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The Governor's Wounds and the Validity of the Essential Conclusions

In the case of Governor Connally, it is not possible to determine the type of ammunition that produced his wounds. Three bones in his body were struck by a bullet, two of them seriously broken and fractured, and flecks of metal were observed in, and in one case removed from, his injuries. The presence of these metallic fragments in the Governor's wounds, however, does not specifically indicate that he was struck by a type of sporting ammunition, because the force with which the bone tissue was struck was sufficient for military ammunition to have deposited the fragments observed. It is the Warren Commission's belief that the Governor's wounds were caused by the almost pristine bullet, CE 399, fired from Oswald's rifle (R95). Therefore, in this chapter I will deal not with the general question of the type of ammunition, but with a specific bullet, CE 399. The question to be answered is this: Did bullet 399 produce the wounds sustained by Governor Connally?
      A bullet entered the back of the Governor's chest to the left of his right armpit. This bullet struck the fifth rib and shattered it, actually stripping away about 10 cm. of bone starting immediately below the armpit (4H105; 6H86). The right lung was severely lacerated (6H88). The bullet exited from the anterior chest, causing a large sucking wound about 5 cm. in diameter just below the right nipple (6H85). There was an atypical entrance wound on the dorsal (back of the hand) side of the Governor's wrist and an atypical exit wound on the volar (palm) side (6H07; R93). The radius (wrist bone) had been broken into about seven or eight pieces from the passage of the bullet (4H120). There was a 1 cm. puncture wound located on the Governor's left thigh some five to six inches above the knee (R93). X rays revealed a small metallic fragment embedded in the left thigh bone, the femur (6H106). This fragment was not surgically removed and still remains in Mr. Connally's femur.
      It is probable that one bullet caused all of Connally's injuries. In support of this hypothesis, the Report paraphrases the Parkland doctors as follows:
      In their testimony, the three doctors who attended Governor Connally expressed independently their opinion that a single bullet had passed through his chest, tumbled through his wrist with very little exit velocity, leaving small metallic fragments from the rear portion of the bullet; punctured his left thigh after the bullet had lost virtually all of its velocity; and had fallen out of the thigh wound. (R95)
A footnote to this statement cites portions of the doctors' depositions taken in Dallas on March 23, before two of them were brought to Washington to testify for the Commission a month later. At this time, they had not seen bullet 399 and spoke on a strictly hypothetical basis.
      Dr. Tom Shires, who was involved in the Governor's medical treatment, explained that, from the discussion among Connally's surgeons, "everyone was under the impression this was one missile -- through and through the chest, through and through the arm and the thigh." When asked if any of the doctors had dissented from this consensus he replied, "Not that I remember" (6H110).
      Dr. Charles Gregory, who attended to the Governor's wrist wound, best explained the reasoning behind the theory that one bullet caused Connally's wounds:
      Mr. Specter: Would you consider it possible, in your professional opinion, for the same bullet to have inflicted all of the wounds which you have described on Governor Connally?
      Dr. Gregory: Yes; I believe it is very possible, for a number of reasons. One of these -- is the apparent loss of energy manifested at each of the various body surfaces, which I transected, the greatest energy being at the point of entry on the posterior aspect of the chest and of the fifth rib, where considerable destruction was done and the least destruction having been done in the medial aspect of the thigh where the bullet apparently expended itself.
      . . . We know that high velocity bullets striking bone have a strong tendency to shatter bones and the degree to which the fifth rib was shattered was considerably in excess of the amount of shattering which occurred in the radius -- the forearm.
      . . . I think that the missile was continually losing velocity with each set of tissues which it encountered and transected, and the amount of damage done is progressively less from first entrance to the thorax to the last entrance in the thigh. (6H101-2)
      The Report is entirely misleading, however, when it asserts that the doctors felt that the wrist fragments were left "from the rear portion of the bullet" and that this bullet subsequently punctured the thigh. In their original testimonies, the doctors did not postulate from what part of the bullet the fragments had come. The intent of the Report is obvious, when we consider that the only possible surface from which CE 399 could have lost fragments is its rear, or base, where the lead core was naturally exposed. The thinking of the doctors, however, tended to rule out the possibility of CE 399's having gone into the wrist at all, because they felt that this wound was the result of an irregular or fragmented missile (6H90-91, 98-99, 102). Dr. Robert Shaw, who conducted the operation on the Governor's chest, was puzzled as to how the wrist wounds could have appeared as they did if a whole bullet had caused them (6H91).
      According to Dr. Shaw, it is not exactly correct to assert that a whole bullet entered the thigh. In the portion of his original testimony cited by the Report, Dr. Shaw explained the theory of one bullet's causing all the Governor's wounds in this way: "I have always felt that the wounds of Governor Connally could be explained by the passage of one missile through his chest, striking his wrist and a fragment of it going on into his left thigh" (6H91; emphasis added).
      What the Report does not reflect is the substantial change in Drs. Shaw's and Gregory's opinions when shown the bullet that allegedly produced the Governor's wounds. The first indication of varied opinions came through this exchange between Dr. Shaw and Commissioners Cooper, Dulles, and McCloy. Dr. Shaw had been asked about the possibility that one bullet had caused the Governor's wounds:
      Dr. Shaw: . . . this is still a possibility. But I don't feel that it is the only possibility.
      Sen. Cooper: Why do you say you don't think it is the only possibility? What causes you now to say that it is the location --
      Dr. Shaw: This is again the testimony that I believe Dr. Gregory will be giving, too. It is a matter of whether the wrist wound could be caused by the same bullet, and we felt that it could but but we had not seen the bullets until today, and we still do not know which bullet actually inflicted the wound on Governor Connally.
      Mr. Dulles: Or whether it was one or two rounds?
      Dr. Shaw: Yes.
      Mr. Dulles: Or two bullets?
      Dr. Shaw: Yes; or three.

