(PART 2)

Here's my take on this "ragged" thing that conspiracy theorist Ben Holmes just will not let go of:

At one point when discussing the issue of President Kennedy's throat wound in his book "Reclaiming History", author Vincent Bugliosi is definitely incorrect when he used the word "ragged" while describing what Dr. Charles J. Carrico's opinion was of the OUTER (SKIN) WOUND in President Kennedy's throat. That error occurs on Page 413, when Vince says this:

"Although Carrico was unable to determine whether the throat wound was an entrance or exit wound, he did observe that the wound was "ragged," virtually a sure sign of an exit wound as opposed to an entrance wound, which is usually round and devoid of ragged edges."

But Bugliosi is not incorrect on Page 60 of his book when he uses the word "ragged" in conjunction with Carrico's statements. Because on Page 60, Bugliosi is talking only about the trachea damage, and not about the wound on the outer skin of JFK.

BTW, Dr. Malcolm Perry also used the word "ragged" when describing the trachea wound. Perry said this in his Warren Commission testimony:

"I noticed a small ragged laceration of the trachea on the anterior lateral right side."

But, just like Carrico, Perry described the outer skin wound in the President's throat in a different manner:

DR. PERRY -- "This was situated in the lower anterior one-third of the neck, approximately 5 mm. in diameter. It was exuding blood slowly which partially obscured it. Its edges were neither ragged nor were they punched out, but rather clean."

But we must also realize that Dr. Perry also said this:

ARLEN SPECTER -- "Based on the appearance of the neck wound alone, could it have been either an entrance or an exit wound?"

DR. PERRY -- "It could have been either."

Interestingly, I found another page in Bugliosi's book where Vince is putting the word "ragged" in a doctor's mouth where I do not think it belongs. It's on Page 207, when Vince says this about the conversation that Dr. Humes had with Dr. Perry on Saturday morning, November 23rd:

"The light flashes on for Humes when Dr. Perry tells him that he performed his surgery on an existing wound there, a small, round perforation with ragged edges."

There are two possible references given for the above quote from Page 207 in "Reclaiming History". One of them is ARRB MD58, p.9, and the other is Page 257 of HSCA Volume 7. Neither source, however, includes the word "ragged" in it anywhere.

My opinion is that Vince has somehow confused himself into thinking that the "ragged" quotes that definitely did come from both Dr. Carrico and Dr. Perry are quotes that he feels confident enough to utilize in his book to explain the way the wound in JFK's throat (on the whole) looked to each of those doctors (Carrico and Perry).

When, in fact, Vince is incorrect when he tries to merge the two wounds. Because he surely also knows (or he should know by reading the testimony of both Dr. Carrico and Dr. Perry) that those doctors were referring to two DIFFERENT wounds in the President's throat when they testified and when the Parkland Hospital report was written.

I must say, though, that I was also confused about the "ragged" remarks when I went to the official records to check up on this matter the other day. In fact, I had a nice long message ready to post at this forum (complete with citations and Warren Commission page numbers, etc.) that I was going to use to try and counter Ben Holmes' assertion that Vince Bugliosi had "lied" about Carrico's description of Kennedy's throat wound.

But I then looked at more passages of testimony, and I realized that Carrico was talking about TWO separate wounds in the President's throat/neck. The wound that he definitely did describe as "ragged" was the wound of the trachea itself (under the skin, of course, of JFK). But the wound that would have been visible to the naked eye on the outer skin of Kennedy was described by Carrico as having "no jagged edges or stellate lacerations" [6 H 3].

Ben Holmes, however, was not entirely clear in a thread-starting post that he made recently [this Internet post], in which he asserted that Mr. Bugliosi was a liar and that Dr. Carrico had never once used the word "ragged" to describe a wound in JFK's throat. And that declaration, as stated by Holmes, just simply is not true.

Holmes should have been more precise about WHICH wound he was referring to--the wound in the skin of JFK, or the wound in the underlying trachea.

In the final analysis of this "ragged" matter -- Vince Bugliosi is definitely wrong in at least two places in his book regarding the purported testimony of the Parkland doctors concerning the nature of JFK's outer-skin throat/neck wound.

But I also truly believe that these errors are not intentional "lies". Given the fact that there was, indeed, a wound associated with President Kennedy's neck/throat injury that was described by more than one doctor as being "ragged" in nature [and also see the Addendum at the bottom of this article concerning the testimony of another Parkland doctor], Bugliosi's utilization of the word "ragged" as it relates to the comments made by Drs. Perry and Carrico could very well be--I'm sorry to say--a bit of a "senior moment" on the part of Mr. Vincent T. Bugliosi.

