The Assassination of Robert Kennedy

Conaugh Fraser

Category: Uncategorized

Robert Francis “Bobby” Kennedy

  • (November 20, 1925 – June 6, 1968), also referred to by his initials RFK, was an American politician, a Democratic senator from New York, and a noted civil rights activist.
  •  Brother of John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Edward Moore Kennedy, grandson of John Francis Fitzgerald, uncle of Patrick J. Kennedy, and father of Joseph Patrick Kennedy II 
  • United States Navy Reserve 1944-1946
  • Graduated from Harvard University in 1948 and from the University of Virginia Law School in 1951; admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1951
  • Campaign manager for John F. Kennedy’s election to the United States Senate in 1952
  • Campaign manager for John F. Kennedy’s election to the Presidency in 1960.
  • From 1961 to 1964, he was the U.S. Attorney General under JFK
  • Following his brother John’s assassination on November 22, 1963, Kennedy continued to serve as Attorney General under President Lyndon B. Johnson for nine months.
  • September 1964, Kennedy resigned to seek the U.S. Senate seat from New York,
  • Publicly split with Johnson over the Vietnam War.
  • In March 1968, Kennedy began a campaign for the presidency and was a front-running candidate of the Democratic Party.
  • California presidential primary on June 4, Kennedy defeated Eugene McCarthy, a U.S. Senator from Minnesota. Following a brief victory speech delivered just past midnight on June 5 at The Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, Kennedy was shot by Sirhan Sirhan. (Sparingly)


The officially accepted story

In 1968, Robert Kennedy was nominated to run against Eugene McCarthy in the upcoming presidential elections, The way that American politics works is that you ‘win’ states. Kennedy scored a major victory in winning the “California primary”  (Basically an election for the state of California) (
He gave a victory speech just after midnight on June 5Th 1968 in a ballroom at The Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California

After leaving the Ballroom, he was escorted through the kitchens, a short-cut that he was advised to avoid by his personal body guard FBI agent Bill Barry.

As he was being jostled through a crowded kitchen passageway RFK was assailed by Palestinian Sirhan Bishara Sirhan firing a .22 pistol. Kennedy was shot multiple times, and five others were wounded by gunfire.

Sirhan was apprehended on the scene.

Following the shooting, Kennedy was transported to the city’s Good Samaritan Hospital where he died early the next morning.

Sirhan’s motivation was self confession of his feelings of betrayal from Kennedy’s support for Israel (Sirhan being Palestinian) in the June 1967 “Six-Day War”, which had started exactly one year before the assassination.

This is coupled with the discovery of Sirhan’s diaries with quotes such as an entry from May 18 noting that “Robert F. Kennedy must be assassinated before 5 June 68.”

From an investigatory point of view it was a shut case.

Who was Sirhan Sirhan?

Sirhan Bishara Sirhan was born in Jerusalem in 1944, and moved to the U.S. with his family when he was 12 years old. The family lived in New York briefly before moving to California, there he went to “Charles W. Eliot Middle School) in Altadena, California” He worked at the Santa Anita racetrack as a stable boy, exercising horses.

Sirhan’s diaries that were found had page after page of such phrases as “RFK must die” and “Robert F. Kennedy must be assassinated” as well as odd phrases like “pay to the order of” and “my determination to eliminate RFK is becoming more the [sic] more of an unshakable obsession.”

Sirhan always thought he had magical powers, thinking that he could learn to control things with his mind. He was also interesting in mind control and hypnosis. Psychiatrists deemed that he was a very easy target for mind control, and that this is what may have causeed his strange writings – a trance like expression.

Allthough Sirhan’s admitted he was guilty, (recorded in a confession made while in police custody on June 9), a long and complicated trial followed the assassination.
An in-depth look at the trial can be found here (

Sirhan made many, many confessions during the trial but has recanted all of them since, 

“On March 3, 1969, in the Los Angeles courtroom, Cooper asked Sirhan directly if he had indeed shot Senator Kennedy. Sirhan replied immediately: “Yes, sir.”
Also stating that he had killed Kennedy “with 20 years of malice aforethought”

“He has maintained since then that he has no memory of the crime nor of making that statement in open court.”
Sirhan has also continually maintained that he has no memory of writing in his notebook as mentioned above.
This has led many to believe that he may have been a “Manchurian Candidate,” programmed to shoot RFK and then fail to recall who put him up to it. And this, is the first conspiracy theory. (Official Court testimony & Analysis)

Was Sirhan a Manchurian Candidate?

