The Assassination of Robert Kennedy
excerpted from the book
Probe magazine on JFK, MLK, RFK
, and Malcolm X
Edited by James DiEugenio and
Feral House, 2003, paper
The RFK Plot Part I: The Grand Illusion
It is due to the success of this grand illusion that to date there
has never been a serious official investigation of the strange
facts surrounding this case. It is the most politically incorrect
of all cases. So many people saw Sirhan firing and Kennedy falling
just a short distance away. How could the truth be other than
what it seemed? Could that many people have misrepresented the
case to us, including Sirhan's own defense team? Could officials
now serving at the higher levels of the California State government
have really been accessories after the fact to a deliberate cover-up?
Ironically, as this study will show, it
was the efforts of those who-by any means necessary-strove most
to prove Sirhan guilty, who created the evidence that may yet
serve to set him free.
Police, FBI and press photographers swarmed
into the pantry, each recording in their own way what had transpired
that night. The photos told a story that was opposite what the
police and the District Attorney's office was telling. There were
too many bullets to be accounted for. To limit the record to the
maximum number of bullets Sirhan's gun could have fired, eight,
the official account of what transpired had to be stretched in
some extraordinary-and ultimately dishonest-ways.
One of the most ridiculed aspects of the
John Kennedy assassination is the preposterous claim that one
bullet created seven wounds. In that case, we are asked to believe
that a bullet entered Kennedy's back at a downward angle, exited
from his neck (at an upward angle), turned around and went back
down into Connally's back. It then exited Connally's chest, entered
and exited (and shattered) Connally's wrist to land, in near pristine
condition, in his thigh, only to work its way out and to end up,
undiscovered until by accident, on a cot in the hall of the hospital.
This bullet, known among researchers by its Warren Commission
exhibit number, CE399, has been called, appropriately, the "magic
bullet." Science had been changed. No longer did bullets
fly in straight paths; they imitated instead the paths of stunt
pilot barnstormers such as the Great Waldo Pepper of movie fame.
The Robert Kennedy assassination requires
not just one but several magic bullets to reduce the bullet count
to eight. Without even getting into the evidence that there were
more bullets than Sirhan's gun could hold ...
... five people were shot besides Kennedy, one of whom was shot
twice; Kennedy himself was shot four times. Doesn't that add up
to ten bullets?
Ten bullets (and likely more) would indicate that at least two
guns were being fired in the pantry that night, and that a conspiracy
had been at work. But if more guns were firing, why didn't anyone
report this? Or did they?
Contrary to popular belief, there were
witnesses who indicated that more than one gun had been present
in the pantry that night. Consider the following statements:
"It sounded as if there was more
than one gun being used at that point." -Booker Griffin to
the LAPD, 7/25/68.
"After the shots, I saw to my left
a guard holding a revolver." -Statement attributed to Richard
Lubic in a manuscript analyzed in the LAPD files.
"But the security guard had a gun
and I think he went like this [drawing a gun] or he put it in
a holster or something..." -Lisa Urso to Dr. Phil Melanson.
"I'm pretty doggone sure he [a security
guard] fired his gun." -Don Schulman to the DA's office in
1971, reiterating his earlier comments to a reporter on 6/5/68.
"TV reports ... Suspect shot at guard,
guard shot suspect in the leg." -Intelligence Division log
entry from 6/5/68, LAPD.
"Two or three seconds after Kennedy
entered the kitchen, he heard eight or nine shots in quick succession.
(He thought there had been two guns.)" -LAPD interview of
Roy Mills, 8/9/68.
"The guy with the gun could have
left. No one seemed to pay any attention." -Dame!! Johnson
to LAPD, 7/24/68.
"My God, he had a gun and we let
him go by." -Joseph Klein, referring to a man leaving the
pantry in a hurry while Sirhan was being subdued, to LAPD, 7/3/68.
"We had reports from two of the eyewitnesses
that there were two assailants involved." -Larry Scheer,
KTLA live broadcast footage from 6/5/68.
This is by no means intended to represent
a comprehensive list of such statements, but is included here
to show that the LAPD had no reason to assume from the start that
Sirhan was the only person firing in the pantry that night. There
were Ace Security Guards in the room that night.
