James Curtis Jenkins

James Curtis Jenkins

James Curtis Jenkins was born in 1943. After enlisting in the United States Navy he won a place at the Medical Technology School that was part of Bethesda Naval Hospital. He attended classes from 7.30 am to 5.00 pm and work duty from 5.00 pm to 6.00 am the next day. Jenkins was assigned to the pathology department.

When John F. Kennedy was assassinated on 22nd November, 1963, his body was taken to Bethesda. Along with fellow student, Paul K. O'Connor was asked to assist Joseph Humes, Thornton Boswell and Pierre Finck in the autopsy of Kennedy.

James Curtis Jenkins was interviewed by William Matson Law for his book, In the Eye of History: Disclosures in the JFK Assassination Medical Evidence. Jenkins told Law: "I think they (Humes, Boswell, Finck) were pressured toward a conclusion that had already been established."

Primary Sources

(1) William Matson Law, In the Eye of History (2005)

Law: Do you feel that these doctors felt extraordinary pressure? It was the President of the United States

Jenkins: Sure, I think that they were pressured toward a conclusion that had already been established and they were not finding evidence to support that, and were under a tremendous amount of pressure.

Law: What do you mean by "the conclusion had already been established"? That Oswald had shot Kennedy? One man shooting another man?

Jenkins: One man shooting another man.

Law: And they weren't exactly finding that in evidence?

Jenkins: They weren't. Like I said, we were finding no bullet fragments, no metal fragments.

Law: Anywhere? No large pieces?

Jenkins: No. The only bullet fragments or any type of metal fragments I saw were brought to us by a man in a suit and tie and he had some small pieces of bone. Not so much like the ziplocks we know today, but in specimen bags that used to have the ties on them. And it was placed down the side of the president's head on the right side, next to his ear oil the table. And later on they tried to fit some of the bone fragments into the skull. I don't remember them being very successful at that.

Law: My understanding is that you helped Jerrol Custer move the president's body around for X-rays. Is this correct?

Jenkins: Yes.

Law: Give me the procedure for that. What happened that you were the person to take X-rays. Now, did they take X-rays first and then pictures?

Jenkins: I think they were doing everything - kind of.

Law: However, they could get it done?

Jenkins: Jerrol was the X-ray tech who carne in. He needed help and I happened to be the corpsman who was detailed there at the table, and as an enlisted man it was my job to help him do whatever he needed to do, and we moved the body around for the various angles that he needed to take.

(2) William Matson Law, In the Eye of History (2005)

Law: Do you remember talking to Jerrol Custer? You worked with him. Did he give you any indication as to what he thought, or did you basically keep to yourselves?

Jenkins: No, there was no conversation between us.

Law: It was like, let's get this job done?

Jenkins: Well, we were just technicians doing the job we were supposed to do. And it was best at that time to keep your thoughts and your opinions to yourself.

Law: So you didn't offer any opinions?

Jenkins: No.

Law: You didn't offer any opinions to anyone about what you thought?

Jenkins: I didn't. After I received the orders, I did not even discuss this with my wife.

Law: How long was it before you discussed it with your wife?

Jenkins: Probably not before Lifton got it.

Law: Really, that long?

Jenkins: I didn't discuss it with anyone. First of all, let's face it, if I told people that I helped do the Kennedy autopsy they would have thought I was crazy. The other thing was that I really didn't want anybody knowing, because at the time that all this finally came out and was going, too many coincidences were happening. At that time it was when Garrison was doing his investigation and the papers were full of all of that.

Law: Were you ever called for the Garrison investigation?

Jenkins: No, I really believe that neither myself, Paul, Jerrol or Floyd - I didn't think our names had ever been

... released before the assassination committee hearing. I think it only came out then because it had to be in the transcripts.

Law: Let me ask you this: do you have any fear today?

Jenkins: No.

Law: I know in 1977 - we discussed this earlier - we all know that 1977 was not a good year for people who had anything to do with the JFK assassination. It doesn't bother you today?

Jenkins: No. I've watched a pattern since I was actually brought into this, as far as information is concerned. For example, Paul, and I believe Jerrol too, indicated there was no brain. I say there was a brain, and I helped infuse it. Then Dr. Crenshaw's book, I felt, gave more credibility to what I remember. And immediately after Crenshaw's book came out, the AMA (American Medical Association) came out with their big deal. They basically tried to crucify Crenshaw's credibility, which I felt was political.

Law: Have you talked to Dr. Crenshaw?

Jenkins: No.

Law: Do you feel, from reading his book, that he was accurate?

Jenkins: I think his observations were fairly accurate. I think it certainly had more credibility with me than anything else I have seen. Any other reports and so forth. And after reading some of the transcripts from the various government investigations, things began to stay with me like from Ramsey Clark's panel where they stopped the tapes and the neuropathologist got frustrated and left because they wouldn't let him tell what he felt like the fragments were for. It's still an editing of information to the public. It's information and disinformation.