THE 
J.F. KENNEDY  ASSASSINATION

The Executive 
Session Testimony of

Robert McKeown, Gunrunner

 

Executive session testimony before the House Select Committee on Assassinations.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 12, 1978

U.S. House of Representatives, Subcommittee on the Assassination of John F. Kennedy of the Select Committee on Assassinations, Washington, D.C.

The Subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 8:15 a.m. in room 1310, Longworth House Office Building, Hon. Richard- son Preyer (Chairman of the Subcommittee) presiding. Present:. Representatives Preyer, Dodd, Fithian and Sawyer.

Also present: E. Berning, R. Morrison, G. Gonzi, J. Wolf, M. Flanagan, A. Purdy, J. Hornbeck, I.C. Mathews, G. Cornell, W. Cross, H. Leap, M. Wills, D. Hardway, R. Genzman and C. Berk.

Mr. Preyer. The Committee will come to order. The Chair recognizes the Clerk of the Committee to read into the record those members who are officially designated to be on the Committee this morning.

The Clerk. Mr. Chairman, you, Mr. Thone, Mr. Sawyer and Mr. Dodd are regular members; Mr. Fithian will be substituting for Mrs. Burke.

Mr. Preyer. Pursuant to yesterday's order, this will be a closed meeting. If the witness, Mr. McKeown and his attorney would come forward at this time, I would ask the attorney for Mr. McKeown if he would state his name for the record, please.

Mr. Appel. Mr. Chairman, my name is Kevin Appel, a member of the Virginia Bar. I have been asked to represent Mr. McKeown by Mark Lane, who is Mr. McKeown's attorney.

Mr. Preyer. Very well. Is the witness prepared to be sworn to testify at this time.

Mr. Appel. I would like to make a statement, if I may.

Mr. Preyer. You are recognized at this time.

Mr. Appel. Thank you. Mr. Lane, who is Mr. McKeown's attorney is unable to appear at this time. This fact has been made known to Chief Counsel's office by Mr. Lane's staff severaltimes over the course of this past week. Mr. Lane has repeated a request that Mr. McKeown's appearance before the Committee be rescheduled. The Committee has, however, refused to reschedule the appearance of this witness. In doing so, it deprives him of right to counsel of his choice. Mr. McKeown is willing to testify but does not want to do so without the counsel of choice.

Mr. Lane is familiar with the witness. He is familiar with the facts that he will be asked to relate in his testimony and Mr. McKeown feels that his rights will not be adequately protected without Mr. Lane's presence. I have been called in at the last minute. I am not familiar with the witness or with the matters that he will be talking about. It is our feeling that his right against selfincrimination will not be protected.

I will ask the Committee if, at all possible, to please reschedule the appearance of this witness. Mr. Lane has assured me that he could appear at almost any time. He could not make it today, he had another commitment that he could not get out of. He is willing to come from Los Angeles at any time that the Committee wants and Mr. McKeown will testify, with Mr. Lane's presence, at any time.

Mr. Preyer. I will recognize counsel for the staff for any comments he may have on that.

Mr. Purdy. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, the witness was subpoenaed on February 14, 1978 to appear on March 14th of this year. At that time, he was fully interviewed by our staff and, I might add, cooperated fully with the questioning. Subsequently, the hearing was continued until today. Mr. Lane has attemted to change the hearing date to April 17th. This request was first made on March 27th.

Since March 27th, there have been frequent communications between Mr. Lane and this staff wherein it was indicated that attempts would be made to change the appearance date, but that Mr. Lane should be prepared to appear with his client or make appropriate arrangements to the contrary. At no time was Mr. Lane told that this hearing would be changed and he has, at all times, been told that the hearing was scheduled for the 12th.

In addition, Mr. Chairman, the Committee is prepared, the staff is prepared to recommendthat the witness be immunized and the appropriate orders are at hand. Therefore, it is our contention that the witness cannot incriminate himself in any way and his attorney, Mr. Appel, will be present to deal with any objections that we feel he is perfectly competent to take care of.

Therefore, we feel that there can be no objection to his client's testifying at this time and it is the recommendation of counsel that a continuance not be granted.

Mr. Preyer. I think the objection is well taken.

This is not exactly like a court proceeding. For one thing, this committee has a deadline by which time We have to finish this proceeding. It is not like a court which just goes on year after year.

Mr. Appel. If I may make another comment, please, also recently Mr. McKeown has received a threatening phone call which has made him very apprehensive. I am not familiar enough with the facts to counsel him about what he says. He is nervous about what he says. Mr. Lane has more familiarity with the witness and with what he will say and the witness would be much more at ease with Mr. Lane present. As I say, Mr. Lane is willing to reschedule for any time that he can appear. Today was just a very bad day. He has very pressing business that could not be changed, so I again ask if at all possible that we change the scheduled hearing.

Mr. Preyer. I will say to Mr. McKeown that he has nothing to fear from this Committee. This is an Executive Session. His testimony will not be known to anyone. It is not as if he is being charged with any kind of a criminal charge, or anything of that sort. He is not. We are simply seeking information from him and we are prepared to immunize him so that there could be no possible criminal fall-out.

So I do not see that there is any danger to Mr. McKeown, to his rights at this time, because this has been known for weeks and the hearing was set at this time. Our schedule is so tight, I think we would have to go forward.

Mr. Fithian?

Mr. Fithian. Mr.. Chairman, I request that counsel -- I request to ask counsel. I understand that, in the original appearance request to appear before the Committee that there was an earlier date and, for convenience of counsel, it was shifted until today.

Mr. Purdy. Mr. Fithian, the counsel for Mr. McKeown, Mr. Lane, contacted Chairman Stokes by letter on March loth to request an open hearing and expense money. This was for a hearing scheduled for March 14th. The Committee considered these requests on March 13th, the day before the hearing was scheduled and it was for that reason, because of the scheduling of the March 13th hearing, to consider those requests, that the hearing was postponed until April 12th.

Mr. Fithian. So it has been postponed once for a one month period?

Mr. Purdy. Yes.

Mr. Fithian. Mr. Chairman, it would seem to me that, while attorney schedules are busy I am sure, that having already post- poned this hearing for one month that the Committee would be ill-advised to make an additional postponement.

Mr. Preyer. Thank you, Mr. Fithian. The Chair will deny the motion for a continuance at this time and will ask the witness if he would stand and be sworn at this time.

Do you solemnly swear that the evidence that you are about to give the Subcommittee will he the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Preyer. Thank you, Mr. McKeown.

I believe the witness has been given a copy of the Rules of this Committee. At this time, I will give a brief state- ment concerning the subject of the investigation. House Resolution 222 mandates the Committee to conduct a full and complete investigation and study of the circumstances surrounding the assassination and death of John F. Kennedy, including the existing laws of the United States concerning the protection of the President, and investigatory jurisdiction and capability of agencies and departments are adequate in thier provisions of enforcement, whether there was full disclosure of evidence and information among agencies and departments of the United States government, and whether any evidence or information not in the possessior of the agency or department would have been of assistance in investigating the assassination and why such information was not provided or collected By that agency or department; and to make recommendations to the House if the Select Committee deems it appropriate, of amendment of existing legislation or the enactment of new legislation. The Chair recognizes Mr. Purdy to begin the questioning of the witness.

Mr. Purdy. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, the first line of inquiry will be related to Mr. McKeown's connections and contacts with Jack Ruby. 44-105-956

TESTIMONY OF ROBERT RAY MCKEOWN

Mr. Purdy. Mr. McKeown, please state your full name?

Mr. McKeown. Robert Ray McKeown.

Mr. Purdy. Please state your date of birth and place of birth.

Mr. McKeown. January 28, 1911, Houston, Texas.

Mr. Purdy. What is your present address?

Mr. McKeown. 1203 Southwest 30th Court, Miami, Florida.

Mr. Purdy. Mr. McKeown, when did you first meet Jack Ruby?

Mr. McKeown. I refuse to answer on the grounds that it may incriminate me.

Mr. Purdy. Mr. Chairman, I request now at this time that the Chair direct the order of immunity to the witness.

Mr. Preyer. The Chair will ask counsel to give the witness a copy of the order of immunity, which I understand you have obtained.

Mr. Purdy. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The Clerk. This will be marked Exhibit 92.

{The document referred to was marked JFK Exhibit No, 92 and will be found in the files of the Subcommittee. )

Mr. Appel. I assume ---- I am not familiar with grants of immunity. I assume that the statutory provisions have been followed in this order and that there was proper notice and the Attorney General notified?

Mr. Preyer. Counsel?

Mr. Purdy. All proper steps, including notification of the Justice Department, were complied with.

Mr. Preyer. Thank you. The Chair now directs the witness to answer the question in light of the immunity that has been conferred on him.

Mr. McKeown. Would you repeat the question?

Mr. Purdy. Yes, Mr. McKeown. When did you first meet Jack Ruby?

Mr. McKeown. Well, can I tell it in my own words, how came about to meet him?

Mr. Purdy. Please do, Mr. McKeown. If we have any questions, we can follow up.

Mr. McKeown. Well, at the time, I was running a lounge in Texas and the Sheriff's Department came to my place and told me that there was somebody trying to get ahold of me from Dallas, Texas and would it he all right if the Sheriff's Department would give him my number there. So I said, hell, I do not know anybody from Dallas, Texas, so I said yes, it is all right, go ahead and give him the number.

So I would venture to say that, maybe twenty, thirty minutes -- I do not know exactly how long, but the phone rang and I answered it and it was a gentleman on the phone who said my name is Jack Rubinstein -- he did not say Ruby. He says, I would sure like to come down there and have a talk with you. I said, what is this all about? He said, well, I understand that you have connections that would benefit me, and I would like to come down. And I said, well, I guess it is all right. Come on down. So I would venture to say -- this has been quite awhile ago, I guess you can understand that. I would venture to say maybe two days that this gentleman walked in and he was a pretty welldressed guy, hag a hat on and everything, and he introduced himself to me and told me his name was Rubinstein. He says, I am the one who talked to you on the phone. He said, is there any way that we can talk?

I said yes. If you want to talk, what do you want to talk about?

So he told me, he says, I would like -- I may be getting ahead of my story; it has been a long time. Of course, we talked a little bit about this and that and he said, I understand that you are a very good friend of Castro. I said, I do not know, that has been sometime back. I am out of that mess now, and I do not want to get too much involved in it any more. He says, I wonder if you would give me a letter of introduction to Castro? I says, I do not know. I do not know you. I asked him, are you Jewish, and he said 'yes. I said, well, I know you are not Spanish. So anyway, it would certainly be worth your while if you would give me this letter, a nice letter telling them that I am a friend of yours and I am a good friend and have been knowing you a long time. I said, well, that would be a damned lie. I just met you thirty minutes ago. I do not know you. So he says, I will give you $25,000 if you will write me this letter where you will acknowledge that I am a friend of yours and have done business with you and things of that sort. Do you understand? So I said, well, Jesus Christ. $25,000 is a lot of money. I said, where are you going to get that kind of money. He said, I have have connections; I can. get it. As a matter of fact, I thought he was full of baloney. Anyway, I did write the letter and I says, I will tell you what. I will give you this letter, but you give me $10,000 to show you that this letter will get you to see Castro and then meanwhile, I will call Castro and tell him you are coming. But you give me $10,000 now and I will give you the letter. He says, well, I do not have that right on me right now. I do not have that much money, but I will be back either this afternoon or in the morning, and he wanted to read the letter; I would not let him read it. Sure enough, he did come back the next day -- not the next day, but two or three different times he came back, but he never did, get the letter. I never did give him the letter, because he never did give me any money. But in the meantime, we would talk about things and he commenced telling me that he had a whole lot of jeeps, a whole lot of slot machines and he had access to this and all of this. He had good connections. I said that is beside the point. I do not think that Castro is going to have, gambling over there to begin with. But he kept coming back, you know, and we would talk and drink a beer together. He impressed me -I do not know exactly how to say it because ladies are present, because he impressed me as a big bunch of b.s. in my opinion. That is just my opinion. He wanted to act like he was a big shot, but it did not impress me any. But the only thing I can figure is that he was trying to find out from me my activities and things of that sort, how well I knew Castro. He wanted to find out where I lived, how I got involed and all of this and all of that. But I did not tell him. He left about the fourth day he came down. He came down about four times and he left and I never heard from him since.

Mr. Purdy. I realize that it has been a long time but I would like to ask you a few follow-up questions about the call and the series of visits. Could you pinpoint for us what year the phonecall was?

Mr. McKeown. Well, I imagine that it was around '61, but I am not positive. I know it was not very cold. I imagine around August, or something like that. I really do not know, to be frank with you. I had it all this wrote down but my house burned up and burned everything I had up, everything. As a matter of fact, I was lucky to, get out of the house and I had an investigator investigate how come my house was burned up, and they told me that somebody set it on fire. I lost everything. I' got out of there with a pair of shorts.

Mr. Purdy. Do you have any time reference for when the call came? Was it a long time after Castro took over, or a short time? Do you remember that? Mr. McKeown, More or less a short time, because it was all in the papers. I should have brought that with me. I brought it down here, but I have all of the papers, the newspaper clippings and everything, but I left it in the room. You know, you can tell from the date about what time that all happened.

Mr. Purdy. Could we obtain copies of the papers from you after the hearing?

Mr. McKeown. Sir?

Mr. Purdy. Could we obtain copies of those papers after the hearing?

Mr. McKeown. Yes, they are at the hotel. You know, the papers probably have the date on them. But it was after that, you see. That is the reason,, I imagine, that he contacted me because he read all of this paper business, you know.

Mr. Purdy. Do you remember what it was in the newspapers that he read about you?

Mr. McKeown. Well, I was working, I was associated with Carlos Prio. I was getting guns into Castro.

Mr. Purdy. So there was publicity about that?

Mr. McKeown. So I got caught, you understand, and then the publicity came out.

Mr. Purdy. When you were arrested for running guns, that was in 1958, is that correct?

Mr. McKeown. I think So, '58 or '59. I was not arrested, I gave myself up.

Mr. Purdy. You gave yourself up, the records indicate, on February 25th, 1958, is that correct?

Mr. McKeown. Somewhere around there, yes, sir.

Mr. Purdy. Do you recall talking with the FBI about these facts on January 28th, 1964?

Mr. McKeown. What?

Mr. Purdy. Do you recall being interviewed by the FBI in January, 1964?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. At that time you indicated that the telephone call from a man you said who was Jack Rubinstein came approximately one week after Castro assumed power. Is that your present recollection?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. Do you recall that Castro came to power 15, January 1, 1959?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. That would put your phonecall approximately a week after that, early in January, 1959. Is that your present recollection?

Mr. McKeown. It was right after Castro took power, maybe a week or ten days or something. I really do not know.

Mr. Purdy. This morning you said that the man who called you said that you might be able to do something for his benefit. Did he add any other details as to what you might he able to do?

Mr. McKeown. He said he would like to sell Castro a lot of jeeps and slot machines. That is what he said, and he wanted to meet Castro, he wanted to go over there and meet him.

Mr. Purdy. Limiting this just to the phone call, not to the visit, did he discuss the jeeps and slot machines during the phone call?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. What did he discuss during the phone call?

Mr. McKeown. Like I told you, he just said that he would like to come down and talk to me and I told him that was all right with me if he wanted to come down.

Mr. Purdy. In the telephone call, did he request your assistance in obtaining the release of three people from Cuba?

Mr. McKeown. He said he had some friends over there that he would like to help get out if I could help him get them out.

Mr. Purdy. Did he say who they were?

Mr. McKeown. Did you have any idea who he was talking about?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. You say you had known Castro very well is that correct?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. Approximately a week after Castro assumed power, were many people imprisoned?

Mr. McKeown. Imprisoned in Cuba or here?

Mr. Purdy. Imprisoned in Cuba. Did he imprison a number of people when he took power?

Mr. McKeown. You know as much about it as I do. You read the papers where he did, yes. Mr. Purdy, Do you have a present recollection as to whether he imprisoned people shortly after taking power or later, months later?

Mr. McKeown. Well, I presume he imprisoned them practically right away.

Mr. Purdy. Do you know what types of people he imprisoned after taking power? Were they political figures, were they gamblers, were they Cubans? Americans?

Mr. Appel. Is this line of questioning, pertinent?

Mr. McKeown. Why go through all of this? I am here testify about Oswald and Jack Ruby and all of that Castro business-- I have all of that behind me and I want to leave it behind me.

Mr. Appel. I have to object.

Mr. Purdy. This line of questioning is intended to gain any information possible about the types of people that Jack Ruby may have been trying to obtain the release of from Cuban jails on behalf of some other interests, as well as to pinpoint more accurately the time frame when Jack Ruby would have been making those inquiries, because it is unclear whether or not people were imprisoned shortly after the Castro takeover, or later on. For that reason, Counsel contends that this line of questioning is relevant, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Preyer. I think it is pertinent to seek to develop information relating to who might have been imprisoned. If the witness knows the answer to this question, the Chair thinks it would be pertinent to answer.

Mr. Appel. Would you repeat the question?

Mr. Purdy. Mr. McKeown, let me rephrase the question. Do you have any information about the general types of people imprisoned or specific individuals imprisoned after Castro took power?

Mr. McKeown. Do I know any of them?

Mr. Purdy. Yes.

Mr. McKeown. No. I did not know any of them personally. I heard of them.

Mr. Purdy. Do you recall the names of anybody you heard was in prison in Cuba?

Mr. McKeown. There was a friend who came from Costa Rica and I understood that he was in Jail. His name was Hernandez.

Mr. Purdy. Mr. McKeown, did Mr. Rubinstein, in the phonecall, offer you any money for obtaining the release of individuals?

Mr. McKeown. No, not in the phone call.

Mr. Purdy. How many individuals did he ask that you obtain the release of?

Mr. McKeown. Three. He said he had three friends over there.

Mr. Purdy. Did Mr. Rubinstein indicate that he was working for anybody else when he was trying to obtain the release of these people?

Mr. McKeown. He emphasized, when I asked him about this money, you know, I told him that is a hell of a lot of money, but he said, I have good connections so money does not mean anything,

Mr. Purdy. This was money in regard to obtaining the release of people or the letter?

Mr. McKeown. To give him the letter. If I would give him the letter of introduction to Castro, he offered me that money, but I never did get it. He never did get the letter.

Mr. Purdy. Did you tell the FBI on January 28, 1964 that Mr. Rubinstein, in the phonecall, offered you $5,000 for the release of each of three prisoners? Mr. McKeow. Well, he said something on the phone, he said, I, got some friends over in Cuba, but as I recall now, he might have offered me some money on the phone, hut I do not believe he did. It seems as though the only time he offered me money was to get the letter. He might have said something, but I did not talk to him very long on the phone. The only thing he wanted me to do, to get from me, was it all right for him to come down there from Dallas to talk to me. That was the main thing that he wanted to talk to me about.

Mr. Purdy. Approximately how much time passed after the phonecall when he came to visit you?

Mr. McKeown. A couple or three days.

Mr. Purdy. He came to visit you a few days after the phone call?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. You stated earlier this morning that the man who came to see you identified himself as Jack Rubinstein, is that correct?

Mr. McKeown. Rubinstein.

Mr. Purdy. In your interview with the FBI on January 28th, 1964, did you tell him that the man who came to visit you did not identify himself?

Mr. McKeown. No, not as I recall. Did not identify himself?

Mr. Purdy. Yes.

Mr. McKeown. I do not recall what I said to the FBI. I just told them that he came to see me.

Mr. Purdy. Is it your present recollection that the man who came to see you, identified himself as Jack Rubinstein?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. Could you please give you a physica/description of the man who came to visit you?

Mr. McKeown. Well, he was a little hit stout and he had a little patch on his nose at the time, a little round patch. I asked him what happened, he said he squeezed a blackhead and it, got infected. He had a black hat on and he was welldressed. Kind of a stocky sort of fellow, not tall. I would venture to say he weighed 165, 180 pounds. I really do not know. Just average. Welldressed. He wore a hat, I know that.

Mr. Purdy. Mr. McKeown, did you tell the FBI on January 28, 1964 that the reason that you knew the man who came to see you was Jack Rubinstein was because you recognized him from photographs that you saw at the time of the assassination?

Mr. McKeown. I want to tell you something. I think I went to talk to the FBI before the assassination and then after-the assassination, both. I just told the FBI that Jack Rubinstein, like I am telling you, called me on the phone and he came down there to see me and he wanted this letter.

Mr. Purdy. Did you talk to the FBI about Jack Rubinstein before the assassination?

Mr. McKeown. It seems as though I did, yes.

Mr. Purdy. Approximately how long before the assassination did you did you talk with the FBI?

Mr. McKeown. Right after Castro took over, you see? I think Castro took over in '58, did he not?

Mr. Purdy. He took over January 21, 1959.

Mr. McKeown. '59. It was a little bit after that that he came to see me.

Mr. Purdy. Did you talk to the FBI about Jack Rubinstein before the assassination?

Mr. McKeown. Well, it seems as though I did. You see, I was on probation. I was on five-year probation and was scared, because I did not want to get in no trouble. So I believe I went and told them about this guy coming to see me, up in the Post Office Building in Houston. I am pretty sure I did. They told me that that was very good information. But, you see, right after the president was assassinated -- as a matter of fact, I was working for the Houston Slush pump Company. I was a salesman, a sales represtative, this lady, she owned this company and her and I was going to eat dinner, to eat lunch, and the bookkeeper -- is it all right to tell you in my own words how this happened? We wanted to get some chicken and we were going to get some Mexican food at a Mexican restaurant, so he asked us to bring some chicken back for him. So I went into this care to order the chicken and then tell them I would pick it up on the way back end that is when I heard that the President had been shot. So I come on back to the car and I said, turn the radio on. The President has been shot. So she turned the radio on and we didn't go nowhere. We went back to the office and listened to the broadcasts on the radio. The next day, the FBI was out and I went up there and talked to them about Jack Ruby.

Mr. Purdy. Is that the first time that you talked to the FBI about Jack Rubinstein?

Mr. McKeown. I think it was, then again, maybe it was not. It has-been a long time. I have been through a lot of hell since then.

Mr. Purdy. Mr. McKeown, where were you when Lee Harvey Oswald was shot?

Mr. McKeown. I was watching my television in St. Leon, Texas.

Mr. Purdy. Did you recognize the name of the individual who shot Lee Harvey Oswald?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. Did you recognize his name as Jack Ruby? Did you assume that was Jack Rubinstein?

Mr. McKeown. I recognized him as the man who had come to see me.

Mr. Purdy. You recognized his photograph?

Mr. McKeown. On the television.

Mr. Purdy. After Mr. Oswald was shot, did you tell anyone that you had known Jack Rubinstein?

Mr. McKeown. I did not have to tell them. You know, things like that get around. This particular fellow who was living there with me - I had married this lady, she was a schoolteacher and she did not know that I was in all of this mess. I was on probation at the time. So I was trying to hold it away from her, but of course you know them things get out. But, anyway, Sam Neal was there and he left so I told Pauline, I said, I am going to turn the television on. I seen it when he killed him. And then Sam called right after that and we went down to somewhere, I do not know where. He called me up and the son-of-a-bitch who was at your house, that is the guy who was at your house talking about Oswald. And I said, it sure is.

Mr. Purdy. Did you tell anyone, after the shooting of Oswald, that you knew Jack Rubinstein?

Mr. McKeown. I did not know Jack Rubinstein. I did not know him, like I don't know you. I am talking to you now, but I don't know you. The same with Jack Rubinstein. I did not know him. The only thing he came to me -- I had never seen the man in my life before; I had never heard of him.

Mr. Purdy. Did you tell anybody that you had met him prior to the time that you talked to the FBI?

Mr. McKeown. That I met Jack Ruby? Yes, I told a few people that he came to see me, after this happened.

Mr. Purdy. Did you tell anybody besides Sam Neal that you had met Lee Harvey Oswald after the assassination?

Mr. McKeown. Sam Neal was there when Lee Harvey Oswald came out of the house.

Mr. Purdy. Did you tell anybody else that you had met Lee Harvey Oswald after the assassination?

Mr. McKeown. I guess so.. I told a few people.

