Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Texas Attorney-General's Office:

An Inventory of Attorney General's Office John F. Kennedy Assassination Investigation Files at the Texas State Archives, 1938, 1947-1961, 1963-1965, undated, bulk 1963-1964



Overview

Creator: Texas. Attorney-General's Office.
Title: Attorney General's Office John F. Kennedy assassination investigation files
Dates: 1938, 1947-1961, 1963-1965, undated
Dates: bulk 1963-1964
Abstract: The Attorney General is the lawyer for the people of Texas and is charged by the Texas Constitution to: defend the laws and the Constitution of the State of Texas, represent the State in litigation, and approve public bond issues. In some circumstances, the Attorney General has original jurisdiction to prosecute violations of state laws, but in most cases, criminal prosecutions are initiated only upon the request of a local prosecutor. These investigation files were compiled by the Texas Attorney General's Office after the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy and the wounding of Texas Governor John Connally. Records include reports, statements and affidavits of witnesses, transcripts of Dallas Police radio transmissions, log of telephone calls, maps, property inventories, personnel files, psychiatric examinations, arrest records, paraffin and ballistics test information, officer assignments, pro-Communist literature, notes, memoranda, correspondence, deposition summaries, newspaper clippings, newsletters, magazine articles, press conference records, photographs, graph floorplans, and other materials, dating 1938, 1947-1961, 1963-1965, undated, bulk 1963-1964.
Quantity: 10.50 cubic ft., plus 3 cubic ft. of duplicates.
Language: These materials are written predominately in English, with copies of a newspaper article in German, accompanied by its English-language translation.
Repository: Texas State Archives

Agency History

The Attorney General is the lawyer for the people of Texas and is charged by the Texas Constitution to: defend the laws and the Constitution of the State of Texas, represent the State in litigation, and approve public bond issues. To fulfill these responsibilities, the Office of the Attorney General serves as legal counsel to all boards and agencies of state government, issues legal opinions when requested by the Governor, heads of state agencies and other officials and agencies as provided by Texas statutes, sits as an ex-officio member of state committees and commissions, and defends challenges to state laws and suits against both state agencies and individual employees of the State.

The Office of the Attorney General has taken on numerous other roles through the years. Texas statutes contain nearly 2000 references to the Attorney General. In addition to its constitutionally prescribed duties, the Office of the Attorney General files civil suits upon referral by other state agencies. In some circumstances, the Attorney General has original jurisdiction to prosecute violations of the law, but in most cases, criminal prosecutions by the Attorney General are initiated only upon the request of a local prosecutor. Although the Attorney General is prohibited from offering legal advice or representing private individuals, he serves and protects the rights of all citizens of Texas through the activities of the various divisions of the agencies.

The office of the attorney general was created by an executive ordinance passed by the 1836 Constitutional Convention of the Republic of Texas. Successors were presidential appointees by act of the First Congress, October 6, 1836. The practice of executive appointment continued during the first years of statehood, but in 1850 the office became elective. The position now exists under authority of Article IV, Sections 1 and 22 of the Constitution of 1876 and Texas Government Code, Chapter 402. In 1972, the term of office was extended from two to four years, effective in 1975.

During the nineteenth century, the attorney general provided legal advice to all upon request; requests are now limited to officials and agencies of state and local government. Opinions of the attorney general are not binding upon the judiciary, although they are persuasive to the courts. Moreover, problems which are the subject of official opinions are not often litigated, and such opinions stand as the highest available interpretation of the current law.

(Sources include: Guide to Texas State Agencies, 11th ed. (2001); Texas Constitution, Article IV; and Archives survey files.)


