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. 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.

    • 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.

        • 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”


    • 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.”

          • 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.

          • Photon says:

            That is, wounds from 2 bullets.

          • Mike Rago says:

            The crime scene photographs resolve the question of two head wound.

            As I stated on at least two occasions, the Moorman photo shows the back of head has a normal profile AFTER the shot at frame 313.

            But, Zapruder frame 337, taken about a second after the Moorman photo shows a severely deformed back of head profile.


            The crime scene photos resolve the question of two shots to the head. There were two shots to the head and the X-Ray corroborates those crime scene photographs.

          • Gary Aguilar, says:

            Yes, yes, “Photon.”

            And Dr. Cummings also says that the bullet from above and behind struck JFK’s skull low, in occipital bone, where John Canal, Larry Sturdivan and, according to Canal, Lattimer laterly said it hit.

            Well, they’re all in incompatible conflict with the Clark, Rockefeller and HSCA “experts,” aren’t they?, who insist the fatal bullet hit JFK’s head high, in parietal bone, the so-called “cowlick entry.”

            So who’s argument from authority are you embracing, Photon, Cummi

            + 218 Appendix 43: ARRB staff report of observations and opinions of
            forensic anthropologist Dr. Douglas Ubelaker, after viewing the
            JFK autopsy photos and 218 219 220 221 222

            + 223 Appendix 44: ARRB staff report of observations and opinions of
            forensic radiologist Dr. John J. Fitzpatrick, after viewing the
            JFK autopsy photos and 223 224 225 226 227

            + 228 Appendix 45: ARRB staff report of observations and opinions of
            forensic pathologist Dr. Robert H. Kirschner, after viewing the
            JFK autopsy photos and 228 229 230 231 232
            ngs-Sturdivan-Canal-Lattimer’s, or the Clark-Rockefeller-HSCA’s?

            Inquiring minds want to know, Mr. too-cowardly-to-use-his-real-name, “Photon!”

  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?

          • Gary Aguilar, says:

            Oh, Photon, you’re a riot!

            Before I specialized, I was the admitting resident trauma surgeon at a major trauma center, UCLA Harbor Geuneral Hospital. I’ve seen and treated lots of trauma, including gunshot injuries. I don’t claim expertise, but I understand injuries and medical descriptions of injuries.

            Your problem is that the grand poobah “forensic pathology experts” you embrace, or rathter their “arguments from authority” you embrace, are in complete conflict:

            PBS-NOVA star, Peter Cummings, MD, claims the fracture pattern on JFK’s X-rays prove a bullet hit JFK’s skull low, in occipital bone, where PBS-NOVA star, Larry Sturdivan, and John Canal and, according to Canal, Dr. Lattimer said it did. In conflict are the “experts” of the Clark Panel, the Rockefelle Commission and the HSCA.

            Perhaps to you a 100-mm difference in the location of a fatal entrance wound in a human skull is picayune, unimportant, but please forgive those of us who’ve done this sort of work and who don’t think it is.

  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. 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.

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