Testimony Of Julia Postal

The testimony of Julia Postal was taken at 3 p.m., on April 2, 1964, in the office of the 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 stand and hold up your hand, please and be sworn?
Do you solemnly swear the testimony you will give before this Commission will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Mrs. POSTAL. I do.
Mr. BALL. Will you state your name, please?
Mrs. POSTAL. Julia Postal.
Mr. BALL. What is your address, please?
Mrs. POSTAL. 2728 Seevers.
Mr. BALL. Will you tell me something about yourself, where you were born and what your education was, what your occupation has been, just in general.
Mrs. POSTAL. Was born here in Dallas and I went through all school here to my first year at Adamson, and went to California and finished up out there.
Mr. BALL. Finished high school there?
Mrs. POSTAL. Went through 4 years of it.
Mr. BALL. In California?
Mrs. POSTAL. In California, and then I lived there for 12 years and came back here. I have been here ever since.
Mr. BALL. What has been your occupation?
Mrs. POSTAL. Well, basically it has been theatre, cashier, and officework in connection with theatres.
Mr. BALL. You have been to California? Did you work in theatres there?
Mrs. POSTAL. Yes, sir; I worked at the Paramount Theatre, and Graumans, and R.K.O. Used to work for the Pantages. Worked for the Wilshire in the office.
Mr. BALL. How long have you been back from California, to Dallas?
Mrs. POSTAL. Oh, me, I have been there 11 years, 14 or 15 years; really, I don't remember.
Mr. BALL. Have you been working? You are now working where?
Mrs. POSTAL. With the Texas----really, it is United Theatres, Inc. at the Texas Theatre.
Mr. BALL. How long have you been working there?
Mrs. POSTAL. It was 11 years last November 24.
Mr. BALL. Same theatre?
Mrs. POSTAL. Same theatre.
Mr. BALL. What were your hours of work last fall?
Mrs. POSTAL. Last fall? Well, let's see, I worked in the office, and then stared cutting down personnel and I worked in the office until they opened the box office at 12:45, and then come down to the box office and worked until 5.
Mr. BALL. When you say worked in the box office, is that take tickets?
Mrs. POSTAL. Sell tickets.
Mr. BALL. Sell tickets. Is there a ticket taker inside the theatre?
Mrs. POSTAL. Yes, sir; now, during the slack period like this with school, just an usher who works the concession and tears the tickets, because it is just straight through.
Mr. BALL. On November 22, Friday, November 22, 1963, what time did your box office open?
Mrs. POSTAL. We open daily at 12:45, sometimes may be 5, 4 minutes later or something, but that is our regular hours.
Mr. BALL. On this day you opened on 12:45, November 22?
Mrs. POSTAL. Uh-huh.
Mr. BALL. And on that day, did you have the ticket taker working around 12:45, 1 o'clock?
Mrs. POSTAL. Just the usher, which, as I said, works the concession and ticket.
Mr. BALL. What was his name?
Mrs. POSTAL. Warren Burroughs. Call him Butch.
Mr. BALL. Butch Burroughs?
Mrs. POSTAL. Uh-huh.
Mr. BALL. Was he stationed inside the door, the entrance to the theatre?
Mrs. POSTAL. Yes, sir; he stays, actually, behind the concession counter, but as I said, the concession runs for the entire way as you go in the door and it runs this way so that you can see the door and steps insides, and tears tickets.
Mr. BALL. Now, did you have a radio in your ticket office?
Mrs. POSTAL. Uh-huh, a transistor.
Mr. BALL. Had you heard that the President had been shot?
Mrs. POSTAL. Yes; my daughter had called me at the office before we opened up and said it was on the TV, so I then turned the little transistor on right away, and of course it verified the they were saying again that he had been shot.
Mr. BALL. And did you find out that he had died here? That President Kennedy was dead or----
Mrs. POSTAL. No, sir; I didn't.
Mr. BALL. You didn't hear that?
Mrs. POSTAL. I was listening to KLIF, and I was down in the little box office, and they kept saying that Parkland hadn't issued an official report, that he had been removed from the operating table, and everyone wanted to surmise, but still hope, and it was after this that they came out and said that he was officially dead.
Mr. BALL. But, you didn't hear that when you were in the box office, did you?
Mrs. POSTAL. Yes, I did. In fact, I was just about----it was just about the time all chaos broke loose.
Mr. BALL. Now, did many people go into the theatre from the time you opened at the box office until about 1:15 or so?
Mrs. POSTAL. Some.
Mr. BALL. How many? Can you give me an estimate?
Mrs. POSTAL. I believe 24.
Mr. BALL. Twenty-four?
