Online Collection

Handwritten letter sent to Jack Ruby the day he shot Lee Harvey Oswald

Object Number: 2005.010.0206.0001
Category: Documents
Type of Object: Letter
Dimensions: 9 x 6 in. (22.9 x 15.2 cm)
Medium: Paper
Description
Handwritten letter addressed to Jack Ruby within hours of his being incarcerated for shooting accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.

Letter is handwritten in black on a single sheet of plain white paper. It reads:

"11/24/63

1417 N. Bronson Ave
Hollywood 28, Calif.

Dear Jack-
I think I know what prompted you to pull that trigger - Wish I could have done it - It was not only your finger on that trigger but, the fingers of a hundred and eighty million americans -
Im with you boy - all you did was get rid of a crummy rat. I think right or wrong you did what I would have like to have done -
Sincerely
Les Parker"

The letter also has two sets of signed initials by the date in the upper right hand corner. As with any county prisoner, Jack Ruby's mail was collected and read by Dallas County deputy sheriffs before being passed along to Ruby.
Curator's Notes

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

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.