Thursday, May 26, 2011

Robert Kennedy Assassination


On June 6, 1968, after RFK won the Democratic primary in California, he was shot multiple times as he passed through the pantry of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. The official account maintains that he was taken out by a lone, demented gunman, Sirhan Sirhan, a Palestinian who had written, “RFK must die!”, over and over in a notebook. Like the alleged lone, demented gunman accused of assassinating his brother, JFK, however, the evidence contradicts what the government has told us, where both murders appear to have been products of conspiracies and where Sirhan Sirhan, like Lee Harvey Oswald, was the patsy in plots that involved many more.


A portal to online video clips related to the JFK, MLK, and RFK assassinations, plus the MFF's own unique productions.

Political legacy: Conspiracy theorists have speculated that the mob was involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, left. Centre, Robert Kennedy was also assassinated

Political legacy: The Kennedy brothers, from left, JFK, Robert and Edward. Conspiracy theorists have claimed the mob and the CIA were involved in JFK's killing

Assassinated: Robert Kennedy leaving Downing Street in 1968. He was shot dead in Los Angeles later that year. Right, President Kennedy was infamously killed in Dallas in 1963 Assassinated: Robert Kennedy leaving Downing Street in 1968. He was shot dead in Los Angeles later that year. Right, President Kennedy was infamously killed in Dallas in 1963

Assassinated: Robert Kennedy leaving Downing Street in 1968. He was shot dead in Los Angeles later that year. Right, President Kennedy was infamously killed in Dallas in 1963

Captured: The Berlin Wall


As more and more of the witnesses’ testimony is taken into account and subjected to a systematic assessment, the strength of support for the identifications by Ayers and Smith becomes increasingly stronger and the evidence against weaker. Ironically, Shane O’Sulllivan, who was largely responsible for uncovering the evidence that the three officials of the CIA were at the Ambassador, eventually concluded that at least two of them were Bulova Watch Company employees. That inference is substantially overridden by the weight of the evidence, however, where the only mistake that he appears to have made was drawing the conclusion that he had initially been wrong.


Three prominent CIA officials — George Joannides, David Sanchez Morales, and Gordon Campbell — had been identified as present at the Ambassador. Bradley Ayers, an Army captain assigned to the CIA at JM/Wave in Miami from May 1963 to December 1964, had met all three and ID’d two of them — Morales and Campbell — in a video from the Ambassador. Gordon Campbell had even been Ayers’ case officer while he was working for the agency.

Wayne Smith, who served as an ambassador with the Department of State from 1957-1982 with JFK’s Latin American Task Force, also knew Morales [2]. When he viewed the same footage as Ayers, he immediately recognized Morales. As he later told Shane O’Sullivan, “Bobby Kennedy is assassinated [and] David Morales is there? The two things have to be related” [3]. So they both confirmed the person in the video as Morales and they were both emphatic, as can be seen in Shane’s DVD [4].

Ayers and Smith both remarked upon his body language, his stance and his way of moving, where videos provide enormously more information for identifications than do single photographs, whether candid or staged [5] [6]. Brad explains in “RFK Must Die!” that the Joannides figure seemed familiar to him, but he could not ID him at the time. He subsequently told me over several conversations that he had seen him intermittently at JM/WAVE in professional matters and only later learned his name.

He was quite certain about his identification of Campbell, whom he knew extremely well. When I wrote in “JFK and RFK” that “Bradley Ayers, an Army captain assigned to the CIA at JM/Wave in Miami from May 1963 to December 1964, had met all three and identified them in film footage from the Ambassador,” I was basing my remark in part on knowledge I had acquired directly from him in relation to Joannides. One reason I wanted to publish this sequel, therefore, is to clarify this point but also to explain how much more evidence we have supporting his and Smith’s identifications.

Gordon Campbell

In their two-page article, “The BBC’s Flawed RFK Story”, David Talbot, the author of Brothers (2007), who is also the founder of, and Jefferson Morley, who is a Washington journalist of some acclaim [7], however, insist that that Campbell died on September 19, 1962, which is very peculiar, since he served as Brad Ayers’ case officer from 1963-1964. They even post an alleged “death certificate” and also quote one Rudy Enders, a retired CIA official, who claims that he was present when Campbell died. They have published a photograph of the “alleged” Gordon Campbell from the Ambassador Hotel side-by-side with a copy of Campbell’s death certificate.

According to Talbot and Morley, he was “not the deputy station chief in the CIA’s Miami operation, as O’Sullivan reported. He was a yachtsman and Army colonel who served as a contract agent helping the agency ferry anti-Castro guerillas across the straits of Florida, according to Rudy Enders, a retired CIA officer, and two other people who knew him.” He could not have been at Bobby’s assassination because he was, according to them, already dead. They provide no photo of “Gordon Campbell” and offer no response to O’Sullivan’s suggestion that the CIA might have used his name for another agent, since the use of aliases is common practice by the agency.

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Is this Gordon Campbell (left of center) with George Joannides at the Ambassador?

The likelihood of Ayers being wrong about the identity of his own case officer at JM/WAVE is extremely low, while forging documents is among the CIA’s principal pastimes. Faking a death certificate for some “Gordon Campbell” would probably have been simpler than any other technique for coping with Ayers’ identification. Brad has one of the best memories for detail of anyone I have ever known and my guess is that it’s a fake. But, even if we were to take it at face value, the question would become, Who was the man with whom Brad Ayers worked from May 1963 to December 1964 whom he identified in the video footage from the Ambassador? We know the man in the photo cannot be someone who died in 1962. So who was he?

Other “disproofs”

Although Talbot and Morley claim, on the basis of six weeks of research, that they have disproven the identifications made by Brad Ayers and by Wayne Smith, their “disproof” of Brad’s identification of Campbell does not inspire confidence. In a day and age of identify theft, their failure to pursue Shane’s suggestion raises serious questions about the integrity and intent of their “investigation”. Unlike Ayres and Smith, moreover, neither Talbot nor Morley knew Morales, Campbell or Joannides personally. They were therefore dependent on the information they were given by various sources, whose credibility they do not seem to have seriously assessed.

Indeed, one of the most glaring inadequacies of Morley and Talbot’s article is that they also minimize the number of persons who identified Morales, Joannides, and Campbell. They mention exactly four sources for these identifications, each of whom they acknowledge as having identified exactly one of the three men in the footage from the Ambassador. In their piece, they acknowledge the following identifications:

    • Wayne Smith identified one of them as David Morales
    • David Rabern identified the same person as Morales
    • Brad Ayers identified one of them as Gordon Campbell
    • Ed Lopez identified one of them as George Joannides

But Brad had also identified Morales, and David Rabern, a professional investigator, who was present at the Ambassador, had personally observed Campbell interacting with Morales, even though he did not know either man by name. Footage shows Campbell interacting with Joannides, as “RFK Must Die!” records [9]. Shane noticed three others — presumably, subordinates — who were interacting with them. Thus, a list of identifications, at the very least, should obviously also include these additions:

    • Brad Ayers identified another man as David Morales
    • Rabern observed Morales interacting with Campbell
    • Footage shows Campbell interacting with Joannides

Remarkably, Rabern told Shane that he had also observed the man others identified as Campbell in and around the LA Police Department “probably half a dozen times” prior to the assassination of RFK, usually in the company of two other men and a woman, as Shane reports in Who Killed Bobby? [10] (page 441), which raises obvious questions about collusion between the CIA and the LAPD in Bobby’s death.

Who killed Bobby?

Talbot and Morley not only suppress Ayers’ identification of Morales, but they also ignore two other witnesses, Dan Hardway (page 458) and Tom Polgar (page 459), who also identified Joannides, lending further support to Ed Lopez’ identification:

  • Dan Hardway identified one of them as George Joannides
  • Tom Polgar identified the same man as George Joannides

Hardway and Lopez were congressional investigators for the House Select Committee on Assassinations [HSCA] and Polgar had been Joannides’ CIA station chief in Saigon. After initially confirming his identity, according to Talbot, Polgar later decided he had been wrong. Given how well Polgar knew Joannides, however, it is difficult to imagine why he would have withdrawn his identification — unless he had been pressured to do so.

Talbot discounts Polgar in a note to O’Sullivan, but his identification seems more credible than his denial. Moreover, when Joannides’ daughters were asked if their father was in the videos, they responded with, “No comment!” (page 447), which suggests that they, too, recognized their father. If it wasn’t him, after all, surely they would have simply asserted, “No!” That they did not deny the ID should also have been reported:

  • Joannides’ daughters did not deny the identification

And Robert Walton (page 436), who had been Morales’ lawyer in the 1970s, and Ruben Carbajal (pages 426-427), who had been his best friend since childhood, reported that David Morales himself had implied he was involved, which counts as further, albeit indirect, evidence that at least he, among the three, had been there:

  • Robert Walton reported Morales had said he was there
  • Rube Carbajal partially supported what Walton reported

Carbajal confirmed Walton’s statement that Morales had told them, “Well, we took care of that son of a bitch, didn’t we?,” while speaking of JFK, and told Shane that the “we” referred to the CIA (page 427).

But while Walton reported that Morales added, “I was in Los Angeles when we got Bobby,” to whom Morales also refers as “the little bastard” (page 438) — a claim which previously appeared in Noel Twyman, Bloody Treason (page 471) — Carbajal, as O’Sullivan phrases it, “had gotten used to Morale’s involvement in Dallas, but he wasn’t ready to finger [his friend] for another Kennedy assassination” (page 427). Bradley Ayers, who got to know Carbajal well in the course of his investigations, also believed he knew far more than he was telling.

And there is more. In his video, “RFK Must Die!”, Shane also interviews “Chilo” Borja who confirmed the identity of George Joannides. We must therefore add his name:

  • “Chilo” Borja identified another as George Joannides

Instead of the original list from Talbot and Morley, which included four witnesses making one identification apiece (two of whom, Smith and Rabern, identified the same person, Morales), there turn out to be seven witnesses who directly identify them, where Smith, Rabern, and Ayers identify Morales (which Walton and Carbajal indirectly confirm); Lopez, Hardway, Polgar, and Borja identify Joannides (which is an identification his own daughters did not deny); while Ayers identified Campbell, Rabern personally observed Campbell and Morales interacting, and Rabern, rather cryptically, tells Shane that he believes Campbell is still alive — without elaborating.

