Electronic Assassinations Newsletter
Mr. CONYERS. Thank you, Dr. Robertson, for your cooperation.
I have got a couple of problems here. One, the House Assassination Committee chaired by my colleague, Mr. Stokes, went into the question of this theory of which direction of the bullet pretty exhaustively, and came to different conclusions. Are you aware of those hearings and the testimony that came out of that?
Dr. ROBERTSON. Oh, I am very familiar with them, yes I have read them extensively.
Mr. CONYERS. You don't agree with it?
Dr. ROBERTSON. No, I do not, because of the mere fact there is a fracture located in the skull near the area where the autopsy doctors said a bullet entered. Analysis of the fracture lines confirms their assessment of where the bullet entered.
Mr. CONYERS. Who are the eye witnesses?
Dr. ROBERTSON. Roy Kellerman, Secret Service agent, FBI agent Francis X. O'Neil. If you want to include the autopsy pathologists themselves, as well as Dr. George Burkley, the President's first personal physician who verified the location of the wounds, you can include them as well.
Mr. CONYERS. So what is the total number of very credible eye witnesses?
Dr. ROBERTSON. At least six, seven, and in many instances, in the HSCA interviews, which were not available, I believe, by the way, to the members of the medical review panel, in many instances these - the eyewitnesses who were present in that autopsy were not asked the specific question of where they saw the location of wound of entry in the back of the head. So there may be more who have just not been asked that question.
Mr. POSNER. Mr. Chairman, I know we are very short on time. I was just wondering if I could make two very quick statements and maybe ask Mr. Robertson a question.
This is the first time I have heard this information. I think he implies by what he just said to you that he had interviewed the autopsy doctors, Mr. Kellerman who is dead, Mr. O'Neil, and others. Have you interviewed them?
Dr. ROBERTSON. No, I haven't.
Mr. POSNER. I have interviewed them.
Dr. ROBERTSON. Roy Kellerman stated this. I have the sworn commission testimony.
Mr. POSNER. I have interviewed the autopsy doctors. I have interviewed Mr. O'Neil. What is left here on the record today should not be allowed because it is not correct, which is the implication that the autopsy doctors agree with their original drawings in 1963, which were made without the benefit of the X-rays and the photographs, that they had had done at the autopsy.
To the credit of the House Select Committee on Assassinations and Congressman Stokes, that committee did a superb job on the forensics of this case. It was the work of that committee that had the two autopsy physicians change their mind, that they had been mistaken about the placement of the wound here, and that it is in
fact correctly placed 4 inches higher. I have spoken to them about this and they have confirmed their change of testimony that they gave before the House Select Committee on Assassinations.
My last question for Mr. Robertson would be, he is the first board certified radiologist, I understand, to have looked at this. There is a peer review journal that is published call Radiology.
Have you submitted that to Radiology?
Dr. ROBERTSON. I thought you weren't aware of this material?
Mr. POSNER. I never heard it until now. There is a radiology - I am asking you, have you submitted it, and if so, will it be published?
Dr. ROBERTSON. There are several radiology journals, one of which I have submitted to, yes. And I could present letters where objections were raised to my theory.
However, I have recently received a letter, communication from a physician from Europe who informally peer reviewed my material. The objection which the peer reviewer for Radiology raised, as far as a fracture pattern which may simulate the one which is present on President Kennedy's autopsy X-rays, it has only been reported, throughout the medical literature, in the world medical literature, secondary to revolver wounds, and not those due to high-velocity rifles.
Mr. LESAR. I would like to request of Mr. Posner if he would be willing to donate his notes and if he has any tapes on his interviews with these doctors to the National Archives, to donate copies of them, so we can all have access to the original materials on which he is basing his remarks.
Dr. ROBERTSON. And the original materials that I based my stuff on are the interviews with the forensic pathology panel.
Also, Dr. Pierre Finck, whose testimony was just recently released by this law, stated unequivocally to members of the medical review panel - on its second day after his original testimony, he brought them all back in and stated without doubt that what this hole - what he saw, there was one hole in the scalp. That it was located over the hole of entry and that hole was located low in the back of the head near the hairline as seen on the autopsy photographs.
I would also like to add that when they inventoried these autopsy review materials to be transferred to the National Archives, on the photograph of the back of the head, as it was inventoried, they stated that the entry wound was low, as seen, low in the back in the head.
Mr. POSNER. I would be happy, Mr. Chairman, to ask Drs. Humes and Boswell if they would agree for their notes to be released to the National Archives.
I would like to answer for Dr. Robertson, who seemed not to give you a direct answer. It is my understanding that the leading peer review journal, Radiology, has rejected his article that he has presented here. The peer review from other radiologists, for whatever reason, suggests they do not deem it worthy of publication.
Dr. ROBERTSON. I would like to comment on that. In the area of medicine usuallly peer reviews are carried out by unbiased peer reviewers, besides the one fellow whose explanation without even - he didn't even attempt to explain the discrepancy in the scalp de-
fect. As far as the fracture pattern goes, his was only related to revolver wounds.
The second peer reviewer was a radiologist who had already reviewed this material in his capacity for an investigative body of the government.
Mr. CONYERS. Dr. Robertson, you are in a distinctly lonely minority in your theory. You are aware of that, aren't you?
Dr. ROBERTSON. Yes. I believe I am going to put forward this theory, I welcome an unbiased peer review of this material, and I also know that final truth concerning the location of the wound in the back of the President's head is lying in a cemetary in Arlington with an eternal flame flickering over it right now.
Mr. CONYERS. I am glad you know that. I am sorry that you aren't able to prove it more effectively. You are entitled to your views, however. And it is in that spirit that we allowed you to come before this committee in the first place, because one of the great services this committee can perform is to air these views that continue to exist about the entry and location of the bullet.
But I must say that the letter that we have from the editor of Radiology, dated November 12, 1993, states that your manuscript on this subject was rejected for lack of compelling evidence to justify your thesis. And when we add the numerous testimony from other medical authorities and the excellent work in this area compiled by the House Assassinations Committee and many others, your assertions are very short of any compelling evidence to support them, from my point of view.
Dr. ROBERTSON. I will attempt to get this published in the peer review literature somewhere in the world, and we will see how it goes from there.
Mr. CONYERS. Well, you could leave a copy of whatever it is you are trying to get published in your medical journals with this committee for our examination. Are you willing to do that?
Dr. ROBERTSON. I would be very willing to do that, yes because - and unfortunately I have not completed my most recent draft because as a result of my being allowed into the National Archives to see the original autopsy material and subsequent to the revelations of the eye witness testimony to those present the night of the autopsy, I can incorporate many new elements which would bolster my theory.
Mr. CONYERS. Thank you very much. Well, in the coming year, we will be looking forward to that manuscript. We thank you for your offer to submit that to the committee.
Dr. ROBERTSON. Thank you for allowing me to testify today.
Mr. CONYERS. You are welcome.
We now turn to Major Newman, who has been before the committee before.
We welcome you as our final witness.