top of page

Robert Alan Surrey (Part 6)

The rest of Surrey’s WC testimony about the April 10, 1963 shooting at Walker is a little boring. Walker brushed plaster from his hair, Surrey used tweezers to pick bits of metal out of Walker’s right forearm, newspaper men came to interview General Walker, and Surrey spent the night there. It was a simple story. Surrey confirmed the correctness of the Dallas Police photos of Walker’s house, taken that night and the next day.

Next, Attorney Jenner asked Robert Alan Surrey about a police report that Surrey had filed with the Dallas Police on Tuesday, April 9, 1963, one day before the Walker shooting. The night before, Walker was still traveling back from his cross-country “Midnight Ride” speaking tour with the racist Reverend Billy James Hargis, which they began in late February 1963. Surrey maintained his office at Walker’s home while Walker was away, and he would park behind the house in the alleyway shared by other houses and a Mormon Church.

On Monday April 8, on his way to work, Surrey noticed a new Ford four-door sedan apparently maroon in color, parked in the alley behind Walker’s house, about 20 yards away. Surrey stepped into Walker’s house and noticed two prowlers outside, peering in. They saw him and ran to their car. Surrey ran to his car and chased their car as they sped downtown – but they doubled back – and fearing that they might have a gun, Surrey gave up the chase.

On Tuesday, April 9, General Walker arrived back home, and Surrey reported this to him. Walker instructed Surrey to file a police report, which Surrey did right away. Surrey testified that neither of the men that he saw in that car was Lee Harvey Oswald. He said he never saw either of those two men – or their car – before or since. Since this story had no legal consequence, Chief Justice Earl Warren urged Jenner to cut short this line questioning.

The Chief Justice instead personally asked Robert Alan Surrey four questions:

  • Was Surrey present on the date (October 24, 1963) of the Dallas political protest against UN Ambassador Adlai Stevenson?

  • Did Surrey have anything to do with that demonstration?

  • Was Surrey present at the demonstration against then Vice President LBJ in Dallas?

  • Did Surrey have anything to do with that demonstration?

Surrey’s answer to all four was, “No, sir.” Chief Justice Earl Warren accepted those answers, and that was the end of the WC hearings from Robert Alan Surrey.

Did the Chief Justice believe Surrey’s answers? I doubt it. The FBI (which was the main investigative body for the WC) knew very well (as almost everybody in Dallas knew) that the night before Adlai Stevenson’s appearance at the Dallas Memorial Auditorium on Thursday, October 24, 1963, that the Dallas Radical Right booby-trapped that auditorium by using its own gathering under General Walker and his right-hand man, Robert Alan Surrey.

This was well-documented by Chris Cravens in his 1991 scholastic thesis, General Walker and the Right Wing in Dallas 1961-1966.

Adlai Stevenson called his event, “UN Day,” so Walker and Surrey would call their event, “US Day.” On Wednesday, October 23, 1963, Walker and Surrey began their parade in downtown Dallas and climaxed with an evening gathering at the Dallas Memorial Auditorium. They organized a large crowd of activists to buy as many tickets to Adlai’s event as possible. They instructed their crowd to conduct an organized heckling rally inside that auditorium as soon as Adlai began speaking.

Their activists were to hiss, boo, shout in the aisles; stand up on their chairs and make speeches. They would bring party noisemakers by the dozen and hand them out. They promised to drown out Adlai Stevenson on the premise that he was a Communist, since he openly advocated the United Nations (UN). The John Birch Society (JBS) regarded the UN as Communist Central. They were offended by the very title of Adlai’s event.

Walker and Surrey supervised the attachment of an enormous banner to the ceiling of the auditorium, rolled it up and tied it with rope – so that when the rope was pulled, the banner would unravel to reveal two slogans: “US out of the UN!” on one side, and on the other side, “UN out of the US!” These were two, well-known JBS slogans.

The next night, when Adlai Stevenson appeared, Walker and Surrey went out to dinner. They would not attend in person – a good General trains his troops and then trusts them to follow orders. The foot soldiers trained by Walker and Surry did exactly what they were trained to do. Adlai was indeed prevented from completing his speech – and this humiliation made national news.

Although Dallas FBI agent James Hosty withheld the details of this information from his Washington DC counterparts – the truth was finally uncovered by the FBI in Washington DC and reported to the Chief Justice. In my opinion, Earl Warren was well aware of the truth of Surrey's involvement. Yet he would not disclose these facts even to the WC attorneys but chose to keep them to himself and to select members of his Commission (in the interest of US National Security).

So, in my opinion, Chief Justice Earl Warren knew that Robert Alan Surrey had answered his first question honestly, and his second question dishonestly. He would not prosecute Surrey for this – but he did let that tainted testimony stand throughout US history.

As for the third and fourth questions – whether Surrey had anything to do with Congressman Bruce Alger’s boisterous, “mink coat brigade” attacks in November 1960 against LBJ and Lady Bird Johnson – Surrey answered honestly, “No, sir.” This was the truth. In November 1960, Walker was still a General in Augsburg, Germany, defending the Berlin Wall, and Robert Surrey had no political leader at that time. Surrey very likely had nothing to do with it.

So, Chief Justice Earl Warren knew all this. The conclusion is that he finally got Robert Alan Surrey to answer dishonestly for the judgment of US history. To that degree, Earl Warren was successful.


--Paul Trejo

bottom of page