Hard to Find Stuff

I sometimes find a file or record on the web that is hard to find. As part of an effort to make these records more readily available to myself and others, I have decided to store them here.

This is a link to a Warren Commission Key Persons PDF file on Darrell Tomlinson, the purported discoverer of the stretcher bullet. There is a Secret Service report in this file on the initial interviews of Tomlinson, nurse Jane Wester and orderly R. J. Jimison. For some reason this report was not included in the Warren Commission's documents files.

This is a link to a Warren Commission Key Persons PDF file on L.D. Montgomery, the Dallas detective credited with the discovery of the brown paper bag purported to have held the assassination rifle. It includes a Warren Commission internal memo by Burt Griffin on an interview conducted before Montgomery testified on 3-24 regarding Oswald's murder. Montgomery's description of his finding of the bag to Griffin is at odds with his description of his finding of the bag in his subsequent testimony on the bag, on 4-6.

Roger Feinman was a respected JFK assassination researcher. He was a 1970's-era employee of CBS News who fought against the company's policies regarding the assassination, and was fired for his activism. As part of his termination proceedings, he was provided internal CBS documents proving his basic point--that the network's investigations regarding the assassination were guided by its top executives, often working at cross-purposes with its news division. The most striking discovery of Feinman's was that the top advisor and guiding force behind CBS' 1967 4-part special on the Warren Commission was none other than former Warren Commission John McCloy. In any event, when Feinman died in 2011, the documents supporting his case were no longer available online. It is fortunate, then, that I had screen-grabbed some of these from a powerpoint presentation of his from years earlier. So here they are, in all their blurriness. (Perhaps someone with some technical savvy can clean these up.) Feinman/CBS documents

Four Charts From Dr. Vincent Guinn's 7-31-63 Report to General Atomic (GA-4576)

The Harper Fragment Revisited - and JFK's Head Wounds:
A Final Synthesis[1] - Part 1

By David W. Mantik

Posted November 11, 2014
"When the facts change, I change my opinion. What do you do, sir?" [2]
-John Maynard Keynes-
"I work for a Government I despise, for ends I think criminal." [3]
-John Maynard Keynes-


On Saturday, November 23, 1963, Billy Harper found a skull fragment on the infield grass at Dealey Plaza. Three Dallas pathologists agreed that it was occipital bone. After photographs were taken in Dallas, the FBI took possession of the bone, and then gave it to Admiral George Burkley, MD, the president's personal physician. Before Burkley lost the bone (forever), the FBI X-rayed it, but then these X-ray images also disappeared for many decades.

In this monograph I examine the photographs and X-rays of the Harper fragment (hereafter "HF") and I list (in Section 6) fifteen independent and self-consistent signs for its origin from JFK's upper occiput. In addition (in Appendix K) I present a multiple headshot scenario that encompasses all of the significant evidence related to JFK's head wounds.

HF has great importance for one reason: if it derives from the occiput, a frontal shot is strongly implied; and that means conspiracy. The Forensic Pathology Panel (FFP) of the (1977-1979) House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) and their consultant, J. Lawrence Angel, disagreed with one another on the precise origin (in the skull) of this fragment, but they agreed that it was not occipital. Two subsequent researchers, Joseph N. Riley, an expert in neuroanatomy, and Randy Robertson, a diagnostic radiologist, also disagreed with an occipital origin. This paper reviews and critiques their arguments. Riley, in particular, claimed that occipital bone does not show a pattern of vascular grooving; he also claimed that it never shows foramina (small dimples in the surface). For him, such criteria closed the case; HF could not be occipital.

In an earlier essay,[4] I had critiqued Riley's opinion and concluded that multiple lines of evidence (many not discussed by Riley) actually favored an occipital origin. In particular, standard anatomy textbooks flatly disagree with Riley's two key points. Many textbooks (discussed here) –– from 1906 to 2006 –– display vascular grooves in occipital bone. As for occipital foramina, a human skull in my possession clearly shows them; many textbooks also display occipital foramina. This refutation of Riley's two chief points opens the door (quite widely) to an occipital origin for HF.

Based on the coherence of all of this evidence, and especially based on the fifteen signs, HF must derive from the upper occipital area.


Dramatis Personae

Figures in this Essay

Section 1. Introduction

Section 2. Prior Skull Reconstructions

Section 3. Critiques of Previous Reconstructions

Section 4. Vascular Grooves and Foramina in Occipital Bone: A Refutation of Riley

Section 5. The Exit Trajectory for HF

Section 6. Fifteen Signs of an Occipital Origin for HF

Section 7. Conclusions

Appendix A. Early Reports about HF

Appendix B. Douglas Horne: More History of HF

Appendix C. Where was the metallic smear on HF?

Appendix D. Excerpt: Walt Brown on Burkley and the Bone Fragments

Appendix E. Excerpt: Walt Brown on More Bone Fragments

Appendix F. Excerpt: John Hunt on Angel and the HSCA

Appendix G. John McAdams's "Wacky WechtFest-The HF"

Appendix H. The Origin of the Fox Photographs (including F8)

Appendix J. A Montage

Appendix K. The Three Headshot Scenario

Appendix L. A New Witness; and a Singular Autopsy Photograph

Dramatis Personae:

Aguilar, Gary, M.D.Ophthalmologist and major contributor to the anti-Warren Commission (WC) literature; he compiled a long list of Dallas witnesses who saw an occipital defect. He also viewed the JFK autopsy materials with me at the Archives.
Angel, Lawrence, Ph.D.Physical anthropologist and consultant to the Forensic Pathology Panel of the HSCA (1977-1979); in his opinion, HF is right parietal bone.
Baden, Michael, M.D.Chairman of HSCA Forensic Pathology Panel; he concluded (incorrectly) that frontal bone was entirely intact. Robertson has (mostly) agreed with him about this.
Bolleter, M. WayneChief Medical Photographer at Methodist Hospital in Dallas; photographed HF before it was turned over to the FBI.
Boswell, J. Thornton, M.D.Navy pathologist at the JFK autopsy; his sketches clearly show (significant) missing occipital bone. He also verbally recalled missing occipital bone.
Brown, Walt, Ph.D.Author of many books critical of the WC, including the essential resource: Master Chronology of JFK Assassination (over 32,000 pages), available for Kindle.
Burkley, George, M.D.Admiral and JFK's personal physician, who was present at Parkland and at Bethesda; last known possessor of HF. He later refused to comment on the number of headshots. Not interviewed by the WC.
Cairns, A.B., M.D.Chief Pathologist at Methodist Hospital in Dallas; with Drs. Harper and Noteboom, he examined HF before transferring it to the FBI. All three concluded that HF was occipital bone.
Costella, John, Ph.D.Expert in optics and electromagnetism; he has extensively studied the Zapruder film and concludes that it is a reconstruction. His stabilized version of the film is an invaluable resource for researchers. So also is his essay, "What Happened on Elm Street? The Eyewitnesses Speak", which is a compilation of eyewitness statements from the WC's 18 volumes -- about what they saw on Elm Street.
Cranor, MilicentStory Editor at WhoWhatWhy.org; author of many incisive, and cleverly titled, anti-WC articles.
Ebersole, John, M.D.The (sole) navy radiologist at JFK's autopsy in Bethesda; he spoke to Mantik about his recollections of the autopsy. In particular, he recalled (to Mantik) a "big" occipital defect. He later practiced Mantik's own specialty of radiation oncology.
Evans, KathyFormer nurse, now in eager pursuit of silver ingots from sunken ships. With Dr. Aguilar, she co-authored the classic paper on (inept) governmental investigations into the JFK murder.
Fetzer, James H. Ph.D.Chair or co-chair of five national conferences (1999-2013); organizer of the first Zapruder Film Symposium at JFK Lancer (1996); editor of Assassination Science (1998), Murder in Dealey Plaza (2000) and The Great Zapruder Film Hoax (2003). His M/W/F radio show, "The Real Deal" (with over 880 episodes), featuring "The New JFK Show", has gone video at "The Real Deal on MBC TV". His latest articles are at http://veteranstoday.com/author/fetzer, while he co-edits assassinationresearch.com with John P. Costella.
Fiester, SherryCertified Senior Crime Scene Investigator and author of Enemy of the Truth: Myths, Forensics and the Kennedy Assassination. Mantik's review of her book is here.
Finck, Pierre, M.D.Army pathologist summoned to participate in the navy JFK autopsy at Bethesda. In his written summary, he recalled missing occipital bone. Contrary to the extant Zapruder film, but like Dan Rather and Cartha "Deke" DeLoach, Finck (after watching the film) also recalled that JFK fell forward after being shot. (James Altgens also agreed with this forward motion -- see footnote 222 below.)
Fitzpatrick, John, M.D.Forensic radiologist and consultant to the ARRB. He observed that significant frontal bone was missing, but he was particularly puzzled by the 6.5 mm object, which he could not explain. No one saw this object on the X-rays during the autopsy.
Harper, Jack, M.D.Uncle of Billy Harper; together with Drs. Cairns and Noteboom, these three pathologists examined HF before turning it over to the FBI.
Harper, BillyDiscovered HF on the infield grass in Dealey Plaza on Saturday, November 23, 1963.
Horne, DouglasChief Analyst for Military Records for the ARRB and author of Inside the ARRB: The U.S. Government's Final Attempt to Reconcile the Conflicting Medical Evidence in the Assassination of JFK. He is the only former member of the ARRB to publish his insights and recollections.
Humes, James J., M.D.JFK's chief pathologist at Bethesda; while before the ARRB, he identified his EOP entry site in such a way that autopsy photograph F8 must be a posterior view. His official autopsy report describes the skull wound as extending into the occiput.
Hunt, JohnIndependent researcher who has made many visits to the National Archives; he supplied the images in this essay of the HF X-ray and also the FBI photographs of HF.
Jenkins, James C.Autopsy technician at Bethesda Naval Hospital. He stood next to JFK's body during the autopsy and recalled a large occipital defect. He also saw a bullet entry near the right ear and a plastic bag with bullet fragments and bone fragments (which he had not seen being removed) lying next to JFK's head during the autopsy.
Kirschner, Robert, M.D.Forensic pathologist and consultant to the ARRB. Like me, he saw fatty tissue in the corner of autopsy photograph F8, which he interpreted as abdominal fat. This is consistent with F8 as a view of the posterior skull.
Law, William MatsonAuthor of In the Eye of History: Bethesda Hospital Medical Evidence in the JFK Assassination (2005). This book contains Law's interviews with Dennis David, Paul O'Connor, James Jenkins, Jerrol Custer, James Sibert, Francis O'Neill, Harold Rydberg, and Saundra Spencer. Mantik wrote the Foreword.
Lifton, David S.Author of Best Evidence, a best seller and also a Book of the Month selection. He also produced extensive videotapes of the key JFK medical witnesses. The latter can now be viewed for free on YouTube. Lifton is chiefly remembered for raising the issue of body alteration between Parkland and Bethesda.
Mantik, David W.Ph.D. in physics (Wisconsin); post-doctoral fellowship in biophysics (Stanford); tenure-track physics faculty (Michigan); M.D. (Michigan); radiation oncology residency (USC); certified by the American Board of Radiology; director of residency training at Loma Linda University, where he treated cancer with proton beams. He has viewed the JFK autopsy materials at the Archives on nine separate visits and has made hundreds of optical density measurements directly from the extant JFK skull X-rays. His lecture on altering X-rays is here.
McAdams, John C., Ph.D.Polemicist and acerbic supporter of the WC, he attended Kennedy High School in Kennedy, Alabama. He taught courses on American politics and public policy at Marquette University in Milwaukee, but he is now suspended (with pay) and may be dismissed from the faculty. Mantik's review of McAdams's JFK book is here.
Nicholson, TimStanford-trained engineer and bicycle enthusiast; he has developed detailed mathematical models of the shooting in Dealey Plaza.
Noteboom, Gerard, M.D.Pathologist at Methodist Hospital in Dallas; he examined HF together with Drs. Cairns and Harper; all three concluded that it was occipital bone.
Purdy, J. Andrew, J.D.Staff lawyer for the HSCA; he interviewed many medical personnel, including Drs. Cairns and Harper.
Riley, Joseph, Ph.D.Neuroanatomist who placed HF into the right parietal area. His (mistaken) view was based on his claim that occipital bone does not contain vascular grooves or foramina.
Robertson, Randy, M.D.Diagnostic radiologist who accepts the JFK autopsy photographs and X-rays as authentic. He does accept any medical witness (at Parkland or Bethesda) who saw a large occipital defect. He also (1) accepts a variant of the single bullet theory and (2) believes that JFK's cerebellum was intact.
Seaton, PaulSingle-minded WC supporter, who has posted his online discussion of HF.
Speer, PatIndependent researcher, usually critical of the WC. He cites at least three posterior shots (but no frontal shots), and he places HF into the parietal area. He also apparently believes that the autopsy photographs and X-rays have not been altered.[2] My critique of Speer's whimsical scenarios is here.
Schwinn, QuentinImaging specialist who, while a student at the Rochester Institute of Technology (several years after the sunset of the HSCA), saw an apparent authentic autopsy photo with a frontal entry wound in the right high forehead, near the scalp.
Stringer, JohnNavy employee and chief photographer at the JFK autopsy. He initially recalled a large occipital defect, but then later changed his mind (without seeing any new evidence).
Thomas, Donald, Ph.D.U.S. government entomologist and expert on the acoustic evidence from the police Dictabelt. He places HF into the parietal area. He also accepts a variant of the single bullet theory. Mantik's review of Thomas's book is here.
Thompson, Josiah, Ph.D.Former professor of philosophy, who later became a private detective. One of the first generation of WC critics, he wrote Six Seconds in Dallas, but more recently has written Last Second in Dallas.
Tobias, RichardIndependent researcher who has posted his opinions of HF online.
Wecht, Cyril H., M.D., J.D.Member of the HSCA Forensic Pathology Panel and archnemesis of the WC, but especially of the single bullet theory. He was coroner of Allegheny County and is past president of both the American Academy of Forensic Science and the American College of Legal Medicine. He has authored many books and articles, especially of high-profile forensic cases. He co-authored an article on JFK's brain with Mantik and also visited the Archives with Mantik.

