Early chronology, The Torch is Passed, 82-88
1/64 ... It was 11:16 a.m.
He walked down Main and paused before the entrance to the underground garage. A single policeman stood watch. A squad car rolled up the ramp and stopped. A policeman on watch went over to talk to the man in the car. Unnoticed, Jack Ruby, free lance avenger, walked past them and down the ramp into the basement of the building. AP, The Torch is Passed. [No attribution]
1/64 p. 20-22: [after an account of Ruby's shooting of Oswald]
... Much remains to be known of the relationship between the two men. But what we do know indicates that Oswald was murdered, not in a flush of patriotic fervor or mad rage, but in the cool, calculating manner of the professional killer. The bullet that tore into Lee Oswald seems to have been intended not to punish, but to silence, him. The Minority of One, p. 16-23, Eric Norden.
1/7/64 Dallas -- District Attorney Henry Wade said today that an intensive investigation showed "no evidence whatever" of any collusion between Jack Ruby and Dallas police officers in the slaying of Lee Oswald.
Mr. Wade made the statement after he received a report prepared by an investigating board that had been appointed by Police Chief Jesse Curry.
He said a copy of the report had been sent to the Warren Commission. … New York Times, Special to New York Times
1/20/64 Dallas - FBI agent C. Ray Hall, last witness of the day, testified that Ruby had also told him of going to Cuba to try to sell jeeps, using a plane ticket sent to him by a person the State described as "someone in Cuba." AP, James W. Mangan, 1:54 p.m. CST
1/21/64 Dallas -- Ruby denied bond, returned to cell to await further psychiatric examinations.
... The two days of testimony brought out that Ruby once made a trip to Cuba, allegedly in an attempt to sell surplus GI equipment to the Castro government, then in favor in the United States.
Questioned about that by newsmen today, Ruby said it was only a vacation trip, and that he was quizzed by Cuban intelligence men about his motive.
"I wanted to get out of the beer business, but I never have been a person looking for a fast buck," the slightly nervous, well-dressed Ruby said, "I had no motive, it was a vacation.
Under the barrage of questions, and the bright lights of the cameras, Ruby broke down and wept. His lawyers then asked that all questioning stop. AP, 6:33 p.m. CST, James Mangan
1/25/64 Dallas - ... A source close to the prosecution says:
"Ruby is a class-conscious nobody who saw an opportunity to do something that would put him in the public eye and even make him a hero. He wasn't insane. He was rational. But he figured wrong. He's not a hero; he’s a heel. Because of fouling up history."
... The guys ... still remember the 1927 Dempsey-Tunney fight mostly for the guys who got in free. Sparky was one.
"We snuck in all right," says Benny Barrish now a liquor salesman in San Francisco. "But that story about Sparky having a metal plate in his head because a cop clobbered him with a night stick is bunk. A cop did throw a stick, but he didn’t hit anyone."
... [as an Army Air Force mechanic] He saw service at five camps -- Keesler Field, MS, Seymour Johnson Field, SC [where he qualified as a sharpshooter with a carbine]; Bluehenthal Field, NC, Chatham Field, GA, and Drew Field, FL] Mustered out in 1946. … changed his name legally from Jack Rubenstein to Jack Leon Ruby in 1948 ...
... Ruby was no stool pigeon, but he was damn good about tipping the cops about drunks or police characters," says a well-informed source in the district attorney's office. AP, Jack Ruby, by Bernard Gavzer
1/28/64 Dallas -- Ruby taken to clinic for mental tests.
... Meanwhile, the FBI permitted Wade and his assistants to view the FBI files on the shooting of Oswald by Ruby.
Wade for some time had been balked in his efforts to view this evidence.
It was believed the state's officers were studying only the section of the report relating to the slaying of Oswald and were not allowed to see the FBI's report on the assassination of President Kennedy. AP, 5:50 p.m. CST, Clayton Hickerson.
2/9/64 A witness said he had seen Tippit, Bernard Weissman and Ruby conferring for about two hours in Ruby's nightclub on 11/14. Lane talk
[See Oswald, 11/24/63 - AP 924 pcs]
2/10/64 Dallas -- Jack Ruby tremulously said today that reading the Bible in jail has given him a new view of life. AP, 5:22 p.m. CST, Mike Cochran
2/12/64 Dallas -- Attorney Melvin Belli said a newspaper story about a brain test performed on Ruby was part of the plot [a high level conspiracy in Dallas to cheat Ruby of justice] and called the story a “Deliberate lie.”
