RUSSELL DOUGLAS MATTHEWS
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
SELECT COMMITTEE ON ASSASSINATIONS
DEPOSITION OF RUSSELL DOUGLAS MATTHEWS,
a witness produced, sworn, and examined on Monday, the 3rd day of April, in the year of our Lord 1978, between the hours of 8 o'clock in the forenoon and 6 o'clock in the afternoon of that day, in Room 4-003,, Federal Courthouse, 210 Las Vegas Boulevard, in the City of Las Vegas and in the State of Nevada, before the Select Committee on Assassinations, House of Representatives of the United States of America.
APPEARANCES:
For the Committee:
JAMES WOLF,
Deputy Chief Counsel,Select Committee on Assassinations,
U.S. House of Representatives,
Washington, D.C.

DONALDA. PURDY,
Staff Counsel,
Select Committee on Assassinations, U.S. House of Representatives,
Washington. D.C.
For the witness:
HARRY E. CLAIBORNE,
108 South Third Street,
Las Vegas, Nevada.
NAOMI BOLSTAD was sworn to accurately and correctly report in stenotypy the complete proceedings had in the taking of the deposition of Russell Douglas Matthews.
RUSSELL DOUGLAS MATTHEWS of lawful age, being produced, sworn, and examined on the part of the Committee, deposeth and saith:
MR. WOLF: For the record, it should be noted that the Magistrate was Joseph L. Ward, and we are currently in Las Vegas, Nevada, on April 5, 1978

My name is James Wolf, Mr. Matthews. My co-counsel is Donald Purdy. We both, pursuant to House Resolution and Committee Rule 4, have been designated counsel empowered to take your statements under oath.
DIRECT EXAMINATION
BY MR. WOLF:
Q. Would you please state your name for the record?
A. Russell Douglas Matthews.
Q. What is your current address
A. 4412 Lilliput Lane, Las Vegas, Nevada.
Q. Mr. Matthews, have we given your counsel a copy of the Committee rules and the Committee resolutions prior to the commencement of this deposition?
A. Yes.
Q. And, Mr. Matthews, you understand this deposition on your behalf is being taken at your request as opposed to is that correct?
A. Yes, I guess you could say that, yes.
Q. And, for the record, you are accompanied by counsel today?
A. Yes.
MR. WOLF: Could counsel please identify himself on the record?
MR. CLAIBORNE: Harry E. Claiborne, 108 South Third Street, Las Vegas, Nevada.
BY MR. WOLF:
Q Mr. Matthews, the entire record today will be transcribed. After the Committee has received a copy of the transcription, we will send you a copy of that record and ask you to sign and verify that, that it is a true, complete, and accurate account of the testimony you have given. We will then ask you to sign a statement to that effect and return it to us at the Committee's offices. If you desire to make any changes in the transcription, I would request that you contact us and we will make the appropriate arrangements. If you do sign and verify the transcript, we will then provide you a copy for your permanent records of the transcript.
Q. Mr. Matthews, where were you born and what was the date of your birth?
A. July 26, 1920; Aspermont, Texas.
Q How long did you live in Aspermont, Texas? A Until I was seven years old. Q Where did you move at that time? A Dallas, Texas. Q How long did you reside in Dallas?
A. The rest of my life until the last seven years. I moved here a little over seven years ago.
Q. You moved here in approximately 1971? A Yes; January of 1971. Q And in Dallas, Texas, what was the first Job you held while you were living there? A I don't remember. I have had a lot of jobs there. I don't remember the first one really. I was just a kid. I worked in filling stations. I don't remember.
Q. Could you run through a chronology for us of some the jobs you currently remember in Dallas that you held? A No, no, not that long ago I can't. I have been in business for myself most of my life.
Q. You are self-employed?
A. Yes.
Q. While in Dallas, do you remember ever working for any other person? Were you ever employed at a club?
A. No, sir, not--no, sir.
Q. When did you first meet Mr. Jack Ruby?
A. I can't really tell you that. I didn't know him that well. I don't really know how to answer that. I can't answer it. I don't know. How I really met him I don't know.
Q. Do you remember approximately when you met him?
A. Let me see. I guess maybe the late "50s, somewhere around there I suppose. I am just guessing because I wasn't that close an acquaintance that it sticks out in my mind.
Q. What were the circumstances of the first meeting you recall with Jack Ruby?
A. I don't recall any. I didn't have any meetings with him. I knew him to speak to him on the street but I don't remember ever having any meetings with him. Q What was the first time that you remember ever speaking to him on the street? A That is impossible for me to say. I don't know.
Q. How do you estimate it was the late 1950s?
A. Well, I'm just guessing. It seemed like he had been around Dallas or I'd heard his name or seen him on the street for a few years before this Kennedy assassination. I am just assuming it was the late '50s. I don't really remember.
Q. Do you recall ever being asked by FBI agents when you first met Jack Ruby?
A. No, sir.
Q. You have no memory of FBI agents interrogating you?
A. I remember FBI agents talking to me about it. I don't remember that they asked that particular question.
Q. In response to the FBI interview, would you have told them in 1963 or '64, I would assume that would be--
A. I suppose; '63, whenever it happened.
Q. (Continuing) '63, would you have told them at that time a true account of your recollection of when you first met Jack Ruby?
A. If I told them it was a true account. I don't recall what I told them.
Q. Mr. Matthews, let me show you, for the record-- A All Fight.
Q. (Continuing) --a copy of an interview conducted with you by the Federal Bureau of Investigation dated December 15, 1963, and ask you to read that at this time.
A. Twelve years; I don't remember saying that. No, sir. I don't remember saying that I'd known him 12 years and I don't think I had.
Q. If you had known him 12 years, that would have meant you first met him in 1951, is that correct?
A. Yes, sir, I suppose that is true. but I don't remember saying this. I remember some of these other things I said. I don't recall saying that I'd known him for 12 years. I don't remember that. It has been some time ago, you know.
