A pathologist who participated in the autopsy on John F. Kennedy says he agrees with two others who recently said the president was killed by two bullets fired from behind.
"We got it right in 1963 and it still stands in 1992," said Dr. Pierre Finck, then an army lieutenant colonel and the only trained forensic pathologist at Kennedy's autopsy. Forensic doctors specialize in applying medical knowledge to legal matters; Finck is an expert in gunshot wounds.
"There were two bullets striking from behind, and there is no evidence for any wounds from the front," Finck said in comments published in the Oct. 7 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.
Finck's account, submitted in written form to a journal reporter during an Aug. 19 interview in Switzerland, was consistent with interviews published by the journal in May of the two other pathologists at the autopsy.
"Both bullets struck from behind. No other bullets struck the president. A single rifle fired both," said Dr. George D. Lundberg, the journal's editor, in an accompanying article in this week's issue, adding that no conspiracy affected the autopsy, its findings or its report.
Dr. Cyril H. Wecht, who argues against the lone-gunman theory, accused Lundberg, a pathologist, of using his publication to protect the image of his fellow pathologists who conducted the Kennedy autopsy.
The pathologists' explanation leaves unresolved many questions, including how Kennedy and Texas Gov. John Connally could have been struck by the same bullet and discrepancies between the firing of the shots and the timing of the assassination as recorded on film, Wecht said.