Testimony Of Dr. Malcolm Oliver Perry

The testimony of Dr. Malcolm Oliver Perry was taken at 3:25 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. Malcolm O. Perry is present in response to a letter request that he appear here to have his deposition taken in connection with the proceedings of the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, which is now inquiring into all facets of the shooting, including the medical attention received by President Kennedy at Parkland Hospital, in which Dr. Perry participated.
With that preliminary statement of purpose, would you please stand up, Dr. Perry, and raise your right hand?
Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you give before the President's Commission in these deposition proceedings will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Dr. PERRY - I do.
Mr. SPECTER - All right. Would you state your full name for the record, please?
Dr. PERRY - Malcolm Oliver Perry.
Mr. SPECTER - What is your profession, sir?
Dr. PERRY - Physician and surgeon.
Mr. SPECTER - And how old are you?
Dr. PERRY - Thirty-four.
Mr. SPECTER - Are you duly licensed to practice medicine in the State of Texas?
Dr. PERRY - Yes.
Mr. SPECTER - Would you outline briefly your educational background, please?
Dr. PERRY - Starting with high school?
Mr. SPECTER - That will be fine.
Dr. PERRY - I attended high school at Allen High School and at Plano High School, graduating from the latter in 1947. I entered the University of Texas from whence I duly graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1951. I went to Southwestern Medical School of the University of Texas for the subsequent 4 years, graduating in 1955 with a degree of Doctor of Medicine. I interned at Letterman's Army Hospital in San Francisco, and returned to a residency in surgery at Parkland Hospital in July 1958. I finished that residency in June 1962, and then returned to San Francisco and spent 1 year as additional specialization in vascular surgery. I then returned in September 1963, to Southwestern Medical School of the University of Texas as an assistant professor of surgery.
Mr. SPECTER - What were your duties on November 22, 1963?
Dr. PERRY - Well, as is accustomed, I was at that time on two services, both a general surgery service and a vascular surgery service as a consultant and attending surgeon.
Mr. SPECTER - And, what were you doing specifically shortly after noontime on November 22?
Dr. PERRY - Well, at the time of the incident in question, I was having lunch in the main dining room with the chief resident, Dr. Ronald Jones, in preparation for the usual Friday rounds at 1 o'clock with the residents.
Mr. SPECTER - And what occurred during the course of that luncheon?
Dr. PERRY - Dr. Jones, as I say, and I were having lunch when an emergency call came over the speaker system for Dr. Tom Shires, who is the chief of surgery. I knew that Dr. Shires was in Galveston giving a paper and was not in the hospital, so Dr. Jones picked up the page to see if he or I could be of assistance. We were informed by the hospital operator that Mr. Kennedy had been shot and was being brought to Parkland Hospital for care.
Mr. SPECTER - And what action did you take as a result of learning those factors?
Dr. PERRY - The dining room was located one floor up from the emergency room, so Dr. Jones and I went immediately to the emergency room to render what assistance we could.
At the time of our arrival in the emergency room, the President was already there, and as I entered trauma room No. 1, Dr. James Carrico, the surgical resident on duty, had just placed an endotracheal tube to assist respiration.
Mr. SPECTER - Who was present in addition to Dr. Carrico, if you recall, at that time?
Dr. PERRY - I cannot with accuracy relate all the people that were there---- Dr. Carrico, I saw and spoke to briefly. There were several other people in the room. There were several nurses there---I don't know at this time who they were. Mrs. Kennedy was in the room and there was a gentleman with her and there were several other gentlemen beth in the door and right outside the door to the room. Some of them, I assume, part of the legal force.
Mr. SPECTER - Did you observe any other doctors in the room at that time?
Dr. PERRY - No, sir; I did not. There was somebody else in the room, but I don't know who it was. I remember only Dr. Carrico---I had the impression that one of the interns was in the room, but this may be an impression gathered after the fact.
Mr. SPECTER - What did. you observe as to the President's condition at the time you first saw him?
Dr. PERRY - He was lying supine on the emergency cart directly in the center of the room under the overhead lamp. His shirt had been removed, and intravenous infusion was being begun in the right leg, I believe. Dr. Carrico was at the head of the table attaching the oxygen apparatus to assist in respiration.
I noted there was a large wound of the right posterior parietal area in the head exposing lacerated brain. There was blood and brain tissue on the cart. The President's eyes were deviated and dilated and he was unresponsive. There was a small wound in the lower anterior third in the midline of the neck, from which blood was exuding very slowly.
