by John Armstrong
Jack Ruby was born Jacob Leon Rubenstein in Chicago on March 25, 1911. On June 6, 1922, aged 11, he was arrested for truancy and eventually spent time at the Institute of Juvenile Research. Young Rubenstein sold tip sheets and various other novelties and later acted as business agent for a local refuse collectors union that later became part of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. In the 1940s, he frequented racetracks in Illinois and California. At the age of 32 Rubenstein left Chicago and joined the armed forces. From 1943-1946 he served in the Army Air Force, worked as an aircraft mechanic, and was promoted to Private First Class.
According to former schoolmate Leonard Patrick, who knew Jack Rubenstein as a youth in Chicago, Rubenstein had no contact with local mobsters. Another childhood friend, Dave Yaras, said that Rubenstein was “positively on his own and not outfit connected." Bill Roemer, an FBI agent who investigated the Mafia in Chicago, said “Ruby was absolutely nothing in terms of the Chicago Mob. We had thousands and thousands of hours of tape recordings of the top Mobsters in Chicago, including Giancana, and Ruby just didn’t exist as far as they were concerned. We talked to every hoodlum in Chicago after the assassination, and some of the top guys in the Mob, my informants. I had close relationships with them—they didn’t even know who Ruby was. He was not a front for them in Dallas.” The Warren Commission reported, “Both State and Federal officials have indicated that Ruby was not affiliated with organized criminal activity." Jack Ruby was never arrested nor linked to any known mob-related activities such as loan-sharking, prostitution, numbers, protection, fencing, contract killing, bribery, robbery, extortion, etc. in Chicago, Dallas, New York or anywhere.
On May 28, 1943 Jack Rubenstein enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He was assigned to the 1633 SU for 5 days and then to Company AAF, Military Police, RTC, Keesler Field, MS for the next four months. During the summer (1943) Rubenstein attended the first of several communist party meetings on the third floor of a commercial building located at Walnut Street between Charles and Jackson in Muncie, Indiana. George William Fehrenbach worked on the second floor of the building and remembered the meetings. He told the FBI that in 1943 he met Jack Rubenstein, who he described as friendly, jovial, and "not fat, but with a good muscular build." He thought Rubenstein was in the armed services, but was not wearing a uniform. Fehrenbach told the WC, “some of them like I say were from Ohio, some of them from Chicago, Indianapolis, Indiana, and various parts, all over, and there was so many people... I had never seen before.” Fehrenbach said that Rubenstein always dressed very nicely and recalled, “he (Rubenstein) treated me like I was somebody. He treated me very decent and when I addressed him as 'Mr. Rubenstein' he informed me that his name was 'Jack' and that is the way I was supposed to address him. He treated me very, very nicely. As far as I can remember, and as far as I know, and to the best of my knowledge, he was a member of the Communist Party at that time, or at least he was certainly thickly associated with them ... it seemed like every time they (Rubenstein and friends) came from Chicago to Muncie, Ind., they (Communist Party members) would have one of these meetings, either the day before or the same day, and that there was also quite a bit of talk about this meeting they was having.”
NOTE: Following the assassination, four Dallas deputy constables (fully empowered peace officers with county-wide jurisdiction) inspected a box obtained from Mary Sims that contained documents which linked Ruby and Oswald. The deputies, Billy J. Preston, Ben Cash, Robie Love, and Mike Callahan saw a photocopy of what appeared to be a press card for the communist newspaper, “The Daily Worker,” with Jack Ruby's name as the Chicago correspondent. Ruby was not a communist, but appears to have been monitoring the activities of local communist party meetings.
Fehrenbach told the WC about Rubenstein's second visit to Muncie, IN in early 1944. He said, “The second time he (Jack Rubenstein) came there we had lunch, I would say I spent approximately 2 hours with him that day. I remember this because I was somewhat afraid that Sam (Fehrenbach's boss) was going to give me a good bawling out for being late because we were over at the restaurant for about an hour and a half.” During lunch Jack invited Fehrenbach to visit him in Chicago.
In February, 1946, Jack Rubenstein left the military and in October moved to Dallas where his sister (Eva Grant) had been living since 1943. Eva owned and operated the Singapore Supper Club (later the Silver Spur) at 1717 S. Ervay, and asked her brother for help in running the club. This was Jack Rubenstein's introduction into the nightclub business where he met local people, “drummed up” business, and became friendly with police officers.” During the next few years Rubenstein spent time in both Dallas and Chicago.
In early 1947 George William Fehrenbach saw his friend “Jack” in Muncie, Ind. for the third and last time. A few days later Fehrenbach found a list on the third floor of his office building that contained the names of more than 100 people who he suspected were associated with the Communist Party. One of the names on the list was “Jack Rubenstein." He quickly put the list in his shirt and turned it over to his father-in-law, Merv Collins, who was a local police officer. Collins said, “I will see that it gets into the proper hands.” Following the assassinations of JFK and LHO Fehrenbach learned that a man named “Jack Ruby” had murdered Oswald. But when Fehrenbach saw Ruby's photo in the newspaper he called the FBI. He told FBI agents that the picture was a very good likeness of the person introduced to him as Jack Rubenstein.
NOTE: there was another Jack Rubenstein whose name was known to a few members of Congress. This Rubenstein (DOB 4/5/1905) was originally from New York, New Jersey, and later the Bronx. He was thin, well over 6 ft tall, and a member of the Young Communist League in the 1920s. Rubenstein broke with the Young Communist League in 1929, distanced himself from communists, joined the Textile Workers of America, was the New York State Director of the Textile Workers Union of America in 1947, and vice-president of the New York AFL-CIO until his retirement in 1973. This man, because of his prior association with the Young Communist League, was mentioned during the Dies Committee hearings in 1938 and 1939 (click here to view letters).Some researchers have suggested this "Rubenstein" was the man who attended communist party meetings in Muncie, IN in the 1940s. But this prominent and well known labor leader was known to tens of thousands of textile workers, senior labor leaders, and politicians. It is difficult to believe that he would drive 700 miles (to Muncie, IN) to attend meetings of a few dozen local members of the communist party, when he had broken away from the party 15 years earlier. The meetings held in Muncie, IN were attended by Jacob (Jack) Rubenstein of Chicago, who was posing as the Chicago correspondent for the “Daily Worker,” but in reality was an informant for the House on Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC-which began in 1945).
Two “Jack Rubensteins?” Yes, and they were very different people.
The photo of the New York Rubenstein at left was taken in 1927. The 1958 photo at right of the New York Rubenstein (fourth from
left in back row) shows that he was quite tall. The Jack Ruby who killed Oswald was just 5' 8-1/2" tall.
There are indications that Jack Rubenstein, of Chicago and Dallas, may have been hired as an informant for the House UnAmerican Activities Committee (HUAC) to report on Communist Party activities. A memorandum written by a HUAC staff assistant on November 24, 1947 reads, “It is my sworn statement that one Jack Rubenstein of Chicago noted as a potential witness for hearings of the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities is performing information functions for the staff of Cong. Richard M. Nixon, Rep. Of California. It is requested Rubenstein not be called for open testimony in those aforementioned hearings."
NOTE: the preceding document concerning Jack Rubenstein, of Chicago, working as an informant for the HUAC is based upon a memorandum signed by “L.S.” on 11/24/47. In 1982 Nixon told his former aide and confidante (Roger Stone), “The damn thing is, I knew this Jack Ruby. Murray (Chotiner) brought him to me in 1947, said he was one of 'Johnson's boys' and that LBJ wanted us to hire him as an informant to the Committee. We did.”
One month after Rubenstein had been hired by the HUAC, he legally changed his name. On December 30, 1947 the 68th Judicial District Court in Dallas granted Jacob Leon Rubenstein's petition to change his name to Jack Leon Ruby. Ruby soon began dating Alice Reaves Nichols, a blonde divorcee 4 years his junior, whom he continued to date until 1958.
In the early 1950's Robert Ray McKeown was a 42 year old engineer from Texas who owned and operated a manufacturing plant in Santiago, Cuba, with the blessing of Cuban President Carlos Prio Socarras. On March 10, 1952 General Fulgencio Batista, with army backing, staged a coup, ousted Carlos Prio and took control of Cuba. McKeown soon began working with Prio in an effort to help restore him to power. Prio was a very wealthy man (a fortune estimated at $50 million) and began backing Fidel Castro and his small band of rebels with arms and munitions in their attempts to overthrow Batista.
NOTE: as early as 1952 Robert McKeown was the subject of an FBI Neutrality Act Investigation in connection with arms smuggling to Prio and rebel forces in Cuba. In a letter to J. Lee Rankin of the Warren Commission, Hoover wrote: "The neutrality and registration act investigation related primarily to the activities of Carlos Prio Socarras, who, with a number of others including McKeown, was involved in a conspiracy to ship arms, munitions, and other war materials to Fidel Castro to assist him in his efforts to overthrow the Batista regime in this investigation."
In 1952 Jack Ruby sold the Silver Spur nightclub to Gimpel and Willie Epstein. He then began commuting from Dallas to Daytona, Florida where he became involved in supplying counterfeit currency, guns, and munitions to leftist rebels in Cuba.
NOTE: Ruby was not seen in Dallas for several months in 1952. In an interview with the FBI Ruby said that he went broke in the night club business, was "mentally depressed, hibernated in the Cotton Bowl Hotel for three or four months, and then returned to Chicago for 6 weeks.” Nonsense; Jack Ruby was in Florida.
In Florida Ruby soon became acquainted with former Cuban President Carlos Prio, who was supplying arms and munitions to Castro. It was during this time that Ruby met gun smuggler and CIA operative Donald Edward Browder. The two men contracted with Joe Marrs (Marrs Aircraft, Miami) to transport weapons and munitions to Cuba. Ruby soon purchased an interest in two aircraft that he used to illegally transport the arms, and also acquired partial ownership in a Havana gaming house in which Carlos Prio held majority ownership. Donald Browder knew Jack Ruby well and said, “During the pre-Castro years (pre-1959), the CIA and Customs would not oppose gun shipments to Castro.”
NOTE: Blaney Mack Johnson (FBI informant “T-2”) knew a lot about Ruby's and Browder's gun-running activities in the early 1950s. In 1964 Johnson provided the FBI with detailed information concerning their activities and gave the Bureau the names of three people who he said could corroborate his story: Joe Marrs of Marrs Aircraft, with whom Ruby had contracted to make illegal flights to Cuba; Leslie Lewis, former Chief of Police in Hialeah, Florida, who knew of Ruby's gunrunning and smuggling operations; and pilot Clifton T. Bowes, Jr., formerly a captain with National Airlines in Miami. When questioned by the FBI, following the assassination of JFK and Ruby's nationally televised murder of Oswald, these three individuals denied being involved with the illegal transportation of firearms and, of course, denied knowing Jack Ruby.
