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On this thread Greg Burnham said, “Accepting the notion that all shots originated from behind Kennedy is but the very first and most important step in concluding that Oswald could have possibly acted alone. Without that fundamental premise there is no "Oswald was the lone gunman" argument."

I completely agree with that, however that doesn’t mean that we should reject scenarios where all the shots actually did come from the back. There is a lot of evidence that there were multiple shooters from the back. It is possible that the shot from the grassy knoll or storm drain was a loud, smoky diversionary shot, to attract attention to the grassy knoll and allow shooters in the TSBD and/or Daltex building to get away. I think it helps to keep an open mind on these issues.

Why resort to speculation as to the purpose of alleged shots from the grassy knoll and/or storm drain? That is entirely off topic.

We have evidence that either supports, refutes, or is neutral with respect to various conclusions as to the points of origin of the shots responsible for the President's wounds. In this instance, there is compelling evidence that shots originating from both the front and the rear of Kennedy struck their target. When a researcher disregards, misrepresents, omits, or distorts evidence--including witness testimony--that does not conform to his or her pet theory it is intellectually dishonest AT BEST.

In response to the following question elsewhere in the thread: "Does Pat Speer cherry-pick witness testimony?" -- You began your reply with: "Well, who doesn't [cherry pick witness testimony]?"

I am appalled by your response on several levels.

First, while it would be disingenuous for me or anyone to deny that each of us carries some amount of bias, it is also important to note that an honest broker recognizes this potential bias in themselves, rejects it rather than embraces it, and fights to resist it interfering with their pursuit of the truth.

Second, while it would be entirely appropriate for me to object to your position regarding "cherry picking" evidence on purely moral and ethical grounds, I prefer to take a more dispassionate approach. Namely, "cherry picking" is a logical fallacy known as Special Pleading, and is therefore not sound reasoning.

Third, your having correctly identified and admitted that Pat Speer is guilty of the logical fallacy of Special Pleading, colloquially also known as "cherry picking," is, at the very least, instructive as to how we should judge the soundness of his arguments and/or the reliability of his conclusions.

Edited by Greg Burnham
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Sandy, I agree with you that Dr. Clark gave evidence that strongly suggests there was a large wound in the occipital parietal region. But to say that his statements cannot be interpreted in other ways you are cherry picking the evidence.

I presented five direct quotes from Dr. Clark saying clearly, without interpretation, that the wound was on the right posterior of the head. In response you cite a piece of hearsay and a case of a lawyer leading the witness. And you have the nerve to accuse me of cherry picking?? Oy! (BTW, I know of a sixth example of Dr. Clark saying the wound was on the back of the head. But I didn't include it because it is hearsay.)

Does Pat have those quotes I presented on his website: If not, then why didn't you accuse him of cherry picking? Oh, that's right... you said "well, who doesn't?" cherry pick.

Dr. Clark agreed with Specter's hypothetical scenario of a straight bullet path from the EOP to the center of his head. That would not cause a blow out wound just above the EOP. We also have Lattimer's hearsay evidence that Dr. Clark's observations were consistent with the autopsy photographs and the back of head photo certainly shows no occipital defect other than the small entry hole. If you wish to discount Dr. Clark's response to Specter or Lattimer's hearsay testimony, that might be reasonable, but in doing so you're cherry picking.

Also, Dr. Clark talked about a tangential wound but to my knowledge he never said exactly where he thought the bullet struck.

Dr. Clark said that the head wound was either an exit from the neck entrance wound, or it was a tangential wound. Clearly he was talking about a wound on the back of the head and not the top. Because to consider as possible a path from the neck wound through the top of the head would be ridiculous. (BTW I quoted Dr. Clark tangential remark in post #55.)

He never to my knowledge gave exact measurements and positions of the defect as he saw it; he referred to occipital and parietal but we don't know exactly where he observed absence of skull or absence of scalp or whether he was observing brain tissue through deflected scalp or skull. We really don't have an exact description of the head wounds from Dr. Clark, so it stands to reason that his statements are inconclusive as to the exact nature of JFK's head wounds.

<roll eyes>

I do agree with you that he seemed to make strong statements regarding some kind of damage to the cerebellum, occipital lobes and parietal lobes.

Edited by Sandy Larsen
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Pat Speer,

MY RESPONSE: Well, who decides who's qualified? This smells of cherry-picking. One of the main reasons I ended up siding with the authenticity of the autopsy photos was my reluctant discovery that the witnesses to the shooting itself (The Newmans, Zapruder, Hudson, etc.) overwhelmingly described the head wound as being by the temple, the ear, or right top of the head--where it s depicted in the autopsy photos and x-rays

Not the wound, Pat. The witnesses you quote, all (except Zapruder) describe the shot not the wound.

