TESTIMONY OF HEINZ W. MICHAELIS

The testimony of Heinz W. Michaelis was taken at 10 a.m., on May 11, 1964, at 1200 North Soto Street, Los Angeles, Calif., by Mr. Joseph A. Ball, assistant counsel of the President's Commission. Mr. George A. Rose, President of George Rose & Co., was present.
Mr. BALL. Will you state your full name for the record, please?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Heinz W. Michaelis, M-i-c-h-a-e-l-i-s.
Mr. BALL What is your first name?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Heinz, H-e-i-n-z.
Mr. BALL. Heinz Michaelis.
Mr. Michaelis, you received a letter last week from Mr. Rankin, counsel for the Commission, did you not?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Yes.
Mr. BALL. That was what date that you received it?
Mr. MICHAELIS. I received it on Thursday.
Mr. BALL That would be----
Mr. MICHAELIS. 11---the 7th.
Mr. BALL. The 7th of May. And you were invited to give your testimony today by way of this deposition, weren't you?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Yes.
Mr. BALL. You are willing to do so, are you not?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Yes.
Mr. BALL. And you understand that the purpose of the inquiry is to inquire into the facts surrounding the assassination of President Kennedy in Dallas on November 22, 1963?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Yes.
Mr. BALL. What is your address?
Mr. MICHAELIS. 5227 West Olympic Boulevard.
Mr. BALL. In Los Angeles?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Los Angeles.
Mr. BALL. And your business address?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Pardon me. Correction. 5755 I am sorry.
Mr. BALL. And your business address?
Mr. MICHAELIS. 1200 North Soto, Los Angeles.
Mr. BALL. Have you recently changed your business address?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Yes.
Mr. BALL. From what address?
Mr. MICHAELIS. From 1225 South Grand Avenue.
Mr. BALL. Are you employed, self-employed, or do you work for some company?
Mr. MICHAELIS. I work for the George Rose & Co.
Mr. BALL. What business is the George Rose & Co. engaged in?
Mr. ROSE. You work for Merchanteers.
Mr. MICHAELIS. Oh, pardon me; Merchanteers, Inc.
Mr. BALL. Your immediate employer is Merchanteers, Inc.?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Merchanteers, Inc.
Mr. BALL. Is that associated with the George Rose & Co.?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Yes.
Mr. BALL. In what business is Merchanteers, Inc., engaged?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Merchanteers, Inc. has mail order----
Mr. ROSE. Mail order and management.
Mr. MICHAELIS. And management.
Mr. BALL. And does it do work for George Rose & Co.?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Do I work for George Rose & Co.?
Mr. ROSE. Yes.

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Mr. BALL. Well, Merchanteers, Inc.---it is the mail order agency for George Rose & Co., is it?
Mr. ROSE. No; may I clarify it?
Mr. BALL. Yes; well, I better have him, and then I may ask you to clarify it.
Mr. ROSE. Yes; all right.
Mr. BALL. Tell me what you know of the relationship between George Rose & Co. and Merchanteers?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Well, Merchanteers, Inc. is a mail-order business. But, it is also a management company and makes out the paychecks for employees from the George Rose & Co.
Mr. BALL. I see. Now, what business is George Rose & Co. engaged in?
Mr. MICHAELIS. George Rose & Co. are wholesalers and sell to retail stores.
Mr. BALL. What do they sell?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Musical instruments, cutlery, firearms, watches, clocks, and various others.
Mr. BALL. Does George Rose & Co. engage in any mail-order business?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Yeah; we get mail orders, too.
Mr. BALL. You take mail orders as George Rose & Co.?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Yes.
Mr. ROSE. Wholesale.
Mr. BALL. At wholesale?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Wholesale, yeah.
Mr. BALL. Now, there is also a company called Seaport Traders, isn't there?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Seaport Traders is another mail-order business.
Mr. BALL. It is another mail-order business?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Correct.
Mr. BALL. Do you work for them?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Only in a supervisory position.
Mr. BALL. That is the company that you work for, Merchanteers, you say?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Merchanteers; yes.
Mr. BALL. Is it Merchanteers, Inc.?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Merchanteers, Inc.; yes.
Mr. BALL. They manage the business of Seaport Traders?
Mr. MICHAELIS. That is correct.
Mr. BALL. Now, last fall did the Federal Bureau of Investigation visit your place of business and inquire as to the sale of a certain Smith & Wesson revolver?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Correct.
Mr. BALL. About what date?
Mr. MICHAELIS. I believe it was November the 30th, a Saturday.
