Testimony on the Entry of Tom Howard into the Jack Ruby Case

Based on a newsgroup post by Dave Reitzes
Ralph Paul was a close friend and business associate of Jack Ruby's. Paul was deposed for the Warren Commission by Leon Hubert:
Mr. HUBERT. When did you hear about the Oswald matter?

Mr. PAUL. Sunday morning--I was--I had just finished making out the payroll.

Mr. HUBERT. At the Bull Pen?

Mr. PAUL. Yes; when John Jackson, my manager, called and the girl answered the phone and she says--he says, "Oswald is shot."

Mr. HUBERT. He said that to you?

Mr. PAUL. To the girl, and the girl relayed it to me. Just, "Oswald was shot," so I looked up and I says, "So what?" I mean--just the regular coincidence. "So what?" 5 minutes later a fellow that lived around the corner that knew me--he used to work at the Sky Club years ago, named Howard something, came in and says, "Jack Ruby shot Oswald."

Mr. HUBERT. That was in the Bull Pen at Arlington?

Mr. PAUL. Yes, sir.

Mr. HUBERT. What was that man's name?

Mr. PAUL. Howard something.

Mr. HUBERT. That's his first name?

Mr. PAUL. Howard is his first name--I can't think of the second name--he's just a customer there--he used to work a long time ago at the Sky Club--I think he was--he used to be their cabinet man there, so I says, "Go away." I says, "Wait, I'll call the house." So, I called the house and nobody answered.

Mr. HUBERT. You called Jack's house?

Mr. PAUL. Yes; I called Jack's house and nobody answered, so Jackson and his wife came in and said, "Yes, we just saw it on TV that Jack Ruby shot Oswald." So, I says, "All right"--that's when I called Tom Howard.

Mr. HUBERT. About what time was it you called Howard, do you know?

Mr. PAUL. I would say it was about in between 11:30 and 12 o'clock.

Mr. HUBERT. In other words, between 10 minutes or 15 minutes after the shooting, to 30 to 40 minutes after the shooting?

Mr. PAUL Well, you know--shooting--we didn't think he killed him.

Mr. HUBERT. Yes; I understand.

Mr. PAUL. So, I says, "Tom," well Tom has been my lawyer for the longest time.

Mr. HUBERT. He has been your lawyer?

Mr. PAUL. Yes; and Jack's too.

Mr. HUBERT. Jack's too?

Mr. PAUL. Yes; and I says, "Tom, see what you could do for Jack. I heard he shot Oswald." He says, "Okay," and that's it.

Mr. HUBERT. Did he indicate to you that he was not aware that Oswald had been shot?

Mr. PAUL. I don't know whether he did or not.

Mr. HUBERT. Did he indicate to you when you talked to him that he was not aware that Ruby had shot him?

Mr. PAUL. No; I just told him.

Mr. HUBERT. Did he seem to be surprised?

Mr. PAUL. No.

Mr. HUBERT. Did he say anything to indicate he knew about it?

Mr. PAUL. No; he didn't. He says, "Okay, I'll take care of it." Those are the words he said.

Mr. HUBERT. In other words, you asked him to see what he could do and without indicating whether he knew about it or not, as far as you could tell, he says, "I'll see what I can do." And that was the end of the conversation?

Mr. PAUL. Yes. (14H154-55)

Eva Grant, Jack Ruby's sister:
Mr. HUBERT. I wanted to get into the matter of the financing of the defense of your brother, Jack--I suppose we should start with the selection of the attorneys originally in this case. Now, we know that Mr. Tom Howard apparently took the first affirmative action on behalf of Jack Ruby in the afternoon of November 24.

Mrs. GRANT. On the 24th.

Mr. HUBERT. And I want to ask you if you know by whose authority he took this action?

Mrs. GRANT. Ralph Paul, who knows nothing about lawyers--only knew Howard and they called them thinking they could get back on bond. (14H473)

Nancy Monnell Powell (aka "Tammi True"):
Mrs. POWELL. I am the one that called him [Ralph Paul] and told him [that Ruby had shot Oswald].

