Friday, October 28, 2016

Who killed Lee Harvey Oswald? James Bookhout vs. Jack Ruby (Part 2)

By Judyth Vary Baker

NOTE: For "Who killed Lee Harvey Oswald: James Bookhout vs. Jack Ruby (Part 1)", click here.


We now offer additional photos that can indeed “provide…disconfirmation” of Cinque’s statements:

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Bookhout is to the left in this photo.  He is taller than Lee Oswald and obviously taller than Jack Ruby. Yet Cinque says, of the photo just below:  “…that's Bookhout on the left. He is a short guy, like the garage shooter, as we explained in Part 1”:

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We have a tall man between the two… but let us march on…

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Here is Bookhout, in his Fedora (The film shot was distorted and has been corrected). He is not so short.  Cinque tries to say that the photo below cannot be Bookhout (“not really”) because he looks “too young” to be 50 years old:

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Cinque rejects the Bookhout photo, but lines develop on both sides of the mouth and extend toward the chin by age 50.
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Poor lighting can emphasize wrinkles. Extra light can wash out wrinkles, as can be seen in the first photo (to left) here of Bookhout, in his Fedora, compared to the brighter ones the day before. The nose, thick eyelashes and dark eyebrows, however, are a giveaway. See Bookhout’s earlier photos.

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Cinque doesn’t believe the ROTC photo (left) is Bookhout simply because somebody else’s autograph is appended on one copy of the photo. Instead, he arbitrarily chooses the smallest person in the ROTC group photo (below right), claiming it was Bookhout and adding that other photos that don’t match were altered:

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In order to claim that the photo you see on the left is not Bookhout, Cinque claims the man on the right is the same person, despite the long, squared chin and a different slant of eyebrows. Cinque claims both photos are of Tommy Collins, writing “We have confirmed it independently by finding other images of Tommy Collins…” 

However, Bookhout was never short and heavy-set. In addition, he did not have a cleft chin, which Cinque ignores in his attempt to show Bookhout is taking Jack Ruby’s place in this fuzzy photo:

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While it is possible that this single photo isn’t of Jack Ruby, and has been mislabeled, we have other photos indicating that Bookhout isn’t Ruby. Cinque wants us to reject multiple photos identified as Bookhout and only offers partial faces, or he argues that photos have been altered to hide the truth:

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Cinque thinks these photos have been altered. He has apparently never studied the forensic science of the progressive aging of faces. The typical teen has plump lips, which quickly thin out.

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We can also see this age progression fact in photos of Lee Oswald’s face: 

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L​ook at this photo of Jack Ruby shooting Lee Oswald:

The hairline is not Bookhout’s… the Fedora is not Bookhout’s…. the thick, heavy body is not Bookhout’s. … in addition, Bookhout was NOT a short man. Cinque argues that Bookhout stood on a pedestal in order to be seen while in the crowd because he was so short, though the crowd was huge.  Cinque claims that Bookhout was as short as Jack Ruby and that the photo above is actually Bookhout, not Jack Ruby.


I knew Ruby personally and can affirm, having seen related photos, that this man is indeed Ruby: Cinque never met him.   When I saw Lee shot on TV, I was shocked and horrified. I did not get a full view of Ruby’s face in that short sequence of events.  For one or two days afterwards, I have no memory of what happened next.  

And for the next 3 ½ decades, in an attempt not to relive any of the horror of what I saw when the man I loved was destroyed before my eyes, I assiduously avoided every newspaper article, TV program or chatter about the Kennedy assassination.  Our home had thousands of books, but not one of them was about the Kennedy assassination or about history in the 1960’s. 

You can read in my book Me & Lee: How I came to know, love and lose Lee Harvey Oswald, how shocked I was to learn that Lee was shot by a man I actually had met twice: Jack Ruby!  But to me he had been only “Sparky Rubenstein.”

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Jack Ruby was 5’8” tall, an inch shorter than Lee.  See how heavy he is in this photo. Compare this to the physical attributes of Bookhout:
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Cinque says this isn’t Bookhout. He says the photo on the right, just below, isn’t  Bookhout, because he doesn’t understand the forensic principles of progressive aging:

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To understand how much faces can change, I like to show photos of John Wayne as a young man and as a mature man, below: (NOBODY HAS ALTERED THESE PHOTOS!):

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As for Jack Ruby’s sunglasses:

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Cinque says Ruby didn’t own sunglasses, but that’s not what Al Maddox, Jack Ruby’s personal jail guard, told me. Look closely at the “midnight  conference" Ruby is wearing what seem to be tinted prescription glasses. 

