Kennedy Assassination Info Request Advanced

     (CN) - The CIA must face claims over withheld records related to the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and his brother, Sen. Robert Kennedy, a federal judge ruled.
     Anthony Bothwell sued the CIA in November 2013 for denying his records request under the Freedom of Information Act relating to five people who may have been involved in the Kennedy assassinations in 1963 and 1968.
     U.S. District Judge Jacqueline Corley on Thursday removed CIA Director John Brennan as a defendant because a FOIA request applies only to agencies and not individuals.
     Though Bothwell had failed to name the CIA as a defendant, the San Francisco judge said it must answer the complaint.
     "Because the CIA is sufficiently identified in the body of the complaint, plaintiff's failure to name the CIA in the caption does not mandate dismissal of the complaint against the CIA," the nine-page opinion states.
     Bothwell's failure to list the CIA in the lawsuit's caption "is merely a technical error" and he properly served "both the United States and the CIA," according to the ruling.
     In his complaint, Bothwell described himself as a San Francisco attorney who graduated from the John F. Kennedy School of Law and later taught courses there.
     His initial FOIA request sought all records related to three people allegedly connected to JFK's assassination: Johnny Roselli, Jean Souetre and David Morales,
     As to RFK's assassination, Bothwell sought records Thane Eugene Cesar and Enrique Hernandez.
     The CIA told Bothwell that it no responsive records were generated for the three people possibly connected to the JFK assassination and if such records did exist, they would be FOIA-exempt as "intelligence sources and methods information."
     It flat-out denied the records request pertaining to the two individuals allegedly associated with RFK's assassination, saying that the records are "operational files" and are exempt from the FOIA.  

Did Jack Ruby and Lee Harvey Oswald know each other ?

Did Jack Ruby and Lee Harvey Oswald know each other before President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed in Dallas? Who was the unidentified "Babuska Lady" seen in Abraham Zapruder's film on the other side of the street filming the events? Where is her film?
Beverly Oliver, once a friend of Jack Ruby, a singer at Ruby's Carousel Club and the adjacent Colony Club, and co-author of Nightmare in Dallas, shares startling revelations about Kennedy's assassination based on her riveting personal experiences at 7:30 p.m. on Monday at the Allen Public Library. Co-author Coke Buchanan will also be on hand.
On Nov. 22, 1963, Garland native Beverly Oliver was a 17-year-old teenager who was suddenly thrust into a pivotal chapter in American history. Her story of this historical event begins in the summer of that same year, when she accompanied Jack Ruby to New Orleans where she met Mafia bosses Johnny Roselli and Carlos Marcello. Shortly after that, she recalls Ruby introducing her at his Dallas nightclub, the Carousel Club, to Lee Harvey Oswald as a friend of his.
Oliver shares in her story that on Thursday evening, Nov. 21, after having dinner with Jack Ruby at the Egyptian Lounge, she accompanied him to the plush Cabana Motor Hotel where an owner of various Pepsi-Cola franchises was hosting a lavish party. After dancing and socializing, Ruby and Beverly departed, heading to different destinations and into the pages of history. Beverly went to Fort Worth and Jack is believed to have returned to his nightclub. These two friends never saw each other again. When asked to describe Ruby, Beverly responded, "Complex, but he was always a gentleman with me."
Oliver states that she was the infamous and mysterious "Babushka" lady seen standing on the south side of Elm Street when President Kennedy was assassinated the following day. She was therefore one of the closest witnesses to the fatal shot that killed the president.
To be an eyewitness to this event is significant enough, but that her story conflicts with the Warren Commission's account of what happened that day is of much greater interest. Further, she claims that she filmed the event with her new movie camera but three days later, two men who identified themselves as government agents confiscated her film and never returned it, even after repeated requests.
Come hear the intriguing story of Beverly Oliver's experiences surrounding the Kennedy assassination, knowing Jack Ruby personally and meeting Lee Harvey Oswald.
Co-author Coke Buchanan serves as director of the Center for Indigenous Culture, Center for Global and Local Outreach, and Center for Spirituality with the Memnosyne Foundation.
After the program, the authors will have their books available for purchase and signing.
Sponsored by Bach to Books, this program is free and no reservations are required.

