December 4, 1974
Testimony of Kenneth Gillespie (Womack Army Hospital ER medic)
Scans of original transcript
I, Mary M. Ritchie, being a Notary Public in and for the State of North Carolina, was appointed to take the testimony of the following witness, Kenneth H. Gillespie, before the Grand Jury, Raleigh, North Carolina, commencing on December 4, 1974. All Grand Jurors present.
Whereupon, KENNETH H. GILLESPIE, having been first duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows:
EXAMINATION BY MR. STROUD:
Q Would you state your full name, please, sir?
A Kenneth Harlow Gillespie.
Q And, would you give us your residence address, sir?
A 6118 Fairdale, Apartment 39, Houston, Texas.
Q And what is your occupation, please?
Q And who do you work for?
A American Metal Fabricating.
Q American Metal --
Q Okay. Referring you back to the morning of February 17, 1970, where were you located at that time and what was your occupation?
A At Ft. Bragg at that time. I was in Seventh Special Forces, assigned to the Womack Army Hospital.
Q In what capacity?
A Emergency room.
Q Okay. And, were you what's referred to as a medic?
Q Now, on that morning did you have occasion to have contact with one, then, Captain Jeffrey MacDonald?
A Yes, sir.
Q Okay. Was that in the emergency room at the hospital -- at Womack?
A Yes, sir.
Q Okay. Go ahead and tell us in your own words, if you will, what occurred there.
A Well we were there and we had a report that there was a stabbing coming in. And, when the ambulance arrived, we helped get the patient out of the ambulance, put him on an emergency room gurney, and take him into the crash room which was located just off the main part of the emergency room. And, we noticed at the time that he had several lacerations and one puncture wound. The puncture wound was located on his -- the upper right quadrant of his abdomen. There was also a laceration on his left arm, I believe, and one on his lower left abdomen.
Now this puncture wound looked like it might have been deep, so I put a Vaseline gauze over it, just in case it had punctured the lung, and removed his -- he was wearing an article of clothing. I don't remember exactly what it was -- bottoms, pants, or some sort of thing; and threw them in the corner. I also noticed that he had smeared blood on his face, as though he had wiped his hand across his face when his hand had blood on it or something. And, that was about it.
Q Okay. The wound on the -- the laceration on the arm and the laceration on the lower left abdomen, what -- would you describe them? Were they superficial, deep?
A Oh, no. Just superficial wounds.
Q And other than those that you've described, you observed no other wounds on his body? How about something on his forehead?
A He did have a bump on his forehead.
Q Was the skin broken?
A No, I don't think so.
Q Other than the puncture wound, the two laceration wounds, and the bump on the forehead, do you recall any other type of injuries about his body?
A No, sir.
Q Now, as you brought him in from the ambulance and during the time that you were with him there in what is called the crash room, did he make any statements of any kind?
Q All right. Would you describe those to the grand jury, please?
A He was -- he made statements about -- he wanted to know where his family was. Why weren't they there? He also mentioned something about two Negro males, one white male and one white female wearing -- she was wearing a white hat and white boots. And she was carrying a candle. And she was saying, "Kill the pigs." He also said that when he woke up, he saw his wife laying across the room.
Q Did he say he woke up in the hallway?
A Yes. He said he woke up in the hallway and could see his wife. That was it. And she had a knife sticking out of her chest; and he crawled over to her; and he said he pulled the knife out and saw that she wasn't breathing. And that was it.
Q And from the position he woke up in the hallway, that he could see her in the bedroom?
A That's what he said.
Q And he crawled to her?
Q Did he say anything about whether or not she was breathing at the time he pulled the knife out of her chest?
A Yes. He said she wasn't.
Q Was there anything said by him about the children saying anything?
A They did cry out "Daddy, Daddy," something of this sort.
Q All right. When he made that statement, did he say that the children were crying "Daddy, Daddy," or one of the children, or did he call the name of a child?
A No. He just said the children were saying, "Daddy, Daddy."
Q Okay. Now, when he described the four people, are you sure he said two Negro males?
A Two Negro, one white and a white female.
Q And not two white males, one Negro male and one white female?
Q Did he say what color hair the white female had?
Q Did he say anything about what they did to him, if anything? Did he make any statement about what had happened to him?
A Not that I remember, no.
Q How long was he there in the crash room?
A Five, ten minutes. No longer.
Q And, then from where did he --
A X-ray. He went to X-ray after he left the emergency room.
Q Did you have any contact with him after he left the emergency room?
A No, sir.
Q How would you describe him, as to alertness, being aware of his circumstances, etc?
A I think he knew where he was and he knew what had happened. But, he did jump from subject -- he'd talk about one thing and all of a sudden change to another thing right in the middle of a sentence, as he had a lot of things going through his mind at once.
Q And his injury. How would you describe it for seriousness?
A Not very serious.
Q Were you at any time really concerned about his welfare?
Q And at that point, how long had you been working in the emergency room? Were you fairly new at it or had you been in it --
A I had been in training for approximately sixteen, seventeen months, and had worked at different hospitals.
MR. STROUD: Ladies and gentlemen, any questions of Mr. Gillespie?
JUROR: As best as you can, give us a description of the appearance of his pajama bottoms.
A If I remember correctly, they were a light blue -- blue in color and I believe they had blood on them. That's all I remember.
JUROR: Could you say whether or not they were torn?
A No, sir.
JUROR: You can't say, or they were not?
A I cannot say.
JUROR: You don't know what happened to the pajama bottoms, do you?
A All I know is I threw them in the corner. I imagine they went out with the trash.
JUROR: When Mr. Stroud reasked you the question whether it was two Negroes and one male, did you say yes or no? Was it one male and two Negroes or two white and one Negro?
A It was two Negro, one white and a white female.
FOREMAN: Do you recall a Mr. Newman that was on duty at that time?
A Yes; Mike.
FOREMAN: What part did he play in receiving Dr. MacDonald?
A Basically the same I did. He, I believe, went to the X-ray with the patient after he left the emergency room.
FOREMAN: Did he assist you in getting him from the ambulance into the crash room, or did the ambulance attendants bring him in?
A I think we were all involved in bringing the patient in.
FOREMAN: Was Mr. Newman with him longer than you were after he was in the crash room?
A Yes, sir.
FOREMAN: So he really attended him, as a medic would do, more than you did after you got him in the crash room?
A Oh, no, sir. We worked at the same amount of time. We were in the crash room for the same amount of time with him.
FOREMAN: You cleaned him up, bandaged his wounds, put the bandage -- the Vaseline -- let me ask this. Was there any active bleeding about his body at that time?
A No, sir.
FOREMAN: Did he give you any indication that he might want to leave there and get out of there? Was he very active or was he very passive or what was his general attitude at the time he was in the crash room? Was he excited?
A Yes, he was excited. He was anxious. That's about all I can remember.
FOREMAN: You didn't have the feeling that you would have to restrain him to keep him there?
A No, sir.
FOREMAN: He never gave you any indication that he wanted to get up and leave?
A No, sir.
FOREMAN: Anyone else?
MR. STROUD: Thank you.
FOREMAN: Thank you, Mr. Gillespie.