Author Topic: People in the Jackson photo of Ruby shooting Oswald  (Read 2397 times)

Offline ka9q

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People in the Jackson photo of Ruby shooting Oswald
« on: June 01, 2012, 06:35:00 PM »
In Bob Jackson's famous (Pulitzer-prize-winning) picture of Jack Ruby moments after shooting Lee Harvey Oswald, at the right edge of the picture, a hatless man in a dark business suit appears to be trying to stop Ruby with his extended right arm. The man's right hand extends between Ruby and escort detective Graves (in black hat, to Oswald's left).

Who is this man? Is he a policeman or a journalist?

The man also appears in Jack Beers' photo, taken less than a second before Jackson's and just before Ruby's shot. In both pictures he is standing immediately to the left of a radio reporter (Ike Pappas?) in a light trenchcoat with a microphone in his outstretched right hand, i.e., the man is to the radio reporter's immediate left. Only the front of the man's body and his raised hands extend into the right side of Beers' picture; we can't see his face. He appears to be starting his reach for Ruby. Judging by how much he moves between the two pictures he must have been trying very hard to stop Ruby from firing.


Offline Kiwi

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Re: People in the Jackson photo of Ruby shooting Oswald
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2012, 06:53:26 AM »
I have copies of this photo in three books, and the clearest with the least cropping is in "The Best of Life" (Life Magazine), Avon Books, New York, 1973, page 41.

Unfortunately all three are cropped at, or a little to the right of, Ruby's left elbow, so the man concerned isn't visible.

On page 218 of the Warren Report there is a photo from a TV camera's view of the shooting, Commission Exhibit No. 2636.  It shows part one of the Ford Galaxies and is taken from about 90 degrees to the right of Bob Jackson's position.  The only identifiable individuals from Jackson's photo are Ruby and Detective James R. Leavealle in the light-coloured suit and hat, to whom Oswald was handcuffed.

However, there is someone in a dark jacket reaching out with his left hand, but he is much closer to the TV camera than Ruby, Leavelle and Detective L. C. Graves.  There is also a hint of another arm just above the left one showing, but due to the limited resolution of the TV image it's not possible to tell whose it is or whether it is, in fact, an arm.  If the entire TV clip is available, viewing it might help.

Do you know of any online links which show well-detailed and uncropped copies of Jackson's and Beers' photos?  In my copies of Jackson's, the only hand visible beyond Ruby's hands is a right hand holding Oswald's upper left arm, so most likely that of Graves.

Changing the subject a little, I picked up my copy of the Warren Report for $1 in 1995 at a sale by my local library.  On comparing it with the online version
http://www.archives.gov/research_room/jfk/index.html
about 2002-2003 I was horrified at the large number of errors in the scanned copy.  Simple scanning errors that hadn't been corrected.  I offered to help correct a few hundred, but never heard back from the archives people and haven't checked since to see if corrections have been made.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2012, 06:55:49 AM by Kiwi »
Don't criticize what you can't understand. — Bob Dylan, “The Times They Are A-Changin'” (1963)
Some people think they are thinking when they are really rearranging their prejudices and superstitions. — Edward R. Murrow (1908–65)

Offline ka9q

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Re: People in the Jackson photo of Ruby shooting Oswald
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2012, 08:12:40 AM »
The man in question is visible in the version of Jackson's photograph in Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ruby-shooting-oswald2.png

Thanks for looking into this for me! It's puzzled me for some time.


Offline Kiwi

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Re: People in the Jackson photo of Ruby shooting Oswald
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2012, 09:47:39 AM »
The man in question is visible in the version of Jackson's photograph in Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ruby-shooting-oswald2.png

Thanks for that link.  My copies of Jackson's photo have the "telephoto effect" of compressed perspective which is most noticeable in the people behind Ruby's hat.  This effect also appears in photos taken with a standard lens but heavily cropped, and I suspected that was the case here.  Jackson used a 35mm camera and his negative was cropped to less than half of its original size when printed.

Anyway from that link we find that the mystery man is Icarus Nestor Pappas (April 16, 1933–August 31, 2008), better known as Ike Pappas, who was working for WNEW-AM in New York.  He is holding out a microphone and asking Oswald, "Do you have anything to say in your defense..."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ike_Pappas

See the caption to the photo, were Pappas is identified.

