JFK’s Final Hours: Unheard Stories From the Dallas Hospital E.R. Team

Those who were alive then would be at least in their 60s now. To them, it remains their generation’s defining where-were-you-when-you-heard-the-news moment.

As the 60th anniversary of U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas – Nov. 22, 1963 – fast approaches, Jacquelynn Lueth is offering a new perspective, if that is humanely possible after all the reports, testimonies and debunked and still flourishing conspiracy theories, on what happened the day Kennedy was shot, the wounds he endured and the efforts to save his life at Parkland Memorial Hospital.

Lueth is executive producer of the new documentary JFK: What the Doctors Saw, which is available for streaming on Paramount.

Dallas Medical Team Shares Their Experience

Portions of interviews with some of the doctors who treated Kennedy are aired. Lueth said she had reached out to Dr. Malcom Perry, the attending surgeon in charge at Parkland hospital that day, and Dr. Kemp Clark, the chief of neurosurgery, but due to health issues neither was able to participate in her program.

Perry’s actions that late November day, forever etched in the minds of many of today’s senior citizens, had been previously chronicled by Jimmy Breslin in one of the most widely read and distributed newspaper columns of the time.

“Malcolm Perry’s long fingers ran over the chest under him and he tried to get a heartbeat, and even the suggestion of breathing, and there was nothing. There was only the still body, pale white in the light, and it kept bleeding, and now Malcolm Perry started to call for things and move his hands quickly because it was all running out,” Breslin wrote in the New York Herald Tribune on Nov. 24, 1963.

Lueth’s interviews, of course, offer the perspective of time and the knowledge gained in the six decades since JFK was a shot. But they also hint that there is too much yet to know.

She points out in an opinion article posted on the CBS News website that the doctors’ “recollections were precise and clear, as if the intervening decades had melted away. … They didn't agree on everything, but it became obvious that the way the president looked at Parkland did not match the autopsy photos taken at Bethesda even before the official autopsy began.”

Lueth, along with her husband, has spent more than 15 years researching the Kennedy assassination.

“The doctors at Parkland had extensive experience in treating gunshot wounds and had no agenda other than trying to save the president's life. Those who saw the wound in the President's neck believed it was an entrance wound. Several of them saw a gaping hole in the back of JFK's head,” she writes, tackling the much-criticized single-bullet theory about the president’s shooting.

The Warren Commission, which was in charge of investigating Kennedy’s assassination, had found “persuasive evidence from the experts” that a single bullet had struck Kennedy in the back, caused a throat wound and then injuries to Texas Governor John Connally Jr., who was seated on a jumper seat in the car in front of and slightly to the left of the President.

Producer Says Public Was Not Told the Truth

The commission concluded in an 888-page final report issued on September 24, 1964, that Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald, acting entirely on his own.

“The government did everything it could do to negate, intimidate, and threaten the Parkland doctors because their observations contradicted the single ‘magic bullet'  theory of the Warren Commission,” Lueth writes. “Based on this, I concluded that there had been a cover-up and the public had not been told the truth.”