The Skull Fragments

Frames 313-314 of the Zapruder film. Click here to see an animated version. The film clearly shows two fragments, both moving rapidly to Zapruder's right.

Although numerous small bone fragments were found in Dealey Plaza after the shooting, it appears that only two sizeable pieces were ever located. The well-known 'Harper Fragment' & a less well known fragment measuring 10cm, found in the limousine. This '10cm' piece of bone was delivered late to the Bethesda morgue, and x-rayed along with two smaller pieces of bone. (See x-ray below). It is my assumption that the higher fragment (above) is probably the Harper fragment, as no other sizeable fragment was ever found, and the fragment is the film is obviously large enough to be seen fairly clearly at 80 feet or so. It appears to be spinning. (See the periodic highlights - left, above- as it catches the sun) Both pieces were found forwards from Kennedy's position at Zapruder frame 313.

[left] X-ray of the 10 cm fragment (top, arrowed) No photographs exist.

".. this section .. was found in the Presidential car on the floor between the front & rear seats "

(Sibert & O'Neill interview Gerald Behn, SAIC White House Detail, Secret Service, 11/27/63)

RIF # 180-10078-10493:HSCA summary of an interview with Sam Kinney
conducted on 2/26/78---"Inside the aircraft [the C-130 transport plane] during flight, the
loading sergeant, who had been in the rear compartment where the cars were stored, entered
nthe forward cabin and said, "I can't stand to be back there." SA Kinney gave him his seat and
returned to the resar compartment. At this point he discovered in the Presidential limousine (1) a
skull fragment under the jump seat where Connally had been seated.
...And, while aboard the
C-130 aircraft, he found the piece of the back of JFK's head lying in the rear seat of the bloody
limousine! Sam told me it was "clean as a pin" and that it resembled a "flowerpot" or "clay pot"
piece. Kinney added: "It was a big piece-half his head was gone." When I pressed him on this
point and asked him if he was sure of the skull piece's orientation, he said " I don't know what
else it could have been but the back of his head."

(Interview with Vince Palamara)

In fact, as the Zapruder film suggests , and as HSCA forensic anthropologist Larry Angel agreed, it was actually frontal bone.

[NB : - Use your browser's 'back' button to return here...]

[right] the 10 cm frag bounces off the back of (Nellie?) Connally's seat in Z 324 (Thanks to Steve Barber for pointing this out.)

In the animation [click below] , the fragment is clearly very similar to the x-ray fragment.

The fragment is very clearly shown in this animation

[right] The Harper fragment

Follow these external links for more :

[NB : - Use your browser's 'back' button to return here...]

What part of the skull does it come from?

Where was it found?

(The link above references a map marked by Harper himself)

See also


looking for books?