I'm kind of amazed this hasn't been discussed here yet, seeing as how it finally hit ABC News just today. But here's the report that I first saw, from the website of a local NBC station in Connecticut:
MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- New forensics evidence presented Tuesday during a symposium at Foxwoods suggests Sirhan Sirhan did not fire the fatal shots that killed Sen. Robert Kennedy in 1968.
Well ... how interesting. If you're up this late, you might find this a good late-night discussion topic.
Here are some of the more juicy bits from the article:
Dr. Robert Joling, a forensics investigator who has studied the Robert Kennedy assassination for almost 40 years, determined that the fatal shots must have come from behind the senator.
Sirhan, however, was 4 to 6 feet in front of Kennedy and never got close enough to shoot Kennedy from behind, the investigator said.
The other evidence was the Pruszynski recording. This is the only audio recording of the assassination. Another scientist analyzed it and concluded that at least 13 shots were fired from two different guns.
Joling and Van Praag presented their findings together, although the two investigated the Kennedy shooting independently. They had never met until last year. During a seminar, they realized their separate findings were perfectly wed.
I saw this maybe two days ago. I wondered if it would hit any actual "mainstream" sites. Well today I noticed that ABC had picked it up, although they temper it with some heavy "others are not so sure" type of talk, two examples below:
But doubts lingered and conspiracy theories took root that perhaps others were involved in Kennedy's death.
But other forensic scientists dismiss these theories, saying the analysis is flat-out wrong.
Gotta love the editorializing, and the totally unsubstantiated statement that "others dismiss these". Who? I mean, I'm sure there are some who dismiss these theories, you can always find somebody, but who exactly? Professional journalists used to do their homework and actually give examples to back up their statements. I guess those days are over.
These guys aren't the first to consider a "second gunman". The first was probably the Los Angeles corner who did the autopsy, Thomas Noguchi. In his autobiography, he reports:
"Until more is precisely known...the existence of a second gunman remains a possibility. Thus, I have never said that Sirhan Sirhan killed Robert Kennedy."
Why would he say such a thing? Well, even before these new recordings came out in which 13 shots are heard (and Sirhan Sirhan's gun only held eight bullets), Noguchi discovered that there were more bullet wounds than there were bullets -- considering that RFK had been shot with four bullets, and there were five people also wounded, presumably by five more bullets. The LAPD rationalized this by saying that some of the wounds must have been caused by one bullet hitting more than one victim, and they even presented an extremely convoluted case as to all the whacky trajectories the bullets must have taken. However, the main sticking point, the point that probably haunted Noguchi, and many others, is the fact that the shot that killed Kennedy was fired from just a few inches away from the back of his head, behind his ear -- powder burns proved it. Yet Sirhan Sirhan was never closer than five or six feet away, and always facing Kennedy.
Not too long ago, another fascinating tidbit emerged, this time reported by the BBC:
CIA role claim in Kennedy killing
New video and photographic evidence that puts three senior CIA operatives at the scene of Robert Kennedy's assassination has been brought to light.
The evidence was shown in a report by Shane O'Sullivan, broadcast on BBC Newsnight.
It reveals that the operatives and four unidentified associates were at the Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles in the moments before and after the shooting on 5 June, 1968.
The CIA had no domestic jurisdiction and some of the officers were based in South-East Asia at the time, with no reason to be in Los Angeles.
But yes, "other researchers" doubt this claim. (at least I'll provide an example. Also, another one here.)
Anyway, I hope this doesn't delve too much into the taboo areas of "conspiracy theory". It is a mainstream news story, and it is certainly interesting. I actually deleted, before posting this, a lot of other links which might fall into the taboo zone, and I won't discuss how Sirhan Sirhan could have possibly been an unwitting dupe in all of this. I'll let others bring that up if they so desire.
And hey, this isn't a candidate diary, which might be welcome to a lot of people. :)