Jan. 3, 1967: Jack Ruby, killer of JFK’s assassin, dies just weeks before second trial

The killer of JFK’s assassin died just weeks before he could speak out in a second trial (from Yahoo News UK.)

After killing Lee Harvey Oswald on national television, Ruby, the owner of a Dallas nightclub, usually denied that he was part of any conspiracy. On other occasions he intimated that he might have a different story. In June 1964, he asked Chief Justice Earl Warren to bring him to Washington to testify; Warren refused.

Ruby said once that he killed Oswald to spare Jackie Kennedy the pain of a criminal trial. That story was made up, said Gail Raven, a Texas woman who was friends with Ruby in 1963.

See: Ex-flame says Jack Ruby ‘had no choice’ but to kill Oswald (March 21, 2013).

Raven also said Ruby actively disliked Attorney General Robert Kennedy.

 

56 comments

  1. Jean Davison says:

    Most of the people who knew Ruby who expressed an opinion believed that he acted impulsively. Since Gail Raven evidently was not even living in Dallas after the summer of 1963, was she merely expressing her *opinion* about Ruby’s motive and not some inside knowledge?

    http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=10489&relPageId=377

    Earl Ruby told the HSCA:

    Mr. RUBY. I can’t add any more to what I already stated, what he told me. He saw Oswald walk out of the hallway, the area there, with a smirk on his face as though he were proud of having killed our President, and that’s what he told me. That’s when he lost control of himself and shot him. Those are his words to me.
    END QUOTE

    Sometimes people act on impulse and later rationalize an explanation for why they did it. As I recall, there was a newspaper found in Ruby’s apartment that had an article suggesting Jackie might have to return for a trial.

    People not alive then may not realize how many other people might’ve killed Oswald that day if they’d had the chance. Ruby got a flood of telegrams congratulating him. The crowd outside the jail cheered when it heard the news. The young wife of Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas saw Ruby shoot Oswald on TV and reportedly exclaimed, “Good! Give it to him again.”

    An impulsive act is also consistent with the timing of Ruby’s movements, since he arrived just moments before Oswald walked out.

    • Neil says:

      The reason people don’t believe Ruby was in the garage by chance is because he had been seen around the police station so many other times that weekend. He even tried to get into the room where Fritz was interrogating Oswald.

      Perhaps Ruby waited til Oswald was in the garage because he was reluctant to shoot Oswald? We’ll never know. But it’s hard to believe he hadn’t thought about shooting Oswald before that moment that weekend given his pattern of behavior.

    • leslie sharp says:

      Jean, I recognize the time and space constraints on this site, but this is an over-simplification in the extreme, and I’m surprised that anyone with depth of knowledge of the facts would take this position.

      Emphasis on Earl Ruby’s statement convolutes the facts relating to Jack Ruby’s murder of Oswald by suggesting that Jack merely stumbled into the parking garage, pistol in tow, and only when he saw a smirk on Oswald’s face did he decide – on impulse – to murder Oswald. Further, the newspaper in Jack Ruby’s possession relating to Jackie’s appearance at trial is one of the weakest arguments in support of a motive for Ruby; anyone with any degree of understanding of the complex history of either Ruby or Oswald will dismiss it out of hand. I won’t bring up the allegations made by numerous individuals that Oswald and Ruby actually knew one another; but I am disappointed that you do not at least give that a line or two.

      A parallel to your impulse argument is that of Oswald’s assassination of the president. The argument goes thusly: there was no conspiracy. And proof of that premise is that that Oswald acted on impulse to assassinate John Kennedy. He discovered that the president would be in Dallas, he found himself employed in a building that provided an ideal sniper’s perch from which to shoot the president, he did so, he strolled from the building and caught public transportation, he worked his way back to his room, he picked up a hand gun, he shot a Dallas police officer, and he went to the movies … all on impulse.

      Your argument includes that Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas’s wife was enthused that Oswald had been executed without trail for his traitorous act. Surely your not consciously inflaming the argument in order to emphasize that the most revered in our country at the time knew for certain that Lee Oswald had assassinated their “beloved president?” What evidence was Mrs. Douglas and her husband relying upon – on that Sunday, November 24th – when they witnessed Ruby acting “on impulse.” How had they been so readily convinced that Oswald was the lone assassin? Surely as a jurist, Mrs. Douglas’s husband insisted that evidence and a trial must go hand in hand in our democracy.

