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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 Tue 24 Dec 2013, 3:24 am

Are you suggesting the autopsists reconstructed the skull by putting pieces of the skull back in place in the side of the head that didn't belong there and Robinson was fooled by this? What kept those pieces in place? I don't think Krazy Glue had been invented in 1963.

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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, 3:41 am

Traveller11 wrote:Are you suggesting the autopsists reconstructed the skull by putting pieces of the skull back in place in the side of the head that didn't belong there and Robinson was fooled by this? What kept those pieces in place? I don't think Krazy Glue had been invented in 1963.


Like I said, no forensic reconstruction of the skull was performed. IIRC correctly James Jenkins said some type of plaster molding was used on the head wound.

I think Humes and Boswell struggled to put the pieces back in and purposefully left the back part open because they thought it wouldn't matter because it wouldn't be seen if the casket were left open.

I'm not saying pieces from the back were put into the side. But based on the general incompetence of the autopsy doctors I wouldn't rule it out.

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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 Tue 24 Dec 2013, 4:46 am

I'm trying to picture how you conceive JFK's head wounds. To begin with, am I to understand you believe the first bullet entered JFK's right temple, broke apart completely, created a massive pressure wave, and somehow that pressure reciprocated and blew the skull out AT the entrance site of this bullet?

You have to appreciate just how unlikely this scenario is, Martin, at least from my perspective. I have shot a fair number of deer in the head with hollow point bullets and have always been able to find a very small neat entrance hole in the deer's skull. I am not sure whether or not the bullet fragments from the hollow points exited the deer's skull or not, for the simple fact I was not particularly interested at that point in time. I do know there were blowouts in the deer's skulls that were not always lined up with the expected path of the bullet (ie. a shot in the side of the head causing the top of the head to blow out) but I have NEVER seen the blowout at the entrance site of the bullet. Despite the research of that German doctor with clay filled skulls, my experience tells me such a thing is not physically possible.

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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, 5:32 am

Traveller11 wrote:I'm trying to picture how you conceive JFK's head wounds. To begin with, am I to understand you believe the first bullet entered JFK's right temple, broke apart completely, created a massive pressure wave, and somehow that pressure reciprocated and blew the skull out AT the entrance site of this bullet?

You have to appreciate just how unlikely this scenario is, Martin, at least from my perspective. I have shot a fair number of deer in the head with hollow point bullets and have always been able to find a very small neat entrance hole in the deer's skull. I am not sure whether or not the bullet fragments from the hollow points exited the deer's skull or not, for the simple fact I was not particularly interested at that point in time. I do know there were blowouts in the deer's skulls that were not always lined up with the expected path of the bullet (ie. a shot in the side of the head causing the top of the head to blow out) but I have NEVER seen the blowout at the entrance site of the bullet. Despite the research of that German doctor with clay filled skulls, my experience tells me such a thing is not physically possible.


Well then your argument is not me but with "that German doctor".

And neuroscientist Dr Joseph Riley.

And radiologist Dr Randy Robertson.

And scientist Dr Donald Thomas.

All of whom I rely heavily upon. And I'm satisfied with their work.

That your experience leads you to a different conclusion is fine with me.

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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 Tue 24 Dec 2013, 5:53 am

Martin, this is just not my experience I am speaking of here. Scientific theory is all well and good but, I would suggest you join a few Internet hunting forums and speak to people that have real live experience with shooting things in the head. I'm willing to bet you will have a very hard time finding someone who can relate an experience of a bullet reversing energy inside of a skull and causing a large blowout at the entrance site of that bullet.

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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 Tue 24 Dec 2013, 6:56 am

Traveller11

The issue you have touched upon here is one of the reasons I voiced a desire above to see comparative studies of actual autopsies where an exploding bullet was involved.  I have long wondered, among other things, whether such a bullet could cause the skull to explode at the point of impact. 

While I am somewhat less averse to some of the possibilities which Martin rejects, I am not ready to assert that the extent of the wound to the head was limited only to the occipital region.  I find it interesting in fact that the Muchmore film tends to confirm the very thing Horne claims Dino Brugioni saw on the Z-film: an upward explosion (I would think this in addition to the backward ejection of skull and brain, since Jackie's behavior and other witnesses behind the limo suggest this as well).  My question is: could a single exploding bullet cause all this damage (through the build up of internal pressure, not necessarily the actual exit of metal) -- both to the lower back and to the right top/front?  Or do we really need a second (or maybe third) bullet?  Sherry Fiester's back spatter analysis would confirm the escape of blood and brain from the front, which she links not to a shot from the back but from the front.  But she doesn't really address the size and position of all the damage to the skull. On the other hand, I have heard others express reservation about whether back-spatter could cause blood and brains to be found as far forward as the hood ornament.

The interpretation Martin gives of the X-ray following Don Thomas and Randy Robertson is an interesting alternative, to be sure, but I would still have to question whether the aperture seen by so many witnesses (not just Tom Robinson) was as high up along the line of the metal fragments.  If the bone fragments we see at the back of the head on the X-ray were the ones some of the doctors said they saw protruding (avulsed) from the wound, but now pushed back together, I would tend to believe that opening was still further down.  And then we have the problem of the Harper Fragment's location as well.

Martin's remark about who was responsible for giving the occipital-parietal wound specific dimensions also drove me back to the testimony -- I am away from my study, and only have Vince Palamara's very useful compendium on my laptop, but a quick perusal does show that Martin was correct in attributing the 5 X 7 cm dimensions to Carrico, though in later statements made by a number of doctors over the years (particularly Peters), that size was confirmed, as well as the general resemblance to the drawing made for Josiah Thompson on the basis of McClelland's description.

