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How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Guest on Sat 21 Dec 2013, 7:46 pm

Hello Martin

You are aware the supraorbital ridge is the brow ridge, just above the eye sockets?

Also, Cyril Wecht is mistaken in stating "frangible" bullets are merely soft lead bullets. He is likely referring to "fragmenting" bullets and there is a world of difference between them and frangible bullets. It is worthwhile studying frangible bullets, and a good place to begin is with this manufacturer:

http://drtammo.com/products/

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Martin Hay on Sun 22 Dec 2013, 2:37 am

Albert Rossi wrote:Martin,

First, thank you for the excellent review of the Willens book.  We owe much to those like yourself, Pat Speer and Jim DiEugenio for continuing to call garbage garbage.

Thank you, Albert. I'm actually getting tired of writing critical reviews all the time. For once I'd like to read and review a really good book!

Now, on to the matters at hand.  It is not my purpose here to defend Dave Mantik's work, but I did want to ask some questions which I'm sure all reading this thread would be interested in hearing your response or reactions to. 

First, I don't think anyone argues that the X-rays are not of JFK.  But there are a number of other things besides the patch which suggest doctoring:  a) the mark placed on -- I forget if it is the lateral or anterio-posterior -- which should show missing emulsion, but which does not, suggesting the X-ray is a copy;

As far as I'm aware, no other expert has suggested that these X-rays are copies. Radiologist Randy Robertson says "copy films are made using light transmission but the films present in the archives are actual X-ray films made by exposure to X-rays." It's worth noting that there are pencil lines on these X-rays made by John Ebersole and fingerprints that were left in the wet emulsion.

 b) the non-correspondence between the famous half-moon metal fragment in the anterio-posterior and lateral views;

Neuroscientist Joseph Riley believes he has located the large fragment in the anterio-posterior  X-ray. He believes it is behind the right eye and was the fragment removed by Humes and Boswell at autopsy. Pat Speer pretends to have made this discovery himself even though Riley's work was published 20 years ago and Speer admits to being fully aware of it. Go figure.

c) the impossible optical densitometry readings for the brightness of that half-moon 6.5 mm fragment on the anterio-posterior view.  All of these need to be addressed, I would think, in order to be satisfied there was no tampering.

I don't remember Mantik saying the fragment was impossibly bright but he may well have done. Regardless, as I wrote above, Dr. Robertson has addressed the OD readings:

Any number of problems with the processing of the films could be called upon to account for the back area of the film being light. These include film/screen contact, temperature and time of processing, how the films were held while they were being dried, the exposure factors of the particular film that was used that night, whether or not a phototimer was used when the films were taken, whether the films might have been fogged or any other defects in the film as well as numerous other technical factors. You may be getting a hint of the technical factors that could be responsible for the density readings that he has found. Any single one of these or any combination of these factors could be invoked to explain his findings.



Second, I believe that Mantik would explain the matching between left and right laterals by the fact that they are the same X-ray, the left merely having been reversed.  At least I seem to remember that argument being made (sorry I can't run it down right now as I'm traveling).  (There is evidence from the testimony that we do not have the complete set of X-rays as well.)

I would have to consult another expert to know whether this is true or not. But again, no other doctor who has studied the materials has made this suggestion.

Third, where exactly on the X-ray do you see the "large blowout" which you say is to the right side of the head? Are you thinking of the dark area in the front? (I will just remind here that Mantik thinks that dark area indicates absence of brain, not skull).  It certainly isn't in the back (occipito-parietal), where most of the witnesses at Parkland and Bethesda locate it.  There isn't, as far as I can see, any hole of any size there, even higher up than where most placed it.  The doctors talk about fragments protruding up from the scalp, and the hole being egg-sized.

The large, dark area on the lateral X-ray shows an absence of bone on the right side. There's no dispute about this. I do recall Mantik saying something about it being too dark and this meaning there was no brain there. But he doesn't dispute the missing bone. as far as I know. 

Now I'll admit that I'm no expert, but if you look at the lateral X-ray:



the area in the upper right rear where the path of missile dust ends is clearly massively disrupted and appears to be detached from the rest of the skull. Remember Humes said that there was bone attached to the scalp that came away after it was reflected. I submit for consideration that this area was laying more "open" when JFK was at Parkland. Could this possibility account for the Parkland observations? Like I say, I'm throwing it out there for consideration.


Fourth, if the hole was higher and more forward, then McClelland and several other doctors must have fantasized about seeing cerebellar tissue protruding?

I have read that macerated cerebrum can look like cerebellum. I can't pretend to know if that's true or not. But I don't have a problem accepting that McClelland and the other doctors could have been mistaken.

Others may also have things to say about this, one of the more troubled areas of the forensics of this case (but what area of evidence in this case is not troubled?). It certainly is not an open and shut issue. If it merits a different thread, perhaps one should be opened on it.

