- Freedom may be on life support in America, but it is
still alive. By sending a mere $25 to the Offoce of the Medical Examiner
of Harris County, Texas, The Great Speckled Bird has been able to obtain
a notarized copy of the autopsy of former Enron executive, J. Clifford
Baxter. A complete copy is attached. Here are the salient points as we
- 1. Although the "Manner of Death" on page 1
is given as "suicide," no effort is made in the autopsy to support
that conclusion, and, indeed, there is no supporting evidence for suicide
in the autopsy. The conclusion could only have been reached based upon
something extraneous to the autopsy.
- 2. The strongest evidence in the autopsy report is most
consistent with murder. Under EVIDENCE OF INJURY on numbered page 3 we
find, "The defect is stellate and, when the wound edges are repositiioned,
measures 7.2 centimeters in the horizontal direction and 4.5 centimeters
in the vertical direction."
- This suggests a wound inflicted by a starburst of rat
shot pellets which were far enough from the muzzle of the weapon to have
separated from one another by as much as 2.83 inches before striking the
head. Who would, or could, shoot themselves in the temple like this?
- In the paragraph above the EVIDENCE OF INJURY we read
that "The palmar surface of the left hand is remarkable for an irregular,
red, recent abrasion occurring at the base of the fifth digit, which measures
1/4 inch along the linear axis. There is an irregular abrasion on the palmar
surface of the distal phalanx of the fifth digit, which measures 1.5 centimeters.
This injury consists of discontinuous superficial abrasions with a trail
of black material."
- Such an injury, though very slight, is not consistent
with Baxter having shot himself while seated in his car. Rather, it suggests
that he had recently fallen to his left (consistent with being shot in
the right temple) and attempted to break to fall by extending his left
hand, perhaps on an asphalt road. The black material should have been tested
to see what it is, but apparently it was not.
- 3. The car was much nearer to the house than news reports
have indicated, for what that might be worth. As in the original Houston
Chronicle report, the autopsy report says Baxter was found in his car in
the 5200 block of Palm Royale Boulevard. We learn for the first time here,
though, that his home was at 5211 Palm Royale Boulevard. He was less than
a block from home, and could have been in front of his own house.
- 4. His dress, workout pants and a t-shirt, are most consistent
with his having just ventured out from his house rather than his having
been out in some public place.
- I am putting the entire autopsy up here in case someone
else might see something that I haven't, or in case someone might want
to take issue with my tentative conclusions.
- David Martin
- The Great Speckled Bird
- -------- DC Dave
- Author - "America's Dreyfus Affair" "The
Case of the Death of Vincent Foster" "Upton Sinclair and Timothy
McVeigh" "Seventeen Techniques for Truth Suppression" http://www.thebird.org/host/dcdave
- A friend of mine took the initiative to call CCI Ammunition,
a manufacturer of rat shot of same general type as was found in Cliff Baxter's
noggin. The technician that he was able to get on the phone said that the
rule of thumb for such shot fired from a .38 caliber revolver is one inch
of spread for one foot of distance from the target. That conjures up an
almost comical picture of Baxter holding the gun to attempt to shoot himself.
Maybe he wanted to give himself a sporting chance.
- -- DC Dave
- From Baka 3-8-2
- Mr. Rense,
- For what it's worth, there's nothing to get excited about
in the Baxter autopsy. In fact, the 'GSB' got the facts precisely backwards:
the size of the wound is indicative that the gunshot was fired in contact
with Mr. Baxter's head, not that it was fired at a distance.
- The description of the wound reads (pgs. 3-4):
- "The defect is stellate and, when the wound edges
are repositioned, measures 7.2 centimeters in the horizontal direction
and 4.5 centimeters in the vertical direction. The wound edges are abraded
and are surrounded by a zone of contusion, which measures 1-1/2 inches
in diameter. There appears to be a moderate amount of soot driven into
the subcutaneous scalp tissues. ... There is no gunpowder tattooing visible
surrounding the entrance wound described above. There is no apparent soot
deposition on the external surface of the wound. There appears to be a
slight muzzle imprint associated with the wound described above."
- This description is entirely consonant with a wound inflicted
by a contact gunshot. The stellate appearance (that is to say, the wound
looks like a four-pointed star or, turned slightly, an 'X') is caused by
severe trauma tearing the skin as gases from the pistol expand from the
wound outwards, thus accounting for the 2.83" width/1.77" height
of the wound. In forensic pathology, large stellate defects resulting from
gunshots are taken as strong evidence (read: proof unless countervailing
evidence is provided) that the gun was in contact with the victim's body
at the time of the wound.
- The lack of tattooing in and around the wound, and the
presence of soot within, largely excludes the possibility of the gunshot
occuring at any distance from the skull. Had the gunshot been at close
but not contact range, there would be powder speckling the defect and surrounding
area ("tattooing"). The fact that soot penetrated into the damaged
area also militates for a contact gunshot, since the soot would have to
be driven at high speed into the wound.
- Finally, the muzzle imprint is seared into the flesh
by the heat of the gun barrel, and is usually recoverable by an examination
of the damaged area.
- This only indicates that the gunshot did not occur at
a distance from Mr. Baxter, and that there is nothing in the wound description
to suggest otherwise. Other questions, such as whether Mr. Baxter shot
himself or was murdered, are outside the scope of the forensic report,
and are best addressed using other evidence from the scene.