The testimony of Joe E. Murphy was taken at 9:50 a.m., on April 8, 1964, in the office of U.S. attorney, 301 Post Office Building, Bryan and Ervay Streets, Dallas, Tex., by Mr. Joseph A. Ball, assistant counsel of the President's Commission.

Mr. BALL. Will you raise your right hand and be sworn?
Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you are about to give before the Commission will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Mr. MURPHY. I do.
Mr. BALL. Will you state your name and address for the record?
Mr. MURPHY. Joe E. Murphy, 2509 Winthrop; (spelling) W-i-n-t-h-r-o-p, Drive.
Mr. BALL. And what is your occupation?
Mr. MURPHY. Police officer.
Mr. BALL. How long have you been with the Department?
Mr. MURPHY. I am in my 21st year.
Mr. BALL. With the Dallas Police Department?
Mr. MURPHY. Yes.
Mr. BALL. Where were you born?
Mr. MURPHY. Dallas.
Mr. BALL. Where did you go to school?
Mr. MURPHY. High school - St. Joseph High School here in Dallas.
Mr. BALL. You went all through school here in Dallas, did you?
Mr. MURPHY. Yes, sir; that's right.
Mr. BALL. What did you do after you got out of high school?
Mr. MURPHY. Well, I played pro baseball for about 2 years, Class D - West Texas and New Mexico League. After that I went to work for the Humble Oil and Refining Co. in Baytown. I was down there about 2 years and came back to Dallas and then I went to work on the police force.
Mr. BALL. And you have been there ever since?
Mr. MURPHY. Yes.
Mr. BALL. You are a patrolman, are you?
Mr. MURPHY. That's right
Mr. BALL. Do you have a three-wheeler?
Mr. MURPHY. A three-wheeler - yes.
Mr. BALL. On November 22, 1963, did they assign you to some post?
Mr. MURPHY. Yes, I was assigned to the overpass - the Stemmons Freeway overpass northbound at Elm Street - over Elm.
Mr. BALL. What instructions did you have?
Mr. MURPHY. It was to keep anyone and everyone off of the overpass and to keep traffic moving until the motorcade arrived.
Mr. BALL. Now, you have a map here which you have drawn for us to show


your position, Is that right? (Reporter marked instrument - Murphy Exhibit A, for identification)
Mr. MURPHY. Yes; that's right.
Mr. BALL. And you have drawn a position there as to where you were standing, is that right?
Mr. MURPHY. That's right.
Mr. BALL. And where you parked your three-wheeler?
Mr. MURPHY. Yes.
Mr. BALL. All right, mark the place where you were standing as Position 1, using an "X".
Mr. MURPHY. All right. (Witness Murphy marked the diagram as requested by Counsel Ball.)
Mr. BALL. And your three-wheeler was beside you?
Mr. MURPHY. Yes; right on the shoulder.
Mr. BALL. Were there any other officers on that overpass?
Mr. MURPHY. Yes; there were two more about - oh, a 100 feet south of me - to slow traffic or to stop traffic whenever the motorcade entered the Stemmons Freeway north entrance.
Mr. BALL. Now where were they located - and, did they as the motorcade came down Elm Street, did they go into the highway and stop traffic?
Mr. MURPHY. Yes; they did.
Mr. BALL. Will you put their positions on the Stemmons Freeway overpass at the time the motorcade came west on Elm, and mark it (2) and (3).
Mr. MURPHY. (Marked diagram as requested by Counsel Ball.)
Mr. BALL. Do you know the names of those officers that were (2) and (3)?
Mr. MURPHY. I can't recall. I know them but I can't recall who they were.
Mr. BALL. Were they three-wheeler officers too, do they drive three-wheelers?
Mr. MURPHY. I believe both of them three-wheelers.
Mr. BALL. And as the motorcade came west on Elm, did they stop traffic on Stemmons Freeway?
Mr. MURPHY. Yes, their main job was to slow it and let the officers farther down the freeway - they would stop it, but traffic approaches pretty fast and they were to slow traffic and let the officers then stop it. They did - they - -they stepped into and were slowing the traffic as the motorcade came under that railroad overpass.
Mr. BALL. Did they ever atop traffic completely?
Mr. MURPHY. Well, it stopped - it stopped itself back down when all the excitement - someone down there - they blocked the whole street and then it backed up, Is what it did - backed up to our position.
Mr. BALL. On Stemmons Freeway?
Mr. MURPHY. Yes.
Mr. BALL. Now Position (1) is where you were standing?
Mr. MURPHY. Yes.
Mr. BALL. Were there any people standing on the overpass over Elm, on the Stemmons Freeway overpass over Elm, as the motorcade came down?
Mr. MURPHY. No; there was no one standing there prior to the arrival of the motorcade or after the motorcade arrived.
Mr. BALL. The only one standing there was you?
Mr. MURPHY. It was me.
Mr. BALL. Now, let's go to the railroad overpass, and first of all, as you turned west on Elm from Houston, what Is the first overpass that you encounter?
Mr. MURPHY. There is a railroad overpass - all of the trains entering and leaving the Union Station cross over that overpass.
Mr. BALL. Were there any officers on that overpass?
Mr. MURPHY. There were two.
Mr. BALL. Can you mark their positions, approximately, as you saw them before the motorcade arrived?
Mr. MURPHY. As best I could see - one was on each side - one here and one over on this side.
Mr. BALL. All right, mark the position of the officer on the west side as Position (4), and the one on the east side as Position (5).
(The Witness Murphy marked the diagram as requested by Counsel Ball.)


