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).

Who killed Lee Harvey Oswald? James Bookhout vs. Jack Ruby (Part 1)

by Judyth Vary Baker

Researcher Ralph Cinque has sometimes brought forth useful and interesting information about the Kennedy assassination.  However, his recent declaration that FBI agent James Bookhout–not Mafia nightclub manager Jack Ruby–shot Lee Harvey Oswald, cries out for correction. 
NOTE: You can read Cinque’s article here: 'The Case against FBI Agent James Bookhout for murdering Lee Harvey Oswald', (October 9, 2016).

Clever arguments based on false assumptions have been foisted on us before, such as claims that Lee Oswald wasn’t actually shot in the police garage that dismal day of November 24, since there was no blood spatter on the pavement.  In fact, the bullet that killed Oswald was a dum-dum that tumbled and ricocheted after it entered his abdomen, where it did considerable damage before coming to rest without exiting.  

Most entry bullet wounds do not release significant blood, and Oswald’s black sweater would have hidden any blood that did erupt. Oswald’s autopsy describes every severed artery and sliced-up internal organ in great detail.  The speculation that Oswald wasn’t shot in the garage is an example of how ignorance can lead a well-meaning person astray.  Ralph Cinque unfortunately has provided us with another example of how ignorance can lead the unaware to false conclusions.  Cinque introduces his “discovery” with this:  
“Getting to know that James Bookhout was the real shooter of Lee Harvey Oswald was a two-step process.   The first step was just realizing that Jack Ruby wasn’t the shooter. And that is supported by many things, the clincher being collages like this one by Staffan Westerberg which shows a vivid deal-breaker in trying to equate Ruby with the shooter. You can’t do it. It doesn’t work. The discordance is too great. The backs of their heads don’t match.”


    Let us look at the “collages” that Cinque calls “the clincher”:

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Cinque: “At the time, Jack Ruby was scruffy at the back of his neck, meaning scruffy hair growth which darkened his neck. The shooter wasn’t that way. His neck was clean.”  

JVB: Observe that the photo on the right has flashbulb over-exposure so that we can’t see details.  The flesh is “white” compared to the “gray” flesh of the photo on the left. The photo on the right cannot be used to “prove” there is no hair growth on the back of Ruby’s neck. Later, in this article, we’ll show you the back of Bookhout’s neck.

Cinque says of this blurred photo: “… the shooter had hair growing closer to his ears. Ruby had a wide margin. You could drive a truck through there.”

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JVB: Let’s take a section of the above photos and look more closely at them:

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The shadow behind the ear on the photo to the left might—or might notbe hair. When viewed as magnified, it can be argued that this is a shadow, not a clump of hair.
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Cinque: “Also, note that the shooter must have had a round face. His whole head looks very round. But, Ruby’s face was not that round.”  

JVB: A Fedora covers most of the head of the shooter on the right.  As for Cinque’s statement that “Ruby’s face was not that round,” Cinque then shows us, in the very next photo, that his own statement is in error. In fact, Jack Ruby did have a round face:

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Cinque: “OK, so on that basis, we know the shooter wasn’t Ruby.” 

JVB: “OK,on that basis, we cannot say the shooter WASN'T Ruby.”  What we do know is that Cinque has an opinion and has tried to turn it into a fact.    

We will ignore Cinque’s comment that Jack Ruby said he didn’t remember shooting Lee Oswald. Ruby originally claimed insanity, too, as a reason for his actions.  Let us move on:


James Bookhout was an FBI agent who was involved in the investigation of Oswald from the very beginning. He attended the first interrogation of Oswald, and he attended several others. He was there for the last interrogation of Oswald that Sunday morning right before the shooting, except that he claimed to only watch it through a glass wall.

First, note that there is only one piece of footage that captured the image of James Bookhout. And, as I’ll demonstrate, his image in that footage was altered. But, it still provides some valuable information. James Bookhout was short, just like the Garage Shooter.” 

Cinque’s vague description focuses on Bookhout as being “short, just like the Garage Shooter.” Cinque contends that Bookhout was “short, just like the Garage Shooter,”—in support of which argument Cinque has to jump through several hoops and has to contend that various photographs have been altered, which is a favorite excuse Cinque makes when his theories don’t match photos. 

First, let’s address Cinque’s comment that there is only one piece of footage 
that captured the image of James Bookhout.”  Cinque also claims we have no photos of Bookhout’s face, and that what we do have are altered, but he errs.  In fact, we have footage of Bookhout that does show his face, such as this frame from film, where he is in shadow, holding Lee Oswald’s left hand as Lee is being loaded into the ambulance:

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Lee Oswald’s clenched fist shows he is not yet unconscious, in opposition of what has been claimed by many. Note: Bookhout wears a Fedora. Under ordinary lighting, his Fedora looks darker than Jack Ruby’s, but Cinque latches onto this Fedora as part of his “evidence” that Bookhout is the shooter. Below, we have flipped Cinque’s photo of Bookhout’s Fedora so it can be more easily compared to Jack Ruby’s:

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Ruby’s Fedora tends to reflect more light than Bookhout’s Fedora. It is also a somewhat smaller hat.

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Here are other photos of Jack Ruby’s Fedora:

The first photo shows the actual color of Jack Ruby’s Fedora. The photo to the right shows Ruby’s Fedora in black and white. Below is another photo of Bookhout’s Fedora, compared to Ruby’s:

Bookhout’s Fedora seems taller than Ruby’s Fedora.  Below is a front-on photo of Bookhout in his Fedora: compare to Jack Ruby’s:

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When Bookhout’s Fedora and Ruby’s are shown at approximately the same size, Bookhout’s Fedora also seems taller in the back. This is the brightest shot of Bookhout’s Fedora: it nearly matches the gray of the Fedora worn by Ruby. But the height of Bookhout’s Fedora differs from Ruby’s, as can be seen in this photo supplied by Cinque in his own article:

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It is difficult to view these two photos together, which is what Cinque himself did, and then dare to conclude that the Fedora on the right is the same as the Fedora on the left.
  But we will use the photo on the left, which Cinque claims shows the back of Bookhout’s neck, one more time, to drive our point home:

Cinque claims that this photo cannot be of the back of the head of Jack Ruby, because the back of Ruby’s neck was “scruffy” while Bookhout, as an FBI agent, would have a clean-shaven neck.  Cinque makes that argument in “Part 2” of his paper, claiming that the photo on the left has to be of Bookhout’s neck. Keep that in mind when you look at the photos below.

The final nail in the coffin can be found here, in Cinque’s “Part 2” :
Bear in mind that, at least officially, there are no images of James Bookhout from the time of the assassination or thereafter. Which is strange considering that Bookhout attended more Oswald interrogations than anyone else apart from Captain Will Fritz, who was conducting them. 
But Cinque is wrong. Besides the photo we have already provided, showing Bookhout holding Lee’s left hand when Lee was being loaded into the ambulance, here are additional photos of Bookhout vs. Ruby:

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Regarding Cinque's opining that the man to the left is not Bookhouit, we ask: which "back of the neck" is most likely to represent a clean-cut FBI agent?

Note the back of Bookhout’s neck is naked.  It does not resemble the dark shiny hair on the back of the neck of the “Garage Shooter.” Cinque has to deny that the photo on the left is Bookhout. He says:
“The only confirmed images we have of Bookhout, therefore, are school pictures of him from when he was much younger. Since that is all we have, that is what we have to use, where further finds of other photos may provide further proof or disconfirmation.” 
NOTE: For "Who killed Lee Harvey Oswald: James Bookhout vs. Jack Ruby (Part 2)", click here. 

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).