DiEugenio’s defense

If the evidence that supports the IDs of Morales, Joannides, and Campbell at the Ambassador is actually much stronger than Talbot and Morely acknowledged, the evidence to the contrary appears to be much weaker than others have claimed. On “The Education Forum,” for example, Jim DiEugenio, who with Lisa Pease co-edited The Assassinations (2003) [David Talbot : Gordon Campbell, 19 August 2010], advances various arguments intended to support Talbot and Morley, where I shall comment on (1) the reliability of photographic identifications; (2) the significance of his family’s rejection of the identity of Morales and of a second family’s affirmation of an alternative identification in place of Campbell’s; and (3) the plausibility of the presence of CIA officials at the hotel, even though it was possible — even probable — that they would be photographed there.

(1) On photographic Identifications

First, DiEugenio reports what Anthony Summers, author of Conspiracy, said, when this story first broke, which is that photographic identifications are very “iffy.” Unless you have a very good close up shot, and preferably also full shots for height and weight comparisons, they (Summers and DiEugenio) would rather stay away from them. And he mentions several examples involving E. Howard Hunt, Frank Sturgis, Charles Harrelson, Lucien Conein, and Joseph Milteer that he assumes demonstrate false identifications based upon photographs. But at least three of the five IDs (Harrelson, Conein, and Milteer) appear to have been correct, when the evidence is pursued far enough. These conflicts are often resolvable, as I have found myself.

On The Deep Politics Forum, for example, I pursued the identification of Lucien Conein in comparison with an alternative, Robert Adams, whose credentials were bolstered by means of a faux plaque given to him for appearing in a photograph in Dealey Plaza. Not only did a comparison by Jack White establish a closer degree of resemblance to Conein than to Richards, but the plaque includes a news clipping congratulating him for appearing in this image taken on “Thursday, 23 November 1963”! The weight of the evidence shifts perceptibly when you discover that the arguments for one candidate are shoddy, while those for the other are not. CIA documents proving that Conein was not in town at the time to provide an alibi are easy to produce. And the same is true for other ops working for the government.

Even in cases like those DiEugenio cites, it may be possible to sort things out. We are not dealing with staged photographs here but with videotape, which shows the parties in question moving, talking, and interacting, where their images were only discovered after extended study. When you have experts like Ayers and Smith who knew them personally over extended periods of time, the situation is not comparable to the situation Summers described, where you might even want to have front and side photos for comparison. Nothing about the identifications by Ayers and Smith, who remain confident of them to this very day, seems “iffy.” Quite the opposite.

(2) The role of the families

DiEugenio claims that eight persons said it was not David Morales in the video from the Ambassador without bothering to take into account whether they might have had motives for denying the identity. They even include his daughters! I can’t imagine anyone who would have a stronger motive for denying that the man in the footage was their father! He cites Luis Fernandez and Manuel Chavez, who worked with Morales, but are also not credible. Fernandez, for example, says “definitely that is not Dave Morales” when many others who knew him well have said the opposite.

O’Sullivan reports that Fernandez said there were differences between them: “This person seems taller, more slender and lighter color. David was fat, round faced and darker complexion, like a true Mexican Indian, whereas those of the man in the DVD are of an African-American” (page 456). The disadvantage of those like DiEugenio and O’Sullivan is that they did not know Morales and were not in position to know. I didn’t know him, either, but the testimony of serious men like Bradley Ayers, Wayne Smith, and David Rabern surely overrides it, not to mention that he had told others he was there when they got “the little bastard”! Sullivan claims that he was 5’10” tall (on page 426), but Brad has written that Morales was at least 6’ tall, which is consistent with images at the Ambassador and nickname of “El Indio” (“The Indian”).

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David Sanchez Morales: “El Indio”

When Tom Clines, one of Morales’ closest associates at the agency, says both “It looks like him but it’s not him” (page 450), then a definitive rejection, like that of Fernandez, is not a reasonable response. Shane observes about Clines, who tries to minimize Ayers’ competence on the ground that he wasn’t at JM/WAVE “very long,” when he was there for more than a year and a half, and Ed Wilson, who also did not identify him in a 1959 photo, both appeared to have motives to protect Morales that Ayers and Smith did not. (Brad has also told me that Clines once remarked to him that Campbell had returned to Canada after the breakup of JM/WAVE.)

DiEugenio also buys O’Sullivan’s report that the person Brad identified as Campbell was actually “Michael Roman” and that Joannides was “Frank Owens,” two Bulova Watch executives who are supposed to have been mistaken for CIA officials. When shown images from the Ambassador, however, the Roman family was actually quite equivocal. On page 473 of Who Killed Bobby?, for example, we learn that Roman’s son himself initially wasn’t at all sure it was his father and that one of his daughters also questioned his appearance. The one photo of Roman that appears toward the end of “RFK Must Die,” moreover, does not look like to me like the Ambassador man: too much hair and the shape of his face is different. Their interest in hanging around after the assassination is not behavior that we would expect from Bulova executives.

(3) The plausibility of their presence

DiEugenio also suggests that, in an operation like this, “you would not have CIA higher ups in plain view of still cameras and motion picture cameras. It makes no sense, and this is what I told Talbot at the beginning. Further, Joannides was not an action officer. He is a desk guy who was in Athens at the time.” But this is one of those cases where his gullibility is showing. How could he possibly know? The CIA, after all, specializes in plausible deniability, which can be implemented effortlessly by the creation of fake documents and phony records. It is extremely painful to read that Jim DiEugenio would so naively accept an easily fabricated CIA alibi like this.

Similar sentiments were expressed by his co-editor, Lisa Pease, who even wrote in her blog that she could not believe the CIA would send those who were involved in his brother’s murder to assassinate Bobby. But since Bobby had said he intended to reopen the JFK investigation, their self-interest would have been great. In response to Brad’s Ambassador identifications, she suggests that he has been seeing things that he wants to see in his desire to solve the case. She says she has met Brad and that she thinks he has to have been “gullible to join up with the CIA and think they were the good guys, right?” But, as someone who has known Brad for 15 years, I cannot think of anyone I have ever known I regard as less gullible than Brad Ayers.

Lisa might want to consider that, from their point of view as agents of assassination who harbored a visceral hatred for Bobby, they would have wanted to be there. Like the “familiar faces” at the corner of Houston and Main on 22 November 1963, these men find events like these self-affirming — not unlike the adrenaline rush that they may have experienced as their targets were taken out. Amoral killers such as David Morales took pride in their work at a brute, animalistic level. He was present when Che Guevara was killed and reputedly severed his head from his body and kicked it away to insure there would be no stories of Che’s “survival.” They were there to guarantee nothing went wrong with their plan to kill a man who threatened them.

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Jim DiEugenio: Black Op Radio Photo

Weighing the evidence

The kind of a priori thought about evidence displayed by DiEugenio, especially, has shaken my confidence in his ability to think things through. No one would think those who were responsible for framing Lee Oswald would plant a weapon that could not have fired the bullets that killed JFK, either. But it happened. We have to follow the evidence where it leads and not confine ourselves to our own subjective expectations. When Shane O’Sullivan concludes the men identified as “Gordon Campbell” and as “George Joannides” were salesmen for Bulova Watch Company, moreover, he appears to be deceiving himself based upon flimsy evidence. Since Campbell was interacting with Morales, was Morales a Bulova Watch man, too? He visited the family of one of those men but simply takes their word for the identification of the other. He was taken in.

When I asked Brad whether it might have been possible for the CIA to fabricate a family to identifying Michael Roman as the man he had identified at the Ambassador to discount the possibility that it was Gordon Campbell, it was a question for which the answer was obvious: “Of course!” That would be child’s play for the agency, yet it appears to be a possibility lying beyond the realm of DiEugenio’s imagination. The son and daughter weren’t sure the man at the Ambassador was their father. That should have signaled to Shane that, if there was this much uncertainty from his son and one of his daughters, the probability that this really was their father was low.

Conclusions in a case of this kind are going to be probable rather than definitive, but the weight of the evidence favors Ayers and Smith’s identifications. As in the case of Lucien Conien, the evidence supporting them is strong, while that for Robert Adams is weak. Most importantly, what is the probability of the presence of Bulova Watch Company executives who strongly resemble these CIA officials who are present at the location of the assassination of RFK, just as he has claimed victory in a primary that was expected to catapult him to the nomination of his party for president? The probability has to be extremely low, especially when you consider that Morales was interacting with Campbell and that Campbell in turn was interacting with Joannides.

James Richards, who is an expert on the CIA, observed during a conversation that those three were the ones most likely to be present if an assassination had been in the works. It is not only unsurprising that they would be there, but the arrogance of the agency is such that it doesn’t seem to care who knows, as long as the general public does not catch on. Thus, a group of CIA officials was captured in photographs at the intersection of Main and Houston during the assassination of JFK in Dealey Plaza, as most students of his death are aware. If you exercise nearly absolute control over law enforcement authorities, including the police and the sheriff’s departments, the Secret Service, and even the FBI, the fear of exposure is nil.

Assessing the players

If we weigh the evidence using likelihood measures, where the likelihood of an hypothesis h is equal to the probability of the evidence e, if hypothesis h were true, then the likelihood that those who were present at the Ambassador were Morales, Campbell, and Joannides appears to be very high. The evidence cited to weaken that hypothesis, including the rejections by close friends and family, is more readily explained by the desire to cover up than to establishing the truth. The likelihood they were actually Bulova executives who happened to resemble them is extremely low. Those with the least axes to grind support the identifications, while those with the most at stake deny them. There is a pattern here that none of us should ignore.

My take on the participants varies from case to case. Jim DiEugenio and Lisa Pease have done good work, especially in authoring many of the articles they brought together in The Assassinations. But it seems to me that they lost their way in dealing with this case. They were far too willing to engage in a priori reasoning, where their intuitions (or appeals to “common sense”) are unreliable and unworthy of belief. DiEugeio and Pease would do better to track the evidence more closely and follow it where it leads. I am sorry to say that this is not either of their best work.

Shane O’Sullivan, I think, was simply overwhelmed by the criticism he received for his efforts to expose the truth. He confronted the kind of retaliation that many of us have encountered, where powerful mechanisms are in place to suppress the truth, especially in a situation with the potential of this one — within our visually-oriented culture — to expose CIA complicity. It had to be thwarted, at all costs. What Shane takes to be the most persuasive indication that his counterpart at the Ambassador was not Morales was the description of alleged differences between Morales and the Ambassador man from Luis Fernandez. But he was not justified in assuming that Luis was not dissembling. Luis appears to have been doing his best to protect his friend.

