The Headwound As Seen At Parkland Hospital

The Headwound As Seen At Bethesda Naval Hospital

"There's no hole in the back of the head there; is there?" (John Stringer, ARRB Deposition)

"Horne stated that you could not tell in the "bootleg" version (the ones we typically see), as it's very dark on the bottom, but the actual image is much better and shows the entire back of the head is lacking in structure. It kind of sags there, as though it kind of caved in where it sits in the stirrup. "

For a more complete & detailed listing compiled by Dr. Gary Aguilar follow this link

Some photographs here have been stolen from Robert Groden's compendious photographic compilation in "The Killing of a President"

The purpose of this page is to illustrate the (apparent) incompatibility between the 'back of the head' autopsy photographs (below) and the witness testimony. The autopsy photo shows the obvious and universally admitted 'right front' flap. The evidence is that there were in fact three 'major' flaps, one of them being at the right rear.

Dr Boswell - one of the autopsy doctors - maintains that he was lifting such a flap over the back of the head in the photo below.


"There is a large irregular defect of the scalp and skull on the right involving chiefly the parietal bone but extending somewhat into the temporal and occipital regions. In this region there is an actual absence of scalp and bone producing a defect which measures approximately 13 cm in greatest diameter..." (autopsy report)

Humes had a navy artist by the name of Rydberg produce some drawings of the headwound when he found that his autopsy photos 'would not be available'. One is below:

..the other is essentially the leftmost of the three below, though I have superimposed an actual skull on it to make comparisons easier. The defect runs from the borders of the occipital bone into the frontal bone. Boswell produced a drawing for the ARRB (centre, below, defect highlighted) which is very similar. Compare both of these to the Dox drawing produced under Michael Baden's supervision for the HSCA (right,below) which shows the right rear parietal essentially intact. (Solid, though fractured). If the headwound was in fact as in the Rydberg & Boswell drawings, then there is no great puzzle about how the Parkland witnesses could report a 'right rear' defect. The simple fact is, acording to all the evidence, there was one.

If the 'Baden/Dox' version is correct , then the radiology is wrong & the Clark Panel were clearly wrong to declare that: " [Autopsy] Photographs 7, 14, 42, and 43 show the back of the head, the contours of which have been grossly distorted by extensive fragmentation of the underlying calvarium." The preceding sentence incidentally makes doubly plain the fact that they believed the 'back of the head' skull was indeed 'fragmented'.

" This wound measured approximately 13 centimeters in greatest diameter. It was difficult to measure accurately because radiating at various points from the large defect were multiple crisscrossing fractures of the skull which extended in several directions. I have noted in my report that a detailed description of the lines of these fractures and of the types of fragments that were thus made were very difficult of verbal description, and it was precisely for this reason that the photographs were made so one might appreciate more clearly how much damage had been done to the skull. " (Humes, WC) One searches the Baden/Dox version in vain for any sign of these 'multiple criss-crossing fractures extending in several directions'. See the lateral skull x-ray.

Rydberg drawing 1964 (above, left, skull superimposed) Boswell's drawing for the ARRB. 1998 (above, centre, side view) The HSCA Dox drawing 1978 (right, above)

In all 3 pictures, the lamboid suture is highlighted red, and the coronal suture in blue & red.

The Rydberg drawing may be taken as the 'concensus' view among the autopsists (as of 1964) on the condition of the skull. It is very similar to Boswell's 1998 version (centre, above). Both contradict the Baden/Dox HSCA 'version'. Note the essentially intact skull between the 'cowlick' & the lamboid suture (marked in red) in the right hand drawing.

