MetroFocus: June 3, 2021

On any given night over the past year, almost 20,000 kids in New York City slept in homeless shelters. WIN (Women in Need) is New York City’s largest provider of shelter and services for homeless families with children, servicing over 1,900 families, including over 2,700 children, each night through its 13 family shelters located across New York City. The organization has released a proposal to guide the next mayor on how they can best address the family homelessness crisis here in New York City. Tonight, President and CEO Christine Quinn discusses the plan that includes restructuring the way city government deals with homelessness, strengthening social services, increasing housing vouchers, streamlining the process for benefits and services.

At a time when conspiracies are more prevalent than ever, ABC Chief Legal Analyst Dan Abrams takes us back to examine one of the nation’s biggest and most known conspiracy theories in his new book, KENNEDY’S AVENGER: Assassination, Conspiracy, and the Forgotten Trial of Jack Ruby. Despite having more eyewitnesses than any other crime in history – to this day – few would remember the bizarre trial that followed three months later in Dallas, Texas. How exactly does one defend a man who was seen pulling the trigger in front of millions? And, more importantly, how did Jack Ruby, who fired point-blank into Oswald live on television, die an innocent man?

TRANSCRIPT

> THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND.

BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION AND BY -- JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER, JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD, CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN FAMILY, JUDY AND JOSH WESTON, DR. ROBERT C. AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION, THE JPB FOUNDATION.

> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M RAFAEL PI ROMAN.

YOU KNOW, OVER THE PAST YEAR AN AVERAGE OF ALMOST 20,000 CHILDREN SLEPT IN NEW YORK CITY HOMELESS SHELTERS EVERY NIGHT.

WHILE THE PANDEMIC MADE THE FAMILY HOMELESSNESS CRISIS MORE SEVERE, THE ISSUE LONG PREDATES COVID-19.

WHEN NEW YORK CITY'S LARGEST PROVIDER OF SHELTER AND SERVICES FOR HOMELESS FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN HAS RELEASED A DETAILED PROPOSAL FOR THE NEXT MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY TO HELP HIM OR HER TACKLE THIS PROBLEM AND END THE HOMELESSNESS CRISIS HERE IN THE CITY ONCE AND FOR ALL.

JOINING US FOR OUR CHASING THE DREAM INITIATIVE IS THE FORMER SPEAKER OF THE NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL AND THE CURRENT PRESIDENT AND CEO OF WEN, CHRISTINE QUINN.

I THINK IT'S FAIR TO SAY THAT WHEN MOST PEOPLE THINK OF HOMELHOME L LESSNESS, THEY PROBABLY THINK OF SINGLE MEN ON THE STREETS OR IN THE SUBWAYS AND SUFFERING FROM MENTAL AND/OR ADDICTION ISSUES, BUT OF COURSE THAT IS FAR FROM THE WHOLE PROBLEM.

CAN YOU GIVE US A SENSE OF THE EXTENT OF THE HOMELESSNESS CRISIS FOR FAMILIES IN NEW YORK CITY?

ABSOLUTELY.

65 TO 70% OF EVERYONE IN SHELTER IN NEW YORK CITY, THEY ARE A FAMILY WITH CHILDREN.

TO PUT THE 20,000 CHILDREN NUMBER INTO CONTEXT, THAT'S MORE SEATS THAN THERE ARE IN THE BARCLAY CENTER.

WE COULDN'T FIT ALL THE HOMELESS CHILDREN INTO THE BARCLAY CENTER.

AND YOU'RE RIGHT, FOR ALMOST ALL OF THE HOMELESS CRISIS THE ATTENTION HAS SOLELY FOCUSED ON SINGLE MEN, BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT THE MEDIA AS FOCUSED ON USUALLY, IN MY OPINION N A VERY DIVISIVE, RACIST WAY.

WHAT WE'VE TRIED TO DO IS BRING OUT THE FORGOTTEN FACE OF HOMELESSNESS, MOTHERS AND THEIR CHILDREN, 5 OR 6-YEAR-OLD CHILDREN TO MAKE SURE THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS RESPONDING TO THEIR NEEDS.

THAT'S WHY WE PUT OUT A BLUEPRINT FOR WHOEVER THE NEXT MAYOR IS, BECAUSE THE TRUTH IS WE CAN'T END THE FAMILY HOMELESSNESS CRISIS.

