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There Was No Bullet Wound in John F. Kennedy's Throat


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Jerrol Custer, the Bethesda x-ray technician, stated in an interview with HSCA staff that the x-rays of JFK's neck he was shown were NOT the x-rays of the neck he recalled seeing, and that the neck x-rays he recalled showed "many fragments" in the vicinity of cervical vertebrae C3/C4. From this evidence, it is likely a bullet such as a frangible bullet, designed to break apart easily, was the kind of bullet that caused this wound; entering the upper neck just below the base of the skull.

If you would read my post more carefully, you would see that I stated a fragment or component of this bullet or a particle of bone carried on from the impact with the vertebrae and exited JFK's throat.

The lower bullet, if it was also a frangible bullet, would have entered JFK's right lung and stayed there; having disintegrated part way through the lung as it would be designed to do.

Robert,

In your opinion, would the military surgeons and technicians at Bethesda Hospital have been familiar with the field behavior of frangible bullets -- such that they might suspect that in their futile search for bullet fragments, that the bullet causing JFK's back and neck wounds might have been of the frangible variety?

Regards,

--Paul Trejo

No, Paul, I seriously doubt anyone at that autopsy had likely even heard of a frangible bullet before. As far as I know, the first commercially available frangible bullet was the Glaser Safety Bullet, first marketed in 1974, although inventors had been working on frangible bullets long before the assassination.

However, what we must do when looking through independent reports of the autopsy, such as supplied by Jerrol Custer and Richard Lipsey, is to examine the paradox of what is reported in the autopsy report with what these witnesses observed the autopsy doctors actually doing.

For example, Humes tells us in the autopsy report that JFK's chest cavity and lungs were intact, with no damage or perforation from a projectile through the pleural lining, outside of a bruise to the upper portion (apex) of the right lung attributed to a bullet passing above the right lung. Yet Richard Lipsey tells the HSCA the autopsy doctors spent the better part of the autopsy dissecting chest and abdominal organs looking for a bullet or bullet fragments.

Without an obvious entry through the pleura, and an equally obvious wound track downward through the lungs, would it not be illogical to be looking for a bullet in those areas, with no indication of a bullet passing through there?

I don't know if you have ever had the opportunity to observe the evisceration of a lung shot game animal or not. If you have, you would know that a bullet, regardless of type or construction, makes a very obvious hole in the pleural lining entering the chest cavity, an equally obvious and unmistakeable wound track through the lungs. Between the shock wave the bullet makes and the hundreds of tiny and large blood vessels the bullet ruptures as it passes through, the wound track is a collection of blood clots and damaged lung tissue impossible to miss.

If Humes did not see this in the upper right lung, why did he search so hard for a bullet below this point? At what point did Humes begin hiding the obvious?

Edited by Robert Prudhomme
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Since the bullet holes in the clothes are too low to have been associated with the throat wound, the throat wound is established as an entrance.

There was a wound in the back at T3, no exit, no round recovered at the autopsy.

There was an entrance wound in his throat, no exit, no round recovered during the autopsy.

The central question in the JFK murder case: what happened to the rounds which caused the back and throat wounds?

The historical record indicates 2 possibilities: the rounds were removed prior to the autopsy, or the rounds were of a high tech variety which dissolved in the body, as per the speculation of the autopists the night of the autopsy.

David Lifton and Doug Horne work one side of that street, and I work the other.

Cliff,

I, too, am bothered about the Parkland Hospital testimony which wobbled due to a lack of completeness. Several Parkland medical staff reported seeing an entrance wound in the throat -- and yet they could not see a corresponding exit wound or retrieve any bullet in the throat.

That's one problem.

The next problem is that the same medical staff -- when browbeat by Arlen Specter and his SBT -- tended to change their stories to, "Well, I can't be sure," and some surgeons said they had seen exit wounds as neat and round as entry wounds, provided that only soft tissue had been penetrated. So, there was little resistance to the SBT theory, and little steadfast certainty even over an entry wound in JFK's throat.

Of course, all this can easily be explained by the fact that JFK was in Trauma Room #1 for only 22 minutes before he was given the Last Rites. (Officially, from 12:38 until 13:00 hours.) For those full 22 minutes, JFK wasn't breathing, and so there was no time to work on anything else but restoration of breath and heartbeat, by all means possible, and even a full examination of wounds was bypassed in favor of restoring breath. Now, inside those 22 minutes, there were as many as a dozen people in the room with JFK, supporting each other in a medical hierarchy as best they could. There were indeed conflicting reports of the events. The administration of steroids, for example, was attributed to one surgeon and then to another. The order of the entry of medical personnel into the room changed from surgeon to surgeon. It was clearly a chaos.

Now, Cliff, you say that the central question in the JFK assassination is this: "what happened to the rounds which caused the back and throat wounds?" I agree entirely. The rounds should have been found inside the victims or inside the JFK limousine. Only five tiny fragments were found inside the limousine (CE 567, CE 569 and CE 840).

Next, you postulate, Cliff, that the record offers 2 possibilities: either (1) the rounds were removed prior to the autopsy; or (2) these were high tech rounds that dissolved inside the victim (which even the autopsy doctors at Bethesda had speculated).

You note that Lifton & Horne are working on the first possibility, and that you are working on the second possibility. It seems to me that despite your disagreements with Robert Prudhomme, that this is a common thread linking your research -- a high-tech bullet that dissolves in the body figures strongly in both of your theories.

So, my question to both you and to Robert is this: could mercenary soldiers like Gerry Patrick Hemming, Frank Sturgis and Loran Hall have had any access to these high-tech bullets in 1963, in your opinion?

Regards,

--Paul Trejo

Edited by Paul Trejo
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No, Paul, I seriously doubt anyone at that autopsy had likely even heard of a frangible bullet before. As far as I know, the first commercially available frangible bullet was the Glaser Safety Bullet, first marketed in 1974, although inventors had been working on frangible bullets long before the assassination.

