Would the JFK medical evidence be admissible in a court of law?

No, says Douglas Horne, former analyst for the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB).

He explains why in this piece: The Key to Understanding the JFK Assassination Is Appreciating That There Is “Fraud in the Evidence” – Hubub.


  1. Jonathan says:

    Horne’s writings are invaluable.

    Here’s some of the things that would get admitted into evidence today:

    Kennedy’s clothes
    the death certificate
    JBC’s medical records (clear chain of custody, no evidence of tampering)
    certain DPD records, such as Will Fritz’s notes (public records exception to hearsay rule)
    Clint Hill’s current testimony in court under oath, subject to cross-exam

    Here’s some of the things that would not be admissible into evidence today:

    C.E. 399, the “magic bullet” (no chain of custody)
    the Mannlicher-Carcano (no chain of custody)
    the expended MC shells (relevance)

    Here are some of the things the lawyers would fight over:

    the Z-film (open to clear challenge)
    Altgens6 (anomalies galore)
    the soundtrack (a battle for experts)

    The discussion here is incomplete. It’s meant merely to suggest how modern rules of evidence work.

    Doug Horne is right about the medical JFK autopsymrecord. Anyone seeking to admit it into evidence would face an immediate foundational challenge.

    • mball says:

      Horne’s analysis is essentially correct. The introduction of medical evidence would run into the statements of autopsy participants. Their statements contradict much of the evidence as presented in the Warren Report and by the HSCA. It is sufficient to raise more than a reasonable doubt in a jury’s mind as to the fraudulence of that evidence.

  2. Charles Beyer says:

    One of the things I admire about Doug Horne is just how dangerous he is to the MSM & its blind defense of the government’s haphazardly weak case against Lee Oswald. Not only will TV MSM not interview Mr. Horne, they won’t even mention his name or what his contributions to the JFK murder case are on TV. By determining & announcing the original Zapruder film was extensively tampered with the assassination weekend by government operatives, that JFK’s body arrived at Bethesda earlier than announced and pre-autopsy alterations were made to his body, Mr. Horne has become too hot to handle for TV. Hopefully the blacklisted former government AARB analyst official will work around this major obstacle & present his research in YouTube type videos easily accessible to the global public. The overall message he conveys concerning JFK’s murder is that the global public was fooled by those running the show back then that the public trusted with blind faith.

  3. John McAdams says:

    So Horne is the guy to tries to leverage 30-year-old testimony (which is internally contradictory) to impeach the work of actual scientists working for the HSCA who authenticated the autopsy photos and x-rays.


    Horne also thinks the Zapruder film was faked, forged or tampered with.

    Of course, to get the “back of the head” blowout Horne wants, you also have to impeach the Nix and Muchmore films too.

  4. Larry Schnapf says:

    well let’s play this out a bit, John. If there the evidence from 1963 is internally inconsistent, it might not be admissible if the court believes it is not reliable.

    And while the scientists working for the HSCA authenticated the medical evidence to their satisfaction, this of course was not done in the context of a legal proceeding where the court will be functioning as a gatekeeper.

    • John McAdams says:

      In the first place courts will allow internally inconsistent evidence, with the jury charged with sorting out which is more reliable, and what is to be believed.

      The most reliable evidence is the photos and x-rays, which were authenticated by real scientists.

      In the second place, “what courts will allow” is irrelevant, since Oswald is dead and there could be no trial. So this issue is historical judgment.

      • mball says:

        The question is the reliability of the evidence that you want to present. If the people who were present contradict what is in the photos/x-rays, and if the people who took the photos/x-rays say that some of what you’re presenting isn’t their work, then there is a question that a jury will have to decide. Real scientists don’t enter into it at that point. They can swear all day long that what you’re presenting is correct. If the jury and common sense say that the evidence is tainted, then their testimony is moot.

        • John McAdams says:

          Real scientists don’t enter into it at that point. They can swear all day long that what you’re presenting is correct.

          A jury not absolutely intent on finding a conspiracy would believe the scientists, and not 30-year-old internally inconsistent witness testimony.

          • mball says:

            Actually, most juries would listen and look at the proffered evidence, then listen to the testimony in rebuttal of that evidence, and most likely conclude that they can’t conclude anything about the evidence. I’m absolutely sure that they would have a difficult time with the proffered evidence when the autopsy participants are disputing so much of it. And it isn’t as if there is just a small dispute, or that it’s coming from a couple of people. These witnesses aren’t going to be categorized as nuts, or attention seekers. The likely result would be to discount the proffered evidence on the basis that a reasonable doubt has been raised about it. As I said, at that point the scientists’ testimony would be moot, since the jury has too much trouble with the validity of the evidence. They aren’t likely to take the word of people in re evidence that they themselves don’t have sufficient faith in.

          • PBR says:

            That’s a purely speculative assumption. Quite apart from the fact that one can’t possibly know how a jury would react to the medical evidence presented, the fact remains that the medical evidence has been disputed by the Parkland doctors, eyewitnesses to the autopsy and a top forensic pathologist who was involved with the HSCA medical panel. To suggest that only a jury not intent on finding a conspiracy would fall into line with the assurances of scientists is spurious and self serving. Had there been unanimity and consensus among the above witnesses and specialists with no dissenting views as to the nature and interpretation of the evidence and had the autopsy been carried out according to the protocol that was followed for all medical autopsies in that period, transparency would have clarified the facts at the time. Whether Warren theorist or conspiracy theorist there can be no doubting that the autopsy and subsequent documentation and records thereon present an array of troubling and indisputable inconsistencies that have yet to be satisfactorily resolved.

          • Paulf says:

            You know what a hypothetical group of people you don’t know would decide? Are you for real?

            I’m no expert, but I covered trials for five years for a newspaper, and contradictory evidence is a huge red flag for a typical jury. That would raise reasonable doubt and make conviction very difficult. Still, no serious person would predict a hypothetical jury.

  5. Photon says:

    It is always amusing to review the interpretations of the medical evidence by someone who has absolutely no background in medicine- but frankly that seems to be the rule with Conspiracy theorists, who can’t find any forensic pathologists aside from Cyril Wecht to agree with their “diagnoses”. Why is that?
    To lend any credence to Horns’s interpretations of X-ray films or autopsy procedures or records is laughable. It is obvious to anyone with a medical background that Mr. Horne has never seen an autopsy, nor probably even an unembalbed deceased person. And yet he is an expert?
    In a similar manner this individual is supposed to be a legal expert, despite never having attended law school, never having passed the Bar, apparently never even entering a courtroom . Why?

    • PBR says:

      Photon, your reasoning is flawed. If the medical evidence is to be tested in court iit is certainly put through the rigours by medical and legal experts. This has been done with the medical evidence by one of the tip forensic pathologists in the USA, Wecht and the testimony of medical doctors in parkland hpapital as well as others at the botched autopsy. The medical evidence has also been studied and tested by some of the top legal minds in the US such as Vince Salandria. These individuals have dissected(pardon the pun) the evidence and come to substantiated conclusions regarding its providence. However, in a court of law the final judgement on the evidence rests not with the experts but with the jury. Laymen. Hence your argument that only experts can judge the evidence is an exercise on sophistry. In the real world and not the world of Warren theorists or conspiracy theorists, a jury has the final word. That is the remorseless fact.

  6. Clarence Carlson says:

    The greatest source of confusion and controversy in the assassination has been caused by the handling of the medical evidence. The Warren Commission used information from the autopsy that would never have survived a rigorous cross examination and actively suppressed information (e.g. from their own ballistics experts) that did not fit their theory. The lack of a clear chain of custody for CE399 alone would have made it inadmissible as evidence. One of the first documents used in a trial against Oswald would have been the death certificate, signed by the Presidents personal physician, that clearly states the posterior thoracic wound was at the third thoracic vertebra. As Jonathan shows, the list goes on and on.

    • Mike Rago says:

      I do not believe that the lack of clear chain of custody of CE399 would make it inadmissible. Here is a blurb I googled a long time ago. I think this comes from the California Legal Code but I presume it would be similar for all states…

      1.To establish a proper chain of custody for the physical evidence at issue, rendering that evidence (and the various tests thereon) admissible, Goldman need only “show to the satisfaction of the trial court that, taking all the circumstances into account including the ease or difficulty with which the particular evidence could have been altered, it is reasonably certain that there was no alteration.” People v. Riser 47 Cal 2d 566, 580 (1956). Where there is only “the barest speculation that there was tampering, it is proper to admit the evidence and let what doubt remains go to its weight”


    • John McAdams says:

      One of the first documents used in a trial against Oswald would have been the death certificate, signed by the Presidents personal physician, that clearly states the posterior thoracic wound was at the third thoracic vertebra.

