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RARE: HSCA Testimony of JFK autopsy Dr. James J. Humes 1978


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This thread got me reading the HSCA interviews showDoc.html (maryferrell.org) of the Autopsy Doctors and Dr Angel (Referred to above by Micah)

I am sure someone has highlighted this before, but what Boswell states (uncontested by any other expert) is astonishing. (* Read for yourself as my version is not perfect as I used Optical Character Recognition software, so its not perfect)

 

Volume VII

Page 246

 

"Dr Petty - Then this is the entrance wound. The one down by the margin of

the hair in the back?

Dr. HUMES_ Yes, sir.

.......................................

Dr BOSWELL -„ It's the posterior-inferior margin Of the scalp.

the posterior-inferior margin Of the lacerated scalp ?

Dr. Boswell. - It tore right to that point, And then we just folded that

back and this back and an interior flap forward and that exposed almost the entire—I guess we did have to dissect a little bit to get

Dr, Hulmes -  To get to this entrance. right?

Dr Boswell-  But not much. because this bone all gone and actually the

smaller fragment fit this piece down here—there was a hole here, only half of

which was present the bone that was intact. and this small piece then fit right

on there and the bevelling was on the interior surface."

 -   -    -    -

The group in the discussion above had been looking at photos and xrays, including an xray of three fragments that arrived later in the autopsy. I didn't believe that Boswell was referring to a 'smaller fragment'  that arrived later in the autopsy, but yes he was!

 

Page 260

 

"Dr. Petty . Now. could you two possibly, thinking back 16 years. I know how

difficult it is, but is there any way that you could show us where the entrance

was in that wound?

Dr. Boswell -I don't believe its depicted in that picture.

Dr. Hulmes. How about here, Jay?

Dr. BOSWELL.- Well. I don't believe so. As I recall the bone was intact

at that point. There was a shelf and then a little hole, came up on the side and

then one of the two fragments in that X-ray, when that arrived,

we were able to fit that down there and complete the circumference of that bone

wound."

 

If its not obvious, why I found this astonishing its this : They are talking about an alleged bullet entrance location, the Warren Commission and the HSCA both show diagrams with a rear shot leading to a huge blowout further forward. Fragments that arrived later in the autopsy could not have come from the same entrance hole location, could they? What is Boswell trying to claim; that a piece of skull fell from the back of the head, into the limo, from a shot from the rear? In another segment of the discussion Hulmes describes peeling the scalp down to find the entrance wound. The hole in the scalp apparently had a matching hole in the skull. The scalp reflection process is very important to the hole location story, as Hulmes explains that no such entrance hole was found whilst peeling down the scalp, until the entrance hole was found.

I am completely puzzled by Boswell's observation and grateful for any clarification.

 

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1 hour ago, Eddy Bainbridge said:

This thread got me reading the HSCA interviews showDoc.html (maryferrell.org) of the Autopsy Doctors and Dr Angel (Referred to above by Micah)

I am sure someone has highlighted this before, but what Boswell states (uncontested by any other expert) is astonishing. (* Read for yourself as my version is not perfect as I used Optical Character Recognition software, so its not perfect)

 

Volume VII

Page 246

 

"Dr Petty - Then this is the entrance wound. The one down by the margin of

the hair in the back?

Dr. HUMES_ Yes, sir.

.......................................

Dr BOSWELL -„ It's the posterior-inferior margin Of the scalp.

the posterior-inferior margin Of the lacerated scalp ?

Dr. Boswell. - It tore right to that point, And then we just folded that

back and this back and an interior flap forward and that exposed almost the entire—I guess we did have to dissect a little bit to get

Dr, Hulmes -  To get to this entrance. right?

Dr Boswell-  But not much. because this bone all gone and actually the

smaller fragment fit this piece down here—there was a hole here, only half of

which was present the bone that was intact. and this small piece then fit right

on there and the bevelling was on the interior surface."

 -   -    -    -

The group in the discussion above had been looking at photos and xrays, including an xray of three fragments that arrived later in the autopsy. I didn't believe that Boswell was referring to a 'smaller fragment'  that arrived later in the autopsy, but yes he was!

