by Douglas Horne, former Chief Analyst for Military Records, on the ARRB Staff
I have been waiting for this book to be published for a long time, and it has been well worth the wait. The color illustrations in this new hardcover book make it well worth the price. So do all of the newly published essays and book reviews, most of them never before available elsewhere. This is my review of the new hardback (paper) edition.
David W. Mantik, for those who do not know, has earned an M.D. (he is a radiation oncologist who is qualified to read skull x-rays) and a Ph.D. in physics, so he is a true scientist who applies scientific rigor to the many paradoxes and conflicts in the medical and forensic evidence surrounding the JFK assassination. He has also visited the National Archives 9 different times to closely examine, and reexamine, the JFK autopsy photos and skull x-rays. I first heard him present on the subject in 1993 in Dallas, and ever since then I have followed his work closely, and with increasing admiration. By the mid-1990s, I considered his evolving work on the JFK skull x-rays so important that I persuaded the ARRB General Counsel (Jeremy Gunn) to enlist his services as a consultant to the Assassination Records Review Board in 1995 and 1996, as the staff prepared to take the depositions of the 3 pathologists who performed JFK’s autopsy. Dr. Mantik’s inputs concerning the JFK skull x-rays proved indispensable to the ARRB’s medical depositions.
The central core of this, his final work, is the re-publication (on paper) of his earlier seminal work “JFK’s Head Wounds,” complemented with a plethora of absolutely essential full-color medical illustrations in this new paper edition. It will likely forever remain the definitive work on how many shots struck JFK in the head in Dallas (three), and about the proper anatomical placement of the Harper bone fragment in JFK’s skull.
But even if one already has the earlier, Kindle version of “JFK’s Head Wounds,” this new book is worth purchasing simply to obtain the many essays and book reviews, which Mantik has been working on for years—most of which have not yet been published.
Noteworthy among them is the newly published essay “Masquerade at the Museum,” about the extremely serious (and troubling) evidentiary subterfuge surrounding the first-generation Zapruder film images at the Sixth Floor Museum, in Dallas. It is a shocking story of misrepresentation and deceit.
Mantik has also published, in this volume, book reviews of the central JFK-related works by authors Vincent Bugliosi, Sherry Fiester, Fred Litwin, Robert Wagner, and Josiah Thompson. David Mantik, in his own impeccably footnoted scientific style, takes them all to task for the many insupportable positions in their recent works.
He has also addressed, in considerable detail, his serious disagreements with one other credentialed researcher into the JFK medical evidence (Dr. Randy Robertson), and with two prominent JFK bloggers (John McAdams and Pat Speer).
I also highly recommend his new essay on the JFK limousine windshield.
Dr. Mantik has previously published many lengthy scientific articles online, and in published anthologies, about the JFK medical evidence. This new work is clearly the capstone to his considerable life’s work in the JFK assassination research field. I cannot recommend it highly enough!
This book is a masterful example of the proper application of the scientific method to the often perplexing, and all-too-often misunderstood, JFK medical evidence. Well done!