      But the photo of the back shows the wound at T1.

      Also, the autopsy said the path of the bullet was suprascapular and supracavicular. That’s consistent with T1, and not T3.

      Further, as the HSCA FPP pointed out, the right lung is not collapsed, as it would be by the passage of a bullet entering at T3.

      • Alf says:

        The HSCA determined that there was a second shooter, thus a conspiracy…that they don’t want to investigate! better to talk about school years of Lee H. Oswald.

      • Alf says:

        This is what the government of the United States says about the Single Bullet Theory

        HSCA V7 PG199

        The single-bullet theory (SBT) is unequivocally repudiated by an objective, thorough evaluation and analysis of all the medical, scientific,and physical data in the assassination of President John F.
        Kennedy (JFK).

        Despite the semantical sophistry and intellectual gymnastics of the forensic pathology panel report (FPPR), it is clear that the SBT can no longer be maintained as an explanation for the bullet wounds in JFK’s back and neck, and all the bullet wounds in Gov.
        John B. Connally (JBC) . The angles at which these two men were hit do not permit a straight line trajectory (or near straight line trajectory) of Commission exhibit 399 (the so-called magic bullet) to be
        established. Indeed, quite the opposite is true. In order to accept the SBT, it is necessary to have the bullet move at different vertical and horizontal angles, a path of flight that has never been experienced or suggested for any bullet known to mankind.

        Examination of CE 399, correlated with various studies previously performed with identical ammunition fired from a Mannlicher-Carcano rifle, definitely proves that this bullet could not have inflicted all the damage attributed to it under the SBT to JFK and JBC.
        Specifically, there is no way that this bullet could have caused all the bone damage to JBC’s right fifth rib and right radius, without having sustained more physical deformity.

        • Photon says:

          Of course , ballistics tests over 30 years from Dr. Lattimer to the Discovery channel to PBS have completely refuted your claim about what the condition of the Single Bullet should be. Again, you have no understanding of the effect of bone on a significantly slowed 6.5 mm full metal jacketed Italian round.
          Actually, the most significant recent findings in association with the assassination has been the review of the positions of JFK and Connolly in the limo and how they nearly perfectly line up for the single bullet path.

          • Mike Rago says:

            The Zapruder film very clearly shows that JFK and Connally are reacting to the same bullet but it is not the bullet which struck Connally in the back.

            The Zapruder film, clear shows, that there were two bullets fired. One bullet hit JFK in the back and exited his neck at very low velocity and passed by Connally’s left side and ultimately became CE399.

            Here is a Dale Myers animation which shows JFK reaching for his throat and Connally reacting to his LEFT.

            A second bullet, which missed JFK completely, struck Connally in the back.

            The crime scene photos are clear. There were two bullets fired. One hit JFK and missed Connally and became CE399 and the other missed JFK and hit Connally in the back.

            Dr. Ronald Jones saw the neck wound before the tracheotomy was performed. The small wound ,if an exit wound , was made by a very slow moving projectile. This is exactly what we see when we observe the Zapruder film when Connally reacts to his left as if swatting a fly with his hat.


        • Jean Davison says:


          That is not what “the government of the United States” said about the SBT. It’s what Dr. Cyril Wecht said about the SBT:


          Everyone else on the HSCA panel disagreed with him:


          • Alf says:

            Deart Mrs. Jean,

            It was partly as a result of Wecht’s testimony that the final report stated that “the committee believes, on the basis of the evidence available to it, that President John F. Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy.”


            Donald Purdy: Dr. Wecht, what evidence is there which supports the possibility that there was a shot from the side or from the lower right rear?
            “………The question of the President’s movement after he was struck in the head makes us direct our attention toward such a possibility and, of course, the absence of the brain and the failure of the original pathologists to have conducted studies that are routine, perfunctory in any kind of an autopsy where the brain has been fixed in formalin, to serially section the brain 10 to 14 days later, and the absence of the brain and the inability or the failure of the staff to obtain that medical evidence, all of these things, I believe, make it important to just raise that possibility, remote as it may be, that a second shot might have struck the President in the head in synchronized or simultaneous fashion.”

          • John McAdams says:

            It was partly as a result of Wecht’s testimony that the final report stated that “the committee believes, on the basis of the evidence available to it, that President John F. Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy.”

            Actually, no. Before the acoustics came in (but after the Wecht testimony) the draft of the HSCA Report said there was no evidence of a conspiracy.

          • Pat Speer says:

            You might be interested to know, John, that Dr. Spitz recently made that same claim–that Wecht’s testimony helped sway the committee. I then asked Cyril if there was any truth to this and he said he really didn’t know.

  7. Pat Speer says:

    Horne is wrong. The key to understanding the JFK assassination is that the medical evidence suggests there was a conspiracy, and has always suggested there was a conspiracy, but that a parade of experts has been willing to spin things and say it suggests there was no conspiracy.

    Consider this… The autopsy doctors said a bullet entered low on the back of Kennedy’s head, and exited from the top of his head. The research community pointed out that this made little sense if the bullet was fired from above. The Justice Dept. then brought in a secret panel to look at the evidence and help refute the “junk” in the research community. And Voila! this secret panel claimed the bullet really entered high on the back of the head…where no one saw a bullet entrance…
    This movement of the entry wound then goes unreported for 4 YEARS!
    That the bullet entered high on the back of the head is subsequently confirmed by another panel comprising friends and colleagues of the members of the second panel, who state further that the damage to Kennedy’s brain rules out the lower entry observed by the autopsy doctors.

    So there it is. No alteration. No body smuggling. We have professionals moving the wounds whenever they conclude the old wound location is inconsistent with the single-assassin conclusion engraved in their brains.

    And this isn’t a CT myth. The vast majority of “experts” LN and CT (and mostly non-committal) allowed to view the medical evidence over the past 20 years have concluded that the autopsy doctors were right, after all, and that the entrance wound on the back of the head was low on the back of the head…in the location the HSCA panel thought inconsistent with the single-assassin conclusion.

    Truth will out. Perhaps…

    • Photon says:

      ” Consider this … The autopsy doctors said a bullet entered low on the back of Kennedy’s head and exited from the top of his head.” Pat, that is simply untrue and you know that. The wounds are described in relation to established anatomic landmarks and not as you claim- again, no knowledge of autopsy procedures.
      Name one single “expert” who has stated that the head entrance wound was ” low on the back of the head”. No real expert would ever describe a wound as such, even if it was present, which of course it was not.
      Why male claims that are so easily proven false?

      • Pat Speer says:

        Excuse me, Photon. for using layman’s terms on a website on which many of the readers are not medical experts. I didn’t put “low on the back of the head” in quotes and your suggestion I was trying to imply it was a direct quote is ridiculous.

        As far as your contention about “real experts” and what they would say, you’re either unaware of what “experts” have been saying, or are playing some sort of word game. The fact remains that the majority of people looking at the evidence in recent years at the Archives have sided with the autopsy doctors, and have said they believe the bullet entered at the location described at autopsy. This list is not made up of conspiracy theorists, btw, and includes HSCA wound ballistics expert Larry Sturdivan, Smithsonian Forensic Anthropologist Douglas Ubelaker, and Forensic Pathologist Peter Cummings.

    • Mike Rago says:

      And so is Speer is wrong also.

      The medical evidence is clear that the President suffered a strong blow to the TOP of his head.

      1) Stellate fracture pattern which is evidence of a smashing blow from above at the top of the head.
      2) The vomer bone was crushed(“crushed vomer” was his notation) another indication of a blow from above
      3) There was contre-coup injury to the base of the brain, more evidence of a blow to the top of the head.

      David Lifton mistakenly (I am being kind) used this evidence to incorrectly theorize that someone operated on the President between Dallas and Washingtion( or something like that).

      What that evidence does indicate is that the shot that struck the President on frame 313 struck the TOP of his head. It caused the Presidents head to “bob” down. You can see that in this Gerda Duunkel video…


      I believe we can see the path of the bullet in frame 313 as the Presidents brain matter, the high speed bullet ripping through that brain matter and Zapruder’s shutter speed emulate a type of cloud chamber effect.


      Here it is in color. Look at the linear feature that runs at an angle on top of his head…


      What this all means , of course, is that a blow to the top of the Presidents head, which is consistent with the photographic evidence is also consistent with an assassin located no the roof of one of the buildings.

