The next day , Dr. James C. Beyer , Deputy Chief Medical Examiner , Northern Virginia District of the Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner , conducted an autopsy in the presence of an assistant and four Park Police Officers
assisted the Park Police in certain aspects of the ensuing death investigation , as did other federal and Virginia agencies
In 1992 and 1993 , the Resolution Trust Corporation
) examined the operations of Madison Guaranty Savings & Loan
, a defunct savings and loan in Little Rock , Arkansas , that had been operated by James
and Susan McDougal.
Dr. Lee reviewed and studied scene and autopsy photographs and documentation ; studied , re-examined , and tested physical evidence ; reviewed FBI Laboratory tests and the autopsy results ; met with FBI Laboratory
and Dr. Beyer
, the medical examiner who conducted the autopsy ; and toured and examined the Fort Marcy Park scene.
Dr. Blackbourne reviewed the relevant reports and the scene and autopsy photographs ; reviewed microscopic slides ; examined the Fort Marcy Park area ; and interviewed Dr. Beyer
, Dr. Haut ( the medical examiner who responded to the Fort Marcy Park scene on July 20 ) , and FBI
and Virginia laboratory personnel.
...Dr. James Beyer
, Deputy Chief Medical Examiner , conducted the autopsy , aided by an assistant.
prepared an autopsy report.He
has supplemented the report with testimony on several occasions.Dr. Beyer
has over 20 , 000 autopsies. [ 60 ] His
responsibility is to determine cause of death and , in the case of a gunshot wound , to determine with the police the manner of death -- suicide , homicide , accident , or undetermined. [ 61 ].
Dr. Beyer said Dr. Haut contacted him early on July 21 , 1993 , to advise him of Mr. Foster's death. [ 62 ] Dr. Beyer
recalled that Dr. Haut indicated that there was a perforating gunshot wound ( that is , a gunshot wound with an entrance and an exit ) and that the Park Police was the investigating agency. [ 63 ].Dr. Beyer said Dr. Haut contacted him early on July 21 , 1993 , to advise him of Mr. Foster's death. [ 62 ] Dr. Beyer
recalled that Dr. Haut indicated that there was a perforating gunshot wound ( that is , a gunshot wound with an entrance and an exit ) and that the Park Police was the investigating agency. [ 63 ].
[ 63 ] Id. at 9. Dr. Beyer
had no conversations with members of the White House , the Foster family , or Foster family attorneys in connection with the autopsy.Id. at 6.
[ 64 ] Id. at 10-11
[ 65 ] Lee Report at 495
[ 66 ] Officer Morrissette's report also indicates that Dr. Beyer
stated at the autopsy that it appeared that the victim had eaten a 'large' meal which he
] believed to have occurred within 2-3 hours prior to death..
With respect to the wound , Dr. Beyer
stated : The entrance wound was in the back of the mouth , what we call the posterior orpharynx , where a large defect was present.There was also a soft palate tissue defect , and power debris could be identified in the area of the soft palate and the back of the mouth.The exit wound is depicted ( in the autopsy report ) as being present three inches from the top of the head , approximately one and one-quarter inch by one inch. [ 68 ] There was good alignment between the entrance and exit wounds , and there was no reason to think that this was not an entrance and exit defect configuration. [ 69 ] As the report indicates , Dr. Beyer
did not recover any bullets or fragments from the body. [ 70 ].
[ 67 ] Officer Morrissette's report similarly indicates that [ t ] he
cause of death was determined to be 'perforated gunshot wound in and out.' The point of entry was in the back of the mouth with the exit in the back of the head..Id.
[ 68 ] OIC , 2/16/95 , at 19
[ 69 ] Id. at 20
[ 70 ] Id. at 16.The lack of a bullet or bullet fragments was confirmed by others who attended the autopsy.
Dr. Beyer's assistant confirmed that Dr. Beyer inserted a probe through the path of the bullet before the skull was opened and commented that the path was clear. ( Autopsy photographs clearly depict the wound and the probe through the wound path. ) The assistant recalled that after the brain was removed and visually inspected , Dr. Beyer
dissected it with cuts of approximately one-eighth inch thickness , and that no bullet fragments were located in the brain.302 , 9/11/95 , at 2-3.According to Morrissette's report , Dr. Beyer
stated that the bullet trajectory was 'upward and backward' exiting in the center of the back of the head..