However, what we must do when looking through independent reports of the autopsy, such as supplied by Jerrol Custer and Richard Lipsey, is to examine the paradox of what is reported in the autopsy report with what these witnesses observed the autopsy doctors actually doing.

For example, Humes tells us in the autopsy report that JFK's chest cavity and lungs were intact, with no damage or perforation from a projectile through the pleural lining, outside of a bruise to the upper portion (apex) of the right lung attributed to a bullet passing above the right lung. Yet Richard Lipsey tells the HSCA the autopsy doctors spent the better part of the autopsy dissecting chest and abdominal organs looking for a bullet or bullet fragments.

Without an obvious entry through the pleura, and an equally obvious wound track downward through the lungs, would it not be illogical to be looking for a bullet in those areas, with no indication of a bullet passing through there?

I don't know if you have ever had the opportunity to observe the evisceration of a lung shot game animal or not. If you have, you would know that a bullet, regardless of type or construction, makes a very obvious hole in the pleural lining entering the chest cavity, an equally obvious and unmistakeable wound track through the lungs. Between the shock wave the bullet makes and the hundreds of tiny and large blood vessels the bullet ruptures as it passes through, the wound track is a collection of blood clots and damaged lung tissue impossible to miss.

If Humes did not see this in the upper right lung, why did he search so hard for a bullet below this point? At what point did Humes begin hiding the obvious?

Robert,

I think that Humes, like all other medical personnel, wondered where the bullets went. Except for the Connally bullet, allegedly found on his stretcher at Parkland, no other bullets of the JFK assassination were accounted for. Not in the limo, and not inside JFK. This was a real problem.

Humes had to come up with a plausible medical explanation for this -- and this could explain why he spent so much time looking for a bullet that wasn't there.

Since, as you say, Humes would not have known about frangible bullets in 1963, this fact explains to me why Hume was looking so hard.

My question to you is this: could mercenary soldiers like Gerry Patrick Hemming, Frank Sturgis and Loran Hall have had any access to these high-tech, frangible bullets in 1963?

It seems that the JFK conspirators had access to this sort of bullet. Is it possible that a resigned US General who kept some of his old military contacts in later years could have learned about these frangible bullets, and perhaps obtained some in the context of covert action against Fidel Castro? Could Guy Banister?

Regards,

--Paul Trejo

Edited by Paul Trejo
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Since the bullet holes in the clothes are too low to have been associated with the throat wound, the throat wound is established as an entrance.

There was a wound in the back at T3, no exit, no round recovered at the autopsy.

There was an entrance wound in his throat, no exit, no round recovered during the autopsy.

The central question in the JFK murder case: what happened to the rounds which caused the back and throat wounds?

The historical record indicates 2 possibilities: the rounds were removed prior to the autopsy, or the rounds were of a high tech variety which dissolved in the body, as per the speculation of the autopists the night of the autopsy.

David Lifton and Doug Horne work one side of that street, and I work the other.

Cliff,

I, too, am bothered about the Parkland Hospital testimony which wobbled due to a lack of completeness. Several Parkland medical staff reported seeing an entrance wound in the throat -- and yet they could not see a corresponding exit wound or retrieve any bullet in the throat.

That's one problem.

The next problem is that the same medical staff -- when browbeat by Arlen Specter and his SBT -- tended to change their stories to, "Well, I can't be sure," and some surgeons said they had seen exit wounds as neat and round as entry wounds, provided that only soft tissue had been penetrated. So, there was little resistance to the SBT theory, and little steadfast certainty even over an entry wound in JFK's throat.

Of course, all this can easily be explained by the fact that JFK was in Trauma Room #1 for only 22 minutes before he was given the Last Rites. (Officially, from 12:38 until 13:00 hours.) For those full 22 minutes, JFK wasn't breathing, and so there was no time to work on anything else but restoration of breath and heartbeat, by all means possible, and even a full examination of wounds was bypassed in favor of restoring breath. Now, inside those 22 minutes, there were as many as a dozen people in the room with JFK, supporting each other in a medical hierarchy as best they could. There were indeed conflicting reports of the events. The administration of steroids, for example, was attributed to one surgeon and then to another. The order of the entry of medical personnel into the room changed from surgeon to surgeon. It was clearly a chaos.

Now, Cliff, you say that the central question in the JFK assassination is this: "what happened to the rounds which caused the back and throat wounds?" I agree entirely. The rounds should have been found inside the victims or inside the JFK limousine. Only five tiny fragments were found inside the limousine (CE 567, CE 569 and CE 840).

Next, you postulate, Cliff, that the record offers 2 possibilities: either (1) the rounds were removed prior to the autopsy; or (2) these were high tech rounds that dissolved inside the victim (which even the autopsy doctors at Bethesda had speculated).

You note that Lifton & Horne are working on the first possibility, and that you are working on the second possibility. It seems to me that despite your disagreements with Robert Prudhomme, that this is a common thread linking your research -- a high-tech bullet that dissolves in the body figures strongly in both of your theories.

So, my question to both you and to Robert is this: could mercenary soldiers like Gerry Patrick Hemming, Frank Sturgis and Loran Hall have had any access to these high-tech bullets in 1963, in your opinion?

Regards,

--Paul Trejo

Hi Paul

This is assuming these are the actual assassins. And I would imagine the people behind the assassination would have access to all of the latest high tech gadgetry being developed at the time.

The interesting thing is that the frangible bullet, in a non-lethal form, has been around since the 1920's. Below are photos of the M37 "Magistri" frangible bullet and cartridge, developed for shooting the 6.5mm Carcano in 200-300 metre indoor ranges in the 1920's and 30's.

65mm1.jpg

65mm2.jpg

As can be seen, the jacket of the bullet is made in two pieces. Inside the nose of the bullet is a small solid pellet made from lead or "maillechort". Behind this pellet, the majority of the jacket is filled with powdered material; the middle section powdered lead and the rear section sand.

