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JFK's "SHALLOW" BACK WOUND REVISITED (FOR THE UMPTEENTH TIME)


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Also, the only x-rays that somehow ended up with "dirt" on them that "look like metal, but are only dirt" are the x-rays of the chest.

How coincidental.

I don't think I ever dug into the other x-rays, but if I did I don't recall any artifacts due to dirt on the non-missing x-rays. Have you verified this? If so, that is Mighty Interesting!

Of course I can't remember who said it, but it was published in Doug Horne's 5 volume set, and the comment by one of the techs who worked there 11-22-1962 was that he 'couldn't imagine' how dirt could get into a film cassette, and it that ever happened someone(s) would have caught pure holy for it, but has no memory of that. Apparently Humes et al thought it happened every day because they never challenged the fact that it was dirt.

Although as a former member I recall seeing MANY "dirty films" in the USN, I can't say one way or another about "dirty film."

It is just possible that Humes had no idea what he was actually dealing with, and the possibility of a bullet disintegrating into dust after going through nothing but soft tissue simply was a non-starter with him. He may have truly thought (with a likely bit of suggestion from an unnamed source) that he was looking at dirt on the chest x-rays that just happened to look like metal.

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What I'd like to know is, was the assassin aiming for the back or the head? If he were aiming for he head, could he have reasonably been so far off the mark that the bullet hit where it did?

Would a professional assassin have chosen to shoot at the back? If so, why? To hopefully hit the heart?

My reason for asking these questions is that one thing I'm considering is that maybe the bullet was designed to do lethal damage merely by hitting the back... a large target.

I'll take a stab at answering my own question, but I'd like to hear from Bob or others. It seems that it wouldn't make sense to aim at the back as the possibility of hitting a rib is too great. And hitting a rib would help protect the victim's internal organs. (I have no idea if what I just said is true.)

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Hi Sandy

It is taking me a long time to write a post that ties together my earlier explanations of pneumothoraces with the testimonies of Drs. Carrico and Perry. It is a very complex topic and I am finding it difficult to present but I will keep plodding on.

In response to your question, a lung shot is one of the most popular ways of shooting a deer, and also one of the most effective. The reason for this is that the simple piercing of the pleural cavity with a bullet is enough to create an open pneumothorax (sucking chest wound) that will severely impair the breathing process. Rupturing the lung will also prevent that lung from properly inflating, and further impair the breathing process. The lungs also contain the pulmonary arteries and veins, and rupturing these can quickly cause an animal to bleed out into the chest cavity. Lastly, there is the heart, and a shot through the heart will bring almost instantaneous death.

On long difficult shots, many hunters will aim at the chest, just behind the front legs, simply because it offers such a large and easy to hit target. I have seen a deer shot through the lower portion of the lungs with a soft point .243 bullet take four steps and fall down dead.

Ribs are quite fragile, and offer little protection from a bullet to the lungs beneath them. If anything, striking a rib will only increase the severity of the wound, as was the case with John Connally, where the shattered shards of his 5th rib became "secondary missiles" that went on to create large amounts of damage to his right lung; despite the fact the bullet never entered John Connally's right lung.

As strange as it may seem, the wound in JFK's back could have easily been fatal by itself, without the head wound.

Edited by Robert Prudhomme
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The only problem with shooting JFK in the back, as opposed to shooting him in the head, is being able to tell whether or not you had killed him. He might have been only mildly wounded at z224, but there is no doubt as to what occurred at z313,

Of course, as you surmise, it would require something other than a full metal jacket bullet to do any real damage in a chest shot, as the FMJ bullet would likely go straight through JFK's chest without doing much damage on the way through.

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Robert,

“How close were Sibert and O'Neil to JFK when Humes supposedly probed the back wound with his finger? Were they standing right beside Humes, looking down, or were they in the gallery many feet away? Where does it actually state Humes used his pinkie finger?” Robert Prudhomme Post 11

Sorry I have not been able to get back to this thread for a few days, I have been very busy.

