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  » Appendix XVIII
Warren Commission Report: Page 809« Previous | Next »

(APPENDIX XVII - Polygraph Examination of Jack Ruby)

Ruby insisted on taking the examination.18 Mr. Fowler requested that (1) Dr. Tanay, the Detroit psychiatrist, be present; (2) the results of the test not be disclosed other than to the Commission; (3) the questions to be asked not be disclosed to the District Attorney's office; and (4) the results of the test be made available to defense counsel.19 Sheriff William Decker announced his intention to have Allan L. Sweatt, his chief criminal deputy who was also a polygraph operator, present to maintain custody of Jack Ruby while the examination was being administered.20 Assistant District Attorney Alexander requested a list of questions, a copy of the recording made by the polygraph machine and a copy of the report interpreting the test.21 In response to the numerous requests, the procedure was determined that the questions to be asked of Ruby would be discussed in a preliminary session in the presence of defense counsel, the assistant district attorney and Chief Jailer E. L. Holman, who was to replace Sweatt.22 The assistant district attorney would not be present when Ruby answered the questions, but Jailer Holman was allowed to remain to retain custody of Ruby.23 No commitment was made on behalf of the Commission as to what disclosure would be made of the results of the examination.24 Since Dr. Tanay was not in Dallas and therefore could not be present, 25 arrangements were made to have in attendance Dr. William R. Beavers, a psychiatrist who had previously examined and evaluated Ruby's mental state.26


At the conclusion of the lengthy preliminary proceedings, Ruby entered the jury conference room at 2:23 p.m. and was informed that the Commission was prepared to fulfill its commitment to offer him a polygraph examination, but was not requesting the test.27 On behalf of the Commission, Assistant Counsel Specter warned Ruby that anything he said could be used against him.28 Chief Defense Counsel Fowler advised Ruby of his objections to the examination.29 Ruby then stated that he wanted the polygraph examination conducted and that he wanted the results released to the public as promptly as possible.30 Special Agent Bell P. Herndon, polygraph operator of the FBI, obtained a written "consent to interview with polygraph" signed by Jack Ruby.31 Herndon then proceeded to administer the polygraph examination by breaking the questions up into series which were ordinarily nine questions in length and consisted of relevant interrogatories and control questions.32

ADMINISTRATION OF THE TEST

Q. Did you know Oswald before November 22, 1963 ?


A. No.33


Q. Did you assist Oswald in the assassination ?


A. No. 34


Q. Are you now a member of the Communist Party ?

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