December 8, 1963, Philadelphia Inquirer, page A22, Ruby Posed as TV Cameraman's Helper to Get at Oswald, by Joseph C. Goulden, diigo,
Dallas, Dec. 7. -- Jack Ruby became an equipment-carrying flunky for a television crew to get into the basement where he killed accused Presidential assassin Lee H. Oswald.
An unimpeachable law enforcement source says Ruby relied on a close friendship with a local TV cameraman to gain a spot on the crew.
Laden with heavy electronic equipment, he walked unimpeded past police whose security cordon around the basement was somewhat less than tight.
A pistol in his overcoat pocket, the strip-tease club operator waited patiently until detectives brought Oswald through the basement the morning of Nov. 24, for transfer to the county jail, a mile away.
Then with a single pistol shot Ruby mortally wounded Oswald, silencing forever the man who had the answers to America's crime of the century.
Ruby's ruse is one of several previously overlooked facets of the slaying of President Kennedy noted by an Inquirer reporter in Dallas this week.
Others included: [this portion in BOLD typeface in the original article:]
--THE DISCOVERY THAT THE U.S. COMMUNIST PARTY WROTE CASTRO-SYMPATHIZER OSWALD A LETTER THANKING HIM "FOR YOUR PHOTOGRAPHIC CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE COMMUNIST PARTY." PHOTO MATERIALS AND A NEGATIVE OF A BLANK SELECTIVE SERVICE SYSTEM CARD WERE FOUND AMONG OSWALD'S EFFECTS.
--THE REVELATION THAT THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION TRIED TO RECRUIT OSWALD AS AN UNDERCOVER INFORMANT IN CASTRO GROUPS TWO MONTHS BEFORE MR. KENNEDY'S DEATH.
--STATEMENTS FROM RESIDENTS WHO SAW OSWALD WITH A RIFLE IN A WINDOW OF THE TEXAS SCHOOL BOOK DEPOSITORY 15 MINUTES BEFORE THE SHOTS KILLED MR. KENNEDY AND WOUNDED TEXAS GOV. JOHN CONNALLY.
--INDICATIONS OF BITTER RIVALRY AND LACK OF COOPERATION AMONG OFFICERS WORKING THE CASE - BOTH BETWEEN THEMSELVES AND WITH THE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY, HENRY WADE, AND TEXAS ATTORNEY GENERAL WAGGONER CARR. THE IMPLIED VILLAIN IS THE FBI.
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The story of the Oswald slaying, as pieced together from authoritative law enforcement sources, is at sharp variance with the version offered by Ruby's lawyer, Tom Howard.
Ruby's story, as relayed by Howard, is that he sneaked through officers guarding the jail basement at Dallas City Hall and fired the shot before anyone could stop him.
An investigator who has interrogated Ruby says Howard's version "just isn't true."
Ruby came to the jail about 9:45 A.M. Nov. 24, 15 minutes before the time Police Chief Jesse Curry had set to transfer Oswald in full view of TV cameras and waiting newsmen.
Police were making a sporadic and inefficient check of newsmen's credentials-- supposedly the only outsiders allowed in the basement.
Ruby had wandered freely through the police station the previous two nights, even attending, and asking questions at, one of Wade's press conferences.
OFFERS TO HELP
With more serious things on his mind now, Ruby took no chances of being barred at the gate. He approached a cameraman for a Dallas area television station who is a frequenter of his strip tease joint, the downtown Carousel Club.
"How about getting me in there?" Ruby asked the cameraman, who was unloading equipment. "I can help you with some of that gear."
The cameraman agreed, and Ruby carried several satchels of TV equipment. He then mingled with the mass of newsmen and policemen in the basement until Oswald came out.
The name of the cameraman is known to law enforcement agencies here. And presumably the episode will be made public in a report on Ruby now being drafted by a special panel of police investigators.
The cameraman, however, denied helping Ruby. "I don't know anything about it," he said, and would not discuss the matter further.