Humes' comments on autopsy picture # 42

Humes ARRB account of the nature of the skull wound seems to contradict the Rydberg drawing - prepared under his own direction in 1964 - and his own autopsy protocol :

Q Okay. Let me try another question. Can you describe generally where there was any missing bone from the posterior portion, to the best of your recollection?
A There basically wasn't any. It was just a hole. Not a significant missing bone.
Q So a puncture hole--
A Puncture hole.
Q And no bone missing--
A No.
Q --anywhere in the occipital--

A No, no. Unless maybe--you know, these drawings are always strange. Unless the part of this wound extended that far back. I don't think it did, really. Most of it was parietal temporal.
Q So on the scalp of President Kennedy here, still in View No. 4, [above] that underneath the scalp the bone was all intact with the exception of the puncture wound--
A Yeah.
Q --and perhaps some fragment-- [note : I kind of wish Gunn had finished this sentence. Presumably he was going on to say 'fragmentation'. ]
A In the back of the skull, back, yes, sir.
Q Are you able to identify whose arm that is holding the President's head?
A No.
Q When that photograph was taken, was the scalp being pulled forward, that is, towards the eyes of the President, in order for that photograph to be taken?
A It's possible. I'm not sure. It looks like that's what's happening. The edge of the defect is up there. The edge of the defect is adjacent to where the fingers and thumb of the person appear on the photograph.
Q I asked you a similar question with another view, but I'd just like to try the same question again. Looking at the posterior skull here, the portion that is below the ear--so if we were to draw a line from between the top of the ear and the top of the ruler down, is it your understanding that the skull behind that scalp would be intact?
A Reasonably intact.
(Humes ARRB)

Humes appears to me to fudge the issue somewhat. He says the skull back from the cowlick was 'reasonably intact' - & leaves us somewhat in the dark about about exactly what that means. His 1964 drawing shows the skull rear of the cowlick as part of a 'defect', whether intended as 'actually missing bone' (very doubtful) or as 'fragmented bone'.

Interesting in another connection is Humes statement: " Mr. Specter. What time did this autopsy end? Commander Humes. At approximately 11 p.m." (Warren Com. Testimony). This shows that the two FBI agents did not 'miss' any continuation of the autopsy after they left, about 1 am.


Boswell's drawing for the ARRB (back view, defect highlighted)

One of Boswell's autopsy diagrams. Head seen from top. Eyes at the top of the diagram. Note the legend: "10 X 17 [cm] missing" in the top of the skull.

Boswell maintains that the scalp in the colour autopsy picture (below right) is being pulled forwards over (essentially) a vacancy at the right rear. The brain is removed by the time the picture (below) is taken. This would have have been virtually impossible - & utterly inept - had the back of the head been essentially 'intact' as in the Dox drawing. " It would be irresponsible and stupid to try to remove the brain if so much skull were left, as it must be in the official interpretations of the photographs " according to neuroanatomist Joe Riley (see his article : "What Struck John")

Boswell's comments on the autopsy picture

" But the scalp was lacerated, & a pretty good sized piece of the frontal
& right occipital portion of the skull had separated and were stuck to
the undersurface of the scalp. "

Boswell, interviewed by Livingstone, High Treason 2, p196

Q So you're saying that on the fourth view,
which are the photographs that are in your hand
right now, the scalp has been pulled back and
folded back over the top of the head
in a way
different from the way that they appeared in the
third view, the superior view of the head?
A Yes.
Q Is that fair?
A In the previous one, it was permitted just
to drop. In this one, it's pulled forward up over
the forehead, toward the forehead.

Q Who, if you recall, pulled up the scalp
for the photograph to be taken?
A There are about three of us involved here,
because there are two right hands on that
centimeter scale. I think that I probably was
pulling the scalp up.

(Boswell ARRB)

Q Just to try a different description,
because we're trying to put this into words where
we're looking at photographs, would it be fair to
say--again, we are imagining President Kennedy is
standing erect, although he's lying down in this
photograph. So with the ruler pointing up, would
the portion as it would appear on this photograph
to the left of his right ear all be the portion of
the skull that was missing?
A Yes.

(Boswell ARRB)

"Regarding the head wound, DR. BOSWELL said the wound was fairly low in the back of the head and that the bone was completely gone above the entry wound. He said that during the autopsy, a piece of skull fragment was brought in which included a portion which corresponded to the missing half of the entry wound in the head"

(HSCA interview Purdy, Aug 17, 1977).

