The hit man and the mobster: Jack Ruby and Santos Trafficante

Why did Jack Ruby kill Lee Oswald?

Gail Raven,” an exotic dancer, was friends with Jack Ruby, the Dallas nightclub owner who killed Lee Harvey Oswald.

When Ruby’s friend Gail Raven was asked that question, the former exotic dancer told JFK Facts: “He had no choice. Jack had bosses, just like everyone else.” Raven said she did not know who those bosses were.

Joe Shimon, a well-connected Washington cop, told syndicated columnist Jack Anderson that Ruby had received specific orders from a famous former Havana crime boss. “Santos Trafficante called in the mob’s chits with Ruby and ordered him to kill Oswald,” Anderson wrote in his 2000 memoir, Peace War and Politics.” (p. 117.)

Both the Warren Commission (1964) and the House Select Committee on Assassinations (1978) investigated the two men and found no significant link between them. But in the 1990s, two officials from the Cuban government’s security service concluded that Trafficante played key roles in a conspiracy to kill President Kennedy.

So who’s right? Is it possible that Trafficante was one of the bosses of Ruby to whom Gail Raven alluded? Was Jack Anderson correct when he wrote that Ruby killed Oswald at the behest of Trafficante?

Trafficante’s Career

Santos Trafficante Jr. was the son of Santos Trafficante Sr., who owned several casinos in Havana. When his father died in 1954 he took control of these establishments. He was known as an organized crimes figure. He attended a notorious convention of Mafia bosses held in the upstate New York town of Apalachin on November 14, 1957. When the meeting was raided by the police, Trafficante was arrested. He said his last name was “Santos” and managed to get himself released; he made his way back to Cuba.

On January 23, 1958, the Cuban police arrested Trafficante for questioning about “The Apalachin Meeting.” After Fidel Castro took power in Cuba in January 1959, Trafficante was arrested again. This time it wasn’t for questioning. Castro had ordered a raid against all the foreign citizens involved in the gambling business, and Trafficante was arrested on June 10, 1959. The detainees were declared subject to deportation and sent to the immigration detention center at Tiscornia near Havana.

Santos Trafficante
Santos Trafficante (center) escorted by Cuban police officers on January 1958.

Ruby told the Warren Commission he had only visited Havana once on vacation, but Cuban immigration records told a different story. Ruby had entered Cuba from New Orleans on August 8, 1959, and left on September 11, 1959. He re-entered from Miami on September 12, 1959, and returned to New Orleans on September 13, 1959.

That was not the only evidence that Ruby had been in Havana.

After Ruby killed Oswald, a British journalist, John Wilson Hudson, called the U.S. Embassy in London to report that he had been incarcerated at Tiscornia during the summer of 1959. He said that “an American gangster called Santo [had been] visited by an American gangster type named Ruby.”

According to British journalist Anthony Summers, Robert McKeown, a gunrunner in Texas, said that Ruby hoped to meet Castro to arrange the release of some unnamed friends detained in Havana.

But while Ruby seems to have visited Havana while Trafficante was detained there, there is no corroboration of Hudson’s claim that they met.

It is known that Trafficante got permission to attend his daughter’s wedding on August 18, 1959, and was allowed to leave Tiscornia. He testified to HSCA that he appeared in person at his deportation hearings in October and November 1959. Although he was spotted back in the United States around January 1960, there is no record of him leaving Cuba under his alien number 93461.

Ruby was known to have been in Dallas on August 10, 21, 31, and September 4, 1959, according to FBI and Dallas police. Thus, it seems that Ruby was able to get in and out of Cuba without going through immigration and customs. By the same token, Trafficante could have left Cuba by yacht or private plane.

There is no doubt that Trafficante was involved in various joint ventures of the CIA and Mafia to kill Castro between September 1960 and April 1962. Another crime boss, Sam Giancana, approached him and Trafficante agreed to recruit an asset for carrying out the assassination. Trafficante and Giancana were dropped from the project in 1962 on the the orders of Richard Helms, deputy director of the CIA. Helms gave “explicit orders” to Bill Harvey, the chief of Cuba operations and the agency’s assassination program, not to collaborate with the two gangsters.

And there is evidence that Trafficante was aware of efforts to assassinate JFK.

José Alemán, a friend of Rolando Cubela, told journalist George Crile III that he met with Trafficante at the Scott Bryan Hotel in Miami in June 1963. When he mentioned in passing “that Kennedy would get reelected, Trafficante reportedly replied, ‘No, José, he is going to be hit.'”

When the HSCA asked Aleman to explain Trafficante’s comment, he chickened out, suggesting implausibly that Trafficante meant JFK would be “hit with a number of votes.”

Cuba’s account

Fabian Escalante, retired chief of counterintelligence for Cuba’s Dirigencia General de Inteligencia gave more details to a group JFK researchers in Nassau, Bahamas, in 1995.

Fabian Escalante
Fabian Escalante, retired Cuban intelligence officer.

Trafficante had received permission to attend his daughter’s wedding from Rolando Cubela, a former commandante who had a position in the Castro government, according to Escalante. It seems that Trafficante’s lawyer, Rafael García-Bango, was a friend of Cubela’s.

In 1963, the CIA would attempt to enlist Cubela, known by the code names AMLASH, in a scheme to kill Castro. In 1966 Cubela and Garcia-Bango would be arrested, convicted, and sentenced to jail terms for their roles in the plot.

[More on the case of Rolando Cubela here.]

Escalante also told the Cuban version of events to Claudia Furiati, a Brazilian journalist and author of the book entitled “ZR-RIFLE,” the code name of the CIA assassination program. “Like Ruby, Trafficante was a small-time Mafia capo,” she wrote (see p. 114). In fact, neither Ruby nor Trafficante fit that description.

Nonetheless, Escalante concluded from data in the Cuban government’s still-undisclosed JFK files that both were the third-level players in the plot to kill the American President. According to Escalante, the chief mastermind at the top level may have been deputy director Helms, with senior operations officers David Atlee Phillips and Howard Hunt acting as transmission belts in the second level.

The fourth-level players — the shooters — were organized in two teams, according to Escalante. The American mobsters Richard Cain, Lenny Patrick, and Dave Yara were coordinated by Ruby. Escalante contended that Trafficante coordinated the Cuban exiles Herminio Diaz and Eladio del Valle, former Trafficante bodyguard and drug courier, respectively.

In 2013, Richard Cain’s brother Michael told JFK Facts that he had investigated Richard’s alleged role in JFK’s assassination and concluded he was not in Dallas on November 22.

Ruby gets ready

Jack Ruby, upper right, expert on the Fair Play for Cuba Committee.

“The murder of Oswald by Jack Ruby had all the earmarks of an organized crime hit, an action to silence the assassin, so he could not reveal the conspiracy,” wrote HSCA General Counsel G. Robert Blakey and co-author Richard Billings in their book, “The Plot to Kill the President.” (See p. 339.)

After Oswald was arrested, 90 minutes after JFK was killed, Ruby began stalking him.

When Oswald was brought out to speak with reporters later that night, District Attorney Henry Wade said the suspected assassin was a member of “the Free Cuba Committee.” From the last row, a “newsman” wearing glasses corrected Wade:

“Fair Play for Cuba,” he called out.