Mr. Purdy. You stated earlier that Mr. Rubinstein who visited you said he was interested in transporting jeeps and slot machines to Cuba?

Mr. McKeown. Right. That was his subject. More or less, he wanted this letter more than anything else. Mr. Purdy, Did he Say that he had possession of jeeps and slot machines?

Mr. McKeown. Right. He said he had them out in Nevada in the mountains somewhere, out in a cave. That is what he told me.

Mr. Purdy. Did Mr. Rubinstein say that he knew any Mafia or Organized crime figures that were associated with Cuba?

Mr. McKeown. He said he knew the Mafia. He did not say anything about associating with Cuba.

Mr. Purdy. Did he tell you any of those individuals?

Mr. McKeown. No, he did not tell me any names

Mr. Purdy. Did he say that he was working for those Mafia figures in those transactions?

Mr. McKeown. No, he said he had connections. When I asked him about the money he said you do not need to worry about the money, I have good connections. Money does not mean nothing.

Mr. Purdy. Did he mention any connections with Miami?

Mr. McKeown. He wanted to know. if I knew anybody in Miami. He just wanted to know how well I was acquainted in Miami. I said I go there quite often. I know a few Cubans.

Mr. Purdy. Did he mention the Clover Club or the Ponce Room in Miami?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. Why did he mention those to you?

Mr. McKeown. He asked me, are you familiar with the Ponce Club. That was behind the Clover. In them days, that is where the Latins congregated, in the Ponce Club, do you understand? And he asked me if I had ever been in there. I said, yes, I had been in there. That is about all there was to it. He just wanted to know if I knew where it was.

Mr. Purdy. Did he say that he had been there?

Mr. McKeown. Well, he did not exactly say that he had been there. He just wanted to know if I had been there.

Mr. Purdy. Did you get the impression that he had been there?

Mr. McKeown. I got the impression that he knew what he was talking about. He described the place pretty good.

Mr. Purdy: Did you tell him that you knew people connected with the Ponce Room? Mr. McKeown, No. Mr. Purdy, Did he tell you that he knew individuals connected with the Ponce Club?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. When Mr. Rubinstein contacted you conserning the release of individuals from Cuban prisons, did he initially think that your name was Davis?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. What did he think that your first name was?

Mr. McKeown. I do not know, but he got me mixed up with a fellow named Davis Over in Beaumont. Hell, I did not know anybody named Davis.

Mr. Purdy. Mr. McKeown, you stated earlier that Rubinstein contacted you because of news accounts of your connections with Cuba, is that correct?

Mr. McKeown. That is the only way I know. He called the Sheriff's Department. I was living about 35 miles or so. I was in the county, I was not in the city of Houston. I was in a little place called Seabrook. I had bought a house down there and then I had bought this acre of land and I had built a little shopping center there. The. money was furnished to build this shopping center, and I think I was waiting for the trial.

Mr. Purdy. Did Mr. Rubinstein indicate that he had talked to anyone who knew you prior to his call to you?

Mr. McKeown. The only way I can answer that is to tell you that he told me, he said, you are wellknown. You are well-known all over the state of Texas. I have seen your picture in the paper in Mexico City.

Mr. Purdy. Mr. McKeown, can you explain how it was that Jack Rubinstein read about you by your name of McKeown and yet came to you and thought you were named Davis?

Mr. McKeown. I cannot understand that, no,

Mr. Purdy. Did you ask him why, he thought that you were named Davis?

Mr. McKeown. I have used a few names, but I never did use Davis.

Mr. Purdy. What were some of the other names you used?

Mr. McKeown. I used McAllister. I used Henry, things like that.

Mr. Purdy. Mr. McKeown, did Mr. Rubenstein say that he had seen your name and picture in Mexico City?

Mr. McKeown. Right; I said, well, that is news to me. I did not know that it was down there.

Mr. Purdy. Did he indicate to you what the storeywas in reference to?

Mr. McKeown. When they confiscated all these arms that I was caught with.

Mr. Purdy. What did Mr. Rubinstein say to you that indicated that he had mistaken you with a Davis from Beaumont, Texas?

Mr. McKeown. He told me that he thought that I was the one who was in Beaumont, Texas but now that he knew that I was not the same man.

Mr. Purdy. Did you know, or had you ever heard, of a Davis from Beaumont, Texas?

Mr. McKeown. No. I went to Beaumont, Texas a couple of times but I went over there to buy blankets. I bought a thousand blankets.

Mr. Purdy. Who did you buy a thousand blankets from?

Mr. McKeown. From a Ward Surplus, just a store there.

Mr. Purdy. Did you know, or had you heard of, any person named Davis connected with arms sales?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. Mr. Chairman, I think it would be appropriate at this time for members of the Committee to ask any questions you might have related to Mr. McKeown's connection with Jack Ruby. Following that, I would pursue a line of questioning concerning his knowledge of some of Jack Ruby's other associates.

Mr. Preyer. Would you prefer that we proceed with the questioning?

Mr. Fithian. Whatever the Chair prefers. I may have one question to clarify.

Mr. Preyer. All right.

Mr. Fithian. Mr. McKeown, were the only contacts that you had with Jack Rubinstein that sequence of visits that he made to Texas? Was that the only time you personally contacted or were contacted by Jack Rubinstein when he came down to see you in Texas?

Mr. McKeown. That is the only time that I have ever seen him, when he came to my club. He came there four or five times.

Mr. Fithian. After that sequence?

Mr. McKeown. I never saw him before.

Mr. Fithian. He did not call you on the phone, you had no other contact?

Mr. McKeown. lie just dropped completely out of sight.

Mr. Fithian. No letters from him, no phone calls?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Fithian. Thank you.

Mr. Preyer. I would suggest to counsel that we might proceed at this time.

Mr. Purdy. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. McKeown, you said that there were a number of visits that Mr. Rubinstein came to you, is that correct?

Mr. McKeown. yes.

Mr. Purdy. Approximately how many visits?

Mr. McKeown. I would venture maybe four, at least four.

Mr. Purdy. What period of time elapsed between the first and the final visit?

Mr. McKeown. He came every day, you know what I mean? The first time he came from the phone call, and then he came. I do not know whether it was the next day. I know it was dark, around 8:00 or 9:00 when he called me on the phone, and I do not know Whether it. was the next day or the following day that he came. I did not know him when he walked in. I did not know him from Adam. Then he introduced himself to me.

Mr. Purdy. Mr. McKeown, how far is Seabrook, Texas from Dallas, Texas? Do you know?

Mr. McKeown. I would say about 300 miles.

Mr. Purdy. About 300 miles.

Mr. McKeown. Approximately, about 300.

Mr. Purdy. Was Mr. Rubinstein staying in Seabrook over this period of four days?

Mr. McKeown. No, he told me he was staying in town, in Houston.

Mr. Purdy. Did he say where he was staying?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. Did Mr. RubinStein mention any people whom you both knew? Mr. McKeown, Not that I recall. This is my own opinion about Jack Rubinstein. The only thing that I can figure what, is your name?

Mr. Purdy. Purdy.

Mr. McKeown. The only thing that I can figure, Mr. Purdy, is that he was trying to go and tell somebody else that he knew me real good. Do you understand? He kept asking me about my boyhood, my connections with Prio and how many times I had been to Cuba, all of this and all of that, and did I go under a nickname or anything like that. And you know, like I say, the only thing that I can figure about the whole damn thing is that he was trying to find out and go and tell people that he knew me real good, do you understand? He did not. I did not know him.

Mr. Purdy. Did he indicate to you that he had been to Cuba?

Mr. McKeown. No, he indicated that he wanted to, go to Cuba. He did not say anything about him being there.

Mr. Purdy. Mr. McKeown, during What period of time did you live or work in Cuba?

Mr. McKeown. Well, I had a business in Cuba. It was in Santiago, then I would go into Havana. It was a legitimate business, you know? Batista kept after me to pay off because I was doing a pretty. good business. I had invented a coffee cleaning machine. I was going to build over there. I had built the prototype in Houston, then I took ,it on over and then we were going to open up a place in Cuba to manufacture. Then Batista kept on after me to pay off, pay off -not him, do not misunderstand me. He did not come himself, Batista didn't, but he sent his militia. So I told them to hell with it, I was going to pay nothing. I am a United States citizen. I am not paying you nothing. So it went on there for, about four, five or six months. Then four militias came out there and they put me on an airplane and told me to get out of Cuba and I got out.

Mr. Purdy. What was the time period that you left Cuba?

Mr. McKeown. What time was it?

Mr. Purdy. Yes.

Mr. McKeown. The daytime.

Mr. Purdy. What was the date and the year?

Mr. McKeown. It was around '57. I do not know what date it was.

Mr. Purdy. Did you return to live or work in Cuba after Castro took power?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. Was that because of your probation?

Mr. McKeown. Yes. I tried to.

Mr. Purdy. Mr. McKeown?

Mr. McKeown. He tried to get me to go, he came to Houston. Castro came to Houston and he told me, come on, get on the airplane. I said no way, but I did go up and had a bearing with Judge Ingraham and. I had my probation officer who was of the name FIelds and he recommended to the Judge that I not, go to Cuba.

Mr. Purdy. Mr. McKeown, you stated today that Jack Rubinstein came to see you four times in 1959. Is that correct?

Mr. McKeown. I think so, Right after Castro took over.

Mr. Purdy. Mr. McKeown, did you tell the FBI on January 28, 1964 that Jack Rubinstein came to see you only one time?

Mr. McKeown. No, because I know that it came two orthree times.

Mr. Purdy. Does it refresh your recollection to know that the report by Special Agent Daniel Foltz of January 28, 1964 indicates that you told him that Jack Rubinstein came to visit you only one time?

Mr. McKeown. I do not know why I would tell him that, because he came two, three times. Maybe I was scared because, I was on probation, maybe I told him only once. I do not know . I am telling you the truth because I swore I would tell the truth, and he came to see me three or four times.

Mr. Purdy. Mr. McKeown, is your memory better now than when you had the FBI interview in 1964?

Mr. McKeown. What?

Mr. Purdy. Is your memory better now today than when you had the FBI interview in 1964?

Mr. McKeown. I do not know.

Mr. Purdy. Mr. McKeown, as everything you told the FBI in 1964 the truth?

Mr. McKeown. To the best of my recollection. The only thing I was trying to do was trying to help the government out. That was what I was trying to do. If he was involved in anything, I was just trying to help them out. I just wanted to tell them the truth. He asked to come see me, the man who murdered Lee Harvey Oswald.

Mr. Purdy. Did you tell the FBI on January 28, 1964 that the man who came to see you never returned, nor did you ever again see him, after the first visit?

Mr. McKeown. No, not after the first visit, because he came three or four times, like I told you.

Mr. Purdy. Mr. McKeown, were you in Dallas or New Orleans during 1963?

Mr. McKeown. Where?

Mr. Purdy. Dallas, Texas or New Orleans, Louisiana during 1963.

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. Mr. McKeown, did you know, or know of Mr. R. D. Mathews?

Mr. McKeown. Who?

Mr. Purdy. Mr. Russell Douglas Mathews.

Mr. McKeown. Never heard of him.

Mr. Purdy. Did Jack Ruby discuss him?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. Did you know, or have you heard of, Mr. Joseph Civello?

Mr. McKeown. Joseph who?

Mr. Purdy. Civello.

Mr. McKeown. Not as I recall.

Mr. Purdy. Did you know James Robert Todd?

Mr. McKeown. What did he do?

Mr. Purdy. He lived and worked in Dallas, Texas.

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. Did you know James Henry Dolan?

Mr. McKeown. What did he do?

Mr. Purdy. He worked for, the American Guild of Variety Artists in Dallas and he was a gambler.

Mr. McKeown. No, I did not know him. I heard of him, but I did not know him.

Mr. Purdy. Did Jack Ruby discuss him?

Mr. McKeown. No. He did not discuss any names. He just said he had connections that could get ahold of money.

Mr. Purdy. Did you know, or have you heard, of Mr. Jim Brady?

Mr. McKeown. What did he do?

Mr. Purdy. He also went by the name Eugene Hale Brady.

Mr. McKeown. Was he a pilot?

Mr. Purdy. No.

Mr. McKeown. No, I do not how.

Mr. Purdy. Do you know, or have you heard of, Messers. Sam or Joseph Campesi?

Mr. McKeown. I have heard of them.

Mr. Purdy. You never met them?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. Did you know Candy Barr?

Mr. McKeown. I have heard of her.

Mr. Purdy. You never met her?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. Do you recall how you heard of Candy Barr?

Mr. McKeown. Well, I had a friend and she was living down around El Campo, Texas. I do not recall the name of the town, just a small place, and he was a friend of hers and he told me that she was down there. That is all I know.

Mr. Purdy. How did you hear of the Campesis.

Mr. McKeown. What?

Mr. Purdy. How did you hear of Sam or Joseph Campesi?

Mr. McKeown. Through Prio.

Mr. Purdy. What did you say about that?

Mr. McKeown. He said they were good people, they were on our Side.

Mr. Purdy. Did he say that he was working with him?

Mr. McKeown. Well, I presumed that he was working with him I do not know. I was more or less a lone wolf. I did not implicate myself with all them people because I did what he told me to do and he furnished the money.

Mr. Purdy. Are you talking about Mr. Prio?

Mr. McKeown. Prio.

Mr. Purdy. Do you know whether or not they were also working for or with Mr. Prio?

Mr. McKeown. I presume, but I do not know for sure.

Mr. Purdy. Do you know any other Americans who were working for Mr. Prio?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. Who were they? (Pause)

Mr. McKeown. A very. good friend of mine. We did a lot of traveling together. His name was Manola Artuse. I am sorry to tell you this. There was another one named Mario, but I cannot recall his last name. He married a woman from Puerto Rico and I understand that he is in Cuba now. Whether he is nor not, I have not seen him since him and came here and met Prio.

Mr. Purdy. Do you know of anybody else who knows him?

Mr. McKeown. Who? Mr.Purdy. Mario?

Mr. McKeown. Manola.

Mr. Purdy. Does the name Maria Valamios sound familiar to you?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. Was that him?

Mr. McKeown. It might have been.

Mr. Purdy. Do you recall anybody else who was working with Mr. Prio at that time?

Mr. McKeown. Oh, hell, yes. I do not recall their names. A Spanish name is easy to forget, and I just knew them by their first name, more or less. Ralph, for instance.

Mr. Purdy. Pardon me?

Mr. McKeown. A gentleman by the name of Ralph. He was more or less Prio's bodyguard and a lady named Marie Serez. Manola was close to Prio, and Mario, and three or four others but hell, I do not remember their names.

Mr. Purdy. Did you know, or have you heard of, Joseph Marello?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. How did you know him?

Mr. McKeown. Through Manola.

Mr. Purdy. You knew him personally?

Mr. McKeown. Just to talk with.

Mr. Purdy. Did you work with him at all?

Mr. McKeown. No, I worked by myself.

Mr. Purdy. Are you aware of any particular assignments that he had from Mr. Prio?

Mr. McKeown. Who? Mr.Purdy. Mr. Marella.

Mr. McKeown. The only thing, he would come to me and tell me where things would be.

Mr. Purdy. What kind of things?

Mr. McKeown. Guns.

Mr. Purdy. He would tell you where to get guns?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. Did he tell you who was supplying those guns?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. Did you know, or have you heard of, Mr. Thomas Ely Davis III of Beaumont, Texas?

Mr. McKeown. I told you awhile ago I did not know anybody by the name of Davis.

Mr. Purdy. Did you know a Mr. Carl Davis of North Carolina?

Mr. McKeown. What?

Mr. Purdy. Did you know a Mr. Carl Davis Of North Carolina?

Mr. McKeown. Carl Davidson?

Mr. Purdy. Davis.

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. Mr. Chairman, I think it would be appropriate now if the Committee would like to ask any questions about Mr. McKeown's connections with Mr. Ruby. Following that, I will develop a line of questioning concerning Mr. McKeown's contacts with Mr. Oswald.

Mr. Preyer. I was not clear on your interview with the FBI shortly after the assassination.

Mr. McKeown. The next day.

Mr. Preyer.How did they happen to interview you?

Mr. McKeown. Sir?

Mr. Preyer.How did they happen to interview you?

Mr. McKeown. How did they happen?

Mr. Preyer.Yes.

Mr. McKeown. As I said, I was working with this pump company and they came to the office. They came out there.

Mr. Preyer. What made them come to the office? Had you made some statement?

Mr. McKeown. I do not know, but they sure came out there and I lost that job. Every job I got I lost because they would come out where I was working.

Mr. Preyer. You did not go to them as far ds you know? There was nothing about you in the paper that would have caused them to come and interview you?

Mr. McKeown. Not that I know of. There was nothing about me in the paper.

Mr. Preyer. Because of your friendship with Mr. Castro , did a number of people Come to you and ask for favors?

Mr. McKeown. Oh, Jesus Christ, Yes. One of your good friends came to me, a gentleman by the name of Butler. He was a campaign manager for Ike Eisenhower or something. He was a big wheel with the Republicans and I am a Democrat and he told! me --I will tell you. This was the most mysterious thing you ever heard of.

Mr. Preyer. I do not care to know the details of all of these visits because they would not be relevant to our inquiry, but you were visited by a number of people or called and Jack Ruby's call was a part of this?

Mr. McKeown. The people came down to see me, you see, after Castro took over, for wanting me to do those people favors, like sugar.

Mr. Preyer. These were mostly people who wanted to get some business deal with Cuba?

Mr. McKeown. Right.

Mr. Preyer. Mr. Fithian, do you have any questions?

Mr. Fithian. I do not have any at this point, Chairman.

Mr. Preyer. I think it might be appropriate at this point, before we leave the Ruby matter, to enter the FBI Report that you referred to into the record.

Mr. Purdy. Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask the Clerk to mark the FBI report of January 28, 1964 with Mr. Robert Ray McKeown, conducted by Special Agent Daniel Foltz for identification. I would like to ask the Clerk to mark JFK Exhibit No. 93. (the document referred to was marked JFK Exhibit No. 93 and will be found in the files of the Subcommittee.)

Mr. Purdy. Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask at this time that JFK Exhibit 93 will be entered into the record.

Mr. Preyer. Without objection, it is entered into the record at this time.

(The document referred to, having been previously marked for identification as JFK Exhibit No. 93 for identification was entered into the record.)

Mr. Purdy. If the Chair wishes, I will begin the questioning of Mr. McKeown's contact with Mr. Oswald.

Mr. Preyer. Please proceed.

Mr. Purdy. Mr, McKeown, when did you first meet Lee Harvey Oswald?

Mr. McKeown. Well, I was sitting in my home in St. Leon, Texas, and I would venture to say that it was around 9:00 or 10:00 in the morning and I seen this car drive up, it had a big picture window. I seen this car drive up and these two people got out and they came and knocked on the door and my wife was in her negligee and she ran upstairs, you know, and Sam was there, We were getting ready to go get some oysters or something, I do not know.

This fellow hooked on the door. As I opened the door he says, well, golly, I finally found you. You are McKeown, are you not? And I said yes. And he said well, I have looked for you quite awhile but I am sure that you are McKeown. So I invited him in. He had another gentleman with him and he was more or less in his shirtsleeves, you know, he was not dressed up or anything, but the other fellow was dressed up.

He says, I understand that you can supply any amount of arms. I said, who. told you that? He says, well, I' am pretty sure that you can do it. He says, we are 'thinking about having a revolution in El Salvador --that is where he said, I said, El Salvador? He said yes.

I said, well, I want to tell you right now here that I am on probation and I said I am not about to get mixed up in no damned arms of any kind, not anymore. I said I am in enough trouble as it is. So I told him, I would not give him nothing. So he kept on talking, you know,, and said that I could make all of this money and everything and I said well, not interested in money. I am married now, I am working, I am trying to do right and I do not want to get mixed up in anything like that.

I was trying to get him out of, the house, you know what I mean, because I did not want my wife -- because she did not know all of this. I guess that sounds fantastic. She did not know that I was mixed up in all of this mess. I was trying to get him the hell out of the house. But he introduced me to this fellow he was with, but he did not say hardly anything, just acknowledge us, recognized.

I finally got them out of the house so they went to the car and I closed the door, went back in and I said, I told Sam, I said, ain't that a hell of a mess?

And he says, Mac, don't mess with them. I says I am not going to mess with them.

So he came back and knocked at the door again. As a matter of fact, when he first came to the door, he told me was Lee Oswald. He did not say Lee Harvey Oswald, he said I'm Lee Oswald, and he said, I finally found you.

I finally got them out of the house and they went. It was a big house right on the water and they had their car parked out there. The last time I looked at them they were almost to the car, so I went in the house and closed the door and they came back and knocked on the door, just him, and I stepped out then.

I went outside of the house and he told me, he said, Mac, would you do me a favor? And it will not involve you in any way. He says I can give you $10,000 if you can get me four rifles. He days he would prefer 300 Savage automatics with a telescope sight, and I kind of thought a little bit, you know? And I said, what do you want with four rifles. You can't do nothing with a revolution with four rifles.

So he says, well, if you get them for me, I would sure appreciate it. He says, I will give you $10,000 if you can get those four rifles.

So I thought about it, you know, I said no, no way I said, just like I told you, I am not getting involved in no kind of arms. Hell, if you want five rifles, you can go down to Sears Roebuck and buy them. You can. get rifles in any hardware store. That is what I told them. Why do you have to come to me to get them? So he kind of got a little peeved. He seemed like a smart. guy, smart aleck. That is my opinion. So I told him there wes no reason for you and me talking anymore. I am not going to fool with any arms whatsoever, none whatsoever.

I went back into the house. That is all there was to it.

Mr. Purdy. Mr. McKeown, did Mr. Oswald introduce you to the person he was with?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. What did he say his name was?

Mr. McKeown. Hernandez.

Mr. Purdy. Is that the only name he said?

Mr. McKeown. Hernandez.

Mr. Purdy. Did Mr. Hernandez speak English?

Mr. McKeown. He did not speak much of anything. He just said he was glad to know me and had heard a lot about me. I said that is all in the past. Well, he, as a matter of fact, he did not hardly open his mouth after that.

Mr. Purdy. Could you please describe the person whom you said identified himself as Lee Harvey Oswald?

Mr. McKeown. Yes. He was about your size, maybe a little smaller, and he was in shirtsleeves. He did not have a coat on. Kind of light complected. He was just an ordinary looking, guy. He was not big, he was not what you would call small, just about your height, I. guess, or maybe a little shorter.

Mr. Purdy. Was he light or dark complexioned?

Mr. McKeown. He was kind of light. He looked like he had been in the sun a little bit, kind of light, kind of like your color, a little bit.

Mr. Purdy. Approximately what height would you say that he was?

Mr. McKeown. I imagine that he was maybe five foot six, you know? I really do not Know how tall he was, He was just an ordinary fellow.

Mr. Purdy. Was he taller or shorter than Hr. Hernandez?

Mr. McKeown. Hernandez was taller.

Mr. Purdy. Approximately how tall was Mr. Hernandez?

Mr. McKeown. My height.

Mr. Purdy. How tall are you?

Mr. McKeown. Five eleven.

Mr. Purdy. Could you describe Mr. Hernandez?

Mr. McKeown. Yes, he was Latin.

Mr. Purdy. I. am sorry, I cannot hear you.

Mr. McKeown. He was dark complected, but not real dark. You could tell that he was a foreigner.

Mr. Purdy. Can you describe the clothes he was wearing?

Mr. McKeown. He had a blue suit on, welldressed.

Mr. Purdy. Did he have any identifying scars?

Mr. McKeown. I did not notice.

Mr. Purdy. Did either man wear a hat?

Mr. McKeown. No, neither one.

Mr. Purdy. Did either one have a characteristic walk?

Mr. McKeown. Well, I did not notice.

Mr. Purdy. Did Mr. Oswald speak with any kind of an accent?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. Was this man the same man. Whom you said was prison? You stated earlier that you knew of a Mr. Hernandez Who was in a Cuban prison. Was this the same man?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. How do you know it was a different man?

Mr. McKeown. Because I knew the man. The man who was in prison was, from Costs Rica. He was not a Cuban.

Mr. Purdy. What was his first name?

Mr. McKeown. I do not know. I know, but I forget.