Scope and Contents of the Records

The Attorney General is the lawyer for the people of Texas and is charged by the Texas Constitution to: defend the laws and the Constitution of the State of Texas, represent the State in litigation, and approve public bond issues. In some circumstances, the Attorney General has original jurisdiction to prosecute violations of state laws, but in most cases, criminal prosecutions are initiated only upon the request of a local prosecutor. Because of the nature of the crime, the Attorney General's Office investigated the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy and wounding of Governor John Connally. The bulk of the records consists of volumes of evidence gathered during the Attorney General's investigation of the assassination of Kennedy on November 22, 1963, used in preparing a supplemental report for Governor Connally. A significant portion consists of Dallas Police Department reports ranging from photographs of the Dallas identification line-up and an internal investigation of its own operational security, methods and personnel involving Oswald's subsequent murder while in police custody to investigations of suspected associates of Lee Harvey Oswald. A smaller portion consists of the report of Dallas County Sherriff Bill Decker on his department's part in the security operations involving the President, while volume six contains a verbatim transcript of the Dallas Police Department's radio transmissions from 10:00 a.m. on November 22, 1963 through the assassination of the President, the shooting of Officer J.D. Tippit, the arrest of Oswald and the departure of Air Force One. In addition, the records include materials created and gathered by Texas Attorney General Waggoner Carr while attending hearings of the President's Commission, also known as the Warren Commission. Records include reports, statements and affidavits of witnesses, log of telephone calls, maps, property inventories, personnel files, psychiatric examinations, arrest records, paraffin and ballistics test information, officer assignments, pro-Communist literature, notes, memoranda, correspondence, deposition summaries, newspaper clippings, newsletters, magazine articles, press conference records, photographs, graph floorplans, and other materials, dating 1938, 1947-1961, 1963-1965, undated, bulk 1963-1964.

Subjects include governmental investigations into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and wounding of Governor John Connally; the shooting of Officer J.D. Tippit and the arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald; the attempted assassination of General Edwin Walker; the interrogation, transfer, and assassination of Oswald; the arrest and interrogation of Jack Rubenstein, a.k.a. Jack Ruby; interrogation of acquaintances, relatives, and business associates of Oswald and Ruby; biographical data on Oswald, Ruby, Tippit, and others. There are duplicate copies of the evidence volumes and other materials.

To prepare this inventory, the described materials were cursorily reviewed to delineate series, to confirm the accuracy of contents lists, to provide an estimate of dates covered, and to determine record types.


 

Organization of the Records

The records are organized into three groups within the same series as received from the agency:
Volumes of evidence
65-1658: Court of Inquiry: Investigation of Assassination of President John F. Kennedy & Investigation of Lee Harvey Oswald
Correspondence and other material

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

The Attorney General's office confirmed the volumes of evidence were open to the public in a letter to the Dallas Police Department dated July 2, 1975. The remaining materials were reviewed by the Attorney General's Office for potential exceptions and cleared for release on July 11, 2008.

Materials do not circulate, but may be used in the State Archives search room. Materials will be retrieved from and returned to storage areas by staff members.

Restrictions on Use

Most records created by Texas state agencies are not copyrighted. State records also include materials received by, not created by, state agencies. Copyright remains with the creator. The researcher is responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).

Boxes 2-10/614 thru 619, and Boxes 1989/041-238a and 238b contain duplicate volumes. Use Boxes 2-10/611a thru 613b, and 1989/041-234 thru 237b.

Technical Requirements

Cotton gloves provided by the State Archives must be worn to view photographs.


Index Terms

The terms listed here were used to catalog the records. The terms can be used to find similar or related records.
Personal Names:
Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963--Assassination.
Connally, John Bowden, 1917-1993.
Oswald, Lee Harvey.
Ruby, Jack.
Tippit, J. D.
Carr, Waggoner.
Walker, Edwin A. (Edwin Anderson), 1909-1993.
Corporate Names:
Texas. Governor (1963-1969 : Connally)
United States. Warren Commission.
Subjects:
Attorneys general--Texas.
Governmental investigations--Texas.
Places:
Dallas (Tex.)
Document Types:
Reports--Texas--Assassination--1963-1964.
Affidavits--Texas--Assassination--1963-1964.
Photographs--Texas--Assassination--1963-1964.
Inventories--Texas--Assassination--1963-1964.
Maps--Texas--Assassination--1963-1964.
Clippings--Texas--Assassination--1963-1964.
Notes--Texas--Assassination--1963-1964.
Transcripts--Texas--Assassination--1963-1964.
Correspondence--Texas--Assassination--1963-1964.
Functions:
Investigating.

