Deposition taken by the House Select Committee on Assassinations.
BEFORE THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON ASSASSINATIONS UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
In the Matter of: Investigation of the assassination : of President john F. Kennedy, : Attorney General Robert Kennedy, : Lee Harvey Oswald, et al. :
DEPOSITION OF LEONARD PATRICK, a witness, produced, sworn, and examined on Friday, the 21st day of July, in the year of our Lord 1978, between the hours of 10:20 in the forenoon and 11:40 in the forenoon of that day,
in Room 1610, Everett McKinley Dirksen Building, 219 South Dearborn Street, chicago, Illinois.
APPEARANCES: JAMES E. MC DONALD
Senior Staff Counsel, Select Committee on Assassinations, United States House of Represeptatives, Washington, D.C.
ALDERSON REPORTING COMPANY, INC.
LEONARD PATRICK of lawful age, being produced, sworn, and examined on the part of the Committee, deposeth and saith:
Mr. MC DONALD: This is the deposition of Leonard Patrick being taken in the U.S. Courthouse, Chicago, Illinois, on Friday, July 21, 1978. My name is James McDonald, senior attorney with the Select Committee on Assassinations, House of Representatives, United States House of Representatives.
BY MR. MC DONALD:
Q. For the record, would you please state your name.
A. Leonard Patrick.
Q. And your address?
A. 2820 Jaralath.
Q. Is that where you are residing?
A. No. That is 7425 Belmont.
Q. Belmont in Chicago?
A. I use that for my mailing address. Anyone you want is all right, but that is where they come and I am around there.
Q. Both of these addresses are in Chicago, Illinois?
Q. Mr. Patrick, as you know, this proceeding is being transcribed by a court reporter. Pursuant to House Resolution 222 and Committee Rule 4, I have been designated as an attorney empowered to take statements under oath. You have just pre- viously been sworn by United States Magistrate Carl Sussman. Mr. Patrick, is the statement that you are about to give the Committee being given voluntarily?
A. Yes, it is.
Q. Are you under subpoena to be here today?
A. No, I don't think so.
Q. You do have the right to have an attorney present this morning if you so desire. Do you wish to have an attorney with you this morning?
A. No, I don't see why I should have an attorney.
Q. As I indicated, this proceeding is being transcribed and you will be given a copy of the record when it is in printed fashion. We will provide it to you so you can check it for grammatical and typographical errors. Prior to the commencement of this proceeding, I handed you a copy of the House Resolutions pertaining to the Select Committee on
A.ssassinations, namely, House Resolutions 222, 433 and 760. I also provided you with a copy of the rules of the Committee and I pointed out to you Committee Rule 4, which pertains to state- ments under oath by designated counsel. Mr. Patrick, did you, have an opportunity to review the materials that I have just mentioned?
A. I looked through it, yes.
Q. Did you understand what you read?
A. Yes, I did.
Q. O.K., thank you. Patrick, you mentioned or stated that you cur- rently reside in Chicago. How long have you been living in Chicago?
A. All my life.
Q. For purposes of identification, are you the same Leonard Patrick who was incarcerated at the Lexington Federal Correctional Institute?
A. I am.
Q. And you were just released when?
A. July 3rd.
A. I am still under the supervision of the Halfway House, yes.
Q. Mr. Patrick, as you know, you have been asked to come here this morning to talk to us, talk to the Committee, about Jack Ruby. Do you know Jack Ruby?
A. I knew him, sure.
Q. Are we speaking of the Jack Ruby who was convicted of shooting an individual by the name of Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas, Texas?
Q. I am going to be asking you some questions that pertain to Jack Ruby and your knowledge and association with him. Before we get into that, I would like to ask you some general questions about the Chicago scene in the years 1946 and 1947, specifically you were residing in Chicago during those years?
A. I was.
Q. Did you know Jack Ruby during that time?
A. I never was what you would call running around with him or anything like that. I knew of him. I knew him when he was a kid. He lived in the next block from me.