Like Jefferson Morley and David Talbot, Shane O’Sullivan did not know any of them. The weight of the evidence from those who weren’t shading their testimony strongly suggests he was being misled. That he fumbled the ball over “Roman” and “Owens,” moreover, is difficult to deny. Recall that Rabern told Shane he had also observed the man others identified as Campbell in and around the LAPD “probably half a dozen times” as Shane reports in Who Killed Bobby? [10] (page 441). But, on page 454, he also observes (in relation to his DVD, “RFK Must Die”) that, “At 12:47, ‘Morales’ emerged from the pantry [where Bobby had been shot at 12:15] and walked into the ballroom among a group of police officers.” At 1:03, ‘Morales’ is observed comparing notes with someone who looks like a plainclothes detective, though, according to the LAPD, no police were present at the time RFK was shot. If Joannides, Campbell and Morales were Bulova executives, they did not act as if they were Bulova executives.

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Jefferson Morley: New York Times

Concluding reflections

The strength of the case for the identifications of Morales, Campbell, and Joannides can be seen in the presentations on the BBC program that Talbot and Morley dispute. In “CIA Agents killed Robert Kennedy — Part 1” on YouTube [11], for example, Brad Ayers identifies both Morales and Campbell and Wayne Smith identifies Morales. In “Part 2” [12], David Rabern identifies Morales and Ed Lopez identifies Joannides. These IDs, as I have explained, are supported by those of many others, including even (indirectly) by Morales himself, where the evidence against them is weak. The CIA had the motive, the means, and the opportunity to remove a threat it feared — and it took it. What is there not to understand? The rest is just smoke and mirrors.

Rabern asks why CIA involvement was never pursued but, as I observed in [13] my earlier article, the LAPD officials assigned to handle the investigation had ties to the CIA! So it was a nice “closed loop” where the agency was in control. O’Sullivan has written to me that he remains convinced that “Gordon Campbell” was in fact Michael D. Roman, in spite of the points I made about the family’s equivocal identifications. But, if Shane is right, then logic requires that we conclude that Campbell and Roman are one and the same, where his life as a Bulova Watch Company executive was his cover, where even he (page 470) acknowledges that that may have been the case.

The conduct of David Talbot and Jefferson Morley, by comparison, appears to be far more serious. They have repeatedly minimized both the strength and variety of the evidence supporting these identifications. They have exaggerated the weight of the evidence against them, even including the claim to have disproven them, when they did no such thing. They did not even attempt to identify those whom they claimed had been mistaken for them. Such doubts as they have raised, in my opinion, are overcome by the weight of the evidence, where their cavalier treatment of Brad’s identification of Campbell was especially egregious and irresponsible. They adopt a highly self-congratulatory attitude about “bad JFK stories driving out good ones.” But there is nothing about their performance that warrants any pats upon their backs.

As most students of JFK are aware, Joannides was even brought out of retirement to coordinate interaction between the CIA and the HSCA when it took up the case in 1977-78. The agency has refused to grant access to his files even when the ARRB was entitled to have them. In my view, the conduct of Talbot and Morley has been inexcusable to the extent that one could reasonably infer that they were suppressing evidence. The most appropriate response they could make to offset that impression would be to acknowledge that, given the evidence presented here, they were clearly wrong, and thus remove the cloud of uncertainty that obfuscates the clarity of truth.

As I previously explained (“JFK and RFK: In the Shadow of Dallas and LA”), the LAPD officers assigned to handle the investigation of Bobby’s death had ties to the CIA. They badgered witnesses who did not conform to the “official account.” The most probable killer, Thane Eugene Cesar, had worked with companies that also had links to the agency. The hypnotist, William Joseph Bryan, was on the radio suggesting that the assassin was probably “mind controlled” even before Sirhan had been identified as a suspect. Bryan later boasted to several hookers that he worked for the CIA and had hypnotized him. Given the weight of the evidence, there is scant room for doubt that Sirhan was a “patsy” set up by the CIA.


The Robert Kennedy Assassination

Robert F. Kennedy with Cesar Chavez

"If they're going to shoot, they'll shoot."
- Candidate Robert F. Kennedy to aide Fred Dutton, April 11, 1968.

Robert F. Kennedy, who had made many enemies during his time on the Washington scene, was well aware of the dangers he faced in trying to reclaim the Presidency lost in 1963 when his brother was killed in Dallas. Fate befell him just after midnight on June 5, 1968, moments after declaring victory in the California Democratic primary. Escorted through a kitchen pantry in the Ambassador Hotel, RFK was assailed by Palestinian Sirhan Sirhan firing a .22 pistol. Kennedy was shot multiple times, and five others were wounded by gunfire. While bodyguards and others wrestled with Sirhan, who continued to shoot wildly, Kennedy collapsed in a pool of blood. He died the following day.

In the assassinations of President Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., the evidence tying the alleged assassins to the case was circumstantial and almost too neat. But here, Sirhan was apprehended on the scene firing a gun within a couple of feet of Kennedy. An open-and-shut case? Ironically, the RFK assassination has the starkest physical and eyewitness evidence indicating a conspiracy involving Sirhan and at least one additional gunman.

Who was Sirhan Sirhan?

Sirhan Bishara Sirhan

An early indication that there might be more than meets the eye in this case came with the discovery of Sirhan's diaries. Page after page featured repetitive writing, with such phrases as "RFK must die" and "Robert F. Kennedy must be assassinated" occurring over and over, coupled with such curious phrases as "pay to the order of" and "my determination to eliminate RFK is becoming more the [sic] more of an unshakable obsession." An entry from May 18 noted that "Robert F. Kennedy must be assassinated before 5 June 68."

Sirhan Bishara Sirhan was born in Jerusalem in 1944, and moved with his family to the U.S. when he was 12. He had been employed exercising horses at the Santa Anita racetrack until an accident in 1966. He was obsessed with mystical powers, apparently believing that he was learning to control events with his mind, and fascinated with hypnosis. Psychiatrists determined that he was highly susceptible to hypnosis, and may have produced his strange writings while in a trance.

Sirhan has continually maintained that he has no memory of writing in his notebook, nor of the events that night at the Ambassador Hotel. This has led many to believe that he may have been a real "Manchurian Candidate," programmed to shoot RFK and then fail to recall who put him up to it.

The Polka-Dotted Dress Girl

Sirhan was seen in the hotel - including in the pantry itself - in the company of a girl wearing a polka-dotted dress. The girl and another male companion were seen running from the pantry after the shooting. RFK campaign worker Sandy Serrano, taking a break out on a balcony, saw them run from the hotel, the woman gleefully shouting "We shot him. We shot him." When Serrano asked who they meant, the girl replied "Senator Kennedy."

Unbelievable as this sounds, their behavior was corroborated by LAPD officer Paul Sharaga, who was told the same thing by an elderly couple in the parking lot behind the hotel. Sharaga was the source of an All Points Bulletin (APB) on the suspects. The girl was described consistently by most of the witnesses: dirty blond hair, well-built, with a crooked or "funny" nose, wearing a white dress with blue or black polka-dots.

There were many other witnesses to the polka-dotted dress girl, in the hotel and in the company of Sirhan in the weeks prior to the assassination.

A Second Gun

There was other eyewitness testimony of a second shooter. Dr. Marcus McBoom saw a man with a partially-concealed pistol in his hand, running from the pantry. Photographer Evan Freed, one of the polka-dotted dress girl witnesses, swore out an affidavit in 1992 that he had seen a gunman, not Sirhan, shoot RFK from behind (Sirhan was by virtually all accounts in front of RFK and not closer than a few feet away).

LAPD officers measuring
apparent bullet hole in doorframe,
with closeup from photo

Freed's account in fact matches Robert Kennedy's autopsy report. Coroner Thomas Naguchi determined that RFK had been shot three times, all from the rear at a steep upward angle, with powder burns indicating that the fatal shot being fired from 1 or 2 inches away.

Sirhan's Iverson .22 revolver held a maximum of 8 bullets. Two bullets were removed from RFK, and five from other victims. One of the three bullets to strike RFK grazed him and was determined by LAPD to have gone into the ceiling, though it was never recovered. That accounts for all 8, even conceding the LAPD's reconstruction which explained away bullet holes found in ceiling tiles, by positing that one of the bullets had ricocheted back down and struck victims (causing two ceiling holes in the process).

What is not accounted for are bullet holes in the doorframe where RFK's party had entered the pantry. Photographs taken by the FBI, LAPD, and AP show apparent bullet holes, which have been circled and initialed. Some pictures show police officers pointing at them; one AP photo is labeled "Bullet found near Kennedy shooting scene." Two police officers depicted in the photos told author Vincent Bugliosi that they had observed an actual bullet embedded in the wood of the center door frame. Hotel waiter Martin Patrusky said that police officers told him that they had dug two bullets out of the center divider. FBI agent William Bailey, in the pantry within hours of the shooting, said he could see the base of the bullet in the center divider. Other confirmation comes from photographers and even the carpenter who assisted in removal of the door frame for police evidence.

Special Unit Senator

What did the LAPD do with all this evidence of conspiracy, and more not mentioned here? The files of their investigation, released twenty years after the assassination, show that the evidence was ignored, and in some cases actively countered. The LAPD set up a Special Unit Senator (SUS) group to handle the investigation, and the tactics of some of its members have been called into question. Enrique Hernandez, who conducted polygraph exams for SUS, was among the most aggressive.

Sandy Serrano, one of the prime witnesses to the girl in the polka-dotted dress and a male companion, was browbeaten by Hernandez into retracting her story. The following exchange is typical of the treatment given Serrano in lengthy interview sessions:

Hernandez: "I think you owe it to Senator Kennedy, the late Senator Kennedy, to come forth, to be a woman about this. If he, and you don't know and I don't know whether he's a witness right now in this room watching what we're doing in here. Don't shame his death by keeping this thing up. I have compassion for you. I want to know why. I want to know why you did what you did. This is a very serious thing."

Serrano: "I seen those people!"

Hernandez: "No, no, no, no, Sandy. Remember what I told you about that: you can't say you saw something when you didn't see it..."

