CTKA formerly published Probe Magazine. Most of the articles on this site first appeared in Probe. We will occasionally add new articles as appropriate.
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The Necessary Embrace of Conspiracy by Robert Shetterly
Jesse Ventura’s Conspiracy Theory on JFK, Review by Seamus Coogan
Reclaiming History "How the DA Acquitted everyone but Oswald," Part X of Jim DiEugenio's review.
LBJ: The Mastermind of JFK's Assassination by Phillip F. Nelson. Review by Joseph Green.
No Evil: Social Constructivism & the Forensic Evidence In the Kennedy
Inside the ARRB Reviews of Douglas Horne's multi-volume study of the declassified medical evidence in the JFK case by Jim DiEugenio, David Mantik and Gary Aguilar.
Gary King and Bill Kelly on Journalists and JFK: those who were in and around Dealey Plaza that day and those who made a career of the case afterwards
David Williams on the rather unexamined life and career of Robert Oswald.
Jim DiEugenio does a look back at David Halberstams' runaway best seller on Vietnam "The Best and the Brightest", and why the book has not held up well.
Who is Anton Batey? CTKA takes a close look at a most curious radio host who is a JFK denier, Chomskyite, and yet happens to be in league with John McAdams and David Von Pein. Yep, its all true.
Review by Dr. David Mantik: HEAR NO EVIL: Social Constructivism and
the Forensic Evidence in the Kennedy Assassination by Donald B. Thomas
JFK: The Ruby Connection, Gary Mack's Follies - Part One
By James DiEugenio
All you need to know about the value of the Discovery Channel program JFK: The Ruby Connection is this: Gary Mack is the main talking head, host, and interviewer. If one recalls last year's Discovery debacle, Inside the Target Car, Mack used a series of tricks and omissions to achieve a preordained goal. As they say in the computer programming business it was garbage in, garbage out. In that show, Mack bamboozled the uninitiated in the audience by placing Jackie Kennedy in the wrong position in the limousine (even though Robert Groden told him about this error in advance); he put the exit wound in the wrong place on JFK's head; and he used "replica" skulls that could not have been actual replicas.
These "errors" were all done with apparent objectives in mind. The first was to make the audience believe that if an assassin fired from a certain position from the right front, he would have hit both President Kennedy and Jackie. The actual frames from the Zapruder film prove this is false, Jackie was out of the line of fire. And Gary Mack has watched that film dozens of times. Further, as I said, , Bob Groden alerted him about this on the set. But the truth didn't seem to matter. Mack then placed the exit wound in President Kennedy's skull in a different place than the autopsy report. This second "error" allowed Mack to draw a trajectory line back to the sixth floor. Something he could not have done with the exit location described in the autopsy report, which – on camera – Mack said he had read. Third, he also contracted out with an Australian defense company, to construct "replica" skulls which – as it turned out – were not replicas. As Milicent Cranor pointed out, Mack's own experiment proved they were not. For the bullets fired through the ersatz "replica" skulls did not break apart. But the Warren Commission said that the bullet that killed Kennedy did. Afterwards, Gary Mack said he couldn't figure out why they did not. That's funny. Milicent and I sure could. As I noted, what this experiment actually proved is that: 1.) Either President Kennedy was not hit by Mannlicher Carcano bullets, or 2.) The "replica" skulls were replicas only in the mind of Gary Mack. That is they deliberately did not have anywhere near the density they needed to shatter a bullet. This was obvious in the section of the show where a hunting round was fired at the phony replicas. The ersatz skulls completely shattered like a special effect out of a slasher movie. Not in real life.
I could go on and on about how bad this show was. But I refer you to our gallery of reviews, which deals with that now notorious program. Evidently, like John Lattimer, Gerald Posner, and Dan Rather before him, Gary Mack is being well paid for his sales services. Since it looks like he didn't care about being exposed on each and every level and from multiple angles for Inside the Target Car. If you can believe it, he is at it again. This time, instead of the murder of President Kennedy, his subject is the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald. The guy who Mack – in his new incarnation – now says shot Kennedy.
