«NOVEMBER 22, 1963 (Friday) 12:00 AM (Nov. 22, 1963) Nine Secret Service agents drinking at Pat Kirkwood’s bar the “Cellar Door” in Fort Worth, ...»
“Dr. Malcolm Perry reported that JFK arrived at Parkland Hospital in critical condition with neck and head injuries...A bullet struck him in front as he faced the assailant. He never regained consciousness.” Nurse Patricia (Hutton) Gustafson testifies that there is “... a massive opening in the back of the head.” She goes out to the limousine and helps wheel President Kennedy to the Emergency Room where she is asked to put a pressure bandage on the head wound.
“I tried to do so but there was really nothing to put a pressure bandage on. It was too massive. So he told me just to leave it be.” Dr. Ronald Coy Jones testifies: “There was a large defect in the back side of the head as the President lay on the cart with what appeared to be some brain hanging out of this wound with multiple pieces of skull noted next with the brain and with a tremendous amount of clot and blood.” Dr. Gene Akin, an Anesthesiologist at Parkland, testifies that “the back of the right occipital-parietal portion of JFK’s head was shattered, with brain substance extruding.” Dr. Charles Baxter testifies that there is “a large gaping wound in the back of the skull.” Baxter will also insist that the wound in the throat was “no more than a pinpoint. It was made by a small caliber weapons. And it was an entry wound.” Subsequent to the first interview with Parkland Hospital doctors by two unnamed Secret Service agents sometime before November 29, 1963, additional interviews are conducted with the Parkland doctors, nurses, and orderlies by both the Secret Service and the FBI.
There are known to be 24 Secret Service and 6 FBI interviews, or a total of at least 30 interviews. Not one report of those 30 or more interviews will be included in the Hearings and Exhibits of The Warren Report. AATF Dr. George Burkley, the President’s personal doctor, will eventually communicate through his attorney to the HSCA’s chief counsel that he is aware of information that proves there must have been more than one person involved in the assassination of JFK. Dr. Burkley will volunteer to disclose this information to the Committee. Dr. Burkley saw the President’s body at Parkland Hospital in Dallas and during the autopsy. The letter that Dr. Burkley’s attorney sends to the HSCA at Dr. Burkley’s request is released by the ARRB. To date no record has been found that the HSCA sought to obtain the information Dr. Burkley offered to provide.
Memo from Richard Sprague: “William F. Illig, an attorney from Erie, Pa., contacted me in Philadelphia this date, advising me that he represents Dr. George G. Burkley, Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy retired, who had been the personal physician for presidents Kennedy and Johnson.....Dr. Burkley advised him that although he, Burkley, had signed the death certificate of President Kennedy in Dallas, he had never been interviewed and that he has information in the Kennedy assassination indicating that others besides Oswald must have participated. Illig advised me that his client is a very quiet, unassuming person, not wanting any publicity whatsoever, but he, Illig, was calling me with his client’s consent and that his client would talk to me in Washington.” Sprague’s replacement as HSCA Chief Counsel, Robert Blakey, apparently chose not to interview Burkley at all, as did the Warren Commission before it. The ARRB sought permission from Dr. Burkley’s daughter, Nancy Denlea, for the release of any relevant information from the lawyer’s files, which she at first agreed to do. She subsequently decided not to sign the waiver after all.” Police Ban (Channel 2) -- Move police from Main St. to secure the area and the TSBD. More men needed in that area. Trying to seal off building.
Dr. Charles Crenshaw, observing JFK’s head wound in Trauma Room #1 considers it a four-plus injury, which no one survives.
Still, the medical team does everything it can to save the President.
Protocol dictates that, as of 12:30 PM, Dr. George Burkley, JFK’s personal physician, becomes personal physician to LBJ - remaining in this position until LBJ retires in January 1969. MIDP Mrs. John Connally will later recall: “I saw all sorts of artillery and weapons. I assume it was Secret Service or security, I don’t know, racing up and down around the corridor. Finally, somebody brought two chairs and sat them outside these two doors, and I sat in one and Mrs. Kennedy sat in the other. I kept seeing all this commotion in the President’s room, and I wondered if--I knew the President was dead, but I wondered if they weren’t all over there and nobody taking care of John. The only thing that would calm me a little was I would get up now and then and just push open the door in the room where he was, and if I could see any movement or hear them saying anything, then I was content to wait.” 12:44 PM (Nov. 22, 1963) This is the time Oswald, as his bus approaches the congestion of Dealey Plaza, supposedly gets off the bus and walks south to the Greyhound bus station in search of a taxicab. LHO has been riding approximately four minutes on the bus.