Eventually Serrano went along with the LAPD. And once she had retracted her story, the "fact" that Serrano had made up the story was apparently used to discredit other corroborating witnesses, who generally didn't know that their story was being repeated by others. The pattern of isolation and even intimidation recurs repeatedly in the transcripts and tapes of interviews, many of whom retracted statements under pressure. In other cases, like Evan Freed, the interviews in the record do not contain information that the witness has later stated he or she told the police, and it is not always clear where the truth lies. Some evidence was simply ignored - or lost. This missing evidence included the memo of Paul Sharaga, the officer who interviewed the elderly couple who also saw a woman and man fleeing the scene of the shooting gleefully shouting "We shot him! We shot him!" Sharaga had enough presence of mind to retain the original mimeograph.

The door frames, which according to many witnesses had bullets embedded in them, were destroyed by the LAPD after Sirhan's trial. They were not admitted into evidence in that trial. Other evidence, including photographs taken in the pantry by a teenager named Scott Enyart, never saw the light of day.

The LAPD Summary Report deals with many of the witnesses to accomplices or other evidence indicating conspiracy, and dismisses them all in a variety of ways. In some cases, for example polka-dotted dress girl witness Booker Griffin, witnesses are said to have admitted making up their story, but inspection of the raw LAPD files fail to substantiate the alleged retractions.

The Trial of Sirhan Sirhan

But what about Sirhan's defense team? Wouldn't this evidence have to be given to his lawyers, and then come out a trial?

Several factors worked against this. First, not all evidence was shared with Sirhan's lawyers. Even the autopsy report, whose conclusion of point-blank shots from the rear would seemingly exonerate Sirhan of RFK's actual murder, was not given to the defense until they had already stipulated Sirhan's guilt. The defense early on decide to pursue a "diminished capacity" defense, and the autopsy report didn't change that strategy.

It is important to understand the motivations of each side in the legal system's "great engine of truth." Neither side had anything to gain by bringing in evidence of conspiracy. For the prosecution, it would simply muddle what otherwise seemed a simple case. And for the defense, conspiracy implies pre-meditation, and thus knowing guilt. Introducing evidence of accomplices would not be helpful to their client.

Sirhan Sirhan was his own worst enemy at the trial, using it as a platform for expressing anti-Semitic political views and touting the Arab cause. Whether these issues were really motivation for a shooting he claims not to remember executing remains a mystery.

The late Lawrence Teeter,
attorney for Sirhan Sirhan.

Finally, Sirhan's later attorney Lawrence Teeter uncovered evidence that Sirhan's lead trial lawyer, Grant Cooper, was compromised. Cooper was on one of the defense teams in the Friar's Club scandal case, a defendant in which was none other than Johnny Roselli, and one day grand jury papers were found on Cooper's desk at counsel table, possibly planted there, perhaps by Roselli himself. Cooper faced a potential indictment over this incident, which could be grounds for disbarment, and the matter was left pending for the duration of the Sirhan trial. Afterwards, Cooper was let off with a $1000 fine.

Sirhan Bishara Sirhan was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. While he was on death row, California abolished the death penalty, and commuted his sentence to life in prison, where he remains. Attorney Lawrence Teeter was fighting for a retrial at the time of his own death in 2005.

Ballistics Reviews

Ted Charach produced a documentary entitled "The Second Gun" in 1970, and questions continued to grow around the RFK case in the early 1970s. Criminalistics professor Herbert MacDonnell had signed an affidavit in 1973 stating that a bullet removed from RFK's neck, exhibit #47, could not have been fired from Sirhan's gun. He further stated that, based on the differing number of cannelures (grooves), it could not have been fired from the same gun as exhibit #54, a bullet removed from victim William Weisel. In a 1974 public hearing, California state crime lab veteran Lowell Bradford concurred.

Paul Schrade, one of the victims,
and Congressman Allard Lowenstein.
Both pursued the RFK case for
many years.

In 1975, a court-appointed panel of seven ballistics experts was convened. While the headlines coming from the panel's work read "RFK Second Gun Theory Ruled Out," the reality was more subtle. Lowell Bradford, one of the panel members, said the question of a second gunman was "more open than before."

Subsequent research has uncovered problems with the marking of evidence bullets, including bullet #47, which should have a "TN31" etched in its base but instead says "DWTN." There is circumstantial evidence for a switch of crime scene bullets and even of the Sirhan gun with a test gun. LAPD criminologist DeWayne Wolfer had in fact introduced into evidence at Sirhan's trial the test gun, and represented it as the murder weapon, despite the different serial numbers.

It is worth noting that the 1975 panel discovered that two bullets allegedly removed from Sirhan's car contained traces of wood on both the base and the tip. Were these bullets dug out of the door frame?

In 2004, a tape recording which featured the gunfire in the pantry surfaced. Made by Polish freelance journalist Stanislaw Pruszynski, the tape was analyzed by a team led by Philip Van Praag, who announced that the tape revealed thirteen shots fired in the space of five seconds. Sirhan's gun could hold only eight bullets. As in the JFK acoustics evidence, this finding is the subject of debate.

Stalking RFK?

Such malfeasance on the part of the LAPD may be hard to believe. But the dismissive treatment of witnesses to Sirhan's accomplices is hard to refute, despite attempts to do so.

There were pre-assassination sightings of Sirhan in the company of a woman whose description matches the polka-dotted dress girl, and these sightings indicate that they were stalking Robert Kennedy.

On May 20, night manager Albert LaBeau of Robbie's Restaurant in Pomona encountered a man with a coat thrown over his arm - in the company of young woman. The pair were aggressively trying to gain access to a lunchroom where RFK would be - climbing over a stair railing in one of multiple attempts. LaBeau picked Sirhan's photo out of a set of 25 pictures of young dark-skinned males.

Ten days later, a campaign worker named Laverne Botting was approached by a young woman and two men, trying to get a copy of Robert Kennedy's schedule. Her story was corroborated by another volunteer, Ethel Crehan.

Portion of Sirhan's May 18 diary entry
(click to enlarge)

On June 1, three days before the primary, Dean Pack was hiking with his son in the Santa Ana mountains when they came upon a young man who resembed Sirhan, shooting a pistol in the company of a girl and another man. The three were quite hostile; Pack had a "funny sensation that it would be possible for them to put a bullet in your back."

Several witnesses saw a similar-looking girl, in a polka-dotted dress, in the Ambassador Hotel on the night of the primary. Irene Gizzi saw three people, matching the trio seen by others, and noted that they didn't seem to fit in with the exuberant crowd. As noted before, the girl and another man were seen in the pantry, rushing out of it, and leaving the hotel gleefully shouting "We shot him!"

The "Walking Bible"

Another strange story in the RFK case concerns Jerry Owen, the "Walking Bible." Owen himself went to authorities shortly after the assassination, with the story that he had happened to give Sirhan and another man a lift, and had subsequently gone to the Ambassador Hotel to collect $300 for a horse he was going to sell to Sirhan. Owen said he encountered there a blonde girl and two other men.

In the end, the LAPD determined that Owen, whose background of criminal violations included a conviction for arson in conjunction with a church building, was telling a tale. But why would he make up such a story?

Authors Bill Turner and Jonn Christian researched the Owen story and interviewed Bill Powers, a cowboy who ran Wild Bill's Stables less than a mile from where Owen lived. Powers told them that Owen had told him, before the assassination, about a horse trainer named Sirhan, and further that Powers had seen Sirhan in the back seat of Owen's car during a visit where Owen flashed large bills to pay off a pickup truck Powers had sold him.

If Owen knew Sirhan, was his story a pre-emptive cover story for meeting up at the Ambassador Hotel, possibly to supply a getaway vehicle?

Who Killed RFK?

Sirhan Sirhan was in the pantry firing a gun that night at Robert Kennedy, with intent to kill. But the autopsy report, coupled with dozens of eyewitnesses to the scene, cast grave doubt on the otherwise obvious conclusion that Sirhan actually fired the shots that hit RFK. Furthermore, the evidence is strong that Sirhan was stalking Kennedy in the company of a young blond girl and another male companion.

Many researchers have cast suspicion on Thane Eugene Cesar, a security guard with right-wing views on race who was escorting Kennedy by the arm through the pantry, was seen drawing his gun and possibly firing it, and told false stories about a .22 he owned (that he had sold it before the assassination, rather than after). But at least one witness claimed to see a different gunman to the rear of Kennedy firing the fatal shots.

The girl in the polka-dotted dress was never found - the LAPD insisted that campaign worker Valerie Schulte was the girl seen by some, despite differences in her appearance and clothing. There was another man, Michael Wayne, who was seen running from the pantry and subsequently tackled and taken away for questioning. Wayne had similarity in appearance to one of the individuals reported to have been seen in the company of Sirhan, and more intriguingly he had in his possession the business card of radical Minuteman Keith Duane Gilbert.

John and Robert Kennedy

Sirhan may be lying when he claims to have no memory of the assassination. Journalist Robert Kaiser, who worked with Sirhan extensively as part of the defense team, caught him in several lies and presents in his book R.F.K. Must Die! a nuanced treatment of Sirhan as having multiple sides: at different times clever and evasive, mystical, ingratiating, studious, and schizophrenic. Sirhan may be lying about his lack of memory; it is also at least possible that he and his accomplices did stalk RFK, but that the highly suggestible Sirhan had been hypnotically programmed to block memory of the shooting and his associates.

Who were the accomplices? The LAPD decided not to try to find out. Sirhan's sometimes-stated contention that he killed Kennedy for political reasons, in particular RFK's support for Israel, doesn't hold up well under analysis. For one thing, the TV documentary he cited as provoking him was seen in L.A. on May 20, and Kennedy's speech supporting fighter jets to Israel wasn't given until the 26th. But it was on May 18 that Sirhan wrote "RFK must die" over and over in his notebook.

Political views related to the Arab-Israeli conflict may have motivated Sirhan Sirhan. But that motivation was not necessarily that of his accomplices, whoever they were. The tenuous conspiracy leads that exist, including Jerry Owen and perhaps Michael Wayne, point toward right-wing religious extremists, but there is not enough to go on to make any definitive statement. The giddy behavior of the polka-dotted dress girl and her companion seem hardly that of professional killers. But Robert Kennedy had accumulated many powerful enemies during his career - CIA officers, organized crime bosses, Vietnam war hawks, ardent segregationists. Given the fear that Kennedy's achieving the Presidency could induce in them, it is not at all clear who the ultimate sponsors of Sirhan and his accomplices might have been.