Mr. Purdy. You testified that the man offered you $10,000 for four rifles, is that correct?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. Did you appear on a CBS special in 1975?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. Did you state publicly at that time that the man who identified himself as Mr. Oswald said that he would pay you $1,000 per rifle?

Mr. McKeown. No.I told Dan Rather that he offered me $10,000.

Mr. Purdy. Does it refresh your recollection to know that you said the man told you, "Now we will be able to pay you $1,000 each. That would he $4,000 you could pick up right quick."

Mr. McKeown. Well, he did say something about well, you can pick up this money right quick._ He emphasized that he had it in his pocket. I did not see it.

Mr. Purdy. Is it your present recollection that you were offered $10,000 for four rifles?

Mr. McKeown. That is what he told me.

Mr. Purdy. Therefore, you were mistaken if you said on the CBS Special that it was $1,000 for each rifle. Is that correct?

Mr. McKeown. I do not recall telling him it was $1,000. You see, we were down at this house where I used to live. This lady and I were divorced. I did not want to go down there, but Dan Rather -- we went down there. As luck would have it, she was not home. That is where it took place, mere or less on the patio in front of the house. I showed him right where the men came and where his car was parked and everything.

Mr. Purdy. If you did say it was S4,000, you were mistaken?

Mr. McKeown. I was mistaken, if I told him $4,000. He said why did you not take that, you could get those, guns for $200 or $300. I said, hell, I did not want to, get involved with no guns. I was on probation. And I said, I just did not want to get those guns for them. Let them get them themselves.

Mr. Purdy. Did Mr. Oswald indicate from what source he intended to, get the money to pay you?

Mr. McKeown. No. He emphasized that he had it in his pocket, but I did not see it.

Mr. Purdy. Did Mr. Oswald indicate to you that he was working for somebody else?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. Did he indicate that he was working with a particular group in the attempt to work with a revolution in Salvador?

Mr. McKeown. He emphasized that he was trying to get I these arms to have a revolution in San Salvador.

Mr. Purdy. Did he say he was working with anybody else in that effort besides Mr. Hernandez?

Mr. McKeown. He did not say but I presumed he was. He could not do it by himself.

Mr. Purdy. Did Mr. Oswald indicate that he had been to Salvador?

Mr. McKeown. No. He just said that he was going to start a revolution in Salvador. I presumed that he had been there. I do not know. He did not say.

Mr. Purdy. Did he say why he wanted to cause a revolution in Salvador?

Mr. McKeown. Yes, he did say that. He said it was such a small country that it would be easy to do. I think he was just a bunch of baloney. He did not impress me very well.

Mr. Purdy. Mr. McKeown, could you be a little more specific as to when this visit by Mr. Oswald and Mr. Hernandez occurred? Earlier today you said it occurred a few weeks before the assassination. Is that your present recollection?

Mr. McKeown. Who did I say that to?

Mr. Purdy. On the CBS Special you said that.

Mr. McKeown. Well, I know that my wife was a school teacher, you see, and it was on a Saturday morning. I know that because she was home. And I believe it was around October, the latter part of September or the early part of October.

Mr. Purdy. Do you recall being visited by Messers. Hornbeck and Fonzi on February 14th of this year?

Mr. McKeown. When they came to my house?

Mr. Purdy. Yes.

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. Did you tell them at that time that the visit by Mr. Oswald occurred in September or August of '63?

Mr. McKeown. I might have. You see, school started down there in September so that it must have been the latter part of September or the early part of October. Maybe it was August, but it could not have been that because she was teaching school and she was home on Saturday mornings and Sam Neal, he was an electrician and he was off on Saturdays so it was hound to have been Saturday morning.

Mr. Purdy. Were there any events that occurred apart from this meeting that helped you fix the time or day when this meeting occurred?

Mr. McKeown. When he came to my house?

Mr. Purdy. Yes.

Mr. McKeown. I can tell you this, that I know it was in the morning because we were sitting there and Sam was staying with me. This was a tremendous big house. His wife was getting a divorce and I told him to come stay with me until they got it straightened out and he was living there. We were sitting there drinking coffee.

Mr. Purdy. Did the visit occur after Labor Day?

Mr. McKeown. After Labor

Mr. Purdy. Yes, early September.

Mr. McKeown. I think school started on September 16th. I know it was after school started. Hell, it was bound to be the latter part of September or the early part of October.

Mr. Purdy. Do you recall approximately the ages of Mr. Oswald and Mr. Hernandez? How old would you say they were?

Mr. McKeown. Well, you know, just like you. I presume that you might be about 38, 39. I figured he was about that same age. You know, he was in late 30 s or early 40rs or in between there somewhere. I do not know how old he was.

Mr. Purdy. Approximately how old was Mr. Oswald?

Mr. McKeown. That is who I am talking about.

Mr. Purdy. Approximately how old was Mr. Hernandez?

Mr. McKeown. I imagine he was in his 40's. He was a distinguished looking gentleman.

Mr. Purdy. Did he appear older than Oswald?

Mr. McKeown. A little bit. You could say he was well-shaven, you know, clean-shaven. You could tell that he had a heavy beard.

Mr. Purdy. Did Mr. Oswald defer to Mr. Hernandez in any way?

Mr. McKeown. No, he just introduced him to me.

Mr. Purdy. Did Mr. Hernandez introduce you as Carlos or Victor Hernandez?

Mr. McKeown. I think it was Victor, yes, but I am not sure.

Mr. Purdy. Was the man named Hernandez the man in the Cuban prison Carlos or Victor?

Mr. McKeown. It could have been.

Mr. Purdy. You say it could have been?

Mr. McKeown. It could have been Carlos. He was not a Cuban, he was a Costa Rican.

Mr. Purdy. You said before that you knew the man in prison so you believe you knew Carlos Hernandez.

Mr. McKeown. It was not the same person.

Mr. Purdy. Have you ever seen Mr. Hernandez and Oswald prior to this meeting?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. Did you ever seen them again after the meeting?

Mr. McKeown. No. I have seen them on television.

Mr. Purdy. When did you first mention this visit to anyone after the assassination?

Mr. McKeown. You mean after the assassination?

Mr. Purdy. Yes.

Mr. McKeown. Well, you mean who I told that he had been there?

Mr. Purdy. Yes.

Mr. McKeown. I said, that's the dirty little bastard who was at my house.

Mr. Purdy. Who did you tell?

Mr. McKeown. I guess Sam Neal. You see, he was down at this place and he called me on the phone and he told he was watching the TV, too, and he calls me and he says Mac, are you watching the TV and I said yes. He said, that's the bastard who was at your house that got killed, that Ruby killed. I said, I know. Now, ain't that something? That is what I said. How about that. So I presumed that Sam told a lot of people and I told few people. I said, that is the dirty little bastard who came to see me that is supposed to have killed Kennedy.

Mr. Purdy. Who else did you tell?

Mr. McKeown. My God, man, I do not know who all I told. I told a few people. I was scared because I was on probation and I did not want to let people know I was implicated, knowing a person like that.

Mr. Purdy. You said you told quite a few people. Can you name one or two that you told?

Mr. McKeown. I told my wife. Of course, she found it out, and I told people that I was working with. I told my brother.

Mr. Purdy. What is your brother's name?

Mr. McKeown. Ira. He is dead now. Three niggers killed him.

Mr. Purdy. Can you tell us the names of anyone worked with whom you told about this visit?

Mr. McKeown. Yes. I told -- I used to go out in the oil fields. I sold out in the oil fields. I traveled the oil fields and I how all of the tool pushers and things like that, and I told -you see, I cannot remember names -- one big oil man there, I told him about it. He is a real big oil man. I cannot think of his name. I told him about it and I told a couple of his henchmen. You know, I told a few people.

Mr. Purdy. Do you remember the name of any of the tool pushers you told about this visit?

Mr. McKeown. No, I do not remember the names. If I see them I would know that that was them. It has been a long time ago.

Mr. Purdy. Do you still have contact with any of them?

Mr. McKeown. No, I do not. I am living in Miami, now. I have lived in Miami since 1966.

Mr. Purdy. Do you know anyone who would remember who the big oil man was whom you told about this visit?

Mr. McKeown. I used to know him.

Mr. Purdy. Is your wife still living?

Mr. McKeown. Which one?

Mr. Purdy. The one whom you told about this visit?

Mr. McKeown. Pauline, the schoolteacher?

Mr. Purdy. Yes.

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. Is there any other living person whose name you could give us that you told about this visit?

Mr. McKeown. Sam Neal. He was there when he came.

Mr. Purdy. Anybody besides Sam Neal.

Mr. McKeown. I told my brother and I told my sister.

Mr. Purdy. What is your sister's name?

Mr. McKeown. Laverne.

Mr. Purdy. Do you have more than one brother?

Mr. McKeown. Yes. One of them is dead and the other one is living. He lives in Houston.

Mr. Purdy. What is his name?

Mr. McKeown. Harry.

Mr. Purdy. You told him about the visit?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. When Mr. Neal called you and told you that Mr. Oswald was the man who visited your house, had you already recognized that fact before he called you?

Mr. McKeown. Yes. I had seen it, and then he called me. Well, as a matter of fact, it was still on the TV and I said yeah, Sam, that is the little bastard who was here.

Mr. Purdy. Did you mention the visit of Mr. Oswald and Mer. Hernandez to anyone before the assassination?

Mr. McKeown. No. I did not pay any attention to it. If I had known it, I would have notified somebody. It would be like you coming to see me. I did not think anything about it. They were just a couple of radicals.

Mr. Purdy. After the assassination of the President, you said that you recognized the alleged assassin as a person who had come to your house trying to buy four rifles and after the shooting of that person, Mr. Oswald, you said that recognized the person who killed them as a person who tried to make contact with Fidel Castro. Is that correct?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. Did you consider going to the authorities with this information?

Mr. McKeown. I think that I went to them.

Mr. Purdy. What authority did you go to?

Mr. McKeown. I think it was up in the Federal Building up in Houston. I went to my probation officer -- I was still on probation. What is that fellow's name? I cannot remember names. He used to be a professional baseball player,. played with the St. Louis Cardinals, and he was the head of the probation in Houston. Fields worked under him. And then he transferred me over. He was a well-known ballplayer. I told Gus Mantuso -- you know, you have heard of him. He was a ballplayer. And I told Frankie. He is a City Councilman in Houston, Texas now and I told Lawrence Mancuso.

Mr. Purdy. How long after the assassination did you tell your probation officer about your knowing Jack Ruby and Lee Harvey Oswald? Mr. McKeown, How long after the assassination?

Mr. Purdy. Yes.

Mr. McKeown. I do not know. I think Fields came down I and I told him, that is the guy who came to see me over there at that place. I had sold that place then. and he says, are you sure that is the guy? I said, I know it. I am positive that that was the fellow who came to see me.

Mr. Purdy. You told the probation officer that you knew Jack Ruby and Lee Oswald?

Mr. McKeown. I did not know Lee Oswald.

Mr. Purdy. Did you tell him that you had met both people?

Mr. McKeown. I think so. I think I told him that he is the one that had come to see me.

Mr. Purdy. Is that a short time after the assassination that you told him?

Mr. McKeown. I think so.

Mr. Purdy. You were interviewed by the FBI January 28, 1964. The assassination was November 22, 1963. Did you tell these individuals that you had met Mr. Ruby and Mr. Oswald prior to your interview with the FBI on January 28, 1964?

Mr. McKeown. I told them about Ruby. I did not tell them a thing about Oswald.

Mr. Purdy. I am not talking about the FBI, I am talking about these other people. You just testified that you told them about Mr. Oswald and Mr. Ruby. Did you tell these other people about them prior to your meeting with the FBI?

Mr. McKeown. No. You mean, did I tell anybody that I had met Oswald before the assassination?

Mr. Purdy. You testified that, following the assassination, you told a number of individuals that you had met Mr. Oswald and Mr. Ruby.

Mr. McKeown. I told them that that was the man who came to see me about buying the guns, yes.

Mr. Purdy. Did you tell these people this information prior to the time that you had your FBI interview?

Mr. McKeown. The FBI came out to the office

where I was working right after the assassination. I do not know whether it was one day, two days or three days. I do not know I know they came out.

Mr. Purdy. Do you remember who it

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. Was it Mr. Foltz?

Mr. McKeown. It could have been. That sounds familiar. He was a very nice man. I know he treated me awfully nice and I went up to his office, up in the Federal building. I stayed up there a long time.

Mr. Purdy. Do you recall meeting with him January 28, 1964?

Mr. McKeown. In his office.

Mr. Purdy. That was some time after the assassination.

Mr. McKeown. I think' so, yes.

Mr. Purdy. You just stated that you were in contact with the FBI a short time after the assassination, possibly a couple of days.

Mr. McKeown. I am going to tell you I was in contact when they contacted me. When did they contact me?

Mr. Purdy. They contacted you January 28, 1964.

Mr. McKeown. They came to the office, they came where I was working and they showed me their credentials and they said they would like to talk to me.

Mr. Purdy. Prior to the time that you talked to the FBI agents, did you tell some of these other people that you had met Mr. Ruby and Mr. Oswald?

Mr. McKeown. After the assassination, yes. After I had seen him on TV.

Mr. Purdy. But before the FBI interview?

Mr. McKeown. Yes, I imagine. I told them right afterwards. When Oswald was killed, naturally I told a few people that that was the guy who came to see me. By any means I was not proud of it, but you know what I mean. You know how things like that are, hell, you want to tell somebody that's the dirty little bastard who came to see me.

Mr. Purdy. During'the FBI interview, were you asked about Lee Harvey Oswald?

Mr. McKeown. No. That is what I. could never understand. Mostly he was talking to me about Ruby. If he said something about Oswald, I do not recall.

Mr. Purdy. Did you tell him about Oswald?

Mr. McKeown. No, not as I recall.

Mr. Purdy. Did he ask you about Oswald one way or the other?

Mr. McKeown. Not as I recall. Most of it was about Ruby.

Mr. Purdy. You stated earlier today that you told the truth to the FBI, is that correct?

Mr. McKeown. I told the truth?

Mr. Purdy. Yes.

Mr. McKeown. Yes, I told the truth. I am telling the truth now.

Mr. Purdy. Did you tell FBI Agent Foltz on January 28, 1964, that to your knowledge you had never seen or met Lee Harvey Oswald?

Mr. McKeown. Before he came to my door?

Mr. Purdy. Ever. At the time of the interview in January, 1964, did you tell the FBI agent that you had never, at any time, seen or met Lee Harvey Oswald?

Mr. McKeown. No. They did not ask me.

Mr. Purdy. Does it refresh your recollection to know that the FBI agent reported that you told him that, to your knowledge, you had never seen or met Lee Harvey Oswald?

Mr. McKeown. Well, I do not know whether I did or not, to be frank with you. I was scared to death because I was on probation and I was afraid that if I let people know that I was involved with something like that they might revoke my probation, because one time I was down here in Miami and I was innocent. I was up at the top of the Columbus Hotel having dinner and I was not supposed to associate with anybody, no Cubans. Well Prio, Manola, two or three others, and you know, we talked a little bit. The next day the probation officer was at my door and he pointed his finger at me, you know. I told them that they just happened to be there when I came in. I made it my business not to fool with them anymore.

Mr. Purdy. Do you remember the name of the probation officer?

Mr. McKeown. The one in Miami?

Mr. Purdy. The one you were speaking about.

Mr. McKeown. Robinson.

Mr. Purdy. Do you remember his first name?

Mr. McKeown. No. I know his name was Robinson. He helped me a lot.

Mr. Purdy. It is your present recollection that you denied knowing Oswald to the FBI, is that correct?

Mr. McKeown. I cannot recall whether I did or not. I am almost sure, if he had asked me, I would have told him he the one who came to see me.

Mr. Purdy. Mr. McKeown, if you denied to the FBI that you knew Oswald, is, that incorrect?

Mr. McKeown. It could be. I might have been wrong at that time. You have got to take this in consideration that I was pretty damn scared at that time. I am pretty nervous right now.

Mr. Purdy. Mr. McKeown, you were sentenced October 24, 1958, is that correct? This was the sentence that followed up your arrest on February 25, 1958 that we referred to earlier. The records indicate that you were sentenced on October 24, 1958, is that correct?

Mr. McKeown. I do not recall the date, but I know the sentence.

Mr. Purdy. At that time; you were sentenced to a two-year suspended sentence and five years probation, is that correct?

Mr. McKeown. Right.

Mr. Purdy. When did that five years probation begin? Did it begin the day you were sentenced?

Mr. McKeown. I do not know. I know I spent some time in jail. They gave me 90 days, in jail. Judge Ingraham, end I think it was, 59 days or maybe 60 days, he let me out on account that it was Christmas.

Mr. Purdy. Is, it your present recollection ---

Mr. McKeown. Then I know I was on probation. Whether my probation was the day he sentenced me or the day I, got out of Jail, I do not remember.

Mr. Purdy. It was not later than the day that you got out of jail that the probation began, is that correct?

Mr. Appel. I must object. I do not think this is relevant to the task of the Committee.

Mr. Dodd. Let us suspend for one minute. (Pause) The Chair would advise counsel that the line of questioning is designed to establish the credibility of the witness in regard to certain statements. Therefore, I am going to overrule the objection of counsel. I am going to instruct the witness to respond to the question of counsel.

Mr. Purdy. Mr. McKeown, our records indicate that you were convicted on October 24, 1958 and sentenced to 50 days and a $500 fine on one count and to a two-year suspended sentence and five years probation on a second count. Is that correct?

Mr. McKeown. I am sure it is.

Mr. Purdy. Mr. McKeown --

Mr. McKeown. Let me emphasize something else here now, since you are getting into the jail business. That is the first time that I was ever in trouble and I got into that innocently and all I was trying to do is get my business back and I want you to know that. Mr. Purdy, Thank you. Mr. McKeown, when did your probation end?

Mr. McKeown. Five years after it started. I do not know the exact date, but I was sure glad to get off of if.

Mr. Purdy. Did your probation end December 11, 1963?

Mr. McKeown. It could have been. I know I asked him I said, don't you give me something, some kind of a letter or something that I am off of this probation? He said no, he said you just don't have to report no more.

Mr. Purdy. Therefore, Mr. McKeown, if your probation ended December 11, 1963, why were you hesitant to discuss your meeting with Mr. Oswald on January 28, 1964, which was over a month after your probation had ended? You stated earlier that you were afraid to tell about Mr. Oswald because of your probation?

Mr. McKeown. I was presuming I was still on probation. I was convicted -- have you got it down there when I was convicted? Was it in 1959, or when was it?

Mr. Purdy. It was October 24, 1958.

Mr. McKeown. I know when I was living in that house I was on probation. I know that, because I had to make out a report every month and I know that Mr. Fields came down to my house.

Mr. Purdy. Mr. McKeown, the records indicate that you were not on probation when you were interviewed by the FBI on January 28, 1964. Why did you not tell the FBI at that time that you had met Mr. Oswald?

Mr. McKeown. Well, the only thing I can say is the reasan because I did not tell him is because he did not ask me. As a matter of fact, I cannot recall -- and this gentleman that I went to see, this FBI men, the only thing that I can remember is we discussed the whole thing about Ruby. how he called me, how the Sheriff came and got me and asked me if he could call me and all of that. He was more or less interested in Ruby. Why he came to see me, that is the only thing.

Mr. Purdy. The FBI report indicates that you denied to the FBI agent that you knew Mr. Oswald.

Mr. McKeown. Well, I did not know him.

Mr. Purdy. Well, the FBI report indicates that you had never seen or met Mr. Oswald.

Mr. McKeown. Well, if I told him that, I sure made a mistake. Because Kennedy was assassinated before that, was he not?

Mr. Purdy. Yes.

Mr. McKeown. I was bound to see Oswald when ha came to my door.

Mr. Purdy. If you denied having seen or met Mr. Oswald it was not true?

Mr. McKeown. It must not have been, if I told him that, but I cannot recall telling him that, to be frank with you.

Mr. Purdy. Mr. McKeown, can you think of any reason why you would have denied having seen or met Mr. Oswald at that time?

Mr. McKeown. No. As a matter of fact, I was all for trying to clear it up, trying to see if he really did kill Kennedy, which I do not think he did.

Mr. Purdy. Do you have knowledge of, or did you participate, in any other meetings which involved Mr. Oswald?

Mr. McKeown. No, just the time that he came to my house.

Mr. Purdy. Have you had contacts with anyone who has had meetings with Mr. Oswald?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. Did you know or have you heard, David Petrie? [Ferrie]

Mr. McKeown. I have heard of him, yea.

Mr. Purdy. How did you hear of him?

Mr. McKeown. I do not know. I know I have heard him.

Mr. Purdy. You know, you have heard of him but you do not know how?

Mr. McKeown. I think he was a homosexual and he was living in New Orleans, and somehow or another this Garrison who was investigating him or something, and he asked me if I knew him. That is the only thing I know. I did not know what the hell. I did not know him.

Mr. Purdy. You do not know anyone who knew him?

Mr. McKeown. No, I do not know anybody who knew him.

Mr. Purdy. Did you know of Mr. Guy Bannister?

Mr. McKeown. I have heard of him, but I did not know him.

Mr. Purdy. Did you know anybody who knew him?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. Did you know, or know of, Mr. Clay Shaw?

Mr. McKeown. I have heard of him.

Mr. Purdy. Did you know anyone who knew him?

Mr. McKeown. Garrison.

Mr. Purdy. Did you know Mr. Sergio Acocho Smith?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. Did you know of him?

Mr. McKeown. Never heard of him.

Mr. Purdy. Did you know Mr. George deMohrenshield?

Mr. McKeown. He is the fellow who died in Miami a while back, is he not?

Mr. Purdy. Yes.

Mr. McKeown. I have heard of him.

Mr. Purdy. How did you hear of him?

Mr. McKeown. Through the newspapers.

Mr. Purdy. Did you know anyone who knew him?

Mr. McKeown. NO,

Mr. Purdy. Mr. McKeown, have you had any contact with the Central Intelligence Agency or any other intelligence service, either domestic or foreign?

Mr. McKeown. I do not quite understand what you mean.

Mr. Purdy. Have you had any direct connections with the Central Intelligence Agency?

Mr. McKeown. Not knowingly, no.

Mr. Purdy. Have you had any connections which you later found out had been with the Central Intelligence Agency?

Mr. McKeown. That have been with it and are not there now?

Mr. Purdy. Yes.

Mr. McKeown. Yes. I later found out, but I did not know --I did not have no dealings with them whatsoever.

Mr. Purdy. Can you explain the nature of those contacts?

Mr. McKeown. I just met him and he told me that he used to be with CIA.

Mr. Purdy. Who was it?

Mr. McKeown. This gentleman knows him, right back here.

Mr. Purdy. Do you recall the name?

Mr. McKeown. His name is Ross Crosier.

Mr. Purdy. What were the nature of your contacts with him?

Mr. McKeown. He was a friend, not what you would call an intimate friend. I just met him. Well, I met him at a club.

Mr. Purdy. Do you have any knowledge of any of his activities ?

Mr. McKeown. Yes. The only thing what he told me, he recognized me. I did not know him from Adam, and he commenced telling me about Castro, he was over there in the mountains with Castro. So he says. Whether he was, I do not know. The only thing I am telling you is what he told me. He said that Castro had it in for him pretty well and he did not want to go to Cuba. Whether he was with CIA, I do not know. He told me he was.

Mr. Purdy. He told you that he was at the time you met him or later?

Mr. McKeown. Maybe a day or two later.

Mr. Purdy. Did you have any contacts with any other foreign or domestic intelligence agencies?

Mr. McKeown. Not as I know of.

Mr. Purdy. Do you know anybody who has?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. Do you know if Mr. Prio had any direct or indirect contacts with the Central Intelligence Agency?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. Mr. Chairman, I believe that it would be appropriate at this time for members of the Committee to ask any questions that they wish pertaining to Mr. McKeown's connections with Mr. Oswald?

Mr. Dodd. Mr. Sawyer?

Mr. Sawyer. Yes. I just have one or two concerning these four rifles. The .300 Savage scope rifles. Why would anyone want to buy rifles through some underground source, let us say, as opposed to just going to a store and buying them?

