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"JFK: Destiny Betrayed" Misleads on Admiral George Burkley

Updated: Apr 19


Screen shot from JFK: Destiny Betrayed


Oliver Stone's so-called documentary series, JFK: Destiny Betrayed, makes several outrageous allegations about Admiral George Burkley, JFK's personal physician. Here is an excerpt from a transcript: (1:00 in episode three)


Whoopi Goldberg: The one physician present at both Parkland Hospital and the Bethesda morgue was George Burkley, Kennedy's personal doctor. Like Knudsen, he was a Navy officer and as a rear admiral two ranks above him. Burkley signed the autopsy descriptive sheet with the bullet in the back at the level of T3. He also signed Kennedy's death certificate, which also placed that wound in the back. That death certificate is not in the Warren Commission volumes and the descriptive sheet in the Commission volumes does not have Burkley's signature.


Whoopi Goldberg: Arlen Specter did not depose George Burkley, but Burkley went further than that:


[clip from Parkland Hospital press conference]


Malcolm Kilduff: [pointing to his right temple] Dr. Burkley told me that it was a simple matter, Tom, of a bullet right through the head.


Whoopi Goldberg: Doctor Burkley did an interview with the JFK Library in 1967, and was asked this question:


McHugh: Do you agree with the Warren Report on the number of bullets that entered the President's body?


Burkley: I would not care to be quoted on that.


Whoopi Goldberg: In 1977, through his lawyer, he wrote a letter to Richard Sprague, Chief Counsel of the House Select Committee on Assassinations. He said he had information indicating that "others besides Oswald must have participated" in the assassination. He was willing to talk about it at this time. Sprague, who made clear his intention to fully investigate the CIA's involvement, was forced out two weeks later. Dr. Burkley submitted a written statement to the House Select Committee but there is no official record of him being deposed as a witness.


Douglas Horne: In 1982, he told JFK researcher Henry Hurt "I know there was more than one gunman." And when Henry Hurt tried to recontact Burkley for more details, Burkley cut him off at the knees, "I don't want to talk about it anymore." The very next year, Burkley talked to Michael Kurtz, another JFK researcher, told him that he knew there was a conspiracy to kill the President and that he recalled an exit wound in the back of President Kennedy's head. Now that's a very significant statement, that the only doctor we know of who was present at both Parkland, for treatment, and at Bethesda, during the autopsy, told Michael Kurtz in 1983 that Kennedy had an exit wound in the back of his head. When Kurtz tried to recontact Burkley, Burkley cut him off at the knees, "I don't want to talk about this anymore." Dr. Burkley was deceased by the time the Review Board was impaneled. So then [ARRB General Counsel] Jeremy [Gunn] decided, well, we can ask the executor of his estate, his daughter, to sign a waiver so that we could go to the law firm, that Mr. Illig used to work for, since he was deceased also, and see if there were any records in the files of Mr. Illig that would have revealed what it was he wanted to tell the HSCA, in detail. And she said she would do that. And then Jeremy called her on the phone, she had completely changed her mind and adamantly refused to sign it and terminated the phone call


Dr. Donald Miller: When I was a teenager, Dr. Burkley and his family, four children, and my father and our family of four children, shared a duplex, lived together at the Newport Naval Hospital. He had a son George, who was my age, sixteen, and we became buddies. I looked him up again in 2012, and I asked him about what his dad had told him and his siblings about his role in the Kennedy case. That the only thing that he would say was that he couldn’t understand why the Warren Commission never asked him to testify. Dr. Burkley knew perfectly well why he wasn’t asked to testify before the Warren Commission. The reason he didn't say anything to his children, he didn’t want them to know that he was intimately involved in the cover-up.


Dr. Donald Miller: Dr. Burkley’s death certificate makes the single-bullet theory bogus. The way the Warren Commission dealt with it was, they didn’t publish it, the death certificate.


Oliver Stone: If the ARRB had been a criminal investigation, would you have granted Burkley immunity for his testimony?


