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Inside the ARRB, Vol. I, by Doug Horne


Guest James H. Fetzer
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Guest James H. Fetzer

From an exchange of emails between Jim DiEugenio and me, there appear to be some unresolved issues regarding his review.

http://www.ctka.net/reviews/horne_jd.html

Inside the ARRB, Vol. I, by Doug Horne

Reviewed by James DiEugenio

(Jim DiEugenio's review of Volume I is the first installment of CTKA's book-by-book review of Douglas Horne's five-volume set Inside the ARRB. Later contributions by Dr. David Mantik, Gary Aguilar and Jim DiEugenio will complete the critique of this mammoth series.)

I

Douglas Horne's five volume set is formally titled Inside the Assassination Records Review Board: The U.S. Government's Final Attempt to Reconcile the Conflicting Medical Evidence in the Assassination of JFK. In almost record time it has become an object of heated and almost embattled controversy. There was at first a barrage of advance, and pretty much unqualified, praise from certain quarters of the research community. The book was then attacked by both Krazy Kid Oswald advocates and certain Warren Commission critics. In reading Horne's series two things strike me about the book's reception. First, the reaction seems to me to be predictable since Horne is postulating a rather radical interpretation of the medical evidence and the Zapruder film. Second, although Volume Four was released first, and has generated the most controversy, it seems rather shortsighted to concentrate on that particular book in explaining this work. To understand Horne, and where his book is coming from, one has to read Volume I first. I read it twice and consider it crucial in any evaluation of this rather large outpouring of writing and research.

Doug Horne (CTKA file photo)

The first time I ever heard of Horne was through the estimable and respected lawyer-researcher Carol Hewitt. It was around the summer of 1996, and through her output in Probe, Carol had developed a reputation as an important writer and careful researcher. Since I edited her essays, I had developed a professional relationship with her. So around this time, or a bit later, I had a phone conversation with her at her home in Florida. She asked, "Jim, have you heard of this ARRB guy named Doug Horne?" I said no I had not. She said words to the effect that Horne had become friends with David Lifton when the latter was speaking in Hawaii. He then secured a position on the ARRB and he was now trying to bolster Lifton's theories and discredit those Lifton disagreed with e.g. John Armstrong and his Oswald doppelganger concept. It's clear that Carol was correct. All one has to do is read the rather long Preface to the first volume to understand that. For there Horne discusses Lifton's Hawaii speech and their following friendship. (p. lxix) Further, in the photo section of the volume you will see two pictures of Lifton. One is with Horne outside the National Archives. The important point about the photo is that it was taken in 1999, after the ARRB closed shop. Horne's friendship with Lifton began before he took his position and continued after his ARRB function was completed.

This is important in any analysis and/or evaluation of Inside the ARRB. And in fact, Horne clearly explains why in his Preface. He says that he has read Best Evidence four times. (For comparison purposes, I have not read any assassination book from cover to cover more than twice.) And the praise he lavishes on that book is, to say the least, lush. He is so intent on enshrining it in the pantheon that he indulges in a technique that, heretofore, only Gus Russo and David Heymann had used. He says Best Evidence was a nominee for the Pulitzer Prize. (Horne, p. 4) This startled me since I had never even heard Lifton say this. I also found it hard to believe that a committee as mainstream as that body would so honor a book that postulates a conspiracy in the JFK case – and a rather extreme one at that. So I went to the Pulitzer site. As with Russo and Heymann, I discovered that Best Evidence was not a finalist that year. It may have been submitted for consideration. But as Lisa Pease noted in her review of Heymann's trashy book Bobby and Jackie, scores of people do that.

In measuring the importance of Best Evidence, Horne writes that Lifton reminded us that gunshot wound evidence is a road map to any shooting, and it is evidence that trumps all eyewitness testimony and human recollection. (p. lxi) After this, he calls Best Evidence a "paradigm-buster". (ibid) He continues his medical evidence primacy argument by saying that such evidence was used to counteract the impact of the Zapruder film when it was shown in 1975. He then adds, "...the medico-legal evidence from an autopsy will always outweigh eyewitness testimony. [Therefore] the debate had grown tiresome and inconclusive ..." before Lifton published his volume. (p. lxiii) In discussing the House Select Committee on Assassinations, he talks about the differing recollections of medical observers of Kennedy's body, those in Dallas, and those at Bethesda. Although the HSCA sided with the latter's observations, Horne writes: "What if both groups of medical witnesses – all medical professionals – had told the truth and provided an accurate description of the President's wounds at the time they saw them." (p. lxiv) And with this, the author now introduces the critical concept of "old paradigm" research versus "new paradigm" research. For anyone familiar with these rubrics and line of argument, it follows naturally that, to Horne, Best Evidence represents the new paradigm and Josiah Thompson's Six Seconds in Dallas represents the old paradigm.

The reason I use the phrase "follows naturally" is that this demarcation of "old and new" is familiar to anyone who has read Best Evidence, which was published back in 1980. In fact, Lifton begins the book with a recital of the major points the critical community had achieved until that time. He also discusses the methods of research such as reading documents and considering redactions, and minutely examining photographs from Dealey Plaza. After many rather condescending pages of this review of the state of the evidence at the time, the author then launched into the chronicle of his "search for new evidence" in the JFK case. This is why he calls Part 2 of the book, "A New Hypothesis". As Roger Feinman pointed out in his essay "Between the Signal and the Noise", there is in Best Evidence a not so subtle disdain for what the critical community had accomplished up to that time. And as Feinman also noted, in an odd way, Lifton seemed to actually defend the Warren Commission against the polemics of Sylvia Meagher, Mark Lane and Thompson. For instance, Lifton wrote that some critics did not understand the "best evidence" concept and how the Commission had relied on the autopsy as a talisman for all that came afterwards. Lifton continued in this vein by writing that the critics "actually believed the Commission first decided Oswald was the lone assassin" and then colluded with the pathologists, namely James Humes, to concoct a lone assassin autopsy report. (Lifton p. 144. All references to Best Evidence are to the trade paperback, 1988 edition.) Right after his long prelude, Lifton began to concentrate on pathologist James Humes as a "central figure" in his book. From there, Lifton proceeded to put together his rather dramatic reconstruction of what really happened in both Dealey Plaza and at Bethesda. To say that it was a radical scenario is putting it mildly.

But to return to the point, it is really Lifton who started this whole "old paradigm" versus "new paradigm" mode of thinking about assassination literature. For Horne to adapt it shows the clear and deep influence of Best Evidence on his thinking. In retrospect, it is hard not to detect a bit of self-promotion at the expense of those who came before him in Lifton's gambit. And I don't believe it's merited. Why? Because as Pat Speer has pointed out on his web site, the first real milestone in the medical evidence did not come from the HSCA or Best Evidence. The first real giveaway movement was from the proponents of the official story itself. In 1968, Attorney General Ramsey Clark tasked Dr. Russell Fisher with reviewing the work of the autopsy surgeons: Humes, Thornton Boswell, and Pierre Finck. Fisher and Clark did three things that do not happen in normal medical practice. They moved the head wound up 4 inches, they noted particles in the neck, and they saw something that the pathologists had not seen: a 6.5 mm fragment in the cowlick area at the rear of the skull. As Speer notes, the Fisher panel was put together to specifically negate the work that Thompson had done on the ballistics and the autopsy. So in other words, Thompson, the "old paradigm" guy had actually been the first to rock the official story of the medical evidence in the JFK case. In my view, these movements of wound location, and the appearance and notation of fragments in the neck and high in the head – largely endorsed by the HSCA – have caused defenders of the official story many more problems than the more dramatic parts of Best Evidence. Again, this was caused by the author that both Horne and Lifton consider "old school" i.e. Josiah Thompson. (For the exact way Thompson caused it, see my review of Reclaiming History, Part 4, Section IV)

The next big crack in the medical evidence occurred in 1969. And it was caused by the inquiry of another man who Lifton showed clear disdain for: Jim Garrison. Lifton actually called the Garrison investigation "a farce". (Lifton, p. 717) At the trial of Clay Shaw, under sharp cross-examination by Garrison's assistant DA Alvin Oser, Pierre Finck finally raised the curtain on the autopsy. He admitted that it was largely controlled by the military officers in attendance. He also admitted that he did not examine the president's clothes, and he did not see the autopsy photos until 1967. (James DiEugenio, Destiny Betrayed, pgs. 290-309) The impact of Finck's testimony was greatly underplayed by the media. But to serious students of the Kennedy case it went a long way in explaining just why the autopsy was so deficient in every aspect.

Lifton's book was published a year after the HSCA released its Final Report. The HSCA acknowledged that a serious difference existed with the observations of the back of Kennedy's head between the Dallas doctors and the personnel at Bethesda. Many of the former witnesses said they saw a rather large hole in the rear of Kennedy's skull. Yet the famous back of the head photographs, which are in Horne's book and labeled Figures 64 and 65, depict no such wound. In fact, the head seems intact and untouched. Therefore the HSCA said the Dallas doctors were wrong about this. They added that the observations of the Bethesda doctors differed from the Dallas doctors on this issue. And since the Bethesda doctors had the body in front of them for hours instead of minutes, they were correct. Since Lifton's book was published many years before the ARRB declassified the HSCA files, Best Evidence made much of this discrepancy. In fact it was one of the main underpinnings of Lifton's theory of body hijacking and alteration. (Which we will discuss later.)

But when the ARRB did declassify the HSCA medical files on this subject, it turned out that this was all a subterfuge. The medical personnel at Bethesda largely agreed with the Dallas observers about a gaping hole in the back of Kennedy's skull. The witness statements were all there in the newly declassified files which Robert Blakey and Michael Baden had chosen to keep hidden from the public. Gary Aguilar did a magnificent job in collecting and collating these newly declassified witness affidavits. He put them on a chart and showed that, except for a small minority, most of the witnesses from both locations agreed that there was a gaping hole in the rear of the skull and where it was located. (See Aguilar's essay in Murder in Dealey Plaza, especially pages 188, 199. In my view, this is one of the three or four best long pieces written on the medical evidence since the ARRB closed shop in 1998.) What had happened was that the HSCA realized that if these statements were published then the Dallas vs. Bethesda dichotomy would be largely minimized. And you would have a near unanimous verdict that this hole in the rear skull existed. This would create serious problems for the official story in two ways. First, the avulsive nature of the wound strongly suggested a front to back trajectory through the skull. Second, these observations would bring into doubt the autopsy photos mentioned above which reveal no trace of such a violent wound in the rear skull area.

As noted above, Aguilar's work on this issue posed a problem for Lifton's theory. Because now the split between the Dallas observations and the Bethesda observations were at least slightly ameliorated. Milicent Cranor's essay on Malcolm Perry, "Ricochet of a Lie," posited another problem for Best Evidence. Her work poses a question about the differing size of the tracheotomy. As Robert McClelland stated at the Lancer Conference in 2009, a wide tracheotomy was not unusual practice for Parkland. And for Malcolm Perry to have seen the organs in the throat that he reported on, he almost had to have cut a wider tracheotomy than he let on about.

This brings us to the main thesis of Best Evidence. Lifton was making the following proposals:

1.

All the shots in Dealey Plaza came from the front

2.

The Parkland Hospital doctors saw this evidence

3.

Therefore the body was then hijacked as it left Air Force One

4.

The body was then altered to show shots from the rear

5.

The conspirators dug out the bullets from the body

6.

The Commission was fooled by this alteration

There were always very serious problems with these proposals. For instance, the nature of John Connally's wounds and the testimony of Dr. Robert Shaw make number one nearly impossible to believe. Concerning number two, since Kennedy's body was not flipped over, the Parkland personnel could not see Kennedy's back wound. (Lifton postulated that this was later "punched in". See p. 376)) There isn't any credible evidence for the casket being secretly diverted to another hospital. (The author suggests Walter Reed. See p. 681) Further, Lifton could come up with no credible witnesses to his pre-autopsy extensive surgery. Finally, as the declassified records of the Warren Commission show, at the very first meeting of December 5th, the fix was in against Oswald. This was before there was any discussion of the autopsy report. So the idea that the Commission based their guilty verdict of Oswald on Humes was not valid.

Consequently, Best Evidence has not worn well. Today, there are very few medical experts inside the research community who back the book. On the other hand, the book has plenty of critics e.g. Feinman, Milicent Cranor, Cyril Wecht. As for myself, although I found Best Evidence entertaining to read, and thought the book contained some interesting information and anecdotes, two things troubled me. First, Lifton's concentration on the medical evidence implicitly discounted other physical evidence that I felt was more solid and probative than what he was relying upon. Second, the author had a troubling tendency to take a piece of evidence that was not really well-grounded and then use it as a springboard to launch into all kinds of hyper-dramatic criminal scenarios. As Gary Aguilar once said to Lifton: Extravagant claims demand extravagant evidence. One example of this would be the sentence in the FBI's Sibert-O'Neill report on the autopsy, which states that Humes noticed surgery of the head area when he looked at Kennedy's body for the first time. What Lifton did with this piece of hearsay was rather remarkable. Just consider how he begins Chapter 8 shortly after he surfaces it: "I arose on Sunday morning convinced I had discovered the darkest secret of the crime of the century." (Lifton, p. 181) This is before he even talked to Humes. For when he did, Humes denied any such pre-autopsy surgery. (ibid p. 256) But that didn't matter to the author. He deduced that Humes was just covering up.

Speaking of this specific accusation, Best Evidence severely dissipated for me on April 3, 1993. That is when I heard Lifton speak during a famous debate on the medical evidence in Chicago. This was part of a conference sponsored by Doug Carlson and called the Midwest Symposium. Lifton's presentation consisted of two main parts. The first consisted of him rattling off about 20 almost violently accusatory charges he would ask Humes about if he ever got him on the witness stand. From this artillery barrage against the doctor, one would have guessed that people like Arlen Specter, J. Edgar Hoover, James Angleton, and Allen Dulles were all guiltless in the cover-up of the Kennedy murder. Humes was the real linchpin of the plot. And it was his work that gulled these four fine men. (I have little doubt that Lifton supplied similar questions to Horne in preparation for Humes' ARRB deposition. And it was these "When's the last time you beat your wife?" type queries that Jeremy Gunn bawled Horne out about behind closed doors. See Horne, p. 85)

Lifton concluded in Chicago by playing a tape recording of a phone conversation he had with Humes concerning this subject i.e. pre-autopsy surgery. In his book, due to Lifton's description of phrasing and pauses, plus the author's seemingly telepathic attribution of hidden knowledge to the pathologist, Humes' words carried a certain sinister weight to them – almost like the pathologist was hiding something in this regard. But when the tape was played, this all but evaporated. It was clear to me – and many, many others – that Lifton had left out the tone and inflection of the doctor's voice and words. And these betrayed that Humes was actually playing with Lifton: a playfulness grounded in his being taken aback by the insinuation, so much so that he didn't take it seriously. I found it hard to believe that Lifton could not detect this when most of the spectators I talked to could. This indicated to me that the author had lost critical distance from his subject.

II

In spite of all the above, Horne still genuflects to Best Evidence. To the point that he essentially admits that the main reason he joined the ARRB was to prove or disprove Lifton's thesis. (p. lxviii) Sealing and qualifying this emotional bond is the following statement: "David Lifton's work has been a great inspiration to me over the years, and he and I eventually became very close personal friends, as well as fellow travelers on the same intellectual journey." (p. lxix) In light of the warm feelings betrayed in that statement, it is hard to believe that Horne expended a lot of time on disproving Lifton's thesis. In fact, I feel comfortable in writing that if Horne had never read Best Evidence, he would never have written his series or joined the ARRB.

All the above introductory material is necessary to understand my decidedly mixed feelings about Inside the ARRB. There seem to me a lot of good things in Horne's very long work. And I will discuss them both here and later. But where the author gets into trouble is when he tries to fit the interesting facts and testimony he discusses into an overarching theory. Because as we will see, although Horne has revised Best Evidence, he still sticks to the concept of pre-autopsy surgery, and extensive criminal conduct by the pathologists. And as Lifton clearly suggested in his book, Horne will also argue that the Zapruder film was both edited and optically printed. (Lifton pgs. 555-557)

For me, the most interesting chapter in Volume I is also a disappointing one. And it has little, if anything, to do with Horne's attempt to revive and revise Best Evidence. Horne entitles it "Prologue: The Culture of the ARRB". Here he offers his insights into the personalities and stances of the people he worked with and for at the Board. Specifically the other staffers, the Executive Director, and the ARRB members. I thought this chapter was both valuable and unique for the simple reason it had not been done before from anyone who was actually there at the time. One of the most startling revelations is that Executive Director David Marwell regularly talked to and lunched with the likes of Max Holland, Gus Russo, and the anti-Christ himself Gerald Posner. (p. 13) In fact, when Marwell was hired he told a newspaper interviewer that he found much of value in Case Closed. Although this was startling, it only set the stage for what the book reveals about that body as a whole: information the research community did not know at the time and which now sets off retroactive light.

For beginners, not one Board member – historians Anna Nelson and Henry Graff, Dean Kermit Hall, archivist William Joyce, or Judge Jack Tunheim – believed Kennedy was killed by a conspiracy. (p. 10) Further, Horne estimates that well over half of the staff members believed Oswald did it. To the point that many exhibited a prejudice bordering on condescension toward those who did not believe the Warren Commission fairy tale. (p. 11) Chief Counsel Jeremy Gunn actually told Horne not to talk to the Board members about conspiracy angles, no matter how well founded they were. (p. 12) Why? Because the Board members were so mainstream oriented they would probably doubt his suitability for the ARRB.

Horne believes this was done by design. It originated with the Board members in their choice of Marwell. It was then transmitted from Marwell to his hiring of staffers. Horne observes that Marwell's orientation resulted in the following: 1.) Few staffers were concerned with the conflicts in the evidence 2.) Most were not well versed in the nuances of the case, and 3.) Most did not even have a natural interest in the Kennedy assassination. This fulfilled Marwell's mandate of having an ARRB staff that was "neutral". But it also resulted in a staff that was way behind the curve when it came to fulfilling their mandate of looking for records, interviewing witnesses who knew where the records were and/or could resolve conflicts in the evidence. I can certify this as true. When the ARRB started up, Anne Buttimer, their first chief investigator, called me and discussed the New Orleans aspect of the case for about an hour. From her questions I could tell she did not know a lot about that famous milieu. Anne eventually quit. (Horne does not mention Buttimer or why she left.)

The Board members never got any briefing in any controversial evidentiary aspect of the case. When Marwell gave Jeremy Gunn permission to interview some medical witnesses, Gunn's first chosen assistant dragged his feet in preparation for the depositions. He then secretly lobbied Marwell to halt the medical deposition process completely. (p. 15) While this interview process was ongoing, not one Board member read a single deposition Gunn had done. (p. 17) It wasn't until the end of the ARRB, when the medical investigation gained some publicity, that three of the Board members asked to read these now "hot" items. (ibid)

How obsessed was Marwell and the Board with the image of "neutrality"? There were no wall photos or portraits of President Kennedy in the waiting room or foyer of the ARRB offices.

Did the ARRB do a good job? That is open to question today, especially with the new discoveries about the documents they missed. The most famous example being the George Johannides documents which were originally kept from the HSCA. But consider this about the HSCA's Lopez Report on Mexico City: the Board never found out what happened to the annex of that report entitled "Was Oswald an Agent of the CIA". It is not attached to the report today. Further, the Board never surfaced the working notes Ed Lopez and Dan Hardway made while assembling that report. Even though Lopez strongly recommend they do so since he filed the notes every day in the safe the CIA had built at HSCA headquarters. Finally, the Board never even seriously contemplated interviewing Ruth and Michael Paine. Even though much interesting material had been declassified about them, which authors like Carol Hewitt and Steve Jones utilized to the couple's detriment.

Up to now, these failings were generally written off due to lack of time and money. But with what Horne reveals here, there may have been more to it than that. The ARRB's effort to appear "neutral" may have meant sacrificing some important opportunities and not following up on others. While in operation, this failing was generally kept from the public because the Board had two good front people who managed to shield the inner dynamic. They were Tunheim and public relations director Tom Samoluk. But this new information sheds light on the Board members' desire to proclaim that they declassified no "smoking guns". But since the Board members were already convinced the Warren Commission was correct, those proclamations are hollow since they were predictable. With what Horne writes about here, it appears the Board members saw their mission as declassifying as much as possible, looking as neutral as possible in the process, and then proclaiming that the two million new pages didn't make any difference anyway. The Warren Commission got it right back in 1964.

I wish Horne had spent more time and length on this chapter. It only fills 14 pages. If I had been advising him, it would have easily been two or three times as long. And his contribution would have been comparable to Edward Epstein's Inquest or Gaeton Fonzi's The Last Investigation. In other words an explanation of not just what happened, but why and how it went down that way.

III

After this, and throughout the rest of this volume, Horne concentrates on the investigation of the medical evidence by the ARRB, as headed by Jeremy Gunn. Before approaching that inquiry and evaluating it, let me add some qualifications to this ARRB endeavor. As others, like medical investigator Pat Speer, have written, one has to qualify some of this testimony simply because it came so late in the game. From the chart Horne produces on pages 59-64, the ARRB medical interviews started in early 1996 and extended to October of 1997. So the witnesses were addressing the issue anywhere from 33-34 years after the fact. Further, many of the witnesses were quite old at the time. And although I am not that old, I can attest to the fact that memories do not get better as one gets older, they usually get worse. Third, because of all the controversy on this issue, plus the fact that it is politically charged, testimony tends to get altered or fudged. And Horne describes two witnesses who changed their stories on an important issue: John Stringer and Floyd Riebe. In 1972, autopsy photographer Stringer – who, incredibly, was not contacted by the Warren Commission – said that the damage to Kennedy's skull was in the rear. He then changed his story for the HSCA and ARRB. He now said it was on the right side above the right ear – which coincides with the autopsy report. (p. 183) Riebe, Stringer's assistant, earlier told researchers about this gaping hole in the back of Kennedy's head. When Gunn showed him the alleged autopsy photos which show an intact rear skull, he now agreed that this is what he saw that night. (p. 229) Further, Stringer says that Riebe took no photographs. (p. 166) Riebe has always said he did. Although the number and type have slightly varied through the years. (See chart on page 226) Further, Robert Knudsen, a White House photographer who insisted that he, at the very least, developed photographs from the autopsy is not even known by Stringer! (p. 177) I found this remarkable. Gunn asks Stringer about Knudsen in more than one way. Yet Knudsen's name is so foreign to Stringer that he actually asks Gunn if Knudsen was a doctor. (The Knudsen mystery is an interesting episode which I will return to later.)

