TESTIMONY OF SPEEDY JOHNSON

The testimony of Speedy Johnson was taken at 9 p.m., on July 13, 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. Sam Kelley, assistant attorney general of Texas, was present.
Mr. HUBERT. This is the deposition of Mr. Speedy Johnson. Mr. Johnson, my name is Leon Hubert. I am 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, and the joint resolution of Congress No. 137, and the rules of procedure adopted by the President's Commission in conformance with that Executive order and the joint resolution, I have been authorized to take a sworn deposition from you.
I state to you now that the general nature of the Commission's inquiry is to ascertain, evaluate, and report upon the facts relevant to the assassination of President Kennedy and the subsequent violent death of Lee Harvey Oswald.
In particular as to you, Mr. Johnson, the nature of the inquiry today is to determine what facts you know about the death of Oswald and any other pertinent facts you may know about the general inquiry.
I think you have appeared here today by virtue of a letter request addressed to you by Mr. J. Lee Rankin, general counsel of the staff of the President's Commission, is that correct?
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes.
Mr. HUBERT. What is the date upon that letter, sir?
Mr. JOHNSON. The date on the letter, or the postmark on the envelope?
Mr. HUBERT. Well, the date on the letter.
Mr. JOHNSON. June 22, 1964.
Mr. HUBERT. It asks you to appear on a date subsequent to that?
Mr. JOHNSON. Subsequent to that, which would be June 26, 1964, at 9:15 p.m.
Mr. HUBERT. It turned out that you were out of the city, or that didn't reach you in time for that deposition?
Mr. JOHNSON. No. As a matter of fact, you are right. It was forwarded to me three times.
Mr. HUBERT. Well, you are appearing here tonight by virtue of that letter?

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Mr. JOHNSON. I called when I came back to my headquarters in Houston---Standby One---when I got back.
Mr. HUBERT. All I want to do is this. Under the rules of the Commission, every witness is entitled to a 3-day written notice before their deposition can be taken. That written notice was given to you a long time ago, but it specified a date different from today, you see.
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes.
Mr. HUBERT. So I want to ask you--the rules of the Commission also provide that a person may waive the written notice.
Mr. JOHNSON. I didn't waive it.
Mr. HUBERT. So assuming there is no written notice for you to appear today, assuming that the written notice of June 22 didn't apply to today, I ask you if you are willing to waive the written notice and have your deposition taken now?
Mr. JOHNSON. I do now.
Mr. HUBERT. Are you willing to waive it?
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes, of course.
Mr. HUBERT. All right, will you let me administer the oath? Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you are about to give in this matter will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Mr. JOHNSON. I do.
Mr. HUBERT. Now your name is ?
Mr. JOHNSON. Speedy Johnson.
Mr. HUBERT. Speedy Johnson, I understand from what you have told me, sir, that that originally was a nickname ?
Mr. JOHNSON. And since have legalized.
Mr. HUBERT. You since have legalized it in the State of Texas and the city of Dallas so that your actual name is Speedy Johnson ?
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes.
Mr. HUBERT. Where do you live, sir?
Mr. JOHNSON. Now?
Mr. HUBERT. Yes, Sir.
Mr. JOHNSON. 708 Kipling, Houston, Tex, 77006.
Mr. HUBERT. You say to us that you are going to move, so that in case we want to reach you, you will be at another address?
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes.
Mr. HUBERT. Can you give us that address?
Mr. JOHNSON. 4300 Graustark, Houston, Tex, on Friday of this week, which will be the 16th, as I recall.
Mr. HUBERT. The 17th.
Mr. JOHNSON. 17th, yes, sir. The only reason for that is a matter of nicer living quarters and all that jazz.
Mr. HUBERT. Were you in the city of Dallas on November 23, 1963?
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. What was your occupation at that time, sir?
Mr. JOHNSON. Broker.
Mr. HUBERT. What sort of broker?
Mr. JOHNSON. And manufacturers agent.
Mr. HUBERT. Broker for what product?
Mr. JOHNSON. For what product? I have 14 years been a broker for any kind of product so long as it was honest. Aircraft, more specifically.
Mr. HUBERT. I think you mentioned----
Mr. JOHNSON. Manufacturers agent, a sideline.
Mr. HUBERT. What were some of the sidelines?
