Yitzhak Rabin`s third wound!
|November 1998. It had been a good
eighteen months since the last hidden documentation about the Yitzhak Rabin
assassination had been uncovered. Since then some serious evidence
had emerged about the political side of the murder. A year before,
the government released some sections of the previously closed Shamgar
Commission findings which incriminated Avishai Raviv far more deeply
in widespread crimes of provocation. Two months later, one former
Eyal activist, Benny Aharoni signed a sworn statement to Knesset Member
Michael Eitan, that under orders from Raviv, he phoned three dozen
reporters and delivered the infamous "We Missed But We'll Get Yitzhak Rabin
Next Time" message, well before the shooting was announced on the
Israeli media. And journalist Adir Zik had gathered powerful evidence
of Carmi Gillon's complicity in the murder.
But the tap had shut tight on any new medical, police or forensic
documentation. It looked as though the evidence I had collected for
this book would be the last of the proofs that Yigal Amir had not
shot fatal bullets into Yitzhak Rabin. The strongest evidence was the testimony
of Police Chief Lieutenant Baruch Gladstein proving that Yitzhak Rabin was
shot point blank and Dr. Mordechai Guttman's surgeon's notes describing
a frontal chest wound which passed through the lung before shattering
the vertebrae at D5-6.
When this book was written I had read Guttman's full surgical report,
which included the description of three gunshot wounds and the publicly
released procedural summation of November 5 which removed the frontal
chest wound and shattered spine. Thus, it was Dr. Guttman's written
word from the night of the murder versus his altered version of events,
co-authored with Drs. Kluger and Hausner, the next day. Whenever Dr.
Guttman was confronted with his report of the chest wound on the murder
night, he answered that he had mistaken Yitzhak Rabin's ribs for his spine.
If so, that Dr. Guttman couldn't tell the difference between ribs
and the spinal column, as one doctor attending a lecture of mine told
the audience, he should be disbarred from ever practising medicine
again. However, another doctor did give Dr. Guttman the benefit of
the doubt: if the bullet shattered the vertebrae at the point where
the ribs join the spine, such a mixup was both logical and understandable.
The main problem was that we were missing reliable descriptions of
Yitzhak Rabin's condition before and after the doctors went to work on him.
Dr. Guttman's report of a frontal chest wound lacked overall perpective
and seemed an oddity that could be sloughed off with the explanation
that he was mistaken when he wrote it. In early December, American
filmmaker Peter Goldman arrived in Israel with the intention of gathering
the evidence needed to justify raising funds for a full length documentary
based on my book. I gave him my contacts, who were new to him and
we shared one contact in common. I expressed the opinion that visiting
him would be a waste of time. I had a meeting with him a year and
a half before and followed it up with two phone calls. It was all
for naught; this contact had not provided me with any new evidence.
Undaunted, Peter met him anyway and was well rewarded for following
his instincts. Just a few hours before departing the country, Peter
presented me with three new documents. I immediately understood that
they were the final pieces of the puzzle. We now had a complete diary
of Yitzhak Rabin's treatment at Ichilov Hospital.
Document one was the initial visual diagnosis of Yitzhak Rabin by Dr. Guttman.
Hastily written in English, the diagnosis reads, "GSW Abdomen and
Chest": Gunshot wounds to the abdomen and chest. When I read the word
chest, I thought I had found the smoking gun. Yitzhak Rabin arrived with a
chest wound. Yigal Amir never shot him in the chest. Case closed. I would
have to change my book. There were only two wounds, not three. There
was no third shot in the hospital. Yitzhak Rabin was shot in the chest in
the car. However, within a few days, two experts set me straight.
A chest wound can also begin from the back if the bullet travels forward
and injures the chest. Page two was far more detailed. It begins with
a description of Yitzhak Rabin's first bodily examination and provides us
with indisputable proof of Yitzhak Rabin's condition immediately after he
was placed on the examination table. Page three was the summation
of the operation. At last, we no longer had to depend on the public
summation of November 5 to understand the cause of Yitzhak Rabin's death.
I now had the whole story in hand and it was told in the following
|1. First diagnosis
2. First bodily examination
3. Surgical procedure
4. Operation summation
5. Altered public summation
By the time I had completed my book, I had read 3 and 5. Four months
after the book was released, I received 1, 2 and 4. And to my great
relief, they confirmed my thesis conclusively. The documents, though
not lengthy nor wordy are surprisingly complicated and packed with
information which can be interpreted in different ways. Nonetheless,
one piece of information cannot be disputed: Yitzhak Rabin's first chest wound
cannot possibly be the same one which Dr. Guttman described on the
last page of his surgical procedure report. As recalled, Guttman operated
on a wound beginning in the upper lobe of the right lung, which exited
the lung in the direction of Dorsal Vertebrae 5-6, leaving a 2.5-3
cm. exit wound in the lung before shattering the vertebrae. That is
the wound Yitzhak Rabin ended up with. Here is the wound he arrived with.
