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JFK's Head Wound: a Timeline of the Earliest Statements


Pat Speer
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On another thread, Daniel Gallup stated:

"Scott, I've stayed out of discussions on the medical evidence for a long time now, having gone back and forth with Pat Speer on all these matters long ago. I basically agree with David Josephs and simply ask: if the chain of possession of Kennedy's body is lost, its worth as evidence in the case is non-existent. Therefore, I believe that the only reliable account of the condition of Kennedy's head would be the earliest recollections of those who saw the body in Dallas, and that includes Clilnt Hill, Jackie, and the Dallas doctors and nurses who made contemporaneous notes. A very good reference book would be First on the Scene by Brad Parker, who has collected a number of early affidavits from Parkland on the condition of Kennedy's head. In a similar point of view, I would argue the earliest recorded recollections of personnel at Bethesda (when they were finally allowed to talk) would be the most accurate, before anyone understood the implications of what they saw. Same with the Dealey Plaza witnesses: their testimony gains weight when they are given early, or if it is clear that what they are saying is given before they have knowledge of the "official" story line."

Here are the statements of the witnesses which Daniel claims provide the "only reliable account of the condition of Kennedy's head wound."

The John F. Kennedy Head Wound: a Timeline

At approximately 12:45 P.M., within 15 minutes of Kennedy's being shot, assassination witness William Newman, who was less than 30 feet to the side of Kennedy when the fatal bullet struck, was interviewed live on television station WFAA. This was 45 minutes before the announcement of Kennedy’s death. Newman told Jay Watson: “And then as the car got directly in front of us, well, a gun shot apparently from behind us hit the President in the side, the side of the temple.” As he said this, he pointed to his left temple, with his only free hand. (Newman was holding one of his children with his right hand.) Subsequent statements would clarify that Newman was talking about Kennedy’s right temple. (Newman continues to claim he saw a large wound at this location, and has never wavered.)

Around this same time, news photographer and assassination eyewitness James Altgens wrote a dispatch for the Associated Press. He declared: "There was a burst of noise - the second one I heard - and pieces of flesh appeared to fly from President Kennedy's car. Blood covered the whole left side of his head.” Now, this is undoubtedly confusing. Newman pointed to his left temple around the same time Altgens said he saw blood on the left side of Kennedy’s head.

Within a few minutes, outside Parkland Hospital, however, Charles Roberts of Newsweek interviewed Senator Ralph Yarborough, who’d arrived at Parkland Hospital just after President Kennedy, and had witnessed his removal from the limousine. In his 1967 book The Truth About the Assassination, Roberts, working from his original notes, recalled that he asked the Senator where Kennedy had been shot, and that a horrified Yarborough responded "I can't tell you," as he unconsciously held "his hand to the right side of his head, where he had seen blood streaming from the President."

At 1:17, approximately 30 minutes after Jay Watson interviewed her husband, Watson interviewed Gayle Newman, who'd been standing right beside her husband and had had an equally close look at the President's wound. She reported: "And then another one—it was just awful fast. And President Kennedy reached up and grabbed--it looked like he grabbed--his ear and blood just started gushing out." As she said this she motioned to her right temple with both of her hands. In 1969, while testifying at the trial of Clay Shaw, Mrs, Newman would make the implications of this even more clear, and specify that Kennedy "was shot in the head right at his ear or right above his ear…" (Mrs. Newman has also never wavered from seeing a wound at this location.)

Around this time, Darwin Payne of the Dallas Times-Herald tracked down assassination witness Abraham Zapruder at his office in the Dal-Tex Building. Notes found in the Herald’s archives, almost certainly based on Payne’s interview of Zapruder, and reported in Richard Trask’s Pictures of the Pain, reflect “Abraham Zapruder…heard 3 shots///after first one Pres slumped over grabed stomac…hit in stomac…two more shots///looked like head opened up and everything came out…blood spattered everywhere…side of his face…looked like blobs out of his temple… forehead…” And this wasn’t the only time Zapruder described the wounds shown in his film—before he’d seen his film. Around 2:10, less than forty minutes after the announcement of Kennedy's death, Zapruder took his turn before the cameras on WFAA, and confirmed the observations of the Newmans. Describing the shooting, Zapruder told Jay Watson: “Then I heard another shot or two, I couldn't say it was one or two, and I saw his head practically open up, all blood and everything (at this time, Zapruder grabbed his right temple), and I kept on shooting. That's about all, I'm just sick, I can't…”

At 1:33 p.m. on November 22, 1963, Assistant Press Secretary Malcolm Kilduff announced President Kennedy’s death from Parkland Hospital. He told the country: “President John F. Kennedy died at approximately one o’clock Central Standard Time today here in Dallas. He died of a gunshot wound in the brain…Dr. George Burkley [Kennedy's personal physician] told me it is a simple matter…of a bullet right through the head. (At this time, Kilduff pointed to his right temple) . . . It is my understanding that it entered in the temple, the right temple. As Dr. Burkley had seen Kennedy in the Dallas emergency room and was later to tell the HSCA that Kennedy’s wounds didn’t change between Dallas and Bethesda, the site of the autopsy, Kilduff’s statements are a clear indication that the large head wound Burkley observed at Parkland Hospital is the same wound, in the same location, later observed at Bethesda. That no one at the time of Kilduff's statement had noted a separate bullet entrance anywhere on Kennedy's head, moreover, suggests that Burkley had seen but one wound, a wound by the temple, exactly where the Newmans, Zapruder, and presumably Yarborough had seen a wound.

At 2:16 PM CST, Dr.s Malcolm Perry and William Kemp Clark, two of the Parkland Hospital physicians who'd tried to save President Kennedy, appeared at a press conference. Note that it has been over an hour since they last saw the President’s body. (Their words come from a transcript discovered years later at the Lyndon Johnson Library.)

Dr. Malcolm Perry, who had performed a tracheostomy on the President in an effort to save his life: (When asked if a bullet had passed through Kennedy's head) "That would be conjecture on my part. There are two wounds, as Dr. Clark noted, one of the neck and one of the head. Whether they are directly related or related to two bullets, I cannot say...There was an entrance wound in the neck. As regards the one on the head, I cannot say." (When asked the direction of the bullet creating the neck wound) "It appeared to be coming at him." (When asked the direction of the bullet creating the head wound) "The nature of the wound defies the ability to describe whether it went through it from either side. I cannot tell you that." (When asked again if there was one or two wounds) "I don't know. From the injury, it is conceivable that it could have been caused by one wound, but there could have been two just as well if the second bullet struck the head in addition to striking the neck, and I cannot tell you that due to the nature of the wound. There is no way for me to tell...The wound appeared to be an entrance wound in the front of the throat; yes, that is correct. The exit wound, I don't know. It could have been the head or there could have been a second wound of the head. There was not time to determine this at the particular instant."

So, let’s see. Perry seems to think the wound was toward the top of the skull, as it “defies the ability to describe whether it went through it from either side.” If it was an obvious exit wound on the far back of the skull, as so many have come to believe, it would have suggested a shot from the front.

Well, then, what about Dr. Clark?

Dr. William Kemp Clark, who had examined the President's head wound and pronounced him dead: "I was called by Dr. Perry because the President... had sustained a brain wound…It was apparent that the President had sustained a lethal wound. A missile had gone in or out of the back of his head, causing extensive lacerations and loss of brain tissue." (When asked to describe the course of the bullet through the head) "We were too busy to be absolutely sure of the track, but the back of his head...Principally on his right side, towards the right side...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."

Okay. Clark seems to think the wound was toward the back of the head, on the right side.

At 3:30 PM CST, Dr.s Perry and Kemp once again spoke to the press, this time on the phone to local reporters unable to attend the official press conference. Connie Kritzberg of The Dallas Times-Herald was one of these reporters. Her article on the President's wounds was published on 11-23. She wrote: “Wounds in the lower front portion of the neck and the right rear side of the head ended the life of President John F. Kennedy, say doctors at Parkland Hospital. Whether there were one or two wounds was not decided. The front neck hole was described as an entrance wound. The wound at the back of the head, while the principal one, was either an exit or tangential entrance wound. A doctor admitted that it was possible there was only one wound. Kemp Clark, 38, chief of neurosurgery, and Dr. Malcolm Perry, 34, described the President's wounds. Dr. Clark, asked how long the President lived in the hospital, replied, "I would guess 40 minutes but I was too busy to look at my watch." Dr. Clark said the President's principal wound was on the right rear side of his head…The doctors were asked whether one bullet could have made both wounds or whether there were two bullets. Dr. Clark replied. "The head wound could have been either an exit or a tangential entrance wound." The neurosurgeon described the back of the head wound as: "A large gaping wound with considerable loss of tissue." Dr. Perry added, "It is conceivable it was one wound, but there was no way for me to tell. It did however appear to be the entrance wound at the front of the throat."

Dr. Clark later wrote a report. He signed this at 4:15. Note that this is now three hours after he’d last seen the President. He wrote: “I arrived at the EOR at 1220 - 1225 and The President was bleeding profusely from the back of the head. There was a large (3 x 3cm) amount of cerebral tissue present on the cart. 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 brief examination. The previously described lacerated brain was present.” (A 12-1-63 article on the assassination in the Philadelphia Bulletin would make the surprising claim that the bullet striking Kennedy on the back of his head hit at a shallow angle, ripping off a piece of skull 'perhaps the diameter of a teacup,' said Dr. William Kemp Clark, a neurosurgeon." This supported that the wound in Clark’s impression was at the top of the back of the head and that Clark was indeed comfortable with his original claim the wound was a tangential wound of both entrance and exit, even if fired from behind. This probability is borne out, moreover, by the fact Clark would later tell the Warren Commission he accepted that the fatal shot was fired from behind, and would only break his public silence on these matters to complain about conspiracy theorists trying to get him to say the shot came from the front.)