On August 1, 1953 Fidel Castro and 123 armed men and women supporters attacked the Moncada military barracks in Santiago (where Robert McKeown lived and worked) in an attempt to begin the overthrow of the Batista regime. Castro was arrested and given a 15 year prison term. Ruby's gun-running activities suddenly came to an end and he returned to Dallas where he re-opened the Silver Spur nightclub, took over the Vegas Club with partners Joe Bonds and Irving Alkana, and was soon operating a third nightclub, “Hermando's Hideaway."
In May, 1954 the United States indicted former Cuban President Carlos Prio and seventeen other persons on charges stemming from their purchase, exportation, and transportation of arms and munitions to Cuba. Prio did not contest the charges, plead “nolo contendere," and was fined a mere $9,000. Jack Ruby, Prio's business partner and gun-running accomplice, was not charged, indicted, nor even questioned by US government authorities.
NOTE: in 1954 one of Donald Browder's contacts was Efrom Pichardo who was charged with conspiracy to ship arms to Cuba on behalf of Carlos Prio. Another co-defendant, Marcos Diaz Lanz, was a close associate of CIA operative Frank Sturgis (Fiorini).On May 15, 1955 Fidel Castro was released from prison and fled to Mexico where he met Dr. Ernesto “Che” Guevara, a physician from Argentina. Castro soon visited the US in search of wealthy people who he thought would be sympathetic to his cause and offer financial aid to support his coming revolution.
On November 25, 1956 Castro purchased an old yacht, the “Granma," and set sail from Tuxpan, Veracruz to Cuba with 82 armed revolutionaries. Upon landing they were attacked by Batista military forces and many were killed. The Castro brothers and Che Guevara escaped, fled into the Sierra Maestra Mountains, and began recruiting people sympathetic to their cause.
In 1957 Robert McKeown lost his manufacturing business when Cuban President Batista deported him, allegedly for not paying kickbacks, but more likely for helping Carlos Prio supply arms to Castro. By this time Prio, McKeown, and Jack Ruby had known each other for 5 years. But it was McKeown who began to develop a close, personal friendship with Castro as he delivered boatload after boatload of arms and munitions from operations based in Miami, Tampa, and later from Seabrook and Kemah, Tex (where McKeown lived). For his services McKeown was always paid in the office of an attorney who was counsel for Haiti, in cash, with $100 bills bundled in paper wrapping marked “Pan American Bank, Miami."
NOTE: In a letter from Hoover to Rankin on April 17, 1964, the FBI informed the Warren Commission that McKeown was one of the persons "in an extensive investigation conducted by the Bureau since 1952 concerning the activities of Carlos Prio Socarras." The FBI said that Prio, along with others including McKeown, was engaged in assisting Castro in his revolutionary pursuit against Batista. The Bureau also had reports that “Jack Ruby/Rubenstein” was involved in supplying arms to Castro, but never provided those reports to the Commission, thereby helping to conceal any connections Ruby may have had with CIA operatives.By 1957 Castro and approximately 300 rebels were waging a guerilla campaign against Batista's government troops with weapons and munitions supplied by CIA-sponsored gun-runners. Once again, Browder and Ruby began to smuggle guns from Florida and Texas to Castro, while their activities were being monitored by the CIA and US Customs. The FBI had a 1000 page file on Browder, but in 1964 they released only three to the Warren Commission. The Bureau knowingly helped to conceal Ruby's gun-running with CIA operative Browder from the Commission. In the 1970's Browder testified before the House Select Committee on Assassinations and admitted that he used to work for the CIA. He told the Committee that he purchased arms from a CIA-proprietary company, the International Arms Corporation (InterArmco, of Alexandria, VA), and then smuggled the arms to Castro.
Browder was a former Lockheed test pilot who, at the time of his HSCA interview, was serving a 25-year prison sentence for "security violations." Browder told the HSCA that one year after the assassination of President Kennedy he leased a B-25 bomber under the name of a non-existent company and flew it to Haiti. He then cashed a check in the amount of $25,000 that was signed by George DeMohrenschildt's Haitian business associate, Clemard Charles. The HSCA used Browder's testimony in their report relating to George DeMohrenschildt. But the HSCA did not use any of ex-CIA operative Donald Browder's testimony in their report that related to Jack Ruby. The HSCA helped to conceal Ruby's connections with CIA operative Browder, just as the FBI had helped to conceal Ruby's gun-running activities from the Warren Commission. The FBI file on Browder contains more than a thousand pages, yet the Bureau released only three to the Warren Commission. The reluctance of government authorities to properly investigate Ruby's connections to CIA operatives during most of the 1950's and early 1960's make sense as we begin to understand the extent of CIA involvement in the assassination of President Kennedy and Ruby's televised murder of Lee Harvey Oswald.
As Castro and his growing number of rebels were attacking Batista's troops, Ruby was commuting between Dallas and the Houston waterfront community of Kemah, TX. James E. Beaird, a poker playing friend of Ruby's, told both The Dallas Morning News and the FBI that Ruby used to store guns and ammunition in a two-story house between the waterfront and railroad tracks in Kemah, TX., in Galveston Bay. On the weekends Beaird personally saw Ruby and his associates load "many boxes of new guns, including automatic rifles and handguns" onto a 50-foot long military-surplus boat. It was Robert McKeown who often piloted the boat to a drop-off point in Mexico, where Castro himself would land his yacht, the Granma, and pick up the arms. As McKeown delivered more and more arms to Castro, these two men developed a close, personal relationship. Their relationship became so close that shortly after Castro took over in Cuba he flew to Houston, TX and met with McKeown in an attempt to persuade his good friend to return to Cuba. Castro promised McKeown that he would be given a high government position or a business concession. When later questioned about Ruby's gun-running activities in Galveston Bay, Beaird said “many people knew all about this because he (Ruby) was so open with it." But unlike Prio, McKeown, and dozens of other people who supplied arms to Castro, Jack Ruby was never charged, indicted nor even questioned by US government authorities. Ruby appeared to have no fear of being arrested for his gun-running activities from 1952 through 1963. Not only did US government agencies overlook Ruby's illegal gun-running activities, but so did the Warren Commission, HSCA, the Church Committee, and the ARRB.
In early 1958 the FBI learned that some of Castro's forces were planning a raid on Cuba from Texas, and it was McKeown who was busy arranging the procurement and shipment of arms. The FBI also documented McKeown's involvement with Mario Villamia, a CIA-connected associate of Carlos Prio who lived in Miami and later participated in the CIA's Bay of Pigs invasion.
On February 18, 1958, the San Antonio FBI office provided information to US Customs that McKeown had purchased a yacht called the “Buddy Dee.” A few days later US Customs officials seized the Buddy Dee while the vessel was cruising from Patterson, La. to Houston with a load of arms and munitions. On February 25 Federal agents arrested McKeown and charged him with conspiracy to smuggle guns and related equipment to Cuba for the benefit and use of Castro. McKeown's co-defendants included Carlos Prio, Jorge Sotus, Manuel Arques, Mario Villamia and Evelyn Archer. On October 24 the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas, convicted McKeown and sentenced him to 60 days in jail, fined him $500, and imposed a 5-year probation period, to terminate on December 11, 1963. Carlos Prio plead guilty, but his sentence was soon suspended by authorities. But Jack Ruby, who never tried to conceal or hide his gun-running activities, was never once questioned, charged, nor indicted.
NOTE: Some of Prio's co-defendants were working for the CIA. Mario Villamia, of Miami, FL., participated in the Bay of Pigs invasion and continued to work with the CIA during the 1960's. Juan Orta, while secretly working for the CIA, was director of Castro's ministerial office in Havana.
In March, 1958 the US government announced the suspension of arms sales to Batista. It was now just a matter of time before Castro and his growing army of rebels (now numbering around 3000) succeeded in overthrowing Batista.
While Prio and McKeown were facing charges for conspiracy to smuggle guns to Cuba, Jack Ruby was once again commuting between Dallas and Florida. In May (1958) Dolores Rhoads, her husband Richard Rhoads, and her mother (Mrs. Mary Thompson) visited her aunt and uncle, James and Mary Lou Woodard, in Islamorada, Florida. Dolores and Richard spent the first night in a small two-unit motel operated by “Jack” and “Isabel” who were acquaintances of her uncle. “Jack”, who was originally from Chicago, said his first name was “Leon” but he went by “Jack." Jack Ruby's middle name was Leon. Mrs. Woodard said that Jack had a trunk full of guns that he was going to supply to the Cubans. Mrs. Thompson was told there were supplies of guns hidden in the marshes near Islamorada that were to be sold and delivered to the Cubans. Mary Thompson and her daughter said that “Jack” was driving a late model grey colored Buick with Texas license plates. Dolores recalled that when drunk one evening her uncle, James Woodard, said he was going to help Jack run guns to Cuba.
NOTE: Charles G. Watters was a CPA and worked for an accounting firm that kept Ruby's books until early 1960. Watters told the FBI that Ruby drove a second-hand Buick automobile.
The FBI interviewed James Woodard in September, 1963. Woodard said that he had participated in the Bay of Pigs invasion and had furnished ammunition and dynamite to both Castro and his anti-Castro forces. On October 8, 1963, Woodard was questioned again, this time concerning dynamite found at his residence in South Dade County, Florida. He said the dynamite was to be used by Cuban exile forces fighting the Castro regime. Apparently the FBI did not ask Woodard if he knew or associated with Jack Ruby, “Leon," or “Rubenstein."
Following the assassination of President Kennedy, and the murder of Oswald by Jack Ruby, James Woodard's sister said that her brother had been in Texas a lot, and that she had asked James if he ever knew Ruby. He said no, but then promptly disappeared and hasn't been seen since November 25, 1963.
In 1958 a boat load of Cubans came ashore at a dock in Marathon Shores, Florida, and a young American placed a telephone call to a man in Dallas named “Ruby."
In 1958 the Oklahoma State Crime Commission linked “Abe Rubenstein," owner of a night club in Dallas, to a carload of guns and ammunition destined for Cuba.
In 1958 “Jack Rubenstein” wrote a letter to the Office of Munitions Controls requesting permission to negotiate the purchase of firearms and ammunition from an Italian firm.
In 1959 an Army Intelligence Report, related to importers of armaments (11/26/62), listed “Jack Rubenstein” as the representative for Saunders Import Company, New York, NY. (click here)
NOTE: It is interesting, and noteworthy, that while multi-millionaire and former Cuban President Carlos Prio Socarras, Robert McKeown, and numerous CIA connected co-defendants were arrested and convicted for running guns from 1953 through 1958, Jack Ruby was never once questioned, detained, nor arrested for the very same activities. Ruby never seemed concerned about his gun-running activites, but following the assassinations of President Kennedy and Oswald, Ruby was deeply concerned. Ruby warned his attorney (Tom Howard) about his CIA connections, and feared that if these connections were revealed it would expose the CIA's role in JFK’s assassination. A year later Tom Howard died, allegedly of a heart attack, at age 48; but reporters and friends thought he had been murdered.