Immediately after the shooting, 20-year-old "Youth for Kennedy"
volunteer Sandy Serrano saw something disturbing, and reported
it immediately to both the press and the police. A recent BBC
special included the video of the live interview of Sandy Serrano
from this night. She was very credible, very sure of what she
had heard. She told Sander Vanocur of NBC about a wild encounter
she had just had. At 2:35 a.m. on June 5th, and several additional
times that morning, she repeated this story to the LAPD. Earlier
in the night, she had seen a young woman in a white dress with
black or dark blue polka dots walking up the back stairway of
the Ambassador hotel, accompanied by two men-one was wearing a
white shirt and a gold sweater, the other looking dirty and out
of place, "borracho," (under) 5'S", with bushy
dark hair. Shortly after hearing what she assumed were backfires
from a car, the woman and one of the men came back down the stairs,
in an excited fashion, talking loudly. She described the encounter
in this way:
She practically stepped on me, and she
said, "We've shot him. We've shot him." Then I said,
"Who did you shoot?" And she said, "We shot Senator
Kennedy." And I says, "Oh, sure." She came running
down the stairs, very fast, and then the boy in the gold sweater
came running down after her, and I walked down the stairs.
Serrano's description of the third man
in this group, the one who had gone up but had not come back down,
bore a strong resemblance to Sirhan.
The RFK Plot Part II: Rubik's Cube
If Sirhan did not shoot Kennedy, who did? Why? And how is it that
Sirhan's own lawyers did not reveal the evidence that he could
not have committed the crime for which he received a death sentence?
Before one considers the above issues,
one larger issue stands out. If Sirhan did not kill Kennedy, how
has the cover-up lasted this long? In the end, that question will
bring us closer to the top of the conspiracy than any other. No
matter who was involved, if there were a will to get to the bottom
of this crime, the evidence has been available. The fact that
no official body has ever made the effort to honestly examine
all the evidence in this case is nearly as chilling as the original
crime itself, and points to a high level of what can only be termed
government involvement In the history of this country and particularly
the '60s, one entity stands out beyond all others as having the
means, the motive, and the opportunity to orchestrate this crime
and continue the cover-up to this very day. But the evidence will
point its own fingers; it remains only for us to follow wherever
the evidence leads.
It has often been said that a successful
conspiracy requires not artful planning, but rather control of
the investigation that follows. The investigation was controlled
primarily by a few LAPD officers and the DA. Despite Congressman
Allard Lowenstein's efforts, no federal investigation of this
case has ever taken place. The Warren Commission's conclusions
were subjected to intense scrutiny when their documentation was
published. Evidently the LAPD wanted no such scrutiny, and simply
refused to release their files until ordered to do so in the late
One of the most intriguing figures in this case has been "The
Girl in the Polka-Dot Dress" who was seen with Sirhan immediately
prior to the shooting, and who was subsequently witnessed running
from the scene crying "We shot him! We shot him!" The
LAPD tried to shut down this story by getting the two most public
witnesses to retract their stories. But there were so many credible
sightings of this girl that the police were forced to take a different
tack. They identified first one, then a second woman as "the"
girl, despite the fact that neither bore much of a resemblance
to the girl described. Meanwhile, languishing unnoticed in the
LAPD's own files is the name of a far more likely candidate, someone
who leads to a host of suspicious characters.
Over a dozen witnesses gave similar descriptions
of a girl in a polka-dot dress, who for varying reasons drew their
attention. The two most famous of these were Vincent DiPierro,
a waiter at the Ambassador Hotel, and Sandy Serrano, a Kennedy
volunteer. DiPierro first noticed Sirhan in the pantry because
of the woman he saw "following" him.
DiPierro reported that he saw Sirhan turn to her and say something,
to which she didn't reply, but smiled. He said Sirhan had a sickly
smile, and said, "When she first entered, she looked as though
she was sick also." He described her as Caucasian and as
about 20 or 21 years old, definitely no older than 24. She was
"very shapely" and was wearing a "white dress with-it
looked like either black or dark violet polka dots on it and kind
of a [bib-like] collar." He said her hair color was "Brown.
I would say brunette," "puffed up a little" and
that it came to just above her shoulders. DiPierro told the FBI
that she had a peculiar-looking nose.