Siberia and O'Neil were inside the mortuary. They were not in the Gallery. They were under instruction not to leave until the autopsy was complete and report everything they saw and heard. Whether they were watching over Humes shoulder or not I do not know, but you will be aware that the mortuary was a small room. So to get back to the critical point - unless you doubt their veracity - their report makes clear that they did see Humes prod the wound with his pinkie and explain to all in the room that it was a shallow wound.

That suggests any thought that - whatever caused this wound - was able to pass intthe rib cage let alone into the lung is simply not possible. Whatever this wound was it was not a deep or penetrating wound.

James.

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Robert,

“How close were Sibert and O'Neil to JFK when Humes supposedly probed the back wound with his finger? Were they standing right beside Humes, looking down, or were they in the gallery many feet away? Where does it actually state Humes used his pinkie finger?” Robert Prudhomme Post 11

Sorry I have not been able to get back to this thread for a few days, I have been very busy.

Siberia and O'Neil were inside the mortuary. They were not in the Gallery. They were under instruction not to leave until the autopsy was complete and report everything they saw and heard. Whether they were watching over Humes shoulder or not I do not know, but you will be aware that the mortuary was a small room. So to get back to the critical point - unless you doubt their veracity - their report makes clear that they did see Humes prod the wound with his pinkie and explain to all in the room that it was a shallow wound.

That suggests any thought that - whatever caused this wound - was able to pass intthe rib cage let alone into the lung is simply not possible. Whatever this wound was it was not a deep or penetrating wound.

James.

If I was a respected physician and I stuck the tip of my finger into an entrance wound and told you I could feel the bottom of the wound, would you have any reason to doubt me, James? Humes is the same doctor who reported only shallow incisions in JFK's chest, when it seems to be universally believed at Parkland that chest tubes were not only fully inserted, they were also connected to drainage. Someone was lying in that matter, too, and who had the greater motive?

As for doubting their veracity, I'm sorry but, most of the problems with this case stem from a total lack of veracity on the part of the FBI when it came to supplying evidence.

I'm sorry to disagree with you James but, I simply cannot accept that Humes was able to probe a 1/4 inch diameter entrance wound with a finger that was likely almost three times that diameter at the first knuckle, and increasing in diameter as it went up the finger. As I stated earlier, I have attempted this unsuccessfully on entrance wounds in deer made by larger calibre rifles.

Edited by Robert Prudhomme
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The only problem with shooting JFK in the back, as opposed to shooting him in the head, is being able to tell whether or not you had killed him. He might have been only mildly wounded at z224, but there is no doubt as to what occurred at z313,

Of course, as you surmise, it would require something other than a full metal jacket bullet to do any real damage in a chest shot, as the FMJ bullet would likely go straight through JFK's chest without doing much damage on the way through.

Okay, so it's possible that the assassin was intentionally aiming at the back. And if so, he likely chose that target because it was a guaranteed hit. A frangible bullet was chosen so that maximal damage would be done.

This way, if the later, more difficult head shots missed, Kennedy still had a pretty high probability of dying.

(Just my hypothesis.)

EDIT: One problem with this hypothesis, it seems, is that it risked Kennedy falling down before the head shots could take place. Making the head shots impossible.

Edited by Sandy Larsen
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James G. seems to have a good point regarding the Sibert/O'Neil report where they say Humes probed the wound with his finger and said it was shallow. I say that because I've never seen anything that puts doubt on their report.

On the other hand, Humes making that declaration is inconsistent with what happened at the autopsy as reported by Lt. Lipsey. He said that the doctors spent half the autopsy looking for the bullet that had entered the back wound. Well, if Humes noted that the wound was shallow, why was he then looking for the bullet as though the wound weren't shallow?

Is it possible that Humes FIRST did the searching for the bullet, and only after he couldn't find it he pretended to probe the wound so that he could say, ah-hah! we couldn't find the bullet inside the body because, alas, it is a shallow wound!

In fact, wasn't Humes informed during the autopsy that there was a bullet on the stretcher at Parkland? If so, then that could explain why he went from searching for a bullet to later saying it was a shallow wound and that the bullet had fallen out.

In other words, the bullet on the stretcher was planted in order to explain away the bullet Humes couldn't find. And Humes was playing along with the scheme when he did the bullet hole probing with his finger.

