--there may have been three, but I am not sure one went to the Commerce Street ramp side and one pulled in front of us facing Main Street.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now; that car that was facing Main Street, did it stop, or did you see it go up the Main Street ramp, or what, or don't you remember?
Mr. KANTOR. Well, I don't remember how many cars were involved. There was a car which pulled out and stopped directly in front of us.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you recall a car driving up the Main Street ramp?
Mr. KANTOR. I don't now; no.
Mr. GRIFFIN. How long were you in the police building on Friday night?
Mr. KANTOR. Until approximately 2:30 in the morning.
Mr. GRIFFIN. And what time did you arrive that evening or afternoon?
Mr. KANTOR. I went directly from Love Field after the President's plane took off, and got there about 4 o'clock.
Mr. GRIFFIN. And did you remain there continuously, from 4 until 2:30?
Mr. KANTOR. Without a break.
Mr. GRIFFIN. And how much of that time was spent up on the third floor?
Mr. KANTOR. The entire time.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you attend the press conference Henry Wade had with Chief Curry in the assembly room?
Mr. KANTOR. I am sorry. I did go down there after midnight.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, do you have notes of that press conference?
Mr. KANTOR. No; I had a lot of trouble hearing, first of all--a lot of trouble hearing Oswald. I picked up a couple of words he was muttering. I was standing on a table about halfway back in the room. And then immediately following that, I guess Henry Wade had a conference. Is that what you are referring to?
Mr. GRIFFIN. Yes.
Mr. KANTOR. I don't know--I guess I have got a couple of notes on it. I don't know how extensive.
Mr. GRIFFIN. During the period you were in the city hall or the police department building on Friday night, did you see Jack Ruby?
Mr. KANTOR. Never.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, were you in the police department building on Saturday?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. For what period were you in there on Saturday?
Mr. KANTOR. I was in the building between 10 a.m., and about 9:15 p.m., or perhaps a little bit later in the evening. However, I did leave the building a couple of times to go across the street for food.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you remember seeing Jack Ruby at all on Saturday?
Mr. KANTOR. No; I did not see him.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Mr. Hubert, do you have any questions you would like to ask?
Mr. HUBERT. I think you better clarify about the second automobile that pulled up. I got the impression, as you testified, that the front of the second car was headed toward Main Street. Is that correct?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes, sir; to the best of my recollection it was, because I had explained to Mr. Griffin that I remember an officer coming over the top of the car and bounding down to the hood and then off.
Mr. HUBERT. But the first car that pulled up headed toward Commerce Street?
Mr. KANTOR. Well, I wish I could be certain about it, but I am not sure of the order. I was mostly aware at that moment that it was apparent that Oswald was about to be moved, and that I was being shoved a little bit to make room for these cars to get out, and that I wanted a good vantage point. And I think that was my chief concern.
Mr. HUBERT. You mentioned that you were in the assembly room at the time Oswald was brought down to see the press, and that you were standing on a table, I think, at the rear, and that you did not see Ruby in that room at all.
Mr. KANTOR. I did not.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you hear anyone make any comment to Wade concerning the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, or correct a statement that Wade made in connection with the Fair Play for Cuba Committee? Well, let me put it this way: Did you hear Wade make any comment with respect to a Cuban committee at all?
Mr. KANTOR. I believe that there was. I don't think I took notes on this. Our Latin American correspondent called from Miami early in the evening and had talked about this matter to me. I do vaguely recall some conversation involving Henry Wade on that matter, and I don't think--
Mr. HUBERT. Do you have any recollection at present that Henry Wade made a comment about some Cuban committee?
Mr. KANTOR. I don't remember whether he was asked specifically about this, or whether he brought it up. But I do vaguely recall there was some conversation about it.
Mr. HUBERT. All right. Then did you hear someone correct his designation or, rather, the name of the committee?
Mr. KANTOR. It almost seems as though I did. I could not swear to it.
Mr. HUBERT. How many people were in that room?
Mr. KANTOR. It was very crowded. I would estimate about 60, perhaps.
Mr. HUBERT. And how large was the room?
Mr. KANTOR. I would say about 25 or 30 yards long, and about 10 to 12 yards wide, something like that.
Mr. HUBERT. Were you at the back of the room?