List of Figures:

Figures 1A, 1B. HF, as photographed in Dallas.

Figures 2A, 2B. Model skull with HF overlying the occiput.

Figure 3. HF, as situated by Angel.

Figure 4. The HSCA skull reconstruction.

Figure 5. Hunt's Figure H-14 (showing triangular fragment).

Figure 6. X-ray of HF.

Figures 7A, 7B, 7C. Reconstruction by Mantik.

Figures 8A, 8B. Boswell's representations of missing skull bone.

Figure 9. My sketch at the Archives of the 6.5 mm object.

Figure 10. AP skull X-ray of JFK.

Figure 11. Missing frontal bone (by Mantik).

Figure 12. Boswell's sketch for the ARRB.

Figure 13. Boswell's sketch at the autopsy.

Figure 14. JFK lateral skull X-ray.

Figures 15A, 15B. Aguilar's X-rays.

Figure 16. The conclusions of Joseph N. Riley.

Figures 17A, 17B. Interior of skull.

Figure 18. Interior view of the human skull (Gray's Anatomy).

Figure 19. Clemente (1985): Posterior meningeal grooves.

Figure 20. Arteries overlying occipital bone.

Figure 21. Interior surface of skull from Atlas of Human Anatomy.

Figure 22. Base of the Cranial Cavity (Clemente).

Figures 23A, 23B. Textbook of Human Anatomy (1906).

Figure 24. Billy Harper marked this map.

Figures 25A, 25B. Newsweek (November 22, 1993).

Figures 26A, 26B. Secret Service photographs.

Figure 27. Zapruder film frame -313.

Figure 28. Boswell's sketch of the lateral skull.

Figure 29. EOP entry site selected by Humes.

Figures 30A, 30B, 30C. HF in the FBI photographs.

Figure 31. X-ray of the three late-arriving bone fragments.

Figure 32. Overhead view of an authentic human skull.

Figure 33. Model skull for JFK as shown by NOVA.

Figure 34A. Sagittal cross section with cerebellum and HF.

Figure 34B. Sagittal cross section, with lambdoid suture.

Figures 35A, 35B. X-ray image of HF and mirror image.

Figure 36. The three headshot scenario.

Figure 37. A singular autopsy photograph.

Section 1. Introduction:

Because its precise site of origin (within the skull) can point strongly; either toward or away from conspiracy; the Harper fragment (HF) has triggered many hot debates.[6] To date, no consensus has been reached on its site of origin. The bone itself disappeared (after Burkley signed for it), so all subsequent discussion has focused on the photographs and, more recently, on the HF X-ray.[7] My goals here are to review the major clues to this puzzle (I list fifteen of these in Section 6; all consistent with one another) and to identify the site of origin of HF within the skull.

The original identification (of HF as occipital) was made by three Dallas pathologists; Jack C. Harper, Gerard Noteboom, and A. B. Cairns (chief of pathology for Methodist Hospital). Their photographs of the bone are shown in Figure 1. In reaching their occipital conclusion, of course, they had no access to JFK's skull; nor to skull X-rays, nor likely to any eyewitnesses, nor to any Dealey Plaza photographs. And they certainly did not see any autopsy photographs (either original or extant), so they did not know where JFK's skull defects or injuries were. On the other hand, Dr. Harper's nephew had told him about the discovery site in Dealey Plaza; despite this knowledge, the pathologists still clearly affirmed an occipital origin.

Figures 1A and 1B. Harper bone fragment, as photographed in Dallas. In 1A (exterior surface), note the faint metallic smear (yellow arrows). In 1B (interior surface), note several foramina (large black dots identified by red arrows). A vascular groove (blue arrow) can also be seen in 1B. Another groove (green arrow) has been cited by some (e.g., Riley) as an ordinary vascular groove; however, it might instead be the sulcus for the superior sagittal sinus. Perhaps Cairns (see Appendix A) meant this sulcus when he described "...inner markings where blood vessels run around the base of the skull" [DM: my italics]-in order to distinguish this sulcus from ordinary vascular grooves.

In 1977 (see Appendix A) Andy Purdy interviewed Dr. A. B. Cairns, who recalled that the "...fragment came from an area approximately 2.5 to 3 inches above the spine area. (See Figures 2A and 2B.) He said it had the markings of a "...skull fragment from the lower[8] occipital area, specifically: suture and inner markings where blood vessels run around the base of the skull." He also recalled what he had said before, namely that HF derived from an area close to an entry site. My reconstruction is consistent with Cairns.

On November 21, 1992, on a Palm Springs radio talk show (KPSI), my colleagues and I interviewed one of these pathologists, Dr. Gerard Noteboom, who confirmed the occipital conclusion. He recalled that he had actually held the bone, and he also recalled a trace of metal (like a lead smudge from a bullet) on one edge of HF (which Cairns had also noted).

Figure 2A. Model skull with HF overlying the occiput, as in my reconstruction. Note that 2.5 to 3 inches above the spine (where Cairns located it) places HF into the high occiput. The red arrow points to 2.5 inches above the bottom of the ruler.


Figure 2B. Lateral view of model skull. The red arrow again is at about 2.5 inches. This is the high occipital bone. The bottom of the ruler (green arrow) aligns with the inferior border of the skull (the low occipital bone.) The ruler has not been moved from Figure 2A. The yellow arrow identifies the EOP.

Most reconstructions (especially the parietal ones) with HF place the metallic smear near an exit site, even though the smear is on the outside.[9] That seems odd, because an entry site should normally lie on the outside. By citing "inner markings where blood vessels run around the base of the skull,"[10] Cairns must have meant either (1) vascular grooves (i.e., grooves in occipital bone; in gross disagreement with Riley), or (2) the sulcus for the superior sagittal sinus (which would, by definition, mean occipital bone). Riley did not address Cairns's provocative challenge to his conclusion. Likewise, Riley did not deal with Cairns' comment that HF suggested an entry wound. On the other hand, if HF had been parietal bone, then this smear would have lain near the skull vertex (Figure 3). Since an entry site near the vertex seems unlikely (to nearly everyone),[11] Riley would seem to regard the metallic smear as an exit site; even though the smear is on the outside, and even though there is no smear on the inside. The HSCA took the same curious approach (see below).

Section 2. Prior Skull Reconstructions:[12]

By the time of the Warren Commission (WC) HF had vanished; Burkley is the last known possessor; and he is therefore the chief suspect for its loss, whether accidental or deliberate. The HF photographs were apparently overlooked by the WC, so they were not discussed by them.[13]

The HSCA (and Baden)

The HSCA did address HF and did propose a skull reconstruction. In fact, since Michael Baden, M.D., and J. Lawrence Angel, Ph.D., disagreed with one another, the HSCA offered two contradictory reconstructions.[14] However, neither opinion supported an occipital origin for HF.[15] Angel, Curator of Physical Anthropology for the Smithsonian Institution, after viewing the photographs (the HSCA did not view the HF X-ray), described it as roughly trapezoidal, 7 x 5.5 cm, and coming mainly from the upper middle third of the right parietal bone. Angel saw a suture line inside of HF, which he identified as part of the sagittal suture (Figure 3).[16] That he saw a suture line is interesting; in particular, he thereby corroborated Cairns's recollection of a "suture." In his reconstruction, however, Angel left a gap between HF and the triangular fragment[17] (the latter is red in Figure 3); according to Angel, one edge of the triangular fragment comprised part of the coronal suture; and he placed that fragment anterior to that suture.

Figure 3. The HF (blue), as situated by Angel. Notice that his placement requires a suture inside of HF (the sagittal suture, per Angel). Angel's frontal location for the triangular fragment (red) may be correct. The blue arrow identifies the metallic smear on HF, while the red arrow identifies metallic-like particles on the triangular fragment. These particles were confirmed by X-rays. Also notice a serious gap between the red and blue bone fragments. Paradoxically, although each of these fragments contained metallic debris, Angel did not adjoin these metallic sites. This gap seems to imply two separate exit sites. John Hunt supplied these colorful images.



Figure 4. The HSCA skull reconstruction. HF (red arrow) seems to arise from Angel's proposed right parietal site. The frontal bone (yellow arrow) is intact here, in gross disagreement with Angel; and also with the skull X-rays. Angel identified the large, late-arriving triangular fragment (green arrow) as frontal bone, which may be correct. On the triangular fragment, also note the tiny, metallic particles (seen on X-rays) at the tip of the green arrow. The HSCA did not demonstrate how the two metallic sites (on the two different bones) fit together; so they dodged a major question: Did the two appositional borders match? (Probably not.) If they did not match, did that mean two exit sites? The HSCA cautiously remained silent.

In fact, after placing the triangular fragment into the high forehead, he had only one option for HF; and that was parietal. Angel's and the HSCA's (quite different) placements of the triangular bone fragment (which was present at the autopsy; see Appendix D) are illustrated and discussed by John Hunt (Figure 5 in this present essay).[18] Hunt concludes that the Forensic Pathology Panel was wrong, but that Angel was correct to place the triangular fragment into the frontal area. (I agree with Hunt.) Hunt's chief point though is the remarkable disagreement between the HSCA and its own expert (Angel).[19]

Hunt emphasizes that the Forensic Pathology Panel never identified an exit site on HF, which (if true) displayed a stunning state of ignorance.[20] Or, if the HSCA did identify an exit site on HF, it was, in my opinion, a most muddled explanation.[21] So Hunt speculated (reasonably, in my opinion) on their options; see Figure 5.[22]

Figure 5. John Hunt's Figure H-14. Hunt states: "The FPP placement of the Triangular fragment behind the coronal suture is clearly in error. Dr. Angel's conclusion based upon his anthropological expertise is obviously correct. [JH: The area covered by the frontal bone appears too large to fit the front of the skull and not project into the skin of the forehead... The odd appearance is due to the fact that the "bone fragment" has not been taped down to the skull in H-14... The triangular fragment is confined to the scalp-covered portion of the skull.]"


Joseph N. Riley, Ph.D.

Another analysis was offered by Joseph N. Riley, Ph.D., who is an expert in neuroanatomy. His brief paper[23] concluded that HF was right parietal, thereby agreeing with Angel (and with the HSCA). Riley emphasized two generic features of skull bones: (1) vascular grooves and (2) parietal foramina. The foramina are tiny holes (like dark dimples) in the bone that transmit blood vessels perpendicular to the skull surface. The grooves are shallow linear indentations that carry blood vessels parallel to the surface; Riley claimed that these two features are characteristic of parietal bone, but that "...occipital bone does not show a pattern of vascular grooving." Riley also asserted that foramina occurred "...only in parietal bone." (Based on a survey of many anatomy textbooks, and on my authentic human skull, these two arguments are both refuted below.) Riley noted an additional feature that, in his opinion, excluded an occipital site: the absence of deep grooves on HF for two specific, large blood vessels (the transverse sinus and the superior sagittal sinus). However, since the transverse sinus is from the lower occiput, that identification is quite irrelevant. That is because, in my reconstruction, HF is from the upper occiput (as I argue further below).

But the sulcus (or groove) for the superior sagittal sinus may actually be visible on HF (Figures 1 and 30B). Riley did not specifically address that possibility. Finally, Riley emphasized that parietal bone is characterized by a relatively smooth inner surface, mild curvature, and relatively uniform thickness; all of which he saw in HF. However, he did not address the likelihood that the Dallas pathologists were keenly aware of all of these issues. I would also emphasize that they had a major advantage over subsequent observers (including Riley). After all, they could see; in three dimensions; the authentic curvature of the bone itself and did not need to speculate from photographs.

But what images did Riley employ in his analysis? He stated that he had obtained copies of the HF photographs from Mary Ferrell,[24] which permitted him to reach one fundamental conclusion. According to Riley, his photographs (supposedly taken by Cairns) matched those used by the HSCA, thus ruling out the possibility of mistaken identity. More importantly though, via many anatomy citations, we shall soon refute Riley's two key opinions.


Randy Robertson, M.D.

Another expert who has studied HF is Randy Robertson, M.D., a diagnostic radiologist.[25] He has agreed with Riley that HF was from the right parietal area. In Robertson's opinion, the occipital bone is intact in the JFK skull X-rays (thereby disagreeing with dozens of eyewitnesses who saw a large posterior hole in the skull).[26] His (mistaken) impression about the occipital bone is discussed below. Based on the JFK skull X-rays (including optical density data from them), and photographs of model skulls, and X-rays of skull models, we will see how improbable Robertson's interpretation is; even if the autopsy materials are regarded as authentic.[27]

At the Archives, John Hunt scanned the HF X-rays taken by the FBI (at multiple X-ray exposures). The lowest exposure of these X-rays (Figure 6) strongly suggests a metallic smear near one edge, at precisely the site where the three Dallas pathologists (based on inspecting the actual bone fragment) had suspected lead debris.[28] In other words, the HF X-ray is consistent with the HF photographs. Such a match would hardly have occurred by random chance, which strongly suggests that the smear really was metallic.