In the summer of 1958, while awaiting trial for gun-running, McKeown entered into a partnership with a “Mr. Jarrett” and opened the J and M Drive-In on Red Bluff Road near Kemah, TX. His good friend Carlos Prio funded their venture with a loan. According to McKeown, Prio had also promised him a one-half interest in the Seria Biltmore, a hotel in Havana. After his arrest, Prio's days of securing and arranging shipments of arms and munitions to Castro were over, and the multi-millionaire and former Cuban President turned his attention to developing real estate in Miami and Puerto Rico.
NOTE: On April 5, 1977, while being sought for questioning by the HSCA, Carlos Prio was found lying on the ground outside the garage of his luxurious Miami Beach home, dead from gunshot wounds. He allegedly committed suicide—one week after George DeMohrenschildt allegedly committed suicide by gunshot, and three months after CIA asset and former US Ambassador William Pawley allegedly committed suicide on January 7, 1977. The HSCA could have asked Prio to explain how and where he acquired arms and munitions, how they were transported to Cuba, how and by whom he was paid, and his connection with Ruby, McKeown, and numerous CIA operatives including the notorious Frank Fiorini/Sturgis. Prio's testimony would have shown that Jack Ruby had been involved with CIA operatives and CIA gun-running operations for many years.
On January 1, 1959, Fidel Castro and his rebels finally succeeded in overthrowing Batista, and there was no need for Ruby to continue supplying arms and munitions to Castro. But concerns over political conditions in Cuba began to surface and did not appear to be in the best interests of the USA.
Four months prior to Castro's takeover Robert Welch, founder of the John Birch Society, wrote in the September 1958 issue of American Opinion that Castro “is a Communist agent carrying out Communist orders...." Soon after taking over Cuba, Castro's communist tendencies began to surface. There were confiscations of U.S. Property; banks and large industries were nationalized; schools became propaganda factories; civil liberties were suspended; free elections were dismissed; the courts were overtaken. As soon as the anti-Batista forces laid down their arms “revolutionary justice" began and purges with mass executions followed. Years later Castro explained, “back in 1959 the U.S. wanted us to make a strategic and tactical error and proclaim a doctrine as a communist movement. In fact, I was a communist .... (however) I think that a good Marxist-Leninist would not have proclaimed a socialist revolution in the conditions that existed in Cuba in 1959. I think I was a good Marxist-Leninist in not doing that, and we did not make known our underlying beliefs." (Le Figaro magazine, June 1986).
On March 31, 1959, deep undercover CIA agent Frank Sturgis (real name Frank Fiorini) was interviewed by FBI SA Krant and SA V.H. Nasca, upon referral from the Director's Office of the FBI. Fiorini was then a Captain of Cuban Rebel Army, and was on a confidential mission to the US at the behest of the head of the Cuban Air Force. The real purpose of his trip was not known to Fidel Castro or his supporters. Sturgis/Fiorini identified members and leaders of the Cuban Government who were either communists or communist sympathizers. He also furnished information concerning Cuban plans for potential revolutions in Caribbean countries. Sturgis/Fiorini, without revealing that he was working for the CIA, offered his services to the FBI as an "agent" in the fight against infiltration of Cuban Government by communists. He then requested aid in fighting communism in the Cuban Government (click here to view the FBI report on Fiorini).
NOTE: the HSCA asked Robert McKeown if he knew Frank Sturgis (CIA agent). McKeown answered, “I seen him one time over at Prio's house....” McKeown, Carlos Prio, Ruby, and others who supplied armaments to Castro were constantly surrounded and monitored by CIA operatives and US Customs.
In response to the growing threat of a possible Communist government within 90 miles of the US, the CIA began training and arming thousands of former Batista supporters, anti-Castro Cubans, and Cuban refugees who fled their homeland and were living in south Florida. Donald Edward Browder told the HSCA, “During the pre-Castro years, the CIA and Customs would not oppose gun shipments to Castro. After Castro turned Communist, the CIA and Customs encouraged shipments to anti-Castro forces.” People were beginning to fear that Castro was, as many had suspected, a communist, and should be removed.
On March 11, 1959, Dallas FBI agent Charles Flynn wrote, "on the basis of preliminary contacts and information developed to date, I recommend the captioned individual (Jack Ruby) for informant development." Flynn further wrote, "PCI [Potential Criminal Informant] advised he was willing to assist Bureau by supplying criminal information, on a confidential basis, which comes to his attention. On November 6, 1959, Flynn wrote, "contacts (with Ruby) have been negative to date, it is felt that further attempts to develop this man would be fruitless."
On March 15, 1959 Ruby telephoned and met with CIA-connected gun-runner Thomas Eli Davis III in Beaumont, TX. A year earlier, in June, 1958, Davis received a sentence of five years of probation for robbing a bank. While on probation Davis worked for the Agency training anti-Castro units in Florida. Soon, Ruby and Davis were supplying arms and munitions to Anti-Castro Cubans, apparently without the fear of arrest.
NOTE: When JFK was assassinated, Davis was in jail in Algiers, charged with running guns to a secret army terrorist movement then attempting to assassinate French President Charles de Gaulle. Davis was released from jail through the intervention of the CIA’s foreign agent code-named “QJ/WIN," who was identified by the top-secret CIA Inspector General’s Report as the “principle asset” in the Agency’s assassination program known as ZR/RIFLE.
After Ruby's arrest for killing Oswald, his defense attorney (Tom Howard) asked Ruby if he could think of anything that might damage his defense. Ruby responded and said there would be a problem if a man by the name of "Davis" should come up. Davis was later identified as Thomas Eli Davis III, a CIA-connected gun-runner and “soldier of fortune." In December, 1963 the Moroccan National Security Police informed the US State Department that Davis was arrested for an attempted sale of firearms to a minor. When Davis was searched, the police found “a letter in his handwriting which referred in passing to Oswald and to the Kennedy assassination.” Ruby told Howard that “he had been involved with Davis, who was a CIA connected gunrunner entangled in anti-Castro efforts and that he (Ruby) had intended to begin a regular gun-running business with Davis”. Ruby warned Howard about this connection, and feared that if it were to be revealed by either an investigative reporter or a witness it would blow open the CIA's role in JFK’s assassination. IT IS MPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT RUBY TOLD TOM HOWARD ABOUT HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH A CIA OPERATIVE. Tom Howard died of a heart attack within a year at age 48. The doctor, without an autopsy, said that he may have suffered a heart attack. But some reporters and friends thought Howard had been murdered.
The HSCA, under Robert Blakey, was intent on covering up any CIA connection or gun-running activities connected with Ruby and failed to investigate the Ruby/Davis connection. They explained, in typical government prose, “Due to limitations of time and resources... it was not possible to confirm these (Seth Kantor's) allegations."
In April, 1959 Fidel Castro flew to the United States and met for three hours with Vice President Richard Nixon in Washington, DC. Following their meeting Nixon wrote a confidential memorandum in which he expressed concern over Castro's communist leanings. The memo was sent to the CIA, the State Department, and to the White House. The CIA soon began to organize and train anti-Castro groups in Florida, while Ruby and Davis helped to supply them with arms and munitions.
After leaving Washington, DC Castro flew to Houston and met Robert McKeown at the airport. A photograph on the front page of the Houston Chronicle titled “Castro and the Gunrunner" recorded the event. An article accompanying the photograph quoted Castro as saying that if McKeown would return with him to Cuba, he would be given a high post in the government, a franchise.....whatever he wanted. McKeown politely told Castro that he could not legally leave the United States because of his probation. Castro said not to worry because US authorities would not bother him in Cuba. But McKeown declined his offer and Castro departed for Havana.
McKeown's close friendship with Castro prompted many people to ask him for assistance in affairs pertaining to Cuba. On one occasion McKeown's brother asked him to contact Castro and attempt to obtain the release of three friends who were being detained because they were caught fishing in Cuban waters. McKeown personally telephoned and spoke with Castro and the men were quickly released. On another occasion Jack Porter, a campaign manager for Eisenhower, contacted McKeown about approaching Castro.
In early 1959 Ruby made preliminary inquiries concerning the possible sale to Cuba of some surplus jeeps located in Shreveport, La., and asked about the possible release of prisoners from a Cuban prison. The jeeps, the prisoners, and Ruby's visit to Cuba in August, 1959 all suggest that his activities were sponsored and directed by others.
Prior to visiting Cuba, Ruby asked McKeown to write a personal letter of introduction to Castro so that he could talk with Castro about releasing some unnamed friends that were being detained in Havana. McKeown also said that Ruby "had a whole lot of jeeps he wanted to get to Castro."
In 1959 Cuban travel records show that Jack Ruby entered Cuba from New Orleans on August 8, left Cuba on September 11, re-entered Cuba from Miami on September 12, and returned from Cuba to New Orleans on September 13, 1959. But bank records, Dallas police records, and FBI records show that Ruby was in Dallas on August 10, 21, 31, and September 4. Someone was helping Ruby to get into and out of Cuba without going through Cuban customs and immigration.
NOTE: The reluctance of the FBI, Warren Commission, HSCA, etc to properly investigate Ruby's connections to Prio, McKeown, Davis, and his various gun-runnings makes sense when one realizes that Jack Ruby's activities had been monitored by the CIA, FBI, and US Customs for years. In 1959 Ruby did not travel to Cuba for pleasure.
At the time of Ruby's visit, Santo Trafficante was being held at the Trescornia detention center in Cuba. English journalist John Wilson Hudson (a.k.a. John Wilson) was detained with Trafficante, and said that Ruby came to see Trafficante in Trescornia. After Ruby shot Oswald, Wilson contacted the American Embassy and reported, "An American gangster called Santo.....was visited by an American gangster type named Ruby." If Ruby was trying to sell jeeps to Castro, as McKeown said, was he trying to negotiate Trafficante's release? Trafficante, as it turns out, was released from the detention center on August 18, 1959, just after Ruby arrived in Cuba.
NOTE: Santo Trafficante was a mafia “Don” and was also one of the gangsters who participated in the CIA's attempt to assassinate Fidel. Trafficante appeared before the HSCA and was questioned by chief counsel Richard Sprague as follows:
Mr. Trafficante, have you at any time been an employee, a contract employee, or in any manner been in the service of the Central Intelligence Agency, or any other agency of the Federal Government of the United States?
Mr. Trafficante, did you know John Rosselli?
Mr. Trafficante, did you know Sam Giancana?
Mr. Trafficante, do you know Robert Maheu?
Mr. Trafficante, prior to November 22, 1963, did you have information that President Kennedy was going to be assassinated?
