Ex-Henry Wade secretary upset over questions about JFK film talks

Note that Jack Ruby was a frequent visitor to DA Henry Wade’s office who “just hung around” and “came in…because of hot checks”. Also note that Wade had a 100% conviction rate in his cases and 90% for his office, now overturned in some cases due to DNA. His prosecutorial skills were lauded by the likes of Ronald Reagan and Ed Meese. Like Wade, Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby are both dead and can’t defend themselves either – John Judge

Ex-Henry Wade secretary upset over questions about JFK film talks

Former Wade secretary angered over story about JFK film talks

12:00 AM CST on Sunday, March 2, 2008

By ED HOUSEWRIGHT / The Dallas Morning News
ehousewright@dallasnews.com

PHOTO – June McNabb had a front-row seat during the most notorious period in Dallas history. She was secretary to Dallas County District Attorney Henry Wade at the time of the Kennedy assassination.

June McNabb, with a photo of her and fellow secretaries attending a luncheon with Henry Wade in the 1950s, remembers her former boss as a good-hearted person and someone to admire. ‘His employees, the girls especially, just loved him to death,’ she said.

“He was a wonderful man,” she said of Mr. Wade. “His employees, the girls especially, just loved him to death.”

Mr. Wade served as district attorney from 1950 to 1986 and developed a reputation for winning convictions and securing long prison sentences.

Ms. McNabb is perturbed at questions raised about Mr. Wade after the release of JFK memorabilia by current District Attorney Craig Watkins this month. Documents show that Mr. Wade, a straight-arrow lawman, considered accepting money for giving a filmmaker exclusive rights to assassination records that wouldn’t be made public for 40 years. The movie deal never materialized.

Ms. McNabb, who is 75 and lives in Celina, said a story in last Sunday’s Dallas Morning News about the film talks angered her. Mr. Wade died in 2001 at age 86.

“The man is deceased,” she said. “He can’t defend himself. I think nearly everybody who could defend him is dead. If he was here, he would take care of it.”

In the mid-1950s, Ms. McNabb went to work for Mr. Wade when she was 22, and she remained for a decade. She worked as receptionist and a secretary, watching people stream and out of Mr. Wade’s office.

One frequent visitor: Jack Ruby, who fatally shot Lee Harvey Oswald as he was being transported to jail after the assassination. Mr. Ruby owned the Carousel, a downtown strip club.

“Ruby was one of the guys who just hung out,” Ms. McNabb said. “Nobody paid any attention to him. He came into our office because of hot checks. He tried to give passes to everybody in the office. Nobody went, or at least I didn’t.”

Mr. Wade personally tried the 1964 murder case against Mr. Ruby. The jury took less than two hours to find Mr. Ruby guilty and sentence him to death.

Profiles on Mr. Wade always mention that he never lost a case he personally prosecuted. His office won convictions in more than 90 percent of the cases it tried.

Since he retired, though, the convictions of more than a dozen men have been overturned because of DNA testing. Many of the faulty convictions occurred during Mr. Wade’s tenure.

Ms. McNabb doesn’t think the exonerations taint his legacy.

When Mr. Wade retired in 1986, tributes flowed in from around the country. President Reagan sent a congratulatory letter. U.S. Attorney General Ed Meese spoke to 1,300 people at a tribute dinner, calling Mr. Wade “the dean of American prosecutors.”

Ms. McNabb echoes the sentiments about Mr. Wade.

“He was someone I very much admired,” she said. “He was a genteel, bright man and a good-hearted person.”

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