Online Collection

Dallas Police Department property receipt for Jack Ruby

Object Number: L2017.1.16
Category: Documents
Type of Object: Document
Dimensions: 11 × 8 1/2 in. (27.9 × 21.6 cm)
Medium: Paper
Description
One copy of one page of the City of Dallas Police Department property receipt for Jack Ruby's belongings. The receipt was issued for property found on Ruby's person or in his car shortly after his arrest for shooting Lee Harvey Oswald on November 24, 1963. The document is dated November 25, 1963.

The invoice or receipt form list has four columns of information: "Quantity", "Article", "Bin No.", and "Disposition". Twenty-five items and $2,015.33 in cash are accounted for on this form. These items include a wrist watch, eyeglasses, rings, belts, clothes, and a felt hat. The property clerks who processed these items have been identified as "B J Smith & W M Dickey".

This object was originally part of the evidence collected by the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office and specifically prosecutors Henry Wade and Bill Alexander during the investigation leading up to the Jack Ruby trial for the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald.
Curator's Notes

The hat referred to on the property list is the grey fedora Jack Ruby was wearing at the time he shot alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.  The hat is in the Museum's permanent collection; see record for 2009.032.0001. - Lindsey Richardson, Curator of Collections

After Jack Ruby's death in 1967, Dallas County turned over his personal belongings - including the gun used to murder Lee Harvey Oswald - to Jules Mayer, then executor of Jack Ruby's estate. Former Dallas County Assistant District Attorney Bill Alexander told the Los Angeles Times in 1989 that Mr. Mayer "thought he could sell that gun to pay off debts and wind up the estate." Instead, Ruby's estate became the subject of a legal dispute in the late 1980s between Mayer and Ruby's brother, Earl. Once Earl Ruby took possession of his late brother's belongings, he put many items up for auction in New York City in December 1991. The New York Times reported that the auction was "to raise money to pay off the estate's legal bills and $86,000 his brother owed the Internal Revenue Service." Earl told the Times, "I didn't want to sell it, but I had to so I could get the lawyers and the IRS off my back." Ruby's gun sold at that auction for $220,000. - Stephen Fagin, Curator

In order to ensure its long-term care and preservation and to facilitate public access, the Dallas County District Attorney's Office placed their Jack Ruby Trial Collection (sometimes referred to as "the DA's Jack Ruby file") on long-term loan with The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza in 2017. The Museum is working to make the entire collection accessible through this online collections database. To find out more about this collection or to access materials not yet included here, contact the Museum's Reading Room at readingroom@jfk.org. - Megan Bryant, Director of Collections & Interpretation

This item, along with materials from the DA's Ruby file (which is on loan to the Museum) and from the Museum's permanent collection, briefly appeared in a temporary display on the Museum's seventh floor in 2017. - Lindsey Richardson, Curator of Collections

All requests for permission to reproduce, publish or broadcast materials in this collection must be submitted to the Museum's registrar, using the Rights & Reproductions Request Form. Inquiries may be sent to registrar@jfk.org.