Why do I say that?

Well, if anyone has ever listened to any of Mr. Bugliosi's several radio interviews that he did when he was on his book tour for "Reclaiming History" in 2007, then my above "senior moment" comment just might make a little more sense and have a bit more credence.

Because on many occasions, Vince just loses track of his line of thought and simply cannot remember a question that was asked a minute earlier. (I will say, too, that even I, at age 49, have had many similar "senior" moments myself. My memory sucks lately, and it bothers me a lot sometimes. It drives me crazy when I can't for the life of me remember the name of a particular witness in the JFK case, or what a witness said, etc.)

Now, I'm not excusing any "ragged" errors that Vince Bugliosi has made in his JFK book, I'm merely attempting to provide a POSSIBLE explanation for why those errors appear on Pages 207 and 413 of "Reclaiming History".

And I refuse to ever believe that Vincent Bugliosi is (or ever was) an outright liar. I refuse to believe that Vince would be willing to print something in one of his books that he KNOWS IS A FLAT-OUT LIE. I will never believe that kind of thing could ever apply to Mr. Vincent Bugliosi. Because, in my opinion, Vince is just not cut from that sort of devious cloth.

If certain conspiracy theorists want to disagree with my last comment, so be it. But I'll always stand by what I just said.


I can point to multiple additional errors in Vincent's JFK book that could (conceivably) be the result of simply a failing memory, or (quite possibly) a result of the way in which I know Vince wrote "Reclaiming History", which is a book that was written over the course of 20 years and was written so that large chunks of "yellow page inserts" (as Vince calls them) had to be included into almost every chapter of the book after a period of time had elapsed since the chapter was initially written.

That type of "inserting" of additional material could very well be the reason we find a few inconsistencies and incongruities within the huge tome known as "Reclaiming History".

Yes, such errors should have been caught in the proofreading process before the book went to print. But, people being what they are (human, and not robots or machines), mistakes can occur. And Mr. Bugliosi's "Reclaiming History" is no exception.


As an illustration of a possible "senior moment" involving author and lawyer Vincent Bugliosi, I can point to something that Bugliosi said during a radio interview in 2007. And this one is a real doozy, too, but it's obviously not an illustration of a "lie" or of Bugliosi's ignorance of the subject matter; it's more of a temporary "brain cramp", for lack of a better term:

On November 21, 2007, on a program called "Culture Shocks", radio host Barry Lynn asked Vince a question about New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison. The question was: "How did Garrison get into this?"

And Vince Bugliosi's answer, incredibly, was this:

Vince said that Jim Garrison, like millions of other Americans, had seen the Zapruder Film being shown on Geraldo Rivera's ABC-TV late-night talk show, "Good Night America", in 1975, and after seeing the violent rearward movement of President Kennedy's head in the Zapruder home movie, Garrison then went off "half-cocked" about conspiracy in the JFK case, with Garrison ultimately prosecuting an innocent man (Clay Shaw) on the charge of conspiracy to murder the President of the United States.

Now, quite obviously, if Vince had thought about his answer for a few more seconds before responding to the interviewer's question, Vince would have realized that his answer was totally crazy -- because the Clay Shaw trial had taken place more than six years before the Zapruder Film was broadcast on Geraldo Rivera's 1975 TV show. The Shaw trial ended in early 1969.

The 11/21/2007 radio program that I've been talking about can be heard here.

That was an embarrassing moment for Vincent Bugliosi. But, however, it probably wasn't too embarrassing for Vince, because his answer about Garrison first getting involved in the JFK case in 1975 sailed right over the head of the interviewer, Barry Lynn. I have no idea how many listeners picked up on Vincent's obvious gaffe about Garrison, but it's something I noticed right after he said it.

But, again, that tends to illustrate how even a person who knows a topic's details inside and out can sometimes say something that's very bizarre and inaccurate concerning that particular topic. But it certainly cannot be labelled a deliberate "lie" that was designed to deceive anyone who was listening to Bugliosi. It was merely an inexplicable brain cramp. Because there can be no doubt that Vince Bugliosi knows that the Clay Shaw trial actually occurred six years prior to America first being shown the Zapruder Film on television in 1975. We know that Vince knows the date of the Shaw trial, because he has a long chapter on that trial and Oliver Stone's movie in his book, including this passage on Page 1375:

"The all-male jury returned its verdict of not guilty at one in the morning on March 1, 1969, two years to the day after Shaw had been arrested in the case."