Douglas Horne: We should have redeposed Humes and Boswell, after giving them immunity, and if Burkley had still been around, he would have been another candidate, because he was at the center of the photographic coverup. [referring to JFK autopsy photographs] By the way, George Burkley was a rear admiral; he was promoted to vice admiral by Lyndon Johnson; so he promoted Burkley to the highest possible rank; kept him on as military physician, and the last person to walk out of the White House with Lyndon Johnson the day he left office was George Burkley.


Screen shot from JFK: Destiny Betrayed showing the house supposedly shared by the Burkley and Miller families.



JFK Revisited had a major segment on Burkley. I tore it apart in these five blog posts:


"JFK Revisited" Misleads on Dr. Burkley's Suspicions of a Conspiracy

Oliver Stone's so-called documentary, JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass, misleads viewers into believing that JFK's doctor, Admiral George Burkley, said that there were multiple gunmen.


"JFK Revisited" Misleads on the ARRB's Quest for Dr. Burkley's Lawyer's Papers

Oliver Stone's so-called documentary, JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass, misleads viewers on the context of discussions between Burkley's family and the ARRB regarding supposed papers in the possession of his lawyer.


"JFK Revisited" Recklessly Accuses George Burkley of being Involved in a Cover-Up

Reckless charges are made against George Burkley with no evidence.


"JFK Revisited" Misleads on Admiral Burkley and the HSCA

Oliver Stone's so-called documentary, JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass, greatly misleads viewers on Admiral George Burkley and his interactions with the HSCA.


"JFK Revisited" Misleads on Admiral George Burkley and Conspiracy Theorists

Oliver Stone's so-called documentary puts words in Burkley's mouth.


The segment on Dr. Burkley in JFK: Destiny Betrayed is slightly longer than the segment in JFK Revisited. This post deals with a small addition which includes an appalling new charge: (4:34 in episode 3)


Dr. Donald Miller: When I was a teenager, Dr. Burkley and his family, four children, and my father, and our family of four children, shared a duplex, lived together at the Newport Naval Hospital. He had a son George, who was my age, sixteen, and we became buddies. I looked him up again in 2012, and I asked him about what his dad had told him and his siblings about his role in the Kennedy case. That the only thing that he would say was that he couldn’t understand why the Warren Commission never asked him to testify. Dr. Burkley knew perfectly well why he wasn’t asked to testify before the Warren Commission. The reason he didn't say anything to his children, he didn’t want them to know that he was intimately involved in the cover-up.


JFK Revisited had this comment from Dr. Miller: (immediately after Burkley saying "I would not care to be quoted on that.")


Dr. Donald Miller: The reason he didn't say anything was he was intimately involved in the cover-up.


It was bad enough for Dr. Miller to accuse the President's personal physician of being involved in a cover-up. It is totally outrageous to say that he used his family as an excuse for not admitting his role in cover-up alleged by Oliver Stone. Dr. Miller had initially written about this on Lew Rockwell's crazy website:

His father knew very well why the Warren Commission never called him to testify. Admiral Burkley knew first-hand that the single bullet theory was bogus. He chose not to tell his children the true facts of the JFK assassination or his involvement in the cover-up. Perhaps to protect them?

Dr. Miller also endorsed this quote by Douglas Horne:

“[Admiral Burkley’s behavior] can only be understood as that of a man who was filled with deep and profound guilt about the massive coverup he participated in—indeed, which he appears to have engineered—a man who wanted to confess his role and unburden himself on some occasions, and who would then abruptly change his mind on other occasions, when he considered the effect this would have had on his reputation and his family’s peace-of-mind. His behavior from the time of the assassination up until his death was that of a deeply conflicted man, ridden with guilt and shame, who wanted to confess his involvement in the cover-up for the moral absolution it would have provided to him but who at the same time, was afraid to do so for practical reasons involving his reputation and his family. History will not absolve him, either for his role in the cover-up, or for his failure to come clean when he had a chance to do so with the HSCA, which could have granted him immunity if he had decided to expose the cover-up.”

And now Oliver Stone and James DiEugenio have endorsed this slander in their so-called documentary. This is completely irresponsible.


