«NOVEMBER 22, 1963 (Friday) 12:00 AM (Nov. 22, 1963) Nine Secret Service agents drinking at Pat Kirkwood’s bar the “Cellar Door” in Fort Worth, ...»
The military autopsy doctors apparently are surrounded by both military and civilian superiors who direct much of the autopsy -- some of this direction going against normal autopsy procedures.
Additionally chief pathologist, Dr. James Humes, said (in 1964, in 1978, and again in 1996) that photographs were taken of the interior of JFK’s chest during the autopsy. Agreeing with this statement are Drs. J. Thornton Boswell and Robert Karnai- also John Stringer and Floyd Riebe) There are no such images listed in the official inventory at the National Archives. Pierre Finck swore to the HSCA in 1978, and to the Assassination Records Review Board in 1996, that photographs he took of JFK’s skull wound - showing the characteristic features of cratering, or “beveling,” that demonstrate direction of the bullet’s path in bone - also never made it to the official National Archives inventory.
Review Board documents additionally reveal that the HSCA misstated the opinions of the autopsy witnesses it interviewed.
These witnesses never endorsed the wounds as depicted in the autopsy photographs. By both word and by hand-prepared diagrams, the autopsy witnesses independently, and overwhelmingly, corroborate the Dallas physicians’ claims that JFK’s skull defect was rearward.
[At the time of this chronology entry,] there has yet to be a team of non-government forensic consultants who have been allowed to evaluate all of the evidence, including the crucial evidence there is for missing autopsy photographs and incompatible wounds. Dr. Gary Aguilar, PROBE Vol. 6, No. 5 Editors of the quarterly Current Medicine for Attorneys will write: “The question is, was President Kennedy ‘impaired for public life’ when he ran for office - by reason of adrenal pathology. Certainly the absence of findings in the autopsy on this point suggest that he was.” Obviously an autopsy report which has been influenced by political considerations and about which officials responsible refuse to provide clarification requested by reputable sources cannot be regarded as an authoritative document in the reconstruction of the crime. (AATF) Dr. Robert Karnei, who views and assists with the autopsy, will eventually tell the ARRB he clearly remembers that a photo was taken showing a probe inserted into JFK’s body. No such photo is to be found in the autopsy photos in evidence.
X-ray technician Jerrol Custer, who is also present and assists with the autopsy x-rays, will eventually testify to the ARRB that he is certain he took x-rays of the C3/C4 region of the neck and that those x-rays showed numerous fragments. Custer adds that he suspects the reason those x-rays have disappeared is that they clearly show a large number of bullet fragments. Custer also says he sees a large bullet fragment fall from the back when the body is lifted for the taking of x-rays.
Two medical technicians present during the autopsy state that a bullet rolls out from the area of the President’s back when the body is removed from the casket prior to the autopsy. One of the med-techs says the bullet rolls out from the back, while the other says it rolls out from the sheets. A third med-tech from the autopsy says he remembers personnel at the autopsy talking that night about a bullet that has fallen from the sheets. Admiral David P. Osborne, who is in attendance at the autopsy, reports that a bullet rolls out from the “clothing” that is wrapped around the President’s body, and that he actually handles the missile. The HSCA will assert that Osborne “thought” he saw a bullet roll out, but that he later will say he wasn’t sure when told no one else at the autopsy recalls such an event.
Admiral Osborne will tell researcher and author David Lifton that he and the HSCA disagree over the matter. Says Osborne, “... I told them [HSCA investigators] that this was the way I remembered it, and they said: ‘Well, it must be wrong, because the Secret Service testified that the bullet was found in the hospital in Parkland, and brought back to Washington.’ And so I said: ‘Well, if that’s true, then they brought it back to the morgue, because I had that bullet in my hand, and looked at it.’” According to the official record of the chain of possession of the bullet that was found at Parkland Hospital, that missile is never taken to Bethesda Hospital (where the autopsy is performed). The HSCA’s claim that no one else at the autopsy recalls seeing a missile fall from the sheets wrapped around the body is incorrect. As mentioned above, a medical technician who is present during the autopsy remembers seeing this happen, while another med-tech says he recalls discussion among personnel at the autopsy about a bullet having fallen from the sheets. Admiral Osborne will tell Lifton the bullet falls from the clothing wrapped around the body when the body is removed from the casket.