Q. Is your testimony today that that statement-
MR. CLAIBORNE (interrupting): Counsel, could I have a copy?
MR. WOLF: Surely.
BY MR. WOLF:
Q. Is your testimony today that that statement would be incorrect?
A. I can't really say. sir, to tell you the truth. It has been some time ago and if I said I'd known him 12 years--like I say, some of those things that they asked me I remember saying. I don't remember saying I'd known him 12 years. I was not a close friend of his. I never had any mix with him socially or anything. I just don't remember how long I'd known him. You go a year or two and don't see somebody sometimes. I didn't know him that well.
Q. What was the nature of your interaction with Jack Ruby?
A. Nothing. He was a man that was well known around on the streets of Dallas. If you pass by him on the street he's liable to introduce himself to you, so if I'd pass him I'd say hello. I don't know what else to tell you.
Q.Were you familiar with the clubs in Dallas that Jack Ruby visited?
A. I've heard that he had some clubs. I have never been in one of them.
Q. You have never been in the Carrousel Club?
A. I don't know where the Carrousel Club was actually.
Q. Did you know of any other clubs that Jack Ruby had?
A He has had several clubs around Dallas but I don't recall the names. Now, where the Carrousel Club--I didn't know he had--I don't recall the names of any of them. I don't remember ever being in any club Jack Ruby had. If I have been, I don't remember it.
Q Did you ever live in Cuba?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. What period of time was that?
A. 1958 and '59 .
Q. Was that continuous that you lived there during that time?
A. No; I went to Cuba in 1958 and when Castro,--they, had the revolution, I came back for a few months and then went back and stayed until November 1959.
Q. Do you recall what time you returned to the States? You said Castro had the revolution.
A. Castro took over in the revolution, I think it was January 1, 1959, which I returned to the United States and I stayed--I don't remember the exact date that I went back; maybe a month or so.
Q. Did you come to the United States directly after the revolution, would it have been January of '59?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. And you stayed in the United States approximately how long?
A.I'd say a month or two. I don't remember now; until things got settled down. I had a place of business there. Q And then you returned to Cuba?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. What did you do in Cuba upon your return?
A. I owned two bars there.
Q. Which bars were those?
A. I owned a bar in the Plaza Hotel in the lobby and I owned a bar on Henio Street. H-e-n-l-o or something, I don't remember how you spell it.
Q. What was the name of that bar, do you recall?
A. No; Sportsman's Club, I think.
Q. While in Cuba did you know Mr. Lewis McWillie?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. How did you know Mr. McWillie?
A. He lived in Dallas. I had known him for several years in Dallas.
Q. Was that prior to your going to Cuba?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. When you first went to Cuba, did you have a job before you left for Cuba?
A. No, sir.
Q. Upon your arrival in Cuba, who did you stay with or who did you first meet?
A. I stayed in a hotel by myself.
Q. Did you have any meetings with Mr. McWillie at that time? A No, sir. Mr. McWillie wasn't even in Cuba when I went there.
Q. And you established the bars by yourself?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. During the period of time you were in Cuba, 1959, did you meet Mr. McWillie often?
A. No.
Q. What was the first time that you met Mr. McWillie in Cuba? A I don't know how to answer that question. You are talking about something that happened 18 or 19 years ago and I really can't truthfully answer.
Q. Well, Mr. McWillie was a friend of yours from Dallas, isn't that true?
A. I knew him in Dallas, yes, sir.
Q. Did he call you when he arrived in Cuba?
A. No.
Q. How did you first find out he was in Cuba?
A. I don't know. I might have just run into him. You're talking about something that happened 18, 19 years ago. I don't really remember.
Q. I understand that. Do you recall any of your discussions with Mr. McWillie?
A. No. I didn't have that many discussions with him.
Q. Approximately how often did you see him?
A. Oh, I'd probably pass by him once every two or three months or so. I don't know.
Q. Do you how, did Jack Ruby ever visit Cuba?
A. I didn't see him.
Q. Have you heard that he visited Cuba?
A. I have heard since this thing came out that he was there, yes, sir.
Q. He did not visit you while he--
A. (Interrupting) No, sir, I did not see him. I didn't even how he was there.
Q. Did you ever discuss with Mr. McWillie the fact that Jack Ruby visited Cuba?
A. I don't remember that I have.
Q.Do you know Mr. Tony Zoppi?
A. Yes, sir.
Q.How do you know Mr. Zoppi?
A. Mr. Zoppi used to be the entertainment writer or critic for the Dallas Morning News before he came to work here in Las Vegas. I knew him very casually.
Q. Have you maintained contact with him since he came to Las Vegas?
A. No, sir. I just knew who he was, that's all.
Q. Have you ever met Mr. Zoppi?
A. I think I have. I think so, yes.
Q. Has Mr. Zoppi ever discussed with you a trip Jack Ruby took to Cuba?
A. No, sir. Mr. Zoppi has never discussed anything with me. I
guess this is a period of 20, 25 years, I doubt if I have ever spoken to him three times, three or four.
Q. Where were you when you heard that Jack Ruby assassinated Lee Harvey Oswald?
A. In my home at that address you have there; Irving, Texas. Q When was the last time before the assassination that you saw Jack Ruby? A I don't know, sir. I don't know, because I had no meetings with him of any consequence. There wouldn't be any way--I never stopped and talked to him or anything. I might have spoken to him on the street. I really don't know.
Q. What were your thoughts when you heard that Jack Ruby had killed Lee Harvey Oswald, given the fact that Jack Ruby was a person you knew even though casually?
A. I just couldn't believe it actually. Probably just like anyone else, I couldn't believe that anyone would do what he did. It was unbelievable to me that someone would walk in a police station and do that. If that is the reaction you're looking for, I couldn't believe it.
