Who shot Sirhan Sirhan

"Too many guns between Bobby and the White House"

Robert F. Kennedy was murdered fifty years ago - the alleged lone perpetrator Sirhan Sirhan is still in custody today and cannot remember anything

On June 4, 1968, Harold Weisberg was interviewed on a small Washington television station with his book "Whitewash. The Report on the Warren Report" (1965), one of the first and most meticulous critics of the investigation into the murder of John F. Kennedy. He had already been violently outraged that the Kennedy family, and in particular Robert F. Kennedy, whom he valued, had apparently accepted the Warren Commission's single perpetrator thesis without contradiction and thus gained public acceptance of the report's unfounded result.

In the interview, he reported on a conversation he had with a confidante of the Attorney General about the matter, and which he asked how one could read the 26 volumes of the Warren Commission's records without concluding that the individual perpetrator allegation was false be. "It's really easy," said my friend. "Bobby wants to live ... There are just too many guns between Bobby and the White House." When Weisberg asked: "Whose firearms?", Kennedy's friend replied: "Those of the CIA."

The next evening, Robert F. Kennedy was shot and seriously injured at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles after his acceptance speech for the South Dakota and California primary elections that would have secured him the role of Democratic candidate for the next presidential election. He died 26 hours later.

In contrast to what the hidden shooters had done in the murder of his brother, this time the perpetrator was not lurking in hiding. After the speech, the Senator and his entourage made their way to the press conference instead of through the crowd of cheering supporters in the ballroom through the kitchen of the hotel behind. The chef Karl Uecker took Kennedy by the arm and guided him through his empire, in which 70 employees worked, when suddenly a young man stepped forward with a pistol. He called, "Kennedy, you son of a bitch!" and fired. Kennedy collapsed, and bystanders overwhelmed the man who was later identified as Sirhan Sirhan, 25, who had come to the United States from Jordan 11 years earlier.

Sirhan was arrested and, after a brief trial, sentenced to death in the gas chamber on April 23, 1969, the sentence being commuted to life imprisonment because the death penalty was lifted shortly thereafter in California. After decades in the high-security section of California's Corcoran Penitentiary, Sirhan has been incarcerated in Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga, also California, since 2009.

This is an excerpt from the book by Mathias Bröckers "JFK - Staatsstreich in Amerika", which was published in 2017 by Westend-Verlag.

Since then, he has filed 15 requests for pardon, which have been rejected, as have all of his requests to prove his innocence in a new trial. Paul Schrade, a former Kennedy election worker, supports him in this. He was standing behind Kennedy and was hit by a bullet that, according to the investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department, first penetrated Kennedy's shoulder and then hit Schrade's head, who subsequently passed out. If you shake your head now because a "magic bullet" is said to have been at work here again, I unfortunately cannot reassure you: there were even more than one.

"RFK must die"

Eight projectiles were recovered from the crime scene. Five were operated on from the injured who had been standing next to Kennedy, he himself had been shot three times, a fourth had only penetrated his jacket. There were other bullet holes in the ceiling and in a door frame, which were photographed by the police.

Sirhan's revolver only had eight shots. And the bullet that put an end to Bobby Kennedy's life had hit him behind the right ear - but Sirhan was standing three feet in front of him. The official coroner Thomas Noguchi came to the conclusion in his autopsy report that the fatal shot must have been fired from three to five centimeters away because of the abundant powder residue and because of the shooting angle from below. When the district attorney then asked the doctor to increase the distance from "inches" to "feet" stated in his report and the doctor refused, he was subjected to a bullying campaign and suspended as head of the Los Angeles Forensic Institute after a lawsuit but to be set again.

In the trial, these inconsistencies and the excess bullets, which speak for at least a second shooter, were ignored. Sirhan's attorney was Grant Cooper, who otherwise received hefty fees, had already appeared as legal counsel for the mafioso and CIA contact Johnny Roselli and had now surprisingly agreed to defend the penniless accused. Cooper let the excess bullets go through as well as the failure to hear witnesses who spoke of a "firework" of shots in the kitchen that could not have been from a lone shooter. Cooper refrained from introducing the autopsy photos, which could have shown the bullet from behind, in the process, arguing that they would increase sympathy for Kennedy and anger towards his clients.

Sirhan himself denied the crime in court and claimed that he had no memory of the murder and the time before and after it, only after his arrest did he regain consciousness. At the same time, however, he demanded the death penalty for himself from the court because for 20 years he had had nothing else on his mind but to kill Robert Kennedy. A diary was found in his room in which he read the sentence "RFK must die" (RFK must die) for pages under the heading "My determination to eliminate RFK is becoming more and more an obsession". had written.

Together with a current newspaper article in his jacket pocket, in which Kennedy had spoken positively about arms deliveries to Israel a few days before the murder - which was not yet known at the time the "RFK must die" -Litany was written - , this evidence was cited to label the perpetrator a "deranged religious fanatic" at the trial. Another contributing factor was that he told the court that for 20 years he had had nothing but killing Kennedy.

