Add Robert F Kennedy Jr to the growing list of people who believe that there was a second gunman who carried out the assassination of his father almost 50 years ago.
RFK Jr recently met with Sirhan Sirhan, the man serving a life sentence in prison after he was convicted of murdering his father, Senator Robert Kennedy Sr, in a Los Angeles hotel in 1968.
After meeting with him for three hours, RFK Jr came away convinced that the wrong man was eventually convicted for his father’s murder, The Washington Post reported.
‘I got to a place where I had to see Sirhan,’ Kennedy told the Post.
He said he had done months of research into his father’s assassination before he met Sirhan at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility, a California state prison not far from San Diego.
Add Robert F Kennedy Jr to the growing list of people who believe that there was a second gunman who carried out the assassination of his father almost 50 years ago
‘I went there because I was curious and disturbed by what I had seen in the evidence,’ RFK Jr said.
‘I was disturbed that the wrong person might have been convicted of killing my father.
‘My father was the chief law enforcement officer in this country.
‘I think it would have disturbed him if somebody was put in jail for a crime they didn’t commit.’
RFK Jr, an environmental lawyer, is the third oldest of RFK’s 11 children.
He is now calling for a re-investigation of the assassination. RFK Jr was 14 when his father was shot shortly after winning the Democratic primary in California.
Kennedy was killed just two months after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and nearly five years after the assassination of his brother, President John F. Kennedy.
His death came at a tumultuous time for the country, which was beset by domestic strife over race as well as American intervention in the Vietnam War.
At trial, Sirhan, a Palestinian immigrant, admitted to shooting RFK, but he later said he had no recollection of doing so.
The findings of the case also raised questions. An autopsy report revealed that RFK died after he was shot at point-blank range from behind, but Sirhan, who was 24 years old at the time, was standing in front of him.
There is also the question of how many shots were fired.
RFK Jr recently met with Sirhan Sirhan, the man serving a life sentence in prison after he was convicted of murdering his father, Senator Robert Kennedy Sr, in a Los Angeles hotel in 1968. Kennedy is seen lying mortally wounded just after he was shot on June 5, 1968
Newly unearthed evidence, including audio from that night, suggests that 13 shots were fired that night, but Sirhan’s gun only held a total of eight rounds.
Law enforcement and the judicial authorities in California consider the case closed.
The man who has been most vocal in calling for a re-examination of the case in Paul Schrade, who was at the time a top union official who was shot in the head as he was walking behind RFK and survived.
It was Schrade who persuaded RFK Jr to revisit the case.
Schrade has also been trying to convince lawyers to take on the case in the hopes that the courts would be willing to hear new evidence.
Witnesses who tackled Sirhan shortly after hearing gunshots testified that he never got close to RFK.
This would seem to suggest that it was someone else who shot the fatal bullet which killed the senator, since autopsy results showed a wound near the ear.
‘The people that were closest to [Sirhan], the people that disarmed him all said he never got near my father,’ RFK Jr said.
Newly unearthed evidence, including audio from that night, suggests that 13 shots were fired that night, but Sirhan’s gun only held a total of eight rounds. Sirhan is seen above being led away from the Ambassador Hotel after the shooting
Sirhan, who has been in prison for nearly 50 years, has been repeatedly turned down for parole. He is seen above photographed in 2011
Schrade said that while he believes Sirhan shot the other four people who were wounded that night, but he was not the gunman who killed the presidential hopeful.
‘Yes, he did shoot me. Yes, he shot four other people and aimed at Kennedy,’ Schrade, who is now 93, told the Post.
‘The important thing is he did not shoot Robert Kennedy. Why didn’t they go after the second gunman? They knew about him right away. They didn’t want to know who it was. They wanted a quickie.’
Forensics experts who examined the bullets fired found that there were bullet holes in the door frame of the pantry at the Ambassador Hotel.
A closer examination by experts revelealed that there were more than eight shots fired and that not all of the bullets came from Sirhan’s gun – meaning there was a second gun.
But authorities later denied that the holes found in the door frame were bullet holes. The door frame was eventually destroyed after Sirhan’s trial.
In 2012, another witness to the assassination, Nina Rhodes-Hughes, told CNN that she is convinced there was a second gunman.
‘What has to come out is that there was another shooter to my right,’ Rhodes-Hughes said.
RFK Jr, an environmental lawyer, is the third oldest of RFK’s 11 children. He is now calling for a re-investigation of the assassination. RFK Jr was 14 when his father was shot shortly after winning the Democratic primary in California
‘The truth has got to be told. No more cover-ups.’
At Sirhan’s trial, Grant Cooper, the defense lawyer, did not contest the charge that his client fired the fatal shot.
Instead, he asked the jury not to hand down the death penalty, claiming that Sirhan had ‘diminished capacity’ and didn’t know what he was doing.
Cooper, who died in 1990, was criticized for not sufficiently investigating the case before instructing his client to plead guilty.
Sirhan, 74, who has been in prison for nearly 50 years, has been repeatedly turned down for parole.
Russell Iungerich, an attorney from Rancho Palos Verdes who was California deputy attorney general when the RFK case was reopened in 1975, said RFK Jr’s assertions were wrong.
‘His comments are just way off base,’ Iungerich told the Los Angeles Times.
‘When you add up all the evidence produced at the hearings, there’s no way you can configure the evidence to say that there was a second gunman.
‘RFK Jr. may believe this because he talked to Sirhan, but Sirhan had worked as a groom at Hollywood Park and he was kicked in the head by a horse.
‘That created some brain damage, and he had some delusional thinking about RFK.’
Last week, the authors of The Assassination Of Robert F. Kennedy argued that Sirhan was programmed to shoot RFK through hypnosis by a woman working for the CIA.
The authors, Tim Tate and Brad Johnson, wrote a synopsis of their findings in DailyMail.com.