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The lonesome Parkland Doc Dr. Kenneth Salyer


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Mr. Speer

I believe that entire long post was for the sole purpose of demonstrating Mr. Robinson believed the large gaping wound in the rear of JFK's head was an entrance wound and the 1/4" diameter wound in JFK's right temple was some kind of exit wound. However, regardless of how many other people you drag into your argument, ostensibly for the purpose of confusing unwary readers, the fact remains that Mr. Robinson did indeed not only describe a large gaping wound in the rear of JFK's head, he described in some detail how he and his fellow morticians dealt with that hole.

He also described the wound in the right temple as being approximately 1/4" in diameter. Are you aware that 6.5 mm = .256 calibre, which puts the bullet's diameter at just a shade larger than 1/4"? Mr. Robinson also describes, in another interview, how a ballistics "expert" present at the autopsy informed him that the rear wound was an entry wound and the temple wound was an exit wound. How a mortician could be taken in by such nonsense is beyond me but, these were different times and people believed Authority in these days. I can assure you, though, that entrance wounds are invariably no bigger than the diameter of the bullet and exit wounds are most often much larger. I have a great deal of hunting experience to back up my arguments.

Mr. Robinson was not a doctor and, therefore, not reliable as a witness for discerning exit wounds from entrance wounds. However, I place great faith in his ability to locate the large gaping wound in the rear of JFK's head, and that is all that really matters.

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You picked one part of the post--Robinson's notion of entrance and exit--and disregarded the rest. Robinson never saw a gaping hole on the back of the head at the beginning of the autopsy, he saw one at the end of the autopsy, AFTER his never-interviewed colleague performed some reconstruction.

Since the body was reconstructed in anticipation the body was going on exhibit, moreover, it is not remotely surprising that the area missing skull was confined to the back of the head.

Robinson is therefore not a "back of the head" witness. Never was. Never will be.

Edited by Pat Speer
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You picked one part of the post--Robinson's notion of entrance and exit--and disregarded the rest. Robinson never saw a gaping hole on the back of the head at the beginning of the autopsy, he saw one at the end of the autopsy, AFTER his never-interviewed colleague performed some reconstruction.

Since the body was reconstructed in anticipation the body was going on exhibit, moreover, it is not remotely surprising that the area missing skull was confined to the back of the head.

Robinson is therefore not a "back of the head" witness. Never was. Never will be.

Mr. Speer

Please provide documentation showing Robinson never saw a gaping hole in the back of the head until after his never interviewed colleague had performed reconstruction on JFK's skull.

There are three things wrong with your argument:

1. Regardless if there was some amount of reconstruction in JFK's skull, Mr. Robinson still saw a large gaping hole in the back of JFK's head where no hole exists in the autopsy photo. Care to explain this to us?

2. Do you not think his colleague's reconstruction work might be somewhat obvious to Mr. Robinson, as it was necessary to finish closing the wound in JFK's head?

3. If Mr. Robinson was present during the autopsy, where was he following the autopsy, to allow his colleagues to perform reconstruction work in his absence? Documentation on this point would be appreciated, as well.

Edited by Robert Prudhomme
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PAT: Yeah, right, Daniel. There was "tremendous pressure" on the doctors to go along with the "all shots came from behind" theory in 1964, when many of their statements suggesting the wound was on the back of the head were made. And there was "tremendous pressure" on them to go along with the findings of the WC, Clark Panel, and Rockefeller Commission panel in 1978, during the HSCA investigation, when many more of their statements suggesting the wound was on the back of the head were made.

Their statements were seemingly immune to this "tremendous pressure." But then VOILA! David Lifton's book came out, and they started quaking in their boots, and reversing themselves willy nilly! Under pressure from... WHO, Daniel? WHO? Nova? Dr. Lattimer? Gerald Posner?

Give me a break. The facts are, quite clear, IMO, that a few of the doctors formed an impression the wound was on the back of the head, and others followed. And that, when they finally got a look at the photos they deferred to the accuracy of the photos. That is what doctors do. Every day. And that is what most all of them did.

The idea that these brave doctors--who presumably told the truth as they believed it to the Warren Commission and HSCA--suddenly turned chicken when GADZOOKS!!! Public Television asked them what they saw is ridiculous, IMO.

I don't know how you determine "pressure" except to see its influence. Perry was pressured to change the entry wound in the front of the throat (which by all observations at Parkland it was) to a possible exit wound. Specter's leading questions on the throat wound are well-known.