After the trial, he revoked his statements in court and has been an exemplary prisoner for almost 50 years. So far, this has not helped his pardon requests to be successful. More recently, however, thanks to Sirhan's new and committed legal counsel, witnesses and evidence have emerged that could stir the case.

On the one hand there is Nina Rhodes-Hughes, who was part of the RFK's campaign team at the time and insists that her statement that she heard twelve to 14 shots in the kitchen was reduced to eight in the FBI's protocol. Furthermore, a re-emerged tape recording by the journalist Stanislaw Pruszynski from the Ambassador Hotel was acoustically analyzed, with the result that no fewer than 14 shots could be heard on it.

Witness statements destroyed, crime scene photos disappeared

It is questionable whether Sirhan can ever achieve a retrial with new evidence. This is countered by the fact that the police in Los Angeles (LAPD) and the investigating Special Unit Senator have destroyed 90 percent of the witness statements and crime scene photos taken after the trial - including all those who contradict the individual perpetrator thesis.

These include, for example, the photos of the then 15-year-old Jamie Scott Enyart, who smuggled himself into the hotel with a press card and took over 100 pictures when Kennedy left the kitchen, including the security guard Thane Eugene Cesar, who was behind the Senator and after overpowering Sirhan held a revolver in hand. The photos were confiscated by the police after the crime, allegedly because they were needed for the trial, but where they were not shown.

When he asked for the photos back after the trial, he received only 18 prints, no negatives and the information that the other photos would have to be locked away for 20 years. And when he asked for them back after that deadline in 1988, the LAPD claimed they had been burned. He filed a lawsuit that was delayed for six years. Then, shortly before the scheduled court date, the police allegedly discovered the photos again and handed them over to the plaintiff - however, it was only the photos from the ballroom, not the decisive ones from the kitchen.

Finally, in 1996 there was a court case. The LAPD's attorney now claimed that the photos had been found in the Sacramento archives and that they were now being couriered to the court. The following day the courier arrived without the photos, because the bag with the photos had allegedly been stolen from the car shortly beforehand. Scott Enyart was awarded $ 450,000 in damages - the "Zapruder movie" of the RFK murder has disappeared to this day.

This is just one episode as telling as it is hair-raising about the investigation and handling of evidence in this case - several others have been gathered by researchers and writers from day one to the present day. And the facts overlooked or willfully ignored by the investigators make it abundantly clear that Robert F. Kennedy was not the victim of a confused individual shooter either.

Witnesses such as the policeman who was the first to arrive in front of the hotel after the crime, and the dismayed couple who excitedly told him about a woman in a white, blue polka dot dress and a man who had run down the stairs laughing a minute earlier and enthusiastic: "We shot him! We shot him!" called - and when she asked who was shot, she beamed: "Kennedy!" replied, as well as other witnesses who had seen this couple in the evening in the hotel and together with Sirhan, were not heard during the trial or already put under such pressure during the police interrogation that they relativized or withdrew their testimony.

The fact that the woman in the eye-catching dress had been seen by so many witnesses was justified by the investigative commission in court with a mix-up. A young TV intern also wore a polka dot dress. But her dress was yellow with red dots, and she was walking on a crutch because of a leg injury, which none of the witnesses noticed.

The commission's ballistics expert presented an appraisal of the three projectiles that Kennedy allegedly hit, which later turned out to be not from Sirhan's weapon - which was presented at a new hearing in 1975 as a simple mix-up of mislabeled envelopes.

Thane Eugene Cesar, a security guard behind Kennedy, who witnesses had seen with guns drawn from behind the struck senator, was neither interrogated, nor was his weapon confiscated and ballistically examined. It was the same caliber as Sirhan's weapon, but three years later Cesar claimed he had sold it before the attack. However, a private investigator found the buyer and the receipt of the sale, dated September 1968, three months after the shooting.

Cesar had only been hired two days earlier by the Ambassador Hotel through the security company Ace Guard Security and had previously worked for the aircraft and armaments companies Lockheed and Hughes Aircraft (which he later did again) - with the highest security level of the Department of Defense.

As Lisa Pease has shown, the officers of the investigation commission set up to solve the murder were mostly members of the various military intelligence services or were in close contact with the CIA. Mike Ruppert, who joined the LAPD in 1969 and lost his job in 1990 when he discovered that his superiors were covering up the CIA-run drug trafficking, found out when studying the files in 1998 that these were the same LAPD superiors who were the RFK at the time - had investigated (or sabotaged).

As we have already seen in the JFK murder case, the military intelligence services were also involved in processing important witnesses. Journalist and eyewitness Don Schulman, who was interviewed by radio and television reporters immediately after the shooting and who said that one of the guards shot, was put under severe pressure during interrogation afterwards - he was accused of a conspiracy to murder RFK involved and threatened arrest - so that he admitted that he might have been wrong.

However, at another hearing in 1973, he reverted to his original version of the incident and insisted on being "absolutely certain" that Ace Guard security guard had fired Cesar - and let his interrogators in the prosecutor's office who insisted that no more shots had been fired did not dissuade it.