At this point, it is important to remind the novice reader of an important fact about Gary Mack. Like Gus Russo and Dale Meyers before him, Mack used to be a Warren Commission critic. That is, he used to think Oswald did not shoot Kennedy and the Warren Commission was full of bunk. Around the time of Oliver Stone's JFK, Russo's lifelong friend Dave Perry became his guru during Mack's conversion period. And, according to Perry, he himself was instrumental in getting the reincarnated Gary Mack his present position as Curator of The Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas. (After Perry's confession about this emerged, Mack denied Perry's self-admitted role in his job hunt. So they probably have their stories straightened out by now.)
But the important point about Mack's conversion is this: Like Russo and Meyers, Mack knows what the holes in the official story are. He knows how the critics – with very little money or media exposure – have connected with the public on them. Now that he has flipped sides, he uses the finances of the MSM to mend those holes in the official story. But like Lattimer, Posner, and Rather before him – and as profusely demonstrated by Inside the Target Car – the holes are simply too large for any kind of simple stitching. So what Mack creates is a kind of diaphanous crazy quilt that falls apart at the slightest poke.
(There are a lot of unknowns in the world and life insurance leads for agents take that into account. Being prepared is well worth it.)
One of the problems with this show is that its very title is deceptive. Because there is simply no exploration of who Jack Ruby was and what his connections to the John F. Kennedy case were or may have been. I say "may have been" because, as with Oswald, the Warren Commission's exploration of Ruby's actual background was, to be kind, cursory. To be unkind, today it looks humorous. For instance, the Commission famously wrote that Ruby had no significant link to organized crime. (Jim Marrs, Crossfire, p. 389) Yet the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) listed a series of phone calls made by Ruby in the month leading up to the murder of Kennedy. It clearly exposes that assertion as dubious. In fact, the House Select Committee specifically criticized both the Warren Commission and the FBI for "failing to analyze systematically ... the data in those records. " (Vol. V, p. 188) Ruby's phone usage went up by a factor of 300% in November of 1963. (ibid p. 190) At this time, Ruby was in phone contact with the likes of Irwin Wiener, Barney Baker, Nofio Pecora, Lewis McWillie, and Dusty Miller, all of who had ties to organized crime. (ibid pgs. 193-195) And as Jim Marrs writes in Crossfire, "the record shows his involvement in a number of criminal activities including gambling, narcotics, prostitution, and gun running." (Marrs, p. 389) But, as the quote above shows, these activities were not done only with the Mafia.
Ruby's gun running was at least partly done with former CIA agent Thomas Eli Davis. (Henry Hurt, Reasonable Doubt, pgs 401-405) And Davis' connections reportedly went all the way up to the CIA assassin famously code named QJ/WIN. Davis had a slight resemblance to Oswald and he used the name Oswald at times in his work. (ibid, p. 402) In fact, Ruby was so close to Davis that, after he shot Oswald, Ruby actually volunteered Davis' name to his attorneys. Incredibly, Ruby said that if he beat the Oswald rap he wanted to go back into the gun running business with Davis. (ibid) Both Davis and Ruby had been involved with another gun runner named Robert McKeown. (ibid) McKeown had run guns to Castro and during one of Ruby's contacts with McKeown, Ruby offered him 25,000 dollars for a letter of introduction to the Cuban dictator. (Hurt p. 177) Where Ruby would get that kind of money and why he himself needed to contact Fidel so badly is something that we will mention later, but which Gary Mack never brings up in this show that supposedly tells the viewer about Ruby's connections to the JFK case.
Neither does Mack explain another interesting riddle. Less than three weeks after the assassination, Davis was attempting to sell guns in Morocco. He was arrested. While he was searched, the authorities found a strange handwritten letter on him referring to "Oswald" and the assassination. (ibid p. 403) In fact, there is evidence that on the day of Kennedy's murder, Davis was in Algiers for gun-running activities, and was released with the help of QJ/WIN himself. (ibid p. 404) Geez, those are interesting Ruby connections to the JFK case: Castro, the Mafia, the CIA, and the usage of Oswald's name. They aren't on this program though.