Bill Newman (Clay Shaw trial)

I caught a glimpse of his eyes, just looked like a cold stare, he just looked through me, and then when the car was directly in front of me, well, that is when the third shot was fired and it hit him in the side of the head right above the ear and his ear come off. Now, it is my opinion at the time --

(Affidavit.)

By this time he was directly in front of us and I was looking directly at him when he was hit in the side of the head.

Gayle Newman (Clay Shaw trial)

A: Yes, sir, that shot when it happened, the President's car was directly in front of us and it was about a lane's width between us, it wasn't in the lane next to the curb it was in the middle lane, and at that time he was shot in the head right at his ear or right above his ear.

(Affidavit)

Just about the time President Kennedy was right in front of us, I heard another shot ring out, and the President put his hands up to his head. I saw blood all over the side of his head.

Emmett Hudson (Warren Commission)

Mr. LIEBELER - You say that it was the second shot that hit him in the head; is that right?

Mr. HUDSON - Yes; I do believe that - I know it was.

Mr. LIEBELER - You saw him hit in the head, there wasn't any question in your mind about that, was there?

Mr. HUDSON - No, sir.

Zapruder describes the wound but not the position.

Zapruder (Clay Shaw Trial)

A: I saw the head practically open up and blood and many more things, whatever it was, brains, just came out of his head.

(Warren Commisssion)

I heard a second shot and then I saw his head opened up and the blood and everything came out and I started--I can hardly talk about it [ the witness crying].

As stated, I go through the Dealey Plaza witnesses in chapter 18c, and show how they overwhelmingly placed the wound on the right side of the head, by the temple or ear. They were not describing a small entrance wound which could be hidden by the hair that some presume existed. They were describing a big splash of blood and brain, which erupted from the location it erupts from in the Zapruder film.

Not to toot my own horn, because in this case (at least) I'm not, but it shouldn't have taken 20 years or so for someone (like me) to come along and list the statements of these witnesses, and note that they were much more consistent than the so-called Parkland witnesses. This should have been part of the discussion from the beginning.

But no, people had books to sell, and theories to push, and listing the statements of these witnesses would have created a problem. A big one, in my opinion.

corrobaratorsorcollaborators.jpg

Bill Newman.

In the photo you show he is actually pointing to his left temple- the photo you show is reversed.. He actually said on the video the second shot "hit the President on the side of the temple."

Malcolm Kilduff.

In the video of Malcolm Kilduff he said "a simple matter of a bullet right through the head." pointing to his right temple.

Zapruder on tape said he saw the " Presidents head erupt" and pointed to the side of his head.

Re Humes. I wouldn't believe what that guy said on his death bed.

Why the spin?

Newman had a child in his right arm, so he pointed out the location with his left arm. Since that day, he has described and pointed out the location dozens if not hundreds of times. He saw a large wound by the right ear. I've talked to him myself. He saw a large wound by the right ear. The sudden appearance of this large wound on the side of Kennedy's head, along with a loud noise, convinced Newman, moreover, that someone had shot Kennedy from the top of the grassy knoll. Wich was directly behind Newman. Not from the picket fence. Which was to his right.

And then there's Kilduff. At the time Kilduff pointed to his temple, no one knew there was a small entrance wound anywhere on Kennedy's head. His statement that it was a matter of a bullet through Kennedy's head, without specifying an entrance or exit location, then, suggests that the only head wound noticed in Dallas was by the temple. And no, Kilduff wasn't just flailing based on a misunderstanding of what Burkley had told him. Kilduff had been riding in the first press car, which followed the limousine to Parkland. He would later insist he saw the wound upon his arrival, and that when he pointed to his temple he was pointing out the location of the big hole.

No spin, at all, Pat. I was pointing out a mistake in the photo which others may not have noticed.

No matter what anybody said later, on video, right after the assassination, he said he saw the President hit in the temple. Not that he saw the wound in the side of the head. Are you saying that Bill Newman was pointing to the wound when he pointed to his temple? Surely not.

Re Kilduff, how do you know nobody knew that there was a small wound anywhere on Kennedy's head? Again, I take what people say earlier rather than later when the story has been concocted.

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I find it hard to resolve whether there was missing occipital scalp or not.

