EPL Prediction Competition 2018-2019 Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

Robert F. Kennedy Jr wants new probe of father’s assassination

UNITED STATES: Sirhan Sirhan is serving a life sentence in a California prison for the murder 50 years ago of Democratic presidential hopeful Robert F. Kennedy.

crimemurder
By AFP

Thursday 7 June 2018, 09:18AM


Robert F. Kennedy (right) in the Oval Office in February 1961 with his brother President John F. Kennedy and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover Photo: AFP / Handout

Robert F. Kennedy (right) in the Oval Office in February 1961 with his brother President John F. Kennedy and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover Photo: AFP / Handout

Kennedy’s son and namesake, Robert F. Kennedy Jr, is not convinced the Palestinian-born did it, or at least not alone.

RFK Jr wants a fresh investigation of the assassination – an appeal which is supported by only one of his eight surviving siblings.

Robert F. Kennedy, 42, was shot dead just after midnight on June 5, 1968 in the kitchen pantry of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.

The younger brother of president John F. Kennedy, cut down by an assassin’s bullets five years earlier, had just delivered a victory speech in the hotel ballroom after winning the California presidential primary.

The former US attorney general and New York senator died the next day.

Sirhan, who was born in Jerusalem and moved with his family to the United States in 1956, was convicted of firing the fatal shots with a .22 calibre pistol.

Sirhan, who was 24 at the time, confessed to the murder at his 1969 trial but claimed he could not remember carrying it out.

Diaries in which he had written “RFK Must Die” were entered as evidence along with a motive of supposed hatred for Kennedy’s support for Israel.

Sirhan was captured at the scene, the gun still in his hand, but there have long been claims a second gunman may have been involved.

Several witnesses and an acoustics expert believe that a total of 13 shots were fired although Sirhan’s gun only held eight bullets.

Also, Kennedy was hit behind the right ear by a bullet fired from point-blank range although Sirhan was said to be standing in front of him.

RFK Jr, 64, an environmental lawyer who is the third-eldest of Robert and Ethel Kennedy’s 11 children, is among those who entertain doubts.

He revealed to The Washington Post last week that he visited Sirhan in prison in December of last year.

“I went there because I was curious and disturbed by what I had seen in the evidence,” RFK Jr told the Post.

“I was disturbed that the wrong person might have been convicted of killing my father,” he said. “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.”

His sister, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, 66, the former lieutenant governor of Maryland, said she supports her brother’s call for a fresh look at the assassination.

“Bobby makes a compelling case,” she told the Post. “I think it should be reopened.”

Paul Schrade, a labour organiser who was wounded at the Ambassador Hotel that night along with four other people, has long campaigned for the case to be reopened.

“Yes, (Sirhan) did shoot me,” Schrade, now 93, told the Post. “Yes, he shot four other people and aimed at Kennedy.

“The important thing is he did not shoot Robert Kennedy,” Schrade said. “Why didn’t they go after the second gunman?

“They knew about him right away. They didn’t want to know who it was,” he said. “They wanted a quickie.”

Two other surviving Kennedy children – his eldest son, Joseph P. Kennedy II and Kerry Kennedy – told The Boston Globe they did not support reopening the case.

“I think what is most important is that our country and my family reflect on what my father stood for and fought for – a legacy promoting global peace, social justice, and civil rights,” Joseph Kennedy said.

Kerry Kennedy, a human rights activist, said “the reason that people are interested in the circumstances of my father’s death is because of what he did with his life.

“And I think we should focus on his life and not so much on his death.”

There appears, in any case, to be little likelihood the investigation will ever be reopened.

In a 2013 rejection of Sirhan’s appeals, US magistrate Judge Andrew Wistrich dismissed the claims there were 13 shots instead of eight as not conclusive.

The judge also said the fatal shot behind the ear could be explained by the “chaos” and Kennedy perhaps turning his head after Sirhan opened fire.

Sirhan, now 74, was sentenced to death in 1969 but his sentence was commuted to life in prison in 1972 after the death penalty was abolished.

His requests for parole have been repeatedly denied.

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Body found floating off Kata Beach

The headline should not be about body found floating...the truth is that another person died due to ...(Read More)


Water shut-offs announced for Wichit on Aug 16

No difference shut off or not. Need to order truck to bring water because not enough water in pipe...(Read More)


Phoenix tour boat owner to fight charges, renounces confession

Don't worry about it...all the correct people have been paid off and justice has been done. ...(Read More)


Phuket officials concerned over tourist drug users, ‘epidemic’ in Patong

Wrong focus, target supply not demand. Under 30s can bearly walk down Bangla at night now without pi...(Read More)


B20bn Central Phuket to open Sept 10

Yeah, great idea to focus on more shopping...get these stupid Chinese off the beach so Phuket offici...(Read More)


Hope floats to raise the Phoenix

If they would have called in assistance from European or American experts, this boat would have been...(Read More)


Body found floating off Kata Beach

Chalk up another...probably another Chinese, as nothing is being done to keep an eye on them and kee...(Read More)


Phuket officials concerned over tourist drug users, ‘epidemic’ in Patong

What was the VG thinking? How can he mention Phuket quality tourists in a context with drug user.Eve...(Read More)


B20bn Central Phuket to open Sept 10

3,000 MORE parking spaces, oh my god this is horrendous. The greed of these developers knows no boun...(Read More)


B20bn Central Phuket to open Sept 10

how is it there are billions to invest in shopping malls, but no money to build affordable houses fo...(Read More)