The meeting of two assassins in November 1963

  • Lee Harvey Oswald, 1963.
  • People read the news following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Nov. 22, 1963.
  • Surrounded by detectives, Lee Harvey Oswald talks to the press as he is led down a corridor of the Dallas police station for another round of questioning in connection with the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, Nov. 23, 1963.
  • Lee Harvey Oswald sits in police custody shortly after being arrested for assassinating U.S. President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas, Nov. 22, 1963.
  • Lee Harvey Oswald speaks to reporters in  Dallas, Nov. 23, 1963, one day after the assassination of President Kennedy.
  • The view from the sixth floor window of the Texas School Book Depository in Dallas, from which Lee Harvey Oswald is thought to have assassinated President John F. Kennedy.
  • Lee Harvey Oswald is escorted to the Dallas city jail as nightclub owner Jack Ruby, approaches with a pointed revolver in the underground garage of the Dallas police headquarters, Nov. 24, 1963.  Seconds later, Ruby shot Oswald in the stomach.
  • Lee Harvey Oswald is rushed into Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Nov. 24, 1963.  Nightclub owner Jack Ruby shot and killed Oswald as he was being transferred through the city jail’s underground garage. Parkland Hospital also treated President Kennedy’s fatal wounds two days earlier.
  • Police and reporters react after the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald, Nov. 24, 1963. The hat belonging to Oswald’s shooter, Jack Ruby, is shown.
  • Nightclub owner Jack Ruby is led through the Dallas city jail on his way to his arraignment in Dallas, Tex. on Nov. 24, 1963.
  • A display at Carousel Club in Dallas, Texas shows Jack Ruby with pet dogs, Nov. 1963.
  • Jack Ruby talks to a reporter while being returned to jail after a psychiatric examination in Dallas, Jan. 28, 1964.
  • Jack Ruby talks with defense attorney Sam Houston Clinton, Jr., left, July 24, 1965.
  • Two brothers of Jack Ruby leave a Chicago funeral home following services for Jack, Jan. 6,  1967.
  • A photograph taken by Bob Jackson of Lee Harvey Oswald reacting as Jack Ruby shoots at him from point blank range, is held up at the scene fifty years later at the Dallas Police Headquarters, Sept. 10, 2013.

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Nightclub owner Jack Ruby emerged from a crowd of police and reporters to fatally shoot Lee Harvey Oswald on live television just two days after President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

Several government investigations concluded that 50 years ago, Oswald shot the 35th president of the United States as he was preparing to run for a second term. Officials spent hours questioning Oswald in connection with the assassination, which he supposedly carried out from the sixth-floor window of the Texas School Book Depository on Nov. 22, 1963.

Ruby killed the alleged assassin with a single shot from a revolver inside the basement of the Dallas police headquarters on Nov. 24, 1963. Ruby, who admitted to acting out of disdain over Kennedy’s sudden and tragic death, approached Oswald as officials were transferring him to a more secure county jail.

Police immediately took Ruby into custody. Some Americans viewed him as a hero, but he was ultimately charged with first-degree murder. Ruby previously operated Dallas strip joints and dance clubs, and he had connections to organized crime.

Oswald entered the Marine Corps when he was 17, and he eventually defected to the former Soviet Union in 1959, allegedly to escape his mother, according to Peter Savodnik’s book,The Interloper. Oswald met his wife, Marina, and the couple married there.

“The KGB thought he was nuts,” Savodnik said recently during an interview with msnbc. “He didn’t like it, but that was the idea, that he was going to find himself. He was going to become the man he wanted to be.”

For the past five decades conspiracy theories have abounded around the world, ranging from doubts that Oswald acted alone to suspicions that the KGB, FBI, CIA, Cuba’s Fidel Castro, and then-U.S. Vice President Lyndon Johnson were involved in the assassination. And some believe Ruby killed Oswald to prevent him from revealing a larger conspiracy.

But the official Warren Commission Report of 1964 declared that neither Oswald nor Ruby were part of a larger conspiracy to assassinate the president. Some people, of course, continue to dispute the findings.

Before his second trial, Ruby died of cancer, on Jan 3., 1967 at Parkland Hospital in Dallas where Oswald and Kennedy had both been pronounced dead.

For more feature photography, go to msnbc.com/photography

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