Ex-CIA Agent In Raleigh Says Castro Knew About JFK Assassination Ahead Of Time

Ex-CIA Agent In Raleigh Says Castro Knew About JFK Assassination Ahead Of Time

By The Raleigh Telegram

RALEIGH – A noted former Central Intelligence Agency officer, author, and scholar who is intimately knowledgeable about Cuba and Fidel Castro, says he believes there is evidence that Castro’s government knew about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963 ahead of time.
Brian Latell, who worked for 35 years in the intelligence community for both the CIA and the National Intelligence Council, made a presentation outlining the evidence at the annual Raleigh Spy Conference in Raleigh which was held at the NC Museum of History on August 23rd and 24th.
“I am certain that Fidel knew Kennedy would be shot,” Latell told an audience at the conference.
Since the unique event was launched in 2003 by Bernie Reeves of Raleigh, the Raleigh Spy Conference has assembled current and past members of the intelligence community including speakers from the CIA, KGB, FBI, NSA, Naval Intelligence, INTERPOL, and other agencies from around the world.
Latell said at the recent event that there is no evidence to say that Cuban communist dictator Fidel Castro was behind the assassination directly, but he believes that there is indirect evidence to show that Castro at least knew about the assassination plot beforehand. His evidence includes statements by a high ranking Cuban spy, statements by Castro himself, and even statements by President Lyndon B. Johnson.
Latell began his presentation by saying that Fidel Castro knew the value of spycraft work and intelligence-gathering and that he was good at it. As he focused on Latin American intelligence during his years in government service, Latell seemed to bestow a lot of respect for the Cuban leader’s abilities in the shadowy world of intelligence gathering.
“Fidel has been the supreme spy master of Cuba,” said Latell. “[Cuba] has had a world class intelligence capability.”
As a small country often on the world stage between superpowers, Latell said that Cuba looked to Israel as a role model for its intelligence operations and gathered information for both “offensive and defensive purposes.”
He added that time and time again, the United States seemed to incorrectly assess the power of Cuba’s intelligence gathering.
“My colleagues underestimated his [capabilities]…we didn’t think little tropical Cuba could do it,” he said. “We didn’t take them seriously.”
“For 25 years, we underestimated Cuban intelligence…much to our strong regret,” he added.
For Castro, he viewed his espionage battle against the United States as a giant game and one that he relished.
“He enjoyed the role of spymaster, more than any other role,” said Latell. “He was going to engage in conflict with the United States – it was his destiny.”
Latell introduced one of the “principal sources” for his new book on Castro’s spy network, Florintino Aspillaga. According to Latell, he was “one of the most highly decorated and honored” spies to defect to the United States from Cuba.
The information that Aspillaga gave to the United States revealed a more intricate and planned Cuban intelligence operation than government agents thought possible.
“FBI and CIA officers were stunned,” said Latell. “One said he was literally knocked off his feet.”
One of the Cuban intelligence projects was a so-called “super mole” that was going to be planted by Cuba at either the CIA or the Pentagon.
“Fidel and the case officer [for Cuba] were the only two who knew his identity,” he said.
The super mole was recruited as a student at an East Coast university by an American left wing female professor who had gone to Cuba to cut sugarcane in support of Fidel Castro in the 1960′s. Latell described her as a “spotter” for Cuba, seeking students who might be sympathetic to Castro’s causes. The professor found a student she thought would be a good candidate.
“He was a man of Latin American descent,” said Latell. “She worked him into a fellow traveler.”
Latell said he went to the third country, where the professor turned him over to a Cuban case officer, who gave him an assignment.
“What was his assignment?” Latell asked. “To apply for a job at the CIA.”
Thanks to information from Aspillaga, the super mole was stopped, but Latell said that there were other “successful operations,” including Cuban moles in Congress and as members of the US State Department.
One of the most outrageous Cuban victories was the revelation that around 50 agents that the CIA had recruited to give them information in Cuba were actually working for Castro.
“All of them were double agents actually working for Fidel,” he said. “Some of them he recruited personally.”
“It was Fidel who met with many of them,” he added. “He celebrated their successes…their colossal deceptions.”
There was no love lost between the United States and Cuba and in particular, there was a personal battle between the Kennedy brothers and Fidel Castro, said Latell.
“Castro literally led the world to the brink of nuclear disaster,” said Latell.
In addition, Castro’s crushing victory after the Bay of Pigs disaster “humiliated Kennedy,” said Latell.
As such, the stage seems to be set for both John F. Kennedy’s and Robert Kennedy’s “war” with Fidel Castro and his own battles against them.
“Kennedy took a much harder line against Cuba and Castro than Nixon did,” said Latell, who added that it was the also the mood in the country at that time to oppose the Communist country not far off the Florida coast, as it was seen as a potential threat.
“Kennedy comes into the White House with a need for a strong line against Cuba,” he said.
In April of 1961, the Bay of Pigs invasion took place where Cuban nationals landed on the island in an attempt to retake control from Castro. The result was a colossal failure.
“Kennedy is in office only three months…and he’s humiliated,” said Latell, adding that Kennedy vowed “revenge” on Castro.
After that, Latell said the US government launched Operation Mongoose, which targeted sugar cane refineries in Cuba and other acts against the country. Latell said the secret operations may be viewed differently today than they were in the 1960′s.
“Today, it could only be called a campaign of international terrorism against Cuba,” he said. “The message was clear – oust Castro.”
Robert Kennedy, as the Attorney General of the United States, was in charge of the operation, said Latell. Despite the United States’ best efforts, the operation was nonetheless penetrated by Cuban intelligence agents, said Latell.
Latell said there were two serious assassination attempts by the United States against Castro that even used members of the mafia to help, but both of them were obviously unsuccessful.
He also said that there was a plot by the United States to have Castro jabbed with a pen containing a syringe filled with a very effective poison. Latell said that he believes the experienced assassin who worked for Castro who originally agreed to the plan may have been a double agent. After meeting with a personal representative of Robert Kennedy in Paris, the man knew that the plan to assassinate Castro came from the highest levels of the government, including John F. and Robert Kennedy.
The plan was never carried out, as the man later defected to the United States, but with so many double agents working for Castro also pledging allegiance to the CIA, Latell said it was likely that the information got back to Havana that the Kennedy brothers endorsed that plot with the pen.
“The Cuban government and Fidel Castro…knew for sure that the Kennedy brothers were behind it,” said Latell. “Bobby Kennedy was intense and never did anything like this without the permission of his brother [John F. Kennedy].”
So how do we get to the proposition that Castro knew that President Kennedy was going to be shot?
Latell says that his main source for his book is the key. Florintino Aspillaga, who was again “one of the most highly decorated and honored” spies to defect to the United States from Cuba, according to Latell.
In one of his lengthy interviews with Aspillaga, the former Cuban spy told him a story that knocked Latell’s socks off.
According to Aspillaga, he was working at a Cuban radio listening post that normally tuned in to try and eavesdrop on any transmissions from the CIA station in Miami, one of “the largest CIA stations in the world.” Among other broadcasts, they would try to pick up messages sent between the station and CIA ships sitting off the coast of Cuba that were themselves eavesdropping on Havana.
On one particular day, he got a call from headquarters. He was supposed to quit listening to Miami and try to tune into an unusual spot.
“He was told ‘focus all of your listening equipment on Texas and see if anything is happening in Texas,’” said Latell.
The date? November 22nd, 1963 – the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald while visiting Dallas, Texas.
“I am certain that Fidel knew Kennedy would be shot,” Latell said.
According to Latell, Aspillago has no reason to make up the story. He doesn’t benefit by it and all of his statements about Cuban intelligence, double agents, and other information have proven to be true, said Latell.
“Was Aspillago considered a reliable source? Absolutely,” said Latell. “Aspillago was reliable.”
There is also the possibility that Aspillago made up the story recently for various reasons, but Latell says that documentation from previous years proves otherwise.
In a manuscript that detailed Aspillago’s statements to the CIA dating back to 1987, there was an account about the radio assignment back then.
“Sure enough it’s in there,” he said. “It’s in the original Spanish language version of the story.”
“It may be a thin thread, but this is one of the most reliable defecters ever [from Cuba],” said Latell.
Latell says that Castro had made at least four attempts at assassinating other heads of state.
“He didn’t have any scruples about trying to assassinate heads of state,” he said, mentioning that he tried to kill leaders of Chile, and the Dominican Republic, among others.
Latell said based on that behavior, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that Castro had something to do with Kennedy’s death.
“Did Fidel Castro have a hand in Kennedy’s death?” asked Latell at the Spy Conference. “Did Castro’s intelligence officers have a hand in it? Maybe.”
In addition to Aspillago’s statements, Latell says there is circumstantial evidence that Castro at least knew more than he admitted. He repeatedly said that Cuba knew nothing about Lee Harvey Oswald.
However, in a conversation that secret FBI informant Jack Childs had with Fidel Castro, Latell says that Castro told Childs that Lee Harvey Oswald visited the Cuban embassy in Mexico City before assassinating Kennedy. According to the account, Castro said in that talk with Childs that Oswald left the embassy saying “I am going to kill Jack Kennedy.”
“Fidel was not drunk…[and] Jack [Childs] surely did not embellish it,” said Latell. “How did Fidel know that Oswald said that?”
“Fidel has been lying for 49 years now,” he said, referring to Castro’s statements that there were no connections between Oswald and Cuba. “There are five sources…that [say] Fidel is consistently lying.”
And as the last piece of evidence in regards to the Castro-Kennedy connection, Latell says that Lyndon B. Johnson, upon hearing that Kennedy was assassinated, reportedly made a comment linking the two together.
“Maybe Kennedy got to Fidel or maybe Fidel got to Kennedy,” Latell said, quoting LBJ.
Despite a connect-the-dots supposition that maybe Castro was behind it all, Latrell says that there is still no direct evidence to make that case. While he doesn’t believe that Castro perhaps didn’t plan the assassination of JFK, he does think that Castro knew about it in advance.
“He wasn’t a co-conspirator but he was complicit in the assassination of Kennedy…with a conspiracy of silence,” said Latell. ::

Jack Ruby

Jacob Leon Rubenstein (March 25, 1911 – January 3, 1967), who legally changed his name to Jack Leon Ruby in 1947, was convicted of the November 24, 1963, murder of Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy. Ruby, who was originally from Chicago, Illinois, was then a nightclub operator in Dallas, Texas. Convicted of the murder on March 14, 1964, Ruby appealed the conviction and death sentence. As a date for his new trial was being set, he became ill and died of lung cancer on January 3, 1967.

Ruby was involved with major figures in organized crime; conspiracy theorists claim that he killed Oswald as part of an overall plot surrounding the assassination of Kennedy. Others have disputed this, arguing that his connection with gangsters was minimal at most and that he was not the sort to be entrusted with such an act within a high-level conspiracy.

Alleged links to organized crime

Ruby was known to have been acquainted with both the police and the Mafia. The House Select Committee on Assassinations said that Ruby had known restaurateurs Sam (1920–1970) and Joseph Campisi (1918–1990) since 1947, and had been seen with them on many occasions. After an investigation of Joe Campisi, the HSCA found:

 While Campisi's technical characterization in federal law enforcement records as an organized crime member has ranged from definite to suspected to negative, it is clear that he was an associate or friend of many Dallas-based organized crime members, particularly Joseph Civello, during the time he was the head of the Dallas organization. There was no indication that Campisi had engaged in any specific organized crime-related activities.

Similarly, a PBS Frontline investigation into the connections between Ruby and Dallas organized crime figures reported the following:

In 1963, Sam and Joe Campisi were leading figures in the Dallas underworld. Jack knew the Campisis and had been seen with them on many occasions. The Campisis were lieutenants of Carlos Marcello, the Mafia boss who had reportedly talked of killing the President.

A day before Kennedy was assassinated, Ruby went to Joe Campisi's restaurant.

 At the time of the Kennedy assassination, Ruby was close enough to the Campisis to ask them to come see him after he was arrested for shooting Lee Oswald.

In his memoir Bound by Honor: A Mafioso's Story, Bill Bonanno, son of New York Mafia boss Joseph Bonanno, explains that several Mafia families had longstanding ties with the anti-Castro Cubans through the Havana casinos operated by the Mafia before the Cuban Revolution. Many Cuban exiles and Mafia bosses disliked Kennedy, blaming him for the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion.

 They also disliked his brother, the young and idealistic Attorney General Robert Kennedy, who had conducted an unprecedented legal assault on organized crime.