That same morning, Sandy Serrano had described
to the LAPD a "girl in a white dress, a Caucasian, dark brown
hair, about five-six, medium height ... Black polka dots on the
dress" in the company of a man she later recognized as Sirhan
and another man in a gold sweater. She had seen this trio walk
up the back stairs to the Ambassador earlier in the night. Sometime
later, the girl and the guy in the gold sweater came running down
the back stairs. Serrano recalled to the LAPD this encounter:
She practically stepped on me, and she
said "We've shot him. We've shot him." Then I said,
"Who did you shoot?" And she said, "We shot Senator
So then the final question is this. Was the LAPD really so deficient?
Could they really not find the girl? Amazingly, the LAPD evidence
log itself contains a plausible name that may well lead to the
heart of the conspiracy.
A former New York Police Department detective
named Sid Shepard, then working at CBS-TV in New York as Chris
Borgen, happened upon Sander Vanocur's 5 a.m. (Eastern time) interview
of Sandy Serrano. He recalled a couple of people who seemed to
fit the description of the polka-dot dress girl. In fact, he had
observed them at a protest demonstration in New York at the United
Nations building, which had been captured on 16mm film. He felt
so strongly about the match that he put the film, along with a
couple of blowups made from the film, onto a TWA flight for Martin
Steadman of the WCBS-TV affiliate in Los Angeles. Steadman brought
the film and two photos made to Rampart detectives L.J. Patterson
and C.J. Hughes. These items were booked into evidence as items
#69 and 70 in the evidence log for the case as follows:
#69 1 Film-l6mm roll on gry plast reel
#70 1 Photo-8" x 10" of female
(1) protest demo (taken from abv film)
Photo-3" x 4" of female "Shirin
Khan" with writing on back "Shirin Khan DOB 4/22/50
daughter of Khaibar Khan Goodarzian, presented flowers & court
order to Shah of Iran in NY 6/1964."
That Shepard/Borgen would identify Shirin
Khan as a likely candidate for the girl was positively uncanny.
He could hardly have known at that point that her father had reportedly
been seen with Sirhan at Kennedy headquarters just two days before
the assassination, and that some campaign workers had identified
Khan as a suspicious person in the Kennedy camp.
Khan was from Iran, not Turkey, and had been living in New York
before he came to Los Angeles. He filled out over 20 volunteer
cards (present in the SUS files) with names of "friends,"
always using his own address as their contact information. For
this, and a more sinister reason, Isackson was not the only one
suspicious of Khan. Several campaign workers said they had seen
him with Sirhan.
Eleanor Severson was a campaign worker
for RFK. She told the LAPD that on May 30, 1968, a man named Khaibar
Khan came into Headquarters to register for campaign work. Khan
claimed to have come to California from back East to help the
campaign. From that day, Khan came into Headquarters every day
until the election. The Sunday before the election, June 2, he
brought four other foreigners (of Middle Eastern extraction) in
to work as volunteers. Severson and her husband both said that
Sirhan was one of these men. She remembered this group in particular
because while she was registering the men, Kennedy's election-day
itinerary was taken from her desk. Her husband thought Sirhan
might have taken it. Severson reported seeing Sirhan again early
in the afternoon of June 3, standing near the coffee machine.
Larry Strick, another Kennedy worker,
confirmed this account. He said he had spoken to Sirhan in the
company of Khan. When Sirhan's picture was finally shown on TV,
he and Mrs. Severson called each other nearly at the same instant
to talk about the fact that this was the man they both remembered
from Headquarters. Strick positively ID'd Sirhan from photos as
the same man he had seen on June 2nd to both the LAPD and the
FBI in the days immediately following the assassination.
Khaibar Khan's father had been executed by the Shah's father when
Khan was only a boy of eight. Khan might have been killed as well,
but a British couple named Smiley, who worked for oil interests,
had taken pity on him and removed him from the country. Khan was
educated in Scotland, and in 1944 joined British military intelligence.
