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Thread: JFK-The Ruby Connection Jim DiEugenio

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    Default JFK-The Ruby Connection Jim DiEugenio

    JFK: The Ruby Connection, Gary Mack's Follies Continued
    Part One
    By James DiEugenio

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    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. (Click here to begin.) 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.

    I

    "What concerned Moroccan officials ... was a letter they discovered on Davis ... dealing with "Oswald" and the assassination."

    —Henry Hurt, describing Ruby's friend Thomas Davis

    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.

    II

    "Starting with Sunday afternoon, you could no longer find a policeman in town who said he knew Ruby."

    —Seth Kantor

    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.

    III

    Let me dispose of this concept of the "temporarily deranged man." This is a catchall term employed whenever the real motive of a crime can't be nailed down.

    —Jim Garrison, describing Ruby's shooting of Oswald

    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:

    Ruby and Oswald shared connections to the CIA and the Mafia

    Ruby and Oswald knew each other through their experience in the Cuban crisis as extended into the USA

    Ruby used his police contacts to enter the basement of City Hall and kill Oswald.

    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.


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  2. #2

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    JFK: The Ruby Connection, Gary Mack's Follies Continued
    Part Two
    By James DiEugenio

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    As I proved in Part One, the title to this documentary is a misnomer. Since it deliberately shears off all the possible connections Jack Ruby could have to the Kennedy assassination i.e., to the Cosa Nostra, to the CIA, to Oswald, and finally to the Dallas Police. In Part One, I presented only a prιcis of the multitude of connections Jack Ruby had to those three entities and to Oswald. Other authors, like Jim Marrs and John Armstrong, have done longer and fuller examinations of what those ties were. For instance, Armstrong traces Ruby's gun-running activities with the CIA back to the late fifties. But how could that be if Castro was not in power at the time? Because, as it often does, the CIA was playing both sides in the Batista/Castro struggle. So they were actually sending some aid to Castro at the time. And Ruby appears to have been part of it. (See John Armstrong, Harvey and Lee, pgs. 177, 586)

    The Warren Commission attempted to conceal almost everything I dealt with in Part One. But since they published 26 volumes of evidence, some of it managed to slip through. In the intervening years, due to declassification, field investigation, and the work of the House Select Committee on Assassinations, the final Commission cover-up about Ruby fell apart. (I say "final" because as we have seen, even the assistant counsel of the Commission understood that, with Ruby, it was just a matter of how hard you wanted to dig.) With his low-level ties to the CIA, and mid-level ties to the Cosa Nostra, plus his ties to the Dallas Police as a source of information about narcotics – and probably as a source of graft in more ways than one – Ruby seems a logical choice to enter the basement of City Hall on 11/24 and polish off Oswald.

    Like the Warren Commission, Gary Mack leaves all this out and reduces Jack Ruby, the man who Henry Hurt called, "A Pimp for All Seasons" , to a cipher. When, in fact, as far back as November of 1973 in Ramparts, Peter Dale Scott described Ruby as being part of the "longest cover-up", and that Ruby's sinister connections were even harder to conceal than Oswald's. Scott wrote about the Ruby cover-up in 1973. This Discovery Channel program is being broadcast in November and December of 2009! Thirty six years later, they are continuing the Ruby cover-up.

    As with Inside the Target Car, once you understand the objective, you can understand why the show does what it does. Like the Warren Commission, if you conceal who Ruby is, then it is much easier to portray what he did as something like a random act of violence. Or as the Commission said, and Oliver Stone parodied so memorably, you can disguise Ruby killing Oswald as the desperate act of a patriotic bartender who wanted to spare Jackie Kennedy the pain of sitting through a trial. But by depriving Oswald of is day in court, what the Commission and Ruby actually accomplished was this: Oswald may very well have been acquitted at trial. Or worse, he may have talked during or before the proceedings. In that sense, Ruby's silencing of Oswald can be seen as a way of sealing off the best attempt at cracking the conspiracy. If you do what this show does, that is send Ruby through a twenty dollar car wash, dry him off, spray deodorant all over him, and give him a makeover, then you mislead the audience as to any motive Ruby could have besides sparing Jackie Kennedy.

    But that is what this show does. And, as we shall see, Gary Mack knows better.

    I

    One of the more gassy and pretentious devices the show uses is a sub-titled timeline combined with a glass map over which the stage named Gary Mack (real name Larry Dunkel) traces with his finger. In other words, an event will be time stamped on the screen and then Mack/Dunkel will trace and match that with what the other party, say Ruby, was doing at the time. Or else he will trace the path that Ruby traveled from say his apartment to the Western Union station on Sunday morning. I think this was done to give the show a veneer of scientific investigation. In other words, to convince the audience that, as in Dragnet, the show was after "Just the facts, m'am." The problem is that what matters are which facts you choose to time stamp, and how you figure that particular time. And the problems this show has in that regard are revealed very early.

