(a) Introduction

  1. Authentication of the autopsy photographs allegedly. taken of President Kennedy was considered essential because of the discrepant descriptions that have been given of the wounds incurred by the President. The description of the size and location of the President's head wounds, for example, by eyewitnesses at Parkland Hospital differed dramatically from the testimony of the autopsy doctors and the account set forth in the Warren Report. (195) More recently, the panel of medical experts convened by then-Acting Attorney General Ramsey Clark described Kennedy's head entrance wound as approximately 10 centimeters higher than the location reported by the Warren Commission (196) As a result of these discrepancies, it was essential to verify that the autopsy photographs and X-rays did, in fact, depict Kennedy and that these materials had not been altered in any way

    (b) Issues

  2. 1. Do the postmortem photographs and X-rays in the custody of the National Archives purporting to depict President Kennedy, in fact, depict him?

  3. 2. Is there any evidence that either President Kennedy's autopsy photographs or X-rays have been altered?

    (c) Materials examined

  4. Twenty-seven original color transparencies and the twenty five original black and white negatives were examined. These depicted the subjects head and upper torso from various positions. In addition 8 x 10 color and black and white photographic prints generated from these transparencies were evaluated.

  5. The X-ray materials consisted of the following items:

  6. 1. An attempted anteroposterior projection of a skill identified as:
    21296 (numbers upside down).
    U.S. Naval Hospital.
    NNMC Bethesda, Md.
    November 22, 1963.

    *A more detailed description of these photographs is provided in pars. 570-571, 583-595 infra.

  7. 2. Right lateral projection of a skull with the same identification symbols.

  8. 3. Left lateral projection of a skull with the same identification symbols.

  9. 4. Three radiographs of three fragments of bone unidentified by symbols.

  10. 5. An anteroposterior projection of a chest with the same identification symbols as Nos. 1-3 above. This radiograph was obtained with the thoracic cage intact, that is, before autopsy.

  11. 6. An anteroposterior projection of a chest with the same identification as No. 5 above. This radiograph was obtained after the thorax had been opened and the lungs and mediastinal contents had been removed.

    (d) Procedures

  12. Independent of the panel's analysis, the photographs and X-rays were reviewed by the three physicians who performed the autopsy, the, leader of the X-ray team that took the postmortem X-rays, These individuals indicated that the photographs and X-rays accurately portrayed Kennedy's various wounds.

  13. The panel's board of consulting forensic anthropologists and a forensic ondontologist compared the photographs and X-rays with premortem photographs and X-rays of Kennedy. Prermortem materials were studied for the purpose of discerning unique anatomic features whose presence in the postmortem photographs and X-rays would verify that the individual depicted was, in fact, Kennedy.

  14. The photographic materials and X-rays were examined visually by the panel. This review included both microscopic examination and viewing relevant photographs in a stereoscope, a special device that allows pairs of photographs to be viewed in three dimensions. Because stereoscopy provides an excellent means by which altered or doctored photographs can be detected,(2 )primary reliance was placed upon this analytical technique 3

  15. Finally, the autopsy X-rays, in addition to being reviewed by the panel, were analyzed for evidence of fakery by a radiologist who had particular expertise in the area of image enhancement.

    (e) Conclusion

  16. 1. The postmortem photographs and X-rays in the custody of the National Archives purporting to depict Kennedy do, in fact, depict him.

    Because the Department of Defense was unable to locate the camera and lens that were used to take these photographs, the panel was unable to engage in an analysis similar to the one undertaken with the Oswald backyard pictures that was designed to determine whether a particular camera in issue had been used to take the photographs that were the subject of inquiry.

    The principle of stereoscopy is discussed in detail in pars. 75-79. 434 36 supra. While several of the autopsy photographs and X-days were enhanced through the use of digital image processing, the resulting enhanced photographs and X-rays were used exclusively by the autopsy panel for determining the nature and cause of wounds. They were found to be unnecessary in the analysis to detect possible fakery, since the original materials, when viewed stereoscopically, were of sufficient quality to resolve this issue.

  17. 2. There is no evidence that either the Kennedy autopsy photographs or X-rays have been altered.

    (f) Analysis

  18. This section will deal primarily with the panel's visual examination. Separate, reports have been filed setting forth the detailed analysis of the panel's board of consulting forensic anthropologists and the forensic odontologist.

  19. Visual inspection of the autopsy photographs and transparencies revealed no evidence of retouching, compositing, or other evidence of fakery. Because all of the relevant photographs were studied stereoscopically, it is extremely unlikely that evidence of fakery would have escaped detection.

  20. Stereoscopic viewing is made possible when two photographs of a subject are taken from a slightly different position in space (that a few centimeter movement of the camera or a similar degree of movement by the subject photographed). This was made possible in the present case because the autopsy photographer, in an apparent effort to insure a good final result, took two or more pictures of each relevant view.

