Sunday, November 24, 2013
The Enigma of Jack Ruby
Warren Commission Counsel Wesley Liebeler described the killing of Dallas police officer J.D. Tippit as the Rosetta Stone of the JFK Assassination.
Liebeler's supposition was that the killing of Tippit 45 minutes after the assassination by the accused Presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald clearly showed a predisposition of guilt and flight as Oswald killed Tippit to avoid capture.
However, I think Liebeler missed the mark by about 3-1/2 miles.
Because that is the distance from the 10th and Patton location in North Oak Cliff to the Dallas Police Headquarters on Harwood street in downtown Dallas.
This is the location of the real "Rosetta Stone" of the JFK Assassination: the cold blooded murder of Lee Harvey Oswald by local nightclub owner Jack Ruby.
And thus begins the examination of the enigma of Jack Ruby to solve the conspiracy issue in the JFK Assassination.
It Doesn't Pass The Eye or Smell Test
Ruby's guilt in the murder of Oswald was never in doubt.
The new age of television made sure of that as live television crews captured the murder in the basement of the Dallas Police Headquarters and broadcast it simultaneously to a stunned nation.
Immediately the thought of conspiracy was catapulted across the nation as the obvious description of what the nation had just witnessed.
I mean how much more did you need than to have the accused Presidential assassin gunned down less than 48 hours after the assassination on live television under police protection while being transferred to the Dallas County Jail?
And by a man dressed in "mafioso-attire" who emerged from the shadows of the glaring television lights with a Saturday Night Special in his outstretched right hand who walked right in front of Oswald's two police escorts and put the barrel of the gun into his stomach and fired the fatal bullet.
Pandemonium ensured in the police headquarters basement.
The whole sordid affair was just too pat. It didn't look right in 1963, hasn't felt right since then and certainly doesn't pass the smell test of the majority of Americans 50 years later.
So Just Who Was Jack Ruby?
That is the million dollar question all these years later.
According to the Warren Commission, Jack Ruby was a 52-year old, Jewish local nightclub/strip joint owner in Dallas who befriended the local police officers who came into his club. Ruby was so distraught over the assassination of the young president that he closed his Carousel club the entire weekend. And, the thought of his beautiful wife having to come back to Dallas for the accused murderers trial so upset him that he spontaneously gunned Oswald down in the Dallas police basement in a spur of the moment passion-fueled murder.
That's right. It was all just a spontaneous fit of passion driven by his spirit of patriotism to save the first lady a return trip to Dallas.
They also reported that they found no credible evidence that Ruby was aided by anyone in the murder nor did they find any evidence that supported the fact that Ruby was a member of Organized Crime or associated with anyone with underworld background.
Ruby was just a hard-working, local businessman who just happened to be in the wrong place at the right time with a loaded .38!
And the Warren Commission sold that alibi to the American people and its supporters have stood by that verdict since 1964.
But fortunately, over the years the Warren Commission legend of Jack Ruby has slowly and deliberately been whittled away as the tall tale that it was in 1963 for a variety of reasons.
Jack Ruby--Man of Mystery Unveiled
"To understand who killed President Kennedy and did he have help, I think you have to understand what happenened to the assassin of President Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald. I see Jack Ruby's assassination of Lee Harvey Oswald as a mob hit.", G. Robert Blakey, Counsel, House Select Committee on Assassinations.
This was the verdict of the chief counsel to the H.S.C.A. in the 1970's who came to this realization after overseeing the first government investigation into the JFK assassination since the original Warren Commission Report in 1964.
So let's take a closer look at several items of fact that show signs of a deeper involvement of conspiracy by Jack Ruby in the JFK assassination.
The Trial of the Century In Dallas
First, many people today may not be aware that Jack Ruby had a trial for the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald in 1964 and was found guilty of his murder and sentenced to a lifetime imprisonment.
That trial was a media circus in 1964 post-assassination Dallas that was led by the local Judge Joe Brown's eccentric courtroom behavior.