    For instance, the narrator intones that Oswald took a bus, then a taxi out of Dealey Plaza after the assassination. He then arrived at his rooming house at about 1:00 PM, then Officer J. D. Tippit was shot at 1:15 at 10th and Patton. No surprise, the show agrees with the Warren Commission: Oswald shot him and then fled the scene. I exaggerate very slightly when I say that this is all dealt with in about a minute. In other words it is completely glossed over in order to incriminate Oswald in the Tippit murder. It is never explained that Oswald took a bus headed the wrong way, apparently realized it, and then walked back to the Dealey Plaza area. That he next hailed a taxi, and then offered to give up the taxi to an elderly lady who declined. When she did, he then took the taxi to a point actually past his rooming house. I believe all this is shoved under the rug so the viewer does not ask the logical questions which would follow: 1.) If he shot Kennedy why didn't Oswald stay on the bus and take it to the outskirts of town? 2.) If he was in a hurry to leave the area, why did he return to it? 3.) If he wanted faster transportation out of town, why did he offer to give up the cab ride? 4.) Did he take his taxi past the rooming house in order to scope out if anyone was there?

    Once Oswald left his rooming house, why was he then last scene waiting for a bus going the wrong way from 10th and Patton, the scene of the Tippit murder? Mack/Dunkel then chose his time of Tippit's murder to roughly match the Warren Commission's time for the shooting. His 1:15 time is specious. But since Mack/Dunkel is protecting the official story he has to do it. But the two most reliable times at the scene of the shooting would make it nearly impossible for Oswald to arrive at t scene of the crime in time to kill Tippit then. Those would be T. F. Bowley and Helen Markham. (Markham did not become hysterical and unreliable until after the shooting.) Bowley said he looked at his watch after he stopped his car near the scene of the shooting. It said 1:10. (John Armstrong, Harvey and Lee, p. 848) Markham had a regular routine where she washed her clothes at the washateria on the first floor of her building, then went to work. By this, she placed the time of the shooting at 1:06. (ibid, Armstrong) It would be incredible for Oswald to have traversed nearly a mile in the time period provided by these witnesses. So the Commission did two things. First, it ignored the actual time of its own reconstruction of the walk from the rooming house to 10th and Patton. It cut about five minutes from it. (Harold Weisberg Whitewash II, p. 25) As Weisberg writes, the Commission "staff got Oswald to the scene of the Tippit murder five minutes after the murder was broadcast on the police radio." (ibid) Second, the Warren Commission requested a verbatim transcript of the police log. They ended up getting three versions of it: one in December, one in April, and one in August. The transcripts did not match each other. For instance, the order for Tippit to move into central Oak Cliff was absent from the first transcript. (See Weisberg, p. 24; Sylvia Meagher, Accessories After the Fact, p. 261) Further, the Secret Service "improvement" of the transcripts began as early as December 6th. (Weisberg, p. 25)

    The ballistics evidence at the scene of the crime exonerates Oswald further. So much so that it clearly suggests a cover up by the Dallas Police. There were two early reports by the police that the man at the scene was carrying an automatic pistol. In fact, Gerald Hill actually reported that the shells at the scene indicated the suspect was armed with an automatic. (Jim Garrison, On the Trail of the Assassins, p. 198) As both Garrison and Robert Groden (in his book The Search for Lee Harvey Oswald) show, it is hard to believe that anyone who could identify an automatic could mistake it for a revolver. And second, could mistake automatic shells for a revolver's shells.

    The next Tippit anomaly was that the shells did not match the bullets. The police said there were two Winchester/Western shells and two Remington-Peters shells found at the scene. Yet, turned over to the Commission, were three Winchester copper bullets and one Remington lead bullet. (Armstrong, p. 850) As many have commented, since when does Remington put Winchester bullets in their shells?