Ruby also lied about how many times he had been to Cuba. He said he had been there only once, in August of 1959. (ibid, p. 178) Yet there is evidence Ruby was there two times just in that same year. Again, it appears the Commission tried to cover up this fact about Ruby. How? By blending the two trips, which took place in August and September, into one. (Warren Report, p. 370, p. 802, WC Vol. XXII p. 859) Robert Blakey, Chief Counsel of the HSCA, once wrote that it was "...established beyond doubt that Ruby lied repeatedly and willfully to the FBI and the Warren Commission about the number of trips he made to Cuba and their duration ... Their purpose, was to courier something, probably money, into or out of Cuba." (Marrs, p. 394)
The man who Ruby was closest to in Havana was the mob associated gambler, Lewis McWillie. Elaine Mynier, a girlfriend of McWillie, described the two men. She said McWillie was "...a big time gambler, who has always been in the big money and operated top gambling establishments in the United States and Cuba. He always had a torpedo (a bodyguard) living with him for protection." She went on to say that Ruby was "a small time character who would do anything for McWillie ... (Marrs, p. 393, italics added) The Commission had to have known that McWillie was a gambler and killer who Ruby idolized. (WC Vol. V, p. 201, Vol. XXIII, p. 166) While managing the Tropicana in Havana, McWillie became associated with some of the Mob's top leaders like Santo Trafficante and Meyer Lansky, who were part owners. (FBI Memo of 3/26/64) It was Trafficante's association with McWillie that has led some commentators to relate one of Ruby's visits to McKeown as a favor for McWillie. In early 1959, McWillie's boss Trafficante was arrested and jailed outside of Havana by Castro. Just a few days later, Ruby got in contact with McKeown. He told McKeown that he represented Las Vegas interests who were seeking the release of three prisoners in Cuba. Ruby told him that he would offer him five thousand dollars per prisoner for his help. McKeown said he wanted to see the money first. (Marrs, p. 396)
McWillie was also a former employee of a main power inside the Delois Green gang – Benny Binion – who had moved to Las Vegas. Binion also worked at the Tropicana in Havana in 1959. (See CD 1193, WC Vol. XXIII p. 163) Binion probably knew Frank Sturgis since Sturgis was Castro's supervisor of gambling concessions in 1959. Further, Ruby was reportedly involved in gun running with Miami arms dealer Eddie Browder. Browder was also involved with Sturgis. (Marrs, p. 392) Frank Sturgis, of course, was connected to the CIA, Castro, and the Mafia.
There was also the testimony of Ruby employee Nancy Perrin Rich to attest to Ruby's intelligence ties and his gun running activities. She testified that she had moved to Dallas in 1962 to reconcile with her husband Robert. Once they did so, two local detectives who knew Robert had helped her find a job. It was tending bar for Jack Ruby. But she said she didn't like Ruby because of his overbearing manner and temper. So she quit.
She said that later her husband Robert had met with a military officer about getting some anti-Castro Cubans out of Cuba and into Miami. This meeting in Dallas was presided over by a U.S. Army colonel. The colonel suggested a cash payment of ten grand. A few nights later, the Perrins met again with the colonel but this time there were a couple of Cubans in attendance. At this second meeting the assignment was more well-defined. They were not just going to get refugees out; they were also running guns into Cuba. When they heard this, the Perrins wanted more money. The implication made by the Cubans and colonel was that the money would be arriving soon via a bagman. Rich then told the Commission: "I had the shock of my life ... A knock comes on the door and who walks in but my little friend Jack Ruby ... and everybody looks like ... here comes the savior." The Commission did not mention any of Rich's testimony in their report. Further, in 1966, Nancy Rich told Mark Lane that the Commission had eliminated the telling detail that, outside of the apartment house where the second meeting took place, was a cache of military armaments. (Mark Lane, Rush to Judgment, pgs 287-297, Marrs, p. 397)
In fact, this aspect of Ruby's life – his relations to CIA-Mafia activities in Cuba – was obvious to even Commission staffers. Warren Commission attorneys Leon Hubert and Burt Griffin, who ran the Ruby investigation, wrote a memo to Chief Counsel J. Lee Rankin in March of 1964. They wrote that, "The most promising links between Jack Ruby and the assassination of President Kennedy are established through underworld figures and anti-Castro Cubans and extreme right-wing Americans." (John Armstrong, Harvey and Lee, p. 948) Two months later, they wrote another memo: "We believe that a reasonable possibility exists that Ruby has maintained a close interest in Cuban affairs to the extent necessary to participate in gun sales and smuggling ... Neither Oswald's Cuban interests in Dallas nor Ruby's Cuban activities have been adequately explored ... We believe the possibility exists, based on evidence already available, that Ruby was involved in illegal dealings with Cuban elements who might have had contact with Oswald. The existence of such dealings can only be surmised since the present investigation has not focused on that area." (WC Memorandum to J. Lee Rankin, 5/14/64) In other words, Griffin and Hubert were saying that the connection between the two men very likely existed in these Cuban matters. But since the FBI was not interested in it, they couldn't really discover if it was there.
