Thursday, November 22, 2018

Four Days in Dallas - Day One


Day One – Thursday, November 15, 2018

I never thought I would return to Dallas after I attended many dozens of conferences on the assassination over the years, most of them in Dallas. But then CAPA – Citizens Against Political Assassinations, for which I am coordinator of Research, decided to hold a one day symposium on “The Last Living Witnesses,” inviting those still standing to meet and give their last testament.

This event was scheduled for Thursday, November 15, the day before two annual conferences were scheduled to be held – JFK Lancer at the Lorenzo hotel and Judyth Vary Baker’s conference at the Doubletree. While both claimed to support CAPA, JVB inexplicitly added a fourth day to her conference just to spite CAPA and have an event that would compete with ours, that was held at the Old Red Court House at Dealey Plaza. 

The court house is old, and is under renovation, so there was virtually no WiFi and the electric was spotty, so the live streaming was a bust and the audio on and off, but there will be a good, edited video and DVD that will be available soon, and transcripts of all the presentations will be made.

While I was most interested in meeting former Dallas reporter and mayor Wes Wise again, he is now in his early 90s and was unable to attend. Buell Wesley Frazer, who I had met at the Bethesda conference a few years ago, also backed out at the last minute.

But others did show up, against all odds, and gave some interesting, some riveting testimony, including John Curington, former right hand man to H. L. Hunt, the oil man many suspected of being involved in the assassination, as he writes in his book Means and Motive. Curington was questioned by CAPA chairman Dr. Cyril Wecht, who wrote the introduction to Curington’s book.

CAPA legal committee co-chair Larry Schnapf then interviewed Dr. Donald Miller and Jim Gochenaur, who knew and worked closely with Dr. Malcolm Perry, the senior Parkland doctor in the emergency room when the President was brought in. According to Miller and Gochenaur, Perry publicly accepted the Warren Report conclusions and single-bullet theory, but privately he acknowledged that he was intimated and badgered by the government to keep quiet and personally knew what he originally described the throat wound was one of entrance, not an exit wound.

Of the five people in the autopsy room – three doctors, technician Paul O’Conner and James Jenkins, only Jenkins is still alive and he gave the riveting and detailed report on what he recalled happening there, as the autopsy became a subject of discussion, especially the disposition of the brain. Jenkins also said there was a small entrance wound to the right temple at the hairline just above the ear that was not recognized by the pathologists or noted on the autopsy report. Tom Robinson of Gawler’s Funeral Home, who arranged the body for the funeral and burial, also said that he patched up the small entrance wound to the temple, that was obstructed by hair.

It is interesting that Gawler's Funeral Home, a few blocks from the White House, provided the funeral arrangements for a number of Presidents besides JFK, including Abraham Lincoln. 

Robinson wondered why they didn’t shave the hair so the scalp wound could be clearly seen and the beveling of the bone could determine entrance and exit wounds. To that question Jenkins said that the Kennedy family requested a normal autopsy, one that would only determine the cause of death – gunshot to the head, and not a full forensic autopsy that would create evidence that could be entered in a court of law.

Then William Matson Law described his interviews with FBI Agents James Siebert and Frank O’Neill, who were present at the Bethesda autopsy and wrote in their report that the first thing the lead pathologist said was to note there was prior surgery to the head.

Probably the most fascinating part of the program was when four of the surviving Parkland doctors were reunited – Dr. Donald Curtis, Dr. Lawrence Klein, Dr. Peter Loeb and Dr. Robert McClelland. While Dr. McClelland had previously gave a live video presentation to the Wecht conference in Pittsburgh in 2013, he was present but at 93 years was unable to participate in the panel discussion. Each of the three doctors gave their versions of events and described what they remembered of that day.

And all of them were unanimous in the throat wound was an entrance wound, and there was a large baseball sized exit wound to the back of the head. Even the Parkland doctors who have passed away agreed with those two determinations, both evidence of conspiracy because neither of those shots could have originated from the rear or the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository.

After the Parkland doctors panel, Dr. McClelland was presented with CAPA’s first “Profiles in Courage Award” for speaking out against the government’s intimidation. Dr. McClelland arrived with his son, but was having a hard time walking, so instead of having him come to the stage, the inscribed glass award was brought to him and presented to him in his seat.

All of the Parkland doctors appeared happy to see each other again, probably for the last time.

The final session included a presentation by CAPA Legal Chair Larry Schnapf and former Justice Department attorney John Orr, “Dismantling the Single Bullet Theory – 3D Animation of the Zapruder Film.” 

This on-going project is creating a computerized 3-dimensional model of Dealey Plaza and the car, and has thus far cost them over $30,000, and conclusively demonstrates that the single bullet theory could not have occurred as the government contends.

Then Sidney Wilkerson and Thom Whitehead presented their enhanced copies of certain Z-film frames that clearly show a black blotch on the back of JFK’s head, apparently applied to conceal the baseball sized exit wound. But Bob Groden contests this and says the Z-film has not been tampered with.

While I said that this was my Last Hurrah! In Dallas, and that the action should shift to Washington D.C. where the evidence is in the Archives and Congress can hold Oversight Hearings on the JFK Act.

But I also noticed on the calendar that next year November 22, 2019 falls on a Friday, just like 1963, and CAPA is considering holding a three day, two night conference after a 12:30 pm Friday memorial service for JFK at the Grassy Knoll, continuing the tradition begun by Penn Jones and John Judge.

After I said this was to be my Last Hurrah in Dallas, Bill Simpich convinced me that there were still some living witnesses in Dallas who need to be properly interviewed and there’s still work to be done there, so I think we may have to go back again, at least one more time to wrap things up.


Unknown said...

About 32 years ago,my physician and I began talking about the JFK matter. He told me that a felloe doctor was doing an internship at Parklaned and was in the room.He stated the same thing about a wound between the eue and ear in the temple region.He also stated that there is a major artery that if severed would react like a high pressure hose beingcut in two.It seems we are seeing that in the impact site of 313. The explosions at the site of impact by a tangential strike entering the temple and coursing backwards through the skull.For what it's worth.

Sports Memories said...

Dr. Loeb did my colonoscopy in 2013. He was referred by my longtime primary care physician Dr. Paul Greenberg.

Dr. Greenberg was on-call at Parkland on Nov. 22 and went to get his watch at lunchtime which was being repaired.

When he returned all hell had broken loose and JFK was in the emergency room.

When I awoke from anesthesia in recovery, Dr. Loeb was by my side with my wife. I told my wife Dr. Loeb attended JFK and put my hand behind my head and said "Honey, this is where President Kennedy was shot!"

Dr. Loeb grabbed my hand and moved it up towards the top of my head.

True Story!