Doug Horne, former analyst for the Assassination Records Review Board asks a reasonable question in this trailer for a longer interview with filmmaker Shane O’Sullivan (available for $4.99.)
Horne’s question is this:
What happened between 6:35 and 8 pm on the evening of November 22, 1963?
The body of slain president John F. Kennedy arrived at the Bethesda Medical Center at 6:35 pm and the autopsy of record on the body of slain president John F. Kennedy began at 8 pm. What was the condition of JFK’s body in the intervening 90 minutes?
Horne looks at the possible answers and they are both mind-blowing and depressingly plausible. (JFK – The Medical Cover-Up – Trailer from E2 Films on Vimeo.)
O’Sullivan interviewed Horne for his fine documentary, “Killing Oswald,” which was easily the most ground-breaking JFK documentary to appear on the 50th anniversary. Watch the trailer below. Its fascinating and well-done.
My review of the “Killing Oswald” will appear on JFK Facts next Saturday.
12 thoughts on “Analyst says JFK medical evidence points to cover-up”
When one actually reads Doug Horne’s summary of the ARRB’s interview of Tom Robinson, Horne’s subsequent claim Robinson saw pre-autopsy surgery to Kennedy’s head becomes quite the mystery. I mean, it just doesn’t add up.
Here, read it for yourself:
Now note that Robinson says nothing about him sitting there all by his lonesome while Dr. Humes performed some suspicious surgery. No, he was sitting in a crowd, almost certainly beside his co-workers, watching things proceed in an orderly manner.
Sure, he said he saw some things that don’t fit the official story, but Humes’ working on the head isn’t one of them. The “official” story is that Humes peeled back the scalp and skull fell to the table, and that he then had very little work to do to remove the brain. That’s always been the story.
While Robinson seemed to think the initial wound was toward the back of the head, he also had no recollection of anyone taking any photos, which, in Horne’s scenario, if I’m not mistaken, must have taken place just afterward.
To be clear, in the “official” story, if there is one, the vast majority of photos were taken before Robinson’s arrival.
But in Horne’s scenario, Robinson witnesses Humes create the large head wound captured in the photos. Well, then, for Horne’s scenario to hold water, Robinson must have also witnessed the taking of the autopsy photos. And yet he did not…
And besides…what is the ONE thing Robinson was adamant about? He was adamant that the wound low on the skull was probed and that the probe came out the throat… This is Horne’s witness–and yet Horne dismisses the one thing his star witness was–in Horne’s own words–“adamant” about…
This reply is for Jean Davison, in response to her posting.
The arrival time of the black hearse/shipping casket at the morgue loading dock (eloquently described by former Navy corpsman Dennis David and Donald Rebentisch, a member of the working party he supervised) was pinned down by USMC Sergeant Boyajian’s after-action report (a document obtained from him by the ARRB) as 6:35 PM (i.e., 18:35 military time, per his report).
Dennis David has consistently recalled, for years, that about 20 minutes or so AFTERWARDS, he witnessed the arrival of the Andrews motorcade out in front of the Bethesda complex.
Clint Hill and the local papers described the arrival time of the Andrews motorcade as 6:55 PM. This just happens to be 20 minutes after the time noted by Sergeant Boyajian in his report (6:35 PM) for the arrival of “the casket.” Per Dennis David and Donald Rebentisch (and other witnesses such as corpsmen Paul O’Connor and Floyd Riebe), this casket was a cheap aluminum shipping casket, not a bronze ceremonial casket.
Everything here “fits like a glove.” The Boyajian report not only pins a precise time (6:35 PM) on the Dennis David black Cadillac/hearse and shipping casket arrival, but the fact that it took place 20 minutes prior to the arrival of the Andrews motorcade, and the bronze Dallas ceremonial casket in the gray Navy ambulance (at 6:55 PM), further verifies Dennis David’s credibility. He correctly remembered the arrival of the President’s body occurring well prior to the Andrews motorcade. And Navy pathologist Dr. J. Thornton Boswell verified to HM1 David later that night, after the autopsy was over, that JFK’s body had indeed been in the shipping casket that David and his working party offloaded from the hearse.
Newspapers further confirmed the following day that the gray Navy ambulance sat out front of Bethesda Naval hospital for 12 minutes before it was driven off to the morgue, in the back of the hospital.
