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George Senator - Jack Ruby's roommate


Tony Austin
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George Senator - Jack Ruby's roommate - what was he hiding?

Part One - Did he know of Ruby's plans to shoot Oswald in advance of the event?

Background

George Senator has always been regarded as a peripheral figure with regards to the assassination of President Kennedy and associated events. His only claim to fame has been that he was the man who shared an apartment with Jack Ruby at the time he shot Lee Harvey Oswald. The HSCA contains a biography which reveals that he settled in Dallas in 1954 and he first met Ruby in 1955. The report suggests that they were casual acquaintances until early 1962.

In March or April 1962 Senator was unemployed and short of money. Ruby invited him to stay at his apartment on South Marsalis and he lived there for about five months. Senator then found work with the Texas Post Card Company and he went to live in one of the Granbury apartments on Maple Street.

In November 1962 Senator moved into apartment 206 at 223 South Ewing which he shared with a man called Stanton Corbat. Later in the same month Jack Ruby moved into the apartment next door, number 207.

In August 1963 Corbat moved out of apartment 206 and Senator soon found himself struggling to pay the rent. Ruby helped him out by inviting him to come and live with in his apartment. Senator moved in with Ruby during the first week of November 1963. The fact that Ruby was single and shared an apartment with another man is probably why there were rumours that he might be gay. In fact there is no proof that either man was homosexual.

The HCSA view of George Senator

The HSCA commented on statements that Senator gave to the FBI and the Secret Service and said: "The first statements made by Senator were vague and disjointed. When asked about this by the Warren Commission, Senator replied that he had been under a great deal of stress and not thinking clearly."

The HSCA was also concerned about inconsistencies in the statements made by Senator to different agencies regarding the weekend of Oswald's murder. The committee even produced a chart to demonstrate these inconsistencies.

However, the HSCA seemed willing to accept Senator's explanation of stress and did not persue these matters any further. Generally the HSCA regarded Senator as being a benign character as can be seen from the following statements:

"There was no indication that Senator had any association with organised crime, either business or social..." and "There was no indication of Senator being associated with criminals or persons associated with criminal activities. Senator appears to be a law-abiding citizen with a lengthy sting of bad luck."

The question of premeditation by Jack Ruby

Senator was questioned by the authorities on a number of occasions and each time he rejected the idea that Ruby had planned to kill Oswald in advance of the event.

An FBI report dated the 24th of November 1963 states that:

"At about 10:30am Ruby left the apartment with the statementhe was going to 'take the dog to the club'. Senator denies any knowledge of subsequent activities of Ruby until he heard of his having shot Oswald." and "The only thing, therefore, Senator knew [that] Ruby was going to do when he left the apartment was [to] take the dog back to the club." later it also states:

"He is of the opinion Ruby's actions were impulsive and not planned for any great length prior to there execution."

Senator expressed similar sentiments when he spoke to the Secret Service on the 3rd of December 1963. Their report states:

"Senator said that it was his opinion that there was no premeditation on the part of Ruby in shooting Oswald and that he must have done so on the spur of the moment."

In April 1964 Senator testified to the Warren Commission and he continue to support the idea that Ruby's actions were not premeditated as the following exchange shows:

Mr Griffin: "You just don't think he planned to kill Oswald?"

Mr Senator: "No definitely not. I could just never visualize it. I can't visualize anything like this."

Reasons to doubt Senator

There are three events involving Senator which cast doubt on his statements to the authorities. Let us look at them in turn:

1) The phone call to Jim Martin

Senator gave a statement to the FBI on the day Oswald was killed. He stated that he went to the Eatwell Restaurant at about 11:30am and he overheard a waitress say that Oswald had been shot and a short time later he learnt from the waitress that it was Jack Ruby who had shot Oswald. Soon after this he telephoned Attorney Jim Martin who was a friend of his. Martin was not at home so he drove to his house and he found Martin there when he arrived. Martin was then able to go with Senator down to the Police Headquarters.

The statement he gave to the Warren Commission a few months later was a little different. He stated that he was in the Eatwell Restaurant drinking coffee when he heard a girl say that Oswald had been shot and then he phoned his friend Jim Martin and he was told by his daughter that his friend was out but that he would be home in half an hour.

About five minutes later he heard that it was Jack Ruby who had shot Oswald and he then decided to drive straight over to Jim Martin's house.

Mr Hubert of the Warren Commission seemed to realise how suspicious this sounded because he was testifying that he was trying to contact an attorney, who would later go down with him to Police Headquarters, at a time when all he knew was that somebody had shot Lee Harvey Oswald. Hubert questioned Senator in detail about the matter. Senator claimed that he did not try to contact Ruby because he overheard him on the phone taking about going to Western Union but when Ruby left the apartment he said he was going to the club so he could not be sure where he was. He also claimed that he had a few friends and he just happened to think of phoning Jim Martin when he heard that Oswald had been shot. Senator was trying to say that it was only a matter of chance that he was trying to phone the one person who might be most useful to him when he ended up at Police Headquarters later that day.

2) William Downey's actions on the 24th of November 1963

Another suspicious event involved Senator's friend William Downey. He spoke to the FBI about what he did on the day that Oswald was shot and the FBI report states:

"Downey heard a radio announcement that Oswald had been shot by Jack Ruby, and, knowing that Senator and Ruby lived together, Downey then attempted to reach Senator by telephone at the residence of Jim Martin, where Senator mentioned he had been staying."

George Senator had not been staying with Jim Martin, on the contrary, Senator had been living in the same apartment block as Jack Ruby for a year. He told the Warren Commission that on the Sunday evening, of the 24th of November 1963, he was with Jim Martin and another lawyer. His testimony reads:

Mr Hubert: "After that Sunday night when you talked to the lawyers for a while, you went home I understand to Jim Martin's?"

Mr Senator: "If I remember right, I'm not sure but I think Jim put me up because I was afraid to go home and I didn't have a place to go. If I remember right I think he did. I think I went to his apartment, to his home rather."