In 1948 his Iranian title was restored, and he ran a fleet of
taxicabs, trucks and operated a repair shop. He also worked for
the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company and maintained ties with British
and American missions there. Fred Cook, who wrote about Khan's
life in detail in The Nation (4/12/65 & 5/24/65), dropped
this interesting piece of information:
The Khaibar Khan's role in the counter-coup
that toppled Mossadegh is not quite clear, but indications are
that he helped.
Was Khan working with the CIA in that
Despite the Shah's father's role in Khan's
father's death, Khan and the Shah became friends. The Shah even
provided Khan a villa on the palace grounds. Their friendship
took a turn for the worse, however, when Khan wanted to use some
of the plentiful American foreign aid coming into the country
for a sports arena. The Shah and his family had other plans for
the land and the money, leading to a falling-out between Khan
and the Shah. One day, the Shah discovered that Khan's large and
lavishly equipped Cadillac El Dorado was wiretapped to the hilt,
and realized that he had a major spy in his midst. Khan was warned
of the Shah's discovery and fled the country. But Khan had spent
years building up a powerful spy network. As Khan later told the
...We put engineers, doctors, gardeners
and as servants and as storemen; all educated people working in
several different places. And we put a lot of secretaries; a lot
of people who was educated in England. And we put them as secretaries.
Through this network, Khan noticed something
interesting. Some $7 million of the sports arena's funds had been
redirected to the Pahlavi Foundation, the Shah's family's personal
fund. He directed his spies to find out where the money was going,
to whom and what for. What his agents found was rather astonishing,
and led to a most peculiar congressional investigation. He found
that days before the Shah was to have an audience with President
Kennedy in the U.S., six- and seven-figure checks had been cut
from the Pahlavi Foundation account to a number of prominent and
influential Americans. Kennedy had no great love for the Shah
or his operations, and was not planning on granting the largesse
the Shah was seeking. Was the Shah feathering the nest before
his arrival by spreading money around? Khan's agents photocopied
a batch of checks from the Shah's safe. The checks included payments
to the following:
Allen Dallas [sic]: $1,000,000 Henry Luce:
$500,000 David Rockefeller: $2,000,000 Mrs. Loy Henderson: $1,000,000
George V. Allen: $1,000,000 Seldin Chapin: $1,000,000
Henderson, Allen and Chapin had all served
at some point as Ambassador to Iran, a role Richard Helms would
later play when removed from the CIA by Richard Nixon. (Richard
Helms, by the way, had been a childhood friend of the Shah. They
had attended the same Swiss school in their youth.) David Rockefeller,
Allen Dulles and Henry Luce had contributed to Mossadegh's overthrow,
an effort double-headed by the CIA and British intelligence. The
Shah's family members also received checks ranging from six to
eight figures in length, the highest being a $15,000,000 check
paid to Princess Farah Pahlavi. Princess Ashraf, the Shah's twin
sister, came in second at $3,000,000. High-level British officials
were also on the list.
... there is the question of Ace Guard Services. Ace was formed
in the beginning of 1968, by Frank J. and Loretta M. Hendrix.
Cesar was only hired in May of 1968, just days before the assassination.
Years after the assassination, DeWayne Wolfer, the criminalist
in Sirhan's case, became president of Ace under its newer name
of Ace Security Services. Is this all just coincidence?
Like a Rubik's cube, this case seems to
involve many small, separate players. But as you get closer to
solving the puzzle, you find there are really only a few planes,
all of which connect in a single, logical fashion. The conspiracy
is obvious; the players semi-obvious. The motive, however, is
considerably less obvious. The question of Cui Bono remains all-important:
Once a supporter of Red hunter Joe McCarthy,
Bobby had grown a great deal since his brother's death. He became
the champion of the disenfranchised. He marched for civil rights,
and lashed out at the inefficiencies in our social system. He
was not a supporter of welfare handouts but of jobs for all. He
was often accused of being "angry," and retorted "I
am impatient. I would hope everyone would be impatient."
"I think people should be angry enough to speak out."
Another favorite: "It is not enough to allow dissent. We
must demand it." As Richard Goodwin has written, it was the
very qualities that people most appreciated that caused the establishment
to loathe and fear him. The people loved a Senator who would stand
up and tell it like it was, without fear, without softening rhetoric.
The establishment wanted him to go away.
