Robert Groden, Jack Ruby and Roy Vaughn


                                             Did Dallas police officer Roy Vaughn knowingly let Jack Ruby down the ramp so he could shoot and kill Oswald.

“Ruby allegedly gained access to the ‘killing zone’ in the basement by walking down the ramp. Officer Roy Vaughn swore, until the day he died, that Ruby never passed him on the ramp. It is doubtful that Vaughn was telling the truth.

Groden, Robert J. The Killing of a President, New York: Viking Penguin, 1993, p. 109

What Robert Groden, a well-known and respected assassination researcher, apparently did not know when he wrote this in 1993 was that the man he accused of being a liar was very much alive. Vaughn, at the time of publication, was the police chief of Midlothian, Texas. Vaughn died on April 29, 2010.

The years went by and the episode faded into the background. We now fast forward to November 11, 2013. I was invited by the Dallas District Attorney’s office and CBS news to review some information concerning Jack Ruby. Someone had come across 12 boxes of material in storage.

Among the items were a couple of interviews of Jack Ruby. I decided to read them thoroughly to see if they would shed some light on Robert’s claim that Ruby did pass Vaughn on the ramp and that Vaughn in denying this was “less than truthful.”

“I went to Western Union and sent the money. I had parked the car with the dog in it and as I came out curiosity got the best of me. I wanted to see what was going on. I was only about a third of a block away. I noticed a policeman guiding an automobile out of City Hall so I walked down there  . . "

Ruby Psychiatric Evaluation December 23, 1963 pp. 23-24

He “saw a crowd and then as he came on up the street passed by City hall, he saw another crowd and went in the north ramp while the officer was talking to Rio Pearce [sic] who was in a car. He said the officer did not see him.”

Henry Wade memorandum re: Jack Ruby July 15, 1964, p. 2


The testimony of Rio S. Pierce was taken at 11:20p.m., on March 24, 1964, in the office of the U.S. attorney, 301 Post Office Building, Bryan and Ervay Streets, Dallas, Tex., by Mr. Leon D. Hubert, Jr., assistant counsel of the President's Commission. (W.C. Vol. XII pages 339 to 340)


Mr. Hubert. Were you aware of any planned route from the basement area to the county jail?


Lieutenant PIERCE. My instructions were that I would escort the armored car, which would be a decoy, from Commerce Street ramp to Central north-bound. To Elm Street onto Houston Street, which would be the entrance to the county Jail.


Mr. Hubert. Who did you receive those orders from?

Lieutenant PIERCE. From Chief Curry and Chief Stevenson.


Mr. Hubert. About what time did you get those orders ?

Lieutenant PIERCE. I would assume it was about 11:15.


Mr. Hubert. What did you do then?

Lieutenant PIERCE. I immediately left. I received these instructions in the homicide office, which is on the third floor of the city hall. Immediately left there and rode the elevator down to the basement where I secured a car and I found that the normal exit, which is the exit on Commerce Street from the basement of the city hall, was blocked by an armored car. It was necessary for me to use the Main Street exit. I mean--actually, the Main Street entrance, because we don't exit.


Mr. Hubert. But you used it as an exit?

Lieutenant PIERCE. I used it as an exit.


Mr. Hubert. Who was with you?

Lieutenant PIERCE. Sergeant Putnam was in the front seat with me and Sergeant Maxey was in the back seat.


Mr. Hubert. Well, tell us what happened along the route then?


Lieutenant PIERCE. Well, we pulled out of the basement, and I would judge fromthe time, from the length of time, probably a length it would take it to circle city hall.


Mr. Hubert. When you got to the top of the basement, were there any guards there on the Main Street entrance?

Lieutenant PIERCE. Patrolman Vaughn was stationed at the top of the ramp.


Mr. Hubert. You knew him prior to that time?

Lieutenant PIERCE. Yes, sir.


Mr. Hubert. What happened then?

Lieutenant PIERCE. Well, actually, nothing happened outside of the fact that he had to move out of the way to let us out.


Mr. Hubert. Which way did he move?

Lieutenant PIERCE. He moved toward the street.


Mr. Hubert. I mean on which side of you? Lieutenant Pines. He moved to my right.


Mr. Hubert. And toward the street?

Lieutenant PIERCE. And towards the street; yes, sir.


