Monday, March 14, 2011


Today is the anniversary of the day Jack Ruby's verdict & sentence were handed down by a Dallas County Jury.  Here is today's posting from JFK50.

March 14, 1964


Jack Ruby, the man who shot & killed the alleged assassin of JFK, has been found guilty of murder & sentenced to death by electrocution.

It took the jury only 2 hours & 20 minutes to render the verdict.

Just as his shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald in the basement of Dallas City Jail on November 24, 1963 was televised live, so was the announcement of his guilty verdict.

Ruby, a nightclub owner in Dallas & friend of many Dallas police officers, claimed he shot Oswald to prevent Mrs. Kennedy from having to return to Dallas for a trial.*

*In October 1966, Ruby's death sentence was reversed & while awaiting a new trial, he died at Parkland Hospital in Dallas on January 3, 1967,  of lung cancer. 

In today's, JFK ASSASSINATION blog I want to elaborate more on the story of Jack Ruby.

Jack Rubenstein was born in Chicago, Illinois on April 25, 1911.  He was raised by an alcoholic father & mentally unstable mother.

In the 1920s, Rubenstein was involved with organized crime & was a known "runner" for Al Capone.

He was drafted into the US Army in 1943 & served stateside during WWII as an aircraft mechanic.  After the war, he moved to Dallas, Texas changing his name to Ruby.

In Dallas, Ruby operated 2 strip joints, managing one of them "The Carousel Club".  In the course of his activities, he developed a special bond with Dallas police officers who often were seen at his clubs.

After Ruby was charged with murdering Oswald, he hired Melvin Belli as his attorney.  Belli argued that Ruby was not responsible for his actions (in shooting Oswald) because he suffered from "psychomotor epilepsy".*

*source "Jack Ruby: Guilty", by Alexander Burns,, March 14, 2007.

Key questions in the case of Jack Ruby & the possibility he was a part of a conspiracy include "Was he involved in any mob activities in Cuba?" & "Did he know Oswald before the assassination?"

The American Heritage article mentioned above tells us that Jack Ruby made 3 trips to Havana in 1959.  These visits were to see Lewis McWillie, an associate of mafia boss Santos Trafficante.

And a blog entry by Carole Tomlinson says that comedian Wally Weston had seen Oswald in the Carousel Club at least twice before the assassination.

Another source says that 22 year old ventriloquist, Bill Crowe, said that he saw Ruby & Oswald talking over whiskey "8 to 9 days" before the assassination.

It is a fact that Ruby & Oswald lived in the same section of Dallas, Oak Cliff, & they both moved into the area about the same time.  They also rented post office boxes at the same post office.

          Oswald Posing for Mug Shot
                     Dallas City Jail
      JFK/Dallas Police Dept. Records
            Dallas Municipal Archives

Thomas G. Buchanan, in his 1964 book Who Killed Kennedy, says that there were 10 witnesses available to either the prosecution or the defense at the Ruby Trial who could say that Ruby & Oswald knew each other before the assassination, but they were never called to testify.

Buchanan quotes Dorothy Kilgallen, the columnist who was found dead in her bed after having had a private interview with Jack Ruby:

"(It is my impression) that Ruby's lawyers & the (prosecutions) actions suggest that Washington knows or suspects something about Lee Harvey Oswald that it doesn't want....the world to know or suspect."

One of the 12 jury members at the Ruby Trial later said:

"There was never any doubt that (Ruby) was sane.  There was no doubt that (his shooting of Oswald was premeditated), that he planned to do this, but there was some doubt as to intent on what he was doing."

Something that has always stuck with me were the comments made by one of the officers with Ruby after he shot Oswald.  They were waiting word on Oswald's condition & he said Ruby was nervous, sweating profusely, asking for cigarettes, etc. but when the word came that Oswald had died, Ruby suddenly became calm & relaxed.  The officer added that it was almost as if his (Ruby's) life depended on whether or not he killed Oswald.

All of this adds support for what most Americans wondered at the time.  How can a man get into the basement of police headquarters, carrying a loaded weapon, & shoot & kill the suspected assassin of the President of the United States?

                    Jack Ruby Mug Shots
              Dallas Police Department
                       November 24, 1963
       JFK/Dallas Police Dept Records
             Dallas Municipal Archives

Just as the capture of Oswald stopped police investigation for shooters in other locations in Dealey Plaza, the killing of Oswald ended any chance that a trial might bring out the truth.

Another thing, Ruby was portrayed as being a JFK "lover" & that his action was retribution....that he did something that many of the police officers wanted to do....even secret service agents.

If that were true, why wasn't he somewhere along the route of JFK's Dallas motorcade where he could see his "hero"?  He was inside the Dallas newspaper offices writing an ad for his club.  

As you can see from my blogs, JFK was my hero...if I had a chance to see him...would I have passed that opportunity up like Ruby?  No way.

Also, did you know Ruby showed up at Parkland Hospital when JFK was being treated there or that he was in the Dallas Police Headquarters the night of November 22, 1963, Saturday, November 23, 1963 & of course on the morning of the 24th when he shot Oswald?

Jim Marrs writes in "Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy" (1989):

"Jack Ruby was far from being the insignificant nightclub owner described by the Federal Government.  Ruby had solid contacts with....Dallas police & government authorities, including DA Henry Wade as well as connections to organized crime figures in Chicago, New Orleans & Miami.  In 1959, while involved with gunrunning activities in Cuba, Ruby was an informant for the FBI."