You are right, of course, Albert. The medical evidence is not open and shut. But IMHO the fact is that neither Mantik nor anyone else has provided irrefutable evidence that the X-rays have been altered. And until that happens, I believe it is right to treat them as authentic representations. That's why my objective has always been to make sense of the evidence as it stands. Claims of alteration perpetuate the notion that the evidence as is supports the official story and that is utterly false. The X-rays show a clear entry wound at the EOP and a lead snowstorm in the cerebral cortex. As Riley and Robertson have both pointed out, these wounds are discontinuous and, therefore had to have been caused by two separate bullets. It is my opinion that people need to recognize and get behind this fact instead of wasting time trying to prove everything's been faked and altered because all this does is help obscure the truth.

And if I'm wrong, if independent experts confirm that there was a white patch added to hide a blowout in the rear of the skull, I'll happily hold up my hands and reassess my conclusions. After all, it will only reaffirm my belief that there was a shot from the Grassy Knoll.

But I still haven't heard a real answer to this question:


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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Albert Rossi on Sun 22 Dec 2013, 4:12 am

Martin, just a few parentheticals ... wrote:
Neuroscientist Joseph Riley believes he has located the large fragment in the anterio-posterior  X-ray. He believes it is behind the right eye and was the fragment removed by Humes and Boswell at autopsy. Pat Speer pretends to have made this discovery himself even though Riley's work was published 20 years ago and Speer admits to being fully aware of it. Go figure.

Yes I'm aware of this alternative interpretation; as I said, it is not my intention to repeat Mantik's counterarguments, I just thought that it was important to put the full extent of the disagreement on the table.

c) the impossible optical densitometry readings for the brightness of that half-moon 6.5 mm fragment on the anterio-posterior view.  All of these need to be addressed, I would think, in order to be satisfied there was no tampering.

I don't remember Mantik saying the fragment was impossibly bright but he may well have done. Regardless, as I wrote above, Dr. Robertson has addressed the OD readings:

Any number of problems with the processing of the films could be called upon to account for the back area of the film being light. These include film/screen contact, temperature and time of processing, how the films were held while they were being dried, the exposure factors of the particular film that was used that night, whether or not a phototimer was used when the films were taken, whether the films might have been fogged or any other defects in the film as well as numerous other technical factors. You may be getting a hint of the technical factors that could be responsible for the density readings that he has found. Any single one of these or any combination of these factors could be invoked to explain his findings.


If I recall, Mantik said it was more than the equivalent of all the fillings in his teeth.  I have no radiological expertise, but Robertson's suggestions seem too general to me to account for a well delimited area, like the 6.5 mm fragment, or the patch; I would think factors such as he points out would produce a more random kind of optical density aberration.  But then, as I said, I have not expertise.

Now I'll admit that I'm no expert, but if you look at the lateral X-ray:



the area in the upper right rear where the path of missile dust ends is clearly massively disrupted and appears to be detached from the rest of the skull. Remember Humes said that there was bone attached to the scalp that came away after it was reflected. I submit for consideration that this area was laying more "open" when JFK was at Parkland. Could this possibility account for the Parkland observations? Like I say, I'm throwing it out there for consideration.


That is not an unreasonable hypothesis, but I am troubled by the fact that the rear opening is described as 2.5 inches in diameter, and is not at the crown of the head for the witnesses who described it. And then there is another issue, which also needs to be addressed: the back-of-the-head photo shows no opening whatsoever (but that's a different question and I don't mean to lead us astray here).

Fourth, if the hole was higher and more forward, then McClelland and several other doctors must have fantasized about seeing cerebellar tissue protruding?

I have read that macerated cerebrum can look like cerebellum. I can't pretend to know if that's true or not. But I don't have a problem accepting that McClelland and the other doctors could have been mistaken.

I'm a bit less willing to write them off.  McClelland has not wavered in his story over the past 50 years.
And these were doctors who dealt with gunshot wounding frequently.

Martin, I appreciate your scepticism and think it is precisely this kind of attitude which must propel scientific inquiry. I don't believe that an argument about doctoring photos or X-rays necessarily is an argument that they totally support the official conclusions in their altered condition, because changes can be meant to cover only the more egregious dissonances: witnesses spoke of an opening in the back of the head, but not many people would be able to speak to the presence of a trail of particles. Any changes of course are constrained by technical limitations as well.

As for the answer to your original question, I am intrigued by Traveller11's suggestions.  I believe Sherry Feister similarly suggests how fracturing and explosion from internal pressure can occur this way.  That it may not need to be along the main vector of the projectile is a possibility raised by the kind of bullet Traveller11 mentioned above.  But, finally, just to muddy the waters a bit:  what if there were two head shots from the front?  Mantik has suggested that the straight-line trajectory of fragments from the entrance to the presumed exit you point to below could not have been from the knoll.  He suggests that the shot that dislodged the Harper Fragment may have been from a tangential hit from the side, but the shot that entered further forward and left the trail under discussion was delivered when JFK's head was in a more upright position.  Again, I'm not necessarily espousing this idea, but I mention it just to point up the fact that there is some question about how that trail could occur from a shot at Z313.