Figure 6. X-ray of HF (courtesy of John Hunt). The metallic smear is circled on the left image, then shown magnified on the right. Hunt presented these images at a 2005 conference. The location of the metal debris on the X-ray precisely matches the location of the visible smear on the photograph.


David W. Mantik

My own reconstruction (Figures 7A, B, and C) first appeared in 2000.[29] In Figure 7A the 6.5 mm object (a circle with a bite taken out) is the object seen within JFK's right orbit on the AP X-ray. This is the critical object on which the HSCA founded its case for a posterior shot; one that entered about 10 cm above the external occipital protuberance (EOP). However, this object first appeared in the medical record only years later with the Clark Panel report. It is not cited in the official autopsy report; nor do any autopsy attendees describe it, nor was it discussed at the autopsy. Paradoxically, on the lateral X-ray (Figure 14), only a small metal fragment is seen on the posterior skull, where the partner image of the 6.5 mm object should appear. Even more preposterous (for the HSCA) is the fact that their own ballistics expert, Larry Sturdivan, later claimed that this 6.5 mm object could not possibly represent a real metal fragment.[30]

In my reconstruction, the occipital hole (that was reported by so many witnesses) was formed by the bone flap labeled McC (when this flap swung outward) and by the immediately adjacent HF defect. Together, these two defects formed a single hole.[31]

The sketch in Figure 7B (showing F8) is copied from Paul Seaton, who in turn had copied my image.[32] Based on multiple lines of evidence I placed HF into the high occiput. Note that this is a critical difference from the low occiput; Riley's critique had focused on the low occiput, while Robert Groden had also incorrectly depicted a low occipital site.[33]

Figure 7A. Reconstruction by Mantik (2000): posterior skull. H is the Harper fragment. L (for lead) is the site of the metallic smear (on H). McC is McClelland's bone flap. The fictitious 6.5 mm object (red arrow) is nearly a full circle, visible within JFK's right orbit on the AP X-ray. (Paradoxically, on the lateral X-ray, only a small metal fragment is seen at its expected partner site on the posterior skull, which is a strong sign of fakery). The large posterior hole, reported by many witnesses, was created by the HF defect and by the adjoining McC, when this flap swung outward. The larger dark areas represent missing bone. C and D are detached bone islands seen on the skull X-rays.

The mystery photograph F8 (officially autopsy b&w #17-18 or color #44-45) was originally catalogued (by the pathologists; see indicator 4 below, with citation) as a posterior view (Figure 7B). A posterior view is also consistent with Humes's selected entry site (on F8) while he was deposed for the ARRB.[34] The lambdoid suture is not clearly seen in this F8 image. (Despite close inspection at the Archives, I am not sure it is visible in the original photograph either.) My placement of the lambdoid suture (in Figure 7B) is based on JFK's pre-mortem lateral X-ray and on my observations of the lambdoid sutures at the Archives (on both the AP and lateral skull X-rays).


Figure 7B. Reconstruction on F8 (autopsy b&w #17-18 or color #44-45), by Mantik in 2000. This is the mystery photograph from the autopsy. F8 is mostly a posterior view; HF is blue. The red arrows indicate approximately where the left lambdoid suture should lie (although it cannot be seen here). Paul Seaton placed it (incorrectly) at the cyan line. The metallic smear on HF is identified by the yellow arrow. However, the distance of that site from the midline is better appreciated in Figure 7A. This sketch is copied (including his cyan line) from Paul Seaton, who in turn had copied my image.


Figure 7C. Mantik reconstruction of HF on the AP skull X-ray. Based on my observations at the Archives, the bilateral lambdoid sutures (superior to the green arrows) are absent on the AP X-ray. In general, dark areas represent either missing brain or bone (or both).

In Figure 7C I note precisely where the lambdoid sutures cannot be seen on the AP X-ray. I should emphasize that my observations at the Archives about the missing lambdoid sutures were recorded in my written notes while there. These observations were made before I was fully aware of their pertinence to missing occipital bone. Also note the missing lambdoid sutures on Boswell's overhead sketch at the Archives (Figures 8A and 8B).[35] In particular, Boswell agrees with me that these medial lambdoid sutures (i.e., the lambdoid sutures that lie closer to midline) were no longer on the skull.

Figure 8A. Boswell's overhead view of JFK's skull, as displayed in Horne's volumes. Compare the location of the lambdoid sutures here to my position for them in Figures 7A and 7B; they are very similar. Also notice that my placement for HF (Figure 7A) lies within Boswell's area of missing bone. The lambda point is just above the tip of the arrow.

Figure 8B. Boswell's representation of missing skull bone for the ARRB; these photographs from the Archives were taken by John Hunt. Douglas Horne reports that line 2 here represents a scalp laceration (as recalled by Boswell). For comparison, see Horne's rendition (Figure 8A).

Multiple lines of evidence imply that F8 is mostly a posterior view. A compelling visual clue unexpectedly confronted me at the Archives as I viewed the color transparencies in stereo. In the upper left corner of F8 (as oriented here in Figure 29; or in Figure 7B), I was surprised to see fat tissue (in the far distance), and even a nipple extending outward from the skin of the chest. (This area is not visible in public images.) Rather strangely, until the ARRB, no one else had reported seeing such fatty tissue. However, the ARRB's forensic pathologist, Robert H. Kirschner, also described this fat.[36] Kirschner had thus corroborated my critical observation. These fat pads probably resulted from retracting the abdominal skin after the Y-incision. (Kirschner made the same point.) Seeing such fatty tissue (in that location) is possible only if F8 is a view from the back of the head. Once that is granted, a large occipital defect can readily be appreciated in F8. Writers who deny this have not had the privilege of viewing these color transparencies in stereo.


Richard Tobias [37]

I turn next to an online discussion of HF (website of Kenneth A. Rahn), in which the author appears to be Richard Tobias (2001).[38] He disagrees with an occipital origin for HF, and instead favors a parietal origin. Somewhat surprisingly, however, by claiming that no suture lines are present, he disagrees with both Angel and Cairns. He also states that any skull suture line (not just on HF) must appear on both the interior and exterior surfaces. Tobias also claims that fragments C and D (see Figure 7B) in autopsy photograph F8[39] are scalp, rather than bone. The claim that dye cannot penetrate suture lines in living bone may be true, but I know of no experiments on this; volunteers are hard to find. His interpretation of the neck holder and a reflected ceiling light seems consistent with my own analysis.

The author complains that I do not correlate the wounds in Figure 7B with the wounds seen in other autopsy photographs, by which he apparently means the beveled wound in the skull (as seen in F8). My critique of Tobias follows in Part 2 of this essay.


1. An overview of this essay was presented at the Cyril H. Wecht conference at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh: "Passing the Torch" (October 17, 2013). See Appendix G here for a review of my lecture, written on the same day, by John McAdams, who accepts the Warren Report. In this title I have deliberately chosen the word "final," instead of "complete." For the la tter I would have needed to review the pioneering work of David Lifton and Harry Livingstone, especially their witness interviews. I would also have more extensively credited the work of Douglas Horne for the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB), in particular his "Two-Brain Hypothesis" and his confirmation that the autopsy photographs could not be matched to the only possible candidate camera lens (http://www.jfkhistory.com/aguilar.html). Most important of all though was his discovery of the (illicit) activities of chief pathologist James J. Humes in the morgue before 8 PM that night (as discussed in this essay). By using the word "final," I mean to imply that the specific steps of the medical cover-up are now well understood. My summary of the paradoxes in the medical evidence appears here as a Letter to the Editor. That letter is my response to "The Assassination of John F. Kennedy: Revisiting the Medical Data," from Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 132: 1340, 2013 (http://www3.med.unipmn.it/intranet/papers/2013/LWW_Journals/2013-11-04_lww/The_Assassination_of_John_F__Kennedy___Revisiting.54.pdf).

2. Opportunity Dubai: Making a Fortune in the Middle East (2008), Peter Cooper, p. 105.

3. Letter to Duncan Grant (December 15, 1917). As they study the JFK assassination, some Warren Commission critics have developed similar sentiments about their own government.

4. "The Medical Evidence Decoded," by David W. Mantik in Murder in Dealey Plaza (2000), edited by James Fetzer, pp. 292-295.

5. http://www.shipwreck.net/shipwrecks.php

6. "The Harper Fragment" (anonymous author) at http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/harper.htm.

7. John Hunt showed images of the HF X-ray at a Pittsburgh conference in 2005. I was later reminded by Randy Robertson (e-mail of August 28, 2013) that he (Robertson) had displayed the HF X-ray at a COPA conference in Washington, DC, in 1996.

8. Of course, we don't really know if Cairns had actually said "lower occipital." This is, after all, a quote prepared by the FBI. Cairns may well have said "lower skull, occipital," which the FBI then mangled.

9. John Hunt (e-mail of September 24, 2014) observes that the smear is on the inside of the inner table of the skull, which may be true. Picture the skull bone as a sandwich; the two slices of bread represent the two skull layers; the inner and outer tables of bone. Inside the sandwich is the cancellous (soft) bone. Even though the smear is on the inner table (i.e., inside the sandwich), it nonetheless faced outward; and there was no cancellous bone or outer table overlying it. That is because those portions had already broken off before the bullet arrived. The (inside surface of the) inner table was therefore directly exposed to the incoming bullet (that deposited the smear). In that case, the fracture must have occurred before the bullet struck the site of the smear. Exactly when this fracture occurred (with respect to the arrival of the bullet) can be debated, but it is known that fractures can propagate faster than bullets can travel (Terminal Ballistics: A Text and Atlas of Gunshot Wounds (2005), Malcolm J. Dodd, p. 104). It would seem therefore that a single EOP shot could have produced this outcome, without necessarily postulating a second shot at this site.

10. Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB), Medical Exhibit 19: HSCA interview of Jack Harper and A. B. Cairns by Andy Purdy, Memorandum of August 17, 1977.

11. Pat Speer appears to be an exception; see Appendix G.

12. Because the evidence for alteration of the posterior scalp photographs and the evidence for the superposition of the 6.5 mm object onto the AP skull X-ray (both done in the darkroom) is much stronger now than in earlier decades, I knowingly risk being sanctimonious by criticizing previous reconstructions. Prior efforts have assumed the fidelity of both the photographs and the radiographs, in which case these researchers cannot be blamed for faulty results. Now, however, it is more widely appreciated that it is precisely those altered areas that must be the focus of our attention.

At the recent AARC conference in Washington, DC (“The Warren Report and the JFK Assassination: A Half Century of Significant Disclosures,” September 26-28, 2014), Robert Groden emphasized to me that he definitely saw a 2D image (over JFK's hairpiece) when he used the stereo viewer on the back of JFK's head. When I recounted my own identical experience to him, he replied that no one else (in the HSCA, not even Robert Blakey) had been able to appreciate what he was talking about. As a control experiment, I added (to Groden) that I had looked for that same 2D effect in the other autopsy photographs, but I had not found it; instead I saw the expected 3D image. Groden agreed with this observation (JFK: Absolute Proof (2013), Robert Groden, p. 177).

13. John Hunt states (e-mail of August 1, 2013) that the WC did not mention HF. He adds, however (e-mail of September 24, 2014) that the FBI sent copies of the Dallas HF slides and prints to J. Lee Rankin (WC general counsel) on July 12, 1964 (124-10034-10300, pp. 1-2).

Walt Brown recalls that "...very little was said in any 'official' sense, but they did have a clear awareness of it in their hush-hush meetings" (e-mail of August 1, 2013). See more of Brown's comments in Appendix B here, where there is also more history of HF.

14. John Hunt cites an HSCA "Outside Contact Report," dated 7/5; p. 2: "Larry Angel report leaves holes [DM: in the skull]; consider Angel coming in Friday; he appears to be inconsistent in location of bone fragment; Baden doubts anything missing [DM: i.e., no skull holes] & doubts accuracy of Angel report..."

15. Angel had concluded that the posterior skull was intact; this was based on his personal observations of the JFK skull X-rays (according to John Hunt's e-mail of September 24, 2014). After a persistent effort, Hunt actually obtained Angel's working papers from the National Anthropological Archives at the Smithsonian Institute. In October 1977, Angel made two trips to the Archives to view JFK's autopsy photographs and X-rays. According to Hunt, "He produced exquisite sketches of what he saw on both occasions. Angel did not mention or note lead deposits." But Hunt adds that "...the lead is not readily apparent on the prints. There is no evidence that they [the HSCA] had the testimony to that effect."

With respect to Angel and the HSCA, Hunt adds the following details.