FBI agents Sibert and O’Neill told the HSCA staff in the late 1970s, and confirmed to the ARRB, that they personally (in their own vehicle) led the gray Navy ambulance to the back where the morgue loading dock was, and that they helped two S.S. agents (Kellerman and Greer) offload the Dallas bronze ceremonial casket using a wheeled conveyance (i.e., a church truck). They set the casket down in the morgue anteroom, and the 2 FBI agents were then barred from entering the morgue proper for a considerable period of time (over 40 minutes). What the two FBI agents did not know was that the Dallas casket they had helped to offload at about 7:17 PM (this time is suggested in an internal FBI document) had to be empty at the time, since JFK’s body had already arrived at 6:35 PM in a different casket.
A second Dallas casket entry (with JFK reintroduced into the Dallas casket) was performed at 8:00 PM, and was documented in writing by the Joint Service Casket Team in its report, and witnessed by numerous people, including Sibert and O’Neill of the FBI, who at 8 PM were suddenly no longer kept out of the morgue. Reintroducing JFK’s body into the morgue a second time, via the Dallas casket, gave the carefully selected audience for this second entry the impression that nothing was amiss, and that there was no chain-of-custody problem.
So YES, there ARE numerous witnesses who provide different times for casket entries, but that does not mean that we are dealing with some kind of meaningless soup here, or eyewitness confusion. There are three very different audiences for 3 separate casket entries that night, at distinctly different times, and what that means is that there was a “shell game” going on with JFK’s body. The timeline for 3 distinct events is very, very well documented and constitutes courtroom evidence that all by itself, would impeach the autopsy report at a trial—proof that JFK’s body did not make an uninterrupted journey from Dallas to Bethesda.
The key to understanding the many conflicts in the medical evidence is understanding what happened to JFK’s body between the time it was first introduced into the morgue at 6:35 PM, and the second time it entered the morgue (in a different casket), at 8:00 PM.
Hurried and brutal post-mortem surgery at Bethesda removed all forensic evidence from JFK’s body of shots from the front; the skull x-rays and autopsy photos in the record today represent the condition of JFK’s body AFTER this clandestine surgery (i.e., evidence tampering)—NOT the condition it arrived in from Dallas—and this is why the wound descriptions of both the cranial wounds and the throat wound differ so much from Parkland to Bethesda.
It’s called “tampering with a crime scene”—obstruction of justice. And the ARRB located two Bethesda witnesses who witnessed the post-mortem surgery to the cranium: mortician Tom Robinson, and x-ray technician Ed Reed. That is also “courtroom evidence.”
And the key to understanding where and when this took place is to understand the conundrum of the 3 casket entries on 11/22/63 at Bethesda Naval Hospital. Too many mainstream historians have attempted to ignore this problem of the multiple casket entries, for too long, because they are profoundly uncomfortable with the implications—which is why I am taking the time to explain (once again) why this chain-of-custody breach with the body of the deceased, prior to his autopsy, is so important. Without a proper chain-of-custody, you do not have admissible evidence: this applies to bodies as well as to bullets.
Greetings, Mr. Horne. As they say, “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence,” and I don’t think there is good evidence to support this truly extraordinary claim.
I agree with your colleague Jeremy Gunn’s statement that eyewitness memory is “profoundly unreliable,” especially memories first recorded years later. Even the early written records aren’t necessarily accurate, and people often make assumptions that aren’t true.
I don’t think these times are “pinned down.” In his 1997 letter to you, Boyajian wrote, “one thing bothering me is that I can’t recall seeing the casket arrive, yet I state in the report that it arrived at 1835 hours. I think I split the detail initially, sending seven men to meet the ambulance and taking the remainder with me to set up sentry posts within the corridor.” IOW, he seems to be saying that he may not have actually witnessed the casket’s arrival.
Dennis David may well have seen a hearse and shipping casket arrive before JFK’s ambulance — that doesn’t mean it contained JFK’s body. Possibly it was the body of the Air Force officer mentioned by James Jenkins. This was, after all, a morgue, and since David didn’t witness the opening of that casket he had no way of knowing firsthand who was in it.
We are so far apart on this, I don’t see any point in debating it. I’d like to suggest that we agree to disagree.
Mr. Horne…first I would like thank you for taking the time to elaborate on these important subjects. I have an autopsy research FB page where we examine all autopsy related materials. Recently I have been in contact with Dennis David and will be discussing events at Bethesda with him for more clarification.
On the FB Autopsy page I was recently presented the same challenge (by Martin Shackleford) that Jean Davison presents to you (body of AF Major). However, neither Jean or Martin make mention of General Wehle or Richard Lipsey. Mr. Lipsey’s testimony agrees and confirms JFK’s body arrived prior to Mrs. Kennedy and the bronze casket.
