John Stringer was the primary photographer at the autopsy.


This transcript was OCR'd by Joe Durnavich. Send corrections to:



In Re:

College Park, Maryland
Tuesday, July 16, 1996

The deposition of JOHN T. STRINGER, called for examination in the above-entitled matter, pursuant to notice, at Archives II, 6381 Adelphi Road, College Park, Maryland, convened at 9:55 a.m. before Robert H. Haines, a notary public in and for the State of Maryland, when were present on behalf of the parties:


      On Behalf of the Plaintiff:

            T. JEREMY GUNN, ESQ.
General Counsel
Assassination Records Review Board
600 E Street, N.W., Second Floor
Washington, D.C. 20530
 (202) 724-0088
(202) 724-0457 Fax


      DOUGLAS P. HORNE, Senior Analyst
DAVID R. MONTAGUE, Investigator
PHILIP D. GOLRICK, ESQ., Chief Analyst, Assassination Records Review Board

U.S. National Archives



John T. Stringer


Deposition Exhibit No. 90     21
Deposition Exhibit No. 91     24
Deposition Exhibit No. 92     25

[All exhibits retained by Mr. Gunn.]


Whereupon, JOHN T. STRINGER was called for examination by counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice and, having been first duly sworn by the notary public, was examined and testified as follows:


Q: Would you state your name for the record, please?
A: John Stringer.

Q: Mr. Stringer, have you ever had your deposition taken before?
A: I have not.

Q: As I mentioned to you just before we started the deposition, that I will be asking questions to you in the deposition. All of the answers that you provide will be recorded by the court reporter. We will send a copy of your transcript as printed to you, to give you the opportunity to make any changes to make the testimony more accurate. And we will then incorporate those changes into the final version of the transcript. The tape recording that is being made of the deposition will be kept in the Archives, as well as the copy of the transcript before your changes and the copy of the transcript after your changes.
During the course of the deposition, I will be doing my best to ask clear questions to you. If you don't understand the question or it's unclear, don't hesitate to ask me to rephrase the question or restate the question. Anything that's unclear, don't hesitate to stop me. And we can try and do it in some other way. If you'd like to take a break at anytime during the deposition, don't hesitate to say so. And that can easily be accommodated.
Mr. Stringer, you are under oath. And unlike in the telephone conversation that you and I had earlier, federal law pertaining to perjury would apply here. And, so, we ask that you give your best and most honest recollection to the extent that you can. If you don't recall, then, you should say that you don't recall. But it's very important that we get as best a recollection as we can from you. Do you understand what I'm saying?
A: Yes.

Q: Mr. Stringer, were you present at any time during the autopsy of President Kennedy?
A: Yes, I was.

Q: What was your role generally at the autopsy?
A: I took photographs of the body.

Q: Is there any reason today that you would be unable to answer the questions that I'm going to ask you honestly, fully, and accurately?
A: No reasons.

Q: Were you ever previously under any kind of order or restraint from being able to talk about the autopsy?
A: Yes, I was.

Q: Can you explain, very briefly, what the nature of the order was or the circumstances that put you under the order?
A: Well, I think it was the morning after the autopsy. We were gathered into the commanding officer's office of the Naval Medical School, who through the fear of God and everyone—and he had a paper that we all had to sign that we would not talk to anyone about what had happened on that particular night.

Q: Do you remember the name of the person who gave you the order?
A: John Stover.

Q: Did he say why you were being put under an order not to discuss the autopsy?
A: Not as far as I can recall. He just said that it was a very important thing that we were not to speak to anyone about it.

Q: Did he use the term "secret" or "top secret", in terms of the substance of what had happened at the autopsy?
A: I think he did.

Q: Which term did he use?
A: I remember it as "secret". Whether it was "top secret" or not, I don't know.

Q: Did Captain Stover say anything about orders coming from the White House?
A: I think he said it was orders from the Surgeon General.

Q: Mr. Stringer, have you ever had a security clearance?
A: Yes, I have.

Q: Did you have a security clearance at the time of the autopsy?
A: Yes, I did.

Q: When is the last time, as best you recall, that you had your security clearance?
A: Oh, I don't remember. I don't remember. It was on my card what I was cleared for. I know I had it when I went to Vietnam.

Q: When was that?
A: It was in '68 or something, I think.

Q: Did you ever have access to classified information?
A: Yes.

Q: What was the highest level of security clearance that you had?
A: I think it was top secret, I believe.

Q: I'll switch the topic a little bit. Mr. Stringer, do you have any records in your possession that relate to the autopsy of President Kennedy?
A: No, I do not. I had a copy of that thing that I had to sign at one time, but I don't know where it is now.

Q: When you're referring to the thing that you signed, do you mean—
A: From—

Q:—the order from Captain Stover?
A: Yes, from Captain Stover.

Q: As far as you know, you don't have a copy of that any longer?
A: No. I had someone send me some copies of the pictures, which I sent back.

Q: Do you remember who it was who sent you a copy of the pictures?
A: Livingstone.

Q: Was that Harry Livingstone? Does that—
A: Yes. They were in black and white.

Q: Mr. Stringer, have you spoken to anyone about the fact that you would be having your deposition taken today?
A: Only my wife.

Q: Would it be fair, then, to say that you didn't speak to anyone, other than your wife, about the substance of the deposition or anything about the autopsy?
A: That's correct.

Q: Have you ever received any instructions from anyone affiliated with the United States government about statements that you should or should not make regarding the autopsy, other than the order not to discuss the autopsy?
A: No. I was—At one time, I was told that I could talk to a Dr. Lattimer when I was under that order.

Q: Do you remember approximately what time that was that you spoke to Mr. Lattimer—Dr. Lattimer?
A: No. It was when I was still in Bethesda. In fact, he came out there to speak to me.

Q: It's my understanding that the conversation with Dr. Lattimer took place around 1972. Does that seem generally correct to you, or—
A: It could be.

Q: After the autopsy, did you ever speak to any of the physicians who were present at the autopsy regarding the autopsy?
A: No, I don't think so.

Q: So, for—
A: I can't remember.

Q: You don't remember, for example, ever speaking to Dr. Humes about the autopsy?
A: No, I don't think so.

Q: Do you remember speaking with anyone else who was present at the autopsy, other than the doctors, about the autopsy?
A: Well, I had a corpsman there, but we never spoke about it.

Q: Is the corpsman named Mr. Riebe?
A: Yes, correct.

Q: When is the last time you saw Mr. Riebe, approximately?
A: Well, when he graduated from the photo school there. I haven't seen or heard from him since then. And that was—that was soon after the autopsy, I believe.

Q: So, that would be the early to mid '60s was the last time you saw Mr. Riebe; is that correct?
A: Yes.

Q: Do you recall that you and I had a telephone conversation a few weeks ago?
A: Yes.

Q: Other than that conversation, I'd like to find out what other times you have spoken to officials of the U.S. government about the autopsy. And let me go back and ask, did you ever speak to anyone about the autopsy during the time that the Warren Commission was in existence?
A: No.

Q: So, you then never testified to the Warren Commission?
A: No. That's correct.

Q: Do you recall that in around 1966 you went to the Archives to review some of the autopsy material?
A: Correct.

Q: Do you remember speaking with anyone affiliated with the U.S. government about the autopsy between the time of the autopsy and the 1966 inventory?
A: No.

Q: After the 1966 inventory, what was the next time that you spoke to anyone affiliated with the U.S. government about the autopsy?
A: I don't think I have ever spoken to anyone with the government about it.

Q: Do you remember, in the late 1970s, there was a congressional inquiry called the House Select Committee on Assassinations?
A: Yes.

Q: Do you remember speaking with anyone, by telephone or in person—
A: No.

Q:—affiliated with the House Select Committee?
A: No.

Q: Do you remember speaking with David Lifton—Let me withdraw that. Do you recall the name David Lifton?
A: Yes, I do.

Q: Do you remember speaking with David Lifton at or about the time that you spoke with Dr. Lattimer?
A: I don't remember when I spoke to David Lifton.

Q: Do you remember speaking with him on the telephone?
A: Yes, I do.

Q: Mr. Stringer, could we go back and talk about part of your career for a couple of moments?
A: Mm-hmm.

Q: Did you graduate from college?
A: No. I went to Maryland University.

Q: You never received a degree from Maryland?
A: No. That's correct.

Q: What subjects did you study at the University of Maryland?
A: I was in pre-med for a year, and then I went to the medical school and took medical drawing and photography.

Q: Can you tell me what kinds of courses you would study for medical drawing and photography?
A: Well, it was a course there. It was called Art As Applied To Medicine. And they had regular courses in drawing, and photography, and motion pictures. It was headed by a Dr. Clark. I was there for three years.

Q: Just in a very general way, how many courses would you estimate that you took in medical illustration?
A: Well, the first time—the first year, I took gross anatomy with the medical students. We were on a cadaver. And after that, we went in to drawing—in to basic drawing, and then in to medical drawing.
Then we went in to the photography, and making of slides and photographs in the operating room, and in the laboratory, and on patients pre- and post-operative.

Q: During these courses, did you become quite familiar with terms of anatomy?
A: Yes.

Q: And did you obtain competence in medical illustration?
A: Yes.

Q: Could you tell me, just in a very general way, what medical photography is?
A: Well, it's the illustration of medical cases, pre- and post-operative, for the teaching of doctors and—not teaching, but to make a medical record of the patients, and also for teaching of doctors.

Q: Does medical photography involve autopsy photography, as well?
A: Yes, it does.

Q: Other than the subject matter, which would be presumably closeups of portions of the human anatomy, how does the technical training for medical photography differ from other forms of photography?
A: Well, basically, all of the photography is the same, but you have different uses. In medicine, you have to show the defect. In portrait photography, you get away from the defects.

Q: Other than your training at the University of Maryland, did you have any other formal training in either medical illustration or medical photography?
A: No.

Q: What kinds of skills would you say would be required for a person to be a competent professional medical photographer?
A: Well, you have to be able to take the blood and the guts. And, basically, that's about it, I think.

Q: That would be the only kind of specialty that you would need for medical photography?
A: Oh, no. Well, you have to be competent as a photographer.

Q: After you attended the University of Maryland, what is the first position that you had in the area of medical photography?
A: I went to—it was Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Columbia Hospital there, and set up a medical art and photo lab there. And that was in 1941, I think.