Q. I see. Let's just clear that up. How did you come to know Jack Ruby?
A. Well, I knew him from being in the neighborhood and everything. We used to hang around on the West Side.
Q. The West Side of Chicago?
A. Yes. I knew him, that's all. I just knew him. I hadn't seen him after that for I don't know how many years. I wasn't friendly with him. I knew him. I always thought he was a nice fellow.
Q. Was he older or younger than you?
A. Maybe a year less or more than me, I imagine.
A. A year or two, something like that, I imagine.
Q. Did you know any of his other brothers or sisters?
A. I didn't know the sister, I knew the brother.
Q. Which one ?
A. I think--
Q. (Interrupting) Earl ?
A. Earl was it?
Q. Well, he had a brother named Earl, a brother named Sam.
A. I knew one or two of them. I probably might have known them all, but I was never that friendly. I just knew them from around there. One of them had to do something with selling pots, pans, some stuff like that. When I see him, I would say hello like everyone else, you see.
Q. For clarification purposes, what is your birthday?
A. October 6, 1913.
Q. So it is your testimony, then, that you knew Jack Ruby as a young man growing up in the same neighborhood?
A. Yes, that's right.
Q. Did you associate with him or did you know of him during the war years, 1941 through 1945?
A. No, I never have associated with him. To tell you the truth, I don't even remember when I last seen him because it has been so long. I told them the same thing.
Q. You told who the same thing?
A. When they come over, the FBI, they asked the same questions, you know, what I think of him, do you think he would do this or that, I would say who am I to say, you know.
Q. Well, let me ask you this. Did you associate with him in the years 1945, 1946, 1947?
A. I never associated with him, definitely.
Q. Did you ever hear of him during those years when he would be in Chicago?
A. I don't think so. The only way I would see him was I would run into him in a restaurant or somewhere and that is how. I had nothing, no association with him whatever of any kind or anything, as far as that goes.
Q. Mr. Patrick, you are regarded as a person who would have knowledge of some of the, what we would describe as having knowledge of the criminal element during those years, 1946, 1947, you were known to have some associates who could be defined or categorized as being part of Chicago's "organized crime" scene during those years. Is that true?
A. Well, I knew them like I knew people who weren't, you know.
Q. I understand.
A. I can't tell you I didn't know them.
A. I knew everybody, when you come down to it. Not everybody, but, you know, like here in town.
Q. Well, from your knowledge of the organized crime scene in Chicago in 1946, 1947, did you know then that Jack Ruby was in any way affiliated or associated with any individuals who we would say would be part of the criminal element?
A. Well, you see, I was away from 1933 to 1940, you know.
Q. Yes. And where were you for those years?
A. I was in Michigan City, Indiana.
Q. That was for a bank robbery conviction?
A. Yes. I come out March 11, 1940.
Q. And that was a federal institution, federal penitentiary?
A. No, a state.
Q. A state institution, O.K. In 1946, 1947, did you have--was Jack Ruby a part of the, what we would call organized crime that you know of?
A. I will tell you the way it is. I don't think he ever was. I know he had something to do with it from what I hear. I don't know if he had it then. It was some kind of a union or something, iron or junk, something. I don't know if he was with anybody who was. I don't know. I think he was with a fellow by the name of Dorffman or somebody, the old man or something. Then, I think, from when I reflect, I think he wasn't there long. That is when he left, as far as I know, you know, to go away. I never seen much of him.
Q. When you say he left, what do you mean?
A. I think that is when he went to Texas, I don't know.
Q. To Dallas ?
A. Yes, that is all I know. 961
Q. Do you know if he went to Dallas as a part of any organized activity? In other words, that he was part of an organization that sent him to Dallas?
A. The way I see it, and you never know for sure, but I would say no. From what I could see, I would say no. I don't think so. You know you don't really know anything. I would say no.He just went there and opened a nightclub, I think.