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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Martin Hay on Sun 22 Dec 2013, 4:37 am

Thanks for a thoughtful response, Albert.

I'm personally of the belief that if someone was going to go to the trouble of creating fake X-rays, then they would ensure that they only show what they wanted them to show. But the current X-rays contradict the official story. Now you could argue that there were technical limitations involved and I wouldn't disagree. But in that case I feel it would have been far more likely for plotters to simply deep-six the X-rays and photos rather than create potentially detectable forgeries that don't support the lone nut fairytale anyway. After all, they did away with the brain, tissue slides, etc. Why not just dispose of the rest and blame it all on the Kennedy family? I really just think that the notion of creating forgeries is illogical. But, of course, I recognize that that's just my viewpoint.

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Guest on Sun 22 Dec 2013, 4:57 am

Albert Rossi wrote:
Martin, just a few parentheticals ... wrote:
Neuroscientist Joseph Riley believes he has located the large fragment in the anterio-posterior  X-ray. He believes it is behind the right eye and was the fragment removed by Humes and Boswell at autopsy. Pat Speer pretends to have made this discovery himself even though Riley's work was published 20 years ago and Speer admits to being fully aware of it. Go figure.

Yes I'm aware of this alternative interpretation; as I said, it is not my intention to repeat Mantik's counterarguments, I just thought that it was important to put the full extent of the disagreement on the table.

c) the impossible optical densitometry readings for the brightness of that half-moon 6.5 mm fragment on the anterio-posterior view.  All of these need to be addressed, I would think, in order to be satisfied there was no tampering.

I don't remember Mantik saying the fragment was impossibly bright but he may well have done. Regardless, as I wrote above, Dr. Robertson has addressed the OD readings:

Any number of problems with the processing of the films could be called upon to account for the back area of the film being light. These include film/screen contact, temperature and time of processing, how the films were held while they were being dried, the exposure factors of the particular film that was used that night, whether or not a phototimer was used when the films were taken, whether the films might have been fogged or any other defects in the film as well as numerous other technical factors. You may be getting a hint of the technical factors that could be responsible for the density readings that he has found. Any single one of these or any combination of these factors could be invoked to explain his findings.


If I recall, Mantik said it was more than the equivalent of all the fillings in his teeth.  I have no radiological expertise, but Robertson's suggestions seem too general to me to account for a well delimited area, like the 6.5 mm fragment, or the patch; I would think factors such as he points out would produce a more random kind of optical density aberration.  But then, as I said, I have not expertise.

Now I'll admit that I'm no expert, but if you look at the lateral X-ray:



the area in the upper right rear where the path of missile dust ends is clearly massively disrupted and appears to be detached from the rest of the skull. Remember Humes said that there was bone attached to the scalp that came away after it was reflected. I submit for consideration that this area was laying more "open" when JFK was at Parkland. Could this possibility account for the Parkland observations? Like I say, I'm throwing it out there for consideration.


That is not an unreasonable hypothesis, but I am troubled by the fact that the rear opening is described as 2.5 inches in diameter, and is not at the crown of the head for the witnesses who described it. And then there is another issue, which also needs to be addressed: the back-of-the-head photo shows no opening whatsoever (but that's a different question and I don't mean to lead us astray here).

Fourth, if the hole was higher and more forward, then McClelland and several other doctors must have fantasized about seeing cerebellar tissue protruding?

I have read that macerated cerebrum can look like cerebellum. I can't pretend to know if that's true or not. But I don't have a problem accepting that McClelland and the other doctors could have been mistaken.

I'm a bit less willing to write them off.  McClelland has not wavered in his story over the past 50 years.
And these were doctors who dealt with gunshot wounding frequently.

Martin, I appreciate your scepticism and think it is precisely this kind of attitude which must propel scientific inquiry. I don't believe that an argument about doctoring photos or X-rays necessarily is an argument that they totally support the official conclusions in their altered condition, because changes can be meant to cover only the more egregious dissonances: witnesses spoke of an opening in the back of the head, but not many people would be able to speak to the presence of a trail of particles. Any changes of course are constrained by technical limitations as well.

As for the answer to your original question, I am intrigued by Traveller11's suggestions.  I believe Sherry Feister similarly suggests how fracturing and explosion from internal pressure can occur this way.  That it may not need to be along the main vector of the projectile is a possibility raised by the kind of bullet Traveller11 mentioned above.  But, finally, just to muddy the waters a bit:  what if there were two head shots from the front?  Mantik has suggested that the straight-line trajectory of fragments from the entrance to the presumed exit you point to below could not have been from the knoll.  He suggests that the shot that dislodged the Harper Fragment may have been from a tangential hit from the side, but the shot that entered further forward and left the trail under discussion was delivered when JFK's head was in a more upright position.  Again, I'm not necessarily espousing this idea, but I mention it just to point up the fact that there is some question about how that trail could occur from a shot at Z313.