Angel met with the HSCA on September 16, 1977, during Humes and Boswell's testimony. The FPP/HSCA subsequently [asked] Angel to go to the Archives and view the [JFK] photos and X-rays to see if he could determine where the bone originated on the skull. He went there on October 12 and 20. Each time he made lengthy notes and very detailed sketches, all of which I have. These were the basis for the report that he submitted to the HSCA dated October 24, 1977. The FPP had not attempted to replace [DM: position in the skull] the bones at that point. They had not even received the first round of X-ray enhancements (Logetronic) by the time they received Angel's report. They would not be shopping [DM: sending] the enhanced X-rays to the radiologist until early 1978. Over the next eight months the FPP and Ida Dox struggled to hammer the bones where they wanted them [DM: into their proper places in the skull]. I have all the HSCA OCRs. They also went many rounds with Angel, who stood by his interpretation. I have those [OCRs] as well. Finally, on September 1, 1978, just days before Baden would present the Dox headshot diagram that he knew full well was a complete misrepresentation of the evidence, Matt Flanagan submitted an OCR. With apparent glee he reported that Angel was supposed to have capitulated and endorsed the FPP/Dox version of the skull reconstruction. I believe the information in this document is credible. I talked with Jim Starrs at the 40th Wecht Conference. Starrs and Angel were both world-class forensic anthropologists. More importantly, they were fast friends well before the HSCA period. I explained to him the situation as described above. I asked him a pointed question: "Would Larry [Angel] allow a report of his that he now believed to be in error reproduced by the HSCA?" His response was immediate and very, very forceful: "Not a chance."

16. 7 HSCA 228-230: Addendum E, titled Memorandum of J. Lawrence Angel, Address to the "JFK Skull Review Committee" of the Forensic Pathology Panel, dated October 24, 1977. Cf. John Hunt's Figure H-14 (Figure 5 in the present essay) at http://www.history-matters.com/essays/jfkmed/ADemonstrableImpossibility/ADemonstrableImpossibility.htm.

Hunt adds this quotation: "Anthropologist Dr. Angel's evaluation of the 'Harper bone fragment' indicates that it may include a portion of the sagittal suture which is probably in apposition (corresponds) to this [JH: skull bone] exit defect" (7HSCA316).

And more from Hunt: "Note that the orientation of the Triangular fragment has been reversed (flip-flopped) between the two views [DM: i.e., the HSCA's view vs. Angel's view] in Figure H-14. This is due to the fact that is not possible to tell from the X-rays whether the bone fragment was placed face up or down on the X-ray plate. Indeed, the FPP attempted 'to determine which side of the bone fragment is which' when they interviewed and consulted with Dr. John Ebersole, who supervised the taking of the original X-rays. According to Purdy's December 1978 report, Baden is quoted as saying that Ebersole and the FPP 'were unable to make this determination.' Therefore, notwithstanding the curve of the coronal suture, either orientation could hypothetically be correct, but not both."

17. The triangular fragment was introduced into the autopsy as one of the "late-arriving fragments." It has been labeled as "delta" by some researchers. Its X-ray image appears in Figure 31. Cf. Horne, Volume III, pp. 710-711.

18. "A Demonstrable Impossibility: The HSCA Forensic Pathology Panel's Misrepresentation of the Kennedy Assassination Medical Evidence," by John Hunt at http://www.history-matters.com/essays/jfkmed/ADemonstrableImpossibility/ADemonstrableImpossibility.htm. Hunt notes that the HSCA disagreed with its own expert (Angel): "The FPP outright misrepresented what Angel reported, then reproduced his report as an addendum to their own Report! The FPP did not bother to inform the reader that Dr. Angel completely disagreed with their interpretation of the exit wound location and the orientation of the skull fragments relative to the exit portal. The FPP members can't claim that they were unaware of Dr. Angel's opinion because their Report actually quotes the very section where Angel spells out where the fragments belonged..."

19. Hunt adds the following comment (e-mail of September 24, 2014): "Angel and the FPP politely grappled over a six month period in 1978 on the placement of the HF and TF [triangular fragment]. Angel was long gone by the time the FPP rolled out their...version, and there is info that Angel was not called in to review the HSCA final charade version."

20. Because the HSCA placed HF into the parietal area, and because they already had one entry (near the cowlick), and because they only permitted one entry (in order to avoid conspiracy), they must have interpreted the metallic smear on HF as an exit, even though it is on the outside. They never really explained this oddity.

21. 7HSCA123-128. Don Thomas has argued that the HSCA did identify an exit site on HF (Thomas 2010, p. 262); unfortunately, he has misinterpreted the HSCA discussion; their 2.5 cm measurement applied to the triangular (aka delta) fragment, not to HF.

22. See John Hunt's online discussion, as cited above. The quotation in the legend for my Figure 5 is also from Hunt.

23. "Anatomy of the Harper Fragment," by Joseph N. Riley, Ph.D. at http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/harper1.htm or at http://karws.gso.uri.edu/Marsh/Jfk-conspiracy/harperfrag.html.

24. That Mary Farrell had copies is curious. After all, in their FBI interviews, neither Dr. Cairns nor Dr. Harper hinted that they had made copies. On the contrary, Dr. Harper had requested that his photographs be returned to him. Also, in a 1998 letter from Billy Harper to Vince Palamara (see footnote 60), he (Billy) notes that the original photographs had been given away, but he never mentions copies. Jack White shed some light on this mystery; in a letter to me (April 21, 1996; copy in my possession) he recalls that Mary Ferrell had recommended him to the HSCA, as a photo expert. In particular, "...she wanted me to make two photocopy duplicates for her of 5x7 color original prints, which she said I should also show to the HSCA in my slide presentation. She felt the pictures needed to be made public. The person who had made the original photos had been afraid since 1963, because the government did not know the photos existed. She would not identify the photographer, but did tell me it depicted both sides of the Harper fragment of JFK's skull made before it left Dallas. We now know that the photos were made by Dr. A. B. Cairns."

25. http://jfk.hood.edu/Collection/Weisberg%20Subject%20Index%20Files/R%20Disk/Robertson%20Randolph%20H%20Dr/Item%2001.pdf

26. Robertson e-mail of August 11, 2014: "...while the occipital bone had fractures, it was not missing..." Cf. "JFK Shot from Two Directions" by Walt Brown with Randy Robertson, M.D., at http://www.manuscriptservice.com/DPQ/robert~1.htm.

27. Of course, these arguments apply not just to Robertson, but to anyone who proposes that the occiput was intact.

28. In my 2009 Lancer presentation, I made this correlation (between the HF photographs and the HF X-ray) incorrectly, as Pat Speer subsequently noted. See Appendix C here for details about my mistake, as well as its consequences (none for the present essay).

The FBI performed multiple X-ray exposures of HF, but the metallic debris was apparent only on the shortest exposure (15 seconds); Hunt has shared this set of images with me. The FBI quotation (cited above), however, states that "bullet metals [sic]" were not seen (FBI Gemberling Report of 30 Nov 1963). In fact, the metallic site may not have been easy for the FBI (or anyone else) to see, as I discovered on viewing their X-ray images (as photographed by Hunt). Metal is indeed visible on Hunt's images (especially the magnified one) at only the shortest exposure time. Such a result is, of course, consistent with a very small metallic deposit. (Shorter exposure times are more likely to image such tiny residues.)

29. Fetzer 2000, pp. 227 and 292. My initial OD data appeared in Assassination Science (1998), edited by James Fetzer; that article showed that the 6.5 mm object could not be an authentic metal fragment. Cf. "Twenty Conclusions after Nine Visits," by David W. Mantik at http://assassinationresearch.com/v2n2/pittsburgh.pdf. Most likely the 6.5 mm object was added later in the darkroom. Also see my 2009 JFK Lancer lecture at http://www.assassinationscience.com/JFK_Skull_X-rays.htm.

30. The JFK Myths (2005), Larry Sturdivan, p. 193.

31. Robert McClelland (at Parkland) and James Jenkins (at Bethesda) both recalled such a posterior bone flap. In fact, they compared recollections of JFK's posterior skull with one another and found good agreement. At Bethesda, Dr. Robert Canada also noted a posterior exit wound and saw "avulsed occipital bone" (The Assassination Debates (2006), Michael Kurtz, p. 39). Malcolm Perry, M.D., had also described "...a large avulsive wound on the right posterior cranium..." (WC Hearings, Volume 17, Commission Exhibit 392). This agreement between Parkland and Bethesda is, of course, a powerful indication that no one had altered the skull between those two sites. Michael Kurtz (pp. 39, 126) also cites eight Bethesda MDs who described the same posterior head wound that the Parkland MDs had seen: George Burkley, Robert Canada, John Ebersole, Calvin Galloway, Robert Karnei, Edward Kenny, David Osborne, and John Stover. Cf. Horne, Volume IV, pp. 1003, 1026, 1064. On the other hand, the throat wound is a separate issue; it may have been altered en route to Bethesda.

32. http://www.paulseaton.com/jfk/F8/Fox_Eight.htm.

33. The Killing of a President (1993), Robert Groden, p. 83.

34. My JFK Lancer lecture (2009), slide 22, illustrates both the beveled site and Humes's entry site in the same image at http://www.assassinationscience.com/JFK_Skull_X-rays.htm. Another source is Figure 6 in my review of Hear No Evil (2010) by Donald Thomas at http://www.ctka.net/reviews/mantik_thomas_review_pt1.html. The entry site that Humes selected clearly implies that he interpreted F8 as a posterior view.

35. Boswell left no doubt that the skull wound extended into the occiput. While before the ARRB, Jeremy Gunn asked, "Was it correct that there was a wound that went from the left [sic] posterior to the right anterior?" Boswell replied, "Yes." Gunn followed up with, "When you say left [sic] posterior, what do you mean?" Boswell responded with, "The left [sic] occipital area..." (Horne, Volume I, p. 111; cf. http://jfkassassination.net/russ/testimony/boswella.htm, p. 59).

36. http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=145280&relPageId=230. See page 230 at this site, paragraph 7.

37. While at the Archives, I used a TBX optical densitometer made by the Tobias company. I do not know if Richard is related to this company, but the device can be purchased on eBay for as little as $50.

38. "Harper Fragment" at http://www.kenrahn.com/JFK/Issues_and_evidence/Frontal_shot%28s%29/Tobias_frontal_shots/Harper_fragment.html.

39. Fetzer 2000, p. 292.

The Harper Fragment Revisited - and JFK's Head Wounds:
A Final Synthesis - Part 2

By David W. Mantik

Posted November 20, 2014.

Section 3. Critiques of Previous Reconstructions:


In his reconstruction, Angel had left a gap between HF and the triangular fragment (the latter is red in Figure 3); according to Angel, one edge of the triangular fragment comprised part of the coronal suture; and he placed that fragment anterior to that suture. Curiously, although HF and the triangular fragment each showed evidence for metal, Angel did not place these metallic sites adjacent to one another (see John Hunt's final paragraph in Appendix F below; a quote from 7HSCA128). Had Angel let these two metallic sites adjoin one another (in order to form a single exit site) he would then have faced a serious challenge: the appositional edges of the two bones (where they face one another) would not have fit together. On the other hand, by leaving these two sites of apparent metallic debris well separated from one another, he implied two separate exit sites. This paradox was not addressed by Angel, or by the HSCA.

The HSCA's mistake (relied upon by Baden; quite possibly even initiated by him) was its opinion that frontal bone was fully intact immediately anterior to the coronal suture (Figure 4). That opinion can be refuted via the following items: (1) the AP skull X-ray (Figure 10), (2) optical density (OD) data from the AP X-ray (Figure 11; my sketch of absent frontal bone), (3) Boswell's skull diagram for the ARRB (Figure 12), (4) Boswell's sketch from the autopsy (Figure 13), and (5) the opinion of the ARRB forensic radiologist, John J. Fitzpatrick (see footnote 54). The AP X-ray also clearly shows where right frontal bone was missing (even though Baden oddly claimed that it was present).

On the lateral X-ray (where the partner image of the 6.5 mm object should appear), a small piece of shrapnel is visible on the posterior skull; this is identified in Figure 14. (This metal was probably cited in the FBI report of Sibert and O'Neill.) The 6.5 mm object (seen on the AP X-ray) is far too large and far too transparent (the optical density is far too low) to represent the same shrapnel seen on the lateral X-ray.[40] Ultimately though, in the real world, this shrapnel must have a partner image on the AP X-ray; and it cannot be the entire 6.5 mm object. The only site where this partner image can possibly lie is actually inside the 6.5 mm object. Unfortunately, the resolution of the images in this essay (or any images outside the Archives) is too poor to show it. On the other hand, that real fragment was clearly visible at the Archives to my very myopic eyes[41]; inside the 6.5 mm object (on the AP X-ray; see Figure 9). In Hollywood, such a double image (due to a double exposure) is called a phantom image. Such a phantom effect is consistent with a double exposure (of the X-rays) in the darkroom. I have discussed this extensively elsewhere.[42]

Figure 9. My sketch at the Archives of the 6.5 mm object, as seen with my very myopic (i.e., jeweler’s) eyes. Notice the three fragments just outside of it, but especially another one (paradoxically) inside of it (red arrows). In addition, notice the original, authentic fragment (cross-hatched—blue arrow), which correlates with the small authentic fragment on the posterior skull on the lateral skull X-ray. That this cross-hatched object is seen separately from the rest of the 6.5 mm object is also a paradox—that should not happen. These two paradoxes are examples of the “phantom image” effect, sometimes produced deliberately in Hollywood via a double exposure. In the dark room, using X-ray films, someone had deliberately superimposed the 6.5 mm object (e.g., by exposing a hole in a piece of cardboard) over the pre-existing (authentic) cross-hatched fragment—thus causing the phantom effect.

Figure 10. AP skull X-ray of JFK. Note the sites of missing occipital bone, based on OD data, at the points of darkness (red arrows). Lambdoid sutures (yellow arrows) are seen bilaterally, except superior to the tips of the two green arrows. The missing sutures may have been on small bone fragments that were ejected. Missing right frontal bone is identified by the blue arrow. The mysterious 6.5 mm object is identified by the cyan arrow. The vertical violet arrow identifies a metal fragment in the left scalp, which is also visible on the lateral X-ray. It was not described by any government investigation.


