Destruction of Records
Cmdr. James Humes, JFK's lead autopsy doctor. Humes signed an affidavit that he had burned "certain preliminary draft notes" from the autopsy, and later admitted that this included the first draft of the autopsy report.
It is impossible to know how much evidence related to the assassination of President Kennedy has been destroyed. Some instances are well-documented; others only inferred or alleged. In other cases, such as the Orleans Parish Grand Jury transcripts, records ordered destroyed were secretly preserved.
It is known that a note from Oswald to the FBI was destroyed, that the first draft of the autopsy report and "certain preliminary draft notes" were burned, and that the Presidential limousine was rebuilt shortly after the assassination. The President's brain itself, along with tissue slides and other medical evidence including autopsy photos, has gone missing. A Presidential recording from the day after the assassination was erased.
How many files were destroyed is unknown. The Department of Defense admitted to a "routine" destruction in 1971 of an Army Intelligence file on Oswald which was never seen by any investigative body. Even during the 1990s, the Secret Service destroyed Protective Service records, among them files on JFK's aborted Chicago trip in early November 1963, rather than let them fall into the hands of the Assassination Records Review Board. There are also some indications that the U.S. Marine Corps launched its own investigation in the aftermath of JFK's assassination, reports from which have never been located.
What file destruction may have been undertaken by the FBI and CIA is not known, though many believe the records of these agencies have been sanitized, particularly regarding the Oswald trip to Mexico City in the fall of 1963. A CIA officer named James Wilcott based in Japan told the HSCA he had disbursed funds for the "Oswald project." No records directly identifying Oswald an an intelligence agent have ever surfaced.
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