Vincent Drain
Special Agent, FBI

      “We had no indication that Oswald was dangerous…I didn't consider him a threat then, and it was my responsibility to notify the Secret Service of any potential problems. I would have gotten the information from Hosty's supervisor but didn't and, of course, that's part of history…

      Vincent Drain attended what is now the University of North Texas in Denton then took civilian pilot training for the Air Corps. After being washed out due to imperfect vision, Drain taught school and coached football prior to his joining the FBI in 1941.


    The last time I had seen the President was when I sat with the Rayburn family at the funeral of Sam Rayburn in 1961. I was with the President at the church, at the cemetery, and then at the Rayburn home before he left for the West Coast.
    On November 22nd, 1963, I'd gone down to get a sandwich for lunch and had returned to my office at 1114 Commerce Street after the parade passed to continue doing dictation. As was the usual manner, we monitored the police radio. From that it was flashed that the President had been shot and that they were en route to Parkland Hospital. I knew where they were taking him because I had been privileged to sit in on some meetings with the Secret Service the previous four or five days in the event that either he or the Vice-President were shot. Quickly, I took my car and went to the basement and arrived there maybe ten minutes after the President had arrived. The Secret Service had sealed off the area making it somewhat difficult to get in unless you had some assistance. Knowing the personnel at Parkland, particularly the security chief and the doctors, I was fortunate to have run into the security chief and a doctor, so I was able to go directly into the trauma room without any problem.
    When I arrived in the trauma room, the doctors were working with President Kennedy. They were trying to do what they could to stop the gurgling sound he was making by performing a tracheotomy on him. Despite the fact, as I later learned, that he was dead, his reflexes were still working.
    I wasn't up close to the body, but I could see fairly well the large amount of blood from the head wound. The head was badly damaged from the lower right base across the top extending across the top of the ear. It appeared to me as though the bullet traveled upward and had taken off the right portion of his skull. It may have been the security officer or one of the other officers who gave me a portion of the skull which was about the size of a teacup, much larger than a silver dollar. [Note from Larry Sneed: This skull fragment sounds very much like the fragment discovered by motorcycle patrolman Bobby Joe Dale. See Dale narrative, page 136.] Apparently the explosion had jerked it because the hair was still on it. I carried that back to Washington later that night and turned it over to the FBI laboratory.
    Apparently a problem developed at the hospital when a fellow arrived without knowing exactly where he was. He was in a restricted area and had gone through the swinging doors when he was confronted by the Secret Service. They then grabbed him and removed him from the building. I didn't know what was going on at the time because I was already in the trauma room where the President was. At the time, I was able to talk to the doctors the minute I got there. One of them told me that the President was dead and that it was just a matter of time to make the announcement. Maybe I'm assuming something here, but as I recall, a Catholic priest had been sent for, and I was under the impression, or someone told me, that he hadn't been pronounced dead because they wanted to give him the last rites before and after death. At that time, I believe there were three Secret Service agents, Mrs. Kennedy, and later the priest who were in the trauma room. I left as the priest was administering the last rites.
    I was then busy trying to communicate with my office which was difficult because the White House Press Corps had gotten there and was tying up the telephones. Somehow I managed to talk to my office, and they talked to the Director of the FBI in Washington, who, in turn, called the attorney general at his home.
    After I learned that he was dead, I proceeded to leave the area and went outside where I talked with Senator Ralph Yarborough and two friends of mine: Congressmen Jim Wright and Ray Roberts. I'd called the office for some walkie-talkies since I thought that we'd be unable to use the telephone, so as I waited, I talked with them.
    It became apparent that they were getting ready to pack the President for transfer to Washington, so I began to leave because in Texas, when a person was shot like that, back then the justice of the peace had jurisdiction and normally there would be an autopsy. But in this case, the Secret Service said there wasn't going to be any autopsy. As a result, it was a Mexican standoff at the hospital. Finally the Secret Service prevailed and the body was taken to the airplane where later President Johnson was sworn in. I then followed them in my car.
