How it went down between Jack Ruby and Bob Vanderslice
It is truly amazing how many media outlets reported the Jack Ruby "fireworks" story. And that's because it is a very blatant conspiracy story, and the media routinely ignore conspiracy stories, and if they cover them at all, it's in a disparaging way. The very term "conspiracy theorist" is disparaging, and it was meant to be.
The entire story was based on the claims of just one man, but it wasn't even as good as that. It didn't even rise to that level because the man is long gone. He can't be interviewed. He can't be cross-examined. We don't even know if he really existed. It goes back to 1977, and supposedly Bob Vanderslice was an FBI informant. The story goes that shortly after the assassination, Vanderslice himself was arrested for some unrelated crime, and he was sent to the Dallas County Jail. But surely, that criminal record should still be available, so we should know everything about it: the crime he committed; the outcome of his criminal prosecution, etc. But, we have been told nothing.
So, it is a very unsubstantiated "hearsay" story in which the existence of the claimant hasn't even been established; not just whether he said it, but whether he even existed. And no explanation has been given for the lack of action by the FBI. If the story alleged foreknowledge of the JFK assassination by Jack Ruby, how could the FBI not have been keenly interested in that in 1977? And why did Bob Vanderslice wait until 1977? If he was an FBI informant, why didn't he inform the FBI in 1963 at the very time it happened?
And think about it from the standpoint of Vanderslice and Ruby. How did their conversation go? Was it like this?
Over the phone:
Ruby: Hey, Bob. This is Jack Ruby. You barely know me, but I was wondering if you would like to meet me in Dealey Plaza to watch the fireworks.
Vanderslice: The fireworks? What are you talking about?
Ruby: The Presidential motorcade. Do you want to watch it with me? There are going to be fireworks.
Vanderslice: Fireworks? I don't get it. Are you saying there is going to be firecrackers and cherry bombs, and shit like that?
Ruby: No. That's not what I mean. You're taking it too literally. Don't worry: you'll find out what I'm talking about.
Vanderslice: Alright then. Where do you want to meet?
Ruby: Meet me across from the Postal Annex at Commerce and Houston. say 12:20.
Vanderslice: OK, I'll be there.
Fast forward to 12:20:
Ruby: Hi Bob. You're just in time. It's about to start.
Vanderslice: What's about to start?
Ruby: The fireworks.
Vanderslice; Oh, right, the fireworks.
The motorcade arrives. They are a block away from where the limo enters Dealey Plaza at Main and Houston.
Vanderslice: If you knew they were coming down Main, why did you place us down here? We could have gotten closer.
The limo slowly proceeds down Houston and turns at Elm. They continue watching as it goes down Elm. Then gunfire is heard, and the limo grinds to a stop or a near-stop.
Vanderslice: What was that? What is happening?
Ruby: Fireworks. I told you.
Vanderslice: That wasn't fireworks. That sounded like gunfire.
Ruby: Call it what you want.
After the fatal head shot occurs, the limo driver Will Greer floors it, and the limo soon disappears, speeding off to Parkland Hospital. There is now widespread recognition among the crowd that the President has been shot.
Ruby: I told you: fireworks. Well, gotta go. I have to get over to the Dallas Morning News to see about my ads.
Vanderslice: But wait! You knew about this? That the President was going to be shot? That's what you meant by 'fireworks?' But, how did you know? And if you knew, why didn't you do something? Why didn't you tell somebody? Why didn't you go to the Police or the FBI?
Ruby: My ads, Bob. My ads await. I need to take care of my ads. See ya.
Jack Ruby walks away. Bob Vanderslice just stands there, contemplating.
Vanderslice in thought: I just witnessed the shooting of the President of the United States, and this man I was with seems to have known that it was going to happen, which means that he must be involved with whomever did it. I am an FBI informant, but even if I wasn't, I know it's my solemn duty to inform the police. But, Jack Ruby is my acquaintance, and I don't want to get him in trouble. I think I'll go commit a crime.
Fast forward to 1977: Bob Vanderslice goes to talk to the FBI.
Vanderslice: Listen, Agent So-in-so, I feel bad about something. Back in 1963, when JFK got shot and killed, I was with Jack Ruby in Dealey Plaza, and he revealed to me in advance that he expected to see "fireworks", and since there were no fireworks, it's obvious that that was a euphemism for the shooting, which he didn't deny. So, I thought you'd want to know that.
FBI Agent: Why didn't you come forward with that at the time?
Vanderslice: I don't know. I guess I didn't want to get Jack in trouble.
FBI Agent: But, two days later, when he shot and killed Oswald, you knew he was in trouble, and he was never going to get out of trouble. So, why didn't you come forward then?
Vanderslice: I don't know. Remember, I am a criminal, and I had criminal plans of my own. And after committing such-and-such crime, I got arrested. So, I was in trouble, myself. And I just sat on what I knew. Hey, I'm coming forward now, aren't I? Isn't that better than nothing? Better late than never? Isn't that what they say?
FBI Agent: Yeah, I guess. Well, I am going to have to report this to my superiors. I'm sure they are going to want to investigate it thoroughly and talk to you extensively, and pursue it doggedly to the nth degree.
Vanderslice: But, then again, maybe they'll just treat it like a memo, shove it in a box, and forget about it.
FBI Agent: Yeah; that too is possible.