Watch Exclusive 'Parkland' Clip — This is My Body:
Many little-known details about the chaotic hours that ensued around assassination of President John F. Kennedy come to light in the upcoming film dramatization "Parkland" (including the fact that the late president had a faint heartbeat when he arrived at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963).
Another fact illuminated in the film, based on a book of the same name by Vincent Bugliosi: Secret service agents willfully broke the law in order to swiftly fly his body back to Washington D.C.
In a clip from the film, seen here first on Yahoo Movies, secret service agent Roy Kellerman (played by Tom Welling of "Smallville" fame) fights with Dallas County medical examiner Dr. Earl Rose (Rory Cochrane, "Dazed and Confused"). They have a showdown, specifically, over where president's lifeless body should be brought.
And yes, this showdown did occur, according to Kellerman's testimony to Congress in the months following the assassination.
Kellerman and the rest of JFK's security detail were intent on getting the president back to Washington quickly, but Rose demanded that the body stay in Dallas. The crime committed against the late president was that of murder — a local crime, under local jurisdiction. Rose was simply following the protocol of the law by demanding that JFK's body stay in Dallas.
Kellerman wasn't having it — as his real life testimony indicates: "[Rose] said to me, he said, 'There has been a homicide here, you won't be able to remove the body. We will have to take it down there to the mortuary and have an autopsy.' I said, 'No, we are not.' And he said, 'We have a law here whereby you have to comply with it.'"
Kellerman recalled that a doctor at Parkland backed him up, essentially telling the examiner to back off. "The Doctor became a little enraged; he said, 'We are removing it.' He said, 'This is the President of the United States and there should be some consideration in an event like this,'" Kellerman testified. "I told this gentleman, I said, 'You are going to have to come up with something a little stronger than you to give me the law that this body can't be removed.'"
According to Kellerman's testimony, the medical examiner called everyone he could to prove to the secret service agent that JFK's body had to stay put. But even word from a local judge, who echoed Rose's sentiments, didn't deter Kellerman's intent to fly the president's body back to D.C.
Kellerman recalled pleading with the judge: "The family doesn't have to go through this. We will take care of the matter when we get back to Washington." As his statement to Congress reflects, he noticed other agents wheeling the casket out to an ambulance. Kellerman entered the vehicle after first lady Jacqueline Kennedy was sitting securely inside.
Then, the secret service agent admitted to telling a lie in order to expedite the late president's return to Washington. "As we are leaving a gentleman taps on the driver's window and they roll it down and he says, 'I will meet you at the mortuary.' [I replied,] 'Yes, sir.' We went to the airport, gentlemen."
"Parkland," also starring Paul Giamatti, Zac Efron, Marcia Gay Harden, Colin Hanks and Billy Bob Thornton, opens in theaters this Friday.
Watch 'Parkland' Theatrical Trailer:
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