According to the newly uncovered first bodily examination report,
Yitzhak Rabin's chest wound was caused by, "an entrance wound in the area
of the right shoulder blade which lodged under the skin in ICS3 at
MCL 3-4." Translated: The bullet entered the right shoulder blade
and took a straight line path to Intercostal Space 3 at Midclavicular
line 3-4. Simplified: The bullet went from the right shoulder blade
to just below the right nipple. Dr. Guttman could not have mixed up
the ribs and the spinal column because this bullet was lodged in the
mid-section of the ribs, almost as far from the spine as is possible.
I received a detailed explanation from a physician
who had the foresight to bring visual aids in the form of largescale
skeletal charts. In report 3, Dr. Guttman does indeed begin the operation
with procedures to treat a rear chest wound. And Yitzhak Rabin responds. His
pulse returns to 130, his blood pressure to 90. Then without explanation
as to why, his pulse drops to 60, his blood pressure also to 60 and
then all vital signs disappear from the monitor. It is at this point
that Dr. Guttman suddenly operates on a frontal chest wound which
shatters the backbone. The physician explained, "It's as if that wound
came out of nowhere. The patient's vital organs had stopped functioning
and other procedures were called for. There was no reason to begin
a new operation, unless there was a new wound."
The physician then tried every hypothetical bullet path to match the
frontal chest/spine wound Dr. Guttman finally operated on, with the
rear chest wound Yitzhak Rabin arrived with, as described in documents 1 and
2. Even with the most deft of contortions, the wounds didn't match.
In order for one bullet to do all the damage described in reports
1, 2, and 3, it would have to take the following journey: Yigal Amir would
have had to have shot Yitzhak Rabin in a near straight line from the side,
not the back, something he did not do. The bullet would have entered
the shoulder blade and carried on to the upper lobe of the right lung,
switching directions to go down to Dorsal Vertebrae 5-6, which are
in the mid-back. Then it would have had to have shattered the vertebrae
and been deflected upward, entering and exiting the lung again before
lodging just below the skin in the area of the right nipple.
The physician concluded, "If that was so, and I add that it most certainly
wasn't so, why was the first diagnosis a straight line back to chest
wound and why didn't Dr. Guttman report the two additional lung punctures?
Even if somehow one bullet caused these two wounds, it was incumbent
on the surgeon to accurately describe the damage." Finally, all THREE
of Yitzhak Rabin's wounds were revealed. The first two wounds, to the chest
and abdomen occurred before Yitzhak Rabin's arrival. The third, frontal chest
wound, had to have been inflicted after he entered the hospital. Of
the second wound, the bullet entered the abdomen via the left flank.
Dr. Guttman failed to notice another rather important detail as we
shall soon see. We now examine report 4, and what a tale it tells.
The operation is now over and the surgical team writes its conclusion
of their very busy night. And what a latented team it was. Department
Heads all. No longer is Dr. Guttman the sole witness to the night's
events. Though he writes the summation, it is witnessed by Drs. Kluger
and Yaacovitz, anaethesiologist Dr. Ostrovski and nurses Evelyn and
Svetlana. Svetlana, co-signs the report and adds signed confirmation,
finally, of Dr. Guttman's surgical procedures. Let's begin easy. At
the bottom of the page are the times of the whole night's events.
Yitzhak Rabin was received at 22 hours, on the table at 22:05, under anaesthesia
at 22:10, operated on beginning at 22:15 and ending at 23:30. The
problem here is that Yitzhak Rabin's death was officially announced at 23:20.
We'll assume for now that the clock was wrong in the operating theater.
The real story is at the top of the page. First, it goes a long way
to confirming the laboratory conclusions of Chief Lieutenant Gladstein
by noting that Yitzhak Rabin was shot from close range. Next, in report 1,
we read that Yitzhak Rabin was admitted with gunshot wounds to the chest and
abdomen. By report 4, some new wounds seem to have been added. The
major wounds are still GSW to chest and abdomen. But now four secondary
wounds are added in English.
|GSW to right lung
laceration of spleen
Dr. Guttman added the question and exclamation marks for emphasis,
apparently indicating that this was the final cause of death. At least,
that's what the physician and an IDF officer from the medical corps
both guessed. Laceration of the spleen and hemorraghic shock were
likely internal wounds caused by the shot to the flank. However, the
first and last wounds are highly problematic, as the physician explains.