    Johnson hadn't been sworn in yet when I arrived at Love Field. Twenty or twenty-two seats had been taken out of Air Force One to make room for President Kennedy's body for the flight back to Washington. Many people were there, all of them trying to get the best vantage point including reporters and cameramen.
    I went to the steps of the plane and no further because it was too crowded inside, and they needed all the area there as they were waiting on the federal judge to arrive to swear in Vice-President Johnson which occurred shortly thereafter. When the body arrived, they had to take the coffin with the end up, straight up, to get it into the plane, which is really a difficult thing to do. Finally, when that was accomplished and Mrs. Kennedy and the Kennedy aides had boarded joining President Johnson and his aides, they took off for Washington.
    A rather unusual thing developed there: They had trouble locating the lady who was a federal judge to get out there to swear in Johnson; secondly, they had trouble finding the Bible. It is my understanding that they ended up swearing him in with Jackie Kennedy's prayer book.
    All this occurred in, I'd say, a matter of 45 minutes. I just stayed long enough to watch it taxi down the runway and take off then returned to the Dallas Police Department because one of my duties was liaison with all the local departments which included the district attorney, the chief of police, and the local head of the Secret Service.
    At the police department, I was with Henry Wade, the district attorney, and the chief of police during the rest of the afternoon. There it was a three-ring circus because the White House Press Corps was there and, if you've ever dealt with them, you've really got something to deal with.
    Later that evening Oswald attended a so-called press conference. The reason that he was brought for the show-up down in the basement was really more for the purpose of demonstrating to the press that the allegations that the police had beaten Oswald were untrue. I first knew about it when the District Attorney Henry Wade and I were talking to the Chief of Police, Jesse Curry, and Curry said, "Let's go down to the show-up." So Wade, Curry, and I walked down to the basement where it was being held and stood partially in the doorway. The press was already there including Jack Ruby, who was sitting on the second row. That was on Friday night, the night of the assassination. I can't recall just what all he [Oswald] was saying other than his shouting some remarks and throwing his fist in the air and that sort of thing. It's hard to say what kind of opinion you'd have of a fellow that you'd just observed there, but considering the stress he must have been under, he seemed pretty cool and not overly excited. He seemed to be very sure of himself with a feeling of a sense of accomplishment.
    Earlier in the evening, about 8:00 o'clock, the division chief had talked to me on the telephone and informed me that the FBI in Washington demanded that we bring them for examination the rifle, the revolver that was used to kill Tippit, as well as the different paraphernalia such as identification cards and other small items that Oswald had on him. I discussed it with the police chief and told him that we'd keep the chain of evidence intact and that I would pick them up there myself and wait for them until they were examined in Washington then bring them back. So it was turned over to us.
    By the time we got it all boxed up, it was near midnight. Meanwhile Washington was calling down about every fifteen minutes wanting to know where the material was. All of a sudden I learned that neither American nor Braniff had any flights to Washington out of Dallas after midnight. We were told that the FBI in Washington wanted the material by morning if we had to walk it up there. That's being facetious, but
    Fortunately the commanding general over at Carswell in Forth Worth happened to be a good friend of mine and was head of SAC (Strategic Air Command) at that time. So I called him and was told that the President had asked him to give us all the help that we needed. Another agent took me to Fort Worth where they had a C-135 tanker plane and crew ready.
    It was a little scary on the way up because I was sitting up on the deck with the pilot, the co-pilot, and the engineer. This was an empty plane, and they were flying high and really letting her go. During the flight, they let me listen to all the short wave broadcasts abut the British, French, and Canadians calling their troops and the submarines going to sea because they were afraid the Russians might attack.
    When we landed at Andrews Air Force Base, an unusual thing happened. I had never been in the military service since I had joined the FBI prior to the war and had stayed continuously through then. When I had arrived at Carswell, the commanding general was at the plane with two of his aides. As I got out of the car, they all saluted, so I told myself that I'd better salute back. When I arrived at Andrews, the commanding general there also saluted. I'd gotten used to saluting by that time, so I saluted back.