Q. Did you ever visit Ruby in Dallas?
A. No. I have never been to Dallas.
Q. When did you--would you describe for us the extent of your contacts with jack Ruby as an adult? In other words, you said you knew him as a young man.
A. I never had no kind of a business or anything with him or any talk about anything. My partner knew him. He died about four or five years ago.
Q. And who was your partner?
A. Davey Yaris, He talked to him, too, you know. He knew him as a friend, too, more than I did. Do you understand ?
Q. Yaris, did he grow up in the same neighborhood with you?
A. Yaris was from the Northwest side, like Highland, 1200 North. That gives you an idea.
Q. You are saying that Yaris knew Ruby?
A. Well, he knew him. He knew him better. He used to go to fights years back before I come out. I really never seen much of him. Whenever I seen him, how are you, hello, you know, but I never had any kind of business or dealings with him, nothing.
Q. Is it your testimony, then, that you never went to Dallas?
A. No, definitely not.
Q. Did you ever see Ruby when he visited his family in Chicago ?
A. I don't recall. I haven't seen much of him. I told you this. If I did, I would tell you. There is nothing there. No, I never had nothing to do with him in any kind of business. If I seen him, hello, how are you, that's all. I never had nothing to do with him.
Q. O.K. You said that you heard that Ruby was active in an iron and junk union?
A. They have that. I don't know if it was in the 1940's or in the 1930's. In the 30's, I didn't pay no attention to it. It might have been part of the 40's too.
Q. In the 30's you were in the state penitentiary?
A. Yes, so I say. I was there seven years.
Q. So you have no direct firsthand knowledge of Ruby's activities during those years?
A. No. The only thing I know is what I seen in the paper. I never paid attention to this junk or whatever he was doing. It wasn't no concern of mine either way if he was making a living or what he was doing.
Q. O.K. Did you ever hear of an individual by the name of Leon Cooke? He was killed, he was murdered.
A. I heard the name. I don't know if I knew him or not. I don't think so. I might have met him somewheres, but I don't recall. I heard the name.
Q. He was killed. Let's not classify it as murder, but I know he was killed.
A. I recall seeing something, I am not sure, in the paper.
Q. O.K. You mentioned that Jack Ruby was friendly with Dave Yaris or knew him?
A. Yes, he knew him.
Q. And he knew him during the 1930's?
A. Well, I don't know if he knew him during the 1930's. I was away and I didn't meet Davey until 1944.
Q. I'm sorry.
A. I am just saying.
Q. I mispoke.
A. I ain't got nothing to tie him to him.
Q. Do you know how Ruby got to know Yaris ?
A. I don't really know. Maybe the fights. I don't even know, to tell you the truth. He just knew him, you know. I
A.LDERSON REPORTING COMPANY, INC. knew him. He went to the same school I did.
Q. Who did?
A. Ruby did. I think I did.
Q. What would be the last time you can remember that you ever had contact with Ruby?
A. What I can recollect, I could be wrong, but like I told them 12, 15 years ago--
Q. (Interrupting) That is when you were interviewed by the FBI?
A. Yes. I told them then that I hadn't seen the man, I could be wrong, but in maybe 10, 15 years. I never had nothing with him, I never had nothing at all.
Q. Did you ever hear of an individual by the name of "Zookie the bookie," Zookie Zuckerman?
A. He was on the West Side.
Q. He apparently was murdered?
Q. Do you know anything about that?
A. No, I don't know. He was around there for years. I was a kid, maybe 10 years old, maybe a little more. He had a place on--he's run it for years.
Q. Did you know, getting back to Jack Ruby, his family, did you really know Jack Ruby other than when you were in gramruer school with him?
A. I didn't go to school with him. I think he was, like I say, a little older than me. I know we went to the same school.
Q. Was that Shephard Grammar School?
A. Yes, a few blocks from where he lived and I lived. It was on San Francisco. He lived on Sacramento. I lived on Whimple, the next block from him.
