Paul Groody has good cause to remember that day. Heís the mortician who signed the killerís death certificate, buried him, and who billed the family for exactly $710. He now claims he has proof that the assassin wasnít Lee Harvey Oswald at all.
Who was this man? I donít know and like Iíve always said, I donít care-none of my business, I only buried the guy.
†The autopsy procedure included a craniotomy-removal of the top of the skull-, which was carefully replaced by the mortician. The funeral took place on November 25 1963. In no time at all, doubts arose about the killerís true identity. Was this indeed ex-US marine Lee Harvey Oswald or perhaps a look-alike, an expert marksman? Russian maybe, or Cuban-part of a sinister international conspiracy. In 1981, permission was finally granted to exhume the corpse trying to satisfy the growing number of conspiracy theorists.
You would compare the dental records of the person in the grave with the dental records of the person ante mortem, in other words while they were still living, and there were plenty of those available through the Marine Corps because he had been in the Marine Corps and they keep meticulous records.
Paul Groody arranged the exhumation. Immediately he believed something was wrong.
When we disinterred that body in í81, that vault was broken, the casket was brokenÖ
Thereís no earthquakes of course, in Texas that would have caused a crack in this 2700 pound steel-reinforced concrete vault yet it had been compromised.
For Paul Groody, surprise quickly turned to suspicion.
The head of that body when I disinterred him did not have a craniotomy.
Photos of the decomposed head show this faint line, which in an official report is said to be evidence of a craniotomy. But Paul Groody disagrees.
That head that was now on that body was not the head that I embalmed. I know that the body had not been changed, because I recognized various things about the body that I had done.
But what did the Pathologist report?
We independently and as a team have concluded beyond any doubt, and I mean beyond any doubt, that the individual buried under the name of Lee Harvey Oswald in Rose Hill Cemetery is in fact Lee Harvey Oswald.
The official verdict-the teeth matched. This was Lee Harvey Oswald. Where does the truth lie? Is the morticians account just one more outlandish conspiracy theory? If heís correct, when could the head have been switched? Before the burial in 1963?
They wouldnít let anybody into the cemetery except uniformed officers and there was one behind every tombstone as far as we could tell.
Could a conspirator have been disguised as one of those officials?
No sir, no possible way that could have been done because all the security was around it and there was no way that anybody could carry a head in a sack or anything and do a head change at that time.
Was this a conspirator claiming Oswaldís identity? Was that why he was silenced? Was the real Oswald murdered, the coffin opened, his head placed inside to fool investigators? Incredible maybe, but thatís what some believe.
When youíre willing to blow the brains of the President of the United States out in broad daylight. When youíre able to do that in front of over 100 witnesses, have it captured on several films, over 100 photographs taken of it, blame it on one man for 38 years and get away with it, you can get away with anything.
But I still think it was not necessarily Lee Harvey Oswald. It was a marksman, a man who could shoot that rifle in a proper manner. But I donít know anymore than you all know, I only buried the man that was supposed to have been the man that killed the President.
Will the puzzle be solved anytime soon? Maybe yes, maybe no. Either way, the legend of this man will live on-whoever he is.