    • Curtis Fenwick says:

      Doug Horne pulls together his analysis primarily from eyewitnesses who actually were at JFK’s autopsy performing various functions from various statements, interviews and guest speaker lectures. If Doug Horne is wrong so are the witnesses who are the foundation of his thesis. Your analysis completely overlooks this fact but both of you share the fact that neither researcher was actually present for JFK’s autopsy, something that requires examination when credibility is an issue.

      • PBR says:

        Agree entirely. This is a most pertinent comment regarding the medical evidence. The eyewitness testimony that goes against the Warren theorists’ analysis seems to have been overlooked by some contributors to this discussion.

      • Pat Speer says:

        Piecing together an historical event from the memories of minor figures decades after the fact will rarely, if ever, be as accurate as reports written days after the fact by the primary participants.

        There are many flaws in Horne’s analysis. Chief among them is that he takes mortician Tom Robinson’s recollection of an orange-sized hole on the back of the head as an indication of the size and location of the wound at the beginning of the autopsy, and John Hoesen’s recollection of an orange-sized hole on the back of the head as an indication of the size and location of the wound at the end of the autopsy, after Kennedy’s face had been re-built. They were co-workers, almost certainly sitting together. They described the same thing. And yet Horne needs someone to witness his proposed pre-autopsy surgery to the head, so he elevates Robinson to this role. It’s all pretty silly, IMO.

  8. Mike Rago says:

    The medical evidence cannot be properly interpreted by anyone without also referring to the crime scene photographs.

    As an example, here is the Mary Moorman photo. It has been time stamped to Zapruder frame 315. Therefore this photo was taken after the shot we see in Zapruder frame 313. This photo shows that the back of the head profile of the Presidents head is normal.


    And here is Zapruder frame 337 which shows that the back of the Presidents head is severely deformed, and looks as if skull has been pushed backward…


    And here is the xray of the Presidents skull which indicates 2 episodes of trauma to the head.


    The crime scene photographs allow us to see how the wounds were elaborated. (occurred as a function of time)

    The autopsy doctors did not have access to the crime scene photographs.

    • Photon says:

      The X-ray does NOT show evidence of 2 episodes of trauma to the head-Mike, are you claiming to ba a radiologist? It is best to leave radiographic interpretations to experts; quite frankly nobody that I have seen post here is in anyway qualified to interpret the JFK autopsy radiographs anymore than they would be capable of reading a chest x-ray film.

      • Pat Speer says:

        Are you claiming to be a radiologist, Photon? Radiologist Randy Robertson has long claimed the x-rays show signs of two head wounds. Forensic Pathologist Peter Cummings acknowledges what I (and Forensic Anthropologist Douglas Ubelaker) have long observed and says the fractures running up and down the back of the head pre-date the horizontal fracture some affiliate with a “cowlick” entrance. This means that, IF there was an entrance in the cowlick, as proposed by most LNs, it is a secondary wound to the head, and not the primary.

        • Photon says:

          Randy Robertson submitted his two-shot manuscript to the journal Radiology, the most prominent publication for the specialty. It was rejected; one reason given was that in 1987 the Journal of Forensic Science published a study of cranial fractures that proved that a single projectile could create the exact same fracture pattern. Dr. Robertson was simply wrong- can you produce anything impeaching the editorial board of Radiology?
          Why you bring up Dr. Cummings is beyond me. He has stated that after reviewing the original autopsy photos and x-rays that JFK’s head was hit by a single bullet fired from behind and above. He is unequivocal on that point. I think that his Huff Post 11-20-2013 is the best description of my position: ” Pseudoscience runs rampant and people seem to have lost respect for actual research and standards of proof. Anyone with a website can pass himself off as an expert,often without any real education, experience or knowledge. It is by ignoring this process that apparent inconsistencies have bred the endless assassination conspiracy theories.”
          As stated Dr. Cummings is a forensic pathologist and does not in any way support your hypothesis that JFK had 2 head wounds. Your posts clearly reflect the fact that you have little real understanding of the medical facts in this case.

  9. Jonathan says:

    Typical comments following a Morley post.

    Four commenters not physicians weigh in authoritatively on the medical record. Even though non-physicians, we’re told by Photon, have no business saying word one about the medical record. One commenter not a lawyer weighs in on chain of custody.

    Why don’t we stick to the facts? And to the rules of evidence as interpreted by lawyers? After all, Morley’s post here is about the rules of evidence.

    Photon’s right, Horne isn’t a lawyer and isn’t competent to interpret and apply rules of evidence. But he knows the medical record as well as any lay person and knows its holes and shortcomings. His knowledge — for example, his knowledge that the autopsy draft in the National Archives is the third draft — would be highly significant in framing a challenge to admission of certain parts of the medical record into evidence.

    There are photos of a brain in the archives. But if it cannot be established the photos are of JFK’s brain, they don’t get admitted. And so on.

    BTW, the use of the word “evidence” here, as in “medical evidence”, constitutes the logical flaw of assuming the conclusion. Nothing’s evidence until it’s admitted into evidence by a judge. At this point, THERE IS NO MEDICAL OR OTHER EVIDENCE. Just stuff that might or might not be admissible into evidence in some court proceeding.

    • leslie sharp says:

      Jonathan, As always, your observations are much appreciated.

    • Pat Speer says:

      Sure, let’s wait for medical experts to resolve the problems with the medical evidence.

      And let’s wait for lawyers to determine what evidence would be admissible in a court of law…

      Crickets. Crickets.

      It should not go unstated, of course, that the cumulative brilliance of lawyers like Arlen Specter and doctors like Russell Fisher is what made the medical evidence such a mess to begin with.

      • Jonathan says:

        Yes, lawyers and physicians got hold of the case and corrupted the record. Because the lawyers and physicians were wrongly motivated.

        Physicians such as David Mantik, Cyril Wecht, and Gary Aguilar have undone some of the medical corruption.

        Corruption of the “legal” part of the record, such as treating C.E. 399 as “evidence”, needs to be undone by lawyers.

        My feeling is medical and legal professionals screwed up the record in this case; medical and legal professionals need to undo the screw job and have done so in large part.

        When I listen, I don’t hear crickets.

        • Photon says:

          Drs. Mantis and Aguilar are not forensic pathologists and are not experts in wound pathology; Dr. Aguilar has little expertise in medical matters aside from the eyes; I would be willing to bet that he hasn’t even done a physical exam in years.
          Dr. Mantis is a Radiation Oncologist and does not handle acute care medicine; I doubt that he has ever seen a gunshot wound, let alone one in the ER.
          Why can’t you put a real expert out besides Dr. Wecht to support your position? That is the Achilles Heel of Conspiracy medical theories.

          • Jonathan says:

            Come on, Photon. Mantik has debunked thoroughly the skull x-rays showing the back of JFK’s skull intact. That’s well within his areas of expertise as a physician and physicist.

            As for Aguilar, he is a hard-core student of the JFK medical record; not a dilettante as your comment suggests. As a physician who has studied the medical record in depth, he knows more about JFK’s wounds than anybody here and probably more than just about anyone living.

          • Pat Speer says:

            Actually, Photon, the lack of real expertise is a problem for both sides of the argument. The HSCA Forensic Pathology Panel, for example, were civilian pathologists and had virtually no experience dealing with military gunshot wounds. As admitted by Dr. Baden, this led him to consult with the Irish doctor who’d examined the bodies of the Irish civilians slaughtered in the Bloody Sunday massacre. Based on Baden’s subsequent statements, it seems clear this doctor told Baden that a trail of metal in the head is not unusual for military gunshot wounds. In recent years, however, the Bloody Sunday massacre has been re-investigated by the British authorities, and it became clear that some of the bullets used by soldiers in the massacre had been compromised in some way, and that this was what caused the trail of fragments in the head of, for example, Bernard McGuigan.

            And yet, as recently as last fall, Baden was still telling everyone in TV-land that the trail of fragments in Kennedy’s head was not the least bit surprising. He was led astray in 1977, and still hasn’t figured it out.

          • Photon says:

            So Pat, you who has never had a shred of medical training, knows more about wound pathology, ballistics and forensic science than arguably the foremost forensic pathologist in this country?
            Isn’t that exactly what Dr. Cummings was commenting on in his Huffington Post article about how “anyone with a website can pass himself off as an expert , often without any real education,experience or knowledge”?
            Tell us- have you ever seen an autopsy? Ever seen a radiograph placed on a view box? Ever seen a sectioned brain? If not, how can one seriously believe that your theories have any basis in fact?