The reporter who wrote the story, Carl Freund of the Dallas Morning News, said he obtained the information -- that the test showed no important damage to Ruby's brain -- from a usually important source [which he did not reveal despite Belli's insistence]. He added that he would be glad to publish a story on Belli's knowledge of the, results of the test on Ruby. AP , 8:40 p.m. CST, Raymond Holbrook
2/13/64 In the last of a series of syndicated articles, by Ruby, written with the assistance of reporter William Read Woodfield, the admitted executioner concluded: "Oswald was a dead man before I shot him." Ruby said he murdered Oswald after Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade stated that Oswald was guilty of killing Kennedy, indicating that he would not have done so had Wade not made his accusation. National Guardian
2/17/64 Dallas - The State contends that Ruby was completely sane when he shot Oswald. Homicide Police Captain Will Fritz and Officer James R. Leavell - who was handcuffed to Oswald when Ruby shot him - have testified that Ruby looked calm at that moment.
… In a series of ghost-written articles under Ruby's name, the accused man said:
"No one knew I was going to shoot Oswald - not even me. No one helped me or gave me access. I didn't do it intentionally. I didn't even know I had done it." AP, Relman Morin, 1:31 a.m. CST
2/18/64 Dallas, [2/17] The psychiatric report on Jack L. Ruby, prepared by doctors appointed by the judge, discloses that Ruby has experienced recurrent "spells" in recent years.
The report, not yet made public by Judge Joe B. Brown, states that these periods lasted for intervals of 30 to 40 seconds and produced feelings of pressure within Ruby's head.
"I feel as thought my head is cracking up, Ruby told the physicians who examined him.
On the basis of a medical examination and neurological tests given to him last month, Dr. Martin L. Towler, a neurologist at the University of Texas, concluded that Ruby was "suffering from a seizure disorder."
Dr. Robert Stubblefield and Dr. John Holbrook, a psychiatrist who had testified for the prosecution that Ruby was sane, also witnessed the tests.
In letters to Dr. Towles, neither of the two other psychiatrists took exception to the methods used to test Ruby.
... As reported earlier, the electroencephalographic tests given Ruby last month have been interpreted by a Chicago authority on epilepsy as demonstrating that [Ruby] ... suffers from a rare type of that disease.
Dr. Frederick A. Gibbs wrote to Dr. Towler, after examining the chartings of Ruby's brain wave:
"The two electroencephalographic recordings you have sent me which were made in your laboratory on Jack Ruby both show seizure disorders of the psychomotor variant type." New York Times, Jack Langguth
2/27/64 Report on article by Dorothy Kilgallen in the New York Journal-American, 2/21:
Dorothy Kilgallen ... wrote from Dallas that the FBI has made a deal with lawyers defending Jack Ruby ..., that "provides Ruby's side with reams of helpful information that they would never have been able to get without the G--men - on the condition that they do not ask for anything at all about Ruby's alleged victim."
… [Her] story, apparently written after a talk with Ruby's lawyers, noted that "it appears Washington knows or suspects something about Lee Oswald that it does not want Dallas and the rest of the world to know or suspect."
[Miss Kilgallen names Assistant Attorney General Herbert Miller as the person who responded to the request of Ruby's lawyers.]
"Why is Oswald being kept in the shadows, as dim a figure as they can make him, while the defense tries to rescue his alleged killer with the help of information from the FBI?" National Guardian, Jack A. Smith
2/27/64 Report on article by Augusto Marcelli, correspondent for Italian magazine L'Europeo. Quotes Marcelli on Ruby's past connections with underworld and gambling figures; Marcelli said Ruby also informer for the FBI. National Guardian, Jack A. Smith
3/64 ... A couple of years ago, there was an article in Adam, a raunchy girlie magazine, about Amateur Night for strippers at Ruby's night club:
"Amateur Night proved an immediate hit with the Carousel's audiences. Many times the erotic enthusiasm of the spectators seemed exceeded only by the impish delight of the amateur performers - hot and breathless from the experience of baring their bodies for the first time before an audience. ... The wild cheers of Amateur Night spectators indicate they feel they're getting their $2 worth - which is cover charge. Many of the luckier males get an added bonus when the girls - who are encouraged by the club to mix with customers - accept an invitation to have a drink. The club serves beer and set-ups, with most of the customers bringing their own bottles. The club caters to large stag groups, especially college students and oil or cattle conventioneers. Most of the amateurs 'pack' the audience with an admiring throng of their boy friends to cheer for them. 'In fact,' manager Ruby observed, 'many of the girls perform at Amateur Night under the urging of their boy friends who claim they see a lot more of them on our stage than they do on a date.'"