      You suggest that Ruby’s movements prove an impulsive act. How do his movements as he entered the scene to shoot Oswald go anywhere near suggesting an impulsive act? You are omitting (I trust not deliberately) the facts that are in the public domain to suggest a close relationship between Jack Ruby and certain Dallas authorities/police officers that might have kept him apprised of the Oswald transfer. I think that this omission is unfair to new students of the assassination who hold you in high regard. I also think it is irresponsible to not at least mention Ruby’s underworld connections.

      • leslie sharp says:

        Ruby’s perfectly timed arrival on the scene does not prove that his act was impulsive. Certain Dallas authorities known to Ruby could well have kept him apprised of the Oswald transfer.

        Emphasizing Earl’s statement convolutes the facts by suggesting that Jack found himself in the parking garage, pistol in hand, simply to witness the transfer, and only when he saw a smirk on Oswald’s face did he decide – on impulse – to murder him.

        A similar impulse argument has been assigned to Oswald’s actions. He read that the president would be in Dallas, he found himself employed in a building that provided an ideal sniper’s perch, he shot Kennedy, he strolled from the building and caught public transportation, he worked his way back to his room, picked up a hand gun, shot a Dallas police officer, and went to the movies … all on impulse.

        You mention that SCJ Douglas’s wife was enthused that Oswald had been executed without trial for his traitorous act, and that Ruby did what many wanted to do. Maybe you use it as indication of the volatile climate. But how was Mrs. Douglas or Ruby certain of Oswald’s guilt on that Sunday, 48 hours after the assassination? Oswald had not confessed. Surely as a jurist, W.O. Douglas was insisting that evidence be presented at trial. If hers was merely an emotional expression in the heat of the moment, then why mention it in the first place.

        • leslie sharp says:

          Jean, in fairness my two responses to your comment relating to Jack Ruby will appear to be somewhat redundant. When my initial response was not posted, I assumed that the word count had exceeded the maximum so I drafted another, shorter version. However, the spirit of my concerns regarding your statement is reflected in both.

      • Jean Davison says:

        Mrs. Douglas later regretted her remarks, calling them “barbaric,” but her response wasn’t unusual. By Sunday the public knew among other things that Oswald worked in the TSBD and left, that his rifle was the murder weapon, that he had resisted arrest and was accused of killing a cop. To many, he looked guilty. The telegrams praising Ruby show what the atmosphere was like, starting here:

        http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=1140&relPageId=385

        According to Wally Weston, “Jack wanted everybody to know that he did it, and he had the guts to do what everybody in Dallas probably wanted to do, including myself.”

        People often form opinions about this case based on how it *looks* to them. It certainly *looked* as if Ruby shot Oswald to keep him from talking. But what kind of hit man waits two days to silence the patsy? And Oswald had plenty of opportunity to tell all, but instead he implied that the police were trying to frame him because he’d lived in the Soviet Union.

        No one has been able to show how Ruby could’ve possibly known precisely when Oswald would be brought down into the basement. The transfer was unexpectedly delayed. At 11:17 a.m. Ruby was at the Western Union office a block away. The police called an ambulance for Oswald at 11:21. If there had been another person in line ahead of him, Ruby might’ve missed his opportunity.

        I know most of you don’t agree with that. C’est la vie.

        • Neil says:

          Why do you think Ruby(armed with a pistol) decided to go to a Western Union next to the garage downtown when there were two or three Western Unions closer to his Oak Cliff apartment?

          Do you honestly believe Ruby’s story about entering the garage via the ramp when there were dozens of witnesses standing around who didn’t see him(including Police officers who knew Ruby personally)?

          • Jean Davison says:

            The downtown Western Union clerk who waited on him that day said that Ruby was a regular customer there.

            “Dozens of witnesses” failed to see Ruby? Really? Ruby’s story was that as he came down Main St. he noticed the crowd near the jail and saw a police car carrying a Lt. Pierce leaving the basement via the ramp. When he saw patrolman Vaughn move away from his post to direct the car into traffic, he went down the ramp into the basement.

            Vaughn agreed that he’d stepped into the street to guide Pierce’s car into traffic but he insisted that he could still see the ramp and that nobody got by him. But my question is, How would Ruby know about this car and Vaughn’s movements unless he actually came in that way? Is there some other explanation?

