Mr. BLAKEY. Mr. Chairman, of those doctors involved in either the original autopsy or subsequent reviews of it, the committee has available to it today or tomorrow Dr. Baden, Captain Humes, Dr. Wecht, and Dr. Petty. Dr. Baden re- ceived an M.D. degree from New York University School of Medicine in 1959 and completed his residency in pathology at Bellevue Hospital in 1964. He is, of course, the chairman of the committee's panel reviewing the autopsy. It would be appropriate now, Mr. Chairman, to call Dr. Baden
Chairman STOKES - The committee calls Dr. Baden.
Dr. Baden, would you raise your right hand, please? Do you solemnly swear the testimony you will give before this committee is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Dr. BADEN - I do.
Chairman STOKES - Thank you. You may be seated. Before I recognize counsel. Dr. Baden, I understand you will be giving testimony relative to illustrated photographs.
TESTIMONY OF DR. MICHAEL BADEN, PATHOLOGIST AND CHIEF MEDICAL EXAMINER FOR THE CITY OF NEW YORK
Dr. BADEN - Taken at the autopsy, yes, sir.
Chairman STOKES - I guess it is important at this point that the record reflect the fact that the photographs which are sealed in the National Archives have been made available to the appropriate members of this committee staff and to the members of this committee. The committee has viewed those photographs as late as this past evening. The committee feels it would be in extremely poor taste for this committee to submit those photographs to public view. It also, in our opinion, would be an invasion of the privacy of the President's family. It is for that reason that these photographs will remain sealed and will not be displayed during the course of these hearings. The committee, at this time, will recognize counsel Kenneth Klein.
Mr. KLEIN - Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Doctor, what is your current position?
Dr. BADEN - I am Chief Medical Examiner of the City of New York.
Mr. KLEIN - What are your duties as chief medical examiner of the city of New York?
Dr. BADEN - My duties include supervision and responsibility for the functioning of the Office of Chief Medical Examiner of New York City, which has responsibility to investigate all sudden, suspicious, and unnatural deaths that occur in the five boroughs of New York City.
Mr. KLEIN - During the course of your duties as Chief Medical Examiner, do you perform autopsies?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, sir.
Mr. KLEIN - What is an autopsy?
Dr. BADEN - An autopsy is a systematic external and internal examination of the dead body to determine any abnormalities that might be present to assist in determining cause of death.
Mr. KLEIN - What is your specialty as a medical doctor?
Dr. BADEN - My specialty is pathology and within that area, forensic pathology.
Mr. KLEIN - What is forensic pathology?
Dr. BADEN - Pathology is that area of medicine concerned with the investigation and evaluation of natural disease and other abnormalities in the human body; and forensic pathology specifically refers and relates to investigation of unnatural death and to areas of pathology and medicine that are concerned with legal aspects of death and injury, and ability to present these materials in courts and other jurisdictions.
Mr. KLEIN - Prior to serving on the panel, did you have any contact with the Kennedy case?
Dr. BADEN - No, I had not.
Mr. KLEIN - Mr. Chairman, I would ask that this document marked JFK F-19 be received as a committee exhibit and shown to the witness.
Chairman STOKES - Without objection, it may be received as a committee exhibit and entered into the record at this point. [The above-referred-to exhibit, JFK F-19, follows:]
JFK EXHIBIT F-19
LISTING OF MATERIALS PROVIDED TO THE PATHOLOGY PANEL BY THE SELECT COMMITTEE - JOHN F. KENNEDY
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, do you recognize that document?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, I do.
Mr. KLEIN - What is that?
Dr. BADEN - It is a listing, three pages, of various medical and other materiels provided to members of the medical panel in evaluating the cause of death of President Kennedy.
Mr. KLEIN - Using that document, would you tell the committee how the panel went about its examination of the evidence in this case?
Dr. BADEN - The panel initially consisted of a group of forensic pathologists who had previously seen the archival materiels and a group that had not. Prior to the meeting of each panel separately, the doctors were provided with various printed materials including copies of the autopsy report, and medical findings and evidence relating to the death of President Kennedy from Parkland Hospital, Warren Commission testimony, and from the Clark and Rockefeller panels. Each member of the panel reviewed these materials, then met individually and collectively at the National Archives where each member reviewed all of the photographic illustrations taken prior to and during the autopsy of the President, all X-rays taken prior to and during the autopsy of the President, the clothing that the President wore at the time of the shooting, various related ballistics material, including a rifle, cartridge shell casings and bullets, and bullet fragments preserved at the Archives. These are some of the material, listed in these three pages that each member reviewed.
Mr. KLEIN - After meeting at the Archives, did other material become available to the panel?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, in the course of their discussions various panel members suggested additional materials and studies to assist and aid in clarifications of issues and questions that arose after examining the materials provided. And in this regard, various types of expertise were made available to the panel members, much relating to interpretation of the Xrays taken of the President at the time of the autopsy. The X-rays were subjected to various techniques that clarified images. The panel members had opportunity to consult with and read reports from various radiologists who are physicians who specialize in taking and interpreting X-rays. The panel did have opportunity to view closely the Zapruder film and sections from the Zapruder film. Studies were requested of soft X-rays and authentication and other studies were performed to assist the panel members in gathering whatever data could be gathered to arrive at conclusions as to the medical aspects of the death.
Mr. KLEIN - Are the members of the panel experienced in evaluating such materials to determine such things as cause of death, number and location of wounds and bullet tracts?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, sir. The full-time occupation of each panel member has been or is investigation of deaths, particularly unnatural deaths, to determine cause of death, every day in the various jurisdictions that the panel members represent. This is something that is the normal working procedure of each of the doctors assembled.
Mr. KLEIN - Can you give us an approximation of how many autopsies the various members of the panel collectively have performed or been responsible for?
Dr. BADEN - In reviewing the jurisdictions and the length of service of the doctors on the panel, I would estimate that well more than 100,000 medico legal autopsies have been performed or supervised by the panel members collectively in the course of their official capacities.
Mr. KLEIN - What, if any, relevant materials could not be made available to the panel?
Dr. BADEN - The specific relevant materials not available to the panel have already been mentioned by Professor Blakey pertaining to further examination of brain tissue and microscopic slides. However, the doctors who performed the autopsy were made available for interview to the panel members and responded on short notice at the very initial meeting of the first panel so that Dr. Humes, Dr. Boswell, subsequently Dr. Ebersole and Dr. Finck were interviewed by the panel members; transcripts were made of the interviews and made available to all the members, especially the interview with Drs. Humes and Boswell at which the second panel members were not present.
Mr. KLEIN - Despite the absence of the brain and the fact that the panel doctors were not present at the autopsy, were the panel members able to reach conclusions with respect to the cause of death, the number of wounds, the location of the wounds, and the path of the bullets through the body?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, sir.
Mr. KLEIN - Are you testifying today as a representative of the entire panel of forensic pathologists?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, I am.
Mr. KLEIN - Did any members of the panel disagree with the conclusions reached by the panel?
Dr. BADEN - The essential conclusions were unanimously agreed to by eight of the panel members. One panel member, Dr. Wecht, did dissent in some important aspects of the conclusions.
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, since Dr. Wecht will be testifying before the committee today, I will ask you from this point on to confine your testimony to the conclusions reached by the other members of the panel.
Dr. BADEN - Yes.
Mr. KLEIN - What was the cause of death of President John F. Kennedy?
Dr. BADEN - President Kennedy died as a result of two gunshot wounds of the head, brain, back and neck areas of the body.
Mr. KLEIN - At this point, Mr. Chairman, I would ask that the drawing marked JFK F-20 be received as a committee exhibit and shown to the witness.
Mr. DODD [presiding]. Without objection, so ordered. [The above-referred-to document, JFK EXHIBIT F-20, follows:]
JFK EXHIBIT F-20
Mr. KLEIN - I would also ask at this point that Dr. Baden be allowed to move over to the area where the exhibits are shown because a good number of the exhibits will be drawings and diagrams.
Mr. DODD. Dr. Baden, there is a microphone over there for you as well, if you could put that on your tie.
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, do you recognize that drawing?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, I do.
Mr. KLEIN - What is that drawing of?
Dr. BADEN - This a drawing done by Miss Dox of one of the autopsy photographs taken just prior to the autopsy of President Kennedy.
Mr. KLEIN - What does that particular drawing portray?
Dr. BADEN - This particular drawing shows the back of the President and the head where I am pointing to, and a perforation of the skin of the right upper back with, a centimeter ruler alongside.
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, does this diagram fairly and accurately represent the location of the wound in the President's upper right back?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, it does.
Mr. KLEIN - Mr. Chairman, at this time, I would ask that this photograph marked JFK F-21 and the blown up photograph marked JFK F-22 be received as committee exhibits.
Mr. DODD - Without objection, so ordered. [JFK EXHIBIT F-21 is an 8 by 10 photograph derived from one of the original autopsy photographs and depicts a portion of the back and posterior head of President Kennedy. In deciding to release the autopsy photographs, the committee wished to permit public examination of the most important details of evidentiary significance while still maintaining a sense of propriety. In accordance with this desire, the committee decided to display the autopsy photographs to the public in either drawings that represent large areas of the President's body as seen in the photograph or closely cropped photographs that depict the most important areas of evidentiary concern. The committee used photographs such as JFK EXHIBIT F-21 in the hearings only to verify the authenticity and accuracy of the drawings and closely cropped photographs; these photographs are not being published. The original autopsy photographs and committee copies are in the custody of the National Archives.] [The above-referred-to document, exhibit JFK F-22, follows:]
JFK EXHIBIT F-22
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, do you recognize that photograph and that blowup?
Dr. BADEN - The photograph, an 8 by 10 black and white photograph, that I have in my hand is an enlarged detail from one of the autopsy photographs showing the perforation in the right upper back region seen on the diagram; the exhibit alongside is a blowup of the perforation in the right upper back as seen in this photograph.
Mr. KLEIN - So, the blowup is of the wound in the back of the President on the right; is that correct?
Dr. BADEN - That's correct, and this diagram is a diagrammatic representation of this photograph.
Mr. KLEIN - Did the panel have an opportunity to examine the original photograph from which that blowup was made?
Dr. BADEN - The panel had the opportunity and exercised the opportunity to examine, with magnifying lenses, photographs, negatives, transparencies of all of the material available at the Archives.
Mr. KLEIN - And using that blowup, would you please explain to the committee what the panel learned from the photograph of the wound on the President's back?
Dr. BADEN - The panel was able to conclude after examining the photographs and the details of the perforation in the right upper back, that this perforation was a gunshot wound of entrance and is characterized uniquely by an abrasion collar, a roughening of the edges around the entrance perforation, which is more apparent in the photographs than the blowup, but which clearly depicts and identifies the perforation as an entrance gunshot wound.
Mr. KLEIN - At this time, Mr. Chairman, I would ask that two diagrams marked JFK F-23 and F-24 be received as committee exhibits.
Mr. DODD. Without objection. [The above-referred-to documents, JFK F-23 and JFK F-24, follow:]
JFK EXHIBIT F-23
JFK EXHIBIT F-24
Mr. DODD - I would point out while this is occurring, we are missing some members. There is a quorum call going on and they will be coming in and coming out as votes and quorum calls occur during the day. You may proceed, counsel.
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, using JFK F-23 and F-24, the two diagrams, would you please explain what an abrasion collar is?
Dr. BADEN - Yes. An abrasion collar is characteristic of an entrance wound produced when a bullet, as seen in these diagrams made by Miss Dox, penetrates the skin from outside the body. The outer surface of the skin here, the epidermis, is depicted darker than the inner tissues underneath; the diagram shows the bullet entering at a 90ø angle to the skin, with initial stretching of the outer layer of skin, and rubbing of the bullet against the skin surface as it perforates the over stretched skin causing, after the bullet has passed through and the skin has returned to its normal unstretched condition, a rough, abraded margin of the outer layer of the skin which has a typical darker appearance as in the photographs of President Kennedy. This is referred to as an abrasion collar because it immediately surrounds the perforation of the skin. It tells the forensic pathologists that it was caused by a bullet entering the body and rubbing against the outside of the skin. When a bullet exits the body through the skin, proceeding from inside the body to the outside, it does not cause, usually, except under special circumstances, this same type of rubbing effect on the edges of the skin. In this other diagram that Miss Dox has prepared is an example of a bullet entering the skin at an angle. When the bullet enters at an angle, the skin is stretched prior to perforation unequally so that one part of the abrasion collar is wider than another part and this produces a perforation that is assymetric and indicates directionality; thus the abrasion collar establishes not only that it is an entrance wound but also the direction that the bullet is traveling. When a bullet enters head-on at a 90ø angle, the abrasion collar surrounding is equal, uniformly equal. When it enters at an angle, part of the abrasion collar is wider than the other part and this assists in establishing direction of the bullet track.
Mr. KLEIN - And the panel found an abrasion collar on the wound of the President's back of the kind you have shown us in these drawings?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, sir. This represents a diagram, a blowup of the actual entrance perforation of the skin showing an abrasion collar. The abrasion collar is wider toward 3 o'clock than toward 9 o'clock which would indicate a directionality from right to left and toward the middle part of the body, which was the impression of the doctors on reviewing the photographs initially at the Archives.
Mr. KLEIN - Mr. Chairman, at this time, I would ask that the shirt, jacket, and tie, marked JFK F-25, F-26, and F-27, be received as committee exhibits.
Mr. DODD. Without objection. [The above-referred-to exhibits, JFK F-25, F-26, and F-27, were received as committee exhibits and photographs made for the record.]
JFK EXHIBIT F-25
JFK EXHIBIT F-26
JFK EXHIBIT F-27
Mr. KLEIN - And shown to the witness. Doctor, do you recognize that clothing?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, I do, Mr. Klein.
Mr. KLEIN - Where have you seen that?
Dr. BADEN - This clothing was examined by me and by each of the panel members at the Archives where the clothing is kept, preserved, and guarded.
Mr. KLEIN - Whose clothing is that and where did it come from?
Dr. BADEN - This is the clothing worn by President Kennedy at the time of the assassination and does show various perforations in the fabric that were of importance for the medical panel to evaluate. Present on the mannequin is the jacket and shirt and tie. The jacket and the clothing had been torn at Parkland Hospital by the examining physicians in the course of providing emergency care to the President.
Mr. KLEIN - And with respect to the wounds to the President's back, what did the panel learn from that clothing?
Dr. BADEN - In the jacket and the underlying shirt there is a perforation of the fabric that corresponds directly with the location of the perforation of the skin of the right upper back that, the panel concluded, was an entrance gunshot perforation that entered the back of the President. This is correspondingly seen in the shirt beneath.
Mr. KLEIN - Mr. Chairman, at this time, I ask that this X-ray marked JFK F-28, this X-ray marked JFK F-29, as well as two blowups marked JFK F-30 and F-31, be received as committee exhibits.
