Testimony Of Hal Priddy, Jr.

The testimony of Hal Priddy, Jr., was taken at 5:05 p.m., on March 31, 1964, in the office of the U.S. attorney, 301 Post Office Building, Bryan and Erway Streets, Dallas, Tex., by Mr. Leon D. Hubert, Jr., assistant counsel of the President's Commission.

Mr. HUBERT. This is the deposition of Mr. Hal Priddy [spelling-] P-r-i-d-d-y, Jr. Mr. Priddy, my name is Leon Hubert. I am a member of the advisory staff of the General Counsel of the President's Commission. Under the Provision of Executive Order 11130, dated November 29, 1963, Joint Resolution of Congress 137, and rules of procedure adopted by the Commission in conformance with the Executive order and the joint resolution I have been authorized to take the sworn deposition from you, Mr. Priddy, as the former employee of the O'Neal Funeral Home.
I state to you now that the general nature of the Commission's inquiry is to ascertain and evaluate and report upon the facts relating to the assassination of President Kennedy and the subsequent violent death of Lee Oswald.
I state to you now, Mr. Priddy, that the nature of the inquiry is to determine the facts you know about the death of Oswald and any other facts you may know about the general inquiry. In particular the ambulance call at the O'Neal Funeral Home. Now, you have appeared here today by virtue of a general request made by Mr. J. Lee Rankin, General Counsel for the President's Commission, addressed to the O'Neal Funeral Home, and asked them to produce certain documents and witnesses relevant to those documents and other matters, I take it that you have not, yourself, received a copy of that letter?
Mr. PRIDDY. No, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Let me say that under the rules of the Commission, any wit-nesses--any witness is entitled to a 3-day written notice prior to the taking of his deposition, but the rules also provide that a witness may also waive the 3-day notice if he sees fit, and I ask you now if you are willing to waive the 3-day notice?
Mr. PRIDDY. Yes.
Mr. HUBERT. Will you stand and be sworn. Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Mr. PRIDDY. I do.
Mr. HUBERT. Will you please state your full name?
Mr. PRIDDY. Hal Arthur Priddy.
Mr. HUBERT. Your age?
Mr. PRIDDY. Twenty-five.
Mr. HUBERT. Your residence?
Mr. PRIDDY. 1857 Swan.
Mr. HUBERT. And your present occupation?
Mr. PRIDDY. Salesman for Shaw Jewelers.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, on November 24, 1963, which was the Sunday after the assassination of President Kennedy, where were you employed?
Mr. PRIDDY. O'Neal Funeral Home.
Mr. HUBERT. In what capacity?
Mr. PRIDDY. I was the rider. I was riding with Mike, but I just relieved----
Mr. HUBERT. You were riding with Mike whom?
Mr. PRIDDY. Mike Hardin, and I just relieved the dispatcher, and he had taken my place.
Mr. HUBERT. Who was the dispatcher?
Mr. PRIDDY. Wayne Wolfe.
Mr. HUBERT. So, that you were acting as dispatcher around, say 11 or 11:30?
Mr. PRIDDY. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. At the O'Neal Funeral Home?
Mr. PRIDDY. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. What are your duties as dispatcher?
Mr. PRIDDY. Well, we receive incoming calls from the police department and in turn dispatch them to the various funeral homes in their district, you know----
Mr. HUBERT. You mean the O'Neal Funeral Home dispatches them, they receive calls from the police office and dispatch these calls to the various funeral----
Mr. PRIDDY. You see, we have a direct line from the police department. All they do is pick up a phone and it rings and we have a direct line to the Dudley Hughes Funeral Home and to the Camp Funeral Home, so that if the call is in their area that way the ambulance will get there quicker, you know, than O'Neal's having to drive clear across town.
Mr. HUBERT. In other words, O'Neal's is sort of central for all ambulance calls----
Mr. PRIDDY. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Which come to you from the police and in turn are sent out by you to the appropriate funeral home operating an ambulance?
