The drama continued. Before Oswald could be questioned, he himself was shot to death, before the disbelieving eyes of reporters, police officers and a nationwide television audience. On November 24, two days after the death of John Kennedy, Oswald was being transferred from the Dallas police headquarters to a more secure county jail. As Oswald was brought into the crowded room, mobster and nightclub owner Jack Ruby emerged from the crowd and fatally wounded him with a single shot from a concealed .38 revolver. Ruby claimed he was enraged by the shooting of the president. He was charged with first degree murder.
Ruby experienced a troubled childhood in Chicago working as a door to door salesman and sometime ticket scalper. He served in the Army Air Force. In the late 1940s, he moved to Dallas, becoming a small time operator in the world of nightclubs and gambling. He ran up a series of minor offenses. He had a reputation as a name dropper and publicity seeker. He had no known political affiliations.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy had a dramatic and romantic life that was cut short in Dallas. Kennedy himself was supported in his election to the presidency by those boys-of-endless-sunshine, the Las Vegas Rat Pack: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford. They lived in a world of showbiz, booze, and broads, and were among the few who could get away with onstage drinking. It was common at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas for 34,000 people to share the glow of the singers, actors and comedians who thrived on hedonism, and in the shadow of organized crime.
Some assert that Frank Sinatra was the greatest blues singer of the 20th century. Years before the Kennedy election, Sinatra and Kennedy met at a Democratic rally where performers sang advocating religious and racial tolerance. Sinatra and Kennedy started spending time together at the singer's home in Palm Springs and the young senator's hotel suite in Washington. Peter Lawford, was Kennedy's brother-in-law; having married JFK's sister, Patricia, in 1954.