In these photos of the skull, it is asked why there would be an exit wound in the back of the head. Is the person asking this question assuming that a bullet, or part of a bullet, actually exited JFK's head?

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Martin Hay on Sun 22 Dec 2013, 5:04 am

The person asking the question is me. And the question is as stated.

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Guest on Sun 22 Dec 2013, 5:09 am

Are you assuming parts of the bullet that entered the right temple exited the cranial cavity?

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Martin Hay on Sun 22 Dec 2013, 5:23 am

I'm not assuming anything. I'm asking "if" the bullet exited at that point etc.

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Guest on Sun 22 Dec 2013, 6:22 am

Martin Hay wrote:I'm not assuming anything. I'm asking "if" the bullet exited at that point etc.

I don't think it did. In fact, I don't think any bullets exited JFK's skull at all. In my opinion, the bullets fired at JFK's head were designed to turn into the minute particles seen in the x-rays shortly after they penetrated the bone of the skull.

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Stan Dane on Sun 22 Dec 2013, 8:50 am

Martin, what you are saying throughout this thread sounds very reasonable and logical. But permit me the opportunity to vent.

I'm not a researcher and I don't have the in-depth knowledge of the JFK assassination that seasoned investigators here and elsewhere do. But from what I've read from different sources over the years, the autopsy of JFK was something out of the Twilight Zone.

A look from 50,000 feet:

Different caskets…different hearses…Water Reed…Bethesda…questionable autopsy start times…Secret Service calling the shots…military officers present...doctors who didn't specialize in autopsies performing them…doctors burning copies of autopsy notes…people present at the autopsy committing suicide later…technicians saying the official pictures were not the ones they took…the x-rays themselves which should be 100% goddammed definitive as to what the hell happened simply raise more questions. And so on.

Is this view correct?

We poor indentured serfs of the great US of A! must petition our wonderful masters whom we loyally serve with thanksgiving to give us crumbs of truth ("Pretty Please!"), which they grudgingly do on rare occasions. So as a result, you have subjects from all over the kingdom who, dutifully slogging through the mud, try on their own to connect the crumbs. What's missing is the disclaimer "Results May Vary."

Martin Hay wrote:You are right, of course, Albert. The medical evidence is not open and shut. But IMHO the fact is that neither Mantik nor anyone else has provided irrefutable evidence that the X-rays have been altered. And until that happens, I believe it is right to treat them as authentic representations.

Who produced the medical evidence in the first place? Has the government proved this evidence has not been altered? Don't they have the burden of proof? Do they even give a shit? If they have not, why should we grant them more consideration than anyone else? What the fuck have they done to deserve this "honor?"

I'm not one to say everything is falsified, but how can you believe anything from people, organizations or governments who lie as much, if not more, than they tell the truth? And have unlimited resources and the means to control the evidence and the official story?

From a frustrated slob who only seeks to understand, thanks for allowing me to vent. I'll not make it a habit here.

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by greg parker on Sun 22 Dec 2013, 9:31 am

Thanks for allowing me to vent.

Venting is an important part of our daily exorcise routine.

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Guest on Sun 22 Dec 2013, 9:37 am

From Martin Hay:


"Tom Robinson said at one point that the "opening...at the back of the skull" was made by "the physicians". (ARRB MD63) Which is what Humes and Boswell testified to. They said they peeled back the scalp and the shattered bones underneath crumbled and fell away. Of course, Robinson also said that the missing portion had been "blown away" so he kinda contradicted himself. But the fact of the matter is that the skull X-rays establish that at the start of the autopsy that part of the skull was still in place."


Tom Robinson did not really contradict himself in this interview. If we look at the HSCA interview with Andy Purdy of 21/01/77, we can see exactly what Mr. Robinson was trying to convey:

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=327

Note that Tom Robinson clearly makes a distinction between the three inch circular hole in the rear of JFK's head caused by the bullet and the enlargement of this hole by the autopsy doctors. Tom Robinson unequivocally remains a back of head witness.

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Guest on Sun 22 Dec 2013, 11:01 am

"The HSCA asked two forensic anthropologists, Dr. Ellis R. Kerley and Dr. Clyde C. Snow, to study the autopsy X-rays alongside pre-mortem X-rays of President Kennedy. As their report states, “It is a well established fact that human bone structure varies uniquely from one individual to another...so that the total pattern of skeletal architecture of a given person is as unique as his or her fingerprints. Forensic anthropologists have long made use of this fact in establishing the positive identifications of persons killed in combat...” (Vol. 7 HSCA p. 43) After performing their analysis, the experts concluded that “the skull and torso radiographs taken at autopsy match the available ante mortem films of the late President in such a wealth of intricate morphological detail that there can be no reasonable doubt that they are indeed X-rays of John F. Kennedy and no other person.” (ibid. p. 45) On top this, a forensic dentist, Dr. Lowell J. Levine, compared the X-rays with JFK's previously existing dental records and reported that the “autopsy films…are unquestionably of the skull of President Kennedy” and that “the unique and individual dental and hard tissue characteristics which may be interpreted from the autopsy films...could not be simulated.” (ibid. p. 61)

The findings of these experts have never been questioned or challenged by any medical or forensic professionals and can rightly be said to establish that the X-rays are indeed of President Kennedy."

