JFK doctor explains: ‘It was not just a single shooter’

Dr. Robert McClelland speaks in McKinney, Texas in January. 2012 (Photo credit: Chris Beattie

Dr. Robert McClelland, one of the senior doctors who attended President Kennedy as he fought for his life on November 22, 1963, spoke to the Rotary Club in McKinney, Texas, in January 2012.

From reporter Chris Beattie’s riveting account, “Surgeon recounts JFK operation,” in the McKinney Courier Gazette:

“His story dropped jaws and drew curious silence.”

“He reignited the wonder of any listeners who’d pushed the conspiracy theories away, out of mind. That’s what McClelland said he tried to do, but the mysterious pieces always found him.”

McCelland observed JFK’s head wound, close up for about 10 minutes before Kennedy was pronounced dead.

“My supposition, and that of a lot of people, is that the first shot probably was fired from the sixth floor of the [Texas School Book Depository] … whether by Oswald or someone else, I don’t know,” McClelland told Rotarians. “The next shot apparently came from behind the picket fence by the grassy knoll — all kinds of things indicate that is indeed what happened.”

From “Surgeon recounts JFK operation

See also:

“21 cops who heard a grassy knoll shot.” (JFK Facts, September 24, 2013)

“What did JFK’s doctors think of his wounds?” (JFK Facts, April 23, 2103)

From Washington Decoded:  “New LIght on a Lingering Forensic Controversy.”



32 thoughts on “JFK doctor explains: ‘It was not just a single shooter’”

  1. I was glad to see the story reference witness Ed Hoffman’s account(told by Ed’s daughter, as Ed was a deaf mute). Hoffman saw the conspiracy in action-he just couldn’t communicate what he saw. Such a shame.

  2. Video posted on WFAA TV Dallas a few days ago:
    “As we looked at the president, I never saw any evidence of life,” said Dr. Ron Jones, chief resident of surgery at the time. “I didn’t see him breathe, his eyes were open and fixed. But not knowing the extent of his injury, we went ahead and tried to resuscitate him.”
    Jones says the room was so crowded he couldn’t even grab a pair of sterile gloves. He worked on the president with his bare hands.
    “We knew there was a large hole injury to the back of his head, but we didn’t stop to look at that,” he said. “We were trying to get an airway established and an IV going and get blood.”

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  4. From all the doctors who either saw JFK in dallas, later that night or from the HSCA there is only 1 doctor saying that a shot came from the front.

    1. Mark, That’s not true. Dr. Charles Crenshaw also said he saw evidence of shots from the front in JFK’s temple and neck wounds. He died in 2002 so isn’t able to speak out any longer. Most of the doctors have passed on, but on November 22, 1963 they mostly said (including Dr. Perry) that Kennedy had entrance wounds in his temple and neck. Perry and the others changed their statements to gunshot evidence only from behind, after the Secret Service and Warren Commission “persuaded” them to do so. The others, like Crenshaw, clammed up, not speaking about what they saw for over 25 years.

      1. One of the biggest obstacles in obtaining the truth is the radically different stories the Parkland Doctors & Medical Personnel have told in relation to this case. Do you believe the Dr. Ronald Jones who recently said he believes the Warren Commission? Or, the Jones who said he believed in a frontal shot to JFK’s head at a JFK Lancer Conf. a few years ago? How about Dr. Burkley who told Author David Lifton in 1966″ it’s all in the Warren Report young man”. Then, he says in a letter through his Atty. to the HSCA “others besides Oswald must have participated”. Dr. Perry said 3 times 11-22-63 the throat wound appeared to be an entrance, and for the Warren Commission, he says it could have been either entrance or exit. No wonder people are confused and can cite either for their position. Of course, there’s many more example of this occurring.

          1. And this is precisely why the President’s body was moved quickly from Dallas to a secret Bethesda autopsy location, because at Bethesda any earlier first-hand medical reports of bullet entry points to the neck and head from the front could be erased and changed to gunshot wounds all inflicted from shots fired behind the car. The autopsy had the final say, helping to seal the deal for the plotters who shot at Kennedy from both the front and back in a conspiracy. Convenient, wasn’t it?

          2. The Autopsy has the final say. True, but if bullets and or fragments were not placed into evidence, and Autopsy Photos with probes, and wounds which are described differently by witnesses were never examined by the Warren Commission or HSCA, then their conclusions are not written in stone.

          3. S.R. "Dusty" Rohde

            And precisely why someone might deliberately sabotage a complete and accurate autopsy.

  5. Dr. McClelland entered the room with Dr. Crenshaw who Photon says was not there before the Tracheostomy. This is what Dr. Crenshaw said in his book Trauma room one. “standing at about the president’s waist…Blood seeping from the wound in his head onto the gurney, dripping into the kick bucket on the floor below. Then I noticed a small opening in the midline of his throat…about the size of the tip of my little finger. It was a bullett entry wound. there was no doubt in my mind about that wound as I had seen dozens of them in the emergency room.”….
    “When we saw blod frothing around the Presidents neck wound it became clear that the endotracheal tube had failed to increase the air volume in his lungs. Dr. Perry decided to perform a tracheostomy on the President’s throat, where the bullet had entered his neck, between thw second and third tracheal cartlidges.”