Pat:Yeah, right, Daniel. There was "tremendous pressure" on the doctors to go along with the "all shots came from behind" theory in 1964, when many of their statements suggesting the wound was on the back of the head were made. And there was "tremendous pressure" on them to go along with the findings of the WC, Clark Panel, and Rockefeller Commission panel in 1978, during the HSCA investigation, when many more of their statements suggesting the wound was on the back of the head were made.

Their statements were seemingly immune to this "tremendous pressure." But then VOILA! David Lifton's book came out, and they started quaking in their boots, and reversing themselves willy nilly! Under pressure from... WHO, Daniel? WHO? Nova? Dr. Lattimer? Gerald Posner?

Give me a break. The facts are, quite clear, IMO, that a few of the doctors formed an impression the wound was on the back of the head, and others followed. And that, when they finally got a look at the photos they deferred to the accuracy of the photos. That is what doctors do. Every day. And that is what most all of them did.

The idea that these brave doctors--who presumably told the truth as they believed it to the Warren Commission and HSCA--suddenly turned chicken when GADZOOKS!!! Public Television asked them what they saw is ridiculous, IMO.

Daniel: According to Dr. Crenshaw, the Secret Service's briefing of the Dallas doctors as to the official autopsy findings on Nov 29 ended virtually all talk among them regarding the assassination (p. 15, Parker). If that is not a form of pressure I don't know what is. True during the WC the doctors were free to describe the head wound as it was observed, and thank God they were able to do so despite the Secret Service intervention a week after the assassination. Were it not for the WC depositions of the Parkland doctors we would not know anything about the wounding of the President (yes, the loss of the chain of possession of the President's body renders it useless as evidence as to the nature of the wounding, and hence renders the autopsy a complete farce). From Parker, p. 19ff, I take it that after visiting the National Archives in 1988 to view the worthless autopsy pictures, certain doctors, notably Perry, Jenkins, and Carrico changed their tune. That is pressure. I think Lifton was an annoyance to the Dallas doctors as he understood early on that their contemporaneous recollections and his early interviews contradicted the autopsy report. The discussion of the size of the trach incision in Best Evidence gives one the impression that the doctors just wanted Lifton to go away and give them some peace. So Lifton was not a source of pressure, just an irritation because he opened up the can of worms that consists of the anomalies between Parkland and Bethesda and made some of the doctors aware of some of the specific anomalies for the first time.

Pat: you said: Give me a break. The facts are, quite clear, IMO, that a few of the doctors formed an impression the wound was on the back of the head, and others followed. And that, when they finally got a look at the photos they deferred to the accuracy of the photos

Pat, "formed an impression??!!??" That's the understatement of the year. And totally inaccurate. McClelland's WC deposition could hardly be called an "impression." Reread the specific observations of others and also what they told Lifton in Best Evidence. The accounts are quite specific, and to denigrate them as "impressions" is unconscionable. "Others followed??!!??" Give me one quote from a Dallas doctor or nurse to the effect that they didn't see the wound but agreed with whatever Perry, McClelland, Carrico, Crenshaw, Curtis, Peters, Jones, Jenkins, Clark said about a rear wound in the right occipital-parietal area.

There is in interesting revelation on page 19 of Parker. According to Brad, on March 10, 1992 Jenkins told Posner that "most of them (the Dallas doctors) did not even know he had a head injury." To Dennis Breo Jenkins said: "I was standing at the head of the table in the position the anesthesiologist most often assumes closest to the President's head. My presence there and the President's great shock of hair and the location of the head wound were such that it was not visible to those standing down each side of the gurney..." Strange: I thought Bill O'Reilly said the top of the President's skull was missing.

Before the ARRB ( p. 198 in Parker) Dr. Peters relates that it was Jenkins who in fact alerted the other doctors to the futility of the resuscitative measures due to the hole that indeed was not too visible . Says Peters: And so at that point I did step around Dr. Baxter and looked into the President's head, and I reported to the WC that I saw a 7 cm hole in the occipitoparietal area.. . This accords well with that witness you love to hate Pat, Audrey Bell. She had to ask Perry where the wound was, and so he turned Kennedy's head to the anatomical left so she could view the right posterior head wound, which she described as occipital. She hadn't read Bill O'Reilly's book yet and learned that the top of his head was missing.

Edited by Daniel Gallup
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My responses in bold.