Upon impact with very solid material (steel, concrete, stone, etc.) this bullet will disintegrate into powder, making it very safe for indoor shooting as it will not ricochet.

Essentially, the only difference between the Magistri indoor target bullet and a modern lethal frangible bullet is 1) the powdered core is compressed in the lethal bullet and 2) the lethal frangible bullets have a hollow point nose that makes them disintegrate travelling through soft tissue. If the lethal frangible bullet is within a wound (ie. head, chest, abdomen, etc.) when it disintegrates into a cloud of metal powder, the disintegration of this bullet wreaks utter havoc on surrounding tissue, creating a minimum 4 inch wound cavity.

As the M37 has a jacketed nose and a small solid core at the tip, I see no reason why the M37 would not be capable of penetrating skull bone like any other solid bullet. It may or may not disintegrate as it passed through the brain. However, if a simple hollow point was made in the nose of the M37 with a 1/8 inch drill bit, it would become a hollow point bullet, not much different in construction than this lethal hollow point frangible bullet from DRT Ammo, seen below:

DRT-Ammo-Anatomy-H.jpg

Note the hollow point tip and compressed metal core. http://www.drtammo.com/DRT-Technology

If the M37 Magistri was made into a simple hollow point bullet and fired at a human skull, I believe it would penetrate that skull, making a small entrance wound, and disintegrate well inside the skull with explosive force.

Imagine how confused Humes would have been, seeing a wound track and wound cavity, but no bullet or fragments of a bullet.

Edited by Robert Prudhomme
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Hi Paul

This is assuming these are the actual assassins. And I would imagine the people behind the assassination would have access to all of the latest high tech gadgetry being developed at the time.

The interesting thing is that the frangible bullet, in a non-lethal form, has been around since the 1920's. Below are photos of the M37 "Magistri" frangible bullet and cartridge, developed for shooting the 6.5mm Carcano in 200-300 metre indoor ranges in the 1920's and 30's...

If the M37 Magistri was made into a simple hollow point bullet and fired at a human skull, I believe it would penetrate that skull, making a small entrance wound, and disintegrate well inside the skull with explosive force...

Imagine how confused Humes would have been, seeing a wound track and wound cavity, but no bullet or fragments of a bullet...

Robert,

I think many questions are receiving plausible answers here. Insofar as a frangible, dissolving bullet was available in 1963 to military experts -- especially field experts who lived and died based on their ballistics knowledge -- but was not generally known to medical workers, then we have one explanation for some of Humes' reported behavior at the JFK autopsy.

Also, yes, I did mean to postulate that Gerry Patrick Hemming, Frank Sturgis and Loran Hall were among the key assassins.

Gerry Patrick Hemming confessed to a role in the JFK assassination to A.J. Weberman, and I take that as a fact.

Frank Sturgis not only confessed to a role -- he boasted about it. I take that as a fact.

Loran Hall was in Dallas on 11/22/1963 with Gerry Patrick Hemming's rifle, which was handed over to the FBI before the day was over. I strongly suspect Loran Hall of a role. (I also believe Loran Hall was "Leonardo" at Silvia Odio's apartment, but she refused to ID him because he was terrorizing her, and she didn't trust the FBI to help her, or even believe her.)

Hemming and Hall visited General Walker several times in 1963. After the race riots at Ole Miss in 1962, and after General Walker was acquitted for his role in January 1963, Walker publicly stated he would turn all his attention to Cuba. It was in this context, IMHO, that Walker encountered "Interpen" and the people I named above. (Others on Walker's team could have included Roscoe White and J.D. Tippit there in Dallas -- as well as Guy Banister and David Ferrie in New Orleans. Frank Sturgis moved in all these circles. Walker was also connected closely with Joseph Milteer. Two bonafide CIA rogues joined this Civilian Plot in the periphery, namely, David Morales and Howard Hunt, since we have their confessions.)

So, Robert, I want to interpret your words as saying that these Cuba Raid groups could have had knowledge of frangible bullets in 1963, and, if so, would have had access to them, because they had plenty of money from their rich underground resources (like Clay Shaw).

The idea of a frangible bullet goes a long way toward explaining many of the mysteries of the JFK murder. Getting them in the hands of a Civilian Plot seems feasible, in your scenario -- and the Parkland and Bethesda Hospital surgeons' likely ignorance about them also goes a long way toward explaining some of the most confusing WC testimony we encounter.

We get all this without postulating a necessary frontal wound in JFK's throat -- as Ashton Gray has postulated. Not that there is no longer room for debate.

Regards,

--Paul Trejo

Edited by Paul Trejo
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Hi Paul

This is assuming these are the actual assassins. And I would imagine the people behind the assassination would have access to all of the latest high tech gadgetry being developed at the time.

The interesting thing is that the frangible bullet, in a non-lethal form, has been around since the 1920's. Below are photos of the M37 "Magistri" frangible bullet and cartridge, developed for shooting the 6.5mm Carcano in 200-300 metre indoor ranges in the 1920's and 30's...

If the M37 Magistri was made into a simple hollow point bullet and fired at a human skull, I believe it would penetrate that skull, making a small entrance wound, and disintegrate well inside the skull with explosive force...

Imagine how confused Humes would have been, seeing a wound track and wound cavity, but no bullet or fragments of a bullet...

Robert,

I think many questions are receiving plausible answers here. Insofar as a frangible, dissolving bullet was available in 1963 to military experts -- especially field experts who lived and died based on their ballistics knowledge -- but was not generally known to medical workers, then we have one explanation for some of Humes' reported behavior at the JFK autopsy.

Also, yes, I did mean to postulate that Gerry Patrick Hemming, Frank Sturgis and Loran Hall were among the key assassins.

Gerry Patrick Hemming confessed to a role in the JFK assassination to A.J. Weberman, and I take that as a fact.

Frank Sturgis not only confessed to a role -- he boasted about it. I take that as a fact.