Two things I wonder about the uncropped photo:
1.  Is Pappas holding a second microphone to his own mouth?
2.  Is that Captain J. W. Fritz at far left? [Edited to add: Yes.]
« Last Edit: June 12, 2012, 10:42:01 AM by Kiwi »
Don't criticize what you can't understand. — Bob Dylan, “The Times They Are A-Changin'” (1963)
Some people think they are thinking when they are really rearranging their prejudices and superstitions. — Edward R. Murrow (1908–65)

Offline ka9q

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Re: People in the Jackson photo of Ruby shooting Oswald
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2012, 10:44:23 AM »
Thanks for that link.  My copies of Jackson's photo have the "telephoto effect" of compressed perspective which is most noticeable in the people behind Ruby's hat.  This effect also appears in photos taken with a standard lens but heavily cropped, and I suspected that was the case here.
Yes, and it's for the same reason -- a narrow field of view is expanded to fill much more of your visual field then you would see in person, so the perspective is off.
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Anyway from that link we find that the mystery man is Icarus Nestor Pappas (April 16, 1933–August 31, 2008), better known as Ike Pappas, who was working for WNEW-AM in New York.  He is holding out a microphone and asking Oswald, "Do you have anything to say in your defense..."
Are you sure about that? I don't think that's Pappas. Pappas is wearing a light trenchcoat, standing behind and almost completely obscured by the mystery man in Jackson's photo. Standing to Pappas' right, and easily visible in Jackson's photo is another reporter in a light trench coat, wearing glasses, holding a microphone vertically in his right hand close to his own body; I don't know who he is either.

Pappas and the other reporter are both visible in Beers' photo taken an instant before the shooting from an angle considerably higher and a little to the right of Jackson's. In Beers' (pre-shot) photo Pappas is holding his microphone in his outstretched right hand trying to get a response from Oswald. Video shows Pappas then pulling the microphone back as Ruby took his shot; he has completely withdrawn his hand in Jackson's post-shot picture. (Pappas was quizzed about this in his WC testimony because the FBI was analyzing his tape recording and they apparently wanted to accurately place his microphone at each moment during the shooting. Even though it's obvious in the video, Pappas didn't remember pulling his microphone back, probably because it was an natural defensive reflex to seeing Ruby suddenly appear with a gun.)

Only the hands of the mystery man are visible on the right edge of Beer's picture, and he doesn't seem to be holding anything. So I don't think it's Pappas.

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Two things I wonder about the uncropped photo:
1.  Is Pappas holding a second microphone to his own mouth?
I don't think so, because that's not Pappas. The man has nothing in either hand in Beers' photo.
Quote
2.  Is that Captain J. W. Fritz at far left? [Edited to add: Yes.]
Yes indeed. Fritz was an extremely sharp and capable homicide investigator, but he sure seemed stunned for a while by what had just happened behind him. Of course, he was one of the few people in the scene not intently watching Oswald during the shooting.

Offline Kiwi

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Re: People in the Jackson photo of Ruby shooting Oswald
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2012, 09:20:02 AM »
Are you sure about that? I don't think that's Pappas. Pappas is wearing a light trenchcoat, standing behind and almost completely obscured by the mystery man in Jackson's photo. Standing to Pappas' right, and easily visible in Jackson's photo is another reporter in a light trench coat, wearing glasses, holding a microphone vertically in his right hand close to his own body; I don't know who he is either.

Yes, I see what you mean now.  I had to fish around for Beers' photo and a larger copy of Jackson's, and found them on this site:
http://kennedy-photos.blogspot.co.nz/

I'm only familiar with three or four American broadcasters and didn't know what Pappas looked like.  It seems that he is misidentified as Mystery Man in Wikipedia article about Pappas, so it needs correcting.

The man you say is Pappas in the Beers photo certainly looks like the same man in the New York Times' obituary.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/03/business/media/03pappas.html

Mystery Man's nose is similar to Pappas's in profile, which adds to the confusion, but his hair appears to be curlier.  Also, the description in the NY Times Pappas obituary could fit Mystery Man in the Jackson photo.

Can you provide a link to the video you've seen?  I have a fairly slow internet connection (about 10x the speed of dialup) so it takes while to view videos.  I don't think I've ever seen any videos of Ruby shooting Oswald, so would like to see how any compare with the two still photos.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2012, 09:22:09 AM by Kiwi »
Don't criticize what you can't understand. — Bob Dylan, “The Times They Are A-Changin'” (1963)
Some people think they are thinking when they are really rearranging their prejudices and superstitions. — Edward R. Murrow (1908–65)

Offline ka9q

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Re: People in the Jackson photo of Ruby shooting Oswald
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2012, 10:15:41 AM »
I think I got my copies of those pictures from that same site, so I don't have a larger version of Beers' photo.

You'd think that somewhere there'd be a labeled drawing identifying the witnesses and their positions during Ruby's murder of Oswald, but I haven't seen one.

I don't have a link handy for the videos of Ruby shooting Oswald, but they're easy enough to find on Youtube. There were at least two separate TV cameras recording the scene. It was certainly one of the best documented murders in history, as well as the first one broadcast on live television.

Even though I was only in the second grade at the time, I understood that it was a strange weekend. But I remember mainly being annoyed that all my favorite Saturday morning cartoons were pre-empted by coverage of the assassination. I wondered why every channel had to carry the same thing...



« Last Edit: June 15, 2012, 10:18:33 AM by ka9q »