Q. Is there any way for you to determine when the last time prior to the assassination that you saw Jack Ruby was?
A. No, sir, I can't answer that. I don't know.
Q. Did you have any contact with Jack Ruby subsequent to the assassination? A Not sir.
Q. Were you married to a woman known as Elizabeth Ann Matthews?
A. Yes.
Q. When did you divorce Ms. Matthews?
A. I don't remember the year. The questions you ask me happened 18, 20 years ago. It is impossible for me to remember the exact dates.
Q. Was it in the early '50s, late '50s, or early '60s, can you state that?
A. Probably the late '50s.
Q. Late '50's?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. It was before John F. Kennedy became President, to the best of your recollection?
A. Maybe right about that time, to the best of my recollection, right close to that time, yes, sir.
Q. Where did your ex-wife continue to live after you divorced her?
A I don't have any idea.
Q. Did you live, prior to your divorce, in Shreveport, Louisiana?
A. No, sir.
Q. Are you aware, did your ex-wife ever live in Shreveport, Louisiana?
A. I think that she could have. I might have heard that. I'm not sure.
Q. Subsequent to your divorce, did you maintain contact with your wife?
A. Before we were divorced?
Q. After your divorce.
A.. NO
Q. You had no contact with her at all?
A. I don't say that I haven't seen her or spoken to her, but as far as any contact--
Q. Do you know where she is living now?
A. I have no idea.
Q. What was the last address that you know she was living at, what city?
A. I don't have any idea, sir. I don't know for sure. Q What was her maiden name?
A. Flanagan.
Q. Have you heard of the allegation that Jack Ruby made a phone call to your ex-wife the month before the assassination?
A. No, I didn't even know they knew each other.
BY MR. PURDY:
Q. Mr. Matthews, was your relationship or your contact with Jack Ruby such that you ever made or received a phone call from him?
A. Not to my knowledge, no, sir, not that I ever recall.
Q. What was Jack Ruby's reputation in the community? You said he was well known. What was he well known for?
A. I say he was well known because he speaks to you on the street. He was the kind of a man--I just knew he ran clubs. I don't know that much about his reputation. He was a person who would make himself known if you were ever around him.
Q.Do you know anyone who was close to Jack Ruby?
A. No, I couldn't--I don't know that I did.
BY MR. WOLF:
Q. Did Jack Ruby have a good relationship with the Dallas Police Department?
MR. CLAIBORNE: How would he know?
A. Not knowing him any better than I do, I don't see how you think I could answer a question like that. I don't know.
BY MR. WOLF:
Q. To the extent you knew Mr. Ruby's reputation in the community.
A. I don't know his reputation in the community. I just knew him as a passing acquaintance.
BY MR. PURDY:
Q. Did you ever have the occasion to have dinner or coffee or a drink with Jack Ruby?
A. Not that I ever recall. I don't ever remember sitting down at a table with him.
BY MR. WOLF:
Q. Mr. Matthews, we are going to commence a new area of questioning now which will relate to your knowledge of Jack Ruby's involvement in activities that were going on in Dallas in the 1950s and early 1960s. To your knowledge, was there activity in Dallas which involved gun running or smuggling of arms or narcotics to Cuba?
A. Not to my knowledge.
Q. Was there any gun running oF smuggling of arms or narcotics to Mexico?
A. Not to my knowledge.
Q. Do you know a John Thomas Mason?
A. John Thomas Mason?
Q. Yes.
A. No, sir, not that I remember.
Q. Do you know a Robert Ray McKeown?
A. I don't remember the name, sir. No, I don't think so.
Q. Do you know a Joseph Raymond Merola?
A. No, sir.
Q. Do you know a Dominick Bartone?
A. No, sir.
Q. Again addressing the period from 1947 through the early 1960s, and breaking the periods down into categories to put Jack Ruby's activities in context-
MR. CLAIBORNE: '47 to '50?
MR. WOLF: Yes, when Jack Ruby first moved to Dallas.
BY MR. WOLF:
Q. Prior to 1947 to put Jack Ruby in historical context, was there in Dallas people engaged in gambling activities?
A. I don't know that Jack Ruby ever was.
Q. The question is prior to 1947 were people in Dallas engaged in gambling activities.
MR. CLAIBORNE: Were there people involved; you are not talking about Ruby?
MR. WOLF: The question is whether there were people involved in gambling--
MR. CLAIBORNE (interrupting): '47 to '50?
MR. WOLF: Prior to 1947.
MR. CLAIBORNE: I am going to object to that and ask for a statement of materiality.
MR. WOLF: The statement of materiality is that Jack Ruby moves to Dallas in 1947. There is a substantial question whether the move to Dallas was in part an operation of organized crime from Chicago moving into the Dallas area. To determine whether or not that is correct, it necessary that the entire picture of crime operations in Dallas, both prior to 1947 and subsequent, be put into its proper context.
MR. CLAIBORNE: That is rather broad and far reaching. As I understand it, your theory is in 1957 that Jack Ruby moved to Dallas, Texas, and that there was people involved in gambling and crime and that you want this witness to explore whether or not there was any connection between Ruby and gambling activities, is that what your--
Mr. WOLF: Yes, that's right. The year was--
MR. CLAIBORNE (interrupting): Why don't you ask him that?
MR. WOLF: The year was 1947, not 1957. That is why the first question addressed itself to 1947.
MR. CLAIBORONE: Why don't you ask him whether or not he knew--
MR. WOLF: We will be addressing that question. It was, first, more important to determine the general posture in Dallas as to organized or lack or organized crime activity in the Dallas area.
MR. CLAIBORNE: All right.
A. Sir, I was in the Marine Corps during World War II and I didn't get back to the United States until the last part of 1945, or really the first part of 46, and there wasn't any organized gambling of any kind for anyone that I knew of then.
BY MR. WOLF:
Q. That was in 1946?
A. Well, I got back from the Marine Corps I think October, November of 1945, so I didn't really know about anything until 1946.
