Dec 9 1963: FBI report completed, evidence lacking

On December 9, the FBI completed its five-volume report on JFK’s assassination. The 400-page report was long on Lee Harvey Oswald’s background and the evidence tying Oswald to the shooting, and notably short on evidence regarding the assassination itself. Regarding the basic account of the shooting, Warren Commissioner Hale Boggs after reading it remarked, “There’s nothing in there about Governor Connally.”

Boggs’ statement was not literally true, but the lack of explanation of the basic evidence of the shooting was really even worse –for example, the FBI Report never once mentioned Kennedy’s throat wound, the one which Parkland Hospital doctors had called a wound of entrance. The FBI’s “three shots, three hits” scenario ignored the throad wound, and also failed acknowledge the wounding of bystander James Tague. A report that failed to mention all of the victims’ wounds had credibility problems from the start.

In fairness, the FBI was under tremendous pressure to produce this preliminary report as investigation continued, and Tague could easily have been overlooked. But ignoring the throat wound that was discussed by the doctors who treated Kennedy at a press conference the afternoon of the assassination is harder to explain.

The selling of the Presidential Commission idea to President Johnson and FBI Director Hoover had repeatedly stressed that the Commission’s role was merely to “evaluate” the FBI report. In the end, the Report was so embarrassing that the Commission neglected to even include it among the over 10,000 pages of reports and documents it published among “the 26 volumes.”

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