  21. Because pairs of stereo pictures may be seen in three dimensions, such photographs add depth to the perception of the photographed scene in much the same way as a pair of human eyes, separated from one another in space, can perceive depth.
    In viewing stereo pairs of photographs through a stereoscope, one eye views one picture and the other eye views the second picture. As a result, the eyes, coupled with the visual image processes of the brain, are able very readily to perceive any differences between the two pictures. Such differences in the scene between the two pictures tend literally to "pop out at you." No differences of this kind were by the panel in stereo pairs of Kennedy's head, top of his head, the large skull defect, the of the head, back wound or the anterior neck wound. In this way, photographs of each of Kennedy's wounds were effectively authenticated.

  22. It is theoretically possible to alter photographs that comprise a stereo pair. To avoid detection of such alteration, however, requires that each picture comprising the pair be altered slightly different, in a systematic way. This is extremely difficult because each picture of stereo pair is a picture of the scene from a slightly different, but directly comparable, point of view. Such alteration is virtually impossible when, as in the case of Kennedy's head, the image photographed contains considerable detail.

  23. The examination of the postmortem X-rays focused primarily on the following possible indicia of fakery:
    (1) observation of a difference in density of the images;
    (2) discontinuity of anatomical structures:
    (3) alteration of continuity of an abnormal pattern: or
    (4) production of an image which is not anatomical or an image of an impossible pathologic process

  24. No such evidence of fakery was discerned. f/98) The X-ray images have not been altered in any fashion except for:

  25. 1. Two small areas of thermal damage resulting from a light source that was once held too close to the "anteroposterior" image. These were reported to be present on an observation report dated November 1, 1966, and validated by signature November 10, 1966. This report is in the National Archives.

  26. 2. In addition, the panel observed minor "staining" or discoloration of the images due to incomplete processing of the film in the developing process. This discoloration will continue to be more prominent with the passage of time. (199)

  27. Finally, the linear opacities associated with the postmortem X-rays have been said to be the result of manipulation. These opacities are normal grid lines from the grid used to eliminate "scatter fogging" of the images at the time' of exposure of the films, and, therefore, represent normal images rather than evidence of manipulation.


    (a) Introductory statement of approach

  28. In the course of its investigation of the death of President Kennedy, the committee encountered several problems concerning the photographic identification of certain individuals either known or alleged to have been involved in the assassination. Upon the advice of other scientific consultants, it was determined that some of these problems fall within the purview of forensic anthropology, a relatively new discipline of the forensic sciences.

  29. Forensic anthropology is defined as the application of the physical anthropologist's knowledge of human variation to problems of legal medicine. As implied in this definition, forensic anthropologists, of whom there are fewer than 30 in the United States, are physical anthropologists who, by training and experience, are qualified experts in the medicolegal aspects of their science. The parent field, physical anthropology, is the study of man's biological variation in space and time. Any physical or physiological difference between human individuals and populations is of interest to physical anthropologists. Applications of their expertise range from the search and study of man's remotest fossil ancestors to helping design space suits for astronauts.

  30. For over a century physical anthropologists have measured the distances between specific anatomical landmarks of the human body in order to describe mathematically its variation in size and shape. To minimize error and insure repeatability, the measurements are made by trained anthropometrists with the subject positioned in a standardized pose. Size differences in body dimensions are reflected in the measurements themselves. Shape differences are defined by simple indices or by more complex multivariate methods. An index is ordinarily computed by dividing the smaller of two measurements by the larger and multiplying the result by 100 to eliminate the decimal. For example, the nasal index is computed as follows:
    nose width
    Nasal Index = ----------- X 100
    nose length
    From this it can be seen that the nasal index provides some numerically expressed information about the shape of a given individual's nose. In a person with a short, broad nose, the index will be larger than in one whose nose is long and narrow.

  31. Although measurements are usually taken on living subjects, techniques to obtain accurate anthropometric measurements from photographs have also been developed. Nevertheless, such methods require elaborate equipment and extremely close control of the subject's post lighting, lens-subject distance, and other technical factors. Photogrammetric anthropometry generally also requires that the anatomical landmarks be marked on the subject in advance so that the distance between these points can be measured on the photograph.

  32. From time to time, forensic anthropologists are also asked to compare one or more photographs of came suspects, disaster victims, or other unidentified persons to establish their identification. Usually, the photographs submitted for examination consist of casual snapshots, press photographs, studio portraits, passport pictures, or police "mug shots?" Naturally, such photographs vary greatly in enlargement, camera angle, image clarity, lens-subject distance, lighting, and other factors that make direct comparison of measurements taken from such disparate photographs extremely difficult or totally impractical. For instance, an individual's nose width and length measured from a wallet-size identification photograph and a large studio portrait will be greatly different. Unless we know the exact degree of enlargement, type of camera, lens-subject. distance, and many other technical features involved in making both photographs, meaningful comparison cannot be made between the nasal dimensions of the, individual in terms of absolute size. Unfortunately, this kind of information is usually lacking on the types of photographs submitted for identification. In short, size differences cannot usually be studied in such analyses.