I reached out to Richard Burkley, one of Dr. Burkley's sons, and he sent me this message:

I don’t think my father ever actually got himself registered to vote. Being in the military he had to move a lot and he was not particularly concerned about politics. I believe that he was inclined to be more of a Republican supporter that a Democratic fan, at least in his earlier years. I do remember him making some pretty negative comments about Franklin Roosevelt. That all changed when he became President Kennedy’s physician. He was a great admirer of Kennedy and absolutely told me in 1962 or 1963 that he was going to get himself properly registered so he could vote for Kennedy in the next election. Long after the assassination I pressed him a little on the rumored issue of Kennedy having been a bit of a womanizer and he dismissed the issue as either untrue or unimportant. He was a big fan of Kennedy. He also said that when Kennedy was killed he was probably as healthy or more healthy than he had ever been in his life.

I am sure the Burkley family is bewildered by these reckless accusations.


The cavalier attitude of conspiracy theorists allows them to ignore the real life consequences of their baseless charges.


Clay Shaw's life was ruined by Jim Garrison and he was slandered by Oliver Stone. Larry Crafard's marriage broke up because of the nonsense in conspiracy books. Kerry Thornley became hyper-paranoid and totally went off the deep end. Ruth Paine has faced ridiculous insinuations for years. Carlos Bringuier's wife said that worry her husband would be arrested caused her miscarriage. Roger Craig went down the conspiracy rathole and committed suicide.


As Joseph Welch asked of Joseph McCarthy, "Have you no sense of decency?"


And yet, as bad as this all is, James DiEugenio is determined to go even further. Back in 2017, a conspiracy website carried an article by John Titus in which he claimed that something was stolen from Dr. Burkley related to the JFK assassination while he was traveling to Denver:

We will probably never know exactly what evidence about conspiracy was stolen from Dr. Burkley. But here’s an interesting note; The family member I spoke with told me that every year until Burkley’s death he was paid a visit by government agents, presumably Secret Service. Apparently they wanted to keep a grip on Burkley, the man who could possibly bring down the entire assassination cover-up.

I can't speak for the veracity of this report. However, I did reach out to Richard Burkley who told me that he knows of no government agents [Secret Service or otherwise] visiting the house. He believes the accusation is "absurd." Dr. Burkley moved in and lived with Richard Burkley for five years and there were no such visits during that time.


Even if true, it is quite possible that Dr. Burkley made friends with a variety of people while he was working in the White House. Perhaps they had an annual get-together. Is it really necessary to make this all sound nefarious?


This line of reasoning was picked up by James DiEugenio:


James DiEugenio referenced Titus's article on his website. So, perhaps Titus gave DiEugenio his contact within the Burkley family. Except now, the story becomes much more definite - no more presumption about the agents being from the Secret Service.

I have a quiet contact with the Burkley family. He told me the Secret Service would visit the guy each year for an interview. This went on until he passed. Hmm.

And so now Dr. George Burkley is the go-to guy for almost any part of the cover-up. The 'extra bullet' story gave DiEugenio another opportunity to bring up Burkley: (click here for my response to that story)



And Dr. Burkley is now at the center of the supposed cover-up.


That question about decency? Well, we all know the answer.



Previous Relevant Blog Posts on JFK: Destiny Betrayed


"JFK: Destiny Betrayed" Misleads on JFK's Autopsy Photographs (Revisited)

Oliver Stone's so-called documentary series, JFK: Destiny Betrayed misleads viewers on JFK autopsy photographs -- making it appear that a White House photographer took additional pictures that are not in the record. I have covered this in the past and now JFK: Destiny Betrayed makes a new tendentious claim - that the Secret Serviced burned autopsy photographs.


"JFK: Destiny Betrayed" Misleads on General Curtis LeMay, Part Two

Oliver Stone's so-called documentary series, JFK: Destiny Betrayed, alleges that General Curtis LeMay was at JFK's autopsy.