Loran Hall was in Dallas on 11/22/1963 with Gerry Patrick Hemming's rifle, which was handed over to the FBI before the day was over. I strongly suspect Loran Hall of a role. (I also believe Loran Hall was "Leonardo" at Silvia Odio's apartment, but she refused to ID him because he was terrorizing her, and she didn't trust the FBI to help her, or even believe her.)

Hemming and Hall visited General Walker several times in 1963. After the race riots at Ole Miss in 1962, and after General Walker was acquitted for his role in January 1963, Walker publicly stated he would turn all his attention to Cuba. It was in this context, IMHO, that Walker encountered "Interpen" and the people I named above. (Others on Walker's team could have included Roscoe White and J.D. Tippit there in Dallas -- as well as Guy Banister and David Ferrie in New Orleans. Frank Sturgis moved in all these circles. Walker was also connected closely with Joseph Milteer. Two bonafide CIA rogues joined this Civilian Plot in the periphery, namely, David Morales and Howard Hunt, since we have their confessions.)

So, Robert, what I hear you saying is that these Cuba Raid groups would have had knowledge of frangible bullets in 1963, and would have had access to them, because they had plenty of money from their rich underground resources (like Clay Shaw).

The idea of a frangible bullet goes a long way toward explaining many of the mysteries of the JFK murder. Getting them in the hands of the Civilian Plot was feasible, in your scenario -- and the Parkland and Bethesda Hospital surgeons' likely ignorance about them also goes a long way toward explaining some of the most confusing WC testimony we encounter.

We get all this without postulating a necessary frontal wound in JFK's throat -- as Ashton Gray has postulated. Not that there is no longer room for debate.

Regards,

--Paul Trejo

I still think the question is, if we assume these mercenaries were the assassins, who actually supplied the weapons and ammunition for this murder. Was it the mercenaries themselves, or was it a much more sophisticated coordinating group above them?

I should point out that a frangible bullet does not dissolve. The cores of modern frangible bullets are made from compressed or sintered metal powder. When the bullet disintegrates, the core returns to its powder state, but does not disappear, and should still show up on x-rays. I believe this goes a long ways in explaining the hundreds of dust like particles seen in the x-ray of the head. Lead is malleable, not brittle, and no full metal jacket bullet is going to break up into dust like particles.

So, when did the game begin with the back wound? If evidence of a frangible bullet was seen as dust like metal particles in the head x-ray, why did the same particles not show up in x-rays of the lungs?

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I still think the question is, if we assume these mercenaries were the assassins, who actually supplied the weapons and ammunition for this murder. Was it the mercenaries themselves, or was it a much more sophisticated coordinating group above them?

I should point out that a frangible bullet does not dissolve. The cores of modern frangible bullets are made from compressed or sintered metal powder. When the bullet disintegrates, the core returns to its powder state, but does not disappear, and should still show up on x-rays. I believe this goes a long ways in explaining the hundreds of dust like particles seen in the x-ray of the head. Lead is malleable, not brittle, and no full metal jacket bullet is going to break up into dust like particles.

So, when did the game begin with the back wound? If evidence of a frangible bullet was seen as dust like metal particles in the head x-ray, why did the same particles not show up in x-rays of the lungs?

Robert,

If (and only if) your analysis of the medical evidence correctly discloses the use of a frangible bullet in the JFK assassination -- and this was unknown to the Parkland Hospital surgeons, and unknown to the Bethesda Hospital surgeons, and unknown to the Warren Commission -- then IMHO we have a major clue that should be applied beyond the medical evidence, and even beyond the ballistics evidence.

Furthermore, the concept of a frangible bullet is missing in the Jim Garrison hearings, and to the best of my knowledge is missing in the HSCA hearings. Because of this, the concept of a frangible bullet is missing from all 20th century CT's, including those from Harold Weisberg, Mark Lane, Sylvia Meagher, David Lifton, Anthony Summers, Ed Epstein, A.J. Weberman, Peter Knight, Jim Marrs, Robert Groden, Gaeton Fonzi, Dick Russell and so many more.

As such your analysis belongs to the post-AARB generation of JFK CT's. I'm not trying to be dramatic, but to correctly place the concept of a frangible bullet in the JFK CT history.

I will for the time being set aside the dispute between your theory of a dissolving bullet (which involves neck shots only towards JFK's back) and Cliff Varnell's theory of a dissolving bullet (which involves a frontal shot to JFK's throat), and just focus for a moment on the implications of the concept of a frangible bullet for any JFK Kill Team.

Is it possible, in your opinion, that the JFK Kill Team could have access to frangible bullets -- which were unknown to the Bethesda Naval Hospital surgeons and Commanders -- if the JFK Kill Team consisted of Civilians?

Having said this, I realize that many Cuban Expatriate mercenaries were already linked to the CIA, which admittedly funded Kill-Fidel Teams in 1962-1963. Nevertheless, these Cubans themselves were not professional CIA Agents, but remained mercenaries, civilians, and furthermore, some American civilians who have already confessed to a role in the JFK assassination, namely, Gerry Patrick Hemming, Frank Sturgis and John Martino, were also mercenaries along with the Cuban Expatriates.

My question, Robert, is whether you might accept that a strictly Civilian Plot (perhaps led by resigned US military personnel) could obtain access to this high-tech, frangible bullet in mid-1963, in time to make plans that could solidify by September 1963.

Regards,

--Paul Trejo

Edited by Paul Trejo
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Hi Paul

A lot of "high tech" ordnance and ammunition really isn't as complicated as it appears, and a guy handy with tools and cartridge reloading equipment can do some amazing things with ammo utilizing some pretty low tech ideas.

I grew up on the Canadian Prairies in a town in southwest Saskatchewan called Swift Current, named after the swift current of the South Saskatchewan River just north of there. Like the majority of boys on the Prairies, I was in possession of a .22 calibre rimfire rifle by the time I was twelve years old.