You picked one part of the post--Robinson's notion of entrance and exit--and disregarded the rest. Robinson never saw a gaping hole on the back of the head at the beginning of the autopsy, he saw one at the end of the autopsy, AFTER his never-interviewed colleague performed some reconstruction.

Since the body was reconstructed in anticipation the body was going on exhibit, moreover, it is not remotely surprising that the area missing skull was confined to the back of the head.

Robinson is therefore not a "back of the head" witness. Never was. Never will be.

Mr. Speer

Please provide documentation showing Robinson never saw a gaping hole in the back of the head until after his never interviewed colleague had performed reconstruction on JFK's skull.

You might wish to re-read the ARRB Medical exhibits regarding Robinson and VanHoesen (ARRB medical documents 63, 180 and 181.) They sat several yards back from the left side of the body, at ground level, whereby the doctors attending the president blocked off their view. By their own admission, they didn't examine the head until after its reconstruction, which was performed by their colleague Ed Stroble. As a result, it's impossible to consider them credible witnesses regarding the condition of the skull at the beginning of the autopsy.

There are three things wrong with your argument:

1. Regardless if there was some amount of reconstruction in JFK's skull, Mr. Robinson still saw a large gaping hole in the back of JFK's head where no hole exists in the autopsy photo. Care to explain this to us?

I already did. The hole he saw on the back of the head was not there at the beginning of the autopsy, when the photos were taken.

2. Do you not think his colleague's reconstruction work might be somewhat obvious to Mr. Robinson, as it was necessary to finish closing the wound in JFK's head?

NO ONE disputes that the right side of the skull was torn apart during the autopsy, so that the brain could be removed. It follows, then, like night from day, that the relatively small orange-sized hole observed by Robinson was the condition of the skull after some reconstruction had taken place. Doug Horne, in his book, embarrasses himself, IMO, when he asserts that the orange-sized hole between the ears observed by Robinson was the large head wound at the beginning of the autopsy, but the orange-sized hole between the ears observed by VanHoesen was the large head wound during reconstruction. Hubba-wha?

3. If Mr. Robinson was present during the autopsy, where was he following the autopsy, to allow his colleagues to perform reconstruction work in his absence? Documentation on this point would be appreciated, as well.

Mr. Robinson admitted he didn't reconstruct the skull. His statements reflect that he worked on the torso and applied some finishing touches to Kennedy's face. He said he thought VanHoesen worked on the skull. VanHoesen, however, said he also worked on the body, and that Stroble did the skull. Stroble was never interviewed.

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Yes, Daniel, let's discuss Dr. McClelland, whose Warren Commission testimony is unimpeachable, LOL.

From patspeer.com, chapter 18d:

PARKLAND MEMORIAL HOSPITAL

ADMISSION NOTE

DATE AND HOUR Nov. 22, 1963 4:45 P.M. DOCTOR: Robert N. McClelland

Statement Regarding Assassination of President Kennedy

At approximately 12:45 PM on the above date I was called from the second floor of Parkland Hospital and went immediately to the Emergency Operating Room. When I arrived President Kennedy was being attended by Drs Malcolm Perry, Charles Baxter, James Carrico, and Ronald Jones. The President was at the time comatose from a massive gunshot wound of the head with a fragment wound of the trachea. An endotracheal tube and assisted respiration was started immediately by Dr. Carrico on Duty in the EOR when the President arrived. Drs. Perry, Baxter, and I then performed a tracheotomy for respiratory distress and tracheal injury and Dr. Jones and Paul Peters inserted bilateral anterior chest tubes for pneumothoracis secondary to the tracheomediastinal injury. Simultaneously Dr. Jones had started 3 cut-downs giving blood and fluids immediately, In spite of this, at 12:55 he was pronounced dead by Dr. Kemp Clark the neurosurgeon and professor of neurosurgery who arrived immediately after I did. The cause of death was due to massive head and brain injury from a gunshot wound of the left temple. He was pronounced dead after external cardiac message failed and ECG activity was gone.

Robert N. McClelland M.D.
Asst. Prof. of Surgery
Southwestern Med.
School of Univ of Tex.
Dallas, Texas

(Note: in this, his earliest statement on the assassination, Dr. McClelland reveals that he was easily confused and prone to speculation. First of all, he gets himself all turned around and mistakenly says there was a wound in the left temple. He says nothing of a wound on the back of the head or behind the ear. As but one head wound was noted at Parkland, and as no competent doctor would mention a wound he did not see while failing to mention the one he did, it seems probable McClelland meant to say this wound was of the right temple, not left. Second of all, he states, without offering any supporting evidence, that the throat wound was a fragment wound. This shows he was prone to speculation.

