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  • Writer's pictureFred Litwin

Did Dr. Louis Jolyon West Ask to Examine Jack Ruby in November 1963?

We know that Dr. West examined Jack Ruby in April of 1964 after the completion of his trial. However, there is also an allegation that West petitioned the court to examine Ruby before his trial. Conspiracy theorist Max Good tweeted:

Seemingly as soon as the story of Oswald's murder hit the presses, Jolly West tried to insinuate himself into the case. He hoped to assemble a panel of "experts in behavior problems" to weigh in on Ruby's mental state. He took the extraordinary measure of approaching Judge Joe B. Brown, who'd impaneled the grand jury that indicted Ruby. West wanted the judge to appoint him to the case. At that time, police hadn't revealed any substantial information about Ruby, his psychological condition, or his possible motive. And West was vague about his motive, too. Three documents among his papers said he's been "asked" by someone, although he never said who, to seek the appointment from Brown "a few days after the assassination," a fact never before made public.

So, what exactly happened? Did Dr. Louis Jolyon West petition Judge Brown to allow him to examine Jack Ruby?

Here is an article from the Daily Oklahoman from November 30, 1963:

Quotes from the above article:

A panel of nationally-known psychiatrists will serve -- if asked -- as "friends of the court" in the Dallas trial of Jack Ruby, slayer of the man who killed President Kennedy.
The move was disclosed in Oklahoma City Friday night by Dr. L. J. West, of the University of Oklahoma medical school. Dr. West, head of the OU psychiatry department, said such a course had been suggested by a group of Dallas medical and legal experts who hope to avoid a circus atmosphere in the Ruby trial.


At least 10 nationally-known experts in legal psychiatry have indicated to Dr. West they are willing to serve as "amici curiae," or friends of the court.


Heading the Dallas group is Charles W. Webster, professor of criminal law at Southern Methodist University, Dallas.
Dr. West said he had been contacted by Professor Webster to sound out possibility of arranging such a panel.
The president of the American Psychiatric Association, Dr. Jack R. Ewalt, told Dr. West he would appoint a panel of three impartial experts in legal psychiatry if the Texas court requests the panel.

Here is another such article from the Corpus Christi Times of November 30, 1963:

West said to the Daily Oklahoman reporter that he was contacted by Webster. This article says that Webster was contacted by West about the panel.. Hard to know who exactly contacted who. But Webster was to be the spokesperson for the APA, who would submit a list of ten psychiatrists to Judge Brown. He would then pick three to examine Ruby. If Webster approached Judge Brown, he was apparently turned down.

So, Dr. West did not petition the court and it was not clear if he was even on the list of ten psychiatrists being compiled for the court.

There is nothing nefarious about this at all.

I don't know if he still thinks something funny was going on.

Previous Relevant Blog Post

There is absolutely no evidence that Dr. Louis Jolyon West interfered with Jack Ruby's case.


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