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Summary and Comment: The autopsy report states:
- The identity of the remains was without question.
- Single bullet entered upper chest from the right causing multiple fatal injuries:
- tore right lung
- tore tracheal carina (main windpipe)
- tore thoracic aorta (main artery from the heart)
- tore main pulmonary artery (artery to the lung)
- fractured three vertebra with spinal column damage and hemorrhage
- caused massive hemorrhage in the chest cavity.
- Injuries 2 and 3 above were named the immediate cause of death.
- Fully jacketed .223 caliber bullet recovered.
- Gaping "very large" wound in the lower lip tested positive for lead and barium; the autopsists do not speculate on the manner of that injury or a source of the heavy metals (pg. 4).
The wound is not consistent with the marksmanship of Bible students shooting madly in the heat of combat. Instead, the wound appears to be an expertly placed bullet aimed to pass through the vital tissues of the chest, causing instant and certain fatality — as few but a professional sniper could do. The bullet did extensive fatal damage that could not be mitigated in the world's best trauma unit, even if it were already on the scene.
Jacketed bullets are required by the Vienna Conventions on war and are not generally used by sportsmen. That caliber in particular is popular with military organizations of various nationalities, including NATO.
The autopsists describe a tracheostomy wound on pg. 2 and note it in the diagram on pg. 7 of the Autopsy Report. A field tracheostomy is an incision in the throat to open the windpipe directly to the air. It is a risky procedure performed by a trained technician to enable the patient to breathe when the upper airways are blocked and only a tracheostomy can save the patient's life. But McKeehan has suffered a chest wound, not an upper airways blockage; what trained individual would consider a tracheostomy in his case?
Note that the Officer Down Memorial Page states, "Weapon Gun; Unknown type" and "Offender: Committed suicide" without identifying the offender.
Bone chart and
medical glossary available on line.
Anomalies in the Forensic Process may also be helpful.