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Who was Jack Ruby?


Paul Brancato
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On 5/30/2020 at 1:11 AM, Ron Bulman said:

I've started reading the Gary Wills / Ovid Demaris book Jack Ruby The Man Who Killed The Man Who Killed Kennedy from 1967.  Up to page 67 of 267.  It's getting harder as it goes.  Demaris interviewed people after the assassination then came back and  recorded interviews with them and more along with Wills, an Esquire writer.  Wills wrote the book, then going on to a Pulitzer years later as it seems a rather conservative writer.

Thus far it's a Jack did it on impulse for Jackie and Caroline book based on interviews of employees, friends and associates.  Jack was a great guy, always helping others, defending them.  Then the author presumes to think what Jack thought before and while he shot Oswald, based on what others said.

There are valuable interesting historical tidbits scattered occasionally.  

The tour of the Carousel in 1966.  Then the Dallas Police association Gym and golden gloves training facility with a boxing ring at the end of the center dance runway.  A fitting tribute given Ruby's affinity for boxing?  He advertised the fact it was the only club in Dallas with three runways.  But class with comedians (not allowed to tell racial jokes of any kind), magicians and a MC, usually Ruby.  A fading paper star on Jada's dressing room with her name on it.  I never knew there was a box office at the top of the stairs to collect the entrance fee.  Just always figured it was someone at the door.  Nor did I know about the landing.  I had read before about Ruby throwing unruly customers down the stairs.  Turns out they likely didn't tumble all the way to the street.  Just to the landing half way down (up).

Then there's this one from owner of the Stork Club, "Ruby's old friend" Bill Howard.   "Sam and Joe Campisi, who run the Egyptian Lounge in Dallas but skip over to Las Vegas whenever they can, come into Denny's after their own restaurant closes.  Joe Campisi liked to go to the Carousel to watch Ruby in action:  "He was the best god-dam show in town".  p. 8-9.    

I never heard this part.  It was suggested to Judge Joe Brown, presiding over the Ruby pretrial proceedings that he should write a book about the case.  He called his friend Clint Murchison, said he was thinking about doing this and asked if Clint might know of a publishing house that might take it.  "Yeah, Joe, I think I own one but can't think of the name of it right now.  I'll have my secretary look it up and call you right back."  He had stock in Holt, Rinehart and Winston.  Brown soon had a contract, a $5000 advance, a $5000 advance to his ghost writer.  They holed up in a Murchison hotel in California to rough out the book, expenses paid by Murchison.  "After the hearing on his literary activities, however, Judge Brown recused himself in the Ruby proceedings , and the book died unpublished."  pgs. 79-80.

Regarding one of Ruby's lawyers, Joe Tonahill, "during the selection of jurors, Tonahill angrily threw his pencil at Judge Brown ($25 for contempt).  pg. 92.   

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On 5/30/2020 at 11:50 PM, Ron Bulman said:

He reportedly didn't let things get too wild.  Strippers couldn't be prostitutes, on there own operating out of the club but some May have been introduced by him to prominent customers.  He came down on customers who insulted them, other employee's, friends or customers.  I have to wonder if the Carousel wasn't a cover for other activities, maybe payoff of detectives and vice squad officers.  A connection for bettors to the Enrique press and Shine Shop to the left of the entrance.  A place for others of questionable repute to meet and make deals? 

A clearinghouse, like 544 Camp Street?

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If true, it's highly intriguing to imagine little Dallas strip joint owner Jack Ruby flying to Castro controlled Cuba and actually being driven to the jail housing one of the top three most powerful Mafia Dons in the country ( Santos Trafficante) and sitting and talking to Trafficante personally.

And for some important reason other than giving him free passes to his club and sharing his meeting Rhonda Fleming at the Love Field airport having a club sandwich story.

 

Illegal activities in Dallas[edit]

There was evidence indicating Jack Ruby had been involved in the underworld activities of illegal gambling, narcotics, and prostitution.[9]

A 1956 FBI report stated that their informant, Eileen Curry, reported that in January of that year, she moved to Dallas with her boyfriend, James Breen, after jumping bond on narcotics charges. Breen told her that he had made connections with a large narcotics setup operating between Texas, Mexico, and the East, and that "in some fashion, James got the okay to operate through Jack Ruby of Dallas."[10]

Former Dallas County Sheriff Steve Guthrie told the FBI that he believed Ruby "operated some prostitution activities and other vices in his club" since living in Dallas.[11]

Dallas disc jockey Kenneth Dowe testified that Ruby was known around the station for "procuring women for different people who came to town."[12]

Edited by Joe Bauer
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On 6/3/2020 at 10:03 PM, David Andrews said:

A clearinghouse, like 544 Camp Street?