Related Material

The following materials are offered as possible sources of further information on the agencies and subjects covered by the records. The listing is not exhaustive.

Texas State Archives
Artifact Collection, Governor John Connally clothing worn during Dallas motorcade visit of President John F. Kennedy, November 22, 1963, 4 items [There is no finding aid for this collection.]
Texas Supreme Court, State Bar vs. Melvin Belli records, 1964, fractional
Texas Supreme Court case files A1-A11829, 1944-1966, 1923 cubic ft. (See A10081 for State Bar vs. Melvin Belli)
Texas Court of Criminal Appeals centralized court case files: #37,900 and #39,613 (Jack Ruby appeals, 1966, 3.47 cubic ft.) [The Statement of Facts for #37,900 (1,869 pages) is available on request in PDF format.]
John F. Kennedy Memorial Commission minutes and transcript, 1970-1971, fractional [There is no finding aid for this unprocessed collection. Call numbers are 1998/241 and 2008/124.]
Governor John Connally letter re: Jack Ruby, March 1, 1964, fractional [There is no finding aid for this unprocessed collection. Call number is 2012/104.]
Photographs of Governor John Connally's clothing, fractional [There is no finding aid for this unprocessed collection. Call number is 1999/165.]
Texas Department of Public Safety records, Criminal Law Enforcement Division investigation files, 1934-1990, 19 cubic ft.
Texas State Archives: Manuscript Collections
Jack Ruby scrapbook, 1963-1964, 4 inches [There is no finding aid available for this unprocessed collection. Call number is 2-22/970.]
John F. Kennedy assassination scrapbook collection, 1963-1964, 2.58 cubic ft.
Kennedy (John F.) Assassination: UPI dispatch concerning, 1963, 1 item [There is no finding aid available for this unprocessed collection. Call number is 2-22/976.]
Kennedy-Johnson welcome dinner tickets, 1963, 5 items [There is no finding aid available for this unprocessed collection. Call number is 2-22/744.]
Osburn (Mary McMillan) collection, 1833, 1849-1865, 1884, 1963, 6.75 inches [There is no finding aid available for this unprocessed collection. Call number for the newspapers and magazines is 2-23/918.]
Kennedy (John F.) Memorial Packet, 1963, 3 items [There is no finding aid available for this unprocessed collection. Call number is 2-23/919.]
Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas
Waggoner Carr Papers, 1945-1985 and undated, 48 linear ft.
Publications
Texas. Attorney-General's Office. Texas supplemental report on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the serious wounding of Governor John B. Connally, November 22, 1963, Austin, Tex.: Attorney General, 1964.
United States. National Archives and Records Administration. Report of the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office, 1964.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

(Identify the item), Texas Attorney General's Office John F. Kennedy assassination investigation files. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Accession Information

Accession numbers: 1964/030, 1964/049, 1966/067, 1989/041, 1991/115

These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the Attorney General's Office on October 21, 1964; November 13, 1964; December 15, 1966; and February 6, 1967; by the Staff Services Division of the Attorney General's Office on November 28, 1988; and by the Records Administrator of the Attorney General's Office on March 27, 1991.

Processing Information

Inventory of first accessions prepared by Archives staff, April 1974

New accessions added by Tony Black, April 1992

DACS-compliant finding aid and XML markup completed by Tonia J. Wood, March 2013

Rehousing and revised finding aid by Aditi Worcester, September 2013


Detailed Description of the Records

 

Attorney General's Office John F. Kennedy assassination investigation files, 1938, 1947-1961, 1963-1965, undated, bulk 1963-1964,
10.50 cubic ft.