Mr. SPECTER - Will you describe that wound as precisely as you can, please?
Dr. PERRY - The wound was roughly spherical to oval in shape, not a punched-out wound, actually, nor was it particularly ragged. It was rather clean cut, but the blood obscured any detail about the edges of the wound exactly.
Mr. SPECTER - What was the condition of the edges of the wound, if you can recollect?
Dr. PERRY - I couldn't state with certainty, due to the fact that they were covered by blood. and I did not make a minute examination. I determined only the fact that there was a wound there, roughly 5 mm. in size or so.
Mr. SPECTER - Have you now described it as precisely as you can; that wound?
Dr. PERRY - I think so.
Mr. SPECTER - What else, if anything, did you observe as to the condition of the President?
Dr. PERRY - Spasmodic respiratory efforts were obvious, but I did not detect a pulse nor a heart beat on a very rapid examination. It was apparent that respirations were ineffective, even with the use of the endotracheal tube and oxygen. At that point I asked Dr. Carrico if this was a wound in his neck or had he begun the tracheotomy, and he said it was a wound and I, at that point, asked someone to get me a tracheotomy tray, and put on some gloves and. initiated the procedure.
Mr. SPECTER - Now, have you described everything that you can recollect about your observations of the President before you started to work on him?
Dr. PERRY - There Was no evidence to that cursory examination of any other wound. I did not move the President. I did not turn him over.
Mr. SPECTER - Why did you not turn him over?
Dr. PERRY - At that point it was necessary to attend to the emergent procedure and a satisfactory effective airway is uppermost in such a condition. If you are unable to obtain an effective airway, then the other procedures are to be of no avail.
Mr. SPECTER - Well, on the subject of turning him over, did you ever turn him over?
Dr. PERRY - I did not.
Mr. SPECTER - Why didn't you turn him over after you had taken the initial action on him?
Dr. PERRY - After the tracheotomy tube was in place and we were breathing for him, Dr. Clark and I had begun external cardiac massage, since we had been unable to detect a heart beat, blood pressure, or pulse. I continued with the cardiac massage while Dr. Clark examined the head wound, and he and Dr. Jenkins conferred in regard to the electrocardiogram. It was determined, that none of the resuscitative measures were effective and the procedures were then abandoned.
I had no further business in the room at that point, and I left the room momentarily. I returned within a minute or so, because I had left my coat where I dropped it and asked one of the nurses to hand me my coat, and I left the room and went to the operating suite from there.
Mr. SPECTER - And did that conclude your participation in the treatment of President Kennedy?
Dr. PERRY - It did.
Mr. SPECTER - What is your best estimate as to the time you arrived in the Emergency Room?
Dr. PERRY - I really don't know the time. It was about 12:30 or so when I was eating and the call must have come thereabouts, and I didn't look at my watch at that time, nor did I have an opportunity to look at it again until after I had left the room.
Mr. SPECTER - What is your best estimate as to the time which elapsed from the point that you knew it was 12:30, until the time you arrived at the emergency room?
Dr. PERRY - It must have been within the next few minutes. I really don't know. As I say, we were sitting there eating and I had no occasion to look at my watch again. At that time I was much too busy to consult it further
Mr. SPECTER - What is your best estimate as to the time you left the emergency room after finishing your treatment and work on the President?
Dr. PERRY - After I left trauma room No. 1, I went outside and washed my hands and then I retrieved my coat and I sat down for a few minutes in a chair there in the emergency room for probably 10 or 15 minutes, I suppose, and then I went from there to the operating suite to assist in the care of the Governor, so I must have left the emergency room probably somewhere around 1:15 or 1:20, I would gather.
Mr. SPECTER - At approximately what time was the President pronounced to be dead?
Dr. PERRY - I don't know this for a fact, other than what was related to me by Dr. Clark, and he tells me that this was at 1 o'clock. Once again, I did not verify the time.
Mr. SPECTER - Have you described all of the efforts which were made to revive the President?
Dr. PERRY - There were other procedures done that I did not do during this period. I did not describe in detail the performance of the tracheotomy. It seems that that is really not necessary at this time, unless you want it.
Mr. SPECTER - Will you describe it in detail, the procedures which were followed in the efforts to save the President's life?
Dr. PERRY - All right. Well, to regress, then, at the time I began the tracheotomy, I made an incision right through the wound which was present in the neck in order to gain complete control of any injury in the underlying trachea.