Mrs. POSTAL. Fourteen or twenty-four. I believe it was 24. Everything was happening so fast.
Mr. BALL. You had sold about that many tickets?
Mrs. POSTAL. That's right.
Mr. BALL. What was the price of admission?
Mrs. POSTAL. We had three. Adults 90 cents, teenager with a card is 50 cents, and a child is 35, and you have a pass ticket.
Mr. BALL. It is cheaper that time of day than other times of day?
Mrs. POSTAL. No, sir; we don't change prices. Used to, but we don't.
Mr. BALL. Same price?
Mrs. POSTAL. Uh-huh.
Mr. BALL. Now, did you see anybody go in the theatre well, did you see any activity on the street?
Mrs. POSTAL. Now, yes, sir; just about the time we opened, my employer had stayed and took the tickets because we change pictures on Thursday and want to do anything, he----and about this time I heard the sirens----police was racing back and forth.
Mr. BALL. On Jefferson?
Mrs. POSTAL. On Jefferson Boulevard, and then we made the remark, "Some thing is about to bust," or "pop," or something to that effect, so, it was just about----some sirens were going west, and my employer got in his car. He was parked in front, to go up to see where they were going. He, perhaps I said, he passed Oswald. At that time I didn't know it was Oswald. Had to bypass him, because as he went through this way, Oswald went through this way and ducked into the theatre there.
Mr. BALL. Let me see. Had you ever seen this man before then at that particular theatre?
Mrs. POSTAL. Not that I know of, huh-uh.
Mr. BALL. A police car had gone by just before this?
Mrs. POSTAL. Yes, sir; going west.
Mr. BALL. Its siren on?
Mrs. POSTAL. Yes; full blast.
Mr. BALL. And after you saw the police car go west with its siren on, why at the time the police car went west with its siren on, did you see the man that ducked? This man that you were----
Mrs. POSTAL. This man, yes; he ducked into the box office and----I don't know if you are familiar with the theatre.
Mr. BALL. Yes; I have seen the theatre.
Mrs. POSTAL. You have? Well, he was coming from east going west. In other words, he ducked right in.
Mr. BALL. Ducked in, what do you mean? He had come around the corner----
Mrs. POSTAL. Yes; and when the sirens went by he had a panicked look on his face, and he ducked in.
Mr. BALL. Now, as the car went by, you say the man ducked in, had you seen him before the car went by, the police went by?
Mrs. POSTAL. No, sir; I was looking up, as I say, when the cars passed, as you know, they make a tremendous noise, and he ducked in as my boss went that way to get in his car.
Mr. BALL. Who is your boss?
Mrs. POSTAL. Mr. John A. Callahan.
Mr. BALL. Where did you say he was?
Mrs. POSTAL. Yes; I say, they bypassed each other, actually, the man ducked in this way and my employer went that-a-way, to get in his car.
Mr. BALL. When you say "ducked in," you mean he entered the door from the street?
Mrs. POSTAL. No, sir; just ducked into the other----into the outer part of it.
Mr. BALL. I see, out in the open space?
Mrs. POSTAL. Yes, sir; just right around the corner.
Mr. BALL. Just right around the corner?
Mrs. POSTAL. Yes.
Mr. BALL. And your boss passed him, did he?
Mrs. POSTAL. Yes; they went----one came one way, and one went the other way just at the same time.
Mr. BALL. What did you see him do after became around the corner?
Mrs. POSTAL. Well, I didn't actually----because I stepped out of the box office and went to the front and was facing west. I was right at the box office facing west, because I thought .the police were stopping up quite a ways. Well, just as I turned around then Johnny Brewer was standing there and he asked me if the fellow that ducked in bought a ticket, and I said, "No; by golly, he didn't," and turned around expecting to see him.
Mr. BALL. And he had ducked in?
Mrs. POSTAL. And Mr. Brewer said he had been ducking in at his place of business, and he had gone by me, because I was facing west, and I said, "Go in and see if you can see him," it isn't too much people in there. So, he came and says, well, he didn't see him, and I says, "Well, he has to be there." So I told him to go back and check----we have exit doors, behind--one behind the stage and one straight through, and asked him to check them, check the lounges because I knew he was in there. Well, he just had to be.
Mr. BALL. The last time you had seen him before he ducked in, he was just standing outside of the door, was he?
Mrs. POSTAL. No, sir; he was still just in----just off of the sidewalk, and he headed for the theatre.
Mr. BALL. Were the doors of the theatre open?
Mrs. POSTAL. No, sir.
Mr. BALL. It was closed?
Mrs. POSTAL. It was closed.
Mr. BALL. And you didn't see him actually enter the theatre then?
Mrs. POSTAL. No, sir.
