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March 24, 1993

Additional Data on the Shooting of President Kennedy

Author Affiliations

From the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY. Dr Lattimer was the first nongovernment investigator permitted to study the restricted Kennedy autopsy materials. He did ballistic research for the US Army in World War II and was a doctor at the Nuremberg trials.

JAMA. 1993;269(12):1544-1547. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03500120082031

The journal has performed a great service in persuading Humes, Boswell, and Finck to answer extended queries about the details of the autopsy of President Kennedy.1,2 They replied directly to many of the questions raised by the critics of the Warren Commission report, an excellent move toward "full disclosure." However, we must remember that Humes, Boswell, and Finck wrote their autopsy report without seeing the color photographs or studying in detail the roentgenograms of the body that were taken at the autopsy. The photographs had been confiscated by the Attorney General (the President's brother) without being developed, and they were then turned over to the National Archives (from which they have never been released). The basis for this confiscation was the family's desire that the photographs of the President's exploded head not appear in every bookstore window, as they would have had

See also pp 1507, 1540, and 1552.