March 7, 1964: When Transfer Turns to Mayhem-Live

March 7, 1964: When Transfer Turns to Mayhem-Live

Today is Saturday, March 7, 1964 and the Jack Ruby Trial is in recess for the weekend. Jurors saw portions of Jack Ruby’s act. Today, you will hear all of it. Continue reading for this episode’s script.

[WBAP Audio Played of Shooting]

When Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald, the question of a possible conspiracy began. First in Europe, and then slowly in the United States.
Imagine this happening in another country: The Head of State is shot down in broad daylight and his accused assassin is shot and killed while in police custody. If this happened in another country, we in America might be asking: “How is this possible?”
But that very scenario happened in the United States between November 22nd and 24th, 1963.

Conspiracy questions remain to this day about what happened on Elm Street in Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas. Did Lee Harvey Oswald act alone? Was he part of a conspiracy? Or, was he what he claimed to be, a patsy, and others took out the 35th President of the United States.
However – there is almost no conspiracy argument on whether Jack Ruby killed Lee Harvey Oswald. First of all, multiple television and radio reporters were in the basement as were photographers for several press outlets. The reporters narrated the shooting as it unfolded. The cameras didn’t lie. Secondly, there was no argument from Ruby’s attorneys that he wasn’t the person who shot Oswald. Their argument was that he was under a state of psychomotor epilepsy when he jumped out and pulled the trigger.

During the trial, District Attorney Henry Wade chose to show the footage of Ruby’s act.

The only network that was indeed live on the air when Oswald was shot was NBC. WBAP radio, in 1963, was affiliated with NBC. Here, reporter Tom Pettit is planning to narrate for his national audience Oswald being led into an armored car to be transferred to the Dallas County Jail. Instead, absolute mayhem.

[Audio Played]

In our next episode, tomorrow, hear from Dallas County District Attorney Henry Wade talk about Jack Ruby immediately following Ruby’s killing of Oswald. Wade planned to discuss his case against Oswald, but reporters were also curious about Wade’s plans for Ruby who Wade already wanted to be sentenced to death. —End of Episode–


The transcript of the trial on the merits of the Jack Ruby trial is publicly available online from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Texas Digital Archive in the Court of Criminal Appeals Centralized Court Case Files Collection (each volume corresponds to 1 day of testimony).