Mr. KANTOR. I was in approximately the middle of the room, standing on a table, which did put me in a position of being more to the rear of the group.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you see anyone else standing on a table?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes, sir; quite a few were standing on tables. Photographers took up choice positions immediately in front of Oswald, as he was led in. In order both to hear and see I think the majority of people were standing on tables.
Mr. HUBERT. I have no further questions.
Mr. GRIFFIN. When did you first report to your newspaper that you had seen Ruby at Parkland Hospital?
Mr. KANTOR. Again, I telephoned Charles Egger at about 1:30 Sunday afternoon, told him that I was well acquainted with Jack Ruby, and had seen him at the hospital. He said, "That sounds like a pretty good story for tomorrow." I waited until sometime during the evening to write it simply because we didn't know what was going to happen next.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you notify any police department officials that you had seen him at Parkland Hospital?
Mr. KANTOR. No; as a matter of fact, I wrote it in my story, and never said a word to anybody beyond that.
An FBI man asked me about it about 5 days later.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, Mr. Kantor, would you look over the two diagrams we have been talking about, Exhibit No. 1 and Exhibit No. 2, and if those are correct in terms of what we have been talking about, would you sign them?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes; I would be happy to.
Mr. GRIFFIN. And please date it, also.
Mr. KANTOR. Surely.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Let the record reflect that Mr. Kantor has signed Deposition Exhibits Nos. 1 and 2 and dated them.
The taking of the deposition is recessed until a time tomorrow afternoon to be arranged to suit the convenience of Mr. Kantor.
TESTIMONY OF SETH KANTOR RESUMED
The testimony of Seth Kantor was taken at 5:10 p.m., on June 3, 1964, at 200 Maryland Avenue NE., Washington, D.C., by Messrs. Burt W. Griffin and Leon D. Hubert, Jr., assistant counsel of the President's Commission.
Mr. GRIFFIN. At the outset let me ask you if it is agreeable with you that the oath and the formalities which we went through originally yesterday will continue to prevail at this point in the deposition, that you understand it is a continuation.
Mr. KANTOR. I understand I am still under oath.
Mr. GRIFFIN. All right, fine. When we recessed yesterday we had asked you to check on certain notes and documents. I want to ask you before we get into that, however, one final question in respect to what we did cover yesterday, and I want to ask you to search your mind and tell us what doubts, if you have any, that you might have that the man who you have identified as Jack Ruby, Parkland Hospital on November 22 was indeed Jack Ruby.
Mr. KANTOR. Well, I would like to say that a little more than 6 months have passed and I think I have doubted almost anything in searching my memory which has happened over a period of 6 months or more in my lifetime. I think if you think about something a good deal you wonder whether it actually happened.
However, I was indelibly sure at the time and have continued to be so that the man who stopped me and with whom I talked was Jack Ruby. I feel strongly about it because I had known Jack Ruby and he did call me by my first name as he came up behind me, and at that moment under the circumstances it was a fairly normal conversation.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Were there any acquaintances that you had in Dallas while you were there, who you in the past had mistaken for Jack Ruby? Have you ever had the experience of seeing somebody else and mistaking him for Jack Ruby?
Mr. KANTOR. I see what you mean. No; that never occurred at any time.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you know people in Dallas who ran some of the other nightclubs?
Mr. KANTOR. I had met Mr. Barney Weinstein who operates at least a couple of strip joints that I know of, and that was on one occasion when I was doing a story on a stripteaser named Candy Barr and that occasion was when I was going down to the State prison where she was living at the time to do a story on her for the paper and that was the only time I had met Mr. Weinstein.
However, there is a booking agent in Dallas whose nickname is Pappy, I have his name in my notes here somewhere.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Is that Pappy Dolson?
Mr. KANTOR. D-o-l-s-o-n, that is right. I had done a story on him, and he was well acquainted with Jack Ruby, I knew, and then I saw him while I remained in Dallas after the assassination, spoke to him and interviewed him for a story.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do either Weinstein or Dolson bear any resemblance to Jack Ruby?
Mr. KANTOR. None. None, nothing that close that I would mistake them. Neither one, I don't believe, either, would stop me in the passageway of the hospital after I had been gone for a year and a half and call me by my first name, I don't think they would remember me that easily or have any special reason to call me by my first name.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, you have brought a series of papers and notebooks with you. Can you work from these one at a time, can you tell us what you have there?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes. Initially, I have the notebook I took down with me to Texas from Washington while accompanying the President, and in it are the notes of the trip.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Let me look at it a second.