Like Oswald, Jack Ruby was in the middle of the Cuban conflict as it extended into the United States. And he connected to each of the domestic power centers that interacted with that conflict. The program under review is silent about this.
As most everyone knows today, but what this show does not reveal, is that Ruby was also an FBI informant. A fact that J. Edgar Hoover tried to get the Warren Commission to conceal. Which they willingly did for him. (Hurt, p. 177) As one FBI report, partly censored by the Warren Commission revealed, the FBI not only knew about Ruby's ties to underworld gambling in Dallas and Fort Worth, but their informant said that for Ruby to carry them on as he did, he had to have police connections in both cities. (FBI report of 12/6/63) This informant, a man named William Abadie, had briefly worked for Ruby writing gambling "tickets" as well as serving as a "slot machine and jukebox mechanic." He went on to say that he had observed policemen coming and going while acting as a bookie in Ruby's establishment.
Further in this regard, Jim Marrs writes that another source told the Bureau that when he attempted to set up a lottery game in Dallas in 1962, he "was told it would be necessary to obtain the approval of Jack Ruby, since any "fix" with local authorities had to come through Ruby." (Marrs, p. 390) Another source echoed this accusation by saying that Ruby was a payoff man for the Dallas Police Department. (CD 4, p. 529) Ruby also allegedly could fix things with the county authorities (WC Vol. XXIII p. 372) This last revelation was from the wife of one James Breen. She said her husband "had made connection with large narcotics set up operating between Mexico, Texas, and the East ... In some fashion James got the okay to operate through Jack Ruby of Dallas." (ibid, p. 369) Reinforcing Ruby's ties to the drug trade, a veteran of the Special Services Bureau (SSB) of the Dallas Police said that he regarded Ruby as a source of information in connection with his investigatory activities. In other words, Ruby was a police informant on the narcotics beat. (WC Vol. XIII p. 183) The vice-chief of the SSB unit considered himself fairly close to Ruby and allegedly visited his clubs frequently. (WC Vol. XXIII p. 78 and p. 207)
As Sylvia Meagher pointed out in Accessories After the Fact, one indication of just how close to the police Ruby was is this: He had been arrested several times, yet each time he had gotten off easily. (p. 423) For instance, Ruby had been arrested twice for carrying a concealed weapon. In each case, no charges were filed and he was released the same day. (ibid, p. 422) So its no surprise that, when the police had Oswald incarcerated, Ruby would be roaming the corridors with a weapon in his pocket. Like his ties to mobsters, his vast police contacts were so commonly known that the Warren Commission had to disguise them. One way they did this was to write in the Warren Report that "the evidence indicates that Ruby was keenly interested in policemen and their work." (WR p. 800) Phrased in that way, we are supposed to believe that Ruby was interested in joining the force.