Figure 11 shows missing right frontal bone, a conclusion that is based on OD data that I took at the Archives. Boswell's sketch for the ARRB also shows missing frontal bone. Furthermore, notice the close agreement (regarding the missing frontal bone) between my sketch (Figure 11) and Boswell's sketches (Figures 12 and 13). He did one (Figure 12) for the ARRB, while the other one (Figure 13) was done at the autopsy.


Figure 12. Boswell’s sketch for the ARRB (as rendered by Douglas Horne, based on Boswell’s drawing on a skull). Notice the absence of frontal bone (red arrow)—in radical disagreement with the HSCA reconstruction (Figure 4). Also notice the rather remarkable agreement with Figures 11 and 13.


Figure 13. Boswell's sketch at the autopsy. This shows that frontal bone is absent (red arrow) anterior to the coronal suture. Also notice the notch (yellow arrow), where a frontal shot likely entered (see Appendix L). C and D are the same bone islands labeled in Figure 7; they are also seen in the overhead view of my skull reconstruction (Figure 32).


Joseph N. Riley, Ph.D.

See Section 4 below for a critique of his conclusions.


Randy Robertson, M.D.

Robertson relied heavily on JFK's lateral skull X-ray (Figure 14) to conclude that occipital bone was intact. Actually, at first glance Robertson appears to be correct; occipital bone does seem to be present.[43] Ironically, though, Robertson's argument can also be used to show that no frontal bone is missing; which is clearly false. Let us illustrate this: since frontal bone is visible on the lateral skull X-ray (Figure 14), we should (according to Robertson's logic) conclude that (almost) no frontal bone was missing. On the other hand, based on the AP X-ray (Figure 10, blue arrow), we know that some frontal bone (mostly on the right side) really is missing. Therefore, mere gross inspection of the lateral X-ray cannot tell us whether some frontal bone is missing. The human eye is simply not sensitive enough for this task.

The same is true for the occipital bone; based on the lateral X-ray, our eyes cannot tell us whether some occipital bone is missing. The problem is that we are viewing this site tangentially; and so long as some bone intercepts the X-ray beam we will see some occipital bone on the lateral X-ray. And, just as we had to assess missing frontal bone by using the AP X-ray (Figure 10), likewise we should try to assess missing occipital bone on the AP X-ray. Unfortunately, for this task our eyes are simply not good enough; in particular, on the AP X-ray there is too much intervening tissue (both brain and bone). So instead (on this AP X-ray) we must rely on the OD data (see below).

Figure 14. JFK lateral skull X-ray. Notice the apparent presence of frontal bone (red arrow), where we know that some bone (on the right side) was absent, and the apparent presence of occipital bone (yellow arrow). The metal fragment on the rear of the skull is identified by the orange arrow; on the AP X-ray, its partner image lies inside the 6.5 mm object (as seen at the Archives). The center of the White Patch is identified by the green arrow. The cyan arrow locates the anterior border of Seaton's guess for my placement of HF. That is far too anterior; that anterior border should instead lie near the tip of the yellow arrow.

Another clue (photographic in this case) that missing occipital bone might be difficult to detect on a lateral X-ray can be appreciated in Figure 2. In particular, notice how very far posterior HF lies on this lateral photographic image. This impression is confirmed by X-ray images provided by Dr. Gary Aguilar (Figures 15A and 15B). Aguilar placed a metal object (red arrow) on the back of the skull; notice how far posterior this lies on a lateral X-ray. In particular, the metal object overlies the far posterior occipital bone, including the inner table of the skull.

Coincidentally, I had performed a similar experiment (with similar results) some years before Aguilar, by using my own skull (i.e., the one I purchased), but with lead wires outlining the HF site. (I had also used lead wires to outline bone islands C and D on my model skull; see Figures 7A, B, C.) I did this under fluoroscopic control, so that I could correctly position C and D on the skull surface.[44] On my lateral X-ray, the lateral edge of HF appeared just inside the posterior skull surface (i.e., just anterior to the inner table). We can conclude therefore that absent HF would be virtually impossible to detect with the naked eye on a lateral X-ray film.

By contrast, Paul Seaton had speculated (incorrectly) about my placement of HF.[45] Seaton had extended this supposed area for HF far forward (on the lateral X-ray) into the White Patch. Unhappily for him, his entire argument was quite wrong. In fact, of course, no significant missing bone is apparent on JFK's lateral X-ray in the area that I labeled as the White Patch; certainly not large enough to be due to HF.

Figures 15A and 15B. These X-ray images are from a simple experiment performed by Gary Aguilar (December 1997), which I had actually anticipated (in February-March 1993). In my case, I had used lead wires to outline HF on the occiput. The red arrow identifies the metal object that Aguilar placed at the back of the skull.


Another point should be obvious from Aguilar's experiment (and from mine, too): actually, the White Patch has nothing to do with missing occipital bone (Figure 14). That Patch lies far anterior to the missing occipital bone (where HF originated). This point has often been misunderstood by researchers, who think that the White Patch was superimposed in order to cover up the missing HF, but of course they are wrong. In fact, the darker areas on the JFK skull X-rays often represent missing brain rather than missing bone; a point I have often made, but which still tends to be overlooked. On the lateral X-ray, the HF defect is not apparent to the naked eye (nor should it be, because it is too far posterior); so there was nothing for forgers to cover-up at that site. So why was the White Patch[46] added? We can only guess, but most likely the forgers wanted to draw attention away from the rear of the skull (where some brain was actually missing), so that viewers would instead focus on the anterior skull, where lots of brain is missing (on both lateral X-rays). The resulting visual impression would, of course, suggest that a bullet exited from the front, but not from the rear; thus further implicating Oswald. Had I altered the skull X-rays, I would have omitted the White Patch; it just seems like overkill. It would have been enough just to add the 6.5 mm object. But when someone gets a clever idea, such as altering X-ray films in the darkroom, it is easy to get carried away with one's own ingenuity.[47]

On the other hand, on the AP X-ray, naked eyes (especially myopic eyes; like mine were then) can identify some specific points of missing occipital bone; these lie within the HF defect (Figure 7C). But a more powerful confirmation comes via optical density (OD) data at these points. Those data are remarkably consistent with my placement of HF. Moreover, this confirmation via the OD data can be done with high resolution; because the OD data points are tiny; typically 0.1 to 1.0 mm (Figure 10).

In conclusion, Robertson must be wrong[48]; the occipital bone is not all there. Although the visible, small dark areas in the AP X-ray are suggestive, the HF defect is not easy to appreciate with the naked eye. The OD data, however, clarify this issue. Also, as we shall soon see, the eyewitnesses corroborate this conclusion (of missing occipital bone) in spades. In fact, to maintain his position, Robertson (and Seaton, too) must ignore dozens of eyewitnesses, at both Parkland and at Bethesda, who described a large hole in the posterior skull. That list includes well over a dozen physicians at Parkland, to say nothing of at least eight more physicians at Bethesda (footnote 31). Curiously, neither Robertson nor Seaton (nor apparently Riley) believes any of these twenty or more doctors.


Richard Tobias

By claiming that no suture lines are present, this author disagrees with both Angel and Cairns. Tobias also claims that sutures must appear on both sides of the bone. The human skull that I own clearly contradicts this statement; and Angel himself reported a suture line only on the exterior of HF, so the author is demonstrably wrong about this. He also claimed (in 2001) that no X-rays of HF were taken, which is now known to be false. Randy Robertson recalls (e-mail to me, August 28, 2013) that he (Robertson) displayed the HF X-ray at a COPA conference in Washington, DC, in about 1996.[49]

Tobias also claims that fragments C and D (see Figure 7B) in autopsy photograph F8[50] are scalp, rather than bone. This claim is easily refuted by stereo viewing at the Archives. Furthermore, Tobias does not tell us where he would place bone islands C and D, which most certainly are seen on both JFK's lateral and AP X-rays.

The author complains that I do not correlate the wounds in Figure 7B with the wounds seen in other autopsy photographs, by which he apparently means the beveled wound in the skull (as seen in F8). But that beveled site is not very relevant. Beveling is no longer the "gold standard" that it used to be.[51] For example, a bone fragment can break off and leave behind (at that site) apparent beveling, quite unrelated to entry or exit. In further support of this, I have previously cited the experiments conducted for Roger McCarthy, in which he noticed random beveling that was unrelated to entry or exit.[52] The beveled skull site (identified as an exit by the HSCA) was likely an example of such irrelevance. After all, in their autopsy report, none of the pathologists had identified it as an exit. (They had, however, identified the EOP site as an entry, based on beveling there.) And, when Humes later (transiently) consented to change his opinion, it occurred under duress.[53] In fact, while before the ARRB, Humes interpreted the mystery photograph F8 as a view from the rear, and he identified his posterior entry site as different from this beveled site (the two are visible in the same photograph). To further confound us, the HSCA had positioned this beveled site adjacent to (or even on) the frontal bone. Since the right frontal bone (under the scalp) is absent on the skull X-rays (beginning immediately anterior to the coronal suture), this was a notable (albeit mistaken) feat. John Hunt has listed the many experts who likewise disagreed with the HSCA, and who instead agreed that frontal bone was absent under the scalp (Figure 4).[54] Finally, I did, in fact, identify the EOP entry site as lying very close to (if not precisely on) the metallic smear on HF (Figure 7B), which amazingly matches the site that the pathologists chose for their entry.

Section 4. Vascular Grooves and Foramina in Occipital Bone:
A Refutation of Riley's Arguments

Figure 16. The conclusions of Joseph N. Riley: in his opinion, the Harper fragment is parietal bone.

Riley's conclusions are shown in Figure 16.[55] To better visualize these issues, Figure 17A shows the inner occipital surface of an authentic human skull that I purchased. The parietal surface is shown in Figure 17B. In this skull, quite contrary to Riley's claim, numerous foramina are visible, especially in the upper occipital bone. Although this particular skull does not show vascular grooves in the occipital bone (one lies very close though), other skulls often do, as we shall soon see. In Figure 17A the sulcus for the transverse sinus is identified. On the skull that I purchased that sulcus is actually quite deep but that impression of depth is lost in this two dimensional photograph. On HF a similar loss of depth may also have made the superior sagittal sinus appear more superficial than it actually was; that may explain why Riley could not recognize it as sagittal sinus. Of course, the Dallas pathologists (Harper, Noteboom, and Cairns) did not have to work from photographs, which is why their observations are more reliable.

Figure 17A. Interior of the occipital bone for the skull that I purchased. Several occipital foramina are outlined with rectangles here. A faint vascular groove (red arrow) in parietal bone extends nearly to the lambdoid suture (yellow arrows), but does not quite reach occipital bone. In my reconstruction, the Harper fragment lies entirely superior to the internal occipital protuberance (violet arrow). The sulcus for the superior sagittal sinus is identified by the blue arrow. This sulcus may also be visible on the inner surface of HF. The sulcus for the transverse sinus is identified by the cyan arrow. On the actual skull that sulcus is actually quite deep but that 3D impression is lost in this 2D photograph. The superior sagittal sinus on HF may also have suffered from that loss of 3D depth; that may explain why Riley could not recognize it. Of course, the Dallas pathologists (Harper, et al.) did not have to rely on 2D photographs, so their observations might well be more trustworthy.

In Figure 17B note the long (and very wavy) vascular grooves and the numerous foramina (which look like dark dots). At the very top of the image a small part of the occipital bone lies beyond the suture line. Although they are difficult to see in this image, at least five foramina exist in this bit of occipital bone. Notice how curvy most of these grooves are (except for the superior sagittal sinus itself); then compare these wavy grooves to the rather straight groove in the center of HF. That groove may well be the sulcus for the superior sagittal sinus. If it is, then HF is definitely occipital bone.

Figure 17B. Interior of the parietal bone for the skull that I purchased. Note the long (and very wavy) vascular grooves and the numerous foramina (dark dots). At the very top of the image a small part of the occipital bone appears beyond the suture line. At least five foramina exist in this bit of occipital bone. These are easy to see in real life, but they are difficult to see in this image. (The red arrow identifies one.) Also note how curvilinear these grooves are; compare them to the rather straight groove in the center of HF. That groove may be the sulcus for the superior sagittal sinus.

If HF is from the upper occipital bone, then Riley's ancillary arguments (about the transverse sinus, the curvature of the skull, and the uniform thickness of the bone) fade into insignificance; because his arguments apply only to the lower occiput. A textbook illustration, with its interior views of a skull (Figure 18), clarifies this; in other words, Riley should have focused more on the upper occiput.

Figure 18. Interior view of the human skull. In the lower occiput, note the sulcus for the transverse sinus (red arrow). In the upper occiput note the sulcus for the superior sagittal sinus (blue arrow), which may be visible on the interior surface of the Harper fragment. Foramina in the occiput are also clearly visible as (many) black dots (e.g., yellow arrow). Gray's Anatomy, Williams, et al., 37th edition, p. 372.

To complete this refutation of Riley, we need only show that vascular grooves do indeed occur in occipital bone. For this evidence we turn to a sequence of anatomy textbooks, from 1906 to 2006, all of which consistently support this conclusion; and thereby refute Riley. In particular, Figures 19-22 all describe arteries overlying occipital bone, and many of these figures quite specifically describe grooves (corresponding to such arteries) in occipital bone. The grooves are produced by the blood vessels, but especially by the arteries.