Twice Senator told the Warren Commission that after Ruby shot Oswald he was afraid to go home and because of that fear he asked Jim Martin if he could stay at his home that night. However, Downey's testimony suggests that Senator already had plans to be staying with Martin before Oswald had been shot.

3) An offer to make breakfast for a friend.

A section of the Warren Report titled: 'Chapter VI - Investigation of Possible Conspiracy' states on page 371 that: "...Senator also failed to mention to the Commission and previous interrogators that, shortly after Ruby left there apartment on Sunday morning, he called friends, Mr and Mrs William Downey, and offered to visit there apartment and make breakfast for them. Downey stated in June 1964, that Senator was alone and that, after Downey declined the offer, Senator remarked that he would then go downtown for breakfast. When told of Downey's account Senator denied it and explained that the two were not friendly by the time Senator left Dallas about six weeks after the assassination."

Senator testified that he met with William Downey and Mike Barclay in the Burgundy Room of the Adolphus Hotel on Saturday the 23rd of November 1963 but Downey told the FBI he did not see Senator that day. Mike Barclay told the FBI that he did not meet with Senator on that day either, supporting Downey's statement.

Evidence that Downey and Barclay did NOT see Senator on that Saturday comes from an FBI statement by Chris Elson who owned and operated the Burgundy Room. He stated that the Burgundy Room was closed on the 23rd and 24th of November and he also stated that none of his employees saw Senator from the 22nd to the 28th of November 1963.

If Senator falsely claimed that he met with Downey and Barclay on the 23rd of November then his claim that he did not telephone Downey on the morning of the 24th of November may also be false.

Whem Senator testified to the Warren Commission in April 1964 he repeatedly referred to William Downey as being his friend. He never qualified this assertion or in any way implied that he was no longer his friend so the comment that he made that "the two of them were not friendly by the time he left Dallas six weeks after the assassination" seems strange. Even if it was true it seems unlikely that Downey would make up an event whereby Senator phones up and offers to make breakfast for him and his wife. What would be the purpose of 'making up' such a story?

Here we could speculated and suggestive an alternative explanation. Perhaps Senator did phone Downey on Sunday morning before 11am and he did offer to make breakfast. However, he inadvertently told Downey that he would be staying with Jim Martin for a while. This was because he knew that Ruby was going to shoot Oswald before it happened and he planned to go and stay with his reliable friend Jim Martin. He later realised he could have incriminated himself, therefore, he decided to deny that the phone call ever occurred in case the authorities ever found out from Downey that Senator had commented about staying with Martin before Oswald was shot.

Of course this is pure speculation but this hypothesis does fit in well with the other observations made in this thread.

In Summary

When George Senator heard the news that Oswald had been killed he tried to contact his friend, Attorney Jim Martin, before he heard that it was his roommate Jack Ruby that had shot him.

When Bill Downey heard the news he tried to contact Senator by phoning Jim Martin's house. He seemed to be under the impression that this was the place that Senator was staying, however, Senator testified that he asked Martin if he could stay with him only later in the day when a fear arising out of Ruby's murder of Oswald came over him.

Senator made a dubious claim that a statement by Bill Downey, about a telephone conversation made on the morning of Sunday the 24th of November 1963, was false. It is possible to speculate that Downey got the impression that Senator would be staying with Jim Martin that day as a result of this conversation and this is why Senator denied it took place.

Given these observations I think that it is reasonable to pose the question: Did George Senator know of Ruby's plans to kill Oswald in advance of the act?

The question is an important one because if Senator knew that Ruby intended to kill Oswald before the event then Ruby would have had the intention to kill Oswald before he left home that morning. His actions would have constituted premeditated murder. Ruby would have needed help from a person or persons unknow at Police Headquarters to arrive in the basement only seconds before Oswald was brought out.

In other words, Oswald would have been murdered as a result of some form of conspiracy.

References:

The HSCA on the Associates of Jack Ruby

-section xii George Senator (biography notes)

Warren Commission Hearings Volume XXI ( Ruby ?premeditation involved?)

CE 5401 p430 Senator - FBI statement

CE 5402 p436 Senator - Secret Service Statement

Warren Commission Hearings Volume XIV ( Ruby ?premeditation involved?)

- Testimony of George Senator p326

Warren Commission Hearings Volume XXI ( phone call to Jim Martin)

- CE 5401 p431 FBI statement

Warren Commission Hearings Volume XIV ( phone call to Jim Martin)

- Testimony of George Senator p245

Warren Commission Hearings Volume XXVI (Downey's phone call)

- CE 3015

Warren Commission Hearings Volume XIV (Senator at Martin's)

- Testimony of George Senator p259

Warren Commission Hearings Volume XIV ( Downey and Barclay)

- Testimony of George Senator p234

Warren Commission Hearings Volume XXVI ( Downey and Barclay)

- CE 3015 ( no meeting with Senator on the Saturday)

Edited by Tony Austin
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From MackWhite.com:

Yesterday, in Sunday morning's Austin American-Statesman, I read a book review of When the News Went Live: Dallas 1963, a memoir by four Dallas journalists-George Phenix, Bob Huffaker, Bill Mercer, and Wes Wise-who covered the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It sounds like an interesting book. During the course of that memorable weekend in 1963, one of the men spoke with Ruby in Dealey Plaza the day after the killing, another interviewed Oswald's mother, another was present when Ruby killed Oswald, and so on. And yet, if you are looking for substantive information about the assassination, you are not likely to find it in this book. The review states: "From the get-go, the authors declare themselves 'weary of conspiracy theories.'"

It is not surprising that they should be so averse to conspiracy "theories," for had they embraced such "theories" in their coverage of the assassination they might have ended up like Jim Koethe and Bill Hunter.