Mr. KANTOR. Sure, I was just going to recommend you skip the first page. Those were notes I made on the plane going down. From then on anything you want to look at is fine.
Mr. GRIFFIN. The notebook that you handed me is a notebook that is a long stenographic type notebook. I would say it is 8 inches long and perhaps 3 to 4 inches wide.
Mr. KANTOR. It sounds reasonable, yes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. And it has the label "EFF-JAY Notebook" and it is put out by Fox-Jones Co., Washington 5, D.C., and No. 1419 and there is handwritten on the front of this in pencil "President Kennedy's Trip to Texas, November 21-22, 1963."
Does anything in this notebook pertain to your activities at Parkland Hospital?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes; several pages in there.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Could you indicate, can you find in here the pages that pertain to that Parkland Hospital episode?
Mr. KANTOR. I am going to have to apologize for the writing here. Among other things in addition to being a bad scribbler I did much of this on the run, these pages.
Mr. GRIFFIN. If you don't mind I would like to look at them and see again if I can ask some questions from them. Do the notes on the pages which you have separated here follow in chronological order? Is there any way you can tell from looking at these notes when, what time you would have put it down?
Mr. KANTOR. Pretty well.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Can you?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. All right. Can you tell us what portion of those notes you made before the actual press conference with Malcolm Kilduff, if any.
Mr. KANTOR. On this page there are written some idle notes as we moved from Love Field into the downtown area.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I am talking about notes made at Parkland Hospital.
Mr. KANTOR. Yes; and then starting here, these notes were made immediately outside the hospital as I stood outside talking with Senator Yarborough, and these from this point on.
Mr. GRIFFIN. You are talking about the bottom of the page of the "Yarb" notes?
Mr. KANTOR. Correct. From that point on--the top of that page to the bottom of the following page I made no notes--which would be approximately a half hour while I was on the telephone and talking in the hallway to the Texas Congressman.
Mr. GRIFFIN. The notes which start on the page which said "JFK died at approximately 1 pan." Where was that notation made?
Mr. KANTOR. It was made in the makeshift pressroom of the second floor where Malcolm Kilduff led us.
Mr. GRIFFIN. So there is one page you refer to here which stars out, "Yar-borough--third car back" and winds up with some notes at the bottom of page which I won't attempt to read, not because your writing is any worse than mine but just to save time here for the moment, those notes were all made before the press conference but were made at Parkland Hospital?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes, sir.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, do they--do all of these notes represent things which were told you while you were at Parkland Hospital or do they represent things that you might have learned even before arriving at Parkland Hospital?
Mr. KANTOR. No. I am reading this as you were talking, and everything here was gained in conversation with Senator Yarborough standing outside the emergency area of the hospital. That is true, that is right.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Having had a chance to look at those notes again and thinking about our conversation during the last couple of days--is there any indication from those notes that you knew or had a strong idea prior to the time Kilduff gave this press conference that President Kennedy was not going to survive?
Mr. KANTOR. No. I don't know whether it was a matter of not wanting to accept the strong possibility, but really until I went into the hospital and saw the priest in the hallway and the look on Lady Bird Johnson's face, I had no strong premonition about it.
Mr. GRIFFIN. But did you see the priest and Lady Bird Johnson before the press conference?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes; I did, while I was on the telephone talking to my office in Washington.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Right. By the time you got off the telephone what was your--and having seen Lady Bird Johnson and the priest and so forth?
Mr. KANTOR. I still didn't know that the President had been hit in the head, and when Congressman Thomas told me that a brain surgeon had been brought in, I knew then that he had been hit in the head but I didn't know until that point even where he had been hit.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, you have had a chance, I suppose, to talk with other newspaper' people and other people who were present at Parkland Hospital since this event, have you not?
Mr. KANTOR. Not in depth. I have had some conversations with people who were there.
Mr. GRIFFIN. In your conversations with people who were there, have you gained any information that those who were in the area around Parkland Hospital attentive to what might be going on, had an idea or believed that the President was dead before the announcement was made by Mr. Kilduff?