This odd behavior included being spotted commisserating with the accused assassin's mother in the courtroom, allowing a celebrity reporter to interview the defendant in his judges' chambers for a forthcoming book on the assassination and repeatedly refusing to pronounce Melvin Bellis' last name correctly, the flamboyant San Francisco defense attorney hired by the Ruby family. The correct pronounciation was "Bell-EYE" but Judge Joe Brown continued at Bellis' frustrated objection to pronounce it "Bell-Y" in a mock sense of derision to the sauve, sophisticant from San Francisco who dared come into his Texas courtroom with his panache, debonair and stylish looks.
Ruby's defense initially put forth by his other local attorney Tom Howard was that he killed Oswald because he was protecting the honor of Jacqueline Kennedy to save her a trip to Dallas for the Oswald trial.
However, later after realizing that flimsy alibi wouldn't past muster with the jury of his peers, Howard and Belli had Ruby declared insane and sought his acquittal.
So the fact that Ruby's initial alibi was replaced with an insanity plea cast further doubt on his veracity for the Oswald murder and opened the door for further skepticism of his involvement.
Warren Commission Testimony
Secondly, shortly after his trial had ended with his guilty verdict and life imprisonment sentence, Ruby was finally interviewed by the Warren Commission in his Dallas jail cell.
And interviewed by none other than the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States and Warren Commission chairman Earl Warren himself and Warren Commission member and future President of the United States Gerald Ford.
Ruby begged Warren and Ford to take him back to Washington for questioning so he could tell his real story behind the Oswald murder and the JFK assassination.
It seems Ruby had come to a realization in prison that perhaps there was more to his involvement and others were behind the Presidents assassination that he felt unsafe in jail to tell Warren and Ford the truth.
Warren told Ruby he didn't have the jurisdiction to bring him back to Washington and that he was safe to tell him what he knew in his jail cell.
Ruby refused and obviously didn't feel safe telling Warren anything in Dallas. He only had himself to blame for his lack of jail security due to his actions six months earlier!
So whether the ramblings of an insane man or a truth finally coming out, we'll never know; however, the whole episode and Ruby's request to Warren and his later jail cell writings show a man struggling to understand the truth and casts doubt on his real alibi and motives in the murder.
Jailhouse Interviews & Writings
Jack Ruby languished in isolation inside his Dallas County Jail cell for 2-1/2 years.
It was during this time that the cold-hard reality of his stark situation finally hit him.
Whatever his motivations, instead of being celebrated as a patriot and national hero for cutting down the assassin who had murdered his president, he was now just another prisoner doing his time behind bars with no hope for parole.
Now with the passage of time and solitude thinking, he started to rethink his actions against the larger backdrop.
Knowing only what he knew regarding his motivation for killing Oswald, Ruby began to tell anyone who listened that his role was part of a larger conspiracy to change the government.
He alo began slipping handwritten notes to his jailhouse guards including Dallas County Deputy Sherriff Al Maddox who told a reporter that one of the notes said:
"It was a conspiracy and his motive was to silence Oswald."
Ruby was obviously wrestling with his own demons inside to determine what if any role his actions played in a larger plot to kill Kennedy.
He obviously now believed someone above him was calling the shots in Dallas that weekend.
Whatever the truth was with Ruby we'll never know. He took the real motivation for his actions to his grave.
He told his attorney Elmer Gertz this on his deathbed at Parkland Hospital as featured in Gertz book, "Moment of Madness: The People vs. Jack Ruby," 1968:
"Yeah, I did like I said, a flash came to me from the point at the bottom of the ramp at the time that I was grappling with the police officers for the gun. Actually, what had happened I don't know at the time."
Retrial & Sudden Death
After wallowing in jail contemplating his actions for nearly 2-1/2 years, suddenly in October of 1966 Jack Ruby was granted a new trial.
And, Voila' he was finally going to get his change of venue to Wichita Falls and another chance to tell his story.
But Ruby was suddenly stricken with a virulent form of cancer in December and died a month later.
So the man who ensured that Oswald would never talk now was silenced himself.
They say dead men can't talk.
However, future government investigations and a trail of paperwork told no lies about Jack Ruby but rather revealed his true associations with questionable co-conspirators.
The House Select Committee on Assassinations convened in 1976 to further investigate the assassination of President John F. Kennedy as a follow up to the official government report issued in 1964, The Warren Commission Report.