I made a transverse incision right through this wound and carried it down to the superficial fascia, to expose the strap muscles overlying the thyroid and the trachea. There was an injury to the right lateral aspect of the trachea at the level of the external wound. The trachea was deviated slightly to the left and it was necessary to divide the strap muscles on the left side in order to gain access to the trachea. At this point, I recall, Dr. Jones right on my left was placing a catheter into a vein in the-left arm because he handed me a necessary instrument which I needed in the performance of the procedure.
The wound in the trachea was then enlarged to admit a cuffed tracheotomy tube to support respiration. I noted that there was free air and blood in the superior right mediastinum.
Although I saw no injury to the lung or to the pleural space, the presence of this free blood and air in this area could be indicative of a wound of the right hemithorax, and I asked that someone put a right chest tube in for seal drainage. At the time I did not know who did this, but I have been informed that Dr. Baxter and Dr. Paul Peters inserted the chest tube and connected it to underwater drainage.
Blood transfusions and fluid transfusions were being given at this time, and through the previous venesections that had been done by Dr. Jones and Dr. Carrico.
Also, the President had received 300 mg. of Solucortef in order to support his adrenal glands, since it was common medical knowledge that he suffered from adrenal insufficiency.
Of course, oxygen and pressure breathing were being effected under the guidance of Dr. Jenkins and Dr. Giesecke, who were handling the anesthesia machine at the head of the table.
Dr. Bashour and Dr. Seldin, in addition to Dr. Clark, had arrived and also assisted in monitoring cardiac actions, as indicated by the oscilloscope and the cardiotachioscope.
Mr. SPECTER - Have you now described all of the operative procedures performed on the President?
Dr. PERRY - Yes, all that I am familiar with.
Mr. SPECTER - Are there any doctors who participated other than those whom you have already identified in the course of your description?
Dr. PERRY - Yes, sir; immediately on arriving there, and as I say, Dr. Jones and I, and I saw Dr. Carrico, and I have the impression there was another physician there, but I don't know who it was. I asked that an emergency call be placed for Dr. Kemp Clark, chief of neurosurgery, for Dr. Robert McClelland, and Dr. Charles Baxter, assistant professors of surgery. They responded immediately. I don't know how long it took them to get there, but they were probably there within the next few minutes. My first recollection of Dr. McClelland and Dr. Baxter being there was when I was doing the tracheotomy, they suddenly were there assisting me. I don't know when they came in the room, nor do I know when Dr. Clark or the other gentlemen arrived, and there must have been 10 or 12 doctors all told by then.
Mr. SPECTER - Are there any others whom you could identify?
Dr. PERRY - Dr. Peters---I previously mentioned, Dr. Paul Peters, assistant professor of urology, Dr. Fouad Bashour, associate professor of medicine, and chief of cardiology, and Dr. Don Seldin, chief of medicine.
I mentioned Dr. M. T. Jenkins, chief of anesthesia, and Dr. Giesecke, his assistant professor of anesthesiology---that's the only people that I saw directly.
Mr. SPECTER - Could the first doctor whom you saw have been Dr. Don Curtis?
Dr. PERRY - That's entirely possible---I don't recall.
Mr. SPECTER - Was Dr. Dulany there?
Dr. PERRY - I have initially had the impression that Dr. Dulany was in the room when I came in there, but as I understand it, he actually was just going into the room across the hall, but he was there by the door when I came in, but I had the impression he was leaving that room, but I understand he was not, that actually he was going---just going in the room across the hall with the Governor, although I initially thought Dr. Dulany was there.
Mr. SPECTER - What did you observe, if anything with respect to bruising in the interior portion of the President's neck?
Dr. PERRY - There was considerable hematoma in the right lateral portion of the neck and the right superior mediastinum, as I noted. As for bruising, per se, it would be difficult to describe that, since by definition, hematoma would be a collection of blood, and there was so much blood that the tissues were discolored. I did not attempt to ascertain trajectory or path of the bullet at the time, but directed myself to obtaining an adequate airway and carried, my examination no further down than it was necessary to assure myself that the trachea was controlled and that there was no large vessel injury at that level.
Mr. SPECTER - Were there sufficient facts available to you for you to reach a conclusion as to the cause of the wound on the front side of the President's neck?
Dr. PERRY - No, sir, there was not. I could not determine whether or how this was inflicted, per se, since it would require tracing the trajectory.
Mr. SPECTER - What did you observe as to the President's head, specifically?
Dr. PERRY - I saw no injuries other than the one which I noted to you, which was a large avulsive injury of the right occipitoparietal area, but I did not do a minute examination of his head.