    The commanding general said, "Mr. Drain, we wondered if you would relinquish this airplane for us if we'd furnish you a good airplane to go back in when you're ready to go?"
    Of course, I didn't know that it was my airplane to relinquish in the first place, so I said, "Sure, I'll turn it over to you now if that's what you want me to say. But I need one when I get ready to go; I mean really go!"
    He said, "We'll give you a good fast airplane," which was an understatement. He gave me his card and I was taken by helicopter over to the Justice Building and landed on the White House lawn. During this time, I had an armed guard from the Air Force until I got safely into the Justice Building.
    I talked to Mr. Hoover briefly and then watched them do a lot of the experiments such as firing the rifle, looking for prints, ballistic markings, hairs, fibers, blood stains and anything else that later, down the road, might be relevant to evidence which could be used in the prosecution.
    By around midnight on Saturday night, they had the plane ready to go, so I called the commanding general. He sent a helicopter which then flew me to one of those fast F-104's. When we came back, we came back in a hurry! Upon arrival in Dallas, I went directly to the police department and had just turned over the evidence to the police chief on Sunday morning at the time Oswald was killed by Ruby. They then had full custody of it.
    The next day I was the representative of the FBI at Tippit's funeral. I remember riding back from the cemetery in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas to the police department with a newspaperman named Jerry O'Leary of the Washington Star. As we were talking and listening to the radio, Waggoner Carr, who was the attorney general of Texas at the time, said that he was going to open up a hearing himself. Put it this way: There was quite a bit of competition at that time between the police department, the local district attorney's office, and the Texas attorney general. As a result, after Oswald was killed, the FBI wanted to get all of the evidence and have it brought back to Washington because I think they wanted to preserve it for posterity's sake.
    At that time, the police had a homicide captain by the name of Will Fritz who didn't like to turn anything over to anyone else, particularly the FBI. So when we arrived back at the police department, I knew better than to go to the captain. I knew that he wouldn't turn the evidence over because we really didn't have much of an argument for them to turn it over other than for the National Archives since Oswald was dead and Ruby was in jail. But the city manager, Elgin Crull, who was over the police department, was a good friend of mine. I lucked into him when I went back into the police building and said, "Elgin, I just heard that Waggoner Carr is going to open up some hearings on this thing and subpoena this evidence. Why don't you turn it over to us and let us take it to Washington so that we can preserve it up there?":
    He said, "I think that's an excellent idea. Let's get it out of here within the hour." So I picked up the phone, called the office, and got eight agents and headed out of there within the hour. That was, I believe, on Tuesday. Then on Wednesday I took it back to Washington with a visiting agent who had been sent in to help us out, Warren DeBrueys, the head of the New Orleans Crime Commission.
    We had four or five baskets full of that stuff, every bit of paper that they had, which was located in a section of the ID Division; a fine fellow by the name of Carl Day was there. Some of it was evidentiary and some of it wasn't. But we weren't taking any chances. I went back to Washington on several occasions and went before the Warren Commission to identify this as to what it was for their benefit.
    I spent a considerable amount of time in Washington following the assassination, and I talked to Mr. Hoover quite a bit. All these reports were going in and they were going over to the Warren Commission and to the Attorney General about all this business about Hoover having his mind set on one assassin. I never heard this around FBI headquarters. They would brief Hoover on what was being said to the Warren Commission, but I can say that I saw it after it was at the Warren Commission, and it wasn't altered or changed at all. I went over several times as did several of our agents and none of us ever got any instructions from Hoover as to what or what not to say. This is what really bothers me. I read all of this stuff that this happened and that happened, when it didn't happen at all. Why, I think they'd skin your hide if you started instructing somebody to go over and testify a certain way. We had hundreds of agents working on this thing who covered every lead in the book. I don't see how anyone can arrive at any other conclusion than what they arrived at, really!