Well of course there was missing occipital scalp. How else could the following Parkland doctors have seen the cerebellar and occipital lobe tissue that they reported seeing?

  • Clark
  • McClelland
  • Jenkins
  • Carrico
  • Perry
  • Peters
  • Crenshaw
  • Baxter

Does Pat mention these observations on his website?

Source: http://www.assassinationweb.com/ag6.htm

If a portion of the skull over the occipital lobe were gone but there was a scalp flap, then why wouldn't they be able to see the brain despite a retracted scalp flap? Or, if the parietal bone were all gone but the occipital bone was intact, you can see directly down onto the occiput.

Actually I misread what you wrote. My eyes saw "scalp" but my brain thought "skull." So never mind... my bad.

But what I wrote about cerebellar and occipital lobe tissue does indicate that the wound was on the back of head.

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Well, with respect to this issue:

6) Was the 17x10 cm defect measurement pre or post addition of limo skull fragments?

Ms. Cranor objects to Mr. Speer’s statement: “The 17 by 10 measurement is therefore most assuredly the measurement of the large head wound after the scalp was reflected, and numerous bone fragments stripped from the skull. The inability of so many to grasp something so obvious is a bit maddening, to say the least."

I have to agree with Ms. Cranor on this one; I don’t see any counter evidence, and the mystery photo itself would appear to show a much larger defect than 17 x 10 cm.

I agree with Pat on this one. Though I didn't know that a lot of people have a hard time grasping it.

Ollie, would elaborate on what you believe? I'd like to understand it.

The issue is the skull defect had two sizes at Bethesda: upon arrival, and after scalp retraction. According to autopsy report and witness reports, the skull bone was severely fragmented so when the scalp was retracted, many pieces fell off or were attached to scalp. The autopsy report noted a 17x10cm (6.7 x 4 inch) defect, so did that refer to the smaller upon arrival size or larger, after broken bits removed? Millicent Cranor argues the former, Pat Speer the latter. I tend to agree with Ms. Cranor, based on the apparent size of the opening in the mystery photo, and it would seem to make more sense to measure the wound initially, when they were measuring things like scalp tears, and also because the brain was removed without substantially enlarging the opening after the broken bits fell away, and I don't see how even half a brain could be easily removed from a 7 x 4" hole.

Thanks for the explanation, Ollie.

I always just assumed that the 10 x 17 cm measurements matched the huge hole as drawn by Boswell in his notes.. But upon reading what you wrote, I did some measuring and I can see that my assumption was wrong.

I agree with you and Ms. Cranor on this matter. Boswell's hole is much larger than 10 x 17 cm.

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I think people should be careful when criticizing others of cherry picking. If a person cites several things that support a hypothesis, but misses something merely because he is unaware of it, that cannot be fairly called cherry picking. Cherry picking is when someone intentionally mentions only what supports his hypothesis.

Now, if there are numerous pieces of evidence pointing in one direction, and just a few pointing the other way, a person who cites just those few without mentioning a single one of the numerous... well, he is surely cherry picking.

IMO

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I think people should be careful when criticizing others of cherry picking. If a person cites several things that support a hypothesis, but misses something merely because he is unaware of it, that cannot be fairly called cherry picking. Cherry picking is when someone intentionally mentions only what supports his hypothesis.

Now, if there are numerous pieces of evidence pointing in one direction, and just a few pointing the other way, a person who cites just those few without mentioning a single one of the numerous... well, he is surely cherry picking.

IMO

Surely there is a difference between the inadvertent and/or anomalous omission of a single piece of evidence vs. a pattern of intentionally omitting or distorting numerous items of relevant evidence that would tend to weaken one's argument, particularly after one has been informed of the omission or distortion.

It is possible for a single (or very, very few) omission(s) to inadvertently occur innocuously. However, a pattern of Special Pleading becomes problematic from a "reasoning" standpoint. I am not here to judge one's motives for employing such a pattern of omission and distortion. However, such a pattern's fallacious nature undermines the strength of the arguments it has been advanced to promote.

Edited by Greg Burnham
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I think people should be careful when criticizing others of cherry picking. If a person cites several things that support a hypothesis, but misses something merely because he is unaware of it, that cannot be fairly called cherry picking. Cherry picking is when someone intentionally mentions only what supports his hypothesis.

Now, if there are numerous pieces of evidence pointing in one direction, and just a few pointing the other way, a person who cites just those few without mentioning a single one of the numerous... well, he is surely cherry picking.

