December 1, 1963, FBI Interviews with Paul Sisco, Oliver Oakes and Isadore Bleckman,
[Bleckman had been employed as a photographer by UPI for a little over a month.]
PAUL SISCO was interviewed at the Chicago Office of the FBI on November 30, 1963. SISCO advised that be is an employee of the News Film Department of UPI. He stated that, in this capacity, he was present in the basement of the Dallas Police Department Building on the morning of November 24, 1963. SISCO advised that he entered the basement area through the ramp entrance on Main Street at about 9 a.m. On his initial entry he was required to exhibit his Chicago Police Department press card to a police officer on duty at the entrance. He stated that there was only one policeman on duty at this entrance. He had noticed several officers on the Commerce Street side of the Police Department building. During the next few hours SISCO departed the ramp via the Main Street entrance on two occasions. On both occasions he told the officer on duty that be was going out to get equipment and would be back momentarily. He stated that on these two occasions the policeman let him re-enter the ramp without again showing his press card. SISCO stated that he felt that this was due to the fact that the police officer recognized him as having identified himself on his initial entrance. SISCO could describe this officer only as about 6'3", husky, probably dark complected. SISCO stated that he did not notice any other police officers on the Main Street side at this time. SISCO stated that he had no knowledge of any unauthorized persons in the basement area.
SISCO stated he had no knowledge or reason to believe that any person conspired with JACK RUBY in the killing of LEE HARVEY OSWALD. SISCO related that he had no knowledge that any police officer or other official conspired or permitted the unauthorized presence of anyone in the basement. SISCO said that he cannot positively say that he saw RUBY until after OSWALD had been shot and RUBY was in custody of the Dallas Police Department in the basement area. SISCO said that during the press conference held at the police station about 1 ital. Saturday morning, November 23, 1963, which SISCO attended, he remembers some unrecalled person point to an individual standing on a table and say,"What's a night club owner doing here." SISCO said he looked at the person standing on the table and recalls only that the person was wearing dark glasses. SISCO stated that he cannot definitely say it was RUBY, but feels in retrospect that it must have been him. SISCO said that before OSWALD was brought from the elevator into the basement about six police officers armed with rifles came out of the interior area of the building and went out the Main Street entrance, presumably, according to SISCO to take up guard on Main Street.
SISCO stated that he was one of a three-man UPI team from Chicago present at the Dallas Police Department on November 24, 1963. He identified the others as OLIVER OAKES and ISADORE BLECKMAN, BLECKMAN was with SISCO in the basement until after the shooting. OAKES left about 10:30 a.m. to cover the press conference being held by the wife of Governor JOHN B. CONNALLY. SISCO stated his UPI team got good film of the shooting and also possibly film of the police department exterior area as it appeared a few hours prior to the shooting. He stated some of this film may have been cut or edited as a part of the normal routine. This film was sent to UPI News Film Department 448 West 56th Street, New York 19, New York.
SISCO stated he had retained a Yellow Cab to stand by outside the Main Street entrance of the Police Department building for expedite transportation of the film. He believes the cab number may have been 932. The driver was described as probably in his 50's, gray hair, no hat. This cab stood by on Main Street from about 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on November 24, 1963. SISCO recalls the meter for the waiting period was about $8.50 and he gave the driver $10.00.
ISADORE BLECKMAN, Apartment. 101, 6002 North Kenmore Avenue, Chicago, on November 30, 1963, advised:
He has been employed as a photographer by UPI for a little over a month. BLECKMAN stated that he was sent to Dallas, Texas, Friday, November 22, 1963, immediately after news of President KENNEDY's death was received.
On Sunday, November 24, 1963, he stated that he went to the Dallas, Texas Police Department about 8 a.m. His reason, he added, for being at the police department was because of the department's announcement to the press that LEE HARVEY OSWALD would be moved from the police department to the county jail at 10 a.m., November 24, 1963. He said he entered the police department through the main
entrance doors and took an elevator to the third floor of the building where heretofore the press, photographers, etc. had previously been accommodated. As he emerged from the elevator BLECKMAN said he was asked by a uniformed armed policeman to identify himself which he did by exhibiting his press credentials before he was permitted to enter the third floor. He said he remained a little while on the third floor before taking the elevator to the booking room in the basement where he remained until ten or fifteen minutes prior to OSWALD being brought out of the elevator by police.
