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Surgeon recounts JFK operation

http://www.scntx.com/articles/2012/01/28/news_update/7891.txt

Chris Beattie/Staff Photo - Dr. Robert McClelland recounts to the Rotary Club of McKinney what happened Nov. 22, 1963 in the Parkland Memorial Hospital operating room where former President John F. Kennedy took his final breaths. McClelland, who spoke to the Rotarians the past two Fridays, was on the surgical team that operated on Kennedy and his alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald.

By Chris Beattie, cbeattie@acnpapers.com

Published: Saturday, January 28, 2012 4:27 PM CST

Almost 39 years later, mystery still surrounds the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy.

Was Lee Harvey Oswald the real shooter? If so, was he the only one? There is someone who knows the truth about what happened on that November day in Dallas -- at least part of it.

"It was not just a single shooter," said Dr. Robert McClelland, one of the surgeons who operated on Kennedy at Parkland Memorial Hospital. "It wasn't just some crazy young man who wasn't connected to anything."

Such a conclusion, shared by millions across America, came to McClelland long before Friday, when he recapped his experience to the Rotary Club of McKinney. Though he admittedly "kept a distance from all of it," McClelland's personal connection to the event was hard for anyone else to ignore.

Just moments after Kennedy slunk to his left, sending horror through thousands of spectators, he was fighting for every breath inside a Parkland operating room, his head inches away from McClelland.

"He was in terrible shape; the right side of his brain had been blown out," McClelland said. "We worked on him for only eight or 10 minutes, from the time they made the incision to the time he lost all of his cardiac activity.

"There was no chance of saving him."

But memories of the futile operation, and the surrounding chaos, were never lost. McClelland spoke to Rotarians the past two Fridays about his recollections. His story dropped jaws and drew curious silence.

He reignited the wonder of any listeners who'd pushed the conspiracy theories away, out of mind. That's what McClelland said he tried to do, but the mysterious pieces always found him.

Some pieces seemingly fell from the gun -- or guns -- of Kennedy's killer.

"My supposition, and that of a lot of people, is that the first shot probably was fired from the sixth floor of the [Texas School Book Depository]...whether by Oswald or someone else, I don't know," McClelland told Rotarians. "The next shot apparently came from behind the picket fence by the grassy knoll -- all kinds of things indicate that is indeed what happened."

One glaring indicator, to which McClelland was uniquely close, was Kennedy's neck wound. Dr. Malcolm Perry, the chief surgeon for Kennedy and Oswald, cut an incision into Kennedy's neck to explore the wound.

Perry told reporters minutes later that it looked like an entrance wound -- meaning the shot had come from somewhere other than the sixth floor of the Depository. Referencing a recently published book about the assassination, McClelland said Secret Service agents allegedly accosted Perry after his statement and told him never to say it again.

"After the assassination, if you ever mentioned anything about it to Dr. Perry, he would tell you, 'I don't want to talk about it,' and he would really get angry if you pressed him about it," McClelland said. "We always wondered why that was."

Perry took his reluctance to the grave, dying from lung cancer two years ago in Tyler. McClelland, the only surviving member of the historic surgical team, stayed clear of the chaos as long as he could. He and Perry were two of four doctors who tried to save the president Nov. 22, 1963.

"People always ask if he was dead, and he wasn't," McClelland said. "He was making attempts to breath. But we didn't stand around and ask questions, we just started acting."

The team, which also included Drs. Charles J. Carrico and Charles Baxter, afterward sat, dazed, in a nearby nurse's station. Secret Service agents gave them note pads and asked each to write his impressions of the president's wounds.

Their notes later became evidence in the Warren Commission's investigation of the assassination. Perry eventually changed his initial story and said the bullet hole near Kennedy's Adam's apple was an exit wound.

But the Warren Commission's report has since been directly refuted by numerous eyewitness accounts, one of whom McClelland met a few years ago in Dallas.

Ed Hoffman, who is deaf, had his daughter tell McClelland what he saw near the grassy knoll, behind the picket fence, when Kennedy went down.