Q. And in 1946-'47 are you familiar with, during those two years, two years prior to Jack Ruby moving to Dallas, do you know, were individuals engaged in gambling activities in the Dallas area?
A. Well, sir, as far as people engaged in gambling, I suppose people gamble somewhere every day. I didn't see any gambling I don't think in the context you're talking about.
Q. What type of gambling generally did you see at that time?
A. I didn't see any gambling as far as any gambling casinos being open, if that's what you have reference to.
Q. Generally, I would appreciate your description, and this is for historical context.
A. I suppose anybody might bet on a football game or a boxing match on TV or something. I don't know what kind of gambling you're talking about.
Q. Were there any gambling clubs?
A. No, sir, not to my knowledge.
Q. Have you ever heard of the Redman Club?
A. The Redman's Club; yes, sir. That wasn't a gambling club.
Q What type of club was that?
A. It was a social club for members only, but there was no dice games or roulette or any kind of gambling there. They might have had some friendly poker games occasionally between the members. It was not a gambling club.
Q Are you familiar with the Top of the Hill Club?
A. I've heard the name. I've never been in it.
Q. Do you know if in the Top of the Hill Club any gambling activities took place?
A. If they took place that late, I didn't never know anything about it. I'd heard of it earlier. After I got back they were talking about it used to be gambling there. If there was gambling there at the time you are asking me, I didn't know it.
Q. Do you know the plantation Club?
A. No, sir.
Q. Have you ever heard of a Mr. Hyman Fader?
A. Not that I remember.
Q. Let me return for one second to a question that I asked on gun running. Do you know Johnnie Grasaffi?
A. Johnnie Grasaffi; yes, I think I do know who you're talking about, yes, sir.
Q. How do you know Mr. Grasaffi?
A. Just heard his name, maybe seen him a few times.
Q. Where did you see Mr. Grasaffi?
A. I don't remember.
Q. What period of time did you know him, when did you first meet him and approximately how often did you see him?
A. I suppose it was in the late '40s, the best I remember. I wasn't a close friend of his or anything like that.
Q. Do you know what type of activities Mr. Grasaffi was engaged in?
A. No, sir.
Q. Had you ever heard of Mr. Grasaffi being engaged in any activities involving gun running or smuggling?
A. No, sir.
Q. In 1947 was there in Dallas a crackdown on gambling activities?
A. I suppose there might have been. I wasn't involved in it so I don't know, but I have heard this, yes, that they had an election and there might have been something going on before that that were no longer allowed. I have heard this, yes.
Q. Which election are you referring to?
A. I think it was 1946, I guess. I don't remember-- was that--I don't know. You probably have it written down in front of you there.
Q. Is this the election involving Sheriff Guthrie?
A. Yes, sir, I think that was the election I am talking about.
Q What was the effect of that election, to the best of your knowledge?
A. I just heard people talk that a lot of things involved in gambling, whatever it amounted to, that it didn't go on any more. Like I say, that's just about the time I got back from World War II.
Q. Do you recall, did people involved in gambling activities stop gambling or did some of them move out of the city, of what was the general result of the election?
A. I had no way of knowing, sir. That was just about the time I got back from World War II. I don't know who was doing it.
Q. Have you heard that many of the people involved in gambling left Dallas and moved to Las Vegas?
A. No, I don't remember that I heard that. Do you know if that is true?
Q. It possibly could be, yes, sir. Do you know Mr. Joseph Slaten?
A. Joe Slaten; yes, sir, I used to know him.
Q. How did you know Mr. Slaten?
A. He owned a club there in Dallas. He used to have clubs. There was never any gambling involved in them.
Q. Do you know if Mr. Jack Ruby knew Mr. Joseph Slaten?
A. I don't know, sir.
Q. Do you know a James Henry Dolan?
A Yes, sir.
Q How do you know Mr. Dolan?
A. I just met him. I don't remember how I met him. I knew him casually.
Q. Do you know if Jack Ruby knew Mr. Dolan?
A. I don't know sir.
Q. Do you know a James Robert Todd?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. How do you know Mr. Todd?
A. He was just an acquaintance of mine from 25 years ago or so. I don't remember how I first met him.
Q. Do you know if Mr. Todd was involved in any gambling activities?
A. Not to my knowledge.
Q. Was Mr. Todd ever involved in activities involving safe cracking?
A. I don't know.
Q. Do you know if Jack Ruby knew Mr. Todd?
A. I don't know that either. They might have known each other. I don't know.
Q Are you familiar with the AGVA Union?
A. What is A-G-V-A.
MR. PURDY: American Guild of Variety Artists.
A. I think--it has something to do with performers and that; I know what the union is.
BY MR. WOLF:
Q. Were you familiar with it in Dallas?
A. No. I mean, I don't know anything about it.
Q. You don't know anything about it?
A. No. I think this fellow Dolan worked for them when he was there but I don't know anything about it.
BY MR. PURDY:
Q. Did you ever have any business dealings with Dolan?
A. No. BY MR. WOLF:
Q. Do you know any of the interaction Jack Ruby may have had with people involved in AGVA?
A. No, sir, I have no idea.
Q. Do you know an Isadore Max Miller?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. And how do you know her?
A. Just an old acquaintance that I have known around Dallas for years. It is impossible for me to remember how I met a man first 25 or 30 years ago.
Q. Was he involved in any gambling activities?
A. I never did see him involved in any. I don't know.
Q. Do you know if Jack Ruby knew him?
A. I don't know that either.
Q. Do you know Mr. Harry Urban?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. How do you know Mr. Urban?
A. The same way, just that he lived in Dallas all of his life and I have. I don't know. I can't tell you how I first met him.