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The only problem with shooting JFK in the back, as opposed to shooting him in the head, is being able to tell whether or not you had killed him. He might have been only mildly wounded at z224, but there is no doubt as to what occurred at z313,

Of course, as you surmise, it would require something other than a full metal jacket bullet to do any real damage in a chest shot, as the FMJ bullet would likely go straight through JFK's chest without doing much damage on the way through.

Okay, so it's possible that the assassin was intentionally aiming at the back. And if so, he likely chose that target because it was a guaranteed hit. A frangible bullet was chosen so that maximal damage would be done.

This way, if the later, more difficult head shots missed, Kennedy still had a pretty high probability of dying.

(Just my hypothesis.)

EDIT: One problem with this hypothesis, it seems, is that it risked Kennedy falling down before the head shots could take place. Making the head shots impossible.

This is assuming, of course, that a head shot would even be necessary.

The shot in JFK's back was followed by the head shot(s) within six seconds. How would we know, should the head shot(s) have missed altogether, that JFK would not have expired within the next two or three minutes from massive bleeding into his right lung?

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James G. seems to have a good point regarding the Sibert/O'Neil report where they say Humes probed the wound with his finger and said it was shallow. I say that because I've never seen anything that puts doubt on their report.

On the other hand, Humes making that declaration is inconsistent with what happened at the autopsy as reported by Lt. Lipsey. He said that the doctors spent half the autopsy looking for the bullet that had entered the back wound. Well, if Humes noted that the wound was shallow, why was he then looking for the bullet as though the wound weren't shallow?

Is it possible that Humes FIRST did the searching for the bullet, and only after he couldn't find it he pretended to probe the wound so that he could say, ah-hah! we couldn't find the bullet inside the body because, alas, it is a shallow wound!

In fact, wasn't Humes informed during the autopsy that there was a bullet on the stretcher at Parkland? If so, then that could explain why he went from searching for a bullet to later saying it was a shallow wound and that the bullet had fallen out.

In other words, the bullet on the stretcher was planted in order to explain away the bullet Humes couldn't find. And Humes was playing along with the scheme when he did the bullet hole probing with his finger.

Based upon reading the following part of the Sibert/O'Neil report, it appears to me that first Humes searched for the bullet that had entered the back (which took a long time according to Lipsey), and then later (pretended to) probe the wound with his finger and declared it to be a shallow wound. And announced that he couldn't explain what happened to the bullet.

No mention, yet, of the bullet falling out onto the stretcher.

Sibert%20ONeil_zpsfea1houe.png

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James G. seems to have a good point regarding the Sibert/O'Neil report where they say Humes probed the wound with his finger and said it was shallow. I say that because I've never seen anything that puts doubt on their report.

On the other hand, Humes making that declaration is inconsistent with what happened at the autopsy as reported by Lt. Lipsey. He said that the doctors spent half the autopsy looking for the bullet that had entered the back wound. Well, if Humes noted that the wound was shallow, why was he then looking for the bullet as though the wound weren't shallow?

Is it possible that Humes FIRST did the searching for the bullet, and only after he couldn't find it he pretended to probe the wound so that he could say, ah-hah! we couldn't find the bullet inside the body because, alas, it is a shallow wound!

In fact, wasn't Humes informed during the autopsy that there was a bullet on the stretcher at Parkland? If so, then that could explain why he went from searching for a bullet to later saying it was a shallow wound and that the bullet had fallen out.

In other words, the bullet on the stretcher was planted in order to explain away the bullet Humes couldn't find. And Humes was playing along with the scheme when he did the bullet hole probing with his finger.

Exactly, Sandy! I was beginning to think I was the only person who got this LOL!

Yes, why dissect the chest and abdomen organs looking for a bullet (or fragments) if you probed the wound and found it to terminate an inch in? Better yet, Humes claimed to have looked inside the empty chest cavity and to have seen NO bullet hole in the outer pleural lining. This would also tend to eliminate the possibility of a bullet entering the throat and ranging downward, as Humes claimed the lungs and heart were undamaged, save for slight bruising in the Upper Right Lung.