Hoffman, 27 at the time, had left work around the time of the president's arrival in Dallas to get a toothache inspected at the dentist. The presidential motorcade forced Hoffman to pull off on the edge of Stemmons Freeway, about 700 feet away from the knoll, Hoffman told McClelland.

He said he saw one suited man pull out a rifle, place it on top of the fence and fire at Kennedy, then toss the gun to another man dressed in work clothes. That man dissembled the gun, put it in his tool bag and disappeared into the crowd, Hoffman said.

Moments later, Hoffman saw a policeman question the suited man, then walk into the crowd with him following a short glimpse of the man's identification.

Two high school history teachers came to Dallas several years ago to study Hoffman's story, and wrote, "From Behind the Picket Fence," a book that McClelland said is "very well-detailed in establishing what Mr. Hoffman saw."

Just as in Perry's case, though, Hoffman was quickly shut out, McClelland said. Hoffman told his father and his uncle -- a Dallas police officer at the time -- days after the shooting, and both told him he better keep his mouth shut.

After recounting his conversation with Hoffman and his daughter, the Rotarians focused on his every word, McClelland summarized other prominent theories surrounding Kennedy's death. He answered questions about the "magic bullet" and the assassination's potential connection to Kennedy's involvement in the Cold War.

Dr. Jerry Sims, the Rotarian who invited McClelland to speak in McKinney, was a young intern at Parkland on that day. He recalled how the First Lady asked him outside the operating room if she could smoke a cigarette -- a habit that few knew she had, Sims said.

McClelland, who still spends time in hospitals teaching young doctors, packed up his notes to standing applause. One by one, Rotarians came to him with more questions.

He was the closest most of them would ever come to knowing what happened the day JFK was killed.

But, even for McClelland, the mystery remains.

"It was the most memorable thing of my life," he said. "Yet, we may never know the exact truth."

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Surgeon recounts JFK operation

http://www.scntx.com/articles/2012/01/28/news_update/7891.txt

Chris Beattie/Staff Photo - Dr. Robert McClelland recounts to the Rotary Club of McKinney what happened Nov. 22, 1963 in the Parkland Memorial Hospital operating room where former President John F. Kennedy took his final breaths. McClelland, who spoke to the Rotarians the past two Fridays, was on the surgical team that operated on Kennedy and his alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald.

By Chris Beattie, cbeattie@acnpapers.com

Published: Saturday, January 28, 2012 4:27 PM CST

Almost 39 years later, mystery still surrounds the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy.

Was Lee Harvey Oswald the real shooter? If so, was he the only one? There is someone who knows the truth about what happened on that November day in Dallas -- at least part of it.

"It was not just a single shooter," said Dr. Robert McClelland, one of the surgeons who operated on Kennedy at Parkland Memorial Hospital. "It wasn't just some crazy young man who wasn't connected to anything."

Such a conclusion, shared by millions across America, came to McClelland long before Friday, when he recapped his experience to the Rotary Club of McKinney. Though he admittedly "kept a distance from all of it," McClelland's personal connection to the event was hard for anyone else to ignore.

Just moments after Kennedy slunk to his left, sending horror through thousands of spectators, he was fighting for every breath inside a Parkland operating room, his head inches away from McClelland.

"He was in terrible shape; the right side of his brain had been blown out," McClelland said. "We worked on him for only eight or 10 minutes, from the time they made the incision to the time he lost all of his cardiac activity.

"There was no chance of saving him."

But memories of the futile operation, and the surrounding chaos, were never lost. McClelland spoke to Rotarians the past two Fridays about his recollections. His story dropped jaws and drew curious silence.

He reignited the wonder of any listeners who'd pushed the conspiracy theories away, out of mind. That's what McClelland said he tried to do, but the mysterious pieces always found him.

Some pieces seemingly fell from the gun -- or guns -- of Kennedy's killer.

"My supposition, and that of a lot of people, is that the first shot probably was fired from the sixth floor of the [Texas School Book Depository]...whether by Oswald or someone else, I don't know," McClelland told Rotarians. "The next shot apparently came from behind the picket fence by the grassy knoll -- all kinds of things indicate that is indeed what happened."

