TSBD First Floor Wrapping Station

TSBD First Floor Wrapping Station

TESTIMONY OF TROY EUGENE WEST

http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/russ/m_j_russ/west.htm

 

The Testimony of Troy Eugene West was taken at 10:30 a.m., on April 8, 1964, in the office of the U.S. attorney, 301 Post Office Building, Bryan and Ervay Streets, Dallas, Tex., by Mr. David W. Belin, assistant counsel of the President’s Commission.

Mr. BELIN – Mr. West, would you raise your right hand please.
Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you are about to give will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Mr. WEST – I do.
Mr. BELIN – You want to sit down now please. Will you state your name for the record? Your name is Troy Eugene West?
Mr. WEST – Troy Eugene West.
Mr. BELIN – How old are you, Mr. West?
Mr. WEST – Well, I was born in 1907. That would be 57, I think.
Mr. BELIN – Were you born in Texas?
Mr. WEST – Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN – You go to school at all in Texas?
Mr. WEST – Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN – How far did you get through school?
Mr. WEST – Well; I went to the seventh grade.
Mr. BELIN – Then what did you do?
Mr. WEST – Well; I had to come out of school and go to work.
Mr. BELIN – You started working then?
Mr. WEST – Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN – What did you do when you started working? Where did you work?

Mr. WEST – On the farm.

Mr. BELIN – On the farm?
Mr. WEST – On the farm, yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN – How long did you stay on the farm?
Mr. WEST – Oh, I stayed on the farm until way up after I got grown. I was way up past – I guess I was about 24.
Mr. BELIN – When you left the farm, then what did you do when you left the farm?
Mr. WEST – Well, I came to town after I left.
Mr. BELIN – You came to Dallas?
Mr. WEST – No, sir; little town at Mexia Tex.
Mr. BELIN – How long did you stay in town there?
Mr. WEST – Well, I lived there for about 7 years I guess.
Mr. BELIN – You were in town for 7 years, and generally what did you do when you were in town?
Mr. WEST – Well, I worked the express all the time.
Mr. BELIN – For any particular company?
Mr. WEST – I was trying to think of the man’s name.
Mr. BELIN – You can’t remember it right now?
Mr. WEST – I just can’t remember it right now. Been quite a while.
Mr. BELIN – Well, do you remember what you did after you got through doing that? 6 or 7 years, then where did you go?
Mr. WEST – I came to Dallas.
Mr. BELIN – Then what did you do in Dallas, generally?
Mr. WEST – Well, I worked around just different places until I started to work for the company where I am now.
Mr. BELIN – When did you start working for them?
Mr. WEST – Well, I have been with them now about 16 years.
Mr. BELIN – You have been with them 16 or 17 years? What company is that?
Mr. WEST – Texas School Book Depository.
Mr. BELIN – Are you still working for them now?
Mr. WEST – Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN – What do you do for the Texas School Book Depository?
Mr. WEST – Well, I am a mail wrapper.
Mr. BELIN – You are a mail wrapper?
Mr. WEST – I wrap mail all the time.
Mr. BELIN – Were you doing that on November 22nd of 1963 too? Were you a mail wrapper at that time back in last November?
Mr. WEST – Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN – Did you go to work on November 22, 1963? That was a Friday, the day the President was assassinated.
Mr. WEST – Yes; I went to work that day.
Mr. BELIN – What time did you get to work?
Mr. WEST – Well, we always get to work – we are supposed to be there at 8 in the morning.
Mr. BELIN – You got there at 8 that morning?
Mr. WEST – Yes, I always, most of the time I got there a little early.
Mr. BELIN – Do you remember what time you got to work that particular morning?
Mr. WEST – It was about 10 minutes to 8. I always be 5 or 10 minutes early.
Mr. BELIN – Where did you go when you got to work?
Mr. WEST – Well, When I first got to work I always made coffee in the morning at the store. This is the first thing I do in the morning.
Mr. BELIN – Where did you make the coffee?
Mr. WEST – Sir?
Mr. BELIN – Where did you make the coffee?
Mr. WEST – Well, it is down on the first floor in the same department where I wrap mail at.
Mr. BELIN – Well I have a first floor map here of the Texas School Book Depository. Here is
Elm Street and here is the front entrance. Here is Mr. Truly’s office, and Here is Mr. Shelley’s office. There is the stairway down to the basement, and there are the elevators and the back stairway. There are the toilets there. About where would you wrap mail there? Here is the Domino room and the shower. You are looking here, that is north Elm Street runs this way and Houston Street runs that way. It is shown on the diagram.