Another way that the Warren Commission tried to camouflage Ruby's multi-tiered connections to the police was by minimizing the number of officers he knew. Quoting Police Chief Jesse Curry, the Commission states that Ruby knew approximately 25-50 of the 1,175 men in the DPD. (WR p. 224) Meagher found this so strained as to be risible. She wrote that of the 75 policemen present when Oswald was shot, Ruby knew at least forty of them. (Meagher, p. 423) She then adds that if this same ratio was consistent for the entire force, Ruby had to have known nearly 600 officers. Several witnesses back this up. Joseph Cavagnaro, manager of the Sheraton Dallas Hotel, told the FBI that Ruby "knew all the policemen in town" and was well-acquainted with a great number of them. (Lane, p. 232) A police lieutenant told the FBI that Ruby was well known among the members of the DPD. (ibid, p. 233) Musician Johnny Cola knew Ruby for years on a personal basis. He said that "Ruby at least had a speaking acquaintance with most of the policemen in the Dallas Police Department." (ibid) Edward McBee, a Dallas bartender who also knew Ruby well, told the FBI that Ruby "knew many, and probably most, of the officers on the Dallas Police Department." (ibid) William O'Donnell knew Ruby for 16 years and worked for him at the Carousel Club. He stated that "Ruby is on speaking terms with about 700 out of the 1200 men on the police force" and that he was "not at all surprised to learn of Ruby's admittance to the basement." (ibid)
The Commission also covered up Ruby's closeness with the police by saying that Ruby served them "free coffee and soft drinks" at his Carousel Club. He actually had his bartenders serve them free alcoholic beverages. O'Donnell said that when police officers dropped in at the Carousel, they were admitted without charge and given a free "round of drinks". (ibid) A former police officer named Theodore Fleming said that many officers were on a first name basis with Ruby and that 90% of the time, Ruby served them free drinks. (ibid) Another police officer, Hugh Smith, said that, when he joined the force, Ruby's place was recommended to him by another police officer. Smith then added that a great many officers frequented the club socially and that Ruby actually gave them bottles of liquor. He continued by saying that one officer actually used Ruby's apartment on several occasions. (ibid p. 234) Smith's statement about giving away bottles of liquor to the DPD was reinforced at the other end of the transaction. A former waitress at the Carousel, Janice Jones, described the same donation by Ruby. (ibid)
But a stripper at the Carousel, Shari Angel, said the donations went even further. The officers "all got payola, to look over – a lot of stuff ... You could see 'em right up to the office getting their little pay. Patrolmen didn't usually do it. It was detectives, vice squad, and all that." (Ian Griggs, No Case to Answer, p. 222) This clearly suggests graft for either narcotics or prostitution, or perhaps both. (And it is an idea we will return to when we discus the Rose Cheramie incident.)
But it was not with just the DPD that Ruby was friendly. Ruby also knew lawyers in the district attorney's office. On 11/21/63 he visited and chatted with Assistant DA Bill Alexander, Vincent Bugliosi's trusted source. Ruby said that he and Alexander were "great friends". (Lane, p. 261) They were such good friends that Alexander had a permanent pass to the Carousel. (Griggs, p. 222) Ester Ann Mash, a former employee who dated Ruby in early 1963, revealed that he took her to the homes of some famous citizens. At once such gathering, DA Henry Wade was in attendance. (Marrs, p. 390)
The credibility and quantity of the above evidence is convincing. So much so that it sheds backward light on a curious statement that Nancy Perrin Rich made to Mark Lane. In referring to the famous incident of Ruby disguising himself as a reporter at the Dallas Police Station, she said that "Anyone that made that statement would be either a damn liar or a damn fool." (Lane, p. 288) Why? Because there was no way Ruby could disguise himself at the station. For the simple reasons that 1.) There was not a cop in Dallas that did not know him, and 2.) Ruby almost lived at the place. (ibid)
If Rich's well-informed and fascinating deduction is correct, then Ruby may have disguised himself not to elude the DPD, but to protect his good friends. In other words, he was giving his good friends an out. You can't get much closer than that. And therefore if Ruby was on a mission for his higher -ups on 11/24, he was the perfect man to choose since by hook or by crook, he could get into the police basement easily.
Revising Garrison, the term can also be applied when the investigative body doesn't want to nail a motive down. Or to put it more directly: when a cover-up is enacted afterwards. In this aspect, like nearly every other, JFK: The Ruby Connection sides with the Warren Commission. Recall what they said: "There is no evidence that Oswald and Ruby knew each other or had any relationship through a third party or parties." (Quoted in Marrs, p. 403) So in addition to leaving out any connection by Ruby to the complex CIA-Mafia Cuban matrix, and his multitude of long-standing, and deep associations with the Dallas Police, JFK: The Ruby Connection clearly implies that there was no previous relationship between Ruby and Oswald.