G. Robert Blakey was the Chief Counsel who directed the investigative effort. Here is what he has said in recent years about Jack Ruby and his involvement in the assassination:
"To understand who killed President Kennedy and did he have help, I think you have to understand what happened to the assassin of President Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald. I see Jack Ruby's assassination of Lee Harvey Oswald as a mob hit."
I happen to be one of the 61% of Americans who believe there was a conspiracy in President Kennedy's assassination.
I also agree with G. Robert Blakey on his assessment of Jack Ruby.
I also agree with Blakey's recent assessment of the Warren Report:
"The Warren Commission was a political body, not a scientific or even historical commission. The single shooter was a political judgement. It is not necessarily what happened."
The H.S.C.A. concluded in its' official report the following final analysis of the Warren Commission Report:
"In conclusion, the committee found that the Warren Commission's investigation was conducted in good faith, competently, and with high integrity, but that the Warren Report was not, in some respects, an accurate presentation of all the evidence available to the Commission or a true reflection of the scope of the Commission's work, particularly on the issue of possible conspiracy in the assassination. It is a reality to be regretted that the Commission failed to live up to its promise."
So just what did the H.S.C.A. investigation find was an accurate presentation of all the evidence available pertaining to Jack Ruby?
Bill Kelly's blog, jfkcountercoup.blogspot.com, is probably the best source to read about the H.S.C.A.'s Ruby findings unless you want to read the entire commission report.
Kelly wrote a blog on January 15, 2013 titled "Oswald and Ruby Phone Records--RFK, Jr. Got It Right" that recapped Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s appearance in Dallas in January where RFK, Jr. said publicly for the first time that neither he nor his father believed his uncle was killed by a single shooter, i.e., "Oswald."
Pretty heady stuff for the so-called wacko-conspiracy theorists to chew on and a direct slap in the face of the Warren Commission-apologists the past 50 years.
RFK, Jr. went on to say that his own father's investigators' had determined that both Ruby and Oswald's phone records indicated a high volume of calls to members of the underworld who the Attorney General had been investigating and wiretapping in his ongoing investigation of the Mafia.
Specifically, Kelly reported that, "Jack Ruby's extensive telephone records that clearly show in the weeks leading up to the assassination he had telephone conversations with a number of mobsters who were being actively investigated by Robert F. Kennedy's Justice Department."
Kelly went on to include the following from the H.S.C.A.'s own findings:
"Many of these calls were to or received from known mobsters and union racketeers, some of whom were being investigated by RFK's Justice Department, including Barney Barker, Dusty Miller, Lenny Patrick, Dave Yaras, Lewis McWillie, Irwin S. Weiner and Nofio Pecora."
Who were these men?
Kelly goes on to describe Barney Barker as a "boxer, ex-convict and one of Jimmy Hoffa's best known associates during the McClelland Committee when RFK was the chief counsel to that committee which "detailed Barker's role as Hoffa's personal liaison to various Mafia figures."
Dusty Miller was another Hoffa assistant and head of the Teamster's southern conference while Lennny Patrick was "one of the Chicago Mafia's leading assassins..."
What about Dave Yaras? He like Patrick was a childhood friend of Jack Ruby from his Chicago days. And, Lewis McWillie? He moved from Dallas to Havana in 1958 to work in the Havana gambling casinos owned by Meyer Lanksy and Santos Trafficante. Ruby himself admitted to not only knowing McWillie but to travelling to Cuba to visit McWillie in his deathbed interview with his own attorney!
And what of Nofio Pecora? Kelly reports that Pecora was a Carlos Marcello associate whose friend Emile Bruneau bailed Oswald out of jail when he was arrested protesting against the Anti-Castro Cubans on the streets in New Orleans in September of 1963.
Pretty incriminating evidence that Ruby and Oswald both had underworld associates and were actively involved with them in the months and weeks leading up to the assassination.
It was based upon this evidence and that of acoustics analysis of a Dallas Police dictabelt recording of the assassination that the H.S.C.A. concluded in its' final report that JFK was "assassinated by a probable conspiracy."
Further Mob Associates
But don't just take the H.S.C.A. report.
Further statements by Mob-related associates were reported that led to hints of a broader conspiracy involving Jack Ruby and his Mafia-connections.