  10. Jordan says:

    As Jonathan stated, any information alleged to be of evidentiary value would have to be deemed as such by the “trier of fact”.

    It would require a process of starting from scratch and vetting such information in a method far foreign to that of the WC…

    • Mike Rago says:

      In a jury trial the jury is the group charged with determining the facts of the case.

      We are the jury.

    • Paulf says:

      Jordan, good point. In a trial, there would be individual hearings to go over the admissibility of each piece of evidence, so all the information about the chain of evidence would come out that.

      Unfortunately, there will be no trial in this case, so it will be argued over by people who have no ability to actually get to the details.

  11. Jonathan says:

    Mike Rago writes correctly:

    “In a jury trial the jury is the group charged with determining the facts of the case.”

    The judge’s principal job is to rule on the admissibility of proffered evidence and to instruct the jury as to the applicable law.

    The jury’s job is to WEIGH the evidence and determine the facts of the case. The jury’s determination is generally not reviewable by a higher court. The trial judge’s rulings as to law are always, generally speaking, reviewable by a higher court.

    Here’s how introduction of a part of the medical record would work in, say, a prosecution of the person we’ve been told is Lee Harvey Oswald.



    Even if the judge rules the X-ray is admissible, the jury gets to assign its own weight to the X-ray. Ultimately, the jury can convict only if it determines the defendant committed the charged crime beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Everyone here: Oswald walks.

    • Mike Rago says:

      The jury , most likely, will ask to see the crime scene photographs to help them interpret the medical evidence.

  12. John McAdams says:

    Horne (and his supporters) quote 1990s testimony very selectively, and fail to notice that Horne’s witnesses contradicted not only the extant autopsy photos, but each other.


  13. Jonathan says:

    Photon errs in declaring that only a forensic pathologist is competent to interpret the JFK medical record.

    To prove the point, an analogy: I’m involved in a lawsuit as an expert lawyer for the defendant. In the current case I’m weighing in as an adviser to the defense litigator on subtle matters of contract law, federal law, and state insurance law. I’m not going to argue to the judge, I expect; but I’m schooling the litigator.

    I’m not a litigator, but I can and might read the proceedings of this case if it’s appealed. I know the case inside out.

    The defense litigator is like a forensic pathologist. He or she leads. But he or she relies on experts who understand the whole or parts of the case.

    Photon focuses our attention on the Doc who does the examination. This doc is important. But other docs are certainly competent to interpret what the forensic pathologist observed, did, and reported.

    Analogy continued: One of the most prominent objections of the Innocence Project to the criminal conviction of many defendants is that the defendant was represented by incompetent counsel.

    Photon, by way of analogy, argues if you are not a lawyer, you can’t determine whether the defendant got a reasonable defense. To which I say, correct, but discovery of suppressed facts often reveals a flawed conviction.

    • Dave says:

      Bugliosi likes to cite his mock-trial TV show prosecution of Oswald as proof that a jury would have convicted. But Oswald’s defense counsel Gerry Spence was obviously inadequately prepared, failed to raise (or was not aware of) certain exonerating facts or defenses in Oswald’s favor, and thus failed to competently represent his “client”. The competence and ability of defense counsel is as important as (if not more than) the evidence. Probably Oswald would have had a capable team of defense counsel representing him, but who knows the quality of the defense he would have actually received, or whether a Texas judge or jury could have treated him fairly and objectively in that Red-Scare era. I’d like to think that once the state’s case was tested in court, Oswald would have been acquitted, although I am influenced by the benefit of 50 years’ research into this most complex of murder cold cases.

    • Paulf says:

      Jonathan, you assume photon is arguing evidence. Actually, he is just trying to troll us all by changing the subject so people talk about him and not the facts.

      When you can’t argue the facts, attack the messenger. It’s an old trick.

      • Photon says:

        If you discount the opinions of board-certified forensic pathologists in the matter of wound interpretation you can’t be interested in facts.

        • leslie sharp says:

          Photon, are there any board certified forensic pathologists in conflict with one another in the matter of would interpretation? Are you saying that all (interested and/or participating) certified forensic pathologists are in agreement with the wound interpretation? What then is the source of discrepancy? Eyewitnesses? Medically trained personnel who are not pathologists but know what they saw? How did this critical factor in the investigation get reduced to an absurd argument over credentials?

          • Photon says:

            Apparently not in this case. Can you name a single forensic pathologist familiar with the case( save Cyril Wecht) who doesn’t accept the Warren conclusions? There really isn’t any controversy among the experts- and that should tell you how groundless the Conspiracy theories are.

        • Paulf says:

          Whew, so I can safely ignore you?

          Once again, by turning the argument into who is board certified, you try and change the conversation from the fact that the forensic evidence is totally contradictory, which doesn’t happen in a normal murder investigation. The various photos, x-rays and physical evidence do not match and were not handled in a way consistent with proper chains of evidence. Plus, the military and intelligence community got involved in a way that was improper. Everything screams coverup, the real question is why. Your attempts to get off subject are tiresome and transparent.

          • Photon says:

            The forensic evidence is not contradictory- it is quite clear as the fact that virtually every expert familiar with it has come to the same conclusion. What is contradictory are the opinions of non-experts who have no idea what the evidence really proves and have no understanding of the medical training required to accurately interpret that evidence.

          • Pat Speer says:

            It’s getting harder and harder to take you seriously, Photon. Not only do you not have a real name, but you’re now claiming there are no contradictions in the forensic evidence. As if every murder victim has an autopsy where EVERY one seeing a small entrance wound says it was low on the back of the head, and where a secret panel then comes along and decides–without ever looking at the body–that this entrance wound was really 4 inches higher, near the top of the head.

            Yes, of course, there’s NOTHING contradictory about that.

          • Photon says:

            Please document any physician who has seen the autopsy photos who has said that the head entrance wound ” was low on the back of the head”. Such a comment betrays a lack of understanding about how anatomic findings are medically described. Wearing scrubs in a video doesn’t make you an expert in anatomy or pathology. Again the clue phrase : EVERY one seeing a small , etc. The statement of a pseudoexpert who has never seen the procedure he claims to be familiar with.

          • Pat Speer says:

            Beyond his appearance in NOVA, Cummings discussed the case with the Boston Globe. He told them the entrance on the back of Kennedy’s head “was right where the autopsy doctors said it had happened.” This was demonstrated in the NOVA program. It is LOW on the back of the head, 4 inches or so away from where the Clark Panel on down have pretended there was an entrance wound.

            Cummings thereby joined a growing list of “experts” viewing the autopsy materials who claimed the entrance was indeed where the autopsy doctors said it was.

            The mythical cowlick entry wound is toast.

          • Photon says:

            So you can’t find any M.D. to quote who said ” low on the back of the head.” Because nobody said it.
            It is a non-anatomical term used exclusively by-Pat Speer!
            Seriously, if you want to understand anatomy you need to do more than make vague and undefined statements about anatomical locations. How can you possibly believe two separate rounds hit JFK’s head when even the people you put out as supporting your view consistently state that the head was hit by one bullet?
            After all is said and done you really don’t know much about the autopsy findings about the head after all. Anybody who does can see right through your mistakes.

        • Gerry Simone says:

          I discount those pathologists (other than the lone dissenter, Dr. Cyril Wecht) who weren’t present at the autopsy, whose observations are at odds with the original version, and who only based their findings on photos and x-rays that have been called into question.

          To quote Wecht to Bugliosi in that mock trial when asked how all the other board-certified pathologists could be wrong, he answered (or words to that effect):

          “They didn’t want to say that the Emperor has no clothes.”

  14. Jonathan says:

    I’ve done reading and studying based on Pat Speer’s posts here about JFK’s skull wounds.

    I’ve studied Gary Aguilar, David Mantik, Robert Groden, among others. As well as the available autopsy materials.

    My conclusion: Humes got it BASICALLY right. A bullet ploughed through JFK’s skull. Take your choice: back to front. Or Front to back. The bullet carved out at least one-third of JFK’s brain, leaving a hole in the back of his head.

    Boswell’s face sheet shows a top-to-back destruction of the skull. 17 cm x 10 cm. The autopsy report reduces the 17cm destruction to 13 cm by placing fragments in the skull. The rear-entry skull wound is based on beveling alleged in one of the rear skull fragments and one of the temporal skull fragments.