Mr. McKeown. Like I told the gentleman there, I do not know. Like I told him, hell, you can go down to Sears and get them kind of rifles. I do not know why he came to me.

Mr. Sawyer. What did he say when you said that?

Mr. McKeown. He said yes, but we want to get them through you. And I said, you are not going to get them through me. I did not want anymore part of any kind of rifles. I would not be caught with a rifle.

Mr. Sawyer. Rifles are not required to be registered in Texas, are they?

Mr. McKeown. They sure are. Rifles. I take that back. Guns.

Mr. Sawyer. I know in a number of states handguns are required to he registered. I do not know if any state requires the registration of rifles.

Mr. McKeown. To be frank with you, I think you can just go down to the hardware store and buy a deer rifle, shotgun, whatever. Maybe the law has changed. I used to buy them, you know, to go hunting.

Mr. Sawyer. I think you have to be a resident of the state now, really, since the Oswald situation, but that was not the law then.

Mr. McKeown. The law, I know to be a fact, if you go and buy a handgun, you have got to go to get a permit from Judge and you have to take that permit back to this place where you are going to buy this gun and let them see it.

Mr. Sawyer. The thing that is puzzling me still is why someone would be willing to pay $1,000 for a scope rifle when he could buy one at a store at that time for probably not more than $300.

Mr. McKeown. That is exactly what I told him. That is what puzzled me, why he would come to me. I do not know. I cannot answer that question.

Mr. Sawyer. He gave no answer when you asked that question?

Mr. McKeown. No. He says no, we want to get them through you.

He says because we know you can get them for us. I Said, you came to the wrong man, I am not going to get involved, and thank God I did not get them. Since all of this has come up, boy I am sure glad I did not get them.

Mr. Sawyer. Again, I am fairly familiar with rifles and, at that time, I would imagine that you could get a fairly good quality scope rifle somewhere in the neighborhood of $300 or less with a scope.

Mr. McKeown. Sure you could.

Mr. Sawyer. Without any requirement that you either identify yourself or that there be any registration process of any kind.

Mr. McKeown. That was my opinion.

Mr. Sawyer. It just does not make sense to me. I could understand why he might come to you to get some submachine guns or bazookas or something that are illegal weapons.

Mr. McKeown. That is what he first mentioned

when he first got there, machine guns and bazookas.

Mr. Sawyer. That is all I have, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Dodd. Mr. McKeown, I would just like to proceed with you on what is confusing to me, anyway. In your interview with the FBI where you were specifically, as I understand it, asked whether you knew or had ever met Lee Harvey Oswald, in that interview with the FBI after the Kennedy assassination reasons were at that time of telling the FBI that you did not know or had ever met Lee Harvey Oswald?

Mr. McKeown. Now, wait a minute. I think the question was put to me about Oswald though the FBI, I think he put it, "Are you not a friend of Oswald's," or something of that sort, and I said I do not even know Oswald.

Mr. Dodd. What was your rationale, your reasoning at that time, for stating that in fact, with an interview with Dan Rather where you are rather explicit?

Mr. McKeown. The reason I said it was, I was telling the truth. I did not know him. Just because he came to my door, no reason I should know him. I do not know him from Adam.

Mr. Dodd. Just a minute ago when counsel asked you whether you knew several individuals, for instance, Mr. deMohrenshield, your answer was only in the newspaper. If you had ever met Mr. deMohrenshield, I assume your answer would have been different. Is that a fair assessment?

Mr. McKeown. Sure.

Mr. Dodd. You had actually met Mr. Oswald?

Mr. McKeown. When he came to the door.

Mr. Dodd. Your statement was that you did not know him.

Mr. McKeown. I did not know him. I am talking to you right now. I do not know you, right?

Mr. Dodd. I think you understand what I am getting at. Now you are being interviewed by the FBI who raises the name of an individual who was the alleged assassin of the President of the United States and you offer the FBI nothing more than a statement that you do not know him, even though you are aware of the fact that this same individual had come to your door four years before, less than four years before, and according to your own statement had proposed to purchase from you weapons specifically four Savage rifles, telescopic type rifles, and your statement to the FBI said you did not know the man.

Mr. McKeown. Well, I did not know him. I did not know him. The only thing I knew is that he came there.

Mr. Dodd. How long did that meeting occur?

Mr. McKeown. When he came to my house?

Mr. Dodd. When he came to your house.

Mr. McKeown. Not over 20 minutes, 15 to 30 minutes.

Mr. Dodd. Do you recall what he had on that day?

Mr. McKeown. He did not have a coat on, I know that, but the other gentleman did. He had a tie on, too.

Mr. Dodd. Oswald had a tie?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Dodd. The other gentleman?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Dodd. Did he have a sweater on the color of his shirt?

Mr. McKeown. He might have had a sweater on, but I actually believe he was in his shirtsleeves.

Mr. Dodd. The other man, Mr. Hernandez?

Mr. McKeown. He was dressed.

Mr. Dodd. Coat and tie?

Mr. McKeown. Coat and tie. Very nicely dressed. He was driving the car.

Mr. Dodd. Mr. Hernandez was driving the car?

Mr. McKeown. Right.

Mr. Dodd. What time of day was it?

Mr. McKeown. About 10:00 o'clock in the morning. 9:30, 10:O0, something like that.

Mr. Dodd. Let us suspend for Just one second.

(Pause) Mr. McKeown, at that meeting that you had with Mr. Oswald and Mr. Hernandez, to the best of your recollection, was that a situation where both Mr. Hernandez and Mr. Oswald were transpiring business, or was Mr. Hernandez merely someone who was driving in the car along with him and it was Mr. Oswald principally who was doing the business?

Mr. McKeown. It was Mr. Oswald who was doing all the talking.

Mr. Dodd. Were you under the impression that both of them were involved in the transaction together? I am asking for your recollection. I realize --

Mr. McKeown. I presume it was.

Mr. Dodd. In business together, working together?

Mr. McKeown. I presumed. I want to tell you something else. Maybe you should know this too. (Pause) I know Mr. Fonzi here. He has treated me awfully nice and I know that he did not tell nobody about me having to come up here and I know damn well I did not tell anybody except my daughter -- I take that back; I told Ross -that about two weeks ago, maybe between 8:00, 9:00 o'clock at night, the phone rang and I answered the phone and somebody on the phone said this is McKeown? I said yes. He says when you go to testify at that committee, just remember there was no Latin involved, period, and hung up. Now, if that is any good to you -as a matter of fact, I would like to see this thing come to a head. I would like for you all to catch the bastard who did kill Kennedy and if there is anything that I can do to help you, I will.

Mr. Dodd. Was the accent of the voice on the phone a Latin accent?

Mr. McKeown. No, American. But you know, a lot of Latins speak pretty good English.

Mr. Dodd. Let me, for the record, say I said my question to you, rather than the Oswald meeting in '59, was the Ruby meeting, the Oswald meeting, in '63, to clear up the record? I have no further questions.

Mr. McKeown. I know the Oswald meeting was before the assassination.

Mr. Dodd. I realize that. That was my mistake. I will direct counsel to proceed with the final questioning.

Mr. Purdy. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. A follow-up question on the meeting with Mr. Ruby. Did Mr. Ruby mention two or three Jewish individuals in connection with wanting the letter of introduction?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. Did he mention a Mr. Goldberg or a Mr. Zaroff.

Mr. McKeown. Not as I recall. He just mentioned that he had contacts with people with money.

Mr. Purdy. Mr. McKeown, we are interested in some of your dealings --

Mr. McKeown. Another thing he asked me, have you never heard of me? And I said, I do not know you from Adam. I never heard of you.

Mr. Purdy. Did he say why you would have heard of him?

Mr. McKeown. I do not know. He said he was running a night club in Dallas. He said, have you ever been to Dallas? I said yes, I have been to Dallas. He said, did you ever go in my club? I said, not as I recall.

Mr. Purdy. Did he say what the name os his club was?

Mr. McKeown. The Carousel, I believe it was. It was nightclub.

Mr. Purdy. As I was beginning to say, we are interested with some of your dealings with Mr. Castro. I want to follow up a reference you made earlier to a mysterious deal you were involved with with a man named Mr. Butler whom you thought was connected with Ike Eisenhower. Could you elaborate on that for us?

Mr. McKeown. Yes. Well, this, gentleman came out to my place. Not Mr. Butler, somebody else. I do net recall his name.

Mr. Purdy. Was his name Porter?

Mr. McKeown. Yes, it damn sure was. Jack Porter.

Mr. Purdy. Please explain the story.

Mr. McKeown. Anyway, he told me that it was a very mysterious thing. He told me, he says, do you have any work clothes like khakis, khaki pants and things? I said well, I can get some. What is the occasion? He said we want you to go to the top floor of the Gulf Building in Houston. We want you to get off two floors before you get to the top and walk up and dress like a working person. So I did. I went and when I got up there, Ike Eisenhower, like the picture there, his picture was all over and the American flag was all over and he asked me if I knew anybody who was going to be on Castro's Cabinet and if I could see my influence to get a quota of sugar. I told him I was on probation. I could not go to Cuba. And he said well, we can get you to Cuba. I said what is it? I think he was a campaign manager for Ike Eisenhower or something. I really do not know who he was, hut I know he was up in some kind of a campaign and this fellow Porter was there. And that was about all there was to it. He just wanted me to use my influence to get a whole lot of sugar.

Mr. Purdy. Was this before or after your well publicized encounter with Fidel Castro in the United States in the spring of 1959?

Mr. McKeown. This was after I had been arrested.

Mr. Purdy. Right. After you were arrested you had a meeting with Fidel Castro when he came to the United States?

Mr. McKeown. Right. He came to Houston.

Mr. Purdy. That was after you had been arrested?

Mr. McKeown. I was on probation.

Mr. Purdy. When was this incident about the sugar quota? Was it after you met with Castro in the United States?

Mr. McKeown. I think so, yes.

Mr. Purdy. Do you remember how much time had passed since you had seen Castro?

Mr. McKeown. Maybe about a week or so, something like that. I really do not know.

Mr. Purdy. Was it your impression that they came to you because of the publicity surrounding your meeting with Castro?

Mr. McKeown. That is exactly what I thought. There would be no other reason.

Mr. Purdy. Did you contact anyone to try to follow up this proposed deal?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. Was it your impression that the meeting Jack Ruby was before or after your meeting with Castro?

Mr. McKeown. I think it was after.

Mr. Purdy. Was it your impression that he had seen the publicity about your meeting with Castro?

Mr. McKeown. That is the reason. The only thing I can presume, that is the reason why he came to me, because of all the publicity.

Mr. Purdy. About how long after that did he come to see you?

Mr. McKeown. I do not know.

Mr. Purdy. Did a lot of people call you after your picture was in the paper?

Mr. McKeown. Oh, Jesus. Oh, my God, yes.

Mr. Purdy. You say hundreds?

Mr. McKeown. I would not say hundreds. I would say up in the twenties. Everybody was after me to do them favors, you know.

Mr. Purdy. A lot of people had different proposals?

Mr. McKeown. Yes. A big bunch of crap.

Mr. Purdy. During your meeting with Castro he offered you a position in Cuba and asked you to come to Cuba, is that correct?

Mr. McKeown. Right.

Mr. Purdy. What contact did you have With Castro after that time?

Mr. McKeown. You mean since he took power?

Mr. Purdy. I mean after you saw Castro in the United States, what contact did you have with him?

Mr. McKeown. One time.

Mr. Purdy. What was the nature of, and when was that, contact?

Mr. McKeown. Well, some friends of my brother were fishing and the Cubans confiscated their boat and brought them into Cuba. And my brother came to me and told me that these three guys were real good friends of his and they were very innocent, they were not doing anything but just drifted off into the waters of Cuba, unbeknownst to them, and they were fishing. So he asked me if I could help get them out of Cuba, so I did.

Mr. Purdy. Who did you talk to?

Mr. McKeown. Castro.

Mr. Purdy. Who did you talk to before you got through to Castro?

Mr. McKeown. It took me about two days to get through to him.

Mr. Purdy. Do you remember anyone you spoke with?

Mr. McKeown. No. Operators mostly.

Mr. Purdy. When was that communication with Castro on behalf of your brother?

Mr. McKeown. It was quite awhile after he was in power. I do not know what year. It has been quite some time ago, quite awhile ago.

Mr. Purdy. The United States broke diplomatic relations with Cuba on January 1, 1961. Was your contact with Casro before that time?

Mr. McKeown. After that time.

Mr. Purdy. After we broke diplomatic relations.

Mr. McKeown. On the phone, but not personally. I just did it as a favor to try to get them guys out of Cuba. But I have not done anything

like that. I have been offered quite a number of times to help get people out of Cuba, but I never did do it.

Mr. Purdy. Do you remember anybody who asked you to help get people out of Cuba?

Mr. McKeown. Quite a few.

Mr. Purdy. Could you tell us some of those individuals?

Mr. McKeown.They were all Cubans.

Mr. Purdy. Do you remember any of their names?

Mr. McKeown.DelGado was one. They offered me money to get their father or their brother or somebody out of Cuba. I never did do that. I did not want to get involved.

Mr. Purdy. You said a man by the name of DelGado called you and asked you to get somebody out of prison?

Mr. McKeown. I was working where he was working.

Mr. Purdy. You were working with him?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. What was his first name?

Mr. McKeown. I do not know.

Mr. Purdy. Where did you work with him?

Mr. McKeown. I was an inspector. It was a subsidiary of Aerodex. I cannot remember the name of it. It was in Miami. Aerodex. You have heard of Aerodex, have you not?

Mr. Purdy. No.

Mr. McKeown. It is a big company in Miami that repairs airplane engines, jets and things like that. And it was a subsidiary of that.

Mr. Purdy. Does your working with Aerodex help refresh your recollection about when the call to Castro was?

Mr. McKeown. No. It was before I came down here.

Mr. Purdy. Can you give us a better idea of what year or what month the call was?

Mr. McKeown. I would say maybe '65, you know. I came to Miami in '66 and went to work for them.

Mr. Purdy. You called Castro after the assassination?

Mr. McKeown. Oh, yes, long after that.

Mr. Purdy. After the assassination you called him on behalf of your brother?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. Did you discuss anything else with Castro?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. All you did was call you end ask you to get your brother out of prison?

Mr. McKeown. If he would do it.

Mr. Purdy. He said he would?

Mr. McKeown. Not my brother. My brother was not in prison. My brother's friends.

Mr. Purdy. Do you recall who your brother's friends were?

Mr. McKeown. No. I do not have to answer that, do I? They were very respectable people. They were oil people. My brother was in the oil tool and rental business and he knew a lot of people.

Mr. Purdy. You stated today that your only contact with Castro since seeing him in the United States in the spring of 1959 was a phonecall to him after the assassination?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. Did you receive any messages from him or send any to him?

Mr. McKeown. I could not go over there and this fellow came back and told me that Castro was expecting me to come over there, but I never did go. As a matter of fact, I have not been in Cuba since he took power.

Mr. Purdy. Did you sand that person to see him?

Mr. McKeown. No, I did not exactly send him. He was going over there.

Mr. Purdy. Did he want .to use your name with Castro?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. For what purpose?

Mr. McKeown. Something about exchanging some money.

Mr. Purdy. He wanted to exchange money for the money that was in use during Batista to the kind in use during Castro?

Mr. McKeown. Right.

Mr. Purdy. What was the man's name?

Mr. McKeown. I do not remember.

Mr. Purdy. Do you know anyone who would know his name?

Mr. McKeown. I will tell you who he was. He was kind of a bodyguard for this big oil man I was talking to you about that is there in Houston. He is a well-known man, but I cannot recall his name. I have not been in Houston in years.

Mr. Purdy. Could that be Mr. Murchison?

Mr. McKeown. No. I know him, no.

Mr. Purdy. How about Mr. Androtti?

Mr. McKeown. Androtti?

Mr. Purdy. Yes.

Mr. McKeown. I know the name Androtti, but he lives in Miami.

Mr. Purdy. Could it have been Mr. Byers?

Mr. McKeown. No. I think his first name is Frank.

Mr. Purdy. You were discussing the individual who was going to use your name with Castro to exchange currency?

Mr. McKeown. Right.

Mr. Purdy. What was the message you sent to Castro?

Mr. McKeown. You see, he had this money end it was Batista's money, you see. It was a whole lot of money. I was under the impression -- I was not too mad at Castro at that time, because he had just took over, you know?

I thought he did the right thing. Now, I don't, but anyway. I thought it would be benificial to him for him to get this money that he could get for 25 cents on the dollar, but he refused it. He told this guy, he said, let Batista eat that money.

Mr. Purdy. When was this that this man went to see Castro?

Mr. McKeown. It was a little bit after Castro came to Houston. We came down to Miami, me and this fellow, and we checked in over at the hotel on Biscayne and we stayed there together for a couple of days and then he left to, go over to Cuba and thin he came back and told me what he said, that he would not do it, no way.

Mr. Purdy. Did Castro send any message or greetings to you?

Mr. McKeown. No. Oh, yes, he did. He told this gentlemen, he said when McKeown comes here we are going to have the biggest party that Havana has ever seen, which may he a lie, I do not know.

Mr. Purdy. Did you want the currency exchange to go through?

Mr. McKeown. I thought it would benefit him.

Mr. Purdy. Who?

Mr. McKeown. Castro.

Mr. Purdy. Why would it benefit him?

Mr. McKeown. He could, get all of that money for 25 cents on the dollar.

Mr. Purdy. Was this before or after Castro changed the currency?

Mr. McKeown. Before.

Mr. Purdy. How long after?

Mr. McKeown. Right after.

Mr. Purdy. Right after the meeting with Castro?

Mr. McKeown. I did not say the very day, but right after that happened. There was so much of that money floating around.

Mr. Purdy. Could it have been as late as August?

Mr. McKeown. I do not know. Maybe a month or two months after.

Mr. Purdy. The meeting with Castro was in April in 1959 and you think it was, at most, a month or two after that that this men went to see Castro?

Mr. McKeown. It must have been, yes.

Mr. Purdy. You do not recall that man's full name?

Mr. McKeown. No, I do not. I just seen him that little time.

I was there in Houston at that time. I do not even remember where I was living at at that time. I was running that business that I had over there. This particular man came down here to see me to do this and we went to Miami.

Mr. Purdy. Prior to your appearance here today has anyone connected with the Cuban government contacted you?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. Did you receive a call from anyone connected with the Cuban delegation to the United Nations about your contacts with Castro prior to this appearance?

Mr. McKeown. Well, Mark Lane met this man and this gentleman was under the impression that I was dead and he told me that if I could come to Cuba that Castro was very generous and he would like to show his appreciation.

Mr. Purdy. How recently was this call?

Mr. McKeown. It has not been too long ago.

Mr. Purdy. Within the last year.

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. Within the last month?

Mr. McKeown. No. About a couple of months.

Mr. Purdy. Was any mention made by that official of the Cuban government of your testimony, before this Committee?

Mr. McKeown. No, this Committee did not even come into it.

Mr. Purdy. Was any mention made of your contacts, previous contacts, with Mr. Ruby or Mr. Oswald?

Mr. McKeown. What do you mean?

Mr. Purdy. Did the person who called you mention-

Mr. McKeown. No. It did not have anything to do with it. They just wanted to know, glad to know, that I was still living.

Mr. Purdy. After Castro took power in Cuba, did you have information about anyone involved in attempts to overthrow him?

Mr. McKeown. Sure.

Mr. Purdy. What were some of the groups that were interested in overthrowing Castro that you have personal knowledge of?

Mr. McKeown. Prio.

Mr. Purdy. How long after Castro took power did Prio turn against him?

Mr. McKeown. When he left -- you know, he went over there and he put two and two together, I will express it that way. He found out that Castro was a Communist and he did not want no part of that so he got out of there and then he came to Miami. That is where he lived until he died.

Mr. Purdy. Was Mr. Prio involved in any plots to assassinate Mr. Castro?

Mr. McKeown. No, not that I know of, but I imagine -no, not that I know of, no.

Mr. Purdy. Do you know if anyone who was involved considered assassinating Castro?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. Who?

Mr. McKeown. A woman.

Mr. Purdy. What was her name?

Mr. McKeown. Marceau Albinez. But she double crossed a guy who was going to kill Castro and I think he got killed. He was an American.

Mr. Purdy. How did you learn of this?

Mr. McKeown. Through Prio.

Mr. Purdy. He told you that she had been in a plot to kill Castro?

Mr. McKeown. But, you see, she was to blame for me getting caught, really. She was in with Prio and I used to go to her house and everything, and she wanted very much to overthrow Batista, and then she fell in love with -- not an Ambassador, what do you call them? Consul -- and then she turned and worked against Castro.

Mr. Purdy. What was the name of the man she was involved with in the plot?

Mr. McKeown. I do not know. He was a councilman there in Miami for the Cuban government.

Mr. Purdy. Do you know how they were going to kill Castro?

Mr. McKeown. Yes. With a rifle.

Mr. Purdy. Do you know who was going to do it?

Mr. McKeown. I do not know him personally. I know he was an American.

Mr. Purdy. Did you ever know the man's name?

Mr. McKeown. No. I do not remember. Maybe his name was Morgan, but I am not sure.

Mr. Purdy. Could his name have been William Morgan?

Mr. McKeown. I do not know whether it was William Morgan or not.

Mr. Purdy. Did you know a William Morgan?

Mr. McKeown. I have heard of him.

Mr. Purdy. Did you ever meet him?

Mr. McKeown. Once.

Mr. Purdy. When did you meet him?

Mr. McKeown. In a lawyer's office.

Mr. Purdy. What were the circumstances surrounding your meeting him?

Mr. McKeown. That has nothing to do with this assassination.

Mr. Purdy. What was the date of that meeting?

Mr. McKeown. I really do not know. It has been quite awhile ago.

Mr. Purdy. Was it before your arrest?

Mr. McKeown. I think so.

Mr. Purdy. You have said Miss Albinez was at least part of the reason that you got arrested.

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. Which was February, 1958, so you believe it was probably before February, 1958?

Mr. McKeown. I will tell you the whole story about it. This fellow came from Costa Rica, the one I told you about. Well, he knew that Marceau was in with us, with the overthrow of Batista. So that it was cold. So he went to her to borrow her husband's overcoat because it was cold down in Texas and she had him followed. Now, that is the story. That is the reason they caught us.

Mr. Purdy. In your testimony today you talked about the currency exchange ideas occurring shortly after your meeting with Castro in April, 1959. Earlier today, you said that the meeting with Mr. Ruby occurred shortly after Castro took power in January, 1959. After we talked about the currency exchange idea, you said that you saw Ruby after you met Castro. Did you meet Castro before or after you had met Ruby?

Mr. McKeown. The only time I met Castro since this thing was when he came to Houston.

Mr. Appel. Could I request a recess?

Mr. Dodd. The Committee will stand in recess. (A brief recess was taken.)

Mr. Dodd. The Committee will come to order. Counsel may proceed.

Mr. Purdy. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. McKeown, you were discussing the plot that Mr. Prio told you about. You had said that the plot had occurred prior to your arrest, which was in February, 1958. Is that correct?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. Could you tell us when the plot took place?

Mr. McKeown. There were so many plots, which plot are you talking about?

Mr. Purdy. The plot with the woman, Miss Albinez. You said that Mr. Prio told you about a plot that was involved with her. When was that?

Mr. McKeown. Right after he took over. As a matter of fact, he was going into Havana. They were supposed to kill him when he went into Havana.

Mr. Purdy. That would have been January

Mr. McKeown. Right.

Mr. Purdy. You stated earlier that Mr. Prio became disillusioned with Mr. Castro shortly after he took power, is that correct?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. Was Mr. Prio behind the plot which occurred when he was going into Havana?

Mr. McKeown. Not that I know of.

Mr. Purdy. He just learned about it from the woman?

Mr. McKeown. He learned about it.

Mr. Purdy. Do you have information about any other plots to kill Fidel Castro?

Mr. McKeown. Just what I read in the papers.

Mr. Purdy. Did you learn from anyone else about plots to kill Fidel Castro besides the newspapers?

