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November 13th, 2013
11:45 PM ET

Dr. Ronald Jones on seeing JFK arrive at the hospital after being shot: "I knew he had a large wound in the back of his head and I saw no evidence of life"

As the nation prepares to recognize the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination, and on the eve of a special CNN documentary dedicated to that historic afternoon in 1963, on Tuesday evening "Piers Morgan Live" welcomed Dr. Ronald Jones and Julian Read, two men who experienced the events from a very personal perspective.

"We thought he'd probably been shot, chest or the abdomen, and we could revive him and take care of him surgically, but when we reached the emergency room, that was a different story," said Jones, the then Chief Resident at Parkland Hospital. "As soon as I walked into Trauma Room One and saw him – Mrs. [Jacqueline] Kennedy was on the left inside the room – he was on a stretcher, arms were out on arm boards, and I saw a small wound in his neck, but I knew he had a large wound in the back of his head and I saw no evidence of life."

Read, meanwhile, was the national media representative for Texas Governor John B. Connally, and had been a critical force in helping to plan the president's trip to Texas. In the motorcade as it drove through Dallas, he arrived at the hospital shortly after Kennedy and Connally, and described seeing their wives outside the respective operating rooms:

"I found the open door at the end of the hospital, remarkable, you know, no one there, no security, and I found a nurse very quickly and asked her if she would take me to Ms. Connally, and she did, and I found Ms. Connally in a dark hallway right outside Trauma Room Two, the president was in Trauma Room One," Read told Piers Morgan, recalling the day of an event for which he remains one of the only living eye witnesses. "She was sitting outside there and right across with Jackie Kennedy, two women, not a sound spoken, thinking about their husbands' and whether they could survive."

Watch the clip for more of Morgan's interview with Jones and Read, as the former doctor recalls trying to save the president's life. You can hear more of Read's story in his book "JFK’s Final Hours in Texas: An Eyewitness Remembers the Tragedy and its Aftermath," and on Thursday at 9 tune to CNN for the network's special documentary on the anniversary of the presidential assassination.
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  1. Myron Salaam

    JFK was assassinated because he would have gotten in the way of the march to war in Vietnam! This was not a war against Communism.. it was a war to further the grip of Capitalism and corporate greed. Plain an simple. Just as alll wars have been. The players who create wars are in it for the money and the power...

    November 14, 2013 at 12:29 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. buyfromvegasnv

    Reblogged this on Buy From New York!.

    November 14, 2013 at 1:40 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Cathryn Ratzloff

    Dr. Jones was cogent. His recollection and reflection on the scene in the trauma room was very poignant.

    November 14, 2013 at 11:51 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. rickoff

    Dr Jones stated, "I saw a small wound in [Kennedy's] neck, but I knew he had a large wound in the back of his head." This was the same observation made by several other doctors at Parkland, as well as other eyewitnesses who saw Kennedy before the autopsy was performed at the Bethesda Naval Hospital. What is important to realize is that this contradicts the autopsy report, and the autopsy photos, as well as the Warren Commission report and conclusion that the fatal head shot was fired from behind Kennedy. Morgan made no mention of this, or the fact that in 1998 the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) heard testimony from Bethesda's Commander J Humes, the lead autopsy physician, admitting that he had destroyed both his handwritten autopsy notes and his original autopsy report. Kennedy was killed by a frontal head shot which created a massive skull blowout wound at the back of his head. Jackie crawled out onto the limo's trunk lid to retrieve that skull piece, and replaced it on Jack's head, holding it in place until they reached the hospital. Isn't it about time that the true story was told?

    November 14, 2013 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Robert Warwick

      I have to endorse Rickoff's comments 100%. Never mind the conspiracies – just consider the facts of the ballistics and physics. No shot from the direction of the book depository could have caused this blowout wound at the back of the skull. The Zapruder film very clearly shows it as a back exit wound. Oliver Stone commented very recently that bullet wounds came from two directions. An independent investigation/assessment from a group outside the US might prove very interesting, and indeed provide the true story. It is blindingly obvious that Oswald was not the lone gunman.

      November 14, 2013 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse | Reply

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