Mr. DODD - Without objection. [JFK exhibits F-28 and F-29 are two of the original 14 autopsy X-rays kept at the National Archives. They depict the neck and upper chest of President Kennedy. In deciding to release the autopsy X-rays the committee wished to permit public examination the most important details of evidentiary significance while still maintaining a sense of propriety. In accordance with this desire, the committee decided to display the autopsy X-rays to the public in a cropped fashion. In the hearings the committee used the original X-rays only to verify the authenticity and accuracy of the cropped counterparts; the entire original X-rays are not being published.] [The above-referred-to exhibits, JFK F-30 and JFK F-31, we received as committee exhibits.]
JFK EXHIBIT F-30
JFK EXHIBIT F-31
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, do you recognize those blowups and those X-rays?
Dr. BADEN - Yes; these X-rays that I hold are 2 of the 14 X-rays kept at the National Archives and identified to the members of the panel by the radiologist who took the X-rays, Dr. Ebersole. In personal interview Dr. Ebersole told the panel members that the 14 X-rays are the same ones he personally took and received at the time of the autopsy and that he took no other X-rays. These two have been previously labeled 8 and 9 with red tags by Dr. Ebersole who did not indicate the sequence in which the X-rays were taken when he numbered them. The blowups are enlargements of portions of the X-rays. The one I am pointing to labeled 9 shows the chest and neck of the President. This area is the lower neck, this is the upper chest, the right lung, the left lung, a portion of the heart shadow; the other X-ray blowup is of archival X-ray No. 8, which was taken after the autopsy had begun and shows the lower neck, the right side of the neck and the upper ribs and spine of President Kennedy.
Mr. KLEIN - What did the panel learn from those X-rays?
Dr. BADEN - The X-rays show, first, that there is no missile present in the body at the time the X-rays were taken. This X-ray, No. 9, was taken before the autopsy, this one, No. 8, during the autopsy. Further, there is evidence of injury to the right of the neck with air and gas shadows, in the right side of the neck and an irregularity of one of the spines, a portion of one spine of the President; that is, the first thorasic vertebra which is, also apparent on the blowup and which the panel, and in consultation with the radiology experts, concluded represents a fracture-type injury to that vertebra.
Mr. KLEIN - Are those X-rays consistent with the bullet having passed through the President's body?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, sir. They are consistent with the bullet passing through and no longer being present.
Mr. KLEIN - Mr. Chairman, at this time I ask that these reports marked JFK F-32-F-35 be received as exhibits and shown to the witness.
Mr. DODD. Without objection, so ordered. [The above-referred-to exhibits, JFK F-32-JFK F-35 were received as committee exhibits.]
JFK EXHIBIT F - 32
JFK EXHIBIT F - 33
JFK EXHIBIT F - 34
JFK EXHIBIT F - 35
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, looking at those reports, do you recognize them?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, sir. These are reports of the X-rays from physician experts consulted by the panel members and submitted to us for review and incorporation into our conclusions as to the medical aspects of the death of the President.
Mr. KLEIN - What were the names of the doctors to whom you submitted the X-rays?
Dr. BADEN - The doctors are Dr. David Davis, who is chairman of the Radiology Department at George Washington University here in Washington and who has been extremely helpful to the panel in interpreting the X-rays and who has worked with us in making diagrams to illustrate the injuries seen on X-ray. Dr. Norman Chase, who is chairman of the Radiology Department at New York University, Bellevue Medical Center. Dr. William Seaman, chairman of the Department of Radiology at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. And Dr. McDonnel of Los Angeles, Calif, Department of Radiology, Hospital of the Good Samaritan, who performed various specialized tests on the X-rays for the benefit of the panel.
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, were the reports of these experts consistent with the panel's evaluation of the JFK X-rays?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, sir; they were consistent and gave additional evidence to the panel for reaching its conclusions.
Mr. KLEIN - Mr. Chairman, at this time, I would ask that the drawing marked JFK F-36 be received as a committee exhibit.
Mr. DODD. Without objection, so ordered. [The above-referred-to document, JFK F-36, follows:]
JFK EXHIBIT F-36
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, do you recognize that drawing?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, this is a drawing of a photograph taken prior to the beginning of the autopsy of the President showing the neck region, the upper chest region, and a wound in the front of the neck.
Mr. KLEIN - Does this diagram fairly and accurately represent the location of the wound on the front of the President's neck?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, it does.
Mr. KLEIN - Mr. Chairman, I would ask that this cropped photograph marked JFK F-37 and the blowup marked JFK F-38 be received as committee exhibits and shown to the witness.
Chairman STOKES [presiding]. Without objection, it may be entered into the record at this point. [JFK EXHIBIT F-37 is an 8 by 10 photograph derived from one of the original autopsy photographs and depicts the injury to the front of the neck of the President. In deciding to release the autopsy photographs, the committee wished to permit public examination of the most important details of evidentiary significance while still maintaining a sense of propriety. In accordance with this desire, the committee decided to display the autopsy photographs to the public in either drawings that represent large areas of the President's body as seen in the photograph or closely cropped photographs that depict the most important areas of evidentiary concern. The committee used photographs such as JFK F-37 in the hearings only to verify the authenticity and accuracy of the drawings and closely cropped photographs; these photographs are not being published. The original autopsy photographs and committee copies are in the custody of the National Archives.] [The above-referred-to document, JFK F-38, follows:]
JFK EXHIBIT F-38
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, do you recognize that photograph and that blowup?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, sir. The black and white 8 by 10 photograph I have in my hand is from a photograph taken of the President at the time of the autopsy and the blowup is a detail from that photograph showing the injury to the front of the neck as depicted in the drawing before us.
Mr. KLEIN - Using the blowup, would you tell us what the panel learned from the photograph?
Dr. BADEN - The panel learned from the photograph that a tracheostomy, incision, an incision to aid the dying President in breathing, had been made on the front of the neck at the hospital and is a typical type of tracheostomy incision; and the panel also noted a semicircular defect at the lower margin of that tracheostomy which required further evaluation.
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, in speaking to and reading the reports of the doctors who attended President Kennedy after he was shot, in Parkland Hospital, did you learn any further information about that wound of the neck?
Dr. BADEN - Yes. In the reports made available to us from prior testimony, prior medical reports, and from current interviews with the doctors, it is apparent that there was a perforation, a perforating wound, of the front of the neck present when the President was received at Parkland Hospital; and that the tracheostomy incision, the incision to put in a breathing tube, was made through that perforation of the skin and did modify and change the hole in the manner seen here from a circular hole to a semicircle, that remains.
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, directing your attention to the clothing already received as exhibits, would you tell us what the panel learned from that clothing with respect to the wound of the President's neck?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, sir. On examining the clothing of the President, there is present in the left upper portion of the shirt, just beneath the left shirt
collar, a slit-like tear. This slit-like tear corresponds directly with the area of perforation in the anterior neck seen on the photographs taken prior to the autopsy and is characteristic of a bullet perforation of exit in which the perforation is not necessarily as round as the entrance perforation. The entrance perforation on the back is a round perforation typical for an entrance wound. The perforation in the front of the shirt, slit-like, is typical for an exit perforation of a missile. There is also associated with this tear in the shirt fabric a tear or nick of the tie the President was wearing, which corresponds to that same area of the body when the tie is made into a knot as he was wearing at the time of the shooting.
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, in addition to examining the foregoing evidence, did the panel have an opportunity to examine the autopsy protocol report, the autopsy descriptive sheet, and the autopsy supplementary report?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, sir.
Mr. KLEIN - Mr. Chairman, I would ask that these three reports marked JFK F-42 through F-44 be received as exhibits and shown to the witness, and F-45, an enlargement of F-44.
Chairman STOKES - Without objection, they may be received and entered into the record at this point. [The above-referred-to exhibits, JFK F-42 to JFK F-44, follow:]
JFK EXHIBIT F-42
JFK EXHIBIT F-43
JFK EXHIBIT F-44
Mr. KLEIN - Do you recognize these reports, Doctor?
Dr. BADEN - Yes. These are copies of reports that the panel had opportunity to see and examine. The panel members then had the opportunity to question the persons who prepared the reports.
Mr. KLEIN - Who prepared those reports?
Dr. BADEN - The autopsy reports of President Kennedy were prepared by Dr. Humes and Dr. Boswell, who were the autopsy physicians.
Mr. KLEIN - When were they prepared?
Dr. BADEN - They were prepared during the course of, and in the 2 days following, the performance of the autopsy with the written portions prepared the day following the autopsy.
Mr. KLEIN - When was the supplementary report prepared?
Dr. BADEN - The supplementary report was prepared 2 weeks later and describes the brain after fixation in formaldehyde, which is a customary way of preparing the brain prior to further examination, and also describes the findings on microscopic examination of various tissues of the President. These two types of study do take time in the normal course of an autopsy and such reports are prepared some time after the initial autopsy.
Mr. KLEIN, With respect to the wounds of the upper right back and the front of the neck, what did the autopsy report conclude?
Dr. BADEN - The autopsy report concludes that there was a gunshot perforation of entrance in the right upper back and that the exit wound was in the front of the neck.
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, on the basis of the foregoing evidence, photos and X-rays taken at the autopsy, the examination of the President's clothing, the reports of radiologists, interviews of the surgeons who attended the President at Parkland Hospital, and the autopsy report, did the panel unanimously conclude that a bullet entered the upper right back of the President and exited from the front of his neck?
Dr. BADEN - Every member of the panel so concluded.
Mr. KLEIN - Mr. Chairman, at this time I would ask that the drawing marked JFK F-46 be received as a committee exhibit.
Chairman STOKES - Without objection, it may be received and entered into the record at this point. [The above-mentioned document, JFK EXHIBIT F-46, a drawing, follows:]
JFK EXHIBIT F-46
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, do you recognize that drawing?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, I do.
Mr. KLEIN - What does that show?
Dr. BADEN - This is a drawing prepared by Miss Dox with the medical panel of the upper portion of the President showing the track that the bullet took through the back, exiting the neck adjacent to the spine, and through the windpipe (or trachea) in the neck; it shows the direction of the bullet path in the body. This path can be produced by various bullet trajectories, depending on the position of the President at the time the missile struck. On your right, there are three positions of the head of the President all showing the same bullet track and direction within the body, going from the back to the exit in the neck, that could be inflicted by a bullet traveling upward, approximately horizontally, or downward. Each of these trajectories could produce the autopsy findings as depicted on the left and cause a similar track within the body itself. We cannot on the basis of the autopsy findings alone, in this instance, determine from whence the bullet came.
Mr. KLEIN - Mr. Chairman, at this time, I would ask that the drawing marked JFK F-47 be received as a committee exhibit.
Chairman STOKES - Without objection, it may be entered into the record at this point. [The above-mentioned document, JFK EXHIBIT F-47 follows:]
JFK EXHIBIT F-47
Mr. KLEIN - Do you recognize that drawing, Doctor?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, sir; I recognize this as a drawing made for the Warren Commission depicting the same track from back to front neck region that we have been describing.
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, does that drawing made for the Warren Commission fairly and accurately represent the location of the entry wound and the exit wound and the path of the bullet?
Dr. BADEN - Not precisely, The exit perforation in the neck is approximately at the proper area, but the entrance wound in the back is higher than the medical panel concluded from examining the documents, the photographs as to the point of entrance. We place the entrance perforation a bit lower almost 2 inches lower
Mr. KLEIN - Mr. Chairman, at this time, I would ask that the drawing marked JFK F-48 be received as a committee exhibit.
Chairman STOKES - Without objection, it may be entered into the record at this point. [The above-mentioned document, JFK EXHIBIT F-48, follows:]
JFK EXHIBIT F-48
Mr. KLEIN - Do you recognize that drawing, Doctor?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, sir.
Mr. KLEIN - What does that drawing depict?
Dr. BADEN - This is a drawing made from photographs taken at the time of the autopsy showing the back of the President's head and showing a ruler adjacent to an area of discoloration in the cowlick area of the back of the head of the scalp, which the panel determined was an entrance perforation, an entrance bullet perforation; this also shows portions of fractures of the skull of the President caused by this gunshot wound and a fragment of dried tissue near the hairline of the President.
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, does this drawing fairly and accurately represent the location of the wound in the back of the President's head?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, it does, in the unanimous opinion of all of the panel members.
Mr. KLEIN - Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask that the photographs marked JFK F-49A and F-49B and the blowups marked JFK F-50 and F-51 be received as committee exhibits.
Chairman STOKES - Without objection, they may be entered into the record at this point. [JFK exhibits F-49A and F-49B are 8 by 10 photographs derived from the original autopsy photographs and depict posterior views of the head of the President. In deciding to release the autopsy photographs, the committee wished to permit public examination of the most important details of evidentiary significance while still maintaining a sense of propriety. In accordance with this desire, the committee decided to display the autopsy photographs to the public in either drawings that represent large areas of the President's body as seen in the photograph or closely cropped photographs that depict the most important areas of evidentiary concern. The committee used photographs such as JFK F-49A and F-49B in the hearings only to verify the authenticity and accuracy of the drawings and closely cropped photographs; these photgraphs are not being published. The original autopsy photographs and committee copies are in the custody of the National Archives.] [The above-mentioned documents, JFK F-50, and F-51, follow:]
JFK EXHIBIT F-50
JFK EXHIBIT F-51
Dr. BADEN - Yes, sir; I have the 8 by 10 photographs.
Mr. KLEIN - Do you recognize those photographs and those blowups?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, Mr. Klein.
Mr. KLEIN - Would you tell us what they are?
Dr. BADEN - The two photographs I have, 8 by 10 glossy prints, have been prepared from the original photographs in the Archives and show enlargement of the perforation in the cowlick area of the scalp, which is represented on your extreme right in this area; the detail in the photograph is much superior to the blowup detail. Also depicted in the center is the area in the lower back of the head which I referred to as dry tissue. This is depicted in the middle photograph. These are both enlargements of the actual photographs taken prior to the autopsy of the President.
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, using those blowups, would you please explain to the committee what the panel learned from those photographs?
Dr. BADEN - The panel did learn and conclude from the photographs and close examination under magnification of the transparencies, and other materials in the Archives, that without question, the superior more area under consideration is a typical gunshot wound of entrance and that it corresponded in many of its features very closely with the gunshot wound of entrance in the right upper back, especially as to the appearance of the abrasion collar and as to its size. The panel further concluded that the lower more area under question is clearly extraneous dried brain tissue on top of scalp hair.
Mr. KLEIN - Mr. Chairman, I would ask that this X-ray deemed marked JFK F-54 as well as the blowups marked "JFK F-52,","JFK F-53." and "JFK F-297" be received as committee exhibits and shown to the witness.