Figure 19. Clemente (1985): Posterior meningeal grooves (red arrow) within the occipital bone.

Figure 20. Arteries (red arrows) overlying occipital bone from (a) mastoid branch of occipital artery, (b) anterior and posterior meningeal branches of vertebral artery, and (c) meningeal branches of ascending pharyngeal artery. Atlas of Human Anatomy, 4th edition, Frank H. Netter (2006).

Figure 21. Interior surface of skull from Atlas of Human Anatomy, 3rd edition, by Frank Netter, MD. Under "Occipital bone" note the label, "Groove for posterior meningeal vessels." The red arrow identifies such a groove.


Figure 22. Base of the Cranial Cavity (from Anatomy: A Regional Atlas of the Human Body, Carmine D. Clemente, 4th edition, 1997; Figure 777). Note the "Meningeal branch, occipital artery" (horizontal arrow) within the occiput. Also within the occiput is the "Meningeal branch, vertebral artery" (vertical arrow).

The last example (Figure 23A) is from 1906: Atlas and Text-Book of Human Anatomy by Dr. Johannes Sobotta (Professor of Anatomy in the University of Wurzburg).

Figure 23A. Textbook of Human Anatomy (1906)


In this textbook is a section (Figure 23B) titled, "The Inner Aspect of the Cranial Vault or Calvaria:"

The cerebral surfaces of all [DM: my emphasis added] the bones of the cranial vault[56] show vascular grooves, the sulci arteriosi; they are found in greatest numbers upon the parietal bone and, next in frequency, upon the frontal bone.[57]


Figure 23B. Statement from 1906: all bones in the cranial vault can show vascular grooves (red arrow).

As if these images were not enough, here are quotations from four textbooks that clearly describe blood vessels; and often their associated vascular grooves; within occipital bone.

"Posterior meningeal arteries usually are two, a branch of the ascending pharyngeal and one of the occipital artery, which enter the skull through the jugular foramen and supply the dura in the posterior fossa" [DM: my emphasis added]. Textbook of Anatomy, 4th edition, by Henry Hollinshead (1985), p. 924.

"The purpose of the middle meningeal artery is to supply the bones of the vault of the skull. These bones receive very little blood from the vessels of the scalp; the procedure of scalping [DM: that produces vascular grooves] produces no necrosis of the underlying bones. Only where the bones give attachment to muscles (temporal fossa and suboccipital [DM: my emphasis added]) region is there any substantial supply received from the exterior." Anatomy: Regional and Applied, 5th edition, by R. J. Last (1972), p. 746.

"The middle meningeal vein's frontal branch, and sometimes the artery's, groove bone deeply just behind the coronal suture, corresponding to the precentral cerebral sulcus. Rami of both and their parietal branches ascend backwards, grooving the internal parietal surface. Smaller grooves may mark the frontal and occipital [DM: my emphasis added] bones." Gray's Anatomy, 37th edition, by Peter Williams, Roger Warwick, Mary Dyson, Lawrence H. Bannister (1989), p. 361.

Anatomy of the Human Body (1985), by Henry Gray, shows an image of "Posterior meningeal grooves" (p. 171, Figure 4-70) and cites "a meningeal branch from the ascending pharyngeal artery" (p. 173). Hollinshead (item #1 above) has noted that this artery supplies the posterior fossa.

These images and quotations decisively refute Riley's claim that occipital bone cannot show vascular grooves. Regarding foramina (Riley's second major point), we have already seen many examples (with images) of these in occipital bone. Figures 17A and 17B of my own skull (i.e., the one I purchased) show these quite well. Figure 18 shows such foramina in a textbook. There can be little doubt that occipital bone can indeed show foramina. Indeed, they are quite common. In summary, Riley was wrong on both counts; occipital bone can, and often does, show both vascular grooves and foramina.

Section 5. The Exit Trajectory for HF:[58]

Harper's discovery site should have been the best clue to the exit trajectory; unless the bone had been moved before he found it. Unfortunately, as is typical for most critical data in this JFK case, this issue is also perplexing.

Figure 24. Billy Harper marked this map with a large black dot (yellow arrow) for Milicent Cranor in about 1996. Cranor reports that "JFK at Z313" was already on the map when Harper got it. Tim Nicholson added the two red circles; I don't know who placed the ellipse around the discovery site. By Nicholson's calculations, Harper's discovery site was about 117 feet from JFK's location at Z-313. However, the exact site of the HF ejection is not known. The green arrow is close to the final shot in the WC data, but this location was ignored by the WC; and has also been largely ignored by everyone ever since.

The official FBI report (citing Billy Harper) placed it "approximately 25 feet south [DM: the Grassy Knoll is north] of the spot where President Kennedy was shot."[59] But where exactly was that "spot"? Unfortunately, no contemporaneous physical reference or map clarifies this "spot."[60] According to Pat Speer, Harper had identified his discovery site in 1969 on a map of Dealey Plaza for Howard Roffman.[61] In about 1996, Harper again marked a map (Figure 24) for Milicent Cranor, this time placing his discovery site slightly farther west (downhill) than he had in 1969. Either site is about 25 feet south of Elm Street.[62] However, much evidence now suggests more than one headshot, with the final headshot(s) near the bottom of the stairs to the Grassy Knoll[63]--intriguingly only about 65 feet from Harper's discovery site.

To be specific, careful analysis of the original WC data tables[64] casts grave doubt on Z-313 as a headshot. Furthermore, an overview of Dealey Plaza, from Newsweek[65] (Figures 25A and 25B), actually shows a final shot at 30-40 feet farther down Elm Street, near the steps that ascend the Grassy Knoll, much closer to Harper's discovery site. This location was not invented by the Newsweek staff, but rather was based on early surveys for the WC. Some investigators (including me) have concluded that the evidence strongly supports multiple headshots.[66] Also, according to surprisingly many ear witnesses, these final shots were very closely grouped.[67] If true, then very closely spaced (probably frontal) headshots become not only possible, but even likely as the final shots.

Figures 25A and 25B. Newsweek (November 22, 1993), p. 74. The final head shot is shown at 30-40 feet beyond Z-313, based on early reenactments, data tables and documents; all were ignored by the Warren Commission.

So where did the FBI think this "spot" was? If they spoke to the Secret Service (SS) they may well have picked a site well past Z-313; see the photographs taken shortly after the event by the SS (Figures 26A and 26B).[68] Some claim that the floral memorials identified the headshot, but these SS photographs clearly show a shot much farther down Elm Street, well past the flowers.[69] After all, were the future flower donors on site during the motorcade, just standing by in order to identify the fatal shot?

Figures 26A and 26B. These Secret Service photographs were taken shortly after the assassination. Traffic cones mark the supposed three shots on Elm Street. The final cone (red arrow) is well beyond Z-313. The large floral memorial (on the grass here) is close to an earlier shot (blue arrow). Harold Weisberg, Whitewash II (1966), p. 248.

According to Marler, the May 1964 survey re-enactment (CE-882), made by Dallas surveyor Robert West[70]

...came wrapped and sealed in a container; one which was never opened and to date has never been released to the public. It was Counsel Arlen Specter[71] who asked Chairman Earl Warren that the seal not be broken and the plat not be taken out of its container. Mr. Specter instead introduced what was presented as a cardboard reproduction of Mr. West's survey as CE-883. Specter also introduced CE-884, a tabulation of elevations and angles for selected Zapruder film frames which Specter stated were also contained on the sealed survey map (5H136-137).

Marler also notes that the May survey differed from the December survey (also made by Robert West). The December survey (CE-585) showed three "X" marks on Elm Street corresponding to shots at these Z-frames: 208, 276, and 358 (but not at 313). The final "X" placed the shot at 294 feet from the depository window, very near the steps that ascend the Grassy Knoll (near Emmett Hudson). Pat Speer has also discussed the mysterious location of the final headshot.[72]

The last "X" on the map is next to an Elm Street "5+00" identification on the plat. CE-875 (which refers to this December effort) states: "no picture was taken at the 5+00 mark as this was about 4 feet from the impact of the third shot" (17H871). Marler then notes that this "5+00" mark is about 35 feet past Z-313.

Then there is CE-2111, a memorandum (February 13, 1964) from SS Agent Sorrels: "This concrete slab and manhole cover is located on the south side of Elm Street [DM: the Grassy Knoll is north] almost opposite to where the President's car was located when the last shot that killed President Kennedy was fired" (24H540). But here is the problem: this manhole cover is over 70 feet past Z-313.

Also note this: Emmett Hudson told the WC that he was sure that the second shot hit JFK in the head. Then after this (i.e., another shot occurred after a headshot) a young man nearby told him (Hudson) "to lay [sic] down, they're shooting the President." After this statement, Hudson recalled that while he was close to the ground he heard a third shot when the limousine was "about even with those steps" (17H56-561).[73]

As further corroboration for such a late shot (or even shots), we have Mary Moorman's recent recollection, as heard by John Costella (who told me the next day). On the evening of November 20, 2013, at a downtown Dallas hotel, she recalled the events of fifty years earlier. After she took her famous photograph, she brought the camera down and then, after a short pause, she heard more shots. Only with these last shots did she see the hair rise on JFK's head.[74] This was clearly well after Z-313. (Her famous photograph has usually been interpreted as showing the final head shot.)

If HF really did initially alight at Harper's discovery site, then how did it escape from the back of the skull (especially at Z-313) and fly so far forward? That answer, of course, depends not only on where the shot occurred, but also on how far forward JFK's head was tilted. At Z-313 (Figure 27), JFK's head was indeed tilted far forward, but it still seems unlikely that an occipital fragment would go so far forward. Judging from the bystanders (see Mary Moorman's coat[75]) the wind was blowing briskly toward the rear of the limousine and would have strongly resisted the bone's forward flight.

Another bone fragment was found in Dealey Plaza that day; it was picked up; and then put back down again:

As we [Jack Faulkner, deputy sheriff, and A. D. McCurley] were crossing Elm Street, McCurley picked up a white piece of bone near the north curb.[76] He asked me, "Do you suppose that could be part of his skull?" I said, "There's no blood on it," and he put it down. Later, we got to thinking, and somebody said your skull doesn't necessarily have to be touching something that's bloody. We went back and looked for it later but never found it. To this day, I believe it was a piece of Kennedy's skull.[77]

Likewise, someone might have picked up the Harper fragment and then later dropped it, perhaps even some distance from its original site, leaving it for Harper to discover later. Possible reasons for dropping it are easy to understand: (1) a reluctance to get involved, (2) a distaste for the macabre, or (3) simple embarrassment. It should also be emphasized that 29 hours had passed before Harper arrived; and this very plaza was the focus of world-wide attention for that entire weekend: Is it credible therefore that no one else spotted this bone until Harper saw it?[78] I strongly suspect that we cannot now know where this bone initially landed; that information is forever lost to history. After all, Harper could only tell us where he found it, but that may well be useless information.

Several researchers (e.g., Randy Robertson, Paul Seaton, Pat Speer, and Tim Nicholson) have suggested that HF is visible in Z-313 (Figure 27), as one of the streaks in the film. Of course, there is no way to certainly correlate such streaks with specific bone fragments (especially not if the film has been altered).[79] Nicholson estimates the flight distance for HF (from Z-313 to Harper's site) to be about 117 feet. Paradoxically, this should be contrasted with the shooting experiments of John Lattimer; his fragments flew only 20-40 feet, not 117 feet.[80] Such a large discrepancy also implies that HF did not land where Harper found it.

Figure 27. Z-313. Note the significant forward tilt to JFK's head


But here is the crux of the problem: the two obvious streaking fragments may not be authentic.[81] And here is why: (1) both trajectories oddly converge on the same point on JFK's forehead (as Nicholson has demonstrated), (2) virtually this same site (JFK's high forehead) is also the origin of the large triangular bone fragment (according to Lawrence Angel, it was frontal bone), (3) this large triangular fragment simply fell into the limousine[82]; while the two streaking fragments paradoxically zoomed off at very high speeds, (4) Dealey Plaza witnesses and early viewers of the Z-film saw bone fragments hovering in the air (rather than zooming off at high speeds),[83] (5) these sighted fragments went to the left rear rather than to the front, and (6) Nicholson calculates that the streaking fragments could have flown 117 feet, a distance that greatly exceeded Lattimer's experimental distances of 20-40 feet. (7) In addition, of course, the lack of much spatter behind JFK's head is suspicious all by itself, because such spatter should appear for either a shot from the front or from the back.[84]

Of course, the ITEK corporation concluded that four visible particles (seen after the extant Z-film headshot) went forward.[85] Of course, they assumed that these particles were authentic and derived from JFK's head. However, aside from a passing mention of the motorcycle men who were struck by debris, that study ignored the witness reports from Dealey Plaza (as well as reports of early viewers of the Z-film) of posterior flying debris. (These witnesses are also missing from Robertson's previously cited article.) ITEK also avoided the seven conundrums that I listed above; the authors seemed more interested in their Fourier transform lenses than in what the witnesses saw.

Now let us suppose this: HF was ejected at Z-313 and landed just where Harper found it. Also assume this: HF was from the parietal area; as Angel, Robertson, Riley and others have concluded. We then have this problem: Not only did HF travel surprisingly far, but how did it journey from the right side of the head and land 25 feet to the left of the street against a brisk wind? (Nicholson has estimated the wind speed as 14 mph.[86]) Control experiments with living humans would be ideal, but volunteers have been scarce.

