George Senator


George Senator was born in Gloversville on 4th September, 1913. Later he moved to New York where he worked for a company producing women's dresses.

During the Second World War Senator served in the United States Army. After leaving the service in September, 1945, he returned to New York where he worked for a company called Denise Foods. After the failure of his marriage Senator moved to Miami where he found employment in a restaurant. Later he worked in Milwaukee (Rhea Manufacturing) and Chicago (Smoler Brothers).

In 1954 Senator moved to Dallas where he worked as a traveling salesman. Later he sold picture postcards. In 1962 Senator moved in with Jack Ruby. He paid no rent but in return he did occasional work in Ruby's Carousel Club. According to the attorney, Jim Martin, Senator was "overwhelmed with fear" after the assassination of John F. Kennedy and talked about leaving Dallas.

Senator told the Warren Commission that on 24th November, 1963, that Ruby received a phone call from Little Lynn, a Carousel stripper who lived in Fort Worth, at about 10.20 p.m. that morning. Ruby left the apartment soon afterwards. When Ruby testified before the commission he told Arlen Specter that he told Senator that morning that he intended to kill Lee Harvey Oswald. This is supported by the fact that Senator phoned Jim Lawyer, a Dallas lawyer, five minutes before Ruby shot Oswald.

Larry Craford testified before the Warren Commission that on 23rd November, 1963, he went with Ruby and Senator to photograph an "Impeach Earl Warren" billboard in Dallas. Ruby said he wanted to photograph the billboard because of its similarity to an anti-Kennedy advert that appeared in newspapers on the day of the assassination. This information created some interest as it had not been mentioned by either Ruby or Senator.

On the day that Oswald died, Bill Hunter of the Long Beach Press Telegram and Jim Koethe of the Dallas Times Herald interviewed Senator. Also there was Ruby's attorney Tom Howard. Earlier that day Senator and Howard had both visited Jack Ruby in jail. That evening Senator arranged for Koethe, Hunter and Howard to search Ruby's apartment.

It is not known what the journalists found but on 23rd April 1964, Hunter was shot dead by Creighton Wiggins, a policeman in the pressroom of a Long Beach police station. Wiggins initially claimed that his gun fired when he dropped it and tried to pick it up. In court this was discovered that this was impossible and it was decided that Hunter had been murdered. Wiggins finally admitted he was playing a game of quick draw with his fellow officer. The other officer, Errol F. Greenleaf, testified he had his back turned when the shooting took place. In January 1965, both were convicted and sentenced to three years probation.

Jim Koethe decided to write a book about the assassination of Kennedy. However, he died on 21st September, 1964. It seems that a man broke into his Dallas apartment and killed him by a karate chop to the throat. Tom Howard died of a heart-attack, aged 48, in March, 1965.

George Senator died in 1992.

Primary Sources

(1) Penn Jones, Jr, Disappearing Witnesses included in The Rebel (22nd November, 1983)

Shortly after dark on Sunday night, November 24, 1963, after Ruby had killed Lee Harvey Oswald, a meeting took place in Jack Ruby's apartment in Oak Cliff, a suburb of Dallas, Texas. Five persons were present. George Senator and Attorney Tom Howard were present and having a drink in the apartment when two newsmen arrived. The newsmen were Bill Hunter of the Long Beach California Press Telegram and Jim Koethe of the Dallas Times Herald. Attorney C.A. Droby of Dallas arranged the meeting for the two newsmen, Jim Martin, a close friend of George Senator's, was also present at the apartment meeting. This writer asked Martin if he thought it was unusual for Senator to forget the meeting while testifying in Washington on April 22, 1964, since Bill Hunter, who was a newsman present at the meeting, was shot to death that very night. Martin grinned and said: "Oh, you're looking for a conspiracy."

I nodded yes and he grinned and said, "You will never find it."

I asked soberly, "Never find it, or not there?"

He added soberly, "Not there."

Bill Hunter, a native of Dallas and an award-winning newsman in Long Beach, was on duty and reading a book in the police station called the "Public Safety Building." Two policemen going off duty came into the press room, and one policeman shot Hunter through the heart at a range officially ruled to be "no more than three feet." The policeman said he dropped his gun, and it fired as he picked it up, but the angle of the bullet caused him to change his story. He finally said he was playing a game of quick draw with his fellow officer. The other officer testified he had his back turned when the shooting took place.

Hunter, who covered the assassination for his paper, the Long Beach Press Telegram had written:

"Within minutes of Ruby's execution of Oswald, before the eyes of millions watching television, at least two Dallas attorneys appeared to talk with him."

Hunter was quoting Tom Howard who died of a heart attack in Dallas a few months after Hunter's own death. Lawyer Tom Howard was observed acting strangely to his friends two days before his death. Howard was taken to the hospital by a "friend" according to the newspapers. No autopsy was performed.

Dallas Times Herald reporter Jim Koethe was killed by a karate chop to the throat just as he emerged from a shower in his apartment on Sept. 21, 1964. His murderer was not indicted.

What went on in that significant meeting in Ruby's and Senator's apartment?

Few are left to tell. There is no one in authority to ask the question, since the Warren Commission has made its final report, and the House Select Committee has closed its investigation.

(2) Bill Sloan, JFK: Breaking the Silence (1993)

In light of the strange, unsettling sequence of events that unfolded over the next ten months, some independent assassination researchers have put heavy emphasis on the assumption that Koethe and Hunter were in the apartment before police had a chance to search it. Clearly, this would have heightened the chance of the two reporters finding something while there and could only make an intriguing tale even more so.

Unfortunately, however, it simply isn't true.

In reality, homicide detective Gus Rose arrived at Ruby's apartment at about 2 p.m. that Sunday . . . accompanied by two other Dallas officers and armed with a search warrant issued by Justice of the Peace Joe Brown, Jr.

"I showed the manager the warrant and she let us right in," Rose recalled in an October 1992 interview. "We were there for about an hour and a half, and we searched the place thoroughly." . . . According to Rose, the search failed to turn up anything of significance . . .

"We collected a few notes and telephone numbers that had been written on pads, but that was about all we took. Once we were finished, we just locked the place back up and left again."

"If Rose was there in the afternoon, he was there long before we were," Droby concludes. "I just never realized it because nothing was messed up."

(3) David Welsh, Ramparts (November, 1966)

Hunter covered the Kennedy assassination more or less on a lark. He was a police reporter for the Long Beach paper and a good one, with a knack for getting along with cops. He drank with them, played cards with them in the press room-- he was a sharp and lucky player - and they would often call him at home when a story broke. Hunter was a big man, described by friends as rough, jovial, "very physical," with an attractive wife and three children.

There was no real need for the Long Beach paper to send a reporter to Dallas, but Hunter, who grew up there, managed to promote a free trip for himself with the city desk. In Dallas he ran into Jim Koethe, with whom he had worked in Wichita Falls, Texas. Koethe asked him to come along to the meeting in Ruby's apartment; they arrived to find Senator and Tom Howard having a drink.