ROBERT McCLELLAND, MD: In testimony at Parkland taken before Arlen Specter on 3-21-64, McClelland described the head wound as, “…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…so that the parietal bone was protruded up through the scalp and 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 mentioned in such a way that you could actually look down into the skull cavity itself and see that probably a third or so, at least, of the brain tissue, posterior cerebral tissue and some of the cerebellar tissue had been blasted out….” (WC–V6:33) Later he said, “…unfortunately the loss of blood and the loss of cerebral and cerebellar tissues were so great that the efforts (to save Kennedy’s life) were of no avail.” (Emphasis added throughout) (WC–V6:34) McClelland made clear that he thought the rear wound in the skull was an exit wound (WC-V6:35,37). McClelland ascribed the cause of death to, “…massive head injuries with loss of large amounts of cerebral and cerebellar tissues and massive blood loss.” (WC–V6:34)
McClelland’s unwillingness to change his recollection has recently attracted detractors in the aftermath of Charles Crenshaw’s book, “Conspiracy of Silence”. McClelland told Posner, “I saw a piece of cerebellum fall out on the stretcher.” (Posner, G. “CC.”, p. 311, paper). To dismiss McClelland, Posner quotes Malcolm Perry, “I am astonished that Bob (McClelland) would say that… It shows such poor judgment, and usually he has such good judgment.” (Posner G. “Case Closed”. p. 311, paperback edition.) Perry’s own inconsistent and unreliable memory lessens the merit of his opinions of others, as we will see.
3) MARION THOMAS JENKINS, MD: In a contemporaneous note dated 11-22-63, Jenkins described “a great laceration on the right side of the head (temporal and occipital) (sic), 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.” (WC–Exhibit #392) To the Warren Commission’s Arlen Specter Dr. Jenkins said, “Part of the brain was herniated. I really think part of the cerebellum, as I recognized it, was herniated from the wound…” (WC–V6:48) Jenkins told Specter that the temporal and occipital wound was a wound of exit, “…the wound with the exploded area of the scalp, as I interpreted it being exploded, I would interpret it being a wound of exit…” (WC–V6:51.)
Jenkins described a wound in JFK’s left temple to Specter. Jenkins: “…I thought there was a wound on the left temporal area, right in the hairline and right above the zygomatic process.” Specter: “The autopsy report discloses no such development, Dr. Jenkins.” Jenkins: “Well, I was feeling for–I was palpating here for a pulse to see whether the closed chest cardiac massage was effective or not and this probably was some blood that had come from the other point and so I thought there was a wound there also.” A few moments later Jenkins again pursued the possibility that there had been a wound in the left temple: “…I asked you a little bit ago if there was a wound in the left temporal area, right above the zygomatic bone in the hairline, because there was blood there and I thought there might have been a wound there (indicating) (sic). Specter: “Indicating the left temporal area?” Jenkins: “Yes; the left temporal, which could have been a point of entrance and exit here (indicating) (sic-presumably pointing to where he had identified the wound in prior testimony–the right rear of the skull), but you have answered that for me (that ‘the autopsy report discloses no such development’).” (WC-V6:51)
In an interview with the HSCA’s Andy Purdy on 11-10-77 Marion Jenkins was said to have expressed that as an anesthesiologist he (Jenkins) “…was positioned at the head of the table so he had one of the closest views of the head wound…believes he was ‘…the only one who knew the extent of the head wound.’) (sic)…Regarding the head wound, Dr. Jenkins said that only one segment of bone was blown out–it was a segment of occipital or temporal bone. He noted that a portion of the cerebellum (lower rear brain) (sic) was hanging out from a hole in the right–rear of the head.” (Emphasis added) (HSCA-V7:286-287) In an interview with the American Medical News published on 11-24-78 Jenkins said, “…(Kennedy) had part of his head blown away and part of his cerebellum was hanging out.”.
CHARLES JAMES CARRICO, MD: On the day of the assassination he hand wrote, ” (the skull) wound had avulsed the calvarium and shredded brain tissue present with profuse oozing… attempts to control slow oozing from cerebral and cerebellar tissue via packs instituted…” (CE 392–WC V17:4-5)
In is first mention of JFK’s skull wound to the Warren Commission on 3/25/64, Carrico said, “There seemed to be a 4 to 5 cm. area of avulsion of the scalp and the skull was fragmented and bleeding cerebral and cerebellar tissue.” (6H3) And… “The (skull) wound that I saw was a large gaping wound, located in the right occipitoparietal area. I would estimate to be about 5 to 7 cm. in size, more or less circular, with avulsions of the calvarium and scalp tissue. As I stated before, I believe there was shredded macerated cerebral and cerebellar tissues both in the wounds and on the fragments of the skull attached to the dura.” (6H6)
On 3/30/64 Carrico appeared again before the Commission. Arlen Specter asked, “Will you describe as specifically as you can the head wound which you have already mentioned briefly?” Dr. Carrico: “Sure. This was a 5 by 71 cm (sic–the author feels certain that Dr. Carrico must have said “5 by 7 cm) defect in the posterior skull, the occipital region. There was an absence of the calvarium or skull in this area, with shredded tissue, brain tissue present…”. Specter: “Was any other wound observed on the head in addition to this large opening where the skull was absent?” Carrico: “No other wound on the head.”(WC–V3:361)
In an interview with Andy Purdy for the HSCA on 1-11-78, Dr. Carrico said, “The skull wound” …was a fairly large wound in the right side of the head, in the parietal, occipital area. (sic) One could see blood and brains, both cerebellum and cerebrum fragments in that wound.” (sic) (HSCA-V7:268)
MALCOLM PERRY, MD: In a note written at Parkland Hospital and dated, 11-22-63 Dr., Perry described the head wound as, “A large wound of the right posterior cranium…” (WC–V17:6–CE#392) Describing Kennedy’s appearance to the Warren Commission’s Arlen Specter Dr. Perry stated, “Yes, there was a large avulsive wound on the right posterior cranium….” (WC- V3:368) Later to Specter: “…I noted a large avulsive wound of the right parietal occipital area, in which both scalp and portions of skull were absent, and there was severe laceration of underlying brain tissue…” (WC–V3:372) In an interview with the HSCA’s Andy Purdy in 1-11-78 Mr. Purdy reported that “Dr. Perry… believed the head wound was located on the “occipital parietal” (sic) region of the skull and that the right posterior aspect of the skull was missing…” (HSCA- V7:292-293) Perry told Mr. Purdy: “I looked at the head wound briefly by leaning over the table and noticed that the parietal occipital head wound was largely avulsive and there was visible brain tissue in the macard and some cerebellum seen…” (HSCA-V7:302-interview with Purdy 1-11-78.