The Presidential limousine is reportedly at least partially cleaned while it is parked at Parkland Hospital’s emergency entrance.
The bubble-top is put on. (There is no record of any evidence found at this time. The car will eventually be driven to Love Field and placed aboard a plane by Secret Service Agent Kinney.) Several people examine what is later described as a bullet hole in the front windshield of the car while it is parked at the hospital. Dallas Police Officer H. R. Freeman will note: “I was right beside it. I could have touched it. It was a bullet hole. You could tell what it was.” Dallas Police Officer Stavis Ellis remarks “You could put a pencil through it.” A Secret Service agent tries to persuade Ellis that what he is seeing is a “fragment” and not a hole. Mr. Ellis is adamant: “It wasn’t a damn fragment. It was a hole.” Dr. Evalea Glanges, a second year medical student at Southwestern, also sees the bullet hole in the windshield. When she calls attention to it, the limousine is quickly driven away.
Inside Parkland Hospital, SS agent Roy Kellerman tells agent Clint Hill to establish continual telephone contact with Gerald A.
Behn, Secret Service, White House. Telephone contact is made. Kellerman tells Behn there’s been a double tragedy; that the President and Gov. Connally have been shot. Hill takes over telephone conversation and tells Behn the situation looks critical. Suddenly, the operator cuts in and says the Attorney General wants to speak to Hill. RFK comes on the line and asks Hill what the situation is. Hill advises him that JFK has been injured very seriously. Hill says he will keep RFK informed. Kellerman who has gone into Trauma Room #1 to check on JFK comes back and tells Hill: “Clint, tell Gerry that this is not for release and not official, but the man is dead.” Gerald A. Behn has not only broken precedent by not coming to Texas with the Secret Service detail, he has left his men without a leader.
In Parkland, Kellerman and Youngblood sometimes act independently of each other. For instance, when LBJ is taken to Air Force One, Kellerman will not be informed of the move.
When he sees Mrs. Kennedy at Parkland Hospital, limousine driver William Robert Greer breaks down and says, “Oh, Mrs.
Kennedy, oh my God! Oh my God! I didn’t mean to do it, I didn’t hear, I should have swerved the car, I couldn’t help it! Oh, Mrs.
Kennedy, as soon as I saw it I swerved the car. If only I’d seen it in time!” He then weeps on the former First Lady’s shoulder.
The Parkland Hospital doctors in trauma room #1, as a group, have the immediate impression that JFK’s neck wound has been caused by a bullet entering from the front and possibly lodging in the chest or been deflected by the spine into the head. Dr. Malcolm Perry, himself a hunter who is familiar with different kinds of ammunition and the type of wounds they cause, is of the immediate opinion that JFK’s neck wound is one of entrance. He initially observes the wound, asks a nurse for a “trake” (short for tracheotomy) tray, wipes off the wound, sees a ring of bruising around it, and starts making his incision. About a half-dozen of the Dallas doctors will testify that they believe the anterior neck wound is of entrance. At least two nurses also did. They are Diana Hamilton Bowron and Margaret M. Henchcliffe.
During JFK’s autopsy, Dr. Malcolm Perry will twice speak via telephone to Dr. J.J.Humes at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Washington regarding, among other things, the wound in the front of JFK’s neck. When Humes eventually suggests to Arlen Specter that a bruise on JFK’s pleura might have been caused by Perry’s surgical ineptness, Perry takes affront. Never Again!
In Washington, D.C., Richard Reidel, press liaison aide in the U.S. Senate goes into the Senate chamber to Majority Leader Senator Mike Mansfield’s desk. He raises his voice and tells Mansfield and those surrounding him: “Senators, the President has been shot.” PKHBS 12:45 PM (Nov. 22, 1963) Police broadcast description of suspect. (The possibility that the suspect may be using a Winchester rifle is also broadcast on Police Ban, Channel 2) The source of the suspect description has never been clear, but it may have been based on information provided by a witness on the ground who said he saw a man with a rifle in a sixth-floor window of the TSBD Building.