The Mafia were experts in assassination, and Bonanno reported that he recognized the high degree of involvement of other Mafia families when Ruby killed Oswald, since Bonanno was aware that Ruby was an associate of Chicago mobster Sam Giancana.

Howard P. Willens, third highest official in the Department of Justice and assistant counsel to J. Lee Rankin designed the organizational structure of the Warren Commission, outlined its investigative priorities, and terminated the investigation of Ruby's Cuban related activities.

 An FBI report states that Willens's father was Tony Accardo's next door neighbor since 1958.

 Some sources report that in 1946, Tony Accardo allegedly asked Jack Ruby to go with Pat Manno, Romie Nappi and several other Mafia associates down to Texas in order to make sure local sheriff Steve Gutherie was copasetic with the Mafia’s expansion into Dallas.

Four years prior to the assassination of President Kennedy, Ruby went to see a man named Lewis McWillie in Cuba. Ruby considered McWillie, who had previously run illegal gambling establishments in Texas, to be one of his closest friends.

 At the time Ruby visited him, in August 1959, McWillie was supervising gambling activities at Havana's Tropicana Club. Ruby told the Warren Commission that his August trip to Cuba was merely a social visit at the invitation of McWillie.

 The House Select Committee on Assassinations would later conclude that Ruby "…most likely was serving as a courier for gambling interests."

 The committee also found "circumstantial," but not conclusive, evidence that "…Ruby met with [Mafia boss] Santo Trafficante in Cuba sometime in 1959."

About an hour after President Kennedy was shot, White House correspondent Seth Kantor (who was a passenger in the motorcade) arrived at Parkland Hospital where Kennedy was receiving medical care. As Kantor was entering the hospital through a stairway, he felt a tug on his coat. He turned around to see Ruby who called him by his first name and shook his hand. (Kantor had become acquainted with Ruby when Kantor was a reporter for the Dallas Times Herald newspaper.)

 Ruby asked Kantor if he thought that it would be a good idea for him to close his nightclubs for the next three nights because of the tragedy and Kantor responded that he thought that doing so would be a good idea.

 It has been suggested that Ruby might have been involved in tampering with evidence while at the hospital.

 Ruby would later deny he had been at Parkland Hospital and the Warren Commission decided to believe Ruby rather than Kantor. (In 1979, the House Select Committee on Assassinations reversed the Warren Commission's judgement, stating: "While the Warren Commission concluded that Kantor was mistaken [about his Parkland meeting with Ruby], the Committee determined he probably was not.")

Goaded by the Warren Commission's dismissal of his testimony, Seth Kantor researched the Ruby case for years. In a later published book Who Was Jack Ruby?, Kantor wrote:

 The mob was Ruby's "friend." And Ruby could well have been paying off an IOU the day he was used to kill Lee Harvey Oswald. Remember: "I have been used for a purpose," the way Ruby expressed it to Chief Justice Warren in their June 7, 1964 session. It would not have been hard for the mob to maneuver Ruby through the ranks of a few negotiable police [to kill Oswald].

Witness Wilma Tice also said that she saw Jack Ruby at Parkland Hospital during the time Kennedy was being treated there.

 Called to testify before the Warren Commission, Tice said that she received an anonymous phone call from a man telling her "…that it would pay me to keep my mouth shut."

Within hours of Ruby's arrest for shooting Oswald, a telegram was received at the Dallas city jail in support of Ruby, under the names of Hal and Pauline Collins.

 In one of the Warren Commissions exhibits, Hal Collins is listed as a character reference by Ruby on a Texas liquor license application. Hal Collin's sister was married to Robert Clark, the brother of then-sitting U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Tom C. Clark. Tom C. Clark advised newspaper columnist Drew Pearson that financier Henry Crown and the Hilton Hotel chain had financial interests in syndicated racketeering activities in Chicago.

Tom C. Clark also recommended that the Warren Commission appoint Henry Crown's attorney, Albert E. Jenner, Jr., to serve as assistant counsel to the commission.


Some writers, including former Los Angeles District Attorney Vincent Bugliosi, dismiss Ruby's connections to organized crime as being minimal at best:

 It is very noteworthy that without exception, not one of these conspiracy theorists knew or had ever met Jack Ruby. Without our even resorting to his family and roommate, all of whom think the suggestion of Ruby being connected to the mob is ridiculous, those who knew him, unanimously and without exception, think the notion of his being connected to the Mafia, and then killing Oswald for them, is nothing short of laughable.

Bill Alexander, who prosecuted Ruby for Oswald's murder, equally rejected any suggestions that Ruby was part-and-parcel of organized crime, claiming that conspiracy theorists based it on the claim that "A knew B, and Ruby knew B back in 1950, so he must have known A, and that must be the link to the conspiracy."

Ruby's brother Earl denied allegations that Jack was involved in racketeering Chicago nightclubs, and author Gerald Posner suggests that Ruby may have been confusedwith Harry Rubenstein, a convicted Chicago felon. Entertainment reporter Tony Zoppi is also dismissive of mob ties. He knew Ruby and described him as a "born loser."

Murder of Oswald

 Ruby about to shoot Oswald who is being moved by Police.
Ruby (also known as "Sparky," from his boxing nickname "Sparkling Ruby") was seen in the halls of the Dallas Police Headquarters on several occasions after the arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald on November 22, 1963; and newsreel footage from WFAA-TV (Dallas) and NBC shows Ruby impersonating a newspaper reporter during a press conference at Dallas Police Headquarters on the night of the assassination. District Attorney Henry Wade briefed reporters at the press conference telling them that Lee Oswald was a member of the anti-Castro Free Cuba Committee. Ruby was one of many people there who spoke up to correct Wade, saying: "Henry, that's the Fair Play for Cuba Committee," a pro-Castro organization.

 Some speculate that Ruby may have hoped to kill Oswald that night at the police station press conference.

 Ruby told the FBI, a month after his arrest for killing Oswald, that he had his loaded snub-nosed Colt Cobra .38 revolver in his right-hand pocket during the press conference.

Two days later on Sunday, November 24, after driving into town and sending a money order to one of his employees, Ruby walked to the nearby police headquarters and made his way to the basement. At 11:21 am CST — while authorities were preparing to transfer Oswald by armored car from the police basement to the nearby county jail — Ruby stepped out from a crowd of reporters and fired his .38 revolver into Oswald's abdomen, fatally wounding him. The shooting was broadcast live nationally, and millions of television viewers witnessed it. There is some evidence that Ruby's actions were on a whim, as he left his favorite dog, Sheba, in the car before shooting Oswald.

However, the House Select Committee on Assassinations in its 1979 Final Report opined:…Ruby's shooting of Oswald was not a spontaneous act, in that it involved at least some premeditation. Similarly, the committee believed it was less likely that Ruby entered the police basement without assistance, even though the assistance may have been provided with no knowledge of Ruby's intentions… The committee was troubled by the apparently unlocked doors along the stairway route and the removal of security guards from the area of the garage nearest the stairway shortly before the shooting… There is also evidence that the Dallas Police Department withheld relevant information from the Warren Commission concerning Ruby's entry to the scene of the Oswald transfer.

When Ruby was arrested immediately after the shooting, he told several witnesses that he helped the city of Dallas "redeem" itself in the eyes of the public, and that Oswald's death would spare "…Mrs. Kennedy the discomfiture of coming back to trial."

 At the time of the shooting Ruby said he was taking phenmetrazine, a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant.

Ruby's explanation for killing Oswald would be "exposed … as a fabricated legal ploy", according to the House Select Committee on Assassinations. In a private note to one of his attorneys, Joseph Tonahill, Ruby wrote: "Joe, you should know this. [My first lawyer] Tom Howard told me to say that I shot Oswald so that Caroline and Mrs. Kennedy wouldn't have to come to Dallas to testify. OK?"

Ruby's ploy was confirmed by attorney Melvin Belli. In his book, Dallas Justice, Belli wrote that Ruby told him: "We know I did it for Jackie and the kids… Maybe I ought to forget this silly story that I'm telling, and get on the stand and tell the truth."

Another motive was put forth by Frank Sheeran, allegedly a hitman for the Mafia, in a conversation he had with the then-former Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa. During the conversation, Hoffa claimed that Ruby was assigned the task of coordinating police officers who were loyal to Ruby to murder Oswald while he was in their custody. As Ruby evidently mismanaged the operation, he was given a choice to either finish the job himself or forfeit his life.