Mr. GRIFFIN. Where were you when you called him?

Mrs. POWELL. I was at home. He was at work, and a friend of mine called me and told me that Jack had done this thing.

Mr. GRIFFIN. Who called you?

Mrs. POWELL. I don't know, one of my girl friends. Two or three of my girlfriends. Betty, this friend of mine, called first.

Mr. GRIFFIN. What is Betty's name?

Mrs. POWELL. Betty Stowbaugh.

Mr. GRIFFIN. Who else called you?

Mrs. POWELL. I think Barbara called.

Mr. GRIFFIN. Who is she?

Mrs. POWELL. Barbara Wagner. Why do you want to know all the people that called? It was on TV, and they called to let me know.

Mr. GRIFFIN. Who else called you?

Mrs. POWELL. I don't know. I know those two called.

Mr. GRIFFIN. Did Little Lynn call you?

Mrs. POWELL. Yes; but Betty called me as soon as it happened, before they knew who did it, and she told me to turn it on channel something real quick, and the TV was on already, but I had just gotten up, and I ran in there, and then they kept saying Jack Luey, and I thought well, that is not him. It was on TV. They said Jack Ruby did it. Then they said Jack Ruby, and I called Ralph and told him.

Mr. GRIFFIN. What did Ralph say?

Mrs. POWELL. He said, "No; he didn't." And I said, "Yes; he did." "No; he didn't do that," he said. "He is at home." And I said, "No; he is not. He did it." So he said he would call the apartment, "And call you right back." So, he called the apartment, and there was no answer, and he had a radio down there, and somebody came in or something on the radio and told him that it happened.

Mr. GRIFFIN. How do you know Ralph called Jack's apartment?

Mrs. POWELL. He told me. That is what he said he was going to do, call the apartment. He said he was home and was going to call to see if he was at home.

Mr. GRIFFIN. Then what did you do?

Mrs. POWELL. I was there at the house and he said he would call me back. I don't know whether I called him or he called me, but anyway, we spoke on the phone again, and he knew that it was Jack that had done it.

Mr. GRIFFIN. What did he tell you?

Mrs. POWELL He couldn't believe that he would do it. So he said he was going to come over right away to see about helping Jack, and wanted me to go with him.

Mr. GRIFFIN. Didn't he mention that he talked with Jack the night before?

Mrs. POWELL. Yes.

Mr. GRIFFIN. What did he tell you about that?

Mrs. POWELL. He just said he spoke to Jack, and that Jack was very upset, and I think he wanted to go someplace.

Mr. GRIFFIN. Where did he want to go?

Mrs. POWELL. I don't know. I think he wanted Ralph to go someplace with him or something special and Ralph didn't feel like going or doing anything that night. He just didn't feel like doing anything, and I think he talked to Jack two or three times that night and he kept calling him at home, and he woke him up a couple of times. I know Ralph felt bad about it because he felt if he had come over and gone out with Jack, maybe he wouldn't have gotten into a state of depression.

Mr. GRIFFIN. Well, didn't Ralph mention to you that Jack told him he had a gun and Jack was thinking about shooting Oswald Saturday night?

Mrs. POWELL. No; he didn't tell me that.

Mr. GRIFFIN. Don't you remember him saying that over at the Bull Pen Drive-in when you went over there?

Mrs. POWELL. No.

Mr. GRIFFIN. What do you remember him saying over there?

Mrs. POWELL. I don't remember him saying anything except that Ralph didn't have any idea that Jack was even contemplating such a thing. He didn't. I mean, I know.

Mr. GRIFFIN. How do you know that?

Mrs. POWELL. Because I know Ralph, and I know Jack, and I know that Ralph didn't have any idea, because he and Jack were very good friends, and if Ralph had had any idea at all whatsoever that Jack was planning to do something like that, he would have stopped him, or tried to stop him.

Mr. GRIFFIN. Well, don't you think if Jack did have that sort of idea, that he would have told Ralph about it?

