Source Information is also from the 1930 U.S. Census; Chicago,CookCo,Illinois
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Source Information is also from the 1930 U.S. Census; Chicago,CookCo,Illinois
Ruby at Oswald Press Confrence Ruby at the Carousel Club
The fifth of his parents' eight surviving children, growing up in the Maxwell Street area of Chicago, Ruby had a troubled childhood and adolescence, marked by juvenile delinquency and time spent in foster homes. On June 6, 1922, aged 11, he was arrested for truancy. Ruby eventually skipped school enough times that he spent time at the Institute of Juvenile Research. Young Ruby soldhorse-racing tip sheets and various other novelties, then acted as business agent for a local refuse collectors union that later became part of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
In the 1940s, Ruby frequented race tracks in Illinois and California. He was drafted in 1943 and served in the Army Air Forces during World War II, working as an aircraft mechanic at bases in the US until 1946. He had an honorable record and was promoted to Private First Class. Upon discharge, on February 21, 1946, Ruby returned to Chicago.
In 1947, Ruby moved to Dallas where he and his brothers soon afterward shortened their surnames from Rubenstein to Ruby. The stated reason for changing the family name was that he and his brothers had opened up a mail order business and feared that some customers would refuse to do business with Jews. Ruby later went on to manage various nightclubs, strip clubs, and dance halls. Among the strippers Ruby befriended was Candy Barr.
Ruby developed close ties to many Dallas police officers who frequented his nightclubs, where he showered them with large quantities of liquor and other favors. In 1959, Ruby went to Cubaostensibly to visit a friend, influential Dallas gambler Lewis McWillie, an associate of Mafia boss Santo Trafficante. Ruby may have met directly with Trafficante on those visits according to the testimony of British journalist John Wilson-Hudson who was imprisoned in Cuba at the time. (Trafficante operated major casinos in Cuba and was briefly imprisoned after Fidel Castro came to power).
Ruby never married.
According to the Warren Commission, Ruby was in the second-floor advertising offices of the Dallas Morning News, five blocks away from the Texas School Book Depository, to place weekly advertisements for his nightclubs when he learned of the assassination of Kennedy around 12:45 pm. Ruby then placed telephone calls to his assistant at the Carousel Club and to his sister. The Commission stated that an employee of the Dallas Morning News estimated that Ruby left the newspaper's offices at 1:30 pm, but indicated other testimony suggested he may have left earlier.
White House correspondent Seth Kantor — who was a passenger in the motorcade — told the Warren Commission that he went to Parkland Hospitalabout an hour after President Kennedy was shot (1:30 pm). (It was at Parkland Hospital that Kennedy received medical care after the shooting.) Kantor said that as he was entering the hospital, he felt a tug on his coat. He turned around to see Jack Ruby who called him by his first name and shook his hand. (Kantor said that he had become acquainted with Ruby while he was a reporter for the Dallas Times Herald newspaper.) According to Kantor, Ruby asked him if he thought that it would be a good idea for him to close his nightclubs for the next three nights because of the tragedy and Kantor responded that he thought that doing so would be a good idea.
The Warren Commission dismissed Kantor's testimony, saying that the Parkland Hospital encounter would have had to take place in a span of a few minutes before and after 1:30 pm, as evidenced by telephone company records of calls made by Kantor and Ruby around that time. The Commission also pointed to contradictory witness testimony and to the lack of video confirmation of Ruby at the scene. The Commission concluded that "Kantor probably did not see Ruby at Parkland Hospital" and "may have been mistaken about both the time and the place that he saw Ruby".
In 1979, the House Select Committee on Assassinations reexamined Kantor's testimony and stated: "While the Warren Commission concluded that Kantor was mistaken [about his Parkland encounter with Ruby], the Committee determined he probably was not."
According to the Warren Commission, Ruby arrived back at the Carousel Club shortly before 1:45 pm to notify employees that the club would be closed that evening.