Chairman STOKES - Without objection. [Documents handed to the witness for his inspection.] [JFK EXHIBIT F-54 is one of the original 14 autopsy X-rays kept at the National Archives. It depicts a lateral or side view of the President and is labeled "No. 2" In deciding to release the autopsy X-rays the committee wished to permit public examination of the most important details of evidentiary significance while still maintaining a sense of propriety. In accordance with this desire, the committee decided to display the autopsy X-rays to the public in a cropped fashion. In the hearings the committee used the original X-rays only to verify the authenticity and accuracy of the cropped counterparts; the entire original X-rays are not being published.] [The above-referred-to JFK exhibits F-52, F-53, and F-297 were marked as committee exhibits and received into the record, and follow:]
JFK EXHIBIT F-52
JFK EXHIBIT F-53
JFK EXHIBIT F-297
Mr. KLEIN - Do you recoginze those X-rays and those blowups?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, I do. This is X-ray labeled "No. 2" by the tag applied by Dr. Ebersole and identified to the panel members by Dr. Ebersole as an X-ray he took at the time of the autopsy of President Kennedy; it shows a side view of the President's head and is preserved in the Archives. This is an enlarged copy of that specific X-ray showing a side view of the skull of the President with the back of the head to your left, the front of the head to your right. Because of the difficulty interpreting some of the subtle features on the X-ray, the X-rays were further examined using enhancement techniques to increase the image contrast. This is a computerized enhancement on your right of the same X-ray showing the same structures but bringing out some of the details of the X-ray more clearly by the enhancement techniques.
Mr. KLEIN - What did the panel learn from those X-rays?
Dr. BADEN - The panel learned from these X-rays that there was extensive fracturing of the bones of the skull of the President as manifested by these various lines and irregularities, that there was displacement of some bony fragments as a result of this explosive type injury to the skull as seen on the X-ray, and that there are many small white areas in the X-ray film that are metallic fragments resulting from a bullet having passed through the skull and fragmenting to some small degree.
Mr. KLEIN - Are those X-rays consistent with a bullet having entered the President's head high on top of the head and passed through?
Dr. BADEN - Yes sir. This is clearly demonstrated in these X-rays, and as comparison, the X-ray on the extreme left is an X-ray taken of President Kennedy during life showing the normal appearance of the skull with the various skull bones in their normal appearance and illustrates the extensive damage of the skull present at the time of the autopsy. The panel concluded, and all of theradiologist consultants with whom the panel spoke with and met with, all concluded that without question there is an entrance bullet hole on the upper portion of the skull at the area I am pointing to where the bone itself has been displaced, and that this corresponds precisely with the point in the cowlick area on the overlying skin has the appearance of an entrance wound, that the track of the bullet then proceeded from back to front and toward the right causing extensive damage to the head.
Mr. KLEIN - Mr. Chairman, at this time, I would ask that this original X-ray marked "JFK F-57" as well as two blowups marked "JFK F-55" and "JFK F-56" be received as committee exhibits.
Chairman STOKES - Without objection, they may be received. [JFK EXHIBIT F-57 is one of the original 14 autopsy X-rays kept at the National Archives. It depicts an anterior-posterior view of the skull. In deciding to release the autopsy X-rays the committee wished to permit public examination of the most important details of evidentiary significance while still maintaining a sense of propriety. In accordance with this desire, the committee decided to display the autopsy X-rays to the public in a Cropped fashion. In the hearings the committee used the original X-rays only to verify the authenticity and accuracy of the cropped counterparts; the entire original X-rays are not being published.] [The above-referred-to exhibits "JFK F-55" and "JFK F-56" were marked committee exhibits and received into the record and follow:]
JFK EXHIBIT F-55
JFK EXHIBIT F-56
Dr. BADEN - For orientation, this is the back of the skull, front of the skull, the eye area, pituitary gland, the ear bones. Mr. Klein, what I have just been given is an X-ray from the Archives viewed by the panel at the Archives with the label in red "No. 1" affixed.
Mr. KLEIN - Would you briefly tell us, using the blowups, what the panel learned from these X-rays?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, this is an antero-posterior view of the skull-that is, taken with the back of the head directly against the X-ray film. These are true enlargements of portions of those X-rays.
Mr. KLEIN - Are these X-rays consistent with a bullet having passed through the President's head?
Dr. BADEN - Yes; there is extensive damage to the right side of the skull area, shown more clearly in the enhancement of the X- ray, and there are extensive fracture lines radiating from the point of entrance marked by this relatively large metal fragment and the X-ray lines extending from it. This corresponds precisely to the point of entrance beneath the cowlick area and shows the extensive loss of bone at that area.
Mr. KLEIN - Mr. Chairman, at this time I ask that the drawing marked "JFK F-58" be received as an exhibit and shown to the witness.
Chairman STOKES - Without objection, it may be received at this point. [The above-referred-to exhibit "JFK F-58" follows:]
JFK EXHIBIT F-58
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, do you recognize that drawing?
Dr. BADEN - Yes; this is a drawing prepared with the panel and Miss Dox showing a side view of the President's skull and showing the point that the panel agreed was the exit point for the gunshot wound that entered the back of the head; this exit perforation is on the right front side of the head of the President.
Mr. KLEIN - Mr. Chairman, at this time, I would ask that this photograph and the blowup marked "JFK F-59" and "JFK F-60" be received as committee exhibits and shown to the witness.
Chairman STOKES - Without objection, they may be received at this point. [JFK EXHIBIT F-59 is an 8 by 10 photograph derived from one of the original autopsy photographs and depicts the area of bone injury on the right side of the head. In deciding to release the autopsy photographs, the committee wished to permit public examination of the most important details of evidentiary significance while still maintaining a sense of propriety. In accordance with this desire, the committee decided to display the autopsy photographs to the public in either drawings that represent large areas of the President's body as seen in the photograph or closely cropped photographs that depict the most important areas of evidentiary concern. The committee used photographs such as JFK F-59 in the hearings only to verify the authenticity and accuracy of the drawings and closely cropped photographs; these photographs are not being published. The original autopsy photographs and committee copies are in the custody of the National Archives.] [The above-referred-to exhibit JFK F-60 follows:]
JFK EXHIBIT F-60
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, do you recognize that photograph and that blowup?
Dr. BADEN - Yes; this is a detail of one of the autopsy photographs, in fact the only photograph that shows any internal structures of the President at the time of autopsy as opposed to all of the other photographs which are of the outside of the body. This photograph shows the bullet exit area on the right side of the head and is seen in better detail and sharper on the photograph than in the blowup. The photograph shows the front right part of the skull of the President and the semicircular defect that I am pointing to corresponds with the black dot present on the previous exhibit. This is a portion of a gunshot wound of exit as determined by the panel because of the beveling of the outer layer of bone visible in the photographs, which is also described in the autopsy report. Beveling refers to the breaking away of bone in a concave pattern as when a BB goes through plate glass causing a concavity in the glass in the direction in which the BB is proceeding. This also happens when a bullet enters and exits skull bone and other bones. It is the conclusion of the panel that this is unquestionably an exit perforation.
Mr. KLEIN - Does the beveling allow you to make a determination whether it is an entry or exit perforation?
Dr. BADEN - Yes. When a bullet strikes bone, expecially flat bone such as the skull, the entrance into the bone is sharp and the exit from the bone is beveled. The bone breaks and bevels in the direction that the bullet is going and we are then able to tell as here, because the beveling is on the outside of the skull, on the right side, that the bullet traveled from within the skull to the outside causing this characteristic change in the bone where the bullet exited.
Mr. KLEIN - Mr. Chairman, at this time, I would ask that the blowup marked "JFK F-64" be received as a committee exhibit. Chairman. STOKES. Without objection, it may be received at this point. [The above-referred-to exhibit JFK F-64 follows:]
JFK EXHIBIT F-64
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, do you recognize that blowup?
Dr. BADEN - Yes sir, this is a blowup of one of the X-rays, one of the 14 X-rays kept at the Archives, showing 3 fragments of bone received by Dr. Humes and Dr. Boswell in the autopsy room while they were performing the autopsy on the President, that had been retrieved from the limousine in which the President had been riding. The doctors looked at the bone fragments, took X-rays of the bone fragments, inserted this particular bone fragment against this semicircle and concluded that they matched and fitted together. On this larger triangular fragment there is at one edge metal fragments seen on the X-ray that the panel concluded, and the autopsy physicians concluded, were part of the exit perforation through the bone and that there is beveling on this bony fragment of the outer aspect of the bone. In addition, a portion of a suture line is also present on one edge of this fragment. A suture line refers to the point at which two bones join. This suture line assisted the panel in precisely identifying from where the fragment derived. The panel concluded that this was part of the gunshot wound of exit of the right side of the head of the President.
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, directing your attention to the autopsy reports which have already been received as exhibits, in what ways was the autopsy report consistent with the other evidence available with respect to the wound to the President's head?
Dr. BADEN - The autopsy reports did indicate that the gunshot wound of the head of the President came from behind, proceeded in a forward direction, and exited the right side of the skull. This is consistent with the findings of the panel.
Mr. KLEIN - In what ways was the autopsy report not consistant with the other evidence available to the panel?
Dr. BADEN - The location and placement of the gunshot wound of entrance was significantly different on examination by the panel members than the autopsy pathologists had indicated. The panel members unanimously placed the gunshot wound of entrance in the back of the President's head approximately 4 inches above the point indicated in the autopsy report prepared by Drs. Humes and Boswell.
Mr. KLEIN - So the panel concluded that the autopsy report placed the wound in the back of the head 4 inches too low?
Dr. BADEN - That is correct; as recorded in the original autopsy.
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, on the basis of the foregoing evidence, the photographs and X-rays taken of the autopsy, the reports of the radiologists and the autopsy report, did the panel unanimously conclude that a bullet entered the President high on the back of his head and exited on the right side toward the front of his head?
Dr. BADEN - All nine members of the panel so unanimously concluded.
Mr. KLEIN - Mr. Chairman, I would ask that two drawings marked "JFK F-65" and "JFK F-66" and the photograph marked "JFK F-67" be received as committee exhibits at this time.
Chairman STOKES - Without objection, they may be received. [The above referred to exhibits, "JFK F-65," "JFK F-66," and "JFK F-67" follow:]
JFK EXHIBIT F-65
JFK EXHIBIT F-66
JFK EXHIBIT F-67
Mr. KLEIN - Do you recognize these exhibits, doctor?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, I do.
Mr. KLEIN - What do they depict?
Dr. BADEN - The drawings were prepared with Miss Dox and the members of the panel to illustrate the path of the gunshot wounds that struck the President. The photograph is Zapruder frame 312 and shows the President just before the explosion caused by the head shot.
Mr. KLEIN - Do the diagrams fairly and accurately represent the path of the bullet which entered high on the back of the President's head and exited from the right side of the head toward the front?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, sir. One, the drawing to your right, indicates the path of the bullet entering the right upper head region approximately 1 inch to the right of the midline of the body and approximately 4 inches above a bony prominence in the back of the head, the external occipital protuberance which is depicted here. This bullet, then, proceeds from back to front exiting in the area of the suture line, that I mentioned earlier, the coronal suture line as depicted on the drawing, causing a semicircular defect in the frontal bone of the skull. This drawing does indicate that at the time of this injury to the back of the head there already existed in the body a bullet track of the right upper back region going from back to front exiting through the tracheostomy incision in the front of the neck. The other diagram, the other drawing, is an attempt to illustrate the direction of the gunshot wound and the damage done to the skull, utilizing the X-rays in great measure and the photographs taken at the autopsy procedure. This shows the entrance perforation in the upper posterior right side of the skull, and the bullet path proceeding forward causing extensive fractures of the skull bones on the right and then exiting the right front area. The four bone fragments illustrated in this diagram are drawn to scale in relation to each other, but not to the skull, utilizing the X-rays and photographs at the Archives. The three to your right are the fragments removed from the limousine of the President and brought to the autopsy doctors during the course of the autopsy; and the fourth fragment is a separate fragment found a few days later in Dealey Plaza and referred to as the Harper fragment. These four fragments did emanate from the large defect in the side of the President's head. The position of the President's head in both of these diagrams was derived from Zapruder frame 312, which, as I already mentioned, shows the position of the President just before the explosion of the head.
Mr. KLEIN - Did the panel conclude that the direction of the bullet was downward?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, in this instance the panel was able to arrive at a conclusion of the directionality from whence the bullet originated because of other evidence made available to the panel, notably, the Zapruder film showing the position of the head of the President at the moment of impact with the bullet.
Mr. KLEIN - Mr. Chairman, at this time, I would ask that the drawing marked JFK F-68 be received as a committee exhibit.
Chairman STOKES - Without objection, it may be received at this point. [The above referred to JFK EXHIBIT F-68 follows:]
JFK EXHIBIT F-68
Mr. KLEIN - Do you recognize that drawing, Doctor?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, sir, this is a drawing prepared for the Warren Commission attempting to illustrate the gunshot wound that entered the back of the President's head.
Mr. KLEIN - Does that drawing fairly and accurately represent the location of the wounds and the path of the bullet in the President's head?
Dr. BADEN - Not in the area of location of the entrance perforation but it does illustrate the general concept that it is a gunshot wound from the back proceeding to the front. That the panel agrees with. However, the panel places the entrance perforation 4 inches higher in the back of the head than the illustration for the Commission shows. The panel also places the entrance perforation on the lower, in the back area, a few inches lower than illustrated on this drawing.
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, you have testified that the President was hit by two bullets, one of which entered his upper right back, and the other entered high on the back of his head. Did the panel reach any conclusions as to whether each of these wounds would have been fatal in and of itself?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, the panel did conclude, without question, that the gunshot wound that struck the head of the President in and of itself would be fatal. The panel could not unanimously agree as to whether or not the gunshot wound through the back and neck would necessarily be fatal because of the failure to examine the bullet track at the time of the autopsy--disect the track. As a result we do not know whether there was injury to the spine of the President or to major blood vessels. If the spine or blood vessels were injured, that bullet also could have been fatal, but we are unable to conclusively agree on that question.
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, at this point, I would ask you to direct your attention to the wounds received by Governor Connally. What was the nature of the injuries received by the Governor?
Dr. BADEN - The Governor suffered injuries also of the right upper back region, more to the side, than the President. The bullet exited. It entered near the top of the armpit on the Governor, exited beneath the right nipple. There was another bullet path through the right wrist, entering on the thumb side about an inch above the wrist, exiting on the palm aspect of the wrist, and there was another bullet perforation in the left inner thigh of the Governor.
Mr. KLEIN - Mr. Chairman, I would ask that these reports marked JFK F-70 and F-71 be received as committee exhibits and shown to the witness.
Chairman STOKES - Without objection, they may be received. [The above referred to JFK exhibits F-70 and F-71 follow:]
JFK EXHIBIT F-70
JFK EXHIBIT F-71
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, do you recognize those reports?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, these are reports from the testimony of Dr. Shaw, a thoracic surgeon, a chest doctor, who operated on Governor Connally at Parkland Hospital, made before the Warren Commission, and subsequent reports of interviews by the staff members and Dr. Petty of the medical panel who interviewed Dr. Shaw recently.