          • Neil says:

            For all we know Ruby couldve seen Pierce and Vaughn from a different location inside or outside the garage. There were passengers inside the car with Pierce and a former police officer standing by Vaughn at the ramp. None of these witnesses saw Ruby come down the ramp. Vaughn took a lie detector test and passed. Sgt Patrick Dean and Jack Ruby’s polygraph tests were inconclusive.

            I’ll grant you that there isn’t any hard evidence linking Ruby to a conspiracy but I don’t find the argument that his shooting of Oswald wasn’t premeditated very convincing.

        • Paulf says:

          Jean, do people impulsively attend press conferences? I was a journalist for 25 years, and I don’t think so. How does that impact your impulse theory?

          What kind of hit man waits two days? Well, how was he supposed to shoot Oswald when he was being interrogated?

          Legally, the fact that he was around the police station so much is evidence that can be used to rebut the “impulsive” argument.

          And why is it important what “everybody” was thinking (in what was obviously a bit of hyperbole)? If someone says that “everybody” thinks that Ruby was acting on mob orders, would you find that meaningful? I think not.

          • Peter says:

            Retired Dallas Police Officer RC Nelson told his story, apparently for the first time, on the 50th anniversary to a Florida TV station. He was helping guard the main entrance to the Police garage when Oswald was shot. Ruby never walked by him, and he told Chief Curry that when Curry initially reprimanded him. What Nelson said he learned shortly thereafter was that Ruby walked down a separate ramp that was open for a decoy police car to exit (to throw off the throng of media). The lieutenant who was in that car told Nelson that “the SOB walked right by us” as they were driving up the ramp. RC was part of the scrum of officers to manhandle Ruby after the shooting. “Hey guys it’s Jack; it’s me,” Ruby said to the police as they placed the cuffs on him. RC said he didn’t know Ruby.

        • leslie sharp says:

          ” . . . They’ll keep you very, very busy and, eventually, they’ll wear you down.”
          Vince Salandria

    • Paulf says:

      C’mon, it is impossible to believe that this was impulsive. Literally impossible, not only using common sense but because the facts say otherwise.

      An impulsive act implies spur-of-the-moment behavior. Ruby attended the press conference the night before. He corrected a questioner about a curious fact. How often do non-journalists impulsively attend a press conference?

      If he was so overcome with grief that he was unable to control himself, why didn’t he act that night? If it was an impulse, he had a lot of time to come to his senses. Yet he seems to have spent some time planning it.

      Nothing argues more for a conspiracy than Ruby’s murder of Oswald. It makes no sense other than an attempt to avoid a trial. A lot of people felt bad for Mrs. Kennedy, but Ruby sacrificed his own life? How would killing Oswald help her anyway? It wouldn’t bring Jack back.

    • Paulf says:

      Oh, and to the point about how many other people “might” have killed Oswald? Do you have any evidence or statistics on that?

      Even hinting at something like that reeks of desperation, since it is so far removed from the way people act in the real world. You can’t point to other similar instances and say that what Ruby did was common or even occasional. The fact is, killing of murderers in retribution is extremely rare, and even more so for people in police custody. What’s more, Ruby had no personal connection to any of the parties that would have made sense of such an act.

    • Fearfaxer says:

      “Most of the people who knew Ruby who expressed an opinion believed that he acted impulsively.”

      A hell of a lot of those people were themselves shady characters who had much to fear from anybody taking a close look at Ruby and their relations with him.

      Jack Ruby was a career criminal. This was obvious to everyone in late 1963, the man ran a strip joint for God’s sake. His murder of Oswald, which was obviously premeditated (he’d been stalking Oswald for some 36 hours prior to killing him) is what made it so difficult for people to believe there wasn’t more to the story of JFK’s assassination than the government was letting on. That remains the case today. That will still be the case 50 years from now, assuming something like the truth doesn’t become known by that time.