About ten to fifteen minutes prior to OSWALD's appearance he said he and other photographers and newsmen were all asked to vacate the booking room, which they did. BLECKMAN said he then took up a position In front of a window in the booking room so he could photograph OSWALD as OSWALD
emerged from the elevator. As OSWALD emerged he said he got his photographs and then raced to the far side of the ramp so he could continue to photograph OSWALD as he emerged from the booking room and presumably would be led from there to the waiting armored car which would be used to transport him to the county jail. BLECKMAN stated that he was in this position as OSWALD was led out of the booking room and that he had his camera going from that time on.
An individual later identified as JACK RUBY cut through photographers, television cameramen, etc., a short distance to BLECKMAN's right and proceeded to shoot OSWALD. BLECKMAN said he continued to take action photos throughout. This film which BLECKMAN stated recorded all activity from the time OSWALD emerged from the elevator into the booking room and from that room to where he was shot is presently in the hands of his employer, UPI, in New York City or Washington, D.C.
BLECKMAN stated that between 9 to 10 a.m. the same morning he proceeded from the booking room to the ramp and left the police department premises and was permitted to do so only after identifying himself. His reason for leaving he told the officer at the Main Street entrance of the ramp was that he had to leave to get equipment. On his return he was permitted to re-enter the police department premises by the same route without identifying himself but that he presumed the armed officer on duty recognized him as having left the ramp shortly before. BLECKMAN said he saw no one in the police department or in the ramp who was not believed by him to be a member of the department or the working press. He said he had no knowledge of anyone permitted to gain entry to the police department on Sunday, November 24, 1903, without properly identifying himself, and neither did he have any knowledge or indication that any police officer or official conspired or permitted the unauthorized presence of anyone in the basement.
BLECKMAN said that to his knowledge he had never seen RUBY prior to RUBY'. actual shooting of OSWALD although on Friday evening, November 22, 1963, when OSWALD was brought to the lineup room of the police department, according to various persons, identities unknown, RUBY was alleged to have been present and allegedly asked a question of OSWALD, The exhibition of OSWALD in the lineup room was apparently for the convenience of the press and photographers than for any police function, according to BLECKMAN.
BLECKMAN stated that at Parkland Memorial Hospital later on Sunday, November 24, 1963, an individual described as in his early thirties, 5'8", 180 to 200 lbs., sturdy build, blond hair who was either a director of a television station in Dallas or in charge of a television crew from a Dallas television station told him in the presence of HENRY A. KOKOJAN, 9009 Freeport Drive, Dallas, Texas, telephone DAvis 8-1043, that an upper window of a building on either Main or Commerce Streets overlooking the police department ramp was open Friday after the President's assassination, all day Saturday and Sunday but that shortly after OSWALD's murder the window was shut. BLECKMAN stated that he could recall being told nothing additional by this individual but that the above caused speculation among themselves as to whether RUBY had an accomplice or whether others besides RUBY were interested in doing away with OSWALD.
OLIVER OAKES was interviewed on December 1, 1963, at his residence, 5514 Monroe Street, Merton Grove, Illinois. He advised that he is employed by UPI News Film as a sound engineer and in this capacity was sent with a news team comprised of PAUL SISCO, ISADORE BLECKMAN and himself to Dallas, Texas. He departed Chicago on Friday afternoon, November 22, 1963, by plane and arrived in Fort Worth,
Texas after 6 p.m. This news team rented an automobile and drove to Dallas. During the week end of November 22-24, 1963, he was in and out of the Dallas Police Department building on numerous occasions and on several occasions had to exhibit his press pass to gain entrance to the police department building. However, after a while he was recognized and permitted by the policemen to enter without exhibiting
his press pass.
OAKES stated, however, that he was always carrying his news equipment with him which is contained partially in suitcases and which is all marked with the initials UPI. On occasion when he entered the police officers would look him over recognize him, note the initials UPI on his press gear and would not request that he exhibit a press pass. He stored his equipment on the third floor near the elevator right next to the police guards and because of this he believes they came to recognize him on sight.