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, what did the panel learn from those reports with respect to the entrance and exit wounds of the back of the Governor?
Dr. BADEN - There was an entrance perforation, according to the interpretation of the doctors who operated on Governor Connally, in the upper right back region just next to the top of the armpit area, and the bullet pathway proceeded from back to front, downward, causing extensive fractures of the fifth rib of the Governor and exited in a large irregular jagged typical exit perforation 1 inch below the right nipple.
Mr. KLEIN - Mr. Chairman, at this time, I would ask that the clothing, shirt, and jacket, marked JFK F-74 and F-75 be received as committee exhibits and shown to the witness.
Chairman STOKES - Without objection, it may be received and shown to the witness. [The above referred to JFK exhibits F-74 and F-75 were received as committee exhibits and photographs made for the record.]
JFK EXHIBIT F-74
JFK EXHIBIT F-75
Dr. BADEN - This is the clothing of Governor Connally that the medical panel members have had opportunity to examine, that the Governor wore at the time of the shooting.
Mr. KLEIN - With respect to the wound of the Governor's back, would you tell the committee what the panel learned from that clothing?
Dr. BADEN - Yes. There is a tear in the fabric of the cloth in the right upper back region which corresponds precisely to the area where the bullet struck the skin of the Governor and which is larger than would be caused by a bullet perforation that strikes cloth or skin head-on at a right angle. So the clothing does give us an ability to interpret the position of the bullet wound of entrance and also gives us some information as to the manner in which the bullet struck.
Mr. KLEIN - And what did the panel learn from that clothing with respect to the exit wound?
Dr. BADEN - The exit wound on the clothing--and again the corresponding tears in the fabric of the clothing. The shirt, which is present also, does show a perforation of the fabric corresponding to the exit wound beneath the right nipple of the skin of Governor Connally, and this corresponds to the tear in the right mid-portion of the jacket.
Mr. KLEIN - Mr. Chairman, at this time, I would ask that blowups marked JFK F-76 and F-77 be received as committee exhibits and shown to the witness.
Chairman STOKES - Without objection, they may be received and shown to the witness. [The above referred to JFK exhibits F-76 and F-77 follow:]
JFK EXHIBIT F-76
JFK EXHIBIT F-77
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, do you recognize these blowups?
Dr. BADEN - Yes; I do. They are photographic enlargements of two of the X-rays taken of the chest of Governor Connally at Parkland Memorial Hospital.
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, did the panel have an opportunity to examine these X-rays?
Dr. BADEN - Yes.
Mr. KLEIN - And from these X-rays did the panel determine whether there were injuries consistent with a bullet passing through the Governor?
Dr. BADEN - Yes. There were X-rays that the panel was able to review that show fractures of the fifth rib, as described by the surgeons, and no missile, no bullet projectile, nor any evidence of metal present on the X-ray.
Mr. KLEIN - And was there any indication that the bullet was still in the Governor, or did the X-ray show the bullet had passed through?
Dr. BADEN - There was no evidence of any missile or bullet present on the X-rays taken of the Governor at the time of admission to Parkland Hospital.
Mr. KLEIN - Did the panel have an opportunity to examine the reports of Dr. Reynolds?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, sir.
Mr. KLEIN - And who is Dr. Reynolds?
Dr. BADEN - Dr. Reynolds was a radiologist, X-ray physician at Parkland Hospital, who made reports on various X-rays taken of Governor Connally during his stay and treatment at the hospital.
Mr. KLEIN - And were his reports consistent with what you have told us with regard to the bullet which entered the Governor's back?
Dr. BADEN - Yes. He does describe on the X-rays extensive injury to the rib of the Governor, and to the lung.
Mr. KLEIN - Mr. Chairman, at this time, I would ask that the diagram marked JFK F-81 be received as a committee exhibit and shown to the witness.
Chairman STOKES - Without objection, it may be received and shown to the witness. [The above referred to JFK EXHIBIT F-81 follows:]
JFK EXHIBIT F-81
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, do you recognize that diagram?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, I do. This is an enlargement of a diagram prepared by the surgeons at Parkland Hospital for the Warren Commission, at which time this material was discussed.
Mr. KLEIN - What does that diagram show?
Dr. BADEN - The diagram is an outline of an individual in an erect posture, so-called anatomic position, showing a gunshot wound of entrance indicated in the right upper back, and an exit wound noted below the right nipple, with a straight pathway drawn between. There are also notations by Dr. Shires, who I believe the initials are of Dr. Shires, who placed the track slightly higher to correspond to the exit being 1 inch beneath the nipple. This track is meant to correspond to the fifth rib, which is the only rib that was injured by the bullet path.
Mr. KLEIN - Did the panel agree with the locations of the entry and exit wounds as well as the path of the bullet as depicted by that diagram?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, sir; in general the panel did agree that there was an entrance wound of the upper back exiting below the nipple and a downward track between.
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, with respect to the wound of the Governor's wrist, did the panel have an opportunity to read the reports of Dr. Gregory and to read his Warren Commission testimony?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, sir.
Mr. KLEIN - And why wasn't the panel able to speak with Dr. Gregory?
Dr. BADEN - Dr. Gregory is deceased. Panel members did talk, and the staff members did talk, with Dr. Shaw who operated on the chest, and with other doctors from Parkland Hospital, but did not have an opportunity to speak with Dr. Gregory.
Mr. KLEIN - In reading the reports and medical records of Dr. Gregory, what did the panel learn with respect to the wound of the Governor's wrist?
Dr. BADEN - The panel learned that there was a gunshot perforation of the thumb side of the forearm about 1 inch above the wrist, which on examination was finally determined to be the point of entrance, and that the bullet did exit through the front of the wrist at the crease of the wrist.
Mr. KLEIN - Directing your attention to the clothing already received as an exhibit, what did the panel learn from the clothing with respect to the wound of the Governor's wrist?
Dr. BADEN - On the clothing, including the suit coat and the shirt, which has French cuffs and is longer than the coat sleeve, there is a perforation of the fabric of the cloth that corresponds with the thumb side of the lower portion of the forearm of the Governor. The tear in the fabric is wide and irregular and the panel concluded that this was made by a bullet reentering into the wrist.
Mr. KLEIN - Were the marks on the clothing consistent with Dr. Gregory's reports?
Dr. BADEN - Dr. Gregory did have occasion to modify his reports. Initially
during the course of surgery he thought that the wound on the undersurface of the wrist, the hand aspect of the wrist, might be an entrance wound, but in his final reports after full evaluation Dr. Gregory and subsequently all of the surgeons and all of the panel pathologists do agree that the bullet entered on the thumb side top or dorsal aspect of the forearm and exited the undersurface of the wrist.
Mr. KLEIN - At this time Mr. Chairman, I would ask that blowups marked JFK F-84 and F-85 be received as committee exhibits and shown to the witness.
Chairman STOKES - Without objection, they may be received at this point. [The above referred to JFK exhibits F-84 and F-85 follow:]
JFK EXHIBIT F-84
JFK EXHIBIT F-85
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, do you recognize these blowups?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, these are enlargements of X-rays provided the panel of Governor Connally's right wrist taken at Parkland Hospital before any surgery was performed. These show extensive fractures of one of the long bones of the forearm, the radius bone, approximately 1 inch above the wrist. The wrist itself is composed of many small bones as can be seen here and is normal. There are fractures of one bone, the radius bone, just before it enlarges to articulate or meet with the wrist bones, and there are present in the photographs, in the X-rays, multiple metal fragments, evidence of a bullet having passed through causing the fractures and losing a small amount of metal substance.
Mr. KLEIN - Although there are metal fragments in the wrist, there is no bullet in the wrist, is that correct?
Dr. BADEN - That is correct; these are very small pieces of metal but the bullet itself, the bullet proper, is not present.
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, were the reports of Dr. Reynolds and Dr. Seaman, which have already been received as exhibits, consistent with the findings of the panel with respect to the wound of the wrist?
Dr. BADEN - Yes; they support the panel's view. Subsequent Xrays of the wrist in the process of healing after surgery does reveal that the largest of the metal fragments although still a very small fragment seen in the preoperative blowup of the X-ray, was removed at the time of surgery. This was subsequently given to the Archives for preservation.
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, I direct your attention to the wound of the Governor's thigh. Did the panel have an opportunity to read the reports of Dr. Shires?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, sir.
Mr. KLEIN - And could you tell us what the panel learned from the reports of Dr. Shires with respect to the wound of the thigh?
Dr. BADEN - We reviewed Dr. Shires' reports and staff and medical panel members did have an opportunity to speak and interview Dr. Shires recently. We concluded from available evidence that there was a single perforating gunshot wound of entrance in the inner aspect of the left thigh of Governor Connally.
Mr. KLEIN - Mr. Chairman, at this time, I would ask that the clothing deemed marked JFK F-88, the trousers, be received as a committee exhibit?
Chairman STOKES - Without objection, it may be received at this point. [The above referred to JFK EXHIBIT F-88 was received as a committee exhibit and a photograph made for the record.]
JFK EXHIBIT F-88
Dr. BADEN - The trousers worn by Governor Connally have been preserved and show the entrance perforation through the fabric of the left inner thigh region, with typical features of a round entrance bullet perforation corresponding precisely in location to where the gunshot wound is described in Dr. Shires' operative report.
Mr. KLEIN - At this time, Mr. Chairman, I would ask that the blowups, JFK F-89 and F-90, be received as committee exhibits.
Chairman STOKES - Without objection they may be received. [The above referred to JFK exhibits F-89 and F-90 follow:]
JFK EXHIBIT F-89
JFK EXHIBIT F-90
Mr. KLEIN - Do you recognize those blowups, Doctor?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, Mr. Klein, these are enlargements of the X-rays of Governor Connally's thigh that were taken at the time of admission to Parkland Hospital.
Mr. KLEIN - What did the panel learn from those X-rays?
Dr. BADEN - The panel learned that there was no bullet nor significant portion of bullet present in the thigh; this was also confirmed by the fact that the surgeons did explore the wound in the thigh surgically and found no bullet. This is the lower thigh bone in the blowup. This is the knee area and the left thigh of Governor Connally. The blowup on your left is a side view showing a small piece of white irregularity with an arrow which is on the original X-rays, put there by treating physicians in Parkland Hospital and interpreted by some physicians initially and in testimony to the Warren Commission as being metal from a bullet within the thigh bone itself. The direct frontal view shows the thigh from the front rather than from the side. This shows the same metal fragment which in the interpretation of the medical panel members, the panel's consultant radiologists and Dr. Reynolds, who reported on the X-rays at Parkland Hospital, is not in the bone but is immediately beneath the skin on the inside of the thigh. What was interpreted by some doctors as being within the bone is really an artifact, that is, a marking produced by dirt or a scratch, et cetera, and does not represent injury to the bone. This is an enhanced Logatronic X-ray that assisted us, and is clearer than the original X-ray. We concluded that the bullet did enter the skin of the thigh but that it was a spent bullet and it did not penetrate more than a half inch or so into the skin, and that in fact the bullet was not present in the thigh when treatment was provided to Governor Connally in the operating room.
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, did the panel reach any conclusion as to what happened to the bullet which had entered the thigh?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, the panel concluded after reviewing all of the medical evidence and other evidence and circumstances as to how the Governor was treated, that the bullet had partially entered, the thigh and then had dropped out.
Mr. KLEIN - Mr. Chairman, at this time, I would ask that the diagram marked JFK F-73 be received as a committee exhibit and shown to the witness.
Chairman STOKES - Without objection, it may be received and shown to the witness. [The above-referred-to JFK EXHIBIT F-73 follows:]
JFK EXHIBIT F-73
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, do you recognize that diagram?
Dr. BADEN - Yes; I do. This is an enlargement of a diagram prepared by the surgeons at Parkland Hospital for the Warren Commission, at which time this material was discussed.
Mr. KLEIN - What does the diagram show?
Dr. BADEN - The diagram is an anterior-posterior outline of an individual in an erect position, so-called anatomic position, showing gunshot wounds to the chest, wrist, and thigh.
Mr. KLEIN - Did the panel agree with the locations of the entry and exit wounds?
Dr. BADEN - Yes; the panel generally agreed.
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, I have a few more questions but I think you can sit down now, you might be more comfortable. Doctor, to sum up for a moment. On the basis of foregoing evidence, the X-rays taken by the surgeons in Parkland Hospital, the medical records and interviews with the surgeons from Parkland Hospital, the condition of the Governor's clothing, and the reports of the doctors who examined the X-rays at the request of the panel, did the panel unanimously conclude, first, that the Governor received an entry wound of his right lateral back and the bullet exited from his right chest?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, all the panel members so concluded.
Mr. KLEIN - Second, did the panel unanimously conclude the Governor received an entry wound of his wrist and the bullet exited on the front surface of his right wrist?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, sir; on the hand surface of the wrist.
Mr. KLEIN - And, third, did the panel unanimously conclude that the Governor received an entry wound in his left thigh with subsequent dislodgement of the bullet?
Dr. BADEN - Yes.
Mr. KLEIN - Has the panel reached a conclusion as to whether these wounds were all caused by one bullet?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, sir. The panel did conclude that these wounds were caused by one bullet.
Mr. KLEIN - Would you please explain to the committee why the panel concluded that one bullet caused the wounds received by the Governor?
Dr. BADEN - Yes. The panel concluded that, taking into evaluation the nature of the injuries to the wrist and thigh and to the chest region, and the direction of these injuries, that a single bullet proceeding through the chest exiting below the nipple, entering the wrist in a partially spent manner, not at full force which would have caused much greater damage to the wrist--exiting the wrist and then reentering the left thigh, is all consistent with a single gunshot track, and the panel has seen no other reasonable evidence to support anything but a single track through the Governor.
Mr. KLEIN - Did the examination of the wound to the wrist and thigh lead the panel to conclude that the bullet which entered the wrist and then entered the thigh had been slowed up by something prior to hitting the wrist and prior to hitting the thigh?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, that is, the bullet striking the thigh was an obviously spent bullet that must have gone through other structures or struck something before striking the thigh or else it would have caused a massive defect in the thigh and exited the thigh. The bullet striking the wrist also was produced by a bullet that had lost full power and it was the conclusion of the panel that it had struck something before striking the wrist and it was the conclusion of the panel the most reasonable area to have struck before striking the wrist and considering the position of the Governor seated at the time of the shooting, that it did indeed strike the back and exit the chest. And the path lines up for all three tracks.
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, you have also testified that the panel unanimously concluded that a bullet entered the President's upper right back and exited from the front of his neck. Did the panel reach a conclusion as to whether the same bullet which entered the President's upper right back could have then exited from the front of his neck and struck Governor Connally and caused the wounds that he received?