Having established these serious qualifications, let me state why I think they exist. It is not the fault of Doug Horne, or Jeremy Gunn, or the ARRB. In my view, and disagreeing with David Lifton, this much varied and at times, unfathomable and irreconcilable medical record is owed to one man above all: Arlen Specter. It is not possible today to read Specter's 3/16/64 examination of the three pathologists and not be disgusted. Specter understood that something was seriously remiss with the medical evidence in the JFK case. So he decided to cover up the many discrepancies in the record. He did things like deep-sixing the testimony of Jim Sibert and Frank O'Neill since it would wreck the single bullet theory and raise questions about the trajectory of the fatal head shot. The Commission did not print the death certificate signed by Kennedy's personal physician George Burkley because Specter understood that it would show that the wound in the back entered too low to exit the throat. Specter then cooperated in a scheme to misrepresent the Kennedy wounds before the Commission. After rehearsing both men over a period of weeks, he had Humes and Boswell testify to false drawings prepared by student illustrator Harold Rydberg. In these drawings the back wound was raised into the neck area, and Kennedy's head position was magically anteflexed to allow for the shot in the lower skull to exit above the right ear. (See my review of Reclaiming History, Part 4, Section III.) Specter understood that if he did otherwise, this would open up a Pandora's Box of questions that would unravel the official story forever. So he did what his masters on the Commission wanted: He deliberately concealed the truth. And this robbed us all of a true cross-examination of the medical witnesses at the time when they were not old and infirm and when their memories were fresh.

The fact that Specter did what he did guaranteed that pieces of the story would dribble out piecemeal over the years. And this made the purveyors of the official deception alter the official story, e.g. as did the Fisher Panel. So today, the JFK medical record is scattered all over the place. So much so that one can marshall evidence for both versions of the official story: the Warren Commission's with low skull wound entry and a neck-throat wound; or the HSCA's with high skull wound entry and upper back wound. Third, one can argue that the evidence is authentic and still argue conspiracy e.g. Pat Speer, Dr. Randy Robertson and Roger Feinman. Fourth, one can make a case for what can be termed moderate alterations, that is the x-rays and photos have been tampered with e.g. Robert Groden, Harrison Livingstone, Gary Aguilar, Cyril Wecht, Doug DeSalles and many others. Fifth, one can argue for a radical alterationist view. That is the body was hijacked, wounds were physically altered, and the x-rays were also e.g. Lifton and Horne. But the very fact that one can make all five arguments should tell almost everyone that something is wrong someplace. Because this does not happen in real life.

As I pointed out, Horne is in the last school. He therefore – and somewhat understandably – picks and chooses things to bolster his view. This mars the book, and I will explain why later. But I want to make the point that when Horne does not adhere to this practice he reveals a lot of valuable and interesting information. And although one can say that much of it is in other books, I know of no other volume that has as much of it between two covers. (Or in this case, ten covers.)

Some of the remarkable testimony includes autopsy photographer John Stringer saying that he shot no basilar views of Kennedy's brain. (p. 41) Yet there are basilar – that is, shot from below – views in the autopsy collection. If Stringer says only he shot all the autopsy photos, then who took these shots? Stringer also says that he recalled the cerebellum being damaged. (p. 43) This is the part of the brain almost at the stem, low in the rear of the skull. This damage is not depicted in the extant photography. As Horne appropriately notes, both of these observations by Stringer lead one to question the condition of the brain as depicted in the present pictures. Stringer was the official photographer and he's raising questions about the authenticity of his photos. These two particular questions lead one to doubt the rendering of what the HSCA artist Ida Dox depicted as an almost intact brain. Especially when one factors in how many witnesses said that Kennedy's brain was not just blasted, but that much of it was gone. (For example FBI agent Frank O'Neill said half of it was gone. See p. 45) One does not have to agree with Horne – that there were actually two viewings of the brain and that Pierre Finck was snookered by the dastardly duo of Humes and Boswell – to understand that something is wrong here. Especially when there is no official weight given to the brain at the autopsy, but later it weighed in at 1500 grams – which is actually at the top end for an intact brain. This is very hard to believe. Especially considering the fact that so many witnesses saw a brain that was nowhere near intact.

IV

Jeremy Gunn's questioning of the pathologists was interesting in multiple aspects. The highlight for me is when he got Jim Humes to admit that not only did he burn the notes from his autopsy, but that he also burned the first draft of that report. (p. 95) In his discussion of this issue in the End Notes to Reclaiming History, Vincent Bugliosi tries to say that Humes became confused on this point. (Bugliosi EN pgs. 276-280) The problem with Bugliosi trying to say that is that Humes testified to it three times. And Horne prints them all. (p. 95) When Gunn asked him why he burned the draft, Humes replied, "I don't recall. I don't know ... You're splitting hairs here and I'll tell you its getting to me a little bit, as you may be able to detect." (ibid) Clearly, Humes did something he should not have done. He does not want to reveal why he did it. And he is angered that he is finally being exposed on this point.

Another fascinating point Gunn uncovered is that Humes never saw the Burkley death certificate that I mentioned earlier. (p. 97) Which depicts the back wound much lower than where the Warren Commission said it was. One has to wonder if Specter deliberately kept it from him, since it would have blown to smithereens the phony Rydberg drawings. Humes is kind of pathetic when asked his reason for not dissecting the neck wound the night of the autopsy: "But it wouldn't make a great deal of sense to go slashing open the neck. What would we learn? Nothing you know. So I didn't – I don't know if anybody said don't do this or don't do that. I wouldn't have done it no matter what anybody said. That was not important." (p. 99) I love the use of the word "slashing". I mean what else do you do when you dissect a wound track? And the rhetorical question of "What would we learn?" is almost priceless. Well Jim, how about if the back wound exited the throat? And then him not knowing if anyone said not to do so, this is obviously in reference to Pierre Finck's testimony at the Clay Shaw trial where he said Humes was told not to dissect the track of the back wound. Humes was clearly in denial on this whole dissection issue. Again, he knows he did something seriously wrong and can't admit it.

Thornton Boswell stated that he suspected that Malcolm Perry's tracheotomy was cut over a bullet wound. (pgs. 109-110) Which is quite interesting since the official story has always been that Humes did not realize this until the next morning when he called Dallas. But Gunn never asked the obvious follow up question: If you did, did you tell Humes that at the time? (If Gunn did pose this query, Horne did not include it here.) Boswell differed with Humes as to when the composing of the autopsy report began. Boswell said it started on Saturday during the day. (pgs. 116-17) Humes said he did not start it until Saturday night and completed in the wee hours of the morning on Sunday. Finally, Boswell saw a probe go in the back. (p. 120) But it only went in three inches.

Pierre Finck also agreed that the probe did not go through the body. (p. 122) But as Horne notes, the significant thing about Finck was how many times he said, "I can't remember" or "I can't answer that."(ibid) For instance, when asked who told him that he could not see the president's clothing after he asked for it, Finck said he couldn't recall who. (p. 124) And further, many times he would ask for a document and then read his answer from that record.(p. 123) Finck was intent on being evasive and giving away as little as possible. This was probably a reaction to his all too revealing testimony at the Shaw trial.

Robert Karnei was the fourth pathologist on hand that night, although he did not participate in the autopsy. Karnei saw the actual probe that Finck inserted in Kennedy's back. He also says it did not go through the body. But beyond that, he insisted that there were photographs taken of this. He was clearly agitated when he was told those photographs do not exist today. (p. 127) According to Karnei, no exit for the wound in the back was ever found. He recalled the pathologists searching for one until almost midnight. (p. 128) So clearly, in opposition to Humes, the failure to dissect the back wound created a real problem. Finally, Karnei said that he did hear from someone that Humes had called Dallas that night to learn about Perry's tracheotomy. (p. 128) I should add here, John Stringer also stated that Humes called Dallas that night. (p. 165) By the end of the night, did Humes know about the throat wound? If he did, could he not admit that because the many probe attempts could not connect the back wound with the throat wound?

From here, Horne goes into a thorough chronicling of the photographs taken the night of the autopsy. Near the beginning of this section, Horne adduces more evidence that Arlen Specter and the Warren Commission lied about their access to the autopsy photographs. One of the excuses the Commission always gave for doing such a poor job was that they did not have access to the autopsy photographs and x-rays. People like Specter and John McCloy usually blamed this on the Kennedy family. But as time has gone on, more and more evidence has accrued that reveals this to be a deception. For the Commission did view the autopsy photographic record. And Horne adds to that growing accumulation here. Secret Service officer Robert Bouck told the HSCA that he recalled that a representative of the Warren Commission looked at the autopsy photographs. Horne feels this had to be either J. Lee Rankin or Specter. Further, there is a Treasury Department memorandum noting that the Warren Commission was briefed on the autopsy procedures by using the actual x-rays to do so. (p. 135)

Another curious point that Horne develops is that at least some of the photos were not developed at either Bethesda or the Secret Service lab. Some of them were developed at the Navy Processing Center at Anacostia where color prints were made from positive transparencies. (p. 135) Why some of the films were taken there is not clearly known. When Gunn asked Stringer about this, the photographer said that the Anacostia lab was larger and more secret. (p. 208)

But as early as 1966, for a Justice Department review, Humes, Boswell and Stringer all stated that some pictures were missing. Stringer specified three of them to be gone, including a full body shot taken from overhead. (p. 146) But this fact could not be admitted to the public at the time. Especially since the first books critical of the Commission were now entering the market. So Justice Department official Carl Belcher arranged for another lie to be formalized. Belcher requested that some of the Bethesda witnesses sign a false inventory saying that at this 1966 review all the autopsy photos taken in 1963 were accounted for. Yet to get himself off the hook, Belcher had his name removed from the final draft of the false document. Horne discovered this by uncovering the fact that the preliminary draft did contain his name. (pgs. 146-47) Stringer admitted to Gunn that he knew the inventory list was false before he signed it. He said he was told to sign it anyway. (p. 206) As to why Stringer knowingly signed a false document, I wish to relate one of the most memorable exchanges in all the ARRB depositions. After Gunn noted to Stringer that certain protocol was not followed in the taking of photographs, he asked him why he did not object. Stringer replied, "You don't object to things." Gunn replied with, "Some people do." Stringer shot back with the following rather pithy remark, " Yeah, they do. But they don't last long." (p. 213) Those eight words tell us all we need to know about how the lid was kept on the autopsy cover up for so long.

After his ARRB testimony, Gunn and Horne came to believe that by the time of the HSCA, a total of five views taken by Stringer had disappeared. (pgs 182-83) Reinforcing this was one of the real finds of the ARRB: an interview done with photographer Karl McDonald. After taking the formal picture of the Board members, Marwell found out that McDonald had been the medical photographer at Bethesda for eight years. Further, that he had been tutored by, and worked with, Stringer. (p. 152) And he had ended up by being that institute's senior instructor in medical photography. In his ARRB interview he shed a lot of light on just how bad the extant pictorial record of Kennedy's autopsy is.

He first said that he always developed his own pictures. He never sent anything to Anacostia. He also said that he was always sure to take a battery of full body shots – of which none exist in the Kennedy case. He testified that there was always an autopsy card included with each and every photo. The card included an autopsy number and the year. Again, none exist in the Kennedy case. He said for trauma shots – places on the body where bullets impacted – he always took three views: wide-angle, medium shot, close-up. In light of the above strictures, Gunn asked him to give an overall grade to what purports to be Stringer's work today. McDonald replied that he would grade the collection with very low marks. This was the guy who was taught photography procedure by Stringer. Did Stringer forget the very lessons he once gave? Not likely.

V

I will conclude this review of Volume I by discussing what can only be called the enigma of Robert Knudsen. Knudsen has been discussed before by other writers, like David Mantik. But in light of the fact that Horne spends seven pages on him (pgs 247-254), and he implies that he may have actually taken at least some of the autopsy photographs in existence today, I think its necessary to write a bit about the unplumbed mystery of the man. Because, to me, he has been ignored for too long.

One way to begin to point out the strangeness of Robert Knudsen is with this fact: Although Stringer denied knowing who Knudsen was, Knudsen had Stringer's name and phone number in his appointments book. (p. 252) Which strongly implies that Knudsen did know Stringer. The question obviously becomes: How could Knudsen know Stringer if Stringer didn't know Knudsen? And in fact, if Stringer did know him, is he feigning that he did not? If so, why? Because as we will see, under the circumstances we will describe, it is hard to believe that Stringer completely forgot about the man.

Knudsen was one of two White House photographers in 1963. The other was Cecil Stoughton. (p. 249) As he revealed in his HSCA interview, Knudsen began his career as a Navy photographer who was then detailed to the White House in 1958. (8/11/78 HSCA transcript, p. 4) Generally speaking, Knudsen covered President Kennedy on state trips, and Stoughton covered the First Lady. (p. 250) In fact, Knudsen was scheduled to cover the Dallas trip. But he injured himself the week before. Therefore he did not accompany President Kennedy to Texas, Stoughton did. (ibid) At around 3:00 PM on the afternoon of the murder, Knudsen received a phone call. He was ordered to go to Andrews Air Force Base to meet Air Force One and to accompany the body of President Kennedy to Bethesda. And thus begins a fascinating puzzle. For, as Horne writes, there is no documented evidence that Knudsen was ever interviewed by the Warren Commission. (If this is true, the fact that the Commission never talked to either Knudsen or Stringer tells us plenty about Specter's investigation of the autopsy.) The first, and only, on the record interview with Knudsen about this subject came with Andy Purdy of the HSCA. And that transcript was classified by Robert Blakey and Michael Baden. The ARRB declassified it in 1993. And on the version of the audiotape at the History Matters site, Knudsen's voice is not audible on the actual recording. It sounds like a woman who is phrasing the transcript for copying purposes is repeating his words. (See for yourself.)

How did the HSCA find out about Knudsen and the autopsy? In 1977, Knudsen gave an interview to a trade magazine in which he said that he was the only photographer to record Kennedy's autopsy. (Horne, p. 250) What makes this odd is not just that Knudsen was not on the Bethesda staff, but that Stringer and his assistant Floyd Riebe have always maintained that they were the only photographers in the morgue that night. There were no civilian photographers taking pictures. Obviously, Knudsen did not have to say what he did to a magazine. But since the HSCA had been convened in 1976, after the electrifying viewing of the Zapruder film on ABC in 1975, Knudsen may have felt compelled to reveal what he knew.

Unfortunately for Gunn and Horne, Knudsen had passed away before the ARRB was formed. But the Board got in contact with the survivors of his family, his widow and two children. What they told the ARRB about the aftermath of Knudsen at Bethesda makes the story even more tantalizing. They told the Board that Knudsen disappeared for three days after he was called to report the day of the murder. (ibid) He didn't return home until after Kennedy's funeral on the 25th. Knudsen told his son Robert that he had been present at the beginning of the autopsy. (ibid) Further, he told his family that he had photographed probes going into he back of President Kennedy. Which, as noted before, do not exist today. In a statement that is hard to reconcile with the record, Knudsen told them that he was the only one with a camera in the morgue. (Horne, p. 251) He also told his son that he did not recognize 4 or 5 of the photos shown to him by the HSCA. And at least one had been altered. Hair had been drawn in on it to conceal the missing portion of the top-back of Kennedy's head. (ibid) In keeping with many other witnesses, Knudsen told his wife that much of Kennedy's brain was blown away. (ibid) When Knudsen tried to get a copy of his HSCA transcript, he was told that "there was no record of him or his testimony." (ibid)

I have saved for last what is probably the most fascinating piece of information that the ARRB garnered from Knudsen's survivors. All three of them said "Knudsen appeared before an official government body again some time in 1988, about six months before he died in January of 1989." They all agreed "Knudsen came away from this experience very disturbed, saying that four photographs were missing, and that one was badly altered." Gloria Knudsen continued by saying that Knudsen felt "that the wounds he saw in the photos shown to him in 1988 did not represent what he saw or took." (p. 252) One reason he was disturbed by the experience was that "as soon as he would answer a question consistent with what he remembered, he would immediately be challenged and contradicted by people whom he felt already had their minds made up." (ibid) Knudsen told his wife that he knew who had possession of the autopsy photographs he took. That based on that, he could then find out who had made some of them disappear and who had altered the back of the head picture. But he was not going to stick his neck out on something this huge because he had a family to protect. (p. 253)

Andy Purdy's HSCA interview with Knudsen is a disappointment. As Horne notes, Purdy concentrates almost completely on the photo negatives that were sent to the Navy Photographic Center at Anacostia. Knudsen notes that this was done because of the color facilities there. And Navy officer Sandra Spencer handled the color operation there. (HSCA transcript, p. 47) Secret Service photographer Jim Fox accompanied Knudsen there. According to Knudsen they were ordered to do this by George Burkley on the morning after the autopsy. (ibid, p. 5) Knudsen told Purdy that afterwards, Burkley ordered seven prints made. (ibid, p. 8) Which, as Purdy later noted, was an unusually high number that no one else recalled. Knudsen noted that after he turned in the work product to the White House, he never saw the photos again until Purdy showed them to him that day. (ibid, p. 16) When asked, he distinctly recalled photos of a large cavity in the back of Kennedy's head and a side view with probes going through the body. (ibid, p.22) Unlike others, the views he saw showed the probes extending all the way through the body. Again, Purdy reminded him that no one else recalled such a photo. There was another photo of the chest cavity which Knudsen recalled that today is not in existence. (ibid, p. 39)

Now, Knudsen said that it took about two hours for him to develop the color photos at Anacostia. But yet he told Purdy that the four-day period of the assassination and its aftermath were like a fog to him. He recalled working continuously through it. (ibid, pgs. 9-12) This period roughly coincides with how long his family said he was gone from home. Incredibly, Purdy never asked the obvious question: "Mr. Knudsen, if the processing took two hours, but you worked for 3-4 days, what did you do the rest of the time?" And as Horne notes, even though Knudsen told the trade magazine the previous year that he actually took photos of the autopsy, Purdy never asked him any direct questions on this point. Like, how many pictures did he take, what kind of camera did he use, when did he take the shots, and did he give his photos to Stringer or Riebe?

Now, as is his usual tendency, Horne makes an extreme assumption: There were actually two sets of photographs made and Knudsen shot pictures of the intact back of the head. And he did it at the request of Humes, Boswell and Finck. (Horne, p. 247) Or as he puts it, it was an "intentional creation by higher authority of a fraudulent photographic record designed to replace the real photos taken by Stringer and Riebe of a huge occipital defect in the head ..."(ibid) Which ignores the fact that, as I noted, Knudsen saw just such a photo. Horne even uses the testimony of a friend of Knudsen's, USIA photographer Joe O'Donnell to make his case. Yet this is a man who, as his own family has noted, was likely suffering from dementia brought on by his failing health at the time the ARRB interviewed him. After all, he had two rods in his back, suffered three strokes, had two heart attacks, incurred skin cancer and had part of his colon taken out. Not the best witness. (NY Times, 9/15/2007) Further, O'Donnell had been known to testify falsely about photographic records before. (Ibid)

To me, the incomplete evidentiary record does not conclusively lead to Horne's bold conspiratorial denouement. The case of Robert Knudsen, as I said before, is and remains a mystery. What it actually reveals about the JFK case is that there has never been anywhere near a first-class criminal inquiry into what really happened. In any professional inquiry, with say someone like Patrick Fitzgerald in charge, Knudsen would have been called in under oath with an attorney. He would have been warned in advance that he was expected to answer all questions under penalty of perjury. If he refused to answer he would be charged with contempt. He would have been asked to bring in any corroborative witnesses and exhibits. He would have been asked specifically, "Did you take any autopsy pictures at any time in 1963?" If he said yes, he would have been asked specific questions about when and where he took them and with whom. He would have been specifically asked if he worked with anyone else in making them. Stringer would have been asked the question, "Do you recall anyone else taking pictures at the autopsy?", and also, "If you did not know Knudsen then how did he get your name and phone number?" And this inquiry would have been followed to its ultimate destination: to find out if Knudsen took or did not take any photos. To me that is where the status is of the evidence concerning Knudsen. I believe Horne goes too far in making his assumptions about the man.

But to give Horne his due, at least he brings these matters to the attention of the reader. That is to his credit, since very few others have done it. And no one else has done so in such a complete way.

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Guest James H. Fetzer

Some participants on the post about Costella's review of Horne berated me for posing this on that

thread. So I am creating a separate thread to make the points I would like to make here instead.

Michael,

You make some nice points, where not only has Costella missed the boat completely but DiEugenio

in a different way. It seems to me that Jim is very good on the trees, not so good on the forest. I

offer this early paragraph as an illustration of what I mean, where he, too, has something wrong:

All the above introductory material is necessary to understand my decidedly mixed feelings about

Inside the ARRB. There seem to me a lot of good things in Horne's very long work. And I will discuss

them both here and later. But where the author gets into trouble is when he tries to fit the interesting

facts and testimony he discusses into an overarching theory. Because as we will see, although Horne

has revised Best Evidence, he still sticks to the concept of pre-autopsy surgery, and extensive criminal

conduct by the pathologists. And as Lifton clearly suggested in his book, Horne will also argue that the

Zapruder film was both edited and optically printed. (Lifton pgs. 555-557)

Unless DiEugenio is writing his reviews as he goes and does not realize what unexpected findings await

him, the fact of the matter is THERE WAS PRE-AUTOPSY SURGERY and EXTENSIVE CRIMINAL CONDUCT

BY THE PATHOLOGISTS, including lying to the HSCA and to the ARRB. And, of course, as he demonstrates

quite decisively, the arguments against film alteration advanced by ROLLIE ZAVADA, by DAVID WRONE,

and by JOSIAH THOMPSON have been thoroughly demolished in the course of Doug's extensive studies.

Egad! Somewhere DiEugenio expresses his preference for the physical evidence over the medical and

photographic, as though he did not understand that ALL OF IT has been planted, fabricated, or faked.

NOTE: DiEugenio should read the first few pages of HARVEY & LEE, in which John Armstrong observes:

Chief Curry turned the physical evidence over to the FBI and it was immediately taken to FBI Headquarters

in Washington, D.C. FBI Agent James Cadigan told the Warren Commission about receiving the evidence

(Oswald's personal possessions) on November 23rd, the day after the assassination. But when Cadigan's

testimony was published in the Warren volumes, references to November 23 had been deleted. Neither

the FBI nor the Warren Commission wanted the public to know that Oswald's personal possessions (phys-

ical evidence) had been secretly taken to Washington, DC, and quietly returned to the Dallas police.

During the three days that Oswald's possessions were in FBI custody many items were altered, fabricated,

and destroyed. The "evidence" was then returned to the Dallas Police on November 26th, and used by the

FBI and Warren Commission to help convince the American people that Oswald was the lone assassin.