Q. When did you first learn that Jack Ruby shot Oswald? When and how?
A. I think I was in Florida then. I had a motel on the golf course and I had the television on.
Q. Where abouts in Florida?
A. I don't know if that is when Kennedy got shot or he done it. I am not sure now. When did this happen, 1963?
A. It was either one, either Kennedy getting shot or him doing it, I am not sure now when it was. I was over at the golf course there. I was eating in the restaurant right there and they had a news flash and I was watching. I am not sure if that is when Kennedy got assassinated or when he shot Oswald.
Q. Did you know in the middle 194O's whether--the allegations were or are that during that time that you played a prominent role in the bookmaking operation in Chicago in a certain area of Chicago, the West Side.
A. No, I don't know.
Q. Let me say this. It is safe to say that you knew a lot about what was going on in the bookmaking area during those years ?
A. Yes, I knew. It's old. You know. I don't want no lawyers, you understand. I have got nothing to hide. I don't want to look observed in this.
Q. Sure. Let me ask you this. Going on your knowledge of that activity during those years, was Jack Ruby involved?
A. No, no, not in the bookmaking.
Q. You can say that with some authority?
A. Definitely. He had nothing to do with it. He had nothing to do around there, that I know.
Q. Did he ever attempt to get in on bookmaking activities ?
A. Not that I know. Not around there, anyhow.
Q. O.K. Did it ever come that Ruby was attempting to get in on some bookmaking activity and he was told by you and others that he could not get in on it and that he ought to leave town?
A. No, not me.
Q. How about someone else, do you have any idea?
A. No, I really don't, to tell you the truth. I don't recall. I know around there he didn't. If he did somewhere else, I don't know.
Q. You say "around there," what area are we talking about?
A. That is the West Side, 12th and Kenzie and Roosevelt, independence, all around there. It is a little strip maybe 10, 12 blocks. You have got Roosevelt, 16th Street. It was a whole big ward, you know.
Q. Do you know if Ruby knew Abe Zuckerman?
A. He might have known him just to say hello or something just from around there, everyone knew him.
Q. Did Zuckerman grow up in the same area as you?
A. Zookie was from the West Side, yes. They probably all played some time or other there.
Q. Do you know an individual by the name of Irwin Weiner?
A. I know Irwin Weiner, yes.
Q. How do you know him?
A. From the West Side, he is from there.
Q. He grew up there?
A. Yes, he grew up on the West Side.
Q. Did you maintain contact with him when you became an adult?
A. No, I never had nothing to do with him as far as any business or anything. I knew him. I run into him now, hello, how are you, glad to see you, all that, that's all. I never had no business with him, definitely not.
Q. Do you know if Ruby, Jack Ruby knew Irwin?
A. Chances are he did. I would say so. They were all neighbors. Everyone knew everyone.
Q. During the last four months leading up to the time when President Kennedy was assassinated, Jack Ruby was having some problems, he was having a dispute with a labor union known as the American Guild of Variety Artists, AGVA. Were you aware of that dispute?
A. No. I had nothing to do with it. My partner might have. I don't know if he talked with him or what he done, I didn't know nothing about it.
Q. Do you recall whether Jack Ruby ever telephoned you during 1963?
A. He had no reason to telephone me, not me. He might have talked to my partner, I don't know, I couldn't tell you.
Q. What kind of business were you and he in at that time?
A. Well, it was--1963, I don't remember then. It might have been a little action with the gambling on my part. It probably was then. That is about it. I can't think of nothing else. That is about all.
Q. Do you recall Jack Ruby telephoning you in those years?
A. I don't believe he ever telephoned me. He might have telephoned him. That is possible. He was closer to him than me. He used to he a little friendly with him. The only thing, whenever I would say hello, how are you, that's it. I had never had no business with him.
