For those of you who do not know, Jeremy Gunn wore two hats at the ARRB for the first 2 years I was there: he was the Chief of Research and Analysis (the director of all the analysts on the 4 record teams: FBI, CIA, Military, and Secret Service), and was the General Counsel. When David Marwell (the Executive Director of the ARRB staff for its first 3 years) departed from the ARRB staff one year prior to shutdown, the five Review Board members eventually (belatedly, and not immediately) appointed Jeremy as the new Executive Director, circa November of 1997. He served as our second Executive Director from roughly November of 1997 until his abrupt resignation in July of 1998, about 3 months prior to shutdown of the ARRB. The rather incurious and conservative Board Members did not appreciate or like Jeremy's intense curiosity about all of the conflicts in the evidence of the JFK assassination, and so relations between Jeremy Gunn and the Board were strained, to say the least, once he took over as Executive Director. He left "under a cloud," an unexplained cloud of obvious animus between him and the Board; I still do not know the reasons for his abrupt departure 3 months before our sunset. From December of 1995, through the end of September 1997, I worked extremely closely with Jeremy Gunn as his primary research assistant helping him prepare for the ten depositions we conducted of witnesses to, and participants in, the JFK military autopsy. I was present at all ten of those depositions, and was familiar with his thinking about the evidence going into each deposition, and after each deposition was concluded.
Having been hired by Gunn in 1995, and having worked closely with him for over 2 years (until we had a major falling out over the future direction of our research activity), I watched the video with great interest, because for many years following the sunset of the ARRB, Jeremy Gunn had told people that the JFK assassination was no longer a part of his life, and that he did not wish to discuss it anymore. I knew that this attitude of his was changing a bit, since he had given a tepid interview to NPR last autumn in 2013, in which he discussed just a few of the irregularities in the medical evidence (without discussing the obvious implications of those irregularities---namely, a major U.S. government cover-up).
Jeff Morley at JFKFACTS has just posted the video of Jeremy's 50th anniversary speech in Maine last November, and here are the comments I just posted about the video at JFKFACTS:
As a person who was hired by Jeremy Gunn in 1995, and who worked closely under him (and with him) from August of 1995 until his abrupt and mysterious resignation from the ARRB (for unknown reasons) in July of 1998, I watched this presentation made by Jeremy Gunn in November of 2013 with great interest. Overall, I found it to be a good primer for those newly approaching the case, with respect to how many of the details about what really happened in Dealey Plaza in 1963 are truly "unknowable," because of the many conflicts within the evidentiary record, and because of the many instances where key evidence in the case has a badly broken chain-of-custody. Jeremy also pointed out that in many cases supposedly "key evidence," such as the Zapruder film, is subject to differing interpretations by different viewers; just as the reliability of witness testimony is subject to differing opinions by those evaluating their testimony or their recollections. For the most part, his speech was a cautionary tale about not jumping to conclusions without first considering ALL of the evidence about any facet of the assassination, pro or con. Jeremy is saying here that one must approach all evidence (film evidence such as the Z film or many of the autopsy photos; eyewitness testimony; and so-called forensics evidence) with extreme caution, and take nothing for granted about its accuracy or provenance.
Yet---and I find this unfortunate---Jeremy continues to use all of the uncertainties about the evidence as a "mask" to hide behind in a sense, which allows him to continue to say that he personally has no idea who killed President Kennedy, in an attempt to avoid controversy. Significantly, I do recall reading an interview he gave to a Washington D.C. law journal circa the year 2000, in which he stated that he thought that far into the future the official consensus of government and media would be that Lee Harvey Oswald had killed President Kennedy, and that he personally thought that this ultimate "verdict of history" would be INCORRECT. That is the true Jeremy Gunn, the one I knew and worked with for almost 3 years---who while not knowing who assassinated JFK, certainly believed that there had been a massive U.S. government cover-up of the facts surrounding his death, particularly of the medical evidence, and of the Mexico City evidence. This is the true value of this 2013 presentation: the many specific examples he gave of why we cannot trust the medical evidence or the Mexico City evidence.
