Ruby was born Jacob Leon Rubenstein in Chicago on March 25, 1911. On June 6,
1922, aged 11, he was arrested for truancy and eventually spent time at
the Institute of Juvenile Research. Young Rubenstein sold tip sheets and various
other novelties and later acted as business agent for a local refuse collectors
union that later became part of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. In
the 1940s, he frequented racetracks in Illinois and California. At the age of 32
Rubenstein left Chicago and joined the armed forces. From 1943-1946 he served in
the Army Air Force, worked as an aircraft mechanic, and was promoted to Private
According to former schoolmate Leonard Patrick, who knew Jack Rubenstein as a
youth in Chicago, Rubenstein had no contact with local mobsters. Another
childhood friend, Dave Yaras, said that Rubenstein was “positively on his own
and not outfit connected." Bill Roemer, an FBI agent who investigated the Mafia
in Chicago, said “Ruby was absolutely nothing in terms of the Chicago Mob. We
had thousands and thousands of hours of tape recordings of the top Mobsters in
Chicago, including Giancana, and Ruby just didn’t exist as far as they were
concerned. We talked to every hoodlum in Chicago after the assassination, and
some of the top guys in the Mob, my informants. I had close relationships with
them—they didn’t even know who Ruby was. He was not a front for them in Dallas.”
The Warren Commission reported, “Both State and Federal officials have indicated
that Ruby was not affiliated with organized criminal activity." Jack Ruby was
never arrested nor linked to any known mob-related activities such as
loan-sharking, prostitution, numbers, protection, fencing, contract killing,
bribery, robbery, extortion, etc. in Chicago, Dallas, New York or anywhere.
On May 28, 1943 Jack Rubenstein enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He was assigned
to the 1633 SU for 5 days and then to Company AAF, Military Police, RTC, Keesler
Field, MS for the next four months. During the summer (1943) Rubenstein attended
the first of several communist party meetings on the third floor of a commercial
building located at Walnut Street between Charles and Jackson in Muncie,
Indiana. George William Fehrenbach worked on the second floor of the building
and remembered the meetings. He told the FBI that in 1943 he met Jack
Rubenstein, who he described as friendly, jovial, and "not fat, but with a good
muscular build." He thought Rubenstein was in the armed services, but was not
wearing a uniform. Fehrenbach told the WC, “some of them like I say were from
Ohio, some of them from Chicago, Indianapolis, Indiana, and various parts, all
over, and there was so many people... I had never seen before.” Fehrenbach said
that Rubenstein always dressed very nicely and recalled, “he (Rubenstein)
treated me like I was somebody. He treated me very decent and when I addressed
him as 'Mr. Rubenstein' he informed me that his name was 'Jack' and that is the
way I was supposed to address him. He treated me very, very nicely. As far as I
can remember, and as far as I know, and to the best of my knowledge, he was a
member of the Communist Party at that time, or at least he was certainly thickly
associated with them ... it seemed like every time they (Rubenstein and friends)
came from Chicago to Muncie, Ind., they (Communist Party members) would have one
of these meetings, either the day before or the same day, and that there was
also quite a bit of talk about this meeting they was having.”
the assassination, four Dallas deputy constables (fully empowered peace officers
with county-wide jurisdiction) inspected a box obtained from Mary Sims that
contained documents which linked Ruby and Oswald. The deputies, Billy J.
Preston, Ben Cash, Robie Love, and Mike Callahan saw a photocopy of what
appeared to be a press card for the communist newspaper, “The Daily Worker,”
with Jack Ruby's name as the Chicago correspondent. Ruby was not a communist,
but appears to have been monitoring the activities of local communist party
Fehrenbach told the WC about Rubenstein's second visit to Muncie, IN in early
1944. He said, “The second time he (Jack Rubenstein) came there we had lunch, I
would say I spent approximately 2 hours with him that day. I remember this
because I was somewhat afraid that Sam (Fehrenbach's boss) was going to give me
a good bawling out for being late because we were over at the restaurant for
about an hour and a half.” During lunch Jack invited Fehrenbach to visit him in
In February, 1946, Jack Rubenstein left the military and in October moved to
Dallas where his sister (Eva Grant) had been living since 1943. Eva owned and
operated the Singapore Supper Club (later the Silver Spur) at 1717 S. Ervay, and
asked her brother for help in running the club. This was Jack Rubenstein's
introduction into the nightclub business where he met local people, “drummed up”
business, and became friendly with police officers.” During the next few years
Rubenstein spent time in both Dallas and Chicago.
In early 1947 George William Fehrenbach saw his friend “Jack” in Muncie, Ind.
for the third and last time. A few days later Fehrenbach found a list on the
third floor of his office building that contained the names of more than 100
people who he suspected were associated with the Communist Party. One of the
names on the list was “Jack Rubenstein." He quickly put the list in his shirt
and turned it over to his father-in-law, Merv Collins, who was a local police
officer. Collins said, “I will see that it gets into the proper hands.”
Following the assassinations of JFK and LHO Fehrenbach learned that a man named
“Jack Ruby” had murdered Oswald. But when Fehrenbach saw Ruby's photo in the
newspaper he called the FBI. He told FBI agents that the picture was a very good
likeness of the person introduced to him as Jack Rubenstein.
there was another Jack Rubenstein whose name was known to a few members of
Congress. This Rubenstein (DOB 4/5/1905) was originally from New York, New
Jersey, and later the Bronx. He was thin, well over 6 ft tall, and a member of
the Young Communist League in the 1920s. Rubenstein broke with the Young
Communist League in 1929, distanced himself from communists, joined the Textile
Workers of America, was the New York State Director of the Textile Workers Union
of America in 1947, and vice-president of the New York AFL-CIO until his
retirement in 1973. This man, because of his prior association with the Young
Communist League, was mentioned during the Dies Committee hearings in 1938 and
here to view letters).
researchers have suggested this "Rubenstein" was the man who attended communist
party meetings in Muncie, IN in the 1940s. But this prominent and well known
labor leader was known to tens of thousands of textile workers, senior labor
leaders, and politicians. It is difficult to believe that he would drive 700
miles (to Muncie, IN) to attend meetings of a few dozen local members of the
communist party, when he had broken away from the party 15 years earlier. The
meetings held in Muncie, IN were attended by Jacob (Jack) Rubenstein of Chicago,
who was posing as the Chicago correspondent for the “Daily Worker,” but in
reality was an informant for the House on Un-American Activities Committee
(HUAC-which began in 1945).
