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Inside the ARRB Vol 4

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Good job Bill, while I have already read/am reading vol 4 it is very nice of you to post parts of it for those who dont have the book yet or wont buy it for reasons unknown

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Typing is not necessary if one has an OCR scanning program.



If you have a scanner and a copy of Six Seconds in Dallas, would you scan and post the photo of Greer and Kellerman leaving their Warren Commission testimony?

It isn't so hard typing, especially from books, its the transcribing the audio of people talking on Youtube or, as I am doing now with the McMahon interiew, from CD, as they seem to talk in whispers and even with the volume at full blast you can hardly hear what is being said.

I had to give up trying to transcribe James Douglas Dallas COPA until I get a better quality audio, but will try to finish McMahon.

More to come from Vol. IV since people seem to be getting something out of it.


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If you have a scanner and a copy of Six Seconds in Dallas, would you scan and post the photo of Greer and Kellerman leaving their Warren Commission testimony?

Bill I can do this for you


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Here you go Bill


The image is not very good, but im not about to hold the book open and push it down on the scanner to get a good scane, as I have said before my hardcover copy of SSID is in mint condition and I want to keep it that way


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I had not seen your additional information from Doug until now.You can rest assured,that if I did,I would have thanked you.So,at this time,I would like to say thank you again.

Edited by Michael Crane
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  • 2 weeks later...

Volume IV

Chapter 13: What Really Happened at the Bethesda Morgue (And in Dealey Plaza?)

The principal goals of this chapter are twofold: to create a modified, ‘master timeline’ explaining what I believe really happened inside the Bethesda morgue; and to engage in limited, but responsible speculation about the actual wounds sustained by President Kennedy in Dealey Plaza. I first engaged in a tentative timeline discussion of events inside the Bethesda morgue in Chapter Six, and continued my investigation of some of those events in Chapter Eight. Now that I have completed addressing how the photos and x-rays in the autopsy collection were created in Chapter Twelve, it is appropriate to expand upon and complete the timeline of morgue activities, to the extent that it is possible some 45 years later. Attempting to explain how the President was killed in Dealey Plaza is unavoidable, but I caution the reader up-front that a precise explanation of every shot that struck President Kennedy, in an environment in which so much evidence is tainted, is impossible. I can—and will—offer up probabilities, and likely scenarios, but not certainty. Too many researchers have endeavored to present “certain” explanations of where all the Dealey Plaza shooters were located and from whence all of the shots that stuck the President and Governor Connally originated; all such explanations, in my view, attempt too much. And yet to leave this unaddressed would annoy the reader unnecessarily. It is human nature to wonder how many bullets struck President Kennedy, and where the wounds were on his body, in the face of all the uncertainty within the existing records pertaining to his death. I will clarify the aspects about President Kennedy’s wounding about which I am confident, and will identify those aspects of the shooting which I believe cannot be known with certitude, unless there is an exhumation, and an honest and exacting post mortem examination of his body. I also wish to say here and now that to focus obsessively and primarily on these aspects of thenassassination, to the exclusion of all others, reduces an important subject to a parlor game, and that allowing this to happen denigrates President Kennedy’s memory. Once the researcher is convinced that the President was killed by multiple shooters in a crossfire—and through this, understands that he was killed by a conspiracy—the precise details of how that shooting occurred become irrelevant.

Of equal or greater importance than understanding that President Kennedy was killed by a crossfire, is understanding that the Federal government covered up the facts of his death, in the most brazen and outrageous manipulation of physical evidence in any murder case in American history. The mere fact that no actively serving U.S. government official has ever admitted that this coverup took place, or provided a reasonable explanation for why it took place, is the surest indication that it was sinister in nature—a coverup engineered, and set in motion, by the murderers themselves. If the coverup had been a benign one, it would have been admitted to, and fully explained, long ago.





The Strange Warren Commission Testimony of Roy Kellerman

Humes, Boswell, and the Medical Illustrator, Harold A. Rydberg

…..It is my contention that President Kennedy’s assassination was the result of a domestic conspiracy, and that the conspirators implemented an immediate, effective, and wide-ranging coverup as soon as he was killed. The medical coverup was just a part of this effort, but it had to go into effect immediately, and did. An honest autopsy was prevented from taking place by the Secret Service’s removal of the body from Dallas, and a dishonest autopsy was performed by persons who knowingly participated in that charade because they had been “gaslighted”—they had fallen for the World War III cover story, and with that justification in the forefront of their minds, they could all comfort themselves with the knowledge that they were ‘just following orders’ in a time of national crisis. And it was a time of national crisis: fear and uncertainty ruled, and just 13 months after the Cuban Missile Crisis, the fear of nuclear war was palpable because of the ‘legend’ carefully constructed around the accused assassin.