[Colour autopsy photo. The yellow hashed area marks the approximate location of the skull defect according to a skull Boswell marked for the ARRB ]

" Well, this was an attempt to illustrate the magnitude of the
wound again. And as you can see it’s 10 centimeters from right to left, 17 centi-
meters from posterior to anterior. This was a piece of 10 centimeter bone that
was fractured off of the skull and was attached to the under surface of the skull. . . There were fragments attached to the skull or to the scalp and all the three
major flaps.
(Boswell, interviewed by the HSCA FPP)

Boswell is explicit that the skull is missing beneath the scalp in the autopsy picture, above :

Q ...Now I'd like to ask you a question
about what is underneath the scalp of what we are
looking at now.
Let's take the marking that
appears towards the hairline right at the base of
the neck, or where the hairline meets the neck. If
we take the point above that, where would you say
that the scalp is or that the skull will be missing
underneath the scalp that we can view there?
A Probably right about here.
Q So you're--
A Just about the base of the ear.
Q So you're pointing to approximately
halfway up the ruler that we can observe and to the
right of that small fragment, so the skull is
A Right.

(Boswell ARRB)

Clearly Dr Boswell is not describing anything like the Baden/Dox version.


" The autopsy had been in progress for thirty minutes when 1 arrived. Cdr Humes told me that he only had to prolong the lacerations of the scalp before removing the brain. No sawing of the skull was necessary.
The opening of the large head wound, in the right fronto-parieto-occipital
region, is 130 millimeters ( mm ) in diameter.(1 February 1965
SUBJECT: Personal notes on the Assassination of President Kennedy.
TO: Brig. Gen.. J.M. Blumberg, MC, USA
The Director
Armed Forces Institute of Pathology
Washington, DC 20305)

" Q: Dr. Finck, I would like to show you one of the prints from the original autopsy photographs of President Kennedy. The one that you are being shown now is Exhibit Number 42. I would like to ask you whether you have seen that photograph
previously? [Photograph exhibited to witness] For the record -
A: I don't remember for the reason that I still see the gap, the scalp on this one.
When I arrived, from what I read here, the brain had been removed, so that photograph must have been taken before I arrived. Have I seen it or not, I don't know.Probably so. Too much time has elapsed.
Q: So it is your current recollection that you never would have seen President Kennedy in the
condition as he is shown here in the sense that this was taken before your arrival and before the
brain was removed?
A: In the record that we read today, the brain had been removed before my arrival, so that shows that this photograph was taken before my arrival. That's my understanding." (Finck ARRB)

Finck judges from the autopsy photo (above) that it must have been taken before the brain was removed. He's wrong, but it's a very easy mistake to make.....

Dr. Finck. .. How are these photographs identified as coming from the autopsy of President Kennedy?
Mr. Purdy. They are initialed. No. 43 here is a copy made from the original,which is initialed by Dr. Boswell. These were initialed at the time of the review and they were turned over to the Archives.
(Finck, HSCA FPP interview)
Q: Is there anything that you see in this photograph that would make you question whether this is an authentic photograph that was taken at the autopsy of President Kennedy? For example -
A: That makes me doubt?
Q: Yes.
A: I don't have any reason to doubt.
Q: Okay.
A: That is your question?
Q: Yes. Okay.

See his question to the FPP (left) for some 'doubt'.

Like many people, Finck also appears to be having some difficulty with autopsy # 42.

GODFREY McHUGH: President Kennedy's Air Force Aid, described the head wound to David Lifton (BE:430): "...he was in absolute perfect shape, except the back of the head, top back of the head, had an explosive bullet in it (sic) and was badly damaged..."
To clarify the point Lifton asked: "When you think of the head wounds, then, you think of, primarily, the top of the head, or primarily the back of the head? McHugh answered, "Both. Ninety-nine percent the back, the top back of the head... that's the portion that had been badly damaged by the bullet." (BE:432) Lifton, to leave no doubt about what was meant then asked McHugh to define the back of the head. McHugh answered: "The portion that is in the back of the head, when you're lying down in the bathtub, you hit the back of the head." (Best Evidence, p. 430)
Again, this appears to contadict the photo.