During the Great Depression in the 1930's (LONG before I was born) the government of Saskatchewan attempted to eradicate predators such as coyotes, wolves and foxes from the Prairies, and would pay a bounty for each animal turned in. As many farmers and townspeople were not doing very well in the Depression, and not eating on a regular basis, this bounty money was eagerly sought after; much to the detriment of the predator population. Inevitably, their numbers declined drastically and, as always happens when man upsets the natural balance, the population of the prey animals these predators depended on literally exploded.

PC012936.jpg

Photo of the public school I attended, built in 1914 and built to last! Still in use as far as I know.

As well as jackrabbits, this population explosion included the Richardson ground squirrel; better know as the gopher, a smaller version of the American Prairie dog. Farmers hated them, not only for eating their crops but also for the constant digging they do in cultivated land. By the 1960's there was still a virtually endless supply of gophers, and we spent many summer hours snaring, trapping or drowning them out of their excavations with buckets of water packed from a dugout.

Of course, as we grew older, we graduated to hunting them with .22 calibre rifles, using the .22 Short cartridges, .22 Short Rifle cartridges or the .22 Long Rifle cartridges; depending on what our budget allowed and also on whether or not the farmer was supplying the ammo or a possible small bounty.

Slightly more expensive than the Short Rifle or Long Rifle cartridges were cartridges known as .22 Long Rifle Mushroom cartridges. Although economically out of our reach, we ended up with a box of these once from a generous farmer who wanted a horse pasture cleared of gophers. Close examination of these cartridges revealed they were merely a regular .22 Long Rifle cartridge with a small hole drilled into the nose of the bullet; making the bullet into a hollow point bullet.

25a90e5298d07cde689283c7f05c9d66.jpg

Remington .22 LR Hollow Point cartridges. These subsonic bullets were called "low noise" because, with the addition of a silencer on the muzzle of your .22 rifle, each shot was completely silent as the subsonic velocity of the bullet did not cause it to break the sound barrier, and scare all of the gophers underground with the first shot. Silencers were another thing relatively easy to make at home. :)

x22lrpp_loaded_round_cutaway.jpg

Side cutaway view of .22 LR Hollow Point cartridge

On the first shot with one of these bullets, one of my friends shot a gopher standing up on his back legs in the stomach, hitting no bones in the process. When we got to the gopher, we found a tiny entrance wound in his stomach, and 80% of his gastrointestinal tract hanging out of a large wound in his back. Sound familiar? We had never seen a standard .22 bullet inflict damage even close to this.

We were instant converts, and we just had to have a steady supply of these incredible rounds. But, how could us poorboys overcome the prohibitive cost? Well, as you know, necessity is the mother of invention, and it didn't take long before we had our own factory set up on the workbench of one of my friend's father. His father had a small hand operated drill and, using a tiny drill bit, we set up a jig to hold the cartridge in place to allow us to drill a fairly straight hollow point into each of the bullets.

When we tried them out, they worked just as well as the factory made hollow points. In fact, it seemed the ones that weren't drilled perfectly straight outperformed the factory made hollow points. We even tried such interesting variations as cutting an "X" into the nose of the bullet, using a broken piece of a jigsaw blade, which seemed to work quite well too but was a lot more work.

The point I am trying to make here is that the knowledge of simple bullet modifications is not exclusive to Saskatchewan farmboys. When the Italian Government released half a million 6.5mm Carcano rifles in a great flood onto the American and European military surplus market, they also released vast quantities of surplus 6.5mm Carcano ammo. Although a great deal of it would have been of World War Two and earlier vintage, and somewhat unreliable, Italy kept quite a number of Carcanos after WW II, and continued manufacturing ammo for these rifles right into the early 1970's. As the Italians still had many indoor ranges, and the better models of Carcanos were being used in international shooting competitions, they also continued to make upgraded versions of the M37 Magistri frangible bullet cartridge, as a safe cartridge for indoor ranges. The same technique we used to make .22 hollow point bullets could be applied to the nose of a Magistri bullet, turning it into a very lethal hollow point frangible bullet. As frangible cartridges often showed up in batches of surplus Carcano bullets, I'm sure some of the more worldly members of the "Civilian Plot" you refer to had come across them before, and likely knew tricks for converting them that would have amazed us farmboys.

Look again at the construction of the M37 Magistri.

65mm1.jpg

As I pointed out before, the jacket of this bullet is made from two pieces, joined at the seam seen near the top of the bullet. Also, this bullet had an unusually deep "cannelure", the groove seen where bullet and cartridge neck meet. I am willing to bet that, in a wound, this bullet jacket breaks into three pieces; at the forward seam and at the cannelure. Think really hard now about the head wound. How big were the pieces of the bullet jacket that were recovered?

Edited by Robert Prudhomme
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Hi Paul

A lot of "high tech" ordnance and ammunition really isn't as complicated as it appears, and a guy handy with tools and cartridge reloading equipment can do some amazing things with ammo utilizing some pretty low tech ideas.

I grew up on the Canadian Prairies in a town in southwest Saskatchewan called Swift Current, named after the swift current of the South Saskatchewan River just north of there. Like the majority of boys on the Prairies, I was in possession of a .22 calibre rimfire rifle by the time I was twelve years old...

Slightly more expensive than the Short Rifle or Long Rifle cartridges were cartridges known as .22 Long Rifle Mushroom cartridges. Although economically out of our reach, we ended up with a box of these once from a generous farmer who wanted a horse pasture cleared of gophers. Close examination of these cartridges revealed they were merely a regular .22 Long Rifle cartridge with a small hole drilled into the nose of the bullet; making the bullet into a hollow point bullet...

On the first shot with one of these bullets, one of my friends shot a gopher standing up on his back legs in the stomach, hitting no bones in the process. When we got to the gopher, we found a tiny entrance wound in his stomach, and 80% of his gastrointestinal tract hanging out of a large wound in his back. Sound familiar? We had never seen a standard .22 bullet inflict damage even close to this...

