Jack Ruby Writes to an Unknown Girlfriend from the Dallas Hotel He Visited the Night Before Kennedy’s Assassination
“to get to this point, you have to do lots of homework, unless you’re real brilliant & remember everything without looking at it 20 times – which I ain’t & can’t.”
In this intriguing, undated letter from Dallas, Jack Ruby, who killed President Kennedy’s assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, explains to an unknown girlfriend how he collects debts. It is written on the stationery of the Cabaña Motor Hotel of Dallas, which opened in 1963. Ruby frequently visited the Bon Vivant Room at the Cabaña Motor Hotel and was there the night before Kennedy was assassinated.
[JOHN F. KENNEDY.] Jack Ruby, Autograph Letter Signed, to “dear,” n.d. (ca. 1963), Dallas, Texas. On “Cabaña Motor Hotel of Dallas” stationery. 3 pp., 7.25ʺ x 10.5ʺ. Several tears, repaired with tape; some discoloration from earlier tape repair but very legible; good.
Where are you? You’re supposed to be here. I tried to call you, but your phone’s off the hook – so call me when you get back. I’m happy & contented and thinking happy thoughts about you. In fact I’m so relaxed about it that you can call me in the morning (but don’t forget the time difference & I have to leave at 915 – that’s about 7 A.M. for you.)
Today went well – and I think by tomorrow this guy will be honest – or running scared. Time will tell. I’m working hard & being good. I usually (that’s yesterday) get up at 630 & cull thru the collection of garbage I have available ’till 900 or so – and then the session runs ’till 500 & I come back & cull some more ’till 900 or 930 – then I eat dinner & come back & fiddle around ’till like now – and then I have a few drinks out of my bottle – call you and go to bed. I’m a hard working son of a bitch – really I am. It’s a drag man! But it’s the only way to keep ahead of the crowd.
You ask the guy a question – and he says Gee, I’m sorry I don’t remember. Then (because you’ve been working hard & have good notes – you say) well, look at this little old mother-loving letter you wrote two years ago & see if you remember better. So he looks – then he has to talk a little. And after you do that a few times he doesn’t say “I don’t remember” so much. Pretty soon, whether he remembers or not, he talks – and then (because you’ve worked hard) you say – “well wait a minute, but I heard what you said & here’s a letter that says something else & how about it. After that you usually don’t have any trouble – all you do is say – isn’t this the way it was -- & he’s afraid of the letters & stuff & says, Yes, it probably is – and then he’s telling the truth. But anyway, to get to this point, you have to do lots of homework, unless you’re real brilliant & remember everything without looking at it 20 times – which I ain’t & can’t. So come on down & join the working class – you don’t get rich but it’s a living. And if you’re competitive, it’s fun to win. I try to relax about those things, but really I can’t. I’m a bundle of nerves. I hate it!
Goodnight darling. I love you & wish you were here. I’ll always sleep soundly ’cause I’ll hold you & I know you love me. Don’t ever go away.
Your best friend
P.S. I just called & there you were! You’re so smart honey. While I wish you were here it probably would end up so that we wouldn’t have too much time. It’s better that we say ‘fun time’ is our time & working time is on me. There’ll be lots of times when things are quiet – and I love you for being you -- & being smart enuf to known when to stay home.
Jack Leon Ruby (1911-1967) was born in Chicago as Jacob Leon Rubenstein into a Polish Jewish family. His childhood was marked by juvenile delinquency and truancy. In 1933, he moved to California, where he lived in Los Angeles, then San Francisco, but returned to Chicago in 1937. He was drafted in 1943 and served in the U.S. Army Air Force as a mechanic until 1946. After his military service, he returned to Chicago but moved to Dallas in 1947. In Dallas, he shortened his name to Ruby and managed various night clubs, strip clubs, and dance halls. He also became involved in illegal gambling, narcotics, and prostitution. After learning of Kennedy’s assassination on November 22, 1963, Ruby visited the Dallas Police Headquarters on several occasions, sometimes impersonating a reporter. Late in the morning of November 24, Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald once in the abdomen with a revolver in the basement of the Dallas Police Headquarters, and Oswald died fewer than two hours later. Immediately arrested, Ruby was convicted of murder in March 1964 and sentenced to death. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overturned Ruby’s conviction, but he died of cancer in prison awaiting a retrial.
From the collection of Ron Hoskins, assassinologist.
This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.
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