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Joe Bauer


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Here is another instance that Spence let go by.

If you can believe it, Bugliosi had his photo expert Cecil Kirk testify on a medical matter.  He had Kirk testify that because the Z film depicts JFK slightly titled forward at Z 313, and the head burst appears to go straight up at that point, this means that the bullet entered from behind.  (RP, p. 61)

Again, to my knowledge,  Spence let this go by.  If it had been me I would have asked Kirk if he was a doctor.  I would have then asked him if he had experience with forensic pathology, especially the way skulls react to bullet impact.  I then would have asked him, "Do you know what cavitation is?"

I then would have walked up with DeMaio's book, and opened it to the page which explains this all in detail.  When bullets hit the skull from either direction, the bloodburst breaks open the skull at its weakest point.  This is usually along the suture lines.  It has nothing to do with  directionality.  It has everything to do with internal physics. 

 I would then retrieve the book, and tell Kirk, "Not your fault Cecil. "  I would have then stared at Bugliosi, and said, "Most lawyers understand the different between photo optics and medical matters. 

(Courtesy of Mili Cranor for this info. She told me she sat in a library for about four hours one afternoon going through one of DeMaio's books and found this out.)

Edited by James DiEugenio

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James DiEugenio said:

If you can believe it, Bugliosi had his photo expert Cecil Kirk testify on a medical matter. He had Kirk testify that because the Z film depicts JFK slightly [tilted] forward at Z 313, and the head burst appears to go straight up at that point, this means that the bullet entered from behind.

What in the heck are you talking about? Cecil Kirk didn't testify about any "medical matter" at all. He testified only about things relating to photo interpretation. Why Jim DiEugenio is saying otherwise is a mystery.

In addition, Kirk didn't say a single word about JFK's head being "tilted forward" at the time of the head shot. Not a word. And neither did Bugliosi. They did, however, talk about how President Kennedy's head was seen by Kirk and the rest of the HSCA's Photographic Panel to move slightly FORWARD an instant after the bullet struck JFK in the head. Here is that testimony:

VINCENT BUGLIOSI -- "In addition to the spray of brain matter--all to the front--do frames 313 and 314 [of the Zapruder Film] actually show the President's head being pushed forward slightly by the momentum of the bullet?"

CECIL KIRK -- "Yes, it does."

Kirk's testimony at the 1986 mock trial can be seen below. And we can easily see that Kirk is not testifying about any "medical matter" at all. His testimony deals only with photo and film interpretation.* (And, btw, I did, indeed, check every reference to "Cecil Kirk" in my searchable PDF version of Bugliosi's book, "Reclaiming History", because I know there are a lot of excerpts used by Mr. Bugliosi from the over 1,000 pages of the transcript for the '86 mock trial, with many of those excerpts and witness quotes not showing up when the trial was shown on television in 1986 and again in 1988. But I did not find any references in Vince's book to Kirk testifying to any "medical matters" at all. He only talked about matters of photo interpretation.)

* And it would certainly seem as if Cecil Kirk was definitely qualified to interpret the photos and films in the JFK murder case, including the interpretation (from the standpoint of a photographic expert only, not as a "medical" expert) of what it means when we see all that spray of blood and brain tissue coming out the front of the President's head just after Zapruder frame #313.**

Here's what Vince Bugliosi had to say about Cecil Kirk's qualifications as a photographic expert:

"Kirk had been the sergeant who headed the Mobile Crime Lab and Photographic Services Unit for the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia. This unit was responsible for the preparation of the photographic exhibits for the HSCA hearings and final report. .... Kirk, considered one of the nation's leading experts in forensic photography and forensic crime-scene technology, and a former lecturer on forensic crime photography at the FBI Academy, was now [in May of 1986] director of the Support Services Bureau for the Scottsdale Police Department." -- Vincent Bugliosi; Pages 485-486 of "Reclaiming History"

** But despite Kirk's qualifications, I strongly disagree with him and the HSCA Photo Panel's conclusion regarding the timing of the SBT gunshot.