  33. Nevertheless, if two photographs are reasonably similar in camera angle---let us say, full-face--the ratio of nose width to length will be the same, or nearly so, in both photographs, Consequently, the index, as defined above, can still be determined and meaningfully compared. This of course does not necessarily mean that the value of the index will be precisely the same from photograph to photograph of the same individual. Small variations in camera angle, lighting, facial expression of the subject, and measuring technique will introduce corresponding errors in the nose width and length measurements taken from the photograph, and these will be reflected as corresponding variations in the index values. Nonetheless, it is reasonable to expect the varying index values of the same individual to cluster within a reasonably narrow range.

  34. Of course, one does not rely upon a single index. Along with nasal width and length, a number of other facial measurements can be accurately taken from suitable. photographs and pairs of these can be combined to produce other indices which describe other features of facial shape. Angles are a]so independent of enlargement factors and can be used for comparison. For example, from profile photographs one can measure the angle between the nasal bridge and the general facial plane and, in the same individual, it, will be found to be fairly constant from one photograph to another. Thus, instead of only one or two indices or angles, several can be employed to add reliability to the comparisons. The term metric analysis is used to refer to comparisons based on numerically expressed variables such as angles and indices.

  35. The use of indices of this kind has not been refined to such an extent that a particular numerical result may automatically be considered indicative of a strong resemblance between two individuals, or that the same individual is, in fact, the subject involved in each case. Nevertheless, for general guideline purposes a mean deviation of five or less between the cumulative indices may be considered indicative of strong physical resemblance.

  36. In addition to the analysis of metric traits by the use of such indices, there are certain other facial features which, although they cannot be conveniently measured or expressed numerically, are nevertheless very useful in photographic comparisons. This group of features vary considerably, but collectively can be called morphological (as opposed to metric) traits.

  37. An example of such a trait is the lowly ear lobe which, aside from providing a convenient place to hang earrings, seems to have no discernible purpose except to provide physical anthropologists with something to classify. Accordingly, a threefold classification of ear lobes as either free, attached, or soldered has been devised. Free lobes are those that are to some degree pendulous; in attached lobes the outside margins of the ears connect more or less directly to the side of the face. The soldered lobe is an extreme form of the attached type in which union of ear margin and cheek is so direct that there is no discernible lobe at all. Since ear lobe type can frequently be determined from photographs, the trait can be useful in identification.

  38. In addition to lobe type, there are numerous other structural features of the human ear that vary considerably from one person to the next. The total complex of these traits, while not as individually distinctive as fingerprints, are sufficiently unique to permit identification beyond reasonable doubt in many cases.

  39. Along with ears, the human face possesses an array of morphological features that, while difficult to measure, can be readily classified. The nasal tip can be elevated ("snub-nosed") or depressed, pointed or bulbous: the bridge of the nose, in profile, can be straight, convex or concave. Lips can be thick or thin: hair--straight, wavy, curly, or kinky, and so on. Also within this category are traits that are acquired by accident or age (or as Shakespeare put it "... through chance or nature's changing course untrimmed"). Among traits acquired during life may be included warts, moles, and other random blemishes, scars from accidents or surgery, broken noses, cauliflower ears, and other more or less permanent disfigurements. The inevitable loss of skin elasticity with age produces wrinkles and these networks of creases and furrows form patterns that, uniquely characterize each human face. The comparison of traits that cannot be measured but only classified (as the ear lobe) or' described as "present" or "absent" (such as a scar) constitutes the morphological analysis of the photographs question.

  40. The forensic anthropologists serving as committee consultants were asked to deal with five specific problems of photographic identification:

  41. 1. Authentication of JFK autopsy photographs and X-rays.--Certain conspiracy theorists have claimed that the autopsy photographs and X-rays are of a person other than the President. Is there scientific evidence that will support or refute this claim?

  42. 2. The Milteer issue.--Whether a certain man photographed in the line of motorcade spectators was actually one Joseph A. Milteer? Milteer (now dead) was a militant right wing activist who has been alleged to have had knowledge of a plot to assassinate President Kennedy.

  43. 3. The three tramps issue--Shortly after the assassination, three men, described as derelicts, were apprehended by Dallas County Sheriffs officers in a boxcar on the triple overpass overlooking Dealey Plaza. These men were released without being formally identified. Could any of these men be certain individuals who some conspiracy theorists claim were involved in an assassination plot?

  44. 4. The "Second Oswald" issue.--Several assassination theories have been based on the speculation that Lee Harvey Oswald may, at one stage or another, have been impersonated by a double. Do the known photographs of Oswald support or refute this hypothesis?

  45. 5. The Lovelady issue.--Photographs taken during the assassination snow a man standing in the doorway of the Texas Schoolbook Depository who bears a striking resemblance to Lee Harvey Oswald. Was this man actually Oswald or another Depository employee, Billy N. Lovelady?