Mr. BALL. Were these uniformed officers?
Mr. MURPHY. Yes, they were.
Mr. BALL. Do you know their names?
Mr. MURPHY. No, sir; I don't.
Mr. BALL. Did they have three-wheelers?
Mr. MURPHY. No; I couldn't say.
Mr. BALL. Now, were there any other people besides the two officers on this railroad overpass?
Mr. MURPHY. There were about 8 or 10 - from what -I could see - about 8 or 10 men dressed in the overalls and they appeared to he railroad employees.
Mr. BALL. Can you mark in their positions, approximately?
Mr. MURPHY. Well, they were in a group right in the center of Elm Street.
Mr. BALL. They were all together?
Mr. MURPHY. Yes; it appeared that they were in a group (Witness Murphy drew circle indicating presence of persons heretofore mentioned as requested by Counsel Ball).
Mr. BALL. You have drawn a circle there?
Mr. MURPHY. Yes.
Mr. BALL. And mark that (6).
(Witness Murphy marked the diagram as requested by Counsel Ball.)
Mr. BALL. And in that circle there were about how many?
Mr. MURPHY. 8 to 10 persons.
Mr. BALL. There were 8 to 10 persons approximately, dressed in overalls?
Mr. MURPHY. Yes.
Mr. BALL. Did you see any other people on the railroad overpass?
Mr. MURPHY. No, sir; I didn't.
Mr. BALL. Could you see the motorcade on Houston from your position (1)?
Mr. MURPHY. Yes; I could.
Mr. BALL. Did you see the President's car turn the corner of Main and Houston?
Mr. MURPHY. Yes; I did.
Mr. BALL. That was in your view, was It?
Mr. MURPHY. Yes; it was.
Mr. BALL. Was the corner of Houston and Elm within your view?
Mr. MURPHY. Just a portion of it - you lose sight of it there for just a few seconds, as it makes the turn. Well, you lose sight of it. There is some kind of a - on that part there is a concrete, oh, I don't know what you would call it - kind of a framework - it appears to be.
Mr. BALL. In other words, there is an obstruction to your view?
Mr. MURPHY. Yes.
Mr. BALL. From where you were standing at Position (1)?
Mr. MURPHY. Yes.
Mr. BALL. And the corner of the intersection of Houston and Elm?
Mr. MURPHY. Yes.
Mr. BALL. Were you able to see the President's car after it had turned west on Elm from Houston?
Mr. MURPHY. Well, again there, you just get a very short view of it before it goes out of sight then, going down that hill.
Mr. BALL. You heard shots, did you?
Mr. MURPHY. Yes, I did.
Mr. BALL. Now, from the time you saw the President's car turn north on Houston from Main and until you heard the shots, what direction were you looking?
Mr. MURPHY. I was looking in an easterly direction.
Mr. BALL. Toward what?
Mr. MURPHY. Toward the motorcade - towards the President's car.
Mr. BALL. Did you keep the motorcade in sight at all times?
Mr. MURPHY. Yes, I did.
Mr. BALL. Did you see anything unusual occur in this group of railroad men where you have marked Position (6)?
Mr. MURPHY. No, I didn't - I did not.
Mr. BALL. Anybody armed there?


