The brain of assassinated American President John F Kennedy that went missing after his autopsy may have been stolen from the United States national archives by his brother Robert Kennedy, a new book has claimed.
"Not all the evidence from the assassination is at the National Archives. One unique, macabre item from the collection is missing, President Kennedy's brain," James Swanson writes in his new book titled 'End of Days: The Assassination of John F Kennedy'.
The book is to come out on November 12, just a few weeks before the 50th anniversary of J F Kennedy's death, but its excerpts have been published in the New York Post.
The former president's brain was not buried with him on November 25, 1963, at ArlingtonNationalCemetery. During J F Kennedy's autopsy at BethesdaNavalHospital, the brain was placed in a stainless-steel container with a screw-top lid.
"For a time, the steel container was stored in a file cabinet in the office of the Secret Service," writes Swanson. The brain was later placed in a footlocker with other medical evidence and taken to the National Archives, where it was "placed in a secure room designated for the use of J F Kennedy's devoted former secretary, Evelyn Lincoln, while she organised his presidential papers."
"In October 1966, it was discovered that the brain, the tissue slides and other autopsy materials were missing and they have never been seen since," Swanson was quoted as saying by the New York Post.
An investigation was ordered by then-Attorney General Ramsey Clark, but the probe failed to recover the missing brain, which remains unaccounted for today, Swanson said.
But it did "uncover compelling evidence suggesting that former Attorney General Robert Kennedy, aided by his assistant Angie Novello, had stolen the locker," according to Swanson.
Conspiracy theorists have posited that the brain was stolen to conceal evidence that the president was shot from the front, perhaps from the grassy knoll, instead of the official version of events, that the gunfire came from the rear, from the Texas School Book Depository.
Swanson rejects that the brain vanished as part as a nefarious plot to hide the facts of the assassination. "My conclusion is that Robert Kennedy did take his brother's brain, not to conceal evidence of a conspiracy but perhaps to conceal evidence of the true extent of President Kennedy's illnesses, or perhaps to conceal evidence of the number of medications that President Kennedy was taking," he is quoted as saying by the paper.
Image: President John F Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy and Texas governor John Connally ride through Dallas moments before Kennedy was assassinated, November 22, 1963