The most infamous of these statements came from longtime mob associate Johnny Roselli during his Senate Church Committee testimony in 1975. Roselli went missing right before he was scheduled to testify for the second time before the Senate Church Committee in 1976.
Roselli was an influential mob hit man for the Chicago mafia and was also involved with the C.I.A. plot to kill Fidel Castro in the early 1960's.
Roselli was quoted as saying Jacky Ruby was "one of our boys." in his previous testimony and shortly before his second scheduled testimony, Roselli's badily mutilated and chopped up body was found floating in an oil barrel in Key Biscayne Bay.
Further statements came from a book titled "I Heard You Paint Houses" Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran and Closing the Case on Jimmy Hoffa," in 2004 by Charles Brandt a former Chief Deputy Attorney General for the State of Delaware.
In the book, a biography of sorts from Sheeran who was Jimmy Hoffa's muscle and admitted killer, Sheeran details how he lured Hoffa to a phony meeting with mob associates in suburban Detroit and shot him in the back of the head. He also drops snippets of JFK-assassination-related information.
Specifically, Sheeran tells Brandt the following:
1. He was ordered by Hoffa in 1963 to deliver a duffel bag of 3 rifles from Brooklyn, New York to Baltimore to David Ferrie, Carlos Marcello's pilot who was questioned the weekend of the assassination and investigated by New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison in 1967 for his links to the JFK assassination.
2. On October 18, 1974, at a dinner for his loyal service to the Teamsters Union, Sheeran claims mob boss Russell Buffalino told Hoffa, "There are people higher up than me that feel that you are demonstrating a failure to show appreciation for Dallas."
3. Buffalino that same night told Sheeran to talk to "your friend. Tell him what it is." implying Hoffa would be killed if he did not cooperate with his requests that Hoffa not run for Teamsters President. Sheeran replied, "Jimmy's pretty high up too himself." At which, Buffalino said, "You're dreaming my friend. If they could take out the president, they could take out the president of the Teamsters."
4. Sheeran told Hoffa of Buffalino's warning and Hoffa said the following to Sheeran:
"That's just the tip of the iceberg, the tip of the iceberg. Let me tell you--Dallas, did you hear that word tonight? Remember that package you took to Baltimore? I didn't know it then, but it turns out it was high-powered rifles for the Kennedy hit in Dallas. Those stupid bastards lost their own rifles in the trunk of a Thunderbird that crashed when their driver got drunk. That pilot for Carlos was involved in delivering the replacements that you brought down. Those fuckers used both of us on that deal. We were patsies. What do you think of that? They had fake cops and real cops involved in it.
Jack Ruby's cops were supposed to take care of Oswald, but Ruby bungled it. That's why he had to go in and finish the job on Oswald. If he didn't take care of Oswald, what do you think they would have done to him--put Ruby on a meat hook. Don't kid yourself. Santo and Carlos and Giancana and some of their element, they were all in on Kennedy. Every single one of the same cast of characters that were in on the Bay of Pigs. They even had a plot to kill Castro with Momo (Giancana) and Roselli. I've got enough to hang everybody. And every last bit of it comes out if anything unnatural happens to me. They will all pay. All those who fucked me will pay."
According to Sheeran, he shot and killed Jimmy Hoffa on July 30, 1975.
We now know from not only the H.S.C.A. investigation and the Garrison trial of 1967 that New Orleans was a hotbed of right-wing, anti-Castro Cuban activity involving Carlos Marcello's pilot and investigator David Ferrie and his associate Guy Bannister, a former F.B.I. agent.
Oliver Stone did a masterful job of portaying their characters played by Joe Pesci and Ed Asner.
We also now know from investigators such as Bill Kelly, that phone calls from Marcello attorney G. Wray Gill's office in New Orleans were linked to a man named Lawrence Meyers in Chicago through his girlfriend Jean Aase. Lawrence and Aase flew to Dallas on November 21 and had dinner with Jack Ruby at the infamous Campisi's Egyptian Restaurant on Mockingbird Avenue in Dallas.
