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Warren Commission Report: Page 581« Previous | Next »

(APPENDIX X - Expert Testimony)

Johns Hopkins Medical School and in 1948 received his Ph.D. from t, he same institution.260 After serving a residency in pathology, he worked as a pathologist until 1940 when he returned to Johns Hopkins University to study mathematics. Since 1951, Dr. Light has been engaged in the study of the pathology of wounding at Edgewood Arsenal.261 All three of these distinquished scientists testified before the Commission.

General Testing Conditions

The Commission made available to the Edgewood Arsenal scientists all the relevant facts relating to the wounds which were inflicted on President Kennedy and Governor Connally including the autopsy report on the President, and the reports and X-rays from Parkland Hospital.262 In addition, Drs. Olivier and Light had an opportunity to discuss in detail the Governor's wounds with the Governor's surgeons, Drs. Robert R. Shaw and Charles F. Gregory.263 The Zapruder films of the assassination were viewed with Governor and Mrs. Connally to give the Edgewood scientists their version.264 The Commission also provided the Edgewood scientists with all known data on the source of the shots, the rifle and bullets used, and the distances involved. For purposes of the experiments, the Commission turned over to the Edgewood testers the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle found on the sixth floor of the Depository Building.265 From information provided by the Commission, the Edgewood scientists obtained Western bullets of the type used by the assassin.266

Tests on Penetration Power and Bullet Stability

Comparisons were made of the penetrating power of Western bullets fired from the assassination rifle with other bullets.267 From the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle, the Western bullet was fired through two gelatin blocks totaling 72.5 centimeters in length. 268 As evidenced by Commission Exhibit No. 844, which is a photograph from a high-speed motion picture, the Western bullets passed through 1.5 blocks in a straight line before their trajectory curved.269 After coming out of the second gelatin block, a number of the bullets buried themselves in a mound of earth.270


Under similar circumstances, a bullet described as the NATO round M-80 was fired from a M-14 rifle.271 The penetrating power of the latter is depicted in Commission Exhibit No. 845 which shows that bullet possesses much less penetrating power with a quicker tumbling action. Those characteristics cause an early release of energy which brings the bullet to a stop at shorter distances.272 A further test was made with a 257 Winchester Roberts soft-nosed hunting bullet as depicted in Commission Exhibit No. 846. That bullet became deformed almost immediately upon entering the block of gelatin and released its energy very rapidly.278 From these tests, it was concluded that the Western bullet fired from the Mannlicher-Carcano had "terrific penetrating ability" and would retain substantial veloc-

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