JFK Assassination: The Tell-Tale Brain

Keeps on Telling — What Is It Saying?

The Warren Report, John F. Kennedy

Researchers are now analyzing newly released documents concerning the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, but many extraordinary facts have been in plain sight for decades — and yet unseen. This report concerns one of those facts, and how, to this day, the story around it is being concealed.

The Tell-Tale Brain

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Within minutes of Kennedy’s murder, witnesses were pointing at areas where they said they heard shots — and many pointed to a place in front of Kennedy. But, according to the official version of events, there was only one shooter, and he fired from behind. What did the body show? What did the autopsy report say?

More interesting is what it did not say.

Autopsy reports are supposed to contain all information relevant to the cause of an individual’s death — as well as those details that are not related to the death. As Dr. Alan R. Moritz put it in the American Journal of Clinical Pathology in 1956:

In the protocol of a medicolegal autopsy, it is better to describe 10 findings that prove to be of no significance than to omit one that might be critical.

An autopsy report should contain all findings visible to the naked eye and measurable. Kennedy’s autopsy report includes various details, both relevant and irrelevant. You will find in it meticulous notes on a variety of things: the width of each pupil … the circumference of each heart valve … the condition of the teeth … the location of each tear into the scalp … the length and location of fracture lines in the skull …

And an extensive description of damage to one part of the brain. Note: only one part.

But since Kennedy died of a bullet (or bullets) to his head, you might expect that all parts of his head would be described.

Then how strange it is that Navy Commander James Humes, MD — the lead pathologist who performed the autopsy and wrote the report — left out any mention of what has become one of the most hotly debated subjects in the medical evidence, one that relates directly to the still-unsettled question of where the shots came from. You will not find one word about it in the report, nor in Humes’s detailed testimony before the Warren Commission, which investigated the assassination in 1964.

This omitted part of the brain is the cerebellum the pink shape in the otherwise blue picture below. Some consider it a separate organ.

brain, JFK

Above, the cerebellum is shown in pink. Photo credit: DrugAbuse.gov

The omission of any gross description of the cerebellum in an autopsy report on a victim shot in the head is most irregular. To understand its significance, we ask you to please endure a short anatomy lesson:

Cerebellum. Rhymes with antebellum. Not to be confused with the larger part of the brain above it, the cerebrum. The former ends in “bellum” and the latter ends in “brum.”

Both cerebellum and cerebrum were greatly damaged according to the Dallas doctors who examined Kennedy.

But Humes et al. reported only damage to the cerebrum (the blue part in the above picture).

The significance of cerebellar damage is what it says about specific skull damage — and what that damage could mean about the direction of the shot. According to the official narrative, only one bullet hit Kennedy in the head, a bullet that came from above and behind the president. But this is inconsistent with the damage observed, as will be explained below.

The Tell-Tale Bones

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Humes said something else in the autopsy report that does not make sense. He explained that three bone fragments were brought to the autopsy room late in the evening which, he said, “in aggregate roughly approximate the dimensions of the large defect described above.”  

Meaning all major bone fragments were accounted for. Meaning none were missing. Meaning the only great hole in the skull was the one on top.

The problem is, another fairly large fragment was found later and turned in to the FBI on November 25, 1963, after the autopsy. It was 7 by 5.5 centimeters (almost 3 by 2 inches). (Called the “Harper fragment,” named after Billy Harper, who found it.)

Where would this good-sized piece of the puzzle go if the hole on top could already be filled with the bone fragments brought earlier?

By the time Humes testified before the Warren Commission in March 1964, it seems reasonable to suppose that he had been made aware of the Harper fragment — yet he said nothing about it.

On the other hand, he did revise what he said in his autopsy report: The three pieces could be put together roughly to account for a portion of this defect.”  [Emphasis added.] Asked about how much remained unaccounted for, Humes estimated it to be one-quarter.

Did this revision come about because of the Harper fragment?

The Harper fragment was about the same size as the hole in the back of the head reported by the Dallas doctors. (The chief pathologist at Methodist Hospital in Dallas, who examined it before it was turned over to the FBI, said the fragment came from the lower part of the back of the skull.)

Where the Harper fragment came from is still being debated, but what is not debatable is this: In his autopsy report, Humes did not acknowledge any good sized piece of still-missing bone, not until after the Harper fragment was found.