    The autopsists dealt with entry and exit wounds based on beveling on skull fragments, beveling open to question. I ask any physician here to tell us in plain language how I’m wrong.

    • Photon says:

      Does the schematic diagram of a radio transmitter show how it actually looks?

      • Jonathan says:

        Yes it does, to an electrical engineer trained in communications circuits.

        But I miss the point of your question.

        • Photon says:

          No it doesn’t . As someone with an Amateur Radio ticket I can assure you that the schematic diagram is in no way a literal representation of how a transmitter looks, or how any electronic device looks.

          • Jonathan says:

            So what’s your point, Photon? Please spell it out.

            Enough of schematic diagrams and other distractions. Unless perhaps you want to entertain us with some AC circuit theory employing Laplace transforms, with which I’m sure you’re thoroughly familiar.

          • Photon says:

            ” Enough of schematic diagrams and other distractions”. Unfortunately much of the conspiracy medical information is based on misinterpretation and literal acceptance of schematic diagrams coupled with intentional distractions.

    • “The autopsists dealt with entry and exit wounds based on beveling on skull fragments, beveling open to question. I ask any physician here to tell us in plain language how I’m wrong”~Jonathan

      Beveling on it’s own cannot be a sole determinant. Many other factors must be brought to bear; angles of penetration, speed of projectile, shape and thickness of bone, etc.

  15. Tom S. says:


    There is a 500 word limit on all comments.

  16. Photon says:

    I don’t claim to be a medical expert, but I can recognize that most Conspiracy medical commentators know little about autopsies, medical records, forensic pathology and radiology- yet they continuously make claims about subjects that they have no background in and very often are simply wrong in their statements.
    Where are the real medical experts on the Conspiracy side? Aside from Cyril Wecht, an ophthalmologist and a radiation oncologist I haven’t seen any MDs supporting any of the wild claims posted here and on Conspiracy blogs.

  17. Neil says:

    From a career standpoint, it’s much more risky to take the minority point of view than to stick to the official government line. So it’s not surprising that there are few Medical professionals willing to publicly challenge the conclusions of the HSCA or Clark panel.

    Despite being in the minority in terms of Medical professional opinions, Wecht, Mantik, and Aguilar raise legit questions about the medical evidence…

  18. Brian says:

    What autopsy? There was no legal medical autopsy. Forget what happened later( or more precisely, what didn’t happen) at Bethesda. Once the Federal government illegally hijacked JFK’s remains from Parkland and with it the legal grasp of Dr. Rose, it became damaged and tainted goods. Lost in the all of this is clearheaded thinking often a result of who the murder victim was, is the fact that it is in the final analysis- simply a crime. As cold as some believe it to be, the Judge at Parkland was correct in stating, ” It’s just another homicide as far as I’m concerned.” He was then and is now right. Our system of justice requires that all evidence introduced in a criminal case against a defendant must first pass the test of admissibility. Admissibility demands that said evidence must have been first legally obtained by the government. I challenge anyone to tell me how that was possible in the JFK homicide just on the issue of seizing the corpse?

  19. Photon says:

    Can you name one forensic pathologist aside from Cyril Wecht who disagrees with the Warren Commision conclusions?
    Actually , as I am CPR certified you could consider me more of an expert on medical matters than most who post here.
    I trust the real experts. When you can’t get more than one forensic pathologist to agree with your points it is not likely that they are valid. If your physician experts include an ophthalmologist who hasn’t even taken a blood pressure reading in 20 years and a radiation oncologist who has never seen, let alone treated a gunshot wound it would appear that your definition of expert is much broader than knowledgable people would accept.
    I personally know about five board certified pathologists- if you think that I am critical of the lay ” medical experts” you should hear them. The point is, if you don’t like the medical evidence put forward someone who actually knows something about the subject , not someone who has never even seen an autopsy yet claims to know what goes on during the procedure.

  20. Alf says:

    Mr. Kirsh, you don’t need to be a expert doctor to study the medical aspects of this case. Just take your time to study some other things than what the medical staff of Parkland and Bethesda are saying. Maybe you’ll find that most of them were forced to say things that a honored doctor wouldn’t say in his life.

  21. Photon says:

    #1 no
    #2 no
    #3 sometimes
    #4 board certification is self explanatory
    #5 Of course they all have ties to the government., both at the state and federal level..

  22. leslie sharp says:

    Photon, you respond:

    #3 sometimes

    Question: Is there any reason these experts do not comment directly on this site, under their own i.d.? It’s not my intention to challenge your ethics; however you must know that heretofore your comments left the impression that your arguments originate from your own expertise.

    #5 Of course they all have ties to the government., both at the state and federal level..

    Question: Why do you insist that “of course” they all have ties to the government? Why would that be a foregone conclusion of anyone following your comments. Are you now saying that you in fact argue on behalf of representatives of the government, both at the state and federal level?

  23. Pat Speer says:

    Photon writes:

    “Can you name one forensic pathologist aside from Cyril Wecht who disagrees with the Warren Commission conclusions?”

    Actually, most all of those to offer an opinion disagree with the “Warren Commission conclusions.” The Warren Commission’s conclusion were based in large part on an autopsy report considered inadequate and inaccurate by these forensic pathologists.

    A forensic pathologist’s job is not to say WHO pulled a trigger, but to say WHAT killed a person. You can not seriously believe that doctors claiming another bunch of doctors were grossly incompetent–to such an extent even that they placed the fatal wound of entrance 4 inches lower than its actual location, and on the wrong bone–“agree” with their conclusions…simply because they also believe the fatal shot came from behind?

    I mean, really, if one doctor said a man died from skin cancer, from being out in the sun, and another doctor said a man died from heat stroke, from being out in the sun, you couldn’t honestly say they “agreed” with each other, could you?

    And no, I’m not being ridiculous. If you read the 1992 JAMA interview with Dr. Humes carefully, you’ll see that he was as angry at Dr. Baden as he was at Oliver Stone.

    And for good reason, IMO. Stone’s movie depicts the autopsy doctors as pawns in an evil plot. Baden’s book depicts them as utter buffoons who lucked into getting a few things right. To a doctor, the second insult is more insulting, particularly when it comes from another doctor.

    So, no, these men did not “agree” with each other.

  24. Photon says:

    So Pat, you cannot identify a single forensic pathologist aside from Cyril Wecht who disagrees with the Warren Commision conclusions.
    After 50 years,not a single one?
    Doesn’t that tell you something? Are you saying that the HSCA pathology experts didn’t know how to interpret an autopsy or understand bullet wound characteristics?
    Again,I ask- have you ever even seen an autopsy?
    Have you ever even seen an original radiograph on a view box ?

  25. Pat Speer says:

    Photon: “So Pat, you cannot identify a single forensic pathologist aside from Cyril Wecht who disagrees with the Warren Commision conclusions.
    After 50 years,not a single one?
    Doesn’t that tell you something? Are you saying that the HSCA pathology experts didn’t know how to interpret an autopsy or understand bullet wound characteristics?
    Again,I ask- have you ever even seen an autopsy?
    Have you ever even seen an original radiograph on a view box ?”

    My qualifications are irrelevant, Photon. What matters is the truth. In that light, then, we must ask, 1) have the “experts” been consistent? 2) have they been unbiased? and 3) have they told us the truth?

    EVERYONE studying this case knows the answer to number one is “heck no,? We have some doctors telling us the bullet entered the top of the head and others telling us it entered the bottom of the head, and a few even saying it probably came from the front. We have doctors saying the back wound was above the throat wound and below the throat wound. It’s all over the place.

    So, then, what about the second question–have the doctors been unbiased? The answer to this is also a “heck no.” The autopsy doctors were all military doctors taking orders from their superiors. The Clark Panel doctors were not random at all but close colleagues brought together by the Justice Department to refute the “junk” in the conspiracy literature. And the HSCA Panel comprised two selections from Robert Tanenbaum (Michael Baden and Cyril Wecht) and 7 from Michael Baden (5 of whom had recently collaborated with Russell Fisher of the Clark Panel). So, of course this group was biased. And if you don’t believe me, well, the proof is in the pudding. Since the HSCA Panel, which unanimously supported the Clark Panel, the majority of medical experts to look at the evidence have concluded the Clark Panel was wrong about the location of the head wound.

    And that brings us to question number three–have we been told the truth? Nope, not that we can rely on. The Warren Report and the reports of the HSCA Pathology and Trajectory panels include a number of flat-out errors that have nothing to do with my (or your, for that matter) lack of expertise, and everything to do with their saying things which we know to be untrue–and which their source material proves to be untrue.