The  fact-checker was Ruby, a nightclub operator, who was not a reporter and not known to wear glasses. Oswald was led back to his cell.

Thirty-six hours later, Ruby strolled into the basement of the Dallas Police Department headquarters with a loaded pistol in his pocket, just as Oswald was being led out to be transferred to another jail. A phalanx of cops guarded the suspect, but left his front unprotected. Ruby walked up and shot and killed Oswald.

On March 20, 1964, Warren Commission assistant counsels Leon Hubert and Burt Griffin sent a memo to General Counsel J. Lee. Rankin, stating, “The most promising links between Jack Ruby and the assassination of President Kennedy are established through underworld figures and anti-Castro Cubans, and extreme right-wing Americans.”

Neither the Warren Commission nor the HSCA seems to have pursued these leads far enough.


130 thoughts on “The hit man and the mobster: Jack Ruby and Santos Trafficante”

  1. Gianfranco Agostinone

    Hi Mr Santo Trafficante was a close friend of my uncle Dino Cellini we always habe great memories

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  3. The following documents by Leon Hubert and Burt Griffin, the Commission investigators appointed to investigate Ruby, show they had uncovered possible Cuban associations of Jack Ruby.

    This was all glossed over in the final Report, while Hubert and Griffin were not even included in the June 1964 interview of Ruby at the Dallas county jail.

  4. The further you delve into this, the more apparent are the links and connections between Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby, and the intelligence communities.
    Not only have the Secret Services failed to cooperate genuinely with every official investigation of JFK’s assassination, any possibility of reaching closure on this investigation has almost certainly been permanently compromised.
    We can however glean more information about the significant figures who may have been involved in the assassination, and understand more about the lies, deception , and anti American activities of the intelligence agencies who are purportedly representing the interests of the nation.
    It is time to end the protection of self interest, and free up information in order that we can know the truth.
    For over 50 years we have been forced to accept smoke and mirrors and institutional lack of fortitude.

  5. Why did JR deny ever having met LHO ? Why did JR deny in questioning at the Warren Commission, that he was at the Dallas Police Department press conference that friday night ? Why was JR never questioned/detained/charged/arrested for his gun running activities between 1952 and 1961 ? Why have the FBI/CIA/Intelligence Services never submitted much of the history of JR to the Warren Commission/ HSCA/ Church Commitee/ and ARRB ? Why has so little known information about LHO been submitted to designated investigations ? Many former employees of JR provided accounts that described JR and LHO as knowing each other on a practical basis. There is so much information still classified that could assist a genuine JFK investigation. We need to access the information that has been denied for over 50 years. Thus far hidden information that will help explain the history, circumstances and connections will aide the pursuit of truth.

  6. The Mob simply called in their marker. I believe that Ruby was trying to keep on top of anything Oswald may have revealed through his contacts in the DPD et al.
    Had Oswald been transferred as intended, the circle of ‘control’ would have been broken. That wasn’t gonna happen and didn’t.

  7. IMHO, Dallas police officer Harry Olsen convinced Ruby late Friday night that he (Ruby) had to kill Oswald to prevent LHO from appearing in a trial. Such a trial could have revealed inconvenient truths about the relationship between Ruby, Dallas Police, and the killing of J.D. Tippit, and, consequently, incriminated not only elements of the DPD in the murder of JFK, but incriminated other top level conspirators as well, who could not afford to be named.

    Ruby was going down, so why not show a little spine on the way?

    1. This ignores Ruby’s relationships with the National and local mob, local politicians and oil men (but you do acknowledge the DPD/Sheriffs Office). I don’t think Olsen talked him into anything. They might have discussed methods and/or his angst.
      He had already been to the press showing, in disguise, with his gun in his pocket.
      He was probably told before this and tried to figure a way out of doing it. Somebody called the DPD and another source at 2-3 AM warning of the impending hit.
      Then he walked through a locked door – from only one side and we can all see what happened next.

      1. re: Ronnie Wayne
        September 3, 2014 @ 11:59pm

        Ronnie, thanks for the thoughtful feedback. I didn’t mean to imply Ruby had no ties to the mob, national or local. I think he did, I just don’t think the final word came from that direction. Just my opinion, of course. Olsen was lying about what he was doing on Friday in Oak Cliff. Seems to me he knew a lot more about what looks like an ambush to kill Tippit than any cop should have known. Remember: Tippit’s murder is the Rosetta Stone of the assassination. Why is he lying, and what is he lying about? Check out the testimony from Kay and Johnny about the conversation with Ruby late Friday night/early Saturday morning. Why are they all lying? What have they got to hide?

        According to Larry Crafard’s testimony, it was unusual for Ruby to be carrying his revolver, but somehow the idea of Ruby stalking Oswald has never resonated with me. I think he had too much “help” available in the DPD, and perhaps wanted to be equipted when the opportunity arrived. Check out Patrick Dean and Kenneth Croy, if you have a few minutes spare time.

        1. Interesting person, Olsen. Couldn’t remember who the owner whose estate he was guarding; said he got the job from a fellow officer, a motorcycle cop who worked the Oaklawn area, but couldn’t remember his name; couldn’t remember the address of the place he was guarding – and the WC let him get away with those answers. Apparently they didn’t press him at all. He was asked to leave the dept., however. As to Croy, he should have gotten a hard look, especially in re his activities where Tippit was killed. His story of how he got to the scene from where he claimed to be is implausible, and his actions after getting there are strange.

          1. Olsen wasn’t very detailed at all in questioning at the WC. He could never recall who he had spoken to in telephone conversations made to the DPD. From the very generalised way that Olsen answered questions, it appeared quite clear he had no intention of devulging much in the way of conversations he had with Ruby on the days leading up to Ruby’s assassination of Oswald. For a police officer, Olsen appeared to be anything but attentive or concise in relating what were the thoughts of his friend Jack Ruby. For someone who professed to being shocked at the assassination of JFK, he displayed no desire to describe his friend Jack Ruby’s thoughts and words. Specter appeared to drop the ball when he ought to have pressed for more detailed answers to straight forward and basic questions.

        2. I’ve read about the Rosetta Stone,
          which is separate from this.
          Ruby 1st approached the office O was being interrogated in on the afternoon of 11/22, likely with pistol in pocket but was denied entrance.
          That night in disguise with glasses, a notepad and pen he stood on a table and corrected DA Wade about the FPCC, too far away for a shot with a pistol.
          IMHO, he had already been ordered to kill him.
          The Friday night discussions with Olsen could have been of any way to get out of it, or, how to do it.
          Did not Olsen leave Dallas a week or so after the Murder of JFK?

          1. The Rosetta Stone reference was David Belin’s metaphor for the Tippit murder. Understand the workings of the Tippit killing, and you will understand the assassination of JFK.

            Ruby, it appears to me, was not stalking, but was “guided” by elements of the DPD. I seem to be in the minority on this point.

            Olsen said he was asked to leave the DPD in the latter part of December by no less than Chief Curry, for the serious offense of being out of sick leave. WC did not press Olsen for the real reason.

