TESTIMONY OF DR. ADOLPH HARTUNG GIESECKE
The testimony of Dr. Adolph Hartung Giesecke, Jr., was taken at 1:40
p.m., on March 25, 1964, at Parkland Memorial Hospital, Dallas, Tex., by Mr. Arlen Specter, assistant counsel of the President's Commission.
Mr. SPECTER. May the record show that Dr. A. H. Giesecke, Jr., is present in response to a letter request from the Commission to appear at this deposition proceeding in connection with the President's Commission to Investigate the Assassination of President Kennedy, including his medical treatment at Parkland Hospital.
Dr. Giesecke has been asked to appear to testify about his knowledge of the treatment that President Kennedy and Governor Connally received at Parkland Hospital on November 22, and with that preliminary statement of purpose and objective, would you please stand up, Dr. Giesecke, and raise your right hand?
Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you give before this President's Commission in these deposition proceedings will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Dr. GIESECKE - Yes; I do.
Mr. SPECTER - Will you state your full name, please, for the record ?
Dr. GIESECKE - Adolph Hartung Giesecke, Jr. H-a-r-t-u-n-g (spelling).
Mr. SPECTER - What is your profession?
Dr. GIESECKE - I am a physician and anesthesiologist.
Dr. GIESECKE - Perhaps--perhaps--I'm shaky on that.
Dr. GIESECKE - That may well be.
Mr. SPECTER - The reason I asked you about that specifically is because Dr. Carrico testified this morning that he and Dr. Dulany were on duty and Dr. Dulany went immediately with Governor Connally and Dr. Carrico went to President Kennedy.
Dr. GIESECKE - That may well be.
Mr. SPECTER - What was the condition of the President when you arrived?
Dr. GIESECKE - There was a great deal of blood loss which was apparent when he came in the room--the cart was covered with blood and there was a great deal of blood on the floor. There was--I could see no spontaneous motion on the part of the President. In other words, he made no movement during the time that I was in the room. As I moved around towards the head of the emergency cart with the anesthesia machine and the resuscitative equipment and helped Dr. Jenkins to hook the anesthesia machine up to the President to give him oxygen, I noticed that he had a very large cranial wound, with loss of brain substance, and it seemed that most of the bleeding was coming from the cranial wound.
Mr. SPECTER - What did you observe specifically as to the nature of the cranial wound ?
Dr. GIESECKE - It seemed that from the vertex to the left ear, and from the browline to the occiput on the left-hand side of the head the cranium was entirely missing.
Mr. SPECTER - Was that the left-hand side of the head, or the right-hand side of the head ?
Dr. GIESECKE - I would say the left, but this is just my memory of it.
Mr. SPECTER - That's your recollection ?
Dr. GIESECKE - Right, like I say, I was there a very short time really.
Mr. SPECTER - Did you observe any other wound or bullet hole below the large area of missing skull ?
Dr. GIESECKE - No; when I arrived the tracheotomy was in progress at that time and so I observed no other wound except the one on the cranium.
Mr. SPECTER - On the cranium itself, did you observe another bullet hole below the portion of missing skull ?
Dr. GIESECKE - No, sir; this was found later by Dr. Clark--I didn't see this.
Mr. SPECTER - What makes you say that that hole was found later by Dr. Clark?
Dr. GIESECKE - Well, this is hearsay--I wasn't there when they found it and I didn't notice it.
Mr. SPECTER - Well, Dr. Clark didn't observe that hole.
Dr. GIESECKE - Oh, he didn't--I'm sorry.
Mr. SPECTER - From whom did you hear that the hole had been observed, if you recollect?
Dr. GIESECKE- Oh--I must be confused. We talked to so many people about these things--I don't remember.
Mr. SPECTER - Now, with respect to the condition of the President's neck, what was its status at the time you first observed it?
Dr. GIESECKE - Well, like I say, they were performing the tracheotomy, and I personally saw no wound in the neck other than the tracheotomy wound. As soon as the tracheotomy was completed, we removed the endotracheal tube and hooked the anesthesia machine to the tracheotomy tube and efforts were made then to put in a chest tube, an anterior chest tube.