Volumes of evidence
Box
2-10/611a Volume 1: Photographs of persons appearing with Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas Police Department identification "line-up," 1964
Volume 2: Lee Harvey Oswald, 1947-1951, 1956, 1963-1964
[Folder includes Dallas Police reports concerning the investigations of suspected associates of Lee Harvey Oswald and witnesses to Oswald's actions; report on Mrs. Marina Oswald's residence after the arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald; reports on actions of Oswald prior to November 22, 1963; names of Texas School Book Depository employees, and Oswald's school records.]
Volume 3: Investigation of the operational security involving the transfer of Lee Harvey Oswald, November 24, 1963
[3 folders]
[Folder includes a summary of Oswald's interrogation by Captain of Police, O.A. Jones; report of the investigation team appointed by Dallas Chief of Police J.E. Curry to report on procedures during the attempted transfer of Oswald; and a diagram of the basement area of the police department.]
Volume 4: Kennedy assassination investigation by J.E. Bill Decker, Sheriff, Dallas County, 1963-1964
[Folder includes crime sheet complaints; notarized statements of witnesses to the assassination; and Sheriff's department officer reports on their activities on November 22, 1963.]
Box
2-10/611b Volume 5: Investigation of the assassination of the president, 1963-1964
[4 folders]
[Folder includes information compiled by the homicide and robbery bureau of the Dallas Police Department, reports of witnesses to the assassination and employees of the Texas School Book depository; arrest and killing of Oswald; arrest of Jack Ruby; and index containing additional police material pertinent to the investigation.]
Volume 6: Transcript of Dallas Police radio transmissions, 1963
[2 folders]
[Folder includes transcript of pertinent transmissions prior to the arrival of the President's airplane; progress of the motorcade; the shooting; the escort to Parkland Hospital; events concerning the shooting of officer J.D. Tippit; arrest of Oswald; and departure of Air Force One.]
Volume 7: Evidence, 1963, undated
[Folder includes personal photographs of Lee Harvey Oswald and his family.]
Box
2-10/612 Volume 8: Photographs, Trade Mart aerial view and floor plans, undated
Volume 9: Photographs, Edwin Walker, Edwin A. Walker file (Dallas Police Department), 1963-1964, undated
[Folder includes copies of correspondence concerning the Walker investigation; complaint reports; investigation of Mrs. Marina Oswald; and pictures of General Walker's house and alley from where the shots were fired.]
Volume 10: Marguerite C. Oswald v. King Candy Company, (Industrial Accident Board), 1959
Volume 11: Photographs, Aerial view of downtown and Oak Cliff sections of Dallas showing Oswald's known and probable routes, undated
Volume 12: Officer J.D. Tippit, 1952-1963
Volume 13: Dallas Police reports, 1959, 1963-1964
[2 folders]
[Folder includes Oswald's Dallas Police Department telephone record; affidavit of officers who handled Oswald's telephone record and had any contact with him; a listing of property found in Jack Ruby's car at the time of his arrest; Dallas Police Department laboratory reports including the nitrate test on Oswald's paraffin casts; copies of Oswald's literature on Cuba; New Orleans Police Department arrest records and photocopies of photographs of Oswald and his associates; list of officer assignments; reports on activities of Chief of Police, J.E. Curry; and supplementary investigations regarding possible connections between Ruby and Oswald.]
Box
2-10/613a Volume 14: Dallas Police, 1950, 1954, 1957-1958, 1961, 1963-1964, undated
[4 folders]
[Folder includes copies of investigation of individuals.]
Volume 15: Photographs, exterior and interior of Texas Depository building reconstruction, 1963
Box
2-10/613b Volume 16: Photographs, Oswald shooting in basement, 1963
Volume 17: Photographs, Oswald's property, undated
Volume 18: Photographs, J.D. Tippit area of shooting and location Oswald was arrested, 1963
Volume 19: Photographs, City Hall basement, 1963
Volume 20: Mrs. Marguerite C. Oswald v. Liberty Insurance Company of Texas, final judgment, 1959
Texas Supplemental Report on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the serious wounding of Governor John B. Connally, November 22, 1963, 1964
Box