Dr. BADEN - Yes; the panel concluded, based on the enlarged nature of the entrance perforation in the Governor's back, that the bullet was wobbling when it struck him and had to have struck something before striking the Governor; that this entrance perforation of the Governor's back could have resulted from a missile that had come through the neck of the President on the basis of the autopsy findings alone; that in taking other evidence into consideration, such as the position of the President and the position of the Governor in the car, the findings are entirely consistent with a single bullet exit exiting the front of the President's neck and reentering in the back of the Governor.
Mr. KLEIN - Mr. Chairman, I would ask that this little container and its contents be deemed marked "
JFK EXHIBIT F-95", received as an exhibit, and shown to the witness.
Chairman STOKES - Without objection, it may be received. [The above referred to JFK EXHIBIT F-95 was received as a committee exhibit and a photograph made for the record.]
JFK EXHIBIT F-95
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, do you recognize the contents of that container?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, from the label on the container and from examining the bullet, I recognize this as the Warren Commission Exhibit 399, which is a 6.5 millimeter Mannlicher Carcano bullet.
Mr. KLEIN - Did the entire panel have an opportunity to examine this bullet?
Dr. BADEN - Yes.
Mr. KLEIN - What expertise, if any, did the members of the panel have with respect to determining whether a particular bullet is consistent with having caused one or more wounds?
Dr. BADEN - The panel members in the normal course of their official duties have many occasions frequently to perform autopsies on victims of gunshot wounds and to examine missiles that cause these injuries, so that there is a great deal of experience among the panel members in examining effects of gunshot injuries and the missiles that produce them.
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, did the panel reach a conclusion as to whether this bullet is consistent with having entered President Kennedy's upper right back, exited through the front of his neck, and entered Governor Connally and caused the wounds that the Governor received?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, the panel did conclude, all but one, Dr. Wecht, who will testify later, that this bullet is in fact consistent with having caused all of the wounds described and that in fact, this bullet is significantly flattened at one end and is not in a virgin state.
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, you have testified that the panel collectively performed or were responsible for over 100,000 autopsies. You have also testified that the panel members read the autopsy report and spoke with the doctors who performed the autopsy on President Kennedy. Did the panel members reach any conclusions with respect to the procedures used during the course of the autopsy on President Kennedy?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, Mr. Klein, they did, but just as an additional evidence for the panel, on why we felt that the bullet went through the President and the Governor, was the information that we were able to accumulate that indicates clearly there is no other bullet other than this bullet and the bullet fragments that passed through the head of the President, that was found, there is no evidence of other bullet injury to any other occupants of the car or in the car itself, which was part of the information we considered when we concluded in constructing the bullet trajectory.
Mr. KLEIN - Doctor, directing your attention my subsequent question, did the panel reach any conclusions with respect to the procedures used during the course of the autopsy of the President?
Dr. BADEN - Yes. The panel did conclude that there were a number of deficiencies in the manner in which the autopsy of the President was done.
Mr. KLEIN - And will the panel in its final report fully document its conclusions with respect to these deficiencies? Mr. BADEN. Yes; the panel will document its full critical analysis from the improper assumption of jurisdiction of the dead body and deficiencies in the qualifications of the pathologists who did the autopsy, to the failure of the prosectors to contact the doctors who treated the President at Parkland Hospital and failure to inspect the clothing, to the inadequate documentation of injuries, lack of proper preservation of evidence, and incompleteness of the autopsy.
Mr. KLEIN - And in its final report will the doctors also be making recommendations as to what procedures should be utilized in the future?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, sir.
Mr. KLEIN - Thank you, Mr. Chairman, I have no further questions.
Chairman STOKES - Thank you, counsel. Prior to recognizing the next member of the committee, the Chair would like to note the presence in the hearing room today of four gentlemen, Mr. Clarence Lyons, Mr. Marion Johnson, Mr. Michael Leahy, and Mr. William Grover. These gentlemen are employed by the National Archives and over a period of time have been extremely cooperative with this committee in furnishing and making available materials which are held in the National Archives, and they also came over last night and spent time with this committee, to a rather late hour, and are back in the hearing room this morning providing our committee with these materials. The committee wishes to thank you for the kind of cooperation that we have received from you. The Chair at this time recognizes the gentleman from North Carolina, Judge Preyer.
Mr. PREYER - Thank you very much, Dr. Baden, for your testimony. There has been considerable controversy over the autopsies, and there has been confusion since there have been several autopsies and several panels which have worked on this and we appreciate your meticulous and painstaking testimony which, I think, goes a long way to clearing up much of the uncertainty. Your testimony reflects the conclusions, I take it, of eight members of your panel. There is one member who dissents, in part, and who will testify later today; is that correct?
Dr. BADEN - That's correct,
Mr. PREYER - All nine members do agree on the bulk of the material I presented, but Dr. Wecht does have some important dissents.
Mr. PREYER - Thank you. The first doctors, the first scientific experts who saw the President after he was shot, were the doctors at Parkland Hospital who operated on him. Those doctors actually saw the bullet wound in the President's throat and they described it as an entry wound, while you have described it as an exit wound. Can you explain why that's the case?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, sir. It is not uncommon for medical examiners in the course of their investigations of persons who have been injured and treated at hospitals to arrive at different opinions than the treating physician's as to the identification of entrance and exit gunshot wounds. The reasons for this is that surgeons who treat live patients are most concerned and have greatest expertise in treating the injury suffered by the patient and are little concerned and little trained in distinguishing some of the fine points of differences between entrance and exit gunshot wounds, because this does not have much pertinence to treatment and therapy. I think, in this particular incident, the exit perforation in the throat was small and did have some characteristics of an exit wound because of its smallness and roundness which may have been, in part, due to the fact that it came out right beneath the collar and tie of the President where the skin was held fairly firm. An exit perforation through firm skin is smaller than through lax skin. And in addition, the physicians who treated the President at Parkland Hospital did not turn the President over so they did not know there was another bullet hole in the back. There is a natural tendency, when a doctor sees one bullet hole and not a second bullet hole, to just assume that the one he sees is an entrance wound. The treatment of the President, the outcome, would not have been any different had different perceptions been made by the doctors. Clearly, despite early confusion as to whether the bullet wound in the neck was an entrance or an exit perforation, the panel members all unanimously agree that it is indeed an exit perforation.
Mr. PREYER - You mentioned another fact about the Parkland Hospital examination, which has been puzzling to many of us and that is why the doctors did not report the wound in the President's back. I gather you were saying they were primarily concerned with the medical treatment of the President and simply did not turn him over?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, sir, they responded, and properly so, by trying to establish breathing by inserting an air tube and by trying to get the heart to start functioning. All these procedures are done, performed, with the patient on his back and they never had the time or opportunity to turn the President over. They just did not know that there was an entrance wound in the upper back. Of course, this error was compounded by the autopsy physicians who, when they started the autopsy, did not appreciate that the tracheostomy wound, the incision made to insert an airway, was made through the exit perforation. So, there were two sets of confusions that compounded the problem.
Mr. PREYER - After the President's body was brought back to Washington, the official autopsy was performed out at Bethesda. The pathologists who did the autopsy actually saw the President's body, of course. Your panel has placed the head wound some 4 inches higher than those physicians placed it. How do you account for that when those physicians actually saw the President's body and your panel did not?
Dr. BADEN - Yes. I think, in general, the doctors who perform the autopsy have a better opportunity to make valid observations than those who come later, but in this instance, the photographs taken during the course of the autopsy and the X-rays taken during the course of the autopsy and the autopsy report itself provide sufficient evidence for the panel members to arrive at valid, we feel, valid, independent conclusions. Further, we had opportunity to interview and we did extensively interview the physicians who did the autopsy, Dr. Humes, Dr. Boswell, and Colonel Finck. In all candor, these three pathologists, to the present time, do feel that the entrance perforation is 4 inches lower than we have concluded. They place the entrance perforation approximately in the area of that dried brain tissue in the lower portion of the scalp above the hairline. 301 We disagree with these doctors and we do agree with the observations of the doctors in the Clark panel and the Rockefeller Commission who also independently agreed it was 4 inches higher than the autopsy doctors stated. Our conclusion, in part, is that the observations that these three pathologists made were valid in describing the wound and the characteristics of the wound, but in making the report up the next day, not in the presence of the body, the location of the entrance perforation in the back of the head was mistakenly placed 4 inches lower than it actually was.
Mr. PREYER - So that the original autopsy panel maintained, and I gather still maintains, that what you have described as brain tissue was actually the entry wound in the head? What did they say about the entry wound that you described as being 4 inches higher?
Dr. BADEN - In discussions with the three doctors and looking together at the same photographs, the doctors who did the autopsy feel that what we identify as an entry wound is an artifact, perhaps dried blood, and not a perforation. I think that the committee will have opportunity to hear testimony from Dr. Humes, who did perform the autopsy, later today, and he can give you his reasoning. We, as the panel members, do feel after close examination of the negatives and photographs under magnification of that higher perforation, that it is unquestionably a perforation of entrance; and we feel very strongly, and this is unanimous, all nine members, that X-rays clearly show the entrance perforation in the skull to be immediately beneath this perforation in the upper scalp skin; and further, although the original examination of the brain was not complete, photographs of the brain were examined by the panel members, and do show the injury to the brain itself is on the top portion of the brain. The bottom portion or undersurface of the brain, which would have had to have been injured if the bullet perforated in the lower area as indicated in the autopsy report, was intact. If a bullet entered in this lower area, the cerebellum portion of the brain would have had to be injured and it was not injured. So that is the basis for what remains a disagreement between our panel and the original autopsy doctors.
Mr. PREYER - Is it at all possible, Doctor, that there could have been two entry wounds, the one described by 'your panel in the higher part of the head, and the one described by the original autopsy panel, 4 inches lower?
Dr. BADEN - I think we physicians learn that when a question is asked, "is it possible," that many things are possible. It is the firm conclusion of the panel members, however, that, beyond all reasonable medical certainty, there is no bullet perforation of entrance any place on the skull other than the single one in the cowlick that it is the firm conclusion of the panel that there is no bullet perforation of entrance beneath that brain tissue nor any place on the skull and we find no evidence to support anything but a single gunshot wound of entrance in the back of the President's head.
Mr. PREYER - Turning to another question that has come up concerning the single bullet theory, you mentioned Dr. Shaw, who operated on Governor Connally. Isn't it true that Dr. Shaw testified before the Warren Commission that he did not believe the single bullet theory, and if so, how do you account for it?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, Mr. Preyer, he did so testify before the Warren Commission. In fact, I had occasion to speak with Dr. Shaw recently and to determine the basis for his disagreement. And he advised me that he still feels that the single bullet theory is untenable. But the basis for this belief essentially is what was told to him by Governor Connally and Mrs. Connally at the time he treated the Governor in Parkland Hospital; his basis is what they heard, what they observed, what they perceived. He feels that Governor and Mrs. Connally are good witnesses, have good memory of what happened and in relying on the information that they gave to him, he concludes that one bullet did not pass through the President and through the Governor. He does not make that determination on the basis of the medical, surgical, or pathological findings. In discussing the matter with him, he indicates that what he saw at surgery is consistent with a single bullet; but in taking other material into account, especially the Governor's recollection of what happened, and Mrs. Connally's recollection, he feels that for these other reasons, not the medical ones, the single bullet theory is not tenable.
Mr. PREYER - So, his opinion is based partly, at least, on eyewitness testimony rather than purely scientific?
Dr. BADEN - On persuasive eyewitness testimony, yes, sir.
Chairman STOKES - Will the gentleman suspend? Those are the second bells, There is an extremely important vote on the floor of the House, and I think this would perhaps be an appropriate time for us to suspend. The Chair will recess the hearings until 1:30 this afternoon, at which time Mr. Preyer will resume questioning of the witness. We are now recessed. [Whereupon, at 11:45 a.m., the committee recessed, to reconvene at 1:30 p.m. the same day.]
Chairman STOKES - At this time, the committee will come back to order. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from North Carolina, Mr. Preyer.
Mr. PREYER - Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Dr. Baden, I would like to go back to an earlier question and see if we can't clear it up a little more. That is the difference between the autopsy panels, the original autopsy panel's finding of the entrance of the head wound and your panel's findings. Your panel's findings put it some 4 inches above the entry found by the original autopsy panel. I believe you have testified that there was no possibility in your judgment, at least you were strongly convinced there were not two wounds. I would like to ask the clerk if she could put on the easel JFK exhibit F-53. This is the enhanced computerized photograph of the President's skull, a technique which I assume was not available to the original autopsy panel.
TESTIMONY OF DR. MICHAEL BADEN--Resumed
Dr. BADEN - That's correct.
Mr. PREYER - If you would like to step over to that. As I understand your testimony, you were able to--let me put it this way: Are you able to see a penetration of the skull bone in the higher area where you say the entry wound occurred?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, sir, on this and on the other lateral X-ray, next in number, all the members of the panel, and I think Dr. Petty, Dr. Wecht are here in the room with us now who are members of the panel, we all agreed that the entrance perforation was at this point where there is a separation and an obvious fracture depression on the upper back aspect of the skull. This perforation has been made more prominent for the members of our panel than the doctors in 1963 because of the X-ray enhancement technique. We are unanimously agreed that this is an entrance perforation. An additional reason for this conclusion, aside from the fact that it is a depressed fracture, is that there is a metal fragment here which shows up clearer on the original nonenhanced X-ray. This original X-ray shows a piece of metal that rubbed off from the bullet on entering the skull and was deposited at the entrance site which also is typical of an entrance perforation. This piece of metal is clearer on the original X-rays at the site of entrance and from it radiates many fracture lines, also typical of an entrance wound. May I have the other X-ray blowup showing the anterior-posterior front view? So, we were in agreement, as were all of the radiologists that we consulted with--Dr. Davis, Dr. Seaman, Dr. Chase--that that is the point of entrance in the right upper back skull with radiating fractures.
Mr. PREYER - And can you say, from looking at those exhibits, that there is no evidence of penetration of the skull 4 inches lower than the original---
Dr. BADEN - Yes, sir. The original X-ray shows it best. About 4 inches below our placement of the entry perforation is the external occipital protuberance, which is the little boney bump in the back of the head that we can feel right in the midline; this is approximately the place where the autopsy surgeons placed the wound of entrance. On these X-rays and on the enhancements of these X-rays, there is no evidence of any perforation in this area. The autopsy physicians-Dr. Humes, Dr. Boswell, Dr. Finck, and Dr. Ebersole, who was the radiologist present--all agree that there was one and only one entrance wound in the back of the head. They describe the wound's appearance in accord with other available evidence, but they place it 4 inches lower than the panel places it. So, the disagreement is a matter of the proper placement of a single entrance perforation rather than any reasonable possibility of two perforations.
Mr. PREYER - And I believe on the enhanced photograph, you identified metallic particles left in the top of the skull?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, sir.
Mr. PREYER - Is there any evidence from any photograph or any X-ray you have seen of a bullet entrance lower down than the one you have described and other metallic fragments or penetration of the skull or any other sort of evidence?