Mr. Trafficante, prior to November 22, 1963, did you advise other people of the assassination of President Kennedy?
Mr. Trafficante, prior to November 22, 1963, did you know Jack Ruby
Mr. Trafficante, have you ever met with representatives of the Central Intelligence Agency to discuss the assassination of various world leaders, including Fidel Castro?
Mr. Trafficante, is any agency of the U.S. Government giving you any immunity with regard to any plans to assassinate any world leaders?
Mr. Trafficante, did you ever discuss with any individual plans to assassinate President Kennedy prior to his assassination?
Mr. Trafficante, while you were in prison in Cuba, were you visited by Jack Ruby?
Mr. Trafficante, as a result of your appearance here today, have you been threatened by anyone, any group or agency? Has your life been threatened in any way?
Mr. Trafficante, have you been contacted by any agency in the executive branch, say the CIA or FBI, in connection with your possible testimony before or after you received formal subpoena to appear before this committee?"
Not one of Richard Sprague's questions concerned Trafficante's mob connections, but instead were focused on either Jack Ruby or the CIA. To each of these questions Trafficante's response was, "I respectfully refuse to answer that question pursuant to my constitutional rights under the 1st, 4th, 5th, and 14th amendments." This is the legal response to questions that would otherwise be self-incriminating. Sprague, because his focus of attention was on the CIA, was soon forced to resign as chief counsel and replaced by Robert Blakey, who managed through selective testimony and questioning to shift blame for the assassination of President Kennedy to the mafia.
Due to his focus on CIA involvement, Richard Sprague was removed as the HSCA's chief counsel and replaced by Robert Blakey. Blakey worked very hard to sell the American people on how the “mob” was responsible for the Kennedy assassination. Blakey occasionally asserted that “rogue elements” of the CIA may have been involved, but always directed attention to the "mob." In 1981 Blakey wrote a book titled, The Plot to Kill the President—Organized Crime Assassinated JFK. Most of the evidence and witness testimony presented to the HSCA pointed to individuals at the highest level of the CIA as the principal planners of the assassination, but Blakey cleverly and deceptively ignored the obvious and blamed the "mob."
In 1961 Ruby was involved in a plan to sell British Enfield rifles, obtained from Mexico, to anti-Castro-Cubans in Florida. Nancy Perrin Rich told the Warren Commission about a group running Enfield rifles from Mexico to Cuba in 1961 and returning with Cuban refugees to Florida. Ruby was evidently the “paymaster." During the 10 years preceding the assassination of President Kennedy there is a considerable amount of information that shows the FBI, CIA, and US Customs were very familiar with “Jack Rubenstein” and his gun-running activities. The Warren Commission requested a written response from the CIA for any and all “information on Jack Ruby (aka Jack Rubenstein)." The CIA responded by stating, “Examination of CIA records failed to produce information on Jack Ruby or his activities," but the CIA provided no information whatsoever for “Jack Rubenstein."
In late 1960 CIA asset Marita Lorenz was in a Miami CIA safehouse with members of her group and met LEE Harvey Oswald for the first time. The HSCA interviewed her and asked about her first meeting with Oswald:
Mr. Fithian: "Now is it your testimony that the first time you saw Oswald would have been in the camps in the Everglades?"
Marita Lorenz: "The very first time, no. I saw him in the Safehouse and then in the camps."
Mr. Fithian: "And that first meeting at the Safehouse would have been within a year of the Bay of Pigs?"
Marita Lorenz: "I would say 1960."
Mr. Fithian: "It would be some time during 1960?"
Marita Lorenz: "Late 1960."
Mr. Fithian: "All right. Now I want to be sure that I have your dates correct. You said the first meeting of LEE Harvey Oswald, the first time you saw him, was at a Safehouse in Miami in 1960."
Marita Lorenz: "Yes."
Mr. Fithian: "The next time or times that you saw him were during training at a camp in the Everglades, various places in the Everglades, in early 1960, 1961 period?"
Marita Lorenz: "Yes."
Mr. Fithian: "And after that you saw him at the Safehouse the second time?"
Marita Lorenz: "Yes."
Mr. Fithian: "What makes you so sure of the dates. Within a year of the first meeting in the Safehouse and the meeting at the camps in the Everglades, is there anything else you could match that up with?"
Marita Lorenz: "The photographs, the events that took place. the photographs that Alex (Rorke) took. Everywhere we went Alex took pictures."
Mr. Fithian: "This was prior to the Bay of Pigs?"
Marita Lorenz: "Yes, April, 1961, was the Bay of Pigs."
Mr. Fithian: "And you are sure you saw him (Oswald) before April, 1961."
Marita Lorenz: "Yes, because Alex took the pictures."
Mr. Fithian: "And the whole purpose of the training was to somehow participate or help in the Bay of Pigs.
Marita Lorenz: "Yes."
Mr. Fithian: "Did you see Oswald at any time in the intervening two years between early 1961 prior to April of 1961 and the September-October Safehouse meeting in 1963?"
Marita Lorenz: "No, but Frank (Sturgis) kept in touch with me. Alex kept in touch with me."
Mr. Fithian: "Mrs. Lorenz, has your attorney explained what perjury before a congressional committee is all about?"
Marita Lorenz: "That is right, yes."
Mr. Fithian: "In any way do you want to change your testimony on these dates?"
Marita Lorenz: "No, I do not."
Mr. Fithian: "There is adequate documentary evidence that Lee Harvey Oswald did not indeed return from the Soviet Union until June of 1962.
Marita Lorenz: "I don't know about that."
Mr. Fithian: "Therefore you could not have met him at the Safehouse in 1960, you could not have seen him in the Everglades in 1960 and 1961, and you could not have taken a picture in those areas and could not have a picture for the dates of that time."
Marita Lorenz: "No?"
Mr. Fithian: "It is not possible."
Marita Lorenz: "I don't know about that."
Mr. Fithian: "Now can you explain to the committee why you gave us this false information as far as dates?"
Marita Lorenz: "I did not give you false information."
Mr. Fithian: "Mrs. Lorenz, I went over your testimony very carefully a moment ago and you assured me that you met Lee Harvey Oswald prior to the Bay of Pigs."
Marita Lorenz: "I did."
Mr. Fithian: "On two occasions."
Marita Lorenz: "Yes."
Mr. Fithian: "Lee Harvey Oswald was in Russia during that entire period."
Marita Lorenz: "I do not know that. I did not know that. The Lee Harvey Oswald that I met was the same in that picture, the one in the Safehouse. the same one that Frank knows. I do not know where he was according to your information. I do not know. I never read up on anything about these theories that are coming out about him."
Mr. Fithian: "This is not a matter of theory."
Marita Lorenz: "I know I am telling the truth. If you don't want it, that's too bad, you know. I am here to gain nothing, you know. Nothing. Nothing at all. You are trying a homicide investigation that should be solved, you know. Don't dispute me or put me on trial."
Mr. Fithian: "Only if we can have full and truthful testimony."
Marita Lorenz: "You have got it. You have it from me. I don't know about the other people. I have nothing to lose and nothing to hide-nothing.
Mr. Fithian: "And it is your testimony that you are certain that the person you met at the Safehouse and at the camps of the Everglades is the same person that you met in Dallas."
Marita Lorenz: "Yes, it is."
Mr. Fithian: "Do you have any explanation for how we come up with two Lee Harvey Oswalds during this period?"
Marita Lorenz: "I have no explanation. I know the man I met; he was a creep. I didn't like him. I don't have to be here at all. I have nothing to gain.
Mr. Fithian: "Thank you. That is all."
NOTE: CIA asset/photographer Alex Rorke had taken photos of LEE Oswald in Florida (1960-61) while HARVEY Oswald was in the Soviet Union. Rorke died in an airplane crash in Mexico in May 1964, along with Hugh Ward, DeLessups Morrison (former Mayor of New Orleans), his 7-year-old son Christopher, Daleigh Pellegrin and Ovide Cenac.
Marita Lorenz with Frank Fiorini/Sturgis
Marita Lorenz with Fidel Castro
In the Spring of 1961 Sheriff Thompson, of Monroe County (Key West), Florida, recalled that "LEE Harvey Oswald" fueled up his boat in Key West shortly after the Bay of Pigs invasion. Oswald didn't have the funds to pay for the fuel and telephoned someone in Dallas, Texas. Within two hours a man named "Ruben" arrived and paid for the fuel.
In 1961 William Huffman was the attendant on duty at the Sands Marine Fueling Station at Stock Island, Key West, Florida. LEE Oswald, accompanied by four or five Cubans, docked a 43-foot Chris Craft boat and filled up with diesel fuel. Huffman recalled that Oswald did not have enough money to pay for the fuel, made a phone call, and soon a man named "Ruben" arrived. Huffman said that although Ruben paid cash for the fuel, he (Huffman) asked Oswald to sign the fuel delivery ticket. Huffman told the FBI, "I told him I wanted his autograph in case he should become famous at some later date.”
NOTE: William Huffman was a former FBI informant whose identification code was "MM 892-C." On November 25, 1963 Huffman reported Oswald's visit to Homer A. Newman, supervisor of the FBI's Miami office. But William Huffman, like many witnesses who saw LEE Oswald in 1960-62, was ignored by the FBI because his testimony placed (LEE) Oswald in Florida with "Ruben" (a clear reference to Jack Ruby), while Lee (HARVEY) Oswald was in the Soviet Union (1959-1962).
NOTE: 1961 is the first year of a known connection between Jack Ruby and LEE Oswald (NOT HARVEY Oswald, who was then in the Soviet Union). Both men appear to have been involved in anti-Castro activities in and around the Florida Keys. (To view more about LEE Oswald's whereabouts in1959-1962, CLICK HERE.)
In 1962 Leander D'Avy, a 20 year veteran of the US Air Force, had been working at the Court of Two Sisters in New Orleans for two years. A young man approached D'Avy, asked for “Clay Bertrand," and was sent to speak with the night manager, Gene Davis. As the young man was leaving Davis told the bar maid that the young man had just come back from behind the Iron Curtain. Following the assassination of President Kennedy, D'Avy recognized this man as Lee Harvey Oswald. Two months later a car drove up in front of the Court and D'Avy told the man he could not park there. One of the passengers called the driver “Jack” and, following the assassination, D'Avy recognized this man as Jack Ruby.
NOTE: HARVEY, Marina, and baby June Oswald lived in and around Dallas/Ft. Worth during all of 1962. It was LEE Oswald whom D'Avy saw at the Court of Two Sisters and was visited by Jack Ruby.