    1. McClelland has very clearly stated that this interpretation is impossible, as Crenshaw accompanied McClelland to the ER and they arrived after Perry had already made the incision.
      Obviously somebody other than Crenshaw wrote this passage. No physician would ever refer to the “tracheal cartlidges “

      1. Two things might be helpful here. One: know the difference between endotracheal tube down the throat and a tracheostomy. Two: Google “tracheal cartlidges,” a medical term that is used over and over.

        1. S.R. "Dusty" Rohde

          You are absolutely right Gary, the endotracheal tube (also at time referred to as an “S” tube) is inserted manually into the mouth/throat. No surgery required).
          This is the procedure that was performed prior to the arrival of Dr. Crenshaw into the ER.
          The “Surgical Tracheostomy” was performed well after Dr. Crenshaw was in the ER and as he was doing the surgical insertion of the Saline tube to the Presidents right leg.

  6. I find Dr Robert Mclelland a very credible witness.

    He had observed in excess of 200 gunshot wounds ( wc testimony) and was in the operating room with the president.
    Anything he says concerning the presidents wounds should be taken seriously.

    Interesting to hear him refer to Dr Perry and the fact that he initially described the neck wound as a wound of entry.
    As I recall, the transcript of the Parkland press conference , where Dr Perry states this, has already been posted on this site previously.

    1. Dr. Perry was persuaded to change his mind about the bullet entry points on JFK’s head after he was visited by the Secret Service, and after pressure was exerted on him by the Warren Commission, which was famous for taking everything that was a inconsistent or inconvenient to their single bullet story and of Oswald acting alone, and forcing it to make it fit so they could shut the case down quickly by September of 1964, and avoid opening up any “cans of worms” that could potentially spell trouble for their case.

  7. Dr. McLelland’s remarks are consistent with what the Dallas doctors told the Warren Commission about the head wound, that it was on the rear right side. A wound exiting out the back of JFK;s head. The was said by Tom Robinson, the mortician, Aubrey Rike, and countless others. Clint Hill in his new book the Kennedy detail, says the wound was in the right rear of JFK’s head. Even though he supports the WC conclusions, his remarks on the head wound supports a grassy knoll gunman.
    At the press conference at Parkland Hospital, Malcom Kilduff pointed to his right temple saying Dr. Burkley said it was a simple gunshot to the head. Seems Dr. Burkley didn’t believe the WC Report. When the JFK library interviewed him in 1967, he did not want to be quoted when asked about the number of bullets which hit JFK in the head.

    1. “We worked on him for only 8 to 10 minutes…” before declaring him dead.
      During that time McClelland has admitted not touching the head and having no idea that JFK had a back wound only centimeters below his external occipital protuberance- a wound that would have been clearly visible if he actually saw the occipital wound on JFK’s head that he claimed to have seen.

      1. Centimeters below? Yeah, maybe 10 or more cm. It’s totally plausible that this wound would not have been seen in the first frantic minutes in which they were concentrating on his airway while he was on his back.

        You also don’t have to touch the head to observe a massive blow out wound.

      2. As usual, Photon doesn’t have a clue as to what McClelland saw or didn’t see. On Tuesday night, the good doctor once again reiterated what he had witnessed… including his seeing cerebellar tissue drop out of the large hole in the back of JFK’s head and on to the operating table.

    2. Hill’s support of the WC conclusions(and you’re right he did support them)makes no sense when he indicates the possibility of a grassy knoll shooter by writing what he observed on JFK’s head.

  8. I wonder what Dr. McClelland & his peers thought of the 29 Nov 1963 issue of Life magazine in which the editors stated President Kennedy was looking back at the sniper’s window when he was shot in the throat. That was the issue some Zapruder film frames first appeared.

    That issue created quite a stir in my 5th grade class. None of us young students could see JFK looking back at the TSBD in our teacher’s copy of Life & she told us something smelled fishy about the entire affair, the 3 Dallas homicides & the immediate explanations after.

    1. This is exactly the experience I had as a 6th grader at the time. We were out playing and the conversation turned to the wound in the throat and Life’s version that JFK turned around and faced the TSBD. For that lie alone, Life should be castigated along with all of the WC supporters

    2. Let’s say JFK WAS looking back at the TSBD window when he was shot in the throat. Did Oswald fire that shot, or did it come from someone else? (Mac Wallace, perhaps).

  9. Of course some of the real facts that are still suppressed to this day could confirm or deny the good doctor’s opinion. That is why the yet to be released Roger Stone book “the Man Who Killed Kennedy – The Case Against LBJ” is so eagerly anticipated. Stone know facts from his experience as an aide in the Nixon White House and that was a very notable place from which to observe history and the consequences thereof. All of the early reviews say Stone has really tied it all together here.

  10. Dr. McLelland gave a similar speech last fall at Tarleton State University South West of the D/FW metroplex. Interest was high as it was well attended. They had to move it from a lecture hall with about 100 seats to one with over 200 with people sitting in the asiles, leaning against walls, and 3 or 4 rows sitting crossleged on the floor at the front. After his presentation I asked the first question. “Sir, Dr. Perry stated three times in interviews the afternoon of the 22nd that the throat wound was an entry wound. Do you think someone persuaded him to change his story later from his first impression”. When he said “yes” there was a audible gasp from the crowd as a whole.

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