Q: Was the Columbia Hospital affiliated with the U.S. government in any way?
A: No, it was not.

Q: So, you were a civilian at that time?
A: That's correct.

Q: What was your next position after the Columbia Hospital?
A: After that, I joined the Navy.

Q: Were you a medical photographer at the time that you joined the Navy?
A: Yes, in art and photography.

Q: Art and photography?
A: Mm-hmm.

Q: Is that around 1941?
A: No, in `42. It think it was October of `42.

Q: How long were you in the Navy?
A: I was in the Navy till '49, I think it was. Then I got out and became a civilian, as the director of medical photography.

Q: Now, is that at Bethesda?
A: Yes; correct. At the Naval Medical School.

Q: During the period 1942 to 1949, was your work in the area of medical photography—
A: Yes, I was—

Q:—and illustration?
A: I was officer in charge of medical photography.

Q: Where were you in charge of medical photography?
A: At Bethesda. Before that, I was in San Diego. I first came in the Navy, and went to Bethesda. I was there for almost a year. Then I went to San Diego, and set up a lab out there.

Q: As of 1949, did the Navy have any photography school—medical photography schools, other than at the Bethesda Naval Medical School?
A: No, they did not.

Q: So, then, you were the director of medical photography at the only—
A: Yes.

Q:—facility that the Navy had for teaching medical photography?
A: That's correct.

Q: Did you, yourself, teach photography?
A: Yes.

Q: How long did you teach photography?
A: Well, from the time I was there till the time I retired.

Q: When did you retire?
A: In `74. In February of `74. We also had chiefs there that were also teaching. I was the director of them.

Q: Do you have—or could you give me a rough estimate of how many students you taught during the time you were at Bethesda?
A: There was an average of four every six months, and sometimes there were seven. So, you go with that by about 30 years.

Q: What other duties did you have as the director of medical photography, in addition to teaching courses?
A: At Bethesda?

Q: At Bethesda.
A: Well, I was on a inventory committee, and just collateral duties that came up. But, basically, it was in charge of the photo lab.

Q: Did you have any responsibility for taking autopsy photographs during the time that you were the director of medical photography?
A: Yes.

Q: Approximately, how many autopsies did you photograph a year?
A: I don't know. Maybe—It would all depend upon the case. if it was important, then they—then it was photographed. I didn't do it all this time. We sent down a corpsman to do it. And it would maybe average one a week, I guess.

Q: Would it be fair to say, then, that you had a significant amount of experience in autopsy photography as of 1963?
A: Yes.

Q: Do you know if anyone in the Navy who had more experience with autopsy photography than you did, as of 1963?
A: Not as far as I can know.

Q: Mr. Stringer, have you ever received any citations or awards for quality of your photography?
A: Well, for—I mean, just letters of commendation. And when I retired, I got a pin—or whatever it was—for outstanding service or something.

Q: Mr. Stringer, during the course of the deposition, I'm going to show you certain exhibits that I'd like to ask you some questions about. The numbering of the exhibits corresponds not to simply the deposition that we're doing today, but to other depositions. So, the numbers will not appear to you to be in any kind of sequence.

[Deposition Exhibit No. 90 marked for identification.]


Q: The first one I'd like to show you is number MD 90. And I'd like to ask you if you have previously seen that document?

MR. GUNN: I will state for the record that it's a document that appears on its face to have been dated May 2nd, 1957. And it is marked Exhibit MD 90 for this deposition.

THE WITNESS: It brings back a lot of memories.


Q: Do you remember having seen this document before?
A: No, I have not. I don't remember seeing it.

Q: Do you know who R. C. Richardson is?
A: No, I don't remember him. No.

Q: I'd like to read one portion of this, and then ask you about whether this is a reasonably accurate description of the kind of work that you do. And the portion I'll be reading is the last third of the very first paragraph on the first page, beginning:

"In addition, since the field of color photography is an ever-changing science, it is necessary for Mr. Stringer to carry on a continuous training and research program, in order to keep the medical photography school abreast of the most advanced photographic procedures. His photographs of the various anatomical structures of the human body, body cavities, as well as fundus lesions of the human eye are outstanding examples of the photographer's art. Much of the photographic work required in compiling Volumes 1 and 2 of the Color Atlas of Pathology was accomplished by the medical photography department under the supervision of Mr. Stringer, and he is given credit for this work in the forward of Volume 2, which, together with Volume 1, are unique in the field of pathology." Just a couple of questions, if I could, about that passage.

Would you say that it would be accurate that it's important—or it was important for you in your position to carry on continuous training and research programs in the developments in photography?
A: Yes.

Q: And were some of your works published in the Color Atlas of Pathology?
A: Yes.

[Deposition Exhibit No. 91 marked for identification.]


Q: Mr. Stringer, let me show you another document, which I hope brings back some fond memories for you.
A: Frank Kruez.

Q: The document that you've been handed is marked Exhibit MD 91 for this deposition. It's dated on its face February 15th, 1962, to Mr. John T. Stringer from Commanding Officer, National Naval Medical Center. Mr. Stringer, have you previously seen the document that's now marked Exhibit 91?
A: I think I have seen this one.

Q: Is this the kind of document that you were referring to when you stated that letters had been put into your file?
A: Yes.

Q: Could you tell me who F. P. Kroitz is, please?
A: Kruez?

Q: Kruez.
A: He was the CO of the Naval Medical Center. He was an admiral. He was an orthopedic surgeon. And I used to take pictures for him when he was in surgery, when he was a captain.

Q: So, Admiral Kruez was, himself, aware of your own talents by virtue of his having worked with you in—
A: Correct. And on some of these other ones, like on the balloon thing, I went with a Captain Barron that.

[Deposition Exhibit No. 92 marked for identification.]

Q: Mr. Stringer, let me show you one additional document, marked Exhibit 92, which appears to be on its face—and I'll ask you if this is correct—an application for federal employment that you may have signed. But that's a question I will ask you. The first question for you is, have you previously seen the document that is now marked Exhibit No. 92?
A: I guess, I have.

Q: Is that your signature on the last page?
A: Yes.

Q: Previously in the deposition you mentioned that you went into civilian work in 1949. Do you recall that?
A: Yes, I think so.

Q: Do you see the date on the application on the first page, which appears to be 6/23/49?
A: Yes.

Q: Does this help—does that help refresh your recollection as to whether this may have been an application that you filled out for civilian employment in 1949?
A: I guess, it was.

Q: Could you turn to the third page of Exhibit No. 92, and look at the portion where it refers to education, under number 18 on the application?
A: Mm-hmm.

Q: As you look through that now, does everything on section 18 appear to you to be accurate?
A: Now, section 18; is it?

Q: Yes, referring to education—the portions that we discussed just a few moments ago.
A: I guess. I don't—Yes, I guess.

Q: It refers to moulage and moulage prosthesis.
A: Correct.

Q: Could you explain what that is, very briefly?
A: A moulage is where you take a copy of the body—we used to do it with plaster—and then make a model for it. Exhibits. They used to make artificial ears out of moulage. And we did—oh, when they first did the operation on the hip, we went into the morgue and made a cast of it. And then we made a—just modeled that, and then colored it out.

Q: Okay.
A: In fact, there's been several books written on moulage. I think it's gone by the wayside now.

Q: If we can go back for a moment to the teaching that you did at Bethesda, were there any concepts or points that you attempted to teach your students regarding any particular difficulties related to medical autopsies—photographing autopsies?
A: What do you mean by that?

Q: Was there anything different that you would have stressed or tried to teach the students regarding autopsies that would have been different from any other form of medical photography?
A: Well, they should be identified—the autopsies—by number. And there are different angles you have to take, to show the defect. Generally, the doctor tells you what to take.

Q: Anything else that you can think of that would be of particular importance for autopsies?
A: Well, these people that came in, they were trained as corpsmen. And they were not photographers. We had to teach them photography—basically, the medical training they've had as to some anatomy and things like that. So, we tried to show them the basic—It was only a six-months course. We showed them the basic facts of photography as applied to medicine. (See attached curriculum for medical photography/school.)

Q: I'd like to go back to some of the things that you just mentioned. When you said that the autopsy should be identified by number, what did you mean by that?
A: Well, by the autopsy number.

Q: And how would a body be identified by number? I don't mean, how do you get the number? But how is it you identify the body?
A: Each body as a autopsy number, A so-and-so. And we had a little ruler that you put the number on, and then put that in part of the picture.

Q: So that when the photograph was exposed, the identification number would be next to the deceased?
A: Correct.

Q: What would the purpose of doing that be?
A: For identification.

Q: So that there wouldn't be any question about whose body was in the photograph; is that fair?
A: Correct. Yes.

Q: Is there any other way that the decedent would be identified during the course of taking autopsy photos?
A: Well, we had a thing where you could open up the cassette and put the number in on it.

Q: When you say "open up the cassette", you mean of the camera?
A: The film holder.

Q: The film holder.
A: And have it identified by the number.

Q: And how did that work exactly? Did you have a tape with the number on it, and put it on the film, or some other—
A: No. You had a—Yes, you had a tape there where the light came through it. And then it put it on the film.

Q: So that the film would actually be exposed to show the number?
A: Yes, on that particular part.

Q: Is there any other way that there would be an identification in the photography?
A: Well, we had a log, where each of the jobs was given a number. And that was written in the log; the name, the diagnosis, the doctor that ordered it, the autopsy number or the surgical number. And that was written in a log every day.

Q: Did the log contain a listing of the number of photographs that had been taken at the autopsy?
A: Correct.

Q: Where was that log maintained?
A: In the office of the photo lab.

Q: Would the log identify the type of film that was used in the autopsy?
A: Yes.

Q: Did the log identify the type of camera that was used in the autopsy?
A: No, because at that time we only used the four-by-five Graphic view camera. So, we knew what was being taken. If it were just movies, then it was written in there that it was done by motion picture.

Q: Did you, at some time, take motion pictures of autopsies?
A: I don't remember taking any autopsies.

Q: Did the log that was in the photo lab have a particular name, other than just "log"?
A: On the front of it, it said "log".

Q: If we were to try to identify that log or find the log, is there any term that you could think of as how that might be identified?
A: Well, what we used to do—we used to put them in the archives, but I don't know what they've done in the last 23 years. But that's not the Archives here. hat was at Bethesda.