In light of the fact many conspiracy theorists cite McClelland as the most reliable of the Parkland witnesses, McClelland's next statements are even more intriguing. McClelland was the prime source for the 12-18-63 article by Richard Dudman published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, in which the Secret Service's visit to the Parkland doctors, and its attempt to get them to agree Kennedy's throat wound was an exit, was first revealed. And yet McClelland told Dudman that after being told of the wound on Kennedy's back "he and Dr. Perry fully accept the Navy Hospital’s explanation of the course of the bullets." And yet he told Dudman "I am fully satisfied that the two bullets that hit him were from behind." And yet he told Dudman "As far as I am concerned, there is no reason to suspect that any shots came from the front." Repeat...NO reason to suspect any shots came from the front... That's right...in the very article most conspiracy theorists believe first exposed the government's cover-up of Kennedy's wounds, Dr. McClelland, the man they consider the most credible of the Parkland witnesses, spelled out--and made CRYSTAL CLEAR--that he did not think the large head wound he observed was an exit wound on the far back of the head.

This is confirmed yet again by the first article on the wounds published in a medical journal. Three Patients at Parkland, published in the January 1964 Texas State Journal of Medicine, was based upon the Parkland doctors' 11-22 reports, and repeated their descriptions of Kennedy's wounds and treatment word for word. Well, almost. In one of its few deviations, it changed Dr. McClelland's initial claim Kennedy was pronounced dead "at 12:55" to his being "pronounced dead at 1:00." This was an obvious correction of an innocent mistake. In what one can only assume was another correction of an innocent mistake, moreover, it re-routed Dr. McClelland's initial claim "The cause of death was due to massive head and brain injury from a gunshot wound of the left temple" to the more acceptable "The cause of death, according to Dr. McClelland was the massive head and brain injury from a gunshot wound of the right side of the head." Right side of the head. Not back of the head. While some might wish to believe the writer and/or editor of this article took it upon himself to make this change without consulting Dr. McClelland, and that he'd changed it to fit the "official" story, the fact of the matter is there was NO official story on the head wounds at this point, beyond the descriptions of the wound in the reports of McClelland's colleagues published elsewhere in the article. And these, in sum, described a wound on the back of the head. It seems likely, then, that McClelland himself was responsible for this change.

In any event, on March 21, 1964, Dr. McClelland, testified before the Warren Commission. In contrast to his earlier statements, he now claimed: “As I took the position at the head of the table that l have already described, to help out with the tracheotomy, I was in such a position that I could very closely examine the head wound, and I noted that the right posterior portion of the skull had been extremely blasted. It had been shattered ... the parietal bone was protruded up through the scalp and seemed to be fractured almost along its right posterior half, as well as some of the occipital bone being fractured in its lateral half, and this sprung open the bones that I mentioned 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 tissue and some of the cerebellar tissue had been blasted out.”

Since Kennedy was by all reports lying on his back, it is impossible to understand how McClelland could look down into a wound on the back of Kennedy’s head. It seems likely then that McClelland, as Clark, was confused by the rotation of Kennedy’s skull.

And it seems just as likely McClelland is not the man many if not most conspiracy theorists assume him to be. Notes on a 12-1-71 interview of McClelland by researcher Harold Weisberg reveal that McClelland "volunteered at some length about Garrison's men, describing Garrison as a psychopath, and seemed proud that he had talked them out of calling him as a witness...McC was quite bitter about Garrison and Lane, but he was without complaint about Specter and the Warren Commission..."

So there it is. Dr. Robert McClelland--whom many conspiracy theorists believe an unshakeable truth-teller--was a supporter of the Warren Commission's for years and years after the assassination--to such an extent even that he refused to cooperate with Jim Garrison's attempts to re-open the case. Well, is it any wonder then that McClelland, while continuing to insist he saw a wound on the back of Kennedy's head, repeatedly defended the legitimacy of the autopsy photos? And that he told the producers of the television show Nova in 1988 that "I find no discrepancy between the wounds as they're shown very vividly in these photographs and what I remember very vividly?" And is it any wonder then that in both his Nova appearance and ARRB testimony McClelland ventured that the back of the head photo depicts sagging scalp pulled over a large occipito-parietal wound? I mean, the man clearly has problems separating fact from fiction. (McClelland's assertion a large hole on the back of Kennedy's head could be covered up by stretched scalp is, of course, utterly fantastic and unsupported by every book on wound ballistics I have ever come across. Scalp overlying explosive wounds to the skull does not stretch and sag, it tears. No such tears were noted on the back of Kennedy's head at autopsy, and none are shown in the autopsy photos whose legitimacy McClelland defends.)