    Of course, time dims your memory a bit, but as I understand it, Oswald was sitting there looking through the scope with the target moving away at 10–12 M.P.H. It was a very easy target. He had one cartridge in the chamber ready, so he only had two more to put in to fire. The best we could tell when we reenacted it, and we went over this thing from all angles with the finest ballistics experts in the country, the first shot went wild which was found down close to a water outlet in the curb. The second shot hit the President in the fatty part of the neck and went through completely hitting Connally in the rib cage driving the bone ahead of it, came out, and part of it hit him in the wrist. The third shot is what caught the President in the back of the head. Now that's the best that all the scientific people could come up with that happened.
    I've talked to a lot of different writers both here and abroad. One of those, Jim Bishop, told me one day, "I've looked at this thing from all angles and the one thing that I'm not going to do is commercialize on something that I know is not true. I could just start this thing and make a lot of money, but I'm not going to do it."
    The whole thing boils down to this: If this had been a plain homicide, all these questions wouldn't be raised. This is not my phraseology.
    I was in London visiting with the head of the special branch of Scotland Yard, whom I had known during World War Two, Elliot Jones. Elliot said, "If that had been a plain Joe Blow out there, the situation wouldn't have arisen. But it was the President of the United States and people have the idea that one man can't kill the President of the United States. Over here 75 percent of the people think it had to be a conspiracy."
    Then in 1969 I was in Munich and the director of the police there called. We had met prior when he had visited the FBI school in Washington. He told me, "I believe what the Warren Commission said, but the people around here are so conspiracy minded that they think it just can't be because one man wouldn't have the power to kill the President of the United States."
    It is always customary to interview all people who had tried to defect to the Soviet Union when they returned. When Oswald came back, he was bitter, very bitter, and you must remember that from the time he was a small child that he was a loner who had mental problems. But he had great ambitions to be someone that the public would take notice of.
    According to his wife, Marina, he was so desperately wanting to be "notorized" that he decided to kill General Edwin Walker. When he missed him, he walked and ran all the way back home and told her about it. Then she said that when Nixon came to town prior to Kennedy's arrival to speak to the National Bottler's Association, he had entertained the idea of trying to track him down because he knew that would put him on the front page of the paper and secure him a place in history. I think that he saw the Kennedy itinerary in the newspaper, and he had an ideal location.
    The Apparel Mart originally wasn't where they were going to have the speech. It was going to be at the Women's Building at Fair Park, but the Democrats began yelling that the Republicans were trying to steal the attention of the President, that the little rich people were going to get to see the President. So Connally said, "Well, we'll just have a parade and we'll bring him right downtown and take it out to the Apparel Mart." So it was changed and the newspapers had the parade route and everything.
    I stayed completely away from anything dealing with Oswald's trip to Mexico City. Not that there was anything culpable, but that got into sensitive technique areas which I didn't want to get into. However, I knew James Hosty real well and was here in this office when he came, and I was here when he left. He was more or less just a victim of circumstances. Hosty was always a very determined agent and a very good agent. As they say in the Navy, "The thing happened on his watch." I don't care whether it's the FBI, the United States Navy, the United Nations, or where it is, when something like this happens, there's got to be somebody that pays a high price. Hosty just got caught in that dilemma since he was the case agent handling Oswald.
    I don't want to sound trite or facetious when I say this, but this often reminds me of the quarterback who had lost the football game, and he's sitting in the barber's chair on Monday and the barber told him, "I wouldn't have thrown that last pass if I'd have been you."
    And the quarterback said, "If "I'd have had 48 hours to have thought it over, I wouldn't have thrown it either." That is very similar to the way it was with Hosty. Hosty was a victim of the system at that time. He was following what the system required which was kind of a profile situation.
    The system at that time was that if you fell into this category you were considered suspect, and if you were in another category you were considered just another of the dozens of people who were harmless.