Mrs. POWELL. Well, no; not especially, because Jack is the type of person that is not too sure what he is going to do himself, because he is not too sure that he would tell somebody that he is going to do something at such and such a time, because he is not sure himself.

Mr. GRIFFIN. What did you all talk about when you got over to the Bull Pen that morning?

Mrs. POWELL. I just went to the Bull Pen and immediately got in the car and came over here, and we went down to the city hall, and we went in.

In the meantime, George Senator came down, and they arrested him, so the lawyers came over, and Ralph called Tommy Howard, or I think Tom Howard, and we were down in the police station to see Jack and see about him and the lawyers came in a couple of hours, and they got us out of there right away, because they said they were afraid they might lock us up too, because they had already grabbed George and put him in jail. So, they took us across the street to the office, and we were sitting there hoping that what's-his-name wouldn't die.

Mr. GRIFFIN. Did you talk to George at all that day?

Mrs. POWELL. No; we didn't see George. He was in jail. He didn't get out until that evening or that night. We were over there, and Tom Howard, I think, and another lawyer--I know Tom Howard went over and spoke to Jack. They called to see if they could, and he went and spoke to Jack, and then they came back. (15H424-26)

FBI agent C. Ray Hall was interviewing Jack Ruby at the time Tom Howard first appeared on the scene.
Mr. HUBERT. There was, then, sort of an interruption of your interviewing?

Mr. HALL. Yes; there were interruptions.

Mr. HUBERT. How long did this interruption take, so that we might, for instance, fix the time when the second part of this began, if you are able to help us on that?

Mr. HALL. There was more than one interruption, yes, sir; and I first entered the cell where Ruby was confined at 12:40 p.m. on November 24, 1963. Ruby conferred with Attorney Tom Howard from 1:58 p.m. to 2:02 p.m. He was then examined by Dr. Fred A. Bieberdorf (spelling) B-i-e-b-e-r-d-o-r-f, at 2:06 p.m. and I interviewed Ruby again from 2:24 p.m. until 3:15 p.m. I then returned to interviewing Jack Ruby from 4:30 until 5:30 p.m. (15H64)

Mr. HALL. Yes, sir. At 12:45 p.m. on November 24 I advised Jack Ruby at the beginning of the interview that he was not required to make any statement, that he had a right to talk with an attorney before making any statement and that any statements he made could be used against him in a court of law.

Mr. HUBERT. And he indicated he understood what that meant?

Mr. HALL. Yes, sir.

Mr. HUBERT. Did he ask for any attorney?

Mr. HALL. No, sir.

Mr. HUBERT. How did Mr. Howard get into the matter; do you know?

Mr. HALL. I was interviewing Jack Ruby when one of the jailers, a uniformed officer that I did not know, came in and said that an attorney was downstairs and wanted to talk with Jack Ruby. I told him that Jack was available immediately to go talk with his attorney. Jack was wearing only a pair of shorts. The officers produced his clothing, gave him a shirt, trousers, his shoes, and then after dressing, he went downstairs and then talked to Mr. Howard.

Mr. HUBERT. You went with him too?

Mr. HALL. Yes, sir; I went with him too. Ruby did not know who the attorney was.

Mr. HUBERT. Did he recognize him when he saw him? I mean, did he say anything or do anything to indicate he did?

Mr. HALL. I don't know--Ruby walked over to a door where there was a screen where people can confer with prisoners and I was at the back of the room and I did not hear any of the conversation. They had a private talk--Ruby and Mr. Howard had a private talk.

Mr. HUBERT. Through the usual accommodations for attorneys-clients?

Mr. HALL Yes, sir.

Mr. HUBERT. They are separated by a screen?

Mr. HALL. Yes, sir; and I stayed with the other officers and we were back. I knew Mr. Howard personally, I knew who he was, but whether Jack Ruby did or not, I do not know.

Mr. HUBERT. And that was, as I understand it, between 1:58 and 2:02?

Mr. HALL. Yes.

Mr. HUBERT. Or just about 6 minutes?

Mr. HALL. Four minutes. (15H65)