Q. Did you know him socially or did you ever have any business with Mr. Urban?
A. No, sir.
Q. Which way did you know him?
A. I just knew him as a speaking acquaintance.
Q. Do you know if Mr. Urban was involved in any gambling activities?
A. I never did any gambling with him. I couldn't say that. I don't know.
Q. Do you know if Jack Ruby knew Mr. Urban?
A. I don 't know.
Q. Did you know Mr. Harry Hall?
A. Not to my knowledge.
Q. Also known as Harry Sinclair?
A. No, sir.
Q. During the period of 1958 through 1960 were you aware of any gambling activities in the City of Dallas?
A. I don't know how I could have, sir. I was living in Havana, Cuba. You Just established that a few minutes ago.
Q. But you could have been aware of gambling activities?
A. No, I had no way of being aware of it.
Q. Do you know Mr. Paul Rowland Jones?
A. I have heard his name. I don't know him, no.
Q. You have never met Mr. Jones?
A. No, sir, not that I remember.
Q. Did Mr. Ruby know Mr. Jones?
A. I have no way of knowing that.
Q. Do you know Mr. James Breen?
A. James what? Q Breen, B-r-e-e-n.
A. No, not that I remember.
Q. Was there in the period 1958 through 1960 any drug trafficking ongoing in the city of Dallas?
A. Sir, you just established that I lived in Havana, Cuba, in those years and I don't know how you would expect me to know anything like that.
Q. Some of your associates may have spoken to you--
A. (Interrupting) How would any associates--I was living in Havana, Cuba. I don't even know if I saw anyone from Dallas in that period of time.
Q. You stated you saw Mr. McWillie, Who was from Dallas.
A. McWillie was living in Havana, Cuba, When I saw him, sir.
Q. After your return to Dallas in 1961--is that right?
A. 1960, November of 1960.
Q. And how do you recollect that date?
A. I Just remember that it was just about the time of Kennedy's election. That's the reason I remember.
Q. After your return to Dallas from 1960 to 1963 were you aware of any gambling activities in the City of Dallas?
A. No, sir.
Q. Were you aware of any drug trafficking involving people in the City of Dallas?
A. No, sir.
Q. Do you know a Helen Alfonse Roan?
A. No, sir.
Q. Had you ever heard that Jack Ruby was involved in gambling activities in the City of Dallas?
A. No, sir.
Q. Had you ever heard that he was involved in drug trafficking?
A. No, sir.
Q. Had you ever heard that he was involved in prostitution activities?
A. No, sir.
Q. You have already testified that you could not characterize Jack Ruby's general relationship with the Dallas police. However, let me ask, was it practice, to your knowledge, in Dallas to have individuals give kickbacks to the Police Department, individuals who ran particular clubs?
A. No, sir, not to my knowledge.
Q. Do you know if Jack Ruby ever gave any kickbacks to the police?
A. I would have no way of knowing that, sir.
Q. Do you know if Jack Ruby was ever a police informant?
A. I have no way of knowing that.
Q. Do you know Mr. Sam Campisi?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. How do you know Mr. Campisi?
A. I went to school with Campisi, Sam Campisi, when we were kids. I have known him all my life.
Q. Have you ever had any business dealings with Campisi?
A. Business dealings, no, I don't remember that we ever had any business dealings. He was a friend of mine. I knew him until the time he died. I went to his funeral.
Q. Do you know if Jack Ruby knew Mr. Campisi?
A. I don't know. They could have. They were both in the kind of business that they're in the public eye. They could have known each other. One of them had clubs. The other had a restaurant. I don't know anything about their relationship.
Q. Do you know Mr. Joe Campisi?
A. Yes, sir, he is Sam's brother. I know him well.
Q. Was your relationship with Joe Campisi the same as your relationship with Sam?
A. Joe was a little older, but yes, sir, I've known him for years.
Q. Do you know if Mr. Ruby knew Mr. Joe Campisi?
A. They could have, sir. I don't how anything about their relationship.
Q. Do you know Mr. Joseph Civello?
A. No, sir. I've heard his name.
Q. You have never met him?
A. I might have met him at some time. I can't say that I haven't met him but I wasn't a friend of his or close associate.
Q. Do you know if Mr. Ruby knew Mr. Civello?
A. No, sir, I don't know that.
Q. Do you know Mr. Dusty Miller?
A. No, sir.
Q. Have you ever heard that name?
A. I don't remember that I did. I don't remember.
Q. Do you know Mr. Lenny Patrick?
A. No, not to my knowledge.
Q. Have you ever heard the name?
A. Not that I remember-
Q. Do you know Mr. David Yaras?
A. No, sir.
Q. Have you ever heard the name?
A. Not to my knowledge.
Q. Do you know Mr. Barney Baker?
A. No, sir.
Q. Have you ever heard that name before?
A. Not that I remember.
Q. Do you know Mr. Nofio pecora?
A. No, sir.
Q. Have you ever heard the name before?
A. Not to my knowledge.
Q. You do know and currently work for, in fact, Mr. Benny Binion, is that correct?
A. Yes, sir, I know Mr. Benny Binion. I work for him now.
Q. When did you first meet Mr. Binion?
A. It was out here, I guess. I don't remember what year. It was 20, 25 years ago, I guess, 20 or 25. I don't remember.
Q. When you say "out here," do you mean Las Vegas?
A. Las Vegas, yes, sir.
Q. At that time you were living in the City of Dallas?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. How did you first meet Mr. Binion in Las Vegas?
A. I don't remember. He is in business. I guess I maybe visited, someone introduced us, I guess. I don't know.
Q. Was he living in Las Vegas at that time?
A. Benny Binion; yes, sir, he had a place of business.
Q. And you were here on--
A. (interrupting) Visiting.
Q. Did you maintain contact with Mr. Binion after you returned to Dallas?
A. No, sir.
Q. When did you next see Mr. Binion?
A. I don't know. I came out here quite often.
Q. When you first moved to Las Vegas, did you immediately go to work for Mr. Binion?
A.No, sir.
Q.Who did you first work for in Las Vegas?