Mr. SPECTER - How long were you with President Kennedy altogether ?
Dr. GIESECKE - Approximately 5 minutes.
Mr. SPECTER - Have you now described everything which was done during the time you were there?
Dr. GIESECKE.. No--after having assisted Dr. Jenkins in establishing a ventilation, I then hooked up a cardiotachioscope or an electronic electrocardiographic monitor to the President by putting needles in the skin and plugging the thing in the wall, plugging the monitor in the wall. Before the machine had sufficient time to warm up to see if there were any electrical activity, then I was called out of the room.
Mr. SPECTER - And did you have any occasion to return to the room where the President was ?
Dr. GIESECKE - No.
Mr. SPECTER - And where were you called to?
Dr. GIESECKE - I was called across the hall where Governor Connally was being moved out of the emergency treatment room and toward the operating room.
Mr. SPECTER - And what action did you take at that time, if any ?
Dr. GIESECKE - I had my equipment with me I had taken my equipment with me from the room where the President was, having ascertained that Dr. Jenkins didn't need anything that I had, and so I proceeded to the elevator. We moved the equipment and the Governor--the Governor went on the first elevator and I caught the second one.
Mr. SPECTER - And where did you go on the second elevator?
Dr. GIESECKE - To the second floor where the operating suite is, moved off of the elevator and down to operating room 5, which was being set up for the Governor. The Governor had arrived and I obtained from the anesthesia orderly an anesthesia machine, checked it for safe operation, and discussed the Governor's condition a little bit with him, and determined that he was conscious and that he could respond to questions and that he hadn't eaten in the previous several hours, and proceeded to induce an anesthesia.
Mr. SPECTER - Now, are all the details of your activity in connection with Governor Connally's operation contained in the report marked "Dr. Giesecke's Exhibit No. 1" ?
Dr. GIESECKE - Yes.
Mr. SPECTER - Now, you mentioned a few minutes ago that you talked about this matter with a number of people whom have you talked to, Dr. Giesecke?
Dr. GIESECKE - Well, of course, we discussed it with Dr. Jenkins and various members of the anesthesia staff. We have discussed it with--I've forgotten that gentleman's name, but he was from the American Medical Association, as a historian. We discussed it with Dr. Mike Bush, who then reported it in the Anesthesiology Newsletter, which is a publication of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, and then discussed it with the Secretary of may I retract that. That's about it--that's the extent of the discussion, except with other members of the surgical staff and the anesthesia staff and these people.
Mr. SPECTER - Have you ever discussed this matter with any representative of the Federal Government prior to today?
Dr. GIESECKE - Yes; there was a well documented Secret Service man here who said he was from the Warren Commission about a month ago, I imagine.
Mr. SPECTER - What do you mean by "well documented" ?
Dr. GIESECKE - Well, I mean he had a badge and a card and he seemed to be legitimate.
Mr. SPECTER - And what did you tell him, if anything?
Dr. GIESECKE - He was asking rather specifically if we had made other notes than the reports that we had already submitted, so in essence it was just a matter of telling him, "No, I didn't have any other information written down except what I had already given."
Mr. SPECTER - And what had you already given--that letter report ?
Dr. GIESECKE - Yes, sir.
Mr. SPECTER - That is marked "Giesecke Exhibit No. 1" ?
Dr. GIESECKE - Yes.
Mr. SPECTER - Has any other representative talked to you from the Federal Government about this matter ?
Dr. GIESECKE - No.
Mr. SPECTER - This afternoon prior to the time we went on the record, did I ask you a few questions and discuss the nature of this deposition proceeding, and did you give me information just as you have on the record here after the court reporter started to take everything down ?
Dr. GIESECKE - Yes; that's correct- She was out of the room for a few minutes before we started.
Mr. SPECTER - Do you have anything to add which you think might be helpful to the Warren Commission in its investigation?
Dr. GIESECKE - No, I think that pretty well covers what I did.
Mr. SPECTER - May I thank you very much, Dr. Giesecke? That's fine.
Dr. GIESECKE - Thank you