The testimony of Jesse M. Strong was taken at 12:35 p.m., on March 31, 1964, in the office of the U.S. attorney, 301 Post Office Building, Bryan and Ervay Streets, Dallas, Tex., by Mr. Leon D. Hubert, Jr., assistant counsel of the President's Commission.

Mr. HUBERT. This is the deposition of J. M. Strong [spelling] S-t-r-o-n-g.
Mr. Strong, my name is Leon Hubert. I'm a member of the advisory staff of the General Counsel of the President's Commission. Under the provisions of Executive Order 11130, dated November 29, 1963, the Joint Resolution of Congress No. 137, and rules of procedure adopted by the Commission in conformance with that Executive order, I have been authorized to take a sworn deposition from you. I state to you that the general nature of the Commission's inquiry is to ascertain, evaluate, and report upon the facts relating to the assassination of President Kennedy and the subsequent violent death of Lee Harvey Oswald.


In particular to you, Mr. Strong, the nature of our inquiry is to determine the facts you know about the death of Oswald and any other pertinent facts you may know about the general inquiry, particularly in the field of the Western Union telegram that is involved in this matter. Now, Mr. Strong, I understand that you have appeared here today by virtue of a request made by a letter addressed to you by J. Lee Rankin, General Counsel of the President's Commission.
Mr. STRONG. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. I think that letter was received by you more than 3 days ago, is that correct?
Mr. STRONG. Yes.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, would you stand so that you may take the oath.
Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Mr. STRONG. I do.
Mr. HUBERT. Would you state your name?
Mr. STRONG. Yes. Jesse M. Strong.
Mr. HUBERT. Your age?
Mr. STRONG. 62.
Mr. HUBERT. Your residence?
Mr. STRONG. 612 Edgewood Terrace, Fort Worth, Tex.
Mr. HUBERT. What is your occupation, sir?
Mr. STRONG. Relief night manager at Western Union.
Mr. HUBERT. How long have you been connected with Western Union Co. altogether?
Mr. STRONG. Since January 1923.
Mr. HUBERT. Near 40 years?
Mr. STRONG. Yes.
Mr. HUBERT. Over 40.
Mr. STRONG. Yes, sir; 41, to be exact.
Mr. HUBERT. Were you on duty with the Western Union Co. in Fort Worth on November 24, 1963?
Mr. STRONG. Yes; I was.
Mr. HUBERT. What office were you then located at?
Mr. STRONG. The Fort Worth office located at Main and Third, Fort Worth.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, I invite your attention to a document which, for purposes of identification, I am marking "Dallas, Tex., March 31, 1964. Exhibit 5121, Deposition of J. E. Strong----"
Mr. HUBERT. J. M. Strong [spelling] S-t-r-o-n-g.
Mr. STRONG. Yes.
Mr. HUBERT. I am placing my name on that document also, and so that the record may show that both of us are talking about the same document, I will ask you to put your name below it. I am also marking another document, "Dallas, Tex., March 31, 1964. Exhibit 5120, Deposition of J. M. Strong" placing my name on that document and I ask you to place your name on it so that the record may show that we are both speaking of the same document. Now, I hand you the document that has been identified for the record as Exhibit 5121, and ask you to state what that document is?
Mr. STRONG. It is a copy of the money order as received in Fort Worth at 12:56 p.m.
Mr. HUBERT. On what date?
Mr. STRONG. On November 24, 1963--1964.
Mr. HUBERT. 1964?
Mr. STRONG. I'm sorry. Yes, certainly, payable to Karen Bennett sent by Jack Ruby.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you have anything to do with that transaction?
Mr. STRONG. I actually paid the $25 to Karen Bennett when she came into the office, approximately at 3:20 p.m., on the afternoon of November 24.
Mr. HUBERT. In what way do you identify this document? Is there anything on it?


