Jack Ruby

Jack Ruby booking photo, 24 Nov 1963.
Jack Ruby booking photo,
24 Nov 1963.

Jack Ruby shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President Kennedy, while Oswald was being transferred to a police vehicle in the basement of the Dallas police station. The murder, which occurred on the Sunday morning following the Friday assassination of JFK, was seen on live national television. Ruby was wrestled to the ground and taken immediately into custody.

Ruby subsequently gave as his motive the desire to save Jackie Kennedy the trauma of returning to Texas for Oswald's trial. Many people, however, believe that Ruby acted to silence Oswald. Also, there are questions about whether Ruby received help getting into the police basement, and about his "mob" connections.

The Warren Commission described Ruby as a "police buff," but the later House Select Committee on Assassinations described Ruby's connections to organized crime figures in detail.

Key questions relating to Ruby:

What was Ruby’s motive? Was Oswald’s murder a "hit" to silence him?

How did Ruby get into the basement? Did he have help?

Was Ruby tied to organized crime, and if so do these connections tie into the murder of President Kennedy?

Why did the Warren Commission wait until July of 1964 to talk to Ruby, months after his Texas murder trial was over?



Primary Sources: Jack Ruby and the Mafia, by Spartacus Educational.

Jack Ruby, by John McAdams.

Gunrunner Ruby and the CIA, by Lisa Pease.

The Ruby Polygraph, by Robert Harris.

What Have You Got There, Jack?, by Ian Griggs.

In Defense of Jack Ruby: Was Lee Harvey Oswald's Killer Part of a Conspiracy?, by Dave Reitzes.

Mob Connections: Jack Ruby, Smuggling With and Spying on Communists, 1938-1958, by Mike Sylwester.



Detention and Death of Oswald - Warren Report, Chapter V.

Possible Conspiracy Involving Jack Ruby - Warren Report, p.333.

Warren Commission Testimony of Jack Ruby - Warren Commission Hearings and Exhibits, Volume V, p.181.

Warren Commission Testimony of Nancy Perrin Rich - Warren Commission Hearings and Exhibits, Volume XIV, p.330.

Possible Associations Between Jack Ruby and Organized Crime - HSCA Report, Volume IX, p.125.

Other Links

Jack Ruby on wikipedia.

Related Starting Points

Book Previews

Accessories After the Fact, by Sylvia Meagher

Chapter 24. Homicide in the Police Basement

Books of Interest

    The Ruby Cover-Up
Seth Kantor
Kensington Publishing Co., 1978
    Fatal Hour: The Assassination of President Kennedy by Organized Crime
Blakey, G. Robert and Billings, Richard N.
Berkley Books, 1981
    Deep Politics and the Death of JFK
Peter Dale Scott
University of California Press, 1993
    Jack Ruby
Wills, Gary and Demaris, Ovid
New American Library, 1967
    Dallas Justice
Melvin M. Belli
David McKay Company, Inc., 1964

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