Mr. BALL. And in searching your records for any such sale, to what particular record did you first look?
Mr. MICHAELIS. We started first, after having received the serial number, through our serial number book for this particular type of gun.
Mr. BALL. Now, what serial number did the FBI give you?
Mr. MICHAELIS. V, as in victory, 510210-65248.
Mr. BALL. Now, those two numbers signify what?
Mr. MICHAELIS. The first number, V510210, is commonly described as the butt number, while the second number, 65248, usually is described as the crane number.
Mr. BALL. Now, the serial numbers are stamped where on the gun?
Mr. MICHAELIS. As mentioned before, the first number is on the butt of the gun.
Mr. BALL. I see.
Mr. MICHAELIS. And also it appears on the lower part of the barrel.
Furthermore, it appears also on the outside rim of the cylinder of the gun. In other words, the first number, 510210, appears three times on the gun.
Mr. BALL. And that is usually known as the serial number of the gun; is that right?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Yes. But, we are---it is required that since Smith & Wesson revolvers carry two kinds of serial numbers, also to list the so-called crane number.
Mr. BALL. Is that also known as the assembly number, the crane number?

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Mr. MICHAELIS. I am not familiar with the word assembly number, but it might be possible.
Mr. BALL. What is the meaning of the word crane?
Mr. MICHAELIS. The crane is when you flip off the cylinder, inside is a crane and there is a number on the stem, which is the second number.
Mr. BALL. Do you maintain a record of all sales of guns in a book?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Yes; in this book here.
Mr. BALL. You have the book before you, do you not?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Yes.
Mr. BALL. That is a black, looseleaf notebook; looseleaf notebook with a black cover. Is that correct?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Correct.
Mr. BALL. And you keep that in handwriting, or by typewriting?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Handwriting.
Mr. BALL. Do you keep a typewritten or handwritten record?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Handwritten.
Mr. BALL. When the agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigation called on you on Saturday, November 30, 1963, you looked to your book that carries a record in handwriting of your sales?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Yes.
Mr. BALL. And did you find this record of this particular gun?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Yes.
Mr. BALL. I hand you here a document which is identified as FBI Laboratory No. D-191, being a photostat. Do you recognize this?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Yes.
Mr. BALL. Will you compare that with the page in your notebook?
Mr. MICHAELIS. It is the same.
Mr. BALL. And that is identified in your notebook as Case No. 3?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Case No. 3.
Mr. BALL. What is the significance of the words "Case No. 3"?
Mr. MICHAELIS. It is a listing of a case which we received.
Mr. BALL. Of a case, a particular case, of guns; is that correct?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Correct.
Mr. BALL. It also has a 99 enclosed in a circle. What is the significance of that?
Mr. MICHAELIS. I presume that is the contents, the piece contents of the case.
Mr. BALL. You found, therefore, a record in your notebook, and that would indicate what? That you had sold the gun at some time?
Mr. MICHAELIS. That is correct.
Mr. BALL. Now, I would like to offer and have marked this photostat of a page of the looseleaf notebook, which is identified as Case No. 3, as Exhibit No. 1 to this deposition of Mr. Michaelis.
(Whereupon the document last referred to hereinabove was marked to the Michaelis deposition as Commission Exhibit No. 1 for identification by the notary public.)
Mr. BALL. Now, from that looseleaf notebook were you able to determine from what source you bought the gun?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Yes.
Mr. BALL. Can you tell me now where you bought the gun and when?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Yes. Yes.
Mr. BALL. And from whom?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Excuse me.
Mr. BALL. Now, you have before you now a file?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. And does it refer to this particular purchase of 99 guns?
Mr. MICHAELIS. No. We bought altogether 500 guns.
Mr. BALL. 500? And what is the file, the title, that you are now showing?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Empire Wholesale.
Mr. BALL. All right. Now, tell me what you found as to the source of this gun; where you bought it and from whom.
Mr. MICHAELIS. We bought it from Empire Wholesale Sporting Goods, Ltd., 360 Craig Street West, Montreal 1, Quebec.

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Mr. BALL. And what date did you buy it?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Invoice No. 1181 dated October 13, 1962.
Mr. BALL. And it was shipped to you by the Empire Wholesale Sporting Goods, Ltd., on what date?
Mr. MICHAELIS. It went---it was on 10/19/62, in St. Albans, Vt., and from then on it was directed to our place of business, which was at that time 1225 South Grand Avenue. However, the merchandise in question did not arrive before January 3, 1963.