 

Page 260

 

"Dr. Petty . Now. could you two possibly, thinking back 16 years. I know how

difficult it is, but is there any way that you could show us where the entrance

was in that wound?

Dr. Boswell -I don't believe its depicted in that picture.

Dr. Hulmes. How about here, Jay?

Dr. BOSWELL.- Well. I don't believe so. As I recall the bone was intact

at that point. There was a shelf and then a little hole, came up on the side and

then one of the two fragments in that X-ray, when that arrived,

we were able to fit that down there and complete the circumference of that bone

wound."

 

If its not obvious, why I found this astonishing its this : They are talking about an alleged bullet entrance location, the Warren Commission and the HSCA both show diagrams with a rear shot leading to a huge blowout further forward. Fragments that arrived later in the autopsy could not have come from the same entrance hole location, could they? What is Boswell trying to claim; that a piece of skull fell from the back of the head, into the limo, from a shot from the rear? In another segment of the discussion Hulmes describes peeling the scalp down to find the entrance wound. The hole in the scalp apparently had a matching hole in the skull. The scalp reflection process is very important to the hole location story, as Hulmes explains that no such entrance hole was found whilst peeling down the scalp, until the entrance hole was found.

I am completely puzzled by Boswell's observation and grateful for any clarification.

 

You should be confused about Boswell's claims because his claims are confusing. He was confused. 

He reversed himself a number of times. While his initial recall was that the skull fragments brought in demonstrated a beveled exit, he later started claiming these fragments matched up with the entrance. This failed to correspond with what Humes and Finck recalled, and apparently what Boswell himself told Thompson years before. 

Nevertheless there are many who seize on Boswell's comments and drawings to claim there was giant hole on the back of the skull at the beginning of the autopsy, and that the photos and x-rays are thereby fakes. They often take his statements out of context. Humes, Boswell, Jenkins and Custer, at the very least, were in agreement that the skull on the back of the head was badly shattered, but intact, at the beginning of the autopsy, and that it fell apart when Humes peeled back the scalp. This explains a lot of the problems with the medical evidence--why, for example, the autopsy report and Humes in his testimony gave different numbers for the size of the defect. It's clear, at least to me, that Humes was approximating the size before the skull fell apart. 

This latter problem is important for another reason, however. It shows the incredible desperation and deceptiveness of many of those who've written on the medical evidence.  Some claim the large numbers given for the defect represent the "real" numbers for its size before Humes peeled back the scalp. When this is absurd. The defect size in the autopsy report is 5 times, if I recall, the size of the defect supposedly witnessed by the Parkland witnesses. So, okay, you might think, they enlarged the wound to remove the brain, etc. But the problem is that a number of people witnessed the skull collapse when Humes peeled back the scalp. So, then, one might guess that they enlarged the wound to remove the brain, replaced the brain, and that this reconstruction collapsed when Humes peeled back the scalp. Sounds reasonable. Sort of.

If anything, the large size of the defect in the autopsy report supports Lifton's claim someone other than Humes altered the body. (I don't believe the body was altered but I'm playing Devil's Advocate here.) Horne et al's theory there was a pre-autopsy in which Humes altered the body makes no sense when one takes into account the large size of the defect in the report. I mean, what? Was Humes freakin' stupid? He pulls out and replaces the brain and then stitches the skull and scalp back together to hide his dirty work, only to screw up and describe a defect large enough to remove the brain? Nonsense. 

Sorry about the ramble. 

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8 hours ago, Pat Speer said:

You should be confused about Boswell's claims because his claims are confusing. He was confused. 

He reversed himself a number of times. While his initial recall was that the skull fragments brought in demonstrated a beveled exit, he later started claiming these fragments matched up with the entrance. This failed to correspond with what Humes and Finck recalled, and apparently what Boswell himself told Thompson years before. 

Nevertheless there are many who seize on Boswell's comments and drawings to claim there was giant hole on the back of the skull at the beginning of the autopsy, and that the photos and x-rays are thereby fakes. They often take his statements out of context. Humes, Boswell, Jenkins and Custer, at the very least, were in agreement that the skull on the back of the head was badly shattered, but intact, at the beginning of the autopsy, and that it fell apart when Humes peeled back the scalp. This explains a lot of the problems with the medical evidence--why, for example, the autopsy report and Humes in his testimony gave different numbers for the size of the defect. It's clear, at least to me, that Humes was approximating the size before the skull fell apart. 