RONALD COY JONES: was a senior General Surgery resident physician at Parkland Hospital. Under oath he told the Warren Commission’s Arlen Specter, “…he had a large wound in the right posterior side of the head… There was 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.” (WC-V6:53-54) A few minutes later he described “what appeared to be an exit wound in the posterior portion of the skull”. (Emphasis added throughout) (WC-V6:56)
GENE AIKIN, MD: an anesthesiologist at Parkland told the Warren Commission under oath, “The back of the right occipital
parietal portion of his head was shattered with brain substance extruding.” (WC-V6:65.) He later opined, “I assume the right occipital parietal region was the exit, so to speak, that he had probably been hit on the other side of the head, or at least tangentially in the back of the head…”. (WC-V6:67)
PAUL PETERS, MD: a resident physician at Parkland described the head wound to the Warren Commission’s Arlen Specter under oath as, “…I noticed that there was a large defect in the occiput…It seemed to me that in the right occipital parietal area that there was a large defect.” (WC-V6:71)
CHARLES CRENSHAW, MD: a resident physician at Parkland neither wrote his observations contemporaneously or was interviewed by the Warren Commission. He, with co-authors, Jess Hansen and Gary Shaw, recently published a book, JFK: Conspiracy of Silence, ” (Crenshaw, CA, Hansen, J, Shaw, G. ( JFK: Conspiracy of Silence, 1992, New York, Signet). Crenshaw has claimed both in his book and in public interviews that the President’s head wound was posterior on the right side. In JFK: Conspiracy of Silence, he wrote, “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.” ( JFK: Conspiracy of Silence, p. 86)
CHARLES RUFUS BAXTER, MD: a resident physician at Parkland in a hand written note prepared on 11-22-63 and published in the Warren Report (p. 523) Baxter wrote, “…the right temporal and occipital bones were missing (emphasis added) and the brain was lying on the table…” (WR:523). Very oddly, as Wallace Milam pointed out to one of the authors (Aguilar), when asked to read his own hand written report into the record before the Warren Commission’s Arlen Specter the words are recorded exactly as he wrote them, except for the above sentence. That sentence was recorded by the Warren Commission and reads “…the right temporal and parietal bones were missing. (emphasis added)…”. (WC-V6:44) It is reasonable to assume that Baxter’s original description of a more rearward wound is more reliable than his later testimony before Arlen Specter, who on more than one occasion tried to move the skull wound away from the rear. Baxter then described the head wound saying, “…literally the right side of his head had been blown off. With this and the observation that the cerebellum was present….” (WC-V6:41) Thus the wound he saw was more likely to have been “temporo-occipital” than “temporo-parietal”, because he also recalled, “cerebellum was present”. (WC-V6:41) Shortly later in the same interview he also said, “…the temporal and parietal bones were missing and the brain was lying on the table….” (WC-V6:44) The authors are unaware of any explanation for the discrepancies, and can only speculate that either Baxter was misquoted twice or he adjusted his testimony to conform with what he might have felt was wanted of him. The mystery was confounded when author Livingstone reported that Baxter described the skull wound as “…a large gaping wound in the occipital area.” Livingstone also reported that “(Baxter) could not have been more clear when he rejected the official picture (showing the rear scalp intact).”(Groden & Livingstone, High Treason, 1989, New York, Berkley Books, p. 45)
PAT HUTTON, RN: a nurse at Parkland who met the limousine and helped to wheel the President into Trauma Room 1 wrote a report soon after claiming, “Mr. Kennedy was bleeding profusely from a wound in the back of his head, and was lying there unresponsive.” (Price Exhibit V21 H 216–Emphasis added). While helping with resuscitation efforts a physician asked her to apply a pressure dressing to the head wound, she observed, however, that, “This was no use, however, because of the massive opening in the back of the head.” (IBID)
DORIS NELSON, RN: was a supervising nurse at Parkland. She was interviewed by Arlen Specter for the Warren Commission and she was neither asked or volunteered information regarding the nature of JFK’s wounds. (WC-V6:143-147) As Groden and Livingstone reported, however, journalist Ben Bradlee, Jr. asked her, “Did you get a good look at his head injuries?” Nelson: “A very good look…When we wrapped him up and put him in the coffin. I saw his whole head.” Asked about the accuracy of the HSCA autopsy photographs she reacted: “No. It’s not true. Because there was no hair back there. There wasn’t even hair back there. It was blown away. Some of his head was blown away and his brains were fallen down on the stretcher.” (High Treason I. p. 454)
SECRET SERVICE AGENT WILLIAM GREER: described the President’s wounds upon arrival at Parkland to Arlen Specter of the Warren Commission: “His head was all shot, this whole part was all a matter of blood like he had been hit.” Specter, “Indicating the top and right rear side of the head?” Greer: “Yes, sir; it looked like that was all blown off.”(WCV2:124)
SECRET SERVICE AGENT CLINT HILL: described the wounds he saw at Parkland as, “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 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.” (WC–V2:141)
JOHN F. KENNEDY’S FATAL WOUNDS: THE WITNESSES AND THE INTERPRETATIONS FROM 1963 TO THE PRESENT
by, Gary L. Aguilar, MD
San Francisco, California, August, 1994
“That JFK’s head wound was on the right side of his head is universally accepted. With a single exception, all witnesses placed JFK’s major skull defect on the right side, and given the frequency of witness error, this suggests good witness reliability in this case. The most peculiar aspect of JFK’s wounds is that of the 46 witnesses whose opinions I have examined between Parkland and Bethesda, 45 of whom correctly claimed that the skull defect was on the right side, 44 were apparently wrong by the “best” evidence to claim that the wound was in the right-rear, rather than the right-front. The “authenticated” photographs, the originals of which were twice examined by author Aguilar at the National Archives, show no rear defect at all, only an anterior-lateral defect, and so, if valid, the images prove that not a single witness accurately described JFK’s fatal wound, and that even the autopsy report fails to accurately describe the skull defect visible in the images!