Q. Have you ever been to Cuba?
A. I was there once.
Q. When was that?
A. 1952, 1953, something like that. I was there one day.
Q. Where did you fly to, Havana?
A. I think so.
Q. From Miami?
Q. When was the last time you were in Miami?
A. Miami? The last time I was in Miami was three, four years ago, maybe about four.
Q. Do you know whether Jack Ruby ever went to Cuba?
A. I don't really know. He might have been there, but I don't really know. I had nothing with him. That is definitely.
Q. I asked you before, but let me do it again just to make sure we have it down on the record, when was the last time and under what circumstances did you meet with Jack Ruby?
A. I never had no meeting with him.
Q. You met him, had any business dealings.
A. I would say definitely not, never had no business with him at all. I just knew him when I wound run into him, hello, how are you. I was never that friendly with him. Hello. how are you, how is everybody. I don't think I would recognize his brother now. I haven't seen him in so many years. I definitely had no business with him at no time.
Q. Mr. Patrick, I am finished with your questions. I think it is safe to assume this is probably going to be the last time that anyone is ever going to ask you a question about Jack Ruby. So at this time I am giving you the opportunity to add anything.
A. The only thing I can say, when I seen him do that, I was surprised as hell. My own way of thinking, I would say that he had nothing to do with anything, as far as I knew the guy, and every- body would tell you the same thing that knew him, I think he just done that there on the spur of the moment and wanted to be a hero or something. I don't know what he wanted to be, but I think he had no business doing what he done, we know that. I was shocked to see him do it. I said what the hell is this business. There is always a doubt why he done it, what was he doing there, we know there is always a doubt. As far as me, I would say definitely, as far as I know, I would say I don't think he had anything to do with anything. That is my way of thinking. Knowing him, he never was a man that was vicious anyhow as far as a muscle man, whatever you call it.
Q. How do you know that?
A. Well, you really don't know. He liked to fight and every- thing, but I don't think that he was ever, as far as I know, well, you never really know anything as far as that goes, I've never been around him that much.
Q. When did you observe him fighting? I assume you mean prize fighting.
A. He used to go to fights. We used to have fights there.
Q. When was this ?
A. Well, in the '40's there were fights at the Miracle Gardens, I am pretty sure. When I came out, I used to go on Monday night. He probably was there. I think he was there. Everybody used to go there. That had that open air or whatever it was on Broadway and some street there in Chicago.
Q. When you first learned that Jack Ruby had shot Lee Harvey Oswald, did you know, did you recognize, did you know who the Jack Ruby was?
A. Yes, yes. Everyone knew that, everybody. He knew everybody around, as far as that goes. He was well liked by everybody. He never was, as far as I could see, he never was a fellow to go around and be a bully or want to be a tough guy, as far as I know. Like I say, I haven't seen much of him ever the years.
Q. Other than to say hello, your testimony is that you knew him as a kid, you spent seven years in a Michigan jail, you came out and saw him during the early 1940's.
A. I might have, I am not sure of that.
Q. We know he moved to Dallas in 1946, 1947, did you have any conversation with him other than to say hello?
A. I might have run into him a time or two in the restaurant or somewhere but I never had no meeting with him to go eat or anything like that. Nothing personal with him, nothing at all. I can say that definitely, never had no business with him. What my partner had, he was friendly with him, maybe he talked to him on the phone. I don't know. I myself never had nothing with him.
Q. You do know, then, that your partner, dave Yaris, knew him?
A. Oh, he knew him. he was mor friendly than I was with him, as far as that goes.
Q. When you say your partner, how were you and Dave Yaris Partners?
A. Well, we were in businesses way back and way back we had a tavern or something.
Q. Would it be accurate to say you were partners both in, as you say, a tavern, a legitimate business, and illegitimate at the same time?
A. Yes, something like that.
Q. You say Dave knew Jack better than you?
A. He was more friendly with him, as far as that goes, sure. I knew him, but I never had nothing personal with him.
Q. Do you know whether Dave Yaris saw him during the years leading up to 1963 when Jack was living and working in Dallas?