Koethe was a reporter for the Dallas Times Herald; Hunter for the Long Beach Press Telegram. On the night of November 24, 1963, the two ventured to Jack Ruby's apartment where they interviewed Ruby's roommate George Senator and Ruby's attorney Tom Howard. Less than a year later, Howard, Koethe, and Hunter were all dead. Howard died of an apparent heart attack. Hunter was shot in the head by a Long Beach police officer who, after repeatedly changing his story about the killing, was eventually convicted of manslaughter and given a probated sentence. Koethe was killed a few months later in his Dallas apartment when he emerged from the shower to be karate-chopped in the neck by an unknown assailant.

Koethe and Hunter's deaths no doubt served as an example to other journalists, and may have been a factor in the large number of Dallas journalists who left Dallas and found other professions in the wake of the Kennedy assassination.

Phenix, Hufaker, Mercer, and Wise, however, were not part of this exodus. Their coverage of the assassination turned out to be a boon to their careers, rather than an impediment. Not only did they remain in the profession, they prospered. Phenix went on to co-found the Texas Weekly; Hufaker became an editor at Texas Monthly; Mercer became a prominent sportscaster; and Wise served as Mayor of Dallas in the 1970s.

These men, then, owe much to the assassination-it got them where they are today. But they sure wouldn't have gotten there if they had embraced those wearisome conspiracy "theories."

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From MackWhite.com:

Yesterday, in Sunday morning's Austin American-Statesman, I read a book review of When the News Went Live: Dallas 1963, a memoir by four Dallas journalists-George Phenix, Bob Huffaker, Bill Mercer, and Wes Wise-who covered the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It sounds like an interesting book. During the course of that memorable weekend in 1963, one of the men spoke with Ruby in Dealey Plaza the day after the killing, another interviewed Oswald's mother, another was present when Ruby killed Oswald, and so on. And yet, if you are looking for substantive information about the assassination, you are not likely to find it in this book. The review states: "From the get-go, the authors declare themselves 'weary of conspiracy theories.'"

It is not surprising that they should be so averse to conspiracy "theories," for had they embraced such "theories" in their coverage of the assassination they might have ended up like Jim Koethe and Bill Hunter.

Koethe was a reporter for the Dallas Times Herald; Hunter for the Long Beach Press Telegram. On the night of November 24, 1963, the two ventured to Jack Ruby's apartment where they interviewed Ruby's roommate George Senator and Ruby's attorney Tom Howard. Less than a year later, Howard, Koethe, and Hunter were all dead. Howard died of an apparent heart attack. Hunter was shot in the head by a Long Beach police officer who, after repeatedly changing his story about the killing, was eventually convicted of manslaughter and given a probated sentence. Koethe was killed a few months later in his Dallas apartment when he emerged from the shower to be karate-chopped in the neck by an unknown assailant.

Koethe and Hunter's deaths no doubt served as an example to other journalists, and may have been a factor in the large number of Dallas journalists who left Dallas and found other professions in the wake of the Kennedy assassination.

Phenix, Hufaker, Mercer, and Wise, however, were not part of this exodus. Their coverage of the assassination turned out to be a boon to their careers, rather than an impediment. Not only did they remain in the profession, they prospered. Phenix went on to co-found the Texas Weekly; Hufaker became an editor at Texas Monthly; Mercer became a prominent sportscaster; and Wise served as Mayor of Dallas in the 1970s.

These men, then, owe much to the assassination-it got them where they are today. But they sure wouldn't have gotten there if they had embraced those wearisome conspiracy "theories."

Bill, Huffaker was an army reservist based at Fort Hood. That, coupled with his career in the media may indicate he was working military intelligence. His name was appears on a DPD list of people believed to hold information on a Ruby-Oswald connection. Others on the list included Pixie Lynn and George Butler. You can find what PL and GB had in that regard (PL supposedly told a barman that Ruby ad Oswald were attending gay parties - GB claimed he had info indicating Oswald was Ruby's bastard son) but all you'll ffind when looking for what Huffaker had to say is a report saying THAT report was already filed.

To Tony: great work.

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From MackWhite.com:

Yesterday, in Sunday morning's Austin American-Statesman, I read a book review of When the News Went Live: Dallas 1963, a memoir by four Dallas journalists-George Phenix, Bob Huffaker, Bill Mercer, and Wes Wise-who covered the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

BEFORE THIS WAS A BOOK, IT WAS A TELEVISION PRODUCTION TAPED ON THE 7TH FLOOR OF THE 6TH FLOOR MUSE ON ONE OF THE ANNIVERSARIES OF THE ASSASSINATION. I WALKED THERE FROM A COPA CONFERENCE WITH TINK THOMPSON. I WAS A GUEST OF WES WISE AND A HALF DOZEN COLLEGE STUDENTS AND THEIR PROFESSOR FROM SOUTH JERSEY, WHOSE CLASS I HAD ADDRESSED A FEW WEEKS EARLIER.

It sounds like an interesting book. During the course of that memorable weekend in 1963, one of the men spoke with Ruby in Dealey Plaza the day after the killing,

THAT WOULD BE WES WISE -

another interviewed Oswald's mother, another was present when Ruby killed Oswald, and so on. And yet, if you are looking for substantive information about the assassination, you are not likely to find it in this book. The review states: "From the get-go, the authors declare themselves 'weary of conspiracy theories.'"

It is not surprising that they should be so averse to conspiracy "theories," for had they embraced such "theories" in their coverage of the assassination they might have ended up like Jim Koethe and Bill Hunter.

Koethe was a reporter for the Dallas Times Herald; Hunter for the Long Beach Press Telegram. On the night of November 24, 1963, the two ventured to Jack Ruby's apartment where they interviewed Ruby's roommate George Senator and Ruby's attorney Tom Howard. Less than a year later, Howard, Koethe, and Hunter were all dead. Howard died of an apparent heart attack. Hunter was shot in the head by a Long Beach police officer who, after repeatedly changing his story about the killing, was eventually convicted of manslaughter and given a probated sentence. Koethe was killed a few months later in his Dallas apartment when he emerged from the shower to be karate-chopped in the neck by an unknown assailant.