Two “Jack Rubensteins?” Yes, and they were very different people.
The photo of the New York Rubenstein at left was taken in 1927. The
1958 photo at right of the New York Rubenstein (fourth from
left in back row) shows that he was quite tall. The Jack Ruby who
killed Oswald was just 5' 8-1/2" tall.
There are indications that Jack Rubenstein, of Chicago and Dallas, may have been
hired as an informant for the House UnAmerican Activities Committee (HUAC) to
report on Communist Party activities. A memorandum written by a HUAC staff
assistant on November 24, 1947 reads, “It is my sworn statement that one Jack
Rubenstein of Chicago noted as a potential witness for hearings of the House
Committee on UnAmerican Activities is performing information functions for the
staff of Cong. Richard M. Nixon, Rep. Of California. It is requested Rubenstein
not be called for open testimony in those aforementioned hearings."
preceding document concerning Jack Rubenstein, of Chicago, working as an
informant for the HUAC is based upon a memorandum signed by “L.S.” on 11/24/47.
In 1982 Nixon told his former aide and confidante (Roger Stone), “The damn thing
is, I knew this Jack Ruby. Murray (Chotiner) brought him to me in 1947, said he
was one of 'Johnson's boys' and that LBJ wanted us to hire him as an informant
to the Committee. We did.”
One month after Rubenstein had been hired by the HUAC, he legally changed his
name. On December 30, 1947 the 68th Judicial District Court in Dallas granted
Jacob Leon Rubenstein's petition to change his name to Jack Leon Ruby. Ruby
soon began dating Alice Reaves Nichols, a blonde divorcee 4 years his junior,
whom he continued to date until 1958.
In the early 1950's Robert Ray McKeown was a 42 year old engineer from Texas who
owned and operated a manufacturing plant in Santiago, Cuba, with the blessing of
Cuban President Carlos Prio Socarras. On March 10, 1952 General Fulgencio
Batista, with army backing, staged a coup, ousted Carlos Prio and took control
of Cuba. McKeown soon began working with Prio in an effort to help restore him
to power. Prio was a very wealthy man (a fortune estimated at $50 million) and
began backing Fidel Castro and his small band of rebels with arms and munitions
in their attempts to overthrow Batista.
as early as 1952 Robert McKeown was the subject of an FBI Neutrality Act
Investigation in connection with arms smuggling to Prio and rebel forces in
Cuba. In a letter to J. Lee Rankin of the Warren Commission, Hoover wrote: "The
neutrality and registration act investigation related primarily to the
activities of Carlos Prio Socarras, who, with a number of others including
McKeown, was involved in a conspiracy to ship arms, munitions, and other war
materials to Fidel Castro to assist him in his efforts to overthrow the Batista
regime in this investigation."
In 1952 Jack Ruby sold the Silver Spur nightclub to Gimpel and Willie Epstein.
He then began commuting from Dallas to Daytona, Florida where he became involved
in supplying counterfeit currency, guns, and munitions to leftist rebels in
Ruby was not seen in Dallas for several months in 1952. In an interview with the
FBI Ruby said that he went broke in the night club business, was "mentally
depressed, hibernated in the Cotton Bowl Hotel for three or four months, and
then returned to Chicago for 6 weeks.” Nonsense; Jack Ruby was in Florida.
In Florida Ruby soon became acquainted with former Cuban President Carlos Prio,
who was supplying arms and munitions to Castro. It was during this time that
Ruby met gun smuggler and CIA operative Donald Edward Browder. The two men
contracted with Joe Marrs (Marrs Aircraft, Miami) to transport weapons and
munitions to Cuba. Ruby soon purchased an interest in two aircraft that he used
to illegally transport the arms, and also acquired partial ownership in a Havana
gaming house in which Carlos Prio held majority ownership. Donald Browder knew
Jack Ruby well and said, “During the pre-Castro years (pre-1959), the CIA and
Customs would not oppose gun shipments to Castro.”
Mack Johnson (FBI informant “T-2”) knew a lot about Ruby's and Browder's
gun-running activities in the early 1950s. In 1964 Johnson provided the FBI with
detailed information concerning their activities and gave the Bureau the names
of three people who he said could corroborate his story: Joe Marrs of Marrs
Aircraft, with whom Ruby had contracted to make illegal flights to Cuba; Leslie
Lewis, former Chief of Police in Hialeah, Florida, who knew of Ruby's gunrunning
and smuggling operations; and pilot Clifton T. Bowes, Jr., formerly a captain
with National Airlines in Miami. When questioned by the FBI, following the
assassination of JFK and Ruby's nationally televised murder of Oswald, these
three individuals denied being involved with the illegal transportation of
firearms and, of course, denied knowing Jack Ruby.
On August 1, 1953 Fidel Castro and 123 armed men and women supporters attacked
the Moncada military barracks in Santiago (where Robert McKeown lived and
worked) in an attempt to begin the overthrow of the Batista regime. Castro was
arrested and given a 15 year prison term. Ruby's gun-running activities suddenly
came to an end and he returned to Dallas where he re-opened the Silver Spur
nightclub, took over the Vegas Club with partners Joe Bonds and Irving Alkana,
and was soon operating a third nightclub, “Hermando's Hideaway."
