Facial comparisons

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Facial Comparisons of Man in CDV to the Dibble Death Mask of Joseph Smith

I created this page to highlight in greater detail why I believe this image above is a true photographic copy of daguerreotype, of Joseph Smith. I use images of the original Dibble death mask and sketches of the skulls for analysis. The skulls are necessary to understand which injuries were before or after death, as if there was significant trauma upon death, the bones would have decayed away (and if there was remodeling, we could know what injuries were BEFORE his death).


The Joseph Smith Papers Project has been incredible to draw from. I flew to Utah and spent a week researching, was handed the popular books on artwork and possible images of Jospeh Smith and found that the skulls had been identified and verified by six doctors, this was huge- glad news to me. Some of these books were no longer in print, such as, "In Search of Joseph", Shannon Michael Tracy's first ever book- aimed at getting a 3-D model of what Hyrum and Joseph Smith looked like, which required knowing which skull was whose. He recruited two doctors: Dr. Niles Herrod (Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery) and Dr. Van de Graff (who Anatomy and Physiology at BYU, and has since passed away), with the added help of Zygote Media did computer analysis of the death masks and skulls, then made computer models using the concluded skulls and verified death masks.

Dr. Herrod would know what a bullet wound would look like, and stated the bullet would have shattered the facial bones, which would make the skull buried Joseph Smith (no facial bones were found) as the likely candidate as Hyrum Smith's skull. Some think the break on "Hyrum's Skull"  (buried as Hyrum Smith), on the maxilla, was caused by the bullet hole in Hyrum's nose, per the Maxillofacial surgeon, Dr. Herrod- who KNOWS that bone very, very well, not only did that break look too fresh and lack any decay, seen on every other break on the skulls, it was not plausible to have been caused by the bullet that caused the hole to the left of Hyrum Smith's nose and NOT to have shattered the bone below (he concludes the break in the skull was from the disinterment process, which was 'less than meticulous'). Dr. Van de Graff's analysis of the frontal bone, brow bones having such similar curvature on the death mask on Hyrum, as on the skull buried as Joseph.


Tracy recruited a few other doctors, for his 2008 book, "Millions Shall know Brother Joseph Again" (3 doctors), also concluding the skulls were mixed up- upon burial, using a different method of analysis, using the 1839 measurements of Joseph's skull, by a phrenologist- same conclusion was had, that the skull buried as Hyrum, was Joseph Smith's.


More recently, Joseph Lyons (sixth doctor to publish the SAME findings) and his brother David W. Lyon, wrote "Physical Evidence at Carthage Jail and What It Reveals about the Assassination of Joseph and Hyrum Smith",  who concur with the 1995 study by Dr. Herrod and Dr. Van de Graff, that the skull buried as Hyrum, was not Hyrum's skull. 


Joseph sustained major head injuries from two things: first falling head first out a two story window and hitting the ground head first, and falling on his "left side a dead man", according to Willard Richard's account (in Joseph Smith's journal, June 27th, 1844, he was his clerk, for many years) and an account by William Daniels. Secondly a man with a pewter fife was seen beating Joseph in the head with it, explaining the broken parietal bones, on the skull SIX doctors have concluded was Joseph Smith's skull.

The death masks are described on page 9, of "In Search of Joseph", Tracy makes a mistake in stating that the masks were prepared 28th of July, likely meaning June (as all accounts conclude that the masks of the slain Smith Brothers (Joseph and Hyrum), were made within 24 hours, Tracy continues,


"...between the arrival of the bodies about 3pm and the inception of the viewing at about 6:00 pm, he [Cannon] made plaster casts of the faces of the slain brothers." 

With the murders occurring around 5pm, the masks could have been made in less than 24 hours after their death. 

Below, is the 2022 Artistic Analysis, done by Debra Hatfield. I had already drawn the facial features of the man in my CDV and overlayed them onto the Dibble Death Mask of Joseph Smith and having created individual layers for each eye, brow, the nose, mouth and the facial outline, I only adjusted the location of the eye brows (more outward in my CDV, Rigor Mortis very well may have placed the brows closer together; it causes all muscles to tense up, although we do not know if this was still happening when the masks were made- might have been over) and just the outline is adjusted in size, otherwise the likeness "falls into place".

Below is a video, showing my raw opinions and reactions, to discovering 5 other doctors, than Joseph Lyons, agree the skull buried as Hyrum Smith was actually Joseph Smith's. 

A rough artistic analysis of sketches made of the skulls of Joseph (right) and Hyrum Smith above, showing the step deformity Dr. Herrod mentioned in published his conclusions about- seeing this on both the death mask of Joseph Smith and the skull (buried as Hyrum).