We were instant converts, and we just had to have a steady supply of these incredible rounds. But, how could us poorboys overcome the prohibitive cost? Well, as you know, necessity is the mother of invention, and it didn't take long before we had our own factory set up on the workbench of one of my friend's father. His father had a small hand operated drill and, using a tiny drill bit, we set up a jig to hold the cartridge in place to allow us to drill a fairly straight hollow point into each of the bullets...

The point I am trying to make here is that the knowledge of simple bullet modifications is not exclusive to Saskatchewan farmboys. When the Italian Government released half a million 6.5mm Carcano rifles in a great flood onto the American and European military surplus market, they also released vast quantities of surplus 6.5mm Carcano ammo...right into the early 1970's...The same technique we used to make .22 hollow point bullets could be applied to the nose of a Magistri bullet, turning it into a very lethal hollow point frangible bullet.

As frangible cartridges often showed up in batches of surplus Carcano bullets, I'm sure some of the more worldly members of the "Civilian Plot" you refer to had come across them before, and likely knew tricks for converting them that would have amazed us farmboys.

As I pointed out before, the jacket of this bullet is made from two pieces, joined at the seam seen near the top of the bullet. Also, this bullet had an unusually deep "cannelure", the groove seen where bullet and cartridge neck meet. I am willing to bet that, in a wound, this bullet jacket breaks into three pieces; at the forward seam and at the cannelure. Think really hard now about the head wound. How big were the pieces of it they recovered?

Robert,

All excellent points. This suggests that field mercenaries who lived and died by their ballistics knowledge in 1963, would have known about frangible bullets, and could even make them themselves, as you did when you were a young lad in Canada.

The forensic and ballistics evidence of the JFK head shot -- entering the front above the right eye and exiting the back of the skull, exploding it, is familiar from your description of frangible bullet behavior back in Canada.

Also, the recoveries of the JFK bullet fragments were few and tiny. This also matches your description of the behavior of frangible bullets.

Your ballistics knowledge -- obtained from childhood -- is a valuable resource in reconsidering the JFK assassination, Robert. I also appreciate your patience and courtesy in writing, since I'm a novice in ballistics.

All this reminds me of the CT book by engineer Robert D. Morrow, entitled, First Hand Knowledge (1992), in which he claims that he had a close relationship with David Ferrie in 1963. This was in the context of his relationship with Mario Kohly and Tracy Barnes.

After the defeat of Mario Kohly's forces at the Bay of Pigs, Morrow joined some darker political forces. In July 1963 Morrow fulfilled the request of Tracy Barnes to upgrade four Mannlicher-Carcano rifles -- allowing them to be dismantled, he claims. Then he delivered these to David Ferrie. In his opinion, Ferrie was the leader of the JFK plot.

There has been much criticism of Robert D. Morrow, with regard to accuracy in his interesting CT, yet there are some elements that I find to be persuasive, e.g. that the JFK assassination was promoted in the context of Anti-Castro forces, in an attempt to blame Fidel Castro for the JFK hit.

With your recent insights into ballistics, Robert, we are able to postulate that even a Civilian Plot could have access to upgraded Mannlicher-Carcano rifles as well as hand-modified, higher-tech bullets that would explode after penetration and practically dissolve inside the target.

Now, Robert D. Morrow (much like Jim Garrison) had no insight into the Dallas aspect of this Civilian Plot -- and Morrow (like Garrison) could only report what he saw near his own field of vision -- there in Miami and Louisiana. Yet the main players remain the same -- David Ferrie, Guy Banister, Clay Shaw and their Cuban Expatriate mercenary friends -- which implicates Gerry Patrick Hemming, Frank Sturgis and Loran Hall.

These, in turn, implicate General Walker, as shown by Walker's personal papers and the new book by Jeff Caufield, General Walker and the Murder of President Kennedy (2015).

It all fits snugly, IMHO, and this is regardless of whether or not the JFK throat wound was caused by a frontal shot or by an exiting fragment of a frangible bullet which had entered the back of JFK's neck.

Regards,

--Paul Trejo

Edited by Paul Trejo
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The interesting thing about the 6.5mm Carcano rifles, and I have stated this before many times, is that they were not all created equal. Contrary to popular belief, Carcano rifles were not all junk, and some of the Carcano long rifles were so accurate and well made, they were used by Italian shooting teams in international competitions, right up into the 1960's.

Below is a photo of an M91/41 long rifle. This was the last model of Carcano ever produced, beginning production in 1941.

M.1891-41.JPG

This version of the M91/41, with its double set triggers, was not the version issued to front line Italian troops in WW II. This particular rifle was carefully crafted to be used in military target shooting competitions and would have been one of the most accurate Carcanos ever made.

As you may or may not know, the rifling grooves inside of a rifle's barrel will leave a distinctive rifling pattern on a bullet fired through that barrel, and often this rifling patter left on a bullet can be useful in identifying what particular make and model of rifle the bullet was fired from.

One of the identifying features of the rifling pattern left on a bullet are the width and depth of the grooves, as this may be unique to one particular rifle. Another feature, and the one I am going to focus on for the rest of this post, is the rate of twist of the rifling pattern left on the bullet.

Rate of twist in riflings is defined as how much barrel length is required for the riflings to make a bullet do one complete rotation inside the barrel as it travels down the barrel; this number being expressed as a ratio. For example, heavier bullets need "tight" riflings in order to stabilize them, and the riflings can be as tight as 1:7 or 1:8. What this means is, to make one complete revolution inside the barrel, the bullet must travel 7 inches (or 8) down the length of the barrel. Lighter bullets require less spin, and often a twist of 1:10 to 1:12 is employed. As I said, different manufacturers have different ideas about riflings, and it is often possible to identify a rifle by measuring the width, depth and rate of twist of rifling marks left on a bullet.