"JFK: Destiny Betrayed" Misleads on General Curtis LeMay, Part One

Oliver Stone's so-called documentary series, JFK: Destiny Betrayed, claims that General Curtis LeMay was ordered by General Zuckert to land at Andrews Air Force Base from his holiday in Canada, and that LeMay then decided to go to National Airport. That is not what happened.


"JFK: Destiny Betrayed" Misleads on JFK's Head Wound, Part Three

Oliver Stone's so-called documentary, JFK: Destiny Betrayed, misleads viewers on the opinions of Parkland Hospital doctors and Bethesda witnesses regarding JFK's head wound.


"JFK: Destiny Betrayed" Misleads on David Ferrie and the CIA

Oliver Stone's so-called documentary series, JFK: Destiny Betrayed, erroneously claims that David Ferrie was an asset of the CIA and that he also flew missions for the CIA. This is simply not true.


"JFK: Destiny Betrayed" Misleads on Israel and Nuclear Weapons

Oliver Stone's so-called documentary series, JFK: Destiny Betrayed, makes it appear that Israel was about to use nuclear weapons in the 1973 Yom Kippur war. A key important fact was left out.


"JFK: Destiny Betrayed" Misleads on Dr. Charles Crenshaw

Oliver Stone's so-called documentary series, JFK: Destiny Betrayed, features Dr. Charles Crenshaw to bolster its claim that President Kennedy was shot from the front. Viewers are not informed of Dr. Crenshaw's credibility problems


"JFK: Destiny Betrayed" Misleads on the Harper Fragment

Oliver Stone's so-called documentary series, JFK: Destiny Betrayed, misleads viewers into thinking the Harper fragment was occipital bone that came from the back of Kennedy's head


"JFK: Destiny Betrayed" Misleads on JFK's Head Wound, Part Two

Oliver Stone's so-called documentary series, JFK: Destiny Betrayed, tries to make the case that because Parkland Hospital doctors saw cerebellum extruding from Kennedy's head wound, that it indicated an exit wound.


"JFK: Destiny Betrayed" Misleads on JFK's Head Wound, Part One

Oliver Stone's so-called documentary series JFK: Destiny Betrayed uses a variety of supposed witnesses to allege that the wound in the back of Kennedy's head was one of exit. Audrey Bell is one such witness and she doesn't have much credibility.


"JFK: Destiny Betrayed" Misleads on Jack Ruby

Oliver Stone's so-called documentary series, JFK: Destiny Betrayed, misleads viewers on the motivations of Jack Ruby.


The Enabling of Oliver Stone

An essay on the intellectual monstrosity of JFK: Destiny Betrayed.


"JFK: Destiny Betrayed" Misleads on Otto Otepka

Oliver Stone's so-called documentary series, JFK: Destiny Betrayed, misleads viewers into believing that Otto Otepka uncovered evidence that Oswald was a fake defector.


"JFK: Destiny Betrayed" Misleads by Claiming Jack Ruby was Signaled

Oliver Stone's so-called documentary series, JFK: Destiny Betrayed, alleges that Jack Ruby was signaled by car horns in the basement of the Dallas Police Department. The evidence clearly shows that there were many horns being sounded in the basement.


"JFK: Destiny Betrayed" Misleads on Supposed Extra Bullet, Part Two

Oliver Stone's so-called documentary series, JFK: Destiny Betrayed, misleads viewers by intimating that that there was a through-and-through hole in the windshield. This is simply not true.


"JFK: Destiny Betrayed" Misleads on Oswald's Income

Oliver Stone's so-called documentary series, JFK: Destiny Betrayed, makes the erroneous claim that Lee Harvey Oswald was not paid for his last quarter of service in the U.S. Marines.


Oliver Stone Disses the Sixth Floor Museum

JFK: Destiny Betrayed needlessly, and unfairly, criticizes the Sixth Floor Museum.


"JFK: Destiny Betrayed" Misleads on Supposed Extra Bullet

Oliver Stone's so-called documentary series, JFK: Destiny Betrayed, alleges that an extra bullet was found in JFK's limousine the evening of the assassination. This is just not true.


