JFK: What the Doctors Saw (2023) Movie Script

President's car is now
turning onto Elm Street,
and it will be only a matter of minutes
before he arrives at the Trade Mart.
It--it a--it appears as though
something has happened
in the motorcade route.
Something, I repeat, has happened
in the motorcade route.
This is Walter Cronkite in our newsroom,
and there has been an attempt,
as perhaps you know now, on
the life of President Kennedy.
It was the first time
that the public had seen
a murder on television.
We heard Kennedy had been shot
and he was being brought
to the emergency room
at Parkland Hospital.
Within minutes
of seeing President Kennedy,
doctors at Parkland concluded
that the neck wound was an entrance wound
and the head wound was an exit wound.
My president had been
assassinated and was dead.
My goodness, you've just
taken care of the president,
and he's dead.
Did that really happen,
or was this a nightmare?
My God.
Parkland Hospital doctors were quoted
as saying they thought
at least one bullet entered
Mr. Kennedy's neck from the front.
The Parkland doctors were
a serious problem for the U.S. government
because they had provided evidence
that there was a shooter
somewhere in the front,
and that ran totally contrary
to the official narrative
of a lone shooter from above and behind.
All this mattered,
because Oswald had
to have had an accomplice.
The government narrative is
that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone...
Killing President Kennedy, case closed.
And as we know, it was not case closed
at that particular point.
Who was behind all of this?
Certain people in our government tampered
with critical evidence
in order to make sure
the American people would not
know the truth
about who murdered the president.
Documents are withheld
by the FBI, the CIA.
Intelligence agencies did
all the wrong things
if they were looking for conspiracy.
A lot of people just decided
to keep their mouths shut,
including the Parkland doctors.
I didn't want to be a target
for those who had killed our president.
So I didn't tell anybody for over 30 years
that I was present in Trauma Room 1.
Because so many people did die
who had been involved
in the assassination.
And he said, you must never, ever say that
that was an entrance wound again
if you know what's good for you.
What actually happened in
Trauma Room 1 never came out,
never became public.
I was there.
I know what I saw.
I was there.
I remember it in detail.
It's etched in my memory forever.
What's more likely,
Parkland doctors telling the truth
or the autopsy telling the truth?
The Parkland doctors told the truth.
These doctors are about
as trustworthy as you can get.
This country has not been told the truth
about the JFK assassination.
Will people feel that they have
a better understanding
of what actually happened?
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
This is Bob Walker speaking
from Dallas Love Field,
where a large crowd is
gathered now to await
the arrival of President and
Mrs. John Fitzgerald Kennedy
from Carswell Air Force Base
in Fort Worth.
We were aware
that the president was coming to Dallas.
It had been well publicized.
Police were circling
the field all morning long
from the early morning hours,
and a huge contingent
of police are on hand.
Next big jet approaching,
and this one should contain
the president and Mrs. Kennedy.
Here comes Jack!
He was like a rock star.
He was handsome and rich.
He had a pretty wife.
I liked him.
I thought he was really cool.
Right into us now.
And the crowd below is cheering.
There's Mrs. Kennedy
and the President of the United States.
And I can see his suntan
all the way from here.
Crowd waving, as you can see.
People standing up
all over everything available
to get a glimpse
of the president and his wife.
Oh, I idolized him.
I was a Democrat, of course.
And he's broken away from his plan
and gone right up to the fence
to shake hands with people.
Boy, this is something.
It makes the eggshells even thinner
for the Secret Service, whose job it is
to guard the man.
I was very excited that the president
and Jacqueline Kennedy were
coming to Dallas.
And I was sorry that I was
on call at Parkland
because I wanted to go down
and see the parade.
And back they go to the car.
The Governor Connally standing
in the car beaming.
Now the motorcade will
very shortly start to move out
for downtown Dallas,
where thousands should already
be on the street right now
waiting for a view
of the president and his wife.
The route of the location of the parade
had been published in the paper
two or three days before.
So everyone knew the route.
And that's the reason that
there were so many thousands
of people standing on the streets.
There was some discussion as to whether
it was really good for him
to come to Dallas.
And here is the President
of the United States.
And what a crowd.
What a tremendous welcome
he's getting now.
We can--and there's Jackie.
She's getting just as big a welcome.
There is Lyndon Johnson
and Lady Bird passing by
in the second car.
And the crowd is absolutely going wild.
This is a friendly crowd
in downtown Dallas.
So my wife and children,
with everybody else, went out,
and when the little motorcade coming by,
they saw this crowd of people,
and they slowed down,
and Kennedy waved at them.
President's car is now
turning onto Elm Street,
and it will be only a matter of minutes
before he arrives at the Trade Mart.
I was on Stemmons Freeway earlier,
and even the freeway was
jam-packed with spectators.
Yes, we were all aware
that he was coming to Dallas.
I think the whole city was
excited about it
one way or another.
Certainly, a lot of the people
were very excited
and made great preparation
for him to come.
And thousands and thousands
of people who were
crowding the streets here
are following the motorcade
even further down Main Street
towards Stemmons Freeway.
A wonderful welcome having been given
to the president here in downtown Dallas.
It--it a--
The first time that I suspected
that some major event had occurred
was when the operator was paging
through the loudspeaker system,
"The president's been shot,
and they're bringing him
to the emergency room."
They've called from the emergency room,
said that they're bringing
President Kennedy in.
He'd been shot.
There was a bunch
of other top-notch people
that were being paged.
The nurse ran in and said,
"The president has been shot."
I ran downstairs as fast as I could
and went into
Trauma Room number 1.
We heard
Kennedy had been shot
and he was being brought
to the emergency room
at Parkland Hospital.
When I heard that, ran down
three flights of stairs
into the main corridor.
And that's when you get
this tremendous rush
of adrenaline in your body.
And I thought, oh,
it's gonna be like John Wayne.
He'll be sitting on the gurney,
and he'll be like, you know,
oh, it's only a flesh wound.
You know, I had no idea.
The first reports say that
President Kennedy has been
seriously wounded by this shooting.
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.
You'll excuse the fact
that I'm out of breath,
but about 10 or 15 minutes ago,
a tragic thing, from all
indications at this point,
has happened in the city of Dallas.
Let me quote to you this.
"President Kennedy
and Governor John Connally have
"been cut down by assassins'
bullets in Downtown Dallas.
"They were riding in an open automobile
"when the shots were fired.
"The president, his limp body carried
"in the arms of his wife,
has rushed to Parkland Hospital."
I would have expected them
to bring him to Parkland.
First of all, it was probably
the closest hospital,
but it was the number one trauma hospital
in that part of the country.
Parkland is the designated trauma center
for all of the greater
Dallas-Fort Worth area.
I had taken care of,
already, hundreds of patients
with gunshot wounds and
injuries and car accidents.
We were seeing two to three
gunshot wounds a day,
plus stab wounds,
plus blunt trauma,
such as automobile accidents.
And we were seeing
about 5,000 a year of those.