JOHN STRINGER: was the autopsy photographer. David Lifton interviewed Stringer, in part, as follows: Lifton: "When you lifted him out, was the main damage to the skull on the top or in the back?" Stringer: "In the back." Lifton: "In the back?...High in the back or lower in the back?" Stringer: "In the occipital part, in the back there, up above the neck." Lifton: "In other words, the main part of his head that was blasted away was in the occipital part of the skull?" Stringer: "Yes. In the back part." Lifton: "The back portion. Okay. In other words, there was no five-inch hole in the top of the skull?" Stringer: "Oh, some of it was blown off--yes, I mean, toward, out of the top in the back, yes." Lifton: "Top in the back. But the top in the front was pretty intact?" Stringer: "Yes, sure." Lifton: "The top front was intact?" Stringer: "Right." Lifton, unsatisfied with precisely what Stringer may have meant by the 'back of the head' asked, as he had asked McHugh, if by "back of the head" Stringer meant the portion of the head that rests on the rear portion of a bathtub during bathing. Stringer replied, "Yes."--as had McHugh (BE, p.516)

Stringer On Autopsy Photo #42

"There's no hole in the back of the head there; is there?" (John Stringer, ARRB Deposition)

Q: And the intact scalp is what you recall from the night of the autopsy; is that correct?
A: Yes, there was - But there was damage under it from the brain - from the skull being fractured and things like that.
Q: Is this the image that you remember being shown to Mr. Riebe in the videotape, where he identified where he believed there was missing skull? [right]
A: Yes.
Q: But to the best of your recollection, there was no missing skull in that location?
A: It doesn't show there. It could have been something that cracked out from under there, once they peeled it back. (Stringer ARRB)

SECRET SERVICE AGENT WILLIAM GREER: was asked by Arlen Specter for the Warren Commission to describe the head wound he saw at Bethesda. Greer said, "I would--to the best of my recollection it was in this part of the head right here." Specter immediately asked, "Upper right?" Greer: "Upper right side." Specter: "Upper right side, going toward the rear. and what was the condition of the skull at that point?" Greer: "The skull was completely--this part was completely gone." (Warren Comm-- V2:127)

SECRET SERVICE AGENT ROY KELLERMAN: under oath before the Warren Commission explained the head wound he saw to Arlen Specter, "He had a large wound this size." Specter: "Indicating a circle with your finger of the diameter of 5 inches would that be approximately correct?" (sic) Kellerman: "Yes, circular; yes, on this part of the head." Specter: "Indicating the rear portion of the head." Kellerman: "Yes." Specter: "More to the right side of the head." Kellerman: "Right. This was removed." Specter: "When you say, "This was removed", what do you mean by this?" Kellerman: "The skull part was removed." Specter: "All right." Kellerman: "To the left of the (right) ear, sir, and a little high; yes...(I recall that this portion of the rear portion of the skull) was absent when I saw him." (WC-V2:80- 81)

Drawing by Kellerman for the HSCA

SECRET SERVICE AGENT CLINTON J. HILL: after seeing the President's skull wound in Dealey Plaza, and after returning with the body to Bethesda he was "summoned...down to the morgue to view the body (again) and to witness the damage of the gunshot wounds."--as agent Kellerman put it in his 11-29-63 report. (WC--CE #1024, Kellerman report of 11-29-63. In: WC--V18:26-27) Hill reported, "When I arrived the autopsy had been completed and...I observed another wound (in addition to the throat wound) on the right rear portion of the skull." (WC--CE#1024, V18:744)