    I say "turned over to the Commission" because the bullets had a strange chain of custody. Instead of sending all the bullets to the FBI lab, the Dallas Police sent only one. (Garrison, p. 199) Probably because they did not want to advertise the fact that the shells and bullets did not add up. They also held up the release of Tippit's autopsy report for three weeks. (Weisberg, p. 28) This tardiness caused errors in the first Secret Service report of Tippit's murder, which said he was shot only twice. When he was actually shot four times. (ibid, p. 26) The absence of an autopsy report also allowed the police to tell the FBI that this was the only bullet found in Tippit's body. (Garrison, p. 199) Which was false. (Weisberg, p. 29)

    This bullet did not match Oswald's revolver. The reason given was that the bullet was too mutilated. (Armstrong, p. 850) So now the Commission asked the FBI to find the other bullets. Four months later they were found in the files of the Dallas homicide office, the domain of Capt. Will Fritz – aka Barney Fife. (Garrison, ibid) There has never been any cogent reason proffered as to why they were kept from the Bureau and the Commission for that long.

    But the FBI told the Commission that they still could not find a match. The reason given was that the revolver attributed to Oswald was a .38 Special that had its bullet chambers slightly enlarged so the identification markings were difficult to decipher.(Armstrong, ibid) So now the ballistics evidence relied on the cartridges. To link Oswald to the crime. The cartridges, unlike the bullets, were in the province of the police from the time of the murder. At the scene of the crime, the police are supposed to make out a report listing the evidence recovered there. The police did not list any cartridges as first day evidence. (Garrison, p. 200) It was not until six days after the police sent the single bullet to the FBI that the cartridges made it into the evidence summary. Again, why this was so has never been adequately explained. Once they arrived, presto! The FBI said they matched the revolver in evidence.

    Except there was a huge cloud over this alleged match. At the scene of the crime, Gerald Hill told officer J. M. Poe to mark the shells for identification purposes. (Henry Hurt, Reasonable Doubt, p. 153) This was a routine matter for a homicide detective, which Poe was. In 1984 Poe told author Henry Hurt that he was certain he had done this. When Hurt inspected the shells at the National Archives, Poe's initials were nowhere to be found. (ibid, p. 154) As both Hurt and Garrison write, the ballistics evidence more than suggests that the murderer was not Oswald. That the Dallas Police understood this. That they then fired the revolver in evidence after the fact in order to finally produce shells that matched the revolver.

    I could go into other aspects of the Tippit murder that exculpate Oswald. A witness said that the killer came up to the right side of the car and might have touched it. Fingerprints were later recovered from that part of the cruiser car. They did not match Oswald's. (Armstrong, p. 861) There was also the allegedly discarded jacket with a laundry tag. The Commission checked 293 laundries in both New Orleans and Dallas but was unable to match the tag or laundry mark on the jacket to any of them. (ibid p. 855) But for me the clincher is the following.

    When FBI agent Bob Barrett arrived at the scene of the murder, Captain Westbrook asked him two odd questions: "Do you know who Lee Harvey Oswald is?" and then, "Do you know who Alek Hidell is?" Barrett said no to both since Oswald has not been charged yet with the Tippit murder. So how could Westbrook know about him at that time? Because Westbrook had a wallet with both of those name identifications inside. (ibid, p. 862) He found it near a puddle of blood where Tippit's body was. WFAA-TV cameraman Ron Reiland shot film footage of the wallet being passed around to various law enforcement agents at the scene. But the official story has Oswald's wallet being discovered on his person as he was driven from the Texas Theater, where he was apprehended, to City Hall. It was then turned over to Officer C. T. Walker. (ibid, p. 868) Yet, according to the Warren Report, Oswald allegedly left his wallet in a dresser drawer at the Paine household that morning. (p. 15)

    What kind of a person maintains three wallets? And then carries two wallets to work with him? But worse, if Oswald shot Tippit, why on earth would he leave his wallet at the scene of the crime?

    In the face of the evidentiary mess above, Mack/Dunkel says that the Tippit murder is an open and shut case: Oswald did it. To which I reply: "Are you for real?" Which, as we shall see, this program is not.

    II

    Mack/Dunkel begins the program with the complaint that Jack Ruby cheated history. Which might be a good way to open a show that was open ended in its discussion of the Kennedy case. Maybe we will now see both sides of the argument and be allowed to come to our own conclusions. But Mack/Dunkel quickly reveals this will not be the approach. He quickly adds that Ruby cheated history only insofar as the public will never know what drove Oswald to do what he did that day. You mean like murdering Tippit? Question to Gary/Larry: Would you like to explain to a jury how Oswald had three wallets on the morning of November 22nd? Would you also like to explain to them how Detective Poe's initials disappeared from the shells? Or how a jacket with a laundry tag never got laundered?