So we must choose: Do we accept (1) a high occipital bone ejected when the limousine was near the bottom of the stairs to the Grassy Knoll and then traveling (a much shorter distance) to Harper's discovery site (still a dubious scenario for a WC critic), or (2) an ejection of right parietal bone at Z-313 that travels much farther; to the left and against the wind for the entire trip (a la Angel, Riley, et al.)? To cut to the chase, it seems unlikely to me that either scenario represents reality. After all, if HF had been moved other options exist.

Before proceeding though, notice (somewhat ironically) that this discussion could be turned upside down, i.e., if HF had landed where Harper found it, then that more remote location might well argue for a headshot after Z-313 (in order to shorten the challenging flight distance and time). Furthermore this argument (for a headshot well past Z-313) could even be made if HF came from the parietal area. This is indeed a curious state of affairs.

But so far we have avoided a direct question: Could a posterior shot have ejected HF? The WC would have said so (had they focused on HF); and the HSCA did say so (Figure 4). Of course, each would have designated HF as parietal bone. Each of them permitted only one headshot, another distinct difference from current scenarios. But the long flight distance from Z-313 (about 117 feet), especially against the wind, to Harper's site is formidable, especially in view of Lattimer's experimental distances of 20-40 feet. Furthermore, why would a bone from the right parietal area end up 25 feet to the left of the street? This troublesome scenario is yet one more reason to question where HF actually landed; no matter whether it was occipital or parietal. But this discussion does not factor in much other evidence that HF was occipital (as discussed below). That additional evidence will decide the case.

So what do I really think? My conclusion, after reviewing all of this evidence (regarding the HF discovery site) is that we cannot now know where HF initially landed. Most likely it did not land where Harper found it. In my opinion, therefore, Harper's discovery site is useless for deciding where HF originated (in the skull). Based on his discovery site alone, we simply cannot decide between occipital and parietal. Also consider this: even if Harper had (accurately) labeled a map when he found the bone, already by then too much time (29 hours) had passed to be sure that HF had not been moved before he got there. So instead, the issue of occipital versus parietal must be decided by other criteria, which we shall soon explore.

If I were asked for my opinion of what really happened in Dealey Plaza, I would introduce the evidence for multiple headshots (Appendix K).[87] In particular, the evidence for a tangential headshot (entering near the right ear, quite possibly from the Grassy Knoll) is extremely compelling; this shot likely caused the large posterior hole in the skull, as seen by so many witnesses.[88] Clint Hill's recollection of a very late shot is now especially pertinent; he even recalled the large hole at the rear of the skull; that developed just after this final shot, as he approached the limousine well after Z-313 (see the prior footnote about Hill). And, of course, many, many witnesses recalled at least one shot after a headshot.

William "Tim" McIntyre corroborates Hill's account. He rode on the running board of the follow-up car (right behind Clint Hill). He recalls saying to Jack Ready: "What the hell was that?" McIntyre feels certain that Clint Hill left the running board and ran to the limousine before the third shot was fired.[89]

Motorcycle cop Bobby Hargis (and many other eyewitnesses, too) recalled obvious tissue debris (and even bone fragments) that flew to the left rear. A tangential shot (from the right front) is the most likely trigger for such an ejection of an occipital bone like HF. In that case, HF would have landed on the grass to the left, probably somewhere opposite the stairs to the Grassy Knoll; especially if the final headshot(s) occurred after Z-313. After that, someone moved HF to Harper's discovery site. If this did not happen, then someone will have to explain how HF was ejected from the right parietal area at Z-313 (from either a frontal or a posterior shot; take your pick) and then flew 117 feet (in violation of Lattimer's experimental evidence) against the wind to eventually land to the left of the limousine. I leave that to others to explain. That is not my scenario.


40. My initial essay on the 6.5 mm object is in Fetzer 1998, pp. 120-137.

41. Myopic eyes are wonderful for such close-up viewing. My situation was almost equivalent, for a normal pair of eyes, to using a jeweler's loupe.

42. Fetzer 1998, pp. 120-137.

43. Walt Brown (undated) quotes Robertson at http://www.manuscriptservice.com/DPQ/robert~1.htm: "The Harper fragment cannot be occipital bone, because the occipital bone is present in the x-rays."

At the AARC conference in Washington, DC, September 26-28, 2014, Robertson clarified his opinion of the frontal bone and added this e-mail message to me on September 29:

If I have ever said absolutely no frontal bone is missing it was a misstatement. I believe, as I said, that a bullet exited just in front of the coronal suture and by definition this would mean some is missing but in my opinion not a significant amount and surely not enough to allow any of the major fragments to have originated from there but maybe the smallest fragment from the limo. I usually say it is fractured but intact. In my view this is a minor point.

44. The precise position of bone islands C and D is critical, as will be seen later. That is because they define exactly how large the residual hole in the skull was. In my radiology suite, these bone islands on JFK's lateral skull X-ray could be exactly mimicked on the X-ray of my model skull (by shifting the lead wires on the model skull surface until they matched positions and sizes of C and D on JFK's lateral X-ray). The same process was used with the AP X-ray; again matching bone islands C and D from JFK's AP X-ray to the bone islands (as outlined by lead wires) on the model skull. This process was then iterated (alternating between lateral and AP X-rays) until the match was not only precise, but also consistent between the lateral and the AP. That is what I did in our fluoroscopy suite. No one else has performed this simple, yet critical, experiment. Without this critical information, bone islands C and D cannot be definitively located on the skull surface, and the risk of an incorrect reconstruction ensues. This is the trap that Randy Robertson fell into in his own reconstruction. During his AARC lecture (September 27, 2014), at my request (and to my surprise) he outlined his site for the triangular (aka delta) fragment; it was directly superimposed over bone islands C and D.

45. http://www.paulseaton.com/jfk/F8/Fox_Eight.htm. Paul Seaton has been an active online discussant at his own web site, cited here.

46. That the White Patch was indeed not part of the original X-ray set is consistent with Humes's odd reaction to these lateral X-rays during his ARRB deposition: "I don't understand why that is... You'd have to have some radiologist tell me about that. I can't make that out... I don't understand this great void there. I don't know what that's all about" (Fetzer 2000, p. 450).

47. Ironically, Dr. John Ebersole (who is a strong candidate for alteration of the JFK X-rays) told me that he wrote detective stories.

48. Robertson was also wrong to state that the 6.5 mm object was visible on the AP X-ray during the autopsy and that it represented an authentic bullet fragment (http://www.manuscriptservice.com/DPQ/robert~1.htm). By doing so Robertson ignored Larry Sturdivan's personal experience in ballistics. (Sturdivan had even testified for the HSCA.) Sturdivan had never seen a real bullet fragment (deposited on the outside of a skull) in his entire career; he concluded that the 6.5 mm object could not possibly represent metal (The JFK Myths (2005), p. 193.) Robertson also failed to explain how an inside cross section of a bullet could cleanly dissociate itself from the ends of the bullet and deposit itself on the outside of the skull. (The nose and tail of this bullet were officially found inside the limousine.) Finally, while before the ARRB, each of the three JFK pathologists independently testified (under oath) that he had not seen anything like this 6.5 mm object on the X-rays during the autopsy. Even more ominously, when I asked Dr. John Ebersole (the JFK autopsy radiologist) about this object, he promptly changed the subject; and never again discussed the JFK case.

Riley's interpretation of the 6.5 mm object was even more fantastic: he also believed that it was authentic, but concluded that it lay in the supraorbital area; even though it obviously lies well inside the orbit ("The Head Wounds of JFK: One Bullet Cannot Account for the Injuries," The Third Decade, March 1993, pp. 1-15.) This was a colossal blunder, one that only a neophyte in radiology would make. Furthermore, such a fundamental mistake necessarily led to a new paradox, i.e., in Riley's scenario the 7 x 2 mm fragment (seen on the AP X-ray) then has no partner image on the lateral X-ray. Riley simply forgot to consider this repercussion of his interpretation.

49. Also see "Notes on JFK's Skull Fragments," compiled by Vince Palamara at http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/palamara/skullfragments.html: "Dr. Randy Robertson, at COPA 1996 [DM: October 18-20; see http://www.assassinationweb.com/c96.htm], showed slides of X-rays of the Harper fragment that the FBI took..." Douglas Horne recalls seeing the HF X-ray at the Archives in May 1996 (see Appendix B here).

50. Fetzer 2000, p. 292.

51. Enemy of the Truth (2013), Sherry Fiester, pp. 198, 211-212, and 248-249. For more on the utility (or futility) of beveling, see footnote 352 in that brilliant and immortal essay, "How Five Investigations into JFK's Medical Autopsy Evidence Got It Wrong" by Gary L. Aguilar, MD, and Kathy Cunningham (May 2003) at http://history-matters.com/essays/jfkmed/How5Investigations/How5InvestigationsGotItWrong_6.htm#_edn351.

52. Livingstone (1995), p. 313. I have been unable to locate McCarthy's original paper. However, that beveling can occur at odd sites is suggested in these scientific citations offered by Dr. Gary Aguilar (e-mail of April 7, 2014): (A) Dixon DS. Keyhole lesions in gunshot wounds of the skull and direction of fire. J Forensic Sci 1982; 27:555-66 and (B) Coe JI. External beveling of entrance wounds by handguns. Am J Forensic Med Pathol 1982; 3:215-9 and (C) Baik S, Uku JM, Sikirica M. A case of external beveling with an entrance wound to the skull made by a small caliber rifle bullet. Am J Forensic Med Pathol 1991;12:334-6 and (D) Donohue ER, Kalelkar MB, Richmond JM, Teas SS. Atypical gunshot wounds of entrance; an empirical study. J Forensic Sci 1984; 29:379-88 and (E) Lantz PE. An atypical, indeterminate-range, cranial gunshot wound of entrance resembling an exit wound. Am J Forensic Med Pathol 1994; 15(1):5-9.

53. In the Military Review of January 1967 the pathologists were persuaded to change their minds; they signed the document that had been prepared for them by the Justice Department. In this document a beveled exit wound was reported at the junction of the (apparent) frontal and parietal bones, at the periphery of the large skull defect. Before the ARRB, when pressed by Jeremy Gunn (at Horne's suggestion) about this change, Humes put his head in his hands, stared down at the document, and said, "I don't know who wrote this" (Horne e-mail of July 9, 2013).

54. I have often discussed this mistake (about the frontal bone) in my essays and lectures. In fact, Dr. John J. Fitzpatrick, the forensic radiologist for the ARRB, agreed with me that the frontal bone was present only up to the hairline: http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=145280&relPageId=225. See page 225 of this document, lower 1/3 of the page. The HSCA would not have welcomed our conclusion; nor would Randy Robertson. In a letter to Jack White (October 7, 1995; copy in my files) Robertson stated: "The frontal bone is intact and the large late arriving fragment CAN NOT [sic; emphasis by RR] therefore be frontal bone." Robertson was quite aware that he thereby disagreed with Angel. (Robertson e-mail of August 11, 2014: "The Delta [DM: triangular] fragment was posterior parietal...") In fact, Robertson not only disagreed with Angel and with John J. Fitzpatrick (a fellow radiologist and a consultant for the ARRB), but he has also disagreed with pathologist Boswell (who sketched some absent frontal bone; as well as absent occipital bone). Robertson has also disagreed with another radiology colleague (Gerald M. McDonnel, a consultant for the HSCA), who reported some absent frontal bone. Perhaps Robertson's unconventional views should not surprise us though; after all, Robertson disagrees with the key radiologist in the case, John Ebersole, who was the only radiologist at JFK's autopsy. It cannot be emphasized enough that Ebersole, despite seeing the JFK skull X-rays (at the autopsy), still told me that JFK had a "big" hole in the back of his head. So, on this extremely fundamental issue, Robertson disagrees with Ebersole. Remarkably, Robertson apparently does not accept any witness who reported seeing a large hole in the occiput, apparently not even any of the eight physicians at Bethesda (see footnote 31).

Regarding McDonnel, John Hunt notes at http://www.history-matters.com/essays/jfkmed/ADemonstrableImpossibility/ADemonstrableImpossibility.htm: "Among other findings, McDonnel reported that there was a '[n]early complete loss of right parietal bone, the upper portion of the right temporal bone, and a portion of the posterior [rear] aspect of the right frontal bone'" [DM: Hunt's italics and brackets]. McDonnel knew full well that the posterior aspect of the frontal bone was missing. Yet Weston, Baden, and the FPP majority disregarded the opinion of the radiology/computer expert they consulted on this single point...the FPP tacitly concluded that the frontal bone was intact."

55. http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/harper1.htm.

56. For the definition (with image) of "cranial vault" see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cranial_vault. The cranial vault clearly includes occipital bone.

57. Atlas and Textbook of Human Anatomy (1906), Johannes Sobatta, edited with additions by J. Playfair McMurrich, p. 44.

58. Billy Harper has recently appeared online: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmFdfvDT6GQ. Particularly note his indication of the HF discovery site (he seems to point east of the site identified on his map although the camera does not track this), but also note his verbal description of HF as from the upper rear of the skull.

59. National Archives, Warren Commission CD-5. Cf. Six Seconds in Dallas (1967), Josiah Thompson, Appendix F, pp. 301-302. (Elm Street is said to be 40 feet wide.)

