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Warren Commission Report: Page 582« Previous | Next »

(APPENDIX X - Expert Testimony)

ity after passing through objects such as the portions of the human
body . 274

Tests Simulating President Kennedy's Neck Wound

After reviewing the autopsy report on President Kennedy, the Edgewood scientists simulated the portion of the President's neck through which the bullet passed. It was determined that the bullet traveled through 13.5 to 14.5 centimeters of tissue in the President's neck.275 That substance was simulated by constructing three blocks: one with a 20-percent gelatin composition, a second from one animal meat and a third from another animal meat.276 Those substances duplicated as closely as possible the portion of the President's neck through which the bullet passed.277 At the time the tests were conducted, it was estimated that the President, was struck at a range of approximately 180 feet, and the onsite tests which were conducted later at Dallas established that the President was shot through the neck at a range of 174.9 feet to 190.8 feet. 278 At a range of 180 feet, the Western bullets were fired from the assassination weapon, which has a muzzle velocity of approximately 2,160 feet per second, through those substances which were placed beside a break-type screen for measuring velocity.279 The average entrance velocity at 180 feet. was 1,904 feet per second.280


To reconstruct the assassination situation as closely as possible both sides of the substances were covered with material and clipped animal skin to duplicate human skin.281 The average exit velocity was 1,779 feet from the gelatin, 1,798 feet from the first animal meat and 1,772 feet from the second animal meat.282 Commission Exhibit No. 847 depicts one of the animal meats compressed to 13.5 to 14.5 centimeters to approximate the President's neck and Commission Exhibit No. 848 shows the analogous arrangement for the gelatin.283 The photograph marked Commission Exhibit No. 849 shows the bullet passing through the gelatin in a straight line evidencing very stable characteristics.284


Commission Exhibit No. 850 depicts the pieces of clipped animal skin placed on the points of entry and exit showing that the holes of entrance are round while the holes of exit are "a little more elongated." 285 From these tests, it was concluded that the bullet lost little of its velocity in penetrating the President's neck so that there would have been substantial impact on the interior of the Presidential limousine or anyone else struck by the exiting bullet. In addition, these tests indicated that the bullet, had retained most of its stability in penetrating the President's neck so that the exit hole would be only Slightly different from the appearance of the entry hole.286

Tests Simulating Governor Connally's Chest Wounds

To most closely approximate the Governor's chest injuries, the Edgewood scientists shot an animal with the assassination weapon
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