If the lungs and heart were in pristine condition, this would also mean there would be no bloody wound track ranging down toward the abdomen through these organs. Why look for a bullet in the abdominal organs then?

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Okay so, what did Drs. Carrico and Perry say about their attempts to resuscitate JFK, and how does it relate to my post explaining pneumothoraces of the lung.

The thing that must be kept paramount in our minds about ER doctors and nurses is they are typically presented with patients who must have basic life support established prior to a full and in depth examination of their wounds or ailments is performed. In other words, the patients are often dying (or dead) and there is often mere seconds to read the physical signs of a respiratory condition before attempting to rectify that condition.

In the practice of emergency First Aid, we go with the simple principle of ABC.

Airway

Breathing

Circulation

In JFK's case, all three of these were inadequate, requiring a critical intervention on the part of the doctors to correct them.

Dr. Carrico observed that JFK was "cyanotic". This means that he was, in Dr. Carrico's words, "...ashen, bluish, grey, cyanotic..." from not getting any oxygen to the cells of his body. The first thing Carrico did was to establish an airway and a means of getting positive pressure ventilation into JFK's lungs, utilizing a respirator. The device he chose for this was an "endotracheal tube", pictured below:

ET%20cuff%207.5mm.JPG

And inserted:

Endotracheal_tube_colored.png

As seen, there is an inflatable cuff just up from the inserted tip of the tube. Once in place, this cuff is filled with air from a syringe via the tube marked "B".Once inflated, it makes an airtight seal against the inside of the trachea, and the respirator is able to pass air to and from the lungs. Note that the cuff is below the vocal cords in the larynx, yet the tip of the tube is above the point where the trachea branches into the two bronchi. The most important thing to remember when doing this procedure is to keep the tip of the e. tube above the point where the trachea divides into bronchi.

Some WCR apologists have long debated that Carrico made a mistake inserting the e. tube, and that he accidentally over inserted the e. tube into JFK's left bronchus, thus isolating JFK's right lung. This is simply not true, and it can be proven to be not true, as I will demonstrate shortly. The reason they have argued for over insertion of the e. tube is they are attempting to cover up the most important piece of information Carrico related to the WC. Here it is:

"Mr. SPECTER - You had begun to describe some of the action taken in order to endeavor to revive the President. Will you continue with that description, please?

Dr. CARRICO - I believe we were to where the endotracheal tube had been inserted. After this, the President--his respirations were assisted by the Bennett machine. We again listened to .his chest to attempt to evaluate the respirations. Breath sounds were diminished, especially on the right, despite the fact that the endotracheal tube was in place and the cuff inflated, there continued to be some leakage around the tracheal wound."

So, let's see now, Carrico listened to JFK's chest and observed "Breath sounds were diminished, especially on the right....". If there were no damage to JFK's right lung, what would be the only thing that would make the breath sounds on the right more diminished than on the left? The one and only reason would be the tip of the e. tube would have to be over inserted into the left brochus, cutting off the air supply to the right lung. However, this was impossible, and I will tell you why.

1. The left bronchus is smaller than the right bronchus. Not only that, it is almost a straight shot from the trachea into the right bronchus, while the left bronchus takes off from the trachea at a much sharper angle. As any doctor who inserts e. tubes on a regular basis will tell ou, it is almost impossible to accidentally over insert an e. tube into the left bronchus, but very easy to over insert the e. tube into the right bronchus.

2. Carrico used a laryngoscope to assist in placing the e. tube where he wanted it, and knew precisely where it was once it was inserted.

Macintosh_Blades.jpg

Laryngoscope

9503.jpg

Laryngoscope in use, providing view of trachea.

"No pulse was present, and at that time, because of the inadequate respirations and the apparent airway injury, a cuffed endotracheal tube was introduced, employing a larynzo scope. Through the larynzo scope there seemed to be some hematoma around the larynx and immediately below the larynx was seen the ragged tracheal injury. The endotracheal tube was inserted past this injury, the cuff inflated, and the tube was connected to a respirator to assist the inadequate respiration."

3. The positive pressure ventilation from the respirator was leaking out of the throat wound.

"...despite the fact that the endotracheal tube was in place and the cuff inflated, there continued to be some leakage around the tracheal wound."