    • John Kirsch says:

      It seems interesting but ultimately fruitless to speculate about Ruby’s motive or motives for shooting Oswald.
      Fruitless because Ruby is, obviously, not here to tell us why he did what he did, just as Oswald is not here to tell us why he did what he allegedly did. I say allegedly because he, obviously, never got the chance to defend himself at trial.
      Which brings me to my point: Instead of wasting time speculating about why Ruby shot Oswald, look at the EFFECT of the killing: a dead defendant and no trial.
      Consider also the fact that Ruby shot Oswald in the police station, while Oswald was almost literally surrounded by law enforcement officials. Consider also the question of Ruby’s alleged ties to organized crime.
      Ruby may well have been a man given to impulsive acts. But the effects of his act, and the setting in which it occurred, cannot be overlooked.
      If Oswald had lived, stood trial and been found guilty by a jury of his peers, then this website would probably not exist because most Americans would have long ago accepted the jury’s verdict and we would not still be arguing about the assassination 50 years after the fact.
      What Ruby did, regardless of his state of mind, was to short circuit the judicial system.
      Even though the Warren Commission was established as an investigative, not judicial body, it effectively put a dead man on trial and not surprisingly, found the dead man guilty.
      If Oswald had lived, he would have gone to trial with the presumption of innocence. The state would have had the burden of PROVING Oswald guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
      Ruby murdered a man who was presumed innocent.
      Speculating about Ruby’s motive or motives is a waste of time. However, I find it difficult to believe that a man who made his living by exploiting women suddenly felt so solicitous of the dead president’s widow that he took the huge step of murdering the alleged assassin — live, on TV, in the police station. These are the circumstances from which conspiracy theories are born.

    • John Kirsch says:

      My impression of Ruby is that he devoted a fair amount of energy to staying in the good graces of the Dallas PD, which is not surprising because he operated a business that the more judgmental residents of Dallas (who would have been numerous) would have considered disreputable.
      In other words, he went to some lengths to stay out of trouble with the authorities.
      Yet you suggest that this same person gave into an impulse of some sort and decided to take the enormous step of committing murder — on TV, in the police station, in the presence of police officers who knew him.
      It reminds me of the scene in “Dr. Strangelove” where the president tells the Soviet leader that a U.S. commander “went a little funny in the head” and launched a nuclear attack on the Soviets.
      I’ve noticed that defenders of the Official Story often retreat to arguments based on speculation, even mind reading. The impulse argument seems directly related to that approach.

    • Anon says:

      “Henry, that’s the Fair Play for Cuba Committee.”

      I think the case might be made for premeditation rather than impulse.

      Then there is the question of how Ruby got into the basement. Of course, if he had sat in at a press conference, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume Ruby had gotten his hands on some phony press credentials. That wouldn’t sit well with the Second Lone Nut Theory though.

      In an era of censorship and live TV delays, when blood couldn’t even be shown at the movies, it seems to beggar belief that a cold-blooded murder would have been uncritically and instantly relayed to TV audiences without some sort of pow-wow with the relevant authorities. In fact, nothing like that had happened before, or as far as I know, has happened since.

      Sure as hell was shocking though.

    • John Kirsch says:

      The argument that Ruby acted impulsively in shooting Oswald illustrates the contradictory nature of the Official Story.
      On one hand, the WC report seeks to impress, if not intimidate, citizens with the sheer weight of all those volumes, filled with words and apparent facts.
      But when it comes to crucial aspects of that 48-hour period in Dallas, the Official Story and its defenders retreat to nebulous explanations that rely on notions of impulse and coincidence.
      It was just a coincidence that Ruby was perfectly positioned to shoot Oswald and Ruby did this on an impulse because … well, that isn’t very clear, is it? Strike one against the commission’s supposed desire to explicate 11/22.
      Similarly it was just a coincidence that Oswald got a job in a building that turned out to be directly on the motorcade route.
      As for Oswald’s reason or reasons for shooting a president he had expressed admiration for, well even the WC couldn’t concoct a clear reason for that.
      This split between a “just the facts, ma’am” approach on one hand and a reliance on impulse and coincidence (and what amounts to mind reading) is one of the reasons why most Americans continue to reject the WC’s story. It just doesn’t add up. Despite all those pages filled with words, despite the sheer enormity of the report, it tells a story that fails to convince. It isn’t believable.

    • Ramon F Herrera says:

      Narrator:

      “If Ruby was a hit man working for the Mafia, he had already missed one perfect opportunity to silence Oswald.”

      Lonnie Hudkins, Reporter:

      “And I asked him if he was he was packing a pistol at that midnight press conference, and he said ‘yes’. And I said ‘then why didn’t you plug him then’?

