Problems with the JFK medical evidence

I’m no expert in the medical evidence of JFK’s assassination, but Dr. David Mantik is surely correct when he emphasizes in this just-published letter to the journal, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, that the interviews of medical personnel conducted by the Assassination Records Review Board, demand attention.

This line, in particular, is startling:

“The photographer, John Stringer, denies taking the extant brain photographs.

Stringer’s testimony indicates that the existing medical evidence in the National Archives is not, in fact, evidence.

Read in context with other sworn accounts from medical personnel involved in JFK’s autopsy, Stringer’s account shows that the record of JFK’s assassination is open to question and may have been falsified.

Is there an innocent explanation for the testimony of Stringer et al? If so, I have never seen it.

Here’s what George Lardner of the Washington Post reported about the issue of JFK’s brain in 1998.




  1. BrotherBruce says:

    There’s obviously nothing more important that the brain itself if one is to determine from whence it was penetrated by a projectile. Physicians have maintained since the time of the Parkland examination and the Bethesda autopsy that there were “major problems with the evidence”. JFK’s brain disappeared half a century ago; The night of the Bethesda autopsy, chief autopsist Dr. Hume was ordered to burn his notes; In rapid order; Dallas SAIC Gordon Shanklin recieved a phone call from J. Edgar Hoover ordering him to sanitize Lee Oswald’s file; Then Shanklin ordered AJ Hosty to “get rid of Oswald’s note” to him; Then the FBI had to admit that the oily Mannlicher Carcano not only didn’t have any fingerprints on it but that the paper bag that allegedly carried the rifle to the TSBD had no oil on it. It’s a long sad story. But these are just a few of the “tip of the iceberg” events. Many, even more astonishing and revealing things happened in the days following Kennedy’s murder. Most would not be revealed until the major participants were long dead. As a young adult in Dallas at that time I can assure you that I didn’t meet a soul (not one) who didn’t share a conspiratorial anecdote linking Johnson to the assassination. For example, it was common knowledge that the Hunts, father and son along with their families, and the Murchison’s clan, had been phoned by the FBI and offered transportation out of Dallas “until this thing blew over”. The FBI was afraid that angry Dallasites might “go after” people they believed were involved in the assassination.

  2. Mayra Solloa says:

    The WC did not report the key conspiracy fact that the Kennedy´s wounds were not sectioned at all, despite it´s the standard procedure in any murder case by gunshots, because only the dissection can prove whether the bullet transited or not, and from which ways they entered and exited. Maybe the JFK autopsy is the only one in U.S. history of a murder case without sectioning the gunshot wounds, as if it wasn´t the murder of a U.S. President, but of a dog in the streets.

  3. Clarence Carlson says:

    Of all the objective evidence uncovered by the assassination investigation, the one area that should have offered absolute clarity and certainty is the autopsy report. The medical examiners report on the death of Lee Harvey Oswald is such a report. The report on John Kennedy, is clearly not. Half a century later and counting the data released from that examination is confusing and appears designed to obfuscate rather than enlighten. One can only wonder at what would have happened at trial when Dr Humes would have been asked about the track of the bullet wound in the back, or to produce his own contemporaneous notes of the most important forensic medical examination of the century.

  4. A point of interest regarding the autopsy:

    Now as per Horne’s assertions that Humes did the radical destruction of the back of Kennedy’s skull before the actual autopsy began, before anyone else was present. We have this testimony given to William M. Law in his book, EYE OF HISTORY – PDF:

    [Custer was the X-ray technician – Jenkins was Humes’ autopsy assistant]

    Palamara: But I’ve heard that you did say that the back of the head appeared to
    be gone, there was no scalp there…

    Jerrol Custer: Here’s where a lot of researchers screw up. Not the back of the head.
    Here’s the back of the head (indicating the area of the head in contact with the head-holder, photo 2). The occipital region. The defect was in the frontal-temporal region. Now, when you have the body lying like that, everybody points to it and says, “That’s the back of the head.” No! That’s not the back of the head (poinying to the top of Kennedy’s head in photo 2)! That’s the top of the head!

    Law: Now, explain to me: there’s been a lot of controversy, and this is why some researchers point to forgery, that the back of the head was blown out. If the back of his head was blown out, how can the head rest on that [head-holder]?

    Custer: Because the back of the head wasn’t blown out. This was still intact (pointing to the lower portion of the back of the head in photo 2). It may not have been perfectly intact, there were fractures in there of course with all the destruction. If the back of the head was gone, there would be nothing there to hold the head up.

