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The Character of the EOP 'Entry'

"Couldn't see the entry," be replied. "That tissue was all pretty much blown away. . . ." David Osborne

" I donít think this discussion belongs in this record." Dr George Loquvam


One possible conclusion that might be drawn on this issue is that in reality no bona-fide skull entry wound was ever found. What was found was a rip in the rear hairline (well below the eop) and a shelf of bone bevelled inwards about 2 inches higher a little above the eop. After Lee Oswald was shot [see below] it was perhaps felt that some 'bending' of the evidence to demonstrate an incontravertible entry wound was possible, since there would now be no trial :

"HUMES :But in any event, this document [the autopsy report] then was signed by all three of us and, parenthetically in the middle of this preparation, other naval officers were not-no one was telling us anything. We did this strictly on our own. But in an adjacent room and awaiting the results of our efforts were other senior naval officers watching the television. And it was at that point, of course, that Mr. Oswald was assassinated or shot, and, in fact, we interrupted our work to try and figure out what that meant to us..."

Clearly it should have meant exactly nothing to them, professionally speaking, since they were putting together an autopsy report on John Kennedy, not Lee Oswald.


"I also noticed another scalp wound, possibly of entrance, in the right occipital region, lacerated and transversal, 15 x 6 mm.. Corresponding to that wound, the skull shows a portion of a crater, the beveling of which is obvious on the internal aspect of the bone; on that basis, I told the prosectors and Admiral Galloway that this occipital wound is a wound, of ENTRANCE." (Finck to Gen Blumberg)
The final edit of the autopsy report has this to say:

"Situated in the posterior scalp approximately 2.5 cm. laterally to the right and slightly above the external occipital protuberance is a lacerated wound measuring 15 x 6 mm. In the underlying bone is a
corresponding wound through the skull which exhibits beveling of the margins of the bone when viewed from the inner aspect of the skull." (Autopsy report)

Which all sounds hunky dory. When we look at the handwritten initial draft, however, we find a whole morass of corrections in the passage referring to the supposed entry wound:
"situated in the posterior scalp approximately 2.5cm to the right & slightly above the eop is a ['puncture' - crossed out] (lacerated) wound ['tangential to the surface of the scalp'-crossed out] measuring 15X6 mm. In the underlying bone is a corresponding ['puncture' crossed out] wound through ['both tables of'- crossed out] the skull which exhibits ['shelving '- crossed out] (bevelling) of the margins ['of the inner(?) table' - crossed out] of the bone when seen from the inner ['table' - crossed out] aspect of the skull." (Handwritten original autopsy report , changes as indicated)

"In the case we are discussing today, it was possible to have enough curvature and enough portion of the crater to identify positively the wound of entrance at the site of the bone." (Finck, WC)

Finck is (above), very oddly, describing his 'eop entry wound'. Fascinating in view of his explanation to the Warren Commissioners that, in respect of his (equally dubious) skull 'exit wound' , 'reconstructed' from evidence on one corner of one of three bone fragments that arrived late at the autopsy :

"when viewed from the inside of the skull, there was no crater, whereas when the wound is seen from the outside of the skull, there was beveling, cratering, or coning--this is possible to determine an exit even if only a portion of the bone is submitted, for the reason that if there was enough bone submitted,
there is enough curvature to identify the inside and outside of the skull. Therefore the fragment, to give you an example, this portion at the level of the wound of exit can be oriented, and the outer surface of the skull and the inner surface of the skull may be identified due to the curvature.
And then you look at the direction of the beveling and you do see the beveling when looking from the outside and you can identify an exit wound. And that is what I did.."

It sounds very much as if Finck performed a similar 'analysis' with his supposed wound of entry - or else why state that he had 'enough curvature' to identify the inside & outside of a through & through perforation of the skull,
which was still attached to the skull? Clearly there's no need to examine the curvature of the skull to discover which side of it is the inside & which is the outside. Unless you are examining a detached part of the skull. If we put this together with Boswell's description of the supposed eop entry as requiring a certain amount of 'rebuilding'... the mirage of a nice neat eop entry into the skull recedes ever more as we approach it.