Just out of curiosity, Martin, does anyone have access to JFK's other x-rays and dental records, or do we have to just take these three fellows at their word?

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Martin Hay on Sun 22 Dec 2013, 6:26 pm

Traveller11 wrote:From Martin Hay:


"Tom Robinson said at one point that the "opening...at the back of the skull" was made by "the physicians". (ARRB MD63) Which is what Humes and Boswell testified to. They said they peeled back the scalp and the shattered bones underneath crumbled and fell away. Of course, Robinson also said that the missing portion had been "blown away" so he kinda contradicted himself. But the fact of the matter is that the skull X-rays establish that at the start of the autopsy that part of the skull was still in place."


Tom Robinson did not really contradict himself in this interview. If we look at the HSCA interview with Andy Purdy of 21/01/77, we can see exactly what Mr. Robinson was trying to convey:

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=327

Note that Tom Robinson clearly makes a distinction between the three inch circular hole in the rear of JFK's head caused by the bullet and the enlargement of this hole by the autopsy doctors. Tom Robinson unequivocally remains a back of head witness.


I disagree. Robinson twice mentions that the back of the skull was opened up to remove the brain (pages 1 and 11). He notes that after the autopsy was completed there was an area of bone missing in the back but he doesn't make clear that this area was missing BEFORE the autopsy doctors began their work. As far as I can see, he just ASSUMES that the area was blown out by the bullet because he doesn't have the bone. But IIRC Humes said that there were fragments that were not put back into the skull (I'll have to double check that) and this could account for the missing area.

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Martin Hay on Sun 22 Dec 2013, 6:28 pm

Traveller11 wrote:"The HSCA asked two forensic anthropologists, Dr. Ellis R. Kerley and Dr. Clyde C. Snow, to study the autopsy X-rays alongside pre-mortem X-rays of President Kennedy. As their report states, “It is a well established fact that human bone structure varies uniquely from one individual to another...so that the total pattern of skeletal architecture of a given person is as unique as his or her fingerprints. Forensic anthropologists have long made use of this fact in establishing the positive identifications of persons killed in combat...” (Vol. 7 HSCA p. 43) After performing their analysis, the experts concluded that “the skull and torso radiographs taken at autopsy match the available ante mortem films of the late President in such a wealth of intricate morphological detail that there can be no reasonable doubt that they are indeed X-rays of John F. Kennedy and no other person.” (ibid. p. 45) On top this, a forensic dentist, Dr. Lowell J. Levine, compared the X-rays with JFK's previously existing dental records and reported that the “autopsy films…are unquestionably of the skull of President Kennedy” and that “the unique and individual dental and hard tissue characteristics which may be interpreted from the autopsy films...could not be simulated.” (ibid. p. 61)

The findings of these experts have never been questioned or challenged by any medical or forensic professionals and can rightly be said to establish that the X-rays are indeed of President Kennedy."

Just out of curiosity, Martin, does anyone have access to JFK's other x-rays and dental records, or do we have to just take these three fellows at their word?


Yes, I believe so. I know the pre-mortem X-rays were published in HSCA vol. 7.

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Martin Hay on Sun 22 Dec 2013, 6:31 pm

Stan Dane wrote:

Who produced the medical evidence in the first place? Has the government proved this evidence has not been altered? Don't they have the burden of proof?

I really don't think that's how it works, Robert.

It's theorists like Mantik who are claiming the evidence is altered. The burden of proof rests with them.

Martin Hay

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Guest on Sun 22 Dec 2013, 6:40 pm

Martin Hay wrote:
Traveller11 wrote:"The HSCA asked two forensic anthropologists, Dr. Ellis R. Kerley and Dr. Clyde C. Snow, to study the autopsy X-rays alongside pre-mortem X-rays of President Kennedy. As their report states, “It is a well established fact that human bone structure varies uniquely from one individual to another...so that the total pattern of skeletal architecture of a given person is as unique as his or her fingerprints. Forensic anthropologists have long made use of this fact in establishing the positive identifications of persons killed in combat...” (Vol. 7 HSCA p. 43) After performing their analysis, the experts concluded that “the skull and torso radiographs taken at autopsy match the available ante mortem films of the late President in such a wealth of intricate morphological detail that there can be no reasonable doubt that they are indeed X-rays of John F. Kennedy and no other person.” (ibid. p. 45) On top this, a forensic dentist, Dr. Lowell J. Levine, compared the X-rays with JFK's previously existing dental records and reported that the “autopsy films…are unquestionably of the skull of President Kennedy” and that “the unique and individual dental and hard tissue characteristics which may be interpreted from the autopsy films...could not be simulated.” (ibid. p. 61)

The findings of these experts have never been questioned or challenged by any medical or forensic professionals and can rightly be said to establish that the X-rays are indeed of President Kennedy."

