Do we have different times in the record for different casket
We have three different documented casket arrivals now in
official documents, not two, three.
Arrival # 1 around 6:40 - 6:45 p.m.
Dennis David has stated he saw a shipping casket arrive and helped
take it out of a black hearse at the back of the Bethesda morgue,
taking it into the anteroom at about 6:40 p.m. Horne then read
a paragraph from his interview with Dennis David (MD177),
"At about 6:30 p.m. Mr. David said he received a telephone
call in which someone told him, 'Your visitor is on his way.
You will need some people to off-load.' He then got his duty
sailors together, borrowed some orphans from the dental school
and assembled them outside the loading dock by about 6:40 p.m.
5 or 6 minutes later at about 6:45 p.m. he said that a black
hearse drove up to the morgue loading dock. The driver and the
person riding shotgun, ie. the front seat passenger, were wearing
operating room smocks: white gowns. Four or five men in blue
suits whom he assumed were federal agents exited the back of
the hearse and supervised and observed while the approximately
7 or 8 Navy sailors working for him off-loaded the casket from
the hearse. He said it was a simple grey metal shipping casket
such as he frequently saw used later during the Vietnam war.
His group of sailors took the casket into the anteroom directly
adjacent to the morgue. He then dismissed them and went back
upstairs to an administrative office on the second floor of the
tower building out front toward the lobby."
Some time later, David Lifton became aware of a man named Donald
Rebentisch who was one of these 7 or 8 sailors who under Dennis
David's direction who carried a shipping casket from a black
hearse into the anteroom of the morgue. And in fact, Dennis David
was later stationed with Donald Rebentisch [in Vietnam?], they
didn't realize what they had participated in this night until
years later. Only recently did we find documentary evidence of
Researcher Kathy Cunningham was kind enough to send the ARRB
a lead that she had located, a Roger Boyajian, former Marine
Guard, the head of the Marine Guard Unit that guarded the morgue
during the autopsy. These are not ceremonial guards, this is
security, these guys are from Marine barracks. They carry guns.
The real deal.
Boyajian wrote a letter to Horne that reads: "One thing
bothering me is that I can't recall seeing the casket arrive,
yet I state in the report that it arrived at 1830 hours."(MD
236) A document dated November 26, 1963 by Boyijain to Commanding
Officer, Marine Corps Institute Company states, "At approximately
1835 the casket was received at the morgue entrance and taken
inside." Very interesting, as the motorcade from Andrews
Air Force Base allegedly carrying JFK in a ceremonial casket
in a light color Navy ambulance doesn't arrive at Bethesda until
about 6:55 p.m. and it sat outside Bethesda's front entrance
until about 7:15 p.m. and didn't arrive at the back until about
Arrival #2 around 7:15 p.m.
Horne then showed a document prepared by Sibert and O'Neill right
after they were interviewed by Arlen Specter (MD153). They went
back to the FBI and recorded how that interview went with Specter.
They wrote that Specter had asked them, "What was the time
of the preparation of the autopsy?" They answered, "approximately
In their depositions to the ARRB Sibert and O'Neill recalled
sitting alone in front of Bethesda. Bobby Kennedy is there discussing
things with Admirals and Generals. Jackie had already gone inside.
Greer was sitting in the driver's seat of the grey Navy ambulance.
They are in a car behind this ambulance for ten to twenty minutes.
Finally, they go to Greer and ask him what is the problem, why
aren't they going to the loading dock? Greer tells them he doesn't
know how to get there, that Kellerman went into the hospital
and he doesn't know how to find him. So they say: "We know
how to find him."
They told the ARRB they took the lead position and took Greer
back to the loading dock. So, Horne concluded the "approximately
7:17 p.m. estimate is accurate, and circumstantial evidence that
it may indeed have been empty. If the casket that arrived at
1830, (or 6:30 p.m. for us civilians) had JFK in it then the
bronze ceremonial casket must be empty."
Arrival #3 around 8:00 p.m.
Horne then showed a military casket team report written by
an Lt. Byrd (MD163): "From the ambulance to the morgue at
2000 hours." So, officially the bronze casket does not go
into the morgue until 8:00 p.m. This casket does have a ceremonial
guard, and the casket team does not have weapons.
Lifton interviewed X-ray technician Edward Reed in 1979 and
asked him about the casket entry. Reed said the Marines brought
the casket in and, "...they had guns."
Horne then had an audiotape played in two parts, beginning
with Humes, then the Lifton-Reed* interview.
Gunn: "Dr. Humes, when did you first see the body of
Humes: "I didn't look at my watch, if I even had a watch
on, but I would guess it was 6:45 or 7 o'clock, something like
Horne comments, "That's important. The Honor Guard said
they took it in at 8 o,clock."
Back to the audiotape:
Lifton: "Were you there when the actual body arrived?
Okay, could you just tell me because they are trying to determine
who was in the room and where that was, was it down in the morgue?
Was it inside the room, did you meet it at the loading dock or
(*It is hard to hear Reed's taped voice clearly, so I have to
summarize what he stated.) Reed says the Marines brought the
casket in. Marines. Marines with guns, about 10 of them.
Horne then showed Boyajain's letter to him (MD 236. Letter dated
Sept. 10, 1997) He says, "I think I split the detail initially,
sending 7 men to meet the ambulance and taking the remainder
with me to set up security posts within the corridors."
Horne thinks these 7 or 10 Marines are the Marines Ed Reed saw,
and Horne thinks they took the casket from the anteroom where
the sailors put it down into the morgue. So, we have this strange
break in the chain of custody.
Do we have any evidence that the body might have been altered?
The Sibert and O'Neill report, page
3 (MD44; report pages 1
"...following the removal of the wrapping it was ascertained
that the President's clothing had been removed and it was also
apparent that a tracheotomy had been performed, as well as
surgery of the head area, namely in the top of the skull."
Horne pointed out that in 1966 the FBI conducted a number
of interviews of Sibert and O'Neill. The FBI ascertained from
these two agents that those comments were direct quotes from
Horne then referred to Roy Kellerman's testimony to Specter
(MD 55, starts with Kellerman's WC testimony on p. 61; "this
was removed" is on p. 81) describing the head wound as circular,
about 5 inches, and "This was removed." Specter asked
what he meant by that. Kellerman responded, "This part was
removed." Specter responds, "Alright." To which
Horne laughed at Specter's lack of understanding.
Specter: "When you say removed, by that do you mean it
was absent when you saw him, or taken out by the doctor?"
Kellerman: "Absent when I saw him. (Also, on p. 81 MD 55)
Sibert and O'Neill both reaffirmed to the ARRB that Humes said
what they wrote: "...surgery of the head..."
To the HSCA both Sibert and O'Neill described their entry with
the casket at the rear at about 7:17 p.m. It was only Sibert,
O'Neill, Greer and Kellerman. No Marines. No Honor Guard.
To the ARRB O'Neill added the Honor Guard, but Horne found
that hard to believe. O'Neill did not state that in 1977. Horne
referred to this as the second casket entry.
Horne then read a comment Dr. Boswell told Purdy of the HSCA
"We got ourselves in dutch with the neck and throat wounds
with regard to the Secret Service." (MD 26 p. 4)
Dr. Boswell did not give any kind of a satisfactory answer
to what that meant to the ARRB.
Continued on part three: THE
ROCHESTER AUTOPSY PHOTOS AND X-RAYS
Part Two a
Part Two b