42. Jack Ruby got lucky.

The morning of November 24, 1963, Jack Ruby was at home reading the Dallas Times Herald newspaper when a letter from a reader entitled, “My Dear Caroline,” seems to have particularly moved him. It was from a Dallas father, who had watched President Kennedy’s motorcade with his children.

“your daddy…did something that made me love him very much. It seemed like such a little thing, but it made me appreciate him the more for it. He looked at the grownups for just a second, and then he looked squarely at my youngest and then my eldest daughter. He smiled broadly and waved just to them in his warm way. Caroline, it was then I first thought of you. I thought your daddy must love little boys and little girls very much. Only one who loves and understands little children would realize just how much it would mean to them to be noticed…”

Was this the preverbal straw that broke the camel’s back and made Ruby snap? No one can say for sure. He had already begun to show signs that he was losing it, but after reading this sentimental piece, his roommate observed him muttering to himself as he paced the room. Another item in the paper also mentioned the prospect that Jackie Kennedy might need to return to Dallas to testify at Oswald’s trail. Ruby would later claim that he wanted to spare her that trauma. He also claimed that he was a Jew and people see Jews as weak, so he wanted to dispel that impression, and a number of other things that didn’t make a lot of sense.

Whatever the motive(s) that convince Ruby it was right to murder Oswald, he didn’t think he would get an opportunity that morning. Ruby had to go downtown to the Western Union office to wire transfer $25 to one of the stripers who worked for him, Karen Bennett (aka Little Lynn), and by the time he left his apartment Oswald should have been transferred from a city to a county facility. As Ruby drove past the city jail he wonders why there were still so many people there, but he did not stop. Only after completing his business at Western Union did he wake over to the jail to see what was going on. Ignoring the officer at the opening to the basement, Ruby waked right in as Oswald was being escorted out into the same area and Ruby took the opportunity that suddenly presented itself.

There is no indication that Ruby set out to murder Oswald. In fact, Ruby even took his beloved dog with him in the car. Hardly the type of action a professional hitman would do on his way to public hit, from which he knows he never will return. It also seem very improbably that Ruby and Oswald were coordinated to show up at that moment. How could anyone anticipate the traffic Ruby might run into or how long the line would be at Western Union? If some shady “they” were going to coordinate something, they would have moved Oswald at the publicly announced time and kept everything on a stick schedule. Sure, you can imagine that someone was on the lookout for Ruby and they informed the police upstairs exactly when to move Oswald to time everything just right, but that gets us back the same old problem, a conspiracy too large to keep everyone on the same page. You would need to have all the officers involved with Oswald’s transfer on the take, so that none of them could do anything to screw up the timing. And then you would need to trust them to all remain silent for the rest of their lives.

Speaking of remaining silent. If Ruby was there to stop Oswald from talking, why didn’t Ruby need to be killed to stop him from talking? Why was he so much more trustworthy? I know, conspiracy theories can make up stories about Ruby being a big mob figure, but even mob hitman do turn rat from time to time, so why take the chance? Why let him go to trail and die from cancer years later?


Return to the complete list of 55 reasons to accept that Oswald acted alone.

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