Mr. BALL. Is that the date it did arrive?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Yes. It was received January 3, 1963.
Mr. BALL. Off the record.
(Discussion held off the record.)
Mr. BALL. Now, when this gun was first received, what was the length of its barrel?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Five inches.
Mr. BALL. And was it changed?
Mr. MICHAELIS. It was changed.
Mr. BALL. To what?
Mr. MICHAELIS. To a 2 1/4-inch barrel.
Mr. BALL. How did you happen to do that?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Well, we gave the guns out to Mr. L. M. Johnson and instructed him to make up the guns as far as barrel lengths are concerned to our specifications.
Mr. BALL. Why did you shorten them from 5 to 2 1/4 inches? Explain to me for the record.
Mr. MICHAELIS. Because we have quite frequently calls for the Smith & Wesson revolvers with shorter barrels such as 2 1/4 inch or 4 inch.
Mr. BALL. Did you shorten all of the consignment that you received?
Mr. MICHAELIS. No.
Mr. BALL. Just a certain number?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. Now, this particular gun was shortened, then, from 5 to 2 1/4?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Correct.
Mr. BALL. Mr. Johnson's number--and is that M. L. Johnson?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Yes; just a minute. Or L. M. It is M. L.
Mr. BALL. And what is his address?
Mr. MICHAELIS. At that time, 13440 Burbank Boulevard, Van Nuys, Calif.
Mr. BALL. Now, that gun was sold, was it not, pursuant to a mail order?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Yes; mail order.
Mr. BALL. I hand you a document which has been marked Commission Exhibit No. 135. Will you examine that and tell me whether or not you ever saw that before?
Mr. MICHAELIS. I saw it the first time on November the 30th.
Mr. BALL. The first time?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. And where did you find that? Where was it when you saw it on November 30?
Mr. MICHAELIS. It was attached to our invoice No. 5371, in the records, the red copy.
Mr. BALL. Now, this particular mail order, did you have anything to do with filling that order?
Mr. MICHAELIS. No.
Mr. BALL. What is your position here? Do you have charge of the office?
Mr. MICHAELIS. I am manager.
Mr. BALL. You are manager of the office?
Mr. MICHAELIS. That is correct.
Mr. BALL. And all of these records are under your control, are they?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Well, not particularly at that time because my actual supervision of the Seaport Traders, Inc., activities started later during the year. mean in September and October, when the girl in charge left.
Mr. BALL. At least in November you were in charge and in possession of all of the records of the Seaport Traders?

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Mr. MICHAELIS. That is correct.
Mr. BALL. You have no personal knowledge, then, of the transaction by which the gun was shipped and sold?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Not prior to the first investigation.
Mr. BALL. But you are providing me with records which were under your control as of November 1963?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Yes; correct.
Mr. BALL. Now, can you tell me who would have actually received the mail order through the mail and who would have filled the order and shipped it? Do you know what person would have done this?
Mr. MICHAELIS. There are various operations. The order was received by----
Mr. ROSE. I probably would have opened it.
Mr. MICHAELIS. Yes; Mr. Rose usually opens the mail and distributes the mail. This particular order would have gone to the person in charge at that time of the Seaport Traders, who was Emma Vaughn.
Mr. BALL. Who?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Emma Vaughn, V-a-u-g-h-n.
Mr. BALL. Then what would have happened?
Mr. MICHAELIS. She would have processed the order in writing up invoice No. 5371. After 1 week she gave out the order to the order filler and packer.
Mr. BALL. What is the name?
Mr. MICHAELIS. This is a title, order filler and packer. She is one person.
Mr. BALL. What is that last word?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Packer.
Mr. BALL. Packer. I see.
Mr. MICHAELIS. And the order was shipped on March the 20th, 1963.
Mr. BALL. You have been testifying from a record which you have before you?
Mr. MICHAELIS. That is correct.
Mr. BALL. And that is a paper which has been marked for identification by the Federal Bureau of Investigation DL-28, Seaport Traders, Inc., No. A-5371. Is that correct? You have been testifying from information contained on that?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Correct.
Mr. BALL. That was in your records, was it, as of November 30, 1963?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Yes; it was.
Mr. BALL. Will you tell me, describe that document and tell me its significance in your business?
Mr. MICHAELIS. This particular document is, after the order is processed, filed in our records under the name of the respective customer.
Mr. BALL. You mean after the revolver that was ordered by this mail order coupon, 135, has been packed and shipped, this invoice A-5371, is filed as a permanent record, is it, of the shipment?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Correct; filed under the name of the respective customer.