  46. A review of the issues stated above shows that they were diverse in scope and therefore required an equally diverse approach in their resolution. Nevertheless. certain steps and procedures that were common to all may be briefly outlined here.

  47. 1. Selection of materials. An initial step in all cases was a review of the available photographic materials and selection of those technically suitable for analysis. In some cases the selection was extremely limited. For example, because only one photograph of the spectator alleged to be Milteer was suitable for analysis, all comparisons with known photographs of Milteer had to be made against this single item. At the other extreme, dozens of photographs of Lee Harvey Oswald ranging in time from his Marine Corps enlistment to his arrest in Dallas were available for study.

  48. 2. Measurements.--Selected photographs were next processed for measurement. In some cases, measurements were taken from the unenlarged original photographs with a Bausch and Lomb measuring, magnifier equipped with a calibrated metric scale. In others, measure meats were taken from enlargements (made, when possible, from the original negatives) to the nearest 1.0 min. All measurements were taken by one observer. Measurements reported here represent the mean of three trials.

  49. 3. Computations.--As noted previously, since enlargement factors were unknown, size differences--as represented by the raw measurements taken from the photographs--could not be meaningfully compared. Instead, indices were calculated between related measurement Fairs. Wherever possible, landmarks, measurements and indices were selected that corresponded to those long standardized by physical anthropologists for facial anthropometry. Not all measurements could be taken from every photograph selected for study. For example, the various facial breadth measurements obviously could be obtained only from profile photographs. Even so, every effort was to obtain as many index measurements as possible for comparison. More detailed descriptions of data reduction and analysis will be provided in the sections dealing with the individual problems of photographic comparisons.

    (b) Authentication of autopsy photographs


  50. The anthropology consultants were asked by the committee to examine postmortem radiographs and photographs taken during the autopsy of President Kennedy at the U.S. Naval Hospital on Nov. 22, 1963, and, if scientifically possible, determine whether or not they were in fact those of the President. The approach to this problem was through the comparison of the postmortem X-rays and photographs with those known to have been taken prior to his death*

  51. As noted previously in this appendix volume, the Kennedy assassination materials in the National Archives contain a series of forensic autopsy have been described elsewhere. (200) suffcient to note that:

  52. 1. They are generally of rather poor photographic quality.

  53. 2. They were taken in such a manner that it is nearly impossible to orient anatomically the direction of view.

  54. 3. In many, scalar references are entirely lacking, or when present, were positioned in such a manner to make it difficult or impossible to obtain accurate measurements of critical features (such as wound in the upper back) from anatomical landmarks.

  55. 4. None of the photographs contain information identifying the victim; such as his name, the autopsy case number, and the date and place of the examination.

  56. In the main, these shortcomings bespeak of haste, inexperience and unfamiliarity with the understandably rigorous standards generally expected in photographs to be used as scientific evidence. In fact in a criminal trial, the defense would probably raise many objections to an attempt to introduce such poorly made and document photographs(as)

    (2. ISSUE)

  57. Not all the critics of the Warren Commission have been content to point out the obvious deficiencies of the autopsy photographs as scientific evidence. Some have questioned their authenticity. These theorists suggest that the body shown in at least some of the photographs is not President Kennedy, but another decedent deliberately mutilated to simulate a pattern of wounds supportive of the Warren Commission's statements of their nature and significance. As macabre as this proposition might appear, the onus of establishing the authenticity of these photographs would have rested with the prosecution.

  58. With the above considerations in mind, the Committee requested the anthropology consultants to examine the questions surrounding the authenticity of the JFK autopsy photographs. Their determining the identification of in the photographs. Other aspects of authentication concerning the possibility of technical alterations of the negatives and prints were undertaken by other photographic experts, as described elsewhere in this appendix. Questions concerning the description and location of the wounds and of their nature and significance, were considered exclusively by the forensic pathology consultants.
    *The discussion of postmortem X-rays is set forth in pars. 590 610 infra.


    Post mortem

  59. It has previously been recorded and the committee similarly found, that the autopsy materials in the National Archives, contain a total of 52 exposed transparencies and/or negatives. (201) These may divided into two series:
    (1) 25 4 x 5 inch black-and-white and
    (2) 4 x 5 inch color negatives. The entire series is numbered sequentially
    beginning with the black-and-white series: Black-and-white: No. l--No. 25.
    Color: No. 26-No. 52.

  60. Examination of prints of the total series revealed that most the black-and-white negatives are virtually duplicates, in subject and view, to corresponding negatives in the color series. Consequently, our detailed analysis was limited to an examination of the color series. These items were in the form of high quality 8" x 10" prints specially prepared for the committee by a team of professors from RIT. Each print was identified by its original negative number. The entire series is described by subject, in Table I.