WE JUST HAVE TO DECIDE AS A CITY AND OUR NEXT MAYOR HAS TO DECIDE THEY ARE GOING TO END IT, NOT MANAGE IT, WHICH IS WHAT HAS HAPPENED HISTORICALLY.

IT BOGGLES THE MIND, NEARLY 20,000 CHILDREN SLEEPING IN SHELTERS EVERY NIGHT IN NEW YORK CITY, AND THAT'S NOW.

GIVE US A SENSE OF WHAT IT'S LIKELY TO BE IN THE NOT TOO DISTANT FUTURE ONCE WE START FACING THE END OF THE EVICTION MORATORIUM.

EXACTLY.

WHAT'S IT GOING TO LOOK LIKE THEN?

THE EVICTION MORATORIUM WILL COME TO AN END AT SOME POINT.

I AM VERY WORRIED ABOUT WHAT THAT MEANS AND HOW MANY FAMILIES WILL BE FLOODING THE SYSTEM.

REMEMBER, FOR ALL OF THE FAMILIES LIVING IN A QUALITY SHELTER LIKE THE ONE WEN RUNS, THERE ARE COUNTLESS FAMILIES LIVING IN WELFARE HOTELS WHICH HAVE NO SECURITY AND NO SERVICES.

THAT'S WHY WE PUSHED SO HARD AND WHY WE'RE SO GRATEFUL TO THE NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL FOR RECENTLY PASSING LEGISLATION THAT WILL INCREASE THE AMOUNT OF THE VOUCHER HOMELESS PEOPLE GET TO PAY FOR RENT.

IT WAS SO LOW, $1500 GIVE OR TAKE, THAT STREET EASY SAID THERE WAS NO NEIGHBORHOOD IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK WHERE YOU COULD RENT AN APARTMENT FOR THAT.

UNDER THE NEW LAW, IT'S $2200.

WE BELIEVE THAT WILL HELP IN ONE YEAR MOVE 2700 FAMILIES OUT OF SHELTER AND INTO PERMANENT HOUSING.

THAT'S THE KIND OF THING WE NEED TO CONTINUE DOING SO WE CAN DEAL WITH THE NUMBER OF FOLKS WHO WILL TRAGICALLY END UP I VEVICT AND THE FOLKS WHO LOST THEIR JOB BECAUSE OF THE PANDEMIC.

THAT INCREASE IN VOUCHERS IS A BIG, BIG DEAL.

YOU HAD A LOT TO DO WITH MAKING THAT HAPPEN.

HOW MUCH OF THE CITY'S FAMILY HOMELESSNESS CRISIS AS A WHOLE THAT WE'RE EXPERIENCING NOW IS THE RESULT OF COVID-19?

AND HOW MUCH OF IT PREDATES COVID?

HONESTLY, AT THE MOMENT, GIVEN THE EVICTION MORATORIUM HAS NOT ENDED, MOST OF IT IS PREDATED COVID, WHICH WAS REALLY SCARY TO THINK ABOUT, THAT WE HAD THAT LEVEL OF FAMILY HOMELESSNESS BEFORE THE PANDEMIC.

I FEAR WHAT WILL HAPPEN AFTER THE EVICTION MORATORIUM.

I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT FOR NEW YORKERS TO RECOGNIZE THIS IS A PROBLEM OF OUR CITY.

IT'S A PROBLEM OF THE GREATEST CITY IN THE WORLD, A HUMANITARIAN CRISIS OF THE GREATEST CITY IN THE WORLD.

IT IS NOT A RESULT OF THE PANDEMIC.

WHAT STEPS OR MISSTEPS DID WE TAKE TO GET TO THIS POINT IN THE BIGGEST CITY IN THE COUNTRY, ONE OF THE GREATEST CITIES IN THE WORLD?

I THINK, ONE, WE ACCEPTED IT, RIGHT?

WE MANAGED THE PROBLEM.

WE DIDN'T COMMIT A CRUSADE TO END IT.

TWO, WE DIDN'T DO ENOUGH TO FIGHT BACK AGAINST THE LACK OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN THIS CITY, THE ROLLBACK OF RENT PROTECTIONS, THE DEVELOPMENT OF LUXURY HOUSING.