In May, 1954 the United States indicted former Cuban President Carlos Prio and
seventeen other persons on charges stemming from their purchase, exportation,
and transportation of arms and munitions to Cuba. Prio did not contest the
charges, plead “nolo contendere," and was fined a mere $9,000. Jack Ruby,
Prio's business partner and gun-running accomplice, was not charged, indicted,
nor even questioned by US government authorities.
one of Donald Browder's contacts was Efrom Pichardo who was charged with
conspiracy to ship arms to Cuba on behalf of Carlos Prio. Another co-defendant,
Marcos Diaz Lanz, was a close associate of CIA operative Frank Sturgis
On May 15,
1955 Fidel Castro was released from prison and fled to Mexico where he met Dr.
Ernesto “Che” Guevara, a physician from Argentina. Castro soon visited the US in
search of wealthy people who he thought would be sympathetic to his cause and
offer financial aid to support his coming revolution.
On November 25, 1956 Castro purchased an old yacht, the “Granma," and set sail
from Tuxpan, Veracruz to Cuba with 82 armed revolutionaries. Upon landing they
were attacked by Batista military forces and many were killed. The Castro
brothers and Che Guevara escaped, fled into the Sierra Maestra Mountains, and
began recruiting people sympathetic to their cause.
In 1957 Robert McKeown lost his manufacturing business when Cuban President
Batista deported him, allegedly for not paying kickbacks, but more likely for
helping Carlos Prio supply arms to Castro. By this time Prio, McKeown, and Jack
Ruby had known each other for 5 years. But it was McKeown who began to develop a
close, personal friendship with Castro as he delivered boatload after boatload
of arms and munitions from operations based in Miami, Tampa, and later from
Seabrook and Kemah, Tex (where McKeown lived). For his services McKeown was
always paid in the office of an attorney who was counsel for Haiti, in cash,
with $100 bills bundled in paper wrapping marked “Pan American Bank, Miami."
In a letter from Hoover to Rankin on April 17, 1964, the FBI informed the Warren
Commission that McKeown was one of the persons "in an extensive investigation
conducted by the Bureau since 1952 concerning the activities of Carlos Prio
Socarras." The FBI said that Prio, along with others including McKeown, was
engaged in assisting Castro in his revolutionary pursuit against Batista. The
Bureau also had reports that “Jack Ruby/Rubenstein” was involved in supplying
arms to Castro, but never provided those reports to the Commission, thereby
helping to conceal any connections Ruby may have had with CIA operatives.
Castro and approximately 300 rebels were waging a guerilla campaign against
Batista's government troops with weapons and munitions supplied by CIA-sponsored
gun-runners. Once again, Browder and Ruby began to smuggle guns from Florida and
Texas to Castro, while their activities were being monitored by the CIA and
US Customs. The FBI had a 1000 page file on Browder, but in 1964 they
released only three to the Warren Commission. The Bureau knowingly helped to
conceal Ruby's gun-running with CIA operative Browder from the Commission. In
the 1970's Browder testified before the House Select Committee on Assassinations
and admitted that he used to work for the CIA. He told the Committee that he
purchased arms from a CIA-proprietary company, the International Arms
Corporation (InterArmco, of Alexandria, VA), and then smuggled the arms to
Browder was a former Lockheed test pilot who, at the time of his HSCA interview,
was serving a 25-year prison sentence for "security violations." Browder told
the HSCA that one year after the assassination of President Kennedy he leased a
B-25 bomber under the name of a non-existent company and flew it to Haiti. He
then cashed a check in the amount of $25,000 that was signed by George
DeMohrenschildt's Haitian business associate, Clemard Charles. The HSCA used
Browder's testimony in their report relating to George DeMohrenschildt. But the
HSCA did not use any of ex-CIA operative Donald Browder's testimony in their
report that related to Jack Ruby. The HSCA helped to conceal Ruby's connections
with CIA operative Browder, just as the FBI had helped to conceal Ruby's
gun-running activities from the Warren Commission. The FBI file on Browder
contains more than a thousand pages, yet the Bureau released only three to the
Warren Commission. The reluctance of government authorities to properly
investigate Ruby's connections to CIA operatives during most of the 1950's and
early 1960's make sense as we begin to understand the extent of CIA involvement
in the assassination of President Kennedy and Ruby's televised murder of Lee
As Castro and his growing number of rebels were attacking Batista's troops, Ruby
was commuting between Dallas and the Houston waterfront community of Kemah, TX.
James E. Beaird, a poker playing friend of Ruby's, told both The Dallas
Morning News and the FBI that Ruby used to store guns and ammunition in a
two-story house between the waterfront and railroad tracks in Kemah, TX., in
Galveston Bay. On the weekends Beaird personally saw Ruby and his associates
load "many boxes of new guns, including automatic rifles and handguns" onto a
50-foot long military-surplus boat. It was Robert McKeown who often piloted the
boat to a drop-off point in Mexico, where Castro himself would land his yacht,
the Granma, and pick up the arms. As McKeown delivered more and more arms to
Castro, these two men developed a close, personal relationship. Their
relationship became so close that shortly after Castro took over in Cuba he flew
to Houston, TX and met with McKeown in an attempt to persuade his good friend to
return to Cuba. Castro promised McKeown that he would be given a high government
position or a business concession. When later questioned about Ruby's
gun-running activities in Galveston Bay, Beaird said “many people knew all about
this because he (Ruby) was so open with it." But unlike Prio, McKeown, and
dozens of other people who supplied arms to Castro, Jack Ruby was never charged,
indicted nor even questioned by US government authorities. Ruby appeared to have
no fear of being arrested for his gun-running activities from 1952 through 1963.
Not only did US government agencies overlook Ruby's illegal gun-running
activities, but so did the Warren Commission, HSCA, the Church Committee, and
In early 1958 the FBI learned that some of Castro's forces were planning a raid
on Cuba from Texas, and it was McKeown who was busy arranging the procurement
and shipment of arms. The FBI also documented McKeown's involvement with
Mario Villamia, a CIA-connected associate of Carlos Prio who lived in Miami
and later participated in the CIA's Bay of Pigs invasion.