      Jack Ruby: “I was afraid of hitting one of you guys”

      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/biographies/oswald/transcript-52/

  2. Robert Harper says:

    Essential reading to understanding Ruby is Peter Dale Scott’s”Deep Politics” essay on him(likely online) For the aficionados, “Dr. Mary’s Monkey” becomes essential since Ruby, Ferrie, New Orleans, organized crime, and right wing resources all blended so easily together in ways beneath the surface.

    Jim Garrison’s “Playboy” interview mentions the white rats in Ferrie’s apartment and Ruby’s fear of being “injected with cancer” and the strange death of Dr Mary Sherman connected with cancer inducing viruses. Ruby doesn’t testify, gets a new trial, and dies within a few months of the old trial and the new trial.

    Reading his WC testimopny is a roller coaster of a ride (also unline). He’s surrounded by law enforcers and begs to get away from them; he particularly asks that HIS lawyer leave. He rambles – you can practically hear him sweating and he begs Warren to get him out of Dallas.The only full interview he gave-during his trial – was to journalist Dorothy Kilgallen, who herself was mysteriously suicided and her journals disappeared.

    R

  3. John McAdams says:

    >>> On other occasions he intimated that he might have a different story <<<

    I'm not aware of any testimony of Ruby's were he said or even implied that he was part of any conspiracy.

    Of course he believed there was a conspiracy. He believed there was a conspiracy against the Jews, and that he was the "patsy" of that conspiracy.

    • Fearfaxer says:

      “I’m not aware of any testimony of Ruby’s were he said or even implied that he was part of any conspiracy.”

      Yeah, well, you wouldn’t be. You’ve also said you aren’t aware of people saying shots came from the Grassy Knoll at the time of the assassination, although dozens of people, including police officers, did believe just that.

  4. James O'Neill says:

    A small point perhaps, but shouldn’t your headline read, killer of jfk’s alleged assassin. Oswald never received a trial and at the very least he is entitled to the presumption of innocence. At the recent JFK conferences one would be hard put to locate a single serious researcher who thinks Oswald even fired a shot that day.

  5. Jonathan says:

    Ruby died of an incredibly fast acting cancer. I’ve always believed he was murdered.

    • Photon says:

      No he didn’t – he died from a pulmonary embolism- on the death certificate. His cancer was a run of the mill brochiogenic lung carcinoma. The fact that he had multiple metastasis at the time of diagnosis is unfortunately a very common presentation.
      It is impossible to give somebody cancer in a predictable manner by injecting that person with cancer cells or even exposing the same person to a carcinogen. The medical ignorance concerning this topic in the conspiracy community is hilarious.

  6. John Kirsch says:

    From the Wikipedia entry on Ruby: “Ruby (also known by the childhood nickname “Sparky”)[49] was seen in the halls of the Dallas Police Headquarters on several occasions after the arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald on November 22, 1963; and newsreel footage from WFAA-TV (Dallas) and NBC shows Ruby impersonating a newspaper reporter during a press conference at Dallas Police Headquarters on the night of the assassination.[50] District Attorney Henry Wade briefed reporters at the press conference telling them that Lee Oswald was a member of the anti-Castro Free Cuba Committee. Ruby was one of several people there who spoke up to correct Wade, saying: “Henry, that’s the Fair Play for Cuba Committee,” a pro-Castro organization.[51][52][53] Some speculate that Ruby may have hoped to kill Oswald that night at the police station press conference. Ruby told the FBI, a month after his arrest for killing Oswald, that he had his loaded snub-nosed Colt Cobra .38 revolver in his right-hand pocket during the press conference.[54][55][56]”
    Ruby’s decision to publicly correct the DA, in the presence of reporters, shows a certain arrogance, perhaps born of Ruby’s apparent ability to come and go in official offices as he pleased. Addressing Wade as “Henry” also shows a certain familiarity with Wade and suggests that Ruby was trying to impress the reporters by suggesting that he and “Henry” knew each other, an impression that would build up Ruby’s standing in the eyes of reporters.
    But why did Ruby correct Wade re: the committee? Was he trying to show off for the reporters? And how did Ruby know Wade was wrong?