During the Spring of 1963 D'Avy said that LEE Oswald resided in a small room above the court and was often seen with Gene Davis, the night manager. On April 11, Jack Ruby and LEE Oswald were together at the Escapades Lounge, 3300 Old Spanish Trail, in Houston, TX. Robert Allen Price told the HSCA that he went to the lounge to visit his wife, Dolores, who was the day manager. In the afternoon four men came into the lounge and one of the waitresses (“Mary”) yelled “Jack Ruby," whom she knew from Dallas. Introductions were made and Ruby said that he and his friends were “killing time” until “plane time." Ruby said they were leaving from Alvin, TX at 6:30 PM and flying to Cuba. When the four men left, they drove away in a light colored Chrysler station wagon with wood veneer and a luggage rack on top.
During the summer and fall of 1963, while HARVEY, Marina, and June Oswald were living in New Orleans, Jack Ruby and LEE Oswald were seen together by many people in and around Dallas.
- In the summer of 1963 Dorothy Marcum was dating Ruby and her aunt worked for Ruby. Dorothy told the FBI that LEE Oswald worked for Ruby during June and July and the two men definitely knew each other.
- Ruby was interviewing Francis Irene Hise for a job as a waitress when a young man entered the Carousel Club and Ruby said “Hi, Ozzie” to the young man. After she was hired Miss Hise served drinks to “Ozzie," whom she recognized after the assassination as LHO.
- Another employee, Clyde Malcolm Limbough, worked for Ruby three years and saw Oswald in Ruby's office on several occasions.
- Helen Kay Smith (“Pixie Lynn”), who worked at the Carousel, told the Dallas Police that she saw Ruby and Oswald together on several occasions.
- Other employees of Ruby who saw Oswald in the Carousel Club were William Crowe, Wally Weston, Dixie Lynn, and Kathy Kay.
- Robert Roy was Ruby's auto mechanic and said that Oswald used to drop off Ruby's car for repairs. Roy then drove Oswald back to Ruby's “burlesque house.”
- Ruby parked his car at Gibbs Auto Service and occasionally allowed friends and associates to borrow his car. Leon Woods was the manager of Gibbs and kept a “check-in and check-out” book that listed the names of people who took Ruby's car from the garage. Mr. Woods gave the book to the FBI following the assassination of President Kennedy, which the FBI later denied.
- During the last week of July (1963) Western Union employee Marshall Hicks delivered several telegrams addressed to “LEE Harvey Oswald” at the Rotary Apartments, 1501-1503 W. 7th St. in Dallas (while HARVEY and Marina were living in New Orleans). The FBI made no attempt to locate copies of these telegrams.
- DPD Detective H.M. Hart, of the Criminal Intelligence Division, received information from a Dallas Police confidential informant who knew Ruby. The informant said that in September (1963) Ruby rented an apartment at 223 S. Ewing for LEE Oswald.
NOTE: Journalist Dorothy Kilgallen wrote in the New York Journal American (June 6, 1964): “It is known that 10 persons have signed sworn depositions to the Warren Commission that they knew Oswald and Ruby to have been acquainted.”
At 20, "Little Lynn" (in private life, Karen Carlin) was Jack's youngest stripper. With long locks of artificially colored gray hair, Lynn had the body of swimsuit contestant—but, on stage, wore little other than a big smile, pink heels and a matching G-string. On November 24, 1963, Little Lynn told U.S. Secret Service agent Roger Warner that she, in his words, "was under the impression that Lee Harvey Oswald, Jack Ruby, and other individuals unknown to her, were involved in a plot to assassinate President Kennedy and that she would be killed if she gave any information to authorities." Lynn reportedly died of a gunshot wound in Houston in 1964.
During the first week of September, Louisiana gubernatorial candidate Clyde Johnson was residing temporarily at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans. A man telephoned Johnson, introduced himself as Alton Bernard, and asked to meet with him. Johnson agreed and soon Bernard, accompanied by a young man named “Leon,” arrived at Johnson's hotel room. About 10 minutes later a third man arrived and was introduced as “Jack." Johnson watched as Mr. Bernard opened his briefcase and handed thick, brown envelopes to Jack, Leon and to himself. The envelope given to Johnson contained $5000 in cash, for his gubernatorial campaign. After the assassination of President Kennedy, Johnson identified “Leon” as Lee Harvey Oswald and “Jack” as Jack Ruby. Years later Johnson identified a photograph of Clay Shaw as the man who introduced himself as “Alton Bernard” at the Roosevelt Hotel. Gubernatorial candidate Clyde Johnson was a very credible witness who met Clay Shaw, Jack Ruby and LEE Harvey Oswald in the summer of 1963. Johnson was scheduled to testify at Clay Shaw's trial in New Orleans, but was badly beaten and unable to appear. A short while later he was murdered by a shotgun blast.
In early September Antonio Veciana observed his long-time CIA contact “Maurice Bishop” talking with LEE Oswald at the Southland Building in Dallas, a few blocks from the Carousel Club. “Maurice Bishop” was later identified by HSCA investigator Gaeton Fonzi as David Atlee Phillips--a high level CIA agent (Mexico City Station) who became the CIA's “Chief of Western Hemisphere." Phillips, a native of Ft. Worth, was very close to Gordon McLendon, the owner of Dallas radio station KLIF. McLendon had been a Naval intelligence officer at Pearl Harbor in WWII and later founded the “Association of Former Intelligence (CIA) Officers” (click here to visit AFIO website). McLendon, who had known Phillips since junior high school in Ft. Worth, was also one of Jack Ruby's closest friends.
NOTE: the HSCA requested files from the CIA on McLendon. The requests were handled by Donald Gregg, assistant to former CIA Director George Bush.
Why would a high-level CIA agent like Phillips, assigned to the Mexico City Station, head of Cuban Propaganda, and soon to be the Chief of Western Hemisphere, meet with 23 year old LEE Oswald in Dallas? And why did the name “Bishop” appear in Ruby's notebook with phone number RI 87991? Intelligence sources told news reporter Vic Walter that Veciana was probably the closest living link to the Kennedy assassination (linking the CIA's David Atlee Phillips with Lee Harvey Oswald).
NOTE: while Jack Ruby and LEE Oswald were seen together in and around Dallas in the summer and fall of 1963, HARVEY, Marina, and June Oswald were living in New Orleans.
On Labor Day weekend HARVEY Oswald, a very pregnant Marina, and 2-year old June, boarded a city bus and rode to the Murrets in New Orleans. Three hundred and fifty miles away, in Kemah, TX, Robert McKeown watched as a car arrived, parked, and two men got out and walked toward his home. One of the men introduced himself to McKeown as LEE Oswald, and said that he wanted to purchase rifles. McKeown, who was still on a 5-year probation for selling arms, refused to sell guns to LEE Oswald. The two men left but returned a few minutes later and again asked McKeown to sell rifles, but he refused. LEE Oswald's attempt to purchase rifles from Robert McKeown, who was a very close personal friend of Fidel Castro, was very significant and an obvious attempt by the conspirators to link Lee HARVEY Oswald to Cuba.
This “staged encounter,” in which LEE Oswald impersonated HARVEY Oswald, was the first in a series of attempts to frame/set-up HARVEY as the future assassin of President Kennedy. Had McKeown sold one or more rifles to LEE Oswald then one of those rifles could have been “planted” on the 6th floor of the TSBD, found by police, and linked through McKeown to Castro. If the rifle could be linked to Castro, the American public would have been outraged and would have demanded a retaliatory response by US armed forces. The meeting with McKeown took place within a few days of LEE Oswald's meeting with the CIA's David Atlee Phillips in Dallas. It is worth remembering that Phillips' close friend, Gordon McLendon, was a close friend of Jack Ruby.
In June, July, and August 1963, while HARVEY, Marina, and June were living in New Orleans, Jack Ruby spent a lot of time with LEE Oswald in Dallas. During the next 2-1/2 months a young man, identified by witnesses as “Lee Harvey Oswald," appeared in various locations in order to create the impression that he was a communist, a supporter of Castro, a good marksman who owned an Italian carbine rifle, carried that rifle in a 4-1/2 ft long package wrapped in brown paper that he said contained “curtain rods”, knew about President Kennedy's trip to Dallas, and would soon receive a large amount of money. Someone was setting up/framing HARVEY Oswald as the assassin of President Kennedy—the former Russian speaking “defector” to the Soviet Union, with a Russian wife, who recently handed out FPCC literature in New Orleans in support of Castro. The most likely person to devise and create such a ruse was the CIA's head of Cuban propaganda--David Atlee Phillips (Mexico City). Someone was needed to impersonate HARVEY Oswald in Dallas, and who better than LEE Oswald. And someone close to LEE Oswald was needed to pass along Phillips' instructions and direct him as to where to go and what to do—and that man was likely Jack Ruby. During the next two months that preceded the assassination, LEE Oswald followed instructions and “staged” one event after another in order to implicate, frame, set-up, and identify HARVEY Oswald as the future assassin of President Kennedy.
Some of those “staged events” included:
In October, a three-man musical "combo" group was performing in Ruby's club that consisted of John Anderson (trumpet), Bill Willis (drums), and William Simmons (piano). The small group worked only four hours a day, from 9 PM to 1 AM. Curiously, and without explanation, Willis and Simmons lived fifteen miles away from the Carousel Club, in a house located at 2530 W. 5th in Irving, TX., just 200 feet west on the opposite side of the street from Ruth Paine (2515 W. 5th). When Ruby shot HARVEY Oswald, Nancy Powell (Tammi True) told the WC that she saw Bill Willis (drummer) near the police station. Neither Willis nor Simmons were interviewed by the WC.
- Sept 26 to Oct 3--Mexico City, “Lee Harvey Oswald” was supposed to have taken bus to Mexico City and visited the Cuban Consulate and Embassy. However, available evidence and the complete lack of documentation shows that the entire Mexico City “episode” was the CIA's attempt to link Oswald with Cuba. Four Dallas deputy constables (fully empowered peace county-wide jurisdiction) inspected a box containing documents that linked Ruby and Oswald. Deputies Billy J. Preston, Ben Cash, and John Callaghan reported they had seen a motel near New Orleans with Ruby and Oswald's names dated several weeks before the assassination of President Kennedy. They said the receipts showed several phone calls had been placed to Mexico, to numbers identified as the Cuban and Russian embassies. The supervisor (Robie Love), personally turned the box over to Dallas DA Henry Wade, and the box disappeared.
- Oct 4 (Fri), LEE Oswald arrived at the Carousel Club about 10:00 pm and began talking with Jack Ruby. Dallas attorney Carroll Jarnagin was sitting nearby and heard Oswald say, “I just got in from New Orleans.” Ruby replied, “I noticed you hadn't been around in two or three weeks.” After listening to their conversation Jarnagin realized they were talking about assassinating Texas Governor John Connally. Following the assassination Jarnagin recognized the younger man as “Lee Harvey Oswald” and on 12/3/63 prepared a lengthy statement detailing the conversation he overheard between Ruby and Oswald and gave it to the FBI.
