ARRB DEPOSITION OF FLOYD RIEBE, 5/7/97

Floyd Riebe was the assistant to John Stringer,
the primary autopsy photographer.

            -----

Page 1

            BEFORE THE
ASSASSINATION RECORDS REVIEW BOARD
In Re:
PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY
College Park, Maryland
Wednesday, May 7, 1997

The deposition of FLOYD ALBERT RIEBE, called
for examination by counsel for the Board in the
above-entitled matter, pursuant to Notice, in the
offices of the National Archives II, Sixth Floor, 8601
Adelphi Road, College Park, Maryland, convened at 10:55
a.m., before Emma N. Lynn, a notary public in and for
the State of Maryland, when were present on behalf of
the parties:

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APPEARANCES:
  T. JEREMY GUNN, ESQ.
  General Counsel
  AssocIate Director for
   Research and Analysis
  Assassination Records Review Board
  2nd Floor
  600 E Street, N.W.
  Washington, D.C. 20530
  (202) 724-0088
  DAVID MAXWELL
  BRIAN ROSEN, ESQ.
  DOUGLAS P. HORNE

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CONTENTS

WITNESS EXAMINATION BY COUNSEL FOR THE
  ASSASSINATION RECORDS REVIEW BOARD

FLOYD ALBERT RIEBE
  By Mr. Gunn	4


EXHIBITS

EXHIBITS REFERENCED AND ATTACHED PAGE
  MD 78       47
  MD 79       54
  MD 138      55

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 [1] PROCEEDINGS
 [2] Whereupon,
 [3] FLOYD ALBERT RIEBE
 [4] was called for examination by counsel for the
 [5] Assassination Records Review Board and, having been
 [6] first duly sworn by the notary public, was examined and
 [7] testified as follows:
 [8] BY MR. GUNN:
 [9] Q: Mr. Riebe, could you state your full name,
[10] please.
[11] A: Floyd Albert Riebe.
[12] Q: And how do you spell your last name?
[13] A: R-I-E-B-E.
[14] Q: The subject of this deposition today is the
[15] autopsy of President John F. Kennedy.
[16] Mr. Riebe, were you present at the autopsy of
[17] President Kennedy?
[18] A: Yes, I was.
[19] Q: Before we went on the record, I explained to
[20] you that this deposition would be under oath. Do you
[21] understand that it is under oath?
[22] A: Yes, I do.

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 [1] Q: And that you have a responsibility to make
 [2] statements that you are about to make as accurately and
 [3] honestly as you can?
 [4] A: Yes, I do.
 [5] Q: Mr. Riebe, is there anything that you can
 [6] think of today that would keep you from answering any
 [7] questions fully and honestly to the best of your
 [8] ability?
 [9] A: No.
[10] Q: I am going to be asking you a series of
[11] questions that relate principally to the autopsy of
[12] President Kennedy. I would like you to let me know if
[13] any of my questions are unclear and I will attempt to
[14] rephrase them or clarify them. You shouldn't hesitate
[15] to ask me to revise the question or restate the
[16] question if there is any unclarity in your mind.
[17] Mr. Riebe, have you ever previously had your
[18] deposition taken regarding the autopsy of President
[19] Kennedy?
[20] A: No.
[21] Q: Have you ever spoken with any Government
[22] officials who have had any role in investigating the

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 [1] autopsy of President Kennedy?
 [2] A: Once. Once over the phone.
 [3] Q: Could you tell me just a little bit about
 [4] that, when it approximately was?
 [5] A: I don't even remember that. At the time I
 [6] didn't want to talk to the man because I didn't know
 [7] that the security had been lifted. And I didn't talk 
 [8] to him about what I saw or what happened that night.
 [9] Q: Were you under the impression that the person
[10] who called you worked for the House Select Committee on
[11] Assassinations?
[12] A: Yes.
[13] Q: Did you ever subsequently speak to a person
[14] on the House Select Committee on Assassinations?
[15] A: I don't think so.
[16] Q: Have you ever spoken with any private
[17] researcher subsequently about the assassination?
[18] A: Yes, I have.
[19] Q: Do you remember the names of any of those
[20] with whom you have spoken?
[21] A: Mr. Lifton, and I can't think of the other
[22] man's name, but he lives up here in Baltimore.

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 [1] Q: Is that Harry Livingston?
 [2] A: Livingston, yes.
 [3] Q: I would like to go back to your career prior
 [4] to 1963. Let me just start out by asking what position
 [5] you had as of November 1963.
 [6] A: I was a hospital corpsman second class. I
 [7] was a student at the medical photography school there
 [8] in Bethesda.
 [9] Q: What experience had you had with photography
[10] prior to November 22nd, 1963?
[11] A: Just what we had in class and freelancing,
[12] you know, just my own pictures from the time I was in
[13] the service.
[14] Q: Who was your teacher or teachers in the
[15] photography class?
[16] A: Oh, gosh. Rittenhauer was one and a man by
[17] the name of Pina. I can't remember the rest of them.
[16] But Pina, I think Mr. Pina is dead. I think he died
[19] when I was in school.
[20] Q: Did John Stringer teach any classes?
[21] A: Yes, he did. Not that much though. It was
[22] mostly the school staff that did all the instructing.

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 [1] Q: Had you, yourself, been in any classes that
 [2] Mr. Stringer taught?
 [3] A: Oh, yes. Yes.
 [4] Q: What was Mr. Stringer's reputation as a
 [5] photographer as of November 1963 as best you recall?
 [6] A: Best I recall he was well regarded by people
 [7] there at the hospital and the staff. But outside of
 [8] that, I didn't know the person at all.
 [9] Q: Did you receive any training in medical
[10] photography specifically?
[11] A: Yes.
[12] Q: Was that, in fact, the subject of that course
[13] work?
[14] A: That was the subject of the school.
[15] Q: As a part of the training that you received
[16] in medical photography, were you taught anything about
[17] autopsy photography?
[18] A: Yes.
[19] Q: Had you completed your course work by
[20] November 22nd, 1963?
[21] A: No, I hadn't.
[22] Q: Approximately how much time had you spent in

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 [1] course work prior to the assassination?
 [2] A: Class started in March, I believe it was.
 [3] Q: That's March of 1963?
 [4] A: Yes.
 [5] Q: So this would be six to ten months?
 [6] A: Six, seven months in, yes.
 [7] Q: How long did the course last after November
 [8] of '63?
 [9] A: Till March the following year.
[10] Q: So one year?
[11] A: Yes, it was a one-year class.
[12] Q: During the course of your studying
[13] photography, did you take any courses on x-ray
[14] photography?
[15] A: No. No, I didn't. But I had practical
[16] experience from different stations I was at as taking
[17] x-rays.
[18] Q: What was your practical experience in taking
[19] x-rays?
[20] A: Just some on-the-job training.
[21] Q: Had you actually taken x-rays then yourself?
[22] A: Yes.

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 [1] Q: Had you taken any x-rays during autopsies?
 [2] A: No.
 [3] Q: Did you receive any training on the job or
 [4] otherwise regarding the interpretation of x-rays?
 [5] A: Very little. Very little.
 [6] Q: Do you consider yourself now competent to
 [7] make interpretations of x-rays?
 [8] A: No. No.
 [9] Q: Prior to November 22nd, 1963, approximately
[10] how many autopsies had you witnessed?
[11] A: Three or four.
[12] Q: Had you witnessed by that time any autopsies
[13] of gunshot victims?
[14] A: No. I don't think so.
[15] Q: Since or after November 22nd, 1963,
[16] approximately how many autopsies have you witnessed?
[17] A: One. And that was all.
[16] Q: So then your experience with autopsies would
[19] be in the area of five or so?
[20] A: Yes, about five or six. No more than six.
[21] Q: Was the autopsy of President Kennedy the only
[22] autopsy you witnessed where there had been a gunshot

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 [1] wound?
 [2] A: Yes.
 [3] Q: I would now like to go into some of the basic
 [4] and standard procedures for taking autopsies photos as
 [5] you understood them as of November 22nd, 1963. Was
 [6] there a regular number of photographers who would be
 [7] involved in an autopsy?
 [8] A: Normally it would be one.
 [9] Q: Have you been in any autopsy other than the
[10] autopsy of President Kennedy where there was more than
[11] one photographer?
[12] A: Yes.
[13] Q: Which other autopsy?
[14] A: Well, it was just some that were done there
[15] at the hospital, and one of the staff instructors was
[16] with me, to kind of help me along to learn the job
[17] right.
[18] Q: In 1963, was there recommended photography
[19] equipment that should be taken to an autopsy?
[20] A: Not that I knew of. I mean for that
[21] particular one, I didn't know what all to take.
[22] Q: Was there any standard procedure for lighting

