Notes on JFK's Skull Fragments

compiled by Vince Palamara


a) 5 H 180 / testimony [see also "Murder From Within" by Fred Newcomb and Perry Adams
(1974), pp. 138-139: what they claim comes from the unedited transcript is in parentheses]---"And just as I turned and looked at him, I could see a piece of his skull (sort of wedge-shaped like that), and I remember it was flesh colored (with little ridges at the top). I remember thinking he just looked as if he had a slight headache. And I just remember seeing that. No blood or anything. And then he sort of did this [indicating], put his hand to his forehead and fell in my lap... [Reference to wounds deleted]"---!;
b) 4/11/72 declassified testimony excerpts (as reproduced in "Post Mortem" by Harold
Weisberg, pp. 380-381 [Groden quotes this in the program "JFK: An Unsolved Murder",
KRON-TV, 11/18/88, which was repeated in "JFK: The Case for Conspiracy" video 1993, as well
as "TKOAP", p. 38)---"I was trying to hold his hair on. But from the front there was nothing. I
suppose there must have been. But from the back you could see, you know, you were trying to
hold his hair on, and his skull on..";
c) 11/29/63 interview with writer Theodore H. White: his notes released 5/26/95 [wrote "The
Making of the Presdient 1960" , the "Camelot" article for the 12/6/63 "Life" magazine, and his
own memoirs entitled "In Search of History", among others]---"I could see a piece of his skull
coming off; it was flesh colored not white---he was holding out his hand---and I can see this
perfectly clean piece detaching itself from his head; then he slumped in my lap...";

11/27/63)[Behn: 9/27/92 interviews (3) by Vince Palamara; deceased 4/93];



a) RIF # 180-10078-10493:HSCA summary of an interview with Sam Kinney
conducted on 2/26/78---"Inside the aircraft [the C-130 transport plane] during flight, the
loading sergeant, who had been in the rear compartment where the cars were stored, entered
nthe forward cabin and said, "I can't stand to be back there." SA Kinney gave him his seat and
returned to the resar compartment. At this point he discovered in the Presidential limousine (1) a
skull fragment under the jump seat where Connally had been seated, and (2) a bullet fragment in
the front seat between the driver's and passenger's seat. He remarked that the bullet fragment
"looked like it had hit the windshield frame above the windshield." SA Kinney put on a radio
patch to Presidential Physician Admiral Burkley to inform him that he had discovered the skull
fragment. Chief Petty Officer Tommy Mills, an aide to Burkley, received the message. SA
Kinney then announced that he was going to go directly to the White House non-stop. The
Washington Field Office learned of this and sent 6 or 7 Park police to escort SA Kinney to the
White House Garage. In the garage they were met by FBI agents."; b) 10/19/92, 3/5/94, and 4/15/94 interviews with Vince Palamara ("The Third Alternative-Survivor's Guilt: The Secret Service and the JFK Murder", pp. 8-9, 28, 55-56, 78-80,81-82, 110-111)---

Sam told me twice that he saw the back of JFK's head come off immediately when the fatal shot
struck the President's head. Once at Parkland Hospital, Kinney helped remove the President
from the back seat of the limousine along with Clint Hill, Roy Kellerman, and Dave Powers,
thereby receiving an extremely vivid, close-up look at the wound on JFK's head. "His brain was
blown out," Sam said, " there was nothing left !" I pressed further, to which Sam added: "There
was brain matter all over the place...he had no brains left in his head." And, while aboard the
C-130 aircraft, he found the piece of the back of JFK's head lying in the rear seat of the bloody
limousine! Sam told me it was "clean as a pin" and that it resembled a "flowerpot" or "clay pot"
piece. Kinney added: "It was a big piece-half his head was gone." When I pressed him on this
point and asked him if he was sure of the skull piece's orientation, he said " I don't know what
else it could have been but the back of his head."