I did want to mention to you that the two “back of head” autopsy images of JFK have been confirmed as “altered”. The BOH images are post-autopsy images. The rubber sewn onto JFK’s neck is visible, as are some of the sutures. The white plaster used to pack JFK’s cranium is also visible under the “fake hair” applied by photographic alterations using multiple transparencies. These alterations have been marked (actual locations and sizes). The Ida Dox “BOH” image is also a misrepresentation as it is copied from these images.
Last part…do you happen to know what happened to the 7 books made with the 115 autosy images? Nara?
I think all too often people forget or are unfamiliar with Robert Kennedy’s involvement in the autopsy and his private investigation, for himself and the Kennedy family.
What went on between 6:35 and 8:00 p.m.? Some coffin and ambulance shuffling, for sure. Almost as certainly, some work on the body by Humes (“surgery to the head”) to obfuscate JfK’s wounds.
Horne’s reporting on this point gets very close to a dangerous central truth: how the military controlled Kennedy’s body and the autopsy and ensured there would never be an accurate official record of JFK’s wounds.
JFK’s body left Parkland Hospital wrapped in white cloth (head) and then also wrapped in a plastic matress cover (no zipper). The body was then placed in a bronze ceremonial casket, which was placed on Air Force Two (the VP’s plane). The body arrived at Bethesda with the head wrapped in sheets and inside a zippered bodybag, placed in a cheap metal casket. Both the bodybag and metal casket were described as standard military grade by witnesses. Again…let me suggest a likely scenario. I have been on Air Force One many, many times and examined it top to bottom (including the President’s quarters)…and it is safe to say that the plane is not supplied with bodybags as standard equipment. It was my business to know that as a trainer for emergency rescue operations on this aircraft. I have also been in the President’s limosine. I’ve washed it, driven it and been given a private tutorial on the vehicle inside and out by CIA agents while Secret Service agents stood guard. This tour also included the follow up vehicles. None of them carried bodybags. That said, I would suggest that the bodybag and metal casket (military grade) came into the picture at Andrews AFB, which would have them easily available. Most likely this was accomplished through Gen. Wehle and Lipsey when transferring the body from the Bronze casket to the metal casket.
AF 2 ? I thought Jackie/Powers/O’Donnell stayed “with” it all the way back to Andrew on AF 1.
For a long time I assumed Mrs. Kennedy, LBJ, the bronze casket and the rest got onboard Air Force One. According to testimonies thats not the case. Some of the Secret Service agents and others were given the okay to take Air Force One ahead of everyone else. LBJ used his own plane (AF2) to take the casket and Mrs. Kennedy back on. Is this an important side note? Possibly.
Horne’s time line of 6:35 to 8 p.m. is disputed by other witnesses. For instance, Clint Hill reported that Jackie left the ambulance at the front of Bethesda Hospital at 6:55; others put the arrival of the casket at the morgue a few minutes after 7. Photographs and x-rays were taken before the actual autopsy began at 8.
Richard Lipsey testified that he and General Wehle were tasked with transferring JFK’s body from Andrews AFB to the Bethesda morgue. Lipsey also stated that they had brought JFK’s body into the morgue from back, and a little while later the “decoy vehicle” with Jackie Kennedy (with bronze casket) pulled up in the front of the morgue. If as you state Mrs. Kennedy left the hearse at 6:55, then the 6:35 time frame I would suggest is what time Lipsey and Gen. Wehle brought JFK’s body into the morgue. Photographs and X-rays were taken prior to the autopsy which started at 8pm.
A related question: why would the “powers-that-be” decide that an assassinated American president should be (illegally) removed from the jurisdiction in which he died and have an autopsy performed by pathologists with no forensic training? The purpose of a forensic autopsy is the collection of evidence for use by authorities in the investigation and prosecution of a crime. The evidence collected and the pathologist’s professional opinions regarding manner and cause of death would, presumably, have to be presented in a trial in Dallas. At least, as long as Oswald was alive, that ought to have been the guiding concern.
Yet when one reads about the conduct of the autopsy and the handling of the evidence, prosecuting a murder case doesn’t seem to be on anyone’s mind. Autopsy documents were burned. Photographs were not reviewed by the pathologists and have gone missing. Wounds are not properly explored or dissected. As others have pointed out, it was handled as a National Security Event and the control and obfuscation of evidence (as opposed to the sharing of the evidence for medico-legal use) seems to have been the dominant theme. This weakened, not strengthened any case against Oswald. Transparency is the hallmark of the medical examiner system: there isn’t any to be found here.