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Rose on Ruby

In 2006, I wrote what I called an "alternative Ruby timeline". Here is what I said in part, with the relevant section of the footnote highlighted

December 9, 1966: Ruby is admitted to Parkland Hospital in Dallas, apparently suffering from pneumonia. Testing quickly reveals lung cancer.

January 3, 1967: Ruby dies in hospital of a blood clot in the lungs which has traveled from his leg. (12)

(12) The number one cause of lung cancer is cigarette smoking, representing 85 to 90 percent of all cases. Other causes include exposure to radon, asbestos, nickel, chloromethyl ether, chromium, beryllium and arsenic (a by-product of copper), as well as exposure to passive smoke or "second-hand" smoke. A person is "at risk" of developing lung cancer if they: smoke; are over the age of 50; work in industries where substances such as asbestos, nickel, chloromethyl ether, chromium, beryllium or arsenic are used; have or have had a lung disease; have a family history of lung cancer; are former smokers; have been exposed to second-hand smoke over many years or; have been exposed to radon. (Tenet Health Care Corporation Library) As a non-smoker, Ruby’s only risk factors would, on the surface, appear to be his age, and long-term exposure to second-hand smoke. In jail, Ruby reported to one of his psychiatrists, Dr Manfred Guttmacher, that he had been to see Dr Ulevich on November 11, 1963 due to a bronchial cough. Dr Ulevitch took x-rays, but Ruby had been too busy to get the results. He believed he had "walking pneumonia". (DPD JFK files) The previously mentioned, Dr Walter Bromberg, stated in his report that Ruby had felt he suffered pneumonia on and off for a number of years. (DPD JFK files) It was a diagnosis of pneumonia, as we have seen, which resulted in Ruby being sent to Parkland Hospital. "Walking pneumonia" is caused by mycoplasma – the smallest free-living organism known to man. One of the characteristics of these tiny organisms is their ability to completely mimic or copy the protein of the host cell which can cause the immune system to attack the body’s own cells; an event that happens in all auto-immune diseases. First isolated in humans in 1932, it was not until the 1950s that one strain was identified as the cause of atypical ("walking") pneumonia. (Web Article: Mycoplasmas - Stealth Pathogens). Before death, Ruby’s cancer had spread to both his liver and his brain. This tends to rule out second-hand smoke as the culprit because although small cell lung cancer is the type that spreads quickly to other organs, it is most often found in people who are themselves heavy smokers. (Rhodes Island Cancer Council). What we are left with then, is some other carcinogen as the probable cause. Beryllium is one logical answer given beryllium dust shuts down the immune system, allowing the lungs to be damaged, and tumors to form and spread to other organs. It also creates ideal conditions for mycoplasma to thrive. (The Unified Health Physics Modelling Scientific Report). It is not a stretch to suggest that Ruby may have first come into contact with beryllium whilst in the Army Air Force and stationed at Farmingdale where the F-12 was being built, since this heavy metal is much used in the aviation and space industries. His association with the National Research Corporation through John C Jackson provides a second possibility for beryllium exposure to have occurred. The NRC was named in a May 25, 2001 report issued by the US General Accounting Office as being one of the locations where beryllium was used or detected. The evidence however, points only to low grade exposure in the 1950‘s (and possibly back to the 1940‘s), causing atypical recurring pneumonia, and a weakened immune system rather than cancerous tumors (which would have required a higher exposure): nothing lethal if he kept fit and otherwise healthy. That Ruby was a health and fitness fanatic indicates he may have had some knowledge of his exposure. So what did happened to trigger cancer? Alan Adelson tells us in "The Ruby Oswald Affair" that Jack’s sister, Eva Grant, first noticed Jack’s illness as early as June, 1966, and that by September, he was throwing up every day. If his illness was evident in June 1966, then it is feasible that the onset of cancer coincided with Dr Jolyon West’s visit in April, 1964 to administer hypnosis and drugs (refer to note 10). This was the month after the trial ended, and when appeals would be in full swing. It is unfortunately common for such a period of time to pass between onset and when symptoms become manifest. In this case, it took another 7 months after the onset of symptoms before a diagnosis of lung cancer was made. It is possible, but unlikely, that Ruby had the cancer prior to the assassination. This is because of the x-rays Dr Ulevitch took of Ruby’s chest on November 11. Though not fool proof, most lung cancer patients show an abnormal x ray. (Cancerline UK). It is widely known that Ruby believed injections he was being given, were cancer cells. He truly believed he was being murdered in this most unusual manner. And why would he not be paranoid about such a possibility since in January 1964, it was widely reported that elderly patients at the Jewish Chronic Disease Hospital in Brooklyn had been injected with live cancer cells as part of an experiment conducted by two eminent physicians from Sloan-Kettering? A court battle over the records of patients involved kept the story bubbling until at least 1966. Deputy sheriff Al Maddox claimed to researchers in the 1980s that the doctor who gave Ruby the injections was from Chicago. Though not from Chicago, Alan Adelson said he had met with Dr Jolyon West in the Windy City to discuss the case. (Earl Ruby HSCA testimony) The last word however, probably should go to the Inspector General in reference to CIA medical experiments: "The risk of compromise of the program through correct diagnosis of an illness by an unwitting medical specialist is regularly considered and is stated to be a governing factor in the decision to conduct a given test. The Bureau officials also maintain close working relations with local police authorities which could be utilized to protect the activity in critical situations." (July 26, 1963 memo from JS Eamon to Director, CIA).