Prosecution and conviction

 After Ruby's arrest, he asked Dallas attorney Tom Howard to represent him. Howard accepted and asked Ruby if he could think of anything that might damage his defense. Ruby responded that there would be a problem if a man by the name of "Davis" should come up. Ruby told his attorney that he "…had been involved with Davis, who was a gunrunner entangled in anti-Castro efforts."

 Davis was identified only years later, after research by journalist Seth Kantor, as being Thomas Eli Davis III, a CIA-connected "soldier of fortune."

 Later, Ruby replaced attorney Tom Howard with prominent San Francisco defense attorney Melvin Belli who agreed to represent Ruby pro bono. Some observers thought that the case could have been disposed of as a "murder without malice" charge (roughly equivalent to manslaughter), with a maximum prison sentence of five years. Belli attempted to prove, however, that Ruby was legally insane and had a history of mental illness in his family (the latter being true, as his mother had been committed to a mental hospital years before).

On March 14, 1964, Ruby was convicted of murder with malice, for which he received a death sentence.

 During the six months following the Kennedy assassination, Ruby repeatedly asked, orally and in writing, to speak to the members of the Warren Commission. The commission initially showed no interest. Only after Ruby's sister Eileen wrote letters to the commission (and her letters became public) did the Warren Commission agree to talk to Ruby. In June 1964, Chief Justice Earl Warren, then-Representative Gerald R. Ford of Michigan, and other commission members went to Dallas to see Ruby. Ruby asked Warren several times to take him to Washington D.C., saying "my life is in danger here" and that he wanted an opportunity to make additional statements. He added: "I want to tell the truth, and I can't tell it here."

 Warren told Ruby that he would be unable to comply, because many legal barriers would need to be broken and public interest in the situation would be too heavy. Warren also told Ruby that the commission would have no way of protecting him, since it had no police powers. Ruby said he wanted to convince President Lyndon Johnson that he was not part of any conspiracy to kill Kennedy.

Alleged conspiracies

 Following Ruby's March 1964 conviction for murder with malice, Ruby's lawyers, led by Sam Houston Clinton, appealed to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the highest criminal court in Texas. Ruby's lawyers argued that he could not have received a fair trial in the city of Dallas because of the excessive publicity surrounding the case. A year after his conviction, in March 1965, Ruby conducted a brief televised news conference in which he stated: "Everything pertaining to what's happening has never come to the surface. The world will never know the true facts of what occurred, my motives. The people who had so much to gain, and had such an ulterior motive for putting me in the position I'm in, will never let the true facts come above board to the world." When asked by a reporter, "Are these people in very high positions Jack?", he responded "Yes."

Dallas Deputy Sheriff Al Maddox claimed: "Ruby told me, he said, 'Well, they injected me for a cold.' He said it was cancer cells. That's what he told me, Ruby did. I said you don't believe that bullshit. He said, 'I damn sure do!' [Then] one day when I started to leave, Ruby shook hands with me and I could feel a piece of paper in his palm… [In this note] he said it was a conspiracy and he said … if you will keep your eyes open and your mouth shut, you're gonna learn a lot. And that was the last letter I ever got from him."

 Not long before Ruby died, according to an article in the London Sunday Times, he told psychiatrist Werner Teuter that the assassination was "an act of overthrowing the government" and that he knew "who had President Kennedy killed." He added: "I am doomed. I do not want to die. But I am not insane. I was framed to kill Oswald."

Eventually, the appellate court agreed with Ruby's lawyers for a new trial, and on October 5, 1966, ruled that his motion for a change of venue before the original trial court should have been granted. Ruby's conviction and death sentence were overturned. Arrangements were underway for a new trial to be held in February 1967 in Wichita Falls, Texas, when on December 9, 1966, Ruby was admitted to Parkland Hospital in Dallas, suffering from pneumonia. A day later, doctors realized he had cancer in his liver, lungs, and brain. Three weeks later, he died.

According to an unnamed Associated Press source, Ruby made a final statement from his hospital bed on December 19 that he alone had been responsible for the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald. "There is nothing to hide… There was no one else," Ruby said.


 In Gerald Posner's book Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK, Ruby's friends, relatives and associates stress how upset he was upon hearing of Kennedy's murder, even crying on occasion, and how he went so far as to close his loss-making clubs for three days as a mark of respect.

 Dallas reporter Tony Zoppi, who knew Ruby well, claims that one "would have to be crazy" to entrust Ruby with anything as important as a high-level plot to kill Kennedy since he "couldn't keep a secret for five minutes… Jack was one of the most talkative guys you would ever meet. He'd be the worst fellow in the world to be part of a conspiracy, because he just plain talked too much."

 He and others describe Ruby as the sort who enjoyed being at "the center of attention", trying to make friends with people and being more of a nuisance.


 Ruby died of a pulmonary embolism, secondary to bronchogenic carcinoma (lung cancer), on January 3, 1967 at Parkland Hospital, where Oswald had died and where President Kennedy had been pronounced dead after his assassination. He was buried beside his parents in the Westlawn Cemetery in Norridge, Illinois.

 Considering the relatively short time period between the time of the assassination and his death, there was suspicion that Ruby knew of his terminal cancer at the time of the assassination, which may have contributed to his motives. When asked by the House Select Committee on Assassinations if Ruby could have known about his cancer, Dallas County medical examiner Dr. Earl Rose, who performed the autopsy on Ruby, replied, "No".

The United States House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) was established in 1976 to investigate the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. and the shooting of Alabama Governor George Wallace. The Committee investigated until 1978 and issued its final report, and ruled that Kennedy was very likely assassinated as a result of a conspiracy. However, the Committee noted that it believed that the conspiracy did not include the governments of the Soviet Union or Cuba.

The United States House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) was established in 1976 to investigate the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. and the shooting of Alabama Governor George Wallace. The Committee investigated until 1978 and issued its final report, and ruled that Kennedy was very likely assassinated as a result of a conspiracy. However, the Committee noted that it believed that the conspiracy did not include the governments of the Soviet Union or Cuba.

The Committee also stated it did not believe the conspiracy was organized by any organized crime group, nor any anti-Castro group, but that it could not rule out individual members of any of those groups acting together.

 The House Select Committee on Assassinations suffered from being conducted mostly in secret, and then issued a public report with much of its evidence sealed for 50 years under Congressional rules.

 In 1992, Congress passed legislation to collect and open up all the evidence relating to Kennedy's death, and created the Assassination Records Review Board to further that goal.

 General conclusions

 In particular, the various investigations performed by the U.S. government were faulted for insufficient consideration of the possibility of a conspiracy in each case. The Committee in its report also made recommendations for legislative and administrative improvements, including making some assassinations Federal crimes.

 The Chief Counsel of the Committee later changed his views that the CIA was being cooperative and forthcoming with the investigation when he learned that the CIA's special liaison to the Committee researchers, George Joannides, was actually involved with some of the organizations that Lee Harvey Oswald was involved with in the months leading up to the assassination, including an anti-Castro group, the DRE, which was linked to the CIA, where the liaison, Joannides, worked in 1963.

Chief Counsel Blakey later stated that Joannides, instead, should have been interviewed by the Committee, rather than serving as a gatekeeper to the CIA's evidence and files regarding the assassination. He further disregarded and suspected all the CIA's statements and representations to the Committee, accusing it of obstruction of justice.  

 Conclusions regarding the Kennedy assassination

 The HSCA concluded in its 1979 report that:

 1.Lee Harvey Oswald fired three shots at Kennedy. The second and third shots he fired struck the President. The third shot Oswald fired successfully killed the President.

 2.Scientific acoustical evidence establishes a high probability that at least two gunmen fired at the President. Other scientific evidence does not preclude the possibility of two gunmen firing at the President. Scientific evidence negates some specific conspiracy allegations.

 3.The committee believes, on the basis of the evidence available to it, that the President John F. Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy. The committee was unable to identify the other gunmen or the extent of the conspiracy. The committee believes, on the basis of the evidence available to it, that the Soviet Government was not involved in the assassination of President Kennedy.

 The committee believes, on the basis of the evidence available to it, that the Cuban Government was not involved in the assassination of President Kennedy.

 The committee believes, on the basis of the evidence available to it, that anti-Castro Cuban groups, as groups, were not involved in the assassination of President Kennedy, but that the available evidence does not preclude the possibility that individual members may have been involved.