As the physical evidence was undergoing alteration FBI officials prepared a 5-volume report, completed

within 48 hours of the assassination, that named Lee Harvey Oswald as the lone assassin. This report

was released several days before the FBI took over the investigation, before they "officially" received the

"evidence" from the Dallas poice, before they interviewed the vast majority of witnesses, two weeks before

the Warren Commission was formed, and many months before their investigation was complete.

. . .

On November 26 the FBI secretly returned the physical evidence (Oswald's possessions) to the Dallas Police

where it was "officially" inventoried and photographed. When the Dallas Police received t he evidence they

were unaware that many of the items had ben altered, fabricated, and/or destroyed. President Johnson soon

announced the FBI was in charge of the investigation and, a short time later, Bureau agents arrived at Dallas

Police headquarters.

As television cameras recorded the historic event FBI agents collected the evidence, loaded it into a car, and

drove away. The public was unaware that the FBI had secretly returned the same "evidence" to the Dallas

Police earlier that morning.

Here is another--and closely related--defect in DiEugenio's understanding. He spends a lot of time with

denigrating BEST EVIDENCE, which is surely one of the most brilliant and insightful studies published in

the history of the case. Lifton was first to suspect body alteration of the cranium and also alteration by

changing the throat wound, along with the falsification of the X-rays and the substitution of another brain

for that of JFK--not to mention the substitution of another film Sunday night after bringing the original to

the NPIC the night before--but DiEugenio does not seem to understand that is how all of this was done.

The multiple casket entries, which Lifton originally discerned, has also been borne out by Horne's research:

In spite of all the above, Horne still genuflects to Best Evidence. To the point that he essentially admits

that the main reason he joined the ARRB was to prove or disprove Lifton's thesis. (p. lxviii) Sealing and

qualifying this emotional bond is the following statement: "David Lifton's work has been a great inspiration

to me over the years, and he and I eventually became very close personal friends, as well as fellow travelers

on the same intellectual journey." (p. lxix) In light of the warm feelings betrayed in that statement, it is hard

to believe that Horne expended a lot of time on disproving Lifton's thesis. In fact, I feel comfortable in writing

that if Horne had never read Best Evidence, he would never have written his series or joined the ARRB.

Given what Horne has discovered, I cannot imagine what motivates DiEugenio to shortchange Lifton.

I think that the only one who finds anything "extreme" here are those unfamiliar with the evidence,

which I had not expected to included the author of this review. If he doesn't know better, something

is terribly wrong, but it has nothing to do with Horne's research and everything to do with DiEugenio's

apparently partial state of knowledge. And you don't have to have read THE GREAT ZAPRUDER FILM

HOAX to understand these things. The review I [have now published--below] should actually suffice.

NOTE: US Govenment Official: JFK Cover-Up, Film Fabrication

http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_5772.shtml

Jim

While I am not a fan of Horne's book, I would agree that Costella's review read more like a rant, a rant I can relate to, by the way.

Not an unexpected response. One can conclude that "not a fan" might be an understatement. The urge to rant is strong when one feels that they, their work, their intelligence, or their opinions are in some way, shape or form being challenged, questioned, diminished, etc. Pat Speer has spent a considerable amount of time and effort in researching the medical (and other) evidence.

Horne's five volumes cut a wide swath through the evidentiary landscape. While constantly adding caveats that the evidence has never come together, he nevertheless takes very strong and opinionated stands about what he thinks or speculates really happened. Writing a bible or Rosetta Stone about the Kennedy murder is, and always will be, an impossible task.

Probably the more one has studied President Kennedy's murder, the more likely they are to question Horne's research and some of his conclusions. But the ultimate value of Horne's book is certainly not that it explains everything. The value comes from being able to glean new information or possibly being persuaded to think about certain things in a different way. I challenge anyone to read Horne and not find many things with which they either concur or vehemently disagree. By design, it's an extremely controversial work.

I don't think Horne's work should be studied and reviewed as if it were a textbook, or even a compendium of the medical evidence, although it comes closer to the latter. I view it simply as one man's personal odyssey through the ultimate murder mystery labyrinth, written from his own unique perspective.

Over the years, David Lifton's findings were written about and debated extensively. Regardless whether or not one accepts his major conclusion, much of what Lifton discovered remains important as evidence. His research helped make this major episode in Horne's life possible.

Weisberg, Lane, Meagher, Thompson, Summers, Marrs, Fonzi, Hancock, Russell (and so many others I'm leaving out) did not solve the case. They advanced it, as researchers that followed them so readily admit.

If Horne advances the case, that is enough. Pointing out weaknesses in his arguments or errors in his information is certainly fair game. However, the largely unnecessary tone and content of Costella's rant caused me to lose a certain amount of respect for him.

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Some participants on the post about Costella's review of Horne berated me for posing this on that

thread. So I am creating a separate thread to make the points I would like to make here instead.

Michael,

You make some nice points, where not only has Costella missed the boat completely but DiEugenio

in a different way. It seems to me that Jim is very good on the trees, not so good on the forest. I

offer this early paragraph as an illustration of what I mean, where he, too, has something wrong:

All the above introductory material is necessary to understand my decidedly mixed feelings about

Inside the ARRB. There seem to me a lot of good things in Horne's very long work. And I will discuss

them both here and later. But where the author gets into trouble is when he tries to fit the interesting

facts and testimony he discusses into an overarching theory. Because as we will see, although Horne

has revised Best Evidence, he still sticks to the concept of pre-autopsy surgery, and extensive criminal

conduct by the pathologists. And as Lifton clearly suggested in his book, Horne will also argue that the

Zapruder film was both edited and optically printed. (Lifton pgs. 555-557)

Unless DiEugenio is writing his reviews as he goes and does not realize what unexpected findings await

him, the fact of the matter is THERE WAS PRE-AUTOPSY SURGERY and EXTENSIVE CRIMINAL CONDUCT

BY THE PATHOLOGISTS, including lying to the HSCA and to the ARRB. And, of course, as he demonstrates

quite decisively, the arguments against film alteration advanced by ROLLIE ZAVADA, by DAVID WRONE,

and by JOSIAH THOMPSON have been thoroughly demolished in the course of Doug's extensive studies.

Egad! Somewhere DiEugenio expresses his preference for the physical evidence over the medical and

photographic, as though he did not understand that ALL OF IT has been planted, fabricated, or faked.

NOTE: DiEugenio should read the first few pages of HARVEY & LEE, in which John Armstrong observes:

Chief Curry turned the physical evidence over to the FBI and it was immediately taken to FBI Headquarters

in Washington, D.C. FBI Agent James Cadigan told the Warren Commission about receiving the evidence

(Oswald's personal possessions) on November 23rd, the day after the assassination. But when Cadigan's

testimony was published in the Warren volumes, references to November 23 had been deleted. Neither

the FBI nor the Warren Commission wanted the public to know that Oswald's personal possessions (phys-

ical evidence) had been secretly taken to Washington, DC, and quietly returned to the Dallas police.

During the three days that Oswald's possessions were in FBI custody many items were altered, fabricated,

and destroyed. The "evidence" was then returned to the Dallas Police on November 26th, and used by the

FBI and Warren Commission to help convince the American people that Oswald was the lone assassin.

As the physical evidence was undergoing alteration FBI officials prepared a 5-volume report, completed

within 48 hours of the assassination, that named Lee Harvey Oswald as the lone assassin. This report

was released several days before the FBI took over the investigation, before they "officially" received the

"evidence" from the Dallas poice, before they interviewed the vast majority of witnesses, two weeks before

the Warren Commission was formed, and many months before their investigation was complete.

. . .

On November 26 the FBI secretly returned the physical evidence (Oswald's possessions) to the Dallas Police

where it was "officially" inventoried and photographed. When the Dallas Police received t he evidence they

were unaware that many of the items had ben altered, fabricated, and/or destroyed. President Johnson soon

announced the FBI was in charge of the investigation and, a short time later, Bureau agents arrived at Dallas

Police headquarters.

As television cameras recorded the historic event FBI agents collected the evidence, loaded it into a car, and

drove away. The public was unaware that the FBI had secretly returned the same "evidence" to the Dallas

Police earlier that morning.

If that passage really came from Armstrong, I'm afraid his research is not as good as people claim it is. The Warren Commission was formed on the 29th, one week after the assassination, not two weeks after, and the FBI essentially took over the case with Oswald's death on the 24th.

As far as Oswald's possessions, they were inventoried going out on the 26th. The list stretches something like 17 pages. The real problem as I see it is that no list or photo was made of the evidence sent out on the 22nd to be tested, that was returned on the 24th. This includes the paper bag and the paper bag sample. This is the evidence Cadigan saw on the 23rd, not Oswald's possessions.

And if he really did say he saw the possessions on the 23rd, and it was changed, it's not that surprising. The FBI and WC re-wrote the testimony of the FBI's experts, and kept no detailed records of what they changed. While there are memos in the files noting minor changes, some major changes have been detected for which no memos can be found. The HSCA not only re-wrote the testimony of its witnesses, but changed the wording of the questions they were asked, in order to make them fit more closely the SCRIPT written by Blakey and his staff that the congressmen were supposed to follow.

Edited by Pat Speer
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Guest James H. Fetzer

Well, I remember watching them pack the "evidence" into a vehicle with great fanfare on the 26th

and I thought it was very, very odd. I was impressed with these observations by Armstrong, so I

am going to be both surprised and disappointed if he is wrong about this. I found it fascinating.

You of course are right about the time of the creation of the commission. I double-checked and I

typed it correctly. I don't see any citation or reference, but this appears on pages 2-3 of his Intro-

duction. Strictly speaking, I should say the second and third page, since the Introduction has no

page numbers. I note his "Index" error and others in my "Judyth" and the 1st "Judyth/Jim" threads.

Some participants on the post about Costella's review of Horne berated me for posing this on that

thread. So I am creating a separate thread to make the points I would like to make here instead.

Michael,

You make some nice points, where not only has Costella missed the boat completely but DiEugenio

in a different way. It seems to me that Jim is very good on the trees, not so good on the forest. I

offer this early paragraph as an illustration of what I mean, where he, too, has something wrong:

All the above introductory material is necessary to understand my decidedly mixed feelings about

Inside the ARRB. There seem to me a lot of good things in Horne's very long work. And I will discuss

them both here and later. But where the author gets into trouble is when he tries to fit the interesting

facts and testimony he discusses into an overarching theory. Because as we will see, although Horne

has revised Best Evidence, he still sticks to the concept of pre-autopsy surgery, and extensive criminal

conduct by the pathologists. And as Lifton clearly suggested in his book, Horne will also argue that the

Zapruder film was both edited and optically printed. (Lifton pgs. 555-557)

Unless DiEugenio is writing his reviews as he goes and does not realize what unexpected findings await

him, the fact of the matter is THERE WAS PRE-AUTOPSY SURGERY and EXTENSIVE CRIMINAL CONDUCT

BY THE PATHOLOGISTS, including lying to the HSCA and to the ARRB. And, of course, as he demonstrates

quite decisively, the arguments against film alteration advanced by ROLLIE ZAVADA, by DAVID WRONE,

and by JOSIAH THOMPSON have been thoroughly demolished in the course of Doug's extensive studies.

Egad! Somewhere DiEugenio expresses his preference for the physical evidence over the medical and

photographic, as though he did not understand that ALL OF IT has been planted, fabricated, or faked.

NOTE: DiEugenio should read the first few pages of HARVEY & LEE, in which John Armstrong observes:

Chief Curry turned the physical evidence over to the FBI and it was immediately taken to FBI Headquarters

in Washington, D.C. FBI Agent James Cadigan told the Warren Commission about receiving the evidence

(Oswald's personal possessions) on November 23rd, the day after the assassination. But when Cadigan's

testimony was published in the Warren volumes, references to November 23 had been deleted. Neither

the FBI nor the Warren Commission wanted the public to know that Oswald's personal possessions (phys-

ical evidence) had been secretly taken to Washington, DC, and quietly returned to the Dallas police.

During the three days that Oswald's possessions were in FBI custody many items were altered, fabricated,

and destroyed. The "evidence" was then returned to the Dallas Police on November 26th, and used by the

FBI and Warren Commission to help convince the American people that Oswald was the lone assassin.

As the physical evidence was undergoing alteration FBI officials prepared a 5-volume report, completed

within 48 hours of the assassination, that named Lee Harvey Oswald as the lone assassin. This report

was released several days before the FBI took over the investigation, before they "officially" received the

"evidence" from the Dallas poice, before they interviewed the vast majority of witnesses, two weeks before

the Warren Commission was formed, and many months before their investigation was complete.

. . .

On November 26 the FBI secretly returned the physical evidence (Oswald's possessions) to the Dallas Police

where it was "officially" inventoried and photographed. When the Dallas Police received t he evidence they

were unaware that many of the items had ben altered, fabricated, and/or destroyed. President Johnson soon

announced the FBI was in charge of the investigation and, a short time later, Bureau agents arrived at Dallas

Police headquarters.

As television cameras recorded the historic event FBI agents collected the evidence, loaded it into a car, and

drove away. The public was unaware that the FBI had secretly returned the same "evidence" to the Dallas

Police earlier that morning.

If that passage really came from Armstrong, I'm afraid his research is not as good as people claim it is. The Warren Commission was formed on the 29th, one week after the assassination, not two weeks after, and the FBI essentially took over the case with Oswald's death on the 24th.

As far as Oswald's possessions, they were inventoried going out on the 26th. The list stretches something like 17 pages. The real problem as I see it is that no list or photo was made of the evidence sent out on the 22nd to be tested, that was returned on the 24th. This includes the paper bag and the paper bag sample. This is the evidence Cadigan saw on the 23rd, not Oswald's possessions.

And if he really did say he saw the possessions on the 23rd, and it was changed, it's not that surprising. The FBI and WC re-wrote the testimony of the FBI's experts, and kept no detailed records of what they changed. While there are memos in the files noting minor changes, some major changes have been detected for which no memos can be found. The HSCA not only re-wrote the testimony of its witnesses, but changed the wording of the questions they were asked, in order to make them fit more closely the SCRIPT written by Blakey and his staff that the congressmen were supposed to follow.

Edited by James H. Fetzer
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  • 2 months later...

http://www.ctka.net/reviews/horne_jd_2.html

Inside the ARRB, Vol. 2, by Doug Horne

Reviewed by James DiEugenio

(Jim DiEugenio's review of Volume 2 is the second installment of CTKA's book-by-book review of Douglas Horne's five-volume set Inside the ARRB. Later contributions by Dr. David Mantik, Gary Aguilar and Jim DiEugenio will complete the critique of this mammoth series.)

The second volume of Doug Horne's Inside the ARRB ostensibly deals with the following topics: a second section on autopsy photography, a very long section on the x-rays (about 200 pages), interviews with the morticians from Joseph Gawler's Sons, and Horne's report on the ARRB interviews with Parkland Hospital staff. But as we shall see, it actually deals with a lot more than that. For it is here where Horne begins to reveal his revisions to David Lifton's Best Evidence concerning the skullduggery he believes happened at Bethesda before the autopsy.

I

Volume II picks up with a continuance of Horne's discussion of what he perceives as Robert Knudsen's role in autopsy photography. As I noted at the end of my review of Volume I, Horne and I have a disagreement about just what that role was. Horne believes Knudsen took a second set of pictures. I believe that whatever Knudsen's role was, it is mysterious and unproven. But Horne does good work in reviewing just how many different photographic views were actually taken of Kennedy's body and what is missing from the collection today.

He also sticks with Knudsen's friend and professional colleague Joe O'Donnell as a witness for Knudsen taking a second set of autopsy photos. (See, for example, pgs. 285-86) As I noted in my previous installment, the deceased O'Donnell has some real credibility problems. But in spite of that, in this volume, Horne uses and then extends him. He is now a witness to Zapruder film alteration. This deserves some elaboration.

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"Well, I remember watching them pack the "evidence" into a vehicle with great fanfare on the 26th

and I thought it was very, very odd."

Where did you see this?

Well, I remember watching them pack the "evidence" into a vehicle with great fanfare on the 26th

and I thought it was very, very odd. I was impressed with these observations by Armstrong, so I

am going to be both surprised and disappointed if he is wrong about this. I found it fascinating.

You of course are right about the time of the creation of the commission. I double-checked and I

typed it correctly. I don't see any citation or reference, but this appears on pages 2-3 of his Intro-

duction. Strictly speaking, I should say the second and third page, since the Introduction has no

page numbers. I note his "Index" error and others in my "Judyth" and the 1st "Judyth/Jim" threads.

Some participants on the post about Costella's review of Horne berated me for posing this on that

thread. So I am creating a separate thread to make the points I would like to make here instead.

Michael,

You make some nice points, where not only has Costella missed the boat completely but DiEugenio

in a different way. It seems to me that Jim is very good on the trees, not so good on the forest. I

offer this early paragraph as an illustration of what I mean, where he, too, has something wrong:

All the above introductory material is necessary to understand my decidedly mixed feelings about

Inside the ARRB. There seem to me a lot of good things in Horne's very long work. And I will discuss

them both here and later. But where the author gets into trouble is when he tries to fit the interesting

facts and testimony he discusses into an overarching theory. Because as we will see, although Horne

has revised Best Evidence, he still sticks to the concept of pre-autopsy surgery, and extensive criminal

conduct by the pathologists. And as Lifton clearly suggested in his book, Horne will also argue that the

Zapruder film was both edited and optically printed. (Lifton pgs. 555-557)

Unless DiEugenio is writing his reviews as he goes and does not realize what unexpected findings await

him, the fact of the matter is THERE WAS PRE-AUTOPSY SURGERY and EXTENSIVE CRIMINAL CONDUCT

BY THE PATHOLOGISTS, including lying to the HSCA and to the ARRB. And, of course, as he demonstrates

quite decisively, the arguments against film alteration advanced by ROLLIE ZAVADA, by DAVID WRONE,

and by JOSIAH THOMPSON have been thoroughly demolished in the course of Doug's extensive studies.

Egad! Somewhere DiEugenio expresses his preference for the physical evidence over the medical and

photographic, as though he did not understand that ALL OF IT has been planted, fabricated, or faked.

NOTE: DiEugenio should read the first few pages of HARVEY & LEE, in which John Armstrong observes:

Chief Curry turned the physical evidence over to the FBI and it was immediately taken to FBI Headquarters

in Washington, D.C. FBI Agent James Cadigan told the Warren Commission about receiving the evidence

(Oswald's personal possessions) on November 23rd, the day after the assassination. But when Cadigan's

testimony was published in the Warren volumes, references to November 23 had been deleted. Neither

the FBI nor the Warren Commission wanted the public to know that Oswald's personal possessions (phys-

ical evidence) had been secretly taken to Washington, DC, and quietly returned to the Dallas police.

During the three days that Oswald's possessions were in FBI custody many items were altered, fabricated,

and destroyed. The "evidence" was then returned to the Dallas Police on November 26th, and used by the

FBI and Warren Commission to help convince the American people that Oswald was the lone assassin.

As the physical evidence was undergoing alteration FBI officials prepared a 5-volume report, completed

within 48 hours of the assassination, that named Lee Harvey Oswald as the lone assassin. This report

was released several days before the FBI took over the investigation, before they "officially" received the

"evidence" from the Dallas poice, before they interviewed the vast majority of witnesses, two weeks before

the Warren Commission was formed, and many months before their investigation was complete.

. . .

On November 26 the FBI secretly returned the physical evidence (Oswald's possessions) to the Dallas Police

where it was "officially" inventoried and photographed. When the Dallas Police received t he evidence they

were unaware that many of the items had ben altered, fabricated, and/or destroyed. President Johnson soon

announced the FBI was in charge of the investigation and, a short time later, Bureau agents arrived at Dallas

Police headquarters.

As television cameras recorded the historic event FBI agents collected the evidence, loaded it into a car, and

drove away. The public was unaware that the FBI had secretly returned the same "evidence" to the Dallas

Police earlier that morning.

If that passage really came from Armstrong, I'm afraid his research is not as good as people claim it is. The Warren Commission was formed on the 29th, one week after the assassination, not two weeks after, and the FBI essentially took over the case with Oswald's death on the 24th.

As far as Oswald's possessions, they were inventoried going out on the 26th. The list stretches something like 17 pages. The real problem as I see it is that no list or photo was made of the evidence sent out on the 22nd to be tested, that was returned on the 24th. This includes the paper bag and the paper bag sample. This is the evidence Cadigan saw on the 23rd, not Oswald's possessions.

And if he really did say he saw the possessions on the 23rd, and it was changed, it's not that surprising. The FBI and WC re-wrote the testimony of the FBI's experts, and kept no detailed records of what they changed. While there are memos in the files noting minor changes, some major changes have been detected for which no memos can be found. The HSCA not only re-wrote the testimony of its witnesses, but changed the wording of the questions they were asked, in order to make them fit more closely the SCRIPT written by Blakey and his staff that the congressmen were supposed to follow.

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Review of Vol II starts off mentioning head reconstruction versus alteration to show the back of the head intact...

Horne/Lifton support reconstruction yet I have to agree with James as that does not seem likely.

I post this since this is the first time I am combining these 2 images.

IF a frontal shot lacerated the scalp as Boswell described

and IF the underlying skull is gone and extends back into the occipital,

it is possible that the scalp was intact enough yet completely flapped over to expose the large hole many saw.

and the other F photos showing the top of JFK's head supports his drawing.

why is it not possible that they are simply pulling this flap back over the hole... not the best autopsy photo ever, for sure... but it seems possible

and could be without alteration or reconstruction. all it is, is misleading

DJ

Edited by David Josephs
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One more image, now that I've gotten to thinking and combining images...

The image of JFK on the table was reversed to represent the right side of his head...

The blow-out seen in Zapruder at 337 seems very much in line with the xray we see that leaves a trail of particles

and a sizeable crack where the area would have been avulsed. {edit: as I look again I believe I am too high up

for those cracks to represent the avused area... probably somewhat lower} Obviously there is the problem of the lack of matter and skull at the front of the xray

yet I'd think this image supports Mantik that this was once an xray of JFK as he was, and then altered.

thoughts?

Edited by David Josephs
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Review of Vol II starts off mentioning head reconstruction versus alteration to show the back of the head intact...

Horne/Lifton support reconstruction yet I have to agree with James as that does not seem likely.

I post this since this is the first time I am combining these 2 images.

IF a frontal shot lacerated the scalp as Boswell described

and IF the underlying skull is gone and extends back into the occipital,

it is possible that the scalp was intact enough yet completely flapped over to expose the large hole many saw.

and the other F photos showing the top of JFK's head supports his drawing.

why is it not possible that they are simply pulling this flap back over the hole... not the best autopsy photo ever, for sure... but it seems possible

and could be without alteration or reconstruction. all it is, is misleading

DJ

David, Boswell's ARRB testimony is simply unreliable. One of Horne's great errors, IMO, is to take snippets of Boswell's testimony and twist them to support his theory, when he knew full well that Boswell, if asked point blank "Was there a large defect missing scalp and bone on the back of Kennedy's head at the beginning of the autopsy?" would have told him to get stuffed. I discuss this in chapter 18c at patspeer.com:

"Now the use of Dr. Boswell as a "back of the head" witness is a bit bizarre on its face, seeing as he signed off on the autopsy report in which no scalp lacerations on the back of the head were noted, and seeing as he never ever said anything indicating he'd seen an entrance wound on the front of the head.