      Mr. McCloy: You have no firm opinion that all these three wounds were caused by one bullet?
      Dr. Shaw: I have no firm opinion. . . . Asking me now if it was true. If you had asked me a month ago I would have [had].
      Mr. McCloy: Could they have been caused by one bullet, in your opinion?
      Dr. Shaw: They could.
      Mr. McCloy: I gather that what the witness is saying is that it is possible that they might have been caused by one bullet. But that he has no firm opinion now that they were.
      Mr. Dulles: As I understand it too. Is our understanding correct?
      Dr. Shaw: That is correct. (4H109; emphasis added)

      It might be regarded as highly culpable that Commissioners Dulles and McCloy, who professed such a clear understanding of Dr. Shaw's position, signed a report stating the opposite of what Dr. Shaw had testified to, with a footnote referring to prior statements withdrawn by Shaw in their presence. Dr. Shaw's testimony is explicit that, prior to seeing the bullet in evidence, he felt that all the Governor's wounds were caused by one bullet; when shown the bullet, CE 399, which allegedly did this damage, he retracted his original opinion. What was it about this bullet that caused such a change of judgment?
      Under questioning by Arlen Specter, Dr. Shaw summed up the indications that CE 399 did not produce the Governor's wounds. He had first been asked to comment on the possibility of a bullet's having caused the wounds:
      Mr. Specter: When you started to comment about it not being possible, was that in reference to the existing mass and shape of bullet 399?
      Dr. Shaw: I thought you were referring directly to the bullet shown as Exhibit 399.
      Mr. Specter: What is your opinion as to whether bullet 399 could have inflicted all the wounds on the Governor then, without respect at this point to the wound of the President's neck?
      Dr. Shaw: I feel that there would be some difficulty in explaining all of the wounds as being inflicted by bullet Exhibit 399 without causing more in the way of loss of substance to the bullet or deformation of the bullet. (4H114)
      CE 399 is a virtually undistorted, intact bullet. Its weight is approximately two grains below the average weight of an unfired bullet of that type. As was mentioned in the previous chapter, none of the copper jacket of 399 is missing. The nose and sides of this bullet -- as shown in photographs and as I saw in a personal examination -- are without gross deformity. The base of 399 has been slightly squeezed so that, in contrast to its rounded shaft, the tail end is slightly elliptical in shape. A small amount of lead, which apparently has flowed from the open base, creates a slight irregularity of the base.
      Given the almost pristine condition of CE 399, it is understandable that Drs. Shaw and Gregory were puzzled at the inference that this bullet had caused the Governor's wounds. Before having seen 399, they imagined the bullet that penetrated Connally as being irregular or distorted, the natural consequence of powerful impacts with two substantial bones. Dr. Shaw did not think the bullet could even have remained intact (6H91). On the basis of the nature of the wrist wound, Dr. Gregory thought that "the missile that struck it could be virtually intact, insofar as mass was concerned, but probably was distorted" (6H99).
      According to Dr. Gregory, the wrist wound showed characteristics of suffering the impact of an irregular missile (6H98, 102). In his testimony before the Commission, Dr. Gregory expounded on the nature of this "irregular" missile:
      Dr. Gregory: The wound of entrance (on the wrist) is characteristic in my view of an irregular missile in this case, an irregular missile which has tipped itself off as being irregular by the nature of itself.
      Mr. Dulles: What do you mean by irregular?