Koethe and Hunter's deaths no doubt served as an example to other journalists, and may have been a factor in the large number of Dallas journalists who left Dallas and found other professions in the wake of the Kennedy assassination.

Phenix, Hufaker, Mercer, and Wise, however, were not part of this exodus. Their coverage of the assassination turned out to be a boon to their careers, rather than an impediment. Not only did they remain in the profession, they prospered. Phenix went on to co-found the Texas Weekly; Hufaker became an editor at Texas Monthly; Mercer became a prominent sportscaster;

and Wise served as Mayor of Dallas in the 1970s.

WHILE THE OTHERS MAY HAVE PROSPERED, I DON'T THINK WES WISE BECAME RICH - AS HE WAS DRIVING A VW BUG AROUND WHILE MAYOR.

These men, then, owe much to the assassination-it got them where they are today. But they sure wouldn't have gotten there if they had embraced those wearisome conspiracy "theories."

AND GREG, THANKS FOR THE BACKGROUND ON BOB HUFF, I DIDN'T KNOW THAT.

BK

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Bill, Huffaker was an army reservist based at Fort Hood. That, coupled with his career in the media may indicate he was working military intelligence. His name was appears on a DPD list of people believed to hold information on a Ruby-Oswald connection. Others on the list included Pixie Lynn and George Butler. You can find what PL and GB had in that regard (PL supposedly told a barman that Ruby ad Oswald were attending gay parties - GB claimed he had info indicating Oswald was Ruby's bastard son) but all you'll ffind when looking for what Huffaker had to say is a report saying THAT report was already filed. (Greg Parker)

Cab driver, Raymond Cummings, was another who claimed a link. He said that he drove Oswald, David Ferrie and an unidentified man to the Carousel Club. He was allegedly the recipient of several threats warning him not to go to New Orleans to speak with Jim Garrison.

Regarding Stanton Corbat, he moved out of the apartment after he was married. His father was Max Corbat out of Miami Beach. Connections there are tantalizing but ultimately frustrating.

James

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Oops, double post. Sorry.

There is another, frankly quite strange issue related to way back when, concerning Malcolm Couch.....Mal was [according to the Sylveira List see WCD 246 FBI O'Connor Report of 31 Dec 1963 re: Oswald Ana Sylveira List]

at a DRE Meeting held in Dallas on October 13, 1963. Gen Walker was also at the same meeting and this is documented in Walker's WC Testimony.......he [Walker] donated $5, Couch's name was spelled Kouch, but the address given was his at the time.

But don't take my word for it.

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...mp;relPageId=26

And yet it happened.....

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Oops, double post. Sorry.

There is another, frankly quite strange issue related to way back when, concerning Malcolm Couch.....Mal was [according to the Sylveira List see WCD 246 FBI O'Connor Report of 31 Dec 1963 re: Oswald Ana Sylveira List]

at a DRE Meeting held in Dallas on October 13, 1963. Gen Walker was also at the same meeting and this is documented in Walker's WC Testimony.......he [Walker] donated $5, Couch's name was spelled Kouch, but the address given was his at the time.

But don't take my word for it.

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...mp;relPageId=26

And yet it happened.....

Robert,

The woman who supplied that list was Anita Silveira aka Anita Diaz. She was Juan Manuel Salvat's girlfriend at the time. She is someone of great interest.

I agree, the Couch/Kouch thing is most curious indeed.

James

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George Senator - Jack Ruby's roommate - What was he hiding?

Part Two: Where was George Sunday on the evening of Sunday the 24th of November 1963 and who was he with?

On the evening of the 24th of November 1963 Jack Ruby shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald. On the evening of that day six men gathered in Ruby's apartment in Oak Cliff, a suburb of Dallas, Texas. His roommate George Senator was there with two newsmen and three attorneys. The newsmen were Bill Hunter of the Long Beach California Press Telegram and Jim Koethe of the Dallas Times Herald. The attorneys were Jim Martin, Tom Howard and Mr C.A. Droby. Writer Bill Sloan in his book 'Breaking the Silence' states that reporters Hunter and Koethe went for a drink at Bill Martin's TV Bar on the evening in question and saw lawyers Martin, Howard and Droby in the bar waiting for Senator to arrive. Koethe was friendly with these men so the reporters joined the lawyers. Bill Sloan quotes Droby as saying "Senator had been held at the police station for four or five hours, and when they finally turned him loose about 6pm, he came over and met us at the TV Bar. One of the reporters who was there wanted a picture of Jack, so we decided to go over to the apartment on Ewing and see if we could locate one." According to Sloan they all arrived at the apartment at around 8pm and were ther for "possibly an hour." After the meeting Senator went back to the home of his friend Jim Martin and spent the night there.

This meeting came to the attention of assassination researchers because within sixteen months of the event three of the six men involved were dead. Hunter was 'accidently' shot through the heart, Koethe was killed by a karate chop to the neck and his death is officially recorded as an unsolved murder and Howard died of a heart attack at the age of 47 years having previously been in good health.

As these events involving Senator and the five other men are well documented you may wonder what there is left to question regarding what Senator was doing on the evening of the 24th of November 1963. The problem is that there are two individuals who gave statements to the FBI claiming that they spent time with George Senator during the early part of the evening in question and these statements do not seem to fit in well with the information given above.

We saw in part one that George Senator claimed that he met with his friends Bill Downey and attorney Mike Barclay on Saturday the 23rd of November 1963 and that both these men denied seeing him that day. Senator suggested that they all met in the Burgundy Room of the Adolphus Hotel when in fact this bar was closed on that day.