So in essence, I had suggested that the cancer did not have the sudden onset that some suggest, but that it went back to at least April 1964 and, though unlikely, it may have preceded the assassination.

I have since found a paper written by Dr Earl Rose for the Summer 1970 edition of the Missouri Law Review in which he puts forward a slight variation on this theme. Dr Rose was more open to the onset of cancer preceding the assassination. Moreover, he suggests that the cancer itself may explain Ruby's behavior in his shooting of Oswald - although he also concludes it would be difficult to prove a causal relationship because such a relationship may prove quite subtle.
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Bundles of newsprint, articles and books have been written about the defendant, the defense strategy, and the trial.7 7 The issue upon which the defense based its case was lack of consciousness at the time of the killing and the inability of Ruby, whom the defense claimed had a type of seizure, epilepsy, or epileptic variant (psychomotor epilepsy), to form the proper intent.

The biological behavior of tumors, particularly Ruby's lung tumor, represents a partial affirmative answer to the question, of "could the primary lung tumor have been present at the time of the assassination?" Although X-rays of the lungs taken in 1964 failed to reveal the presence of the tumor, it is doubtful that the diagnosis would have been made with even the most sophisticated diagnostic procedures available, for in order to be demonstrable by X-rays tumors must be quite well developed in their growth. Nevertheless, from our knowledge of the biological behavior of tumors, it must be concluded that the tumor  antedated both the trial and the criminal act. Similarly this tumor could well have been the source of neoplasticae noxae, toxins arising in tumors.

Cancers of the lung are those most often associated with systemic effects, including aberrant behavior, not attributable to tumor metastases or pressure on the brain. Tumor metastases to the brain of Ruby were demonstrated at the time of the autopsy. This is significant because electroencephalographic (EEG) abnormalities, a subject of controversy among batteries of experts, were confined to the side of the brain opposite the tumor metastasis which makes it most unlikely that the EEG abnormalities were attributable to tumor spread. Suffice it to say, the localization of the EEG abnormalities, if they did indeed exist, were not at a site of demonstrable tumor metastasis or gross abnormality. Thus, based upon this author's knowledge of medicine in general and pathology in particular, it is impossible to express a categorical scientific opinion as to the causal relationship between the lung neoplams, the tumor spread, turmor hormones, constitutional background, and/or EEG abnormalities and the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald by Jack Ruby.

It is difficult to correlate organic disease to criminal behavior, for the causal relationship may be quite subtle. Proof might be possible if a particular type of action were relieved by the removal of a tumor or the curing of the organic disease, but this type of scientific investigation is not available to the trial court. At the time of Ruby's trial there was no suspicion of an organic disease, aside from the belabored EEG's. Indeed, this issue could not have been raised at the time of the trial, for it was not until his terminal illness that an autopsy was performed and the presence of the organic disease was discovered.

My own thoughts on Rose's piece?

I think we can now do away with any notion that Ruby was "given" cancer in late 1966 - even if such had been possible.

I still believe Ruby was subjected to "coercive persuasion" prior to his shooting of Oswald, but perhaps Rose's theory holds some water insofar as making him more susceptible to this type of persuasion.