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Response to Octafish (Reply #391)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:37 AM

430. Thanks for providing that x-ray of Connelly's wrist.

At the time of the shooting, Governor Connally was unaware that he had sustained any injuries other than his chest wounds.213 On the back of his arm, about 2 inches (5 centimeters) above the wrist joint on the thumb side, Dr. Charles F. Gregory observed a linear perforating wound approximately one-fifth of an inch (one-half centimeter) wide and 1 inch (2 1/2 centimeters) long.214 During his operation on this injury, the doctor concluded that this ragged wound was the point of entry because thread and cloth had been carried into the wound to the region of the bone.215 Dr. Gregory's conclusions were also based upon the location in the Governor's wrist, as revealed by X-ray, of small fragments of metal shed by the missile upon striking the firm surface of the bone.216 Evidence of different amounts of air in the tissues of the wrist gave further indication that the bullet passed from the back to the front of the wrist.217 An examination of the palm surface of the wrist showed a wound approximately one-fifth of an inch (one-half centimeter) long and approximately three-fourths of an inch (2 centimeters) above the crease of the right wrist.218 Dr. Shaw had initially believed that the missile entered on the palm side of the Governor's wrist and exited on the back side.219 After reviewing the factors considered by Dr. Gregory, however, Dr. Shaw withdrew his earlier opinion. He deferred to the judgment of Dr. Gregory, who had more closely examined that wound during the wrist operation.220

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

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

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

- Warren Commission Report, Chapter 3

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LineLineLineLineLineLineReply Thanks for providing that x-ray of Connelly's wrist.
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