PP0119 [Note: Box contains duplicate photographs removed from evidence volumes in Boxes 2-10/611a thru 613b.]
Volume 1: Photographs of persons appearing with Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas Police Department identification "line-up," 1964
Volume 7: Evidence, 1963, undated
Volume 8: Photographs, Trade Mart aerial view and floor plans, undated
Volume 9: Photographs, Edwin Walker, Edwin A. Walker file (Dallas Police Department), 1963-1964, undated
Volume 11: Photographs, Aerial view of downtown and Oak Cliff sections of Dallas showing Oswald's known and probable routes, undated
Volume 15: Photographs, exterior and interior of Texas Depository building reconstruction, 1963
Volume 16: Photographs, Oswald shooting in basement, 1963
Volume 17: Photographs, Oswald's property, undated
Volume 18: Photographs, J.D. Tippit area of shooting and location Oswald was arrested, 1963
Volume 19: Photographs, City Hall basement, 1963
65-1658: Court of Inquiry: Investigation of Assassination of President John F. Kennedy and Investigation of Lee Harvey Oswald
Box
1989/041-234 President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, Dallas depositions, 1964
[3 folders]
[Folders include notes taken by Attorney General of Texas, Waggoner Carr, when present for meetings of the commission, as well as related memoranda.]
Court of inquiry news clippings, 1963-1965
[4 folders]
Box
1989/041-235 File containing news clippings, 1964-1965
[3 folders]
Printed material concerning Marxmanship and Communist link to Oswald, 1963-1964, undated
Photographs: City Hall basement (Lee Harvey Oswald), 1963
[Folder includes photocopies of photographs. Original photographs can be found in Photo 1964/030.]
Texas supplemental report on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the serious wounding of Governor John B. Connally, November 22, 1963, 1964
Photographs: Persons appearing with Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas Police Department Identification "Line-up," 1964
[Folder includes photocopies of photographs. Original photographs can be found in Box 2-10/611a.]
Photographs: J.D. Tippit area of shooting and location Oswald arrested, 1963
[Folder includes photocopies of photographs. Original photographs can be found in Photo 1964/030.]
Photographs: Exterior and interior of Texas Depository Building reconstruction, 1963
[Folder includes photocopies of photographs. Original photographs can be found in Box 2-10/613a.]
Evidence, undated
[Folder includes personal photographs of Lee Harvey Oswald and his family.]
Photographs: Oswald's property, undated
[Folder includes photocopies of photographs. Original photographs can be found in Photo 1964/030.]
Photographs: Oswald shooting in basement, 1963
[Folder includes photocopies of photographs. Original photographs can be found in Box 2-10/613b.]
Photographs: Aerial view of downtown and Oak Cliff sections of Dallas showing Oswald's known and probable routes, undated
[Folder includes photocopies of photographs. Original photographs can be found in Box 2-10/612.]
Investigation of the operational security involving the transfer of Lee Harvey Oswald, November 24, 1963
[3 folders]
[Folder includes a summary of Oswald's interrogation by Captain of Police, O.A. Jones; report of the investigation team appointed by Dallas Chief of Police J.E. Curry to report on procedures during the attempted transfer of Oswald; and a diagram of the basement area of the police department.]
Photographs: Edwin Walker, Edwin A. Walker file (Dallas Police Department), 1963-1964, undated
[Folder includes copies of correspondence concerning the Walker investigation; complaint reports; investigation of Mrs. Marina Oswald; and photocopies of photographs of General Walker's house and alley from where the shots were fired.]
Box
1989/041-236a Texas Supplemental Report: correspondence file, 1963-1964
Officer J.D. Tippit, 1952-1963
Dallas Police report, 1959, 1963-1964
[2 folders]
[Folder includes Oswald's Dallas Police Department telephone record; affidavit of officers who handled Oswald's telephone record and had any contact with him; a listing of property found in Jack Ruby's car at the time of his arrest; Dallas Police Department laboratory reports including the nitrate test on Oswald's paraffin casts; copies of Oswald's literature on Cuba; New Orleans Police Department arrest records and photocopies of photographs of Oswald and his associates; list of officer assignments; reports on activities of Chief of Police J.E. Curry; and supplementary investigations regarding possible connections between Ruby and Oswald.]
