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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. XIV - Page 598« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Bell P. Herndon)

Mr. Herndon.
responses to these three particular questions indicate that they are not significant. It is believed by the examiner at this point, although Mr. Ruby said he was not tired in his general conversation with the examiner, that he was probably somewhat fatigued, and he was no longer displaying the usual physiological responses expected during the earlier phases of the examination.
The total chart minutes of series 11 is 1 minute 10 seconds. I do not consider anything significant to these particular responses other than the fact that we obliged Mr. Ruby in asking them.
Mr. Specter.
Was this polygraph examination excessive with respect to length in your opinion, Mr. Herndon?
Mr. Herndon.
Well, it would greatly depend on Mr. Ruby's physical and mental condition of course. A doctor was in attendance during the examination, and I repeatedly asked Mr. Ruby during the examination how he felt and whether he wanted to proceed. I asked him on several occasions if he would like to take a break or have a drink of water. I cannot specifically state that it did or did not appear to hinder his health or cause him any undue fatigue.
However, I did hear the doctor indicate that there was no undue physical stress or strain on Mr. Ruby during the examination.
Mr. Specter.
Up until the points where you have indicated there were some signs of tiredness, did Mr. Ruby appear to be responding in a satisfactory manner?
Mr. Herndon.
I would say during the first several series of questions, and based on the presumption again that Mr. Ruby was rationally sound and competent during this phase of the examination, that he responded very normally, and the polygraph examination proceeded without any technical difficulties.
Mr. Specter.
Was Mr. Ruby given periodic breaks throughout the course of the examination in addition to that lengthy one between series 4 and series 5?
Mr. Herndon.
Yes; he was given a number of breaks and there was no time when he was asked a long series of questions inasmuch as the total chart, minutes on my charts indicate none of them went beyond 3 minutes, which is certainly considered well within standard series total chart minutes.
Mr. Specter.
Do you have anything to add which you think would be helpful to the President's Commission?
Mr. Herndon.
Yes. I would like to make a few additional comments with regard to this polygraph examination, in view of the fact that it was somewhat unique and unusual. I think these factors should be somewhat considered in the overall evaluation of the polygraph examination.
First of all, Ruby has obviously been extensively interviewed by law enforcement officers and by the Commission and other people, and there has been a considerable length of time lapse since the time that the instant offense occurred of him shooting Oswald. These factors of length of time and considerable previous interrogation would tend to detract or negate any specific or definite conclusion that could be rendered with regard to the polygraph examination.
The fact that there were other personnel in the room would tend to negate a valid polygraph technique. However, here again I did mention that this did not appear to bother Mr. Ruby. But it should be considered and made a matter of record.
One other point I would like to mention, and that is the large number of relevant questions asked Mr. Ruby during this particular examination. This is not general standard procedure. However, I realize that the President's Commission wanted to cover many facets, and that it was mutually agreed upon that we would ask the questions that the Commission had originally drawn up for this particular interrogation. In normal polygraph procedure it is usual to keep the relevant questions down to perhaps several specific critical relevant questions and work strictly on those, and in this particular examination we had a large number of relevant questions to ask.
I think these are all factors that should be considered in the overall evaluation of Mr. Ruby's polygraph examination.
Mr. Specter.
Thank you very much, Mr. Herndon.

Breck Wall (Billy Ray Wilson)

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