60. Assuming that the ejection was at Z-313, Tim Nicholson has estimated the distance (to the Harper discovery site) as 117 feet give or take10 feet. Cranor has not contacted Harper since about 1996, but Harper did later write to Vince Palamara (9/15/98): "Your letter to my uncle Dr. Jack C. Harper has been forwarded to me for response. My uncle told me that the fragment I found was from the occipital area of the skull. I have seen drawings in various publications that would indicate that it belonged to this region. With regard to the question of the existence [of] photographs, it is my understanding that my uncle gave his pictures to an assassination investigative agency". http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/palamara/skullfragments.html.

61. http://patspeer.com/chapter16b%3Adigginginthedirt/Drmantikandmrharper.jpg.

62. Is it just possible that the FBI meant "street" where it wrote "spot"? That is, perhaps the quotation should be "...just south of the street where President Kennedy was assassinated." If so, that curiously agrees with the distance of Harper's site from the street (as shown in this map), which seems a little eerie, although the FBI measurement report by itself would still not tell us where along the street it was found.

63. See Appendix K for a more detailed discussion of all of these issues. Cf. my review of Enemy of the Truth by Sherry Fiester at http://www.ctka.net/2013/eot_review.html. In particular, focus on a devastating depiction (Figure 5 in my review) of how the JFK X-rays flagrantly contradict a headshot (from either front or back) at Z-313, and therefore hurl the traditional single headshot scenario into chaos.

64. "The JFK Assassination Re-enactment" by Chuck Marler, in Fetzer 1998, pp. 249-261. This remarkable essay is mandatory reading. No one should ever discuss the location of the final shot without mastering this essay.

65. Fetzer 2000, David Mantik, p. 345.

66. Ibid., pp. 285-295.

67. Milicent Cranor lists those who heard a flurry of final shots (Fetzer 1998, p. 296). If only one of these witnesses is correct, a conspiracy seems unavoidable. Some have suggested though that these witnesses heard the (two, or even three) separate sounds that can sometimes be associated with a single shot. If so, though, why was a flurry heard only with Oswald's (supposed) last shot and not with his (supposed) first two shots? Cranor adds (e-mail of September 1, 2014): "A number of witnesses said there was a flurry in the beginning, not at the end. Governor Connally was the most famous of these..."

68. The following is from Post Mortem (1975) by Harold Weisberg, p. 54. "The SS engaged Dallas surveyor Robert West to prepare a map of the assassination area. On it was then marked the location of the car when each of three shots struck (WHITEWASH II, 167, 243). During its reconstruction, the SS placed a 'replica' car where it says the President's was when each of the three shots struck, then photographed it in each position (WHITEWASH II, 248). These are part of Commission File 88... Specter, however, made no reference to these SS pictures showing the President's car where it was when each of three bullets struck. Inspector Kelley was just as delicate. He remained silent about the unwelcome evidence, Specter did not enter them into evidence."

After the single bullet theory took priority, the FBI published a booklet (File 298) to explain its prior conclusions (i.e., of three successful shots, which is clearly not the single bullet theory). The FBI conclusions could not have been more explicit; they listed three successful shots and specified their distances from the "sniper's nest" as 167 feet, 262 feet, and 307 feet. This information did not appear in the Warren Report. Any suggestion of more than two successful shots was culled from the Warren Report, so that the single bullet theory could survive (Post Mortem, p. 56).

69. Furthermore, the flowers on the north side (the side of the Grassy Knoll) were widely scattered, so it would be difficult to identify the "spot" based on those.

70. See Weisberg 1966, p. 243, for an official surveyor's map. Livingstone also shows the maps and Secret Service photographs (Killing Kennedy (1993), pp. 74-75). Speer shows the map at http://www.patspeer.com/chapter2b%3Athesecretservicesecrets.

71. For Specter's starring role in the WC cover-up, see Vincent Salandria's trenchant analysis at http://www.ctka.net/2012/salandria_Specter_meet.html. In view of current geopolitical events, Salandria's comments are still on target. Robert Huber incisively described the Salandria-Specter encounter in Philadelphia Magazine (March 2014, p. 80). He also cited the Fonzi-Specter audio interviews (June 29, 1966) at https://www.maryferrell.org/wiki/index.php/Featured_Fonzi-Specter_Interviews.

72. The following is excerpted verbatim from Pat Speer's website at http://www.patspeer.com/chapter2b%3Athesecretservicesecrets. "The final shot, which Moore describes in his 12-11 report as the second bullet which struck the President (the third bullet fired) is recorded as a shot of 294 feet. 294 feet is 34 feet further [DM: sic] than the distance from the sniper's nest to Kennedy at the time of the head shot as determined by Agent Howlett on 11-27 (and 29 feet further [DM: sic] than the distance from the sniper's nest to Kennedy determined by the Warren Commission). 294 feet, moreover, reflects the distance of the President from the sniper's nest circa frame 343 of the Zapruder film, almost 2 seconds after the obvious head shot. This is no small mistake." [DM: Z-343 is when the FBI said that Clint Hill first placed his hand on the limousine; 30 frames after Z-313. According to the FBI, his foot did not reach the bumper until Z-368; both feet reached at Z-381.]

73. The Moorman photograph does show Hudson still standing at about Z-313. A witness who corroborates Hudson's sequence of two clearly separated shots, with the final one well past Z-313, is Clint Hill: "As I approached the vehicle there was a third shot. It hit the President in the head, upper right rear of the right ear, caused a gaping hole in his head..." (http://www.veteranstoday.com/2011/07/25/jfk-whos-telling-the-truth-clint-hill-or-the-zapruder-film/). Below I cite McIntyre as a witness for Hill's scenario.

74. Mary Moorman heard a shot as she took her famous photograph, and then she heard two or three more shots after that (19H487). Jean Hill also recalled that after she saw JFK's hair "ripple up" she heard more shots (6H206 and 6H214). So did Charles Brehm; he recalled that JFK's hair flew up with the second shot, and after that he heard a third shot (22H837). Likewise, Special Agent George Hickey, Jr., testified that JFK's hair flew forward with the first shot ((18H762). In other words, he heard at least one more shot after a first shot went by (or near) JFK's head. Both Connallys heard the last shot after lying down in the seat, with her head next to his (4H133 and 4H147). Chief Curry heard a shot after Officer Chaney rode up to tell him what was happening (4H161). Sheriff Decker heard a first shot when a "spray of water" arose from JFK, and then he heard one more shot (9H458). James Foster saw JFK's head wounded with a "second" shot, then he heard a third shot (CD897). Royce Skelton heard a shot after seeing JFK react to a headshot (19H496). Mrs. Phillip Willis saw JFK's head wounded on the "second" shot, and then heard a third shot (CD1245). See Milicent Cranor's analysis at http://spot.acorn.net/jfkplace/09/fp.back_issues/31st_Issue/jiggle.html.

75. Thompson 1967, p. 187.

76. The Grassy Knoll is on the north side.

77. No More Silence (1998), Larry Sneed, p. 216. Here is yet another similar report, this one from Joe Cody: "...we jumped in our car and arrived at the scene where Kennedy was shot and killed in just three or four minutes. By that time it was probably ten minutes after the shooting. While we were there, I searched the plaza and found a bone lying in the gutter that apparently came out of the back of the President's head" (ibid., p. 467).

And here is another: "A postal inspector [Holmes] picked up a piece of skull from the Elm St. pavement. He said it was as '...big as the end of my finger...' Furthermore, it was one of many: '...there was just pieces of skull and bone and corruption [sic] all over the place...' He later discarded it" (Murder from Within (1974), Fred Newcomb and Perry Adams, p. 213). Also see Appendix D here, especially the Addendum paragraph.

78. See Walt Brown's similar comments in Appendix D here.

79. Tim Nicholson has analyzed the two streaks (in Z-313) in great detail, using numerous variables. Nicholson e-mail of August 1, 2013: "The conclusion that I draw is that either fragment could have traveled the distance of 117 feet (35.66 m). It would take an exit velocity of 49.5 m/s for fragment #1 to travel that distance and 28.2 m/s for fragment #2 given the estimated drag of 30% of maximum drag. However it is more likely that fragment #2 is the Harper fragment with an exit angle of 35.4 degrees." Fragment #2 is on the right, i.e., the more horizontal one. His analysis assumes, of course, that its path was parallel to Elm St. (Any velocity component perpendicular to Elm St cannot be estimated.)

80. Kennedy and Lincoln (1980), John Lattimer, p. 251. Pat Speer quotes Lattimer: "...after the bullet had left and blew the calvarium into several fragments, many of which went upward and forward for distances as great as 20 to 30 feet, as in frame 313 of the Zapruder movie." Speer cites his source: "...a February 1976 article in Surgery, Gynecolgy [DM: sic], and Obstetrics, and then again in his 1980 book Kennedy and Lincoln...". http://www.patspeer.com/chapter11%3Athesingle-bullettheory.

I watched the online movie clips of "Inside the Target Car" (The Discovery Channel) but heard no description of how far their fragments had traveled. However, it seems that their range was short inasmuch as they describe one fragment on the trunk and another on the front of the windshield. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjrupSwqrAs.

81. Likewise, many Hollywood professionals have stated that the halo at Z-313 looks more like artwork. (I have seen some of these video interviews.) As further corroboration for this, Dino Brugioni has emphasized how different the extant Z-313 (and nearby frames, too) looks as compared to the original Z-film (which he saw). This is discussed in my review of Fiester's book at http://www.ctka.net/2013/eot_review.html. Cf. Mary's Mosaic (2012), Peter Janney, pp. 287-292.

82. But see Horne, Volume III, pp. 710-711, for the widely varying witness accounts about the origin of this fragment.

83. Postal inspector Harry Holmes: "...there was just a cone of blood and corruption [sic] that went right in the back of his head and neck. I thought it was red paper on a firecracker. It looked like a firecracker lit up which looks like little bits of red paper as it goes up. But in reality it was his skull and brains and everything else that went perhaps as much as six or eight feet [DM: my emphasis added]. Just like that!" (Sneed 1998, pp. 351-371).

Jackie Kennedy and William Manchester also saw slow-moving fragments (Fetzer 1998, pp. 294, 297). Manchester should know; after all, he had watched the Z-film 75 times (The Manchester Affair (1967), John Corry, p. 45).

84. See the following website for a colorful image of an exploding lemon. That image demonstrates obvious forward and back spatter (page 1 on October 13, 2014): https://www.google.com/search?q=exploding+bullets&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=o-YoUrqzOYWSiAKtjYDoAQ&ved=0CEMQsAQ&biw=1920&bih=1048#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=w_ukJR22ViotQM%3A%3BUEdfpNYOU3yLkM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fpeople.rit.edu%252Fandpph%252Fphotofile-c%252Fhs-lemon_5028.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fpeople.rit.edu%252Fandpph%252Fexhibit-3.html%3B611%3B396.

85. http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=60448&relPageId=60 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pThaUVLENMY.

86. Gary Mack cites the official weather report, taken only a short distance from Dealey Plaza: the wind blew at 15 mph, with gusts up to 20 mph ("Inside the Target Car," The Discovery Channel).

87. See Appendix K and also my review of Sherry Fiester's book at http://www.ctka.net/2013/eot_review.html.

88. See this interview report by Vince Palamara at http://www.manuscriptservice.com/DPQ/fragme~1.htm: "Sam [Secret Service Agent Kinney —– per Palamara] told me twice that he saw the back of JFK's head come off immediately when the fatal shot struck him." Palamara reminds us that Kinney was watching JFK's head and the rear bumper of the limousine as part of his job. Paradoxically, Palamara does not believe that HF is occipital bone. Does he not believe Kinney? But if not, why does Palamara quote him? Palamara even notes that Kinney said that "...he found the piece of the back [DM: my emphasis added] of JFK's head lying in the rear seat..."http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/palamara/skullfragments.html.

On November 22, 2013, at the JFK Lancer Conference in Dallas, Texas, I personally heard James Jenkins (the autopsy technician) provide astonishing evidence for such a tangential shot. (On the contrary; without any serious discussion, and despite its strong historical tradition; Fiester excludes, from the outset, such a tangential shot as an option; see her Figure 14.) At this conference, Jenkins repeatedly described a bullet entry (a 5 mm hole) very near the top of the right ear (cf. Robert Groden 2013, p. 155). The periphery of this hole was gray, which suggested to him that a bullet had entered there. Jenkins even recalled that Pierre Finck had speculated about a possible entry there, but the pathologists never closely examined this hole, nor did it enter their official report. Jenkins also saw a large opening ("somewhat larger than a silver dollar [DM: 3.81 cm]") in the posterior skull, which he attributed to the exit of this same bullet. As further corroboration for such a tangential shot, even the closest witnesses (Abraham Zapruder and both Newmans) recalled trauma near the right ear. Roy Kellerman may also have fixated on this same site near the right ear; see his testimony to the WC (2H81); he describes the wound aperture as the size of his little finger. Even the neurosurgeon, Kemp Clark, stated that a bullet had struck the right side of JFK's head and that this wound was "tangential" (6H21).

For more of Jenkins's vivid recollections of the JFK autopsy at JFK Lancer, including a cogent analysis by Douglas Horne, see http://insidethearrb.livejournal.com/10811.html. Jenkins has now lifted the last vestiges of the veil that concealed this criminal escapade. After 50 years, not only the broad outlines, but even the details of the medical whitewash, can finally be seen with unexpected clarity.

89. HSCA interview (1/31/1978): RIF#180-10082-10082-10454.


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