Focus on History: ‘They’ll always point to Jack Ruby’s roommate,’ he was from Gloversville

PHOTOGRAPHER:

Gloversville native George Senator, former roommate of Jack Ruby, is shown as he arrived at the Ruby trial in Dallas, Texas, on Mar. 6, 1964.

By Bob Cudmore

For The Leader-Herald

George Senator, a Gloversville native, was living in Dallas with Jack Ruby 58 years ago on November 24, 1963.

Ruby, a strip club operator, left their apartment that day and ended up in the basement of police headquarters. There he shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald. Oswald was in custody for the assassination of President John F. Kennedy two days earlier as the President’s motorcade drove through Dallas.

The F.B.I. interviewed Senator. Attorneys from the Warren Commission, headed by Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren, also interviewed Senator.

When the marathon deposition was at an end, Senator said, “They will always point to Jack Ruby’s roommate, Jack Ruby’s roommate, something of that nature.”

Born in 1913, George Senator was the son of Abraham and Anna Senator. He left school after eighth grade. He moved to the Bronx where he lived with his sister and worked at a company that provided silk for women’s dresses.

In 1932, he returned to Gloversville and worked at a restaurant called Senator’s owned by his brother Jacob. The restaurant was on North Main Street and later Church Street.

In 1941 Senator enlisted in the U.S. Army. He was an armorer with the Fifth Air Force in the Australian and Pacific Theater during World War II.

After the war Senator operated a luncheonette in New York City. He married Shirley Baren and they had a son named Bobby. George and Shirley divorced. Their son lived with his mother, who remarried.

Senator later sold women’s wear in Florida for a firm based in Chicago. The company sent him to Dallas in 1954.

In Dallas, Senator sold women’s wear and picture postcards. He began doing work for strip club owner Jack Ruby. Ruby was born as Jacob Leon Rubenstein in Chicago.

When Senator was unemployed in 1962, Ruby took him in. Senator moved out when he found work and also found another roommate. Ruby moved to the same apartment building.

Senator’s new roommate got married and moved out. Senator again moved in with Ruby the first week of November 1963.
The Sunday morning after the President died Ruby received a call from Karen Carlin, one of the dancers at his club.

According to Senator, Ruby left the apartment about 11:00 a.m. to pick up receipts from the Carousel Club and to wire money to Carlin in Fort Worth.

Ruby took his gun, which Senator said Ruby usually did when he was retrieving money from the club. He also put his dog Sheba in the car.

Senator told the Warren Commission he didn’t know why Ruby killed Oswald, “He never at any time ever gave me any indication of anything.”

Some assassination websites, however, state that Senator told investigator Arlen Specter that before leaving the apartment Ruby did say he planned to kill Oswald. The shooting was broadcast live on national television.

Senator met that night in the apartment with his lawyer Jim Martin, Ruby’s lawyer Tom Howard and two journalists, Bill Hunter and Jim Koethe.

Senator told the Warren Commission he was scared for about ten days after Oswald was killed, “In other words, for about 10 days I was afraid to sleep in the same place twice.”

Senator was a defense witness at Ruby’s trial. Ruby was sentenced to death but appealed the conviction. Ruby died from pneumonia and lung cancer in 1967 while awaiting a new trial.

Jacob Senator, George’s brother, died in Gloversville in 1969 and George Senator was listed then as living in Las Vegas. George Senator died in the spring of 1992 according to David Reitzes of the Spartacus Educational website.

By LH Staff

Leave a Reply