Malcolm O. Perry, Key Parkland Hospital Witness to JFK's Wounds, Dies
December 8th, 2009
Dr. Malcolm Perry's passing,
at the age of 80, was just announced in Texas newspapers.
Dr. Perry attempted to save President Kennedy's life on November 22, 1963 by
performing a tracheostomy and administering closed chest massage in Trauma Room
One at Parkland hospital.
The tracheostomy he performed was a small, transverse incision 2.5 to 3 cm wide,
which he made through a puncture in the President's throat---below the Adam's
apple and just to the right of the midline---a puncture which he characterized
as AN ENTRANCE WOUND three different times during the televised hospital press
conference that afternoon following JFK's death.
On the day President Kennedy was treated, all of the attending physicians who
saw the bullet wound in the throat characterized it as a typical entrance wound.
Their observations have always stood in stark opposition to the official U.S.
government cover story that President Kennedy was killed by an assassin firing
from above and behind, and that he was not shot from the front by anyone.
What most of the public does not know---and what is detailed in my book, "Inside
the Assassination Records Review Board," is that late on the night of President
Kennedy's autopsy at Bethesda Naval hospital, Federal officials located at
Bethesda began harrassing Dr. Perry on the telephone in an attempt to get him to
change his mind about having seen an entry wound in the President's throat
earlier in the day. Nurse Audrey Bell told me in 1997 that Dr. Perry complained
to her the next morning (on Saturday, November 23, 1963) that he had gotten
almost no sleep the night before, because unnamed persons at Bethesda had been
pressuring him on the telephone all night long to get him to change his opinion
about the nature of the bullet wound in the throat, and to redescribe it as an
exit, rather than an entrance.
In his 1981 book "Best Evidence," David Lifton documented that the Secret
Service confiscated videotapes of the Parkland hospital press conference from at
least one local television station, and that Secret Service Chief James Rowley
had informed the Warren Commission in 1964 that no videotapes or transcripts of
the press conference could be found. But as Lifton revealed, a White House
verbatim transcript of the press conference (White House Transcript 1327-C)
later surfaced. In my own book, "Inside the ARRB," I reveal that Chief Rowley
lied to the Warren Commission when he said no transcripts could be found, for on
the last page of transcript 1327-C, the document is stamped as received by
Rowley's office on November 26, 1963. His statement to the Warren Commission was
A graduate student, James Gochenaur, revealed to both the Church Committee and
to the HSCA in the mid-1970s that Secret Service Agent Elmer Moore had confessed
to him in 1970 that he had "leaned on Dr. Perry" shortly after the Bethesda
autopsy to get him to stop describing the bullet wound in President Kennedy's
throat as an entrance wound. (The Bethesda autopsy report concluded it was an
exit wound.) According to Gochenaur, Moore also told him that the Secret Service
had to investigate the assassination in an expected, predetermined way or they
would "get their heads chopped off." Moore, unfortunately, also told Gochenaur
that sometimes he thought President Kennedy was "a traitor" because he was
"giving things away to the Russians."
[According to Arlen Specter, this same Elmer Moore was present when Chief
Justice Warren, Gerald Ford, and he interviewed Jack Ruby in Dallas; and Arlen
Specter also revealed in 2003 (at a conference in Pittsburgh) that Elmer Moore
was the Secret Service Agent who showed him an undocumented photograph of
President Kennedy's back wound during the May 1964 re-enactment of the Dallas
motorcade conducted by the Warren Commission.]
Unfortunately, after Federal officials at Bethesda (on November 22-23, 1963) and
Elmer Moore (between November 29-December 11, 1963) "leaned on" Dr. Perry, he
spent the remainder of his life straddling the fence and saying that the bullet
wound in JFK's throat "could have been either" an entrance or an exit wound.
But that is not what he said on the afternoon of the assassination, before there
was an official explanation for the crime to fall in line with. White House
Transcript 1327-C makes that very clear, as I reveal in my book, in Chapters 7
Former Chief Operating Room nurse Audrey Bell related to me in 1997 that Dr.
Perry was in a state of torment on November 23, 1963, after being pressured by
Federal officials all night long to change his mind, because, as he put it, "my
professional credibility is at stake." Sadly, he appears to have decided for the
remainder of his life that discretion was the better part of valor.
The story does not end here. The chief prosector at the President's autopsy, Dr.
James J. Humes, described the throat wound in the autopsy report as having
"widely gaping, irregular edges," and in his Warren Commission testimony, Humes
said the gaping wound in the throat was 7 to 8 cm wide. In contrast, Dr. Charles
Crenshaw, a third year resident at Parkland in 1963, told ABC's "20/20" news
magazine in 1992 that after the tracheostomy tube and flange were removed from
the President's neck following his death, that the very small incision made by
Dr. Perry closed of its own volition, and that the bullet wound had NOT been
obliterated and was still clearly visible. When Dr. Crenshaw viewed the widely
published bootleg autopsy photo (from Bethesda Naval hospital) showing the
incision in JFK's neck, he expressed the opinion to ABC's "20/20" that the
incision in that photograph was DOUBLE the width of the incision Dr. Perry
originally made on the President's body.
The descriptions of the incision in the anterior neck, provided by Dr. Humes and
Dr. Crenshaw, together constitute de facto evidence that JFK's throat wound was
tampered with prior to the start of the Navy autopsy at Bethesda Naval hospital.
President Kennedy's body was in the custody of the U.S. Secret Service while
enroute Washington D.C. from Dallas, Texas. END