The Parkland doctors, including the hospital’s chief of neurosurgery, William Kemp Clark, MD, told the Warren Commission that they did not examine Kennedy’s entire head, but they did look into a large hole in the back, a place where both scalp and bone were missing. They saw destruction of the right cerebrum (blue part in the picture) — and the cerebellum (pink part of the picture).

Unfortunately, Clark was not asked about the lower border of the hole he saw — but if damaged cerebellum was visible inside the skull and leaking from it, then the skull damage had to extend to the lower part of the right rear of the head.

Clark, who had the closest look (and let’s remember that the skull and brain were his specialty) described “a large, gaping wound in the right posterior part, with cerebral and cerebellar tissue being damaged and exposed.” In his hospital notes, he reported “considerable loss of scalp and bone tissue. Both cerebral and cerebellar tissue were extruding from the wound.” [Emphasis added.]

Perhaps the most illuminating part of his testimony came in response to the question of whether this large wound in the back of the head was an entrance or an exit. Clark said, “It could be an exit wound, but I felt it was a tangential wound. (By “tangential” he said he meant “striking an object obliquely” from the side.)  

If it was an exit wound, this would of course indicate a shooter somewhere in front. If tangential, it would place the shooter off to the side. (Films show JFK facing the front, leaning forward, with his head turned slightly to his left.) But the government story is that the shooter was above and behind Kennedy, on the sixth floor of the Texas Book Depository Building.

(The Supplementary Autopsy Report, which describes microscopic findings, does mention that a slice of cerebellum was studied along with several other specimens, and that all of them reflected damage due to a bullet. But this provides no indication of the extent of the damage.)

Big Hole Versus Small Hole

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The cerebellum wouldn’t even have been visible, let alone free to leak out, as reported by the Dallas doctors, were it not for the great fist-sized hole (one doctor said it was between 5 and 7 centimeters in diameter) where both bone and scalp were actually missing — in the back of the head.

But the autopsists reported only a small hole (6 x 15 millimeters) back there.  

As you can see, Commission Exhibit 386, above, shows no “large gaping wound” in the back of the head. (The autopsy doctors and official photographers say they took pictures of the hole in the bone, but those and other photographs are missing.)

The Mysterious Migrating Hole

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Apparently in response to public skepticism, more official investigations followed. And “blue ribbon” panels of distinguished doctors were formed — the Clark Panel in 1968 and the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) in 1979. They revised the reported evidence. Allegedly basing their conclusions on X-rays and photographs, they said the small hole was four inches higher than the last reported location.

Four inches higher? This is difficult to understand since Humes et al. located the small wound in relation to a specific, fixed landmark: a bump low in the back of the skull. They said the entry wound was just above this hard-to-miss bump.  

But, as if to nail down this new location, they said an X-ray showed a round slice of a bullet fragment embedded in the skull at this new location, with a diameter of 6.5 millimeters.  

This bullet fragment — not seen earlier — happens to be the exact diameter of the kind of bullet allegedly used by Lee Harvey Oswald.

How did that happen? The chief radiologist and others, who presumably reviewed the same skull X-rays three years earlier, did not see any such large round fragment, and yet it now shows up as clearly as a candle in a pumpkin. According to Humes, the largest fragment seen on X-ray was a slender, stick-like 7 x 2 millimeters, which he extracted.

This does not seem to be a case of different interpretations of the same features. It is more a matter of actually seeing different features altogether.

Below are two diagrams side by side that show the two versions of the entry wound’s location — one low in the skull, no higher than the ears, and the other near the top of the head. (Note: because of all of the revisions, including those by the autopsists, we cannot assume a wound was actually where the autopsists placed it; we only know they were fairly precise in describing where the alleged entrance wound was.)

Diagram, House Select Committee on Assassinations, Warren Commission, Exhibit #386

Location of the bullet entrance into the head, according to the autopsy (left). HSCA revised bullet hole’s location — four inches higher (right). Photo credit: US House of Representatives / History-Matters and Warren Commission / History-Matters

Here is another complication with the original location: Army experiments on skulls performed in 1964 showed that if a bullet entered that low on the skull, it would have exited from Kennedy’s face. Yet no bullet exited his face.

In his book, Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy (2007), the late Vincent Bugliosi said that the Parkland doctors could not possibly have seen any large hole in the back of the head — and that they could not possibly have seen any cerebellum either. In his words, from page 404:

Indeed, with the entry wound to the President’s head being as high up as it was, it would have been virtually impossible for the cerebellum, in the lower part of the brain, to have been damaged, at least by a bullet.

