Juror who convicted Jack Ruby reflects on JFK history

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by JASON WHEELER

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwheelertv

WFAA

Posted on February 9, 2013 at 10:50 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 10 at 10:50 AM

DALLAS — John F. Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby — the three names heard most often from one of the darkest days in Dallas history — the 1963 assassination of President Kennedy.

Throughout this year marking the 50th anniversary of the assassination, we're hearing from others who were witnesses to history.

On Saturday, Juror No. 10 from Ruby's murder trial shared his story at the Sixth Floor Museum.

Two days after the president was killed on November 22, 1963, the nation was shocked again as the president's accused killer was killed by a gunman on live TV.

In the tumultuous days that followed, twelve Americans watched history unfold from special seats.

"I still feel it was a privilege to have served on that jury," said J. Waymon Rose, who was one of a dozen jurors chosen to decide whether Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby was guilty of murdering alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.

Rose said he had a strange feeling about Ruby.

"I felt sorry for him and the predicament he was in," Rose said. "I told myself I couldn't let his predicament influence me and the way I have to vote one day whether he lives or dies."

Rose shared his account Saturday as this month's featured speaker at the Sixth Floor Museum, which is offering living history accounts as the nation gets ready to mark the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination.

All these years later, Rose remembers he wanted Jack Ruby to defend himself in court.

"I was wishing very strong that he would get up and say something... apologize... say 'I'm sorry'... whatever to help us give him a lighter sentence... but he never said anything," Rose recalled.

In the end, Jack Ruby got the maximum sentence and was to be executed for his crime.

Rose recounted Saturday how it seemed as though Ruby was already starting his death sentence as he sat in court.

"He seemed quite out of it. In fact, at the end I could see he had aged quite a bit during that month of trial, and as some reporters have said, I saw him die a little bit every day just before my very eyes," Rose said.

Jack Ruby died in prison awaiting an appeal.

WFAA has complete coverage of the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination. On the 22nd of each month, we will bring you special stories in our series, "50 Novembers."

E-mail jwheeler@wfaa.com

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