All of us have seen the video of Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald. The shocking event spiraled us into a time of violence and questions with no answers. How could these things have happened? What was the world coming to?
As all Americans who were alive in 1963 remember – the assassination of President Kennedy and the week-end which followed will forever be in our memories. I know my family rarely left the tv that week-end. It seemed so surreal. Even my usual sturdy dad was left speechless.
It was years before I learned there was a connection to the assassination and Hardin Co.
Detective Graves who is seen in the video holding Oswald by the arm – is the dad of former chief of police for Kountze Terry Graves. Immediately following the shooting – Det. Graves places himself in harm’s way and keeps Jack Ruby from firing another shot. There were five bullets left in the gun and Jack wanted to use them all. No doubt Det. Graves saved lives that day. He rode in the ambulance with Oswald and was with him when he died.
His connection to Oswald began days before. Det. Graves had searched Oswald’s apartment and had in fact used his personalized hand cuffs to move him from the jail to another location. Of course as we all know Jack Ruby’s act of violence stopped that.
As Terry shared the story of his dad -I could sense a real pride in his dad’s courage. Terry remarked that night after Oswald died – “Dad came home and I could still smell the gun powder in his clothes. He took the suit off and never wore it again. Mama later donated it to the Policemen’s Museum.”
I asked if his dad ever received any recognition and Terry remarked no. That to me is wrong and I did my best to right the wrong. I wrote to the Dallas Police Department and was passed from one officer to another. Finally I was told I needed to speak with a Captain who would be able to get the ball rolling.
The Captain was a complete wash out. I finally reached the Captain and she responded there had never been anyone by the name of Graves who worked for the Dallas Police Department. I could not believe such a comment. All the Captain had to do was google Det. Graves’s name and presto many news articles which includes his deposition with the FBI is there for all to see – including a Captain from the Dallas Police Department. Either the Captain is a little weak on being right or truly did not care. Pity. She should. We all should.
Det. Graves has passed away as have so many from that era. We need to honor those who are honorable. So I take the time to honor Det. Graves – the man who stopped Jack Ruby from killing five more people. The man who looked evil in the eye and did not back down.