Mr. STRONG. Yes, I asked her for identification and she presented her California driver's license No. 768114, and description, black hair, blue eyes, height 5 feet 2. Weight 105.
Mr. HUBERT. I notice that those figures that you have just read off appear on the face of that document, is that correct?
Mr. STRONG. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. In whose handwriting are those figures written?
Mr. STRONG. Mine. I wrote it.
Mr. HUBERT. What is the significance of a time stamp, apparently, reading as follows: "1963, November 24th, p.m. 12:54."
Mr. STRONG. After Karen Bennett had signed the receipt for the money and I handed her the $25, I put this under the time stamp and stamped the time the transaction was completed.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, I think there you have reference to the other stamped time as--reading as follows:
"1963, November 24th, p.m. 3:25"?
Mr. STRONG. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. But, I----
Mr. STRONG. I'm sorry.
Mr. HUBERT. I asked you about the 12:54.
Mr. STRONG. I'm sorry, that is the time it was received in our traffic department located on the third floor of the building at Third and Main.
Mr. HUBERT. How is that time stamped?
Mr. STRONG. By a time stamp the same as we have in all the offices.
Mr. HUBERT. Is that one of those timeclocks that the Western Union----
Mr. STRONG. Yes, sir; it is.
Mr. HUBERT. To your knowledge, is that synchronized to national time?
Mr. STRONG. I am not too certain of that, because they can be set rather easily with a key, and they have--it is, I believe, an independent unit. Now, it might be synchronized as a group, but I don't believe with a master clock.
Mr. HUBERT. Well, are you sure of that?
Mr. STRONG. No, sir; I am not--I am not too positive of it, yet, it could be very well be tied into the master circuit and synchronized the same as the clocks are.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you know of any clocks that are used in the Fort Worth office that are not synchronized into the national circuit?
Mr. STRONG. You are speaking of time stamps? No, no; they are all on the same circuit.
Mr. HUBERT. Would it be your opinion that all the time stamps on this Exhibit 5121 were stamped by machines that are synchronized to the national circuit?
Mr. STRONG. Yes, sir; I believe that is true.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, I think you have already testified that the other time stamp on here, to wit: "3:25 p.m., November 24th," indicates the time that the money was actually delivered, is that correct?
Mr. STRONG. Yes, as soon as I had paid her the money I turned that immediately and stamped that on the clock.
Mr. HUBERT. So that the time of delivery of the money and time of stamping are almost identical?
Mr. STRONG. Yes, but a few seconds intervening.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you have an independent recollection of this transaction, Mr. Strong?
Mr. STRONG. Nothing that was outstanding, sir, because as a party comes in inquiring for money and they have the money order, there is a routine form, almost has become routine, that we use to satisfy ourselves that the right party is receiving the money.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you know whether the person made inquiry about this money at any time prior to the time that the money was actually----
Mr. STRONG. That is apparently true although I did not talk with her myself, but in the lower right-hand corner you will find the letters, "WC", which indicates will-call. That was placed there by one of our telephone operators who had answered her inquiry and gone to the file and searched this out and told


her that it was there and that she had informed her that she would call at the office for the money.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you get this information from that telephone operator?
Mr. STRONG. No; but it was on--it was given directly to me and I just recorded it on the form.
Mr. HUBERT. So that when this document came into your possession you knew from the numerals, or letters, "WC", that there would be a call?
Mr. STRONG. Yes.
Mr. HUBERT. What is this?
Mr. STRONG. That is the initial JMS, and California driver's license California--Calif--driver's license, BR, abbreviations.
Mr. HUBERT. Was that the identification on the driver's license?
Mr. STRONG. Yes.
Mr. HUBERT. I show you on Exhibit 5121, stamped on an angle right below the word "Union," in large letters what appears to be another stamp of time which is not quite clear to me. It seems to say, 1963, November 24th, and then something in parentheses, and 60 something. Can you tell us what that means?
Mr. STRONG. Yes; the 26 in parentheses is the digit time that the operator completed the transmission of the message in Dallas one day--the filing time on the application will show 12:26, that the time the operator completed sending it. This 1:04 p.m. is the time that the money order actually reached the main floor after the operator on the third floor released it. We stamp it again when it comes down again from the operating room--the money order department, and that was what the 1:04 p.m. means, actually received the money.
Mr. HUBERT. What is the parentheses?
Mr. STRONG. I say, the digit number when the operator in Dallas completed sending it. In other words, here the message was filed at 11:17 a.m., sent back to the traffic department and the operator put her stamp on it, and when it is completed then she puts the 2:06 in digits indicating that the transaction was completed now, which would have been 11:26 I assume.
Mr. HUBERT. That is to say that is when the telegram got back to Dallas?
Mr. STRONG. That is when it left Dallas.
Mr. HUBERT. Well, it would not have left Dallas on November 26.
Mr. STRONG. No; this is the digited time.
In other words, either 11:26 a.m., or 12:26 p.m. indicating that the operator had completed the transaction at that time.
Mr. HUBERT. All right. Now, I show you another document which has been identified as Exhibit 5120, and asked you what this document represents?
Mr. STRONG. On certain money orders when the party is coming into the office to receive payment we make up what we call a receipt form. That, you will notice, is a money order receipt form with my initials, J. M. S., and D. L. L., and No. 4, the wire number out of Dallas.
Mr. HUBERT. Does this conform with the number on Exhibit No. 5121?
Mr. STRONG. Yes, the same number.
Mr. HUBERT. I see.
Mr. STRONG. And then, of course, the dates and the sender's name, the office from which the money order came. The date, the amount and the payee's name.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, who typed that out?
Mr. STRONG. I did.
Mr. HUBERT. On Exhibit 5120?
Mr. STRONG. Yes, I typed all of this.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, I see a signature there which purports to be that of Karen Bennett. Who signed----
Mr. STRONG. Karen Bennett supposedly is the one who came in and presented the California driver's license.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, you are referring to the figures on Exhibit No. 5120, is that right?
Mr. STRONG. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Did she sign that in your presence?
Mr. STRONG. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUSERT. And I think you have already testified that from the time stamp