Mr. Hubert. What way was he facing then during the period that you were moving by him?

Lieutenant PIERCE. He was facing me, as well as I remember.


Mr. Hubert. That is—

Lieutenant PIERCE. Momentarily, anyway.


Mr. Hubert. In fact, he would have been looking from where he was standing toward the Main Street entrance?


Lieutenant PIERCE. Yes, sir.


Mr. Hubert. Did you see him turn his head any at all ?

Lieutenant PIERCE. No, sir; I couldn't see him for just a matter of a second there when I pulled out. That ramp is steep and a little bit difficult to get out there.


Mr. Hubert. Did he step out in the street at all ?

Lieutenant PIERCE. Not to my knowledge.


Mr. Hubert. Now, did you turn, immediately outside the Main Street entry or exit, to your right?

Lieutenant PIERCE. I was aware that people were pressed, not a large number of them,-but I would say maybe four or five.


Mr. Hubert. On your right?

Lieutenant PIERCE. No, well, probably might have been a--I don't know. Just a guess. I don't recall the number of people now, what it would be.


Mr. Hubert. DO you recall whether there were some people on your right?


Lieutenant PIERCE. I was aware that people were on both sides of the car when I pulled across the sidewalk.


Mr. Hubert. And how far from the entrance?

Lieutenant PIERCE. Well, probably 6 or 7 feet.


Mr. Hubert. Did you recognize anybody at all?

Lieutenant PIERCE. Nobody except one by the name of Vaughn.


Mr. Hubert. Now, subsequently, of course, it turned out that Ruby shot Oswald. Did you know him prior to that time?


Lieutenant PIERCE. No.


Mr. Hubert. Ruby?

Lieutenant PIERCE. Yes, sir; I have known him 12 or 13 years, I guess.


Mr. Hubert. So, you would recognize him without any difficulty whether he had a hat on or not?

Lieutenant PIERCE. I don't think I would have any trouble recognizing him if I saw him.


Mr. Hubert. You did not, see him in that crowd to your right?

Lieutenant PIERCE. No; I didn't see him that day at all.


Mr. Hubert. Do you think that if he had been there he would have recognized you ?


Lieutenant PIERCE. I'm saying the possibilities are very great that had he been there I might not have seen him. I mean, due to the time element and more or less concerned with getting across the sidewalk and into the street, driving the automobile at the same time. I am saying the possibilities are very good that I might not have seen him had he been there. I'd be very hesitant to say that I wouldn't.


So contrary to Robert Groden’s assertions of Vaughn’s complicity we have three more police officers [Pierce, Putnam, and Maxey] none who saw Ruby. Pierce knew Ruby and said he would recognize him if he saw him. Ruby indicated he waited until "the officer was talking to Rio Pierce who was in a car. He said the officer did not see him."


Vaughn Obituary

Vaughn, Roy Roy Eugene Vaughn, Sr. passed away at home on April 29, 2010. He was born March 24, 1935 in Caddo Mills,Tx. Roy was with the Dallas Police Dept. for 21 years serving several different capacities. He was the Chief of Police in Midlothian for 10 years and Municipal Court Judge for almost 13 years and owned Midlothian Glass and Mirror for several years. Roy enjoyed traveling, camping with his buddies and drinking coffee at Caroline's and Dee-Tee's Cafe.

He was preceded in death by his parents, sister, Frances, son David Swift and grandson, Michael Gathings. Roy is survived by his wife, Margie, children, Roy Vaughn, Jr., Robert Swift, Nancy Kennamer and husband, Gary and Cathy Vanley and husband, Byron, step-children, Robert Dillard and wife, Brenda and Margaret McClure and husband, Bud, daughter-in-law, Denise Grauberger and husband, Tom, 12 grandchildren, 5 great-grandchild-ren, sisters, Dorothy Sparks and husband, Chick and Charita Partain, brothers, Finis Vaughn and Larry Drennan, several nieces and nephews and many, many friends. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer relay For Life. Visitation will be 3-5 p.m. on Sunday, May 2, 2010 at Midlothian Funeral Home and services will be 10:00 a.m., Monday, May 3, 2010 at First Baptist Church, Midlothian, TX.

December 04, 2013

Dave Perry © Copyright 2013