    We had no indications that Oswald was dangerous. He wasn't considered a threat because, as a matter of fact, Sam Rayburn was the one who got him a hardship discharge out of the Marine Corps. Then, under the Kennedy administration, the State Department furnished the money, I believe, to get him back. I didn't consider him a threat then, and it was my responsibility to notify the Secret Service of any potential problems. I would have gotten the information from Hosty's supervisor but didn't and, of course, that's part of history. It was the system that broke down, not Hosty.
   Just after the assassination, Hosty was alleged to have told Jack Revill of the Dallas police that he had known about Oswald and that he was capable of the assassination. The only thing I know about it was that the Dallas Police Department was getting a lot of heat on this thing. Hosty says that he didn't say it; Revill says he did, and Revill knew that Hosty handled security. Hosty may not have said it, then again he may have. I knew both men very well and liked both of them very much.
    Revill was a very fine officer, but I think that naturally he would try to protect his chief. What would make me question this to a degree, and I'm not defending Hosty, is that Hosty was one of the most conscientious, dedicated individuals that I've ever seen in the FBI. He was a very dedicated Catholic and was very, very pro-Kennedy. I believe that if Hosty had thought that Oswald was capable of an assassination that everybody in the town would have known about it. But only the two of them know whether or not it's true. I wouldn't say that it is, and I wouldn't say that it isn't.
    Supposedly, on Sunday, the assassination being on Friday, Hosty was called in to the SAC (Special Agent-in-Charge) Gordon Shanklin's office and ordered to destroy a note which Oswald had left for Hosty. I was in Washington during that period and, of course, didn't know anything about it. As a matter of fact, I didn't know about it for some time.
    There is controversy about that which was discussed by one of the Congressional committees. I think they finally concluded that it really didn't have ny bearing, one way or the other, as I understand it. I also understand that Shanklin didn't recall any such matter. It could have happened, and he wouldn't have thought it of because there was a powerful lot of things going through his mind at that particular time. In addition, Shanklin was not the supervisor of security. as I understand, what it was supposed to have been about was that Oswald was antagonistic toward Hosty for bothering his wife. But again, I didn't know about this incident for some time.
    Following the events of that weekend, I think there were fourteen or fifteen agents who were censured. In laymen's talk, you would get a letter of censure from Mr. Hoover, and it would go something like this" "I'm amazed, astonished, at a loss to understand your handling of this ma
tter, and I will not tolerate this sort of investigative effort." They weren't that uncommon. During my career, I'd received several of them and very frankly never paid a whole lot of attention to them. I'd had several meritorious commendations and that sort of thing, so I always thought that it went with the territory. I don't think I've ever known an agent that didn't have one of those in his file. If you ever did anything, you had something in your file. In fact, I'm one of those agents that was censured in the Oswald case.
    That came about as a result of the second trip to Washington. I had had about eight agents sent up to help me get all the evidence, and we took all of it, largely paper. That's when they took all that paper and compared it with other paper. A lot of this had been dusted for fingerprints by the Dallas Police Department and it was black. If you've ever been around fingerprint ink, it's powdery, nasty, and black. Anyway, these agents got it all together and wrapped it with strong and were able to carry it down do the office for packing. We had just a limited amount of time to get it to the airplane and fly to Washington. There were a couple of clerks in the office that we had recruited who normally packaged this up as normal FBI book mil going out, so they were all involved in helping pack all this stuff. We took it to Washington and turned it over to the FBI there and left it.
    Then, in about three or four weeks, we began receiving these letters from Washington saying, "Do some elimination fingerprints because we're finding prints on the newspaper on this wrapping paper that we can't identify." So I got all the agents together who had helped wrap it, took their prints, and sent them up. Of course, they eliminated those. Then I got elimination prints from the detectives that I knew who had examined it and we eliminated more prints.
    But in the long fun, about eight months later, we still had one set of prints on this paper that we couldn't identify. The Warren Commission wanted to know who those prints belonged to, if it was a third party or whoever it was. So the division chief and I were sitting here one night talking and he said, "Can you think of anybody that this might be that we might get the elimination prints?"
