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  » Appendix XV
  » Appendix XVI
  » Appendix XVII
  » Appendix XVIII
Warren Commission Report: Page 808« Previous | Next »

(APPENDIX XVII - Polygraph Examination of Jack Ruby)

Mr. RUBY. All I want to do is to tell the truth, and the only way you can know it is by the polygraph, as that is the only way you can know it.

Chief Justice WARREN. That we will do for you. 8

Following Ruby's insistence on a polygraph test, the Commission initiated arrangements to have the FBI conduct such an examination.9 A detailed set. of questions was prepared for the polygraph examination, which was set for July 16, 1964.10 A few days before the scheduled test, the Commission was informed that Ruby's sister, Eva Grant, and his counsel, Joe H. Tonahill, opposed the polygraph on the ground that psychiatric examinations showed that his mental state was such that the test would be meaningless.11

The Commission was advised that Sol Dann, a Detroit attorney representing the Ruby family, had informed the Dallas office of the FBI on July 15, 1964, that a polygraph examination would affect Ruby's health and would be of questionable value according to Dr. Emanuel Tanay, a Detroit psychiatrist.12 On that same date, Assistant. Counsel Arlen Specter discussed by telephone the polygraph examination with Defense Counsel Joe H. Tonahill, who expressed Iris personal opinion that a polygraph examination should be administered to Ruby.13 By letter dated July 15, 1964, Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade requested that the polygraph examination cover the issue of premeditation as well as the defensive theories in the case.14

Against this background, it was decided that a. representative of the Commission would travel to Dallas to determine whether Jack Ruby wanted to take the polygraph test. Since Ruby had had frequent changes in attorneys and because he was presumed to be sane, the final decision on the examination was his, especially in view of his prior personal insistence on the test.15 In the jury conference room at the Dallas jail on July 18, Assistant Counsel Arlen Specter, representing the Commission, informed Chief Defense Counsel Clayton Fowler, co-Counsel Tonahill and Assistant District Attorney William F. Alexander that the Commission was not insisting on or even requesting that the test be taken, but was merely fulfilling its commitment to make the examination available.16 In the event Ruby had changed his mind and would so state for the record, that would conclude the issue as far as the Commission was concerned.17

Chief Defense Counsel Fowler had objected to the test. He conferred with Jack Ruby in his cell and then returned stating that

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