A part of every one of us stopped living when the three shots were fired, and the painful events continued to unfold: the news of the capture of the suspect, the death of a policeman, a stammering and inaudible Lyndon Johnson taking the oath of office aboard Air Force One, and days later a mob-style rub out by a strip-club owner right in front of armed policeman. It was all there in front of me like a bad dream. I don’t know why I was crying; I was less than a year old when the damn thing happened. Maybe I never mourned the sixties. I was old enough to remember seeing college students marching and protesting the war; the nightly news reports that told us how many tons of bombs we dropped on Hanoi; and the naked and screaming children who were fleeing from napalm.
The sixties had ended on that day in November, long before the summer of love. But it wouldn’t be until Martin, Bobby, and the Democratic Convention in Chicago that people realized that the pit bulls had taken over. When everyone awoke from the nightmare, America had elected a terminally dishonest and criminal President to two terms in office. Lots of bad memories.
The seventh floor of the museum had a lecture hall that housed a temporary exhibit dedicated to Jack Ruby, the night club owner that whacked Oswald right in front of Dallas policemen. Invariably, Ruby’s action has fueled conspiracy theories for a number of years, many of which are based on a series of coincidences, speculation, and unanswered questions, the biggest of which is: why would a strip-club owner take it upon himself to put a bullet in Oswald? There are a number of theories, the most common is: to keep him from talking. Conspiracy theorists point to Ruby’s links to organized crime. Dallas was technically in the so-called territory of kingfish mob boss Carlos Marcello, and the dancers at Ruby’s club were on the same circuit.
But there is also the vendetta theory: reputed mob bosses had been under public scrutiny since the 1950s when, after the murder of Albert Anastasia in a New York barbershop, mobsters organized the largest sit-down on record in Apalachin in upstate New York. The theory, which is asinine really, presumes that the mobsters were stupid enough to put a contract out on JFK to keep Bobby off their backs. The idea is ludicrous because the mob has always steered clear of clean public officials. Bootlegger Dutch Schultz met his untimely end in a New Jersey Chop House because he told Lucky Luciano that he put out a contract on New York Attorney General Thomas Dewey.
To be continued…
Cross posted at My Ongoing Struggle with Misanthropy: http://jimmygabacho.com/?p=629