Gun That Killed Lee Harvey Oswald Goes to Auction
NEW YORK (AP) _ The gun Jack Ruby used to kill Lee Harvey Oswald will be auctioned in December at the request of Ruby’s brother, who says he’s still trying to clear his sibling’s name.
Ruby used the gun to kill Oswald in the basement of the Dallas City Jail on Nov. 24, 1963, two days after Oswald assassinated President John F. Kennedy.
Bidding for the .38-caliber Colt Cobra revolver - which Ruby bought for $62.50 in a Dallas gun shop - will start at $100,000. But the gun ″could be worth a quarter million,″ said Herman Darvick, an autographs and historical documents specialist who will stage the sale.
″It has to be the most valuable gun in private hands,″ he said. ″People saw this live on television.″
Ruby was convicted of murder in 1964 and was sentenced to die in the electric chair. The conviction was overturned in 1966, but before a new trial could be held, Ruby died of cancer on Jan. 3, 1967, at age 55.
The gun came to Ruby’s brother, Earl Ruby, in August when a Dallas judge ended 23 years of legal wrangling by awarding Ruby’s property to his heirs rather than to a lawyer who had been named executor of his estate.
″We want to get as much money as possible from it. I hope to get $100,000 because that will just about pay all the bills we owe,″ Ruby, 76, said in a telephone interview from Detroit.
The auction is being held in New York on Dec. 26.
The hat and shoes Ruby wore also will be auctioned. Each contains his name in gold in the lining. Other items to be sold will include telegrams sent to Ruby to congratulate him on the shooting.
″We got over 100 telegrams congratulating him on the fact that he shot Oswald,″ Earl Ruby said.
He said he hoped to clear the name of his brother, who told him he regretted that Oswald died.
″He told me he never intended to kill him. He was surprised he actually killed him. He never thought he would die from the shot in the stomach. He wanted him to suffer. That’s what he told me,″ Ruby said.
The Warren Commission, which investigated the assassination, found that Jack Ruby acted alone in killing Oswald. But various theories have surfaced about Ruby working with organized crime or the CIA to prevent Oswald from talking about his motives.
Earl Ruby said his brother hated the mafia and was a zealous supporter of Kennedy.
″My brother loved the president, back to Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower. He loved Kennedy the best because he was our age,″ he said.