But when one looks at his statements to the ARRB it becomes even more bizarre.

Here is one of the key statements used by back-of-the-head wound theorists to sell Boswell as a "back of the head" witness:

A. There was a big wound sort of transverse up like this from left posterior to right anterior. The scalp was separated, but it was folded over, and you could fold the scalp over and almost hide the wound. When you lifted the scalp up, you could really lay it back posteriorally, and there was a lot of bone still attached to the scalp but detached from the remainder of the skull. And I think these parts back here probably reflect that.

And here is Boswell's response to a follow-up question by Jeremy Gunn:

Q. When you say the left posterior, what do you mean?

A. The left occipital area, and that wound extends to the right frontal area. And what I meant was that the wound in the scalp could be closed from side to side so that it didn't appear that there was any scalp actually--scalp missing.

Yep. That's right. Those pushing Boswell as a witness for the wound described by the Parkland witnesses--a gaping EXIT wound of both scalp and skull on the RIGHT back of the head--are using Boswell's recollection of a scalp LACERATION on the LEFT side of the head, (a scalp laceration that could be closed from side to side so that one could not tell any scalp was missing, mind you), as evidence.

Now, even if one were to accept the ridiculous notion that his statements support there was a gaping wound missing both scalp and skull on the right back side of the head, how reliable are Boswell's recollections?

Not remotely, as it turns out.

More from his ARRB deposition with Gunn:

Q. Do you recall whether there were tears or lacerations in the scalp?

A. Right across here and--

Q. Approximately across the midline?

A. What I previously described, post-occipital, and on the left, across the top, and then down to the right frontal area, and then the laceration extended into the right eye.

Q. Okay. Could you make another drawing--and we'll put Line No. 2 on this--to show the approximate direction of the large laceration that you just referred to?

A. Well, it's not a--I can't say what direction, but--and then this came on down like so, and--actually, I think it came right into here.

Q. Okay. I'm going to put a 2 in a circle right next to that line, and the 2 will signify the approximate direction and shape of the large laceration. Would that be fair?

A. Mm-hmm.

Q. Just so I'm clear--and we'll be looking at the photographs in a few minutes, and you can maybe clarify it there. But at least with some of the photographs, is it your testimony that the scalp was pulled in a way different from how it was when you first saw it in order to better illustrate either wound of entry or exit?

A. Yes. The scalp was essentially loose. In the usual autopsy, you have to cut underneath the scalp in order to reflect it. In this case, the scalp was mobile so that you could pull it forward to obscure the wound or pull it back to make the wound completely lucid.

Q. Okay. Was the hair cleaned in any way for purposes of the photographs?

A. No, I don't think so. There was not a lot of blood, as I remember, and I think he had been pretty well cleaned up in the operating--in the emergency room. And I don't think we had to do much in the way of cleansing before we took photographs.

Well, wait right there. Boswell spoke to the ARRB in 1996. When asked the preceding questions by Jeremy Gunn he had not been shown the autopsy photos since 1977, and had not been shown the establishing shots taken at the autopsy--the photos showing Kennedy lying on the table before an inspection of his wounds had begun--since 1967. Clearly, he had forgotten that these first shots show the President's hair to be matted with blood and brain. His response then shows that he lacked a clear recollection of Kennedy's original appearance when interviewed by the ARRB. He was in his seventies, after all, discussing something he'd seen more than 30 years before. So why should we believe his latter-day recollections are accurate?

We shouldn't. The scalp laceration stretching to the left occipital region suddenly recalled by Boswell 33 years after performing the autopsy was not only not mentioned in the autopsy protocol, it was specifically ruled out by Boswell in his 9-16-77 interview with the HSCA pathology panel.

When asked about the red spot the HSCA panel presumed to be the bullet entrance, and which Dr. Humes presumed was dried blood, Boswell replied:

"It's the posterior-inferior margin of the lacerated scalp." When one of the HSCA panel, Dr. Petty, expressed doubt about this, Boswell then repeated: "It tore right down to that point. And then we just folded that back and this back and an anterior flap forward and this exposed almost the entire--I guess we did have to dissect a little bit to get to."

If, in Boswell's mind, the scalp laceration ended at the red spot, high on the back of the head on the parietal bone, in 1977, there was no way it could possibly have stretched all the way to the occipital bone 19 years later. It seems clear, then, that Dr. Boswell was seriously confused.

But those pushing Boswell as a back of the head witness will never admit this.

Let's take, for example, Doug Horne. Horne had fed Gunn questions during the ARRB's questioning of Boswell. On page 111 of his opus, Inside the ARRB, Horne, who by his own admission had pursued a job with the ARRB in hopes of proving fraud in the medical evidence, quotes Boswell's response after being asked if his 17 by 10 measurement for the large skull defect reflected missing bone or fractured skull. Boswell responded: "Most of that space, the bone was missing. There were a lot of small skull fragments attached to the scalp as it was reflected, but most of that space, the bone was missing, some of which--I think two of which we subsequently retrieved."

Now look what Horne says but four pages later, when discussing Dr. Boswell's approximation of the borders of this defect on a skull model: "The 3-D skull drawing by Boswell was critical, because his autopsy sketch of the top of the skull had by its very nature not shown the condition of the rear of the head. Boswell's 3-D skull diagram completed the rest of the picture. And he wasn't depicting fragmentation or areas of broken bone, he was depicting areas of the skull denuded of bone. It was electrifying."

What? Where does Horne get that Boswell wasn't depicting fragmentation? Boswell had just told him that part of the area depicted was where small fragments attached to the scalp. Why does he ignore this?

Here's why:

Q: Just one last point that I would like to just clarify in my one mind is: On the piece for the markings for the 10 by 17 centimeters that were missing, would it be fair to say that when you first examined the body prior to any arrival of fragments from Dallas, the skull was missing from approximately those dimensions of 10 by 17?

A. Yes.

Problem: the word "approximately" is, in this instance, unduly vague. NONE of the other back of the head witnesses described so much skull missing. Clearly Boswell had no idea how big the hole on the skull was before the scalp was peeled back. Clearly he measured the skull defect after the scalp had been pulled back and skull had fallen to the table. Clearly, the best indicator of the size of the hole on the back of the head, then, would be the x-rays, which depict no large hole on the back of the head where Horne and others presume there was a hole...where the Parkland witnesses told them there was a hole...

But, wait, Horne's found a way to undermine the credibility of the x-rays...provided, not surprisingly, by Gunn's questioning of Boswell:

Q. Were any skull fragments put back into place before photographs or before X-rays?

A. I think before we took the--the ones that came from Dallas were never put back in except to try and approximate them to the ones that were present. But I think all the others were left intact.

Q. So, for example, was there a fragment that had fallen out at any point that you then put back into its place before a photograph or X-ray was taken?

A. Yes.

Q. What size fragments and where did you place them at the--

A. Well, the one that's in the diagram on Exhibit 1, that 10-centimeter piece I'm sure was out at one time or another. And I think maybe some of these smaller fragments down at the base of that diagram also were out at one time or another. But those were all put back.

So, from leading the clearly elderly and confused Boswell through a series of strange questions designed to support or refute the body alteration theory of David Lifton, Gunn got Horne the answer he was looking for...that bone was put back in the skull BEFORE x-rays were taken. Never mind that Boswell at first specified that the large pieces of missing bone were not put back in the skull, and only relented after being asked the same question a second time. Never mind that the bone Boswell thinks they are talking about did not arrive until the end of the autopsy, and that NOT ONE witness recalled a skull x-ray being taken after the beginning of the autopsy.

I mean, let's get serious. One can not honestly propose, a la Horne, that Boswell's confused testimony suggests that the 10cm fragment recovered from the floor of the limo was placed back in Kennedy's skull to hide a hole on the back of his head, unless one is willing to propose this bone was occipital bone. And no one of whom I'm aware, even Horne's colleague Dr. Mantik, believes such a thing.

So why play with Boswell's words to suggest such a thing?"

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Jim DiEugenio has joined the Ed Forum and can now post freely. As a co-founder of CTKA and COPA, Jim has been at the forfront of the fight for the truth about the assassination of JFK and other political assassinations of the Sixties and has written extensively in both books and PROBE. His reviews of Doug Horne's IARRB Vol. I and II are deep and thorough and he should add a lot to the discussion. - BK

[ quote name=William Kelly' date='20 June 2010 - 06:13 PM' timestamp='1277050386' post='195703]

http://www.ctka.net/...horne_jd_2.html

Inside the ARRB, Vol. 2, by Doug Horne

Reviewed by James DiEugenio

(Jim DiEugenio's review of Volume 2 is the second installment of CTKA's book-by-book review of Douglas Horne's five-volume set Inside the ARRB. Later contributions by Dr. David Mantik, Gary Aguilar and Jim DiEugenio will complete the critique of this mammoth series.)

The second volume of Doug Horne's Inside the ARRB ostensibly deals with the following topics: a second section on autopsy photography, a very long section on the x-rays (about 200 pages), interviews with the morticians from Joseph Gawler's Sons, and Horne's report on the ARRB interviews with Parkland Hospital staff. But as we shall see, it actually deals with a lot more than that. For it is here where Horne begins to reveal his revisions to David Lifton's Best Evidence concerning the skullduggery he believes happened at Bethesda before the autopsy.

I

Volume II picks up with a continuance of Horne's discussion of what he perceives as Robert Knudsen's role in autopsy photography. As I noted at the end of my review of Volume I, Horne and I have a disagreement about just what that role was. Horne believes Knudsen took a second set of pictures. I believe that whatever Knudsen's role was, it is mysterious and unproven. But Horne does good work in reviewing just how many different photographic views were actually taken of Kennedy's body and what is missing from the collection today.

He also sticks with Knudsen's friend and professional colleague Joe O'Donnell as a witness for Knudsen taking a second set of autopsy photos. (See, for example, pgs. 285-86) As I noted in my previous installment, the deceased O'Donnell has some real credibility problems. But in spite of that, in this volume, Horne uses and then extends him. He is now a witness to Zapruder film alteration. This deserves some elaboration.

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Greetings Jim... and thanks...

Your reviews and articles, essays and analysis has helped me to understand "context" in so many areas.

I've read your Vol 1 & 2 reviews and will read them again... probably today..

What I'd like to better understand in Horne thru your review is the differnce between conclusion coloration caused by Horne's support of Lifton

and what you feel consititutes factual evidence presented without that bias...

I try in most every case to go back to the source documents (Reed's and Robinson's AARB testimony for example) and ascertain

what is evidence and what is conjecture.

As you do with Mantik's work, which is overly factual from direct observation and measurement, I wonder if you could or will review Horne from

the standpoint of what he is truly establishing as factual evidence.... and let us come to our own conclusions

Then again, I could go the the source and read it myself... just haven't the time at this point.

btw - your review of JFK and the Unspeakable was wonderful...

Respectfully

DJ

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Review of Vol II starts off mentioning head reconstruction versus alteration to show the back of the head intact...

Horne/Lifton support reconstruction yet I have to agree with James as that does not seem likely.

I post this since this is the first time I am combining these 2 images.

IF a frontal shot lacerated the scalp as Boswell described

and IF the underlying skull is gone and extends back into the occipital,

it is possible that the scalp was intact enough yet completely flapped over to expose the large hole many saw.

and the other F photos showing the top of JFK's head supports his drawing.

why is it not possible that they are simply pulling this flap back over the hole... not the best autopsy photo ever, for sure... but it seems possible

and could be without alteration or reconstruction. all it is, is misleading

DJ

David, Boswell's ARRB testimony is simply unreliable. One of Horne's great errors, IMO, is to take snippets of Boswell's testimony and twist them to support his theory, when he knew full well that Boswell, if asked point blank "Was there a large defect missing scalp and bone on the back of Kennedy's head at the beginning of the autopsy?" would have told him to get stuffed. I discuss this in chapter 18c at patspeer.com:

"Now the use of Dr. Boswell as a "back of the head" witness is a bit bizarre on its face, seeing as he signed off on the autopsy report in which no scalp lacerations on the back of the head were noted, and seeing as he never ever said anything indicating he'd seen an entrance wound on the front of the head.

But when one looks at his statements to the ARRB it becomes even more bizarre.

Here is one of the key statements used by back-of-the-head wound theorists to sell Boswell as a "back of the head" witness:

A. There was a big wound sort of transverse up like this from left posterior to right anterior. The scalp was separated, but it was folded over, and you could fold the scalp over and almost hide the wound. When you lifted the scalp up, you could really lay it back posteriorally, and there was a lot of bone still attached to the scalp but detached from the remainder of the skull. And I think these parts back here probably reflect that.

And here is Boswell's response to a follow-up question by Jeremy Gunn:

Q. When you say the left posterior, what do you mean?

A. The left occipital area, and that wound extends to the right frontal area. And what I meant was that the wound in the scalp could be closed from side to side so that it didn't appear that there was any scalp actually--scalp missing.

Yep. That's right. Those pushing Boswell as a witness for the wound described by the Parkland witnesses--a gaping EXIT wound of both scalp and skull on the RIGHT back of the head--are using Boswell's recollection of a scalp LACERATION on the LEFT side of the head, (a scalp laceration that could be closed from side to side so that one could not tell any scalp was missing, mind you), as evidence.

Now, even if one were to accept the ridiculous notion that his statements support there was a gaping wound missing both scalp and skull on the right back side of the head, how reliable are Boswell's recollections?

Not remotely, as it turns out.

Hi Pat... Thanks for the reply. I will try to address what I understand as best I can with what knowledge I have and know that your area is the medical evidence so please bear with me.

IMO you are being overly critical of the exact words used in Boswell’s reply above... I am NOT using Boswell as a BOH wound theorist, just going from what I see and what I’ve done.

If we use this image with Boswell’s earliest drawing as an overlay it is not so hard to see that the laceration he describes does indeed extend into the left side of the head. When he refers to “lay in back posterior-ally" I believe he means from about the middle top of the head back and to the right – over the hole that extends from the occipital to the parietal. I think the recollection is not all that far off based on this image.

More from his ARRB deposition with Gunn:

Q. Do you recall whether there were tears or lacerations in the scalp?

A. Right across here and--

Q. Approximately across the midline?

A. What I previously described, post-occipital, and on the left, across the top, and then down to the right frontal area, and then the laceration extended into the right eye.

Q. Okay. Could you make another drawing--and we'll put Line No. 2 on this--to show the approximate direction of the large laceration that you just referred to?

A. Well, it's not a--I can't say what direction, but--and then this came on down like so, and--actually, I think it came right into here.

Q. Okay. I'm going to put a 2 in a circle right next to that line, and the 2 will signify the approximate direction and shape of the large laceration. Would that be fair?

A. Mm-hmm.

Q. Just so I'm clear--and we'll be looking at the photographs in a few minutes, and you can maybe clarify it there. But at least with some of the photographs, is it your testimony that the scalp was pulled in a way different from how it was when you first saw it in order to better illustrate either wound of entry or exit?

A. Yes. The scalp was essentially loose. In the usual autopsy, you have to cut underneath the scalp in order to reflect it. In this case, the scalp was mobile so that you could pull it forward to obscure the wound or pull it back to make the wound completely lucid.

Q. Okay. Was the hair cleaned in any way for purposes of the photographs?

A. No, I don't think so. There was not a lot of blood, as I remember, and I think he had been pretty well cleaned up in the operating--in the emergency room. And I don't think we had to do much in the way of cleansing before we took photographs.

Well, wait right there. Boswell spoke to the ARRB in 1996. When asked the preceding questions by Jeremy Gunn he had not been shown the autopsy photos since 1977, and had not been shown the establishing shots taken at the autopsy--the photos showing Kennedy lying on the table before an inspection of his wounds had begun--since 1967. Clearly, he had forgotten that these first shots show the President's hair to be matted with blood and brain. His response then shows that he lacked a clear recollection of Kennedy's original appearance when interviewed by the ARRB. He was in his seventies, after all, discussing something he'd seen more than 30 years before. So why should we believe his latter-day recollections are accurate?

We shouldn't. The scalp laceration stretching to the left occipital region suddenly recalled by Boswell 33 years after performing the autopsy was not only not mentioned in the autopsy protocol, it was specifically ruled out by Boswell in his 9-16-77 interview with the HSCA pathology panel.

Are we to start believing the autopsy protocol now? I thought that was close to a pure fabrication compared to what was actually found... maybe the FIRST set of notes and the FIRST autopsy protocol... but those were burned, right?

Looking at the Fox photos, he looks pretty clean to me... especially this left side view... hair is pretty clean and even where the scalp is being pulled back into place, it is not overly caked to obscure the hair... but then again I don’t know when/if they cleaned him again after Parkland and what, if anything, happened at Bethesda in the autopsy room between 6:45 and the official start of the autopsy at 8pm.

Furthermore, the way the BOH dents in seems to indicate to me that there was some left rear damage.

When asked about the red spot the HSCA panel presumed to be the bullet entrance, and which Dr. Humes presumed was dried blood, Boswell replied:

"It's the posterior-inferior margin of the lacerated scalp." When one of the HSCA panel, Dr. Petty, expressed doubt about this, Boswell then repeated: "It tore right down to that point. And then we just folded that back and this back and an anterior flap forward and this exposed almost the entire--I guess we did have to dissect a little bit to get to."

If, in Boswell's mind, the scalp laceration ended at the red spot, high on the back of the head on the parietal bone, in 1977, there was no way it could possibly have stretched all the way to the occipital bone 19 years later. It seems clear, then, that Dr. Boswell was seriously confused.

But those pushing Boswell as a back of the head witness will never admit this.

I think the F7 with the overlay above shows it could be stretched to cover the wound... whether he is wrong about where the laceration ends is another issue entirely and once again I think you are not dismissing this piece of his testimony as readily as you’ve dismissed other areas when it does not conform to you conclusions. He can’t be somewhat forgetful in other areas and be held to being “exact” in this one.

Let's take, for example, Doug Horne. Horne had fed Gunn questions during the ARRB's questioning of Boswell. On page 111 of his opus, Inside the ARRB, Horne, who by his own admission had pursued a job with the ARRB in hopes of proving fraud in the medical evidence, quotes Boswell's response after being asked if his 17 by 10 measurement for the large skull defect reflected missing bone or fractured skull. Boswell responded: "Most of that space, the bone was missing. There were a lot of small skull fragments attached to the scalp as it was reflected, but most of that space, the bone was missing, some of which--I think two of which we subsequently retrieved."

Now look what Horne says but four pages later, when discussing Dr. Boswell's approximation of the borders of this defect on a skull model: "The 3-D skull drawing by Boswell was critical, because his autopsy sketch of the top of the skull had by its very nature not shown the condition of the rear of the head. Boswell's 3-D skull diagram completed the rest of the picture. And he wasn't depicting fragmentation or areas of broken bone, he was depicting areas of the skull denuded of bone. It was electrifying."

What? Where does Horne get that Boswell wasn't depicting fragmentation? Boswell had just told him that part of the area depicted was where small fragments attached to the scalp. Why does he ignore this?

Here's why:

Q: Just one last point that I would like to just clarify in my one mind is: On the piece for the markings for the 10 by 17 centimeters that were missing, would it be fair to say that when you first examined the body prior to any arrival of fragments from Dallas, the skull was missing from approximately those dimensions of 10 by 17?

A. Yes.

Problem: the word "approximately" is, in this instance, unduly vague. NONE of the other back of the head witnesses described so much skull missing. Clearly Boswell had no idea how big the hole on the skull was before the scalp was peeled back. Clearly he measured the skull defect after the scalp had been pulled back and skull had fallen to the table. Clearly, the best indicator of the size of the hole on the back of the head, then, would be the x-rays, which depict no large hole on the back of the head where Horne and others presume there was a hole...where the Parkland witnesses told them there was a hole...

I agree that his measurement of the hole in the skull was AFTER the scalp was peeled back – what do you supposed the measurement of the hole was BEFORE the scalp of moved out of the way? Could that not have been what so many saw at Parkland? Some saw a gaping hole, some saw a smaller 2” hole – wouldn’t it depend on how much of the avulsed scalp was moved out of the way or covering the wound?

Personally, I do not see anything so nefarious about the differences in sizes of the hole – and if one looks at all the different hand placements regarding the location of the hole, there are as many top-right as there are back-right.

But, wait, Horne's found a way to undermine the credibility of the x-rays...provided, not surprisingly, by Gunn's questioning of Boswell:

Q. Were any skull fragments put back into place before photographs or before X-rays?

A. I think before we took the--the ones that came from Dallas were never put back in except to try and approximate them to the ones that were present. But I think all the others were left intact.

Q. So, for example, was there a fragment that had fallen out at any point that you then put back into its place before a photograph or X-ray was taken?

A. Yes.

Q. What size fragments and where did you place them at the--

A. Well, the one that's in the diagram on Exhibit 1, that 10-centimeter piece I'm sure was out at one time or another. And I think maybe some of these smaller fragments down at the base of that diagram also were out at one time or another. But those were all put back.

So, from leading the clearly elderly and confused Boswell through a series of strange questions designed to support or refute the body alteration theory of David Lifton, Gunn got Horne the answer he was looking for...that bone was put back in the skull BEFORE x-rays were taken. Never mind that Boswell at first specified that the large pieces of missing bone were not put back in the skull, and only relented after being asked the same question a second time. Never mind that the bone Boswell thinks they are talking about did not arrive until the end of the autopsy, and that NOT ONE witness recalled a skull x-ray being taken after the beginning of the autopsy.

Which autopsy are your referring to here Pat? Wasn’t it Reed who testified to seeing the ambulance pull up and Jackie enter the hospital while he was carrying x-ray film of JFK up for development? There may have not been any xrays AFTER 8pm yet Finck was shown x-rays at 8:30 when he arrived. According to Finck’s Blumberg report Humes calls him around 8pm (although someplace the call time at 7:30) and tells him that x-rays have already been taken. When then does all this moving around of the scalp, relaying of bones and x-rays happen if not in some pre-autopsy process ?

I mean, let's get serious. One can not honestly propose, a la Horne, that Boswell's confused testimony suggests that the 10cm fragment recovered from the floor of the limo was placed back in Kennedy's skull to hide a hole on the back of his head, unless one is willing to propose this bone was occipital bone. And no one of whom I'm aware, even Horne's colleague Dr. Mantik, believes such a thing.