The HSCA’s forensic panel, which delved into the mysteries of JFK’s autopsy, accepted the authenticity of the current inventory of X-rays and photographs. Principally on the basis of these images, the panel concluded that the autopsists missed the correct location for the entrance bullet wound to the skull by placing it 10-cm too low, and missed the location of the bullet entrance to JFK’s back by placing it 5-cm too high. While the HSCA’s forensic panel apparently never considered the overwhelming witness testimony that there was a rear defect in JFK’s scalp/skull, it follows that all the witnesses were wrong if the images are right. To add to the muddle, recently revealed documents cast doubt on at least the completeness of the photographic inventory, and the technicians who took JFK’s X-rays and photographs both insist the current images are not those they took.”
Dr Boswell’s Face Sheet
The range of motion from the acromion to the mastoid process when leaning the head sideways and lifting the shoulder can shorten the distance by as much as 70 %. These are not “fixed anatomical landmarks” by any stretch of the term.
However the vertebrae are fixed anatomical landmarks.
9.2.4 Special Wound Ballistics of the Head -Krager
In intracranial gunshot wounds, several of the above-mentioned factors enhance the degree of tissue disruption. The inelastic quality and the high water content of brain tissue make it per se very vulnerable to cavitation and stretch-mechanism. The penetration of the skull can imply the generation of secondary missiles in the form of bone (Fig. 9.7) or bullet fragments [28, 41, 42, 43, 44] and a tendency towards early tumbling or deformation of the bullet. Kirkpatrick and DiMaio , for example, were able to demonstrate intracerebral bone chips solely by digital palpation of the brain in 16 out of 42 cases of civilian gunshot wounds to the brain. Even more important, intracranial trajectories gain a new quality by the rigid skull functioning as a non-yielding wall. Because brain tissue is almost incompressible, intracranial temporary cavitation and surrounding overpressure meet counter-pressure from the skull.
The skull will, so to speak, try to overcome the principle of nonconfinement of the cavity by denying the free space necessary for a gradual decrease of radial tissue displacement and associated overpressure. The volume of the intracranial temporary cavity will consequently stay smaller than a cavity formed under identical conditions in tissue not confined in a casing. Intracranial overpressures around the expanding temporary cavity, however, clearly exceed the pressures found in nonconfined tissue [4, 10, 45, 46]. These high dynamic pressures, the asymmetric shape of the temporary cavity, and unilaterally fixed tissue structures lead to shear forces within brain tissue. The unyielding skull does not allow the brain to expand, so the brain will transfer the overpressures to the skull. In other words, the brain’s surface gets pushed with great force against the inner table of the neurocranium and the brain stem gets forced down into the foramen magnum.
Consequently, the layer of cerebral tissue between temporary cavity and skull is compressed much more strongly than tissue not confined in a rigid casing and shearing of brain tissue is increased by bone structures projecting into the skull cavity. Analogous to blunt trauma, enhanced compression can result in contusion of brain tissue discernible as (cortical) contusion zones in superficial layers of the brain remote from the trajectory [28, 44, 47, 48, 49] (Fig. 9.8). The stretching and especially shearing of tissue is responsible for intracerebral petechial hemorrhages remote from the tract in the form of classical perivascular ring hemorrhages or spherical hemorrhages [28, 41, 43] (Fig. 9.9). They are simply the result of an enlarged zone of extravasation due to the enhanced effect of temporary cavitation.
Preferential neuroanatomical sites are more central parts of the brain such as the basal ganglia, midbrain, pons, and cerebellum The skull will at first be slightly stretched by intracranial overpressures. If the skull’s capacity to elastically stretch is surpassed, there will be indirect skull fractures, i.e., fracture lines without contact to the primary bony entrance and exit defects. Because the base of the skull is inhomogenous and less resistant to stretching than the vault, preferential locations are the roofs of the orbitae (Fig. 9.10) and the ethmoidal plates in the anterior cranial fossa . While secondary radial fractures originating from the gunshot defects are induced by the bullet’s impact, tertiary concentric fractures connecting the radial fracture lines (Fig. 9.11) are indirect heaving fractures [51, 52, 53] functioning as additional stress relief for internal overpressures. If the internal pressures are high enough, indirect skull fractures will combine to an ‘‘explosive’’ type of head injury  with comminuted fractures of the skull and laceration of the brain.
Kneubeuel (Editor), Coupland, Rothschild, Thali
Ballistics is the science of bodies in flight, encompassing the physical phenomena
involved and the movement of the projectile. It is divided into a number of areas,
based on where the projectile is.