Mr. JOHNSON. Leather goods; artificial flowers; cutlery ; and dishes.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you know, Jack Ruby. prior to November 23, 1963?
Mr. JOHNSON. I met him one time prior to the 23d of November.
Mr. HUBERT. When was that, approximately? Was it a matter of mourns, or years?
Mr. JOHNSON. No, sir, months. June or July.
Mr. HUBERT. Of 1963?
Mr. JOHNSON. Of 1963, yes.

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Mr. HUBERT. Where did you meet him ?
Mr. JOHNSON. At his place of business.
Mr. HUBERT. At the Carousel?
Mr. JOHNSON. At the Carousel.
Mr. HUBERT. Were you a guest there? That is to say, you were a paying customer or guest?
Mr. JOHNSON. Paying customer initially. Turned out he would not let me pay the bill. He paid the bill. In other words, it was $9 or $10, as I recall.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you remember the reason why he stated he would pay your bill?
Mr. JOHNSON. No reason. He didn't give me any reason.
Mr. HUBERT. He just said you couldn't pay and didn't want to take your money?
Mr. JOHNSON. Right.
Mr. HUBERT. Were you there alone or with someone else ?
Mr. JOHNSON. No; I was by myself.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you talk to him while you were at the club ?
Mr. JOHNSON. Very briefly.
Mr. HUBERT. How long did you stay there ?
Mr. JOHNSON. Say again ?
Mr. HUBERT. How long did you stay there?
Mr. JOHNSON. How long did I stay there?
Mr. HUBERT. At the club that night ?
Mr. JOHNSON. Less than an hour.
Mr. HUBERT. Did it seem odd to you that he wouldn't let you pay in view of the fact that you hadn't known him before and that you had not talked to him very much ?
Mr. JOHNSON. No, simply because he met me at the door. He shook hands with me at the door and invited me to have a drink. As a matter of fact, took me to the table and he ordered a drink, but the lady brought it over. A lady, I don't know who it was.
Mr. HUBERT. A waitress?
Mr. JOHNSON. The waitress brought the drink to the table. Then he came and sat at the table for perhaps 10 minutes, and that was it.
Mr. HUBERT. Then when it came time to pay, the waitress wouldn't accept your money, or what was the situation?
Mr. JOHNSON. No. When it came time to pay, when I got to the cash register, the lady at the cash register said, "No, it is already paid."
Mr. HUBERT. You said something about $9 or $10?
Mr. JOHNSON. Less than $10. I don't remember; that is a long time ago.
Mr. HUBERT. Were you there about an hour, and how many drinks did you have?
Mr. JOHNSON. Two. But he had a cover charge and a floor show sort of charge thing. I don't remember frankly what the costs were.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you actually take out some money to pay him?
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes, I took out a $10 bill.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you remember seeing the check?
Mr. JOHNSON. Do I remember seeing the check?
Mr. HUBERT. Was the check brought over to you at the table?
Mr. JOHNSON. Sure. I carried the check from the table to the cash register, yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. You saw the check?
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes.
Mr. HUBERT. In what amount was the check for?
Mr. JOHNSON. I don't remember. It was a little more than $9, but less than $10.
Mr. HUBERT. You had a couple of drinks and then there was the door charge, I think?
Mr. JOHNSON. Cover charge.
Mr. HUBERT. Cover charge?
Mr. JOHNSON. Right.
Mr. HUBERT. Was anything collected from you as you came in?

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Mr. JOHNSON. No.
Mr. HUBERT. Go ahead. Do you remember the itemization of it?
Mr. JOHNSON. No, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. That is the one time you saw him prior to November 23, is that correct?
Mr. JOHNSON. November 23 being what?
Mr. HUBERT. The Saturday after the President was shot.
Mr. JOHNSON. Prior to November 23, negative.
Mr. HUBERT. You had seen him the one time you have described?
Mr. JOHNSON. That was the only time I ever seen him. I knew who he was, and that is the extent of it.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you have occasion to see him on November 23, and where?
Mr. JOHNSON. Did I have occasion to see him; no, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. You did not see Ruby?
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes; I did see him, but you asked me if I had occasion to see him; no.
Mr. HUBERT. Well, you did see him? I didn't mean anything by that.
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes.
Mr. HUBERT. You did see him?
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes.
