"When the true King's murderers are allowed to roam free, a thousand magicians arise in the land."
- Jim Morrison, The Ghost Song
This week, 71-year-old Sirhan Sirhan, the man who allegedly fired the shots that killed Robert F. Kennedy, was denied parole for the 15th time since his incarceration nearly 50 years ago. I understand that some of you reading this may roll your eyes when I say "allegedly." But consider the following:
At this recent parole hearing in California, Paul Schrade, the 91-year-old former labor advisor to Kennedy, appeared in person before Sirhan for the first time since the initial trial in 1969. At the hearing, Schrade addressed Sirhan and said, "I'm so sorry this is happening to you. It's my fault."
Let's think about that for a second. Sirhan shot Schrade in the head with the first bullet that he fired. Now, what would compel a man like Schrade to apologize to the very individual that shot him in the head? Why would he do such a thing? The answer, which is quite evident to Schrade, me, and millions of people around the world, is that there was a second shooter. This, of course, has been discussed widely and written at length in many books and articles that are easily accessible if you are interested.
In an article from NBC (of all places), the following:
Schrade pleaded for the release of Sirhan at the hearing and apologized to him for not doing more over the years to secure his freedom.
Schrade's voice broke with emotion at times during an hour of testimony that recounted his efforts to unravel questions about the shooting of Kennedy.
"I forgive you for shooting me," Schrade told Sirhan. "I should have been here long ago and that's why I feel guilty for not being here to help you..."
From this article from The Saratogian:
[Schrade] insists that Sirhan couldn’t have killed RFK because he was facing Kennedy, who was struck from behind, convincing Schrade that a second gunman fired the fatal shot, a theory supported by many others.
Schrade’s determination to seek justice is renewed each year on the anniversary of Kennedy’s death, no matter how long it takes.
“The truth is in the prosecution’s own records and the autopsy,” said Schrade, “It says Sirhan couldn’t have shot Robert Kennedy and didn’t. He was out of position.”
Thomas Noguchi, the Los Angeles County Coroner who examined Kennedy's body, concluded that the fatal shot was delivered approximately one inch behind Kennedy's ear. How is this possible when Sirhan was in front of him? Furthermore, Noguchi maintained that the presence of powder marks on Kennedy indicated shots being fired from very close range.
Then you have the audio recording of the event, which recorded 13 shots being fired. Sirhan's gun only contained eight bullets.
I'm not going to get into the details about who may have actually killed Kennedy, why Sirhan doesn't remember the event, and why there hasn't been a proper investigation or fair trial - all roads of suspicion point to one general direction that I assume anyone who does not buy the official story will be open to.
Isn't it strange how populist leaders that have the potential to implement real change seem to be assassinated under circumstances that defy logic and require us to believe the fantastical?