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Pat Speer- I am confused (so what else is new?)...re: JFK head wound


Vince Palamara
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Pat,

Bottom line: what is your take on all the Dealey Plaza, Parkland, and Besthesda witnesses who (seem to) state that the back---the right rear---of JFK's head was missing? Every time I feel confident of this "eyewitnessing", someone comes along and throws somewhat of a monkey wrench into the proceedings (even Jerrol Custer, who i interviewed twice on video [11/22/91 for Livingstone/ "High Treason 2" and with Wiliam Law in March 1998 for his book] seemed to waffle a bit, despite his earlier adamant statements...although that could have been the influence of his friend, the late Tom Wilson)

Vince

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Like many of us, my position has evolved.

I had a friend who was a moderate buff, who convinced me of a probable conspiracy.

I saw the movie JFK, which added to my suspicion there was more than just Oswald.

I bought The Killing of a President, which further pushed me in that direction. I had a question, though. I couldn't understand why Groden said nothing about the bullet hole in the mystery photo.

Jump ahead 10 years.

I buy Case Closed in a used book store. A lot of the evidence points at Oswald, but I'm suspicious of the weird body shapes for the Kennedy and Connally torsos in the single-bullet theory exhibits.

I jump on the internet, and find several websites in which Posner's misrepresentations are exposed.

I discover Rex Bradford's History Matters website, and start consuming everything related to the HSCA Forensic Pathology Panel.

This leads me to conclude the mystery photo shows a beveled exit on the back of the head.

This leads me to suspect the Parkland witnesses were correct.

This leads me to conclude ??? I just couldn't decide--were the autopsy photos of the back of the head fakes? Or was McClelland correct--was there a hole in the back of the head concealed beneath stretched up scalp in the back of the head photos?

And if there was a hole in the back of the head, but not one on the top of the head, a la the Parkland witnesses, why did the Zapruder film show a hole on the top of the head, but not one on the back of the head?

I went back to square one. This time, however, I paid attention to Bill Newman and Abraham Zapruder's earliest statements. They said the hole was on the front of the head--exactly where it is shown in the Z-film, X-rays, and autopsy photos.

This led me to wonder if the Parkland witnesses weren't mistaken.

I spent several months reading books on cognitive psychology, and communicating with cognitive psychologists.

This led me to conclude that viewing Kennedy while he was on his back had confused a few of the Parkland doctors as to the exact location of his head wound, and that the others--most prominently McClelland--latched onto what those doctors had reported, and made their recollections their own. In other words, I believe they saw a big hole in the middle of some brain-soaked hair, but were unclear where this wound was on Kennedy's head, and that some of them recalled it was behind the ear, and took from this that it was on the back of Kennedy's head, without realizing that "behind his ear" when Kennedy was lying on his back meant top of the head.

With that hurdle behind me, I felt free to continue studying the medical evidence under the acceptance it was legit. I found that the evidence, when honestly interpreted in keeping with the most prominent pathology and radiology textbooks, and when interpreted within the context of the Zapruder film, strongly suggested the existence of more than one shooter.

I also studied the ballistics evidence, or at least as much as one can study the ballistics evidence without picking up a rifle, and this led me to conclude that Oswald was almost certainly innocent of shooting Kennedy.

Edited by Pat Speer
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I find it hard to believe that experienced surgeons at Parkland would describe the hole in the back of the head as being in the Parietal/occipital region, if it wasn't in that area. These were surgeons experienced with gunshot wounds of all kinds, and would hardly be confused by the fact that the body of JDK was lying on its back and were confused into thinking the hole was somewhere it wasn't. Surely most of the patients they saw with serious gunshot wounds would be on lying on their backs. If they were mistaken and were confused into believing the wound was on the top of the head, then I'm glad I never had to visit their hospital for treatment.

It doesn't make sense that they were all wrong in their first statements.

Edited by Ray Mitcham
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I find it hard to believe that experienced surgeons at Parkland would describe the hole in the back of the head as being in the Parietal/occipital region, if it wasn't in that area. These were surgeons experienced with gunshot wounds of all kinds, and would hardly be confused by the fact that the body of JDK was lying on its back and were confused into thinking the hole was somewhere it wasn't. Surely most of the patients they saw with serious gunshot wounds would be on lying on their backs. If they were mistaken and were confused into believing the wound was on the top of the head, then I'm glad I never had to visit their hospital for treatment.