On February 18, 1958, the San Antonio FBI office provided information to US
Customs that McKeown had purchased a yacht called the “Buddy Dee.” A few days
later US Customs officials seized the Buddy Dee while the vessel was cruising
from Patterson, La. to Houston with a load of arms and munitions. On February 25
Federal agents arrested McKeown and charged him with conspiracy to smuggle guns
and related equipment to Cuba for the benefit and use of Castro. McKeown's
co-defendants included Carlos Prio, Jorge Sotus, Manuel Arques, Mario
Villamia and Evelyn Archer. On October 24 the U.S. District Court, Southern
District of Texas, convicted McKeown and sentenced him to 60 days in jail,
fined him $500, and imposed a 5-year probation period, to terminate on December
11, 1963. Carlos Prio plead guilty, but his sentence was soon suspended by
authorities. But Jack Ruby, who never tried to conceal or hide his
gun-running activities, was never once questioned, charged, nor indicted.
Some of Prio's co-defendants were working for the CIA. Mario Villamia, of Miami,
FL., participated in the Bay of Pigs invasion and continued to work with the CIA
during the 1960's. Juan Orta, while secretly working for the CIA, was director
of Castro's ministerial office in Havana.
In March, 1958 the US government announced the suspension of arms sales to
Batista. It was now just a matter of time before Castro and his growing army of
rebels (now numbering around 3000) succeeded in overthrowing Batista.
While Prio and McKeown were facing charges for conspiracy to smuggle guns to
Cuba, Jack Ruby was once again commuting between Dallas and Florida. In May
(1958) Dolores Rhoads, her husband Richard Rhoads, and her mother (Mrs. Mary
Thompson) visited her aunt and uncle, James and Mary Lou Woodard, in Islamorada,
Florida. Dolores and Richard spent the first night in a small two-unit motel
operated by “Jack” and “Isabel” who were acquaintances of her uncle. “Jack”, who
was originally from Chicago, said his first name was “Leon” but he went by
“Jack." Jack Ruby's middle name was Leon. Mrs. Woodard said that Jack had a
trunk full of guns that he was going to supply to the Cubans. Mrs. Thompson was
told there were supplies of guns hidden in the marshes near Islamorada that were
to be sold and delivered to the Cubans. Mary Thompson and her daughter said that
“Jack” was driving a late model grey colored Buick with Texas license plates.
Dolores recalled that when drunk one evening her uncle, James Woodard, said he
was going to help Jack run guns to Cuba.
Charles G. Watters was a CPA and worked for an accounting firm that kept Ruby's
books until early 1960. Watters told the FBI that Ruby drove a second-hand Buick
interviewed James Woodard in September, 1963. Woodard said that he had
participated in the Bay of Pigs invasion and had furnished ammunition and
dynamite to both Castro and his anti-Castro forces. On October 8, 1963, Woodard
was questioned again, this time concerning dynamite found at his residence in
South Dade County, Florida. He said the dynamite was to be used by Cuban exile
forces fighting the Castro regime. Apparently the FBI did not ask Woodard if he
knew or associated with Jack Ruby, “Leon," or “Rubenstein."
Following the assassination of President Kennedy, and the murder of Oswald by
Jack Ruby, James Woodard's sister said that her brother had been in Texas a lot,
and that she had asked James if he ever knew Ruby. He said no, but then promptly
disappeared and hasn't been seen since November 25, 1963.
In 1958 a boat load of Cubans came ashore at a dock in Marathon Shores, Florida,
and a young American placed a telephone call to a man in Dallas named “Ruby."
In 1958 the Oklahoma State Crime Commission linked “Abe Rubenstein," owner of a
night club in Dallas, to a carload of guns and ammunition destined for Cuba.
In 1958 “Jack Rubenstein” wrote a letter to the Office of Munitions Controls
requesting permission to negotiate the purchase of firearms and ammunition from
an Italian firm.
In 1959 an Army Intelligence Report, related to importers of armaments
(11/26/62), listed “Jack Rubenstein” as the representative for Saunders Import
Company, New York, NY.
It is interesting, and noteworthy, that while multi-millionaire and former Cuban
President Carlos Prio Socarras, Robert McKeown, and numerous CIA connected
co-defendants were arrested and convicted for running guns from 1953 through
1958, Jack Ruby was never once questioned, detained, nor arrested for the
very same activities. Ruby never seemed concerned about his gun-running
activites, but following the assassinations of President Kennedy and Oswald,
Ruby was deeply concerned. Ruby warned his attorney (Tom Howard) about his CIA
connections, and feared that if these connections were revealed it would expose
the CIA's role in JFK’s assassination. A year later Tom Howard died, allegedly
of a heart attack, at age 48; but reporters and friends thought he had been
In the summer of 1958, while awaiting trial for gun-running, McKeown entered
into a partnership with a “Mr. Jarrett” and opened the J and M Drive-In on Red
Bluff Road near Kemah, TX. His good friend Carlos Prio funded their venture with
a loan. According to McKeown, Prio had also promised him a one-half interest in
the Seria Biltmore, a hotel in Havana. After his arrest, Prio's days of securing
and arranging shipments of arms and munitions to Castro were over, and the
multi-millionaire and former Cuban President turned his attention to developing
real estate in Miami and Puerto Rico.
On April 5, 1977, while being sought for questioning by the HSCA, Carlos Prio
was found lying on the ground outside the garage of his luxurious Miami Beach
home, dead from gunshot wounds. He allegedly committed suicide—one week
after George DeMohrenschildt allegedly committed suicide by gunshot, and
three months after CIA asset and former US Ambassador William Pawley
allegedly committed suicide on January 7, 1977. The HSCA could have asked
Prio to explain how and where he acquired arms and munitions, how they were
transported to Cuba, how and by whom he was paid, and his connection with Ruby,
McKeown, and numerous CIA operatives including the notorious Frank
Fiorini/Sturgis. Prio's testimony would have shown that Jack Ruby had been
involved with CIA operatives and CIA gun-running operations for many years.
