While discussing the wound of entry on President Kennedy’s scalp the
Forensic Pathology Panel associated a discolored area of denudation
with an abrasion collar.
(296) Accurate reconstruction of the exact dimensions of the wound is
difficult because the ruler and wound are in different planes of
focus. The long axis of the wound more closely approximates a vertical
angle than that depicted within the "Autopsy Descriptive Sheet." (See
fig. 6.) The inferior margin of this wound, from 3 to 10 o'clock, is
surrounded by a crescent-shaped reddish-black area of denudation,
again presenting the appearance of an abrasion collar, resulting from
the rubbing of the skin by the bullet at the time of penetration. From
12 to 3 o'clock, there is a suggestion of undermining, that is,
tunneling of the tissue between the skin surface and the skull. Three
small linear lacerations or tears of the skin, measuring less than 0.2
centimeter, in length, extend radially from the margins of the defect
at 11 o'clock, 12 o'clock, and 3 o'clock. (See fig. 14, a close-up
photograph of this wound.)
During their discussion of the transverse wound on Kennedy’s back, the
panel explicitly linked denudation and the abrasion collar to typical
characteristics of an entry wound.
(246) There is a sharply outlined area of red-brown to black around
the wound in which there is dried, superficial denudation of the skin,
representing a typical abrasion collar resulting from the bullet’s
scraping the margins of the skin at the moment of penetration. This is
characteristic of gunshot wounds of entrance and not typical of exit
wounds. This abrasion extends around the entire circumference, but is
most prominent between 1 o'clock and 7 o'clock about the defect (with
the head at 12 o'clock). In addition, there are several small linear,
superficial lacerations or tears of the skin extending radically from
the margins of the wound at 10 o'clock, 12 o'clock and 1 o'clock.
These measure 0.1, 0.2 and 0.1 centimeter respectively.
Photographically enhanced prints of photographs Nos. 38 and 39 reveal
much more sharply contrasted color determination and, to some degree,
more sharply outlined detail of the abrasion collar described above.
However when discussing the remnants of the throat wound the panel
reported the evidence of an entry wound without comment. In fact they
had just one sentence to report their shocking findings.
(262) There is a semicircular missile defect near the center of the
lower margin of the tracheotomy incision, approximately in the midline
of the neck, with margins which are slightly denuded and reddish-