So why play with Boswell's words to suggest such a thing?"

I do not believe I ever made that assertion. It is not so hard to assert, though, that bones were placed back in place to make some of the x-rays we see today and that these x-rays were taken well before 8pm.

I am also a bit confused as to what you have an issue over with my post... maybe just having a slow morning start here and will take more time to reread – but in no way do I see my post conclude what you say I am concluding... then again – as my ex always said – I could be wrong...

Respectfully

DJ

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Electronic Assassinations Newsletter

Issue #2 New Discoveries in the Recently Released Assassination Files

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JOHN F. KENNEDY'S FATAL WOUNDS:

THE WITNESSES AND THE INTERPRETATIONS

FROM 1963 TO THE PRESENT

by Gary L. Aguilar, MD

San Francisco, California, August, 1994

Introduction

Despite numerous investigations over thirty years intended to resolve the controversies regarding the nature and locations of President John F. Kennedy's wounds, great mystery still exists and unresolved contradictions abound. Most evidence suggests that Kennedy's death must be understood in terms of four wounds: a wound in the back or, as some insist, the back of the neck, a second in the throat, a third in the right-rear of the skull, and a fourth wound in the right side of the skull. While evidence was given for a wound in the left temple, possibly of entrance, this has been discounted by most observers.

The difficulties in arriving at conclusions about how the wounds were inflicted results from paradoxical evidence about the dimensions and locations of the wounds. The availability of autopsy photographs and eyewitness testimony has only muddled matters because they don't agree. For example, it seems that virtually all close witnesses to the head wounds, from the secret service agent Hill, possibly the first observer of this wound, to Jackie Kennedy, to the Parkland physicians, and even to the witnesses in the morgue, gave descriptions of the head injury as a rear skull/scalp defect. Despite the disparate sources, the many descriptions of JFK's skull wound are in surprising and overwhelming agreement. These descriptions, however, are quite inconsistent with the autopsy photographs and X- rays. Those images have thus taken on a central position in the controversy as they were authenticated by the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) in 1977, and so they are supposed to be reliable representations of JFK's wounds. These hard pieces of evidence, therefore, comprise the "best evidence" -- evidence more reliable, according to some, than human recollections.

That JFK's head wound was on the right side of his head is universally accepted. With a single exception, all witnesses placed JFK's major skull defect on the right side, and given the frequency of witness error, this suggests good witness reliability in this case. The most peculiar aspect of JFK's wounds is that of the 46 witnesses whose opinions I have examined between Parkland and Bethesda, 45 of whom correctly claimed that the skull defect was on the right side, 44 were apparently wrong by the "best" evidence to claim that the wound was in the right-rear, rather than the right-front. The "authenticated" photographs, the originals of which were twice examined by author Aguilar at the National Archives, show no rear defect at all, only an anterior-lateral defect, and so, if valid, the images prove that not a single witness accurately described JFK's fatal wound, and that even the autopsy report fails to accurately describe the skull defect visible in the images!

The HSCA's forensic panel, which delved into the mysteries of JFK's autopsy, accepted the authenticity of the current inventory of X-rays and photographs. Principally on the basis of these images, the panel concluded that the autopsists missed the correct location for the entrance bullet wound to the skull by placing it 10-cm too low, and missed the location of the bullet entrance to JFK's back by placing it 5-cm too high. While the HSCA's forensic panel apparently never considered the overwhelming witness testimony that there was a rear defect in JFK's scalp/skull, it follows that all the witnesses were wrong if the images are right. To add to the muddle, recently revealed documents cast doubt on at least the completeness of the photographic inventory, and the technicians who took JFK's X-rays and photographs both insist the current images are not those they took.

The photographs show the right rear of the scalp to be intact behind the ear while the X- rays suggest a bony defect that extends behind the ear but whose existence might have been obscured by intact overlying scalp. The photographs and X-rays indicate the major exit wound on the scalp and skull to be largely forward on the right side, possibly extending as far forward as a centimeter or so anterior to the coronal suture - just about the edge of the hairline at the top of the forehead. How unexpected that so many qualified eyewitnesses' observations of a rear wound would later be disproved by the "best evidence". Witness error is common and it would be easier to accept in this case if some witnesses described a right-rearward wound, some a left-sided wound and others an anterior wound. In this case the best evidence would support those who recalled a right, anterolateral wound. As we'll see, however, an inexplicable concordance of reliable, close eyewitnesses places the major visible defect in JFK's scalp and skull at the right rear where it is absent in the "authenticated" photographs and X-rays. In addition, as we will see, even the back wound, or "back of neck" wound, and the throat wound remain deeply controversial - even after 30 years.

It is well known that the earlier accounts witnesses give are usually more reliable than later recollections, for in time, memory fades and may be influenced by other factors. In compiling the witnesses' accounts of the wounds, every effort was made to locate and present the first account given by each witness. In many cases these were to be found either in notes prepared on the day of the assassination, in Warren Commission testimony a few months later, or in press interviews in the mid 1960's. Some of the witnesses' opinions, however, never appeared until years later, some as late as the 1990's. It was not the author's intent to list every comment ever made by every witnesses, but rather to gather the earliest, and presumably most reliable, accounts for inspection. However, when witnesses gave later, contradictory accounts, an attempt was made to present, explore and interpret the various versions. It is likely that some witnesses' descriptions have been unintentionally overlooked. (The author welcomes any contributions that might make this compilation more complete.)

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The Skull Wound as Seen by Witnesses at Parkland Hospital:

The witnesses of the head wound at Parkland were at a distinct advantage over witnesses in Dealey Plaza as they were closer to the President, he was not moving, they had plenty of time in which to observe, and they were experienced observers familiar with the type of injuries JFK suffered.

With the exception of Adolph Giesecke, MD, the Parkland witnesses were unanimous in placing the skull wound rearward on the right side. No Parkland observer placed the wound solely anteriorly on the right side. (Adolph Giesecke, MD felt the wound extended from occiput to the front, but on the left side.) Given Mrs. Kennedy's recollection of "holding the top of his head down" it may well be that the wound did extend more anteriorly than was apparent to Parkland witnesses. This might be explained by a blood clot forming en route from Dealey Plaza to Parkland while Mrs. Kennedy held "the top" of JFK's "head down" causing the more anterior extent of the wound to be unappreciated by the emergency personnel. It is clear, however, that the Parkland witnesses described a wound in the rear of the skull on the right side. The background and qualifications of the Parkland observers make their repeated, corroborating observations compelling: there was a very obvious defect in the back of the head which was much more than a bullet entrance wound.

1) KEMP CLARK, MD: Professor and Director of Neurological Surgery at Parkland, in an undated note apparently written contemporaneously at Parkland described the President's skull wound as, "...in the occipital region of the skull... Through the head wound, blood and brain were extruding... There was a large wound in the right occipitoparietal region, from which profuse bleeding was occurring... There was considerable loss of scalp and bone tissue. Both cerebral and cerebellar tissue were extruding from the wound." (WC--CE#392)

In a hand written note dated 11-22-63, Dr. Clark wrote, "a large 3 x 3 cm remnant of cerebral tissue present....there was a smaller amount of cerebellar tissue present also....There was a large wound beginning in the right occiput extending into the parietal region....Much of the skull appeared gone at the brief examination...." (Exhibit #392: WC V17:9-10)

At a press conference 2&1/2 hours after the shooting Clark said, "The head wound could have been either the exit wound from the neck or it could have been a tangential wound, as it was simply a large, gaping loss of tissue." ("At the White House with Wayne Hawks" news conference, 11/22/63, 3:16 PM, CST, Dallas, Texas) This virtually contemporaneous description is not entirely unequivocal. However, if JFK's skull defect were not rearward, it is impossible to imagine Clark would have conjectured that the skull defect was the possible exit site of the neck wound, for Malcolm Perry, MD, who participated with him in the press conference, and had performed a tracheotomy on JFK, had just claimed three times the neck wound was a wound of entrance.

In a typed summary submitted to Rear Admiral Burkley on 11-23-63, Clark described the head wound as, "a large wound in the right occipito-parietal region... Both cerebral and cerebellar tissue were extruding from the wound. (Warren Report, p.518, Warren Commission Exhibit #392, Lifton, D. Best Evidence, p. 322)

Under oath and to the Warren Commission's Arlen Specter, Clark described his findings upon arrival to the emergency room, "I then examined the wound in the back of the President's head. This was a large, gaping wound in the right posterior part, with cerebral and cerebellar tissue being damaged and exposed." (WC--V6:20) Specter, either inattentive to Dr. Clark's skull wound description or wishing to move the wound more anterior than the eyewitness, neurosurgery professor placed it, later asked Clark, "Now, you described the massive wound at the top of the of the President's head, with brain protruding..." (WC:6:25) Dr. Clark later located the skull wound to Mr. Specter again, "...in the right occipital region of the President's skull, from which considerable blood loss had occurred which stained the back of his head, neck and upper shoulders." (WC--V6:29)

In answer to a question from Specter about the survivability of Kennedy's head wounding, Clark said: "...the loss of cerebellar (sic) tissue wound probably have been of minimal consequence in the performance of his duties. The loss of the right occipital and probably part of the right parietal lobes wound have been of specific importance..." (WC6:26) That Clark, a neurosurgeon, specified that the occipital lobe of the brain was missing cannot suggest anything but a very posterior defect.

On 1/20/94 a steel salesman from Tennessee, David Naro, interviewed Clark, MD. Naro reported Clark said, "The lower right occipital region of the head was blown out and I saw cerebellum." This conveys the same message as the document he prepared on 11/22/63 which read, "There was a large wound in the right occipitoparietal region... Both cerebral and cerebellar tissue was extruding from the wound."

2) ROBERT McCLELLAND, MD: In testimony at Parkland taken before Arlen Specter on 3-21-64, McClelland described the head wound as, "...I could very closely examine the head wound, and I noted that the right posterior portion of the skull had been extremely blasted. It had been shattered...so that the parietal bone was protruded up through the scalp and seemed to be fractured almost along its right posterior half, as well as some of the occipital bone being fractured in its lateral half, and this sprung open the bones that I mentioned in such a way that you could actually look down into the skull cavity itself and see that probably a third or so, at least, of the brain tissue, posterior cerebral tissue and some of the cerebellar tissue had been blasted out...." (WC--V6:33) Later he said, "...unfortunately the loss of blood and the loss of cerebral and cerebellar tissues were so great that the efforts (to save Kennedy's life) were of no avail." (Emphasis added throughout) (WC--V6:34) McClelland made clear that he thought the rear wound in the skull was an exit wound (WC-V6:35,37). McClelland ascribed the cause of death to, "...massive head injuries with loss of large amounts of cerebral and cerebellar tissues and massive blood loss." (WC--V6:34)

McClelland's unwillingness to change his recollection has recently attracted detractors in the aftermath of Charles Crenshaw's book, "Conspiracy of Silence". McClelland told Posner, "I saw a piece of cerebellum fall out on the stretcher." (Posner, G. "CC.", p. 311, paper). To dismiss McClelland, Posner quotes Malcolm Perry, "I am astonished that Bob (McClelland) would say that... It shows such poor judgment, and usually he has such good judgment." (Posner G. "Case Closed". p. 311, paperback edition.) Perry's own inconsistent and unreliable memory lessens the merit of his opinions of others, as we will see.

3) MARION THOMAS JENKINS, MD: In a contemporaneous note dated 11-22-63, Jenkins described "a great laceration on the right side of the head (temporal and occipital) (sic), causing a great defect in the skull plate so that there was herniation and laceration of great areas of the brain, even to the extent that the cerebellum had protruded from the wound." (WC--Exhibit #392) To the Warren Commission's Arlen Specter Dr. Jenkins said, "Part of the brain was herniated. I really think part of the cerebellum, as I recognized it, was herniated from the wound..." (WC--V6:48) Jenkins told Specter that the temporal and occipital wound was a wound of exit, "...the wound with the exploded area of the scalp, as I interpreted it being exploded, I would interpret it being a wound of exit..." (WC--V6:51.)

Jenkins described a wound in JFK's left temple to Specter. Jenkins: "...I thought there was a wound on the left temporal area, right in the hairline and right above the zygomatic process." Specter: "The autopsy report discloses no such development, Dr. Jenkins." Jenkins: "Well, I was feeling for--I was palpating here for a pulse to see whether the closed chest cardiac massage was effective or not and this probably was some blood that had come from the other point and so I thought there was a wound there also." A few moments later Jenkins again pursued the possibility that there had been a wound in the left temple: "...I asked you a little bit ago if there was a wound in the left temporal area, right above the zygomatic bone in the hairline, because there was blood there and I thought there might have been a wound there (indicating) (sic). Specter: "Indicating the left temporal area?" Jenkins: "Yes; the left temporal, which could have been a point of entrance and exit here (indicating) (sic-presumably pointing to where he had identified the wound in prior testimony--the right rear of the skull), but you have answered that for me (that 'the autopsy report discloses no such development')." (WC-V6:51)

In an interview with the HSCA's Andy Purdy on 11-10-77 Marion Jenkins was said to have expressed that as an anesthesiologist he (Jenkins) "...was positioned at the head of the table so he had one of the closest views of the head wound...believes he was '...the only one who knew the extent of the head wound.') (sic)...Regarding the head wound, Dr. Jenkins said that only one segment of bone was blown out--it was a segment of occipital or temporal bone. He noted that a portion of the cerebellum (lower rear brain) (sic) was hanging out from a hole in the right--rear of the head." (Emphasis added) (HSCA-V7:286-287) In an interview with the American Medical News published on 11-24-78 Jenkins said, "...(Kennedy) had part of his head blown away and part of his cerebellum was hanging out.".

Amazingly, in an interview with author Gerald Posner on March 3, 1992, Jenkins' recollection had changed dramatically. "The description of the cerebellum was my fault," Jenkins insisted, "When I read my report over I realized there could not be any cerebellum. The autopsy photo, with the rear of the head intact and a protrusion in the parietal region, is the way I remember it. I never did say occipital." (Gerald Posner, Case Closed", p. 312) Jenkins has obviously forgotten that in his own note prepared, typed, and signed on the day of the assassination, Jenkins said, "a great laceration on the right side of the head (temporal and occipital) (sic)", and HSCA's Purdy reported that Jenkins said "occipital or temporal bone" was blown out.

When told by Posner that Robert McClelland, MD had claimed, "I saw a piece of cerebellum fall out on the stretcher." Jenkins responded, "Bob (McClelland) is an excellent surgeon. He knows anatomy. I hate to say Bob is mistaken, but that is clearly not right...". (Posner G. Case Closed. p. 313) Clearly, Jenkins had forgotten that he himself had claimed that "cerebellum was hanging out" (as had Ronald Coy Jones, MD--see below). [Might this controversy be resolved in Jenkins' and Jones' favors? Possibly Jenkins believes that cerebellum was 'hanging out' but that it had not reached the surface of the gurney despite the close proximity of the skull in the supine position to its surface?]

Jenkins, however, was not through with discrediting McClelland. To Posner, Jenkins explained how McClelland had made an error, which McClelland later corrected, that there was a wound in JFK's left temple. "I'll tell you how that happened," Jenkins explained, "When Bob McClelland came into the room, he asked me, 'Where are his wounds?' And at that time I was operating a breathing bag with my right hand, and was trying to take the President's temporal pulse, and I had my finger on his left temple. Bob thought I pointed to the left temple as the wound." (Gerald Posner, Case Closed". p. 313)Ignoring the absurdity of such a supposition for the moment, Jenkins failed to reveal an important part of the story. Jenkins failed to tell Posner,who was apparently too uninformed to know, that it was Jenkins himself who had most strikingly claimed that there was an entrance wound in the left temple, as Jenkins' Commission testimony (cited above) proves.

As we will see, Dr. Jenkins' faulty, and possibly self-serving memory seems to have frequently plagued him. It is a testament to JAMA's and Posner's laxity in fact-checking that Jenkins' recollections are so unquestioningly reported. Both Breo and Posner quickly attempted to discredit those who, like McClelland, did not share their biases, and ignored many stupendous inconsistencies of "allies", such as Jenkins (see next chapter). Nonetheless, Jenkins' earliest, "un-enhanced" recollections must be given greatest weight and considered the most likely to be reliable, as in any police investigation. Fortunately, they also agree with the earliest recollections of other Parkland witnesses, an important corroborative factor.

4) CHARLES JAMES CARRICO, MD: On the day of the assassination he hand wrote, " (the skull) wound had avulsed the calvarium and shredded brain tissue present with profuse oozing... attempts to control slow oozing from cerebral and cerebellar tissue via packs instituted..." (CE 392--WC V17:4-5)

In is first mention of JFK's skull wound to the Warren Commission on 3/25/64, Carrico said, "There seemed to be a 4 to 5 cm. area of avulsion of the scalp and the skull was fragmented and bleeding cerebral and cerebellar tissue." (6H3) And... "The (skull) wound that I saw was a large gaping wound, located in the right occipitoparietal area. I would estimate to be about 5 to 7 cm. in size, more or less circular, with avulsions of the calvarium and scalp tissue. As I stated before, I believe there was shredded macerated cerebral and cerebellar tissues both in the wounds and on the fragments of the skull attached to the dura." (6H6)

On 3/30/64 Carrico appeared again before the Commission. Arlen Specter asked, "Will you describe as specifically as you can the head wound which you have already mentioned briefly?" Dr. Carrico: "Sure. This was a 5 by 71 cm (sic--the author feels certain that Dr. Carrico must have said "5 by 7 cm) defect in the posterior skull, the occipital region. There was an absence of the calvarium or skull in this area, with shredded tissue, brain tissue present...". Specter: "Was any other wound observed on the head in addition to this large opening where the skull was absent?" Carrico: "No other wound on the head."(WC--V3:361)

In an interview with Andy Purdy for the HSCA on 1-11-78, Dr. Carrico said, "The skull wound" ...was a fairly large wound in the right side of the head, in the parietal, occipital area. (sic) One could see blood and brains, both cerebellum and cerebrum fragments in that wound." (sic) (HSCA-V7:268)

As with several other Parkland witnesses, Carrico's memory seemed to undergo a transformation when confronted by an interviewer who seems to have preferred he recall things differently than he did under oath. In an interview with author Gerald Posner on March 8, 1992, Posner alleges Carrico reported, "We saw a large hole on the right side of his head. I don't believe we saw any occipital bone. It was not there. It was parietal bone...". (Gerald Posner, " Case Closed , New York, Random House, p. 311) The notorious unreliability of recollections so different and so far removedfrom the original event places Carrico's more recent opinions under a cloud. It seems possible that Carrico has been persuaded that the photographs of the back of JFK's head have been "authenticated", a scientific impossibility, and therefore he should adjust accordingly his recollections to agree with this "best evidence".

5) MALCOLM PERRY, MD: In a note written at Parkland Hospital and dated, 11-22-63 Dr., Perry described the head wound as, "A large wound of the right posterior cranium..." (WC--V17:6--CE#392) Describing Kennedy's appearance to the Warren Commission's Arlen Specter Dr. Perry stated, "Yes, there was a large avulsive wound on the right posterior cranium...." (WC- V3:368) Later to Specter: "...I noted a large avulsive wound of the right parietal occipital area, in which both scalp and portions of skull were absent, and there was severe laceration of underlying brain tissue..." (WC--V3:372) In an interview with the HSCA's Andy Purdy in 1-11-78 Mr. Purdy reported that "Dr. Perry... believed the head wound was located on the "occipital parietal" (sic) region of the skull and that the right posterior aspect of the skull was missing..." (HSCA- V7:292-293) Perry told Mr. Purdy: "I looked at the head wound briefly by leaning over the table and noticed that the parietal occipital head wound was largely avulsive and there was visible brain tissue in the macard and some cerebellum seen..." (HSCA-V7:302-interview with Purdy 1-11-78.

Inexplicably, Perry told author Gerald Posner on April 2, 1992, "I did not see any cerebellum." (Gerald Posner, "Case Closed", p. 312) When told that Robert McClelland, MD had claimed "I saw cerebellum fall out on the stretcher", Posner claimed Perry responded, "I am astonished that Bob wound say that... It shows such poor judgment, and usually he has such good judgment."

6) RONALD COY JONES: was a senior General Surgery resident physician at Parkland Hospital. Under oath he told the Warren Commission's Arlen Specter, "...he had a large wound in the right posterior side of the head... There was large defect in the back side of the head as the President lay on the cart with what appeared to be some brain hanging out of this wound with multiple pieces of skull noted next with the brain and with a tremendous amount of clot and blood." (WC-V6:53-54) A few minutes later he described "what appeared to be an exit wound in the posterior portion of the skull". (Emphasis added throughout) (WC-V6:56)

Specter asked Jones to speculate from his observations the nature of JFK's wounding. He asked, "Dr. Jones, did you have any speculative thought as to accounting for the point of wounds (sic) which you observed on the President, as you thought about it when you were treating the President that day, or shortly thereafter?" Jones answered, "With no history as to the number of times that the President had been shot or knowing the direction from which he had been shot, and seeing he wound in the midline of the neck, and what appeared to be an exit wound in the posterior portion of the skull, the only speculation that I could have as far as to how this could occur with a single wound would be that it would enter the anterior neck and possibly strike a vertebral body and then change its course and exit in the region of the posterior portion of the head." (WC.V.6:56) While he then expressed some doubt that a high velocity bullet would so radically change course, JFK's skull wound must have appeared to him quite posterior for him to have advanced such an hypothesis.

It is particularly noteworthy that Jones continued to believe JFK's skull suggested a rear exit of a bullet that entered from anterior. In January, 1983 he told David Lifton, "If you brought him in here today, I'd still say he was shot from the front." (BE, p. 705) Jones told student, Brad Parker, on 8/10/92, again, "...if they brought him in today, I would tend - seeing what I saw, I would say that he was shot from the front." Jones told Parker that he fundamentally agreed with McClelland's drawing of the back of the head as seen in Six Seconds . Jones specifically denied to Parker that hehad seen a right anterior skull defect. He said, "Yeah. I didn't think that there was any wound -- I didn't appreciate any wound, anyway, in the right temporal area or the right side of the upper part of the head, you know, over the -- in front of the ear say, or anything like that ". These description are fully consistent with the autopsy report of a right rear defect. If the defect did extend forward, the anterior portion was quite small. Only Gerald Posner reported Jones described JFK's wound as "a large side wound". Posner made no mention of Jones' Warren Commission testimony, testimony which is incompatible with Posner's thesis, nor did Posner ask about the statements attributed to Jones by Lifton, which Jones repeated to Brad Parker in 1992).

