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Warren Commission Report: Page 796« Previous | Next »

(APPENDIX XVI - A Biography of Jack Ruby)

Employee Relationships

Ruby's employees displayed a wide range of personal reactions to him. Those associated with Ruby long enough to grow accustomed to his violent temper and constant threats of discharge generally portray him sympathetically.296 They reported he was genuinely interested in their welfare and happiness. In addition, many former employees stated that he was a pleasant or unobjectionable employer.297


There is also considerable evidence that Ruby tended to dominate his employees, frequently resorted to violence in dealing with them, publicly embarrassed them,298 sometimes attempted to cheat them of their pay,299 and delayed paying their salaries.300 Other employees reported Ruby continually harassed his help,301 and used obscene language in their presence.302 However he frequently apologized, sought to atone for his many temper tantrums, 303 and completely forgot others.304


One of the many violent incidents that were reported took place in 1950, when Ruby struck an employee over the head with a blackjack.305 In 1951, after his guitarist, Willis Dickerson, told Ruby to "go to hell," Ruby knocked Dickerson to the ground, then pinned him to a wall and kicked him in the groin. During the scuffle, Dickerson bit Ruby's finger so badly that the top half of Ruby's left index finger was amputated.306 In approximately 1955, Ruby beat one of his musicians with brass knuckles; the musician's mouth required numerous stitches.307


During 1960, Ruby and two entertainers, Breck Wall and Joe Peterson, entered into an agreement that the performers would produce and star in a revue at the Sovereign in exchange for a 50-percent interest in the club.308 After performing for 2 months, the entertainers complained that they had received neither a share of The profits nor evidence of their proprietary interest. Ruby responded by hitting Peterson in the mouth, knocking out a tooth. The two men left the Sovereign's employ, but they subsequently accepted Ruby's apology and resumed their friendship with him.309


In September 1969~ Frank Ferraro, the Carousel's handyman, became involved in a dispute at a nearby bar. Ruby told him not to get into a fight, and Ferraro told Ruby to mind Iris own business. Ruby then followed Ferraro to another club and beat him severely. Ferraro required emergency hospital treatment for his eye, but he decided not to press charges since Ruby paid for Iris hospital care.310 In March 1963, during an argument about wages, Ruby threatened to throw a cigarette girl down the stairs of the Carousel.311


Ruby's relationship with his employees commanded much of his attention during the months preceding the assassination. The Carousel's comparatively high turnover rate 312 and Ruby's intense desire to succeed313 required him to meet numerous prospective employees, patrons, and other persons who might help improve his business.


Ruby frequently encountered difficulties with The American Guild of Variety Artists (AGVA), the union which represented Carousel entertainers.314 For several years, starting in about 1961, he unsuccess-

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