    I told him, "Well, you know, I hadn't thought of it but those two clerks back there might have gotten their prints on that paper when they were wrapping it." So we took the elimination prints and, sure enough, one of them belonged to one of those clerks. Well, it went up to Washington and Hoover had to tell the Warren Commission that the mystery prints really belonged to one of our own clerks down here.
    In a few days, I received quite a nice letter from the Director giving me a meritorious raise and telling me what a great job I had done and that sort of thing. In the same mail was a letter of censure castigating me for permitting inexperienced clerks who had no training to even touch this material, and why I hadn't seen to it that the clerks had had training, and it went on and on. This was the type censureship that came down. I paid no attention to it because it didn't affect me. The assistant directors were friends of mine back in Washington, and I knew that all of them had even gotten letters of censure. When Hoover got mad at you, he'd just write you a letter of censure. I didn't mind as long as he didn't cut me in salary.
    This was the basic type of punishment, but it wasn't for Hosty. Hosty was busted and sent to Kansas City along with one or two others. But none of the Secret Service were censured.
    In the early period after the assassination, you could get any rumor that you wanted: Oswald was an FBI informant; Jack Ruby was a PCI for the FBI.
    I didn't get into the rumor abut Oswald being an informant when I was asked that question when we were in Washington. I said that I didn't have the answer but that I would find out. This was no cover-up; he was never an informant.
    Now, Ruby, I don't know from my own knowledge, but I wouldn't doubt that he might have been an informant because he was just crazy about being around police officers. He would give them tickets to his shows and that sort of thing.
    But he was a harmless individual who, I think, just shot Oswald on the spur of the moment. I heard Ruby say, "I didn't know they'd condemn me for this. I thought that I'd be a hero and I'd be able to have a big restaurant like Jack Dempsey." You couldn't help but like Ruby if you were around him.
    On the night of the assassination, when they brought Oswald out for the press conference, ironically, I saw Jack and talked to him there and really didn't think anything about it. In fact, no one really thought much about Jack. But an unusual thing developed there. We had already opened our own investigation into the assassination by Executive Order of the President. Then, the minute Oswald was shot by Ruby, we then opened a civil rights investigation against the police department for negligence and also the ability of Ruby to penetrate the security area. So, you see, we had a dual investigation going. We had one squad of agents investigating the assassination, and the second one the civil rights investigation to see if Oswald's civil rights had been violated.
    You would have to understand that Ruby was in the Western Union office after 11:00 sending this telegram. Because they needed to talk to Oswald a little longer he wasn't moved till some twenty minutes later. Ruby left the Western Union office walking, saw this crowd gathered and walked right down the basement ramp. Again, if you saw Ruby around, you wouldn't think anything about it; I didn't, nor did any of the other police officers. It was just one of those ironic things that happen.
    You couldn't condemn the Dallas police for what happened because they weren't prepared for this sort of thing. It was something that was suddenly thrust upon them out of the blue which no one could have foreseen, including the overwhelming presence of the White House Press Corps.
    I knew Jesse Curry from the time he was a lieutenant in the police department and watched him rise through the ranks. I knew all the top level people and they were friends of mine, and the ones who are still living are still friends of mine. But they didn't have the training that they do now to handle a catastrophic situation like this. By the same token, the FBI didn't have the training at that time either.
    When I came back here, arriving on January 1st, 1949, Carl Hansson was chief of police, one of the great chiefs. I worked with Hansson and helped him to get nominated as fifth Vice-President of the IACP, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, so that he could rise through the ranks. I used every bit of influence I had and got the Dallas Police Department admitted into every session of the FBI National Academy to train their totally untrained police.
    In 1952, they had a burglary ring inside the police department and a Lieutenant Gurley, who was in charge of the Burglary and Theft Bureau, was one of the burglars. I helped the police department eliminate that then assisted them in setting up a special squad which later became the Intelligence Squad. I also helped them set up the unit that investigated civil rights violations.