Cecil Kirk's '86 Testimony:

More of DiEugenio's errors and misrepresentations are corrected here:

Edited by David Von Pein

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Bugliosi was always as shamelessly self-promoting as Spence.

And Bugliosi milked his Manson trial performance to an almost desperate degree knowing full well this was his lucky "once-in-a-lifetime" spring board to fame and personal wealth gain.

Regards the Lee Oswald London trial and the critics reviews of it, he cites the quote " Vincent Bugliosi and Gerry Spence do battle in a fashion that puts Perry Mason and the entire firm of "L.A. Law" to shame." from the San Jose Mercury newspaper.   Ha!

I have watched almost every Perry Mason episode on "Me TV" and let me tell you, I sure disagree with that S.J. Mercury review.

I've also watched every segment of the London Oswald trial on You Tube many, many times.

It's main appeal to me was that the witnesses called to testify were some of the actual participants in the JFK/Oswald/Ruby story.

But I always feel a cringe when I watch how Spence missed SO MANY opportunities to , as Jim Di says, "impale" many of these witnesses and Bugliosi himself.

Which he could have easily done...but he simply didn't.  Why?

You are too often left with the unsettling question - could Spence actually be that unprepared or uninformed or unmotivated or just plain lazy...or even compromised in some way?  His effort in this way was that lacking imo.

All of us in this forum ( and how many of us outside of Doug Caddy are even half way familiar with courtroom and cross examination procedure? ) could still easily see these missed opportunities. They were that obvious.

I agree with every point that Jim Di makes in this regards.

Bethesda Corpsman Paul O'Conner was "right there" working on JFK's body from beginning to the end of the autopsy. His description of there being "no brain to remove" from JFK when asked if he removed this ( as this was one of his main and specific job duties ) was so incredibly provocative it begged (screamed) for a deeper line of questions such as how this could physically be?  What could cause the brain to be almost entirely missing before O'Conner had a chance to remove it himself?

When Spence asked O'Conner how much brain was left in the cranium, O'Conner held out his hand and indicated it was maybe a "handful?'

A handfull?  Maybe even "half" a handful?

So much for the autopsy report that said the brain was removed and put into preservation fluid.

It wasn't O'Conner who removed JFK's brain using the usual involved skull sawing and nerve and connective tissue cutting procedure as he outlined it.

With admitted medical and gun shot injury ignorance, it sounds to me as if JFK's brain was blown into mush to a point that it fell out of his brain cavity from simple gravity.

What could turn JFK"s brain into gelatinous mush like that?

One old Carcano bullet?




Edited by Joe Bauer

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Nearly all of JFK's brain was inside his head at his autopsy. You surely don't buy Paul O'Connor's tale, do you?

Related discussion (from March 2015)....


He [DVP] is also flagrantly dodging the 1500 gram weight presented in his own Commission evidence.


And can you explain just exactly WHY the Warren Commission, if they were the rotten cover-up operatives you obviously think they were, would want to put something in their own report that they knew would PROVE to people like Ralph Yates that a conspiracy existed?

Was the Commission doing the CTers a big favor by deliberately throwing them a bread crumb that proves conspiracy? Or were all of the Warren Commission members just incredibly stupid and reckless?


Even though what I said in a prior post is certainly true enough -- "Fantasy doesn't require debunking" -- I'll provide the following passages from Vincent Bugliosi's "Reclaiming History" anyway. The book excerpts presented below will, of course, be totally ignored by Mr. Yates and most other conspiracy theorists of the world, but to a reasonable person looking for reasonable and logical answers, instead of searching "Two Brains Fantasy Land" for the answers, Mr. Bugliosi has got the "brain" subject covered nicely here....

---quote on:---

"How much of the president’s brain was missing? From the autopsy report, we know that the left hemisphere of Kennedy’s brain was “intact” (CE 391, 16 H 987). But in addition to lab technician Paul O’Connor’s demonstrably incorrect statement that virtually the whole brain was “missing,” there were others who have said that most of the right hemisphere was missing.