      Dr. Gregory: I mean one that has been distorted. It is in some way angular, it has sharp edges or something of this sort. It is not rounded or pointed in the fashion of an ordinary missile. (4H124)
      Obviously, the condition of the bullet that produced the wrist wound, as described by Dr. Gregory, does not match that of bullet 399, which is not "distorted" or "irregular." There is only one surface on CE 399 that is the least bit "irregular," the base end where the lead core is naturally exposed. When Arlen Specter asked Dr. Gregory about a possible correlation between CE 399 and the wrist wound, the latter responded:
the only . . . deformity which I can find is at the base of the missile. . . . The only way that this missile could have produced this wound, in my view, was to have entered the wrist backward. . . . That is the only possible explanation I could offer to correlate this missile with this particular wound. (4H121)
Dr. Gregory admitted, in response to a hypothetical question from Counsel Specter, that the slight irregularity in the base of CE 399 "could have" been sufficient to produce the lacerated wounds observed on the Governor's wrist (4H122).
      Yet, Dr. Gregory's only correlation of CE 399 to the wrist wound is not applicable to the circumstances of the shooting. Dr. Gregory examined 399 in its spent state, long after it had been fired and incurred its slight amount of damage. He related the bullet in this state to a bullet in flight that had not suffered the full extent of its damage. The irregularity of 399's base would have occurred after it hit the wrist, as the Commission postulates. Certainly a base-first strike on the radius would not have left the base in the same condition as it was prior to impact. Dr. Gregory's answer to Specter's hypothetical question could not apply to the actual shooting.
      Specter knew independently from wound ballistics experts that the condition of CE 399 was not at all consistent with having struck a wrist. Two conferences that Specter attended were held during the week prior to Dr. Gregory's Commission testimony. The consensus of the first meeting was, in part, that "the bullet recovered from the Governor's stretcher does not appear to have penetrated a wrist."[1] The expert opinion was more explicit at the next meeting, held the day of the Shaw-Gregory testimony and attended by those doctors, the wound ballistics experts, Specter, McCloy, and others. A memorandum of this conference reports that
in a discussion after the conference Drs. Light and Dolce (two wound ballistics experts from Edgewood Arsenal) expressed themselves as being very strongly of the opinion that Connally had been hit by two different bullets, principally on the ground that the bullet recovered from Connally's stretcher could not have broken his radius without having suffered more distortion. Dr. Olivier (another wound ballistics expert) withheld a conclusion until he has had the opportunity to make tests on animal tissue and bone with the actual rifle.[2]

photograph of 5 bullets:

  • leftmost -- virtually pristine

  • 2nd from left -- flattened length-wise but not squished vertically

  • middle -- top half missing/middle squished, bottom recognizable

  • 2nd from right -- "apparent" [misshapen] top of middle bullet

  • rightmost -- top 3rd of bullet is mushroomed into a "pancake"

Fig. 4. CE 399 (far left) is beautifully preserved as compared to similar bullets fired from the Carcano: (from left to right) CE 853, fired through a goat's chest, CE 857 (in two pieces), fired into a human skull, and CE 856, fired into a human wrist. Not one of the three, each of which did less damage than the Commission attributes to 399, emerged as undistorted as 399. It is preposterous to assume that 399 could have struck so many obstructions and remained so undamaged. (This photograph was taken for Harold Weisberg by the National Archives.)

