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Nel gennaio 1967 i tre patologi militari convalidarono le foto dell'autopsia e il loro operato

Last Update: 12/16/2003 12:22 AM
Post: 436
Registered in: 11/18/2002
12/16/2003 12:22 AM


The undersigned physicians performed the autopsy on the body of late
President John F. Kennedy. In charge was James J. Humes, M.D., at that
time Commander, Medical Corps, United States Navy, and Director of
Laboratories, Naval Medical School. He was certified in 1955 by the
American Board of Pathology in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology. Assisting
him were J. Thornton Boswell, M.D., and Pierre A. Finck, M.D. Dr. Boswell
at that time was a Commander in the Medical Corps, United States Navy, and
Chief of Pathology, Naval Medical School. He was certified in 1957 by the
American Board of Pathology in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology. Dr.
Finck, a Lieutenant Colonel, Medical Corps, United States Army, was then
Chief of the Military Environmental Pathology Division, and Chief of the
Wound Ballistics Pathology Branch, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology,
Walter Reed Medical Center. He was certified in 1956 by the American
Board of Pathology in Anatomic Pathology, and in 1961 in Forensic

The Surgeon General of the Navy advised Dr. Humes that the purpose of the
autopsy was to determine the nature of the President's injuries and the
cause of death.

The autopsy begain at approximately 8:00 P.M. on Friday, November 22,
1963, and was concluded approximately at 11:00 P.M. The autopsy report,
written by Dr. Humes with the assistance of Dr. Boswell and Dr. Finck, was
written on November 23 and the morning of November 24, and delivered by
Dr. Humes to Admiral Burkley, the President's physician, on November 24 at
about 6:30 P.M.

Dr. Humes was chosen to perform the autopsy because of the decision to
bring the body of the late President to the Naval Medical Center in
Bethesda, Maryland, where, as stated, he was Director of Laboratories.

At the direction and under the supervision of Dr. Humes, x-rays and
photographs of the President's body were taken during the autopsy. The
x-rays were examined that same evening. However, the photographs were not
seen at that time. All x-rays and photographic plates were delivered that
evening to Secret Service personnel. Dr. Humes and Dr. Boswell first saw
the photographs on November 1, 1966, when requested by the Department of
Justice to examine, identify, and inventory them at the National Archives.
Dr. Finck first saw the photographs on January 20, 1967.

The undersigned physicians have been requested by the Department of
Justice to examine the x-rays and photographs for the purpose of
determining whether they are consistent with the autopsy report. Pursuant
to this request, we met after our regular work day, January 20, 1967, at
the office of Dr. Robert H. Bahmer, Archivist of the United States, where
the x-rays and photographs were made available to us. Our findings with
respect thereto follow.


The Location

The autopsy report states that the "wound presumably of entry" was "in the
upper right posterior thorax." In non-technical language, this wound was
located low in the back of the neck. Photographs Nos. 11, 12, 38 and 39
verify the location of the wound, as stated in the report. Warren
Commission Exhibit 397 includes a drawing (Vol. XVII, p. 45) which
purports to show the approximate location of the wound, and specifically
states that it was 14 cm. (5-1/2 inches) from the tip of the mastoid
process (behind the right ear), and 14 cm. from the tip of the right
acromion (the extreme tip of the right shoulder bone). Photographs 11,
12, 38 and 39 confirm the accuracy of these measurements. The drawing
itself may be somewhat misleading as to the location of the wound, making
it appear at a point lower than it actually was. No one photograph shows
both the wound at the back of the neck and the wound in the throat, but by
comparing Photographs 11, 12, 38 and 39 with the side views in Photographs
1-4, inclusive, it is clear that Warren Commission Exhibits 385 and 386,
which also depict the location of the neck wound, are accurate.
Photographs Nos. 26 and 38 show the wound in the back of the neck to be
higher from the horizontal plane than the wound in the throat.


Our finding, as stated in the autopsy report, that the wound low in the
back of the neck was an entrance wound is supported by Photographs Nos.
11, 12, 38, and 39. They show the edges of the wound to be inverted,
regular, and smooth. At such a location and in such tissue these are the
principal characteristics of an entrance wound.

The Size of the Entrance Wound

The autopsy report states that the wound was 7 by 4 mm. (0.275 inches by
0.137 inches); and Photographs Nos. 11, 12, 38 and 39 confirm the accuracy
of this measurement.