Mr. WEST – Well, my place was in the west side of the other building.
Mr. BELIN – Was it near the stairway?
Mr. WEST – No; it wasn’t close to the stairway.
Mr. BELIN – Was it closer to the Elm Street side of the building?
Mr. WEST – No, sir.
Mr. BELIN – What was it close to? The west side is the side near the railroad tracks and the triple underpass. Is that what you think is the west side?
Mr. WEST – Yes, sir; that is what I would call the west side.
Mr. BELIN – When did you quit for lunch that day?
Mr. WEST – Well, we always quit at 12 o’clock in the day.
Mr. BELIN – Is that when you quit on November 22nd?
Mr. WEST – Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN – Then what did you do?
Mr. WEST – Well, I went in and washed my hands and face and then got ready to put my coffee on. I always made coffee at 12. Make it in the morning, and then I make it about 12, between 12 and 12:30.
Mr. BELIN – Then what did you do? Did you put your coffee on?
Mr. WEST – Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN – In the west part of the floor where you generally work?
Mr. WEST – Yes.
Mr. BELIN – Then what did you do?
Mr. WEST – Well, I went to get my lunch to eat a bite.
Mr. BELIN – Where did you get your lunch?
Mr. WEST – Well, I always kept my lunch right there close by my machine, by my wrapping machine that I use all the time, that I always kept my lunch. I have a little place underneath and I keep it there all the time.
Mr. BELIN – Are you the only one that wraps the books for mailing, or wraps them up for mailing?
Mr. WEST – Well, no, sir; I am not the only one, but mine is that way just every day.
Mr. BELIN – You do it all the time?
Mr. WEST – Yes; I do that.
Mr. BELIN – Are you the only one who does it all the time?
Mr. WEST – I am the only one that is steady, wraps mail all the time, although I have help, you know, when it gets stacked.
Mr. BELIN – Did Lee Harvey Oswald ever help you wrap mail?
Mr. WEST – No, sir; he never did.
Mr. BELIN – Do you know whether or not he ever borrowed or used any wrapping paper for himself?
Mr. WEST – No, sir; I don’t.
Mr. BELIN – You don’t know?
Mr. WEST – No; I don’t.
Mr. BELIN – Did you ever see him around these wrapper rolls or wrapper roll machines, or not?
Mr. WEST – No, sir; I never noticed him being around.
Mr. BELIN – Are they paper machines with the rolls of wrapping paper? You have some gum there too, for taping it? When you wrap it, would you tape it with some tape?
Mr. WEST – No, sir; I never seen him.
Mr. BELIN – Did you do that? Did you put tape on the wrapping paper when it was being shipped? When you wrap the books up with paper, did you have any gum tape that you put on it?
Mr. WEST – No, sir; I had a machine that I placed it on the machine and tied it with, and the machine tied it with a string.
Mr. BELIN – With string?
Mr. WEST – Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN – Didn’t you have any gummed tape by your machine?
Mr. WEST – Sir?
Mr. BELIN – Did you have any kind of tape, sticky tape that you would put on the paper to keep it together, or was that somewhere else?
Mr. WEST – Oh, yes, sir; I used some of that wide tape.
Mr. BELIN – Is that sticky tape?
Mr. WEST – Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN – To seal the package with?
Mr. WEST – Yes, sir; that’s right. And then I tie it, put it on the machine and tie it.
Mr. BELIN – Is yours the only place that they have the sticky tape?
Mr. WEST – Well, that is the only place that is supposed to be, you know.
Mr. BELIN – Could other employees come and pick up some of the tape for themselves?
Mr. WEST – Yes, sir; they could come get it if they wanted to use it, but all the time it was there where it is supposed to be.
Mr. BELIN – Did other employees from time to time come and borrow some of that tape at all, or use it? Would other employees ever use any of the tape for themselves?
Mr. WEST – Not as far as I know of now.
Mr. BELIN – If I wanted to use any of that tape, you know the tape you use to seal it, is there a way to make the tape wet so I don’t have to lick it myself with my tongue to make it wet and sticky? Or how do you get it to be sticky and stick together?
Mr. WEST – Well, we have those machines with the little round ball that we fill them up with water, and so we set them up. In to–other words, I got a rack that we set them in, and so we put out tape in a machine, and whenever we pull the tape through, why then the water gets, you know, it gets water on it as we pull it through.
Mr. BELIN – If I wanted to pull the tape, pull off a piece without getting water on it, would I just lift it up without going over the wet roller and get the tape without getting it wet?
Mr. WEST – You would have to take it out. You would have to take it out of the machine. See,
it’s put on there and then run through a little clamp that holds it down, and you pull it, well, then the water, it gets water on it.