A. Johnie Lane in a racing sports club. The name of it was the paddock Racing Sports Club, on First Street.
Q. How long did you work there?
A. Three and a half years.
Q. Who did you work for after that time?
A. Benny Binion.
Q. Have you maintained contact with Mr. Lewis McWillie in Las Vegas?
A. No, sir.
Q. When was the last time you spoke to Mr. McWillie?
A. Well, he worked at the Horseshoe for a while. I believe that is the last time that I've seen him.
Q. What time period was that that he worked there?
A. Let's see, I guess he has been gone away from there over a year ago, I suppose. He was working there when--we were working the same place together. I saw him then. I don't recall seeing him any since then.
Q. While you were in Cuba did you ever have any business dealings with Mr. McWillie?
A. No, sir.
Q. Subsequent to your return from Cuba end his return from Cuba, did you ever have any business dealings with him?
A. No, sir.
Q. Did Mr. McWillie ever discuss Jack Ruby with you?
A. No, sir.
Q. Do you know Mr. Ralph Paul?
A. No, sir.
Q. Have you ever heard that name?
A. No, sir.
Q. Do you know Mr. Norman Rothman?
A. No, sir.
Q. Have you ever heard that name before?
A. Not to my knowledge.
Q. Do you know Mr. James Bradin?
A.. No, sir.
Q. Mr. Eugene Hale Brading?
A. No, sir.
Q. Do you know a Mr. Ben Whittaker?
A. Yes, I've heard his name. I don't know that I have ever met him personally.
Q. Do you know what activities Mr. Whittaker was engaged in?
A. He owned a hotel there in Dallas that I knew of. That's the reason he was well known. He owned some race horses. That's the way I heard his name. Q Did you hear that Mr. Whittaker was involved in gambling prior to 1947?
A.Not to my knowledge, no, sir.
Q.Do you know a Pat McFay Kirkland? 567
A.What name?
Q.Pat McFay Kirkland.
A. No, sir.
Q. Have you ever heard that name before?
A. Not that I remember.
Q. Prior to your moving to Cuba what were you doing in Dallas, Texas?
A.I was in the bail bond business.
Q. And why did you decide to move to Cuba?
A.I don't know. I just did, that's all. The business I was in wasn't doing any good. QDid you contact anybody in Cuba prior to moving there?
A.No.
Q. Had you ever been in Cuba prior to moving there?
A.No, sir.
Q. Did you just fly yourself down and move into a hotel?
A. I just went down to look. I heard there were opportunities there. There was a lot of tourist activity. Q The first time you went down, in effect, you wound up staying for about a year, is that correct?
A. No, sir, I came back and got my clothes and things like that and then went back and made a deal with somebody about a club. 568
Q.The first time you went down was to establish a business opportunity?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. How long were you down on that trip?
A. A week or two, the best I remember.
Q. How long did you return to Dallas for?
A. Just long enough to get things packed, a day or so, and went back.
Q. Who did you see on that first trip to establish your business opportunity? AI don't remember the name.It was a Cuban. Those names are very difficult to remember. I made arrangements to buy a club from him.
Q. Was it a Cuban National?
A. I don't know, sir.
Q. Was it a businessman or someone affiliated with the government?
A. No, no, he wasn't affiliated with the government. He owned a club.
Q. He owned a club and he sold the club to you?
A. Yes.
Q. Which club was that?
A. That was the one on Henio Street, the Sportsman's Club.
Q.Was that the only club you bought that trip? 569
A. Yes, sir.
Q. When did you buy your second club?
A. The first part of 1959.
Q. And you kept the other club in operation as well as the second?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. After you permanently moved to Cuba did you ever return to the United States until Castro took over?
A. Now, I returned when Castro took over. That is the only time.
Q. But you didn't come back for a visit or anything?
A. No.
Q. Do you recall the date on which you bought the second club? You said it was 1959.
A. It was the first part of 1959 right after I returned--l don't remember the exact date. I returned from the United States the first couple of days of 1959- I stayed a week or two and went back. It was right in that period of time; January or February.
Q. You bought the second club in Cuba after Castro had taken over?
A. Yes, sir. Q Did you feel that was a good investment to make at that time? A It wasn't that much money involved. It was a lease thing from the hotel. I had to buy the merchandise and the right to it.
Q.What hotel was that?
A. The Plaza Hotel.
Q.In your arranging the lease was it necessary to deal with any of the new Cuban government officials?
A. No, sir.
Q. The first club you owned outright, is that right?
A. Yes. sir.
Q. And the second club you just leased?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Did you ever have any association with the Dovil Hotel?
A. I lived there for a while.
Q. Did you ever operate any club there?
A. No, sir.
Q. Did you ever have any association with the Sans Souci Hotel?
A. No, sir.
Q. Do you know Mr. Salvador Arearena? Let me spell the last name--
A. (Interrupting) It doesn't make any difference. You don't have to spell it because I don't know anybody who has a name close to that.