On Sunday, November 24, 1963, he arrived at the Dallas Police Department at approximately 9:30 a.m. and entered the basement of the police department building by way of the Main Street ramp. It had been previously announced by the chief of police that if newsmen arrived at the police department by 10 a.m. on Sunday it would be early enough to cover OSWALD's transfer to the county jail. When be entered the police department basement he was carrying several pieces of equipment clearly marked UPI and he does not recall whether or not he was requested to exhibit a press pass. He believes he was possibly admitted based on the UPI identification on his news equipment by a young, neatly dressed uniformed officer. At this time there were approximately 12 newsmen present and everything appeared to be orderly and there was no confusion. At approximately 10:20 a.m on November 24, 1963, PAUL SISCO, who was in charge of the news team, instructed OAKES to go to the Parkland Hospital to cover a news conference which was to be held by Governor CONNALLY's wife and he left the police department building at approximately 10:20 am
While at the Parkland Hospital he was advised of the fact that LEE HARVEY OSWALD had been shot and he waited at the hospital for a time in an effort to cover OSWALD's arrival at Parkland Hospital. However, he received a telephone message from SISCO to return to the police department and did so. Upon returning to the police department he attempted to enter the Main Street ramp entrance to the basement at
approximately 1 p.m. and a police officer demanded that he exhibit his press pass. He did so and this officer was about to permit him to enter the basement when a second uniformed officer walked up to the ramp and also demanded to see his press pass. The first officer told the second officer that he had already seen the pass and that OAKES was a newsman but the second officer demanded to see the press pass for himself, not taking the word of the first officer. Upon exhibiting his press pass he was permitted to enter the
OAKES stated that during his presence at the Dallas Police Department be felt that they employed strict security measures and he was not permitted entrance to the police department without specifically showing his press pass or unless he was carrying equipment clearly marked UPI. He had no knowledge of unauthorized persons in the basement of the police department on November 24, 1963, or other days who did not have proper identification. However, he was informed by PAUL SISCO that JACK RUBY was in attendance at the press conference held at approximately 1 a.m. on November 23, 1963, with LEE HARVEY OSWALD,
In addition, at a news conference held with the Chief of Police, Dallas, Texas, on Tuesday, November 26, 1963, SISCO mentioned to tho chief of police that RUBY was in attendance at this press conference on November 23, 1963. The chief of police did not acknowledge or deny the fact
that RUBY was there.
It was his understanding that RUBY was passing out tickets for free drinks at his night club to news personnel at the Dallas Police Department. However, he did not see him do this nor did he receive any free tickets and could not furnish the names of any reporters who did obtain these free drink tickets.
OAKES stated that he has no knowledge of anyone conspiring to kill OSWALD nor did he have any knowledge or indication that any police officers or other officials conspired or permitted unauthorized persons to be present at the police department. OAKES stated that he saw JACK RUBY during the afternoon of November 24, 1903, on the third floor of the Dallas Police Department after the shooting of LEE HARVEY OSWALD. This was the only tine that he saw RUBY. OAKES stated that the only film that he shot in Dallas was of the wife of Governor CONNALLY and this was given to PAUL SISCO and forwarded to New York.
PAUL SISCO, News Film Photographer for UPI was interviewed on December 1, 1963. He advised that he interviewed the Dallas Chief of Police on November 26, 1963, and that during this interview he may have mentioned to the Chief of Police that JACK RUBY was present at a press conference at the police station on November 23, 1963, at approximately 1 a.m. However, if he did refer to this individual as RUBY it was strictly an assumption on his part based on the fact that he saw an individual standing on a table at this conference and an unrecalled individual stated, "What's a night club owner doing here". It was the opinion of all newsmen covering the press conference on November 23, 1963, that this individual was actually JACK RUBY and that he was of the strong opinion that this was JACK RUBY. However, he stated that he could not definitely say it was RUBY and that any reference to this individual as RUBY and that any reference to this individual as RUBY by him was strictly based on an assumption on his part.