Did a Cabbie take Oswald and Ferrie to Ruby's Nightclub?
On March 9th, 1967 the press started reporting that a Dallas taxicab driver, Raymond Cummings, claimed to have driven Lee Harvey Oswald and David Ferrie to Jack Ruby's nightclub.
William Gurvich interviewed Cummings in Dallas. Here is his report.
Raymond Cummings then flew to New Orleans to meet with Garrison and his staff.
Cummings was then given a lie detector test.
For whatever it's worth, the lie detector test showed Cummings was not telling the truth.
In the meantime, Shaw's defense team had to look into Cummings. Here is their internal report.
One would hope that Garrison's investigators would have dug up the same information.
The Dallas police were also looking into Cummings.
Now, the whole story gets interesting. Ten years after the whole incident, Jim Garrison must have been reviewing his files (perhaps for his upcoming book) and marked up the Gurvich memo on Cummings. Here are two of his notations:
Here is what Garrison wrote:
9/9/77 Caveat: I have no way to evaluate the veracity of Raymond Cummings’ statement. It may be quite true – or it may be false. We internally were surprised by his apparent truthfulness in the telling the story, as I recall, and by some of his details. However, when he came to New Orleans – as he had volunteered – and took the lie detector test, the investigative service which provided the test reported to our office that he had “shown deception” with regard to substantive details of his story. This caused us to put this report on the back shelf. (Subsequently,) however, we learned that this “[investigative service] which was “helping” the office – had produced lie detector reports for 'deception’ whenever we sent anyone to them – particularly if the subject had any probative information for the JFK case.
Consequently, this report should be regard as unconfirmed and requiring further inquiry - but until such further inquiry or possible collateral corroboration, should not be totally dismissed out of hand."
He also added a notation to the file folder:
The lie detector test had been organized by William Gurvich's firm - Gurvich ultimately defected from Garrison's staff in June 1967. Now Garrison thinks that Cummings is a "possibly good lead," but that it was "torpedoed" by the lie detector test.
This would all be comical if it were not repeated in Joan Mellen's book, A Farewell to Justice (page 112).
Garrison did not use Cummings in his book On The Trail of the Assassins, but Joan Mellen had no problem with rehabilitating the lead - even claiming that Garrison "regretted" his head not used Cummings as a witness.
In any investigation with a ton of publicity, a lot of people will come forward. In this case, Raymond Cummings had a story that was very appealing to Garrison. With little investigation, Shaw's defense team knew there was nothing to this story - and yet it's still in one of the major books on the case.