The first interview of Frank Morris, occurred at 6:35 a.m., Dec. 10, 1964, hours after the 2 a.m. fire. Present were Chief of Police Bob Warren, an FBI agent and an employee of the Ferriday Fire Department. This interview, which is redacted, was obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

POLICE CHIEF R.W. WARREN: This is Mr. Bob. Go ahead and talk to them and don't worry.

MORRIS: I don't know what happen and here is what it...I was laying there asleep and I heard someone breaking glass out. They broke the glass out. They broke the glass out. I come into my shop ---- it look like one he beat on the window with a ax handle or something and then two and another man around there ----- pouring gasoline around the place ------. I said what are you doing there. ------ told me to get back in there Nigger ---- better off ---- shotgun.

WARREN: Frank, did you recognize these men? This is important now. Did you recognize them?

MORRIS: No sir, I didn't recognize. I couldn't recognize.

WARREN: Frank go ahead and tell them if you want to. Me and (BLANK) will get out if you want to talk to him by yourself.

MORRIS: It's alright, Mr. Bob. Only thing I just didn't recognize them.

WARREN: Huh?

MORRIS: I just couldn't recognize them.

WARREN: Just couldn't recognize them at all.

MORRIS: No sir.

FBI AGENT: Could you give any description, Frank? Were they young or old?

MORRIS: Young men.

WARREN: Huh?

MORRIS: ------- working. One of them kinda white. Real white.

WARREN: He was what?

MORRIS: Real white.

WARREN: Was real white?

MORRIS: Yes.

WARREN: Could you tell if he had blond hair, black hair, red hair, or something? Or did you have time to see all of that? Frank?

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Apparently out now.

WARREN: Frank can you hear Mr. Bob?

MORRIS: Yes sir.

WARREN: Frank, do you think that you had ever seen those men before?

MORRIS: I think so.

WARREN: You think you have seen them before?

MORRIS: Yes.

WARREN: Do you think they are from here?

MORRIS: Yes sir. I think they from here.

WARREN: Do you think they are from here in town?

MORRIS: Yes.

WARREN: Where do you think they might work here, Frank?

MORRIS: I think they might work at (BLANK) or something like that over in Natchez.

WARREN: Huh?

MORRIS: In Natchez, Mississippi, or something like that.

WARREN: The National Food?

MORRIS: (Unintelligible)

WARREN: Natchez, Mississippi. Do you think that they worked over in Natchez? Frank?

MORRIS: Yeah, very much.

WARREN: Huh?

MORRIS: Yeah (very weak).

FBI AGENT: Do you think if it was a double barrel or single barrel shotgun, Frank?

MORRIS: (Groan).

FBI AGENT: Did they have hats on? Can you tell me how they were dressed? Say he had a shot about 40 minutes ago.

FEMALE: Had a shot at 4:25.

FBI AGENT: Is that a pain killer?

FEMALE: Uh huh.

WARREN: How long do you think that might last?

FEMALE: Two or three hours.

(This next interview, according to FBI documents, began at 9:55 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 10, 1964, in Room 101 of the Concordia Parish Hospital in Ferriday. Present were an FBI Agent, a friend of Morris' and Ferriday Fire Chief Noland Mouelle.)

FRIEND: Frank this is (Friend).

MORRIS: Uh (unintelligible)

FRIEND: All right.

MORRIS: (Unintelligible question about BLANK {"blank" is possibly Morris' grandson, Poncho, who lived with him})

FRIEND: BLANK is all right.

MORRIS: Did he get burned?

FRIEND: Uh huh, I didn't get burned.

QUESTION: Can you identify who they was, Frank?

MORRIS: I don't know exactly who they was. Huh I don't know exactly who they was.

FRIEND: Was they a car there?

MORRIS: Uh huh. White car when I heard they they hit the window ----- knocked on the window out was when I wake up. I don't know exactly who it was in the car outside.

FRIEND: What window was it?

MORRIS: Where we work at.

FRIEND: By the shine stand?

MORRIS: Uh huh.

FRIEND: Was you in the place or in the back?

MORRIS: I was in the back.

FRIEND: He is in back. (Morris had a room in the back of his store where he lived.)

MORRIS: Yeah it hurts, it hurts so.

FRIEND: You don't know?

MORRIS: Huh I don't know.

FRIEND: You ever see them before?

MORRIS: I imagine so. ----- go fast I couldn't.

FRIEND: You couldn't see who they was?

MORRIS: No muh (groans).

FRIEND: There ain't nothing you want to tell me.

MORRIS: No. Just no work. (unintelligible) everything burnt up.

FRIEND: Yeah, everything burnt up.

MORRIS: It hurts so.

FRIEND: We want to find out who he was, Frank. Why don't you tell us please.

MORRIS: I can't tell you. I don't know exactly.

FRIEND: That's the only way you are going to solve this thing is to tell.

