Sunday, 05 November 2023 02:25

Part 4 of 6: Medical Witnesses and a Questionable Rifle

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Scottish researcher Johnny Cairns outlines 60 reasons disproving the official Warren Commission conclusions.

31. Entry or Exit? Autopsy 'Picture' V. Witness Testimony.

In a court of law, the admission of photographs follows a specific standard. Generally, photographs are admitted as evidence if they are relevant, authenticated, and have probative value. The standard, McCormick on Evidence, states that "The principle upon which photographs are most commonly admitted into evidence is the same as that underlying the admission of illustrative drawings, maps and diagrams. A photograph is viewed merely as graphic portrayal of oral testimony and becomes admissible only when a witness has testified that it is a correct and accurate representation of the relevant facts personally observed by the witness."

With the standard clear, how would Henry Wade have admitted these exhibits into evidence? And is there testimony in the record which would refute the geniality of the autopsy photographs? (Reclaiming Parkland, p.135.)

Commission Conclusion. "The President was struck a second time by a bullet which entered the right rear portion of his head, causing a massive and fatal wound." (WCR; p. 19.)

Eye Witness Testimony That Refutes 'Autopsy' Photograph & The Commission Conclusion.

Dr Paul Peters. "I could see that he [Kennedy] had a large, about 7cm opening in the right occipital parietal area. A considerable portion of the brain was missing there and uh the occipital cortex the back portion of the brain was lying down near the opening of the wound and blood was trickling out". See supporting video at 25:40.

Dr Robert McClelland. As I took position at the head of the table that I have already described, to help out with the tracheotomy, I was in such a position that I could very closely examine the head wound, and I noted that the right posterior portion of the skull had been extremely blasted. It had been shattered, apparently, by the force of the shot so that the parietal bone was protruded up through the scalp and it seemed to be fractured almost along its right posterior half, as well as some of the occipital bone being fractured in its lateral half, and this sprung open the bones that I had mentioned in such a way that you could actually look down into the skull cavity itself and see possibly a third or so, at least, of the brain tissue, posterior cerebral tissue and some of the cerebellar tissue had been blasted out. There was a large amount of bleeding which was occurring mainly from the large venous channels in the skull which had been blasted open." (Volume VI; p. 33.)

Dr Charles Crenshaw. "I walked to the President's head to get a closer look. His entire right cerebral hemisphere appeared to be gone. It looked like a crater-an empty cavity. All I could see there was mangled, bloody tissue. From the damage I saw, there was no doubt in my mind that the bullet had entered his head through the front, and as it surgically passed through his cranium, the missile obliterated part of the temporal and all the parietal and occipital lobes before it lacerated the cerebellum. The wound resembled a deep furrow in a freshly ploughed field." (Crenshaw, Conspiracy of Silence; p. 86.)

Dr Kemp Clark. "I then examined the wound in the back of the President's head. This was a large gaping wound in the right posterior part, with cerebral and cerebellar tissue being damaged and exposed. There was considerable blood loss evident on the carriage, the floor, and the clothing of some of the people present." (Volume IV; p. 20.)

Dr Malcolm Perry. "...It informed us that the President had been shot and was being brought to the emergency room. We went there immediately, and he had just been brought in. It was obvious initially that he had a severe lethal wound. Arriving at the emergency room Dr Carrico had placed a tube in the President's trachea to assist his breathing. There was a neck wound internally and a large wound of his head in the right posterior area." See video

Dr Ronald Jones. "There was a large defect in the back side of the head as the President lay on the cart with what appeared to be some brain hanging out of this wound with multiple pieces of skull noted next with the brain and with a tremendous amount of clot and blood. * (Volume VI; p. 53/54.)

Dr Marion Jenkins. "There was a great laceration on the right side of the head (temporal and occipital), causing a great defect in the skull plate so that there was herniation and laceration of great areas of the brain, even to the extent that the cerebellum had protruded from the wound. There were also fragmented sections of brain on the drapes of the emergency room cart. With the institution of adequate cardiac compression, there was a great flow of blood from the cranial cavity, indicating that there was much vascular damage as well as brain tissue damage." Report of DR. M. T Jenkins, 11/22/63 16:30. (Volume XVII; p. 14/15.)

