Serial 1271 (1)

[Editor’s note: This autopsy report on Leo Ryan appears two different places, in the first set of unmarked pages following Serial 1271 and as part of Serial 1681, the FBI’s 387-page report of January 12, 1979. The only difference between the two versions is in the photocopying, with the earlier version being the better copy.]

Central Medical Laboratory

P.M. [Post mortem] No. 729/78

Name: Leo Ryan
Age: 53 yrs.
Sex: Male
Race: Caucasian
Place of P.M. Examination: PHG Mortuary
Date: 20/11/78 [November 20, 1978]
Time: 9 AM
Died: 18/11/78
Time: Not known
Place: Port Kaituma, North West District
Identification: James T. Schollaert, c/o U.S. Embassy, Georgetown.
Witness: Assistant Superintendent Lam, C.I.D. Headquarters.

External Examination: The body is that of a male of Caucasian descent, measuring 6 ft. 2 ins. It was fully clothed as follows:

(1) Long-sleeved shirt (light green).
(2) Blue striped pants held in position by a buckle.
(3) Brown pair of shoes
(4) Pair of socks.

The shirt, pants and shoes were blood-stained. There were tears of varying diameters in the pants (3) in the (R) buttock and (2) in the (L) buttock; in front of pants 6 cms. tear on (L) groin area. The pockets (2) in back of the parents were turned inside out.

(1) In the (L) front pocket there was an electioneering pin of Congressman Leo Ryan.

The body was identified by: James T. Schollaert, Req. of the U.S. Embassy, Georgetown, Guyana.

External Examination:

(1) Perforated wound (L) groin 2 ½ cms. elliptical in outline and 1 ½ cms. wide at its greatest/running downwards in line with the (r.) inguinal ligament and parallel to it.

(2) Above wound (1) was another perforated wound 1 cm x ½ cm above wound (1)

(3) Linear contusion 2 cms. above wound No. 2 running across abdomen for 6 cms.

(4) Twelve cms. above wound no. 3 perforated wound 2 cms by 1 cm with contusion parallel to upper and lower ellipse. Wound is on the (L) lower aspect of the abdomen 10 cms. lateral to umbilious.

(5) There was a raised area under the skin at the (L) subcoetal area 15 cms. above wound no. 4. Incision revealed a metal object (deformed bullett).

(6) Perforated wound on (L) chest 6 cms. above (L) nipple wound 2 cms. x 1 cm.

(7) There was a raised area under skin parallel with wound number (6) 5 cms. from mid sternum metal object removed (deformed bullet).

(8) Perforating wound. (L) upper limb medial aspect 3 cms by 1 ½ cms. 6 cms below axilla. Contusions around wound with 2 parallel cuts in the skin above and below the perforating wound 1 ½ cms. one above 2 cms. the one below.

(9) Two perforating wounds on the (R) aspect of the neck 0.9 cm diameter each, the lower one 13 cms from tip of (R) ear the upper one 11 cms. from tip of (R) ear.

(10) Massive lacerated wound (R) side of neck 6 cms. Muscles of neck exposed long upper end of wound 2 ½ cms.  from tip of ear (R) medial to wound irregular abrasion extending from neck to angle of jaw. Under angle of jaw perforating wound 3 cms by 1 ½ cms, bone of angle of jaw exposed.

(11) (L) lateral aspect of shoulder perforating wound 3 cms by 2 ½ cms. bony fragments at orifice – wound is 3 cms from root of neck.

(12) On the (L) neck posterior lateral aspect perforating wound 4 cms. by 2 cms. bony fragment protruding from wound. Wound is 2 cm from


tip of (L) ear.

(13) Back of (L) ear perforating wound 3 cm by 2 cm. The posterior attachment of the ear was detached.

(14) (L) aspect of parieto-occipital region of skull, compound comminuted fracture evacuating scalp with herniation and protrusion of brain. Brain substance bloodstained oozing out.

(15) Puncture wound mid position of (L) thigh posterior aspect 28 cms. from popliteal fossa.

(16) Perforating wound 2 cms by 1 cm on fold of (R) buttock.

(17) 12 puncture wounds of varying sizes, both buttocks.

(18) (R) loin two areas of contusion.

(19) Contusion of (R) scotal.

(20) Bilateral ecchymosis with bilateral subconjunctival hemorrhages.

(21) Perforating wound (R) posterior lateral aspect of arm in line with shoulder joint wound 1 cm. diameter.

(22) On the (R) thigh 8 cms. below the inginal ligament two parallel linear contusions 3 cms and 2 cms in length each and 1 ½ cms. from each other.

Internal Examination:

Esophagus: Some amount of congestion upper 1/3 with large amount of submucous hemorrhage between thyroid cornua and hyoid bone.

Trachea & Bronchii: Congestion in upper aspect with bloodstained froth in bronchii.

Thoracic cavity:

Lungs: (R) was adherent to the pericardium and there was some pleural reaction at base. Small puncture wound in lower lobe.

(L) lung preparation of the basal lobe bony fragments in substance of (L) lung.

Heart: Some increase of epicardial fat – normal in size. Myocardial normal; Coronary vessels patent and normal. Arch of aorta normal in appearances.

The chest cavity contained 125 ml. of blood on the (R) side and 200 ml. on the (L) side. Fracture of the 2nd and 3rd ribs on the (L) side.


Stomach: signs of gastritis (patchy) rugar normal – stomach empty except for mucus.

Liver: Some petechial subcapsular hemorrhage otherwise pale in appearances.

Gall Bladder: No gallstones.

Pancreas: Normal appearances.

Kidneys: Normal appearances except slight increase of hiler fat.

Bladder: Filled with urine straw colored.

[Illegible word]: Normal appearances.

Appendix: Normal.

Head and neck:

Skull: Small pieces of the skull on the left side were missing, in the parietal and occipital areas. There was a compound comminuted fracture of the vault extending from the (L) fronto parietal-region and extending upwards and backwards into the parietal and occipital region and involving the bones of the (R) aspect of the vault. The bones of the space were also fractured in a comminuted manner – all the bones of the anterior, middle and posterior cranial fosso bilateral – fracture lines extending in all directions.

Brain: Only the cerebellum was in the skull all the cerebrum had fallen out. Cerebellum shows some congestion.



Cause of Death: Shock and hemorrhage following multiple gunshot injuries:

(1) Compound comminuted fracture of the skull with laceration and hermation of the brain.

(2) Perforation of both lungs with bilateral haemothorax.

/s/ Leslie Mootoo
Dr. L. Mootoo
L.IM.RCP; L.IM.RCS (Dublin).
DGO; D. Obst. (Dublin),
DPH (Edin.),
Dipl.Forensic Med. DFM (Vienna).
Forensic Path. Govt. of Guyana



The Registrar Of Division

I hereby certify that I performed a postmortem examination on Leo Ryan age 53 at the Georgetown Hospital Mortuary that I saw on 20.11.78, that he died on 18/11/78 at Port Kaituma and that the cause of death was

Cause of death

  • Shock and Hemorrhage following multiple injuries
  • Perforation of both lungs
  • Fracture of Skull (multiple) with laceration and hemorrhage of the brain

/s/ Leslie Mootoo

Certify a true copy
American Embassy
Georgetown, Guyana