The Manchurian Candidate (1962 film) was a film about somebody being brainwashed and forced to carry out an assassination. This term has been coined to represent anybody under a control not of their own, being made to do something with a trigger word, without having any idea of  what they are doing, ‘A psychologically-manipulated patsy’

This though, is probably the only way that Sirhan was going to have a lesser sentencing, so his lawyers favoured this theory, claiming that he was programmed to shoot the politician while under hypnosis.
This then asks another question – who ‘programmed’ Sirhan? His lawyers couldn’t answer, saying ”Someone, some group or some agency did this,” When asked if the US government was responsible, Mr Pepper said: “Perhaps”. (Bill Pepper, the New York attorney who led Sirhan’s 14th attempt to be given parole [02 Mar 2011])

The main suspect for brainwashing Sirhan is “The polka-dotted dress girl”
Sirhan was seen in the pantry (Place of Assassination) and around the hotel with a girl wearing a white dress with blue or black polka-dots.  The girl and another male were seen running away from the pantry following the shooting shouting “We shot him. We shot him.” When Sandy Serrano ( A campaign worker) asked who they meant, the girl replied “Senator Kennedy.” This was corroborated by LAPD officer Paul Sharaga, who was told the same thing by an elderly couple behind the hotel. There were many other witnesses who had seen the ‘polka-dot girl’ with Sirhan leading up to the assassination.

In April 2011 lawyers for Sirhan submitted new evidence – under a trance spell induced by Harvard University trauma memory and hypnosis expert Daniel Brown, Sirhan talked about what he remembered from the time, who since the assassination has remained adamant that he has no recollection of.
This new evidence “shows their client was manipulated by the mystery girl and had no sense of what he was doing” They suggested that Sirhan was not the main perpetrator, merely a “decoy” that a second person that actually shot and killed the president could hide behind. Sirhan maintains that he was under hypnosis and that the polka-dot girl had “pinched him on the shoulder” which in this case, was the trigger for Sirhan – The Manchurian candidate. He said that the pinch had sent him into what he called “range mode” in which all he could see were the circles from the range that him and the polka-dot girl had frequently visited. “I thought I was at the range more than I was actually shooting at any person, let alone Bobby Kennedy.”
He also talked about his infatuation with this girl,  ”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.” This would have also helped with the the manipulation.
Since the polka-dot girl has never been seen again, the motives of physiologically manipulating Sirhan are unknown.

Was there more than one shooter?

Eyewitness, Dr. Marcus McBoom saw a man with an almost concealed pistol in his hand running from the scene of the crime.
Photographer Even Freed (one of the polka-dot girl witnesses) swore an official affidavit in 1992 that he had seen somebody shoot RFK from behind, (Sirhan firing from directly ahead of rfk) (The affidavit can be found here).
The autopsy report backs up these eye witness accounts, stating that RFK had been shot three times from the rear at a steep upward angle, with powder burns indicating that the fatal shot being fired from 1 or 2 inches away. (Autopsy report)

Another discrepancy with the story was Sirhan’s gun, an Iverson .22 revolver that held a maximum of 8 bullets. Two were shot into Kennedy and were later recovered, one grazed him and was determined by the LAPD to have gone into the ceiling, and the remaining 5 were found in other victims.
This means that the bullet holes that were in the door frame where RFK entered the pantry (Place of assassination) had to have been from a different gun.

This door frame was swiftly removed and taken away for “x-ray examination” but the tests proved “absolutely nothing” and they destroyed the evidence. When the council requested the x-rays Assistant police chief Daryl Gates said that “they had been done away with”
The files of the LAPD’s investigation, released twenty years after the assassination, show that the evidence was ignored, and in some cases actively hidden and manipulated.