Mr. MURPHY. No, not that I could tell.
Mr. BALL. Can you tell me what direction the policemen were looking who were at position (4) and (5)?
Mr. MURPHY. They appeared to he looking in an easterly direction also.
Mr. BALL. The direction of the motorcade?
Mr. MURPHY. Yes.
Mr. BALL. And did you see other individuals on that railroad overpass except the ones you have described?
Mr. MURPHY. No, just that group that I have described.
Mr. BALL. Now, you say you heard something - heard shots?
Mr. MURPHY. Yes.
Mr. BALL. Describe to me your best recollection as to what you heard?
Mr. MURPHY. Well, I heard - I knew they were shots as soon as I heard them, but I thought at first it was - It sounded like a shotgun, and then I got the three shots and there were so many echoes and everything - then I did determine it sounded more like a rifle. I do quite a bit of hunting and I determined it sounded more like a rifle.
Mr. BALL. Those shots came from what direction?
Mr. MURPHY. Well, just from the direction I was looking - that's all I could tell. They came from an easterly direction, from where I was standing.
Mr. BALL. And were there echoes?
Mr. MURPHY. Yes, quite a few.
Mr. BALL. Did the men who were on the overpass at Position (5) do anything?
Mr. MURPHY. I don't recall - on that overpass - right after the shots, I did see then a group of people running up the side of this embankment on Elm and running. That would be here - right in here.
Mr. BALL. To the north of Elm?
Mr. MURPHY. To the north of Elm.
Mr. BALL. Would you put an arrow showing the direction they were running and mark that arrow as "7" - that's the direction you saw people running?
Mr. MURPHY. (Marked diagram as requested by Counsel Ball.) Yes, they were running up in this direction and then in behind this Book Depository. Oh, I could tell a lot of them were photographers, because I could see their cameras in their hands and then a number of other people, and then I did see some officers also running in that direction.
Mr. BALL. Did you see what the railroad men did who were at Position (6) on your map?
Mr. MURPHY. No; because right at that time that traffic began backing up on the freeway and I had turned in to try to keep them moving, but I found that I couldn't move them because It was blocked down below me, north of me and there was traffic just stacked up from where the other officers had it stopped there.
Mr. BALL. How long did you stay at your position?
Mr. MURPHY. Well, I stayed until, I guess, it was about maybe 3 minutes after we heard the shots and then the broadcast came over the radio that there had been a shooting - the President had been shot - and then I went towards the Book Depository.
I got on my motor and went towards the Book depository then - off of the freeway; and then was there up around the Book Depository for the next - I would say hour or hour and a half at least.
Mr. BALL. Did you talk to any witnesses?
Mr. MURPHY. I did pick up or talk to three or four people that said they had seen things and said they heard different things, and I took them to the sheriff's office across the street.
Mr. BALL. Do you know what their names were?
Mr. MURPHY. No, sir; I couldn't tell you. I turned them over to the investigators there with the sheriff's department - the district attorney's investigators, that's who they were.
Mr. BALL. You didn't make any notes of their names?
Mr. MURPHY. No, sir; I didn't.
Mr. BALL. Do you remember now what any of them told you?
Mr. MURPHY. Well, one man in particular - he was standing on Elm - he was


standing right about here where we have marked Position (7), and he claimed that he heard two shots above him and behind him, and one shot from up around the edge of this park, and another man claimed that he had been standing nearly in this same position - he was standing here on the street and he claimed that all the shots he heard came from overhead to his rear.
Mr. BALL. That would be near the Texas School Book Depository?
Mr. MURPHY. Yes, towards that Book Depository.
Mr. BALL. Did you go on the police radio and make any announcement or statement?
Mr. MURPHY. No, sir; I didn't. It was so jammed, I didn't make any.
Mr. BALL. I would like to have this marked as Exhibit A to your deposition, which is illustrative of your testimony.
(Instrument marked by the reporter as Murphy Exhibit No. A, for identification.)
Mr. BALL. This will be written up and you can come in and look it over and sign it if you wish, or you can waive signature if you wish. It Is your option - what would you like to do?
Mr. MURPHY. Well, if it's necessary. I will sign it. If it isn't, that's perfectly all right with me.
Mr. BALL. It isn't necessary
Mr. MURPHY. Well, that's all right then.
Mr. BALL. Then, you will waive signature?
Mr. MURPHY. Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. Thanks very much for coming in.
Mr. MURPHY. All right - certainly.