It is my belief that those who planned and executed JFK’s murder at the height of the Cold War did so because they were adamantly opposed to, and feared, his foreign policy: they believed he was rapidly losing the Cold War to the Communist Bloc, and that he was actually inviting nuclear attack by the USSR through what they perceived was the ‘weakness’ of his defense doctrine and foreign policy. These same people believed that nuclear war with the USSR was not only inevitable, but winnable, and that it would be preferable to fight it when the U.S. still had a measurable superiority in nuclear weapons and delivery systems. The ability to execute a successful first-strike on the USSR and the Communist Bloc with virtual impunity was quickly running out, for the Soviets were rushing to achieve a rough parity with the United States in nuclear weapons as fast as they could; the Men Who Killed Kennedy feared seeing him win a second term because they believed that during John F. Kennedy’s second term, the United States would not only lose the Cold War, but would lose its chance to decisively defeat Communism on the nuclear battlefield, without paying a heavy price in return. Knowing that JFK vehemently disagreed with this mind set caused them to both fear and despise him, and motivated them to remove him from office before he could be reelected to a second term. History has shown that they got away with murder, but that they didn’t get what they hungered for—a decisive defeat of Communism on the battlefield. They got the hot war they so desperately wanted in Southeast Asia, but it became a nightmare, and a disaster, for the United States. And JFK’s successors, rather than pursuing true nuclear disarmament as Kennedy had planned, oversaw an escalating nuclear arms race and negotiated arms control agreements with the USSR that formally permitted the Soviet Union to build up its forces to a level of true parity with the United States, ending the American superiority in strategic nuclear weapons and ushering in the era of “Mutual Assured Destruction.” With the onset of the aptly named “MAD” doctrine in the late 1960s and the early 1970s, the wet dream of the flag-waving, paranoid jingoists in the 1950s and early 1960s—a successful first-strike against the Soviet Union and the achievement of a worldwide Pax Americana following a nuclear Jihad against the Communist Bloc—was forever dead. Furthermore, in the wake of the shameful coverup of the Kennedy assassination, America was left not only with an accelerating, and unwinnable ‘hot war’ in Vietnam, but with a legacy of disillusionment, and profound distrust in government, at home.

No one ever came forward to officially acknowledge the coverup of the JFK assassination because of shame, as much as fear. The shame on the part of major players in the medical coverup—Burkley and Galloway, for example—was probably driven by suspicion that they had been hoodwinked by the World War III cover story in 1963, and literally suckered into aiding and abetting obstruction of justice. Mid-level players in the medical coverup such as Humes, Boswell, Finck, and Knudsen were not about to admit to covering up the true facts in JFK’s death because it would have destroyed their professional credibility, and with it, their careers. Low-level participants like Dennis David and the duty sailors who carried in the shipping casket at 6:35 PM, the two x-ray technicians (Custer and Reed), the two autopsy technologists (O’Connor and Jenkins), and the two official photographers (Stringer and Riebe); outsiders like the guards from the Marine Barracks and the Joint Service Casket Team; and innocent witnesses like the two FBI agents (Sibert and O’Neill) and the morticians (Robinson and VanHoesen), were true victims of the coverup who were simply exposed to many strange things the night of the President’s death, and who were really and truly ‘in the dark,’ and just innocently following the orders they had been given, without knowing a coverup was underway.

Neither Dennis David, Custer, Reed, O’Connor, Jenkins, Stringer, Riebe, Robinson, VanHoesen, the U.S. Marine guards from Marine Barracks, the Joint Service Casket Team working for Lt. Bird, General Wehle, nor his aide, Richard Lipsey, fully understood what was going on around them because of compartmentalization and the suppression of evidence. By now, those who gave them cynical and deceitful orders to carry out the medical coverup are all deceased, and many of the midlevel participants have died or are close to death. And the American people are left today with a fraudulent visual record of the autopsy (which is still being suppressed); a dishonest, third generation autopsy report; and the long-delayed, but reasonably accurate accounts of low-level participants to the strange events surrounding the autopsy—people like Tom Robinson and John VanHoesen, Jerrol Custer and Ed Reed, John Stringer and Floyd Riebe, Paul O’Connor and James Jenkins, Jim Sibertmand Frank O’Neill, and Dennis David and Roger Boyajian—who have provided us with enough of the truth to allow us to ascertain that we have been lied to about a seminal event in our nation’s history. Studying the assassination and the coverup is a journey through darkness, and that journey will only lead into bright, sunlit uplands if the student of the assassination gains a proper overview of the deep politics, and the macro forces behind the crime, because with that knowledge comes a full and proper understanding of what a uniquely special politician and leader John F. Kennedy truly was.

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Times Events

6:35 PM A shipping casket with President Kennedy's body inside, encased ina zippered, rubberized body bag (and nude, with only the head wrapped in a sheet), arrives at the morgue loading dock in a black Cadillac ambulance (a hearse) provided by the Gawler's funeral home.2 The two ambulance attendants who emerge from the front seat, dressed in white smocks, are Joe Hagan and Tom Robinson of Gawler's funeral home; numerous Secret Service agents accompanied the casket inside the hearse, and are seen by Dennis David getting out of the vehicle. Dennis David's working party of duty sailors carries the shipping casket into the morgue anteroom, and is dismissed.

Witnesses who definitely observe the arrival of the shipping casket, and initially see it opened, are Paul O'Connor, James Jenkins, John Stringer, Floyd Riebe, Jerrol Custer, Ed Reed, CAPT Stover, Humes, Boswell, and Navy Surgeon General Edward Kenney.