Bobjedy had more enemies it would seem
than his brother. Where John Kennedy played the politician, Bobby
Kennedy played the populist. A famous episode recounted by Richard
Goodwin shows how radical Bobby had become. The State Department
had threatened to cut off aid to Peru over a dispute Peru had
with the International Petroleum Company, a Standard Oil subsidiary.
Kennedy had been outraged at the State Department, saying, "Peru
has a democratic government. We ought to be helping them succeed,
not tearing them down just because some oil company doesn't like
their policies." But when Kennedy was confronted with what
he considered excessive antiAmericanism from a Peruvian audience,
Kennedy turned the tables on them. Goodwin recounts what transpired
Irritated by the attacks, Kennedy turned
on his audience. "Well, if it's so important to you, why
don't you just go ahead and nationalize the damn oil company?
It's your country. You can't be both cursing the U.S., and then
looking to it for permission to do what you want to do. The U.S.
government isn't going to send destroyers or anything like that.
So if you want to assert your nationhood, why don't you just do
The Peruvians were stunned at the boldness
of Kennedy's suggestion. "Why, David Rockefeller has just
been down here," they said, "and he told us there wouldn't
be any aid if anyone acted against International Petroleum."
"Oh, come on," said Kennedy,
"David Rockefeller isn't the government. We Kennedys eat
Rockefellers for breakfast."
Bobby had outraged the CIA by exercising
heavy oversight after the Bay of Pigs fiasco. Richard Helms, the
friend of the Shah and a key MKULTRA backer, held a special animosity
for Bobby Kennedy. And Bobby was the one who asked, immediately
after the assassination, if the CIA had killed his brother. What
might Bobby have uncovered had he been allowed to reach the office
of the Presidency? Powerful factions hoped they'd never have to
Kennedy himself expected tragedy for his
efforts. "I play Russian roulette every time I get up in
the morning," he told friends. "But I just don't care.
There's nothing I could do about it anyway," the fatalist
explained, adding, "This isn't really such a happy existence,
The assassination of both Kennedys guaranteed
the elongation of our involvement in Vietnam, a war that personally
brought Howard Hughes and everyone involved in defense contracts
loads of money. Killing Bobby prevented any effective return to
the policies started under John Kennedy, and prevented Bobby from
opening any doors to the truth about the murder of his brother.
And killing Bobby removed a thorn in the side of many in the CIA
who felt he had treated them unkindly and unfairly.
Who killed Bobby? One man gave me an answer
to that. I interviewed John Meier, a former bagman for Hughes
and by association the CIA. Meier was one of the tiny handful
of people in direct contact with Howard Hughes himself. His position
gave him entrée to circles most people will never see.
Meier had worked for Hughes during the
assassination, and saw enough dealings before and after the assassination
to cause him to approach J. Edgar Hoover with what he knew. For
example, he knew that Thane Eugene Cesar had an association with
Maheu. (Maheu also had an extensive working relationship with
the LAPD. This partnership produced a porno film pretending to
show Indonesian president Sukarno in a compromising position with
a Soviet agent.") According to Meier Hoover expressed his
frustration, saying words to the effect of "Yes, we know
this was a Maheu operation. People think I'm so powerful, but
when it comes to the CIA, there's nothing I can do."
People will choose what they will believe.
But the evidence is still present, waiting to be followed, if
any entity has the fortitude to pursue the truth in this case
to wherever it leads. And so long as Sirhan remains in jail, the
real assassins will never be sought.
As [David] Brock says, the real horror of the moralistic New Right
is that, in reality, the moral pose is a charade: they have no
morals. Brock is at pains to demonstrate that their only real
politics is that of destruction: the destruction o the liberal
ideal of the '60s The idea that government can be a progressive
Jack Newfield in his book, Robert F Kennedy: 4 Memoir:
Now I realized what makes our generation
unique, what defines us apart from those who came before the hopeful
winter of 1961, and those who came after the murderous spring
of 1968. We are the first generation that learned from experience
... that things were not really getting better, that we shall
not overcome. We felt, by the time we reached thirty, that we
had already glimpsed the most compassionate leaders our nation
could produce, and they had all been assassinated. And from this
time forward, things would get worse: our best political leaders
were part of memory now, not hope...