Why Jack Ruby Killed JFK's Assassin

If not for the events of Nov. 22, 1963, Jack Ruby may have lived out the rest of his life as he did most of the first 50-plus years of it: as a nobody, an outsider looking in, a small-time crook desperately seeking to belong. As it happened, though, that day in Dallas changed a lot of lives, many of them unalterably. Ruby's was one of them. He didn't smoke or drink or use drugs. He never married. He had no children, but he was said to love kids. He had dogs that he treated as his children. Yet, he could be brutally violent with those who crossed him. After the Kennedy assassination, many conspiracy-minded theorists pointed to Ruby's involvement in nightclubs and his rough childhood in mob-run Chicago as evidence that he was involved in organized crime and used that to push the idea that the killing of Kennedy was mob-backed. Ruby had made at least one trip to Havana, Cuba, too, which raised more organized crime suspicions. However, by most accounts Ruby was just not that well-connected. Others suggest that Ruby shot Oswald to dig up business for his club, and that he never thought he'd be held responsible. Shooting Kennedy's assassin, some say, he figured was a win-win for everyone. It wasn't, of course, for anyone. In March 1964, Ruby was convicted of murder with malice and sentenced to death. His sentence was overturned two years later and he was granted a new trial. However, just weeks before it was due to start, Ruby suffered a pulmonary embolism brought on by advancing cancer. Jack Ruby died in Dallas' Parkland Hospital — the same place where both Kennedy and Oswald were taken after they were shot — technically untried and not convicted of the crime that millions saw him commit.