Dr. James Carrico, the first doctor on the scene, completed a similar report at 4:20. He wrote: “Two external wounds were noted. One small penetrating wound of ant. neck in lower 1/3. The other wound had avulsed the calvarium and shredded brain tissue present with profuse oozing.After describing some medical procedures, he noted furtherattempt to control slow oozing from cerebral and cerebellar tissue via packs instituted. “ (Carrico had thereby indicated that he’d thought the wound was on the back of the head. He would later defer to the accuracy of the autopsy photos and insist he’d been mistaken about seeing cerebellum.)

At 4:30, Dr. Perry created his own report. He wrote: “A large wound of the right posterior cranium was noted, exposing severely lacerated brain. Brain tissue was noted in the blood at the head of the carriage.” A few days later, journalist Jimmy Breslin would interview Dr. Perry and quote him as follows: "The occipito-parietal, which is a part of the back of the head, had a huge flap." Well, this is interesting. This flap can be seen in the autopsy photos, only a few inches forward of this location. (Perry would later defer to the accuracy of the autopsy photos.)

At 4:30 anesthesiologist Marion Jenkins completed his report. “These described resuscitative activities were indicated as of first importance, and after they were carried out attention was turned to all other evidences of injury. There was a great laceration on the right side of the head (temporal and occipital), 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. There were also fragmented sections of brain on the drapes of the emergency room cart. With the institution of adequate cardiac compression, there was a great flow of blood from the cranial cavity, indicating that there was much vascular damage as well as brain tissue damage.” Hmmm. Jenkins had thereby suggested that the wound was on the right back of the head, roughly behind the ear. (Jenkins would later defer to the accuracy of the autopsy photos, and insist he’d been mistaken about seeing cerebellum.)

Dr. Charles Baxter also submitted a detailed report on Kennedy’s wounds. He wrote: “On first observation of the remaining wounds the rt temporal and occipital bones were missing and the brain was lying on the table, with extensive lacerations and contusions.” He later concluded:Due to the excessive and irreparable brain damage which was lethal, no further attempt to resuscitate the heart was made.” Although Dr. Baxter’s report supported Dr. Jenkins’ report, it seems likely Dr. Baxter soon realized he’d been mistaken as to the location of the head wound. On 3-24-64, long before anyone was talking about the difference in the wound descriptions of those viewing Kennedy in Parkland and Bethesda, Dr. Baxter testified that he observed a "temporal parietal plate of bone laid outward to the side," and that "the right side of his head had been blown off." Well, heck, this was more consistent with the statements of the Newmans and Zapruder than with his fellow physicians. Dr. Baxter was also asked to read his earlier report into the record. While doing so, however, he read the line "the rt temporal and occipital bones were missing" as the "temporal and parietal bones were missing." It seems clear then he’d decided the wound was too high (and possibly too forward) on the head to involve occipital bone. (Dr. Baxter, no surprise, would later defer to the accuracy of the autopsy photos.)

Still, yes, this is strange. Although Dr. Baxter apparently changed his mind over the next few months, the initial reports of these five Parkland doctors suggested the wound was at or behind Kennedy’s right ear. Dr. Clark had suggested it was towards the top of the back of the head, where the occipital and parietal bones converge, and Dr.s Jenkins and Baxter suggested it was a bit lower and more to the side, where the occipital and temporal bones converge. Dr.s Carrico and Perry were more vague.

Should one think the statements of the Parkland doctors on 11-22-63 all suggested the wound was on the back of the head behind the ear, however, one would be wrong.

Dr. Robert McClelland’s report was signed at 4:45. He asserted: “When I arrived President Kennedy was being attended by Drs Malcolm Perry, Charles Baxter, James Carrico, and Ronald Jones. The President was at the time comatose from a massive gunshot wound of the head with a fragment wound of the trachea…The cause of death was due to massive head and brain injury from a gunshot wound of the left temple.

So yeah, that’s right, Dr. McClelland, who has since become a star “back of the head witness” for those believing the large head wound was low on the back of the head behind the ear, originally claimed the wound was a massive wound…of the left temple. Well, this suggests that he, as James Altgens before him, got his left confused with the President’s left.

And that’s not the only indication McClelland failed to see a “blow-out” wound on the back of Kennedy’s head, as claimed by so many. McClelland was the prime source for the 12-18-63 article by Richard Dudman published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, in which the Secret Service's visit to the Parkland doctors, and its attempt to get them to agree Kennedy's throat wound was an exit, was first revealed. There, McClelland told Dudman that after being told of the wound on Kennedy's back "he and Dr. Perry fully accept the Navy Hospital’s explanation of the course of the bullets." There, he told Dudman "I am fully satisfied that the two bullets that hit him were from behind." There, he told Dudman "As far as I am concerned, there is no reason to suspect that any shots came from the front."

And, should one refuse to believe McClelland would change his impressions at a later date, to fit what the other doctors were saying, there’s this… The January 1964 issue of the Texas State Journal of Medicine featured an article entitled Three Patients at Parkland. It was based upon the Parkland doctors' 11-22 reports, and repeated their descriptions of Kennedy's wounds and treatment word for word. Well, almost. In one of its few deviations, it changed Dr. McClelland's initial claim Kennedy was pronounced dead "at 12:55" to his being "pronounced dead at 1:00." This was an obvious correction of an innocent mistake. In what one can only assume was another correction of an innocent mistake, moreover, it re-routed Dr. McClelland's initial claim "The cause of death was due to massive head and brain injury from a gunshot wound of the left temple" to the more acceptable "The cause of death, according to Dr. McClelland was the massive head and brain injury from a gunshot wound of the right side of the head."

It’s highly unlikely such a change would have been made without McClelland’s permission. It seems likely then that McClelland first wrote that the wound was of the left temple, and then realized he’d got it backwards, and began telling people it was on the right side, and then only over time began swearing it was on the far back of the head.

So what of the other witnesses to describe the President’s head wound on 11-22?

Secret Service agent Glen Bennett, who’d been riding in the back seat of the follow-up car just behind Kennedy, jotted down some notes on the flight back from Dallas. He noted in this report that the fatal bullet "hit the right rear high of the President’s head."

Secret Service agent George Hickey, who’d been riding next to Bennett, wrote a more detailed report on what transpired in Dallas. In the first of two reports, dated 11-22-63, he noted: "it seemed as if the right side of his head was hit and his hair flew forward." He wrote a second report on 11-30-63. There, he observed that after the first shot, Kennedy was slumped forward and to his left, and was straightening up to an almost erect sitting position as I turned and looked. At the moment he was almost sitting erect I heard two reports which I thought were shots and that appeared to me completely different in sound from the first report and were in such rapid succession that there seemed to be practically no time element between them. It looked to me as if the president was struck in the right upper rear of the head. The first shot of the second two seemed as if it missed because the hair on the right side of his head flew forward and there didn’t seem to be any impact against his head. The last shot seemed to hit his head and cause a noise at the point of impact which made him fall forward and to his left again.”

Secret Service agent Sam Kinney, the driver of the follow-up car, also wrote a report on 11-22. He asserted: "At this time, the second shot was fired and I observed hair flying from the right side of his head.”

Well, these statements were a little vague. They do, however, make clear that a bullet did not explode from the left side or middle of the back of Kennedy’s head.

Well, then, who else?

Motorcycle officer James Chaney, who had been riding just a few yards off Kennedy's right shoulder, was interviewed by WFAA on the night of the shooting. He related: "We heard the first shot. I thought it was a motorcycle backfiring and uh I looked back over to my left and also President Kennedy looked back over his left shoulder. Then, the, uh, second shot came, well, then I looked back just in time to see the President struck in the face by the second bullet." Hmmm…Chaney was looking at the back of Kennedy’s head. His thinking Kennedy was struck in the face suggests the explosion he saw was in front of Kennedy’s ear, not behind.

Riding at Chaney’s right was Douglas Jackson. Jackson's notes, written on the night of the assassination and published in 1979, relate: "I looked back toward Mr. Kennedy and saw him hit in the head; he appeared to have been hit just above the right ear. The top of his head flew off away from me." Jackson then escorted the limousine to Parkland, where he saw the President’s body removed from the limo. He wrote: "I got off my motor, stepped over to the presidential limousine. An agent opened the car door and started to get Mrs. Kennedy out but Mrs. Kennedy said no. It's no need she said and raised up from over Mr. Kennedy. I could see the top of his head was gone, his left eye was bulged out of socket. The agent said "Oh no!" and started crying, pulled his coat off and placed it over Mr. Kennedy's head."

Two days later, on November 24, Bobby Hargis, the motorcycle cop riding off Mrs. Kennedy's left shoulder, published an eyewitness account in the New York Sunday News. He wrote: "As the President straightened back up, Mrs. Kennedy turned toward him, and that was when he got hit in the side of the head, spinning it around. I was splattered by blood.”

Over the next week, a number of other reports were written.

On 11-27-63, Secret Service agent Paul Landis wrote the first of two reports on the assassination. He noted: "I heard a second report and saw the President’s head split open and pieces of flesh and blood flying through the air." His 11-30 report concurred:It was at this moment that I heard a second report and it appeared that the President's head split open with a muffled exploding sound.” Well, this is an interesting use of words. Split open. One might gather from this that this split involved the back of the head. But, if so, one would have to assume it involved the top of the back of the head.

Hurchel Jacks, the driver of Vice-President Johnson's car in the motorcade, arrived at the hospital just moments after the limousine and the follow-up car, and witnessed the removal of the President's body from the limo. On 11-28-63, less than a week after the assassination, he filed a report (18H801) and noted: "Before the President's body was covered it appeared that the bullet had struck him above the right ear or near the temple.”

Sitting directly behind Kennedy at the time of the shooting was Secret Service agent Emory Roberts. If a bullet hit Kennedy on the back of the head, or erupted from the back of his head, he would have been the one to notice. Instead, in an 11-29-63 report, he wrote "I saw what appeared to be a small explosion on the right side of the President’s head, saw blood, at which time the President fell further to his left."