Below is my artistic analysis of the 1860s CDV, of a man wearing 1840s clothing, in a CDV that matches the card-stock of another CDV of Emma Smith from the 1860s (but also of an image from 1845), found in a Smith Family album, printed in Newark, Kendall County, Illinois, ten miles away from Plano, Kendall County, Illinois- where Joseph Smith III and his two brothers Alexander and David Hyrum, resided between the 1860s-80s (falling within the timeframe of WHEN my CDV was printed, more on this on the page: J.S. Bibbins, Photographic Artist 

CDV- right Eye


Right Eye outline Superimposed onto the death mask


CDV Left Eye


Left eye outline, superimposed onto the death mask


CDV right eye-brow


Right eye-brow outline superimposed onto the death mask


CDV left eye-brow


Left eye-brow outline superimposed onto the death mask


CDV nose


Nose outline superimposed onto the death mask


CDV Illinois Man's lips


CDV Illinois man's lips superimposed onto death mask


Chin of Man in CDV, Superimposed onto the Dibble Death Mask of Joseph Smith

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Outline of man in my CDV superimposed onto the Death Mask


Victor Kress Painting of Joseph Smith (1890s)

Below, I have zoomed into on Victor Kress's painting, which is the... "duplicate oil painting" Joseph Smith the third is talking about in 1910. I have an arrow in turquoise, pointing to a scar coming down from his left (our right) eye, and featured below that is my CDV zoomed in, as well, with a red circle around this matching scar, both coming downward at a 45 degree angle, from the outer corner of their left eye. 

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Body Composition

Joseph Smith was reported one month before her died, to still be "athletic", May 1844, per Josiah Quincy (he visited Nauvoo and stayed a while with the Smiths a month before Joseph Smith died, (Josiah Quincy, Figures of the Past from the Leaves of Old Journals (Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1883), 381.))

In BYU Studies, "Joseph Smith’s Athletic Nature", by Alexander L. Baugh:

"In fact, his physique appears to have been very similar to that of his father’s, Joseph Smith, Sr., who was reported to have been six feet two inches tall and well proportioned, weighing about 200 pounds (History of the Church 4:191; hereafter HC). Second, his body was no doubt conditioned from years of chopping wood, building fences, digging wells and ditches, and cutting down trees and removing stumps, as well as moving heavy rocks on the family farm..."

Arnold Schwarzenegger is said to be also 6 feet 2 inches and weighed over 200 pounds. Comparing Joseph Smith to what I believe is an 1844 photograph of him, at age 38, to an screen shot of Arnold at around the same age, I do not find they are physically 100 percent similar, however, the overall shape is very similar. 38 year old Arnold always had food on the table at night, Joseph Smith- didn't, and Joseph was not TRYING to be muscular, he was just - living; when we compare the two men, Joseph is not exactly bulky, but their trapezius muscles, neck, width of their frame, there are striking similarities (that are totally lost in the other most popular alleged images of Joseph Smith- who look pretty short and or frail (let alone barely 22- or 23 (Scannell kid- cough-cough). 

It has been brought to my attention, two men online believe the man in my image is not fat enough, that Joseph was overweight and stressed before he died. I concur, he gained a lot of weight in 1842, but there was a logical reason for that to happen, and to have gone away... Spring 1839, Joseph Smith arrives in Commerce, Illinois, having lost 45 lbs, while being held in Liberty Jail, with hardly any food; massive dramatic loss of weight causes loss of muscle, which is turn lowers your metabolism. Alas, we have body memory, and Joseph's brain still remembered loving being athletic, so eventually he got there, not without a bump in the road. 1842 paintings depict Joseph with some added lbs., a belly, very well his mother, wife and everyone around him was anxious to get this very skinny man back to health, he would have gained extra weight, before gaining muscle and his metabolism back. (Source, page 393, "500 Little-Known Facts about Joseph Smith"). 


By June 1844, Joseph was more anxious than anything- than getting the Nauvoo Temple finished, which he did not live to see, and Emma Smith reported that he bathed the walls of the temple with his tears. 

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Above the two men's trapezius muscle, and biceps are outlined (Joseph's clearly are barely showing), they appear to have a similar width and angle.

Below, I superimposed the two images and find it very striking the shape of their shoulders and traps; this is not enough to confirm the man in my photograph is 6 feet 2 inches tall and incredibly buff, but both men worked out- enough to have well defined trapezius muscles. Scannell and Spiritus pictures do NOT show a well defined trapezius muscle and both likely are well below 6 feet... just sayin. 


The Scannell Kid below, traps are traced in blue and superimposed; dwarfs in comparison, to the man in my CDV and Arnold, I highly doubt he grew up pulling trees out from the trunks and carrying limestone to build the Nauvoo Temple, which Joseph was, in Spring 1844. Scannell boy looks like he's hardly old enough to go on a mission, whereas Joseph Smith was described as LOOKING 40, in 1839 (by onlookers- in Washington D.C.- on his visit there). 


Spiritus channel's image, seen below, he too looks quite a lot shorter and less athletic than the man in my CDV. 



Email me directly, with questions or answers you believe that you have, I will respond, in time. 

Thanks for submitting!