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But Cinque doesn’t believe it. He writes, of the photo just below:

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This poorly lit photo actually proves nothing.  Ruby had all kinds of accessories and lived in sunlit-Dallas. He even had his initials embossed in gold inside his Fedora and had expensive, wing-tipped shoes.​

I spent almost an entire day with Al Maddox. He showed me Jack Ruby’s possessions, including his prescription glasses, which were very expensive.  He said Ruby had all kinds of luxury items.  His Fedora cost almost $15 –the equivalent of $150 today.   
Al described Jack Ruby’s various possessions and showed me a stack of letters Jack had given him.  At the end of our visit, Al gave me the photo below (he is the young man in the bow tie):

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My humble opinion is that FBI agent James Bookhout did not shoot Jack Ruby.  As a witness who knew Jack Ruby well enough to recognize him in these photographs, it is my responsibility to express my opinion, based on personal knowledge and professional training. Jack Ruby (aka Sparky Rubenstein, aka Jacob Leon Rubenstein) was the man who fatally shot Lee Harvey Oswald.

Judyth Vary Baker was Lee Harvey Oswald's girlfriend in New Orleans the summer before he moved to Dallas and was hired at the Texas School Book Depository. She has several books about her experiences, including Me & Lee (2011) and David Ferrie (2014).


  1. Jim,

    I'm confused. On October 24, you were listed as the co-author (with Ralph Cinque) of an article that claimed James Bookhout (and not Jack Ruby) shot Oswald on November 24, 1963.

    Now, there appears on your blog this two-part article by Judyth Baker, which asserts that you and Ralph are wrong both in your premises and your photographic analytical skills.

    So, how would you like your readership determine the truth about who shot Oswald? A coin toss???

    1. Well, rational criticism is our most reliable access route to the truth, as Sir Karl Popper has emphasized. No one has a greater interest in who shot Lee than Judyth, who was his girlfriend in New Orleans the summer before Dallas. We need to have both sides presented. I believe that Ralph has found something significant, but I invited Judyth to present her critique in response. I expect to have a rebuttal from Ralph in the near future to add to the mix. This is a fascinating turn of events in the history of research on the death of JFK.

    2. I would not classify Judyth Baker’s or Ralph Cinque’s pieces as “research.” Neither writer draws upon the eyewitnesses (journalists and police officers) who witnessed the killing of Oswald in the basement of the Dallas police headquarters on November 24, 1963. Ruby was so familiar to the press and the police that there was no confusion whatsoever in identifying him as the killer, based on extant accounts among the one hundred police officers and newsmen present in the garage basement on November 24, 1963.

      Understanding the identity of Oswald’s murderer is not a philosophical conundrum to be resolved by the critical rationalism of Karl Popper. Neither is it a question of probabilities or actuarial work. Rather, it is a question for the historian to synthesize corroborating facts of visual, aural, forensic, and written evidence. Neither Baker nor Cinque expresses the slightest interest in the historical evidence.

      In all four articles submitted by Baker and Cinque, there are no footnotes or source materials. The two writers are only positing subjective interpretations of photographs. From his computer, Cinque invariably draws upon degraded photos or film stills with no regard to the provenance of the images. And, in the case of Baker’s articles, most of the photos have yet to appear on the screen as of November 2!

      Yet somehow, you call this “a fascinating turn of events in the history of research on the death of JFK." I suspect that Karl Popper would refer to that statement as hyperbole.

    3. this exchange of ideas is healthy, with peer review being an important ingredient in the resolution of truth.

      there is no reason, especially in this case, to accept the prima facie evidence as determinative of anything, given what we know about the massive obstruction of justice in the case. consequently I applaud the appearance of these 2 sets of articles.

      police officers were known to be involved in the murder of kennedy and Oswald, and eye witnesses are not sufficient for establishing the truth of the matter especially with the chaos surrounding the crime scene. thus interrogating them would not necessary lead to any valid findings, although they certainly contribute to our knowledge base.

      photographic analysis is a valid part of research, and if the images do not corroborate other evidence, then the entire scenario should be questioned for other explanations.

      naysaying this effort is obscurantism and a relic of religious oppression of the nature found in the catholic church or a soviet politburo.

  2. That's to Jim's credit that he invites other persons to submit other opinions. Jim is interested in finding out the truth.

  3. Very intriguing presentation, but I can't follow it because the images don't load in my browser. Am I the only one who can't see them?

    1. Give them additional time to upload. I am sorry about that. It was not anticipated. I had a hard time getting the post up on the blog. I wish there were a simple fix, but if there is one, I am unaware of it.

    2. Do a refresh and see if that helps.

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