Dan Abrams has written a book called “Kennedy’s Avenger” about the Jack Ruby trial. I can’t wait to read it when it comes out on 6/1. I’ve spent a lot of time studying that case, and along the way got to meet Dallas Detective Jim Leavelle. He survived Pearl Harbor, testified in the “Trial of the Century,” retired a legendary detective, and attained the age of 99. While researching a presentation Toby Shook and I did for the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza called “The Assassin’s Assassin,” the tall man in the light suit wearing the Stetson hat in Bob Jackson’s famous, Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph told me all about his experience with Jack Ruby, the man who killed Lee Harvey Oswald. Links to follow.
I turned 18 the week Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols planted McVeigh’s getaway car near the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building and commenced to building a weapon of mass destruction out of a Ryder Truck like the one pictured above. I’ve never forgotten that Wednesday morning. Maybe it’s the indelible image of that smoky brown bite mark, or the realization that the war scene from downtown Oklahoma City was on the news, not in a movie. Why study this trial? I couldn’t see the blast from Dallas, but even at 18 I felt it. America changed.