      Dr. Olivier's tests, despite their shortcomings, demonstrated a very common ballistics principle -- that a bullet striking bone will usually suffer some form of distortion.
      As is apparent from Figure 4, none of Dr. Olivier's test bullets admitted into evidence matched 399, since all were grossly deformed by extreme flattening, indenting, or separation of jacket from core (see also 17H849-51).
      Although Dr. Olivier's tests included shots through ten cadaver wrists, only one of the bullets recovered from this series was admitted into evidence, CE 856 (see Fig. 4). The other bullets are not in the National Archives, and until recently no researchers had seen them. On March 27, 1973, the Archives declassified a once-"Confidential" report written in March 1965 by Dr. Olivier and his associate, Dr. Arthur J. Dziemian. This report is entitled "Wound Ballistics of 6.5-MM Mannlicher-Carcano Ammunition," and represents the final report of the research conducted for the Commission at Edgewood Arsenal. This report includes photographs of four of the test bullets fired through human wrists, published here for the first time ever (Fig. 5). The bullet marked "B" in Figure 5 is apparently CE 856. However, the other three bullets, which produced damage similar to that suffered by Governor Connally's wrist, are even more mutilated than the one bullet that was preserved for the record. These newly released photographs graphically reveal the degree of mutilation that might be found on Mannlicher-Carcano bullets that had struck human wrists, and make even more preposterous the Commission's assertion that near-pristine 399 penetrated Connally's wrist.

photograph of 4 bullets lying horizontally: 2 bullets in 2 rows:

  • top left -- head mashed slightly down (1 to 2 centimeters?)

  • top right -- head mashed w/more deformity, (1-2 cms?)

  • bottom left -- head mashed, more deformity (3-4 cms?)

  • bottom right -- head mashed, extreme deformity (5-6 cms?)

Fig. 5. This photograph was considered "Confidential" by the government and withheld from researchers for eight years. It depicts "6.5-MM Mannlicher-Carcano Bullets Recovered after being Fired Through Distal Ends of Radii of Cadaver Wrists."

