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David Lifton teases Final Charade on the Night Fright Show


Micah Mileto
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On 10/10/2021 at 1:03 PM, David Lifton said:

Sorry, but too much time has passed. I do recall that NOVA was in touch with Dr. Perry; and possibly the producer, Robert Richter would remember. It would be helpful if you could perhaps post exactly what I said.  Keep in mind that Perry caught a lot of flack for --supposedly -- saying what he did at that 11/22/63 press conference, at 2:18 PM: 3 times, Perry either said -- or indicated  (using hand motions) --that the throat wound was one of entry.  (I write about this in B.E.)  

Another point: years later, during the HSCA investigation when Dr. Perry was in New York City, Robert Groden showed him the key ("face up") autopsy photo, and sought his comment.  Perry was surprised, even aghast, at what the photo showed.  Shaking his head from side to side, he made very clear that that did not depict the trach incision that he had made.  (I defer to Groden on this point but that's what I remember Groden telling me.)  Also note: Dr. Perry, when I called him, was quite specific about the incision that he had made:  His incision, he (Perry) told me (Oct. 1966) was "2 - 3 centimeters".  (1 inch = 2.54 cm.) Again: see B.E. for my account of calling Dr. Perry. 

Thank you. I am trying to gather as much information as possible so I can make a full list of information relevant to the case for an altered throat wound.

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4 hours ago, Micah Mileto said:

Thank you. I am trying to gather as much information as possible so I can make a full list of information relevant to the case for an altered throat wound.

Hello Micah: Many years have passed, but the bottom line has not changed:

1.  Incision length.  When I called Dr. Perry (inquiring as a UCLA grad student -- taking a course at the UCLA Law School, on the Warren Commission Report) -- and explaining to Dr. Perry that the professor (Prof. Wesley J. Liebeler, named in news accounts at the time) wanted each of us to pursue some particular "fact," in order to get some "real world experience"  (my quotes) in "fact finding," I explained to Perry that my particular area was the tracheotomy incision.   Everyone knew, of course, that he had performed a tracheotomy, but the Warren Report, for all its detail, was silent as to the length of that incision.  And so, I asked, would he please oblige me by giving me his best recollection as to the length of the incision that he had made?  Perry's answer was prompt -- he really didn't have to think about it: "2 - 3 cm" he responded.  I was well aware that the Bethesda autopsy report stated the incision was "6.5 cm.", and that -- under oath -- Commander Humes said it was "7 - 8 cm." (I'm going by recollection here; and will correct this post if necessary.)  I continued my questioning of Perry, inquiring if the incision length might have been "3.5 cm."; and then "4 cm.", and then "4.5 cm." etc.  At some point, Perry got rather "gun shy" at the thrust of my questioning, and perhaps realized that something was terribly wrong.  I don't "know" that; but that's my speculation. (Also note:  when I called Dr. Carrico, either that same day, or within 24 hours -- see B.E. for the details -- he also responded "2 - 3 cm." 

2. Incision "edges".     I don't think I asked Perry about "the edges" -- I was on a steep learning curve, and it took me a day (or two?  not sure) to ask that. But I sure did ask it (within one or two days) after I took a closer line-by-line look at the Bethesda autopsy report.  Why?  Because I noted that, with regard to the edges of the throat wound, the Bethesda autopsy reported that when the body arrived at Bethesda, the "defect" at the front of the throat had -- or "exhibited"--I don't recall he exact word -- "widely gaping irregular edges."    So the answer as to whether --incision length notwithstanding -- the wound's "edges" had changed had changed was crystal clear: the Dallas answer was: "smooth, of course" (again, the Parkland description) -- had to be contrasted with the Bethesda description: "widely gaping irregular edges."  (And I remember one of the Dallas doctors adding, in the spirit of "pointing out the obvious":  "It (the Dallas incision) was made with a knife." (Again, all quotes based on recollection; I defer to what is reported in Best Evidence.)

