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The autopsy.


Guest Stephen Turner
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Guest Stephen Turner

It was like sending a seven year old boy, who has taken three lessons on the violin over to the New York Philharmonic and expecting him to perform a Tchaikovsky symphony. He knows how to hold the violin, and bow, but has a very long wat to go before he can make music. Dr Milton Helpern, the late Medical examiner for New York City.

Why did the Doctors at Bethesda, who performed the autopsy on Kennedy have insuffcient training and experience to evaluate a death from gunshot wounds. Not one of them was a full-time Pathologist, nor even an expert in determining the cause of death in criminal cases. (source, Congress Assassinations Committee)

Why, although the Presidents fatal injuries were to his head, and although the location of said wounds are critical information, were routine procedures not followed. They failed to shave kennedy's head to reveal the extent, and placement of the skull damage.

Why, when the damaged brain was removed, and fixed in formaldehyde, did the Doctors not section it to track the path of the bullet/bullets.

Why did the doctors only probe, and not fully dissect the throat wound. an elementary procedure that might have established the path of the bullet, and further, what has happened to the photographs, and x-rays taken during the probing attempt.

" The autopsy was deicient in..the qualification of the pathologists..the failure to inspect the clothing..the inadequate documentation of injuries..lack of proper preservation of evidence..and incompleteness of autopsy.."Dr Michael Baden, Chairmen of the medical panel for Congress Assassination Commitee

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Stephen,

Do we explain all of this away as "not wanting to cause Mrs. Kennedy more pain'. Or, was the head and brain in too bad a shape to even be examined properly. For instance, could the scalp have even been shaved. I am in reference to the "flurry of shots". Was there even a head , or brain, for that matter, to do an autopsy on? I keep coming back to the same thought, this was the President of the United States, for God's sake. A homeless person would have been given a more complete autopsy. We watch the new CSI shows on television, and they show that the autopsy tells everything. Dr. Henry Lee says that the body (and the crime scene) provides all of the answers. There is no justification for what went on that day. Everyone should have wanted to leave no stone unturned. Instead, we are left 40+ years later to continue asking "WHY"

Terry

Edited by Terry Adams
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Guest Stephen Turner
Stephen,

Do we explain all of this away as "not wanting to cause Mrs. Kennedy more pain'. Or, was the head and brain in too bad a shape to even be examined properly. For instance, could the scalp have even been shaved. I am in reference to the "flurry of shots". Was there even a head , or brain, for that matter, to do an autopsy on? I keep coming back to the same thought, this was the President of the United States, for God's sake. A homeless person would have been given a more complete autopsy. We watch the new CSI shows on television, and they show that the autopsy tells everything. Dr. Henry Lee says that the body (and the crime scene) provides all of the answers. There is no justification for what went on that day. Everyone should have wanted to leave no stone unturned. Instead, we are left 40+ years later to continue asking "WHY"

Terry

Terry, as you say, it is claimed that the Dotors were hampered in their attempts by instructions from Robert Kennedy anxious to prevent the World learning about his brothers Addisons disease, just a pity we cant ask RFK about this. According to contemporary reports the brain was sectionable, but it is claimed, once again, out of respect for the family, this was not done. Just another one of those darn coinsidences that are so rife in this case..Steve.

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Being the obvious gentleman that he is, Mr. Speer, it would appear, is reluctant to point out the gross ignorance of certain persons as regards the medical evidence in the JFK assassination.

I, on the otherhand, have no such reservations!

No "Coronal Section" was made, and although this would have no doubt added to the current information and knowledge, it does not mean that sections were not taken.

http://thalamus.wustl.edu/course/corhor.html

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http://www.history-matters.com/archive/jfk...Vol16_0503a.htm

"The brain is removed and perserved for further study following formalin fixation."

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http://www.history-matters.com/archive/jfk...Vol16_0506a.htm

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The question of "sectioning" the brain is a good one and one rarely discussed. Is it a coincidence that the brain ended up with Burkley, and that Burkley was the one who later raised the issue of two head wounds?

While it is easy to attack the initial autopsy, particularly as so many doctors, including Helpern, Baden, and Wecht, have piled on, what few realize is how incompetent and/or biased were the subsequent examinations, supposedly by America's best and brightest. When one studies the medical evidence as intently as I have, it's difficult to come away with much respect for the AMA and the American medical establishment as a whole. I suspect there are thousands of doctors who know the single-bullet theory is bs, for example, but who will never publicly say as much because.... it would be bad for business.