      The obvious conclusion dictated by the nature of the Governor's wounds is that CE 399 could not have caused them. This is contrary to the Report's assertion that "all the evidence indicated that the bullet found on the Governor's stretcher could have caused all his wounds" (R95). The substantiating argument of the Report is that the total weight of the bullet fragments in the Governor's body does not exceed the weight lost by 399. This argument is nonsensical, for it ignores the thoroughly nonstatistical nature of ballistics and the expected consequences of bullets striking bone; such a line of reasoning attempts to replace imprecision with pseudo-exactness and inapplicable mathematics.
      It is therefore, in light of the well-preserved state of that bullet, preposterous to postulate that CE 399 caused Governor Connally's wounds. Drs. Shaw and Gregory, barraged by the official contention that 399 was discovered on the Governor's stretcher and thus must have caused his wounds, were reserved in expressing themselves on the unlikelihood of such a proposition. Other experts have been more free in voicing their opinions. I have yet to find one expert who will concede the likelihood of an occurrence such as the Commission assumes. When I spoke with ballistics expert Charles Dickey at Frankford Arsenal, he cautioned me that he could not speak out directly against the validity of the government's beliefs relating to the assassination. Even he found it hard to accept that 399 caused the Governor's wounds.[3] Among the many forensic pathologists who have scoffed at this theory are William Enos,[4] Halpert Fillinger,[5] Milton Helpern,[6] John Nichols,[7] and Cyril Wecht.[8]
      The absence of gross deformity in bullet 399 contradicts the career of massive bone-smashing attributed to it. However, as I learned from Dr. Fillinger and as Harold Weisberg pointed out several years ago in a copyrighted study of the medical evidence, the most crucial aspect of 399's state is its absence of significant distortion detectable through microscopic examination.[9]
      The barrels of modern firearms are "rifled," that is, several spiral grooves are cut into the barrel from end to end. As the bullet is propelled through the barrel, these spiral grooves and lands (the raised portions of the barrel between the grooves) set the bullet spinning around its axis, giving it rotational as well as forward movement, thus increasing its stability in flight. The lands and grooves consequently etch a pattern of very fine striated lines along the sides of the bullet, which will vary from one weapon to another just as fingerprints vary from one person to another. Like fingerprints, the lands and grooves scratched onto the surface of the bullet can be microscopically identified with a particular weapon to the exclusion of all others, provided that they remain sufficiently intact subsequent to impact (R547-48).
      The very fine lands and grooves along the copper sides of CE 399 allowed the conclusive determination that the bullet had been fired from "Oswald's" rifle. FBI agent Frazier provided vital testimony about the defacement of these microscopic markings on 399:
      Mr. Eisenberg: Were the markings of the bullet at all defaced?
      Mr. Frazier: Yes; they were, in that the bullet is distorted by having been slightly flattened or twisted.
      Mr. Eisenberg: How material would you call that defacement?
      Mr. Frazier: It is hardly visible unless you look at the base of the bullet and notice it is not round.
      Mr. Eisenberg: How far does it affect your examination for purposes of identification?
      Mr. Frazier: It had no effect at all . . . because it did not mutilate or distort the microscopic marks beyond the point where you could recognize the pattern and find the same pattern of marks on one bullet as were present on the other. (3H430)
From Frazier's testimony it is apparent that the very slight "defacement" of 399's lands and grooves could be better termed a "displacement," for the microscopic marks were distorted only by an almost insignificant change in the contour of the bullet as opposed to a disruption in the continuity of the surface.
      After closely examining 399 at a magnification of five diameters, I was convinced of the veracity of Frazier's testimony. I followed each set of lands and grooves on the bullet and saw that all were continuous and without disruption, beginning just below the rounded nose and running smoothly down to the tail end.
      Dr. Fillinger emphasized to me that a jacketed bullet such as 399 could strike one bone and leave its lands and grooves intact so far as visible to the naked eye. When I assured him that Agent Frazier had found these marks still to be intact even through microscopic examination, Fillinger seemed somewhat taken aback. "Well, this is unlikely," he said. "It's very unlikely, as a matter of fact. Even our own ballistics people here don't get that kind of good luck."[10] One can readily appreciate that forceful contact with firm bone tissue is bound to disrupt the fine striations on a bullet's surface, even with a jacketed projectile.
      If 399 wounded Governor Connally, then it was necessarily immune to the conditions that distort and deform other bullets of its kind. If it smashed through two substantial bones and rammed into another one, it failed to manifest the normal indications of such a flight, those which marked other bullets under even less stress. The theory that 399 wounded the Governor is valid only on the premise that it was a magic bullet capable of feats never before performed in the history of ballistics.
      Bullet 399 is not magic. It is just the typical mass of copper and lead that constitutes other bullets of its kind. Governor Connally was likewise not magic. His flesh and bones would deform bullets as would anyone else's; his wounds showed very strong indications that the bullet causing them had, in fact, become distorted and irregular.
      The only tenable conclusion warranted by the evidence of the Governor's wounds, the condition of 399, and the laws of physics is that 399 did not wound Governor Connally.

