(PART 525)


OK, David, for the very last time, I am going to ask you, as a personal favour, & to give you a chance to confound my expectations, to tell me how you think the brain was removed through the 'Dox Drawing' skull defect.

I am not (at the moment) interested in side issues, endless repetitions, and general waltzing around the park, so please spare me that.

I just want to know the specific details of the procedure that you, David von Pein [sic], believe Humes used to get that brain out there, bearing in mind that the hole in the skull is barely big enough for Humes to get ONE of his (big) hands into, let alone find the brain stem, let alone cut the brain stem, let alone accurately cut around the tentorium, let alone get the brain out. (Also of course bearing in mind all the other evidence we have from the autopsy on the issue - something which puts a few more constraints on any answer, as you are doubtless aware).

How do you think they did it, David?

And further, WHY do you think they did it, David, given that they had a saw handy?

The floor is yours.

I am all ears.


President Kennedy's lead autopsy surgeon, Dr. James J. Humes, provides us with the answer, plain as day, in the transcript of his February 13, 1996, ARRB testimony/deposition:

DR. HUMES -- "Sure, we had to make an incision to remove the brain."


QUESTION -- "Where was the first incision made?"

DR. HUMES -- "I believe, of course, the top of the skull to remove the skull plate of the brain. To remove what remained of the calvarium and to approach the removal of the brain."

QUESTION -- "And was that incision simply of the scalp, or did you need to cut--?"

DR. HUMES -- "No, we had to cut some bone as well."


This chunk of Dr. Humes' ARRB session is worth repeating for both Mr. Paul Seaton and Mr. John A. Canal:


And we know that the cutting of that "bone" to get JFK's brain out of his head most certainly occurred AFTER this X-ray was taken (and not before):

Here is the relevant testimony given by Dr. Humes concerning the "photo timeline" topic during his 1996 ARRB session:

QUESTION -- "There is one photograph, or one series of photographs, that shows what looks to be a gaping wound in the head with the scalp reflected."

DR. HUMES -- "Yeah."

QUESTION -- "Other than that series of photographs, were the remainder of the photographs all taken at the beginning of the autopsy, do you recall?"

DR. HUMES -- "Virtually all of them were, yeah. .... There's only basically two that weren't. One was the inside of the occipital region, which we interpreted as the wound of entrance, for obvious reasons, and one that never came--whatever happened to it, I was very disturbed by it. We took one of the interior of the right side of the thorax because there was a contusion of the right upper lobe of the lung. So the missile had passed across the dome of the parietal pleura and contused the right lobe. I wanted to have a picture of that, and I never saw it. It never--whether it was under-exposed or over-exposed or what happened to it, I don't know. And it's three years later when we were looking at it, of course. But we didn't see that photograph. So that was taken later, and the one of the inside of the skull was taken later. But all the rest of them were taken at the onset of examination."

QUESTION -- "Okay. With regard to X-rays, when were they taken in relationship to the photographs?"

DR. HUMES -- "I would guess that most of the X-rays were taken prior to any of the photographs. But, I mean, I just don't have that crystal clear in my mind. But I think so. I think most of them were taken before."

QUESTION -- "Were any skull fragments rearranged or put into place or removed prior to the time that the first X-rays were taken?"

DR. HUMES -- "No."

QUESTION -- "Were any skull fragments rearranged or moved at any time during any time that there was an X-ray of the cranium?"

DR. HUMES -- "No. No."

QUESTION -- "So there was no reconstruction whatsoever?"

DR. HUMES -- "No. There was nothing to reconstruct. No."


Of course, to be fair, there's the following ARRB testimony of Dr. J. Thornton Boswell, which totally contradicts what Dr. Humes said regarding the removal of JFK's brain:

QUESTION -- "Was it necessary to make any incisions in the scalp in order to remove the brain?"

DR. BOSWELL -- "No."

QUESTION -- "Was it necessary to saw any of the bones in the cranium?"

DR. BOSWELL -- "No."


So, I guess it's a matter of: "Who should be believed, Humes or Boswell?"

But since it was Dr. Humes himself who physically removed the brain from President Kennedy's head....

QUESTION -- "Who was involved in the process of removal of the brain?"

DR. HUMES -- "I was."

....perhaps it would be best to defer to his testimony on this matter:


For what it's worth, I'd like to add two bonus quotes below (just for the record):

QUESTION -- "Do you recall whether Colonel Finck arrived before or after the brain was removed?"

DR. BOSWELL -- "Oh, before."

Excerpt from Vince Bugliosi's book:

"When I spoke to [autopsy photographer John] Stringer, he said there was "no question" in his mind that the "large exit wound in the president's head was to the right side of his head, above the right ear." .... When I asked him if there was any large defect to the rear of the president's head, he said "No. All there was was a small entrance wound to the back of the president's head. During the autopsy, Dr. Humes pointed out this entrance wound to everyone." " -- Page 410 of Vincent Bugliosi's "Reclaiming History" [Via Telephone interview of John Stringer by Bugliosi on September 21, 2000.]

David Von Pein
May 12, 2009