the recent success of a fundraising campaign on
kickstarter.com to turn the cancelled television series,
“Veronica Mars,” into a movie, an aspiring Carmel filmmaker
has launched a similar effort to finance a documentary about
the John F. Kennedy assassination. And, no, it’s not going to
be about the latest conspiracy theory. The filmmaker’s father
was an emergency room physician who treated the mortally
A professional photographer with an impressive list of
celebrity portraits in her portfolio, Christie Jenkins was a
young spectator along the motorcade route in Dallas on Nov.
22, 1963, when the president was shot. At the same time, her
father, Dr. Marion Thomas Jenkins, was working at nearby
Parkland Hospital. “I was sorry my father couldn’t watch the
parade with me,” Jenkins told The Pine Cone.
After Kennedy was hit, his limousine sped him to Parkland
Hospital. An anesthesiologist, Jenkins was called upon to try
to resuscitate the dying president. And two days later, he
performed the same task for the president’s assassin, the
mortally wounded Lee Harvey Oswald. And he later operated on
Oswald’s killer, Jack Ruby, in prison.
Jenkins said she believes her father’s unique vantage point —
as well as “an extremely detailed” recording he made just
minutes after leaving Kennedy’s body — will make a compelling
documentary film. He died in 1994 at 77.
“He was the only person in the entire universe who stood by
the head of President Kennedy while the president’s blood
flowed down his legs and into his shoes,” Jenkins explained.
“No one else had that perspective. My father was a warm and
erudite man, and his unique voice should be heard.”
According to Jenkins, the documentary will tell the
“second-by-second story of what actually took place in Trauma
Room One that weekend,” including an unreleased interview she
conducted with her father shortly before his death.
In addition to “being hounded, nearly ‘til the day he died, by
conspiracy theorists,” Jenkins said her father was often
misquoted in interviews about what transpired that day in
Parkland Hospital. “This is his final say on the matter and my
opportunity to get it out there,” she said.
While Jenkins is best known for his role in the aftermath of
the assassination, his obituary in the New York Times notes
that he “and a colleague devised a procedure that is used
every day in operating rooms around the world when they found
that by giving an intravenous saline solution to surgical
patients with a strong blood pressure and pulse, the need for
a blood transfusion was reduced.”
The timing is right
With the 50th anniversary of the assassination approaching,
Christie Jenkins, who lives in Carmel, decided the timing was
right for producing a documentary. So she launched the
Kickstarter campaign in mid-March, and now she needs to get
the word out. She’s hoping to raise $81,000 to cover at least
a sizable portion of the production costs for the documentary,
which she plans to title, “Kennedy. Parkland. Doctors.
Daughter. The Missing Piece.” “Broadcast quality editing is
expensive, and I like to hire talented people to do their jobs
well,” she explained.
As a photographer, Jenkins has created intimate portraits of
many celebrities, including Donald Trump, Bette Midler and
Christopher Reeve. In 1980, she produced a best-selling
calendar, “Buns: A Woman Looks at Men’s.” She has also worked
at a variety of occupations in the entertainment industry,
from actress, to screenwriter.
The Kickstarter campaign has two weeks to go, and the credit
cards of contributors won’t be charged unless she reaches her
goal. If you’re interested in contributing, visit
www.kickstarter.com and type “JFK” into the search option.