FBI AGENT FRANCIS X. O'NEILL: In an HSCA interview with Andy Purdy and Mark Flanagan on 1/10/78 O'Neill said that the autopsy doctors felt that "the bullet that entered the head struck the center, low portion of the head and exited from the top, right side, towards the front." (HSCA rec # 006185.) However, O'Neill made a sketch witnessed and signed by D. A. Purdy and M. T. Flanagan that showed an "entry" at the low rear central portion of JFK's skull and an 'exit' on the right rear quadrant of the head no more anterior than the posterior portion of the ear. (HSCA rec # 006185 p. 10.) (O'Neill felt it odd that while he had been interviewed by the Warren Commission's Arlen Specter, he had never been called to testify. O'Neill recalled that "On the issue of the full vs. partial autopsy, O'Neill said that Admiral Galloway resolved this by ordering a complete autopsy." (HSCA rec # 006185, p. 3) "O'Neill emphatically stated that the doctors removed only two fragments and not 'a missile'." (IBID. p. 5.) "O'Neill mentioned that the doctors just wanted to obtain the large fragments and that many small fragments did exit.)

O'Neill's drawing for the HSCA

MR. GUNN: Okay. Can we take a look now at view number six, which is described as 'wound of
entrance in right posterior occipital region", Color Photograph No. 42.
Q: 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?
A: 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)

O'Neill saw a 'flap' at the right rear of the head:

Q: Were you able to tell whether there was any scalp that was missing from President Kennedy?
A: There appeared to be-There was a flap here.
Q: You’re pointing again to the back of the head?
A: Yes.There was a flap there.And I don’t know whether the flap was up or down.
(O'Neill ARRB p72)

FBI agent JAMES SIBERT: assisted Francis O'Neill. After an interview for the HSCA J. Kelly and A. Purdy reported, "Regarding the head wound, Sibert said it was in the "...Upper back of the head." (sic) In an affidavit prepared for the HSCA Sibert claimed, "The head wound was in the upper back of the head.", and "...a large head wound in the upper back of the head with a section of the scull (sic) bone missing..." Sibert sketched a drawing of the skull wound and traced a small wound square in the central rear portion of the skull neither to the right or the left, slightly above the level depicted for the ears but well below the level depicted for the top of the skull. (HSCA REC # 002191) (Emphasis added.)

Sibert's drawing for the HSCA . Note no (skull) entry wound.

Sibert's drawing for the ARRB

Q: 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?
A: 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..
Q : But do you see anything that corresponds in Photograph No. 42 to what you observed during the night of the autopsy?
A: No. I don't recall anything like this at all during the autopsy.There was much -Well, . 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)

TOM ROBINSON: was the assistant to Joe Hagen, president of Gawler's Funeral Home, which prepared John Kennedy's body for his coffin. Robinson assisted with the preparations for an open casket funeral so preparation of the skull was especially meticulous. Robertson described the skull wound in a 1/12/77 HSCA interview released in 1993 conducted by Andy Purdy and Jim Conzelman: Purdy asked Robinson: "Approximately where was this wound (the skull wound) located?" Robinson: "Directly behind the back of his head." Purdy: "Approximately between the ears or higher up?" Robinson, "No, I would say pretty much between them." (HSCA rec # 189-10089-10178, agency file # 000661, p.3. On the day of their interview Purdy and Conzelman signed a diagram prepared and also signed by Robinson. The sketch depicts a defect directly in the central, lower rear portion of the skull. (HSCA doc # 180-10089-10179, agency file # 000662)

Purdy: Was it fairly smooth or fairly ragged?
Robinson: Ragged.
Purdy: Approximately where was this wound located?
Robinson: Directly behind the back of his head.
Purdy: Approximately between the ears or higher up?
Robinson: No, I would say pretty much between them.

(Robinson HSCA interview)
Note the similarity between Robinson's 'version' & Grossman's (from Parkland, see drawing above). Robinson appears to have had trouble with a missing piece of scalp there, Grossman saw a 2cm or so 'hole' there. "a circular puncture in the occipital region (which he characterized as an entry wound), approximately 2 cm in diameter, near the EOP-centerfine, or perhaps just right of center, through which he could see brain tissue which he believes was cerebellum " (Grossman, ARRB interview).