    I think that all the brass would agree that we had a channel that we went through. The normal police officers weren't given the information because we went through a chain of command to protect our sources. That's the reason that the average policeman might get the idea that maybe they weren't getting it, which apparently was a common complaint. The relationship between the Dallas Police Department and the FBI was outstanding. Even though there was some outward recrimination between Hoover and the chief during that period, I was able to keep our relationship open since I was the liaison between the FBI and the Dallas Police Department, thus it was never really affected that much. Neither was it affected with the district attorney, Henry Wade, who was a former FBI agent.
    The first time that I saw Marina Oswald was the night of the assassination. She was in the police department along with Mrs. Oswald and Robert, her brother-in-law, while they were interrogating her husband in another room. At that time, she appeared to be very frightened because she couldn't speak English well and hadn't been in the country long. But as time went on, and as the Warren Commission, the President's commission, started its hearings, Marina was able to speak better English because she was attempting to get a better grasp of it.
    At the time that I had contact with her, she was very frail. She was more attractive in the photographs than she was in person. She was then living on Belt Line Road out in Richardson and seemed very cooperative with us.
    I had previously sent in the blanket that Oswald had wrapped the rifle in in Irving among other things to the laboratory to be examined. Marina had initialed the blanket when she had previously turned it over to us, but the laboratory wanted to have her re-identify it and put her initials in bolder print. So I called her attorney, William McKenzie, and asked him for permission to interview her. He agreed and called her and told her that we'd be out at a certain time of the afternoon.
    When we arrived (I took a younger agent with me as a witness) and knocked, Marina came to the door. After I identified myself, we were invited in. At teh time she had two children; one of them was still in diapers. She picked the small one up and said, "I'll be right back" and went into the kitchen.
    After about five minutes, I realized that I was going to have to put the kid down on the floor because she was gone too long. Finally I told the other agent to watch the kid, that I was going back to see what had happened to Marina. Lo and behold I went to the back door and found her n the back yard being photographed by Parade Magazine and doing an interview there. I explained to her that I was out there on business, so we concluded our business and let her to back to her interview and photographs.
    I interviewed her from time to time and found her to be friendly and outgoing, especially the more she realized that we weren't going to hurt her. I think this was a carryover from her days in Russia where there was probably a state of fear.
    Later I learned from personal observation and from a friend of mine, who was an inspector with the Secret Service, that the chief, meaning Chief Earl Warren, had grown quite fond of Marina. The hearings for the Warren Commission were held in the Veterans of Foreign Wars Building in Washington, and he would accompany her to press conferences holding her by the arm and referring to her as "my child." So I knew that he liked her a lot.
    Over the years allegations have been made about the way the FBI and the Dallas Police Department handled the affair. In one of the books, I was quoted in a footnote as saying that I doubted that a fingerprint had been found on the rifle as claimed by the Dallas Police Department. As I recall, I think my comment was based primarily on our expert in the Single Fingerprint Bureau. That's the real specialists in fingerprints in the FBI in Washington.
    From the time they turned the rifle over to me along with other things, they were placed in a box and sealed. I then took it to the laboratory where it was taken apart and examined with different processes on every inch of that gun, assembled and disassembled. They said that they didn't find any fingerprints. Now, I wouldn't have any way of knowing from my own personal observation. My comment would have been made on what they said. As to Lieutenant Day, I've known him a long time, and I think that he's an honest individual. If he thought that there was a print there, whether there was or not, he was sincere in what he had to say. I would not want to cast any reflection on Day.
    There was also a story about an alleged Minox camera. I'm well aware of what a Minox camera is because we used them. when we itemized all that material, I don't recall any Minox camera; however, the light meter would be easily mistaken for one by somebody that really didn't know and, at that point in time, I never knew the Dallas Police Department to use them. In fact, I would seriously doubt that the average police officer would have known what one would have looked like. I'm not casting any reflection on them but, one must remember that, back then, those cameras were very expensive. A good one might cost between $500 and $700, something like that.