On January 1, 1959, Fidel Castro and his rebels finally succeeded in
overthrowing Batista, and there was no need for Ruby to continue supplying arms
and munitions to Castro. But concerns over political conditions in Cuba began to
surface and did not appear to be in the best interests of the USA.
Four months prior to Castro's takeover Robert Welch, founder of the John Birch
Society, wrote in the September 1958 issue of American Opinion that Castro “is a
Communist agent carrying out Communist orders...." Soon after taking over Cuba,
Castro's communist tendencies began to surface. There were confiscations of U.S.
Property; banks and large industries were nationalized; schools became
propaganda factories; civil liberties were suspended; free elections were
dismissed; the courts were overtaken. As soon as the anti-Batista forces laid
down their arms “revolutionary justice" began and purges with mass executions
followed. Years later Castro explained, “back in 1959 the U.S. wanted us to make
a strategic and tactical error and proclaim a doctrine as a communist movement.
In fact, I was a communist .... (however) I think that a good
Marxist-Leninist would not have proclaimed a socialist revolution in the
conditions that existed in Cuba in 1959. I think I was a good Marxist-Leninist
in not doing that, and we did not make known our underlying beliefs." (Le
Figaro magazine, June 1986).
On March 31, 1959, deep undercover CIA agent Frank Sturgis (real name Frank
Fiorini) was interviewed by FBI SA Krant and SA V.H. Nasca, upon referral
from the Director's Office of the FBI. Fiorini was then a Captain of Cuban
Rebel Army, and was on a confidential mission to the US at the behest of the
head of the Cuban Air Force. The real purpose of his trip was not known to Fidel
Castro or his supporters. Sturgis/Fiorini identified members and leaders of the
Cuban Government who were either communists or communist sympathizers. He also
furnished information concerning Cuban plans for potential revolutions in
Caribbean countries. Sturgis/Fiorini, without revealing that he was working for
the CIA, offered his services to the FBI as an "agent" in the fight against
infiltration of Cuban Government by communists. He then requested aid in
fighting communism in the Cuban Government
(click here to view the FBI report on Fiorini).
asked Robert McKeown if he knew Frank Sturgis (CIA agent). McKeown answered, “I
seen him one time over at Prio's house....” McKeown, Carlos Prio, Ruby, and
others who supplied armaments to Castro were constantly surrounded and monitored
by CIA operatives and US Customs.
In response to the growing threat of a possible Communist government within 90
miles of the US, the CIA began training and arming thousands of former Batista
supporters, anti-Castro Cubans, and Cuban refugees who fled their homeland and
were living in south Florida. Donald Edward Browder told the HSCA, “During the
pre-Castro years, the CIA and Customs would not oppose gun shipments to Castro.
After Castro turned Communist, the CIA and Customs encouraged shipments to
anti-Castro forces.” People were beginning to fear that Castro was, as many had
suspected, a communist, and should be removed.
On March 11, 1959, Dallas FBI agent Charles Flynn wrote, "on the basis of
preliminary contacts and information developed to date, I recommend the
captioned individual (Jack Ruby) for informant development." Flynn further
wrote, "PCI [Potential Criminal Informant] advised he was willing to assist
Bureau by supplying criminal information, on a confidential basis, which comes
to his attention. On November 6, 1959, Flynn wrote, "contacts (with Ruby)
have been negative to date, it is felt that further attempts to develop this man
would be fruitless."
On March 15, 1959 Ruby telephoned and met with CIA-connected gun-runner Thomas
Eli Davis III in Beaumont, TX. A year earlier, in June, 1958, Davis received a
sentence of five years of probation for robbing a bank. While on probation Davis
worked for the Agency training anti-Castro units in Florida. Soon, Ruby and
Davis were supplying arms and munitions to Anti-Castro Cubans, apparently
without the fear of arrest.
When JFK was assassinated, Davis was in jail in Algiers, charged with running
guns to a secret army terrorist movement then attempting to assassinate French
President Charles de Gaulle. Davis was released from jail through the
intervention of the CIA’s foreign agent code-named “QJ/WIN," who was identified
by the top-secret CIA Inspector General’s Report as the “principle asset” in the
Agency’s assassination program known as ZR/RIFLE.
After Ruby's arrest for killing Oswald, his defense attorney (Tom Howard)
asked Ruby if he could think of anything that might damage his defense. Ruby
responded and said there would be a problem if a man by the name of "Davis"
should come up. Davis was later identified as Thomas Eli Davis III, a
CIA-connected gun-runner and “soldier of fortune." In December, 1963 the
Moroccan National Security Police informed the US State Department that Davis
was arrested for an attempted sale of firearms to a minor. When Davis was
searched, the police found “a letter in his handwriting which referred in
passing to Oswald and to the Kennedy assassination.” Ruby told Howard that “he
had been involved with Davis, who was a CIA connected gunrunner entangled in
anti-Castro efforts and that he (Ruby) had intended to begin a regular
gun-running business with Davis”. Ruby warned Howard about this connection, and
feared that if it were to be revealed by either an investigative reporter or a
witness it would blow open the CIA's role in JFK’s assassination. IT IS MPORTANT
TO REMEMBER THAT RUBY TOLD TOM HOWARD ABOUT HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH A CIA
OPERATIVE. Tom Howard died of a heart attack within a year at age 48. The
doctor, without an autopsy, said that he may have suffered a heart attack. But
some reporters and friends thought Howard had been murdered.
The HSCA, under Robert Blakey, was intent on covering up any CIA connection
or gun-running activities connected with Ruby and failed to investigate the
Ruby/Davis connection. They explained, in typical government prose, “Due to
limitations of time and resources... it was not possible to confirm these (Seth
In April, 1959 Fidel Castro flew to the United States and met for three hours
with Vice President Richard Nixon in Washington, DC. Following their meeting
Nixon wrote a confidential memorandum in which he expressed concern over
Castro's communist leanings. The memo was sent to the CIA, the State Department,
and to the White House. The CIA soon began to organize and train anti-Castro
groups in Florida, while Ruby and Davis helped to supply them with arms and
leaving Washington, DC Castro flew to Houston and met Robert McKeown at the
airport. A photograph on the front page of the Houston Chronicle titled
“Castro and the Gunrunner" recorded the event. An article accompanying the
photograph quoted Castro as saying that if McKeown would return with him to
Cuba, he would be given a high post in the government, a franchise.....whatever
he wanted. McKeown politely told Castro that he could not legally leave the
United States because of his probation. Castro said not to worry because US
authorities would not bother him in Cuba. But McKeown declined his offer and
Castro departed for Havana.