One glaring indicator, to which McClelland was uniquely close, was Kennedy's neck wound. Dr. Malcolm Perry, the chief surgeon for Kennedy and Oswald, cut an incision into Kennedy's neck to explore the wound.

Perry told reporters minutes later that it looked like an entrance wound -- meaning the shot had come from somewhere other than the sixth floor of the Depository. Referencing a recently published book about the assassination, McClelland said Secret Service agents allegedly accosted Perry after his statement and told him never to say it again.

"After the assassination, if you ever mentioned anything about it to Dr. Perry, he would tell you, 'I don't want to talk about it,' and he would really get angry if you pressed him about it," McClelland said. "We always wondered why that was."

Perry took his reluctance to the grave, dying from lung cancer two years ago in Tyler. McClelland, the only surviving member of the historic surgical team, stayed clear of the chaos as long as he could. He and Perry were two of four doctors who tried to save the president Nov. 22, 1963.

"People always ask if he was dead, and he wasn't," McClelland said. "He was making attempts to breath. But we didn't stand around and ask questions, we just started acting."

The team, which also included Drs. Charles J. Carrico and Charles Baxter, afterward sat, dazed, in a nearby nurse's station. Secret Service agents gave them note pads and asked each to write his impressions of the president's wounds.

Their notes later became evidence in the Warren Commission's investigation of the assassination. Perry eventually changed his initial story and said the bullet hole near Kennedy's Adam's apple was an exit wound.

But the Warren Commission's report has since been directly refuted by numerous eyewitness accounts, one of whom McClelland met a few years ago in Dallas.

Ed Hoffman, who is deaf, had his daughter tell McClelland what he saw near the grassy knoll, behind the picket fence, when Kennedy went down.

Hoffman, 27 at the time, had left work around the time of the president's arrival in Dallas to get a toothache inspected at the dentist. The presidential motorcade forced Hoffman to pull off on the edge of Stemmons Freeway, about 700 feet away from the knoll, Hoffman told McClelland.

He said he saw one suited man pull out a rifle, place it on top of the fence and fire at Kennedy, then toss the gun to another man dressed in work clothes. That man dissembled the gun, put it in his tool bag and disappeared into the crowd, Hoffman said.

Moments later, Hoffman saw a policeman question the suited man, then walk into the crowd with him following a short glimpse of the man's identification.

Two high school history teachers came to Dallas several years ago to study Hoffman's story, and wrote, "From Behind the Picket Fence," a book that McClelland said is "very well-detailed in establishing what Mr. Hoffman saw."

Just as in Perry's case, though, Hoffman was quickly shut out, McClelland said. Hoffman told his father and his uncle -- a Dallas police officer at the time -- days after the shooting, and both told him he better keep his mouth shut.

After recounting his conversation with Hoffman and his daughter, the Rotarians focused on his every word, McClelland summarized other prominent theories surrounding Kennedy's death. He answered questions about the "magic bullet" and the assassination's potential connection to Kennedy's involvement in the Cold War.

Dr. Jerry Sims, the Rotarian who invited McClelland to speak in McKinney, was a young intern at Parkland on that day. He recalled how the First Lady asked him outside the operating room if she could smoke a cigarette -- a habit that few knew she had, Sims said.

McClelland, who still spends time in hospitals teaching young doctors, packed up his notes to standing applause. One by one, Rotarians came to him with more questions.

He was the closest most of them would ever come to knowing what happened the day JFK was killed.

But, even for McClelland, the mystery remains.

M

"It was the most memorable thing of my life," he said. "Yet, we may never know the exact truth."

Quick question:

Does anyone here believe "the right side of Kennedy's brain" could have been "blown out" an orange-sized hole in the middle of the back of his head.

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This should be top news in the New York Times, Washington Post, etc., even if we do not agree with McClelland. He was a surgeon in that room and he believes in a CT and that's huge news; but it's the MSM we're talking about.