This latter problem is important for another reason, however. It shows the incredible desperation and deceptiveness of many of those who've written on the medical evidence.  Some claim the large numbers given for the defect represent the "real" numbers for its size before Humes peeled back the scalp. When this is absurd. The defect size in the autopsy report is 5 times, if I recall, the size of the defect supposedly witnessed by the Parkland witnesses. So, okay, you might think, they enlarged the wound to remove the brain, etc. But the problem is that a number of people witnessed the skull collapse when Humes peeled back the scalp. So, then, one might guess that they enlarged the wound to remove the brain, replaced the brain, and that this reconstruction collapsed when Humes peeled back the scalp. Sounds reasonable. Sort of.

If anything, the large size of the defect in the autopsy report supports Lifton's claim someone other than Humes altered the body. (I don't believe the body was altered but I'm playing Devil's Advocate here.) Horne et al's theory there was a pre-autopsy in which Humes altered the body makes no sense when one takes into account the large size of the defect in the report. I mean, what? Was Humes freakin' stupid? He pulls out and replaces the brain and then stitches the skull and scalp back together to hide his dirty work, only to screw up and describe a defect large enough to remove the brain? Nonsense. 

Sorry about the ramble. 

Thank you Pat, an essential ramble as it encapsulates the skull dilemma. I am not willing to accept that either Hulmes' or Boswell were part of a carefully coordinated conspiracy. If they were, their scripts are appalling.

I am very glad to see your engagement. I don't agree with all your conclusions, but I admire your attempts to challenge some of the weak arguments. 

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How do we hold dead people accountable?

Specter, Fisher, Morgan, Carnes and Moritz have all passed off this mortal coil. In other words every member of the Clark Panel is dead and has been for decades.

It was not possible to hold them accountable while they were alive and working either, since they did what they did in secret. This was a fatal flaw which the MSM allowed to pass without comment.  In fact, they cooperated with it.

People had screamed at Specter for decades.  To my knowledge none of that managed to change his mind, at least in public.  After the decades of screaming at Specter, in 2003, ABC modified his Single Bullet Theory into the Single Bullet Fact. 

I don't see how anyone can review the elevation of the wound in the back of the head, the Clark Panel's work with it, and not mention the discovery of the 6.5 mm fragment in the rear of the skull which miraculously allowed for such a move to occur. Because they mentioned it in their report. (See p. 11) 

But  none of the autopsy doctors or the two FBI agents saw it at Bethesda.  

 

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A reasonably accepted view is that one discrepancy between the assassination scene and Parkland was that the flap of skull at the side of Kennedy's head had been closed, and stuck closed by congealed blood. If that is a plausible idea (I think it is), then similar issues may cloud other parts of the evidence. 

1. Discussions are confused between skull and scalp. (Hulmes tries to accept his entrance wound was higher using this argument for the HSCA)

2. The autopsy surgeons, and the photographs do not give a clear picture of Kennedy's wounds prior to autopsy (An example being the triangular fragment seems to fit further forward than the hole in the HSCA diagram)

3. The skull was badly shattered by the bullet(s), so we cant' judge what came out on Elm Street, or fell out on autopsy, or was reconstructed after autopsy.

 

A big area of disagreement is whether there was a blow hole at the rear of the skull (As per MacLelland approved sketch): Boswell claims in his HSCA interview that the skull was torn a long way down the back of the head. Could that tear be one side of the blow-out hole? Could the scalp flaps drawn on the blow-out diagram have closed somewhat? Could some loose fragments of skull have dropped down into the blow-out area, confusing the analysis of the autopsy surgeons? There are hints that this may be the case.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 4/8/2022 at 10:18 AM, Benjamin Cole said:

I would love to hear the audio of your conversation with Dr. Hume. Can you post it online? If you have already, can you link?

 

Thanks 

Excellent question. The ARRB had on their lists one 1972 audio of a Lifton interview with photographer Stringer, but it’s not available or something. 

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22 hours ago, Denis Morissette said:

Excellent question. The ARRB had on their lists one 1972 audio of a Lifton interview with photographer Stringer, but it’s not available or something. 