Not exactly but maybe similarities?  No FBI Bannister running the Carousel but still maybe Ruby influenced by others.  Meetings by others Ruby knew some of, possible.  But I don't think he was involved in planning or the assassination itself.  Just needed after an unexpected screw up, somewhat aware of the circumstances, and called on using the code of Omerta, with which he was familiar.

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FEDERAL BUREAU 0- commission Exhibit No . 1251 D , Dec . 7 - 1963 Mr . STEVE- GUTHRIE with -office at 820 Big Town, Mesquite, Texas, advisee that his name was formerly S . N . GUTHRIE but he had legally changed his name some years ago to STEVE GUTHRIE . Mr . GUTHRIE furnished the following information :

He was elected sheriff of Dallas County in July, 1946, and was to go into office in January, 1947 . He was an ex-policemen and had returned from the service a short time previous to his election . He served as sheriff of Dallas County in 1947 through 1948 . Shortly after his election in July, 1946, a man identified as PAUL ROLAND JONES,contacted him on a Dallas golf course and asked him how he would like to make some big money . He stated he told JONES he would be very interested . At that time, Dallas County was "wide open with prostitution and gambling and other vices running full steam and there were an average of 2 or 3 murders a month which looked like murders by gangs . JONES told GUTHRIE that between them they could make approximately $40,000 per month . This contact by JONES was made since he was spokesman for the "syndicate" out of Chicago and the 'Syndicate" was planning to move into Dallas and take over the vices .

There were approximately 25 "thugs" and hoodlums from Chicago in Dallas from time to time . GUTHRIE got in touch with Dallas Chief of Police HANSON, GEORGE BUTLER, a detective of the Dallas Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety to see if they could make bribery cases on the "thugs " who had planned to take over vice in Dallas .

With the assistance of these officers, they wired GUTHRIE's house for sound and made numerous recordings of conversations had in GUTHRIE's house with a number of hoodlums from Chicago . Included in the names was SONNY LABRIOLA and a LIPSKE . As a result of this investigation, a great number of records were made .

... unintelligible ... was a "small time peanut" with this group  were going to bribe GUTHRIE . RUBY'S name came up on numerous occasions, according to GUTHRIE, as being the person who would take over a very fabulous restaurant at Industrial and Commerce Streets in Dallas . The first floor of that building was to be a regular restaurant and the upper floor would be used for gambling . RUBY was to run this club . JACK RUBY never in person talked with GUTHRIE about this matter and, in fact, GUTHRIE and RUBY had no conversation during this investigation . However, according to GUTHRIE, RUBY's  name constantly came up as being the person who would run the restaurant and GUTHRIE said if the records can still be heard, RUBY's name will be heard on numerous occasions . Texas Department of Public Safety has one set of these records and "DUB" NAYLOR, then a Texas Ranger, conducted a great deal of the investigation in that case .

As a result of the investigation, PAUL ROLAND JONES was sentenced to a term of 3 to 5 years, according to GUTHRIE's memory, and ROMEO JACK KNAPPI was indicted by the grand jury . KNAPPI was believed to be related to JACK NETTI, well known Chicago hoodlum ; however, Dallas authorities were never able to get custody of KNAPPI .

GUTHRIE advised he has never heard a good thing about JACK RUBY to the best of his knowledge . He believes RUBY has operated some prostitution activities and other vices in his club since RUBY has been in Dallas . GUTHRIE further informed he has heard and believes it is fairly well known around Dallas that either mayor CABELL or City Manager CRULL ordered Chief of Police CURRY to "put on the show for TV" of transporting OSWALD from the City Jail to the County Jail. He said as a result of this, CABELL will not discharge CURRY since CURRY was acting under orders . COMMISSION EXHIBIT

Edited by Joe Bauer
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Just viewed again Seth Kantor's under oath testimony in the "Trial Of Lee Harvey Oswald" video.