    P.S. When one researches the case one finds that a number of forensic pathologists beyond Wecht, including Milton Helpern, John Nichols, and Forrest Chapman, have also questioned the findings of the Warren Commission.

  26. leslie sharp says:

    The issue of credentials is a transparent attempt to divert the focus from the overriding ethos of that 24 hour time period. The military took charge, full stop.

    Credentials flashed in Dealey Plaza, credentials rushed to the Texas Theatre to arrest a suspect; credentials intimidated medical professionals in the Parkland ER; credentials removed Kennedy from the lawful jurisdiction of the scene of his murder; credentials cleaned up the limo – another crime scene; credentials flashed as AF One took off from Love Field, flashed upon landing in DC and flashed all the way to Bethesda.

    Was anyone courageous enough to challenge any of those credentials, let alone the intentions those credentials promoted during that week end when America and the world were being warned that the survival of the planet might be at stake?

    Add to that, as Pat Speer notes: “The autopsy doctors were all military doctors taking orders from their superiors.” Are those the credentials we are being admonished to “dare not challenge?”

    We are older and so much wiser now, Photon.

  27. Photon says:

    Transparency: the following recognized experts in forensic pathology after seeing original autopsy evidence went on record supporting the Warren conclusions: John I. Coe, M.D.,Joseph H. Davis, M.D.,George S. Loquvam,M.D.,Charles S. Petty, M.D.,Werner V. Spitz,M.D., Earl Rose, M.D. (yes, THAT Earl Rose), James T. Weston,M.D. Michael H. Baden, M.D., William Carnes,M.D., Russell Fisher, M.D., Russell Morgan,M.D.,Alan Mortiz, M.D. Most had experience as Medical Examiners with thousands of autopsies among them. Their impressive credentials are a matter of public record.
    On the Conspiracy medical side you have one real expert, Dr. Wecht. You also have an Opthalmologist with no postgraduate training or experience in pathology aside from diseases of the eye. You also have a Radiation Oncologist (NOT a Radiologist as often claimed) who supposedly determined JFK’s skull density with an undefined technique, a procedure never described , a finding never published in any medical journal, a result never reproduced by any real expert- in a room in the National Archives. This same individual based his opinion of an entrance wound location not on any actual medical findings but on the interpretation of the x-rays by a crime scene investigator who has zero expertise in interpreting x-rays and apparently has never seen an autopsy.
    Those are the facts.

  28. leslie sharp says:

    Photon, this can hardly be argued as proof of transparency. The names/credentials you have cited are readily available on sites either endorsed or managed by John McAdams.*
    I believe the transparency challenge ensued from a concern that you are being coached by medical experts unwilling to participate on this site under their own names, and that perhaps you are being used.

    Michael M. Baden, M.D., Chairman of the Panel, Chief Medical Examiner, New York City, N.Y.
    John I. Coe, M.D., Chief Medical Examiner, Hennepin County, Minn.
    Joseph H. Davis, M.D., Chief Medical Examiner, Dade County, Miami,
    George S. Loquvam, M.D., Director, Institute of Forensic Sciences, Oakland, Calif.
    Charles S. Petty, M.D., Chief Medical Examiner, Dallas County, Dallas, Tex.
    Earl F. Rose, M.D., LL.B., Professor of Pathology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa
    Werner V. Spitz, M.D., Medical Examiner, Detroit, Mich.
    Cyril H. Wecht, M.D., J.D., Coroner, Allegheny County, Pittsburgh,
    James T. Weston, M.D., Chief Medical Investigator, School of Medicine, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, N. Mex
    The four physicians constituting The Panel were:
    1) Carnes, William H., MD, Professor of Pathology,
    University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, Member of Medical
    Examiner’s Commission, State of Utah, nominated by Dr. J. E.
    Wallace Sterling, President of Stanford University.
    2) Fisher, Russell S., MD, Professor of Forensic Pathology,
    University of Maryland and Chief Medical Examiner of the State of
    Maryland, Baltimore, MD, nominated by Dr. Oscar B. Hunter, Jr.,
    President of the College of American Pathologists.
    3) Morgan, Russell H., MD, Professor of Radiology, School of
    Medicine and Professor of Radiological Sciences, School of
    Hygiene and Public Health, The Johns Hopkins University,
    Baltimore, MD, nominated by Dr. Lincoln Gordon, President of The
    Johns Hopkins University.
    4) Mortiz, Alan R., MD, Professor of Pathology, Case Western
    Reserve University, Cleveland, OH and former Professor of
    Forensic Medicine, Harvard University, nominated by Dr. John A.
    Hannah, President of Michigan State University.

  29. Pat Speer says:

    First of all, Photon, you’re wrong. Forrest Chapman was a Forensic Pathologist. He was one of the first independent doctors allowed to see the evidence, and he came out convinced there had been more than one shooter.

    And second of all, you can’t claim the HSCA FPP confirmed the Warren Conclusions (built upon the belief that Kennedy was shot in the location determined at autopsy) when they indicated that a bullet’s entering where the autopsy doctors said it did was inconsistent with the single-assassin scenario.

    As you know, for that matter, this has nothing to do with my “theory” or opinion, or credibility. It is a statement of fact. If a group of guys appointed by another guy conclude some guy was guilty of murdering someone based upon the testimony of doctors in which they claimed the victim was shot low on the back of the head and at the base of the neck, and some other doctors come along and say “HEY, WAIT, the guy was really shot at the top of the head and on the back!” you can’t say they confirmed or supported the original conclusion. They, in fact, demolished it. There isn’t a court of law in the world that wouldn’t vacate a conviction after having its core evidence “re-interpreted” in such a manner.

    And, no, you can’t mix and match evidence and conclusions, whereby you say the WC came to the right conclusion about the question of conspiracy, while looking at the wrong evidence, but that the HSCA came to the wrong conclusion about conspiracy while looking at the right evidence, and that, therefore, the WC would have come to the “right” conclusion while looking at the “right” evidence.

    I mean, EVERYTHING could have changed if Specter had come forward in 1964 and told the WC the back wound in the photo he’d looked at was two inches lower than in the drawings created for the doctors (which he already thought too low) and that the single-bullet trajectory tested at the re-enactment didn’t line up.



    P.S. The HSCA FPP report suggested that there was no skin missing at the large defect, and that if there was, they would have to re-think things. Do you agree with them? Do you assume there was no skin missing at that defect?

    And, similarly, Charles Petty made it clear that the comparative sizes of the back wound and throat wound suggested the throat wound was an entrance? Do you agree with him? Or do you assume he was mistaken on this point?

  30. Gerry Simone says:

    His analysis of the skull x-ray and determination that a 6.5mm metal object was attached or superimposed is confirmed by the ARRB testimonry of Custer. Also, as pointed out by James DiEugenio, with the two fragments found in the limo that pertain to the base and nose of the head shot bullet, how can a section of the middle part lodge in the outer table of JFK’s skull?

  31. John McAdams says:

    you can’t mix and match evidence and conclusions, whereby you say the WC came to the right conclusion about the question of conspiracy, while looking at the wrong evidence, but that the HSCA came to the wrong conclusion about conspiracy while looking at the right evidence,

    Aren’t you mixing and matching evidence and conclusions, Pat?

    You invoke Sturdivan on the low entry in the back of the skull, but ignore it when he says that’s perfectly consistent with a shot from the Depository.

  32. Photon says:

    For such a respected researcher you get a lot wrong. First, you misrepresent Peter Cummings opinion and claim that he supports two shots to the head, when he has specifically stated on national television that JFK’s head was struck by one bullet only. Now you are repeating the factoid about E. Forrest Chapman’s shell dent comments, conveniently forgetting to mention that he SUPPORTED the medical findings of the autopsy team. Where do you have any documentation that he ever said that there were 2 shooters? You forget that we are discussing medical evidence, not the mechanics of the Carcano rifle.
    Actually, I am familiar with Dr. Chapman while he was in Michigan prior to retiring to Florida. He also had a significant interest in the Monroe suicide and somewhat reactionary politics- I believe that he was involved with the Wallace campaign in the early seventies. The fact that his non-medical opinions about the characteristics of ejected shells from the Carcano were in error has nothing to do with the medical findings in this case.
    Did Charles Petty say that the throat wound was an entrance wound? Or are you interpreting his answers to fit your scenario? Obviously he didn’t say it was an entrance wound as he supported the Warren conclusions. You seem to have a hard time correctly interpreting physicians’ opinions and medical facts. In this case. That is understandable, as I have stated that laymen simply do not have the knowledge or expertise to understand the medical facts. Perhaps if you had actually seen an autopsy you would realize that drawings done at the time of the procedure were intended to be schematic and were not to be taken literally as to exact wound position. That is why the formal report describes the wounds in relation to well-defined anatomic landmarks.

