Controversy Was Jack Ruby Murdered? Part 3

About the controversy surrounding the death of Jack Ruby, history and exploration of whether or not his death was murder.




Theories and Unanswered Questions: In 1979 the House Select Committee on Assassinations, after a two-and-a-half-year inquiry, asserted that a conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy likely did exist, probably involving elements of organized crime. Thus arises the theory that some crime figure contracted Oswald to kill the President, hired Ruby to silence Oswald, and then ordered a third party to eliminate Ruby. Supporting this theory are Ruby's long-standing, though loose, ties to various underworld figures. Just three weeks before Kennedy's death, for example, Ruby placed a call to the New Orleans office of the Tropical Court Tourist Park, operated by Nofio Pecora, a lieutenant of New Orleans capo Carlos Marcello. The House committee also concluded that one of Ruby's police pals probably helped him slip into the Dallas jail basement through which Oswald was to pass, perhaps unaware of Ruby's murderous intent. Also troubling is Ruby's sudden financial solvency. Chronically hard-pressed for cash, he owed some $40,000 in back taxes, but suddenly, days before Kennedy was shot, he was flashing $7,000 in cash and bragging about having a connection who would bail him out of his tax problems. While in jail Ruby often repeated his story that he had shot Oswald spontaneously and out of compassion for Mrs. Kennedy, most notably in a taped conversation with his brother Earl a couple of weeks before his death. But when representatives of the Warren Commission saw Ruby in Dallas, he begged to be moved to Washington for the interview so that he could tell the real story. And in papers smuggled out of his Dallas jail cell, Ruby wrote, "Don't believe the Warren Report. That was only put out to . . . throw the Americans and all the European countries off guard. They have found a means and ways to frame me, by deception, etc., and they have succeeded." He also claimed that he had been injected with live cancer cells by those who were afraid he would talk. Another unsettling aspect of the Ruby case is the fact that Broadway gossip columnist Dorothy Kilgallen paid a celebrated visit to Ruby during his trial. During the next year and a half, Kilgallen continued her investigation of the Kennedy assassination. On Nov. 8, 1965, she was found dead in her apartment, a death officially attributed to a combination of barbiturates and alcohol. No notes of her interview with Ruby ever turned up. Still, for all the unanswered questions, how could Ruby have been killed? His autopsy seemed to rule out poison or external violence, although Ruby had frequently charged that officials were systematically poisoning him. One possibility is that the mob may have leaned on Ruby's doctors to "overlook" his cancer until it had advanced beyond control.

Ruby himself had this to say in a filmed interview shortly before his death: "The world will never know the true facts of what occurred--my motives. . . . Unfortunately, the people that had so much to gain and had such an ulterior motive, and who put me in the position I'm in, will never let the true facts come aboveboard to the world."

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