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The question of "sectioning" the brain is a good one and one rarely discussed. Is it a coincidence that the brain ended up with Burkley, and that Burkley was the one who later raised the issue of two head wounds?

While it is easy to attack the initial autopsy, particularly as so many doctors, including Helpern, Baden, and Wecht, have piled on, what few realize is how incompetent and/or biased were the subsequent examinations, supposedly by America's best and brightest. When one studies the medical evidence as intently as I have, it's difficult to come away with much respect for the AMA and the American medical establishment as a whole. I suspect there are thousands of doctors who know the single-bullet theory is bs, for example, but who will never publicly say as much because.... it would be bad for business.

Met a few myself there Pat!

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Guest Stephen Turner
No "Coronal Section" was made, and although this would have no doubt added to the current information and knowledge, it does not mean that sections were not taken.

http://thalamus.wustl.edu/course/corhor.html

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Tom, I made no claim that the brain wasn't sectioned, I simply said the doctors didn't section the brain "to track the path of the bullets" Am I wrong in stating this? If I am, my apologies, if not what are you getting on your high horse about?

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No "Coronal Section" was made, and although this would have no doubt added to the current information and knowledge, it does not mean that sections were not taken.

http://thalamus.wustl.edu/course/corhor.html

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Tom, I made no claim that the brain wasn't sectioned, I simply said the doctors didn't section the brain "to track the path of the bullets" Am I wrong in stating this? If I am, my apologies, if not what are you getting on your high horse about?

what are you getting on your high horse about?

I frequently get on my "high horse" when those who have absolutely no military experience, not to mention military experience in the US Armed Forces, especially as an officer, attempt to, or appear to sharp-shoot those who found themselves thrust into the history of this mess.

Such actions by many others, long prior to you, are exactly the reason that persons such as Dr. Humes; Dr. Finck, and Dr. Boswell began to refuse to even discuss the matter with researchers.

It also has much to do with the reasons that I long ago packed away what knowledge I gained, as persons who were not there and have absolutely ZERO qualifications, have not earned the right to sharp-shoot those that were there and were honestly attempting to do their jobs under circumstances of which you and others have absolutely ZERO knowledge and/or experience.

The actions and comments of David Lifton as well as numerous others, virtually "closed the door" to researchers who wanted to get first hand knowledge of the events of the autopsy and subsequent "changing of the minds".

Of my knowledge, none of the three have ever stated that they were the most competent persons to accomplish the autopsy.

And, too many CSI shows of the 2006 time frame has severely warped the minds of those who were not around in the early 1960's as to what was or was not considered to be an adequate autopsy.

Dr. Humes clearly summed it up when he stated to the effect that: we had the cause of death.

And, his supplemental report clearly answers your questions as regards why the various cross-sections of the brain were not made.

"In the interest of preserving the specimen coronal sections are not made."

Obviously, had Dr. Humes carried his crystal ball around in his pocket, which would have informed him that he would never get the opportunity to see the brain again for additional examination and answering of questions, he would no doubt have done considerably more.

Nevertheless, the examination of the brain (and other tissues) was more than sufficient to determine the cause of death, as well as provide anyone who is willing to examine the data, the information necessary to place virtually all of the pieces of the puzzle back into place.

So far, I have observed only two persons who have made a serious attempt at understanding of the damage to the brain of JFK.

1. David Lifton, who thereafter fell in one of Alice's big rabbit holes.

2. Mr. Pat Speer, who unfortunately will not likely ever gain the benefit of discussion of the autopsy with any of the three persons responsible for this event.

And one can rest assured that Pat is on the right track, and even though he make a "side-switch" occassionaly, I personally have no doubts that he will eventually end up at the correct destination.

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Guest Stephen Turner

No "Coronal Section" was made, and although this would have no doubt added to the current information and knowledge, it does not mean that sections were not taken.

http://thalamus.wustl.edu/course/corhor.html

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Tom, I made no claim that the brain wasn't sectioned, I simply said the doctors didn't section the brain "to track the path of the bullets" Am I wrong in stating this? If I am, my apologies, if not what are you getting on your high horse about?

what are you getting on your high horse about?

I frequently get on my "high horse" when those who have absolutely no military experience, not to mention military experience in the US Armed Forces, especially as an officer, attempt to, or appear to sharp-shoot those who found themselves thrust into the history of this mess.

Thank you for being SO revealing. (unintentionally I presume?)