Prior to 1938, all Carcano rifles (including carbines) had a very rare and unique type of rifling known as "progressive" or "gain" twist. Instead of one continuous rate of twist ("standard" twist) for the entire barrel, the riflings began at the chamber at an extremely slow rate of twist, and gradually tightened on their way to the muzzle. It was an expensive and time consuming way of making riflings and, after 1938, all short rifles (Oswald's rifle) and long rifles were made with a standard rate of twist, while the progressive twist was retained in only the carbines.

Pre-1938

M91 long rifle - progressive twist - beginning at 1:22.79, final rate of twist at muzzle - 1:7.94

All carbines (pre- and post-1938)

Progressive twist - beginning at 1:15.3, final rate of twist at muzzle - 1:7.48

Post 1938

M38 short rifle (7.35mm calibre) - standard twist - 1:9.45

Carbines - shown above

M91/38 short rifle (Oswald's) and M91/41 long rifle - standard twist - 1:8.47

The above listings show that, even within the Carcano family, a 6.5mm Carcano bullet can be traced to the model of rifle that fired it, just by determining the rate of twist from the rifling marks left on the bullet.

However, if you look closely at this list, you will see there are two Carcanos (one the most accurate Carcano ever made, the M91/41 long rifle, and the other, the M91/38 short rifle, allegedly fired at JFK) that posses exactly the same rate of twist in their riflings of 1:8.47. In other words, if a bullet were fired from either of these two rifles, it would be impossible to tell which rifle fired it, just by looking at the rifling grooves left on the bullet.

Can you see how this could have been advantageous to the conspirators? In my mind, there were no absolute guarantees everything would work as planned, and there was a very good chance that evidence, such as bullets, would end up in the hands of an investigator who might want to examine the evidence a bit too closely. Having a bullet with rifling impressions on it that were a mathematical match for C2766 would go a long way toward preventing an investigator from thinking there was more than one rifle involved.

Edited by Robert Prudhomme
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The interesting thing about the 6.5mm Carcano rifles, and I have stated this before many times, is that they were not all created equal. Contrary to popular belief, Carcano rifles were not all junk, and some of the Carcano long rifles were so accurate and well made, they were used by Italian shooting teams in international competitions, right up into the 1960's.

...The above listings show that, even within the Carcano family, a 6.5mm Carcano bullet can be traced to the model of rifle that fired it, just by determining the rate of twist from the rifling marks left on the bullet.

However, if you look closely at this list, you will see there are two Carcanos...that posses exactly the same rate of twist in their riflings...In other words, if a bullet were fired from either of these two rifles, it would be impossible to tell which rifle fired it, just by looking at the rifling grooves left on the bullet.

Can you see how this could have been advantageous to the conspirators? In my mind, there were no absolute guarantees everything would work as planned, and there was a very good chance that evidence, such as bullets, would end up in the hands of an investigator who might want to examine the evidence a bit too closely. Having a bullet with rifling impressions on it that were a mathematical match for C2766 would go a long way toward preventing an investigator from thinking there was more than one rifle involved.

Robert,
That's a provocative theory. Your detail about the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle again reminds me about the claim of Robert D. Morrow combined with a central fact of the JFK assassination, namely:
(A.) Morrow claims that during the summer of 1963 he customized four Mannlicher-Carcano rifles at the request of Tracy Barnes (who was passionate about the Bay of Pigs failure) and personally delivered them to David Ferrie in New Orleans.
(B.) The Dallas Police found one Mannlicher-Carcano rifle on the 6th floor of the TSBD and soon identified it as the property of Lee Harvey Oswald.
Here are my observations on this data:
(1) There is nothing in Robert D. Morrow's account that proves that the CIA was in any way involved in this JFK conspiracy.
(2) Neither Robert Morrow nor David Ferrie were CIA Agents. Tracy Barnes would then be the third CIA Agent that I might recognize as a possible CIA rogue -- wandering off the reservation.
(3) David Ferrie was actually a mercenary, who likely falsely boasted to LHO that he was in the CIA.
(4) The choice to use Mannlicher-Carcano rifles in the summer of 1963 demonstrates, IMHO, a corresponding conspiracy to make LHO a patsy.
(4.1) Somebody who knew LHO (perhaps Loran Hall or Gerry Patrick Hemming or Thomas Beckham or Ron Lewis or Carlos Bringuier) knew that LHO owned a Mannlicher-Carcano rifle, and this fact somehow came to the attention of David Ferrie, and this evidently drove the choice for choosing a standard Kill Team weapon.
(5) The Mannlicher-Carcano could be customized and improved with regard to accuracy and sophistication. Robert Morrow claims that he personally designed these four custom Mannlicher-Carcano rifles to enable quick dis-assembly and re-assembly. As an engineer, Morrow would likely make extra customizations as professional touches.
(6) Robert Morrow was mistaken in his belief that he was looking at the center of the JFK conspiracy -- he was really looking at a portion of the conspiracy that was oriented around Cuban Expatriates at paramilitary training camps in Florida and Louisiana, including the Lake Pontchartrain training camp on Carlos Marcello's property, managed by Guy Banister and David Ferrie, and frequented by mercenaries like those within Interpen.
(7) Robert Morrow did not know about the role of General Walker in the conspiracy, nor that Ferrie and Banister reported to Walker. This is clear since Morrow said he believed that David Ferrie was the leader of the conspiracy.
(7.1) Robert Morrow was also ignorant of the intended use of these four Mannlicher-Carcano rifles. He imagined that they were to be used in a Kill-Fidel Team.
(7.2) If so, then it remains possible that Tracy Barnes himself believed that these four Mannlicher-Carcano rifles were to be used in a Kill-Fidel Team.
(8) Also, Robert Morrow did not know that LHO was marked as the patsy of the plot, nor was he necessarily aware that LHO already owned a Mannlicher-Carcano rifle.
(9) Gerry Patrick Hemming told A.J. Weberman that on Thursday 11/21/1963 he had called from Miami to LHO in Dallas, to offer LHO double the price of his Mannlicher-Carcano rifle if LHO would bring it to the TSBD on Friday, 11/22/1963.
(9.1) If (and only if) this is true, then clearly Gerry Patrick Hemming was one of the conspirators to kill JFK, and A.J. Weberman had his fingers on the pulse of the JFK assassination back in the 1980's.
To bring the discussion back to Ashton Gray's thread about the JFK throat wound, I will note that given four custom Mannlicher-Carcano rifles, with some firing frangible bullets, we can continue to debate whether JFK's throat wound came from the front of JFK or from a fragment in the back of JFK's neck.
Regards,
--Paul Trejo
Edited by Paul Trejo
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Cliff...