  61. In order to compare the facial features of the autopsy subject with those of John F. Kennedy, a number of antemortem photographs of the President were examined. These were also furnished by the National Archives. Two of these (National Archives Accession Nos. 79-AR-6378G and 79-AR-8008K) were selected for a more detailed comparison since they show a full profile of the subject with his mouth slightly open, and in pose and camera angle correspond almost exactly with the full profile view of autopsy photograph No. 29.


  62. 1. The individual shown in the autopsy photographs is John F. Kennedy.

  63. 2. The brain shown in autopsy photographs No. 46-No. 52 cannot be positively identified as that of John F. Kennedy. Nevertheless this brain displays trauma consistent with the known pattern of injury sustained by President Kennedy and, in the absence of any positive evidence to the contrary, there is no reason to believe that it is not the brain of the President.


  64. To examine the autopsy photographs from the standpoint of identification of the victim two hypotheses were considered:

  65. 1. That the subject shown in the photographs was not John F. Kennedy, but an unknown victim with a strong physical resemblance to the assassinated president.

  66. 2. That the victim in the photographs, in which the facial features are clearly visible, is in fact John F. Kennedy, but the body in which the face is not shown (particularly photographs No. 32 through No. 37 which document the location of the critical wounds of the back and head) is that of another, unknown, individual.

  67. In order to test the first hypothesis, it was necessary to compare the facial features of the victim of the autopsy photographs with antemortem photographs of President Kennedy. This comparison was made on the basis of both metric and morphological features.

  68. In making this comparison, it was first noted that there were no gross inconsistencies between the autopsy victim and general physical characteristics of President Kennedy. The victim is a well nourished, dark-haired, middle-aged, white male who appears to be of northern European ethnic stock.

  69. The metric analysis was based on a comparison of autopsy photograph No. 29 with the two antemortem photographs (79-AR-6378G and 79-AR-8008K) selected from the National Archives series. The exact date of the antemortem photographs was not determined but both were made during the Kennedy presidency and therefore do not antedate the autopsy photograph by more than 3 years. All three photographs show the subject in nearly perfect facial profile; autopsy No. SO and 79-AR-8008K are left profile and 79-AR-6378G is a right profile photograph.

  70. A series of 11 facial measurements were taken on each photograph. These measurements are defined in Table II and portrayed graphically in Figure IV-39. Measurements were recorded to the nearest 1.0 mm and made from 8 x 10 prints. Three sets of measurements were made on each photograph and the means were used to calculate the 10 indices given in Table III. The arrangement, of President Kennedy's hair made it impossible to take physiognomic face height (mmt No. 1) in photographs 79-AR 6378G; otherwise, all the 11 measurements could be taken on each photograph.

  71. As shown in Table III, the index values of the autopsy photograph and the two antemortem photographs correspond very closely. For further comparison, the mean of the antemortem indices was compared with the postmortem values (represented by a single value in indices 1, 4, and 7 which are based on measurement No. ] that could not be taken on 79-AR-6378G). The deviation between the antemortem and postmortem means range from 0.3 to 4.0 and the average deviation is 2.82.

    (Table III). This small deviation can be accounted for by a combination of several factors including that, in the autopsy the subject is supine, while he is standing erect in the antemortem photographs, and gravitational effects would cause some alteration of the facial features. The facial measurements would also be influenced by postmortem alterations and the effects of the massive cranial trauma.

    In short, the metric similarities, as expressed by facial indices are insignificant.

  72. In addition to the strong metric similarities between autopsy photograph No. 29 and the two antemortem photographs, a number of identical morphological features can be observed. The examination of morphological similarities was not limited to the three photographs from which the measurements were taken but included comparisons between the other autopsy photographs that show the victim's face (No. 26, No. 27, No. 28, No. 29, No. 30, No. 31, No. 40, No. 41) and a series of 43 closeup photographs of President Kennedy selected from National Archives files to show his head and face from a variety of angles. In these comparisons, no inconsistencies in the morphological configuration of the eyes, nose, mouth, ears or other facial features were observed and, on the contrary, a number of identical features were apparent. These include rather distinctive traits such as the downward convexity of the, nasal septem and an angular and elevated nasal tip (the latter, by the way, a trait observable in other members the Kennedy family). Among similarities noted in the ears are a strong antihelix, small, "tucked" tragus, narrow intertragic notch and attached lobes. The lower margin of the helix is strongly concave at its junction with the lobe, giving the latter a rather attenuated appearance. Patterns of facial lines and wrinkles were similar where they could be discerned in the autopsy photographs.

  73. A partial list of morphological similarities between the autopsy subject and President Kennedy are shown in table IV. They are simply listed in the table, each has a distinctiveness about it that impressed the examining anthropologists, both of whom have examined similar traits in a large number of human faces. Each of these traits, of course, can be separately observed in the general population. Nevertheless, the probability of their occurring together in a single individual is small. Their occurrence in two individuals with near identical facial proportions, as expressed by the indices, is extremely remote.