Mr. SPECTER - Did you notice a bullet hole below the large avulsed area?
Dr. PERRY - No; I did not.
Mr. SPECTER - Dr. Perry, earlier I asked you whether you tuned over the President at any time during the course of your treatment or examination of him, and you indicated that you had not, and I then asked you why, and you proceeded to tell me of the things that you did in sequence, as being priority items to try to save his life. Why did you not turn him over at the conclusion of those operative procedures?
Dr. PERRY - Well, actually, I didn't have a specific reason, other than it had been determined that he had expired. There was nothing further that I could do and it was not my particular prerogative to make a minute examination to determine any other cause. I felt that that was a little bit out of my domain.
Mr. SPECTER - Did you have any occasion to examine the President's clothing to ascertain direction of the missile?
Dr. PERRY - No; I did not. The only aspect of clothing that I know about---I happen to recall pushing up the brace which he had on in an attempt to feel a femoral pulse when I arrived, and I could not, but the shirt had been removed by the personnel there in the emergency room, I assume.
Mr. SPECTER - What did you observe as to the description of that brace?
Dr. PERRY - I couldn't give you a description. I just saw and felt the lower edge of one, and I reached to feel the left femoral pulse.
Mr. SPECTER - Did you see whether the President was wearing any sort of an Ace bandage on the midsection of his body when his trousers were taken down?
Dr. PERRY - There was evidence of an Ace bandage I saw it sticking out from the edge on the right side, as I recall. I don't believe it was on the midsection, although it may have been. I believe it was on his right leg--his right thigh.
Mr. SPECTER - Do you know whether it was on the left leg and thigh as well?
Dr. PERRY - No, I don't. I just saw that briefly when I was reaching for that pulse and I didn't do any examination at all of the lower trunk or lower extremities.
Mr. SPECTER - Did you personally make any examination by feeling, or in any other way, of the President's back?
Dr. PERRY - I did not.
Mr. SPECTER - Did you participate in a press conference or press conferences following the death of the President?
Dr. PERRY - Yes.
Mr. SPECTER - And when was the first of such press conferences?
Dr. PERRY - I don't know the exact time, Mr. Specter. It must have been within the hour, I would say; I don't know exactly.
Mr. SPECTER - And who was present at that press conference by way of identifying, if you can, the members of the news media?
Dr. PERRY - I have no idea. The press conference was held in classrooms 1 and 2 combined here at Parkland. The room was quite full of people. I remember noting. some surprise how quickly they had put in a couple of telephones at the back. There were numerous cameras and lights, and flashbulbs, and I went there with one of the administrators, Mr. Landregan, and Dr. Kemp Clark and Mr. Hawkes, who was identified to me as being with the White House Press. I don't know--there were numerous people of the press.
Mr. SPECTER - What doctors appeared and spoke at that press conference?
Dr. PERRY - Dr. Clark, myself, and Dr. Baxter was also there. He arrived a little bit late. I called him just before I went down and asked him and Dr. McClelland to come. I could not find Dr. McClelland. He apparently was busy with a patient at the time. I recall Dr. Baxter came in after the press conference had begun, but I don't believe he said anything. Dr. Clark and I answered the majority of the questions.
Mr. SPECTER - Well, what questions were asked of you and what responses did you give at that press conference?
Dr. PERRY - Well, there were numerous questions asked, all the questions I cannot remember, of course. Specifically, the thing that seemed to be of most interest at that point was actually trying to get me to speculate as to direction of the bullets, the number of bullets, and the exact cause of death.
The first two questions I could not answer, and my reply to them was that I did not know, if there were one or two bullets, and I could not categorically state about the nature of the neck wound, whether it was an entrance or an exit wound, not having examined the President further---I could not comment on any other injuries.
As regards the cause of death, Dr. Clark and I concurred that massive brain trauma with attendant severe hemorrhage was the underlying cause of death, and then there were questions asked in regard to what we did, and I described as I have for you, although not in such detail essentially the resuscitative measures that were taken at that time; namely, the reinfusion of a balanced salt solution of blood, Solucortef, assisting of respiration with oxygen and pressure apparatus, the tracheotomy, and the chest tubes and the monitoring with the cardiotachioscope.
Mr. SPECTER - Did you express a view as to what might have happened with respect to the number of bullets?