Interior ballistics is the study of the acceleration of the bullet in the weapon
and the related processes. The domain of interior ballistics ends where the bullet
leaves the barrel. However, the weapon can continue to influence the flight of the
bullet even after this point, e.g. through oscillations or via the gases that follow
and overtake the bullet. This phase of the bullet’s motion is known as intermediate
Between the moment at which the bullet escapes the influence of the weapon
and the moment at which it strikes its target, the bullet obeys the laws of exterior
ballistics. This part of ballistics involves determining the changes over time and
space of the trajectory of the bullet, its velocity and the movements it describes
about its centre of gravity, taking into account all the forces acting upon it.
The study of the phenomena occurring when a bullet strikes and penetrates an
object is termed terminal ballistics. If the object is a person or an animal, we
speak of wound ballistics.
Interior, intermediate and exterior ballistics can all affect wound ballistics, depending
on the distance between muzzle and target. The structure of the bullet and
certain aspects of the weapon may also play a role. As a result, one can only understand
what happens to a bullet in a living being if one has a basic understanding
of the physics involved (mechanics, thermodynamics and fluid dynamics), of
ballistics and of arms and ammunition. We shall cover these aspects in Chapter 2.
Chapter 3 – General wound ballistics – examines the phenomenon of the
wound channel, describes simple physical models of velocity and energy over
time and distance and provides an overview of the simulants generally used in
Sherry Fiester – ENEMY OF THE TRUTH
Like many people, I believed that President Kennedy’s fatal head shot came from the grassy Knoll. I had been to Dealey Plaza and stood behind that within wooden fence. For 35 years witnesses and researchers had pointed to the grassy Knoll as the location for that shooter. I like them believe that the fatal shot came from the right front of the president. The problem was. I was confused about where front was located. In 2003, I completed a trajectory analysis to reconstruct the shooting for the fatal headshot. Using the same standard procedures Investigators use today in shooting homicides, I made a surprising discovery. I thought front was the grassy Knoll. But I like so many others was mistaken. President Kennedy is looking approximately 25° beyond profile reference to Zapruder. This means the grassy Knoll was at an approximate 90° angle to him.Front as applied to president Kennedy at the time of the headshot was actually near the South end of the triple overpass, on the opposite side of Dealey Plaza. Utilizing the trajectory analysis techniques, the grassy Knoll is excluded as a possible location for the shooter for the fatal headshot
In the years since President Kennedy’s death, various technical fields have made great strides in understanding ballistics. Developing accurate methods to establish projectile trajectories and establishing a better understanding of wound ballistics continues to be the focus of new research and technical publications. Scientifically establishing directionality of the projectile striking Kennedy in the head is paramount TO EITHER support a single rear shooter, OR establishing a conspiracy. Beveling, fracture sequencing, and projectile fragmentation, target movement, and blood spatter in gunshot wounds to the head are current methods of assessing a projectile’s direction of travel. Application of the latest forensic technology and research provides new pieces of the assassination puzzle. Identifying the head shot as a front or rear injury is significant as it proves a conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy. Contemporary research indicates of the five methods to determine the direction of travel of the projectile fatally wounding President Kennedy. One is deemed unreliable, and the other four support a shot from the front. Importantly, they do so while meeting the evidentiary standard required to support a criminal conviction in today’s courtroom.
Bullets traveling through bone create marginal conical shaped fractures adjacent to the entry or exit site. The conical beveling characteristically appears as a symmetrical chipping out of bone forming an indentation surrounding the entry or exit point on the opposite side of impact. The small end of the cone touches the interior or exterior bone table from which the bullet entered. Tangential gunshot wounds to the head create elliptically shaped defects containing both internal and external beveling (Levy, 2012).
Some wounds present both internal and external beveling. Researchers attribute this pseudo-beveling in high velocity distance shots to the transference of kinetic energy to the skull as dislodged chips flaking off entry wound edges, producing the effect of beveling. Without careful examination, misinterpretation of an entrance wound as an exit wound is possible in all types of entries (Quatrehomme, 1998, Coe, 1981; Prahlow, 2010; Adams, 2010).
Based upon current forensic research, it appears beveling cannot provide conclusive evidence of projectile direction. Incorrect assessment of direction can occur with tangential entries or exits, mistaken orientation, insufficient beveling, or the failure to recognize external beveling on entry wounds.
When a projectile strikes the skull, radial fractures are created which extend outward from the wound. Internal pressure from temporary cavitation produces concentric fractures create that are perpendicular to the radial fractures. Research addressing the sequencing of radial and concentric of skull fractures in gunshot injuries indicates the radial fractures stem from the point of entry (Viel, 2009; Karger, 2008; Smith, 1987; Leestma, 2009).
The Clark Panel observed extensive fracturing in the autopsy X-rays. The panel report specified there was extensive fragmentation “of the bony structures from the midline of the frontal bone anteriorly to the vicinity of the posterior margin of the parietal bone behind”. The report goes on the state, “throughout this region, many of the bony pieces have been displaced outward; several pieces are missing”. The Clark Panel report indicates the majority of the fracturing and displaced bones fragments are closer to the location they described as the exit wound; this is in direct conflict with scientific research concerning skull fractures resulting from gunshot injuries.
The Kennedy autopsy report stated multiple fracture lines radiated from both the large defect and the smaller defect at the occiput, the longest measuring approximately 19 centimeters. This same fracturing pattern was discussed in the Assassinations Records Review Board deposition of Jerrol Francis Custer, the X-ray technician on call at Bethesda Hospital the night of the Kennedy autopsy. Custer testified the trauma to the head began at the front and moved towards the back of the head (CE 387 16H978; ARRB MD 59:10). Kennedy’s autopsy X-rays have distinct radial fractures propagating from the front of the head, with the preponderance of concentric fractures located at the front of the head. Current research indicates fracturing patterns of this nature correspond with an entry wound located in the front of Kennedy’s head.