Basic Conclusion: The wound at the front of President Kennedy's throat --whether judged by "incision length" or by "wound edges" -- had clearly changed between the time JFK's body was in ER-1, at Parkland Hospital, and the time the body was examined ( at autopsy) at Bethesda Naval Hospital, an autopsy that (officially) began at "8 PM" (per Warren Commission attorney Specter) or 8:15 PM, per FBI Agents Sibert and O'Neill.

PERSONAL NOTE:  Very shortly after getting off the phone with Perry, I had the uncomfortable realization that the only record I had --of what Perry had just told me, about incision length-- were my own recollections, along with any notes of my phone conversation with him.  And that, I realized, was simply not good enough for historical purposes.  Dr. Perry might rethink what he told me, and change (i.e., "revise") his account at any time.  I knew that I must acquire a recorder, and do so ASAP.  Today, everyone has an iphone, and that can suffice.  But there were no iphones in 1966.  So I very quickly went to Adray's," an L.A. store devoted to TV's and electronics that was the equivalent of (or precursor to) Best Buy.  There,  I purchased a decent reel-to-reel recorder.  It had two speeds -- 1-7/8 ips; and 3-3/4 ips. From that point on, I made sure to record any of these medical interviews that I deemed to be historically significant. Also note: The data that I have set forth in this London Forum post appears -- in detail --in chapter 11 of Best Evidence  (1981); the title: "The Tracheotomy Incision: Dallas vs. Bethesda."

PERSONAL NOTE #2: The events that I have described above occurred in the fall of 1966, when I had just turned 24 years old, and most of it was included in B.E., which was published in Jan. 1981, when I was 41.  To provide some perspective: Jim DiEugenio, who writes frequently about the JFK case (and who pretends that I don't exist, and whose writing is relied upon by Oliver Stone, in his new movie), was 14 years old at the time. His DOB, according to pubic records, is 9/28/52.) 

PERSONAL NOTE #3: When JFK's body arrived at Bethesda, the wound (or "defect") at the front of the throat had been "stitched" up, the purpose being (apparently) to create the false impression that this was nothing more than a tracheotomy, and the stitching had occurred at Parkland. If one believes that the stitching occurred in the Bethesda morgue, that immediately would suggest, (or implicate) Dr. Humes in a medical cover-up, unless it was done by a third party, and just prior to his arrival; or perhaps done by Humes himself, but under the orders of some "higher authority").  In other words,  the stitching of this "front throat"  wound is subject to interpretation.  It provided the basis for the appearance that the throat "defect" was nothing more than a trach, and not a trach that was made either through a pre-existing bullet wound, or just beneath it. (See Chapter 23 of B.E. "Allegations of Dr. Ebersole" for a further discussion of these details.)   (Date/Time: 10/26/21, 5:20 PM PDT)

 

Edited by David Lifton
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On 9/17/2021 at 7:37 AM, Jamey Flanagan said:

I do believe that Sirhan was firing blanks. It does not seem at all ridiculous or implausible at all. In fact, it seems very plausible and ideal. For one thing, say Thane Eugene Caesar was an assassin....... Sirhan is a MK Ultra assassin but comes out in front firing wildly into the crowd....... especially after they start jumping on him...... who's to say that Sirhan couldn't accidentally shoot Caesar? Or any other assassin behind RFK? Would Caesar volunteer to be in the line of fire? Maybe you can say he's MK Ultra too. It's like how a magician uses slight of hand. Sirhan is the diversion. Firing blanks in front to get everyone's attention while the real killer/killers do their job almost unnoticed. 

 

On 10/10/2021 at 2:53 AM, David Lifton said:

Re #1:  IMHO: Humes was not "instructed" as to what to do. He was simply presented with a body that had "already" had a crude autopsy.

Re #2: Humes describes a body that -- per Boswell (per HSCA) had already been "flapped".  The flaps are plainly described in the beginning of the autopsy report (per Ch. 18 of B.E.)