FBI agent Francis O’Neill said that “[well] more than half [of] the brain was missing” (ARRB Transcript of Proceedings, Deposition of Francis X. O’Neill, September 12, 1997, pp.115–117, 164–166). And too many to quote have argued that since a considerable part of the right hemisphere of the president’s brain was missing, how could the brain, per the autopsy report, have weighed “1,500 grams”? Since the average brain, they argue, weighs around 1,400 grams (at 450 grams per pound, about 3 pounds), how could the president’s brain, after losing so much brain matter, weigh more than the average brain?

The answer is that the president’s brain did NOT lose much brain matter. “Contrary to the myth,” Dr. Michael Baden told me, people who have said that the president lost a good part of his brain “are absolutely wrong.”

Baden says he saw the photographs taken of the president’s brain at the time of the autopsy, and under his direction the HSCA’s medical illustrator, Ida Dox, drew a diagram of the brain viewed from the top. (See sketch in photo section of book.)

As Baden said in his testimony before the HSCA, the diagram “represents [the] extensive damage and injury to the right top of the brain” (1 HSCA 304). (“It’s an exact depiction,” he told me.) Note the words “damage and injury” as opposed to saying a large part of the brain was “missing.”

And, indeed, the autopsy report says nothing about any significant part of the brain being missing, merely saying, “The right cerebral hemisphere is found to be markedly disrupted”.

“Basically, the president’s whole brain was still there,” Baden said. “The right hemisphere was severely damaged and torn, but less than an ounce or two of his brain was actually missing from the cranial cavity. If you squash a tomato, some would look at it and loosely say that most of the tomato was missing, but actually it’s still all there, only it’s mashed. That’s the only explanation I can give you for how some people have said that a big part of the brain was missing. But they are wrong.”

However, since Baden conceded that the president had indeed lost at least an ounce or two of his brain (there are 28 grams to an ounce), I asked him how he explained that the president’s brain, which weighed 1,500 grams, ended up weighing as much as it did, more than the average brain of around 1,400 grams? Was it simply that he had a larger brain?

“When the brain is injured,” Baden said, “this causes edema fluids to leak out of the blood vessels into the surrounding brain tissue, causing the brain to be swollen and increasing its weight. The increased weight to the president’s brain is from the swelling.” (Telephone interview of Dr. Michael Baden by author [Vincent Bugliosi] on March 29, 2002)

But in response to Dr. Gary Aguilar telling Dr. Boswell about the “1,500 grams” of “brain weight,” Dr. Boswell told Aguilar, “I suspect that weight was probably the formalin-fixed brain” (Transcript of taped telephone interview of Dr. Boswell by Dr. Gary Aguilar on March 8, 1994, p.2, submitted to author [Bugliosi] in letter from Aguilar of August 29, 2000).

And Dr. Baden said that completely independent of edema, “Once a brain is put in formalin, it sometimes can gain or lose up to 100 grams dependent upon the concentration of the formalin solution. If the formalin fluid is more concentrated, then it will remove fluid from the brain and make the brain slightly lighter than it was on removal from the cranium. If the formalin fluid is less concentrated, then the brain can gain fluid by absorbing water from the formalin and getting slightly heavier. I don’t know which was the case here, but usually the brain is weighed before it is put in formalin. Here it was weighed after” (Telephone interview of Dr. Michael Baden by author [Bugliosi] on April 11, 2004).

It should be added that it is only an assumption that President Kennedy’s brain weighed around 1,400 grams before the assassination. We don’t know that, it being mere speculation. Actually, the average weight of the brain for someone the president’s age (it varies with age, not the size of the person) is 1,366 grams, and the range is from 1,069 to 1,605 grams.