Q. He is also known as Sammy Paxton.
A. Oh, yes, I do know who you're talking about. He was an acquaintance of mine, yes.
Q. How did you know Mr. Paxton?
A. He had a club down there in Cuba. One of them wasn't too far from mine.
Q. Do you know what club he worked at?
A. I didn't know he worked at a club. He owned a club there. He had a club; a drink place, not a gambling club.
Q. Do you know the name of it?
A. No, I don't recall that.
Q. Did Mr. Paxton known Mr. Santos Trafficante?
A. I don't know.
Q. Do you know Mr. Nick Cammata?
A. No, sir.
Q. C-a-m-m-a-t-a?
A. No, sir.
Q. Do you know Mr. Michael McLaney?
A. No, sir.
Q. Have you ever heard that Mr. McLaney was an owner of the National Casino?
A. I'd heard that while I was living down there but I never met him.
Q. Do you know Mr. Dino Cellini?
A. No, sir.
Q. Have you heard that name before?
A. I don't remember. I could have, yes, sir. I think I have heard that name.
Q. But you have never met Mr. Cellini?
A. No, sir.
Q. Do you know Mr. Santos Trafficante?
A. No, sir..
Q. Have you heard that name before?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Do you know Mr. Frank Ragano?
A. Frank who?
Q. Ragano, R-a-g-a-n-o.
A. No, sir.
Q. Have you ever heard that name before?
A. No, sir.
Q. Did you ever meet Mr. Meyer Lansky?
A. No, sir.
Q. Have you ever spoken with Mr. Lansky?
A. No, sir.
Q. Did you ever meet or speak with Mr. Jake Lansky?
A. No, sir.
Q. Were you familiar with the Tropicana Club in Havana?
A. No, sir. Familiar with it, I knew it was there. I didn't have anything to do with it.
Q. Do you know who owned or operated the Tropicana?
A. No, sir.
Q. Have you heard the name John Roselli?
A. No, sir.
Q. You have never heard Mr. Roselli's name?
A. Oh, yes, in a paper here lately I saw something about him, yes. I never met him or heard of him before.
Q. Do you recall what it said in the paper?
A. It said he got killed. They found him out in the ocean or something. I saw that in the paper.
Q. You never met or spoke with Mr. Roselli?
A. No, sir.
Q. Have you ever heard of a Mr. Sam Giancana?
A. I have heard the name, Yes, sir. I've seen him in the newspapers.
Q. Have you ever spoken to Mr. Giancana?
A. No, sir.
Q. Do you know Mr. Robert Maheu?
A. No, sir.
Q. You have heard that name?
A. I have heard the name, seen it in the papers.
Q. Do you know Mr. Frank Rosenthal?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. How do you know Mr. Rosenthal?
A. Well, Frank Rosenthal was running the Rose Bowl Race and Sports Book when I was working that business, and we had occasion to do business with each other.
Q.That was here in Vegas?
A. Here in Las Vegas, yes.
Q. Did you know Mr. Rosenthal while you were in Cuba?
A. No, sir.
Q. When was the first time you remember meeting Mr. Rosenthal?
A. When I was working at the Paddock Race and Sports Book and he had the Rose Bowl. I guess the first year was 1971.
Q. Do you know if Mr. Rosenthal had any activities in Cuba?
A. No, sir, I have no knowledge of that.
Q. Do you know if Mr. Rosenthal knew Jack Ruby?
A. No, sir.
Q. Do you know Mr. Eugenio Leal, L-e-a-l?
A. No.
Q. Have you ever heard that name before?
A. Not to my knowledge.
Q. Have you ever heard the name Evaristo Garcia?
A.No, sir.
Q. Have you ever heard the name Rafael Garcia Bongo?
A. No, sir.
Q. Have you ever heard the name Raphael Gener?
A. No, sir.
Q. Have you ever heard the name Angelo Brano?
A. No, sir, not that I remember.
Q. Mr. Bruno is from Philadelphia. Have you ever heard that--
A. (Interrupting) I have never been to Philadelphia in my life.
Q. Have you ever heard he may have had an interest in some of the Cuban casinos?
A. Not to my knowledge, no sir.
Q. Have you ever heard the name Gil Beckly?
A. No, sir.
Q. Have you ever heard the name Sam Benton?
A. Sam what?
Q. Benton, B-e-n-t-o-n.
A. No, sir.
Q. Have you ever heard the name Norman Rothman?
A. No, sir.
Q. Have you ever heard the name Sam Manarino.
MR. CLAIBORNE: Counsel, I would like a statement of materiality and the purpose for the record. This man, you are asking him name after name after name that he doesn't know.
MR. WOLF: He--
MR. CLAIBORNE (interrupting): Let me finish, if you will please. You young men have a job to do, and I appreciate that. l don't want to interfere. That is why I haven't made any objection, and I won't if I understand the situation, but it seems to me terribly time consuming to ask a man a whole lot of questions that you know in advance that he doesn't know or you don't have some information that he knows.
MR. WOLF: If I may respond.
MR. CLAIBORNE: Those kinds of question are considered by every court that has heard such propositions to be just not right. If you have reason to believe he knows some of these people and he can be helpful in giving you information in that area, he is perfectly willing to do so, but please don't take up our time just running through a list of Italians. It seems like now you have a list of all of the Italians who have immigrated to this country maybe in a certain year.
MR. WOLF: Well, I will point out two propositions. First of all, as you are certainly aware, this is not a court--
MR. CLAIBORNE: I understand that.
MR. WOLF: this is a legislative proceeding--
MR. CLAIBORNE (interrupting): I am just asking for a statement so the record will show it.
MR. WOLF: I am just saying it is a legislative proceeding and, of course, the standards for relevancy and pertinency are different in a legislative proceeding than in a court proceeding.
MR. CLAIBORNE: Counsel, I am well aware of that. I have been Special Counsel in one of the Senate Committees in hearings myself. I am well aware of that.
MR. WOLF: These people we are listing--in response to your second point--are all individuals who are involved in Cuban activities. We do not know whether or not Mr. Matthews knew them. That is the purpose of asking these questions.
MR. CLAIBORNE.: But do they have any connection with Ruby?
MR. WOLF: There is a connection with Ruby, yes, in some of them. As you are well aware, Mr. Matthews has responded that he knew some and not others. We do not know which individuals.
MR. CLAIBORNE: I think he has responded he has known one out of about the last 30 names you have read off..
BY MR. WOLF:
Q. Have you heard of the name Mr. Charles Routine?
A. No, sir.
Q. Have you heard the name Babe Baron?
A. What is it?
Q. Babe Baron, B-a-r-o-n.
A. No, not that I know of.
Q. Are you familiar with General Baron?
A. No.
MR. CLAIBORNE: General Baron who used to be at the Sands Hotel--
MR. WOLF: That could be.
MR. CLAIBORNE (continuing): --here in Vegas?
MR. WOLF: Yes.
MR. CLAIBORNE: Did you know him when he was here?