"Fear not the path of truth
for the lack of people walking on it."

Right after delivering a rousing speech to an overflowing ballroom of exuberant campaign supporters thanking them for helping him win the big prize of the California Democratic primary for President, the junior Senator from New York State, Robert Francis Kennedy was shot at by an assassin four times within a couple of inches. He was wounded by three of the bullets with the fourth bullet going through his jacket. The exact time was 12:15am Wednesday morning June 5, 1968. The location was the kitchen pantry of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. I was only a 10 year old boy back then, but I somehow knew the day Bobby Kennedy died, the next day, Thursday June 6, 1968, was the day the United States died.

If this assassination of Bobby Kennedy didn't happen, he would have been the Democratic presidential nominee in 1968, he then would have faced the Republican presidential nominee, Richard Milhouse Nixon, in the November election. Bobby most likely would have won and been the next President of the United States. Since Bobby was opposed to the Viet Nam War ( police action ), this would have put an end to it in 1969 instead of 1975.

The Ripple of Hope

Robert Kennedy campaigning for hope

RFK in Marion, Iowa

Photo Credit: Bill Eppridge. The Life Picture Collection, copyright © Time, Inc.

The assassination of Robert Kennedy on June 5, 1968, has never attracted the same level of public fascination and passion as the 1963 assassination of his brother, President John F. Kennedy. But, the passing of Bobby, as many affectionately called him, may have impacted our country in a more significant manner.
Robert Kennedy was unique in American politics; he reached out to the poor and disenfranchised, he reached out to working class whites, he reached out to inner city blacks, he reached out to the migrant worker - the very classes of people most politicians of that time ignored. He came from a place of privilege and money, yet passionately spoke for the victimized and the oppressed. Robert Kennedy embodied an attitude and idealism that is rare for any generation. By leading with an inspiring call to action he asked the American people of that time to support racial and educational equality, to accept environmental responsibility and to negotiate for peace in a war ravaged world. RFK asked Americans to believe that as individuals they could make a difference in the world.
Bobby understood that America's real greatness came from empowering its citizens through equal opportunities to secure  a better life, but Robert Kennedy's vision for a better tomorrow was not limited to the United States. He went to Poland and Latin America to tell them that their dream of freedom was obtainable, and when South Africans suffered the tyranny of apartheid, RFK was there to say:

Each time a man stands up for an ideal or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and  resistance. - RFK

Bobby Kennedy - the ripple of hope...

Remembering Robert Kennedy: ABC News Photos, Some Never Published

June 5, 2008 marks the 40th anniversary of Sen. Kennedy's assassination.
(Bill Eppridge/LIFE/Time Inc.)

Bobby Kennedy, 40 years later

Thu Jun 5, 2:11 AM ET

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Forty years ago, on June 5, 1968, Robert F. Kennedy was brimming with the confidence of a young, charismatic and liberal political star.

He had just won the California Democratic primary, giving him a strong chance to win the party's presidential nomination, rising out of the shadow of his brother John F. Kennedy, the president murdered less than five years before. And in a split second, its was all over: a deranged Palestinian shot him dead in a Los Angeles hotel as he reveled in his victory.

The assassination of Bobby Kennedy plunged the United States into deep trauma.

It came in the wake of the devastating Tet offensive against US and South Vietnamese troops in Vietnam, which showed the US was not winning the war and forced then-president Lyndon Johnson, also a Democrat, to concede that he was too weak to seek the White House in that November's election. And it followed by two months the April 4 assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King in Memphis, Tennessee, which sparked riots across the country.

Johnson's decision to bow out from the race opened the door to Kennedy to jump in the battle against liberal anti-war hero, senator Eugene McCarthy, and Johnson's more conservative vice president Hubert Humphrey that March. But Kennedy, who also took a stance against the increasingly unpopular war, had the advantage of youth -- he was just 42, his powerful name, his experience as attorney general under his brother, and then nearly four years as senator from New York.

The primary in California, the country's most populous state, was key, and Kennedy came out of it with a big advance, putting him ahead of McCarthy and with the possibility of catching up with Humphrey. But what for many was the second Kennedy "dream" was again cut short. As he entered the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel to thank supporters, Sirhan Sirhan pulled out a pistol and at close range shot Bobby several times, including once in the head.

Kennedy died the next day, leaving behind wife Ethel, 10 children and an 11th soon to be born, and a clan and the nation in shock at yet another Kennedy tragedy.

Bill Eppridge Photo

Photo Credit: Bill Eppridge. The Life Picture Collection, copyright © Time, Inc.

The photograph of a young assistant chef, holding up the candidate's bloodied head as he lay on the floor, was seen around the world.

Boris Yaro, then working for the Los Angeles Times, recalled in 1998 that he went not on assignment but as a fan to take pictures. "To me, Bobby represented what was left of the Camelot era of American politics, and I wanted him to win.

"I wanted a picture of him for my wall -- something that said a new era was aborning." But as his victory became apparent, suddenly "there were a couple of explosions that seemed to light up the entire room," Yaro recalled.

"The crowd around Bobby parted and there was a man with a contorted face and a revolver, and shots were still being fired."

"I froze. 'No,' I said to myself. 'Not again. Not another Kennedy.'"

In the struggle to subdue Sirhan, Yaro himself grabbed at the gun before someone else took it away. He took his pictures and went back to the newspaper.

"After all the questions were over in the newsroom, I walked back to my cubbyhole darkroom in the photo department and, out of sight of everybody, I cried hot tears of anger.

"I cried for me and you and all the world. Bobby would cling to life for another day, but the truth was already there: Camelot was lost."

Forty years later, the desire for another "Camelot" has filled supporters of Illinois Senator Barack Obama, likened to the Kennedy brothers by some from the Massachusetts clan themselves. In January both John F. Kennedy's brother Senator Edward Kennedy and the slain president's daughter Caroline suggested Obama was his spiritual heir. But also, in what came to be seen as an ugly comparison, Obama's now-vanquished rival Hillary Clinton in May made reference to their close-quarters battle and the fact that the 1968 race changed radically when Bobby Kennedy was assassinated. The reference provoked outrage that Clinton was suggesting something nefarious, and she quickly apologized.

Sirhan, a Christian-born Palestinian who first said he killed Kennedy over his support for Israel, but whose sanity was later questioned, was given a life sentence in a California prison, where he remains today.

Discovery Channel Program now online
The RFK Assassination Audio Test

An astonishing discovery is made when a sound recording of Robert F. Kennedy's assassination, lost to the world for 39 years, is found and examined. Audio analysts say the dramatic recording changes history. Learn the startling results of their investigation. Hear the actual sounds of the Bobby Kennedy shooting as DISCOVERY TIMES CHANNEL broadcasts this important, previously-unknown recording for the first time.

For those of you that missed the Discovery Channel program Conspiracy Test: The RFk Assassination it can now be viewed at YouTube.

Visit our forum for discussion. JFK Lancer Forums

Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years, new book by David Talbot:

"Brothers" begins on the shattering afternoon of November 22, 1963, as a grief-stricken Robert Kennedy urgently demands answers about the assassination of his brother. Bobby's suspicions immediately focus on the nest of CIA spies, gangsters, and Cuban exiles that had long been plotting a violent regime change in Cuba.

"Brothers then shifts back in time, revealing the shadowy conflicts that tore apart the Kennedy administration, pitting the young president and his even younger brother against their own national security apparatus. The tensions within the Kennedy administration were heading for an explosive climax, when a burst of gunfire in a sunny Dallas plaza terminated John F. Kennedy's presidency."

"Brothers" Website

Larry Hancock's book SOMEONE WOULD HAVE TALKED demonstrates how this nest - frustrated with the highly secret Kennedy outreach to Castro - instigated and orchestrated JFK's murder in Dallas. RFK intuitively had the right answer, its just taken 40 plus years to find and document what he knew in his gut on that Friday afternoon.


Robert Kennedy with children

Robert Kennedy Surrounded By Children
Attorney General Robert Kennedy walks down a street in New York, surrounded by children. He is visiting a summer reading program in Harlem.
Image: © Bettmann/CORBIS
Collection: Bettmann
Date Photographed: August 14, 1963

American Civil Rights Movement

In the 1960s racial segregation prevented black Americans from educational opportunities, economic opportunities, from voting. Sadly, black Americans who fought against racial inequality  were  often victims of violence.
As Attorney General, Robert Kennedy actively enforced civil right laws. His stance on civil rights became evident on May 6, 1961, when he traveled to the University of Georgia to deliver one of his first major talks as Attorney General.  In that speech, RFK compared the domestic struggle for civil rights to the Free World's fight against communism.

We must recognize the full human equality of all our people - before God, before the law, and in the councils of government. We must do this not because it is economically advantageous - although it is; not because the laws of God and man command it - although they do command it; not because people in other lands wish it so. We must do it for the single and fundamental reason that it is the right thing to do. - RFK

Robert Kennedy was committed to the rights of African Americans to vote, and attend school and in 1962 sent US Marshals to Oxford, Mississippi to enforce a Federal Court Order admitting the first black student, James Meredith, to enter the University of Mississippi. Read More

The Missile Crisis

Robert Kennedy

Attorney General Robert Kennedy and his brother President John Kennedy, photographed at the White House during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Photo Credit: JFK Library

Robert Kennedy had a major role in the Missile Crisis. He acted as a meeting facilitator and as an unquestioned confidante to President Kennedy. Because the President could not be present at all the EX-COMM meetings, he assigned Robert Kennedy the task of facilitating the discussions. As such, Bobby Kennedy proved an excellent leader by guiding the discussions and asking complex questions. Robert Kennedy quickly exhibited his ability to analyze the situation and recognize how decisions would impact the future of the world.
Robert Kennedy's second major contribution was his secret contact with Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin. Privately, RFK was able to convey President Kennedy's position and generate a secret deal. In Khrushchev's memoirs there is a section devoted to the crisis and Robert Kennedy's communications with Ambassador Dobrynin.

I said President Kennedy wished to have peaceful relations between our two countries. He wished to resolve the problems that confronted us in Europe and Southeast Asia. He wished to move forward on the control of nuclear weapons. However, we could make progress on these matters only when the crisis was behind us. Time was running out. We had only a few more hours—we needed an answer immediately from the Soviet Union. I said we must have it the next day.
[Robert F. Kennedy, Thirteen Days: A Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis (New York: New American Library, 1969), 107-109.]

