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Conspiracy Files: Did Sirhan Sirhan, Acting Alone, Shoot Senator Robert Kennedy?

Last update: 18th April, 2016

1) It seems odd that Secret Service and Los Angeles police weren't there, despite the fact that a major political figure was exposed to some 2,000 people in the course of an evening.

2) Sirhan Sirhan shot from the front. The first doctor on the scene, Stanley Abo, discovered a hole behind Bobby's head, below the right ear.

At Central Receiving, doctors found the wound behind the ear and powder burns around it, which indicated that the shot that struck Kennedy was fired at an extremely close range (estimates of 1-1.5 inches).

So, Sirhan Sirhan could not possibly have fired the shot behind Bobby's ear.

(Doctors at Good Samaritan uncovered two more wounds on Kennedy - one in the right armpit and another several inches down. )

3) In Sirhan Sirhan's pocket, when he was arrested after the shooting, there was an article in which Bobby Kennedy had expressed a pro-Israeli position. Sirhan Sirhan was a Palestinian, newly at war with Israel at this time.

4) In Sirhan Sirhan's room, at 696 East Howard, Pasadena, police found (without a search warrant), amongst other things, a scribbled note which read "RFK must die."

Other quotes from his diary are, apparently, as follows:

"Robert F. Kennedy must be assassinated before June 5, 1968,"

"My determination to eliminate RFK is becoming more (and) more of an unshakeable obsession.(He) must be sacrificed for the cause of the poor exploited people."

5) The autopsy, having clarified what bullet actually killed Bobby, also created a controversy.

There had been 8 shots, four fired at Kennedy. But five people had been wounded in the attack (Elizabeth Evans, Ira Goldstein, Paul Schrade, Irwin Stroll and William Weisel.) Therefore, because this seemingly showed at least 9 shots, and only 8 cylinders in Sirhan's gun, a second gunman theory began...

Answer: The LAPD's DeWayne A. Wolfer, chief criminalist of the Scientific Research Division, issued a bullet-accountability report that, in summary, reads:

Bullet #1 struck Senator Robert F. Kennedy behind the right ear.

Bullet #2 passed through RFK's right shoulder pad and struck campaign aide Paul Schrade in the forehead.

Bullet #3 entered RFK's back inches below the top of the right shoulder.

Bullet #4 entered RFK's back, about one inch below bullet #3, but exited the senator's body through the right front chest.

Bullet #5 struck Ira Goldstein in the right rear buttock.

Bullet #6 passed through Goldstein's pants leg, struck the cement floor, and, ricocheted onto Irwin Stroll's left leg.

Bullet #7 struck William Weisel in the left abdomen.

Bullet #8 reflected off the plaster ceiling to strike Elizabeth Evans in the head.

(Counter to this list: It is impossible to trace this number of bullets with any accuracy.)

6) The mystery of the woman in the polka dot dress.

At least two witnesses told police that Sirhan Sirhan, before he assassinated Kennedy, spoke to a woman in a white dress and either black or purple polka dots.

It is further alleged that a witness saw a man who looked like Sirhan Sirhan walking into the room with a woman in a polka dot dress.

Afterwards this woman and another person was hear to say "We shot Kennedy!" (heard by police sergeant Paul Sharaga who did not arrest them because he was not fully aware of what had happened earlier. The couple disappeared.

The LAPD explains away the confusion by saying that the people said "They shot Kennedy" not "We shot Kennedy". Police have never attempted to trace the woman in the polka dot dress.

One of the witnesses, Vince DiPierro, seems to have recanted his evidence later in the enquiry.

A woman, Valerie Schulte, was in the right position at the event to have been the woman in the polka dot dress. However she does not know Sirhan Sirhan.

7) A possible suspect behind the murder was Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa whom Bobby had sent to prison.

A fellow prison inmate claims that Hoffa had said to him, on May 30, 1967:

"I have a contract out on Kennedy. And if he ever gets in the primary or gets elected, the contract will be fulfilled within six months."

Answer: Hoffa denies he ever said that.

8) At his trial, Sirhan said, in his own defence, to start with that he could not remember anything, he was intoxicated. Later he was to claim that he could have gone temporarily insane with rage after Kennedy's comments about Israel.

9) A couple of weeks following the trial, the Los Angeles Free Press ran a story that claimed there was photographic evidence of a second gunman.

The evidence was a photo of two bullet holes in a wooden divider between sets of swinging doors. But, as the eight bullets had already been accounted for, this pointed to more than one gun men.

Answer: Unfortunately, the police had removed the doors on June 28, 1968, 10 months before this story ran. The evidence had been destroyed.

A police spokesman seems to have made comments to the effect that these were, indeed, bullet holes. But after investigation it was felt that the holes meant nothing.

10) Who was the second gunman? He would have to have been behind Kennedy to shot him at point blank range.

Police had a suspect: Thane Eugene Cesar, the Ace Security guard, who was holding the senator's right elbow and remained virtually half-beside him, half-behind him in the procession through the pantry, Cesar was in a position to shoot Kennedy during the commotion.

Cesar had denounced the Kennedy's in the past. He carried a .35 revolver, but he did own a .22 revolver, the type used to kill Kennedy.

Cesar has a very strong defence: He had been called in at the last minute that night, he volunteered details of the .22 revolver, he was happy to be questioned and passed a polygraph.

11) The case files were released twenty years after the assassination, on April 19, 1988. But there were significant omissions, including pictures and x-rays of the bullet marks in the pantry door frame. Mysterious, the evidence of 7 forensic experts has gone missing.

12) Thirty years after the assassination, Sirhan Sirhan continues to claim his innocence.

His attorney makes the claim that Sirhan had been hypnotised and 'programmed' to commit the assassination, like a 'puppet'.