  74. On the basis of the foregoing, it was concluded that the individual shown in the autopsy photographs that show the victim's face is beyond reasonable doubt, President John F. Kennedy.

  75. If it is accepted that the autopsy photographs showing the victim's face are those of John F. Kennedy, it then is necessary to examine the second hypothesis-namely that the remaining autopsy photographs are those of another person.

  76. Examination of table I shows that the entire series of 27 autopsy photographs can be grouped as follows:

    Groups Negative Nos.
    1. Left lateral views 29, 30, 31.
    2. Right lateral views 26, 27, 28, 40, 41.
    3. Superior views 38, 39, 42, 43.
    4. Posterior views 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37
    5. Cranial cavity 44, 45
    6. Brain 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52

  77. The photographs within each of the groups was only slightly in camera angle, lens-subject distance, subject position, lighting and exposure. There is also sufficient commonality in morphological features and other details to leave no doubt but what they are of the same subject. Since we have concluded that photographs in groups 1 and 2 (showing the face) are those of President Kennedy, these features can be compared with features observed in the other photographs.

  78. From the standpoint of pathological interpretation, the least informative photographs are those of group 3, which provide a superior view of the head and shoulders. This is because the scalp has neither been shaved nor reflected from the cranium, procedures which would possibly have shown some of the crucial details of the cranial trauma. In these photographs, a portion of the victim's forehead and nose are shown front above. The configuration of these facial features are consistent with the nose and upper forehead contours of President Kennedy as surmised from the antemortem photographs taken from more conventional angles. Also, certain random features such as bloodstains and an apparent postmortem abrasion on the right shoulder (described in more detail below), which can be seen in the photographs of group 2, can be observed in this set of photographs. lt. was concluded therefore, that these photographs are of the same person as shown in groups 1 and 2 of the autopsy photographs; to win, John F. Kennedy.

  79. The most critical set of photographs from the standpoint of identification are those of group 4 that show the head and upper back of the victim from behind. To take these photographs, the victim was apparently raised to a semi-upright position and held there while the pictures were taken from the head of the autopsy table. The purpose of these photographs was to document the scalp and upper back wounds, the exact location of which has been a matter of considerable controversy. In these photographs, the only facial features visible are the backs of the ears.

  80. In comparing these photographs with those taken in group 2, which show the right side of the head and face, several features common to both were noted. These include two dried blood stains on the upper right shoulder approximately 16 centimeters lateral to the midline of the back. Approximately 7 centimeters roedial to these are a series of three narrow parallel marks approximately 3 centimeters in length, which appear to be slight skin abrasions. These marks and stains are situated several centimeters lateral to the back wound and do not appear to be directly associated with it. It is possible that they were made in the course of handling and lifting the body.

  81. There is also a 3- by 5-centimeter area of discoloration at the base of the neck in the right area that apparently represents either a slight contusion or some postmortem lividity. All of these features are very irregular in shape and would thus be very difficult if not impossible to duplicate. Such minor and random details are also the kind of characteristics that would likely be overlooked in any attempted hoax. Likewise, the hair, which is in disarray and matted with blood and body fluids, presents a complex of irregularly arranged strands and locks. Yet, allowing for the different angles of view, these features appear to be identical in size, location, and shape in both the posterior (group 4) photographs and those of the right lateral photographs of group 1, which can be identified as being of President Kennedy.

  82. In addition to the above rather transient features, others of a more permanent nature were noted. These were the network of transverse wrinkles extending across the back and side of the neck. Such lines develop in most individuals by middle age but their exact arrangement forms a pattern that is virtually unique to the individual. Examination of these in the back photographs of group 4 shows that they are identical in pattern and development (again making allowance for view) as those seen on the lateral side of the neck in the group 1 photographs. In short, the profusion of minute and common detailed the panel to conclude that the same individual is shown him both sets of photographs.

  83. The photographs of group 5, which show the cranial cavity with the brain removed, are somewhat more difficult to evaluate. One feature of interest is the outline of the fractured margin of the frontal bone that is partially visible in the foreground of these photographs. A deep V-shaped irregularity in this margin is also visible in photographs of group 1 in which the scalp is partially reflected to expose the underlying bone. The anterior margin of the cranial defects also corresponds in shape to the fractures observed in the cranial X-rays.

  84. From the standpoint of positive identification, the most problematical group of autopsy photographs are those of group 6 which show the isolated brain. Here the panel could find no anatomical features that would associate this brain with the remaining autopsy photographs. Nevertheless, the trauma to the brain, affecting primarily the superior aspect of the frontal lobes is certainly consistent with the pattern of cranial trauma observed in the X-rays and other autopsy photographs.