7) GENE AIKIN, MD: an anesthesiologist at Parkland told the Warren Commission under oath, "The back of the right occipitalparietal portion of his head was shattered with brain substance extruding." (WC-V6:65.) He later opined, "I assume the right occipitalparietal region was the exit, so to speak, that he had probably been hit on the other side of the head, or at least tangentially in the back of the head...". (WC-V6:67)

8) PAUL PETERS, MD: a resident physician at Parkland described the head wound to the Warren Commission's Arlen Specter under oath as, "...I noticed that there was a large defect in the occiput...It seemed to me that in the right occipitalparietal area that there was a large defect." (WC-V6:71)

Peters told author Lifton on 11-12-66, "I was trying to think how he could have had a hole in his neck and a hole in the occiput, and the only answer we could think (of) was perhaps the bullet had gone in through the front, hit the bony spinal column, and exited through the back of the head, since a wound of exit is always bigger than a wound of entry." (David Lifton, Best Evidence. p. 317) Peters repeated this speculation in a speech on the subject on 4/2/92, in a talk entitled, "Who Killed JFK?", given at the 14th annual meeting of the Wilk-Amite Medical Society, at Centreville Academy, Centreville, Mississippi, according to a transcript furnished by Claude B. Slaton, of Zachary, Louisiana.) As if to emphasize the low location of the skull wound, Peters elaborated to Lifton, "I'd be willing to swear that the wound was in the occiput, you know. I could see the occipital lobes clearly, and so I know it was that far back, on the skull. I could look inside the skull, and I thought it looked like the cerebellum was injured, or missing, because the occipital lobes seemed to rest almost on the foramen magnum. Now I didn't put my hand inside his head and lift up the occipital lobes, because I wasn't about to do that under the circumstances... (but it) looked like the occipital lobes were resting on the foramen magnum. It was as if something underneath them, that usually kept them up from that a little ways, namely, the cerebellum and brainstem, might have been injured, or missing." (David Lifton, Best Evidence, p. 324) Author Livingstone read Peters' words of description back to Peters asking for his comment. Peters, after hearing the above quote said, "Well, I would say that's pretty accurate about what I thought at the time. But Dr. Lattimer from New York who was privileged to view the autopsy findings told me that the cerebellum did appear to be intact. So, if I say, what I have reasoned since then is that probably what had happened was that part of the cerebral hemisphere had been shot away, which caused the occipital lobe, you see, to fall down. So rather than the props underneath it being destroyed, part of it was actually destroyed... You have to remember, I've been an American all this time, too. And so I'm subject to what I've learned from reading and looking since." (Transcript of Livingstone interview with Peters)

When shown enlarged Zapruder film frames depicting a right-anterior wound, Peters wrote, "The wound which you marked...I never saw and I don't think there was such a wound. I think that was simply an artifact of copying Zapruder's movie... The only wound I saw on President Kennedy's head was in the occipitoparietal area on the right side." (Personal letter to Wallace Milam 4-14-80, copy, courtesy of Wallace Milam to author Aguilar; also in Lifton, BE: 557)

Peters told author Livingstone that he and others closely examined JFK's skull wound. "...Dr. Jenkins commented that we'd better take a look at the brain before deciding whether to open the chest and to massage the heart with our hands, we stepped up and looked inside the skull and that's how I made note in my own mind of where the wound was in the skull." (Transcript of Livingstone interview with Peters. Peters repeated this assertion in a speech on the subject on 4/2/92, in a talk entitled, "Who Killed JFK?", given at the 14th annual meeting of the Wilk-Amite Medical Society, at Centreville Academy, Centreville, Mississippi, according to a transcript furnished by Claude B. Slaton, of Zachary, Louisiana.)

When shown by author Livingstone the HSCA's Dox drawings of the rear of JFK's skull prepared to precisely replicate the photographs, Peters claimed, "Well, this is an artist's drawing, and I don't think that it's consistent with what I saw... It's to, (sic) in the rear and to the side, that's the parietal area. So it's in the back and the side of the head, I would say in laymen's terms." To eliminate any confusion as to what Peters meant, Livingstone asked, "The way I read it (Lifton's question to Peters regarding the location of the head wound), you're saying that the center of the gaping wound that you did see was 2.5 centimeters to the right of the occipital protuberance." Peters answered, "Well, I wouldn't say that was the center of it (the skull wound he saw). I would say that was about where it began. Yeah." (Transcript of Livingstone interview with Paul Peters)

Author Gerald Posner claimed that on March 10, 1992, Peters told him, "The only thing I would say is that over the last twenty-eight years I now believe the head wound is more forward than I first placed it. More to the side than the rear. I tried to tell Lifton where the wound was, but he did not want to hear." (Posner, Case Closed", p. 310, paperback edition.) On April 2, 1992, Peters said, "...my observations were given earlier but they're still, I think, accurate after 25 years... The wound was occipital-parietal... I saw about a 7 centimeter hole in the occiput...". (Speech by Peters, "Who Killed JFK?", given at the 14th annual meeting of the Wilk-Amite Medical Society, at Centreville Academy, Centreville, Mississippi, according to a transcript furnished by Claude B. Slaton, of Zachary, Louisiana) While Posner seemed to wish to cast doubt on the manner Lifton represented Peters' opinions, it seems that Lifton's account was far more consistent with Peters' other statements than Posner's. Lifton still has a recording of his interview with Peters and told the author the statements Lifton cited were taken from Peters verbatim and in context.

In a speech to a gathering of Urologists in San Francisco in 1992, Peters demonstrated JFK's skull defect as he recalled it, on a human head for author Aguilar, placing the wound at the top rear portion of the skull, which, if the skull were a cube, involved the right rear corner--a location that has no defect in current autopsy photographs.

Peters apparently reported to author Gerald Posner on March 10 1992 that Robert McClelland, MD, who has steadfastly maintained the view that there was a rear skull wound of exit, was in error. "I don't think Bob McClelland was in the best place to see the head wound..." (Posner, Case Closed", p. 313) Robert McClelland, MD had diagramed a skull and indicated JFK's skull wound in the low rear portion of JFK's skull to author Thompson. Peters indicated on that same diagram complete agreement with the McClelland's low placement on 8-7-79 in a letter to author Livingstone. A copy of Peters' letter and diagram was produced in Groden and Livingstone's High Treason ". Peters' letter to author Livingstone reads in full:

"Dear Mr. Livingstone, "I have marked an "X" on the picture which more accurately depicts the wound, although neither is quite accurate in my opinion. There was a large hole in the back of the head through which one could see the brain. Sincerely, Paul C. Peters, MD"

Peters believed that the "X" marked the point of exit for the wound in the head. In an interview with author Livingstone, Peters referred to the "X" in the aforementioned diagram and said, "...the "X" is about where the wound was. The "X" does not imply that that wound is exactly correct. The "X" applies about where I thought the wound of exit was." (transcript of interview with Peters)

The "X" is marked squarely on the right rear portion of the skull parallel with a point just below the top of the ear. (See group of photographs following page 27 in Groden and Livingstone, High Treason", for a copy of the diagram and Peters' letter.) So Peters has done a complete about face after having discussed the case with Lattimer who convinced Peters that he did not see what he had repeatedly said he saw. Moreover, Peters felt confident enough in Latimer's opinion of what Peters had seen that he was willing to reproach McClelland for his refusal to alter his recollection to agree with Lattimer as Peters himself had done. Apparently suggestion from non-witness, Lattimer, has done wonders for Peters' memory of what he saw. It may not, however, have helped his credibility.

9) CHARLES CRENSHAW, MD: a resident physician at Parkland neither wrote his observations contemporaneously or was interviewed by the Warren Commission. He, with co-authors, Jess Hansen and Gary Shaw, recently published a book, JFK: Conspiracy of Silence, " (Crenshaw, CA, Hansen, J, Shaw, G. ( JFK: Conspiracy of Silence, 1992, New York, Signet). Crenshaw has claimed both in his book and in public interviews that the President's head wound was posterior on the right side. In JFK: Conspiracy of Silence, he wrote, "I walked to the President's head to get a closer look. His entire right cerebral hemisphere appeared to be gone. It looked like a crater--an empty cavity. All I could see there was mangled, bloody tissue. From the damage I saw, there was no doubt in my mind that the bullet had entered his head through the front, and as it surgically passed through his cranium, the missile obliterated part of the temporal and all the parietal and occipital lobes before it lacerated the cerebellum." ( JFK: Conspiracy of Silence, p. 86)

The FBI interviewed Crenshaw July 22, 1992 and reported Crenshaw apparently did not like his own description of JFK's skull wound in JFK: Conspiracy of Silence Of the skull wound the FBI reported, "(Crenshaw said) The head wound was located at the back of the President's head and was the approximate size of Doctor CRENSHAW's (sic) fist. It extended from the approximate center of the skull in the back to just behind the right ear, utilizing a left to right orientation and from a position a couple of inches above the right ear to the approximate middle of the right ear utilizing a top to bottom orientation." (FBI file # 89A-DL-60165-99) The FBI also reported, "(Crenshaw's) description which indicates that the wound extended from the hairline back behind the ear and to the back of the head was 'poorly worded.' (sic) The correct description indicates that the wound was located entirely at the rear of the head behind the right ear." (FBI file # 89A-DL-60615-100.) While Crenshaw has been roundly criticized for having kept silent for so long, his observations regarding the head wound are consistent with the contemporaneous observations of others, especially those of Kemp Clark, MD, professor of Neurosurgery, who pronounced Kennedy dead. Crenshaw claimed to have kept quiet about his observations out of professional and personal fear of reprisals.

As will be seen Breo took great exception to Crenshaw's account. Author Gerald Posner dismissed Crenshaw with quotations from fellow Parkland physicians: Perry stated, "I feel sorry for him. I had thought of suing him, but when I saw him on television [promoting his book], (sic) my anger melted. He has to know that what he said is false, and he knows the rest of us know that. You have to pity him. What a way to end his career. His story is filled with half-truths and insinuations, and those of us who know him know he is desperate... He is a pitiful sight." Perry's excoriation of Crenshaw must, however, be considered in the context of his own egregious memory, and his own possible perjury before the Warren Commission. Perry, as will be discussed, denied under oath to the Warren Commission that he had made unequivocal statements to the press claiming the neck wound was a wound of entrance. He falsely accused the press of misrepresenting his comments when an exact transcript of his comments revealed that the press had accurately reported his unequivocal comments that the neck wound was a wound of entrance. Perry, to the author's knowledge, has never apologized to the press nor has he explained his untruthful testimony to the Commission. Moreover, as has been demonstrated, Perry seems to have adjusted his recollections to suit his questioner, whether Specter of the Warren Commission, or author, Posner.

10) CHARLES RUFUS BAXTER, MD: a resident physician at Parkland in a hand written note prepared on 11-22-63 and published in the Warren Report (p. 523) Baxter wrote, "...the right temporal and occipital bones were missing (emphasis added) and the brain was lying on the table..." (WR:523). Very oddly, as Wallace Milam pointed out to one of the authors (Aguilar), when asked to read his own hand written report into the record before the Warren Commission's Arlen Specter the words are recorded exactly as he wrote them, except for the above sentence. That sentence was recorded by the Warren Commission and reads "...the right temporal and parietal bones were missing. (emphasis added)...". (WC-V6:44) It is reasonable to assume that Baxter's original description of a more rearward wound is more reliable than his later testimony before Arlen Specter, who on more than one occasion tried to move the skull wound away from the rear. Baxter then described the head wound saying, "...literally the right side of his head had been blown off. With this and the observation that the cerebellum was present...." (WC-V6:41) Thus the wound he saw was more likely to have been "temporo-occipital" than "temporo-parietal", because he also recalled, "cerebellum was present". (WC-V6:41) Shortly later in the same interview he also said, "...the temporal and parietal bones were missing and the brain was lying on the table...." (WC-V6:44) The authors are unaware of any explanation for the discrepancies, and can only speculate that either Baxter was misquoted twice or he adjusted his testimony to conform with what he might have felt was wanted of him. The mystery was confounded when author Livingstone reported that Baxter described the skull wound as "...a large gaping wound in the occipital area." Livingstone also reported that "(Baxter) could not have been more clear when he rejected the official picture (showing the rear scalp intact)."(Groden & Livingstone, High Treason, 1989, New York, Berkley Books, p. 45)

Baxter's reliability has also been called into question for a comment attributed to him by Dennis Breo, staff writer for JAMA, and Gerald Posner. Baxter apparently supported Breo's suggestion that Charles Crenshaw, MD, author of the recent book, "Conspiracy of Silence", (Crenshaw, CA, Hansen, J, Shaw, G. JFK: Conspiracy of Silence. 1992, New York, Signet) was not in JFK's trauma room. JAMA wrote, "Most of those who know the facts express disgust at Crenshaw's actions and question if he was involved in the care of the President at all... None of the four (interviewed by Breo) recalls ever seeing him at the scene." (Breo, D. L., JAMA, 267:2804-2805). This claim was used by JAMA to support the Warren Commission's reconstruction of the event, and call into question Crenshaw's recollections of JFK's wounds published in his book--recollections that flatly contradicted the Commission's findings. In an interview with author Gerald Posner in 1992, Baxter said, "I don't either (remember that Crenshaw was present in JFK's trauma room)." (Posner, G. Case Closed, p. 312, paper version). Embarrassingly, before the Warren Commission's Arlen Specter, however, Baxter, under oath, listed the physicians present with him in the emergency room with JFK. The first physician he named was Charles Crenshaw. (WC- V6:40)

As if Baxter's credibility had not suffered enough, he reported to author Posner on March 12, 1992, "I never even saw the back of (JFK's) head. The wound was on the right side, not the back." (Posner, Case Closed, p. 312) Baxter would do well to read his own hand-written note, prepared on the day of the assassination, and reproduced legibly in the Warren Report, and read the transcripts of interviews he's given authors before allowing further interviews.

This fact will be explored again in the following chapter. In any case it seems that Baxter is either terribly unreliable or is often misquoted, as seem to be all of Breo's and Posner's "allies". McClelland, disparaged by the other Parkland witnesses used by Breo and Posner, is the only one of these witnesses whose opinion has not seemed to change with the wind.

11) ROBERT GROSSMAN, MD: had just joined the staff of Parkland at the time of the assassination as an Instructor in Neurosurgery. He never testified to the Warren Commission or the HSCA. Authors Groden and Livingstone, however, claim, "He (Grossman) said that he saw two large holes in the head, as he told the (Boston) Globe, and he described a large hole squarely in the occiput, far too large for a bullet entry wound...". (HT-I Groden and Livingstone, p. 51)-& also "Duffy & Ricci, The Assassination of John F. Kennedy--A Complete Book of Facts, p. 207-208.)

12) RICHARD BROOKS DULANEY, MD: was a first year general surgery resident at Parkland Hospital on the day of the assassination. He appeared before the Commission and claimed only, "...he had a large head wound---that was the first thing I noticed." Arlen Specter did not ask him to elaborate and Dulaney did not volunteer any additional details.(WC-V:114). As Groden and Livingston reported, however, Dulaney told journalist Ben Bradlee, Jr., "...Somebody lifted up his head and showed me the back of his head. We couldn't see much until they picked up his head. I was standing beside him. The wound was on the back of his head. On the back side" They lifted up the head and "the whole back-side was gone." (Groden R., Livingston, H., High Treason. 1989 New York, Berkley Books, p.460.)

13) ADOLPH GIESECKE, MD: an assistant professor of anesthesiology at Parkland in 1963 authored a typed summary of his care of Governor Connally on 11-25-63, Warren Commission "Gieske Exhibit #1", (WC-V20:5-7) in which he does not mention JFK's wounds. In Warren Commission testimony he described JFK's head wound as: "...from the vertex to the left ear, and from the brow line to the occiput on the left-hand side of the head the cranium was entirely missing." Specter surprised that Giesecke claimed the left side asked: "That's your recollection?" Giesecke answered: "Right, like I say, I was there a very short time--really." (WC-V:6:72-78) This is the only case of any witness mistaking which side the skull injuries were on. However, despite his error on the laterality, he claimed that the skull defect extended from the occiput to the front of the skull.

14) FOUAD BASHOUR, MD: an associate professor of medicine, cardiology, at Parkland at the time of the assassination. Groden and Livingstone reported, "He was most insistent that the official picture was not representative of the wounds, and he continually laid his hand both on the back of Livingstone's head and his own to show where the large hole was. 'Why do they cover it up?' he repeated numerous times. 'This is not the way it was!' he kept repeating, shaking his head no." (Groden & Livingston, H., High Treason. 1989 New York, Berkley Books, p.45)

15) KENNETH EVERETT SALYER, MD: was an intern at Parkland at the time of JFK's death. In a Warren Commission interview with Arlen Specter, Salyer stated, "...(JFK) had a wound of his right temporal region...I came in on the left side of him and noticed that his major wound seemed to be in his right temporal area, at least from the point of view that I could see him, and other than that--nothing other than he did have a gaping scalp wound-- cranial wound" (Warren Commission-V6:81) Salyer reported to author Aguilar that the wound was right sided but extended both posterior to and anterior to the ear. He repeated a claim made to Robert Groden that the photographs appeared to have been tampered with.

Note: Specter asked Salyer, "To what extent did Dr. Crenshaw participate?"

Salyer answered, "Dr. Crenshaw participated about the extent that I did. We were occupied in making sure an I. V. was going and hanging up a bottle of blood." Specter, "Is the--is Dr. Crenshaw a resident?" Salyer: "yes, he is a third-year resident. That's the reason I remember him specifically because we were sort of working there together on that." (Warren Commission, V6:81)

16) PAT HUTTON, RN: a nurse at Parkland who met the limousine and helped to wheel the President into Trauma Room 1 wrote a report soon after claiming, "Mr. Kennedy was bleeding profusely from a wound in the back of his head, and was lying there unresponsive." (Price Exhibit V21 H 216--Emphasis added). While helping with resuscitation efforts a physician asked her to apply a pressure dressing to the head wound, she observed, however, that, "This was no use, however, because of the massive opening in the back of the head." (IBID)

17) DORIS NELSON, RN: was a supervising nurse at Parkland. She was interviewed by Arlen Specter for the Warren Commission and she was neither asked or volunteered information regarding the nature of JFK's wounds. (WC-V6:143-147) As Groden and Livingstone reported, however, journalist Ben Bradlee, Jr. asked her, "Did you get a good look at his head injuries?" Nelson: "A very good look...When we wrapped him up and put him in the coffin. I saw his whole head." Asked about the accuracy of the HSCA autopsy photographs she reacted: "No. It's not true. Because there was no hair back there. There wasn't even hair back there. It was blown away. Some of his head was blown away and his brains were fallen down on the stretcher." (High Treason I. p. 454)

18) SECRET SERVICE AGENT WILLIAM GREER: described the President's wounds upon arrival at Parkland to Arlen Specter of the Warren Commission: "His head was all shot, this whole part was all a matter of blood like he had been hit." Specter, "Indicating the top and right rear side of the head?" Greer: "Yes, sir; it looked like that was all blown off."(WCV2:124)

19) SECRET SERVICE AGENT CLINT HILL: described the wounds he saw at Parkland as, "The right rear portion of his head was missing. It was lying in the rear seat of the car. His brain was exposed...There was so much blood you could not tell if there had been any other wound or not, except for the one large gaping wound in the right rear portion of the head." (WC--V2:141)

20) NURSE DIANA HAMILTON BOWRON: greeted the limousine with a stretcher. She claimed, "...the back of his head...well, it was very bad--you know..." Arlen Specter failed to elucidate what she meant by the "back of the head" being very bad. (emphasis added) (WC V6:136:) Within 48 hours of the assassination the British press relayed a second hand account from Bowron through her mother: "...there was blood all over this neck and shoulders. There was a gaping wound in the back of his head." (Livingstone, Killing the Truth , p. 180) Author Livingstone corresponded and spoke by phone with Bowron in 1993. He reported that Bowron claimed, "I first saw the large wound in the back of the head in the car. When we were preparing the body for the coffin I had the opportunity to examine it more closely. It was about five inches in diameter and there was no flap of skin covering it, just a fraction of skin along part of the edges of bone. There was, however, some hair hanging down from the top of the head, which was caked with blood, and most of the brain was missing. The wound was so large I could almost put my whole left fist inside." (Livingstone, Killing the Truth, p. 181) She also said, "...The hole was basically almost the size of a saucer, and sort of from the occiput. So there was quite a reasonable amount missing from the top as well." (Livingstone, Killing the Truth, p. 190) When asked her opinion of the nature of the defect in the rear of the skull, Bowron told Livingstone, "Well, to me it was an exit hole." (Livingstone, Killing the Truth, p. 192) Livingstone asked, "Did you see any entry hole in the back of the head?". "I assumed and I still do that that was an exit wound." Bowron answered. ( Killing the Truth , p. 195). Bowron prepared a drawing depicting the skull wound as she saw it for Livingstone which bears a striking similarity to the diagram of the wound prepared by Robert McClelland, MD and agreed to by Paul Peters, MD ( High Treason in group of images following p. 23 in hard cover edition.) It shows a defect squarely in the occiput on the right side; a second diagram depicting the skull from above shows the right rear quadrant of the skull absent with the notation "missing". (Killing the Truth,in images following p. 368)

21) WILLIAM MIDGETT, MD: an Obstetrics and Gynecology resident at Parkland greeted the President's limousine pushing a stretcher. In an interview with Wallace Milam on February 8, 1993, he described JFK's wound as "right parietal" and said it was behind the right ear.

22) Don T. Curtis, D.D.S.: an oral surgery resident was mentioned in the Warren Report (p.66), but gave no account to the Commission regarding JFK's wounds. Pre-med student, Brad J. Parker, sent Curtis a copy of McClelland's drawing showing a large right-sided defect in the rear of JFK's skull to ask his opinion about it. On October 25, 1994, Curtis wrote Parker. His letter in full read: Dear Mr. Parker, The drawing by Dr. Robert McClelland is essentially by recollection of the wound suffered by John F. Kennedy. Please let me know if you need any further information. Best regards, Don T. Curtis, D.D.S.

Left Temporal Wound Described At Parkland

It must be mentioned that there were those at Parkland who described a left temporal entry: Robert McClelland, MD, Marion Jenkins, MD (WC--V6:48) and Father Oscar Huber all mentioned such a wound.(BE:46, 331) This location for a wound has been abandoned by all: the Warren Commission loyalists by arguing that Oswald was firing from the school book depository, while some Warren Commission critics rejected it for conflicting with a grassy knoll origin and left-rear head thrust.

