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Sale 38 Lot 731B

JACK RUBY'S "MY STORY" - NOTES, DRAFTS AND EDITED VERSIONSHistorically important set of notes, drafts and the final version of William Read Woodfield's widely-published biography of Jack Ruby, "My Story". In order to write the multi-part article, Woodfield sat in on defense strategy meetings, was privy to FBI and psychiatrists' reports, met with the defense team's investigators, and conducted extensive interviews with the entire Ruby family. Lead attorney Melvin Belli even arranged for Woodfield to secretly meet with Ruby in his Dallas jail cell. The most important source material in this archive emanates from a very lengthy series of telephone calls and meetings between Woodfield and defense attorney Joe Tonahill immediately after Tonahill met with Ruby to ask Woodfield's prepared questions. This important archive is comprised of the bulk of Woodfield's holograph notes for Ruby's "My Story", 54pp. folio and 8pp. 4to., along with photocopies, 51pp. 4to., being the final text of the article, initialed (in the photocopy) by Earl Ruby and on behalf of Jack. It is of great importance to note that these notes were never subpoenaed, and until now were viewed by only Woodfield and Melvin Belli. Further, Belli edited the notes, excising crucial passages that may, if published, have proven prejudicial to Belli's "irresistible impulse" defense. The first two pages of Woodfield's notes are a preliminary chronology of Ruby's life up to the age of forty, with brief notes describing his rough life at home, door-to-door sales to support himself, his involvement in the scrap-handler's union, etc. The next set of preliminary notes, 18pp., sketches Ruby's movements from noon, Nov. 22 until his shooting of Oswald, followed by his responses to several questions. The timeline (as well as the entire finished story) is written in the first person, and describes Ruby's reaction to the shooting, his calls to his family, the closing of his bar, appearance at Dallas police headquarters, bringing sandwiches to WLIF, tracking the Weissman post office box number, etc. On his shooting of Oswald, Ruby stated: "...At the bottom of the ramp, suddenly out of there walked Oswald. He was about 10 feet from me. Instantly I reached for my gun. Went towards him...I didn't think at all about it...He had this smirky, smug, vindictive attitude...I lost my senses...I recognized no one whatsoever. I was not hiding behind anyone else...I was exposed, away from everyone. They could have blown my head off. I only shot him once. I guess I intended - I don't know what...". There follow several questions with Ruby's replies: "...I never saw him [Oswald] in my club...When I first saw Oswald I associated him with Paul Newman...The only way to get respect in Dallas is to carry a gun...The Dallas Police have taken my gun from me when booked returning it when they released me...I love Dallas. I love the police department...My ambition was to rise to Sheriff of Dallas!...I pass out permanent guest cards...to the police. It's public relations...only once did I ever have trouble with an officer...I hit him with my pistol...Cuba: went there in '59. Had good friend there from Dallas named L. C. McWhiters [McWillie]...In 1963: New Orleans...No one knew I was going to shoot Oswald - not even me...I get shocked and saddened by violent death...I'm willing to go into a mental hospital...I know [prosecutor] Henry Wade is an honest man. I believed him. Oswald was a dead man...". Much more including queries on his sexuality, stripper Candy Barr, pandering, J. D. Tippet, his thoughts on death, the Dallas police, etc. There then follows Woodfield's preamble to "My Story", 2pp., an introduction to the story in which Ruby introduces himself to the reader, admits the murder, and disclaims any association to Oswald or any third party. The next 9pp. of the manuscript spells out Ruby's earlier years - his youth and early adulthood up until the time he moved to Dallas at sister Eva's insistence. It describes a rough life as the child of an alcoholic father, a broken family, selling goods door-to-door and on the streets, and his entry into "show business". In general, but for a few negligible deletions, Woodfield's notes agree with the Ruby's initialed final text. The final 24pp. of rough notes are crucial, describing Ruby's movements, thoughts and emotions in the days following the assassination of President Kennedy and Ruby's murder of Lee Harvey Oswald. As stated earlier, these notes are based directly on Woodfield's clandestine meeting with Ruby and his conversation with attorney Joseph Tonahill immediately after Tonahill's lengthy interview with Ruby. They were then vetted by Melvin Belli prior to Woodfield's final draft and publication. The text resembles Woodfield's final product, but Belli's excisions are telling. The account starts with Ruby at the Carousel Club steaming over Bernard Weissman's ad in the Dallas Morning News criticizing Kennedy. Ruby is at the newspaper's office when he learns that Kennedy has been shot, and he emotionally begins to fall apart. He calls friends and family, and visits his sister to watch the events on television, including Oswald "handcuffed at City Hall", which words Belli has excised. Ruby returns to his home at about 7:30 PM, watches more news, and then prepares to go to a synagogue for prayers. Ruby then picks up sandwiches and proceeds to Dallas Police Headquarters in search of a KLIF reporter. While there, Ruby relates seeing Oswald paraded before reporters, and notes: "Although had my killing of Oswald been part of some vast conspiracy, I would logically have shot him at my earliest opportunity". This line was also removed by Belli. The text then offers Ruby's conjecture as to Oswald's sanity, with Belli deleting a key phrase pointing to a possible predisposition to murder: "I can't help wondering if Oswald might still be alive if everyone hadn't been so 'certain' of his guilt..." [Cataloger's note: This seems to show that in shooting Oswald, Ruby was acting as an "executioner", simply killing a man already condemned to death]. Ruby leaves City Hall and views the now-famous "Impeach Earl Warren" billboard before returning home to bed. The following morning, he visits a local bar, where the patrons continue to discuss the Weissman advertisement. Ruby also visits Dealey Plaza to view the wreaths placed at the scene of the assassination. He again visits Eva's home, where she suggests someone should shoot Oswald, then stops at the Carousel and a few other clubs before returning home. On Nov. 24, the day he will shoot Oswald, Ruby awakens at 9: 30 and takes a powerful diet pill/stimulant, Preludin, stating that he had recently increased the dosage. He receives a call from stripper Karen Bennett ("Little Linn") asking for money, and he promises to send the money via Western Union. He drives past Dealey Plaza again, and as he passes City Hall he notes that Oswald had been scheduled to be moved an hour earlier. He parks his car near the Western Union office, and at 11:17 AM his telegraphed wire remittance to Bennett is time-stamped. He sees the crowd before City Hall and walks the block and a half to the ramp leading down to the basement. Here Woodfield's account differs slightly from his first draft: "...He was about 10 feet from me. He came out around there all of a sudden with a smirky, defiant, cursing, vicious communist expression on his face. I can't convey what impression he gave me. I lost my senses...I pulled out my gun and took a couple of steps...They could have blown my head off. I only shot him once...I guess I intended - I don't know what..." Incredibly, the final, initialed and approved version of "My Story" does not include the damning phrase "I guess I intended", and also changes a key phrase to: "I must have pulled out my gun...". Overall fine condition. All in all these notes make a good case for Ruby, an impulsive braggart, sleepless, drugged and angered by the billboard and Weissman ads, acting as a vigilante taking the law into his own hands and "executing" Oswald on behalf of a grateful nation. This theory explains his amazement at being arrested. Undoubtedly, much more could be read into these notes by those with a solid background in the history of the Kennedy assassination! Sold with a Jan. 28, 1964 edition of the Chicago Daily News including the text of the first part of "My Story".
Estimate $ 2,000-3,000

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