Johnson recalled that Dr. Beyer
may have mentioned it was a clean wound , meaning that it was a through-and-through shot.302 , 2/2/95 , at 2. Sergeant Rule similarly recalled being present when the skull was opened and the wound track examined ; no projectile or fragments were recovered.302 , 2/3/95 , at 2. Technician Hill recalled that a trajectory rod was inserted in the wound track and that no bullet or bullet fragment was recovered.302 , 3/1/95 , at 1-2.
The report states that [ s ] ections of the soft palate were positive for powder debris , and Dr. Beyer said that the gunpowder debris in the mouth was grossly present , meaning that it could be seen with the naked eye , and was present in a large amount. [ 71 ] Thus , Dr. Beyer
stated that the obvious finding was that the muzzle of the weapon had to be in his
mouth , close to the back of his
throat , back of his
mouth.. [ 72 ].Dr. Beyer
said that he
performed an external examination of the body , with photography of the body.We then examine the body for any identifying marks , such as scars , tatoo or wounds. [ 73 ] Dr. Beyer
stated that he
recalls observing powder debris on the right hand. [ 74 ] He
recalled gunpowder debris on the left to.
[ 71 ] OIC , 2/16/95 , at 20 , 22
[ 72 ] Id. at 22
[ 73 ] Id. at 12
Officer Morrissette's report states that Dr. Beyer
pointed out what he
thought to be gunpowder residue on the right hand forefinger of the victim.I supplied him with a picture of the crime scene in which the suspected residue was evident..
concluded that this was a self-inflicted wound [ 79 ] based on the fact that there was no evidence of any trauma other than the gunshot wound , and no evidence of any central nervous system depression or diseases state that would have permitted , in my estimation , somebody to walk up and put a gun in his
mouth and pull the trigger. [ 80 ].
Dr. Beyer's conclusions were reviewed by two sets of experts , one set retained by the OIC and the other by Mr. Fiske's Office.Their analyses of Dr. Beyer's findings and of the relevant laboratory analyses are outlined below.They confirm the conclusions reached at the autopsy.
[ 78 ] OIC , 2/16/95 , at 26
Dr. Lee noted that Dr. Beyer
had observed a large amount of liquid blood in the body bag and in Mr. Foster's body , which further indicates that the location where the body was found is consistent with the primary scene [ and that it ] is , therefore , unlikely that Mr. Foster's body was moved to the Fort Marcy Park scene from another location. [ 133 ].
Dr. Blackbourne reviewed relevant reports , photographs , and microscopic slides ; toured Fort Marcy Park ; and interviewed Dr. Beyer
, Dr. Haut , and the FBI
and Virginia laboratory personnel.
told me that there was more deposit on the right as compared to the left index fingers. [ 182 ].
Dr. Blackbourne concluded that [ a ] t the time of his
death Vincent Foster was not under the influence of alcohol , narcotics ,.
[ 179 ] Id. at 4
[ 180 ] Id
Pathologists' Report at 1. Dr. Beyer
, who conducted the autopsy , was shown an enlarged autopsy photograph of the side of the neck and said , I see blood , but I don't see any trauma..OIC , 2/16/95 , at 15.
, who performed the autopsy , found a large amount of blood in the body bag. [ 196 ] These facts indicate that still more blood drained from the body during movement from the Fort Marcy scene to the autopsy.
There has been occasional public suggestion , premised on the supposedly low amount of blood observed at the Fort Marcy scene , that blood must already have drained from the body elsewhere and the fatal shot therefore must have been fired elsewhere.As revealed by the foregoing descriptions of the evidence , the underlying premise of this theory is erroneous : A quantity of blood was observed at the park under the body and on the back of the head and shirt.Moreover , the suggestion fails to account for the blood that subsequently drained from Mr. Foster's body during movement to the autopsy.
has stated that either he
did not take x-rays because the machine was not functioning properly at the time , or that if he
attempted to take x-rays , they did not turn out.He
I had intended to take x-rays , but our x-ray machine was not functioning.
properly that day.And if we took any all we got was a totally black ,.