Note that Boswell's autopsy notes also describe the (supposed) eop 'entry' , down near the rear hairline, as 'ragged'.

PAUL KELLY O'CONNOR: one of two laboratory technologists present during JFK's autopsy at Bethesda, he has repeatedly insisted that the skull wound extended on the right side well into the rear of the skull. "O'Connor was shown the autopsy photographs and he said, "No, that doesn't look like what I saw...A lot worse wound extended way back here, " and he demonstrated with his hand to the back of the head." (Groden & Livingstone, High Treason, p. 451) Paul O'Connor has consistently maintained that opinion in interviews since that time


JAMES CURTIS JENKINS: the other laboratory technologist who worked with the autopsy team on JFK, Jenkins was at that time in a Ph.D. program in pathology. ( High Treason II , p. 226) The HSCA's Jim Kelly and Andy Purdy reported that Jenkins "said he saw a head wound in the "...middle temporal region back to the occipital." (HSCA interview with Curtis Jenkins, Jim Kelly and Andy Purdy, 8-29-77. JFK Collection, RG 233, Document #002193, p.4) He told author, David Lifton, "I would say that parietal and occipital section on the right side of the head--it was a large gaping area...It had just been crushed, and kind of blown apart, toward the rear." (Lifton, Best Evidence ", p. 616) When Lifton told Jenkins that photographs showed that the back of the head was essentially intact, except for a small bullet entry wound at the top, he responded, "That's not possible, That is totally--you know, there's no possible way. Okay? It's not possible." ( Best Evidence , p. 617) Jenkins told Livingstone, "Everything from just above the right ear back was fragmented...there was (an absence of scalp and bone) along the midline just above the occipital area....this (wound) would not have been low enough to have gotten into the cerebellum." ( High Treason II , p. 228). Jenkins' views, whether as given by the HSCA, Livingstone, or Lifton, are noteworthy by their consistency, and as Jenkins was in a Ph.D. pathology program, his anatomic specificity is of value.

EDWARD REED: one of two X-ray technicians who worked with Jerrol F. Custer taking X-rays told author David Lifton that he formed an opinion the night of the autopsy that JFK had been shot from the front because the skull wound was "more posterior than anterior". (Lifton, David, Best Evidence, p. 619)


Q: Now, on the drawing that you have made, and with the bones as they’re identified here, none of the principal part of the missing wound goes into the occipital bone; is that correct?
A: The hole doesn’t. but this is all unstable.A lot of this bone was out. It would flap out.
Q: And when you say this bone, you’re referring to the -
A: The occipital region.
Q: - the parietal -
A: Right..And part of the lambdoidal, and down through the posterior of the occipital protuberance.This was all unstable material I mean, completely. (Custer, ARRB depo)

Custer's drawings (above, for the ARRB) are very similar to Boswell's, and the Rydberg drawing. (below). And very unlike the Baden/Dox version.

JAN GAIL RUDNICKI: Dr. Boswell's lab assistant on the night of the autopsy, Rudnicki was interviewed by HSCA's Mark Flanagan on 5/2/78. Flanagan reported Rudnicki said, the "back-right quadrant of the head was missing." (HSCA rec # 180- 10105-10397, agency file number # 014461, p.2.)He told author Harrison Livingston, "...from the ear back, the scalp was either gone or definitely destroyed in that would look more like it was an exit than an entrance." When asked if there was any scalp left in the right rear of the head behind the ear, Rudnicki said, "That was gone."( High Treason II , p. 207) Rudnicki's account to the HSCA squares with Livingstone's.