Dallas Police, 1950, 1954, 1957-1958, 1961, 1963-1964, undated
[4 folders]
[Folder includes copies of investigation of individuals.]
Mrs. Marguerite C. Oswald v. Liberty Insurance Company of Texas, final judgment, 1959
Marguerite C. Oswald v. King Candy Company (Industrial Accident Board), 1959
Box
1989/041-236b Kennedy, John Fitzgerald: assassination (November 22, 1963) investigation by J.E. Bill Decker, Sheriff (Dallas County), 1963
[Folder includes crime sheet complaints; notarized statements of witnesses to the assassination; and Sheriff's Department officer reports on their activities on November 22, 1963.]
Transcript of Dallas Police radio transmissions, 1963
[2 folders]
[Folder includes transcript of pertinent transmissions prior to the arrival of the President's airplane; progress of the motorcade; the shooting; the escort to Parkland Hospital; events concerning the shooting of officer J.D. Tippit; arrest of Oswald; and departure of Air Force One.]
Lee Harvey Oswald, 1947-1951, 1956, 1963-1964
[Folder includes Dallas Police reports concerning the investigations of suspected associates of Lee Harvey Oswald and/or witnesses to Oswald's actions; report on Mrs. Marina Oswald's residence after the arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald; reports on actions of Oswald prior to November 22; names of Texas School Book Depository employees, and Oswald school records.]
Investigation of the assassination of the president, 1963-1964
[4 folders]
[Folder includes information compiled by the homicide and robbery bureau of the Dallas Police Department, reports of witnesses to the assassination and employees of the Texas School Book depository; arrest and killing of Oswald; arrest of Jack Ruby; and index containing additional police material pertinent to the investigation.]
Box
Oversize Box 40 Fortune magazine, July 1964
Box
1989/041-237a Court of Inquiry requests for final report, 1964
Miscellaneous correspondence and notes significant to Court of Inquiry, 1963-1964, undated
General correspondence, Court of Inquiry, 1963-1965
[2 folders]
Newspaper articles and published material, 1964
Texas summary report (Court of Inquiry), 1964-1965
Investigation of the assassination of the president, 1963-1964
Box
1989/041-237b Memorandum of testimony and schedule of witnesses, 1964, undated
[2 folders]
Correspondence, reports, and other material, 1963-1965, undated
[3 folders]
[Folders contain summaries of transcripts of testimonies made to the Warren Commission, as well as brief summaries of testimonies made in the depositions of 288 witnesses.]
Martin Dies, Sr., Court of Inquiry, 1938, 1963-1964
Robert G. Storey, President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, 1963-1964, undated
Leon Jaworski, President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, 1964
General Lee Rankin, 1964-1965
Chief Justice Earl Warren, 1964
Paul V. Carroll, El Paso, Texas, 1964
Correspondence and other material
Box
1991/115-57 JFK assassination material correspondence and miscellaneous, 1960, 1963-1964
[originally unfoldered; 4 folders]
Inside the Ruby Trial: collector's edition, 1964
Aerial photo of City of Dallas showing Oswald's routes, 1963
[Folder includes photocopies of photographs. Original photographs can be found in Box 2-10/612.]
Photos made by Dallas Police Department, lineup, May 1964
[Folder includes photocopies of photographs. Original photographs can be found in Box 2-10/611a.]
Newspaper clippings, November 26, 1963-June 28, 1964
[4 folders]
Box
1991/115-58 Dallas Police Department materials, 1959, 1963-1964, undated:
Homicide report, 1963
Chief Curry's report, 1963
Information on Oswald, etc., 1959, 1963
Map, undated
Personnel assigned to handle security for president's visit, 1963
Additional reports, 1964
Kennedy shooting, undated
Envelopes and carbon copies of letters in correspondence exhibit file and material not included in printed and released, 1963-1964
Attorney General files and correspondence pertaining to the federal investigation, 1963-1964
[4 folders]
[Folders include incoming and outgoing correspondence from the office of Attorney General Waggoner Carr, newspaper clippings, schedules of witnesses to appear before the President's Commission, and transcripts of speeches and press conferences.]