    FIGURE IV-39.--Diagram of Measurements Set Forth in Table I.
    TABLE l.--Description of autopsy photographs examined in authentication study
    26 Head, right lateral .... Superio-lateral view of head in quarter
    27 Head, right lateral .... profile. Includes anterior neck wound,
    28 Head, right lateral .... upper chest and shoulders.
    29 Head, left lateral ......Profile view. Includes anterior neck wound.
    30 Head, left lateral .......No. 30 overexposed.
    31 Head, left lateral ......
    32 Head, superior ........
    33 Head, superior ........
    34 Head, superior ........Superior view of head and shoulders.
    35 Head, superior ........
    36 Head, superior ........
    37 Head, superior ........
    38 Upper torso, posterior .... Shows shoulder wound.
    39 Upper torso, posterior ....
    40 Head, right lateral ....Inferio-lateral view of head in quarter pro-
    41 Head, right lateral .... file Includes anterior neck wound.
    42 Head, posterior ....... Close-up of occipito-parietal area showing
    43 Head, posterior ....... scalp wound.
    44 Cranial cavity ..........Anterio-superior views of cranial cavity.
    45 Cranial cavity .......... Brain removed.
    46 Brain, inferior ................
    47 Brain, inferior ................
    48 Brain, inferior ................
    49 Brain, inferior ................ Removed from cranial cavity.
    50 Brain, superior ................
    51 Brain, superior ................
    52 Brain, superior ................

    TABLE II.--Measurements used to derive indices for comparison of JFK antemortem photographs with autopsy photographs No. 29

    1. Phystognomic face height
    Distance from the midpoint of the hairline to the lowest point on the chin (trichion to menton).
    2. Forehead height .........
    Distance from the midpoint of the hairline to the most anterior point on the lower forehead just above the nasal root depression (trichion to glabella).
    3. Nose length .............
    Distance from the deepest point of the nasal root depression to the junction point between the nasal septum and the upper lip (subnasion to subnasale).
    4. Total face height ........
    Distance between the most anterior point on the lower forehead just above the nasal root depression and the lowest point on the chin (glabella to menton).
    5. Ear length .............. Distance between the uppermost point on the helix of the ear .and the lowermost point on the earlobe (superaurale to subaurale).
    6. Lobe length .............
    Distance between the lowest point in the intertragic notch and the lowest point of the earlobe (intertragion to subaurale).
    7. Mouth height ............
    Distance from the point of contact between the upper and lower lip and the lowest point on the chin (stomion to menton).
    8. Chin eminence height ....
    Distance from the point of deepest depression between the lower lip and chin and the lowest point on the chin (supramentale to menton).
    9. Nasal projection .........
    Distance from the most anterior point on the nasal tip to the junction point between the nasal septum and the upper lip (pronasale to subnasale).
    10. Nasal elevation ..........
    Distance from the most anterior point on the tip of the nose to the posterior most point on the junction line between the nasal alac and the cheek (pronasale to postalare).
    11. Total facial depth .........
    Distance between the most anterior point on the nasal tip and the posterior most point on the posterior margin of the helix of the ear (pronasale to postaurale).


    TABLE IV.--Morphological similarities in both the ante mortem and post mortem Kennedy photographs
    Convex angle of nasal septum.
    Lower third of nose convexity.
    Nasal tip area elevated.
    Attached ear lobe.
    Strong ear antihelix.
    "Tucked" ear tragus.
    Distinctive lip profile.
    Identical facial crease lines.
    Similar neck crease lines.

    (c) Authentication of Autopsy X-rays


  85. Human bone structure varies uniquely from one individual to another. The bones not only differ in their overall size and shape but also in their minute structural details so that the total pattern of skeletal architecture of a given person is as unique as his or her fingerprints. Forensic anthropologists have long made use of this fact in establishing the positive identification of persons killed in combat, aircraft accidents, or other disasters, by comparing X-rays taken before death with those of the unidentified body taken after death.

  86. Of course, just as no two individuals are alike, no two X-rays of the same bones of the same person are ever exactly alike because there is always some variation in the positioning of the subject, the X-ray technique, and the processing of the film. The skeleton also undergoes some remodeling throughout life so that a certain amount of variation in detail is to be expected in films of the same individual taken a few years apart. Nevertheless, with experience, these technical and age variations can be taken into account so that, given a pair of reasonably good films of the same person, posed in the same way, a positive identification can nearly always be made even if the X-rays were made many years apart by different technicians using different equipment.

  87. In the following analysis the committee applied this method m comparing the post mortem X-rays said to be those of President Kennedy with clinical films known to have been taken prior to his death.

    2 ISSUE

  88. Just as they have questioned the autopsy photographs, critics of the Warren Commission have suggested that the autopsy X-rays are not those of President Kennedy. The committee asked the anthropology. consultants to examine the X-rays to determine if they are of the President.


  89. Both ante mortem and post mortera X-rays examined were from the JFK assassination materials cureted by the National Archives.