JAMES E. METZLER: was a hospital corpsman, third class who helped transport the body from the casket to the autopsy table in the morgue. Author David Lifton reported, "It was also his impression, from the way the wound was located toward the back of the head, that President Kennedy must have been shot in the head from the front." ( Best Evidence, p. 633-634)
"Metzler recalled a wound situated in the "right side of the head behind the right ear, extending down to the center of the back of the skull." Metzler mentioned that pieces of brain extended outward from the defect, which measured at least four inches long." (HSCA telephone interview Apr 21, 1978)

DAVID P. OSBORNE, M.: a military physician present at the autopsy who was not questioned by the Warren Commission or the HSCA, he wrote researcher Joanne Braun on 4-5-90 that, "...a second (bullet) hit in the occipital region of the posterior skull which blew off the posterior top of his skull and impacted and disintegrated against the interior surface of the frontal bone just above the level of the eyes. I know this for a fact because I was the one who worked on his head, removing his brain and closed the skull so that he could have had an open casket funeral if so desired." (Copy of letter furnished to Gary Aguilar by Joanne Braun.) ...

"It appeared that the bullet hit low in the occiput of the back of the head and entered the skull there and then traversed a portion of the brain and then hit the inside of the top of the skull toward the rear also and blew a good portion of that part of his skull right out
I asked: "Did you actually see the little entry at the bottom of the back of the head?"
"Couldn't see the entry," be replied. "That tissue was all pretty much blown away. . . ." I gathered that Osborne based his conclusion that the bullet struck from the rear on an interpretation of where it hit the inside of the skull on the way out I asked him how the bullet could enter from the rear and blow out the rear of the head. He said: ". . . he had to be leaning forward, and the bullet had to hit him in the lower-right behind, you know, that little lump in the back of your head there Osborne was referring to the external occipital protuberance, where Hurnes said there was an entrance wound. Again, I asked Admiral Osborne if he saw that wound. He replied: "Well, the pieces were all blown apart, so it didn't make One tiny little hole in the bone-no. . . . it blew that portion of the skull into Several pieces.
L1FTON: I see. So you didn't actually see an entry wound, per se, but it's inferred that it was somewhere towards the bottom of that big hole-or something like that?
OSBORNE: It had to be. Otherwise it couldn't have hit the inside of the skull where it did."
(lifton 656 657 pbk)

JOHN EBERSOLE, MD: was Assistant Chief of Radiology and head of the Radiology Division at Bethesda, and was the radiologist who evaluated the X-rays in close cooperation with the autopsists on the night of the autopsy. He was not called to testify before the Warren Commission. However he was called to testify by the HSCA on March 11, 1978. Ebersole's deposition was not published by the HSCA causing it to be sealed for 50 years under congressional rules. (Due to pressure, however, the transcript of his interview was released in October, 1993.) A brief wire service account appeared regarding his appearance before the HSCA claiming that he agreed with the Warren Commissions' conclusions. However, in an interview with reporter Gil Dulaney published two days before his HSCA appearance Ebersole said of the head wound, "When the body was removed from the casket there was a very obvious horrible gaping wound to the back of the head (BE:543).", and "The front of the body, except for a very slight bruise above the right eye on the forehead, was absolutely intact. It was the back of the head that was blown off." (BE:546)

Dr. Baden: Here on film No. 42, color photograph 42, taken at the time of the autopsy initialed J.B. on the back which is of the back of the skull. Do you remember or have any independent recollection of that condition of the President when you were in the autopsy room?
Dr. Ebersole. You know, my recollection is more of a - gaping occipital wound than this but I can certainly not state that this is the way it looked. Again we are relying on a 15 year old recollection. But had you asked me without seeing these or seeing the pictures, you know, I would have put the gaping wound here rather than more forward.
(Ebersole, HSCA FPP interview)