6:37-6:49 PM An initial inspection of the body is conducted, in which the same head wound seen in Dallas (an occipital-parietal exit defect, a blowout in the right rear of the head devoid of scalp and skull) is observedmat Bethesda. (Witnesses include Dr. Ebersole, Dr. Canada, and Tom Robinson.) Autopsy technicians Paul O'Connor and James Jenkins, and photographers Stringer and Riebe, are dismissed, probably before the head is initially unwrapped. They all see the shipping casket arrive, see it opened, and witness JFK's nude body, with a sheet wrapped around the head, removed from a zippered body bag and placed on the examining table. [stringer claimed he only saw a bronze casket and a body wrapped in sheets when testifying before the ARRB, but I am confident he saw these things, because his assistant, Floyd Riebe, did; I believe Stringer chose not to recall a shipping casket or body bag at his deposition to avoid being involved in an unpleasant controversy.] Joe Hagan and Tom Robinson, who are not perceived as a threat (since they were participants in the early arrival), are allowed to stay. After Stringer and Riebe leave, someone else takes early photographs of the actual wounds, which are seen days after the autopsy by both Dennis David and Joe O'Donnell Humes, assisted by Boswell, commences the performance of a modified craniotomy by making a long, transverse (left-to-right) incision in the scalp just behind the hairline, and by then using a circular bone saw to cut into the frontal bone at the site of this incision, which is just behind the hairline in the top of the head, behind what a layperson would call the forehead. At this point someone in the morgue objects to the presence of Custer and Reed, who are unaccountably still present, and they are summarily dismissed. [Reed recalls this in his ARRB testimony.] Roy Kellerman, who David Lifton has called the 'battalion commander on the ground' for the medical coverup, was not yet present controlling access to the morgue, since he was riding in the motorcade from Andrews AFB, so this probably accounts for the mistakes that were made—namely, allowing the x-ray technicians and the two morticians to witness post mortem surgery on President Kennedy's skull.

6:53-6:55 PM The Andrews AFB motorcade pulls up in front of Bethesda Naval hospital. The Dallas casket—the heavy, ornate, bronze, ceremonial viewing coffin—is empty, but Jacqueline Kennedy does not realize this.4 JBK immediately gets out of the gray Navy ambulance that transported both her and the Dallas casket, and enters the main lobby, what is referred to as the Bethesda rotunda.

6:56 PM Custer and Reed, on their way to an elevator that will take them upstairs to the 4th floor x-ray department with their Secret Service agent security escort, see Jackie Kennedy enter the Bethesda lobby. Dennis David, from a second floor office, also sights the entry of the President's widow. Custer and Reed have not yet taken any x-rays; years later, in 1979 and 1980 when interviewed by David Lifton, Custer correctly remembers seeing JBK enter the hospital after the President arrived, but incorrectly recalls that he had already taken some x-rays at this point. [because the two x-ray technicians made so many trips upstairs that night to develop films, this mistake is understandable 16 years after the fact.]

6:56-7:00 PM Tom Robinson witnesses "the doctors" removing significant portions of the rear and top of the President's skull with a saw, to gain access to the brain. [He later recalls this vividly, but matter-of-factly, to the ARRB in 1996.] He also witnesses numerous bullet fragments removed from the brain (which he recalls for both the HSCA and the ARRB). I have concluded that Humes surgically removed evidence of a bullet's entry from very high up in the right forehead above the right eye, leaving evidence of this illicit, post mortem surgery in the form of an ugly, bright red incision high in the right forehead which no one recalls seeing in Dallas at Parkland hospital. Humes also removed significant portions of brain tissue from the forebrain, to eliminate any evidence of a bullet track which would prove there was a shot from the front. He removed at least 10 bullet fragments from the brain (per Tom Robinson), and at least 4 of them were large enough to warrant a receipt being prepared (per Dennis David). A bullet may also have been removed from behind the right ear (per the FBI headquarters memo written the night of the autopsy from Alan Belmont to Clyde Tolson).

7:05 PM Robert Knudsen takes a quick series of autopsy photos showing JFK's head supported by a metal head brace, with a Bethesda Naval hospital towel underneath the head brace displaying a blue stripe.

These photos (which constitute over half of the photos in the autopsy collection) are intended to misrepresent the results of post mortem surgery conducted by Humes as damage caused by an assassin's bullet—namely, a large, fictional exit defect in the right temporalparietal region. The intentional positioning of the President's head in the metal stirrup is intended to hide the original occipital defect in the rear of the skull, and succeeds brilliantly in doing so. Immediately afterwards, the head brace is disassembled and the towel discarded, and they are never seen again the night of the autopsy.

7:07 PM The gray Navy ambulance containing the empty Dallas casket, after not moving outside the front of Bethesda Naval hospital for twelve minutes, is driven around to the morgue loading dock—Secret Service agent William Greer, the driver of the gray Navy ambulance (and yes, also the driver of the Presidential limousine in Dallas), follows Sibert and O'Neill of the FBI, who know where the morgue is located.

7:10-7:20 PM Custer and Reed, who were recalled from the 4th floor after an absence of only about 15 minutes, take a series of 5 skull x-rays, depicting an enormous fronto-parietal-temporal-occipital wound in the skull, and then take them upstairs for developing, which takes about 30 minutes.

7:17 PM Secret Service agent Roy Kellerman (who had entered Bethesda through the front entrance as soon as the Andrews motorcade arrived) meets the Dallas casket at the morgue loading dock, and he, Greer, Sibert, and O'Neill remove it from the Navy ambulance and transport it to the morgue anteroom using a wheeled dolly (a common conveyance used to transport caskets). FBI agents Sibert and O'Neill, who do not know the Dallas casket is empty (and who also do not know that x-rays of the President's skull are being taken inside the morgue proper at that very moment), are denied entry to the morgue by Roy Kellerman, no doubt creating serious consternation on their part, since their mission was to stay with the body and collect all ballistics and firearms evidence (i.e., bullets and bullet fragments) removed from the body. They register their emphatic objections about this treatment with Roy Kellerman, and are nevertheless kept waiting—sequestered—until shortly after 8:00 PM. The excuse they are given is that 'set up' is going on inside the morgue, and that this is the 'time of preparation for the autopsy,' so they are led to believe that they are not really missing anything anyway.