Dr. BADEN - No, sir. May I use an exhibit that wasn't shown, a diagram of the brain, Mr. Chairman? A drawing, it is a diagram, not a picture.
Chairman STOKES - Yes, you may.
Dr. BADEN - Thank you, sir.
Mr. PREYER - It is 302, I believe.
Dr. BADEN - Thank you, sir. There is present evidence of a bullet track only in the upper portion of the skull; these metal fragments have moved a bit because some of the fragments are in the loose scalp tissues and soft tissues that are movable. There is no evidence of any metal fragments in the lower portion of the skull in the X-rays, nor in the photographs. Now, the brain, as was mentioned, is not available for our examination and was not thoroughly examined, nor examined even in the normal fashion, in 1963. However, it was described externally and many photographs were taken of the brain. Miss Dox has prepared a diagram of the brain as seen here, which shows how the brain looked when it was examined and before it was misplaced or lost. This fairly and accurately represents the extensive damage, and injury to the right top of the brain, that I am pointing to, that is apparent in the photographs. This, on the left side, is what the normal brain looks like and what the appearance would be on the right side if it were not injured by the bullet track. We do see some of the lower portion of the brain here, the cerebellum area. This area would have to be injured, in the unanimous opinion of the medical panel, if a bullet entered in the lower scalp area near the external occipital protuberance which is the area of discussion relative to a second
lower bullet in the back of the head. We did not see any photographic or X-ray evidence of, and there is no description indicating any injury of, the brain other than the extensive damage to the right upper part of the brain consistent with the upper track which the panel agrees to.
Mr. PREYER - Thank you very much, Dr. Baden. I think that has clarified that. If you will take your seat.
Dr. BADEN - Thank you, sir.
Mr. PREYER - Incidentally, what happened to the metal fragments that you have stated were found in President Kennedy's skull? Were they removed?
Dr. BADEN - There were some fragments removed in the course of the autopsy and preserved and kept at the Archives. They are very small fragments. They have been much enlarged on the blowups; some fine fragments were removed and preserved and kept in the custody of the Archives.
Mr. PREYER - Thank you. There were several other descrepancies between your report and the Ramsey Clark panel's report and the Rockefeller Commission report which I would like you to comment on briefly. You testified that the bullet which passed through President Kennedy's back and out of his throat did not leave any fragments, and, as I understand it, at least one of the doctors on the Rockefeller Commission panel did state that there were metal fragments left by that bullet. Do you have any comments on that?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, sir. That, in fact, was a conclusion by one of the members of the Rockefeller Commission and was an area of concern that the panel did spend time examining. If we are able to have X-rays of the chest of President Kennedy placed on the easel, I think I can explain to you how we approached that issue, what we did and what our conclusions were. There is present in the right neck region, as seen on the chest X-ray taken prior to the autopsy, a small white area that has the appearance possibly of metal or bone. That was one of the reasons that the panel requested, and the staff did go to great troubles to have made, enhancement and enlargement photographs of that area of the X-rays. We did resolve that issue to our satisfaction, as I will show you, if I can use those exhibits, please. On your right is an X-ray taken of the President just prior to autopsy showing the neck, the area where the bullet passed through. This is an enlargement the lungs. of a portion of the X-ray taken while the autopsy was in progress to see if there was a bullet in the body; none was present. This fragment did raise some concern with the Rockefeller panel and with our physicians because it has some appearances suggesting that it is a piece of metal which would indicate that the bullet struck bone in the area as it passed through the neck. We have concluded that there is a fracture of the transverse process of the first thoracic vertebra which could have been caused by the bullet striking it directly or by the force of the cavity created by the bullet passing near to it. However, after obtaining the enhancements of the X-rays and after consulting with various X-ray specialists, Dr. Davis here in Washington, Dr. McDonald in California, and others, we have concluded that what appears to be a radio opaque, white metal fragment is, in fact, an artifact: it is not a piece of metal, it is not a piece of bone, and one reason for this conclusion is that it is not present in the first X-ray that was taken. Careful examination of that X-ray shows no evidence of any metal or bone or fragments in the neck area. We are satisfied that the most reasonable explanation for this artifact is that it is due to a piece of dirt present on the X-ray cassette or that it was produced during the X-ray developing process which occurs not uncommonly as can be seen on other of the President's X-rays. We are satisfied that it does not represent bullet or bone.
Mr. PREYER - Incidentally, you mentioned the bullet nicking the vertebra. Could the, bullet, CE-399, the pristine bullet, have nicked President Kennedy s vertebra and still have left the neat, clean exit wound in the throat?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, sir. Usually, when a bullet strikes something of substance, it will begin to wobble, but as a bullet wobbles, there are times when it will be alined in a straight-on directional course. As I am demonstrating by using this wooden pointer there are times when, even if it is wobbling as it is moving, it will be in a straight on position. If the bullet did strike bone, and we cannot be certain of that, it may nevertheless have stayed on course; it may have begun to wobble after it came out from the neck. If it were exiting in a direct head-on fashion and the skin were made more firm because the collar and the shirt were reasonably snug around the President's neck, these factors would tend to make the exit skin hole small. There is no disagreement among the panel members that the perforation in the front of the neck is an exit wound, despite early Parkland Hospital confusion, and this was also the conclusion of the Rockefeller panel and the Clark panel.
Mr. PREYER - Thank you,
Dr. BADEN - I believe we can try again from your seat here. One descrepancy, I think, with the Clark panel, the Ramsey Clark panel, was put together in 1968, I believe--
Dr. BADEN - Yes. sir.
Mr. PREYER - That was that they located the wound on the President's neck in a different area from where your panel has located it.
Dr. BADEN - Yes.
Mr. PREYER - Could you comment on that?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, sir. Miss Hess, could we see the neck diagram and the neck photograph? The Clark panel, which had two fine forensic pathologists as members, Dr. Russel Fisher and Dr. Moritz, who are senior forensic pathologists and well experienced, did conclude that there was a wound of entrance in the back and exit in the neck. In describing the wound that we see here, that semicircle at the lower margin of the tracheostomy incision, the Clark report locates it in the upper margin of the incision. It is a trivial mistake and in no way does it change the significance of the injury and the interpretation of the injury; but it does reflect, I think, the problems that forensic pathologists have when they make reports while not directly looking at the object being described as would have happened if the description was made sometime after seeing the archival photographs. This same type of error, preparing the autposy report 24 hours after the autopsy was completed and after the body had been removed, may have contributed to the more significant mistake of placing the gunshot wound of entrance 4 inches lower than it actually was. The description of the size and shape of the entry wound is correct, but the location of it is incorrect perhaps due to reliance on memory.
Mr. PREYER - You have described your findings at some length from photographs and from X-rays. I am sure the question will occur to a lot of people, did you perform any experiments to see if the damage caused by the pristine bullet could have occurred and the bullet still be so slightly damaged? If not, why not?
Dr. BADEN - The panel did review the experiments that have been done, and the panel members, in evaluating the desirability of doing further experiments--and we had long discussions about this--were in agreement, save for Dr. Wecht, that it is impossible to perform experiments to duplicate the injury patterns in President Kennedy or Governor Connally, or in any other individual who dies. We can do experiments to see how much powder is produced by a gun at a certain distance; but even in war time--and civilian life occasionally in New York City--when people are killed by machinegun fire, with the machinegunner firing multiple rounds within seconds at a relatively stationary person, the bullet paths and injuries produced are never duplicated. The slightest difference in weight of the ammunition, in manufacture of the ammunition has significance; the gun that is fired 12 times is different than the gun that is fired 13 times; the slightest contraction of muscle, any injury causes the next bullet fired to take a different course and a different path and produce different injuries. And it is the opinion of many of the panel members that even the doing of experiments in this regard, to reproduce the President's, the Governor's, and the bullet s injuries does more to obscure the issue than to clarify it; gives a credibility to experiments on people in reproducing injuries that is not warranted and may be very misleading. Humans are not guinea pigs that can be put in cages and can be standardized. The dead bone, the dead wrist bone, the dead thigh bone is different than the live thigh bone. A bone with blood going through it reacts differently to a gunshot wound than a dried bone without blood going through it. These differences not only affect the path of the bullet going through the body and the injuries produced, but also affect the damage done to the bullet; a hair's breath difference in distance between two bullets similarly fired will cause one bullet to shear in half and split and the other bullet to go straight through the body without the missile being greatly damaged. I don't want to belabor the point, but the panel majority after much consideration does feel that the injuries sustained by Governor Connally and President Kennedy, and the trajectory and the ballistics could not be precisely duplicated; that there were myriads and myriads of ways the experiment could be done wrong and only one way it could be done right--and if by chance it were done right once we wouldn't know it or be able to prove it. There would still be room for argument.
Mr. PREYER - So, the problem in duplicating the wounds are so complex that you would create more problems than you would solve by conducting experiments of this nature?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, sir, it is a futile search that produces a false confidence in uninterpretable data. In our everyday practices, when we have to make judgments about gunshot wounds and injuries, we do not do so by performing experiments. We make that judgment by looking at the evidence, by taking everything available into consideration and then by drawing a conclusion; not by attempting to duplicate the impossible.
Mr. PREYER - Finally, let me just ask you a couple of questions about something that I think troubles people more than anything else about the autopsy. That is, the fact that a bullet could appear to do so much damage and still remain in almost pristine condition. It seems to fly in the face of commonsense. Let me ask you, have you ever seen a bullet that has done this much damage as the bullet CE-399 did and still emerge in as good condition as this bullet is in?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, sir. Absolutely, but with qualification. We on the medical panel have certain problems, as have other doctors in the past, in evaluating the injuries produced by the so-called "pristine bullet", which is a media term that is inaccurate: it is like being a little bit pregnant--it is either pristine or it is not pristine. This is a damaged bullet and this is not a pristine bullet. This is a bullet that is deformed; it would be very difficult to take a hammer and flatten it to the degree that this is flattened. This is a partially deformed bullet with a heavy jacket. The problem is that although in New York City we see more than 1,000 gunshot wound deaths a year, in a civilian population it is most unusual to encounter military ammunition; and in military practice where people are killed by rifle bullets, autopsies, and follow-up correlations are not performed as in the civilian death situation. Very few people, if any, have had autopsy experience with the Mannlicher-Carcano 6.5 millimeter ammunition in a civilian population. However, we do see copper-jacketed handgun bullets not infrequently, and typically, a copper-jacketed handgun bullet will cause extensive damage and deform very little. In fact, according to the Geneva Convention, military bullets must be jacketed so that they do not split up and deform. They are meant to cause minimal injury and suffering while killing somebody; the bullets are designed so as not to break up into many different parts and to be minimally deformed.
Mr. PREYER - It only caused death and no side effects; is that it?
Dr. BADEN - That is correct. It stays intact. Further, sir, in fact, this bullet struck little that would deform it. The track through President Kennedy is essentially through soft tissue which does not deform a bullet. The only injury to the chest of Governor Connally that could have damaged the bullet would have occurred if it struck the fifth rib. But the rib is a very thin bone and striking a rib does not significantly deform a copper-jacketed bullet. So, the only impact that caused any appreciable damage to that bullet occurred when it struck the lower forearm. Do you have that X-ray of Governor Connally available? This Xray of Governor Connally's forearm shows the radius bone of the forearm, the only object that that bullet, C.E. 399, struck that could have caused only significant damage to the bullet. It is the opinion of the panel that the impact with the radius bone did cause some flattening of the bullet, but it would not necessarily be a very marked deformity. Impact that causes great damage to a bullet typically occurs when the bullet strikes skull bone or spine bone, which are hard and tough bones. The wrist, the radius at that point where you see the fracture lines, is not a very hard bone. It can damage some bullets, and not others. It is hard to predict. We have seen many bullets that go through radius bones that are very little deformed. The bullet struck only superficial soft tissues of the left thigh where its course terminated; this impact would have caused no damage to the bullet
Mr. PREYER - I was going to ask you how you explained the massive fragmenting of the bullet from the head wound compared to the relatively undamaged bullet from the throat wound?
Dr. BADEN - The skull bones are much denser and harder and provide much more resistance especially if the bullet should strike at a sheering angle. The skull bone is a round bone and often a bullet like this may enter the skin head on but, when it hits the bone beneath, because of the curvature, the lines of force are different than when it goes through a flat bone like the radius. It is typical for bullets striking the head to be much more damaged than bullets going through a rib or a wrist; in fact 399 did not strike much that would cause it to be damaged. But to get back to your original question, if you asked me can I produce a bullet that similarly went through two individuals, I could not because of the uniqueness in the way people are shot and the way people die.
Mr. PREYER - The final question I have, Dr. Baden, you mentioned that part of the information on which you based your conclusions that the single-bullet theory was valid was that no other bullet was found. If another bullet would have turned up, or should turn up, say in the upholstry of the car, would that affect the validity of the single-bullet theory, that is, that one bullet passed through both President Kennedy and Governor Connally?
Dr. BADEN - I think that if another bullet were found in the car, the pathology panel members would have to give that a great deal of consideration before reading its final conclusions. The problem with bullets going through people, through multiple people, which happens from time to time in ordinary civilian practice, or going in and out of one part of the body and into another part of the body, is that it is never possible to say that the only possibility is a single bullet from the autopsy findings alone. The circumstances are very important in interpreting the autopsy findings. All we as pathologists can do is say they line up together; one bullet could have caused both injuries, but if the two people, if the arm and the chest were held apart and two bullets were fired at appropriate angles, it is possible to simulate tracks with two bullets that could be caused by one bullet. Presence or absence of the reentry characteristic would be important in interpreting the findings. We are taking into account in our evaluation the Zapruder film, the fact that the President and the Governor are in certain positions, seated down, one in front of the other; from the autopsy point of view they line up. The bullet going through the President would have enough steam behind it to reenter the Governor. Further, the appearance of the Governor's wound indicates that the bullet entering the Governor struck something before it hit the Governor. There is no evidence of striking anything else in the vicinity of the car, although it is possible; but being reasonable and trying to examine all of the possibilities in the context of the medical evidence available, we find that the bullet that struck the President in the upper back had no other place to go, went no place else, except into the person in front of him, the Governor. And that there is no other place that the bullet going through the chest could go but the wrist. It would be possible for another bullet to have been fired from another point and caused the same injuries to the Governor. This is highly unlikely. In civilian practice with experience with thousands of bullet wounds the majority of panel members find it very significant that the wounds line up: If the shoe fits, it fits. If the bullet in the hand and the chest line up as consistent with coming from the same bullet track, invariably, when all the evi- dence is in, this proves to be the correct explanation; but it is not necessarily the only explanation. It is just there are so many ways people can be shot; myriads of ways people can be shot that don't line up. If the bullet paths line up in a way so that they are possibly caused by one bullet, that in itself eliminates countless other possibilities.