  7. Ramon F Herrera says:

    Here’s some info about the reported CIA’s research on cancer-inducing substances:

    http://www.assassinationresearch.com/v1n2/deaths.html

    … and this is a cartoon that those of us part of the Venezuelan opposition circulated during the celebrations:

    http://patriot.net/~ramon/misc/USAFCIS.jpg

    • Photon says:

      A 1952 CIA memo on a known carcinogen is evidence of CIA research on cancer-inducing substances?
      Is that supposed to be a serious comment?

      • Ramon F Herrera says:

        If you worked in the CIA and tried to block research of that nature you would be fired on the spot.

        In 1963 and in 2014.

  8. Jonathan says:

    Jeff,

    I hope you will post many more articles on Jack Ruby. It’s good to see both Jean Davison and John McAdams here. I gather Jack Ruby is a hot topic for them. Me too.

  9. George Simmons says:

    I have just been watching the television interview of Jack Ruby.
    Ruby : “The world will never know the true facts of what occurred, my motives. The people had, that had so much to gain, and had such an ulterior motive for putting me in the position I’m in will never let the true facts come above board to the world.
    Q : “Are these people in very high positions Jack?”
    A : “Yes”

    I feel this is important because it comes from the horses mouth, the man himself, and only he could have known what his true motives were.

    • Ramon F Herrera says:

      Q : “Are these people in very high positions Jack?”
      A : “Yes”

      Furthermore, the word “vice president” was said and reporters followed Mr. Ruby as he was taken away.

      Reporters: “Vice president? Do you mean vice president Adlai Stevenson”?

      Jack Ruby: “No, the current *president*. Your answer is the man in office now [referring to LBJ].”

      It would take a blind person -by nature or by choice- to deny this confession/accusation.

      • Jean Davison says:

        Ramon,

        Anyone can be a conspiracy theorist, even Jack Ruby. At first he blamed the John Birch Society, later he suspected LBJ as well. But he consistently denied that he himself was involved.

  10. Kennedy63 says:

    I never believed that Ruby shot Oswald to spare Jackie from a trial. But that “rationale” is easily sold to an shocked nation who sees the grieving widow and her fatherless children….except…Ruby was at the police station with a loaded gun pretending to be a reporter (for the Israeli/jewish press). Is it just me, or is there a mass disconnect when it comes to Jack Ruby? Ruby is a pivotal player in the assassination and cover-up, either on the gangster side, Dallas law enforcement side, or the business side, perhaps all three.

    Ruby : “The world will never know the true facts of what occurred, my motives. The people had, that had so much to gain, and had such an ulterior motive for putting me in the position I’m in will

    If Ruby acted impulsively when he shot Oswald, as many Warren Ommission apologist assert, why would he subsequently get on camera and make statements alluding to involvement of others more powerful than himself, who have the capability to suppress the “truth” and “never let the true facts come above board to the world.” Folks, 50 years later Ruby’s words become huge because he spoke the truth about his participation in the coup d’etat…silencing the patsy!

    • Photon says:

      At the time of that statement wasn’t Ruby also claiming that they were killing Jews on other floors of the jail?

  11. Avinash says:

    Sergeant Patrick Dean might have been the Police officer who let or escorted Ruby into the basement.

  12. TLR says:

    This is what the HSCA said in its final report:

    “Ruby’s shooting of Oswald was not a spontaneous act, in that it involved at least some premeditation. Similarly, the committee believed it was less likely that Ruby entered the police basement without assistance, even though the assistance may have been provided with no knowledge of Ruby’s intentions… The committee was troubled by the apparently unlocked doors along the stairway route and the removal of security guards from the area of the garage nearest the stairway shortly before the shooting… There is also evidence that the Dallas Police Department withheld relevant information from the Warren Commission concerning Ruby’s entry to the scene of the Oswald transfer.”

  13. B Binnie says:

    It used to be considered telling that a Dallas Police Car horn sounds at the moment LHO was brought through the door way and is presented for killing? Police Cars were to be locked at all times so it fairly impossible that civilian was randomly in a car and absent mindedly hit a horn at just the perfect moment- It used to be a point of interest that the single bullet that struck LHO basically blew a hole though his left torso and liquified his internal organs, ensuring that one bullet was all that was needed- Where did Ruby aquire such ammunition and why was it in his gun? Are there reasonable explanations that have been uncovered over the years that render these points less profound than they appeared to be 35 years ago when I first became aware of them? BB

    • Jean Davison says:

      Because of the crowd, Det. Dhority hadn’t been able to back the transfer car into the agreed-upon position, so he honked his horn to let the men accompanying Oswald know where he was.