And what about Audrey Bell? Has anyone ever found ANY corroboration she was actually in Emergency Room 1?

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PAUL PETERS, MD:"...I noticed that there was a large defect in the occiput...It seemed to me that in the right occipitalparietal area that there was a large defect." (WC-V6:71)





"The X rays of President Kennedy's skull, which we privileged to see later, showed dramatically how large the fragmentation of the skull was and was easily compatible with what Bob saw originally. There was a big hunk of bone sticking up there in the parietal....



I thought just exactly what Bob, did. They were probably making a series of pictures and


they had just pulled that flap back up there to cover it up and took a picture of that to show the head with the flap restored, so to speak, for whatever reason. I'm sure there were many other pictures that were made at the same time.



...I think that [McClelland's drawing] pretty much corresponds to what I said, occipitoparietal. It looks a little further down in the occiput in this picture, I think, but it was pretty far posteriorly because you had to be able to see the cerebellum -- " (Peters, ARRB Parkland doctors interview)

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The last truths told about The body were at Parkland hospital

By the doctors attempting to save the life of thier president.

Then the body got stolen anything after that was designed to

Confuse and disseminate. Are any of the photos real?.

The body at Bethesda does not look the same as it left Parkland

Especially the throat wound(argument).the photographer does not recognise

The photos ,the developer does not recognise the film.

I am just inserting this post as there are very many readers who do not

Understand the finite medical implications me included .

The medical reports start to stink after parkland they are supposed to.

There was a 1/4" hole in the right forehead yes or no?.

There was a big hole in the back of the head yes or no?.

Why do the photos not show this?.

Answer they are not meant to.perhaps the originals did.

If you want to get the 75 % who believe in the conspiracy

To understand it you have to simplify the explanations.

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Nurse Doris Nelson

She was an ER Supervisor in 1963, later became the nursing supervisor of Parkland Hospital. She assisted in treating the President and helped in the preparation of the body for the casket. In the revised addition of High Treason, Harrison Livingstone writes “Nurse Nelson drew a picture of the head wound, mostly in the parietal area, but well towards the rear of the head(parietal/occipital). Her drawing conflicts strongly with the official autopsy photograph.

When she saw the picture, she said immediately “It’s not true. There wasn’t even hair back there. It was blown away. All that area was blown out"

Edited by Ray Mitcham
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"The official autopsy photos of the back of the head show no wound as described by nearly thirty witnesses. Where is the gaping hole, three or more inches in diameter, ragged edged, “the size of a baseball” or “of a small orange”? Saundra Spencer developed autopsy photos of the rear of the head showing a ragged hole. James Sibert, an FBI agent who was an arm’s length away, saw a large bloody cavity AFTER the photos had been taken."

And some people still believe that the official autopsy photos are genuine.

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My responses in bold.

You picked one part of the post--Robinson's notion of entrance and exit--and disregarded the rest. Robinson never saw a gaping hole on the back of the head at the beginning of the autopsy, he saw one at the end of the autopsy, AFTER his never-interviewed colleague performed some reconstruction.

Since the body was reconstructed in anticipation the body was going on exhibit, moreover, it is not remotely surprising that the area missing skull was confined to the back of the head.

Robinson is therefore not a "back of the head" witness. Never was. Never will be.

Mr. Speer

Please provide documentation showing Robinson never saw a gaping hole in the back of the head until after his never interviewed colleague had performed reconstruction on JFK's skull.

You might wish to re-read the ARRB Medical exhibits regarding Robinson and VanHoesen (ARRB medical documents 63, 180 and 181.) They sat several yards back from the left side of the body, at ground level, whereby the doctors attending the president blocked off their view. By their own admission, they didn't examine the head until after its reconstruction, which was performed by their colleague Ed Stroble. As a result, it's impossible to consider them credible witnesses regarding the condition of the skull at the beginning of the autopsy.

There are three things wrong with your argument:

1. Regardless if there was some amount of reconstruction in JFK's skull, Mr. Robinson still saw a large gaping hole in the back of JFK's head where no hole exists in the autopsy photo. Care to explain this to us?