An even more important witness broke her silence on 11-29-63. On this day, Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy granted an interview to Presidential historian Theodore White, and briefly discussed her husband’s wounds. (White’s notes on this interview were released on 5-26-95, and subsequently published in the September 1995 Kennedy Assassination Chronicles) Mrs. Kennedy related: “his last expression was so neat; he had his hand out, I could see a piece of his skull coming off; it was flesh colored not white—he was holding out his hand—and I can see this perfectly clean piece detaching itself from his head; then he slumped in my lap.” She later described the immediate aftermath of the shots: "All the ride to the hospital, I kept bending over him saying, "Jack, Jack, can you hear me, I love you, Jack." I kept holding the top of his head down trying to keep the..." She later described the condition of Kennedy’s head upon arrival at the hospital. White’s notes relate: "From here down"--and here she made a gesture indicating her husband's forehead--"his head was so beautiful. I'd tried to hold the top of his head down, maybe I could keep it in...I knew he was dead."

Okay, so there are now 5 witnesses—Burkley, McClelland, Jackson, Jacks, and Mrs. Kennedy--who claimed to see a wound on the front or top of Kennedy’s head at Parkland Hospital. Amazingly, that’s the same number as have claimed to see a wound on the back of his head.

The next day, 11-30, yet another important witness chimed in. Secret Service agent Clint Hill, who’d climbed up on the back of the limo as the shots rang out, related: "As I lay over the top of the back seat I noticed a portion of the President's head on the right rear side was missing and he was bleeding profusely. Part of his brain was gone. I saw a part of his skull with hair on it lieing in the seat." Hill’s report returned to this later. When describing the aftermath to Kennedy's autopsy in his report, he related "At approximately 2:45 A.M., November 23, I was requested by ASAIC to come to the morgue to once again view the body. When I arrived the autopsy had been completed and ASAIC Kellerman, SA Greer, General McHugh and I viewed the wounds. I observed a wound about six inches down from the neckline on the back just to the right of the spinal column. I observed another wound on the right rear portion of the skull." (Many years later, in numerous interviews and television appearances, Hill would clarify just what he meant by the “right rear portion” and would point to a location above his right ear.)

So, that’s it. While many people studying the Kennedy assassination have convinced themselves there was a “blow-out” wound involving chiefly occipital bone low on the back of Kennedy’s head, there is virtually nothing to support this in the earliest statements regarding Kennedy’s wounds…

IT IS A MYTH.

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" I kept holding the top of his head down trying to keep the..." She later described the condition of Kennedy’s head upon arrival at the hospital. White’s notes relate: "From here down"--and here she made a gesture indicating her husband's forehead--"his head was so beautiful. I'd tried to hold the top of his head down, maybe I could keep it in...I knew he was dead."
A couple of people have said that the Parkland doctors standing behind JFK's head had "the best view" of all. Wrong. Actually, the best view was Jackie's. Unlike the Parkland doctors, she had the advantage of seeing JFK's head in an upright position. Any deviation of the upright position (0 degrees) increases the chance of error in locating the wound. Anyways, two questions need to be answered by back-of-the-head theorists if they wish to count Jackie as their ally in this debate.
1) What was so not beautiful about JFK's head behind his forehead?
2) As for the top of JFK's head, why was Jackie trying to "keep it in"? (rhetorical question).
JFK's head as described by Jackie sounds a lot like it was supposed to look like after pre-autopsy surgery was complete (See Lifton, D.) The big problem. She described what she saw in the car.
Edited by Andric Perez
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" I kept holding the top of his head down trying to keep the..." She later described the condition of Kennedy’s head upon arrival at the hospital. White’s notes relate: "From here down"--and here she made a gesture indicating her husband's forehead--"his head was so beautiful. I'd tried to hold the top of his head down, maybe I could keep it in...I knew he was dead."
A couple of people have said that the Parkland doctors standing behind JFK's head had "the best view" of all. Wrong. Actually, the best view was Jackie's. Unlike the Parkland doctors, she had the advantage of seeing JFK's head in an upright position. Any deviation of the upright position (0 degrees) increases the chance of error in locating the wound. Anyways, two questions need to be answered by back-of-the-head theorists if they wish to count Jackie as their ally in this debate.
1) What was so not beautiful about JFK's head behind his forehead?
2) As for the top of JFK's head, why was Jackie trying to "keep it in"? (rhetorical question).
JFK's head as described by Jackie sounds a lot like it was supposed to look like after pre-autopsy surgery was complete (See Lifton, D.) The big problem. She described what she saw in the car.

Andric, you may be referring to a different quote from Jackie than I have. From her WC testimony: "I was trying to hold his hair on. But from the front there was nothing. I suppose there must have been, but from the back you could see, you know, you were trying to hold his hair on, and his skull on." This testimony accords well with Clint Hill. May I ask the source of your quote? Thanks in advance , Daniel

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On another thread, Daniel Gallup stated:

"Scott, I've stayed out of discussions on the medical evidence for a long time now, having gone back and forth with Pat Speer on all these matters long ago. I basically agree with David Josephs and simply ask: if the chain of possession of Kennedy's body is lost, its worth as evidence in the case is non-existent. Therefore, I believe that the only reliable account of the condition of Kennedy's head would be the earliest recollections of those who saw the body in Dallas, and that includes Clilnt Hill, Jackie, and the Dallas doctors and nurses who made contemporaneous notes. A very good reference book would be First on the Scene by Brad Parker, who has collected a number of early affidavits from Parkland on the condition of Kennedy's head. In a similar point of view, I would argue the earliest recorded recollections of personnel at Bethesda (when they were finally allowed to talk) would be the most accurate, before anyone understood the implications of what they saw. Same with the Dealey Plaza witnesses: their testimony gains weight when they are given early, or if it is clear that what they are saying is given before they have knowledge of the "official" story line."

Here are the statements of the witnesses which Daniel claims provide the "only reliable account of the condition of Kennedy's head wound."

The John F. Kennedy Head Wound: a Timeline

At approximately 12:45 P.M., within 15 minutes of Kennedy's being shot, assassination witness William Newman, who was less than 30 feet to the side of Kennedy when the fatal bullet struck, was interviewed live on television station WFAA. This was 45 minutes before the announcement of Kennedy’s death. Newman told Jay Watson: “And then as the car got directly in front of us, well, a gun shot apparently from behind us hit the President in the side, the side of the temple.” As he said this, he pointed to his left temple, with his only free hand. (Newman was holding one of his children with his right hand.) Subsequent statements would clarify that Newman was talking about Kennedy’s right temple. (Newman continues to claim he saw a large wound at this location, and has never wavered.)

Around this same time, news photographer and assassination eyewitness James Altgens wrote a dispatch for the Associated Press. He declared: "There was a burst of noise - the second one I heard - and pieces of flesh appeared to fly from President Kennedy's car. Blood covered the whole left side of his head.” Now, this is undoubtedly confusing. Newman pointed to his left temple around the same time Altgens said he saw blood on the left side of Kennedy’s head.

Within a few minutes, outside Parkland Hospital, however, Charles Roberts of Newsweek interviewed Senator Ralph Yarborough, who’d arrived at Parkland Hospital just after President Kennedy, and had witnessed his removal from the limousine. In his 1967 book The Truth About the Assassination, Roberts, working from his original notes, recalled that he asked the Senator where Kennedy had been shot, and that a horrified Yarborough responded "I can't tell you," as he unconsciously held "his hand to the right side of his head, where he had seen blood streaming from the President."

At 1:17, approximately 30 minutes after Jay Watson interviewed her husband, Watson interviewed Gayle Newman, who'd been standing right beside her husband and had had an equally close look at the President's wound. She reported: "And then another one—it was just awful fast. And President Kennedy reached up and grabbed--it looked like he grabbed--his ear and blood just started gushing out." As she said this she motioned to her right temple with both of her hands. In 1969, while testifying at the trial of Clay Shaw, Mrs, Newman would make the implications of this even more clear, and specify that Kennedy "was shot in the head right at his ear or right above his ear…" (Mrs. Newman has also never wavered from seeing a wound at this location.)

Around this time, Darwin Payne of the Dallas Times-Herald tracked down assassination witness Abraham Zapruder at his office in the Dal-Tex Building. Notes found in the Herald’s archives, almost certainly based on Payne’s interview of Zapruder, and reported in Richard Trask’s Pictures of the Pain, reflect “Abraham Zapruder…heard 3 shots///after first one Pres slumped over grabed stomac…hit in stomac…two more shots///looked like head opened up and everything came out…blood spattered everywhere…side of his face…looked like blobs out of his temple… forehead…” And this wasn’t the only time Zapruder described the wounds shown in his film—before he’d seen his film. Around 2:10, less than forty minutes after the announcement of Kennedy's death, Zapruder took his turn before the cameras on WFAA, and confirmed the observations of the Newmans. Describing the shooting, Zapruder told Jay Watson: “Then I heard another shot or two, I couldn't say it was one or two, and I saw his head practically open up, all blood and everything (at this time, Zapruder grabbed his right temple), and I kept on shooting. That's about all, I'm just sick, I can't…”

At 1:33 p.m. on November 22, 1963, Assistant Press Secretary Malcolm Kilduff announced President Kennedy’s death from Parkland Hospital. He told the country: “President John F. Kennedy died at approximately one o’clock Central Standard Time today here in Dallas. He died of a gunshot wound in the brain…Dr. George Burkley [Kennedy's personal physician] told me it is a simple matter…of a bullet right through the head. (At this time, Kilduff pointed to his right temple) . . . It is my understanding that it entered in the temple, the right temple. As Dr. Burkley had seen Kennedy in the Dallas emergency room and was later to tell the HSCA that Kennedy’s wounds didn’t change between Dallas and Bethesda, the site of the autopsy, Kilduff’s statements are a clear indication that the large head wound Burkley observed at Parkland Hospital is the same wound, in the same location, later observed at Bethesda. That no one at the time of Kilduff's statement had noted a separate bullet entrance anywhere on Kennedy's head, moreover, suggests that Burkley had seen but one wound, a wound by the temple, exactly where the Newmans, Zapruder, and presumably Yarborough had seen a wound.