Q: So, the archives at the Bethesda Naval Medical Center would be the place to look for that, you would guess?
A: I would guess.

Q: For something from the 1960s?
A: [Nods head up and down]

Q: Is there any other way that the decedent would be identified by number or any other unique identifier, in addition to what you've already mentioned?
A: Nothing.

Q: You mentioned the three different ways that there would be some identification or record of the decedent by number. Was it a standard practice in 1963 to record all of those for autopsies that were being performed at Bethesda?
A: Unless they were told not to do it, yes.

Q: That was standard procedure as of 1963?
A: Yes, on all of the specimens in the lab.
They used to bring some up from the morgue, and then do them in the lab. And they would put the number on it with a ruler.

Q: So, these then—the photographs would be not only of the body of the deceased, but any sections that had been taken
A: Correct.

Q:—or any body parts?
A: Correct.

Q: All of them would be identified by the number?
A: Yes.

Q: After the photographs were taken or exposed, in the ordinary course what would happen to those photographs from the autopsies?
A: They would be sent to our lab, and they would be then taken out of the film holders and then processed. If it were black and white, they would be done in the black and white lab. If they were color, they would then go to the color lab.

Q: And you had labs at Bethesda that could handle both black and white, and color?
A: Correct.

Q: After the photographs had been developed in the lab, would the fact that they had been developed in the lab also be recorded in the log that you mentioned earlier?
A: Yes. In other words, this chit that we had on each of the jobs had on there what was taken in black and white, how many prints were made, if they were black and white or color. And then it would also say who did it.

Q: What happened to the photographs after they had been developed?
A: They were—

Q: Would they be kept at the photo lab, or sent somewhere else in Bethesda?
A: The photographs were released to the doctor for the patient's record and the negatives were filed in the photo lab office. And then when they got full, then they were sent to archives. In other words, we could only keep so many.

Q: Were new folders or new files opened for each autopsy that was performed at Bethesda?
A: Each job had its own number and file.

Q: Were copies of the photographs ever sent to other patient files or some other place at Bethesda or elsewhere?
A: Well, the doctor got all the prints. In other words, he signed for the prints. And the negatives were filed in the photo lab. In other words, we didn't file any prints.

Q: Okay. So, then, the print of the—taken from the autopsy would be sent to the doctor, who may or may not put it in the patient file?
A: That's right, yeah. The doctor picked them up in the photo lab and signed for same.

Q: Okay.
A: In other words, they were supposed to go into the patient's file.

Q: Okay.
A: And he signed for them when he picked them up.

Q: Earlier you had mentioned some things that you taught—you particularly taught your students. And we've just been talking about the identification process. The second one that you mentioned was that you needed to teach the students about the angles that would be taken—viewing angles for the autopsy. What did you mean by that?
A: Well, if it were inside the body, you had to have—had to show them how to light it and what they wanted, if it were a liver, spleen, kidney.

Q: Did angles come into play in showing wounds or injuries of a person who may have died of trauma?
A: Yes.

Q: What kinds of angles would you typically teach students should be taken for traumatic injuries to the body?
A: Well, it's mainly done in shadow and lights.

Q: Would it be standard practice to take a picture of the entire body, then a mid photograph showing perhaps the torso, and then a closeup of a wound of entrance, or a knife wound, or something of that sort? How would that work?
A: Well, it depended upon what the doctor wanted. But, basically, in a trauma, you would shoot a picture of the whole body, to show what was there.

Q: And was it standard practice to show closeups of a wound of entrance, whether it's a knife wound or a bullet wound?
A: Well, here again, it would depend upon what the doctor told you to shoot.

Q: Okay.
A: Basically, you are working for the doctor, what he wants. Except when he sends a patient to the lab. And then, on the chit, it tells you what he wants. But when you're in the operating room, or in the morgue, or something, you're basically under his control.

Q: Okay. You previously mentioned that, at Bethesda, you had a four-by-five camera; is that correct?
A: Correct.

Q: What kind of camera was the four-by-five that you had?
A: It was a Graphic, G-r-a-p-h-i-c. A Graphic view camera.

Q: And is Graphic a brand name?
A: Yes. 

Q: Was that a monorail camera, or a field camera?
A: It was on a monorail that you focused back and forth. You had the different lenses for magnification.

Q: Now, if that's on a monorail, I assume that it would be somewhat heavy; is that correct?
A: It's on a tripod.

Q: So, it's on a tripod?
A: It was mounted on a tripod, on a three-wheel Salzman tripod.

Q: In the area of 1963, did you ever use a medium-format camera at autopsies?
A: No. At that time, we were in the process of changing from a four-by-five to 35 millimeter. And we were—the commanding officer wouldn't let us purchase any more four-by-five film, because we were in the midst of buying the 35 millimeter cameras and the films.

Q: What I'd like to do, if we could, is go through the different formats of cameras: 35 millimeter, medium format, and view cameras. Just get a very brief description about the differences among those, so we can understand what's happening. With the 35 millimeter camera, that would also be called a small-format camera—
A: Yes.

Q:—is that fair?
A: Hand held.

Q: Hand-held camera. And that's the kind that is most typically used by people today?
A: At the present time, yes.

Q: How does a medium-format camera differ from a 35 millimeter camera, just in a very general—
A: You're talking about a 120. It's the size of the film.

Q: Size of the film.
A: And they are also roll cameras—I mean, roll film.

Q: When you refer to 120, what does that mean—for the film?
A: It's the size of the film. Like a 35 millimeter, 120.

Q: Is that about two and a quarter inches?
A: I think so.

Q: Is that about what it is? And it would be fair to say, I assume, that a view camera is the large-format camera?
A: Yes. And we had a four-by-five view camera, a five-by-seven back, and an eight-by-ten. I forget the name of the eight-by-ten, but it also had a five-by-seven back on it. And it was a very expensive camera.

Q: Did you ever use the five-by-seven or eight-by-ten back cameras for autopsies?
A: No. We used that generally for portraiture.

Q: Could you explain, in just a very brief way, how the four-by-five camera works—the Graphic view camera that you had?
A: Well, you have a ground glass, where you focus on that. And you have the patient or the body—whatever it is. And you're on a tripod. And you can move the tripod, or you can move the camera. And, basically, it was very cumbersome, but that's the way it was years ago. And then, also, we used four-by-five speed Graphics, but basically for public relations. That was with the big flash and all.

Q: Okay. The speed Graphic camera would be easier to use from hand-held positions—
A: Yes.

Q:—is that right?
A: Correct.

Q: So, both the speed Graphic and the Graphic view camera are both four-by-five, but one of them is much larger and more cumbersome than the other; is that right?
A: That's correct. Or their backs—Maybe the four-by-five speed Graphic is a little bit larger than the view camera, but—It was heavy but you could hold it up to your eye; where the view camera had to be on a tripod.

Q: Is the speed Graphic the kind of camera that we typically think of in old movies with—
A: Yes, PR work.

Q:—with the press person taking photographs?
A: That's correct.

Q: Jimmy Olsen and Superman.
A: Yeah, with a big flash bulb in it.

Q: Okay.
A: And then after that, they came out with the electronic flash—the speed flash.

Q: Was there anyway of using 120 film in a Graphic view camera?
A: You could have a back on it, yes.

Q: A back that would hold a roll film?
A: Yes.

Q: Did you have any backs that would hold roll film in the photo lab in Bethesda around 1963?
A: I believe we did.

Q: Did you ever use that back that would hold 120 film during autopsies?
A: I don't think so.

Q: Now, you previously used the word "cumbersome" to describe the Graphic view camera, and said that you needed to hold—needed to have a tripod in order to hold it. If it is larger, heavier, more cumbersome, what would be the purpose for using a Graphic view camera in an autopsy?
A: Well, at that time, it was the only—the one available that was good, and that's all we had.

Q: Do you need more light for a Graphic view camera than for 35 millimeter?
A: Oh, yes.

Q: So, it needs more light, as well?
A: It needs more light, yes.

Q: What about the quality of the image from a four-by-five versus a 35 millimeter in 1963. Did one of them provide a better quality image?
A: I think a four-by-five did, because—Well, now, the films have become much better. But, back in those days, a four-by-five film was good.

Q: For a small-format camera, usually a 50 millimeter lens is considered to be standard or normal. Does that seem fair? Does that make sense to you?
A: In medicine, it was a 55 millimeter.

Q: Fifty-five millimeter lens for a small-format camera?
A: Yes.

Q: For something that would be—for a lens that would be standard or normal for a large-format camera, what would the millimeter of the lens be?
A: I think, about 50 millimeter.

Q: For a Graphic view camera, what about a lens that would be a wide-angle lens? What would be the millimeter of the lens?
A: Well, we had 28 millimeters. We had a series of lenses that we could choose from.

 Q: During an autopsy, would you change the size of the lens as you were taking photographs?
A: Very seldom. You would move the camera back and forth.

Q: So, would you, in the ordinary course, apply or use the standard or normal lens during an autopsy?
A: Correct.

Q: Typically, how many films or sheets did the back of a four-by-five camera hold?
A: Two, one on either side. You had to change it around to put it—to take the other one.

Q: Was there something called a press pack that you're familiar with?
A: Yes. There was a press pack that could take 12 exposures, I think.

Q: During autopsies, would you ever use a press pack?
A: No, not that I know of. In fact, the press pack, I don't think had the color film. That was all black and white.

Q: Would it be standard practice in 1963 to have autopsy photographs all in color?
A: Generally, they were done both. Color and black and white.

Q: When it was done in black and white, would you use a press pack or just the back that would hold two?
A: No, just the back that would hold two.

Q: Did the photo lab in Bethesda in 1963 have any Calumet cameras?
A: I believe so. The Calumet is also called a graphic view type camera.

Q: Were those ever used during it? Were those ever used during an autopsy?
A: Probably so. I don't remember.

Q: What would be the reason for using a Calumet versus a Graphic view camera, or vice versa?
A: Basically, they're the same. Like a Ford and Chevrolet, I mean.

Q: It was your personal preference, though, then to use the Graphic view camera? Is that fair, or some other explanation?
A: No. When I used it at the autopsy?

Q: Yes.
A: I used the camera that was on the tripod.

Q: That's what you would always use?
A: Yes, the camera that was on the tripod.