When examining the Zapruder film frame by frame, it is readily apparent the President Kennedy’s head moves forward slightly for one frame before his head and shoulders move backward in response to the gunshot wound to the head.
German wound ballistic researcher Bernd Karger, states initial transfer of energy causes the target to move minutely into the force and against the line of fire, prior to target movement with the force of the moving bullet. Karger found greater the transferred energy, the more pronounced the forward movement (Karger, 2008). Wound ballistic researcher Robin Coupland used high-speed photography to confirm and document the forward movement into the line of fire referenced by Karger (Coupland, 2011).
Researchers Karger and Coupland noted the force in a moving bullet is energy of motion, or kinetic energy. Upon impact, the bullet pushes against the head, and initially, as the weight of the head is greater than the weight of the bullet, the head moves against the line of fire. As the projectile slows, more kinetic energy transfers to the target. A overcoming the weight of the head with a sufficient transfer of energy causes the target to move with the continued direction of force of the moving bullet. Application of contemporary wound ballistics research to the movement observed in the Zapruder film indicates a minute forward motion followed by more pronounced rearward movement—consistent with a single shot from the front.
Bullet Fragment Distribution
The distribution of bullet fragment begins near the point of entry and continues in the direction of the bullet trajectory in an ever-widening path as it moves away from the entry wound. A lateral view of the same pattern will reveal a conical shape to the fragment distribution. The apex of the pattern is closest to the entry wound and the wider portion of the fragment cone is closest to the exit wound (Rushing, 2008; Fung, 2008; DiMaio, 1998).
The House Select Committee on Assassinations heard testimony concerning the characteristics of bullet fragment patterns when Larry Sturdivan testified the majority of metallic fragments are typically deposited nearest the entry wound (HSCA 1: 402). Clark Panel Report also stated the majority of fragments were located in the front and top of Kennedy’s head (ARRB MD59:10-11).
Multiple forensic publications indicate X-rays fragment patterns display the majority of fragments near the entry wound. Kennedy’s autopsy X-rays depict the majority of bullet fragments in the front and top of the head, which indicates a frontal shot.
Backspatter is blood ejected from the entry wound and travels against the line of fire, back towards the shooter. Although forward and back spatter pattern display some common features, there are also dissimilarities. Studying forward and back spatter patterns created during a singular incident identifies those differences. By differentiating between forward and back spatter in shooting incidents, the identification of the direction of the origin of force is possible (James, 2005).
Scientific journals, books, and research published since the late 1980s indicate the blood observed in the Zapruder film displays the pattern shape of back spatter. It also extends from the wound area a distance characteristic of back spatter, particularly when correlated to blood documented elsewhere on the scene. The timing for the pattern creation and the dissipation rate identifies it as back spatter. In fact, all available information concerning the blood spatter pattern in the Zapruder film corresponds in every measurable manner with back spatter replicated in forensic laboratories and described in peer-reviewed publications since the late 1980s. Consequently, the only possible conclusion is the back spatter in the Zapruder film is genuine. Identifying the blood in the Zapruder film as back spatter signifies a shot from the front of President Kennedy.”~Sherry Fiester CSI
CSI Sherry Fiester – Curriculum Vitae
Detective Lieutenant – Forensics
St. Charles Patish Sheriff’s Department
August 1995 – October 1999 (4 years 3 months)
In 1995 newly elected Sheriff Greg Champagne employed me to head his Forensic Unit. It was a wonderful opportunity to assist in the development of an investigative unit that would become regionally based and respected for their expertise.
My duties included: Supervise overall operations for Forensic Unit, Evidence Division, and License and Permits Departments; Direct, supervise and coordinate forensic investigations and personnel in the field; Develope forensic standards, protocols, training manuals, policy and procedures for meeting national individual certifications; Maintain fiscal responsibility, develop budgets and maintain inventory for three departments without budget overages; Develop and maintain computerized records management system for case activity, sex offenders database and evidence retention; Inspect facilities for emergency readiness and compliance of OSHA regulations; And develop instructional materials and conducte educational programs on state and national levels.
Detective Sargeant – Forensics
Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Department
1982 – 1993 (11 years)
In 1983 I began my career with Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Department. After three years in Patrol I transferred to the Forencis Investigation Division. I have testified as an expert in crime scene reconstruction and bloodstain pattern interpretation in Federal and local judicial districts in the states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida. I am published in Crime scene Investigation, Reconstruction and Blood Spatter Interpretation and has taught at state, national and international levels.
Directed, supervised and coordinated forensic investigations for multiple agencies in a 6 parish region
Trained, supervised and coordinated clerical office staff and forensic investigative personnel
Developed forensic certification standards, protocols, training manuals, policy and procedures for successfully meeting national individual certifications
Developed and maintained computerized records management system for case activity
Maintained fiscal responsibility, developed budget and maintained inventory.
The illustration above is the product of photogrammetry Photogrammetry is the science of making measurements from photographs, especially for recovering the exact positions of surface points. Moreover, it may be used to recover the motion pathways of designated reference points located on any moving object, on its components and in the immediately adjacent environment.
Bloodstain Pattern Analysis
Bloodstain pattern analysis (BPA) is one of several specialties in the field of forensic science. The use of bloodstains as evidence is not new; however, the application of modern science has brought it to a higher level. New technologies, especially advances in DNA analysis, are available for detectives and criminologists to use in solving crimes and apprehending offenders.