At 2:16 PM CST, Dr.s Malcolm Perry and William Kemp Clark, two of the Parkland Hospital physicians who'd tried to save President Kennedy, appeared at a press conference. Note that it has been over an hour since they last saw the President’s body. (Their words come from a transcript discovered years later at the Lyndon Johnson Library.)

Dr. Malcolm Perry, who had performed a tracheostomy on the President in an effort to save his life: (When asked if a bullet had passed through Kennedy's head) "That would be conjecture on my part. There are two wounds, as Dr. Clark noted, one of the neck and one of the head. Whether they are directly related or related to two bullets, I cannot say...There was an entrance wound in the neck. As regards the one on the head, I cannot say." (When asked the direction of the bullet creating the neck wound) "It appeared to be coming at him." (When asked the direction of the bullet creating the head wound) "The nature of the wound defies the ability to describe whether it went through it from either side. I cannot tell you that." (When asked again if there was one or two wounds) "I don't know. From the injury, it is conceivable that it could have been caused by one wound, but there could have been two just as well if the second bullet struck the head in addition to striking the neck, and I cannot tell you that due to the nature of the wound. There is no way for me to tell...The wound appeared to be an entrance wound in the front of the throat; yes, that is correct. The exit wound, I don't know. It could have been the head or there could have been a second wound of the head. There was not time to determine this at the particular instant."

So, let’s see. Perry seems to think the wound was toward the top of the skull, as it “defies the ability to describe whether it went through it from either side.” If it was an obvious exit wound on the far back of the skull, as so many have come to believe, it would have suggested a shot from the front.

Well, then, what about Dr. Clark?

Dr. William Kemp Clark, who had examined the President's head wound and pronounced him dead: "I was called by Dr. Perry because the President... had sustained a brain wound…It was apparent that the President had sustained a lethal wound. A missile had gone in or out of the back of his head, causing extensive lacerations and loss of brain tissue." (When asked to describe the course of the bullet through the head) "We were too busy to be absolutely sure of the track, but the back of his head...Principally on his right side, towards the right side...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."

Okay. Clark seems to think the wound was toward the back of the head, on the right side.

At 3:30 PM CST, Dr.s Perry and Kemp once again spoke to the press, this time on the phone to local reporters unable to attend the official press conference. Connie Kritzberg of The Dallas Times-Herald was one of these reporters. Her article on the President's wounds was published on 11-23. She wrote: “Wounds in the lower front portion of the neck and the right rear side of the head ended the life of President John F. Kennedy, say doctors at Parkland Hospital. Whether there were one or two wounds was not decided. The front neck hole was described as an entrance wound. The wound at the back of the head, while the principal one, was either an exit or tangential entrance wound. A doctor admitted that it was possible there was only one wound. Kemp Clark, 38, chief of neurosurgery, and Dr. Malcolm Perry, 34, described the President's wounds. Dr. Clark, asked how long the President lived in the hospital, replied, "I would guess 40 minutes but I was too busy to look at my watch." Dr. Clark said the President's principal wound was on the right rear side of his head…The doctors were asked whether one bullet could have made both wounds or whether there were two bullets. Dr. Clark replied. "The head wound could have been either an exit or a tangential entrance wound." The neurosurgeon described the back of the head wound as: "A large gaping wound with considerable loss of tissue." Dr. Perry added, "It is conceivable it was one wound, but there was no way for me to tell. It did however appear to be the entrance wound at the front of the throat."

Dr. Clark later wrote a report. He signed this at 4:15. Note that this is now three hours after he’d last seen the President. He wrote: “I arrived at the EOR at 1220 - 1225 and The President was bleeding profusely from the back of the head. There was a large (3 x 3cm) amount of cerebral tissue present on the cart. 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 brief examination. The previously described lacerated brain was present.” (A 12-1-63 article on the assassination in the Philadelphia Bulletin would make the surprising claim that the bullet striking Kennedy on the back of his head hit at a shallow angle, ripping off a piece of skull 'perhaps the diameter of a teacup,' said Dr. William Kemp Clark, a neurosurgeon." This supported that the wound in Clark’s impression was at the top of the back of the head and that Clark was indeed comfortable with his original claim the wound was a tangential wound of both entrance and exit, even if fired from behind. This probability is borne out, moreover, by the fact Clark would later tell the Warren Commission he accepted that the fatal shot was fired from behind, and would only break his public silence on these matters to complain about conspiracy theorists trying to get him to say the shot came from the front.)

Dr. James Carrico, the first doctor on the scene, completed a similar report at 4:20. He wrote: “Two external wounds were noted. One small penetrating wound of ant. neck in lower 1/3. The other wound had avulsed the calvarium and shredded brain tissue present with profuse oozing.After describing some medical procedures, he noted furtherattempt to control slow oozing from cerebral and cerebellar tissue via packs instituted. “ (Carrico had thereby indicated that he’d thought the wound was on the back of the head. He would later defer to the accuracy of the autopsy photos and insist he’d been mistaken about seeing cerebellum.)

At 4:30, Dr. Perry created his own report. He wrote: “A large wound of the right posterior cranium was noted, exposing severely lacerated brain. Brain tissue was noted in the blood at the head of the carriage.” A few days later, journalist Jimmy Breslin would interview Dr. Perry and quote him as follows: "The occipito-parietal, which is a part of the back of the head, had a huge flap." Well, this is interesting. This flap can be seen in the autopsy photos, only a few inches forward of this location. (Perry would later defer to the accuracy of the autopsy photos.)

At 4:30 anesthesiologist Marion Jenkins completed his report. “These described resuscitative activities were indicated as of first importance, and after they were carried out attention was turned to all other evidences of injury. There was a great laceration on the right side of the head (temporal and occipital), 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. There were also fragmented sections of brain on the drapes of the emergency room cart. With the institution of adequate cardiac compression, there was a great flow of blood from the cranial cavity, indicating that there was much vascular damage as well as brain tissue damage.” Hmmm. Jenkins had thereby suggested that the wound was on the right back of the head, roughly behind the ear. (Jenkins would later defer to the accuracy of the autopsy photos, and insist he’d been mistaken about seeing cerebellum.)

Dr. Charles Baxter also submitted a detailed report on Kennedy’s wounds. He wrote: “On first observation of the remaining wounds the rt temporal and occipital bones were missing and the brain was lying on the table, with extensive lacerations and contusions.” He later concluded:Due to the excessive and irreparable brain damage which was lethal, no further attempt to resuscitate the heart was made.” Although Dr. Baxter’s report supported Dr. Jenkins’ report, it seems likely Dr. Baxter soon realized he’d been mistaken as to the location of the head wound. On 3-24-64, long before anyone was talking about the difference in the wound descriptions of those viewing Kennedy in Parkland and Bethesda, Dr. Baxter testified that he observed a "temporal parietal plate of bone laid outward to the side," and that "the right side of his head had been blown off." Well, heck, this was more consistent with the statements of the Newmans and Zapruder than with his fellow physicians. Dr. Baxter was also asked to read his earlier report into the record. While doing so, however, he read the line "the rt temporal and occipital bones were missing" as the "temporal and parietal bones were missing." It seems clear then he’d decided the wound was too high (and possibly too forward) on the head to involve occipital bone. (Dr. Baxter, no surprise, would later defer to the accuracy of the autopsy photos.)

Still, yes, this is strange. Although Dr. Baxter apparently changed his mind over the next few months, the initial reports of these five Parkland doctors suggested the wound was at or behind Kennedy’s right ear. Dr. Clark had suggested it was towards the top of the back of the head, where the occipital and parietal bones converge, and Dr.s Jenkins and Baxter suggested it was a bit lower and more to the side, where the occipital and temporal bones converge. Dr.s Carrico and Perry were more vague.

Should one think the statements of the Parkland doctors on 11-22-63 all suggested the wound was on the back of the head behind the ear, however, one would be wrong.

Dr. Robert McClelland’s report was signed at 4:45. He asserted: “When I arrived President Kennedy was being attended by Drs Malcolm Perry, Charles Baxter, James Carrico, and Ronald Jones. The President was at the time comatose from a massive gunshot wound of the head with a fragment wound of the trachea…The cause of death was due to massive head and brain injury from a gunshot wound of the left temple.

So yeah, that’s right, Dr. McClelland, who has since become a star “back of the head witness” for those believing the large head wound was low on the back of the head behind the ear, originally claimed the wound was a massive wound…of the left temple. Well, this suggests that he, as James Altgens before him, got his left confused with the President’s left.

And that’s not the only indication McClelland failed to see a “blow-out” wound on the back of Kennedy’s head, as claimed by so many. McClelland was the prime source for the 12-18-63 article by Richard Dudman published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, in which the Secret Service's visit to the Parkland doctors, and its attempt to get them to agree Kennedy's throat wound was an exit, was first revealed. There, McClelland told Dudman that after being told of the wound on Kennedy's back "he and Dr. Perry fully accept the Navy Hospital’s explanation of the course of the bullets." There, he told Dudman "I am fully satisfied that the two bullets that hit him were from behind." There, he told Dudman "As far as I am concerned, there is no reason to suspect that any shots came from the front."

And, should one refuse to believe McClelland would change his impressions at a later date, to fit what the other doctors were saying, there’s this… The January 1964 issue of the Texas State Journal of Medicine featured an article entitled Three Patients at Parkland. It was based upon the Parkland doctors' 11-22 reports, and repeated their descriptions of Kennedy's wounds and treatment word for word. Well, almost. In one of its few deviations, it changed Dr. McClelland's initial claim Kennedy was pronounced dead "at 12:55" to his being "pronounced dead at 1:00." This was an obvious correction of an innocent mistake. In what one can only assume was another correction of an innocent mistake, moreover, it re-routed Dr. McClelland's initial claim "The cause of death was due to massive head and brain injury from a gunshot wound of the left temple" to the more acceptable "The cause of death, according to Dr. McClelland was the massive head and brain injury from a gunshot wound of the right side of the head."