Just out of curiosity, Martin, does anyone have access to JFK's other x-rays and dental records, or do we have to just take these three fellows at their word?


Yes, I believe so. I know the pre-mortem X-rays were published in HSCA vol. 7.

Has any researcher had the opportunity to compare all of these x-rays and dental records, just to keep everyone honest?

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Guest on Sun 22 Dec 2013, 6:44 pm

Martin Hay wrote:
Traveller11 wrote:From Martin Hay:


"Tom Robinson said at one point that the "opening...at the back of the skull" was made by "the physicians". (ARRB MD63) Which is what Humes and Boswell testified to. They said they peeled back the scalp and the shattered bones underneath crumbled and fell away. Of course, Robinson also said that the missing portion had been "blown away" so he kinda contradicted himself. But the fact of the matter is that the skull X-rays establish that at the start of the autopsy that part of the skull was still in place."


Tom Robinson did not really contradict himself in this interview. If we look at the HSCA interview with Andy Purdy of 21/01/77, we can see exactly what Mr. Robinson was trying to convey:

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=327

Note that Tom Robinson clearly makes a distinction between the three inch circular hole in the rear of JFK's head caused by the bullet and the enlargement of this hole by the autopsy doctors. Tom Robinson unequivocally remains a back of head witness.


I disagree. Robinson twice mentions that the back of the skull was opened up to remove the brain (pages 1 and 11). He notes that after the autopsy was completed there was an area of bone missing in the back but he doesn't make clear that this area was missing BEFORE the autopsy doctors began their work. As far as I can see, he just ASSUMES that the area was blown out by the bullet because he doesn't have the bone. But IIRC Humes said that there were fragments that were not put back into the skull (I'll have to double check that) and this could account for the missing area.

Hello Martin

Don't you think that a mortician with any experience, or practically anyone else, for that matter, could tell the difference between bone blasted out from the skull in a shooting and bone sawn away by an autopsist to open up the skull?

Hint: I have a great deal of hunting experience, and I already know the answer to this question.

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Martin Hay on Sun 22 Dec 2013, 6:49 pm

Traveller11 wrote:
Martin Hay wrote:
Traveller11 wrote:"The HSCA asked two forensic anthropologists, Dr. Ellis R. Kerley and Dr. Clyde C. Snow, to study the autopsy X-rays alongside pre-mortem X-rays of President Kennedy. As their report states, “It is a well established fact that human bone structure varies uniquely from one individual to another...so that the total pattern of skeletal architecture of a given person is as unique as his or her fingerprints. Forensic anthropologists have long made use of this fact in establishing the positive identifications of persons killed in combat...” (Vol. 7 HSCA p. 43) After performing their analysis, the experts concluded that “the skull and torso radiographs taken at autopsy match the available ante mortem films of the late President in such a wealth of intricate morphological detail that there can be no reasonable doubt that they are indeed X-rays of John F. Kennedy and no other person.” (ibid. p. 45) On top this, a forensic dentist, Dr. Lowell J. Levine, compared the X-rays with JFK's previously existing dental records and reported that the “autopsy films…are unquestionably of the skull of President Kennedy” and that “the unique and individual dental and hard tissue characteristics which may be interpreted from the autopsy films...could not be simulated.” (ibid. p. 61)

The findings of these experts have never been questioned or challenged by any medical or forensic professionals and can rightly be said to establish that the X-rays are indeed of President Kennedy."

Just out of curiosity, Martin, does anyone have access to JFK's other x-rays and dental records, or do we have to just take these three fellows at their word?


Yes, I believe so. I know the pre-mortem X-rays were published in HSCA vol. 7.

Has any researcher had the opportunity to compare all of these x-rays and dental records, just to keep everyone honest?

 Well, of course, we know that Dr. Cyril Wecht had access to these materials when he served on the HSCA forensic panel. And I'm pretty sure both Randy Robertson and David Mantik have seen the pre-mortem materials. Why don't you ask them? You could also read the reports in HSCA vol. 7.

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Martin Hay on Sun 22 Dec 2013, 6:52 pm

Traveller11 wrote:
Martin Hay wrote:
Traveller11 wrote:From Martin Hay:


"Tom Robinson said at one point that the "opening...at the back of the skull" was made by "the physicians". (ARRB MD63) Which is what Humes and Boswell testified to. They said they peeled back the scalp and the shattered bones underneath crumbled and fell away. Of course, Robinson also said that the missing portion had been "blown away" so he kinda contradicted himself. But the fact of the matter is that the skull X-rays establish that at the start of the autopsy that part of the skull was still in place."