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 [1] in an autopsy?
 [2] A: No. Used the available light or a flash.
 [3] Q: Were speed lights used in the ordinary course
 [4] or was that an exceptional -
 [5] A: No. Ordinary.
 [7] Q: Speed lights ordinarily were used?
 [8] A: Yes, because even with the surgical lamp in
 [8] the autopsy room, it wasn't bright enough or had too
 [9] many, cast too many shadows to see into the cavity of
[10] the body.
[11] Q: Was there a standard type of film that was
[12] used in autopsies?
[13] A: Just black and white or color, combination of
[14] the two.
[15] Q: At Bethesda in 1963 was color negative or
[16] color transparency typically used?
[17] A: Either one. We used both.
[18] Q: So there was no set procedure of one or the
[19] other that you used?
[20] A: Well, it depended on - you know, I'd
[21] usually - when I'd go down, the couple times I went
[22] down on my own, I asked what should I use, and six of

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 [1] one and half a dozen of the other.
 [2] But for this one, I loaded all, I believe it
 [3] was, color negatives. I may have had some
 [4] transparencies there.
 [5] Q: In the other autopsies that you participated
 [6] in, that is, the autopsies other than President
 [7] Kennedy, were there any identification cards or markers
 [8] that would be used to be placed next to the body?
 [9] A: Yes.
[10] Q: What did those look like?
[11] A: Similar to a business card, just a little bit
[12] smaller, but it was in centimeters and it had the
[13] National Naval Medical Center initials across the
[14] bottom, to identify them as to where they were taken
[15] and to give approximate size for printing. If they
[16] wanted a one-to-one print, then they would enlarge it
[17] up to the centimeter scale, up to so many centimeters
[18] and that would be a one-to-one scale.
[19] Q: Did those cards have numbers of the autopsy
[20] to assist in the identification of the person whose
[21] autopsy was being conducted?
[22] A: Yes, they had a handwritten marked number on

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 [1] it.
 [2] Q: In addition to the handwritten number and the
 [3] other things that you said, was there any other
 [4] information that was contained on these identification
 [6] cards?
 [6] A: I don't think so.
 [7] Q: I have been saying identification cards for
 [8] it. Is there any other term you would use for it?
 [9] A: No. That sounds logical. I mean I didn't
[10] know what they were - any technical name for then
[11] Just that that is what they were used for.
[12] Q: While you were at Bethesda, did you ever see
[13] any motion pictures taken of any autopsy?
[14] A: Some video, I have, yes, from the medical
[15] research center. People came over in the video school
[16] there.
[17] Q: And approximately when did you see the
[18] videotape of an autopsy?
[19] A: It was way before then. Way before November.
[20] But I don't remember when.
[21] Q: Is there or was there any standard procedure
[22] for the number of autopsy photos that would be taken?

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 [1] A: No.
 [2] Q: How would it be determined in the ordinary
 [3] course how many photos would be taken?
 [4] A: Well, I'd usually on my own take what I
 [5] thought would be enough, and then I would ask the
 [6] pathologist if there was anything in particular and I
 [7] would stay until he was finished, photographing
 [8] whatever. If he would find something screened in the
 [9] cadaver, then we would take pictures of those. But,
[10] no, there was no set amount of photos to be taken.
[11] Q: Now, in the ordinary course - and I am not
[12] speaking of President Kennedy's autopsy - where was
[13] the film developed after the autopsy was completed?
[14] A: In our photo lab there at Bethesda.
[15] Q: Who was responsible for developing the
[16] photos?
[17] A: Whoever took them.
[18] Q: So in the other autopsies that you
[19] participated in, did you develop the film yourself?
[20] A: Yes.
[21] Q: After the film was developed in the ordinary
[22] course, what happened to those photographs?

Page 16

 [1] A: Well, they were dried and given to Mr.
 [2] Stringer and he would go over them for technical
 [3] quality, and we would make our prints and then turn
 [4] them into Mr. Stringer and he would send them out t
 [5] the appropriate position.
 [6] Q: Do you know where the films ended up being
 [7] filed or stored?
 [8] A: The films were filed, I believe, right there
 [9] in Mr. Stringer's office. He had a humongous file
[10] cabinet, many file cabinets.
[11] Q: When you say that Mr. Stringer would review
[12] them for technical qualities, what are the kinds of
[13] things that he would review them for, to the extent you
[14] know?
[15] A: Focus, color, and if prints were going to be
[16] made out of them, he'd crop it off on a piece of
[17] plastic so just that certain area you wanted blown up
[18] to whatever size it was.
[19] Q: Was there a preference in terms of the type
[20] of camera that would be used? I'll just speak in the
[21] very general terms of four by five versus 35
[22] millimeter?

Page 17

 [1] A: Well, it depended on the photographer. Quite
 [2] a few of the people there liked that old Nikon that was
 [3] 35 millimeter and that was the staff. And some of them
 [4] liked that Rollei, it was a 120, but I preferred my own
 [5] camera which was a Canon 35, because it was newer and
 [6] easier to use than that ancient piece of equipment they
 [7] had there or the speed graphflex four by five.
 [8] Q: Can you describe very briefly what the speed
 [9] graphflex four by five is?
[10] A: It used to be called the press camera because
[11] most of your newspaper photographers used that specific
[12] type of a camera. That produced a film of four by
[13] five, I think it was, sheet film. You had to use
[14] holders, and then they came out with what they called
[15] the film pack which held 12. You just pulled the tab
[16] like you do on a Polaroid.
[17] Q: Was the speed graphflex typically a
[18] tripod-mounted camera or a hand-held camera?
[19] A: It could be done either way. It depended if
[20] you were using flash and you had a high enough shutter
[21] speed, then you didn't have to use a tripod. But if
[22] you are going to do close-ups, then you would use a

Page 18

 [1] tripod, because your film, shutter speed was a lot
 [2] slower and a better chance for movement.
 [3] Q: Other than the autopsy of President Kennedy,
 [4] had you seen a four by five or large format camera used
 [5] without a tripod?
 [6] A: Oh, yes. I have used them myself quite a
 [7] bit.
 [8] Q: Also did all of the autopsies that you saw
 [9] also use tripods?
[10] A: No. Not all of them used a tripod.
[11] Q: So some of them then would use four by five
[12] cameras without tripods, is that correct?
[13] A: Yes. Yes.
[14] Q: Did you complete the photography course in
[15] March 1964?
[16] A: Yes.
[17] Q: Since that time have you had any formal
[16] training in photography?
[19] A: Yes. I was transferred down to the Armed
[20] Forces Institute of Pathology, and I was there for a
[21] little bit more than a year and about six months of
[22] that was our director there said would be more or less

Page 19

 [1] like an internship. I would be working with civilian
 [2] staff and to have more training, which I enjoyed that
 [3] and I thought it was appropriate.
 [4] Q: After AFIP, did you take any additional
 [5] courses in photography?
 [6] A: No.
 [7] Q: What work in photography, if any, did you do
 [8] after you completed your time at AFIP?
 [9] A: Well, I was transferred down from AFIP down
[10] to the research medical, Field Medical Research in
[11] Jacksonville, North Carolina. And I was the medical
[12] photographer for that unit for about a year and a half.
[13] Q: After your work in Jacksonville, did you have
[14] any other formal employment that involved photography?
[15] A: No. Just the year book photographer aboard
[16] ship, but that was it.
[17] Q: Did you take - did you ever serve in
[18] Vietnam?
[19] A: Yes.
[20] Q: Did you have any responsibility for
[21] photography in Vietnam?
[22] No.

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 [1] Q: I would now like to go to the events of
 [2] November 22nd, 1963. My first question to you will be
 [3] is when did you first hear about the assassination of
 [4] President Kennedy?
 [5] A: I don't remember the exact time, but the word
 [6] came from The Washington Post. They called in, wanted
 [7] to buy or wanted to get negatives of the autopsy. And
 [8] at the time I didn't know what the heck he was talking
 [9] about. I mean I knew the President was assassinated
[10] and all, but I didn't know the body was coming to
[11] Bethesda. And it was about an hour or so later that we
[12] got the word.
[13] Q: After you received that call from The
[14] Washington Post, did you contact anyone?
[15] A: Yes. I called Mr. Stringer at home. Well,
[16] first I went up there and saw the chief of the day, and
[17] he didn't know what I was talking about because he
[18] didn't have any word they were coming there.
[19] So I called Mr. Stringer at home and told him
[20] what had happened, and he said call him back if I get
[21] any official word on it, and let him know that they
[22] were bringing him to Bethesda.