DSL

 

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On 10/8/2021 at 10:07 PM, Joseph McBride said:

You can clearly see a round notch from the bullet

entrance wound at the top of the tracheotomy incision

(artificially widened as that incision is).

Joe: I'd be very careful -- and cultivate a very skeptical attitude towards  --what the autopsy photos show (or "appear to show").   To begin with, the exit wound at the right rear of the skull (observed at Parkland Hospital, in Dallas) has disappeared.  Second: in Dallas, there was no "entry" wound four or five inches above the external occipital protuberance, as depicted in the Bethesda autopsy X-Rays and photos.  All of this is discussed --at length --in Chapter 20 of Best Evidence.  Bottom line: It is generally known that the autopsy photos do not accurately depict what Commander Humes (the Bethesda autopsy surgeon) described. 

In Best Evidence, I have referred to the alteration of JFK's wounds, prior to autopsy, as the creation of a "medical forgery." An astute investigator --whether in the case of a financial crime, or (in the JFK case, the falsification of the medical evidence, prior to autopsy)  --  must decide whether he (or she) is dealing with genuine data, or a forgery.  Its pretty clear (from the medico-legal data presented in Best Evidence) that the issue we are dealing with is whether President Kennedy's body, at autopsy, was  tantamount to a forgery (i.e., a "medical forgery").  That's my opinion.   In plain English, we have to distinguish between what the Bethesda autopsy doctors (who were looking at the body) reported, in their Autopsy Report (published in the Warren Report), and what the autopsy photos --first made available -- showed. They are not at all identical; to the contrary, they seriously diverge, and this divergence is analyzed in detail and spelled out in Best Evidence.

THE  BETHESDA AUTOPSY PHOTOS

The autopsy photographs were supposedly created after midnight on 11/22/63.  But there is circumstantial evidence that they were created by mid-December 1963 (as I recall); and were kept under lock and key at the National Archives, and under the control of Robert Kennedy for about five (5) years.  These photos were not made available until the summer of 1971.

These photos were first examined by Dr. John Lattimer (in 1991, as I recall); and then by Dr. Cyril Wecht, in August 1972.  As you may know, I was present at the Wecht exam, but not actually permitted to be "inside the room where it occurred." I had to stand just outside, in an adjacent hallway. (My expert, with whom I communicated by a coin phone in the hallway, was located at UCLA, in Los Angeles).

Here's the problem facing Dr. Wecht, or anyone else attempting to make sense of this visual data:  First, you want to interpret the evidence "at face value"; i.e., what does this photo portray?  But then, in addition, you have to be aware of any data that bears on the question of authenticity.  IOW: Setting aside "intended interpretation," is this or that photo a forgery?  And: "What evidence exists to support such a proposition?" (Perhaps I am wrong, but I do not remember Dr. Wecht focusing on the particular anomalies you have discovered.  But I could be wrong.)  

Let me return to the situation as it was first observed back in August 1972, when Dr. Wecht visited NARA and viewed the photos.

THE PHOTO(S) OF JFK's BACK AND THE RULER

A good example: remember the photo of JFK's back, with the vertical ruler --which (as placed) would hide the area described by FBI Agents Sibert and O'Neill who reported an entry wound about 6 inches the top of JFK's suit collar?    We can't "see" what is deliberately hidden; on the other hand, we can note the placement of the ruler, and conjecture about what was  probably hidden by that ruler.  

THE THROAT WOUND (and your insights)

Turning to the throat wound --described by Dr. Perry as an entry wound: you have pointed out that, upon enlarging the photo, what appears to have been "trace evidence" (what you call "a round notch")  of what was once there (an entry wound, along with the trash incision);  and how -- by someone using a black marker (or some other writing instrument)-- the image was altered.    What I like about your presentation is that, by enlarging the photo, you seem to have identified actual "artwork" done on the photo itself.  Now perhaps I am wrong.  But I would like to see further analysis of your discovery.  Don't assume that something is "obvious" simply because you "see" it. It must be explained, and in detail.