Mr. PRIDDY. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. And I assume that you send the ambulance which is closest to where it is needed?
Mr. PRIDDY. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. All right, now, do you recall having received a call from the police shortly after 11 o'clock on the 24th of November 1963?
Mr. PRIDDY. Yes, sir; I was dispatching at the time, and one of the other funeral homes called and told me. I was waiting for the call when they told me that they were going to have to have an ambulance down at the----
Mr. HUBERT. You what? You were waiting for the call?
Mr. PRIDDY. Yes, sir; you see. One of the funeral homes had, you know, it was on live TV, and they had seen it, and they picked up their direct line.
Mr. HUBERT. To you?
Mr. PRIDDY. And told me.
Mr. HUBERT. Told you what?
Mr. PRIDDY. That we were probably going to need an ambulance, that there was a disturbance down at city hall, so, I was waiting for the call when it came in.
Mr. HUBERT. I Show you a document marked for identification as Hardin Exhibit No. 5125, and ask if your handwriting appears on that document?
Mr. PRIDDY. Yes, sir. Right here at the top of it where the-----
Mr. HUBERT. Now, in order that the record may show that we are both speaking of the same document, I wonder if you would put your signature along with mine and Mr. Hardin's at the top of that?
Mr. PRIDDY. Yes.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, you say that the handwriting at the top is in your hand?
Mr. PRIDDY. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. I see the word "Lee" and then something scratched out. "Oswald. City Jail to Parkland." Why did you put that information there?
Mr. PRIDDY. Well, on any call we have to have the information, you see. I didn't get that information until they called in to clear. I didn't know--well, I did know, but normally I wouldn't know who the patient is, and where they were taking them to, because he might just taken him to Baylor.
Mr. HUBERT. Would you just put the number of the car that you----
Mr. PRIDDY. Yes, sir. That is the first thing when you stamp it--you stamp it--then you put the number of the car.
Mr. HUBERT. I notice the word "Mike," on the left-hand top, is that in your handwriting, too?
Mr. PRIDDY. I don't see it. Wait a minute. No, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Also notice a name on this document, Hardin Exhibit No. 5125, printed, telephone number, and then written No. 19.
Mr. PRIDDY. You mean this printed?
Mr. HUBERT. Yes; that No. 19 there.
Mr. PRIDDY. I can't tell.
Mr. HUBERT. All right. Now, then, there is on Hardin Exhibit No. 5125, next to the printed item "time called," a stamped time and the time stated there is 11:21, November 24. Can you enlighten us as to the meaning of that entry?
Mr. PRIDDY. Whenever I receive a call from the ambulance--from the police department I stick this card in the machine, and it automatically stamps the date and the time that the----
Mr. HUBERT. What kind of machine is that?
Mr. PRIDDY. Just a time machine like a timeclock, except it is made for these.
Mr. HUBERT. You Slip a card in there and it automatically stamps the time. You don't have to hit it?
Mr. PRIDDY. No; you just shove it in there.
Mr. HUBERT. How accurate is that timeclock?
Mr. PRIDDY. Well, it is as accurate as the police department clock. I mean, they are synchronized.
Mr. HUBERT. How are they synchronized and how often?
Mr. PRIDDY. Don't know the mechanism. I know a man comes out and they are serviced regularly.
Mr. HUBERT. By the police department?
Mr. PRIDDY. No, by the manufacturer; and I don't know who that is.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you know how often they are serviced for correction and accuracy?
Mr. PRIDDY. No, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. But, you all rely upon them?
Mr. PRIDDY. Yes, sir; we have never had any occasion to question the----
Mr. HUBERT. Tell us what happened about this particular call?
Mr. PRIDDY. Well, I got the call, and I stamped it, and then I was waiting.
Mr. HUBERT. Got the call from whom?
Mr. PRIDDY. From the police department.
Mr. HUBERT. What did you do when-you got it?