Joe Gawler (the owner of the funeral home) and John VanHoesen of Gawler's arrive and are kept waiting in the morgue anteroom; they do not understand why they have not been admitted, but notice that others are waiting in the anteroom also. (They may have crossed paths with Sibert and O'Neill.)

Unknown Tom Robinson witnesses the President's body removed from the morgue and is told that the autopsy is 'being moved' to another location temporarily. His agitation about this was recalled to the HSCA staff 14 years later, in 1977, when he told them that "the body was taken," and that "the body never came." Unknown to him, now that the clandestine surgery on the President's body has been completed, and the photographs and x-rays documenting those altered wounds have been taken, JFK's body has been rewrapped to mimic its appearance when it left Parkland (with a sheet around the body and another sheet around the head), reunited with the Dallas casket, and the bronze casket is being rushed outside to a gray Navy ambulance (there were two in use that night) so that it can be 'found' by the Joint Service Casket Team, which has lost track of the President's body and is driving around the grounds of Bethesda in desperation looking for the bronze coffin. In the process of rapidly transporting the heavy bronze casket to a gray Navy ambulance, it is severely damaged—probably either dropped, or run into a wall—one handle is broken off, and the shiny bronze finish on the viewing coffin is noticeably scratched and dented. This is not really that surprising, since the casket and the President's remains together weighed over 570 pounds, and the persons transporting it (almost certainly Secret Service agents) were not accustomed to handling an object of this mass. USAF Brigadier General Godfrey McHugh, President Kennedy's Air Force Aide, did not notice the damage to the casket on Air Force One, and saw it for the first time at 8:00 PM, when he tried to help the Joint Service Casket Team carry the casket up the steps of the morgue loading dock.

7:50 PM X-ray technicians Jerrol Custer and Ed Reed bring the 5 developed skull x-rays back to the morgue to be read by Humes, Boswell, and Ebersole. Following discussion of the skull x-rays with his colleagues, Humes calls Dr. Finck at his home (at 8:00 PM, per the Blumberg Report) and asks him to assist with the autopsy on President Kennedy; Humes tells Finck that he already has a good set of head films. Custer and Reed are dismissed and sequestered so that they do not witness the entry of the Dallas casket at 8:00 PM.

7:55 PM The Joint Service Casket Team finds the bronze Dallas casket inside a gray Navy ambulance sitting out in front of Bethesda Naval hospital, and escorts it to the morgue loading dock, where they perform their ceremonial function and prepare to take the Dallas casket into the morgue, with all due solemnity.

8:00 PM The Casket Team supervised by Lt. Bird from Fort Myer performs its official function and takes the Dallas casket into the morgue, sittingit down next to an examination table. General Godfrey McHughattempts to assist outside on the loading dock, briefly taking the place of Coast Guardsman George Barnum, one of the pall bearers, but McHugh had to quickly relinquish his grip because the casket is so

heavy, and because the morgue loading dock steps are too narrow.

8:01 PM As soon as the casket lid is opened, the Joint Service Casket Team

members begin to file out, and Roy Kellerman (the stage manager

that night) admits Jim Sibert and Frank O'Neill, and Joe Gawler and

John VanHoesen,5 to the morgue for the first time; he also readmits

Stringer, Riebe, O'Connor, Jenkins, Custer, and Reed. O'Connor

makes an official log entry and records the time he is

readmitted—"8:00"—a time that he later (incorrectly) associates in

his memory with the time of arrival of the shipping casket which he

had seen earlier, at 6:35 PM. Humes unwraps the head defect (which

he previously expanded to five times its original size during post

mortem surgery) and the audience gasps with amazement, shock, and

disbelief that any single bullet could be the cause of that kind of

ramatic damage to the President's skull. Already in a highly anxious

and nervous state of mind, Dr. Humes blurts out his infamous

utterance that there had been "surgery of the head area, namely in the

top of the skull," in a feeble attempt to defend himself and blame the

damage people are discussing on someone else earlier in the day (and

by inference, he thus attributes this damage to the skull to 'life-saving

surgery' performed by the physicians at Parkland hospital). Sibert

and O'Neill, not recognizing the true significance of this statement,

nevertheless recognize that it is important, and write it down in their

notes. Paul O'Connor misinterprets the large amount of brain tissue

removed by Dr. Humes during the clandestine surgery as evidence

'that there were no brains' in the skull, 'that the cranium was empty,'

and that this was damage caused by gunshot. Although he remained

convinced that he was correct for the rest of his life, largely because

he never had to perform a craniotomy himself, he was wrong: Ed

Reed and Tom Robinson saw a modified craniotomy performed when

Paul O'Connor, by definition, must have been absent from the

morgue; besides, the exit wound seen in Dallas was much too small

to permit removal of a brain, or to account for the massive head

defect and the degree of missing brain tissue O'Connor consistently


8:05 PM: Following this initial, public examination of the President's

body before a large morgue audience—which causes Humes to later

characterize the start of the autopsy as "about 8:00," most people in

the morgue are temporarily dismissed while photos and x-rays are

taken. The autopsy x-rays taken at this time are of the torso (not the

skull), prior to the Y-incision (and therefore, prior to the removal of

any organs). Stringer and Riebe begin taking photographs, a process

that goes on continuously for three hours; none of their photos will

ever be seen by them after processing, and none of them will be

placed in the National Archives.