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 [1] Q: And then you did hear something like official
 [2] word within the next hour or so?
 [3] A: Yes.
 [4] Q: How did you get that information, do you
 [5] recall?
 [6] A: From the chief of the day.
 [7] Q: What did he say to you?
 [8] A: He told us - well, he told me that they were
 [9] bringing President Kennedy there to Bethesda for an
[10] autopsy and to get ready. And I called Mr. Stringer,
[11] because I figured that would be more like his line,
[12] being all this classification of security and all this
[13] stuff on there, and I didn't think I was going to have
[14] anything to do with it. And Mr. Stringer came in and I
[15] had to come up the main entrance of the hospital to
[16] identify him so he could come in and would go ahead and
[17] do the work.
[18] Q: What was, as best you understand, Mr.
[19] Stringer's title or position as of that time?
[20] A: Director of medical photography school.
[21] Q: When you said that you needed to identify
[22] him, although I think you and I both know what you were

Page 22

 [1] talking about, I will ask the question. Why was it
 [2] that you needed to identify the director of the school?
 [3] A: Well, they wouldn't let anybody in the
 [4] hospital at all.
 [5] Q: Who is "they"?
 [6] A: I believe they were Secret Service. And he
 [7] had to have - you know, you had to have a reason to be
 [8] there.
 [9] Q: It was just that the security people were
[10] unfamiliar with Mr. Stringer, is that right?
[11] A: Yes.
[12] Q: Prior to the time that Mr. Stringer arrived,
[13] did you do anything to prepare for taking photographs
[14] of the autopsy?
[15] A: Yes. I went down and made, got film ready,
[16] made sure I had a lot of film cassette holders for the
[17] view camera. I got the view camera put on the tripod,
[18] and I had extra rolls of film for the 35 millimeter
[19] that I was using. I only shot one roll of that. And
[20] some film packs for the speed graphflex that I was
[21] using.
[22] Q: And by the film packs, you mean the pack of

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 [1] 12 -
 [2] A: Yes.
 [3] Q: - shots and those were black and white from
 [4] what you said, is that right?
 [5] A: Yes.
 [6] Q: Now, you say that you got - you mounted a
 [7] view camera?
 [8] A: Four by five view camera that Mr. Stringer
 [9] was using.
[10] Q: Is that different from the speed graphflex?
[11] A: Yes, it is not - the view camera is not a
[12] hand-held camera. It has to be on a tripod.
[13] Q: Do you now recall what kind of film you got
[14] for the view camera?
[15] A: I got - I got just color, I believe, and it
[16] was some of each, transparencies and negatives.
[17] Q: Do you remember the brand or any other
[18] specifications on the film?
[19] A: It was Kodak because that's all we had there
[20] at the school.
[21] Q: Do you remember any other specifications on
[22] the type of film?

Page 24

 [1] A: No.
 [2] Q: But it is your best recollection now that you
 [3] had both color negative and transparencies?
 [4] A: And transparencies.
 [5] Q: Were both the color negatives and color
 [6] transparencies both mounted in the cassettes?
 [7] A: Yes. There is two per set.
 [8] Q: After Mr. Stringer arrived, did he suggest
 [9] that you get any other equipment or film for the
[10] autopsy?
[11] A: Yes. He told me to get my strobe unit, which
[12] I didn't have, and I grabbed one that evidently, which
[13] I didn't know at the time, wasn't fully charged. And
[14] it didn't last long.
[15] Q: What is a strobe unit?
[16] A: An electronic flash.
[17] Q: Would that be connected to a camera?
[18] A: Yes.
[19] Q: So that it would fire synchronously with the
[20] camera?
[21] A: Yes, if it worked.
[22] Q: Did you get any speed lights?

Page 25

 [1] A: That was the speed light.
 [2] Q: Okay, were there any other form of lighting
 [3] that was taken into the autopsy?
 [4] A: Not that I can remember, no. Just the
 [5] available light in the building or in your room and the
 [6] electronic flash unit that I had.
 [7] Q: To the best of your recollection was there
 [8] any other film or equipment that was taken into the
 [9] morgue?
[10] A: Not that I can think of, no.
[11] Q: Just so I'm clear now, were there three
[12] cameras that were taken into the room?
[13] A: Yes, three.
[14] Q: One was the speed graphflex?
[15] A: Uh-huh.
[16] Q: One was the view camera that was tripod
[17] mounted and the third was the 35 millimeter?
[18] A: Yes.
[19] Q: And the 35 millimeter camera was your own, is
[20] that correct?
[21] A: Yes.
[22] Q: And what brand was that?

Page 26

 [1] A: It was a Canon.
 [2] Q: You mentioned that the speed light was
 [3] connected to one of the cameras.
 [4] A: Yes, it was more or less like an internet -
 [5] a generic connector and I used that on my camera too.
 [6] It was just a little bayonet plug.
 [7] Q: So it could have been connected to any of the
 [8] three cameras, is that correct?
 [9] A: Yes.
[10] Q: Do you recall which model Canon?
[11] A: No, I don't. No.
[12] Q: Prior to the time that you went into the
[13] morgue, had you been told anything about the nature of
[14] the injuries of President Kennedy?
[15] A: No.
[16] Q: Did you hear of anyone, again, prior to the
[17] time the autopsy began, who engaged in any discussion
[18] about the nature of the wounds?
[19] A: No. I was more or less away from the rest of
[20] the people.
[21] Q: What else had you heard about the
[22] assassination prior to the time that you went into the

Page 27

 [1] morgue, if anything?
 [2] A: Just what was on the national news. We
 [3] watched that all day long. That he was shot in the
 [4] head and he expired and that was it.
 [5] Q: When did you first see a casket on November
 [6] 22nd?
 [7] A: I don't recall what time it was. When they
 [8] brought the body in.
 [9] Q: Let me try it another way. Where were you
[10] when you first saw the casket?
[11] A: In the autopsy room there at Bethesda.
[12] Q: So you were in the morgue room and the casket
[13] was brought in?
[14] A: Right.
[15] Q: Just to make sure, you didn't see a casket
[16] prior to that time either in the hallway or on the
[17] loading dock, is that correct?
[18] A: No, we were in the room for maybe half an
[19] hour before they brought the casket in.
[20] Q: Could you describe who it was who brought the
[21] casket in, do you recall?
[22] A: Not really. It was people in civilian

Page 28

 [1] clothes, but who they were, I don't know.
 [2] Q: Could you describe generally the casket,
 [3] please.
 [4] A: It was kind of a gun metal gray, a dull
 [5] finish.
 [6] Q: Do you recall any knobs on the side or
 [7] handles?
 [8] A: It had handles on both sides, yes. They
 [9] were, I believe, a brass type, brass colored anyway.
[10] Q: Do you recall whether any handles on the
[11] casket were broken or did you -
[12] A: I didn't pay that much attention to it.
[13] Q: Did you see the casket opened?
[14] A: Yes.
[15] Q: Could you describe whether there was one
[16] piece of an opening or two pieces, how it was?
[17] A: It was one piece.
[18] Q: And was the top either lifted off or was it
[19] hinged?
[20] A: It was hinged.
[21] Q: Are you acquainted with the term "shipping
[22] casket"?

Page 29

 [1] A: Yes.
 [2] Q: And are you acquainted with the term
 [3] "ceremonial casket"?
 [4] A: Yes.
 [5] Q: Do those terms mean, describe different sorts
 [6] of caskets to you?
 [7] A: Yes.
 [8] Q: Do you have an opinion as to whether the
 [9] casket that you first saw President Kennedy arrive in
[10] was in a shipping casket or ceremonial?
[11] A: It wasn't a ceremonial casket. It was a very
[12] plain, inexpensive type casket.
[13] Q: Is there any other way in addition to what
[14] you said that you could describe the difference between
[15] the casket that he arrived in and what you understand
[16] to be a ceremonial casket?
[17] A: Well, in the few funerals I have been to,
[18] what I would think would be a ceremonial casket where
[19] the top half opens, from the chest up or waist up,
[20] whatever, and it is nicely lined and it is, I guess you
[21] can say, pleasant to look at. But this was just plain.
[22] Q: Did you see any, at any time any of the

Page 30

 [1] lining of the casket that he arrived in?
 [2] A: I don't remember. More than likely I did,
 [3] but I don't recall what it looked like.
 [4] Q: Did you, yourself, see the casket being
 [5] opened?
 [6] A: Yes.
 [7] Q: How was President Kennedy dressed or wrapped
 [8] or covered?
 [9] A: He was in a rubberized-type body bag.
[10] Q: Had you ever seen a bag of that sort before?
[11] A: Yes. Yes.
[12] Q: Where had you seen it before?
[13] A: At Bethesda, and we had an accident aboard a
[14] tanker that I was on before I went to Bethesda. We had
[15] to put a patient in the body bag and freeze him.
[16] Q: You would call this a body bag?
[17] A: Yes.
[18] Q: How are body bags sealed, if at all?
[19] A: Zippers.
[20] Q: Did the zipper go down the side, the front?
[21] A: It went down the center, the front.
[22] Q: Do you recall who removed President Kennedy