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No "Coronal Section" was made, and although this would have no doubt added to the current information and knowledge, it does not mean that sections were not taken.

http://thalamus.wustl.edu/course/corhor.html

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tom, I made no claim that the brain wasn't sectioned, I simply said the doctors didn't section the brain "to track the path of the bullets" Am I wrong in stating this? If I am, my apologies, if not what are you getting on your high horse about?

what are you getting on your high horse about?

I frequently get on my "high horse" when those who have absolutely no military experience, not to mention military experience in the US Armed Forces, especially as an officer, attempt to, or appear to sharp-shoot those who found themselves thrust into the history of this mess.

Thank you for being SO revealing. (unintentionally I presume?)

Even though up in years, I still seldom do anything unintentionally!

Get some qualifications and then come back and visit, or at least expend the time in an attempt to study and attempt to understand the subject matter.

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Regarding the sectioning of the brain, here are a few quotes from John Stringer's 1996 ARRB deposition. Stringer was the autopsy photographer of record and also conducted same for the supplementary brain exam:

Stringer: "They took it out, and put it on the table, and describe it as to the condition, took some sections of it. We took some pictures of it, I had a copy board there with the light coming from the - well, from underneath and with the lights down on it, and shot pictures of the brain."

Gunn: "As it was being sectioned?"

Stringer: "Yes."

Gunn: "Were the sections small pieces, or cross sections of the entire brain? How did that work?"

Stringer: "If I remember, it was cross sections."

Gunn: "And what was the purpose of doing the cross section of the brain?"

Stringer: "To show the damage."

.....

Gunn: "Okay, who was the one who did the sectioning of the brain?"

Stringer: "Dr. Humes. And Boswell was there, assisting."

.....

Gunn: "Are you able to determine whether the [brain] photographs in front of you now are consistent with or not consistent with the brain, as you remember it from 1963?"

String: "Well, it has to be, if that's Mr. Kennedy."

Gunn: "Well, that's the question."

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...mp;relPageId=29

Stringer went on to dispute the Archives' brain photographs in several specific ways, including:

1. Stringer said he didn't use a "press pack," and Archives photos are from a press pack using Ansco film.

2. Archives photos include basilar views of the brain, Which Stringer says he didn't take

3. Stringer thought he had taken pictures of brain after sectioning, there are none in the Archives

4. Archives' photos are missing the identification cards that Stringer said were there

Given that the brain photos have been used to uphold the lone-gunman-from-the-rear hypothesis, Stringer's sworn testimony is quite disturbing and shouldn't be easily dismissed. Stringer did not remember Finck being present at the supplementary brain exam, though the official record has Finck there, and even told Doug Horne after the deposition something to the effect that "they didn't want him there" after the trouble he caused at the autopsy. Given this, various timing anomalies, and other issues, Doug Horne came up with his "two brain exams" theory:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/natio...jfk/jfk1110.htm

http://www.history-matters.com/archive/jfk.../d130_0001a.htm

At another part in the deposition, this exchange occurred, after Jeremy Gunn asked why there weren't rulers in the autopsy photos and disputed Stringer's assertion that there was "not time."

Gunn: "Does it really take that much time to put a ruler into a photo?"

Stringer: "Well, they get it set up and all that. I mean, when they were doing it, they were in a hurry and said, 'Let's get it over with.'"

Gunn: "Did you object to that at all."

Stringer: "You don't object to things."

Gunn: "Some people do."

Stringer: "Yeah, they do. But they don't last long."

Rex

Edited by Rex Bradford
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Those who continue to "Parrot" the "why didn't they" crowd, as a general rule, know little if anything in regards to the events at Bethesda.

Back Wound:

The back/upper shoulder wound was of course not found during the initial "pre-examination" by Humes & Boswell.

After it was located, it was fully examined, as well as the entrance through the skin being sectioned and a slide having been later prepared and examined of this sectioning.

It was this critical piece of evidence, which revealed the fibers from the coat & shirt carried down into the wound of entry that escaped being revealed until years later when Dr. Boswell revealed it in casual conversation.

Of course, as is fully known, the autopsy surgeons inserted their small finger down into this wound in attempt to feel for/locate a bullet, as no wound of exit of any kind was known to exist.

When the end of the entry pathway could be felt with the little finger, this attempt to probe the bullet pathway ceased.

After opening of the chest cavity and removal of the lungs, the right lung was found to have a bruise/disruption of the blood vessels in the apex, a corresponding bruised area could be observed inside the chest cavity in the Parietal Pleura which corresponded in location with the bruised area found in the apex of the right lung.