DISCUSSION AND DEBATE

I hope that your analysis is discussed and debated on this forum; and, if you feel that it "stands up" in such a debate, that you consider writing an article for a forensic science journal.  The London Forum is a fine place "to start," and to debate the matter; but if you can iron out any kinks in the photo research, and/or your argument, you then should try to get it published in a legitimate journal of forensic science.  

If I can help, please contact me.  What I have learned (re the JFK case), is that for any proposition, there is always a "pro" and then a "con" response. BTW: I first published these autopsy pictures about October 1988, and I'm curious if you have considered writing a narrative about your discovery --how you pursued your own investigation, when you discovered the various elements of your argument.  Again, you're going to have to prepare a good draft of your thinking, and analysis.  Just publishing a photo enlargement is not enough.  Good luck!

 DSL

dlifton@gmail.com

10/27/21 - 1 AM PDT; 10/28/21 6:45 PM PDT

Edited by David Lifton
Improving grammar and syntax.
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David, thanks for the rundown. Certainly the autopsy

photographs always need to be viewed skeptically. I was

just pointing out what I think I can see on the trach photo,

for what that is worth. As you and others have shown,

that trach and the wound it obscured were egregiously altered.

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On 10/26/2021 at 5:09 PM, David Lifton said:

 

Going through BEST EVIDENCE, I was surprised to not see any reference to the well-remembered joke from the 1967 issue of The Realist about LBJ putting his penis inside of JFK's tracheotomy wound. I did not know that joke was so old. This joke seems to have influenced the zeitgeist beyond just concerns about the JFK assassination. The writer even claimed rumors of the story being mistaken for truth.

 

Quote

Krassner's most successful prank was The Parts That Were Left Out of the Kennedy Book, a grotesque article following the censorship of William Manchester's book on the Kennedy assassination, The Death of a President.[9] At the climax of the short story, Lyndon B. Johnson is on Air Force One sexually penetrating the bullet-hole wound in the throat of JFK's corpse.[9] Krassner acknowledged Marvin Garson, editor of the San Francisco Express Times and husband of Barbara Garson (author of the notorious anti-Johnson play MacBird! ), for coming up with that surreal image.[10] According to Elliot Feldman, "Some members of the mainstream press and other Washington political wonks, including Daniel Ellsberg of Pentagon Papers fame, actually believed this incident to be true."[11] In a 1995 interview for the magazine Adbusters, Krassner commented: "People across the country believed – if only for a moment – that an act of presidential necrophilia had taken place. It worked because Jackie Kennedy had created so much curiosity by censoring the book she authorized – William Manchester's The Death of a President – because what I wrote was a metaphorical truth about LBJ's personality presented in a literary context, and because the imagery was so shocking, it broke through the notion that the war in Vietnam was being conducted by sane men.".[12]

 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Realist

 

https://www.jstor.org/stable/community.28043511?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents

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On 10/28/2021 at 9:26 PM, Micah Mileto said:

Going through BEST EVIDENCE, I was surprised to not see any reference to the well-remembered joke from the 1967 issue of The Realist about LBJ putting his penis inside of JFK's tracheotomy wound. I did not know that joke was so old. This joke seems to have influenced the zeitgeist beyond just concerns about the JFK assassination. The writer even claimed rumors of the story being mistaken for truth.

 

 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Realist

 

https://www.jstor.org/stable/community.28043511?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents

Hi Micah, David Lifton posits surgery before the body arrives at Bethesda. I want to know if Hulmes altering the body In Plain Site is plausible as a theory. The time line seems confused to me. Witnesses talk of a food break ending at 5.30 as a reference point. That is a long time until 8.00 when my stomach would be referencing the next break! The testimony I have read makes it unclear what action had occurred before the room filled up. It strikes me that Hulmes could have altered the head wound by three cuts (Two for a notch and one front to back.) Have you studied the start of the autopsy timeline? 