The science of bloodstain pattern analysis applies scientific knowledge from other fields to solve practical problems. Bloodstain pattern analysis draws on the scientific disciplines of biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics. If an analyst follows a scientific process, this applied science can produce strong, solid evidence, making it an effective tool for investigators, although care does need to be taken when relying on bloodstain pattern analysis in criminal cases. A report released by The National Academy of Sciences calls for more standardization within the field. The report highlights the ability of blood spatter analysts to overstate their qualifications and the reliability of their methods in the court room.
In physics there are two continuous physical states of matter, solid and fluid. Once blood has left the body it behaves as a fluid and all physical laws apply.
Gravity acts on blood (without the body’s influence) as soon as it exits the body. Given the right circumstances blood can act according to ballistic theory.
Viscosity is the amount of internal friction in the fluid. It describes the resistance of a liquid to flow.
Surface tension is the force that maintains the shape of a drop of liquid, such as blood. When two fluids are in contact with each other (blood and air) there are forces attracting all molecules to each other.
Blood spatter flight characteristics.
Experiments with blood have shown that a drop of blood tends to form into a sphere in flight rather than the artistic teardrop shape. This is what one would expect of a fluid in freefall. The formation of the sphere is a result of surface tension that binds the molecules together.
This spherical shape of blood in flight is important for the calculation of the angle of impact (incidence) of blood spatter when it hits a surface. That angle will be used to determine the point from which the blood originated which is called the Point of Origin or more appropriately the Area of Origin.
A single spatter of blood is not enough to determine the Area of Origin at a crime scene. The determination of the angles of impact and placement of the Area of Origin should be based on the consideration of a number of stains and preferably stains from opposite sides of the pattern to create the means to triangulate.
“In this article I address the chain of custody for the so-called “magic bullet,” otherwise known as Commission Exhibit 399 (or CE399). According to the Warren Commission, this bullet wounded both President Kennedy and Governor John Connally.
In fact, the chain of custody for this central piece of evidence is non-existent. The true and amazing story about the near-pristine “magic bullet” found at Parkland Hospital shortly after JFK’s assassination has been carefully pieced together by analysts such as Sylvia Meagher in the ’60s and John Hunt in the past few years.
Although Secret Service agent Richard Johnsen received the bullet in Parkland Hospital by about 1:30 p.m., an hour after the assassination, Johnsen’s initials are nowhere on the magic bullet, despite regulations mandating Secret Service agents to initial forensic evidence.
Johnsen handed the bullet to the Secret Service Chief James Rowley at Andrews Air Force Base at about 7:30 p.m., who didn’t initial it either. Neither Johnsen nor Rowley could identify the bullet when shown it later.
The chief of the Dallas police crime lab, Carl Day, said he initialed all three hulls found on the sixth floor at about 1 pm on the afternoon of November 22.
When Day testified on 4/22/64 to the Warren Commission, he had to admit that he did not initial any of them during the time that they were found at the 6th floor of the book depository.
As the hulls are nondescript, initialing them is essential if anyone hopes to recognize such an item again. Detective Richard Sims wrote that after Day took pictures of the hulls, he picked up the “empty hulls”, Day held open an envelope, Sims dropped them in. Sims held onto an unsealed envelope with three hulls in it at 2 pm; at some point, homicide chief Will Fritz was given the envelope by Sims. Fritz later gave the envelope to a sergeant, who eventually brought one hull back to Fritz and the other two hulls back to Day.
Day admitted during his Warren Commission testimony that he only initialed the two hulls in the unsealed envelope when he got it back at 10 that night. Day passed the shells on to FBI agent Vince Drain in the early morning, and I am similarly unaware of any record of Drain initialing any of these materials before he passed them on to firearms expert Robert Frazier at the FBI lab. Frazier’s testimony doesn’t mention anything about these shells being initialed by either of these men.
These hulls should have been excluded based on the failure to have a reliable chain of custody.”
Considering the time zones, it was between 90 minutes and 2 hours after the arrival of those fragments at the FBI labs, that Tomlinson was awakened by someone from the FBI, demanding that he “keep his mouth shut” about the bullet he found at Parkland hospital. This is from the recorded 1967 interview of Tomlinson by Ray Marcus. The interview is also documented in the HSCA records.
Tomlinson: On Friday morning about 12:30 to 1 o’clock – uh, excuse me, that’s Saturday morning – after the assassination, the FBI woke me up on the phone and told me to to keep my mouth shut.
Marcus: About the circumstances of your finding the bullet?
Tomlinson: That is (one short word, unintelligible) what I found…
Marcus: I understand exactly what you mean, when they call you, it’s pretty authoritative. But the thing is this, did they say – was there any particular thing about what they said or they just didn’t want you to talk about it period?
Tomlinson: Just don’t talk about it period.
In contrast to all of these very solid corroborations, we have 100% denial by the four men who examined the bullet that Tomlinson found, that it was CE399. Unlike many other issues related to the case, this one is not a tough call. It seems that J. Edgar Hoover agreed, because in recordings of telephone conversations between him and LBJ, he suggested that Connally was wounded because he came between the President and an assassin, and that if Connally had not come between them, JFK would have taken his bullet.
The Parkland Bullet & Broken Chain of Custody to CE399
Within an hour after the assassination, Johnsen was given the bullet by Parkland hospital security director O.P. Wright, after orderly Darrell Tomlinson found it by a stretcher. Like Johnsen and Rowley, neither Wright nor Tomlinson could identify the bullet.
The first 4 links in the chain of custody of the bullet found a Parkland are unable to identify it as CE399.