A couple of things Kantor told the jury about Ruby stood out.

According to Kantor, in researching for his book "Who Was Jack Ruby?" he received through the FORA process copies of CIA documents reporting Jack Ruby traveling to Cuba in 1959 several times and once actually visiting and meeting in person Florida and Cuba mob boss Santos Trafficante Jr. in jail there.

Fairly strong evidence that Ruby did indeed make this trip and visit.

Trafficante was one of the top 3 or 4 most powerful Mafia bosses in the country at that time.

Up there with Marcello, Giancana, Meyer Lansky, Joseph Barbara.

I ask again, if Ruby was just some small time non-Mafia connected tacky strip joint owning nobody in Cowboy land Dallas (and who many considered unstable regards his temper ) what in the world is "he" doing traveling to Cuba to visit one-on-one with someone of highest organized crime stature as Trafficante, especially in such a dramatically stressful need time scenario for Trafficante?

Does anyone really think Ruby's one-on-one meet up with Trafficante was just about cheering him up with free admission tickets to the Carousel Club whenever Trafficante got out of this Castro/Cuban jail?

That visit starkly contradicts Ruby's downplayed non-connection to organized crime nobody image pushed by the Warren Commission and F.B.I.

The other factual information Seth Kantor presents in his "Who Was Jack Ruby" book ( again acquired through the FORA process from the F.B.I.) and that was displayed to this trial jury was a record of Jack Ruby's long distance calls in the two and one half months just before 11,22,1963.

Using a chart, one can easily see that the number of long distance calls Ruby made in that time period far outnumbered his normal call record.

But even more suspicious, was "who" Ruby was making these calls to.

Some were to top Chicago organized crime figures and who were well known "muscle/ hit men" such as Dave Yaras, Lenny Patrick and Robert "Barney" Baker.

Ruby also had calls to Vegas and his organized crime gambling expert mentor Lewis McWillie, who was a business associate of Trafficante and Meyer Lansky and who once managed Frank Sinatra's Cal-Neva Casino in Lake Tahoe.

Ruby was even seen visiting McWillie in person in Las Vegas just 5 days before 11,22,1963.

Why would Ruby be calling 3 Chicago Outfit hit men in the 2 and 1/2 months just before JFK assassination?  He supposedly hadn't had anything close to this kind of one-on-one contact with any of them since the 30's and 40's?

Ruby claimed in his Warren Commission testimony he did so because he was having trouble with the Theatrical union that represented his strippers like Janet "Jada" Conforto, musicians and other performers.

Ruby claimed in his Warren Commission testimony that his complaints were about the Union not responding to his complaints of unfair competition between him and other Dallas area club members.

What in the world would Chicago Outfit hit men like Baker, Patrick and Yaras have to do with helping Ruby in his problems with this Union down in Dallas?

 

 

Edited by Joe Bauer
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13 minutes ago, Cory Santos said:

I have interviewed several people that new him well, as opposed to merely reading a book written by someone else.   I found, much like LHO, people knew different versions of him.  Although they agreed he had a temper.

Belli?  Might you be willing to share the names of some of these people and their comments?  This would be interesting to some of us.

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21 minutes ago, Cory Santos said:

I have interviewed several people that new him well, as opposed to merely reading a book written by someone else.   I found, much like LHO, people knew different versions of him.  Although they agreed he had a temper.

Please tell us CS, what do you think of Ruby going to Cuba and having a one-on-one meeting with Trafficante in his jail digs?

Nothing to it?  Just passing a "hang in there" hello to him from other members of organized crime?

Or do you think this Trafficante/Ruby meet up is simply a made up story?

Kantor says he received documentation from CIA records reporting this meeting.

You think Kantor made this up? Or Kantor was sent a false document?

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2 hours ago, Joe Bauer said:

Please tell us CS, what do you think of Ruby going to Cuba and having a one-on-one meeting with Trafficante in his jail digs?

Nothing to it?  Just passing a "hang in there" hello to him from other members of organized crime?

Or do you think this Trafficante/Ruby meet up is simply a made up story?

Kantor says he received documentation from CIA records reporting this meeting.

You think Kantor made this up? Or Kantor was sent a false document?

That is the odd thing Joe.   I think he did go to Cuba.

Edited by Cory Santos
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51 minutes ago, Cory Santos said:

That is the odd thing Joe.   I think he did go to Cuba... and Belize.