Jeremy Gunn, unfortunately, made some factual errors during his presentation. As someone who has also spoken publicly about the assassination, I know how easy it is to make an inadvertent mistake when speaking before an audience. Nevertheless, it is important for someone to correct Jeremy's inadvertent errors, so here goes:
1. Gunn stated that the autopsy doctors had not seen the autopsy photos before their ARRB depositions; this was incorrect. Humes, Boswell, and Ebersole saw the original autopsy photos and x-rays on 11-1-1966 and created a catalogue listing of what they depicted; Humes, Boswell, and Finck saw them again in January of 1967 when gathered together by the Justice Department to write a report; and Humes, Boswell and Finck saw prints of some of the transparencies before the HSCA in 1977 and 1978.
2. Gunn mistakenly said that Dr. Humes had never told the W.C. that he had burned the first draft of the autopsy report. That is not true. Humes admitted this under oath to Arlen Specter (burning the original after preparing a revision), but tried to change the focus solely to his destruction of notes, when before the HSCA.
3.Gunn stated incorrectly that "the Secretary of the Navy, Arleigh Burke," was present at JFK's autopsy. This was untrue, and with some sympathy I could tell from his presentation that he knew he had misspoken. The truth is that the Surgeon General of the Navy, Admiral Kenney, was present; along with George Burkley, the President's military physician, as well as Admiral Galloway, who was in charge of the entire Bethesda complex. There was at least one other flag officer present as well: General Wehle (U.S. Army), the Commandant of the MDW. There is some reason to believe that one of JFK's enemies, USAF General Curtis LeMay, was present at his autopsy; but there is no evidence to suggest that another of his adversaries, Navy Admiral Arleigh Burke, was present.
4. Jeremy Gunn correctly admitted the importance of 2 brain exams (vice one) having taken place following the autopsy on JFK's body, but deftly avoided discussing the unavoidable implications: namely, that the brain photos in the Archives today were taken at the second exam, not the first, and CANNOT BE photos of JFK's brain. This is undeniably true; I know Jeremy believes it; and he was dodging the implications of this fact (U.S. government cover-up) by not mentioning the implications of the second brain exam.
5. Gunn's personal bias toward the authenticity of the Zapruder film was blatantly obvious; but he may not yet have been acquainted with the remarkable testimony of Dino Brugioni, the Chief of Information at the CIA's NPIC in 1963, who saw a different Z film the weekend of the assassination. If Jeremy could view the 4 hour, 15 minute video interview of Dino that I recorded on video in 2011, I'm confident his views on the authenticity of the Zapruder film would be modified.
6. In discussing the Dallas physicians Jeremy incorrectly stated that none of them had been pressured to change their minds about what they saw on 11/22/63. This is not true. Nurse Audrey Bell relayed to Jeremy and I personally, in 1997, that Dr. Perry had told her the day after the assassination that officials at Bethesda Naval Hospital had pressured him all night long to change his opinion about the throat wound being an entrance wound, and to say instead that it had been a wound of exit. If that is not pressure, I do not know what is. Also, the HSCA became aware of reliable hearsay that Secret Service Agent Elmer Moore later admitted to a third party (James Gochenaur) that he had "leaned on Dr. Perry about the throat wound" and that he felt remorse for that. [Moore was the official who showed the Dallas doctors the final version of the autopsy report on Dec 11th, 1963.]
In conclusion, Jeremy's speech is a good introductory primer about the hazards involved in investigating the JFK case; but as usual, he is unwilling to directly say what I know for a fact---that he personally believes there was a government cover-up of the medical evidence and of the Mexico City evidence, or discuss the obvious implications of those cover-ups. In refusing to go this far in public statements, I believe Jeremy hopes to avoid censure by the academic community, and any ensuing risk to his career. If you will watch his speech a second time, you will see that he actually acknowledges terrible conflicts in the evidence in these 2 areas, and much wrongdoing by government officials, but is unwilling to discuss the implications.
One of the most significant things Jeremy Gunn ever said to me about the medical evidence was that in his opinion, the JFK autopsy photos placed into the official record---we both knew there were numerous autopsy photos that had been “deep-sixed,” or suppressed---were intended to CONCEAL, rather than to reveal what had happened. In other words, the intent of the culled collection of photos was to conceal the reality of the event, and present a misleading picture of what had truly transpired during JFK’s assassination. This revelatory statement (which he made more than once to me) reveals, without any doubt whatsoever, that while Jeremy Gunn could not figure out who had killed President Kennedy, he believed without any doubt that the U.S. government had covered up the crime.