Barclay and Downey both gave separate statements to the FBI saying that they met together with Senator on the evening of Sunday the 24th of November 1963. Looking at their statements there is a high level of consistency with regards to the details that each man provides. We can see this as follows:

(1) Barclay stated that he went to the Eatwell Cafe early in the evening and saw Senator there. Senator then phoned Downey and asked him to join them at Dee's Lounge. Barclay then drove Senator to Dee's Lounge where they met Downey.

Downey stated that he received a phone call from Senator between 6pm and 7pm on the Sunday evening asking him to meet Senator and Barclay at Dee's Lounge. Downey stated that he met the other two at Dee's Lounge at around 7pm.

(2) Both men stated that they discussed with Senator the interrogation by the Police he had undergone that afternoon.

(3) Both men stated that he was fearful and reluctant to return to his apartment.

(4) Barclay said that they stayed at Dee's Lounge for a short time.

Downey said that they "perhaps 45 minutes" and had one drink.

(5) Downey testified that he drove Senator from Dee's Lounge downtown where he got into his Volkswagen truck.

Barclay testified that Downey drove Senator downtown so that he could pick up his Volkswagen.

Now, is it possible to fit these events with the recorded meeting of Senator with two newsmen and three lawyers? If you look at the times quoted Senator probably left Police Headquarters and walked into the TV Bar at about 6pm. There he met the reporters and lawyers and he might have only spent ten or fifteen minutes with them before leaving the group, but before he left he might have arranged to meet them all back at his apartment at 8pm. He could then have driven to the Eatwell Cafe where he just happened to encounter Mike Barclay. He then decided that he would like to meet up with Bill Downey so he phoned Downey and arranged for the three of them to meet up at Dee's Lounge. They could have been there for a short time, perhaps less than the 45 minutes Downey suggested, and then Senator got Downey to drive him back to the Eatwell Cafe where he got back into his Volkswagen and drove to meet up with Jim Martin. These two men could then have driven to Senator's apartment where they met up with the reporters and lawyers as arranged.

However, this hypothetical version of events does raise a number of questions. Firstly, why did Senator decide that he wanted to go off by himself to the Eatwell Cafe when he was with two reporters and three lawyers at Bill Martin's TV Bar? Secondly, he had arranged to meet up with five people at his apartment at 8pm, so why was he keen to meet up with Bill Downey and Mike Barclay at Dee's Lounge?

Downey expressed the view that he only wanted to meet up to discuss his interrogation by the police. With so little time available to see these men why would Senator want a very brief meeting with them to talk about his questioning by the police when he would be meeting up with five men, three of whom were lawyers, at his apartment within the next two hours? He would be able to have a good talk with some of the men present about his interrogation.

Why did George Senator's friend Attorney Jim Martin make no mention of Senator leaving sometime between 6pm and 7pm and not returning for an hour or so? His statement to the FBI has no details about Senator going off alone from Jim Martin's TV Bar.

Bill Sloan states in his book "After several rounds of beer, Koethe and Hunter subsequently accompanied Senator and the three attorneys to the apartment, where, according to Droby's recollection, they arrived at about 8pm .."Again there is no mention of Senator going off on his own and rejoining the group later.

In April 1964 George Senator was questioned by the Warren Commission about his activities on the evening of Sunday the 24th of November. Far from clarifying the matter his statements add more confusion to the issue. At one point Senator is talking about meeting Jim Martin after he leaves Police Headquarters when he says: "...As a matter of fact I was with three attorneys when we met, either two or three attorneys." At which point the interviewer changes the subject.

However, a little later when questioned about who he met after leaving Police Headquarters, Senator made the following comments:

"I met Jim Martin and another attorney who I had only met for the first time and I don't remember his name" ... "We met in a bar across the street from the court house" .."I think it was the TV Bar" ... "I would say that we sat in the bar and had two or three beers"..."It may have been half an hour, it may be an hour, I don't know"...

The following exchange occurred between Senator and Mr Hubert from the Warren Commission:

Mr Hubert: "...unless you can advise me now that there was nothing of significance that occurred on the night of the 24th after

you met with Mr Martin and Mr Barclay..."

Mr Senator: "You mean Sunday night?"

Mr Hubert: "Yes"

Mr Senator: "Barclay wasn't with me on Sunday night."

Mr Hubert: "There was another attorney?"

Mr Senator: "Yes, I didn't say Barclay. I don't remember his name."

So Senator emphatically denied being with Attorney Mike Barclay that evening. He was more vague when it came to Attorney Tom Howard:

Mr Hubert: "You didn't see Tom Howard that night?"

Mr Senator: "I don't know if I did or not. I don't remember if I saw him or not that night."

With regards to leaving the TV Bar, the following exchange occurred:

Mr Hubert: "And you left and went to Jim Martin's?"

Mr Senator: "I believe we went to Jim Martin's house. I think I slept there the first night."

Mr Hubert: "Did you meet anyone else that first night or speak to anyone else that first night..?"

Mr Senator: "No; because I was wrapped up. I was wrapped up in the court house all day"

So, at first, Senator appears to remember meeting Jim Martin and two other lawyers but later he seems to remember meeting Martin and just one other lawyer in the TV Bar. He makes no mention of going to the Eatwell Cafe and meeting with Mike Barclay (in fact he denes seeing him at all that evening) and he says nothing about going to Dee's Lounge to meet Bill Downey. George Senator appears to have no memory of later meeting back at his flat with the three lawyers and two reporters. He did mention going back to Jim Martin's house as he said, rather vaguely, "I think I slept there the first night."

Senator's testimony suggests that he did not meet with Barclay and Downey that evening but it also suggests that he did not meet up with Hunter, Koethe, Howard, Droby and Martin at his apartment that evening either and yet this meeting is well documented. Either Senator had a very poor memory or he was trying to hide something.

George Senator gave a statement to the Secret Service only nine days after the murder of Oswald. In this statement he says he was with Mike Barclay and Bill Downey on the day before Oswald died, the Saturday evening. Could it be that Barclay and Downey were simply mistaken about meeting Senator on Sunday when in fact they met him on the Saturday?