That's where I would have wanted to be
if that had happened to me.
There's no doubt about that.
Parkland's well-known for their care
in those kind of emergencies,
and that's what they do best.
Within a half a minute,
door came flying open,
and here came the gurney with Jackie
and the two
Secret Service guys,
and had a terribly wounded man
on their hands.
The president was being
wheeled on the gurney
towards Trauma Room 1.
I remember the Secret Service men
and the look on their face,
if you can imagine how relieved they were
to pass off the mortally wounded president
to the doctors to take care of him.
And you just feel
a flush coming over your body,
and you think, my goodness,
I'm about to take care
of the President of the United States.
When I first walked into Trauma Room 1
and saw the president,
the president was on a cart.
He had his arms out there
ready to be resuscitated.
I was looking at him, thinking,
he's not going to make it probably.
But you really need to get
an airway and an IV going,
then do your examination.
And that's what we did.
Dr. Carrico was the second-year resident
in charge of the emergency room,
and he was attempting
to intubate the president,
putting a tube into the windpipe.
There had been an attempt
by a couple of junior residents
to get an IV going, but because he was
in such profound shock,
the veins were collapsed.
But I made a little nick in the vein
and bare-handedly threaded
the catheter in.
And they said, Goldstrich,
go get the defibrillator.
So I ran out of the room and got it out
and pushed it as hard
as I could on the wheels
and got it back there.
And I'm thinking, you know,
maybe this is gonna save his life.
I was just a fourth-year medical student.
I was never the guy in charge.
We took over as more senior personnel,
and Dr. Malcolm Perry was
really the staff person
that seemed to subsequently be the one
that was looked as to being
the lead surgeon
that cared for President Kennedy.
The next person that I recall coming in
was Dr. Bob McClelland.
Dr. Perry and Dr. Baxter had just walked
into that room ahead of me.
And Dr. Perry was standing
on the right side
of the cart the president was lying on,
Dr. Baxter opposite him on the left side.
So they motioned me on through.
And I pushed the door open
to Trauma Room 1,
walked by Mrs. Kennedy,
and was greeted by the horrific sight
of President Kennedy lying
on his back on a cart
with an operating room light shining down
on his bloody head.
And I've still got that fixed
in my mind to this moment.
The most dramatic things to me were
the chaos in the emergency room,
the Secret Service with their machine guns
looking around frantically,
the president lying on a surgical bed,
and with Mrs. Kennedy sitting by
with the flecks of the president's brain
on her skirt.
The whole atmosphere together
was very chaotic.
The emergency room nurse,
Doris Nelson,
was letting people in,
and there was a policeman
or a Secret Service agent.
I'm not sure which.
That pit area was jammed
with men in business suits,
shoulder to shoulder.
And this uniformed man had just sort of
unobtrusively slipped in.
And I noticed that
handcuffed to his left wrist
was a briefcase.
And someone says, there's
the man with the nuclear codes.
We were maybe thinking
this was the first stage
of some kind of Russian attack or whatnot.
What was a wonderful welcome
in downtown Dallas
has become a scene of indescribable horror
as hundreds of people crowd
outside the back door
to the emergency room
here at Parkland Hospital.
And people are wondering,
is our president going to live?
There is no certain road
to the presidency.
There are no guarantees.
The question really is,
which candidate can meet the problems
that the United States is
going to face in the '60s?
I do not believe that any of us
would exchange places
with any other people
or any other generation.
The energy, the faith, the devotion
which we bring to this endeavor
will light our country
and all who serve it.
And the glow from that fire
can truly light the world.
We were talking about him that morning--
the charisma that he created
and the new excitement
that he was presenting for our country.
I remember thinking,
this is really historical.
I'm in the middle
of something really historical.
This is the president, and I remember
there was no expression,
there was no movement of his face.
His eyes were open,
and it was an impressive view
that I'll never forget,
because here was my hero,
and it was a very sad situation.
The first thing I noticed
was a very small wound
in his neck in the front.
I do remember that very early on,
even when his clothes were still on,
I saw the wound in his neck.
We could tell that the wound
was in the front of the neck
just above where the shirt and tie was.
So it was visible to you.
In my own mind,
the wound was pretty small,
maybe a nickel, maybe a dime.
And that small wound,
Malcolm originally thought
it must be an entrance wound
because it was so small.
And as I walked by, Dr. Perry
leaned across the president
and handed me
a surgical retractor and said,
Bob, would you go and stand
at the head of the cart
and lean over and put
that retractor in the wound
and pull it open so he
and Dr. Baxter could look down
into the wound and see
what they needed to see.
I saw Dr. Perry make the cut
right through the wound
that we thought was an entrance wound.
So Dr. Perry expanded this,
and we helped retract
and helped hold things
and inserted the tube
and got an airway control.
We were trying to save our president.
And we were trying to do
everything we could
to save him.
The thing that really hit me
when I got to the head of the cart
was the wound in the back of his head.
I said, my God, have you seen
the back of his head?
It's gone.
What was striking, even more than Kennedy,
was Mrs. Kennedy with blood splotched
all over her pink coat.
And that was kind of startling
to see her like that.
As I recall,
Mrs. Kennedy was not emotional.
My impression was that
she knew this could happen,
and it had happened,
and she was prepared for it.
Everyone should be trying to help Jack
in whatever way they could,
and that was the way
I could do it the best,
by making it always
a climate of affection.
I was really focused
on Jacqueline Kennedy.
She took the center of attention
because she was a beautiful lady
in a dramatic, very distraught condition.
But she was still very much
in command of herself
and was not weeping or hysterical
or anything as people might imagine.
I do not think it altogether inappropriate
to introduce myself to this audience.
I am the man who accompanied
Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris.
And I've enjoyed it.
She had this pink suit on,
and I wondered why she wore a pink suit
with the red gloves.
And of course, looking a little closer,
you could see that the red
gloves were actually blood,
and it was on her hands.
She was splattered with blood,
and I usually don't say this
because it's a bit gruesome,
was gray matter was brain.
Mrs. Kennedy, when she first came in
with the president to Trauma Room 1,
she was holding a large segment
of his cerebrum in her hand
and handed it to Dr. Jenkins
when she came in.
In fact, you've seen those pictures
when she's climbing back
onto the rear of the car.
People wonder why she was
retaining this piece of brain
that had been blown out
of the president's head
onto the rear deck of the limousine.
And she was crawling back and came in
with that piece of brain in her hand
and handed it to Dr. Jenkins.
He had a major wound
of his right side of his head
that was wide-open
with brain and loss of skull
and with the whole scalp peeled back.
So it was a horrendous wound,
and it was obvious
that probably, this was a lethal wound.
I could look down at Kennedy,
and it was apparent
that the top of his head
looked like it was blown off.
It was all bloody.
And at that instant,
I felt like
he was already dead when I saw him.
The back half of his right
cerebral hemisphere was gone.
And as I stood there, the right half
of the cerebellum fell out of that hole
in the back of his head onto the cart.