          2. I’ve read what I could find with limited time on the rosetta stone reference over the years. McBride’s take on the real one and Belin’s version explore it in more depth than I’ve chanced upon elsewhere (Into the Nightmare). It also delves deeper into the Tippit Murder than anything I’ve seen.
            Tippit’s Dad was told he was “hunting” O.
            I still think Ruby was hunting/stalking O, looking for a kill shot. Probably with info from the DPD, Olsen ? , good chance he was one.

          3. Re: Ronnie Wayne, September 7, 2014 @ 11:36pm

            McBride has done some good work, but also has made some serious missteps. There is no real argument for the existence of Badgeman, certainly not Tippit. Read the Russ Shearer transcripts of the DPD Channel 1 radio transmissions here,


            and think about the timing. Watch out for red herrings, like the Gloco gas station sighting, and be aware of who most Dallas cops would call in 1963 when they stepped out of their patrol cars: it would probably not be a girlfriend.

  8. After years of reading, after work, as I’m not a researcher…
    I think Ruby shot Oswald because he was told to. Probably by Civello or Campisi or one of their underlings he trusted. Who 1st visited JR in jail? Who that order came from, Trafficante, Marcello, Giancanna, or through, is questionable.
    What is not is his stalking of O. Why did he do this?
    Omerta. Do it or your dead. You may live long enough to see a few relatives die 1st. Do it and they will get you out. Your relatives will live, and your IRS debts will be taken care of. Along with you.
    While not a made member of the Italian mafia because of his Jewish heritage he was a life long collaborator/wannabe who understood.
    This does not mean the mob killed JFK.

    1. Oops. Damn. Let’s back up here. Santos, Carlos or Momo would not have given such an order without some Government backing (and cover) IMHO. LBJ’s neighbor Hoover? Involved? yes, in the coverup demonstrably, maybe some planning. Or other Gov’t agency’s like the MIC Eisenhower mentioned, one already employing the La Cosa Nostra to kill Castro?
      AD, JJA, through a cut out of course?
      Just a layman trying to sort through History I remember a very little of and have limited knowledge of.
      For the more serious posters on here, your criticism of this concept is welcome.

      1. John, you are right. Joe Campisi testified that he was not there that night, but his brother Sam had apparently told the FBI that Ruby ate there that night. When you read Campisi’s testimony, though, he appears to be somewhat wishy-washy about this and whether he knew about it or not, as he was in a lot of his testimony before the House Committee. What we do know, however, is that Joe Campisi visisted Ruby in jail after his arrest.
        I have read allegations that Joe Campisi did have dinner with him that Thursday night before the assassination, but this may stem from the testimony that Ruby simply ate there that night. I am going to dig into this further.

        1. Please do Mr. Tucker. Thought I’d read some years ago that Ruby dined there with O or someone after a trip to Houston.

      2. Mr McAdams, you omitted some relevant information. Ruby asked for Joseph Campisi to visit him in jail, a few days after he killed Oswald. Mr. and Mrs. Campisi promptly paid him a visit.

  9. The Question: Why did Ruby Kill Oswald? I don’t think he actually wanted to kill Oswald. He wanted others to do it. However, from the moment Oswald avoided the gun in the mid-section at the TSBD he was a man being stalked. Ruby, in my view, simply was the last man standing when he merry-go-round stopped its music. I feel as though Ruby, who was actually almost mugging it up with everyone and his brother at the DPD conferences, to his visit to the actual interrogation room doorway, was doing all he could do to NOT have to kill Oswald. I feel he kept putting off, almost begging to get caught at best or, at the very least, not be in the same place as Oswald on Sunday. This is not a unique argument but, just suppose that Ruby was looking for an excuse to blame the authorities in charge of Oswald for his missing him. Perhaps Ruby was hopeful that he would not actually have the position he found himself in…coming to the DPD basement late and then having to actually do his part.

  10. The transcript of Ruby’s Warren Commission testimony reveals Ruby was anxious, most anxious.

    He wanted two things of Warren: to get to Washington, D.C., and to take a lie detector test. He got excited and told Warren he, Warren, was in danger in Dallas. Warren said he had no power to grant either wish. Finally, in an attempt to get something substantive out of Ruby, Warren asked all DPD officials to leave the hearing room. Ruby said he wanted his lawyer to leave as well, but Warren denied Ruby’s request.

    Finally, when Ruby was alone with Warren and W.C. staff and no DPD officials were around, Ruby began to sing. He cheerfully said he killed Oswald to allow Jackie to avoid having to testify. There was no anxiety to his testimony. It flowed without restraint, like a script.

    It’s clear Ruby read Warren correctly. Warren wasn’t interested in the truth. Warren wanted B.S. Ruby fed it to him. Ruby knew how to keep the customer happy.

  11. I think that Ruby did practically EVERYTHING he could do that weekend to actually avoid having to be the one to kill Oswald. He acted erratically, he ‘stalked’ Oswald, he had been spotted outside the interrogation room when Oswald was inside….etc. However, lately mention has been made of the timing of the Oswald move, from the Dallas Police Station and the ‘what were the chances of Ruby showing up within seconds of the transfer being completed’. This has been a recent cornerstone argument to show non-duplicity. Yet, I feel Ruby went out of his way to NOT be there when the transfer was being made because he DID have a job to do. I feel that, in the end, Ruby was pretty sure he missed the transfer and he entered the basement. Unfortunately for him and us but it went off and he had to perform his task. Yep…far-fetched reasoning…but succeeds in countering the coincidental nonsense of a chance meeting. Ruby’s phone records and his behavior tell a lot more that ‘something’ was going on. My view.

  12. This is a good piece, with one problem.

    “Joe Shimon, a well-connected Washington cop, told syndicated columnist Jack Anderson that Ruby had received specific orders from a famous former Havana crime boss. “Santos Trafficante called in the mob’s chits with Ruby and ordered him to kill Oswald,” Anderson wrote in his 2000 memoir, “Peace War and Politics.” (p. 117.)”

    Leaving aside Anderson’s motivations, which are quite dubious in and of themselves, Joe Shimon’s name usually brings in the distinct odor of rat in its wake.

    First of all, Shimon appeared under a fake name in Tony Summers 1978 documentary, “Dr. Peters”… Yes, APPEARED, as in showed his face. He tells a vague tale, linking Trafficante, among others, to the assassination. Yet when it comes to naming the “mastermind”, he pussyfoots around, puts on at least a show of emotion and says he can’t name the “one man” responsible. But he seems to be hinting quite strongly at Trafficante, pointing out the “fact” (I have no idea if it is so) that Giancana was killed by a gun purchased in Miami. He hints that Rosselli and Giancana were killed to keep the name of one man, who operated a large, illegal business, out of the anti-Castro plot stories. Of course, the Church Committee and HSCA were well aware of Trafficante’s role in the early anti-Castro plots, so either Shimon is pointing to someone else (without providing any clue whatsoever) or is being extremely disingenuous.

    He appears to be playing games.

    Shimon shows up under his own name in Anderson’s 1989 TV doc, which posits the ridiculous “Castro-AND-the-Mob-did-it” theory that Anderson had been peddling for some time. This time he is selling the story of Trafficante and Castro as secret allies, which is an even bigger crock of shit than what he told Summers.