WE DIDN'T REALLY GIVE HOMELESS SHELTERS THE TOOLS THEY NEEDED, THE RESOURCES TO TRAIN HOMELESS PEOPLE FOR JOBS SO THAT WHEN THEY GOT OUT OF SHELTER, THEY COULD PAY THE RENT AND WE HAD PROGRAMS THAT WERE A JOKE.

I MEAN, THE VOUCHERS WERE A JOKE.

THERE WERE PIECES OF PAPER THAT WERE WORTHLESS.

WE DIDN'T GIVE THIS PROBLEM THE KIND OF ATTENTION YOU GIVE A PROBLEM THAT YOU'RE GOING TO SOLVE.

SPECIFICALLY, IF YOU COULD, HOW WOULD YOU GRADE MAYOR de BL BLASIO'S EFFORTS?

NOT STELLAR.

I WENT TO CATHOLIC SCHOOL AND THE NUNN S WOULD NOT BE SATISFI.

THEY'RE REALLY BAD.

WEN HAS RELEASED A DETAILED PROPOSAL THAT YOU REFERENCED FOR THE NEXT MAYOR.

WHO ARE SOME OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS?

ONE IMPORTANT RECOMMENDATION IS THAT WE SHOULD HAVE WHAT WE'RE CALLING A STAY-AT-HOME VOUCHER, PARTICULARLY AFTER THE EVICTION MORATORIUM ENDS.

WE SHOULDN'T FORCE PEOPLE TO GO INTO SHELTER -- YOU HAVE TO BE IN SHELTER 90 DAYS TO QUALIFY FOR A VOUCHER.

LET'S MAKE THOSE VOUCHERS MORE AVAILABLE FOR PEOPLE FACING EVICTION.

TWO, LET'S GIVE SHELTERS THE RESOURCES FOR JOB TRAINING AND JOB PLACEMENT.

AT WEN, WE DO THAT WORK.

WE HAVE TO RAISE ALL THAT MONEY PRIVATELY FROM CORPORATIONS, INDIVIDUALS AND FOUNDATIONS.

THAT SHOULD BE IN THE CONTRACTS THAT THE CITY GIVES SHELTER PROVIDERS.

THREE, THE NEXT MAYOR'S AFFORDABLE HOUSING PLAN NEEDS TO HAVE APARTMENTS THAT ARE AFFORDABLE TO PEOPLE LEAVING SHELTER, ONE THAT THE VOUCHERS COULD PAY FOR, AS SOME EXAMPLES.

SO HOW MANY OF THE MAYORAL CANDIDATES RUNNING THIS YEAR ARE ECHOING SOME OF YOUR PROPOSALS OR HAVE PROPOSALS THAT YOU THINK ARE ADEQUATE TO DEAL WITH THE CRISIS?

EVERY CANDIDATE SUPPORTED THE CITY COUNCIL PIECE OF LEGISLATION.

SO WE'RE REALLY GRATIFIED ABOUT THAT.

THE VOUCHER, YOU MEAN?

YEAH.

WE THINK THAT MEANS THAT THEY'LL IMPLEMENT IT WELL.

VERY RECENTLY, A SOLID HOUSING PROPOSAL SHAWN DONOVAN.

I HAVEN'T HEARD ANYBODY SAY WE'RE GOING TO END THIS CRISIS.

WE'RE GOING TO KEEP NOT SO POLITELY PUSHING THEM ONCE THEY GET INTO CITY HALL AND GRACIE MANSION.

YOU SAID ENDING THIS CRISIS IS YOUR GOAL.

SOME PEOPLE THINK THAT'S NOT REALISTIC.

CONVINCE US THAT IT'S REALISTIC TO CHANGE THIS PROBLEM THAT'S SO PROFOUND AND LONG LASTING.

PEOPLE DIDN'T THINK IT WAS REALISTIC THAT WE WOULD HAVE A PANDEMIC VACCINE WHEN WE DID, BUT WE DID.

PEOPLE DIDN'T THINK IT WAS REALISTIC THAT NEW YORK CITY WOULD COME BACK FROM 9/11 OR THAT WE WOULD COME BACK FROM SANDY.

WHAT YOU BELIEVE, YOU CAN MAKE TRUE.

I KNOW THAT MAY SOUND TOUCHY FEELY, BUT LOOK AT THE HISTORY OF NEW YORK.

WE MADE IT THROUGH THE GREAT RECESSION.

WE CAME OUT OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION.