Dr Gene Coleman Akin. "The back of the right occipital parietal portion of his head was shattered, with brain substance extruding." (Volume VI; p. 65.)

Dr Charles Baxter. "We had an opportunity to look at his head wound then and saw that the damage was beyond hope, that is, in a word-literally the right side of his head had been blown off. With this and the observation that the cerebellum was present-a large quantity of brain was present on the cart." (Volume VI; p. 41.)

Dr Adolph Giesecke Jr. "It seemed that from the vortex to the left ear, and from the browline to the occiput on the left-hand side of the head the cranium was entirely missing."

Arlen Specter. Was that the left-hand side of the head, or the right-hand side of the head?

Dr Adolph Giesecke Jr. "I would say the left, but this is just my memory of it." (Volume VI; p. 74.)

Nurse Doris May Nelson.

Ben Bradlee Jr. "On page 104 of the House Assassination Committee Report, this rear view of the head. This is a photograph taken of the President's head, during the autopsy. I should say it's not a photograph, it's a tracing, a drawing, which claims to be an exact replica of the rear-"

Nurse Nelson. "After he was shot?"

Bradlee. "After he was shot."

Nurse Nelson. "It's not true"

Bradlee. "It's not true?"

Nelson. …." Not unless they pulled all that skin back down, but some of his head was blown away, and his brains were fallin' out on a stretcher."

Bradlee. "Oh, can you be more specific? Are you saying that this photo- this photograph does not show the wounds that you saw?"

Nelson. "No."

Bradlee. "And how doesn't it exactly?"

Nelson. "Cause there was no hair, there wasn't even hair back there, it was blown away". See supporting video at 6:00.

Nurse Audrey Bell. "I recall the injury being right along in this area (pointing to occipital parietal area in autopsy photograph). I know they lifted it up for me to see the injury at the back of the head.

Robert Groden. "Ok but you remember there being a large hole there that is not apparent in this photograph?"

Bell. "Oh yes there was a big hole there. There was a large hole back in this area (pointing to occipital parietal area in autopsy photograph)" See video at 1.03.25

Nurse Pat Hutton. "Mr Kennedy was bleeding profusely from a wound on the back of his head. A doctor asked me to place a pressure dressing on the head wound, this was of no use, however, because of the massive opening on the back of his head." (Volume XXI; p. 216.)

Nurse Diana Bowron. "He was moribund-he was lying across Mrs. Kennedy's knee and there seemed to be blood everywhere. When I went around to the other side of the car, I saw the condition of his head."

Mr Spector. "You saw the condition of his what?"

Nurse Diana Bowron. "The back of his head"

Mr Spector. "And what was that condition?"

Nurse Diana Bowron. "Well, it was very bad-you know."

Mr Spector. "How many holes did you see?"

Nurse Diana Bowron. "I just saw one large hole." (Volume VI; p. 136.)

Aubrey Rike. "The first time we began to pick up the President, I put my right hand underneath his head; I could feel the back of the skull had been blown out-it was literally blasted away. I felt the serrated edge of the hole in the skull on my hand. It was not painful, but I could feel the jagged edges of the bones through the sheet on the palm of my hand. I could also feel the President's brain shifting in my hand within the hole located just to the right of the centre of the head." (At The Door Of Memory; p. 58.)

ARRB Testimony

Jeremy Gunn. "Okay. If we could now look at the sixth view, which is described as the 'wound of entrance ln right posterior occipital region". Photograph No.42. Mr. Slbert, does that photograph correspond to your recollection of the back of President Kennedy's head?"

James Sibert. "Well, I don't have a recollection of it being that intact, as compared with these other pictures. I don't remember seeing anything that was like this photo."

Gunn. "But do you see anything that corresponds in Photograph No. 42 to what you observed during the night of the autopsy?"

Sibert. "No. I don't recall anything like this at all during the autopsy. There was much- the wound was more pronounced. And it looks like it could have been reconstructed or something, as compared with what my recollection was and those other photographs." (Sibert, ARRB Testimony; p. 126.)