Tom Robinson did not really contradict himself in this interview. If we look at the HSCA interview with Andy Purdy of 21/01/77, we can see exactly what Mr. Robinson was trying to convey:

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=327

Note that Tom Robinson clearly makes a distinction between the three inch circular hole in the rear of JFK's head caused by the bullet and the enlargement of this hole by the autopsy doctors. Tom Robinson unequivocally remains a back of head witness.


I disagree. Robinson twice mentions that the back of the skull was opened up to remove the brain (pages 1 and 11). He notes that after the autopsy was completed there was an area of bone missing in the back but he doesn't make clear that this area was missing BEFORE the autopsy doctors began their work. As far as I can see, he just ASSUMES that the area was blown out by the bullet because he doesn't have the bone. But IIRC Humes said that there were fragments that were not put back into the skull (I'll have to double check that) and this could account for the missing area.

Hello Martin

Don't you think that a mortician with any experience, or practically anyone else, for that matter, could tell the difference between bone blasted out from the skull in a shooting and bone sawn away by an autopsist to open up the skull?

Hint: I have a great deal of hunting experience, and I already know the answer to this question.


I have no idea what Robinson's knowledge of gunshot wounds amounted to. The fact remains that he didn't say that area was missing before the autopsy began.

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Guest on Mon 23 Dec 2013, 2:54 am

Martin Hay wrote:
Traveller11 wrote:
Martin Hay wrote:
Traveller11 wrote:From Martin Hay:


"Tom Robinson said at one point that the "opening...at the back of the skull" was made by "the physicians". (ARRB MD63) Which is what Humes and Boswell testified to. They said they peeled back the scalp and the shattered bones underneath crumbled and fell away. Of course, Robinson also said that the missing portion had been "blown away" so he kinda contradicted himself. But the fact of the matter is that the skull X-rays establish that at the start of the autopsy that part of the skull was still in place."


Tom Robinson did not really contradict himself in this interview. If we look at the HSCA interview with Andy Purdy of 21/01/77, we can see exactly what Mr. Robinson was trying to convey:

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=327

Note that Tom Robinson clearly makes a distinction between the three inch circular hole in the rear of JFK's head caused by the bullet and the enlargement of this hole by the autopsy doctors. Tom Robinson unequivocally remains a back of head witness.


I disagree. Robinson twice mentions that the back of the skull was opened up to remove the brain (pages 1 and 11). He notes that after the autopsy was completed there was an area of bone missing in the back but he doesn't make clear that this area was missing BEFORE the autopsy doctors began their work. As far as I can see, he just ASSUMES that the area was blown out by the bullet because he doesn't have the bone. But IIRC Humes said that there were fragments that were not put back into the skull (I'll have to double check that) and this could account for the missing area.

Hello Martin

Don't you think that a mortician with any experience, or practically anyone else, for that matter, could tell the difference between bone blasted out from the skull in a shooting and bone sawn away by an autopsist to open up the skull?

Hint: I have a great deal of hunting experience, and I already know the answer to this question.


I have no idea what Robinson's knowledge of gunshot wounds amounted to. The fact remains that he didn't say that area was missing before the autopsy began.

Wouldn't you say there was a very good chance Robinson made an educated guess? It is not hard to discern between bone blasted by a gunshot wound and bone cut with a circular saw.

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Guest on Mon 23 Dec 2013, 3:23 am

Think of it this way. Let's say I cut a tree down and wanted to cut a twenty foot long log out of the middle of it. If I made the cut at one end of the log with an axe, and the other end with a chainsaw, do you think you could tell which end had been cut with which tool? I certainly hope you would be able to tell the difference.

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Martin Hay on Mon 23 Dec 2013, 3:31 am

Traveller11 wrote:
Martin Hay wrote:
Traveller11 wrote:
Martin Hay wrote:
Traveller11 wrote:From Martin Hay:


"Tom Robinson said at one point that the "opening...at the back of the skull" was made by "the physicians". (ARRB MD63) Which is what Humes and Boswell testified to. They said they peeled back the scalp and the shattered bones underneath crumbled and fell away. Of course, Robinson also said that the missing portion had been "blown away" so he kinda contradicted himself. But the fact of the matter is that the skull X-rays establish that at the start of the autopsy that part of the skull was still in place."


Tom Robinson did not really contradict himself in this interview. If we look at the HSCA interview with Andy Purdy of 21/01/77, we can see exactly what Mr. Robinson was trying to convey:

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=327

Note that Tom Robinson clearly makes a distinction between the three inch circular hole in the rear of JFK's head caused by the bullet and the enlargement of this hole by the autopsy doctors. Tom Robinson unequivocally remains a back of head witness.