1. Orderly Darrell Tomlinson >>
2. Parkland hospital security director O.P. Wright >>
3. SS Agent Richard Johnsen >>
4. Agent Rowley (Secret Service Chief).
A break in the chain of custody at this proximate point proves that the bullet of record, CE399 is NOT the bullet found at parkland, and therefor CE399 is a planted bullet by the highest authorities themselves.
Let me remind you once again: A memorandum from the FBI office in Dallas on June 20th to J. Edgar Hoover contains the statement, “neither DARRELL C. TOMLINSON [sic], who found bullet at Parkland Hospital, Dallas, nor O. P. WRIGHT, Personnel Officer, Parkland Hospital, who obtained bullet from TOMLINSON and gave to Special Service, at Dallas 11/22/63, can identify bullet”
Warren Commission Testimony vol. VI
TESTIMONY OF DARRELL C. TOMLINSON
The testimony of Darrell C. Tomlinson was taken on March 20, 1964, at Parkland Memorial Hospital, Dallas, Tex., by Mr. Arlen Specter, assistant counsel of the President’s Commission
However, at the time Tomlinson was questioned by Specter, he had not seen CE399. When Tomlinson finally did see CE399, he said that it was not the bullet he found at Parkland.
The Parkland Bullet is a distinct and different bullet from CE399.
JFK’S BACK WOUND @ T-3
This should make it perfectly clear where T-3 is located:
> Exactly where Kennedy’s back wound is in Boswell’s autopsy facesheet.
> Exactly where Kennedy’s back wound is in that photograph.
> Exactly where Kennedy’s back wound is in his shirt.
> Exactly where Kennedy’s back wound is in his coat.
> Exactly where Kennedy’s back wound is in Burkley’s autopsy report.
> Exactly where Kennedy’s back wound is as told by SS Agent Sibert.
On 11-22-63, at 3:16 PM CST, barely two hours after JFK was pronounced dead, Perry appeared with Kemp Clark, MD, the professor of neurosurgery who had pronounced JFK dead.
A newsman asked Perry: “Where was the entrance wound?”
Perry: “There was an entrance wound in the neck…”
Question: Which way was the bullet coming on the neck wound? At him?”
Perry: “It appeared to be coming at him.”…
Question: “Doctor, describe the entrance wound. You think from the front in the throat?”
Perry: “The wound appeared to be an entrance wound in the front of the throat; yes, that is correct. The exit wound, I don’t know. It could have been the head or there could have been a second wound of the head. There was not time to determine this at the particular instant.” (emphasis added)
Read the how Perry was badgered into changing this clear and straightforward opinion by Arlen Specter, and the PR Machine:
JFK head nod and backspatter:
Mr. STURDIVAN – “There is another section of film here, before we get to the skulls, which we forgot to mention. Perhaps we should go ahead and go through it since it is already there. This is a can of tomatoes which I think demonstrates some of the principles of physics that are involved here. The picture will be much the same as those with the skull. The bullet will be coming in from the left, will strike the can and you will see pieces of the can moving toward the right in the direction of the bullet, but you will also see pieces of the can moving in other directions.
**Notably, the top of the can will be moving back toward the left in the direction from which the bullet came.**
You notice the backsplash as the bullet has entered the left-hand side of the can. The material is beginning to move back out. This is called the backsplash of the projectile. In the next case, the bullet is still within the can and, in fact, has stopped within the can.”~Larry Sturdivan — HSCA testimony
Characterization as an entrance wound by the Parkland doctors
Here are the descriptions of the throat wound by the doctors and one nurse at Parkland hospital:
Dr. Malcolm Perry
Lifton describes the initial news accounts of the opinions of the Parkland doctors, particularly Dr. Malcolm Perry:
On November 22, 1963, millions of Americans heard radio and TV networks report that Dr. Malcolm Perry, a Dallas Physician who was with the President in the emergency room when he died, said there was a bullet entrance wound situated on the front of Kennedy’s neck.
Because Perry later changed his mind about the direction of the bullet, after receiving a visit from the Secret Service, and denied what he had originally said, Lifton goes to much effort to document Perry’s initial accounts. Here is some of that documentation:
UPI report at 3:10 p.m. CST on 11-22 (1):
Dr. Malcolm Perry, thirty-four, said “there was an entrance wound below the Adam’s apple.”
Tom Wicker with the New York Times (2):
Dr. Malcolm Perry, an attending surgeon, and Dr. Kemp Clark, chief of neurosurgery at Parkland Hospital, gave more details. Mr. Kennedy was hit by a bullet in the throat, just below the Adam’s apple, they said. This wound had the appearance of a bullet’s entry…
Dallas News reporter John Geddie (3):
Dr. Perry said, “in the lower portion of Kennedy’s neck, right in the front, there was a small puncture.”
Lifton explains why he felt confidant that Perry had not been misquoted, as he later claimed:
Another factor reinforcing my conviction that Dr. Perry had not been misquoted was his reaction to the news that the shots were all fired from a building located behind the motorcade. Faced with that fact, Dr. Perry did not change his opinion about the wound; on the contrary, he simply assumed that President Kennedy was turned toward the rear when the bullet struck… He told the Boston Globe’s medical editor, Herbert Black (4):
“It may have been that the President was looking up or sideways with his head thrown back when the bullet or bullets struck him”.
However, we know from the Zapruder film that the President’s head was in fact facing forward when the fatal bullet struck his head.