The Rear Skull Wound as Exit Wound

Author Lifton neatly summarized the claims of Parkland witnesses who interpreted the rear wound they saw as an exit wound, "Indeed, six Dallas doctors testified that wound in the rear of the head was an exit wound; and a seventh, Dr. Kemp Clark, said it could be an exit wound, but it was also possible the wound was 'tangential'; Dr. Jones testified it 'appeared to be an exit wound in the posterior portion of the skull'; Dr. Perry referred to it as 'avulsive'; Dr. Jenkins, referring to the region as 'exploded,' said, 'I wound interpret it being a wound of exit'; and Dr. Akin said: 'I assume that the right occipitoparietal region was the exit.'" (Lifton, BE, p.317) Apparently Dr. Clark is holding fast in 1994 to the opinion he first gave in 1963 of a rear exit wound (see above), unlike some of his colleagues.

Thus, twenty of twenty-two Parkland witnesses (all but Giesecke's and Salyer's) first, unrehearsed, and specific recollection of the head wound, either in writing, verbally, or both, placed a major skull defect unambiguously posteriorly on the right. Not one description, other than Giesecke's ambiguous and obviously erroneous account, described any anterior wound, or even an anterior-lateral wound--as the HSCA forensic panel and the Clark Panel claimed existed on the basis of the "best evidence", the photographs and X-rays. Salyer's account of a right temporal wound is the only account given which fails to describe a rear defect. By his own admission, Salyer was positioned on JFK's left side, a poor vantage point for seeing JFK's right skull wound, and he admitted that he had not had a good look. Salyer did say, however, that the defect extended behind the right ear and he expressed the opinion the photographs appeared to him to have been tampered with in this area.

The conclusion that there was a major skull and scalp defect in the rear of JFK's skull based on the descriptions of very qualified and experienced Parkland witnesses cannot be easily dismissed. The absence of a rear skull defect in JFK's autopsy photographs must be viewed with consideration of compelling evidence that the photographic inventory is incomplete. If images have been deleted from the original inventory, might there not also have been tampering with the images that remain? Might the 'adjusted' photographic record be responsible for the conclusions of later reviewers whose conclusion of an anterolateral skull defect is quite at odds with the descriptions of witnesses? If not alteration, what hypothesis can better explain the contradictory conclusions of later well-credentialed, non-witness reviewers who arrived at such vastly different conclusions based upon photographs and X- rays?

Witnesses at Bethesda

Besides the physicians who performed the autopsy, the authors have assembled the recollections of twenty-one witnesses who saw the body at Bethesda and described a rear skull wound. Among them are four physicians besides the autopsists, two autopsy photographers, three secret service agents, two FBI agents five technicians, a hospital corpsman, a presidential aid, and a mortician. All the witnesses' testimonies save one corroborate the Parkland descriptions of a rear skull defect, and, if the analysis of the HSCA's panel is right, these twenty Bethesda witnesses, as well as the autopsists, and twenty Parkland witnesses, are all wrong in locating the major skull defect in the rear of the skull:

1) GODFREY McHUGH: was President Kennedy's Air Force Aid, and was present with Kennedy in Dallas and traveled with the body to Bethesda. He described the head wound to author David Lifton (BE:430): "...he was in absolute perfect shape, except the back of the head, top back of the head, had an explosive bullet in it (sic) and was badly damaged..."

Later to clarify the point Lifton asked: "When you think of the head wounds, then, you think of, primarily, the top of the head, or primarily the back of the head? McHugh answered, "Both. Ninety-nine percent the back, the top back of the head... that's the portion that had been badly damaged by the bullet." (BE:432) Lifton, to leave no doubt about what was meant then asked McHugh to define the back of the head. McHugh answered: "The portion that is in the back of the head, when you're lying down in the bathtub, you hit the back of the head." (Best Evidence, p. 430)

2) JOHN STRINGER: was the autopsy photographer. David Lifton interviewed Stringer, in part, as follows: Lifton: "When you lifted him out, was the main damage to the skull on the top or in the back?" Stringer: "In the back." Lifton: "In the back?...High in the back or lower in the back?" Stringer: "In the occipital part, in the back there, up above the neck." Lifton: "In other words, the main part of his head that was blasted away was in the occipital part of the skull?" Stringer: "Yes. In the back part." Lifton: "The back portion. Okay. In other words, there was no five-inch hole in the top of the skull?" Stringer: "Oh, some of it was blown off--yes, I mean, toward, out of the top in the back, yes." Lifton: "Top in the back. But the top in the front was pretty intact?" Stringer: "Yes, sure." Lifton: "The top front was intact?" Stringer: "Right." Lifton, unsatisfied with precisely what Stringer may have meant by the 'back of the head' asked, as he had asked McHugh, if by "back of the head" Stringer meant the portion of the head that rests on the rear portion of a bathtub during bathing. Stringer replied, "Yes."--as had McHugh (BE, p.516)(

On November 14, 1993 the Vero Beach Press Journal's Craig Colgan reported Stringer's surprise when he heard, and positively identified, his own tape-recorded voice making the above statements to Lifton in 1972. He insisted in the interview with Colgan that he did not recall his ever claiming that the wound was in the rear. The wound he recalled was to the right side of the head. ABC's "Prime Time Live" associate producer, Jacqueline Hall- Kallas, sent a film crew to interview Stringer for a 1988 San Francisco KRON-TV interview after Stringer, in a pre-filming interview told Hall-Kallas that the wound was as he described it to Lifton. Colgan reported, "'When the camera crew arrived, Stringer's story had changed', said Stanhope Gould, a producer who also is currently at ABC and who conducted the 1988 on-camera interview with Stringer...'We wouldn't have sent a camera crew all the way across the country on our budget if we thought he would reverse himself.' Gould said...'(In the telephone pre-interview) he corroborated what he told David Lifton, that the wounds were not as the official version said they were,' Hall-Kallas said." (Vero Beach Press-Journal, November 14, 1993, p. 1C-3C. Provided to author by David Lifton.) The reader will have to decide for himself which description is more likely to be reliable.

As a final note on the Colgan article: Author Gerald Posner attempted to discredit Charles Crenshaw, MD's claim of a rear wound to journalist Colgan claiming that conspiracists cannot accept Crenshaw's (tardy) posterior location if they do not also accept Stringer's later recollection of an anterior-lateral skull defect rather than the posterior defect he initially described. The comparisons are disanalogous, it seems, as Stringer repudiated his earlier, unambiguous account of a rear wound. Crenshaw never had claimed any other location than a posterior location for JFK's skull wound (before his book, JFK: Conspiracy of Silence).

The integrity of JFK's autopsy photographs was apparently also challenged by Stringer in an intriguing observation uncovered only in recently released HSCA data. HSCA counsel Andy Purdy interviewed Stringer and reported, "STRINGER (sic) said it was his recollection that all the photographs he had taken were not present in 1966 (when he first saw the photographs). He noted that the receipt he had said some of the film holders (sic) had no film in one side of the cassettes. He said the receipt said this happened in two or three of the film holders where one side only was allegedly loaded. He said he could understand it if the film holders were reported to have poorly exposed or defective film but could not believe that there were any sides on the film holders which were not loaded with film... STRINGER (sic) also said that he thought he had taken some interior photographs of the President's chest ("I believe so") (sic). He said he was present in the room where the autopsy was conducted between approximately 6:00 and 6:30 P. M. on the night of the 22nd and 3:00 to 3:30 A.M. on the morning of the 23rd... STRINGER remembers taking "at least two exposures of the body cavity" (HSCA rec # 180-10093-10429. Agency file # 002070, p. 11.)

3) SECRET SERVICE AGENT WILLIAM GREER: was asked by Arlen Specter for the Warren Commission to describe the head wound he saw at Bethesda. Greer said, "I would--to the best of my recollection it was in this part of the head right here." Specter immediately asked, "Upper right?" Greer: "Upper right side." Specter: "Upper right side, going toward the rear. and what was the condition of the skull at that point?" Greer: "The skull was completely--this part was completely gone." (Warren Comm-- V2:127)

4) SECRET SERVICE AGENT ROY KELLERMAN: under oath before the Warren Commission explained the head wound he saw to Arlen Specter, "He had a large wound this size." Specter: "Indicating a circle with your finger of the diameter of 5 inches would that be approximately correct?" (sic) Kellerman: "Yes, circular; yes, on this part of the head." Specter: "Indicating the rear portion of the head." Kellerman: "Yes." Specter: "More to the right side of the head." Kellerman: "Right. This was removed." Specter: "When you say, "This was removed", what do you mean by this?" Kellerman: "The skull part was removed." Specter: "All right." Kellerman: "To the left of the (right) ear, sir, and a little high; yes...(I recall that this portion of the rear portion of the skull) was absent when I saw him." (WC-V2:80- 81)

On 8/24/77 Kellerman sketched JFK's skull wound showing only a rear view with a small hole at the right base and a larger hole below the top of the rear skull on the left side of midline.

5) SECRET SERVICE AGENT CLINTON J. HILL: after seeing the President's skull wound in Dealey Plaza, and after returning with the body to Bethesda he was "summoned...down to the morgue to view the body (again) and to witness the damage of the gunshot wounds."--as agent Kellerman put it in his 11-29-63 report. (WC--CE #1024, Kellerman report of 11-29-63. In: WC--V18:26-27) Hill reported, "When I arrived the autopsy had been completed and...I observed another wound (in addition to the throat wound) on the right rear portion of the skull." (WC--CE#1024, V18:744)

6) FBI AGENT FRANCIS X. O'NEILL: In an HSCA interview with Andy Purdy and Mark Flanagan on 1/10/78 O'Neill said that the autopsy doctors felt that "the bullet that entered the head struck the center, low portion of the head and exited from the top, right side, towards the front." (HSCA rec # 006185.) However, O'Neill made a sketch witnessed and signed by D. A. Purdy and M. T. Flanagan that showed an "entry" at the low rear central portion of JFK's skull and an 'exit' on the right rear quadrant of the head no more anterior than the posterior portion of the ear. (HSCA rec # 006185 p. 10.) (O'Neill felt it odd that while he had been interviewed by the Warren Commission's Arlen Specter, he had never been called to testify. O'Neill recalled that "On the issue of the full vs. partial autopsy, O'Neill said that Admiral Galloway resolved this by ordering a complete autopsy." (HSCA rec # 006185, p. 3) "O'Neill emphatically stated that the doctors removed only two fragments and not 'a missile'." (IBID. p. 5.) "O'Neill mentioned that the doctors just wanted to obtain the large fragments and that many small fragments did exit.)

In a television interview in 1992 with Warren Commission critic, George Michael Evica, O'Neill repeatedly emphasized that he had closely observed the entire autopsy. O'Neill claimed, "There was a massive wound in the right rear of the head." During the course of the interview he placed his hand over the upper right rear portion of his head, behind the right ear, at least four times to demonstrated the wound. (Emphasis added.)

7) FBI agent JAMES SIBERT: assisted Francis O'Neill. After an interview for the HSCA J. Kelly and A. Purdy reported, "Regarding the head wound, Sibert said it was in the "...Upper back of the head." (sic) In an affidavit prepared for the HSCA Sibert claimed, "The head wound was in the upper back of the head.", and "...a large head wound in the upper back of the head with a section of the scull (sic) bone missing..." Sibert sketched a drawing of the skull wound and traced a small wound square in the central rear portion of the skull neither to the right or the left, slightly above the level depicted for the ears but well below the level depicted for the top of the skull. (HSCA REC # 002191) (Emphasis added.)

8) MORTICIAN TOM ROBINSON: was the assistant to Joe Hagen, president of Gawler's Funeral Home, which prepared John Kennedy's body for his coffin. Robinson assisted with the preparations for an open casket funeral so preparation of the skull was especially meticulous. Robertson described the skull wound in a 1/12/77 HSCA interview released in 1993 conducted by Andy Purdy and Jim Conzelman: Purdy asked Robinson: "Approximately where was this wound (the skull wound) located?" Robinson: "Directly behind the back of his head." Purdy: "Approximately between the ears or higher up?" Robinson, "No, I would say pretty much between them." (HSCA rec # 189-10089-10178, agency file # 000661, p.3. On the day of their interview Purdy and Conzelman signed a diagram prepared and also signed by Robinson. The sketch depicts a defect directly in the central, lower rear portion of the skull. (HSCA doc # 180-10089-10179, agency file # 000662)

Robertson gave the same description to author, Harrison Livingstone: "There was not enough scalp to pull together over that large wound in the back. The big hole was only in the back (emphasis added). We filled the skull with plaster and put back the bones, but we did not have all of the bones and could not completely cover over the hole in the back. I do not remember any bone being missing on the top of the head." (HT-II:579- 581)(emphasis added) As one of the morticians who carefully prepared JFK's skull for burial after the autopsy, Robinson cannot be easily dismissed or ignored.

9) ROBERT FREDERICK KARNEI, MD: Bethesda pathologist, Karnai, retired July 1, 1991 as director of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. He claimed he was present throughout nearly all of the autopsy and was himself a US Navy pathologist. He described the skull wound to Harrison Livingstone as, "Most of the bone that was missing was destroyed in the back of the head." (HT-II:182) Most disturbing about this recollection is that as a physician-witness and a pathologist, Dr. Karnei, specified bone absence, not scalp loss. The area of loss he noticed cannot possibly be right if the X-rays are true for there is no rear bone loss, and his recollections are probably wrong if the current photographs are valid as they seem to repudiate a rear wound. His memory jibes with virtually all others, however.

10) PAUL KELLY O'CONNOR: one of two laboratory technologists present during JFK's autopsy at Bethesda, he has repeatedly insisted that the skull wound extended on the right side well into the rear of the skull. "O'Connor was shown the autopsy photographs and he said, "No, that doesn't look like what I saw...A lot worse wound extended way back here, " and he demonstrated with his hand to the back of the head." (Groden & Livingstone, High Treason, p. 451) Paul O'Connor has consistently maintained that opinion in interviews since that time.

11) JAMES CURTIS JENKINS: the other laboratory technologist who worked with the autopsy team on JFK, Jenkins was at that time in a Ph.D. program in pathology. ( High Treason II , p. 226) The HSCA's Jim Kelly and Andy Purdy reported that Jenkins "said he saw a head wound in the "...middle temporal region back to the occipital." (HSCA interview with Curtis Jenkins, Jim Kelly and Andy Purdy, 8-29-77. JFK Collection, RG 233, Document #002193, p.4) He told author, David Lifton, "I would say that parietal and occipital section on the right side of the head--it was a large gaping area...It had just been crushed, and kind of blown apart, toward the rear." (Lifton, Best Evidence ", p. 616) When Lifton told Jenkins that photographs showed that the back of the head was essentially intact, except for a small bullet entry wound at the top, he responded, "That's not possible, That is totally--you know, there's no possible way. Okay? It's not possible." ( Best Evidence , p. 617) Jenkins told Livingstone, "Everything from just above the right ear back was fragmented...there was (an absence of scalp and bone) along the midline just above the occipital area....this (wound) would not have been low enough to have gotten into the cerebellum." ( High Treason II , p. 228). Jenkins' views, whether as given by the HSCA, Livingstone, or Lifton, are noteworthy by their consistency, and as Jenkins was in a Ph.D. pathology program, his anatomic specificity is of value.

12) EDWARD REED: one of two X-ray technicians who worked with Jerrol F. Custer taking X-rays told author David Lifton that he formed an opinion the night of the autopsy that JFK had been shot from the front because the skull wound was "more posterior than anterior". (Lifton, David, Best Evidence, p. 619)

13) JERROL CUSTER: the other X-ray technician told David Lifton that the wound in the skull was posterior in the skull and said that "he exposed, and returned to the morgue, X- rays showing that the rear of the President's head was blown off." ( Best Evidence , p. 620) The extant X-rays show no such thing. In May 29, 1992 and November 18, 1993 press conferences Custer repeated his consistent claim that the current X-rays are forgeries. (Reuters wire service, reported in: Duffy JP, Ricci VL, The Assassination of John F. Kennedy, New York, 1992, Thunder's Mouth Press, p. 142.)

14) JAN GAIL RUDNICKI: Dr. Boswell's lab assistant on the night of the autopsy, Rudnicki was interviewed by HSCA's Mark Flanagan on 5/2/78. Flanagan reported Rudnicki said, the "back-right quadrant of the head was missing." (HSCA rec # 180- 10105-10397, agency file number # 014461, p.2.)He told author Harrison Livingston, "...from the ear back, the scalp was either gone or definitely destroyed in that area.....it would look more like it was an exit than an entrance." When asked if there was any scalp left in the right rear of the head behind the ear, Rudnicki said, "That was gone."( High Treason II , p. 207) Rudnicki's account to the HSCA squares with Livingstone's.

15) JAMES E. METZLER: was a hospital corpsman, third class who helped transport the body from the casket to the autopsy table in the morgue. Author David Lifton reported, "It was also his impression, from the way the wound was located toward the back of the head, that President Kennedy must have been shot in the head from the front." ( Best Evidence, p. 633-634)

16) DAVID P. OSBORNE, M.: a military physician present at the autopsy who was not questioned by the Warren Commission or the HSCA, he wrote researcher Joanne Braun on 4-5-90 that, "...a second (bullet) hit in the occipital region of the posterior skull which blew off the posterior top of his skull and impacted and disintegrated against the interior surface of the frontal bone just above the level of the eyes. I know this for a fact because I was the one who worked on his head, removing his brain and closed the skull so that he could have had an open casket funeral if so desired." (Copy of letter furnished to author by Joanne Braun.)

17) JOHN EBERSOLE, MD: was Assistant Chief of Radiology and head of the Radiology Division at Bethesda, and was the radiologist who evaluated the X-rays in close cooperation with the autopsists on the night of the autopsy. He was not called to testify before the Warren Commission. However he was called to testify by the HSCA on March 11, 1978. Ebersole's deposition was not published by the HSCA causing it to be sealed for 50 years under congressional rules. (Due to pressure, however, the transcript of his interview was released in October, 1993.) A brief wire service account appeared regarding his appearance before the HSCA claiming that he agreed with the Warren Commissions' conclusions. However, in an interview with reporter Gil Dulaney published two days before his HSCA appearance Ebersole said of the head wound, "When the body was removed from the casket there was a very obvious horrible gaping wound to the back of the head (BE:543).", and "The front of the body, except for a very slight bruise above the right eye on the forehead, was absolutely intact. It was the back of the head that was blown off." (BE:546)

In HSCA testimony recently released, Ebersole claimed, "The back of the head was missing..."(HSCA interview with Ebersole, 3-11-78, p.3), and when shown the autopsy photograph with the back of the scalp intact, Ebersole commented, "You know, my recollection is more of a gaping occipital wound than this but I can certainly not state that this is the way it looked. Again we are relying on a 15 year old recollection. But had you asked me without seeing these or seeing the pictures, you know, I would have put the wound here rather than more forward." (HSCA interview with Ebersole, 3-11-78, p. 62). Ebersole, faced with the photographs before the HSCA, said JFK's skull defect was, "More lateral. Much more lateral and superior than I remembered." (HSCA interview with Ebersole, 3-11-63, p. 63) Yet Ebersole claimed that "I had the opportunity (to examine the back of JFK's head while positioning the head for X-rays) (HSCA Ebersole interview, 3-11-78, p. 64). Later Ebersole said, "...perhaps about 12:30 (am) a large fragment of the occipital bone was received from Dallas and at Dr. Finck's request I X-rayed these (sic)...". As Lifton observed about Ebersole's HSCA enlightenment, "When Ebersole met with Art Smith on March 28, and of course after his HSCA interview, he said: 'The back portion of the head...the back part of the head, was reasonably intact.' Ebersole claimed that Dulaney had misquoted him. Smith asked: "That was a misquote?" Ebersole: "Yes, Misquoted. I, really, ah, I may have said that--what I meant was, the side." David Lifton had Dulaney read a verbatim transcript of the Ebersole interview. Dulaney again quoted Ebersole describing the head wound as "a very obvious horrible gaping wound at the back of the head..." (BE:546) (Emphasis added.) Ebersole's reliability has also been questioned as he also claimed that the neck wound upon arrival at Bethesda was sutured closed. Ebersole told this to both Dulaney and to Art Smith (BE:543).

18) RICHARD A. LIPSEY: an aide to General Wehle who was Commanding General of the military District of Washington, U. S. Army, he was present at JFK's autopsy. In an interview with the HSCA's Andy Purdy and Mark Flanagan on 1-18-78, he claimed that the autopsists "were 'absolutely, unequivocally' convinced that he (JFK) had been shot three times...there were three separate wounds and three separate bullets.". Lipsey gave a confusing account of JFK's head wound. He "identified the entrance in the lower head as being just inside the hairline", but claimed that there was "no real entrance in the rear of the head...one bullet blasted away an entire portion (entrance and exit)..." (sic). Purdy also reported that Lipsey felt that "one bullet entered the back of the head and exited resulting in part of the face and head being blown away" (HSCA, JFK Collection, RG 233) Lipsey completed an autopsy face sheet diagram that depicted an area of the right lateral skull missing, anterior and posterior to the ear, where he had written "same area blown away as wound". In addition, there was a wound low in the skull, presumably of entrance, that was the source of the throat exit wound, which he labeled bullet #2. Finally there was a wound on the back, labeled #3 but the bullet could not be found in the body Lipsey claimed.

19) PHILIP C. WEHLE: then Commanding officer of the military District of Washington, D. C., he described the head wound to the HSCA's Andy Purdy on 8-19-77 He did not describe it to the Warren Commission. A copy of memo on Purdy's interview with Wehle was only released in 1993. Purdy reported that Wehle said he was an observer during the later stages of the autopsy. "(Wehle) noticed a slight bruise over the right temple of the President but did not see any significant damage to any other part of the head. He noted that the wound was in the back of the head so he would not see it because the President was lying face up; he also said he did not see any damage to the top of the head, but said the President had a lot of hair which could have hidden that...." (HSCA record # 10010042, agency file # 002086, p. 2)

20) CAPTAIN JOHN STOVER: then Commanding Officer of the National Naval Medical School, he gave no description of the skull wound to the Warren Commission. (The Pathology Department was under the jurisdiction of the school.) The HSCA's Mark Flanagan reported that he interviewed him and, "Stover observed...a wound on the top of the head...".(HSCA Document received from C. Cunningham, 10-22-92)

21) CHESTER H. BOYERS: Boyers "was stationed at Bethesda naval hospital and was the chief Petty Officer in charge of the Pathology Department in November 1963." (HSCA Telephone contact--Mark Flanagan, 4/25/78, rec #? 13614)

Flanagan reported, "In regard to the wounds Boyers recalls an entrance wound in the rear of the head to the right of the external occipital protuberance which exited along the top, right side of the head towards the rear and just above the right eyebrow." (HSCA Telephone contact--Mark Flanagan, 4/25/78, rec #? 13614, p. 2)

22) J. THORNTON BOSWELL, MD: was the "Chief of Pathology of the Naval Hospital" at the time of JFK's autopsy (while Humes was Director of Laboratories). Boswell appeared before the Warren Commission immediately after Humes had completed his testimony. He was not asked to give the precise location of the wounds, but as he had just sat through Humes testimony giving the information, Arlan Specter merely asked him for his assent: Specter: "And specifically, as to the points of entry and points of exit which have been testified to by Doctor Humes, do his views express yours as well? Boswell: "They do. Yes."(Warren Commission, Vol.2:377.) In an interview on 8/17/77 (which was released in 1993) the HSCA's Andy Purdy reported, "Dr. Boswell said the wound was fairly low in the back of the head and that the bone was completely gone above the entry wound. He said that during the autopsy, a piece of skull fragment was brought in which included a portion which corresponded to the missing half of the entry wound in the head." (HSCA rec # 180-10093-10430. Agency file # 002071, p. 6.) Purdy also reported, "Regarding the head wounds he said the entry hole was only approximately half in evidence, the other half being part of the skull fragment which was brought in."(IBID. p. 9--emphasis in original.) In Finck's autopsy notes he seemed to corroborate Boswell's account that only a portion of the entrance wound was visible on JFK's skull. He wrote, "Corresponding to that wound (the scalp wound), the skull shows the portion of a crater, the beveling of which is obvious on the internal aspect of the bone..." ("Finck's notes of the November 22, 1963, autopsy." In Breo DL. JFK's death, part III - Dr. Finck speaks out: 'two bullets, from the rear'. JAMA. 268:1752) "Regarding the autopsy face sheet, Dr. Boswell said that the entry wound to the head, if not exactly accurate, may have been '...possibly off a little to the left.'". (IBID. p.11) It is especially significant that Boswell allowed that his face sheet entrance wound might have been off in the horizontal, but not in the vertical dimension. That is, the wound of entrance, which was contiguous with the skull defect, may have been slightly more to the right than he depicted in his contemporaneous drawing, but it was not in the higher location accepted by the HSCA.