As for the full extent of the wound, there are some statements posterior to those originally given in 1964 that may be seen as supporting Gary Aguilar's suggestion about why all the damage was not seen (several doctors speak of both occipital and temporal areas, for instance).  However, I would still reserve judgment on all of this, as there are so many vagaries and vaguenesses in how the damage to skull and scalp is described, especially in the autopsy protocol, of all things. 

I certainly appreciate the desire for some sort of empirical ground that does not move under your feet, the way it does once forgery of evidence is allowed.  But as we know from other areas in this case, such a belief may not be sustainable in the end.  To make an argument which takes into account the manipulation and fakery of evidence without saying it is all phoney: one could propose that most of the time it is done as the need arises, without some fully planned and mapped out scheme of deception.  The important thing is that it be back-stopped by control of the flow of information.  As long as you have power to direct that, then the imperfection of the forgery may not matter.

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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, 7:06 am

Traveller11 wrote:Martin, this is just not my experience I am speaking of here. Scientific theory is all well and good but, I would suggest you join a few Internet hunting forums and speak to people that have real live experience with shooting things in the head. I'm willing to bet you will have a very hard time finding someone who can relate an experience of a bullet reversing energy inside of a skull and causing a large blowout at the entrance site of that bullet.

The problem here is that you are misunderstanding or misstating the argument.

Nobody said the blowout was caused by a bullet "reversing energy".

I recommend a careful reading of Don Thomas's description of the Kronlein Schuss on pages 350 - 351 of Hear No Evil.

Like I said before, I'm not at all bothered that we disagree. I've no interest in attempting to change anybody's mind on these matters. I learned long ago what a futile task that is.

This exchange began with my asking you what evidence you had for faked or altered X-rays and you were unable to provide any. That being the case, I remain confident in the conclusions I arrived at based on the work of Riley, Roberston, and Thomas.

FWIW I understand that Josiah Thompson will be proposing the very same double headshot scenario in his upcoming book, Last Second In Dallas - a book I'm very much looking forward to reading.

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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 Tue 24 Dec 2013, 8:44 am

Martin Hay wrote:
Traveller11 wrote:Martin, this is just not my experience I am speaking of here. Scientific theory is all well and good but, I would suggest you join a few Internet hunting forums and speak to people that have real live experience with shooting things in the head. I'm willing to bet you will have a very hard time finding someone who can relate an experience of a bullet reversing energy inside of a skull and causing a large blowout at the entrance site of that bullet.

This exchange began with my asking you what evidence you had for faked or altered X-rays and you were unable to provide any. 

Martin,

What is your opinion on Jerry Custer's allegations from 1992 that there are many x-rays missing from the autopsy materials and what is depicted in the extant radiographs does not depict what he claims he saw that night at Bethesda?

Custer went on record claiming, in response to the controversial JAMA articles, that he took between 15-20 radiographs of the body including additional views of the head.  

Custer was interviewed for ADVANCE magazine which is a journal for radiologic science professionals and he was quite vocal about the HSCA using photographs of the X-rays rather than the actual X-rays.  He went on to say:

"The right side of the skull on the X-rays that I took do not match the right side of the skull in the pictures.  Not only that but I remember the skull not damaged in that area (contrary to the X-ray photos used by the select committee). It was all further back."

"The X-rays are not the ones I took simply because they do not match the photographs taken by Floyd Riebe."

I'm just wondering what your current take is on Custer's 20 year old allegations and his credibility concerning the X-rays that he himself took?  Do you believe X-rays are missing from the collection?

Over and out...


Last edited by Lee Farley on Tue 24 Dec 2013, 9:07 am; edited 2 times in total

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Entry and exit and no Trendelenberg please

Post by dwdunn(akaDan) on Tue 24 Dec 2013, 8:59 am

I haven't read this thread yet, so I apologize if what I have to say has already been covered. Just wanted to make a small contribution on the issue that's been bugging me for some time now.


Elsewhere I said recently that it would be very difficult for me to make common cause with someone who argues that Sirhan Sirhan was firing blanks when the attack on US Senator Robert Kennedy occurred. I said that about the only polite response I could make to such an idea would be to ask the person(s) how then do they account for the wounding of several other people in the pantry. This would be a sticking point because the wounds of the five other people seems consistent with (is what one would expect to find in) being hit by bullets fired from a .22 caliber pistol, at some distance, in a fairly haphazard firing pattern (at a minimum, as the pistol was being continually fired as people were grappling with the gunman to disarm and subdue him). All of those other people survived the attack -- even Paul Schrade, who was shot in the forehead and was probably closest to Sirhan aside from Kennedy himself.

One of the reasons this is important is that while the wounding of the other people seems consistent with what we would expect to find if Sirhan had been the one who shot them, the wounding of Robert Kennedy presents more of a problem: at near point-blank range, 3 bullets pumped into him, one proving fatal, and a 4th bullet passing through his suit-jacket (and supposedly being the one that hit Paul Schrade in the forehead .... uhhh, 8 bullets had to account for 8 wounds plus a shot through the suit-jacket). Discussions of this tend to focus on whether or not Sirhan ever got close enough to shoot Sen. Kennedy at or near point-blank range; the real question probably should be whether or not at any point Sirhan essentially climbed on top of him. But even if he never got close enough to get off 3-4 shots at near point-blank range, that would not make Sirhan "innocent" by most standards of definition (because, y'know, he was firing a loaded pistol); but it would mean that he himself did not murder Robert Kennedy.