And the average weight increase after formalin soaking is 8.8 percent, the range being from 3.3 to 19.2 percent. (Ludwig, Current Methods of Autopsy Practice [2nd Edition; 1979], p.666; see also Blinkov and Glezer, [The] Human Brain in Figures and Tables [A Quantitative Handbook; 1968], pp.3–4, 277, for discussion and tables on the increase in brain weight when there is formalin fixation by immersion, which we had in the case of JFK’s brain, as opposed to perfusion or injection of the formalin through the blood vessels. The latter technique results in less weight increase than the immersion technique. Also, the concentration of the formalin, as Dr. Baden says, affects the weight, and there appears to be no record of what the concentration was in this case.)"

-- Vincent T. Bugliosi; Pages 283-285 of Endnotes in "Reclaiming History"




Edited by David Von Pein

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1 hour ago, Joe Bauer said:

I absolutely believe Paul O'Conner's [sic] testimony regards what he saw of JFK's brain.

Therefore, you don't believe a single word of this Supplementary Autopsy Report regarding the examination made of the brain you (and Mr. O'Connor) say was blown completely out of JFK's cranium, right?



Edited by David Von Pein

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We already know that a certain amount of JFK's brain matter ( along with a lot of blood and other fluid ) exploded  upward and outward upon the bullet's initial impact.

Agent Sam Kinney and others also reported seeing actual brain matter in the back seat interior of the limo car as they were trying to clean up at least some of the blood.

That suggests that beyond the part of JFK's brain that was instantly turned into and ejected as a liquefied spray, that even more eviscerated brain matter was falling out of his shattered skull from simple gravity.

The limo following motorcycle officers ( one ? ) said they were hit with matter and describe it's force which indicates it wasn't just a blood spray.

So, the fact that at least some of JFK's brain was already exploded up, out and back when he was hit gives some logical weight to O'Conner's claim that there was only a handful of JFK's brain left when he examined this.

And maybe I am wrong, but didn't at least two of the Parkland doctors who worked on JFK in their ER state that there was a large hole ( hole meaning an empty space ?) in the back of JFK's broken up skull? 

Again I ask, is what happened to JFK"s head and brains upon the bullet's impact typical of similar rifle shots to the brains of other human victims or animals such as deer?

Is this something a bullet from the Manlicher Carcano can do without doubt? The complete destruction of the skull?

JFK's head disintegrated as if hit by an exploding on impact mini-missile. Like being hit with a 50 caliber round.

Edited by Joe Bauer

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DVP, I just read as best I could the two pages of medical findings you posted.

It's really beyond me.

But, did I miss where this report mentioned the final weight of JFK's brain as recorded in the autopsy?

The average Human adult brain weighs about 3 lbs or between 1,300 and 1,400 grams.

O'Conner mentions that what he saw of JFK's brain amounted to "maybe a handful."

That's a shocking less weight amount than 3 lbs.

Why would you paint O'Conner's testimony as not believable when we know for a fact that so much of JFK's brain was exploded out in Dealey Plaza.

Of course O'Conner saw a huge reduction in brain matter. Are you saying that O'Conner's "maybe a handful" description of what was left of JFK"s brain was an exaggeration?

And is that one of the main reasons why you substantially discount O'Conner's testimony?

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The weight of JFK's brain is shown in the very first sentence on Page 1 of the Supplementary Report....

"Following formalin fixation the brain weighs 1500 gms."


And that's why the brain weighed so much --- because it was only weighed "FOLLOWING formalin fixation", not BEFORE.


The material being ejected from JFK's head at Z313 isn't MOSTLY his brains. It's mostly blood and other ejecta from the cranium.

And I discount Paul O'Connor mainly because I know he can't be correct about his "No Brain" observation. And the reason I know he can't be correct is contained in the page of the WCR I linked above.

Edited by David Von Pein

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Anyone can read Bugliosi's book on this, which DVP apparently has done.

He and Kirk decided that because the Z film shows Kennedy's head tilted slightly forward at the moment of impact and the spray is slightly forward then the impact came from behind. 

It is utter flatulence on Davey's part for him to deny that Bugliosi and Kirk made a big deal of this.  Just look in the door stop i e. Bugliosi's book on page 486.  He actually compares its visual effect with the Zapruder film head snap!