Jeremy Gunn. "Okay. Can we take a look at view number six, which is described as wound of entrance in right posterior occipital region, Colour Photograph No. 42...I'd like to ask you whether that photograph resembles what you saw from the back of the head at the time of the autopsy"?

Francis X. O'Neill. "This looks like it's been doctored in some way. Let me rephrase that, when I say "doctored" Like the stuff has been pushed back in, and it looks like more towards the end than at the beginning. All you have to do was put the flap back over here, and the rest of the stuff is all covered on up". (O'Neill, ARRB Testimony; p. 158.)

Mrs Jackie Kennedy. Declassified excerpt from her testimony to the Warren Commission which was suppressed "I was trying to hold his hair on. But from the front there was nothing. I suppose there must have been. But from the back you could see, you know, you were trying to hold his hair on, and his skull on." (Weisberg, Post Mortem; pp. 380/381.)

Secret Service Agent Clint Hill. "The right rear portion of his head was missing. It was lying in the rear seat of the car. His brain was exposed. There was blood and bits of brain all over the entire rear portion of the car. Mrs. Kennedy was completely covered with blood. There was so much blood you could not tell if there had been any other wound or not, except for the one large gaping wound in the right rear portion of the head." (Volume II; p. 141.)

Secret Service Agent Roy Kellerman.

Arlen Specter. "I would like to develop your understanding and your observations of the four wounds on President Kennedy."

Roy Kellerman. "OK. This all transpired in the morgue of the Naval Hospital in Bethesda, sir. He had a large wound this size"

Arlen Specter. "Indicating a circle with your finger of the diameter of 5 inches; would that be approximately correct"?

Roy Kellerman. "Yes, circular; yes, on this part of the head."

Arlen Specter. Indicating the rear portion of the head.

Roy Kellerman. Yes.

Arlen Specter. "More to the right side of the head"?

Roy Kellerman. "Right. This was removed." (Volume II; p. 80/81.)

Secret Service Agent William Greer.

Arlen Specter. "What did you observe about the President with respect to his wounds"?

William Greer "His head was all shot; this whole part was all a matter of blood like he had been hit"

Arlen Specter. "Indicating the top and right rear side of the head"?

William Greer "Yes sir; it looked like that was all blown off." (Volume II; p. 124.)

Thomas Robinson, mortician

Reporter. "What do you remember about the wounds you witnessed"?

Tom Robinson. "Well, the one at the back of the head course is the major one, that's the one that took him. The one that killed him… it's like that [Pointing to diagram on sheet] but its right here [pointing to right back of his head] right at the medulla.

Reporter. "Yeah… what happened to the brains of the President?

Tom Robinson. It was removed... course the back [points to back of head] portion of the brain was badly torn up. Then put into a jar and taken away. See supporting video.

Edward Reed, Bethesda assistant: "The head wound was very large and located in the right hemisphere in the occipital region." (Stewart Galanor, Cover-Up; p. 33.)

Dr John Ebersole. "The back of the head was missing." (Cover-Up; p. 33.)

Phil Willis. "I am very dead certain that at least one shot including the one that took the President's skull off had to come from the right front...and I will stand to that to my death. Over my mother's grave." See all three Willis statements at 24:00.

Marilyn Wills. "The head shot seemed to come from the right front. It seemed to strike him here [pointing to right temple] and his head went back, and all of the brain matter went out the back of the head it was like a red halo, a red circle with bright matter in the middle of it it just went like that. It was a terrible time you cannot imagine seeing this. You knew it happened, but you didn't want to believe it."

Linda Kay Wills. "The particular headshot must have come from another direction besides behind him because the back of his head blew off and it doesn't make sense to be hit from the rear and still have your face intact. So, he must have been hit from another position you know possibly in the front or over to the side I really don't know where, but the back of his head blew off".

Dr John Ebersole. "The back of the head was missing and the regular messy wound." p. 3 of PDF

Jan Rudnicki. " The back right quadrant of the head was missing" p. 2 of PDF.

James Metzler Bethesda witness "Right side of the head behind the right ear extending down to the centre back of the skull." (Cover-Up; p. 33.)

Floyd Riebe

ARRB. "I would like you to describe as best you recall what or provide a description of the injuries to President Kennedy's head so we will say from above the throat. Not to the throat but above the throat. What did you observe on the body?"

