Do Pictures Lie?
I must admit that I did not want to buy Jim Fetzer's
book Assassination Science. My normal procedure when dealing with
books like this would be to borrow a copy from a local library and copy
a few pages which need criticism. But no local library would carry the
book. As I pointed out in messages on the Internet, I would have to reserve
criticism until I had read the book. I couldn't find the book in any local
stores for several weeks. Then one week I happened to find it and skimmed
through it. After seeing several obvious errors I decided to buy it only
so that I could prove that I had thoroughly read it before criticizing
I usually skim through a book which deals
with historical issues from back to front, looking for key names in the
index and looking for interesting documents in the Appendices. Appendix
L surprised, shocked and infuriated me. Fetzer had taken one of the autopsy
photographs of JFK's back and drawn in a "circle-x" where Fetzer claims
that the HSCA had located the back wound. There appears to be no one else
to blame for this horrendous illlustration, because the caption lists it
as his note:
"[Editor's note: The 'circle-x' mark identifies the location
of the back wound as specified by the HSCA. See also pages 16, 34, 157-158,
177, 438 and 441.]"
This is an outrageous lie. The HSCA never
said that the back wound was where Fetzer placed the "circle-x." When I
checked the referenced pages, none of them dealt with the identification
of the back wound by the HSCA. But page 441 turned out to be Appendix K,
and the drawing on the bottom is Ida Dox's drawing of the back wound, as
commissioned by the HSCA.
Does the hole in the back of the Ida Dox drawing
line up with the "circle-x" in Fetzer's illustration? No. Fetzer's "circle-x"
is a couple of inches to the right of the hole drawn on Ida Dox's tracing
of the autopsy photograph. In her drawing, Ida Dox was instructed by the
HSCA medical panel to trace in ONLY where the panel had located the back
wound and leave out any extraneous marks on the body. [1H187]
In both the drawing on page 441 and the illustration on page 444 the back
wound is to the LEFT of the righmost edge of the President's neck. Fetzer's
"circle-x" is to the RIGHT of the President's neck.
Now, if I were trying to demonstrate this
in person, I might make a transparency of one Appendix and place it on
top of the other, matching up key points. In the computer, we can do the
same thing by combining two different scanned JPG files. I have scanned
in Appendix K, the Ida Dox drawing, into the file named HSCABACK.JPG
and changed the black dots to red. Then I scanned in Appendix L, Fetzer's
illustration into the file named FOX5BACK.JPG
and changed the color to blue. When the two files are properly scaled and
combined, the resulting rgb file shows where the red lines and blue lines
overlap as black. This file, named RGB-BACK.JPG
, shows that when the rulers in each original file are overlapped, the
back wound in the Ida Dox drawing overlaps the actual back wound in the
autopsy photograph. This proves that Fetzer's "circle-x" mark does not
truly represent where the HSCA said that the back wound was.
What is the reason for Fetzer's misidentification
of the HSCA back wound? Is there possibly an innocent explanation? Yes,
if Fetzer simply does not know his left from his right. Could there be
a more sinister motive for deliberately fabricating an illustration which
misrepresents what the HSCA medical panel believes? The desired conclusion
it is trying to suggest is that the HSCA medical panel was so incompetent
that they could not spot an obvious wound on the back. Study the JPG files
below to see what I mean.
On July 19, 1998 Jim Fetzer threatened to
sue me, claiming that this article was "slanderous." Then on July 22, 1998,
after consulting with Dr. David Mantik, who actually designed the illustration
for another purpose, Jim Fetzer admitted his error and apologized. It seems
that Dr. Mantik had originally intended to use his illustration to indicate
where the Bethesda autopsy doctors located the back wound. Interestingly,
Dr. Mantik, although not 100% correct on this point, does bring up an important
issue which I hope he will put into print. There may even be five versions
of where the back wound was located which came out of Bethesda:
1. The actual location as seen in the autopsy photographs.
2. Where the autopsy doctors indicated it on a diagram.
3. Where the autopsy doctors said it was.
4. Where Admiral Burkley drew it on a diagram.
5. Where the artist Ryberg drew it on an illustration made for the
Warren Commission based on a verbal description by Commander