Page 31

 [1] from the bag?
 [2] A: Yes, it was a man by the name of O'Connor.
 [3] But I don't know the rest - I wasn't that familiar
 [4] with a lot of staff there at the school.
 [5] Q: Was the bag opened by cutting it or by
 [6] opening the zipper?
 [7] A: No. It was zipped. It was unzipped.
 [8] Q: After the zipper was taken off, was there any
 [9] other covering on the body?
[10] A: I think the head was wrapped. Other than
[11] that, no, that I can recall.
[12] Q: What was the head wrapped in?
[13] A: I think it was a sheet or several towels.
[14] I'm not real positive on that.
[15] Q: Can you describe what happened after the
[16] zipper had been opened, just in terms of removing the
[17] body from the casket?
[18] A: Three people picked the body up and set it on
[19] the autopsy table. Then they unwrapped the head and
[20] they started.
[21] Q: Approximately how much time, as best you
[22] recall, was there between the time the body was put on

Page 32

 [1] the table and the procedures began with the autopsy?
 [2] A: A half hour, 45 minutes, something like that.
 [3] Q: What were the first things that were done to
 [4] the body after it was unwrapped? And I would include
 [5] x-rays, photography, incisions, What is the order that
 [6] you remember events happened?
 [7] A: Well, I started taking pictures, you know,
 [8] just general body pictures, and then x-ray came in and
 [9] we had to leave. They did their thing with the x-rays,
[10] and then we were allowed back in there. I think that
[11] was just for safety reasons because x-rays would have
[12] wiped out every bit of film we had anyway.
[13] Q: Do you recall which camera you used at first
[14] for these general body pictures?
[15] A: When I first started, I do believe it was the
[16] 35 millimeter Canon.
[17] Q: Let me go back just one step and ask you
[18] whether Mr. Stringer gave you any instructions or
[19] directions prior to the time that you were in the
[20] morgue about what should be done or what shouldn't be
[21] done in terms of photography?
[22] A: He said do everything and anything the

Page 33

 [1] doctors wanted.
 [2] Q: Did he make any suggestions to you about
 [3] using one type of camera versus another type of camera?
 [4] A: Yes, he did. He said it would be better to
 [5] use the big one.
 [6] Q: The big one rather the 35 millimeter?
 [7] A: Yes. Yes.
 [8] Q: Did Mr. Stringer at any point say to you,
 [9] don't take such and such a picture or do take such and
[10] such a picture or did he leave that up to you?
[11] A: He more or less left that up to me, unless
[12] there was something he wanted done. Then he would ask
[13] me to come over and take a photo of this. But
[14] generally he said get the pictures of the room, you
[15] know, all the people in it. He said they probably will
[16] want that later on anyway. So we did.
[17] Q: Now, when you referred a moment ago to the
[18] general body pictures that were taken before the
[19] x-rays, did those photographs include any people in the
[20] room?
[21] A: It might have included a few hands, but I
[22] think that was about all.

Page 34

 [1] Q: When did you take pictures that included
 [2] people in the room?
 [3] A: It was after the autopsy started and the room
 [4] got so doggone crowded. I didn't know how many more
 [5] people were going to come in there, and I figured I
 [6] would get that out of the way and then I would be free
 [7] to do what the doctors wanted.
 [8] Q: With those pictures of people in the room, do
 [9] you recall what camera those were taken with?
[10] A: On the four by five. I do think so.
[11] Q: Apart from Mr. Stringer, did anyone else in
[12] the room give you any directions or instructions
[13] regarding taking or not taking of photographs?
[14] A: No.
[15] Q: Was it your understanding during the autopsy
[16] that Mr. Stringer was the person principally
[17] responsible for taking the close-up photos?
[18] A: Yes. Yes.
[19] Q: Can you tell me how the procedure worked in
[20] terms of how Mr. Stringer took the photographs and any
[21] role that you played to assist him in taking those
[22] pictures.

Page 35

 [1] A: He did all of his work by himself and with
 [2] the help of the technicians or the physicians. I
 [3] didn't handle the body at all.
 [4] Q: Did he, Mr. Stringer, physically move the
 [5] tripod himself?
 [6] A: Yes. Yes.
 [7] Q: And after he had finished taking two
 [8] photographs, and remove the cassette from the view
 [9] camera, what did he do with the cassette?
[10] A: Turned it right over to the Secret Service.
[11] Q: Did he give them to you first?
[12] A: No.
[13] Q: So you never touched then the cassettes that
[14] he did?
[15] A: Right. He would take them and then the
[16] Secret Service would take them from him.
[17] Q: Did you attempt to keep track during the
[18] course of the autopsy of the number of photographs that
[19] were taken?
[20] A: No. I just kept track, well, like on the
[21] film packs, as to how many I used. And that was it.
[22] How many cassettes were basically used.

Page 36

 [1] Q: Do you remember now how many cassettes were
 [2] used?
 [3] A: Eight or ten, I believe. I'm really not that
 [4] positive on that.
 [5] Q: So this would be eight to ten by Mr.
 [6] Stringer?
 [7] A: Yes.
 [8] Q: And from what you said before, those would be
 [9] both color transparencies and negatives as best you
[10] recall?
[11] A: Yes.
[12] Q: But if there were then approximately eight to
[13] ten cassettes, that would mean there would be
[14] conceivably between 16 and 20 -
[15] A: Sixteen and 20 pictures.
[16] Q: Did Mr. Stringer take any black and white
[17] photographs as best you recall?
[18] A: I don't recall if he did or not.
[19] Q: So he might well have taken them, but you
[20] just don't recall or you think he didn't?
[21] A: I don't think he did, because the cassettes
[22] were all loaded with color.

Page 37

 [1] Q: Did you take black and white photographs?
 [2] A: Yes.
 [3] Q: In the four by five format?
 [4] A: Yes.
 [5] Q: As best you recall, those were in press
 [6] packs, is that right?
 [7] A: Yes.
 [8] Q: Could you describe for me the different
 [9] positions the President's body was in for the purpose
[10] of taking photographs. I will just give you an
[11] example. I assume one, that he is lying on his back
[12] with the photograph taken.
[13] A: Right.
[14] Q: In addition to his lying on his back, what
[15] other views or postures was he put in?
[16] A: I think one was taken, that wound in the
[17] back, when he was in a sitting position. I think that
[18] the body was propped up for that. And another one is
[19] more on the side. But I think it was on the left side.
[20] Q: Just to make sure I am understanding, the
[21] first one is that his body is lifted up as if he is in
[22] a sitting posture to take some pictures?

Page 38

 [1] A: Yes.
 [2] Q: And then another one he is rolled, you think,
 [3] onto his left side?
 [4] A: Yes.
 [5] Q: Was he ever put on his stomach completely
 [6] that you recall?
 [7] A: I don't think so. Not all the way over.
 [8] Q: Were any photographs taken after incisions in
 [9] the torso of the body?
[10] A: Yes.
[11] Q: What photographs do you recall as having been
[12] taken?
[13] A: I don't recall.
[14] Q: Did you take the photographs or did Mr.
[15] Stringer?
[16] A: Mr. Stringer did, I'm sure.
[17] Q: Do you recall anyone having used any probes
[18] in the body during the autopsy?
[19] A: I think Dr. Finck did for that wound in the
[20] back. But he didn't go in very far. And they didn't
[21] let it go from there.
[22] Q: Do you recall whether a photograph was taken

Page 39

 [1] while there was a probe in the body?
 [2] A: I don't think so.
 [3] Q: Do you recall any probes in the head?
 [4] A: No. No, I don't recall that.
 [5] Q: Are you acquainted with the terms "having the
 [6] scalp reflected," "having the scalp pulled back"?
 [7] A: Pulled back, yes.
 [8] Q: Were any photographs taken with the scalp
 [9] pulled back?
[10] A: You mean pulled back into place?
[11] Q: I'm sorry. Folded back so that the skull
[12] would be exposed.
[13] A: I believe there was, yes.
[14] Q: Do you recall whether any pictures were taken
[15] from angles very close to the inside of the cranium?
[16] A: Yes, I think Mr. Stringer did that when the
[17] body was on its side.
[18] Q: Were any pictures taken of President Kennedy
[19] from above?
[20] A: You mean like from the ceiling?
[21] Q: For example, with either you or Mr. Stringer
[22] climbing a ladder, for example, taking a picture down?

Page 40

 [1] A: Not that I can recall, no.
 [2] Q: You don't recall any ladders in the room?
 [3] A: No.
 [4] Q: You said previously that you took 35
 [5] millimeter photos. Approximately how many rolls of
 [6] film did you take?
 [7] A: Just part of one roll. I think it was only
 [8] six or seven exposures.
 [9] Q: Was that film in black and white or color?
[10] A: I don't remember.
[11] Q: What was done with - when you had finished
[12] with that one roll of 35 millimeter film, what did you
[13] do with that?
[14] A: I took it out of the camera and gave it to
[15] one of the secret agents there.
[16] Q: Did you ever see that film subsequently?
[17] A: No.
[18] Q: Have you ever told any researchers that you
[19] took four or five rolls of film?
[20] A: No.
[21] Q: Approximately how many black and white four
[22] by five shots did you take?

