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The Kennedy Autopsy, Part 4


The Kennedy Assassination Series:

The Kennedy Casket Conspiracy, by Jacob G. Hornberger

The Shot That Killed Kennedy, by Jacob G. Hornberger

The Kennedy Autopsy, Part 1, by Jacob G. Hornberger

The Kennedy Autopsy, Part 2, by Jacob G. Hornberger

The Kennedy Autopsy, Part 3, by Jacob G. Hornberger

The Kennedy Autopsy, Part 4, by Jacob G. Hornberger

The Kennedy Autopsy, Part 5, by Jacob G. Hornberger

The Kennedy Autopsy, Part 6 by Jacob G. Hornberger

The Kennedy Autopsy, Part 7 by Jacob G. Hornberger

The Kennedy Autopsy, Part 8 by Jacob G. Hornberger

The Kennedy Autopsy, Part 9 by Jacob G. Hornberger

The Kennedy Autopsy, Part 10 by Jacob G. Hornberger

The Kennedy Autopsy, Part 11 by Jacob G. Hornberger

The Kennedy Autopsy, Part 12 by Jacob G. Hornberger


In his testimony at the New Orleans trial of Clay Shaw, Lt. Col. Pierre Finck testified as follows:

When I arrived, X‑rays had been taken of [President Kennedy’s] head. I had been told so over the phone by Dr. Humes when he called me at home, and I arrived, I would say, a short time after the beginning of the autopsy, I can’t give you an exact time, it was approximately 8 o’clock at night.

Do you see the problem? Finck was telephoned by Humes at 8:00 p.m. During that telephone call, Humes advised Finck that X-rays had already been taken of Kennedy’s head.

In my article “The Kennedy Casket Conspiracy,” I wrote,

On December 10, 1963, Lt. Bird filed his official report of the Joint Casket Bearer Team’s delivery of the president’s casket into the Bethesda morgue on the evening of November 22, 1963. The report stated in part:

The Joint Casket Team consisted of one officer, one NCO and seven enlisted men (from each branch of the Armed Forces)…. They removed the remains as follows: 1. From the ambulance to the morgue (Bethesda) 2000 hours [8:00 p.m.], 22 Nov. 63. (Bracketed material added.)


Do you see the problem?

Consider this timeline:

8:00 p.m. — Official delivery of Kennedy’s body in the Dallas casket by the Joint Casket Bearer Team.

8:00 p.m. — Navy pathologist James Humes telephones Army pathologist Colonel Finck to request his assistance with the autopsy and advises him that X‑rays of Kennedy’s head have already been taken.

Now do you see the problem?

Since the body was officially delivered to the morgue at 8:00 p.m. after it had been transported from Andrews Air Force Base, how is possible for X‑rays of Kennedy’s head to have already been taken? As Douglas P. Horne (who served as chief analyst for military records for the Assassination Records Review Board) pointed out in his 2009 five-volume work on the Kennedy assassination, Inside the Assassination Records Review Board, a book that is based largely on Kennedy assassination researcher David Lifton’s bestselling 1981 book, Best Evidence, the only way for X‑rays to have been taken prior to 8:00 p.m. was for the body to have been in the morgue prior to the official delivery time of 8:00 p.m.

Thus, in 1969 Lt. Col. Pierre Finck inadvertently corroborated the evidence that would later come out establishing that Kennedy’s body had been secretly delivered to the Bethesda morgue at 6:35 p.m. in a plain gray shipping casket, the type used by the U.S. military for transporting bodies during the Vietnam War, and wrapped in a black body bag rather than in the white sheets in which it had been wrapped at Parkland hospital.

Consider these excerpts from my article “The Kennedy Casket Conspiracy”:


[Navy Chief of the Day Dennis] David added that after his team had delivered the shipping casket into the morgue, he proceeded into the main portion of the hospital, where several minutes later (i.e., at 6:55 p.m.) he saw the motorcade in which Mrs. Kennedy was traveling (and the Dallas casket was being transported) approaching the front of Bethesda Hospital. As he stated to Horne, he knew at that point that President Kennedy’s body could not be in the Dallas casket because his team had, just a few minutes earlier, delivered Kennedy’s body into the morgue in the shipping casket.

*    *     *

In fact, David isn’t the only one who saw Mrs. Kennedy’s motorcade (which contained the Dallas casket) approaching Bethesda Hospital after the president’s body had already been delivered to the morgue at 6:35 p.m. According to Horne, Jerrol Custer told Lifton in 1980 that he had seen Mrs. Kennedy in the main lobby while he was on his way upstairs to process X‑rays that had already been taken of the president’s body. (Horne, volume 4, page 991.)

In a review of volume IV of Horne’s five-volume book that is posted on the Internet here, David A. Mantik, M.D., Ph.D., a specialist in radiation oncology who has conducted tests on the Kennedy X‑rays and determined them to have been altered, provides an excellent synopsis of this portion of Finck’s testimony in the context of the casket-delivery controversy set forth by Horne and Lifton:

Finck, as a forensic pathologist, had been asked to assist with the autopsy. As further confirmation for Finck’s overall timeline, he arrived (see his Blumberg report) at the morgue at 8:30 PM. But here is the clincher: during this phone call, Humes told Finck that X‑rays had already been taken — and had already been viewed. On the other hand, the official entry time (with the Joint Service Casket Team) was at 8 PM! If that indeed was the one and only entry time, how then could X‑rays have been taken — let alone developed and viewed (a process of 30 minutes minimum) — even before the official entry time? The only possible answer is that the body did not first arrive at 8 PM.

Furthermore, Custer and Reed, the radiology techs, provide timelines consistent with much earlier X‑rays; in particular, they recall seeing Jackie [i.e., Mrs. Kennedy] enter the hospital lobby, well after the 6:35 PM casket entry — an entry they had personally witnessed. In summary, eyewitnesses convincingly support a much earlier timeline than the official entry of 8 PM. Therefore, multiple casket entries are logically required. And that more relaxed timeline gave H&B [i.e., Humes and Boswell — JGH] time both to perform their illicit surgery and also for skull X‑rays to be taken and read, most likely all before 7:30-8:00 PM.

Thus, as outlined in my article “The Kennedy Casket Conspiracy,” we have (1) several Navy enlisted men affirming that Kennedy’s body was secretly brought into the morgue in a cheap shipping casket rather than the expensive bronze casket into which the body had been placed in Dallas and in a body bag rather than wrapped in the white sheets from Parkland Hospital; (2) the official written report of Gawler’s Funeral Home, which included the notation “Body removed from metal shipping casket at NSNH at Bethesda, ” and (3) Marine Sgt. Roger Boyajian’s official November 26, 1963, security report confirming that the president’s casket was carried into the morgue at 6:35 p.m., which was almost one and a half hours earlier than when the body was reintroduced into the morgue at 8:00 p.m. in the Dallas casket. Now we also have an Army colonel who served as one of the three official pathologists for the Kennedy autopsy corroborating that evidence under oath in a criminal proceeding.

Why all of this rigmarole during an official autopsy of the president of the United States? We’ll examine that question later, but first let’s look at another important aspect of the Kennedy autopsy — the neck wound, the wound that involved the “magic bullet.”

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    Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.