Read Dobrynin's cable to Khrushchev dated October 27, 1962.

Did the CIA kill Bobby Kennedy?

In 1968, Robert Kennedy seemed likely to follow his brother, John, into the White House. Then, on June 6, he was assassinated - apparently by a lone gunman. But Shane O'Sullivan says he has evidence implicating three CIA agents in the murder


At first, it seems an open-and-shut case. On June 5 1968, Robert Kennedy wins the California Democratic primary and is set to challenge Richard Nixon for the White House. After midnight, he finishes his victory speech at the Ambassador hotel in Los Angeles and is shaking hands with kitchen staff in a crowded pantry when 24-year-old Palestinian Sirhan Sirhan steps down from a tray-stacker with a "sick, villainous smile" on his face and starts firing at Kennedy with an eight-shot revolver.

As Kennedy lies dying on the pantry floor, Sirhan is arrested as the lone assassin. He carries the motive in his shirt-pocket (a clipping about Kennedy's plans to sell bombers to Israel) and notebooks at his house seem to incriminate him. But the autopsy report suggests Sirhan could not have fired the shots that killed Kennedy. Witnesses place Sirhan's gun several feet in front of Kennedy, but the fatal bullet is fired from one inch behind. And more bullet-holes are found in the pantry than Sirhan's gun can hold, suggesting a second gunman is involved. Sirhan's notebooks show a bizarre series of "automatic writing" - "RFK must die RFK must be killed - Robert F Kennedy must be assassinated before 5 June 68" - and even under hypnosis, he has never been able to remember shooting Kennedy. He recalls "being led into a dark place by a girl who wanted coffee", then being choked by an angry mob. Defence psychiatrists conclude he was in a trance at the time of the shooting and leading psychiatrists suggest he may have be a hypnotically programmed assassin.

Three years ago, I started writing a screenplay about the assassination of Robert Kennedy, caught up in a strange tale of second guns and "Manchurian candidates" (as the movie termed brainwashed assassins). As I researched the case, I uncovered new video and photographic evidence suggesting that three senior CIA operatives were behind the killing. I did not buy the official ending that Sirhan acted alone, and started dipping into the nether-world of "assassination research", crossing paths with David Sanchez Morales, a fearsome Yaqui Indian.

Morales was a legendary figure in CIA covert operations. According to close associate Tom Clines, if you saw Morales walking down the street in a Latin American capital, you knew a coup was about to happen. When the subject of the Kennedys came up in a late-night session with friends in 1973, Morales launched into a tirade that finished: "I was in Dallas when we got the son of a bitch and I was in Los Angeles when we got the little bastard." From this line grew my odyssey into the spook world of the 60s and the secrets behind the death of Bobby Kennedy.

Working from a Cuban photograph of Morales from 1959, I viewed news coverage of the assassination to see if I could spot the man the Cubans called El Gordo - The Fat One. Fifteen minutes in, there he was, standing at the back of the ballroom, in the moments between the end of Kennedy's speech and the shooting. Thirty minutes later, there he was again, casually floating around the darkened ballroom while an associate with a pencil moustache took notes.

The source of early research on Morales was Bradley Ayers, a retired US army captain who had been seconded to JM-Wave, the CIA's Miami base in 1963, to work closely with chief of operations Morales on training Cuban exiles to run sabotage raids on Castro. I tracked Ayers down to a small town in Wisconsin and emailed him stills of Morales and another guy I found suspicious - a man who is pictured entering the ballroom from the direction of the pantry moments after the shooting, clutching a small container to his body, and being waved towards an exit by a Latin associate.

Ayers' response was instant. He was 95% sure that the first figure was Morales and equally sure that the other man was Gordon Campbell, who worked alongside Morales at JM-Wave in 1963 and was Ayers' case officer shortly before the JFK assassination.

I put my script aside and flew to the US to interview key witnesses for a documentary on the unfolding story. In person, Ayers positively identified Morales and Campbell and introduced me to David Rabern, a freelance operative who was part of the Bay of Pigs invasion force in 1961 and was at the Ambassador hotel that night. He did not know Morales and Campbell by name but saw them talking to each other out in the lobby before the shooting and assumed they were Kennedy's security people. He also saw Campbell around police stations three or four times in the year before Robert Kennedy was shot.

This was odd. The CIA had no domestic jurisdiction and Morales was stationed in Laos in 1968. With no secret service protection for presidential candidates in those days, Kennedy was guarded by unarmed Olympic decathlete champion Rafer Johnson and football tackler Rosey Grier - no match for an expert assassination team.

Trawling through microfilm of the police investigation, I found further photographs of Campbell with a third figure, standing centre-stage in the Ambassador hotel hours before the shooting. He looked Greek, and I suspected he might be George Joannides, chief of psychological warfare operations at JM-Wave. Joannides was called out of retirement in 1978 to act as the CIA liaison to the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) investigating the death of John F Kennedy.

Ed Lopez, now a respected lawyer at Cornell University, came into close contact with Joann-des when he was a young law student working for the committee. We visit him and show him the photograph and he is 99% sure it is Joannides. When I tell him where it was taken, he is not surprised: "If these guys decided you were bad, they acted on it.

We move to Washington to meet Wayne Smith, a state department official for 25 years who knew Morales well at the US embassy in Havana in 1959-60. When we show him the video in the ballroom, his response is instant: "That's him, that's Morales." He remembers Morales at a cocktail party in Buenos Aires in 1975, saying Kennedy got what was coming to him. Is there a benign explanation for his presence? For Kennedy's security, maybe? Smith laughs. Morales is the last person you would want to protect Bobby Kennedy, he says. He hated the Kennedys, blaming their lack of air support for the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961.

We meet Clines in a hotel room near CIA headquarters. He does not want to go on camera and brings a friend, which is a little unnerving. Clines remembers "Dave" fondly. The guy in the video looks like Morales but it is not him, he says: "This guy is fatter and Morales walked with more of a slouch and his tie down." To me, the guy in the video does walk with a slouch and his tie is down.

Clines says he knew Joannides and Campbell and it is not them either, but he fondly remembers Ayers bringing snakes into JM-Wave to scare the secretaries and seems disturbed at Smith's identification of Morales. He does not discourage our investigation and suggests others who might be able to help. A seasoned journalist cautions that he would expect Clines "to blow smoke", and yet it seems his honest opinion.

As we leave Los Angeles, I tell the immigration officer that I am doing a story on Bobby Kennedy. She has seen the advertisements for the new Emilio Estevez movie about the assassination, Bobby. "Who do you think did it? I think it was the Mob," she says before I can answer.

"I definitely think it was more than one man," I say, discreetly.

Morales died of a heart attack in 1978, weeks before he was to be called before the HSCA. Joannides died in 1990. Campbell may still be out there somewhere, in his early 80s. Given the positive identifications we have gathered on these three, the CIA and the Los Angeles Police Department need to explain what they were doing there. Lopez believes the CIA should call in and interview everybody who knew them, disclose whether they were on a CIA operation and, if not, why they were there that night.

Today would have been Robert Kennedy's 86th birthday. The world is crying out for a compassionate leader like him. If dark forces were behind his elimination, it needs to be investigated

Sirhan Sirhan the accused and legally convicted killer of Robert Kennedy filed legal documents in Federal Court in Los Angeles this week.  His attorney, William F. Pepper, alleges that his client had been subjected to hypnosis and mind control and had been “handled” at the murder scene by an unidentified woman who helped stage the assassination.

Pepper’s filing include significant references to witness statements and forensic reports that were systematically suppressed during the investigation.

Pepper alleges that Sirhan Sirhan is innocent and that Kennedy was murdered as part of a conspiracy in which his client was involved as a “patsy” though use of hypnosis and other means.

Harvard University professor Daniel Brown, a noted expert in hypnosis and trauma memory loss, who interviewed Sirhan for over 60 hours, is believed to have “broken” Sirhan’s “programming.”

This is what was learned;

Sirhan was taken to the Ambassador Hotel by handlers.  At some point, he was given a tap on his shoulder by the woman witnesses say ran from the building taking credit for the murder, the woman, for some reason forgotten by the investigation. Sirhan reported that he found himself at a pistol range, holding a gun he had never seen before.  He heard firing, two shots rang out.  He says he never fired the shots.  Numerous witnesses support this.

Willam Pepper and Sirhan

John Hinckley - Looking into His Future

As for Sirhan and the woman, interviews revealed that Sirhan had a deep sexual obsession her.  What we are not told is how he came to know her.  In fact, interviews tend to establish that Sirhan himself didn’t know how he came to know her or the basis for his strong feelings.

Sirhan also has no conscious knowledge of visiting the pistol range that his reported “hypnotic delusion” placed him at during the Kennedy shooting.

An almost identical shooting occurred in 1981. John Hinckley Jr., shot President Ronald Reagan outside the Washington Hilton Hotel.

The reported reason was Hinckley’s “sexual obsession” with actress Jody Foster.  The Sirhan Sirhan “sexual obsession” aspect of the Kennedy assassination was known to authorities and members of the press but no connection was ever made. It is being made now.

Are there other relevant facts that should have led to a further investigation?

  • Hinckley, a Mormon, belonged to a family closely aligned with the Bush family.  Then Vice President George H.W. Bush, was a former CIA Director and had been named by the Warren Report as a person of interest unless there was another “George Bush of Texas” that moved in CIA and political circles.
  • Reports from close associations of President Reagan now tell of his total distrust of Bush and his deep resentment at having Bush on the ticket with him.  Insiders report that Bush was “frozen out” of all White House and national security functions.  Stories to the contrary, including those stating that Reagan showed an onset of Alzheimer’s as early as 1983 are said to be wildly inaccurate.
  • “Reagan was ‘on his game’ and took personal charge of foreign police and security issues.  He ordered that Bush be kept out of

    A Young Jodie Foster

    everything.  He didn’t trust him. “ Lee Wanta.

  • The 1968 murder of Martin Luther King, under close examination, seems equally spurious with reexaminations of the case and mock trials favoring the direct involvement of police and intelligence agencies in the killing.

When you add the 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy into the mix, something emerges that is far more than a simple pattern. What you have is an epidemic of carefully conceived political killings with one theme that runs throughout, that of the “patsy.”

James Earl Ray, John Hinckley Jr., Sirhan Sirhan and Lee Harvey Oswald are more than just ‘unlikely’ killers.  They were ideal candidates for “framing.”