Mr. BELIN – Is this an electrical machine or is it just kind of a little apparatus for just pulling it through by hand?
Mr. WEST – Well, it is not electric, no, sir.
Mr. BELIN – No going back to November 22, you said you quit for lunch around noon on that day on Friday, November 22?
Mr. WEST – Yes. About 12 o’clock we always quit for lunch.
Mr. BELIN – Do you remember any of the men coming down the elevator that day? Bonnie Ray Williams or James Jarman Jr., or Danny Arce, or any one else coming down that morning? Charlie Givens? Do you remember them coming down the elevator, or don’t you remember.
Mr. WEST – I don’t remember.
Mr. BELIN – Now, after you quit for lunch, you made the coffee then?
Mr. WEST – Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN – Were did you make the coffee?
Mr. WEST – I made the coffee right there close to the wrapping mail table where I wrap mail.
Mr. BELIN – Then what did you do?
Mr. WEST – Well, I sit down to eat my lunch.
Mr. BELIN – Then what did you do?

Mr. BELIN – Did you hear any shots fired?
Mr. WEST – I didn’t hear a one. Didn’t hear a one.
Mr. BELIN – Did you see anyone else on the first floor while you were eating your lunch?
Anyone else at all did you see on the first floor?

Mr. WEST – It wasn’t anybody. I didn’t see anybody around at that time.
Mr. BELIN – At any time while you were making coffee or eating your lunch, did you see anyone else on the first floor?
Mr. WEST – No, sir; I didn’t see.
Mr. BELIN – Who was the first person you saw on the first floor after you – while you were eating your lunch? Someone came in the building?
Mr. WEST – Yes; before I got through. The officers and things were coming in the front door.
Mr. BELIN – Who was the first person or persons that you saw coming through there while you were eating your lunch?
Mr. WEST – Well, that was the police.
Mr. BELIN – A police officer?
Mr. WEST – Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN – Anyone else?
Mr. WEST – I guess it was a bunch of them, I guess, FBI men, and just a crowed of them coming in there.
Mr. BELIN – Did you see Roy Truly coming in at all that time? Do you know Mr. Truly?
Mr. WEST – Yes, sir; that is the boss, the superintendent.
Mr. BELIN – Did you see him, do you remember, while you were eating your lunch, come in the building?
Mr. WEST – Yes, sir; I think he came in with the police.
Mr. BELIN – Was he one of the first people in, or did other people come in ahead of him, if you remember?
Mr. WEST – Really, I just don’t know.
Mr. BELIN – That is okay if you don’t remember. That is all I want you to say if you don’t remember. Did you hear anyone yelling to let the elevator loose or anything like that?
Mr. WEST – I can’t remember.
Mr. BELIN – Were you working when you were eating your lunch? Were you facing the elevator
or not when you were eating your lunch? Were you facing any on the elevators back there?

Mr. WEST – No, sir; I was always – I mean I would always be with my back kind of, you know, towards the elevators and facing the front side over on the side.
Mr. BELIN – The Elm Street side?
Mr. WEST – Toward Elm Street side.
Mr. BELIN – So you don’t know whether anyone was using the elevators?
Mr. WEST – No, sir; I don’t.
Mr. BELIN – Do you know whether anyone was going up and down the stairs?
Mr. WEST – No, sir; I don’t.
Mr. BELIN – Do you know anything else about what happened on November 22, that might be helpful or relevant here?
Mr. WEST – No, sir; I don’t really.
Mr. BELIN – Were you ever on the second floor on November 22?
Mr. WEST – No, sir; I never did hardly ever leave the first floor. That is I just stayed there where all my work was, and I just stayed there.
Mr. BELIN – On November 22, did you ever leave the first floor?
Mr. WEST – No, sir; I never did leave the first floor.
Mr. BELIN – Anything else that you can think of, whether I asked it or not?
Mr. WEST – Well, I don’t know anything else. I know of nothing else.
Mr. BELIN – We want to thank you very much for coming down here, Mr. West. If you want, you can come back down again and read your deposition and sign it, or else you can just waive coming down here. You don’t have to come down. You can tell the court reporter to send it directly to us, if you want to.
Mr. WEST – You mean when I get ready to sign it.
Mr. BELIN – Now you do not have to sign it if you don’t want to. You can just tell the court reporter to type it up and send it directly to us, or you can tell the court reporter you would like to read it and sign it before she sends it to us in Washington. You don’t have to sign it. Or if you want to sign it, you can come back and sign it whichever you want to do.
Mr. WEST – Well I think – I don’t know.

Mr. BELIN – Do you want to come down here again and read it and sign it, or do you want to waive? You can waive and tell the court reporter that she can just sent it after she types it up, directly to us in Washington without your reading it and signing it.
Mr. WEST – Well, I think that is what I will do, just have it waived and send it on.
Mr. BELIN – All right, that is fine. Thank you very much, sir.


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