The autopsy report states that the "wound presumably of exit" was that
described by Dr. Malcom O. Perry of Dallas. This wound was used as the
site of a tracheotomy incision, and its character thus distorted.
Photographs Nos. 1-6 inclusive, 13, 14, 26-28 inclusive, 40 and 41 show
the wound as being below the Adams apple.

It should be noted that the morning after the autopsy, Saturday, November
23, 1963, Dr. Humes telephoned Dr. Perry at the Parkland Hospital in
Dallas. Dr. Perry was the physician who attended President Kennedy
immediately after the shooting. Dr. Perry advised Dr. Humes that he had
observed a missile wound below the Adams apple, and that the site of this
wound had been used as the site of the tracheotomy incision. This
information made it clear to us that the missile which had entered the
back of the neck had exited at the site of the tracheotomy incision.



The autopsy report states that a lacerated entry wound measuring 15 by 6
mm. (0.59 by 0.24 inches) is situated in the posterior scalp approximately
2.5 cm. (1 inch) laterally to the right and slightly above the external
occipital protruberance (a bony protruberance at the back of the head).
In non-technical language this indicates that a small wound was found in
the back of the head on the right side. Photographs Nos. 15, 16, 42 and
43 show the location and size of the wound, and establish that the above
autopsy data were accurate. Due to the fractures of the underlying bone
and the elevation of the scalp by manual lifting (done to permit the wound
to be photographed) the photographs show the wound to be slightly higher
than its actually measured site.

The scalp wound shown in the photographs appears to be a laceration and
tunnel, with the actual penetration of the skin obscured by the top of the
tunnel. From the photographs this is not recognizable as a penetrating
wound because of the slanting direction of entry. However, as we pointed
out in the autopsy report, there was in the underlying bone a
corresponding wound through the skull which exhibited beveling of the
margins of the bone when viewed from the inner aspect of the skull. This
is characteristic of a wound of entry in the skull.


The autopsy report further states that there was a large irregular defect
of the scalp and skull on the right involving chiefly the parietal bone
but extending somewhat into the temporal and occipital regions, with an
actual absence of scalp and bone measuring approximately 13 cm. (5.12
inches) at the greatest diameter. In non-technical language, this means
that a large section of the skull on the right side of the head was torn
away by the force of the missile. Photographs Nos. 5-10 inclusive, 17,
18, 26-28, 32-37 inclusive, 44 and 45 portray this massive head wound, and
verify that the largest diameter was approximately 13 cm. The report
further states that one of the fragments of the skull bone, received from
Dallas, shows a portion of a roughly circular wound presumably of exit
which exhibits beveling of the outer aspect of the bone, and the wound was
estimated to be approximately 2.5 to 3.0 cm. (1 to 1.18 inches) in
diameter. X-ray Nos. 4, 5 and 6 show this bone fragment and the embedded
metal fragments. Photographs Nos. 17, 18, 44 and 45 show the other half
of the margin of the exit wound; and also show the beveling of the bone
characteristic of a wound of exit. Photographs Nos. 44 and 45 also show
that the point of exit of the missile was much larger than the point of
entrance, being 30 mm. (1.18 inches) at its greatest diameter.
Photographs 5-10 inclusive, 32-37 inclusive, 44 and 45 show the location
of the head wound, and verify the accuracy of the Warren Commission
drawings (Exhibits 386 and 388, Vol. XVI, pp. 977 and 984) which depict
the location of the head wound.


The x-ray films established that there were small metallic fragments in
the head. However, careful examination at the autopsy, and the
photographs and x-rays taken during the autopsy, revealed no evidence of a
bullet or of a major portion of a bullet in the body of the President and
revealed no evidence of any missile wounds other than those described


The photographs and x-rays corroborate our visual observations during the
autopsy and conclusively support our medical opinion as set forth in the
summary of our autopsy report.

It was then and is now our opinion that the two missiles which struck the
President causing the neck wound and the head wound were fired from a
point behind and somewhat above the level of the deceased.

Our examination of the photographs and x-rays lasted approximately five
hours, and at its conclusion the photographs and x-rays were returned to
the Archivist of the United States.

[signed by Humes, Boswell, and Finck]

Diego Verdegiglio
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