TESTIMONY OF IDA DOX, PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ILLUSTRATOR
Mr. PURDY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Ms. Dox, please state your full name.
Ms. DOX. Ida Dox.
Mr. PURDY. What is your occupation?
Ms. DOX. I am a professional medical illustrator.
Mr. PURDY. How did you come to work for the select committee?
Ms. DOX. The committee contacted the medical school, the Georgetown Medical School, and I was recommended.
Mr. PURDY. How did you determine what to illustrate for the select committee?
Ms. DOX. This was done by consultation, the staff of the committee, the medical panel, and myself, and it was decided that the photographs taken at autopsy should be copied to illustrate the position of the wounds. The photographs that were selected were the ones that best showed the injuries. Also, a series of illustrations was needed that would illustrate the findings of the medical panel.
Mr. PURDY. What photographs did you attempt to copy?
Ms. DOX. Four photographs. One shows the back of the head, another one shows the upper back, then the side of the head, and the front of the neck.
Mr. PURDY. How did you copy the autopsy photographs?
Ms. DOX. The autopsy photographs were copied by placing a piece of tracing paper directly on the photograph, then all the details were very carefully traced. Later on, while working on the final drawing, I had to have the photograph in front of me at all times. In this way I could be constantly comparing and looking back and forth at the drawing and the photograph so that no detail could be overlooked or omitted or altered in any way. That is the way the copies were made and the tracings were made from the originals.
Mr. PURDY. Where did you get access to the original autopsy photographs?
Ms. DOX. At the National Archives.
Mr. PURDY. How often did you have access to the original photographs?
Ms. DOX. A great number of times. I don't remember exactly how many times because I had to use them a great number of times and then the staff of the National Archives was very cooperative and they let me use them as many times as I needed. So I really don't remember how many times.
Mr. PURDY. Was a member of the staff of the Archives present
when you reviewed the autopsy materials?
Ms. DOX. Yes.
Mr. PURDY. Did you also review the autopsy X-rays?
Ms. DOX. Yes, I did.
Mr. PURDY. Did you have access to a set of duplicates of the original autopsy material?
Ms. DOX. Yes, I did. I used these at the offices of the committee.
Mr. PURDY. Why was it necessary to use duplicates?
Ms. DOX. Well, this was because, as I said, a member of the Archives staff had to be present at all times when I was using the original material, and so that I would not use their time unnecessarily, while there I concentrated on working in all the minute details and finishing them up and then for other items in the photograph like, well, the gloved hands of the physician, or the ruler that was placed on the surface of the body. These things reproduced very faithfully on the duplicate photographs. So to finish these up I could easily use the duplicates at the committee offices.
Mr. PURDY. You stated that you copied four autopsy photographs. How did you make the other drawings to illustrate the conclusions of the forensic pathology panel?
Ms. DOX. This was a series of composite reconstructions which means several sources were used to arrive at the final product. This was also done, of course, in very close consultation with the medical panel, especially Dr. Michael Baden, and the sources that were used were, for instance, the photographs and X-rays of the President taken at autopsy and others that were taken when he was alive. These were superimposed and compared so that the right proportions would be arrived at.
The findings were several--so then different drawings had to be used to illustrate these. In another instance, one of the frames of the film taken during the motorcade was photographed and the outline of the President's head was used so that the drawing would have the head of the President in the position that the medical panel decided was necessary.
At other times a skull was used that had the dimensions of the President's and the photographs of the retrieved bone fragments were traced to get the outline. This paper was cut out along the outline and taped on the skull in the position that the X-rays indicated there was bone missing, and from this paper and skull reconstruction I made my drawing.
Another example of reconstruction would be the way the fractures on the skull were placed, by studying very carefully the X-rays, and as I said before, in close consultation with the medical panel, particularly Dr. Baden.
Mr. PURDY. Ms. Dox, prior to today, did you have the opportunity to review the enlargements of your drawings to insure that they are accurate?
Ms. DOX. Yes, I did. I looked at them very, very carefully and they are my drawings except that they are photographically enlarged. They haven't been altered in any way.
Mr. PURDY. Thank you, Ms. Dox.
Mr. Chairman, I have no further questions.
Chairman STOKES. The Chair recognizes Professor Blakey.
I am sorry, Ms. Dox, you are excused. Thank you very much.