It doesn't make sense that they were all wrong in their first statements.

I totally agree with you and Mr. Copeland. I have studied the medical evidence for the past 10 years, and there is NO doubt in my mind that the wound was in the right rear (back) of President Kennedy's head. Actually, the doctors started their resusciation efforts because they didn't realize the severeness of the wound due to its (hidden) location. But unfortunately there are still too many 'Arlen Specter's' around trying to discredit every witness who have said the wound was in the back of the head.

Bjørn Gjerde

Bjørn Gjerde

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At least some of the Parkland witnesses would have been there while JFK's clothes were cut off him, and so would have seen the body in more than one position. So: occipital-parietal.

Yes, some of the doctors/nurses soon realized the severe nature of the skull wound i the back of the head. And I agree that the location was occipital-parietal, that is, the defect was in the right rear of the skull was on either side on the so-called lambdoid suture where the occipital and parietal bones join. But that is still in the back of the head.

Bjørn Gjerde

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Since the autopsy photos show no massive blowout on the back of JFK's head, as was described so clearly and unanimously by the medical personnel in Dallas, we are left with two choices. Either all those doctors and nurses were inexplicably wrong, in describing an identical wound that wasn't there, or the autopsy photos are not legitimate.

We should be skeptical of all the official evidence.

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At least some of the Parkland witnesses would have been there while JFK's clothes were cut off him, and so would have seen the body in more than one position. So: occipital-parietal.

Yes, some of the doctors/nurses soon realized the severe nature of the skull wound i the back of the head. And I agree that the location was occipital-parietal, that is, the defect was in the right rear of the skull was on either side on the so-called lambdoid suture where the occipital and parietal bones join. But that is still in the back of the head.

Bjørn Gjerde

Well, I meant "as opposed to the top of the head." I've appreciated your two-autopsies timeline on the Della Rosa forum, BTW

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Since the autopsy photos show no massive blowout on the back of JFK's head, as was described so clearly and unanimously by the medical personnel in Dallas, we are left with two choices. Either all those doctors and nurses were inexplicably wrong, in describing an identical wound that wasn't there, or the autopsy photos are not legitimate.

We should be skeptical of all the official evidence.

That's one of the problems, Don. People keep saying that there was a massive blowout on the back of the head, as unanimously described by the medical personnel in Dallas. This wasn't true in 1964, and it's even less true now. I go through these witnesses one by one in chapter 18d, and show how it was never unanimous, and how many if not most of them changed their minds later, and said the autopsy photos were consistent with their memories.

But even if they were unanimous, this still doesn't address the basic problem. The earliest witnesses to go on record all said the skull explosion was on the top of the head, or by the temple. No one claimed they saw the back of the head "blow out." Now, how can this be, if there was but one large wound on the head, on the far back of the head, as supposedly claimed by the Parkland witnesses? Were people like the Newmans, Zapruder, and Burkley, pretending there was a wound by the temple? If so, who put 'em up to it?

P.S. Where do you place this "blow-out"? Is this location consistent with the Harper fragment's being occipital bone? And, if so, how do you explain that none of the original Parkland witnesses placed the wound on the far back of the head, below the level of the top of the ear, where it would have to have been for the Harper fragment to be occipital?

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"Mr. Specter - And what, in a general way, did you observe with respect to President Kennedy's condition?

Miss Bowron - He was very pale, he was lying across Mrs. Kennedy's knee and there seemed to be blood everywhere. When I went around to the other side of the car I saw the condition of his head.

Mr. Specter - You saw the condition of his what?

Miss Bowron - The back of his head.

Mr. Specter - And what was that condition?

Miss Bowron - Well, it was very bad --- you know.

Mr. Specter - How many holes did you see?

Miss Bowron - I just saw one large hole.

Mr. Specter - Did you see a bullet hole beneath that one large hole?

Miss Bowron - No, sir.

Mr. Specter - Did you notice any other wound on the President's body?

Miss Bowron - No, sir."

P.S. You obviously don't know the first thing about anatomy, Pat. In the centre of the back of the head, the occipital bone extends well above the level of the ears.

Edited by Robert Prudhomme
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