And I'm thinking that Vincent's use of the word "ragged" in a couple of places in his JFK book could also be placed in the "brain cramp" category as well.

David Von Pein
July 14, 2011
July 15, 2011



In early July 2014, Brock T. George e-mailed me and provided some additional information concerning the testimony of another Parkland Hospital physician, Dr. Gene Akin.

Quoting from two separate e-mails I received from Brock George on July 5th, 2014:

"I was just trying to solve the mystery of VB's [Vincent Bugliosi's] ragged throat wound comments when I see that not only has he put those words in Perry and Carrico's mouth, but also a Dr. Gene Akin on page 414 [of "Reclaiming History"]. This time he gives 216 as a reference.

Well I can't find "216" but I did find the Page 414 Endnotes reference to 6 H 71. When I went to History Matters, I couldn't find that per se, but searching for Gene Akin showed his testimony to Arlen Specter [to] be in Volume VI of the HSCA Volumes
[DVP Interjection: Brock really meant to say "Warren Commission Volumes" here, not HSCA]. The relevant..."ragged around the edges" comment occurs on page 65 thereof.

So it can be seen that a Parkland doctor can indeed be quoted as describing the "wound" in precisely that manner even though he only saw it partially after the trach incision had been made. (This also supports the same observations of the Clark and HSCA Panels who saw remnants of the wound that the 3 autopsists had missed.) Check it out for yourself.


IMO, that testimony makes the case tighter that VB merely had a senior moment/brain burp. Because in fact he HAD seen a Parkland doctor use that very term about the wound and not just the trachea. Thus it is an easy "brain burp" to merge that statement by Akin with the "ragged trachea" comments made by Carrico and Perry and start putting "ragged neck wound" in the mouths of the wrong Parkland doctors."
-- Brock T. George

[End E-Mail Quotes.]

Yes, indeed. Brock George is absolutely correct. Dr. Gene C. Akin did, indeed, say "slightly ragged" when describing the OUTER throat wound (in the skin, not the trachea) of President Kennedy.

I just checked Mr. Bugliosi's book for the passage quoting Dr. Akin (and it is on page 414 of VB's book, just as Mr. George said). And the "216" source note checks out perfectly too, leading the reader to page 65 of Warren Commission Volume 6, which is Dr. Gene Akin's testimony.

Here is exactly what Vince Bugliosi says on page 414 of his book:

"Dr. Gene Akin: "[The wound] was slightly ragged around the edges . . . The thought flashed through my mind that this might have been an entrance wound. I immediately thought it could also have been an exit wound."" -- Page 414 of "Reclaiming History"

The Warren Commission source used by Bugliosi -----> 6 H 65.

Here is an extension of Dr. Akin's above comments to the Warren Commission about the throat wound:

ARLEN SPECTER - And as to the neck wound, did you have occasion to observe whether there was a smooth, jagged, or what was the nature of the portion of the neck wound which had not been cut by the tracheotomy?

Dr. GENE AKIN - It was slightly ragged around the edges.

Mr. SPECTER - And when you said that--

Dr. AKIN - No powder burns; I didn't notice any powder burns.

Mr. SPECTER - What was the dimension of the punctate wound, without regards to the tracheotomy which was being started?

Dr. AKIN - It looked--it was as you said, it was a puncture wound. It was roughly circular, about, I would judge, 1.5 centimeters in diameter.

Mr. SPECTER - What did you mean when you just made your reference to the academic aspect with the wound, Dr. Akin?

Dr. AKIN - Well, naturally, the thought flashed through my mind that this might have been an entrance wound. I immediately thought it could also have been an exit wound, depending upon the nature of the missile that made the wound.

Mr. SPECTER - What would be the circumstances on which it might be one or the other?

Dr. AKIN - Well, if the President had been shot with a low velocity missile, such as fire[d] from a pistol, it was more likely to have been an entrance wound, is that what you mean?

Mr. SPECTER - Yes.

Dr. AKIN - If, however, he had been shot with a high velocity military type of rifle, for example, it could be either an entrance wound or an exit wound.


Thank you, Brock George, for providing this extra piece of testimony from Dr. Gene Akin regarding this "ragged" throat wound topic. I had not been aware that yet another Parkland doctor (Akin) had used that very same word ("ragged") when discussing the nature of President Kennedy's throat wound. So I appreciate this added information very much.

David Von Pein
July 5, 2014




(PART 1)

(PART 3)