A. I couldn't really tell you, to tell you the truth. I don't know if he seen him or ever went down there or not. I don't really know. I couldn't say for sure, but as far as I can recall. You know, he lived his life, I lived mine. He went here and there. When I went away, I went to Florida, California, Arizona a few times. I never run around the country. I had no reason to. I didn't care about it. He used to go here and there. Everyone is different. Mr. McDONALD: Well, I have no further questions. THE WITNESS: What I told you is the way it was. You are not going to catch me in nothing because there is nothing to hide. I never was in Dallas. I never was personal with any kind of business. As far as I know, I am positive that he never called me. That is all I can say. Mr. McDONALD: One last question. By Mr. McDONALD:
Q. Through your contacts and knowledge of different people, have you ever heard any scuttlebut, gossip, over the years that somehow Jack Ruby, that the Oswald killing was what we would call a mob hit? You are shaking your head no?
A. I would say so. They wouldn't have nothing to do with nothing like there. Definitely not.
Q. And why do you say that?
A. I don't know. They wouldn't stick their nose out like that. What are they going to get?
Q. What about the assassination of President Kennedy? Was the mob ever, in your opinion--
A. (Interrupting) In my opinion, I don't think they are crazy. I know I wouldn't. I wouldn't have nothing to do with nothing like that or any public official or anybody. It is silly. They know that. They wouldn't do that. They would have no reason to do that there, as far as I know. You know, you never know anything. If they were, they weren't going to tell me nothing. I would say definitely not.
Q. Say, using a hypothetical, if they did, do you think that, using the term loosely, the mob could keep that kind of hit a secret all these years without someone talking, without someone bragging about it?
A. I would say they definitely had nothing to do with that.
Q. I understand that, but if they did, assuming that they did, do you think they could keep it a secret this long without somebody talking, without someone bragging to somebody, some girlfriend?
A. You never know. I would say difinitely they would not do nothing like that. Him, knowing him the way he is, which you never really know, I would say there was nothing with him and Oswald or anybody. There will always be a doubt because he killed the guy that could have really told you something. You know that. That's the whole thing. Knowing him, when I seen that, I said this guy was crazy or something, unless someone edged him on up there, I don't know.
MR. MC DONALD: O.K., Mr. Patrick.
THE WITNESS: Thank you. I didn't need no lawyer because I was going to tell you the way it was. I have nothing to hide.
MR. MC DONALD: Well, you have done that.
THE WITNESS: I don't need no lawyer. I don't want to see no more lawyer.
MR. MC DONALD: I can understand that. With that, this deposition is concluded. Thank you very much.
United States of America,
City of Chicago,( ss. State of Illinois.)
I, Carl B. Sussman, Magistrate Judge, United States District Court, do certify that, pursuant to notice, there came before me, in Room 1610, Everett McKinley Dirksen Building, 219 South Dearborn street, Chicago, Illinois, Leonard Patrick, who was by me duly sworn to testify the whole truth of his knowledge touching the matter in investigation aforesaid, that he was examined and his examination at the time reduced to direct recording by Patrick Deveney and that such examination has been correctly transcribed and is fully and accurately set forth in the 23 preceding pages; that the deposition is a true record of the testimony given by the witness; that said deposition was taken on the day, between the hours and at the place in that behalf aforesaid. I do further certify that I am not counsel, attorney, or relative of either party, or clerk or stenographer of either party or of the attorney of either party, or otherwise interested in the event of this matter.
IN WITNESS WHEREAS I have hereunto set my hand this ___________ day of ________________1978. ________________
Magistrate Judge C E R T I F I C A T E I, Patrick Deveney, so hereby certify that the procedings set forth in the deposition of Leonard Patrick in the 23 preceding pages took place on the date as first hereinbefore set forth, in Chicago, Illinois, and that this is a full and correct transcript of my recorded notes taken of said deposition. ____________________