Joe Molina
Home Up R. Adams V. Adams Danny Arce Mrs. D. Baker Doris Burns Warren Caster J. Dougherty W. B. Frazier Charles Givens Geneva Hine James Jarman Frankie Kaiser Billy Lovelady Joe Molina Harold Norman Eddie Piper Mrs. R. Reid William Shelley Edward Shields Roy Truly Troy West Bonnie Williams

 

TESTIMONY OF JOE R. MOLINA beginning at 6H368...

    The testimony of Joe R. Molina was taken at 4:50 p.m., on April 7, 1964, in the office of the U.S. attorney, 301 Post Office Building, Bryan and Ervay Streets, Dallas, Tex., by Messrs. Joseph A. Ball and Samuel A. Stern, assistant counsel of the President's Commission.

    Mr. BALL Would you rise and raise your right hand, Mr. Molina?
    (Witness complying.)
    Mr. BALL. Do you solemnly swear the testimony you are about to give will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
    Mr. MOLINA. I do.
    Mr. BALL. Will you state your name, please?
    Mr. MOLINA. Joe R. Molina.
    Mr. BALL. What is your address?
    Mr. MOLINA. 4306 Brown.
    Mr. BALL. Tell me something about yourself; where were you born?
    Mr. MOLINA. I was born here in Dallas.
    Mr. BALL. What was your education?
    Mr. MOLINA. Well, I went to Crozier Tech High School and I finished after I came back from the service and at that time my intention was to go to college but I got married and instead went to business college. Then later on after attending about 5 months business college, I had to find a Job because my wife was expecting a baby, consequently, I started working on-the-Job training at the Texas School Book Depository.
    Mr. BALL. About what date?
    Mr. MOLINA. I started working in February of 1947.
    Mr. BALL. How long have you been working there?
    Mr. MOLINA. 16 years.
    Mr. BALL. 16 years?
    Mr. MOLINA. Yes, sir.
    Mr. BALL.. Now, you wrote the Commission a letter asking to testify, didn't you?
    Mr. MOLINA. Yes.
    Mr. BALL. How did you happen to do that?
    Mr. MOLINA. Well, I called in. I didn't know whether I was going to be called or not and they told me, you know, that I should write a letter and ask the Commission, you know. (Letter marked Molina Exhibit A.)
    Mr. BALL. You wanted to be heard, is that right, before the Commission?
    Mr. MOLINA. Yes, sir.
    Mr. BALL. Did you have something particularly you wanted to tell us?
    Mr. MOLINA. Yes, sir.
    Mr. BALL. What is that?
    Mr. MOLINA. Well, on November 23d following the assassination, I was paid a visit by the local police department at 1:30 in the morning and they sort of wanted to tie me up with this case in some way or another and they thought that I was implicated.
    Mr. BALL. What makes you think they thought you were implicated?
    Mr. MOLINA. Well, they were looking for something. I don't know what it was they were looking for in the house.
    Mr. BALL. They came to your house here in Dallas?
    Mr. MOLINA. That's right, woke up my wife and children; scared my wife half to death.
    Mr. BALL. Did they search the house?
    Mr. MOLINA. Yes.
    Mr. BALL. Did they have a search warrant?
    Mr. MOLINA. I don't know whether they did or not.
    Mr. BALL.. Did they tell you what they were looking for?
    Mr. MOLINA. No.
    Mr. BALL. Then what happened?
    Mr. MOLINA. Well, they asked me questions whether I knew different persons that belong to the G.I. Forum-----
    Mr. BALL. To what?