on Document 5121, she would have signed that at approximately 3:25 p.m., on November 24, 1963, is that correct?
Mr. STRONG. That's correct, yes.
Mr. HUBERT. There is nothing on Exhibit 5120, that indicates the time of sending, is that right?
Mr. STRONG. No, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Are you able to state, however, that the time stamped on 5121, indicates that the transaction was completed at 3:25 p.m., on November 24, 1963?
Mr. STRONG. Yes, immediately after Karen Bennett signed this receipt I stamped.
Mr. HUBERT. "This receipt," to wit: Exhibit 5121?
Mr. STRONG. Then I stamped the Exhibit 5121, to show the time that payment had been made.
Mr. HUBERT. And that's all you know about the matter?
Mr. STRONG. Yes, sir; that's right.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you remember if Karen Bennett was alone or was there someone with her?
Mr. STRONG. She was alone. There was no one with her that came into the office.
Mr. HUBERT. Had she been waiting around?
Mr. STRONG. No, sir; no. She walked in and I immediately waited upon her. Asked her if I might help her, and she told me she was expecting a money order, and, of course, I went through the money order file and paid her upon her identification.
Mr. HUBERT. Had you prepared the money order receipt, which is identified as Exhibit 5120, prior to the time she came in?
Mr. STRONG. Yes, we do that as quickly as they come in, as we find the time to do so.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, we have been speaking about Exhibit 5120, in a sense that might indicate we were dealing with the original document. I asked you if it is not true that the actual piece of paper that we have identified as 5120, is a photostatic copy of it?
Mr. STRONG. Yes, it is. The original would be green in color.
Mr. HUBERT. I see. There are some initials on 5120 following the words, "Issuing employee." Whose initials are those?
Mr. STRONG. Those are my initials indicating that I paid the money order.
Mr. HUBERT. Mr. Strong, have you had any interviews with any members of the President's Commission other than myself in regard to this matter?
Mr. STRONG. No, I have not.
Mr. HUBERT. Now, there was an interview between you and me prior to the commencement of this deposition earlier this morning?
Mr. STRONG. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. In this deposition, have we covered everything that was covered in the course of our interview?
Mr. STRONG. I think so. I don't believe there is anything I can add there.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you know of any inconsistencies in our interview that have not been developed in the course of this deposition?
Mr. STRONG. No, sir; I do not.
Mr. HUBERT. This Karen Bennett came in in a normal manner and left in a normal manner and exhibited no emotion whatsoever?
Mr. STRONG. Yes.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you know of the shooting of Oswald when she came in?
Mr. STRONG. No, sir; I did not. I have been on duty since 7 o'clock that morning with no means of communication whatsoever. In fact, I did not know it until after payment of this money order had been made. One of the messengers mentioned the fact that Oswald had been killed, and that a party by the name of Rubenstein had shot him, which couldn't register with me at all, because I did not connect the names.
Mr. HUBERT. Did Karen Bennett indicate in any way that she knew that Ruby had shot Oswald?
Mr. STRONG. No, sir; there was no conversation between us at all other than the conversation in respect to the money order.


Mr. HUBERT. And the identification?
Mr. STRONG. Pardon me?
Mr. HUBERT. And the identification?
Mr. STRONG. And the identification. After the transaction she left the office and there was no occasion of that--there was no further conversation.
Mr. HUBERT. Thank you very much, sir.

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