Carol Forsloff–“Just the perfect storm, just the events came together for that shooting to occur,“ one of the sisters of Jack Ruby recalls. If he did think about it in that snap, he thought he was going to be a hero. Thought he was going to be a big shot. People were going to thank him, for killing the man who killed the President.”
The events of November 22, 1963 came fast over four days, with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and then the killing of Lee Harvey Oswald, the reputed assassin, followed by the shooting death of Oswald by Jack Ruby. As some of the key figures of the day reminisce over these events, the relatives of Jack Ruby tell us of their feelings about those days in November that most Americans who were alive in those days will never forget.
In a press release, Ruby’s relatives discuss what happened and how it impacted their family. It was a time of sadness for them, as they reflect on Ruby’s life before that November.
Ruby grew up as one of eight children of an alcoholic father and a mother remembered as angry and domineering, who was confined to a mental hospital leaving her children alone or in foster homes throughout much of Ruby’s childhood.
Ruby moved from Chicago to Dallas in order to have a better life. He was remembered by one of his nieces who saw her uncle Jack just three months before the assassination. She was ten years old at the time. “He always wore a suit and hat,” she recalls. “He had a wonderful dog who would never come out from under the bed to play with us. “ That dog, Sheba, would later become a piece of evidence in the investigation that followed.
A sister of Ruby tells us, “You know he was outgoing and gregarious and laughed a lot.” She has not told her own children about her relationship to Ruby and over the years attempts to explain what happened have not been accorded much value since so many people believe there was a conspiracy to kill the President.
The sister continues, “they don’t want to hear a simple story like, he was a hothead guy, a really emotional guy in the wrong place at the wrong time. I have tried at various times over the years and it’s gone bad!”
After the assassination, when he was in prison, he would call our house a lot,” another sister recalls. “He was always sort of apologetic and many times he would sort of start to cry, and ask for forgiveness for what he had done to the family.” But it was the call the family got on the evening of the assassination the family says they will never forget. Ruby wanted to go home to Chicago.
“Jack called, and he was crying, he was upset and he wanted to come to Chicago and be with the family for the weekend,” a niece remembered. But their mother told Ruby no and that he needed to stay in Dallas with his sister who was recovering from surgery.
So Ruby stayed in Dallas where he shot Lee Harvey Oswald in front of a national television audience just two days after the President was assassinated.
According to the family, Ruby’s mother felt guilty that she had persuaded him to stay in Dallas.
Ruby left his dog in the car, which the family and investigators say was evidence he did not cunningly plan to kill Oswald. He saw the activity at the police station, saw Oswald emerge, then pulled his gun and fired.
The family declares Ruby was not a monster and just a man overcome with grief. “