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Feb 1, 2009 (rev. March 27, 2009)
Lee Harvey Oswald (center) Jack Ruby (right)
There's no hard evidence that he did, but numerous people say they saw Oswald at Ruby's club, The Carousel, weeks before the JFK assassination.
by Don Fulsom
Jack Ruby (born Jacob Rubenstein) was a vulgar, violent, lowlife. But a proud one. He had risen from the Mob-dominated slums of Chicago—where, growing up, he'd run errands for Al Capone. Now, in 1963, Ruby ran his own striptease club in Dallas—seedy to some, but to Jack "a f----ing classy joint."
The Carousel was a run-down walkup on Commerce Street where Jack (or "Sparky," as the easily ignitable owner was known) oversaw a master of ceremonies, four strippers and a five-piece bump-and-grind band. On Commerce, flashing neon signs and scores of eight-by-ten glossy stock photos of near-nude gals beckoned horny guys to ascend the stairs and enjoy "Dallas's only nonstop burlesque."
Soon after Ruby murdered JFK assassination suspect Lee Harvey Oswald, Carousel emcee Bill Demar (Bill Crowe in real life) publicly identified Oswald as a recent patron. The magician-ventriloquist said he distinctly recalled Oswald because, as an audience member, Oswald had actually taken part in Demar's "memory act."