"JFK: Destiny Betrayed" Misleads on CIA Involvement in Plot against de Gaulle

JFK: Destiny Betrayed alleges the CIA was involved in an assassination plot against French President Charles de Gaulle. Scenes from a fictional film are used to buttress the allegation. The truth - the CIA had nothing to do with the supposed plot.


"JFK: Destiny Betrayed" Misleads on Allen Dulles and the Warren Commission

The evidence is clear - Robert Kennedy wanted Allen Dulles on the Warren Commission.


What Ever Happened to Jim Garrison?

Jim Garrison is AWOL in Oliver Stone's so-called documentary JFK: Destiny Betrayed.



Previous Relevant Blog Posts on JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass


Oliver Stone Admits "JFK Revisited" is a Flop

Oliver Stone is disappointed that no major movie or TV reviewers have commented on his so-called documentary.


Oliver Stone Claims the Zapruder Film was Altered

Yes, Oliver Stone is an alterationist.


"Guilt by Orientation" - The CIA Strikes Again!

James Kirchick's terrific article on Oliver Stone and homosexuality.


Is the JFK assassination linked to 9/11 and Covid-19?

Just when I thought conspiracy theorists couldn't get any crazier.


Two Important Posts Debunk "JFK Revisited"

Tracy Parnell debunks a series about JFK Revisited on the WhoWhatWhy website, and Andrew Jackson debunks the film on Quora. Both articles are well worth your time.


"JFK Revisited" Misleads on the Autopsy Photographs of JFK, Part Two

Did Saundra Spencer really develop a completely different set of autopsy photographs?


"JFK Revisited" Misleads on Autopsy Photographs of JFK

Oliver Stone's so-called documentary tries to make the case that a White House photographer took photos at the autopsy. The only problem is that there is no evidence he was actually there.


Oliver Stone Pulls the Wool Over Joe Rogan's Eyes, Part Two

Stone misspeaks on the Joe Rogan show about JFK's brain.


Oliver Stone Pulls the Wool over Joe Rogan's Eyes

Stone misspeaks on the Joe Rogan show and I present a challenge to conspiracy theorists.


Jefferson Morley and "JFK Revisited"

Tracy Parnell dissects Morley's article on JFK assassination documents and "JFK Revisited"


"JFK Revisited" Misleads by Putting Words in Kennedy's Mouth, Part Two

Did President Kennedy actually say that he was going to shatter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the wind?


"JFK Revisited" Misleads by Putting Words in Kennedy's Mouth...

David Talbot claims that JFK told the French Ambassador that he was not in full control of his entire government. There is no evidence he ever said that.


"JFK Revisited" Misleads on Supposed CIA Support of the 1961 Coup Attempt in France Oliver Stone's so-called documentary claims the CIA supported the 1961 coup attempt against French President Charles de Gaulle in 1961. The only thing missing is evidence.


Max Boot on Oliver Stone's Lies

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"JFK Revisited" Misleads on Valery Giscard D'Estaing

Did Gerald Ford really disclose to French President Valery Giscard D'Estaing that the JFK assassination was a conspiracy? Perhaps not.


"JFK Revisited" Star Believes in a Massive COVID Conspiracy

Robert Kennedy, Jr. believes in a massive conspiracy regarding Covid and the intelligence agencies.


"JFK Revisited" Misleads on Kennedy's Back Wound

While Gerald Ford edited some language in the Warren Report, he did not change the location of the back wound. Autopsy photographs show exactly the location of the back wound.


"JFK Revisited" alleges Oswald was "placed"

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"JFK Revisited" Misleads on JFK's Throat Wound

The preponderance of the evidence indicates JFK's throat wound was one of exit.


"JFK Revisited" Misleads on the Supposed Chicago Plot There is no evidence that there was actually a plot against JFK in Chicago.


Was James Gochenaur a Credible Witness in "JFK Revisited"?

Gochenaur's writings don't back up his allegations in JFK Revisited.


"JFK Revisited" Misleads on Guy Banister

Oliver Stone's so-called documentary claims that Guy Banister gave Oswald a room at 544 Camp Street. The evidence does not support the allegation.