- Oct 14 (Mon), Texas Employment Commission. Counselor Laura Kittrell interviewed HARVEY Oswald, who said he had just arrived from New Orleans and was looking for work. Laura recalled that Oswald had a “sketchy” background in off-set printing (Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall), and arranged for him to take GATB tests. The following Monday at 1:00 PM HARVEY took the tests, and this was his last meeting with Laura Kittrell.
- Oct 16 (Wed), HARVEY Oswald began working full time at the TSBD.
- Oct 17 (Thur), TEC. A man closely resembling HARVEY Oswald showed up at Laura Kittrell's office. Laura said, “I looked up from my desk and there he was, standing beside it, and grinning.” The young man was wearing a red and white checkered sport shirt and said, “The Claims Office sent me back to you. You got to change my Primary Code. You got to change it back to what it was in the beginning. I have just joined the Teamsters Union. Joined last night." At first Laura thought the man was (HARVEY) Oswald. But after talking with him she realized that this was not the man who took the GATB tests the previous Monday. This man was more interested in collecting unemployment compensation than finding a job. She wondered if (HARVEY) Oswald had sent this man in his place to try and collect unemployment. She later recalled, “Although the man I remember as (HARVEY) Oswald and the man I remember as the Teamster (LEE Oswald) were much alike in size, shape, and outline, there was a marked difference between them in bearing and manner.” As Laura Kittrell was interviewing (LEE) Oswald, HARVEY Oswald was working full-time at the TSBD.
- Oct 26 (Sat), the Sports Drome Rifle Range, where LEE Oswald sighted in his rifle and showed off his shooting ability (HARVEY was at Ruth Paine's house with wife and daughters).
- Nov 1 (Fri), three weeks before the assassination Wally Weston, master of ceremonies at the Carousel and a good friend of Ruby's, was on stage. A young man walked up to the stage and said, “I think you're a communist.” Weston jumped off the stage and hit the man, while Ruby grabbed the man and said, “I told you to never to come in here,” and then threw him out of the club. After the assassination Weston recognized the man as LEE Harvey Oswald. (HARVEY was at Ruth Paine's house with wife and daughters).
- Nov 2 (Sat), Downtown Lincoln Mercury, where a man who identified himself as LHO test drove a Mercury Comet. He told salesman Al Bogard that he would return in a couple of weeks with $3500 in cash to purchase the car. (HARVEY was at Ruth Paine's house with wife and daughters).
- Nov 2 (Sat), Morgan's Gun Shop. A young man, who claimed to be a former Marine, arrived at the shop and wanted to purchase ammunition. He created a bad impression and soon left. The clerk and three customers later identified the man as LHO (HARVEY was at Ruth Paine's house with wife and daughters).
- Nov 6 (Wed) or Nov 7 (Thur), Furniture Mart in Irving, TX., where a young man arrived in a 1957 blue and white Ford with wife. He was carrying an object wrapped in paper that was about 15 inches long and looked like it was part of a gun. The man asked Mrs. Whitworth for a gun part and was told the store no longer had a gun department. Following the assassination Mrs. Whitworth and her friend, Gertrude Hunter, identified the young man as LHO and the woman who accompanied him as Marina Oswald (HARVEY was working at the TSBD).
- Nov 9 (Sat), Sports Drome Rifle Range. LEE Oswald had his rifle sighted-in by Floyd Guy Davis, owner of the range. (HARVEY was at Ruth Paine's house with wife and daughters).
- Nov 10 (Sun), Sports Drome Rifle Range. LEE Oswald was observed by Garland Slack firing a rifle on a 100-yard line in booth #6 or #8. That evening Harvey Lawill Wade saw a man he later identified as LHO sitting at a table with two other men in the Carousel Club (HARVEY was at Ruth Paine's house with wife and daughters).
- Nov 14 (Thurs), At 12:40 PM Jack Ruby came into the New Port Motel in Morgan City, LA. He asked clerk Corrine Verges Villard if he could speak with Pete Guarisco, and was told that Pete was attending a Rotary Club meeting. As Jack and Corrine began to talk a young man, wearing a white t-shirt and faded blue jeans, entered and sat at a nearby table. Jack talked with Corrine for a half-hour, discussed his business in Dallas, and said that he was trying to charter a plane out of Patterson, LA (7 miles from Morgan City). At 1:10 PM Ruby walked out the front door while the young man walked out the side door. Both men got into same vehicle and drove away. When shown a photo of Oswald, Corrine said that she was sure this was the man who sat at the nearby table a week earlier (HARVEY was working at the TSBD in Dallas).
- Nov 16 (Sat), Sports Drome Rifle Range. LEE Oswald entered booth #5 and began firing his rifle. Dr. Homer Wood and his 13-year old son, Sterling Charles Wood, asked the man if he was shooting a 6.5 Italian carbine. The man replied, “Yes, it is.” Following the assassination both Dr. Wood and his son identified the man as LHO (HARVEY was at Ruth Paine's house with wife and daughters).
- Nov 17 (Sun), Sports Drome Rifle Range. LEE Oswald made sure he would be remembered as he shot at targets that belonged to Garland Slack, the man in the next booth. After leaving the rifle range LEE Oswald drove to Jack's Bar on Exposition St. in Dallas. It was there that LEE met Vern Davis, and began talking about President Kennedy's upcoming trip and specifically mentioned the Dallas Trade Mart. Jack Ruby, whom Davis had known for 10 years, entered the bar and said hello to Davis (HARVEY was at Ruth Paine's house with wife and daughters).
- Nov 20 (Wed), Ralph Yates picked up a hitch-hiker who was carrying a 4-1/2 ft long package that he said contained “curtain rods”. This man asked Yates if he though a man could be shot from a window in a tall building. The young man then showed Yates a photograph of a man holding a rifle and asked Yates if he thought the President could be killed with an identical rifle. The man then asked Yates if he knew the President's parade route, and then asked Yates to drop him off at Elm and Houston (TSBD). (HARVEY was working at the TSBD the entire day).
- Nov 21 (Thur), about 9:00 PM a young man knocked on the door of apartment #206 at 223 S. Ewing, which was occupied by an SMU Professor. A friend of the Professor, Helen McIntosh, opened the door and saw a young man who asked for “Jack”. The Professor told Miss McIntosh that “Jack” (Jack Ruby) lived next door in apartment #207. The next day, following the assassination of President Kennedy, Helen saw a photograph of LHO on television. She immediately recognized him as the man who appeared the night before at the Professor's apartment. (After work, HARVEY rode with Wesley Frazier to Ruth Paine's in Irving, TX, where he spent the evening.)
- Nov 22-(Fri), while LEE OSWALD was on the 6th floor of the TSBD, attracting attention from onlookers below who would be able to provide a description of the President's assassin, HARVEY Oswald was in the lunchroom. After the shooting, four witnesses saw LEE Oswald get into a Nash Rambler station wagon and leave Dealey Plaza, while HARVEY Oswald left Dealey Plaza by city bus and then by taxi.
This is Ruth Paine's home as seen from 5th St. Jack Ruby band members Bill Willis and William Simmons
lived in a house located just 200 feet west, on the opposite side of 5th St, where they could easily watch the Paine home.
November 22, 1963. Arlen Fuhlendorf, a group manager in the Dallas Intelligence Division of the Internal Revenue Service, told the FBI that Jack Ruby had contacted one of his informants the morning of the assassination. Ruby asked the informant if he “would like to watch the fireworks.”
A few minutes after the shooting Victoria Adams, who worked in the TSBD, told the Warren Commission that she observed a man standing on the corner of Elm and Houston a few minutes after the assassination who may have been Jack Ruby. Across the street Mrs. Louis Velez, and two co-workers, saw Ruby walking up and down the street near the TSBD. When HARVEY Oswald came out of the building, they saw Ruby give him a pistol (perhaps, as was reported, a pistol with a defective firing pin). These women knew Oswald, who ate with them at a nearby restaurant, and both were acquainted with Jack Ruby. Mrs. Velez told her story of Ruby giving Oswald a pistol to her mother (Mrs. Evelyn Harris), who was interviewed by FBI agent Manning on 11/30/63. Neither Mrs. Velez nor her co-workers were interviewed by the DPD or FBI and given the opportunity to confirm or deny their story. If their story is true, then Ruby may have been setting up HARVEY Oswald, by giving him a pistol (with a defective firing pin) to provide justification for the police if and when they shot him. On Friday evening (11/22/63) District Attorney Henry Wade told news reporters, “when a Dallas Police officer was arresting him the pistol was snapped at another police officer's head and didn't fire.” (@ 1:35)
Following the assassination Jack Ruby was now confronted with his worst nightmare. HARVEY Oswald was still alive, in jail, and was the one person who could expose the “Oswald Project" (HARVEY and LEE) and directly link Ruby and CIA operatives to the assassination of President Kennedy. Frank Sheeran, an alleged hitman, recalled a conversation he had with former Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa. During the conversation, Hoffa claimed that Ruby was assigned the task of coordinating police officers who were loyal to Ruby to murder Oswald while he was in their custody. After Oswald was taken to jail Ruby was given a choice to either finish the job himself or forfeit his life.
Within hours of HARVEY Oswald's arrest Ruby began to stalk him and look for an opportunity to get close enough to shoot him. Around 7:30 PM Ruby tried to enter Capt. Fritz's office when Oswald was being questioned, but was stopped by two uniformed officers. At 10:30 PM Ruby stopped at Phil's Delicatessen to purchase sandwiches and make phone calls. One of the phone calls was overheard by delicatessen employee John Frickstad. During the call Ruby said, “If anything should come up he (Ruby) could be reached at the radio station (Gordon McLendon's KLIF radio).” Ruby took the sandwiches and drove to Dallas City Hall where District Attorney Henry Wade was giving a press conference (11:15 PM). When Wade said that Oswald was a member of the “Free Cuba Committee," a group populated by CIA assets and supporters such as Clare Booth Luce, Admiral Arleigh Burke, and Hal Hendrix, Jack Ruby corrected him and said, “that's 'Fair Play for Cuba Committee,' Henry.” Newsreel footage from WFAA-TV (Dallas) and NBC shows that during the press conference Ruby was impersonating a news reporter (probably KLIF radio). Some speculate that Ruby may have hoped to kill Oswald that night at the press conference. After killing Oswald, Ruby told the FBI that he had his loaded snub-nosed Colt Cobra .38 revolver in his right-hand pocket during the press conference.
