DALLAS – Longtime Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade agreed to give filmmakers exclusive access to legal documents connected to the assassination of President Kennedy, including some kept from the public for another four decades.
The Dallas Morning News reported in Sunday editions that new details about Wade's involvement in a movie venture about the JFK assassination and the trial of Jack Ruby were contained in long-hidden files.
Current Dallas County DA Craig Watkins announced discovery of the files at a news conference last Monday.
The items include a purported transcript between Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald and his killer, nightclub owner Ruby; a leather gun holster that held the gun Ruby used to shoot Oswald; brass knuckles found on Ruby when he was arrested; and a movie contract signed by Wade, who died in 2001.
Film producer Robert Larsen touted the movie project, "Countdown in Dallas," as a way to revive the city's image.
Wade, Dallas Police Chief Jesse Curry and Bob Denson, chief defense investigator in the Ruby trial, had formed a company that would act as a "vehicle for this venture," according to a letter from the district attorney to Larsen. But the project apparently fell into financial trouble.
Robert Schuwerk, a law professor at the University of Houston, said he wasn't sure Wade's actions violated judicial ethics but seemed questionable.
"After you've left office and want to write your memoirs, that's one thing," he said. "But I don't think that while you're still in office you can profit from what is essentially exercising a part of your duties, and it seems to me that's what was happening here."