 The committee believes, on the basis of the evidence available to it, that the national syndicate of organized crime, as a group, was not involved in the assassination of President Kennedy, but that the available evidence does not preclude the possibility that individual members may have been involved.

 The committee believes, on the basis of the evidence available to it, that the Secret Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Central Intelligence Agency were not involved in the assassination of President Kennedy.

 4. Agencies and departments of the U.S. Government performed with varying degrees of competency in the fulfilment of their duties. President John F. Kennedy did not receive adequate protection. A thorough and reliable investigation into the responsibility of Lee Harvey Oswald for the assassination was conducted. The investigation into the possibility of conspiracy in the assassination was inadequate. The conclusions of the investigations were arrived at in good faith, but presented in a fashion that was too definitive.

The Committee further concluded that it was probable that:

 Four shots were fired. The third shot came from a second assassin located on the grassy knoll, but missed. They concluded that it missed due to the lack of physical evidence of an actual bullet, of course this investigation took place almost sixteen years after the crime.

 The HSCA agreed with the single bullet theory, but concluded that it occurred at a time point during the assassination that differed from any of the several time points the Warren Commission theorized it occurred.

 The Department of Justice, FBI, CIA, and the Warren Commission were all criticized for not revealing to the Warren Commission information available in 1964, and the Secret Service was deemed deficient in their protection of the President.

 The HSCA made several accusations of deficiency against the FBI and CIA.

 The accusations encompassed organizational failures, miscommunication, and a desire to keep certain parts of their operations secret. Furthermore, the Warren Commission expected these agencies to be forthcoming with any information that would aid their investigation. But the FBI and CIA only saw it as their duty to respond to specific requests for information from the commission. However, the HSCA found the FBI and CIA were deficient in performing even that limited role.

Criticisms and further research

 The sole acoustic evidence relied on by the committee's experts to support its theory of a fourth gunshot (and a gunman on the grassy knoll) in the JFK assassination, was a Dictabelt recording alleged to be from a stuck transmitter on a police motorcycle in Dealey Plaza during the assassination. After the committee finished its work, however, an amateur researcher listened to the recording and discovered faint crosstalk of transmissions from another police radio channel known to have been made a minute after the assassination. This was supported by the National Academy of Science article.

 Further, the Dallas motorcycle policeman thought to be the source of the sounds followed the motorcade to the hospital at high speed, his siren blaring, immediately after the shots were fired. Yet the recording is of a mostly idling motorcycle, eventually determined to have been at JFK's destination, the Trade Mart, miles from Dealey Plaza.

 In 2001, this criticism of the Committee's acoustic evidence was rebutted in a Science and Justice article written by D.B. Thomas, a government scientist and JFK assassination researcher. He concluded the HSCA finding of a second shooter was correct and that the NAS panel's study was flawed. Thomas surmises that the Dictaphone needle jumped and created an overdub on Channel One.

 The 1981 Committee on Ballistic Acoustics was charged with reviewing the HSCA’s acoustic evidence, they concluded that the acoustic evidence of conspiracy was invalid. Donald Thomas who reportedly performed the first independent peer review of the HSCA’s work and who people think was “an expert on acoustic testing” never read Thomas’ own report on his work with the acoustic evidence in which he acknowledges that "he is not an acoustic expert."

 In 2003, computer animator Dale Myers used various films from the day of the shooting to plot the locations and speeds of the motorcycle police officers during the assassination, and concluded that no police motorcycles were anywhere near the precise microphone location on Houston Street required by the Committee's acoustic experts.

 Myers' study confirmed the same misgivings voiced by HSCA photographic consultant Richard E. Sprague in 1978.

 A majority of witnesses who testified on the source of the shots said they came from the direction of the Depository. However, many witnesses thought the shots came from the direction of the Knoll. Only five witnesses, from a total of over one hundred, thought the shots came from two directions simultaneously.

 The Mitrokhin Archive--The KGB in Europe and the West, by Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, documents extensive manipulation by the KGB in creating and fostering conspiracy theories regarding the Kennedy assassination.

The origin of the infamous forged letter, purported to be from Oswald to E. Howard Hunt, remained inconclusive in the final opinion of the Committee, leaving, in the words of Hunt, "an article of faith that I had some role in the Kennedy assassination."

 In 2003, Robert Blakey, staff director and chief counsel for the Committee, issued a statement on the Central Intelligence Agency:

 ...I no longer believe that we were able to conduct an appropriate investigation of the [Central Intelligence] Agency and its relationship to Oswald.... We now know that the Agency withheld from the Warren Commission the CIA-Mafia plots to kill Castro. Had the commission known of the plots, it would have followed a different path in its investigation. The Agency unilaterally deprived the commission of a chance to obtain the full truth, which will now never be known. Significantly, the Warren Commission's conclusion that the agencies of the government co-operated with it is, in retrospect, not the truth. We also now know that the Agency set up a process that could only have been designed to frustrate the ability of the committee in 1976-79 to obtain any information that might adversely affect the Agency. Many have told me that the culture of the Agency is one of prevarication and dissimulation and that you cannot trust it or its people. Period. End of story. I am now in that camp.

From the Book: Notes on the text

Note on the text:: The AGVA is the American Guild of Variety Artists, a labor union that included Ruby’s strippers. In August 1953 an FBI agent witnessed Ruby threaten the Branch Manager of the (AGVA). Ruby said he would kill the man if he didn't stop asking him to pay his entertainers in advance. The AGVA representative explained that he had been pistol whipped by Joe Locurto, and he heard that Ruby was a hoodlum who had experienced financial difficulties because of the Kefauver investigation. In 1953, Joe Locurto and Ruby obtained an interest in a third nightclub, the Vegas Club.  An FBI report filed in 1953 revealed: "RUBY and Joe Locurto always carried concealed pistols and were in constant association with Jack Todd, a well-known Dallas hoodlum." In July 1953 Joe Locurto was convicted of having violated the White Slave Act and having committed unnatural sexual acts. That ended the partnership with Ruby.

Note to the Text: According to Chicago gangster Lenny Patrick, Allan Dorfman, who was killed in 198, was being extorted by Dave Yaras who had gotten at least $300,000 from him and that Yaras had split the money with the syndicate bosses. Dorfman’s step father, Red Dorfman, took over the Material Waste Handlers Union while Jack Ruby worked there as an organizer. Allen Dorfman was probably killed by a member of the Yara crew named Raymond Spencer, AKA Ray Ray, Lenny Yaras was gunned down in 1985 by two men in ski masks.

Note on the text: During Jack Ruby’s six year stay in California he was employed by Eugene Shriber, a gambler who worked under William "Bones" Remer. "Bones" Remer was the owner of record of the Cal Neva Lounge in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. The Cal Neva Lounge was linked to the syndicate by numerous sources, including the Kefauver Committee. Shriber, who came to California from Chicago in 1933, managed a San Francisco card room for "Bones" Remer and employed Jack Ruby and his sister, Eva Rubenstein as dealers. [FBI DL-44-1639-4094, 4110; WCD CD360 p115 interview with George T. Davis]

Author note:  On November 14, 1963, Ruby was seen at a small motel in Morgan City, Louisiana. Corinne Burgess contacted FBI S.A. Ernest Wall, New Orleans, on November 26, 1963, and told him that she had seen Ruby at the Newport Motel in Morgan City where she worked as a cashier at about 1:00 p.m. on November 14, 1963. Ruby told her that he was an old friend of the motel's owner, Peter Guarisco, and had come from Dallas to see him. When Corinne Burgess told Ruby that Peter Guarisco was not on the premises, he asked her if Vick Guarisco was there. Peter Guarisco denied having known Ruby. On February 20, 1967, Burgess called the FBI and said that she had not told the Bureau everything she knew in 1963 because she had been threatened by Peter Guarisco. She said that Ruby was accompanied by someone who looked like Lee Harvey Oswald.