  33. Photon says:

    Leslie, if we are to believe you everyone of these experts is wrong.
    I accept that they are the real experts in this case, not Pat Speer, or even Drs. Mantik and Aguilar .As such I accept their conclusions
    Why do you ignore that reality? I do not need to be coached or “used” any more than I would have to be to accept my doctor’s recommendations for insulin dosage or a cardiologist appointment. Maybe you think that faith healers or chiropractors are just as qualified to render medical judgement in cases of serious illness as a trained physician.
    I don’t

  34. leslie sharp says:

    Photon, I’m surprised that you misread my comment. I am asking that if your CPR training is inferior to the forensic pathologists you reference in your various lists (and whomever else you consult), how are you able to assign values to their assessments; it seems you can only do so with a leap of faith, and an assumption that a majority vote represents ‘proof.’ Among those individuals with those superior credentials there is also a relative measurement – some would have more hands on experience than others and in the instance of the assassination, some were present and some were not, some dealt with pristine, uncontaminated information, others did not. You never speak to that aspect.

  35. Pat Speer says:

    No, John, there is no inconsistency on my part. I mention the conclusions of the FBI, the WC, the Clark Panel, the HSCA Panel, Sturdivan, Lattimer, Mantik, Horne, and others, including myself, for that matter, not because I expect people to trust in what they (or I) have to say, but as food for thought. I am trying to point out the variety of thought on an issue, so people can come to their own conclusions.

    That’s not the argument from authority used by so many, in which opinions are presented to discourage individual thought.

    Let’s take, for example, the LN myth repeated ad nauseum that every member of the Church Panel, Rockefeller Commission Panel and HSCA Pathology Panel signed off on the so-called cowlick entry. The repeating of this myth is designed to prevent people from thinking. And it isn’t even true. Radiologist Fred Hodges told the Rockefeller Commission his study of the medical evidence suggested there was a wound in the location observed and described at autopsy.

    Apparently, he didn’t get the memo…

  36. Pat Speer says:

    Your post is full of mistakes and insults, Photon.

    1. I have never claimed Peter Cummings said there were two shots to the head. Cummings, a Forensic Pathologist, has gone on record claiming there was no entrance wound in the cowlick where the majority of doctors from 1968 to the early 1990’s claimed it to have been.

    2. You wrote, repeatedly, that every Forensic Pathologist save Wecht has confirmed the Warren Conclusions. Chapman did not. You never specified that the doctor’s disagreement with the conclusion had to be about the medical evidence. FWIW, it is my impression that many FP’s share Wecht’s belief the SBT is silly. If you are aware of any survey on the matter, I would appreciate the link.

    3. Charles Petty specified in Modern Legal Medicine, a textbook he was working on at the time of the HSCA, that shored wounds of exit were nevertheless larger than the accompanying entrance wound. The report of the HSCA panel, of course, claimed the exit on the throat was a 6-7 mm oval, while the back wound was 9 x 9 mm. He never explained his inconsistency on this matter, nor was he ever asked to. As far as i know, I was the first one to spot this inconsistency.

    4. You write: “laymen simply do not have the knowledge or expertise to understand the medical facts.” Speak for yourself. How do doctors obtain knowledge about subjects outside their normal area of expertise, such as the effect of full-metal jacket bullets on skulls? They read. How did I come to my understanding of the medical evidence? I went to a top research library…and read. If you think I am mistaken, go ahead and point out my mistakes, but please don’t tell me I don’t know how to read when you have no idea who I am or where I come from. (FWIW, I was reading at the level of the average adult when I was 8…)

    5. As far as your obsession with my viewing an autopsy…yes, I have viewed several, online.

    6. As far as your claim the face sheet was intended to be schematic and not accurate, etc…I really hope you’re not trying to claim the Rydberg drawings were more accurate…


  37. Photon says:

    On March 11 you clearly stated that Cummings agreed with your perception of the skull fracture pattern etiology, clearly implying that he agreed with your 2 shot theory. Or else you are claiming to know more about the fracture pattern source than Dr. Cummings Why else bring up somebody who totally rejects your theory?
    It is your impression that many FP share Wecht’s belief that the SBT is silly. Why not come out and name them? Put out some clearly documented evidence, not 35 year old factoids from second-hand sources that never directly quote anybody. The forensic pathologists involved with the Rockefeller Commision , the Clark Panel and the HSCA were all world renowned experts. You put out a physician who doesn’t seem to be quoted directly by anybody ( except to dismiss the Grassy Knoll shooter) as not supporting the Warren conclusions, yet there does not seem to be any record of his comments . Obviously you knew nothing about his John Birch associations or his belief that Marilyn Monroe was murdered.
    You interpreted what Charles Petty stated “suggested the throat wound was an entrance.” To who? He never stated it was an entrance wound and you apparently have never reviewed the literature on how bullet wound sizes can vary, in certain circumstances even being smaller than
    the projectile that causes the wound

  38. Pat Speer says:

    Wrong on all counts, Photon.

    1. Cummings found evidence for a shot entering low on the back of the head. IF there was an entrance at the top of the back of the head, as claimed by most LNs, then Cummings’ observations are evidence for two shots to the head–and thus conspiracy.

    2. BEFORE Wecht ever publicly questioned the SBT, Milton Helpern–a more respected pathologist than most everyone on the Clark, Rockefeller and HSCA panels, publicly questioned the SBT. Wecht also had the support of Dr. Robert Joling, who, while not a forensic pathologist himself was nevertheless a former president of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Based upon the credibility of these two men, not to mention Wecht himself, it is perfectly reasonable to believe many other pathologists share Wecht’s doubts about the SBT.

    3. As far as Forrest Chapman, of course I knew he was a member of the John Birch Society. I only brought him up because you kept repeating the non-fact “fact” that Wecht was the only one to view the evidence to question the single-assassin solution. FWIW, Chapman’s detailed article on the ballistics evidence was published in the society’s journal. Some of us know how to find such things.

    4. As far as Petty, his book specified that shored exit wounds are nevertheless larger than the corresponding entrance wound. I haven’t seen this elsewhere, so it was clearly something he believed, and believed based upon his personal experience. He never offered an explanation for the small size of Kennedy’s throat wound in comparison to the back wound. Based upon the behavior of the HSCA Pathology Panel as an entity, he may very well have convinced himself Dr. Perry was wrong about the size of the throat wound or that his colleagues were wrong about the size of the back wound. His inconsistency is not “proof” he believed there was a conspiracy, but “proof” the HSCA FPP was not as united behind their conclusions as some would have us believe. You know, I trust, that Dr. Joseph Davis in his later years came to accept that the bullet really did enter by the EOP after all.

    5. You keep pushing that one should always defer to the “experts” and yet I’m guessing this is only a smokescreen. So let’s put it to the test. The HSCA FPP concluded, unanimously, that the back wound was below the throat wound. Were they correct? The HSCA photography panel concluded, as well, and by a large majority, that Kennedy was first hit before going behind the sign in the Zapruder film? Were they correct?

  39. Photon says:

    Please state where Cummings described a shot”entering low on the back of the head”. How is that evidence for two shots to the head when Cummings specifically states that only one shot hit JFK’s head? Are you claiming that Cummings is wrong and that you are correct?
    Helpern never saw the original photos or x-rays. I refer you to the July 1967 Argosy article http://www.seektress.com/argosy.html
    Helpern mistakenly believed that #399 was undamaged and pristine.
    Ha also advocated a panel of experts to examine the autopsy evidence directly to establish the facts. This was done with 3 separate investigations, including the HSCA investigation that put out its report after Helpern died. All expert panels came to the same conclusion-the Warren conclusions were correct. Helpern never had all of the facts.
    You put out Dr. Chapman as a forensic pathologist, not as a ballistic expert. Since when has any serious researcher published his results in the journal of the John Birch Society?
    You have a basic misunderstanding of where the wounds have been documented to be by multiple medical witnesses to the autopsy materials. You don’t seem to have any real grasp of anatomy or autopsy procedures, as your YouTube video of Dr. Baden’s HSCA testimony reveals.
    I do not understand why you think that Dr. Petty thinks that all exit wounds are bigger than entrance wounds- like everything in medicine there are exceptions to general rules, particularly in special circumstances such as soft tissue contraction. It isn’t easy to comprehend many medical textbooks, particularly by individuals with no medical training.