Edited by Eddy Bainbridge
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1 hour ago, Eddy Bainbridge said:

Hi Micah, David Lifton posits surgery before the body arrives at Bethesda. I want to know if Hulmes altering the body In Plain Site is plausible as a theory. The time line seems confused to me. Witnesses talk of a food break ending at 5.30 as a reference point. That is a long time until 8.00 when my stomach would be referencing the next break! The testimony I have read makes it unclear what action had occurred before the room filled up. It strikes me that Hulmes could have altered the head wound by three cuts (Two for a notch and one front to back.) Have you studied the start of the autopsy timeline? 

Unfortunately, no. Five years of hard labor and still haven't approached the timeline issue yet. I have, however, compiled every known reference to the "surgery of the head" statement in the Sibert and O'Neill report.

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4 hours ago, Micah Mileto said:

Unfortunately, no. Five years of hard labor and still haven't approached the timeline issue yet. I have, however, compiled every known reference to the "surgery of the head" statement in the Sibert and O'Neill report.

Hi Micah:  Tell this fellow (Bainbridge)  to read --and understand -- Ch 18 of B.E.  First of all, the scalp was "already flapped;"  Second, if Paul O'Connor is correct, the cranium was"empty."  As Custer told me, "I could stick both (my) hands inside the cranium."  (See the B.E. Video.)  Please note: The bullet -- or bullet(s) -- did not go to medical school. Why is this stuff so hard to comprehend?  Sure, its outrageous, and disgusting; but that's what the evidence indicates happened.  Dealey Plaza was not teenagers playing with cap guns.  This was how the Vice President became President and it was made to appear that Oswald was the "lone assassin."  DSL

P.S.:  E.B. writes: " I want to know if Hulmes altering the body In Plain Site is plausible as a theory." (Will add as time permits.)

1. He ought to correct mis-use of language:  Its "plain sight," not "plain site."

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5 hours ago, Eddy Bainbridge said:

Hi Micah, David Lifton posits surgery before the body arrives at Bethesda. I want to know if Hulmes altering the body In Plain Site is plausible as a theory. The time line seems confused to me. Witnesses talk of a food break ending at 5.30 as a reference point. That is a long time until 8.00 when my stomach would be referencing the next break! The testimony I have read makes it unclear what action had occurred before the room filled up. It strikes me that Hulmes could have altered the head wound by three cuts (Two for a notch and one front to back.) Have you studied the start of the autopsy timeline? 

DSL:  Remember how Dr. Humes -- the autopsy doctor -- responded when I confronted him with the key evidence of pre-autopsy surgery: "I'd Iike to know by whom it was done, and when, and where!"

Edited by David Lifton
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1 hour ago, David Lifton said:

DSL:  Remember how Dr. Humes -- the autopsy doctor -- responded when I confronted him with the key evidence of pre-autopsy surgery: "I'd Iike to know by whom it was done, and when, and where!"

Hi David, I am challenging your theory as I sense a far simpler alternative. It's possible your new book will dispose of my proposal but what you have thus far written does not. Your quote above from Hulmes has another interpretation to the one you are ascribing. He could be saying 'that is a ridiculous suggestion... I' d like to know by whom it was done etc etc' and not admitting that surgery took place, as you propose. 

Hulmes, as far as I'm aware, did not parade his horror at pre-autopsy surgery in any testimony, why not? What he did do, was accept, reluctantly, his evidence didn't match prevailing thought. I am referring to his HSCA testimony in the alleged rear entrance wound. He also minimised what he claimed was necessary to prepare the skull for autopsy. The Sibert and O'Neil report on his statement at the autopsy can also have an alternative meaning than the one ascribed by you. Hulmes may have been making a somewhat flippant observation, faced with massive head damage, that it looked like you would need surgery to create such damage. Thus the comment was descriptive of the scene, not an accurate description of what was required to create it. 