I already did. The hole he saw on the back of the head was not there at the beginning of the autopsy, when the photos were taken.

2. Do you not think his colleague's reconstruction work might be somewhat obvious to Mr. Robinson, as it was necessary to finish closing the wound in JFK's head?

NO ONE disputes that the right side of the skull was torn apart during the autopsy, so that the brain could be removed. It follows, then, like night from day, that the relatively small orange-sized hole observed by Robinson was the condition of the skull after some reconstruction had taken place. Doug Horne, in his book, embarrasses himself, IMO, when he asserts that the orange-sized hole between the ears observed by Robinson was the large head wound at the beginning of the autopsy, but the orange-sized hole between the ears observed by VanHoesen was the large head wound during reconstruction. Hubba-wha?

3. If Mr. Robinson was present during the autopsy, where was he following the autopsy, to allow his colleagues to perform reconstruction work in his absence? Documentation on this point would be appreciated, as well.

Mr. Robinson admitted he didn't reconstruct the skull. His statements reflect that he worked on the torso and applied some finishing touches to Kennedy's face. He said he thought VanHoesen worked on the skull. VanHoesen, however, said he also worked on the body, and that Stroble did the skull. Stroble was never interviewed.

1. The hole at the rear of JFK's head was not there at the beginning of the autopsy or Mr. Robinson was simply not in a position to see this wound? In what way are you using Mr. Robinson to corroborate your belief there was no hole in the rear of the head and can you provide documentation for your answer?

2. Extremely poor answer. I notice that you, like most LN'ers, are very good at dodging difficult questions. Even if the right side of the head was torn apart to remove the brain (there is evidence given by Paul O'Connor that this never happened as JFK's brain had been so completely evacuated from his skull, there was nothing left to remove), Mr. Robinson was asked to describe wounds, not medical procedures. Do you not think he could tell the difference between a gunshot wound and a saw mark?

3. Once again, you have not answered the question. Mr. Robinson did, indeed, work on JFK's head. He admitted, in an interview, that all of them worked on JFK's head. I repeat the question, was Mr. Robinson absent at any time during the morticians' work on JFK and can you provide documentation for your answer? If they were all present, it would be impossible for one member to work on a large wound in the back of JFK's head while another worked on the torso, simply for the fact that, during the autopsy, JFK's torso would have been evicerated from the front side. Lying on his back, only the torso could be worked on. Lying on his front, only the back of the head could be worked on. What do you think Mr. Robinson did to while away the time while the back of JFK's head was being reconstructed?

Edited by Robert Prudhomme
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Yes, Daniel, let's discuss Dr. McClelland, whose Warren Commission testimony is unimpeachable, LOL.

From patspeer.com, chapter 18d:

PARKLAND MEMORIAL HOSPITAL

ADMISSION NOTE

DATE AND HOUR Nov. 22, 1963 4:45 P.M. DOCTOR: Robert N. McClelland

Statement Regarding Assassination of President Kennedy

At approximately 12:45 PM on the above date I was called from the second floor of Parkland Hospital and went immediately to the Emergency Operating Room. When I arrived President Kennedy was being attended by Drs Malcolm Perry, Charles Baxter, James Carrico, and Ronald Jones. The President was at the time comatose from a massive gunshot wound of the head with a fragment wound of the trachea. An endotracheal tube and assisted respiration was started immediately by Dr. Carrico on Duty in the EOR when the President arrived. Drs. Perry, Baxter, and I then performed a tracheotomy for respiratory distress and tracheal injury and Dr. Jones and Paul Peters inserted bilateral anterior chest tubes for pneumothoracis secondary to the tracheomediastinal injury. Simultaneously Dr. Jones had started 3 cut-downs giving blood and fluids immediately, In spite of this, at 12:55 he was pronounced dead by Dr. Kemp Clark the neurosurgeon and professor of neurosurgery who arrived immediately after I did. The cause of death was due to massive head and brain injury from a gunshot wound of the left temple. He was pronounced dead after external cardiac message failed and ECG activity was gone.

Robert N. McClelland M.D.

Asst. Prof. of Surgery

Southwestern Med.

School of Univ of Tex.