Thus spake the avenger of our president ... The Realist, Paul Krassner, Confessions of a Guilty Bystander, p. 4
3/64 ... And, in the excitement of his sorrow, one man reached the sublime.
Jack Ruby, journalistically returning to the crime of his scene, explained in a syndicated apologia: "... Suddenly there was a great commotion. Out of there walked Oswald. He was about 10 feet from me. He came out all of a sudden with a smirky, defiant, cursing, vicious Communist expression on his face."
I'm not making this up, I swear. The series, incidentally, was supposed to have been written for a German publication, with a subsequent embargo on it in this country, but --- well, they'll plead temporary greed ... The Realist, Paul Krassner, Confessions of a Guilty Bystander, p. 4
3/3/64 Dallas-- The state suggested today that Jack Ruby may have been on Lee Harvey Oswald's trial some 20 hours before he shot to death the accused assassin of President Kennedy.
... Two witnesses placed Ruby outside the Dallas County jail when a crowd gathered in mid-afternoon of 11/23 in anticipation of Oswald's transfer there from police headquarters. …
[1st witness, Sgt. D. V. Harkness, testified Ruby did not act unlike the rest of the crowd].
... Earlier, another witness, Wes Wise, a newsman for KRLD radio and television in Dallas, told of seeing Ruby in the vicinity of the county jail the afternoon after Kennedy's assassination, Wise said he discussed with Ruby the fact that two small western saddles, intended as gifts for the Kennedy children, were left behind in Dallas after the assassination. [He said he saw tears in Ruby's eyes, that Ruby was touched].
… [In line with the possibility that Ruby was keeping track of Oswald s movements before the shooting, the state called to the witness stand Garnett Claude Hallmark. ... manager of an auto parking concession near Ruby's downtown strip joint.
He testified that about 2:50 p.m. Saturday, 11/23, Ruby made a phone call to Wise. ...
Q. Did he say anything with reference to the movement of Oswald from the city to the county jail?
A. There was a conversation about the almost immediate transfer. …
Q. Did he say he would be there?
A. Yes, he said he would be there.
Under cross-examination about the telephone call, Hallmark testified:
“It appeared to me he had some information on this transfer and simply wanted to-corroborate it." ...
Another witness, Doyle Lane, a Western Union supervisor, told of Ruby sending a $25 money order to Karen Lynn Bennet, a 19-year-old stripper who had worked for Ruby. ... The receipt for the money order to Ft. Worth was stamped 11:17 a.m. Sunday, 11/24, about three minutes before the shooting of Oswald. ... AP, A211ds nl 1249pcs
[See Ruby, 3/11]
3/3/64 Dallas -- The defense has contended in questioning prospective jurors that Ruby habitually carried a gun because he went about with large amounts of money on his person. ...
... Later, Leavelle testified that after Ruby's arrest he was found to be carrying $2,015.33. AP, A30ds, 3rd add original nl 531pcs 3/3/64
3/3/64 Dallas - … Doyle Lane, a Western Union supervisor, told of Ruby sending a $25 money order to Karen Lynn Bennett, a 19-year-old stripper who had worked for Ruby under the stage name of "Little Lynn." The receipt for the money order to Ft. Worth was stamped 11:17 a.m. Sunday 11/24 - about three minutes before the shooting of Oswald.
Lane said Ruby took his receipt, went out of the office and turned left in the direction of police headquarters.
"Did he walk out of there leisurely?" Belli asked.
Q. There was nothing unusual about his walk?
A. No, sir. AP 3:28 p.m. CST, Arthur Everett
[See Ruby 11/25/63, New York Times, Gladwin Hill]
3/4/64 Dallas - … It was suggested through state testimony [today] that Ruby may have trailed Oswald for at least 20 hours before he shot him. Witnesses indicated Ruby kept close track of police plans to move Oswald from one jail to another. It was during such a transfer that Ruby killed him. AP, 5:25 p.m. CST
11/22 - Ruby at [midnight?] press conference, police headquarters. [Testimony of John Rutledge, police reporter, Dallas Morning News. AP, 5:42 PCS.