IMO

Sandy, I apologize. It appears that when I accused you of cherry picking you took that to have a negative connotation and I didn’t mean that at all. My point is that whenever we make a conclusion about what happened, especially with respect to the medical evidence, we’re cherry picking some data to make our point and ignoring other data. I think that’s just what we do and I don’t mean anything bad by the term. I see no way to avoid cherry picking if you’re going to come to conclusions. With respect to the statements by Dr. Clark, I fully concede your point. He makes many statements referring to occipital/parietal wounds and only two that we’ve discussed are counter to that. As I said before I think it is reasonable to discount the two examples you cited. Why is it reasonable? Because Specter was a bullying xxxx and it’s easy to understand why Dr. Clark chose to go along with his leading hypothetical question rather than to get into an argument. And I also think it is reasonable to discount Lattimer’s statements about what Dr. Clark because they’re hearsay, they’re in contradiction with his other statements, and I have no reason to trust Lattimer. So I agree with your point regarding Dr. Clark’s statements and I apologize if I caused any offense.

Ms. Cranor accused Mr. Speer of cherry picking on page two of this thread, based on his use of the somewhat counterfactual alleged statements of Dr. Clark cited above. I think it’s unfortunate that Mr. Speer relied utilized those two statements because I don’t think he needed to. I think his head wound explanation (at least as I understand it) is consistent with all of the statements of Dr. Clark which you cited which emphasize an occipital/parietal wound.

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Question for Pat Speer:

Pat, do you mention on your website the fact that nearly every Parkland doctor who saw the head wound stated early on (1963 and 1964) that it was located on the posterior, or right posterior, of Kennedy's head?

Yes, of course. That is why Ms. Cranor has slipped into attack mode. In chapter 18c I go through all the so-called back of the head witnesses presented in Groden's book The Killing of the President, and demonstrate that the vast majority of them pointed out a wound location higher on the skull than where Groden (and many if not most CT writers including Lifton, Horne, and Mantik) want us to believe it was located. In chapter 18d, then, i get to the root of the problem, and present the 11-22-63 reports of the Parkland doctors. I show, among other things, that they have been routinely misrepresented by conspiracy writers to reflect a consistency and certainty that wasn't ever there. If you're really interested in this topic, you owe it yourself to give it a read.

If you're only sort of interested, however, I'll give you a sample.

Here is my section on the enigmatic Dr. Clark, the most qualified Parkland witness, and also the most mysterious.

DATE AND HOUR 22 Nov 1963

12:20pm to 13:00 hrs

Called by EOR while standing in (illegible) Laboratory at SWMS. Told that the President had been shot. 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.

A tracheostomy was being performed by Drs. Perry, Baxter and McClelland. Exam of the President showed that an endotracheal tube was in place and respiratory assistance was being given by Dr. Akins and Jenkins. The pupils were dilated, fixed to light and his eyes were deviated outward and the right one downward as as well .

The trach was completed and I adjusted the endotracheal tube a little bit. Blood was present in the oral pharynx. Suction was used to remove this. Levine Catheter was passed into the stomach at this time.

He was (illegible) that I (illegible) no carotid pulse. I immediately began closed chest massage. A pulse was obtained at the carotid and femoral pulse levels.

Dr. Perry then took over the cardiac massage so I could evaluate the head wound.

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.

By this time an EKG was hooked up. There was no electrical activity of the heart and no respiratory effort - He was pronounced dead at 1300 hrs by me.

W. Kemp Clark

22 Nov 1963 1615 hrs -

(Note: although Clark describes cerebral and cerebellar tissue on the cart, a number of his colleagues would subsequently come to claim that macerated brain tissue is difficult to distinguish from cerebellar tissue, and that he, as they, could have been mistaken. His statement that “much of the skull appeared gone” is problematic, moreover, for those who try to make the Dallas doctors' descriptions of a wound on the back of the head jive with the Zapruder film and autopsy photos' depiction of a wound on top of the head by speculating that 1) the Dallas doctors did not see the large wound on top of the head because Mrs. Kennedy had put the bones back in place, and 2) the autopsists' closed the flaps on back of the head before the photos could be taken. Clark claimed to see a large hole in the skull, and not a hole between some bone flaps. This supports then that the large head wound was either on top of the head and Clark was mistaken as to its exact location, or on the back of the head, and the films and photos have been faked. I select the first alternative.

