THE MAN WHO KILLED by Garry & Ovid Demaris Wills

THE MAN WHO KILLED

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This blistering in-depth coverage of the story of Jack Ruby unveils a monstrous tragedy not only in the killing of Oswald but in its ironic after-effects that left the misguided patriot convict not only of murder but of conspiracy, cowardliness, insanity. The authors take us into the shadow world of the stripjoints and clubs where, in the words of his cronies, Ruby was a ""first-puncher"" who never lost the play...a tough guy who covered up a soft heart with bluster...a man who above all wanted class, respectability but always went about it the wrong way...a stickler for the law--""He thought of himself as a kind of cop. He liked to do their job for them. Ruby liked to know everybody in Dallas, including the D.A. who was to prosecute him. A back-thumper. A man who respected authority and worshipped the Kennedys. All this is just part of the psychological setting for the act itself but there is more, much more as the authors take apart what they consider to be the true murderer: Dallas with its ""artichoke mentality""...""Dallas has what Faulkner called 'the vicious depthless quality of stamped tin,"" etc. Then there's the pathetic circus antics of Ruby's trial with ""legal cockatoo"" Melvin Belli as top banana and Judge Joe Brown running a close second. And the spectacle of Ruby's disintegration through Belli's defense: the man who wanted respect above all things reduced to the village idiot. The authors also have choice comments to make about Mark Lane's Rush to Judgment; Ruby, according to the evidence here, acted out of the same primitive instinct that caused many in America to applaud his crime. A post-mortem that should be read.

Pub Date: Nov. 25th, 1967
Publisher: New American Library