BY MATT SULLIVAN / RCFP
Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated 40 years ago this month at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Sirhan B. Sirhan, a 24 year old immigrant, is the alleged lone gunman and is presently serving a life sentence.
In a new book, An Open and Shut Case, Dr. Robert Joling and Philip Van Praag have joined a growing list of people who don’t believe that Sirhan acted alone.
Joling and Van Praag, both forensic scientists, claim that after analyzing audio recordings of the assassination they have concluded that at least 13 shots were fired. The handgun Sirhan used only had the capacity to fire eight shots. They believe that there were two guns and that the fatal shot came from behind Robert Kennedy, while witnesses claim that Sirhan was in front of Kennedy. According to a March 27, 2008 ABC report by Pierre Thomas, Joling claims, “It can be established conclusively that Sirhan did not shoot Senator Kennedy. And in fact not only did he not do it, he could not have done it.”
Los Angeles Coroner Thomas Noguchi conducted the official autopsy on the body of Robert Francis Kennedy on the morning of June 6, 1968. Noguchi stated that the shot that killed RFK “had entered through the mastoid bone, an inch behind the right ear and had traveled upward to sever the branches of the superior cerebral artery.”
At a conference in Connecticut forensic scientists met to discuss their independent findings. The conference presenters argued that Sirhan Sirhan could not have fired the fatal shot that killed Kennedy. Dr. Robert Joling has studied the Kennedy assassination for nearly 40 years, he concluded that the fatal shot came from behind Kennedy, while Sirhan was four to six feet in front of the senator and never got close enough to shoot him from behind.
Philip Van Praag analyzed the Pruszynski recording (a Canadian journalist’s tape recording) and determined that 13 shots were fired while Kennedy was killed, although Sirhan’s gun only held eight bullets. This suggests that a second shooter was involved in the assassination.
Other questions regarding the assassination of Robert Kennedy have recently been voiced in a new BBC documentary by Shane O’Sullivan, which supports the conclusion that the CIA planned and executed the killing of Robert Kennedy. The result of a three year long investigation includes photographic evidence that puts three senior CIA operatives at the scene of the murder. These three operatives have been positively identified as David Morales, Gordon Campbell and George Joannides. All three men worked together in 1963 at JMWAVE, the CIA’s Miami base for its secret war on Castro.
Again the question of the murder weapon is raised. The LAPD claimed no bullets were found lodged in the “bullet holes”, and yet the doorframes in which some of the bullets had lodged were burned and two expended bullets, dug out of the wood, were found in the front seat of Sirhan’s car. Then inexplicably, the LAPD destroyed their records of the tests that had been done on the “bullet holes” in the doorframe.
Michael Ruppert, former Los Angeles Police detective, author, journalist and editor of From the Wilderness, has conducted his own investigation of the RFK assassination, using inside contacts deep within the LAPD. His investigation definitively proves that the assassination was a CIA operation, and he names Thane Eugene Cesar, a private security guard just hired out of Lockheed, as the triggerman.
As in other high profile crimes, JFK, MLK and 9/11, the investigation was bungled and evidence was destroyed. Van Praag and Joling are talking to other forensic experts around the country and lobbying for the case to be reopened. “What we would basically like to see at this point, is a new investigation certainly based on new facts that we have come up with, take a fresh look at this case and to bring the authorities in,” said Van Praag. (ABC News March 27, 2008, Pierre Thomas). Thomas ends with “The question is whether, after nearly 40 years, authorities will have any interest in reopening a painful chapter in American history.” There is no statue of limitations on murder – no matter how painful.