The Search for Legitimacy

      Did 399 figure in the assassination shots?
      As we have seen, there is no possible way by which bullet 399 can be related to the President's wounds. The extensive fragmentation involving the fatal wounds rules out a missile left intact. The presence of fragments in the President's neck likewise rules out 399, for there is no possible circumstance under which it could have deposited fragments in the neck and still account for the other wounds, such as the tiny hole in the throat. Had the President sustained a back wound of short penetration, it could not have been caused by a bullet whose penetrating power was as great as 399's.
      Governor Connally, to judge from the nature of his wounds and the predictable consequences of a strike such as he endured, was hit by a missile that did not leave behind a very large percentage of its substance but ended its flight in a distorted or mangled condition.
      Thus, CE 399 can not be related to any of the wounds inflicted on either victim during the assassination. From this it follows that 399 must have turned up at Parkland Hospital in a manner not related to the victims and their treatment. It had to have been placed on the stretcher at some time, manually and intentionally.
      It can not be a legitimate assassination bullet.
      The situation at Parkland on the afternoon of the assassination would have enabled almost anyone to gain access to the area where 399 was discovered on the stretcher. A man identifying himself as an FBI agent tried to enter the room in which the dead President lay at the hospital. The Secret Servicemen who witnessed this incident and had to restrain the man with force reported that he "appeared to be determined to enter the President's room" (18H798-99 and 795-96). The Commission apparently made no efforts to determine the identity of this man and sought no further details from other witnesses.
      Two witnesses were positive that they saw Jack Ruby at Parkland Hospital at about the time the President's death was announced (15H80; 25H216).
      Harold Weisberg, in his book Oswald in New Orleans, reveals that a Cuban refugee of "disruptive influence" was employed at Parkland at the time of the assassination. Pointing out that the Commission's best evidence indicated that 399 was a "plant," Weisberg finds it extremely suspicious that no effort was made to identify this "political Cuban" when his existence was known to both the Secret Service and the Commission.[11] Such a man would have had access to the stretcher on which 399 was found and would not have attracted the least suspicion, since he was an employee of the hospital.
      Nurse Margaret Henchcliffe related an incident that illustrates how almost anyone could have made his way to the area of the stretcher. She reported that a 16-year-old boy carrying a camera had gotten into the Emergency Area, seeking to take pictures of the room in which the President had died less than an hour before (21H240).
      There is currently no evidence against the possibility that the two bullet fragments found in the front seat of the limousine and traced to "Oswald's" rifle were likewise "planted" after the victims were taken to the hospital. We should recall from the discussion of the President's head wounds that the fatal damage was, in no instance, consistent with the damage produced by military ammunition of the type attributed to Oswald. Photographs taken outside the hospital show substantial crowds in proximity to the unguarded limousine.[12] As in the case of the stretcher bullet, the circumstances did permit incriminating evidence to be planted.
      It cannot be said, and indeed I make no pretense of saying, that a phony FBI man, a "disruptive Cuban," Jack Ruby, or a young boy with a camera planted bullet 399 at Parkland Hospital. The thrust of this discussion has been that anyone could have gained access to the locations in which evidence pointing to Oswald was found. This point may also be applied to the Book Depository, where Oswald's rifle and three spent shells were discovered. Within fifteen minutes of the assassination, the Depository was swarming with unidentified people.[13] The medical evidence, as the discussion in this and the previous chapter demonstrates, disassociates military bullets from the President's wounds and proves that a specific bullet traced to Oswald's rifle and found at Parkland could not have wounded either victim in the assassination. The spectrographic analyses, the only evidence that could correlate Oswald's rifle with the wounds, was conspicuously avoided by the Commission, and has been suppressed by the government so that no one to this day may know the spectrographer's findings. It is therefore not unreasonable to postulate, in accordance with the only scientific evidence currently available, that the tangible evidence that implicates Oswald was deliberately "planted," and did not figure in the actual shooting. The unmistakable inference from the medical evidence is that the rifle, the cartridge cases, and the bullets had to have been planted. The circumstances at the Book Depository and at Parkland Hospital indisputably could have enabled a "conspirator" to plant evidence pointing to Oswald. The Commission has produced no evidence that precludes the possibility of a "plant."

      The discussion in this section has removed the very foundation of the official case against Oswald by demonstrating, to the degree of certainty possible, that Oswald's rifle was not responsible for the wounds of President Kennedy and Governor Connally. The medical/ballistics evidence thus exculpates Oswald and presents several unmistakable conspiratorial implications.
      The Warren Commission claimed to have much evidence, apart from the medical/ballistics findings, that proved or indicated that Oswald was the assassin. This additional evidence, and the Commission's treatment of it, I will consider in Part III.