So this was obvious that this
was a mortal--a fatal wound.
My initial impression, seeing two wounds,
was, how would you put it together?
Well, a small wound here,
a big wound back here.
We thought that there was
an entrance wound in the neck
and an exit wound in the back of the head
at that particular time,
because I've seen a fair
number of gunshot wounds,
and usually the entrance wound is smaller
than the exit wound.
I thought that he had a lethal injury.
But I felt that you never know.
So, you know, here's our president.
So let's do everything we can.
We were probably 10 or 12 minutes
into the resuscitation.
We'd done the tracheotomy.
We'd gotten the IV going.
We'd put in two chest tubes.
And we had gotten the heart tracing.
By that time, we got the EKG machine in,
and there was just a straight line.
A straight line.
A straight line.
He then obviously wasn't
breathing on his own at all.
His head was cradled
in Dr. Jenkins' hands,
and he murmured to me,
"Last rites, last rites."
A call has been sent out
from some of the top
surgical specialists in Dallas,
and a call also went out for a priest.
And so we all agreed
we should pronounce him,
and officially,
we would have Dr. Kemp Clark
make that announcement.
Dr. Clark took the responsibility
because it was primarily a brain injury,
and he's a neurosurgeon.
And we felt like that was the wound
that caused the demise.
I think we all knew
that the president was dead,
and it was just a matter of
who was going to make the call.
And with that, he pronounced
the president dead.
Then is when I was
emotionally affected.
I mean, to see somebody die
is something that we saw a lot of.
But it was shocking to see
the most famous person
in the world and his wife there.
That's imprinted in my mind,
and it's always been there.
It was almost like a machine
that was roaring shut off.
And there was a kind of
stillness in the room.
And you know that that person
has left this world.
They said, let's make
the time of death 1:00.
And that was well before 1:00.
And then they said,
well, that'll give Johnson time
to get out of the hospital
and get to Air Force One
and maybe be sworn in.
I left Trauma Room 1
right after we had decided
that he was dead.
A gentleman walked up to me
with a large badge in his hand,
and he said, I'm with the FBI,
and I need to call
J. Edgar Hoover
and tell him the condition
of the president.
And right behind him was another gentleman
with a large badge, and he said,
I'm with the Secret Service,
and I need to call
Joseph Kennedy
and tell him the condition of his son.
And here they were asking me
the condition of the president,
and I knew he was dead.
I didn't want to be the first one
to announce this to the world,
that he was dead.
I think the most important part
was Mrs. Kennedy said
she didn't want him pronounced
until a priest arrived.
A priest had not arrived.
So I told them,
I said, he's not doing well.
At that moment,
I was really in shock.
And I just stood there.
Everyone started exiting the room.
Everyone was leaving.
And before long,
Mrs. Kennedy then starts
walking over towards the president,
and I'm just standing there.
Dr. Baxter and I saw
our opportunity to leave.
But just as we began to do that,
the door to Trauma Room 1 came open again,
and a priest came in.
The Catholic priest comes in
and does the last rites of the church.
And we would have had
to push him out of the way
in order to get out of the room.
And so we froze against the wall
and found ourselves,
inappropriately we felt,
present at the president's last rites.
Mrs. Kennedy stood across
next to Father Huber
at the head of the president's cart.
He leaned over and said into
the president's left ear...
I forgive you your sins
in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
His wife was standing there
during this entire time.
And I couldn't hear
what Mrs. Kennedy asked,
but Father Huber said to her very quietly,
he said, yes, I've given him
conditional absolution.
She grimaced when she heard
that word "conditional."
He's covered up, but she takes his hand,
and she does a ring ceremony.
She exchanged a ring from her finger
onto the president's finger
and a ring from his finger onto hers.
She stood next to his bare foot
that was protruding out
from underneath the sheet.
She stood there for a moment,
then leaned over
and kissed his foot
and walked out of the room.
Who was behind all of this?
We didn't know that.
They certainly didn't know it that day
when they were ushering
Vice President Johnson
out of the emergency room.
He was rushed to Air Force One.
Mr. and Mrs. Johnson hurried
out of the emergency ward,
surrounded by Secret Service men,
and were rushed off to the airport.
I think they wanted him
out of town as quickly as possible.
But he couldn't get out of town
as quickly as possible
because he wanted
Mrs. Kennedy with him,
and Mrs. Kennedy didn't want
to leave the president.
It felt like a bad dream,
and I kept hoping that I would
awaken at any minute
and find out that I had
just had a horrible nightmare.
Nothing will ever erase the picture
of my one time in the presence
of the president and the first lady.
I went outside the hospital
and stood with the crowd
that had gathered.
I didn't say anything.
I felt like an ordinary person
who had great admiration
and love and respect
for President Kennedy,
and my president had been
assassinated and was dead.
This is official word.
We repeat...
The President
of the United States is dead.
A flash from Dallas:
two priests who were
with President Kennedy say
he is dead.
With the greatest regret, this flash:
two priests who were
with President Kennedy say
he has died of bullet wounds.
From Dallas, Texas,
the flash, apparently official,
President Kennedy died
at 1:00 p.m.
Central Standard Time,
2:00 Eastern Standard Time,
some 38 minutes ago.
We went back upstairs
and just kind of sat there
and looked at one another,
as if, you know,
did that really happen,
or was this a nightmare?
The discussion was up
in the operating room lounge
just to try to talk and determine
how Kennedy had been shot
and where he had been shot
and with what he had been shot,
how many times had he been shot.
And we were just in the beginning of that
when Dr. Perry got the call
to see if he could come down
and meet with the press.
So at the press conference,
Dr. Perry,
in describing the wound here,
said that he thought that it
looked like an entrance wound.
So we were thinking,
there were two wounds.
Had to be an entrance wound
and an exit wound.
That was the only way
we could put it together.
And so I thought it was an entrance wound.
When he left the room,
someone came up to him
who Dr. Perry thought
maybe was a Secret Service man.
And he told Dr. Perry,
you must never, ever say that
that was an entrance wound again
if you know what's good for you.
We are told that the gunshot wound,
the fatal wound inflicted
on the President of the United States,
entered at the base of the throat
and came out at the base
of the neck on the back side.
Inside Trauma Room 1,
we have the Parkland doctors
and staff trying to save
the president's life.
And they notice and they make
note of the fact that
the back of the president's
head was missing.
And within three to five hours,
most of the staff at Parkland
memorialize their observations
by writing down what,
in fact, they observed.
I just wrote on
a progress note sheet of paper,
like you would put in a patient's chart.
I just said, this was an entrance wound.
We were asked to turn it in to Dr. Clark,
the chief of neurosurgery,
and I gave it to his secretary.
There was no motive to lie.
They had no interest in anything
other than telling the truth.
The first wound described
was a wound in the back of the head
and would seem to indicate
a shot from behind.
But the doctors also said
there was a wound
in the throat at the front,
which seemed to indicate
a shot from the other direction.
There was no outside influences at all
to tell them what to do or not to do
as it related to their observations.
