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Who Changed Kennedy's Tell-tale Wounds


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THIS IS THE EXCERPT ON KENNEDY'S WOUNDS, TAKEN FROM THE BOOK THAT I'VE WRITTEN.

As cited in the Introduction, the assassination of President Kennedy was carried out by two of the KGB officers that had infiltrated the CIA and a double agent, (an American intelligence officer who knowingly and willingly worked for the KGB). It was the first step in a two-pronged assassination plan that included assassinating President Johnson right before the 1964 election. Their purpose was to get Senator Barry Goldwater, the Republican candidate for President and one of the CIA officers that they were handling, elected President.

Colonel Pierre Finck, one of three army pathologists who performed the autopsy on President Kennedy, testified at the closed-door Congressional hearings in 1984. He directly contradicted the official story of how President Kennedy’s wounds were caused.

The official story alleges that President Kennedy was shot from behind and that a bullet entered the back of his neck, passed through it, and then wounded Governor John Connally of Texas. The official story that also alleges that a second bullet “disintegrated” after it allegedly “smashed off” the back of President Kennedy’s skull, or if publicly circulated photographs are to be believed, the second bullet entered into President Kennedy’s skull and then “disintegrated.”

In closed-door testimony in 1984, Colonel Pierre Finck testified that there was no bullet hole in the back of President Kennedy’s neck, that there was no bullet hole in President Kennedy’s back, that there was a bullet hole in President Kennedy’s temple, and that the back of President Kennedy’s head was blown off. Colonel Finck also testified that he found a hematoma (pooling of blood) in President Kennedy’s neck and shoulder muscles. He further testified that there was a wound in the front of President Kennedy’s throat, that the only possible cause for this hematoma in the neck and shoulder muscles would have been a bullet entering the front of the President’s throat, and that a bullet entering the back of the neck would not have even caused the hematoma. He testified that one of the other pathologists found a bullet in President Kennedy’s shoulder muscle, the bullet that caused the hematoma.

Under oath, Colonel Finck was asked, “Can you swear, under oath, with absolute certainty, that President Kennedy was shot twice and that both of those bullets came from the front?”

Colonel Finck’s emphatic reply was, “Yes!”

These are the details of how the story unfolded in 1963 and dramatically changed over the years to bolster the idea that President Kennedy was shot from behind by Lee Harvey Oswald, so that the KGB officers in the CIA could get away with killing the President of the United States in an effort to put one of their CIA colleagues into the Oval Office.

The first written reports from Dallas on November 22, 1963, stated, “He was shot today by an assassin who sent a rifle bullet crashing into his temple.” (R.P. 32)

On January 23, 1964, the doctors who worked on Kennedy described the effort to save his life in an article in the Texas State Journal of Medicine.

“Dr. William Kemp Clark, a specialist in head injuries, said most of the right side of the back of the skull was gone . . . Dr. Charles J. Carrico, the first physician to see Mr. Kennedy, noted two external wounds, one in the neck and another in his head. In the head wound, he saw shredded brain tissue.” (R.P. 33)

An article on November 23, 1963, the day after Kennedy was shot, said that Dr. Clark had described Kennedy’s head wound as “a large gaping wound with considerable loss of tissue.” (R.P. 34)

On December 18, 1963, the Washington Post reported that the “as yet unofficial report of pathologists who performed the autopsy on the President’s body the night of November 22” says that “the second bullet to hit the President tore off the right rear portion of his head so destructively as to be ‘completely incompatible with life.’” (R.P. 35)

Publicly circulated photos that are touted as being from Kennedy’s autopsy simply show a bullet hole in the back of his head, contradicting the information put forth in these articles, so I called the office of Congressman Louis Stokes, Chairman of the House Assassinations Committee in the 1970s, and they referred me to Robert Blakey at Notre Dame Law School. Mr. Blakey was the assassination committee’s general counsel.

I called Mr. Blakey at Notre Dame and asked him when the autopsy photos were first made public. He stated that they’ve never been made public, so I queried him on the publicly circulated photos and he stated that they were “stolen documents.” I asked him if that meant they haven’t been authenticated in any way and he said that was correct, stressing that they were stolen documents.

