Excerpts from "the first rough draft of history" as reported in The Washington Post on this date in the 20th century.
The murder of President Kennedy's alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, only raised more questions -- including the significance, if any, of Jack Ruby's alleged mob connections -- and clouded investigations for years to come. Ruby died of cancer in 1967. An excerpt from The Post of Nov. 25, 1963:
By Wayne Thomis
Chicago Tribune News Service
DALLAS, Nov. 24
Lee Harvey Oswald, 24, who was accused of the assassination of President Kennedy and the murder of a Dallas policeman, was fatally wounded by a Dallas night club owner today in the basement of the municipal building.
The crime was committed before television cameras and thus before millions of viewers throughout the United States.
Oswald died in the Parkland Hospital at 1:07 p.m. CST (2:07 EST). It was the same hospital where last Friday President Kennedy breathed his last. Oswald's death came within 1 hour and 40 minutes of the dramatic shooting incident. The fatal wound was below the heart and was made by a single .38 caliber bullet.
The slayer, identified by police as Jack Ruby, or Rubenstein, was seized by several policemen within a second after firing the fatal shot. He was charged with murder before Justice of the Peace Pierce McBridge. Ruby was held without bond.
"I did this because I have a deep sense of responsibility to Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy," Ruby reportedly told a Dallas policeman within minutes of his capture.
"I did it to spare Mrs. Kennedy the agony of a prolonged trial."
Ruby is a former Chicagoan who came to Dallas 15 years ago and has been the owner of night spots and burlesque shows. ... He is known in Dallas as an emotional, unstable character who reportedly has been involved in night club fist fights and other minor disorders.
He sought personal publicity with constant appearances at Dallas newspaper offices and liked to consort with Dallas policemen. ...
The shooting today involved an incredible breach of police security. It occurred despite the fact that at least 60 policemen and deputy sheriffs were within several feet of Oswald at all times. It occurred within two seconds after Oswald was brought outside the inner security section of the building preparatory to his transfer to the Dallas County jail. ...
He took perhaps five paces forward when suddenly from a railing where mingled police, newspapermen, and television cameras were banked there was a movement. A man wearing a dark hat and dark suit, crouching low, ran forward in five mincing steps, raised his right hand carrying a .38 caliber snub-nosed revolver and shoved it against Oswald's abdomen just below the rib cage.
There was a sharp, booming explosion, and Oswald fell backward, doubling over his wound and moaning. Except for the moan, Oswald did not make a sound.