Dallas Detective Who Escorted Oswald When He was Shot Dies at 99

Jim Leavelle, who was the Dallas Police Detective who was handcuffed to Lee Harvey Oswald when the accused assasin of President Kennedy was shot to death by Jack Ruby in the basement of the old Dallas Police Headquarters, has died at the age of 99.

Leavelle is the man wearing the white suit and white had, seen grimacing in the Pulitzer Prize winning photograph by Bob Jackson of the Dallas Times Herald as Ruby fires two shot into Oswald's stomach.

Leavelle was also a Pearl Harbor survivor. He retired from the Dallas Police Department in 1975, and spent the rest of his life discussing his brief connection with Oswald.

Dallas Police were attempting to show that Oswald, who had been formally charged with the murder of Dallas Police Officer J.D. Tippett but not with killing President Kennedy, had not been harmed while in Dallas Police custody when the decision was made to allow the public and the news media to see Oswald being transferred from the police station to the Dallas County Jail on Sunday, November 24, 1963, two days after the Kennedy assassination.

The president of TV cameras resulted in the shooting becoming the first major spot news event ever to be broadcast live on television, as Americans around the world sat horrified watching the event unfold.

Leavelle, who was the last surviving major figure from the Kennedy assassination, was in demand as a speaker and was a frequent guest on TV shows documenting the assassination. He recounted that he and Oswald chatted while they were on the way to the event, quoting Oswald as saying 'nobody's going to shoot at me.'

Two days after he shot Oswald, Leavelle also escorted Ruby, this time in secret, to the Dallas County Jail. Ruby died of cancer in 1967.

Photo: Getty Images

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