McKeown's close friendship with Castro prompted many people to ask him for
assistance in affairs pertaining to Cuba. On one occasion McKeown's brother
asked him to contact Castro and attempt to obtain the release of three friends
who were being detained because they were caught fishing in Cuban waters.
McKeown personally telephoned and spoke with Castro and the men were quickly
released. On another occasion Jack Porter, a campaign manager for Eisenhower,
contacted McKeown about approaching Castro.
In early 1959 Ruby made preliminary inquiries concerning the possible sale to
Cuba of some surplus jeeps located in Shreveport, La., and asked about the
possible release of prisoners from a Cuban prison. The jeeps, the prisoners, and
Ruby's visit to Cuba in August, 1959 all suggest that his activities were
sponsored and directed by others.
Prior to visiting Cuba, Ruby asked McKeown to write a personal letter of
introduction to Castro so that he could talk with Castro about releasing some
unnamed friends that were being detained in Havana. McKeown also said that Ruby
"had a whole lot of jeeps he wanted to get to Castro."
In 1959 Cuban travel records show that Jack Ruby entered Cuba from New Orleans
on August 8, left Cuba on September 11, re-entered Cuba from Miami on September
12, and returned from Cuba to New Orleans on September 13, 1959. But bank
records, Dallas police records, and FBI records show that Ruby was in Dallas on
August 10, 21, 31, and September 4. Someone was helping Ruby to get into and
out of Cuba without going through Cuban customs and immigration.
The reluctance of the FBI, Warren Commission, HSCA, etc to properly investigate
Ruby's connections to Prio, McKeown, Davis, and his various gun-runnings makes
sense when one realizes that Jack Ruby's activities had been monitored by the
CIA, FBI, and US Customs for years. In 1959 Ruby did not travel to Cuba for
At the time of Ruby's visit, Santo Trafficante was being held at the Trescornia
detention center in Cuba. English journalist John Wilson Hudson (a.k.a. John
Wilson) was detained with Trafficante, and said that Ruby came to see
Trafficante in Trescornia. After Ruby shot Oswald, Wilson contacted the American
Embassy and reported, "An American gangster called Santo.....was visited by an
American gangster type named Ruby." If Ruby was trying to sell jeeps to Castro,
as McKeown said, was he trying to negotiate Trafficante's release? Trafficante,
as it turns out, was released from the detention center on August 18, 1959, just
after Ruby arrived in Cuba.
Santo Trafficante was a mafia “Don” and was also one of the gangsters who
participated in the CIA's attempt to assassinate Fidel. Trafficante appeared
before the HSCA and was questioned by chief counsel Richard Sprague as follows:
Trafficante, have you at any time been an employee, a contract employee, or in
any manner been in the service of the Central Intelligence Agency, or any other
agency of the Federal Government of the United States?
Mr. Trafficante, did you know John Rosselli?
Mr. Trafficante, did you know Sam Giancana?
Mr. Trafficante, do you know Robert Maheu?
Mr. Trafficante, prior to November 22, 1963, did you have information that
President Kennedy was going to be assassinated?
Mr. Trafficante, prior to November 22, 1963, did you advise other people of the
assassination of President Kennedy?
Mr. Trafficante, prior to November 22, 1963, did you know Jack Ruby
Mr. Trafficante, have you ever met with representatives of the Central
Intelligence Agency to discuss the assassination of various world leaders,
including Fidel Castro?
Mr. Trafficante, is any agency of the U.S. Government giving you any immunity
with regard to any plans to assassinate any world leaders?
Mr. Trafficante, did you ever discuss with any individual plans to assassinate
President Kennedy prior to his assassination?
Mr. Trafficante, while you were in prison in Cuba, were you visited by Jack
Mr. Trafficante, as a result of your appearance here today, have you been
threatened by anyone, any group or agency? Has your life been threatened in any
Mr. Trafficante, have you been contacted by any agency in the executive branch,
say the CIA or FBI, in connection with your possible testimony before or after
you received formal subpoena to appear before this committee?"
Not one of Richard Sprague's questions concerned Trafficante's mob connections,
but instead were focused on either Jack Ruby or the CIA. To each of these
questions Trafficante's response was, "I respectfully refuse to answer that
question pursuant to my constitutional rights under the 1st, 4th, 5th, and 14th
amendments." This is the legal response to questions that would otherwise be
self-incriminating. Sprague, because his focus of attention was on the CIA, was
soon forced to resign as chief counsel and replaced by Robert Blakey, who
managed through selective testimony and questioning to shift blame for the
assassination of President Kennedy to the mafia.
Due to his focus on CIA involvement, Richard Sprague was removed as the HSCA's
chief counsel and replaced by Robert Blakey. Blakey worked very hard to sell the
American people on how the “mob” was responsible for the Kennedy assassination.
Blakey occasionally asserted that “rogue elements” of the CIA may have been
involved, but always directed attention to the "mob." In 1981 Blakey wrote a
book titled, The Plot to Kill the President—Organized Crime Assassinated JFK.
Most of the evidence and witness testimony presented to the HSCA pointed to
individuals at the highest level of the CIA as the principal planners of the
assassination, but Blakey cleverly and deceptively ignored the obvious and
blamed the "mob."
In 1961 Ruby was involved in a plan to sell British Enfield rifles, obtained
from Mexico, to anti-Castro-Cubans in Florida. Nancy Perrin Rich told the Warren
Commission about a group running Enfield rifles from Mexico to Cuba in 1961 and
returning with Cuban refugees to Florida. Ruby was evidently the “paymaster."