It’s highly unlikely such a change would have been made without McClelland’s permission. It seems likely then that McClelland first wrote that the wound was of the left temple, and then realized he’d got it backwards, and began telling people it was on the right side, and then only over time began swearing it was on the far back of the head.

So what of the other witnesses to describe the President’s head wound on 11-22?

Secret Service agent Glen Bennett, who’d been riding in the back seat of the follow-up car just behind Kennedy, jotted down some notes on the flight back from Dallas. He noted in this report that the fatal bullet "hit the right rear high of the President’s head."

Secret Service agent George Hickey, who’d been riding next to Bennett, wrote a more detailed report on what transpired in Dallas. In the first of two reports, dated 11-22-63, he noted: "it seemed as if the right side of his head was hit and his hair flew forward." He wrote a second report on 11-30-63. There, he observed that after the first shot, Kennedy was slumped forward and to his left, and was straightening up to an almost erect sitting position as I turned and looked. At the moment he was almost sitting erect I heard two reports which I thought were shots and that appeared to me completely different in sound from the first report and were in such rapid succession that there seemed to be practically no time element between them. It looked to me as if the president was struck in the right upper rear of the head. The first shot of the second two seemed as if it missed because the hair on the right side of his head flew forward and there didn’t seem to be any impact against his head. The last shot seemed to hit his head and cause a noise at the point of impact which made him fall forward and to his left again.”

Secret Service agent Sam Kinney, the driver of the follow-up car, also wrote a report on 11-22. He asserted: "At this time, the second shot was fired and I observed hair flying from the right side of his head.”

Well, these statements were a little vague. They do, however, make clear that a bullet did not explode from the left side or middle of the back of Kennedy’s head.

Well, then, who else?

Motorcycle officer James Chaney, who had been riding just a few yards off Kennedy's right shoulder, was interviewed by WFAA on the night of the shooting. He related: "We heard the first shot. I thought it was a motorcycle backfiring and uh I looked back over to my left and also President Kennedy looked back over his left shoulder. Then, the, uh, second shot came, well, then I looked back just in time to see the President struck in the face by the second bullet." Hmmm…Chaney was looking at the back of Kennedy’s head. His thinking Kennedy was struck in the face suggests the explosion he saw was in front of Kennedy’s ear, not behind.

Riding at Chaney’s right was Douglas Jackson. Jackson's notes, written on the night of the assassination and published in 1979, relate: "I looked back toward Mr. Kennedy and saw him hit in the head; he appeared to have been hit just above the right ear. The top of his head flew off away from me." Jackson then escorted the limousine to Parkland, where he saw the President’s body removed from the limo. He wrote: "I got off my motor, stepped over to the presidential limousine. An agent opened the car door and started to get Mrs. Kennedy out but Mrs. Kennedy said no. It's no need she said and raised up from over Mr. Kennedy. I could see the top of his head was gone, his left eye was bulged out of socket. The agent said "Oh no!" and started crying, pulled his coat off and placed it over Mr. Kennedy's head."

Two days later, on November 24, Bobby Hargis, the motorcycle cop riding off Mrs. Kennedy's left shoulder, published an eyewitness account in the New York Sunday News. He wrote: "As the President straightened back up, Mrs. Kennedy turned toward him, and that was when he got hit in the side of the head, spinning it around. I was splattered by blood.”

Over the next week, a number of other reports were written.

On 11-27-63, Secret Service agent Paul Landis wrote the first of two reports on the assassination. He noted: "I heard a second report and saw the President’s head split open and pieces of flesh and blood flying through the air." His 11-30 report concurred:It was at this moment that I heard a second report and it appeared that the President's head split open with a muffled exploding sound.” Well, this is an interesting use of words. Split open. One might gather from this that this split involved the back of the head. But, if so, one would have to assume it involved the top of the back of the head.

Hurchel Jacks, the driver of Vice-President Johnson's car in the motorcade, arrived at the hospital just moments after the limousine and the follow-up car, and witnessed the removal of the President's body from the limo. On 11-28-63, less than a week after the assassination, he filed a report (18H801) and noted: "Before the President's body was covered it appeared that the bullet had struck him above the right ear or near the temple.”

Sitting directly behind Kennedy at the time of the shooting was Secret Service agent Emory Roberts. If a bullet hit Kennedy on the back of the head, or erupted from the back of his head, he would have been the one to notice. Instead, in an 11-29-63 report, he wrote "I saw what appeared to be a small explosion on the right side of the President’s head, saw blood, at which time the President fell further to his left."

An even more important witness broke her silence on 11-29-63. On this day, Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy granted an interview to Presidential historian Theodore White, and briefly discussed her husband’s wounds. (White’s notes on this interview were released on 5-26-95, and subsequently published in the September 1995 Kennedy Assassination Chronicles) Mrs. Kennedy related: “his last expression was so neat; he had his hand out, I could see a piece of his skull coming off; it was flesh colored not white—he was holding out his hand—and I can see this perfectly clean piece detaching itself from his head; then he slumped in my lap.” She later described the immediate aftermath of the shots: "All the ride to the hospital, I kept bending over him saying, "Jack, Jack, can you hear me, I love you, Jack." I kept holding the top of his head down trying to keep the..." She later described the condition of Kennedy’s head upon arrival at the hospital. White’s notes relate: "From here down"--and here she made a gesture indicating her husband's forehead--"his head was so beautiful. I'd tried to hold the top of his head down, maybe I could keep it in...I knew he was dead."

Okay, so there are now 5 witnesses—Burkley, McClelland, Jackson, Jacks, and Mrs. Kennedy--who claimed to see a wound on the front or top of Kennedy’s head at Parkland Hospital. Amazingly, that’s the same number as have claimed to see a wound on the back of his head.

The next day, 11-30, yet another important witness chimed in. Secret Service agent Clint Hill, who’d climbed up on the back of the limo as the shots rang out, related: "As I lay over the top of the back seat I noticed a portion of the President's head on the right rear side was missing and he was bleeding profusely. Part of his brain was gone. I saw a part of his skull with hair on it lieing in the seat." Hill’s report returned to this later. When describing the aftermath to Kennedy's autopsy in his report, he related "At approximately 2:45 A.M., November 23, I was requested by ASAIC to come to the morgue to once again view the body. When I arrived the autopsy had been completed and ASAIC Kellerman, SA Greer, General McHugh and I viewed the wounds. I observed a wound about six inches down from the neckline on the back just to the right of the spinal column. I observed another wound on the right rear portion of the skull." (Many years later, in numerous interviews and television appearances, Hill would clarify just what he meant by the “right rear portion” and would point to a location above his right ear.)

So, that’s it. While many people studying the Kennedy assassination have convinced themselves there was a “blow-out” wound involving chiefly occipital bone low on the back of Kennedy’s head, there is virtually nothing to support this in the earliest statements regarding Kennedy’s wounds…

IT IS A MYTH.

Jackie is quite clear in her WC testimony that she held the head down because the wound was in the back of the head. For you to suggest otherwise is disingenuous. No one I know doubts that Kennedy was hit in the right temple, as per Newman et al. I 'm not sure why you bring him up, or Kilduff for that matter.. Of course Kennedy's head exploded, leading to any number of observations. But the body at Dallas looked only one way and the testimony there is rather consistent of an avulsive wound in the right rear occipital/parietal region. It seems, based on the quotes you provide, that we agree on this as well. So what's the beef? Testimony to cerebellum indicates that wound extended down into the occiput. You make a strong case that the wound was in the right rear, and so I have to agree with you But,and this is shameful: your using Baxter and Jenkins and their evolutionary description of the wounding. Of course over time there is pressure for them to change their minds. Conclusion: It's hard to find in all your verbiage any serious objection to the right-rear occipital-parietal avulsive wound.

There is testimony of an entrance wound in the left temple; this is well known and has no bearing whatsoever on the condition of the back of the head. What you offer, and I think this very important, is Admiral Burkley's claim that the wounds at Parkland were no different from the way they appeared at Bethesda. Presumably, if Burkley is to be believed, the top of the head was missing at Parkland, then, and Perry's trach incision was 7-8 cm. Remember HUmes said the area of wounding was devoid of bone and scalp. And Pat you are telling me this was observed at Parkland? I can find no attestation of this in the Parkland testimony of 11/22/63. Nor have you presented any such either. The missing bone and scalp was at the back of the head, the right - rear, not "chiefly parietal." Burkley comes off rather badly, I would say, with his claim, and why he made it is another matter, and itself a subject of further study.

Edited by Daniel Gallup
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" I kept holding the top of his head down trying to keep the..." She later described the condition of Kennedy’s head upon arrival at the hospital. White’s notes relate: "From here down"--and here she made a gesture indicating her husband's forehead--"his head was so beautiful. I'd tried to hold the top of his head down, maybe I could keep it in...I knew he was dead."
A couple of people have said that the Parkland doctors standing behind JFK's head had "the best view" of all. Wrong. Actually, the best view was Jackie's. Unlike the Parkland doctors, she had the advantage of seeing JFK's head in an upright position. Any deviation of the upright position (0 degrees) increases the chance of error in locating the wound. Anyways, two questions need to be answered by back-of-the-head theorists if they wish to count Jackie as their ally in this debate.
1) What was so not beautiful about JFK's head behind his forehead?
2) As for the top of JFK's head, why was Jackie trying to "keep it in"? (rhetorical question).
JFK's head as described by Jackie sounds a lot like it was supposed to look like after pre-autopsy surgery was complete (See Lifton, D.) The big problem. She described what she saw in the car.

Andric, you may be referring to a different quote from Jackie than I have. From her WC testimony: "I was trying to hold his hair on. But from the front there was nothing. I suppose there must have been, but from the back you could see, you know, you were trying to hold his hair on, and his skull on." This testimony accords well with Clint Hill. May I ask the source of your quote? Thanks in advance , Daniel

"11-29-63 interview with Theodore White, notes released 5-26-95, and subsequently published in the September 1995 Kennedy Assassination Chronicles"

This is consistent with what William Manchester wrote in his book based on his (many) interviews with Jackie: "The Death of a President, 1967": ""He had been reaching for the top of his head. But it wasn't there anymore." Link

Jackie, who died in 1994, had 27 years to correct Manchester, in case you argue that Manchester misrepresented the content of her interviews.