Mr. BALL. You hadn't seen him go by you?
Mrs. POSTAL. I knew he didn't go by me, because I was facing west, and Johnny, he had come up from east which meant he didn't go back that way. He had come from east going west.
Mr. BALL. All right, now what happened after that?
Mrs. POSTAL. Well, I, like----I told him----asked him to check everything.
Mr. BALL. Did you ask Butch Burroughs if he had seen him?
Mrs. POSTAL. No, sir; I told Johnny this, don't tell him, because he is an excitable person, and just have him, you know, go with you and examine the exits and check real good, so, he came back and said he hadn't seen anything although, he had heard a seat pop up like somebody getting out, but there was nobody around that area, so, I told Johnny about the fact that the President had been assassinated. "I don't know if this is the man they want," I said, "in there, but he is running from them for some reason," and I said "I am going to call the police, and you and Butch go get on each of the exit doors and stay there."
So, well, I called the police, and he wanted to know why I thought it was their man, and I said, "Well, I didn't know," and he said, "Well, it fits the description," and I have not---I said I hadn't heard the description. All I know is, "This man is running from them for some reason." And he wanted to know why, and told him because everytime the sirens go by he would duck and he wanted to know----well, if he fits the description is what he says. I said, "Let me tell you what he looks like and you take it from there." And explained that he had on this brown sports shirt and I couldn't tell you what design it was, and medium height, ruddy looking to me, and he said, "Thank you," and I called the operator and asked him to look through the little hole and see if he could see anything and told him I had called the police, and what was happening, and he wanted to know if I wanted him to cut the picture off, and I says, "No, let's wait until they get here." So, seemed like I hung up the intercom phone when here all of a sudden, police cars, policemen, plainclothesmen, I never saw so many people in my life. And they raced in, and the next thing I knew, they were carrying----well, that is when I first heard Officer Tippit had been shot because some officer came in the box office and used the phone, said, "I think we have got our man on both accounts." "What two accounts?" And said, "Well, Officer Tippit's," shocked me, because Officer Tippit used to work part time for us years ago. I didn't know him personally.
Mr. BALL. You mean he guarded the theatre?
Mrs. POSTAL. On Friday nights and Saturdays, canvass the theatre, you know, and that----then they were bringing Oswald out the door over there and ----
Mr. BALL. Well, now, was this before they had gone into the theatre that this officer used the phone?
Mrs. POSTAL. No, sir.
Mr. BALL. It was after?
Mrs. POSTAL. There was not one man walked through this theatre. They were running.
Mr. BALL. Did the officers go in the front of the theatre?
Mrs. POSTAL. Yes. Definitely.
Mr. BALL. Did you go in?
Mrs. POSTAL. No, sir; I stayed at the box office.
Mr. BALL. You didn't see anything that happened inside?
Mrs. POSTAL. No, sir.
Mr. BALL. Did you see them bring a man out?
Mrs. POSTAL. Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. How many men had hold of him?
Mrs. POSTAL. Well, I----like I said, the public was getting there at that time, and the streets, sidewalk and around the streets and everything and they brought him out the double doors here [indicating]. I remember, the officer had his hands behind him with his chin back like this [indicating] because I understand he had been using some profuse (sic) language which----inside. I'd say four or five.
Mr. BALL. Was he handcuffed?
Mrs. POSTAL. I don't know, sir, because the officers were all around him and from the rear there and his hands were to his back.
Mr. BALL. They were?
Mrs. POSTAL. Uh-huh.
Mr. BALL. And an officer had hold of him from the side?
Mrs. POSTAL. Yes, sir; this way.
Mr. BALL. With his arm underneath his chin?
Mrs. POSTAL. Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. Did he have any bruises or cuts? Did Oswald have any bruises or cuts on his face?
Mrs. POSTAL. No.
Mr. BALL. You didn't see any?
Mrs. POSTAL. No; huh-uh.
Mr. BALL. Was he saying anything?
Mrs. POSTAL. No, sir; as I said, that was my understanding, that is the reason that they had him like that, because he was screaming.
Mr. BALL. But, you didn't hear him say anything?
Mrs. POSTAL. No, sir. He couldn't possibly say anything the way they had him.
Mr. BALL. What happened then?
Mrs. POSTAL. That is when I really started shaking. I had never seen a live mob scene, that----
Mr. BALL. Well----
Mrs. POSTAL. They said, "What is going on?" And someone said, "Suspect," and they started in this way, just about that time I got out to the box office, back to the box office, and they stared screaming profuse language and----"Kill the so-and-so," and trying to get to him, and this and that and the officers were trying to hold on to Oswald----when I say, "Oswald," that man, because as I said, I didn't know who he was at that time and they was trying to hold him, because he was putting up a struggle, and then trying to keep the public off, and on the way to the car, parked right out front, one of the officers was----at that time I thought he was putting his hat on the man's face to try to keep the public from grabbing him by the hair, but I later read in the paper it was to cover his face and then he got him in the ear, and all bedlam, so far as the public, broke.