Note on the text:   Lewis J. McWillie introduced Jack Ruby to Russell Douglas Matthews. By the late 1940's Matthews was a full time criminal in the Dallas area. He was described in one FBI report as a burglar, armed robber, narcotics pusher and murderer. Another described him as armed and dangerous, and stated that he had been known to carry firearms and to use explosives in the past. In 1949 R.D. Matthews was arrested for burglary and in 1950 for having violated the Federal Narcotics Act. In 1966, Matthews was arrested in Oklahoma City for possession of a concealed weapon. In 1967 he was arrested in Garland, Texas, for bookmaking. By 1971 Matthews had moved to Las Vegas, where he remained until 1973. That same year, the FBI made an application for an order authorizing a wiretap of R. D. Matthews along with several others. This application stated that there was probable cause to believe Matthews was involved in the illegal gambling business, along with John Eli Stone and Izzy Miller.(Who also knew Ruby)  In 1976 Matthews plead guilty in Las Vegas to a violation of the Wagering Act. In 1978 Matthews was employed by Benny Binion at the Horseshoe Club where he worked with Lewis McWillie. That same year, the FBI observed him in the company of Sam Campisi. Matthews was mentioned prominently in a Drug Enforcement Administration report on Campisi.

Note on the text: The Cipango was a major Dallas Casino and at its height was an exclusive, high end establishment. Locals say the now empty building is haunted.

Note on the text: On the morning of Thursday, November 21, 1963, at about 11:00 a.m., Ruby called Connie Trammel, a former University student who said she knew him, but had never worked for him. A half hour later Connie Trammel and Ruby drove to Lamar Hunt's office. Connie Trammel called Lamar Hunt at his unlisted home telephone number at which time the maid gave her the telephone number of a straight line into Lamar Hunt's office. [ FBI DL 44-1639 7.9.64 Dallas W. H. Griffin] On July 10, 1964, Connie Trammel told the FBI that RUBY expressed an interest in meeting Lamar Hunt and accompanied her to the elevator in office building but did not accompany her upstairs. Connie Trammel was interviewed by Lemar Hunt, allegedly about a job in a "teen-age club."

Note on the text:  James Robert Todd (born December 10, 1919, Groesbeck, Texas), was said to know Mafia boss Carlos Marcello on a first name basis and in 1948 was a member of the Hollis Green Gang which specialized in burglaries of pharmaceutical houses and large drug-stores for narcotics and cash. [HSCA V9 para. 1324, 1054]  Todd also worked with Ruby’s friend R.D. Matthews on several scams. Todd’s son, Gerry Todd was a business partner of Dallas Mafia solider Joe Campisi. In 1973, Campisi and Gerry Todd had a falling out and drew guns and fired on each other on the streets. Todd was wounded.

Note on the text: Izzy Miller was a major Dallas bookmaker with deep Mafia connections

Note on the text: Yaras, Dave: Chicago mob enforcer and gambler.  Born 1912 Died 1974 Yaras was probably born in Chicago and as a young man may have known Jack Ruby, or least he claimed he did. When interviewed by the FBI regarding his relationship with Jack Ruby, Yaras claimed he knew Ruby as "Sparky," a "young hustler and fight fan from Division and Damen Street area, (The old Valley area) 30 years ago." And said that his brother, Sam Yaras, who lived in Dallas and worked as a bookie there, also knew Ruby.   Yaras was arrested at 14 times by the Chicago police, several times on suspicion of murder although the FBI reported that he was arrested 28 times. Yara and his longtime partner in crime Lenny Patrick were the suspected killers of James Ragen.     In 1947, Chicago police Captain Connelly and Lieutenant William Drury, Claimed that Patrick, Block, and Yaras were responsible for the killing of Bugsy Siegel on orders of Murray Humphreys.    In 1948, they were questioned in the murder of gambler’s Norton Polsky and Harry "The Horse" Krotish. Patrick said he knew the men, liked them and as far as he knew, they were killed for robbing handbooks, although he denied they were robbing his handbooks. On March 8, 1947, Patrick, William Block, and Yaras were indicted on charges of murdering Ragen based on the testimony of three witnesses. One of them, a newsboy named Lucius Davidson, identified a picture of Block as the man who fired the shots, Yaras as the man kneeling with another weapon, and Patrick as the driver of the truck. On April 3, 1947, the indictment against Block, Yaras, and Patrick was quashed by Chief Justice Harold G. Ward in criminal court.      In the very late 1950s, Yaras worked with Jimmy Hoffa to set up “paper local” that is, teamster’s locals that only existed on paper. A longtime member of the Mob, Yaras was very active in gambling operations in the 1940s.  In 1952, Yara set up Chicago’s gambling ventures in Havana by developing lotteries geared to the general Cuban population which was poor and generally barred from the entering the Mafia’s casino there. Yara and Patrick were also questioned in the murder of David Zatz, who was found shot to death in the trunk of a car on May 5, 1952.   Zatz was a front for Patrick-Yaras in several handbooks. By that time, the pair were said to be working under Marshall Caifano who was rising up the Outfits ladder. It was also reported that Patrick may have had a part in the killing of Willie Tarsh and "Zukie the Bookie" Zuckerman. On January 5, 1953, they were questioned in the murder a gambler named Milton Glickman and in November of 1955, police informants said that Patrick and Yaras were hired gunmen and killers for the Chicago mob. Later that year, the US State Department reported that Patrick and Yaras were in Cuba operating the Sans Souci casino in Havana. After Cuba fell, Yaras was doubted (By Cuban Intelligence) as “the Chicago mobs liaison to the Cuban exile community”   In June of 1957, Patrick and Yaras had purchased a bathhouse on North Avenue. Although the bottom floor actually was a bathhouse, the top floor was reported to be a plush casino. By February of1958, a Chicago FBI informant claimed that Lenny Patrick operated a "50-50 book in the years 1948 and 1949." And that Patrick's lieutenants were William Block and Dave Yaras and “no one can open a book or take on any bets unless he has the "OK" from Patrick” Patrick and Yaras ran their operation out of a barbershop at 330 West Roosevelt, and collected payments at the New Lawndale restaurant in Chicago. The informant also said that Patrick-Yaras “had the area from Kedzie to Cicero and from Madison South to approximately 18th Street”   At about this time, Patrick decided to expand his holdings and move his gambling territory into the area of Broadway, Diversey and Belmont, which was operated by Rocco Fischetti. In short order,  Patrick’s men, including Narti Potski and "Little Sneeze" Friedman, were murdered at the New Lawndale restaurant. At first, police believed that the two men had been cheating on the books and weren’t aware that Yaras-Patrick were at war with the Fischetti’s and that Potski and Friedman were said to have robbed at least five of the Fischetti’s handbook operations. According to the informant, Tony Accardo arbitrated a peace between them.  By October of 1950, Yaras and Patrick were said to be in control of the "lottery jars flooding the 35th Police District.”  By March of 1958, Yaras-Patrick were said to be partnered with gangster Albert Frabotta and when the Outfit fought its way into control of the Black policy racket son the South side, Yaras and Patrick were said to be aligned with them and even took part in the kidnapping of the Jones Brothers, the south side policy boss.  In 1963, Yaras and Patrick were employed by A-1 Industrial Uniform company, a firm that Yaras held an interest in (decades later, his son would be murdered as he sat in his car outside the company) They were also involved in the Herman Sales Company, a contracting business, where Patrick claimed to be a salesman.  They were prime suspects in the February 18 1963, murder of Chicago Alderman Benjamin F. Lewis. In September of that year, the FBI watched as Yaras, his son Ronald, Lenny Patrick and LA gangsters Louis Tom Dragna, and Nicolo Licata met at the Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco. Another meeting took place several weeks later, this time with Ernest Debs, a Los Angeles County supervisor also in attendance. Both of Yaras sons were shot dead in Mafia disputes.

Note on the text: It is almost impossible that that McWillie did not know the very powerful Chicago gangster Paul “Red” Dorfman (born May 22, 1901; died April 1971) who was suspected of murdering Leon R. Cooke and attorney who organized the Material Waste Handlers Union. Cooke’s organizer was Jack Ruby who would stay on in the union after Dorfman (alias Red Paul Dolan)  took over. The union was expelled from the AFL-CIO in 1957 because it was run for the benefit of mobsters.   On March 10,1942, in Chicago, Dorfman (Who lived at 7347 Sheridan Road) was indicted after he had a telephone argument with the chairman of the Waste Handlers Union Employees association.  Dorfman, a one-time prize fighter, quietly put down the phone, took his brass knuckles out of his desk walked the several blocks to the man’s office and beat him senseless with the brass knuckles. The victim walked to the police station with his two eyes beaten shut but refused to press charges.   The Chicago Tribune reported, “Detectives yesterday were seeking Paul Dorfman, 34 years old, of 903 Independence boulevard, an ex-prize fighter and secretary treasurer of local 20467 Waste Material Handlers union [AFL] on a charge of assault to commit mayhem. The crime is a punishable by one to 14 years...” Dorfman’s record went back to 1928 when Dorfman was charged with touring a Chicago ward in an automobile “and used terroristic tactics against those opposed to the “America First” ticket.    Dorfman was the step father of Allen Dorfman who handled the Teamsters loans to Las Vegas.  Dorfman was a war hero and one time high school gym teacher before his stepfather set him up in the insurance business as an underwriter for the Teamsters enormous retirement accounts. Dorfman and the mob illegally used the Teamsters funds to underwrite the building of Nevada casino and other project.  Allen Dorfman was killed in a mob style slaying in a Chicago parking lot on January 20, 1983.  Red Dorfman died at age 69 on March 13 1971

Note on the text:  Robert Ray McKeown (born January 28, 1911; died October 1980, SS # 460-01-8019) ran a coffee processing plant in Santiago, Cuba, probably in partnership with President Carlos Prio Soccarras.