Mr. BALL. Now, this shows the words A. J. Hidell, P.O. Box 2915, Dallas, Tex. This appears on this invoice A-5371, does it not?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Yes.
Mr. BALL. It is described as an S. & W. .38 special, 2-inch Commando. What is the meaning of that?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Two inch is the barrel length. Commando is a description which we more or less gave because we have another 2-inch gun at a higher price and, in order that the order filler is able to identify between the two types, we have this type described as Commando.
Mr. BALL. Now, the No. 510210. What is the significance of that number?
Mr. MICHAELIS. It is the serial number of the gun in question
Mr. BALL. And it shows deposit, $10. Balance c.o.d., $19.95. What is the significance of that?
Mr. MICHAELIS. We received, together with the order, the amount of $10 in cash. Since the sales price is $29.95, the merchandise was shipped with a c.o.d for the balance of $19.95.
Mr. BALL. Does this invoice show the date it was shipped?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Yes.
Mr. BALL. What was that?

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Mr. MICHAELIS. March 20.
Mr. BALL. 1963?
Mr. MICHAELIS. 1963.
Mr. BALL. Does it also show which one of your companies shipped it?
Mr. MICHAELIS. The Seaport Traders, Inc.
Mr. BALL. I would like to have this document marked, Invoice No. A-5371, as the Exhibit No. 2 to the deposition of Mr. Michaelis.
(Whereupon the document last referred to hereinabove was marked to the Michaelis deposition as Commission Exhibit No. 2 for identification by the notary public.)
Mr. BALL. Now I also show you a white copy of invoice No. A-5371 which has been marked on the face as DL-27. Can you tell me what that document is?
Mr. MICHAELIS. This document is the first copy of the invoice No. 5371 which is kept in the office as permanent record and is filed in the numerical order.
Mr. BALL. Can you tell me what your business custom was in March of 1963 with reference to the preparing of invoices, original invoice and copies, and shipping an item which had been ordered by mail?
Mr. MICHAELIS. The order received by mail is written up and invoiced in quadruplicate on a snap-out form. The first white copy remains in the office and is filed on a numerical order.
The second copy is used as a packing slip whereby the upper part of the invoice is torn off and used as a shipping label and the lower part used as a packing slip.
The third copy is filed permanently in the office under the name of the respective customer after the order has been shipped.
The fourth copy is the acknowledgment of the order copy and lists on the back side a statement which has to be signed by the respective customer.
Mr. BALL. What statement?
Mr. MICHAELIS. A statement to the effect, I believe that it said that the buyer states that he is a citizen of the United States, and that he has never been convicted in any court of the United States, territories, possessions, et cetera. Do you want me----
Mr. BALL. Well, now, this fourth copy that has on the back this statement by the customer, is that mailed to the customer?
Mr. MICHAELIS. It is mailed to the customer, but not .in this particular case. Indicated on the invoice are three X's, which indicates that we have already a statement to this effect on file because this particular mail order coupon has already the statement, and the name of the witness.
Mr. BALL. Now, the particular mail-order coupon that you refer to is Commission No. 135, and it has on it the statement required together with the witness?
Mr. MICHAELIS. With the witness; that's right.
Mr. BALL. And that witness' name is what?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Well, I identify it as D-r-i-t-t-a-l.
Mr. BALL. That's right. You are right.
Mr. MICHAELIS. Yes.
Mr. BALL. Then in this instance the fourth copy did not go to the purchaser?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Did not go to the purchaser; that is correct.
Mr. BALL. And the first copy is in white and is the one which you have identified?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Yes.
Mr. BALL. And we will mark that as Exhibit 3.
(Whereupon the document last referred to hereinabove was marked to the Michaelis deposition as Commission Exhibit No. 3 for identification by the notary public.)
Mr. BALL. The second copy is in red, is that correct?
Mr. MICHAELIS. The second copy is in yellow.
Mr. BALL Yellow. That is the packing slip copy?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Correct.
Mr. BALL. The third copy is in red?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Correct.

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Mr. BALL. And that is the one you have identified as Exhibit 2, is that correct?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Yes; that's correct.
Mr. BALL. And in this instance the fourth copy was not used, is that correct?
Mr. MICHAELIS. That is correct.
Mr. BALL. Exhibits 2 and 3 were also found as a part of your original records when you investigated, or looked through your records at the request of the Federal Bureau of Investigation on November 30, 1963. Is that correct?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Correct.