Mr. BALL. They drove away with him, did they?
Mrs. POSTAL. Yes, sir; that one ear did; uh-huh.
Mr. BALL. Did you ever go down to the police station?
Mrs. POSTAL. Police station?
Mr. BALL. Yes; later the city hall or police office?
Mrs. POSTAL. Yes; I went down to the homicidal bureau.
Mr. BALL. When?
Mrs. POSTAL. Well, let's see, that was a Friday. I believe it was the Thursday following.
Mr. BALL. You didn't go down there that day?
Mrs. POSTAL. No, stir.
Mr. BALL. Did you go down there the next day?
Mrs. POSTAL. No, sir.
Mr. BALL. According to your affidavit, it shows that you signed it on the 4th of December. Would that be about right?
Mrs. POSTAL. Was that on Thursday?
Mr. BALL. Yes; I think.
Mrs. POSTAL. I can't remember. I think it was a Thursday.
Mr. BALL. That was after Oswald was dead?
Mrs. POSTAL. Yes; well, yes; because he was killed on the 24th, yes; because I know I didn't go down until the following week.
Mr. BALL. Now, was it after Oswald, the man brought out on----out of the theatre was taken away in the car that the officer called and said, "I'm sure we have got our man---- "?
Mrs. POSTAL. No, sir; that officer came out of the theatre and grabbed at the phone and made the call about simultaneously as they were bringing Oswald out.
Mr. BALL. And that was when you heard that Officer Tippit had been shot?
Mrs. POSTAL. Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. Why didn't Warren Burroughs see him get in, get in there? Do you have any idea?
Mrs. POSTAL. We talked about that, and the concession stand is along here, and if he came in on the other end, which we summarized that is what Oswald did, because the steps, immediately as you open the door there. It has been done before with kids trying to sneak in, run right on up in the balcony.
Mr. BALL. You asked Warren Burroughs why he didn't see him. did you?
Mrs. POSTAL. Yes; we kidded him quite a bit anyway, because some people do then get by him.
Mr. BALL. What did he say?
Mrs. POSTAL. Ah, he said at first that he had seen him, and I says, "Now, Butch, if you saw him come in----" says, "Well, I saw him going out." But he didn't really see him. So, he just summarized that he ran up in the balcony, because if he had come through the foyer, Butch would have seen him.
Mr. BALL. He was arrested, though, down in the orchestra, the second row from the----
Mrs. POSTAL. Third.
Mr. BALL. Third?
Mrs. POSTAL. Three rows down, five seats over.
Mr. BALL. I was trying to say the third row. How could he get from the balcony down there?
Mrs. POSTAL. Oh, that is very easy. You can go up in the balcony and fight straight down, those steps come back down, and that would bring you into it. He wouldn't have to go by Butch at all.
Mr. BALL. Oh, I see. And he could get into the balcony without Butch's seeing him?
Mrs. POSTAL. Yes; if Butch was down in the other end getting something.
Mr. BALL. And he could go in?
Mrs. POSTAL. He could have gotten in.
Mr. BALL. All right. I show you an Exhibit 150, a shirt. Does that look anything like the shirt he had on?
Mrs. POSTAL. Yes, it was something like this shirt. I couldn't say it is the same except it was brown and it was hanging out.
Mr. BALL. Outside his pants?
Mrs. POSTAL. Uh-huh.
Mr. BALL. Wasn't tucked into his pants?
Mrs. POSTAL. Huh-uh.
Mr. BALL. When he went in was it tucked in his pants when he went in?
Mrs. POSTAL. No, sir; because I remember he came flying around the corner, because his hair was and shirt was kind of waving.
Mr. BALL. And his shirt was out?
Mrs. POSTAL. Uh-huh
Mr. BALL. You say----
Mrs. POSTAL. It was hanging out.
Mr. BALL. Mrs. Postal, this will be written up and you can read it and sign it if you wish, or you can waive signature and we will send it on to the Commission without your signature. Now, how do you feel about it? Do you want to do that?
Mrs. POSTAL. I don't know. I mean, this is all new to me anyway.
Mr. BALL. Would you just as leave waive your signature?
Mrs. POSTAL. Well, I see no reason why not.
Mr. BALL. Okay. Fine.
Then you don't have to come down and sign it. We will send it without your signature. Thank you, very much for coming in.