Boswell related in an HSCA staff interview that:
'
Regarding the head wounds he said the entry hole was only approximately*half in evidence, the other half being part of the skull fragment which was brought in." , which matches what Finck let slip to the WC(above) and Finck's description of a 'portion' of a crater in his letter to Gen Blumberg. (Also above) "Approximately half" is a catch all that gives leeway to turn very little into something apparently conclusive.



"Q: By "the entry", you mean what?
A: Where the bullet went.
Q: And how big was the entry wound?
A: About the size of a bullet, from what you could see..
On the inside where the bone was, I guess it was different...

Q: Okay. And where Mr. Robinson drew a circle showing missing occipital bone, would it be - do you have any recollection of whether that - any portion of that occipital bone was missing?
A: I don't know, because I don't -
I don't think I ever saw the whole hair pulled down that
far.

Q: Did you ever take a picture of the back with the scalp reflected?
A: I think we did.
Q: Then, wouldn't you have seen the back of the head with the scalp reflected?
A: Should have. But whether it was - they had taken some of the bone away or something, I don't know.
Q: When you saw the back of the head with the scalp reflected, was there bone missing, regardless of when that bone was taken out?
A: I didn't see it missing.
Q: You didn't see any missing. So, when you saw the back of the head, the occipital bone - other than a bullet - what you've characterized as a bullet entry wound, you saw no missing -
A: Not as far as I can remember, no.
Q: Okay.
A: No....

Q: Did you take any closeups of the bullet entrances, closer than the photographs that you're looking at here?
A: I don't think so. I don't know. I don't think so.

Q: Was any attempt made to photograph what the doctors believed was the entrance wound on the skull of the President?
A: I think on that closeup one, there was - where they had it on the screen up there, where they were talking to Riebe.
Q: Okay. That was -
A: That showed the back.
Q: That this photograph that was on the screen?
A: No. No. No, his-
Q: I apologize. It's the next one.
..
Q: Do you recall taking any photograph that would show the entrance wound from an angle or a view better than the ones that you now have before you, view number 6?
A: I don't remember.

" (Stringer, ARRB)
"Photographs Nos. 15, 16, 42 and 43 show the location and size of the wound, and establish that the above autopsy data were accurate. Due to the fractures of the underlying bone and the elevation of the scalp by manual lifting (done to permit the wound to be photographed) the photographs show the wound to be slightly higher than its actually measured site. The scalp wound shown in the photographs appears to be a laceration and tunnel, with the actual penetration of the skin obscured by the top of the tunnel. From the photographs this is not recognizable as a penetrating wound because of the slanting direction of entry. However, as we pointed out in the autopsy report, there was in the underlying bone a corresponding wound through the skull which exhibited beveling of the margins of the bone when viewed from the inner aspect of the skull. This is characteristic of a wound of entry in the skull. " ( 1/26/67 Review of autopsy materials)


LIPSEY: No. Thatís...No. I hope Iím not contradicting myself. But at this point, there again, like I said, it's been a long time. I feel that there was no really entrance wound --maybe I said that --in the rear of his head. There was a point where they determined the bullet entered the back of his head but I believe all of that part of his head was blown. I mean I think it just physically blew away that part of his head. You know, just like a strip right across there or may have been just in that area -- just blew it out..
Q: So you say the damage caused by the entrance and the exit of the bullet to the head caused one large hole?
LIPSEY: To the best of my recollection, yes it did.

HSCA INTERVIEW WITH RICHARD LIPSEY, 1-18-78
[NOTE: This transcript was created by Debra Conway of JFK Lancer Productions and Publications.]
 "I also noticed another scalp wound, possibly [ note only 'possibly'] of entrance, in the right occipital region, lacerated and transversal 15 x 6 mm.Corresponding to that wound, the skull shows a portion of a crater, the beveling of which is obvious on the internal aspect of the bone" (Finck 1 February 1965 letter to Gen Blumberg).
 "Regarding the head wound, DR. BOSWELL said the wound was fairly low in the back of the head and that the bone was completely gone above the entry wound. He said that during the autopsy, a piece of skull fragment was brought in which included a portion which corresponded to the missing half of the entry wound in the head" (HSCA interview Purdy, Aug 17, 1977).
 Mr. Kellerman: Entry into this man's head was right below that wound, right here.
Mr. Specter. Indicating the bottom of the hairline immediately to the right of the ear about the lower third of the ear?
Mr. Kellerman. Right. But it was in the hairline, sir .
Mr. Specter. In his hairline?
Mr. Kellerman. Yes, sir.
Mr. Specter. Near the end of his hairline?
Mr. Kellerman. Yes, sir .
(Kellerman, WC)

