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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. VI - Page 37« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Robert M. Mcclelland Resumed)

Mr. Specter.
Now, had you actually observed the wound prior to the time the tracheotomy was performed on that neck wound?
Dr. Mcclelland.
No, my knowledge of the entrance wound, as I stated, in my former deposition, was merely from what Dr. Perry told me when I entered the room and began putting on a pair of surgical gloves to assist with the tracheotomy.
Dr. Perry looked up briefly and said that they had made an incision and were in the process of making an incision in the neck, which extended through the middle of the wound in question in the front of the neck.
Mr. Specter.
Now, you have just characterized it in that last answer as an entrance wound.
Dr. Mcclelland.
Well, perhaps I shouldn't say the wound anyway, not the entrance wound--that might be a slip of the tongue.
Mr. Specter.
Do you have a firm opinion at this time as to whether it is an entrance wound or exit wound or whatever?
Dr. Mcclelland.
Of course, my opinion now would be colored by everything that I've heard about it and seen since, but I'll say this, if I were simply looking at the wound again and had seen the wound in its unchanged state, and which I did not, and, of course, as I say, it had already been opened up by the tracheotomy incision when I saw the wound--but if I saw the wound in its state in which Dr. Perry described it to me, I would probably initially think this were an entrance wound, knowing nothing about the circumstances as I did at the time, but I really couldn't say--that's the whole point. This would merely be a calculated guess, and that's all, not knowing anything more than just seeing the wound itself.
Mr. Specter.
But did you, in fact, see the wound prior to the time the incision was made?
Dr. Mcclelland.
Mr. Specter.
So that any preliminary thought you had even, would be based upon what you had been told by Dr. Perry?
Dr. Mcclelland.
That's right.
Mr. Specter.
Now, did you tell Mr. Dudman of the St. Louis Post Dispatch that you did not in fact see the wound in the neck, but your only information of it came from what Dr. Perry had told you?
Dr. Mcclelland.
I don't recall whether I told him that or not. I really don't remember whether I said I had seen the wound myself or whether I was merely referring to our sort of collective opinion of it, or whether I told him I had not seen the wound and was merely going by Dr. Perry's report of it to me. I don't recall now, this far away in time exactly what I said to him.
Mr. Specter.
Dr. McClelland, I want to ask you a few additional questions, and some of these questions may duplicate questions which I asked you last Saturday, and the reason for that is, we have not yet had a chance to transcribe the deposition of last Saturday, so I do not have before me the questions I asked you at that time and the answers you gave, and since last Saturday I have taken the depositions of many, many doctors on the same topics, so it is not possible for me to be absolutely certain of the specific questions which I asked you at that time, but permit me to ask you one or several more questions on the subject.
First, how many bullets do you think were involved in inflicting the wounds on President Kennedy which you observed?
Dr. Mcclelland.
At the present time, you mean, or at the immediate moment?
Mr. Specter.
Well, take the immediate moment and then the present time.
Dr. Mcclelland.
At the moment, of course, it was our impression before we had any other information from any other source at all, when we were just confronted with the acute emergency, the brief thoughts that ran through our minds were that this was one bullet, that perhaps entered through the front of the neck and then in some peculiar fashion which we really had, as I mentioned the other day, to strain to explain to ourselves, had coursed up the front of the vertebra and into the base of the skull and out the rear of the skull.
This would have been a very circuitous route for the bullet to have made, so that when .we did find later on what the circumstances were surrounding the
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