Dr. John Walsh, Jackie Kennedy’s obstetrician, arrives at Bethesda and quickly notices the unmistakable signs of nervous exhaustion in the widow. Jackie says “Maybe you could give me something so I could have a little nap.” Walsh proceeds to inject her with 100 milligrams of Visatril. The dose has no effect. Walsh thinks “I might just as well have given her a shot of Coca-Cola.” Prior to the beginning of the autopsy, Dr. Robert Livingston telephones Dr. Humes and informs him that JFK’s front neck wound is probably an entry wound. Dr. Humes, however, does not probe or dissect the neck wound to determine its nature or direction.
Humes tells Livingston that he has to terminate the telephone conversation because FBI agents will not let him continue.
Of the wounds observed on JFK’s body, the following people report seeing an entry wound in the LEFT TEMPLE: Physicians McClelland, Jenkins, Giesecke, the priest Oscar Huber, photographers Altgens and Similas, and Hugh Huggins (aka Hugh Howell) RFK’s emissary to the autopsy. One more additional witness is Lito Porto, a neurosurgery resident under Kemp Clark.
Tom Robinson, from Gawler’s funeral home, describes three tiny holes in JFK’s RIGHT CHEEK, near the right eye. (Robinson recalls seeing embalming fixative solution leaking from these small wounds.) MIDP FBI Agent James W. Sibert witnesses the JFK autopsy and will later state: “there’s no way that bullet could go that low then come up, raise up and come out the front of the neck, zig-zag and hit Connally and then end up in a pristine condition over there in Dallas... There’s no way I’ll swallow that.” US Mr. Jenkins says he has no information concerning the destruction of any film during the autopsy. He says he does remember an incident which is possibly that. He said it was “...a brief flare up.” He said there were a lot of incidences like that where people were curt” [sic] and specifically remembers that the “...gallery was very impatient.” They seemed to be “...mad about the doctors not finding a bullet.” Jenkins recalls Humes discussing with someone the problem of finding the bullet. He said this discussion amounted to a “disturbance.” Jenkins has the impression that everything “...seemed like it was predesignated...seemed they had an answer and wanted to prove it.” O’Neill states that when Humes and Boswell couldn’t locate an outlet for the bullet that entered the back Sibert leaves to call SA Killion (FBI Laboratory) to determine if any extra bullets existed. This is when the autopsy doctors learn of the bullet found on the stretcher. from ONeills signed affidavit: “I do not see how the bullets [note: the “s” in the word “bullets” has been crossed out and initialed by O’Neill] that entered below the shoulder in the back could have come out the front of the throat. During the interview on January 10, 1978, I disagreed with Dr. Boswell’s depiction of the location of the back (thorax) wound which Dr. Boswell had drawn on a diagram during an interview with this Committee in the Fall [sic] of 1977. I do not recall anything about the tracheotomy incision that indicated a bullet had damaged the area. When shown the tracing of the tracheotomy, I had no recollection or comment concerning the apparent bullet wound perimeter. It was and is my opinion that the bullet which entered the back came out the back.” Some discussion did occur concerning the disintegration of the bullet. A general feeling existed that a soft-nosed bullet struck JFK. There was discussion concerning the back wound that the bullet could have been a “plastic” type or an “Ice” [sic] bullet, one which dissolves after contact. There was no real sense either way that the wounds were caused by the same kind of bullet Chief Radiologist John Ebersole, remembers telephone calls from Bethesda to Dallas on the night of the autopsy, “in the range of ten to eleven PM.” Knowledge of the neck wound at autopsy makes even more grave the failure to dissect the neck organs and trace the path of the bullet. But there is additional new testimony which suggests that in fact bullet paths were traced, and photographs taken of the body with metal probes through it. White House photographer Robert Knudsen is one person who tells the HSCA that he saw such photographs; his interview is suppressed.
Also this evening, JFK’s limo (SS-100 X) is returned to the White House garage and guards are posted next to it. According to Jim Bishop in The Day Kennedy Was Shot, the limo is inspected by Deputy Chief Paul Paterni of the Secret Service and Floyd Boring, assistant agent-in-charge of the White House detail. With them are Chief Petty Officers William Martinell and Thomas Mills of the White House medical staff. Paterni spots a dull gleam of metal, and calls attention to it. It is in the seat that was occupied earlier in the day by Roy Kellerman. He reaches down and picks up half of a bullet. It is intact, and the lead core is exposed. Moments later, another piece is discovered on the driver’s side. When Paterni holds the two parts together, it is obvious that they constitute one bullet. On the rug in the car, they also pick up a three-inch piece of skull and hair.