    The show also says that Oswald was 1.) a rabid Marxist, 2.) a Soviet exile and 3.) a Marine marksman. My reply to this is: Three strikes and you're out. He was none of these. A rabid Marxist who knew no other Marxists, eh? When was Oswald exiled from the Soviet Union? The record says he left on his own with a Russian wife. Finally, he may have technically qualified as a Marine marksman since that was the lowest qualifying category. But everyone, even members of the Commission like Wesley Liebeler, understood he was not a good shot. And no one who saw him fire could believe he pulled off the extraordinary feat of sharpshooting that killed President Kennedy. (Hurt, p. 198)

    Mack/Dunkel keeps up the program's low level of scholarship by saying that, when Oswald was arrested at the Texas Theater, he drew his handgun and attempted to fire at a cop. Gil Jesus, among others, has shown that this was later exposed as a likely fabrication. Testimony by the FBI said that the firing pin never touched any of the bullets in the chambers. So what did the Dallas Police come up with as a fallback? That Oswald's skin got caught in the mechanism. Hmm.

    One of the strangest and most shameful episodes in the program is how it deals with Ruby's presence at the press conference on the evening of November 22nd at Dallas Police HQ. They acknowledge that Ruby was there. They even show two still photographs of him. But Mack/Dunkel can't bring himself to tell the American public two crucial facts about his presence there. First, that Ruby attempted to disguise himself as a reporter while in the gallery of DA Henry Wade's press conference. (Hurt, p. 185) By ignoring that, Mack/Dunkel does not have to explain why Ruby would do such a thing.

    But second, and even worse, Mack/Dunkel does not tell the public that Ruby actually said something during this conference. In briefing the press about Oswald, Wade mistakenly said he belonged to he Free Cuba Committee, which was a rightwing, anti-Castro group. Ruby quickly corrected this error and said that Oswald belonged to the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, a leftist pro-Castro group. (Hurt, p. 186) Ruby apparently knew the difference between them. But further, he wanted the record to show that Wade was wrong and there should be no confusion about Oswald. By depriving the public of this crucial information, Mack/Dunkel cuts off any curiosity about how Ruby could know such a thing about Oswald and why he would be determined to correct the record. No one else did.

    Throughout this coverage of Friday, Mack/Dunkel is hard at work on his See No Evil-Hear No Evil-Say No Evil time line showing no relation between Oswald and Ruby's activities. Let's make a different time line of Ruby's Friday activities. One that is not censored by a preconceived agenda. Let's start with Julia Ann Mercer's testimony. Remember, the Commission did not call her as a witness and she is not mentioned in the Warren Report. (Hurt, p. 114) So apparently, for this program, she doesn't exist. Mercer said that a little before 11:00 AM, she was driving west on Elm Street, a little beyond where President Kennedy would be killed. Once she got past the triple underpass, traffic was slowed by a green truck stopped in her lane. As she waited, a young man got out of the passenger's side and went to the side tool compartment. He then took out a long package and walked up the embankment to the grassy knoll area. As she tried to pass the truck, her eyes locked onto the driver. She got a good look at him. She later identified this man as Ruby. (ibid, pgs. 114-115)

    Ruby was next seen at the offices of the Dallas Morning News. This was right around the time of the assassination. One reporter said that Ruby disappeared for about 20-25 minutes, and then reappeared after the assassination. There is a photo of a man who looks much like Ruby in Dealey Plaza. And the newspaper offices were only four blocks away. If the idea was to give himself a convenient alibi, but to be in relatively close proximity to the crime scene, this fit the bill. (ibid, p. 184)

    After the assassination, at around 1:30 PM, Ruby was seen by two reliable witnesses at Parkland Hospital. One of the witnesses, reporter Seth Kantor, said he actually exchanged words with Ruby. (ibid) The Warren Commission bought Ruby's denial about this incident. The House Select Committee on Assassinations didn't buy it. They believed Ruby was there. As some have speculated, it may have been Ruby who planted the Magic Bullet on the wrong stretcher at Parkland Hospital.

    After Oswald was apprehended and paraded out for his first line up, there are reports of Ruby being at the police department. This was about 4:30 and "he spoke and shook hands with people he knew." (ibid, p.185)

    That evening, Ruby decided to take some sandwiches up to the police department for those cops working over time on the JFK case. He called in advance and was told this was not necessary. But he showed up anyway. (Ibid) He ended up on the third floor, mingling with reporters. He then followed the reporters to the basement and did his reporter impression. Except, at that time, he knew more than either Wade or the reporters did about Oswald.