Mr. BALL. I will show you another document here which is a slip of red paper marked "Railway Express Agency" which has been heretofore identified with an FBI Exhibit No. DL-29. What is that document?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Just a minute, I have to get the original. Now, this exhibit number-----
Mr. BALL. It is given a No. DL-29. Will you describe it, please?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Yes; that is a copy of the receipt which we got from the Railway Express Agency showing that on March 20, 1963, one carton with a pistol was shipped to A. Hidell, P.O. Box 2915, Dallas, Tex. It shows, furthermore, that Railway Express is instructed to collect a c.o.d. fee of $19.95. And it shows furthermore the number of the original receipt, which is 70638.
Mr. BALL. Number of original receipt? Which receipt?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Of the Railway Express receipt.
Mr. BALL. IS this it here?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Yes.
Mr. BALL. Original receipt, Railway Express receipt, is that correct?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Yes
Mr. BALL. Does it identify the invoice in any way?
Mr. MICHAELIS. No.
Mr. BALL. Except by name is that right?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Except by name.
Mr. BALL. And does it describe the article shipped?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Only in broad terms.
Mr. BALL. What?
Mr. MICHAELIS. One carton consisting of a pistol.
Mr. BALL. One carton, pistol. I see. I would like to have this marked as Exhibit 4, being the pink copy of a Railway Express receipt.
(Whereupon the document last referred to hereinabove was marked to the Michaelis deposition as Commission Exhibit No. 4 for identification by the notary public.)
Mr. BALL. Now, a document identified as No. DL-30 by the Bureau of Investigation, receipt No. 70638. Will you describe that for me, please?
Mr. MICHAELIS. This document is required in addition by the Railway Express Agency for all c.o.d. shipments, and indicates again the name of the consignee, his address, and lists our invoice number which is, in this case, No. 5371. It directs the Railway Express Agency to remit the amount to be collected to Seaport Traders, Inc. The amount of the c.o.d. is $19.95, and the service charge has to be collected from the consignee.
Mr. BALL. I would like to have that marked as Exhibit 5.
(Whereupon the document last referred to hereinabove was marked to the Michaelis deposition as Commission Exhibit No. 5 for identification by the notary public.)
Mr. BALL. Now, Exhibit 4 has been described as a Railway Express Agency receipt. Exhibit 5, which is an additional document entitled "A brief of information for c.o.d. shipment, Railway Express Agency," those were in your files when you searched for information regarding the sale of this' pistol as of November 30, 1963. Is that correct?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Correct.
Mr. BALL. Is there anything in your files which shows that the Railway Express did remit to you the $19.95?
Mr. MICHAELIS. The fact that the exhibit number--may I see this green one?
Mr. BALL. Five.
Mr. MICHAELIS. Was attached to the red copy of the invoice.

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Mr. BALL. Red copy of the invoice being----
Mr. MICHAELIS. No; was attached to the red copy of the invoice, exhibit number----
Mr. BALL. Two.
Mr. MICHAELIS. Indicates that the money was received.
Mr. BALL. I see. Now, these documents were delivered to the Federal Bureau of Investigation by you, were they not?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Through Mr. Wood; yes.
Mr. BALL. And these documents, Exhibits 2 to 5, inclusive, are original documents, are they not?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Yes.
Mr. BALL. Exhibit 1 being a photostat of the page in your looseleaf notebook?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Correct.
Mr. BALL. Which carries the record of the sale, record of the item?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Correct.
Mr. BALL. And does anybody in your organization that you know of have any personal knowledge of packing this particular gun and shipping it?
Mr. MICHAELIS. I doubt very much that the packer would remember this particular parcel.
Mr. BALL. About how many guns of this type do you sell and ship out of here in a year?
Mr. MICHAELIS. In I year?
Mr. BALL. Yes; just a general estimate.
Mr. MICHAELIS. For Seaport Traders?
Mr. ROSE. That type of gun--we sell more .22's.
Mr. BALL. Well, about how many?
Mr. MICHAELIS. Seaport Traders, I would say that--this is a rough guess.
Mr. BALL. This particular type, that Seaport Traders might have sold maybe 120 in a year; 120, 150 in a year.
Mr. BALL. Would that be sold through mail order, or both mail order----
Mr. MICHAELIS. I am talking about particularly mail-order business from Seaport Traders.
Mr. BALL. 120 or 125?
Mr. MICHAELIS. 120, 150, Of this particular type of gun.
Mr. BALL. Is there anything else that you know about this particular transaction that you would like to tell me?
Mr. MICHAELIS. No, sir; I believe I answered all the questions of this transaction.