ACCUSED ASSASSIN SHOT ON LIVE TV 50 YEARS AGO
Dallas, Texas (JFK+50) 50 years ago this morning, November 24, 1963, Americans were glued to their television sets watching coverage of the transport of the remains of President John F. Kennedy from the East Room of the White House to the Rotunda of the United States Capitol.
Suddenly, however, coverage switched to Dallas where the alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald*, was being transferred by local police from one jail to another.
*Lee Harvey Oswald (1939-1963) was born in New Orleans and served in the Marine Corps from 1956 to 1959. After his discharge, Oswald traveled to the USSR where he attempted to renounce his US citizenship, married a Russian girl, then returned to the US in 1962.
In New Orleans, Oswald was chairman of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. He moved to Dallas in Oct 1963 where he was employed at the Texas School Book Depository.
At 11:21 a.m. local time, stunned television viewers saw Oswald being led out into the basement of Dallas Police Headquarters sandwiched between two detectives, Jim Leavelle and Charles Brown, when suddenly a man stepped out from the crowd and fired one shot at point blank range.
Lee Oswald cried out in agony: "Ohhhhhhhhhhh......" and fell to the floor still handcuffed to detective Jim Leavelle**.
**Jim Leavelle, born in 1920 in Red River, Texas, served in the US Navy in WWII. He was at Pearl Harbor on Dec 7, 1941. Jim retired from the DPD in 1975.
November 24, 1963
Photo by Jack Beers, Jr.
Dallas Morning News
Dallas reporter Bob Huffaker shouted into his microphone...
"He's been shot! He's been shot! Lee Harold Oswald has been shot!"***
***Huffaker had checked with one of the police authorities earlier who had told him the name of the accused assassin was Lee Harold Oswald. Bob asked where he got that information, the man said from the arrest record. So Bob used that incorrect middle name.
The shooter, identified as Jack Rubenstein, aka Jack Ruby****, was subdued and Oswald was carried back inside the police station.
Some of the policemen immediately recognized Ruby as he was the owner of a local club called "The Carousel".
Robert Groden writes...
"Ruby grew up around some of the most infamous mob figures in history."
Groden's list includes Al Capone, Frank Nitti and Jake Guzik.
Groden contends that Jack's connection with the Mob did not end when he moved from Chicago to Dallas in 1947.
He also says that Jack Ruby was "personally acquainted" with many people in the Dallas Police Department.^
^Source: "The Search for Lee Harvey Oswald," by Robert J. Groden, Penguin Studio Books, New York, 1995.
The alleged assassin, who arrived at Parkland, according to Dr. Charles Crenshaw, with "no blood pressure (and) no pulse," was pronounced dead at 1:07 p.m. (CST).
Unlike the murder of President Kennedy, there is no doubt whatsoever that Jack Ruby was the lone assassin of Lee Oswald, but the question asked at the time and 50 years later is why?
The answer supplied by Tom Howard, one of Ruby's attorneys, was that he did not want Jacqueline Kennedy to have to return to Dallas for Oswald's trial.
Many in 1963 did not "buy" that answer as many do not "buy" it today.
In a Knoxville News-Sentinel editorial dated November 25, 1963, it was written...
"The case (of Lee Harvey Oswald) is not closed to the satisfaction of American public opinion, nor of world opinion. And now, perhaps, it can never be closed."
Being such a devoted fan of JFK, I certainly don't buy the description of Ruby as having also been a fan of JFK who was distraught over the death of his hero.
Jack Ruby said he was placing an advertisement at the Dallas Morning News as the President's motorcade was outside traveling down Main Street.
I can assure you any true fan of JFK who had any chance to see the President in the flesh would never have passed up that opportunity.