Dr. PERRY - I was asked by several of the people of the press, initially, if there were one or two or more bullets, and to that, Dr. Clark and I both replied that we could not say. I was then asked if it was conceivable that it could have been caused by one bullet, and I replied in the affirmative, that I did not know, but it was conceivable.
Mr. SPECTER - Did you elaborate on how it could have been caused by one bullet?
Dr. PERRY - I was asked if this were one bullet, how would it occur, and I said, "It is conceivable or possible that a bullet could enter and strike the spinal column and he deviated superiorly to exit from the head."
Mr. SPECTER - And where would that point of entry have been?
Dr. PERRY - The surmise was made that if the point of entry were in the neck, how would it have happened, and that is the way I would have reconstructed it. Again, this was speculation.
Mr. SPECTER - Did you denominate it clearly as speculation?
Dr. PERRY - I did.
Mr. SPECTER - Or, what could have been as opposed to what your opinion was?
Dr. PERRY - I did. I said this was conceivable this was possible, but again, Dr. Clark and I emphasized again that we did not know whether there was one or two bullets.
Mr. SPECTER - Did you express any view as to whether it might have been one bullet or two bullets or either, or what?
Dr. PERRY - I said I did not know.
Mr. SPECTER - And were you asked any other questions at that press conference that you can recollect as being important at this time?
Dr. PERRY - Someone did ask us about Mrs. Kennedy, and I recall that I mentioned that I did not speak to her, but that she was very composed and very quiet.
Mr. SPECTER - Now, were you a part of any other press conferences?
Dr. PERRY - Yes; I was.
Mr. SPECTER - And when did the next one occur?
Dr. PERRY - There were several organized press conferences that occurred in the administration suite in the hospital, Mr. Specter, and I don't know the exact times of these. There were several later that afternoon. There were some the following day, on Saturday, also held in the administrator's office, and then there were subsequent conferences in relation to the other incident that occurred on Sunday with Mr. Oswald. I don't know how many there were.
Mr. SPECTER - Were all these conferences set up by the administration of the hospital?
Dr. PERRY - They were all conducted here. They weren't necessarily---I wouldn't say---set up by the administration. They were done here at the hospital, with one exception, of which you are aware, that I spoke with you about the gentleman that came to me when I was out of town.
Mr. SPECTER - Will you elaborate upon what occurred on that occasion, please?
Dr. PERRY - I had taken the course of complying-with the press insofar as was possible about what I could speak that was common knowledge and which had already been covered at the initial press conference. I had done that in the administrative suite or in the hospital or in the medical school under an organized situation as opposed to doing it, say, at home.
I left town Monday following the incident on Sunday with Oswald, in order to secure a little bit of rest for myself and my family, and approximately 36 hours later, members of the press had located me and requested an interview, which I granted, denying any photographs and the interview consisted of essentially the same thing that I had given to the previous press conference at the hospital.
Mr. SPECTER - Where was that interview conducted?
Dr. PERRY - That was in McAllen, Tex.
Mr. SPECTER - In the course of all of these press conferences did you say anything other than that which you have already related you said during the course of the first press conference?
Dr. PERRY - That would require a little bit of thought. I don't think in essence I said anything different. Of course, the wording certainly would have been different. I subsequently had a little bit more knowledge about the initial episode attendant of course upon my discussions with the other doctors and the writing out of our statements, knowledge which I did not have initially, which may have made subsequent statements perhaps more accurate as regards to time and people, but in essence, things that I did and things that I said that I did are essentially the same in all of these.
Mr. SPECTER - Dr. Perry, I now show you a group of papers heretofore identified as Commission Exhibit No. 392, and I turn to two sheets which are dated November 22, 1963, which have the name "Perry" beside the doctor and purport to bear your signature, and the time---1630 hours, 22 November 1963, and I ask you if this is a photostatic copy of the handwritten report which you submitted concerning the attention you gave to the President on the day of the assassination?
Dr. PERRY - Yes; it is.
Mr. SPECTER - Is this your signature appearing on the second sheet?
Dr. PERRY - That is my signature.
Mr. SPECTER - And are the facts set forth herein true and correct?
Dr. PERRY - They are, to the best of my knowledge, correct.
Mr. SPECTER - Dr. Perry, have contents of the autopsy report conducted at Bethesda Naval Hospital been made available to you?
Dr. PERRY - They have.
Mr. SPECTER - And are the findings in the autopsy report consistent with your observations and conclusions concerning the source and nature of the President's wounds?
