The man who re­ally killed RFK and got away with it

A cor­rupt LAPD let the guilty shooter es­cape jus­tice, claims au­thor Wil­liam Klaber

The Irish Mail on Sunday - - MORE | INTERVIEW - JOHN LEE HIS­TORY

Of all the tragedies that struck the Kennedy fam­ily it is the one that took Bobby at 42 years old that leaves many of us with the great­est sense of loss and un­ful­filled po­ten­tial.

Any life cut short by an as­sas­sin’s bul­let is a dread­ful event but you feel that if Bobby Kennedy had lived and gone on to win the 1968 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, the United States – and South-East Asia – would have been saved from one of the dark­est pe­ri­ods of his­tory.

Nixon won, the Viet­nam War raged on and Water­gate dragged the pres­i­dency and the in­no­cence of the New World so deeply into the mire that it has never fully emerged.

We be­lieved a non-de­script, diminu­tive, baby-faced man called Sirhan Sirhan gunned down Robert Kennedy, the fourth Kennedy to die in hor­ri­fy­ing cir­cum­stances. But ac­cord­ing to ac­claimed au­thor Wil­liam Klaber, Sirhan didn’t do it, and the short­com­ings of the Los

An­ge­les Po­lice Depart­ment’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion would have been ex­posed in the multi-me­dia foren­sic mi­lieu of 2019.

Mr Klaber has ap­plied mod­ern foren­sic anal­y­sis to hun­dreds of hours of LAPD record­ings of in­ter­views. He spent 25 years work­ing the files and he in­ter­viewed Sirhan Sirhan in prison. He has now col­lab­o­rated with Emmy Award win­ner Zac Stu­art-Pon­tier on a se­ries of pod­casts – The RFK Tapes – which bring the dark mys­ter­ies of the sec­ond Kennedy as­sas­si­na­tion to a new gen­er­a­tion.

In the days after the June 5 as­sas­si­na­tion of the then-US sen­a­tor at the Am­bas­sador Ho­tel in Los An­ge­les it ap­peared to be a slam dunk case for the LAPD. Mr Klaber tells the Ir­ish Mail on Sun­day: ‘Bobby is shot in the ho­tel and a young man fir­ing a pis­tol is grabbed just a cou­ple of feet away from him and in time the young man ad­mits to the crime, says he acted alone and of­fers a mo­tive.’

Sirhan said Mr Kennedy sup­ported in­jus­tices against his home­land of Pales­tine.

‘This is just open and shut and “what could be wrong with this?” …ex­cept that after Sirhan was con­victed… the po­lice re­fused to open their files,’ says Mr Klaber. ‘Why would… the po­lice hold their files se­cret?.’

The LAPD came up with rea­sons like they had to pro­tect their sources which, since lit­tle of the case was based on con­fi­den­tial sources, was ‘crazy’, says Mr Klaber. ‘It made no sense but they got away with it for 20 years, they didn’t open their files and when they did finally in 1988, I was part of a group that went through them.’

They re­vealed the pat­tern of cor­rupt mis­con­duct at the LAPD that was to con­tinue through to the Rod­ney King and OJ Simp­son in­quiries of the 1990s.

A flood of in­ter­views and foren­sic ev­i­dence proved there were two guns fir­ing. ‘The po­lice had that ev­i­dence and they de­stroyed it,’ says Mr Klaber in an in­ter­view with the MoS from his up­state New York home.

The prob­lem for the LAPD was that de­spite a sys­tem­atic coverup, tapes were left of in­ter­views in which the cops coached wit­nesses to change their sto­ries. New bal­lis­tic ev­i­dence also emerged – there were guns all over that lit­tle space in the mo­ments be­fore RFK died, and Sirhan couldn’t have shot him from be­hind.

Thane Eu­gene Ce­sar, who had been hired as se­cu­rity for Sen­a­tor Kennedy, has fre­quently been cited as the most likely can­di­date for a sec­ond gun­man. He died in the Phillip­ines two months ago. When in­ter­viewed, he stated that he did draw a gun at the scene of the shoot­ing, but in­sisted the weapon was a Rohm .38, not a .22, the cal­i­bre of the bul­lets found in Kennedy. The LAPD, who in­ter­viewed Ce­sar shortly after the shoot­ing, did not re­gard him as a sus­pect and did not ask to see his gun.

Mr Klaber will ap­pear as part of the Dublin Fes­ti­val of Politics next Sun­day, in the com­pany of this writer. You can hear his rev­e­la­tions if you at­tend the event at Tai­lor’s Hall, near Christchur­ch.

Two of the late sen­a­tor’s chil­dren have also called for a re­open­ing of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion. Robert F Kennedy Jr – who met with Sirhan in prison in De­cem­ber 2017 – told The Wash­ing­ton Post that ‘the wrong per­son might have been con­victed of killing my fa­ther.’

Now RFK’s daugh­ter Kath­leen Kennedy Townsend has joined her brother in call­ing for jus­tice.

‘Bobby [her brother Robert Kennedy Jr] makes a com­pelling case,’ the for­mer Mary­land lieu­tenant gov­er­nor told The Post. ‘I think it should be re­opened.’

■ The Dublin Fes­ti­val of Politics runs from Novem­ber 21 to 24. For more in­for­ma­tion, see @Pol­i­tic­sFestDub (Face­book & Twit­ter).

‘There were two guns fir­ing. The po­lice had that ev­i­dence and they de­stroyed it’

HOR­RIFIC: Bobby Kennedy after the shoot­ing in the Am­bas­sador ho­tel kitchen and, left, the RFK pod­cast

SEC­OND GUN­MAN?: Se­cu­rity man Thane Eu­gene Ce­sar, above with his fam­ily, ad­mit­ted fir­ing his gun but he was not treated as a sus­pect by LAPD while Sirhan Sirhan, top, was ar­rested, con­victed and sen­tenced to life in jail

DOOMED: JFK and RFK, lead­ers of a dy­nasty

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