It would also be of beneficial knowledge to recognize that the autopsy surgeons "sectioned" that portion of the right lung which contained the injury/contusion. Therefore, they were considerably more competent in this examination than the frequently uninformed give credit.

The "section" through the injured/damaged/contusion area of the right lung revealed disruption of the walls and bleeding into the alveoli.

After removal of the lungs, a metal probe was inserted into the back wound and pushed down into the bullet pathway.

Upon looking inside the now empty chest cavity of JFK, the tip of this probe could be observed pushing against the parietal pluera in the exact area of the injury to this membrane.

The Autopsy Surgeons did not "force" the tip of the probe to create a puncture through the membrane, as they did not want to create a "false" puncture/pathway and damage which was not created by the bullet itself.

Therefore, when the autopsy ended in the early morning hours of 11/23/63, the autopsy surgeons were fully convinced (& they were quite correct) that they had fully established the EXACT pathway of the bullet which struck JFK in the upper back/lower neck/shoulder/vicinity of C-7/T-1 vertebrae.

A "section" of the wound entrance point in the skin was made and slides were prepared for examination.

A wire probe was inserted into the wound and the tip of which followed the pathway of the bullet until such point as it encountered the parietal pleura inside the emptied chest cavity.

Thus, when ALL persons left the autopsy, the resolution for this injury was that the bullet had struck JFK in the back and had only penetrated a short distance into the back, thus lodging and creating a contusion/bruise/damage to the apical portion of the parietal pleura and the corresponding area of the apex of the right lung.

This resolution was of course fully reinforced when it was reported that a fully intact bullet had been found on a stretcher at Parkland Hospital and was by then in possession of the Secret Service/FBI.

Fortunately, we also have the reports of Siebert and O'Neill which fully substantuate what the determined facts as relates to this wound were when the autopsy ended on 11/23/63.

Today of course, we have "flute players" (or whatever) who apparantly have conducted no research into the subject matter, yet like to sit around and armchair quarterback all of those things which they think that the autopsy surgeons "should have done".

In my limited discussions with qualified medical professionals, (Doctors), under the given circumstances, few have indicated that any need for cutting the body/shoulder/neck of JFK would have been deemed necessary under the given and known conditions.

On 11/23/63, the bullet pathway of CE399 into the body of JFK was fully verified and known.----And, they happen to have been correct the first time.

Now!

One can rest assured that had the autopsy surgeons known that an anterior neck wound in JFK existed, it is highly unlikely that further examination of the neck/shoulder would not have taken place.

However, initial review of the autopsy X-rays revealed no damage to the spinal column and no gross displacement of tissue or air through the neck.

The anterior neck wound was completely camouflaged by a tracheotomy incision, in virtually the exact position and location which one would expect such a surgical procedure to occur, to include the slit in the trachea for insertion of the tube.

It was only after the existence of this wound became known to Dr. Humes, that he began to "second guess" the original conclusion which were derived during he actual autopsy.

And, in subsequent discussions with Dr. Boswell as well as Dr. Finck, the autopsy surgeons recognized that they had quite obviously "missed" something, and that if an anterior exit wound of the neck existed, then the bullet which had entered the back, by all known standards, must have exited the anterior neck.

Therefore, the "re-writing" of history and the facts.

The autopsy, and initially determined pathway for CE399 were correct!

The "re-write" is not!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pleura

http://www.websters-online-dictionary.org/...racheotomy.html

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Regarding the sectioning of the brain, here are a few quotes from John Stringer's 1996 ARRB deposition. Stringer was the autopsy photographer of record and also conducted same for the supplementary brain exam:

Stringer: "They took it out, and put it on the table, and describe it as to the condition, took some sections of it. We took some pictures of it, I had a copy board there with the light coming from the - well, from underneath and with the lights down on it, and shot pictures of the brain."

Gunn: "As it was being sectioned?"

Stringer: "Yes."

Gunn: "Were the sections small pieces, or cross sections of the entire brain? How did that work?"

Stringer: "If I remember, it was cross sections."

Gunn: "And what was the purpose of doing the cross section of the brain?"

Stringer: "To show the damage."

.....

Gunn: "Okay, who was the one who did the sectioning of the brain?"

Stringer: "Dr. Humes. And Boswell was there, assisting."

.....

Gunn: "Are you able to determine whether the [brain] photographs in front of you now are consistent with or not consistent with the brain, as you remember it from 1963?"