Secret Service Agent Sam Kinney will eventually state that he discovers a piece of the right-rear of the President’s skull in the limousine during the flight back to Washington, D.C., and that another member of the detail became nauseated from observing the blood and gore on the limousine’s trunk. TGZFH 8:30 PM (Nov. 22, 1963) The original Zapruder film and at least 1 copy are flown from Love Field in Dallas to Andrews AFB in Camp Springs Md, 1,307 miles away. The films are then taken to the National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC) in Suitland Md, 8 miles from Andrews AFB.
8:50 PM (Nov. 22, 1963) (Washington) SS Chief Rowley sends bullet #399 to the FBI laboratory.
8:55 PM (Nov. 22, 1963) Detectives J. B. Hicks and Robert Studebaker take Lee Harvey Oswald to the Homicide and Robbery Office for fingerprinting. A few minutes later, Detective Pete Barnes comes in and the three crime lab men make paraffin casts of Oswald’s hands and right cheek. The tests come back positive for his hands and negative for his right cheek, indicating that Lee Harvey Oswald may have fired a pistol but not a rifle.
This evening, a man identifying himself as Jim Rizzuto calls a New York City radio station to report that LHO has been seen in Greenwich village in 1962 in the company of Steve L’Eandes, a Nazi sympathizer and right-wing agitator from Wiggins, Mississippi.
The FBI will ultimately determine that Rizzuto’s story is a hoax and the Rizzuto’s real name is Stephen Harris Landesberg. “Rizzuto” claims that he served in the Marine Corps with both Lee Oswald and L’Eandes. “Rizzuto” goes on to claim that he served in the Marine Corps with both LHO and L’Eandes in the Marine Corps at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina, during the summer of 1956. (Landesberg is eventually charged with providing false information to the FBI and is committed by Federal Judge John Cannella to 10 days of psychiatric observation at Bellevue Hospital.) 9:00 PM (Nov. 22, 1963) From New Orleans, David Ferrie and two young male friends, set off by car on a seven-hour drive through a storm to Houston, Texas -- a distance of 364 miles. The purpose of the trip, as Ferrie will later explain, is to look over an ice skating rink and to do some skating. Ferrie describes the trip as a “whim.” While at the rink, Ferrie never puts on a pair of skates. He stays instead beside a public telephone for two hours, until he receives a call.
Secret Service Report: The Presidential vehicles were driven under escort to the White House Garage at 22nd and M Streets, N.W., Washington, D.C., arriving at approximately 9:00 P.M. SS-100-X was driven by SA Kinney, accompanied by SA Taylor, and SS-679-x was driven by SA Hickey, accompanied by Special Agents Keiser and Brett. On arrival, SS-100-X was backed into the designated parking bin and SS-679-X was parked a few feet away. A plastic cover was placed over SS-100-X and it was secured. The follow-up car, SS-679-X, was locked and secured. Special Agents Keiser, Brett, and the reporting Special Agent effected security, assisted by White House Policemen Snyder and Rubenstal.
The Zapruder film and one copy are now reportedly at the National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC) in Suitland Md, 8 miles from Andrews AFB. It has been suggested that the CIA reprocesses the film -- the original is reviewed and at least partially edited. A modified camera having similar characteristics to Zapruder’s Bell & Howell camera makes a duplicate copy to replace the original. Three copies are then made using a standard optical printer. The forged copies are then returned to Dallas, arriving there by 6:40 AM tomorrow morning. The forged copies are in Abraham Zapruder’s hands by 7 AM.
LBJ places a telephone call to Arthur Goldberg. During the course of the conversation, LBJ says: “If it [our system in the world] starts falling to pieces -- and some of the extremes are going to be proceeding on the wrong assumption, why we could deteriorate pretty quick.”
9:10 PM, (Nov. 22, 1963) LHO is formally advised that he has been charged with the murder of Patrolman J. D. Tippit.
In a telephone call this evening between Forrest Sorrels, head of the Dallas Secret Service and Jerry Behn, head of the White House detail, Behn says: “It’s a plot.” “Of course,” is Sorrels’s reply.
LBJ confers by telephone for fifteen minutes with J. Edgar Hoover.