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by Walt Brown
with Randy Robertson MD
Randy Robertson MD, a radiologist based inTennessee, put the issue of the number of bullets, angles, and shooters in the JFK case in national headlines again when he gave a lecture on the case prior to the thirty-second anniversary on November 22, 1995. His materials were picked up in a local paper, and from there, it made the AP wire service. Thereafter, of course, it fell off the planet in spite of theserious yet cautious scholarship on which it is based.
Interestingly, but not surprisingly, the talk which generated the headlines was all but identical to thepresentation given at COPA 1995, which, thanks to theindifference of the national media to such things asconspiracies involving the deaths of presidents, received scant notice.
Dr. Robertson's numerous theses, while well grounded in medical research on a plane few are able to equal, will no doubt find detractors within the critical community. His findings, which he shared with me on the telephone in early December "put us into a new framework. Now it's not maybe conspiracy, maybe no conspiracy. Now it's definitely conspiracy and what is needed to complete the answers and fill in the remainder of the puzzle is the who. This scientifically proves there was a shooter in the front and one in the rear."
Dr. Robertson makes his statements with a great deal of conviction.
As noted earlier, a great many of his findings were stated at the medical panel at COPA '95, and a complete abstract is available through COPA, as is the videotape of his presentation. It is highly recommended.
Among his findings: the x-rays and supportive testimony suggest that the bullet that entered the President's back exited from the front of his neck; (Dr. Robertson, however, goes no further with the "magic bullet.") he argues that the autopsy pathologists at Bethesda "falsely claimed ignorance of the presence of the throat wound during the course of the autopsy" (COPA abstract); he also adds that some dissection was done to the neck area although the autopsists testified that such was not the case; he argues that the Clark Panel indeed found a bullet wound in the top of the head, but it was not the bullet wound found low in the back of the head at autopsy, and therefore a second head wound. Robertson goes on to say that the autopsists were quite aware of the presence of both head wounds on the night of the autopsy, but to testify to both would have changed the course of history.
Robertson insists that the materials we have seen are authentic: the x-rays (citing recent restudy by Dr. David Mantik, seen by some as preeminent in his field), the photos, and the films of the assassination. What Robertson sees as confusing is the interpretation of what is presented in those materials.
The "Harper fragment," he insists, cannot be occipital bone, because the occipital bone is present in the x-rays. Robertson believes it to be from the anterior aspect of the right parietal bone. Addressing the bone fragments, Robertson notes that in Z313, two fragments fly forward, suggesting energy from behind as the causation. An additional fragment goes down and forward in Z314. Yet an additional fragment clearly went backward, as shown in both the Zapruder and Nix films, and was retrieved from the trunk of the limousine by Mrs. Kennedy. This, according to Robertson, is from a near-simultaneous second, tangential shot, that entered on the right side of the head, left the trail of metal seen in the x-rays, and pushed back a cap of skull and removed a fragment. This fragment is referred to as the "late arriving fragment," which, according to Boswell, Kellerman, Ebersole, and Sibert and O'Neill, fit into the rear of the head.
The confusion, according to Robertson, arises when one views the rear of the head photos, which show the rear of the head to be intact. That is so because the fragment came from the top of the rear of the head (as the line of dust-like particles would indicate), and although the scalp tore, it remained intact, and is being pulled forward as those photos are taken. The top of the head photos, Robertson insists, provide a far better perspective of the damage to the scalp.
The cerebellum was intact. There was no reason for the autopsists to lie about that when they said the entrance wound was very near that structure. (Ed. Note: There is still a strong sense of cerebellar damage in the testimony of the Parkland doctors.)
Robertson also notes that the 6.5mm bullet fragment in the back of the head, only learned of publicly years later, was known about on the night of the autopsy, and that the autopsists realized, given a low head entry, that such a fragment at the top of the head would have to have come from a second bullet.
Robertson buttresses this claim with references to Admiral Burkley, the President's physician, who refused to give agreement or disagreement to the number of shots that hit the president when he gave his oral history interview for the "Kennedy Library." Robertson also notes that there are no metal fragments near the site of the HSCA entry, although we have been asked by the government to believe that the existing line of dust-like fragments is in a direct line from Humes' stated "low-rear" head entry to the right-front exit. Robertson says it just isn't so: the line is from a front entry towards a rear exit.
Author's notes: I took an intense interest in this event as soon as my phone started ringing off the hook when the AP carried the news. I had seen Dr. Robertson's presentation at COPA '94, and had cited him in my discussion of what the x-rays seemed to show me when they were published recently in Treachery in Dallas. I telephoned Randy Robertson both to congratulate him on his work and for the ability to get it into the papers. In addition to materials cited above, he told me that the entrance wound in the rear is just where Humes, et al, said it was, and that Dale Myers' 3-D study was additional proof that it could not have been where the HSCA put it.
Dr. Robertson is to be congratulated for staying with the study he first presented at the Chicago conference in April of 1993. There have been bumps in the road, to be sure, but his research is paying off. If any readers have questions for Randy Robertson, please place them on an index card and forward them to the JFK/ DPQ. We will forward them to him and publish both the questions and answers in a subsequent issue.
Used by permission of the authors. All rights reserved. JFK/DPQ PO Box 174 Hillsdale, NJ 07642
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