Further research into news articles revealed that when the House Assassinations Committee was investigating President Kennedy’s assassination, Regis Blahut, a CIA officer who had been detailed to “assist” the committee, broke into a combination safe at the committee’s offices. The break-in was reported in the news several months after the House Assassinations Committee actually disbanded. (R.P. 36)

“The safe was reserved for physical evidence of President Kennedy’s assassination, including the autopsy photos, X-rays, and other articles, such as the so-called ‘magic bullet’ that wounded both Kennedy and Texas Governor John B. Connally.” (R.P. 37)

“Autopsy photos of the head shot that killed Kennedy had been taken out of their cases and were left in disarray inside the three drawer safe . . . There was no doubt that the files in the safe had been tampered with . . . ‘It looked as though someone had just run out.’”

Blahut’s fingerprints “were all over the place, on the photos, inside the safe, and on all sorts of different packages.” (R.P. 36)

“The CIA acknowledged that it has dismissed the individual in question. ‘We’re satisfied it was just a matter of curiosity,’ said CIA spokesman Herbert Hetu.” (Blahut obviously made sure that the break-in would be noticed and that the autopsy photos were in disarray. That’s because the CIA does things for a reason, and if the CIA spokesman were to be believed, what he was really saying was, “Yes, the agent we assigned to assist the House Assassinations Committee broke into their safe, but that’s only because he was curious. In fact, we fired him. We’re satisfied.”)

“In a telephone interview with the Washington Post, Blahut denied any wrongdoing. He insisted that there was an innocent explanation. He refused, however, to say what that was.” (The Post got its responses from the CIA and Blahut when they publicized the break-in.)

Blahut said he worked for the CIA’s Office of Security and he stated, “There’s other things that are involved that are detrimental to other things,” and he refused to elaborate when asked what he meant by that.

Blahut went on to say, “I signed an oath of secrecy. I cannot discuss it any further. . . . I’ve already defended myself to my employers. As far as I’m concerned, that’s all cleared up.” He also claimed to have passed CIA lie detector tests over the matter. (It doesn’t sound like he’d been fired. And why did the CIA have an agent with their Office of Security assigned to “assist” the House Assassinations Committee?)

A couple of months after the Washington Post publicized that the Committee’s safe had been broken into, a man named Harrison Livingstone claimed that he was selling photographs from President Kennedy’s autopsy.

At that time, Robert Blakey had said, “There are two things possible here. Either it’s a fraud, or it’s an attempt to sell stolen property.” (R.P. 38)

Harrison Livingstone responded at that time by saying that they weren’t stolen, but the day after he made his claim about trying to sell the photographs, he said he was taking them off the market, still claiming that they weren’t stolen but allegedly claiming that he feared the Justice Department would take action against him. (R.P. 39)

Photographs ultimately surfaced that show a bullet-size hole in the back of President Kennedy’s skull and the public has accepted that they are from President Kennedy’s autopsy.

The CIA was obviously the source of the photographs and they undoubtedly had the sloppy break-in perpetrated to make the photos seem as though they were authentic autopsy photos. No wonder the spokesman said the CIA was “satisfied.”

Regarding Kennedy’s neck wound, “the findings of the as yet unofficial report of pathologists” on December 18, 1963, twenty-six days after Kennedy was killed, alleged to “clear up confusions, particularly whether one shot hit him in the neck from the front.”

The lengthy article said none of the doctors at Parkland Hospital were aware that he had been shot “in the back shoulder, five to seven inches below the collar line,” because he’d been on his back “until the body was covered with a sheet after he was pronounced dead.”

The article, seemingly verbose, was already touting the official line that he was shot from behind. The first words of the article are: “President Kennedy was shot twice, both times from behind,” and several paragraphs later it blends in the part about doctors being unaware of a bullet in his shoulder, which serves as a premise for how the doctors allegedly explained things.

When it gets to the part about the neck wound, it says, “The Dallas doctors admittedly were in disagreement. Some believed the President had been shot twice, the neck wound being from a glancing hit: one of the surgeons explained over television that he was shot only once, and that a fragment from the bullet that hit his head coursed downward and emerged through the front of his throat.” (As will be seen, it must have been an anonymous surgeon.)

The “as yet unofficial report of pathologists” also said a bullet was “found deep in his shoulder,” but the fact is, it was a rifle shot to the front neck that put a bullet “deep in his shoulder.” (R.P. 35)

The doctors trying to save the President’s life knew he wasn’t shot in the back and they also knew he wasn’t shot in the back of his neck, but the article headlined “Kennedy Autopsy Report: Final Bullet Was Lethal” touting “the findings of the as yet unofficial report of pathologists” was obviously being used to preclude any statements by the doctors that would interfere with a cover up.