Q: Okay. Does that mean that—Well, could the Calumet camera go onto the tripod?
A: Yes.

Q: Okay. So, in some instances, there may be the Calumet and you would use that. And some instances, the Graphic; and you would use that.
A: That's correct.

Q: Did the photo lab have a Graphlex camera in 1963?
A: Yes. You mean the kind you look down into?

Q: Yes.
A: Yes.

Q: Approximately—
A: But it was never used.

Q: Okay.
A: It was used before that. It was an antique.

Q: Approximately, how many different four-by-five cameras were used at the photo lab around 1963?
A: The speed Graphic, you're talking about or—

Q: Yes, including the speed Graphic.
A: Each of the students had a speed Graphic outfit that they carried for their own use while they were there. And, basically, the numbers that we had, I don't remember.

Q: Other than the speed Graphic cameras that were used by the students, approximately how many other large-format cameras were available around 1963?
A: There was the one eight-by-ten that had the five-by-seven back on it. And there were probably two just four-by-five, because we always kept the one in the lab.

Q: Are you familiar with a camera named Burnhall?
A: No.

Q: Okay. Did the photo lab have any medium-format cameras around 1963?
A: I think we had a 120 there. We had it, basically, for the school.

Q: Was that a Mimiya flex; do you recall?
A: We had some, yes, Mimiya flexes there.

Q: Do you—Did you have any Hasselblads?
A: No, we wish we did.

Q: Any other medium-format cameras that you remember having there?
A: Yeah, Mimiya we had. I remember that now. And then the 120, 1 think it was. But then after that, we went to the Nikon. But that was after that.

Q: The Nikon was a 35 millimeter—
A: Correct.

Q:—or a medium format?
A: No, it was 35 millimeter.

Q: Okay. Could we switch from cameras now and talk a little bit about film?
A: Mm-hmm.

Q: You mentioned that you would—it would be typical to take black and white, as well as color film during an autopsy. And that it would typically be the two sheets of black and white that would be used. What kind of black and white film was used around 1963?
A: Panatomic X rings a bell. I don't remember, to tell you the truth.

Q: And that would take a negative image—
A: Yes.

Q:—is that right?
A: The color film was basically a positive image, because it was used as a slide generally.

Q: But the black and whites would always be made into prints, and not used—
A: Yes. Yes, they're for publication, because generally they didn't have color reproduction, so they used black and white.

Q: Do you recall the kind of color film that was used around 1963?
A: Kodachrome, it was. Kodachrome.

Q: Kodachrome or Ektachrome?
A: I think it was Koda—I'm not sure, to tell you the truth. I think it was Kodachrome, though.

Q: Did the lab have the capability of processing Kodachrome film in 1963?
A: Yes.

Q: What kind of equipment—and I mean this in just a very general way—was necessary for processing Kodachrome film in 1963?
A: You had to have a—It was a Fisher lab set up. It had to be temperature controlled. The room was air conditioned and temperature-controlled solutions.

Q: Was Kodachrome film much more difficult to process than Ektachrome film in 1963?
A: I don't think so.

Q: In autopsy photography, did you ever use color negative film around 1963?
A: I don't think so.

Q: Could the 120 film be both—or either color or black and white?
A: Yes.

Q: When you would use the 120 film, did you generally use color, or black and white, or was it just depending on the particular case?
A: There wasn't much color used with it, I don't think. It was basically a camera we just had there. I don't think it was used for many professional jobs. I think it was primarily teaching. Now, we had also the back that fit on the four-by-five.

Q: When you would put the 120 film back on a four-by-five, did you typically use color, or black and white; or it just would depend on the case?
A: I think it was probably black and white. And it was mostly for identification pictures, I think. I don't think it was used that much for medicine.

Q: Okay. What I'd like to do is to take a short break now, and I'd like to show you a document which I'll identify for you. And you can take some time to take a look at it. I'm going to ask you if this—if the document helps refresh your recollection about any contacts that you may have had with the House Select Committee on Assassinations? And take your time to read it.
A: Okay.

Q: Though you don't need to read it word for word, you're welcome to do so, if you wish.

MR. GUNN: The document is marked Exhibit No. 19. And it appears on its face to be a memo to the file from Andy Purdy, dated August 17th, 1977. It is a 17-page memorandum, and I would like to draw Mr. Stringer's attention particularly to pages 9 through 17 of the document. We'll take a short break.



Q: Mr. Stringer, have you had an opportunity to look through Exhibit 19?
A: Yes.

Q: Does the exhibit help refresh your recollection as to whether you ever spoke with people on the House Select Committee staff?
A: I don't remember speaking to them.

Q: Do you recall ever having seen the document before that's now marked Exhibit No. 19?
A: No, I've never seen it.

Q: After 1966, regarding what you previously testified that you had gone to the Archives to make an inventory, have you ever seen the autopsy photographs at the Archives at any point after that?
A: I have not. Not that I can recall.

Q: In the document marked Exhibit 19, it refers on page 14 to a visit that a Mr. Stringer and Jim Kelly and Colleen Boland took to the National Archives. Does that help refresh your recollection as to whether you ever went to the Archives?
A: It does not. I don't remember it.

Q: As you're sitting here today, does it seem to you to be very unlikely that you went to the Archives; or you just have no recollection, one way or the other?
A: I don't think I went. I don't have any recollection of it. And after `77, I was living in Vero Beach. It does say that I was staying with my daughter. Whose name is wrong here. It's R-u-s-k.

Q: Mrs. Rusk, rather than Mrs. Ross?
A: Rusk. I certainly don't remember going to the Archives with these people. I don't know how I would have gotten there.

Q: Do you believe that if you had gone to the Archives in 1977 to look at autopsy photographs that you would probably remember that, as you're sitting here today?
A: I would think I would.

Q: I'd like to turn now to the autopsy of President Kennedy and ask some questions about that. As you're sitting here today, do you recall whether you took any black and white photographs at the autopsy?
A: To tell you the truth, I don't remember. But we should have, if we didn't. I think we saw some negatives when we went in `66—some black and white negatives. But, generally, the film holders have on it whether they're color or black and white.

Q: In the autopsy of President Kennedy, was there anyone else present taking photographs in addition to yourself?
A: No.

Q: You have previously mentioned the name of Mr. Riebe.
A: Correct.

Q: Do you recall that?
A: Yes.

Q: Do you have any recollection as to whether Mr. Riebe took any photographs during the autopsy.
A: Mr. Riebe had a camera. We thought it was an occasion, and that we might take some pictures of some of the people in the room. And one of the FBI agents—or CIA, whoever it was—saw the camera, and he took the film out of the camera before there was any exposures made.

Q: When he took the film out of the camera, did you see him take the film out of the camera, or did you hear about that?
A: I heard about it from Riebe.

Q: Okay. Was it your understanding that the film had been exposed to light?
A: Correct.

Q: Now, if a film is exposed to light would it be something like translucent or transparent, or would it be black, if it were subsequently developed?
A: It would—I mean, if it were developed, it wouldn't show anything.

Q: It wouldn't show anything. But would the film be dark, or would it be clear?
A: It should be clear. There's no exposure.

Q: Do you know what kind of camera Mr. Riebe had at the autopsy?
A: It was a 120. I don't know what—I don't remember the name of it.

Q: Are you familiar with the name of Mr. Robert Knudsen?
A: Knudsen. A doctor?

Q: White House photographer.
A: Not that I can recall, no.

Q: Do you ever recall meeting with anyone who was a White House photographer anytime during the Kennedy or Johnson administrations?
A: Meeting? Not that I—

Q: Meeting, or knowing, or conversing with any White House photographers.
A: I know they had a photographer at the White House. But I don't remember that, no.

Q: Is the name Knudsen familiar to you at all?
A: I knew a Dr. Knudsen. But if I ever met him, I don't remember.

Q: Okay. In addition to Mr. Riebe, was there anyone else at the autopsy who had a camera that you recall?
A: None at all.

Q: If there had been someone else at the autopsy with a camera, do you believe, as you're sitting here today, that you would recall that?
A: Yes. If he had a camera, he couldn't have taken a picture there anyway.

Q: Other than Mr. Riebe, was there anyone else at the autopsy who was assisting you in taking photographs?
A: No.

Q: What kind of lighting did the morgue at Bethesda have, other than any artificial lighting that you would have brought in?
A: It had fluorescents, I believe, in the overhead. And then it had a light over the table.

Q: Was the lighting that was normally in the morgue at Bethesda sufficient for taking autopsy. photographs?
A: No.

Q: What did you take with you to the autopsy?
A: We had speed lights.

Q: Can you explain, briefly, what a speed light is?
A: Well, it's like a flash. And you press it along with the camera. It's synchronized, and exposes it.

Q: Okay. Did you take any other kind of lighting with you, in addition to the speed lights?
A: No. Now, these were mounted on a stand, and they had rollers on them.

Q: Approximately, how many speed lights did you take with you?
A: Two.

Q: Was that standard procedure, to have two speed lights?
A: Yes.

Q: Were the lights always behind you when you were taking photographs?
A: On the side of the camera.

Q: On the side. Were speed lights ever called floodlights?
A: No. A floodlight would be an incandescent lamp. That would be hot. Now, that's what we just used to use before the speed lights came into effect.

Q: The speed lights were in existence in 1963?
A: That's correct.

Q: Could you look at the top of page 10 of the document marked No. 19, please? Will you look on the top paragraph of the last sentence, which reads, "He said there were probably floodlights used." Do you see that at the top of the page?
A: Yes.

Q: Would it be your understanding that that statement is inaccurate?
A: Yes.

Q: By the way, with respect to Exhibit No. 19, do you have any understanding or idea of how that document might have come into existence, or why there would be references to a Mr. Stringer?
A: No.

Q: Does it surprise you to see Exhibit 19?
A: Yes, it does. Although, there are things in there that are true.

Q: Without your answer to this being necessarily exhaustive, are there other things that stood out in Exhibit No. 19 as being incorrect? Is there anything that you now recall that seem to be incorrect?
A: I don't know.

Q: I'd like to show you a document that has been marked as Exhibit MD 80. Could you take a look at that document and tell me whether you've ever seen that previously?
A: Yes. I, evidently, wrote that; yes.

