March 8, 1964: First Reaction and the Killer Speaks

March 8, 1964: First Reaction and the Killer Speaks

Court is in recess today, Sunday March 8, 1964. Let’s continue our look back at the weekend the President was assassinated, and his accused killer was murdered. Continue reading for this episode’s script.

Yesterday we played you what happened as it happened. The simple transfer for Lee Harvey Oswald to the Dallas County Jail that instead of going as planned ended with Oswald being rushed to Parkland Hospital.

Not long after Oswald’s death, District Attorney Henry Wade decided it was the best move to call a news conference to detail to Dallas and the world their case against Oswald for the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. During that news conference, reporters started asking their first questions to Wade about the new prisoner, Jack Ruby. This is what Wade had to say just a few hours after Ruby killed Oswald.

[Henry Wade Audio Played]

As the days turned into weeks leading up to the trial, Ruby would occasionally give on the record remarks to reporters before or after hearings. Here, Ruby is asked a series of questions that led to an emotional display over President Kennedy’s death.

[Jack Ruby Audio Played]

Ruby saying in that clip that he couldn’t understand how a great man like that could be lost.

The trial picks up again tomorrow as testimony continues. March 9th will bring more defense witnesses. Most of these witnesses are doctors who will explain the defense theory that Jack Ruby suffered from psychomotor epilepsy at the time he shot Oswald. —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).