Dr. PERRY - Yes; they are. I think there are no discrepancies at all. I did not have that information initially, and as a result was somewhat confused about the nature of the wounds, as I noted--I could not tell whether there was one or two bullets, or from whence they came, but the findings of the autopsy report are quite compatible with those findings which I noted at the time that I saw the President.
Mr. SPECTER - And have you noted in the autopsy report the reference to the presence of a wound on the upper right posterior thorax Just above the upper border of the scapula, being 7 by 4 mm. in oval dimension and being located 14 cm. from the tip of the right acromion process and 14 cm. below the tip of the right mastoid process?
Dr. PERRY - Yes; I saw that.
Mr. SPECTER - Assuming that was a point of entry of a missile, which parenthetically was the opinion of the three autopsy surgeons, and assuming still further that the missile which struck the President at that spot was a 6.5-mm. jacketed bullet shot from a rifle at a distance of 160 to 250 feet, having a muzzle velocity of approximately 2,000 feet per second, and that upon entering the President's body, the bullet traveled between two strap muscles, through a fascia channel, without violating the pleural cavity, striking the trachea, causing the damage which you testified about being on the interior of the President's throat, and exited from the President's throat in the wound which you have described in the midline of his neck, would your findings and observations as to the nature of the wound on the throat be consistent with the set of facts I just presented to you?
Dr. PERRY - It would be entirely compatible.
Mr. SPECTER - And what is the basis for your conclusion that the situation that I presented to you would be entirely compatible with your observations and findings?
Dr. PERRY - The wound in the throat, although as I noted, I did not examine it minutely, was fairly small in nature, and an undeformed, unexpanded missile exiting at rather high speed would leave very little injury behind, since the majority of its energy was expended after it had left the tissues.
Mr. SPECTER - And would the hole that you observed on the President's throat then be consistent with such an exit wound?
Dr. PERRY - It would. There is no way to determine from my examination as to exactly how accurately I could depict an entrance wound from an exit wound, without ascertaining the entire trajectory. Such a wound could be produced by such a missile.
Mr. SPECTER - Were any facts on trajectory available to you at the time of the press conferences that you described.
Dr. PERRY - They were not.
Mr. SPECTER - In response to an earlier question which I asked you, I believe you testified that you did not have sufficient facts available initially to form an opinion as to the source or direction of the cause of the wound, did you not?
Dr. PERRY - That's correct, although several leading questions were directed toward me at the various conferences.
Mr. SPECTER - And to those leading questions you have said here today that you responded that a number of possibilities were present as to what might have happened?
Dr. PERRY - That's correct. I had no way of ascertaining, as I said, the true trajectory. Often questions were directed as to---in such a manner as this: "Doctor, is it possible that if he were in such and such a position and the bullet entered here, could it have done that?" And my reply, "Of course, if it were possible, yes, that is possible, but similarly, it did not have to be so, necessarily."
Mr. SPECTER - So that, from the physical characteristics which you observed in and of themselves, you could not come to any conclusive opinion?
Dr. PERRY - No, sir; I could not, although I have been quoted, I think, as saying, and I might add parenthetically, out of context, without the preceding question which had been directed, as saying that such was the case, when actually, I only admitted that the possibility existed.
Mr. SPECTER - And in the hypothetical of the rather extended nature that I just gave you that your statement that that is consistent with what you found, is that also predicated upon the veracity of the factors, which I have asked you to assume?
Dr. PERRY - That is correct, sir. I have no way to authenticate either by my own knowledge.
Mr. SPECTER - Has your recollection of the nature of the President's neck wound changed at any time from November 22 to the present time?
Dr. PERRY - No, sir. I recall describing it initially as being between 3 and 5 cm. in size and roughly spherical in shape, not unlike a rather large puncture wound, I believe is the word I used initially,
Mr. SPECTER - Have you ever changed your opinion on the possible alternatives as to what could have caused the President's wounds?
Dr. PERRY - No, sir; I have no knowledge even now of my own as to the cause of the wounds. All I can report on is what I saw, and the wound is that as I have described it. It could have been caused conceivably by any number of objects.
Mr. SPECTER - So, that the wound that you saw on the President's neck would be consistent with an exit wound under the factors that I described to you?
Dr. PERRY - Yes.
Mr. SPECTER - Or, it might be consistent with an entry wound under a different set of factors?
Dr. PERRY - That's correct, sir. I, myself, have no knowledge of that. I do not think that it is consistent, for example, with an exit wound of a large expanded bullet-voluntarily I would add that.
Mr. SPECTER - Well, would a jacketed 6.5-mm. bullet fit the description of a large expanded bullet?