Mr. McKeown. No. Well, yes. There were some people who came to me and offered me quite a sum of money and told me that we believe that you are the only one who can really get close to Castro. And they wanted me to kill him.

Mr. Purdy. When was that?

Mr. McKeown. It has been some time ago.

Mr. Purdy. Before or after the assassination of President Kennedy?

Mr. McKeown. After he took power.

Mr. Purdy. Was it before or after the

assassination of President Kennedy?

Mr. McKeown. It was after.

Mr. Purdy. After the Kennedy assassination?

Mr. McKeown. Oh, yes.

Mr. Purdy. Can you give us an idea of how long after the Kennedy assassination the plot was?

Mr. McKeown. I came here -- not here, but Miami, in '66, and I guess it was about '68, because I had worked-- and you want to know who.

Mr. Purdy. Yes.

Mr. McKeown. Have you ever heard of a Cuban named Torrento?

Mr. Purdy. Torrento?

Mr. McKeown. They killed him.

Mr. Purdy. Pardon

Mr. McKeown. They killed him.

Mr. Purdy. The same person who offered you money killed Torrento?

Mr. McKeown. Torrento is the one who offered me money.

Mr. Purdy. Who killed him?

Mr. McKeown. Hell, I do not know who killed him. They killed him in his living room, shot him through the window.

Mr. Purdy. Were they people working for Castro?

Mr. McKeown. I do not know.

Mr. Purdy. You said people came to you to offer you money to kill Castro? Who else came to see you besides Torrento?

Mr. McKeown. Nobody.

Mr. Purdy. What you are saying is that only one person came.

Mr. McKeown. Torrento. He was in a movement there in Miami. As a matter of fact, all of the Cubans that worked around Miami, they were supposed to give the day's wages to Torrento to, you know, he was guaranteeing that he was going to overthrow Castro and he got killed.

Mr. Purdy. How much money did he offer you?

Mr. McKeown. $100,000.

Mr. Purdy. Where did he get the money from?

Mr. McKeown. I do not know. Where the hell do they all get the money from? That is what I would like to know.

Mr. Purdy. Did he mention anybody else who was involved in the plot?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. Did he mention whether or not you would have to personally kill Castro?

Mr. McKeown. He emphasized that. He said, you are the only one who could get to him.

Mr. Purdy. This was in the mid to late 1960's?

Mr. McKeown. 1968.

Mr. Purdy. 1968?

Mr. McKeown. '68 or '69, somewhere in there.

Mr. Purdy. Did you tell anyone about Mr. Torrento's offer to you?

Mr. McKeown. No. Well, I might have told a couple of Cuban friends, but outside of that, I really did not think much about it, because I was not going to do it anyway. I told him the $100,000, if you offered me $1 million, I would not do that. Anybody who killed him is going to get killed. I am not quite ready to die.

Mr. Purdy. Did Mr. Prio tell you about any other plots to kill Mr. Castro?

Mr. McKeown. No, not as I recall.

Mr. Purdy. He only told you about the one plot which involved Miss Albinez?

Mr. McKeown. Yes. You see, Prio was very bitter towards Castro and before I went on the CBS broadcast -- do you remember that? Well, I went to Prio's house, you know, to discuss it with him, whether I should do that or not, because I had a lot of offers from other people to write books, to do this and do that, but I never did do it. So I want to Prio. I want to his house and I discussed it with him about these people wanting me to go on the television, you know, about the assassination, you know, about Oswald coming to you, particularly with the Spanish man who was with him, or say Latin. I do not know whether he was Cuban or what, you know. He was Latin. And I told Prior about that and he said, my Cod, yes, do everything you can to get Castro involved in it. You can understand his position. He was very bitter towards Castro. You see, as a matter of fact, Prio is the man who practically furnished all of the money to overthrow Batista and than Castro turned out like he did.

Mr. Purdy. Prior to Castro taking power, who did Mr. Prio get that money from?

Mr. McKeown. I do not know where he got the money from. I do not know where he got the money from.

Mr. Purdy. Did Mr. Prio ever tell you where he got any of the money from?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. Did he ever tell you he got the money from any agency of the United States government?

Mr. McKeown. Oh, no. I know where he got the money from, but that is beside the point. He had the money.

Mr. Purdy. Where did he get the money from?

Mr. McKeown. Just hearsay.

Mr. Purdy. Please tell us what you have heard as to the sources of Mr. Prio's money.

Mr. McKeown. Well, you hate to talk about the dead you know, the man is dead. He was supposed to burn up $300 million and he did not burn it up. He brought it to the United States.

Mr. Purdy. You are talking about Mr. Prio?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. That was some money

Mr. McKeown. That was some money.

Mr. Purdy. That was some money that he used to try to overthrow Castro?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. Where did he get the money to try to overthrow Batista?

Mr. McKeown. I guess he used some of that $300 million. He had a safe deposit box as big as that desk you are sitting at.

Mr. Purdy. You are talking about after Castro took over, Prio got that money, that $300 million, and had it taken to the United States?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. How about before that? Prior to the time--

Mr. McKeown. No. Not before. Not before. As a matter of fact, Prio and Castro were good friends.

Mr. Purdy. That is what you said earlier. You said Mr. Prio helped finance --

Mr. McKeown. He financed Castro. He trusted Castro.

Mr. Purdy. Where did he get the money? Where did Mr. Prio get the money?

Mr. McKeown. He wan supposed to burn this money up in Cuba and he did not burn it up.

Mr. Purdy. Are you talking about prior to the time Castro took power, when Castro and Prio were working together, Prio was financing Castro. Where did Prio get that money?

Mr. McKeown. I do not know where he got the money. He probably used the money that he brought over here when he came over here. You see, he left Cuba-- you know, Batiste overthrew him right after that, but he had this money over here already.

Mr. Purdy. When Batiste overthrew Prio, that is when Prio took the money to the United States?

Mr. McKeown. I imagine he took it before that. Do you not think so?

Mr. Purdy. Do you know of any other sources of money that Mr. Prio used, to finance Castro's overthrow of Batista?

Mr. McKeown. No. I do not know where he got all of that money.

Mr. Purdy. Was Prio ever involved with any Americans who were working in the casino business in Cuba?

Mr. McKeown. No, not that I know of, because I know he was against, gambling. I really do not think that he was involved with the so-called Mafia under Batista that ran the casinos. I do not think Castro was involved. I know four or five of them came to me and wanted me to try to help get back over there.

Mr. Purdy. Who were they?

Mr. McKeown. Just people who came to me who wanted me to go and try to get them to open the Americana again and the Sans Souci and all of that. Mr. Purdy, Can you remember the names of any of the individuals who asked for your assistance?

Mr. McKeown. No, I cannot. There were three or four of them who came and asked me. They did not offer anything, they just wanted to know if I could help them out, to get him to change his mind about the casinos.

Mr. Purdy. When was that?

Mr. McKeown. Maybe a couple of months after he took over.

Mr. Purdy. Some time in 1959?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. Do you know of anyone who went to Cuba to try to change Castro's mind?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. Do you know of anyone who came to Cuba to try to have people released from prison?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. Did you know of Jack Ruby's visit to Cuba in 1959?

Mr. McKeown. I heard about it, but I did not know about it when I met him.

Mr. Purdy. Did you hear about it before the assassination?

Mr. McKeown. No, I just heard about it recently. A gentleman came to me. He is with the British Broadcasting Company. I do not know his name Scott Malone. He told me, he says, the only thing Ruby did to you was to use you to get contact with Castro. So Scott Malone tells me he definitely went to Cuba after he talked to me.

Mr. Purdy. To your personal knowledge, you do not have any information that contradicts that?

Mr. McKeown. No. But he seems to have that pretty well known. He says, I know that he went to Cuba.

Mr. Purdy. Were they Americans who asked you to intercede with Castro to open up the casinos?

Mr. McKeown. One of them was Italian.

Mr. Purdy. What was his name?

Mr. McKeown. I do not remember.

Mr. Purdy. Were they all from the United States?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. Have they all been in Cuba?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. Have they ever been forced to leave Cuba?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. Had they ever been imprisoned by Castro?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. Do you know, or have you know, a Sante Trafficante.

Mr. McKeown. I know of him.

Mr. Purdy. Was he one of those individuals?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. Did he ever send word to you to try to get Castro to open up the casinos?

Mr. McKeown. Well, I do not know if it was him or not. Two or three of them came to me and said, if you can go over there and sit down and talk to Castro and explain to him how beneficial it would be to the country to open the gambling again, maybe you could do it.

Mr. Purdy. Did those two or three people come at the same time?

Mr. McKeown. No. Each one was different.

Mr. Purdy. Was there an occasion when more than one of them came to see you?

Mr. McKeown. On the phone. They talked to me on the phone.

Mr. Purdy. They all talked to you on the phone?

Mr. McKeown. Most of them.

Mr. Purdy. Do you remember any of them that came to see you?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. Did some people come and see you?

Mr. McKeown. There were so many people who came to see me I cannot remember all of them.

Mr. Purdy. Have you ever met Sante Trafficante?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. Did he ever send a message to you for you to communicate with Castro or with anybody in the Cuban government?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. Did anyone give you a message on his behalf?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. Did you know, or do you know of, Carlos or Vincent Marcello from New Orleans?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. Did you ever know of them?

Mr. McKeown. I have heard of them, it seems like, the Marcelias. I did not know him.

Mr. Purdy. Do you knoW, or did you know of, Sam Giancana?

Mr. McKeown. I have heard of him.

Mr. Purdy. You never met him?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. You never had any direct or indirect communication with him?

Mr. McKeown. No, and I am glad I did not.

Mr. Purdy. Did you know, or do you know of, Mr. Meyer Lansky?

Mr. McKeown. Yes. Inever had any dealings with him.

Mr. Purdy. You just met him?

Mr. McKeown. I have never met him.

Mr. Purdy. Do you know, or did you know of, Mr. Michael McLane?

Mr. McKeown. I have heard of him.

Mr. Purdy. You never met him?

Mr. McKeown. Never met him.

Mr. Purdy. Have you ever had any dealings with him?

Mr. McKeown. No. To be frank with you about the whole thing, I stayed shy of them people. Right today, as Mr. Fonzi here can tell you, I live with my daughter and I do not get around. I do not go out at night, I don't do nothing. I don't want to get involved with all that and I am trying to live right and that is the whole thing, and I just wish to hell I never got mixed up in this kind of business.

Mr. Purdy. At one time in the late 1950's, as you said, you were arrested in 1958 in connection with armaments, actually arms. What was the source of the arms that you had been arrested for having?

Mr. McKeown. What kind of arms?

Mr. Purdy. Where did you get them from?

Mr. McKeown. Oh, I do not know.

Mr. Purdy. Did Mr. Prio help you get the arms?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. Did anyone else help you get the arms?

Mr. McKeown. Well, the only thing I know about the arms was where they told me they would

Mr. Purdy. Who told you where they would be?

Mr. McKeown. Prio.

Mr. Purdy. Was Prio the only one who told you where to get the arms?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. Do you know where he got them from?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. Do you know any of the individuals who physicaliy turned over the arms to you?

Mr. McKeown. No, just the people in the warehouse.

Mr. Purdy. Where was the warehouse where you obtained the arms?

Mr. McKeown. Walls Transfer, Mayflower Transfer Company. But, of course, them people was innocent. They did not know what was in those boxes or trucks or whatever.

Mr. Purdy. Was there any other place where you would pick up the arms?

Mr. McKeown. I picked up some in Arkansas.

Mr. Purdy. Where in Arkansas?

Mr. McKeown. Hope, Arkansas.

Mr. Purdy. Do you recall the Red Stone Arsenal in Arkansas ?

Mr. McKeown. I have heard of it.

Mr. Purdy. Did you obtain the arms from there?

Mr. McKeown. No, I told you, I got it in Hope, Arkansas.

Mr. Purdy. Do you remember who you got the arms from there?

Mr. McKeown. A warehouse.

Mr. Purdy. Do you remember any people?

Mr. McKeown. You know, the people who were the clerks and things, and I had the invoice and I got them.

Mr. Purdy. You previously stated that one or more United States Senators helped provide you

with the arms, is that correct?

Mr. McKeown. No. I do not know of any Senators who helped get the arms.

Mr. Purdy. Do you know any United States Senators who, through other people, provided you with arms or helped you get arms?

Mr. McKeown. Like I told you, I got all of my arms through Prio.

Mr. Purdy. You never got any assistance through anybody else in obtaining arms, is that correct?

Mr. McKeown. That is right.

Mr. Purdy. Did you ever deal in arms after your conviction in 1958?

Mr. McKeown. Hell, no. No.

Mr. Purdy. Where did you transport the weapons which you received from these various warehouses?

Mr. McKeown. To two or three different places, but where I got caught was down in Seabrook. I went and bought a boat in Louisiana.

Mr. Purdy. Where were you going to take the arms?

Mr. McKeown. Cuba.

Mr. Purdy. Were you going to take them directly to Cuba?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. Were you personally going to take them?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. Who were you going to have take them to Cuba?

Mr. McKeown. This boy who came from Costa Rica and then, with another guy by the name of Alguila. He was a pilot. He had worked for the Coast Guard in Cuba and he was doing the taking.

Mr. Purdy. Did you ever ship the arms through Mexico to Cuba?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. Who were your contacts in Mexico?

Mr. McKeown. Nobody. I just pulled in there and loaded the ship up in Tampico.

Mr. Purdy. Did you personally ever accompany any of the arms to Cuba?

Mr. McKeown. Never. I was there when they came in. I was there when Castro landed.

Mr. Purdy. Who were some of the other people who transported arms in the same manner that you did? Were they other people working for Prio?

Mr. McKeown. Well, I imagine there was. I do not have any proof there was. There were so many, you know, that different people were trying to get arms to Castro.

Mr. Purdy. Do you know, or did you know of, Antonio Verona ?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. Could you please tell us how you came to know him?

Mr. McKeown. He was a friend of Prio's. I seen him the other day. You know, not to talk to, but Prio was dead a year ago this past week, last week, and they had kind of a service, you know, for him.

Verona was there.

Mr. Purdy. When did you meet Verona?

Mr. McKeown. Quite awhile back.

Mr. Purdy. Did you know him when you were transporting the arms?

Mr. McKeown. I know he was a real good friend of Prio's. Do you have anything down there about a fellow by the name of Cardona?

Mr. Purdy. Miro Cardona?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. What can you tell us about him? He is a good friend of Prio.

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. Was Verona transporting arms for Prio?

Mr. McKeown. Not that I know of.

Mr. Purdy. Do you know, or do you know of, Frank Sturgis or Frank Ferrini?

Mr. McKeown. I know of Frank Sturgis.

Mr. Purdy. Did you ever meet him?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. Did you ever have any communications with him?

Mr. McKeown. No, not as I can recall. I think he lived down in Miami.

Mr. Purdy. Did he know Prio?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. Did you know him at the time when you were working for Prio?

Mr. McKeown. I seen him one time over at Prio's house. But I did not have any dealings with him whatsoever. He was there, that is all.

Mr. Purdy. What were the nature of his dealings with Prio?

Mr. McKeown. I take that back. It was not at his house. It was at a lawyer's in the Ainsley Building in Miami where I went to pick up the money and he was there.

Mr. Purdy. What was the date of that?

Mr. McKeown. I do not know the date.

Mr. Purdy. Do you remember roughly the year of that? Was that 1959, 1958?

Mr. McKeown. It was before Batista was overthrown.

Mr. Purdy. Before you were arrested?

Mr. McKeown. Oh, sure.

Mr. Purdy. What was the lawyer's name that you met with in Miami?

Mr. McKeown. I did not meet with the lawyer. It was Prio's lawyer.

Mr. Purdy. What was Prio's lawyer's name?

Mr. McKeown. What do you want to know that for?

Mr. Purdy. I am just trying to get the idea of some of the people associated with Mr. Prio.

Mr. McKeown. His name was Dave Walters.

Mr. Purdy. Did you know, or do you know of, Dominick Bartone?

Mr. McKeown. I have heard of him.

Mr. Purdy. Did you ever meet him?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. Did you know pedro Luis Delasanz?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. Did you know of him? Mr. McKeown, I knew-of him, but I did not know personally.

Mr. Purdy. Was he working with Mr. Prio?

Mr. McKeown. I think so.

Mr. Purdy. Do you know what he was doing for him?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. Did you know, or know of, Mr. Louis McQuilley?

Mr. McKeown. No, I did not.

Mr. Purdy. Did Jack Ruby ever talk of Mr. McQuilley?

Mr. McKeown. Not he did not mention him. As a matter of fact, he did not mention any names.

Mr. Purdy. Did you know, or know of, Mr. Dino Salini?

Mr. McKeown. Not as I recall.

Mr. Purdy. Did you know, or know of, a Mr. Loren Hall?

Mr. McKeown. Where was he from?

Mr. Purdy. He was in Cuba for awhile.

Mr. McKeown. No, I did not know him.

Mr. Purdy. Do you recall the names of the casinos which the individuals who approached you requested be reopened by Castro?

Mr. McKeown. Yes, the Tropicana and the Sans Souci. They were the best ones there. To my recollection, those are the only ones I could mention.

Mr. Purdy. You said previously that one of the people who approached you was Italian. Do you recall the nationality of any of the other people who approached you?

Mr. McKeown. Yes, they were Americans.

Mr. Purdy. They were Americans?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. Do you remember any of their names?

Mr. McKeown. It seemed to me that one of them was named Matthews, but I am not sure.

Mr. Purdy. Could his name have been R.D. Matthews?

Mr. McKeown. I do not know what his initials were.

Mr. Purdy. Can you describe him for me?

Mr. McKeown. Well, he was just an ordinary man. Pretty well-dressed fellow.

Mr. Purdy. Do you recall whether he was short or tall?

Mr. McKeown. Well, he was kind of medium, you know. Not tall, or not really short, to my recollection.

Mr. Purdy. Did he have an eyepatch?

Mr. McKeown. If he did, I did not see it.

Mr. Purdy. Do you remember what casino Mr. Hathews was commented with?

Mr. McKeown. The Tropicana. I say he was connected, I don't know whether he was connected or not. He just wanted me to see if I could let them be opened.

Mr. Purdy. You previously mentioned Mr. Dave Walters. Was he involved in opening, or attempting to open, any Cuban casinos?

Mr. McKeown. No, not as I know of. The only thing I know was he was Prio's attorney.

Mr. Purdy. Was he involved in any attempts to get people released from prison?

Mr. McKeown. Not that I know of. I really do not know.

Mr. Purdy. Mr. McKeown, the people who came to see you about opening the casinos, what did they want you to do, exactly?

Mr. McKeown. They just wanted me to go and talk to Castro and show him the benefits that he would derive from the casinos.

Mr. Purdy. What benefits were they? Mr. McKeown, I imagine he would get a big cut out of it. I do not know what benefits you mean. It is just like any government gets benefits where there is gambling, if they allow. it.

Mr. Purdy. After you said that you could not go to Cuba because of your probation, did they suggest, or did you suggest the possibility, of your sending a letter to Castro?

Mr. McKeown. Yes, but I did not do it.

Mr. Purdy. Why did you not send a letter?

Mr. McKeown. Because I did not want to.

Mr. Purdy. You did not need the money at that time?

Mr. McKeown. I always. need money. Right now, I don't have one dime to rub against another. Mr. Purdy Did they offer you any money to intercede with Castro?

Mr. McKeown. They did not exactly offer me any money. They just said that I would be taken care of.

Mr. Purdy. When you refused to help them, did they offer you a specific amount of money, or did they discuss it?

Mr. McKeown. They just said that I would be taken care I could swing the deal to get the casinos to open again.

Mr. Purdy. It is your testimony today that you do not remember the names of the individuals who approached you other than possibly one named Mathews, is that correct?

Mr. McKeown. That is correct.

Mr. Purdy. Is there anyone you know of who might know who those people were?

Mr. McKeown. Not offhand.

Mr. Purdy. Was anyone present with you at any time that they met with you?

Mr. McKeown. I was by myself. You see, I had a bar in the back of the lounge and we would go back there and closed during the day, and we would go back there and talk. Nobody else was there.

Mr. Purdy. Did you ever discuss with Mr. Prio whether or not you should help these men?

Mr. McKeown. Yes, I did discuss it with him and he told me just to lay low. He says, do not get involved in it. He says, that's not going to hurt Castro. What we want to do is hurt Castro.

Mr. Purdy. He just thought you should not be involved at all?

Mr. McKeown. Right.

Mr. Purdy. Mr. Chairman, I think it would be appropriate at this time for members of the Committee to ask any questions concerning this subject. I will have just a few follow-up questions on a separate subject after this.

Mr. Dodd. In order to advise the witness and also the other members of what we tentatively plan to do, it is about quarter of noon now. We will proceed for another 15 or 20 minutes and then take a break until 1:30 for lunch and then come back at 1:30. My guess is that we are going to have to come back, unfortunately, for a little while anyway, because of the schedule. But I will ask Mr. Sawyer if you have any questions along the lines that counsel has been following.

Mr. Sawyer. I do not have any questions.

Mr. Dodd. Mr. Fithian?

Mr. Fithian. Mr. Chairman, I had to be away from the hearings for part of the morning. I would like, at breaktime, to catch. up with some of the things that have gone on. I don't want to duplicate questions that counsel asked in my absense. I want to retain an opportunity to question the witness.

Mr. Dodd. I just have -- Mr. McKeown, I would like to follow the line of questioning that counsel was proceeding on just a second ago, and that is, let me frame the question properly. We are talking about a proper timeframe. You first met Mr. Castro when? Can you recall the month, day, month year, possibly specifically, and where that occurred?

Mr. McKeown. I met him in the Shamrock Hotel in Houston, Texas.

Mr. Dodd. When?

Mr. McKeown. Maybe a year -- maybe not that long -before he overthrew Batista, before he overthrew Batista.

Mr. Dodd. Can you be more specific? What month of 1958 or '57?

Mr. McKeown. Well, I think It was in '57; I am not sure.

Mr. Dodd. Do you recall whether it was summer, fall?

Mr. McKeown. The summer, I recall.

Mr. Dodd. The summer Of 1957, the Shamrock Hotel. Who introduced you to Mr. Castro?

Mr. McKeown. Prio was with me.

Mr. Dodd. Was anybody else present at that meeting?

Mr. McKeown. Raoul.

Mr. Dodd. His brother?

Mr. McKeown. Prio's bodyguard.

Mr. Dodd. When was the last time you had any contact with Mr. Castro?

Mr. McKeown. When I met him in the airport of Houston, Texas.

Mr. Dodd. Again, for purposes of the record, would you tell us what month and year that was?

Mr. McKeown. It was a little bit after he took over. If you will look in there, he went to New York, as you recall, and then be came down there to Houston, and then his, brother came in behind, Raoul.

Mr. Dodd. You are talking April '61?

Mr. McKeown. It could have been, yes. I know he was already in power when he came to Houston and I had lunch there with him, but there were l, all kinds of FBI men and all, You never seen the likes of it.

Mr. Dodd. Did you have an opportunity to speak alone with him at that time?

Mr. McKeown. No, I did not, really. I really did not. He was in a big hurry to go out to Merchison's.

Mr. Dodd. My understanding is, now, you first met Mr. Castro in June, July or August of '57 in the Shamrock Hotel. Your last contact with him, either by phone, letter, or by in person, was in April, or the spring, of 1961?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Dodd. That is the timeframe that we are working in?

Mr. McKeown. I met him in the Shamrock Hotel.

Mr. Dodd. In '57?

Mr. McKeown. In '57. And they were on their way to Mexico, Prio, Raoul, Castro. It wasn't much good, to be frank with you. Prio wanted to let me how that he was going to be the leader of the invasion.

Mr. Dodd. Your last contact with him was' in 1961?

Mr. McKeown. At Houston, Texas. I think it was 1961. When did he take over? '59, or '60, or when?

Mr. Dodd. You stated for the record that you received any number of requests from a variety of different people to solicit from the Castro government support or assistance in a variety of different matters after the Castro takeover and as a result of news that indicated that you had a relationship, or a previous relationship, with him?

Mr. Dodd. I would like, for the record, for you to state first of all, for me, in categories, what sorts of assistance were you solicited for, and I would like you to he as specific as you can.