Perhaps it is just a coincidence that she told White the same thing, unless you will argue that White and Manchester engaged in a sinister plan to pretend she thought the wound was at top of her head.

Another thing: you argued that Jackie was clueless about holding down the top of his head, because one cannot hold down that which isn't there; but then you go on to argue that it was the back of JFK's head she tried to hold on to. But wait a minute. How could she hold down the back of his head if it is not there?

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" I kept holding the top of his head down trying to keep the..." She later described the condition of Kennedy’s head upon arrival at the hospital. White’s notes relate: "From here down"--and here she made a gesture indicating her husband's forehead--"his head was so beautiful. I'd tried to hold the top of his head down, maybe I could keep it in...I knew he was dead."
A couple of people have said that the Parkland doctors standing behind JFK's head had "the best view" of all. Wrong. Actually, the best view was Jackie's. Unlike the Parkland doctors, she had the advantage of seeing JFK's head in an upright position. Any deviation of the upright position (0 degrees) increases the chance of error in locating the wound. Anyways, two questions need to be answered by back-of-the-head theorists if they wish to count Jackie as their ally in this debate.
1) What was so not beautiful about JFK's head behind his forehead?
2) As for the top of JFK's head, why was Jackie trying to "keep it in"? (rhetorical question).
JFK's head as described by Jackie sounds a lot like it was supposed to look like after pre-autopsy surgery was complete (See Lifton, D.) The big problem. She described what she saw in the car.

Andric, you may be referring to a different quote from Jackie than I have. From her WC testimony: "I was trying to hold his hair on. But from the front there was nothing. I suppose there must have been, but from the back you could see, you know, you were trying to hold his hair on, and his skull on." This testimony accords well with Clint Hill. May I ask the source of your quote? Thanks in advance , Daniel

"11-29-63 interview with Theodore White, notes released 5-26-95, and subsequently published in the September 1995 Kennedy Assassination Chronicles"

This is consistent with what William Manchester wrote in his book based on his (many) interviews with Jackie: "The Death of a President, 1967": ""He had been reaching for the top of his head. But it wasn't there anymore." Link

Jackie, who died in 1994, had 27 years to correct Manchester, in case you argue that Manchester misrepresented the content of her interviews.

Perhaps it is just a coincidence that she told White the same thing, unless you will argue that White and Manchester engaged in a sinister plan to pretend she thought the wound was at top of her head.

Another thing: you argued that Jackie was clueless about holding down the top of his head, because one cannot hold down that which isn't there; but then you go on to argue that it was the back of JFK's head she tried to hold on to. But wait a minute. How could she hold down the back of his head if it is not there?

Thanks for the citation Andric. Much appreciated. But I believe you misrepresent what I said. Jackie was "clueless...???!!??", and I believe Jackie's WC testimony is clear and doesn't need my help in understanding.about the condition of the back of the head. Yes, I do believe Manchester is wrong, however. No one at Parkland made any such assertion.

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When Jackie says "the top of his head," might this not be the blown-out flap ahead of the right ear, as presumably the right side of the head was the most visible and accessible when JFK was lying in her lap on the way to Parkland. (From her POV, the "top" of the head.) Also, I suspect that the flap was the area that she witnessed as having a "flesh-colored" interior surface, rather than appearing as white bone. Thoughts?

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So, that’s it. While many people studying the Kennedy assassination have convinced themselves there was a “blow-out” wound involving chiefly occipital bone low on the back of Kennedy’s head, there is virtually nothing to support this in the earliest statements regarding Kennedy’s wounds…

IT IS A MYTH.

Once again we have Mr Speer contradicting himself in his own posts…. He will describe numerous people telling us where he was HIT, yet none of the people are telling us what the result of these FRONTAL HITS was… until we get to Hill and Jackie… and Parkland

What is Mr Speer trying to prove here I wonder? That ALL the witnesses in Dallas who drew a hole at the right rear of JFK’s head were WRONG… and that the fraudulent medical evidence in the record created at Bethesda is accurate… a TRUE representation of the wounds – as if NOTHING TOUCHED JFKs HEAD between Dallas and those images – Me Speer continues to insult the intelligence of anyone who has spent more than 5 minutes reviewing the medical evidence and looking at an anatomical image of the head…

Why is proving nothing happened at Bethesda to change the nature of the injuries so critical for Mr Speer at this point? Do pages and pages of analysis and conclusion wind up just being a wonderful presentation of a fraud leading him down paths with no basis in reality? If the medical evidence Pat basis all of his conclusions upon were created by HUMES and not by a second or third bullet… what becomes of these well thought out conclusions?

Has Mr Speer addressed 6:40 thru 8pm and all the testimony and activity that undermines his never changing wound assumptions?

Not once other than to dismiss it since it completely destroys these other conclusions…

So here is a recap of all the evidence he posted showing the MYTH of a rear blow-out in the earliest testimony/statements… compared and contrasted to:

BoswellSkulldrawingandreality_zps75f40c8

Dr. William Kemp Clark, who had examined the President's head wound and pronounced him dead: "I was called by Dr. Perry because the President... had sustained a brain wound…It was apparent that the President had sustained a lethal wound. A missile had gone in or out of the back of his head, causing extensive lacerations and loss of brain tissue." (When asked to describe the course of the bullet through the head) "We were too busy to be absolutely sure of the track, but the back of his head...Principally on his right side, towards the right side...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."

It is my understanding that it entered in the temple, the right temple

A missile had gone in or out of the back of his head, causing extensive lacerations and loss of brain tissue."

The wound at the back of the head, while the principal one, was either an exit or tangential entrance wound

the back of the head wound as: "A large gaping wound with considerable loss of tissue."

There was a large wound beginning in the right occiput

attempt to control slow oozing from cerebral and cerebellar tissue via packs instituted

A large wound of the right posterior cranium was noted,

The occipito-parietal, which is a part of the back of the head, had a huge flap

There was a great laceration on the right side of the head (temporal and occipital), 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 (google cerebellum for location)

On first observation of the remaining wounds the rt temporal and occipital bones were missing

And that’s not the only indication McClelland failed to see a “blow-out” wound on the back of Kennedy’s head (as we note, his DRAWING is of course showing only damage to the FRONT LEFT of the skull – right Pat?)

noticed a portion of the President's head on the right rear side was missing

and here is everyone he preferred to leave out:

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 - And what action did you take at that time, if any?

Miss BOWRON - I helped to lift his head and Mrs. Kennedy pushed me away and lifted his head herself onto the cart and so I went around back to the cart and walked off with it. We ran on with it to the trauma room and she ran beside us.

Mr. SPECTER - Did you observe any wounds on him at the time you first saw him?

Dr. AKIN - There was a midline neck wound below the level of the cricoid cartilage, about 1 to 1.5 cm. in diameter, the lower part of this had been cut across when I saw the wound, it had been cut across with a knife in the performance of the tracheotomy. The back of the right occipital/parietal portion of his head was shattered, with brain substance extruding

PRICE EXHIBITs 2-35 – Parkland personnel reports: p2

Two wounds, one in t1he lower third of the anterior neck, the other in the occipital region of the skull were noted

There was a large wound in the right occipito-parietal region,

ACTIVITIES OF PAT HUTTON : Mr. Kennedy was bleeding profusely from a wound on the back of his head, and was lying there unresponsive.

And finally the ARRB recap of the wounds as told back to the Parkland Doctors:

The only MYTH here is that this presentation of the information allows anyone to conclude that “there is virtually nothing to support this” where "THIS" is a blow-out involving the occipital bone exposing the underlying cerebellum… presentation of contrary evidence to PAT’s conclusion on this thread has been carefully ignored… and yet again Mr Speer completely ignores the actual medical evidence he so proudly proclaims is authentic – which completely contradicts what ANYONE says about the injury prior to 8pm Friday night…

This repeated re-threading of “proofs” which do not prove the intended result is again – amazing, given that it DISPROVES what Pat tries to show – that the Med evidence from Bethesda is AUTHENTIC…

Do we now need to go person by person from the ARRB as well? When does DISINFORMATION regarding the medical evidence, presented as fact on this site get called out for what it is?

Or am I completely wrong here? That the evidence in this thread SUPPORTS that there is no evidence of a rear blow-out based on these “early” observations? If I am – and Pat – you have an explanation for the 6:40-8pm timeframe – and/or why you defend the WCR Medical evidence - PLEASE POST IT… otherwise you are continuing to foster and promote a completely wrong and convoluted presentation of the medical evidence… better suited for the members of the “Lone Nut – aint it obvious” forums… when those of us here know better… much better than to accept your ONLY SHOTS FROM BEHIND arguments

GUNN ARRB:

At this point I just want to briefly refer to previous statements that had been made by you and the other doctors regarding the wound to President Kennedy's head.

Going back to Dr. Carrico -- and again, this one is not present for you -- he said to the House Select Committee on Assassinations that there was a large wound in the right side of the head in the parieto-occipital area. One could see blood and brains, both cerebral and cerebrum fragments in that wound. Let me -- let me read this again. He said both cerebellum and cerebrum fragments in that wound. I stated that incorrectly. Later he said -- this -- still to the House Select Committee on Assassinations -- "The head wound was much larger wound than the neck wound. It was five by seven centimeters, something like that, two-and-a-half by three. inches, ragged , had blood and hair all around it, located in the part of the parieto-occipital region, and there was brain tissue showing through."

The next testimony comes from Dr. Clark. This is MD 37. And in a summary that was typed up -- this is on Commission Exhibit 392 -- again, part of the package that I have given to you -- he refers to there was a wound, one in the lower third of the anterior neck, the other in the occipital region of the skull. And then on the second page Dr. Clark referred to "there was a large wound in the right occipitoparietal region"

Then in his testimony to the Warren Commission he refers on page 20 to a large gaping wound in the right posterior part with cerebral -excuse me -cerebral & cerebellar tissue being damaged and exposed.