You think he ( Jack Ruby) did go to Cuba?

Why would Ruby's travel to Cuba be an "odd thing?"

And do you also think Ruby met with Trafficante in his Cuban jail facility?

And again, if you do, then what is your speculation as to why he went there?

I am not quite understanding your take on Ruby.

You say you have personally talked people who knew Ruby.

Are you of the belief that Ruby was not involved in any way with bigger members of organized crime? Not even peripherally? As a bag man, courier, fixer, transporter, etc?

 

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58 minutes ago, Joe Bauer said:

You think he ( Jack Ruby) did go to Cuba?

Why would Ruby's travel to Cuba be an "odd thing?"

And do you also think Ruby met with Trafficante in his Cuban jail facility?

And again, if you do, then what is your speculation as to why he went there?

I am not quite understanding your take on Ruby.

You say you have personally talked people who knew Ruby.

Are you of the belief that Ruby was not involved in any way with bigger members of organized crime? Not even peripherally? As a bag man, courier, fixer, transporter, etc?

 

Joe, my mistake.   I should not have said Belize.  I meant only Cuba.   I will edit that.

I have had people tell me he was connected and others laugh when I mentioned it.    One person told me there was no way he would have been given an important job if there was a conspiracy like this.  Remember none of it is what I know or necessarily believe.  My opinion is worthless.  These are opinions of others.   Take them or leave them.  My point is he was somewhat a mystery like LHO because people had different opinions of him.  If I ask several of your friends who you are,  they would mostly relate a similar person. That is why it was odd. That is all I meant.  

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I have read Ruby's WC testimony many times over the years.

It is actually cringing to follow.

The man is so scattered and going off on rambling, disjointed and illogical tangents that veer from the original questions to a degree that you literally have to take mental breaks in trying to keep track and make sense of it all.

His testimony is also rife with lies and purposely intended holes and left out information.

And his questioners let him do and get away with this time and again with little refocusing interjection and deeper contradiction exposing follow up questions which adds even more frustration in reading his testimony.

One senses that the Commission members were provided with intelligence information that countered much of what Ruby claimed about his connections to organized crime figures.

Yet, they would only push so far in this area of questioning, even when they knew Ruby was obfuscating, holding back and diverting.

To such a degree and with so little meaningful questioning follow-up that one can't help but consider the whole Jack Ruby testimonial event as a purposely limited effort, begging suspicion as a set up.

 

Edited by Joe Bauer
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On 6/3/2020 at 9:18 PM, Ron Bulman said:

I never heard this part.  It was suggested to Judge Joe Brown, presiding over the Ruby pretrial proceedings that he should write a book about the case.  He called his friend Clint Murchison, said he was thinking about doing this and asked if Clint might know of a publishing house that might take it.  "Yeah, Joe, I think I own one but can't think of the name of it right now.  I'll have my secretary look it up and call you right back."  He had stock in Holt, Rinehart and Winston.  Brown soon had a contract, a $5000 advance, a $5000 advance to his ghost writer.  They holed up in a Murchison hotel in California to rough out the book, expenses paid by Murchison.  "After the hearing on his literary activities, however, Judge Brown recused himself in the Ruby proceedings , and the book died unpublished."  pgs. 79-80.

Regarding one of Ruby's lawyers, Joe Tonahill, "during the selection of jurors, Tonahill angrily threw his pencil at Judge Brown ($25 for contempt).  pg. 92.   

This book, Jack Ruby The Man Who Killed The Man Who Killed Kennedy should have been titled The Anti Rush To Judgement.  Gary Wills was the author, Ovid Demaris was a reporter from Chicago who interviewed and recorded people.  Wills gets to the point with 26 pages left of 266.  He mentions Mark Lane disparagingly 3-4 times in the last 50 pages or so but on page 240 he spends the next six pages on Nancy Perrin Rich and Lane's acceptance of her statements.

Any mention of conspiracy is scoffed at.  Such as Lane's confidence in Garrison.

At points the book does offer interesting if skewed takes on Ruby's trial, appeal and imprisonment .  Quotes from interviews of Sheriff Decker and Assistant D/A Bill Alexander are unique in what I've read.

To paraphrase, The guards testified they didn't believe Ruby was insane because only a sane man could cheat that well at poker.

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