Last month James Jenkins, a man who witnessed the autopsy of President John F. Kennedy 50 years ago, spoke with JFK researchers in Dallas.
One of them was Doug Horne, who served as chief analyst for military records for the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) in the 1990s. Horne thinks Jenkin’s story is important and I agree.
Jenkins’s story certainly can’t be dismissed as more speculation from a conspiracy theorist. In fact, Jenkins’s account is eyewitness testimony that must be acknowledged by any serious student of the JFK story.
What follows are excerpts from Horne’s report:
“On Thursday, November 21, 2013. I noticed a tall, reserved, dignified and almost shy man standing in the lobby of the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas, where the JFK Lancer conference was being held to commemorate the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination. He was well over six feet tall, wore glasses, had white hair, and sported a well-trimmed short white beard; was impeccably groomed, and had an air of quiet and seriousness that made me hesitant to approach him. I immediately knew it was James Curtis Jenkins, one of the two Navy corpsmen who served as “autopsy technicians” and assisted the Navy pathologists, Drs. Humes and Boswell, at President Kennedy’s autopsy at Bethesda Naval Hospital on the evening of November 22, 1963.”
Horne notes that Jenkins’s comments were sober and detailed.
He spoke about the condition of JFK’s brain:
“Jenkins stated that the standard incisions in the cranium required to remove the brain — a ‘skull cap’ (his term for a craniotomy) — were not done, because they were not necessary. He thought this might be explained by prior incisions, meaning that some surgery had been done prior to the autopsy [emphasis added by Horne]. He recalled that the damage to the top of the cranium was much more extensive than the damage to the brain itself, which he found unusual. Jenkins recalled Dr. Boswell asking if there had been surgery at Parkland Hospital. He recalled Dr. Humes saying: ‘The brain fell out in my hands,” as he removed the brain from the body.’”
Jenkins spoke about the nature of Kennedy’s head wound:
“Jenkins recalled the large posterior hole in JFK’s head, but also recalled a small (approximately 5 mm in diameter) hole in the right temporal bone, just forward of and just above the right ear. He saw this quite early in the autopsy, and recalls that Dr. Finck saw this and commented on it. The circumference was gray, which suggested to Jenkins the passage of a bullet. He said that even Dr. Finck speculated that a bullet might have caused this hole.”
“However, none of the pathologists ever returned to this site, nor did they discuss it any further. When questioned, he said he did not recall seeing evidence of a bullet’s entry high in the forehead, above the right eye, but did state that these two sites were completely different, i.e., separated by enough distance to be distinguishable. He had no recollection of the bullet entrance wound low in the posterior skull described by all three pathologists in the autopsy report, and in their testimony over the years.”
Read Horne’s complete report on his Inside the ARRB blog.
I wonder what anti-conspiracy theorists make of Jenkins’s account.