Forrest J. Sorrels
Forrest J. Sorrels was born in 1901 in Texas. In 1922 he obtains work at the Bureau of Narcotics, of the Treasury Department and a year he later moves to the Secret Service.
On that day he rode in the car in front of the limo together with Chief of Dallas Police Jesse Curry.
He found Abraham Zapruder and took him on a long convoluted journey to get the film developed. He also acquired the Nix film, the Moorman Polaroid and the Phil Willis photos for the Secret Service.
Forrest Sorrels is a major player that day. But his importance regarding the TSBD is important for a few reasons:
1/ He claimed he was in the TSBD at 12:50 after returning from Parkland hospital, although this time stamp of his arrival is doubtful since he is seen below accompanying LBJ out of Parkland. He is also recorded as being at the rear entrance of the TSBD at the aforementioned time and pointing out that the rear exit(s) are unguarded!
2/ Furthermore he is credited with finding two star government witnesses to have seen gunfire from the snipers nest.
3/ And for being present at the interrogations of Lee Harvey Oswald.
In Vince Palamara’s Survivor’s Guilt Sorrels is credited with having Roy Truly draw up an employee manifest only to discover that Oswald was the ‘only’ employee missing (page 305).
We know that nothing is further removed from the truth regarding the missing employee Lee Harvey Oswald, other individuals were missing at that time and the list is way incomplete. For more about this go to the ROKC forum and read up on Ed Ledoux’s post The Roll Call Remedy.
Sorrels’ Warren Commission testimony regarding this so called creation of the manifest by Truly reads as follows:
Mr. STERN – Then you got inside the building and what did you do?
Mr. SORRELS – I asked for the manager, and I was directed to Mr. Truly. He was standing there.
I went up and identified myself to him. I said, “I want to get a stenographer, and we would like to have you put down the names and addresses of every employee of the building, in the building.”
And I then walked on out the front door and asked, “Did anyone here see anything?”
And someone pointed to Mr. Brennan.
Mr. STERN – What was your purpose in asking for a list of the employees of the building?
Mr. SORRELS – Because I knew that they would have to be interviewed. I was trying to establish at that time without any delay, who all was in that building or was employed there, because I knew they would have to be talked to later.
In other words, I was looking for someone that saw something.
Mr. STERN – You were looking for potential witnesses?
Mr. SORRELS – Yes, sir.
Mr. BELIN. And then you got down eventually to the first floor?
Mr. TRULY. That is right.
Mr. BELIN. About how long after these shots do you think it took you to go all the way up and look around the roof and come all the way down again?
Mr. TRULY. Oh, we might have been gone between 5 and 10 minutes. It is hard to say.
Mr. BELIN. What did you do when you got back to the first floor, or what did you see?
Mr. TRULY. When I got back to the first floor, at first I didn’t see anything except officers running around, reporters in the place. There was a regular madhouse.
Mr. BELIN. Had they sealed off the building yet, do you know?
Mr. TRULY. I am sure they had.
Mr. BELIN. Then what?
Mr. TRULY. Then in a few minutes–it could have been moments or minutes at a time like that–I noticed some of my boys were over in the west corner of the shipping department, and there were several officers over there taking their names and addresses, and so forth.
Although Sorrels was present during all of the interrogations of Lee Oswald, he did not put forward an official report of these interrogations and it is only by sheer coincidence that a partial report was recovered by Larry Haapanen who noticed the top half of one of the pages from Sorrels’ notebook which were submitted as part of Jack Ruby’s interrogation which contained the notes on the top half of the page belonging to the questioning of Oswald and not to Ruby:
It is possible that these notes represent the interrogation attended by Sorrels on Saturday, November 23rd, when Oswald was asked about the mail order rifle.
The amount of notes for the time spent at these interrogations of Lee Oswald is very little and not enough to go by.
William Manchester in Death Of A President writes: When Oswald was returned to the 11 × 14 interrogation room, Forrest Sorrels felt he was “baiting Fritz, hoping Fritz would beat him up so he’d have a police brutality charge.” On the other hand, police interrogation techniques hadn’t improved either. The tiny room was again invaded by a convention of city, state, and federal officers, and some of the questions put to the prisoner seem scarcely pertinent. Fritz, for example, asked him if he believed in “a deity.” The Captain later recalled that Lee said he “didn’t care to discuss that”—a sensible rebuff. He did offer a pitiful fabric of lies about his past. He insisted that he couldn’t afford a rifle on the Book Depository’s $1.25 an hour. And he was anxious that the standees in the cubicle understand that “I’m not a Communist, I’m not a Leninist-Marxist, I’m a Marxist,” an effort which, considering the absence of a dialectical materialist among his questioners, seems pointless.
Sources: Vince Palamara (photos), Ed Ledoux, Greg Parker and Gayle Nix Jackson.