Although it was taking the official line that Kennedy was shot from the rear, the article ran contrary to what the official line has since become. It said that a bullet other than the two that struck the President had struck Connally. It claimed that “Both bullets that struck the President were tied by ballistics tests to the rifle found in that building where Lee Harvey Oswald worked,” and it said, “The one bullet that struck Governor Connally, however, could not be similarly traced to any rifle because it fragmented.”

The Autopsy article also said that the bullet found in Kennedy’s shoulder caused “a hematoma, a pooling of blood inside the neck and shoulder muscles.” (This was the hematoma that Colonel Finck found.) It also said “the lower right back side, the occipito-parietal region of the head,” was “smashed off” by a bullet. The “unofficial report of pathologists” allegedly concurred on the idea that “a fragment was deflected and passed out the front of the throat,” which had allegedly been “explained over television” by “one of the surgeons” from the hospital.

Even though the article ran contrary to what the official line has since become, the wording was clearly meant to drive home the idea that the bullets came from the rear. The fifteen paragraphs of the article cite the “doctors” and the “pathologists who performed the autopsy” several times as sources of information for bullets coming from the rear and for how the wounds were caused. The story of the bullets and how the wounds were caused would change completely, but the idea that Kennedy was shot from behind would remain intact.

The description in this article twenty-six days after the President of the United States was assassinated, of how the neck wound was caused, eventually became inconsequential.

In 1965, the New York Times reported that medical examinations of the neck wound had been made “before a tracheotomy had altered the wound in the front of the President’s neck . . . Doctor Rufus Baxter said the neck wound was ‘unlikely’ to be a wound of exit and ‘would more resemble a wound of entry’ . . . Doctor Charles Carrico described the wound as ‘fairly round, had no jagged edges’ . . . Doctor Ronald Jones had described it as the sort ‘you would see in a bullet that is entering rather than exiting from a patient.’” (R.P. 44)

In January 1964, the Texas State Journal of Medicine reported that Dr. Carrico, “the first physician to see Mr. Kennedy, noted two external wounds, one in the neck and another in his head. In the head wound, he saw shredded brain tissue.” A bullet did not enter the back of Kennedy’s neck, but at that time, the official line was that a bullet fragment coursed downward through his head and emerged through the front of his throat.

In 1984, Colonel Pierre Finck testified that two men wearing the uniforms of Four Star Generals had come to him after the assassination and instructed him on what to say regarding the autopsy. He also testified that Federal operatives were present at the autopsy giving orders and at one point, they pointedly told the pathologists, “No talking!”

During public hearings in 1969, Colonel Finck testified that he made no attempt to dissect the President’s neck to trace the path of the bullet because, “We were told not to.” He “said he did not recall who had given the order not to dissect the President’s neck.” (If he had traced the path of the bullet, he would have traced it from the front of Kennedy’s throat until he found it deep in Kennedy’s shoulder.)

Colonel Finck also testified at the public hearings in 1969 that the bullet that allegedly struck Kennedy in the back of the head “exploded through the right top” and “a five-inch star-shaped wound resulted where the bullet exited,” and he testified that the bullet “disintegrated.”

According to the article, Colonel Finck testified that the bullet “entered nearly in the center of the back of President Kennedy’s head . . . exploded through the right top . . . a five-inch star-shaped wound resulted where the bullet exited . . . ‘The general direction of the missile was from the rear, going downward’” and the bullet “disintegrated.” (R.P. 42)

The downward angle and the five-inch star-shaped exit wound were undoubtedly supposed to account for it exiting in the rear before it allegedly disintegrated. (Was the bullet supposed to have disintegrated in his head, which actually makes the idea of a fragment more plausible, or was the bullet supposed to have “smashed off” the back of his head before disintegrating?)

As if Colonel Finck’s description wasn’t hard enough to figure out, he then said that another bullet allegedly fired by Oswald had a decidedly different angle than the alleged downward missile that allegedly took off a five-inch star-shaped piece of President Kennedy’s skull. He alleged that the bullet that was supposed to have struck Kennedy in the back of the shoulder five to seven inches below the collar line (the “as yet unofficial report of pathologists”), had “entered the back of the President's neck, had gone through the throat, and exited in front.” This was supposedly the “magic bullet” that caused Governor Connally’s wounds.

Colonel Finck was following orders in all this, but the truth came out in 1984.

Colonel Finck’s account in 1969 was in keeping with the Warren Commission report that claimed the bullet exited through Kennedy’s throat and struck Connally, but both were in stark contrast to “the findings of the as yet unofficial report of pathologists” on December 18, 1963. In the first paragraph of that article, it says that the first bullet to hit Kennedy “was found deep in his shoulder.”

