Monday, July 29, 2013

John F. Kennedy's Assassination Revisited

This coming November we will witness the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination. But after all these 50 years, the theories about what actually happened and who really was behind this killing of the most promising U.S. President of the 20th century still continue.

The Christian Science Monitor reports that this fall, "a TV network will take another look at the killing in a docudrama that suggests a Secret Service agent accidentally fired one of the bullets that felled Kennedy.....
"ReelzChannel's "JFK: The Smoking Gun" is based on the work of retired Australian police Detective Colin McLaren and the book "Mortal Error: The Shot that Killed JFK" by Bonar Menninger. McLaren spent four years combing through evidence from Kennedy's death on Nov. 22, 1963, in Dallas. He and Menninger also relied on ballistics evidence from an earlier book by Howard Donahue. The two-hour docudrama airs Nov. 3 in the U.S., Canada and Australia. It suggests that agent George Hickey fired (..accidentally...) one of the bullets that hit Kennedy. Hickey, who is now dead, was riding in the car behind Kennedy's limo that day."

It's quite astonishing that the theories, books and movies about John F. Kennedy's assassination keep coming, but it shows how

many people still doubt the official findings as reported in the Warren Report. In all this controversy, I'd like to highlight a book Trauma Room One: The JFK Medical Cover Up Exposed by Charles A. Crenshaw (one of the Dallas surgeons who worked on JFK in Trauma Room One) and Gary Shaw, with a foreword by Oliver Stone (for full disclosure I was the publisher of the revised edition in 2001; the original edition was published in 1992)

Dr. Crenshaw, a Texas native, was a medical doctor of great reputation, honored with inclusions in numerous medical and professional societies, Chairman Emeritus of the Department of Surgery of the John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, and had taught at many institutions including the UT Southwestern Medical School. Notwithstanding his solid reputation, the subject of President Kennedy's assassination invites controversy and accusations. Dr. Crenshaw was maligned by the press and the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA,) when his first book was published in 1992. Oliver Stone who had worked with Dr. Crenshaw for his movie JFK, says in his foreword to the revised edition:

"Dr. Crenshaw is a true eyewitness to the historical event that was the subject of my movie. Unlike many conspiracy theorists, he was actually in a position to know critical facts when he participated on the Parkland Hospital trauma teams that endeavored to save the lives of President Kennedy and his accused assassin. When Dr. Crenshaw's book was first published (...), he made a significant contribution to the historical record pertaining to the JFK assassination." 

Stone then continues admonishing  the press, and specifically JAMA for disparaging Dr. Crenshaw's original book and damaging his reputation. Dr. Crenshaw and Gary Shaw tried to get JAMA to retract and correct its criticism. When that failed,  they sued JAMA, and finally accepted in 1994 a monetary settlement from JAMA.

To get a flavor of the content of this book, here is a quote from the author's note to the revised edition in 2001. Please note that Dr. Crenshaw at the time of the publishing date of this revised edition was at the end of his career, and actually close to the end of his life. Someone with such a reputation would have no reasonable reason to say things which are controversial, let alone untrue. unless he knows they are true, wouldn't he? Anyway read the following quote:

"...My observations contradicted the "official" version of the assassination, as reported in the Warren Report. I stated that President Kennedy was shot at least once, and I believe twice, from the front, and Oswald could not have been a "lone gunman."............I have no idea who shot President Kennedy or why. What I do know is that somehow and for some reason, there was a medical cover-up. The official autopsy photos do not depict the same wound I saw in Trauma Room One at Parkland. The wounds I saw were wounds of entrance, and thus could not have come from the rifle of Lee Harvey Oswald." 

Now with the upcoming docudrama of "JFK: The Smoking Gun", Dr. Crenshaw's observations, namely that shots came from the front may receive even more credence. Will there be one day, when we can close this case, and just acknowledge who the culprits are?

                                         Interview with Dr. Crenshaw on ABC's 20/20 in 1992

                                                                President Johnson's call

(Kindle edition)

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