So we have to say that, if we're dealing
with trustworthy people,
the Parkland doctors
are about as trustworthy as you can get.
This is Situation Room relay to wayside.
We have report quoting
Mr. Kilduff in Dallas
that the president is dead,
that he died about 35 minutes ago.
Front office desires
plane return Washington.
This is Situation Room out.
Dr. Earl Rose, who was the
medical examiner at that time,
had requested that the autopsy
be done in Dallas County.
I think it was his opinion
that if a murder occurs in Dallas County,
the autopsy is done in Dallas County.
Dr. Rose had been sitting in his office,
which looked out onto a corridor
that led to the exit and
the loading dock at Parkland.
And he saw this little
procession coming along
down the corridor,
heading toward the exit,
and that consisted of the president,
who had now been placed in his coffin,
and Mrs. Kennedy was walking
along the left side of that cart.
Two Secret Service men were
heading up the little procession,
one of whom was carrying
a Thompson submachine gun.
Well, when Dr. Rose saw that,
he stepped out of his office
into the corridor,
held his hand up to ask them to stop,
because, he said,
I'm required by law
to tell you that any murder
that's committed
in the state of Texas,
the victim must undergo
a postmortem exam in this state.
And they have a loud conversation,
and I hear them saying,
we're doing the autopsy here.
This is the state of Texas.
The law is that he has the autopsy.
And the Secret Service says, no way.
We're taking him away.
Then the Secret Service man
with the submachine gun
walked slowly over to Dr. Rose
and put his hands underneath his armpits
and gently lifted him up off the floor
and placed him over against
the wall of the corridor
and then shook his finger in his face
as if to say, stand out of our way.
And then they turned around
and headed out the rear
entrance to the ambulance.
So they were not about to leave
the president's body there
for any purpose.
They took him out of Dallas.
Within 30 or 40 minutes, he was gone.
Everything changed as soon as JFK's body
left Parkland Hospital.
So the Parkland physicians were no longer
a part of the story, so that's a problem.
I'm Doug Horne, and, uh,
I was successful in obtaining a job
with the Assassination Records
Review Board in 1995.
I was kicked upstairs
and became the chief analyst
for military records.
The review board was tasked
with ensuring
that proper searches were done
by all the agencies of the government
for assassination records.
This country has not been told the truth
about the JFK assassination.
This is why I decided
I wanted to go work
for the Review Board.
The Parkland observations
that I think constitute
some of the very best evidence we have
of what really happened
to President Kennedy.
Some of the Parkland doctors believe,
based on what they saw in Trauma Room 1,
that President Kennedy was
shot from the front.
They have not deviated from
what they observed in 1963,
60 years ago.
Well, the Parkland doctors
are the first ones
that saw the president when he came in.
They saw his body.
And the observation, for the most part,
is that there was a large
head wound in the rear
and there was an entry wound
in the throat.
This is the prevailing wisdom
coming out of Parkland that day.
My name is Matt Crumpton,
and I am an attorney.
So I've got a background
in looking at evidence
and analyzing it.
And I was always interested in the case,
where I started to do a deep dive
in the same way that
a jury would look at a case.
And years later,
I continued to look at it
as the case progressed,
more and more records came out.
This is a beast of a subject.
There are people
who have spent
their whole lives doing this.
And Doug Horne was very, very involved
in the granular details.
He's had access to, you know, information
that the vast majority
of people in this case
have not had access to.
I think the medical evidence
in the Kennedy assassination
is the most enduring mystery.
And if you're a person like me
who has studied it for decades,
you certainly think it's probably
the most interesting evidence
because it's fraught with
conflict and contradiction,
and there are some real mysteries
to try to unravel here.
And the only way to do that
is to go issue by issue.
So we start with the body.
Parkland was stunned by what happened
when the Secret Service, essentially,
takes a body out of town.
They didn't expect that to happen.
When it comes to matters
of national security,
they step on the toes of the
state government all the time.
So even if it wasn't a conspiracy,
the federal government wanted
to have absolute control
over the body of the President
of the United States.
They don't care what some county coroner
in Dallas says to them.
The Secret Service knew that
it was going to move the body
to Washington for the autopsy.
That was their intention right away.
Washington, D.C. was
controlling the narrative
on what had happened
to JFK in Dealey Plaza.
Mrs. John F. Kennedy left the hospital
at approximately the same time
the coffin carrying the body
of her husband left.
The coffin went
to a private air installation
at Dallas's Love Field.
Lyndon Johnson actually told
Kennedy's press secretary,
Malcolm Kilduff, at the hospital
that he wanted to get out
of there as soon as possible
because he didn't know if
the Russians were behind this
and it was an international conspiracy
and that he was in danger
and they were trying
to take down the whole government.
There was Lyndon Johnson
running around on the floor,
saying, "There's been a conspiracy!
I gotta get out
to Air Force One right away."
At the time
JFK was assassinated,
it's just the height of the Cold War.
Our goal is not the victory of might,
but the vindication of right,
not peace at the expense of freedom,
but both peace and freedom.
So the biggest fear was,
was the USSR involved?
Did they play a role in the assassination?
That's what was on everyone's mind.
Vice President Johnson is expected
to be sworn in as president
aboard an airliner
before flying back
to the nation's capital.
The bronze casket was put
on Air Force One, the president's plane,
where the swearing in
ceremonies were held.
Lyndon B. Johnson has been sworn in
as the President of the United States.
The body will go to Bethesda
Naval Hospital, we are told.
Once that body was placed
on the airplane at Love Field,
everything changed,
and the federal government
controlled the narrative
that was given to the American people
about what had happened.
I went home and told my wife what happened
and started being in shock,
staying in shock.
I started watching television.
I watched every bit of what was going on.
I couldn't believe that, indeed,
I was a part of that.
I really hadn't realized
that this had been on television.
And that's when I realized that everybody
in the world knew about it by that time.
Walter Cronkite was following it.
Everybody around the world
was following it.
In Dallas, a suspect in a Dallas theater
pulled a gun, shot one policeman,
wounded another, and--
but was captured.
And when he was captured,
he yelled, "It's all over now,"
and screaming hysterically,
was taken into custody by the police.
The man has been identified
as Lee H. Oswald.
Lee Harvey Oswald had been arrested,
and so we were beginning to try
to put some of this together,
because when I went home that afternoon,
I didn't know anything
about Lee Harvey Oswald
and that he was the accused assassin.
The man was brought immediately
to police headquarters.
That man said to have been
an employee of the building
from which the shot
is believed to have come.
This is 24-year-old
Lee H. Oswald.
Now, here is the gun
that police say was used
to kill the president.
No, I have not been charged with that.
In fact, nobody has said that to me yet.
The first thing
I heard about it was
when the newspaper reporters
in the hall, uh,
asked me that question.
Within an hour of the assassination,
Oswald was arrested,
and it was all across the media
that Oswald was the shooter,
firing three shots from behind,
hitting President Kennedy
and then
Governor John Connally.
