Wednesday, June 1, 2011

When They Kill A President By Roger Craig Part VII


The favorite pastime in Dallas
Is a game they call murder with malice.
They don't ask your leave.
But not to deceive. . . .
To tell you would be -- well, too callous.


On Wednesday, October 27, 1970 I went to downtown Dallas to Jack Revel's campaign headquarters to pick up some campaign signs. The headquarters were not open and I decided to visit a friend who works at a restaurant across the street. While talking with my friend the conversation turned, as it so often does, to the assassination. He and I had discussed this in the past.

During the course of our conversation a man who I had not met before entered into the conversation. He, of course, did not know me (not to my knowledge). I told him that I was from out of town and that I was interested in facts that hadn't been printed and in persons that had known Jack Ruby and Lee Oswald. This man said, "I knew Oswald and Ruby. I can tell you anything you want to know about them."

At this point I became very interested and I told him again that I'd sure like to know first hand what they were like. He said, "I knew Ruby well -- I had seen Oswald a couple of times in Ruby's place." I then said, "Well, in Ruby's business -- the night club -- I imagine a lot of people were seen there." He sort of chuckled and said "Huh -- Jack Ruby's business was spelled Mafia." He then said, "I can show you a used car lot where Ruby collected a lot of gambling money over on Ross Avenue" (it was the 4600 block of Ross Avenue). So I offered to drive him over there and he said, "No -- do you have your car here?" I did. He said I should follow him, which I did. I parked my car on the same side of the street as the car lot, a short distance down and walked back to his car. I opened the door of his car on the passenger side and he pointed to the car lot and said, "That's where a lot of the money comes in from the gambling operation and Jack picked it up here."

He said, "If you really want to know what's going on in Dallas you have to talk to someone who's been around -- and I've been around in those circles." Then he said, "Just leave your car parked there and come with me -- I'll show you something that's REALLY interesting." He drove me to 300 1/2 South Ewing in the Oak Cliff area to an apartment that had been a family dwelling and was converted into apartment units. I should mention here that Jack Ruby's address at the time of the assassination was 323 South Ewing.

The apartment at 300 1/2 South Ewing is upstairs and when we walked into the apartment there was a distinct feeling of an unlived-in atmosphere. The furnishings were bare. There was a couch, chair and coffee table -- no lamps, no ash trays, nothing on the walls. The man had been smoking so it was odd that there were no ash trays. He said, "How about a cup of coffee?" We went into the kitchen, he opened the cabinet and said, "Oh well, I guess I'm out of coffee." He was also out of everything else as there was nothing in the cabinet.

The arrangement of the apartment was unusual as you had to go through the bedroom to the kitchen, which was very small. The closet door was open in the bedroom. However, there were no clothes in it. At that time I became slightly nervous about the situation.

We went back into the bedroom from the kitchen. While in the bedroom he said, "I want to show you something." He opened the top drawer of the dresser and pulled out a shoulder holster -- there was a 32 revolver with a three inch barrel in the shoulder holster. He pulled the 32 out of the holster and said, "what do you think about that?" I remarked that you don't see many 32's with a barrel like that. He put the 32 back in the drawer and went around to the side of the closet which was not visible when you went into the kitchen. At that time he produced two rifles -- one was a bolt action which looked like a 30.06, the other was a high power automatic which appeared to be a 257 caliber.

I remarked that they were nice rifles and I would like to have a good deer hunting rifle. He then laid those two on the bed and he said, "You haven't seen anything yet." He then got down on the floor and he pulled 5 more rifles from under the bed. Each of these were equipped with scopes. He then pulled a cardboard box about 13 inches long and 10 inches deep also from under the bed. The box was closed and on the side was printed "Ammunition -- Handle With Care." He then slid the rifles and ammunition back under the bed. I said jokingly, "What are you gonna do -- start a war?" He said, "Could be."