      Ruby used ordinary ammunition and Oswald’s organs weren’t “liquefied.”

      • leslie sharp says:

        So the DPD was not able to control the crowd? Aside from that strange admission, how can anyone discount the possibility that the honking of the horn was part of the intended scenario? Hand signals would not have worked as efficiently, cell phones were not available, but if Ruby heard a signal, for instance the sound of a car horn, might not he have descended down the ramp at the perfect moment to align with Oswald approaching the car.

      • John Kirsch says:

        Did the bullet that Ruby fired pass through Oswald’s body or was it recovered from inside of him? This isn’t a trick question. I respect your knowledge. I am simply curious.

        • Jean Davison says:

          The bullet almost exited, but not quite. The Parkland OR record says it could be felt under the skin: “an exit was identified by subcutaneous palpation of the bullet…”

          http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=946&relPageId=560

          As can be seen in that document, the bullet caused extensive bleeding and damage to several organs.

          • John Kirsch says:

            Thank you. Everything happened so fast after Oswald was shot and there was so much confusion (at least it looks that way to me in the old footage) that I can’t tell exactly what happened to Oswald. I can see him clutching his midsection as the bullet hits him but then it’s all people crowding in front of the cameras.
            I assume Oswald fell to the floor, though I don’t know that for a fact. When Ruby fired, as I recall, Oswald was almost surrounded by law enforcement officials.
            Has there ever been any consideration given to the possibility that, in all the confusion and crush of bodies, that someone might have inadvertently touched or moved Oswald in a way that could have made the damage from the wound even worse?
            I’m not suggesting that anyone would have done this on purpose, only that the scene was obviously one of confusion, even chaos, if the old footage is any indication, and it doesn’t seem inconceivable that someone, a police officer or deputy or well-meaning bystander, might have handled Oswald in a way that could have made the damage even worse before he was finally put on a stretcher.
            Which brings me to another question. As I recall, it didn’t seem to take that long to get Oswald on the stretcher, or gurney, and loaded into the back of a vehicle of some sort. I can’t tell whether the vehicle was an ambulance or simply a vehicle that was close at hand and available to get Oswald to Parkland as quickly as possible.

  14. TLR says:

    AP reported 11/25/1963: “One man who said he knew Ruby from 1944 on, and visited with him as recently as three years ago in Dallas, scoffed at the idea that a patriotic motive was involved in the slaying of Oswald. “I can’t see the guy as pushing through a thing like this out of patriotism. He might for publicity, yes. He might for money,” said Jack Kelley, 54, former vaudevillian and nightclub master of ceremonies. Kelley, now manager of a Pekin, IL, drive-in restaurant, said he knew Ruby during World War II, and that Ruby wore a false hearing aid. “He wasn’t deaf. His friends all said it was to duck the draft board,” Kelly said.”

  15. Ronn says:

    All of you make excellent points on why Ruby shot Oswald. And yes only he knows for sure but he did make a very cryptic statement about why he wanted to be transferred to Washington in order to give a statement about his roll in the assassination. Why he wasn’t given the chance there in Dallas or in DC was beyond me. I think that even a Chief Justice Warren was afraid if what might come out. I’m sure that Johnson had pressured him and told Warren what was what. Oswald Otis our man. The End!
    What I can’t get out of my mind is how supports of the Warren Report say us that a Ruby was busy going about his day, going to send money to one of his girls and even having his dogs in the car and not having any idea that Oswald was about to be moved even though it was running later then they expected. I don’t buy it! I think it was all an alibi for Ruby so that it couldn’t be shown to be premeditated. So he wonders down to the police station slips in just in the nick of time? It was a set up from start to finish
    One coincidence maybe two or three happens but in the JFK assassination there are far to many to happen in a lifetime. Let alone the witnesses that were killed.

    • Jean Davison says:

      Ruby did not testify that he wanted to be taken to Washington so that he could reveal his role in the conspiracy. Actually, it was the opposite — he said he wanted to go there to prove that he was NOT part of a conspiracy.

