Jump to content
The Education Forum

JFK Facts on MK-Ultra Doctor and Jack Ruby

Recommended Posts

From JFK Facts, by Thomas Bunin.  



The Latest From JFK Facts

The MK-ULTRA Doctor Who Examined Jack Ruby

Evidence of CIA interference in the JFK assassination investigation

OCT 11
READ IN APPhttps%3A%2F%2Fsubstack.com%2Ficon%2FLuci
Undated image of Dr. Jolyon West, CIA-funded psychiatrist who examined Jack Ruby in April 1964 (Credit: YouTube)

"When it comes to the JFK assassination story, Jack Ruby, the assassin of accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, gets perhaps less attention than any other important character. This is why Tom O’Neill’s 2019 book, “CHAOS: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties” is a contribution to the literature of JFK’s assassination. 

“CHAOS” offers the most insightful study yet of Ruby’s mental state before and after his murder of Oswald, as well as the diagnoses of psychiatrists who examined the Dallas nightclub owner.

What O’Neill’s book shows is this: 

Jack Ruby may very well have been tampered with by a doctor in the pay of the CIA as a way of squelching suspicions of conspiracy in the case of the murdered president. 

What is certain is that Dr. Louis Jolyon West, a renowned psychiatrist at the University of Oklahoma and subcontractor for the CIA’s mind-control program known as MK-ULTRA, examined Ruby and pronounced on his sanity while concealing his work for the CIA from JFK investigators and the public.

‘Jolly Phoned Me’

West inserted himself into the JFK assassination story. After Kennedy was shot dead in Dallas and Ruby executed Oswald on national TV two days later, West offered his psychiatric expertise to the Texas courts.

Jack Ruby, lower right, executes Lee Harvey Oswald on national television, Nov. 24, 1963.

West had already made a name for himself by examining American prisoners of war who had supposedly been “brainwashed” by their North Korean captors. According to O’Neill, West’s personal papers indicate he was “asked” by an unnamed person to put together a panel of psychiatrists to examine Ruby and to seek the approval of Judge Joe Brown, who was responsible for impaneling the grand jury that would indict Ruby.

“A few days after the assassination, Jolly phoned me to ask if I would be willing to have my name submitted to the court in Texas as possible psychiatric expert,” wrote one psychiatrist to the president of the American Psychiatric Association in June 1964. 

Judge Brown turned down West’s request for reasons unexplained. 

Unbeknownst to the court and the general public, West was a CIA contractor. Hired by the Agency’s Technical Service Division in 1955, he did research for the secret MK-ULTRA program, which sought to develop techniques of mind control. One of the goals was to create “materials and physical methods which will produce amnesia for events preceding and during their use” to use on unwitting subjects. In his MK-ULTRA work, West reported using hypnosis and sodium pentathol, sometimes known as “truth serum.”

“While he publicly denied being aware that the project was CIA funded,” wrote Muck Rock’s Emma Best in 2017, “documents show that he was explicitly aware of it and he was in direct contact with the CIA project heads.”

Excerpt from an MK-ULTRA document about Dr. Jolyon West of the Universtiy of Oklahoma . (Credit: MuckRock)

‘No Evidence of Psychotic Thinking’

The doctors who examined Ruby before West concluded that Ruby was sane. 

Dr. John T. Holbrook spoke with Oswald’s assassin on Nov. 25, 1963. While he left no written report, Holbrook said that Ruby was sane, according to the New York Times.

Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby, assassin of Lee Harvey Oswald.

A month later, Dr. Manfred Guttmacher evaluated Ruby. After visiting Ruby on December 21-22, 1963, Guttmacher stated “there is no evidence of psychotic thinking at this time — no actual breaks with reality are discernible.”

Dr. Robert Stubblefield first saw Ruby on January 28, 1964. At trial, Stubblefield testified that Ruby “is and was an emotionally unstable person.” He also “expressed the opinion Ruby was sane and capable of standing trial when the panel examined him in late January,” according to the Times. 

Stubblefield, the only doctor to examine Ruby before and after West, saw Ruby four more times in March, April and May 1964.

On March 14, 1964, Ruby was found guilty of “murder and malice” in killing Oswald. Ruby then fired his lawyer Melvin Belli and hired a new defense counsel, Dr. Hubert Winston Smith. Concerned that Ruby was despondent, Ruby’s family authorized Smith to hire an “internationally known psychiatrist,” as the New York Times reported.


