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.
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.



A Military Investigation of Oswald?, by Jerry D. Rose.

Mysteries of the 112 Intelligence Corp Group, by Larry Hancock.

The 112th MIG at Work, by Larry Hancock and Anna Marie Kuhns-Walko.

Connick vs. Garrison, Round Three by Probe.

The Fourteen Minute Gap, by Rex Bradford. See also The Fourteen Minute Gap: An Update.

A Study of the Presidential Limousine, by Doug Weldon.

The Magic Bullet: Even More Magical Than We Knew?, by Gary Aguilar and Josiah Thompson.

The State of the Medical Evidence in the JFK Assassination, by Joe Backes.

Other Links

HSCA Executive Sessions Testimony of Col. Robert Jones. Army Intelligence officer Jones described the Oswald file and also told Committee members about agents in Dealey Plaza.



HSCA Final Report, I.C.5, p.223. The HSCA printed the Defense Department's explanation for the destruction of their Oswald file. See also the testimony of Col. Robert Jones, who maintained the file and apparently supplied information on Oswald on 22 Nov 1963.

ARRB Final Report, 8.B.3: Secret Service. The Assassination Records Review Board wrote about Secret Service destruction of records.

Certificate of Destruction, 24 Nov 1963. Lead autopsy doctor James Humes certified having destroyed "certain preliminary draft notes." See also his ARRB deposition, p. 133-135, where he admitted also destroying the first draft of the autopsy report.

Schweiker-Hart Report, Appendix B: The FBI and the Destruction of the Oswald Note. Don Edwards' Judiciary Committee held hearings on the note's destruction; the Church Committee subsequently wrote a summary in this report.

HSCA Volume XI: Possible Military Investigation of the Assassination. This staff report examines the "Huff allegation" and the HSCA's investigation of it.

Orleans Parish Grand Jury Transcripts. These transcripts were ordered destroyed but secretly preserved and eventually given to the Assassination Reocrds Review Board.

Related Starting Points

Books of Interest

Anthony Summers
Paragon House, 1980
    Oswald and the CIA (1995 Edition)
John Newman
Carroll and Graf Publishers, Inc., 1995
    Ultimate Sacrifice
Lamar with Hartmann Waldron, Thom
Carroll & Graf, 2005
    Deep Politics and the Death of JFK
Peter Dale Scott
University of California Press, 1993
    The Man Who Knew Too Much
Dick Russell
Carroll and Graf Publishers, 1992
    The Assassination of John F. Kennedy: A Complete Book Of Facts
James P. Duffy and Vincent L. Ricci
Thunder's Mouth Press, 1992

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