On This Day: Jack Ruby found guilty of killing Lee Harvey Oswald, John F Kennedy's alleged assassin

Rebecca Lewis
On This Day: Jack Ruby found guilty of killing Lee Harvey Oswald, John F Kennedy's alleged assassin


March 14, 1964: Just four months after John F. Kennedy was shot dead, Jack Ruby was found guilty of killing Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin of the young U.S. President.

Two days after Kennedy had been shot while riding in the back seat of an uncovered limousine, Oswald was in Dallas Police Headquarters surrounded by a crowd of reporters.

Emerging from the crowd Ruby fired his revolver into Oswald's abdomen, fatally wounding him. The murder had been broadcast live and been witnessed by millions of television viewers.

Ruby was sentenced to death after a jury found him guilty of murder with malice. The decision had been unanimous. Prosecutors argued that Ruby should die in the electric chair "because he mocked American justice while the spotlight was on Dallas".

Ruby's assassination of Oswald prevented the Kennedy family and the world from knowing the truth of that tragic day. Ruby's defence suggested during the trial the prosecution was desperate for the defendant to receive the death penalty in order to compensate for the inability to try and convict Kennedy's presumed killer.








His defence team launched an appeal arguing he could not have a fair trial due to global attention on Dallas. The request was granted and a new trial was organised for 1966, overturning Ruby's conviction and sentence - but he died of cancer before it could start.

In the Pathé clip above, Ruby can be seen shooting Oswald. The narrator discusses the Warren Report, an investigation which attempted to find the truth of Kennedy's assassination.

The narrator says: "The report's 300,000 words trace the facts and without pre-judging the implications of that day that started so brightly and ended so blackly on high noon on the streets of Dallas."

The clip shows scenes of Kennedy's assassination as the motorcade drives through the streets of Dallas and the President and his wife, Jacqueline, wave to the crowd. As shots ring out onlookers are forced to the ground to take cover while others cry at the news of the President's death.

The report concludes Lee Harvey Oswald had acted alone, without the influence of domestic or international players, hoping to satisfy conspiracy theories...