I use this as a preface for what follows because the wounding of Texas Governor John Connally on November 22, 1963 is also consistent with (is what one would expect to find in) being shot by a rifle from behind and above the motorcade. (At a minimum, a single bullet entering the governor's body at the right rear armpit, cracking a rib, exiting at the chest and shattering a wrist bone, and finally lodging in the left thigh.) As such, a Dealey Plaza shooting scenario which does not include at least one bullet fired from behind and above the motorcade would be inadequate. But as is well-known, the real problem lies in determining what to make of President Kennedy's wounds.

Discussions of this, in my opinion, tend to go around in circles. Different people have their favored shooting locations (Grassy Knoll, south knoll, Dal-Tex building, etc); the medical evidence is variously interpreted; and there are issues with the "bona fides" of that evidence. The only contribution I initially want to make is to emphasize the simple principle of the characteristics of entry and exit regarding gunshots:

Entry = lesser damage, smaller hole
Exit = greater damage, larger hole

As this pertains to President Kennedy's head wounds, for instance, there are strong reasons to believe that this was caused by a shot from the front: the extant autopsy photographs do not show massive damage to the front/face of the president but to his right side-rear; and the man at Parkland who held the back of the president's head while attempts were being made to resuscitate him stated that it felt like a cracked eggshell. This is an indication that the heaviest damage was to the rear of the president's head.

If there is no other explanation for this beyond following the principle of entry = lesser damage, exit = greater damage, then we not only have reason to believe that the fatal head wound was caused by a shot from the front; we also have to reevaluate the throat wound and the "back" wound in that context. Since it has been more or less impossible for honest people to get those two wounds to line up properly via the official scenario, it might follow that they do line up quite well if the throat wound was caused by a shot from the front (and so the "back" wound would be the exit wound instead of an entry wound as proposed by the Warren Commission et al).

I recognize that there are other considerations, particularly in regards to the head wound. For instance, the skull is a "brain-casing" with a lot of liquid and soft matter inside, and has a "jigsaw" connection among its various plates, so the effects of a bullet impacting it might theoretically "skew" or go against the principle regarding entry and exit. Or some have made the argument that upon close examination of the autopsy photos and x-rays, there is a beveled hole indicating that an entry wound came from a shot from behind. I would counter that even if an impacting bullet clipped the side of the head and caused fragments to fly in various directions, the principle still applies; and so why is there every indication of massive damage to the right rear of the president's head rather than the right front if he were shot from behind?

This issue has been bothering me for some time, and I get very tired of reading debates about occipital vs. parietal, cerebellum vs. cerebrum, whether Parkland personnel were confused and "not looking at it the right way," etc, etc, etc. So I wanted to state and emphasize the simple but very important principle regarding entry and exit wounds, and don't get me started on the Trendelenberg position.

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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 Tue 24 Dec 2013, 1:23 pm

Hi dwdunn(akaDan)
I read your post and understand your frustration.

The only thing I would like to add, and I have a great deal of experience to back this up, is that just because we see a large "exit" wound, we cannot immediately assume that a bullet actually "exited" out through that wound.

Confusing? Let me explain. Not all bullets are created equally. Full metal jacket bullets are designed for limited expansion and can sometimes pass through a person with little deformation. Soft tipped bullets have an exposed soft lead tip that allows the nose of the bullet to expand to a greater diameter in a wound. It therefore damages more tissue, loses more energy as it slows down quicker (damaging even more tissue) and does not always exit from its victim.

After that, we get into REAL stopping power with bullets like hollow point bullets, fragmenting bullets and frangible bullets. These bullets are specifically designed to lose all of their energy in a wound, such as a head shot, and NOT exit the other side. However, they are still capable of making very large "exit" wounds. How? Simple, hydraulic pressure. Fluid cannot be compressed (as a gas can) and the skull is a watertight vessel filled to the max with fluid. When an expanding, fragmenting or frangible bullet enters the cranial cavity, it begins displacing fluid ahead of it. Momentary pressures ahead of this bullet can reach phenomenal levels, to the point where the skull will rupture at a weak point and relieve this pressure, causing a large exit wound even though all pieces of the bullet are still inside the cranial cavity. Also, this "exit" wound does not have to line up with the path of the bullet, although it is typically somewhere ahead of the pressure wave created by the bullet.

Many years ago, a friend and I went hunting with our rifles. He was a little concerned with the accuracy of the scope on his rifle so we stopped at a rock pit to fire a few test shots with it. There was an empty 20 litre oil pail in the pit so we set ourselves up about 100 metres from it. This was in the days when 20 litre oil pails were made from steel instead of plastic, and what we thought was an empty oil pail was actually filled to the brim with rain water.

He chambered a soft tipped round into his sporterized .303 Enfield and fired at the target. What transpired was amazing. The oil pail split from top to bottom, not in line with the path of the bullet but about 30° away from the anticipated exit point, and a great gout of water exploded from within it. When we looked inside the pail, we saw the mangled copper alloy bullet jacket lying separately from several fragments of the bullet.

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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 Tue 24 Dec 2013, 6:35 pm

Traveller11:
 
So what you are saying here is that bullets with REAL stopping power (not FMJ beasts like 399) are akin to little bombs going off inside their targets. The "payload" penetrates inside, then it rapidly dissipates its energy, and if this happens to be inside a skull, the dissipation can be explosive.
 
This reminds me when I was a kid in the 1960s and we'd get some fireworks for the Fourth of July. They were illegal in my state, but some older shadowy, cigarette-smoking teens would make trips across the state line to get fireworks for a hefty mark-up. Anyway the scariest fireworks were M-80s, aka "salutes." M-80s are banned today, but they had a few grams of explosive powder that could blow the fingers clean off your hand. Once you lit the wick on these babies, they would burn even under water.
 