The following day (Sat., Nov 23) Ruby arrived at the Allright Parking Garage between 1:30 PM and 2:00 PM and asked to use the telephone. He phoned the KLIF “hotline," known only to radio station personnel, and asked if any KLIF newsmen were at City Hall. After completing the call, Ruby left and within a few minutes called Thomas Brown, the manager of the parking garage. He told Brown that two men would soon stop by the garage and ask for him (Ruby). Ruby asked Brown to tell the men to contact him at KLIF radio. The two unidentified men soon arrived and Brown relayed the message. Around 3:00 PM Ruby returned to the parking garage and again telephoned KLIF radio, spoke with Garnett Hallmark and said, “I understand they are moving Oswald over to the county jail ... you know I'll be there.” At 4:00 PM a WBAP news crew was outside of the police station waiting for the transfer of Oswald to the county jail. Ruby approached a WBAP engineer and cameraman and said that he knew DA Henry Wade and offered to get information for them. Ruby was apparently trying to pose as a news reporter to once again gain access to the police station and to Oswald. After Ruby learned that Oswald was to be transferred to the county jail the next morning, he left the area.
Shortly after midnight, at 2:15 AM (Sunday, Nov 24) Deputy McCoy, of the Dallas County Sheriff's office, received a call from a man who said that his group was going to kill Oswald during his transfer to the county jail. Fifteen minutes later (2:30 AM) an unknown individual telephoned the Dallas FBI office, spoke with SA Vernon Glossup, and said, “We are going to kill the man who killed the President.” At 3:00 AM Dallas Police Officer Billy Grammer received a phone call from a familiar voice warning him that Oswald would be killed if the police didn't transfer him in secret. Grammar was home the next morning and watched on television as his friend, Jack Ruby, shot and killed Oswald. Grammar gave a sworn affidavit to the Dallas Police in which he identified Ruby as the man who called the police station at 3:00 AM. Grammar was never asked to testify before the Warren Commission. It appears that Ruby, ordered to kill HARVEY Oswald, was trying to find a way to avoid his assignment by warning the Sheriff's office, the FBI, and Dallas Police that Oswald would be killed. But he was unsuccessful.
The next morning, at 12:21 AM (CST), the Dallas Police escorted Oswald through the police basement in full view of reporters and TV cameras. Jack Ruby stepped out from a crowd and fired his .38 revolver into Oswald's abdomen, fatally wounding him. The shooting, broadcast live from the Dallas Police station, was seen by millions of television viewers.
The more we look at Jack Ruby, the more we begin to realize that his undercover work as an HUAC informant in the 1940's, his gun-running activities from 1952-1962, his involvement with LEE Oswald during the summer and fall of 1963, and personal contact with CIA operatives, establishes that Ruby had a long term involvement with US intelligence operations that culminated in the plot to assassinate President Kennedy.
Ruby's first attorney was Tom Howard, one of the best criminal defense attorneys in Texas. Ruby warned Howard about this CIA connection and feared that, if this information were revealed by an investigative reporter or a witness, it would blow open the CIA's role in JFK’s assassination. Two weeks later, in early December, attorneys Phil Burleson, of Dallas, Joe Tonahill, of Jasper, TX, and Melvin Belli of San Francisco joined Ruby's defense team.
NOTE: One year later, on March 27, 1965, Howard was taken to a hospital by an unidentified person and died. He was 48. The doctor, without an autopsy, said he had suffered a heart attack. Some reporters and friends said he was "bumped off" which, if true, may have been because of what Ruby told him about CIA involvement in the assassination.
Following the assassination of President Kennedy, journalist Dorothy Kilgallen (New York Journal-American) developed a keen interest in the events that followed. In the 1950s and early 1960s Kilgallen was one of the most recognized and famous journalists in America. Since 1950 she was known to millions of Americans through weekly appearances on the radio and television program “What's My Line?”, hosted by John Charles Daly. Few people, then and now, knew that Mr. Daly was married to Chief Justice Earl Warren's daughter, Virginia. Kilgallen soon learned, and reported, that 10 witnesses had signed sworn depositions to the Warren Commission that Oswald and Ruby knew each other. Within days, Ruby's lawyers announced that he (Ruby) would not be taking the stand.
Ruby's trial began on February 17, 1964. Dorothy Kilgallen soon learned that the FBI and Justice Department had made a very unusual “agreement” with Ruby's defense lawyers. On February 21 Kilgallen reported that government attorneys agreed “to provide Ruby's side with reams of helpful information that they would never have been able to get without the G-men--on the condition that they do not ask for anything at all about Ruby's alleged victim (Oswald).... It appears Washington knows or suspects something about Lee Oswald that it does not want Dallas and the rest of the world to know or suspect.” Dorothy then asked a question of her readers, "Why is Oswald being kept in the shadows, as dim a figure as they can make him, while the defense tries to rescue his alleged killer with the help of information from the FBI?” Kilgallen was determined to learn the truth about the assassination.
In March (1964) during a noon recess at Ruby's trial, Kilgallen asked Judge Joe Brown if he would allow her to interview Ruby. Judge Brown granted her request and Dorothy interviewed Ruby alone for approximately 8 minutes. Dorothy mentioned the interview to close friends, but never the substance or details. Not once, in her prolific published writings, did she so much as refer to the private interview. The notes she took during her time alone with Ruby were included in a private file she began to assemble on the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Kilgallen told friends that she was following a very important lead after meeting with Ruby behind closed doors. Whether or not Ruby told Kilgallen about his CIA connections may never be known. But what is known is that Killgallen was soon followed and hounded by the FBI for months.
NOTE: Dorothy Kilgallen was the second person, after Tom Howard, who Ruby may have told the names and/or identities of the people for whom he was working.
On March 14 (1964) Ruby was convicted of murder with malice, for which he was sentenced to die in the electric chair. His lawyers, led by Sam Houston Clinton, appealed his conviction to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, arguing that he did not receive a fair trial in Dallas because of the excessive publicity surrounding the case. The Court of Appeals took 2-1/2 years to reach a decision.
In May (1964) jail physician Dr. Julian Mardock ordered X-rays and other medical tests for Ruby, as a precautionary measure to protect his health. The tests were negative and showed no sign of cancer or any other disease. Dr. Mardock and Dr. J. M. Pickard (Dallas County Health Director) visited Ruby frequently.
After Ruby's conviction former employees Wally Weston and Gail Raven visited him in jail. Ruby said, "They're going to find out about Cuba. They're going to find out about the guns, find out about New Orleans, find out about everything." It was not the gun-running that worried Ruby; it was his connection to the Agency that for many years oversaw and monitored his illegal running of guns. Miss Raven said, “He had no choice. He had bosses, just like everyone else. He was instructed on what he needed to do, therefore he did it. And when the opportunity presented itself he went ahead and took it.”
WC staff attorneys Burt Griffin and Leon Hubert read numerous FBI reports, gathered soon after the assassination, that contained information about Ruby and his running guns to Cuba. They passed along this information, but soon became concerned by the Commission's lack of interest. On March 20, 1964, they wrote a memo that read, "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." Two months later Griffin and Hubert wrote another memo to the Commission titled "Adequacy of the Ruby Investigation" in which they warned, "We believe that a reasonable possibility exists that Ruby has maintained a close interest in Cuban affairs to the extent necessary to participate in gun sales or smuggling." In a memo to J. Lee Rankin on May 14, 1964 they wrote, "we believe that the possibility exists, based on evidence already available, that Ruby was involved in illegal dealings with Cuban elements who might have had contact with Oswald. The existence of such dealings can only be surmised since the present investigation has not focused on that area." They wrote, "Ruby had time to engage in substantial activities in addition to the management of his Clubs” and that Ruby "was interested in Cuban matters, his attempted sale of jeeps to Castro, his reported attendance of meetings in connection with the sale of arms to Cubans and the smuggling out of refugees.....bits of evidence link Ruby to others who may have been interested in Cuban affairs...neither Oswald's Cuban interests in Dallas nor Ruby's Cuban activities have been adequately explored. We suggest that these matters cannot be left 'hanging in the air.' They must either be explored further or a firm decision must be made not to do so supported by stated reasons for the decision."
Griffin, Hubert and other WC staff attorneys were on a quest for the truth concerning the assassination of President Kennedy and the background activities of Jack Ruby, Oswald, and his family. But their quest for the truth was overshadowed by the efforts of Commission member Allen Dulles, former head of the CIA from 1952 through 1962. Dulles attended more Commission meetings than any other member, and was instrumental in guiding and manipulating evidence and witness testimony to support their conclusion that Oswald had acted alone and there was no conspiracy. Dulles, more than any other Commission member, knew what the truth might mean if it were uncovered. And it was Dulles who, more than any other Commission member, made the Warren Report the farce that it is today. As stated in the Warren Report, the mission was “to identify the person or persons responsible for both the assassination of President Kennedy and the killing of Oswald through an examination of the evidence” (p. xiv, Warren Report). The mandate of the Commission was to study Ruby and determine a motivation for killing Oswald. The Commission failed miserably in its task.
While in jail Ruby repeatedly asked, orally and in writing, to speak to the members of the Warren Commission. The commission initially showed no interest. But after Jack Ruby's sister, Eileen, wrote many letters to the commission about her brother's request, and after her letters became public, the Commission relented. In June 1964, Chief Justice Earl Warren, Gerald Ford, and other commission members went to Dallas. Ruby asked Warren several times to take him to Washington, DC and said, "My life is in danger here" and that he “wanted an opportunity to make additional statements." He added: "I want to tell the truth, and I can't tell it here." In the session on June 7, 1964 Ruby told Chief Justice Warren, "I have been used for a purpose."
On July 18 Jack Ruby gave testimony to the Warren Commission in the Dallas County Jail. A 102 page segment of the interview was soon “leaked” to Dorothy Kilgallen, who pored over every detail. After publication, her readers were shocked at the inept questioning of Ruby by Chief Justice Warren and by the Commission's failure to follow up on the leads Ruby was giving him. Ruby's attorney, Melvin Belli, called Dorothy's scoop "the ruin of the Warren Commission." The FBI responded and conducted an investigation to find the source of the “leak” by which Kilgallen obtained the transcript. FBI agents monitored and followed Dorothy until September (1964), but were never able to identify her source. Kilgallen responded and told her readers that the FBI "might have been more profitably employed in probing the facts of the case rather than how I got them--which does seem a waste of time to me.”
On Sept. 25th, 1964 Kilgallen published an interview with Acquilla Clemons, one of the witnesses to the shooting of J. D. Tippet. Clemons said: "I'm not supposed to be talking to anybody, might get killed on the way to work." Kilgallen then published several articles about how important witnesses had been threatened by the Dallas Police or the FBI. Kilgallen's research into the Warren Report's gross inadequacies, and the intimidation of witnesses, threatened powerful people both in and out of government. Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act confirm that the FBI perceived Kilgallen's exposés as a threat.
In March 1965, one year after his conviction, Ruby conducted a brief televised news conference in which he stated: "Everything pertaining to what's happening has never come to the surface. The world will never know the true facts of what occurred, my motives. The people who 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." When asked by a reporter, "Are these people in very high positions, Jack?," he responded, "Yes."
