Locating the Bone Flap

The right superior profile photograph on page 82 of Robert Groden's The Killing of a President shows a piece of bone protruding above the right ear. This piece is sometimes called the "bone flap." It is also visible in the lateral X-ray.

The photo is the upper left image below, with the bone flapped marked with an arrow. To the right is the lateral X-ray. In the lower left is the X-ray overlaid onto an Ida Dox drawing, HSCA Exhibit F-58. Above and to right of the ear is the displaced bone fragment identified by the HSCA radiologists. I cut out a copy of the flap from the photo, rotated it, scaled it, and overlaid it onto the bone fragment in the X-ray. This is the lower right image.

Below is a close-up of the overlay. The match is quite good especially considering the photo of the flap was taken from a different perspective than the X-ray. Some distortion is expected. The lower left edge matches almost perfectly. The bumps along the upper left edge correspond quite well. The other two edges fall in naturally dark areas of the X-ray, but where segments of bone are visible, they match the flap photo.

The general location of the flap matches quite well too. Any difference is likely due to the fact that the technicians taped the X-ray cassette to the right side of the head, which might have pressed the flap closer against the head, moving the lower edge closer to the ear.

It may be hard to see, but Dox drew the outwardly beveled fragment exit hole just above the upper right corner of the flap, along the coronal suture. Look for the dark spot in the lower left image of the group of four images. I believe this is at odds with Dr. J. Lawrence Angel's drawing, which places the hole directly above the right eye in the frontal bone. This may help us interpret the F8 photo, too. (TKOAP, page 81, top).

Back to A Common but Erroneous Interpretation Contents Continue to The Low Entrance Wound