Monday, May 20, 2013

C3/C4 TO C7 but never T3!


(A special thank you to Phil Drago for his work and assistance in pointing out this testimony to me.)  Could not post photos, but I think many of us have them etched in our brains forever!


Douglas Horne, Inside the Assassinations Record Review Board, Volume II, Chapter Five: The Autopsy X-Rays, pages 530-2:

Jeremy Gunn’s interview with Jerrol Custer as Custer examines the X-Rays of the body of President Kennedy.

The noteworthy highlights of Custer's review of the x-rays of the body was Jeremy's attempt to see whether Custer could identify metal fragments near any of the cervical vertebrae, which Custer had mentioned earlier in the deposition.

Jeremy showed Custer x-ray no. 9, a view of the chest prior to removal of the lungs, and the exchange went as follows:

Gunn: Previously, you referred to there being metal fragments in the cervical area. Are you able to identify any metal fragments in this x-ray?

Custer: Not in this film.

Gunn: Does this film include a view or an exposure that would have included such metal fragments?

Custer: No sir.

Gunn: Where would the metal fragments be located?

Custer: Further up in there. This region.

Gunn: Can you—and you're pointing to?

Custer: Up into the, I'd say, C3/C4 region.

Jeremy asked Custer to review x-rays no. 8 and 10, of the right shoulder and chest, and left shoulder and chest, respectively—both are images following the removal of the heart and lungs. Custer could not identify metal fragments in either x-ray.

Later, Jeremy asked Custer the following questions:

Gunn: Now, you had raised, previously in the deposition. . .the possibility of some metal fragments in the C3/C4 range.

Custer: I noticed I didn't see that.

Gunn: You didn't see any x-rays that would be in—that would include the C3/C4 area?

Custer: No sir.

Gunn: Are you certain that you took x-rays that included the—included C3 and C4?

Custer: Yes, sir. Absolutely.

Gunn: How many x-rays did you take that would have included that?

Custer: Just one. And that was all that was necessary, because it showed—right there.

Gunn: And what, as best you recall, did it show?

Custer: A fragmentation of a shell in and around that circular exit—that area. Let me rephrase that. I don't want to say “exit,” because I don't know whether it was exit or entrance. But all I can say, there was bullet fragmentations [sic] around that area—that opening.

Gunn: Around C3/C4?

Custer: Right.

Gunn” And do you recall how many fragments there were?

Custer: Not really. There was enough. It was very prevalent.

Gunn: Did anyone make any observations about metal fragments in the C3/C4 area?

Custer: I did. And I was told to mind my own business. That's where I was shut down again.

Gunn: You have, during the course of this deposition, identified three x-rays that you are quite certain that you took, but don't appear in this collection. Are there any others that you can identify as not being included?

Custer: That's the only three that come to my mind right now; the two tangential views, and the A-P cervical spine.

Gunn: Okay.

Custer: Can I add something to that?

Gunn: Sure.

Custer: In my own opinion, I do believe, basically, the reason why they are not here is because they showed massive amounts of bullet fragments.

From the view of the President’s back wound on an angle to where it supposedly exited, there is no possible way for this bullet to have passed through the President unscathed as CE399 appears in the Warren Report.  Even if the angle of entrance is created at the black line instead of the red one, no bullet could have entered and exited at these points without significant damage.

Rear Admiral George Burkley, M.D., MC, USN: the president’s personal physician, and also present at the autopsy, noted that the bullet hole in the back was much lower than his neck area. (blue arrow)

The death certificate, signed by the President's personal physician Dr. George Burkley, then a Rear Admiral in the Medical Corps of the U.S. Navy, gave a location for the back wound lower than found by the autopsy (either its photographs or measurements). Dr. Burkley believed a bullet to have hit Kennedy at "about" the level of the third thoracic vertebra (T3).[2] Supporting the location of Dr. Burkley is a diagram from the autopsy report of Kennedy,[3] which shows a bullet hole in the upper back. However, this diagram is freehand, and not drawn with any attention to landmarks — a criticism made of it by the later House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) analysis.

Burkley's location at T3 (the third thoracic vertebra) is also about the same location of the bullet hole in the President's shirt[4] and the bullet hole in the suit jacket worn by Kennedy[5] which show bullet holes between 5 in (13 cm) and 6 in (15 cm) below the top of Kennedy's collar.[6] However, again there has been controversy on the matter of whether or not the holes in the president's clothing should be expected to correspond to the location of his back wound, since he was sitting with a raised arm at the time of the assassination, and multiple photographs taken of the motorcade show his suit jacket bunched at the back of his neck and shoulder, so that it did not lie closely against his skin.[7]  wikipedia

1.       ^ "History Matters Archive - MD 6 - White House Death Certificate (Burkley - 11/23/63), pg". Retrieved 2013-02-07.

6.       ^ "Was Kennedy's Jacket Bunched When He Was Hit in the Back? - 2". Retrieved 2013-02-07.

7.       ^ "Was Kennedy's Jacket Bunched When He Was Hit in the Back? - 2". Retrieved 2013-02-07.

With Burkley’s testimony of the shot being at T3 and entering the back at a 17 degree angle, the bullet would have had to make a ridiculous movement upward to exit the President at C3 / C4 or even lower below his Adam’s Apple.  In either case, the bullet could have never moved in such a direction, remaining undamaged going through vertebrae and then exiting the President.

What the two bullets actually did that day was to hit the President at two different positions, one in his throat at no higher than C3/C4 to C7 (black arrow) and the other bullet hit him in the back at no higher than T3 (blue arrow).

Conclusively, the front shot entered the President at this position and fragmented into the C3/C4 region of his neck.




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