    I think it’s worth considering the possibility, especially given the evolution of the Castro-blowback theory (thanks to Rosselli and Anderson, possibly bolstered by Anderson’s good buddy Frank Sturgis), that Trafficante’s name was being thrown out as either a scapegoat or a distraction. He does create a plausible interface between the intelligence and anti-Castro communities and Ruby, but then again, he may have been a red herring leading away from the real perpetrators of the assassination.

    Peter Janney’s book is pretty awful, but it includes some interesting interview material with Toni Shimon, Joe’s daughter. She says that her father was in meetings with Harvey, Angleton, Rosselli, and others during 1963, and that at one point Joe confided in her that LBJ had requested an increase in his personal security detail that spring. I don’t have any basis for gauging her credibility as of yet, but I think her statements are worth exploring. At the very least, they highlight probable cooperation between CIA and the DC police.

  13. Sorry I am late to get back to this thread. Busy with CTKA stuff.

    Two comments, its amazing that McAdams is still marketing in unqualified terms that LBJ tale about RFK wanting Dulles on the commission. I answered that with Clarke in pretty stark terms that make the claim look very weak. Evidently, McAdams does not want to deal with that evidence. If I was him, I wouldn’t either.

    Second, to Ken S, as someone else said above, the whole Carl Mather,Collins Radio, Texas Theater matter is dealt with well in Jim Douglass’ book, pgs. 291-98. As Douglass does, its necessary to link that to the testimony of Bernard Haire. If you do not have the Douglass book, please purchase. It is one of the best books on the case of recent publication. (McBride deals with these matters in an OK way on pgs 526-33)

    The fact that the WC was not even aware of Mr. Mather, his relationship to CIA affiliated Collins Radio, or to Tippit, and the Oswald double in his car after the assassination, and that the HSCA never got to the bottom of this crucial information, that tells you all you need to know about why this case is still alive.

    1. Thanks for the reply. Yes, I have read the Douglass book and McBride’s book as well. I’ve even read your excellent “Destiny Betrayed.” About Mather, did not wish to appear dense, just thought you might have a different take. We’ll all keep digging.

    2. Collins Radio was located in Garland TX, not far from Texas Instruments in Richardson, TX, both major military contractors in the lead up to the Vietnam war.

      Dick Stolley who negotiated the purchase of the Zapruder film on behalf of Henry Luce’s Time Life met Marina Oswald and Lee Harvey’s mother Margueritte the evening of the 22nd and arranged to have them moved to an obscure hotel – located in the Richardson/Garland corridor – before their move the following night to the protective hideaway in the Angus Wynne-owned Six Flags hotel in Arlington.

      Two central characters serving in official capacity in the hours after the assassination were Justice of the Peace David Johnston of Precinct 2 Dallas County ( Richardson), and Theron Ward, Precinct 3 (Garland). Johnston was identified by chance at the Dallas Trade Mart by an officer of the DPD and rushed to Parkland to perform duties only to find that JP Theron Ward had miraculously appeared to become involved in the unfolding drama of John F. Kennedy’s body being removed from the legal jurisdiction of the murder.

      Johnston would proceed to spend the remainder of the day, integrally involved in the unfolding events including the arraignment of Lee Harvey Oswald.

      Anyone familiar with Dallas County in those years knows that the wealth resided in the Swiss Ave. / Highland Park area, the immediate North Dallas corridor, AND far North Dallas vis a vis Precincts 2 and 3 – home of two major military contractors, Collins Radio and Texas Instruments.

      With 10 Precincts in Dallas County – several whose Justices of the Peace would have been in a more favorabl position (both logistical and political) to serve the events of 112263 – why were Johnston and Ward the two justices available within minutes of the assassination?

      Compartmentalization was central to the conspiracy.

    3. The idea RFK wanted Dulles on commission Is laughable.JFK fired Dulles.As JFK’s closest adviser noway would RFK want that.Johnson would never appoint someone RFK wanted as the 2 hated each other.Every film and book with credabilty says RFK had little to do with Investigating the assassination.

        1. I just read your page with the assertions that Bobby Kennedy recommended Dulles to the Warren Commission.
          What I find there is extreme naivete, or disingenuous understanding of the “public face” of practical politics.

          That JFK would fire Dulles with “public grace” is practical politics for outward appearances. The record is clear that Dulles and Kennedy despised each other, and that JFK was determined to end the supremacy of the CIA.

          I don’t buy your rhetorical nonsense for a moment.

  14. Santos Trafficante, latter 1962 just after LBJ’s Miami address.
    “Mark my words, this man Kennedy is in trouble, and he will get what is coming to him…he is going to be hit.”

    1. Ronnie Wayne, do you believe that Trafficante, Giancana, Roselli could have mastered a cover-up to the extent that has been in effect for five decades? How did they persuade the media moguls at the time, i.e., Henry Luce, Norman Chandler, the Dealey family among so many others across the nation, to not only stand down in their own investigations but further, to support the Warren Commission results … and how, long after the deaths of those mob members could their gangs and family members have enforced their code of silence at such a high level? The theory suggests a vast conspiracy, one certainly not Sponsored by mob members.

      1. Leslie, to your first sentence: Absolutely not, no way in hell the mob did it themselves and were then covered up for. I do believe they were involved at a minimum to force Ruby to do LHO, and, probably to lean on the DPD, and Decker’s sherrif’s office in the (non) preparations.
        As an aside consider this from Betrayal in Dallas (dissed in a CTKA review): Glossary of Names, Joseph E. Civello…”Arrested for murder…shotgun…DeCarlo’s stomach…accidental. Regional narcotics distribution network…sentenced 4/2/37. “CHIEF DEPUTY BILL DECKER APPEARED AS A !!! CHARACTER WITNESS !! FOR CIVELLO IN PARDON HEARINGS”.
        I do not believe LBJ joined a dallas mob conspiracy as North’s book asserts, but that the mob was much more active in dallas than many realize in the setup and coverup by them being leaned on by the CIA.
        As far as the media, I believe Operation Mockingbird is still singing.

  15. The “hit man” and the “Mobster”. While he was lower level and not a made member Rubenstien, like the Lansky(s) were mob. Santos was a member of the decision making level. Ruby took orders. Omerta.

  16. Rather than look at specific “organizations” as suspect, look at specific key players in the JFK assassination. While looking at the JFK coup, think of it as a layered cake each layered covered in its own shroud of functions and operations. I imagine it had several compartmentalized operations with unique sets of players at each interlocking level. In this manner, one can digest that certain events were part and parcel of the whole, yet each player was not informed of the other players parts. This is a tactic of the CIA – compartmentalization. It is very effective because it diverts focus from the overall plot, and those responsible for the outcome. Phase 1: Conspiracy Agreement and Motive to Kill JFK; Phase 2: The Means to Recruit and Organize Personnel; Phase 3: Logistics & Planning; Phase 4: Propaganda and Media Control (JFK & Oswald); Phase 5: Oswald’s Legend and Doppelgangers (Sheep-dipping in New Orleans, Mexico, and Dallas); Phase 6: Wet-Work Mechanics; Phase 7: Dealy Plaza Murder/Coup d’etat; Phase 8: Body Theft by Proxy (Secret Service); Phase 9:The Extraction of Bullets Autopsy; Phase 9.5; Suspect/Witness Extinction (ongoing); Phase 10: Obstruction of Investigation by Secret Service, FBI CIA, Military, and Dallas Police; Phase 11: Formation of LBJ’s Official Whitewash Commission. Phase 12:Conspiracy to Deceive (Secret Service, FBI, CIA, ONI, DPD, and Military); Phase 13: Suppression of Records Campaign(officially ongoing); Phase 13.5: Vilification and Character Assassination of JFK researchers opposed to official whitewash.
    As can be seen by the various phases, no one person or group could do all that was required; however, a carefully constructed group of high level operators could put into play lower level operators responsible for specific details at their level only. Upon completion at each level, the conspiracy to kill JFK was operational and executable by 11/22/1963, just in time for Dallas, Texas – the city itself symbolic of OIL money and power, the South, and conservative [war industry] leaders. Was it just coincidence that a successful coup was carried out in Texas, the home state of vice-president LBJ, who subsequently became the most powerful man on earth upon JFK’S demise?

