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How JFK's body was wrapped.


Barry Keane
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When JFK’s body was removed from the casket in the Morgue at Bethesda, it was officially described by as being wrapped in a sheet with the head wrapped in a separate bloody sheet. But according to Vernon O’Neal in “The Death of a President” by William Manchester, page 294: The casket was lined with a plastic sheet; the body was wrapped in a plastic sheet, with the head wrapped in a rubber sheath and several rubber bags. A total of seven layers between the bloody head of Kennedy and the pale green satin upholstery of the casket. I have never heard or seen a description of this elaborate attempt to protect the lining of the casket other than in Manchester’s book.

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All depends on who you ask and when Barry.

From nude in clear pastic sheets, to a black body bag, to sheets around the body and head.... plain metal shipper, ornate bronze casket....

Never have heard the O'Neal version with the rubber... unless this was much later after Robinson did his work...

O'Neal was not called by the WC....

When would Vernon have seen the body like this - he wasn't at Bethesda was he?

DJ

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O'Neal saw the body at Parkland and helped with lining the casket.

Been looking for some coroborration... the nurses and porters do not mention Vernon at this point... who does?

Miss HENCHLIFFE - Well, after the last rites were said, we then undressed him and cleaned him up and wrapped him up in sheets until the coffin was brought.

Mr. SPECTER - And after the coffin arrived, what was done with his body?

Miss HENCHLIFFE - He was placed in the coffin.

Edited by David Josephs
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O.P Wright; Parkland chief of security (21H230):

When the casket arrived it was accompanied by Pegg O'Neal, owner of the O'Neal Funeral Home. He was assisted in moving the casket into the area where the late President's body was. Approximately thirty minutes later, the casket was brought out through the door. I was told that it contained the body of the late President. It was accompanied by secret service men, Mr. O'Neal, and Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy, who walked beside it with her hand on the casket.

Doris Nelson; nurse (21H242):

The President's doctor informed me that arrangements had been made to obtain a casket for the body. Shortly afterwards, Mr. O'Neal of the O'Neal Ambulance Company, arrived with a bronze casket. Miss Hinchliffe came out, and asked for some plastic to put inside the casket. I sent Mrs. Hutton to the 2nd floor to obtain a plastic mattress cover. I went in Trauma Room #1 to determine that all was in order while Mrs. Ellis stood in the doorway. I asked David Sanders to assist the nurses in preparing the President's body before placing it in the casket. I instructed the nurses and attendants to clean up the room, and mop the floor.

After Mr. O'Neal and some of the boys who work with him, (only one of whose name I knew - Audrey Riker [sic]) placed the President in the casket, and closed it, Mrs. Kennedy went in, and sat in a chair beside it leaning her head on the casket.

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Thanks Josh...

But that's a far cry from "He helped wrap the casket in plastic" and what about the rubber sheath and bags... Not a single person at any of the casket entries and openings have JFK's head wrapped in rubber....

Robinson uses rubber afterward to close the headwound... but that's in DC

Besides, does O'Neal bring this rubber with him... does he assume that Rose will do an autopsy and that he will be called upon to work up the body?

And a thought occurs... JFK's head is completely wrapped in a variety of things... it WAS JFK that was in that bronze casket.. right?

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But that's a far cry from "He helped wrap the casket in plastic"

True, I've yet to find any reference to O'Neal actually lining the casket himself other than in Death of a President. But I'll keep looking.

And a thought occurs... JFK's head is completely wrapped in a variety of things... it WAS JFK that was in that bronze casket.. right?

Interview of Aubrey Rike from High Treason 2 pg.117

"...We got some K-Y jelly and put it on him and slid the ring up."

"Then you put him in the casket?"

"Well, the priest came and gave him the last rites. Then we put him in the casket..."

"And then it was closed. You closed it?"

"Yes."

"Then, did it go right out into the middle of that battle?"

"Probably five to ten minutes after that."

I'd have to imagine if the body was swapped at Parkland, this is when it would have taken place. However, Rike goes on to state the body was not left alone at any time. Who remained with the body during that five to ten minute window, he does not say.

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I didn't actually think the swap happened at Parkland... just a thought based on the sequence...

But there is the quick drive to Love Field... I didn't realize so many went with the ambulance... I could have sworn that it was only Kellerman who drove off...