The FBI statements made by these men showed a high degree of concurrence but you could argue that the statements were recorded by the same FBI man on the same day so it is possible that Barclay and Downey were together discussing the events shortly before they were interviewed. However, it still seems unlikely that they were getting Sunday mixed up with Saturday because both men reported that Senator discussed his interrogation by the police and both mentioned his fear of returning to his apartment. These events are related to what happened on the Sunday and NOT the Saturday.

Barclay stated that he remembered purposely avoiding City Hall and the Court House on Saturday "because of the confusion he thought would probably exist there." However, he stated that he remembered that he had to go to his office or the Court House on business on Sunday and following this he went on to the Eatwell Cafe.

The fact that Senator claimed that he met with Barclay and Downey on Saturday at the Burgundy Room, when in fact this place was closed all weekend, makes it harder to believe his version of events.

Another possibility is that Barclay and Downey were lying and they had worked out a false version of events between themselves. The question would then be what would be the motive for them saying that they did not meet up with Senator on the Saturday (when they did) and then saying that they did meet up with Senator on Sunday (when they did not)? There is no obvious answer to this question.

If we make the assumption that the statements made by Barclay and Downey are correct then the question is why did Senator not tell the authorities about seeing them on the Sunday evening? Also, why did Senator falsely claim that he met up with Barclay and Downey at about 8:30 pm on the evening before Oswald's murder? If we accept the accounts given by Mike Barclay and Bill Downey then perhaps the really important question is:

Where was George Senator on the evening of Saturday the 24th of November 1963 and who was he with?

References:

'Breaking the Silence' by Bill Sloan

Warren Commission Hearings Volume XXVI

- CE 3015 FBI report of 6.11.64 ( statements of Downey and Barclay )

Warren Commission Hearings Volume XXVI

- CE 3024 ( Jim Martin's statement to the FBI )

Warren Commission Hearings Volume XIV

- Testimony of George Senator p251 (he met with 3 attorneys)

Warren Commission Testimony XXI

- CE 5402 p436 ( Senator's statement to the Secret Service )

Edited by Tony Austin
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  • 1 year later...
Guest Tom Scully

George Senator testified he still kept an apartment next door to Jack Ruby's during July and August, 1963. There were a total of three calls made on that July 21 date from Ruby's apartment. I am willing to wager that neither the records of the WC nor the HSAC has ever yielded in a publicly available record, who in Gloversville, NY, recieved the July 21, 1963 call from Ruby's aparment.

George Senator was born in Gloversville, but the official record is that he last resided there in 1934, and his testimony below, offered the best opportunity to ask him if he made that call from Ruby's apartment, and to whom. Instead, Senator makes a great argument for the idea that he had no contacts in Gloversville, due to the length of time his ties to the place had been severed.

If the goal is to "leave no stone unturned", this is a stone I can find no closing of as a possible area of futher inquiry....

One of three calls on July 21, 1963:

http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/russ/jfkinfo/jfk9/hscv9g.htm

July 21, 1963 A call from (Ruby's) the Ewing apartment: Gloversville, N.Y., GL 4-3087, for 14 minutes

http://www.jfk-assassination.de/warren/wch/vol14/page185.php

Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. XIV - Page 185

(Testimony of George Senator)

...Mr. Hubert.

I want to get to the time when you first met Jack Ruby.

Mr. Griffin.

Mr. Hubert, I have a couple of questions. I would like to clear up on some much earlier stuff before you get to that.

Mr. Hubert.

All right.

Mr. Griffin.

First of all, where is Gloversville, N.Y.? What part of New York State is that?

Mr. Senator.

Are you familiar with Albany?

Mr. Griffin.

Yes.

Mr. Senator.

You are familiar with Schenectady?

Mr. Griffin.

Yes.

Mr. Senator.

How about Amsterdam?

Mr. Griffin.

Well, if I am not, if you tell us where it is.

Mr. Senator.

I haven't been there in so many years I may not have the right direction now. All I know is I am trying to figure what the locality is. It is 30 miles from Schenectady. In other words, it is off the beaten path a bit from your main lines.

Mr. Griffin.

It is upstate New York?

Mr. Senator.

Yes; I would probably say in the locale of the foothills of the Adirondacks.

Mr. Griffin.

Now I perhaps did not catch this, but there was a period in 1947 when you went to work in New Hampshire?

Mr. Senator.

Yes.

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George Senator - Jack Ruby's roommate - what was he hiding?

In April 1964 Senator testified to the Warren Commission and he continue to support the idea that Ruby's actions were not premeditated as the following exchange shows:

Mr Griffin: "You just don't think he planned to kill Oswald?"

Mr Senator: "No definitely not. I could just never visualize it. I can't visualize anything like this."

Reasons to doubt Senator

There are three events involving Senator which cast doubt on his statements to the authorities. Let us look at them in turn:

1) The phone call to Jim Martin

Senator gave a statement to the FBI on the day Oswald was killed. He stated that he went to the Eatwell Restaurant at about 11:30am and he overheard a waitress say that Oswald had been shot and a short time later he learnt from the waitress that it was Jack Ruby who had shot Oswald. Soon after this he telephoned Attorney Jim Martin who was a friend of his. Martin was not at home so he drove to his house and he found Martin there when he arrived. Martin was then able to go with Senator down to the Police Headquarters.

The statement he gave to the Warren Commission a few months later was a little different. He stated that he was in the Eatwell Restaurant drinking coffee when he heard a girl say that Oswald had been shot and then he phoned his friend Jim Martin and he was told by his daughter that his friend was out but that he would be home in half an hour.

About five minutes later he heard that it was Jack Ruby who had shot Oswald and he then decided to drive straight over to Jim Martin's house.