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    Mr. MOLINA. G.I. Forum, this club I belonged to here in Dallas.
    Mr. BALL. How do you spell that?
    Mr. MOLINA. G.I. F-o-r-u-m [spelling].
    Mr. BALL G.I. F-o-r-u-m [spelling] in Dallas?
    Mr. MOLINA. Yes.
    Mr. BALL. Who was it that asked you that?
    Mr. MOLINA. Well, I think it was Mr. Garroway did most of the questioning and police Lieutenant Revill, I believe---yeah, that was his name.
    Mr. BALL. What did they ask you?
    Mr. MOLINA. They asked me if I knew certain persons that had come into the forum when it was first initiated and if I was acquainted with them and if I associated with them, so forth and so on. I said my activities were limited to the club. I didn't have any social, you know, I wasn't intimate with them but merely a club that was started. I was asked by my pastor to go see about this particular club which I did and consequently, the club met at the church auditorium after it was rounded and one of the parish priests was a chaplain.
    Mr. BALL. Was it a Catholic, Roman Catholic organization?
    Mr. MOLINA. The G.I. Forum?
    Mr. BALL. Yes.
    Mr. MOLINA. No; the forum is a veterans' club.
    Mr. BALL. What else happened?
    Mr. MOLINA. Well, after the police came, they didn't know whether--they were undecided what to do, whether they would take me in for questioning or not and so they decided evidently, since I told them---they asked me if they could take a look around. I said "Sure, I don't have anything to hide, look around". They looked around and did a lot of searching and my wife started to get back in bed. She didn't know that was going on. She thought they Just want to question me and they told her she had to get out of bed and go into the living room and the kids were in the back room. I only have two bedrooms and the kids were sleeping out there. They woke up the kids; they were looking in their room, so they started questioning the kids, too. They started to ask me questions and ask the kids about it. In other words, to corroborate our statements. I didn't know at the time they were doing it but later on found out. They couldn't find anything. I knew they wouldn't find anything. I didn't know what they were looking for in the first place. They decided to bring me down to the Dallas Police Department for questioning.
    Mr. BALL. Did you go down to the police department?
    Mr. MOLINA. Well, they asked me if I would go down the next morning and I said yes, I would go down the next morning. I would rather go down the next morning than now. It was already past 2, so the next morning my wife drove me down. I got there about 11. My wife drove me down and I got there about 10:30. The place was full of television people and reporters swarming all over the place and they told me to wait in the room there and then I went into Chief Gannaway's office or whatever his name is. He said I was supposed to be questioned by Mr. Fritz down there but that he wanted to talk to me after they questioned me up there because they wanted to know more about the G.I. Forum so I said "I will come back when they get through questioning me." So I went up there and they told me to wait in an office and so I waited there for about 30, 40 minutes and, oh, must have been longer than that, they finally questioned me and they put me in a room and there was a man from the FBI or Secret Service, I don't recall which one it was. He was sitting on my right and there was a fellow from the Dallas Police Department taking a statement and a fellow from the FBI introduced himself, said I'm so and so, show me his badge and so forth. The other fellow didn't say who he was or anything, just sat there and so then they told me to wait there in that room and I did. I was there for about 45 minutes and then the fellow came back from the FBI, said "My God, are you still in here?" I said "Yes," he said "How long you been here?" Here it was about 2 or 3 o'clock. I said "I have been here since about 11; I haven't eaten lunch or haven't had a drink of water". You know, I was just there and which he told this fellow, said "Can't you let him go; he has been here. He has already given his testimony statement, whatever he is going to give; you should let him go." This fellow said "No, he got to wait in

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there" so I had to go back in there; about 10 or 15 minutes later, they came back and I went up to the office of Lieutenant Revill and he started asking a lot of questions about the G.I. Forum, did I know such and such fellow--some I knew, they had been in the club. Naturally, I knew them though we weren't intimate friends, some were, some weren't. Then he gave me a bunch of names, I imagine they were in their so-called subversive files that they claim they have; of course, I didn't know a lot of them. In fact, I didn't know most of them. knew some of the names. I didn't know some of the names they mentioned are kept in their files or not. Anyhow, they asked me---I had to---they didn't ask me---I had to just ask to sign a statement I belonged to the forum and certain members were charter members of the forum and I said yes, I would sign it. I didn't see anything wrong with it so I signed it and they told me I could go home. It was 4:30 or 5 and they asked me if I had a ride home and I said no. They said "Well, we'll give you a ride home, so one of the officers there, plainclothes man, drove me home. When I got home, of course, there were about three or four cars at the house. My wife was all shook up and she said "My God" she said "Don't you know what they been saying about you?" I said "No, I don't know what they are saying about me." She said "Don't you know you been on TV and the news media across the nation saying you are on the so-called list with the Dallas Police Department claiming that you associate with persons of"---see if I can quote it right--I was known to associate with persons of subversive background.
    Mr. BALL. That was on TV?
    Mr. MOLINA. Oh, yes.
    Mr. BALL. Who put that on TV?
    Mr. MOLINA. It was a statement made by Chief Curry.
    Mr. BALL. By whom?
    Mr. MOLINA. Chief Curry and I says "No, I didn't know anything about it. I was just being questioned." They said "Well, did you tell them to release your name?" I said "I don't know who gave my name out, gave out the information." So, they were very concerned because at first, I didn't think it was--I figured they would make a retraction and I would be cleared, so forth and so on and nothing came out on the radio and nothing was said and I called the Police Department and told them I wanted to talk to Chief Curry and they said he was busy. I was talking to, I think someone, fellow named King. He answered the phone and he said any retraction has to come from Chief Curry. I called the Associated Press which released the statement to the news media and they wouldn't give me any satisfaction. They told me I would have to get in touch with some fellow in New York or something like that, so that was--I couldn't get any satisfaction. I was accused of something I didn't know anything about.
    Mr. BALL. Did they ever give you a retraction?
    Mr. MOLINA. No.
    Mr. BALL. Well, now----
    Mr. MOLINA. And, consequently, well, that happened on November 23d; my boss was very upset about it. He said that the vice president of the company, Mr. Campbell, they didn't say anything to me, they didn't come to me and say "Joe, we will stand by you, we don't believe it." Nothing was said for about 10 days so I went in and told them, I said, "You don't have to be afraid, I'm going to get this thing cleared. I am going to find somebody to clear me of this." They said "You better do it very fast because the president is very upset about it and we have been getting a lot of calls and several people calling in and saying he hires subversives" and so forth and so on. I saw one letter did say that. It came to them from some fellow said he wasn't going to do business with that book firm because they hired Communists. I knew they were probably under pressure. Well, on December 13, they called me in and said they wanted to talk with me and they told me that due to automation I was going to have to be replaced. That happened in December 13, about 3 weeks afterwards so I told them I said "I don't really think that's the reason why you're letting me go, it's probably because of this other thing." He said "No, we got automation here, we are taking too much business in so we have to let you go." No news was ever given to me there was no machines for replacement,