Page 41

 [1] A: About eight or nine film packs. That would
 [2] be what, 111, somewhere around there, between 99 and
 [3] 111.
 [4] Q: Those were all just, as we said, black and
 [5] white?
 [6] A: Yes.
 [7] Q: And approximately 100, so to speak?
 [8] A: Right around there, yes.
 [9] Q: Did you take any films from duplex film
[10] holders or was everything press pack for you?
[11] A: I don't remember. I may have used one
[12] cassette. But I don't remember right now.
[13] Q: What did you do with the four by five
[14] exposures after you had completed them?
[15] A: After the pack was used, they were given to a
[16] security officer.
[17) Q: Have you ever seen any of those films since?
[18] A: No.
[19] Q: Now, you mentioned earlier that some
[20] photographs or at least a photograph was taken after
[21] there had been an incision on the body, is that right?
[22] A: Yes.

Page 42

 [1] Q: How long during the course of the autopsy did
 [2] you take photographs? Let me try by saying, did you do
 [3] it throughout the entire autopsy or was it just towards
 [4] the beginning or how did that work?
 [5] A: Throughout the whole autopsy.
 [6] Q: Was the same true for Mr. Stringer?
 [7] A: Yes. He was there until the autopsy was
 [8] finished.
 [9] Q: After the autopsy was completed, did you take
[10] any further photographs?
[11] A: No.
[12] Q: Were you present in the room when any
[13] reconstruction was performed on President Kennedy?
[14] A: No.
[15] Q: Did you take any photographs after
[16] reconstruction of President Kennedy?
[17] A: No, I didn't.
[18] Q: After the autopsy was completed, did you
[19] leave the room with Mr. Stringer or do you know whether
[20] he stayed in the autopsy room?
[21] A: He left. I mean I left and went down to the
[22] lab to take my cameras and all that stuff back. And he

Page 43

 [1] came down a few minutes later. It wasn't a minute or
 [2] two later, so he probably left right after I did.
 [3] Q: After your work had been completed, did you
 [4] ever talk to Mr. Stringer about what had happened that
 [5] night?
 [6] A: I don't think we did. I mean it was a very
 [7] upsetting day for everybody, and I think when we were
 [8] done he just came back to the office, did some
 [9] paperwork and then he went on home.And since I was on
[10] duty that night, I just stayed right there in the
[11] department.
[12] Q: Did you ever hear of anyone taking any
[13] photographs of President Kennedy's body after the
[14] autopsy was completed?
[15] A: No.
[16] Q: Do you know whether there were any
[17] photographs - well, let me withdraw that.
[18] Did you see the brain removed from President
[19] Kennedy?
[20] A: What little bit there was left, yes.
[21] Q: Were any photographs taken of the brain?
[22] A: I think I did some when they were putting it

Page 44

 [1] in that stainless steel pail.
 [2] Q: When you say that there was not much left,
 [3] what do you mean by that?
 [4] A: Well, it was less than half of a brain there.
 [5] Q: Did you notice whether the doctors weighed
 [6] the brain?
 [7] A: I don't remember.
 [8] Q: Did you ever participate subsequently in any
 [9] post autopsy examination of the brain?
[10] A: No.
[11] Q: Did you ever hear whether any other
[12] photographer participated in a post autopsy examination
[13] of the brain?
[14] A: No.
[15] Q: I would like you to describe as best you
[16] recall what or provide a description of the injuries to
[17] President Kennedy's head so we will say from above the
[18] throat. Not to the throat but above the throat. What
[19] did you observe on the body?
[20] A: The right side in the back was gone
[21] (indicating). Just a big gaping hole with fragments of
[22] scalp and bone hanging in it.

Page 45

 [1] Q: When you said that, you put your hand on the
 [2] back of your head.
 [3] A: The occipital.
 [4] Q: The occipital area?
 [5] A: Yes.
 [6] Q: Did you see any other - in addition to that
 [7] injury that you just described, did you see any other
 [8] injuries to the head?
 [9] A: Yes, there was a flap of bone over on the
[10] side above the temporal area.
[11] Q: I notice again your gesture is you are
[12] pointing above your right ear?
[13] A: Yes.
[14] Q: How close of an observation did you get to
[15] the wounds on President Kennedy's head?
[16] A: About five, six feet, something like that.
[17] Q: So the distance, I would estimate the
[18] distance you and you are sitting from each other is
[19] about five feet or so, and it would be about that
[20] distance?
[21] A: Yes.
[22] Q: And that was as close as you got to the head?

Page 46

 [1] A: (Witness nodded head in the affirmative.)
 [2] Q: What was the position of the body when you
 [3] made that observation about the nature of the wound?
 [4] A: He was on his side.
 [5] Q: Did you observe any injuries to the neck or
 [6] throat?
 [7] A: Well, to me it looked like a tracheostomy was
 [8] done in the throat. Kind of overexaggerated, but
 [9] that's what it looked like.
[10] Q: When you say, "overexaggerated," you mean -
[11] A: It was bigger than I have seen before. A
[12] larger incision.
[13] Q: Did you observe any wounds on any other part
[14] of President's Kennedy's body?
[15] A: Yes, in the back.
[16] Q: What did you observe on the back?
[17] A: Well, it looked like - it looked like a
[18] bullet hole. But when, I think it was, Colonel Finck
[19] tried holding that with his finger, it didn't go
[20] anywhere or so they said.
[21] Q: So if I understand correctly, Colonel Finck
[22] put his finger into the wound to try to see how far

Page 47

 [1] down it would go, but it didn't go very far?
 [2] A: It didn't go very far.
 [3] Q: As far as you were aware, did either you or
 [4] Mr. Stringer leave the autopsy room with any exposed
 [5] film?
 [6] A: No. No. Couldn't have got out of there with
 [7] that. They even took - we had one or two cassettes
 [8] that were not exposed, and they took those too. I had
 [9] another roll of 35 millimeter in my pocket, not even
[10] used, but they took that too and they took every bit of
[11] film we had.
[12] Q: Did you ever see any inventory or receipt for
[13] the film that had been exposed that night?
[14] A: I vaguely remember seeing one when we were in
[15] Captain Stover's office. He showed that mostly to Mr.
[16] Stringer, being our director. What numbers were on
[17] there, I don't know. I don't remember.
[18] Q: I would like to show you a document that
[19] appears to be dated 22nd November, 1963 that is marked
[20] for the purposes of this deposition as MD No. 78 and
[21] ask you whether you have seen that document previously?
[22] A: I guess I have. I signed it.

Page 48

 [1] Q: Do you recognize your signature on the page?
 [2] A: Yes. Yes.
 [3] Q: Where is your signature?
 [4] A: Lower left side, just under Mr. Stringer's.
 [5] Q: Do you recognize Mr. Stringer's signature?
 [6] A: No. I didn't see it that often.
 [7] Q: Do you recognize Captain Stover's signature?
 [8] A: No, I don't. But it probably is his.
 [9] Q: Does this document help refresh your
[10] recollection as to whether you had seen a receipt for
[11] film taken at the autopsy?
[12] A: Yes. Yes.
[13] Q: You might want to hold that for another
[14] minute. Under item (a), there is typewritten "8
[15] graphic film holders (4 x 5) containing 16 sheets of
[16] exposed Ektachrome E3 film." You see the number 8 is
[17] crossed out and written above that is what appears to
[18] be the number 11. Do you see that?
[19] A: Yes, I do.
[20] Q: Do you recall any discussion at all about
[21] changes in numbers?
[22] A: No, I don't.

Page 49

 [1] Q: Do you recall whether at the time you signed
 [2] this document there had been any changes in the
 [3] numbers?
 [4] A: I don't recall.
 [5] Q: Above the crossed-out number 8, there appear
 [6] to be some initials. Are any of those initials yours?
 [7] A: No.
 [8] Q: The same is true on item (b), where the 6 is
 [9] crossed out and it appears that a 9 is inserted above
[10] there with initials, are either of those initials
[11] yours?
[12] A: No.
[13] Q: If you go down below the (c), you will see a
[14] reference - let me withhold that.
[15] Do you see anything in item (a) that appears
[16] to be inaccurate in regard to your own recollection of
[17] the numbers of exposed sheets?
[18] A: Yes. There should - well, not really,
[19] because if it was 11, that would have been 22 and that
[20] could have accounted for some that was not exposed but
[21] turned over to the Secret Service anyway.
[22] Q: Do you have any clear recollection as whether

Page 50

 [1] the number 8 or the number 11 containing Ektachrome E3
 [2] film would be more accurate?
 [3] A: No, I don't.
 [4] Q: Do both of those numbers though seem to you
 [5] within the range of plausible numbers?
 [6] A: Yes.
 [7] Q: On the line immediately below that, under
 [8] item (b), there is also a reference to the "Portrait
 [9] Pan film." Can you describe for what portrait pan film
[10] is?
[11] A: It is a fine grain, black and white type
[12] film.
[13] Q: Is that the kind of film that would be used
[14] for close-ups?
[15] A: Yes.
[16] Q: And a great deal of light would be necessary
[17] to expose that?
[18] A: A flash would be necessary.
[19] Q: Do you understand the portrait pan film to be
[20] what you have previously described as the press packs?
[21] A: Yes. Yes.
[22] Q: When it says that there are 6 or 9 "graphic