8:15 PM: The Y-incision is made on the body, and this event is recorded as the

"first incision" by Sibert and O'Neill, who are completely unaware of

the prior clandestine surgery.

8:16-8:29 PM: Humes and Boswell remove what is left of the brain without

performing a normal craniotomy; they only have to extend some

incisions they had previously made in the scalp (which they

misrepresent as 'lacerations'), and snip a very small amount of bone

in one or two places in the badly damaged cranium, to do so. The

President's cranium is so badly damaged by this time (severely

fractured by multiple gunshot wounds, and partially missing due to

gunshot blast and post mortem surgery), that it is literally falling

apart; the entire scalp is mobile, and the shape of the skull is quite

malleable. Tom Robinson, Jerrol Custer, Humes, and Boswell

describe this condition dramatically in subsequent years.

8:30 PM: Dr. Pierre Finck arrives and observes that President Kennedy's brain,

lungs, and heart have already been removed. Early in the autopsy—at

some point—Boswell makes his famous sketch of the damage to the

top of the skull, in which he intentionally misrepresents damage

caused by Dr. Humes' illicit post mortem surgery, as 'damage caused

by the assassin's bullet.'

Unknown As the evening progresses, in response to Dr. Finck's unremitting

search for evidence in the skull of a bullet's entry and exit, Roy

Kellerman reintroduces into the morgue three fragments of skull that

had previously been removed during post mortem surgery by Dr.

Humes, prior to the start of the autopsy. The middle-sized of the 3

fragments of skull bone completes the circumference of the entry

wound in the posterior skull, and the largest of the three fragments

(measuring 6.5 x 10 cm) contains a semicircular beveled notch in the

outer table of the skull, which is misrepresented by Humes and

Boswell to Finck as representing the 'exit wound in the right parietal

region.' Roy Kellerman, thinking he should do damage control to

correct Humes' panicky oral utterance about 'surgery of the head

area' earlier that evening, publicly 'instructs' Dr. Humes that the

largest of the 3 fragments was 'removed' from the President's skull

'at the Dallas hospital,' and FBI agents Sibert and O'Neill dutifully

record these statements in their notes.

Unknown: Humes becomes increasingly frustrated that he cannot find a bullet in

the President's body to correspond with the entry wound in the back

at the level of the third thoracic vertebra (T-3); he has already

announced that the shallow back wound has a severe downward

trajectory of 45 to 60 degrees, but is mystified because there is no

bullet in the body. After Sibert makes a telephone call to the FBI,

Humes learns from the FBI agents that a bullet was found on a

stretcher at Parkland hospital, and assumes that the stretcher bullet in

Dallas was dislodged from the President's back by external cardiac

massage administered during the attempt to save JFK's life.

10:45 -11:00 PM: James J. Humes, Chief Prosector, makes a grand public statement for

the benefit of the FBI and the morgue audience, that the pattern was

now clear: President Kennedy was killed by two shots from behind:

one entered his back and created a very shallow wound, and was later

pushed out by external cardiac massage; and the other entered low in

the back of his skull and exited from the right front of his skull, as

evidenced by the external beveling on the large skull bone fragment.

11:00 PM: FBI agents Sibert and O'Neill depart, enroute the FBI laboratory in

downtown Washington, D.C., with two very tiny bullet fragments

which Humes removed from the brain tissue in the extreme forward

portions of JFK's skull: they are 1 x 3 mm and 2 x 7 mm in size.

Sibert and O'Neill are unaware of the vial of approximately 10 small

metal fragments from the President's skull that Tom Robinson had

seen earlier in the evening, or the 4 larger bullet fragments that

Dennis David had seen earlier that evening as he prepared a receipt

for them at the request of the Secret Service. [Dennis David told

Lifton about these 4 fragments and the receipt in 1979, and repeated

the account to the ARRB in 1997.] Stringer and Riebe break down

their equipment and leave the morgue; Stringer, in 1996, had a vague

recollection that someone in the morgue did call Dallas during the

autopsy (see below), because this telephone call was transpiring while

Stringer and Riebe were still in the morgue, disassembling their gear.

11:05 (Estimated) Telephonic contact is established between Humes and Dr. Perry in

Dallas, probably in an attempt by Humes to ask if Perry knew

anything about the stretcher bullet, and whether it came from the body

of the President. (The call was probably initiated by a Secret Service

agent and then taken by Humes after Perry was on the phone.)

Unexpectedly, Humes becomes aware, by talking to Perry, that there

was a bullet wound in the anterior neck—in the throat—that had all

the appearances in Dallas of a wound of entry. Prior to this he had

not considered the gaping wound in the throat to be anything more

than a sloppy tracheostomy. It is this phone call that turned the

autopsy on its head, and forced Humes to come up with a three-shot

scenario that accounted for three bullets hitting the body (from

behind, of course), and abandon the two-shot scenario publicly

dictated before the FBI prior to the departure of Sibert and O'Neill.