Edited by Andric Perez
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Surgeon recounts JFK operation

http://www.scntx.com/articles/2012/01/28/news_update/7891.txt

Chris Beattie/Staff Photo - Dr. Robert McClelland recounts to the Rotary Club of McKinney what happened Nov. 22, 1963 in the Parkland Memorial Hospital operating room where former President John F. Kennedy took his final breaths. McClelland, who spoke to the Rotarians the past two Fridays, was on the surgical team that operated on Kennedy and his alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald.

By Chris Beattie, cbeattie@acnpapers.com

Published: Saturday, January 28, 2012 4:27 PM CST

Almost 39 years later, mystery still surrounds the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy.

Was Lee Harvey Oswald the real shooter? If so, was he the only one? There is someone who knows the truth about what happened on that November day in Dallas -- at least part of it.

"It was not just a single shooter," said Dr. Robert McClelland, one of the surgeons who operated on Kennedy at Parkland Memorial Hospital. "It wasn't just some crazy young man who wasn't connected to anything."

Such a conclusion, shared by millions across America, came to McClelland long before Friday, when he recapped his experience to the Rotary Club of McKinney. Though he admittedly "kept a distance from all of it," McClelland's personal connection to the event was hard for anyone else to ignore.

Just moments after Kennedy slunk to his left, sending horror through thousands of spectators, he was fighting for every breath inside a Parkland operating room, his head inches away from McClelland.

"He was in terrible shape; the right side of his brain had been blown out," McClelland said. "We worked on him for only eight or 10 minutes, from the time they made the incision to the time he lost all of his cardiac activity.

"There was no chance of saving him."

But memories of the futile operation, and the surrounding chaos, were never lost. McClelland spoke to Rotarians the past two Fridays about his recollections. His story dropped jaws and drew curious silence.

He reignited the wonder of any listeners who'd pushed the conspiracy theories away, out of mind. That's what McClelland said he tried to do, but the mysterious pieces always found him.

Some pieces seemingly fell from the gun -- or guns -- of Kennedy's killer.

"My supposition, and that of a lot of people, is that the first shot probably was fired from the sixth floor of the [Texas School Book Depository]...whether by Oswald or someone else, I don't know," McClelland told Rotarians. "The next shot apparently came from behind the picket fence by the grassy knoll -- all kinds of things indicate that is indeed what happened."

One glaring indicator, to which McClelland was uniquely close, was Kennedy's neck wound. Dr. Malcolm Perry, the chief surgeon for Kennedy and Oswald, cut an incision into Kennedy's neck to explore the wound.

Perry told reporters minutes later that it looked like an entrance wound -- meaning the shot had come from somewhere other than the sixth floor of the Depository. Referencing a recently published book about the assassination, McClelland said Secret Service agents allegedly accosted Perry after his statement and told him never to say it again.

"After the assassination, if you ever mentioned anything about it to Dr. Perry, he would tell you, 'I don't want to talk about it,' and he would really get angry if you pressed him about it," McClelland said. "We always wondered why that was."

Perry took his reluctance to the grave, dying from lung cancer two years ago in Tyler. McClelland, the only surviving member of the historic surgical team, stayed clear of the chaos as long as he could. He and Perry were two of four doctors who tried to save the president Nov. 22, 1963.

"People always ask if he was dead, and he wasn't," McClelland said. "He was making attempts to breath. But we didn't stand around and ask questions, we just started acting."

The team, which also included Drs. Charles J. Carrico and Charles Baxter, afterward sat, dazed, in a nearby nurse's station. Secret Service agents gave them note pads and asked each to write his impressions of the president's wounds.

Their notes later became evidence in the Warren Commission's investigation of the assassination. Perry eventually changed his initial story and said the bullet hole near Kennedy's Adam's apple was an exit wound.

But the Warren Commission's report has since been directly refuted by numerous eyewitness accounts, one of whom McClelland met a few years ago in Dallas.

Ed Hoffman, who is deaf, had his daughter tell McClelland what he saw near the grassy knoll, behind the picket fence, when Kennedy went down.

Hoffman, 27 at the time, had left work around the time of the president's arrival in Dallas to get a toothache inspected at the dentist. The presidential motorcade forced Hoffman to pull off on the edge of Stemmons Freeway, about 700 feet away from the knoll, Hoffman told McClelland.