YOU JUST HAVE TO BELIEVE AND PUT POLICIES IN PLACE THAT WILL MAKE THAT HAPPEN.

ONCE YOU ACCEPT SOMETHING, IT BECOMES PERMANENT.

THE WORD TEMPORARY IN GOVERNMENT MEANS PERMANENT.

THAT'S WHAT YOU HAVE TO FIGHT AGAINST.

AT ONE POINT, YOU SEEM TO SERIOUSLY BE CONSIDERING RUNNING FOR MAYOR THIS YEAR.

THERE WERE CERTAINLY A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO WERE SERIOUSLY HOPING YOU WOULD.

THAT'S KIND.

OBVIOUSLY YOU DECIDED NOT TO.

GIVEN THE FACT THAT IF YOU HAD GONE FOR THAT OFFICE AND HAD WON, YOU WOULD HAVE HAD THE AMAZING OPPORTUNITY TO IMPLEMENT THIS BLUEPRINT THAT YOU'VE WRITTEN OUT AND TO END THIS CRISIS.

WHY DIDN'T YOU?

. IT

IT WAS A HARD DECISION, IT REALLY WAS, AND I THOUGHT ABOUT IT A LOT.

I MADE A COMMITMENT TO WEN, I MADE A COMMITMENT TO THOSE MOMS AND THEIR CHILDREN AND I FELT MY WORK JUST WASN'T DONE YET.

YOU WROTE A PIECE RECENTLY IN THE 'NEW YORK TIMES' WHICH WE DON'T HAVE TIME TO GET INTO.

IT'S CALLED 'WHAT IT WILL TAKE FOR NEW YORK CITY TO ELECT A WOMAN AS MAYOR' WHERE YOU TALK ABOUT ALL THE UNIQUE OBSTACLES WOMEN FACE.

I URGE OUR VIEWERS TO READ THAT.

IT'S EYE OPENING.

THANK YOU.

HOW DO YOU THINK THE MEDIA HAS DONE IN COVERING THE ISSUE OF THE FAMILY HOMELESSNESS CRISIS DURING THIS MAYORAL CAMPAIGN?

I THINK IN MY FIVE OR SO YEARS AT WEN, THE MEDIA'S COVERAGE OF FAMILY HOMELESSNESS HAS REALLY IMPROVED.

I'LL CREDIT WEN FOR SOME OF THAT.

I DON'T THINK THE ISSUE OF FAMILY HOMELESSNESS HAS BEEN FRONT AND CENTER ENOUGH IN THIS RACE.

IT IS ONE OF THE MOST VEXING PROBLEMS THE CITY HAS.

WE SAW HOW CHALLENGING IT WAS DURING THE PANDEMIC, PARTICULARLY WITH ZOOM SCHOOL FOR HOMELESS CHILDREN.

I THINK IT SHOULD BE GETTING MUCH MORE ATTENTION.

AND IT'S SOMETHING THE NEXT MAYOR SHOULD BE JUDGED BY IN THEIR FIRST 100 DAYS.

GOING BACK TO THE VOUCHERS FOR ONE SECOND, MAYOR de BLASIO IS AGAINST IT.

THE ISSUE OF WHY THE STATE HAS INCREASED THEIR OWN VOUCHER SYSTEM, ONE OF THE ARGUMENTS THEY GIVE IS BY RAISING THE VOUCHER, THEY'RE JUST MOTIVATING LANDLORDS TO RAISE THE RENTS.

IS THIS A VALID CONCERN AND A CONCERN THAT WE SHOULD HAVE AFTER THE VOUCHER VALUE WAS RAISED HERE?

LOOK, EVERY BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT SHOULD RAISE THE AMOUNT OF MONEY IN THEIR VOUCHERS IF THE VOUCHERS AREN'T WORKING AND THE VOUCHERS AREN'T BEING USEFUL IN RENTING APARTMENTS.

I THINK THAT ARGUMENT THAT THE DIFFERENCE IN THE AMOUNT OF THE VOUCHER GOING TO CAUSE RENTS TO GO UP DOESN'T BEAR OUT.

THE STREET EASY STUDY WE DID SHOWED THERE WAS ABOUT 500 APARTMENTS IN NEW YORK CITY THAT YOU COULD RENT WITH $1558 FOR A FAMILY OF FOUR.