MR. GUNN: I'll state for the record that on its face Exhibit MD 80 appears to be a letter, dated September 11th, 1977, from Mr. John T. Stringer, Jr. to Mr. Donald A. Purdy, Jr.


Q: Mr. Stringer, do you have any recollection of having written the letter?
A: I guess, I must have. But that was in 1977. I don't have a copy of it.

Q: As best you can tell, is that your signature—
A: Yes.

Q:—at the bottom of the page?
A: Yes, I would say it is. Yes.

Q: Does the letter help refresh your recollection about any contacts, even through writing, that you may have had with the House Select Committee on Assassinations?
A: Well, evidently, this was from them, but—But I don't even—I mean, this is bringing back memories, but I don't remember

Q: Does Exhibit No. 80 refresh your recollection as to whether you may have met with anyone on the House Select Committee staff?
A: I don't remember meeting with anyone on the House Committee staff, no. You mean physically, face to face?

Q: Yes.
A: No.

Q: Do you recall going to Washington at any time during 1977?
A: I generally went up to see my kids, yes. But I don't remember going down with anybody to see the pictures.

Q: In Exhibit 19, there are a couple of references, which I have recorded as being on pages 11 to 12 and 16, that state that you did not take color photographs—excuse me—you did not take black and white photographs at the autopsy. Are those statements correct or incorrect? Although, on pages 11 to 12, it's right at the end of the page.
A: Well, I don't know whether I did or not, but I think I did when I see all this.

Q: You think that you did—
A: Took some black and white.

Q: When you say "see all of this", what are you referring to?
A: Well, seeing what was said back in those days.

Q: You're referring to Exhibit 19?
A: Well, I am referring to some of the other things that were said that there were black and whites taken.

Q: Okay.
A: If we had the chit from the thing, it would say how many films were taken.

Q: Do you recall having filled out the chit with respect to the autopsy of President Kennedy?
A: I think so, yes.

Q: Could you look at the top of page 16?
A: Yes.

Q: The first full sentence, which I'll read for the record. "He said in the general autopsy he took only color photo -" Excuse—Let me try that again. "He said in the general autopsy he only took color photographs." Do you see that at the top of the page?
A: Yes.

Q: Is that a correct statement as to what you did during the autopsy?
A: I actually don't remember, but we generally took black and white and color at the same time. Now, if we have black and white negatives, then, we probably took it. But, then, you can also take black and white negatives from a color print.

Q: When you say took them, who do you mean by "we"?
A: I. Excuse me.

Q: Could you describe for me how the photography took place at the autopsy of President Kennedy? And maybe if we can just start out by, were you present in the morgue when the body arrived?
A: Yes, I was in the morgue when the body arrived.

Q: Prior to the time the body arrived, had you taken any photographs?
A: No.

Q: When did you first start taking photographs?
A: After they had finished the X-rays, and put the X-rays on the view box, and interpreted them.

Q: Do you remember approximately how much time there was between the time that the body was taken out of the casket and you began to take photographs?
A: Oh, it must have been more than an hour by the time they took the X-rays. And they had to develop them, and bring them back down.

Q: Do you recall what kind of casket the body arrived in?
A: It was a metal casket.

Q: What color was it?
A: I think it was sort of a brownish.

Q: Do you remember what kind of lid it had?
A: One that opens.

Q: On hinges?
A: Yes.

Q: What was President Kennedy's body wrapped in, if anything, when it arrived?
A: It was wrapped in two sheets; one around the head, and one around the body.

Q: These were cloth sheets? Plastic sheets?
A: They were just like off of the bed. hospital sheets.

Q: Okay. Once you started taking photographs, did you take all of the photographs all at approximately the same time, or did you take photographs throughout the autopsy?
A: It was throughout the autopsy.

Q: You mentioned previously the photographs were in two to a pack; is that right?
A: Yes.

Q: When you—
A: To a film holder.

Q: To a film holder. When you pulled out the film holder from the camera, what did you do with it?
A: Held it in my hand, because It's silver when it's not exposed. And then when you expose it, then you put the black side in. Then you take it out, turn it over, and put the other side in.

Q: Okay. And when you had the film holder in your hand with exposed film, what did you then do with the film holder?
A: I gave it to the agent or to Riebe—to someone, and they took it. And they put them in a box, because they did not want anybody else to have them.

Q: When you say "they", you're referring to—
A: Either Secret Service or CIA, whoever it was. They said that's what we were to do.

Q: Okay. Did anyone show you any identification, so you would have known whether it was Secret Service or any other agency?
A: No.

Q: They were wearing civilian clothes?
A: Wearing civilian clothes. And I believe Dr. Humes and Dr. Stover said to do what they wanted.

Q: Do you recall at any point taking just one of the sheets—or exposing one of the sheets in a holder, and not exposing the other sheet?
A: Never.

Q: That wouldn't have been your practice? Just to do one side—
A: No.

Q:—and then hand it to them. And so, roughly, you would estimate that there would be two sheets that had been exposed for each holder; is that right?
A: For each holder.

Q: Did you alternate between black and white sheets, or did you take all color and then black and white? Do you have any recollection?
A: No, you'd have to alternate.

Q: Did you take any exposures that would show the full length of the body of President Kennedy?
A: Yes.

Q: So, it would be from head to toe?
A: Yes.

Q: From the side?
A: From above.

Q: From above?
A: Shooting down.

Q: Okay. Did you take any that would take the full length of the body from the left side or the right side?
A: I don't remember.

Q: Is it difficult, with the size lens that you have, to take a photograph of the entire length of the body in the room—in the morgue?
A: Well, you get back far enough, you could do it. Yes.

Q: So, that didn't present any particular difficulties?
A: No.

Q: Did you take any photographs of the head before the scalp was pulled down?
A: Yes.

Q: Did you take any photographs of the head after scalp had been pulled down or reflected?
A: Yes.

Q: Did you take any photographs of the body before Y incision?
A: Yes.

Q: Did you take any photographs after there had been a Y incision?
A: We took pictures of the insides, yes.

Q: What kinds of pictures did you take of the insides?
A: What they told us to take.

Q: Do you have any recollection now as to what those shots would have been?
A: Well, there was some in—an anterior shot up around the neck, and down around the adrenals.

Q: Did you take any photographs of organs after they had been removed from the body?
A: Not that I can recall, no.

Q: Did you take any photographs showing the inside of the cranium?
A: After the brain was removed?

Q: Yes.
A: I don't remember. I know we did with the brain in there. It seems to me, we did. It's vague.

Q: Did you see metal or any other kind of probes being used during the autopsy?
A: Yes.

Q: Did you take any photographs with probes in the body?
A: Not that I can recall.

Q: Were any probes put inside the cranium that you recall?
A: I don't think so. I think it was primarily in the neck area.

Q: Was the probe put into the neck, or did it come out of the neck?
A: It was put into the back part.

Q: The back of the body. And then did the probe come out the neck?
A: No.

Q: So, when you're referring to the neck, you're referring from behind?
A: From behind.

Q: Did you take any photographs with the President lying on his—of the President lying on his back?
A: Yes.

Q: Did you take any photographs with the President lying on his stomach?
A: I think so.

Q: Did you take any photographs with the President in a seated position?
A: Yes. From the back.

Q: Would his body then have been, roughly, at a 90 degree angle with his—
A: Well, a little bit less than 90; yes. But it was held up.

Q: Basically, his trunk would have been vertical—
A: Yes.

Q:—with his legs still straight?
A: Correct. Correct.

Q: Do you remember what you were photographing when the President was in a seated position?
A: Some things on the back. Some openings sort of.

Q: On the back of his—in the back of his head, or the back of his body—his torso?
A: Well, from the neck down.

Q: Neck down.
A: Below the neck.

Q: Did you, yourself take any roll film out and expose it during the course of the autopsy or—
A: No.

Q:—or for any film taken that night?
A: No. But we did not use roll film. The only one was in that camera that Riebe had that was exposed by someone from the Secret Service.

Q: The one—the camera that you mentioned earlier?

A: Yeah, the 120. That's the only roll film that was in there.

Q: Could you turn again to Exhibit No. 19, page 10? Could you look at the bottom paragraph on page 10, please, and read that through.

A: Mm-hmm.

Q: As you're sitting here today and you see a reference to a small camera, would that prompt in your mind a 35 millimeter, or a medium-format?

 A: A medium format, because we didn't have a 35 millimeter.

Q: Mr. Stringer, we have an audio recording that has been told to us is an audio recording of a telephone call between you and Mr. Lifton that was mentioned earlier. That was—it's been told to us—was recorded about 1972. We'd like to play some excerpts of it for you, to see if it helps refresh your recollection, whether you can identify—or whether you can verify that the conversation took place or not. What I'd like to do is to give you a copy of the transcript that we have made from this recording. And you should listen—The transcript should be to help you find it, and you can verify whether the transcript seems accurate to you as we play part of the tape. After we play it through once, you're welcome to have us play it through again. Some of the portions of this are going to be of greater interest to us than others. And let me just state for you that, in some portions of the tape, Mr. Lifton states his opinion about issues. And we're not interested in Mr. Lifton's opinions. We're interested about the questions that he asked you and the substance of your answers. So, if Mr. Lifton says that somebody said something or somebody didn't, we're not asking you verify whether that's true or not. And we'd just as soon that you not pay any attention to that. This is down at the bottom of the page. This is Excerpt #2.

MR. GUNN: Wait, just one moment before we start.


Q: Mr. Stringer, the first question that I will ask you when the recording is over is whether you recall having had this conversation with Mr. Lifton.
A: I've had several conversations with Mr. Lifton.

MR. GUNN: Okay.

[Whereupon, the audio tape was played.]

LIFTON: Were any bullets taken out of the body in your presence?

LIFTON: Yeah, that's what I—you know, that's what I was wondering, because they were pretty puzzled that they couldn't find any.
STRINGER: I think there were some portions, or slivers, or something.

LIFTON: Yeah. Okay. Well, when you...when you...when you lifted him out, was the main damage to the skull on the top, or in the back?
STRINGER: In the back.

LIFTON: In the back? In the back. High in the back, or lower in the back?
STRINGER: Oh, the occipital part in the back there, (GARBLED) up above the neck.

LIFTON: Yeah. In other words, the main part of his head that was blasted away was in the occipital part of the skull?
STRINGER: Yes, the back part.

