The Case for a New Autopsy
The victim was murdered, gunned down on the street, just after high noon in broad daylight in front of hundreds of witnesses.
The cause of death, - a bullet to the head, was determined by an autopsy but after that fact is clearly established, there is complete legal confusion - as the body was improperly removed from the state where the murder occurred before a proper forensic autopsy, and rather than a forensic autopsy - to create evidence that could be used in a court of law, a less thorough regular autopsy was performed, the purpose of which is to determine the cause of death - gunshot to the head.
But there were three different autopsy reports prepared and the doctors who conducted the autopsy did not talk about the wounds with the emergency room doctors who dealt with them, and there were two brain exams, one of a brain that was not that of the victim.
The photos, x-rays and reports of the autopsy could not be introduced as evidence in a court of law because those who took the photos and x-rays can not identify them as the ones they took, and the province - the chain of evidence from the scene of the crime to grave had been broken and lost.
If the victim was an unknown bum found in the street gutter, his remains would be routinely exhumed and given a proper forensic autopsy - one that would produce photos, x-rays and reports that could be introduced as evidence in a court of law.
But because the victim was the President of the
named John Fitzgerald Kennedy,
political forces have intervened to prevent a proper legal resolution of the
case and for the total truth to kept secret. United
The details of the original, botched autopsy are well known - the doctors in the emergency room at
viewing the wounds within minutes after they were inflicted, only examined the throat
and head wounds. The throat wound they assumed, because of its small size, was
one of entrance, and it was enlarged to insert breathing tubes. Dallas
The head wound, as all he
doctors agreed, was a large, grapefruit sized whole in the back of the
President’s head, and a flap of bone and flesh on the side of the head above
the ear, as can be seen in the Zapruder film. The large, gaping hole in the
back of the President’s head was also confirmed by Secret Service agent Hill,
who twice viewed it and confirmed its existence.
Because the President was lying on his back on the gurney, and the nature of the head wounds precluded his survival, they didn’t turn him over and did not know there was also an entrance wound in the back, about six inches down from the collar.
They did however, find a nearly pristine bullet on a gurney that may have been used to bring in the President or Texas Governor John Connally, who was also wounded in the “flurry of shots” that descended on them.
The autopsy doctors, when they discovered the entrance wound in the back, found that the bullet only penetrated a few inches, less than a finger, and that bullet probably fell out on the gurney and was found at
The autopsy doctors were also surprised by the fact that the Parkland emergency doctors had enlarged an already existing throat wound - believed to be an entrance wound, so they realized that, even though their conclusion as to the cause of death - gunshot to the head, was correct, the rest of their report was invalid, as more and more information became available to them from witnesses and the Parkland doctors.
Eventually the official report on the assassination concluded that the back wound was not a superficial, two inch deep wound, but did in fact transit the victim and exited his throat, and then inflicted all of the wounds on Governor Connally, in the jump seat in front of the President, thus creating “the Single Bullet Theory.”
The chief autopsy doctor later acknowledged that he burned his notes, three autopsy reports were prepared and entered into evidence, and two brain exams were conducted, one of a brain that could not have been that of the President.
When the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) investigated in the late 1970s and the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) questioned the doctors, photographers and x-ray technicians in the early 1990s, the photographers and technicians could not recognize their work, sometimes explaining that the photos in evidence could not have been the ones they took because they were of a different film type, and not from the angles they took.
In retrospect, everyone with any knowledge of the
autopsy agrees that it was a medical and legal abortion, and all of the autopsy
reports, exams, x-rays and photos have lost their provenance - their chain of
possession that is necessary for them to be introduced into evidence in a court
of law. Bethesda
Because the cause of death was a “gunshot to the head,” and therefore a murder, certainly meeting the “suspicious death” threshold necessary to require a new, proper forensic autopsy, one that would answer all outstanding questions and produce exams, reports, x-rays and photos that could be introduced into a court of law.
But since the victim is not an ordinary American citizen, or even a bum found murdered in the gutter, but President Kennedy, the law, rules and standards are considered different - and rather give the former President the best and most thorough autopsy that he deserves, observance of the law is relegated to the feelings of the Kennedy family.