SO THEY JUST DON'T EXIST.

THAT ARGUMENT DOESN'T BEAR OUT AT ALL.

EVERYONE SHOULD BE DOING MORE, BUT THE MAYOR'S ARGUMENT OF I CAN'T DO IT BECAUSE THE STATE DIDN'T, YOU KNOW WHAT?

THE HOMELESS WOMEN WHO LIVE WITH US AND THEIR CHILDREN, THEY DON'T CARE WHICH BODY OF GOVERNMENT RAISED THE VOUCHER AMOUNT.

THEY JUST WANT TO GET OUT OF SHELTER AND INTO PERMANENT HOUSING AND THE MAYOR SHOULD SIGN THE BILL.

WE HAVE ABOUT 25 SECONDS LEFT.

HOW OPTIMISTIC ARE YOU THAT WE WILL MARSHALL THE RESOURCES AND THE WILL TO TACKLE THIS THING?

WE HAVE 5,000 PEOPLE WHO STAY WITH US EVERY NIGHT AT WEN.

HALF OF THEM ARE MOMS.

THEY MADE IT THROUGH THE PANDEMIC.

THEIR KIDS WENT TO ZOOM SCHOOL.

WE'LL GET THIS DONE.

SPEAKER, THANK YOU SO MUCH.

IT'S ALWAYS A PLEASURE.

THANK YOU.

> GOOD EVENING.

WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M JACK FORD.

NOVEMBER 22nd, 1963, THE NATION AND THE WORLD WERE SHOCKED ABOUT THE ASSASSINATION OF JFK.

THE ACCUSED ASSASSIN LEE HARVEY OSWALD WAS GUNNED DOWN BY A DALLAS BUSINESSMAN JACK RUBY.

JACK RUBY'S SUBSEQUENT MURDER TRIAL, RATHER THAN BEING THE SLAM DUNK YOU WOULD HAVE EXPECTED, TURNED OUT TO BE A CHAOTIC THEATRICAL EVENT, RESULTING IN QUESTIONS, CONTROVERSIES AND CONSPIRACY THEORY THAT CONTINUE TO RESONATE TODAY.

NOW, A NEW BOOK BY DAN ABRAMS AND DAVID FISHER TITLED 'KENNEDY'S AVENGER, ASSASSINATION, CONSPIRACY AND THE FORGOTTEN TRIAL OF JACK RUBY' TELLS THE STORY, TAKES A DEEP DIVE INTO THE ISSUES, THE PERSONALITIES AND THE QUESTIONS THAT STILL REMAIN.

WE'RE DELIGHTED TO HAVE DAN ABRAMS JOIN US TO TALK ABOUT THIS BOOK.

AMONG SO MANY OTHER THINGS, THE CHIEF LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT FOR ABC NEWS, THE HOST OF 'THE DAN ABRAMS SHOW' ON SIRIUS XM AND A VERY GOOD FRIEND FOR DECADES.

WELCOME.

GOOD TO SEE YOU.

JACK, GREAT TO BE BACK WITH YOU, AS ALWAYS.

LET'S TALK ABOUT THIS BOOK NOW.

THIS IS THE FOURTH ONE YOU HAVE DONE THAT LOOKS AT FAMOUS PERSONALITIES AND TRIALS THAT HELP TO SHAPE THE CONTOURS OF WHO THEY WERE.

IN MANY INSTANCES TRIALS THAT FEW PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT.

YOU GET TO THIS CASE NOW, JACK RUBY, INVOLVES LEE HARVEY OSWALD, THE DEATH OF PRESIDENT KENNEDY.

WHAT WAS IT ABOUT THIS STORY THAT MADE YOU SAY, THIS IS THE ONE WE WANT TO TELL NOW?

WE JUST FINISHED OUR THIRD BOOK ON THE JOHN ADAMS REPRESENTING THE BRITISH SOLDIERS IN THE BOSTON MASSACRE CASE.

WE'D PREVIOUSLY DONE A SURPRISINGLY UNKNOWN STORY WHERE TEDDY ROOSEVELT WAS SUED AND AFTER THAT THE LAST MAJOR CASE ABRAHAM LINCOLN ARGUED AS A LAWYER.

DAVID FISHER AND I WERE TALKING ABOUT JFK'S ASSASSINATION.

THERE WAS NO TRIAL, OF COURSE, BECAUSE OF LEE HARVEY OSWALD.

