Clandestine JFK Body Tampering

One of the most earthshaking developments in the JFK Assassination conspiracy and the ensuing massive cover-up has been the discovery that the traumatic wounds on the body of President Kennedy were altered during clandestine post-mortem "surgery" (better termed butchery) prior to the commencement of the official JFK autopsy at Bethesda Naval Hospital on November 22, 1963.[1] 

Many people find the notion shocking and some are apparently (despite the corroborating medical evidence) unwilling to follow that evidence wherever it leads. For those who have been perplexed by the fact that the findings of multiple attending physicians at Parkland Hospital in Dallas Texas are radically inconsistent with what was documented in the Autopsy Report, X-rays and Autopsy photographs, the so-called "body-tampering" hypothesis is the best fit that is, it best explains all of the relevant evidence gathered to date.

I personally agree with Douglas Horne's body tampering conclusion which is detailed in his 5 volume new book and that of David W. Mantik MD PhD who not only supports Horne's conclusion[2] but who personally performed a detailed analysis of the X-rays, JFK articles of clothing and the Autopsy photographs utilizing; stereoscopic viewing, bright lighting of the X-rays and specifically optical densitometric analysis of the skull X-rays. That now makes two highly trained sub-specialty physicians, one a radiation oncologist and physicist (DWM) the other a cardio-thoracic surgeon (JPH) who agree with Doug Horne that JFK's body was surrepticiously and criminally altered just prior to the official autopsy.[3]

Mantik has confirmed that the skull X-rays in the extant collection housed in the archives represent forged composite copies of original films in which a large bony defect in the right occipital area was "patched" using "light blasting" and in which a quite large metallic appearing object was added to the AP Skull X-ray to make it appear that a portion of a 6.5 mm Manlicher-Carcano round was embedded in the skull.

This means that in addition to the illicit and clandestine body tampering which was carried out on the body of President Kennedy, there was also major alteration of the forensic medical evidence (specifically, fraudulent alteration of the Skull X-rays) designed to

1) cover-up the large posterior occipital bony defect documented in Dallas and
2) make it appear that the alleged murder weapon left evidence in the form of a metal fragment from a 6.5 mm FMJ round embedded in the skull.

I include here a portion of a post from Douglas Horne's site which addresses the "body-tampering" hypothesis and which is covered extensively in his 5 volume book.  The entire post can be found at the following link under "A Matter of Epistemology" http://insidethearrb.livejournal.com/

Doug Horne, "A Matter of Epistemology" April 17, 2010

...So what does the weight of the evidence tell us about the post-mortem surgery/wound alteration hypothesis? It tells us that it has been established as a fact (as recognized by David Mantik, M.D., Ph.D., in his 25-page review of Volume IV of my book). For simplicity's sake, I will limit the discussion here to the head wound(s):

(1) The Dallas doctors and nurses consistently observed a blowout---an avulsed wound which they interpreted as an exit---in the right rear of JFK's head. They described this in detail in both their contemporaneous treatment reports, and in their sworn testimony in March of 1964.

(2) These descriptions were visually reinforced by the wound diagrams made by Nurse Audrey Bell and Dr. Charles Crenshaw for the ARRB in 1997.

(3) Mortician Tom Robinson, who was present at Bethesda from the time the body arrived until the time it departed, also drew a diagram of a head wound (for both the HSCA staff and the ARRB staff) which was virtually identical to those drawn by Bell and Crenshaw.

(4) Three physicians at Bethesda Naval hospital (Burkley, Canada, and Ebersole) who saw JFK's body immediately after arrival (shortly after 6:35 PM) have all described a head wound virtually identical with that seen at Parkland hospital in Dallas---an avulsed exit wound about the size of a baseball in the right rear of the head.

(5) Dr. Boswell drew a sketch at the autopsy (sometime after 8:00 PM) showing a much larger wound---about 5 times larger---which indicated that virtually all of the bone from the top of the head was missing---and leaving unanswered whether or not bone was also missing from the rear of the head. At his ARRB deposition in 1996, Boswell was asked to render on a 3-D skull model the true extent of the area of missing cranial bone, and he did: at the autopsy proper, after 8:00 PM, the bone was missing from the top of the skull, part of the right side of the skull, and from the right rear of the head. The damage depicted by Boswell included the avulsed exit wound seen in Dallas, but was five times larger and extended to include the top and right side of the skull, as well. The differences between the Boswell diagrams and the diagrams made by Bell, Crenshaw, and Robinson are startling, and imply post-mortem surgery at Bethesda Naval hospital.

                                           Dr. Boswell's Diagram

Nurse Audrey Bell's Diagram

Dr. Charles Crenshaw's Diagram

                                               Dr. McClelland's Diagram

Even today, 14 years after Boswell's deposition, many researchers refuse to deal with the implications of these differences; they are not comfortable with the implications of the gross differences between the two descriptions, so they simply choose to ignore them.

(6) Two witnesses---mortician Tom Robinson and x-ray technician Ed Reed---told the ARRB that they saw the autopsy pathologists perform surgery on JFK's skull. [I infer that the reason was to suppress evidence of crossfire, by removing bullet fragments and brain tissue.] This contradicted Dr. Humes, who stated under oath to the Warren Commission and to the ARRB that he did not have to perform a craniotomy in order to remove the brain. (Humes also relayed this lie to Dr. Finck, the Army pathologist, after his late arrival.)

Humes himself stated at the autopsy (as recorded by the FBI) that someone had performed surgery to the top of JFK's skull, and then lied about this under oath---denied it---before the ARRB. Mortician Tom Robinson examined the autopsy photos taken of President Kennedy's skull, and stated that the gross damage to the top of the cranium in those photographs "was what the doctors did," not "the bullet(s)."

