Contents

ARRB Medical Testimony


President Clinton meeting with members of the Assassination Records Review Board.

When the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) was created in the 1990s, its purpose was not to reinvestigate the Kennedy assassination, but rather to declassify the innumerable documents and materials tightly held by the U.S. Government.

However, there were so many puzzles in the JFK medical evidence paperwork that the ARRB decided to conduct a series of interviews in an attempt to "clarify the federal record on the medical and ballistics evidence." The resulting interviews, while rarely reported in mainstream news sources, contained astounding revelations and allegations, among them:

  • Saundra Kay Spencer, who developed JFK autopsy photos on the weekend after the assassination, was shown the complete set of official autopsy photos. She testified that they were not the ones she developed (listen to excerpt - excerpt transcript).
  • Autopsy photographer John Stringer disputed the authenticity of the photos of JFK's brain, leading a senior ARRB staffer to theorize that there had been a deception involving two brain exams of different specimens (listen to excerpt - excerpt transcript).
  • FBI agent and autopsy witness Frank O'Neill was shown autopsy photos of the back of JFK's head, and said "This looks like it's been doctored." He was one of several witnesses who told the ARRB that there had been a large rear head wound. He also disputed the photos of the brain, saying "it appears to be too much" (listen to excerpt - excerpt transcript).
  • Lead autopsy prosector James Humes told the ARRB that he had destroyed both original notes AND the first draft of the autopsy report.
  • Autopsy doctor J. Thorton Boswell said the Justice Department had sent him to New Orleans in an attempt to undo damage caused by Pierre Finck at the trial of Clay Shaw.
  • Other in-person interviews and phone contacts with other witnesses generated similarly disturbing tales. Leonard Saslaw told the ARRB that autopsy doctor Pierre Finck complained that his notes had disappeared. Navy corpsman Dennis David said he had handled bullet fragments removed from Kennedy during the autopsy which were far larger than those in evidence now.

The items listed above are the tip of a large and unresolved iceberg. These stunning interviews have been met by Warren Commission defenders largely with silence rather than rebuttal.

RESOURCES:

Essays


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

Newly Released JFK Documents Raise Questions About Medical Evidence, by Deb Riechmann.

How Five Investigations into JFK's Medical/Autopsy Evidence Got it Wrong, by Gary Aguilar, MD and Kathy Cunningham.

Substantial Evidence in Support of the Examination of Two Different Brain Speciments Following President Kennedy's Autopsy, by Douglas Horne.

New Witness Speaks on Medical Evidence, by William Law.

Lessons Learned from 40 Years of Coverup, by Rex Bradford.


Documents

ARRB Final Report, p.121. Chapter 6, Part II: Clarifying the Federal Record on the Zapruder Film and the Medical and Ballistics Evidence.

ARRB Medical Testimony:

ARRB Staff Memos (by Doug Horne):

 
Documents (cont.)


ARRB Interview Reports:

ARRB Medical Documents (Exhibits):

  • MD 9. Certificate of Destruction Signed by Humes (11/24/63).
  • MD 74 (D). Affidavit of Leonard D. Saslaw, Ph.D. (dated May 15, 1996).
  • MD 88. Drawings of President Kennedy's Head Wounds prepared for ARRB by Thomas E. Robinson on 6/21/96.
  • MD 148. Drawing of Wound in President Kennedy's Skull As Depicted in Photograph of the Back of President Kennedy's Head.
  • MD 188. Sketch Made by James W. Sibert on Anatomical Drawing of Wound in President Kennedy's Head (Executed on September 11, 1997).
  • MD 209. An interpretive two-dimensional rendering of MD 74 (M) by an ARRB Staff Member (Boswell Diagram).

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Multimedia

ARRB Medical Interviews. These include:

  • John Stringer (autopsy photographer)
  • Floyd Riebe (asst. autopsy photographer)
  • Francis O'Neill Jr. (FBI agent)
  • Jerrol Custer (X-ray technician)
  • Saundra Kay Spencer (photo developer)
  • Audrey Bell (Parkland nurse)
  • Andy Purdy (HSCA staffer)
  • Knudsen Family (of White House photographer)


Books of Interest

    Inside the ARRB
Douglas Horne
self-published, 2009
 
    Murder in Dealey Plaza
James H. Fetzer, ed.
Catfeet Press, 2000
 
    In the Eye of History
William Law
JFK Lancer Productions and Publications, 2004
 
    Trauma Room One: The JFK Medical Coverup Exposed
Charles Crenshaw, Shaw, et al.
Paraview Press, 2001

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