I THINK IT WAS I WHO SAID TO HIM, WHATEVER HAPPENED WITH JACK RUBY'S TRIAL?

WE BOTH LOOKED AT EACH OTHER AND SAID HOW DO WE, YOU AND I, NOT KNOW MORE ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED IN JACK RUBY'S TRIAL?

ME AS THE LEGAL GUY, RIGHT, AND DAVID AS A HISTORIAN, ET CETERA, LET'S DIG IN A LITTLE BIT HERE.

EVERY PIECE WE BROUGHT OUT OF IT, WE SAID THIS TRIAL IS SO RICH, THERE IS SO MUCH HERE FROM CELEBRITY LAWYERS, CELEBRITY WITNESSES, THE JAILBREAK THAT OCCURS DURING THE TRIAL.

THIS EFFECTIVELY BECAME THE KENNEDY ASSASSINATION TRIAL.

MANY OF THE CONSPIRACIES CAME OUT OF THIS ONE.

THE ONE THREAD BETWEEN ALL OF OUR BOOKS HAS BEEN THERE'S A TRANSCRIPT OF THE TRIAL THAT SERVES AS THE HEART OF THE BOOK.

AGAIN, I WAS IN GRAMMAR SCHOOL.

I ACTUALLY SAW THE LIVE COVERAGE OF JACK RUBY GUNNING DOWN LEE HARVEY OSWALD.

NOT SURE WHAT I WAS SEEING AS A GRAMMAR SCHOOL STUDENT.

I THOUGHT I KNEW A LOT ABOUT THIS CASE, BUT I WILL TELL YOU THAT I GO THINK THIS BOOK CONSTANTLY SAYING, WOW, I DIDN'T KNOW THAT.

THERE ARE GREAT THINGS YOU'VE DISCOVERED HERE.

GIVE A QUICK RUNDOWN OF SOME OF THE PERSONALITIES INVOLVED.

YOU MENTION CELEBRITY LAWYERS, THE JUDGE INVOLVED.

JACK RUBY WAS A LOW LEVEL BUSINESS OWNER, MEANING HE OWNED SORT OF A STRIP CLUB.

I SAY STRIP MEANING IN TODAY'S IT WOULD BE VIEWED AS PRETTY TAME, BUT BACK IN THE DAY IT WAS KIND OF SEEDY, ET CETERA.

A LOT OF COPS WENT THERE.

HE WAS VERY CLOSE WITH POLICE OFFICERS.

ALWAYS WANTED TO BE RELEVANT, WAS A BIG MOUTH, THOUGHT OF HIMSELF AS KIND OF A TOUGH GUY, WAS VERY INTO BEING JEWISH AND THE FACT THAT HE WANTED TO SHOW THAT JEWS CAN BE TOUGH GUYS.

ONE OF HIS BEST FRIENDS GROWING UP WAS BARNEY ROSS, THE WORLD FAMOUS BOXER, WHO ACTUALLY ENDED UP TESTIFYING IN THE TRIAL ON BEHALF OF RUBY.

THE PROSECUTOR IN THIS CASE WAS HENRY WADE OF ROE VERSUS WADE FAME LATER ON.

HE WAS A CLASSIC, WELL-LIKED TEXAS PROSECUTOR, ASSISTED BY ANOTHER SIMILAR NAMED BILL ALEXANDER.

AND THE DEFENSE, THOUGH, IS KIND OF WHERE THE ACTION WAS HAPPENING, SO TO SPEAK.

MELVIN BELLI AT THE TIME WAS ARGUABLY THE MOST FAMOUS LAWYER IN AMERICA.

HE DIDN'T TYPICALLY DO CRIMINAL TRIALS.

HE WAS A SHOWMAN AND HE LOVED TO PUT ON A SHOW.

THIS IS A GUY WHO WOULD DID A LOT OF PERSONAL INJURY CASES WITH A LOT OF DEMONSTRATIVE EVIDENCE TO SHOW THE JURORS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED.

HE WANTED THIS TRIAL, BECAUSE IT WAS THE MOST FAMOUS TRIAL IN AMERICA AT THE TIME.

SO YOU HAD THESE CHARACTERS WITH BELLI AND RUBY, PROSECUTORS, A LOT OF THE WITNESSES THAT HAD ALL THE SORT OF MAKINGS OF A BIG STORY.