Riebe. "The right side in the back was gone (indicating). Just a big gaping hole with fragments of scalp and bone hanging in it."

ARRB. "When you said that, you put your hand on the back of your head."

Riebe. "The occipital."

ARRB. "The occipital area? "

Riebe. "Yes." See Riebe deposition

32. A Violation of Texas Law.

"Gentlemen, Texas law requires an autopsy, performed by the medical examiner in the jurisdiction where the homicide occurred, in order to have a homicide complaint issued or subsequent indictment occur." (Walt Brown, The People V Lee Harvey Oswald; pp. 45-46)

According to Texas law, an autopsy must be conducted by the medical examiner in the jurisdiction where the homicide occurred. In the case of President Kennedy, Doctor Earl Rose, the medical examiner of Dallas County, should have been responsible for performing his autopsy. However, the Secret Service, without legal authority, took possession of the President's body from Parkland Hospital, disregarding Dr. Rose's jurisdiction and his rightful role in the investigation.

Dr. Rose, aware of the legal requirements, informed the Secret Service that he was the appropriate authority to conduct the autopsy. He reminded them that Texas law mandated the autopsy to be performed in the county where the homicide occurred. Dr. Rose's objection was met with an alarming response from the Secret Service, as they callously threatened him, stating that "he should move out of the way or risk being run over by the casket." This blatant disregard for the law and the medical examiner's jurisdiction is a troubling violation of proper legal procedures. The Secret Service's illegal removal of President Kennedy's body has significant implications for the case against Oswald. By taking the body out of Dallas and transporting it to Washington, the chain of custody was compromised, potentially allowing for tampering of crucial evidence. This irregularity added to the serious doubts about the integrity of the subsequent autopsy conducted by military pathologists in Bethesda, Maryland. See supporting video at 10:00.

33. A Package For Hidell?

Commission Conclusion. "The Mannlicher-Carcano 6.5-millimeter Italian rifle from which the shots were fired was owned by and in the possession of Oswald." (WCR, p.19.)

Where Was Oswald On March 12th, 1963?

Richard Stovall. "The fellow had a good record of being on the job, I mean, he didn't have any absenteeism." Albert Jenner. "He was prompt and worked every day and had little in the way of absenteeism?"

Richard Stovall. "Yes." (Volume X; p. 173)

Commission Exhibit 773 provides a crucial piece of evidence in the form of a time-stamped money order envelope for the Hidell rifle. The stamp indicates the purchase location, time and date as "Dallas Tex. 12.1963. Mar12.10:30am." This raises an important question: Where was Lee Oswald on March 12th, 1963, when the money order for the Hidell rifle was purchased? Is there any evidence in the record which would constitute as proof of Oswald's whereabouts?

For this I present, Commission Exhibit 1855. This exhibit is a picture of Oswald's timecard for Jaggers-Chiles-Stovall. The document shows that Oswald was accounted for at work between 8:00am and 17:15pm, with a lunch break from 12:15pm to 12:45pm. Considering the time stamp on the money order at 10:30am, Oswald's presence at work during that period establishes a solid alibi. These exhibits collectively indicate that Oswald was accounted for at the relevant time the money order was purchased. This evidence challenges the concept that Oswald initiated the purchase of the Mannlicher, casting doubt on his direct involvement in this aspect of the case. (Volume XVII, p. 635 & Volume XXIII, p 605.)

34. Postal Regulations.

Commission Conclusion. "In accordance with postal regulations, the portion of the application which lists names of persons, other than the applicant, entitled to receive mail was thrown away after the box was closed on May 1963. Postal Regulations which were in effect in March 1963." (WCR; p. 121).

Actual Postal Regulations In Effect In 1963 Which Refute The Commission Conclusion.

Contrary to the Commission's conclusion, the actual postal regulations in effect in March 1963 provide evidence that contradicts the disposal of the portion of the application identifying authorised recipients of mail. These regulations include:

  • "Section 846.53h of the postal manual provides that the third portion of box rental applications, identifying persons other than the applicant authorised to receive mail, must be retained for two years after the box is closed.