DJ

http://www.jfk-online.com/landis.html

At approximately 2:00 pm the President's body was wheeled from the hospital in a coffin into an ambulance. Special Agent Andrew Berger drove the ambulance; ASAIC Kellerman and ATSAIC Stout were in the front seat. Mrs. Kennedy, Admiral Burkley, and Agent Hill rode in the rear of the ambulance with the President's body.

I rode in the Follow-up car behind the ambulance which departed the hospital at 2:04 pm.

At 2:14 pm, the President's body arrived at Love Field Airport and several Secret Service agents immediately carried it on board U.S. Air Force No. One via the rear door. I followed on board behind Mrs. Kennedy and then moved to the forward section of the plane. I witnessed the swearing in of President Johnson at 2:39 pm in the center compartment on board Air Force #1, and at 2:47 pm departed Love Field Airport, Dallas, Texas, via Air Force No. One, with Mrs. Kennedy and the body of the late President Kennedy.

Josh, my understanding was that there was luggage problems between AF-1 and AF-2... the wait for the judge to swear LBJ in...

and the FACT that everyone attnded the wearing in... even those who said the casket was never left alone...

I do believe that JFK was offloaded from the front right of the plane and flown via helicopter to ???

DJ

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Kellerman's and other SS agents' behavior on leaving Parkland in a hurry, with guns drawn, knocking people out of the way, could have been to prevent Texas authorities' possession and opening of an empty coffin. (Otherwise, it was necessary to keep the pre-autopsy alterations in DC on schedule.)

I tend to think that David Lifton was on track in Best Evidence, and JFK's body actually returned to Washington on Air Force Two (the V-P plane). Which would mean switching the body at Parkland.

Edited by David Andrews
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Or sometime very soon afterward... yet that seems VERY difficult to explain...

Right up until the casket was closed wasn't Jackie right there? Taking the wedding ring and such...

What really bothers me here though is the original post... I went to my copy of Manchester and read the part about Vernon...

If we are to believe him, JFK has to arrive at Bethesda, in the BRONZE casket, with NUMEROUS rubber shrouds over his head...

It also states that Vernon was mostly concerned with protecting the green velvet in the coffin... that the largest piece of rubber was under the plastic and on top of the velvet... with what he says are 7 layers between JFK and velvet.

There is not a single Bethesda witness of ANY of the casket deliveries who see any evidence of this.... if anything, the 8pm unveiling would have these 7 layers....

Does the removal of all this rubber help support the empty casket, wrapped in sheets stories?

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  • 3 years later...

What about Liggett? He supposedly made the dead body of J.D.Tippit look more like Kennedy, so as to make bullet courses from the back. When Robert Kennedy viewed the open coffin at the white house, he said,"It doesn't even look like him." Then Liggett came into some money, maybe a million. He bought a new home and had poker parties all the time. He loved to gamble and his ex-wife saw him in Las Vegas, when he was supposed to be dead.

Kathy C

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From Commission Exhibit No. 392 - the medical reports (Appendix VIII, WCR):

http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/russ/jfkinfo/app8.htm

"The President arrived in the Emergency Room at exactly 12:43 p. m. in his limousine. He was in the back seat, Gov. Connally was in the front seat of the same car, Gov. Connally was brought out first and was put in room two. President was brought out next and put in room one. Dr. Clark pronounced the President dead at 1 p. m. exactly. All of the President's belongings except his watch were given to the Secret Service. His watch was given to Mr. O. P. Wright. He left the Emergency Room, the President, at about 2 p.m. in an O'Neal ambulance. He was put in a bronze colored plastic casket after being wrapped in a blanket and was taken out of the hospital. He was removed from the hospital. The Gov. was taken from the Emergency Room to the Operating Room.

The President's wife refused to take off her bloody gloves, clothes. She did take a towel and wipe her face. She took her wedding ring off and placed it on one of the President's fingers." (Italics mine)

Note, in Italics, that JFK was "wrapped in a blanket".

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What about Liggett? He supposedly made the dead body of J.D.Tippit look more like Kennedy, so as to make bullet courses from the back. When Robert Kennedy viewed the open coffin at the white house, he said,"It doesn't even look like him." Then Liggett came into some money, maybe a million. He bought a new home and had poker parties all the time. He loved to gamble and his ex-wife saw him in Las Vegas, when he was supposed to be dead.

Kathy C

Agree with you, Kathy. The Liggett affair needs more investigation. Definitely fishy IMO.

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