    Talk about connections. There is a barrel full of them. You have Ruby possibly delivering a weapon to the crime scene, allowing himself an alibi for being near the actual shooting, following Kennedy's body to Parkland – and perhaps planting a false bullet – monitoring Oswald's movements at the Dallas Police HQ, and finally sneaking into a press conference and maintaining Oswald as a fake Marxist by correcting an error by the DA. If the program had given us Ruby's true background, as I did in Part One, and then drew this particular time line, the audience could have come to a more informed opinion about Ruby's possible connections to the JFK murder. In regards to that, I must quote Mack/Dunkel's comment: "The problem for those investigating the assassination is whether or not to put Ruby involved in a conspiracy with Oswald: how do they mix the two together in a way that makes sense today?" My reply: Did you ever hear of the CIA/Mafia plots to kill Castro? If so, why did you not mention them?

    In light of what the show actually does, the real title of the program should be: "How to Erase Ruby's Connections to the JFK case".

    III

    As with the Tippit killing, the show assumes Oswald killed Kennedy. Mack/Dunkel has former Dallas cop Jim Leavelle say that if Oswald had not been killed, he would have been convicted and may still have been incarcerated and running out his appeals. Mack/Dunkel echoes this by saying that many people wonder what would have happened if Oswald had gone to trial. He then adds that a good lawyer would want to keep Oswald off the stand and that a lot of testimony would have been presented as to what did and did not happen.

    By doing this, the show cuts off any possibility of a conspiracy in the JFK case. Which, of course, makes the whole "patriotic nightclub owner" faηade possible. Personally, if I was on the defense team, I would have put Oswald on the stand. One question I would have asked him is this: Did you ever live at 544 Camp street? If not, then why did you stamp that address on the flyers you handed out in New Orleans? This would have shown Oswald for who he really was. I then would have handed him a hunting round, like the one Parkland security officer O. P. Wright found and gave to the Secret Service. I would then have produced the rifle in evidence and asked Oswald if he thought that round would work in that rifle. I would then have asked him if he ever purchased the proper ammunition for that rifle, which an investigation showed he did not. I then would have recalled Wright to the stand and asked him if the FBI ever showed him CE 399-the so-called Magic Bullet that went through President Kennedy and Gov. Connally – and if so, had he identified it as the bullet he turned over to the Secret Service. After he said he did not, I would have exposed the FBI as liars in that regard. (Josiah Thompson, Six Seconds in Dallas, p. 175) Then, to further decimate the ballistics evidence, I would have called FBI agent Elmer Lee Todd to the stand. I would have shown him the FBI document that says he placed his initials on CE 399. I then would have handed him CE 399 and asked him where those initials were. After he failed to locate them, since they are not there, I would have further exposed the FBI frame up of Oswald. I then would have shown Todd the receipt that says he got CE 399 at the White House from the Secret Service at 8:50 the night of the 22nd. I then would have shown him Robert Frazier's work log which says he received the stretcher bullet at FBI HQ at 7:30, an hour and twenty minutes before Todd gave it to him. (See my Reclaiming History series, Part 7, Section three) I would hen have asked Todd how Frazier could have been in receipt of CE 399 before he gave it to him. When Todd got tongue-tied, I would have asked the judge to throw out the prosecution's case. The prosecution would have probably offered no objection. If the judge was anyone besides Mack/Dunkel, he would have granted the motion.

    So much for the empty, unchallenged claims of Dallas cop Jim Leavelle.

    From here the show moves to Mack/Dunkel's grand finale. Which he actually called a "recreation" of Ruby's killing of Oswald. It has about as much credibility as his recreation of Kennedy's assassination for Inside the Target Car. Which is none.

    Mack begins with the call from Ruby employee Karen Carlin to Ruby's apartment on the morning of the 24th. This was a request for an advance on her salary. By beginning with this, Mack/Dunkel informs the knowledgeable viewer that he has no intention of telling the whole story. By beginning here, he leaves out the fact that Ruby had arranged a smaller payment to Karen the night before. (Commission Exhibit 2287) So she could have asked him for this further advance on Saturday night. Mack/Dunkel then adds that without this call, Ruby would not have been at City Hall to kill Ruby. What he leaves out is that during Karen's Warren Commission testimony, it became evident that Ruby himself had arranged the Sunday morning call in advance. (WC Vol. XV, p. 663) Which turns the program's thesis in this regard on its ear.

    Another thing left out by beginning where he does is the testimony of Bill Grammar. Grammar was a police dispatcher. He was on duty Saturday night. He got a call then concerning Oswald's Sunday transfer. The message was something like: "You have to change the plan. If not, we are going to kill him." (italics added) Grammar knew Ruby, and he said the caller called him by name. The next day, when he heard that Ruby had shot Oswald, he retroactively put the voice together with the man who called him. He concluded the murder was planned. (see an interview with Grammari.)