Clark's March 21, 1964 testimony for the Warren Commission offers some support for this selection. He testified: "I then examined the wound in the back of the President's head. This was a large, gaping wound in the right posterior part, with cerebral and cerebellar tissue being damaged and exposed." Later, however, when discussing Dr. Perry's initial description of the throat wound as an entrance wound, he said "Dr. Perry quite obviously had to agree that this is the way it had to go to get from there to the top of his head." Yes, he said "top of his head." Still later, Warren Commission Counsel Arlen Specter referred to this wound as a wound "at the top of the head," and asked if Clark saw any other wounds, and he replied "No sir, I did not." When then asked if his recollections were consistent with the autopsy report's description of an entrance wound slightly above and an inch to the right of the EOP, he replied "Yes, in the presence of this much destruction of skull and scalp above such a wound and lateral to it and the brief period of time available for examination--yes, such a wound could be present." He had thereby claimed the wound he examined was entirely above the EOP, and more than an inch to its right. Well, this would be well above and to the right of where so many theorists propose the wound to have been located. It would, in fact, rule out the Harper fragment's being occipital bone. Clark was then asked if his observations were consistent with the autopsy report's conclusion of a bullet entering near the EOP, and "exiting from the center of the President's skull." He replied: "Yes, sir." When brought back four days later, and asked about a February 20 article in the French paper L'Express, where it was claimed he'd told the New York Times the first bullet entered at the knot of Kennedy's tie and penetrated Kennedy's chest, and that the second bullet hit "the right side of his head" and caused a "tangential" wound of both entrance and exit, furthermore, Clark disagreed with its characterization of his statements regarding the first bullet, but said nothing about its characterization of the second. In sum, then, while Clark's report and testimony suggest he saw a wound on the back of the head, a closer look at his testimony shows he was agreeable that this wound was at the top right side of the head, and consistent with the wound described in the autopsy report.

While some might take from this that Clark had sold out, and had testified in opposition to his original report, they would be wrong to do so. Before writing his report, we should remember, Clark had spoken to the press...twice. In the official press conference, he had claimed the wound was "principally on the right side." While speaking to Connie Kritzberg, about an hour later, moreover, he reiterated that it was on the "right rear side." He had never claimed, nor would ever claim, the wound was on the far back of the head, below the top of the ear, in the location depicted in the "McClelland" drawing. This was something many had assumed based upon his mention of cerebellum. But it was never supported by the sum total of his statements. The cerebellum he thought he saw could easily have come from below the hole on the back of the head along with the bullet he thought exploded from below the hole on the back of the head.

While some have taken Clark's post 1964 silence as confirmation he believed the fatal shot exited from the far back of Kennedy's head, furthermore, a more complete look at the record suggests Clark believed theories holding as much to be foolish and ill-informed. In the early 1970's, Clark served as a consultant for single-assassin theorist John Lattimer, and helped Lattimer develop a scientific and "innocent" explanation for Kennedy's back-and-to-the-left movement in the Zapruder film. Lattimer eventually discussed his relationship with Clark. In a 10-23-75 letter to researcher Emory Brown, he bragged "The brain surgeon who examined the President at Parkland is a good friend of mine and I have discussed the head wound with him at some length, and he sees no discrepancy between what he found at Parkland Hospital and what the autopsy photographs reveal." Now, Clark was very much alive at the time of Lattimer's letter, and it's pretty silly to believe Lattimer would lie about such a thing if it could come back and bite him.

Particularly when subsequent statements by Clark suggest he wasn't lying... A November 22, 1983 UPI article, (found in the Ellensburg Daily Record), boasts an interview with Clark, in which he claims "The only regret I have is that I'm constantly bothered by a bunch of damn fools who want me to make some kind of controversial statement about what I saw, what was done, or that he is still alive here on the 12th floor of Parkland Hospital or some foolish thing like that. Since these guys are making their money by writing this kind of provocative books, it annoys me, frankly." This was, strikingly, less than a year after Clark at first expressed interest in looking at the autopsy photos in David Lifton's possession, and then refused to even open the envelope containing these photos when Lifton arrived at his office. In 1997, moreover, Clark once again broke his silence, and granted an interview with former Warren Commission attorney Arlen Specter. It follows, then, that Clark was no friend of conspiracy theorists, and that he'd picked his side on the matter--the side inhabited by John Lattimer and Arlen Specter. Well, for me, it's hard to believe he'd have done this if he'd actually felt certain Kennedy's head wound was an occipital wound oozing cerebellum. But the reader may wish to think otherwise.
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I think people should be careful when criticizing others of cherry picking. If a person cites several things that support a hypothesis, but misses something merely because he is unaware of it, that cannot be fairly called cherry picking. Cherry picking is when someone intentionally mentions only what supports his hypothesis.

