(PART 180)


>>> "How does VB [Vincent Bugliosi, in "Reclaiming History"] explain (evidently, what he believes was a gross error) three pathologists misidentifying the location, by about four inches, of where the fatal bullet entered the back of JFK's head? For example, does he chalk such an error up to them being incompetent, or inexperienced, etc.? If I could push my luck, I'd love to have a citation too, e.g. page number. I'd greatly appreciate any help I could get on this." <<<


In my opinion, Vincent Bugliosi does a good job at explaining the
discrepancy regarding the head (entry) wound location in his book
"Reclaiming History" (on Pages 395-397 of the book itself, plus some
additional remarks concerning this matter on Pages 229-234 of the
Endnotes on the CD-ROM).

But I will point out something strange that I noticed on Page 396 of
Mr. Bugliosi's book relating to the HSCA testimony of Dr. James Humes.
This oddity (or "error" if you want to call it that) is quite strange
indeed, IMO, because after this "error" is fully corrected, then the
words spoken by Dr. Humes in 1978 to the HSCA only FURTHER aid and
enhance and buttress the overall "LHO Did It Alone" conclusion put
forth in "Reclaiming History".

This oddity (or "error", if you prefer) occurs when Vince Bugliosi
says this on Page 396 of "RH":

"The HSCA pathology panel reported that the lead autopsy surgeon, Dr. Humes, had changed his mind during the committee's public hearings and "supported the panel's conclusion as to the location of the wound." But actually, Humes wasn't quite that clear. In fact, when he was asked specifically by the HSCA counsel to explain the discrepancy between the language in the autopsy report, which placed the entrance wound "slightly above" the occipital protuberance, and the forensic panel's conclusion, which placed the entrance wound 4 inches above the occipital protuberance, Humes replied, "Well, I have a little trouble with that; 10 centimeters is...significant--4 inches."" -- Vincent Bugliosi; Page 396 of "Reclaiming History" (c.2007)

The odd part of the above section of VB's book is this sentence:
"Humes wasn't quite that clear." When, in fact, Dr. Humes was actually
VERY clear regarding this subject during another portion of his HSCA
testimony (at 1 HSCA 327), shown below:

MR. CORNWELL -- "Now, I would like to ask you today if you have had at least a greater opportunity to look at the photographs along the lines that I have just indicated to you and if, after doing so, you have a more well-considered or a different opinion or whether your opinion is still the same, as to where the point of entry is?"

DR. HUMES -- "Yes, I think that I do have a different opinion. .... I go back...to the original autopsy report which we rendered, in the absence of any photographs, of course. We made certain physical observations and measurements of these wounds. I state now those measurements we recorded then were accurate to the best of our ability to discern what we had before our eyes. We described the wound of entrance in the posterior scalp as being above and to the right of the external occipital protuberance, a bony knob on the back of the head. .... And it is obvious to me as I sit here how with this--his markedly enlarged drawing of the photograph--that the upper defect to which you pointed or the upper object is clearly in the location of where we said approximately where it was, above the external occipital protuberance. Therefore, I believe that is the wound of entry. .... The object in the lower portion, which I apparently and I believe now erroneously previously identified before the most recent panel, is far below the external occipital protuberance and would not fit with the original autopsy findings."

So, as we can easily see, Dr. Humes is fully admitting to the House
Select Committee, via his above words, that he was wrong in 1963-1964
about the exact location of the President's head entry wound.

And Humes' words shown above are as clear as clear could possibly be
(IMO) when it comes to his REVISED location of JFK's head entry wound,
with Dr. Humes fully agreeing with the HSCA (and the Ida Dox drawing
linked below) with respect to the true and accurate location of the
entry wound at the rear of John Kennedy's head:

Now, it's quite possible that Vincent Bugliosi DOES include the above
testimony from 1 HSCA 327 somewhere in his book "Reclaiming History".
The book, plus the CD endnotes, is so huge and vast that I might have
missed a reference to that exact Humes' testimony, but I tend to doubt
it, since Vince uses the words "Humes wasn't quite that clear" on Page
396 when referring to Humes' flip-flop on this head-wound issue.

I looked and couldn't find any specific reference within "RH" (or its
CD endnotes) to the very clear testimony of Dr. Humes that I just
mentioned above from HSCA Volume 1.

Also: There isn't a single reference to "1 HSCA 327" anywhere within
the 170 pages of Source Notes on the CD-ROM computer disc.

And there is only one single reference to "1 HSCA 327" in the book's
"Endnotes" on CD (which is endnote material that is sourced
independently from the main book, with Source Notes appearing directly
underneath each and every endnote). But that one Endnote reference to
1 HSCA 327 doesn't have anything to do with Humes changing his mind
with respect to the precise location of the entry hole on JFK's head.

Therefore, this would appear to be one more instance where Vince could
have actually bettered and significantly bolstered his overall "lone assassin"
arguments if he had also included additional material that is available in
the public record (like 1 HSCA 327 regarding Dr. Humes).

And it's equally as odd in my mind to note that Vince obviously DID
read Dr. Humes HSCA testimony....because he cites exact passages of
Humes' HSCA session in the book "RH" (like footnote #81 on Page 396 of
the book, which shows: "1 HSCA 329").

And 1 HSCA 329 is a mere two pages after the Humes' quotes I cited
above from 1 HSCA 327.

Strange indeed. Unless, that is, Vince doesn't think Humes was being
"clear" at all on 1 HSCA 327 when Humes made the statement:
"I believe that is the wound of entry" (referring to the higher [cowlick]
entry wound as depicted in the Dox drawing and the actual autopsy
photo of JFK).


This same type of thing occurred with respect to Bugliosi's book and another
assassination sub-topic -- that sub-topic being the testimony of Dr. Charles
Gregory and the bullet fragments in John Connally's body. More on that here.

In addition, let me add the following remarks regarding the "head entry
wound" topic:

Apart from any "oddities" that may exist with respect to Vince Bugliosi's
personal view of Dr. James Humes' HSCA testimony, there are several other
very good arguments concerning this matter made by Bugliosi in his book.

One such example being a footnote on Pages 395 and 396, where Vincent
mentions a conversation he had with one of the 17 pathologists who all
concluded, beyond all doubt (based on the available evidence), that
President Kennedy was struck in the head by only one single bullet,
with that one bullet entering JFK's head in the rear of his skull.

The pathologist I'm referring to is Dr. Werner V. Spitz, who served on
the HSCA's Forensic Pathology Panel and who also served on the
Rockefeller Commission's panel of pathologists who re-examined JFK's
photos and X-rays in 1975.

Here's that passage regarding Spitz:

"Much has been made in the assassination literature of the fact that the autopsy surgeons were wrong on the location of the entrance wound. But is there any real significance to the head entrance wound being 3 inches higher than the autopsy surgeons said it was other than as a reflection of the ALLEGED incompetence of the surgeons? "No, not really," Dr. Werner Spitz...said. "It's just a red herring. We know from the autopsy photos and X-rays that there was only one entrance wound to the back of the president's head. The only significance this matter has is academic." (Telephone interview of Dr. Werner Spitz by author [VB] on March 26, 2005)." -- Vincent Bugliosi; Pages 395-396 of "Reclaiming History" (footnote)(c.2007)

David Von Pein
March 22, 2008