For "fun," we used to take old 5-gallon metal buckets and other containers, fill them with water, lite an M-80, throw it in the water, run like hell and BOOM! The buckets would fly 8-10 feet in the air, bursting apart violently with water flying everywhere. Often the buckets were ripped to shreds in the process.
 
Something similar may occur when certain bullets are fired into skulls. With results that are hard to predict. It makes perfect sense.    
 
dwdunn(akaDan):
 
Your thoughtful guiding principles/context discussion brings to mind some things I learned and practiced during my career in nuclear power plant chemistry.
 
Chemistry was akin to doing blood work on people. You did it to determine the overall "health" of the plant. If certain impurities and constituents got out of acceptable bands or tolerances, something was going on that needed prompt investigation. Was something leaking into something else? Were corrosion rates changing? Was something beginning to fail?
 
A power plant is like a living, breathing body. Make a little tweak over here and you could see the effects ripple elsewhere. Sometimes we practiced a form of system "forensics." A concern was developing; something would be going on. You had many analytical results ("facts") from samples, and perhaps more importantly, the trends of these results over time to help you diagnose the problem. Most of the time, determining the root cause was simple and straightforward. Once and a while, however, it could be very tricky. As with the human body where symptoms might point to a simply tummy ache but actually have a different cause, the real problem was not always so obvious from the prima facie indications. The facts always had to be considered in the larger context.     
 
Facts are essential, but don't let the facts obscure the truth.

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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 Wed 25 Dec 2013, 12:45 am

Lee Farley wrote:
Martin Hay wrote:
Traveller11 wrote:Martin, this is just not my experience I am speaking of here. Scientific theory is all well and good but, I would suggest you join a few Internet hunting forums and speak to people that have real live experience with shooting things in the head. I'm willing to bet you will have a very hard time finding someone who can relate an experience of a bullet reversing energy inside of a skull and causing a large blowout at the entrance site of that bullet.

This exchange began with my asking you what evidence you had for faked or altered X-rays and you were unable to provide any. 

Martin,

What is your opinion on Jerry Custer's allegations from 1992 that there are many x-rays missing from the autopsy materials and what is depicted in the extant radiographs does not depict what he claims he saw that night at Bethesda?

Custer went on record claiming, in response to the controversial JAMA articles, that he took between 15-20 radiographs of the body including additional views of the head.  

Custer was interviewed for ADVANCE magazine which is a journal for radiologic science professionals and he was quite vocal about the HSCA using photographs of the X-rays rather than the actual X-rays.  He went on to say:

"The right side of the skull on the X-rays that I took do not match the right side of the skull in the pictures.  Not only that but I remember the skull not damaged in that area (contrary to the X-ray photos used by the select committee). It was all further back."

"The X-rays are not the ones I took simply because they do not match the photographs taken by Floyd Riebe."

I'm just wondering what your current take is on Custer's 20 year old allegations and his credibility concerning the X-rays that he himself took?  Do you believe X-rays are missing from the collection?

Over and out...


Lee,

Custer is one of those witnesses who, unfortunately, told a lot of stories.

Whatever he said in 1992, he said completely the opposite when he was under oath for the ARRB.

In his 10/28/97 deposition, he swore that the skull "damage was in the parietal temporal region" and prepared this diagram showing the damage to be on the right side:



Custer also swore to the accuracy and authenticity of the X-rays. For example, shown the anterior/posterior view:

GUNN: Is there any question in your mind whether the X-ray that's in front of you now is the original X-ray taken at the autopsy?
CUSTER: No question.
GUNN: And the answer is--
CUSTER: It is the original film.

And when shown the right lateral skull X-ray:


GUNN: ...Mr. Custer, can you identify the film that is in front of you now as having been taken by you on the night of the autopsy of President Kennedy?
CUSTER: Correct. Yes, I do, sir.
GUNN: And how are you able to identify that as being--
CUSTER: My marker in the lower mandibular joint.


Interestingly, Custer also offered his opinion that the shot that caused the damage came from the front:


CUSTER: Remember, also, I had stated how a portion of the skull had lifted up and pushed backwards?
GUNN: Yes.
CUSTER: Showing that there had to be a force impact this way, in that - Well, look. Let me inject something else. From the right side, you notice - you see the fragmentation how it starts to get larger. You have equal and opposite force. Everything being pushed forward. The brain has been pushed back, and it pops the skull out.
GUNN: So, it's your opinion that the trauma to the head began at the front and moved towards the back of the head?
CUSTER: Yes, sir. Absolutely.


With regard to missing X-rays, I think that part is true. It was confirmed by other witnesses IIRC. We know for certain that there are missing photographs such as the ones taken to show the entry hole in the right rear with the scalp reflected.

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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 Wed 25 Dec 2013, 1:38 am

Thanks for your response, Martin.  I long ago left the quagmire of the medical evidence to concentrate on other things but didn't Reed and Riebe somewhat back up Custer's statements to Advance magazine?

On the missing X-rays do you have any opinion on why they would go astray?

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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 Wed 25 Dec 2013, 2:37 am

Traveller11 wrote:Also, this "exit" wound does not have to line up with the path of the bullet, although it is typically somewhere ahead of the pressure wave created by the bullet.


Which is what I would expect, but when I get home I will have to reread the indicated pages in Thomas' book.

It's Christmas Eve, and I should be signing off, but I did want to relate another thought I had about the ongoing discussion here.

Let's try to put together the pieces concerning the autopsy entrance wound -- the one near the occipital protuberance (the one the Clark panel moved up four inches).

Boswell and Humes in their testimony to the HSCA indicated that this was not a fully defined hole in an existing piece of bone, but was completed from a nick which showed beveling when a LATER ARRIVING piece of bone was fitted down into what was an existing larger hole (7HSCA246, 260).