Mr. HUBERT. Will you tell us the circumstances under which you saw him, and where?
Mr. JOHNSON. The specific address?
Mr. HUBERT. If you don't know the address, we understand that. Just tell us where the place was.
Mr. JOHNSON. OK; on Saturday afternoon about 1:10 or 1:15 or 1:20, the time I cannot be precise about, at Sol's Turf Bar, and Jesus Christ, I think it is in the 1200 block or the 1300 block or something on Commerce, but it is across the street from the Dallas Power & Light Co. That would substantiate it. That would isolate it; I mean.
Mr. HUBERT. You saw him in there?
Mr. JOHNSON. I was having----
Mr. HUBERT. Did you see Jack Ruby on that occasion?
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Were you with anyone?
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Who?
Mr. JOHNSON. I was with Charles Busby and I was with Ivan.
Mr. HUBERT. Ivan Monday?
Mr. JOHNSON. Monday, yes; and a couple of other fellows. I can't remember at this point who they were.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you remember a man by the name of Tom Apple ?
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Was he there?
Mr. JOHNSON. He came in.
Mr. HUBERT. So you went into that place at approximately 1:10 or 1:15; about then?
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. You went in with Monday?
Mr. JOHNSON. I didn't go in with him, but he had just gotten there when I got there; yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you know Frank Bellochio?
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes.
Mr. HUBERT. Was he there, or did he come in?
Mr. JOHNSON. He came in.
Mr. HUBERT. So that the three of you were together?
Mr. JOHNSON. Three or four.
Mr. HUBERT. Where were you in the bar?
Mr. JOHNSON. Where were we in the bar?
Mr. HUBERT. Yes.
Mr. JOHNSON. Well, we were sitting up at the front end of the bar, which makes a sharp L turn, and I was sitting in the L.

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Mr. HUBERT. In the angle?
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Tell us what happened as to seeing Jack Ruby on that occasion.
Mr. JOHNSON. Standby One [holding up hand].
Mr. HUBERT. Sir; we can't do that. It must go on the record anyhow. If there is anything that is bothering you----
Mr. JOHNSON. This has nothing to do with it, or maybe it does. OK; fine. On a day which I cannot remember, there was published in the Dallas Morning News a full-page ad signed by some man's name. Whose name, I cannot remember. An open letter to the President.
Mr. HUBERT. All right.
Mr. JOHNSON. In which that full-page ad said 11 things, answers for us, or words to that effect.
Mr. HUBERT. Was the name Bernard Weissman, as you remember?
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes, sir; that is it.
Mr. HUBERT. That was the ad you were talking about?
Mr. JOHNSON. That is the ad I was talking about.
Mr. HUBERT. Now go ahead.
Mr. JOHNSON. All right as we sat there having a sandwich and a beer, a dentist from upstairs came walking through and stopped behind us. There were four or five of us, Charlie Busby--well, I have mentioned the names. And he heard us talking.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you know the name of the dentist?
Mr. JOHNSON. At the moment; no, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. You do know he was a dentist, though?
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes, sir; I will tell you why in a minute. As we sat talking about the ad that had appeared in the paper, the subsequent assassination of the President the day before, and that sort of thing, the dentist came--he may have been a technician--I think he is a dentist--I am positive he is a dentist, but anyway, he came walking through and stopped and stood behind us and overheard the conversation, and he said, "Hey, I know what you fellows are talking about." And reached up in his smock pocket and pulled out a piece of paper and handed it to me.
I was sitting in the middle of the conversation, so he handed it to me. I unfolded it and discovered it that it was the full-page ad that we were discussing, so I spread it out pretty neatly on the top of the bar as we sat there eating a sandwich and drinking a beer. While we were sitting discussing the ad and its merits and what would happen to it, and who the fellow was that had run the ad, I then heard somebody over my right shoulder say, "Jesus Christ, I have just been down to the Dallas Morning News office and there is no such bastard involved. There is no address in Dallas, and ain't no such person"
Mr. HUBERT. Who made that statement?
Mr. JOHNSON. At that moment, I did not know. And looked around over my shoulder and saw a man standing there.
Mr. HUBERT. Who was that man?
Mr. JOHNSON. That man was the man whom I recognized later by photographs and personal appearance as Jack Ruby.
Mr. HUBERT. You did not recognize him on that occasion as Jack Ruby?