He then says that "...it shows vivid, graphic evidence that the fatal shot to the head at Z 312-313 was fired from the rear."  And he bases this on the head burst.  Bugliosi plays this up like Archimedes and his eureka moment.  Anyone can read this and the following page for themselves. I am not at all  exaggerating.  Davey either forgot it or he is trying to discount it, because clearly Kirk and Bugliosi were not informed about DeMaio and cavitation.  In fact, I could not find the word cavitation in the index for RH.  And whatever one thinks of the door stop, it has a good index.

That is the reason the head burst appears as it does.  Nothing to do with directionality.  Bullet comes in the front, same cavitation phenomenon.

Spence could have nailed them both on this.

BTW, I am not done with Kirk.  (Has anyone read Reclaiming Parkland?  I guess Davey has not. For good reason.)


Edited by James DiEugenio

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BTW, that is another load of BS Davey is  spewing with the brain weight.

First of all, the real question is:  why was the brain not weighed the night of the autopsy?  That is SOP in these kinds of cases of gunshot wound to the skull.  It was not though.  How come?

Secondly, the number of witnesses who say that a large part of the brain was missing when they saw the body, is a bit staggering.  Let me list some of them:  (From Reclaiming Parkland, p. 151)

FBI agent Frank O'Neill

Dr. McClelland

Dr. Ronald Jones

Dr. Perry

Dr Carrico

Nurse Diana Bowron

Mortician Tom Robinson

Dr. Boswell

Dr. Humes

Floyd Riebe

FBI agent James SIbert

Autopsy assistnat Jim Jenkins:  and he readied the brain for formalin solution!

Bugliosi does not acknowledge any of this in the text of the door stop.  But he does in his End Notes, and dismisses it.  How does this magic occur?  Through courtesy of Baden and Ida Dox!  In other words, since the Dox illustrations show minimal brain loss, then the brain was intact!  :o  (Reclaiming Parkland, p. 163)

The way Buglosi got away with this was that he eliminated the testimony by Stringer to the ARRB.  That testimony stated that he did not recognize the brain photos in the Archives. He based this on two undeniable facts:  he did not use the type of film (Ansco) the photos were taken on and he did not use the technique (press pack) used to take them.  (Ibid, p. 164)

Like much of the doorstop, (aka Reclaiming History) this whole section of the book is nothing but a long bloviating diversion.  In any trial, Stringer's testimony would be crucial since a rule of law is that the man who took the photos should be there to certify them.  Bugliosi had to have known this.   But, as related to me by a friend of his, he had an agenda in this book.  And he carried it out all the way through.  Which is why its 2600 pages of flotsam.





Edited by James DiEugenio

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James DiEugenio said:

Anyone can read Bugliosi's book on this, which DVP apparently has done. He and Kirk decided that because the Z film shows Kennedy's head tilted slightly forward at the moment of impact and the spray is slightly forward then the impact came from behind.


Why are you continuing to misrepresent some of the things that Vince Bugliosi has said? As I pointed out to you in December of 2008 and again yesterday, NOWHERE within Bugliosi's arguments (either in his book on page 486 or at the 1986 mock trial) does he even mention the fact that JFK's head is "tilted forward". That is NOT part of Vincent's argument at all. Nor was it part of Cecil Kirk's argument either.

Here's what I said to Jim DiEugenio the first time I battled him on this very same issue in 2008:

"DiEugenio has the gall to imply that JFK's head is in the "exact position" in Z-Frame 313 as it was 1/18th of a second earlier in Z312, which is total rubbish, of course. And DiEugenio has got to know it's rubbish, too, because we know he's seen the Z-Film IN MOTION many, many times in his life. Therefore...we know that Jim doesn't have a leg to stand on.


Also -- When DiEugenio said those words ["exact position"] on Black Op Radio on November 27, 2008, he prefaced the remark by misrepresenting Vince Bugliosi's REASON for putting a picture in his book of the "high contrast" picture of Z313, with Jim, for some stupid reason, saying that Vince uses that high-contrast version of Z313 to show that the President's head is "leaning forward" at the moment of the head shot.