And it makes sense that
it's Oswald because he worked
at the Texas
School Book Depository.
So, I mean, you've got to take
a really close look at Oswald.
In Dallas, Texas, three shots were fired
at President Kennedy's
motorcade in downtown Dallas.
News media said that Lee Harvey Oswald was
the lone assassin, case closed.
And as we know, it was not case closed
at that particular point.
It was a 2 hour and 13 minute flight
to get from Dallas, Texas,
to Andrews Air Force Base
south of Washington, D.C.
The Secret Service, in the
White House Situation Room,
ordered that the autopsy be done
at Bethesda Naval Hospital.
And here is--
here is the plane now.
Made the flight back from Dallas.
What you see is a special
truck that has been moved up
to the rear of the presidential jet
on which the coffin will be brought out.
Casket is dark brown in color,
slightly reddish.
A Navy ambulance is being
drawn up just near the truck.
Behind the casket is
Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy.
To her right is her brother-in-law,
the Attorney General
Robert Kennedy.
Mrs. Kennedy is apparently
getting into the ambulance.
And the Navy ambulance
moves off with the casket.
Now being dramatized here
at Andrews Air Force Base
as the new president
addresses the microphones.
Ladies and gentlemen,
the President of the United States.
I will do my best.
That is all I can do.
I ask for your help and God's.
So at 6:20, Lyndon leaves.
At 6:21, the lights go out,
and there's no more
TV coverage.
And so it would have been after that
that the president's body,
either in sheets
or a body bag--it's unclear--
would have been placed in a helicopter
and quickly flown
to Bethesda Naval Hospital.
This is Doug Horne's theory,
that the body was switched
out of the bronze casket
on the plane
and put into a shipping casket.
And so the bronze casket
is taken to Bethesda
in the ambulance
with Jackie and RFK in it.
But that casket is actually empty,
is what the theory says.
The Secret Service decided,
while the plane was
en route to Washington,
that the body would go by helicopter.
Now, the shipping casket
arrived 20 minutes
before the Dallas
bronze casket to Bethesda.
This is a--
this is a shell game.
Now, this is obviously
a very controversial theory.
The idea is that the body arrived
20 minutes early to Bethesda.
Sergeant Boyajian
and his Marines were sent
to Bethesda to provide physical security
for the president's autopsy.
And he wrote that the casket
arrived at 1835 hours.
That's military time for 6:35 p.m.
And when the motorcade arrived at 6:55,
Secret Service agents recorded
that time in their reports,
and all the newspapermen recorded
that time in their reports.
So these two times are firmly established.
The primary documents that are relied on
for this assertion would be
the Boyajian report.
I think it makes this not a crazy thing.
The person who was in charge
of the working party,
who off-loaded
the shipping casket at 6:35,
was Petty Officer Dennis David.
As I recall, it was a black,
unmarked ambulance.
And we off-loaded a casket,
and it was carried into the autopsy room.
This casket is a plain, gray box,
if you will, a metal box.
Anybody who's ever been to Vietnam
would know what I'm talking about.
We shipped hundreds of bodies out of there
in the same type of casket.
It's just a plain shipping casket.
It definitely wasn't the fancy casket
that they showed on TV,
which I saw later on.
So the question that really matters is,
what happened to President Kennedy's body
at the hospital between
the time it really arrived,
6:35 p.m., and the time
the official autopsy started,
which was shortly after 8:00?
The theory is that, between 6:30 and 8:00,
the body was physically tampered with...
So that any evidence
that would show a front shot,
like the wound here,
any of that evidence would be obscured.
Any shots that aren't consistent
with coming from
the sixth floor sniper's nest
at the School Book Depository
had to be removed.
Because some of
the Parkland doctors believe
that President Kennedy was
shot from the front.
By the time JFK's body
arrives at Bethesda,
the narrative is clearly
that the president was shot
by a lone gunman from above and behind.
And so the body needs
to support that narrative.
And one way to support it is to remove
all of the metal in the body
that indicates there was a crossfire.
You're gonna sanitize
the crime scene, in effect.
Lee Harvey Oswald charged
with the murder of the president.
Oswald was arrested less than two hours
after the president was shot.
Police say Oswald worked
in the building from which
the shots that killed
the president were fired.
That gun is a powerful military rifle,
which police found in the building.
He has not confessed.
He has made no statement.
Charges of murder have been
accepted against him.
- I, uh--
- I don't know what this is all about.
Did you shoot the president?
Investigation and arrest
has been rapid, to say the least.
The pathologists for
President Kennedy's autopsy
were two Navy pathologists,
Commander James J. Humes
Commander J. Thornton Boswell.
Humes and Boswell were not
very well versed at all
on gunshots.
They had not done many gunshots at all.
The problem is, they weren't
forensic pathologists.
They were people that would do an autopsy
if your aunt died of a heart attack,
not a high-level government official
that gets shot in the head,
where you need to know the entrance wound,
the exit wound, the bullet path,
so you can determine later
whence the bullets came.
It is hard to believe that
you've got the President
of the United States,
and the autopsy is going to be done
by no practicing forensic pathologists.
I believe that Humes and Boswell
were chosen to do the autopsy
because they were under military control.
The results of the autopsy could be
controlled by the military,
which means controlled
by the federal government.
James Jenkins was a hospital corpsman
who was assisting with the autopsy,
and he's on record saying that he believed
that the military was really
in control of the autopsy.
There's so many people that are now gone.
You know, when I'm gone,
there will be nobody else
from the autopsy team at all.
It was my job to do
for them what they requested
without actually being told
to do it every time.
So my focus was on
exactly what was going on at that table,
doing what I was asked to do,
listening to what they were doing,
and anticipating a request.
In those days, the military was,
if you were told
to do something, you did it,
or else.
And the "or else" was not pleasant.
Military doctors follow orders.
If you don't, your career is over.
I believe that Humes and Boswell received
a very firm set of instructions
before President Kennedy's
body arrived at 6:35.
You will not report shots from the front.
You will only report shots from behind.
We already have a man arrested.
That's the way it has to be.
You'll be doing a patriotic
duty for your country.
They're engaged in a charade.
The charade is to pretend like
you're doing a real autopsy
and come up with results that say
there was one shooter
from above and behind
and there were no gunmen from the front.
Humes had one paramount task
he had to perform
before the autopsy began at 8:00
That was to remove
President Kennedy's brain
and remove any evidence
in the form of shots from the front.
So in any standard autopsy,
when there's a gunshot wound involved,
the tracks of the wounds
would be dissected
so that we could see the trajectory
and see where the bullet
actually went within the body.
After Dr. Humes removed
President Kennedy's brain
to take out all the bullet
fragments he could find,
he then put the brain back in the head
so that it could be inside the body
at the beginning of the 8:00 autopsy.
There were no metal fragments,
no bullets, no partial bullets,
anything of significance that were found.
It was very tense that night.
The atmosphere was very tense.
And it was not so much the fact is
that the president had been assassinated.
