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  » Appendix IV
  » Appendix V
  » Appendix VI
  » Appendix VII
  » Appendix VIII
  » Appendix IX
  » Appendix X
  » Appendix XI
  » Appendix XII
  » Appendix XIII
  » Appendix XIV
  » Appendix XV
  » Appendix XVI
  » Appendix XVII
  » Appendix XVIII
Warren Commission Report: Page 95« Previous | Next »

(CHAPTER III - The Shots From the Texas School Book Depository)

The ballistics experts learned the exact nature of the Governor's wrist wound by examining Parkland Hospital records and X-rays and conferring with Dr. Gregory. The C2766 Mannlicher-Carcano rifle found in the Depository was fired with bullets of the same type as the bullet found on the Governor's stretcher and the fragments found in the Presidential limousine. Shots were fired from a distance of 70 yards at comparable flesh and bone protected by material similar to the clothing worn by the Governor.243 One of the test shots wounded the comparable flesh and bone structure in virtually the same place and from the same angle as the wound inflicted on Governor Connally's wrist. An X-ray and photograph of the simulated wrist confirmed the similarity.244 The bullet which inflicted that injury during the tests had a nose which was substantially flattened from striking the material.245 The striking velocity at 70 yards of seven shots fired during the tests averaged 1,858 feet per second; the average exit velocity of five shots was 1,776 feet per second.246

The conclusion that the Governor's wrist was not struck by a pristine bullet was based upon the following: ( 1 ) greater damage was inflicted on the test material than on the Governor's wrist; 247 (2) the test material had a smaller entry wound and a larger exit wound, characteristic of a pristine bullet, while the Governor's wrist had a larger entry wound as compared with its exit wound, indicating a bullet which was tumbling;248 (3) cloth was carried into the wrist wound, which is characteristic of an irregular missile;249 (4) the partial cutting of a radial nerve and tendon leading to the Governor's thumb further suggested that the bullet which struck him was not pristine, since such a bullet would merely push aside a tendon and nerve rather than catch and tear them;250 (5) the bullet found on the Governor's stretcher probably did not pass through the wrist as a pristine bullet because its nose was not considerably flattened, as was the case with the pristine bullet which struck the simulated wrist;251 and (6) the bullet which caused the Governor's thigh injury and then fell out of the wound had a "very low velocity," whereas the pristine bullets fired during the tests possessed a very high exit velocity.252

All the evidence indicated that the bullet found on the Governor's stretcher could have caused all his wounds. The weight of the whole bullet prior to firing was approximately 160-161 grains and that of the recovered bullet was 158.6 grains.253 An X-ray of the Governor's wrist showed very minute metallic fragments, and two or three of these fragments were removed from his wrist.254 All these fragments were sufficiently small and light so that the nearly whole bullet found on the stretcher could have deposited those pieces of metal as it tumbled through his wrist.255 In their testimony, the three doctors who attended Governor Connally at Parkland Hospital expressed independently their opinion that a single bullet had passed through his chest; tumbled through his wrist with very little exit velocity, leaving small metallic fragments from the rear portion of the bullet; punctured his left thigh after the bullet had lost virtually all of its velocity; and had fallen out of the thigh wound.256

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