Mr. PRIDDY. Well, I checked my receipts, the other receipts to see who was clear, see, we have two ambulances there and it turned out that----
Mr. HUBERT. Go ahead.
Mr. PRIDDY. That the ambulance that I dispatched, I don't remember the name of it--the number, but the one that I dispatched was coming back from veterans hospital, and the I knew that they were in---thoroughly close to downtown, because I just had had a call from them. They' called when they got to the hospital and they were cleared, so, when the police department called I told them that the there was an ambulance on the air and they dispatched it by----
Mr. HUBERT. Did you tell them that they could reach that ambulance by putting the call?
Mr. PRIDDY. Yes, sir; they just, you know--what number was that?
Mr. HUBERT. Call? You mean the car number?
Mr. PRIDDY. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. 605.
Mr. PRIDDY. 605.
Mr. HUBERT. That appears on 5125, and I should ask you, really, what that means?
Mr. PRIDDY. Yes, sir; 605.
Mr. HUBERT. You told them to call car 605 because it was on the air, and that means he could be reached by calling him. Did you tell them that was the closest one you could find?
Mr. PRIDDY. Yes, Sir. Well----
Mr. HUBERT. That is the one you gave, in any case?
Mr. PRIDDY. No--yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. And that was the closest one you could find?
Mr. PRIDDY. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. You knew that the people had previously, that is to say, Mike Hardin in car 605, had previously cleared from the veterans hospital stating that he was coming back to O'Neal, and you figured he was en route, and that it would--be quicker to reach him that way, is that correct?
Mr. PRIDDY. Yes, sir; I had figured him about to the freeway.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, I notice there is something here also in the apparently timecard stamp code 6, 11:30, 11-24.
Mr. PRIDDY. That is when he arrived at the hospital.
Mr. HUBERT. How was that received?
Mr. PRIDDY. I monitor all of the police broadcasts while my ambulance is out.
Mr. HUBERT. So, you heard that?
Mr. PRIDDY. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. And you took the card and put it in the machine?
Mr. PRIDDY. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. I notice some empty spaces in between, could you tell us now how that came about?
Mr. PRIDDY. At the time I was monitoring this the telephone was ringing, and people were running in and out, you know, confusion, and I didn't hear when they left the police station.
Mr. HUBERT. So, therefore, you didn't stamp it?
Mr. PRIDDY. I didn't stamp it, that's right.
Mr. HUBERT. The next thing you did here was the second code 6?
Mr. PRIDDY. This was the arrival at the hospital.
Mr. HUBERT. Arrival at the hospital?
Mr. PRIDDY. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. And therefore, you put that stamp on it?
Mr. PRIDDY. Yes, sir; sometimes due to radio interference you are not able to make out who is calling. The police department may, or if they don't tell, ask again.
Mr. HUBERT. In any case that second time----
Mr. PRIDDY. But, anytime you hear your ambulance you punch the code that he is on; yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. You did hear the ambulance call in that he had arrived at----
Mr. PRIDDY. He called in the police department.
Mr. HUBERT. And you overheard that?
Mr. PRIDDY. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. On your monitor?
Mr. PRIDDY. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. And then took the card out and slipped it into the machine and it recorded 11:30?
Mr. PRIDDY. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you know whose handwriting is on the lower left-hand of that----
Mr. PRIDDY. No, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Document, Hardin Exhibit No. 5126, next to "Oxygen," sir?
Mr. PRIDDY. And I didn't write the 12:30 here where he was clear at 12:30. But that probably doesn't have any significance.
Mr. HUBERT. All right, sir. Mr. Priddy, have you been interviewed by any member of the Commission's staff other than myself?
Mr. PRIDDY. No, sir; no one.
Mr. HUBERT. Insofar as the interview with me is concerned, do you consider that everything discussed in the interview has been brought up in this deposition?
Mr. PRIDDY. That I can think of; yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you know of anything that was not brought up in this deposition that is material to the general inquiry we had?
Mr. PRIDDY. No, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Well, sir; I thank you very much.