    Law: But there was a…

    Custer: This [head-holder] would have been all inside.
    . . . . .
    Law: Tell me the basic story from the time that the body was taken from
    the casket.

    Jenkins: Basically, they unwrapped the head and they started taking X-rays and photographs.

    Law: Immediately after they…

    Jenkins: After they looked at it. The X-ray people got there and, from the conversation, they were looking for bullet fragments, or metal fragments really, I guess is more appropriate. And they kept doing X-rays and going back and finally one of the radiologists came in. There was a lot of discussion and so forth about them not being able to find fragments and there was some direction and so forth being
    given from the gallery, which is where Admiral Galloway was.

  5. Pat Speer says:

    Stringer’s comments about the brain photos are interesting, but not nearly as damaging as Mantik and others would like us to believe.

    Why? Well, a number of reasons. Chief among these is that Stringer’s problem with the photos was with the photos themselves, and not with what was shown in the photos. Stringer stood by the autopsy report. Period. He said he took the back of the head photos which show the back of the head to have been intact, with no blow out wound on the back of the head. Period. He said these photos accurately depicted what he saw at the autopsy. Period.

    Well, you can’t have it both ways, people. You can’t say the by-then 78-year-old Stringer’s recollections of the brain photos are accurate, and proof there was really a blow-out wound on the back of the head, when Stringer specified there was no such wound.

    Not without looking foolish. And desperate.

    The medical evidence is clear-cut evidence there was more than one shooter. Always has been. Always will be. That is why they moved the back wound. That is why they later moved the head wound. Attempts to show the medical evidence is fake are a needless distraction that only muddies the issue, and allows those not wanting to look at the evidence to look the other way. It’s a shame.

  6. Bill says:

    The problems with the JFK medical evidence is that the doctors were hacks. PERIOD. There is so much mis-reported drama with this case. It started from the moment of the shooting. At the end of the day..the issue still is this: One shooter (whether Oswald or not) in the 6th floor window with THAT gun. I think that the only real issue to determine at this point is DNA-wise.

    I see that cold cases are being solved today with saliva off of 20 year old cigarette butts. I’d have to assume that CE 399 had enough cracks and flaws in it to harbor both JFK’s genetic material and Gov Connally’s DNA as well. I think that the FBI should run a DNA Examination on it to determine is DNA is present…if there is enough to be tested….if there is…can it be traced to either of the two victims.

    Don’t forget…Kennedy’s DNA should also be found on remnants of the head shot that we found in the car as well. So..does any REAL Dr. have an opinion on this notion…

    Or shall we speculate until we’re all dead as well?


  7. David Regan says:

    Saundra Kay Spencer, who served at the Naval Photographic Center at Anacostia in 1963, testified to the Assassination Records Review Board that on November 23rd she received three or four duplex film holders (six or eight shots) of color negatives from a federal agent named Fox. Under constant scrutiny, she developed the negatives, made prints and gave all materials back to Fox. After viewing the photos in the possession of the National Archives she testified that “between those photographs and the ones that we did, there had to be some massive cosmetic things done to the President’s body”

    • Photon says:

      Yes David. It is called embalming and restoration.As I recall a little business on Wisconsin Ave.N.W. was called in to do that very service at Bethesda. They did alter the body-originally the plan was for an open casket.

      • David Regan says:

        Exactly Photon, they patched up the right rear exit wound of the skull seen by countless witnesses (and not just at Parkland)

  8. Bill says:

    There has been a lot of investigation into the missing brain material. I think the one thing that trumps the ‘last’ HSCA Hearing’s…was that the HSCA own Pathologist, Dr. Michael Baden, is now coming forward to say her learned from those ‘close’ to JFK, that Bobby, Teddy, and other close to JFK returned to Arlington Cemetery, at Midnight or so on November 25th, 1963, and places materials into the vault (but not the coffin), ‘near’ is they way he put it. This would sort of make sense. Since Bobby wanted to learn as much as he could, I feel that it is possible that he had his own medical people look at the specimen and, once it was examined for any value…he had it returned to JFK’s immediate burial site on the Q-T. Also….it would make sense as to why there was the need to remove all visitors to Arlington (but they missed a photographer) when JFK’s coffin was removed to make some room for the new resting site in 1967. Anyway…..I’d be willing to bet that JFK’s materials were put into his coffin at that so brief midnight ceremony in 1967. I mean…why have a priest there to simply move a casket? You’d want a priest of you were going to disturb the REMAINS…not the site.

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