On Page 29 he says that there was a much larger wound in the right occipital region of the President's skull from which consider -- considerable blood loss had occurred, which stained the back of his head, neck, and upper shoulders.

Then to Dr. Jenkins he refers -- this is from packet MD 96. He refers to a great laceration on the right side of the head temporal and occipital. He also says the cerebellum had protruded from the wound.

In his testimony to the Warren Commission he said that -- on Page 48 he thought that this wound in the head was a wound of exit, although he wasn't sure. He said, quote, "I really think part of the cerebellum, as I recognized it, was herniated from the wound." He then said that, "I thought there was a wound on the left temporal area right in the hairline and right above the zygomatic process."

From Page 51 of his Warren Commission testimony he says, "Because the wound with the exploded area of the scalp, as I interpreted it being exploded, I would interpret it being a wound of exit, and the appearance of the wound in the neck, and I also thought it was it a wound of exit."

Finally in his testimony to the House Select Committee on Assassinations he said, There was one segment of bone blown out. It was a segment of occipital or temporal bone. He noted that a portion of the cerebellum, lower rear brain, was hanging out from the hole in the right rear of the head.

Then Dr. Jones in his testimony to the Warren Commission -- this is Packet MD 98. On Page 53 he says there was a small wound at the midline of the neck and a large wound in the right posterior side of the head, a large -- later, there was a large defect in the back side of the head.

And then in-- testimony to the Warren Commission on Page 56 he said that there appeared to be an exit wound in the posterior portion of the skull. And, Mr. Specter referred to that as the top of the President's head.

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Nice try, David. Now please go back and count how many witnesses put anything on the record within a week or two of the shooting, and how many of them said ANYTHING about an exit wound LOW on the back of the head. LOW on the back of the head. LOW on the back of the head.

I have long stated that a number of witnesses made statements supporting that there was a wound on the back of the head. When asked to demonstrate where this was, most all of them pointed to an area HIGH on the back of the head, above the ears...

This has led me to wonder why so many conspiracy theorists thinking there was a wound on the back of the head, think it was LOW on the back of the head, where virtually NONE of their witnesses claimed to see a wound.

Why is this, again? Why is it okay for some conspiracy theorists to ignore the statements of MOST ALL the witnesses, but not okay for other conspiracy theorists and all single-assassin theorists to assume SOME of the witnesses were wrong, and defer to the accuracy of the autopsy photos, assassination films, and x-rays?

So...let's lay it all out. Either admit that the evidence suggests there was no wound LOW on the back of the head or make an argument that the witnesses really do support that the one wound observed on the day of the shooting prior to the autopsy really was LOW on the back of the head (now this I gotta see).

Edited by Pat Speer
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For the purposes of illustration, let's look at the statements of the earliest witnesses, while excluding those made by the staff of Parkland Hospital. (It's quite clear when one does this, IMO, that the wound was not on the back of the head.) So why are the Parkland witnesses the outliers?

The John F. Kennedy Head Wound: a Timeline of Witness Statements Regarding the Damage to Kennedy’s Head Observed Prior to the Beginning of His Autopsy (Minus the Statements of Parkland Hospital Employees)

At 12:45 P.M., UPI newsman Merriman Smith, who was to win a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting of the tragedy, issues a report from Parkland Hospital. He notes that upon his arrival at Parkland Hospital he saw the President’s limousine, and that: “The President was slumped over in the backseat of the car face down...It was impossible to tell at once where Kennedy was hit…” Well, this doesn’t tell us much, but it does tend to rule out that Kennedy had a large wound on the back of his head.

Around this same time, news photographer and assassination eyewitness James Altgens writes a dispatch for the Associated Press. He declares: "There was a burst of noise - the second one I heard - and pieces of flesh appeared to fly from President Kennedy's car. Blood covered the whole left side of his head.” Hmmm… Altgens was on the grassy infield of Dealey Plaza in front of Kennedy at the time of the shooting. Well, his statements also tend to rule out that the fatal bullet exploded from the back of Kennedy’s head.

At around this same time, or perhaps a minute or two earlier, assassination witness William Newman, who was less than 30 feet to the right rear of Kennedy when the fatal bullet struck, is interviewed live on television station WFAA. This is 45 minutes before the announcement of Kennedy’s death. Newman tells Jay Watson: “And then as the car got directly in front of us, well, a gun shot apparently from behind us hit the President in the side, the side of the temple.” As he says this, moreover, Newman points to his left temple, with his only free hand. (Newman was holding one of his children with his right hand.) Now, this is undoubtedly confusing. Newman pointed to his left temple around the same time Altgens reported that he saw blood on the left side of Kennedy’s head. Subsequent statements, however, would clarify that Newman was talking about Kennedy’s right temple. (Newman continues to claim he saw a large wound at this location, and has never wavered.)

Within a few minutes, outside Parkland Hospital, moreover, Charles Roberts of Newsweek interviews Senator Ralph Yarborough, who’d arrived at Parkland Hospital just after President Kennedy, and had witnessed his removal from the limousine. In his 1967 book The Truth About the Assassination, Roberts, working from his original notes, recalled that he asked the Senator where Kennedy had been shot, and that a horrified Yarborough responded "I can't tell you," as he unconsciously held "his hand to the right side of his head, where he had seen blood streaming from the President."

At 1:17, approximately 30 minutes after Jay Watson interviewed her husband, Watson interviews Gayle Newman, who'd been standing right beside her husband and had had an equally close look at the President's head wound. After describing the first shots, she reports: "And then another one—it was just awful fast. And President Kennedy reached up and grabbed--it looked like he grabbed--his ear and blood just started gushing out." As she said this, moreover, she motioned to her right temple with both of her hands. In 1969, while testifying at the trial of Clay Shaw, Mrs, Newman would make the implications of this even more clear, and specify that Kennedy "was shot in the head right at his ear or right above his ear…" (Mrs. Newman has also never wavered from seeing a wound at this location.)

Around this time, Darwin Payne of the Dallas Times-Herald tracks down assassination witness Abraham Zapruder at his office in the Dal-Tex Building. Notes found in the Herald’s archives, almost certainly based on Payne’s interview of Zapruder, and reported in Richard Trask’s Pictures of the Pain, reflect “Abraham Zapruder…heard 3 shots///after first one Pres slumped over grabed stomac…hit in stomac…two more shots///looked like head opened up and everything came out…blood spattered everywhere…side of his face…looked like blobs out of his temple… forehead…” And this wasn’t the only time Zapruder described the wounds shown in his film—before he’d seen his film. Around 2:10, less than forty minutes after the announcement of Kennedy's death, Zapruder takes his turn before the cameras on WFAA, and confirms the observations of the Newmans. Describing the shooting, Zapruder tells Jay Watson: “Then I heard another shot or two, I couldn't say it was one or two, and I saw his head practically open up, all blood and everything (at this time, Zapruder grabs his right temple), and I kept on shooting. That's about all, I'm just sick, I can't…”

And Zapruder wasn’t alone when he filmed the assassination, nor in his conviction his film showed an impact by Kennedy’s temple. Marilyn Sitzman, Zapruder’s secretary, stood beside her boss at the time of the shooting. She spoke to Darwin Payne when he tracked down Zapruder at his office. Notes created on 11-22-63 by a Dallas Times-Herald reporter, presumably Payne, and quoted in The Zapruder Film by David Wrone, 2003 reflect that Sitzman told Payne that the "Shot hit pres. Right in the temple."

At 1:33 p.m. on November 22, 1963, Assistant Press Secretary Malcolm Kilduff announces President Kennedy’s death from Parkland Hospital. He tells the country: “President John F. Kennedy died at approximately one o’clock Central Standard Time today here in Dallas. He died of a gunshot wound in the brain…Dr. George Burkley [Kennedy's personal physician] told me it is a simple matter…of a bullet right through the head. (At this time, Kilduff points to his right temple) . . . It is my understanding that it entered in the temple, the right temple. As Dr. Burkley had seen Kennedy in the Dallas emergency room and was later to tell the HSCA that Kennedy’s wounds didn’t change between Dallas and Bethesda, the site of the autopsy, Kilduff’s statements are a clear indication that the large head wound Burkley observed at Parkland Hospital is the same wound, in the same location, later observed at Bethesda. That no one at the time of Kilduff's statement had noted a separate bullet entrance anywhere on Kennedy's head, moreover, suggests that Burkley had seen but one wound, a wound by the temple, exactly where the Newmans, Zapruder, and presumably Yarborough had seen a wound.

So what of the other witnesses to describe the President’s head wound on 11-22?

Secret Service agent Glen Bennett, who’d been riding in the back seat of the follow-up car just behind Kennedy, jotted down some notes on the flight back from Dallas. He notes in this report that the fatal bullet "hit the right rear high of the President’s head."

Secret Service agent George Hickey, who’d been riding next to Bennett, writes a more detailed report on what transpired in Dallas. In the first of two reports, dated 11-22-63, he notes: "it seemed as if the right side of his head was hit and his hair flew forward." He writes a second report on 11-30-63. There, he observes that after the first shot, Kennedy was slumped forward and to his left, and was straightening up to an almost erect sitting position as I turned and looked. At the moment he was almost sitting erect I heard two reports which I thought were shots and that appeared to me completely different in sound from the first report and were in such rapid succession that there seemed to be practically no time element between them. It looked to me as if the president was struck in the right upper rear of the head. The first shot of the second two seemed as if it missed because the hair on the right side of his head flew forward and there didn’t seem to be any impact against his head. The last shot seemed to hit his head and cause a noise at the point of impact which made him fall forward and to his left again.”

Secret Service agent Sam Kinney, the driver of the follow-up car, also writes a report on 11-22. He asserts: "At this time, the second shot was fired and I observed hair flying from the right side of his head.”

Well, these statements were a little vague. They do, however, make clear that a bullet did not explode from the left side or middle of the back of Kennedy’s head.

Well, then, who else?