LIFTON: The back portion? Okay. In other words, there was no five-inch hole in the top of his head?
STRINGER: Oh, it was—Some of it was blown off, yeah. I mean, towards—out of the top in the back, yeah.

LIFTON: Top in the back. I see. But the top in the front was pretty...pretty—oh, I don't know what word—intact?
STRINGER: Yeah, sure.

LIFTON: The top front was intact?

[End of audio tape portion.]

MR. GUNN: Please stop for a moment. The next portion, we're not particularly interested in. So, there's no need to particularly pay attention till we come down to what on the transcript is the bottom of page six, starting with Mr. Lifton saying, "I see. I see."

Off the record.

[Discussion off the record.]

[Whereupon, the audio tape continued.]

LIFTON: I see. I see. Let me ask you another way of stating that. And this is a good way of stating what I asked you before. If you lie back in a bathtub—you know, just in a totally prone position and you...and your head rests against the bathtub, is that the part of the head—you know, is that the part of the head that was damaged?

LIFTON: That part?

LIFTON: Back in the part that would be against the tile of the bathtub?

LIFTON: I see. Whereas, the part that would be straight up ahead—you know, vertically in that position—was...was undamaged?
STRINGER: Oh, no. I probably wouldn't say undamaged", no. I mean, it was—Some of it was gone. I mean, out of the—some of the bone.

LIFTON: Yeah. I see.

[End of audio tape portion.]

MR. GUNN: Okay.


Q: Mr. Stringer, do you recall having had the conversation that we just listened to with Mr. Lifton?
A: I don't recall it, but from the tape. Somebody else played it for me.

Q: Does that sound as if it was an accurate recording of the conversation that you had with Mr. Lifton?
A: I don't know whether it was or not, but it's not true—what's on there.

Q: In what respect is it not true, what's on there?
A: Well, it—Well, the bullet came in the back and came out the side.

Q: The question that I'd be interested in is not what the trajectory of the bullet was, which wasn't discussed there—
A: Yeah.

Q:—but just where the wound was on President Kennedy. Did you tell Mr. Lifton that the wound was in the occiput or the occipital region?
A: I don't remember telling him that, no.

Q: Was there a wound in the occipital region of the President—
A: Yes, the entry.

Q: By "the entry", you mean what?
A: Where the bullet went.

Q: And how big was the entry wound?
A: About the size of a bullet, from what you could see. On the inside where the bone was, I guess it was different.

Q: Could you describe what the skull looked like as best you can now recall?
A: Well—

Q: I'm sorry. If I can just add one more—Just the nature of the damage to the skull of the President, without respect to entrance or exit. Just what the wound looked like.
A: Well, the side of the head, the bone was gone. But there was a flap, where you could lay it back. But the back—I mean, if you held it in, there was no vision. It was a complete head of hair. And on the front, there was nothing—the scalp. There was nothing in the eyes. You could have—Well, when they did the body, you wouldn't have known there was anything wrong.

Q: Can you think of any reason why you would have used the word occiput or oecipital portion to describe the wound to Mr. Lifton?
A: I can't think of any reason.

Q: I would like to show you a skull that we showed to Dr. Boswell during his deposition, where he was sitting in exactly the same seat where you are now, and ask you to comment on that.

MR. GUNN: I'll state for the record that this plastic skull has been marked as ARRB MD Exhibit No. 74, and it has the initials of J. T. Boswell from February 26,1996 on it.


Q: I'd like to show you—Although, Mr.—Dr. Boswell's transcript will speak for itself, he identified the mark, number one, as the extent of the damage of the wound in the skull. And he marked line number two as being a tear in the scalp. I'd just like to ask you to comment of whether the drawing by Dr. Boswell, which he said and certainly not exact—whether that corresponds to your recollection?
A: Well, when I saw it, the scalp was here with the hair on it.

Q: Now, the scalp—
A: When I took a picture.

Q: And when you're saying—
A: And when they—

Q: I'm sorry.
A: Yes?

Q: It's just that it won't be clear on the transcript.
A: Okay.

Q: When you say "here," you're covering the entire back of the skull—
A: Yes, the entire—

Q:—including the occipital region?
A: Right. Right.

Q: Okay. And at that place, the scalp was intact?
A: Yes.

Q: Okay.
A: But you could peel it back.

Q: Okay. Peel the scalp back?
A: Yes.

Q: Okay. And when the scalp was peeled back, did the injury to the skull appear to be of the—very raw, for general dimensions—what Dr. Boswell marked on the plastic skull here?
A: Well, all I saw was this out. But this might have been cracked and stuff. But this was all gone—this bone—from here.

Q: Okay. Now, when you say "this bone", you're referring to the portion between—on the model, between
A: The parietal, yes.

Q: The parietal bone.
A: Yeah.

Q: And the portion between the numbers one that is in a circle and the number two in a circle?
A: Let's see. That may be a little bit back here behind the ear, right out through here.

Q: Okay. So, you're pointing right now chiefly to the parietal—
A: Yes.

Q:—region; is that fair?
A: Correct.

Q: Above the ear?
A: Right.

Q: And, now, in terms of the back of the skull, was the portion that would include part of the occiput also severely damaged when you saw the President's head?
A: Yes. But when—When I first saw it, this was all intact. But then they peeled it back, and then you could see this part of the bone gone. But some of it was up in here. The bone was still here.

Q: Okay. Once again, because it won't be clear on the transcript—
A: Yeah.

Q:—I'm going to try and put it into words.
A: Okay.

Q: And tell me if I'm saying it correctly. When you were pointing to the skull, you were pointing chiefly to the right parietal—
A: Yes.

Q:—area, as being the area that was missing; is that correct?
A: Yeah, from here up.

Q: Okay. And you're pointing roughly from—
A: By the ear.

Q:—from the ear forward.
A: To just about up there. It did not come into the optic area.

Q: Okay. Now, in terms of the wound in the back of the head, you said previously that when the scalp—before the scalp was peeled back, the scalp was all
A: Intact.

Q:—intact. Now, let me point out to you a circle, which is on the back of the skull—that's a small, self-contained circle—which Dr. Boswell identified as being the entrance wound, or what he believed to be the entrance wound. Does that small circle seem to be, to you, accurate in terms of showing where there was a hole in the
A: I thought it was over here.

Q: When you say "over here", you're pointing more towards the external occipital protuberance?
A: Yes.

Q: Is that right?
A: Yes.

Q: Now, slightly above the portion where there is a self-contained circle and what Dr. Boswell drew, there is a—again, a large circular—or a large area where Dr. Boswell identified the skull as being severely disrupted. Does that seem to correspond to what you observed, or is that—does that not correspond?
A: No, it corresponds. But he was there right at the—and he could see, where I was to the side. So, all I saw was this part and this part.

Q: Okay. And when you are pointing now to—when you say "this part and this part", you're first to the occipital
A: That was intact. It was intact.

Q: Okay. It was intact still when the scalp was reflected; or just when the scalp was all the way up, it looked intact?
A: Well, it was intact up here, but then they could peel it back. And the same way down here. This could be peeled up.

Q: Okay.
A: All of his hair was intact.

Q: Okay. So, the hair was intact. When the scalp was pulled back—and we're now just
A: Yes.

Q:—talking about the skull, not the scalp at all
A: Yes.

Q:—was the occipital bone intact, or was it severely disrupted?
A: Well, some of it was disrupted, yes.

Q: So that it would be fair to say that there was a significant disruption in the—
A: There were fractures in there.

Q: Fractures in there.
A: But some of the bone was still there. It wasn't destroyed.

Q: So, the bone was in place, but there were fractures—
A: Yes.

Q:—through the occipital region?
A: Yes.

Q: Was any portion of the occipital bone missing after the scalp was reflected?
A: Not that I can recall.

Q: Mr. Stringer, I'd like to show you a document that was shown to Mr. Thomas E. Robinson, who was one of the morticians who reconstructed President Kennedy's skull afterwards. Unlike Dr. Boswell's testimony, the statements of Mr. Robinson were not made under oath, so—Just so that information is disclosed to you. On page—the last page of Exhibit No. 88, Mr. Robinson drew a picture of the portion of the skull that was missing at the time that he did the reconstruction. I'd like you to look at that, and see whether that corresponds to your own recollection.
A: Now, what does he say that's missing? All of this?

Q: The portion that is the circle—
A: Oh.

Q:—towards the back is the portion that is missing—or there's a large part. And that there is disruption in the dotted portions of the skull.
A: Well, I saw the most missing over here on the parietal. It was gone.

Q: So, when you say "here", you're referring to what on the sheet of paper is the right side.
A: Yes.

Q: And which is marked "parietal bone"?
A: Correct. From the ear, like in here.

Q: Okay. And where Mr. Robinson drew a circle showing missing occipital bone, would it be—do you have any recollection of whether that—any portion of that occipital bone was missing?
A: I don't know, because I don't—I don't think I ever saw the whole hair pulled down that far.

Q: Did you ever take a picture of the back with the scalp reflected?
A: I think we did.

Q: Then, wouldn't you have seen the back of the head with the scalp reflected?
A: Should have. But whether it was—they had taken some of the bone away or something, I don't know.

Q: When you saw the back of the head with the scalp reflected, was there bone missing, regardless of when that bone was taken out?
A: I didn't see it missing.

Q: You didn't see any missing. So, when you saw the back of the head, the occipital bone—other than a bullet—what you've characterized as a bullet entry wound, you saw no missing
A: Not as far as I can remember, no.

Q: Okay.
A: No.

Q: Are you fairly confident that your recollection that you have now is accurate?
A: As far as I can think about it. But, here again, I was away from the table. The only time I was up at the table—when we took a picture. Then I stepped back. I was within three or four feet of the table at all times.

Q: In terms of standard autopsy procedure, would it have been standard procedure to take a closeup photograph of any wound that was identified as a possible entry wound?
A: Yes. But, here again, whatever they told us to take, I took.

Q: Do you recall during the autopsy believing that a photograph should be taken, but one was not asked for you to take?
A: I don't—I don't know. I don't know—I don't know how much they wanted to show. But they told us what to take, and we took it.

Q: When you say "they," whom are you referring to now?
A: Dr. Humes was, primarily. Dr. Boswell and Dr. Finck.

Q: Did you have the sense at some point that Dr. Humes did not want you to take a photograph of the back of the head with the scalp reflected?
A: No, I didn't have any idea at that time.