THREE pieces of skull found by none other than ASAIC FLOYD BORING during the "official" Secret Service limousine inspection late on 11/22/63(CD 80. p.3), four hours before the FBI did the same- this is seperate from the finding made by Kinney on the C-130 will en route to
Andrews AFB
The "Harper fragment" (found by Billy Harper 11/23/63)---

Drs. Jack C. Harper, A.B. Cairns, and Gerard Noteboom, Methodist Hospital (re: the Harper
fragment, found 11/23/63 by Dr. Harper's nephew William Allen "Billy"Harper, a medical
a) 8/17/77 interviews of Harper and Cairns with the HSCA (RIF#180-10093-10429) [see also
pp. 261-262 of "Killing Kennedy" by H.E.L.]---"Dr. Harper said the consensus of the doctors
who viewed the skull fragment was that it was part of the occipital region...Dr. A.B.
Cairns...said the piece of skull fragment came from an area approximately two and a half to
three inches above the spine area. He said it had the markings of a piece of skull fragment from
the lower occipital area, specifically: suture and inner markings where blood vessels run around
the base of the skull.";
b) CD 5, pp. 150-151, CD 1269 and FBI 89-43-479 (11/25/63)---Billy Harper, after finding
the skull fragment and taking it to Drs. Harper and Cairns, spoke to FBI agent James Anderton,
who notified the Secret Service and was then immediately instructed by SAIC of PRS Robert
Bouck to send the fragment to the White House "AND NO PUBLICITY WHATSOEVER",
wrote Agent Anderton;
c) FBI lab sheets, 11/27/63; FBI 62-109060; FBI 62-109060-60, p. 2 [see "Best Evidence",
p. 503]---the fragment was personally delivered to Dr. Burkley. Burkley said it should be
delivered to him "so that in the event this bone piece is from President Kennedy's head it can be
enclosed in the autopsy reports." However, the fragment was NOT given to the autopsy
doctors, nor was it mentioned at the autopsy;
d) CD 1395, p. 50/ FBI interview of Cairns+ pages 46 and 44---"Dr. Cairns stated the bone
specimen looked like it came from the occipital region of the skull."; The doctors made 12
photographs of it at Methodist Hospital; a woman wrote RFK in June 1964 and told him that in
Dallas she had seen snapshots, taken at a hospital, of JFK's head!; RFK forwarded this letter to
the WC and J. Lee Rankin's assistant, Howard Willens, immediately requested the FBI to
investigate the matter.;
e) 7 H 25, 123, 228-230, 245-248---the HSCA believed the Harper fragment came from the
upper middle third of the parietal area;
f) Noteboom: "Best Evidence", p. 504 (1972 interview with Robert P. Smith [7/20/72 letter
from Smith to Lifton])---"also saw the bone and held the same opinion [as Harper and Ca?rns]";

g) Noteboom: 8/25/98 letter to Vince Palamara---"Re: Skull fragment, JFK. My best estimate
of the fragment was that it was occipital. I took 35mm transparency slides, which were turned
over to the FBI.";
h) Noteboom: interview with Milicent Cranor 1998---confirms his same opinion;
i) "Mortal Error", p. 169; Groden's "TKOAP", pages 34 and 83; "JFK: The Case For
Conspiracy" video 1993; "Bloody Treason" by Noel Twyman, p. 222; CD 1269a [in the
author's collection]----photos of the Harper fragment; Dr. Randy Robertson, at COPA 1996,
showed slides of X-rays of the Harper fragment that the FBI took;
j) Article by Joseph N. Riley, Ph.D, in the April 1996 issue of "JFK/ Deep Politics Quarterly"
journal entitled "Anatomy of the Harper Fragment".
k) 9/15/98 letter from William A. Harper to Vince Palamara---"Your letter to my uncle Dr. Jack
C. Harper has been forwarded to me for response. My uncle told me that the fragment I found
was from the occipital area of the skull. I have seen drawings in various publications that would
indicate that it belonged to this region. With regard to the question of the existence [of]
photographs, it is my understanding that my uncle gave his pictures to an assassination
investigative agency."

STAVIS ELLIS : 9/8/98 letter to Vince Palamara---"Yes, I did see a hole in the limousine
windshield at Parkland Hospital. I did not see the bone fragment. The officer on the escort with
me said there was one fragment, approximately 6 or 7 inches around."