Mr Hubert of the Warren Commission seemed to realise how suspicious this sounded because he was testifying that he was trying to contact an attorney, who would later go down with him to Police Headquarters, at a time when all he knew was that somebody had shot Lee Harvey Oswald. Hubert questioned Senator in detail about the matter. Senator claimed that he did not try to contact Ruby because he overheard him on the phone taking about going to Western Union but when Ruby left the apartment he said he was going to the club so he could not be sure where he was. He also claimed that he had a few friends and he just happened to think of phoning Jim Martin when he heard that Oswald had been shot. Senator was trying to say that it was only a matter of chance that he was trying to phone the one person who might be most useful to him when he ended up at Police Headquarters later that day.

2) William Downey's actions on the 24th of November 1963

Another suspicious event involved Senator's friend William Downey. He spoke to the FBI about what he did on the day that Oswald was shot and the FBI report states:

"Downey heard a radio announcement that Oswald had been shot by Jack Ruby, and, knowing that Senator and Ruby lived together, Downey then attempted to reach Senator by telephone at the residence of Jim Martin, where Senator mentioned he had been staying."

George Senator had not been staying with Jim Martin, on the contrary, Senator had been living in the same apartment block as Jack Ruby for a year. He told the Warren Commission that on the Sunday evening, of the 24th of November 1963, he was with Jim Martin and another lawyer. His testimony reads:

Mr Hubert: "After that Sunday night when you talked to the lawyers for a while, you went home I understand to Jim Martin's?"

Mr Senator: "If I remember right, I'm not sure but I think Jim put me up because I was afraid to go home and I didn't have a place to go. If I remember right I think he did. I think I went to his apartment, to his home rather."

Twice Senator told the Warren Commission that after Ruby shot Oswald he was afraid to go home and because of that fear he asked Jim Martin if he could stay at his home that night. However, Downey's testimony suggests that Senator already had plans to be staying with Martin before Oswald had been shot.

3) An offer to make breakfast for a friend.

A section of the Warren Report titled: 'Chapter VI - Investigation of Possible Conspiracy' states on page 371 that: "...Senator also failed to mention to the Commission and previous interrogators that, shortly after Ruby left there apartment on Sunday morning, he called friends, Mr and Mrs William Downey, and offered to visit there apartment and make breakfast for them. Downey stated in June 1964, that Senator was alone and that, after Downey declined the offer, Senator remarked that he would then go downtown for breakfast. When told of Downey's account Senator denied it and explained that the two were not friendly by the time Senator left Dallas about six weeks after the assassination."

Senator testified that he met with William Downey and Mike Barclay in the Burgundy Room of the Adolphus Hotel on Saturday the 23rd of November 1963 but Downey told the FBI he did not see Senator that day. Mike Barclay told the FBI that he did not meet with Senator on that day either, supporting Downey's statement.

Evidence that Downey and Barclay did NOT see Senator on that Saturday comes from an FBI statement by Chris Elson who owned and operated the Burgundy Room. He stated that the Burgundy Room was closed on the 23rd and 24th of November and he also stated that none of his employees saw Senator from the 22nd to the 28th of November 1963.

If Senator falsely claimed that he met with Downey and Barclay on the 23rd of November then his claim that he did not telephone Downey on the morning of the 24th of November may also be false.

Whem Senator testified to the Warren Commission in April 1964 he repeatedly referred to William Downey as being his friend. He never qualified this assertion or in any way implied that he was no longer his friend so the comment that he made that "the two of them were not friendly by the time he left Dallas six weeks after the assassination" seems strange. Even if it was true it seems unlikely that Downey would make up an event whereby Senator phones up and offers to make breakfast for him and his wife. What would be the purpose of 'making up' such a story?

Here we could speculated and suggestive an alternative explanation. Perhaps Senator did phone Downey on Sunday morning before 11am and he did offer to make breakfast. However, he inadvertently told Downey that he would be staying with Jim Martin for a while. This was because he knew that Ruby was going to shoot Oswald before it happened and he planned to go and stay with his reliable friend Jim Martin. He later realised he could have incriminated himself, therefore, he decided to deny that the phone call ever occurred in case the authorities ever found out from Downey that Senator had commented about staying with Martin before Oswald was shot.

Of course this is pure speculation but this hypothesis does fit in well with the other observations made in this thread.

In Summary

When George Senator heard the news that Oswald had been killed he tried to contact his friend, Attorney Jim Martin, before he heard that it was his roommate Jack Ruby that had shot him.

When Bill Downey heard the news he tried to contact Senator by phoning Jim Martin's house. He seemed to be under the impression that this was the place that Senator was staying, however, Senator testified that he asked Martin if he could stay with him only later in the day when a fear arising out of Ruby's murder of Oswald came over him.

Senator made a dubious claim that a statement by Bill Downey, about a telephone conversation made on the morning of Sunday the 24th of November 1963, was false. It is possible to speculate that Downey got the impression that Senator would be staying with Jim Martin that day as a result of this conversation and this is why Senator denied it took place.

Given these observations I think that it is reasonable to pose the question: Did George Senator know of Ruby's plans to kill Oswald in advance of the act?

The question is an important one because if Senator knew that Ruby intended to kill Oswald before the event then Ruby would have had the intention to kill Oswald before he left home that morning. His actions would have constituted premeditated murder. Ruby would have needed help from a person or persons unknow at Police Headquarters to arrive in the basement only seconds before Oswald was brought out.

In other words, Oswald would have been murdered as a result of some form of conspiracy.

References:

The HSCA on the Associates of Jack Ruby

-section xii George Senator (biography notes)

Warren Commission Hearings Volume XXI ( Ruby ?premeditation involved?)

CE 5401 p430 Senator - FBI statement

CE 5402 p436 Senator - Secret Service Statement

Warren Commission Hearings Volume XIV ( Ruby ?premeditation involved?)