Q: In your conversation with Mr. Lifton, you referred to the wound on President Kennedy's head as an occipital wound; is that—
A: That's what I heard.

Q: In terms of the drawing that we've identified as Exhibit No. 88, showing the back of the head, would you agree that the place where Dr.—or where Mr. Robinson drew the large part—the large wound, the missing wound—was in the occipital bone?
A: Well, yes. That's what his drawing shows, yes. Occipital.

Q: Okay. Mr. Stringer, I'd like to show you some videotape of an interview between Mr. Lifton and Floyd Riebe. And I can say to you that, yesterday, I spoke with Mr. Riebe by telephone about this interview. Although I did not discuss any very specific portion of the interview, I asked him generally whether the statements in the interview were correct to the best of his understanding. And he said yes, they were; and that he was prepared to testify to that under oath. So, I'd like to show you some of those. Because of the way that it's located on the videotape, we're going to show you one of the last portions of the videotape. Then return, and show you some earlier portions. I have, once again, a transcript of the videotape, if that would help you hear it. Although, this is much clearer than the telephone conversation that was recorded.

MR. GUNN: Go ahead, please.

[Whereupon, the videotape was played.]

RIEBE: A broad circle.
MR. VALENTINO: Look straight into that, please. Could I turn this sideways? Just make that circle again, please, as you're talking. That was all gone; right?
RIEBE: Mm-hmm. Right.
MR. VALENTINO: They didn't have any other piece of it?
DSL: How high did it come up back of the head?
RIEBE: About up to here.
DSL: Okay. And just keep—Do the whole perimeter.

[End of videotape portion.]

[Videotape shows Mr. Riebe finger-tracing on the photograph an area at the back of the head, where he remembers a wound.]

MR. GUNN: Okay, Doug. Let me state for the record that the portion of the videotape that we just viewed on the timer on the videotape is at 1:3:54 to 1:4:43.


Q: Mr. Stringer, were you able to see the videotape?
A: Yes.

Q: Did you see the circle that Mr. Riebe drew on the photograph of the back of the head?
A: Yes.

Q: Based upon your experience in anatomy, would it be fair to say that the circle that he was drawing on the photograph of the head was principally in the occipital—
A: Yes, it was.

Q:—region of the head?
A: Mm-hmm.

MR. GUNN: Okay. Could we go back to page 11? Off the record.

[Discussion off the record.]

MR. GUNN: Okay. Mr. Stringer, I'm about to show you part of a videotape that was recorded on the transcript between pages 11 and 13. It starts on the videotape timer at 11:30. Hold off for just one moment.
THE WITNESS: Now, is this it?

MR. GUNN: That's not.
THE WITNESS: Which ones now?

MR. GUNN: The document I'm going to show you is a transcript of the videotape, the authenticity of which has not been independently verified. The portion that we're going to be turning to is page 11. And we will be starting at portion—We'll actually start a little bit before, but

MR. GUNN:—here's where we're going to be particularly starting to pay attention.

MR. GUNN: Okay, if we can go to the videotape.

[Whereupon, the videotape was played.]

DSL: What did you see, in terms of like the head?
RIEBE: From that angle, I didn't see anything wrong with the head, other than the notch right here.

DSL: The notch right there. So, tell me how you learned more about the head.
RIEBE: Well, when they sat him up—

DSL: Yeah.
RIEBE:—right after, I think it was Colonel Finck, an Army ballistics specialist, came in.

DSL: Yeah.
RIEBE: Pathologist. And they were—him and the Navy pathologist were all talking. And then they sat the President up. And, see, nothing was left there, back of his head.

DSL: Well, what did the back of the head look like?
RIEBE: Nothing.

DSL: Well—
RIEBE: There was nothing there.

DSL: What was there? When you say—
RIEBE: A big hole.

DSL: A big hole?
RIEBE: A big hole, right in the occipital region of the head.

DSL: And put your hand again—Where was it?
RIEBE: Right back here.

DSL: I see. How high did it go, if you would give me a rough estimate from memory?
RIEBE: Well, from this figure—the center of the head, maybe three inches back was Still bone.

DSL: Was there?
RIEBE: Yeah. And then from three inches down to the base of the skull was gone.

DSL: Just gone?
RIEBE: Yeah.

DSL: When they raised him up like that—And then you're looking at him; right?
RIEBE: Well, I was in front, but then I walked around back to get some broad views of what was happening.

DSL: Had he already been flapped?
RIEBE: What do you mean, flapped?

DSL: Well, when you and I talked, you used the expression "flapped"—the business of removing the scalp.
RIEBE: Oh, yeah. That had already been done. That was already open, the skin.

DSL: The skin was already open?
RIEBE: Yeah.

DSL: I see. And, so, you saw this hole back there?
RIEBE: Mm-hmm.

DSL: So, it looked like—Can you tell me—You say it looked like a hole, or what?
RIEBE: It looked like a hole, yeah. It looked like it was just blown away.

DSL: Just blown away.
RIEBE: Mm-hmm.

[End of videotape portion.]

MR. GUNN: Okay. That's—


Q: Mr. Stringer, are you able to recognize Floyd Riebe from the videotape?
A: Yes. I guess, it's him. It sort of looks like him.

Q: It looks like him. He's a little bit older—
A: Older.

Q:—than the last time you saw him?
A: Yes.

Q: Does Mr. Riebe's recollection of sitting the President correspond with your own recollection?
A: They did sit him up, yes.

Q: Mr. Riebe, as I'm sure you heard, referred to the wound being in the occipital region. Did you hear that?
A: Yes.

Q: Does that correspond with your own recollection?
A: No, it does not.

Q: Okay.

MR. GUNN: Doug, if we can go to page—go to timer 17:33. This will be page 17 of the transcript.

[Whereupon, the videotape continued.]

DSL: So, did you take pictures of this area on the back of the head?

DSL: You did?
RIEBE: Long shots.

DSL: Long.
RIEBE: Mr. Stringer was doing all the closeup photography.

DSL: And you were doing the long shots?
RIEBE: Right.

DSL: Okay.
RIEBE: That's anything from three feet or more away.

DSL: And you did take pictures showing the back of the head—

DSL:—blown out?

DSL: So, let me just put it, so you'll be saying it to our camera. Could you just tell us what kind of pictures you took of the back of the head?
RIEBE: Well, I took several color four-by-five shots. And then I switched to my 35, which—I had a small, telephoto lens on it.

DSL: Okay.
RIEBE: Nothing big.

DSL: And if those shots showed what you've described, what would you...what would you expect your pictures to show of the back of the head?
RIEBE: That there was a gaping hole there.

DSL: So, you took pictures showing a gaping hole?
RIEBE: Right.

DSL: At any time, did you or anybody assisting you lift up scalp or put scalp in place to prevent us from seeing the gaping hole?
RIEBE: No, not that I know of.

DSL: So, you at no time lifted anything up to obstruct the hole?

DSL: So, you would expect your pictures to show a gaping hole?
RIEBE: Right.

[End of the videotape portion.]

MR. GUNN: Okay, Doug.


Q: Mr. Stringer, were you able to hear the words of Mr. Riebe in the videotape?
A: Yes, I was.

Q: To the best of your recollection, did Mr. Riebe take any photographs of the President's body?
A: No, he did not.

Q: Did Mr. Riebe, to the best of your recollection, have a 35 millimeter camera in—
A: No, he did not. There was only the one camera in the autopsy room, the four-by-five.

Q: Previously, you mentioned that there was a camera that took 120—that used 120 film.
A: On the back, yes. There was an adapter.

Q: Okay. So, that was not a medium-format camera. It was an adapter for a four-by-five.
A: That's correct. The only other medium was the one that he'd carried in, which the film was destroyed.

Q: Okay. I'm interested in that camera, that the film was destroyed on. What camera was that, that had been taken in?
A: The 135—I mean, the 120.

Q: Okay. And that was the one that you had thought was likely to be a Mimiyaflex; is that right?
A: No, it was not a Mimiyaflex.

Q: Oh. What kind of 120—
A: It was a cheap, little camera that we had around the lab.

Q: Okay. And, so, if Mr. Riebe were to have taken any photographs of the body, it would have been with that cheap, medium-format camera?
A: Yeah, but there wasn't any film in it.

Q: Okay.
A: They took the film.

Q: Okay.

MR. GUNN: Doug, can we go to page 21; 21:35.

[Discussion off the record.]

[Whereupon, the videotape continued.]

RIEBE: But this is the occipital region here.

DSL: And what did you see there?
RIEBE: Nothing. There was nothing there.

DSL: But there's something here in the picture.
RIEBE: Right. That's not a picture that I've taken.

DSL: How come it's at the National Archive? How come this is there?
RIEBE: I don't have any idea.

[End of videotape portion.]

MR. GUNN: Okay.


Q: Mr. Stringer, were you able to hear Mr. Riebe in the videotape?
A: Yes, I was.

MR. GUNN: Doug, could you go ahead to—this is a change, but to 35. And it would be 35:40. We've got a slight change here. We're going to start on page 34 of the transcript, 34:22 of the tape. "Say it again" is the first line.

[Discussion off the record.]

[Whereupon, the videotape continued.]

DSL: Say it again. So, when you got through with the 12 pack, what did you do with the 12 pack?
RIEBE: I gave it to the Secret Service. It was either the Secret Service or FBI, one of the two.

DSL: Civilian?
RIEBE: Civilian; right.

DSL: And he...he was right there?
RIEBE: Right.

DSL: They would know to count.
RIEBE: Everything—every film, every picture that I took, I'm pretty sure he got a mental count on it.

DSL: And were any—And these scene photographs were taken with the four-by-five?
RIEBE: Mm-hmm.

DSL: Not with any other camera?
RIEBE: No, with four-by-five.

DSL: Did you take any pictures at all with 120 roll?
RIEBE: Not 120.1 did with 35.

DSL: With 35?
RIEBE: Right. The only 120 camera we had at the school, I was not that good with. It was an old Mimiyaflex.

DSL: Yeah.
RIEBE: And I didn't like that camera, really, that much at all. So, I used a Canon 35 millimeter.

DSL: So, you didn't take any pictures at all with a 1—
RIEBE: Not with a 120, no.