11/23 - Ruby made a telephone call, about 2:50 p.m., to Wes Wise, newsman, KRLD, about Oswald's transfer to County jail. [Testimony of Garnett Claude Hallmark. AP, 11/, 3:28 PCS.]
- Ruby outside County jail, with crowd waiting for Oswald's transfer there. [Testimony of Sgt. D. V. Harkness and Wes Wise. AP, 3/3, 12:49 PCS.]Mar. 4, 1964 - (filed Ruby) Ruby
- Ruby was seen Saturday afternoon in the crowded third floor corridors through which Oswald was led for interrogation. [San Francisco Chronicle, AP and UPI, 11/25.]
11/24 - Ruby outside police headquarters, sometime after 10:30 a.m. Twice approached Ira M. Walker, engineering technician for WBAP, in his truck, to ask, "Have they brought him down yet?" [Testimony of Walker. AP, 3/11, 6:25 PCS.]
3/4/64 Dallas -- John Rutledge, police reporter for the Dallas Morning News, described how Ruby passed through police guards in the police station on the night of the presidential assassination. He said guards were keeping everyone out of the crowded corridor leading to an office where Oswald was being questions. Rutledge said, "Jack walked in between two out-of-state reporters."
He said the two reporters were wearing large "Kennedy Press" cards. He said Ruby was writing on a piece of paper, as would a reporter.
Wade asked if anyone challenged Ruby.
Rutledge replied that a detective called, "What are you doing here?"
"I'm helping these reporters," Rutledge said Ruby replied . … AP, 232pcs
[See Ruby, 6/27, Dallas Morning News, Carl Freund: Ruby said he held his hand on his Colt Cobra pistol as he walked into the City Hall basement ...]
3/4/64 The state's first witness was Don Campbell, 46, an advertising salesman for the Dallas Morning News.
... Campbell said he and Ruby were talking a bout an advertisement for Ruby's two nightclubs up until about 10 minutes before the President was killed.
The witness said they talked from about 12 o'clock until 12.25 p.m. CST in the office of the Morning News. Campbell said that he read later in the newspapers that the President was assassinated at about 12:35 p.m.
Under cross-examination by chief defense counsel Melvin M. Belli, Campbell said he left Ruby in the office and that so far as he knew Ruby did not see the assassination.
[See Ruby, 12/21/63]
3/5/64 Dallas - Officer D. R. Archer testified. ... after the shooting "as we got him down on the floor I heard him [Ruby] say, 'I hope I killed the son of a bitch."
Three to five minutes later, Archer continued, when he was inside the jail with Ruby, he told the defendant "I think you killed him."
"He said," Archer added, "'I intended to shoot him three times."....
... During questioning of [police officer] L. O. Graves, [walking alongside Oswald when Ruby shot him,] Belli asked him at one point about Ruby' being in police headquarters at the time Oswald was shot.
"There was no connection between the Dallas polite force and Ruby in his coming there that morning, was there?"
"I don't know," Graves replied.
"I don't believe it, "Belli, declared, "and I want it out of this case now."
Personally,” Graves said, “There was no connection between me and Jack Ruby in his getting into that basement." ...
... [Dallas policeman Thomas] Gillen related fragments of conversation while Ruby was being taken in the elevator to the fifth floor of City Hall.
He quoted a police Captain King as saying took Ruby:
"Of all the low life things that ever happened, this takes the cake. Why did you do it?"
He said Ruby’s reply was:
"Somebody had to do it. Somebody had to do it. You guys couldn't." AP 12:06 pcs
3/5/64 … The defense hopes to show that Ruby pulled the trigger with the middle finger, rather than the index finger of his right hand, thus proving that the hand was in a state of spasm. But Mr. Leavelle refused to establish this basic defense point. New York Times, Homer Bigart
3/5/64 Dallas, [3/4] - … Earlier, another Dallas policeman surprised the defense by testifying that he saw Ruby outside the county jail between 3:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. on 11/23. He said Ruby was in a crowd of spectators that was expecting to see Oswald transferred at that hour. New York Times, Homer Bigart
3/5/64 Dallas - Jack Ruby was quoted at his murder trial today as saying he marked Lee Harvey Oswald for death with three bullets because "somebody had to do it."
