This late 1966 letter to Jack Ruby touches on two important aspects of the Kennedy assassination story. Many felt, and continue to feel, that Jack Ruby was part of a larger conspiracy to kill President Kennedy and was possibly given the task of "silencing" the accused assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. Knowing that Ruby was dying of cancer at Parkland Memorial Hospital, many hoped he might give some kind of death bed confession and reveal the "truth" about the assassination. Ruby, however, denied until the end of his life that he was part of any plot to kill President Kennedy.
Secondly, this letter writer uses the terms "lousy" and "stinking" to describe the city of Dallas, whose reputation suffered internationally in the aftermath of the Kennedy assassination. It is especially interesting that these negative descriptives were still in use more than three years after the president's death. - Stephen Fagin, Curator
Jack Ruby began receiving letters and telegrams immediately after the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald on November 24, 1963. Letters continued to arrive on a regular basis until just after Jack Ruby's death at Parkland Memorial Hospital on January 3, 1967. Dallas County deputy sheriff Al Maddox recalled that within twenty-four hours of the Oswald shooting, Ruby had already received 98 letters; most were congratulatory, while only four specifically criticized his act of violence. After that, remembered Al Maddox, "he'd get a hundred a day. It was nothing to get a hundred a day--85, 90 letters a day." - Stephen Fagin, Curator
This letter was displayed in the Museum's temporary exhibition, "Jack Ruby: The Man in That Hat" from October 2010 to August 2011. - Lindsey Richardson, Curator of Collections