The second gunman could only have been one person, because of the angles and him being the only one close enough to inflict a near hit on RFK – there was only one suspect: Thane Eugene Cesar, one of the security guards that was always holding onto the Senator’s right elbow and remaining half-beside him and half-behind him through the pantry. Cesar was positioned so that he could strategically hit Kennedy with bullets when all hell broke loose. When the firing began, Cesar was at point-blank range of Kennedy and eyewitnesses have said that they saw cesar’s gun smoking.

Although there is this evidence against him, there are many important and unmissable facts that support his innocence, no criminal record, volunteered to be questioned, offered to submit his gun for investigation, easily agreed to be questioned and given a polygraph test, remained openly honest about his political sentiments, and, most important, he had not been scheduled to work that night, but was called in at the last minute.

“Just because I don’t like the Democrats, that doesn’t mean I go around shooting them.” – Eugene Cesar

Who killed RFK?

Sirhan Sirhan fired upon Robert Kennedy, with the intent to kill, but the autopsy report, coupled with dozens of eyewitnesses to the scene, cast doubt on the otherwise obvious conclusion that Sirhan actually fired the shots that hit RFK.
The evidence is strong that Sirhan was stalking Kennedy in the company of a young blond girl (The polka-dot girl) and another male companion.
Many 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.

Who were the accomplices? The LAPD decided not to try to find out. Sirhan’s motivation for assassinating 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 could have motivated Sirhan Sirhan,but that motivation was not the same for his accomplices. The many, many 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 definite statement. The weird behavior of the polka-dotted dress girl and her companion dont seem to be like that of brainwashing killers.
But Robert Kennedy had accumulated many powerful enemies during his career – CIA officers, organized crime bosses, Vietnam war supporters. Seeing as Kennedy’s achieving the Presidency would scare any of them, it is not at all clear who the ultimate supporters of Sirhan and his accomplices might have been.

From the evidence found – Coroners report, eyewitness statements, bullets found, direction of shots and the ballistics report stating the killer was behind Kennedy etc etc, I can make my own personal judgement. This judgement was that I think there was a second shooter, and that statement is as far as I can go. After that, there are too many uncertainties and too much conflicting evidence to make a reliable judgement. No motive, no opportunity, and no will lined up together. I also think that Sirhan’s alleged ‘brainwashing’ was a lie made up by lawyers to get him a lesser sentance and for him to be not solely responsible. 
The solid eveidence that was collected has either been tampered with or destroyed. This means that to investigate further, you would need to analyse every piece of evidence with perceptive and thorough thought. This is hugely time consuming and I think this is the aim of whoever has tried to cover up this crime.

The effect on NZ

The assassination of MLK, JFK and then RFK all had their toll on the world. It is hard as a teenager to look back to such a different time and make a judgement on how it affected the world and New Zealand, as I do not know the time. What I can say, is that his assassination never attracted the same amount of public fascination as his brothers. And I do not think that this is justified. Robert Kennedy was Unique. He reached out to the poor. He reached out to the working class whites, and he reached out to the African American people and migrant workers. This was not commonplace for the politicians of the time who would ignore these demographics. He came from a privileged wealthy background, yet spoke passionately about the oppressed. He asked America to support racial and educational equality, something that needed to be done.
He spoke out about taking responsibility for the environment and for negotiating peace in a world filled with war.
All these things that he was becoming, are still what politicians and leaders are fighting about today.
New Zealand is so heavily influenced by the USA and its culture that i think having a leader like RFK could have influenced New Zealand, and the world for better.

“All of us might wish at times that we lived in a more tranquil world, but we don’t. And if our times are difficult and perplexing, so are they challenging and filled with opportunity.” 

See Also

RFK Must Die : The Assassination of Bobby Kennedy is an investigative documentary by Irish writer and filmmaker Shane O’Sullivan released in 2007. It goes into CIA involvement and involves this article by the Guardian A full in-depth analysis of the events and all conspiracies surrounding RFK. Amazingly well researched and a wide variety of resources.

Official medicolegal report on Senator Robert kennedy

Guide to LAPD official documents on the Assassination

Court testimony, evidence and analysis of the RFK assassination