Mr. JOHNSON, Oh, yes.
Mr. HUBERT. You recognized him then from the previous time you had seen him?
M.r. JOHNSON. Yes
Mr. HUBERT. So that your recognition of him was not based on subsequent pictures you saw of him?
Mr. JOHNSON. No; I saw him then. I wasn't real positive. I was not real positive that it was he. The reason for it being that when I had seen him before, he did not wear spectacles. When I saw him then, he did have on hornrim glasses.
Mr. HUBERT. Did anybody else in your group seem to know him?
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Who?

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Mr. JOHNSON. Ivan spoke to him, and Charlie Busby.
Mr. HUBERT. Did they speak in such a way as to indicate that they knew him, or simply they were replying to his remarks?
Mr. JOHNSON. They were replying to his remarks.
Mr. HUBERT. Did you gather anything from them at that time or later that they knew him prior to that?
Mr. JOHNSON. Negative.
Mr. HUBERT. Now did he show you a Polaroid photograph on that occasion?
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. What were they of; do you remember?
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Tell us, please.
Mr. JOHNSON. He indicated that he had just returned from the Dallas Morning News office and had discovered that there was no such person registered or had paid for the ad that we were discussing, and he had just returned from the Northwest Highway on Loop 12, is what I am trying to say, where he had taken some Polaroid pictures of a sign that was out there. As a matter of fact, he had taken two or three pictures. I can't remember whether it was two or three.
Mr. HUBERT. He indicated that he just returned from doing that?
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes, sir; that morning.
Mr. HUBERT. On that morning?
Mr. JOHNSON. That morning; yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. This was in the early afternoon; this meeting with him?
Mr. JOHNSON. This was at that time about 2 o'clock, I would suggest.
Mr. HUBERT. He said that he had taken those pictures earlier that morning?
Mr. JOHNSON. That is what he said; yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Those pictures, I think, were pictures of a billboard calling for the impeachment of Earl Warren, the Chief Justice?
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes; that is correct.
Mr. HUBERT. What was his general mood or appearance? Was it that of excitement, or was he calm, or nervous, or overwrought, or what ?
Mr. JOHNSON. That is like asking a hen in a henhouse would he want to lay or not. He was excited to the point of cursing a little.
Mr. HUBERT. What manifestation of excitement did he give?
Mr. JOHNSON. To the point of being a b-o-r-e, bore. And we turned our conversation between the group of us to disregard him.
Mr. HUBERT. Did he seem to make any connection between the shooting of the President to the Bernard Weissman ad and the impeach Earl Warren sign of which he had photographs?
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. What connection did he make?
Mr. JOHNSON. Well, he said, "We ought to shoot all them son-of-a-bitches."
Mr. HUBERT. Shoot who? Whom was he referring to when he said that, as much as you could gather?
Mr. JOHNSON. Well, with a photograph in his hand, the one that he had taken with a Polaroid, as he showed them to us.
Mr. HUBERT. In other words, he was referring to the people who were responsible for those ads and for posting that sign and for killing the President?
Mr. JOHNSON. Say that again?
Mr. HUBERT. It was his remark that all of those people should be killed? Did that relate to the people that published the Bernard Weissman ad only, as much as you could tell?
Mr. JOHNSON. As much as I could tell; no, sir. "We ought to kill the s.o.b.'s, Warren, and the people that Warren stands for," was his tenor.
Mr. HUBERT. In other words, you gathered from Ruby that he was in favor of the poster which called for the impeachment of Earl Warren ?
Mr. JOHNSON. No, sir; directly opposite.
Yes. Mr. HUBERT. He was in favor of?
Mr. JOHNSON. Of shooting Warren; or impeaching Warren, or something.
Mr. HUBERT. That is what I was trying to get out.

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Mr. JOHNSON. Yes, sir; I misunderstood you.
Mr. HUBERT. What you could gather, Ruby was in favor of what the sign advocated?
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes; that, and the ad in the paper and what had happened the day before.
Mr. HUBERT. Did he agree with the ad in the paper?
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Well now, what had he told you about going to the press to talk to them?
Mr. JOHNSON. Say again?
Mr. HUBERT. What had he told you about going to the paper and talking to them about the ad?