Dr. Ronald Jones
In his Warren Commission deposition, Dr. Jones explained why the doctors considered the throat wound to be an entrance wound:
The hole was very small and relatively clean-cut as you would see in a bullet that is entering rather than exiting from a patient. (5)
Many of the doctors initially thought that the throat and head wound were caused by the same bullet, entering through the throat and exiting through the back of the head. Dr. Jones explained to the Warren Commission his initial thoughts:
With no history as to the number of times that the President had been shot or knowing the direction from which he had been shot, and seeing the wound in the midline of the neck (which Jones characterized as an entrance wound in his medical report) and what appeared to be an exit wound in the posterior portion of the skull, the only speculation that I could have as … to how this could occur with a single wound (bullet) would be that it would enter the anterior neck and possibly strike a vertebral body and then change its course and exit in the region of the posterior portion of the head… if I accounted for it (both wounds) on the basis of one shot, that would have been the way I (would have) accounted for it. (6)
Dr. Paul Peters
Dr. Peters testified at the Warren Commission Hearings (7):
We saw the wound of entry in the throat and noted the large occipital wound, and it is a known fact that high velocity missiles often have a small wound of entrance and a large wound of exit…
Dr. Charles Baxter
Lifton notes that despite Arlen Specter’s aggressive efforts to get the Parkland physicians to equivocate on their characterization of the throat wound, some of them argued back against him. Dr. Baxter, for example, noted that such a wound (to have been an exit wound) would be “unusual… ordinarily there would have been a rather large wound of exit.” (8)
Dr. Charles Carrico
On the afternoon of November 22, Dr. Charles Carrico described the throat wound in his medical report as “a small penetrating wound of the ant. (front) neck in the lower 1/3”. (9)
Nurse Margaret Henchliffe
Margarette Hencliffe testified to the Warren Commission (10):
It was just a little hole in the middle of his neck… about as big around as the end of my little finger… that looked like an entrance bullet hole…
Lifton describes Ms. Henchliffe’s exchange with Arlen Specter:
When asked by Specter if it could “have been an exit bullet hole,” Nurse Henchliffe insisted that she had “never seen an exit bullet hole… that looked like that… It was just a small wound and wasn’t jagged like most of the exit bullet wounds that I have seen…”
Immediately following this exchange, attorney Specter began a series of questions designed to establish that Nurse Henchliffe did not have qualifications to render such an opinion. Nurse Henchliffe answered that her experience was limited to five years in the ER at Parkland Memorial Hospital and, more generally, her twelve years as a registered nurse. “We take care of a lot of bullet wounds down there – I don’t know how many a year,” she testified (11).
Dr. Robert McClelland
Lifton describes Dr. McClelland’s interview with Richard Dudman of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (12):
Dr. McClelland told the Post-Dispatch: “It certainly did look like an entrance wound.” He explained that a bullet from a low velocity rifle, like the one thought to have been used, characteristically makes a small entrance wound, sets up shock waves inside the body, and tears a big opening when it passes out the other side.
Dr. McClelland conceded that it was possible that the throat wound marked the exit of a bullet fired into the back of the President’s neck… “but we are familiar with bullet wounds,” he said. “We see them every day – sometimes several a day. This did appear to be an entrance wound.”
McClelland noted in the same interview, having been informed that Lee Harvey Oswald had shot the President from behind:
We postulated that if it was a wound of entry, as we thought it was… he would have to have been looking almost completely to the rear.
And McClelland testified to similar effect to the Warren Commission (13):
At the moment… it was our impression before we had any other information… that this was one bullet, that perhaps had entered through the front of the neck and then in some peculiar fashion which we really had… to strain to explain to ourselves, had coursed up the front of the vertebra and into the base of the skull and out the rear of the skull.
“Secret Service Gets Revision of Kennedy Wound”
On December 18th, a story by Richard Dudman appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, titled “Secret Service gets revision on Kennedy wound – After visit by agents, doctors say shot was from rear”. The doctors referred to in the article were Malcolm Perry and Robert McClelland. Here is an excerpt from the article:
Two Secret Service agents called last week on Dallas surgeons who attended President John F. Kennedy and obtained a reversal of their original view that the bullet in his neck entered from the front. The investigators did so by showing the surgeons a document described as an autopsy report from the US Naval Hospital at Bethesda. The surgeons changed their original view to conform with the report they were shown.
THE JFK MEDICAL REFERENCE / Par
ASSASSINATION RESEARCH / Vol.1
4 No. 2 © Copyright 2006 Vincent M. Palamara
Page 7:_St. Louis Post-Dispatch`, 12/1/63—_This [the neck wound] did appear to be an entrance wound.`[another important >St. Louis Post-DispatchA article, dated 12/18/63: > Secret Service Gets Revision of Kennedy Wound-after visit by agents, doctors say shot was from rear.A-“[the Secret Service] obtained a reversal of their original view that the bullet in his neck entered from the front.
The investigators did so by showing the surgeons a document described as an autopsy report from the United States Naval Hospital at Bethesda. The surgeons changed their original view to conform with the report they were
shown.” One of the agents may very well have been SA Elmer Moore. RIF#180-10109-10310 is a 6/1/77 HSCA interview transcript of graduate
student James Gouchenaur and his 1970 conversation with Moore, who told him that he felt remorse for the way he (Moore) had badgered Dr. Perry into changing his testimony to the effect that there was not, after all, an entrance
wound in the front of the president’s neck! (see 2 H 39, 41; 6 H 36-37; and _Best Evidence`, pages 156, 166-167, 196 and 286); SEE ALSO CD 379; 3 H 363, 364 and 6 H 6, 7 (Carrico); 3 H 387 and 6 H 17 (Perry); 6 H 27 (Clark); 6 H 57 (Jones); 6 H 44 (Baxter); 6 H 50-51 (Jenkins); 6 H 63 (Bashour); 6 H 75 (Giesecke); ];
_Nova`, 11/15/88 (see still photo in _Killing The Truth`)—before AND after viewing the official photos, McClelland places his hand on the right rear area of his head where he saw the wound on JFK and speculates, “that a large flap of skin is obscuring the large wound in the official photos.”