    Another key point left out by beginning here is the fact that there is uncertainty about Ruby's activities that morning. This is something that even the Warren Report admitted. (WR p. 352) As Anthony Summers wrote, the Carlin call was preceded by a call from Ruby's cleaning lady. She later said that the voice on the other end sounded terribly strange to her. She wasn't sure it was Ruby. (Summers, Conspiracy, p. 460) Three television technicians – Warren Richey, Ira Walker, and John Smith – said they saw Ruby that morning before ten o'clock. He asked them, "Has Oswald been brought down yet?" (Jim Marrs, Crossfire, p. 418) At around this same time, a church minister said he was on an elevator with Ruby and his destination was the floor where Oswald was located. (op cit, Summers) Its interesting that Mack/Dunkel places the Carlin call at 9:30. But his Bible, the Warren Report, places the call almost an hour later. (WR p. 353) Mack/Dunkel might have moved up the call in order to clash with the four witnesses who place Ruby at City Hall at the earlier time.

    Let's stop here and measure the evidence the program has left out before Ruby even left for Western Union.

    Bill Grammar says that Ruby called him to stop the transfer to prevent Oswald from being killed.

    If that failed, Ruby had arranged for an employee to call him that morning so he would be in close proximity to police HQ.

    There is testimony that Ruby was at police HQ before the Carlin call.

    The show then says that the police tried to guard the basement from false entry and believed all the doors were secure. Which, as both Burt Griffin of the Commission and the HSCA discovered, they were not. Griffin told Summers that he thought the police lacked credibility about the security of the basement at the time of the transfer. (p. 463) Griffin's suspicions centered on officer Patrick Dean. Dean told Griffin that Ruby would have needed a key to enter a certain door in the basement. This was wrong. (HSCA Vol. IX, p. 143) Griffin grew so frustrated at Dean's answers that he blew up at him and repeatedly called him a liar. (Meagher, pgs. 412-13) He then wrote a memo to Chief Counsel J. Lee Rankin in which he said that Dean had been derelict in securing the basement. That Griffin had reason to believe Ruby did not come down the Main Street ramp. Finally, that he suspected Dean was now part of a cover-up and was advising Ruby to say he did come down the ramp even though he knew he had not. (Seth Kantor, The Ruby Cover-Up, p. 20)

    If you can believe it, the names of Patrick Dean and Burt Griffin are not mentioned in this program. By doing this, Mack/Dunkel eliminates any possibility of Ruby having an inside man at the police station.

    The program then gets worse. As I noted in my Reclaiming History review (Part Six, section 6), once Ruby got to the Western Union station, it was easy for him to be hand signaled from the rear of City Hall and then let inside through an alley door. The program leaves this out and opts for the Warren Commission scenario of Ruby coming straight down the Main Street ramp. But then, in an shocking stroke, they leave out the testimony of Roy Vaughn, Don Flusche, and Rio Pierce. They had to in order to make their "reconstruction" digestible. In the spirit of free speech and honest debate, let us reveal what JFK: The Ruby Connection chooses to conceal from the viewer.

    Vaughn was the officer at the top of the ramp who stopped any unauthorized person from entering the basement. He staunchly denied Ruby came down the ramp and passed a polygraph on the subject. (WR pgs. 221-22, Meagher p. 407))

    Sgt. Don Flusche was an officer stationed outside the ramp and had a clear view of both Main Street and the ramp prior to the shooting. His testimony was kept from the Commission. But he told Jack Moriarty of the HSCA that there was no doubt in his mind that Ruby did not walk down the ramp. Further, he was sure that Ruby did not come down Main Street. (HSCA Vol. IX, pgs 138-39)

    Pierce was the driver of the car that came out the ramp and according to the Commission blocked Vaughn's view of Ruby coming down the ramp. Nobody in the car said he saw Ruby coming down the ramp. (Meagher, pgs 404-405) How can anyone make a show about Ruby's shooting of Oswald and leave this testimony out? It was because of the weight of this evidence, plus the fact that Dean refused to appear before them, that the HSCA concluded Ruby did not enter the basement by way of the ramp. (op. cit. HSCA, p. 140)

    The fact that Mack/Dunkel keeps the crucial testimony of these three men from the viewer tells us all we need to know about the honesty of this program.

    IV

    At the end, Mack/Dunkel puts together his "reconstruction" of the murder of Oswald. In defiance of all the above, he has Ruby coming down the Main Street ramp. He then says that instead of having Carlin transfer stamped at 11:17 from Western Union, Ruby should have been in the basement of the police station at that time. This ignores two salient facts. First, if Ruby had been hand signaled from the back of the building, that would not have been necessary. Second, the longer Ruby was in the garage, the higher the risk that an honest cop could have spotted him.