At that time he looked at his watch and said "excuse me just a minute, I have to go down to the landlady's apartment and make a phone call -- I promised some people I would call them" (there was no telephone in the apartment). He was gone for about ten minutes. During this time I made a mental inventory of the apartment. After he returned he asked me if I was ready to go back to my car. There was a pay phone on the corner from the apartment and I asked him to pull over so that I could call the people who owned the car (I had told him that it was borrowed while I was in Dallas), that I wanted to let them know that the car was okay. From the pay phone I called my wife and gave her the man's name and address and told her of the situation. His name -- as he gave me is A.E. Allen, 300 1/2 South Ewing, Dallas, Texas.

Before we went to his apartment, or the apartment, I told him being from out of town that I didn't know much, but that I had heard that Ruby was in the gun running business. He said that Ruby wasn't actually buying and selling weapons. That people in higher positions made the arrangements for the buying and selling of weapons. That Ruby was mainly the go-between for delivering the money and making arrangements for the storage of the weapons until they were shipped out.

During the course of the evening he made the statement several times that, "if you want to stay healthy, don't say anything to anybody in Dallas about the assassination unless you're damn sure you know who you're talking to."

He then said that there were a lot of people in Dallas who were out to "get" him because he knows too much. ?

One of the strangest things that he did was to drive on East Jefferson to a used car lot and stop. There were two men inside the office and he went in and talked to them. I stayed in the car and could see them through a window of the office. He was in there only a few minutes. His car was a light blue Oldsmobile 66 model. When he came out of the office he got into a gray Olds sitting on the lot and he drove it onto the drive stopping just before he entered the street -- he motioned to me -- I was watching him. I got out of the blue Olds and he took me back to my car in the gray Olds. ?

On the way to my car across town, he kept repeating there's a lot more to this (the assassination) than they'll ever know. In taking me to my car he cut across to Ft. Worth Avenue. While driving slowly along he pointed out certain private clubs -- saying that he wasn't allowed in one or the other. My first thought was that he was trying to give me the impression that he was knowledgeable about the workings of the Dallas underworld. However, it really seems that he was using a delaying measure -- since it took from 10:00 p.m. until 11:15 p.m. to drive me to my car -- an ordinary 15 minute drive at that time.

When I got out of his car at mine he said, "I'll call you tomorrow." Earlier in the evening he had implied he was going to give me more information. I had given him a number to reach me by. Needless to say I did not hear from him after the incident that followed!

I had locked my car when I parked it. When I got into it I turned the key over to start the engine. At this point there was a muffled type explosion and then smoke came out the sides of the hood. The hood had a double latch and didn't blow. Fire was coming through the air vents under the dash and a pillow was burning inside the car.

I jumped out of the car and raised the hood. The engine, hoses, firewall and even under the bell housing was all ablaze. Several persons came up and someone called the fire department. A man named Bill Booken was walking by at about the time it happened. The fire department used 2 cans of chemical to extinguish the fire. This was one of the hottest fires I had ever seen. There was no smell of gasoline before or after, there was no back fire as the car had not started and afterwards the gas lines were checked and there were no leaks. There was an air breather on the car and in fact, there was no mechanical reason for the explosion.

This happened at 4625 Ross Avenue. Mr. Booken took me to Anderson's Restaurant at 4909 Ross Avenue where I called my wife and she arranged for my brother Duane to come after me. I didn't know that I had been injured until I felt the warm blood running down my shirt after my brother picked me up. I had lost quite a lot of blood by the time I went to the emergency room. I was there for three hours. A police report was made. I had received 5 puncture type wounds in the chest area. One vein had been severed and had to be tied and stitches taken in the wounds. X-rays were also made. I went to our family physician the following day and had the stitches removed the following Monday. It was never completely determined what hit me. Another close call! The doctor at the emergency room said I was lucky the wounds had not been lower and our family physician said I was lucky the wounds were not in the neck. So . . . I suppose I'm just lucky all the way round!

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