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  • David Andrews

Missing! JFK's Preserved Brain

The Clarksvillian

So we all know the date that Kennedy was killed – it’s the only fact that we all can find an agreement! Several fundamental questions on his death continue to linger long after the terrible event.


How many shooters were involved? Why was the president’s car route changed at the last minute? What were the true political beliefs of assassin Lee Harvey Oswald? Why was Oswald taken out by Jack Ruby?


Most of us are now sure that we do not have the whole picture, and some cover-up must have taken place. Over 76% of Americans believe that the public will never find out the whole truth behind the president’s demise. In 2013, 59% of respondents to a poll stated that they thought Oswald was not the only assassin of JFK.


One of the strangest mysteries surrounding this dark event took place after the president’s autopsy…


In 1978 a special government organization published findings that stated that the deceased president’s brain had vanished. Most people were unaware that something this gruesome had been kept in storage considering the president had been shot through the head. The remaining part of his brain was surgically removed during the autopsy.


During a routine archive check twelve months later it was discovered that the Kennedy brain had indeed gone missing. Many archive workers were interrogated but not one of them had any sort of information – the remains had vanished!


Historian James L. Swanson recently published a book surrounding the Kennedy brain. His book claims that the president’s heartbroken brother did not want the public to know about his sibling’s addictions.


The brain remains were the only link remaining to the President’s poor health and related drug history. Swanson also thinks that the brain could well highlight the fact that Oswald was not the only shooter that day.



What do we actually know? On April 22, 1965, Robert F. Kennedy, then a senator, sent a letter to Dr. Bourkley requesting the remains be transferred to Mrs. Evelyn Lincoln, President Kennedy’s former personal secretary, who was sorting out his papers and personal objects to send them for conservation to the National Archives.


The letter also stated that the material should not be given to anyone without the explicit agreement of Robert himself. Before the move, Bourkley and several Secret Service agents made a detailed inventory, the first ever, that collected a stainless steel container with the remains of Kennedy’s brain, histological sections, blood films, pieces of bone, photographs, and X-rays of the autopsy.


On October 31, 1966, precisely on Halloween, it was discovered that not only the brain but the filing cabinet and all the biological material from the autopsy had disappeared. The remains were not interred in the tomb at Arlington and the following are missing from the inventory:

  • 1 plastic box with paraffin blocks for making histological sections

  • 1 plastic box with paraffin blocks and 35 histological sections

  • 1 box with 84 histological sections

  • 1 7 x 8-inch stainless steel container (which would contain Kennedy’s brain)

  • 3 wooden boxes with 58 blood films were made throughout different periods in the life of President Kennedy.

According to the New York Post, the American writer James Swanson suggests that the brain of John F. Kennedy, the former US president assassinated in Dallas, could have been extracted by his brother Robert.


When what could have happened has been traced, it appears Angela Novello, Robert Kennedy’s personal secretary, took the biological materials from Mrs. Lincoln’s office, following orders from her boss and, with the knowledge of Herman Kahn, archivist presidential libraries.


In its opinion 150 the committee said, “Consequently, although the committee has not been able to discover any direct evidence of the fate of the missing materials, the circumstantial evidence shows that Robert Kennedy either destroyed these materials or otherwise caused them to be inaccessible”.


However, the autopsy records are clear on the affects from behind both bullets and other possibilities seem more plausible: John F. Kennedy was in very fragile health: Addison’s disease, hypothyroidism, chronic pain … that was hidden from opinion public.

Among his doctors was Dr. Max Jacobson, aka Miracle Max or Dr. Feelgood, who treated his wealthy clients with a cocktail of amphetamines, hormones, animal cells, steroids, placenta, vitamins, and painkillers that he apparently left his patients with as motorcycles, although with problems of hyperactivity, hypertension, impaired judgment, nervousness, and others.


They said that he visited JFK 34 times to administer his magic medicine. It seems likely that Robert Kennedy made his brother’s brain disappear to maintain his image, his legacy, to hide the president’s illnesses, or to leave no trace of the drugs and/or drugs he was taking.

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