But wait ... the X-rays are presumably from before this examination, and they don't show any hole in that area.

It seems this is pretty damning either way it goes.  If there was no bone, then something is indeed wrong with the X-rays.  If there was bone at the outset, and this hole was created when the bone crumbled and fell to the table, this story about it arriving later and being fitted down there is a subterfuge to cover up either incompetence (not immediately examining the fragments which fell off) or, worse, actually swapping in a new piece of bone in order to derive a wound, being fully cognizant that it could not possibly belong there, since the hole was actually created before their very eyes when they first reflected the scalp.

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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 Wed 25 Dec 2013, 4:21 am

Lee Farley wrote:Thanks for your response, Martin.  I long ago left the quagmire of the medical evidence to concentrate on other things but didn't Reed and Riebe somewhat back up Custer's statements to Advance magazine?

On the missing X-rays do you have any opinion on why they would go astray?


I can certainly understand why you would get tired of the medical evidence. "Quagmire" is a pretty good description. OTOH I do find it all incredibly fascinating.

My personal opinion on the missing autopsy materials is that someone decided to purge the record of some of the items most damaging to the official story. For example, when it was decided that the rear entry wound had to be moved 10 cm higher to account for the trajectory and the axis of metallic debris seen on the X-rays, the photos of the entry in the skull HAD to go. Of course, we've no way of knowing for certain what the missing X-rays would have told us but you can bet your bottom dollar it didn't fit the lone gunman fairy tale.

With regard to Riebe and Reed, we have a similar situation to Custer.

When Riebe was shown the autopsy photos by the ARRB, he was asked "Do those images correspond, at least in a general way, with what you observed at the autopsy of President Kennedy on November 22?" He said, "Yes". He admitted to having remembered the wound as being more "in the back" of the skull but said "my recollection could have been off too, whatever, that night. But that looks about right." Asked if he had "any reason to believe that these photographs are inaccurate in any way" Riebe said "No".

The thing to remember is that the head wound was enlarged at autopsy to remove the brain. Very little sawing was necessary because the skull was so badly shattered. So when the scalp was reflected, fragments from the rear fell away. It seem probable that Riebe may have been remembering what the wound looked like after it was opened up.

Ed Reed told the ARRB that the head wound was in the "temporal parietal region, right side." He indicated by putting his hand above his ear. And again, when shown the X-rays, he had no problem with them. For example, when Gunn presented him with the anterior posterior X-Ray and asked "There is no doubt in your mind that this is the authentic X-ray that you took on the night of the autopsy?" Reed replied, "This is the authentic X-ray taken that evening." Asked if he could identify the right lateral skull X-ray "as having been taken by yourself on the night of the autopsy?" Reed said, "Yes, I can. And this is the Radiograph I took that evening."

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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 Wed 25 Dec 2013, 4:40 am

Albert Rossi wrote:
Traveller11 wrote:Also, this "exit" wound does not have to line up with the path of the bullet, although it is typically somewhere ahead of the pressure wave created by the bullet.


Which is what I would expect, but when I get home I will have to reread the indicated pages in Thomas' book.

It's Christmas Eve, and I should be signing off, but I did want to relate another thought I had about the ongoing discussion here.

Let's try to put together the pieces concerning the autopsy entrance wound -- the one near the occipital protuberance (the one the Clark panel moved up four inches).

Boswell and Humes in their testimony to the HSCA indicated that this was not a fully defined hole in an existing piece of bone, but was completed from a nick which showed beveling when a LATER ARRIVING piece of bone was fitted down into what was an existing larger hole (7HSCA246, 260).

But wait ... the X-rays are presumably from before this examination, and they don't show any hole in that area.

It seems this is pretty damning either way it goes.  If there was no bone, then something is indeed wrong with the X-rays.  If there was bone at the outset, and this hole was created when the bone crumbled and fell to the table, this story about it arriving later and being fitted down there is a subterfuge to cover up either incompetence (not immediately examining the fragments which fell off) or, worse, actually swapping in a new piece of bone in order to derive a wound, being fully cognizant that it could not possibly belong there, since the hole was actually created before their very eyes when they first reflected the scalp.


According to a Riley and Robertson, the EOP entrance is readily visible on the X-ray. Here it is (circled):



The thing to remember is that it wasn't just the autopsy surgeons who saw this wound, there were other witnesses. I detail them here: http://themysteriesofdealeyplaza.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/the-head-wounds-revisited.html

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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 Wed 25 Dec 2013, 4:42 am

Albert Rossi wrote:
Traveller11 wrote:Also, this "exit" wound does not have to line up with the path of the bullet, although it is typically somewhere ahead of the pressure wave created by the bullet.


Which is what I would expect, but when I get home I will have to reread the indicated pages in Thomas' book.

It's Christmas Eve, and I should be signing off, but I did want to relate another thought I had about the ongoing discussion here.

Let's try to put together the pieces concerning the autopsy entrance wound -- the one near the occipital protuberance (the one the Clark panel moved up four inches).

Boswell and Humes in their testimony to the HSCA indicated that this was not a fully defined hole in an existing piece of bone, but was completed from a nick which showed beveling when a LATER ARRIVING piece of bone was fitted down into what was an existing larger hole (7HSCA246, 260).

But wait ... the X-rays are presumably from before this examination, and they don't show any hole in that area.

It seems this is pretty damning either way it goes.  If there was no bone, then something is indeed wrong with the X-rays.  If there was bone at the outset, and this hole was created when the bone crumbled and fell to the table, this story about it arriving later and being fitted down there is a subterfuge to cover up either incompetence (not immediately examining the fragments which fell off) or, worse, actually swapping in a new piece of bone in order to derive a wound, being fully cognizant that it could not possibly belong there, since the hole was actually created before their very eyes when they first reflected the scalp.