  90. The autopsy X-rays bear the case number "21296" of the U.S. Naval Hospital in Bethesda, Md. They include front and side views of the skull as well as a series of overlapping views of the torso and upper legs. There are also several X-rays of three skull fragments reportedly found in the Presidential automobile after the assassination.*

  91. In addition to the autopsy X-rays, the Archives collection includes three sets of clinical X-rays of President Kennedy taken at various times prior to his death. Two of these sets were made by personal physicians who treated the then-Senator Kennedy for an upper respiratory illness in August 1960. The earliest, dated August 14, bears the case number "202617" of Dr. Stephen White, 521 Park Avenue, New York. The second set was made 3 days later at the clinic of Dr. Groover, Christie, and Merritt of 1835 I Street NW., Washington, D.C., and bear the case number "336042." Dr. White's series consists of a side view of the head and a routine chest plate. Those from the Groover, Christie, and Merritt Clinic include side and front views of the skull. The third set of ante mortem X-rays were taken at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Bethesda on March 14, 1962, while President. Kennedy was undergoing treatment for a back complaint. These X-rays consist of front and side views of the lower spine and pelvis. Hereafter, these three sets of ante mortem X-rays will be referred to as the "White," "Groover," and "Navy" films, respectively.


  92. Both the skull and torso autopsy radiographs, now in the possession of the National Archives, are X-rays of President John F. Kennedy.


  93. First the "Groover" and "White" ante mortem X-rays of the skull were compared with the autopsy films. In the front views, it was found that the outlines of the frontal sinuses of the autopsy X-rays were virtually superimposable on those shown in the clinical X-rays. The sinuses, which are lobular air pockets inside the bone that forms the forehead, vary uniquely in size and shape from one person to another. This variability is seen particularly in the outlines of their upper margin which typically cast a set of scallop like shadows on the X-ray. This scallop pattern is so individually distinctive that forensic anthropologists have termed them "sinus prints." For many years, courts of law throughout the world have accepted the matching on ante mortem and post mortem X-rays of the sinuses as evidence for the positive identification of unknown bodies. In the present case, the similarity in shape of the sinus print patterns in the ante mortem and post mortera films is sufficient to establish that they are of the same person on the basis of this trait alone.
    list of these materials is set forth at pars. 516-522 supra.

  94. In addition to the sinus prints, several other strikingly similar anatomical features were observed in the front view X-rays. For example, the nasal septum--the thin wall of cartilage and bone that separates the nostrils--was deviated to the same side and to an identical degree in ante mortera and post mortem films. Also, the outlines of the bony rims of the orbits of the eyes were nearly identical. The very slight variations observed in these three features--sinus pattern, nasal septum, and orbital margins-are the results of minor differences in the

  95. The profile views of the skull in the White and Groover flings were next compared to the autopsy X-rays. Again, a number of almost identical anatomical features were observed in the ante mortem and post. mortem rims. For example, the outlines of the sella turcica (the saddle-shaped depression in the base of the skull), the complex patterns of the cranial sutures (the joints uniting the bones of the skull), and location and arrangement of the vascular grooves (the shallow depressions on the inner surface of the skull which mark the course of blood vessels) were the same. There was a]so nearly exact duplication of the honeycomb like air cells of the mastoid bone.

  96. The chest X-ray taken by Dr. White in 1960, was next compared to those, of the upper torso taken at. autopsy. Again, a number of identical features were noted in both sets of runs. Among these were the outlines of the dorsal spines of the thoracic vertebrae. (These spines are the bony projections that are visible just under the skin along the center of the back.) In X-rays these spines project a vertical series of small shadows of varying sizes and shape that, like the architectural features of the skull discussed above, are virtually unique in each individual. In shape these shadows may range from almost perfect circles to irregular trapezoids. They vary not only from one individual to the next, but from one vertebra to another in the same individual so that the series of a dozen or so of these spines, usually visible in a standard chest film, form a combination of shapes distinctive for each individual. Allowing for slight distortions due to position and technique, this series of spines can be considered identical in the antemortem and postmortem films.

  97. In addition to the similar pattern of dorsal vertebrae spines, a number of other features common to both sets of film were observed. For example, the size and shape of the medial ends of the clavicula (collar bones) were identical, as was the pattern of ossification of the costo-chondral junctions of the first ribs. Numerous details in the form and trabecular structure of the ribs could also be matched from one set of films to the other, particularly in the left eighth and ninth ribs which were especially well-defined in both films.

  98. The autopsy radiographs of the lower torso, including the pelvis and upper legs, could be compared to the antemortem Navy. films taken in 1962. These also show an impressive number of osseous details in common. Of particular interest was the right transverse process of the fifth lumbar vertebra. In both sets of films it was displaced upwards in a manner suggestive of a congenital malformation or an old, ununited fracture.

  99. To summarize, the skull and torso radiographs taken at autopsy match the available ante mortem films of the President in such a wealth of intricate morphological detail that there can be no reasonable doubt that they are in fact X-rays of John F. Kennedy, and no other person.

d. Comparison of photographs of Joseph Milteer with that of an unidentified Dallas spectator.