Dallas, Texas

(Note: in this, his earliest statement on the assassination, Dr. McClelland reveals that he was easily confused and prone to speculation. First of all, he gets himself all turned around and mistakenly says there was a wound in the left temple. He says nothing of a wound on the back of the head or behind the ear. As but one head wound was noted at Parkland, and as no competent doctor would mention a wound he did not see while failing to mention the one he did, it seems probable McClelland meant to say this wound was of the right temple, not left. Second of all, he states, without offering any supporting evidence, that the throat wound was a fragment wound. This shows he was prone to speculation.

In light of the fact many conspiracy theorists cite McClelland as the most reliable of the Parkland witnesses, McClelland's next statements are even more intriguing. McClelland was the prime source for the 12-18-63 article by Richard Dudman published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, in which the Secret Service's visit to the Parkland doctors, and its attempt to get them to agree Kennedy's throat wound was an exit, was first revealed. And yet McClelland told Dudman that after being told of the wound on Kennedy's back "he and Dr. Perry fully accept the Navy Hospital’s explanation of the course of the bullets." And yet he told Dudman "I am fully satisfied that the two bullets that hit him were from behind." And yet he told Dudman "As far as I am concerned, there is no reason to suspect that any shots came from the front." Repeat...NO reason to suspect any shots came from the front... That's right...in the very article most conspiracy theorists believe first exposed the government's cover-up of Kennedy's wounds, Dr. McClelland, the man they consider the most credible of the Parkland witnesses, spelled out--and made CRYSTAL CLEAR--that he did not think the large head wound he observed was an exit wound on the far back of the head.

This is confirmed yet again by the first article on the wounds published in a medical journal. Three Patients at Parkland, published in the January 1964 Texas State Journal of Medicine, was based upon the Parkland doctors' 11-22 reports, and repeated their descriptions of Kennedy's wounds and treatment word for word. Well, almost. In one of its few deviations, it changed Dr. McClelland's initial claim Kennedy was pronounced dead "at 12:55" to his being "pronounced dead at 1:00." This was an obvious correction of an innocent mistake. In what one can only assume was another correction of an innocent mistake, moreover, it re-routed Dr. McClelland's initial claim "The cause of death was due to massive head and brain injury from a gunshot wound of the left temple" to the more acceptable "The cause of death, according to Dr. McClelland was the massive head and brain injury from a gunshot wound of the right side of the head." Right side of the head. Not back of the head. While some might wish to believe the writer and/or editor of this article took it upon himself to make this change without consulting Dr. McClelland, and that he'd changed it to fit the "official" story, the fact of the matter is there was NO official story on the head wounds at this point, beyond the descriptions of the wound in the reports of McClelland's colleagues published elsewhere in the article. And these, in sum, described a wound on the back of the head. It seems likely, then, that McClelland himself was responsible for this change.

In any event, on March 21, 1964, Dr. McClelland, testified before the Warren Commission. In contrast to his earlier statements, he now claimed: “As I took the position at the head of the table that l have already described, to help out with the tracheotomy, I was in such a position that I could very closely examine the head wound, and I noted that the right posterior portion of the skull had been extremely blasted. It had been shattered ... the parietal bone was protruded up through the scalp and seemed to be fractured almost along its right posterior half, as well as some of the occipital bone being fractured in its lateral half, and this sprung open the bones that I mentioned 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 tissue and some of the cerebellar tissue had been blasted out.”

Since Kennedy was by all reports lying on his back, it is impossible to understand how McClelland could look down into a wound on the back of Kennedy’s head. It seems likely then that McClelland, as Clark, was confused by the rotation of Kennedy’s skull.

And it seems just as likely McClelland is not the man many if not most conspiracy theorists assume him to be. Notes on a 12-1-71 interview of McClelland by researcher Harold Weisberg reveal that McClelland "volunteered at some length about Garrison's men, describing Garrison as a psychopath, and seemed proud that he had talked them out of calling him as a witness...McC was quite bitter about Garrison and Lane, but he was without complaint about Specter and the Warren Commission..."

So there it is. Dr. Robert McClelland--whom many conspiracy theorists believe an unshakeable truth-teller--was a supporter of the Warren Commission's for years and years after the assassination--to such an extent even that he refused to cooperate with Jim Garrison's attempts to re-open the case. Well, is it any wonder then that McClelland, while continuing to insist he saw a wound on the back of Kennedy's head, repeatedly defended the legitimacy of the autopsy photos? And that he told the producers of the television show Nova in 1988 that "I find no discrepancy between the wounds as they're shown very vividly in these photographs and what I remember very vividly?" And is it any wonder then that in both his Nova appearance and ARRB testimony McClelland ventured that the back of the head photo depicts sagging scalp pulled over a large occipito-parietal wound? I mean, the man clearly has problems separating fact from fiction. (McClelland's assertion a large hole on the back of Kennedy's head could be covered up by stretched scalp is, of course, utterly fantastic and unsupported by every book on wound ballistics I have ever come across. Scalp overlying explosive wounds to the skull does not stretch and sag, it tears. No such tears were noted on the back of Kennedy's head at autopsy, and none are shown in the autopsy photos whose legitimacy McClelland defends.)

