Have the autopsy photos and x-rays
been faked or altered? Most Warren Commission defenders will
point to the HSCA's (House Select Committee on Assassinations) two expert panels that authenticated the photos and x-rays. They were
"authenticated" by very narrow criteria and they did not explain the indications of alteration in the autopsy materials. The HSCA also concluded
the following (taken from Mike Griffith's JFK Assassination page). They are generally of rather poor photographic quality.
- Some of them were taken in such a manner that it is nearly impossible to anatomically orient the direction of view.
- In many of them, scaler references are entirely lacking, or, when present, are positioned in such a manner that it is difficult or impossible to
obtain accurate measurements of critical features from anatomical landmarks.
- Not one of them contains information identifying the victim, such as his name, the autopsy case number, and the date and place of the
- Due to their lack of documentation and poor quality, the defense could have challenged the use of these photos as evidence in a trial, and even the
prosecution might have had "second thoughts about using certain of these photographs since they are more confusing than informative."
- The onus of establishing their authenticity would have rested with the prosecution. Harrison Livingstone correctly notes that this point and the
previous one can rightly be seen as an admission that the photos would have been prima facie inadmissable as evidence in a court of law, and that the
prosecution could have used them only after establishing their validity.
There are also no autopsy tags visible, no photos of the brain after removal, no whole body photographs, no photos of the skull reassembled, and no
photo of the chest cavity.
The HSCA authenticated the photos by using these
face measurements. But if the photos are genuine
but have been altered in some way, the above graphic would not automatically prove authenticity.
In the top-of-the-head photos
right profile photos
, three bloody red stripes hand down giving the impression of a massive
wound on the top of the head. However, in the black and white photos, the stripes are white and light gray. This is a photographic impossibility if
orthochromatic film was used. When orthochromatic film is used, red becomes black, not white or light gray. Photographic expert Steve Mills has this
"Orthochromatic film, unfiltered, records blue very lightly and red very darkly. This makes perfect sense in [autopsy photos]
. Yet, here's a supposedly bloodied scalp in
light gray. This can be done with a red filter on ortho film, but the blood drops on the towel show me this is not the case. The scalp can't be gray
and three bloody spots still be dark if a filter was used. It is common to use ortho film in forensic photography to show differences and details in
red and blue areas. But this is no proof. The record declares one type of film, and the photos declare either another or fraud."
Mills then goes on to say:
"They [the autopsy photos] also show Groden's color shots to be frauds. Let me explain.
1) Let's say it was pan b/w. (black and white) F6 and F7 would have to be shot with a blue filter to lighten the stripe. That would darken the
supposedly bloody scalp. You can't have it both ways, i.e., light red AND light blue, so there's no red filter either. This would not work. So, if
it's truly pan film, then the scalp is not bloody skin but brain matter.
2) Let's say it's ortho film. The blue stripe will always be light and the red will always be dark. No filter is required if the scalp is really
brain tissue, but a red one is still needed to lighten blood. But here the bloody spots prove this is not the case once again. So do the bloody marks
on his shoulder.
So, here's the result: They probably used ortho film and no filtering of any kind. THAT IS BRAIN and NOT SCALP. We can see that NO COMBINATION OF
FILM AND FILTRATION CAN GIVE YOU B/W PHOTOS THAT WILL JIBE WITH GRODEN'S COLORS. THEY HAVE TO BE FAKE"
Also, many witnesses saw a large wound in the back of the head
that the top of the head was virtually undamaged. Some also said that the large wound to the head could not even be seen when Kennedy was laying flat
on the table.
The autopsy took place in the morgue at Bethesda Naval Hospital but several medical technicians who assisted with the autopsy stated that the
background seen in the photos is not that of the morgue. In the left-profile
, a black phone can be seen on the wall. But these techinicians said that there was no phone in that position in the morgue. Earl
McDonald, a medical photographer at Bethesda who trained under James Stringer, told the ARRB (Assassination Records Review Board) that he had never
seen anyone at Bethesda use a metal brace like the one that is see holding up the head in the autopsy photos.
One of the photographer at the autopsy, Floyd Riebe, stated in a filmed interview that the wounds in the autopsy photos differ from his recollections.
Riebe recalled a large, gaping wound in the back of the head. Not what it shown
. The other photographer, James Stringer, also stated in a filmed
interview that he was not the one who took the photos of the back of the head. Who did then?
In an important new disclosure, Saundra Kay Spencer stated that she didn't process any of the black and white autopsy pictures and didn't process
any of the ones in evidence now. This supports the contention that there are two sets of autopsy photos, one altered and one genuine.
In the x-ray of the head
, you can see about two-thirds of the brain is missing.
You can also see a trail of small metal fragments from the supposed entrance wound to the supposed exit wound in the front. But how can this be?
There is no brain there to support the metal fragments.
Fragments can also be seen in the frontal lobe
. But Dr. Richard Lindenberg,
expert consultant for the Rockefeller Commission, stated that the whole frontal lobe is missing. But there is nothing supporting these fragments if
the frontal lobe is missing.
also show a large, 6.5 mm fragment near the supposed entrance wound.
But this was not seen by the autopsy doctors or the radiologist. When the chief autopsy doctor Dr. Humes testified before the Warren Commission, he
said nothing about a 6.5 mm fragment anywhere near the back of the head. Also, it is highly unlikely that a fully metal-jacketed Carcano bullet would
shear to form that fragment. Detective Shaun Roach, an Australian forensics expert had this to say:
". . . due to the inherent strength of the 6.5 mm Carcano jacket, I also believe that it would NOT shear off a fragment upon entering the head, then
deposit that fragment on the outer table of the skull, either above or below the wound"
But Dr. David Mantik discovered that the fragment isn't really a bullet fragment at all! After studying the x-rays and using optical density
measurements, Dr. Mantik discovered that this object had been superimposed over a smaller, genuine bullet fragment. Dr. Mantik was even able to
duplicate the process by which the 6.5 mm fragment could have been created.
Dr. Mantik has also concluded that the x-rays are abnormal. After studying the radiographs at the National Archives, Dr. Mantik discovered the
measured light in the large white area on the right lateral x-rays is "a thousand times the maximum seen in any other x-rays."
The Bethesda x-ray technician, Jerrol Custer, stated that on November 23, he was told to tape bullet fragments to pieces of skull and x-ray them. He
was told they were for a bust of JFK's head but no such bust ever surfaced.