He said he saw one suited man pull out a rifle, place it on top of the fence and fire at Kennedy, then toss the gun to another man dressed in work clothes. That man dissembled the gun, put it in his tool bag and disappeared into the crowd, Hoffman said.

Moments later, Hoffman saw a policeman question the suited man, then walk into the crowd with him following a short glimpse of the man's identification.

Two high school history teachers came to Dallas several years ago to study Hoffman's story, and wrote, "From Behind the Picket Fence," a book that McClelland said is "very well-detailed in establishing what Mr. Hoffman saw."

Just as in Perry's case, though, Hoffman was quickly shut out, McClelland said. Hoffman told his father and his uncle -- a Dallas police officer at the time -- days after the shooting, and both told him he better keep his mouth shut.

After recounting his conversation with Hoffman and his daughter, the Rotarians focused on his every word, McClelland summarized other prominent theories surrounding Kennedy's death. He answered questions about the "magic bullet" and the assassination's potential connection to Kennedy's involvement in the Cold War.

Dr. Jerry Sims, the Rotarian who invited McClelland to speak in McKinney, was a young intern at Parkland on that day. He recalled how the First Lady asked him outside the operating room if she could smoke a cigarette -- a habit that few knew she had, Sims said.

McClelland, who still spends time in hospitals teaching young doctors, packed up his notes to standing applause. One by one, Rotarians came to him with more questions.

He was the closest most of them would ever come to knowing what happened the day JFK was killed.

But, even for McClelland, the mystery remains.

M

"It was the most memorable thing of my life," he said. "Yet, we may never know the exact truth."

Quick question:

Does anyone here believe "the right side of Kennedy's brain" could have been "blown out" an orange-sized hole in the middle of the back of his head.

The question is , Pat, whether anything Dr. M said to the Rotarians contradicts his WC testimony which is quite explicit about where the damage to the head was:"the right posterior portion of the skull had been extremely blasted.... so that the parietal bone protruded up through the scalp and seemed to be fractured along its right posterior half, as well as some of the occipital bone being fratured along its lateral half, and this sprung open the bones ...in such a way that you could actually look down into the skull cavity itself and see that probably a third or so, at least, of the brain tissue, posterior cerebral and some of the cerebelar tissue had been blasted out." (6WCH 33). This and the drawing made for TT in 1966 (and confirmed in 1994 to Brad Parker in First on the Scene) represent the earliest and most significant accounts of McClleland. Your comment "back of his head" ought to be changed to the "right rear of his head." Regards, Daniel

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As per the blown our right side, I think most of us believe there were two shots to the head: one through the right temple and one from behind. This had to result in extensive brain damage.

This is what I believe

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As per the blown our right side, I think most of us believe there were two shots to the head: one through the right temple and one from behind. This had to result in extensive brain damage.

This is what I believe

The second head shot is pure speculation. Note: such a shot would have destroyed the cerebellum, which according to Crenshaw, was almost intact...(he could see it through the back-exit wound right rear just behind the ear...

While there is plenty of evidence for the grassy knoll xxxx, there is none for the second...

The second head shot is a myth created by J Thomson for what ever reason...to prove a conspiracy and a cover up, this shot is a waste...like Oswald in the doorway, Chaney motoring forward...or Witt at the Stemmons freeway sign...

A sound sense of proportion is needed to go ahead in this never ending murder case...

KK

Edited by Karl Kinaski
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Quick question:

Does anyone here believe "the right side of Kennedy's brain" could have been "blown out" an orange-sized hole in the middle of the back of his head.