Mr. PREYER - Thank you,
Dr. BADEN - I have no further questions, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman STOKES - Time of the gentleman has expired. Committee will now operate under the 5-minute rule. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Ohio, Mr. Devine. Mr. DEVINE Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Dr. Baden, you are obviously eminently qualified with your vast experience in the field of forensic pathology. I know of the general reluctance of members of the medical profession--as well as indeed, lawyers--to be critical of their colleagues or their work, and keeping that in mind I am wondering could you elaborate more fully on the conclusions the panel reached regarding the autopsy procedure? Do you have anything you would like to enlarge upon in that regard?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, sir. As was mentioned previously, we are going to include in the report a full documentation of critical analysis of the autopsy report. I would say that, as you will find today and perhaps other times, that although many physicians are hesitant to criticize one another, that is not the rule among forensic pathologists, and I think this is a good rule because the forensic pathologist is often in the court room and has to call it the way he or she sees it. I think in this regard, perhaps as a caveat, we did agree as a group with the basic bottom-line conclusions of the original autopsy doctors: Two bullets from behind struck the President and only two bullets. However, we had a great deal of concern on many levels as to how the autopsy was performed, beginning immediately with the assumption of jurisdiction by what appears to be the Federal Government and the family of the President, intruding into what was at that time a State crime, homicide. The effect of that was to remove the body from Dallas, the jurisdiction which had a very competent forensic pathologist in charge, Dr. Earl Rose, who happens to be a member of our panel presently, to Bethesda at, apparently, the request of the family. The experience of each and every panel member is that in a homicide situation the last person to have control and tell the medical examiner how to proceed or what to do is the family of the next of kin. This is a rule that we live with while still keeping the sensitivities of the family fully in mind. The very concept of the family having control of the body, of the family having control of the archival material although done with the best and noblest of intentions, does cause great concern for forensic pathologists because of its implications in other homicides where the family does not and is not permitted and should not be permitted to have control over what happens to the bullet that killed Uncle Louie. The district attorney handles that and not the family. As a result of that move of the body many things happened. In all fairness, Dr. Humes is here and will speak later. Some people assume authority and upon others authority is thrust as happened to Dr. Humes. He was later to become president of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists. A well experienced hospital pathologist in the scheme of things, he had not been exposed to many gunshot wounds and had not performed autopsies in deaths due to shooting previously: neither had the other autopsy pathologists present. So they were required to do an autopsy that by experience and by the way our society is structured in the United States, is reserved for forensic pathologists and coroner's pathologists. As a result of that, certain things didn't happen. The kinds of documentation, pictures, measurements, that the forensic pathologist does automatically and that a hospital pathologist had no need to do. Further, the forensic pathologist knows that he must speak to any physician who treated or touched the body of the decedent prior to the pronouncing of death before the autopsy is done, just to determine what the doctors did to the body--in this instance to learn that a tracheostomy had been made through a bullet hole. From our vantage point it appears to be a rule among clinicians, those people who deal with live patients, that if there is a perforation in the body, a tube will be stuck into it, the doctors will enlarge it, or they may incorporate it into a surgical incision. This goes for bullet wounds and stab wounds. This is what we deal with every day as medical examiners in our different jurisdictions. This is not what Dr. Humes and his colleagues deal with or are exposed to at Bethesda Hospital. That created a problem. We forensic pathologists insist on seeing clothing as part of the homicide examination, we must see the clothing because we know from experience that the clothing tells us a great deal about bullet holes, about injuries, that may be obscured in the body. It tells if a bullet struck the clothing but missed the body, for example, which may be important. It gives information as to distance, as to whether the bullet is wobbling, et cetera. The clothing was not examined. The autopsy itself is conducted differently by a hospital pathologist than by a forensic pathologist. The former is not trained to reconstruct the skull, to put the bones together, preserve evidence appropriate for subsequent medical or legal proceedings, et cetera. I think the preservation of evidence, the finding of all those little bits of pieces of metal fragments Mr. Preyer referred to, are more important to us as forensic pathologists than to the regular pathologist or surgeon because preservation of evidence is not necessarily relevant to treatment. The question of how extensive an autopsy should be done becomes an issue. Should a complete autopsy be done? In a homicide, yes, because of medical and legal questions that may be anticipated to arise. The state of the various organs may prove important. Heart diseases, brain tumors, and other natural diseases may not have caused death but may relate to other questions that come up as to how a person acted prior to death. Chemical analysis may also be an important part of the post morten examination.
Mr. DEVINE - Dr. Baden, I presume that you, as the spokesman for your panel, are convinced that your findings are accurate and that any deviation from the original autopsy that was conducted under very highly charged emotional stress, the fact that the first group of physicians were involved with trying to attempt to save the President's life, rather than determine entrance and exits of wounds, and so forth, and you are persuaded today as you testify here that your findings, the findings of your panel, are accurate and the previous findings that were different are in error?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, sir. However, as to certain of these differences, in particular, the placement of the entrance wound in the back of the head and of the exit perforation in the neck, after further recent discussions with the original surgeons, Dr. Perry, Dr. Carrico, Dr. Shires, we find that we are not now in disagreement. There are some persistent disagreements between the panel and the autopsy doctors in Bethesda particular as to the location of the entry head wound. I wish to point out and emphasize that the doctors performed the autopsy in Bethesda in a military situation, with a lot of superior officers who were not forensic pathologists present; this creates a pressure, I think, that we are more able to control in the civilian setting where the medical examiner can ask the chief of police or the mayor's representatives or the chief Rabbi to please leave the autopsy room if we deem this appropriate so that the autopsy can be done under our terms. We can do that in civilian life. It is difficult to do that in a military setting, and that situation itself generates procedures and a tentativeness that may produce disagreements later.
Mr. DEVINE - I think this atmosphere should be pointed out for the record and I appreciate your comments. Thank you, sir.
Chairman STOKES - Time of the gentleman has expired. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from the District of Columbia, Mr. Fauntroy.
Mr. FAUNTROY - Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Dr. Baden, I would like to return to the skull injury. You viewed with us yesterday the Zapruder film which we and the American people saw several times. You are aware that because of the direction in which the President's body moved, namely, backwards and to the left, it appeared that the bullet had come from the front. Of course, your finding substantiates that of the Commission that two shots came from the rear. Today you mentioned the presence of beveling in the President's skull. I wonder if you would explain, using a diagram, what causes beveling and how it can be interpreted to learn whether a wound is an entry wound or an exit wound?
Dr. BADEN - Yes; I think Miss Hess is putting up a diagram that we have not used. May I address that please? Thank you. Because of pressure of time this morning we didn't include all of the materials that might have clarified some issues you are raising, sir. This diagram is to illustrate the beveling concept that I referred to this morning, which was of great importance to us in working out the direction of the bullet wounds in the head and in interpreting the bullet wounds. A bullet entering a bone, like a BB or bullet entering a thick plate glass window, will create lines of force and fractures in the bone or the glass, radiating outward from the point of entrance; a bevel or a concavity will occur in the bone or glass consequent to these fracture lines in the direction in which the missile is going. Thus, a bullet entering the skull will cause beveling on the inside of the bone. The skull bone consists of an outer plate and inner plate. Coming in from the outside, the bullet will cause a small round sharp edged hole of the outer table and a concavity or beveling of the inner table, a circumferential defect. Going out, the bullet will cause beveling on the outside of the bone. This is of great assistance to the forensic pathologist in determining which way the bullet is going. Clearly the perforation in the right front side of the head near the suture line, where the two bones joined, as I referred to earlier, had this type of outer bone beveling, which did match up with the separately received triangular bone fragment, indicating that it was the site of an exit perforation. Do you have that blowup of the X-ray showing the three bone fragments? Thank you. That same beveling was present on one of the fragments of bone found in the car. This fragment of bone found in the car, in the limousine, and brought up to Dr. Humes and his collegues while they were doing the autopsy, proved to be of value in that one showed a margin of beveling on the outer surface, which permitted the doctors at that time to state there was a bullet wound of exit in the right front head region. It shows some pieces of metal deposited in the area of the beveling. The autopsy doctors also describe in their protocol the entrance wound in the back of the head with beveling of the inner table and an exit wound in the front with beveling of the outer table. This is consistent with what we could see on the negatives and on the photographs of both wounds, and permits us to give the direction of the track.
Mr. FAUNTROY - Thank you. Mr. Chairman, I know my 5 minutes are up and I may have other questions later, but for the record, may we have these two illustrations entered at this point?
Dr. BADEN - This one was entered earlier. This one was not.
Mr. FAUNTROY - Let's have this.
Chairman STOKES - Without objection, the other exhibit may be entered in the record at this point.
Mr. FAUNTROY - What is the number?
Dr. BADEN - It is F-61.
Mr. FAUNTROY - Thank you, Mr. Chairman. [The above referred to JFK EXHIBIT F-61 follows:]
JFK EXHIBIT F-61
Chairman STOKES - Time of the gentleman has expired. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Connecticut, Mr. Dodd.
Mr. DODD - Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Dr. Baden, I just have two questions I would like to address to you, if I could. In your response to questions from Mr. Klein early on in your testimony, in talking about the wound in the President's back, you said that an entry wound and an exit wound do not cause the same kind of perforation, except under certain special circumstances, or in special cases. I wonder if you might describe what you mean by special cases, was this a special case, if so, why, if not, why not?
Dr. BADEN - The description of the perforation in the front of the neck, from the original autopsy doctors, and from the persons who had best visualization of it, the surgeons who did the tracheostomy, Dr. Perry, Dr. Carrico in Parkland, essentially only describes it as a small perforation, I think 6 or 7 millimeters at most in diameter. An exit bullet hole can have an abrasion collar, of it is shored. A shored exit wound can have an abrasion collar, if it were firmly in place, or if the skin is against the wall or a hard surface at the time the bullet exits the body, because as the bullet goes out it rubs the skin against the object on the outside such as heavy clothing or a hard surface. We don't know if this exit perforation had an abrasion collar because it was not that clearly looked at. The doctors were expending all of their efforts to try to save his life. We do not know the perforation was small. The exit perforation is made smaller by clothing tight around the skin. By chance the bullet exited through the windpipe right at the point where the collar is buttoned against the neck, as seen on the clothing exhibit; this amount of pressure against the skin can prevent an exit hole from being bigger than it might otherwise be. So, although an exit perforation may be small without any clothing or constraint about it, the tighter the constraint the smaller it will be, even to the possibility of arriving at an abrasion collar that looks like an entrance wound. But with all of the other evidence at hand, and after interviewing all of the surgeons, and all of the doctors who saw the President, I think there is unanimous agreement presently among the physicians and scientists who have been involved, that the perforation of the neck indeed was an exit perforation. There was some misunderstanding of this initially, but that has been worked out and our panel is unanimously in agreement that the neck wound is an exit wound.
Mr. DODD - Are you satisified that the clothing, the tie and the collar, the tears or rips in them, were caused in fact by the bullet exiting or were these like the other, the jacket and so forth, possibly cut away or ripped away by the surgeons operating in Dallas? Do you have any information which could specifically clear up that controversy?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, sir. We could find no evidence that the tie or shirt collar was torn or cut during removal. The perforation itself, although it might look like a cut to the casual observer, is typical of the slit-like irregularity produced by an exiting bullet. A bullet will destroy some of the clothing on entrance and produce a roundish type hole the edges of which cannot be approximated because there is a little bit of fabric missing. In an exit perforation of this nature, not only is there a jagged slit-like, but not sharp, tear of the fabric, but in addition there is no loss of clothing fabric, so the edges can be approximated as in this instance. The tear in the tie and shirt collar directly overly the neck perforation the doctors saw at the Parkland Hospital. There is no other hole in the fabric. We can conclude beyond a reasonable degree of medical certainty that the slit-like hole in the shirt and the nick in the tie were caused by whatever came out of the neck and not by a knife. A knife would cause a sharper tear than present here.
Mr. DODD - As I understand your testimony, you acknowledge that you had viewed this Zapruder film, on at least one occasion, if not more?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, the panel had many occasions to view the Zapruder film in slow motion and by individual frames. We were very concerned about seeing the film to better interpret the autopsy findings.
Mr. DODD - When I ask you this, I recognize you are not a ballistics expert and you are not testifying as to the ballistic evidence, but as a matter of medical evidence, in light of the fact that you have viewed the Zapruder film, can you state it as a medical certainty, that there were no shots fired from the grassy knoll which could have struck either Governor Connally or President Kennedy?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, sir. If I can take into account the autopsy findings, as well as the Zapruder film.
Mr. DODD - That is what I am asking.
Dr. BADEN - I can state for the majority of the panel, and Dr. Wecht will have his own opinions that he will explain to you, that there is no evidence beyond a reasonable degree of medical certainty, for any bullet to have struck the President from the front or the side. That the only bullets that struck the President are two from behind. We studied the Zapruder film relative to the motion of the head. Suffice it to say, in all our experiences, among the more than 100,000 autopsies that the nine of us have had responsibility for, none of us have ever seen somebody shot in person or on camera to permit study of head motion. That is unique. The uniqueness is certainly undercut by the fact that it then happened on television 2 days later with Mr. Ruby. Apart from those two instances, and an occasional wartime film clip, it is unique to see a person's reaction to a gunshot wound. We cannot say with all of our experiences with gundshot wounds, what movement a head should have when struck, a live head, a live breathing head with blood going through, with the skin alive and the bones alive. How such a real head would react to a gunshot wound is beyond the limits of scientific study and recorded in the annals of medical literature, nor in the experience of the panel members. We cannot say with any degree of medical certainty precisely how we would expect the President's head to move when shot.
Chairman STOKES - Time of the gentleman has expired.
Mr. DODD - Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman STOKES - The gentleman from Connecticut, Mr. McKinney.
Mr. McKINNEY - Doctor, it seems to me that we have an underlying problem. One of the reasons used as a conclusion of one bullet theory and these two men being shot was that no other bullet was found. But, we also have not found the bullet that struck the President's head. But it seems to me that there has always been this one basic problem, could the bullet have done the damage? You have explained that pretty well. But I think one area where we have question is, is there no way that the panel could have found out more to indicate whether or not the President's spinal column was hit by the bullet going through the throat? In essence if it had been hit, then it would be pretty difficult for that bullet to have proceeded ahead, wouldn't it?
Dr. BADEN - It would have had a significant effect certainly if the spine were hit. I would say, to begin with, that the panel members were satisfied that the two fragments of the bullet found in the limousine were consistent with having caused the injury to the President's head. So the head bullet wounds I think are accounted for.
Mr. McKINNEY - How much of that bullet was found?
Dr. BADEN - A great proportion of it, a large proportion of it. That is beyond the pathology panel's work.
Mr. McKINNEY - It is fairly safe to say that bullet was fairly well destroyed by---
Dr. BADEN - Well, it was very much damaged but two major fragments were recovered.
Mr. McKINNEY - And yet here we have another bullet that went through the neck, went through the chest, rubbed up against a rib, shattered a wrist, and went into the thigh, and stayed relatively--
Dr. BADEN - Intact.