In other words, as careful as Carrico was placing the e. tube, he did make a slight mistake. Before the cuff on the e. tube was inflated, sealing the cuff against the trachea, the cuff had to have moved slightly upward; pacing the cuff just above the tracheal wound and allowing respirator air to escape through the tracheal wound and out the throat wound. As can be seen, the distance from the cuff to the tip of the e. tube is so small, the tip could not have been anywhere near the bronchi.

So, why were breath sounds diminished in the right lung, in comparison to the left lung? The only thing that could produce this finding is a tension pneumothorax in the right lung, likely accompanied by a hemothorax (collection of blood in the pleural cavity) in the right lung. I will explain how it likely developed.

The bullet enters JFK's right lung and breaks up, piercing both pleural linings and rupturing several important blood vessels. JFK would now have an open pneumothorax (sucking chest wound) although it is not unheard of for such a small wound to seal itself, elevating the condition to tension pneumothorax.

JFK is laid on his back on a table in Trauma Room One, allowing pooling blood in his lung and the pressure from the table on his back to completely seal the entrance wound, thus guaranteeing a tension pneumothorax. Carrico intubates JFK and connects the e. tube to a respirator which now forces air (oxygen) into JFK's lungs at greater than atmospheric pressure. Air enters JFK's right lung where it passes into the pleural cavity and is trapped. With each breath, the volume of air increases, until a point is reached where virtually no new air will pass into JFK's right lung.

Carrico listens to JFK's chest with a stethoscope and hears greatly diminished breath sounds in JFK's right lung.

Surprise, surprise......

Next up, What did Perry say to the WC?

Edited by Robert Prudhomme
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James G. seems to have a good point regarding the Sibert/O'Neil report where they say Humes probed the wound with his finger and said it was shallow. I say that because I've never seen anything that puts doubt on their report.

On the other hand, Humes making that declaration is inconsistent with what happened at the autopsy as reported by Lt. Lipsey. He said that the doctors spent half the autopsy looking for the bullet that had entered the back wound. Well, if Humes noted that the wound was shallow, why was he then looking for the bullet as though the wound weren't shallow?

Is it possible that Humes FIRST did the searching for the bullet, and only after he couldn't find it he pretended to probe the wound so that he could say, ah-hah! we couldn't find the bullet inside the body because, alas, it is a shallow wound!

In fact, wasn't Humes informed during the autopsy that there was a bullet on the stretcher at Parkland? If so, then that could explain why he went from searching for a bullet to later saying it was a shallow wound and that the bullet had fallen out.

In other words, the bullet on the stretcher was planted in order to explain away the bullet Humes couldn't find. And Humes was playing along with the scheme when he did the bullet hole probing with his finger.

Based upon reading the following part of the Sibert/O'Neil report, it appears to me that first Humes searched for the bullet that had entered the back (which took a long time according to Lipsey), and then later (pretended to) probe the wound with his finger and declared it to be a shallow wound. And announced that he couldn't explain what happened to the bullet.

No mention, yet, of the bullet falling out onto the stretcher.

Sibert%20ONeil_zpsfea1houe.png

This is how simple Humes' job was. Make the "Y" incision, remove the abdominal and chest organs, look inside JFK's rib cage to see if there is a very obvious 1/4 inch hole into the rib cage from JFK's back. If no hole is found in the back of the rib cage, or anywhere else on the interior of the rib cage, do not waste time and effort dissecting all of the organs for bullets or fragments.

Humes was either hiding something or he was the most assbackwards S.O.B. to ever conduct an autopsy. (excuse my French)

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James G. seems to have a good point regarding the Sibert/O'Neil report where they say Humes probed the wound with his finger and said it was shallow. I say that because I've never seen anything that puts doubt on their report.

On the other hand, Humes making that declaration is inconsistent with what happened at the autopsy as reported by Lt. Lipsey. He said that the doctors spent half the autopsy looking for the bullet that had entered the back wound. Well, if Humes noted that the wound was shallow, why was he then looking for the bullet as though the wound weren't shallow?