  40. Pat Speer says:

    OMG, Photon, the thought occurs that you’re going on and on about Cummings, etc, without even having viewed his appearance on NOVA. Cummings failed to admit it in his HuffPo article, but the only significant finding he’s made re the Kennedy assassination is that the entrance wound was where it was observed at autopsy–low on the back of the head. This means that he believes most all the doctors you’re trying to defend were either incompetent or liars. You can’t have it both ways.

  41. Pat Speer says:

    Photon implies that Dr. Forest Chapman’s problems with the single-assassin conclusion were unrelated to his understanding of the medical evidence, and were based purely on his understanding of the ballistics evidence. This isn’t true. Chapman, as Wecht, disputed the single-bullet theory. AN 11-22-73 UPI article quoted Chapman on the single-bullet theory as follows. “It’s just impossible that one bullet could have hit both men.”

  42. Photon says:

    How about documenting the article Pat- and the source ( ie, the newspaper article you saw it in.I was able to find only one mention of it.)
    Why doesn’t any other conspiracy author mention Chapman aside from the identical shell dent quote? Perhaps because his interpretations were flawed?
    Funny how none mention his wound interpretations, which were his actual areas of expertise.
    Aside from a few blogs and true believers Dr. Chapman had basically disappeared from the assassination literature by the 1980s, almost like he had become radioactive.
    Of course, if you publish your conclusions in the “American Observer” your judgement would be open to question.

  43. leslie sharp says:

    Photon, quite deliberately I’ve made no declarations regarding the medical aspects of the assassination so you would be hard pressed to evaluate my position. What is perplexing (and what I am challenging) is your insistence that in spite of very limited medical training (CPR?), you are nevertheless confident that you’re able to assess whether or not someone else is or is not qualified to evaluate medical material relating to the assassination. Your position begs the question of “authority” vs. skill and integrity, and from there one must wonder precisely what authority is instilling that confidence?

    Any sensible patient diagnosed with diabetes or heart ailment would seek a second and perhaps a third opinion before settling on treatment. You also bring up an interesting question: Did Fr. Huber weigh in on what he witnessed as he administered the Last Rites?

  44. Photon says:

    My very limited training has yet to be matched by anybody on this blog. Feel free to document anybody who has posted here to have matched that level of training, as minimal as it is.
    If you think that people are getting second and third opinions for routine medical care you obviously haven’t looked at your insurance coverage. It just doesn’t happen.
    As for Fr. Huber, he claimed that JFK was still alive when he gave him the Last Rites, when he actually had died before the good Father had even entered the hospital. So much for his powers of observation.

  45. leslie sharp says:

    I would think that Jeff and his team would be concerned by your intimation that this site and the forum it provides has been reduced to a competition. If they are comfortable with it, perhaps an annual award can be established.

    Again, I ask how does your limited training qualify you to assess or challenge facts that are presented by those with far superior credentials? Given that even their credentials are relative, leap of faith comes to mind.

    I’m sorry if your physical welfare is at the mercy of your insurance company. My argument is that you refuse to consider any second opinions.

    My guess is that Ft. Huber was deferring to the Kennedy family who by all accounts were very devout Catholics; you can consult an expert on the Sacrament of Extreme Unction to understand what I am saying. My intent was to highlight that people of faith, holding credentials, are quite capable of healing certain human conditions. Your disdain is apparent.

  46. Photon says:

    Leslie, can you name anyone on this blog who has posted “facts that are presented by those with far superior credentials”? I would like you to give a name of anybody who has posted here who has had any medical training even at the level of CPR certification.i threw that challenge out days ago- and nobody has responded.Actually I have been ACLS qualified in the past,

  47. Photon says:

    I really don’t consult with anybody before I make my comments, but I do review medical issues with experts
    Almost all of my information in regards to the assassination comes from sources readily accessible online . Those include documented remarks from forensic pathologists who have reviewed the case and have been credentialed by appropriate bodies. Conversely, I tend to reject the opinions of people with no expertise in the fields that they claim to be knowledgable about. It is rather easy to spot them when they resort to certain phrases, like “everybody knows” or ” it has been proven” or ” of course the CIA was involved” or similar unsubstantiated claims based not on evidence but on preexisting beliefs no matter how bizarre.
    I brought up the CPR training precisely because it isn’t unusual to be certified, but to this point nobody else posting on this blog has even claimed to have that minimal training. Yet we have folks pontificating about autopsy findings and x-ray reports, conveniently ignoring or obfuscating the findings of trained physicians with multiple years of education and experience.

  48. Photon says:

    Do you even know what a forensic pathologist does?
    Assign values to their assessments? I think that the American Board of Pathology does that. They are experts in their field. If 20 experts in a field take one position and one expert takes a contrary view I submit that the 20 are more likely to be correct than the 1. You seem to have no comprehension of the postgraduate medical training programs in Pathology and the certification process. I trust their judgements.
    I put out my CPR training to counter other “experts” on this blog who don’t even have that level of medical training yet claim to know more about procedures than the people who actually do the procedures. You implied that people on this blog had medical backgrounds superior to mine. I am still waiting for someone to come forward as being CPR certified.

  49. leslie sharp says:

    Again, I still did not imply that people etc etc. Please review my comments. I did ask, and this is the third time I am asking, how can you assess the expertise of those with superior qualifications to yours except by a leap of faith, a conditioning that resists questioning authority, or through blind allegiance. You have somewhat answered the question with your 20 vs. 1 argument. Do you also argue that because a majority in authority in the 48 hours after the assassination went along with the illegal removal of the President from the state in which the crime was committed, a majority went along with the autopsy procedures in Bethesda that continue to confound, and a majority voted on the conclusions presented in the WR that there is no reason for concern and certainly no grounds for challenge? Mob (no pun intended) rule.

  50. Photon says:

    The body was not removed illegally. The local D.A. authorized the removal and Earl Rose accepted his authority to do so. If you do not believe that board certification of physicians is the gold standard for establishing expertise there is little point in engaging you further on this topic as you obviously do not understand modern medical education and credentialing.

  51. Gerry Simone says:

    @ Photon:

    The body was removed illegally.

    Even the D.A. or M.E. are not above the law.

  52. Photon says:

    So Gerry you are an expert in Texas law more so than the local district attorney or the medical examiner?
    Particularly considering the legal standards of 1963?
    Considering the unique circumstances of Nov. 22, 1963?
    If you are going to make a statement of legal “fact” please back it up with proof.

  53. leslie sharp says:

    Photon, if you have no experience with Texas politics, you are in no position to assess the circumstances because they clearly involved a degree of maneuvering. Bear in mind that the following statement was made by Mayor Earle Cabell, brother of the former No. 2 at the CIA who had recently been fired by President Kennedy:

    “The other legal obstacle to the removal of the body from the premises and from the state was the fact that state law prohibits the removal of a body from the state where death was due to violent causes without a release signed by either the Governor of the state, the Lieutenant Governor in his absence, the Attorney General of the state or after a coroner’s inquest. The reasoning behind this law, I believe, is obvious to any rational or intelligent person.

    “Upon being summoned to the conference, the situation was explained and I asked Dr. Rose if he felt that he could conscientiously revert to the older statutes which were still in effect in the smaller communities of the state where there is no Medical Examiner, and accept a release by a qualified Justice of the Peace. I further informed him that I would assume full responsibility for such action on his part.”

  54. Photon says:

    Exactly how is it confirmed by Custer’s testimony? Custer also claimed that a 4 cm fragment dropped out of JFK’s back when they moved him- complete baloney.Custer apparently didn’t even have steady employment during a ten year period after leaving the Navy- precisely the same time he became a darling of the body-switch crowd. It is interesting that the first ten pages of his ARRB testimony deals with multiple conspiracy authors that he became associated with and the books that he had read on the assassination- all conspiracy oriented. The kicker was when he could name the 2 FBI agents, but couldn’t identify by name the people he worked with when given a picture of the staff associated with his department.

  55. mball says:

    The late Dr’s Charles Wilbur and John Nichols, well known and respected pathologists, had serious reservations about the medical evidence produced by the original autopsy. The point, anyway, is that the validity of the evidence is in question by a number of the attending personnel. All the pathologists in the world could attest to the same findings based on the evidence. If that evidence is tainted, so are their findings.

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