Mr. KANTOR. Well, I am sure I have not asked anybody outside of a couple of Congressmen I have talked to since then who were a lot closer to the situation than I obviously was at that time, and they really knew what was going on. And I haven't asked anyone, I guess I felt no reason to ask and I don't recall anyone volunteering that they specifically believed the President was moribund.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I don't want to push you into saying something--
Mr. KANTOR. I am not aware of that.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, do your notes here do you have any notes here which reflect your observations in the Dallas Police Department from the time you arrived there until the time you left Dallas?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes; I do.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Can you show us in here where those notes are?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes. Just any and all in the police station?
Mr. GRIFFIN. Yes.
Mr. KANTOR. Right. Where you have placed the marker here is the extent of notes taken in the police station between Friday afternoon, November 22 and Sunday evening, November 24.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Let me ask a few questions about the notes. I notice that you have made the notation and I will read it, "Ruby asked question Friday night at press conference." Do you remember making that notation?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes; I do.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you remember who told you that or how you came to learn that?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes. I mentioned yesterday that there was a radio reporter from New York City whose name escaped me and I believe I---
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you have that name now?
Mr. KANTOR. I believe I have it in my notes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. All right.
Mr. KANTOR. The name of the reporter as I have it in here in these notes is Ike Pappas. And---do you want me to read to you what I have here?
Mr. GRIFFIN. If that is the most accurate thing you can give us.
Mr. KANTOR. Yes. This is what I recalled from memory as soon as I got back from Dallas and read into the tape recorder and this is the way I wrote it down from that. This describes the meeting in the assembly room, in the police assembly room, shortly after Friday night going into Saturday.
"Sunday afternoon District Attorney Henry Wade was to say to the press that Jack Ruby was present Friday night during that strange press conference. I understand or I am told.
"A New York City radio reporter, Ike Pappas, corrected Henry and said that he, Pappas, had been talking with Ruby in the assembly room and Ruby had given him a card and had invited him to be his guest in the Carousel when it reopened. Pappas still carried the card in his wallet; said that he brought Ruby over to the District Attorney and that the D.A. seemed to know Mr. Ruby. Henry smiled but gave no answer, after first saying that Ruby was mistaken for being a reporter."
The time which I referred to here that Mr. Wade smiled was when Ike Pappas reminded Henry Wade on Sunday that he had talked to Ruby on Friday night.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, are you saying there that Pappas learned from Wade or that you learned from Wade that Ruby had interrupted him, interrupted Wade at the press conference?
Mr. KANTOR. It wasn't so much that I learned it. This was an announcement made by Wade Sunday afternoon or Sunday evening in that same police assembly room to a gathering of reporters among whom I was present in which he said that he understood that Ruby had been present Friday night, and then Ike Pappas said, "You know that he was present because the three of us were talking."
Mr. GRIFFIN. I see. What is the reference that you had in there. I thought I understood the reference in there that Ruby interrupted Wade at some point in the press conference. Is that written in there or did I hear it incorrectly?
Mr. KANTOR. I think that is something you asked me about yesterday, wasn't it, about an interruption of which I wasn't sure?
Mr. HUBERT. Yes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Why don't we do this: I am going to mark the pages that we are going to photostat here with separate exhibit numbers on your book, and then, if I may, have these pages photostated, and give you the complete notebook back because we are going to take the full notebook. In other words, I would like to write down at the bottom of the page a number, if I could.
Mr. KANTOR. You mean you want to remove the page?
Mr. GRIFFIN. No; we are not going to remove the page, but I would like to put a notation on your notebook, with your permission.
Mr. KANTOR. All right; please go ahead.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I am going to mark the cover of this notebook in the following manner: "Seth Kantor, Deposition June 3, 1964, Exhibit No. 3."
(The document referred to was marked Seth Kantor Exhibit No. 3, June 3, 1964, for identification.)
Mr. KANTOR. May I say something off the record?
Mr. GRIFFIN. Sure. (Discussion off the record.)
Mr. GRIFFIN. Then on the page "Yarb-third car back," I will cross out where I have written the identification in full and I will write "3-A," so that we are correct here. Does this page which I am pointing my finger to, is that a note that was taken at Parkland Hospital?
Mr. KANTOR. At approximately 1:30 during the afternoon.