Mr. McKeown. Well, it was more or less legitimate, like they wanted to sell him things, you know, cars and Jeeps, farm equipment.

Mr. Dodd. Commercial?

Mr. McKeown. Commercial, yes.

Mr. Dodd. That is one category.

Mr. McKeown. There is one guy who wanted of all things molasses. He came out to my, place and said that he would make it worth my while if I could, get a lot of molasses out of Cuba.

Mr. Dodd. What other categories were you being solicited for, for assistance?

Mr. McKeown. Well, that covers it all. Commercial-

Mr. Dodd. That is commercial. You mentioned, for the record, for instance, some people contacted you because they had people who were in jail down there and needed assistance.

Mr. McKeown. Well, yes, there were a couple of them who said that they would like to get their friends out of jail.

Mr. Dodd. Do you see What I am getting at? Follow my logic, I am trying to get you to develop categories for me so that I can get some kind of indication of what kind of assistance you were being solicited for.

Mr. McKeown. I want you to know right now, Mr. Dodd, that all of these things that they came to me about, and I think it is on the record, that I told my probation officer about, because I did not want to get involved, do you understand? I was on probation. I certainly did not want -- I have never been in trouble in my life before, never. I did not want to yet -- I was scared all the time. If you'd ever been on five year probation, you will know it.

Mr. Dodd. So there were personal requests, personal requests for individual people, aside from commercial requests, to get people out of jail, people who were being detained. You were requested to do that, as well.

Mr. McKeown. I was asked to.

Mr. Dodd. What other areas? You also mentioned that Mr. Ruby or Rubinstein, wanted to sell some military equipment?

Mr. McKeown. Yes. Jeeps and slot machines. He said he had a whole lot of slot machines stashed over in some mountains around Nevada and that he could get them into Cuba.

Mr. Dodd. What other requests, what other kinds of things were you asked to do, as a result of the relationship that you had with Mr. Castro?

Mr. McKeown. Like I told you about the fellow, Porter, he wanted a big quota of sugar out of there for the government of the United States and this money proposition. He wanted him to burn the money, whatever money Batista got out of there with. I understand it was quite a bit, but he would not do it. This particular man that I sent to Cuba, that is what mission was, to go to see about this money.

Mr. Dodd. Mr. Porter?

Mr. McKeown. No. This was the guy that was working for this oil man in Houston, and we came here and I stayed here in Miami. I did not go. And he stayed over there three or four days and then he came back and he said Castro was crazy, he ain't going to do that.

Mr. Dodd. What else? What other areas?

Mr. McKeown. Like I say, there Was people who wanted to drill wells over there, wanted to get leases to drill wells over there, wanted to get leases to mine over there, and things of that sort. There was a lot of big money people, I guess. They were sure trying to get me to do a lot of things. I did not see where I could do anything, unless I could go over there, and I was not about to go over there. I tried, do not misunderstand me, I tried to go, but the Judge would not let me go, so I did not go.

Mr. Dodd. Can you think of any other areas? I am trying-- as I understood your testimony, there were literally hundreds of calls that you got.

Mr. McKeown. Well, I cannot recall every little thing that they wanted me to do. You name it, they probably asked me to do it.

Mr. Dodd. I would like you to try to recall, if you can, for me, in those situations where there was more than just a phone call -- I recognized you are apt to get a lot of phone calls from people in the middle of the night requesting things. I am not talking about those. What I am talking about, what I want you to focus on, are those relationships that went beyond a phone call, where there involved either a personal interview with you or a letter or something beyond just that initial kind of call.

Mr. McKeown. Jack Ruby, he personally contacted me. He came to my place three or four times. This fellow Porter -- I think his name was Porter. Do you recall who was the campaign manager for Ike Eisenhower in Houston, Texas or this whole state of Texas? Do you know who he was? Was his name Porter or was his name Butler?

Mr. Dodd. We will have counsel check on it.

Mr. McKeown. That is who he was, and he came to my place of business. He asked me to come up there just in khaki clothes.

Mr. Dodd. Who else?

Mr. McKeown. There was a guy by the name of Lancon, and then this fellow I told you about that I sent to Cuba, he came to my place. He wanted to sell Castro this money. This guy that lived next door to Ike Eisenhower up here, in some big place, had a farm next to Ike Eisenhower -- was his name Greenspan? I do not know his name. He was a friend of Ike Eisenhower. He lived on a big farm next to Ike Eisenhower's farm.

Mr. Dodd. Let us step back. Let us take Mr. Lancon. Do you know how to spell his name?

Mr. McKeown. L-a-n-c-o-n, a Frenchman.

Mr. Dodd. What is his first name? (Pause} Do you have any correspondence from him? Do you have a letter from him?

Mr. McKeown. No. He came to my place.

Mr. Dodd. What did he specifically request?

Mr. McKeown. He wanted to deal with the money.

Mr. Dodd. Did you have more than one meeting with him?

Mr. McKeown. Oh, well, there is that Italian. He ran a gambling place over in Dickenson, Texas. Frank. I really wanted to make some money out of that. He told me he'd give me 2 percent if I could sell this money to Castro, but Castro would not do I have all this stuff wrote down,

Mr. Dodd. I really did not-- I had letters, everything, I had all of that, but my house burned, and that messed me up good, and it burned everything up, I lost everything. I lost everything in the world I had, I lost everything, and I have never gotten back since. I lost it all. Everything.

Mr. Dodd. We are running out of time. I need your help in this,

Mr. McKeown. What I am trying to do--

Mr. McKeown. That is what I am here for.

Mr. Dodd. I understand that. Just listen to me and see if you can stick with me a little bit, because you have a tendency to drift sometimes and we are trying to focus in. I want you, if you can, to the best of your knowledge, to focus your attention on each one of these people, if we can, and develop as much knowledge as we can about each one of these contacts that you had with people which went beyond just a phonecall or the nut call that you might get in the middle of the night. I am not asking you about those. Tell us as much as you can about each one of these specific contacts that you had with people who were soliciting your help in establishing a contact with Fidel Castro end the Castro, government, all right? I want you to try to stick with me, if you can, on this thing. I want to talk about Mr. Lancon and what more information you can give us about this individual other than what you have given me already.

Mr. McKeown. This Mr. Lancon, he was interested in money. He owned a diving company that dives, goes down underwater. He owned a big diving company there, and he was under the impression that he knew where there was a sunken treasure right off the coast of Cuba and he would like for me to get permission for him to go look for that treasure. He knew where it was and he wanted me to get Castro to let him do that. I remember that. But the one that sticks out in my mind more so than an of them, and I guess the reason it is because of the assassination, is Jack Ruby. These others -- I did not pay any attention, but since all of this has come up about the assassination, naturally you think about that more than you do anything else. But all of these others were just a bunch of nuts, like you laid, and wanted something for nothing.

Mr. Dodd. Can you tell us -- you mentioned Mr. Lancon, you mentioned Mr. Porter, you mentioned Mr. Ruby, you mentioned an Italian man whose name is Frank and you cannot recall his last name. Did you mention anyone else? Those are four. I am looking for any additional ones to shed some light on this.

Mr. McKeown. I cannot recall his name and he came down and he offered me $5,000 -- he had it in his hand, too. He wanted me to he my agent to get things for people out of Cuba. What his name was, I do not know. He came twice. And then there was another one, but that poor guy is dead now. He was the Captain on a ship and he came to me to raise money for the people who were in jail in Cuba.

Mr. Dodd. A Captain on a ship?

Mr. McKeown. He was, but he died. He got in a store off the coast of Carolina.

Mr. Dodd. A commercial?

Mr. McKeown. A tanker.

Mr. Dodd. A tanker?

Mr. McKeown. He was a licensed -- you know, he worked for Esso.

Mr. Dodd. Worked for Esso?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Dodd. Do you remember when that contact occurred?

Mr. McKeown. Yes, sir. It was around '61, something like that. It was before the assassination.

Mr. Dodd. Who was he seeking -- what sort of individual was he seeking assistance for who were in prison?

Mr. McKeown. Well, we went over to the affiliate of NBC there in Houston and we bought time to, go on the television, you know, for people to donate money. You understand?

Mr. Dodd. Yes.

Mr. McKeown. To try to get these people out of Cuba, but it never did materialize because he was going to make this one more trip and that is when he died. He got caught in the storm. As a matter of fact, I went to his burial. But they never did find him, he went down with his ship. That is all there was to that. I did not go through with that.

Mr. Dodd. You cannot recall his name?

Mr. McKeown. No, I cannot. He lived right over there by NASA, close by where I lived.

Mr. Dodd. You cannot recall the namesof the people who were in prison that you were seeking the release of?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Dodd. Do you recall what they were in prison for?

Mr. McKeown. Political purposes. That is the only thing I know.

Mr. Dodd. Were they Americans?

Mr. McKeown. I think they were Cubans with naturalization Americans.

Mr. Dodd. During the period --, what was your probation period again, the time you were on probation? How long a period?

Mr. McKeown. Five years.

Mr. Dodd. Running from?

Mr. McKeown. '58, '59. I do not know.

Mr. Dodd. Until 1963?

Mr. McKeown. Something like that.

Mr. Dodd. Who was your probation officer?

Mr. McKeown. Mr. Fields, and then when I would come to Miami, I would come back to Miami, but I would always have to get permission and I could not stay but a certain length of time, and I had to let them know where I would be when I was there. And I would have to check in the minute I got here to Mr. Robinson in Miami.

Mr. Dodd. How often did you see your probation officer?

Mr. McKeown. Every month and then he got to liking me a little bit and he said, you do not need to come up here 'every month. You can just fill out the form and mail it.

Mr. Dodd. When. did that occur?

Mr. McKeown. About two and a half years after I was on probation. Me and him got to be pretty good friends, this fellow Fields.

Mr. Dodd. You went to his office to report?

Mr. McKeown. Yes. He was in the Post Office Building. He was the one, I really thought I was going to go to Cuba, but he was the one who blocked it. Maybe if I had gotten to go to Cuba, I could have told you a lot more. But I did not get to

Mr. Dodd. When you met with Mr. Fields and made your reports to him, did he solicit information from you regarding activities involving Cuba?

Did he ask you any specific information about whether you were having any contacts with people who were soliciting assistance?

Mr. McKeown. We discussed a lot of things, you know? As a matter of fact, he drank a lot -- he really drank a lot. He was a pretty good fellow. But he told me, Mac, if you could, get to Cuba you could make a lot of money, could not? And I said, yeah, I believe I could, but I would not just get up and, go over there, you know, like two or three people I know did.

Mr. Dodd. Did he ask you specifically whether people were coming to you to talk about contacts with Castro or the Castro government?

Mr. McKeown. Not very often. He asked me, do you hear from any of your Cuban friends, or something like that, and I said no. I would not tell him, if I did. But I was pretty good on that probation, I will be frank with you. I sure did not want to do anything wrong. I did not do anything wrong. I lived it out five years.

Mr. Dodd. Let us suspend for just a moment. (Pause) Mr. McKeown, I would ask you if you would return to this room, let us say at 1:30. It is now 12:05. The Committee will stand in recess until 1:30. (Whereupon, at 12:05 p.m., the Subcommittee recessed, to reconvene at 1:30 p.m. this same day.)

AFTER RECESS (1.50 p.m.)

Mr. Dodd. We will proceed from where we were this morning at the time that we took the luncheon recess. I will just have one other question I would like to pursue with you, Mr. McKeown, then I will ask counsel to proceed and hopefully we will complete in relatively short order.

Mr. Appel. I would like to make a request of the Committee now, that in view of the fact that Mr. McKeown's counsel of choice is not here, I would like to request a copy of the of the transcript and under the Committee Rule 3.36, Section 9, the witness may be provided with a transcript of testimony given in Executive Session if the Committee would allow it. I would like to request that now.

Mr. Dodd. I am advised by counsel that the Rules of the Committee are that not until the sessions are public will the transcript of any Executive Session be made available to witnesses other than to review the statements, which counsel can do at such time with the minutes of these meeting, the substance of these meetings, become public information, then at that time, the transcript can he had by the witness.

Mr. Appel. Mr. Chairman, you are referring to Rule 3.8; under rule 3.36, subsection 9, the Committee may authorize that a transcript be given. It is clearly indicated in the rules.

Mr. Dodd. As a policy of the committee, we have not done that as long as we are in Executive Session, a process which this Committee is now engaged, so it would be after that. But if you would like to see a copy of it, of the transcript, you may do that in the offices of the Committee. Is that clear?

Mr. Appel. Yes. I would like to make a request under Rule, 3.9 that we be notified when the transcript is complete.

Mr. Dodd. Yes. Mr. McKeown, the last series of questions, I think you answered them but I would like to pursue it once more, because it has to do with the statements you have made the past regarding the fact, the allegation, rather, that there were one or more United States Senator involved with the sale or shipment of arms to Cuba. I would like to ask you again whether or not you have any specific knowledge as to that allegation and, if so, who those United States Senators were.

Mr. McKeown. Well, I heard by the grapevine that there were a couple of Senators mixed up with the getting of the arms, but who they were I do not know. If I did, I would tell you.

Mr. Dodd. Who did you hear that from?

Mr. McKeown. Prio.

Mr. Dodd. Was there anybody else, to your knowledge, who would be privy to that same rumor?

Mr. McKeown. No, not as I can recollect. Nobody said anything more about it. The way it came up I said, boy, you're sure getting a lot of arms. I said, how are you getting all this money? He says, I have connections in Washington.

Mr. Dodd. How did he happen to bring up the word Senators? Connections in Washington could he anything.

Mr. McKeown. The way it was, he was trying to get the United States government to recognize a government exile -- do you understand?

Mr. Dodd. Yes.

Mr. McKeown. --at that time. And he told me that he might be able to get it through. As a matter of fact, they never did get it through, but he said there were a couple of Senators helping him out. Who the Senators were, he never said and I never asked him.

Mr. Dodd. Would you be aware of any other individual who might also have heard that same rumor who would have heard it from Mr. Prio?

Mr. McKeown. I do not know, because him and I were by ourselves when that conversation came up. I do not know of anybody. He might have told quite a number of people that I do not know. I really do not know. Mr. Dodd, may I go back again? Since we have made this little break -- you know I have never been before the Warren Commission, as you know. I am sure you know that.

Mr. Dodd. I know that.

Mr. McKeown. This gentleman from the FBI that came out to the office where I worked and then I went up to him, I know, I am almost positive-of course, it has been a long time, you know -but I am almost positive that the word Oswald did not even come into the picture, and I stayed there with him, I would venture to say two hours. And in this Warren Commission, I, got a copy of it there was only one word in there about Oswald, the testimony that I made. It was that I did not know Oswald. That was all that was in there, if you read it. I am sure you have. But after I get to thinking -- I told my attorney here down when we were eating-- I get thinking and thinking about this. All he was interested in was Jack Ruby. He was really interested in Ruby. But the word Oswald, I do not even think it came into the picture. If it did, I really really, I would be almost to God with you, if I remember back right, he did not hardly mention Oswald.

Mr. Dodd. You never voluntarily--

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Dodd.--made mention of Mr. Oswald?

Mr. McKeown. Not voluntarily. He sat me down there and he says, you answer the questions I ask you and he says, just tell the truth that's all. I know you are not implicated in this. But he says, just tell me how much did you talk to Ruby, Jack Ruby? That was what he told met and he was really -- he wanted to know more about Jack Ruby than anything else. That almost all he talked about, was Jack Ruby.

Mr. Dodd. Mr. Fithian?

Mr. Fithian. Thank you, Mr. Chaiman. Mr. McKeown, as you know, we are trying very hard to get all of the story and all of the facts that pertain to the assassination of the late President Kennedy. I realize, and you have mentioned on two or three occasions today, that has been quite a long time ago. A fellow's mind plays tricks on him over the years.

Mr. McKeown. Let me answer that.

Mr. Fithian. I will make a couple of comments, then I want to ask you a questions. It is hard to remember back. It is hard for me to remember back three terms ago. What I want to ask you, you may not be able to answer with a great deal of assurance that you are right, or firmness, but is it possible that due to the fact that you did meet Jack Ruby and therefore, were one of the few Americans who were in contact with a person very directly related to his assassination, and then subsequently you have seen movies or television programs or radio programs, you have looked at the Warren Report, all of the discussion --

Mr. McKeown. I did not look at the Warren Report. I just got my testimony through this FBI agent.

Mr. Fithian. Yes. What I am, getting at is this. Is it possible that your memory that you met Oswald could be wrong?

Mr. McKeown. Are you trying to say misunderstanding you -- that Oswald did not come to see me? Is that what you are referring to?

Mr. Fithian. I am trying to ascertain whether or not certain tricks of the mind cannot sort of project backwards for ten or fifteen years and come up with something that you believe to be true and you visualize to be true, but it is very hard to nail it down. It is hard to prove this. I am not saying that you are wrong or right, I am just asking, whether or not, in your own Judgment, thinking back to that time, that maybe Jack Ruby only came to see you once, or once Or twice, and then frittered out of the picture, and as you got to thinking about it more and more, larger in your mind than it really is. Sometimes that happens to all of us, I am not in any way, putting you down. I am just asking you whether or not this is possible, that what now seems to be a very important event, that is, you talk to Jack Ruby several times, you saw Lee Harvey Oswald -- I am wondering if it is a possibility that that has just grown in your own view to something that really exceeds the reality? I would appreciate your comment on that.

Mr. McKeown. All right. When a President of the United States is maliciously killed, like Mr. Kennedy was, President Kennedy, and you see somebody on the television that you had talked to, that is very, very pressing on your mind. Do you understand what I mean? You cannot for get that. There are a few other things maybe you can forget.

Mr. Fithian. Let me interrupt right there. I tried to put myself in your position. Here is a person who has talked with Jack Ruby, who knows Fidel Castro personally, who, like every American of our age, was absolutely stunned by the news that President Kennedy had been assassinated.

Mr. McKeown. I cried like a baby.

Mr. Fithian. You could blot it out, the whole world, in our conscious memory. I find it almost totally unbelievable that, given someone like yourself, who took the President's death as tragically as any of us, would subsequently sit down with a member of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and talk and answer the questionsnow, you were not on trial. They were not pressuring you, you were not pressuring them. I find it almost unbelievable, in retrospect, that during the course of that discussion with an agent of the highest law enforcement group in the United States, that you would overlook the fact that you had seen Lee Harvey Oswald.

If it is so graphic, the death of president Kennedy, as it was on all of us, it would seem to me that there is not one chance in 10,000 that you would sit down with a member of the FBI and just casually terminate the inquirey in the discussion of Jack Ruby and not even think to mention the fact that you had indeed in the presence of the President's killer who was now claiming to be the only assassin of President Kennedy. That is the only problem I am having with your testimony.

Mr. McKeown. Well, I really cannot explain it to you. The only thing I can say, like I told Dan Rather, he asked me the same question you are asking me about Oswald, and what he could not figure out is why the Warren Commission did not call me and ask me about Oswald.

Mr. Fithian. Do you know how the President was killed? Did you know that he was shot with a rifle? You are aware of that, are you not?

Mr. McKeown. I read it in the paper.

Mr. Fithian. That is what I mean. It was reported, flashed over the news, dramatically. Now you say, had you been in contact, personal contact in your home, with the President's assassin, but you tell this Committee that the President's assassin had pushed you to buy rifles. Surely, even in the most casual connections between your talking with Oswald in person, right there in your home, his asking you to sell him the high-powered rifle with scopes, and the fact that the President of the United States was killed by a high-powered rifle with scopes and the fact of your being subsequently being asked by the FBI to all you know. I find it just incredible that you can sit there for five minutes, let alone two hours, or whatever it was, and not think of tile fact that it was important to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, that it was important to the United States government, that it was important to the American people, that you had been asked by the killer of the President to sell him a rifle. I am just --- I am trying hard to believe you, but I am telling you, that is had to believe.

Mr. McKeown. I am going to tell you something. You'd better believe me, because I am telling the truth and know it as well as I am sitting here that that FBI man -- I do not think he asked me about Oswald.

Mr. Fithian. I do not doubt that at all.

Mr. McKeown. I do not believe he asked me one word about Oswald.

Mr. Fithian. He had no reason to ask you about Oswald, did he? Your own known connection --

Mr. McKeown. He told me to begin with to answer the question he asked me. That is what he told you.

Mr. Fithian. Your only known connection, to that man interrogating your your only known connection, suspected connection, was could you give them a couple of pieces of the mosaic so that they would know a little bit more about Jack Ruby, That is the only reason they were talking to your is that they knew that you knew Jack Ruby and that you had possibly met Jack Ruby. So there was no way that they would, out of the clear blue sky, know that you had any contact with Oswald. It seems to me that, in your love of the President, your thought for the President, your concern for the whole I just repeat, I cannot believe that you would not, at some time before you got up and walked out of that room, say, by the way I also met Oswald, or something to that effect.

Mr. McKeown. I wish I had. The only reason I did not tell him was because he did not ask me, and that is the God's truth. He did not ask me. The only thing he was asking me about was Jack Ruby.

Mr. Fithian. In your discussion with Mr. Rather do you remember that? The Dan Rather CBS program? The transcript of your discussion with Mr. Rather has your saying this: "Rather: 'Did you talk to the FBI about Oswald's coming to see you? " That is his question, "Did you talk to the FBI about Oswald's coming to see you." Your response to him, to Mr. Rather; "McKeown. I think they did ask me if I knew Oswald. I think that I told them I did not know him, never heard of him, or something like that. I am not sure. It was up in the Federal Building up in Houston where they asked me to come up there and, of course, I was scared, you know, and nervous too. " and I understand that. Now we have three versions. We have one in which we have the FBI Report. We have one here in a very recent interview of you by Mr. Rathar in which you say yes, you think that they did ask you about Oswald and you told them that you did not know, him or had not met him. And now, the third version comes to this Committee where you seem sure that you had met Oswald, or you seem very sure that you recognized him on the television screen. That is, that picture might have been at the time when he was being assassinated by Jack Ruby. You can hardly make it out, let alone match it up with somebody you have seen several years ago.

Mr. McKeown. The picture I was looking at was pretty good.

Mr. Fithian. Why did you tell Mr. Rather in this transcript: "I think I told them I did not know him never heard of him, or something like that.

Mr. McKeown. Why did I tell Mr. Rather that?

Mr. Fithian. Yes. Why did you tell Mr. Rather something so shockingly different than you are telling me right now?

Mr. McKeown. I really do not know. I will tell you Dan Rather is a very forward man, as you know, and he was popping questions to me -well, as a matter of fact, the program was on the TV for about fifteen minutes and I was down there eight days with him, so you can understand. Mr. Fithian, Mr. McKeown, I, guess I cannot understand, I guess I cannot understand, because we are dealing with the events surrounding the assassination of a man that you and I both loved and admired and respected and revered, and I just do not want you, or anybody else, mucking this story or making up this story or trying to rewrite history for commercial, gain, or anything else that might be motivating you here, because your stoy then and your story to Rather and your story now, they, do not square with one another. That is why I was very gentle, at the outset of my questioning, in asking you whether you thought it was possible that the mind over the years plays tricks on you. Do you think that is possible now, given this obvious direct confrontation between what you said with the FBI, what you told Dan Rather, and what you are now, telling me and the rest of this Committee? Mr. McKeown, Well, I told you at this Committee about the man knocking on my door and he came in, I invited him in. Him and this other gentleman. I told you that. That is the truth. Now, if that was not the truth, how come Sam Neal calls him about 1,000 miles away and tells me that is the guy who was at your house?

Mr. Fithian. I do not know. That is one of those unanswered questions.

Mr. McKeown. I know it was him.

Mr. Fithian. The same question I have asked you twice now, if that was true, how could you sit through an FBI questioning and not tell the FBI that you knew this man or that you had met him, or how could you tell Dan Rather one thing and this Committee another? Because those dates are not all that far apart.

Mr. McKeown. To be frank with you, I will tell you,

Dan Rather--

Mr. Fithian. I am serving, just temporarily, as the Chairman of this Subcommittee. I am not the Chairman. I am speaking as just one member. Let me remind you that you are here under immunity granted by a court of the United States and therefore, for any gunrunner violation of parole,

any and all of those things, any criminality, we cannot act. But, Mr. McKeown, we can act, as a Committee of the United States Congress, if you lie to us. We can act if you try to obstruct our efforts to get at the whole story for whatever reason. You do understand that?