MORRIS: I know. It hurts.

FRIEND: You don't want to tell.

MORRIS: I don't know exactly who it was. (Groan).

FRIEND: Do you know who did it?

MORRIS: I don't exactly know ----- (sounds like colored fellows name.) ------- (unintelligible)

FRIEND: Huh.

MORRIS: Just take care of yourself and the boy (Poncho). I don't know whether I will get well or not. (unintelligible) bad shape I'm in.

FRIEND: No you ain't in no bad shape.

MORRIS: Reckon? (groan) You got BLANK out there didn't you?

FRIEND: Yeah, sho did. Burned those trees and everything.

MORRIS: Yes, pardner. I gets cold (sounds like kill goats) (unintelligible) fresh gown.

FRIEND: We worried about it. We want to find out who it is. You won't tell us.

MORRIS: I can't do it. I don't exactly know.

FRIEND: Why you can't do it?

MORRIS: I don't know exactly who it was. I had to run real fast. See I come out there man put shotgun on me told me to get back in there.

FRIEND: Well, you must have saw them if he told you to get back in there.

MORRIS: Uh Huh.

FRIEND: Did you? Huh?

MORRIS: Uh Huh.

FRIEND: Well, why don't you tell us who it is.

MORRIS: (Unintelligible) I don't exactly know.

FRIEND: Had you ever saw them before?

MORRIS: Uh Huh. I guess so.

FRIEND: Had they ever been in the shop?

MORRIS: Uh Huh. I do ----- sure don't.

(A brief exchange follows in which four statements are made, but the names of the individuals speaking are not given.)

The statements were:

-- He did say that he...

-- He did say that they had been in the shop before.

-- But he just won't tell who it was.

-- He won't tell who it was.

(Ferriday Fire Chief Noland Mouelle begins interviewing Morris.)

FERRIDAY FIRE CHIEF NOLAND MOUELLE: I'm trying to find out something now. We are trying to get this thing straightened out. Where do those folks come from?

MORRIS: I don't know where they come from, Mr. Mouelle.

MOUELLE: You don't know where they come from?

MORRIS: No sir. I don't know exactly.

MOUELLE: Do they live in Ferriday?

MORRIS: I imagine they do.

MOUELLE: Oh?

MORRIS: I imagine they do.

MOUELLE: You imagine they do?

MORRIS: The old fellow the one out there putting gasoline on the building, yes sir.

MOUELLE: You saw him put it around the building?

MORRIS: Yes.

MOUELLE: Well did they put any on the inside?

MORRIS: They must have. I came out came out I don't see how he did it so quick.

MOUELLE: Well, something else I want to ask you, where do they work, Frank.?

MORRIS: I don't know where they work at.

MOUELLE: They work at the paper mill?

MORRIS: I think so, but I don't know.

MOUELLE: Or do they work at Youngs over in Natchez?

MORRIS: Yes, I wasn't exactly straight if I was I could move fast.

MOUELLE: You had to move fast?

MORRIS: Yes, what I mean I would a gotten a door.

MOUELLE: Well, how much time from the time you saw him until - how did you get burned that bad?

MORRIS: I don't know.

MOUELLE: Did they throw any gasoline on you?

MORRIS: No, the gas must a been already in there.

MOUELLE: Already in there?

MORRIS: Already in.

MOUELLE: And you don't know whether they work for BLANK or over at the paper mill do you Frank?

MORRIS: Yeah.

MOUELLE: Where do they work?

MORRIS: I don't know sir.

MOUELLE: We want to try to find out who this is to clear this mess up.

MORRIS: I don't know exactly who it was.

MOUELLE: Have you seen them before?

MORRIS: Looks like I have. I didn't have a chance to talk with them. I had to move fast.

(An unidentified FBI agent then begins to interview Morris.)

FBI AGENT: Frank, I'm with the FBI, my name is (BLANK)

MORRIS: Yes sir.

FBI AGENT: Was it a car or pickup truck that you saw?

MORRIS: I think it was car in the alley -- sitin in the alley in the alley.

FBI AGENT: Was it pointed to the street?

MORRIS: Yes, pointed out toward street (unintelligible).

FBI AGENT: It was.

MOUELLE: Which was did they go when they left there?

MORRIS: I don't know.

FBI AGENT: Do you remember when these men were last in your shoe shop? Are they customers? Did you ever repair their shoes?

(Here, a doctor talks to Morris. The doctor is believed to be Charles Colvin.)

DOCTOR: This is (BLANK). I want you to understand that you are in real bad condition.

MORRIS: Yes sir.

DOCTOR: And I want you to do something for me. I want you to cooperate with these men. Do all you can to help them find out who burned your place down and who burned you. Will you do that for me?