(7) The early arrival of JFK's body at Bethesda at 6:35 PM (in the wrong casket, the wrong wrappings, and the wrong vehicle) prior to the arrival of the official motorcade from Andrews AFB (a light gray ambulance transported the ornate, heavy, bronze Dallas casket), provided those in charge of the medical cover-up time to perform the desired surgical manipulations prior to the beginning of the autopsy proper shortly after 8:00 PM. The body's early arrival is documented not only by eyewitnesses who handled the cheap shipping casket that arrived in a black hearse, but its time of arrival (6:35 PM) was recorded by a Marine Sergeant in a document obtained and authenticated by the ARRB staff.

(8) The wound descriptions provided by most Bethesda eyewitnesses include an area that was missing in the right rear of the skull (consistent with the damage seen in Dallas), but also reflect a much larger skull defect, which was fronto-parietal-occipital in nature. That is, the wound seen by most Bethesda witnesses INCLUDED the damage seen in Dallas, but was considerably larger, reflecting the results of clandestine post-mortem surgery to expand the cranial wound. (These witnesses include Paul O'Connor; James Jenkins; Jerrol Custer; and Pierre Finck.) The autopsy photos of the cranium were taken after the post-mortem surgery, and therefore show an extremely large, expanded skull defect. Inadequate analysis of eyewitness testimony performed by others often cites the similarities between the Parkland and Bethesda wound descriptions (namely, an occipital-parietal exit wound in the right rear of the head) while IGNORING that fact that most Bethesda witnesses (namely, the morgue audience after 8:00 PM) saw a cranial defect that was five times larger overall than the wound seen in Dallas, and included damage to areas other than the rear of the skull.

(9) In short, I conclude that while the body may have been tampered with enroute Bethesda (particularly the throat wound), that the exit wound in JFK's skull was substantially the same when the body arrived at Bethesda as it was when it left Dallas. Shortly after arrival, however, post-mortem surgery altered the shape and size of the cranial defect so that evidence could be removed from the body prior to the start of the autopsy. All of the existing skull photographs and cranial x-rays were taken after the post-mortem surgery.

Carl Sagan once said, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." What many have found objectionable over the years---the claim that President Kennedy's wounds were altered by post-mortem surgery, in what amounted to obstruction of justice (a crime)---is strongly supported by the overwhelming evidence of the body's early arrival at Bethesda; by the two witnesses to cranial surgery (Tom Robinson and Ed Reed); and by the startling differences between the descriptions of the head wound seen in Dallas (and upon the body's initial arrival at Bethesda), and the greatly enlarged cranial defect sketched by Boswell after 8:00 PM. When viewed as a whole, the evidence supports my conclusions.

The brain photographs in the Archives cannot be used to support the lone assassin conclusion because as the ARRB's key witnesses (photographer John Stringer and FBI agent Frank O'Neill) demonstrated, the brain photos in the Archives cannot be, and are not, images of President Kennedy's brain---but rather, are images of a substitute brain.

The autopsy report in the Archives (CE 387) cannot be used to discount any part of my hypothesis because it is (at least) the third written version of that document, and is therefore without any medico-legal standing whatsoever. If there were a trial today, it would be thrown out of court by the judge. [The first draft was burned by Dr. Humes in his fireplace, and the first signed version of the report disappeared after it was given to Robert F. Kennedy.]

To those who would call me a "Liftonite," I would simply point out that while I believe the essential points in David Lifton's hypothesis published in 1981 have been verified---the chain of custody of the body was broken enroute Washington, and JFK's wounds were surgically altered prior to the autopsy---I have disagreed with him on some important points. Specifically, I take issue with Lifton's conclusions (as published in "Best Evidence") in the following ways:

(1) I do NOT believe that post mortem surgery was conducted on JFK's head wounds before the body arrived at Bethesda Naval hospital;
(2) I do NOT believe that President Kennedy's brain was removed prior to the body's arrival at Bethesda;
(3) I do NOT believe that JFK's cranium was "reconstructed" at Bethesda, after the body arrived, to fool the camera and the x-ray machine. (Instead, I believe the photos of the intact back of the head are authentic photographic images exposed after midnight---after the FBI departed the morgue---by grossly manipulating and re-arranging the scalp; and I believe the Dallas occipital-parietal blowout was obscured by visual effects in the two modified lateral skull x-rays, which are in reality altered copy films, not originals.)...


[1] See Douglas P. Horne. Inside the Assassination Records Review Board: The U.S. Governement's Final Attempt to Reconcile the Conflicting Medical Evidence in the Assassination of JFK volumes I-V (self published, 2009) especially volume IV. Horne has in large part substantiated (with modification) the body alteration hypothesis originally proposed by David Lifton in his monumental work Best Evidence: Disguise and Deception in the Assassination of John F. Kennedy (NYC: Carroll & Graf Publishers,  1988). 
[2] Dr. Mantik has written an extensive review of volume IV of Doug Horne's 5 volume book in which he agrees with Horne about the extensive illicit post-mortem/pre-official autopsy wound tampering to the head of JFK. The review will eventually be published elsewhere on this site.
[3] There are quite a few other professionals who now embrace Doug Horne's conclusion that pre-official autopsy illicit body tampering occured including Professor Jim Fetzer editor of Assassination Science: Experts Speak out on the Death of JFK (Chicago: Catfeet Press, 1998) and Murder in Dealey Plaza: What we Know Now That we Didn't Know Then About the Death of JFK, (Chicago: Catfeet Press, 2000).