LewRockwell.com, September 19. 2012: Everyone over the age of 60, and many over age 55 who were in grade school at the time, remember where they were and what they were doing when they heard what happened to President John F. Kennedy, on Friday, November 22, 1963 at 12:30 PM (CST). I was finishing lunch with other students in the dining room at Harvard Medical School’s Vanderbilt Hall lined with portraits of past professors when a student ran in and yelled, "President Kennedy has been shot."
I began studying and collecting books on the Kennedy assassination after reading Josiah Thompson's Six Seconds in Dallas, published in 1967. My interest in the subject is heightened by having personally known two physicians involved in President Kennedy’s care whose observations are pivotal to the case, Admiral George G. Burkley (1902-1991) and Dr. Malcolm Perry (1929-2009). Admiral Burkley was the President’s personal physician. He was the only physician who was with Kennedy in Dallas and also at the autopsy, done at a Navy hospital in Bethesda, MD. Dr. Perry performed a tracheotomy on Kennedy shortly before he died. He was the first physician to speak publicly about the President’s injuries in a televised news conference an hour after his death.
My family lived next to Dr. Burkley and his family on the grounds of the Newport Naval Hospital in Newport, Rhode Island when I was a teenager, sharing a duplex that housed its Chief of Medicine, Dr. Burkley, and Chief of Surgery, my dad. His teenage son, George W., and I became friends. (We once sailed up Narragansett Bay in his Snipe sailboat and camped out on an uninhabited island. This adventure was cut short the next morning, however, when a Navy launch arrived to tow us back home, sent by our fathers after a hurricane warning was issued.)
Dr. Perry and I worked together at the University of Washington (UW). He moved to Seattle in 1974 with Dr. Tom Shires, Parkland Hospital’s Chief of Surgery, who came to Seattle to be Chairman of Surgery at the UW School of Medicine. Dr. Shires brought a group of surgeons from Parkland Hospital with him, which included Dr. Charles James (Jim) Carrico, who, as a surgical resident, was the first doctor in the emergency room to examine Kennedy after he was shot. Dr. Perry and Dr. Shires operated on Lee Harvey Oswald, but the bullet Jack Ruby shot into Oswald’s abdomen tore his aorta and vena cava and he bled to death on the operating table before they could save him. Dr. Perry was a vascular surgeon. We would perform surgery together on patients with a thoracoabdominal aneurysm. (I was the last UW faculty surgeon that Dr. Shires hired before he moved to Cornell in 1975. Drs. Perry and Carrico stayed, with Dr. Carrico becoming the UW’s Chair of Surgery in 1983, to 1990).
The President’s Commission on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy chaired by Chief Justice Earl Warren assured the American public and the world that there was no conspiracy. It said a lone assassin shot three bullets at the President from a window in the Texas School Book Depository, above and behind the Presidential limousine as it proceeded down Elm Street in Dealey Plaza. No one else planned or participated in the attack, not the Russians, Castro, anti-Castro Cubans, or organized crime – or any officials in the U.S. military-industrial-intelligence complex either, for that matter.
The Warren Commission concluded that one bullet hit Kennedy in the back, exited out through his neck, and went on to inflict all the injuries Governor Connally sustained sitting in a jump seat in front of the President. This bullet, as postulated in the Commission’s "single bullet theory," went through Connally’s chest, in-and-out of his wrist, and landed in his thigh. A second bullet missed the limousine, ricocheted off a curb and grazed a bystander. The third bullet the sniper shot hit the President in the head, killing him. The Commission concluded that the evidence compiled in its 888-page Report and 17,816 pages of Hearings and Exhibits (in 26 volumes) proves that a 24-year-old ex-Marine with Marxist sympathies, Lee Harvey Oswald, was the assassin. Likewise, the Commission found that nightclub owner Jack Ruby also acted alone when he killed Oswald two days later.
At the first press conference after Kennedy died, a newsman asked Malcolm Perry, "Where was the entrance wound?" Dr. Perry informed the American public and the world that, "There was an entrance wound in the neck…It [the bullet] appeared to be coming at him…," which on repeated questioning he twice more affirmed and the world’s press duly reported. This did not sit well with the Warren Commission’s view of the matter. Testifying before the Commission several months later, however, Dr. Perry supported its contention that the bullet shot into Kennedy’s back had exited his neck, not entered it. Accepting the proposed one-bullet, two-victim hypothesis as true, Dr. Perry agreed that the bullet wound he observed in the neck "certainly would be consistent with an exit wound."
Fifteen years later Dr. Perry told me in a surgeon-to-surgeon private conversation that the bullet wound in Kennedy’s neck was, without question, a wound of entrance, irrespective of what he had told the Warren Commission....
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