 "It appeared that the bullet hit low in the occiput of the back of the head and entered the skull there and then traversed a portion of the brain and then hit the inside of the top of the skull toward the rear also and blew a good portion of that part of his skull right out

I asked: "Did you actually see the little entry at the bottom of the back of the head?"
"Couldn't see the entry," be replied. "That tissue was all pretty much blown away. . . ." I gathered that Osborne based his conclusion that the bullet struck from the rear on an interpretation of where it hit the inside of the skull on the way out I asked him how the bullet could enter from the rear and blow out the rear of the head. He said: ". . . he had to be leaning forward, and the bullet had to hit him in the lower-right behind, you know, that little lump in the back of your head there Osborne was referring to the external occipital protuberance, where Hurnes said there was an entrance wound. Again, I asked Admiral Osborne if he saw that wound. He replied: "Well, the pieces were all blown apart, so it didn't make one tiny little hole in the bone-no. . . . it blew that portion of the skull into several pieces.
L1FTON: I see. So you didn't actually see an entry wound, per se, but it's inferred that it was somewhere towards the bottom of that big hole-or something like that?
OSBORNE: It had to be. Otherwise it couldn't have hit the inside of the skull where it did."
(Lifton, "Best Evidence", pbk,656-657)

 "One of the things I don't understand is they talk of bevelling of the wounds in the skull . I don't remember the skull being that closely examined..I could hear what they were saying & I remember no discussions about missile wounds beveled in or bevelled out . That would be something I would remember" ( J C Jenkins Interview, Livingstone, HT2 p 243)

"Regarding CE 386 (Volume 16, page 977), [above] Jenkins said the wound at the top part of the head looked familiar but said he had no recollection of the little bullet hole in the head. "(HSCA interview)

"I guess, the place where it went in would not be there, as far as the scalp was concerned. " (Francis O'Neill, arrb)

"He did not recall any entry wound in the back of the head . was asked if he personally has a chance to examine the wounds..he said yes he was working with Boswell" (Rudnicki, Interview, Livingstone, HT2 p203.)

Q :So, now. the question is realIy no more complicated than did you hear the doctors discusswhere the bullet wound - or where the bullet entered the back of the head?
A: The specific place where it entered?
Q: Yes.
A: I don't recall that. Just that general statement.
Q: So, they said it entered the back of thehead.
A: Yes
Q: But nothing more specific.
A: Correct.

Q: Did they ever attempt, or did you hear any discussion about attempting to measure the size of the entry wound?
A: No.
Q: Did you ever hear any discussion aboutbeveling of the skull? Sound familiar?
A: No.
Q: Did you hear any discussion about the estimated size of the bullet that struck the head?
A: No.

(sibert, arrb)

" He recalls getting the measurements of the back wound and the skull bone but has no recollection of writing down the location of the entrance-wound.in the President's head" (SIBERT, HSCA staff interview, August 29, 1977)

"Regarding commission exhibit 386, [ above ] O'Connor said it did ď ..,not reflect what I saw. The little head hole was not there."


(HSCA interview)

"Dr. BOSWELL. .. [Speaking of the entry ].. because this bone was all gone and actually the smaller fragment fit this piece down here-there was a hole here, only half of which was present in the bone that was intact. and this small piece then fit right on there and the beveling on those was on the interfor surface. ..