"I. intended to shoot him three times," a police officer [T. D. McMillon] said Ruby told him after a single shot last 11/24 cut down Oswald …
… At one point, Wade resumed direct examination of McMillon and asked him:
Q. Did the defendant, Jack Ruby, tell you how he got into the basement of the jail?
A. I was present when Mr. Ruby stated how he got into the basement. He stated a lieutenant was pulling out of the basement in a squad car and he just walked by an officer there between the wall and the car. He said someone called to him but he just ducked his head and kept going. AP, 5:05 p.m. CST
3/6/64 Dallas - ... When testimony was resumed, Captain Glenn King of the Dallas police department testified that Ruby said, moments after he shot Oswald and was himself arrested:
"You didn't think I was going to let him get by with it, did you?"
... But King said he did not hear a remark attributed to Ruby by another police officer yesterday which was: "Somebody had to do it. Somebody had to take care of it. You guys couldn't do it."
Under cross-examination, King several times denied hearing this … King also denied that he heard Ruby say, "I hope the son of a bitch dies." ... AP 12:13pcs
3/7/64 Dallas - Jack L. Ruby said he first thought of killing Lee H. Oswald the night of 11/22, the day President Kennedy was assassinated, a police sergeant testified today.
Ruby made this state on 11/24, only 10 minutes after killing Oswald, and gave two motives ... Sgt. Patrick T. Dean testified.
The 52-year-old nightclub operator "wanted the world to know the Jews do have guts," the sergeant said Ruby told him.
Also Ruby said he disliked Oswald's "sarcastic sneer" at a midnight news conference at the city jail 11/22, the witness said. ... New York Times
3/7/64 Dallas, [3/6] – [Story on jailbreak during Ruby trial]
"Little Lynn", waiting in the corridor, became hysterical when she saw a toy pistol in the hand of one of the prisoners. Nine months pregnant, she slumped to the floor, screaming, "He's after me."
But she revived and was able to take the witness stand after a delay of several minutes. New York Times, Homer Bigart
[See Ruby, 12/24/63]
[See Ruby, 9/3/64]
3/7/64 Washington - FBI director J. Edgar Hoover said today Lee Harvey Oswald ... and Jack L. Ruby ... never served as confidential informants of the FBI.
Hoover issued this statement:
"To set the record straight and to refute the misinformation which has been maliciously circulated, I want to state unequivocally that Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack L. Ruby were never FBI informants; that they were never employed by this bureau in any capacity; nor did they ever render any services for or receive any sums of money from the FBI." AP, 5:28 p.m. EST
3/11/64 Dallas - One of the state rebuttal witnesses was Ira M. Walker, a slim engineering technician for Fort Worth television station WBAP. He testified he was sitting in his mobile truck unit outside the entrance to police headquarters sometime after 10:30 a.m. 11/24.
He said twice Ruby approached his truck and added:
‘I could only see his face at the window and all he said was, 'Have they brought him down yet ?'"
He was asked by the defense:
Q. Do you know who he was referring to?
A. We were all waiting for Oswald to come down.
Q. But you don't know that he was referring to Oswald?
A. No. … AP, 625pcs
[See Ruby, 3/3]
3/11/64 Jack Langguth story from Dallas, dated 3/10, described Mrs. [Marguerite] Oswald's appearance at Ruby trial as spectator, her being sworn as a witness to prevent her attending as a spectator.
"Mrs. Oswald did not look at Ruby during her brief moment in the courtroom and he did not seem to recognize her." New York Times
3/14/64 Commenting on Hoover's denial, Lane asked: "Can we really expect the FBI to admit the truth if my client had been an agent?" National Guardian
3/14/64 Dallas -- ... Assistant District Attorney William F. Alexander led off [in summing up the case late the night of the 13th] ... [he] pointed out that, at the time of Kennedy's motorcade in Dallas, Ruby was framing a newspaper advertisement for one of his night clubs. ...
"Here we have the picture of a man who professed love for his president to the extent that he would kill for him," Alexander cried.
"But he did not see fit to move from the Dallas Morning News to see the parade. He wouldn't stir himself to walk five blocks to see the President." AP, 224acs