It is at this point that Humes' superiors intervene, probably in a rather

heavy-handed way, and remind him that an entrance wound in the

throat is unacceptable, and that it is his job to suppress evidence of

bullet wounds inflicted from in front of the limousine, if he is to help

hide the fact that there was 'an international Communist conspiracy'

and thereby help prevent World War III. In this manner, the

fraudulent explanation which we now know of as 'Lipsey's bullet #2'

is invented, postulating that a bullet entering extremely low in the

back of the head exited from the front of the throat, and that Dr. Perry

later performed a rather sloppy tracheostomy at the site of this 'exit'

wound in the throat, obliterating it in the process.. Richard Lipsey,

the Aide to General Wehle (Commanding Officer, Military District

of Washington), overhears this new 3-hit scenario expounded upon

by Humes and his superiors, and commits it to memory. Roy

Kellerman initially became so upset about Humes' discovery of the

throat wound—evidence of a shot from the front—that Dr. Boswell

recalled to the HSCA staff 14 years later that the pathologists had

gotten themselves "in Dutch" with the Secret Service over the throat

wound.6 Boswell performed his part in the coverup in ensuing years

by recalling, for both the HSCA and the ARRB, that the pathologists

did indeed know that there was an exit wound in the throat at the

autopsy. One indication of the coverup's poor management is that

Humes and Finck, in contrast, always insisted that the conclusion

there was an exit wound in the throat was an inference not reached

until mid-morning on Saturday (after the Saturday call from Humes

to Perry).

11:30-11:45 PM Robert Knudsen is brought back to the morgue by Roy Kellerman to

take the series of misleading photographs that we are all so familiar

with today, showing the back of the head apparently intact, a high

back wound in the posterior thorax, and two punctures in the scalp in

the back of the skull: a 'high' red spot, and a 'low' white (actually,

'pink') spot. Unfortunately for the coverup, he also photographs a

closeup shot of a semicircular notch in the bone in the posterior skull,

which is actually evidence of a bullet's exit in the back of the head.

It is this photo that would later be carelessly, and mistakenly, included in the official collection without the foreknowledge of Dr. Humes or the other pathologists, which explains why they did notmention this damage in the autopsy report, and why Humes deniedthat such damage existed in his Warren Commission testimony.

11:45 PM-3:30 AM The Gawler's team of Joe Hagan, Ed Stroble, Tom Robinson, and John VanHoesen performs its assigned tasks, first embalming the body arterially, then reconstructing the torso and the skull, and finally applying restorative art to the President's head and face, and dressing the body. Late in this process Robert Knudsen is ordered to take a series of 'sanitized' post mortem images of the 'cleaned up' body in the event they are needed for public relations purposes. One of these photos documents that there was still an occipital defect in the back of the head, even after the Gawler's team finished its work; another image unaccountably recorded an intact brain (not belonging toPresident Kennedy)outside of his body, alongside the restored,reconstructed head and torso. These images were never placed in the official autopsy collection, but Saundra Spencer, the ARRB's mostcredible deposition witness, remembered making prints of them fordistribution, and so testified to the ARRB in 1997.

3:45-3:50 AM: The Kennedy entourage views the remains before Joe Hagan closesthe new mahogany casket procured by Gawler's to replace the damaged bronze Dallas coffin.

3:56 AM: President Kennedy's body and his widow depart Bethesda Naval hospital for the White House in a gray Navy ambulance....

DH: The timeline created above is my best attempt to reconcile what we now know about the time the President's body actually arrived at Bethesda (6:35 PM); the time the autopsy really ended (11:00 PM); our new understanding about how the autopsy photos and x-rays were created; and what we now know about the changing autopsy conclusions on November 22-23, 1963.

Edited by William Kelly
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This is written (primarily) for the “younger” generation.

I say that because anyone who has followed the JFK case for the last two decades knows well the true “chronology” that led to the discovery of the information behind the thesis that the President’s body was altered (i.e., his wounds were altered) prior to the start of the official autopsy. It is all laid out –chapter and verse—in Best Evidence, which was published in 1981, and then republished three more times.

FYI: Best Evidence was published four times. It was first published in hardcover in January, 1981. At that time, it was a national best seller and a Book of the Month Club selection. Then came publication again in 1982 (paperback), then (in the fall of 1988) the Carroll and Graf Trade paper edition (with the autopsy photographs); and then the paperback edition by New American Library (1993).

For some reason, Bill Kelly’s post jumbles a whole bunch of critical facts and relates a completely incorrect narrative.

Here are the incorrect statements, and (in each case) the correction:

ITEM: “Paul Hoch first noted the statement attributed to Dr. Hume (sic) when he first got started, before the Y-incision, that there was “surgery to the head”. . .

CORRECTION: This is a completely false statement. Paul Hoch had nothing to do with the “surgery of the head area” statement. Paul Hoch WAS the first JFK researcher to receive the Sibert and O’Neill report from the National Archives and distribute that FBI report to some half dozen of the original “first generation” JFK researchers, back in the summer of 1966 (or thereabouts). At the time, I was working at Ramparts Magazine, and writing "The Case for Three Assassins", which was published in January, 1967.

ITEM: Paul Hoch first noted the statement attributed to Dr. Hume when he first got started, before the Y-incision, that there was "surgery to the head," which Hoch left out of his reports on the Sibert & O'Neil report to see if anybody else noticed those four words.

CORRECTION: This is a completely incorrect statement. Hoch never “left” anything—not a single word—out of any FBI report that he ever distributed. I have no idea where this “fact” supposedly comes from. It is completely false.