Hello Albert

Thank you for posting this. I was going to do this myself but I wanted to see if anyone else got it.

Yes, Boswell and Humes seem to have contradicted themselves, or at least the official x-rays. The big hole that was, and then wasn't. The half a bullet hole at the EOP that was made an entire bullet entrance hole when a late arriving fragment was brought in that had the other half of the bullet entrance hole on it.

This, to me, is the clearest evidence FROM THE AUTOPSY DOCTORS of a cover up of a large gaping wound in the lower back of JFK's head, plus an entrance wound in almost exactly the same location.

Try this on for size. A fragmenting or frangible bullet enters the EOP, expends all of its energy by completely breaking up and fractures all of the bones of JFK's face (as noted by Tom Robinson) without exiting or causing a blow out.

The second bullet had to enter JFK's head at the right temple within less than a second of the first bullet entering or the compromised watertight vessel that was JFK's head would have relieved the built up pressure, plus a great deal of fluid, out through the entrance wound at the EOP and the second bullet would have been incapable of causing its own build up of pressure. As it was, the second bullet (also likely fragmenting or frangible) entered at just the right moment and began building its own pressure wave on top of the pressure wave that was already there, created by the first bullet, and compounding the effect.

The results would have been explosive. It is very interesting to note that the fragment from the back of the head fractured across the bullet entrance wound at the EOP, leaving half of the entrance wound on the fragment and half on the bone remaining in the skull. Was this a result of the entrance wound weakening this bone? Was this why the blowout occurred at this location?

Now, I`m just dying to talk about mercury filled bullets. I've never seen one and I'm not even sure they exist but I find the topic rather fascinating. I'm sure you've all read James Files' story about shooting the Fireball XP-100 loaded with mercury tipped rounds from the Grassy Knoll.

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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 Wed 25 Dec 2013, 5:40 am

A few remarks.  First, re: quagmire.  That is the perfect term.  Not just because of the physical evidence, but because of the shifting statements of witnesses, as Martin points out.  Jim DiEugenio, in his review of Horne, I believe, asked what other autopsy case can be reasonably interpreted in four or five different ways.  That alone shows how messed up this evidence is.

As for the interpretation of that area as the EOP entrance, I know it has been contested, but I can't remember who and where at this point.  But let's assume there was actually an entrance wound there (one can indeed reasonably argue for this).  Did Humes and Boswell not have this X-ray? If they did, why did they not immediately recognize this aperture as such? There is still something rather fishy here with the whole story of this wound.

On the other hand, I think Mantik's placement of the Harper fragment actually confirms that bullet entrance, but unfortunately, the matching bone the doctors claimed to have inserted to make the wound circumference complete was not in the autopsy room, but in Dallas (see his arguments about the metal smudge on the Harper X-ray).

Traveller11, if you haven't read Mantik's work, I think you'll find it interesting in that it speaks to your scenario.  If the Harper Fragment does belong where he says it belongs (and I find his reasoning more compelling than other arguments), then clearly it was on the periphery of this entrance before it was dislodged by a subsequent explosion.  I think you will also be fascinated by his speculation that the appearance of the metal particle trail in the X-rays strongly suggests not sharp fragments but fuzzy little bits of mercury.  On the other hand, I think you might have something to offer him, because he asserts (along with Cyril Wecht) that a right-side shot could not have deflected enough to the left to punch the hole out in the occiput.  Your suggestion goes a long way to explaining why thinking of exits as having to be on the main vector of the projectile may be misleading.

Here is Mantik's review of Don Thomas's book:

http://www.ctka.net/reviews/mantik_thomas_review_pt1.html

but he also points to other articles of his in this review.

And, I agree with Martin, that this continues to be fascinating, though at times enervating, stuff.  But in the end, we mustn't allow it to distract us from the real issues raised by this historical event.

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

Post by dwdunn(akaDan) on Wed 25 Dec 2013, 8:09 am

Traveller11 wrote:Hi dwdunn(akaDan)
I read your post and understand your frustration.

The only thing I would like to add, and I have a great deal of experience to back this up, is that just because we see a large "exit" wound, we cannot immediately assume that a bullet actually "exited" out through that wound.

Confusing? Let me explain. Not all bullets are created equally. Full metal jacket bullets are designed for limited expansion and can sometimes pass through a person with little deformation. Soft tipped bullets have an exposed soft lead tip that allows the nose of the bullet to expand to a greater diameter in a wound. It therefore damages more tissue, loses more energy as it slows down quicker (damaging even more tissue) and does not always exit from its victim.

After that, we get into REAL stopping power with bullets like hollow point bullets, fragmenting bullets and frangible bullets. These bullets are specifically designed to lose all of their energy in a wound, such as a head shot, and NOT exit the other side. However, they are still capable of making very large "exit" wounds. How? Simple, hydraulic pressure. Fluid cannot be compressed (as a gas can) and the skull is a watertight vessel filled to the max with fluid. When an expanding, fragmenting or frangible bullet enters the cranial cavity, it begins displacing fluid ahead of it. Momentary pressures ahead of this bullet can reach phenomenal levels, to the point where the skull will rupture at a weak point and relieve this pressure, causing a large exit wound even though all pieces of the bullet are still inside the cranial cavity. Also, this "exit" wound does not have to line up with the path of the bullet, although it is typically somewhere ahead of the pressure wave created by the bullet.