During the 10 years preceding the assassination of President Kennedy there is a
considerable amount of information that shows the FBI, CIA, and US Customs were
very familiar with “Jack Rubenstein” and his gun-running activities. The Warren
Commission requested a written response from the CIA for any and all
“information on Jack Ruby (aka Jack Rubenstein)." The CIA responded by stating,
“Examination of CIA records failed to produce information on Jack Ruby or
his activities," but the CIA provided no information whatsoever for “Jack
1960 CIA asset Marita Lorenz was in a Miami CIA safehouse with members of her
group and met LEE Harvey Oswald for the first time. The HSCA interviewed her and
asked about her first meeting with Oswald:
Fithian: "Now is it your testimony that the first time you saw Oswald would have
been in the camps in the Everglades?"
Marita Lorenz: "The very first time, no. I saw him in the Safehouse and then in
Mr. Fithian: "And that first meeting at the Safehouse would have been within a
year of the Bay of Pigs?"
Marita Lorenz: "I would say 1960."
Mr. Fithian: "It would be some time during 1960?"
Marita Lorenz: "Late 1960."
Mr. Fithian: "All right. Now I want to be sure that I have your dates correct.
You said the first meeting of LEE Harvey Oswald, the first time you saw him, was
at a Safehouse in Miami in 1960."
Marita Lorenz: "Yes."
Mr. Fithian: "The next time or times that you saw him were during training at a
camp in the Everglades, various places in the Everglades, in early 1960, 1961
Marita Lorenz: "Yes."
Mr. Fithian: "And after that you saw him at the Safehouse the second time?"
Marita Lorenz: "Yes."
Mr. Fithian: "What makes you so sure of the dates. Within a year of the first
meeting in the Safehouse and the meeting at the camps in the Everglades, is
there anything else you could match that up with?"
Marita Lorenz: "The photographs, the events that took place. the photographs
that Alex (Rorke) took. Everywhere we went Alex took pictures."
Mr. Fithian: "This was prior to the Bay of Pigs?"
Marita Lorenz: "Yes, April, 1961, was the Bay of Pigs."
Mr. Fithian: "And you are sure you saw him (Oswald) before April, 1961."
Marita Lorenz: "Yes, because Alex took the pictures."
Mr. Fithian: "And the whole purpose of the training was to somehow participate
or help in the Bay of Pigs.
Marita Lorenz: "Yes."
Mr. Fithian: "Did you see Oswald at any time in the intervening two years
between early 1961 prior to April of 1961 and the September-October Safehouse
meeting in 1963?"
Marita Lorenz: "No, but Frank (Sturgis) kept in touch with me. Alex kept in
touch with me."
Mr. Fithian: "Mrs. Lorenz, has your attorney explained what perjury before a
congressional committee is all about?"
Marita Lorenz: "That is right, yes."
Mr. Fithian: "In any way do you want to change your testimony on these dates?"
Marita Lorenz: "No, I do not."
Mr. Fithian: "There is adequate documentary
evidence that Lee Harvey Oswald did not indeed return from the Soviet Union
until June of 1962.
Marita Lorenz: "I don't know about that."
Mr. Fithian: "Therefore you could not have met him at the Safehouse in 1960, you
could not have seen him in the Everglades in 1960 and 1961, and you could not
have taken a picture in those areas and could not have a picture for the dates
of that time."
Marita Lorenz: "No?"
Mr. Fithian: "It is not possible."
Marita Lorenz: "I don't know about that."
Mr. Fithian: "Now can you explain to the committee why you gave us this false
information as far as dates?"
Marita Lorenz: "I did not give you false information."
Mr. Fithian: "Mrs. Lorenz, I went over your testimony very carefully a moment
ago and you assured me that you met Lee Harvey Oswald prior to the Bay of Pigs."
Marita Lorenz: "I did."
Mr. Fithian: "On two occasions."
Marita Lorenz: "Yes."
Mr. Fithian: "Lee Harvey Oswald was in Russia during that entire period."
Marita Lorenz: "I do not know that. I did not know that. The Lee Harvey Oswald
that I met was the same in that picture, the one in the Safehouse. the same one
that Frank knows. I do not know where he was according to your information. I do
not know. I never read up on anything about these theories that are coming out
Mr. Fithian: "This is not a matter of theory."
Marita Lorenz: "I know I am telling the truth. If you don't want it, that's too
bad, you know. I am here to gain nothing, you know. Nothing. Nothing at all. You
are trying a homicide investigation that should be solved, you know. Don't
dispute me or put me on trial."
Mr. Fithian: "Only if we can have full and truthful testimony."
Marita Lorenz: "You have got it. You have it from me. I don't know about the
other people. I have nothing to lose and nothing to hide-nothing.
Mr. Fithian: "And it is your testimony that you are certain that the person you
met at the Safehouse and at the camps of the Everglades is the same person that
you met in Dallas."
Marita Lorenz: "Yes, it is."
Mr. Fithian: "Do you have any explanation for
how we come up with two Lee Harvey Oswalds during this period?"
Marita Lorenz: "I have no explanation. I know
the man I met; he was a creep. I didn't like him. I don't have to be here at
all. I have nothing to gain.
Mr. Fithian: "Thank you. That is all."
CIA asset/photographer Alex Rorke had taken photos of LEE Oswald in Florida
(1960-61) while HARVEY Oswald was in the Soviet Union. Rorke died in an airplane
crash in Mexico in May 1964, along with Hugh Ward, DeLessups Morrison (former
Mayor of New Orleans), his 7-year-old son Christopher, Daleigh Pellegrin and
Marita Lorenz with Frank Fiorini/Sturgis
Marita Lorenz with Fidel Castro
In the Spring of 1961 Sheriff Thompson, of Monroe County (Key West), Florida,
recalled that "LEE Harvey Oswald" fueled up his boat in Key West shortly after
the Bay of Pigs invasion. Oswald didn't have the funds to pay for the fuel and
telephoned someone in Dallas, Texas. Within two hours a man named "Ruben"
arrived and paid for the fuel.