ITEM: “Paul Hoch first noted the statement. . .that there was “surgery to the head”

CORRECTION: False. I (yes, me, DSL) was the first person to “notice” the statement, which your post has (by the way) incorrectly quoted. The FBI statement reads: that upon the removal of the sheets, it was “apparent” that a trach had been performed “as well as surgery of the head area, namely, in the top of the skull.”

How I found the statement, and how I built the hypothesis –now a proven fact, I believe—is laid out step by step in Best Evidence. That's why my book is all about.

I found that statement on October 22-23, 1966. (See Chapter 7, Best Evidence)

I constructed a preliminary hypothesis (See chapter 8)

I had a day-long meeting with UCLA Law Professor Wesley Liebeler, showing him that statement, and confronting him with the implications (See Chapter 9, Best Evidence; “10/24/66: A Confrontation With Liebeler.” (It was during that meeting that he called Arlen Specter. . go read my chapter for Specter's response. . oh, all right, I'll tell you now: Liebeler came out of the office and said, "Specter hopes he gets through this with his balls intact.")

Liebeler then wrote a memorandum to Chief Justice Warren—and every other member of the WarrenCommision—about the statement. Liebeler’s 12 page memorandum is dated November 8, 1966, and is now available at the National Archives. (See Chapter 10, Best Evidence, titled “The Liebeler Memorandum.”)

I then called Agent SIbert about the statement (early November, 1966)—See Chapter 12, of Best Evidence, titled “An Oral Utterance”

I also called the Dallas doctors (See Chapter 11, Best Evidence)

I also called Dr. Humes—on November 2 and November 3, 1966.

Etc etc etc

In other words, the entire theory about body alteration –which occurred in the fall of 1966—was set forth in great detail in Best Evidence (Jan 1981) , and derives from data in the original FBI investigation, and Warren Commission records, circa 1963-1964, and supplemented by my own interviews, as laid out in Best Evidence.

In October, 1980, just prior to publication of Best Evidence, , I interviewed all the key autopsy witnesses, and you can see what they said in BEST EVIDENCE: The Research Video, published in 1989, released by Rhino, and later by Warner video, and which also had best-seller status.

Doug Horne read my book in the 1980s, it was a major paradigm shifting experience for him. When he was accepted for employment on the ARRB (March. 1995), and then began work there (Aug., 1995) we had some very heavy liaison, and he (and Jeremy Gunn) made decisions that led to the calling of many of these “Best Evidence witnesses.” During this entire period, I was in very heavy contact with the ARRB.

To further make clear how far back all this goes:

In the course of his ARRB work, Doug has then made an elaboration on my own thesis. In 2004, Doug Horne released the following public statement on the London Education Forum:

Here is that statement, along with the Internet Link I used to cite, when referring people to it:


David Lifton's thesis in his 1981 book "Best Evidence" has been validated by the work of the ARRB staff. Our unsworn interviews and depositions of Dallas (Parkland Hospital) medical personnel and Bethesda autopsy participants confirm that the President's body arrived at Bethesda Naval Hospital in a markedly different condition than it was in when seen at Parkland for life-saving treatment. My conclusion is that wounds were indeed altered and bullets were indeed removed prior to the autopsy at Bethesda Naval Hospital. This procedure altered the autopsy conclusions and presented a false picture of how the shooting took place. In most essential details, David Lifton "got it right" in his 1981 bestseller. (He has modified his views since his book was published on the "when" and "where," and I concur with his changes, which he will publish at a later date.)

Numerous persons the ARRB deposed or interviewed (FBI agents Sibert and O'Neill, mortician Tom Robinson, and others) have essentially disowned the autopsy photographs showing the back of JFK's head intact. O'Neill said the photos of the back of the head looked "doctored" (by which he meant that he thought the wound had been repaired - put back together - not that the photo looked altered), and Sibert said the back of the head looked "reconstructed." Tom Robinson of Gawler's funeral home said there was a large hole in the back of the head where it looks intact in the photos. Pathologist J. Thornton Boswell said that there was a lot of bone missing in the right rear of the head behind where the scalp looks intact -but did not explain how the scalp could be intact if the bone in the right rear of the skull was missing! (See the ARRB deposition transcripts of Frank O'Neill, James Sibert, and J. Thornton Boswell, as well as the unsworn interview report of the ARRB interview with Tom Robinson.) UNQUOTE


* * *

I hope this attempt at “setting the record straight” will serve the useful function I intended—to simply keep the basic record straight, so there will not be a whole new generation of people who incorrectly believe (for instance) that:

(a ) Paul Hoch had anything whatsoever ever to do with the “discovery” of the Sibert and O’Neill statement about "surgery of the head area" (or interpreting its implications);

(b ) that Paul Hoch omitted anything from the Sibert and O’Neill report he distributed (he certainly did not).

(c ) that completely omits the role I played in this work, and the role of my book, BEST EVIDENCE, which was such an important factor in Doug Horne's life.

Just read Doug Horne's chapter titled "Epiphanies" and you will see the major role played by Best Evidence in the evolution of his own thinking. Many of the readers on this Forum wish they could "do something" about the Kennedy assassination. Well, Doug had that opportunity, and he acted on it. And look at the tremendous 5 volume work he produced!

I highly recommend his book, and will have more to say about that in the future.