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7 hours ago, Eddy Bainbridge said:

Hi Micah, David Lifton posits surgery before the body arrives at Bethesda. I want to know if Hulmes altering the body In Plain Site is plausible as a theory. The time line seems confused to me. Witnesses talk of a food break ending at 5.30 as a reference point. That is a long time until 8.00 when my stomach would be referencing the next break! The testimony I have read makes it unclear what action had occurred before the room filled up. It strikes me that Hulmes could have altered the head wound by three cuts (Two for a notch and one front to back.) Have you studied the start of the autopsy timeline? 

If you are interested in an explanation for how the throat defect could have been altered, maybe the photographs we have now were taken after alteration could have taken place on the autopsy table. O'Connor also believed the autopsy photos were altered to change the appearance of the throat defect.

 

The official autopsy documents do not mention if the organs of the neck were dissected or preserved. Dr. Pierre Finck, the autopsy's assisting forensic pathologist, said the wounds of the torso were never dissected, and the neck organs were not preserved. Finck also said that that their handling of the body should not be considered a "complete" autopsy by standards of the American Board of Pathology (Shaw trial testimony, 2/24-25/1969 [text]; Resident and Staff Physician, 5/1972, Observations based on a review of the autopsy photographs, x-rays, and related materials of the late President John F. Kennedy by John Lattimer). The autopsy was judged to be incomplete by the twelve-doctor Forensic Pathology Panel of the House Select Committee on Assassinations. One of the reasons given was “The bullet track in the back and neck was not dissected, so extent of injury to the neck structures was not evaluated and course through the body not fully appreciated” (HSCA Vol. 7, p. 181, 3/29/1979, Medical Panel Report, Part IV. Critique of the earlier examination, with presentation of suggested procedures to be followed in performing an investigation and examination on the remains of a gunshot victim [text]). Dr. Finck said that he arrived late to the autopsy, after the brain had already been removed from the skull cavity (ARRB MD 28, 1/25/1965 and 2/1/1965 Reports From Dr. Finck to Gen. Blumberg; Finck's Shaw trial testimony, 2/24-2/25/1969 [text]; ARRB MD 30, Finck's HSCA testimony, 3/11/1978 [text] [audio]), despite him being more qualified than the other two at identifying gunshot wounds (Bugliosi, Reclaiming History, 2007, Book One: Matters of Fact: What Happened, Kennedy's Autopsy and the Gunshot Wounds to Kennedy and Connally). If there was no dissection, that would mean the autopsy was mishandled. However, there are some other statements that suggest the neck WAS dissected during the autopsy. If that were true, it would mean that evidence was collected without being properly reported on. It could also suggest a cover-up taking place at a time when the pathologists were supposedly ignorant of the throat wound. The 1968 book The Day Kennedy Was Shot by Jim Bishop contains the passage "...Fresh bruises were found on the upper tip of the right pleural area near the bottom of the throat. There were also contusions in the lower neck. Humes called his doctors away from the table and asked the Navy photographer to shoot additional Kodachrome pictures. The lens picked up a bruise in the form of an inverted pyramid. It was a fraction short of two inches across the top, coming to a point at the bottom. A few of the contused neck muscles were removed for further examination". Bishop's sources, as written in the epilogue section, included interviews with the staff from Gawler's funeral home, as well as Secret Service agent William Greer – "...William Greer, who drove SS-100-X, has retired from the Secret Service. I visited him at his home in Maryland. His wife was ill and it was not a time to badger a man with ugly memories, but he sat and said: “Go ahead. It will take my mind off other things.” The men of Gawler’s Sons were discreet and ethical...". On 1/12/1977, the HSCA interviewed Gawler's funeral home mortician Tom Robinson. Robinson may have indicated that he saw the neck being dissected, not just the chest:

 

Purdy: Tracheotomy. Did you ever hear any discussions that would have indicated why that was the case or what might have caused that, caused obviously the tracheotomy occurred prior to the time the body came there?