Motorcycle officer James Chaney, who had been riding just a few yards off Kennedy's right shoulder, is interviewed by WFAA on the night of the shooting. He relates: "We heard the first shot. I thought it was a motorcycle backfiring and uh I looked back over to my left and also President Kennedy looked back over his left shoulder. Then, the, uh, second shot came, well, then I looked back just in time to see the President struck in the face by the second bullet." Hmmm…Chaney was looking at the back of Kennedy’s head. His thinking Kennedy was struck in the face suggests the explosion he saw was in front of Kennedy’s ear, not behind.

Riding at Chaney’s right was Douglas Jackson. Jackson's notes, written on the night of the assassination and published in 1979, relate: "I looked back toward Mr. Kennedy and saw him hit in the head; he appeared to have been hit just above the right ear. The top of his head flew off away from me." Jackson then escorted the limousine to Parkland, where he saw the President’s body removed from the limo. He wrote: "I got off my motor, stepped over to the presidential limousine. An agent opened the car door and started to get Mrs. Kennedy out but Mrs. Kennedy said no. It's no need she said and raised up from over Mr. Kennedy. I could see the top of his head was gone, his left eye was bulged out of socket. The agent said "Oh no!" and started crying, pulled his coat off and placed it over Mr. Kennedy's head."

An article datelined Dallas, Nov. 23rd, 1963, but published in the 11-24-63 Philadelphia Sunday Bulletin, only adds to the confusion. In this article Father Oscar L. Huber describes how he administered the last rites to the President. He relates: “The President was lying on a rubber tired table when I came in,” Father Huber said. He was standing at his head. Father Huber said the President was covered by a white sheet which hid his face, but not his feet. “His feet were bare,” said Father Huber . . . He said he wet his right thumb with holy oil and anointed a Cross over the President’s forehead, noticing as he did, a “terrible wound” over his left eye.” Well, this is a bit confusing…until one re-reads the beginning of the quote. Huber was looking down on Kennedy from above, same as McClelland. It seems likely, then, that Huber, as McClelland and Altgens before him, got mixed up as to which side was left and right. In any event, he is most definitely not a witness to the “gaping wound in the back of the head” claimed by Bowron.

On 11-24-63, Bobby Hargis, the motorcycle cop riding off Mrs. Kennedy's left shoulder, publishes an eyewitness account in the New York Sunday News. He writes: "As the President straightened back up, Mrs. Kennedy turned toward him, and that was when he got hit in the side of the head, spinning it around. I was splattered by blood.”

On 11-24-63, the FBI interviews assassination eyewitness Charles Brehm. The report on this interview relates: “Brehm said when the President was hit by the second shot, he could notice the President’s hair fly up and then roll over to his side...Brehm stated he definitely knew that the President had been shot and he recalled having seen blood on the President's face.” Well, Brehm was behind Kennedy at the time of the fatal shot. Perhaps, then, he saw blood on Kennedy’s face before the fatal headshot. Or perhaps he said he saw blood erupt from Kennedy’s face and the FBI interviewer incorrectly assumed he saw this blood actually on Kennedy’s face. And where on Kennedy’s head was the flying hair observed by Brehm? Thankfully, in 1966, Mark Lane interviewed Brehm, and helped clear this up. As shown in Lane’s film Rush to Judgment, as Brehm mentioned the flying hair, he motioned to his right ear.

On 11-27-63, Secret Service agent Paul Landis writes the first of two reports on the assassination. He notes: "I heard a second report and saw the President’s head split open and pieces of flesh and blood flying through the air." His 11-30 report concurs:It was at this moment that I heard a second report and it appeared that the President's head split open with a muffled exploding sound.” Well, this is an interesting use of words. Split open. One might gather from this that this split involved the back of the head. But, if so, one would have to assume it involved the top of the back of the head.

Hurchel Jacks, the driver of Vice-President Johnson's car in the motorcade, arrived at the hospital just moments after the limousine and the follow-up car, and witnessed the removal of the President's body from the limo. On 11-28-63, less than a week after the assassination, he files a report (18H801) and notes: "Before the President's body was covered it appeared that the bullet had struck him above the right ear or near the temple.”

Sitting directly behind Kennedy at the time of the shooting was Secret Service agent Emory Roberts. If a bullet hit Kennedy on the back of the head, or erupted from the back of his head, he would have been the one to notice. Instead, in an 11-29-63 report, he writes "I saw what appeared to be a small explosion on the right side of the President’s head, saw blood, at which time the President fell further to his left."

An even more important witness breaks her silence on 11-29-63. On this day, Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy grants an interview to Presidential historian Theodore White, and briefly discusses her husband’s wounds. (White’s notes on this interview were released on 5-26-95, and subsequently published in the September 1995 Kennedy Assassination Chronicles) Mrs. Kennedy relates: “his last expression was so neat; he had his hand out, I could see a piece of his skull coming off; it was flesh colored not white—he was holding out his hand—and I can see this perfectly clean piece detaching itself from his head; then he slumped in my lap.” She later describes the immediate aftermath of the shots: "All the ride to the hospital, I kept bending over him saying, "Jack, Jack, can you hear me, I love you, Jack." I kept holding the top of his head down trying to keep the..." She later describes the condition of her husband’s head upon arrival at the hospital. White’s notes relate: "From here down"--and here she made a gesture indicating her husband's forehead--"his head was so beautiful. I'd tried to hold the top of his head down, maybe I could keep it in...I knew he was dead."

The next day, 11-30, yet another important witness chimes in. Secret Service agent Clint Hill, who’d climbed up on the back of the limo as the shots rang out, relates: "As I lay over the top of the back seat I noticed a portion of the President's head on the right rear side was missing and he was bleeding profusely. Part of his brain was gone. I saw a part of his skull with hair on it lieing in the seat." (Many years later, in numerous interviews and television appearances, Hill would clarify just what he meant by the “right rear side” and would point to a location above his right ear.)

Edited by Pat Speer
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Why is this, again? Why is it okay for some conspiracy theorists to ignore the statements of MOST ALL the witnesses, but not okay for other conspiracy theorists and all single-assassin theorists to assume SOME of the witnesses were wrong, and defer to the accuracy of the autopsy photos, assassination films, and x-rays?

Because ACCURACY and JFK AUTOPSY are not even allowed in the same sentence let alone to be offered as a conclusion.

Once again Pat... 6:40pm thru 8pm at the Bethesda morgue... xrays of JFK taken while the ambulance sits outside... FBI/SS carry in a casket at 7:17...

MDW carries in a casket at 8pm...

Humes is working with the body - according to HIS WORD - from about 6:45 pm until 5 am....

You have yet to do a single thing to authenticate any single piece of Bethesda medical evidence other tho declare it correct and evidence worth "deferring" to...

YOU want us to use two of the most fraudulent xrays ever created as definitive evidence for the injuries sustained...

You DON'T take the time to follow the autopsy data and see what that actually means on a skull and brain.... but I did that for you Pat... and you STILL haven't the "???" to address it... Like the Bethesda alteration timeline, you simply ignore it and talk about statements people made later....

Show us how this medical evidence is "accurate" and reflective of the testimony you keep copying and pasting...

Are you claiming that there are people - ANYWHERE - who drew us a picture that comes anywhere close to JFK's autopsy evidence of a missing Frontal Bone and a wedge removed from his head from front to back? Of course there's Boswell's drawing - yet another disconnect for you and your analysis... another item to ignore...

So Pat... point to the location on the back of the skull where the bullet goes in and leave a particle trail where we see it... do you notice the fragment mapping that is posted in the upper right corner of my graphic? and the obviously forged 6.5mm round ?? at the back of the skull... which is not seen anywhere else or corroborated by anyone else, save Ebersole... I assume you know his story...

WHERE IS THE HSCA PANEL's entry wound and WHY is there bone in the right rear of the lateral yet is gone in the anterior??? THIS is the evidence you continue to base your work upon... and most every professional who has had the opportunity to honestly evaluate this evidence has shown you what a complete crock of sh!t is it....

But you keep believing it's authentic and indicative of the Dallas injuries.... and you keep selling it to anyone who'll listen and believe... the rest of us know better... and will continue to ask that you back you work up with more than he said she said... WHO, prior to 8pm agrees with the medical evidence which - as if you didn't know - supports the SBT of events... another impossibility... or are you going to now defend that as being possible?

holeinthetemplexray-facebutnobones_zpsf7

xraysversusreality-1_zps30de99ae.jpg

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Hello,folks,been a while.Important topic...I always thought the Dallas doctors had no reason to lie and were the best witness'...Malcom Kilduff's emotional statement and description of the cause of death has always resonated with me...Kilduff was clearly "in the loop" on this tragic day.

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Hey there Mark...

Let's see - civilians who work daily in an ER and are not under strict orders to do anything other than their job, have one set of descriptions of the man's injuries which match with the first two people who saw the wounds from a distance of 1 foot.

while military personnel under orders of silence or else court martial are tasked with performing a proceedure they barely have any experience in and are told by up to three senior ranking officers what to do and NOT to do...

also give us an "official autopsy" where the initial draft and notes are destroyed, while the only forensic autopsist's notes are "vanished" and the "official" record contradicts each and every other account taken prior to JFK getting put into the bronze casket.

Nope, nothing to see here... everyone just move along... :rolleyes:

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1.The Parkland witnesses were not consistent in 1963 and only became less consistent over time. One could write a whole book on the changes in McClelland's descriptions over time.

2.Jackie was not a back of the head witness, and no amount of spin can turn her into one.

3. While Clint Hill made some early statements suggesting he saw a wound on the back of the head, he most certainly changed his tune afterward. It seems probable, moreover, that his confusion had something to do with his being shown a hole at the back of the head at the end of the autopsy. This hole, however, had been moved from its original location by the morticians...who'd re-arranged a few things to make Kennedy presentable for an open-casket funeral. And no, there's nothing suspicious about this...it's what they they do...it's why they were hired.

(Should one be intrigued by the culture of morticians, and the inordinate pride they taken in restoring faces and skulls exposed to trauma, one might wish to watch the HBO TV series Six Feet Under.)

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