1/26/10; 2 pm

Los Angeles, California

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David, all I can say at this point is that your work is truly one of the most important if not the most important pieces of research ever conducted on the JFK assassination. When I first read Best Evidence back in the early 80's I wondered in a paranoid way who knew I was actually reading it. It was definitely a life changing moment for me. The closest I have come to that feeling since is from John Armstrong's book "Harvey and Lee" which is the Rosetta Stone for understanding Oswald as your work is for understanding the medical evidence and alterations. I am looking forward to reading your views on Horne's work. It might seem like I am ass kissing here but I have always wanted the chance to thank you for your work and I noticed you have been active here for a few weeks and figured this was my best chance. After all, others here have been doing nothing but busting your balls (pardon my French). Keep it up, Walt.

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Reading David`s book was also a life changing moment for me also.It still effects me to this day.

*I also remember a quote that came from Wesley Liebeler that...

"pursuing this equals the shortness of life"

Edited by Michael Crane
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I felt the same way Walt, when Lifton said he would sleep with the lights on at night after he found out about the body being altered it really made me feel uneasy

I will never forget reading Best Evidence back in 1988 for the first time

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Reading David`s book was also a life changing moment for me also.It still effects me to this day.

*I also remember a quote that came from Wesley Liebeler that...

"pursuing this equals the shortness of life"

Thanks for the kind remarks. But here is an important correction.

What Liebeler said had nothing to do with any threats, or physical jeopardy. It had to do with the passage of time, and the time it takes to ascertain, analyze, assimilate, and write about "the facts."

What Liebeler said--and I am doing this from memory, sitting in a Starbucks, and not having my book readily at hand--was something like this. We were discussing the issue of the lesson learned from the story of the Emporer's new clothes, and Liebeler (as I recall) said something to the effect that sometimes we (as a society) simply must defer to authority and believe that the Emporer is clothed. And why was that? I asked. Replied Liebeler: we must do so as a "concession to the laws of probability and the shortness of life."

What Liebeler said was a true gem of a statement. (And, fyi: These conversations were all taped--by me--and you will find exact quotes throughout my book. I think this one came up in Chapter 10, and I believe I closed the book with an abbreviated version of it--i.e., at the end of Chapter 32, "The Assassination as a Covert Operation).

On the same subject, remember what Commander Humes said to me (and again, this is from memory). . and this was on November 3, 1966, in the second of our two conversations; and AFTER I had confronted him with the statement about "surgery of the head area" in the Sibert and O'Neill report.

Humes exclaimed "I'd like to know by whom it was done (pause) and when (pause) and where!". And I had said, "And if you thought such a thing had been done, you would have told the Warren Commission?" To which he responded, with considerable angst (I thought): "I would certainly HOPE I would!"

(Aside: Now keep in mind, in reading his words, that I do believe Humes in fact did "tell the Warren Commission" but in technical language. Again, see My chapter 18, the Pre-Autopsy Autopsy", and the last section, subtitled, "The Peculiar testimony of Commander Humes.")

Returning now to that conversation of 11/3/66, which was so memorable. . .I then said, "Well, that's what I was hoping, but I was puzzled by that."

And then Humes said, "Well, I'd pick something else to be puzzled by, my boy. I don't mean to ridicule your interest, but its just. . its just (pause) fantastic, let's put it that way." ((Again, this is Humes responding to the fact that the body had ALREADY been altered, by the time he received it--and this was (and remains) my opinion (an area where I disagree with Doug, but not to be pursued right here)).

And then I said something polite (by way of exiting the conversation), and he then said, "Lots a luck, is all I can tell ya. . . it'll take you the rest of your life."

We then said our goodbyes.

But focus on the last thing he said. How prescient.

That conversation was on November 3, 1966. I had just turned 27. My book was published in January, 1981, when I was 4 months past my 41st birthday. Never did I ream it would take 14-15 years. But Humes was right. Best Evidence took a major portion of my adult life. I have recently turned 70, and am racing to complete my major book focusing on Oswald ("FINAL CHARADE". . and no, I cannot provide exact dates. . just yet). This is the way it goes when it comes to the Kennedy assassination. Because the case is in fact that complex, and the data base that voluminous. Six million pages! I personally have 150,000 files on my computer! Doug Horne began his ARRB experience in August, 1995--and his intense experience went on and on, every day, every week--for three years plus, until the ARRB's "sunset" on 9/30/98. And then, after that, it took 10 years MORE to assimilate and write the book he did.

As anyone who has worked on the JFK case knows, this is par for the course. I don't agree with the Warren Report at all--but just take a brief look at the time it took to master the underlying data and write the report they did. Just look at the data base they had, and the time it took. Working without computers, pdf files, Google, or the Internet, search engines, etc. . . : it took 14 attorneys the better part of a full year to index, assimilate, take testimony--and then "connect the dots" (all wrong, of course, but that is another matter). But note: 14 man-years of work went into the Warren Report, which is a completely INCORRECT way of "connecting the dots."

So when any person says that they are going to "write a book on the Kennedy assassination," I say, "beware." And remember what Liebeler said, and what Humes told me in November, 1966: "Lots a luck, is all I can tell ya. . it will take you the rest of your life."

He was right.

I know.


1/26/10, 5 PM

Written at a Starbucks

Los Angeles, CA

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Well put, David. I wonder if anyone has counted the various casualties of this case... those people who got in and could never get out. It's always seemed to me that the saner course was to be constantly reminded that one is writing contemporary history and that the usual canons of historiography apply. But it is very easy to lose one's bearings and end up adrift in a mass of documents, photos, ideas, theories, arguments, etc.

Would you agree?


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