Now, if there are numerous pieces of evidence pointing in one direction, and just a few pointing the other way, a person who cites just those few without mentioning a single one of the numerous... well, he is surely cherry picking.

IMO

Sandy, I apologize. It appears that when I accused you of cherry picking you took that to have a negative connotation and I didn’t mean that at all. My point is that whenever we make a conclusion about what happened, especially with respect to the medical evidence, we’re cherry picking some data to make our point and ignoring other data. I think that’s just what we do and I don’t mean anything bad by the term. I see no way to avoid cherry picking if you’re going to come to conclusions. With respect to the statements by Dr. Clark, I fully concede your point. He makes many statements referring to occipital/parietal wounds and only two that we’ve discussed are counter to that. As I said before I think it is reasonable to discount the two examples you cited. Why is it reasonable? Because Specter was a bullying xxxx and it’s easy to understand why Dr. Clark chose to go along with his leading hypothetical question rather than to get into an argument. And I also think it is reasonable to discount Lattimer’s statements about what Dr. Clark because they’re hearsay, they’re in contradiction with his other statements, and I have no reason to trust Lattimer. So I agree with your point regarding Dr. Clark’s statements and I apologize if I caused any offense.

Ms. Cranor accused Mr. Speer of cherry picking on page two of this thread, based on his use of the somewhat counterfactual alleged statements of Dr. Clark cited above. I think it’s unfortunate that Mr. Speer relied utilized those two statements because I don’t think he needed to. I think his head wound explanation (at least as I understand it) is consistent with all of the statements of Dr. Clark which you cited which emphasize an occipital/parietal wound.

Thanks for the apology Ollie. I was offended, but I'd already forgotten about it by the time I read your post here. I don't hold a grudge.

I had assumed "cherry picking" is a derogatory remark, as I'd only heard it used that way. But it apparently isn't in America. It is in the UK, though.

Let me ask you... when you said "I think his head wound explanation (at least as I understand it) is consistent with all of the statements of Dr. Clark which you cited which emphasize an occipital/parietal wound," were you referring to Pat Speer's "head wound explanation?" Because if you were, I'll have to take a second look at it. My understanding of it is that it is in no way consistent with Dr. Clark's statements.

Where do you believe Pat places the wound in his theory/explanation?

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I had assumed "cherry picking" is a derogatory remark, as I'd only heard it used that way. But it apparently isn't in America. It is in the UK, though.

It is a derogatory remark in the US, too. It means relying only on the evidence that supports your preferred theory and concealing the evidence that does not support your theory. The implication is that you are aware of the "other cherries" but are deliberately omitting them.

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Pat,

If I were an assassination planner, I'd want four things: [a] multiple wounds, wounds that defied precise description, [c] certainty of death, and [d] a designated patsy onto which the government, the media, and the public would latch.

If you disagree with this view, please tell why. Thanks.

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On this thread Greg Burnham said, “Accepting the notion that all shots originated from behind Kennedy is but the very first and most important step in concluding that Oswald could have possibly acted alone. Without that fundamental premise there is no "Oswald was the lone gunman" argument."

I completely agree with that, however that doesn’t mean that we should reject scenarios where all the shots actually did come from the back. There is a lot of evidence that there were multiple shooters from the back. It is possible that the shot from the grassy knoll or storm drain was a loud, smoky diversionary shot, to attract attention to the grassy knoll and allow shooters in the TSBD and/or Daltex building to get away. I think it helps to keep an open mind on these issues.

Why resort to speculation as to the purpose of alleged shots from the grassy knoll and/or storm drain? That is entirely off topic.

We have evidence that either supports, refutes, or is neutral with respect to various conclusions as to the points of origin of the shots responsible for the President's wounds. In this instance, there is compelling evidence that shots originating from both the front and the rear of Kennedy struck their target. When a researcher disregards, misrepresents, omits, or distorts evidence--including witness testimony--that does not conform to his or her pet theory it is intellectually dishonest AT BEST.

In response to the following question elsewhere in the thread: "Does Pat Speer cherry-pick witness testimony?" -- You began your reply with: "Well, who doesn't [cherry pick witness testimony]?"

I am appalled by your response on several levels.

First, while it would be disingenuous for me or anyone to deny that each of us carries some amount of bias, it is also important to note that an honest broker recognizes this potential bias in themselves, rejects it rather than embraces it, and fights to resist it interfering with their pursuit of the truth.