    1. And the word I’m reminded of is BINGO!

      After 50+ years and so many events thereafter, I don’t think we will ever get the true story to correct this part in American History.

    2. Yes K63.

      Those few that pull the unwitting levers of injustice or drawstrings that cover it up, have plausible deniability.

    1. I’ve read some theories about that, including Tippit’s mysterious phone call at a coffee shop just beforehand.

      If not premeditated, perhaps Tippit was to unwittingly have a confrontation with the prime suspect on the chance that he would shoot him as he fled.

      1. The whole Tippit thing is just off. I can’t believe that the conspirators would somehow have Oswald and Tippit bump into each other and hope that the cop would kill Oswald. Same for the idea of shooting Tippit, figuring that the resp[onding cops would kill Oswald. Further, I don’t think that Oswald killed Tippit. In broad daylight, with witnesses close by, Oswald fires from the hip (or thereabouts) four or five times and hits Tippit every time with a 2″ snub nose revolver that has a hard kick. This from a guy with no known practice with firearms. There are experienced shooters who’d have trouble with that kind of accuracy in those circumstances. For that and other reasons, I think someone else killed Tippit. My feeling.

        1. Here’s my take:

          Tippit knew his killer, the guy who leaned into the passenger-side window and talked to him. Tippit was unafraid of his killer: he exited his car without drawing his weapon.

          What makes sense to me is Tippit exited his car expecting to be wounded slightly. He thought the plan was for he, Tippit, to blame Oswald for wounding him. The real plan was deeper and darker. Hence the comment, “Poor dumb cop.”

          1. I’d agree that Tippit knew his killer. His actions would fit with that. He was clearly looking for someone. Whether or not the someone he was looking for was the guy who shot him, or is someone who was associated with the guy he was looking for is unknowable at this time.

          2. We need to review the fact of the cop-car with the two horn sounds as LHO was leaving his boarding house. The Tippit killing happened shortly afterwards, right?

        2. With reports of ejected automatic shells and a standard description for Oswald floating about from sources unknown, one wonders if the Tippit murder was just to set up Oswald as the patsy.

          1. No, I can’t believe that Tippit getting shot was any part of the conspiracy. The wheels fell off and Tippit got killed. There’s no way anyone wanted Oswald in custody. Ruby killing him is when the wheels really fell off.

          2. Doesn’t explain the use of a 45?

            The assassination was a high stakes operation.

            Who knows if the conspirators anted up against Oswald by killing a cop?

            I went to that location last year on the Lancer tour. Ruby apparently lived nearby.

            Maybe Ruby got someone else to shoot Tippit?

        3. Read the testimony of Domingo Benavides, the witness closest to the killer who says he got a good look. Of particular interest is the killer’s haircut: block cut in the back. What do Oswald’s photos show? A most distinctive taper cut. I’d say your feeling is pretty accurate, mball.

          1. Certain Tippit murder witnesses changed their story from their initial accounts.

          2. Regarding Tippit as to how he might have been brought into a conspiracy by Ruby, there was an interesting anecdote in McBride’s book about Tippit being stabbed severely by an icepick in the knee in the early fifties, and walked with a noticeable limp afterwards( though he had also been a paratrooper during WW2} Possibly, he relied on drugs supplied by Ruby for free,or a minimal charge as a way to alleviate some intense pain, and owed Ruby quite a bit of money. Just a possibility, no hard evidence to suggest this, but would answer a lot.

        4. mball you do not know much about firearms. I have a smith and wesson 38 caliber revolver even when shooting 38 caliber with plus p a hotter load there is no kick that I can recall. I have a 9 mm Beretta 92 fs pistol . a pistol is identified as it takes a clip/magazine which is loaded with amunition, and then loaded into the pistol,and placed on safety like my 38 there is no kick from my BERETTA. QUIT worrying about hand guns kicking and all of that Jazz!

      2. The call was from the Top Ten Record shop which is still there and open. Apparently no one answered as he never spoke. He left in a hurry.

        1. And the owners claim the exact same telephone can still be seen at the end of the counter. Stop by when you’re in town.

          Some possibilities for Tippit’s unanswered phone call: the 3126 Harlendale Ave Alpha 66 Cubans were slipping out of town, and might have sent a member to 404 E. 10th St. to meet Tippit; or he could have been calling Barbara Davis next door to 404 to leave a message or get some info and the line was busy. We may never really know, but indications are he was lured to 404 E. 10th, and certainly didn’t expect to face a bullet.

  17. If Ruby killed Oswald because the mob leaned on him that means the mob had some sort of hand in the assassination or cover-up.

    Maybe the mob didn’t lean on him. Maybe certain DPD officers did. And then helped him get into the basement where he killed Oswald. I find this possibility easier to believe than he did it for Jackie or because the mob told him to.

    I think about things this way: Who controlled JFK’s movements immediately pre- and post-mortem? Answer: The military and the S.S. Who controlled the TSBD, its contents, and Oswald (post-arrest)? Answer: The DPD. The fingerprints of the assassination and cover-up, I believe, are clearly those of the military, the S.S., and the DPD.

    1. Maybe certain mobsters and certain cops leaned on him. DPD had a bad reputation back then, as I understand. I think some were on the pad to some mobbed up guys. I also think that some were tied up with some nasty extremist types, whether by word or deed or both; the Klan or the Birch Society for example.

    2. No Jonathan, it does not necessarily follow that the mob had a hand in the murder of JFK simply because McWillie or Civello made a call to Ruby.

      My own concept is that Oswald was mean to be killed at the theater–which is where the whole Mather, Collins Radio mystery impacts.

      When he was not, the CIA–via Phillips or someone like that, got in contact with their former partners in the Castro plots, and told them they needed a clean up guy.

      Then, when Oswald attempted the call to John Hurt, that was it. Since Ruby was hanging around the DPD all three days, even posing as a reporter for a Jewish journal, he was the perfect choice.

      But let me add one more thing. If one looks at the actual film of Oswald being killed in the fine Evidence of Revision series, you will see something odd. When Oswald gets off the elevator, and then they begin to march him out of the foyer, Fritz breaks the protection pocket that had been designed beforehand. He sprints out about 12-15 feet, leaving the space for Ruby to frontally assault Oswald. I am not saying that this was premeditated. I am just saying its odd. Especially since Fritz’ reaction to the shooting is later than everyone else’s.