 

Robinson: Yes, those things are done very quickly. By nature of the situation, but it was examined very carefully. The throat was. All that was removed.

 

[...]

 

Purdy: Did you close up the head, did you help close up other parts of the body as well?

 

Robinson: Yes I did.

 

Purdy: The back and the front?

 

Robinson: I did the front, yes.

 

Purdy: Was there much that had to be closed up in the back?

 

Robinson: I don't remember that. I don't remember anything happened to really be done when I say in the back where the body had to be turned over.

 

Purdy: When they do the autopsy, they basically open the front up all the way and just look around and they don't have to open the back.

 

Robinson: ...open him up in the back.

 

Conzelman: In the region of the throat, when you were putting him back together, did you notice that any large holes other than what could have been through the autopsy?

 

Robinson: The tracheotomy.

 

Conzelman: Besides that?

 

Robinson: And if it was, a bullet wound.

 

Purdy: Could you tell any kind of a path that the wound had taken from looking in there?

 

Robinson: No, not really. All that had been removed.

 

[...]

 

Purdy: Let me clear one thing about the back. To what extent if any was that back area opened up? Or was that just all in tact?

 

Robinson: No, it was opened up. The brain had to come out

 

Purdy: I mean below that wound? In other words the neck and back.

 

Robinson: It was well examined I recall.

 

Purdy: In the sense of being cut open or being looked at closely?

 

Robinson: Yes, I mean looked at and cut.

 

Purdy: How big a cut, Where would the cut have gone from and to?

 

Robinson: I don't remember if it went off in many angles. It was not a nice clean cut.

 

Purdy: So there was a cut open in the neck to look in there.

 

Robinson: They had this all cut.

 

Purdy: How far down on the back of the neck did they cut open?

 

Robinson: That's what's bothering me, I can't recall whether you would say they went into the back or not. I remember seeing the back.

 

Purdy: So you had to close up the work they did on the neck.

 

Robinson: Yes, it seems to me that Ed did that.

 

Purdy: So you don't recall anything

 

Robinson: You can't have three needles in the same area, somebody is going to get it.

 

Purdy: So you don't recall anything unusual about the closing up, you don't personally or having talked to Mr. Strogle about it?

 

Robinson: No.

 

(ARRB MD 63 [text] [audio])

 

During a panel discussion on 4/6/1991, the autopsy's laboratory technician James Jenkins said the thyroid was removed.

 

Dr. Phillip Williams: Did they take his adrenal glands, do you know?

 

Jenkins: Took the adrenals, the testes, the pituitary, the thyroid.

 

Paul O'Connor: Right.

 

Williams: Alright, then, so if they took the thyroid, then they- they explored this [gesturing towards throat], but at no time did they say that this was a wound?

 

Jenkins: Dr. Boswell- the- the manner that we did the post was that we would do- we would open up the cavity, we would tie off the subclavian serenals and so forth. And then, we would extract, en masse, by severing the trach at the highest point that we could actually reach. And then, we take it all out, separate the organs- you know, examine the organs by- according to the technique that that particular doctor, whether he would saw such a heart or whether he would actually open up the heart through the vessels.

 

(Video, 5:34)

 

On 2/13/1996, Dr. Humes gave his deposition to the Assassination Records Review Board:

 

Q. Okay. For the thyroid over on the right column.

 

A. Yeah.

 

Q. There's no weight there. Do you know--

 

A. It probably wasn't removed. I don't know. Let me go back for one minute. I was told find out what killed the man. My focus was on his wounds. I didn't approach this like it was a medical death due to some disease or whatever. I was focusing primarily and almost exclusively on the wounds. So I don't know. I don't know if I weighed the thyroid or not.