I disagree. Robinson twice mentions that the back of the skull was opened up to remove the brain (pages 1 and 11). He notes that after the autopsy was completed there was an area of bone missing in the back but he doesn't make clear that this area was missing BEFORE the autopsy doctors began their work. As far as I can see, he just ASSUMES that the area was blown out by the bullet because he doesn't have the bone. But IIRC Humes said that there were fragments that were not put back into the skull (I'll have to double check that) and this could account for the missing area.

Hello Martin

Don't you think that a mortician with any experience, or practically anyone else, for that matter, could tell the difference between bone blasted out from the skull in a shooting and bone sawn away by an autopsist to open up the skull?

Hint: I have a great deal of hunting experience, and I already know the answer to this question.


I have no idea what Robinson's knowledge of gunshot wounds amounted to. The fact remains that he didn't say that area was missing before the autopsy began.

Wouldn't you say there was a very good chance Robinson made an educated guess? It is not hard to discern between bone blasted by a gunshot wound and bone cut with a circular saw.

There's your problem, you're assuming that the hole in question would have to have been cut with a circular saw. In fact, Humes testified that he had to do very little work with the saw because the bones were so shattered that, when they reflected the scalp, numerous bone fragments crumbled and fell away.

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Guest on Mon 23 Dec 2013, 7:03 pm

I find it very interesting that the three inch wound in the back of JFK's head observed by Tom Robinson matches very closely in size and location to the wound reported by Parkland witnesses plus many Bethesda witnesses, including two FBI agents who reported their observations the day following the autopsy.

It may very well be that Robinson read the WC testimonies of some of the Parkland doctors, prior to his interview with Purdy but, in the days before Internet and PC's, I find this highly unlikely.

Therefore, the question remains, how did Robinson guess the size of the wound? It is likely that there was a three inch hole not only in JFK's skull bone in the back of his head but also a three inch hole in the scalp, as well. If not, and the scalp could cover this hole, how could so many witnesses (Hill, Bowron, etc.) have noticed this wound?

During the autopsy, even if the skull bones were "crumbling", the scalp would still have to be cut with a scalpel, and it would leave cut marks easily distinguishable from scalp traumatically removed during a blast.

If Robinson could not deduce the size of the opening created by the bullet from the obvious marks left by the autopsists, how did he arrive so closely at a size for the wound reported by so many other witnesses?

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

Post by Martin Hay on Tue 24 Dec 2013, 1:39 am

Traveller11 wrote:I find it very interesting that the three inch wound in the back of JFK's head observed by Tom Robinson matches very closely in size and location to the wound reported by Parkland witnesses plus many Bethesda witnesses, including two FBI agents who reported their observations the day following the autopsy.

I don't recall any of the Parkland doctors giving this 3 inch measurement. Off the top of my head the only doctor I remember estimating the size of the exit wound in his testimony was Dr Carrico who said it was 5 to 7 cm - which is between 2 and 3 inches.

It may very well be that Robinson read the WC testimonies of some of the Parkland doctors, prior to his interview with Purdy but, in the days before Internet and PC's, I find this highly unlikely.

I find it unlikely too.

Therefore, the question remains, how did Robinson guess the size of the wound? It is likely that there was a three inch hole not only in JFK's skull bone in the back of his head but also a three inch hole in the scalp, as well. If not, and the scalp could cover this hole, how could so many witnesses (Hill, Bowron, etc.) have noticed this wound?

Again, I don't know that there was this uniform agreement on the 3 inches as you're insisting. Can you provide citations for that?

As I mentioned before, I've come to suspect that the massively disrupted area at the top right rear of the skull seen in the X-rays, which lies right where the metallic fragment trail suggests the bullet exited, was laying more open at Parkland than it was when the X ray was taken. Before the body was whisked off to Bethesda, staff at Parkland wrapped the head in sheets and may have "closed" this area somewhat, and the blood and matter then "glued" it down.  


During the autopsy, even if the skull bones were "crumbling", the scalp would still have to be cut with a scalpel, and it would leave cut marks easily distinguishable from scalp traumatically removed during a blast.

Probably true. Did Robinson say anything about where scalp was missing from though?

If Robinson could not deduce the size of the opening created by the bullet from the obvious marks left by the autopsists, how did he arrive so closely at a size for the wound reported by so many other witnesses?

I don't really understand your question here but it seems to be based on assumptions you've made that I've already responded to. I think one thing that needs to be noted is that the autopsists didn't have all the pieces of the skull at the autopsy and, as Donald Thomas pointed out in his book, no forensic reconstruction of the skull was made. So when the pieces of skull were put back in, they weren't necessarily put back in the right place. It was probably decided to put the pieces in the side and leave the back open because it was thought there would be an open casket and the back of the skull was the area that would not be seen.

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Re: How the Bullet from the Grassy Knoll Caused a Large Wound in the Back of the Head

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