RFK JR. SAYS “NO CONSPIRACY” IN FATHER’S MURDER; INVESTIGATORS, VICTIMS, EXPERTS DISAGREE
The 40th anniversary of Robert F. Kennedy‘s assassination has spurred a movement to reopen the murder case. But, so far, his heirs are reluctant to join the crusade.
As much as he suspects that his uncle, President John F. Kennedy, may have been the victim of a conspiracy, Bobby Kennedy Jr. tells us, “I’ve never seen particularly compelling evidence [that my father was].”
Several respected journalists and forensic scientists are hoping RFK’s clan will consider new findings suggesting convicted killer Sirhan Sirhan, now 64, did not act alone.
Shane O’Sullivan, author of the just-published “Who Killed Bobby?”, notes that the “autopsy concluded all three shots were fired at an upward angle from an inch behind Kennedy, but witnesses placed the muzzle of Sirhan’s gun a foot and a half to five feet in front of the senator.”
An analysis of a recently discovered audio recording of the chaos in that kitchen at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles found that 13 shots were fired — eight from Sirhan’s spot in front of Kennedy, five from behind. Three shots from behind hit Kennedy; their audio fingerprints match those of the .22 revolver owned by Eugene Cesar, a security guard who was standing behind Kennedy. Cesar has denied shooting the New York senator.
Paul Schrade, RFK’s labor adviser on the campaign, also took a bullet in the head that day. Schrade has long said the LAPD bungled the investigation. “What’s more important now,” he tells us, “is that the LAPD couldn’t have done the testing we have because the technology didn’t exist then.”
“I’m convinced we can make the case,” adds Schrade, who is putting together a legal team to challenge the verdict.
Sandi Gibbons, a spokeswoman for L.A. District Attorney Steve Cooley, didn’t know if prosecutors were aware of recent findings, but told us: “We believe Sirhan’s conviction is valid and supported by the evidence presented to a jury at trial.”
Among those calling for a new probe before remaining witnesses die is David Talbot, whose book, “Brothers,” reveals how RFK privately tried to unravel the mysteries behind JFK’s murder.”
“I do hope that this generation [of Kennedys] will finally do something to open up the case again,” says Talbot.
Several members of the clan we contacted declined to comment. “They like to focus on RFK’s legacy,” says a family friend. “The media fascination with this subject pains them.”
Schrade, who has stayed in touch with the family, says, “I understand how difficult it is for them. We don’t talk about the conspiracy. That doesn’t mean that they won’t at some point.”
Copyright 2008, the New York Daily News.