IMHO...

Robert...

IMHO...

IMHO...

Cliff...

IMHO...

Robert...

IMHO...

Robert...

IMHO...

*PLONK*

Plenty more room for thread hijackers, disinformationists, anyone who believes in a magic bullet that can enter a throat directly behind a necktie knot without penetrating the knot, and anyone who believes in ghosts with invisible guns shooting invisible bullets from the front of the limousine while utterly surrounded by onlookers who never saw a single one of them.

Ashton Gray

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Cliff...

IMHO...

Robert...

IMHO...

IMHO...

Cliff...

IMHO...

Robert...

IMHO...

Robert...

IMHO...

*PLONK*

Plenty more room for thread hijackers, disinformationists, anyone who believes in a magic bullet that can enter a throat directly behind a necktie knot without penetrating the knot, and anyone who believes in ghosts with invisible guns shooting invisible bullets from the front of the limousine while utterly surrounded by onlookers who never saw a single one of them.

Ashton Gray

*YAWN*

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*PLONK*

Plenty more room for thread hijackers, disinformationists, anyone who believes in a magic bullet that can enter a throat directly behind a necktie knot without penetrating the knot, and anyone who believes in ghosts with invisible guns shooting invisible bullets from the front of the limousine while utterly surrounded by onlookers who never saw a single one of them.

Ashton Gray

Ashton, I see no thread-hijackers. There is a relevant debate going on here regarding the theme of your thread over the alleged entrance wound in the throat of JFK.

In my layman's summary, Cliff Varnell claims that there was a throat wound from the front, and he cites as evidence Dr. Charles Crenshaw who was present at Parkland Hospital when JFK was admitted there. Even after the WC testimony, Dr. Crenshaw has appeared on news shows seen today on YouTube, claiming this certainty that this was an entrance wound, and that JFK was shot from the front. The disappearance of the bullet is explained by a dissolving, frangible bullet.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IinESpyR2U

Robert Prudhomme, OTOH, claims that the dissolving, frangible bullet entered from the back of the neck, and only a fragment pierced the throat, making the appearance of an entry wound in the throat.

I am not technical enough to decide between these two opponents -- but I can affirm that the debate continues to circle around your original theme.

The arguments of the doctors and ballistics experts for the WC, namely, that a Mannlicher-Carcano bullet fragment was the likely missile of the JFK assassination, can be addressed by postulating multiple Mannlicher-Carcano rifles at the crime scene -- and this also remains relevant to the debate over the direction of the throat wound.

If you still disagree, then I hope that Robert will start a new thread regarding frangible bullets and Mannlicher-Carcano rifles in the JFK assassination, and I will follow Robert in that thread.

Regards,

--Paul Trejo

Edited by Paul Trejo
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*PLONK*

Plenty more room for thread hijackers, disinformationists, anyone who believes in a magic bullet that can enter a throat directly behind a necktie knot without penetrating the knot, and anyone who believes in ghosts with invisible guns shooting invisible bullets from the front of the limousine while utterly surrounded by onlookers who never saw a single one of them.

Ashton Gray

Ashton, I see no thread-hijackers. There is a relevant debate going on here regarding the theme of your thread over the alleged entrance wound in the throat of JFK.

In my layman's summary, Cliff Varnell claims that there was a throat wound from the front, and he cites as evidence Dr. Charles Crenshaw who was present at Parkland Hospital when JFK was admitted there. Even after the WC testimony, Dr. Crenshaw has appeared on news shows seen today on YouTube, claiming this certainty that this was an entrance wound, and that JFK was shot from the front. The disappearance of the bullet is explained by a dissolving, frangible bullet.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IinESpyR2U

Robert Prudhomme, OTOH, claims that the dissolving, frangible bullet entered from the back of the neck, and only a fragment pierced the throat, making the appearance of an entry wound in the throat.

I am not technical enough to decide between these two opponents -- but I can affirm that the debate continues to circle around your original theme.

The arguments of the doctors and ballistics experts for the WC, namely, that a Mannlicher-Carcano bullet fragment was the likely missile of the JFK assassination, can be addressed by postulating multiple Mannlicher-Carcano rifles at the crime scene -- and this also remains relevant to the debate over the direction of the throat wound.

If you still disagree, then I hope that Robert will start a new thread regarding frangible bullets and Mannlicher-Carcano rifles in the JFK assassination, and I will follow Robert in that thread.

Regards,

--Paul Trejo

Just a reminder again, Paul, that frangible bullets do not "dissolve" inside the human body. I do not believe there is or ever was such a thing as a dissolving bullet although, as I am fond of saying, WTH do I know?

The core of a frangible bullet begins life as shotgun shot (BB's), as in the case of the Glaser Safety Bullet, or metal powder, as in the case of the DRT Ammo frangible bullet. Both mediums are compressed into a solid and then inserted into a bullet jacket.

When the bullets disintegrate in a wound, the core returns to its original form; either BB or metal powder. It is this disintegration and instant arrest of the frangible bullet that transfers all of the bullets' energy to surrounding tissue and does such an incredible amount of damage.

However, the metal BB's or metal powder do not dissolve, and both would show up quite well on an x-ray. For example, the hundreds of dust like particles in the cranium x-rays of JFK that Humes observed, and the "many fragments" Jerrol Custer recalled seeing in the x-ray of JFK's neck that is not the x-ray of JFK's neck in the Archives.

Edited by Robert Prudhomme
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