Note on the text: In 1976 James E. Beaird told the FBI that in 1957, he became acquainted with many people in the area of Kemah, Texas, including Jack Ruby who was "involved in the business of selling guns to Fidel Castro in Cuba...Jack stored guns and ammunition in a two-story house between the waterfront and railroad tracks in Kemah. He would take the guns to Cuba mostly on weekends. Jack had a boat about 50 feet long, surplus, a military landing craft or LST." [FBI Phoenix 89-42, 6.7.76 at Apache Junction, Arizona] On February 18, 1958, the San Antonio FBI office provided information that McKeown had purchased a yacht. U.S. Customs seized this vessel for having smuggled guns while it was cruising to Houston from Paterson, Louisiana. On February 25, 1958, McKeown was charged with conspiracy to smuggle guns and related equipment to Castro forces in Cuba when an Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agent raided the McKeown’s home and discovered a small arsenal.  Eight months later Robert Ray McKeown was given a 60-day sentence and five years’ probation.  Shortly after this arrest and prior to his sentencing, McKeown and opened the J & M Drive-In on Red Bluff Road in Kemah, Texas. Carlos Prio Soccarras funded this venture with a loan. (McKeown said that Prio once promised him a one-half interest in the Seria Biltmore, a Havana hotel.)

Note on the text:  The CIA said that Joseph Raymond Merola (born October 9, 1925) was an informant: "In an occasional contact of our overt office in Miami since 1961.” And that  “Joseph Raymond Merola, an occasional contact of our overt office in Miami since 1961, periodically provides that office with foreign positive intelligence information. It is suggested that the FBI be contacted for additional information.”  The CIA also  considered using Merola as a source of information on developments in Beirut. Merola, a former US Marine,  was essentially a gun-running pilot linked to Edward Browder, a gun runner who worked with Jack Ruby.  It was a known fact that Merola flew weapons from a Mafia contact in Pittsburgh to Cuba to Fidel Castro.  Merola, a close associate of Cuban President Carlos Prio and according to the CIA  "(Merola is a) fast dealer with connections at all levels in many foreign countries. His information is usually very good. He was Batista's personal pilot and was right next to Fidel Castro at the time of the takeover." In March 1959, Merola, said the CIA,  was involved in an invasion of Panama from Cuba. He began serving a one year sentence for petty larceny in New York City in 1972. In November 1974 he was  indicted by a Los Angeles County Grand Jury for stock manipulation and fraud. Merola was an informant for the FBI and CIA and reported to Herbert J. Miller*  of the Criminal Division of the Justice Department.  In December 1976, a Chicago newspaper reported that Joe Merola had received more than $50,000 in 1975 alone, for furnishing information to the Illinois Bureau of Investigation.

* The Warren Commission received several reports that indicated an on-going relationship between RUBY and the Dorfman’s. Justice Department investigator Walter Sheridan received information that RUBY had recently received money from one of the Dorfman’s. Assistant United States Attorney Robert D. Peloquin was assigned to investigate the matter. Robert D. Peloquin, who at the time was part of United States Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy's "Get HOFFA Squad," was called off the case by his boss, Herbert J. Miller. [FBI 44-24016-112,1247; 62-109060-1528] Herbert J. Miller informed Robert Peloquin that he had contacted the source of the information concerning RUBY and the Dorfman’s, and the source had refused to substantiate the information. Herbert J. Miller ordered "no further inquiry in this matter" because "the story would give HOFFA an opportunity to criticize the Justice Department for trying to tie HOFFA in with President Kennedy's murder." J. Edgar Hoover agreed: "I do wish Justice Department would mind its own business." [FBI DC-44-1639 BL-E-cover pg; FBI CG 44-645- DWS: pl6, cover page B] Peloquin stated that when he was Chief of the Organized Crime Strike Force of the DOJ Herbert Itkin was a paid employee on loan from CIA.

Author Note: Angelo "The Gentle Don" Bruno  was the head of the Mafia in Philadelphia crime family for two decades.  Born in Villalba, Sicily, Bruno immigrated to the United States in his teens and settled in Philadelphia. He was one of the early investors in the Plaza Hotel in Havana, Cuba. Bruno also had an interest in the Capri.

Note on the text: Sam Giancana was boss of the Chicago mob when John F. Kennedy was killed. Giancana, a very frequent visitor and business owner to Cuba and Vegas, had been in the Outfit since at least 1939. Again, it would have been almost impossible, in fact beyond impossible that McWillie and Giancana didn’t know each other and didn’t know each other well.

Note on the Text: On March 11, 1959, Ruby met with FBI Special Agent Charles W. Flynn and offered to act as an informant but upon questioning, Ruby was unable to provide any information about any criminal activities in Dallas.  A rap sheet was pulled on Ruby by the FBO Dallas office.

Note on the text: Ruby was probably involved in illegal activities in Cuba prior to 1959 and was probably deeply involved in gun running to Cuba as well. A "Jack Rubenstein”, Jack Ruby’s real name and favorite alias, was mentioned in a 1959 Department of the Army Report concerning U.S. Arms Dealers in Scandinavia.  In 1958, US State Department documents revealed that in 1958 Jack Rubenstein wrote a letter requesting permission to negotiate the purchase of firearms and ammunition from in an Italian firm." Later in 1958, a former member of the Oklahoma State Crime Bureau linked an "Abe Rubenstein, owner of the Carousel Club in Dallas”, to a carload of guns and ammunition destined for Cuba. In June 1958, RUBY sent arms to Cuba via Islamorada, in the Florida Keys. He was accompanied by a “sleazy looking blonde”.

Note on the text: The Tropicana is a world known cabaret and club in Havana, Cuba. It was launched in 1939 at Villa Mina, a six-acre suburban estate with lush tropical gardens in Havana's Marianao neighborhood. In the 1940s, Cuban gangster Martín Fox rented table space in the casino and made enough money by 1950, to take over the club and buy out its lease. 

Note on the text: During Jack Ruby’s testimony, Ruby mentioned the guns and McWillie "He (McWillie) is the credit manager in the Tropicana” Ruby said  “He was a key man over the Tropicana down there. That was during our good times. Was in harmony with our enemy of our present time. I made the trip down there via New Orleans, and so I stayed at the Volk's apartments, and I was with him constantly. I was bored gambling, because I don't gamble, and there is nothing unless you speak their language, which is Spanish, I believe. And that was the only environment. That was in August 1959. Any thought of being close to Havana, Cuba, I called him frequently because he was down there, and he was the last person to leave if I recall, when they had to leave, when he left the casino...The only other association with him was, there was a gentleman here that sells guns. He has a hardware store on Singleton Avenue. Have I told this to you gentlemen? It is Ray's hardware store. His name is Ray Brantley. This was - I don't recall when [McWillie] called me, but he was a little worried of the new regime coming in, and evidently he wanted some protection. He called me or sent me a letter that I should call Ray Brantley. He wanted some four little Cobra guns - big shipment. So me, I should say myself, rather, feeling no harm, I didn't realize, because he wasn't sending them to me, and I thought there was no crime, the man wanted protection, he is earning a livelihood. I called Ray Brantley and I said, 'Ray, McWillie called me.' I don't remember if he sent a letter or he called. He said he wants four little Cobra's or something like that. He said 'I know Mac. [Mack Blaney Johnson?] I have been doing business with him for a long time.' Meaning with reference to when he was living in Texas. He did a lot of hunting and things like that. That was the only relationship I had of any mention, outside of phone calls, to McWillie, or any person from Havana, Cuba. [Brantley] denies I ever called. Evidently he feels, maybe he feels it would be illegal to send guns out of the country. I don't know if you gentlemen know the law. I don't know the law...Could have been prior to the early part of 1959”  Ray Brantley said his records reflected that Ruby purchased a Colt Cobra on January 19, 1960, and that on May 10, 1963, he mailed a .38 caliber Smith and Wesson revolver to Lewis J. McWillie in Las Vegas. 