String: "Well, it has to be, if that's Mr. Kennedy."

Gunn: "Well, that's the question."

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...mp;relPageId=29

Stringer went on to dispute the Archives' brain photographs in several specific ways, including:

1. Stringer said he didn't use a "press pack," and Archives photos are from a press pack using Ansco film.

2. Archives photos include basilar views of the brain, Which Stringer says he didn't take

3. Stringer thought he had taken pictures of brain after sectioning, there are none in the Archives

4. Archives' photos are missing the identification cards that Stringer said were there

Given that the brain photos have been used to uphold the lone-gunman-from-the-rear hypothesis, Stringer's sworn testimony is quite disturbing and shouldn't be easily dismissed. Stringer did not remember Finck being present at the supplementary brain exam, though the official record has Finck there, and even told Doug Horne after the deposition something to the effect that "they didn't want him there" after the trouble he caused at the autopsy. Given this, various timing anomalies, and other issues, Doug Horne came up with his "two brain exams" theory:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/natio...jfk/jfk1110.htm

http://www.history-matters.com/archive/jfk.../d130_0001a.htm

At another part in the deposition, this exchange occurred, after Jeremy Gunn asked why there weren't rulers in the autopsy photos and disputed Stringer's assertion that there was "not time."

Gunn: "Does it really take that much time to put a ruler into a photo?"

Stringer: "Well, they get it set up and all that. I mean, when they were doing it, they were in a hurry and said, 'Let's get it over with.'"

Gunn: "Did you object to that at all."

Stringer: "You don't object to things."

Gunn: "Some people do."

Stringer: "Yeah, they do. But they don't last long."

Rex

Rex;

As you have indicated, depending on which version is stated, all the autopsy surgeons were present at one time, and all were not present at one time, during the sectioning and microscopic examinations.

As to the photo's, Dr. Humes clearly states that 12 photographs were taken during the course of the examination of the brain after fixation. (7 black and white, and 6 color).

None of these photo's were reportedly developed and they were immediately turned over to Admiral Burkley.

Dr. Humes further states that "sections" were taken from 7 different areas of the brain, and thereafter, multiple sections were then taken from each area and examined.

There is no indication that any "cross-sectioning" of the entire brain was conducted, and that all of the 7 reported areas of sectioning were limited to specific areas of brain damage/injury.

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Since this particular section is dealing with sectioning of wounds in relationship to the actual autopsy, may as well drag up an old subject which continues to be debated pro & con.

EOP v. COWLICK

As any serious student of the subject matter knows, the autopsy surgeons reported an entry wound through the back of the skull which was slightly right and above the External Occipital Protuberance.

Fortunately, they also described injury to the brain which corresponded with a point at the "tip" of the occipital lobe of the brain, which correlates with the reported injury to the skull.

Unfortunately, (since it has most certainly confused many) the entry wound through the skin which created the two above stated wounds, was down on the neck at the edge of the hairlilne.

Mr. KELLERMAN. Entry into this man's head was right below that wound, right here.

Mr. SPECTER. Indicating the bottom of the hairline immediately to the right of the ear about the lower third of the ear?

Mr. KELLERMAN. Right. But it was in the hairline, sir.

Mr. SPECTER. In his hairline?

Mr. KELLERMAN. Yes, sir.

Mr. SPECTER. Near the end of his hairline?

Mr. KELLERMAN. Yes, sir.

Fortunately however, other persons besides the autopsy surgeons also observed this wound entrance location during the course of the autopsy.

Now!

Many qualified and quite serious researchers have debated long hours as to the location of the entrance wound in the back of the head of JFK.

Primarily of course due to the HSCA having placed the entrace location in the skull some 4-inches higher than that as reported by the autopsy surgeons.

The EOP entry location is, beyond any reasonable doubt, correct.------At least it is correct for what the autopsy surgeons initially saw, examined, and reported.

And, since they also took sections from the skin at the point of entry of the bullet, at the edge of the hairline, then it is most unlikely that they are/were not absolutely certain as to the entrance location through the skin at the back of the hairline, as well as the bullet entrance through the skull in the EOP vicinity, as well as the corresponding damage to the tip of the Occipital Lobe of the brain.

http://www.history-matters.com/archive/jfk...Vol16_0506b.htm

SKIN WOUNDS

"Sections through the occipital and upper right posterior thoracic regions are essentially similar."

And the microscopic examination of the skin section which was removed from the hairline of the neck also demonstrated small bone fragments embedded within the tissue.

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