‘Possibility of Toxic Psychosis’

Enter Dr. Jolyon West. A month later, on the afternoon of April 26, 1964, and the morning of April 27, West visited Ruby. He emerged from the jail cell to say Ruby had suffered an “acute psychotic break” and was now “positively insane.” Ruby, he reported, rammed his head into the wall of his cell. West wrote that “the patient became convinced that all Jews in America were being slaughtered” to which Ruby could “still hear the screams.” 

West’s report said that “hypnosis and intravenous sodium pentathol were included among possible techniques to provide further information concerning Mr. Ruby's state of mind at the time he shot Lee Harvey Oswald on 24 November 1963.” In other words, West considered using techniques on Ruby that he had utilized with CIA funding. Whether he actually used them is unclear.

Judge Brown then asked a “disinterested” practitioner, Dr. William Beavers, to investigate the apparent change in Ruby’s mental state. Two days later, Beavers saw Ruby and corroborated West’s evaluation.

“The possibility of toxic psychosis could be entertained,” Beaver added, “but is considered unlikely because of the protected situation.” In layman’s language, Beaver thought the change in Ruby’s affect could not have been induced by the administration of toxic substances because no one had access to Ruby in the jail. 

West did have access to Ruby, and also potentially the ability to administer the substances and technique. According to O’Neill, there were no witnesses to West’s examination of Ruby.

Beaver’s report, O’Neill notes, “would have turned out differently, no doubt, if he’d been apprised of West’s unorthodox fortes, and his long relationship with the Central Intelligence Agency.”

In early May 1964, CIA Deputy Director Richard Helms, who helped create the MK-ULTRA program in the early 1950s, testified behind closed doors to the Warren Commission. He answered questions from his former boss, Allen Dulles, the former director who served on the Commission. Dulles had approved MK-ULTRA funding throughout the 1950s. 

Needless to say, neither Helms nor Dulles disclosed West’s CIA connection to assassination investigators.

On May 11, Dr. Stubblefield saw Ruby again and concluded he “has had and has now an acute psychiatric illness with paranoid and depressive features.”

Jack Ruby’s business card

Erasing the Lines

West’s involvement in Jack Ruby’s case did not end there. 

In July 1965, psychiatrist Dr. Werner Tuteur was assigned to report on Ruby’s sanity to the court. Tuteur submitted a 14-page report to West, in which he reported Ruby felt “considerable guilt about the fact that he [Ruby] sent guns to Cuba” to help Fidel Castro’s uprising against the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista. Ruby felt “he ‘helped the enemy’ and incriminated himself,” Tuteur said. He quoted Ruby as saying, “They got what they wanted on me.’” 

What Ruby meant by this is not entirely clear. He seems to be saying that his gunrunning for Castro’s July 26 movement amounted to support for a communist, which made him look bad and feel guilty. “They,” possibly referring to the U.S. government, knew that he had “helped the enemy.” In any case, Ruby related his activities in Cuba to his standing in the eyes of the law.

Tuteur’s findings were directly relevant to the assassination investigation. Burt Griffin, an attorney for the Warren Commission, had investigated Ruby’s gunrunning activities to see if they might have created a motive for killing Oswald, a public supporter of Castro. 

West edited Tuteur’s report of July 22, 1965, in a way that eliminated all political references in favor of his own diagnosis. Tuteur wrote that it “must be remembered that only a part of his person is insane at this time,” which contradicted West’s view that Ruby was “positively insane.” West cut Tuteur’s observation. 

The original copy of Teteur’s 14-page report, found in West’s papers at the archive of University of California, Los Angeles, shows numerous sentences crossed out by West. The final notarized report, given to the court on September 3, 1965, is only 10 pages long and does not contain any of the quotes discussing Ruby’s feelings of guilt or his gunrunning in Cuba. 

“Erasing those lines,” O’Neill wrote, “West expunged the very evidence Griffin had been looking for.” The Warren Commission, he concluded, “was compromised the minute West set foot in Ruby’s jail cell.” 

Ruby died of lung cancer in January 1967. 

West died in January 1999. His dual roles as MK-ULTRA contractor and Ruby’s psychiatrist would remain unknown to the general public until publication of Tom O’Neill’s groundbreaking book."


I see a conspiracy under every bush. But then, the truth outdoes my imagination. 




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in

Sign In Now
  • Create New...