  • Section 355.111b(4) prescribes that the mail addressed to a person at a post office box, who is not authorised to receive mail, shall be endorsed "addressee unknown" and returned to sender where possible." (Document 37; Cover Up) 35. No Hidell At PO-Box, 2915.

Commission Conclusion. "It is not known whether the application for post office box 2915 listed "A Hidell" as a person entitled to receive mail at this box" (WCR; p.121)

Commission Exhibit 2585, is a document from the FBI, dated June 3, 1963. Bullet point 12 states:

Claim. "The post office box in Dallas to which Oswald had the rifle mailed was kept under both his name and that of "A.Hidell"

Investigation. "Our investigation has revealed that Oswald did not indicate on his application that others, including an "A.Hidell" would receive mail through the box in question, which was Post Office Box 2915 in Dallas. This box was obtained by Oswald on October 9, 1962, and relinquished by him on May 14, 1963." (Volume XXV; p. 857-862)

The evidence from the FBI investigation directly refutes the Commission's conclusion, demonstrating that Oswald did not list "A. Hidell" as an authorised recipient of mail on his application for post box 2915. The discrepancy between the Commission's conclusion and the FBI's documented findings raises questions about the accuracy and completeness of the Commission's investigation into the matter.

36. Monitored Mail?

There is compelling evidence within the report of FBI SA James P. Hosty (CE 829), dated 9/10/63, indicating that the FBI were indeed monitoring Oswald's post office box.The report reveals connections between Oswald and communist organizations, suggesting surveillance of his activities: "On September 28th, 1962, Dallas confidential informant T-1 advised that LEE H. OSWALD, who at the time resided at 2703 Mercedes Street, Fort Worth, Texas, was a subscriber to The Worker, an East Coast communist newspaper."

Furthermore, "On April 21, 1963, Dallas confidential informant T-2 advised that Lee H. Oswald of Dallas, Texas was in contact with the Fair Play For Cuba Committee in New York City at which he advised that he had passed out pamphlets for the Fair Play For Cuba Committee. According to T-2, Oswald had a placard around his neck reading "Hands off Cuba, Viva Fidel." (Volume XVII; p. 722-775. Volume IV; p 443-444.)

The FBI also reported "Information from our informant, furnished to us on April 21, 1963, was based upon Oswald's own statement contained in an undated letter to the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC) headquarters in New York City. A copy of this letter is included as Exhibit 61 in our Supplemental Report dated January 13, 1964. Our informant did not know Oswald personally and could furnish no further information. Our Investigation had not disclosed such activity on Oswald's part prior to this type of activity in New Orleans." (Volume XXVI; p. 92-99)

The FBI had established links between Oswald and various communist organizations, as evidenced by the Hosty report. It is also evident that the FBI maintained a significant degree of awareness and oversight on PO BOX 2915. Given their professed intensive scrutiny of his activities, it strikes me as highly unlikely that the arrival of the 'Hidell Carcano' at the Dallas post office would go unnoticed by the Bureau. This seemingly contradictory situation casts serious doubt upon the FBI's claim of ignorance about the rifle's delivery.

37. An FBI Informant.

Harry D. Holmes, a Postal Inspector whose testimony significantly contributed to the Commission's conclusion that Oswald could have received the 'Hidell Carcano', has been discovered to be an informant for the FBI. This revelation surfaced when "members of Holmes family, who have stated that their father should be understood within the context of the times when being an FBI informant was considered commendable. They believe he fulfilled his duties responsibly in all aspects related to the investigation of President John F. Kennedy's murder." See Holmes document

38. The 'Oswald' Note.

On November 12, 1963, ten days prior to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, FBI Special Agent James P. Hosty received an unsigned note, reportedly from 'Lee Oswald'. Intriguingly, this note, which could have been a key piece of incriminating evidence against Oswald, was destroyed by the FBI in the hours following Oswald's tragic death on November 24, 1963.

Jerry Spence. "You received a note, in November 1963 from Mr Oswald, didn't you?"

James Hosty. "Indirectly yes"

Jerry Spence. "After the Presidents assassination but before the Warren Commission met, you were told by the FBI to destroy that note, weren't you?