    In a general sense, we tried to keep abreast of what was going on, but the General Walker case was something different; we weren't investigating him, as such. At the time that Oswald allegedly tried to kill him with the same rifle, the police investigated it, but they had no suspects. Of course, we had no reason to because he was just a plain citizen since he had resigned from the Army, though he had become somewhat radical.
    My memory is vague on the specifics of the case. I believe, basically that most of the information that he had tried to kill Walker came from Marina. You must keep in mind that Oswald didn't really have anything, as I understand, against General Walker other than this could catapult him to fame, anything that could get him into the spotlight.
    Her version of it, and that's the only one that I know about, I think would have to be considered; otherwise, she wouldn't have known who Walker was. She wouldn't have known that to have shot General Walker would really put Oswald on the front page of every newspaper in the country because he was such a controversial person. So I'd have to give her story a lot of credence.
    Allegations have also been made that Allen Dulles and J. Edgar Hoover withheld information from the Warren Commission, especially stories about plots to kill Castro. I wouldn't have any way of knowing that, but I knew Allen Dulles and I had spent some time with him at lunch during various periods of recess when I was going before the Warren Commission. All of the stories about plots against Castro I'd have to take with a grain of salt because I believe these, for the most part, were hatched by some fellow that wanted to get a lot of publicity from these stories. Knowing Dulles as I knew him, I don't believe that he would have withheld anything that he thought would have been germane to the investigation. I never knew or heard anything, and I think that I am well acquainted with the material in the Warren Commission Report that would put Oswald in any position to help anybody assassinate Castro.
    The FBI went into every phase available to it regarding conspiracy. It interviewed thousands of people and kept a file open for years later with any name anybody would furnish to them after they had exhausted everything they had. All of Hoover's opinions that I know of were based strictly on the investigations of what the field furnished because that was furnished directly to the Warren Commission. Now, whatever they're talking about that would have embarrassed Hoover, I'm not aware of that since I couldn't see that there's anything that would embarrass the FBI. If Oswald had lived, this thing probably wouldn't have developed like it did because I think that he would have eventually talked.
    Essentially, I think the FBI did a good job in the affair. I believe that within that three days we had 90 percent of all we ever obtained down the road. It was a case of verification and confirmation about what he already had discovered, and I think they did a good job. I could look back and see some mistakes that were made, but they weren't major mistakes.
    It was tough! The people were dedicated, though, and went long, long hours without any sleep. The thing about it is that FBI agents are just like school teachers, doctors, lawyers, or merchants; there's nothing superhuman or magic in the work. It's hard work and you have to face it out. You've got to have help, and you've got to have contacts. Seventy-five percent of the FBI's work is based on confidence. If you don't have the confidence of the people, you might as well take out and go home because you're not going to get anywhere.
    During my period under Hoover, the FBI had the confidence of the public. Hoover had his shortcomings like anybody else, but I enjoyed my time in the FBI. I think that he built one of the greatest law enforcement agencies the world has ever known, and I, like 99 percent of the other agents, had nothing but the highest admiration for him. Hoover ran a tight ship; everybody knew the rules, and he had no hesitancy about firing you. But he wouldn't fire you unless you needed to be fired. And there was not one case of scandal in the organization in the 35 years that I was there that I know about. That's something! But as one friend of mine back in Washington who was a historian said, "Well, they're still talking about Lincoln's assassination, and a hundred years from now there'll be another hundred stories about Kennedy's assassination."
    One thing that I would like to say is that Bobby Kennedy was a very close friend of mine, and he had no question with the Warren Commission. I talked to Ethel and Nick Katzenbach, and they had no qualms either. I just can't see where there's room for a whole lot of information to come from that might change the picture down the road. If it did, it would greatly surprise me.

    Since his retirement from the FBI in 1977, Drain has been the executor for estates and helped run a family business in the Dallas area. His father-in-law was the founder of Ashland Oil Company.

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