      Without that separation, Ruby could not have killed Oswald, at least not there. And there is no doubt Ruby was lying in wait. Because in that same film, you can see him hiding behind an officer. I think it may be Harrison, who Seth Kantor was suspicious about.

      1. I believe it was Harrison, who found it to his advantage to leave DPD shortly afterwards along with Harry Olson. Slo-mo the tape of Oswald walking out of the basement door, just as he starts walking among the newsmen and cops. He looks right at Ruby. Maybe my imagination, but that’s a look of recognition.

      2. I agree.

        My belief is that an agency liaison contacted someone in the Mob who ordered Ruby to make the hit.

        The Mob would oblige.

        All these other suspicious secondary observations mentioned by Jim and mball are also plausible IMHO (amazing when you really think about it).

        [Watch the Italian foreign film Segreti Di Stato about a post-war massacre in Sicily which reads like the blue print for the murder of Oswald. It involves a ‘magic bullet’ and the usual CIA suspects including JJA. If I find a good link, I’ll post it later.]


          The critic’s translation isn’t great but here’s one link above. I saw this film at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2003. The CIA with the Mob ambush a pro-communist protest in post-war Italy. They put one guy in jail, the alleged assassin. A lawyer reviews the forensic evidence and concludes conspiracy. It involves a bevy of characters including James Jesus Angleton!!!

          In the end, the ‘patsy’ is poisoned in prison just before his trial!!!

          I couldn’t help to think about poor Oswald when I saw this. The movie is the OPM for the JFK assassination.

          Here’s another link from Wiki showing a great scene where the investigator tries to connect the dots (reconstruct the ties of various players) using eery tarot cards (he names the CIA’s JJA in this scene). I almost jumped from my theatre seat.

          1. I believe it was Peter Dale Scott who suggested that Wild Bill Donovan used the World Commerce Corporation to supply the arms for the Portella della Ginestra massacre.

            I have no idea if this is true, though it does seem solid that the WCC was used for various purposes, including as a stop-gap covert action agency during the time between the disbandment of the OSS and the growth of CIA operational power.

      3. Jim, I know this is slightly off topic, but would you elaborate on “the whole Mather, Collins Radio mystery” and how you feel it relates to Oswald’s failed execution in the Texas Theater?

        1. Not that far off topic. If O would have been killed in the theater none of us would have ever heard of Ruby.
          I know it’s covered in Unspeakable and in greater depth more recently in Into the Nightmare but I’d love to hear Mr. D’s take on it too.
          Mather did not get immunity from the HSCA for knowing nothing. His security clearance, intelligence connections, and government electronics work seem at odds with his close friendship with Patrolman Tippit. Even if they had been neighbors. Especially in light of his not being able to explain the sighting of his car with “Oswald” in it on about 2:00 on 11/22/63.

      4. James DiEugenio: I think that one of the more telling photographs of that weekend is that which captured Jim Leavelle’s reaction as Ruby lunges forward.

        In the film we see Leavelle cautiously, and somewhat haltingly, walk Oswald toward the vehicle; in Jackson’s photo we recognize that the moment Ruby lunges, Leavelle physically recoils.

        Why, as a trained law enforcement officer didn’t Leavelle lurch forward to impede Ruby or at least attempt to pull or push Oswald out of harms way?

        I’m not suggesting that he should have fallen on his sword vis a vis Secret Service training designed to ensure the protection of elected officials, but he does not exhibit even the most modicum of concern that Oswald is in danger.

        And further – once one incorporates that fact as one views the film and the photo – one can contemplate that Leavelle actually knew on some level, consciously or not, what was about to come down. (his wiki site suggests that he even discussed Oswald’s transfer and the potential for disaster.)

        I’ve read the statements made by Leavelle’s granddaughter (if memory serves) and she seems to be highly credible and in fact her reflections are very poignant. However, I contend that a picture is worth a thousand words.

      5. Then, when Oswald attempted the call to John Hurt, that was it.

        Just as Victor Marchetti said.

        Incidentally, I recently saw the movie The November Man.

        In it, an undercover CIA agent is dealt with when their cover is blown (hint: as Victor Marchetti opined).

  18. An excellent essay. Thank you.
    Are you familiar with the fact that someone made calls to the Dallas Sheriff, Dallas PD and FBI early in the morning of November 24 warning that if the plans to transfer Oswald were not changed, “We will kill him”? DPD officer Billy Grammer, who took the call to the DPD, later sais that after Oswald was shot he recognized the caller as Jack Ruby.
    The implications are clesr that Ruby had been ordered to kill LHO and was attempting to find a way out of it.

  19. Good synopsis. I’d add Del Valle via Trafficante in Florida in Florida along with the Campisi’s and Civello’s in dallas to start with. I’ve said it before, “Ruby was not associated with organized crime” is why I threw the Warren omission (short version) against the wall when trying to read it.

  20. Nice piece Jeff.

    My own idea is that Trafficante would not risk calling Ruby himself.

    He would assign that to a lower level guy who he knew he could trust and knew could influence Ruby. My personal pick would be McWillie, who Ruby idolized and would do anything for.

    The combination of that influence plus a good guy/bad guy (carrot and stick) act would probably have been enough to push Ruby into doing what he did.

    One of the biggest camouflage jobs in the WR is Ruby getting entry into the basement to kill Oswald. When one looks at the HSCA report on this, and compare it to the WR, its night and day. Even Burt Griffin thought it was BS and he suspected that Pat Dean, DPD chief of security that day, was lying about how Ruby got in.

    He wrote a memo to Warren about this. But once Dean squealed to Wade, the Dallas Police and DA’s office brought all kinds of pressure to bear and Warren backed down and left Griffin abandoned.

    But Griffin was right on this. As the HSCA found out Dean lied about how Ruby could gain entry into the basement. If one recalls, Vaughn, the guy the WC pinned the whole thing on, passed his polygraph. Dean failed his: EVEN THOUGH HE WROTE HIS OWN QUESTIONS!

    Plus, the DPD kept a key witness away from Griffin, Sgt. Flusche. He was standing right across the street from the ramp and Vaughn. He knew Ruby. He told the HSCA there was no way in Hades that Ruby was anywhere near the ramp before Oswald was escorted out, since he was there just to witness that event.

    Ruby gained entry with help from the DPD. Smart move on Trafficante’s part.

    1. S.R. "Dusty" Rohde

      I would agree that Mcwillie may have been assigned as Ruby’s handler-groomer so to speak (at least while in Cuba), probably for the reason you state. Because Ruby idolized McWillie….he would be managable, a rare feat in Ruby’s case. But let’s not forget the probability that Ruby may have faced prison time soon anyhow. He owed over $40,000 in back taxes.

  21. S.R. "Dusty" Rohde

    Let me make the list longer. Jack Ruby, Santos Trafficante, Carlos Marcello, David Ferrie, Sergio Aracha Smith, Osantos, Rose Cheramie, Barney Ross….Heroin, Houston and Havana. That’s one connection. Ruby also met with Trafficante and Marcellos prior to the assassination (supposedly to discuss problems with the artists guild), another connection. Ruby also admitted his interest in Houston was to get vehicles to Cuba…including stolen ones. The mob was running Heroin, stolen cars and other illegal contraband between Cuba and the USA. The CIA was associated with some of these individuals and themselves involed in illegal activities like gun running, weapons theft and assassination squads. Jack Ruby was knee deep connected to the mob. Any suggestion otherwise is nonsense.