Note on the text: On January 2, 1961, McWillie left Cuba aboard a commercial flight. (On January 3, 1961, the United States broke diplomatic relations with the Castro regime.) During the flight  McWillie noticed that there was an old man aboard who wore a Fair Play for Cuba button on his lapel. When the aircraft landed,  McWillie punched the man.  The Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC) was an activist group set up in New York in April 1960. The FPCC's purpose was to provide grassroots support for the Cuban Revolution against attacks by the United States government, once Fidel Castro began openly admitting his commitment to Marxism and began the expropriation and nationalization of Cuban assets belonging to U.S. corporations. The Committee opposed the Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961, the imposition of the United States embargo against Cuba, and was sympathetic to the Cuban view during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.      Subsidiary Fair Play for Cuba groups were set up throughout the United States and Canada. Among its early notable supporters were William Appleman Williams, Norman Mailer, Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, as well as Latin Americans Waldo Frank and Carleton Beals.    The Fair Play for Cuba Committee has been the subject of much speculation. It was accused by some of being a Soviet front, with little real support outside of a few dedicated American communists. However, it seems to have been connected to the Trotskyist Socialist Workers' Party.    The FPCC achieved notoriety through the activities of Lee Harvey Oswald in New Orleans. (Oswald was the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy.) One of Oswald's FPCC leaflets had the address "544 Camp Street" hand-stamped on it, apparently by Oswald himself.  This address was in the same building as the office of Guy Banister, an ex-FBI agent who was involved in anti-Castro and intelligence activities.    Oswald's New Orleans activities were investigated by New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, as part of his prosecution of Clay Shaw in 1969. The House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) also investigated the possible relationship of Oswald to Banister's office in the late 1970s.

Note on the text: Joseph Francis Civello (February 3, 1902 - January 17, 1970) was boss of the Dallas Mafia and although he promoted himself as a retailer of imported food and liquor. He ran the Dallas Family from about 1956 until his death in 1970.    The Dallas Mafia was started by Carlo Pirano, a native of Sicily who, along with his brother Joseph Piranio, immigrated to the U.S. circa 1901.  Carlo died of natural causes in 1930. Joseph took over the family after Carlo's death. He owned a number of bars, controlled numerous gambling operations, and ran some minor labor rackets through his construction business.   Joseph Civello assumed control in 1956, when Joseph Piranio died at age 78. Civello attended the infamous Apalachin meeting of mafia leaders, and was prosecuted on a conspiracy charge stemming from the meeting. He controlled narcotics, gambling, prostitution and night clubs in most of Texas. He was convicted of Prohibition violations in 1926 and served forty days in jail.   On July 12, 1928, Civello was again arrested on liquor charges. His arrest was part of a series of raids that nabbed a total of twenty-two suspected bootleggers around the city. Civello was arrested on St. Paul Street with two other men, Ernest Calchano and Joe DeCarlo. DeCarlo was an important bootlegger in the Dallas area and had recently begun refusing to send tribute payments to Carlo Piranio.  Civello and DeCarlo met inside the St. Paul Drugstore at the intersection of St. Paul and Bryan Streets. Civello happened to be carrying a loaded shotgun at the time. As the men stood close to each other, the shotgun went off. DeCarlo was shot in the stomach. Rather than flee, Civello remained with the mortally wounded DeCarlo, protesting that his weapon had fired by accident. DeCarlo, with his dying breath, confirmed Civello’s story. Civello was arrested and charged with murder. He continued to insist that the killing was accidental. A Dallas grand jury gave considerable weight to DeCarlo’s dying statement. Within two days, Civello was released on his own recognizance. The grand jury continued its investigation into DeCarlo’s death and decided on July 27 not to indict Civello.   After Apalachin the FBI began following Civello. January 13, 1960, Civello was indicted for conspiracy and perjury offenses. Judge Irving R. Kaufman sentenced him and nineteen other mob leaders that were at Apalachin to five years in prison. Ten months later, a U.S. appeals court overturned the convictions of the twenty men. Prosecutors had proven conspiracy, the court decided, but had not proven that the conspiracy was designed to accomplish some unlawful act.      Informant Bobby Gene Moore told the FBI all he knew about Ruby’s many visits with Joseph Civello. A Ruby roommate recalled that Ruby and Joe Campisi  were very close friends and that Ruby spent a lot of his free time at Campisi's Egyptian Lounge Restaurant.

Note to text: James Robert Todd was born on December 10, 1919. He was described by FBI informants as "knowing Carlos Marcello on a first name basis.". In 1948  Todd became part of the Hollis Green Gang which specialized in burglaries of pharmaceutical houses and large drug-stores for narcotics and cash.  The son of Jack Todd, Gerald Todd, was involved in a shootout with Joe Campisi in 1973. The two business partners had a falling out.  The HSCA also questioned Mafia capo Campisi about Todd:

Note on the text: Weiner answered directly to Giancana from 1959 until at least until 1966.

Note: Jones was part of the Chicago Mafia group sent to Texas in 1946  to open gambling and bribe Sheriff Gutherie.  At the time, Jones was involved in the narcotics trade, which was experiencing a post-war renaissance, and imported directly from a Cuban based dope ring operated by syndicate bosses Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano.

Note to text: Harry Hall (born Harry Schwartz) was said to have been business partners with Jack Ruby in 1953 when Ruby was allegedly involved in gambling and confidence games.  The FBI discounted the information supplied by Harry Hall about having worked with Ruby despite the fact that Harry Hall was an FBI and Treasury Department informant who had provided the Treasury Department with reliable information in the past. Hall wanted to trade his information about  for release from Federal prison where he was incarcerated for fraud.

Note on the text:  On Saturday, November 23, 1963, Ruby called Lawrence Meyers at the Cabana Club. Meyers, who had known Ruby since 1959,  was a salesman for the Ero Manufacturing Company. When the FBI studied the toll records of the ERO Manufacturing Company it found calls to corporations that were investigated for illegal arms shipments to Israel. [FBI NY-9444] On November 21, 1963 at about 11:00 p.m., Ruby, Meyers and Jean Aase, an alleged prostitute,  went to the Cabana Motel for a late dinner. In the Cabana Motel's Bon Vivant Room they were joined by Edward Meyers, Lawrence Meyers brother. Ed Meyers was President of the Queens Beverage Company, headquartered at the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Plant in Brooklyn, New York, and was in Dallas to attend a Convention of the American Bottlers of Carbonated Beverages.

Note on the text: Nofio Pecora was a heroin smuggler based in New Orleans.  He was also considered, by the FBI, as a top lieutenant to Carlos Marcello, the New Orleans-based Mafia boss who controlled illegal gambling and drug distribution for most of the South from the 1940s through the 1970s. Pecora was present on the evening of May 5, 1947, at a secret meeting at the The Black Diamond, a nightclub in a seedy part of New Orleans that catered almost exclusively for black people, and a mob rendezvous (in the belief that it would reduce the chance of surveillance.) However the Federal Bureau of Narcotics were watching the place and that evening saw Pecora enter the club with Joe Poretto, heroin smuggler, Carlos Marcello with brothers Vincent, Joseph, Peter and Anthony. Jake and Nick Marcello, Carlos' nephews were also in the party. According to informants, it was at that meeting that Carlos Marcello was appointed boss of the New Orleans mob.   On October 30, 1963…three weeks before Kennedy was killed…. Ruby called New Orleans the telephone number  242-5431, which was listed under the name of Nofio Pecora at the Tropical Tourist Court and Trailer Park.

Note on the text: A month before labor Boss Jimmy Hoffa disappeared, Sam Giancana, 66, the one-time boss of the Chicago Mob, was killed. In June 1975 Giancana was subpoenaed by the Senate Intelligence Committee. Senator Church wanted to question him about the CIA/mafia link. Senator Richard Schweiker had some questions for him about Jack. Sam Giancana was murdered a few days before he was scheduled to testify.