Robert Kennedy Jr. had a three-hour prison meeting in California with his father’s convicted killer and left convinced a new investigation into the murder is needed, he told The Washington Post.
Kennedy, who did not reveal the details of his jailhouse talk with Sirhan Sirhan, believes there was a second gunman when Robert Kennedy was fatally shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles after winning the Democratic presidential primary in California on June 5, 1968.
“There were too many bullets,” RFK Jr. told the Post in an interview published Saturday. “You can’t fire 13 shots out of an eight-shot gun.”
Kennedy was also shot from behind, according to the autopsy report, even though Sirhan was in front of him, according to witnesses.
The 74-year-old Sirhan, serving a life term, admitted shooting Kennedy but also said at the time he had no recollection of doing so. The younger Kennedy, 64, called Sirhan’s trial more of a “penalty hearing” than a real trial.
“I think it’s unfortunate that the case never went to a full trial because that would have compelled the press and prosecutors to focus on the glaring discrepancies in the narrative that Sirhan fired the shots that killed my father,” he told the Post.
“I was disturbed that the wrong person might have been convicted of killing my father,” said Kennedy, who met with Sirhan late last year. “My father was the chief law enforcement officer in this country. I think it would have disturbed him if somebody was put in jail for a crime they didn’t commit.”
One of the other five victims who survived the shooting that evening, Paul Schrade, who suffered a bullet wound to the head, has long called for a new investigation. He’s convinced that Sirhan shot him and the other four victims, but that a second gunman killed Kennedy.
“As painful as it was for me to pursue, I knew that Americans deserved to know the truth about what really happened to Robert Kennedy, whose death — like the death of President [John] Kennedy — changed the course of American history forever,” Shrade, a former regional official of the United Auto Workers, wrote in Huffpost in 2013.
The case is officially closed. RFK Jr. said he doesn’t know if he’ll be able to change that.