Is it possible that Humes FIRST did the searching for the bullet, and only after he couldn't find it he pretended to probe the wound so that he could say, ah-hah! we couldn't find the bullet inside the body because, alas, it is a shallow wound!

In fact, wasn't Humes informed during the autopsy that there was a bullet on the stretcher at Parkland? If so, then that could explain why he went from searching for a bullet to later saying it was a shallow wound and that the bullet had fallen out.

In other words, the bullet on the stretcher was planted in order to explain away the bullet Humes couldn't find. And Humes was playing along with the scheme when he did the bullet hole probing with his finger.

Based upon reading the following part of the Sibert/O'Neil report, it appears to me that first Humes searched for the bullet that had entered the back (which took a long time according to Lipsey), and then later (pretended to) probe the wound with his finger and declared it to be a shallow wound. And announced that he couldn't explain what happened to the bullet.

No mention, yet, of the bullet falling out onto the stretcher.

Sibert%20ONeil_zpsfea1houe.png

This is how simple Humes' job was. Make the "Y" incision, remove the abdominal and chest organs, look inside JFK's rib cage to see if there is a very obvious 1/4 inch hole into the rib cage from JFK's back. If no hole is found in the back of the rib cage, or anywhere else on the interior of the rib cage, do not waste time and effort dissecting all of the organs for bullets or fragments.

Humes was either hiding something or he was the most assbackwards S.O.B. to ever conduct an autopsy. (excuse my French)

Well Humes did continue looking for the bullet in the organs (according to Lipsey). So there must have been a hole in the rib cage, right? Not so fast! One technician (I forget which) testified that Humes put a metal probe through the entrance wound and he (the technician) could see the probe pushing on the pleura, but the probe didn't penetrate it. Which makes it sound like there was no hole.

So again we need to ask, if there was no hole (this time through the pleura), then why the search for the bullet in the organs?

Maybe my hypothesis applies here too. Maybe the search for the bullet in the organs was done FIRST, and after Humes couldn't find it he probed the wound with a metal probe, but pointed it in the wrong direction or something so as not to reveal the hole, so that he could say, ah-hah! we couldn't find the bullet inside the body because, alas, the bullet didn't even penetrate the pleura!

Here is how I envision what happened:

Humes makes the Y incision and removes the organs. He sees something wrong with the pleura and the right lung (which were caused by frangible bullet's particles). He dissects the lung but finds no bullet. He dissects other organs one-by-one trying to find the bullet. Can't find it. Scratches his head. He decides (or is told) to show that the bullet never even entered the body. So he pretends to probe the wound with his finger and "discovers" that it is nothing but a shallow wound. And as if that weren't proof enough, he then takes a metal probe, sticks it through the wound -- but in the wrong direction -- to show that it doesn't penetrate the pleura. And he announces that therefore the bullet didn't enter the body. But he has no explanation for where it is.

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Hi Sandy

I don't know if you've ever done much hunting or not but, for the benefit at least of those reading this that are non-hunters, I should explain something here that will make Humes' actions (or at least Lt. Lipsey's HSCA account of them anyways) appear utterly ridiculous, for a physician with any experience with gunshot wounds.

When you shoot an animal such as a deer for meat, it is necessary to disembowel and bleed the animal immediately, especially in warmer weather. The incision we make is on the belly; beginning at the genitals and ending at the bottom of the anterior ribcage. The colon is cut at the rectum and the entire abdominal contents (the "guts") are removed through this opening, with the oesophagus cut at the throat. Next, the diaphragm is carefully excised around the interior perimeter of the ribcage, the trachea is severed and the heart and lungs removed. At this point, the animal is ready to be hung by the back legs for skinning and quartering.

If an animal is shot through the lungs or (God forbid) through the guts, there is NO mistaking the fact a bullet has passed through these organs. There will always be blood clotting along the track. The same goes for after the animal has been skinned. A bullet passing through a hind quarter, front quarter or other muscle tissue will leave a trail of blood clots and bruised tissue obvious for anyone to see.

My question is this: Unless Humes was a complete idiot, why would he be dissecting organs if there was absolutely no sign whatsoever that a bullet had passed through JFK's thorax or abdomen?

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