Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Missing Brain Solved

Actually, very few things in the Kennedy assassination are ever fully solved, but the tale I’m about to relate is as close as it gets to having some resolution to the controversy of John Kennedy’s missing, autopsied brain.

The brain is probably the most important piece of evidence in the investigation. From it, the path of the bullet that struck Kenney’s head (whose exact impact location has been highly debated over the years) can be determined as it traces the damage path. Since its disappearance over 40 years ago, the missing brain has the appearance of a dastardly, grand cabal at work. However, it’s easily explained, though the explanation points to other mysteries and acts of cunning on behalf of the Kennedy family.

After the president’s autopsy, all of the materials such as x-rays, photographs, and tissue samples, including the 8"x7” steel canister containing the brain, were placed in a footlocker for safekeeping. It was transferred to the Secret Service office in the White House where it stayed there till Robert Kennedy, by now a senator, ordered White House physician Dr. Burkley to transfer it over to the president’s secretary Evelyn Lincoln, on April 22, 1965. At the time, Mrs. Lincoln was provided with a temporary office in the National Archives for the purpose of processing presidential documents over to the archives. A month later Robert Kennedy informs Mrs. Lincoln that he is sending two of his people over to retrieve the footlocker. It stays in the Kennedy family’s possession until Johnson’s Justice Department informs them they want the materials back at the National Archives. It is returned on October 29, 1966 as a “deed gift” from the Kennedy family estate with restrictions. (What cheek! Returning government property they commandeered as a “gift.”) Restrictions included that none of the materials were allowed to be put on display and only approved scholars could examine the items. At Justice, they are mainly concerned with X-rays and photographs and not the tissue samples. So that is what they ended up with and the Kennedy family got the tissue samples and the container with the brain in it. (Hidden negotiations going on here?)

So there you have it. The Kennedy family absconds with the brain. It is either entrusted within their estate, or destroyed, or buried with John Kennedy’s body when it was reentered. We’ll never know for sure.

But there is more to the story. When autopsy photographer John Springer was giving his testimony to the Assassination Records and Review Board (ARRB) in the mid-90’s he got a change to review his photographs in the National Archive. Not only did he discover that photographs he shot were missing, there were other photographs that he did not take. For example, there is a photograph of the bottom of the brain; Springer says he only shot the top. More importantly, when he examined the negatives, they were of a brand of film that he did not use. He shot Kodak portrait pan film, with unnumbered frames. The film in the Archive is branded as Ansco and the frames are all numbered! He also concluded the same for his Kodak Ektachrome color positive transparencies (i.e., slides) were not Kodak film either and speculated it was Ansco film as well. In other words, Springer was not looking at his original negatives and transparencies—he was looking at duplicates.

Where then are the originals? I think they are locked away somewhere in the Kennedy family safe!

What about the x-rays in the National Archive that the Kennedy’s supposedly returned? Dr. David Mantik, M.D. and Ph.D., has a freely downloadable essay entitled, “The JFK Autopsy Materials: Twenty Conclusions After Nine Visits.” He documents his nine visits the Archive to examine the autopsy X-rays and some of the film and other evidence. He concluded that (1) the three remaining skull X-rays were duplicates and open to the possibility of forgery; and (2) that several of the authenticity of several of the autopsy photographs were doubtful as well.

Apparently, the Kennedy family got away with more than the brain and tissue samples. They got the originals of the black and white negatives, color transparencies, and select X-rays as well. This further explains after Robert Kennedy’s death, when Mrs. Lincoln sent her security concerns about the remaining materials in the Archives to the Kennedy family, Ted Kennedy responded via an aide that, “Everything is under control.” Of course it is—they have all the originals locked away in the family vault.

What amazing audacity these people have. But, after all, they are Kennedy’s and this is what they get away with.