We need somebody to go to the National Archives and digitize all of their medical audio tapes. Tapes from Lifton are included in some of the ARRB material. How old are these tapes? They could be deteriorating.

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50 minutes ago, Micah Mileto said:

We need somebody to go to the National Archives and digitize all of their medical audio tapes. Tapes from Lifton are included in some of the ARRB material. How old are these tapes? They could be deteriorating.

I contacted the archives about its videotapes of the HSCA testimony some time ago. I mentioned this earlier but they told me the only way they would provide copies of these tapes (or any tapes in their possession) was if I were to pay an authorized company to do so. This would have been something like 50 bucks per tape as I recall. I then shopped around and found Jack White's VHS copies at the Poage Library. They made me copies of two of the videos for I think it was 10 bucks apiece.

As far as Lifton, I believe he thought he was being transparent in providing his tapes to the archives. Like a lot of us, he's moved around, and he didn't want to lose his copies over time. But the reality is that in sending his materials to the archives, he placed them behind a very expensive and for the most part prohibitive paywall.

He is not alone in this. Warren Commission attorney Howard Willens put a ton of internal WC documents online to help promote his 2013 book on the Warren Commission. Many of these were not in the archives. I combed through this stuff and found some juicy tidbits questioning the "official" story Willens was defending. One of these was reported on Jeff Morley's site. Willens then removed these documents from the internet, and claimed he'd sent the original copies to the archives. The problem was that this once again put these documents behind a very expensive paywall. And it's worse than that. A few years after Willens "disappeared" these documents, I asked Malcolm Blunt if they had in fact been sent to the archives. He said they had been and that he'd seen them. As I recall he saw some boxes waiting to be processed and asked what they were when someone told him they were the Willens documents. As I recall this was something he'd noticed only recently. IOW, the Willens documents were not only "disappeared" by Willens, the archives was taking its sweet time making them available to the public. (It wouldn't surprise me, moreover, if there had been an agreement they would drag their feet on this until after Willens had passed. Stranger things have happened. In fact, one of the tidbits I'd uncovered while browsing Willens' website was that Warren had asked the archives to withhold the release of troublesome documents for a period after the end of the WC, so that the WC's story could become accepted before any questions could arise.)

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1 hour ago, Pat Speer said:

I contacted the archives about its videotapes of the HSCA testimony some time ago. I mentioned this earlier but they told me the only way they would provide copies of these tapes (or any tapes in their possession) was if I were to pay an authorized company to do so. This would have been something like 50 bucks per tape as I recall. I then shopped around and found Jack White's VHS copies at the Poage Library. They made me copies of two of the videos for I think it was 10 bucks apiece.

As far as Lifton, I believe he thought he was being transparent in providing his tapes to the archives. Like a lot of us, he's moved around, and he didn't want to lose his copies over time. But the reality is that in sending his materials to the archives, he placed them behind a very expensive and for the most part prohibitive paywall.

He is not alone in this. Warren Commission attorney Howard Willens put a ton of internal WC documents online to help promote his 2013 book on the Warren Commission. Many of these were not in the archives. I combed through this stuff and found some juicy tidbits questioning the "official" story Willens was defending. One of these was reported on Jeff Morley's site. Willens then removed these documents from the internet, and claimed he'd sent the original copies to the archives. The problem was that this once again put these documents behind a very expensive paywall. And it's worse than that. A few years after Willens "disappeared" these documents, I asked Malcolm Blunt if they had in fact been sent to the archives. He said they had been and that he'd seen them. As I recall he saw some boxes waiting to be processed and asked what they were when someone told him they were the Willens documents. As I recall this was something he'd noticed only recently. IOW, the Willens documents were not only "disappeared" by Willens, the archives was taking its sweet time making them available to the public. (It wouldn't surprise me, moreover, if there had been an agreement they would drag their feet on this until after Willens had passed. Stranger things have happened. In fact, one of the tidbits I'd uncovered while browsing Willens' website was that Warren had asked the archives to withhold the release of troublesome documents for a period after the end of the WC, so that the WC's story could become accepted before any questions could arise.)

The Jack White videos (all 3) :)

 

 

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