Dr. PERRY - No, sir; it would not.
Mr. SPECTER - Based on the information in the autopsy report about a 6- by 15-mm. hole in the lower part of the President's skull on the right side in conjunction with the large part of the skull of the President which you observed to be missing, would you have an opinion as to the source of the missile which inflicted those wounds?
Dr. PERRY - Since I did not see the initial wound which you mentioned, the smaller one, and only saw the large avulsive wound of the head and the scalp, there is no way for me to determine from whence it came.
Mr. SPECTER - Well, if you assume the presence of the first small wound, taking as a fact that there was such a wound, now, would that present sufficient information for you to formulate an opinion as to source or trajectory?
Dr. PERRY - Well, I couldn't testify as to exact source, but if the wound, the smaller wound that you noted were present, it could certainly result in the large avulsive wound as it exited from the skull. As to the ultimate source, there would still be no way for me to tell.
Mr. SPECTER - Well, could you tell sufficient to comment on whether it came from the front or back of the President?
Dr. PERRY - In the absence of other wounds of the head, the presence of the small wound which you described, in addition to the large avulsive wound of the skull and the scalp which I observed would certainly indicate that the two were related and would indicate both an entrance and an exit wound, if there were no other wounds.
Mr. SPECTER - And which would be the wound of entrance, then?
Dr. PERRY - The smaller wound--the smaller wound.
Mr. SPECTER - Now, did you have occasion to talk via the telephone with Dr . James J. Humes of the Bethesda Naval Hospital?
Dr. PERRY - I did.
Mr. SPECTER - And will you relate the circumstances of the calls indicating first the time when they occurred.
Dr. PERRY - Dr. Humes called me twice on Friday afternoon, separated by about 30-minute intervals, as I recall. The first one, I, somehow think I recall the first one must have been around 1500 hours, but I'm not real sure about that; I'm not positive of that at all, actually.
Mr. SPECTER - Could it have been Saturday morning?
Dr. PERRY - Saturday morning--was it? It's possible. I remember talking with him twice. I was thinking it was shortly thereafter.
Mr. SPECTER - Well, the record will show.
Dr. PERRY - Oh, sure, it was Saturday morning--yes.
Mr. SPECTER - What made you change your view of that?
Dr. PERRY - You mean Friday?
Mr. SPECTER - Did some specific recollection occur to you which changed your view from Friday to Saturday?
Dr. PERRY - No, I was trying to place where I was at that time---Friday afternoon, and at that particular time, when I paused to think about it, I was actually up in the operating suite at that time, when I thought that he called initially. I seem to remember it being Friday, for some reason.
Mr. SPECTER - Where were you when you received those calls?
Dr. PERRY - I was in the Administrator's office here when he called.
Mr. SPECTER - And what did he ask you, if anything?
Dr. PERRY - He inquired about, initially, about the reasons for my doing a tracheotomy, and I replied, as I have to you, during this procedure, that there was a wound in the lower anterior third of the neck, which was exuding blood and was indicative of a possible tracheal injury underlying, and I did the tracheotomy through a transverse incision made through that wound, and I described to him' the right lateral injury to the trachea and the completion of the operation.
He subsequently called back--at that time he told me, of course, that he could not talk to me about any of it and asked that I keep it in confidence, which I did, and he subsequently called back and inquired about the chest tubes, and why they were placed and I replied in part as I have here. It was somewhat more detailed. After having talked to Drs. Baxter and Peters and I identified them as having placed it in the second interspace, anteriorly, in the midclavicular line, in the right hemithorax, he asked me at that time if we had made any wounds in the back. I told him that I had not examined the back nor had I knowledge of any wounds of the back.
Mr. SPECTER - Would you relate the circumstances surrounding an article which appeared about you in the Saturday Evening Post, Dr. Perry?
Dr. PERRY - The Saturday Evening Post contacted the department of surgery here, and talked with Dr. Tom Shires, chief of surgical services, in regard to a possible article on the treatment of the President. This was declined by us, and we requested that no such article be printed, and Dr. Shires informed me shortly thereafter about this conversation. Subsequently, an article was printed, which apparently was a copyrighted item. It first appeared in the New York Herald Tribune. It contained my picture and a picture of trauma room No. 1, and described the incidents surrounding the treatment of the President. Some of that information was obtained by personal interview of myself and Dr. Shires on Saturday morning, and I assume that the rest of it was obtained from various people here.
Mr. SPECTER - Was the content of that story accurate?