Before addressing this important point, let me add a caveat. It is an issue that can never be conclusively answered or spelled out. Simply because, as most serious students of this case understand, J. Edgar Hoover was not interested in investigating any conspiracy in the Kennedy case. (Click here for the proof that, beyond a reasonable doubt, he wasn't.) But although the FBI and the Warren Commission did all they could to sidestep this point, many clues were left behind that clearly suggest the two knew each other. In fact, the HSCA revised the Commission verdict on this point: "The Committee's investigation of Oswald and Ruby showed a variety of relationships that may have matured into an assassination conspiracy. Neither Oswald nor Ruby turned out to be "loners" as they had been painted in the 1964 investigation." (ibid) Since this show does not elucidate why that could be so, let us do that for them.
Frances Irene Hise was a woman who was applying for a job as a waitress at the Carousel Club. She said that during the interview, she saw a man enter through the rear who Ruby greeted with, "Hi, Ozzie." Ruby then directed this man to go to the back room. Ruby then finished talking to Hise. At that point, he turned and joined "Ozzie" in the back room. On another occasion, "Ozzie" came into the club and asked her if he could buy her a drink. After the assassination, Hise was sure that "Ozzie" was Oswald. (Probe Vol. 5 No. 1, p. 22)
In early December of 1963 a man named Howard Peterson of Chicago told the FBI that he had a cousin who lived in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. She had written him and his wife a few days after Kennedy was killed. In her letter she had referred to the murder of Oswald by Ruby. And she added that she had seen Oswald in Ruby's nightclub. (FBI Report of 12/9/63) Harvey L. Wade also saw Oswald at Ruby's club. In the latter part of the second week of November he was in Dallas attending a convention of construction builders. While there, he visited Ruby's Carousel Club. He recalled seeing Oswald at a table with two men. One of the men appeared to be quite dark, perhaps Mexican. Mr. Wade said a picture was flashed of the threesome. But Ruby then came over and yelled that the picture did not come out. Wade said the emcee was a man who did a "memory skit". (FBI Report of 11/26/63)
Wade's quite detailed report jibes with what William D. Crowe told several people after the Kennedy assassination. Crowe's stage name was Billy DeMar. He told a reporter for the Associated Press that he was sure Oswald had been in Ruby's club. He went on to say that "I have a memory act in which I have 20 customers call out various objects in rapid order. Then I tell them at random what they called out. I am positive Oswald was one of the men that called out an object about nine days ago." (AP report of 11/25) Mr. Crowe was visited by the FBI and they discouraged him from repeating his story. The Warren Commission tried to discredit him by writing that he was never really positive about his ID of Oswald. Yet Crowe told the same story to the Dallas Morning News a few days after he talked to the AP. (Marrs, p. 405)
Then there is the matter of Oswald and Ruby's automobile. Many people who have read John Armstrong's Harvey and Lee, or the long excerpts of it in Probe (see Vol. 4 No. 6, and Vol. 5 No. 1), realize that there is a controversy over whether or not Oswald could drive. Some people, like Ruth Paine, say he did not. Many more say he could. Two garage mechanics who worked on Ruby's car say they saw Oswald drive Ruby's auto. One was Robert Roy, who said Oswald did this more than once. (Probe, Vol. 5 No. 1 p. 22) The other mechanic was a man named William J. Chesher. The information about Chesher first came to the Dallas Police through an informant friend of the mechanic in December of 1963. (Police report of 12/9/63) Yet the DPD detectives did not actively follow this lead until April. Unfortunately, Chesher had died of a heart attack on March 31, 1964. (Police report of 4/3/64)
Chuck Boyles ran a late night talk show on KLIF radio in Dallas. During the broadcast, he frequently talked about the Kennedy assassination. One evening an unidentified woman called in and said she knew of several phone calls between Ruby and Oswald. The woman said she knew about this since she worked as a phone operator in the WHitehall exchange area. Not only did she remember the calls, but she said the phone company had records of them. She said she remembered them because Ruby often used the "emergency breakthrough" technique. That is he would interrupt a busy signal to say the call was dire. The operator would then interrupt the call in session, and later make a note of it. The woman said that Ruby used this trick so frequently that she remembered his name and his numerous calls. (Armstrong, p. 768) This story gets partial corroboration through a man named Ray Acker. Acker was an Area Commercial Manager for Southwestern Bell. After the assassination, Acker took phone company records to the DPD.. He told the police they were proof of calls between Ruby and Oswald. Acker said that after he turned the records over he was told to go home and keep his mouth shut. (Garrison Memorandum of 9/16/67)
On the evening of 11/21/63, when Lee Harvey Oswald was at the Paine household in Irving, a knock came at the door of an apartment in Oak Cliff. The apartment belonged to an SMU professor. His friend Helen McIntosh greeted the unknown young man. The young man asked for Jack Ruby. The professor told Helen to tell him that Ruby lived in the apartment next door. Which he did. The next day, when Oswald's picture got on television, Helen said that this was the young man who knocked on the apartment door the night before. (Armstrong, p. 789) Obviously, it could not have been the real Oswald. But it could have been the man who resembled Oswald who Roger Craig saw get into a Nash Rambler in Dealey Plaza the next day. If this was so, then Ruby knew a ton more about the assassination than the Warren Commission ever let on.