Toward the end it says, “The shot that killed was the third one fired; the second struck Governor John Connally.”

It also said, “All the shots, the investigations have shown, had trajectories that would line them up with the sixth floor window of the Texas School Book Depository building, where the assassin has been traced.”

The autopsy article cited trajectories and “the assassin,” but the alleged “trajectories” did not account for Connally’s wounds, which is why the story of how Connally was wounded had to change.

Even the story of Kennedy’s wounds had to completely change. After the original reports, he would no longer be shot in the “temple,” and eventually there would no longer be a bullet “found deep in his shoulder,” nor would there be a fragment that coursed downward through his head.

The story had to be changed so that they could still claim that the shots came from behind, specifically from “the sixth floor window of the Texas School Book Depository,” where “the assassin” has been traced, “that building where Lee Harvey Oswald worked.”

The fact is, twenty-six days after the President of the United States was violently assassinated, neither the American public nor the American press were entertaining the idea that anyone would claim that one of the bullets passed through President Kennedy and wounded the Governor of Texas.

This original information less than four weeks after the assassination went a long way toward solidifying claims made by Dallas police that Oswald was “the assassin” and that he was guilty “beyond a shadow of a doubt,” but since it was in stark contrast to later positions of how the assassination officially took place, the quasi-official statements obviously didn’t stand up to scrutiny.

They did, however, pave the way for a palatable “magic bullet” and a Warren Commission statement that “although it is not necessary to any essential findings of the commission to determine just which shot hit Governor Connally, there is very persuasive evidence from the experts to indicate that the same bullet which pierced the President’s throat also caused Governor Connally’s wounds.” (R.P. 46)

The memo from the Justice Department to President Johnson, suggesting the establishment of the Warren Commission (which will be cited in the section on Earl Warren), specifically states, “The public must be satisfied that Oswald was the assassin; that he did not have confederates who are still at large; and that the evidence was such that he would have been convicted at trial.”

Obviously in order to do what they were directed to do by the President of the United States, they had to say, “It is not necessary to any essential findings of the commission to determine just which shot hit Governor Connally.”

Another obvious fact is that it was absolutely “necessary” to claim that “the same bullet which pierced the President’s throat also caused Governor Connally’s wounds.” (The idea that a bullet had gone through President Kennedy’s neck had not been alleged by anyone until the Warren Commission came out with its report in September 1964. Stating that it was “the same bullet which pierced the President’s throat” makes it seem as though it was already an established fact that a bullet had passed through Kennedy’s neck, but the Warren Commission was the original source of this allegation of how Kennedy’s wounds were caused. Until the Warren Commission came out with its report in September 1964, that bullet was officially “found deep in his shoulder.”)

The doctors who tried to save Kennedy’s life refuted the Warren Commission’s “new story” within a few months. As has been cited, the New York Times reported in 1965 that medical examinations of the neck wound had been made “before a tracheotomy had altered the wound in the front of the President’s neck . . . Doctor Rufus Baxter said the neck wound was ‘unlikely’ to be a wound of exit and ‘would more resemble a wound of entry’ . . . Doctor Charles Carrico described the wound as ‘fairly round, had no jagged edges’ . . . Doctor Ronald Jones had described it as the sort ‘you would see in a bullet that is entering rather than exiting from a patient.’”

Malcolm Kilduff, acting White House press secretary on November 22, 1963, stated in November 1966 that he didn’t accept the idea that a single bullet passed through Kennedy and caused Connally’s wounds in the chest and wrist because the bullet was “in almost perfect condition.” (Maybe it was a really great bullet, but the one that disintegrated was a piece of junk.) [R.P. 47]

On November 23, 1963, the Dallas Morning News reported that on November 22, Mrs. John Connally told the Governor’s administrative aide, Julian Read, that the first bullet struck President Kennedy.

“Mrs. Connally said she heard the first shot and Governor Connally turned around and looked at the President. Then, she said, just as Connally turned around he was hit by the second bullet.” (R.P. 48)

Obviously he wasn’t hit by the first shot and the bullet that struck him didn’t pass through Kennedy first, but the official line is that the first bullet passed through Kennedy’s neck, wounding Governor Connally, and the second one “smashed off” a five-inch piece of President Kennedy’s skull before “disintegrating.” As previously noted, for quite some time after the assassination, the official line was tailored to the knowledge that Kennedy was not wounded in the back of his neck, and tailored to the knowledge that the bullet that caused Connally’s wounds did not pass through Kennedy.