DSL: Your pictures of the body were taken with a 35 mil—Did you take any pictures of the body with a 35 millimeter?
RIEBE: Some, yeah. More or less, general overview. I had a small...a small roll. It was 20 exposures or—yeah, 20 exposures.

DSL: Do you remember the incident of taking pictures inside the chest?

DSL: Well, I mean, did they—Do you remember finding a bruise inside the chest when they opened him up? Do you remember the Y incision?
RIEBE: Yeah.

DSL: Did they do—You were there when they did the Y incision?
RIEBE: Right.

DSL: Did they ask you to take any pictures internal?
RIEBE: No. Pictures internally would have had to have been done with a tripod, I'm sure.

DSL: Yeah.
RIEBE: Because that's the only way we've done this is—You know, after I got out of school when I was at the Pathology Institute, we always used a tripod, because you have to take a timed exposure.

DSL: I see. And you weren't using the tripod?
RIEBE: No. Mr. Stringer—

DSL: So that—
RIEBE:—had the tripod in there.

DSL: Mr. Stringer was using the tripod?
RIEBE: Right. He had—

DSL: So, if they called for pictures inside the chest, which needed the tripod, Mr. Stringer—
RIEBE: Right. Mr. Stringer was right there with the four-by-five view camera. And he could have got all the angles and corrections—everything to make a decent picture.

DSL: Okay.
RIEBE: But with a hand-held camera, it's awfully hard to do.

DSL: So, you were doing the hand-held work?
RIEBE: Right.

DSL: By the way, what kind...what kind of—What was it they needed your hand-held work for, if Stringer was using the tripod?
RIEBE: Just general overviews mostly.

DSL: General overviews?
RIEBE: Right. Mr. Stringer did the closeups.

DSL: Okay. But with the back of the head, you did those? Or Stringer?
RIEBE: Mr. Stringer did some.

DSL: Yeah.
RIEBE: He got the closer views. And I did from about him to the wound.

DSL: Yeah.
RIEBE: We'd swing the camera out of the way, and I took a few shots with the big camera.

DSL: And, so, the one you're using for the back.
RIEBE: That showed the head.

DSL: Yeah.
RIEBE: And Mr. Stringer showed just the immediate area.

DSL: I see. And your camera, that you did just the head with, is four-by-five?
RIEBE: It was a four-by-five speed

DSL: Okay. So, the 35 millimeter camera was used for what, then?
RIEBE: I did some general overviews, took pictures of the throat and the face, side views of the body.

DSL: About how many pictures do you think you took that night?
RIEBE: Well, I took 24 four-by-fives and one roll of 35.

DSL: One roll of 35?
RIEBE: Uh-huh. So, that was another 20 exposures. It would be about 44.

DSL: Forty-four that you took?
RIEBE: Yeah.

DSL: That's not counting Stringer?
RIEBE: No. I don't know how many he took. He was—I think Mr. Stringer was using color.

DSL: Yeah.
RIEBE: Because we had big stack of film cassettes in there.

DSL: Were you using color, or black and white, or both?
RIEBE: Black and white.

DSL: Black and white only?
RIEBE: Color on the 35.

DSL: Okay. Color on the 35.
RIEBE: Right.

DSL: So, if you have a complete collection of everything from that night—from the work of you and Stringer, there's supposed to be 35 millimeter film in there?
RIEBE: Mm-hmm.

DSL: No question about that?
RIEBE: No question about that. 

DSL: You took 35—
RIEBE: Right.

DSL:—millimeter pictures?
RIEBE: Yeah.

[End of videotape portion.]

MR. GUNN: Okay, Doug.


Q: Mr. Stringer, were you able to hear the words of Mr. Riebe?
A: Yes, I am. Yes, I was.

Q: Mr. Riebe referred to his having exposed two 12 packs. Does that refresh any recollection you have?
A: No.

Q: Are you fairly confident that Mr. Riebe is incorrect about the two 12 packs?
A: I don't remember him taking any pictures at all.

Q: The photo lab did have a speed Graphic camera, though?
A: Yes.

Q: So, that is something that Mr. Riebe would have had access to, as a student?
A: He had one that was assigned to him as a student; correct.

Q: Okay. And the 12 pack would refer to—
A: A film pack.

Q:—black and white negatives?
A: Black and white, yes. And the 35 millimeter he said was a Canon, I don't know where that came from.

Q: Okay. The transcript will speak for itself. I think that he said that was his personal camera earlier.
A: Okay.

Q: Mr. Riebe referred to his impression that one of the agents in the room was attempting to keep track of photographs. Does that correspond to your own recollection?
A: Well, he was picking them up as they were exposed, yes.

Q: Do you have any recollection, other than picking up the holders after the film was exposed, of anyone attempting to keep track of numbers?
A: No. I gave them to Riebe. He gave me the film. I exposed it, and then I gave it back to him. He gave me another one to put in. And he gave them to the agent, whoever it was.

Q: Was there flashes taking place as the photographs were exposed?
A: Only from the two—just the lights we had in there, the speed lights.

Q: Speed lights. And did you get any sense that people were counting numbers of the flashes, to keep track of photographs?
A: No. They were keeping track of them by the holders.

Q: Mr. Riebe also refers to your having taken color photographs in four-by-five format, whereas he took black and white photographs in four-by-five format. Does that help refresh any recollection that you have?
A: No, it does not.

Q: As far as you understand, that is inaccurate?
A: I would say it was. You'd have to prove it to me to—

Q: How would one be able to prove that?
A: By showing me the negatives.

Q: If they were from a speed Graphic 12 pack, there would be black and white negatives?
A: There would be not like a firm base. It would be like a piece of paper—the negative.

Q: Okay. And if we were to show you camera originals from the night of the autopsy, you would be able to—
A: You mean from a print?

Q: From a print.
A: No.

Q: Is there any way that—in looking at original materials that you would be able to identify photographs taken with a speed pack—or with a 12 pack versus those that were exposed two at a time?
A: Not as far as I know. I don't think so. He'd have to have the use of the flash.

Q: Well, I'm not talking about the use of the flash, but the photographs themselves. Let me try the question a different way.
A: Yeah.

Q: Are there notches that appear on photograph—on photograph sheets
A: On sheets.

Q:—that would identify the type of film?
A: That's correct.

Q: Would the notches for a 12 pack be different from notches for other black and whites?
A: There wouldn't be a notch. There would be a number on the negative. In other words, they're numbered from one through 12.

Q: So, if we had negatives here to show you, and they had numbers of one through 12, that would indicate that there was a 12 pack that was exposed—
A: Yes, it would.

Q:—on the night of the autopsy?
A: Yes, it would.

MR. GUNN: Okay, Doug, if we could go to the next one—52. Page 52.

[Whereupon, the videotape continued.]

RIEBE: ...very, very good at, you know, retouching photographs. In fact, she did quite a bit on it. Who was that man from the Civil War; Brady?

DSL: Yeah.
RIEBE: She did a lot of touch-up work on some of this photographs that they were copying for the Smithsonian. And she made them look like he just went out in the street and took them.

DSL: Well, if you were to choose between the fact that this was real—this is an authentic picture, or the fact that it's been phonied, would you say it's
RIEBE: I'd say it's not an authentic photograph. Not one that I took or that I—I'm sure Mr. Stringer didn't take it.

DSL: Because—How do you know Mr. Stringer didn't take it?
RIEBE: Because this looks all solid back here.

DSL: Right. And you don't remember holding up a piece of scalp or something like—

DSL:, KRLN asked you something like this.
RIEBE: Mm-hmm.

DSL: And...and you actually said, "Well, I think it's been phonied."
RIEBE: It's very possible. Very possibly it's been phonied—touched up, or another body used in its place.

DSL: Well, in other words, psychologically, the way you react to the way it is that it's one of these two possibilities?
RIEBE: Right.

DSL: Because you remember the body that night?
RIEBE: I remember what I saw, and this is not what I saw.

DSL: Floyd, let me ask you this. In... in—And people are in court all the time on traffic accidents. And witnesses—we hear about the unreliability of eye witness testimony.
RIEBE: Right.

DSL: You know, "Well, my client is innocent, because—You know, I don't care what the witness says. Memory plays tricks." How possible is it that your own memory is faulty; and that the back of the head was absolutely solid, and that the hole is, you know, at the front of the head?
RIEBE: I don't think, on this instance that—This was such a shock, seeing this—seeing the President like that, that it was imbedded in my brain—in my mind. I don't think I'm mistaken at all.

DSL: Would you bet your life on it? What would be the odds that—
RIEBE: I'd say no. That—you know, I'd bet my reputation and my life on it.

DSL: That there was a hole at the—

DSL: What? Tell me what you'd bet your life on.
RIEBE: The—That there was a very large hole in the occipital region—this area right in here—in the back of the President's head.

DSL: And you'd bet your life and reputation on that?
RIEBE: Yeah.

[End of videotape portion.]

MR. GUNN: Okay, Doug.

THE WITNESS: What is showing, I mean, to him?


Q: The photograph that he's showing is the same one that we saw at the beginning of—
A: With the hair?

Q: With the hair in the back. Mr. Stringer, were you able to hear Mr. Riebe in the portions of the video that we just watched?
A: Yes.

Q: Do you believe that Mr. Riebe is inaccurate with regard to his memories from the night of the autopsy?
A: Yes.

Q: Mr. Riebe did employ the same term, "occipital", that you employed in your conversation with David Lifton; is that correct?
A: That's correct.

Q: And—
A: If I said it, yes.

Q: Is there a question in your mind about whether you said that to Mr. Lifton?
A: Yes, there is.

Q: In what way is there a question in your mind?
A: I don't know why I should have said it, if I said it.

Q: You also referred in the conversation with Mr. Lifton to the injury on the back of your head—the part that you would lean up against a bathtub—without referring to occipital region. Was that incorrect, as well?
A: Yes, it was.

Q: And, so, your understanding also would be that the person who did the reconstruction work on President Kennedy's head, Mr. Robinson, would have been incorrect, as well?
A: I don't know about what he—I don't know. I don't
. What I saw was the hair down. Once it was cut down—I mean, pulled back, I don't remember seeing a big hole there; no. I'd say he was wrong, too.

[Interruption to the proceedings.]

[Lunch recess, 12:15-1:05 p.m.]

Ahead to afternoon session
Back to ARRB Period