DALLAS - Long-hidden items and documents related to the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy were revealed for the first time Monday, after spending nearly two decades locked inside a courthouse safe.
Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins presented the articles at a Presidents' Day news conference while standing next to brown and white file boxes stacked in a pyramid.
The items include a purported transcript between Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald and Oswald's killer, nightclub owner Jack Ruby; a leather gun holster that held the weapon Ruby used to shoot Oswald; brass knuckles found on Ruby when he was arrested; and a movie contract signed by then-Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade.
Watkins said investigators told him about the contents of the blue, two-door safe shortly after he took office in 2007.
'And every DA up until the new administration decided that they wanted to keep it secret,' he said. But he decided 'this information was too important to keep secret.'
One of the most intriguing items was the typed transcript of an alleged conversation between Oswald and Ruby. The transcript - which hasn't been examined by experts and has already been called farfetched by some - includes talk of killing the president at the behest of the Mafia.
'Now we don't know if this is an actual conversation or not,' Watkins said. 'But what we do know is that as a result of this find, it will open up the debate as to whether there was a conspiracy to assassinate the president.'
Ruby killed Oswald on Nov. 24, 1963, two days after Oswald was arrested in the assassination of President Kennedy. Ruby was convicted and sentenced to death the following year. Ruby won an appeal of his conviction but died of cancer before he was retried.
The two-page transcript resembles one published by the Warren Commission, which investigated Kennedy's assassination and determined Oswald was the lone gunman.
In the report, the FBI concluded that transcript of an alleged conversation between Oswald and Ruby was fake, and that it had been 're-created' for authorities by a now-deceased Dallas attorney who claimed he recognized Oswald in a newspaper photo as the man he saw talking to Ruby.
The transcript unveiled Monday is dated Oct. 4, 1963, and allegedly happened at the Carousel Club, a Dallas nightclub. It begins with a discussion of how the 'boys in Chicago' want to 'get rid of' U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy, JFK's brother.
The Dallas Morning News first reported the transcript and other details of the find in an exclusive story published Sunday.
Gary Mack, curator of the Sixth Floor Museum near where the president was shot, thinks the document displayed Monday could be one of many scripts written for films about the assassination.
Neither the Ruby nor Kennedy families had been contacted about the items, Watkins said.