Many years ago, a friend and I went hunting with our rifles. He was a little concerned with the accuracy of the scope on his rifle so we stopped at a rock pit to fire a few test shots with it. There was an empty 20 litre oil pail in the pit so we set ourselves up about 100 metres from it. This was in the days when 20 litre oil pails were made from steel instead of plastic, and what we thought was an empty oil pail was actually filled to the brim with rain water.

He chambered a soft tipped round into his sporterized .303 Enfield and fired at the target. What transpired was amazing. The oil pail split from top to bottom, not in line with the path of the bullet but about 30° away from the anticipated exit point, and a great gout of water exploded from within it. When we looked inside the pail, we saw the mangled copper alloy bullet jacket lying separately from several fragments of the bullet.
Understood, Trav, thanks for the reply. What do you think the effect would have been if your friend had hit the oil pail at the extreme side(s) instead of -- as is likely -- dead center? Say, if one edge was "clipped" (I'm picturing in my mind a rectangular-shaped gasoline [petrol] can, a la Americanese, so not sure what you mean by "oil pail") I would assume the impact would cause an aluminum gas can to twist and ricochet at least several feet away from where it stood, in a roughly perpendicular direction to the path of the bullet. Back and to the left if hit on its right side; back and to the right if hit on its left side. (Or it might just spin the hell out of it.) And there would likely be an entrance hole about the diameter of the round, with an enormous amount of deformation at the back end. A lot depends on the size of the round, obviously, but then a lot depends on a lot of things -- steel is a very hard material in comparison to, say, aluminum, and would not shatter as bone would; whether the pail was very heavy (as it might be if filled with water, or was very large in comparison to the gasoline can I'm picturing) and so less likely to "give" with impact.

"When an expanding, fragmenting or frangible bullet enters the cranial cavity, it begins displacing fluid ahead of it. Momentary pressures ahead of this bullet can reach phenomenal levels, to the point where the skull will rupture at a weak point and relieve this pressure, causing a large exit wound even though all pieces of the bullet are still inside the cranial cavity. Also, this 'exit' wound does not have to line up with the path of the bullet, although it is typically somewhere ahead of the pressure wave created by the bullet."

Yes, the "shock wave" is ahead of the bullet, fluid is displaced ahead of the bullet; but also to the sides of the bullet as it travels, and so the pressure build-up will cause a rupture at the point of least resistance. Theoretically, that could be anywhere among the many plates of the skull, but ordinarily it would be at the point where the bullet itself has created an opening for "pressure relief" (i.e., the bullet's exit point), and quite an explosive thing it would be. Is that not what is seen in the Zapruder film?

My point here is not really to argue about different types of bullets and their various characteristics of impact, since I'm no ballistics expert and I think we can only speculate about such things due to the rather severe shortcomings involved in the chain of evidence procedures that were followed in this murder case. I only wanted to emphasize the principle regarding entry and exit, as well as pointing to the significant contrast between the wounding of Connally and that of President Kennedy. Even 50 years ago someone who was actually thinking and not under any pressure to lie would have remarked that it was damned odd that Connally's wounds made sense if he were shot from the TSBD whereas Kennedy's didn't.

Here's an experiment anyone can try out on a family member this holiday season (preferably outside, where there's more room to run): sneak up behind them with a basketball and hit them with it on the right side of the head above the right ear; what direction will their head move? Forward and to the left, away from the point of impact, as in a ricochet effect. Isn't that what we should see when the right side of President Kennedy's head is clipped if he'd been shot from behind?

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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 Wed 25 Dec 2013, 12:48 pm

"Yes, the "shock wave" is ahead of the bullet, fluid is displaced ahead of the bullet; but also to the sides of the bullet as it travels, and so the pressure build-up will cause a rupture at the point of least resistance. Theoretically, that could be anywhere among the many plates of the skull, but ordinarily it would be at the point where the bullet itself has created an opening for "pressure relief" (i.e., the bullet's exit point), and quite an explosive thing it would be. Is that not what is seen in the Zapruder film?"

Perhaps, in theory, the pressure could find relief at the entry point of the bullet making the pressure wave. However, in reality, it has been my experience that I have never seen this happen; nor do I know or know of anyone who has observed this. What is typically seen is a tiny entrance hole, even with a hollow point bullet. Any large holes are usually at least 90° away from the point of entry.

A 20 litre oil pail is round and used to carry motor oil or other oils.

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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 Thu 26 Dec 2013, 4:44 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmFdfvDT6GQ

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

Post by dwdunn(akaDan) on Fri 27 Dec 2013, 2:31 pm

Traveller11 wrote:"Yes, the "shock wave" is ahead of the bullet, fluid is displaced ahead of the bullet; but also to the sides of the bullet as it travels, and so the pressure build-up will cause a rupture at the point of least resistance. Theoretically, that could be anywhere among the many plates of the skull, but ordinarily it would be at the point where the bullet itself has created an opening for "pressure relief" (i.e., the bullet's exit point), and quite an explosive thing it would be. Is that not what is seen in the Zapruder film?"

Perhaps, in theory, the pressure could find relief at the entry point of the bullet making the pressure wave. However, in reality, it has been my experience that I have never seen this happen; nor do I know or know of anyone who has observed this. What is typically seen is a tiny entrance hole, even with a hollow point bullet. Any large holes are usually at least 90° away from the point of entry.

A 20 litre oil pail is round and used to carry motor oil or other oils.
Ok, I've finally read through the entire thread ....... and found I'm somewhat arguing with someone I appear to agree with for the most part, which makes perfect sense in these venues  drunken 

So for the record, Trav, I'm not arguing that "the pressure could find relief at the entry point" .... mostly because that would sort of be the exact opposite of the points I've made. The only provisional scenario I've ever come up with is 2 shots by an expert sniper located at the south knoll -- one (the 1st of all) hitting the president in the throat, the 2nd being the fatal head-shot; the 2nd occurring more or less immediately after the Connally shot, from above and behind the limousine; and (solely in my opinion) the likelihood that someone tossed a cherry bomb in the Grassy Knoll area.