      1. S.R. "Dusty" Rohde

        Ken…good point, Mexico was definitely part of the Heroin Hub. I’ll have to look into Laredo. From what I’ve seen the mob had several outlets (distribution centers) for the dispensing of Heroin or narcotics (also prostitution) and Ruby was connected to all of them, the entertainment industry, actors and writers guilds, professional sports, the fairgrounds, Casinos, the Clubs, etc. Illegal activities by the mob and CIA were interwoven…guns and drugs. Sound familiar?

          1. I have read Dick Russell’s book; my reference is to the city, not the code name. Nagell took many undecipherable secrets to the grave, probable intentionally, for his own reasons. I believe he was a tortured soul. RIP

          1. Actually I’d read about and forgotten it.
            “In mid-October, “U.S. Customs officials…seized a…shipment of pure heroin, worth about [$56 million]…, in a car crossing the border from Mexico.” …equivalent of a $397 million loss in today’s dollars, was a spectacular success for RFK. Civello’s and Marcello’s rage over the heroin seizure in Laredo, Texas…
            From Betrayal in Dallas (the conclusions of which I disagree with), sourced there to Dallas Morning News articles.

  22. With Allan Dulles’ certain knowledge of the CIA/mob Castro assassination plots, didnt he obstruct justice by not revealing these to the WC? Wasnt that his duty in a full investigation of the presidenf’s death? And other than potential embarassment for the agency, why not? Especially if it implicated Castro.

    But maybe Dulles knew that line of inquiry wouldn’t lead to Castro.

    1. Yes he did, especially since he wasn’t officially employed by the agency.

      The CIA’s association with the CIA in certain black ops would make elements of the agency possibly suspect in the assassination of JFK, if not to simply tarnish their reputation and subject them to sanctions.

    2. I don’t think ‘obstruction of justice’ would apply to a Presidentially-appointed fact-finding commission.

      I do like Dulles for an individual complicit in the assassination, but I have a hard time swallowing the idea that he would allow himself to be put on the committee. Very ballsy and unsubtle. Would it clear up that situation if folks beneath Dulles pulled off the crime knowing that it was in the ballpark of Dulles’ wishes, leaving him with the nervous desire to save his agency by misdirecting the country?

      Such a series of odd scenarios. If it weren’t for pretty rock solid arguments (like the parallel and interlocking confessions of Morales and Martino) I would give up on the who and why of the case.

      And his name is spelled “Allen”.

      1. Dulles being on the Committee would ensure that there was no sensitive info conveyed to the Commission that would jeopardize the lone nut scenario.

          1. I saw you mention this elsewhere, but I also looked at your link here Professor. Thank you.

            I think at the time, RFK couldn’t rule out a Communist conspiracy or mob retaliation, and perhaps felt that the Commission should have someone with experience in national security or intelligence issues.

            This doesn’t mean that Dulles would do an about face and disclose secrets that would prejudice his beloved agency.

            In fact, I believe I read in Ralph G. Martin’s book A Hero For Our Time: An Intimate Story of the Kennedy Years, that he quotes an upset RFK asking if the CIA did it.

            JFK was first and foremost a gentleman, but that doesn’t mean his tribute to Dulles meant he trusted him.

            Same with RFK.

  23. As to why Ruby killed Oswald, I believe it was a segment on The Lost Assassination Tapes (I think that’s the correct name) that’s been aired a number of times, where a TV journalist who was at DPD HQ when Oswald was killed had been talking to as many cops as he could. He said that everyone he talked to said that they had no doubt that Oswald was killed to keep him from talking. This was immediately after Oswald was shot. Interesting to get immediate reactions like that before the BS sets in.

      1. If you do, check out the point where they’re showing clips of the immediate aftermath with the motorcade speeding away from Dealey Plaza. They cut to a scene on the the corner of Elm and Houston. The whole crowd is moving west – except one middle aged man and woman. They are very determinedly walking in the opposite direction, the woman in front and matching strides with the older man. Back in the day it was chaos. But if I’d been a cop standing near there, they’d have gotton stopped and ID’d, at a minimum. The more you look at it, the odder it seems.

  24. Apart from Richard Cain exclusion by the testimony of his brother, the other member of the mob team described by Escalante were very old to be selected for an endeavor that requests clear eyes and physical fitness.

  25. Escalante sure comes off as at least inaccurate if not less than credible in this piece.

    It seems strange that a conspiratorial Ruby would’ve made that correction at the press conference. You’d think he would’ve just kept his mouth shut.

    Great short article, though.

    1. Not so strange w/r/t Ruby’s correction of Wade. The name as Wade gave it out was similar to that of an anti-Castro group supported by people such as Henry and Clare Boothe Luce. What’s really curious is that the supposedly apolitical Ruby (who upon once seeing an “Impeach Earl Warren” billboard is alleged to have asked a companion “who’s Earl Warren?”) was aware of the name of the group Oswald was supposedly a member of and thought quickly to correct this error by Wade. Sounds like someone who’s been briefed with an eye towards getting a particular spin on a story.

      1. If Wade erroneously referred to an anti-Castro group, then Ruby’s correction was to associate (and incriminate) Oswald to a pro-Castro group.

        Another coincidence?


        1. It’s true, but in fact Ruby wasn’t connected with the media for attending the “press conference” and seemed to be well connected with the Dallas Police Department for entering on time in the basement of its Headquarters.

        2. John McAdams, what is your argument here? Are you suggesting that by 4 pm the majority of the public knew that Oswald was a member of Fair Play, and that Ruby was simply reiterating common knowledge? I suggest it might have been the reverse.

          Those who argue that Oswald was a lone assassin frequently take facts out of context, and this is a prime example.

          I posit that as part of the positioning of Oswald as a crazed communist or Marxist, Ruby shouted “Fair Play.” Perhaps the news networks had already referred to Fair Play, but the fact is that Ruby shouted it out on live television – a new phenomenon assaulting the American psyche. How long after were Ruby’s words broadcast worldwide? From there, I believe that the dye was cast.

          In a highly sophisticated cover-up operation, Ruby’s emotional response at that news conference would have been a key element. Isn’t it odd that those involved with the reportage captured his remonstration at that precise moment …. for the record? Why didn’t someone in the newsroom ask: “who the heck is that guy, this sounds nuts, let’s check him out before airing this?”

          1. Are you suggesting that by 4 pm the majority of the public knew that Oswald was a member of Fair Play, and that Ruby was simply reiterating common knowledge?

            Exactly. If you will look at the real time coverage, you will see that Oswald’s FPCC connection was broadcast before 4:00 p.m. Dallas time. Anybody that was attentive to the media would have known that.

            Wade, who after all was tied up with his job, was probably one of the few people who did not know.

          2. Not to over emphasize this, but if ‘everyone including the media’ knew by 4pm, why was Ruby the one to correct Wade? Weren’t there dozens of news people at the conference that could have informed Wade? It just seems odd that the very person who hours later was allowed into a secure area in order to shoot Oswald would the the source of clarification for Wade.

