Parkland Doctors Confront the Autopsy Evidence

Conspiracy books insist that the back of Kennedy's head was blown out, indicating a shot from the Grassy Knoll. They quote several of the doctors who treated Kennedy at Parkland Hospital to this effect. But the official photos and x-rays from the Bethesda autopsy don't show the back of the head blown out. They show the top of the head, on the right side and toward the back, blown out.

So do the conspiracy books see this as evidence of the unreliability of eyewitness testimony? Of course not! They see it as evidence that the photos and x-rays now in evidence were forged and faked.

Indeed, conspiracy writers have noted that the House Select Committee on Assassinations did not show the autopsy materials to the Parkland doctors, and claimed that the physicians would have denounced them as faked. You can see Robert Groden, conspiracy "photo expert," saying this in the video The Men Who Killed Kennedy.

In 1988, Public Broadcasting's NOVA got permission to show the Parkland doctors the original autopsy photos and x-rays in the National Archives. They were allowed as much time as they wished to view the materials, and then their reactions were filmed.

Richard Dulaney
"I don't see evidence of any alteration of his wound in these pictures from what I saw in the emergency room."
Marion Jenkins
"Nothing that I've seen would make me think it had been changed from what happened that day."
Robert McClelland
"I find no discrepancy between the wounds as they're shown very vividly in these photographs and what I remember very vividly . . . "
Paul Peters
"Looking at these photos, they're pretty much as I remember President Kennedy at the time." Peters then mentions one minor discrepancy -- a small incision that he believes the autopsy doctors made while removing the brain.

Some conspiracy authors, and most especially Harrison Livingstone, have shown autopsy materials to Parkland and Bethesda witnesses, and reported that they denounced the materials shown them as fakes. Unfortunately, Livingstone's claims are suspect in two ways.

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