Was Victor Hall Shot In Bed? – Who Can Spell “Protuberance?”
One ambiguous non-word moved an array of detectives from three respected
agencies to concur that Victor Hall must have been shot in bed.
The doctors performing the autopsy observed the bullet entrance
wound about one and one half inches above a specific point.
Whether or not Dr. Porter mistakenly and said “prominence” rather
than “protuberance,” we will never know. However, we do know that
Dr. Porter later used “bony protuberance” correctly on the witness
stand. In any event, the sad fact remains that Coroner James Hester
wrote “bony promince [sic]” in his report to record Dr. Porter’s
None of the detectives ever saw the actual wound. They relied solely
on the wording of the coroner’s report.
Ask people unfamiliar with anatomy to locate a point on the back
of their head one and a half inches above their “bony prominence,”
they will almost always measure a spot upwards from the extreme back
of their skull. The detectives apparently made the same mistake and
placed the wound near the top of the head. They then theorized that
Victor Hall was either “shot from above” or “shot as he lay in bed.”
Only these two scenarios reconciled the entry wound they envisioned.