The House Select Committee on Assassinations, in 1977, did perhaps the smartest thing that any government body had ever done, up to that time, in connection with the Kennedy assassination: They sought out to compare the autopsy photographs, to the autopsy camera.
On December 7, 1977, Robert Blakey (Chief Council, and Director of the Committee) wrote the Department of Defense, asking about gaining access to the camera 1. January 24, the DOD had the camera, and offered to send it over 2. Then, on February 1, they changed their minds, saying instead that the Committee should come to them. Well needless to say, the Committee didn’t like this very much, and after claiming obstruction of justice, they got their way.
The reason the DOD didn’t want to send the camera over to the Committee, is that they were concerned about the security of it 3.
misleading footnote. They just said that the DOD was not able to find the camera (and the lens) that was used to take the autopsy photographs 6. __Not exactly a lie, but not exactly the truth either.
We know all this because of the Assassination Records Review Board. An agency that was formed in 1994, by the JFK Records Act, to declassify as many assassination related files as possible. It was found out by staff member Doug Horn, and while he has since been derided (by the lone nut crowd), he actually offered up a good explanation for why the camera did not match.
Echoing a pre “the DOD weren’t able to find the autopsy camera” statement from the HSCA, to the Secretary of Defense, he said it was possible that the lens had been changed out, since late 1963 7, which is plausible, but critic Michael Kurtz would take the issue a step further. While mentioning the lens, he also said it was possible that the camera itself was incorrect 8.
Of course, neither opinion rightfully matters.
What matters is that someone in 1978 felt it was the right camera, and when it didn’t match, it conveniently disappeared 9.