Mr. McKeown. And I am sure --

Mr. Fithian. I am going to ask you again, did you meet with Lee Harvey Oswald?

Mr. McKeown. At my door.

Mr. Fithian. Are you sure you met Lee Harvey Oswald?

Mr. McKeown. Positive.

Mr. Fithian. Did you intentionally--

Mr. McKeown.He did not say Harvey. He said Lee Oswald.

Mr. Fithian.Did you intentionally keep this information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation?

Mr. McKeown. No, I did not.

Mr. Fithian. Did you intentionally conceal this information from the FBI?

Mr. McKeown. No, I did not.

Mr. Fithian. Did you intentionally mislead Mr. Rather in a CBS interview?

Mr. McKeown. If I did, it was unbeknownst to me if I did that. The only thing he asked me -- the thing that he was more interested in was about the guy wanting the four guns. That is what he was more interested in than anything. And I told him, just like I told you, that he came back twice. He was there and then he came back. As far as me getting my story mixed up, maybe I got it mixed up. You know what I mean. How long has it been? It's been about 16 years, has it not, around there. From the time that this has happened, I have lost one of my lungs, I have lost all of my stomach and I have been sick ever since, practically. I lost every damn job I get because of it, on account of it, and that's the truth. I got a good job down at the Reynolds Aluminum Company, Corpus Christi, as a projects engineer, assistant projects. As soon as they found out that I was mixed up in this business they fired me. Every job I have got, I got fired from the pump company as soon as the FBI came out there.

Mr. Fithian. Do you think that this whole event owes you something, then? Is that what you are saying?

Mr. McKeown. What do they owe me? It does not owe me nothing.

Mr. Fithian. I am sorry. I am not following your explanation as to why you told Mr. Rather something, one thing, and you are telling us another.

Mr. McKeown. What am I telling you except what I told him? I am just telling you the man came to my door.

Mr. Fithian. You are telling Mr. Rather here that the FBI did, indeed, ask you if you knew Oswald and you are telling me that the FBI never did raise the question, and that is why you did not tell them. That is what you are saying.

Mr. McKeown. I think that is what I said.

Mr. Fithian. In our transcript here in the last fifteen or twenty minutes that is all you have told me over and over again, all day today and on two or three different occasions you said that the reason you did not mention Lee Harvey Oswald is that the FBI never raised the question. Well, very recently you told Dan Rather something 180' opposite that. You said they asked the question--

Mr. McKeown. Maybe he put them words in my mouth, you know. He's pretty good--

Mr. Fithian. I am trying not to put any words in your mouth. I am trying to stick to the straight story here. I am having a lot of difficulty, first on the basis of just --

Mr. McKeown. I certainly do not want to cause you any trouble.

Mr. Fithian. Will you rethink your answer just on the basis of the logic of it. Someone who was alert to international affairs, political affairs, as you were, the most dramatic, searing thing that happened in American society, the assassination of an extraordinarily popular handsome young President, shocked the society down right to its roots. As one of the few people in the whole United States who, now you tell us, was in contact with the assassin of the President and with the person who killed the President's assassin, you are later questioned by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and you just conveniently do not tell them that you know anything about Oswald. I cannot find any explanation for that. Can you, in your own mind, find any reason?

Mr. McKeown. I agree with you.

Mr. Fithian. It is so implausible.

Mr. McKeown. Yes, it sure as hell -- I look at it the same way as you. If he had asked me, I certainly would have told him. I do not know. You see, Ruby came to my place long before the assassination.

Mr. Fithian. I understand that.

Mr. McKeown. I believe that I went up there before the assassination, about Ruby. Hell, I don't know. I am so confused, I do not know whether I was up there before the assassination or after the assassination.

Mr. Fithian. Talking to the FBI?

Mr. McKeown. Yes. Do you have it wrote down there?

Mr. Purdy. The only account we have is January 28, 1964.

Mr. Fithian. This would have been 1964, the next calendar year after President Kennedy has been assassinated.

Mr. McKeown. I sure wish -- you do not know how bad I wish I could tell you whether I told him that or not. I really wish I could tell you that. I might have told him that.

Mr. Fithian. Mr. McKeown, I look upon you as a good citizen and somebody who is willing to try to help this Committee get all the facts laid out on the table, and I wish you would just think very, very carefuly, about what you told the Committee. I do not know you. I have never met you before and I might never seen you again, but between the two or us, we are going to have to write the final chapter of the history of this event, as to the circumstances surrounding the death of John Kennedy. I would not want to go to my grave misleading the American public. I do not think you do either.

Mr. McKeown. I do not, either.

Mr. Fithian. I ask you, just as an American to give some thought to your answer and not to mislead this Committee, because the circumstances are getting so overwhelming, as I think about this matter, the rules of this Committee is going to allow you five minutes at the end of all of the questioning to try to reflect on this and try to set the record straight on anything that you think you have given us the wrong impression on. Mr. Chairman, I have been pressing the witness, in your absence, very hard because it just seems so iraplausible to me that a person, who, at his age and mind was so struck by the assassination of the President that he would forget in a conversation with the FBI, forget the fact that the President's assassin had been in his home, had been in his home trying to buy a highpowered rifle, and knowing the President was killed by a high-powered rifle. And I am asking basically whether or not it is a trick of the mind to sort of think that, and embellish the story. It is like going on a fishing trip. You think back on it, in ten years, you do not remember all the times you did not catch anything, but the fish grows. I am wondering if there is not that human psychological element at work here, because I cannot find any other explanation for it, and I do not know whether you can or not.

Mr. McKeown. I wish I could.

Mr. Fithian. Why do you not, just in your own mind, try to tell us what you really think happened.

Mr. McKeown. What I think happened?

Mr. Fithian. Yes.

Mr. McKeown. About the way that the President was killed? In my opinion?

Mr. Fithian. How many time did Jack Ruby visit you?

Mr. McKeown. Three or four times.

Mr. Fithian. And tell us whether you are absolutely sure whether the person who came to your door was Lee Harvey Oswald.

Mr. McKeown. At that time, I was in pretty good health and I would swear on a Bible -- and I am a believer in the Bible, and I believe in the Lord and Jesus Christ -- that it was Lee Harvey Oswald who came to my door.

Mr. Fithian. Tell us why you did not tell the investigators that at the time? Give us something that is more reasonable than we have.

Mr. McKeown. Mr. Fithian, I do not know why. If you want to know the honest-to-God truth, like I told you, I do not think you ask me. Maybe he did. I do not know. I do not know. I swear if I knew I would tell you, I really would tell you, because you do not know -- I am an Irishman and Kennedy is an Irishman and if there was anything in the world I could do to help you solve this, I would do it. Just like I talked to you about getting this phonecall about me not mentioning that this Latin was not with Oswald, but I told you he was with him, you see, and I could have not told you that. But I am not afraid.

Mr. Fithian. I understand that, but as just one Irishman to another, there is a great deal of sympathy and empathy and feeling for a great Irish President. I do not want you to leave here today doing anything to get the story so out of focus that nobody is ever going to know. This is only one small piece of it, but you are on the verge of getting the story out of focus so nobody is ever going to know. I do not think that you want that on your conscience.

Mr. McKeown. I sure do not.

Mr. Fithian. Let me ask you if this FBI report is not accurate, or is accurate.

Mr. McKeown. Do you have the FBI report?

Mr. Fithian. I have it right in my hand.

Mr. McKeown. What does it say? Read it to me.

Mr. Fithian. It says: "He [McKeown] remarked he is not certain that the above described telephone call from Dallas or the man who personally appeared at the J&M drivein was identical with the Jack Ruby who killed Lee Harvey Oswald." Then, "to his knowledge, he has never seen or met Lee Harvey Oswald." That report was written at that time, that day, when you finished that conversation. You must have told them then that, to your knowledge, you had never met or had never seen, Lee Harvey Oswald. Is that not reasonable for this Committee to expect, that your memory would have been better 15 years ago than it is now, and that 15 years ago when you were indeed asked by the FBI whether you had any knowledge of Lee Harvey Oswald, you said, to your knowledge, you had never seen or met Lee Harvey Oswald. Is that not the truth, rather than what we are hearing today?

Mr. McKeown. If that is the truth, that is a lie, because I did see Lee Harvey Oswald. If that is the truth, what he says in his report, that I said that I did not know Lee Harvey Oswald, I want to be truthful and I want to tell you that the bastard who came to my door was Lee Harvey Oswald. It was him. It was him. It was him. I am positive.

Mr. Fithian. Are you sure, projecting back mentally, the mind's eye, the mind's image, that is where we start on this. I am concerned that is what has really happened. I am not accusing you of lying. I am just accusing you of thinking wrong, of trying to embellish the story now, to make it better than it really was, make your own rule more important, more central, than it really was. Because the best evidence that we have is, at that time, you did not think that you had ever met Lee Harvey Oswald.

Mr. McKeown. Was it in 19647

Mr. Fithian. 1964.

Mr. McKeown. The President was killed in 1962, was he not?

Mr. Fithian. '63.

Mr. McKeown. '63.

Mr. Fithian. This was just a few months, two, three months, two months, about 60 to 90 days after the President was killed. Would not your memory have been better than it is now of the events?

Mr. McKeown. It probably would.

Mr. Fithian. Which do you really think is the accurate story?

Mr. McKeown. You want my own opinion of it?

Mr. Fithian. I want your own.

Mr. McKeown. I do not believe he asked me if I knew Lee Harvey Oswald. I actually do not believe he asked me. Whether he said he did and what is there on that paper is well enough, I cannot remember him asking me.

Mr. Fithian. In two out of three opportunities you have had to talk about this you came down on the same side. Once, when you were talking with the FBI when you said to your knowledge you never saw, nor met, Lee Harvey Oswald. The second time you came down with this was when Dan Rather asked you the question and I read you the quotation from the script that Dan Rather has of your testimony to him.

Mr. McKeown. That I told the FBI that I knew Lee Harvey Oswald.

Mr. Fithian. Here, I will read it to you again. The first time that you commented on this was at the FBI hearing where you said, to your knowledge, you had never seen or met Lee Harvey Oswald. The second time that you talked about this story was when Dan Rather asked you the question, Dan Rather said: "Did you talk to the FBI about Oswald's coming to see you?" And you said, "I think they did ask me if I knew Oswald. I think I told them I did not know him, never heard of them, or something like that." Those two stories match, but what you are telling me today does not square with that. Has anyone suggested to you a line of discussion that you ought to take with this Committee?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Fithian. No one has talked to you about your testimony?

Mr. McKeown. The only one I talked to was Mr. Fonzi.

Mr. Fithian. You have not talked with your attorney?

Mr. Appel. We have not had time.

Mr. Fithian. You and Mr. Lane have had conversations about this?

Mr. McKeown. More or less.

Mr. Fithian. You have talked to Mr. Lane?

Mr. McKeown. The only thing we talked about was when he came to my house.

Mr. Fithian. He came to your house for what purpose?

Mr. McKeown. To see if I could get him some bazookas and machine guns.

Mr. Fithian. I am sorry, I did not hear that.

Mr. McKeown. He wanted me --

Mr. Dodd. You are talking about Mr. Lane?

Mr. Fithian. Mr. Mark Lane, your attorney.

Mr. McKeown. What do you want to know about him?

Mr. Fithian. I am just asking, I asked you whether you had two testimonies lined up, that is, you have the FBI material and you have the Dan Rather material, and I now was asking you whether you had talked to anybody else about your possible testimony before this Committee and your present attorney says that de has not talked to you about it, and I am sure that he just met you today. And you said you talked to someone else, Mr. Fonzi. And you did talk to Mark Lane about your testimony, is that correct?

Mr. McKeown. Is Mr. Fonzi here now? Maybe he can , recall if I told him that I talked -- I am so confused.

Mr. Fithian. Let me recognize counsel and let them pursue this series. Perhaps I have jumped ahead of where we wanted to be in the questioning. Mr. Chairman, I just could not believe that an American or Irish descent -- the Chairman is Irish -- and that an American of Irish descent who had respect and admiration for John Kennedy, as our witness has today, could be interrogated by the FBI and happen to overlook the fact that Lee Harvey Oswald had been at his home trying to buy a highpowered rifle and, 50 days after the President is killed, he is being asked this by the FBI and finding it incredible-

Mr. Dodd. I can only say that, Mr. Fithian, my good friend, I am sure that the witnesses desire to be fully candid and honest about his testimony, the fact that he is an Irishman and I am an Irishman, lends no credence whatsoever to our witness's veracity. We will leave that for another day. Mr. Fithian, I guess I want to pick up the line of questioning to counsel as to how did Dan Rather pick you out of 214 million people and start this whole business talking to you anyway.

Mr. Dodd. If the gentleman would yield? Counsel, why do you not proceed with that line of questioning?

Mr. Fithian. I will let counsel take the questioning from here, but I will get back into this before the night is out, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Dodd. I have a feeling that you will. Counsel?

Mr. Purdy. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. McKeown, you were about to begin responding to a question as to how you first made contact with Mr. Rather for the CBS Special?

Mr. McKeown. I was sitting at home and a lady called me by the name of Harriet Rubin and she was in Dallas, Texas and I was in Miami and she asked me if this was the McKeown that used to live in Houston and I said yes. She said that she was with "60 Minutes," she was representing Mike Wallace, and I said, what is this? A bunch of baloney? I thought it was just a hoax. She said no. I would like to come down there to Miami and she was a researcher for CBS. That was what she was. She worked in the research department. So she came. And she called me up. She checked into the "Four Ambassadors."

So I drove over there and we went up to her room and she had a taperecording and I just told her about what happened.

Mr. Purdy. Mr. McKeown, how was it that she found out about you?

Mr. McKeown. I do not know. I asked her. I said how did you find out about it? She said, your name is already in the Warren Commission. She said you might as well tell me about it. They are going to call you up before the Committee and you will have to tell them.

Mr. Purdy. What Committee was that?

Mr. McKeown. I guess this one.

Mr. Purdy. In 1975, this, Committee was not in existence.

Mr. McKeown. I do not know. She says, you are going to have to go before some Committee.

Mr. Purdy. Was anybody with you at the time?

Mr. McKeown. No, I was by myself.

Mr. Purdy. Just you and Harriet Rubin?

Mr. McKeown. Right.

Mr. Purdy. No one else present?

Mr. McKeown. Nobody.

Mr. Purdy. Was anybody else present during any meetings you had with Miss Rubin?

Mr. McKeown. Prio. When her and I went up to Carlos Prio's house and it was nothing about well, yes, it was about the assassination. It was about this Spanish guy coming with Oswald, you know what I mean?

Mr. Purdy. About the Spanish guy coming with Oswald?

Mr. McKeown. Coming with him, was with him, and I called Prio off into the next room and asked him, do you think that I should tell this woman anything about all of that? He said yes. The more trouble you can get Castro in, do it. That is what he said.

Mr. Purdy. How would that get Castro in trouble?

Mr. McKeown. Well, I do not know.

Mr. Purdy. Did Miss Rubin ask you about the Oswald meeting, or did you first suggest it to her?

Mr. McKeown. No. She asked me on the phone, she says, I understand Jack Ruby came to see you and all this and all that, and I told her yes. And she says, did Oswald come to see you? I said yes, he came to my door.

Mr. Purdy. Was that the first time that you had ever spoken who was not an acquaintance of yours?

Mr. McKeown. That was the first time. That has not been a real time ago.

Mr. Purdy. Why did you tell her?

Mr. McKeown. I really did not have to tell her.

Mr. Purdy. Why did you tell her?

Mr. McKeown. I do not know.

Mr. Purdy. Did she know, before she asked you, that you had met Oswald?

Mr. McKeown. Did she ask me if I knew Oswald?

Mr. Purdy. Did she know that you had met Oswald before she asked you about the meeting?

Mr. McKeown. I do not know if she knew it or not.

Mr. Purdy. Do you know if anybody told her before she talked to you that you had met Oswald?

Mr. McKeown. She told me she went and talked to Oswald's mother.

Mr. Purdy. What did Oswald's mother say about you?

Mr. McKeown. She did not say; she did not tell me. She just told me-- I said, what have you been doing over there in Dallas, and she said she went and talked to Lee Harvey Oswald's mother.

Mr. Purdy. Did Miss Rubin talked to anyone who knew that you had met Oswald before you told her that you had met Oswald?

Mr. McKeown. I do not know.

Mr. Purdy. Do you think she did?

Mr. McKeown. She acted like she did, because she asked me.

Mr. Purdy. can you think who it might have been that she talked to?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. Who else had you talked to about this who might have communicated this information to her?

Mr. McKeown. After the assassination I talked to quite a few people that that dirty bastard is the one who had come to my house. You know, I guarantee if he came to your house you'd go tell somebody.

Mr. Purdy. You told a number of people including your probation officer that you had met Oswald and Ruby, correct?

Mr. McKeown. If I did, I do not remember.

Mr. Purdy. Earlier today, you stated --

Mr. McKeown. I might have.

Mr. Purdy. You stated that you told a number of people, including your probation officer.

Mr. McKeown. I probably did.

Mr. Purdy. You told them that before the FBI interview on February 28, 1964, is that correct?

Mr. McKeown. To he frank with you,, I do not know. I do not know.

Mr. Purdy. Earlier today you gave us quite a list of number of people, some of whom you remember their names, some you do not, whom you believe you told you met Ruby and Oswald. After the assassination you told them and before you talked to the FBI, is that correct?

Mr. McKeown. Repeat that.

Mr. Purdy. You told us earlier today that you talked with quite a number of people after the assassination. You told them that you had met Oswald and Ruby and you told these people this prior to the time you had the interview with the FBI?

Mr. McKeown. Yes, probably. It was common knowledge.

Mr. Purdy. What was common knowledge?

Mr. McKeown. That Sam Neal was at my house when he came there, Sam Neal knows a thousand people or more there, I and you know, he told quite a few.

Mr. Purdy. If it was common knowledge, why did you hesitate to tell the FBI?

Mr. McKeown. I just do not know.

Mr. Purdy. Did it ever cross your mind?

Mr. McKeown. God Almighty, I certainly wanted to tell them, but I cannot remember. To be frank with you, I cannot remember.

Mr. Purdy. As soon as you recognized Mr. Oswald and Mr. Ruby, did you consider going to the authorities to tell them that Mr. Oswald had approached you to buy a highpowered rifle?

Mr. McKeown. Did I go to them and tell them?

Mr. Purdy. Did you consider going to the authorities and tell them that shortly after the assassination.

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. Why did you not go and talk to anybody until January 28, 1964 two months later.

Mr. McKeown. I think you have the dates mixed up there. I am going to be frank with you. Like I told you, I was going to lunch with this lady, when the President got killed and we came back to the office. Now, that was in November, right?

Mr. Purdy. Right.

Mr. McKeown. As soon as we got back to the office-I will not say it was the next day, but I will say it was within two to three days that the FBI was there.

Mr. Purdy. They came to see you?

Mr. McKeown. At the office.

Mr. Purdy. How long did the interview take?

Mr. McKeown. At the office where I was working.

Mr. Purdy. How long did that interview take?

Mr. McKeown. It was no interview.

Mr. Purdy. What transpired at that meeting?

Mr. McKeown. He wanted to know if I was McKeown, and I said yes and he asked me to come up to his office and I said that I would be glad to.

Mr. Purdy. The record indicates that the FBI interview was on January 28, 1964. Is it your contention today that the record is wrong and that you did not meet with Special Agent W. F. Foltz, Jr., on January 28, 1964 when you discussed with him your meeting with Jack Ruby?

Mr. McKeown. Could you repeat the question?

Mr. Purdy. Is it your contention today that the FBI report dated January 28, 1964 is incorrect in that it says you were interviewed on January 28th and not sooner? Do you have a specific present recollection that you were interviewed prior to that time?

Mr. McKeown. It seems as though I was, yes, but maybe I was not. Hell, I do not know. The only thing I know, I went up to the FBI Offices. There was not a soul in there but him and I.

Mr. Purdy. Your present recollection is that you did not consider going to the authorities after the assassination to tell them that you had met Ruby and Oswald until you talked to the FBI in their office is that correct?

Mr. McKeown. Are you trying to say that I should have gone up there?

Mr. Purdy. I was asking, first of all, if you considered going to law enforcement authorities to tell them that you knew Ruby and Oswald prior to the time that you had the twohour meeting with the FBI.

Mr. McKeown. I considered it.

Mr. Purdy. Why did you not go to the authorities?

Mr. McKeown. Well, I do not know, To be frank with you, I do not know. Maybe I was scared or something. Maybe I was scared I would get involved, or something. I do not know.

Mr. Purdy. Mr. McKeown, when Miss Rubin called you --

Mr. McKeown. Maybe I should have went.

Mr. Purdy. When Miss Rubin called you from CBS, did she tell you that there would he any financial remuneration to you for telling your story?

Mr. McKeown. No. She told me she would pay my expenses hack to Texas.

Mr. Purdy. Was there any discussion of payment beyond expenses?

Mr. McKeown. No. They were very nice. They rented me a room at the Holiday Inn and they rented me a Rent-a-car. You see, I have a sister and brother in Houston. They told could stay an extra week and keep the rent car and charge it to them.

Mr. Purdy. Did anyone help you negotiate or work with CBS? Did you have an agent of any kind?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Purdy. You testified earlier that you had been approached by British Broadcasting Company for a television show. Did they offer you any money?

Mr. McKeown. Well, yes.

Mr. Purdy. How much money did they offer you?

Mr. McKeown. $100.

Mr. Purdy. Is that how much they paid you?

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Purdy. Did the British Broadcasting Company approach you, or did you, or someone approach them?

Mr. McKeown. They approached me.

Mr. Purdy. Do you know if anyone suggested to them that you would be a good person for their show?

Mr. McKeown. Not that I know of. He told me that they could not pay any money on account they did not put any commercials on over there and I said well, if it will help try to solve the president's assassination, and find out who in the hell did kill him, I would be willing to do that.

Mr. Purdy. Did anyone give you any advice, prior to appearing either on CBS or BBC programs, about what you were going to say?

Mr. McKeown. Not a soul. As a matter of fact, my ex-wife, the mother of my children, she was all against it on account I have a son-in-law in Miami that is pretty high up in society and she did not want to let him know that I was mixed up in this.

Mr. Purdy. Has anyone ever approached you with any serious proposal providing you with money in exchange for information you wanted to give about the assassination?

Mr. McKeown. No. I wish they had.

Mr. Purdy. Have you ever considered writing a book about these experiences?

Mr. McKeown. I have considered writing a book, yes, about my experiences with Castro. As, a matter of fact, there have been a number of people who have come to me these past years and I always refused it, because I did not want to do it.

Mr. Purdy. Do you presently have a book contract outstanding for you to write a hook about the assassination?

Mr. McKeown. No, not about the assassination.

Mr. Purdy. Do you have a present understanding or working relationship with any agent or any book publisher that you will write a book about any subject which will include references to the assassination?

Mr. McKeown. No. I have talked to a few people with this book, this book business, and they want me to put it a book that Oswald came to see me and Ruby came to see me.

Mr. Purdy. Who are you working on this book with?

Mr. Appel. I would object to these questions.

Mr. Purdy. Mr. Chairman, I would like to respond to the objection. It is counsel's contention that these questions go directly to the witness's creditility as to possible incentives for embellishments on his previous story, but in the form of some pressure from some other source, or for the potential from some monetary gain that could result from a dramatic story concerning the assassination. Mr. Todd. Does counsel want to be heard in support of objection?

Mr. Appel. I feel that you could call in somebody to testify about pressure if you feel that there is any undue pressure here. I do not really see that it is relevant.

Mr. Dodd. The Chair is going to overrule the objection on the, grounds that it does tend to support or test the credibility of the witness and therefore, I will ask the witness to respond to questions of counsel. Counsel may proceed.

Mr. Purdy. Mr. McKeown, are you presently working with anyone on a book with whom you have

a contract outstanding or a in the works for you to produce a book which includes information about your knowledge about the assassination?

