WASHINGTON -- Several longtime critics of the Warren Commission report asked yesterday to remove bullet fragments from the body of former Texas Gov. John Connally.
Mr. Connally was wounded in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963, in Dallas. The JFK researchers argue that scientific tests on fragments still lodged in Mr. Connally's wrist and thigh will prove that more than one assailant fired on the presidential limousine in Dealey Plaza.
In letters to Attorney General Janet Reno and Texas Gov. Ann Richards, the researchers asked for help in allowing the fragments to be removed from Mr. Connally's body before its scheduled burial today in Austin, Texas.
Dr. Cyril Wecht, a Pittsburgh pathologist who has long ridiculed the government's single-bullet theory of the assassination, said the fragments are crucial evidence in an unresolved murder case and should be preserved.
Dr. Wecht said he hoped that the Dallas district attorney or medical examiner in Houston -- where Mr. Connally died Tuesday of pulmonary fibrosis -- would order that the surgical procedure be done as quickly as possible.
"I'm not real optimistic that this is going to happen, but I do want you to know that this is not a ploy," Dr. Wecht said.
A spokesman for the Connally family in Austin said he was unaware of the researchers' requests and had "absolutely no comment."