The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 104, July 2000 - April, 2001 Page: 42
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
most controversial event of the twentieth century, the brawling striptease
club owner Mr. Ruby, who was charged with murdering Mr. Oswald. Or-
dinary in that nothing in their lives before or after the trial has distin-
guished them from millions of their fellow citizens.
The first juror selected, and the eventual foreman of the jury, was Max
Causey. During the course of the trial, Mr. Causey kept a longhand diary
in a reporter's notebook. Over the years, he considered writing a book
about his memories of the trial, and did write a short memoir, "The Trial
of a Juror." Shortly after his sudden death in September 1997, his family
gave the author permission to develop a book based on his diary, mem-
oir, and the many personal letters that they received during the trial.
At the time of the Jack Ruby trial, Mr. Causey was a thirty-five-year-old
engineering planning specialist with defense contractor Ling-Temco-
Vought (now part of Raytheon) in suburban Garland, where he lived
with his wife Rosemary, whom he married in 1953, and two young sons,
Keith and Kevin. He had served as a tanker pilot with the U.S. Air Force
between 1950 and 1955, achieving the rank of first lieutenant. He had a
bachelor of science degree in government and a master of education de-
gree, both from nearby East Texas State College, now Texas A&M Uni-
versity-Commerce.2 He had grown up in the country, near the farming
town of Caddo Mills, forty miles east of Dallas. He was a Baptist and a
Democrat, at a time when the Republican Party was almost nonexistent
Four other surviving Ruby jury members have been interviewed:
Robert (Bob) Flechtner, Glenn Holton, Waymon Rose, and Doug Sow-
ell. It is believed that this is the first time that the jurors have been ex-
tensively interviewed on the trial since it ended more than thirty-five
years ago. In addition, while interviewing Mr. Rose late in the research
phase of this project, it emerged that he too kept a diary during the tri-
al, and excerpts from his writing also appear in this article.
Mr. Causey's writing and the interviews with the other jurors are sup-
plemented with material obtained from the trial transcripts, as well as
from books and contemporary newspaper and magazine articles.
The jury's verdict and the sentence they rendered have been debated
since the moment the trial ended. In reading the memoir and diary of
Mr. Causey and interviewing Mr. Flechtner, Mr. Holton, Mr. Rose, and
Mr. Sowell, one conclusion is inescapable: Melvin Belli, the flashy,
s A literate, thoughtful person, Mr. Causey was part of what several Dallas lawyers called the
"smartest" jury they had ever seen in a murder case. John Kaplan and Jon R. Waltz, The Trial of
Jack Ruby (New York: Macmillan, 1965), 114.
* "Juror Praised by Supervisor," Dallas Times Herald, Feb. 21, 1964, p. I4-A; Keith Causey, in-
terview withJ. M. Dempsey, July 1999.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 104, July 2000 - April, 2001, periodical, 2001; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101221/m1/70/: accessed December 12, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.