Six-Tenths of a Second

by Vincent Bugliosi

The famous photo of Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald was snapped by Dallas Times Herald photographer Robert Jackson. It won Jackson a Pulitzer Prize. Another photo, taken six-tenths of a second before by rival Dallas Morning News photographer Jack Beers, did not. Beers's daughter said that this six-tenths of a second bothered her late father to the day he died, her father feeling he had been cheated by fate. He had a "depression that went untreated" and it was "all due to that picture." Bitter and despondent, Beers died of a heart attack in 1975 at the age of fifty-one.


Vincent Bugliosi, the former L.A. County Assistant District Attorney best known for the successful prosecution of Charles Manson, is the author of numerous true crime bestsellers, including Helter Skelter, And the Sea Will Tell, and Outrage: The Five Reasons Why O.J. Simpson Got Away With Murder. His six sentences are excerpted from a footnote in Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, a book which took him more than 20 years to write. (Over the course of more than 1,600 pages, he exhaustively debunks every single conspiracy theory in existence, and proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that Oswald acted alone.) His most recent book is The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder. (Ruby killed Oswald on this date in 1963.)