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nothing, so I said--well, I didn't leave until December 30 and got all the routine work I had been assigned was gradually shifted to another person. I was there doing nothing. I finally left December 30 and I have received a letter from a friend in California saying my name was in the paper stating that I had been labeled as a communist and I got a call from Florida, from a good friend of mine saying they labeled me a communist and saying I was a friend of Oswald's.
    Mr. BALL. Did you know him?
    Mr. MOLINA. Oswald?
    Mr. BALL. Yes.
    Mr. MOLINA. No; I had seen him there in the building. I had seen him but never talked with him or been introduced.
    Mr. BALL. Where are you working now?
    Mr. MOLINA. I am working over here that's another thing. I couldn't find a job. Who is going to hire me? So I called this friend of mine he belonged to the Dads Club where I go to church, Holy Trinity. His name is Mr. Redman, vice president at Neuhoff', so I called him about a job and he said "No, I don't have anything in your line of work." I happened to mention to him I used to do credit union work and at that time they happened to be looking for a man and that's the reason I found this particular job.
    Mr. BALL. You are working at Neuhoff's Employees Credit Union.
    Mr. MOLINA. Yes.
    Mr. BALL. Are you a bookkeeper? Is that what you usually do is bookkeeping?
    Mr. MOLINA. Yes.
    Mr. BALL. Did you pursue it any further; did you file any actions of any sort?
    Mr. MOLINA. I have an attorney that is working towards something.
    Mr. BALL. You went to work what date---
    Mr. MOLINA. I went to work in February 1947.
    Mr. BALL. For the Texas School Book Depository at that time.
    Mr. MOLINA. Yes; at that time they were located at 2210 Pacific.
    Mr. BALL. Now, November 22, 1963, the place you worked was in the second floor of this School Book Depository Building.
    Mr. MOLINA. Yes, sir.
    Mr. BALL. Did you go out on the street to see the motorcade?
    Mr. MOLINA. Yes. I was standing on the front steps.
    Mr. BALL. With whom?
    Mr. MOLINA. Right next left of me was Mr. Williams and close to there was Mrs. Sanders.
    Mr. BALL. Pauline Sanders.
    Mr. MOLINA. Yes.
    Mr. BALL. Did you see Roy Truly?
    Mr. MOLINA. Yes; he was standing with Mr. Campbell; they were going out to lunch.
    Mr. BALL. They were in front of you were they?
    Mr. MOLINA. Yes.
    Mr. BALL. You saw the Presidents car pass?
    Mr. MOLINA. Yes.
    Mr. BALL. Did you see anything after that?
    Mr. MOLINA. Well, I heard the shots.
    Mr. BALL. Where--what was the source of the sound?
    Mr. MOLINA. Sort of like it reverberated, sort of kind of came from the west side; that was the first impression I got. Of course, the first shot was fired then there was an interval between the first and second longer than the second and third.
    Mr. BALL. What did you do after that?
    Mr. MOLINA. Well, I just stood there, everybody was running and I didn't know what to do actually, because what could I do. I was just shocked.
    Mr. BALL. Did anybody say anything?
    Mr. MOLINA. Yes.
    Mr. BALL. Yes, this fellow come to me---Mr. Williams said, somebody said, somebody was shooting at the President, somebody, I don't know who it was. There was some shooting, you know, and this fellow said "What can anybody gain