"First, you must accept that unlike the nearly conclusive evidence
of two chest wounds that we examined before, this document is open
to much more interpretation. Still, some really bothersome questions
should be asked. "Let's look at the secondary gunshot wound to the
lung. Why would the doctors have even mentioned it? They reported
a major gunshot wound to the chest and that, except in the rarest
of injuries, includes the lung. What's the point of mentioning the
lung wound again unless it came from another gunshot?" The Shamgar
Commission examined these very same documents and asked the same question.
They were told that the second wound to the right lung was caused
by the bullet that entered the flank. It passed through the spleen
and stomach before lodging in the right lung. That is the official
version held by the Israeli government and accepted by the judges
at Yigal Amir's trial
However the physician notes a fact the Shamgar Commission somehow
missed. In order for a bullet shot in the left flank to reach the
right lung, it has to pass through the left lung and most likely the
heart. If the doctors were so fastidious about noting a secondary
wound to the right lung, why didn't they record the entry and exit
wounds that must have occurred in the left lung?" And now the biggest
issue of all, spinal shock. Recall that the state pathologist Dr.
Yehuda Hiss conducted a limited autopsy on Yitzhak Rabin after Dr. Guttman's
team had completed its work and found no damage to the spinal column.
Recall also, that based on this conclusion, the Shamgar Commission
and the judges at Yigal Amir's trial concluded that Yitzhak Rabin suffered
no spinal damage. And finally, recall that the film of the assassination
shows Yitzhak Rabin walking after the shot to his back, an impossibility if
vertebrae 5 and 6 were shattered as Dr. Guttman reported
Well, now it's not only Dr. Guttman reporting spinal shock. It's also
five other members of his team. Would we could put them all in a courtroom
and ask each why they agreed to appear on a report which concluded
that Yitzhak Rabin died of spinal shock when the government of Israel's Justice
Ministry and courts insist he did not. I asked the physician, can
spinal shock be caused by something other than breakage in the vertebrae
or spinal cord? Perhaps a severe bruise or shaking can cause spinal
shock. "Out of the question," he replied. "Spinal shock is the trauma
resulting from a break or breaks in the spinal column. The breaks
can be in the outer vertebrae or in the cord, but there is no other
definition of spinal shock."
The physician made another poignant observation. "When the patient
arrived, the doctors did not record any symptoms of spinal shock.
Again this is possible but hard to understand. One of the first things
doctors look for in shooting cases is spinal shock. It's very easy
to diagnosis. When the spinal nerves are severed, the blood stops
pumping naturally and is forced downward by gravity. So, typically,
the upper body is white and the lower body, red. The victim was shot
at 9:45 and examined at 10:05. You would expect that twenty minutes
after being shot in the spine, spinal shock would be detected and
The physician was reluctant to let me hear what I was waiting all
these long months to prove. He would not say that the summation proved
there was a third shot at Yitzhak Rabin from the time he was admitted to Ichilov
Hospital but he stated, "If I didn't know who the victim was or the
circumstances of his death, I think I'd have to conclude that the
patient received another wound subsequent to his initial admission.
But I would advise you to stress your strongest points and they are
that two separate chest wounds are reported by Dr. Guttman and that
it is inconceivable that Yitzhak Rabin had no spinal damage. The six members
of the operating team were too skilled to have all been wrong about
There you have it. It is a certainty that Yitzhak Rabin suffered a frontal
chest wound and spinal shock, neither of which Yigal Amir could physically
have caused. But there is even more to the documents than just the
description of the wounds. There is confirmation of a vital vignette
in my book. I recounted an episode told to me by Zeev Barcella, editor
of the country's largest circulation Russian-language newspaper, Vesti.
On the morning of the assassination he received a phone call from
a Russian-born operating nurse who told him, "The media is lying about
Yitzhak Rabin's wounds. I saw them. His spinal cord was shattered and they're
saying it wasn't." Ninety minutes later the nurse called Barcella
back and with well-remembered fear in her voice said, "I didn't call
you before and you don't know who I am." Then she hung up the phone.
The newly uncovered documents revealed new names to me of people who
were in the operating theater that night.
The nurse's first name, Svetlana and her signature were on the surgical
summation. By comparing another document I possessed, I discovered
her full name, Svetlana Shlimovitz. I found her phone number, introduced
myself as best I could and had the following short conversation:
"Svetlana, I would like to know what happened to Yitzhak Rabin in
the operating theater."
"How did you get my name?"
"You signed the surgical summation report."
"I don't work there anymore and I can never say what happened. Bye."
And she hung up.
Barcella's story was true as well. As was my book. I got it right
the first time around.
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see also - "Yitzhak
Rabin'S MAGIC DISAPPEARING HOLE"
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