(PART 968)



I just read "Beyond Reasonable Doubt," which is a wonderful summary of the evidence that points to Oswald as the lone assassin. I have researched, read, and written extensively about the JFK assassination ("Rendezvous in Dallas").

I have a couple of questions:

1. I have yet to find in my research where LHO purchased the MC [Mannlicher-Carcano] rifle bullets, whether it be mail order or a Dallas-area gun shop. Do you have any thoughts?

2. Each time I have been to Dallas, the Texas Theater has been closed. Can you give me an idea of the layout of the building in 1963? More specifically, did the seating area from the back to the stage run parallel to W. Jefferson or at a right angle (L-shaped)?

Thank you for you time.

Jeffrey K. Smith M.D.



Thank you, Jeffrey, for buying and reading "Beyond Reasonable Doubt". I (and Mel Ayton) appreciate the kind words.

As for your inquiries....

1. The question of where Lee Harvey Oswald obtained his bullets has never been answered (and I doubt it ever will be). We just simply do not know where or exactly when LHO bought his bullets. But it stands to reason that he DID, of course, purchase some bullets to go into both of his guns (the Carcano rifle and the Smith & Wesson revolver).

And the conspiracists who love to say that Oswald could not have bought any bullets for the Carcano rifle must also be saying that Klein's Sporting Goods in Chicago would be stupid enough to be selling guns through the mail that could never be used because there are no bullets available to put into those guns. And that's just silly, of course.

Plus, we know Klein's WAS selling Carcano bullets (in boxes of 108 rounds) for $7.50. We know that fact from the same ad Oswald used to order the rifle [seen below].

But Oswald, for whatever reason, did not order the box of 108 bullets from Klein's. He elected to get them elsewhere.

And my theory on that is: Oswald, the penny-pincher, didn't think he'd have a need for over 100 bullets (that is a lot of bullets), so he probably elected to buy his bullets elsewhere in much smaller quantities (and for less cash).

2. Re: The Texas Theater --- I can't answer your question about the theater's seating in relation to West Jefferson Boulevard. But what significance could that possibly have?


Thanks for your insights.

The theater question is not of strategic value, but I am a visual thinker and the pictures I've seen of the interior is just a curiosity. Just as I walked from the Beckley rooming house to the corner of 10th and Patton with a stopwatch to see how long it would take me to cover the 0.9 miles, I am curious about Oswald's actual footsteps. I am interested if one walks in the front door of the theater if the seating area is directly ahead or if you have to turn to the right or left.

My book "Rendezvous in Dallas" is akin to a modern day "Death of the President", focusing on the assassination and the psychological impact (I am a psychiatrist) on our nature and how four men's lives intersected, resulting in JFK and LHO's deaths, the resurrection of LBJ's dormant political career, and Jack Ruby's fast track toward insanity.

I have my own theory about Ruby's psychiatric diagnosis (bipolar disorder with psychosis fueled by amphetamine diet pills) which played significant contributory roles in his impulsive killing of LHO.

In all of my non-fiction books, it is my goal to make them read like fast-paced novels, and bring history alive. Your web resources were of great help in my JFK book and my book on all four presidential assassins ["The Presidential Assassins: John Wilkes Booth, Charles Julius Guiteau, Leon Frank Czolgosz, And Lee Harvey Oswald"], and I am much appreciative of your hard work.

As an aside, I was saddened by the death of Vincent Bugliosi. His ability to synthesize data and present a coherent lone gunman case are a credit to history.

Thanks again for you time and interest.



Thank you, Jeff. That's an interesting theory regarding Ruby. Bipolar disorder plus the diet pills (which he was definitely known to take). You could very well be on the right track there. No one can know for certain, though, and the timing of the way things played themselves out in the police basement on 11/24/63 certainly indicates (to me) sheer happenstance and pure luck of being in just the right spot at the operative time to pull that trigger.

But from a MENTAL standpoint, in conjunction with the "happenstance", your theory regarding Ruby can still make sense. But I take it, then, Jeff, that you don't buy into Ruby's defense of him suffering from Psychomotor Epilepsy at the time of the shooting, is that right? Or could that explanation, too, still be considered, on top of the Bipolar theory?


I think the Psychomotor (or Temporal) Epilepsy defense was BS. The patients I've observed and read about with that disorder tend to stare off into space and may engage in simple repetitive behaviors, like smacking their lips or blinking repeatedly (what are referred to as automatic behaviors). Pulling a pistol from your trousers pocket, lunging from a crowd, and shooting someone is too complex for an automatic behavior.

I think [Ruby defense lawyer Melvin] Belli thought he could use complex medical terminology and his renowned "demonstrative evidence" to fool what he thought would be an unsophisticated (dare I say, redneck) jury in Dallas. It is interesting that none of Belli's experts who opined that Ruby suffered from temporal lobe epilepsy were willing to state under oath that he was suffering a "fugue" episode at the time he shot LHO.

If you look at Ruby's history, his mother was mentally ill (and had to be institutionalized) and one of his brothers (Sam or Earl) had to be hospitalized at one point for psychiatric reasons. There is a strong genetic component to mood disorders. Jack Ruby had at least one severe depressive episode after a business failure, where he took to the bed and was non-functional for several weeks with severe depression.

His life appears to be consistent with rapid cycling bipolar disorder: a mercurial temper, decreased need for sleep, often rapid, pressured, and disjointed speech, periods of grandiosity, impulsiveness, inability to manage money, and intrusiveness. And not all manic or mixed mood episodes are euphoric--they can be extremely agitated and angry. Diet pills elevate brain dopamine levels and can markedly worsen mood swings, which makes one a ticking time bomb.

He just so happened (by 60 seconds or less) to be in the right place at the right time (or the wrong place at [the] wrong time, depending on how you look at it) to change history. Just the fact that he walked down the Main Street ramp when Roy Vaughn was checking traffic for the "wrong way" car's exit is impulsive and rather grandiose (most people would not have taken that as an invitation to enter the basement).

I hope I didn't bore you with my small essay!



Thanks, Jeff, for the "small essay". I wasn't bored at all. It was quite interesting, in fact. Thank you.

As an addendum to the subject of "diet pills" and what effect such pills can possibly have on a person's behavior, I offer up the following excerpt from Vincent Bugliosi's book "Reclaiming History":

[Quote On:]

"Some of Ruby’s extreme agitation on Sunday morning [November 24, 1963] is due to the Preludin he’s been taking, a diet pill he believed to be harmless, but, like most prescription appetite suppressants, is basically speed, a synthetic form of Dexedrine which makes some users not only alert, but confused, anxious, and even paranoid. Ruby would later conjecture to the Warren Commission that the Preludin was an added stimulus to his emotions at the time (5 H 199).

And Ruby took the witness stand at a hearing in Dallas on May 24, 1965, to determine if his attorney, Joe Tonahill, should remain on the case for Ruby’s appeal and, per the New York Times, “said that after getting up the day he killed Oswald he took 30 antibiotic pills and some other pills that ‘stimulate you and make you want to do positive things’” (New York Times, May 25, 1965, p.21)."
-- Vincent T. Bugliosi; Page 103 of Endnotes in "Reclaiming History"

David Von Pein
July 2-3, 2015