In 1961 William Huffman was the attendant on duty at the Sands Marine Fueling
Station at Stock Island, Key West, Florida. LEE Oswald, accompanied by four or
five Cubans, docked a 43-foot Chris Craft boat and filled up with diesel fuel.
Huffman recalled that Oswald did not have enough money to pay for the fuel, made
a phone call, and soon a man named "Ruben" arrived. Huffman said that although
Ruben paid cash for the fuel, he (Huffman) asked Oswald to sign the fuel
delivery ticket. Huffman told the FBI, "I told him I wanted his autograph in
case he should become famous at some later date.”
Huffman was a former FBI informant whose identification code was "MM 892-C." On
November 25, 1963 Huffman reported Oswald's visit to Homer A. Newman, supervisor
of the FBI's Miami office. But William Huffman, like many witnesses who saw LEE
Oswald in 1960-62, was ignored by the FBI because his testimony placed (LEE)
Oswald in Florida with "Ruben" (a clear reference to Jack Ruby), while Lee
(HARVEY) Oswald was in the Soviet Union (1959-1962).
NOTE: 1961 is the first year of a known connection between Jack Ruby
and LEE Oswald (NOT HARVEY Oswald, who was then in the Soviet Union). Both men
appear to have been involved in anti-Castro activities in and around the Florida
Keys. (To view more about LEE Oswald's whereabouts in1959-1962,
In 1962 Leander D'Avy, a 20 year veteran of the US Air Force, had been working
at the Court of Two Sisters in New Orleans for two years. A young man approached
D'Avy, asked for “Clay Bertrand," and was sent to speak with the night manager,
Gene Davis. As the young man was leaving Davis told the bar maid that the young
man had just come back from behind the Iron Curtain. Following the assassination
of President Kennedy, D'Avy recognized this man as Lee Harvey Oswald. Two months
later a car drove up in front of the Court and D'Avy told the man he could not
park there. One of the passengers called the driver “Jack” and, following the
assassination, D'Avy recognized this man as Jack Ruby.
HARVEY, Marina, and baby June Oswald lived in and around Dallas/Ft. Worth during
all of 1962. It was LEE Oswald whom D'Avy saw at the Court of Two Sisters and
was visited by Jack Ruby.
During the Spring of 1963 D'Avy said that LEE Oswald resided in a small room
above the court and was often seen with Gene Davis, the night manager. On April
11, Jack Ruby and LEE Oswald were together at the Escapades Lounge, 3300 Old
Spanish Trail, in Houston, TX. Robert Allen Price told the HSCA that he went to
the lounge to visit his wife, Dolores, who was the day manager. In the afternoon
four men came into the lounge and one of the waitresses (“Mary”) yelled “Jack
Ruby," whom she knew from Dallas. Introductions were made and Ruby said that he
and his friends were “killing time” until “plane time." Ruby said they were
leaving from Alvin, TX at 6:30 PM and flying to Cuba. When the four men left,
they drove away in a light colored Chrysler station wagon with wood veneer and a
luggage rack on top.
During the summer and fall of 1963, while HARVEY, Marina, and June Oswald were
living in New Orleans, Jack Ruby and LEE Oswald were seen together by many
people in and around Dallas.
summer of 1963 Dorothy Marcum was dating Ruby and her aunt worked for Ruby.
Dorothy told the FBI that LEE Oswald worked for Ruby during June and July and
the two men definitely knew each other.
interviewing Francis Irene Hise for a job as a waitress when a young man entered
the Carousel Club and Ruby said “Hi, Ozzie” to the young man. After she was
hired Miss Hise served drinks to “Ozzie," whom she recognized after the
assassination as LHO.
employee, Clyde Malcolm Limbough, worked for Ruby three years and saw Oswald in
Ruby's office on several occasions.
Smith (“Pixie Lynn”), who worked at the Carousel, told the Dallas Police that
she saw Ruby and Oswald together on several occasions.
employees of Ruby who saw Oswald in the Carousel Club were William Crowe, Wally
Weston, Dixie Lynn, and Kathy Kay.
was Ruby's auto mechanic and said that Oswald used to drop off Ruby's car for
repairs. Roy then drove Oswald back to Ruby's “burlesque house.”
parked his car at Gibbs Auto Service and occasionally allowed friends and
associates to borrow his car. Leon Woods was the manager of Gibbs and kept a
“check-in and check-out” book that listed the names of people who took Ruby's
car from the garage. Mr. Woods gave the book to the FBI following the
assassination of President Kennedy, which the FBI later denied.
last week of July (1963) Western Union employee Marshall Hicks delivered several
telegrams addressed to “LEE Harvey Oswald” at the Rotary Apartments, 1501-1503
W. 7th St. in Dallas (while HARVEY and Marina were living in New Orleans). The
FBI made no attempt to locate copies of these telegrams.
Detective H.M. Hart, of the Criminal Intelligence Division, received information
from a Dallas Police confidential informant who knew Ruby. The informant said
that in September (1963) Ruby rented an apartment at 223 S. Ewing for LEE
Dorothy Kilgallen wrote in the
Journal American (June 6, 1964): “It is known that 10 persons have signed
sworn depositions to the Warren Commission that they knew Oswald and Ruby to
have been acquainted.”
At 20, "Little Lynn" (in private life, Karen Carlin) was Jack's youngest
stripper. With long locks of artificially colored gray hair, Lynn had the body
of swimsuit contestant—but, on stage, wore little other than a big smile, pink
heels and a matching G-string. On November 24, 1963, Little Lynn told U.S.
Secret Service agent Roger Warner that she, in his words, "was under the
impression that Lee Harvey Oswald, Jack Ruby, and other individuals unknown to
her, were involved in a plot to assassinate President Kennedy and that she would
be killed if she gave any information to authorities." Lynn reportedly died of a
gunshot wound in Houston in 1964.