THE WITNESS: No, sir, I didn't know him.
BY MR. WOLF:
Q.Do you know a Willie Bischoff?
A. No.
Q. Did you know Mr. John Wilson Hudson?
A. No.
Q. Have you ever met with Mr. H.L. Hunt?
A. No, sir.
Q. Do you know Mr. Hunt?
A. No, sir.
Q. Have you heard of Mr. Hunt?
A. Everybody has heard of him, sir.
Q. Were you ever present at a meeting where the possibility of killing Castro was discussed?
A. No, sir. You mean a meeting with Mr. Hunt?
Q. Either a meeting with Mr. Hunt or without Mr. Hunt.
A. No, sir.
Q. You were never present at any meeting?
A. No, sir.
Q. Prior to the assassination of President Kennedy had you ever heard people discussing assassinating Fidel Castro?
A. No, sir.
Q. Subsequent to the assassination of President Kennedy did you hear any people discussing the possibility of assassinating Fidel Castro?
A. No, sir.
Q. Had you ever heard that the assassination of President Kennedy was in retaliation for an attempted assassination on Fidel Castro?
A. No, sir.
Q. Do you know Mr. John Eli Stone?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. How do you know Mr. Stone?
A. He is just another man I've known for 30 years or so. I don't remember when I first met him.
Q. Did you ever have any business dealings with Stone?
A. No, business dealings, no, I didn't have any business dealings with him.
Q. Where did Mr. Stone reside?
A. Dallas, Texas.
Q. Did you ever go to Las Vegas with Mr. Stone?
A. With him; I don't remember that we got on the same plane and came together. I have seen him out here.
Q. Do you recall when--you said you came on the same plane. Do you--
A. (Interrupting) I say I don't recall--you asked did I come with him. I said I don't remember that we came together on the same plane. I have seen him on a lot of occasions out here in Las Vegas.
Q. Did you ever take a Joint trip, even if you weren't on the same plane, from Dallas to Las Vegas?
A. Not that I remember, no, sir. I won't say that that is impossible but I guest don't remember it.
Q. Do you know If any people here in Las Vegas were interesting in funding Jack Ruby's legal fees?
A. No, sir, not to my knowledge.
Q. Do you know Mr. Joseph Gebron, G-e-b-r-o-n?
A. Yes, I knew him. He is dead now.
Q. How did you know him?
A. Just another old acquaintance around Dallas I have known for years.
Q. Was he involved--prior to 1947 you know if he was involved in any gambling activities?
A. I don't know.
Q. Do you know if he was involved in any gambling activities from 1947 through 1960?
A. I don't know, sir.
Q. Was he involved in any gambling activities subsequent to 1960?
A. I don't know, sir.
Q. Was he arrested with you in 1967 on bookmaking charges?
A. He got arrested on the street and they arrested me at the same time. They didn't arrest us together. They took us to jail together.
Q. What was the charge you were arrested on?
A. They arrested us for investigation of bookmaking and there was no charge ever made.
Q. Have you ever heard of the Skynight Club?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Do you know if Jack Ruby ever went there?
A. Not that I know of.
Q. You stated that you knew Mr. Johnnie Grasaffi?
A. I knew him casually, yes, sir.
Q. Do you know what activities Mr. Grasaffi engaged in?
A. I have no idea.
Q. Have you ever heard that before the mob assumed control of Dallas that Mr. Grassaffi would have to be run out of town?
A. I didn't know the mob ever got control of Dallas. I didn't hear the other, either. No, sir, I didn't hear either one of them.
Q. You currently work for Mr. Binion, as you testified. Do you know why Mr. Binion left Dallas in 1947?
A. I don't know, sir.
Q. Has he ever discussed that with you?
A. No. He doesn't have to discuss anything with me.
Q. Do you know if Mr. Binion was engaged in gambling activities in Dallas prior to 1947?
A. I don't know. I told you, when I returned back from the Marine Corps, he wasn't at that time.
Q. Mr. Binion never discussed with you his activities in Dallas?
A. No, sir.
Q. Did you ever have any business dealings with Mr. Binion aside from your current employment?
A. No, sir.
Q. Did Jack Ruby ever suggest doing any type of business deal with you?
A. No, sir.
Q. Are you familiar with any business dealings that Jack Ruby engaged in?
A. No, sir.
Q. Have you heard of Mr. Carlos Marcelo?
A. I've heard the name, yes, sir.
Q. Do you know if Jack Rudy knew him?
A. I don't have any way of knowing that.
Q. Did anybody hire Jack Ruby to kill Lee Harvey Oswald?
A. I don't know.
Q. Did anybody hire Lee Harvey Oswald to kill President Kennedy?
A. I have no idea.
Q. Is there any general information you could tell us about Jack Ruby that would be helpful to the Committee in investigating the assassination of President Kennedy?
A. I don't know anything I could tell you, sir. I don't know. He was a very slight acquaintance of mine, just a passing acquaintance.
Q. Can you characterize him personality wise?
A. He was an outgoing sort of a man. That is one reason a lot of people knew him. He was an outgoing personality and would make himself known or introduced to you if you were around him.
Q. Was he an emotional kind of person?
A. He seemed to be a nervous kind of a fellow. He was aggressive, you know, he wanted to be introduced, he'd give you a card, "Come to my club," things like that. That's all I really know about him.
Q. Was he a violent person?
A. I never saw--I don't have any way of knowing that. I never saw any occasion.
Q. Did you ever see him engaged in any fights or arguments? A No, sir.
Q. Did you know any of Jack Ruby's sisters or brothers?
A. No, sir.
Q. Mr. Matthews, I believe that concludes our deposition. If you would like to make any statement for the record that will be helpful to the Committee, it would be most appreciated.
A. I don't know what I can tell you, sir. If I could help you I would.
MR. WOLF: Thank you very much, Mr. Matthews. As we explained, we will send you a copy of this deposition