Dallas police are handling the matter gingerly. Curry and Capt. Will Fritz, homicide division head, have been roasted in the national and foreign press for "Keystone Kop bungling" on the transfer.
If police are able to prove, therefore, that an unsuspecting newsman helped Ruby get into the basement, they expect much of the criticism to halt.
Newsmen have not been able to ask Ruby how he entered the basement. Sheriff Bill Decker has him under heavy guard in the county jail; his only visitors, save for Howard and investigators, have been relatives and business associates.
The fact Oswald had done photographic chores for the Communist Party was revealed by Assistant District Attorney William F. Alexander, Wade's chief prosecutor.
The letter, Alexander said, was among perhaps six found in Oswald's room in Oak Cliff, which he occupied under a false name.
Several expensive cameras and rolls of film were found in the room by sheriff's detectives and turned over to the FBI.
The most vital piece of material, however, was the negative for a blank draft card.
A Federal intelligence source - not involved in the murder investigation - said such a negative "would be invaluable" to anyone involved in espionage work.
"With a printing plate made from such a negative, you could run off blank draft cards by the hundreds," the intelligence agent said.
Oswald had worked for a photographic firm in Dallas earlier this year. This was after a visit to the Soviet Union during which he sought to renounce his U.S. citizenship.
Alexander said one of the letters - three pages in length - gave Oswald detailed instructions on how to set up a "Fair Play for Cuba Committee." This was on Communist Party stationary and was signed by the same man who had thanked Oswald for the photographic help.
The FBI has not released the text of the letters, nor would local agents discuss them.
Other materials were found in Oswald's quarters in suburban Irving, where his wife and two children lived with Mrs. Ruth Paine, who had befriended them. These included: [this portion in BOLD typeface in the original article:]
--SEVEN METAL FILE BOXES WITH NAMES OF CASTRO SYMPATHIZERS.
--BATCHES OF LEAFLETS WITH THE LEGEND: "HANDS OFF CUBA." THESE BORE THE IMPRINT OF THE "FAIR PLAY FOR CUBA COMMITTEE."
--A CATALOG OF BOOKS AND PAMPHLETS ON SOCIALISM AND COMMUNISM.
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The FBI attempt to recruit Oswald as an informant, an informed law enforcement source said, was made in September, just after he had moved to Dallas from New Orleans.
Oswald's mother said an "agent named Hosty" came to the Irving house and talked to the young man at length in his car.
An FBI agent named James Hosty handles investigations of subversives for the Dallas field office.
The source said he did not know if the FBI succeeded in hiring Oswald; and the Federal agency would not discuss the matter.
Investigators previously said Oswald built a "cave" of boxes in which he hid from view in a fifth-floor window of the book warehouse, and was not clearly visible from the street.
This is contradicted however, by at least two residents who told deputy sheriffs immediately after the shooting they had spotted a man there earlier.
'WAS TAKING AIM'
One of the men -- whose name is being withheld by the Inquirer at the request of officers -- said he glanced at the building several minutes before the Presidential cavalcade rolled by.
"He was sitting up there looking down, apparently waiting for the same thing I was -- the President," the man said. He noticed nothing unusual, then casually looked up again as Mr. Kennedy's car approached.
In stunned, frozen horror, the man said: "He was taking aim with a high powered rifle. I was looking at the time he fired the shots. He did not seem to be in any hurry."
'MAN IN THE WINDOW'
A couple was standing at an intersection across from the building, 15 minutes before the parade. The man remarked to his wife that he hoped no incidents would mar the President's visit, that the Secret Service was protecting him. He looked at the building and saw a man.
"He was holding in his arms what appeared to be a high-powered rifle," the man said. "He was holding it at parade rest."
"Looks like the Secret Service is really on the job," the man said, pointing to the rifleman. His nearsighted wife could not see him.
A quarter of an hour later the couple was among hundreds of sidewalk viewers who heard the fatal shots from the building.