It was a contention
between the military officers
that Dr. Humes had come in with
and Dr. Humes himself.
He was constantly being called back
to talk to one of the people.
It was jam-packed.
It was very hysterical.
We were interfered with constantly, yes.
When I got to review the autopsy report,
the x-rays, and most significantly,
the photographs that were taken,
it was the first time that I really cried,
had tears in my eyes,
because he was such a young person,
had done so much for the country,
and was just taken out
of the prime of his life.
My name is Michael Baden.
I am a physician and forensic pathologist.
And I was asked to head
the forensic pathology unit
that would investigate
the autopsy findings.
The House Select Committee
on Assassinations
investigation took place 15 years
after the death of President Kennedy.
And in the course of our investigation,
the bottom line was, we determined that
President Kennedy had been struck
by two bullets from behind
and only two bullets from behind.
I simply cannot agree with his reasoning
because he had to overrule and abandon
the personal observations
of the Parkland doctors,
who said there was a large exit wound
in the right rear of the head.
He examined photographs of the brain,
and when Dr. Baden noted
that there was no damage
to the right cerebellum.
The central conclusions were
unanimously agreed to
by eight of the panel members.
Bethesda was kind of a secret autopsy.
The people doing
the autopsy were not trained.
And then the many politicians
and other people
who were there were not knowledgeable
about how an autopsy should be done.
I agree with Dr. Baden about one thing.
The autopsy was under the thumb
of military authority.
Jim Jenkins saw
Dr. Humes remove the brain
shortly after 8:00,
at which point Dr. Humes says,
"The brain's fallen out in my hands."
You know, it almost fell out in his hand.
And at that time, I noticed
the brain stem hadn't been torn,
it had been severed.
But it had been severed
on two different sides.
So I just assumed
that the bullet had severed
the brain stem,
and I was a little surprised
when I saw that it had been
actually surgically cut.
Jim Jenkins' opinion was
that this brain must have
been removed earlier that evening.
The audience was
extremely disturbed by this,
to the point where Dr. Humes,
I think, panicked.
And so he announced that it's apparent
there's been surgery of the head area.
And at this point,
Dr. Boswell looks up
and says to the gallery in the morgue,
"Was there surgery in Dallas?"
So he's playing along with Humes.
These guys knew there was
no surgery in Dallas.
They did it themselves.
So the FBI agents heard him say that
and put it in their written report.
It was just a real short statement.
Humes said, "There's been
a surgery in the head area."
They're just literally
saying what Dr. Humes said,
which is, it appears
there was surgery done.
So the question is, what does that mean?
And that goes into the theory
of body alteration
to obscure any evidence
that would lead them
to the conclusion of shots from the front
or from any other direction.
The third pathologist was
a forensic pathologist.
This is Pierre Finck, from the Army.
But generally, he wasn't
conducting autopsies himself either.
Dr. Humes and Dr. Finck,
they began to examine the head.
And they found a wound.
It was on the right side of the head.
It was slightly above the ear
and forward of the ear,
just barely in the hairline.
I thought he was shot from the front
because entrance wounds are small
and exit wounds are large.
And it was a small wound.
And Dr. Finck made a comment,
"That probably was from a bullet."
That was the wound they were examining
when Dr. Humes was called to talk
with the individuals in the gallery.
It was just below
his hairline, right up here.
And the entry wound was
about the size of a dime.
It was clearly a wound
of entrance, not of exit.
And he came back.
And no time during the autopsy
did they ever go back to this one.
It was not listed in the official autopsy.
They never made it
into the official record.
That bullet would have been
removed during the surgery.
The Parkland doctors said
that there was an exit wound
in the back right side of Kennedy's head.
The entrance wound would have
been about here.
Whereas that's not what
the autopsy showed in Bethesda.
The autopsy report
determined that the bullet
had entered the back of the head
and exited the right side of the skull.
And the Parkland doctors thought there was
a big hole there, but the autopsy showed
there was just a normal
half an inch bullet wound
in the back of the head.
I tend to believe
what the Parkland doctors said,
which causes some problems and confusion
when you go look at the autopsy.
When President Kennedy
arrives at Bethesda,
Dr. Humes, as normally,
looks at the front of the body,
then turns the body over
to examine the back.
That back wound was located
right at the top of
the shoulder blade back here,
halfway between the top of that point
and the spinal column.
The bullet that goes in
the back goes in a few inches,
and Dr. Humes probed it,
which you're not supposed to do
with bullet wounds
because you can make artificial tracks.
Dr. Humes could not find any point of exit
anywhere else in the body.
In other words, it dead-ended.
They found that the wound
didn't go anywhere.
They weren't really
interested, it seems, that--
on how it happened,
where it happened from.
Nobody had mentioned
whether he had got shot
in the front or the back
or the side or what.
I first saw the neck wound
when Dr. Boswell and I unwrapped the body.
It looked like a gaping gash.
We didn't examine it.
We were told not to bother with it;
it was a trach.
So we didn't examine it.
Pierre Finck was told to stop
when they were looking at the neck wound.
It's just a tracheotomy.
Move on.
There was a big, gaping tracheotomy wound
in the anterior neck.
They obliterated--
literally obliterated that wound.
The problem is, the first
thing that Bethesda didn't do
was call
Parkland Emergency Department
and ask them, what did you do to the body?
Had they called us first,
yes, they would have known that
there was a wound in the neck.
They didn't have all the information.
That Saturday morning after
the assassination on Friday,
we were just sitting
in our office, talking.
Dr. Perry got a phone call
from Washington,
from Dr. Boswell, one of the pathologists.
The call was that, we have
a rifle injury to the back,
but we don't see an exit wound.
And we also have
a gunshot wound to the head.
We didn't know, when we were
called from Bethesda,
that there was a gunshot wound to the back
just to the right of the midline.
We didn't know there was
a wound in the back
because after the president died,
we didn't feel like it was appropriate
for us to do any more examining
or turning of the body or whatever.
The Naval Hospital in Bethesda didn't know
that there was a wound
in the front of the neck
because Dr. Perry's incision
had gone through it,
and they didn't pick up
on the fact that there was
a little divot in the bottom
part of that wound
that was what we thought was
the entrance wound.
But Bethesda,
they said it was their opinion
that the neck wound came from
the back and out the front.
If the autopsy had been done in Dallas,
Dr. Rose would have
immediately been told that
that was a wound, and so he
could have put that together.
I just think the clarification
would have been
a little better upfront
if it had been done in Dallas County.
So when the Bethesda
pathologists called Parkland,
they both found out something
that the other didn't know.
So the Parkland doctors were not aware
of the wound in Kennedy's back,
and the Bethesda
autopsy doctors were not aware
that the tracheotomy was done
over an existing wound
in Kennedy's throat.
Dr. Humes originally concluded
one shot to the head from behind
and one shot in the upper back
from behind,
which did not exit the body.
He changed his conclusions
following the phone calls to Dr. Perry
and decided that a bullet transited
President Kennedy's body
from high in his back
and came out the throat.