"JFK Revisited" Misleads on JFK's Brain, Again...

Dr. Robert Kirschner's consultation with the ARRB explains a mystery in the documentary.


"JFK Revisited" Misleads on the Weight of JFK's Brain

JFK Revisited makes a big deal about the weight of JFK's brain and ignores a non-conspiratorial explanation.


JFK Revisited Distorts John Stringer's Testimony

Oliver Stone's so-called documentary makes it sound like the autopsy photographer said that he did not take the photos of JFK's brain that are in the current inventory,


JFK Revisited Lays an Egg

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Oliver Stone with "JFK Revisited" Crucifies Clay Shaw Once Again

There is something really obscene about Oliver Stone once again going after Clay Shaw.


JFK Revisited Doesn't Tell the Whole Truth about John Connally

You won't learn everything you need to know about Connally's position on the shots from Oliver Stone's so-called documentary.


JFK Revisited Uses Marina Porter to Mislead Viewers

Oliver Stone tries to make it seem like Marina Porter has denied taking the backyard photographs of Lee Harvey Oswald.


JFK Revisited: Were the Oswald Backyard Photographs Faked?

Oliver Stone once again raises the issue of the legitimacy of the backyard photographs of Lee Harvey Oswald.


JFK Revisited: Was Clay Shaw the elusive Clay Bertrand?

This post debunks every witness that has ever claimed Shaw was Bertrand.


Oliver Stone's Poverty of Imagination

He cannot imagine any sort of non-conspiratorial explanations for any of the suspicious pieces of evidence in his film.


Was Clay Shaw a "Contract Agent" for the CIA?

No, Clay Shaw was not a "contract agent."



Steve Roe Blog Posts on JFK Revisited & JFK: Destiny Betrayed


Oswald's Marine Corps 3rd Quarter Pay False Mystery

Oswald was paid by the Marine Corps, not ONI, CIA or any other Intelligence agency.


Cartoonists Oliver Stone and James DiEugenio try to Dupe the Public about Dr. Malcolm Perry

JFK: Destiny Betrayed doesn't tell the whole truth about Dr. Malcolm Perry.


Oliver Stone's JFK: Destiny Betrayed Film Never Checked the Facts

Steve Roe finds additional evidence that debunks the allegation in JFK: Destiny Betrayed

that Oswald not paid by the Marines for the 3rd quarter of 1959.


Oliver Stone Disses the Sixth Floor Museum

Stone and DiEugenio falsely accuse the Sixth Floor Museum as openly promoting Oswald as the Assassin.


Oliver Stone's JFK Revisited Screenwriter Reprimanded by ARRB in 1998

An exchange of letters between James DiEugenio and Jeremy Gunn of the ARRB.


Is This How Real Documentaries Are Made? There is some 'interesting' editing in Oliver Stone's so-called documentary.


JFK Revisited Screen Writer Crawfishes on Dallas to Chicago Airmail Overnight Delivery James DiEugenio changes his story on the Klein's money order.


Debunking Another JFK Myth - Overnight Mail from Dallas to Chicago

Conspiracy theorist James DiEugenio doesn't understand the history of the mail deliver in the United States.


JFK Revisited: More Deception and Half-Truths

The truth about Jack Ruby and the FBI.


JFK Revisited: Again, Caught Creating False Mysteries "Stone/DiEugenio hatch another Bogus Mystery with Sinister Strap/Sling Mounts on Oswald's Rifle"


JFK Revisited: Tripping on the Stairs

Oliver Stone claims that Oswald could not have been in the sniper's nest on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. Steve Roe exposes Stone's mistakes.


Oliver Stone doubles-down on the Looney Frontal Shot to the President

In an interview on RT [Russia Today], Oliver Stone says that the throat wound might have been made by a flechette.


Oliver Stone - Deceptive Filmmaker?

Steve Roe presents some examples of Oliver Stone's 'creative' abilities.


A Look at the "JFK Revisited: Through The Looking Glass" Film by Oliver Stone

Oliver Stone distorts the testimony about Oswald's palmprint on the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle.














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