BOBBY JOE DALE :"No More Silence" by Larry Sneed (1998), pp. 132-141+photos---[pp.
135-136]"...the President was on the gurney beside the car, and they were wheeling him in. At
that time, it was obvious that nobody could have survived a wound like that...Blood and matter
was everywhere inside the car including a bone fragment which was oblong shaped, probably an
inch to an inch and a half long by three-quarters of an inch wide. As I turned it over and looked
at it, I determined that it came from some part of the forehead because there was hair on it
which appeared to be near the hairline. There were other fragments around, but that was the
largest piece that grabbed my attention. What stood out in my mind was that there was makeup
up to the hairline. Apparently he had used makeup for the cameras to knock down the glare. It
was fairly distinct where it stopped and the wrap of skin took up. Other than that, nobody
messed with anything inside the car in any manner, shape, or form. Nobody said, "Clean this
up!" We then put the top up and secured it.";
JAMES W. COURSON : "No More Silence" by Larry Sneed (1998), pp.
127-131+photos---[pp. 129-130] "The driver immediately got out into the center lane with me
on his left rear and another officer on the right. Mrs. Kennedy had, by that time, gotten back
down in the seat and was holding the President's head in her lap. I was able to see that his head
was horribly mangled. Skull, brain, and blood material was all along the seat...Flowers were
scattered all around the car...Two other officers and I helped take the Presdient out of the car
and put him onto the stretcher. From what I was able to see of the wound, the damage seemed
to be in the right rear of his head, but it was hard to tell because there was so much blood. The
back part of the skull seemed to be laying over the forehead. I didn't actually see an exit wound
since I saw only the back part of his head.",
H.B. McCLAIN : "No More Silence" by Larry Sneed (1998), pp. 162-168+photos---[p.
164] "I figured at the time that the wound was fatal. Part of the skull was laying on the
floorboard. Blood and brain material was splattered all over as if a ripe wa?ermelon had been
dropped. It was a pretty gory scene."

report 11/26/63 [see "Post Mortem", pp. 532-536]---"...Also during the latter stages of the
autopsy, a piece of the skull measuring 10 x 6.5 centimeters was brought to Dr. Humes who
was instructed that this had been removed from the President's skull. Immediately this section of
skull was X-Rayed, at which time it was determined by Dr. Humes that one corner of this
section revealed minute metal particles and inspection of this same area disclosed a chipping of
the top portion of this piece, both of which indicated that this had been the point of exit of the
bullet entering the skull region...";

Sibert: TWO-HSCA rec. #002191, RIF# 180-10105-10164: interview with James Kelly and
Andy Purdy, 8/25/77 [see "Killing Kennedy", pp. 343-344, and "Bloody Treason", page 100,
for drawings]-"Regarding the head wound, Sibert said it was in the "...Upper back of the
head."; "The head wound was in the upper back of the head...a large head wound in the upper
back of the head with a section of the scull [sic] bone missing..."; his drawings depict a large
wound squarely on the back of the head, as well as a small wound well down on the back, very
much like the one in the autopsy face sheet; Humes and Finck agreed, after probing, that there
was no exit wound of the bullet in the back: "concluded it only went so far and they couldn't find
it."; "Sibert recalls that much of the piece of the missing bone section came in somewhat later";
'Sibert said he was present when the bone piece was brought in which had been found in the

O'Neill: TWO-RIF#180-10090-10044, HSCA rec. #006185: interview with Andy Purdy and
Mark Flanagan, 1/10/78 [see "Killing Kennedy", pp. 348-349 for drawings]---"He does
remember the doctors measuring the piece of skull that was found in the limousine and brought
to Bethesda during the autopsy. O'Neill stated that in his opinion JFK could have had an open
Sibert & O'Neill: ARRB depositions [see also "High Treason III" (1998), pp. 404-407]---
Sibert, 9/11/97: " said that a "big piece of bone came in from Dallas---which was found in the
limousine out in Dallas, a piece of the skull...there definitely was a large cavity...much skull
O'Neill, 9/12/97: Regarding the official Archives photos of the rear of the head: "This looks like
it's been doctored in some way. Let me rephrase that, when I say 'doctored.' Like the stuff has
been pushed back in, and it looks like more towards the end than at the beginning. All you have
to do was put the flap back over here, and the rest of the stuff is all covered on up...Quite
frankly, I thought that there was a larger the back of the head...I specifically do not
recall those--I mean, being that clean or that fixed up."; "a massive wound in the upper right.
Back here."
James W. Sibert: 9/1/98 letter to Vince Palamara---"...In answering your two questions, the
head wound, which was called the fatal wound by the pathologists, was located in the right rear
portion of the head. A piece of the skull was missing which was found in the limousine and
brought to the autopsy room during the latter stages of the autopsy."
FBI AGENT VINCENT E. DRAIN: "No More Silence" by Larry Sneed (1998), pp. 245-262+photo---[p. 246] "When I arrived in the trauma room, the doctors were working with President Kennedy. They were trying to do what they could to stop the gurgling sound he was making by performing a tracheotomy on him. Despite the fact, as I later learned, that he was dead, his body reflexes were still working. I wasn't up close to the body, but I could still see fairly well the large amount of blood from the head wound. The head was badly damaged from the lower rig?t base across the top extending across the top of the ear. It appeared to me as though the bullet traveled upward and had taken off the right portion of his skull. It may have been the security officer or one of the other officers who gave me a portion of the skull which was about the size of a teacup, much larger than a silver dollar. Apparently the explosion had jerked it because the hair
was still on it. I carried that back to Washington later that night and turned it over to the FBI
ALSO DEPUTY SHERIFFS SEYMOUR WEITZMAN : found a small piece of skull in the plaza---7H107;