- Testimony of George Senator p326

Warren Commission Hearings Volume XXI ( phone call to Jim Martin)

- CE 5401 p431 FBI statement

Warren Commission Hearings Volume XIV ( phone call to Jim Martin)

- Testimony of George Senator p245

Warren Commission Hearings Volume XXVI (Downey's phone call)

- CE 3015

Warren Commission Hearings Volume XIV (Senator at Martin's)

- Testimony of George Senator p259

Warren Commission Hearings Volume XIV ( Downey and Barclay)

- Testimony of George Senator p234

Warren Commission Hearings Volume XXVI ( Downey and Barclay)

- CE 3015 ( no meeting with Senator on the Saturday)

More reason to doubt that Ruby's killing of Oswald was spontaneous.

Photographic and video PROOF that Ruby was stalking Oswald from the time of his arrest.

And Senator didn't know this ?

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  • 6 years later...

From MackWhite.com:

Yesterday, in Sunday morning's Austin American-Statesman, I read a book review of When the News Went Live: Dallas 1963, a memoir by four Dallas journalists-George Phenix, Bob Huffaker, Bill Mercer, and Wes Wise-who covered the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It sounds like an interesting book. During the course of that memorable weekend in 1963, one of the men spoke with Ruby in Dealey Plaza the day after the killing, another interviewed Oswald's mother, another was present when Ruby killed Oswald, and so on. And yet, if you are looking for substantive information about the assassination, you are not likely to find it in this book. The review states: "From the get-go, the authors declare themselves 'weary of conspiracy theories.'"

It is not surprising that they should be so averse to conspiracy "theories," for had they embraced such "theories" in their coverage of the assassination they might have ended up like Jim Koethe and Bill Hunter.

Koethe was a reporter for the Dallas Times Herald; Hunter for the Long Beach Press Telegram. On the night of November 24, 1963, the two ventured to Jack Ruby's apartment where they interviewed Ruby's roommate George Senator and Ruby's attorney Tom Howard. Less than a year later, Howard, Koethe, and Hunter were all dead. Howard died of an apparent heart attack. Hunter was shot in the head by a Long Beach police officer who, after repeatedly changing his story about the killing, was eventually convicted of manslaughter and given a probated sentence. Koethe was killed a few months later in his Dallas apartment when he emerged from the shower to be karate-chopped in the neck by an unknown assailant.

Koethe and Hunter's deaths no doubt served as an example to other journalists, and may have been a factor in the large number of Dallas journalists who left Dallas and found other professions in the wake of the Kennedy assassination.

Phenix, Hufaker, Mercer, and Wise, however, were not part of this exodus. Their coverage of the assassination turned out to be a boon to their careers, rather than an impediment. Not only did they remain in the profession, they prospered. Phenix went on to co-found the Texas Weekly; Hufaker became an editor at Texas Monthly; Mercer became a prominent sportscaster; and Wise served as Mayor of Dallas in the 1970s.

These men, then, owe much to the assassination-it got them where they are today. But they sure wouldn't have gotten there if they had embraced those wearisome conspiracy "theories."

Bill, Huffaker was an army reservist based at Fort Hood. That, coupled with his career in the media may indicate he was working military intelligence. His name was appears on a DPD list of people believed to hold information on a Ruby-Oswald connection. Others on the list included Pixie Lynn and George Butler. You can find what PL and GB had in that regard (PL supposedly told a barman that Ruby ad Oswald were attending gay parties - GB claimed he had info indicating Oswald was Ruby's bastard son) but all you'll ffind when looking for what Huffaker had to say is a report saying THAT report was already filed.

To Tony: great work.

Interesting, about Huffaker, Greg! Just the other day i read, i think in an old Wiesberg doc. Huffaker watched the original Zapruder film with Dan Rather! I made note of that! Someone needs to question him about that and pin him down about Dan Rather's lie that JFK's head "fell forward".

Edited by Linda Giovanna Zambanini
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[...]

Interesting, about Huffaker, Greg! Just the other day i read, i think in an old Wiesberg doc. Huffaker watched the original Zapruder film with Dan Rather! I made note of that! Someone needs to question him about that and pin him down about Dan Rather's lie that JFK's head "fell forward".

It's long been my thought, that those that saw the Zapruder film in Dallas, say, within the first 48 hours of the assassination, they only had one thought in mind concerning the Z-film, that of Kennedy's head exploding!

Not which direction the shot(s) came from or other details that soon became points of interest. Including the likes of Dan Rather too. They were dumbfounded, stunned beyond belief...

I doubt any of those early Dallas viewers of the film recall anything other than the head shot. The president has been murdered, his head blew up, right in front of me, I saw it on the film.

If there's any question that those early viewers had or pondered, it was a simple, WHY?

Or, they were gloating.

Edited by David G. Healy
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  • 1 year later...

I posted the following in the "JFK questions" sub forum here in EF. I had not found an appropriate place for it until now. It seems there is little debate on George Senator but I found his testimony very interesting; and it gets more interesting as I read more about the whole conspiracy.

Quote:

"I am trying to figure out if the cafe in which Antonio Veciana says he met Maurice Bishop is the same cafe to which George Senator testifies he went with Jack Ruby in the pre-dawn hours of 11-23-63. George Senator states in WC testimony that he went to the Southland Cafe, on Commerce St., just down from the Adolphus Hotel. I am wondering if anyone has hashed this out and has found that there really was a Southland Cafe on Commerce St., or if he lied, was mistaken or if his testimony was altered or misrepresented. Veciana states that he and Bishop met in a cafe in The Southland Center which which would distinguish that cafe from a location on Commerce St."

If the Southland Cafe that George senator mentions is actually the cafe at the Southland Center, and not on Commerce st., that puts Jack Ruby in the same building that GHW Bush Stayed in that night. It's also the cafe where, according to Antonio Veciana and Wynn Johnson, David Atlee Phillips met with Veciana after meeting Oswald in the hotel lobby. 

Why would Ruby go there in the middle of the night, except to get some grapefruit juice? And why would he be dragging around a couple simpletons to do three things that he could have done himself? 

It seems like he really did not want to be alone.

 

Edited by Michael Clark
Format fix fix dates
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