Chris Gugas, Sr., R.I.P.

Chris Gugas, Sr.

The Washington Post reports the passing of Chris Gugas, Sr., a founding member and past president of the American Polygraph Association who worked for the CIA in the early 1950s. Mr. Gugas died of congestive heart failure on 20 October 2007. The most prominent of his more than 40,000 polygraph examinations was that of James Earl Ray, the man convicted for the 1968 assassination of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Gugas judged Ray deceptive.

Update: The Los Angeles Times has also published an obituary.

Comments 15

  • I am sorry to hear of his passing, I knew him well and he did many poly’s on me for both the CIA and later for Ted Koppel of ABC News over Operation Grand Eagle. I hope now the results will be made public since the Gov. stopped Koppel from releasing them and the US Senate stopped them until of his death.

  • Chris was a special friend. I operated in Ireland for eleven years, gaining the trust of certain members of the various Republican groups. At one point five people were arrested for terrorism and sentenced to long jail terms. Some of my Irish friends contacted me to see what I could do, assuring me that the five were not theirs. Chris came over and tested the people. As a result of his work the five were released by the British government.

    At that time Chris told me that he owed me one.

    In 1991 I was sent to assist the Haitian government, during the murderous 1991 – 1994 embargo. Aristide’s government had become too brutal. His own parliament had a non-confidence vote against him in which only 11 voted for him, 83 against. On the night of September 29, 1991 Aristide ordered the murder of 8 political opponents, just before he flew into exile. His murder squads managed to kill presidential candidates Sylvio Claude and Doctor Roger Lafontant.

    Aristide gave Captain Stage Doura – commander of the prison – direct order to kill Lafontant, a prisoner. This he did.

    I arranged for Chris to come to Haiti and polygraph Doura in front of the world media. The Haitians never moved, but the F.B.I. sent their own polygraph expert who confirmed Aristide’s part in the killings.

    If we had completed the project with Chris, Aristide would have been toast – forever. Instead, he sits like a spider in his web – South Africa – waiting to pounce once again.

    We will all miss Chris.

    Lynn Garrison

  • I was in Haiti during the period when Lynn Garrison set up a program to have Chris Gugas polygraph the former head Haiti’s National Jail. We were going to have Chris, and the Haitian captain in one room, with the media in the other. Closed circuit TV would have given a real time playback for the reporters. After the test a videotape would have been provided. Intervews given. We were ready to spread the word but, as I understand it, the Prime Minister, Marc Bazin, derailed the process. He wanted to be paid so the concept collapsed.

    At this point the F.B.I flew their own expert in and carried out the examination with a Haitian translator present. As I recall, her name was something like Vivian Boulos. The F.B.I guy said that his examination proved Aristide had ordered the murders. I guess murdering a Haitian presidential candidate doesn’t count for much in our world of international politics.

    Aristide lives – protected – in South Africa on into 2009

  • I’m very sorry to hear that Chris had passed on, I talked to him on the telephone just prior to his heart failure.
    Chris and I had worked together for a number of years and we were the best of friends we worked on many cases and also some clandestine cases as well I’m very sorry to hear of his passing and my best wishes go to his wife Ann.
    We worked together in his private business as well as the government.

    I shall remember him always not only as a friend but also as a mentor and one of the founders of the California Association of licensed investigators.

    So farewell to a great man
    Jack Harding

  • I met Chris in 1980 and worked with him until he moved back to Omaha in the 90.s. Chris founded the National Polygraph Association in late 1988. He was one of the most conscientious examiners I have ever known.

    The world was a better place with him in it.

    Marie and I thought the world of You and Ann and looked forward to “breakfast at Billy’s”. I will see you in a better place.

    John McGavock

  • You are a national legend and a hero to us all. He is still alive in our hearts!

  • Sounds like a bit of a dick to me.

  • @james ray
    that’s my grandpa show some respect

    • Your Grand Father was and always will be remembered at a really Great Man, I knew him and Ann well and enjoyed working with him as well as his love for God and the Truth

  • @Andy Wright
    thank you!!! my grandpa was a great man

  • @Lynn Garrison
    hi lynn, i was so sad to hear of chris gugas death, in 1979 he came to my hometown of derry, nothern ireland to give polygraph tests to my 3 friends and myself, aged 17yrs old the 4 of us were charged with the murder of a british soldier, when chris did the test on us 4 it proved that we were totally innocent of all charges, sadly after 32yrs we are still fighting to clear our names, what a wonderful man chris was, and may he rest in peace.

  • Danielle, your grandad was a wonderful man who did fantastic work, i still have his picture and a lovely letter your grandmother sent to my family when chris returned to the states from northern ireland.

  • I met Mr. Gugas in Fairfax, VA in 2001, I loved to hear his stories of his inventions and Toys for Tots. RIP Sir, you are well deserving. So sorry for your loss. I had just lost my dad a few months earlier. God Bless you all. Betty

  • I only know Chris through a Google search which brought me here. After watching an old episode of You Bet Your Life, Mr. Gugas appeared in one show as a contestant, while also conducting a very funny polygraph on Groucho Marx.

  • […] subject of the two-page report, dated 14 August 1968, is Chris Gugas (1921-2007), a former CIA intelligence officer and staff agent. According to the document, during […]

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