 RICHARD A. LIPSEY: an aide to General Wehle who was Commanding General of the military District of Washington, U. S. Army, he was present at JFK's autopsy. In an interview with the HSCA's Andy Purdy and Mark Flanagan on 1-18-78, he claimed that the autopsists "were 'absolutely, unequivocally' convinced that he (JFK) had been shot three times...there were three separate wounds and three separate bullets.". Lipsey gave a confusing account of JFK's head wound. He "identified the entrance in the lower head as being just inside the hairline", but claimed that there was "no real entrance in the rear of the bullet blasted away an entire portion (entrance and exit)..." (sic). Purdy also reported that Lipsey felt that "one bullet entered the back of the head and exited resulting in part of the face and head being blown away" (HSCA, JFK Collection, RG 233) Lipsey completed an autopsy face sheet diagram that depicted an area of the right lateral skull missing, anterior and posterior to the ear, where he had written "same area blown away as wound". In addition, there was a wound low in the skull, presumably of entrance, that was the source of the throat exit wound, which he labeled bullet #2. Finally there was a wound on the back, labeled #3 but the bullet could not be found in the body Lipsey claimed.

 PHILIP C. WEHLE: then Commanding officer of the military District of Washington, D. C., he described the head wound to the HSCA's Andy Purdy on 8-19-77 He did not describe it to the Warren Commission. A copy of memo on Purdy's interview with Wehle was only released in 1993. Purdy reported that Wehle said he was an observer during the later stages of the autopsy. "(Wehle) noticed a slight bruise over the right temple of the President but did not see any significant damage to any other part of the head. He noted that the wound was in the back of the head so he would not see it because the President was lying face up; he also said he did not see any damage to the top of the head, but said the President had a lot of hair which could have hidden that...." (HSCA record # 10010042, agency file # 002086, p. 2)

CAPTAIN JOHN STOVER: then Commanding Officer of the National Naval Medical School, he gave no description of the skull wound to the Warren Commission. (The Pathology Department was under the jurisdiction of the school.) The HSCA's Mark Flanagan reported that he interviewed him and, "Stover observed...a wound on the top of the head...".(HSCA Document received from C. Cunningham, 10-22-92)

CHESTER H. BOYERS: Boyers "was stationed at Bethesda naval hospital and was the chief Petty Officer in charge of the Pathology Department in November 1963." (HSCA Telephone contact--Mark Flanagan, 4/25/78, rec #? 13614)

Flanagan reported, "In regard to the wounds Boyers recalls an entrance wound in the rear of the head to the right of the external occipital protuberance which exited along the top, right side of the head towards the rear and just above the right eyebrow." (HSCA Telephone contact--Mark Flanagan, 4/25/78, rec #? 13614, p. 2)

FLOYD ALBERT REIBE : a medical photographer at Bethesda "JFK: An Unsolved Murder", KRON, 11/18/88 (repeated in "JFK: The Case for Conspiracy" video 1993 [see still photo on p. 88 of Groden's "TKOAP"])---"a big gaping hole in the back of the head. It was like somebody put a piece of dynamite in a tin can and lit it off. There was nothing there."; Strongly disagreed with the autopsy photos: "The two pictures you showed me are not what I saw that night." Interviewer: "What did it look like?" "It had a big hole in it. This whole area was gone…It's being phonied someplace. It's make-believe.";

The next is a gem:

Q: All right, next view. These are the sixth view, "wound of entrance in right posterior occipital region," corresponding to to black and white numbers 15 and 16, color numbers 42
and 43. [see autopsy photo, right] Mr. Riebe, do you see those images in front of you now?
A: Yes, I do.
Q: Is there anything in those images that appears to you to be materially different from what you
observed on the night of November 22nd?
A: No.
Q: I would like to specifically draw your attention to the occipital area of the head and see whether there is anything that appears to you to be inaccurate in that area.
A: No, I don't think so.
Q: Do the black and white images appear to you to have come from press pack?
A: No, they don't.
Q: Mr. Riebe, previously you described a wound in the occipital region of the head whereas in these photographs it appears that there is no wound there. [see above] What would be your explanation for that?
A: I just didn't remember it properly.

( Floyd Reibe arrb )

Reibe says it does not differ from what he remembers seeing because his
memory must have been wrong
. (!!!)
Or, in English, it DOES differ from what he remembers, but he's happy to
change what he remembers to fit with what the photos apparently show. He's
quite honest about it.

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The Headwound As Seen At Parkland Hospital

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