Page 51

 [1] film holders (4 x 5) containing 12 sheets exposed
 [2] Portrait Pan pan film," is that a reference to press
 [3] packs or is that some other film?
 [4] A: No, that's press packs.
 [5] Q: When it says, "12 sheets," I was under the
 [6] impression that a press pack held 12 sheets. Is that
 [7] correct?
 [8] A: They do. One press pack has 12 sheets.
 [9] Q: Under item (a), it refers to "16 sheets of
[10] exposed Ektachrome film." Your understanding would be
[11] that those sheets would be two per graphic film holder?
[12] A: Two per holder, right.
[13] Q: What is your understanding in regards to (b)?
[14] Do those also have two per graphic film holder?
[15] A: No. There is 12 sheets in each holder.
[16] Q: Under item (c), do you see the reference to
[17] "1 roll of 120 Ektachrome E3 exposed film"? Do you
[18] know what that is?
[19] A: No.
[20] Q: Do you recall there having been any rolls of
[21] 120 film exposed during the autopsy?
[22] A: No, but I think I had that Rollei camera in

Page 52

 [1] there.
 [2] Q: When you say the "Rollei camera," you are
 [3] referring to a 120?
 [4] A: Well, it was Mamiaflex. It was the 120
 [5] camera.
 [6] Q: And is that also known as a medium format
 [7] camera?
 [8] A: Yes.
 [9] Q: Do you recall either you or Mr. Stringer
[10] taking any photographs with a Mamiaflex?
[11] A: I don't recall.
[12] Q: Do you see the statement immediately below
[13] item (c) that says, "To my personal knowledge this is
[14] the total amount of film exposed on this occasion"? Do
[15] you see that?
[16] A: Yes.
[17] Q: Do you see any reference on this sheet to any
[18] 35 millimeter film?
[19] A: No, I don't.
[20] Q: Was Mr. Stover present in the autopsy room
[21] during the time the photographs were taken?
[22] A: From time to time, yes. I don't think he

Page 53

 [1] stayed down there all night.
 [2] Q: Do you know whether Mr. Stover or Captain
 [3] Stover knew that you had taken shots with the 35
 [4] millimeter camera?
 [5] A: I don't know if he knew or not.
 [6] Q: If this statement had been given to you to
 [7] sign to authenticate rather than Mr. Stover, would you
 [8] have signed this statement?
 [9] A: If I was ordered to, yes.
[10] Q: Is the information in this statement correct
[11] in regard to the total number of exposures that were
[12] made?
[13] A: It is hard to tell. I mean I don't remember
[14] exactly, and there has been changes on here. So I
[15] don't - and the deletion of the 35 millimeter. So now
[16] I don't know. We was shown this and told to sign it
[17] and that was it.
[18] Q: With regard to item (b), if that were read to
[19] imply that the six graphic film holders each contained
[20] two sheets of exposed film or a total of 12 sheets,
[21] would that statement be or would that reading be
[22] incorrect as far as your understanding?

Page 54

 [1] A: It would be incorrect, yes.
 [2] Q: Do you recall when you signed your name to
 [3] this statement?
 [4] A: The next day, I believe it was.
 [5] Q: At the time that you signed this statement,
 [6] did anyone suggest to you that you should sign it over
 [7] any objections that you might otherwise have had?
 [8] A: No. I was just told to read it and then sign
 [9] it. And that was after we - I believe it was after we
[10] got that security oath. So I just went ahead and
[11] signed it.
[12] Q: Do you now recall whether you had any
[13] concerns about the accuracy of this document at the
[14] time you signed it?
[15] A: No, I don't recall.
[16] Q: I would like to show you another document
[17] that is marked Exhibit No. 89 - excuse me - No. 79.
[18] I would like to ask you whether you have ever seen this
[19] document previously. I will state the document on its
[20] face appears to be dated the 22nd of November, 1963 and
[21] it appears to be a memo from Captain Stover to Roy
[22] Kellerman.

Page 55

 [1] A: No, I don't remember seeing this.
 [2] Q: Did you ever hear any discussion about a
 [3] subsequent receipt being prepared?
 [4] A: No, I haven't.
 [5] Q: You made reference just a moment ago to
 [6] something related to a secrecy oath or something. Can
 [7] you tell me what you meant by that?
 [8] A: Well, we were told - called up to Captain
 [9] Stover's office, everybody that was involved in the
[10] autopsy, and we were told that this was classified
[11] information under the National Security Act. And that
[12] we had to read this and sign it and if we talked about
[13] it to anybody at all, we could be court-martialed.
[14] Q: I would like to show you a document numbered
[15] for purposes of this deposition as MD 138. I would
[16] like to ask you whether you have seen that document
[17] before. I will state for the record that it appears to
[18] be a document dated 26 November, 1963, from the
[19] Commanding Officer of U.S. Naval Medical School to
[20] Riebe, Floyd Albert.
[21] A: Yes.
[22] Q: Is this the document that you were shown?

Page 56

 [1] A: Yes.
 [2] Q: Does it have your signature on it?
 [3] A: Yes, it does.
 [4] Q: Do you see the date that is written above
 [5] your name several lines above?
 [6] A: 27 November.
 [7] Q: Is that in your handwriting?
 [8] A: Yes. Yes.
 [9] Q: Do you have any current recollection whether
[10] you signed this document on the 27th of November or any
[11] other day?
[12] A: No. As far as I can remember, it was on the
[13] 27th. But it could have been earlier and just dated
[14] that day. I don't know. I don't think so.
[15] Q: A few minutes ago you said, if I recall
[16] correctly, that you had thought that you signed the
[17] inventory receipt after receiving the order.
[18] A: Well, it could have been different. But I
[19] don't remember for sure. But I thought it was the same
[20] day we got this.
[21] Q: Do you have any reason to believe now that
[22] the dates on either Exhibit No. 138 or Exhibit No. 78

Page 57

 [1] are inaccurate?
 [2] A: No. I really don't remember. I thought it
 [3] was the 23rd, 24th that we were called up for that
 [4] security thing. A week, looking at it, about a week
 [5] seems an awful long time to wait.
 [6] Q: Do you recall whether you spoke to anyone
 [7] about the events of the autopsy between the time of the
 [8] autopsy and the time that you signed the statement that
 [9] is now recorded in Exhibit 138?
[10] A: I don't think so. I don't think I did.
[11] Q: Do you recall whether you received any oral
[12] instructions not to discuss the events of November 22nd
[13] prior to the time that you received the document now
[14] marked 138?
[15] A: Yes, we did. We got oral, verbal orders not
[16] to talk about this. I think that's what it was that
[17] was the next day, and then this came up a week later.
[18] But yes, we did. We got verbal orders from Captain
[19] Stover.
[20] Q: Mr. Riebe, subsequent to the time that you
[21] were present in the autopsy room, have you ever seen
[22] any of the original autopsy photographs?

Page 58

 [1] A: No. I have never seen the photographs taken.
 [2] Q: What I would like to do is have the original
 [3] material brought in and have you take a look at that,
 [4] and I will ask you some questions about that if we can
 [5] do that.
 [6] A: Okay.
 [7] MR.GUNN: We will take a break while the
 [8] material is being assembled.
 [9] (Recess.)
[10] MR. GUNN: If we can go back on the record.
[11] BY MR. GUNN:
[12] Q: Mr. Riebe, what we would like to do is now
[13] show you what we understood to be the camera original
[14] photographic material that was exposed at Bethesda on
[15] November 22nd, 1963. We are going to be looking
[16] through them in an order that corresponds with the
[17] chart that I have given to you. We won't ask you to
[18] opine on the accuracy of this list, but we will just be
[19] referring to this or using this for reference purposes.
[20] The first view that we will take a look at is
[21] what was described on that inventory as the "left side
[22] of head and shoulders" and that corresponds to black

Page 59

 [1] and white numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4 and color numbers 29,
 [2] 30 and 31.
 [3] Steve, it might make sense just to use one or
 [4] two examples of black and white and one or two examples
 [5] of the color.
 [6] Mr. Riebe, can you see before you now the
 [7] images that have been marked color numbers 29 and 30
 [8] and black and white numbers 1 and 2?
 [9] A: Yes.
[10] Q: Do those resemble first in a general way the
[11] view that you saw at Bethesda on the night of November
[12] 22nd, 1963?
[13] A: Yes.
[14] Q: Is there anything that you see in either of
[15] those images, the color transparencies, color positive
[16] transparencies or the black and white reverse
[17] transparencies, that differ in any significant way from
[18] your observations?
[19] A: I don't think so.
[20] Q: Mr. Riebe, can you identify the type of film
[21] either in the color or the black and white as you stand
[22] here today?