In an interview with Humes published in JAMA on May 27, 1992, Boswell repeated the claim that JFK's fatal entrance wound was to the right and just above the external occipital protuberance.

Unexpectedly, author Gerald Posner reported to the Conyers Committee on 11-17-94, that both Drs. Boswell and Humes told him the President's skull wound was "in fact correctly placed 4 inches higher" (Hearing before the Legislation and National Security Subcommittee of the Committee on Government operations House of Representatives, November, 17, 1993, p. 112-113, Washington, D.C., 1994. U.S. Government Printing Office) and not low in the skull where Boswell had previously placed it. This, of course was, if true, the first time that Boswell had ever made such a claim, and he specifically disallowed such a placement in near contemporaneous interviews he gave fellow physician and JAMA editor, George. D. Lundberg, MD. (The Journal of the American Medical Association - JAMA. May 27, 1992.) Inexplicably, Posner made no mention of these an astonishing revelations in his book, either in the original or the "updated" paperback version released in August, 1994.

On March 30, 1994, I called both Drs. Boswell and Humes and asked them about Posner's claims. Both denied to me, in recorded conversations, that they had changed their minds about the location of the President's skull wound entrance. Humes did speak to Posner, but Boswell told me flatly, and twice, that not only had he not changed his mind about the location of JFK's low skull wound, he'd never ever spoken with Posner. Therefore, as of 3/30/ 94 both Drs. Boswell and Humes believe JFK's skull entrance wound was low. I wrote Boswell that I had made his admission to me about Posner public in a letter to the editor of the Federal Bar News and Journal, and since that time, Boswell has refused to answer my calls or letters.

23) JAMES J. HUMES, MD: JFK's chief autopsy pathologist, he wrote the autopsy summary which included the skull wound description, "There is a large irregular defect of the scalp and skull on the right involving chiefly the parietal bone but extending somewhat into the temporal and occipital regions. In this region there is an actual absence of scalp and bone producing a defect which measures approximately 13 cm in greatest diameter..." Much controversy regarding Humes subsequent statements has confused the simple autopsy description he wrote. This will be explored below. Nevertheless, a single skull defect involving parietal, temporal and occipital regions would involve, of necessity, the right rear quadrant of the skull.

24) PIERRE A. FINCK, MD: the forensics specialist called in to assist Humes and Boswell with JFK's autopsy. In 1963 Finck was an Army lieutenant colonel and the chief of the Wound Ballistics Pathology Branch of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. As reported in JAMA, Finck testified to the Warren Commission: "Rep. Ford: 'There has been complete unanimity (with Humes and Boswell who had just testified) on what you saw, what you did, and what you have reported?' Col. Finck: 'Yes.'" (Warren Commission, V.2:383, in: Breo, "JFK's death, part III". JAMA. 268:1752, October 7, 1992.) It is unfortunate for JAMA's reputation for scientific objectivity that while Breo was able to track down Finck's testimony from the Warren Commission volumes, he was unable to find any one of the five citations in the volumes that confirmed Crenshaw's participation - see above.) Finck was also asked by Arlan Specter, "Were you present here today and did you hear the entire testimony of Doctor Humes?" Finck; "Yes; I did." Specter: " And do you concur in Dr. Humes' statements and opinions regarding the point of entry C, point of exit D (referring to diagrams), and general angle on the flight of the missile?" Finck: "I certainly do." (Warren Commission. Vol 2:380) Finck, of course, also signed the autopsy report as well. Finck will be further explored below.

In JAMA, Finck, in a written response to Breo's question, reported, "The FATAL WOUND (sic) - entry 25mm to the right of the external occipital protuberance and slightly above. After removal of the brain, the beveling of the internal table (of the skull) (sic) indicates this was a wound of entry." (Breo, JFK's death, part III. JAMA. 268:1749. October 7, 1992)

Finck denied to the HSCA Boswell's claim that only a portion of the entrance wound was visible on JFK's skull, and that the remainder of the entrance wound was found on a late- arriving fragment. Finck stated that the entire entrance wound was in the skull bone. However, by the time Finck arrived, the autopsy had been underway for approximately 30 minutes. By then some manipulations had been done to JFK's skull and the brain had been removed. So Finck did not see what Boswell and Humes saw before the skull manipulations. Nevertheless, Finck's notes on JFK's autopsy, later sent to his superior, General Joe Blumberg, suggested that Finck then shared Boswell's recollection of the entrance wound. He wrote, "Corresponding to that wound (the scalp wound), the skull shows the portion of a crater, the beveling of which is obvious on the internal aspect of the bone..." ("Finck's notes of the November 22, 1963, autopsy." In: Breo DL. JFK's death, part III - Dr. Finck speaks out: 'two bullets, from the rear'. JAMA. 268:1752 - emphasis added) Confusingly, Finck wrote Blumberg on 2/1/65 suggesting the crater in occipital bone was not incomplete. He wrote, "I examined (JFK's) wounds. The scalp of the back of he head shows a small laceration, 15 X 6 mm. Corresponding to this lesion, I found a through-and through wound of the occipital bone, with a crater visible from the inside of he cranial cavity..." (In: Breo DL. JFK's death, part III - Dr. Finck speaks out: 'two bullets, from the rear'. JAMA. 268:1754.)

How is one to understand the overwhelming witness opinion of a rear skull defect when the photographic images show no such defect? It has been argued that the exit wound was anterior but may only have appeared posterior to most witnesses; as the President lay on his back, so the argument goes, the loose, unsupported scalp fell rearward creating the false impression among viewers that the wound was further posterior than it truly was. Critics of this speculation argue that if the scalp had "fallen posteriorly" the anterior portion of the wound would have been uncovered revealing an unmistakable defect anteriorly or anterolaterally. Unfortunately, not a single witness described a wound or skull defect solely anteriorly or in anterior-lateral skull. John Kennedy's autopsists have not clarified this issue appreciably.

In sum, accepting Ebersole's earliest, "un-coached" description, there are forty four well qualified witnesses to JFK's skull wound from Parkland to Bethesda. Their earliest, unrehearsed, specific descriptions, written, verbal or both, place a major skull defect unambiguously posteriorly. Only Giesecke and Boyers recalled an anterior wound, which is close to the anterior-lateral wound, as the HSCA forensic panel and the Clark Panel concluded solely existed on the basis of the "best evidence", the photographs and X-rays. (Both Giesecke and Boyers also recalled a rear wound as well, and Giesecke erred in believing that the injuries were on the left side of JFK's skull.)

Only Salyer, who admitted to a poor vantage as he was positioned on JFK's left, claimed to have seen a right temporal wound. Salyer was not endorsing the photographs, however. He told this author that JFK's skull wound extended behind the right ear, and he was of the opinion the photographs had been tampered with and did not show the wounds as they were. Therefore, the conclusion that there was a major skull and scalp defect in the rear of JFK's skull based on the descriptions of such qualified and experienced witnesses cannot be easily or satisfactorily dismissed. It may also be that the defect extended somewhat anteriorly beyond the right rear. That subsequent investigators, based primarily on "authenticated" photographic and X-ray evidence, arrived at vastly different conclusions can only be viewed with profound confusion. Neither the Clark Panel nor the HSCA's forensic panel apparently considered the overwhelming agreement of both the Parkland and Bethesda witnesses whose skull wound descriptions were so at odds with their own conclusions about JFK.

If, as has been argued, the error rate in the determination of entrance from exit in single, perforating wounds is 37% among emergency physicians (Randall T. Clinicians' forensic interpretations of fatal gunshot wounds often miss the mark. JAMA. 1993; 269:2058- 2061), and, accepting for the sake of argument that the determining of the location of a skull defect is as troublesome as determining entrance from exit in perforating bullet wounds (it should not be, of course), the likelihood of error by 44 witnesses from two facilities is 1 divided by 2 to the 44th power, or 1 in 4,294,967,296. The likelihood that 44 of 44 erroneous witnesses would agree (excepting Giesecke and Salyer) among themselves to the same "wrong" location is considerably less than 1 divided by 2 to the 44th power. Critics of the Warren Commission's conclusions are chary to embrace such odds and are troubled that loyalists seem to be unaware of this problem. (emphasis mine)

Edited by Greg Burnham
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Review of Vol II starts off mentioning head reconstruction versus alteration to show the back of the head intact...

Horne/Lifton support reconstruction yet I have to agree with James as that does not seem likely.

I post this since this is the first time I am combining these 2 images.

IF a frontal shot lacerated the scalp as Boswell described

and IF the underlying skull is gone and extends back into the occipital,

it is possible that the scalp was intact enough yet completely flapped over to expose the large hole many saw.

and the other F photos showing the top of JFK's head supports his drawing.

why is it not possible that they are simply pulling this flap back over the hole... not the best autopsy photo ever, for sure... but it seems possible

and could be without alteration or reconstruction. all it is, is misleading

DJ

David, Boswell's ARRB testimony is simply unreliable. One of Horne's great errors, IMO, is to take snippets of Boswell's testimony and twist them to support his theory, when he knew full well that Boswell, if asked point blank "Was there a large defect missing scalp and bone on the back of Kennedy's head at the beginning of the autopsy?" would have told him to get stuffed. I discuss this in chapter 18c at patspeer.com:

"Now the use of Dr. Boswell as a "back of the head" witness is a bit bizarre on its face, seeing as he signed off on the autopsy report in which no scalp lacerations on the back of the head were noted, and seeing as he never ever said anything indicating he'd seen an entrance wound on the front of the head.

But when one looks at his statements to the ARRB it becomes even more bizarre.

Here is one of the key statements used by back-of-the-head wound theorists to sell Boswell as a "back of the head" witness:

A. There was a big wound sort of transverse up like this from left posterior to right anterior. The scalp was separated, but it was folded over, and you could fold the scalp over and almost hide the wound. When you lifted the scalp up, you could really lay it back posteriorally, and there was a lot of bone still attached to the scalp but detached from the remainder of the skull. And I think these parts back here probably reflect that.

And here is Boswell's response to a follow-up question by Jeremy Gunn:

Q. When you say the left posterior, what do you mean?

A. The left occipital area, and that wound extends to the right frontal area. And what I meant was that the wound in the scalp could be closed from side to side so that it didn't appear that there was any scalp actually--scalp missing.

Yep. That's right. Those pushing Boswell as a witness for the wound described by the Parkland witnesses--a gaping EXIT wound of both scalp and skull on the RIGHT back of the head--are using Boswell's recollection of a scalp LACERATION on the LEFT side of the head, (a scalp laceration that could be closed from side to side so that one could not tell any scalp was missing, mind you), as evidence.

Now, even if one were to accept the ridiculous notion that his statements support there was a gaping wound missing both scalp and skull on the right back side of the head, how reliable are Boswell's recollections?

Not remotely, as it turns out.

Hi Pat... Thanks for the reply. I will try to address what I understand as best I can with what knowledge I have and know that your area is the medical evidence so please bear with me.

IMO you are being overly critical of the exact words used in Boswell’s reply above... I am NOT using Boswell as a BOH wound theorist, just going from what I see and what I’ve done.

If we use this image with Boswell’s earliest drawing as an overlay it is not so hard to see that the laceration he describes does indeed extend into the left side of the head. When he refers to “lay in back posterior-ally" I believe he means from about the middle top of the head back and to the right – over the hole that extends from the occipital to the parietal. I think the recollection is not all that far off based on this image.

More from his ARRB deposition with Gunn:

Q. Do you recall whether there were tears or lacerations in the scalp?

A. Right across here and--

Q. Approximately across the midline?

A. What I previously described, post-occipital, and on the left, across the top, and then down to the right frontal area, and then the laceration extended into the right eye.

Q. Okay. Could you make another drawing--and we'll put Line No. 2 on this--to show the approximate direction of the large laceration that you just referred to?

A. Well, it's not a--I can't say what direction, but--and then this came on down like so, and--actually, I think it came right into here.

Q. Okay. I'm going to put a 2 in a circle right next to that line, and the 2 will signify the approximate direction and shape of the large laceration. Would that be fair?

A. Mm-hmm.

Q. Just so I'm clear--and we'll be looking at the photographs in a few minutes, and you can maybe clarify it there. But at least with some of the photographs, is it your testimony that the scalp was pulled in a way different from how it was when you first saw it in order to better illustrate either wound of entry or exit?

A. Yes. The scalp was essentially loose. In the usual autopsy, you have to cut underneath the scalp in order to reflect it. In this case, the scalp was mobile so that you could pull it forward to obscure the wound or pull it back to make the wound completely lucid.

Q. Okay. Was the hair cleaned in any way for purposes of the photographs?

A. No, I don't think so. There was not a lot of blood, as I remember, and I think he had been pretty well cleaned up in the operating--in the emergency room. And I don't think we had to do much in the way of cleansing before we took photographs.

Well, wait right there. Boswell spoke to the ARRB in 1996. When asked the preceding questions by Jeremy Gunn he had not been shown the autopsy photos since 1977, and had not been shown the establishing shots taken at the autopsy--the photos showing Kennedy lying on the table before an inspection of his wounds had begun--since 1967. Clearly, he had forgotten that these first shots show the President's hair to be matted with blood and brain. His response then shows that he lacked a clear recollection of Kennedy's original appearance when interviewed by the ARRB. He was in his seventies, after all, discussing something he'd seen more than 30 years before. So why should we believe his latter-day recollections are accurate?

We shouldn't. The scalp laceration stretching to the left occipital region suddenly recalled by Boswell 33 years after performing the autopsy was not only not mentioned in the autopsy protocol, it was specifically ruled out by Boswell in his 9-16-77 interview with the HSCA pathology panel.

Are we to start believing the autopsy protocol now? I thought that was close to a pure fabrication compared to what was actually found... maybe the FIRST set of notes and the FIRST autopsy protocol... but those were burned, right?

Looking at the Fox photos, he looks pretty clean to me... especially this left side view... hair is pretty clean and even where the scalp is being pulled back into place, it is not overly caked to obscure the hair... but then again I don’t know when/if they cleaned him again after Parkland and what, if anything, happened at Bethesda in the autopsy room between 6:45 and the official start of the autopsy at 8pm.

Furthermore, the way the BOH dents in seems to indicate to me that there was some left rear damage.

When asked about the red spot the HSCA panel presumed to be the bullet entrance, and which Dr. Humes presumed was dried blood, Boswell replied:

"It's the posterior-inferior margin of the lacerated scalp." When one of the HSCA panel, Dr. Petty, expressed doubt about this, Boswell then repeated: "It tore right down to that point. And then we just folded that back and this back and an anterior flap forward and this exposed almost the entire--I guess we did have to dissect a little bit to get to."

If, in Boswell's mind, the scalp laceration ended at the red spot, high on the back of the head on the parietal bone, in 1977, there was no way it could possibly have stretched all the way to the occipital bone 19 years later. It seems clear, then, that Dr. Boswell was seriously confused.

But those pushing Boswell as a back of the head witness will never admit this.

I think the F7 with the overlay above shows it could be stretched to cover the wound... whether he is wrong about where the laceration ends is another issue entirely and once again I think you are not dismissing this piece of his testimony as readily as you’ve dismissed other areas when it does not conform to you conclusions. He can’t be somewhat forgetful in other areas and be held to being “exact” in this one.

Let's take, for example, Doug Horne. Horne had fed Gunn questions during the ARRB's questioning of Boswell. On page 111 of his opus, Inside the ARRB, Horne, who by his own admission had pursued a job with the ARRB in hopes of proving fraud in the medical evidence, quotes Boswell's response after being asked if his 17 by 10 measurement for the large skull defect reflected missing bone or fractured skull. Boswell responded: "Most of that space, the bone was missing. There were a lot of small skull fragments attached to the scalp as it was reflected, but most of that space, the bone was missing, some of which--I think two of which we subsequently retrieved."

Now look what Horne says but four pages later, when discussing Dr. Boswell's approximation of the borders of this defect on a skull model: "The 3-D skull drawing by Boswell was critical, because his autopsy sketch of the top of the skull had by its very nature not shown the condition of the rear of the head. Boswell's 3-D skull diagram completed the rest of the picture. And he wasn't depicting fragmentation or areas of broken bone, he was depicting areas of the skull denuded of bone. It was electrifying."

What? Where does Horne get that Boswell wasn't depicting fragmentation? Boswell had just told him that part of the area depicted was where small fragments attached to the scalp. Why does he ignore this?

Here's why:

Q: Just one last point that I would like to just clarify in my one mind is: On the piece for the markings for the 10 by 17 centimeters that were missing, would it be fair to say that when you first examined the body prior to any arrival of fragments from Dallas, the skull was missing from approximately those dimensions of 10 by 17?

A. Yes.

Problem: the word "approximately" is, in this instance, unduly vague. NONE of the other back of the head witnesses described so much skull missing. Clearly Boswell had no idea how big the hole on the skull was before the scalp was peeled back. Clearly he measured the skull defect after the scalp had been pulled back and skull had fallen to the table. Clearly, the best indicator of the size of the hole on the back of the head, then, would be the x-rays, which depict no large hole on the back of the head where Horne and others presume there was a hole...where the Parkland witnesses told them there was a hole...

I agree that his measurement of the hole in the skull was AFTER the scalp was peeled back – what do you supposed the measurement of the hole was BEFORE the scalp of moved out of the way? Could that not have been what so many saw at Parkland? Some saw a gaping hole, some saw a smaller 2” hole – wouldn’t it depend on how much of the avulsed scalp was moved out of the way or covering the wound?

Personally, I do not see anything so nefarious about the differences in sizes of the hole – and if one looks at all the different hand placements regarding the location of the hole, there are as many top-right as there are back-right.

But, wait, Horne's found a way to undermine the credibility of the x-rays...provided, not surprisingly, by Gunn's questioning of Boswell:

Q. Were any skull fragments put back into place before photographs or before X-rays?

A. I think before we took the--the ones that came from Dallas were never put back in except to try and approximate them to the ones that were present. But I think all the others were left intact.

Q. So, for example, was there a fragment that had fallen out at any point that you then put back into its place before a photograph or X-ray was taken?

A. Yes.

Q. What size fragments and where did you place them at the--

A. Well, the one that's in the diagram on Exhibit 1, that 10-centimeter piece I'm sure was out at one time or another. And I think maybe some of these smaller fragments down at the base of that diagram also were out at one time or another. But those were all put back.

So, from leading the clearly elderly and confused Boswell through a series of strange questions designed to support or refute the body alteration theory of David Lifton, Gunn got Horne the answer he was looking for...that bone was put back in the skull BEFORE x-rays were taken. Never mind that Boswell at first specified that the large pieces of missing bone were not put back in the skull, and only relented after being asked the same question a second time. Never mind that the bone Boswell thinks they are talking about did not arrive until the end of the autopsy, and that NOT ONE witness recalled a skull x-ray being taken after the beginning of the autopsy.

Which autopsy are your referring to here Pat? Wasn’t it Reed who testified to seeing the ambulance pull up and Jackie enter the hospital while he was carrying x-ray film of JFK up for development? There may have not been any xrays AFTER 8pm yet Finck was shown x-rays at 8:30 when he arrived. According to Finck’s Blumberg report Humes calls him around 8pm (although someplace the call time at 7:30) and tells him that x-rays have already been taken. When then does all this moving around of the scalp, relaying of bones and x-rays happen if not in some pre-autopsy process ?

I mean, let's get serious. One can not honestly propose, a la Horne, that Boswell's confused testimony suggests that the 10cm fragment recovered from the floor of the limo was placed back in Kennedy's skull to hide a hole on the back of his head, unless one is willing to propose this bone was occipital bone. And no one of whom I'm aware, even Horne's colleague Dr. Mantik, believes such a thing.

So why play with Boswell's words to suggest such a thing?"

I do not believe I ever made that assertion. It is not so hard to assert, though, that bones were placed back in place to make some of the x-rays we see today and that these x-rays were taken well before 8pm.

I am also a bit confused as to what you have an issue over with my post... maybe just having a slow morning start here and will take more time to reread – but in no way do I see my post conclude what you say I am concluding... then again – as my ex always said – I could be wrong...

Respectfully

DJ

I'll try to respond later, but just wanted you to know that my issue is not with your post per se, but with the oft-repeated silliness that Boswell confirmed the head wound proposed in the McClelland drawing. He did no such thing. He did not see the large wound on the back of the head proposed by some of the Parkland witnesses, and presumed by many to represent the exit of a shot fired from the knoll.

What he did see was a wound stretching to the back of the head once the scalp was reflected and bone fell to the table. Such a wound is consistent with the statements of Humes and Finck, and the autopsy photos and x-rays.

He is NOT a back of the head witness, and anyone pretending he is, a la Horne, is being willfully deceptive.

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Sounds good to me Pat... and I totally agree.

Just thought it was pretty interesting how his drawing overlaid on the Fox photo lines up so well.

I'd very much like to hear your comments about the differing wound descriptions based on how the scalp and skull lay at the time of viewing. While McClelland's drawing is specific to that one area - do you believe he was excluding damage to the other areas of the head or simply illustrating that one area?

DJ

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