AND I WILL TELL YOU THAT THE THING, THOUGH, THAT SHOCKED US MOST IN LOOKING AT ALL THE STUFF IN THIS CASE WAS THAT LITERALLY WITH THE WORLD'S MEDIA AT THIS CASE, EFFECTIVELY THE KENNEDY ASSASSINATION CASE, EVERYONE'S THERE.

THERE'S A JAILBREAK THAT OCCURS FOUR STORIES ABOVE WITH A GUY WHO'S IN JAIL AT THE COURTHOUSE, CREATES A GUN OUT OF SOAP, TAKES HOSTAGES AND WALKS THEM RIGHT PAST THE MEDIA WITH THIS GUN AT THIS WOMAN'S BACK.

YOU HAVE MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA CALLING IN SAYING THERE'S A JAILBREAK.

YOU KNOW, THE OTHER SIDE SAYING WHAT?

YOU'RE COVERING THE RUBY CASE.

I KNOW, I KNOW, THERE'S A JAILBREAK GOING ON IN FRONT OF ME.

SO THAT'S THE SORT OF THING HAPPENING DURING THIS TRIAL.

YOU MENTION THAT AND YOU WRITE IN YOUR BOOK ABOUT THE FACT THAT THE DALLAS POLICE DEPARTMENT HAD GOTTEN REPEATED WARNINGS FROM THE FBI ABOUT POSSIBLE ATTACKS ON LEE HARVEY OSWALD AND THEY SAID, NO, WE GOT T THIS, UNTIL THEY DIDN'T, AS YOU DESCRIBE IT HERE.

LET ME TALK ABOUT THE TRIAL.

AGAIN, MOST PEOPLE LOOKED AT THIS AND SAID, WAIT A MINUTE, HE DID THIS ON LIVE TELEVISION, WHAT KIND OF A DEFENSE COULD YOU POSSIBLY HAVE?

YET, AS YOU MENTIONED, YOU HAD A THEATRICAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY, YOU HAD SOME BIGGER THAN LIFE PERSONALITIES IN DALLAS AND YOU HAD A TRIAL WHERE THERE WAS A DEFENSE.

WHAT WAS IT FOR JACK RUBY?

SO WHAT THE DEFENSE COULD HAVE BEEN, WOULD HAVE BEEN THE MORE STRAIGHTFORWARD DEFENSE, WOULD HAVE BEEN TO SAY DID IT, KIND OF LOST IT FOR A MOMENT, SAW THAT SMIRK ON OSWALD'S FACE, I LOVED JOHN KENNEDY, IN A MOMENT I SHOT HIM AND I DON'T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED.

IF THAT HAD BEEN HIS DEFENSE AND THE JURY BELIEVED IT, WHICH I THINK THEY PROBABLY WOULD HAVE, HE COULD HAVE BEEN OUT IN LESS THAN FIVE YEARS.

YOU SAY LESS THAN FIVE YEARS.

MOST PEOPLE WOULD THINK, WAIT A MINUTE, THAT'S A MURDER.

BUT IN TEXAS AT THE TIME MURDER WITHOUT MALICE HAD THAT KIND OF MINIMAL SENTENCE?

CORRECT.

IT WAS LIKE MANSLAUGHTER AS WE KNOW TODAY.

THE SENTENCE FOR THAT IS SIGNIFICANTLY LOWER.

IT WOULD HAVE BEEN 2-5 YEARS FOR MURDER WITHOUT MALICE.

IF YOU GO FOR THE WHOLE THING, YOU COULD GET CONVICTED AND GET THE DEATH PENALTY.

MELVIN BELLI DECIDED HE WANTED TO PURSUE AN INSANITY DEFENSE.

THE DEFENSE WAS THAT JACK RUBY SUFFERED AN EPILEPTIC SEIZURE THAT PUT HIM INTO A FUGUE STATE, THAT HE LITERALLY COULD NOT REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED, THAT HE HAD NO MEMORY OF THE EVENT ITSELF, WHICH IF THE JURY BELIEVED IT, WOULD BE NOT GUILTY BY REASON OF INSANITY.

HE WENT FOR IT ALL AS OPPOSED TO GOING FOR THE MORE MEASURED DEFENSE, WHICH HIS INITIAL ATTORNEY TOM HOWARD HAD ENCOURAGED HIM TO DO.

