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News Archive - December 2009

Dr. Malcolm Perry Dies at 80

December 20: Dr. Malcolm Perry, who treated JFK at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, died on December 5 at the age of 80. See the obituary in the Dallas Morning News. Perry performed a tracheostomy and inserted a breathing tube as part of the emergency treatment, and in a press conference that afternoon said that JFK had "an entrance wound in the neck," which if true would mean Oswald could not have fired that shot.

In his testimony before Warren Commission counsel, where it was clear that his initial view was most unwelcome, Perry hedged a bit, saying "it could have been either" (entrance or exit). In a New York Times obituary Perry is quoted as telling Warren Commissioners "I believe it was an exit wound." The full quote shows that this was preceded by a extremely lengthy and tortuously worded leading questions by Commission Counsel Arlen Specter, and Perry only used this characterization "with the facts you have made available and with these assumptions."

According to Nurse Audrey Bell in a later interview with the Assassination Records Review Board, Perry had received pressure starting the very evening of the assassination, telling her that he got calls from Bethesda about “whether that was an entrance wound or an exit wound in the throat—they were wanting me to change my mind.”

For more information on Perry and the controversy over whether JFK's neck wound was one of entrance or exit, see these resources:

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