    The show then intersperses scenes of the actual shooting with the program's modern day reenactment. And I must comment on something that seemed odd to me as I watched the intercutting. The two settings did not seem to match. The walls of the corridor did not seem to extend as far outward into the actual parking area as the 1963 films seem to show. It appears that either the area was remodeled or the little playlet was staged in a different place. There was no explanation given for this apparent discrepancy.

    The show tries to place the blame for the shooting of Oswald on the fact that the transfer car was not in its proper place at the time Oswald was escorted down the corridor. Which, as I said, is foreshortened here. This takes away the depth factor that is apparent in the actual films. But if the depth factor was there, this ersatz point about the car would be vitiated. In boxing, there is a term called "shortening the angle". This refers to a fighter who, instead of throwing a punch from the front, steps to the side of his opponent to shorten the distance to deliver the blow. Well in the actual films, its clear that Ruby could have done this if the car had been in its right spot. That is, instead of looping out from the front, he could have just slid down to his right, stepped into the corridor, and fired. The fault was not in the angle, or the car. The fact that made the shooting possible was something that, unbelievably, Mack/Dunkel never mentions. Even though it is obvious to anyone with eyes and a brain.

    As Australian researcher Greg Parker has noted, the police had planned a four point pocket around Oswald as they escorted him down the corridor. This meant one man behind him , one on each side, and another in front. If this would have been maintained, it would have been difficult for Ruby to kill Oswald no matter where the car was. In all probability, Ruby would have had to delay the attempt until after the transfer, later at the press conference at the county jail. But what made that unnecessary for him was the fact that the man in front broke protection and separated himself from Oswald by several yards. This allowed Ruby enough space to kill Oswald from any angle from the side he was on (which would be Oswald's left). The man who broke the protection pocket, allowing Oswald to be shot, was Capt. Will Fritz (Barney Fife). It is very hard to believe that Mack/Dunkel never noticed this as he watched this film over and over. In fact, I will say here and now that he did notice it.

    Why am I sure? Because as I watched this scene, I had a similar shock as I did when watching Inside the Target Car. When Mack/Dunkel drew his imaginary line back to the sixth floor window in that show, my eyebrows arched upward. Because I noticed he had moved the exit wound on Kennedy's skull in order to make that line possible. Well here, I watched the "reconstruction" over and over and I saw that Mack/Dunkel had completely eliminated Fritz from the recreation. Yep. He did. So the viewer has the most crucial flaw – the one that made Ruby's shooting of Oswald possible – removed from his consciousness. If I say so myself, even for Mack/Dunkel and the Sixth Floor Museum, that was an Orwellian stroke.

    The other thing he does is to rearrange the two horns. As I have written, in the unedited version of the shooting there are two horns that go off. Once you are aware of them, it is almost eerie to watch the shooting. The first goes off at almost the instant Oswald emerges from the office and into the corridor. The second goes off a brief instant before Ruby plunges forward to kill Oswald. It is possible to see the first one as a signal for Ruby to move into position, and the second as the signal to fire. In the first run through, Mack moves the first horn way past the point where Oswald has come into view from the office. In the second run through, the first horn is much closer in accuracy but the second horn, like Fritz, is just eliminated.

    The show also tries to cloud the idea that Oswald recognized Ruby and that is why he turned sideways at the last instant – which made the shot fatal. As Dr. Robert McClelland said at the 2009 JFK Lancer Conference, if the angle of the shot had been straight on, there is a possibility Oswald could have survived. The program tries to say that Oswald could not have seen Ruby because the media lights were too powerful. First, it appears to me that the "recreation" does not position those lights as accurately as possible. It makes it look like someone like say, Oscar winning cinematographer Haskell Wexler, was lighting a movie set. Second, even on the show's own lighting terms, Oswald would have been able to recognize Ruby as he got in front of him.

    One last point about this issue: Mack/Dunkel tries to seal this point by having the ever cooperative Leavelle say that it was he who turned Oswald sideways when he saw Ruby approach. But its obvious from still photos that when Ruby plunges the gun into Oswald's stomach, Leavelle is not looking at Ruby, but at the car.