        3. Yes, it was all over the media (an interesting story in and of itself), but while legitimate reporters would have familiarized themselves with it, it’s far less likely that a strip club manager running back and forth from place to place would have, and besides, what the hell is he doing interrupting the DA and calling him by his first name? That’s quite a breach of protocol, especially given the length of Ruby’s rap sheet. The incident is extremely suspicious for that reason alone.

          1. it’s far less likely that a strip club manager running back and forth from place to place would have,

            People had car radios in 1963.

            And Ruby was a media junkie. Remember the sandwiches for the late-night folks at KLIF. And he asked Russ Knight who Earl Warren was.

          2. And yet you WC devotees are always trying to emphasize how apolitical and disconnected he was.

            Sorry, you’re just clutching at straws here, making assumptions for which you have no proof. And ignoring the main point, which is my question as to what this shady, sleazy character with over 20 arrests (usually for violent crimes) in his background was doing interrupting the DA in the middle of his press conference, a press conference to which he should never have been admitted.

          3. what this shady, sleazy character with over 20 arrests (usually for violent crimes) in his background was doing interrupting the DA in the middle of his press conference, a press conference to which he should never have been admitted.

            Trying to be helpful.

            P.S. The “violent crimes” thing is wrong. Check the account at the top of this page:


          4. “Trying to be helpful.” Yes, DA’s love to be corrected by people they know to be mob-connected thugs. Quite an answer.

        4. True too but why would he care?

          Why shine the light on himself?

          To justify his impulsive, spontaneous act the following day, by reminding everyone beforehand that Oswald was a Commie antagonist?

          1. Let me suggest a reason for the coreection: it was to solidify in the viewing public’s mind that Oswald was pro-Castro.

            There is a big difference between Free Cuba and Fair Play for Cuba. Recall that on September 7, 1963, Castro had said that death threats against him could backfire. Correcting Wade could be seen as an attempt to keep Oswald’s pro-Cuban leanings highly visible and a possible cause of the assassination. This would fit the desires of Cuban refugees in the US, some of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, many in the US intelligence community, and the Mob. Public outrage at anything pro-civil could be harnessed to support an invasion, something all if the aforementioned desired.

        5. But it just happened to be Ruby with glasses on (he didn’t normally wear), pad and pen in hand acting like a reporter, with a gun in his pocket).
          In spite of the other knowledgeable reporters in the room who yelled “Henry….”

        6. Ruby killing Oswald was the ur-event of the assassination to spur suspicion, the instant in which many Americans were to first instinctively suspect there was simply more to it than just Oswald. As a commenter said previously on JFK Facts, it didn’t take a conspiratorial mindset to smell a rat once Ruby shot Oswald. Yet, interestingly enough, it’s the one area, as crucial as it is, where I feel the defenders of the official story are at their weakest. For the sake of “fair play,” Professor Adams et al, I’ll accept almost the entirety of your position that LHO was the lone gunman, that he went on to shoot Tippit, etc., but to take Ruby’s explanations for his act at face value strains credulity to a point where my common sense has no choice but to reject it. Last year at the Newseum I watched dumbfounded as Edward J. Epstein and James Swanson, both smart men, unconvincingly agreed with each other that Ruby was simply another lone nut. You have to do better than that if you want the majority of us to believe it.

      2. My point was that if Ruby had been planning on killing Oswald, it would seem foolish to blurt out some correction at a press conference and cameras rolling, etc. Doesn’t seem too subtle. But, hey, it doesn’t mean much if the guy was just the unfortunate idiot in the position he was in.

        1. Inasmuch as Wade’s primary job at that time was Oswald and the assassination, I’d have expected him to be up on things like that. In the event that he wasn’t, I’d expect that one of the investigators present would have corrected him. Jack Ruby seems to have been all over the place after the assassination. I don’t really know how much news he’s have been listening to. In any event, it seems odd that he’d have been the one to correct wade.

        2. Seth Kantor had a good take on Ruby’s roller coaster weekend. He was supposedly bereft over the tragedy of the whole thing but his overall demeanor didn’t reflect that early on. He was glad handing, passing out promo cards to reporters, etc. The news conference I believe falls into that time frame. At some point over the weekend Ruby becomes frantic, acting very different, more emotionally distraught. Kantor’s take on it all was that up to a point Ruby wasn’t supposed to kill anyone. After that point during the weekend, he was. Thus the difference in emotions.

    2. Some suggest organized crime enjoyed protection by law enforcement during this period in Dallas’ history. Could Ruby’s orders have come from closer to home than most suspect?

  26. In THE STRENGTH OF THE PACK, a history of the DEA, author Doug Valentine said that he interviewed a DEA special agent who had conducted an internal affairs review of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics’ (FBN, the forerunner of the DEA)involvement in the CIA’s MKULTRA program. The FBN had managed safehouses for the behviour modification project, part of which involved administering drugs such as LSD to uinwitting subjects in those safehouses. An FBN agent named George White ran some of those safehouses and was apparently deeply involved in the project. Valentine said that the agent conducting the review of FBN’s participation in that program claimed to have found indications that White used Jack Ruby to kill Oswald. Apparently White, while he was a district director for the FBN in Chicago in 1945 recruited Ruby as his informant.

    1. Very interesting. Wasn’t Jack Ruby (of Chicago), the same guy mentioned in a letter or memo as assisting Richard Nixon way back?

      What you have quoted btw rings with the film clip of Ruby stating in effect that the assassination involved those at the very top.

      1. I believe that Ruby may have been a witness (possibly under an assumed name) for the McClellan (?) committee. Ruby was implicating LBJ, I think, probably others as well. I also remember an assistant parish attorney in new Orleans who once said that someone who believed was Oswald came to his office inquiring about the legality of some drug, LSD I think it was.

        1. mball,

          I previously thought the drug L.H. Oswald asked about was L.S.D. but I have since read I was in error. The drug was SOMA (brand name) Carisoprodol (generic name) a skeletal muscle relaxant. Patient May 17, 1960. One of it’s metabolites meprobamate known as Miltown, is one of the first & bigger sedative/hypnotics that began to hit the U.S. market beginning in the 1950’s.

        1. I may have seen this page but don’t mind to bookmark this page in my JFK folder lol.

          Thank you very much. The analysis by ‘tomnln’ is sound, and the commentary below it is entertaining.

  27. Jack Ruby’s Apartment was located only about 200 yards from the site of Officer Tippit’s murder. Oswald…IF he had continued on his path would have been able to ring his doorbell within 2 or 3 minutes. Oswald later said he was going to the movies because he felt that there would be ‘no more work’ after Kennedy was shot. Interestingly, all that Oswald had to do was walk all the way down Zang to get to the Texas Theater yet, and obviously, he detoured TOWARD Jack Ruby’s Apartment (on S. Ewing).

  28. If your going to discuss Santos don’t forget about the night of 11/22/63. He supposedly celebrated JFK’s death in a hotel bar.
    He was so happy and said a few thighs about how great this was that his lawyer’s date or girlfriend left in disgust.

  29. Rafael Garcia Bango was not present in Cubela’s trial. Garcia Bango stayed in Madrid. Cubela was tried together with Major Ramon Guin (AMTRUNK-10) and other five co.defendants; two of them acquitted, but none of them was Garcia Bango. The latter was, by the way, brother of Castro Sport´s Secretary, Jorge Garcia Bango.

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