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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. XIV - Page 504« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Sam Ruby)

Testimony of Jack L. Ruby

The testimony of Jack L. Ruby was taken at 11 a.m., on July 18, 1964, at the Dallas County Jail, Dallas, Tex. by Mr. Arlen Specter, assistant counsel of the President's Commission. Present were: Bell P. Herndon and W. James Wood, special agents of the FBI; Clayton Fowler and Joe H. Tonahill, counsel for Jack Ruby; William F. Alexander, assistant district attorney for County, Tex.; Allan L. Sweatt, chief criminal deputy for Dallas County, Tex.; E. L. Holman, chief jailer; and Dr. William Robert Beavers, observer.
Mr. Specter.
May the record show that present at this time are Mr. Clayton Fowler, chief counsel for Jack Ruby; Mr. Joe H. Tonahill, cocounsel for Jack Ruby; Mr. William F. Alexander, assistant district attorney for Dallas County, Tex.; Mr. Allan L. Sweatt, chief criminal deputy and polygraph operator for Dallas County, Tex.; Mr. Bell P. Herndon, the polygraph operator and special agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Mr. W. James Wood, special agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Odell Oliver, court reporter; and Arlen Specter, assistant counsel of the President's Commission.
We have discussed preliminarily the procedure to be followed on the polygraph examination, where those currently present may remain while the polygraph operators, Mr. Herndon and Mr. Wood, explain the questions to Mr. Ruby, and then everyone would leave except the operators, Messrs. Herndon and Wood, the court reporter and I, and the question now subject to being resolved is the issue of whether anyone will be present from the sheriff's office.
As you know, the President's Commission is trying to bring its work to a close and the Chief Justice promised a polygraph test and that was 6 weeks ago tomorrow. There have been a lot of things we have had to work out, and I think it. all ought to be on the record. I would want to give everyone an opportunity to put any request right on the record in any way you want; and, of course, I think that all your objections and comments about this proceeding should go on the record. After you have so stated, I will state responsively and I will say further that there is no closed mind on these issues that will have to be weighed and evaluated by the members of the Commission themselves.
Mr. Fowler.
Let me first suggest then--why don't I discuss this with Jack?
Mr. Specter.
That's fine.
Mr. Fowler.
And then Jack may say whether he wants to go ahead with this and how I have advised him, and that he has on numerous occasions requested it, and I will tell him that the Chief Justice promised to give it to him and they are here ready to do it, which I am going to tell him, and if he insists on it, I can't and won't try to hold him back.
Mr. Tonahill.
That's a good suggestion.
Mr. Specter.
Fine; and if he has changed his mind for any reason, I will just want to have it on the record, and that will conclude the issue, so far as the Commission is concerned.
Mr. Fowler.
Let's see he's on what floor?
Mr. Tonahill.
Mr. Fowler.
Let me step down and chat with him for just a few minutes.
Mr. Tonahill.
Do you want me to go with you?
Mr. Fowler.
I may need you later.
Mr. Specter.
Let the record show that Mr. Fowler left the room, and in approximately 5 minutes thereafter, returned to the room from his conference with Mr. Ruby.
Mr. Fowler.
He says he's going to take this test regardless of his lawyers, and he says, "By God, I'm going to take the test."
Mr. Tonahill.
Well, you know the law is in his favor and that he is presumed to be sane, and there can't be anybody speak for him but himself.
Mr. Fowler.
I have advised him, and I have read this letter to him, and I have explained all of this to him when I talked to him.
Mr. Tonahill.
If he wouldn't take it now----
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