Finally, there is the unforgettable story told by Rose Cheramie. She was the drug addict who had worked for Ruby. She was picked up undergoing a drug withdrawal on November 20, 1963. State Trooper Frances Fruge was notified and drove her to Jackson State Hospital. Calmed by a sedative, she told Fruge that she had been abandoned by two men who were on their way to Dallas to kill President Kennedy. They were part of a southeastern drug and prostitution ring. Rose was their courier for a drug transaction, which was to be enacted in Galveston. Fruge dismissed this all as the ranting of a drug user. But after Kennedy was killed, he went to the hospital to question her and also turn her over to the authorities. He later learned that she had also predicted at the hospital that the assassination was going to happen. Rose also told two men at the hospital, Doctors Weiss and Owen, that Ruby was involved in the Kennedy plot. And she told both Weiss and Fruge that she had seen Oswald at Ruby's club. When Fruge tried to pass Rose on to the DPD, they were not interested. (The Assassinations, edited by James DiEugenio and Lisa Pease, pgs. 225-228)
All one needs to know about the latest Gary Mack fiasco is this: Almost none of the above is included in the hour. Nothing about the involvement of Ruby and Oswald in the Cuban conflict through the CIA and the Mafia; virtually none of the plentiful and multi-leveled connections of Ruby to the DPD; and none of the witnesses who indicate Oswald and Ruby knew each other.
This, of course, is ridiculous. For if a program is trying to explore whether or not Ruby shot Oswald to conceal a plot to kill Kennedy, then it is fundamentally dishonest not to tell the viewer about the above. Because clearly those three areas of evidence would suggest the following:
If this were all made clear to the viewer, one implication would be this. The CIA contacted one of the mobsters that they used in the plots to kill Castro: they needed some help again. From there the word was then sent down through intermediaries to Ruby. Ruby then used his extensive network of police contacts to silence Oswald before he could talk. All one needs to do to make this credible is recall the words of McWillie's girlfriend Elaine Mynier. She said that Ruby would do anything for McWillie. McWillie knew Trafficante since he had worked for him in Cuba. McWillie was also in contact with Ruby the month before the Kennedy assassination. Finally, Trafficante was one of the two main Cosa Nostra chieftains the CIA used in their (unsuccessful) plots to kill Fidel Castro. This time, it looks like they pulled it off.
But you would never know any of this from watching JFK: The Ruby Connection. Because according to Gary Mack, there really was no connection. None between Oswald and Ruby, none of note between the Dallas Police and Ruby, and none between the CIA, the Mafia, and Ruby.
Yep, sure Gary. And George W. Bush was a good president. As in Inside the Target Car, Gary Mack is in his Wizard of Oz mode again – hard at work spinning black propaganda. And, as we shall see, it gets worse.
Addendum: The reader can see that I used John Armstrong's excellent Harvey and Lee as a major source for this essay. This book is now available through The Last Hurrah Bookshop.
Read about the earliest Warren Report critics in John Kelin's new book, Praise from a Future Generation.