Jack Ruby

Jack Ruby

Jack Ruby was born in 1911 in Chicago as Jacob Rubenstein in a Polish-Jewish immigrant family. As a young teenager, he abandoned his school obligations to pursue a career on the streets, and as early as 1922, at the age of eleven, he was first arrested for truancy. Soon after, he became involved in organized crime, carrying out tasks for figures like Al Capone. Criminal associates such as David Yaras and Lenny Patrick later explained how Ruby was connected to the local mafia in Chicago.

In 1947, he moved to Dallas and, for business reasons, shortened his name to ‘Jack Ruby.’ He quickly became the owner of several nightclubs, but according to the book Double Cross by the Giancana mafia brothers, the move to Texas was primarily related to organized crime tasks assigned to Ruby. In Dallas, he became acquainted with half the police force, providing them with many privileges in his businesses. His Carousel Club on Commerce Street, especially, became a phenomenon in Dallas, even featuring performances by the famous Texan stripper Candy Barr.

The underworld frequented Ruby’s establishments as well. Some mafia members were among his acquaintances, including Santo Trafficante from Florida through Lewis McWillie, and regular contacts with people from Marcello’s organization in New Orleans. Finally, he was good friends with the brothers Sam and Joe Campisi from Dallas, underlings of Carlos Marcello. Joe Campisi and Ruby dined together on the evening before JFK’s assassination, and within a week of killing Oswald, Ruby had a visit from the same friend in his cell. Strangely, this conversation was not recorded by the authorities.

After JFK’s assassination, Ruby immediately closed his clubs. He was soon spotted at both Dealey Plaza and Parkland Hospital. His movements in those days were later precisely reconstructed based on numerous statements.

Friday, November 24, 1963. At 11:21 a.m., officers were attempting to escort Oswald through the basement of the Dallas Police headquarters to a waiting car when suddenly an armed man broke away from the crowd of onlookers. A single shot from Jack Ruby was enough: the entire world witnessed the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald. The shooter was immediately subdued. At 1:07 p.m., the now most hated man in the country was officially declared dead, in the same hospital where Kennedy had breathed his last 48 hours and 7 minutes earlier. A day later, both were buried approximately simultaneously.

Jack Ruby was quickly inundated with expressions of support from Americans from all walks of life. He received numerous letters, telegrams, and financial contributions for his legal defense. Protests even erupted on the streets in various states, advocating for his immediate release.

On March 14, 1964, Ruby was found guilty of Oswald’s murder in court and sentenced to death. Despite repeatedly requesting to be interrogated in Washington DC, this was never allowed. It remains speculative what he might have revealed in the capital; in Dallas, he remained conspicuously silent about his true motives. During a press conference in March 1965, he hinted at the truth: ‘The real facts have never been brought to the surface. The world will never know the truth or learn anything about my motives. Those who benefited the most from Kennedy’s death, who had a good reason to hire me as Oswald’s killer at the time, will never reveal the truth.’ A journalist asked, ‘Is it about people in high positions?’ Ruby confirmed decisively.

In October 1966, it was decided that the death penalty was not justified due to the immense media attention, and a new trial was arranged for February 1967. However, it never came to that; Ruby passed away on December 9, 1966. Doctors discovered cancer in his brain, liver, and lungs a day later. Oswald’s killer had indicated several times that he suspected he had been injected with the deadly virus, allegedly by the same people responsible for President Kennedy’s assassination.

Perry Vermeulen

Author of two books related to the assassination of JFK, published in The Netherlands in 2008 and 2012. Wrote a lot about this subject; built this website in 2023 to accommodate all those different stories. I will continue to produce new articles on the case.

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