Second, while it would be entirely appropriate for me to object to your position regarding "cherry picking" evidence on purely moral and ethical grounds, I prefer to take a more dispassionate approach. Namely, "cherry picking" is a logical fallacy known as Special Pleading, and is therefore not sound reasoning.

Third, your having correctly identified and admitted that Pat Speer is guilty of the logical fallacy of Special Pleading, colloquially also known as "cherry picking," is, at the very least, instructive as to how we should judge the soundness of his arguments and/or the reliability of his conclusions.

Greg, I'm sure that I'm guilty of cherry picking, but as JFK once said, "You're in there with me." Let’s just take your sentence above: “Why resort to speculation as to the purpose of alleged shots from the grassy knoll and/or storm drain? That is entirely off topic.”

I don’t think it is off topic at all. You started this thread called “PatSpeer.com: Fact Check”. Mr. Speer’s web site examines the medical evidence and offers a reconciliation between his interpretation of the medical evidence and two head shots from behind. If you choose to interpret the medical evidence without including any possible trajectory information you’re cherry picking facts: looking at the medical evidence in isolation and ignoring a lot of important facts. That’s cherry picking.

You say above that shots from both the front and rear of Kennedy struck their target. Well, why not a shot from the fence corner of the grassy knoll, near Badgeman location? I think I know why you might choose to ignore that inconvenient evidence: because it’s not a shot from the front or the rear but 90 degrees perpendicular: direct to the side of his head. If you look at Z312, a shot from that location into the front of JFK’s head would likely go straight through and hit Jackie. But why not a tangential shot from the fence corner that hits the right occipital parietal area of JFK’s head? That explains almost all of Dr. Clark’s testimony: occipital, parietal AND tangential wound!

I bet you still don’t like it. Why? Because you seem to believe that JFK was shot from the front. Now why would you believe that? Perhaps because of JFK’s back and to the left motion in the Zapruder film? I’ll grant you that’s convincing, but do you believe the Z film is entirely authentic? I’ve heard many people who believe a black matte was inserted to hide the blow out, and frames were excised to hide the rearward travel of brain matter. But if you believe the back and to the left is real, but not other aspects of the Z film, you’re cherry picking evidence within the Z film.

How can you state that JFK received shots from the front, but then say that trajectories from the storm drain are off topic? They’re not off topic and I’ll tell you why: it’s very hard to make that shot from the front. I really hope you don’t believe Greer shot JFK in the head. Do you? If Greer didn’t shoot him, where did the shot come from? If you believe the throat wound came from a bullet which passed through the windshield, then where did a frontal head shot come from? Not through the exact same windshield hole, I hope? And there is no evidence I’ve seen for two holes through the windshield. So we could try over the windshield, but the chrome divider bar between the driver and passenger cabin is in the way. We could try a sort of side frontal shot, but Kellerman and Connolly are in the way on the right front and Greer, Ms. Connolly and Jackie block a shot from the left front. If you can’t find a reasonable trajectory then your whole hypothesis of a frontal shot goes down the tubes. Take a look at Don Roberdeau’s excellent trajectory maps:

http://droberdeau.blogspot.com/1975/03/4-men-of-courage-jfk-assassination.html

Here’s another important piece of evidence that you ignore with your frontal shot: CE 567, the nose bullet fragment allegedly found in the front compartment of the limo was tested and found to have human skin tissue on it:

http://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=928&relPageId=9&search=CE_567%20human%20skin%20tissue

Many people think that CE 567 and CE 569 are the remains of a bullet which hit the chrome molding near the rear view mirror. So how could they have gotten skin on them? Well, here are three hypotheses:

1) The bullet was fired from behind, richocheted off the top right side of JFK’s head and then hit the chrome strip. This, I believe is Pat Speer’s hypothesis.

2) The bullet was fired from behind and ricocheted off the top of a seat. Less likely to have a richochet off a soft seat.

3) The FBI planted evidence.

Now the FBI (or Secret Service) planting evidence is a common device used to get rid of the evidence you don’t want to cherry pick. If it is inconvenient, just say it’s faked or planted. I don’t doubt they faked or planted evidence, but I think an over reliance of fakery to explain away conflicting data is lazy and sloppy. Occam’s razor with a clever explanation that fits the facts without blaming it on the government is a better explanation in my opinion. And I think that Pat Speer has done that with a detailed hypothesis that explains the head wounds and CE 567 without resorting to handwaving: “The bullet came from somewhere.”