Mr. McKeown. Well, the book that I have a contract for as a matter of fact, I do not have a contract. I do not have a contract with any publisher whatsoever, none. But I have a little contract with him for writing a hook for me.

Mr. Purdy. Who is that?

Mr. McKeown. Mark Lane.

Mr. Purdy. Have any general figures or monetary remuneration been discussed as to how much money you can expect from such a book?

Mr. McKeown. Yes, but nothing to get excited about. As a matter of fact, we have not been able to sell it, so there must not be much to it.

Mr. Purdy. What is the general monetary figure, or figures, you have been told you might be able to recover for this book?

Mr. McKeown. Maybe $10,000.

Mr. Purdy. Mr. McKeown, did you tell the Select Committee on Assassinations staff members on February 14th of this year that the figure $50,000 had been discussed for that book?

Mr. McKeown. It had, yes. Now it is down to $10.000. As a matter of fact, this man that got shot over here in Georgia -- I do not know him, do not misunderstand; I do not know him -- he is the one who said he would give me the $10,000. But that is out now, because he got shot, and he was going to open up a publishing company and now he is not.

Mr. Purdy. Have you been recently told a figure as to how much money you might be able to get from this book?

Mr. McKeown. Recently, yes.

Mr. Purdy. What figure were you told recently?

Mr. McKeown. Maybe $50,000.

Mr. Purdy. How recently was that.

Mr. McKeown. I have been told that so many times, I do not believe it.

Mr. Appel. May I have a moment to speak with the witness, please?

Mr. Purdy. Did Mr. Lane approach you, or did you approach Mr. Lane, about writing this book?

Mr. McKeown. He approached me.

Mr. Purdy. Mr. Chairman, I have no further questions.

Mr. Dodd. Let us suspend for a moment here. (A brief recess was taken.)

Mr. Dodd. I know Mr. Fithian is anxious to pursue his line of questioning. I wonder if you might comment. In your testimony earlier to us today, you made reference to the fact that at the time of Mr. Oswald's visit to your home, there was an associate of yours, or a friend of yours present, a Mr. Neal, Sam Neal.

Mr. McKeown. Right.

Mr. Dodd. I wonder if you might he able to tell at that time, in August or September, 1963, the time of the alleged visit where Mr. Neal was living, what his address was at that time?

Mr. McKeown. At my house.

Mr. Dodd. He was living at your home?

Mr. McKeown. Yes. He was getting a divorce from his wife and he was pretty despondent and everything, so I had four bedrooms there. I told him to come on over and move in here. I knew him a long time.

Mr. Dodd. Where did he work at the time?

Mr. McKeown. He works for NASA, a master electrician.

Mr. Dodd. NASA?

Mr. McKeown. When they were building NASA down there.

Mr. Dodd. Did you have mutual friends, associates, or people he would have known that you did not know that came by there to visit from time to time while he was living there?

Mr. McKeown. He had a lot of friends, yes. He

had a lot of friends.

Mr. Dodd. Can you recall?

Mr. McKeown. What?

Mr. Dodd. Can you recall for us, to the best of your, knowledge, the names of any of these people who were friends of his at that time?

Mr. McKeown. He knew J.D. Hern.

Mr. Dodd. Who?

Mr. McKeown. J. D. Hern. He lived about a block when he separated, and he knew Raymond Neal, but no kin to him. Their name just happened to be the same, and he knew a lot of people.

Mr. Dodd. Where did Ray Neal work?

Mr. McKeown. Raymond Neal, he worked for Sinclair oil. He is retired. They were just friends. We would go fishing together and things like that.

Mr. Dodd. Anybody else you can think of?

Mr. McKeown. There was a whole lot of them.

Mr. Dodd. Is Mr. Neal still alive?

Mr. McKeown. I think so. I have not seen him. As a matter of fact, it was at his house where Dan Rather interviewed me.

Mr. Dodd. What is the address of that place, do you recall?

Mr. McKeown. I know it is General Delivery, St, Leon Texas. Raymond Neal told me about six, seven months ago, and I got word two weeks ago that Raymond Neal's wife died, and Raymond Neal told me about six months ago that Sam was a terrible case, he had cancer. Wehther he is living now, I do not know.

Mr. Dodd. You have not had any contact with Mr. Neal since the time you have been interviewed by Mr. Rather?

Mr. McKeown. Yes, I have had contact with him.

Mr. Dodd. When was the last time?

Mr. McKeown. When my brother died, I went back home to his funeral and I drove down and talked

to Sam.

Mr. Dodd. How long ago was that?

Mr. McKeown. Seven or eight months ago.

Mr. Dodd. Seven or eight months. The last time you saw him was seven months?

Mr. McKeown. Yes. He was sick then.

Mr. Dodd. Since that time, you have had no contact with him?

Mr. McKeown. None whatsoever.

Mr. Dodd. Have you made any effort to keep in touch with him?

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Dodd. He has not written you?

Mr. McKeown. No. He never writes. He is the gentleman who called me on the phone and said, that's the guy who was at your house, Sam Neal.

Mr. Dodd. The fellow who did what?

Mr. McKeown. He was the gentleman who called me on the phone the morning that Ruby killed Oswald because he was watching television down at some friends of his house and he called me up and told me, are you watching television I said yes. He said, well, that's the little bastard who was at your house.

Mr. Dodd. Which one of those people was he referring to?

Mr. McKeown. He was referring to Oswald, because he had never seen Ruby.

Mr. Dodd. The assassination of Oswald by Ruby happened almost 48 hours after the assassination of President Kennedy. I presume you had been watching television or had seen newspapers and so forth.

Mr. McKeown. I saw something in a newspaper that

they were going to broadcast it--

Mr. Dodd. Let me ask you this. Did you turn on the television on Friday, November 22, 1963 when you received word that the President was assassinated?

Mr. McKeown. No, I had a radio. We were in the office where I worked in the pump company.

Mr. Dodd. Did you turn the television on Friday night? Did you watch any television at all that you recall over that weekend?

Mr. McKeown. I watched everything on it, according to the assassination.

Mr. Dodd. At that time, did you see the pictures of the then-alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald.

Mr. McKeown. No.

Mr. Dodd. You never saw any pictures of Lee Harvey Oswald on television?

Mr. McKeown. Not as I recall, I did not. The only time I seen him is when he shot him, you know? That was the only time that I knew that was him. I watched, you know,-- you know.

Mr. Dodd. Do you see what I am driving at with you? I am trying to find out whether you recognized this fellow except for the fact that Mr. Neal told you it was the same guy. There was 48 hours between the time the assassination occurred and the time that Ruby assassinated Oswald. This fellow's picture was on every TV screen in America.

Mr. McKeown. If it was, I did not recognize him.

Mr. Dodd. You did not recognize him.

Mr. McKeown. I did not pay much attention.

Mr. Dodd. You did not pay much attention to what was going on?

Mr. McKeown. No. I was more interested in whether he was going to die or not, the President. He lingered about four or five hours.

Mr. Dodd. Not at all. About one hour. About 2:00 o'clock in the afternoon?

Mr. McKeown. I was at the radio in the office and it was 12:00 o'clock when we went to get lunch and the President did not die until about 2:30 or 3:00.

Mr. Dodd. That is right. I am asking you whether or not, between Friday evening and Sunday morning, November, 1963, whether or not you recognized pictures that were appearing on TV screens all across this country of Lee Harvey Oswald. Did you recognize the man who had been in your living room a couple of months before?

Mr. McKeown. I did not pay any attention.

Mr. Dodd. You did not pay any attention?

Mr. McKeown. No. I did not have any idea. As a matter of fact, I had put that man out of my mind. I thought he was just a rat. I did not have no idea, do you know what I meant? It was just like I came to your door to sell you a book and you said no, you wouldn't think no more about me, would you?

Mr. Dodd. You did not recognize his name, Lee Harvey Oswald?

Mr. McKeown. I recognized the name. I said, it seems like that guy who was here was named Oswald. I said, well, I guess he wasn't, you know? The only time I recognized him was when I was looking directly at the screen when he shot him.

Mr. Dodd. When was that ?

Mr. McKeown. I think it was Sunday morning.

Mr. Dodd. I thought you just told us that you were not watching it?

Mr. McKeown. Oh, yes. I did not tell you I wasn't watching it. I told you I was watching it and I told you Sam Neal called me and asked me if I was watching it. I said yes, I am watching it. He says, well, that's the bastard who killed the president who was at your house, I said yeah, I know it is. That is what I told you, right?

Mr. Dodd. Mr. Fithian, do you want to proceed with your questions? (Pause) Counsel brings up a good point. That Sunday morning that you received a call from Mr. Neal, did you get the call --did you see Jack Ruby shoot Lee Harvey Oswald?

Mr. McKeown. I saw him push up there in front and-

Mr. Dodd. In live coverage, not replay.

Mr. McKeown. It was live, I think. It was live. And this one particular fellow had a Stetson hat on. I guess he was the Sheriff or something.

Mr. Dodd. Let me ask you this. What time in the morning do you recall getting the phonecall from Mr. Neal? How early was it? Was it mid-day.

Mr. McKeown. Around 11:00 o'clock, I think. I really do not know what time it was. It must have been right after the shooting occurred. What time was that?

Mr. Dodd. I am--asking you.

Mr. McKeown. I do not know.

Mr. Dodd. You do not recall?

Mr. McKeown. Can you remember what time Oswald, got shot?

Mr. Dodd. Sure.

Mr. McKeown. I cannot.

Mr. Dodd. All right. Mr. Fithian, do you want to proceed?

Mr. Fithian. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. McKeown, I do hope that in the closing moments--

Mr. McKeown. I will do anything you want me to.

Mr. Fithian. That you will reflect on your responsibility before the Committee and your responsibility in history because we are about to terminate this part of the proceedings and we do not have a very clear picture of what you know about this.

Mr. McKeown. I am trying to tell you everything I know.

Mr. Fithian. I wish I could accept that. I am going to give you an opportunity, but I have got to tell you that I am disappointed. I am going to go back over the testimony that you have given here, some of the statements that you have made, and I want you to be as candid as you can, remembering that you are under oath, remembering that all we asked you to do when you were sworn in today was to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing about the truth. I emphasize that last, nothing but the truth.

Mr. McKeown. That is what I am doing.

Mr. Fithian. I advise you as a friend, that is how you get in trouble before this Committee.

Mr. McKeown. I do not want to get in any trouble. I get into enough trouble.

Mr. Fithian. Let us go through this and try to be as straightforward as you can. Some of them are very vague and very much in contradiction to each other and somehow not coming out right. I would like to put aside other testimony you have given us this morning and just tell me, truthfully and honestly and candidly, and in short terms, the answers to some questions that I have. Number one, let us talk about the Jack Ruby or Rubinstein visit to you. You testified this morning that Mr. Ruby came to you and asked for a letter to Castro.

Mr. McKeown. I did not say that. I said he came to me and wanted to know if I could help him get rid of some jeeps and some slot machines.

Mr. Fithian. Yes, and he specifically asked you for a letter of introduction.

Mr. McKeown. Right.

Mr. Fithian. To the Cubans, including Castro.

Mr. McKeown. Yes.

Mr. Fithian. That is what I am talking about.

Mr. McKeown. Yes. Mr. Fithian, Just setting all aside, the details of whether he was selling Jeeps or bubble gum, I am saying he came to you for the purpose of a letter of introduction to the Cuban authorities, right?

Mr. McKeown. That is exactly

Mr. Fithian. And you, at first, were not going to write that, and you thought -- I am not faulting you -- that you might write it because he was going to pay you money for it, right?

Mr. McKeown. Right.

Mr. Fithian. In your testimony, you said that after awhile you decided that you would write it and that you did write it, is that correct?

Mr. McKeown. Right.

Mr. Fithian. Then you said that you did not give it to him.

Mr. McKeown. I did not.

Mr. Fithian. Why did you not give it to him?

Mr. McKeown. Because he never did come back to get it. He never did come up with the money. I told him if he would give me $10,000 and if he did not get to see Castro I would give him his $10,000 back.

Mr. Fithian. You said that you would write a letter and if he would give you $10,000, you would give it back to him if that letter would not get him to see Castro.

Mr. McKeown. That is right, exactly right.

Mr. Fithian. How many times did he return? How many times did Mr. Ruby return?

Mr. McKeown. He came about three or four times.

Mr. Fithian. Each time asking for the letter?

Mr. McKeown. No. Well, yes, more or less.

Mr. Fithian. That was the purpose, was it not? He wanted a letter of introduction?

Mr. McKeown. When I look back--

Mr. Fithian. And he wanted to be able to, once he got the letter of introduction, to say well, McKeown, he used to play baseball or whatever. That is what you said this morning.

Mr. McKeown. Yes. He asked me all about where I had been with Castro and how we had talked and what we had discussed and things of that nature, you know, and he kept after me about how many arms were there, and were there really $2 million worth. I told him I guessed there was, I really do not know. He said, well, no, I am going to get this money and bring it back up here, and I said, have you got the money? That's what I asked him. He said no, I do not have it yet. Don't worry about the money, that's easy. That's easy. Do not worry about that at all. Then he came back and we would talk some more about different things, about what warehouses I put the guns in and who all helped me haul them out to his house, who lived at the house, what the people's names was who lived at the house things of that nature. Then he says, did you write the letter? I said, I have not written it yet, because you have not given me any money and then he came back and I told him I had the letter written. He says, you know, it is kind of risky carrying that much money around. I did not believe the money -- are you listening to me?

Mr. Fithian. Yes, I am.

Mr. McKeown. I said well, I am not going to give you the letter until you give me the money. That was the last time I seen him. He never did come back.

Mr. Fithian. Did he, or did he not, ask you for the letter when he came back?

Mr. McKeown. Yes, he asked me for it.

Mr. Fithian. He did. You are sure of that?

Mr. McKeown. I am almost positive that he asked me for the letter, but I did not give it to him.

Mr. Fithian. Let me quote to you what you told Mr. Rather on that point. "McKeown was interviewed by the FBI" -- this is Rather speaking -- "but told them nothing about Oswald." Then this is the part I want you to hear. "Curiously he" -- McKeown -"did say that Jack Ruby had come to see him in 1959 offering him $25,000 for a letter of introduction to Fidel Castro. Ruby never came back to pick up the letter, McKeown said."

Mr. McKeown. That is what I told you. The last he left, he never came back and I have never seen him no more until I seen him on television. Never have I laid eyes on him.

Mr. Fithian. When you told that to Rather, you were talking about his fourth visit?

Mr. McKeown. After his third or fourth.

Mr. Fithian. After his last visit?

Mr. McKeown. His last visit.

Mr. Fithian. Second, let me go back to that part of the story -- I think we are going to be interrupted by a vote on the Floor. That is what all these bells are about. You say, you told the Committee that Oswald came to you and tried to buy rifles and that he offered you a certain sum of money for a certain kind of rifle. Would you repeat that for me, please?

Mr. McKeown. When he first came in, he wanted to know if I could get him some bazookas and some Thompson machines. He said, he had a good deal working. They were going to try to overthrow Salvador. That is where he said. And I said, I guess you know that I am on probation and I said that I am not going to do anything, irregardless about any kind of guns or any other thing, nothing.

Mr. Fithian. Then he left and then he returned?

Mr. McKeown. He kept talking. He said, it will be a big benefit to you. We know you can get these guns. We know you have got them, we know you can get them. I don't see why you do not help us out. And I said well, I just want to let you know that I am not going to help you out, not only you, but nobody else. I am not going to get involved. I said, I got involved in this damn thing innocently. I did. All I was in the damned thing for was to try to get my buisness back over there in Cuba, and then I get into all of this. And so, I was trying to get him out of my house. I finally got him out of the house and this guy went to him this guy in the car -- and he comes back and this guy is standing by the car and I go out on the porch, and he says well, look. This won't be very much. You can do this today, maybe tomorrow, whatever. I want you to get me four highpowered rifles, automatics, with telescope sight. He said he would prever .300 Savage automatics. That is what he said.

Mr. Fithian. Why do you remember this so clearly?

Mr. McKeown. Because I have a .300 Savage automatic.

Mr. Fithian. You should know that a .300 Savage automatic is a very easily acquired weapon.

Mr. McKeown. It certainly is.

Mr. Fithian. You don't have to have any special help, you do not have to have a man with your connections to get one.

Mr. McKeown. That is exactly what I told him. I said, you can get those guns right down here at the Sears Roebuck or most any hardware store you can get them.

Mr. Fithian. Did you not think --

Mr. McKeown. He says we want you to get them for us.

Mr. Fithian. Did you not think it was a little bit odd that he was going to offer you three or four times the price?

Mr. McKeown. I thought it was ridiculous. I told him that it was ridiculous. I said, you can get the guns--

Mr. Fithian. Mr. McKeown, were you on pro when you were talking to the FBI?

Mr. McKeown. I think so.

Mr. Fithian. In February of '64?

Mr. McKeown. I think so. I do not know. You can check back.

I do not know. I know that I was scared.

Mr. Fithian. To set the record correct, your parole ended at the end of 1963. I do not doubt that you were frightened in talking to the FBI.

Mr. McKeown. You'd better believe it.

Mr. Fithian. Follow me very closely on this. If I were frightened and I were going to be interrogated by the FBI, and the assassin of the President of the United States had been at my door and I had turned down his request to get a highpowered rifle, do you not think that it would have been reasonable to expect that I would tell the FBI about my good deed?

Mr. McKeown. I sure as hell would.

Mr. Fithian. In spite of the fact that you loved the President, in spite of the fact that you knew all about this, in spite of the fact that you knew Jack Ruby --

Mr. McKeown. I did not know Jack Ruby.

Mr. Fithian. That you had met him four times.

Mr. McKeown. You emphasized that I knew these people, before they ever come to me, I did not know them from Adam. I wish they had never come to me.

Mr. Fithian. In spite of the fact that Jack Ruby had come to you and had talked to you four times, or three times, or whatever, and you are now being asked by the FBI if you know anything about it, in spite of your Cuban connections and all the rest of it, and despite the good deed that you had done by turning down this assassin who had asked you to get him a rifle, you expect to sit there and tell me and expect me to believe you that you sat there and talked to the FBI for two hours and you did not even mention this? Let us get our story straight. If you are going to write a book, would you not sell more copies if you tell it the way you are telling it now than if you told the truth? Is that not the real thing we have been fighting with all day today?

Mr. McKeown. We have not been fighting.

Mr. Fithian. Is that not the real effort that we have been making here? You have been trying to protect a fable that you want to sell to the public and you are not interested in getting the story straight.

Mr. McKeown. I most certainly am.

Mr. Appel. I object to this. He is badgering.

Mr. McKeown. I hope to God that you find out who killed the President and if I can help you any way in the world I would do it, and I am going to do it.

Mr. Appel. I object.

Mr. Dodd. Let's suspend one second. Why do we not take a five-minute recess here and answer that roll call. The second bell has run. Than we will come back.

(A brief recess was taken.)

Mr. Dodd. At the time that we were called away to answer a quorum call, Mr. Fithian was questioning the witness and I would yield to Mr. Fithian to pursue his line of questioning.

Mr. Fithian. Mr. Chairman, I am not sure that further questioning would be all that productive. I think the record has shown that we have three, if not four or five, inconsistencies in the witness's testimony and the record will show that the witness is in the process, if not fictionalizing this, at least commercializing this, in a book arrangement and I think that that is really what we have learned here today, and I have no further questions.

Mr. Dodd. Well, fine. I want to, first of all, thank you, Mr. McKeown, for being here today. It has been a long day for you and the Committee is appreciative of that. I would be negligent in my duty, however, as Chairman before this Committee before we terminate not to remind you of the tremendous significance and importance of these hearings, so vitally important that each and every witness who appears before us should be as candid as honest as he or she can possibly be in trying to help us arrive at the truth. I would also be negligent if I did not remind you, as a witness before this Committee, of a fact which I am sure you and your counsel are both well aware of and that is that the cloak of immunity does not extend to perjury and I am sure that your attorney has apprised you of that fact. I am sure you are aware of it. Having said that, first, I want, by the rules of our committee, I would like to give you give minutes in which time you can, if you so desire, sum up for us your own feelings or thoughts. At this particular time, it would be the last opportunity, more than likely, that you would have to straighten out any irregularities in your own testimony. This is the opportunity for you to do so. To repeat what Mr. Fithian said earlier, we do not harbor any ill feelings towards any witness whatsoever and we want you to know that, and we are appreciative of your being here. I am going to give you that opportunity now to utilize those five minutes, if you so desire.

Mr. Appel. Mr. Chairman, I would like to speak briefly on behalf of Mr. McKeown, as allowed under Rule 3.6, just very briefiy, then I would like to have him have a chance to say something briefly. I would like to remind the Committee that Mr. McKeown has been brought up here from Miami under strange circumstances. He has been brought from Miami under very strange circumstances to a strange place. He is very nervous. I do not know the man other than having met him this morning and being here today, but I know that he is rather nervous being here. I think a lot of the problem of conflict in his testimony has been a result of his misunderstanding of questions, possibly, or just being nervous and confused and I think the Committee should keep that in mind. I think that the Committee should also keep in mind, though, that there might be conflicts in what he has said because of his confusion, but there is possible fruit here for further investigation by the Committee and I do not think that his testimony should be totally discredited because of his nervousness, et cetera. By all means, the Committee should follow up what he has said here today to find possible further information that will get to the bottom of this investigation. That is all I would like to say and I would like to Mr. McKeown --

Mr. Dodd. Let me just respond. The Committee is aware of that. We do recognize that it is an unsettling experience to have to testify before any panel but, again, as I am sure you have advised your client here, the law is not that forgiving when it comes to nervousness of the witness. We are seeking the truth, and we would hope that if the witness would recognize that he has nothing to fear at all from this Committee, and while we respect and understand what nervousness can do to a person, this is your opportunity now we hope, after some seven or eight hours that you would recognize that there is nothing to fear at all and use this opportunity, Mr. McKeown, to straighten out any concerns that you may, have had or any conflicting testimony that you may have given today.

Mr. McKeown. Well, Mr. Dodd, to my knowledge, you know, as I can remember, that not a soul has told me what to say or has to say it or anything. Now, I have told the truth as I know it, and I would not lie. I would not tell you a lie, because lying -- you know it, it gets you nowhere. The only thing that I am confused on is the FBI's report and what I told you people here, I guess, maybe Dan Rather, I do not know. You see, I just think that I told the truth. I know I told the truth. I know Lee Harvey Oswald came to my door. I know that as well as I know name. I know it was him and any commercial outside of it, I have not made one dime except my expenses to Texas and the $100 that British Broadcasting fellow by the name of Scott Malone, I guess he just gave it to me. You see, after I lost my lung, I have not been able to work and I had a little insurance policy which don't pay me much and after I was disabled, where I could not hardly get my breath, well, they put me on disability, you know, so I get the Social Security and that is what I am living on. And I am living with my daughter. If I have misled you in any way, I am sorry. I really am, because I want to tell you the truth. I know it was Oswald who came to see me and nobody has told me anything. I know it was him and I know it was Jack Ruby who came to see me at my place of business. I know it. As well as I am sitting here, I know it.

Mr. Dodd. Is that the conclusion of your statement?

Mr. McKeown. I just wanted to doing this best I can. I do not want to tell you a lie, for God's sake. I do not want to tell you any lie. What would I gain by telling you a story? Nothing whatsoever. I would not gain anything. I would just jeopardize myself. That is all that I would do.

Mr. Dodd. I thank you. I should also warn you, and advise you, rather, that you will be under continuing subpoena subject to recall by the Committee. Again, I want to thank you for coming up here and spending a long day. We appreciate your testimony. The witness is excused.

Mr. McKeown. I do not understand -- continued subpoena?

Mr. Dodd. If, at a future date, we want to recall you then the subpoena, after you appear here today, is still operative, still good, to advise you of that fact.

Mr. Appel. If I could ask one question, is it copy for me to get a copy of Exhibit 93, the FBI report, or to see it one more time?

Mr. Dodd. You can see it. Counsel, would you give counsel for the witness an opportunity to look at that? (Whereupon, at 3:50 o'clock p.m. the Subcommittee proceeded to other business.)

 


The Kennedy Assassination Collection