Q: Were you ever in the armed services?
A: I was in the 82nd Airborne. I went in '59...1959, date of entry... January and in July 10 of 1959, I believe it was July 10, we shipped out to Laos. I was 82nd Airborne.
Q: What were some of your duties?
A: My duties at that time... we were working a special operations group to work with the Laotian Army in Laos at that time. I was there strictly as an advisor on training... with small automatic weapons... setting detonators, explosives, mechanical ambushes. There was just a handful of Americans working with the Laotians at that time...
Q: Could you tell me how you first became involved in organized crime activities?
A: Well, I first became.. it''s a strange way to start out... but I was racing stock cars and driving at a local track and Mr. Nicoletti had taken a shine to my driving and he'd watched me on several occasions and he had asked me once if I would drive him one evening. I took him out and test drove his car that we'd just picked up a brand new Ford... and he was pretty well pleased with my driving and from then on I became more like an assigned driver to him and I did several drivings for him on different jobs that he did.
Q: Who was Charles Nicoletti?
A: Charles Nicoletti, at that time, he was an up and coming figure with organized crime and he was known as one of the local hitman. As far as I'm concerned he was the best that ever lived, as far as I'm concerned.
Q: What Mafia family did he work for?
A: He was out of the Chicago family.
Q: Who would have been the boss of the Chicago family?
A: At that time, Tony Accardo.
Q: That's before Giancana or after Giancana?
A: Tony Accardo handed it up... headed it up... then Giancana came after that. Giancana at that time was one of the underlings, I guess you might say he was the... one of the top lieutenants at that point. Things were handed out in different branches in organized crime such as someone might handle the liquor license, someone would handle the loan sharking and booking, someone would handle the contracts for murder for hire and anything like that...
Q: How did you meet him (John Rosselli)?
A: I had met John Rosselli in Miami and discussed a few things with him and he... I had met him through David Atlee Phillips... David Atlee Phillips was an operative for the CIA. Through time everybody got to be fairly well good friends but I grew up basically under Chuck's wing... Mr. Nicoletti's wing. Chuck had told me we were going to do it. We'd first originally planned to do the assassination in Chicago but a lot of people didn't like that idea so then it was moved to another location.
Q: When you say "we planned it" could you clarify "we"?
A: Well when I say we... I was just with Mr. Nicoletti. Whatever he said do, I would do. When I say we, I'm referring like... the only thing I did was just drive the car or whatever that they needed me for. Mr. Nicoletti had asked me then at that point when we'd decided not to do it in Chicago and it was going to be moved to Dallas... when John F. Kennedy had decided to go to Dallas... a week in advance, I took the '63 Chevrolet that we had at that time.. I left and I went down a week earlier. I picked up the weapons from the storage bin that we had and loaded them in the car with everything that I thought we might need.. with a various assortment... and I left and I drove to Dallas. I stayed out at a place in Mesquite, Texas. Once I got there, I called back and notified Mr. Nicoletti that I was there and on the scene. The following day, Lee Harvey Oswald came by the motel where I was at... they had given him my location... and he took me out to a place somewhere southeast of Mesquite where I test fired the weapons and calibrated the scopes on anything that might be needed. Then he was with me for a few days in town there... we drove around... so I would know all the streets and not run into any dead ends streets if anything went wrong and we had to flee from the area...
Q: Could you give me the exact chronology of what happened from the time you arrived in Dallas...? You've already said that you went out and test fired some guns and things... take me back to maybe November 21, the day before, and in your own words, tell me what happened from November 21, 1963 until the night of November 22, 1963...
A: We go back... November 21, I had everything pretty well set up on my end of it as far as knowing the area, knowing the streets, memorizing a lot of the major points there and intersections... crossing railroad tracks and trestles and things... I had the weapons prepared and ready to go, I had those installed in the car where I wanted them. Everything had been calibrated all ammunition had been set and ready to use. I got a good nights sleep that night, the following morning I got up early and I went to the Dallas Cabana Hotel to pick up John Rosselli... I'm going to say somewhere shortly around 7:00 that morning, maybe a few minutes past seven... and I picked up Johnny Rosselli and we drove from the Dallas Cabana to Ft. Worth, Texas to a pancake house they had there just off the major highway. We went there to meet someone... I did not know who we was meeting.. .But he had already told me... Johnny Rosselli said we was going to meet a man by the name of Jack Ruby... that he had some things that we had to pick up. When we got there, Johnny Rosselli told me he said... I'm going to go in and sit in a booth... he says you wait and come in later... he said sit somewhere else where you can keep an eye on me... in case something goes wrong, I want you to cover my backside. So I positioned myself... after Johnny Rosselli went in... I sit at the counter... ordered a cup of coffee and sit there and waited.