How this witness could have determined height and weight is unclear, since the partial view of the shooter in the window would have revealed the subject only from chest level upward. Additionally, the windows in the TSBD are quite dirty. The description is for “an unknown white male, approximately thirty, slender build, height five feet ten inches, weight one hundred sixty-five pounds, reported to be armed with what is believed to be a.30-caliber rifle.” Police Ban (Channel 2) -- TSBD should be saturated by now. Unknown if suspect is still inside. All information we have indicates the shot came from the 4th or 5th floor of the TSBD.
Photographer, Al Volkland, and his wife, Lou, both of whom know J.D. Tippit, see him at a gas station and wave to him. They observe Tippit sitting in his police car at a Gloco gas station in Oak Cliff, watching the cars coming over the Houston Street Viaduct from downtown Dallas. Three employees of the Gloco station, Tom Mullins, Emmett Hollingshead, and J.B. “Shorty” Lewis, all of whom know Tippit confirm the Volklands’ story. They say Tippit stays at the station for about 10 minutes, somewhere between 12:45 and 1:00 P.M., then he goes tearing off down Lancaster at high speed - on a bee-line toward Jack Ruby’s apartment and in the direction of where he was killed a few minutes later.
The first public media outlet to broadcast the AP report of the shooting is Dallas TV station WFAA, which interrupts its regular programming to begin coverage at this time. Program director Jay Watston reads the shocking news from a quickly rushed-in bulletin.
POTP CBS subsequently interrupts “As The World Turns” and Walter Cronkite announces the first national TV report of the shooting.
Police car #106 - carrying Patrolmen B. L. Jones and M. D. Hall - arrives at the Texas School Book Depository. It has come from the corner of Pearl and Jackson Streets. WM When motorcycle patrolman, Bobby Hargis, returns to the TSBD from Parkland Hospital, a man approaches him, vowing, in the officer’s words, “to get his hands on $17,000 if I’d agree to sell him my helmet. I couldn’t sell it anyway. It belonged to the city of Dallas.” The helmet is spattered with JFK’s blood and brain matter.
Washington Post Company president Katharine Graham, Osborn Elliott, Arthur Schlesinger [Jr.] and John Kenneth Galbraith are sitting in Graham’s office having drinks when Al McCollough from the paper’s copy desk pokes his head inside the door and says to Elliott: “I’m sorry to interrupt, Oz, but the president has just been shot.” PKHBS In Cuba, Fidel Castro is enjoying a lunch of fresh fish. The telephone rings and he takes the call. “This is terrible,” he says after receiving the news. Castro and his associates then tune into an American radio station in order to keep abreast of the news.
Back in his Dallas office, Abraham Zapruder is watching the news on TV which is broadcasting that JFK may be seriously wounded. Zapruder says to Darwin Payne, a reporter from the Dallas Times Herald: “No, he’s dead. I know it because I saw it through my viewfinder.” PKHBS In Parkland Hospital’s Trauma Room #1, Dr. Kemp Clark (chief of neurosurgery) notes that the President’s eyes are fixed and dilated. Glancing at the other doctors in the room, he shakes his head, indicating that it is too late. Still determined to continue, Dr.
Malcolm Perry begins closed-chest cardiac massage. Dr. Jenkins continues to administer pure oxygen. None of the doctors wants to quit. Dr. Baxter testifies: “the time elapsing in all of this resuscitation and the time the heart actually ceased, I don’t think one could be very sure of it. It was sometime between a quarter to 1 and 1 o’clock.” Another Dallas doctor, Dr. McClelland will be interviewed in 1989. He will explain that when he saw the President in the emergency room, a great flap of scalp and hair had been “split and thrown backwards, so we had looked down into the hole.” Dr. McClelland will go on to say that the “great defect in the back” is visible on some photographs amongst the full set of some fifty pictures he will eventually see at the National Archives -- pictures in which the torn scalp has been allowed to fall back on the President’s neck, pictures the public has so far never seen. None of the other doctors who will, over twenty-five years from now, inspect the autopsy evidence will refer to such photographs. On Inside Edition, a nationally syndicated television program, Dr. McClelland will, in 1989, say that “the X-rays do not show the same injuries to the President’s head that he saw in the emergency room.” “There is an inconsistency. Some of the skull X-rays show only the back part of the head missing, with a fracture of the anterior part of the skull on the right. Others, on the other hand, show what appears to be the entire right side on the skull gone, with a portion of the orbit -- that’s the skull around the eye