 

(ARRB, 2/13/1996 [text])

 

Dr. Boswell’s ARRB deposition was on 2/26/1996. Strangely, when asked "Were the organs of the neck dissected?", he responded "Yes":

 

Q. Did you ever understand that there were any orders or instructions to limit the autopsy of the organs of the neck?

 

A. No.

 

Q. Were the organs of the neck dissected?

 

A. Yes.

 

[...]

 

Q. Do you see any of the organs of the neck being weighed on Exhibit 1 on the first page?

 

A. No, and the only organ in the neck would be the thyroid.

 

Q. Do you know whether the thyroid was removed from President Kennedy?

 

A. I don't remember that it was. It need not have been necessarily removed. I mean, it could have been examined in situ and not removed. But I do not remember.

 

Q. With there being a bullet wound transiting the neck, would it not be standard autopsy procedure to remove all of the organs of the neck?

 

A. Normally it would. The trachea, larynx, and everything.

 

Q. Do you know whether the trachea, larynx, and thyroid were removed?

 

A. I'm almost sure that we did not remove the trachea and larynx. I believe the lungs were removed separately. Normally you would take all the neck organs out with the thoracic organs.

 

Q. Did anyone request that the organs of the neck not be removed?

 

A. No.

 

(ARRB, 2/26/1996 [text])

 

Some statements seem to describe a surgical instrument being used to “probe” the throat during the autopsy, not just the back (ARRB MD 16, 1/10/1967 CBS internal memo from Robert Richter to Les Midgley; ARRB MD 135, 8/11/1978 HSCA interview of Robert Knudsen [text] [audio, partial]; (The effectiveness of Public Law 102-526, the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992 : hearing before the Legislation and National Security Subcommittee of the Committee on Government Operations, House of Representatives, One Hundred Third Congress, first session, November 17, 1993, p. 222 [text]; ARRB MD 227, 4/8/1996 ARRB interview of John Stringer; ARRB MD 180, ARRB report on 6/21/1996 interview of Tom Robinson; 7/16/1996 ARRB deposition of John Stringer [text] [audio]). If this happened, it was not reported on.

 

I am wondering if the above statements could explain Paul O'Connor's "esophagus" sighting.

Edited by Micah Mileto
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Just now, Eddy Bainbridge said:

Hi David, I am challenging your theory as I sense a far simpler alternative. It's possible your new book will dispose of my proposal but what you have thus far written does not. Your quote above from Hulmes has another interpretation to the one you are ascribing. He could be saying 'that is a ridiculous suggestion... I' d like to know by whom it was done etc etc' and not admitting that surgery took place, as you propose. 

Hulmes, as far as I'm aware, did not parade his horror at pre-autopsy surgery in any testimony, why not? What he did do, was accept, reluctantly, his evidence didn't match prevailing thought. I am referring to his HSCA testimony in the alleged rear entrance wound. He also minimised what he claimed was necessary to prepare the skull for autopsy. The Sibert and O'Neil report on his statement at the autopsy can also have an alternative meaning than the one ascribed by you. Hulmes may have been making a somewhat flippant observation, faced with massive head damage, that it looked like you would need surgery to create such damage. Thus the comment was descriptive of the scene, not an accurate description of what was required to create it. 

Humes never denied using a saw during the autopsy. He told the WC that "virtually" no work with a saw was used. He told the ARRB that "we had to cut some bone". Nothing about the official story negates the use of a saw, even if Humes claimed that the skull was so fractured that pieces could come loose in his hands. Sometimes in normal autopsies, even a literal mallet is used to lightly tap the skull after most of the bone has been sawn through.

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3 minutes ago, Eddy Bainbridge said:

Hi Micah, many thanks for your research. 

 

Although I should add that Tom Robinson, on top of the questionable story about arriving early to the autopsy, told the ARRB that he thought the large defect on the photos was the surgery performed by the pathologists sawing the skull, not the original head wound. But, I think David here said that he believes Tom Robinson was already aware of the body alteration theory before he started telling that story.

Edited by Micah Mileto
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