Kelly traces phone records provided by the H.S.C.A. from Gill's New Orleans office to Aase's rooming house in Chicago as a tie to Meyers. It is widely known that David Ferrie worked out of Gill's office throughout the summer and fall of 1963 and was with Carlos Marcello on Friday, November 22, 1963 when Marcello's Federal case against him was dropped.
Conspiracy in Dallas
We now know thru evidence reported by the H.S.C.A. and the Dallas Police Department, that Jack Ruby was in the Dallas Jail on Friday night of the assassination.
We have news camera footage of Jack Ruby in the back of the room standing on a table in sunglasses and fedora hat and footage where Ruby corrected District Attorney Henry Wade when he said Oswald was part of the "Free Cuba Committee."
It was Ruby who shouted out, "That's the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, Henry."
The importance in that correction is that the Free Play for Cuba Committee was a Anti-Castro organization while the Fair Play for Cuba Committee was a Pro-Castro committee.
Don't you think it is a bit suspicious that the two-bit Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby would just happen to be in the police station at the midnight press conference for the accused Presidential assassin correcting the Dallas District attorney on the origins of the committee Lee Harvey Oswald belonged?
Julia Ann Mercer testified to the Warren Commission she saw a man unloading rifles from a pickup truck hours before the assassination on the grassy knoll. She identified Jack Ruby as this man. They told her she must be mistaken.
Dallas newspaper reporter Seth Cantor testified and wrote a book about his encounter with Jack Ruby at Parkland Hospital following the assassination, ("Who Was Jack Ruby?," 1978.) Cantor was in the press bus during the JFK motorcade. The bus immediately went to Parkland following the assassination. It was in the hallways of the hospital that Cantor saw Ruby, shook his hand and exchanged greetings. Ruby said, "Isn't this a terrible thing." and asked Cantor if he should close his clubs.
Cantor had known Ruby for years and had actually received information from Ruby on associates Cantor had been investigating for his newspaper stories for the Dallas Times Herald.
There was no mistaking Ruby for someone else on his encounter at Parkland Hospital. Seth Cantor knew Jack Ruby.
However, Jack Ruby told the Warren Commission that Cantor was mistaken because he never set foot in Parkland that day.
Despite Cantor's Warren Commission testimony to the contrary, his long-standing relationship with Ruby and his credentials as a credible newspaper reporter in Dallas, the Warren Commission chose to believe Jack Ruby and not Seth Cantor.
You can believe what you want regarding the Kennedy Assassination but the facts show a clear and consistent pattern of conspiracy in almost all areas of the investigation.
Many government officials and local leaders pooh-pooh and discount conspiracy theorists as misguided souls with nothing better to do with their lives and no evidence to back up their assessments of conspiracy.
Their points are understandable. They want to maintain order and history regardless of the facts pointing the other way.
I have met many of these officials associated with the Kennedy Assassination. Jim Leavelle. Murphy Martin. Hugh Aynesworth.
I have also met many others associated with the assassination who do feel there was a conspiracy. Malcolm Summers. Al Maddox.
I find it odd that the local authorities had already convicted Oswald in the court of public opinion by their statements to the press on the day of the assassination. Police Chief Jesse Curry. Police Detective Will Fritz. Even J. Edgar Hoover and President Lyndon Johnson exchanged phone calls that exclaim their opinion that the American public must be convinced of Oswald's guilt.
Even right now as I write this article I am watching "Remembering JFK: 50 Years After Dallas" on American History TV on C-SPAN. Richard Stolley, an editor with LIFE magazine who travelled to Dallas on the day of the assassination and discovered the Zapruder film, is being interviewed. He negotiated the purchase of the film that day from Zapruder for $150,000. Stolley told the C-SPAN reporter that upon hearing the news of the assassination and immediately flying to Dallas, he was surprised to learn upon arrival that the Dallas police had already judged and convicted Lee Harvey Oswald for the murder and determined he alone was guilty as a lone gunman without any help from anyone.
Stolley described the scene in Dallas as "so peculiar and weird. The government was in total disarray. The streets were empty."
I share Stolley's disbelief in the Dallas Police's and our government's rush to judgement on Oswald.
I have done my best to portray as accurate an advocacy for conspiracy as I can in this posting about Jack Ruby and his linkage to known associates who link him to a broader conspiracy to the JFK assassination.
What do you think?