Mr. JOHNSON. While he was standing there talking to us over my right shoulder, he told me that, or told us, all of us, that he had been down there and had talked to them, to the editorial staff and everything else.
Mr. HUBERT. What about?
Mr. JOHNSON. About getting rid of the gang in Washington.
Mr. HUBERT. Did he say to you that he had gone down there to remonstrate with the editor for taking such an ad?
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes, sir; he talked about it, and we didn't listen.
Mr. HUBERT. Why would he be fussing, as it were, with the newspaper for taking the ad, if he agreed with it?
Mr. JOHNSON. I don't have any idea. I don't know.
Mr. HUBERT. But your impression was that he had, that he said that he had gone down to find out why the newspaper had taken such an ad?
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes.
Mr. HUBERT. But also your impression was, he agreed with it?
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Was it your impression also that he agreed with the people who wanted to impeach Earl Warren?
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Did he seem to be incensed at the criticism of President Kennedy, or to the contrary?
Mr. JOHNSON. Say again?
Mr. HUBERT. Did he appear to be angry of this criticism of President Kennedy, or to the contrary?
Mr. JOHNSON. I very frankly didn't hear him say too much about Kennedy one way or the other, other than he indicated that he felt that it was a malpractice of, what shall we say
Mr. HUBERT. News ethics, or something of that sort?
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes; and the police protection here, that he should have been assassinated here.
Mr. HUBERT. Well, he seemed to be ashamed of the fact that the President had been shot here?
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Yet your impression was that he agreed with the criticism of the President?
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Did he seem to connect the, or mention anything about the possibility that the killing of the President might reflect on the Jewish community ?
Mr. JOHNSON. To us or to me that afternoon; no, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Did he make any comment to the general effect that he was aware about how the assassination of President Kennedy might affect business in Dallas, and more particularly his own business ?
Mr. JOHNSON. That I can remember; no, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Do you remember whether Tom Apple left at anytime so he might not have heard all this conversation ?
Mr. JOHNSON. Negative. I don't remember.
Mr. HUBERT. I think you were interviewed at one time by FBI Agent Paul L. Scott on December 6, 1963. Do you remember that?
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes, sir.

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Mr. HUBERT. I am going to show you a document which purports to be a report of that interview made by Scott, and I am marking it for identification as follows: "Dallas, Texas, July 13, 1964, Exhibit No. 1, Deposition of Speedy Johnson."
I am marking my name, writing my name below that. It consists of one page only. I would like you to read it, sir.
Mr. JOHNSON (reads Exhibit No. 1).
Mr. HUBERT. Now does that represent a fair report and correct report of the interview that you had with this FBI Agent Scotty
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. This indicates that FBI Agent Scott got the impression from you when he interviewed you that you did not know Ruby at the time.
Mr. JOHNSON. I didn't know him. I still don't know him.
Mr. HUBERT. Well it----
Mr. JOHNSON. As I told initially I had.
Mr. HUBERT. Well, this says that you said that you had not seen Jack Ruby prior to this time, prior to this occasion on November 23, and I take it that you want to correct that statement so that it would reflect that you had seen him on the one previous occasion we were speaking of?
Mr. JOHNSON. On the one previous occasion; yes, sir, but that was a long time before that.
Mr. HUBERT. But in any case, this document which is Exhibit No. 1, is not correct when it says that you said you had not seen Jack Ruby prior to this time.
Mr. JOHNSON. Well, if we go back to infinity, really.
Mr. HUBERT. All I am asking is, this statement seems to contain something that is contradictory to something you said awhile ago, and I am just trying to see which is right.
Mr. JOHNSON. I had met him only one time before, a number of years ago.
Mr. HUBERT. All right, this statement also says that the individual talking about Ruby made other remarks, the exact nature not recalled, indicating that he was highly incensed at the criticism of President Kennedy.
Mr. JOHNSON. Right.
Mr. HUBERT. That is correct?
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUBERT. Otherwise, this statement is correct?
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes, sir; that is what I told him.
Mr. HUBERT. All right, Mr. Johnson, is there anything else you wish to add?
Mr. JOHNSON. No, sir; that is all I know.
Mr. HUBERT. I don't think that there has been anything that has passed between us here today that has not been reported by the stenographer?
Mr. JOHNSON. Very good.
Mr. HUBERT. Thank you, Mr. Johnson. Glad you came in.
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes, sir.