The suspected shooter Thane Eugene Cesar was also interviewed several times in later years and repeatedly denied having shot in the kitchen, but when asked by investigative journalists, he had to admit that he was connected to right-wing groups and a real Kennedy hater .

As in Dallas, the Kennedy murder in Los Angeles also reveals the heart of darkness - the unholy liaison of the military, secret services, and paramilitary right-wing extremists - from which this attack in all probability arose and which is the reason for the subsequent camouflages, deceptions and cover-ups - the failure to solve the crime - represents. If only a lone madman had been at work here, the murder would have long since been resolved down to the last detail and the alleged murderer would have long since been released for good conduct in the prison

A Manchurian candidate?

The fact that Sirhan Sirhan, who to this day cannot remember his act, is denied this release points to another dark side of this crime, which apart from the fact of several shooters and a conspiracy must remain hidden: the question of whether it is with this perpetrator is a "Manchurian candidate", a perpetrator who was brought to his deed through hypnosis and mental programming.

In the political thriller "The Manchurian Candidat" by Richard Condon, published in 1959, a prisoner US soldier is brainwashed and hypnotic by the KGB, which, after returning to the USA as a "sleeper", causes him to commit murders upon a certain sign. that he can't remember. The novel was made into a film in 1962 with Frank Sinatra in the lead role - by John Frankenheimer, a good friend of Robert Kennedy's, who was waiting for him in his car in front of the Ambassador Hotel until he found out about the murder.

The CIA ran the multi-million dollar secret program MK Ultra in the 1950s and 1960s, which developed methods of brainwashing and mental programming using drugs and / or hypnosis. Prior to the trial of Sirhan, Sirhan was examined by two psychiatrists - one appointed by the prosecution, the other appointed by the defense - who both found that his memory loss about the crime was real and not fake. Both doctors noticed that Sirhan responded very easily to hypnosis; The police officers who arrested him had already noticed his very relaxed expression, completely calm eyes and his friendly smile.

At his first interrogation, Sirhan did not reveal his name, was silent on all questions about the crime and only responded to small talk. He seemed to be in a trance to everyone involved, but was not drunk.

Therefore, not only his lawyers today believe, and not only Herbert Spiegel, one of the leading experts on hypnosis at the time and a psychiatry professor at Columbia University, who examined Sirhan in the 90s, that Sirhan was hypno-programmed at the time of the crime - and the woman in the blue dotted dress was its controller, who triggered the hypnosis command. In fact, the last thing Sirhan could remember in all his testimony about the day of the murder is that he asked a woman if she would like to have a coffee with him.

Another renowned psychologist, Daniel Brown of Harvard University, who interviewed Sirhan for more than 70 hours in the past few years, comes to a similar conclusion: Sirhan is not schizophrenic - as his (non-) defense attorney Grant Cooper had claimed in the trial - but extremely susceptible to hypnosis, even when it is induced not by a human hypnotist but by radio. Concrete evidence as to whether and how Sirhan Sirhan could have become a victim of the CIA's MK-ULTRA project, of course, does not exist and will never emerge.

Based on the reports of Professor Brown and his colleague Alan Scheflin from Georgetown University, as well as the testimony of Nina Rhodes-Hughes and the acoustic analysis of the tape recordings by Stanislaw Pruszynski, the lawyers Sirhan Sirhans, William Pepper and Laurie Dusek, received one in March 2013 Petition submitted to retrial.

But as in the case of his brother John, one must also in the case of Robert F.Kennedy remain skeptical as to whether a judiciary, which for decades has not proven itself to be a promoter but a preventer of a crime investigation, will actually ensure that these political murders are finally solved.

Yes, Sirhan Sirhan shot Bobby Kennedy in the Ambassador Hotel on the night of June 5th, that's for sure. However, that it was the shots he fired that killed the almost certain presidential candidate, that he planned and carried out the assassination attempt on his own, is just as unlikely as the claim that the incumbent President John Kennedy had attacked the lone perpetrator Lee Harvey Oswald five years earlier fell victim.

RFK's son, Robert Kennendy jun. does not believe Sirhan Sirhan was responsible for the murder. And as in the case of JFK, this obvious untruth could only be enforced as a historical fact with RFK because the heads of the state - the government, the police, the secret services and the judiciary - prevented the investigation of these crimes with the help of compliant mass media.

With the death of John F. Kennedy the turning point in American politics that he had initiated was suddenly stopped. Two days after the murder, his successor Johnson announced to his staff in the White House: "I will not give up Vietnam!", A month later he told the Joint Chiefs of Staff: "Let me be re-elected first, then you will get your war." Five years later, over 500,000 US soldiers were fighting in Southeast Asia, and in his last speech at the Ambassador Hotel (as in the previous election campaign), Robert F. Kennedy made clear his determination to end this war: "I want a change of direction. I want to Peace in Vietnam. " A few minutes later, he paid for this determination with his life.

This is an excerpt from the book by Mathias Broeckers "JFK - Staatsstreich in Amerika", which was published in 2017 by Westend-Verlag.

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