The discussion in this thread is excellent, or was before I got involved. But it's one of those things where we're seeing just how wide the variance and disagreements of opinion are in this subject area; that's useful in itself, as it indicates the unlikelihood of reaching any agreement. Consequently, I won't concern myself over it anymore and move on. But in closing I will point out, as there is serious discussion of a simultaneous headshot, that we are now up to at least 5 separate shots: the wounding of Tague; the shooting of Connally (assuming only 1 bullet); a simultaneous 2-shot to the head; and the throat wound (assuming the neck/"back" wound is the exit for the throat entry). If a good objective is to clarify and clear away as much BS as possible, it doesn't seem likely to happen in this subject area. But that's something we need to know.

Thanks for your replies, Trav. And have a happy new year.

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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 Fri 27 Dec 2013, 5:18 pm

dwdunn(akaDan) wrote:
Traveller11 wrote:"Yes, the "shock wave" is ahead of the bullet, fluid is displaced ahead of the bullet; but also to the sides of the bullet as it travels, and so the pressure build-up will cause a rupture at the point of least resistance. Theoretically, that could be anywhere among the many plates of the skull, but ordinarily it would be at the point where the bullet itself has created an opening for "pressure relief" (i.e., the bullet's exit point), and quite an explosive thing it would be. Is that not what is seen in the Zapruder film?"

Perhaps, in theory, the pressure could find relief at the entry point of the bullet making the pressure wave. However, in reality, it has been my experience that I have never seen this happen; nor do I know or know of anyone who has observed this. What is typically seen is a tiny entrance hole, even with a hollow point bullet. Any large holes are usually at least 90° away from the point of entry.

A 20 litre oil pail is round and used to carry motor oil or other oils.
Ok, I've finally read through the entire thread ....... and found I'm somewhat arguing with someone I appear to agree with for the most part, which makes perfect sense in these venues  drunken 

So for the record, Trav, I'm not arguing that "the pressure could find relief at the entry point" .... mostly because that would sort of be the exact opposite of the points I've made. The only provisional scenario I've ever come up with is 2 shots by an expert sniper located at the south knoll -- one (the 1st of all) hitting the president in the throat, the 2nd being the fatal head-shot; the 2nd occurring more or less immediately after the Connally shot, from above and behind the limousine; and (solely in my opinion) the likelihood that someone tossed a cherry bomb in the Grassy Knoll area.

The discussion in this thread is excellent, or was before I got involved. But it's one of those things where we're seeing just how wide the variance and disagreements of opinion are in this subject area; that's useful in itself, as it indicates the unlikelihood of reaching any agreement. Consequently, I won't concern myself over it anymore and move on. But in closing I will point out, as there is serious discussion of a simultaneous headshot, that we are now up to at least 5 separate shots: the wounding of Tague; the shooting of Connally (assuming only 1 bullet); a simultaneous 2-shot to the head; and the throat wound (assuming the neck/"back" wound is the exit for the throat entry). If a good objective is to clarify and clear away as much BS as possible, it doesn't seem likely to happen in this subject area. But that's something we need to know.

Thanks for your replies, Trav. And have a happy new year.

Interestingly, Connally had to be hit by two separate bullets, IMHO. To me, the real fly in the ointment with the Single Bullet Theory is how the bullet could have passed through Connally's right wrist, between the radius bone and the ulna bone (two large bones of the forearm), from the BACK side of the wrist to the volar or palm side of the wrist, after striking the radius bone almost square on from the dorsal side and shattering it and not leaving a SINGLE scratch on the ulna.

If the Magic Bullet exited Connally's thorax at about the level of his right nipple, the back of his right wrist MUST have been facing Connally's chest in order for the Magic Bullet to pass between the two forearm bones.

Sound easy? Place your right wrist at the level of your right nipple and try to rotate it backwards to align the opening between radius and ulna. Unless you are severely double jointed (and Connally was not) you will be unable to do this. The shot that hit Connally's right wrist likely came from the west end of the TSBD and from the 6th floor.

Happy New Year to you, as well!

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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 Wed 01 Jan 2014, 1:35 pm

One more thing about bullets that dissipate all of their energy upon penetration, they tend to make their targets move backwards in response to being hit.

For example, if you were shot with a FMJ bullet and it passed through you without expanding or breaking up and dissipating most of its energy, you would likely not even move, in response to being shot.

OTOH, if you were shot in the head with a hollow point or fragmenting bullet that came to a full, broken up stop halfway through your skull, you would likely be knocked over.

I have seen a deer, shot in the head with a hollow point bullet, literally lifted off its front hooves by the impact of the bullet.

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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 Thu 02 Jan 2014, 3:27 pm

Traveller11 wrote:One more thing about bullets that dissipate all of their energy upon penetration, they tend to make their targets move backwards in response to being hit.

For example, if you were shot with a FMJ bullet and it passed through you without expanding or breaking up and dissipating most of its energy, you would likely not even move, in response to being shot.

OTOH, if you were shot in the head with a hollow point or fragmenting bullet that came to a full, broken up stop halfway through your skull, you would likely be knocked over.

I have seen a deer, shot in the head with a hollow point bullet, literally lifted off its front hooves by the impact of the bullet.
Have you ever seen or have you experience with a FMJ bullet passing through anything such as a deer and not be damaged or deformed in any way (e.g., like CE 399)?

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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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