The problem is that the evidence shows
that the wound was actually
lower and to the right,
such that the exit wound,
if there was one,
would have been closer
to the president's chest.
It wouldn't have been at his throat.
So we have to explain
this inconsistency somehow.
This is something that,
anyone who's studied the case
agrees that this is a major issue.
And it's determined that
the Warren Commission's gonna
figure out what happened.
President Johnson quickly
appointed a commission
to discover the real facts
of the assassination,
a commission of seven Americans
so distinguished
that their conclusions must
be above suspicion,
or so it was thought.
My general impression was
that the Warren Commission
was set up perhaps
to kind of get this over with.
I, like many other people,
thought that this was
kind of a slapdash study
that was done to just kind of
cover things up,
you know, sort of look at what happened
and make a fairly quick conclusion
and get it out of the people
in the country's minds.
The Warren Commission did
interview the Parkland doctors,
not all of them, but many of them.
And they got their perspective,
including that those doctors
thought there was
an exit wound in the back
of the president's head.
The assassination
of President Kennedy was,
inevitably, a mystery story
on a grand scale.
Parkland Hospital doctors
were quoted as saying
they thought at least one bullet entered
Mr. Kennedy's neck from the front.
All this mattered, because if there were
any shots from the overpass,
if there were more than three shots,
then Oswald had to have had an accomplice.
There were concerns in the United States
about there being a conspiracy
about there being two shooters,
one shooting
President Kennedy,
one shooting
Governor Connally,
or whether there was a conspiracy,
be it of Russians or Cubans or Castro
or some rogue government agency.
I think the problem is that they're left
with only two bullets to do
all of the damage to two men.
The known wounds were a shot in the back
and a shot in the head.
And they're trying to account
for those two wounds,
plus Governor Connally's wounds,
with two bullets.
The only way to do that is
to have one bullet strike both men.
So an ambitious junior
counselor, Arlen Specter,
invents the single bullet theory
to solve a shortage of evidence.
In the 1960s, Specter gained
national attention
for his work on the Warren Commission,
investigating the assassination
of President John F. Kennedy,
as coauthor of the single bullet theory,
supporting the belief there
was only one shooter involved.
He decides he wants a bullet
that hit
President Kennedy first
to be the one that hit Governor Connally.
And he twisted himself in knots
trying to sell that story.
The possibility of one bullet
having inflicted the wounds
on both the president's neck
and the governor's body
came in a very gradual way.
The trajectory was such
that it was almost certain
that the bullet which came out
of the president's neck
with great velocity
would have had to have hit
either the car or someone in the car.
Well, the single bullet
theory is sheer, absolute,
unadulterated nonsense.
You have the bullet coming
out of John Kennedy,
moving then downward
and to the left, and yet
it slams into John Connally
behind the right armpit.
Well, Connally was sitting
directly in front of Kennedy.
So you've got to have the
bullet coming out of Kennedy,
stopping abruptly in midair,
turning to the right,
coming back about 20 inches,
stopping again,
turning around now to the left,
and going into Connally.
So that's the single bullet theory.
It is better than any roller coaster ride
that anybody has ever seen
anywhere in the world.
It is a bullet that rightfully deserves
the characterization that
we critics have given to it--
a magic bullet.
The big issue was,
is this an entrance wound
or an exit wound?
It was very small.
And we were always taught
that an exit wound is larger
than an entrance wound.
To me, it's just inconceivable
that the first shot
that went through his neck
entered my back.
I don't believe that.
I never will believe that.
They can't run enough tests
to make me believe that.
I don't think my impressions have changed
from the day of the assassination.
I've always thought that this
looked like an entrance wound.
Without a single bullet
theory to wound both men,
there has to be at least one
additional assassin.
And the Warren Commission
couldn't have that.
The Warren report hinges
on the single bullet theory being true.
If it's not true, then we're
left with either a conspiracy
or just a bunch of question marks
as if it was never investigated at all.
On September 24, 1964,
the commission presented its findings
in the form of this report
to the president.
"We concluded that, in
the absence of solid evidence,
there was no second gunman."
I don't remember the exact moment
that I heard the results
of the Warren Commission.
But I was aware that
it wasn't the full truth.
The conclusion
of the Warren Report is that
the Parkland doctors must have just been
incorrect in their conclusion.
Even President Lyndon Johnson
had serious questions
about the single bullet theory.
He told
Senator Richard Russell,
who was on the Warren Commission,
during a recorded phone call,
that he didn't believe it.
The problem is--
the inconsistency
is that Johnson still believed
that Oswald acted alone.
The Warren Commission started
with a conclusion
that Oswald did it and he did it alone.
And they then worked to confirm that,
and then they disregarded
substantial evidence to the contrary.
Certain people in our government tampered
with critical evidence
in order to make sure
the American people
would not know the truth
about who murdered the president.
And that's about as bad as it gets.
I'm talking about photographs
that don't look correct,
that look like they must have
been altered.
The photographs and x-rays
that we see are not consistent
with what the Parkland doctors
and many other people
who were there at Bethesda say.
When I saw the autopsy pictures,
my first response was,
I wanted to tell everybody
that that didn't reflect
what actually transpired.
I noted a wound when I came into the room,
which was at the right
posterior portion of the head.
There was a massive wound
at the back of his head.
The two pictures that
I've seen that you showed me
that are supposedly from the archives
are not what I saw that night.
Now, I don't know where
those pictures came from.
It had a big hole in it.
This whole area was gone.
This part of the head was gone.
There was no scalp there.
How could all these people,
including the doctors at Parkland,
conclude that the back
of the head was missing?
And then we go to Bethesda,
and all of a sudden, it's patched up.
What happened?
In order to probe that,
you had to go back to Parkland
and speak to these doctors.
When I saw the autopsy pictures,
I thought somebody had really
tampered with the whole thing,
and it made me very suspicious
because it didn't look anything
like what I saw there.
And they had also completely sewed up
the temporoparietal side
of his head, and it was closed.
And I said, how can they do--
why would they do that?
The cerebellum was not protruding.
We examined the cerebellum
and it was intact.
Maybe the left lobe was,
but the right lobe had fallen out.
I saw that.
He's wrong.
There was no gaping hole,
and there was no cerebellum
that fell out on the car, period.
Andrew Purdy was counsel
to the House
Assassinations Committee.
He says the Dallas doctors are wrong.
When you think of the body
as being face up and you think,
particularly in Dallas,
of the amount of blood
that was involved there,
people couldn't distinguish
where things were.
It must have been
a terrible, tragic sight.
It was very hard for people to recollect
exactly where what was
when that wasn't their purpose.
Their purpose was
to save the president's life,
and these recollections
afterwards are faulty.
Who is that last guy?
- Who is that guy?
- Is he a neurosurgeon?
The wound, when we were
taking care of the president,
was not that bloody, actually.
- No.
- He had already bled out
significantly at the time of the injury.
Well, he wasn't there, so he...
- He wasn't there.