MORRIS: Yes. yes. All right. Doctor, I don't know exactly who the men was. One had on khaki pants and he was pouring gas out and when I got up to see he hit the window he did. He hit the window and broke the window pane out and while he was breaking window panes out I come out to catch this joker he had a shotgun told me get back in Nigger.

(Mouelle begins to ask questions again.)

MOUELLE: Was that before he set -- struck the match?

MORRIS: Must have been. Must have been ------- just like something when --------- looks like --- I ask (sounds like what you doing in there) put yourself in there when that thing caught.

MOUELLE: You don't have any idea who it was?

MORRIS: No sir. I ain't got no idea.

MOUELLE: You can't give us any idea at all?

MORRIS: No sir.

(FBI agent questions Morris again.)

FBI AGENT: Have you ever seen them before Frank?

MORRIS: I can't say who it was ------ I probably seen them before ----- jacket on had a shotgun and I went on back in house, sure had a time getting myself out cause man its ----- bout gone.

FBI AGENT: Did you notice if it was a single or double barrel.

MORRIS: Yes it was a single barrel.

FBI AGENT: Did the men have hats on? Do you remember what kind of car they were driving?

MORRIS: No sir, I sure don't. This fellow you know I couldn't get through the door to look. Ever time I got to the door this fellow he had shotgun in my face and told me to get back in.

FBI AGENT: Which window did they break. Did they break the one near your machine?

MORRIS: Yes, one right in front of my machine.

FBI AGENT: Uh Huh. Were they inside the shop.

MORRIS: No sir, they weren't inside the shop.

FBI AGENT: Did you see them pouring gasoline?

MORRIS: Yeah.

FBI AGENT: They were pouring it through the window?

MORRIS: No sir, they must have poured it before I got there to the front.

FBI AGENT: I see.

MORRIS: They must have poured it in some kind of way before I got there in the front.

FBI AGENT: And how did you come out. Did you come out that little alley way where the gate is?

MORRIS: Yes.

FBI AGENT: You had to open your gate to come out?

MORRIS: Yes. Yes.

FBI AGENT: And when you came out was the car there or had they driven away.

MORRIS: They had driven off.

FBI AGENT: Did you see which way they drove?

MORRIS: No sir, sure didn't.

FBI AGENT: You are sure it's a car?

MORRIS: Yes sir, I positive it's a car.

FBI AGENT: And there were two men?

MORRIS: I saw two maybe more than that. About three of them cause this fellow on the other side.

FBI AGENT: There was a fellow on the other side, too.

MORRIS: Yes. Here's what I mean, must have been the man that drove the car.

FBI AGENT: Uh huh. Were these men ever in your shop before?

MORRIS: I can't remember. I know most likely have been in the shop. I just I had to do it in such a hurry. I couldn't (sounds like get there).

FBI AGENT: I understand.

MORRIS: Yes sir.

FBI AGENT: How old were they do you think? Were they young?

MORRIS: Yes sir, between 30 and 35.

FBI AGENT: Were they heavy or small?

MORRIS: Kinda small.

FBI AGENT: Both of them small.

MORRIS: Yes sir, about my size. One of them was kinda, uh, young there. He had grey hair with khaki.

FBI AGENT: Just like khaki trousers.

MORRIS: Yes sir. Yes sir.

FBI AGENT: What kind of shirt? Did you notice?

MORRIS: No sir, I sho didn't.

FBI AGENT: Was he the man who held the gun?

MORRIS: No sir.

FBI AGENT: Did either of them have a flash light to shine in your eyes?

MORRIS: No, no sir.

FBI AGENT: Was one of them old or were they both young?

MORRIS: Both of them was kinda young.

FBI AGENT: Were they as big as you or were they smaller men?

MORRIS: The one with the gun was bigger than me.

FBI AGENT: The biggest one?

MORRIS: Yes. I was gonna get up to the door see. I just stood by the door and he told me to get back in there.

FBI AGENT: Get back in your little room?

MORRIS: No sir, in the shop.

FBI AGENT: Oh, he told you to get back in the shop.

MORRIS: Yes.

FBI AGENT: Where the fire was?

MORRIS: Yes.

FBI AGENT: Oh, you didn't go back into your bedroom?

MORRIS: I had to go back in the bedroom to get out.

FBI AGENT: I see and the place was on fire then.

MORRIS: Yes sir, yes. No sir. He struck the match ---- out.

FBI AGENT: You saw him strike the match?

MORRIS: Yes sir.

FBI AGENT: Then he threw it inside?

MORRIS: Yes sir.

FBI AGENT: Thank you, Frank. Anything else that you can tell me that might help?

MORRIS: No sir, that's all....I can't tell (BLANK) I sho can't. How they do it in such a hurry (BLANK) ----- I ain't had a chance to do nothing.

FBI AGENT: You would tell me wouldn't you?

MORRIS: Yes sir, I'd tell you. I'd tell you, too, but I just don't know exactly who it was.

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