As Ruby stood up and walked away from the cameras he was asked about a comment he made concerning Adlai Stevenson. Ruby replied, “When I mentioned Adlai Stevenson... if he was vice president there would never have been an assassination of our beloved President Kennedy.” One of the reporters said, “Would you explain that again?” Ruby answered, “Well, the answer is the man in office now [LBJ]." Ruby later told reporters, on March 31, “My time is running out. I am breathing toward my last breath. I was set up and tried the minute I walked down that ramp.”
In July (12th, 13th, 14th and 15th) 1965, Ruby was given a series of psychiatric evaluations. The report read, "There is considerable guilt about the fact that he sent guns to Cuba; he feels he 'helped the enemy' and incriminated himself. 'They got what they wanted on me.' Ruby insists he knows who had President Kennedy killed. They want him (Ruby) to be insane so no one will believe his story. ... He considers himself the victim of a conspiracy and was 'framed' to kill Oswald, so that Oswald could never say who made him kill President Kennedy. This 'framework,' of course, is very complicated and must be guarded with the greatest secrecy. He avidly reads the newspaper every day and carries on a reasonable conversation as long as he or others avoid his sensitive areas where the mental illness is located: antisemitism, the murder of Oswald, and the conspiracy regarding the Presidential assassination. His judgment and decision making are greatly impaired, as is his critical thinking. He did not fail to warn me and instruct me that I would be followed the moment I would leave the jail and that my phone would be tapped henceforth. Other times, particularly during the third interview, he would at times only communicate in writing. He closed the series of interviews with the statement, 'I am doomed. I do not want to die, but I am not insane. I was framed to kill Oswald.'"
On September 3, 1965, Dorothy Kilgallen wrote: "This story isn't going to die as long as there's a real reporter alive--and there are a lot of them." Kilgallen began to tell friends that she was close to discovering who assassinated Kennedy. According to David Welsh (Ramparts Magazine) she vowed to “crack this case.” And another New York show biz friend said that Dorothy told him in the last days of her life: "In five more days I'm going to bust this case wide open." Aware of what had happened to Bill Hunter and Jim Koethe, Kilgallen handed a draft copy of her work on the assassination to her best friend and co-worker, Mrs. C.T. (née Florence Pritchett) Smith.
On 8th November, 1965, Dorothy Kilgallen was found dead in her New York apartment. She was fully dressed and sitting upright in her bed. It was first reported that she had died from a heart attack, but was soon changed to an overdose of alcohol and barbiturates. The notes for the chapter that she was writing on the assassination had disappeared. Three days later Bob and Jean Bach invited Dorothy's widower, Richard Kollmar, over for dinner. Bob asked him, "Dick, what was all that stuff in the folder Dorothy carried around with her about the assassination?" Richard replied, "Robert, I'm afraid that will have to go to the grave with me." On January 7, 1971, Kollmar was found dead in bed of a drug overdose, just like Dorothy. In 1975, the FBI contacted Dorothy's son, Dickie, still trying to locate his mother's papers. Her JFK notes were never found.
One day after Dorothy Killgallen's death her best friend, Mrs. Earl E.T. Smith, wife of the former U.S. Ambassador to Cuba and fellow columnist at the New York Journal-American, died in her apartment at 1120 5th Ave.-cause of death unknown. She was 45. The copy of Kilgallen's draft on the assassination that she had given to Mrs. Smith was never found. But Mrs. Smith, unknown to most readers, was much more than just a close friend of Dorothy Kilgallen....
NOTE: Florence Pritchett (aka Mrs. Earl E. T. Smith) was a very good-looking young woman who got a job as a Powers model as soon as she finished high school. She appeared in the second issue of Life magazine, and was soon put in charge of fashion at the Powers agency. She soon became acquainted with Lorelle Hearst, the wife of William Randolph Hearst, Jr., and spent many weekends at the Hearst mansion in Manhassett. A few years later, in 1944, she met Jack Kennedy and began a romantic relationship that lasted for years. By all accounts Flo, whom young Jack Kennedy spent time with in New York, Washington, Palm Beach, and Havana, was the girl with whom he had the closest relationship. In Kennedy's appointment book for June 28, 1947 there was an entry written by Flo that read: "Flo Pritchett's birthday! SEND DIAMONDS."
In 1957-1958 Jack Kennedy made more than a dozen trips to Cuba, often accompanied by US Senator George Smathers. In Havana, young Kennedy visited Flo, who was then married to millionaire American Ambassador Earl E. T. Smith, and stayed in their home. On one of these trips the U.S. Embassy was told by Cuban police and military intelligence officials that Senator Kennedy was of concern to them "for security reasons." The Cubans reported that Kennedy was sleeping with the wife of the ambassador and they would hate to have the young senator shot while on a visit to Havana. An embassy official was assigned to tell Kennedy "to cut it out."
Other romantic visits took place in Palm Beach, where their home adjoined the Kennedy house. On occasion President Kennedy would elude the Secret Service in order to have trysts with women. In Palm Beach he hopped a fence to swim with Flo Smith, and the Secret Service agents couldn't find him. SS agents called Palm Beach Police Chief Homer Large, a Kennedy family friend and associate. The Police Chief knew exactly where to find Jack--next door in Earl E. T. Smith's swimming pool with Flo.
On October 5, 1966, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals agreed with Jack Ruby's lawyers and ruled that his motion for a change of venue before the original trial court should have been granted. Ruby's conviction and death sentence were overturned. In November, District Judge Louis Holland ordered that a second trial be held in February, 1967 in Wichita Falls, TX.
Jack Ruby, incarcerated in the county jail for the past two years, was visited frequently by Dr. Mardock and Dr. J. M. Pickard (Dallas County Health Director). These doctors inquired about his health, but heard no complaints from Ruby nor from anyone else. Dr. Mardock resigned in October and was replaced by Dr. John Callahan. In mid-October (1966) Ruby started coughing and vomiting. Dr. Callahan treated him for a "cold", and gave him cough medicine and antibiotics. But Ruby kept coughing and vomiting and complained about increasing chest pains.
On December 9 Dr. Callahan examined Ruby and thought he was "improving." Later that day Sheriff Bill Decker visited Ruby and said, "Jack said he had a bad cold and wasn't feeling up to par. I talked to Dr. Pickard (County Health Director) and he suggested Jack should be taken to the hospital where he could be X-rayed, examined, and tests made." Ruby was taken to Parkland Hospital, given a private room, and the only visitors allowed to see him were those approved by Sheriff Decker. Eva Grant, Ruby's sister, soon arrived at the hospital and told reporters that her brother had been ill for three weeks and had not been properly treated. Ruby's brother (Earl) told reporters, "I just saw him on Tuesday and he looked terrible. He complained of pains in his chest while I was there in the cell." Ruby was initially diagnosed as suffering from pneumonia. A day later, after x-rays and other tests, doctors discovered that he had cancer in his liver, lungs, and brain.
After returning to jail Ruby spoke with Dallas Deputy Sheriff Al Maddox, who recalled their conversation, 'Well, they injected me for a cold.' He said it was cancer cells. That's what he told me, Ruby did. I said you don't believe that bullshit. He said, 'I damn sure do!' Dallas Police officer Tom Tilson told researchers: “It was the opinion of a number of other Dallas police officers that Ruby had received injections of cancer while he was incarcerated in the Dallas County Jail following the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald."
Before Ruby died he told psychiatrist Dr. Werner Teuter that he had been part of a conspiracy to kill President Kennedy that involved others. The assassination was "an act of overthrowing the government" and that he knew "who had President Kennedy killed and that he was blackmailed into shooting Oswald by people who threatened to reveal his own activities [gunrunning to Castro, etc.].” He added: "I am doomed. I do not want to die. But I am not insane. I was framed to kill Oswald."
A few days before Ruby died Deputy Sheriff Maddox visited Ruby. Maddox said, “Then one day when I started to leave, Ruby shook hands with me and I could feel a piece of paper in his palm.... [In this note] he said it was a conspiracy and he said, 'If you will keep your eyes open and your mouth shut you're gonna learn a lot.' And that was the last time I ever got to him.” Maddox later said (July, 1996 TV interview), “Ruby's motive in killing the alleged presidential assassin was not patriotism, but rather to 'silence Oswald.'" On January 3, 1967, Ruby died at Parkland Hospital of a pulmonary embolism (blockage of the main artery of the lung), secondary to bronchogenic carcinoma (lung cancer). He was 56 years old.
Dallas County Medical Examiner Dr. Earl Rose ruled the immediate cause of death to be pulmonary embolism. He said that a massive blood clot had formed in Ruby's leg, passed through his heart, and lodged in his lungs. Rose said that the clot probably would have killed him even if he had not been weakened by cancer. He found evidence of cancer in Ruby's right lung, which Rose listed as a contributing cause of death. But much to the surprise of Ruby's doctors, who believed that the disease had originated in the pancreas, Dr. Rose found the pancreas perfectly normal.
Was Ruby murdered? There are indications that Ruby's health was neglected, and certainly misdiagnosed, by the prison doctors. But there is currently no proof that he was injected with cancer cells. The unanswered question is how did both the cancer and blood clot reach such advanced stages without being detected much earlier. And, what some researchers see as suspicious, Ruby's terminal illness appeared only a few months before his retrial in February, where he would have an opportunity to provide the names of co-conspirators, his association with Oswald, gun-running, etc. In the end we realize that many questions remain unanswered. But, in the final analysis, Ruby's demeanor before and after he murdered Oswald, may provide the answer.
Ruby's first explanation was that he “shot Oswald so that Caroline and Mrs. Kennedy wouldn't have to come to Dallas to testify.” If this, or any similar reasons were true, there would be little for him to fear while in jail. Ruby could have sat quietly in his cell, awaited trial, and accepted the jury's verdict. But Ruby never kept quiet and during the next three years told his attorneys, reporters, TV cameramen, jailers, former employees, relatives, friends, a court-appointed psychologist, and probably Dorothy Kilgallen that the assassination of President Kennedy was a conspiracy and that his motive for killing Oswald was to silence him. Ruby's apparent willingness to publicly disclose the existence of a conspiracy gave him good reason to fear his co-conspirators and show that he was involved not only in the assassination of Oswald after the event, but was a key player in the planning and execution of President Kennedy. In the 1983 trial of Hunt v. Liberty Lobby, former CIA agent E. Howard Hunt sought damages for libel and defamation when allegations published in "The Spotlight" suggested he participated in the JFK assassination. During the appeal of the case, the jury concluded that Hunt had no basis for his lawsuit. The key witness that persuaded the jury was a woman still so fearful of her life that she submitted her testimony only by proxy. That woman was Marita Lorenz, who was one of the most important eyewitnesses to identify LEE Oswald as separate and distinct from HARVEY Oswald. Her testimony of observing Jack Ruby meeting with LEE Oswald in Dallas on the night prior to the assassination was the tipping point in the trial in which the jury concluded that the CIA was responsible for the death of President Kennedy.