Of course, as anyone can easily see by reading page 486 of VB's 2007 book, "Reclaiming History" (which is, indeed, the exact page number cited by DiEugenio when Jim discusses this topic in Part 4 of his "RH" review on Jim's website), Bugliosi is certainly NOT talking about the forward lean or tilt of Kennedy's head when VB refers to the high-contrast photo of Z313.

Vince, instead, utilizes the high-contrast picture to emphasize the fact that all of the blood and brain tissue is seen to the FRONT of JFK's head, indicating (of course) the likelihood that the bullet that just caused that terrible spray of bodily fluid came from BEHIND the President.

For DiEugenio to totally misrepresent Mr. Bugliosi with regard to this important matter is, IMO, just about as disingenuous (and sneaky) as you can get.

And Jim's "exact position" remark is just flat-out dead-wrong too, as we all know. And even if Jim wanted to come back with the argument that he was ONLY talking about the degree of "lean" or "tilt" of JFK's head in both Z312 and Z313, his argument wouldn't go very far either.

Because even THAT argument would be invalid, because when JFK's head moves forward between 312 and 313, the "forward lean" of his head DOES change slightly too (i.e., in Z313, Kennedy's head can certainly not be said to be in the "exact position" it was in in Z312...even from JUST a "leaning forward" standpoint).

But it was obvious to me that DiEugenio's distortions (and his misrepresentations of what Bugliosi meant by certain things relating to Z-frames 312 and 313) are part of a concerted effort on his part to try and REMOVE (or just DENY) as much of the verified Z-Film evidence that exists that tells a reasonable person that JFK was shot FROM BEHIND at the important moment when the bullet struck him at Z313."
-- DVP; December 21, 2008


In addition....

Let me also add the following pertinent quotes that appear in Vince Bugliosi's book, which include some very important points made by Mr. Bugliosi that should be ADDED TO THE SUM TOTAL of all the other evidence in the case, which is a "sum total" that will inexorably lead a reasonable person to the only possible conclusion he could reach regarding the directionality of the fatal head shot, with that conclusion being: that fatal shot came from BEHIND the President (which is a conclusion that conspiracy theorists like James DiEugenio want to stay away from like it was the plague). And keep in mind, these quotes below from Bugliosi's book don't even touch on the VERY BEST evidence we have to prove beyond all possible doubt that the fatal shot to JFK's head came from behind---the autopsy photos and X-rays and the autopsy report. ....

"As can be clearly seen, the terrible spray of blood, shell fragments, and brain matter a millisecond after the president was shot appears to be to the front. .... And indeed, from Governor Connally's wife, we know that the shot to the president's head caused "brain tissue" to land on "both of us" (she and her husband), each of whom was seated in front of the president (4 H 147). .... Not only were the blood, brain tissue, and skull fragments all blown to the front of the president's body, but the five bullet fragments found in the presidential limousine were all to his front. .... Also, the three skull fragments found inside the limousine were all to the president's front. .... The main argument from conspiracy theorists that the "law of physics" requires that an object hit by a projectile has to be pushed in the direction the projectile is traveling, and therefore, the head snap to the rear compels the conclusion of a shot from the front, can easily be used against them. In addition to the fact that the president's head moved forward at the moment of impact, how do the conspiracists explain what would be the ridiculous anomaly of blood, brain tissue, three skull fragments, and five bullet fragments all flying to the front of the president's body at the same precise time they claim Kennedy's head was being propelled backward by a shot from the front? They don't. And can't." -- Vincent Bugliosi; Page 486 of "Reclaiming History"

Edited by David Von Pein

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More baloney.

Davey evidently could not pull back one page.  On page 485 is where VB makes his big argument about the head tllted forward and downward.


One paragraph after that is when VB has his eureka moment about his (false) conclusion concerning the directionality of the head shot and bloodburst. And he specifically mentions the position of JFK's head. Its in the last paragraph on that page.

