Jim Leavelle survived Pearl Harbor, testified in the “Trial of the Century,” retired a legendary detective, and attained the age of 99. While researching “The Assassin’s Assassin,” the tall man in the light suit wearing the Stetson hat in Bob Jackson’s famous, Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph told me all about his experience with Jack Ruby, the man who killed Lee Harvey Oswald. Today, in his honor, I’ll share that with you.
Sport unifies powerfully. Hustle and effort are admired and revered. Cheating is abhorred. The rules apply the same to everyone. We don’t care where our teammates came from, what they believe, or what they stand for because we stand together. Jerseys make skin color invisible. We stand united against attack. We cheer. We applaud. We pick up the fallen. We encourage the mistaken. We all feel the sting of defeat.
His case file looked like all the others in the storage facility for the DA’s Office in Dallas: a collection of a dozen or so dusty brown and white banker boxes. The difference? The name written on the outside: Jack Ruby. Read More
“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than governance in breaking down racial barriers. It laughs in the face of all types of discrimination.” – Nelson Mandela
He was tall, handsome, and raised in a religious house. As a youth he worked in his father’s grocery store. He was a star athlete at Farmersville high school in Denton, a Texas state record holder in the hurdles. He pledged Pi Kappa Alpha at UNT. And if he hadn’t hitchhiked down Sunset Blvd. in the summer of 1968, he might never have met Charlie Manson. His name is Charles “Tex” Watson, and 50 years ago today, he began a mission of murder called “Helter Skelter.”
August 3rd began like most Saturdays do for me. I slept in a little, planned the day with my wife over coffee, and readied myself for some soon-to-be-played pickup basketball with a prayer not to get injured and a preemptive Advil. First, though, I had to get the groceries for the week. I made it to my local Wal-Mart at about 10:30. Saturday errands like that are woven into the fabric of our lives. I don’t know the exact number of folks who did the same as me, but I bet it was just about everyone we know.