Guide to the John Joseph Toth Papers 1954-1963 MG 1545
TABLE OF CONTENTS
52 Park Place
Newark, New Jersey 07102
Contact: NJHS Library
Phone: (973) 596-8500 x249
© 2005 All rights reserved.
The New Jersey Historical Society, Publisher
Inventory prepared by Erin Coffey.
Finding aid encoded by Julia Telonidis. March 2005. Production of the EAD 2002 version of this finding aid was made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Finding aid written in English.
John Joseph Toth was born in Trenton, New Jersey in 1929. He worked as a television repairman before entering the New Jersey State Police Academy in 1954. After 16 weeks of training he was assigned to the Riverton, New Jersey barracks.
In December 1957, Toth was assigned by the State Police to be Governor Meyner’s personal chauffeur. He stayed at this post for two months before returning to regular duty.
In June 1958, Major Douglas C. Borchard of the New Jersey State Police requested that Toth be registered for classes at the Keeler Polygraph Institute in Chicago. He was accepted and attended their summer program from July 21-August 29, 1958. In a letter dated August 18, 1958, Toth informed his superiors that he was ranked first in his class of eleven men.
Toth used this training in many high-profile court cases. He was the polygraph examiner in the first New Jersey trial that admitted polygraph results as evidence. The test results helped acquit a 23-year old of armed robbery. Toth was often commended by his superior officers for his excellent interviewing skills and his technical knowledge of the polygraph machine. Toth was promoted to Detective Second-Class in 1963.
This collection contains photographs, papers, and newspaper articles relating to John Joseph Toth’s career as a New Jersey State Trooper. The photographs include Toth in uniform and with colleagues. There are also personal photographs of Toth with family and friends and as a high school football coach. The collection also contains 10 get-well cards from friends and a matchbook with Governor Meyner’s name printed on it. There is also a booklet titled Rivalry about the Lincoln-Douglas debates.
The newspaper articles pertain to cases Toth was involved in either as an investigator or as a polygraph examiner. There are multiple articles on many of the court trials that provide good background information on the facts of the case. There are also several articles with photographs of Toth demonstrating the use of the polygraph machine.
The papers in the collection are all work-related and include transcripts of Toth’s interviews and polygraph examinations. There are also many letters of commendation from Toth’s superiors for his help in solving cases through the use of the polygraph machine. In one case he is thanked for helping get a confession out of a suspect who allegedly stole $2000 dollars from the trunk of an automobile.
The collection also contains a scrapbook kept by Toth. The scrapbook includes his admission letter to the New Jersey State Police Academy as well as his training schedule at the academy. Also included are police reports filed by Toth and his schedule as Governor Meyner’s driver.
This collection should be cited as: Manuscript Group 1545, John Joseph Toth Papers, The New Jersey Historical Society.
This collection was donated by Gary Van Dzura in 2002.