This, of course, is a non sequitur based on the forensic work of DiMaio.  And only a layman like Bugliosi and a photo man with no expertise in forensic medicine, but with a matching agenda to his, like Kirk, would go for it.

VB does not reveal on those pages the fact that Kirk worked for the WC. He was only 25 at the time.  (Reclaiming Parkland, p. 59)


PS Uh Davey, was not most of the blood in the back seat?  I mean is that not where the SS man at Parkland was wiping up?  According to VB, none of it should have been there.  But these are the kind of dichotomies one is faced with then advocates/lawyers enter the case.



Edited by James DiEugenio

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2 hours ago, James DiEugenio said:

More baloney.

Davey evidently could not pull back one page.  On page 485 is where VB makes his big argument about the head tilted forward and downward.

Dead wrong (as usual). There isn't a single thing on page 485 where Bugliosi makes any mention of the President's head being "tilted forward". So why are you making this up, Jim?

You seem to be confusing Bugliosi's argument about JFK's head MOVING FORWARD (or being PUSHED FORWARD by the impact of Oswald's bullet) with your terminology when you repeatedly use the words "TILTED FORWARD".

Do you really mean "pushed" or "moved" when you say "tilted", Jim? If so, you shouldn't be using the word "tilted", because it's not a word used by either Bugliosi or Kirk in their arguments about the direction JFK's head moves at the moment of impact at Z313. "Tilted" does not necessarily imply "Movement".

Plus, you aren't actually going to DENY that JFK's head DOES, indeed, MOVE FORWARD between Z312 and Z313, are you?

EDIT -- I realize now, after thinking about it for a few more minutes, that Jimmy HAS in the past (in 2008) actually denied the obvious forward movement of President Kennedy's head between frames 312 and 313. You can hear him denying this undeniable fact by accessing this webpage:




Uh Davey, was not most of the blood in the back seat?  I mean is that not where the SS man at Parkland was wiping up?  According to VB, none of it should have been there.

How incredibly silly of you to say something so utterly ridiculous. Vincent Bugliosi never said (or even remotely implied) that there shouldn't have been a large amount of blood in the back seat of the limousine. Vince knew that JFK remained inside the car, bleeding profusely, for at least five minutes after being shot. So, of course a lot of blood was going to be present in the back seat of the car.

Vince never suggested that every last drop of blood in Kennedy's whole body should have been propelled forward at the moment of the bullet's impact. So why are you suggesting that Vince DID suggest such a ludicrous thing, Jim?


Edited by David Von Pein

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On Thursday, November 21, 2013 I noticed a tall, reserved, dignified and almost shy man standing in the lobby of the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas, where the JFK Lancer conference was being held to commemorate the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination. He was well over six feet tall, wore glasses, had white hair, and sported a well-trimmed short white beard; was impeccably groomed, and had an air of quiet and seriousness that made me hesitant to approach him. I immediately knew it was James Curtis Jenkins, one of the two Navy corpsmen who served as “autopsy technicians” and assisted the Navy pathologists, Drs. Humes and Boswell, at President Kennedy’s autopsy at Bethesda Naval Hospital on the evening of November 22, 1963. It was now 50 years later, and I was pleased to see Mr. Jenkins alive, and looking so good---and yet surprised to see him attending a JFK research conference. I introduced myself, and found that he was attending the conference with William Law, one of the very few people in the JFK research community he trusts. William Law interviewed many of the autopsy witnesses and published his oral history of their interviews, In the Eye of History, in 2003.