Mr. GRIFFIN. If you would, could you find the first page in here that you believe was made at the Dallas Police Station?
I am going to mark these pages at the bottom, subletter "3-B," "3-C,' et cetera, the ones he has identified as having been made at the Dallas Police Station, so that we will have subletters in here and in the record a list of the pages which Mr. Kantor indicates were made contemporaneously with his activities at the police station.
Mr. HUBERT. Is that correct, Mr. Kantor?
Mr. KANTOR. Correct.
Mr. HUBERT. And you have picked out the ones that fit the definition just given by Mr. Griffin?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. The last page is where I have put the paper clip.
Mr. HUBERT. We want all of them between the paper clips. I have marked all of the pages starting with 3-A, Mr. Kantor, and running through the alphabet and then starting another series of 3 using double A and double B and so forth through 3 double R, and I ask you if it is not a fact that all of these pages so marked are in your handwriting.
Mr. KANTOR. Yes; they are.
Mr. HUBERT. They were notes made by you contemporaneously with the events to which they relate?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes; they were made contemporaneously.
Mr. HUBERT. All right. We will have these photostated and give the book back to you.
Mr. KANTOR. All right.
(The documents referred to were marked Seth Kantor Exhibits Nos. 3-A through 3-RR for identification.)
Mr. HUBERT. Now, Mr. Kantor, you have handed me a series of papers which seem to be in order, that is to say, pages running from 1, I think, through 19.
Mr. KANTOR. Yes.
Mr. HUBERT. Which I am marking for identification on the first page by placing the following at the bottom: "Washington, D.C., June 3, 1964, Exhibit No. 4, Deposition of Seth Kantor," and I ask you what these documents purport to be.
(The document referred to was marked Seth Kantor Exhibit No. 4 for identification.)
Mr. KANTOR. These documents are notes which I made upon my return from Dallas after spending 16 days following the assassination of the President. They are notes which, by and large, I hadn't written down as events occurred but which I wanted to put down on paper while I still remembered everything in as great a detail as possible.
Mr. HUBERT. Were these notes which have been marked as Exhibit No. 4, made all at one time?
Mr. KANTOR. No; they were not. They were made over a 1-week period.
Mr. HUBERT. What period was that, in point of calendar date?
Mr. KANTOR. They were in December 1963.
Mr. HUBERT. They were made by you?
Mr. KANTOR. They were made by me.
Mr. HUBERT. How did you make them in fact?
Mr. KANTOR. I rented a tape recorder and spoke all of this into the tape
recorder and then played the tape recorder back and wrote it down by means of typewriter.
Mr. HUBERT. So that this typing on Exhibit No. 4 is actually your own typing?
Mr. KANTOR. It is my own typing.
Mr. HUBERT. It is not a stenographer or typist?
Mr. KANTOR. No, sir; it is mine.
Mr. HUBERT. And it came from the tape, and you dictated into the tape recorder over a week's time all of this material?
Mr. KANTOR. That is right.
Mr. HUBERT. All right, sir. Have you read this recently?
Mr. KANTOR. No.
Mr. HUBERT. But can you state to us that it represents your best recollection of what occurred?
Mr. KANTOR. It would be a better recollection than I could give you now on anything which transpired.
Mr. HUBERT. All right. With your permission, sir, then we will hold these, have them photostated, and return the originals to you.
Mr. KANTOR. Yes; that is all right.
Mr. HUBERT. Mr. Kantor, you have handed us a small Penway brand spiral-backed memo book in which there are 9 pages, each page, of course, having a front and a back, and I ask you whether the notes on those pages of this book that I have identified, and now further identify as Exhibit No. 5 of the deposition of Seth Kantor, June 3, 1964, if those notes are in your handwriting.
(The document referred to was marked Seth Kantor Exhibit No. 5 for identification.)
Mr. KANTOR. Yes; they are.
Mr. HUBERT. Were they made contemporaneously with the events to which they refer?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes; they were made contemporaneously with the events.
Mr. HUBERT. I think the record shows that it has been identified as Exhibit No. 5 of your deposition. And here, again, with reference to Exhibit No. 5, we will have photostats made of the back and front of all these pages, and then return the book to you.
I notice on the first page of Exhibit No. 5 that you have the name Mrs. Michael R. Paine. Does that indicate that there was an interview with her?