The article that cited Malcolm Kilduff and the bullet “in almost perfect condition” began with: “On the third anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination today, the two-year-old Warren Commission report on his death is the subject of intensive attacks,” but just as the unofficial report of pathologists didn’t stand up to scrutiny, the Warren report apparently didn’t stand up to scrutiny either as the Warren Commission’s schematic drawing actually showed the bullet entering Kennedy’s back.

So much had been said about the bullet entering his shoulder from behind that they had a schematic drawing made to show that happening. They simply left the impression that it changed directions and exited through his throat, which was a primary reason for the “intensive attacks” on the Warren Commission’s report in November of 1966, the third anniversary of Kennedy’s death.

The story was obviously in need of more doctoring and it evolved further, five years and two months after the “intensive attacks.”

In January of 1972, a urologist who examined the autopsy photographs and X-rays, in response to continuing criticism of the Warren report, claimed that the bullet passed through Kennedy’s neck “at a distinctly downward angle, more than was shown in the schematic drawings released by the Warren report . . . the path of the projectile into the back of President Kennedy’s neck and out the base of his throat . . . the front hole is considerably lower than the one in back.” (R.P. 43)

(A urologist? Twenty-six days after the President of the United States was assassinated, the American public had no problem with that bullet having been “found deep in his shoulder, five to seven inches below the collar line.” The alleged fragment that allegedly coursed downward through his head and caused the wound in the front of Kennedy’s neck may have been less acceptable.)

The urologist also “said that the wound that destroyed most of the right side of the brain was ‘horrible’ and that the pictures should never be made public.”

The urologist, purported to be “a student of assassinations by firearms,” (a student of assassinations by firearms?) “had published articles supporting the commission’s conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald had acted alone in killing the President.” (R.P.50)

The story in the newspaper of how this “urologist” allegedly became “a student of assassinations by firearms” is that he had been in World War II, and like all doctors in a war he had to treat wounded soldiers, and it was at this point that he allegedly became “a student of assassinations by firearms.” (R.P. 43)

In August of 1972, Dr. Cyril Wecht, “coroner of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, Pa. and a past president of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences,” became “the first critic of the Warren Commission’s report on the assassination to be allowed to see the items from the autopsy on the President.” (R.P. 49 & 50)

Dr. Wecht said that “the preserved brain of President Kennedy, plus microscopic slides of tissues removed from his bullet wounds, have been withheld,” and “that the slides should show definitely if all of President Kennedy’s gunshot wounds were from the rear.”

“Entering bullets burn and soil tissues around the wound of entry but not at the point of exit,” according to Dr. Wecht, “who is both a pathologist and a lawyer.” He also said that the bullet alleged to have caused the severe wounds to Governor Connally after passing through the President was in “almost perfect condition” and this “made it virtually impossible that it could have caused such damage.” (R.P. 49)

“The slides, the brain, and possibly some other items were not included” when “autopsy materials were placed in the National Archives in 1966 by Burke Marshall.”

Mr. Marshall “said that Nicholas Katzenbach, as Attorney General, had ruled that certain X-rays, color transparencies and photographs taken at the autopsy were evidence relevant to the assassination, and that he, Mr. Marshall, obtained these from the Kennedy family and lodged them with the Archives in 1966.”

“Mr. Marshall said that other items had not been requested by the Justice Department because ‘they have no bearing on who killed the President.’” (R.P. 50)

(Withholding the microscopic slides that would prove Kennedy was not shot from behind was neither the first nor the last favor that Nicholas Katzenbach would do for the CIA. He was also the man who, as Undersecretary of State in 1967, headed the three-man committee that glossed over the CIA’s first large scale domestic operation when it was exposed. Their official statement was that the CIA has “national policies established by the National Security Council from 1952 through 1954.” This text also cites the other favors that Katzenbach did for the CIA during his career in government.)

The wound in President Kennedy’s temple wasn’t referred to after initial reports from Dallas said that an assassin “sent a rifle bullet crashing into his temple.” Those reports also said that as the car sped to Parkland Hospital, “President Kennedy was on his back and Mrs. Kennedy had his head in her arms. Blood was pouring from the President’s temple.” (R.P.51)

He wasn’t shot from behind. His skull didn’t crack like an eggshell, and the back of it didn’t fall off either. It was blown off by the bullet sent crashing into his temple.

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