James Jenkins had a reputation for being reticent to discuss the JFK autopsy, and with good reason. He did not have a good experience when interviewed by two hostile and disbelieving HSCA staff members, and so didn’t trust any Federal authorities, particularly since---because of what he himself witnessed at President Kennedy’s autopsy---he did not concur with the Warren Commission’s conclusions about a lone gunman firing from behind, and no shots hitting JFK from the right front. After the HSCA published its own report in 1979, confirming the Warren Commission’s conclusions that Lee Harvey Oswald had done all the wounding of the limousine’s occupants with shots from above and behind, he was even less well disposed toward the organs of authority in this country. Over the years, since the HSCA’s report was issued in 1979, Jim had agreed to appear on video before three different researcher-organized panels consisting largely of Navy autopsy witnesses, but none of this footage has yet been aired in the format of a completed documentary. I had seen some of the raw footage from one of these interviews (in which Jim was interviewed along with Paul O’Connor and some of the Parkland treatment staff, including Dr. Robert McClelland), and I knew, therefore, that Mr. Jenkins had significant things to say about what transpired at Bethesda Naval Hospital on 11/22/63. In the interview footage I had seen of him along with some members of Parkland treatment staff, he seemed sober, responsible, and most credible. When we spoke on the 21st, Jim stated that he was not seeking any notoriety at all, and that his sole wish was to sit quietly in the back of the room at selected presentations and just take it all in, and observe. I told him I would honor his request and would not reveal that he was present during any of the presentations he decided to attend.


On the afternoon of November 22nd, William Law moderated a “breakout” event called: “Special Guest: Jim Jenkins.” I was unable to attend due to a scheduling conflict. As it turned out, James Jenkins began to open up at this session and had quite a lot to say about his recollections of the autopsy; and the audience was so interested in what he had to say, that a special session (unbeknownst to me) was organized for later that night, in which Mr. Jenkins continued to discuss his recollections of JFK’s autopsy. Fortunately for me, and for history, Dr. David W. Mantik, M.D., PhD., attended both sessions at which Jenkins spoke, and took copious notes, something he has been doing for decades now whenever an autopsy participant takes the floor. All of my information in this article about what James Jenkins said at the Adolphus Hotel on 11/22/2013 is derived from Dr. Mantik’s notes, which I trust explicitly and without reservation to represent what Jenkins had to say, without any embellishment or changes of any kind.


I will be discussing a few key areas of Jim Jenkins’ 50th anniversary recollections in this essay, and will then explain why they are so significant to our understanding of what happened at Bethesda Naval Hospital on 11/22/63.


THE CONDITION OF PRESIDENT KENNEDY’S BRAIN: Jenkins stated that the standard incisions in the cranium required to remove the brain---a “skull cap” (his term for a craniotomy)---were not done, because they were not necessary. He thought this might be explained by prior incisions, meaning that some surgery had been done prior to the autopsy. He recalled that the damage to the top of the cranium was much more extensive than the damage to the brain itself, which he found unusual. Jenkins recalled Dr. Boswell asking if there had been surgery at Parkland Hospital. He recalled Dr. Humes saying: “The brain fell out in my hands,” as he removed the brain from the body.


Jenkins recalled that at the time Dr. Humes removed the brain, it was not necessary for Humes to resect the spinal cord in order to remove the brain. Jenkins stated that the spinal cord had already been completely severed [not torn] by incisions on each side, in different planes. Jenkins recalled that the total brain volume seemed too small, i.e., smaller than the skull cavity. He recalled that the right anterior brain was damaged, and some brain tissue was missing there, but recalled no damage to the left brain. He said about two thirds of the brain was present (which of course means that about one third of its mass was missing). He recalled that a large amount of posterior tissue---cerebral tissue---was also missing.


Jenkins stated that after Dr. Boswell put the brain upside down in a sling in a formalin bucket, he noticed both carotid arteries (at the Circle of Willis) leading into the brain were retracted, which made it very difficult to insert needles for infusion. Jenkins interpreted this retraction as meaning that the carotids had been cut some time before the autopsy.  


When asked how he interpreted all of this data about the condition of the brain, Jenkins said he had concluded that the brain had already been removed before the autopsy began. In response to a question as to why this might have occurred, he stated quite clearly that the purpose would have been to remove bullet fragments.


Jenkins also stated that he never saw any bullet or bullet fragment fall from JFK’s body during the autopsy, as others had recalled.

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