JACK FAULKNER : "No More Silence" by Larry Sneed (1998), pp.
215-223+photos---[p.216] "As we were crossing Elm Street, [A.D.] McCurley picked up a
white piece of bone near the north curb. He asked me, "Do you suppose that could be part of
his skull?" I said, "There's no blood on it," and he put it down. Later, we got to thinking, and
somebody said your skull doesn't necessarily have to be touching something that's bloody. We
went back and looked for it later but never found it. To this day, I believe it was a piece of John
Kennedy's skull."
AND AL MADDOX : "No More Silence" by Larry Sneed (1998), pp. 507-517+photo---[p.
509] "...I also saw human tissue lying in the street which was being wiped and cleaned up at the
time.That was right about where the President was said to have been hit. I also saw one of the
motorcycle officers who was splattered with blood.",

saw the skull fragment fly back and to the left of where he was standing---: NBC
11/22/63 (familiar newsreel interview); Mark Lane "Rush To Judgment" film 1967 (clip
repeated in Lane's "Two Men In Dallas" video); Part 4 of "CBS News Inquiry: The Warren
Report" 6/28/67; "On Trial: Lee Harvey Oswald" 1986 Showtime; "JFK: That Day In
November" 11/22/88; "The Men Who Killed Kennedy" 1991;and Mark Oakes' Eyewitness
video 1991; see also the book "No More Silence" by Larry Sneed (1998), pp. 63-64,
DPD JOE CODY: "No More Silence" by Larry Sneed (1998), pp. 467-480+photo---[p.467]
"...we jumped in our car and arrived at the scene where Kennedy was shot and killed in just
three or four minutes. By that time, it was probably ten minutes after the shooting. While we
were there, I searched the plaza and found a bone lying in the gutter that apparently came out of
the back of the President's head."
AND POSTAL INSPECTOR HARRY HOLMES : "Murder From Within" by Fred Newcomb and Perry Adams, p. 213 (based off an early 1970's interview)--- "A postal inspector [Holmes] picked up a piece of skull from the Elm St. pavement. He said it was as "...big as the end of my finger..." Furthermore, it was one of many: "...there was just pieces of skull and bone and corruption all over the place..." He later discarded it.[!!!]";
ADMIRAL/ DR. GEORGE G. BURKLEY (Kennedy's physician) :
a) RIF#180-10087-10092---the smaller fragment of skull found by Seymour Weitzman (7 H 107) was forwarded to Dr. Burkley [p. 213 of "Murder From Within"---Postal Inspector Harry Holmes told Newcomb and Adams that he himself found a piece of JFK's skull which he went on to discard!];
b) HSCA Rec. #7310080 Agency File # 004864---the Harper fragment, found by Billy Harper on 11/23/63, was forwarded to Dr. Burkley after inspection by the FBI
(Also, representatives from Dr. Burkley's office were involved in intercepting Kinney's call to Burkley from the C-130 re: the large, back-of-the-head fragment he found while in flight AND in the limo inspection where more fragments were found); c) HSCA RIF#180-10116-0052 (originated from WC)---"11/27/63 5:15 p.m. Just received a small Neman [sic] Markus box about 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" containing material which had been discussed previously ?ith them. A letter of the full report will be made. This material will be deposited with the Commanding Officer of the Bethesda Naval Hospital for subsequent retention with other material of similar nature. Material was received in the presence of Dr. James M. Young and me. The contact with the FBI was Roy Jevous at Code 175 x 353.
/s/ GGBurkley [sic]
G. G. Burkley, M.D.

Received from Robert I. Bouck, Special Agent in Charge, U. S. Secret Service, specimen of bone that appears to be from a skull, turned over to Secret Service by David Burros. It was apparently found on the parkway near the scene of the assassination (marked Fragment No. 2 for identification).

Both above described specimens to be turned over to Naval Hospital by Dr. Burkley for examination, analysis, and retention until other disposition is directed.

/s/ George G. Burkley

This article (C) by Vincent M. Palamara cannot be reprinted or otherwise
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