Dr. Mantik has done excellent work on the autopsy x-rays however, Murder in Dealey Plaza p 279-282, 226 Figure 2A, incorrectly identifies the Harper fragment as being three bones, left and right parietal and occipital. Dr. Mantik’s courage and speculation has thus produced the following discussion, which adds to the overall understanding of the events of November 22, 1963 to which I commend him. I respect Dr. Mantik but I must disagree with his findings. If the Harper fragment were three bones it would mean that the Lambda, the junction of the two lambdoid sutures and the saggital suture, is present on the Harper fragment. The Lambda is such a major landmark that it is doubtful that the Dallas Drs. would have omitted it from their news media discussions as to its possible orgin. The Drs. have never said on public record that the fragment contained any suture lines. [In fact, I recall hearing audio news reports of them denying the existence of any suture lines but I have not been able to locate a recorded source to prove the point.] The fact is that the Harper fragment is one and only one bone because it contains no suture lines. I have examined the photos and no suture lines are present within the Harper fragment. The color photos of the Harper fragment show area “F” Fig. 2A p 226, as bright white indicating freshly fractured bone. The dividing line between area F and GE is a split-thickness fracture line of outward beveling thus the fracture is not seen on the inner surface. Area F is a few mm lower than the other areas due to the sloping beveling fracture. A side view would clearly show this slop starting at the dark periosteum edge and ending at the outer edge of the internal surface. Optical density in an x-ray would also show this in addition to any bullet metal fragments or lead marks but no x-rays were taken of the Harper fragment. Live bone is covered with a membrane called the periosteum and it is seen as dry “blood” in areas E and G but not F. Haversian canals occur in bone surrounding nerves and blood vessels and they are exposed only when the bone is fractured. Area F shows exposed round openings to the canals not seen in areas E and G. The dividing line between E and G is not discernable in the photos. Area E is darker than G but no suture line is present and this is due to different levels of dry blood on the periosteum. Fact: Suture lines if present on the outer surface would also be present on the inner surface. No suture lines are seen on the inner surface in 2B. Photo F8, as I orient it, shows the occipital bone almost fully intact thus the Harper fragment is not occipital and it could not be located as depicted by Dr. Mantik. Given the amount of missing right parietal bone from the x-rays the Harper fragment is most probably right parietal bone. The Dallas Drs. were most uncertain as to the possible origin of the Harper fragment and guessed that it was occipital. Without the skull it is very difficult to place this fragment. The Harper fragment appears flat without any of the expected cupping and curvature of inner occipital bone thus it is probably parietal. The Dallas Drs.’ positioning of it may have been influenced more by reports of the shooting than by anatomy. Due to the so-called “lead” on the bone, I suspect that it was located near the .45 cal. entry in the right parietal area. In all probability this “lead mark” was copper or gray dirt from a copper jacketed bullet as it passed. The beveling at the lead mark appears more inward but outward beveling is also present thus the direction of the bullet cannot be determined from the Harper fragment alone. No testing has ever been reported and the fragment has disappeared. Dr. Mantik’s experiments with medically prepared skulls and simulated brain tissue transmitting dye are interesting. Medically prepared skulls have been boiled in water for hours thus removing the periosteum and all soft tissues including most connective tissues between the suture lines. A comparison between dye transference along suture lines in medically prepared skulls and unprepared skulls cannot be valid. I respect Dr. Mantik’s hypothetical thinking here but I would insist upon a study using blood and unprepared skulls with the periosteum and soft tissues intact before drawing any conclusions as to dye or blood transference along suture lines. Live bone is 100% saturated with fluids. Osmotic pressure thus would not readily transmit blood fluids from one side to the other as would dry bone. Red blood cells are probably too large to pass across a suture line even in prepared skulls. The periosteum would prevent blood cells from passing in live skulls. The Harper fragment was blown clear of JFK with only a thin coat of blood on periosteum which immediately began to clot and dry. The blood would clot and dry in about 5-10 minutes thus no transference could occur.
         Dr. Mantik has incorrectly oriented F8 and has failed to locate the occipital protuberance, page 293, Murder in Dealey Plaza. Point “A” is almost correctly located over the nose but point “B” is incorrectly located at about the right mastoid process behind the ear. This is a distance of about 3 inches from the occipital protuberance. Using his line AB about a 20º angle downward from point “A” will intersect the occipital protuberance correcting the error. This error occurred because all the Drs. have overlooked the neck rest supporting the head because it is in shadow. The neck rest is very difficult to identify without multiple contrasting photos printed light and dark. The base of the skull is then outlined as it overhangs the neck rest. The glass object on the left is the ceiling light fixture. [If the glass were a specimen jar then it has no means of support from the force of gravity where as a light fixture mounted to the ceiling does.]
         What Dr. Mantik labels as bone fragments C and D in F8, p 292, is actually scalp tissue with hair. This is part of the skin flap that turns the right temple semicircle in F1 into a complete circle of white light in F8. Follow the skin edge from the ruler to points C and D. Perhaps he is referring to an approximate location of the bone fragments given his interpretation of the photo. The bone fragments are not present in this photo F8. If they were bone fragments they have no visible support from the force of gravity unless attached to the skin, which is very doubtful. The x-rays were taken before the autopsy while F8 was taken during the autopsy thus they represent different body positions and conditions.
         Dr. Mantik has failed to discuss the ballistic wounds depicted in F8. Specifically: the right temple white circle and the skin tear and bone semicircle with outward beveling and the dried blood on the bone and the skin bruising and the concentric circles of the .45 cal wound near the ruler and of course the low occipital Parkland wound which is very difficult to see. Dr. Mantik has failed to correlate these wounds with the corresponding wounds in the other autopsy photos. I would welcome any comments from any Doctor or professional expert concerning the four bullet wounds as I have identified them in the autopsy photos.

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