Page 6O

 [1] A: The color was Kodak. Well, that's not saying
 [2] much. You can identify the film by the notches in the
 [3] top, but it has been so long since have used this
 [4] type of film that -
 [5] Q: That's fine.
 [6] Can you identify whether the black and white
 [7] images are from a press pack or not? Are you able to
 [8] do that?
 [9] A: Not without feeling them. Press pack is
[10] paper thin because they have to pack so many in there,
[11] but I don't think that is. Because that has got, both
[12] of them have notches on the top and they appear to be
[13] too thick. The press pack is, like I said, paper thin
[14] because you have 12 sheets in a small area. It is like
[15] the old Polaroid. You can move it around.
[16] Q: So based upon just your visual observations
[17] they would appear, the black and white images appear
[18] not to be from a press pack, but you are not certain,
[19] is that fair?
[20] A: No, they are not from a fiLm pack. They are
[21] notched on top and they are too thick.
[22] Q: So you are reasonably confident they are not

Page 61

 [1] from a press pack?
 [2] A: Yes.
 [3] Q: Could you identify or can you see in the
 [4] photographs what appears to be something like a stirrup
 [5] on which President Kennedy's head is resting?
 [6] A: Yes. Yes, that's a stainless steel headrest.
 [7] Q: Do you recall seeing the stirrup on the night
 [8] of November 22nd, one way or the other?
 [9] A: I may have, but I don't remember.
[10] Q: That's fine.
[11] Part of the wound that is apparent in
[12] President Kennedy's throat, does that correspond, at
[13] least generally, with what you observed on the night of
[14] the autopsy?
[15] A: Roughly, yes. It was basically in that same
[16] area.
[17] Q: Is there anything that seems to you to be
[18] unusual or not what you would expect with regard to
[19] what appears to be the white and blue towel under
[20] President Kennedy's head?
[21] A: I really don't remember that towel or a
[22] towel. I mean there might have been one there, but I

Page 62

 [1] don't know why.
 [2] Q: Is there anything in the background of the
 [3] room that seems unusual or different from your
 [4] recollection, for example, the tiles on the walls or
 [5] the telephone?
 [6] A: No. Not really.
 [7] Q: That's fine.
 [8] Now, do you see any signify injuries to the
 [9] left side of President Kennedy's head?
[10] A: No.
[11] Q: And does that correspond reasonably closely
[12] with your own recollection?
[13] A: Yes.
[14] Q: Could we then go to the second view which has
[15] been described as the "right side of head and right
[16] shoulder," black and white images numbers 5 and 6 and
[17] color numbers 26, 27 and 28.
[18] Mr. Riebe, are you able to see those images
[19] that I just described reasonably closely now?
[20] A: Yes.
[21] Q: Do those images correspond, at least in a
[22] general way, with what you observed at the autopsy of

Page 63

 [1] President Kennedy on November 22nd?
 [2] A: Yes.
 [3] Q: Is there anything that you see in those
 [4] images that appears to be different from what you
 [5] recall that night?
 [6] A: Well, the wound is placed different, but it
 [7] could be just a - the wound is more on the top side of
 [8] the head, not in the back.
 [9] Q: When you say, "the wound," you are referring
[10] to the wound as it appears in the photograph -
[11] A: Yes.
[12] Q: - is in a location somewhat different from
[13] what you recollected from memory?
[14] A: Well, it could be just - yes. I couldn't -
[15] my recollection could have been off too, whatever, that
[16] night. But that looks about right.
[17] Q: Once again, there is not a very clear view,
[18] but somewhat of a view of the wound in the neck.
[19] Again, I understand that this is not a very good view
[20] of that. Is there anything that differs from what you
[21] recall from the night of November 22nd?
[22] A: Not really, no. It was about that general

Page 64

 [1] location where a tracheotomy would have been done.
 [2] Q: Do you have any reason to believe that these
 [3] photographs were taken by or these photographs were not
 [4] taken by Mr. Stringer or yourself on the night of
 [5] November 22nd?
 [6] A: I don't think so.
 [7] Q: That is, you presume that they were taken
 [8] either by you or Mr. Stringer?
 [9] A: Yes.
[10] Q: Are you able to say with any confidence
[11] whether they were taken by you or Mr. Stringer?
[12] A: No. No.
[13] Q: You might have been the one to take them, but
[14] you are not certain?
[15] A: On the color, I don't think I was. In fact,
[16] I would almost swear to it. That was done with a view
[17] camera.
[18] Q: So your presumption is, at least, that the
[19] color photographs were taken by Mr. Stringer?
[20] A: Yes.
[21] Q: And you may or may not have taken the black
[22] and white?

Page 65

 [1] A: Yes.
 [2] Q: Is it reasonably possible that that those
 [3] pictures could have been taken by the same camera just
 [4] with a different cassette -
 [5] A: Yes, it's possible.
 [6] Q: - film holder?
 [7] A: Yes.
 [8] Q: All right, could we then go to the third
 [9] view, which is described in the 1966 inventory as the
[10] "superior view of head." That corresponds to black and
[11] white numbers 7, 8, 9 and 10, and color numbers 32, 33,
[12] 34, 35, 36 and 37.
[13] Mr. Riebe, can you now see those photographs
[14] in front of you?
[15] A: Yes.
[16] Q: I would like you to look at those and just
[17] tell me in a general sense whether those images
[18] correspond to what you observed on November 22nd.
[19] A: From this view, yes, it does.
[20] Q: Do you have any reason to believe that these
[21] photographs are inaccurate in any way?
[22] A: No.

Page 66

 [1] Q: With respect to the black and white
 [2] photographs, are you able to determine from visual
 [3] observation whether they are from a press pack or from
 [4] a film holder?
 [5] A: They are from the film holder.
 [6] Q: We can go to the next.
 [7] If I can try one more question, Mr. Riebe, as
 [8] you look into the top of the skull of President
 [9] Kennedy, do you see what appears to you to be brain
[10] tissue? Or how would you describe the matter that
[11] appears to be extruding from the brain?
[12] A: Lacerated brain tissue.
[13] Q: Once again, that corresponds with what you
[14] observed on the night of the autopsy?
[15] A: Yes.
[16] Q: Okay. The next view that we will be looking
[17] at is the fourth view which was described as the
[18] "posterior view of wound of entrance of missile high in
[19] shoulder," corresponding to black and white numbers 11
[20] and 12 and color numbers 38 and 39.
[21] Mr. Riebe, do you see those images before you
[22] now?

Page 67

 [1] A: Yes, I do.
 [2] Q: In a general way do they correspond to your
 [3] observations on November 22nd, 1963?
 [4] A: Yes.
 [5] Q: Is there anything about them that appears to
 [6] be inaccurate to you?
 [7] A: No, but I'm getting a sense of strange
 [8] feelings here. The black and white are exact to the
 [9] color and that can't be. That's an impossibility. You
[10] compare them, the position of the hands, the position
[11] of the head.
[12] Q: As you look at the black and white images, do
[13] those appear to be from a press pack or from -
[14] A: No, they are from a cassette - I mean a film
[15] holder.
[16] Q: With two images in them?
[17] A: Right.
[18] Q: Now, would it be your assumption that the
[19] color photographs were taken with a tripod or mounted
[20] on a tripod?
[21] A: Yes.
[22] Q: If the tripod were kept in the same position

Page 68

 [1] and a new cassette or new film holder were inserted,
 [2] could the pictures be reasonably close?
 [3] A: Yes. Yes.
 [4] Q: So when you have made your observation about
 [5] the closeness of the apparent images, that is without
 [6] having made a very technical observation of a possible
 [7] slight change?
 [8] A: Yes. The hands on the shoulders in the black
 [9] and white.
[10] Q: So you do notice a difference between the
[11] two, so they are not exactly identical?
[12] A: They're not copies, no.
[13] Q: Could you look at the back of President
[14] Kennedy's head in the occipital region. You previously
[15] used the term "occipital," is that right?
[16] A: Yes. It is one piece.
[17] Q: Does that correspond with what you observed
[18] on the night of November 22nd?
[19] A: Yes.
[20] Q: So that where it appears, at least to me, as
[21] if there is hair and scalp covering the occipital area,
[22] that does not differ from what you saw on November

Page 69

 [1] 22nd?
 [2] A: I don't think so, no.
 [3] Q: So it seems to be a reasonably accurate
 [4] description?
 [5] A: Yes.
 [6] Q: Okay. Try the next view.
 [7] The next view is described as the view five
 [8] which is the "right anterior view of head and upper
 [9] torso, including tracheotomy wound" corresponding to
[10] black and white numbers 13 and 14 and color numbers 40
[11] and 41.
[12] Mr. Riebe, do you see those images in front
[13] of you now?
[14] A: Yes, I do.
[15] Q: Do those images correspond, at least in a
[16] general way, to what you observed on November 22nd?
[17] A: Yes.
[18] Q: Is there any difference that you notice in
[19] the size of the wound in the neck from what you
[20] observed on that night?
[21] A: No, I don't think so.
[22] Q: In terms of the wound on the head, the