Mr. KANTOR. The interview took place at her residence on the outskirts of Dallas late in the afternoon on a Thursday, one week after Thanksgiving.
Mr. HUBERT. How many pages of Exhibit No. 5 relate to notes made of the interview of Mrs. Paine?
Mr. KANTOR Twelve pages.
Mr. HUBERT. I think, with your permission, we ought to number these pages. I will start off by numbering the first page as it appears in the book as "1" on the bottom, and then the reverse of that "2", and I am putting these numerals in a circle, up to 12. I understand your testimony to be that the notes which appear on pages Exhibit No. 5 which have now been numbered 1 through 12 all relate to the interview of Mrs. Paine taken on the Thursday after Thanksgiving of 1963.
Mr. KANTOR. That is correct.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, I am marking the rest of the pages as follows, by putting the numbers in a circle at the bottom, beginning with 13 up to and including 17 and ask you the relationship of those notes or those pages to any particular event.
Mr. KANTOR. They relate to notes, they are notes, that I made regarding Mrs. Tippit, the wife of the police officer in Dallas who was slain.
Mr. HUBERT. When were those notes made?
Mr. KANTOR. They were made the day after I spoke with Mrs. Paine, Friday.
Mr. HUBERT. Friday of what--
Mr. KANTOR. This would be eight days after Thanksgiving, yes. I believe it was December 6th.
Mr. HUBERT. I show you a calendar of 1963 and ask you if it is not a fact that Thanksgiving was on the 28th of November, that Thursday after Thanksgiving
would have been December 5th, and the day after that would have been December 6th.
Mr. KANTOR. That is correct, yes.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, you have just referred to notes appearing on pages 12 through--
Mr. KANTOR. It is notes on pages 13 through 17.
Mr. HUBERT. 13 through 17. Are there any other notes in the book?
Mr. KANTOR. No; none.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, why don't you go ahead and read those interview reports that you have in your hands right now and then we can talk about them.
Mr. HUBERT. Let the record show I am placing my initials on the lower right-hand corner of the second and subsequent pages of Exhibit 4.
Let the record show, also, that I have placed my initials on the inside cover of Exhibit No. 5 and at the bottom of each page of Exhibit No. 5.
Let the record also show that I am placing my initials on each of the pages of Exhibit No. 3 at the bottom, Exhibit No. 3 consisting of a series of pages numbering 3-A through the alphabet and again until 3-RR.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I am going to hand you, Mr. Kantor, what has been marked for purposes of identification as "Washington, D.C., Seth Kantor Deposition, June 3, 1964, Exhibit No. 6."
(The document referred to was marked Seth Kantor Exhibit No. 6 for identification.)
Mr. GRIFFIN. This purports to be a copy of a report prepared by FBI Agent Vincent E. Drain, of an interview he conducted with you on December 3, 1963, in Dallas. I will hand it to you and ask you if you have had a chance to read it and whether you have any additions or corrections that you would make to that report from the standpoint of accuracy of the report.
Mr. KANTOR. No; it is complete, to the best of my knowledge.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I am also going to hand you what has been marked as "Exhibit No. 7, Washington, D.C., Seth Kantor Deposition, June 3, 1964."
(The document referred to was marked Seth Kantor Exhibit No. 7 for identification.)
Mr. GRIFFIN. This purports to be a copy of an interview report prepared by Mr. Drain in connection with an interview conducted with you in Dallas also on December 3.
Have you had a chance to read this report?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes; I have just looked it over, and it is, to the best of my knowledge, accurate.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I am going to mark another document as "Exhibit No. 8, Washington, D.C., June 3, 1964, Seth Kantor Deposition."
(The document referred to was marked Seth Kantor Exhibit No. 8 for identification.)
Mr. GRIFFIN. This document purports to be a copy of an interview report prepared by Special Agents Kaiser and Miller, of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the interview taking place with you on January 2, 1964 here in Washington. Have you had a chance to look that over?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes; I have.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Are there any chances that you would make in that?
Mr. KANTOR. There was something I thought I saw in here.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Take your time.
Mr. KANTOR. All right.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Meanwhile, for the record, that Exhibit No. 7 is a document which consists of 5 pages and it is numbered consecutively at the bottom 431 through pages 435.
