Recently I read "The Martyrdom, John Taylor's Personal Account of the Last Days of the Prophet Joseph Smith", written decades after the events unfolded. It was fascinating, however it certainly did contradict some things that Willard wrote (very soon after the martyrdom), particularly how Hyrum was shot. Willard states that Hyrum was shooting through the door, AFTER the first shot came through the door, then fired some shots through the door (that would have to be opened) before he was shot. John Taylor goes into the often quoted account about how he thought Hyrum was shot with the door still closed, by a bullet that first went through the door. Neither men state that Hyrum was shot as he leaned against the door, the differences were that Willard states that Hyrum was shooting through an open door and the first bullet went through the door and Taylor said that the bullet first, he thought, went through the keyhole, Hyrum jumped back but the door wasn't open- didn't fire any shots and a bullet hit him in the face through the wooden door.
Other accounts of their murders, include one eye witness, from the outside, whom joined the Church, after how he describes, seeing the kindness and countenances of Willard and Joseph Smith- right before he died (and Heavenly manifestations). His name is William Daniels and his testimony was used in the trial, almost a year later and was published by John Taylor.
Daniels contradicts Willard Richards a bit, or argues with the idea that Joseph was shot falling of the window, in his account of witnessing the Prophet Joseph Smith killed. Willard was very simplistic is stating the he looked out the window to see if there were signs of life, after Joseph Smith fell out the window, no details... whereas Daniels states that Joseph Smith fell out the window, caught himself, hung one with his feet and with his hands for a while, on the windowsill and prayed loudly, screaming,
"Oh, Lord my God!" , three times, before falling head first, but apparently survived the fall and then was propped up and shot repeatedly. contentdm.lib.byu.edu/digital/collection/NCMP1820-1846/id/95/rec/1
Neither account has anyone walking up to Hyrum Smith and shooting him in the SIDE of the head (only way that Skull 1 could be concluded to be his, since the trajectory of the bullet to his nose wouldn't have caused that breakage), so to me this proves that forensically speaking, Skull 1 can't be Hyrum's. Daniels does state that the mob went back up to see who was in the room, where Hyrum laid dead, and just ran back out, NOT that they tilted his head to the side and shot him through the head... The hole in the right of Hyrum's cheek and larger hole to the left of his nose would result is what we see in Skull 2!
Joseph Smith was shot, repeatedly, after falling out the two story window, both Richards and Daniels saying that he fell on his head, on his left side. The prominent jagged edges that come in farther on the left of the frontal bone, on Skull 1, seen in the drawing and photo could very well be the impact of Joseph Smith fallen on the left side of his head.
The remodeling seen on the nasal bone of Skull 1- angled to the right, also seen on Joseph's death mask, I think support my theory that Skull 1 is Joseph Smith's.
Although I think this published study below is excellently executed, to the exact millimeter and using great precision, I would say the rash assumption that the same precision was taken by the phrenologist in 1840, let alone the team that hastily measured the skulls of Joseph and Hyrum, in 1928, is really far fetched. Adding to the fire, the fact that measured skulls, of the martyred brothers, missing so much of the parietal bones, will NOT correlate whatsoever to a crappy head measurement by a phrenologist, who is measuring from points on the head that are NOT pinpoint locations, in and of themselves... The glabella could be identified with great inaccuracy, let alone the occipital spine, the margin if error is astoundingly LARGE... Very safe to say, for sure, that deciding which skull is Joseph Smith's and Hyrum's cannot be concluded, with certainly by OTHER individuals sloppy measurements... mormonhistoricsites.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Skulls-and-Crossed-Bones-A-Forensic-Study-of-the-Remains-of-Hyrum-and-Joseph-Smith.pdf
What I see from the naked eye, doing sketched overlays:
Debra A. Hatfield
I grew up in Oregon, went to college in Utah and Idaho. Since college I have obtained a B.S. degree in University Studies from Brigham Young University-Idaho (2005), went to Beauty School ;P, then went back to school again over the course of many years, taking night classes, and finished an A.S. in Exective Medical Assisting from LDS Business College.