Forty-eight years ago (in 1968), the country was in the midst of another presidential campaign that came at a seminal moment in American history. Five years earlier, John F. Kennedy had been murdered, and Dr. Martin Luther King had been assassinated in April of 1968. The Vietnam War was escalating. Race riots were becoming a fact of urban life. Racial and generational politics as well as social issues were threatening to tear the country apart.
Then on the night of June 5th, 1968, after John Kennedy’s brother Robert had won the all-important California Primary, America got yet another jolt: the younger Kennedy, too, had been struck down.
Flash forward to 2016.
Last week, his alleged killer, Sirhan Sirhan, was up for his 14th parole hearing. Sitting in the audience was Paul Schrade, one of RFK’s closest confidantes — who was also shot during the attack; Schrade, now 91, is interesting for many reasons, not the least of which is his conclusion that, assuming Sirhan was one of the shooters that night, he was not the only one. Moreover, if Sirhan fired any shots, Schrade is quite certain that the young Palestinian-American, once again being denied parole, could not have killed RFK — because it was a physical impossibility.
Author and filmmaker Shane O’Sullivan has spent 12 years examining how Sirhan might have been “programmed”, and by whom; scrutinizing the failures of the Los Angeles Police Department; bringing forth the sound and ballistic evidence showing 14 separate shots were fired; and publicizing the efforts by RFK friend Schrade to reopen the investigation. In this podcast, he talks to WhoWhatWhy’s Jeff Schectman about where the fact trail points.