Mr. McKINNEY - In one piece.
Dr. BADEN - Going through soft tissues, skin and muscle, does not deform a bullet. It may slow it down but doesn't deform it. It is bone that causes the deformation and skull bone is a very hard bone. The spine bone is also hard. Forensic pathologists who deal with gunshot wounds frequently are very careful to dissect out the tracks of bullets to identify all of the injuries caused by the bullet; even if this would not change the final cause of death, we can anticipate that it will answer questions that might arise later. It is important for us to know, and we don't know, whether the bullet that went from the President's back through the neck, tore any major vessels in the neck. It may have. If so, this wound in and of itself could have been fatal. The question you raise has multiple implications because, if the bullet struck the spine, this would cause some damage to the bullet and it would also probably cause damage to the spinal cord. Such injury has certain implication as to how the President would move his extremities, and as to the possibility of survival. The track wasn't dissected out. We have to speculate from other sources of information. One of the reasons we spent so much attention to the possibility of a metal fragment in the side of the neck earlier, was because if it were a piece of bullet in the side of the neck, it would indicate the bullet struck bone. This would have an effect on the bullet as well as on the body. The majority of the panel members are satisfied that it did not strike bone at that point. The missile did create a cavity. The cavity, the bullet missile cavity, created by the bullet at this speed, causes damage much beyond the missile itself. It can cause damage to the spine, even if the spine is a couple of inches away from the bullet. We can speculate as to what it did strike, but there is no evidence from the X-rays, from the trajectory through the body, that it struck any substantial amount of bone. It might have struck the transverse process of the first thoracic vertebra but we cannot prove this.
Mr. McKINNEY - That can't be proved one way or the other?
Dr. BADEN - That can't be definitely proved. Even if it had struck the transverse process it did not fragment or break up or leave any metal fragments, as a result of it.
Mr. McKINNEY - I have just one last question to clarify for the American people, who have been watching us, we showed them in the Martin Luther King case a bullet that had struck the spinal column and was totally demolished. The projectile was flattened. I thought perhaps we ought to have, though you aren't a ballistics expert, your opinion as to what the difference was between those bullets?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, sir. I think it is an interesting comparison because both gentlemen were struck by high velocity rifle bullets as opposed to hand gun bullets commonly seen in the civilian population. A .30-06 rifle bullet struck Dr. King. However, the bullet injuring Dr. King struck two very hard bones, the mandible or jawbone, and the main portion or body of the vertebra itself, which is very thick. The question we have relative to the President s death was whether the bullet struck the tip of the lateral transverse projection of the spine, which is a thin area of the spine bone. In the death of Martin Luther King, the bullet not only went through the very hard jawbone but it then went through the body, the bulk of the spine, and may have struck more than one of the vertebra; in such an instance the damage to the bullet is very great. There is one other very important factor, the Martin Luther King bullet was a soft-nosed bullet, it was not fully jacketed, and so it would have a much greater tendency to break up. Contrariwise, the bullet that struck the President, a 6.5 mm Mannlicher-Carcano is completely jacketed and it did, in the judgment of the majority of the panel, what the Geneva Convention wanted it to do: it went through the body without breaking apart, and it will do that if it doesn't strike very dense bone.
Chairman STOKES - Time of the gentleman has expired. The gentleman from Indiana, Mr. Fithian.
Mr. FITHIAN - Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Dr. Baden, I want to make sure I understood you correctly, then I have one question about bullet fragments. There is no evidence that the injury. to the President's neck and back wound left any bullet fragment. There was to the head wound. What about the Connally back and chest wounds?
Dr. BADEN - As best as we can determine from interviews with the doctors at Parkland Hospital and in reviewing the X-rays available, the bullet did cause fractures to the fifth rib. There is division within the panel as to whether the bullet struck the rib directly or whether the fractures were caused by the cavity created by the bullet. There is no evidence of any metal fragments left in the chest of Governor Connally by X-ray or on examination of the materials that were removed at the time of the operations.
Mr. FITHIAN - And the thigh wound of the Governor?
Dr. BADEN - There is a tiny pin-head sized object in the thigh wound of the Governor which we did interpret as a metal object, a fragment of metal, very pin head size perhaps.
Mr. FITHIAN - Was it recovered?
Dr. BADEN - That was not recovered.
Mr. FITHIAN - And the wrist?
Dr. BADEN - Do you have the wrist X-ray of Governor Connally? The wrist was explored and operated on, and recovered from the wrist was some cloth fabric which matched the jacket of Connally. Thank you. And the largest of those metal fragments, I think there are three fragments that are visible from this distance, overlay the distal radius near the wrist--the largest of those three fragments was removed by the surgeons in the course of their operation and preserved, kept at the Archives and made available to the committee many years later.
Mr. FITHIAN - The other fragments were not removed?
Dr. BADEN - The other fragments were not removed and are still present as demonstrated on subsequent X-rays available to the committee when the Governor's arm was healing.
Mr. FITHIAN - And is there no way that you could estimate the weight of that bullet fragment which remained in the Governor's wrist?
Dr. BADEN - The panel members felt that we could not, to any reasonable degree of scientific certainty, estimate precisely how much of the bullet mass was represented by these fragments. However, it was the opinion of the majority of the panel that the amount of metal fragments in the President and the Governor was quite small, and taking everything into consideration, was entirely consistent with coming from bullet CE-399.
Mr. FITHIAN - One final question, Mr. Chairman. The statement that you made of the drawing that you used of the President's brain clarified a lot as to which side was damaged and that the cerebellum was not damaged. There has been some controversy about foreign material showing up in the photos of the brain. Did you look into that and, if so, what were your conclusions?
Dr. BADEN - Yes; we did. In fact, we were very concerned about the brain because of the lack of full and thorough examination of the brain at the time of autopsy. Some experts who had previously looked at the photographs of the brain, from which this diagram was made, did note a dark object within the bullet track. This diagram was not made for the purpose of illustrating that object. But on all of the photographs of the top of the brain and in the transparencies and the negatives, approximately in this area where I am pointing, in the front right side of the brain, there is an oblong area of blue discoloration. It was the opinion of the panel, after giving a great deal of consideration to this area on the photographs, and after discussing the X-rays with radiologists--the X-rays of the head were taken prior to removal of the brain--that without question it is not a metal object. It is the opinion of the panel, further, after studying the photographs of the undersurface of the brain, that that area of discoloration is most probably caused by blood vessels on the undersurface of the brain that have been exposed because of the damage to the top of the brain. We feel it is not foreign material and that it is most probably blood vessels and thin membrane that have been sheered away by the bullet damage. There is, incidentally, in the actual photograph what appears to be small toothpick-like objects, used to illustrate certain points and placed there by the doctors taking the pictures; that is not at issue. That is foreign material added for purposes of picture taking.
Chairman STOKES - Time of the gentlemen has expired. The gentleman from Pennsylvania,
Mr. EDGAR -
Mr. EDGAR - Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have just one question with three exhibits that I would like to have put up JFK EXHIBIT F-66, JFK EXHIBIT F-20, and JFK EXHIBIT F-46. Could those three exhibits be put up? This question may be one, Dr. Baden, that we have gone over perhaps too many times, but I think it would be helpful for a person like myself who is not familiar with damage of gunshot wounds. I would like to draw your attention to the three exhibits and ask a question. Is it your testimony that it is not unusual that a similar bullet shot from the same rifle traveling at the same speed, when it hits the objects, could in the one instance of the skull fracture, entering the back right side and blowing out a good portion of the upper part of the brain, not cause the same kind of explosive activity as it enters the back and goes through the throat, regardless of whether it hits any other objects, or any other people? Is your experience that the same kind of bullet fired from the same kind of weapon could cause those two different results on exit?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, sir. As I have said, even with machinegun bullets rapidly fired, many different injury patterns will result in great measure dependent upon how the bullets strike. This bullet struck in a partially tangential manner against the skull bone. After striking the bone and yawing and tumbling and turning and exiting the missile produced an explosive effect causing skull bone and brain to burst outward, as seen in the Zapruder film. That is the transfer of energy can be different relative to the closed cranial cavity and the brain than when it goes through nonenclosed soft tissue. A bullet striking skin over bone produces different effects on the skin than a bullet striking skin that does not overlay bone. Every difference is reflected in the tissue injury produced. It is of interest, and it is the firm opinion of the panel, that when the bullet exited Governor Connally's chest beneath the nipple, it produced a 2-inch diameter (5 centimeter diameter) round ragged hole while the same bullet only produced a small, narrow hole in exiting the neck of the President. The extent of injury produced depends on what the bullet strikes, how fast it is traveling, to what extent the bullet is yawing, whether it strikes bone or not. Taking all these things into consideration, it was the view of the panel that it was entirely consistent for the same type of bullet to cause this explosive injury to the skull and brain and a relatively little in the way of injury to a soft tissue when it struck the back and exited the neck.
Mr. EDGAR - Thank you, I have no further questions, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman STOKES - The time of the gentleman has expired. The gentleman from Michigan, Mr. Sawyer.
Mr. SAWYER - Doctor, I heard you mention, and I am sure you have, that you watched the Zapruder film a number of times.
Dr. BADEN - Yes, sir.
Mr. SAWYER - I have seen it a couple of times myself. And did you observe the pause, the very definite delay in reaction between when the President was lifting his hands to his throat before there was any observable reaction in the film on the part of Governor Connally?
Dr. BADEN - Yes, sir.
Mr. SAWYER - And you apparently discount that as being anything?
Dr. BADEN - It isn't, sir, that we discounted it. We did incorporate those observations, with all the other many observations, into a final conclusion. I have the greatest respect for Mr. Groden and the work he has done, and the work the other photographers have done, to permit fuller appreciation of the Zapruder film and other films. The problem that we, as physicians, have is there is no way to compare how people react to fatal gunshot injury. There often is delay time between an injury and a person manifesting the effects of such injury, very much like touching a hot pot on a stove. Some people react immediately and other people don't realize for a second or so that they have been injured. A second is approximate- ly 16 frames of the Zapruder film. The type of injury that may damage the spinal cord area perhaps by shock waves if not by direct impact by the bullets might produce a certain automatic rapid reflex action while a bullet striking the chest may not produce an immediate reaction.
Mr. SAWYER - Do you observe, too, in that film though, while the President was visibly reacting and the Governor was at least not, to my ability to observe, showing any reaction as yet, he was still holding in his right hand his hat and that wrist was supposedly shattered by that bullet. Does that disturb you at all?
Dr. BADEN - I think disturb is probably an accurate phrase. Yes; it causes me concern. However, the problem is clearly---
Mr. SAWYER - Aside from concern, how can a man be still holding the hat when his wrist is shattered?
Dr. BADEN - Although it appears incongruent clearly we of the panel have all had experience in which persons have been seriously injured and have not known they were injured for a few minutes. In evaluating all of the evidence, there is no question that Governor Connally did, in fact, hold his hat after he was shot, and after the bullet passed through his wrist--this would be the case even if one did not accept the "single bullet theory." He did hold that hat after the wrist was injured and he didn't know the wrist was injured.
Mr. SAWYER - The wrist should have known it, you would think.
Dr. BADEN - The wrist knew. The bone was broken. The greatest effect would have been on the nerves going to the muscles. If a nerve is injured this would produce a quicker response than if a nerve weren't injured. That is why, if the bullet injured the President's spinal nerves in the neck area, which is rich with nerves, a reflex, rapid reaction might ensue whereas, if the bullet goes through an arm there may be little visible response. We have had experience with many decedents who were unaware that they had been stabbed, shot who may run around and who were shot and then ran around the block before collapsing and dying. And I think whatever way Governor Connally was struck, he did, in fact, hold onto his hat. He did, in fact, not know that his wrist was injured after he was shot and it is not in our experience, investigation, unusual although it doesn't sound right but, in fact, people may be significantly injured and may have broken bones and may continue walking, continue holding a hat and not know it.
Mr. SAWYER - And now, when you combine that with what I thought was a very persuasive and impressive testimony of both Governor Connally and Mrs. Connally, adding that to it, you still feel that does not militate against your single bullet theory?
Dr. BADEN - The experience of all of us in forensic pathology and of many in criminal justice, is that, unfortunately, as much as I am impressed with Governor Connally's testimony and his ability to recall and his ability to survive what happened to him, as a forensic pathologist, I have learned not to rely on eyewitnesses or on persons who were present or who were injured in the course of a homicide, particularly when this comes into conflict with autopsy findings. The panel did incorporate into our discussions Governor Connally's very persuasive testimony to the Warren Commission and otherwise, and Mrs. Connally's rememberance of what happened. Taking all of this into account, it is still strongly our opinion that one bullet and only one bullet went through Governor Connally. It is our opinion that one bullet and only one bullet went through the back of the neck of President Kennedy, clearly from all the evidence. Taking all factors into consideration, it is also our opinion that it is the same bullet that went through the President and the Governor because there is no other evidence for another bullet in part. I think that Governor Connally's testimony is certainly important, but it would not be the first time that a person receiving an injury misperceives what happened at that precise instant.
Mr. SAWYER - Is it then a fair statement to say, or is it unfair to say, that you are basing your affirmative conclusion on the absence of evidence to the contrary; is that right?
Dr. BADEN - That is so in part; part of the affirmative conclusion, part of the single bullet concept incorporates all the consistencies; all the evidence is certainly consistent with a single bullet, but this conclusion becomes more persuasive because of absence of any reasonable alternative of any scientific merit apart from specuation. It is possible, it is within the realm of possibility to me but very unlikely, that a second bullet could have done damage lined up just as the first bullet. There is no evidence for it, and we are persuaded beyond a reasonable medical certainty against this speculation.
Mr. SAWYER - Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman STOKES - The time of the gentleman is expired. Dr. Baden, at the conclusion of any witness testimony before this committee, under the rules of this committee, that witness is entitled to 5 minutes in which to explain or to expand upon or amplify any portion of his testimony, and I would, at this time, extend to you 5 minutes if you so desire.
Dr. BADEN - Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Knowing the time constraints of the committee, I will not take the 5 minutes. But I would just like to comment that there are nine members of this panel who have contributed a great deal of time and effort, in addition to their normal duties in the nine jurisdictions from whence they arise, who spent this time because they feel that forsenic pathology provides a unique expertise to assist investigation of violent and unnatural death. I would also like to place on the record that, although I may be spokesperson at this point for the majority of the panel, that much more work was done by many other panel members than myself in many areas; and that each each of the panel members, even though we may not all agree on every point, have put in much personal time and have come, each of us, independently and collectively to the conclusions I have outlined to the best of our individual abilities. Thank you very much.
Chairman STOKES - Thank you. I might say on behalf of the committee we are indeed grateful to you, and all the members of the panel, for the outstanding job that you have done on behalf of this committee. At the appropriate time, we will make the proper acknowledgments of all the members of that panel. Thank you very much. You are excused.