The question is , Pat, whether anything Dr. M said to the Rotarians contradicts his WC testimony which is quite explicit about where the damage to the head was:"the right posterior portion of the skull had been extremely blasted.... so that the parietal bone protruded up through the scalp and seemed to be fractured along its right posterior half, as well as some of the occipital bone being fratured along its lateral half, and this sprung open the bones ...in such a way that you could actually look down into the skull cavity itself and see that probably a third or so, at least, of the brain tissue, posterior cerebral and some of the cerebelar tissue had been blasted out." (6WCH 33). This and the drawing made for TT in 1966 (and confirmed in 1994 to Brad Parker in First on the Scene) represent the earliest and most significant accounts of McClleland. Your comment "back of his head" ought to be changed to the "right rear of his head." Regards, Daniel

No, Daniel, the "earliest and most significant accounts of McClelland," made MONTHS before his testimony, are as follows:

1. McClelland's report written on the day of the shooting.

"The cause of death was due to massive head and brain injury from a gunshot wound of the left temple."

2. McClelland's comments to journalist Richard Dudman a few weeks later. These comments were published in the article in which Dudman revealed for the first time that the Secret Service had visited the Parkland doctors, shown them the autopsy report, and told them the autopsists had concluded the throat wound was an exit.

"he and Dr. Perry fully accept the Navy Hospital’s explanation of the course of the bullets."

"I am fully satisfied that the two bullets that hit him were from behind."

"As far as I am concerned, there is no reason to suspect that any shots came from the front."

My point, Daniel, is that McClelland is not the reliable witness many CTs claim him to be. His memory is so shot, in fact, that he has taken to claiming he DREW the "McClelland" drawing, a drawing created by people who'd NEVER even talked to him.

As far as the "orange-sized" hole, are you agreeing with me that the wound described by McClelland and others would not be in the center of the back of the head, but on the right side?

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Pat thank you for your contextualizing statements. I am not a researcher, so please forgive these questions if they seem bovine.

1) do you mean to suggest that some of McClellan's statements DIRECTLY CONTRADICT each other? If so which quotations?

2) is there any evidence suggesting that McClellan's testimony to the WC may have been shaped by Secret Service pressure?

3) Is your suggestions of "memory problems" based on your stated discrepancies between day of v. WC statements, or based on your statement about his recollections of the drawing, or both? If it is based on his mistaken statement about the drawing, when was this statement made?

4) Daniel types

"The question is , Pat, whether anything Dr. M said to the Rotarians contradicts his WC testimony which is quite explicit about where the damage to the head was:"the right posterior portion of the skull had been extremely blasted.... so that the parietal bone protruded up through the scalp and seemed to be fractured along its right posterior half, as well as some of the occipital bone being fratured along its lateral half, and this sprung open the bones ...in such a way that you could actually look down into the skull cavity itself and see that probably a third or so, at least, of the brain tissue, posterior cerebral and some of the cerebelar tissue had been blasted out." (6WCH 33).

do you maintain that this offers evidence of a shot from the front or a shot from the back?

5) you type "McClelland's report written on the day of the shooting.

"The cause of death was due to massive head and brain injury from a gunshot wound of the left temple."

Do you interpret these words as necessarily implying that the left temple was the exit wound rather than an entrance wound?

Edited by Nathaniel Heidenheimer
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I do not get what is really groundbreaking here.

Interesting yes,- some of the details, i.e. Perry's reluctance to ever discuss or talk about the assassination (or was it reluctance to talk about what he had been told by agents of the SS,after what he stated to the reporters?) with one of the other doctors that were with him inside that trauma room.

Personally I'm nowhere near being an expert in any of the fields within this assassination,- but I have heard about Perry's initial statement, - that he believed the neck/throatwound was an entrancewound.

Referencing a recently published book about the assassination, McClelland said Secret Service agents allegedly accosted Perry after his statement and told him never to say it again.

So is he referencing a book he himself wrote,or what? Which book,-which author?

Which agents were these, - what were their names?

----

Regarding the article, - I guess already in the headliner he meant to write "Almost 49 years..." - instead of 39. Exaggerating a tiny bit also, to say that "thousands" of spectators were horrified to see that the President slumped to the left in his car. And I guess the writer of the article meant to say that the incision by dr.Perry was made into his throat,-not his neck!

I guess virtually all stories change over the years that pass by,-but did not Hoffman's story change remarkably? And did he not actually say that on the day of the assassination he tried to tell what he saw to the FBI,- but that they offered him money!? to stay quiet?

Edited by Trygve V. Jensen
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