Could there have been more than a single bullet involved in the JFK assassination?
Editor's note: Throughout November, IrishCentral is commemorating Kennedy month, in honor of the famed Irish American political dynasty and their legacy. In the countdown to the anniversary of JFK's assassination on November 22, 1963, we look at the events surrounding his death. including the investigation into the crime.
A sketch by one of the surgeons who battled to save JFK’s life after he was shot suggests that the Warren Commission into President Kennedy’s death wrongly concluded that a single bullet killed him.
“I was about 18 inches above that wound. I got a better look at it than anybody in that room. It was way back in the back [of the head], which may lead to the thought that he was shot not only from the back but also from the front,” Dr. Robert McClelland
It shows a “probable” entrance for the first bullet around the level of JFK’s hairline. However, McClelland also notes “I did not see this” from his position behind the President where he was holding his head.
It also illustrates a second entrance wound which he describes as “low in the neck which I clearly saw”. He adds that the probable exit wound high in the back altho [sic] I did not see this.”
In later years, he watched the Abraham Zapruder amateur film of the assassination - something he says confirmed his theory there were two bullets.
“The first bullet hit him in the back, not in the front as we thought at the time,” he concluded.
“Several seconds later, the second shot hits him and his head literally explodes, and he was thrown violently backward and to the left as you would expect someone hit by a high-caliber bullet from the front, not from above and behind.”
As such, he disputes the Warren Commission’s “single bullet” theory and thinks that there were also at least two shooters.
In a curious twist of fate he was later called to save the life of Lee Harvey Oswald - JFK’s killer - after he was shot by Dallas nightclub owner, Jack Ruby.
The sketch was put up for auction and originally priced at $2,500.