William Spiegel (I)

Excerpts from William Spiegel’s grand jury testimony on February 3, 1949. 

February 3, 1949

WILLIAM SPIEGEL, called as a witness, having first been duly sworn by the Foreman, testified:

Q. Would you briefly tell the grand jury when you first met Zimmerman…

A. Well, we met David Zimmerman [a.k.a. David Carpenter], I would say in the very early years of our marriage. We were living in Baltimore, and I don’t remember specifically how I met him. We were living downtown at the time and we simply came to know him and saw him periodically thereafter in a rather friendly sort of way. He was a rather – we found him an interesting person, a pleasant person to know, and we continued seeing him at intervals throughout that period.


Q. Now with reference to your apartment at 112 East Madison Street, you lived there at one time, didn’t you?

A. That is right.

Q. Can you recall when you moved there?

A. We moved there in the fall of 1937.

Q. The fall of 1937. Now, how long did you live there?

A. I believe through the – possibly to the fall of the following year.

Q. Now, prior to your living on Madison Street, did Carpenter or Zimmerman at any time ask you to make use of your apartment?

A. Prior to when?

Q. Prior to when you moved into the Madison Street address.

A. No.

Q. That is, prior to October of 1937.

A. That’s right.


Q. Now, will you try and fix the approximate time after you moved into the Madison Street apartment, as to when Zimmerman approached you for the purpose of using your apartment?

A. We – I mean, myself and my wife – have tried to do that, and we weren’t able to definitely, but we believe it was in the fall of that year, or some time soon after we moved there, but we can’t seem to recollect any exact interval of time.


Q. Now, going back to the Madison Street address, will you give in your own words as completely as possible, what conversations you, or you heard your wife, had with Zimmerman concerning the use of your apartment?

A. My recollection of that is extremely hazy. As a matter of fact, I can’t recall the exact time that we actually had that conversation, nor the circumstances that surrounded it, but I do simply recall that the conclusion of the conversation was that he would be able to use our apartment, and that we arranged for a rental – or that he would contribute towards our rent, the amount of twenty dollars. Beyond that, I have no specific recollections.

Q. I would like to show you a photograph – and this is a photograph of Whittaker Chambers …. and ask you if you have come in contact with Whittaker Chambers….

A. Well … it is very difficult for me to say now that I recognize his face as a result of having seen him in my apartment, or simply that I have seen him in the newspapers and also having seen him last week.


Q. The grand jury would like to know as to whether this Whittaker Chambers is the individual who was brought to your apartment or introduced to you by Carpenter or Zimmerman.

A. I understand that. I would say that this bears a resemblance to that individual.


Q. And how would you describe that individual that Zimmerman brought to you?

A. I would describe him as a man that is short, sort of chubby, round head, large eyes, I think his teeth were not very good at the time.

Q. Did you at any time have any knowledge that he was using your apartment for the purpose of photography and for developing film?

A. No, I did not.

Q. Did you have any knowledge that he used either the bathroom or the kitchen in your apartment for photography purposes?

A. No.


Q. Did you ever observe this fellow Chambers in your apartment?

A. Not without Zimmerman.


Q. Now didn’t it occur to you and your wife to wonder as to why he wanted to pay you twenty dollars a month? If you knew the purpose, then you could judge as to whether you wanted your apartment used or not.

A. Well, simply that our feeling toward Zimmerman was not such as to have led us at that time to question his purpose, other than we knew he did a great deal of writing, and we somehow or other didn’t think – it didn’t occur to us – that he would use our apartment for some purpose that we would ourselves object to. We had a fair amount of confidence in the man at that time.


Q. Chambers says that he was brought to your apartment by Zimmerman and he met you there, and he used your apartment for photography purposes. You people weren’t there, you see. In other words he says he used it in the evening sometimes while you would go out to the movies or, if you came home early, you would go someplace else. But he used it for photography purposes and for developing film. Well, it’s a well-known fact, without you having any technical knowledge, that you can’t just start to develop film and pack it away and take it away with you. You have got to leave it out to dry, you see. And with reference to developing film, you have got to make a little bit of a mess either in the kitchen or in a bathroom, to do it. And so, consequently, didn’t you notice any indications around the apartment? Not that you observed him doing it, not that you saw him doing it; but didn’t you observe any indications around the apartment that it might have been used for some purpose?

A. Well, there were none. There was no indication whatsoever that I can recall. And I might go a step further: that I myself have had an amateur’s interest in photography for a long time and I think I would have recognized such a thing if I saw it.