The crew of “Parkland,” Tom Hanks’ forthcoming JFK film, recently met with a campus priest at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, as part of their effort to capture the reality of JFK’s death.
According to reliable Hollywood news reports, Hanks’ movie is based on the theory that President Kennedy was killed by a lone gunman. With the public widely skeptical of that conclusion, the producers evidently believe that the story of a priest who viewed JFK’s body shortly after his death will enhance the movie’s credibility.
Will it? The St. Edward’s University student news site reported:
“Rev. Louis Brusatti was contacted by the makers of the film because of his connections to Rev. Oscar Huber, the late pastor who anointed Kennedy’s body shortly after his assassination in 1963.”
But if the “Parkland” producers want historic verisimilitude about the condition of JFK’s body after his death, they should get also talk to people who know the story of Dr. George Burkley, JFK’s personal physician.
Unlike Rev. Huber and Rev. Brusatti, Dr. Burkley was acquainted with President Kennedy when he was still alive. Burkley also attended JFK’s autopsy on the night of November 22, 1963. Yet, oddly enough, he was never interviewed by the Warren Commission.
Why would U.S. government investigators not interview such a knowledgable witness? Probably because Burkley was unwilling to publicly endorse the Commission’s lone gunman theory.
Burkley’s story cast doubt on the whole premise of Parkland, the movie. Zac Efron plays one of the doctors at Parkland Hospital where JFK was declared dead. But who will play the role of JFK’s doctor in the film?
No word on that yet.
For more on the curious story of Dr. Burkley, see Rex Bradford’s excellent essay, “The MIssing Physician” at Mary Ferrell.org.
For more on “Parkland” the movie, watch this YouTube video about Zac Efron’s role.