Dr. DAVIS. Because in no. 42 I interpreted that as a wound, and the other lower down in the neck, as just being a contaminant, a piece of brain tissue.
Dr. HUMES. No, that was a wound, and the wound on the skull precisely coincided with it.
Dr. DAVIS. Now it was a tunnel-
Dr. HUMES. Yeah, tunnel for a way.
Dr. BOSWELL. Yeah, itís longer than it is wide, and tunneled along and actually under here, and then at the actual bone defect was above the - " [Humes cuts him off]...

Dr. PETTY. Can I go back to another interpretation which is very important to this committee? I donít really mean to belabor the point, but we need to be certain, as certain as we can be-and Iím showing you now photograph No. 15, and here, to put it in the record, is the posterior hairline or margin of the hair of the late President, and there, near the midline, and just a centimeter or two above the hairline, is an area that you refer to as the inshoot wound. -
Dr. HUMES. Yes, sir.


.
Dr. PETTY. May I make a comment on what you just said, Dr. Davis. The problem, as I see it, is that this may be in fact a tunneling situation, with the bullet scooting along the skull here or somewhere, and not entering the skull down below. Is that what youíre saying now?
Dr. DAVIS. What Iím saying-what Iím inferring : in the absence of photographs and specific measurements, we could only conjecture as to how long the tunneling is, but I would envision this as a tunneling first and then entry into the skull.
Dr. LOQUVAM. Gentlemen, may I say something?
Dr. DAVIS. Yes.
Dr. LOQUVAM. I donít think this discussion belongs in this record.
Dr. PETTY. All right.
Dr. HUMES. I agree....

Dr. BOSWELL. Now, Iím sure that our record describes the tunneling of that wound of entry pretty well. at least as to length and distance beneath skin. doesnít it? I canít recall the description, but Iím sure it is there...

HUMES :But in any event, this document [the autopsy report] then was signed by all three of us and, parenthetically in the middle of this preparation, other naval officers were not-no one was telling us anything. We did this strictly on our own. But in an adjacent room and awaiting the results of our efforts were other senior naval officers watching the television. And it was at that point, of course, that Mr. Oswald was assassinated or shot, and, in fact, we interrupted our work to try and figure out what that meant to us...

Dr. HUMES. OK. Now, the reason that we were referring-to these photographs was some discussion between Dr. Petty and myself as to the verbalized location of the wound, what we interpreted as the wound of entrance, and my problem is that these are, to my recollection, my interpretation of what I saw. The problem that we have now, I think, in the photographs at least in part, may or may not
explain the situation totally to everybodyís satisfaction.
The photographs do not clearly demonstrate where the external occipital protuberance is, and thatís the only comment I could make Chuck about that. I feel, by looking at this photograph, that the wound was in fact below the external occipital protuberance and certainly no worse than lateral to it...

.
Dr. PETTY Dr. Boswell, you and I also were talking during the period when the machine was not actively recording, and you said something that interested me tremendously. May I hear from page 4 of the autopsy report. ďSituated in the posterior skulll, approximately 2.5 centimeters laterally to the right and slightly above the external-occipital protuberance, is a lacerated wound measuriug 15 by 6 millimeters, and I believe you said that the 15 millimeter dimension represented, as you described it, tunneling of the bullet, and thatís what you mean by tunneling?
Dr. BOSWELL. Yes.
Dr. BADEN Now continuing with that description that Dr. Humes wrote down, this handwritten report that you described, that particular measurement Dr.Petty referred to. is not indicated on the face sheet, whereas the wound in the shoulder is. Referring to the measurement of 2.5 centimeters laterally to the right and slightly above the external occipital protuberance-was that specific measurement, present on your other notes that you utilized?
Dr. HUMES. Yes, sir.
Dr. BADEN So that you did make that directly from notes taken at. the time of the autopsy and then transcribed them?
Dr. HUMES. Right. [No such notes exist. Humes maintains he destroyed them].


Dr. BOSWELL.... as I recall, the bone was intact at that point. There was a shelf and then a little hole, came up on the side and then one of the smaller of the two fragments in that X-ray, when that arrived, we were able to fit that down there and complete the circumference of that bone wound.
Dr. HUMES. I donít remember that in that detail..." (HSCA FPP Interview)
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