In other words, small hole in upper skull = higher bullet path into and out of head = no small or large hole in lower skull = no cerebellar damage = shooter from above and behind, which was the official story. Bugliosi repeatedly tried to give the false impression of an undamaged cerebellum, on pages 404 and 405:

There isn’t one word in the report indicating that any part of the cerebellum was missing or even lacerated.

It bears repeating that the autopsy report only mentioned damage to the cerebrum, not the cerebellum.

A false impression because Bugliosi failed to tell the reader that the condition of the cerebellum wasn’t described — at all. (Or that the Supplementary Report, which did mention it, reported that a slice examined under the microscope revealed bullet-related damage.)

Physicians in Dallas say they saw with their own eyes badly damaged cerebellum oozing from a hole in visible bone in the lower part of the skull. Those who promote the official narrative say the cerebellum was just fine. Who are we to believe?  

An Insight From Cyril Wecht, MD, JD

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The distinguished forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht, who was also a member of the HSCA Medical Panel, apparently did not notice the missing cerebellum in the autopsy report. A critical essay he wrote does refer to two omissions — the adrenal glands and the left cerebrum, omissions which, to me, are not as significant as the cerebellum.

But, at the end, Dr. Wecht wrote something very interesting which may explain all of the omissions: “If they [the autopsy doctors] were told by their military superiors to make the omissions and obeyed that order … it becomes comprehensible why civilian medico-legal experts were excluded from the autopsy — [because] they could not have been controlled in this way.”

“A Critique of President Kennedy’s Autopsy.” Excerpt

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The official autopsy report contains two omissions which cast a shadow over the whole proceeding. First the failure to mention the adrenal glands, either grossly or microscopically … I should stress that these glands played no role whatsoever in President Kennedy’s death and from that standpoint have no significance …

Another deficiency in the overall report (and one directly associated with the murder) concerns the examination of the president’s brain. A reading of the supplementary autopsy report on the brain examination discloses that the entire brain was not cut into coronal sections (16H987). Although one small section was excised from the front on the left side, the description indicates that no examination of the brain’s left side was performed. This is appalling. We cannot know what injuries were present in the left cerebral hemisphere if no examination was made. No competent forensic pathologist would examine only half a brain, particularly in a case where it had been injured by one of more bullets.

Either way we consider these deficiencies, the picture is not reassuring. If the military pathologists on their own decided not to examine the adrenal glands and the left cerebral hemisphere, then they are to be soundly condemned … If they were told by their military superiors to make the omissions and obeyed that order, then two things follow: (1) The pathologists and their report are totally discredited, and (2) it becomes comprehensible why civilian medico-legal experts were excluded from the autopsy — they could not have been controlled in this way. [Appendix D, Six Seconds in Dallas (Bernard Geis Associates, 1976, paperback version) pp.364-365]

[Cyril H. Wecht, MD, LLB, is chairman of the advisory board of the Cyril H. Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law, Duquesne University School of Law; Coroner for Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.]

In a follow-up article, we will show how the stories of the Dallas doctors were changed in ways no more convincing than the contrived narrative of the ever-moving small hole.

RELATED: Kennedy Assassination: Evidence Seen by JFK’s Doctor Suppressed

RELATED: Navy Doctor: Bullet Found in JFK’s Limousine, and Never Reported

RELATED: Disinformation Part 1: How to Control an Internet Forum


Related front page panorama photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from brain (DrugAbuse.gov).

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12 responses to “JFK Assassination: The Tell-Tale Brain”

  1. Paul Jolliffe says:

    The evening of the autopsy, Dr. J. Thornton Boswell prepared an autopsy sketch sheet locating the back wound on JFK. It appeared to be in the president’s back, but under pressure from WC attorneys, Boswell conceded he may have mislocated the wound.

    The Secret Service took possession of Boswell’s original sketch, which the Warren Commission borrowed to make a copy.
    They then altered it.
    How do we know?

    Because the Warren Commission chose to suppress damning confirmation that Boswell had actually ACCURATELY located the wound: on the sketch sheet was the word “verified” and it was signed by the president’s personal physician, Dr. George Burkley.

    The Warren Commission deliberately blanked out the word “verified” and Burkley’s signature so they could mis-lead the American public about the location of the president’s wounds.

    Why?

    Because a back wound made the “single-bullet theory” impossible – Kennedy and Connally simply could not have been hit by the same bullet if Kennedy was struck in the back.

    Warren Commission member and future president Gerald R. Ford suggested that they “move” the back wound up to the neck level to “clarify” the scenario.