Page 70

 [1] portion of the head above the ear, is there anything
 [2] that seems materially different from what you then
 [3] observed?
 [4] A: I don't think so, no.
 [5] Q: Can you identify from visual observation
 [6] whether the black and white images are from a press
 [7] pack?
 [8] A: No, they are not from a press pack. They are
 [9] film holder.
[10] Q: All right, next view.
[11] These are the sixth view, "wound of entrance
[12] in right posterior occipital region," corresponding to
[13] to black and white numbers 15 and 16, color numbers 42
[14] and 43.
[15] Mr. Riebe, do you see those images in front
[16] of you now?
[17] A: Yes, I do.
[18] Q: Is there anything in those images that
[19] appears to you to be materially different from what you
[20] observed on the night of November 22nd?
[21] A: No.
[22] Q: I would like to specifically draw your

Page 71

 [1] attention to the occipital area of the head and see
 [2] whether there is anything that appears to you to be
 [3] inaccurate in that area.
 [4] A: No, I don't think so.
 [5] Q: Do the black and white images appear to you
 [6] to have come from press pack?
 [7] A: No, they don't.
 [8] Q: Mr. Riebe, previously you described a wound
 [9] in the occipital region of the head whereas in these
[10] photographs it appears that there is no wound there.
[11] What would be your explanation for that?
[12] A: I just didn't remember it properly.
[13] Q: Could we go to the next view, please.
[14] The next view is the seventh view, described
[15] as "missile wound of entrance in posterior skull,
[16] following reflection of scalp." This corresponds to
[17] black and white numbers 17 and 18 and color numbers 44
[18] and 45.
[19] Mr. Riebe, do you see those images in front
[20] of you now?
[21] A: Yes, I do.
[22] Q: The first question will be, are you able to

Page 72

 [1] orient those images? Can you describe or identify what
 [2] they are or portray?
 [3] A: No, I can't.
 [4] Q: Do you see any reference points in any
 [5] portion of the photograph that help orient them for
 [6] you?
 [7] A: No, I don't.
 [8] Q: Do you remember either yourself or Mr.
 [9] Stringer taking photographs of that nature?
[10] A: There is a good possibility Mr. Stringer did.
[11] I could have, but I don't remember.
[12] Q: Does that appear to you to be close-up
[13] photography?
[14] A: Yes. Yes.
[15] Q: So what you would imagine is you are looking
[16] very closely at some part of the body, but it is
[17] difficult to orient?
[18] A: Yes.
[19] Q: Once again, on the black and white
[20] photographs, can you tell whether those are from a
[21] press pack?
[22] A: No. They are from a film pack, cassette

Page 73

 [1] holder.
 [2] Q: Could we try the next view please then, which
 [3] is number eight, described as the "basilar view of
 [4] brain," corresponding to images 19, 21 and 22; 46, 47,
 [5] 48 and 49 in color.
 [6] Mr. Riebe, these photographs are reportedly
 [7] from a supplementary brain examination. I previously
 [8] asked you a question about whether you participated in
 [9] a supplementary exam.
[10] Do these photographs help refresh your
[11] recollection as to whether you may or may not have
[12] participated in the exam?
[13] A: I don't recall these type photos, no.
[14] Q: Have you ever seen these photos before as
[15] best you recall?
[16] A: No.
[17] Q: The last one, last view that we have is the
[18] "superior view of brain," corresponding to black and
[19] white numbers 20, 23, 24, 25 and color numbers 50, 51,
[20] 52.
[21] Actually, Steve, if you could hold just one
[22] moment with the black and whites and put out one. I

Page 74

 [1] will just ask Mr. Riebe the question of whether he can
 [2] tell whether the black and white image is from a press
 [3] pack.
 [4] A: These are from a press pack. There is no
 [5] markings on the edges and it is a very thin piece of
 [6] film.
 [7] Q: Thank you.
 [8] Q: The last set of images are also reportedly
 [9] from a supplementary exam, so I would just like to show
[10] you the last set of photos.
[11] Maybe you can just put out one or two just so
[12] we can see them and a black and white one to see if it
[13] is a press pack.
[14] A: I don't recall seeing these pictures at all.
[15] Q: And, once again, is the black and white image
[16] a press pack?
[17] A: Yes. That's from the press pack.
[18] Q: All right, we have one last piece of film
[19] that we would like to show to you and ask if you can
[20] identify it.
[21] Mr. Riebe, you are being shown a roll of
[22] film. I guess I should say a recalcitrant roll of film

Page 75

 [1] that wants to keep rolling up. That is identified as
 [2] 120 film. Can you identify that as a 120 piece of
 [3] film?
 [4] A: Yes, that looks like the size for 120.
 [5] Q: Let's cover up part of the light on the box
 [6] to see if there are any images visible.
 [7] Mr. Riebe, are you able to identify any
 [8] perhaps latent images on the roll of 120 film?
 [9] A: Yes. A couple down at this end, but I can't
[10] see anything up that way.
[11] Q: Are you able to tell with any degree of
[12] certainty what those images convey?
[13] A: All I can tell is they may be of President
[14] Kennedy. I really couldn't swear to it. I can't make
[15] it out that well.
[16] Q: Does seeing this roll of 120 film help
[17] refresh your recollection as to whether there were
[18] any - whether you observed any medium format shots
[19] being taken of President Kennedy?
[20] A: No, it doesn't.
[21] MR. GUNN: Off the record a minute.
[22] (Discussion off the record.)

Page 76

 [1] MR. GUNN: Back on the record.
 [2] BY MR. GUNN:
 [3] Q: Mr. Riebe, earlier in the deposition you
 [4] estimated that you had taken yourself somewhere in the
 [5] neighborhood of 100 press pack photos of the autopsy.
 [6] Did you within those films that you saw this morning,
 [7] this afternoon, identify any films that seemed to have
 [8] been taken with a press pack of the autopsy?
 [9] A: Just those last specimens, the gross specimen
[10] type, I don't remember taking anything like that.
[11] Q: So other than at the supplementary autopsy
[12] you did not see any press pack -
[13] A: No, I didn't.
[14] Q: - photographs.
[15] Is the best of your understanding that you
[16] took those films, but they are not now included in the
[17] archives?
[18] A: Yes.
[19] Q: Previously in the deposition you described
[20] what I understood to be a large wound in the occipital
[21] portion of the brain. Yet when we were looking at the
[22] photographs you didn't notice that.

Page 77

 [1] Could you explain just once again what your
 [2] best understanding is for the at least apparent
 [3] discrepancy.
 [4] A: Well, it was chaos in that room that night,
 [5] and I just misjudged where the wounds were.
 [6] Q: Just to make certain, has anyone asked you in
 [7] any way to change your observations or to report
 [8] anything different from what your recollections are?
 [9] A: No.
[10] Q: Has anyone from the Review Board asked you to
[11] change your testimony or alter it?
[12] A: No.
[13] Q: Has anyone from any other Government agency
[14] asked you to change your recollections?
[15] A: No.
[16] Q: Or report?
[17] A: No.
[18] Q: As best you understand now, that you would
[19] believe it is fair to say that the photographs
[20] accurately portray what you observed on the night of
[21] November 22nd?
[22] A: Yes, I would.

Page 78

 [1] Q: Do you have any reason to doubt the accuracy
 [2] of those photographs? 
 [3] A: No, I haven't.
 [4] MR. GUNN: I think that concludes the
 [5] deposition. If there is anything you have that you
 [6] would like to say, you certainly have an opportumty
 [7] to.
 [8] And as I mentioned to you before we went on
 [9] the record, we will be sending a copy of the transcript
[10] that is being taken by the reporter. You will have a
[11] chance to review that for accuracy; and we will be
[12] keeping in our permanent record both the audio
[13] recording of the deposition as well as the first
[14] version of the transcript and the corrected version of
[15] the transcript.
[16] THE WITNESS: Okay.
[17] MR. GUNN: Again, thank you very much for
[18] coming. Is there anything else you would like to say?
[19] THE WITNESS: What happened to all the other
[20] film?
[21] MR. GUNN: Thank you very much, Mr. Riebe, we
[22] appreciate it.

Page 79

 [1] (Whereupon, at 12:50 p.m., the taking of the
 [2] deposition was concluded.)
 [3] (Signature not waived.)
 [4]
 [5]
 [6]
 [7]
 [8]
 [9]
[10]
[11]
[12]
[13]
[14]
[15]
[16]
[17]
[18]
[19]
[20]
[21]
[22]

END OF FLOYD RIEBE DEPOSITION

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