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  • Writer's pictureFred Litwin

Was Jack Ruby Injected with Cancer?

On a recent podcast with Trey Elling, James DiEugenio brings up the possibility that Jack Ruby was injected with cancer.

Here is an excerpt from a transcript: (1:17:38)

James DiEugenio: So, one of the appeals grounds that Phil Burleson, who was on the original defense team, appealed on was that the judge made a mistake in not changing the venue, all right. Well, the appeals court ended up agreeing with that ground and they granted Ruby a new trial. So, what happens a month later (laughter), a month later, what happens is that Ruby in the space of a few weeks, okay, goes from bad to worse and he dies of cancer, okay, while he's in the Dallas Police lockup, all right. Now many people, including Norman Mailer, is one of them, you know, wonder was that just a coincidence or did they just not want to give Ruby a trial in a more fair venue. You know, with a different way to uh uh somehow formulate what really happened that day, you know. And you and you really do have to wonder, there's been a lot of research done on more than one person about the possibility of injecting somebody with cancer, okay, and some scientists tend to agree that you can, you know. Of course, we're never gonna know but the presence of Jolly West, you know, in Ruby's cell I think raises some, let us say provocative questions, about what happened to Jack Ruby, you know, and why on earth you would ever let West in there, you know, is really kind of mind-boggling.

Louis Jolyon West was a psychiatrist who interviewed Jack Ruby in 1964. In the 1950s, he was involved with the MK-Ultra program. A future blog post will look at conspiracy allegations related to West.

The theory that Jack Ruby was injected with cancer is not new. Jim Marrs has an entire section in his book, Crossfire, on "The Sudden Death of Jack Ruby."

One of the earliest mentions of the allegation was in the Morning Sentinel (Maine) of January 19, 1967:

Oliver Stone wrote a scene in JFK in which Ruby gets an injection, but it didn't make the final cut (although it is a deleted scene on the DVD/Blu-Ray): (Page 60 in JFK: The Documented Screenplay)


Jack Ruby, thick fudge of an angry face, flu-ridden, confronts a doctor and two guards in his cell.

RUBY: Christ, what the hell kinda needle is that? I just got a cold for Chrissake. I don’t want any shot!

DOCTOR: Please relax, Mr. Ruby. This’ll calm you down and clear this up.

RUBY: Doc, I’m telling you, I don’t need any shots.

DOCTOR: Mr. Ruby, I don’t want to involve the guards. It’ll just take a few seconds. Ruby looks over at the two guards, who eye him. The Doctor gives him the injection.

Even Dr. Cyril Wecht believes this is impossible. Here is an excerpt from his book The JFK Assassination Dissected: (Page 168)

I’ve been asked many times whether I believe Ruby was injected with some sort of “fast-acting cancer-causing drug,” or cancer cells themselves, by people who wanted to silence him permanently. My answer has always been the same: Not a chance. First, I have never heard of a fast-acting, cancer-causing drug. Perhaps some evil genius has created a potion, but in the more than 60,000 death cases I’ve investigated, I’ve never encountered any such substance. But even back in 1963, if there were a researcher with knowledge and experience in biomedical weaponry, and who had access to Ruby, would any possible gain from dosing and killing him be worth the risk of being caught in the act?

Second, Ruby’s primary cancer was in his lungs and spread outward to his organs. At autopsy, Ruby’s brain, alone, had 15 tumors. All of that takes an amount of time to manifest and could mean he didn’t have regular doctor visits when the symptoms first arose. Whether that was before JFK’s assassination or during his time in jail, I can’t say—but no doctor testified or was mentioned as having treated him for anything prior to his hospitalization.

Third, although Ruby was not a smoker, he spent a lot of time in his nightclubs during a time when people smoked like chimneys. Ruby’s lung cancer might well have been from secondhand smoke. Of course, sometimes people who are nonsmokers and never around smokers develop and die of lung cancer. It’s a pernicious disease.

Fourth, no one needed to stop Ruby from talking because he had no intention of doing so. Ruby’s overweening desire was to control the spotlight that was on him, while making sure it did not shine on anything he wanted to keep in the dark. He got into his mind that he could pass any polygraph test and likely expected that would affect the way the public, and hopefully a new jury, would see him. Whether that was arrogance or ignorance, or both, I don’t know. But it actually worked, to a degree.

Over the past several months, I have shown in multiple blog posts how Oliver Stone's documentary series, JFK Revisited and JFK: Destiny Betrayed, misleads viewers. In fact, despite months of work, there are still many more misleading segments that need to be addressed. It's no wonder that the fact checkers of Netflix nixed the airing of the films.

There is a choice between four hours of tendentious nonsense (JFK: Destiny Betrayed) and two hours (JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass). As a handy guide for viewers, here are all those posts in order of their appearance in JFK: Destiny Betrayed and JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass, preceded by some general critiques.

The Viewer's Guide has now been updated to include the sources from my new book, Oliver Stone's Film-Flam: The Demagogue of Dealey Plaza.


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