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I think people should be careful when criticizing others of cherry picking. If a person cites several things that support a hypothesis, but misses something merely because he is unaware of it, that cannot be fairly called cherry picking. Cherry picking is when someone intentionally mentions only what supports his hypothesis.

Now, if there are numerous pieces of evidence pointing in one direction, and just a few pointing the other way, a person who cites just those few without mentioning a single one of the numerous... well, he is surely cherry picking.

IMO

Sandy, I apologize. It appears that when I accused you of cherry picking you took that to have a negative connotation and I didn’t mean that at all. My point is that whenever we make a conclusion about what happened, especially with respect to the medical evidence, we’re cherry picking some data to make our point and ignoring other data. I think that’s just what we do and I don’t mean anything bad by the term. I see no way to avoid cherry picking if you’re going to come to conclusions. With respect to the statements by Dr. Clark, I fully concede your point. He makes many statements referring to occipital/parietal wounds and only two that we’ve discussed are counter to that. As I said before I think it is reasonable to discount the two examples you cited. Why is it reasonable? Because Specter was a bullying xxxx and it’s easy to understand why Dr. Clark chose to go along with his leading hypothetical question rather than to get into an argument. And I also think it is reasonable to discount Lattimer’s statements about what Dr. Clark because they’re hearsay, they’re in contradiction with his other statements, and I have no reason to trust Lattimer. So I agree with your point regarding Dr. Clark’s statements and I apologize if I caused any offense.

Ms. Cranor accused Mr. Speer of cherry picking on page two of this thread, based on his use of the somewhat counterfactual alleged statements of Dr. Clark cited above. I think it’s unfortunate that Mr. Speer relied utilized those two statements because I don’t think he needed to. I think his head wound explanation (at least as I understand it) is consistent with all of the statements of Dr. Clark which you cited which emphasize an occipital/parietal wound.

Thanks for the apology Ollie. I was offended, but I'd already forgotten about it by the time I read your post here. I don't hold a grudge.

I had assumed "cherry picking" is a derogatory remark, as I'd only heard it used that way. But it apparently isn't in America. It is in the UK, though.

Let me ask you... when you said "I think his head wound explanation (at least as I understand it) is consistent with all of the statements of Dr. Clark which you cited which emphasize an occipital/parietal wound," were you referring to Pat Speer's "head wound explanation?" Because if you were, I'll have to take a second look at it. My understanding of it is that it is in no way consistent with Dr. Clark's statements.

Where do you believe Pat places the wound in his theory/explanation?

Thanks Sandy. I won't attempt to speak for Mr. Speer, but rather give you my interpretation that I took away after reading his web site several times. The Rosetta stone for me is Chapter 13: http://www.patspeer.com/chapter13%3Asolvingthegreatheadwoundmyster

When properly oriented, the mystery skull photo clearly shows a small round hole by the EOP, and a beveled half circle near the crown of the skull. The Back of Head photos also show a small scalp hole which generally corresponds with the EOP skull hole. There is a complete absence of skull in the mystery photo above and to the right of the EOP hole which corresponds with Dr. Clark's testimony where he said the defect was above and lateral to a proposed EOP inshoot. The defect seen in the mystery photo appears to be a defect predominantly in parietal bone, extending into occipital bone. If the bone fragments were missing from back there, one would have a very clear view of the occipital and parietal lobes. I think the cerebellum would be more difficult to see from the top/back of this skull so that might pose a problem for the hypothesis. There are two ways to get around that: it's very reasonable to conclude there was a small amount of cerebellar tissue excuding from the EOP inshoot. Or, I've heard the argument that sometimes macerated cortical tissue looks like cerebellar tissue but I don't know if that holds water.

I believe Mr. Speer would prefer to think that the intact back of head photo is authentic. I think if the scalp were intact, just torn, then maybe the scalp was retracted and allowed them to see into the skull defect. Alternatively, I could go with photo alteration of the Back of Head photos. There was perhaps a 17x10cm area of missing bone at Bethesda and maybe at Parkland, with scalp and skull disruptions well beyond that. If the missing bones were more toward the back of the head then the theory fits with the Parkland witnesses. If the missing bones were more toward the front then it doesn't. Note that one of the large bone fragments 10x6.5 cm retrieved from the limousine was brought into the autopsy room late in the evening. It was reported to have a matching semicircular notch and fitted in next to the vertex hole in the mystery photo. This skull fragment is towards the back in the head, so maybe the opening through which the Parkland doctors viewed the brain was indeed rearward.

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