- Not--you know,
he's not capable of rendering an opinion.
He's just going
by autopsy x-ray, most likely.
That's a whole different perspective.
And those x-rays that I've seen are wrong.
I was both on the right side
and on the left side
in the course of the treatment.
And I didn't see any facial damage
or any area in the forehead--
any damage in the forehead area.
It just--it wasn't there.
No, that's why it's inconsistent
with the pictures--
the x-ray pictures,
which show orbital destruction
that would show things externally.
But obviously, this has been tampered with
because they've replaced the scalp
that was wide-open when I saw the wound.
I mean, they've done that at the autopsy.
That's--that's the work in Washington.
I had seen this massive hole
in the back of the president's head.
But then in one
of the pictures, as I recall,
it looked to me like they were
pulling a flap of scalp
up over this hole and covering it.
And in fact, I thought I could
see the finger and the thumb
of whoever was pulling this flap.
And I thought that it was
pulled up to cover that hole.
Someone told me,
oh, no, that wasn't a flap.
That's just the way it looked.
I said, no, it didn't.
The government handled the problem
of the Parkland doctors
badly and dishonorably.
They should have shown them
those photographs and said,
is this the way
President Kennedy looked
in Trauma Room 1?
The Parkland doctors would have said,
no, that's not the way
the president looked
at Parkland Hospital.
And you can see that in the Zapruder film.
I think the Zapruder film had a lot to do
with concerns about
how the president was shot.
President Kennedy was the first person
to be seen on a video being killed.
This is one of the most important films
that exists in history.
And nevertheless,
the American people didn't know
about the Zapruder film
until Robert Groden
and Dick Gregory went
on the "Geraldo" show.
Eh, was it 1975?
This is very heavy.
It's the film shot
by the Dallas dress
manufacturer Abraham Zapruder,
and it's the execution
of President Kennedy.
And, you know, before
he goes behind the sign,
the president is waving to the crowd.
When he comes out from behind
the sign, he is shot.
And then
Governor Connally is shot.
He's already been hit.
He's already been hit.
And now, at the bottom
of the screen, the head shot.
That's the shot that blew off his head.
It's the most horrifying thing
I've ever seen in a movie.
The Zapruder film is an 8-millimeter film
that was taken by Abraham Zapruder,
who was in Dealey Plaza that day,
and he was standing on the grassy knoll
on a concrete platform
so he had a better view.
As the president was coming
down from Houston Street
and making his turn, it was
about halfway down there,
I heard a shot.
Then he just slumped
to the side like this.
Then I heard another shot or two.
I couldn't say whether it was one or two.
And I saw his head practically open up,
all blood and everything.
And I kept on shooting.
When you see the Zapruder film,
you see the motorcade coming
off of Houston Street
and making a slow turn onto Elm Street,
heading toward the triple underpass.
And they look perfectly okay
until they make
that slow turn, and all of a sudden,
both of the president's hands
go up to his neck like that,
like something has happened.
This bullet hole in his neck,
we thought--in fact,
Dr. Perry said to the newsmen
right after we got out of Trauma Room 1
that maybe we thought
this was an entrance wound
here in his neck, near his windpipe,
just above his clavicle.
And Mrs. Kennedy has realized
something is wrong,
and she's leaning over to him
as if to ask, what's wrong?
And just as she does that,
the president's head
literally explodes violently,
and he's thrown backward and to the left.
And that's when I think a missile hit him
from the picket fence.
The fatal wound came
from the front, I think,
and other people believe that too.
Powers and Kenny O'Donnell,
who were riding in one of the cars behind,
they were convinced that
that fatal shot came
from the grassy knoll
and the picket fence.
Self-proclaimed eyewitnesses all claim
seeing a second gunman
shooting from behind the picket fence.
The shot that killed
President Kennedy didn't come
from the Book Depository.
They were talking about the fact
that Mr. Oswald was up
in that School Book.
And I kept saying, no, he was not there.
I saw this.
I was standing here.
I saw this.
I saw the whole thing.
I looked up.
Right there in the bushes,
this man was shooting with a rifle.
And I saw a puff of smoke
and a flash of light
at the very instant
that Kennedy's head exploded.
This is the view of Elm Street
from the grassy knoll,
up behind the picket fence
where some critics claim
another gunman lay concealed.
Came from that picket fence.
I glanced over to underneath
that green tree,
and you could see a little puff of smoke.
It looked like a puff of steam
or cigarette smoke.
The Zapruder film does not show
the back of the president's
head getting blown out.
We see the shot to the right temple,
and we know from the witnesses
that there was a blast out of the head.
The Parkland doctors are
telling us the truth,
truth beyond any and all doubt.
The issue, in retrospect,
was, if Oswald was
in the sixth floor Depository,
how could he have been shot
from the front, then?
And so was there more than one assailant?
Arlen Specter came to Parkland,
and he said, we have people
who will testify
that they saw the president shot
from the front from the railroad track.
But he said, we don't believe
they have credible testimony.
But I don't want you to say
anything else about that.
The Zapruder film, when he's hit,
you see this whole flash
of bone, you know, coming out.
And that was compatible with what I saw
from his right side, where I was located.
How could a gunshot from the rear
peel the scalp from the front back?
And my opinion is that
this was a flap from the--
the whole right side bunched up
into the back of the--
- It was, yeah.
- At the base of the occiput.
And you see that,
and I think that kind of fell
back into place a little bit.
But then the missile went on through
and blew out the back of his head.
It was temporal also.
And you can see that in the Zapruder film.
- But I saw that on him.
- Yeah.
- Mm-hmm.
- Yeah.
I think it's honorable
that the Parkland physicians
and nurses have maintained
their original positions
and have not deviated from
what they observed in 1963,
60 years ago.
The evidence shows that
the murder of the president
was a straightforward shooting, period.
What's more likely,
Parkland doctors telling the truth
or the autopsy telling the truth?
In all probability,
there was a conspiracy,
i.e., there was more than one shooter.
And I think that shooter was
behind the picket fence
on the grassy knoll, and then someone was
in the sixth floor of the Book Depository.
That first day, in the first 24 hours,
we, I think, all thought that
that was an entrance wound.
I've always entertained
a strong possibility
of there being more than one shooter.
It was a lie.
They really didn't
tell the truth about it.
I didn't ever think he would
be in Parkland on the gurney
and we would be taking care of him
and watch him take his last breath.
Probably one of the most dramatic moments
in U.S. history and a pivotal moment
for me and my whole life.
I've had a very interesting life.
I've had a lot of intersections
with events and people,
but none as dramatic and as strong
as the events of that day.
Sometimes the sadness comes out.
The thought of the assassination
and my participation in it,
as well as others,
never goes away.
You replay that day in your mind.
It certainly is the most significant event
that ever occurred in my life.
I take my being there very seriously.
And I don't really enjoy
telling the story of what happened.
But it was a very important time,
and it was my destiny to be there.
In America,
I think it was one of the most
significant events of the century,
but also a loss of innocence.