Mr. KANTOR. I have seen something in here which made me think of a letter I have received since the occasion of this interview with the FBI.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Go ahead and tell us about it.
Mr. KANTOR. The letter was from Jack Ruby, from the county jail in Dallas. I wrote him approximately at the end of January from my office, on Scripps-Howard stationery, telling him that I had made a couple of attempts to see him in Dallas, both in the city jail and in the county jail, and had failed, and asked him if I could ask him some questions. A letter postmarked February
2, I believe it was, in San Francisco, was received by me then from Melvin Belli, who was Ruby's attorney at the time, thanking me for writing to Jack and saying that he had told Jack to forward on any mail that came from reporters, and that Jack had done the right tiring and that he was sure---he being Belli--that I would understand that Ruby could not comment before the trial.
Then I received a letter postmarked the next day which would have been February 3d, from Ruby, from his Dallas county jail cell, telling me he had forwarded on my letter to Belli and apologizing for having done so but he was told to do that. And in the letter he made an offhanded personal remark that he had liked to follow my stories in the Fort Worth Press, which is a Scripps-Howard paper, and was in hopes of seeing he again.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Had you in your letter to Ruby made any reference to the fact that you had seen him at Parkland Hospital on the 22d?
Mr. KANTOR. No; I did not.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Did Belli in his letter to you make any reference to your newspaper article?
Mr. KANTOR. No; he did not.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I take it Ruby didn't make any reference to it to you in his letter?
Mr. KANTOR. No; he did not, and one of the factors prompting my letter to him was this interview with the two FBI agents here in Washington, because one of them had told me that the FBI talked to Ruby in his jail cell and he had denied being in the hospital on the afternoon of November 22d. This is really what I was angling for, although I didn't want to write that question directly to Jack Ruby.
Mr. HUBERT. Is it not a fact that in the story that you had seen Jack at the Parkland Hospital, had been made public before you wrote to Jack Ruby, I think you said on February--
Mr. KANTOR. Late in January.
Mr. HUBERT. Late in January?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes.
Mr. HUBERT. That story had been in the press for some considerable time, isn't that correct?
Mr. KANTOR. It appeared in the press the day after Ruby killed Oswald.
Mr. HUBERT. All right. I think the record should show that Exhibit No. 8 consists of 4 pages, numbered in sequence 163 through 167.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I want to ask you at least one question in connection with these interviews generally. Did the FBI agent who originally interviewed you on December 3 tell you how he happened to come to interview you?
Mr. KANTOR. He had learned about my statement of Ruby being in the hospital through reading my story or through hearing about the story.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, is this something that he told you or is this an inference that you have drawn?
Mr. KANTOR. No; he told me that. I know the agent in question, Vince Drain.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I believe you told us yesterday that you were the only Scripps-Howard reporter at Parkland Hospital at the time that you saw Ruby and made the phone calls.
Mr. KANTOR. Yes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Now, how many other Scripps-Howard reporters were there with the White House entourage that originally went down to Dallas?
Mr. KANTOR. There was none besides myself.
Mr. GRIFFIN. How many Scripps-Howard reporters who reported back to the Washington office ultimately were in Dallas on the 22d, 23d, and 24th?
Mr. KANTOR. There was none besides myself.
Mr. GRIFFIN. So the only--you were the only representative of the Scripps-Howard chain as an entity?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. And any other reporters who may have been connected with Scripps-Howard there were from newspapers affiliated with the Scripps-Howard chain?
Mr. KANTOR. Yes; that is right. Yes.
Mr. GRIFFIN. What kind of coverage or distribution were the stories that you wrote on the 22d and 23d given by the Scripps-Howard chain?
Mr. KANTOR. They were widely used, I believe; virtually every paper in the chain used the stories.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Do you have any questions, Mr. Hubert?
Mr. HUBERT. No.
Mr. GRIFFIN. I have none. Do you have anything further that you would want to say?
Mr. KANTOR Nothing further.
Mr. GRIFFIN. Thank you very much.
Mr. HUBERT. We will have those photostated and if you could call in some time tomorrow we will see if we can't arrange to get them to you, or mail them, or do something.
Mr. KANTOR. If you don't mind, I would like to pick them up, but wonder if I could pick them up Friday.