Ruby (also known as "Sparky," from his boxing nickname "Sparkling Ruby") was seen in the halls of the Dallas Police Headquarters on several occasions after the arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald on November 22, 1963; and newsreel footage from WFAA-TV (Dallas) and NBC shows Ruby impersonating a newspaper reporter during a press conference at Dallas Police Headquarters on the night of the assassination. District Attorney Henry Wade briefed reporters at the press conference telling them that Lee Oswald was a member of the anti-Castro Free Cuba Committee. Ruby was one of several people there who spoke up to correct Wade, saying: "Henry, that's the Fair Play for Cuba Committee," a pro-Castro organization. Some speculate that Ruby may have hoped to kill Oswald that night at the police station press conference. Ruby told the FBI, a month after his arrest for killing Oswald, that he had his loaded snub-nosed Colt Cobra .38 revolver in his right-hand pocket during the press conference
Two days later on Sunday, November 24, after driving into town and sending a money order to one of his employees, Ruby walked to the nearby police headquarters and made his way to the basement. At 11:21 am CST — while authorities were preparing to transfer Oswald by private car from the police basement to the nearby county jail — Ruby stepped out from a crowd of reporters and fired his .38 revolver into Oswald's abdomen, fatally wounding him. The shooting was broadcast live nationally, and millions of television viewers witnessed it. There is some evidence that Ruby's actions were on a whim, as he left his favorite dog, Sheba, in the car before shooting Oswald
When Ruby was arrested immediately after the shooting, he told several witnesses that he helped the city of Dallas "redeem" itself in the eyes of the public, and that Oswald's death would spare "…Mrs. Kennedy the discomfiture of coming back to trial." At the time of the shooting Ruby said he was taking phenmetrazine, a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant.
Ruby's explanation for killing Oswald would be "exposed … as a fabricated legal ploy", according to the House Select Committee on Assassinations. In a private note to one of his attorneys, Joseph Tonahill, Ruby wrote: "Joe, you should know this. [My first lawyer] Tom Howard told me to say that I shot Oswald so that Caroline and Mrs. Kennedy wouldn't have to come to Dallas to testify. OK?"
Another motive was put forth by Frank Sheeran, allegedly a hitman for the Mafia, in a conversation he had with the then-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. As Ruby evidently mismanaged the operation, he was given a choice to either finish the job himself or forfeit his life.
Within hours of Ruby's arrest for shooting Oswald, a telegram was received at the Dallas city jail in support of Ruby, under the names of Hal and Pauline Collins. In one of the Warren Commissions exhibits, Hal Collins is listed as a character reference by Ruby on a Texas liquor license application
After Ruby's arrest, he asked Dallas attorney Tom Howard to represent him. Howard accepted and asked Ruby if he could think of anything that might damage his defense. Ruby responded that there would be a problem if a man by the name of "Davis" should come up. Ruby told his attorney that he "…had been involved with Davis, who was a gunrunner entangled in anti-Castro efforts." Davis was identified years later — after research by journalist Seth Kantor — as being Thomas Eli Davis III, a CIA-connected "soldier of fortune."
Later, Ruby replaced attorney Tom Howard with prominent San Francisco defense attorney Melvin Belli who agreed to represent Ruby pro bono. Some observers thought that the case could have been disposed of as a "murder without malice" charge (roughly equivalent to manslaughter), with a maximum prison sentence of five years. Belli attempted to prove that Ruby was legally insane and had a history of mental illness in his family (the latter being true, as his mother had been committed to a mental hospital years before). On March 14, 1964, Ruby was convicted of murder with malice, for which he received a death sentence.
During the six months following the Kennedy assassination, Ruby repeatedly asked, orally and in writing, to speak to the members of the Warren Commission. The commission initially showed no interest. Only after Ruby's sister Eileen wrote letters to the commission (and her letters became public) did the Warren Commission agree to talk to Ruby. In June 1964, Chief Justice Earl Warren, then-Representative Gerald R. Ford of Michigan, and other commission members went to Dallas to see Ruby. Ruby asked Warren several times to take him to Washington D.C., saying "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." Warren told Ruby that he would be unable to comply, because many legal barriers would need to be broken and public interest in the situation would be too heavy. Warren also told Ruby that the commission would have no way of protecting him, since it had no police powers. Ruby said he wanted to convince President Lyndon Johnson that he was not part of any conspiracy to kill Kennedy.
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