It was 1968 and Robert F. Kennedy was a shoo-in for president.  He had just won the California primary and was at a party function at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.  Shots rang out, and Sirhan Sirhan was wrestled to the ground by footballer Rosy Grier.  Sirhan, if we can call him by one name only, was not the shooter, this has been long established and easily proven even without heading into the area of conspiracy.  The shooters were pursued out of the building, reportedly a woman screamed out, “We killed Kennedy!” as she ran out the rear exit.

Police had an “all points bulletin” out for suspects, there were descriptions and witness statements, it was in the newspapers then, for some strange reason, as though the hand of G-d reached out, reality was erased and the manhunt was as though it had never happened.

Forensic evidence showed Kennedy was shot from behind and that Sirhan Sirhan could not have been the shooter.  This has never been disputed.

Court documents allege what can only be described as “mind control.”  Nothing attributed to the defense claim, as submitted by attorney William Pepper, who also represented James Early Ray, departs from the strict definition of “hypnosis,” though the CIA had spent millions on programs that strayed into that region, mind control and, in fact, well beyond.  “Mind control” was considered pretty tame stuff compared to the “remote viewing” and “psycho-kinetic energy” studies that went on for over a decade.

The CIA became obsessed with mind control after prisoners of war held by the Chinese, Russians and North Koreans returned showing symptoms of something far beyond simple indoctrination.  Some had been successfully programmed as deep cover agents.  Because of the classification level of all documents and studies involving this threat, even to this day there is only fiction to draw upon, films such as the Manchurian Candidate and Telefon or the recent blockbuster video game, Call of Duty Black Ops (spoiler alert) which “alleges” Kennedy’s murder was directly tied to “mind control.”

Is “pop culture” bridging the gap between disinformation and reality?


Reagan Security Caught From Behind

There are several issues that may tie the 3 shootings together.  Despite the conspiracy theories, reports from many directions indicate that all three men shared one powerful and very “third rail” belief.  All wished to see an end to the privately owned banking system that they believed was pushing America into financial insolvency.

All three, Reagan and the Kennedy’s had sought economic counsel regarding the dismemberment of the Federal Reserve System.  All three shared this one belief, that the Federal Reserve represents a threat against American sovereignty and is an instrument of defacto foreign control of a vital element of American security, control of currency and debt.

Could there be a greater motive than this?  In 1963, Kennedy had ordered the Treasury Department to prepare to issue non-Federal Reserve currency.  That order was never carried out.

A second Bush president tripled America’s debt in a 5 year period.  Was this what Reagan had foreseen also?  This is what we are told, perhaps it may be time to “really” reassess Reagan also.


U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy is followed by West Berlin Mayor Willy Brandt as he climbs a ladder to a platform giving a view over the concrete wall in West Berlin, February 22, 1962. The Brandenberg Gate is in the background. (AP Photo)


Joseph P. Kennedy, seated center, the head of the United States Maritime Commission and former chairman of the SEC, with his wife Mrs Rose. Kennedy and their children at their home in Bronxville, N.Y. in 1937. Seated left to right, are Eunice, Jean, Edward, Mr. Kennedy, Patricia and Kathleen. Standing are Rosemary, Robert, John F., Mrs. Kennedy and Joseph, Jr. (New York Times Studios)

1960-2011 Search other dates From To Examples: 2001/06/21, 247AD, 585BC

Search Results

  1. 1963

    Nov 1963 - Following John Kennedy's assassination in November 1963, the relationship deteriorated almost immediately. Clark Clifford recalled that " Bobby Kennedy seemed at the beginning very much to resent President Johnson. It was a curious attitude, completely ...The incidents that occurred there simply punctuated Bobby's dislike for the majority leader. Following John Kennedy's assassination in November 1963, the relationship deteriorated almost immediately. Clark Clifford recalled that " Bobby Kennedy seemed at the beginning very much to resent President Johnson. It was a curious attitude, completely illogical, wholly emotional. It seemed to irritate Bobby Kennedy when he saw President Johnson as President."15 One immediate ...

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    From Liberalism's last hurrah - Related web pages ...

  2. 1968

    1968 - I was crushed by the accumulation of tragedies in 1968. The assassination of King, and the racial conflagration that followed it; the dashed hopes of the Poor People's Campaign; the assassination of Bobby Kennedy and the prospects of a Nixon Presidency all ...I was crushed by the accumulation of tragedies in 1968. The assassination of King, and the racial conflagration that followed it; the dashed hopes of the Poor People's Campaign; the assassination of Bobby Kennedy and the prospects of a Nixon Presidency all combined to plunge me into a deeper state of depression. At first I ran- took a flight to Hawaii to put some distance between me and the Kennedy assassination in June. A week or so on the beaches of Hawaii didn't pull me ...

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    From April 4, 1968: Remembering the Murder of Our King | The Defenders … - Related web pages ...

  3. Jun 1968 - Oh, and about June 1968. Bobby Kennedy's assassination didn't happen in a vacuum . It happened almost exactly two months after Martin Luther King was assassinated. For anyone who was conscious of events in the world then (even as young as 4th grade), the two ...Oh, and about June 1968. Bobby Kennedy's assassination didn't happen in a vacuum . It happened almost exactly two months after Martin Luther King was assassinated. For anyone who was conscious of events in the world then (even as young as 4th grade), the two were linked. If this was some sort of monstrous ( mis)calculation, the fear and pain it would be intended to invoke compasses the assassination of a great black leader too.

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    From It's time for Oregon's uncommitted Superdelegates to step up and speak … - Related web pages

  4. Jun 4, 1968 - First-time director Estevez has definitely bitten off more than he can chew here , though by recounting the day of Bobby Kennedy's assassination through the singular & not-so-singular lives of the guests & staff of LA's Ambassador Hotel on June 4 th , 1968, he ...First-time director Estevez has definitely bitten off more than he can chew here , though by recounting the day of Bobby Kennedy's assassination through the singular & not-so-singular lives of the guests & staff of LA's Ambassador Hotel on June 4 th , 1968, he does manage to churn up some Altman-esque moments now & again. While attempting to juggle 20 or more characters & the weight of history would probably have given the old ensemble master pause, Estevez barrels ahead ...

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  5. Jun 5, 1968 - Rosey Grier and Robert Kennedy staff try to get the gun away from Sirhan Sirhan after the shooting at the Ambassador Hotel Los Angeles California, Sirhan Sirhan held by RFK staff and Rosey Grier, Robert F. Kennedy, RFK, Bobby, Bobby Kennedy ...Rosey Grier and Robert Kennedy staff try to get the gun away from Sirhan Sirhan after the shooting at the Ambassador Hotel Los Angeles California, Sirhan Sirhan held by RFK staff and Rosey Grier, Robert F. Kennedy, RFK, Bobby, Bobby Kennedy, assassination of RFK, assassination, assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, Ethel Kennedy, June 5 1968, Sirhan Sirhan, Ambassador Hotel Los Angeles California, Rosey Grier, George Plimpton, Rafer Johnson, Sirhan Sirhan ...

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  6. Jun 6, 1968 - Bobby Kennedy's assassination on June 6, 1968, shocked Jamaica. At the office, everyone from Ivy McGhic to the messenger offered condolences. The Deputy Minister of Health opened a high-powered meeting the day of Kennedy's death with condolences to the ...Bobby Kennedy's assassination on June 6, 1968, shocked Jamaica. At the office, everyone from Ivy McGhic to the messenger offered condolences. The Deputy Minister of Health opened a high-powered meeting the day of Kennedy's death with condolences to the Americans present. As the program expanded, I spent most of my time at the Bureau of Health Education office, which I loved, mostly because of the people. The 100-year-old building sat on the edge of the slums, next to ...

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  7. Jun 20, 1968 - On June 20, 1968, one day after his 46 th birthday (I have just turned 46, so this is significant to me), and just two weeks after Bobby Kennedy's assassination, my father received his naturalization papers from this United States, his United States – He ...On June 20, 1968, one day after his 46 th birthday (I have just turned 46, so this is significant to me), and just two weeks after Bobby Kennedy's assassination, my father received his naturalization papers from this United States, his United States – He was a Citizen of these United States! He celebrated the fourth of July that year with an uncharacteristic enthusiasm.

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  8. Oct 20, 1968 - On October 20, 1968, less than five months after Bobby Kennedy's assassination, Jackie Kennedy married Aristotle Onassis. The Greek Orthodox ceremony was held on Onassis's private Aegean island, Skorpios. Jackie had kept her plans so secret that her mother ...On October 20, 1968, less than five months after Bobby Kennedy's assassination, Jackie Kennedy married Aristotle Onassis. The Greek Orthodox ceremony was held on Onassis's private Aegean island, Skorpios. Jackie had kept her plans so secret that her mother. she sAid . . . “She of all people was the one who encouraged me. She's been extraordinarily generous. I was married to her son and I have his children, but she was the one who was saying, if this is what you think is ...

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  9. 1993

    Jun 4, 1993 - Still holding the . of Robert Kennedy on Thursday at the cemetery in Arling ton, Va. Today is the 25th anniversary of Kennedy's assassination. A ceremony Sunday will mark the anniversary. phone I leaned around a pillar and saw a phalanx of police rushing a swarthy young man down the ...
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  10. 2006

    Nov 22, 2006 - By The Edmonton Journal November 22, 2006. A critic left a press screening the other day of the Emilio Estevez film Bobby -- a multi-character drama set on the eve of the Bobby Kennedy assassination -- and gave his thumbnail critique: "Bad Robert Altman."By The Edmonton Journal November 22, 2006. A critic left a press screening the other day of the Emilio Estevez film Bobby -- a multi-character drama set on the eve of the Bobby Kennedy assassination -- and gave his thumbnail critique: "Bad Robert Altman." It was an assessment that summed up both Bobby and Altman.

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Starting Points »

The 1960s

1963 The JFK Assassination

A defining event in modern history, JFK's murder signaled the end of a country's innocence, and set the stage for the modern political landscape.

1968 The MLK Assassination

The 1968 murder of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. was the opening act in a year rife with violence and turmoil.
1968 The RFK Assassination

For many, the murder of Robert Kennedy following his California primary victory silenced the last best hope for peace in a country divided.

The 1970s

1972-74 Watergate

A "third rate burglary" soon escalated into a scandal which brought down the presidency of Richard Nixon.

