The Secret Service and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy prevailed, and the president's body was flown to Bethesda Naval Hospital, where an autopsy was done by pathologists James Humes and Thornton Boswell. Their findings have been used to support an array of conspiracy theories about Kennedy's death.
Rose, who died Tuesday at age 85, believed that many of those theories wouldn't have gained traction if he had been allowed to do his job. He told the Associated Press in 2003 that he and his staff should have done the exam.
“We had the routine in place to do it. ... It was important for the chain of evidence to remain intact,” Rose said. “That didn't happen when the body was taken to Bethesda.”