      Ruby said: “I would like to request that I go to Washington and you take all the tests that I have to take. It is very important.” And, “I would like to be able to get a lie detector test or truth serum [test]…”

      “If you don’t take me back to Washington tonight to give me a chance to prove to the President that I am not guilty, then you will see the most tragic thing that will ever happen.”

      His testimony is here:

      http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=50&relPageId=520

      A version that’s searchable (Control + F):

      http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/russ/testimony/ruby_j1.htm

  16. Mike Rago says:

    You do not impulsively murder someone INSIDE a police station while that person is handcuffed to a detective.

  17. Mike Rago says:

    Jack Ruby told us he was part of a larger conspiracy.

    Here is what Jack Ruby said…(I am paraphrasing but you can hear the words from his own lips at the youtube link below)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dLupbqmtUU

    Ruby: “Everything pertaining to what is happening has not come to the surface. The world will never know the true facts of what occurred my motives in other words, I am the only person in the background that knows the truth pertaining to everything relating to my circumstance”.

    Reporter : Do you think it will ever come out?

    Ruby: “The people had so much to gain and had such a material motive to put me in the position I am in will never let the true facts come above world to the world.”

    Reporter: Are these people in high positions Jack?

    Ruby: “Yes.”

    • Jean Davison says:

      It’s not that simple. Ruby believed there was a conspiracy but he always denied that he was a part of it. He referred to a plot by right-wingers (the John Birch Society in particular) to blame the Jews for the assassination, using the fact that he was Jewish. This idea apparently started even before the assassination, when he became suspicious about an anti-JFK ad in the newspaper that had a Jewish name attached (Bernard Weissman). Eventually he suspected that LBJ was involved, too. Anybody can have a conspiracy theory, even Ruby.

      Here’s an audio excerpt from an interview of Ruby 18 days before he died:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mOyyPKMMHY

  18. leslie sharp says:

    CJ Earl Warren’s direct involvement in this testimony is worth reviewing.

    Chief Justice WARREN. Mr. Ruby, I think you are
    entitled to a statement to this effect, because you
    have been frank with us and have told us your story.

    I think I can say to you that there has been no witness
    before this Commission out of the hundreds we have
    questioned who has claimed to have any personal
    knowledge that you were a party to any conspiracy to
    kill our President.

    Mr. RUBY. Yes; but you don’t know this area here.

    Chief Justice WARREN. No; I don’t vouch for
    anything except that I think I am correct in that, am I
    not?

    Mr. RANKIN. That is correct.

    Chief Justice WARREN. I just wanted to tell you
    before our own Commission, and I might say to you also
    that we have explored the situation.

    Mr. RUBY. I know, but I want to say this to you.
    If certain people have the means and want to gain
    something by propagandizing something to their own use,
    they will make ways to present certain things that I do
    look guilty.

    Chief Justice WARREN. Well, I will make this
    additional statement to you, that if any witness should
    testify before the Commission that you were, to their
    knowledge, a party to any conspiracy to assassinate the
    President, I assure you that we will give you the
    opportunity to deny it and to take any tests that you
    may desire to so disprove it.

    I don’t anticipate that there will be any such
    testimony, but should there be, we will give you that
    opportunity.

    Does that seem fair?

  19. M. Ellis says:

    Jack Ruby was but one of many convenient coincidences for the later investigators.
    I wonder, who benefitted by Oswald being murdered and never going to trial?

    Ruby’s motives, even if true – which I seriously doubt – tell us nothing about Oswald.
    they tell us nothing about what could have come out at trial if Lee Harvey Oswald had lived to face a trial.

    Can you imagine 544 Camp Street & Mexico City being raised In the trial of Lee Harvey Oswald?
    And the autopsy?

    So one should ask cui bono from Jack Ruby’s hit?

  20. John Kirsch says:

    Re: the headline on this post — wouldn’t it be more accurate to refer indirectly to Oswald as JFK’s “alleged” assassin, since Oswald, obviously, was never found guilty (or innocent) by a court of law? The Warren Commission doesn’t count.

  21. Ramon F Herrera says:

    I find the LN allegations about Jack Ruby being a macho kind of guy, at the very least lacking substance. So he was his own bouncer? Big deal!

    In order to push people around there are two possible preconditions. Either…

    (a) You are Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    (b) You have half the Dallas police force, eating your food, drinking your alcohol and having sex with your girls, seating behind you.

    LNs claim (a).

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