    The Warren Commission made sure the American public would never be the wiser by failing to call Dr. George Burkley as a witness, even though he was the only person in the world who was
    1. riding in the motorcade in Dallas, and
    2. present at Parkland with JFK, and
    3. flew aboard Air Force One with the body en route to Washington, and
    4. was present as an observer throughout the entire autopsy at Bethesda Naval Hospital.

    Burkley had prepared a death certificate for the White House in which he located the president’s back wound as about the “third thoracic vertebra”, or in the president’s upper back, not his neck.

    But the truth was not what the Warren Commission was seeking.

    Failing to call Burkley as a witness was no accidental oversight. The Warren Report was written to fob a false solution on the American public by giving it the imprimatur of “respectability”, not to solve the crime.

    The murder of President Kennedy has never, and I mean never, been honestly investigated. Every “investigation” has started with the assumption that “Oswald” did it, and then worked backward to try to “prove” it.

  2. Angus Brady says:

    See the movie EXECUTIVE ACTION. Read the associated paper that reported on how many witnesses would die within 3 years. Ask yourselves if the old Senator reminds you of a certain Prescott Bush.

  3. VoxFox says:

    Anglo-German fascists have been in control of the US since 1945.

    • Lil' Bill says:

      Finally. A statement from someone who really, REALLY understands the big picture!

  4. bob says:

    If you watch the Zapruder film you will see JFK grab his throat shortly before his head explodes because that is where the first shot hit him. You can see Jackie Kennedy asking him what’s wrong as this is happening. Watch the YouTube video, “JFK Truth – The Mob CIA and the eight paid assassins” it ties everything together. And in the end you find that the same people are still running this Country – 55 years later…

    • Dennis Dorotiak says:

      JFK Throat shot came from front left side of JFK vehicle. Two witnesses, a female medical intern at Parkland Hospital parking area observed damage from bullet in JFK car windshield and days later Ford Motor Company technician in Dearborn MI observed same bullet windshield damage corroborating view that at least one assassin fired front a left front angle. Also see study by forensics expert Sherry Feister.

  5. Olle Reimers says:

    It is interesting to notice how the way to organise the fix is the same in this case and in all the subsequent false flag events that have been conducted. The most important part seems to be audacity. You use the facts that suit the narrative and just arrogantly ignore the rest.

    Why does this work? It is because when the lie or omission is obvious enough the hidden threat behind is so powerful that people instinctively understand that they had better just shut up.

    One example of this is how they treat the back shot in the Warren Report. From placing the shot at the shoulder blade in the beginning and in the neck in the end is pure and evil arrogance.

  6. Mik says:

    On November 22, 1963, Dr. Charles Crenshaw, an accomplished surgeon, tried to save John F. Kennedy’s life — and then days later, the life of the alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. His gripping, firsthand account contradicts the Warren Commission and years of public misperception to illuminate a chapter in American history long cloaked in conspiracy.

  7. jefferey l nies says:

    Couldn’t have said it any better. JFK’s assassination remains the greatest lie of our lifetime. People would rather accept a lie as truth than confront the raw reality of his murder by government conspiracy. And having accomplished that, killing others and lying about it became so much easier.

    When you consider that, most people would claim a greater knowledge of criminal procedure and proper investigation than was ever carried out in any of those political murder cases. How come none of those investigations led anywhere beyond pre-determined suspects or handpicked perpetrators? Damned for all-time by faint evidence and media bias. The fix was in JFK’s case. Consider the same media manipulation that propelled Trump was first launched in Kennedy’s killing and cover-up. The proof of conspiracy is deep and widespread. The failure to acknowledge it is now the crime of this century.

    • bob says:

      NO, the Greatest Lie is that Osama Bin Laden was responsible for 9/11, when it was Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perl, and the rest of the PNAC Gang…

  8. alan says:

    I was almost 14 years old when JFK was murdered. The lies have endured for over half a century, don’t look for the present extension of the perps to ever reveal the truth. The aware people know that the CIA carried out the murder of our president, no amount of lies can hide the truth. Same with RFK, MLK, Malcolm X and John Lennon among others.

  9. GaynorKaiser says:

    I’m grateful for WhoWhatWhy’s continuing revelation of the conspiracy to kill JFK. As terrible as the original coup was, the fact that the truth is still being actively covered up by most media is even more troubling for our times. The proof of the lies and cover-up are well-proven by Dr. Moore’s book, “Killing JFK: 50 Years, 50 Lies,” which I recommend highly.