This real heavy set gentlemen came in and he went over and he knew Johnny Rosselli I assume cause they shook hands, they talked for a minute and they sit down in the booth together. They passed over, I'm gonna say probably a 5 x 9 envelope... manilla envelope that had some material in it, at that point. After a couple of minutes, he got up, they shook hands, he left. I went out into the parking lot, made sure the air was clear, started the car up, pulled up by the door, Johnny Rosselli come out and got in the car. I never met Jack Ruby, never said hello or anything.
Johnny Rosselli got in the car with me and we started back to Dallas. He opened the envelope up and there was identification in there for Secret Service people and we had a map in there of the exact motorcade route that would take it through Dealey Plaza. Johnny Rosselli said well they only made one change. That was when he informed me they was coming off of Main Street on to Elm or on to Houston there... they made the zig-zag, the little turn that they should have never made. But when they made that, it was the only change in it.
I drove him back to the Dallas Cabana, he went upstairs and I waited for Mr. Nicoletti to come down. Mr. Nicoletti came down and got in the car with me and we drove to Dealey Plaza. We got to Dealey Plaza shortly before ten o'clock. From there we parked the car... it had been drizzling rain that morning... kind of a cool morning out... I had parked the car beside the Dal-Tex building, Mr. Nicoletti and I got out and we walked up and down the complete area of Dealey Plaza, we covered every corner, walked by the buildings, looked over several different things. We were just talking, having casual talk about the weather and everything.
At about 10:30, Mr. Nicoletti asked me how would I feel in supporting him... in backing him up on this... and he told me I wouldn't fire unless it became extremely necessary. I told Mr. Nicoletti, Jesus, I'd be honored to do anything to back you up. He asked me if you was to be outside here, where would you position yourself at in Dealey Plaza? I told him, I said well, from looking everything over and from walking it in the week I've been down here, I think I would choose up there behind the tree behind the stockade fence on the high ridge by the knoll up there. He says why there? I says well I've got the railroad yard in back of me, we've got a parking lot there and I've got a place to where I could stash whatever I would need. I said I can pass myself off as a railroad worker in the railroad yard for the time being until that time comes and nobody would really pay any attention to me. He asked me then where do you think would be the best place for me? I said well, I think the Dal-Tex building... with the new change in it... I say I think the Dal-Tex building over there... that building would give you the best advantage point there. He said I think so too. So we took a walk over, went through the parking lot over by the tracks, walked around through there and he seemed pretty well pleased with that. Then at that point, oh it was about 11:10, he asked me what weapon would I choose to use over there. I told him I would like to use the Fireball. He said why that one? He said you've only got one shot. I said one shot's all I'm gonna get anyway if I wait until the last moment of fire and I may not fire, I said, and it's easy to conceal and I carry it in a briefcase and nobody will pay any attention to me and it's easier to walk away from there. And that's exactly what we did at that point.
Shortly before noon, we went back to the vehicle, I took the briefcase out and turned my jacket inside out, I went back into the yard... the railroad yard there... I secured the briefcase, then I hung out back there and I walked down on the grassy knoll, no one paid any attention... people were gathering. Shortly before the motorcade came, I went back up there and started securing myself in a better position so I'd be able to reach the attache case at that point... the briefcase... I knew once that I opened the briefcase up and pulled the weapon out, nobody's gonna be looking at me, the motorcade would be coming... making its first time... and I wouldn't have to remove the Fireball from the briefcase until approximately... they made the first turn on Elm Street there and I would have plenty of time at that point.
At that point when they started proceeding down Elm Street, shots started being fired from behind. I assumed that it was Mr. Nicoletti because he was the one that was in the building and I knew that Johnny Rosselli was there. I remember the shots ringing out and even though the President was being hit with the rounds, I was considering it a miss because I knew that we were going for a head shot on the President. I had known that he had been hit in the body but I didn't know what part at that time. I seen the body lurch and I saw the body lurch again, I heard another shot that missed. We were supposed to hit no one but Connally, I mean no one but Mr. Kennedy. I guess Governor Connally got hit with one of the rounds at that point. I wasn't even sure of that because I was keeping Kennedy as best I could in the scope on the Fireball. When I got to the point where I thought it would be the last field of fire, I had zeroed in to the left side of the head there that I had because if I wait any longer then Jacqueline Kennedy would have been in the line of fire and I had been instructed for nothing to happen to her and at that moment I figured this is my last chance for a shot and he had still not been hit in the head. So, as I fired that round, Mr. Nicoletti and I fired approximately at the same time as the head started forward then it went backward. I would have to say that his shell struck approximately 1000th of a second ahead of mine maybe but that what's started pushing the head forward which caused me to miss from the left eye and I came in on the left side of the temple. At that point, through the scope, I witnessed everything, matter and skull bring blown out to the back on the limousine and everyone on television watching saw Jackie Kennedy crawl out there to get it. I watched her hold it in her hand, crawl back on to the car, I put the Fireball back into the briefcase, and closed it up, I pulled my jacket off, reversed my jacket so I would have, instead of the plaid side out, I would have the gray like a dress jacket more or less and I put a cap on my head, my hat, to walk away, carrying a briefcase.