Dr. PERRY - There were certain inaccuracies--the overall content was fairly consistent--there were inaccuracies in identification of participants and there were some inaccuracies in regards to conversations purported to have been held, and I do not, however, have knowledge about some of the other references made in the article, since they were apparently based on interviews with people other than myself.
Mr. SPECTER - Dr. Perry, have you talked to any representatives of the Federal Government about this matter prior to today?
Dr. PERRY - Yes, I have.
Mr. SPECTER - Would you relate whom you have talked to and on what occasions? As best you can recollect it.
Dr. PERRY - Well, I talked to several people, and I regret that I did not keep a record of it, and I find at this time that a lot of these things such as Dr. Humes' call, I suppose I should have kept a little better record, since everything was so kaleidoscopic that I have a very difficult time putting the proper sequence on it. I talked to several people who identified themselves both by name and with credentials as being affiliated with the Secret Service.
Mr. SPECTER - On how many occasions have you talked with Secret Service personnel?
Dr. PERRY - At least three times, sir. Now, I can't give you the exact dates of these, and unfortunately the last two gentlemen, I can't even remember their names now.
Mr. SPECTER - How about the first gentleman?
Dr. PERRY - No, his either. I was trying to think of the last two. I indicated that they both had the same last name, but at the present time it escapes me.
Mr. SPECTER - What did you tell them in essence?
Dr. PERRY - Essentially what I have told you in regard to my impressions and my care of the President.
Mr. SPECTER - Has there ever been any variation in the information which you have given the Federal investigators?
Dr. PERRY - No, sir; not in essence. There may have been a variation in wording or sequence of my presentation, but the treatment as I outlined it to you and as I outlined it to them, to the best of my knowledge, has been essentially consistent.
Mr. SPECTER - Have you talked to any other representatives of the Federal Government besides the Secret Service men?
Dr. PERRY - I talked to two gentlemen initially within--who identified themselves as being with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I do not recall their names either.
Mr. SPECTER - What did they ask you about?
Dr. PERRY - Essentially the same questions in regard to what I might speculate as to the origin of the missiles and their trajectory, and I replied to them as I have to you that I could not ascertain this of my own knowledge, and described the wounds to the extent I saw them.
Mr. SPECTER - Have you set forth here today the same information which you gave to the FBI?
Dr. PERRY - Yes, I think this is considerably in more detail, being essentially the same thing.
Mr. SPECTER - Have you now told me about all of the talks you have had with representatives of the Federal Government prior to today?
Dr. PERRY - I think I have.
Mr. SPECTER - And did you and I sit down and talk about the purpose of this deposition and the questions which I would be asking you on the record, before this deposition started?
Dr. PERRY - Yes; we did.
Mr. SPECTER - And did you give me the same information which you provided on the record here today?
Dr. PERRY - I have.
Mr. SPECTER - Do you have anything to add which you think might be helpful in any way to the President's Commission?
Dr. PERRY - No, sir.
Mr. SPECTER - Dr. Perry, we appreciate your coming for your deposition today, and I have given you a letter requesting your presence in Washington on Monday morning at 9 o'clock and I would ask you, for the record, to acknowledge receipt of letter, if you will, please.
Dr. PERRY - Yes; I have the letter here and I will be there.
Mr. SPECTER - Thank you, very much, sir. Let me ask you one more question, Dr. Perry, for the record, before we terminate this deposition. What experience have you had, if any, with gunshot wounds?
Dr. PERRY - I think in the course of my training here at Parkland, which is a city-county hospital and handles the great majority of the trauma cases that occur in Dallas County, that I have seen a fairly considerable number of traumatic wounds caused by knives, automobile accidents, gunshot wounds of various types.
Mr. SPECTER - Have you had any experience with gunshot wounds, in addition to that obtained here at Parkland?
Dr. PERRY - You mean, in the service?
Mr. SPECTER - Yes, sir.
Dr. PERRY - No, I had occasion to see only one gunshot wound while I was in the service.
Mr. SPECTER - Can you estimate how many gunshot wounds you have seen while you have been at Parkland?
Dr. PERRY - Probably it would be numbered in the hundreds.
Mr. SPECTER - Have you had any formal training in ballistics?
Dr. PERRY - No, other than the fact that I do some hunting and amateur hand loader.
Mr. SPECTER - Amateur what?
Dr. PERRY - Amateur hand loader--hand load ammunition.
Mr. SPECTER - Thank you very much.
Dr. PERRY - All right. Thank you. 1