  1. "Memorandum for the Record," dated April 22, 1964, written by Melvin Eisenberg about a conference held on April 14, l964.

  2. "Memorandum for the Record," dated April 22, 1964, written by Melvin Eisenberg about a conference held on April 21, 1964.

  3. Dickey Interview.

  4. CBS News Inquiry: "The Warren Report," Part II, broadcast over the CBS Television Network on June 26, 1967, p. 18 of the transcript prepared by CBS News.

  5. Fillinger Interview.

  6. Marshall Houts, Where Death Delights (New York: Coward-McCann, 1967), pp. 62-63.

  7. Nichols Interview and letter to author from Dr. John Nichols, dated September 5, 1969.

  8. Thompson, p. 153.

  9. Fillinger Interview; Weisberg, Post Mortem I, p. 25

  10. Ibid.

  11. Weisberg, Oswald in New Orleans, pp. 292-93.

  12. E.g., see Jesse Curry, Personal JFK Assassination File (Dallas: American Poster and Printing Co., Inc., 1969), pp. 34-37. The Dallas Morning News of November 23, 1963, estimated that a crowd or 200 had gathered outside the hospital (p. 9).

  13. See Weisberg, Whitewash II, p. 35.

[10 photographs included over the next 10 pages
(inserted between page 148 and 149 of the text);
for textual completeness, their captions follow.]


J. Lee Rankin, head of the Warren Commission's staff of lawyers. (UPI photo)

Arlen Specter, Commission staff lawyer, and architect of the single-bullet theory. (UPI photo)


Commission staff lawyer David Belin (center), in Dallas, with Commission members Senator John Sherman Cooper of Kentucky (left) and John J. McCloy. Belin is responsible for assembling much of the case against Oswald. (UPI photo)


Lee Harvey Oswald in police custody on November 22, 1963. Note Oswald's dark shirt (rust brown), which witnesses recalled he wore that entire day. The alleged gunman in the sixth floor of the Book Depository wore a light, short-sleeved shirt consistently described as white or khaki. (Wide World Photos)


Lee Harvey Oswald is silenced forever by Jack Ruby as Oswald is being escorted through Dallas city jail. (Wide World Photo)


Lee Harvey Oswald, dying, refuses to confess to a crime that he did not commit. (Wide World Photos)


Extreme close-up of the tail end of Bullet 399, shown in relation to a millimeter scale. This photograph reveals the sole deformity of this so-called magic bullet: there has been a slight squeezing at the base with some disruption of the lead core that is exposed at that point. It is difficult to believe that this bullet could emerge so unscathed after penetrating two bodies, smashing two bones, and brushing another, as the Warren Commission alleges. However, it is impossible for this bullet to have left the lead fragments demanded if it is a legitimate assassination bullet. Metal fragments, some with dimensions greater than 3mm., were left behind at each point 399 is alleged to have hit: The President's neck, and the Governor's chest, wrist, and thigh. As this photograph reveals, such an array of fragments could not have come from 399's base, thus disassociating 399 from the shooting. The one area of 399's lead base that is missing appears as a small crater in this photograph; this is the result of FBI Agent Frazier's having removed a slug of lead for spectographic analysis. (Photo: National Archives)


Suppressed Skull X rays -- These [2] X rays depict gelatin-filled human skulls shot with ammunition of the type allegedly used by Oswald. They were classified by the government and remained suppressed until recently; they are printed here for the first time ever. What they reveal is that Oswald's rifle could not have produced the head wounds suffered by President Kennedy. The bullet that hit the president in the head exploded into a multitude of minuscule fragments. One Secret Service agent described the appearance of these metal fragments on the X rays: "The whole head looked like a little mass of stars." The fragmentation depicted on these test X rays obviously differs from that described in the president's head. The upper X ray reveals only relatively large fragments concentrated at the point of entrance; the lower reveals only a few tiny fragments altogether. This gives dramatic, suppressed proof that Oswald did not fire the shot that killed President Kennedy. (Photo: National Archives)


Marina Oswald, widow of supposed assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, being escorted to testify before Warren Commission investigators. (UPI Photo)

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