And what about Audrey Bell? Has anyone ever found ANY corroboration she was actually in Emergency Room 1?

Your statement on Bell represents a new low. If she asked Perry about the location of the wound, then the presumption is that she was there. She made that statement in 1997; Perry was available to contradict her statement but never did.

And Pat, what do you expect McClelland to say after being shown the official autopsy report? Contradict it and cause a hornet's nest? The presumption of a normal person under these circumstances is to go along with the official investigation. and assume it's legit. Consider: what are the chances that such a doctor would suspect a high-level governmental assassination of the President in a plot that included stealing the body and altering the wounds? Zip. Had you and I been the doctor, we would have told Dudman the same thing.

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Nurse Doris Nelson

She was an ER Supervisor in 1963, later became the nursing supervisor of Parkland Hospital. She assisted in treating the President and helped in the preparation of the body for the casket. In the revised addition of High Treason, Harrison Livingstone writes “Nurse Nelson drew a picture of the head wound, mostly in the parietal area, but well towards the rear of the head(parietal/occipital). Her drawing conflicts strongly with the official autopsy photograph.

When she saw the picture, she said immediately “It’s not true. There wasn’t even hair back there. It was blown away. All that area was blown out"

Ahh, yes, Doris Nelson.

1. She showed Life Magazine the location of the wound--and pointed to the top of her head.

That she failed to support the accuracy of the McClelland drawing, moreover, is supported by Livingstone.

From patspeer.com, chapter 18c:

It seems likely, in fact, that Livingstone has come to doubt the accuracy of the "McClelland" drawing. In High Treason 2, published 1992, he cited a 7-21-81 interview of Parkland Nurse Doris Nelson conducted as a response to The Globe's article the month before, in which she firmly rejected both the autopsy photo of the back of Kennedy's head and the "McClelland" drawing. She told Livingstone: "All I saw was missing skull and brains on the back of his head right there...There wasn't any bone there where that entry hole shows in the picture." When then shown the McClelland drawing, she claimed "It looked like that, but it's too low. It was where the cowlick is in this picture. There was nothing there...The hole in the drawing was too low. It was right there, in the right rear." Well, heck, this confirmed for Livingstone what she'd previously suggested to Bradlee--that the McClelland drawing was inaccurate.

But it's worse than that. When discussing Nelson's rejection of the McClelland drawing, Livingstone added "She said the same thing about that drawing which Dr. McClelland had told me." Oops. Keep in mind that this interview was in 1981 and that High Treason, co-authored by Robert Groden, was not published until 1989. In High Treason, Livingstone (and Groden) claimed Nelson disputed the accuracy of the autopsy photo, but said nothing of her opinion of the McClelland drawing. In it, they claimed McClelland had told the Baltimore Sun and Boston Globe the drawing was "accurate." In the photos section of High Treason, moreover, they claimed that the "McClelland" drawing "was verified by every doctor, nurse, and eyewitness as accurate." Now here was Livingstone, in 1992, admitting that this claim was untrue, and that at least two of the witnesses he'd interviewed in '79 and '81 had told him the wound in the drawing was too low. It's also of interest, then, that Livingstone's 1981 article on his 1979 interview with McClelland claimed "Dr. McClelland said that it (the drawing) accurately portrays what he 'vividly remembers' seeing on the operating table after the president was rushed into emergency." Perhaps, then, Livingstone (and Groden) considered a witness' saying the wound in the McClelland drawing resembled Kennedy's wound a "verification" of its accuracy, even if they said it was in the wrong spot.

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...I think that [McClelland's drawing] pretty much corresponds to what I said, occipitoparietal. It looks a little further down in the occiput in this picture, I think, but it was pretty far posteriorly because you had to be able to see the cerebellum -- " (Peters, ARRB Parkland doctors interview)

Pat, are you saying that the doctors who all said the wound was in the occipitoparietal area of the head were wrong?

Edited by Ray Mitcham
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