1975-76 Intelligence Agency Investigations

Nixon's resignation ushered in the era of the "reform Congress," bringing investigations into the past abuses of the intelligence agencies.

The 1980s

Iran-Contra Special Collection
Reports and transcripts from the Iran-Contra investigations.


The MFF Archive is the largest searchable electronic archive of information relating to the assassinations of the 1960s and their larger historical context, including over 1,000,000 pages of declassified government documents.

Search our online portal of essays on the assassinations and related topics, hosted here and on sites across the internet.

The MFF is host to electronic copies of several prominent journals related to the JFK assassination, unlocked for reading and searching.

Thousands of online photos from the JFK and RFK assassination investigations and the National Archives, plus JFK White House photos.

Presidential recordings, taped interviews with assassination witnesses, and recorded interviews with authors & experts.

A portal to online video clips related to the JFK, MLK, and RFK assassinations, plus the MFF's own unique productions.

Political legacy: Conspiracy theorists have speculated that the mob was involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, left. Centre, Robert Kennedy was also assassinated

Political legacy: The Kennedy brothers, from left, JFK, Robert and Edward. Conspiracy theorists have claimed the mob and the CIA were involved in JFK's killing

Assassinated: Robert Kennedy leaving Downing Street in 1968. He was shot dead in Los Angeles later that year. Right, President Kennedy was infamously killed in Dallas in 1963 Assassinated: Robert Kennedy leaving Downing Street in 1968. He was shot dead in Los Angeles later that year. Right, President Kennedy was infamously killed in Dallas in 1963

Assassinated: Robert Kennedy leaving Downing Street in 1968. He was shot dead in Los Angeles later that year. Right, President Kennedy was infamously killed in Dallas in 1963

The man who assassinated Robert Kennedy says he was manipulated by a seductive girl in a mind control plot and that it was not his bullets that killed the presidential candidate.

Sirhan Bishara Sirhan, who shot RFK dead in a crowded hotel kitchen in Los Angeles in June 1968, made the claims in court documents filed this week.

The papers detail extensive interviews with Sirhan during the past three years, some done while he was under hypnosis.

Assassin: Sirhan Sirhan claims he was manipulated by a seductive girl in a mind control plot and that it was not his bullets that killed RFK

Assassin: Sirhan Sirhan claims he was manipulated by a seductive girl in a mind control plot and that it was not his bullets that killed RFK

The murder changed the course of U.S. history. Kennedy was on course to win the Democratic nomination and may well have beaten Richard Nixon to the White House.

The court files point to a mysterious girl in a polka-dot dress as the ‘controller’ who led Sirhan, now 66, to fire a gun in the pantry of the Ambassador Hotel.

But the documents suggest a second person shot and killed Kennedy while using Sirhan as a diversion.

Under hypnosis, he remembered meeting the girl that night and becoming smitten with her. He said she led him to the pantry.

‘I am trying to figure out how to hit on her. That's all that I can think about,’ he says in one interview cited in the documents.

Caught: Sirhan is charged with the assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy

Caught: Sirhan is charged with the assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy

‘I was fascinated with her looks. She never said much. It was very erotic. I was consumed by her. She was a seductress with an unspoken unavailability.’

Sirhan said under hypnosis that on a cue from the girl he went into ‘range mode’ believing he was at a firing range and seeing circles with targets in front of his eyes.

‘I thought that I was at the range more than I was actually shooting at any person, let alone Bobby Kennedy,’ Sirhan was quoted as saying during interviews with Daniel Brown, a Harvard University professor and expert in trauma memory and hypnosis.

He interviewed Sirhan for 60 hours with and without hypnosis, according to the legal brief.

Sirhan maintained in the hypnotic interviews that the mystery girl touched him or pinched him on the shoulder just before he fired then spun him around to see people coming through the pantry door.

‘Then I was on the target range ... a flashback to the shooting range ... I didn't know that I had a gun," Sirhan said.

The story of the girl has been a lingering theme in accounts of the events just after midnight on June 5, 1968, when Kennedy was gunned down in the hotel pantry after claiming victory in the California Democratic presidential primary.

Witnesses talked of seeing such a female running from the hotel shouting, ‘We shot Kennedy.’ But she was never identified, and amid the chaos of the scene, descriptions were conflicting.

Through the years, Sirhan has claimed no memory of shooting Kennedy and said in the recent interviews that his presence at the hotel was an accident, not a planned destination.

Under what Brown called the condition of hypnotic free recall, he said Sirhan remembered seeing the flash of a second gun at the time of the assassination.

Without hypnosis, he said, Sirhan could not remember that shot.
Pepper, a New York lawyer with an international practice, previously tried to prove that James Earl Ray was not the assassin of Martin Luther King Jr.

The lawyer said he is convinced that Sirhan was a victim of a mind control project such as those used by the CIA in the 1960s. He is seeking an evidentiary hearing to exonerate Sirhan in Kennedy's killing.

A large portion of the new documents seek to prove the bullets that hit Kennedy came from a different direction than the spot where Sirhan was standing. The papers do not name any other possible shooter.

Sirhan was denied parole in March by a panel that said he had not shown sufficient remorse for the killing.

  • Sirhan Sirhan claims not to remember killing
  • Lawyer claims he was 'brainwashed' and memory erased

The man who assassinated Robert Kennedy says he was ‘hypno-programmed’ into  carrying out the attack.

The claim is at the centre of the latest appeal by Sirhan Bishara Sirhan, who shot RFK dead in a crowded hotel kitchen in Los Angeles in June 1968.

The murder changed the course of U.S. history. Kennedy was on course to win the Democratic nomination and may well have beaten Richard Nixon to the White House.

Freedom: Sirhan Sirhan will begin his bid for freedom in California on Wednesday

Freedom: Sirhan Sirhan will begin his bid for freedom in California on Wednesday

Caught: Sirhan is charged with the assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy

Caught: Sirhan is charged with the assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy

His lawyer is expected to argue in a California parole hearing that he was a 'Manchurian Candidate', brainwashed into assassinating RFK in June 1968.

After years of hypnotherapy and psychological examination,attorney William Pepper said there was, 'no doubt he does not remember the critical events.'

Mr Pepper, who will argue for Sirhan's parole on Wednesday said:  'He is not feigning it. It's not an act. He does not remember it.

'It was very clear to me that this guy did not kill Bob Kennedy.'

Sirhan was convicted of shooting Robert Kennedy in the crowded kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.

Kennedy was there after claiming victory in the California presidential primary.

According to the New York-based lawyer, who also is a British barrister, there was a second gunman who shot and killed RFK.

Proponents of the second gun man theory contend that 13 shots were fired at RFK while Sirhan's gun held only eight bullets, and that the fatal shot appeared to come from behind Kennedy while Sirhan faced him.

Mr Pepper also suggests Sirhan was 'hypno-programmed,' turning him into a virtual 'Manchurian Candidate,' acting robot-like at the behest of evil forces who then wiped his memory clean.

The claims are however not expected to have any bearing on the outcome of the parole hearing.

The board is not being asked to retry the case and lawyers are not allowed to present evidence relating to guilt or innocence.

At issue is whether Sirhan, 66, remains a threat to others or to himself, whether he has accepted responsibility for the crime and expressed adequate remorse and whether he has an acceptable parole plan if he is released.

Stricken: Robert Kennedy moments after being shot

Stricken: Robert Kennedy moments after being shot

His lack of memory makes expressions of remorse and accepting responsibility difficult.

It is not known whether Sirhan will address the hearing at Pleasant Valley men's prison in Coalinga.

He has rarely commented during 13 past parole hearings and some instances has not shown up at all.

If Sirhan is released, he would be the first imprisoned political assassin to win parole in the U.S.

In one of many emotional outbursts during his trial, Sirhan blurted out that he had committed the crime 'with 20 years of malice aforethought,' a statement that could now come back to haunt him.

When arrested Sirhan also said: 'I did it for my country'.

Mr Pepper notes has a personal tie to Kennedy, having been chairman of his citizens' committee when he ran for Senate in 1964.

Pepper also represented Martin Luther King's assassin, James Earl Ray, through 10 years of appeals and a civil trial which he said proved that Ray was not King's killer.

David Dahle, head Los Angeles deputy district attorney for parole candidates serving life sentences, said his remarks at the hearing will depend on what is presented by the defence.

'At this point, I am sceptical that I will see something that will cause me to not oppose the grant of parole,' he said.

Few high profile prisoners have been released in the California system.

Charles Manson and his followers have been repeatedly turned down for parole.

Manson follower Susan Atkins attended her final parole hearing on a gurney dying of cancer but was denied release and died in prison three weeks ago.




Captured Blog: Kennedy 

Sen. Robert F. Kennedy with brother, Senator Edward M. Kennedy are shown during the St. Patrick's Day Parade in South Boston, March 17, 1968. (AP Photo/J.W. Green) #Captured: 50th Anniversary of the Freedom Rides 

Captured Blog: Kennedy

In this March 15, 1967 file photo, Sens. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., left, and Robert Kennedy, D-N.Y., sit together during a session of the Senate Labor Subcommittee in Washington. They were members of the subcommittee. (AP Photo, File)

Captured Blog: Kennedy

Sen. Edward Kennedy, center, flanked by his brothers, President John F. Kennedy and Attorney General Robert Kennedy, at the White House in August, 1963. (JFK Presidential Library via The New York Times)

Captured Blog: Kennedy

Robert F. Kennedy, left, Counsel for the Senate Rackets Committee, confers with his brothers Edward Kennedy, center, and Sen. John F. Kennedy during a committee hearing in Washington, D.C., in 1959. (AP Photo)

Captured Blog: Kennedy

This March 1938 file photo shows Joseph Kennedy (2nd-L) and his wife Rose (3rd-L) with their children (L-R) Kathleen, Edward, Patricia, Jean and Robert in London, England. (AFP/Getty Images) #

Captured Blog: Kennedy

Amb. Joseph Kennedy, then U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom, with his family at the Embassy residence in London in 1938. From left: Eunice, John, Rosemary, Jean, Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., Edward, Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., Patricia, Robert, Kathleen. (Dorothy Wilding/John F. Kennedy Library via The New York Times) Captured Blog: Kennedy

Robert Kennedy Assassination

1 comment:

Unknown said...

candid photography thanet
Thanks for sharing, Hope this helps many! Keep sharing....