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by that"; he just shook his head and I just stood there and shook my head. I didn't want to .think what was happening, you know, but I wanted to find out so I went down to where the grassy slope is, you know, and I was trying to gather pieces of conversation of the people that had been close by there and somebody said "Well, the President has been shot and I think they shot somebody else", something like that.
    Mr. BALL. Did you see Mr. Truly go into the building?
    Mr. MOLINA. Yes.
    Mr. BALL. Where were you when you saw him go into the building?
    Mr. MOLINA. I was right in the entrance.
    Mr. BALL. Did you see a police officer with him?
    Mr. MOLINA. I didn't see a police officer. I don't recall seeing a police officer but I did see him go inside.
    Mr. BALL. Did you see a white-helmeted police officer any time there in the entrance?
    Mr. MOLINA. Well, of course, there might have been one after they secured the building, you know.
    Mr. BALL. No, I mean when Truly went in; did you see Truly actually go into the building?
    Mr. MOLINA. I saw him go in.
    Mr. BALL. Where were you standing?
    Mr. MOLINA. Right at the front door; right at the front door.
    Mr. BALL. Outside the front door?
    Mr. MOLINA. Yes, outside the front door I was standing; the door was right behind me.
    Mr. BALL. Were you standing on the steps?
    Mr. MOLINA. Yes, on the uppermost step.
    Mr. BALL. You actually saw Truly go
    Mr. MOLINA. Yeah.
    Mr. BALL. You were still standing there?
    Mr. MOLINA. Yes.
    Mr. BALL. How long was it after you heard the shots?
    Mr. MOLINA. Oh, I would venture to say maybe 20 or 30 seconds afterwards.
    Mr. BALL. Had somebody come up and said the President was shot before
you saw Truly go in?
    Mr. MOLINA. No.
    Mr. BALL. Do you know a girl named Gloria Calvary?
    Mr. MOLINA. Yes.
    Mr. BALL. Did Gloria come up?
    Ms.. MOLINA. Yes, she came. I was in the lobby standing there and she came in with this other girl.
    Mr. BALL. What did she say?
    Mr. MOLINA. She said "Oh, my God, Joe, he's been shot." They were both horrified. I said "Are you sure he was shot?" She said "Oh, Joe ,I'm sure. I saw his hair fly up and I'm sure he was shot" something to that extent.
    Mr. BALL. You left the building that day about what time and went home?
    Mr. MOLINA. Oh, it must have been around, I would say, I would say it was about 2, maybe a little before that, I don't know.
    Mr. BALL. Had you ever seen Lee Oswald?
    Mr. MOLINA. I had seen him in the building, yes, sir.
    Mr. BALL. Did you ever speak to him?
    Mr. MOLINA. No; I never spoke to him.
    Mr. BALL. Did you see him at all on November 22d
    Mr. MOLINA. I never did see him.
    Mr. BALL. Did you see any strangers in the building on that day November 22d?
    Mr. MOLINA. No; like I stated before, I came in at--to work at 7 in the morning because I had a key and I was on the second floor all the time, never did leave except maybe to go to the restroom, something like that. Then I ate my lunch, took my lunch and ate it and went downstairs about 12:15.
    Mr. BALL. Okay, thanks very much, Mr. Molina. This will be written up for your signature if you wish; you can come in and sign it or you can waive

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your signature, whichever you wish. If you wish to sign it, this young lady will notify you when it is typed and you can come in, read it, and sign it.
    Mr. MOLINA. I just wanted to state in the record that I want to deny any accusations if there is any doubt in anybody's mind.
    Mr. BALL. No; there is nobody I ever heard has accused you of anything.
    Mr. MOLINA. I know there's a fella that I talk with that belongs to the or had worked with the FBI that knows my position in this thing.
    Mr. BALL. I never heard anybody accuse you of any wrongdoing in connection with this matter.
    Mr. MOLINA. In fact, Bill Lowery worked with the FBI.
    Mr. BALL. You don't have to worry about that; no one is accusing you of anything.
    Mr. MOLINA. Except the local people here.
    Mr. BALL. Do you want to sign it or do you want to waive your signature; how do you feel about it? It's your option; you can do either way.
    Mr. MOLINA. Well, I would like to.
    Mr. BALL. See it and sign
    Mr. MOLINA. See it and sign
    Mr. BALL. She will notify you then. She will tell you when to come in.
    Mr. MOLINA. Thanks very much.