GIVE US A SENSE OF IT, BECAUSE YOU GO INTO IT IN GREAT DETAIL IN THE BOOK.

PEOPLE NEED TO FOLLOW THAT AND TO UNDERSTAND.

TALK ABOUT SOME OF THE CONTROVERSY, SOME OF THE CONSPIRACY THEORIES THAT BEGAN TO EMERGE DURING THE COURSE OF THIS CASE.

I THINK A LOT OF THEM WERE BASED ON QUESTIONS THAT WENT UNANSWERED.

AT ONE POINT, THE DEFENSE SAYS TO THE PROSECUTION, WE'D LIKE YOU TO STIPULATE THAT LEE HARVEY OSWALD ACTED ALONE.

WE'RE NOT STIPULATING TO ANYTHING.

WHY?

WHAT DOES THAT SUGGEST TO ALL THE MEDIA, WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN YOU AND ME IN PRESENT DAY?

TOTALLY RIGHT.

ANOTHER CASE WHERE AN FBI AGENT WAS QUESTIONED AND ASKED DO YOU HAVE ANY EVIDENCE OF A LINK BETWEEN OSWALD AND RUBY?

OBJECTION.

QUESTION GOES UNANSWERED.

ANOTHER MISSING PIECE IN THE POTENTIAL CONSPIRACY LINK.

THERE WERE PIECES OF CONVERSATIONS THAT SOMEONE WOULD OVERHEAR WITH RUBY ON THE PHONE ON THE SATURDAY BEFORE HE KILLED OSWALD, WHICH SOUNDED LIKE HE WAS PLOTTING, RIGHT?

OF COURSE, LATER ON WE LEARN HE WAS TALKING TO A RADIO REPORTER, BUT REGARDLESS AT THAT MOMENT THERE WAS A LOT OF QUESTIONS, A LOT OF PEOPLE SAYING THEY MIGHT HAVE SEEN SOMETHING, ET CETERA.

THIS TRIAL, I THINK, IN MANY WAYS FUEL LED A LOT OF THOSE CONSPIRACY THEORIES.

HOW OFTEN DID PEOPLE HEAR FROM JACK RUBY BEFORE HE DIED ABOUT THIS?

HE SPOKE ABOUT THIS A NUMBER OF TIMES.

NOT ONLY DID HE SPEAK TO THE WARREN COMMISSION, WHICH WAS INVESTIGATING ON BEHALF OF THE GOVERNMENT WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED AT LENGTH, HE DEMANDED A LIE DETECTOR TEST.

HE KEPT SAYING TO EARL WARREN HIMSELF, SIR, I NEED YOU TO GET ME A LIE DETECTOR TEST.

WE NEED YOU TO ANSWER OUR QUESTIONS.

WARREN ACTUALLY GOT HIM A LIE DETECTOR TEST, WHICH HE REGRETTED LATER.

JACK RUBY SAT FOR A LIE DETECTOR TEST AND ANSWERED ALL THE QUESTIONS.

FOR WHATEVER REASON, YOU HAVE A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO STILL DON'T WANT TO BELIEVE A WORD THAT CAME OUT OF JACK RUBY'S MOUTH.

THERE ARE SO MANY GREAT PASSAGES AND REVELATIONS IN THIS BOOK.

IT READS LIKE FICTION, BUT WE KNOW IT'S TRUE.

AGAIN, WONDERFUL JOB BY YOU PUTTING THIS TOGETHER.

BOOK IS CALLED 'KENNEDY'S AVENGER, ASSASSINATION CONSPIRACY AND THE FORGOTTEN TRULY OF JACK RUBY.'

GREAT WORK.

JACK FORD, THANK YOU SO MUCH.

APPRECIATE IT.

TAKE CARE.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND.

BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION AND BY -- JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER, JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD, CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN FAMILY, JUDY AND JOSH WESTON, DR. ROBERT C. AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION, THE JPB FOUNDATION.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, The Peter G. Peterson and Joan Ganz Cooney Fund, Bernard and Denise Schwartz, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, The Ambrose Monell Foundation, Janet Prindle Seidler, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

The WNET Group | Media Made Possible By All of You

© WNET All Rights Reserved.

825 Eighth Avenue

New York, NY 10019

BBB Logo Charity Navigator Logo