James Hosty. "After Oswald was killed and 10 days to 2 weeks before the Warren Commission was even announced, I was ordered to destroy it yes."

Jerry Spence. "And who told you to destroy that note?" James Hosty. I was told by the agent in charge, Gordon Shanklin. He handed it to me: here I don't ever want to see this again.

Jerry Spence. And as a result of that what did you do?

James Hosty. "I got rid of it, I destroyed it." See video

The controversy surrounding the note itself revolves around its contents. Nannie Lee Fenner, a receptionist from the FBI's Dallas office, claimed that Oswald's note contained a threatening ultimatum to Hosty that Oswald was to "blow up the FBI and the Dallas Police Department if you don't stop bothering my wife." Yet, Hosty's recollection of the note's contents diverges significantly from Fenner's. Hosty recalls the note as saying "If you want to talk to me, you should talk to me to my face. Stop harassing my wife and stop trying to ask her about me. You have no right to harass her." This significantly differing narrative raises a pertinent question? If Oswald had indeed made a severe threat against the Dallas FBI and Police Departments, wouldn't it have warranted his immediate arrest? (Hosty, Assigment: Oswald; p. 21, p. 195)

If, as Fenner testified, the note did contain such a serious threat, it would have provided crucial evidence in support of the government's emerging narrative about Oswald and his purported violent tendencies toward authoritative figures. The government likely would have relied heavily on this note, presenting it as proof of Oswald's capability to assassinate President Kennedy.

Despite the potential significance of this evidence, the FBI made the puzzling decision to eliminate the so-called 'Oswald' note. The rationale behind the FBI's decision to eradicate this potentially incriminating document remains, at the very least, puzzling. A genuinely threatening note would have undoubtedly strengthened the case against Oswald, rendering any government justification for its hasty elimination unnecessary.

39. The Humanitarian Rifle.

The Mannlicher Carcano (C2766) was a product of surplus weaponry from World War II, and it's quite possible that it was cannibalized from the parts of several malfunctioning rifles. As William Sucher, who had purchased hundreds of thousands of these rifles from the surplus of the Italian government, testified to the Commission,: "Many of these rifles were collected from battlefields or places of improper storage and were in very poor condition. These rifles were bought by the pound rather than units. Upon arrival in Canada, defective parts were removed, and saleable rifles were sometimes composed of parts of three or more weapons." To underscore this point even further, it's worth noting that at the time of the assassination, the lot of rifles that included C2766 was embroiled in a legal dispute. As stated in CE1977: "Concerning the shipment of those rifles to Adam Consolidated Industries, Inc., there is presently a legal proceeding by the Carlo Riva Machine Shop to collect payment for the shipment of the rifles which Adam Consolidated Industries Inc., claims were defective."

(Volume XXV; p. 808, CE 2562. Volume XXIV; p. 2)

40. The Disintegrating Carcano.

The Mannlicher (C2766) was found to be in a very poor mechanical condition. This weapon had a rusted and disintegrating firing pin as per an FBI report dated August 20, 1964, from J. Edgar Hoover to chief counsel J. Lee Rankin of the Warren Commission stated that: "In connection it should be noted that the firing pin of this rifle has been used extensively as shown by wear on the nose or striking portion of the firing pin, and further, the presence of rust on the firing pin and its spring may be an indication that the firing pin had not been recently changed prior to November 22,1963." (CE 2974, Volume. XXIV; p. 455)

"The experts who test fired the rifle deemed that this rifle in evidence was so unreliable that they did not practice with it for fear that pulling the trigger would break the firing pin". (Reclaiming Parkland; p. 27)

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Last modified on Friday, 01 December 2023 11:34
Johnny Cairns

Johnny Cairns is an electrician living in Edinburgh. He first got interested in President Kennedy through his father, Robert Cairns. Since then, he has held an undying admiration for Jack Kennedy and what he stood for. Through familiarizing himself with the facts of this crime, he has also become an advocate for the innocence of his alleged assassin, Lee Oswald. Through the various friendships developed with other researchers and making the trip to Dallas in 2018, he has spoken at JFK Lancer presenting the case for Oswald’s innocence and co-authored a book which is due for release at the end of 2021, titled “Case Not Closed.”

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