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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. V - Page 89« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Dr. Alfred G. Olivier)

Mr. Dulles.
Dr. OLIVIER. This photograph is the skull that was shot with the bullet, the fragments which are marked 857.
Mr. Specter.
At what point on the skull did the bullet strike?
Dr. OLIVIER. From this I couldn't tell you exactly the point. We were aiming, as described in the autopsy report if I remember correctly the point 2 centimeters to the right of the external occipital protuberance and slightly above it. We placed a mark on the skull at that point, according to the autopsy the bullet emerged through the superorbital process, so we drew a line to give us the line of flight, put unclipped goat hair over the back to simulate the scalp and put a mark on the area which we wished to shoot.
Now, every shot didn't strike exactly where we wanted, but they all struck in the back of the skull in the vicinity of our aiming point, some maybe slightly above the external occipital protuberance. In some cases very close to our aiming spot.
This particular skull blew out the right side in a manner very similar to the wounds of the President, and if I remember correctly, it was very close to the point at which we aimed.
In other words, a couple centimeters to the right.
Mr. Specter.
Do you have any record which would be more specific on the point of entrance?
Dr. OLIVIER. Our notebook has all.
Mr. Specter.
Will you refer to your notes, then?
Dr. OLIVIER. The notebook is in the safe in there in the briefcase.
Mr. Specter.
Would you get the notebook and refer to it so we can be as specific as possible on this point.
Dr. OLIVIER. I have the location of that wound.
Mr. Specter.
Would you give us then the precise location of the wound caused by bullet identified as 857?
Dr. OLIVIER. The entrance wound is 2.9 centimeters to the right and almost horizontal to the occipital protuberance, This is almost exactly where we were aiming. We were aiming 2 centimeters to the right.
Mr. Specter.
I now hand you a photograph marked as Commission Exhibit 861, move its admission into evidence, and ask you to state what that depicts.
Dr. OLIVIER. This is the skull in question, the same one from which the fragments marked Exhibit 857 were recovered.
Mr. Specter.
And what does that show as to damage done to the skull?
Dr. OLIVIER. It blew the whole side of the cranial cavity away.
Mr. Specter.
How does that compare, then, with the damage inflicted on President Kennedy?
Dr. OLIVIER. Very similar. I think they stated the length of the defect, the missing skull was 13 centimeters if I remember correctly. This in this case it is greater, but you don't have the limiting scalp holding the pieces in so you would expect it to fly a little more but it is essentially a similar type wound.
Mr. Specter.
Does the human scalp work to hold in the human skull in such circumstances to a greater extent than the simulated matters used?
Dr. OLIVIER. Yes; we take this into account.
Mr. Specter.
I hand you Commission Exhibit 862, move its admission into evidence, and ask you what that depicts?
Dr. OLIVIER. This is the same skull. This is just looking at it from the front. You are looking at the exit. You can't see it here because the bone has been blown away, but the bullet exited somewhere around---we reconstructed the skull. In other words, it exited very close to the superorbital ridge, possibly below it.
Mr. Specter.
Did you formulate any other conclusions or opinions based on the tests on firing at the skull?
Dr. OLIVIER. Well, let's see. We found that this bullet could do exactly--could make the type of wound that the President received.
Also, that the recovered fragments were very similar to the ones recovered on the front seat and on the floor of the car.
This, to me, indicates that those fragments did come from the bullet that wounded the President in the head.
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