    Mack/Orwell then tries to wrap it all up with two specious closing pronouncements. First, he says that the conspirators could not have known when Oswald was going to talk. He could have talked the first day. Really? Oswald was not charged with the Kennedy murder until late Friday night. In fact, he actually seems to be a bit surprised when a reporter tells him this. Second, Oswald had been paraded around the station, going to line ups and interrogation sessions, throughout Friday and Saturday. And Wade and Fritz were giving impromptu and formal press conferences throughout both days. This provided good monitoring of the situation. But the clincher here is something that, of course, this show eliminates. On Saturday night, Oswald tried to make his call to John Hurt, the former military intelligence officer who was stationed in North Carolina. The man who former CIA officer Victor Marchetti says was likely part of the false defector program at the naval station at Nag's Head. (James Douglass, JFK and the Unspeakable, p. 366) In other words, it was the first sign that Oswald was trying to contact someone through an intelligence cut-out. That call was aborted by the Secret Service. It was never let through. The next morning Oswald was dead. Gary or Larry, I think that timing is kind of important.

    The last piece of obfuscation the show uses is the old standby: Too many people had to be involved for this to happen. Well let's see: If there was one man on the police security team who failed to secure the basement, and then this guy signaled Ruby from the back, and then let him in the alley door ... well that would be a grand total of two people, if you count Ruby. Way back in 1964, Burt Griffin had a suspect as Ruby's accomplice. His name was Patrick Dean. Dean reportedly flunked his polygraph. The results of which are nowhere to be found today. (Summers, p. 464, HSCA Vol. IX p. 139) Roy Vaughn, the man who the Commission tried to pin Ruby's entry into the basement on, passed his test.

    Let me conclude with another key event this show leaves out. It indicates Ruby's mindset at the time, something the show also tries to confuse. Detective Don Archer was with Ruby after he was in custody after the murder. Ruby was very nervous: "He was sweating profusely. I could hear his heart beating. He asked for one of my cigarettes. I gave him a cigarette. Finally ... the head of the Secret Service came up-and he told me that Oswald had died. This should have shocked Ruby because it would mean the death penalty ... .Instead of being shocked, he became calm, he quit sweating, his heart slowed down. I asked him if he wanted a cigarette, and he advised me he didn't smoke. I was just astonished ... I would say his life had depended on him getting Oswald." (Marrs, pgs. 423-424)

    In light of Archer's assertion, it's hard to see Ruby's act as anything but a necessary silencing of Oswald. The viewers of this show are deprived of that knowledge by censorship. They are also deprived of the reasons Ruby would feel that way, which I provided in detail in Part One. But Ruby himself succinctly summarized them when he said: "They're going to find about Cuba. They're going to find out about the guns. They're going to find out about New Orleans, find about everything." (Armstrong, p. 193) If I was doing a documentary about Ruby, I would place this on screen as a closing quote. Like just about everything else in JFK: The Ruby Connection, it is nowhere to be found.

    Larry Dunkel and the Sixth Floor are involved in serious, no-holds barred psychological warfare against the American public on the Kennedy case. In their brazen disregard of any journalistic integrity, their script and techniques might have been written by the likes of Allen Dulles or James Angleton.

    How the Discovery Channel got involved in this dirty work is a mystery that needs to be addressed.


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  3. #3

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    I wonder just how much Gary Mack was paid for his disinformation. What a whore. I wonder how he sleeps at night. Since he was once a Warren Commission critic he certainly knows better. Thanks Jim for keeping him honest, again. His legacy will certainly be that of just one more liar for the murderers of JFK.

    Dawn

  4. Default Larry the Fable Guy Slam-Dunkeled Again

    I just read Part Two tonight and enjoyed it immensely.

    The "trial" of Oswald would be a delight, the defense attorney doing as Jim DiEugenio does, demanding a la Charles Laughton, "were you lying then, are you lying now, or are you not and have always been a chronic and habitual liar!"

    And the Tippet ballistic comedy capers, no rules of evidence, no chain of custody, just the DPD behind the curtain, "what type of bullets do you need--we'll provide them."

    All in all a masterful presentation of a buffet of crow for Larry to "enjoy"--

    As I've said, he suggests Hoffer's True Believer, Stalin's New Soviet Man, Orwell-Blair's Inner Party Member: incapable of recognizing any evidence contrary to the Party Line.

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    Some McAdams types try to argue that Ms Mercer's witnessing was implausible because of the ridiculousness of the conspirators operating out in broad daylight by carrying guns on the Knoll an hour and a half prior to the assassination. This isn't ridiculous at all. Who was going to arrest them? The Dallas police? The Secret Service? FBI? And what if an innocent cop did stop them? The answer is Bernard Barker would have jumped out with his genuine Secret Service ID and secured the scene. Not implausible at all. The Dallas Police were ordered to stand down and not cover any motorcade protection duties. To suggest the carrying of a gun on the Knoll was an absurd notion is to ignore the established level corruption existing that in Dealey Plaza that day.

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